January 31, 2009

Can't 'Stand Up' for falling clown....

Okay now, afterall; it is saturday night - Reality is keeping on knocking and life is hard- But never that hard, that we forget our manners and don't pay credits, where credits are due!
So here's David Lettermans hilarious farewell to President George W. Bush.... To think, that this man held the most powerful job in the world, makes my head spin.... 

Tadah....: "Great moments in presidential speeches";

Enjoy! And know in your heart, that we'll never ever see the new guy on the block;
 deliver it, quite like this guy could!

Email from Vittorio; The aftermath of war!

I crossed the threshold of my house in Almina, facing Gaza City port, after several days of absence. Everything was exactly as I had left it – the gas cylinder still anorexic (feeding it is too expensive) and the electric current cut off by foreign shears. The once pleasant panorama outside my window has changed and no longer gladdens my spirits from the misery of living under siege. On the contrary, it now rubs salt in the wound, a trauma that won't heal with its reminder of a massacre. Twenty metres from my front door, where the fire station once stood, a huge crater now gapes wide enough for children to mess around in, as if to expel their parents' demon. 

The afternoon call to prayer no longer has the same comforting quality of the muezzin's chant that I had grown accustomed to. I wonder where he's gone, if he managed to survive at the top of one of the few minarets that were left intact. The last time I listened to him, this anonymous muezzin had to interrupt his solemnly chanted liturgy because of a chesty cough. It's an affliction I'm familiar with myself, as the gases of the bombs in Gaza have spared no one. I found a note at the foot of the French window looking onto a small balcony, as if it had been put there by a friendly hand. The street and garden were littered with these same leaflets. They had been dropped from Israeli airplanes warning the Palestinians to stay alert, and be aware that the walls had ears and eyes. 

"At the slightest threatening action against Israel we'll be back to invade the Gaza Strip. What you've seen these days is nothing compared to what awaits you." Some kids in the streets had picked up the leaflets and folded them into paper airplanes, seemingly sending the message back to its destination. 

Ahmed told me on the phone about a new kids' game – until a few days ago, they amused themselves by relighting the fires, simply by kicking the fragments of white phosphorous bombs found scattered all over the Strip. The debris left by these devices with high chemical potential has very long-lasting inflammable properties. Even when picked up several days after their detonation, it still catches fire if shaken about. The Al Quds hospital paramedics speak of how they gave up trying to put out the fires provoked by these illegal bombs – their flames seemed to feed off the water being thrown at them.

 "The consequences of all the shit that's been thrown at us in these last three weeks will surface in the near future, with new cancer cases and deformed babies", Munir, a doctor at Al Shifa hospital told me. Even Gaza's neighbours seem to be worried by this massive use of weapons forbidden by all international conventions. In Sderot, and likewise in Ashkelon, Israeli citizens have formally asked their government for clarifications regarding the weapons that have been used to torment us. It's obvious that impoverished uranium and white phosphorous scattered in such a criminal manner all over the tiny patch of land that is Gaza won't discriminate between Jews and Muslims when it comes to provoking generic illnesses.

The truce ought to have started by now, but today I was woken in my bed by the deafening rumble of cannon shots from the war ships, exactly like a few days ago. Some brave Palestinian fishermen had ventured from the port on their tiny boats equipped with fishing nets. The Israeli Navy pushed them back. Nowadays, the only edible fish found in Gaza are the Egyptian cans of tuna that came through the tunnels months ago. Yesterday, yet two more casualties of "collateral damage" were caused by Israeli bombs. East of Gaza City two children were blown up when playing with an unexploded device. The witnesses we heard spoke of active mines in front of the Tal el Hawa houses' ruins. Some bomb disposal experts sent over by Hamas defused them and, judging by the care with which they loaded them onto an off-road vehicle, I think the al qassam brigades will soon return that message of death directly to its lawful owner.

Looking from Naema's roof, the Israeli-Palestinian border has never seemed so easy to pick out. On one side lie the green hills which are constantly watered by the Israeli kibbutzim, on the other you see the parching thirst of a land robbed of its water springs and herds. Naema wished to tell me all about her last few days – a tactile, aural and olfactory account of the massacre, considering that Naema is blind. The soldiers threateningly ordered her fellow villagers to evacuate their homes only a few minutes before storming the place. The men loaded smaller children onto their shoulders and ran away, along with their women. Naema chose to stay so as not to slow down their escape. She took refuge in her own house, believing herself to be safe, and welcomed her neighbours, who had nowhere to go: three women, an elderly lady and a paralyzed old man. The tanks and bulldozers then trespassed and started spreading death and destruction, devouring acre by acre, until they stopped in front of Naema's house. Standing on a small hill, the building she inhabits is the tallest in the village, and the soldiers of Tsahal, who found it was strategically positioned, let themselves in and occupied it for two weeks. 

