Dreams of reaching Europe grind to a halt in Beirut ghetto

Dandelion Salad

by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Baghdad
guardian.co.uk
Friday March 21 2008

Rabi’a is one of two million Iraqis who have ended up in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in the hope of making a better life

Rabi’a, an Iraqi refugee, is cooking in the narrow, filthy corridor that doubles as a makeshift kitchen in his tiny apartment in eastern Beirut. There is a gas burner, a sink, a cupboard and a small plastic bucket overflowing with garbage and potato peelings. At one end of the room a door leads to a reeking toilet. The heavy smell of urine mixes with that of the months-old oil he is pushing round the frying pan.

“I fry the best tomatoes in the world, the most delicious dish,” he tells me. “You must have some with us.”

In Iraq they used to call this dish the “dinner of the sanctions”, after the decade-long economic blockade imposed on the country in the 1990s.

Violent threats

The threats soon turned into violence. Rabi’a’s uncle was as a policeman, which made him a double target. He was beheaded, and a note was pinned to his chest claiming responsibility by al-Qaida in Iraq. He and his uncle had been like friends, he said. When he had joined the police he had just been happy to get a job and salary.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

‘We live in a nightmare. Death and carnage is everywhere’ Ali, Baghdad resident

‘My wife said I had to stop the jihad. I divorced her. Fighting was my duty’

Baghdad: City of walls + Death, destruction & fear + Shabby, tired & scared

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Bearing Witness (video link; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

ICH

Mar 21, 2008

Bearing Witness: Must Watch 4 Minute Video: 100 Reuters correspondents, photographers, cameramen and support staff, bearing witness through half a decade of conflict which has taken the lives of 127 journalists, including seven Reuters staff.

Warning

Video contains disturbing images. Iraq has been the most dangerous war in history for journalists

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Jesus as dissident By Jerry Mazza

By Jerry Mazza
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted at Online Journal
www.jerrymazza.com
March 21, 2008

Picture this guy, with long hair, a beard, a robe, a rope belt and sandals on, who just came to Jerusalem, his first trip for the Passover. Lo and behold, he walks into the Temple of Herod and upends all the tables of the money changers. “Usurers, get out of here, you turned this place into a den or robbers!” What an entrance! What a mouth! What heads turn!

“Who is this guy,” one money changer says to another. “Who knows! I heard someone say he thinks he’s the King of the Israelites.” “No,” the other says, “he must be nuts.” “Nuts or very ambitious. How can we get something on him?” “Somebody should turn him into the Romans.” “Hey, not a bad idea.” And someone says, “What’s his name?” And somebody answers, “Jesus, no less, you know short for ‘Yahweh,’ and Christ, the ‘anointed one,’ the Messiah.” “Wow, this guy’s got big ones!” “Yeah, he’s going places. Where, I’m not sure.”

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80,000 Angry Men. Is the US Surge collapsing? (video)

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com/c.php?c=080301YT
Iraqis employed by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to strike

Friday March 21st, 2008

An investigation carried out by GuardianFilms for Channel 4 uncovers how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the ‘Americans to do their dirty work’ and haven’t been paid.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

The woman who nearly stopped the war

Dandelion Salad

By Martin Bright
ICH
03/21/08 “The Nation

Of all the stories told on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, there is one important episode that took place during the build-up to the conflict that has gone largely unreported. It concerns a young woman who was a witness to something so outrageous, something so contrary to the principles of diplomacy and international law, that in revealing it she believed war could be averted. That woman was Katharine Gun, a 29-year-old Mandarin translator at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham.

On Friday 31 January 2003 she and many of her colleagues were forwarded a request from the US government for an intelligence “surge” at the United Nations (with hindsight, an interesting choice of words). In essence, the US was ordering the intensification of espionage at the UN headquarters in New York to help persuade the Security Council to authorise war in Iraq. The aim, according to the email, was to give the United States “the edge” in negotiations for a crucial resolution to give international authorisation for the war. Many believed that, without it, the war would be illegal.

The email was sent by a man with a name straight out of a Hollywood thriller, Frank Koza, who headed up the “regional targets” section of the National Security Agency, the US equivalent of GCHQ. It named six nations to be targeted in the operation: Chile, Pakistan, Guinea, Angola, Cameroon and Bulgaria. These six so-called “swing nations” were non-permanent members of the Security Council whose votes were crucial to getting the resolution through. It later emerged that Mexico was also targeted because of its influence with Chile and other countries in Latin America, though it was not mentioned in the memo. But the operation went far wider – in fact, only Britain was specifically named as a country to be exempt from the “surge”.

