Det danske Fredsakademi

Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 1. August 2006 / Timeline August 1, 2006

Version 3.5

31. Juli 2006, 2. August 2006

Det er nu 39 måneder siden, at USAs præsident Bush erklærede krigen i Irak for vundet.

DoD Identifies Marine Corps Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19, of Clovis, Calif.
Sgt. Christian B. Williams, 27, of Winter Haven, Fla.
Both Marines died July 29 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.They were assigned to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Stop the Domestic Spying Deal: Your Senator is Key
By: Friends Committee on National Legislation
Sen. Arlen Specter has struck a deal with the White House on a bill to allow the president to proceed without limits on his warrantless wiretapping program covering both telephone and electronic communications.
Under the new version of Specter’s bill, S.2453, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would no longer be the “exclusive means” for governing domestic surveillance. The bill would ratify the president’s self-described “inherent authority” as the Commander in Chief, exempting him from seeking FISA court approval, either for the entire warrantless wiretapping program or for individual cases.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up this legislation on Thursday, August 3. If they take a vote, the bill will probably pass. But many senators, even supporters, have a number of questions about this complicated deal.
Some Senate supporters of Specter’s legislation argue that we must find the “the proper balance between the enforcement powers needed to keep our country safe and the civil liberties and privacy rights we value.”
The problem is that the National Security Agency (NSA) wants to do its surveillance in a way that is fundamentally contrary to the 4th Amendment . The 4th Amendment says that a government agency has to have a reason to invade the privacy of any individual person. It was written to eliminate the “sweeps” that were possible and were done in the last decades of the 18th century : house to house searches, interfering with mail, examining reading material, etc. Technology is different now; sweeps can be much broader and much more invisible to the individual – but they may still violate the 4th Amendment.
What the NSA wants to do is download information about all calls made to/from the U.S. and survey the addressing and content of any e-mail traffic that the agency “cannot reasonably determine” is a communication exclusively among people within the United States. The NSA then examines the data for patterns, using very sophisticated computer programs. When it finds a pattern of connections to and from suspected violent extremists orgroups , it hones in on the callers (or e-mailers) and then, perhaps, gets a warrant to search their premises.
This kind of electronic sweep is invisible to the subject of the search. If the individual whose privacy is violated doesn’t see it happening and is not interrupted in communications by the search, is it still an invasion of privacy? We believe it is, in the same way it would be a problem for the FBI or other government agency to keep track of the books everyone buys or takes out from the library, looking for patterns. It’s a level of government control that was rejected by the authors of the Bill of Rights.
What can the government do to “achieve the proper balance between the enforcement powers needed to keep our country safe and the civil liberties and privacy rights we value?” Just follow current law. Don’t use sweeps to develop evidence. Instead, follow up on the evidence gathered every day in legitimate ways. When this evidence points to an individual as someone who should be surveilled, get a FISA warrant and proceed to wiretap, search premises, do all the other things permitted under the USA PATRIOT Act and related legislation. The FISA court is available on a 24-hour basis, and FISA includes a procedure to quickly processequests for emergency warrants. In addition, during “time of war,” even this requirement can be suspended for 15 days. And at any time, if the NSA needs to do a wiretap without a warrant for an emergency situation, they can proceed with a warrantless wiretap, and file the application within 3 days after the fact.
Finally, the “9-11 Commission” report concluded that the failure to predict and prevent the terrorist acts in NY and DC were due, not to a lack of data, but to lack of coordinated analysis and sharing of data within and among the various intelligence agencies. Gathering more data is not the answer.
We at FCNL don’t see a need to change current law. The FISA court already offers a compromise, requiring only that the NSA consult with a secret court for approval of a warrant. The fact that new technologies make broader sweeps possible does not change the constitutional framework of the issue.

