Saturday, July 31, 2010

Touching the Eternal Spirit of Those who "Die" (Part One)

"...We belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong."
William James

How might we deal better (realistically yet also spiritually) with small and large groups of people leaving this planet.

Let's talk about those who are gone whom we know and love as well as those we don't know yet care about from afar.

I didn't sleep deeply throughout the night and found myself reading a book which is kind of an introductory encyclopedia of spirituality, philosophy and history as these bear on peace (inner and outer) and how we each help shape the gift of our life here.

Of particular interest to me was this little piece from William James:

"Plunge into an altogether other dimension of existence from the sensible and merely 'understandable' world. Name it the mystical region or the supernatural region, whichever you choose. So far as our ideal impulses originate in this region (and most of them do originate it it, for we find them possessing us in a way for which we cannot articulately account), we belong to it in a more intimate sense than that in which we belong to the visible world, for we belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong.

'Yet the unseen region in question is not merely ideal, for it produces effects in this world. When we commune with it, work is actually done upon our finite personality, for we are turned into new (people), and consequences in the way of conduct follow in the natural world upon our regenerative change.

'But that which produces effects within another reality must be termed a reality itself, so I feel as if we had no philosophic excuse for calling the unseen or mystical world unreal...

From James "hypothesis" on interaction between the "unseen" and "seen" world and it's effect:

"I have no hypothesis to offer beyond what the phenomenon of 'prayerful communion' ...immediately suggests. (Suppose) that in this phenomenon something ideal, which in one sense is part of ourselves and in another sense is not ourselves, actually exerts an influence, raises our centre of personal energy, and produces regenerative effects unattainable in other ways. If, then, there be a wider world of being than that of our everyday consciousness, if in it there be forces whose effects on us are intermittent...At these places at least, I say, it would seem as though transmundane energies, God, if you will, produced immediate efects within the natural world to which the rest of our experience belongs."

END piece by William James

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

Credit to morning light is from images under that title on internet. the "Infinity of Sand" as I call it goes to blogger of Caravan of Light blogsite who says she found this on the internet...Plz go to the Republic of Rumi blog to see this and other amazing blogs here

Friday, July 30, 2010

Educating to END and HEAL TORTURE

"Every time he tortures, the torturer reinforces the idea that we cannot trust one another, and that we cannot trust the world we live in." Sister Dianna Ortiz
The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth

Will U.S. Psychologists Ever Be Called to Account for Torture? Harvard’s Human Rights Clinic, the Center for Justice and Accountability, and the MacArthur Justice Center have demanded that psychologists involved in torture be disbarred. Can the American Psychological Association be far behind? Well…yes.

"Torture destroys the soul of the torturer even as it destroys the body of his victim. The boundary between humane treatment of prisoners and torture is perhaps the clearest boundary in existence between civilization and barbarism."
Jonathan Schell - What Is Wrong With Torture

Milgram Experiment Updates here

Video #1 here


The Center for Victims of Torture is a member of the unprecedented national coalition which has launched a new campaign calling on the President to issue an Executive Order unequivocally rejecting torture and cruelty. Nationally respected faith, military, foreign and security policy leaders have united behind core principles of humane treatment that reflect deeply cherished American values, and have issued a Declaration of Principles providing a blueprint for action. Coalition members are the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Religious Campaign to Ban Torture, and Evangelicals for Human Rights. Get more information about the Campaign to Ban Torture

Video #2 here


Not as much as they should, according to a disturbing study published in the International Journal of Health Services. The Refuge Media Project recently taped an interview with lead author J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist with the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School. The study was undertaken in response to concerns about the roles of physicians and psychologists in military interrogation. Its introduction notes that "Several reports have alleged physicians' complicity in the mistreatment of prisoners being held by the United States: Physicians may have advised interrogators as to whether particular prisoners were fit enough to survive physical maltreatment, informed interrogators about prisoners' phobias and other psychological vulnerabilities, failed to report torture, and altered the death certificates of prisoners who died as a result of torture."

Video #3 here

“Almost without realizing it, we have become accustomed to institutions being exactly the opposite of what they are meant to be: those responsible for guaranteeing our safety are the main source of insecurity; those in charge of justice defend abuse and injustice; those called on to enlighten and guide are the first to deceive and manipulate...

"In this environment of lies...violence dominates life to such an extent that people begin to believe that violence is the only solution to the problem of violence itself." — Ignacio Martín-Baró, War and Mental Health

Award-Winning Public "Spot": BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION…
INTERNATIONAL REHABILITATION COUNCIL FOR TORTURE VICTIMS: The IRCT promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims, and works for the prevention of torture. Its 142 members include rehabilitation centers and programs worldwide. This PSA is the Refuge Media Project’s award-winning entry in the IRCT's competition for spots to be shown on and around June 26th, the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The images were filmed during the annual ceremony and tree-planting sponsored by the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; the 24-hour vigil and day of solidarity held each year by TASSC, the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition in Washington, DC; and “New Bostonians” day in Boston, Massachusetts.Writer/Producer: Ben Achtenberg Camera: Jesse Achtenberg, Ben Achtenberg, Roger SchmitzEditing & Music: Jesse Achtenberg Voice-Over: Jeff Loeb

MORE Recent Items:

Films to Watch For: 9500 Liberty is an outstanding documentary on a community in conflict over immigration -- prefiguring what's going on in Arizona right now. The multi-award winning Enemies of the People offers an inside look at the Cambodian genocide, as one of its victims goes on a "mission of truth."

Head of Cambodian Torture Camp Found Guilty: 30 years after the end of the Khmer Rouge regime, the head of the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison has been found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. Some survivors worry he could walk free some day.

Student Journalists Document Media Collaboration in Redefining Torture: The New York Times, Washington Post, and other major papers almost always called waterboarding torture for more than 70 years – but almost never after the Bush administration began using the technique.

New Resources: A new book on the Cambodian Killing Fields from University of Pennsylvania Press; web resources on Honduras; the IRC’s latest report on Iraqi refugees; an editorial on physician involvement in interrogation; the Rutgers Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights.

Rape as Terrorism: In her new book, Denial, terrorism expert Jessica Stern confronts the impact of her rape as a teenager on her fascination with terrorists. Can we start a new conversation on the connections and parallelisms among rape, terrorism, and torture?


People who know me can't fathom how this mother of four and grandmother of five can even look at such horrors. But facing, and doing something about, these ugly realities while living a "normal" personal life, is probably my way of preserving my sanity.-- Ella Mazel, February 2005

To be on the Mailing List Sign UP here

Stephen Lendman on Wikileaks and US Congress/Obama's Response

Above all, WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" are a powerful indictment of wars, their true face, the mindless daily slaughter and destruction too disturbing to reveal, for Julian Assange:

"the vast sweep of abuses, everyday squalor and carnage of sort of kill after another every day going on and on and damn thing after another....(endless) small events, the continuous deaths of children, insurgents, allied forces....(many) thousands" of war crimes needing exposure, accountability, and prosecutions.

The "Diaries" document them, suppressed by the major media, choosing embedded complicity and Pentagon handouts over real journalism, WikiLeaks "high quality material" and solid analysis their antidote, so far not enough to stop Congress.

One day after (Wiki-Leaks Documents) release, following the Senate's passage days earlier on top of $130 billion already approved this year, the House overwhelmingly passed a $60 billion supplemental spending bill, including $37 billion for America's wars, mostly for 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama TRIPLED the force since taking office, now around 100,000 and increasing by about 2,000 a month, their numbers exceeded by private military and other contractors, making the annual cost per US soldier $1 million and rising, reason enough to end both wars and bring them home.

Yet more escalation is planned, breaking candidate Obama's October 27, 2007 pledge saying:

"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home, We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank," perhaps an insolvent one under FDIC receivership.

A day after the WikiLeaks release, he ignored old promises, evaded indictable war crimes evidence and a deepening unwinnable quagmire, urging the House authorize more supplemental funding, then engaged in contradictory, deceitful damage control saying:

"While I'm concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate about Afghanistan. Indeed, they point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review of our policy last fall."