Koza insisted that he was looking for “insights” into how individual countries were reacting to the ongoing debate, “plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies etc”. In summary, he added: “The whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers the edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises.” The scope of the operation was vast: “Make sure they pay attention to existing non-UNSC member UN-related and domestic comms for anything useful related to the UNSC deliberations/debates/votes,” wrote Koza.

Gun was appalled by the email in two ways. First by the seediness of the operation: she believed the clear message was that GCHQ was being asked to find personal information that would allow Britain and America to blackmail diplomats in New York. But second and more importantly, she believed GCHQ was being asked to undermine the democratic pro cesses of the United Nations.

Secret email

Over the weekend after receiving the email, Gun decided to act. On returning to work on 3 February she printed out the document and took it home with her. She knew people involved with the anti-war movement and passed the email to a friend who was in contact with the media. This individual in turn passed it to the former Fleet Street journalist Yvonne Ridley, who had become famous as the reporter captured by the Taliban in 2001. By this time Ridley was a prominent opponent of the war. After first approaching the Mirror, which failed to verify the email, Ridley called me at the Observer, where I was working at the time, to ask if I would look at it.

The Koza memo presented me and my colleagues at the newspaper with a number of problems. For a start, the Observer supported the war in Iraq. Then there was the problem of verification. The Koza memo consisted of simply the body of the text, with all identifying information from the email header ripped from the top. In theory, anyone could have typed it. Koza’s name was written on the back along with other clues to its veracity, but it could easily have been a hoax. We were also hamstrung by the fact that Gun had not come directly to the newspaper, so there was no way of going back to the source of the leak to check the information.

Peter Beaumont, the Observer’s defence correspondent at the time, got his sources to confirm that the language used in the memo was consistent with the NSA and GCHQ.

But still there were doubts. One intelligence contact suggested it could be a sophisticated Russian forgery and another raised the possibility that British spy chiefs had written it to flush out anti-war elements at GCHQ. In the end, the paper’s then US correspondent, Ed Vulliamy, struck lucky. After a string of “no comment” responses from the NSA, a phone call to the organisation’s headquarters in Maryland was by chance put through to the office of Koza himself. This proved that he existed and we now felt confident that the email was genuine. Despite the paper’s pro-war stance, the then editor, Roger Alton, would not have rejected a good story and on 2 March 2003 the Observer splashed on the tale of US dirty tricks at the United Nations.

The story was followed up around the world and caused fury in Chile, which had known its fair share of US dirty tricks during the 1970s. Mexico was equally unhappy and both countries distanced themselves from a second resolution as a result of the revelations. Other countries were less bold in the face of cajoling and bullying from the US, but it became clear in the weeks that followed the leak that a fresh UN resolution was never going to happen.

This was precisely what Katharine Gun had hoped for when she walked out of GCHQ with the document a month earlier. What she could not have known, however, was that George W Bush was determined to go to war, with or without the support of the UN.

Within days of the Observer article, Gun was arrested under the Official Secrets Act and almost a year later she finally appeared at the Old Bailey to stand trial for leaking the NSA document. But, in a dramatic retreat, the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, dropped the case at the last minute and despite her prima facie breach of the secrecy laws, Gun walked free.

What did she gain? She failed to stop a war that has now cost thousands of lives. She gave up a secure career as an expert translator. But she was one of the first to reveal the truth about the lies and dirty tricks that took us to war in 2003.

Britain’s role

Questions still remain about Britain’s involvement in the spying operation, which was the ultimate responsibility of the then prime minister, Tony Blair. A full inquiry into the Iraq War has now been promised by the present Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and, among other things, this should force the government to disclose the full extent of its knowledge of the 2003 intelligence “surge”.

Those who doubt whether Gun’s actions had lasting his torical significance should refer to the statement issued by the Crown Prosecution Service when the case was dropped on 26 February 2004. There was speculation that Lord Goldsmith backed down because Gun’s defence requested disclosure of his legal opinion on the legitimacy of the war. As was later revealed, his legal opinion shifted as the prospects of a second UN resolution faded.

