by Dirk Adriaensens
Global Research, March 5, 2011
DAY OF THE MARTYR, 04 March 2011
The second day of “National Rage” in Iraq produced again big demonstrations in all major cities in Iraq. The relevance of these protest movements cannot be underestimated. These protest are nationwide, not sectarian. The Iraqi youth, main instigators of this movement, are challenging the sectarian Iraqi Quisling government and counter American and Iranian plans for the country: no partitioning of Iraq, but electricity, jobs, clean water, free healthcare and education. No to corruption, no to summary executions and death squads. No to state-sponsored terror. These Iraqi demonstrators want a unified Iraq and want the money of their oil being used for public services. I’ve been following the events today with great admiration and hope, hope for change, hope that the Iraqi people can reverse – as one nation – the deadly spiral of ethnic cleansing, sectarianism, despair and the culture of death, imported by the US horsemen of the apocalypse.
Underneath are a reflection from an Iraqi activist: Asma Al Haidari and an account of our Spanish friends from SCOSI (Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq).
Once again the Western media are strikingly absent, probably following instructions from His Master’s Voice.
My dear Dirk,
You have been receiving bulletins from me throughout the day which I know full well, you find quite dry and without any feeling or sentiment – well now I am writing to you to let you know what it was really like watching and listening – watching all these thousands of young men and women as well as the old demonstrating peacefully and knowing full well they are going to be attacked, arrested and probably in some cases killed for no reason other than wanting freedom and dignity.
I was also listening to their fervor and anguish which literally brought me to tears and broke my heart probably for the umpteenth millionth time since the invasion and occupation of Iraq asking myself all the time how can the world be so blind and deaf – and for the past two weeks I have felt that the world is not only deaf and blind but dumb also, with a very few exceptions , of course!
We started the Martyr’s Day, for that is what the young people have called it, with the execution of a young married man being taken away in full sight of his young wife and children by a force called Battalion 24, formerly known as the infamous, Muthanna Battalion commanded by the very infamous Raheem Risen Al Baythani who has commanded this battalion in Abu Ghraib and has terrorized its citizens since he took over which is around 3 years ago – before that he was in command of Hay Al Jamia’a which he also terrorized – infact, he is famous for terrorizing the areas he has taken command of – I’ve heard that he tells the people that they are all his slaves!
The young man, Ahmed Inizie Al Hamdani was found executed a short while later just 50 meters from his home….., in the village of Al Hamdaniya in Abu Ghraib.
Of course, last night it was announced that the so called government had imposed a curfew from 12 o’clock midnight, last night, to 6.00 a.m. Saturday morning throughout Iraq. They had also imposed a curfew on all vehicles in Baghdad and in all Iraq’s cities.
The Tahrir Square demonstrators were beaten with electric truncheons and clubs and a chase took place in all the neighbouring side streets , hotels and buildings! A number of journalists and hoteliers were arrested. Chased by water cannon and looked on from above by helicopters! Watched also from the Turkish Restaurant bulding by this weeks new Death Squad – they were the people who gave commands and orders to the security troops to shoot and beatup! Plaoma will have the details in the attached report.
In all the Iraqi cities people were threatened under pain of death and shoot to kill orders were given by police officers to their men in order to stop the demonstrations and yet people still came out and demonstrated in most of the cities – the most important of which were Baghdad, Mosul, Sammarra’a, Basra, Nejef, Deewaniya, Theeqarr. They all sang about Maliki being a liar – it is amazing how this man is so much without dignity – hundreds and thousands of Iraqis have been singing a special song for him about his being a thief and a liar for the past 2 weeks – anyone else would have resigned and got out but not he.
There are a whole spate of songs about him and his regime of crooks and plunderers now – I will be sending you some very soon.
Sulaymaniya – yes, I must never forget Sulaymaniya – brave Sulaymaniya who has paid so expensively for its revolt against corruption and oppression and who started all of this …. 3 days ago it gave its youngest – a 12 year old boy.
We, too, paid, yes, we too paid. Today a young girl, was shot by a sniper in Sammarra’a – and the snipers are all members of the Iranian Quds Army who were positioned on the top of buildings.
Today, the brave men of Mosul have decided to stage a sit in which they will not give up until their demands are met – they are holding it in the Sports Stadium. The neighbouring families have started keeping them supplied with food and water.
Already Mosul has paid up so many young lives – I will soon be sending you a list of the young people killed by security forces.
The press, as usual suffered today – three members of the press were attacked so badly by the security forces in Basra that they ended in hospital and a fourth was also attacked – we saw blood streaming from their heads and faces. One of them said that he was told that he was an enemy of society!
