Uranium Along the Iditerod Trail

Alaska Natives protest uranium exploration on Iditarod Trail
by Brenda Norrell   
A coalition of Alaskan Indigenous Peoples, Alaskan citizens, students and community organizations are demonstrating support for students protesting Uranium activity in the traditional cultural use areas near the Arctic Inupiat community of Elim.
 
Alaskans from various organizations and communities gathered at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on March 7th, downtown Anchorage, to demonstrate support for the students and community of Elim. Students in Elim will be protesting uranium as dog mushers race through the Elim checkpoint 123 miles from Nome.

Funny Murray, an Inupiaq Para-professional in Elim, says that the students are leading the effort to raise awareness on the uranium’s destructive impacts to the environment, ecosystem and people.
 
“The Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU) researched how uranium development can cause damage to the health of the environment, plants, animals and people. They (ESAU) are speaking up for environmental justice here in Elim, the Bering Sea and the Arctic.”

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Messages from Gaza

I Want to Write
by Mohammed M. Mustafa
Dear All - My name is Mohammed M. Mustafa from Gaza, Palestine. I can read, speak and understand English very well. But I like to express my opinion.

Here is a story compiled with photos on how Israel killed innocent Palestinians. In the photo there is a building that belongs to a Palestinian family in Beit Hanoun, Northern Gaza. With prior warning, Israeli Army destroyed the house by missile in an air strike.
 
Residents of the house received a 5-minute warning; five minutes were enough for them to leave their house, and for the cameraman to station his camera, but for the man on bicycle, he had no choice, and received no warning.
 
 
Take a look at the photos, please.
 
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Prideful Tormentor: Bush Boasts of Torture

Bush Boasted about Tortured Captive
by Jason Leopold
About the time President George W. Bush was boasting of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri’s capture in late 2002, the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing was undergoing waterboarding, according to top-secret documents released in a New York federal court case.
 
One heavily censored page of what appears to be a CIA internal report about the torture of “war on terror” detainees reads: “Interrogators administered [redacted] waterboard to Al-Nashiri.” The same page indicates that a dozen of 92 destroyed videotapes of the CIA’s interrogations were of detainees undergoing brutal treatment. “There are 92 videotapes, 12 of which include EIT [enhanced interrogation techniques] applications,” the page says.

Though U.S. officials confirmed more than a year ago that al-Nashiri and two other detainees were subjected to the drowning sensation of waterboarding, the page, which was released on Friday, represents rare documented evidence that the technique, regarded as torture at least since the Inquisition, was used against prisoners in American custody.
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Prisons, Profits, and the Banality of Evil

Lost Liberty Blues: Prisons, Profits, and the Banality of Evil
by Chris Floyd   
Lamar Alexander is certainly one of the biggest non-entities in the history of modern American politics.
 
Picture: Chain gang, Pitt County, North Carolina, 1910 (Many thanks to R. Coalson for the pic, from Shorpy, the vintage photo blog)
 
You would have to range far and wide to find a more negligible, pointless, unproductive figure on the national level than Alexander, the senior U.S. senator from Tennessee; indeed, you'd be hard-pressed to find such a one on the smallest school board or city council in the remotest corner of the country.

And like Bush with his Crawford dude ranch, Alexander adopted an entirely faux pose as a soil-of-the-soil type in a cynical campaign ploy. Perhaps only George Walker Bush could match Alexander in the "coasting through life with corporate coddling" sweepstakes. Like Bush, Alexander was once a Republican governor who did almost no work in office, letting the Democratic leaders of the state legislature -- with whom he had some cozy business entanglements -- handle the nitty-gritty of governing while he whiled away the hours greasing wheels for his cronies and cutting sweetheart deals to enrich himself. [For details on some of these wheels and deals, see here, here, here, here and here.]

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Obama and the Declarative "I"

Signing Statementing Our Way to Empire
by David Swanson
President Obama's second signing statement has generated a great deal of news coverage referring to it as his first. And the coverage largely suffers from the shadow of Obama's predecessor (and of Bush's fat sidekick), not to mention the shadow of Obama's recent statement about signing statements.

Let's get a few things out of the way: Obama has not abused power to the extent Bush and Cheney did, and he would have to work very hard to do so. I voted for him. I'm confident McCain-Palin would have been much worse. I support many things Obama has done in his first month-and-a-half and can't recall ever approving of a single thing that came out of the White House in the previous eight years other than George W. Bush's suitcases and his traitorous criminal self.

But I'm a citizen, not a fan. We don't need summer soldiers, spectators, or cheer leaders. We need a little honesty. If you want to praise unconstitutional presidential power because of the current president's brand name, you may actually be the explanation for the recently reported decline in religion in America: you've decided to worship a political party instead.
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Rachel Corrie Redux: Israeli Defense Force Guns Down American Peace Activist

American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni’lin
by ISM (International Solidarity Movement)
An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.
 
Tristan Anderson, in critical condition following head shot

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.

 
 
 
 
 
Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed.
– Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) - International Solidarity Movement
 
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I See Through You: B.C.'s Proposed 'Recognition Act'

Seeing Through Campbell's 'Recognition Act'
by C. L. Cook
Gordon Campbell's B. C. Liberal Party announced last week the proposed introduction of an act in the legislature that would on its face address the centuries old injustice done to First Nations peoples in the Queen's [sic] lands of "British Columbia." 
 