On this the CPS statement is clear: “This determination by the prosecution had nothing to do with advice given by the Attorney General to the government in connection with the legality of the Iraq War.”

Instead, the prosecution stated that “there was no longer a realistic prospect of convicting Katharine Gun”. The reasons for this remain a mystery, especially considering that Gun had admitted to the crime of leaking the document. Her only defence was the untried “defence of necessity”, under which her lawyers would have argued that her actions were designed to stop the imminent loss of human life.

The CPS statement contains the following intriguing paragraph: “The evidential deficiency related to the prosecution’s inability, with in the current statutory framework, to disprove the defence of necessity to be raised on the particular facts of this case.”

Read through the legalese, this is an astonishing admission from the government that Katharine Gun’s actions were entirely honourable. She really had tried to stop a war.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Dispatches: Iraq – The Betrayal

Dandelion Salad

Video Report From UK: Channel 4
Mar 17, 2008

Peter Oborne accompanies the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, as he travels across Iraq, meeting the main players who will determine the future of the country; from the US Commanding General David Petraeus, to militiamen fighting to protect their homes, to parliamentarians holed up in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Oborne discovers that Iraq seems to have reverted to a violent feudalism.

Meanwhile America has lost the trust and respect of the world and there are chilling consequences of the war for ordinary people back on the streets of Britain.

via http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/iraq%2Bthe%2Bbetrayal/1753047.html

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The Crucifixion of Christ, American Style By Jerry Ghinelli (satire)

Dandelion Salad

Previously posted on my old blog on Friday, April 06, 2007. ~ Lo

By Jerry Ghinelli
08/29/05 “ICH

“For God so loved the world…” he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.

Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ—and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.

Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named “Liberty” and “Church” in New York City, located at what has come to be known as “Ground Zero.”

Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.

Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable—breathtaking, you might say—in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan.

Songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.

Martin Luther King’s “dream” was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, “red staters” and “blue staters,” even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.

The media frenzy was unprecedented.

It was “all Jesus all the time”: round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.

Mel Gibson, who produced the film “The Passion of the Christ,” was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson’s identical twin was married.

The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, “60 Minutes.” And for good reason: This was to be “the greatest story ever told.”

On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a “miracle of faith,” and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, “Let freedom reign and God bless America.”

Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

The clock in the corner of the TV screen read “Countdown to Jesus” as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted.

At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, “deafening” silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named “Trinity Place.”

Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.

“Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you,” he offered.

“I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where nearly four years ago, at this exact moment, man’s inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to.

“Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as ‘believers,’ but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act,” said Christ.

The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of “hallelujah, hallelujah” sent goose bumps up people’s arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.

For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.

Christ continued. “But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.

“To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America—or any country, for that matter—which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago.”

On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in “shock and awe” at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior.

A few cheered, but Christ’s condemnation of America’s response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush—the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth—drew immediate and harsh disapproval.

Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.

Fearing that Christ’s message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to—as they term it—”swift-boat” Christ.

“Swift-boat” is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning “to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom.”

A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth.”

Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, “to set the record straight.”

They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of “love your enemies” was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.

“George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack—even pre-emptively attack—our enemies. Notice that I say ‘attack,’ not ‘love’,” said Judas.

Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus’ “love your enemy” message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm’s way.

“Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.

The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney’s clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum.

One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term “Let he without sin cast the first spitball,” embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling “have you hugged a terrorist today” teddy bear in a little turban.

On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh—the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of “ditto heads” —asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.

According to Limbaugh: “Thorns are not lethal, and nails in your hands and feet can only cause flesh wounds.”

Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, “should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth. “What’s next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?” Limbaugh mocked.

Immediately after the show, on sale at http://www.rushlimbaugh.com were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of “thorn-resistant” “holy” garden gloves (minus the holes), and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves fail.

On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ’s “meek shall inherit the earth” remark as “communist infiltration and extremism.”

He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values.

Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question “perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?”

President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will.

“Christ is my brother,” Bush emphasized, “and brothers often have differences of opinion, that’s all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas—dead or alive,” he said to applause from his troops.

“Semper fi,” shouted Bush.

Bush declared, “Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander–in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that… all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can’t stand our freedoms,” Bush said, to a standing ovation.

Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of “The Lord’s Prayer”:

Our Father, Who art in heaven,

Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come.

Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And never forgive the terrorists,

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into appeasement,

and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.

The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act.”.

Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to—as they term it—”Bork” Jesus.

Like “swift-boat,” “Bork,” taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning “to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats’ single issue of abortion.”

Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a cheap motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, “Jesus did not have sexual relations with that women!”

With Clinton’s declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ’s message that “the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.

They added that “to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.

Jewish groups, fearing that Christ—who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine—would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.

When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to “self-hating Jew.”

Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church’s sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.

President Bush’s advisor and brain, Karl Rove, has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question “when did Christ stop beating his gay wife.” A defensive Rove vehemently denied he was the source and offered proof by reminding everyone that the Bush administration is clear in its opposition to gay marriage.

Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle.

Ann Coulter, the “angelic”-looking “Republican Party Doll,” appeared on The O’Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O’Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of “Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz.” However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the “wicked witch of the west” when she said: “…with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden.” O’Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.

But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for “The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth,” approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern–born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda.

Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah.

With silver selling at about $6.80 an ounce (down 9.5 cents), thirty pieces of silver—about $200—just doesn’t buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for “fifteen minutes of fame” instead.

He is scheduled to appear on “Oprah” tomorrow, “Larry King Live” at night and “Good Morning America” the next day.

President Bush has invited him to his State of the Union address in January, where he will sit beside Laura Bush.

All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas’s agent at International Creative Management.

With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the “disciples for truth” that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location.

The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ’s incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: “We wash our hands of this matter.”

The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of convicted WorldCom (MCI) thief Bernard “Bernie” Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated.

Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero’s welcome in his hometown. Signs of “Give us Bernard” appeared everywhere.

Outside the court at Christ’s hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read “crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free.” He was immediately arrested.

Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances.

His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a “high-tech crucifixion.” The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.

“You judge, you will be judged,” Christ’s lawyer reminded him.

Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing. “Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, again, for they know not what they do.”

Amen.

Jerry Ghinelli writes essays exclusively for Information Clearing House and contributes his time and efforts as a private citizen, with the hope of encouraging readers to think more broadly about the important issues that threaten the peace and security of the world community. He welcomes all intelligent feedback, whether positive or negative, which should be sent to email@jerryghinelli.com, or visit http://www.jerryghinelli.com.

Copyright: Jerry Ghinelli. All rights reserved. You may republish under the following conditions: An active link to the original publication must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove any text within the article, including this copyright notice.

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Jesus/Y’shua/Christianity

Ralph Nader: Countdown (video)

Dandelion Salad

Jorge Salazar

Guerilla News Network – GNN video scratches to AdRock’s Nader remix

For those of you not interested in ringing in Dubya’s ill-gotten presidency with the musical stylings of Ricky Martin and 98 Degrees, GNN offers an alternative: a Guerrilla News Video cut to “Countdown,” Beastie Boy Ad Rock’s remix of Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s blistering critique of the news media and the current state of American politics.

The video features GNN’s innovative video-scratching technique, cut with footage from the Battle of Seattle, nightly news broadcasts and Mr. Nader’s addresses at the Green Party National Convention and the NAACP.

Credits
Director: Stephen Marshall
Producer: Ian Inaba, Anthony Lappe and Josh Shore

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March 18, 19, 20 Anti-War Protests – 5 Year Anniversary

Dandelion Salad

Guinea: The 1930’s Smut Peddler

by Guinea: The 1930’s Smut Peddler
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Lots of photos and videos:

March 18, 19, 20 Anti-War Protests – 5 Year Anniversary – Washington DC, San Fransisco, NYC, Boston, Indiana

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It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Russian TV journalist’s murder linked to his work? + Killing of two journalists + Murdered TV boss was on extremists’ hit list

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Mar 22, 2008 added another video.

Mar 21, 2008

RussiaToday

A murder investigation has been launched after the body of a Russian TV journalist was found in Moscow. Police say 32-year-old Ilyas Shurpayev was strangled and his death could be connected to his profession.

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Rice to Obama: Sorry for passport breach (videos) (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Mar 22, 2008 added State Dept video and links to stories from CLG.

Story here: Rice to Obama: Sorry for passport breach

Story here: Ex-Inspector General: ‘Nefarious political purpose’ behind Obama passport file breach?