"They came in and pointed their weapons at us, pushing us into a small room, where they locked us up for eleven days." Naema continues her story: "During that entire time they brought us water to drink only twice, and food came in the form of the soldiers' rations' left-overs. They never let us go to the bathroom, so we had to go to the toilet in one corner of the room. 

They wouldn't let us talk amongst ourselves, and they would come in and beat us when at night, huddled in a circle, we tried to gather some strength in prayer. Sometimes they'd come over and, intimidating us by touching our bodies with the cold metal of their weapons, they threatened us with death to confess our support for Hamas. I gave them my cell phone, so they could check my phone book and the calls I'd made. Even this gesture didn't mellow their spite." 

At the end of the eleventh day of imprisonment, the international Red Cross finally arrived and released the six prisoners from their jailers. "They didn't allow us to pick up anything, not even my sunglasses", Naema brings her story to a close, adding that when they came back to her house, they found out about the thefts that had been carried out by the soldiers. They had taken all their gold trinkets and hidden savings, after having destroyed their few possessions, two TV sets, a radio, a fridge, and the solar panels on the roof. I saw tears in this woman's eyes, hidden behind her new dark glasses. They seemed the most vivid I had ever seen. In fact, what Naema "saw" is a lot more that any young woman her age will ever get a chance to see, if she had the bad luck of being born in this tormented land. 

Stay human
Vittorio Arrigoni

(Translated from italian by Daniela Filippin)

January 30, 2009

Come help rebuild Gaza!!

Post title link ; Artist Ben Heine Blog

A shot of Wild Turkey!

I  usually don't have much in common with the Turkish prime minister Erdogan. - His and the Turkish military's hard stance towards the Kurds and the opposing of freedom of speech, is not compatible with how I view things ... To put it mildly!

But I have to give Kudos to Erdogans "Storming out" from a meeting with Israeli PM; Shimon Peres in Davos, Switzerland! Turkey being a "ally" of Israel, Erdogan has shown guts to stand up to Peres over the issue of the Israeli war crimes in Gaza! He's been one of the few, if not the only one who's had the feckin balls to make a stand against the Israelis! 
Apparently it was the (biased?) moderator from The Washington Post, who didn't let Erdogan speak his mind, and call out Peres' denial of any crimes or even wrongdoing! (Link to full video  + transcript on Turkish site, pardon the English grammar ♥) -And it all ended in a shouting match between the esteemed Prime ministers! 

Erdogan, who later might find; this was not the smartest stunt. Enjoyed a hero's welcome home to Istanbul, after having left the summit a bit early!


Mr Blagojevich-Smith Leaves Washington


The ultimate Lego man, aka as " Gov. Blagojevich the Humble" has been ousted, removed from office, away from any kind of office with power... American politics might be weird, but never boring.... So the mighty will fall, eventually ....

 Wonder how many politicians out there, sitting in different offices like; mayor, sheriff and such.. Who in their own mind, is comparing themselves of greater men like; Dr King, Gandhi and Mandela (if a Democrat - You might have other heroes, if you're Republican!) - when things get out of hand, just to put a perspective on their lives... you know?! ( See below)


January 29, 2009

"We Will Not Go Down" Michael Heart Music Video- And then some !

You might find this video a bit..... eh, well .... eh ahem.... I find it hard, not to say something rather unkind about I think of the song it self and the way it's performed, it is a bit over the top, and sounds like thousands of other ballads of exactly same sort... The images are heartbreaking though and drives the message home.... It just might do the trick, where such tricks are necessary, where mere facts aren't enough... 

