Olive Branch Optimism
what a wonderful world...
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Well, we went to the media with Khalid,
and now its time to put this through the same run!
Contact your local media, state and global media. Contact the new TV station in Latin America announced on Raed's blog. This is just like Khalid,
Khalid was lucky to avoid this kind of human-rights abuse, despite the fact he was illegally detained, despite having done no wrong.

Rape, MURDER and Sodomy are thriving under the ill-trained Iraqi security forces, and the disgustingly morbid scenes coming from US-controlled Abu Ghraib 'torture' chambers.

Will make some phone calls and emails when I get home. WATCH OUT WASHINGTON
your silly decisions about detaining and treatment of detainee's is about to be release anger alll over the world, directed AT YOUR PRESIDENT AND HIS CABINET... AGAIN



Citizens for Fair Legislation
For Immediate Release
July 25, 2005

This weekend the Pentagon blocked images from Abu Ghraib, in violation of a federal court order, that have been described by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane." Republican Senators who have seen the images said they contained scenes of "rape and murder." The Pentagon refuses to release these images on the basis that it is bad PR for the United States. This
comes at the heels of intensive lobbying efforts by the Bush administration to block legislation that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual. Take a moment to send our prewritten letter to the President and to your Representatives telling them that you are appalled that the American public is being kept in the dark about the abuse of Iraqi detainees and that you are outraged that the President is refusing to take measures to ensure these abuses don't occur again.

* A military report on the abuse at Abu Ghraib states that the images the Pentagon is blocking show detainees being threatened, sodomized with chemical lights and forced into sexually humiliating poses. After viewing these images, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters, "'The American public needs to understand
we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience." A report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba on the abuse says videotapes and photos also show naked detainees forced to masturbate while being photographed and videotaped, of guards having sex with female detainees, young boys
being sodomized and Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts for American soldiers. New York Times reporter, Seymour Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention:
"...There are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications to their men....The women were passing messages saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened.
...Boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."

*Last week Vice President Cheney met with Republican Senators that publicly expressed frustration about the administration's failure to hold senior military officials responsible for the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. At that meeting Cheney stated his opposition to congressional intervention regarding the treatment of
detainees at either Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. Later the White House issued a statement stating that President Bush would veto a $442 billion defense bill if representatives continued to attempt to impose restrictions on what the military can and cannot do to detainees.
That statement appeared to be directed at Republican Sen. John McCain who began circulating a letter to look into legislation that would outline the treatment of detainees held by the U.S. military. Sen. McCain's provisions would require that all foreign nationals in U.S. custody be registered with the Red Cross and would also prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of anyone in U.S. custody.

*Please take a moment to write to your representatives to express outrage at the treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and tell them that you resent that the Pentagon is keeping the American public in the dark about what is happening in Iraq. Tell the President that you expect him to stop taking measures in support of the crimes that happened at Abu Ghraib. By blocking legislation meant to prevent
torture, rape and cruel and unusual punishment the White House is clearly indicating approval for the barbaric treatment of men, women and children held in U.S. run detention centers.

WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202-456-2461
Citizens for Fair Legislation is a grassroots organization committed to encouraging a fair domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on the US/Arab world.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
GREAT news about Khalid Jarrar, and BAD news about Grandad
NOTHING could have been better to read than opening my e-mails today. Khalid Jarrar my good Iraqi friend who had been detained by the poorly trained Mukhabarat has been released! The Jarrar family are relieved, but now it is time for us all to work on saving the thousands of others in the same boat as Khalid had been. Innocent and locked up without contact to family & friends or a lawyer. Khalid was lucky to have good friends, and good family connections, so I believe anyway.

Now to the bad news. My grandad, who recently recieved a Lung Transplant, has also recently recieved a bacterial infection from that very same lung, and is consequently closer to death than he ever was before. The poor man has struggled through so much pain, and so much suffering over the last few weeks. He has managed to re-unite his own family though, and rectify the hurt he had caused in the past. He will live or die with a much clearer conscience and knowing that his family loved him through to the very end. I hope he will survive, though things are not looking good, my optimism has been perked by the release of Khalid Jarrar, another situation that was not looking good.

I will post more on Khalid later, but now here is a poem I wrote for my poor grandad.

Prayer for Grandad.

Writing for my grandad, who I have not seen for years.
It did not hit me until today, that your' death would bring me tears.
I do not know you though I still do care, and I wish that I was there.
To help you fight this through.

So I am doing all that I can do, which is pray for you.

I know you are struggling, fighting for your life.
I know about the first time, that tears have ever left your wife.
Though over years we have grown apart, the future holds for you to see,
you're own family, re-united by tragedy.

My aunties and my mother, they love you endlessly.
They are people of which you should be proud, like you are to me.

You've fought off the evils, infections and disease.
You're coping with rejection, and re-uniting your family.
Please do not give up, for long life, I pray for thee.

Here I have to say to you, that others who you do not know, are praying for you too.
They understand the suffering, and what struggling through every breath is like.
My girlfriend, myself and even my Iraqi friends, pray for you tonight.

For Phillip Wolfenden, My grandad struggling to accept his new lung
by Luke(y) Skinner 24/7/05

I ask everyone who reads this to say a prayer for my grandad. It would mean a lot to me, and maybe he will recieve it.

A sad, but hopeful end to the day
Friday, July 22, 2005
Four months from August 15th or (June 15th 2006 if extention applies), the deadline for the consitution to be drawn up, elections for a parmanent government shall be held

Well, its almost August, lets see if they ask for longer to draw up the constitution on August the 1st, the deadline set by the "Occupying Force". WHY DONT WE TALK ABOUT IT NOW!