Instead of withdrawing as earlier promised, he plans escalation, the same Vietnam misjudgment, force levels there reaching 540,000 in December 1969, yet not enough to win, resulting in drawdowns, withdrawal and defeat, now repeating in Afghanistan, then Iraq no matter each country's troop level. Mindless of history, Obama added:

"We've substantially increased our commitment there, insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work and put in place a team, including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan. Now we have to see that strategy through," no matter its illegality and futility, what he and Pentagon brass know but won't say, what Congress and the media won't address, supporting a killing machine in violation of US and international law, explained in this writer's July 28 article, accessed through the following link:

GO here

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Sentencing Date Changed to September 23, 2010

Photo credit goes to Justice for Aafia website/campaign
See article about a rally against renditions with support for Aafia here

SOURCE for Sentencing Date Change is Free Aafia (Aafia's Family's Official Site) GO here

Please pass this on: Most US Media is AVOIDING the Aafia Siddiqui Case, is Dragging Heels, Knows Nothing and has little to nothing in the way of facts.

For a brief Introduction in this horrific case, GO to items by Steven Lendman

SEE VIDEO here or here

Interview with lawyer-observer and journalist on Democracy Now! right after the trial here

Interview with Dr. Aafia's Brother and others on Fact Vs Fiction here

Find more reports old and new coming soon on this blogsite...

Wars Don't Make Heroes By William J. Astore Tom Dispatch

"Here, then, is what I mean by “hero”: someone who behaves selflessly, usually at considerable personal risk and sacrifice, to comfort or empower others and to make the world a better place." (Excerpt from article below)

The author is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and TomDispatch regular. William J. Astore teaches History at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. He welcomes reader feedback at

Check out the latest TomCast audio interview in which Astore discusses heroism and the military by clicking here or to download to your iPod GO here

William J. Astore: “Our American Heroes”: Why It’s Wrong to Equate Military Service with Heroism

July 23, 2010

By William J. Astore

When I was a kid in the nineteen seventies, I loved reading accounts of American heroism from World War II. I remember being riveted by a book about the staunch Marine defenders of Wake Island and inspired by John F. Kennedy’s exploits saving the sailors he commanded on PT-109. Closer to home, I had an uncle—like so many vets of that war, relatively silent on his own experiences—who had been at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941, and then fought them in a brutal campaign on Guadalcanal, where he earned a Bronze Star. Such men seemed like heroes to me, so it came as something of a shock when, in 1980, I first heard Yoda’s summary of war in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker, if you remember, tells the wizened Jedi master that he seeks “a great warrior.” “Wars not make one great,” Yoda replies.

Okay, it was George Lucas talking, I suppose, but I was struck by the truth of that statement. Of course, my little epiphany didn’t come just because of Yoda or Lucas. By my late teens, even as I was gearing up for a career in the military, I had already begun to wonder about the common ethos that linked heroism to military service and war. Certainly, military service (especially the life-and-death struggles of combat) provides an occasion for the exercise of heroism, but even then I instinctively knew that it didn’t constitute heroism.

Ever since the events of 9/11, there’s been an almost religious veneration of U.S. service members as “Our American Heroes” (as a well-intentioned sign puts it at my local post office). That a snappy uniform or even intense combat in far-off countries don’t magically transform troops into heroes seems a simple point to make, but it’s one worth making again and again, and not only to impressionable, military-worshipping teenagers.

Whether in the military or in civilian life, heroes are rare—indeed, all-too-rare. Heck, that’s the reason we celebrate them. They’re the very best of us, which means they can’t be all of us.

Here, then, is what I mean by “hero”: someone who behaves selflessly, usually at considerable personal risk and sacrifice, to comfort or empower others and to make the world a better place. Heroes, of course, come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and colors, most of them looking nothing like John Wayne or John Rambo or GI Joe (or Jane).

“Hero,” sadly, is now used far too cavalierly. Sportscasters, for example, routinely refer to highly paid jocks who hit walk-off home runs or score game-winning touchdowns as heroes. Even though I come from a family of firefighters (and one police officer), the most heroic person I’ve ever known was neither a firefighter nor a cop nor a jock: She was my mother, a homemaker who raised five kids and endured without complaint the ravages of cancer in the nineteen seventies, with its then crude chemotherapy regimen, its painful cobalt treatments, the collateral damage of loss of hair, vitality, and lucidity. In refusing to rail against her fate or to take her pain out on others, she set an example of selfless courage and heroism I’ll never forget.

Hometown Heroes in Uniform

In local post offices, as well as on local city streets here in central Pennsylvania, I see many reminders that our troops are “hometown heroes.” Official military photos of these young enlistees catch my eye, a few smiling, most looking into the camera with faces of grim resolve tinged with pride at having completed basic training. Once upon a time, as the military dean of students at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, I looked into such faces in the flesh, congratulating young service members for their effort and spirit.

Here, then, is what I mean by “hero”: someone who behaves selflessly, usually at considerable personal risk and sacrifice, to comfort or empower others and to make the world a better place.

I was proud of them then; I still am. But here’s a fact I suspect our troops might be among the first to embrace: the act of joining the military does not make you a hero, nor does the act of serving in combat. Whether in the military or in civilian life, heroes are rare—indeed, all-too-rare. Heck, that’s the reason we celebrate them. They’re the very best of us, which means they can’t be all of us.

Still, even if elevating our troops to hero status has become something of a national mania, is there really any harm done? What’s wrong with praising our troops to the rafters? What’s wrong with adding them to our pantheon of heroes?

The short answer is: There’s a good deal wrong, and a good deal of harm done, not so much to them as to us.

To wit:

*By making our military a league of heroes, we ensure that the brutalizing aspects and effects of war will be played down. In celebrating isolated heroic feats, we often forget that war is guaranteed to degrade humanity. “War,” as writer and cultural historian Louis Menand noted, “is specially terrible not because it destroys human beings, who can be destroyed in plenty of other ways, but because it turns human beings into destroyers.”

When we create a legion of heroes in our minds, we blind ourselves to evidence of their destructive, sometimes atrocious, behavior. Heroes, after all, don’t commit atrocities. They don’t, for instance, dig bullets out of pregnant women’s bodies in an attempt to cover up deadly mistakes. They don’t fire on a good Samaritan and his two children as he attempts to aid a grievously wounded civilian. Such atrocities and murderous blunders, so common to war’s brutal chaos, produce cognitive dissonance in the minds of many Americans who simply can’t imagine their “heroes” killing innocents. How much easier it is to see the acts of violence of our troops as necessary, admirable, even noble.

*By making our military generically heroic, we act to prolong our wars. By seeing war as essentially heroic theater, we esteem it even as we excuse it. Consider, for example, Germany during World War I, a subject I’ve studied and written about. Now, as then, and here, as there, the notion of war as heroic theater became common. And when that happens, war’s worst excesses are conveniently softened on the “home front,” which only contributes to more war-making. As the historian Robert Weldon Whalen noted of those German soldiers of nearly a century ago, “The young men in field-grey were, first of all, not just soldiers, but young heroes, Junge Helden. They fought in the heroes’ zone, Heldenzone, and performed heroic deeds, Heldentaten. Wounded, they shed hero’s blood, Heldenblut, and if they died, they suffered a hero’s death, Heldentod, and were buried in a hero’s grave, Heldengrab.” The overuse of helden as a modifier to ennoble German militarism during World War I may prove grating to our ears today, but honestly, is it that much different from America’s own celebration of our troops as young heroes (with all the attendant rites)?

*By insisting programmatically on American military heroism, we also lay a firm foundation for potentially dangerous post-war myths, especially of the blame-mongering “stab-in-the-back” variety. After all, once you have a league of heroes, how can you assign responsibility for costly, debilitating, perhaps even lost wars to them? It’s just a fact that heroes don’t lose. And if they’re not responsible, and their brilliant, super-competent leaders (General “King David” Petraeus springs to mind) aren’t responsible—patriotic elements on the “home front,” especially since we’re not likely to credit our enemies for much. By definition, cravenly hiding among civilians as they do, our enemies are just about incapable of behaving heroically.

Of Young Heroes and Front Pigs

In rejecting the “heroic” label, don’t think we’d be insulting our troops. Quite the opposite: we’d be making common cause with them, for most of our troops undoubtedly already reject the “hero” label, just as the young “heroes” of Germany did in 1917-18. With the typical sardonic humor of front-line soldiers, they preferred the less comforting, if far more realistically descriptive label (given their grim situation in the trenches) of “front pigs.”

