I phoned Rami Elhanan the other day. We had not spoken for six years and much has happened in Israel and Palestine. Rami is an Israeli graphic designer who lives with his family in Jerusalem. His father survived Auschwitz. His grandparents and six aunts and uncles perished in the Holocaust. Whenever I am asked about heroes, I say Rami and his wife Nurit without hesitation.
Soon after when we met, Rami gave me a home videotape that was difficult to watch. It shows his daughter Smadar, aged 14, throwing her head back, laughing and playing the piano. “She loved to dance,” he said. On the afternoon of 4 September, 1997, Smadar and her best friend, Sivane, had auditions for admission to a dance school. She had argued that morning with her mother, who was anxious about her going to the centre of Jerusalem. “I didn’t want to row,” said Nurit, “so I let her go.”
With the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms expiring last December 5 and its successor held up almost three months in large part because of U.S. missile shield provocations in recent weeks, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is forging ahead with the formulation and implementation of a new Strategic Concept.
On February 5 Russia unveiled its new military doctrine, which identified further NATO expansion eastward to its frontier and American and NATO interceptor missile deployments on and near its borders as the “main external threats of war.” 
Forthcoming in the Resist Newsletter, February 2010
It is not easy for me to write a few words about Howard Zinn, the great American activist and historian who passed away a few days ago. He was a very close friend for 45 years. The families were very close too. His wife Roz, who died of cancer not long before, was also a marvelous person and close friend. Also somber is the realization that a whole generation seems to be disappearing, including several other old friends: Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmed, and others, who were not only astute and productive scholars but also dedicated and courageous militants, always on call when needed — which was constant. A combination that is essential if there is to be hope of decent survival.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a vocal critic of the USA Patriot Act and advocate for civil rights, today made the following statement regarding the House vote to extend provisions of the USA Patriot Act:
“This legislation extends three problematic provisions of the PATRIOT Act and, at the same time, leaves some of the most egregious provisions in place, absent any meaningful reform and debate.
By Les Blough, Editor. Axis of Logic Axisoflogic.com
Thursday, Feb 25, 2010
Apparently, the corporate media doesn’t consider it to be newsworthy: the confession to a Colombian prosecutor of 30,000 murders by paramilitaries who are linked to the Alvaro Uribe regime. To date, Associated Press, Reuters and their contracted media outlets remain silent on this latest news. If it had taken place in Somalia, China, Syria, North Korea, Iran or any of Washington’s perceived enemies, we would be seeing it on a CNN special report, backed up on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. The last prominent NYT article reporting in January, 2007 on Colombian paramilitary death squads provided President Uribe with cover, stating:
“Senior members of Mr. Uribe’s government and Mr. Uribe himself have said that anyone shown to have had illegal ties to the paramilitaries, which terrorized Colombian cities and the countryside in the nation’s internal war, which has gone on for decades, and made fortunes in cocaine trafficking, should be prosecuted in courts of law…
With the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of next year creeping nearer, the U.S. has to find some way to convince the Iraqi government to allow a continued military presence, which is the likely outcome despite the U.S.-Iraq status of forces agreement containing the deadline.
One means by which this will be accomplished, relabeling “combat forces” something else, perhaps remaining as “military advisers” or something to that effect, has already been discussed. Thomas E. Ricks outlines another rationale for maintaining a military occupation of Iraq in the New York Times, offering up a variation on a theme that has been familiar throughout the war that is likely to become a mainstay in the political discourse.
“Obama is determined to pull off a nuclear resurrection.”
Opponents of nuclear power have now joined the ranks of those who are bitterly disappointed with President Obama, who is proposing to triple loan guarantees to the nuclear power industry. Continue reading →