The deadline is for completion of this constitution is August 15th, but they may ask for one 6 month extension, no later than August 1st, 2005. This can be extended only ONCE for a period of 6 months, so in other words, by February 15th 2006, the National Assembly will either ratify a constitution or be dissolved under the current constitution. [see Article 61, “Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period,”]

The Constitution must be released to the public by October the 15th, or April 15th 2006 if extension is required. Else their fate is as follows:

Quote Article 61(E) "the National Assembly shall be dissolved".

Article 61.

(A) The National Assembly shall write the draft of the permanent constitution by no later than 15 August 2005.

(B) The draft permanent constitution shall be presented to the Iraqi people for approval in a general referendum to be held no later than 15 October 2005. In the period leading up to the referendum, the draft constitution shall be published and widely distributed to encourage a public debate about it among the people.

(C) The general referendum will be successful and the draft constitution ratified if a majority of the voters in Iraq approve and if two-thirds of the voters in three or more governorates do not reject it.

(D) If the permanent constitution is approved in the referendum, elections for a permanent government shall be held no later than 15 December 2005 and the new government shall assume office no later than 31 December 2005.

(E) If the referendum rejects the draft permanent constitution, the National Assembly shall be dissolved. Elections for a new National Assembly shall be held no later than 15 December 2005. The new National Assembly and new Iraqi Transitional Government shall then assume office no later than 31 December 2005, and shall continue to operate under this Law, except that the final deadlines for preparing a new draft may be changed to make it possible to draft a permanent constitution within a period not to exceed one year. The new National Assembly shall be entrusted with writing another draft permanent constitution.

(F) If necessary, the president of the National Assembly, with the agreement of a majority of the members’ votes, may certify to the Presidency Council no later than 1 August 2005 that there is a need for additional time to complete the writing of the draft constitution. The Presidency Council shall then extend the deadline for writing the draft constitution for only six months. This deadline may not be extended again.

(G) If the National Assembly does not complete writing the draft permanent constitution by 15 August 2005 and does not request extension of the deadline in Article 61(D) above, the provisions of Article 61(E), above, shall be applied.

[snip] here Is another bit I think you should all see! [/snip]

Article 12.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts.

Article 15.

(A) No civil law shall have retroactive effect unless the law so stipulates. There shall be neither a crime, nor punishment, except by law in effect at the time the crime is committed.

(B) Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search warrant in accordance with applicable law on the basis of information provided by a sworn individual who knew that bearing false witness would render him liable to punishment. Extreme exigent circumstances, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, may justify a warrantless search, but such exigencies shall be narrowly construed. In the event that a warrantless search is carried out in the absence of an extreme exigent circumstance, the evidence so seized, and any other evidence found derivatively from such search, shall be inadmissible in connection with a criminal charge, unless the court determines that the person who carried out the warrantless search believed reasonably and in good faith that the search was in accordance with the law.


(C) No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.
Khalid Jarrar + The Current Iraqi Constitution


8 March 2004
(most recent constitution of Iraq, administrating over the current transitional period)


he must not be denied any of these rights, and his trial process has hardly been speedy, and he has not had his chance to call character references else he would already have thousands waiting on his doorstep a week ago.

We are watching and waiting.

Prayers tonight are for to you Khalid.


Article 15.

(A) No civil law shall have retroactive effect unless the law so stipulates. There shall be neither a crime, nor punishment, except by law in effect at the time the crime is committed.

(B) Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search warrant in accordance with applicable law on the basis of information provided by a sworn individual who knew that bearing false witness would render him liable to punishment. Extreme exigent circumstances, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, may justify a warrantless search, but such exigencies shall be narrowly construed. In the event that a warrantless search is carried out in the absence of an extreme exigent circumstance, the evidence so seized, and any other evidence found derivatively from such search, shall be inadmissible in connection with a criminal charge, unless the court determines that the person who carried out the warrantless search believed reasonably and in good faith that the search was in accordance with the law.

(C) No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.

(D) All persons shall be guaranteed the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, regardless of whether the proceeding is civil or criminal. Notice of the proceeding and its legal basis must be provided to the accused without delay.

(E) The accused is innocent until proven guilty pursuant to law, and he likewise has the right to engage independent and competent counsel, to remain silent in response to questions addressed to him with no compulsion to testify for any reason, to participate in preparing his defense, and to summon and examine witnesses or to ask the judge to do so. At the time a person is arrested, he must be notified of these rights.

(F) The right to a fair, speedy, and open trial shall be guaranteed.

(G) Every person deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall have the right of recourse to a court to determine the legality of his arrest or detention without delay and to order his release if this occurred in an illegal manner.

(H) After being found innocent of a charge, an accused may not be tried once again on the same charge.

(I) Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or exceptional courts may not be established.

(J) Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall be cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. No confession made under compulsion, torture, or threat thereof shall be relied upon or admitted into evidence for any reason in any proceeding, whether criminal or otherwise.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
(Khalid Updates) again
Right now there is little to tell you except that I can barely think of a media agency in the world that has not recieved an email about khalid, or a phone call. The petition has almost reached 1000 in under a week, and congressmen, UN representatives and many many many officials in the UK, Iraq, Iran, USA, Australia, Ireland, Japan, India and other countries arround the world have also been contacted.

I just want to say to everyone involved thanks, and keep the ball rolling. Ill-trained Iraqi Secret Police have detained an innocent man, a GOOD man that is our friend and a blogger. WE MUST HELP HIM, and we MUST warn those in the US army and US gov't that it WILL NOT LOOK GOOD when the media RIP THEM APART about ill-trained iraqi' security forces making rash decisions and jailing important members of the iraqi blogging community.

Khalid is against the Occupation, but he is also against violence and extremism. He is a funny, intelligent and peaceful man. Let him go with no harm, and do it now. Family, Friends, Bloggers and our Media Associates will NEVER surrender on Khalid's Fight.

