URGENT ACTION: Following arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, British government ‘urgently’ looking at changing the law – CONTACT YOUR MP NOW!

16 December, 2009

Following the news that Tzipi Livni, who served as Foreign Minister in the Israeli government that planned and executed Israel’s brutal bombing and massacre in Gaza, faced arrest if she entered Britain, tell the government there must be no impunity for Israeli war criminals.

Please act URGENTLY – if possible e-mail your MP today, and come to the vigil on 27 December to show the government that we will not let them forget Gaza.

Ask your MP to do the following:

1. Sign Early Day Motion 502 tabled by Jeremy Corbyn MP defending the right to bring war criminals to justice: edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40074&SESSION=903

2. Urgently contact the Foreign Office raising the following points:

  • The government has a duty under the Fourth Geneva Convention to ‘seek out and prosecute’ alleged war criminals. Under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, the UK has universal jurisdiction to arrest and try suspected perpetrators of “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 (IVCG). War criminals should be pursued – Britain must not become a ‘safe haven’.
  • The judicial system is meant to be independent and the government’s role is not to intervene. If a judge believes there is sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant to be granted, it is irrelevant whether this embarrasses or causes problems for the British government
  • The Goldstone Report detailed war crimes and potential crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. It was shameful that the government abstained on the vote for the Report at the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly.
  • Instead of responding to pressure from the Israeli government to end the right to charge and prosecute war criminals, the government should immediately change its position – it should support international law and justice, and act itself to uphold the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Britain cannot be a true and independent ‘partner’ for peace if its policies are one-sided, and it allows those responsible for war crimes against Palestinians to avoid justice.
  • Tzipi Livni is just the latest in a list of Israelis who have come under scrutiny over allegations of war crimes. Our government should reflect on this, and change its foreign policy, including ending its arms trade with Israel.

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Joe Zawinul “The Rise and Fall of the Third”

A twofer from legendary keys man Joe Zawinul, ‘Rise & Fall Of The Third Stream’ from 67 and ‘Money In The Pocket’ from 68 – two of Z’s finest releases, after work with Cannonball and Miles.


Grab more great music off Rootdownfm.com’s Myspace page

New movie on the weaponization of space out now

16 December, 2009

Two weeks ago the new film called Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space opened at film festivals in Montreal and Amsterdam.


more about “Pax Americana (2009) / Trailer“, posted with vodpod

You can also see the trailer here… 

The film, created by French-Canadian Denis Delestrac, is a two-hour masterpiece that includes interviews with many space warfare advocates as well as many of us in the keep space for peace movement.

I don’t know when and where the film will open in the US, or be available for purchase, but will pass the word once we find out.

In the meantime you can get a glimpse of the film from this trailer. It is going to be a huge help to our efforts to bring this issue to the people of the world.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502


16 December, 2009 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media


We are controlled by an illusion of democracy based on rigged political parties and rigged elections. It might be cathartic to periodically reject Tweedledum in favour of Tweedledee, but they serve the same interests and are both fierce opponents of all attempts to break their shared monopoly.

It is a system of control that could not possibly be maintained without the support of a powerful corporate media monopoly that pretends ‘balanced’ reporting covers a spectrum stretching from Tweedledum on something called ‘the centre-left’ to Tweedledee on ‘the centre-right’.

The use of military and economic force to control and exploit the world is non-negotiable for these interests. We are free to vote for the Labour party to attack ‘threatening’, but in fact defenceless, Third World countries, or we can vote for the Conservative party to do the same. We can buy the Guardian that respectfully hypes the ‘threat’ as defined by ‘official sources’, or we can buy The Times that does the same.

When public scepticism erupts in response to resultant extremes of criminality and violence that even the media are powerless to deny, the illusion must be bolstered. Then Tweedledum-Tweedledee will choose from their own to rig an “inquiry”, while their media allies present the process as something other than a farce.

