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Send peacekeepers, not warriors

May 31st, 2007
Send peacekeepers, not warriors
As a veteran of the Second World War and supporter of the United Nations goal to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” I see the Afghanistan mission as a betrayal of those whose sacrifice made the UN possible in 1945.
Yes, the Taliban are ruthless. My Uncle Harry was in the Boer war – the Boers were the Taliban then; he and father were in the First World War, fighting German Taliban; my brothers and I in the Second World War had Nazi Taliban; my youngest brothers in Korea had Taliban communists.
The point is the military industrial complex, as defined by United States president “Ike” Eisenhower, always needs a Taliban to justify arms budgets now $1.3 trillion per year – an expenditure creating global poverty and environmental destruction unknown before the space age.
To save succeeding generations, I believe we need to support the United Nations and its peacekeeper role.
This is why I support our soldiers but reject their role as warriors in a situation needing peacekeepers.
War has never stopped the ruthless. But United Nations peacekeepers did.
ROBERT YOUNG
Fredericton

2 special speakers in Fredericton!

*Two special guests will be speaking in Fredericton this week. Both presentations will deal with the historic and ongoing impacts of Canadian agents (corporations, embassies, foreign aid, NGOs) abroad.
–> Marlon Arriaga Garcia on the 29th anniversary of the Panzos Massacre
When: 7 pm, Tuesday, May 29

Where: UNB Art Centre, Memorial Hall, 9 Bailey Drive, UNB Fredericton

The 29th anniversary of the Panzos massacre will be marked with a special presentation by Guatemalan artist Marlon Arriaga Garcia. Panzos was the site of a horrific massacre on May 29, 1978, when indigenous villagers gathered to protest their land being expropriated for nickel mining by the Canadian-owned company, Inco Ltd. Through painting and photography, Marlon Garcia Arriaga has eloquently paid tribute to those who lost their lives standing up for their basic human rights and to the survivors who continue to stand at the forefront. His paintings, photographs and descriptive banners are on display at the UNB Art Centre until June 15. Organized by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network. For more info, contact Judy Loo at 455-9068 or Tracy Glynn at tracy@jatam.org
–> Euvonie Georges Auguste on Haiti and women’s rights
When: 7 PM, Wednesday, May 30
Where: Renaissance College, 811 Charlotte St.
Euvonie Georges Auguste will speak about the very difficult situation of Haitian women. According to a Lancet study released this year, 35,000 Haitian women were sexually assaulted in the years that followed the coup of the Aristide government in 2004. This coup was facilitated by Canada, the U.S. and France. Euvonie is a practitioner of Vaudou, a religion that has survived and continued to struggle, despite discrimination and social exclusion. Euvonie will talk about her work with the BRAV women’s network, a group that has been particularly devoted to the provision of basic women’s literacy and health information centres throughout Haiti. The objectives of these centres was to establish safe spaces within which to wage the campaign against HIV/AIDS, and provide young women with basic education and support. It was while working on the expansion of these basic women’s education centres that Euvonie experienced the 2004 coup d’état that not only sent President Aristide into exile, it forced her into exile as well, effectively destroying the program that she and her organization had been building for almost two years. Since her return to Haiti from her exile in St. Lucia in 2006 (after the inauguration of President Préval), she has been organizing to rebuild the organization and networks. Euvonie will share her ideas of ways to best help the Haiti people. She also hopes to collaborate with organizations in Canada to help re-establish her organization. Presented by Haiti Action Fredericton, the Fredericton Peace Coalition, Catholic Network for Women’s Equality, and Development and Peace St. John Diocesan Council. For more information, contact Tracy at info@frederictonpeace.org

MALALAI JOYA NEEDS YOUR URGENT ACTION

In the past few weeks, after Malalai Joya’s return from a successful international tour and interview with a local TV station in Kabul, the warlords and criminals in the Afghan Parliament and Senate, tried hard to silence Joya and kick her out of the Parliament.

Indonesia, Canada must act on murder of human rights leader, Munir

Human rights organizations from Indonesia and Canada today called on the Government of Indonesia to make public its Presidential fact-finding team’s report on the murder of human rights leader Munir Said Thalib and strengthen the ongoing police investigation. Rights & Democracy and other members of a coalition of Canadian human rights organizations working on Indonesia joined the Indonesian Committee of Action in Solidarity with Munir (KASUM) in calling for these measures. Their call comes on the occasion of a one-week visit to Canada by Munir’s wife, Suciwati, who is seeking Canadian support for her efforts to identify those involved in her husband’s murder and see them prosecuted.

Bilderberg 2007: Welcome to the Lunatic Fringe

In 1954, the most powerful men in the world met for the first time under the auspices of the Dutch royal crown and the Rockefeller family in the luxurious Hotel Bilderberg of the small Dutch town of Oosterbeck. For an entire weekend they debated the future of the world. When it was over, they decided to meet once every year to exchange ideas and analyze international affairs. They named themselves the Bilderberg Club. Since then, they have gathered yearly in a luxurious hotel somewhere in the world to decide the future of humanity.

They are almost entirely men and include New Brunswick’s Frank McKenna.

Speakers show two faces of Canada and Haiti

Last week, amid much pomp and circumstance, Haitian born Governor General Michaëlle Jean graced the province with her presence.

This week Euvonie Georges-Auguste, a Haitian women’s rights activist and literacy co-ordinator, will speak in Fredericton.

EVENTS IN NAHR EL BARED, LEBANON.