Don't forget to continue your e-mails, phonecalls and prayers for Khalid.


Khalid's Fight
This message I send out to Khalid Jarrar through prayer and thought,
and to those who are with me, with Khalid.

Khalid Jarrar was ABDUCTED by the Iraqi Secret Police (mukhabarat) last monday (more than 10 days ago) without given reason, without access to a lawyer, and with no phonecall to his family for the first 3 days, then no contact with the outside world afterwards. Khalid Jarrar is a good man, who in no way promotes or incites violence. This man has been taken by mistake due to ill-trained Iraqi Security forces, and corruption within the Iraqi Government.

If Khalid is not returned safe and unharmed SOON, the world will be shown how poorly the US have trained Iraqi security forces, and this will be yet another blow to an already unstable US occupying force.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Khalid and his family. Do all you can to help them.


Khalid's Fight
(Dedicated to Khalid Jarrar)

I feel angry though not inspired.
Earlier today I was sad and tired,
an inspired poem was flowing free.

A poem that was written, for Khalid, from me.

We must tell the world. Yes let them know,
the seeds of hate they should not sew.
Let this man that is guilt-free,
out of that jail cell to speak to me.

If Khalid is not soon set free,
then the entire world will surely see.

We must not let him lose this fight,
Khalid's case is in the media's light.
Continue this battle from day through night.
Family, friends and bloggers unite.

We will not surrender on Khalid's fight.

Luke(y) Skinner 21/7/05
Monday, July 18, 2005
(Khalid Updates)
((This post will be continuosly updated, so please keep reading down, because I want to be able to copy & paste this post for emails, so it needs to be kept in order.. Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is an important issue, and those emails are important. I am glad to see people are keeping up-to-date with this issue, ive had over 120 hits in 3 days, which is a heap for me

UPDATE: I have called the "Australian Broadcasting Corporation" and spoken to a high quality Journalist about this, they are now following the story and waiting for any updates to be released. Thank you staff @ ABC Television for your care a quick response, and particularly to Jonathan Beal, the journalist I am corresponding with on this issue.--- I hope this helps @ your end, even if it is just the feeling of having moral support behind you...

UPDATE #2: I have informed the Committee to Protect Bloggers of what has happened, and also Journalists Without Borders. It seems Khalid had some great friends that he spoke to over the net, and they are all watching, reading, repeating and asking questions. Keep it up everyone, call your local media companies, TV news stations, Radio Stations etc and tell them that an innocent Iraqi friend of yours has been Abducted by the Iraqi Secret Police, without given reason, with no given court date or offence... Tell them about these blogs and especially about Khalid's and his Families Blogs

I am sorry to those who have turned to asking me what to do that I do not have a better answer, but whilst we are awaiting news about Khalid's situation there is nothing but awareness raising that we can achieve... Linking with these media networks on this situation will allow me to easily get the story out when news does come in, because I have already been told that an investigation would likely be run on TV here in perth if the situation so requires it.

last known point of contact from Khalid Jarrar before he was taken by the Iraqi mukhaborat was an e-mail to Mike on Monday the 11th of July

It would take a brave person, but someone should ring the american's on a phone and tell them that the Iraqi Mukhabarat have abducted Khalid Jarrar, and that he is not guilty of any crime and that hundreds of people are already working to inform the world media... They should act quickly to avoid leaving the Iraqi Security forces looking un-trained under public scrutiny through the media!!!!

Ok, the last update was saturday and it seems the ball is rolling now. I have just informed John Martinkus of the Australian SBS, who himself was abducted in Iraq. I am currently working on informing CBC and BBC, who Khalid had connections with, so is Mike Allen.

A petition was created days ago and is being greated with popular support sign it here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/820522461?ltl=1121603411

Khalid's family and friends also released a popular blog yesterday, it can be found at- http://giveusourkhalidback.blogspot.com/ <-- fixed this link, thanks Mike for pointing out I had written the address wrong.

I also found some terrible news on Raed's blog- quote :

"On another note, it seems that the new Iraqi courts don't guarantee the right to lawyers: prisoners are neither offered the help of a public defender nor can they bring their own lawyers. News about my sibling is so confusing, but we're expecting to know more tomorrow. There are more than ten thousand people in the US prisons in Iraq, and other thousands in Iraq's governmental and paramilitary jails. Everyone deserves to have the right of a phone call to inform his family about his location and status after being arrested, everyone deserves the right of having a trial and knowing what he or she is charged with, and everyone deserves to have a lawyer for his trial."

Have also spoken to some quakers, who I will talk more with later.... This is about all I can do for now, i understand others have contacted "the Gaurdian", al-jazeera, the Iraqi embassy in USA, will post again tonight... follow the links for more info, particularly raed's blog and giveusourkhalidback!

Last updated Monday July 18th, 6:30am.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Khalid Jarrar, My good friend, ABDUCTED
(the date on this post is intentionally wrong to keep it at the top)

Raed's Blog
Khalid's Mother
Khalid's blog

Today I logged on to http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com, Raed Jarrar's blog. I do this everytime I connect to the net, because keeping up to date with events in Iraq is one of my favourite passtimes. Today I saw something that scared, suprised and relieved me.

I had failed to get replies from Khalid with my last emails, and was wondering why... I thought maybe it had to do with him being in Ammam, but then he went back to Baghdad as his blog (http://secretsinbaghdad.blogspot.com states, after his house was robbed..... They took the hard-drive from his computer, and this makes me think it could have been the 'government'. Maybe they have problems with what his family are doing, bringing in thousands of dollars of medical supplies to suffering people. Or maybe their blogs are classified as "terrorist related websites".