Whatever nationality they may be, troops at the front know the score. Even as our media and our culture seek to elevate our troops into the pantheon of demi-gods, our “front pigs” carry on, plying an ancient and brutal trade. Most simply want to survive and come home with their bodies, their minds, and their buddies intact. Part of the world’s deadliest war machine, they are naturally concerned first about saving their own skins, and only secondarily worried about the lives of others. This is not beastliness. Nor is it heroism. It’s simply a front pig’s nature.

So, next time you talk to our soldiers, Marines, sailors, or airmen, do them (and your country) a small favor. Thank them for their service. Let them know that you appreciate them. Just don’t call them heroes.

Copyright 2010 William J. Astore

This essay originally appeared at and while this does not represent my view completely, highlights one of the greatest problems with ending war. This piece could lead to some interesting discussions.

From Tom Dispatch host:

[Note for TomDispatch readers: If you have a moment, check out my latest piece, "Advice for General Petraeus on the Rules of Engagement: It's Neither/Nor, Not Either/Or." It appeared Tuesday at Juan Cole’s invaluable Informed Comment website as part of my minuscule campaign to get word out about my new book, The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s. You can check out the first reviews of the book by clicking here. The next TomDispatch piece will be posted Monday on a slightly slower summer schedule.]

GO here for not only the article but also the discussion which does look at various sides...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

UPDATE: VOTE NO TO WAR TODAY! (Three Crucial Votes)

Keep Watching CLICK here for full reports just now coming in on these various votes...WE MUST NOT GIVE UP!

US National Call-In Days Through – Wednesday 28th (But plz call-in Tuesday if at all possible) CALL Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 - ASK for your Legislators in House/Senate - Then ask for the likeliest Representatives/Senators in your State and beyond. BE sure to say you represent (number of adult residents in your family or household..UPS # of votes to defund war and related legislation)

AGAIN: Plz: Call Your Congressional Legislators and others in
your State or US at large at (202) 224-3121.

IN A NUTSHELL: PLZ Ask HOUSE legislators to Vote: 1) NO on Supplemental $33 Billion Funding for yet MORE War & 2) YES to House Resolution HCR 301 TO WITHDRAW US MILITARY FROM PAKISTAN.

In SENATE call legislators TUESDAY AS WELL OR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Sign our petition at Then call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to ensure your SENATORS support the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3295). (To vote with the Disclose Act would DIS-allow corporations (including foreign companies and GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS) to secretly spend millions of dollars for or against candidates for public office.

PLZ cut/paste above AND GET OUT THE WORD! Or SIMPLY refer your lists/contacts to or TOP item on for TUESDAY
(References on both blogsites to follow)

A little more explanation below:

TODAY (NOW) ON THREE VOTES - two in the House and one in the Senate (If you get here in time & want to help change devastating US Policies which help keep the Oil Crusades & designs for ongoing Empire mentality going suggestions as follows). For each of these there are references to follow...


Pull U.S. Troops Out of Pakistan

The House is expected to debate and vote on Tuesday on a privileged resolution (HCR 301) introduced by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul to remove U.S. forces from Pakistan. The resolution directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. On this one we want to ask for Yes votes.

Call Congress (202) 224-3121.


Tuesday Vote Expected on War Escalation Funding

Here's where the hypocrisy hits the highway. On July 1st, 162 congress members voted to require a withdrawal plan and end date for the occupation of Afghanistan, and 100 voted to fund only withdrawal, no continuation of war, while 25 voted to simply stop dumping any money into this war.

Now all of them must vote yes or no, probably on Tuesday, on whether to fund a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan. URGENT NOTICE: this $33 billion is to add 30,000 troops plus contractors to the war.

...The House will likely now vote on the Senate version of the war escalation supplemental. (Could mean the unusual)straightforward vote in which yes means yes more war, and no means no.

Whether we block the bill or not, we will now be able to identify clearly and unambiguously the war supporters and war opponents....

Our message is simple:

Vote no on funding this escalation of war, regardless of whether it's a procedural vote, and regardless of any good measures attached to it. If you vote yes, plan on getting a different job in January.

...toll-free number to call your representative: 1-888-493-5443, or use the standard number (202) 224-3121.

THIRD: "Toothpaste" vote REMINDER just in from Senator Russ FIENGOLD:

The DISCLOSE Act is up for a crucial procedural vote tomorrow afternoon...

Please click here to sign our petition at Then call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to ensure your SENATORS support the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3295).

If we don't pass the DISCLOSE Act, the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision will stand unchecked -- allowing corporations (including foreign companies and GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS) to secretly spend millions of dollars for or against candidates for public office.

So pick up the phone and let your Senators know that you're one of the over 25,000 citizens who have signed the petition. And make sure they're aware that 80% of Americans oppose the Citizens United decision, which unleashed unbridled corporate spending in elections.1

Thank you for taking action -- and urging my colleagues to do right by the American people tomorrow afternoon.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator

On Thurs, Apr 26, 2010, Sens. Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer, & Russ Feingold wrote "Vote for toothpaste":

...We are part of a group of senators fighting to rein in the increased influence of special interest money this decision will unleash and save our electoral process.

To combat the new, unregulated corporate influence over elections, we just unveiled the DISCLOSE Act -- because Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections.

But without your support, our legislation is never going to win the day -- we need to build support all around the country, and we need your help to do it.

...As President Obama has said, the Supreme Court has given "a green light to a new stampede of special interest money."

But this decision doesn't just affect elections. It has the potential to change the very way we live in America.

Think about it: When you buy toothpaste now, the money you spend can be used directly for television ads attacking people that you believe in without you even knowing...

We all have to get in this battle, and we all have to fight it from every angle.

...To rein in the new powers the Supreme Court has given corporations to spend unlimited funds to influence elections, we have come up with a package of reforms that should greatly limit the damage:

* Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads by appearing on-camera to deliver the same "I approved this message" disclaimer that political candidates must make.
* Enhance funding disclosures so the American people can follow the money.
* Keep foreign countries and entities from determining the outcome of our elections.
* Alert shareholders and group members to where money goes.
* Keep taxpayer money from being spent on political ads.
* Keep special interests from drowning out the voices of the people.
* Make sure corporations can't "sponsor" a candidate.

...together, we can do this.


Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senator
Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator
Russ Feingold
U.S. Senator

END of the THREE VOTES LIKELY SOON...regardless of outcome, DON'T QUIT on these and check out WHO VOTES FOR WHAT in US CONGRESS. Time is well-past for CITIZENS to take back the BEST our Nation may still have to offer her citizens and the world at large...which AIN'T WAR and Scheming Contractors!

REFERENCES HERE (I am providing URLS both easy to use by email, cut & paste or for easy live click on blogsite):


Video of Congressman KUCINICH DISCUSSING BOTH the first two WAR-RELATED votes described FOR THE HOUSE MENTIONED ABOVE CLICK here

SEE David Swanson and Dennis Kucinich who were on Lila Garrett's radio show on Monday.

ARCHIVES/resources from CLICK here

Resolutions passed at the National Peace Conference should now be posted or should be ASAP at CLICK here

Please help us inform you of activities in your town by logging in at or CLICK here

For Background on earlier Congressional voting on War Funding and various related items see or CLICK here

GO to or CLICK here for earlier posting here on No More Crusades: War funding is no longer automatic Tuesday, July 6, 2010. (Tom Hayden in The Nation). Reps. Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters and John Conyers or GO to item posted in Huff Post for July 22, 2010 | 04:55 PM (EST) THE SORROWS OF WAR Over 1000 American Troop Suicides By Tom Hayden American soldier suicides... or CLICK here


Sunday, July 25, 2010

UPDATED: IBNE Safi : (last update 6th August) GEO TV has released entire set of documentaries

IBNE SAFI - Tribute by GEO TV

COMPLETE SET of documentaries just released Geo Tv Documentary - 5 Complete Episodes, Links are Given Below (plz correct via comment any mistakes)

امین صدر الدین سے ہماری صاحب سلامت محض 24 گھنٹے قبل ہوئی اور عزیزی ڈاکٹر بخاری کے توسط سے یہ معلوم ہوا کہ امین صاحب نے جیو ٹی وی کا جناب ابن صفی پر بنایا معرکتہ آلارا
پروگرام 5 اقساط میں شامل کردیا۔ امین ایٹلانٹا (جارجیا) میں رہائش پذیر ہیں، بنیادی تعلق
کراچی سے ہے۔ متذکرہ لنک حاضر ہیں

If you have any difficulty downloading, check to make sure your Adobe or other viewing apparatus is updated.