And by this; I mean the big wast majority of the worlds population! Who didn't pay too much attention, when it all this mess went down in Gaza and who most certainly will not do so now that it's supposedly "all over"! Our, for ever shortening, 'attention span' will quickly turn to something else. We'll forget that the aftermath of war is almost as horrendous as war itself  - The suffering is longer, so much longer! People are still dying from the wounds! People are grieving over entire families gone, People (by this term I mean children, women and men old and young) are suffering from "Post traumatic stress syndrome" with all that entails!!! People are now living in "tents"!  There's no water, no food, no sewage, no electricity  etc etc ... 3 out of 4 in Gaza is unemployed (!!) due to the 19 month long Israeli Blockade makes it absolutely impossible to maintain a steady job and the whole Palestinian population is totally dependent on foreign Aid... (Here's some links to random articles on the Blockade from Nov.2008; Counterpunch
and LA times

The Israeli border blockade is still in full vigor; This meaning no building materials, no fuel, no medicine, nothing whatsoever!!!

 The EuropeanUnion and some Humanitarian Aid Org.'s (like the UN) are for the very first time (!!) refusing to pay for all the damages done by IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) arguing, that Israel should pay for some of their destruction as well! The EU, UN, Red Cross/Half Crest and different NGO's has paid billions of $ for the rebuilding of Gaza and the West Bank, every time Israel has bombed and pulverized the infrastructure, houses, schools, hospitals, food storage etc in Gaza... But Israel refuses to pay a penny, they say, not surprisingly; It's all Hamas' fault (!!!)

We are all One! -It's only life/love/wisdom, spread it around!

January 28, 2009

A Two- State solution ???

Watch CBS Videos Online

This is another sobering "60 minutes" show! -I found it here on "Palestine Think Tank" - Okay, this will be it, from me today!  Not a threat, but a promise c",)

Be heard - Sign on -

And while you're at it; Take a look on the ensuing chaos in Zimbabwe...  Caused by an old warhorse, who's not ready to either face the democratic music or step down and relinquish the power reigns!!

Or you can take action against the bloodshed in DR Congo.... Which is yet another war riddled country, where the civilians pay the price for the ongoing power struggle of different warlords  and their infinite, cynical greed with no regard for the suffering of the starving masses violently displaced from their homes.

The Aftermath - A call from the ruins of Beit Lahiya

This is a Video clip LINK
To the ruins of a destroyed neighbourhood in Beit Lahiya, Gaza - The comments comes from a very subdued and clever man , standing in the midst of all the rubble, while the children are playing......

Obama on al-Arabya;
And here's the link to the first Obama foreign interview, he chose to give this to an Arab TV station'

Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, on George Mitchell's first trip there and Obama's TV interview

And last but not least, a link to, a photo documentary "A now and then" in Gaza - Fantastic !

Israel launches attacks in Gaza

Oh, Sorrow....!

Look at this old world of mine....
My sadness knows no bounds!
- Oh, Humanity ....! Look at thy hands !
When blood and tears wet the ground -
Then there is no defence, no reason, no forgiveness.....
In this old world of mine...

Oh, Sorrow...!

January 27, 2009

Did you really think it was all over? II

Here we go again! Israel has made an violent attack, crossing the Gaza border! How do they propose to make a lasting peace treaty, when they continue to break every rule in the book?

Email from Vittorio, still in Gaza


In Gaza, only the dead have seen the end of war.

For the living, no truce can make up for the daily battle for survival. They have no running water, gas, electrical power, and no bread and milk to feed their children. Thousands of people have lost their homes. Humanitarian aid seeps through the passes in drips and drabs, and you get the feeling that the benevolence of the killers' accomplices is only temporary. Tomorrow, Ban Ki-Moon, the UN's Secretary General will travel to Gaza, and we're pretty sure that John Ging, Chief of the Palestinian Refugees' Agency, will have many stories to tell him after Israel bombed two UN schools, assassinated 4 of their workers, bombed and destroyed the UNRWA centre in Gaza City (which reduced tons of medicine and food supplies destined for the civilian population to ashes).

Gaza's mountains of rubble continue to spit corpses back up to the surface. Yesterday, between Jabalia, Tal el Hawa in Gaza City and Zaitun, the Red Crescent paramedics, with some help from the ISM volunteers, have pulled out 95 corpses from the ruins, many of which are in an advanced state of decay. Walking through the streets of the city and no longer feeling constantly terrified by the thought of a bomb surgically aimed to decapitate me, I still tremble at the sight of stray dogs gathering in a circle, imagining what could reveal itself before my eyes as their meal. The relieved men go back to hang out in their mosques and cafés, but their attitude of feigned normalcy is easy to detect. Many of them have lost a relative or have nowhere to live. 