Khalid Jarrar is a good man, and my friend. A person who from my view wanted to help make things better, and was in no way related to terrorist activities. - Maybe he bought some petrol on the blackmarket, maybe he owned a gun, but in Iraq... Who doesn't????

Khalid has (since July 10) been abducted by the mokhabarat (government agents).......... He is being held in a Jail cell like a prisoner or a criminal.
He was taken from his university.

I hope Khalid is released and not abused or harmed in anyway. And I will do whatever it takes to ensure he is released safely, the media here in Perth will run with this story, if it is pushed into their faces like I intend to.

I am angry and sad, but glad he is alive. Here is the post from his family off Raed's blog.

[olivebranch out]

My mom called me today at 7 in the morning, shouting with happiness: "Khalid is okay!". Niki and I were the last members of the family to know the "happy news". Khalid called my dad from the Iraqi mokhabarat's jail to inform us he was alive; he said he was abducted by the mukhabarat men from his university. My dad called my mom and Majed, and they informed us then.

The feelings of joyfulness in our family now would give anyone the impression that khalid has won the lottery! My mom spent the morning planning Khalid’s future, including the arrangements of his wedding party!

If your child or sibling vanishes for two days then calls from the secret service jail in any other place on earth, that would be considered a disaster and a violation of human rights…

In Iraq, however, it’s Happy News.

Because the other options include: To be tortured, executed, and thrown in garbage by SCIRI and their Badr brigades. To be held by the Iraqi police and left to choke to death in one of their cars. To be held by the US troops then disappear and be mistreated for months in one of their many prisons. To be kidnapped by one of the countless criminal gangs and cost your family some tens of millions of Iraqi Dinars and/or your life.

So now you can see why being held at the mukhabarat jail is such happy news!

My dad said that Khalid mentioned something about his writings or his blog. We’re not sure whether our blogs are the reason behind the abduction of Khalid, but it’s one of the possible scenarios. In case if they were, we’ll stand for our political values of anti-violence, anti-occupation, pro-dialogue, pro-free speech, and all of the other honourable stands that my family has taken in our lifetime.

Our goal now is to ask the mokhabarat to take Khalid to court and reveal what exactly he is being charged with (if anything).
Friday, July 08, 2005
Living a Long Life

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them"

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

P.S- Here are some beautiful yet worriesome words from a lovely 14yr old Iraqi friend of myn

---- Thanks Hnk'

We are in the 3 rd year of the war. 3 years and the war didn't end.
SO when you want to help Iraqi people don't send your cousin and sons to
Iraq to fight. Because they fight us not fight for us.

Did you forget the WMD?
Did you forget what happened in Abo Graib?
Did you forget what the humanity mean?
Did you forget what the human needs?

Don't bother, I also forget something but I forget
What the peace look like..
What the street look like..
What the sky in the night look like..
What my relatives look like..

Some times I just think if you see what my eyes saw, if you hear what my
ears heard. you will be able to understand what I mean.
Another Iraqi Story
It is sad when we see so much suffering and can do so little,

I try to help by repeating words, by arguing and sending and praying and speaking..... But when will I get my chance to make a direct difference? when can I shine?

Oh, I just realised I have yet to post that I was accepted into University for next semester (beginning in the first week of August I believe)..... I will be studying Journalism.

Life is leading me towards making changes, I want to inspire university activism... I know I can help. I will help......

But for now please continue to read my blog as a way of ensuring information and stories are never silenced I will copy them here....

More of my own opinion later, I haven't the energy or inspiration to write lately for some reason... It is not good(but still great fun) but Uni will change that (the writing).

The below article is about more american inflamatory behaviour and Mass-Punishment tactics

[olivebranch out]

Saturday, June 25, 2005
News from the city of Buhrez

A story from the city of Buhrez as I read it:

"Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American and Iraqi soldiers came to the city afterwards and cut all the phones, cut the water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that until the people of the city bring the “terrorists” to them, the embargo will continue.”

The embargo has been in place now for one week now,

“The Americans still won’t anyone or any medicines and supplies into Buhrez, nor will they allow any people in or out. Even the Al-Sadr followers who organized some help for the people in the city (water, food, medicine) are not being allowed into the city. Even journalists cannot enter to publish the news, and the situation there is so bad. The Americans keep asking for the people in the city to bring them the persons who were in charge of destroying the two Humvees on the other side of the city, but of course the people in the city don’t know who carried out the attack.”

posted by Truth teller at 7:35 AM
Looting of History
I just read this great/sad article, decided I couldn't do better, its not my area. So here it is, and to Mark, whose' comment on my blog said "Out of curiosity, What lesson should the G8 Take from this?" - I say:

The G8 should learn, that inaction despite their potential to do so much good in the world is unacceptable. Allowing the oppression of people is one thing, and will make them angry. But supporting their oppressive governments openly (ie, Saudi's, African Govt's, Israel, Indonesia, just to name a few) will reap serious consequences...

And unfortunately, for me and you, for my mother and father, for mothers and fathers and daughters and sons, WE WILL BE THE VICTIMS. We will be made to feel the suffering felt daily by the millions around the world, not the millionaires. Because they have helicopters, jets and hotels. They have private security and fences for a kilometer around them. We, like the rest of the world, will not stand for suffering on behalf of a few powerful men. G8 leaders or not, we the people will not be bombed to get a message to the G8 without some repercussions for the G8 themselves.

enjoy this below article

[olivebranch out]

More looting of Iraq's riches

Michael Jansen

Iraq's rich cultural heritage continues to be stripped of archaeological sites in the countryside while in Baghdad, the doors of the Iraq National Museum, the fifth most important in the world, remain closed to the public because of fears that its treasures could be stolen in a raid by the well organised antiquities mafia.

On the sidelines of celebrations marking the reconstruction of a16 th century palace and mosque at Rada, in Yemen, this correspondent was briefed on what is happening in Iraq on the archaeological front by Dr Macguire Gibson of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. Gibson, who dug for many seasons at the Sumerian site of Nippur in southern Iraq, is president of the American Academic Research Institute.

He was one of the US scholars who warned the Bush administration ahead of its 2003 war that a great deal of the ancient and Islamic history of the Land Between The Two Rivers could be lost and Iraq's museums could be looted during a conflict. Tragically, the administration did not listen to warnings and pleas of experts like him. As a result, Iraq's artefacts and documents are being dug from sites where they have lain for millennia, sold to dealers, provided with false provenance, and installed in collections of unscrupulous individuals and institutions.

Although he has not visited Iraq since May2003 , when he took part in the UNESCO mission investigating the looting of the Iraq National Museum, Gibson closely follows what is happening in the museums and in the field. He was recently briefed by Dr Donny George, the head of Iraq's museums, who paid a visit to Chicago.

Gibson asserted: “The Americans are not doing anything [to prevent pillage in Iraq], they went into Iraq with too few troops and did nothing to stop looting as soon as the regime fell. Once it began, it became impossible to stop it. The Italian and Dutch contingents are trying to help but they can do very little. We have reports that Muqtada Sadr [the powerful Shiite cleric based in Kufa] is getting a cut. There was a fatwa [clerical ruling from Najaf] condemning looting but there was a counter-fatwa from Iran saying that looting pre-Islamic items is acceptable.

“Looting has become such an industry that in towns like Samawa and Nasiriya, truck drivers take groups of people to sites in the morning and take them back in the afternoon. US and other foreign troops could stop the looting if they confiscated or destroyed the trucks carrying looters to and from sites.”

Gibson said there has been “little improvement” in recent months due to the deployment of guards at key sides by the Department of Antiquities. There is one influential Iraqi personality in Nassiriya who has been very active along with Italian art squad teams based in that area. They raided homes and shops and seized material stolen from both major and distant desert sites. But the Italians have departed so it is not clear whether the Iraqis will carry on. His life has been threatened but he belongs to a powerful family so he has been spared so far.

The ongoing pillage began on the very day US troops crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March2003 . Farmers promptly commenced digging on behalf of local dealers who took up the antiquities trade in the wake of the 1991 US war on Iraq. Until then, there was “only a trickle” of Iraqi antiquities leaving the country because the trade had been suppressed in the1930 s when Iraq asserted its sovereignty over its territory. Under Saddam Hussein, antiquities were preserved and protected because he felt a strong connection with Iraq's past. Theft was punishable by death.

“Now Iraq, the country with the best record of controlling antiquities, is prey to looters,” Gibson stated.

One of the major figures in the looting is Saddam's brother-in-law, who emerged in the90 s as a major antiquities trader. He was caught and dismissed from all his posts for involvement in the trade, but was not executed as some persons were. Gibson said the US is not interested in him although it is rumoured he could be funding insurgents with the proceeds of looting.

Gibson said the market for Iraqi antiquities developed “during the 1991 conflict when nine of the13 provincial museums were looted and more than5 ,000 objects were stolen. Only 45 were recovered. The looting coincided with a boom in the antiquities trade after the stock market dip in the late80 s. Interest in Iraqi antiquities was sparked by the sale of the Erlenmeyer collection [which was accumulated legally in the20 s and 30 s] in four separate auctions. Universities and museums could buy this stuff, because it was clean.”

But the downside of this sale was that there was a “huge spike in the prices of Mesopotamian antiquities. A cylinder seal which sold for $ 500before brought $15,000. Dealers [in Iraq] had the catalogues and knew the prices”. After the US and Britain established the no-fly zones, the Iraqis could not protect the sites and the looters moved in.

Gibson gave the example of what happened at one location. “Earlier and earlier tablets from Umma, a wonderful desert site, showed up as the looters dug deeper and deeper. The Antiquities Department managed to halt this illegal digging by sending in the army to drive away the thieves and setting up its own excavation.”

A splendid new temple and ancient buildings were found. “But,” he said, “during the first 60 days of the US occupation there were200 - 300people digging on the site.”

He continued: “By September2003 , over half the sites were destroyed. Since then, we have lost most of the major Sumerian sites. Only Ur and Uruk are OK. The others are very badly dug up. Sites are riddled with holes. No site south of Baghdad is safe and the looters are heading north. We don't know what is happening in the provinces because [the antiquities] people are not going out.”

The authorities, he revealed, “say things are improving but they must put the best face on [the situation] that they can”.

The situation of the museum remains precarious. Extra guards have been hired and security equipment has been installed. Gibson said: “Most objects ... remain sealed up. The gold is back in storage in the Central Bank. The department is trying to safeguard [the treasures] as much as possible while computerising the records. It still does not have a final count of what is missing. One storeroom has not been catalogued.”

He explained that it was raided during the looting which took place between April 9 and13 , when Baghdad fell. Items, stored in this room had been arranged on shelves set aside for specific excavations. They were identified by dig documents. When looters entered this room, objects were swept from the shelves. Many items were broken and crushed, most lay in confusion on the floor. This room will take much longer than the rest to catalogue. It is not air-conditioned and the women who do the work often do not show up because of the lack of security.

“At least15 , 000pieces are missing,5 , 000have been returned,” Gibson said.

“But the outpouring from the sites dwarfs what is lost from the museum. We are losing the context of objects, 80 per cent of the information they provide about the societies which produced them.... Iraq is losing its culture and its wealth. Iraqis are depriving themselves of employment in the future as well as revenue from tourism.... No one wants to go to holes in the ground.”

Thursday, July7 ,2005
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Thursday, July 07, 2005
Calmer, Angry, Fearful and full of prayer
So now we have come to a cross-road. If the G8 do not listen this time, then the G8 is too late. The bombs going off around london, so far 3 buses and 2 trainstations hit, they are directed at the G8 members meeting right now.

Stop Iraq, Stop Afghanistan, Help Africa, Help Latin America.

It will probably be blamed on al-Qaeda, if not who else?

They can't blame anarchists, as it is against civilians(even though, it could be against suits), they cant blame the Zapata, or Jemaah Islamiyah..... If they claim it is Al-Qaeda, this then proves that the US invading Afghanistan and Iraq was just the cause of attacks against the EU (or the UK, whichever way you perceive it).

I am conserned for the civilians, and for the far reaching effects this could have. Yet somehow I am strangely excited about the very limited positive that could come from this.

I do not believe in ANY OUTWARD violence for ANY "greater good". Do not take me as supporting these acts. I will repeat in many different ways "I CONDEMN THESE ATTACKS", "THESE ATTACKS ARE NOT JUSTIFIED", "I AM NOT INVOLVED WITH THIS", "I WILL NEVER AGREE TO OUTWARD VIOLENCE".


So now I will move on to the point. The G8 summit is the most powerful 8 nations in the world, their ability to do good for countries not so fortunate to them is amazingly high, yet they refraine from it. The ability for these impoverished nations to harm these rich nations is much higher than most would believe, yet they hold back in hope. Sometimes they get sick of it, and extremists do silly things like this, but the world does wake up.

I don't feel anti-terrorism fear right now. I feel anger at the government for being involved in Iraq. I feel that if it happens here it IS NOT MY FAULT. If it happened in london, it is NOT THE POMS FAULT, its the POLLIES FCKING FAULT.

I don't like to swear, but some times it is called for. This is one of those fucking times.

I pray to all the gods worshipped by those in suffering around the world that no more suffering is caused today, that good does come from these terrible events and that victims of opression world-wide, or the bystanders like myself watching will stand up and be counted to prevent this happening again.



5:30pm, 9:30am, London Attacked .
This is a sad day in history, and hopefully a day the stupid FUCKING G8 LEADERS WILL LEARN FROM. Some asshole has gone and attacked the London Public Transport system, unjustified attacks against civilian targets.

If you want to attack the G8, Go to Scotland and attack the G8. I understand how important the date to do this on is, today, and the idea they are trying to achieve. But that just does not excuse destroying public transport and killing civilians.

By now if it was in the USA, we would have the media buzzing with terrorist alerts, why haven't we? Where are the media?

I hope the G8 learn something from this, I hope change comes now, before it is far far to late for them.

1 Bus, the Trainlines, and a Supermarket so far

[olivebranch out for now]

-- ps, note that I post about this b4 australian media broke with it
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Examining Rising Discontent Around The Globe

In this post I am going to attempt to professionally answer a question I have made for my own consumption/answering, because I want a suitable answer!

Is there Discontent and/or Rising Discontent around the globe in 2005? What makes you believe this, and how does this effect the future of global stability?

{{{{Answer the question: "There are two types of discontent in the world-"
Establish the importance of Discontent. Establish the difference between discontent (USA pre september 11, [florida voting]) and Rising discontent (the USA since the PATRIOT ACT).}

There are two types of discontent present in the world in 2005, one of which will effect the future more immediately than the other. The first is the kind where people mumble at home, complain about work and are not quite happy with their leaders. This type of discontent does not head towards immediate conflict with the government because life is generally still bearable. In the United States of America (USA), and around the globe this was present for many years pre-September 11, particularly towards the US gov't and 'US Interests' around the globe. After September 11 the American public was left scared and open to exploitation, their government responded by introducing the oppressive US-PARTRIOT ACT.

This response by the US gov't was the catalyst for what I call the "Rising Discontent" that has gripped the USA and much of the world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This second kind is bringing imminent change, Non-Government Organisations (NGO's), anti-war activists and bloggers have become major players even as the United Nations is undermined by US unilateralism and its unhelpful 'Veto' system.

In the words of Kofi Annan July 4th 2005 to the "make poverty history" concerts, and its estimated 3billion viewers world-wide (though I doubt 3billion people ever watch a television in one day...) "YOU TRUELY ARE THE UNITED NATIONS". The only time nations are truely united these days seems to be when they are expressing a universal voice of discontent towards the policies of the government of today's policy towards others, usually the less fortunate, and more often than not indigenous people.

As a result of this rising discontent we will see much change in the USA post 2005, teed off by the congressional hearings initiated by congressman John Conyers and bloggers world-wide on the Downing Street Minutes (DSM) just days ago.

{{{{Introduce the argument to prove discontent in the world outside the USA pre-September 11. }}}}

First thought that comes to my head when I think to prove discontent outside of the USA pre-September 11, is September 11 itself. An act of terror such as this should not lightly be discarded as a bunch of extremist with hatered of Westerners'. If a grudge is held against someone, there is usually a reason, or an association involved. This is certainly the case with September 11, and the reason for this grudge is the same as the causes of discontent around most of the globe: "US Interests".

To finish the point I started on before moving along, "US Interests" in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991 were what caused a once American-friendly terror leader to turn against his allies. The stationing of 250,000 NON-MUSLIM US Soldiers in Saudi Arabia, the home of the Powerful Bin Laden Family and the most holy site of Islam, Mecca was enough to get on the nerves of Saudi Arabia's most religiously respected man, Osama Bin Laden. This was not all, US interest in Saudi oil and the soldiers disrespect for Saudi religion and tribal traditions exaserbated the situation. In Osama's view, it was against the Wahhabi Muslim teaching to allow non-Muslims to use Saudi soil for an attack against fellow Muslims.