The press also suffered in Tahrir Square and you will be hearing about that in more detail from Pedro. Pedro was told by one of them that they were in touch with the UN representative in Baghdad and had given him a detailed report – I find the whole idea of the UN very amusing – there is an old proverb in Arabic, Dirk – which more or less says that you may go on calling but there is no life in the person you are calling and a stone would answer you had you called it!
The press was barred from cities like Tikreet and Haweeja was totally surrounded by the army and the police.
I listened to an old Imam from Kirkuk calling everyone to fight oppression of the Ashawiss in Kirkuk and the oppression of the huge army that has occupied Iraq – he made the tears come to my eyes and broke my heart – I listened to an old resistance fighter reminding the new pontious pilates and Judas Escariots of the 21st century – Dr. Salman Al Jumaili and Dr. Rafi’i Al Essawi who sold thir country, their people and their religion for a handful of silver and for a chair; he also encouraged the people to continue their fight and told us that we will soon liberate ourselves. He was marvelous – both these men were marvelous – their voices and words still ring in my ears. I also heard a young man addressing Maliki and telling him that he really is the most dismal of cowards – he was so frightened of people demonstrating peacefully and felt that it was essential to take such draconious measures and he wondered what he would do had these people been carrying arms; he paused for a minute and then told him we soon will!
Women – oh so many women demonstrated and so many women spoke and encouraged the young people of Iraq to go on with their brave fight.
– one of these women said that she had lost 3 sons – that no one should be frightened of Maliki and that his days are numbered – yes, it was quite an emotional day – something I don’t like expressing except to the people closest to my heart, as you well know- the people who stood by and suffered with us for our suffering for the slow murder of Iraq.
Again I ask, are the American Adminsitration and the European Community blind??? Is the world blind – is it deaf????
Well, just to update you, the Unions in Iraq are demonstrating in Tahrir Square tomorrow and Monday we’ll see demonstrations of Regret. (Regret for having participated in the general election and they’ve asked people to come with a finger painted in red!).
Sallams and Peace.
Asma Al Haidari
Day of the Martyr: Demonstrators and journalists under attack
CEOSI, 4 de marzo de 2011
Iraqi security forces have shot with live ammunition against demonstrators in different cities in Iraq. Aisha Haitham A. al Daraji, a young girl has been killed in Samarra after being wounded by bullets, according to Al Rafidain TV. She was shot by a sniper stationed on top of a building. (Snipers have been stationed in Samarra on top of all the buildings. They are members of the Iranian Quds Army).
Unfortunately, this is not the only casualty. This morning, in the village of Al Hamdaniya, near Abu Ghraib, Ahmed Inizie al Hamdani one of the organizers of today’s demonstrations, was pulled away from his home and shot him at point-blank range before his wife and his sons and daughters. Colonel Risen al Baizani in charge of 24th Brigade, was responsible for this crime.
CEOSI was in contact with a well-known journalist who was in Tahrir Square; in Baghdad [we omit his/her name for security reasons]. This person has informed us that the journalists, especially audiovisual ones, are being harassed and hounded. He/she claimed that tens of demonstrators have been arrested and people are afraid they suffer torture, as they did with the people who were arrested last Friday 25 February in Maliki prisons. UN Rapporteur has been informed of these facts.
The direction for the repression was being carried out from the roof of a building in construction near Tahrir Square by Hasan Sunaid, Al Dawa MP and Chairman of the Security Committee, Adnan al Asadi, deputy minister of Internal Affairs, Shiruan al Waili, Advisor to the National Security Commission, and general Ali Musawi, chief of this police operation.
In Fallujah and Diyalah two demonstrations have been repressed by the police forces. Some mosques close to the government policies or political parties have tried to convince people to stay at home.
It is said that there have been bribery attempts ($ 50.000) trying to convince some sheiks to convince their people to stay home. The army also has threatened to shoot anyone who tried to demonstrate.
At 12:15 pm Al Bagdadiya TV interviewed some physicians in Samarra, who were carrying out a sit-in because they were not allowed to treat the wounded people. The same source claimed that in Samarra there were Iranian troops.
Once again, media has been attacked by the Iraqi security forces. We have to remember that the Occupied Iraq is the country in which more journalists have been killed in History (even more than in Vietnam).
In spite of the Media international organizations calls to allow journalists make their job, —even Tareq al Hashemi, deputy minister of Internal Affairs has made a call— a group of journalist has been attacked in Basra while informing about the demonstrations in that city. Three of them are wounded and have been taken to Hospital, according to their statements to Al SharquiyaTV.
Al Rasd wal Maalumat al Wataniya, an Iraqi monitoring organization, has stated that general Kadem Abu al Hil, chancelor of the police at Muthanna province, has ordered to block the satellite cameras and those on the ground .
It is also reported that Salah al-Din TV has been closed by security forces. In Tikrit, Iraqi security forces have close Al Rafidain TV offices and journalist are forbidden to enter the city
Next demonstrations (called through social networks):
March 7, first anniversary of the elections
March 11, Friday of demonstrations.
Dirk Adriaensens is member of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee
Dirk Adriaensens is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Dirk Adriaensens
Thousands of supporters of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi marched in the streets of Tripoli to celebrate the recapture of the western city of Zawiyah by forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel reported on Sunday.
Gaddafi’s supporters waved flags and fired their guns in the air in the Libyan leader’s main stronghold. Earlier, the city woke to the sounds of heavy machine-gun fire. The Libyan authorities said the heavy gunfire early on Sunday was celebratory, claiming that government forces had retaken the costal city of Zawiyah.
The government lost control of Az Zawiyah, some 60 km (37 miles) to the west of Tripoli, in late February and the city was viewed as a platform for an attack on the country’s capital to oust Gaddafi.
The military offensive on Zawiyah began on Friday night and by Saturday morning Gaddafi’s army, using heavy artillery and tanks, managed to break through the opposition defenses.
At least 30 people were reported killed during the battle for the town on Saturday. Eyewitnesses say they saw numerous bodies in the streets and many people wounded.
The television said the pro-Gaddafi forces were now heading for Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi in the east of the country, the stronghold of the Libyan opposition.
Inspired by the recent ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of Gaddafi are demanding an end to his 42-year rule. More than 2,000 people have been killed in clashes that began in the North African country on February 15.
CAIRO, March 6 (RIA Novosti)
by Glen Ford*
With unbounded hypocrisy, the United States shrieks “democracy!” at the world while denying Haitians every political right of citizenship in their own land. Having deposed and kidnapped the popularly elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004, the U.S. now pretends not to be the main party standing in the way of his return from South African exile, ahead of the scheduled 20 March run-off elections.
5 March 2011
If diplomacy is a form of lying, then the United States’ efforts to delay indefinitely the return to Haiti of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is a triumph of the most foul diplomacy. Aristide has a passport, but no permission to land in Haiti and, it appears, no permission to take off from South Africa, where he has lived in exile since his overthrow in a U.S.-backed coup in 2004.
The passport was provided by the outgoing government of Aristide’s onetime ally, President Rene Preval. But the U.S., which really runs the country in a troika with France and Canada, is unalterably opposed to an Aristide comeback. After last year’s devastating earthquake, the Americans said Aristide would be a distraction from the job of national reconstruction. Very little in the way of reconstruction has gotten done since then, but the Americans now claim that Aristide would distract from the runoff elections scheduled for March 20. Three out of four Haitians were already distracted from taking part in the first round of elections in November, without Aristide’s presence. That was undoubtedly because Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas, by far the most popular political grouping in the country, was prohibited from participating – also at the insistence of the Americans and the tiny Haitian elite with which they are allied.
Brazil acts as rent-a-cop for the United Nations mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, but documents show the United States has pressured Brazil to use its influence with South Africa to keep Aristide’s feet planted firmly on African soil. Brazil dearly wants to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council, and feels it cannot afford to make the Yankees angry. South Africa claims its under no pressure from anybody, but then claims it has an obligation to consult “all the role-players to work out the ideal conditions for him to go back.” Clearly, those “role-players” are the Americans and their French and Canadian co-conspirators. Aristide’s lawyer says he will not attempt to leave South Africa without permission.
Of course, if South Africa gave its blessing to an Aristide flight to Haiti, the U.S. would be forced to abandon the charade and give Aristide a yes or a no, in its own voice – which would expose Washington as the occupying power in Haiti. Gone would be all pretensions that the Americans favor Haitian democracy. In hopes of putting the U.S. on the spot, a group of social activists, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Randall Robinson, Dick Gregory, and 11 others sent a letter, last week, to South African President Jacob Zuma. The letter expressed hope that President Zuma “can assist the Aristides in making their transition as soon as possible.” It said, “All the last remaining obstacles to the Aristides’ return have been removed” and expectations have been raised among Haitians that Aristide will soon arrive.
But even Aristide’s lawyer, Ira Kurzban, who was wildly optimistic only a few weeks ago, seems resigned that Aristide won’t be going home any time soon. So, all the Haitian people have to look forward to is this month’s elections that they didn’t want, anyway, for candidates that were essentially forced on them by the United States – an exercise that nobody but Americans believes has anything to do with democracy.
In a world where, from Palestine to Iraq via Afghanistan, so many innocent people are brutalized by barbarian armies, humiliated, bereft of hope, freedom, and human dignity, the voice of artists with the integrity to lend their talent and signature to say no to savagery, is a beacon of hope. Roger Waters is one such artist. He tells the story of his commitment to the Palestinian cause and his support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
6 March 2011
From London (United Kingdom)
Roger Waters spraying paints graffiti against Israel’s separation barrier surrounding the West Bank town of Bethlehem in 2006.
By Roger Waters
In 1980, a song I wrote, “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,” was banned by the government of South Africa because it was being used by Black South African children to advocate their right to equal education. That apartheid government imposed a cultural blockade, so-to-speak, on certain songs, including mine.
Twenty-five years later, in 2005, Palestinian children participating in a West Bank festival used the song to protest Israel’s apartheid wall. They sang “We don’t need no occupation! We don’t need no racist wall!” At the time, I hadn’t seen first-hand what they were singing about.
A year later in 2006, I contracted to perform in Tel Aviv.
Palestinians from the movement advocating an academic and cultural boycott of Israel urged me to reconsider. I had already spoken out against the wall, but I was unsure whether a cultural boycott was the right way to go. The Palestinian advocates of a boycott asked that I visit the occupied Palestinian territory, to see the Wall for myself before I made up my mind. I agreed.
Under the protection of the UN I visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw that day. The Wall is an appalling edifice to behold. It is policed by young Israeli Soldiers who treated me, a casual observer from another world with disdainful aggression. If it could be like that for me, a foreigner, a visitor, imagine what it must be like for the Palestinians, for the underclass, for the passbook carriers. I knew then that my conscience would not allow me to walk away from that Wall, from the fate of the Palestinians I met, people whose lives are crushed daily in a multitude of ways by Israel’s occupation. In solidarity, and somewhat impotently, I wrote on their wall that day: “We don’t need no thought control.”
Realizing at that point that my presence on a Tel Aviv stage would inadvertently legitimize the oppression I was witnessing, I canceled my gig at the football stadium in Tel Aviv and moved it to Neve Shalom an agricultural community devoted to growing chick peas and also, admirably, to cooperation between people of different faiths, where Muslim, Christian and Jew live and work side by side in harmony.
Against all expectations, it was to become the biggest music event in the short history of Israel. 60,000 fans battled traffic jams to attend. It was extraordinarily moving for me and my band, and at the end of the gig I was moved to exhort the young people gathered there to demand of their government that they attempt to make peace with their neighbors and respect the civil rights of Palestinians living in Israel.
Sadly in the intervening years, the Israeli government has made no attempt to implement legislation that would grant civil rights to Israeli Arabs equal to those enjoyed by Israeli Jews, and The Wall has grown, inexorably, illegally annexing more and more of The West Bank.
I had learned that day in Bethlehem in 2006 something of what it means to live under occupation, imprisoned behind a Wall. It means that a Palestinian farmer must watch olive groves centuries old, uprooted. It means that a Palestinian student cannot get to school because the checkpoint is closed. It means a woman may give birth in a car, because the soldier won’t let her pass to the hospital that’s a ten minute drive away. It means a Palestinian artist cannot travel abroad to exhibit work, or to show a film in an international film festival.
For the people of Gaza, locked in a virtual prison behind the wall of Israel’s illegal blockade, it means another set of injustices. It means that children go to sleep hungry, many chronically malnourished. It means that fathers and mothers, unable to work in a decimated economy, have no means to support their families. It means that university students with scholarships to study abroad must watch the opportunity of a lifetime slip away because they are not allowed travel.
In my view, the abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance.
Where governments refuse to act, people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal. For some that meant joining the Gaza Freedom March, for others it meant joining the humanitarian flotilla that tried to bring much needed humanitarian aid to Gaza.
For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights demanded in international law.
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied since 1967] and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
My conviction is born in the idea that all people deserve basic human rights. My position is not anti Semitic. This is not an attack on the people of Israel. This is, however, a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.
Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa’s Sun City resort until apartheid fell and whites and blacks enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes — and it surely will come — when The Wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve.
Roger Waters on BDS and the walls of division:
English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. He was a founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd, serving as bassist and co-lead vocalist. He is also known for championing the cause of the Palestinian people for freedom and justice.