Updated: Mar 22, 2008

State Dept. Addresses Campaign Passport File Breaches Continue reading

Teenager Dies After Police In Charlotte Use Taser

Dandelion Salad

wsoctv.com
POSTED: 12:21 am EDT March 21, 2008
UPDATED: 11:43 am EDT March 21, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A teenager died after police used a Taser on him inside a grocery store in northeast Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police homicide detectives said they will investigate why police used the Taser on 17-year-old Darryl Turner Thursday afternoon.

…continued

h/t:  Raw Story

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Ron Paul: I Feel Badly About Just Quitting

Dandelion Salad

By Sarah Elkins
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Mar 20, 2008
Updated: 10:00 a.m. ET Mar 21, 2008

Ron Paul on why he’s still running for president.

John McCain may have clinched the Republican nomination on March 4, but for Ron Paul and his 800,000-strong army of supporters, the GOP primary isn’t over … at least not yet. Seventeen days and two primaries later, the Texas congressman is vowing to continue his campaign. In fact, he tells NEWSWEEK that his candidacy is “indefinite” and says that–unless the Arizona senator drastically alters his campaign platform–McCain can forget about a Ron Paul endorsement.

Paul, with a mere 14 (or 42, depending on who’s counting) delegates in his column, cannot possibly overtake McCain for the nomination; the GOP front runner has well over the 1,191 delegates needed to secure his party’s mantle. A March 7 speech in which Paul admitted that “victory in the conventional political sense is not available in the presidential race” led many media outlets to report his withdrawal. But what they missed was what Paul went on to say: that he does “still encourage all efforts to gain the maximum number of votes and delegates in all the remaining primaries.” Flagging pols typically run into fund-raising hurdles, but thanks to massive online fund-raising efforts, Paul still has a hefty war chest. As of the end of last month, he still had more than $5 million in the bank. In Paul’s view, he’s in second place: his campaign Web site displays a graphic of the 11 original GOP candidates, nine of whom have big red X’s drawn across their faces (“There were 11. Now there are two”, reads the caption).

Paul spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Sarah Elkins about why he keeps campaigning, his qualms about McCain and his thoughts about Ralph Nader. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: At this point, the most obvious question is: why are you still doing it? Life on the trail is exhausting, and John McCain has already won the Republican nomination. What keeps you going out there?

Ron Paul: First off, I don’t really feel exhausted at all. There were certainly times when I was [exhausted], when there were six or eight or 10 primaries to campaign for. But right now I feel really rested because I came back to Texas and paid attention to my congressional race, which we won easily with 70 percent of the vote [Paul won the GOP nomination, and does not face a Democratic opponent this fall]. So I had time to rest and rethink things, and I feel really good about [the race]. Right now, out of 11 [original Republican presidential] candidates, I’m still out there. We have time and we’re still in the race, picking up delegates here and there, and the troops are still very enthusiastic … I think what I’ve done over the years is different from other people running for office, because most of the time people run for only one reason, which is to win a political office. They go out and they take polls and figure out what they need to say because the goal of winning comes before anything else. In my case, winning is important, but I need to win on principles that are important to me. If I win on other peoples’ principles, I lose.

…continued

h/t: Raw Story

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Ron Paul on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company 03.20.08

Is the Revolution Over or Just Beginning? by Rand Paul

ABC: Ron Paul To Drop Out + Message from Ron Paul + Paul NOT Dropping Out

Paul-Ron

Global Pulse: Pakistan: Return to Justice

Dandelion Salad

linktv

There has been a historic shift in Pakistan that is largely overlooked in the U.S. – a struggle for democracy, led by lawyers. In the U.S., the lack of news coverage has created a distorted view of Pakistan’s President Musharraf and of the Pakistani people. The United States’ support of Musharraf, widely considered a dictator, has generated anger at America in Pakistan’s middle class.

SOURCES: CCTV, China; BB, U.K.; South Asia Newsline, India; NBC, U.S.; Al Jazeera English, Qatar

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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No Torture, No Exceptions (video)

Dandelion Salad

NewAmericaFoundation

“In the wake of September 11, the United States became a nation that practiced torture. Astonishingly-despite the repudiation of torture by experts and the revelations of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib-we remain one.”

So begins the special issue of The Washington Monthly. The New America Foundation and the American Security Project are proud to co-sponsor a special lunchtime panel featuring leading experts sounding their urgent call for the United States to end the practice of torture.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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see

It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo