U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

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Latest News

Week of July 03 2006

by Becky Tavani

Israel's Collective Punishment on Palestine Heightens
In the week since the Israeli soldier was captured, Israel's US-supplied artillery has pounded the northern Gaza Strip. Its aircraft struck bridges on the main roads. And its helicopters knocked out Gaza's main power plant, leaving half of Gaza's 1.5 million people and its two main hospitals without electricity and running water. The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have warned of a humanitarian crisis.

Israeli troops and tanks rolled into the southern Gaza Strip, in the biggest raid since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Israel has kidnapped 64 Palestinian governmental ministers and politicians. It bombed the home of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh.

Perhaps equally as appalling is the lack of any serious coverage by the US media of the kidnappings of Palestinian government officials by Israel. Geov Parrish covers this phenomenon of pro-Israel US media in a recent editorial in WorkingForChange.com.

Marjorie Cohn, in an editorial in CommonDreams.org, claims that Israel has simply used the killing of two Israeli soldiers to justify the destruction of a democratically-elected Hamas government.

These latest events were most recently sparked by the Gaza Beach bombing in early June. Human Rights Watch investigates the denials by the Israel Defense Forces’ of any involvement in the incident, despite significant evidence to the contrary.

Take Action: Israel’s use of U.S. taxpayer-supplied weapons to target civilian infrastructure is a violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act; United for Peace and Justice calls upon the White House and Congress to investigate these violations of U.S. law and take appropriate action to shut off future weapons transfers to Israel as a result. Their website lists a number of actions to take, including calling the White House (202-456-1111) and the U.S. State Department (202-647-4000) to demand that the U.S. take immediate action. See United for Peace and Justice for more.

Justices Say U.S. Must Follow Geneva Conventions
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has rebuked the Bush administration for forming military tribunals to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay. In a 5-3 ruling, the court said the military tribunals violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention. The White House established the tribunals in the months after 9/11 for detainees captured in the so-called war on terror. The tribunals placed several restrictions on the suspects, including limited access to the evidence used against them. In a five to three vote Thursday, the Court ruled the practice violates US and international law.

The court's ruling unquestionably rejected the president's assertion of executive power. And the result may be an election year debate on some of the most basic, and controversial, tenets of the Bush presidency, including its claims of unfettered authority and its approach to international agreements such as the Geneva Convention. Read more from Democracy Now.

Despite the setback, the White House noted that meeting the high court's objections required little more than having Congress put its stamp of approval on a system of military tribunals. And some congressional Republicans quickly agreed and vowed to swiftly pass approval in Congress. Read more about the GOP reaction here.

Bush vs. New York Times
On Capitol Hill, the Republican-led House of Representatives has passed a resolution condemning news organizations for reporting on classified information that the government wants to keep secret. The vote came less than a week after the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal revealed the U.S. Treasury Department was secretly monitoring international bank transactions. The resolution’s co-sponsor Ohio Republican Mike Oxley said the government "expects the cooperation of all news media” as it fights the so-called war on terror. Democrat Maurice Hinchey of New York accused his Republican counterparts of trying to intimidate the press. Meanwhile House Republican J.D. Hayworth of Arizona has collected the signatures of 70 House members to call for the media credentials of the New York Times to be revoked. Read more about the resolution from the LA Times.

In a stirring editorial published yesterday entitled Our Nation Needs Fewer Secrets, former President Jimmy Carter praised the Freedom of Information Act and how it upholds our democracy.

Frank Rich also wrote a great editorial last Sunday in the NYTimes about the assault on the free press as just another desperate ploy to hide lethal mistakes. Read Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!

And of course NY and LA Times editors Dean Baquet and Bill Keller had plenty to write in defence of their decision to publish the story on secretly monitored bank transactions. Read their collective editorial here.

Anti-War Protesters launch “Troops Home Fast”

About 150 protesters sat in front of the White House on Monday to savor their last meal before starting a hunger strike that some said will continue until American troops return from Iraq.The demonstration marking the Independence Day holiday was organized by CodePink, a women's anti-war group that called on volunteers to abstain from eating for 24 hours from midnight on Monday. Some protesters said their fast would continue beyond July 4th. The demonstration aimed at highlighting the costs of the war, in which more than 2,500 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqis have died, said CodePink spokeswoman Meredith Dearborn.

Those fasting are demanding:

  • The withdrawal of all U.S. from Iraq;
  • No permanent bases in Iraq;
  • A commitment to fund a massive reconstruction effort but with funds going to Iraqi, not U.S., contractors.

Read more here.

For photos of yesterday’s event in Washington, click here.

Take Action: Visit CodePink’s website and sign up to join fast. Make an impact on congress & sign the voters’ pledge saying that you will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign:

Also, sign the Declaration of Peace urging Congress to establish a comprehensive plan to end the war in Iraq and oppose future military invasions.

Ex-Soldier Charged in Killing of Iraqi Family
A former U.S. Army soldier was charged yesterday with the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl and the slayings of three of her family members in their home south of Baghdad in March, federal prosecutors said.

Several soldiers allegedly planned the attack over drinks after noticing the girl near the traffic checkpoint they manned in Mahmudiyah, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The soldiers allegedly worked out an elaborate plan to carry out the crime and then cover it up, wearing dark clothes to the home, using an AK-47 assault rifle from the house to kill the family, and allowing authorities to believe that the attack was carried out by insurgents, investigators said. Though military officials set her age at 20, neighbors and hospital officials said she was only 15. Read more here.

If you know of additional news items that should be listed, send them via email.


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Ongoing/Future Events

Our Eyes Wide Open Film Series is suspended; for further information click here.

Upshot of our Nov. 9th group discussion on current politics:

It wasn't the Russians that got us Trump. Or Comey. Or even the massive GOP election fraud. It was the DNC.*
*Dem National Committee

To learn how to stop the DNC from delivering us another Trump, read Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis.

Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force. Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.

Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:

Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.

Iraq Deaths Estimator
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"

Copyright © 2006 U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy