Canadian Senator Lt. Gen. Roméo A. Dallaire, (Ret’d) has issued an open petition to Israel-Firster Stephen Harper’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to bring former Canadian child soldier, Omar Khadr, from America’s notorious Guantánamo Bay concentration camp to Canada.
“The case of Omar Khadr – a Canadian citizen and former child soldier – is a stain upon our society and shows a blatant disregard for Canada’s obligations under international law,” says Roméo A. Dallaire.
Omar Khadr, who turns 26 this year – was captured in 2002 by America’s Afghan collaborators, Northern Alliance warlords, for killing a US army medic while visiting his parents’ family in Afghanistan at the age of 15. He was first kept at the US detention facility at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan before being transfered to Guantánamo Bay. Omar was tried as “a terrorist” and not a juvenile prisoner, by a military commission conceived by Israel-Firster former vice-president Dick Cheney and his Zionist advisers.
Omar was sentenced to 40 year in jail via a kangroo trail which was unrelated to any other form of US justice or the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – which specifically recognizes “the special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment or use in hostilities,” and requires its signatories to promote “the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict.”
Both the US and Canada are signatory to the Optional Protocol. The way Omar has been tortured, humiliated and kept in isolation at Guantánamo Bay for the last ten years and the way Ottawa has abdicated its responsibilities towards him – should be a source of shame for the moral citizens of both countries.
A declassified report prepared by US Department of Defense (DoD) deputy inspector-general in September 2009 – admitted that detainees in custody of the US military were interrogated while drugged with powerful antipsychotic and other medications that “could impair an individual’s ability to provide accurate information“.
Omar’s defense lawyers have asked the federal court to force Vic Toews to make decision as to whether Khadr can return to Canada to serve his remaining sentence.
Just days ago, Marine Col. Jeffrey Colwell, chief defense counsel for military commissions openly chastised Canada for crippling US efforts to enter into plea agreements: If the US “can’t carry through on their end of the bargain, it has a chilling effect on the willingness of others to plead. There was an expectation by all parties involved that Khadr was going to be home last fall. It’s July, and he’s not.”
The pro-Israeli groups have turned Khadr’s case into an Islamophobia war. For example, the Toronto book launch of Omar Khadr, Oh Canada was met by threats of violence and a demonstration by the the Jewish Defense League, a Jewish militant group which is declared a terrorist group by FBI and known for violence at Canadian Campuses.
Israeli propaganda and hacker website, BlazingCatFur, put the headline: “Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety can Block Omar Khadr’s return to Canada by refusing to sign the ‘Prisoner Transfer Agreement’.”
Vic Toews’ parents and grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine.
Iraq says it wants back all the archeological treasures, stolen by US forces in 2003, but Washington has offered to return only half.
Iraq rejected the offer made by the United States to bring back half of the Iraqi Jewish Archive, previously transferred from Baghdad to the United States during the US-led invasion of the country, insisting that Baghdad had to restore the whole archive, Iraqi newspaper al-Sabah reported on Sunday.
The archive includes centuries-old Torah scrolls and plenty of other documents in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
Iraqi Tourism and Archaeology Minister Liwaa Smaisim reiterated that “it (the Iraqi Jewish Archive) is part of the Iraqi heritage,” the ministry’s media office chief Hakim al-Shammari quoted him as saying.
On June 11, Smaisim said that the US had transferred the archive to Israel in addition to about 1,000 Iraqi antiquities.
The information angered archeologists and officials who accuse Washington of looting Iraq’s cultural heritage, and dissuaded Iraqi authorities from continuing cultural cooperation with the US.
“The ministry recently suspended cooperation with the American universities and their excavation missions in the country,” the Iraqi minister added.
celticvideo | July 13, 2012
A short documentary on the effects of thr racist Orange order marches through the small Republican community of Ardoyne in North Belfast on the 12th of July.
Filmed by Robin Wallace. Starring Joe Gilmartin. Thanks to the Ardoyne community for their cooperation in making this film.
- Orange Order sparks yet more violence (morningstaronline.co.uk)
Gadi military base (disused) – location of new settlement
Israeli settlers are establishing yet another new colony in the Jordan Valley. With the support of the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, they are taking over a disused army base close to two Palestinian communities and claiming the land for themselves, just as the notorious Maskiyyot settlers did in 2002.
In recent weeks the settlers’ contractors have started to renovate the buildings of the disused Gadi military base, in the Abu Al Ajaj area of Al Jiftlik village, in the heart of the Jordan Valley. These new colonialists are clearly working closely with the settlement run ‘Jordan Valley Regional Council’ and the neighbouring settlement of Massu’a. One of the most aggressive colonies in the Jordan Valley, Massu’a settlers are responsible for a series of land grabs whereby they have violently stolen land from Abu Al Ajaj on three separate occasions in recent years.
Gadi military base
The establishment of a new settlement was announced on Israeli Army Radio on 10th March 2011, when Netanyahu visited Gadi base. At the time David Alhiani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, said:“Neither the defense minister nor the prime minister will build a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, not now. Maybe later, when there’s sovereignty in the valley”.
Israel doesn’t have sovereignty of the Jordan Valley today, any more than they had a year ago. Their occupation is just as illegal as it was a year ago. But their attempts to take over the valley have become more aggressive and transparent. Thus, in September 2011 news broke of Israel’s plans to embark on the systematic removal of 27,000 Bedouin from East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and the rest of Area C.
It has been reported that the new settlement will be run by the Israeli Bnei Hamoshavim youth organisation, and will specifically encourage young Israeli’s who have experienced poor mental health or addiction, to join in the Jordan Valley colonisation project.
Prior to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in 1967 the Gadi military base was used by the Jordanian army, and around 10,000 Palestinians lived to the south and east in Abu Al Ajaj refugee camp. All that remains of the refugee camp today are the cemetery and the UNWRA school. The mosque still stands on the hill, within the fence surrounding the new IOF (Israeli Occupation Force) base, and Palestinians have been prevented from using it for the last 45 years.
Mosque confiscated and within fence of IOF military base
Since the refugee camp was destroyed, soon after the occupation, the Palestinian community of Abu Al Ajaj has eked out a living by farming a little land and grazing their sheep on the hillsides. There are around 120 families now living in the community, some originally from the Al Jiftlik area, and others who came as refugees from Yata’ near Hebron, when they were driven out by the settler’s there.
UN OCHA: Expansion of Massu’a settlement
Over the last eight years the settlers of the nearby Massu’a settlement have worked hand-in-hand with the IOF to attempt the drive the Palestinians from the land. On three separate occasions (in 2004, 2008 and 2010) they have selected an area of land that they want, removed any Palestinian buildings or possessions that were there, and taken the land for their own use: They erected greenhouses to cultivate grapes in 2004, took a field to grow their crops in 2008, and in 2010 attacked local Palestinians when they came and fenced off yet more land, and later erected another row of greenhouses. See UN OCHA Humanitarian Report . On each occasion the IOF stood by and supported them. During the same period the community has received countless demolition orders, and been subjected to dawn raids, with many of their homes and animal shelters being demolished and destroyed by the IOF.
Demolitions in Abu Al Ajaj November 2010
There are around 30 homes that have had demolition orders served against them. The families live with the fear that one day the IOF will arrive, and it will be their turn to have their home and livelihood destroyed. They have had their water pipes destroyed, their animals killed, and their access to grazing land stopped, and their land stolen in front of their eyes.
Other local farmers have also been harassed by the IOF. Waleed Abu Hania, living near the cemetery, has been uprooted from his farm three times by the IOF, each time attempting to claim that he’s using state land! A little further up the road, the Saaidh family have received a demolition order for the metal shipping container on their small farm of date trees.
The small nearby community of Koursiliyya, comprised of four families, is even more vulnerable. Tucked away in the valley to the west of Gadi military base, they have already been stopped from accessing water from a small nearby natural spring, and are under threat of forced transfer.
All these Palestinian families are continuing to live on their land against the odds. They are showing a steadfastness beyond belief, but also have nowhere else to go. This is their home. They are facing the concerted effort of the Israeli state to forcibly remove them from their land, and have experienced verbal abuse and physical assault from the illegal settlers from Massu’a. Now they face the prospect of another group of young settlers, given impunity by their government to use violence, aggression and harassment against their Palestinian neighbours.
- Bedouins forced to leave their homes to make way for Israeli maneuvers (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel Occupation Forces bulldoze land to prepare for new settlement in Al-Khalil (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- More Settler Land Grabs In North Jordan Valley (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Kufr Qaddoum: Israel fires at peaceful protest, man injured in head (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- The Forcible Transfer of the Palestinian People from the Jordan Valley (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Maqdissi told a press conference on Sunday that UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan had sent a letter to Syria’s foreign minister that did not conform with the facts on heavy weapon use.
“We received a letter from Mr Kofi Annan addressed to Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. The least that can be said about this letter about what happened in Treimsa is that it did not rely on facts. As diplomatically as possible, we say that this letter was very rushed.”
The spokesman denied that Syrian forces used tanks and helicopters in the assault on Treimsa, saying what happened in the central village was the result of clashes with terrorists and not a massacre.
“Government forces did not use helicopters and tanks,” Maqdissi told a news conference in Damascus, adding: “What happened was not an attack by the army on innocent civilians.”
The Syrian foreign minister said the aim of this news conference was to tell people that what happened was not a massacre. “It was a clash between regular forces and armed groups who do not believe in a peaceful solution. This is the reality, politically and militarily.”
Maqdissi staunchly denied reports suggesting that the Syrian army used aircraft in the assault on Treimsa. “This is absolutely not true. Only troop carriers and lights weapons were used, the most powerful of weapons being RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades),” he said.
Only five buildings were attacked by the Syrian forces during the assault on Treimsa that only lasted a few hours and was aimed at getting rid of the terrorists, Maqdissi said, adding that the five buildings were used to launch attacks against the army and they also contained various kinds of weapons and explosives.
The Islamic Republic offered to host a meeting between Damascus and the opposition aimed at solving the Syrian crisis.
“Iran is ready to host the Syrian opposition for dialogue with the Syrian government,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Arabic-language Al-Alam television on Sundy. “We believe that the Syrian issue should have a Syrian solution,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the Islamic Republic will use all its capacities to resolve Syria’s crisis and establish security in the region.
He added that the security of the region and all regional countries depends on the security of Syria and said, “We believe that in case of [adopting] an unrealistic approach towards the issue of Syria, not using influential countries with complete capacity to resolve the crisis in this country and also not taking necessary actions in various international summits to stop the violence, no result will be achieved and these summits are doomed to failure.”
Mehmanparast said grounds for dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition in an atmosphere away from foreign interference and violence must be provided so that they could make their demands clear.
The Iranian official said Tehran supported the UN-Arab League joint envoy’s plan, adding that in the current situation, the best solution to resolve Syria’s crisis is that all countries and governments also support Kofi Annan and his six-point plan.