1) here
2) here
3) here
4) here
5) here

Pictoral Tribute and more from Mr. Rashid here

Youtube Direct Link:

Geo Tv has just released the first two segments of their documentary.
GO here and here

IBNE SAFI. (1928-1980)Photo credit to official site GO here

Most links on this post are courtesy of Rashid Ashraf Sahib and you may want to find more here
Dr. Ahmad Safi (son of Ibne Safi) with Rashid Ashraf Sahib at Mr. Ashraf's residence during activities related to the aired tribute.

See Older Links at end of this post.

"House of Fear" (First English edition of an Ibne Safi novel) is now on sale at Liberty Books. lease see note by Dr. Ahmad Safi at the end of this post.

Find Link to Most Recent Clip from Monday 26th July here " (More items to be updated soon)

Credit for the portrait of Ibn-e-Safi goes to the official home page

Letter to Fans - from son of Ibne Safi, Dr. Ahmad Safi:

All fans of Ibne Safi would be delighted to know that Ibne Safi's First Translation "House of Fear" (Khaufnak Imarat/Chattanon maen Fire - Imran Series) is now on Sale at Liberty Books.

It ranks sixth in their Top Ten list on July 4th, 2010

Also it is interesting to note that in the same list, the British Mystery writer Jeffery Archer sits at the ninth position...

It is also to be noted that this is first Ibne Safi translation on sale in Pakistan and has already made the top ten list of one of the largest booksellers in Pakistan... history repeats

A. Safi

Liberty Books Info here and find under Crime Thriller and House of fear

NOTE from this oneheartforpeace blogger:
For earlier related posts which go into a little more detail concerning how many ways Ibne Safi has contributed to the education, values and deep understanding of international awareness, foundational values, reading and interpreting even current trends, please go to the archives for end of June 23 and find others for Ibne Safi Or CLICK here Also find another post on Ibne Safi in the April archives for this onehearforpeace blogsite - Try Clicking here Understanding that this prolific writer was beyond mere entertainment is what holds the mesmerized interest of many readers all over Asia and soon this will be the case in the West and elsewhere.

More links from Mr. Rashid:

(URDU)VOA News (Urdu)CLICK here here and here

Yours for Happy and Informative Reading!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

IBNE SAFI tribute: Wednesday 11:05 pm Karachi Time (originally by GEO TV)

IBNE SAFI. (1928-1980)Photo credit to official site GO here

WEDNESDAY Update THANKS to GEO TV there is to be a Re-Broadcast of Tribute 11:05 PM Karachi time Wednesday. For more information CLICK here NOTE that the Documentary was originally telecast by GEO TV

Dr. Ahmad Safi (son of Ibne Safi) with Rashid Ashraf Sahib at Mr. Ashraf's residence during activities related to the aired tribute.

New Links added Wednesday Thanx to Mr. Rashid:

(URDU)VOA News (Urdu)CLICK here here and here

"House of Fear" (First English edition of an Ibne Safi novel) is now on sale at Liberty Books. Please see note by Dr. Ahmad Safi at the end of this post.

Find Link to Most Recent Clip from Monday 26th July here " (More items to be updated soon)

One more Link with more information here

Items above are courtesy of Rashid Ashraf Sahib - who sent the following earlier:

The date and timings are as under:

July 26, 2010 on Monday: 4.05 PM to 5.00 PM By GEO TV
Repeat Telecast: July 28: Wednesday: 11.05 PM - 12.00 PM
In this program you will have the opportunity to see & hear members of Ibne Safi's family along with some other eminent personalities.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Credit for the portrait of Ibn-e-Safi goes to the official home page

Letter to Fans - from son of Ibne Safi, Dr. Ahmad Safi:

All fans of Ibne Safi would be delighted to know that Ibne Safi's First Translation "House of Fear" (Khaufnak Imarat/ChattanoN maeN Fire - Imran Series) is now on Sale at Liberty Books.

It ranks sixth in their Top Ten list on July 4th, 2010

Also it is interesting to note that in the same list, the British Mystery writer Jeffery Archer sits at the ninth position...

It is also to be noted that this is first Ibne Safi translation on sale in Pakistan and has already made the top ten list of one of the largest booksellers in Pakistan... history repeats

A. Safi

Liberty Books Info here

NOTE from this oneheartforpeace blogger:
For earlier related posts go to the archives for end of June 23 and find others for Ibne Safi Or CLICK here Also find another post on Ibne Safi in the April archives for this onehearforpeace blogsite - Try Clicking here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Immorality of US DRONES (Growing Number of Protests)

photo internet cache

Image 2 Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: hyperion327

See Related Items at end of this post but given the Israeli Connection of Drones (see references below) -here's one I just saw today by Jonathan Cook here Israel’s New “Video Game” Executions

NOTE: There has been some legal activity regarding the courageous activists who protested drones in Nevada since the writing of this article which will be posted here or at here

EXCERPT from article below

Richard Falk (international lawyer)said protesters like the Creech 14 can have an impact on U.S. foreign policies, particularly in legally and morally nebulous situations like the American drone fleet and the rising number of innocent civilian deaths that result from its use.

"I've analogized [the use of drones] to torture, where the victims have no retaliatory capability. It's why people view torture with a certain moral abhorrence. And while [potential war crimes by the U.S. military] isn't new, as one moves further and further into this domain of one-sided warfare, it's really better understood by the terminology of massacre."

The Big Guns

Peace protesters arrested at drone warfare center now face trespass charges

An upcoming trial for activists who illegally entered Creech Air Force Base to protest the government's use of unmanned aerial vehicles has caught the attention of United Nations officials and could have serious implications for the future of remote-controlled warfare.

In April 2009, 14 activists who had gathered here from across the country illegally entered the base's gates and refused to leave in protest of Creech's role as the little-known headquarters for U.S. military operations involving unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, over Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Held at gunpoint by Air Force security police until officers from Metro and the Nevada Highway Patrol handcuffed them and took them to the Clark County Detention Center, the activists now face a September trial on misdemeanor trespassing charges.

The activists, whose ranks include members of the local anti-war group the Nevada Desert Experience, had been holding a 10-day peace vigil outside Creech to protest both the use of drones by military and CIA officials and the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians they say have been murdered by the unmanned craft.

Activists said they were gladly willing to risk arrest and prosecution -- and will continue to do so -- in order to alert taxpayers to the U.S. government's taste for this particularly insidious form of warfare now being waged from just outside Sin City.

"It's just something that has clearly made killing so much easier," said Iowa-based activist Brian Terrell, one of the so-called Creech 14 now facing charges. "Removing a combatant from the battlefield has a certain coldness, a weirdness about it. The idea that someone is sitting at a console at Creech and shooting missiles at people half a world away is very spooky."

Spooky, and very possibly illegal, particularly in the cases of hundreds of innocent civilians who've been killed by drones, according to a growing number of international observers.

"These issues raise questions about the law of war and whether you can target nonmilitary personnel who are not engaged in actual combat," said Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international affairs and politics at Princeton University and the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine.

Falk said he hopes to testify at the Creech 14 trial in September on potential legal problems with the use of drones. He said his work, which has also focused heavily on similar, so-called targeted killings of Palestinian militants by Israeli officials, has convinced him that drone strikes also raise serious questions of potential war crimes by U.S. military personnel.

"There are two fundamental concerns. One is embarking on this sort of automated warfare in ways that further dehumanize the process of armed conflict in ways that I think have disturbing implications for the future," Falk said. "Related to that are the concerns I've had recently with my preoccupation with the occupation of Gaza of a one-sided warfare where the high-tech side decides how to inflict pain and suffering on the other side that is, essentially, helpless."

While few, including activists, would accuse al-Qaida militants of being helpless, critics have charged those who suffer most from American drone strikes are the Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani peasants unlucky enough to live across an entire region now considered a war zone by leaders in Washington, D.C.

Since the United States first used drone strikes in November 2002 to kill an al-Qaida leader allegedly responsible for the 2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing, both the military and the CIA have spent billions acquiring squadrons of the craft to target alleged terrorists and insurgents overseas.

Press reports and independent human rights groups estimate American drones have killed hundreds of Afghan and Pakistani nationals since then, souring relations with those two nations. A July 2009 report from the Brookings Institution found that for every supposed terrorist killed by a drone strike, more than 10 Afghan or Pakistani civilians have been killed, a figure that topped 600 at last count.