They pretend to go back to their everyday routine to boost their wives and children's  spirits – somehow, even this catastrophe must be dealt with. This morning we drove with some ambulances to the most devastated neighbourhoods in the city, Tal el Hawa and Zaitun. Questionnaire in hand, we went door to door and compiled a list of the damage suffered by the buildings , and wrote down the families' most urgent requirements: medicine for the elderly and sick, rice, oil and flour, basically the essentials to feed themselves. All that we've been able to give them so far are metres of nylon, to be used in lieu of their shattered windowpanes to block out the cold.

ISM colleagues in Rafah informed me that the municipality has handed out a few thousand dollars – mere pennies – to the families who've had their houses completely razed to the ground by the bombs, the very same that according to Israel, had been dropped to destroy the tunnels. After the end of the conflict with Lebanon, Hezbollah donated millions of dollars in cheques, to refund the homeless Lebanese citizens. In Gaza, under siege and embargo, Hamas is barely able to refund its people with what "will scarcely be enough to rebuild a barn for livestock", says Khaled, a Rafah farmer.

The truce is unilateral, hence Israel unilaterally decides not to respect it. Khan Yunos, a Palestinian boy, was killed yesterday, and another was injured. East of Gaza helicopters have showered a residential area with white phosphorous. The same happened in Jabalia. In Khann Younis today, the war ships fired their cannons at an open plain, thankfully without harming anyone. But while I write, the news of storming tanks has just reached me. We're not aware of any Palestinian rockets having been fired in the last 24 hours...

International journalists are clamouring for news all along the Strip, as they only managed to get in today. Israel granted them a pass only now that the massacre is winding down. Those who got here in the thick of the battle have seriously risked being killed, as I was told by Lorenzo Cremonesi, a correspondent for Corriere della Sera. Israeli soldiers shot potholes into the car that he was traveling in . Standing by the blackened skeleton of what remains of Al Quds hospital in Gaza City, an astonished BBC reporter asked me how the army could possibly have swapped the building for a terrorists' den. 

I said: "For the very same reason that children running away from a burning building were put in  sight of the snipers on the roofs, who don't hesitate to kill them, spreading their grey matter all over the road", to which the journalist furrowed his brow further. The enormous difference between us eye-witnesses and first-hand victims of the massacre, and those who hear about it through our stories, is now further highlighted. From Rome I'm told that the EU intends to freeze the funds assigned for the reconstruction of Gaza as long as it's  governed by Hamas. The European Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, has made her point clear on this score. "The aid for the reconstruction of the Strip", stated the European diplomat, "will only arrive if Palestinian President Abu Mazen will once again re-establish his authority over the territory." 

For Gaza's Palestinians this is an explicit invitation from the outside to engage in civil war, or in a coup d'état. It's equivalent to legitimising the massacre of 410 children, who died because their parents chose democracy and freely elected Hamas. "The EU is diligently echoing the criminal policy of collective punishment imposed by Israel. Why not entrust the funds to the UN? Or some governmental organisation?" "The Unites States are free to elect a war-monger like Bush, Israel can choose leaders with bloodied hands like Sharon or Netanyahu, but we, the people of Gaza, aren't free to chose Hamas…", suggested Mohamed, a human rights activist who never voted for the Islamic movement himself. I have no arguments to contradict him.

The surviving Palestinians learn from their dead; they learn to live while dying, right from the tenderest age. Truce after truce, the general perception here is that of a macabre pause between one massacre and another during which to count the dead, and  peace has never felt so elusive. Scouring Gaza City on board an ambulance with the siren switched off for once, the war is still everywhere, among the ruins of a city robbed of its smiles and now populated only by frightened gazes, eyes that insist upon scanning the sky for planes still endlessly flying overhead. Inside a home we visited with some paramedics, I noticed some pastel drawings on the floor. It was clearly a child's hand that had abandoned them after evacuating the house in a mad rush. I picked one of them up – tanks, helicopters and a body in pieces. In the middle of the drawing a child with a stone had succeeded in reaching the sun's height and was damaging one of the flying death machines. It's been said that in a child's drawing, the sun represents his desire to be, to appear. The sun I saw was crying tears of blood in red pastel. Is a unilateral truce enough to heal such traumas?

Stay Human!
Vittorio Arrigoni


January 26, 2009

Did you really think it was all over?

