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Tearing Down the Wall

Breaking the Gaza Wall
by Allan Nairn
Most all political violence consists of clear wrongs, like murder or unjustified war, but sometimes, sadly, disgustingly, some violence is justified as a last resort, and sometimes -- as a subcategory of that -- some of that justified violence is also wise, tactically.

Once you get far outside the murder and the crimes of war and those against humanity, some of the choices regarding whether or not to use some violence can be legitimately tough and debatable.

But the Gaza wall-breaking was an easy call: No people were killed, some may have been saved, and the spectacle of an exodus into Egypt effectively dramatized a gross injustice.

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Lab Rats and the Monsters We’ve All Become

Lab Rats, Corporate Science, and the Monsters We’ve All Become
Mickey Z.
The January 24 Associated Press (AP) story was unashamedly entitled, “Lab rats out of a job.” (It made me think if AP writer Michael Hill had covered the liberation of Auschwitz, he’d have declared Europe’s Jews to suddenly be “homeless.”)
In the piece, Hill talks of possible “high-tech alternatives” to animal experimentation. Before you view this as a major scientific and moral step forward, allow me to present Hill’s closing salvo:
  • “Taylor Bennett, senior science adviser to the National Association for Biomedical Researchers, said animal testing maintains an essential role in making sure new pharmaceutical products are safe and effective for humans.”

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Bombing Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan

U.S. Intensified Bombing Campaigns in
Iraq and Afghanistan Breed Fear and Hatred
columnist Conn Hallinan,
conducted by Scott Harris
Interview with Foreign Policy in Focus
In one of the largest airstrikes since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, American warplanes dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on Sunni farmlands south of Baghdad Jan. 10. The targets were suspected al Qaeda positions near citrus groves around the town of Arab Jabour. In November, leaders of a Sunni Arab militia group allied with the U.S. reported American bombs killed 45 members of their group, when they were mistaken for al Qaeda fighters. In October, 15 women and children were killed when U.S. planes attacked a suspected enemy position in the Lake Thar Thar region northwest of Baghdad.

The Associated Press reported that there has been a five-fold increase in the number of bombs dropped on Iraq during the first six months of 2007, coinciding with President Bush's troop escalation. More than 30 tons of the ordinance dropped have been cluster weapons, which take an especially heavy toll on civilians.

Afghanistan has also endured an intensification of U.S. and NATO airstrikes which has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of civilians killed. In mid-2007, Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a press conference to condemn what he called the "careless operations of NATO and international forces" that he asserted was killing innocent victims.
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Harper: No Science in PM’s Ear

No Science in the PM’s Ear: Canada Dismisses National Science Adviser at its Peril
by Bob McDonald (host of the CBC science radio program Quirks & Quarks.)
The one scientist in this country who had direct access to the Prime Minister is being dismissed. Canada’s National Science Adviser, Dr. Arthur Carty, was appointed by former Prime Minister Paul Martin to provide expert advice on the government’s role in matters of science and science policy.
Now, less than four years after the position was created, the Harper government feels that it’s no longer necessary.

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Tree-sitters Warned Against "Interfering"

Tree-sitters Warned Against "Interfering" 
by Zoe Blunt 
Hi folks; thanks to everyone who came out in response to the callout. The surveying crew was once again turned away, and no one was arrested, although Ingmar Lee reports he was singled out by the RCMP and threatened with arrest several times for standing in front of the surveyers' optical instruments. Then they all just left and the campers had another little celebration. So far the project is almost two months behind schedule and pressure is building on the city of Langford to stop it.

This evening (Monday), Ingmar and I were called in suddenly to meet with Tim Stevens, the City of Langford engineer and project manager for the Bear Mountain Interchange, and Lorne Fletcher, the chief bylaw officer for Langford. 

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Looking Up: Normalizing Air War

Looking Up: Normalizing Air War from Guernica to Arab Jabour
by Tom Engelhardt
A January 21st Los Angeles Times Iraq piece by Ned Parker and Saif Rasheed led with an inter-tribal suicide bombing at a gathering in Fallujah in which members of the pro-American Anbar Awakening Council were killed. ("Asked why one member of his Albu Issa tribe would kill another, Aftan compared it to school shootings that happen in the United States.") Twenty-six paragraphs later, the story ended this way:

  • "The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches.
  • "In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad."

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Israel: "Nothing to Say to Hamas"

Fallout from the Gaza Earthquake
by Patrick Seale
The mass break-out of some 700,000 Palestinians from Israel’s open-air prison at Gaza has profoundly changed the political landscape of the Middle East. In magnitude, it can be compared to the impact on Europe of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nothing will be the same again. There can be no return to the past.
"We have nothing to say to Hamas. We speak to them when we interrogate them in our prisons." - Defense Minister, Ehud Barak

All the main actors in the drama -- Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the United States itself -- will have to rethink their policies in the light of new realities.

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Support Children of The Gaza Strip And West Bank

How To Help Feed and Support Children
of The Gaza Strip And West Bank
by Tom Feeley
I have been asked by many ICH readers if I can recommend a way for them to help the children of Palestine. I would like to suggest the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund.

The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund is an enterprise that was established by a group of individuals whose goals are to improve the living standards of the children of Palestine in the refugee camps inside Palestine. The group aims to provide the children of the refugee camps with better educational opportunities, health facilities and a bright future without violence, hatred and discrimination.
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Iraqis on "Success" and "Progress" in Their Country

"Reality Is Totally Different"
by Dahr Jamail
This March 19 will be the fifth anniversary of the shock-and-awe air assault on Baghdad that signaled the opening of the invasion of Iraq, and when it comes to the American occupation of that country, no end is yet in sight.
If Republican presidential candidate John McCain has anything to say about it, the occupation may never end. On January 7th, he assured reporters that he was more than fine with the idea of the U.S. military remaining in Iraq for 100 years.
  • "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea 50 years or so… As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me."

He said nothing, of course, about Iraqis "injured or harmed or wounded or killed." In fact, amid the flurries of words, accusations, and "debates" which have filled the airways and add up to the primary-season presidential campaign, there has been a near thunderous silence on Iraq lately -- and especially on Iraqis.

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South Carolina Primary Colors: Black and White?

South Carolina Primary Colors: Black and White?
by Greg Palast
South Carolina 2000: Six hundred police in riot gear facing a few dozen angry-as-hell workers on the docks of Charleston. In the darkness, rocks, clubs and blood fly. The cops beat the crap out of the protesters. Of course, it's the union men who are arrested for conspiracy to riot. And of course, of the five men handcuffed, four are Black. The prosecutor: a White, Bible-thumping Attorney General running for Governor. The result: a state ripped in half - White versus Black.

South Carolina 2008: On Saturday, the Palmetto State may well choose our President, or at least the Democrat's idea of a President. According to CNN and the pundit-ocracy, the only question is, Will the large Black population vote their pride (for Obama) or for "experience" (Hillary)?
In other words, the election comes down to a matter of racial vanity.

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Jose Padilla and the End of Justice in America

Padilla Trial Highlights Bush Administration's Manipulation Of Justice
by Paul Craig Roberts
The government gave assurances that the draconian measures only apply to terrorists. “Terrorist,” however, was not defined.
The government claimed the discretionary power to decide who is a "terrorist" without having to present evidence or charges in a court of law. The Bush administration’s policy comprises an end-run around any notion of procedural due process of law.

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