Peace demonstration Saturday Tel Aviv, Israel


This video from Israel is called Tel Aviv demonstration against the attack on Gaza on Saturday, 27.12.2008.

From the Gush Shalom peace movement in Israel:

Press Release

Thousands will demonstrate against the mass killing

Stop the assault! Ceasefire Now!

Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Sat., Jan.17, at 18:30

Demonstrators will gather at the Charles Clore Park in south Tel-Aviv (near the Etzel House), and march to Jaffa’s Yefet Street, until the Gan Hashanyim Park on the corner of Yefet and Dr. Ehrlich. The demonstration will conclude with a moment of silence for the victims of the war.

While talk of a cease-fire fills the newspaper headlines, in Gaza the killing continues and intensifies. More than a thousand people were already killed in Gaza, nearly a third of them children. Thousands are wounded. Tens of thousands of newly displaced refugees desperately seek shelter from the bombings and the tanks. The health, electricity and water systems are collapsing. On the other side of the border, the inhabitants of Israel’ s southern periphery are suffering, held hostage by the government. Their safety and well-being will certainly not be served by sowing death and destruction in Gaza, which only feed the cycle of violence. The government of Israel and the commanders of its armed forces threaten to perpetrate even more death and destruction, rather than decalring a ceasefire. Thousands of the demonstrators, including Knesset members as well as Jewish and Arab public figures, will take part in the march in order to cry out:

Stop the killing!

Cease the fire, lift the Gaza siege – now!

Despite the blackout by the communications media, which mobilized themselves for the war effort, despite the unprecedented political persecution and detention of more than 600 activists already, despite the verbal and sometimes physical violence directed at those who dare to subvert the national madness, on these dark days we will go out together on the streets to reiterate: Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies!

The Coalition of organizations opposed to the war and the siege of Gaza

Jointly with the Monitoring Committee of the Arab Citizens in Israel

Ahoti, Alternative Information Center (AIC), Anarchists against the Fence, Balad, Banki, Bat Shalom, Coaltion of Women for Peace, Combatants for Peace, Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Da’am – Workers’ Party, Gush Shalom, Hadash, Hithabrut – Tarabut, Indymedia, Israeli Communist Party (Maki), New Profile, Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI), Ra’am – Ta’al, Sadaka-Re’ut, Social TV, Student Coalition – Tel Aviv University, Ta’ayush, Tandi (Democratic Women), The Campus is Not Silent, The Shministim (Highschool Seniors’) Letter, Women in Black, Yesh Gvul, Zochrot,

Contact: Adi 0508-575730, Adam 0506-709603

Israeli military lays siege to Gaza City: here.

Fresh evidence of Israeli phosphorus use in Gaza emerges: here. And here.

THE UN and human rights organisations revealed on Sunday that 200,000 Palestinians have been driven from their homes by the war in Gaza: here.

Israel admits troops may have used phosphorus shells in Gaza: here.

US soldiers’ suicides in Afghanistan rising


This video from the USA says about itself:

Dr. Ira Katz, the VA’s mental health chief, tried to cover up rising number of veteran suicides.

From The Hartford Courant in the USA:

WAR STRESS

Soldier Suicides In Afghanistan Rose Sharply Last Year

By MATTHEW KAUFFMAN

January 14, 2009

Soldiers in Afghanistan committed suicide in record numbers in 2008, in step with a dramatic spike in combat deaths in the country, new military figures show.

Seven Army soldiers committed suicide in Afghanistan last year, compared with 15 suicides in total during the previous 75 months of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to figures from the Defense Manpower Data Center.

Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a top Army psychiatrist, said military officials during the past several years have tracked an increase in mental health problems among soldiers serving in Afghanistan. In 2004, she said, anxiety and depression were far less common among soldiers in Afghanistan, compared with those in Iraq. But by 2007 and early 2008, soldiers in Afghanistan were suffering depression and anxiety at the same rates as their counterparts in Iraq, she said.

“In Afghanistan, there are considerable barriers for providers getting to the troops due to the difficulties in travel and weather, compared to Iraq,” Ritchie said.

MoD launches friendly fire investigation into deaths of two British soldiers in Afghanistan: here.

More civilian casualties in Afghanistan: here.

Afghans Feel Ill Effects of Rising Air Pollution: here.

Guantanamo prisoners tortured, US Army judge admits


This video from the USA is called Mancow: Waterboarding is Torture: Olbermann.

By Patrick Martin:

US tortured Guantanamo prisoners, Army judge admits

15 January 2009

In an extraordinary public declaration, the top military judge overseeing the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay admitted two of the principal charges long made against the Bush administration—that prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp have been tortured, and that the torture was carried out in accordance with an official policy set in Washington.

In an interview with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, Susan Crawford said that prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani had been so systematically abused through isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity and exposure to cold that he was in a “life-threatening condition.”

“We tortured Qahtani,” she told Woodward. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.

A 61-year-old former Army counsel and former Pentagon inspector general, Crawford served from 1991 to 2006 as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In February 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates named her the convening authority of the military commissions. In May 2008 she dismissed war crimes charges against Qahtani, without giving her reasons publicly.

While saying that she did not know any specifics of the treatment of the five other Guantanamo prisoners accused of 9/11 offenses, Crawford said, “I assume torture,” noting that Bush administration officials have admitted that several of the prisoners, including alleged 9/11 organizer Khalid Sheik Mohammed, had been waterboarded.

Crawford made clear that the abuse of prisoners was not the result of lower-ranking interrogators being overzealous, but the consequence of policies set at the top. The techniques used against Qahtani were approved by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “A lot of this happened on his watch,” she said.

The responsibility, she suggested, goes even higher, to the Bush White House. “I think the buck stops in the Oval Office,” Crawford told the Post.

See also here.

War on terror‘ was a mistake, says British foreign secretary David Miliband: here. You are rather late, David.

In farewell speech, Bush insists “war on terror” must continue: here.