Lawrence S. WittnerAdlai Stevenson Had a Peace Proposal ... Shouldn't Democrats Today?
By: Lawrence S. Wittner
Fifty years ago, Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential candidate, injected a peace proposal into his hard-fought political campaign. Speaking before the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 21, 1956, Stevenson suggested halting H-bomb tests and challenging other nations to do the same. According to the Illinois Democrat, such actions would “reflect our determination never to plunge the world into nuclear holocaust” and “would reaffirm our purpose to act with humility and a decent concern for world opinion.”
Although sharp criticism in the press and from President Dwight Eisenhower led Stevenson to shelve the issue temporarily, he revived it on September 5. Addressing the American Legion, he warned that “there is not peace—real peace—while more than half of our federal budget goes into an armaments race . . . and the earth’s atmosphere is contaminated from week to week by exploding hydrogen bombs.” Thereafter, his proposal to halt the nuclear arms race by ending nuclear testing became a key component of his campaign. On October 15, in a nationwide TV broadcast focused entirely on the nuclear testing issue, he pledged that, as president of the United States, he would make a nuclear test ban his “first order of business.”
Why did this proposal become a central issue in Stevenson’s campaign? There is little doubt that Stevenson, a humane individual with a genuine concern for human survival, sincerely believed in it.
In addition, however, making a peace proposal could be useful politically. Having lost the 1952 presidential race to Eisenhower, Stevenson recognized that his 1956 presidential campaign provided his last practicable chance to reach the White House. In the early 1950s, millions of Americans longed for peace, and Eisenhower had won the 1952 race in large part thanks to the fact that he had promised to end the Korean War, a bloody, unpopular conflict for which the Democrats received most of the blame. After his election, Eisenhower had ended the war, and now the Republicans, gearing up for his 1956 re-election campaign, were trumpeting “Peace, Progress, and Prosperity” as their campaign themes.
Stevenson and his campaign strategists were well aware of these facts. In 1955, responding to Stevenson’s question about “how to seize the peace initiative” from the Republicans, Thomas Finletter, a top aide, suggested that he attack the Eisenhower administration for bringing the nation twice “to the brink of total atomic war” and that he strongly make “the case for disarmament.” Stevenson’s willingness to adopt this approach was reinforced by a growing number of pleas for nuclear disarmament from religious groups and leaders, distinguished scientists, and the one Democratic holdover on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Although some campaign staffers feared that a critique of nuclear testing would damage Stevenson’s 1956 campaign, others were enthusiastic about it, in part because it generated enthusiastic applause at his campaign rallies.
In addition, there was growing criticism of nuclear testing by peace and disarmament activists. One of the most prominent of them—Norman Cousins, the editor of the Saturday Review of Literature—had warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons since their public debut in 1945, brought the “Hiroshima Maidens” to the United States for plastic and reconstructive surgery, and had recently taken up the nuclear testing issue as the key to halting the nuclear arms race. Stevenson had a close relationship with Cousins, and repeatedly drew on him for political advice and campaign speeches. According to Stevenson, Cousins was his “constant counselor and conscience.”
Not surprisingly, the Republicans—as keen proponents of nuclear weapons for their new national security policy of “massive retaliation”--lashed back furiously at Stevenson’s nuclear test ban proposal. Vice President Richard Nixon denounced it as “catastrophic nonsense.” Publicly, Eisenhower assailed Stevenson for his antinuclear stand, while privately he dismissed him contemptuously as “that monkey.” Determined to “nail” Stevenson, AEC chair Lewis Strauss lined up prominent scientists to condemn the Democratic candidate and to endorse the president’s nuclear weapons policy.
The attack on Stevenson gained momentum after October 18, 1956, when Soviet premier Nikolai Bulganin sent a letter to Eisenhower criticizing the administration’s position on nuclear testing. Strauss viewed this as “a windfall in view of the headway which Stevenson had made with the issue during the campaign,” and suggested that “if carefully handled, the note could be turned to considerable advantage.” Working with Dulles and, later, with Eisenhower and other officials, Strauss helped produce a withering public response. Delivered by Eisenhower, it attacked the Soviet Union for interfering in U.S. politics. Together with Bulganin’s letter, it certainly helped to undermine Stevenson’s campaign momentum. Meanwhile, Eisenhower continued to attack Stevenson’s nuclear arms control proposal, arguing that it was vital for the United States to maintain “the most advanced military weapons.”
The upshot seems to have been that, although Stevenson’s call for a ban on nuclear testing added new interest and energy to his campaign, it did not deliver any substantial bloc of votes to him, either. Given Eisenhower’s immense personal popularity, plus his ability to point to “Peace, Progress, and Prosperity,” the Republican president won the 1956 election handily and went on to serve another four years in the White House.
Even so, in the following years, Stevenson and the Democrats could take some satisfaction in their test ban proposal. Public opposition to nuclear testing continued to grow. In 1957, Cousins organized the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, an organization that, with Cousins at its helm, spurred popular demands for nuclear arms control and disarmament. In 1958, faced with massive public pressure, at home and abroad, the Eisenhower administration accepted a Soviet-initiated moratorium on nuclear testing and began negotiations for a test ban treaty. By 1960, every major candidate for the presidency publicly supported a nuclear test ban, including Nixon. Although Stevenson was edged out for the Democratic presidential nod that year, he was appointed by the victorious Democrat, John F. Kennedy, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In 1963, with the help of Stevenson and Cousins, the Kennedy administration negotiated and secured the ratification of the Partial Test Ban Treaty—one of its most popular measures.
This brief story provides a lesson for contemporary Democrats, now going into the 2006 midterm congressional elections. If the Soviet government had not undermined Stevenson’s call for a test ban with its clumsy behavior and if Eisenhower had not enjoyed immense personal popularity and been able to point to his own record as a “Peace” leader, Stevenson might well have profited politically from his 1956 peace proposal. Furthermore, in the following years the test ban issue grew increasingly popular, with the Democrats using it to help them win office, continue in power, and secure a more peaceful world. Perhaps the time has come for contemporary Democrats to stake out a peace proposal of their own and to use it just as effectively.

Die In at South Station
Young Jews Denounce Israeli Attacks on Civilians!
Wikimedia - Aug 1, 2006
Boston, MA -- August 1, 2006 --A group of young American Jews staged a "Die In" this morning at South Station, and on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street in downtown Boston to demonstrate their opposition to recent actions by the Israeli government in Lebanon and Gaza.
"We want to break the false consensus of unequivocal support for Israel and make it known that many American Jews disagree with our government's support of Israeli aggression. We also want to call attention to the human rights crisis occurring in Gaza and Lebanon," commented group member Matt Soycher, of Jamaica Plain. "As young American Jews, we are outraged and frightened. Recent rallies called by Jewish organizations in support of Israel's attacks on Lebanon and Gaza have not spoken for us. Now, we are speaking for ourselves."
Participants wore black clothing with stickers that read "Not all U.S. Jews support Israel's actions!" They fell to the ground in dead-like positions among the morning commuters to re-create the devastating effects of violent attacks on civilian populations.
Distinguishing themselves from other recent protests led by Jewish groups in the Greater Boston region, these American Jews take the position that Israel's attacks on civilians, UN observers, infrastructure, and refugees is unethical, counterproductive, and contrary to the Jewish tradition of respect for human rights. Since Israeli bombing began on July 12, more than 750 Lebanese and 51 Israelis have died in the violence. Over one third of the Lebanese casualties have been children.
Liz Jackson, of Cambridge, explained her motivation to initiate the action, "We mourn the Israeli dead, and our thoughts are with the people of northern Israel, Lebanon, and Gaza alike. Our concern for all people of the region moves us to question the utility of Israel's horrific aggression towards its own neighbors. If Israel is willing to kill UN observers, civilians, and especially children, how will the violence end?"
Participants began the action at 8:00 am, on Tuesday August 1st, inside the South Station commuter station, and ended on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street.