Well, we all know what happend to Osama, he was extrodited to Afghanistan and Pakistan where he could grow his militia with the funding of the Bin Laden Corporation, and without interference by the US as part of an agreement between Saudi Royals, the Bin Laden Group, and the US ambassdor. It is the highest offense to chase an al-Saud or a Bin Laden, and would not be good for US interests in Saudi Oil.

So eventually they struck embassies, a US warship, the Twin Towers with a truck, and then there was September 11. Since then Al-Qaeda is a household name, Bin Laden is the Bin Liner joke of the day. If that is not a sign of discontent, then what is?

Outside of the Middle-East pre-September 11 there was also much discontent in South America towards US policies and the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which virtually ripped poor land owners land from under their feet and sold it to US Corporations for large sums of US$. NAFTA was put into effect on January 1994 and with it came immediate and fearsome discontent.

The Zapatista Revolution began that New-Years-Day in Chiapas, South Mexico. It inspired the disgruntled masses in Latin America towards revolution, away from supporting the USA. Though it was crushed with military force backed by the Mexican and US gov'ts, the revolutionaries had won a great victory. The world awoke to what was happening in Latin America, and many concessions had to be made by Latin American governments to revoultionary peasants in the years following.

Though this was the cause of rising discontent in 1994, by 2001 many of the governments over Latin America had been overthrown, voted out or undergone solialist revolution. Evidently, their people could no longer handle the lack of land or food in their resource rich countries, another of many significant sources of discontent in South America.

The consequential emergence of Venezualan President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian Alternative was a point of hope that kept the reformist ball rolling in South America, and continues to be a historical turning point in Latin history to this very day. Thus the exaserbated discontent of 1994 had climatized in revolution and social change in the late 1990's, and is beginning to sooth and calm as Latin Governments begin addressing the issues and causes of discontent together.

This in itself, is a major cause of discontent for the government of the United States of America who gets approximately 1/3 of its oil supply from the oil fields of Venezuela, who has become the front-runner of countries seeking to diversify its economical ties away from the United States of America due to its imminent demise.

So as you see, there was much discontent in the world leading up to september 11, and this is without addressing the issues of Africa, which I feel I am unqualified to comment on because it is not one of the area's I have researched extensively.

{{{{Establish link between this discontent and the US domination of the UN, or US interest in regions of unusually high discontent.}}}}

It is important when studying discontent to examine the main root-cause, before examining the causes of specific cases as they may be exaserbated by the original and underlying feelings of distrust amongst humans.

I believe that for as long as I remember the USA and Israel have been the leading causes of global discontent. With it's "War on Drugs", the "Cold War", its refusal do disarm its nuclear arsenal when Gorbachev offered a mutual disarmament in 1989-1991 before the collapse of the soviet union. To the more modern discision by General Wesley Clark during the 1998 invasion of Kosovo to declare a "full-scale invasion of Russia".

Whether it is on the Korean Peninsula, trouble with spy planes over China in 2002, or the problems between Palestine and Israel, American Interests seem to lay at the center of a vast majority of the discontent around the world. Even here in Western Australia, the example that America has layed is being followed by our Federal Parliament and is causing some of the greatest Union Strikes of all time, along with the worlds largest ever strikes/rallies in 2003 over the US-led INVASION OF IRAQ, and the "US-seaswap" and their Navy boys chatting up our 13year old girls in the city as I once saw. (Naturally I yelled out, "LEAVE HER ALONE YOU SEEDY OLD BASTARD" and everyone looked at him, so he dissapeared). US Policy towards others seems to be a "you give, we take" policy.

When our dearest Australian Prime Minister John Howard was negotiating a "free-trade agreement" with the USA, all the US wanted was a "free export" agreement where they could send us whatever they wanted, particularly their media and medical supplies (though our medical and scientific medicine research teams are the best in the world), while our end of the deal was a rip off. Fortunately some of it was blocked by the Labor Party, and much was forced out of the tight-assed US gov't eventually.

This kind of attitude, even towards a potentially critical allie with a major cash surplus and billions of dollars worth of natural resources such as gas, coal, gold, silver, bauxite, uranium, iron-ore is what will prevent the USA from recovering from its current situation of weakness, it still believes itself to be the ruler of the world, but its servants no longer say "how high".

Another way of viewing a hot-spot of discontent is to see how the United Nations has been labelled as "weak" and "fragile". The power of the US government to Veto has been abused, but who is going to react? It seems that the UN has earnt itself another enemy that it really should be trying to bring in as its only allie against the US domination of the world, and that is the "Second Superpower", or the people around the world brave enough to stand up and say "WE WILL BE COUNTED AS BEING AGAINST THESE GLOBALLY OPPRESSIVE POLICIES".

In 2003, the UN was slipped document after document, speach after speach of absolute rubbish from the Bush Administration, and many members of the UN security council were folly enough to support the Bush Administration's invasion plans, despite proof that the US government had fixed the "facts" and "evidence" to fit its plans to secure a base for US interests in the Middle-East. The Downing Street Memo emerged as further proof of this later in 2003, and its successfull gain of congressional support and the signatures of over 580,000 US citizens for an official investigation into the administrations bending of the rules and lying about facts pre-invasion.

The United Nations still failed to respond, no disciplinary action has been taken on the USA such as sanctions, or even the threat of sanctions. It has officially declared its annoyance at the USA acting unilaterally against its wishes but wh00p-de-d00, do you really think this will change Bush's mind? Now you can see how this becomes frustrating to the other, lesser-powers around the globe, and how individuals like myself who study this are getting ever impatient and angrier daily as nothing changes except the suffering of Iraqi's worsening.

This is where the Rising Discontent begins to show, from within my very own soul and onto these pages.

{{{{Outline the typical effects/signs of Rising Discontent, give examples. (eg Russian Proletariat, Peasantry in 1914-17) .}}}}

Rising discontent is often the catalyst for revolution.