Activists agreed with Falk that drones dehumanize killing and said that sense of removal will only ensure future abuses by the U.S. military. That's why they came to Creech to protest, activists said.

"They're not only flying drones in Iraq and Afghanistan from Creech, but they're also training people there to fly them. When you stand outside the gates you can see drones taking off all the time there. No one except the military is really sure where all this is leading," Terrell said.

For years, Creech has been ground zero for the government's rapidly expanding use of the unmanned vehicles.

There, amid the high, craggy desert plateaus, pilots with the Air Force's 432nd Wing continuously fly a fleet of more than 100 drones over large swaths of Southwest Asia and beyond -- all from a fleet of nondescript, air-conditioned trailers on this quiet military outpost. Exact details are classified, but base insiders say, at any given time, Creech pilots fly at least 36 unmanned Predators and their beefed-up cousins, Reapers. Cutting-edge satellite technology enables Creech pilots to drop the thousands of pounds of bombs many of their drones carry with barely a two-second delay -- all with the twist of a joystick and the push of a button.

Perhaps if military officials were more careful to avoid killing civilians with drones, activists wouldn't be so quick to sound the alarm, many of them said.

But activists also reserved some of their complaints for Clark County District Attorney David Roger. They said Roger's decision to prosecute them, while not dissuading hardcore protesters from demonstrating in the future, could have a chilling effect on average citizens who decide to demonstrate against this new type of warfare being waged in their name, with their tax dollars.

It's a charge Roger strongly denies.

"We don't have any particular animus toward these protesters, but these citations were submitted to our office, and we felt we could prove [the case] beyond a reasonable doubt," he said.

Activists, however, contend Roger's decision to prosecute the Creech 14 represents a larger pattern at work. Across the country, they said, prosecutors and judges are doing all they can to throw activists in jail in an effort to tamp down a growing domestic anger at the warlike policies of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Court documents from across the country, and press reports from organizations such as Democracy Now and the Tucson, Ariz.-based Nuclear Resister, do show an increase in the number of protesters now facing charges for anti-war activities. While official figures from the FBI for 2010 aren't yet available, court documents from Fort Benning, Ga., to Lancaster, Penn., show rising numbers of anti-war demonstrators either face charges or are already behind bars for trespassing onto U.S. bases or staging sit-ins at military recruiting stations.

Another problem with the way Roger's office handled the case, activists said, is they almost didn't find out about their upcoming trial at all. They never received a letter or a phone call from anyone at the DA's office alerting them that they were, in fact, being charged.

This problem of gaps in defendant notification has long been reported by defense attorneys across Southern Nevada. It's a problem Roger said has now been corrected.

"We have suffered cutbacks; right now, we have lost about 60 positions, and some of those positions were in our case assessment unit (the office that notifies defendants of pending charges) ... we mail them to defendants at their last known address, but if they've moved, our only alternative is to seek a bench warrant," he said.

Trial or no trial, demonstrators said, neither prosecutors nor drones will dissuade them from staging future protests at Creech.

"People who perform arrest actions or risk prosecution are counseled or coached to be ready for the worst-case scenario," said Jim Haber, coordinator for the Nevada Desert Experience. "But prosecutions like this do reduce the number of people willing to risk it."

And that's a shame, according to scholars like Falk and others. He said protesters like the Creech 14 can have an impact on U.S. foreign policies, particularly in legally and morally nebulous situations like the American drone fleet and the rising number of innocent civilian deaths that result from its use.

"I've analogized [the use of drones] to torture, where the victims have no retaliatory capability. It's why people view torture with a certain moral abhorrence. And while [potential war crimes by the U.S. military] isn't new, as one moves further and further into this domain of one-sided warfare, it's really better understood by the terminology of massacre."

Last updated on Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:10 am Find the original publication


UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston Responds to US Defense of using Drones...

POTA DC - July 8, 2010 - Anti-Drone Protest Video (many legal ways to protest as well. This is a great little video of how to do this.) Jul 8, 2010 ... General Atomics is the manufacturer of the Predator Drone UAVs. Predator Drone UAV Hellfire Democracy Now! Thursday, July 8, 2010 ...

Drones and Death: The Israeli Connection | Dissident Voice
Jan 30, 2010 ... Drones are remote-controlled airborne robots. ... Posted by beverly on 07/18/2010 at 4:54pm; Democracy Now provides news not heard in the here (Go to January 30, 2010 in archives yet take a look at the newer items as well.)

t r u t h o u t | Drones and Democracy (Kathy Kelly and her associates have been at the helm of Drone protests for some time and Kelly does a fine job of reporting as well.) TUESDAY 20 JULY 2010. Share. Drones and Democracy. Sunday 23 May 2010. by: Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier, t r u t h o u t | Report here

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

US Detainee Omar Khadr's "Statement of Non-Cooperation..."

UPDATED (See end) Photo: from The Globe and Mail

Omar Khadr's "Statement of Non-Cooperation with the Military Commission,"

"Your honor, I'm boycotting this Military Commission because:

* Firstly: the unfairness and unjustness of it. I say this because not one of the laywers I've had, or human rights organization or any person ever say that this commission is fair or working for justice, but on the contrary they say it is unfair and unjust and has been constructed to convict detainees not to find the truth. (So how can I ask for justice from a process that does not have it or offer it?) accomplish political and public goal? What I mean is, when I was offered a plea bargain it was up to 30 years -- of which I was going to spend only 5 years. So I asked why the 30 years? I was told it "make the US government look good in the public's eyes" and other political goals.

* Secondly: The unfairness of the rules that will make a person so depressed that he will admit to allegations made upon him or take a plea offers that will satisfy the US government -- and get him the least sentence possible and legitimize the sham process.

Therefore, I will not willingly let the US gov use me to fulfill its goal. I have been used too many times when I was a child and that’s why I'm here taking blame and paying for things I didn't have a choice in doing but was told to do by elders.

* Lastly: I will not take any plea offer because it will give excuse for the gov torturing and abusing me when I was a child."

(Very slight editing, Connie, this blogger)

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 11:32:06 -0400
From: Zeke Johnson

See (and keep watching for) Urgent Action (on behalf of) Omar Khadr.

Earlier this week, the Canadian Department of Justice announced that it will appeal the Federal Court's decision which ordered the Canadian government to provide remedies for violations of Omar Khadr's rights.

The revised UA calls on the Canadian authorities to drop their appeal of the Federal Court's ruling and to seek the repatriation of Omar Khadr immediately and on the US authorities to abandon military commission proceedings against him.

Thank you very much for taking action!

Zeke Johnson, Campaigner
Counter Terror With Justice Campaign
Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor, NY, NY 10001
T 212.633.4256
C 646.853.9779

LINK to Amnestyusa dot org Counter Terror With Justice here

More to be added...Meantime, Follow Andy Worthington for much more as Omar Khadr's case unfolds here

NEW just 7 hours ago and over 1,000 comments GO here

Duas/Prayers/Actions of Support are surely needed now more than ever...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rashid Minhas: Book Launch Friday 6pm (intro here)

Educational Resource Development Centre (ERDC) and PAF KIET cordially invite you to the book launch of Rashid Minhas (Urdu)- the first full-length biography of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed, N.H. - by Khurram Ali Shafique and published by Al-Fattah Academy, Pakistan

6:00 pm - Friday, July 23, 2010

At PAF Kiet (City Campus), 28-D, Block 6, P.E.C.H. Society, Shahrah-i-Faisal, Karachi

Kindly confirm ERDC for participation
at(021)36723454, 36051229
or info@erdconline. org

Select quotes, paraphrases, other introductory early portions which
Khurram Ali Shafique Sahib offered at The Republic of Rumi Blog Website/blog...

"...The exact circumstances remain a mystery but it can be said reliably that Rashid was taxiing for his third solo flight in T-33 aircraft when his flight instructor Matiurrahman got into the rear cockpit. Mati was from East Pakistan and had been grounded as a precaution in those tension-ridden days. Soon after the takeoff, Rashid sent message to the control tower, “1-6-6 hijacked.” Apparently, the instructor was diverting the plane towards India. Rashid was able to repeat the same line a few more times before fading out from the radar.

Rashid Minhas's actual voice here

'His aircraft was later found crashed 32 miles from the Indian border...It was determined through the examination of the wreckage that in order to prevent the hijack, “Rashid Minhas tried to regain control of his aircraft, but finding this to be impossible in the face of the superior skill and experience of his instructor, forced the aircraft to crash.” Nine days after the incident, he was awarded the highest military honor."