Gaza, late January 2009 
Schooling is maybe the most important part of the furture of a child! So this is what a school, now looks like in Gaza - which is a strip of land wedged in right next to Israel! Israels children, by the way, are going to schools, that looks exactly like the ones in USA or Europe...

 Oh, and the top modern University in Tel Aviv? It's situated on Palestinean land, but the state of Israel threw out the original inhabitants  (Palestineans get up to a day, to get packing!) and then "occupied" this real good piece of real estate... If you wanna see more photos like these, - they are not grahic anymore, just very heartbreaking! Looka here

Tragically Hip & Cool - January edit.

All right,  So we've had a month of; War in all it's gruesome reality! We've seen historic changes about to happen... And now, after having raided the freezer for all the Ben & Jerry Ice cream, I could possibly eat, before turning greenish - I find it's time, to revive my old 'hit' ! (And also a sign of utterly lazy bones mood) And reintroduce the monthly (or that rather depends!) ; 

                               Tragically hip & Cool Posts; 

And today I bring you these Tees and such; For the smaller ones amongst us! Let them be our hope for a much better world!....... In keeping with the Palestine and Anti war posts, I didn't stray to far and I found them here at The Michael Franti and Spearheads site! He's a long time earning his wings, with different causes as Oxfam, Amnesty International etc. (By the way; They make great, great music! & Heaps of gracias goes to Ninon the nopostslately Mermaid for telling me)

I found "Birdie" here
 "Power Peace" here


This "Stay Human" tee, I posted as a cadeau/Saludo para Vittorio! Riding his ambulance all over Gaza, come rain, White Phosphur or what ever, his enemies can dream up, to throw at him! 
Buy the Tee here

January 24, 2009

Maybe not an Oscar but a Christy - surely!

I got this, from one of my fav. Bloggers;
Actually, I would've liked to nominate her, but since she gave it to meeeee, then she's already got one, on her virtual mantelpiece - or wherever one keep such prizes!
 - Well now; The name of the game, is to pass it on to 4-5 Blogs, that I find either Creative, Standing Out From the Crowd or something to that extent..
Here's the basic rules and where the "Awards" comes from, originally in 2007(!!) 

There's some other (interesting) categories, but "Creative Blogger" is the one that I won.. And so; I'll pass it on to the worthy; of which I've seen quite a few!! - Can you tell, how exorbitantly proud I am?

Okay, let's rock 'n' Roll;

"The Creative Blogger Award"

"For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd."

For a Blog as unusual a jewish spoof, which takes a lot of insight and a great sense of humour and turns everything upside down, and sometimes far, far, far out - Oh and always a great detail paid to the illustrations!

Well, this one is a given.... Art with a view and a message... The man is good!

Markus is travelling from Helsinki to Uluru... And right now in Australia. Beeing a storyteller by profesion, he earns his way spinning a yarn and writing... Maybe the grammar isn't spotless, but his 20/20 eyesight is....

The open letters from an ardent admirer; Belacqua Jones, the alter ego of Case Wagenvoord, is hilarious in all its tragic truthfullness...The somber blog letter/layout is very office-like and realistic ...

Poetry with a message... This is Rebels with at least a dozen causes, but with a soothing and at the same time exciting template. Exciting in a" Oh, I think I found a hidden treasury map" way!- And yes! You will find hidden gems all over the place..; "Art pearls", "Poetry diamonds", "Activism gold", "Human-rights coins" and every thing else in between to enrich your soul and enlighten your senses...



I'd also wanted to nominate the following photoBlog;

 "Images" is part of "The Record.com" 
This photo-blog's chock-full of superb eyewitness reports from all over the world...!
The photos are of very, and I do mean, very high quality! And the comments will in short & precise prose clarify, as to when, where and whom!
  - Don't know if they'll even accept this nomination ... as this Blog page is a very sobering case of only pics and text.. Absolutely no frills! 

Update!! Update!! Update!! Update!!

It's been absolutely impossible to give the "award" to 
"The Record/images" as there's no way to contact them... The whole set up is a bit confusing? It's a collection of very diverse Blogs thrown together for no apparent reason, but the "Images" part is totally top notch photo journalism! - Maybe someone can inform me, what this is all about, maybe someone knows about this concept - if it is a concept... that is! Please?

But You Can Keep Your Hat On!

