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New Grounds for a New Opposition

JUDGING OBAMA: GROUNDS FOR A NEW OPPOSITION
by Jack Random
Never has a nation, its people or indeed the nations and people of the world waited so anxiously for the coronation of a new president.  After eight years of the serial catastrophe known as the Bush administration, there has never been greater hope for real and substantial change.  After eight years of muted at best media criticism of the morally bankrupt and inept policies of the worst government in American history, rarely has there been so much criticism based on so little substance.  

Now, as the world’s attention is drawn to the tragic assault on Palestinian Gaza, where thousands of civilians are caught in the crossfire of an ancient conflict, we are reminded that events will not wait for new leadership.  Indeed, it is entirely possible that Israel’s aggressive action was initiated now in anticipation that the next American administration might not be so eager to approve.  While that possibility gives hope that the new president will at long last embrace some semblance of neutrality in Middle East policy, we are reminded as well that Obama was forced to retreat on his statement of empathy for the Palestinian cause by the powerful Israeli-American political lobby.  
 

Holding Corporate Toes to the Fire

Holding Corporations Accountable
by corpwatch.org
CorpWatch's vision is to promote human, environmental and worker rights at the local, national and global levels by making corporate practices more transparent and holding corporations accountable for their actions. During 2009 we will continue a special focus on building our new and innovative wiki web site, www.Crocody.org, Collaborative Research On Corporations.
Crocodyl is an evolving online compendium of critical corporate research, tracking the accountability records of the world's largest multinationals.
 
 
 
A global North-South project and resource,  are currently honing in on financial and extractive industry companies:

AIG
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Countrywide Financial
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Citigroup
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CVRD (Vale)
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Xstrata
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Anglo American
http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/anglo_american_plc


Gaza: New Year Received in Blood

Day 5 of Israeli War On Gaza: Report direct from Gaza 31 December 2008: 400 death toll to date; wounded 2000
by Sameh A. Habeeb
Gaza Strip December 31, 2008 - Three hours later, a new happy year would be starting for the rest of the world. Palestinians in Gaza would receive it with blood, sadness and bombings.  It seems Israeli air force, naval forces, rockets, shells would share them a high-tech bloody fireworks. War on the Gaza Strip continues raising casualties and effects in both sides.  Bombings, rockets, heavy missiles of Apachi and F16s tear down many targets across the besieged strip.  The number of victims still dramatically raising.

Many calls raised for a ceasefire. The Islamist Hamas Movement expressed its readiness for a truce in return of lifting siege and ending the recent launched War. The Hamas stance was conveyed to Russia which is trying to play role to end this War.  Lately in Tuesday, Israel refused a French suggestion of 48-hour-truce.

Israeli Television said that troops would enter Gaza n Friday to pursue the ongoing War. Meanwhile, Hamas Primer, Ismail  Hanya,  said that Israli war on Gaza is against Arab, Islamic and free civilized countries.
 

Voiceless in Gaza: Israeli Carnage and the American Courtiers

Voiceless in Gaza: Israeli Carnage and the American Courtiers
by Chris Floyd   
Death and sorrow continue to pour down in torrents over Gaza. And every death is delivered with the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States. American money, American weaponry -- and unstinting, unquestioning American diplomatic support -- are underwriting the brutal carnage. There is scarcely a single voice along the commanding heights of American power to raise the slightest protest against a savage war crime being committed in broad daylight, day after day, with the approval and connivance of the "civilized" world.
 
The hard, enclosed, impenetrable shell of American "bipartisanship" has achieved a steely perfection on the issue of Palestine; it is itself a missile -- a weapon of mass destruction -- falling on the people of Gaza.
 
 

Escalation: Death Toll Up to 390 in Gaza

Escalation goes on; death toll up  to 390 in Gaza
by Sameh A.Habeeb
Gaza Strip, 30 Dec, 2008 - Israeli air force still launching the heaviest bombardments in Gaza ever. The fourth day of Israeli military operation started with heavy bombings took place west of Gaza City in addition to killing 2 children and around 10 in various places in Gaza to raise death toll to 390 while wounded people up to 1 thousand and 700 most of them civilians.

The Israeli announced decapitation strategy of targeting Hamas movement and avoiding civilians clearly unveiled. The F16s targeted a group of governmental building using tons of explosion resulting in killing at least 4 Palestinians. The bombings lasted for 30 minutes echoed across Gaza City causing great trauma and panic for civilians. Total damage stormed the buildings while partially destroyed some neighboring populated buildings.

Israeli warplanes, drones, artillery machines, and apache helicopters broadly took part in the nightly raids. Israeli air raids destroyed a sport club and a building inside the Islamic University of Gaza IUG. IUG was hit Monday night and 2 building were destroyed. One of the destroyed building was the laboratory funded by Islamic Development Bank estimated of millions of dollars.