How much longer?
The Progressive, September 2006
One country bombed two countries. Such impunity might astound were it not business as usual. In response to the few timid protests from the international community, Israel said mistakes were made.
How much longer will horrors be called mistakes?
This slaughter of civilians began with the kidnapping of a soldier.
How much longer will the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier be allowed to justify the kidnapping of Palestinian sovereignty?
How much longer will the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers be allowed to justify the kidnapping of the entire nation of Lebanon?
For centuries the slaughter of Jews was the favorite sport of Europeans. Auschwitz was the natural culmination of an ancient river of terror, which had flowed across all of Europe.
How much longer will Palestinians and other Arabs be made to pay for crimes they didn't commit?
Hezbollah didn't exist when Israel razed Lebanon in earlier invasions.
How much longer will we continue to believe the story of this attacked attacker, which practices terrorism because it has the right to defend itself from terrorism?
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon: How much longer will Israel and the United States be allowed to exterminate countries with impunity?
The tortures of Abu Ghraib, which triggered a certain universal sickness, are nothing new to us in Latin America. Our militaries learned their interrogation techniques from the School of the Americas, which may no longer exist in name but lives on in effect.
How much longer will we continue to accept that torture can be legitimized?
Israel has ignored forty-six resolutions of the General Assembly and other U.N. bodies.
How much longer will Israel enjoy the privilege of selective deafness?
The United Nations makes recommendations but never decisions. When it does decide, the United States makes sure the decision is blocked. In the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. has vetoed forty resolutions condemning actions of Israel.
How much longer will the United Nations act as if it were just another name for the United States?
Since the Palestinians had their homes confiscated and their land taken from them, much blood has flowed.
How much longer will blood flow so that force can justify what law denies?
History is repeated day after day, year after year, and ten Arabs die for every one Israeli. How much longer will an Israeli life be measured as worth ten Arab lives?
In proportion to the overall population, the 50,000 civilians killed in Iraq - the majority of them women and children - are the equivalent of 800,000 Americans.
How much longer will we continue to accept, as if customary, the killing of Iraqis in a blind war that has forgotten all of its justifications?
Iran is developing nuclear energy, but the so-called international community is not concerned in the least by the fact that Israel already has 250 atomic bombs, despite the fact that the country lives permanently on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Who calibrates the universal dangerometer? Was Iran the country that dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima?
In the age of globalization, the right to express is less powerful than the right to apply pressure. To justify the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, war is called peace. The Israelis are patriots, and the Palestinians are terrorists, and terrorists sow universal alarm.
How much longer will the media broadcast fear instead of news?
The slaughter happening today, which is not the first and I fear will not be the last, is happening in silence. Has the world gone deaf?
How much longer will the outcry of the outraged be sounded on a bell of straw?
The bombing is killing children, more than a third of the victims.
Those who dare denounce this murder are called anti-Semites.
How much longer will the critics of state terrorism be considered anti-Semites?
How much longer will we accept this grotesque form of extortion?
Are the Jews who are horrified by what is being done in their name anti-Semites? Are there not Arab voices that defend a Palestinian homeland but condemn fundamentalist insanity?
Terrorists resemble one another: state terrorists, respectable members of government, and private terrorists, madmen acting alone or in those organized in groups hard at work since the Cold War battling communist totalitarianism. All act in the name of various gods, whether God, Allah, or Jehovah.
How much longer will we ignore that fact that all terrorists scorn human life and feed off of one another?
Isn't it clear that in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, it is the civilians, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Israeli, who are dying?
And isn't it clear that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon are the incubators of hatred, producing fanatic after fanatic after fanatic?
We are the only species of animal that specializes in mutual extermination.
We devote $2.5 billion per day to military spending. Misery and war are children of the same father.
How much longer will we accept that this world so in love with death is the only world possible?
EDUARDO GALEANO, Uruguayan writer and journalist, is author of Open Veins of Latin America and Memory of Fire. This article is published with permission of IPS Columnist Service.



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