Shafique Sahib told his blog-readers last year how he began the biography years ago:
"There was no footage of him from life, nor any voice recording (except that “1-6-6 hijacked”). Yet, his charisma outshines celebrities. I also fell captive to it in 1985. I was a teenager then. I got intrigued by a story in the English weekly MAG, (which)... mentioned that Rashid was fond of playing gramophone records of Western music at loud volume whenever he came home on vacation...

'I (was) amazed to see that Rashid (when I eventually read his choice of Iqbal's poetry) had chosen precisely the lines which suited the end of his story – the end which he could not have foreseen. The gist was that we are like a short-lived spark but it is not our lot to end up in smoke. We can pierce the heart of this universe and become immortal.

'...Destiny? Yes, destiny was the most oft-repeated theme in the few quotes printed in the magazine... I’m not referring (just)to his life...I am talking about mine.
...I found and read everything which I could find about him but I wasn’t satiated: the intrigue was increased. The face of the sophisticated Rashid, his mild looks and gentle gaze kept haunting me...

'Soon, I found myself visiting the house where Rashid had lived. I gained unrestrained access to all his private papers, his letters, diaries, and the entire collection of his books...'I wanted to...try to get into his mindset...

'The family was still living in the house where Rashid had spent many of his years when they were in Karachi. It was built in the early 1950’s and as I began to frequent it – sometimes every day for an entire week – it began to feel like traveling back in time. Sometimes (his brother) Rahat would play the same music for me that used to fill the house when Rashid was home: Jim Reeves, Kishore Kumar, Ahmad Rushdi. Then it would feel, really, as if Rashid was in the other room and we were just waiting for him..."

The following is condensed from a long letter he wrote to his younger brother Rahat and Anjum (Ratti and Jimmy in the letter) when he was eighteen from P.A.F. Academy
Risalpur 29/10/69

Dear Ratti Jimmy: I’ve been thinking for a long time about this letter...Life is fast but because of the routine, happy! Settled in a way that is. Studies are there mainly of all sorts of things about aircraft. The fuel systems, communications, navigation, aerodynamics, engines..We also do a bit of procedures – what you do when you get lost without radio and such like things...

Then there’s gliding – for sport. Its fun though you hardly ever go up above 1000! I’ve done a take off and tried my hand at landing too but the thing just doesn’t go straight! (If there’s even a slight breeze it carried the thing with it!) So that’s all I’m doing here – next time inshallah I’ll be learning to fly T-6G’s...Now let me know what you are doing? Studies the usual bore but cheer up! They’ll soon be, over, honestly I’m telling you – you won’t know it and THE day will be there when you are free...

At this stage maybe I should pore out my lecture to you as an elder brother – at least I’m supposed to, it’s only that I’ve no lecture for you but just a piece of advice more as a friend than as an elder brother. I don’t ask you to do anything for me, for yourself, for anybody, for that matter, for I can’t ask you – It’s your life your wish your will your mind your world...Believe me, when I say that I have the fullest confidence in you...

Nothing in this world is meaningless – if we just stop and think about it. I’m sure you know that already and I’m sure you never let things pass...everything, every person, belief, action has a reason isn’t it? But then there are so many things we never think about – we never bother because we think we are too busy, don’t you think so? Have you ever thought of why you go to school? ...You must be knowing already that it is just because man wants to know the truth, the truth about himself, about the world, about everything...

YOU MUST FIND OUT THE TRUTH YOURSELF. Satisfy your self. The books just give you the thing how it happens. People can just advise you, HOW? & WHY? You must answer yourself think it out. It’s just like geometry, your reasoning, use it! Try to find for yourself what happens around you and why? Wake up! (That’s what the drill instructor says!) Whatever appeals to you, think over it and come to your own conclusions about it...So many delicious secrets to be known by you...

Then you must also ask questions about yourself to yourself. What will happen? What am I to do? What is “good” what is “bad”? And then you’ll find so many strange things in this world – discover them. You’ll find more oddities than you can imagine. Standing on the earth you are traveling at 900 nautical miles an hour (even more rather much more than that!! Why?) (are) also in this world...(for) some purpose, some reason for being here – and now it is up to you to accomplish it. It is for you to decide where you fit in the giant machinery of our world. Soon, very soon, people will look up to you...DO NOT LET THEM DOWN ...

Khuda Hafiz

See the test page of first page (URDU) of biography here

For more, GO here or here and continue with 'newer' or 'older' posts...

Khurram Ali Shafique Sahib (as final introductory transition on one of these early blog posts) says - as conclusion to his search to understand Rashid's youthful grasp of DESTINY - "I found the answers. I now realize that in all these twenty-three years I have hardly shared them with anyone. I will now..."

The Uyghers from Gitmo Get a Visit from US Peace Group

AN OCEAN IDYLL and peace at last: Salahidin Abdulahat, left, and Khaleel Mamut, Uyghur Muslims freed from Guantánamo Bay last year swam in Bermuda on Sunday. Mr. Abdulahat said his first-ever ocean swim was "the happiest day of my life." Justin Maxim, NYT Photo Credit

Let's support (other) triple-victimized Uyghurs (notice that journalists and others differ in spelling of this name yet I'm using Uyghers because that's how it's spelled in some of the Human Rights sites on their behalf)

“One of the many things that has impressed me in our conversations with these men, whom the Bush administration repeatedly labeled as the ‘worst of the worst,’ is their gentleness and compassion. While these men fiercely criticize the rationalizations behind their detention, they have expressed NO resentment towards their captors, but rather have focused solely on the imperative to release the remaining Uighur detainees at Guantánamo.” Excerpt from Release below...

FIVE Uighurs remain in Guantánamo - Plz Support these double-victimized courageous Muslim men.

American Anti-Torture Activists Visit Former Guantánamo Prisoners in Bermuda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, July 19, 2010

Contact: Matt Daloisio, 201-264-4424,
Luke Hansen, 605-407-2799,

New York City — Three Christian activists from Witness Against Torture traveled to Bermuda on Friday, July 16, 2010 to meet with four Uyghur men who were detained in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba for more than seven years.

(The Uyghur ethnic group primarily resides in western China)

The Bush administration conceded that the men are not “enemy combatants,” and in October 2008 a federal judge ordered their release. Eight months later, four Uyghurs were resettled in Bermuda. Other Uyghur detainees were resettled elsewhere while five Uyghurs remain in Guantánamo.

The purpose of the delegation to Bermuda is to build relationships with the Uyghurs, seek their counsel concerning further advocacy for both current and former Guantánamo prisoners, and to bring a message of atonement and reconciliation from the American people to the former prisoners. “In the United States, public discourse on Guantánamo is mainly informed by various perspectives from the military, politicians and the U.S. public,” says John Bambrick, a Chicago youth minister. “We
have come to Bermuda to seek the perspectives of men who have
experienced Guantánamo firsthand.”

“The Uyghur men in Bermuda, like us, are people of faith,” says Jeremy Kirk, a Ph.D. student in social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. “We are practicing our Christian faith by seeking connection with our Muslim brothers, in whose detention and abuse we have participated as U.S. taxpayers and citizens.”

On Saturday, the three activists visited the Uyghurs’ apartment, shared a meal and swam in the ocean with the former prisoners, and swapped stories about family and religious faith. The Uyghur men shared some of their experiences of being in Guantánamo and discussed their gratitude for and challenges associated with resettlement. (They are very grateful to the Bermudan Government’s support and hospitality.) On Sunday, the activists will speak with the Uyghurs in further detail about their experiences at Guantánamo and the conditions currently faced by the men
who remain in detention. Luke Hansen, who is studying to become a Jesuit priest, states, “One of the many things that has impressed me in our conversations with these men, whom the Bush administration repeatedly labeled as the ‘worst of the worst,’ is their gentleness and compassion. While these men fiercely criticize the rationalizations behind their detention, they have expressed no resentment towards their captors, but rather have focused solely on the imperative to release the remaining Uyghur detainees at Guantánamo.”

The delegation to Bermuda included:

John Bambrick, 31, works as a Catholic youth minister in Chicago and is a member of the White Rose Catholic Worker. He earned his B.A. at Marquette University in 2001 and his M.A. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University Chicago in 2008.