Vancouver Sun columnist, Vaughn Palmer
 
It's a fine sentiment, and all the more surprising coming from the party that in its very first attempt at governance, way back in 2001, made a blatant grab for the authority to do as it willed with the unceded territory of the province. In that move, the B.C. Liberals rightly failed, but what does Campbell mean by this latest manoeuvre; could it be a great revelation on the party's figurative road to Damascus, or is it merely a shallow pre-election ploy to sway the province's racists to their natural place at Gordo's bosom? 
 
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Langford Wants to Bill Taxpayers $21.5-Million for its "100% Developer-Funded" Projects

Langford Bailout? FAIL: Langford Wants to Bill Taxpayers $21.5-Million for its "100% Developer-Funded" Projects
by Zoe Blunt
On Monday, March 16, the city of Langford will apply for a federal and provincial bailout for construction on the Spencer Road Interchange and Bear Mountain Parkway. The application was approved by City Council in a special meeting March 12. On March 13, city engineer John Manson confirmed the city is applying for $21.5-million in infrastructure grant money for the interchange and road project. An additional $3-million would come from city revenue.
 
Forest defenders Ingmar Lee and Zoe Blunt at Langford treesit, 2007

According to Manson, the city asserts that the interchange on-ramps are not part of the interchange agreement, and that the Bear Mountain Parkway - which lies completely within a Local Service Area on South Skirt Mountain - is not, in fact, part of that Local Service Area. The parkway (referred to in the application as "Langford North Connector road") connects the Spencer Interchange to Bear Mountain Resort.
 
 
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Finding Mr. Good Taliban: Joe Sent a-Searchin'

America's Search for the "Good Taliban"
by Tom Burghardt
Reminiscent of a casting call for "America's Next Top Model," the Obama administration has embarked on a search for the ever-elusive "good Taliban" with whom it can negotiate a partial military climb-down.
 
In an exclusive--and revealing--March 8 interview with The New York Times, President Barack Obama declared that the United States "was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq."

Reflecting desperation and ignorance when it comes to the war-scarred Central Asian nation, like its Republican predecessor, the Democratic administration has failed to come to grips with ubiquitous facts on the ground. A rapidly-expanding Taliban insurgency against the U.S.-led NATO occupation and the warlord-dominated Karzai regime has brought imperialism's regional domination project to a screeching halt. After seven years of occupation and the slow bleed-out of a protracted war, the Pashtun populated southern Afghan provinces and Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are effectively controlled by a melange of far-right Islamist Talibs and drug-linked militias loyal to the Hezb-i-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
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Canada's Newest "Marine Mammal"

Canada's Newest "Marine Mammal"
by Chris Darimont, Chris Genovali and Paul Paquet
Where does biodiversity come from and how can we preserve it? These are fundamental questions the answers to which conservation scientists now seek at a frenetic pace. Why? Because the planet - Canada included - is rapidly running out of diversity. And in the face of this abrupt loss, plans (and especially action) to preserve it are failing miserably.
 
Photo: Chris Darimont - Raincoast.org

This week, our team of conservation scientists from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and several universities revealed in the Journal of Biogeography a previously unknown source of biodiversity. Knowing that conservation science by definition ought to transcend academia, our goal is to let Canadians know what they are poised to lose if urgent measures are not taken to protect this newly identified biological treasure.
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Barack's War(s): Collateral Repairs Can't Wait for Obama

The War is Not Over
by John Ross
The day we human shields rolled into Baghdad in February 2003, 12,000,000 protestors were pounding the pavement all over the world in a global tidal wave of protest aimed at stopping the criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq before it began and for once I entertained a sliver of hope that we would be heard.  Fat chance.  Bush dismissed the rest of the planet as a "focus group" and proceeded to eviscerate the cradle of civilization.

Seven years later nearly to the day, his successor showed up at Camp Lejeune North Carolina for a presidential photo op before 10,000 marines ready to storm the next Halls of Montezuma (Afghanistan) to frame his mendacious declaration of an end to the U.S. invasion of that ravaged country.
 
Before he delivered the goods, Barack Obama felt obligated to dial up Bush at his Texas ranch and apprise him of the speech. Bitter bile rose to the tip of my tongue when I reviewed the details of this flimflam as reported in the New York Times. 
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Processing Racism: Durban II Does without U.S., Israel

Durban II: Politicizing Racism
by Ramzy Baroud
Many countries are set to participate in the Conference against Racism, scheduled to be held in Geneva, April 20-25. But the highly touted international meet is already marred with disagreement after Israel, the United States and other countries decided not to participate. Although the abstention of four or more countries is immaterial to the proceedings, the US decision in particular was meant to render the conference ‘controversial’, at best.

The US government’s provoking stance is not new, but a repetition of another fiasco which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

Israeli and US representatives stormed out in protest of the “anti-Israeli” and the “anti-Semitic” sentiments that supposedly pervaded the World Conference against Racism (WCAR), held in Durban in 2001. The decision was an ominous sign, for the Bush Administration was yet to be tested on foreign policy in any definite terms, as the conference concluded on September 8, three days before the 911 terrorist attacks.
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