{{{{Argue how this started the process of Rising Discontent that now grips the public of the USA (Fear [relate Gun Purchases], the color-coded system of alerts [and its flaws], wanting more democracy).}}}}

{{{{Other contributors to Rising Discontent (Economic Distress, Losing a War, Lack Of Confidence in Gov't [DSM], Wanting new Leader [Fuck/Impeech Bush Campaign], Ohio votes scandal)}}}}

{{{{Compare this Rising discontent to other more global forms. Introduce problems such as those in East Europe (Ukraine Elections etc), USA[Anti-War Movement, Bloggers, DSM], Chiapas Mexico [Zapatista Revolution], Venezuala [Bolivarian Revolution], Saudi Arabia, Iran, Palestine/Israel, the Taiwan Straight, North/South Korea, Rwanda and consequently The Congo, Zimbabwe, Iraq.}}}}

{{{{Debate the questions: What is being done to tackle this Rising Discontent?? What will happen if nothing is done?}}}}

{{{{Solutions: My new suggestions for the UN (allowing in General Public/NGO's to fill its rank/file jobs, provide free training/equiptment transport etc, become mediator and facilitator independant from gov't support. Use the underground that is out there, don't reject it. Rejecting it makes further warfare, the General Public are the only ones who can stand up against Militia's, so let them in.)}}}}

{{{{Conclusion: Purpose of this article, and one last question: Who will lead this movement, and how will we do it peacefully?}}}}
Friday, July 01, 2005
Emotions, Lung Transplants, Doctors and Life
This is a one-in-a-million blog for me.

I want to talk about the things happening in my life.

Firstly, my mothers father (my 'Grandad')- who was never much of a grandad, specially since I was 8 years old when he last saw me, was today the third person in Western Australia to ever have recieved a Lung Transplant.

A young 16-year old was in a car in April, when his 17 year old friend was driving. The driver was hooning around alot, while the 16 year old passenger was throwing things and hanging out the window.

They drove to close to something (a pole?), and consequently the 16yr old was left in a coma until last night, Thursday June 31 when he sadly passed away.

This boys family must be extremely sad and I feel for them, but I hope they find some kind of reconcile in the knowledge that their sons death atleast saved the lives of two others. My grandad recieved his Lung, and another man recieved his heart.

It is likely other organs were donated too but this is all I know. My family is in a bit of shock, but to me it means very little, except that my mother will need some extra support from me and that I MAY POSSIBLY have my grandfather enter my life for the first time in over 10 years.

It reminds me of my mothers upbringing, in the lower working class in England. Her father left her mother (my Nanna) when my mother was young, 10 or 12 I think. He then played very little part in their lives, spent very little time with his three daughters (Aunty T[racey]), (Aunty J[anet]) and Linda (Mum). He neglected his own family as if he did not know what being a father meant, yet the girls do not hold it against him(too much anyways). Family is a wonderful thing.

It makes me feel lucky to have my father and my mother both present in my life, however I do know how it feels to lose a close relative. My oldest brother Tim, who I have always looked up to has not seen nor spoken to me or my family for many years now. The reason: Tim took drugs, too many drugs, and they made him do bad things.

It is a terrible thing to wonder where he is, what he is doing and hope he is O.K with no way of knowing other than my own intuition. I know if I could find him he would speak to me, he is just to scared to speak to my dad, because of the past.

Still I am all the wiser and that much stronger because of it.

I hope this kids family, the 16 yr old whose lung is now inside a member of my family suffers no more tragedy. I pray to God, to Allah, to the Universe and myself that my grandfather makes use of this gift. That it makes him realise how important family is and that some OTHER FAMILY HAS LOST ITS SON, AND THEY WOULD WANT HIM TO RECONCILE WITH HIS DAUGHTERS.

I am sure that I could bring much hapiness to this mans life, much joy in knowing that from his spawn has come intelligent life, emotional life that is determined to succeed in life. If he were closer to my mother, he would see her academia(stupidwordihateit), her love for her children and friends and the adoration she holds in the eye of everyone she knows.

In my Aunty Tracey he would see a feiry, strong woman determined to help others who have suffered emotionally like her self, to prevent them falling into the traps she has seen or herself been a victim of. He would see a mother that is funny, tender and firm with her children, whose children obey her and are both extremely intelligent and strangely wise.

In my Brother he would see the masterfull chef, the happy-go-lucky man that everyone loves despite his many loveable downfalls.

In Aunty Janet and her son he would see will power and strength, pride and wisdom combined with resourcefullness and experience. Though everyone has their downfalls, aunty J's are mostly related to her dominating personality and loud approach to life, they are also, from another view also her best and strongest points(as a mother, particularly a single mother, masculinity is also a plus when raising a little boy). I hope she gets to keep Mitchy(my cousin), because she has done a good job raising him and I don't think things would be better off for him with Unkle Chip(his father), as Chip is very straight edge/strict, very intrusive and very opinionated, often to the point of arrogance.

My point is that this man should be proud of his family, of my little sister who should be a star singer, with the voice of an angel and maturity well beyond her years, of my cousins Jess&Jake, of Mitch, of Mattie, of ME. He should be proud of his daughters, and he should speak to their mother, my beloved Nanna wise, funny and strong. Fuck knows how she managed to raise this family on her own, without support, with little money.

She has done a very very splendid job and I wish I showed her more. I will show her more, how much she really has accomplished.

This evening has been another eye-opener, hopefully not just for me.

This family should be proud, should be strong and together not apart. Grandad should show some interest, should dare to engage in conversation with my ever witty Nanna, and should enjoy for the rest of his life what is a strong, sensible and proud family.

Best wishes to Grandad, and to the family which his lung belongs too.