Americans will never cease to amaze or fascinate me!  Their new President has had about two full days in office where he has overruled, rearranged and written up some pretty important laws, rules and regulations... But according to the overwhelming response to this little tidbit on the CNN site (When at work; Should Obama wear a jacket or not?) - nothing will be too small to mention or get worked up about! I can already see an endless stream of comparisons with his predecessor from now on... from the color of socks to......? Only your lack of imagination will be able to stop this one! -

Meanwhile Foxnews has launched an all hands on deck for a "Fear and Smear campaign" called "Americas Future" against the new administration (What a surprise!) 
But the really scary thing is,  just how many Americans, who lists this network, as their only source of "News" !!!

January 22, 2009

" ..... That as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself;"

-Yes, these maps just to show how the Israeli state have pushed the Palestinians out to sea, and slowly eaten away the land of the people who lived here, before them! - The lot where the Tel Aviv University is now situated, was Palestinian in 1967!!!

Okay I'll admit it, I sort of got sidetracked there for a day or two... But Obama has settled in at the Oval and has already talked to more Middle-East leaders in his first day than his predessesor in his first 4 years! - George Mitchell has just been appointed special envoy to the Middle East - Richard Holbrooke to Afghanistan/Pakistan- Good men (More or less) and experienced! "The House of  Pain & Shame" will be wrapped up before the end of the year and the saleries of his staff is frozen stiff... Apparently a good boring, solid change has come and Jon Stewart will have to work for a living, now that it'll be much more difficult to spin a yarn.... I mean Bush and his croonies, made satire sooooo easy!

But, while I've had my eyes averted for 48hrs; 

The Israeli Defence Forces (Only a true hypocrite could dream up that name!) has left Gaza, but have tighten an ironclad ring around this poor strip of land. And in their typical style; They now continue to do, what even I will start to call Ethnic Cleansing! - The very few reporters, who's been let inside of Gaza, reports of whole neighbourhoods destroyed down to the very last stone.. In the few buildings standing, graffiti drawings of toombstones with" R.I.P The Arabs  1946 -2009" written next to it, says it all..


 Horrific stories of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity no longer surprises us.. The "Charm school offensive" - Israeli envoys have been send out to "explain" -  all over Europe-does not come as a chock neither.... But the fact that the Israeli will only let medicine and food into a bleeding and dying Gaza with scores of deeply traumatised children/people is... !!!! Both National and International foreign Aid workers and medical staff are now worked down to the bone, exhausted and in dire need of help and replacement!

The Israeli blockade has now lasted for 18 months and this means (among other things) that also all building material is banned/not allowed across the borders..!  The blockade is still on... !!!  2 thirds of Gaza is reduced to rubble and at least 50.000 people are homeless, - the schools where many have taken refuge will open on saturday and then what? Where will all these people, old and young go? They have nothing at all....! People are going through the rubble, crying, trying to find personal belongings, a family photo, a birth certificate, a dress, the baby's favorite toy - all the little and big things, which defines us and proves to us, who we are! To rescue every bitty thing, which can be salvaged and reused... Bodies are still barried under concrete and dust starting to smell, the sewers are destroyed, clean water or electricity is nowhere to be found ....... The aftermath of war made so much more tragically heartbreaking by the inhumane treatment of the Israeli Gov.! The Zionists can no longer be disguised as " Self defence and Only attacking members of Hamas "

In the DR Congo , The Rwandian army has crossed the border to go after the insurgents and have arrested their former ally Laurent Nkunda, and here like anywhere else... Well, it's the civilians who pay by endless suffering... Civilwar is still raging and this incredible rich country is on its knees..

In Burma/Myanmar the Generals have not eased their suffocating grip on their own people, human rights are deteriorating by the day and it has been quite a while since we heard from Aung San Suu Kyi ...  The fate of the Karen tribe and other tribes of Burma is uncertain as they are driven from their homes, land and persecuted. 

In Tibet.. Life is just as unbearable as it was 6 months ago.... But we'll let China get away with murder! And missed the opportunity for real pressure with the Olympics...

In China two unlucky guys will pay - with their lives, for the crime of hundreds in the Milk/melanin affair... Another show trial is being televised for our " Western pleasure" 

"......  - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist......."

Barack Hussein Obama's inauguration speech Jan.20.2009 - 

..............- So be it!! - says me!