The Chilcot Committee

Thus the BBC writes that the tone set by the five-member committee of the Chilcot Iraq war inquiry “has been courteous, not adversarial”. If that sounds like an insult to an outraged public, the BBC is quick to hide the truth:

“Sir John Chilcot and his colleagues know their reputations are on the line. They’ve started as they mean to go on – searching for the full story.” (news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8383168.stm)

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Book Review: Yankee Doodle Ecologist: Tom Friedman and the Green Revolution By Jerry Harris

15 December 2009 — SolidarityEconomy.Net

Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. $27.95. Pp. 438.

Thomas Friedman is always the head cheerleader for the next big thing. At first it was globalization and now it’s the green revolution. Friedman’s instincts are good, it’s just his analysis and politics are lacking. There are certainly valuable and interesting insights in his work, but his adolescent enthusiasm for capitalism often turns his critique to shallow propaganda.

The book’s title, Hot, Flat, and Crowded is a good indicator as to how Friedman understands environmental problems. Underline that word crowded because the book takes us on a Malthusian ride through the Third World. It’s overpopulation, not capitalism and its need for every expanding accumulation that is destroying the world’s environment.

Friedman marches us through China, India, Brazil and Nigeria offering a myopic view that only occasional refers to the developed countries and their use of energy and resources. When it comes to energy markets transnationals such as Exxon and Shell disappear as does any discussion of imperialism and its history in the Middle East. Instead Friedman targets “petrodictorships” and “Sheikhs…with bags of cash” indoctrinating madrassa students to “breed like rabbits” and “swarm” over the Islamic world. (p.88)

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A Million Hits on Gaza – A Promotional Film about Gaza Launches New Book’s Worldwide Awareness Campaign

16 December, 2009

SEATTLE/TORONTO/LONDON – A promotional short film for a new book on Gaza is being released worldwide today, days before the official book launch in the U.K., to commemorate the first anniversary of the Gaza massacre – Israel’s so-called Operation Cast Lead, which killed and wounded thousands in Gaza a year ago.

Told from the perspectives of the refugees, My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story is heralded as an incomparable chronicle of the history of the Gaza Strip, and has been endorsed by leading intellectuals and academics.

The book’s author, Ramzy Baroud, was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.  He was witness to much of Gaza’s tumultuous history. “Gaza’s story is the most fascinating story there is, yet somehow it’s reduced to a few simple, redundant, and misleading clichés that barely grab attention anymore,” Baroud said. “I am determined to challenge and change that. Thanks to courageous publishers like Pluto Press, and the dedicated efforts of many talented individuals out there, we shall together change the ways the Gaza story is told.”

The short film, carrying the name of the book, is being released on YouTube, in both English and Arabic versions. The film will also be broadcast on a number of TV stations around the world. The filmmakers and book author are calling on readers and activists around the world to ensure the widest possible dissemination of Gaza’s untold story, by reading and helping to promote the book, and by encouraging others to watch the film at YouTube, through sharing the film with friends, family, and colleagues – with an aim to reach a million views at YouTube.

The “A Million Hits on Gaza” film-sharing movement at YouTube is just the beginning of a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the book, and of Gaza’s untold stories and history, a campaign that will also include readings, book tours, the screen adaptation of the book into a feature film, and various educational, grassroots, community, and international film festival screenings of the completed feature film.

The promotional short film was created in a matter of days, with zero budget, by a team of artists in Canada and the U.K. that included filmmakers Paul Lee and Cathy Gulkin, editor and screenwriter George Kaltsounakis, composer and jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, and with the collaboration of writer and journalist Hani Yared (who helped with the translation and the preparation of the Arabic version of the film).

The book is available through the Pluto Press website (www.plutobooks.com), and also through Amazon.com. Beginning March 2010, the book will be distributed in the United States by Palgrave Macmillan, which is promoting the book as a “trade title.”

To view the film in English, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K2VpARDkzw

To view the film in Arabic, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0NSpmrMZ4w

Video Also available here

To purchase the book from Pluto Press, visit: www.plutobooks.com

To purchase the book at Amazon, visit: www.amazon.com

For more information, reviews, book tours, visit www.ramzybaroud.net,

or e-mail: info@ramzybaroud.net