From Tadamon!
EVENTS IN NAHR EL BARED, LEBANON.
Amidst the confusing, violent and destabilizing events unfolding around Nahr el Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon, solidarity statements and appeals for support are beginning to circulate. Tadamon! is forwarding a few of these statements and appeals, along with suggested sources of information and analysis, to contribute to the understanding of the situation and to encourage support for solidarity-oriented grassroots initiatives to address the emergency. We invite you to check our website, as we will be updating this list.
* The Pride of our Nation Must not be Built upon the Blood of Civilians Sign on Statement initiated by Samah Idriss, Lebanese writer and intellectual:
* Call for supplies for refugees fleeing Nahr el Bared
NOTE: this call is directed towards people in Beirut, who can drop off supplies at a central depot
*Further sources of information and analysis:
NOTE: Tadamon does not necessarily endorse the articles published on these websites, but thinks that they are good references for updated news
- Al Akhbar (Arabic): http://www.al-akhbar.com
- Al Jazeera (English): http://english.aljazeera.net/English
- Al Jazeera (Arabic): http://www.aljazeera.net/
–> To contact Tadamon Montreal:
(514) 664 1036 / tadamon.resist.ca / tadamon[at]resist.ca
–> To join Tadamon’s mailing list and receive regular updates and announcements: Add your email address in the section ‘Subscribe’ in the bottom right column of Tadamon’s website: tadamon.resist.ca

Reinstate Malalai Joya! Afghan MP and Women’s Rights Activist Suspended by Canadian Supported Warlord Government

May 23, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Afghanistan comes just one day after Malalai Joya, an outspoken women’s rights activist and Member of the Afghan Parliament, was suspended. The pretext for her suspension was her description of the Afghan Parliament as no better than a ‘zoo’. But it was clearly aimed at silencing her criticism of the Afghanistan government.

During his surprise visit, Harper said that Canada is bringing, “the light of freedom and democracy, of human rights and the rule of law,” to the people of Afghanistan, but most Afghans’ true experience is violence and misery at the hands of the warlord-dominated government.

Joya’s suspension speaks volumes about the nature of the “democracy” we are bringing to the country. Silencing critics and intimidating or killing political opposition figures is common practice for the government that Canada continues to support.

Joya has been a thorn in the side of the NATO-supported government by being an outspoken critic of the human rights abuses of the warlords that dominate the parliament of Afghanistan. In the elections of May 2005, more than 60per cent of those elected to parliament were from known warlord groups, many of whom are responsible for war crimes committed during the civil war from 1992 to 1996. An international campaign to have the warlords held to account failed when the parliament decided to offer immunity for all past war crimes.

Joya has been threatened and attacked for her stance. In 2006, President Hamid Karzai cut her security funding, proving that women’s rights are not a concern for his government despite assertions to the contrary from the Government of Canada.

In an interview with the Guardian, Joya said: “When I speak in parliament they threaten me. In May they beat me by throwing bottles of water at me and they shouted, ‘Take her and rape her.’ These men who are in power, never have they apologized for their crimes that they committed in the wars, and now, with the support of the US, they continue with their crimes in a different way. That is why there is no fundamental change in the situation of women.”

The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on member groups and supporters to send messages to the Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad, and to Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs calling for Malalai to be reinstated.

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad

246 Queen Street, Suite 400

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5E4

Tel: (613) 563-4223 / 65

Fax: (613) 563-4962

email: contact@afghanemb-canada.net

Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

509-S Centre Block

House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A6

Tel: 613-992-6022

Fax: 613-992-2337

e-mail: mackay.p@parl.gc.ca

Haiti and a Canadian Disgrace

These two excellent letters were printed in today’s edition (Wednesday, May 23) of the Toronto Star in response to Olivia Ward’s article in the Sunday Star May 20.

The overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide was planned in Ottawa by the U.S., France and Canada


Putting Haiti back together again

May 20.

Olivia Ward’s article in the Sunday Star is excellent in pointing out that the United States blockaded Haiti for six decades after French slave masters were ousted by popular revolt. The U.S. was at the time a slave-holding nation itself.

That history gives context to America’s readiness to intervene in Haitian affairs even now.

The UN presence in Haiti is consistent with American policy. Far from liberating the people of Cité Soleil, UN forces have terrorized and killed civilians in an attempt to root out supporters of the only popular political party, Lavalas. The UN insists wrongly and knowingly that it is instead arresting gang leaders.

On Feb. 15 the UN News Service published an article stating that UN forces had transformed a former gang leader’s headquarters into a free medical clinic. This was false and on being questioned, the UN’s head of media relations there was forced to acknowledge that MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) had only handed out bottles of water and offered free medical checkups for one day following 72-hour mass arrest operations – the UN routinely arrests people without warrant in Haiti.

Most shameful for us is that Canada helped to give the cover of legitimacy to the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004 by participating in the coup orchestrated by Washington and Paris.


Rob Konduros, Cambridge, Ont.

Olivia Ward walked gingerly through her report on Haiti. For example, she wrote, “President Aristide was ousted in 2004.” A more precise rewrite would be: “The democratically elected president of Haiti was kidnapped and escorted out of Haiti by the U.S. Marines while Canadian soldiers secured the airport.”

The overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide was planned by Washington, France and Canada in the Canadian capital under the name The Ottawa Initiative. Another blemish on Canada’s peacekeeping record.

Two female union and women’s rights activists will be in Toronto on May 25 to give your readers their first-hand report.


Jack Barker, Toronto

Death Toll Reaches 80 in Lebanon as Troops Shell Palestinian Refugee Camp

Christian Science Monitor reporter Nicholas Blanford reports from outside the Nahr al-Bared camp on the deadliest internal violence in Lebanon since the civil war ended in 1990. We also speak with journalist Zaki Chehab who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
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