~ 0~                                                   ~0~                                  ~0~
PS. I have been nominated for a "Creative Blogger award" by Labeet and I'm so very thankful (and let's face it; extremely flattered too!) The rules are so, that I' ll have to pass on the torch to 4-5 others, that I admire... I have this post in the draft.. So even though it looks a bit arrogant - right now..! This is just to say; I'm in the process of redeeming myself!

January 20, 2009

Now is the winter of discontent, made glorious summer of ?

Barack Hussein Obama and The WonderKid; Jon Favreau did again!!! (Man! That boy can write!)  - Most people prefered the Grant park speech, - but I really enjoyed the imagery of the inauguration speech  and choked up again... As I was supposed to.... But then again, I'm the kind of person who likes Country music, due to the lyrics epic nature - So - eh....!

The first time I teared up during the "show" , was when; Aretha Franklin, with her grey, rhinestoned Daisy Duck bow hat, belted "Freedom" out upon a million freezing people. - her 67 yrs old voice is not what it has been, but she's still the Queen of Soul... 

Tonight I'll celebrate with a good, good Coñac and Laos Coffee... And tomorrow, reality will rear it's ugly face ( This especially when the alarm sounds that early!) and gravity will hit both me and the 44. US President; Barrack H. Obama...... "Let it be told to the future world......." 

Only time will tell to that future world........ But hope is now globally rampant....!

Ps.. This is written later in the evening and after the drink! Now that I'm all sobered up and no longer a victim of mass hypnosis - I'll cuddle up and read the Rolling Stone interview with George W. Bush " The farewell interview, we wish he'd give" By Matt Taibbi... Another great and young writer, but much, much more down to earth than high strung Wonder Kid.

On the shoulders of Giants or rather; "Hope on a Tightrope"

Tomorrow will be the day, when Barrack Obama takes the oath to serve his people... Jan. 20. 2009.
 And skincolor is still an issue, big enough to mention in just about every sentence... and there's still a lack of equality in all walks of life.. And where the "Everyday People", as Professor C. West calls them, is in dire need of attention, regardless!

January 18, 2009

A new Email from Vittorio in Gaza!

ps. Olmert is Pinocchio,
h 2.10am in Gaza city,  apaches are bombing with phospore....

Dante Alighieri could never have imagined circles as hellish as the wards of the damned in Jabalia's hospitals. The laws of divine justice are turned on their head around here: the more innocent the victim, the less likely that they'll be spared martyrdom through bombing. At Kamal Odwan and Al Auda hospitals, the ceramic tiles in the first aid units are always shiny. The cleaners are permanently busy wiping away the blood dripping copiously from the stretchers constantly carrying in the massacred bodies. Iyad Mutawwaq was walking in the street when a bomb tore open a building not far from him. He and other passers-by rushed over to try and bring some aid when a second bomb was dropped on the same building. It killed a father of 9, two brothers and another passer-by who had rushed over to help. The same story could be told over ten, or one hundred times. The perfect terrorist technique is being immaculately carried out by the Israeli army. You drop a bomb, wait for the first-aiders, then drop another bomb on the wounded and the first-aiders.

In Iyad's eyes, those were American bombsbut they also carry the stamp of Mubarrack, the Egyptian dictator who rivals Olmert here in Gaza when it comes to provoking hatred. Behind Iyad's bed, an elderly man with both his arms in plasters is lying staring at the ceiling, and I'm told he's lost everything: his family and his home. He stares at the cracks in the falling plaster, as if seeking an answer to the sheer destruction of his existence.

Khaled worked in Israel for 25 years, prior to the first Intifada. In recognition, Tel Aviv hasn't even granted him a pension, only a series of missiles from land and air onto his house. He suffers from shrapnel wounds all over his body. I ask him where he plans to go after he's been discharged from hospital. He says he'll join his family, out in the streets. Not unlike Khaled's, many families don't know where to find shelter. The most fortunate were offered hospitality by relatives and acquaintances, but can you really say that one hundred people crammed into two apartments counting three rooms each is really a life? Two bombs were dropped onto Ahmed Jaber's home and though his family fled, for some of them it was too late. A third explosion buried 7 of his relatives under the rubble, including two children aged 8 and 9 – his neighbour's children. He says: "They made us leap back in time, back to 1948. This is their punishment for our attachment to our country. They can tear my arms and legs off from my body, but they won't make me leave my land." A doctor takes me aside and tells me that Ahmed's 7-year-old daughter, or what was left of her, was just brought in inside a tiny cardboard box. They don't have the heart to tell him and make his already precarious health condition any worse. In the evening they took the phone away from Iyad as well, to prevent him from receiving any more bad news. A tank had hit his sister's house full in the middle, beheading her in the process.

