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

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Latest News

Week of July 31 2006

by Stephanie Westbrook

Lebanon and Palestine: As Much a US As Israeli War
The following articles take a look at the U.S. involvement in the Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine, from neo-con plans to "transform" the Middle East, to dependence on political campaign contributions from the Israel lobby, to profits for U.S. arms manufacturers.

In the article Washington's Latest Middle East War, Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis outlines U.S involvement and goals in the Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine as well as implications for the peace movement.

Israel enjoys overwhelming support in the U.S. Congress. The Senate recently passed a resolution by unanimous consent condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and supporting Israel's right to self defense. A similar measure passed the House with a vote of 410 to 8. See the roll-call in the House for names of the 8 Congress members who voted no. Read an article on The Nation about the role of AIPAC, "American Jewish community's most important voice on the Hill," in drafting the resolution.

In Down the Memory Hole, media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) illustrates the bias in editorials on three leading newspapers, the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, where the Israeli contribution to the two conflicts is conveniently forgotten.

In U.S. Arming of Israel: How U.S. Weapons Manufacturers Profit From Middle East Conflict, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews Frida Berrigan of the World Policy Institute on their latest report, U.S Military Assistance and Arms Transfers to Israel.

Take Action: Contact your representative in the House and urge their support for the bill introduced by Dennis Kucinich "Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions." The bill has 33 co-sponsors to date.

Violence Continues in Iraq, News Coverage Does Not
In his article, The Peculiar Disappearance of the War in Iraq, Frank Rich talks about the mainstream media's lack of coverage of the continued violence in Iraq, with an average of more than 100 casualties per day. And Democracy Now! talks with Borzou Daragahi, Baghdad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times on the increasing violence.

Associated Press and the Financial Times report on plans to send more U.S. troops to Iraq. 4000 soldiers of the 172nd Stryker Brigade also had their tour of duty extended four months, with soldiers literally on their way home, only to have the plane turn around and head back.

Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defense Center Near DC
Work is now underway for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), at Fort Detrick near Washington DC. The massive building (160,000 sq ft; 14,800 sq m) will house a "biodefense laboratory unlike any seen since biological weapons were banned 34 years ago."

The center falls under the Department of Homeland Security and the building itself will be classified as a "highly restricted space," something not granted to even nuclear labs. The center's high level of secrecy as well as its close ties to the intelligence community have prompted criticism from experts fearing a new biological arms race. The lab will also be operating in a "legal gray zone" with respect to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Read the article The Secretive Fight Against Bioterror on the Washington Post and US Begins Building Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defence Centre on The Guardian. For a fact sheet on the NBACC, see the DHS web site.

Bolton Nominated As US Ambassador to UN, Again!
Bush has once again nominated John Bolton for US Ambassador to the UN. Bolton was first nominated last year however the Senate failed to approve the nomination. Bush waited for Congress to adjourn for the summer and ushered Bolton in on a temporary recess appointment, due to expire at the end of this year. The nomination will first be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

For background information on why Bolton is the wrong man for the job, see the Council for a Livable World web site as well as Working for Change.

Take Action: Call, fax or email your Senators, especially those on the Foreign Relations Committee, to oppose the nomination of John Bolton.

New Maximum Security Prison to Open at Guantánamo
A Halliburton subsidiary has built a new "state-of-the-art maximum-security jail" at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. "Camp 6," which is set to open at the end of September, will have a capacity of 200 prisoners at a cost of USD 30,000,000 to U.S. Taxpayers. Read an article by Andrew Buncombe on the Independent, New maximum-security jail to open at Guantanamo Bay.

See a photo of "Camp 6" on the Defense Dept web site.

And if Bush's proposed Terror Detainee Bill passes, U.S. citizens could find themselves detained there indefinitely.

Using Europe: Bombs to Scotland, Missiles to Poland
The Irish government refused a U.S. request for planes carrying 600lb so-called bunker busters to refuel at Shannon airport on their way to Israel to be used in Lebanon. The planes carrying the bombs are instead being flown through Scotland. "The use of Prestwick triggered a furious diplomatic row last week after it emerged that the US had broken aviation rules by failing to notify Britain about the flights." Read an article on The Scotsman, Irish refused bombs sent to Prestwick airport.

Meanwhile, the Polish government has expressed reservations about a proposed missile base "touted as the sole European base for Washington's controversial missile defence programme." The cause for concern is due to U.S. insistence that the base be a "sovereign US installation on Polish soil." The Polish government would not be informed of missile launches nor the base's operations. Read an article on the Guardian, Poland reluctant to give America sovereignty over missile base.

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