The bombings continued for the whole night in separated areas in Gaza Strip. Many civic targets were bombs including mosques in Khanyonis City. Old man was killed in south of Gaza in Rafah City.
 

Plan of Attack: Seeing Gaza

Plan of Attack
by Jim Miles
I can only witness the tragedy of Gaza from the knowledge I have gained from years of historical and foreign affairs reading, from the personal contacts and information that are readily available on the internet, and least significantly from the local evening news programs. 
 
That is more than sufficient to provide me with the overall context and the understanding of the language used in order to form a strong idea of what is really happening in Gaza.
 

Plan of Attack: Seeing Gaza

Plan of Attack
by Jim Miles
I can only witness the tragedy of Gaza from the knowledge I have gained from years of historical and foreign affairs reading, from the personal contacts and information that are readily available on the internet, and least significantly from the local evening news programs. 
 
That is more than sufficient to provide me with the overall context and the understanding of the language used in order to form a strong idea of what is really happening in Gaza.
 

Campaign for Hope Promised

Camp Hope Holds Obama to "Change" Pledge
by Mike Ferner
Determined to keep President-elect Barack Obama true to his promise of change, peace and economic justice activists kick off an 18-day outdoor vigil January 1, four blocks from the Illinois Senator’s home in Chicago. Camp Hope, headquartered in the Windy City’s Drexel Square Park, seeks to have Obama swiftly enact eight initiatives on issues he supported during his campaign.

A Thursday, 1:00 pm news conference will feature ministers, a Chicago City Alderman, a 25 year-old father facing deportation after living in the U.S. for 17 years and the mother of Tomas Young, a paraplegic Iraq war veteran featured in the movie, "Body of War."
 
 

Gaza: Summoning Minimal Decency in America

A Hundred Eyes for an Eye  
by Norman Solomon     
Israelis and Arabs “feel that only force can assure justice,” I. F. Stone noted soon after the Six Day War in 1967. And he wrote:

“A certain moral imbecility marks all ethnocentric movements. The Others are always either less than human, and thus their interests may be ignored, or more than human and therefore so dangerous that it is right to destroy them.”

The closing days of 2008 have heightened the Israeli government’s stature as a mighty practitioner of the moral imbecility that Stone described.

Israel’s airstrikes “have killed at least 270 people so far, injured more than 1,000, many of them seriously, and many remain buried under the rubble so the death toll will likely rise,” Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies pointed out on Sunday (Dec. 28), two days into Israel’s attack. “This catastrophic impact was known and inevitable, and far outweighs any claim of self-defense or protection of Israeli civilians.” She mentioned that “the one Israeli killed by a Palestinian rocket attack on Saturday after the Israeli assault began was the first such casualty in more than a year.”
 

No Place but Gaza

No Place to Run, No Place to Hide
by William Bowles
So much has been written about the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip and by people with a far greater understanding of the reality of it than I, nevertheless I feel impelled to put pen to paper not only about our collective indifference to the wholesale slaughter being carried out in the name of the ‘chosen people’ but to the media’s ‘coverage’ that has been nothing short of scandalous and especially the BBC’s.

Here is part of the BBC’s latest ‘account’ of the slaughter unleashed on the prison that is the Gaza Strip,

“Israeli air raids have pounded the Gaza Strip for a third day, hitting key sites linked to militant group Hamas.
“Gaza's interior ministry and Islamic University were the latest targets.

“Hamas says 312 Palestinians have died since Saturday, of which the UN says 57 were civilians. In Israel, a second person was killed by a militant rocket.

“Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was not fighting the people of Gaza but was in "a war to the bitter end" with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.” — ‘Israel strikes key Hamas offices’, BBC Website, 29 December, 2008.

It’s worth unpacking this travesty of ‘news’ reporting starting with the opening sentence. As the BBC knows only too well the Gaza Strip is the most densely populated area on the planet, thus “hitting key sites linked to Hamas’ is not only impossible but as Hamas is the democratically elected government of (what’s left of) Palestine, any and all public buildings are per se “key sites’ as the destruction of the Islamic University demonstrates.

But note that the BBC also refers to the democratically elected government as one “which has ruled Gaza since 2007”.
 

Gaza: Ceasefire Now

Gaza: Ceasefire Now
by www.avaaz.org
Dear friends; the Gaza crisis has exploded -- put your name to our emergency petition demanding a ceasefire. We'll deliver it immediately to the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the US and other world leaders!
Take Action Now

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiraling further out of control, one thing is clear -- this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 280 are dead so far in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more injured -- rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global outcry has begun, but it'll take more than words -- the immediate violence won't end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we're launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire and address the growing humanitarian crisis -- only with robust international oversight and action can civilians on all sides be protected and real steps be taken toward a wider peace. Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/?cl=161499207&v=2605

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