In the end, our Free Gaza Movement boat never got to the port in Gaza. About 100 miles from their designated destination, in international waters, they were intercepted by 4 Israeli war ships poised to open fire and kill its cargo of doctors, nurses and human rights activists. No one must dare to obstruct the massacre of civilians now in full swing for the last 3 weeks. 

East of Jabalia, in front of the border, eyewitnesses speak of numerous decaying bodies in the streets. Their rotting meat is being eaten by the dogs. There are also hundreds of people unable to go anywhere, many of whom are injured. The ambulances simply cannot get anywhere near, with the trigger-happy snipers all over the place. Palestinians are sick of languishing in the midst of this general indifference, and many even accuse the international Red Cross and the UN of not doing enough, including not fulfilling their duties, nor risking their lives to save hundreds. We ISMers will thus equip ourselves with some stretchers and proceed on foot to the areas where humanity has surpassed all boundaries, eclipsing itself in the process. 

The heavy-bottomed settlers sitting in the pristine lounges of armchair politics harp on about military strategies against Hamas, while we're being literally massacred out here. They bomb hospitals, and yet there are some who still champion Israel's right to self-defense. In any self-styled civilised country, self-defense is proportionate to the attack. 

In these 20 days we've counted 1,075 dead Palestinians, 85% of whom were civilians, and over 5,000 injured, of whom half were under 18 years old. 303 children were atrociously massacred. It's equivalent to saying that for Israel, butchering at least 250 Palestinians is a justified blood-bath in avenging each dead civilian on its own side. How can this lop-sided reaction not take one back to some of modern European history's darkest pages? 

Let's get straight to the point: are we seriously talking about self-defense? For journalists like Marco Travaglio, Piero Ostellino, Pierluigi Battista and Angelo Panebianco, who harp on with the refrain of Hamas having full responsibility for this genocide as well as for breaking the truce between Israel and Palestine, I would like to remind them of the United Nation's position on the matter. Professor Richard Falk, special rapporteur for human rights with the United Nations, has clearly expressed his views: it was in fact Israel that broken the truce in November, by blatantly exterminating 17 Palestinians. In the same month zero Israeli victims had been recorded, zero in October and likewise in the previous month, as well as the one prior to it. We were also recently reminded of this by Nobel prize winner and ex US President Jimmy Carter. It really is a crying shame that a journalist like Travaglio, who's earned our admiration as a proud upholder of freedom of the press, is now sporting an IDF helmet and entertaining the masses on TV while amusing himself with the pastime most in vogue at the moment – infant-shooting in Gaza.

As I tap on my keyboard in the Ramattan press agency office, all the Palestinian reporters around me are wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets. They haven't come straight from riding in a tank – they're simply sitting in front of their computers. Two floors above, the Reuters offices were recently struck by a rocket, which seriously injured two. Almost all the floors in the building are empty at the moment, and only the most heroic of journalists are still around. The story of this hell must somehow continue to be told. And yet earlier this week, the Israeli army had assured Reuters it wouldn't need to evacuate, as staying in their offices would be safe. This morning many casualties were also caused by the bombing of the United Nations building, built among others with money from the Italian government. Berlusconi, where are you?

John Ging, chief of the UNRWA, UN agency for Palestinian refugees and eye witness, clearly spoke of white phosphorous bombs. In the Tal el Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza city, a whole wing of Al Quds hospital is presently in flames, and Leila, an ISM colleague is also trapped inside it along with forty doctors and nurses, and one hundred patients. She describes these last dramatic hours to us via phone. A tank stands in front of the hospital. There are snipers everywhere, ready to shoot at anything that moves. All around is destruction. At night, from their windows, they could observe a building going on fire after having been struck by a bomb. They heard the cries of whole families with children, imploring help. They were impotent to help as they watched the bodies devoured by the flames, running into the street and then be reduced to ashes. Hell has switched places and come to the centre of Gaza, and we are the damned designated by an inhuman hatred.

Stay human

Vittorio Arrigoni


(Translated from italian by Daniela Filippin)