Luke Hansen, S.J., 28, is part of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In May, Luke earned an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. His thesis is titled, “Countering Terrorism with Justice: A Catholic Response to Policies of Indefinite Detention in the Fight Against Terrorism.”

Jeremy Kirk, 32, is a Ph.D. student in social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studies interfaith response to crisis and liberation theology. He has worked as an organizer with various environmental and human rights groups.

All three are members of Witness Against Torture, a grassroots organization that formed in December 2005

By the way, the group releasing this report along with sister groups - Creative Voices for Peace and Christian Peacemakers - have been pioneers among US and world-wide peace activists in seeking attention for and the ending of use of DRONES in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. SEE item just in today "Drones Lend Dangerous Silence to War" here
NOTE: What about "sharing this heart-warming and current "Peace Piece" with inter-faith groups and others to show how the "One Heart of Us All" might work in unison world-wide to provide justice, peace and a safe place to be for many others already cleared detainees/prisoners but nowhere to go and petition for justice for others still behind bars?

For more updates and history GO to Uyghurs in Gitmo at the UHRP site here and see both Cage Prisoners dot com and Andy Worthington dot co dot uk for plenty more details.

Current mainstream news report here

Earlier item at Dawn dot com here AP" After eight years in U.S. military custody and were resettled in Bermuda. The former detainees' attorneys say the men were picked up by mistake in Pakistan and should never have been kept in the detention facility in Cuba."

The four freed Uyghurs toured the historic district of St. George in Bermuda on a Sunday soon after arrival on the island and had ice cream. They have been greeted with hospitality by the island's residents. Justin Maxim photographer NYT Read More from this early news report and more photos early after the Uyghers arrival GO here

"Early (in their residency) on this idyll island, the Uyqhurs praised Bermuda for showing courage in the face of potential Chinese pressures that, in their view, powerful European countries had failed to muster. The men were among a larger group of Uyghurs (pronounced WEE-gers) who had fled what they called Chinese persecution of Muslims in western China and spent part of 2001 in a Uighur camp in Afghanistan. They fled, apparently unarmed, when the Americans bombed the camp, and were later turned in to the authorities by Pakistani villagers in return for an American bounty." NYT/AP

Years into their captivity, American officials concluded that the men should not be considered enemy combatants. Although a court ordered their release, it was delayed by the inability to find a host country and a court reversal that prevented their move to American soil." Let's change that by encouraging communities world-wide to accept cleared detainees. Plz write/petition the US Government to release the other four Uyghurs.

At least three Human Rights Groups applauded Bermuda's hospitality to the four Uyghers here

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Rain (Rumi Answers Rilke)

Summer Rain by Rainer Maria Rilke

Suddenly, from all the green around you,
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence.

From the nearby wood
you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour
will grant.

The walls, with their ancient portraits,
glide away from us, cautiously, as though
they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.

And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
childhood hours when you were so afraid.

(from Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion)
You Are the Only Student You Have
a Paraphrased Answer from Rumi

You are the only faithful student you have.
All the others leave eventually.

Have you been making yourself shallow
with making other eminent?

Just remember, when you're in union,
you don't have to fear
that you'll be drained.

The command comes to speak,
and you feel the ocean
moving through you.
Then comes, Be silent,
as when the rain stops,
and the trees in the orchard
begin to draw moisture
up into themselves.

A Plover (do you feel his hesitation?)

1st Image by Parke - Summer Rain here

2nd (end) here

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Irresponsible Major Media Reporting on Torture (Harvard Study and Stephen Lendman)

Also see Related Report for July 17th on this site oneheartforpeace - a Recap for 1st part of July:
"Racial Profiling, Rendition and the Rule of Law" just below...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Harvard Study Documents Media Bias and Misreporting - by Stephen Lendman

This writer's November 2009 article titled "Paid Lying: What Passes for Major Media Journalism" also discussed it in detail, accessed through the following link:

It called major media journalism biased, irresponsible, and sensationalist - misreporting, distorting, exaggerating, misstating, or suppressing vital truths - serving state and corporate interests over the common good, including bankers controlling the nation's money, unpunished corruption at the highest levels, democracy for the select few, sham elections, a de facto one party state, imperial wars, occupation, and torture.

Harvard Report on Waterboarding

Prepared by Neal Desai, Andre Pineda, Majken Runquist and Mark Fusunyan, Harvard's JFK School of Government published their April 2010 Harvard Student Paper titled, "Torture at Times: Waterboarding in the Media," documenting how the practice was covered by America's four largest newspapers over the past 100 years - The New York Times (established in 1851), Los Angeles Times (established 1881), Wall Street Journal established 1889), and USA Today (established 1982, America's most widely circulated newspaper, why it was chosen for the study).

Waterboarding Defined

By any definition, it's torture, strictly prohibited under US and international law at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.

Yet the Bush administration defended it, saying it's used to train US service members to resist torture, when, in fact, training involves a cloth placed over their face one time (perhaps twice) for about 20 seconds, a love tap compared to detainee torture, using so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

It involves six or more 40-second "applications" in each two hour session, multiple ones daily, forcing water in detainees' mouths and noses for 12 minutes, repeated daily, sometimes for weeks.

Harvard writers defined it as follows:

"....the practice of intentionally inducing the sensation of drowning in the victim....achieved in a number of ways, including but not limited to (1) placing a cloth or plastic wrap, (2) pouring water directly into the mouth and nose of the victim, (3) placing a stick between the victim's teeth and pouring water into his or her mouth, often until the victim's stomach becomes distended, then forcing the water back out of the victim's mouth, and (4) dunking and holding the victim's head under water."

Merriam Webster online calls it "an interrogation technique in which water is forced into a detainee's mouth and nose so as to induce the sensation of drowning."

The legal dictionary defines it as:

"A criminal investigation technique whereby a person suspected of having or withholding relevant information is blindfolded and bound on the back, sometimes with the face covered with porous or nonporous material, and subjected to water poured over their mouth and nose such as to simulate drowning and to thus, under duress, elicit information."

Wikipedia calls it:

"a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the subject on his/her back with the head inclined downwards; water is then poured over the face into breathing passages, thus triggering (a sensation) of drowning. In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex (causing) extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to (the) lungs (and) brain....from oxygen deprivation (as well as) other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted, death."

Imagine enduring it 183 times in one month, what CIA interrogators did to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (besides years of other horrific tortures), forcing him to admit being the 9/11 mastermind, when, he's almost certainly innocent, confessing only to stop the pain, or because he was so psychologically damaged, he regurgitated words told him with no comprehension.

Press Coverage of Waterboarding

Mentioned or examined for over 100 years, almost uniformly it was called torture until Bush administration usage became public in 2004.

The New York Times

From 1901 - 1925, The Times seldom called it torture, doing so in only 11.9% of its articles. From 1931 - 2004, it called or implied it torture in 81.5% of articles, then from 2002 - 2008 in only 1.4% (2 articles), neither about America. Times opinion pieces "were more likely than news (stories) to call waterboarding torture during all time periods," but not often or in detail enough to matter.

The Los Angeles Times

During America's war on the Phillippines (1899 - 1902), The Times used the term "water cure," calling it torture in 63.6% of articles in 1901 and 02. From 1902 - 1917, in only 3.1%. From 1917 - 1935, no coverage. Then from 1935 - 2001, it was called torture 96.3% of the time. No mention again until 2006. From 2006 - 08, in only 4.8% of articles. Only one Times opinion piece mentioned it before 2003. Thereafter, it followed the same pattern as in New York Times editorials and op-eds, mentioning it more often than in news articles, not enough or explicitly, however, to matter.

Wall Street Journal and USA Today

Neither paper has a long history of coverage, USA Today publishing only for the past 28 years this September. It first mentioned it in 2004, thereafter never saying or implying it was torture, except in opinion piece coverage like the above papers.

Before 2005, the Journal mentioned it only in two articles, one calling it torture. From 2005 - 08, one mentioned it in East Germany under its communist government. In 2008, the paper either had no coverage or quoted others calling it torture. Unlike the above papers, Journal opinion pieces followed the same pattern as its news stories, only one saying or implying it was torture, steering clear (like the above papers) of condemning Bush administration practices.

Articles in the papers studied "were far more likely to classify waterboarding as torture" in other countries or individuals in them, regurgitating government propaganda about domestic use, even though America's longstanding policy condemned the practice, a November 4, 2007 Evan Wallach Washington Post article saying so.

Headlined, "Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime," it called it "simulated drowning," explaining the procedure as follows:

Victims experience "sensations of drowning: struggle, panic, breath-holding, swallowing, vomiting, taking water into the lungs and, eventually, the same feeling of not being able to breathe that one feels after being punched in the gut." It added that studies show "it can cause severe psychological trauma, such as panic attacks, for years."

Further, America knows a lot about waterboarding, the government - "whether acting alone before domestic courts, commissions and courts-martial or as part of the world community - has not only condemned (it), but has severely punished those who applied it," including Japanese soldiers against US and allied POWs, and their superiors for ordering it.

In 1983, federal prosecutors charged a Texas sheriff and three of his deputies with "subject(ing) prisoners to a suffocating water torture ordeal (to) coerce confessions," waterboarding by any definition. They were convicted, the sheriff getting 10 years for using torture.

The public record shows that US military tribunals and civil courts examined water-based interrogations, concluding they constituted torture. Evan Wallach should know. He's a US Court of International Trade judge and law professor at Brooklyn Law School and New York Law School.

Final Comments

Harvard's report showed "a sudden, significant shift in major print media's treatment of waterboarding at the beginning of the 21st century," during the GW Bush administration, at best calling it "harsh" or "coercive," not torture.

Most often, however, they reported nothing, staying neutral, suppressing the truth about government lawlessness, except others, not allies, regimes America vilifies to justify targeting them, including isolation, sanctions or war, the major media in lockstep defending US policies, even illegal ones like high-level corruption, suppressing the nation's worst ever ecological disaster, premeditated war, occupation, and torture - official policy under Bush and Obama.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at GO here and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests


Also see Lendman's article on Lynn Stewart's re-sentencing for Today Sunday July 18 2010 on blogsite TO here

Racial Profiling/ Renditions/ Rule of Law/ July 17

Image from ACLU December 9, 2005

"Our greatest tool in advancing democracy is our own example."
— Barack Obama (3/2/2008) Oops!

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman interviews ADC American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's Founder, former senator James G. Abourezk about Helen Thomas and The ADC Welcomes Introduction of End Racial Profiling Act Washington, DC | GO to ADC Home here | July 16, 2010 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes the introduction of H.R. 5748, End Racial Profiling Act of 2010 (ERPA). House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill on July 15, the bill currently has nearly 60 co-sponsors. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee work includes hate crimes hotline, incident reporting, advice for educators and Arab-American parents, educational resources, and statements of support. For this specific ADC release, GO here

Photo at The Miami Herald
Just in - Supreme Court clears way for repatriation of Algerian detainees from Guantanamo here - Saturday, July 17, 2010 5:59 PM ET

Photo of Maher Arar with his children found at Slate dot com here

MAHER ARAR, | McGill Alumni Portal Jul 14, 2010 - McGill alumnus Maher here

Maher Arar: Justice Denied « P U L S E VIDEO here Maher was awarded 10 million $ by Canada and was denied his innocence by US courts

Items today and earlier on Maher Arar and related here from War Is A Crime .org | formerly AfterDowningStreet- Jul 17, 2010

And by the way, there's now a strong call to say Bye, Bye, Bybee - a key torture lawyer in the Bush administration plz to to the above site and also here to take ACTION

Find the following items: UK sought rendition of British nationals to Guantánamo; Tony Blair directly involved; Various items on Omar Khadr, and Andy Worthington's "Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List" (Updated for Summer 2010)*** here as well as here

Clare Hanrahan: Confronting Rendition to Torture in North Carolina
Jul 9, 2010 ... Clare Hanrahan is a contributing editor to War Crimes Times, an associate member of Veterans For Peace Chapter 099, member of the National ...

Also see another North Carolinian's account of the same conference attended by Clare Hanrahan ... scroll down to July 12th a few posts below on this site:
Who Stands to Account for These Crimes by Patrick O'Neill

For those already receiving/familiar with No More Guantanomos, simply scroll below the following...

About No More Guantanomos here

Newsroom specifically about Resolutions and nogitmos dot org here

July Newsletter for No More Gitmos dot org here

Town Resolutions at No More Gitmos dot org here

To receive free & state of the art info regarding Gitmo/Rights/Related GO here

▼ See earlier related items on this oneheartforpeace blog for July - July (9)
BAGRAM: US should not implement a policy that damages... Also find
"Call Torture by its Real Name" at this same site.

Find the following and related at here
Jul 16, 2010, Sahar Aziz, ACS Blog, Delegitimizing Civil Society: Why the Supreme Court Got it Wrong in Humanitarian Law Project

Jul 15, 2010, Judiciary Committee, Conyers Releases Committee Interview of Torture Memo Author Bybee and Sends to Justice Department

Jul 14, 2010, Max Schoening, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, Hollman Morris, Colombian Journalist, Says Patriot Act Visa Rejection for "Terrorist" Activities "Puts My Life in Danger"

Jul 13, 2010, Saleyha Ahsan, Guardian (UK), Guantánamo: holding the 'healers who harm' accountable

And many more Including Jul 8, 2010, Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, Former Top CIA Spy on How US Intelligence Became Big Business and Jul 6, 2010, Sherwood Ross, The New Nation (Bangladesh), US Doctors forced to approve torture - Find all the above and more with live links at here from © 2002-2010 Bill of Rights Defense Committee · All Rights Reserved · 8 Bridge St., Suite A · Northampton, MA 01060 · (413) 582-0110 · fax (413) 582-0116 - Privacy Policy · Last Updated: July 16, 2010 4:13 pm EDT

STATS on GITMO (By the Numbers at Miami Herald)as of 07/14/2010 (To find out more on the Stats below GO here Which has evidently been Updated July 14, 2010 - The Miami Herald

• Current detainee census: 180, from 24 countries.

• Youngest: 23, Omar Khadr of Canada.

• Oldest captive: 62, Saifullah Paracha of Pakistan.

• Detainees who have won their habeas corpus petitions whom federal judges have ordered set free: 37.

• Detainees who have lost their habeas corpus petitions: 14.

• Size of Navy base: 45 square miles, straddling Guantánamo Bay, from prison camp to air strip.

• Prison camp commanders over eight years: 10 admirals and generals.

• Captives who have died in the camps: Six. Two Saudis and a Yemeni were found hanging simultaneously in June 2006 in a suspected coordinated suicide; another Saudi, was found hanging in May 2007; an Afghan man died of colon cancer in December 2007; and a Yemeni man was found dead of suspected suicide June 1, 2009.

• Captives who arrived Jan. 11, 2002, to inaugurate Camp X-Ray: 20

• Last known arrival: Muhammed Rahim al Afghani, described as a high-level al Qaeda captive, on March 14, 2008.

• Last departure: Mohammed Odaini, 26, also called Mohammed Hassen, back to his native Yemen in compliance with a federal court order on July 12, 2010.

• International Committee of the Red Cross visits to the detention center since it opened Jan. 11, 2002: 75.

• Nations that have resettled cleared detainees who are not their citizens: 11: Albania, Bermuda, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Ireland, Palau, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland.

• Nations that has resettled the largest number of non-citizen freed detainees: : Albania has taken 11 to include Uighurs, Egyptians, an Algerian, Libyan, Tunisian and Uzbek.

• Captives convicted by Military Commission: Four. David Hicks under a plea agreement, now free in his native Australian. Salim Hamdan of Yemen, now free in his homeland. Ali Hamza al Bahlul, also of Yemen, sentenced to life. Ibrahim al Qosi under a plea agreement. Sentencing hearing begins Aug. 9.

• Cases involving detainee rights that have gone before the U.S. Supreme Court during the War on Terror: Four.

• Times the justices have sided with detainees against the Bush administration: Four.

• Largest captive population since detention center opened: About 660 in November 2003.

• Smallest: 20 on Jan. 11, 2002.

Read more - GO here Which has evidently been Updated July 14, 2010 - The Miami Herald

North Carolina's Price & Watt are Co-sponsors of H.R.5748 To eliminate racial profiling by law enforcement - Let's hope more NC representatives sign onto HR 5748 soon! We need to stop more counties from supporting AZ Bill SB 1070!

As a follow-up on the Physicians for Human Rights reports in June on complicity of US Doctors not only in torture of detainees yet also complicity in experimentation,
here are several ways we can all support the cause of accountability (and we don't have to be in the health profession to do so nor do those who sign on and write letters to Obama and others need to be a US citizen ) Go here and here and here