30 July 2006

Quote of the Day...

"...bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay..."
--George Clinton (b.1941), American Musician, Songwriter

26 July 2006

CBU-87/B & 'Willy-Pete'...

Cluster Bombs! They're the 'gift' that keeps on giving -- the IDF's gift to the cjildren of Lebanon, courtesy of the United States Department of Defense. Add don't forget to finish off your affair with that special glow that can only come from white phosphorous munitions...


Israel Urged to Shun Cluster Bomb


US-based Human Rights Watch says Israel has used cluster bombs in civilian areas during its assault on Lebanon.

The group says an attack using the munitions on the village of Blida last week killed one person and injured 12.

It says the explosives - which disperse after impact - are "unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable", and should not be used in populated areas.

The Israeli military says their use is legal under international law, and that it is investigating the Blida incident.


Critics say cluster bombs leave behind a large number of unexploded bomblets, which often kill long after they are fired.

The law of war requires you to distinguish between soldiers and civilians, so when you are using an outdated, unreliable weapon in a populated area, it is likely that the attack violates international humanitarian law
Bonnie Docherty

Human Rights Watch

"Our research in Iraq and Kosovo shows that cluster munitions cannot be used in populated areas without huge loss of civilian life," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The group believes that the use of cluster munitions in populated areas may violate the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks contained in international humanitarian law.

"They're not illegal per se, but certain attacks may be illegal," Washington representative Bonnie Docherty says.

"The law of war requires you to distinguish between soldiers and civilians, so when you are using an outdated, unreliable weapon in a populated area, it is likely that the attack violates international humanitarian law," she told the BBC.

"We have researchers on the ground who are investigating them and will investigate other claims related to cluster munitions, as well as other incidents in the ongoing conflict."

Phosphorous Bombs Claims

Separately, there have been reports in Lebanon that Israel is using phosphorous bombs in its offensive.

Doctors in hospitals in southern Lebanon say they suspect some of the burns they are seeing are being caused by phosphorous bombs.

Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital in Tyre, told the Associated Press news agency that patients admitted on Sunday were burn cases that resulted from Israeli phosphorous incendiary weapons.

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud made an oblique reference to their use in an interview with French radio.

"According to the Geneva Convention, when they use phosphorous bombs and laser bombs, is that allowed against civilians and children?" he said on Monday.

The Geneva Conventions ban the use of white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said arms used in Lebanon did not contravene international norms.

"Everything the Israeli Defence Forces are using is legitimate," the spokeswoman was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

The Israeli military says it is investigating the claims.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/25 14:59:50 GMT


Help For Lebanon's War Victims...

You can make a difference by making a donation for emergency aid. Please go to the link below...

United Nations World Food Programme - the UN food aid agency



22 July 2006

Tour de France: Floyd Flies to Victory!

Shazam! Lightning sometimes does strike twice, well sort of. Floyd even made the CBS Evening News...


Landis Set To Claim Tour Victory

Floyd Landis shows his determination during Saturday's time-trial
Landis shows the determination that has put him on the verge of victory
Floyd Landis grabbed the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey after finishing third in Saturday's time-trial to all but secure overall victory.

Landis finished behind Serhiy Honchar, who won his second time-trial of this year's race, and Andreas Kloden, who moved up to third overall.

But the American transformed a deficit of 30 seconds on previous leader Oscar Pereiro into a 59-second lead.

That should be enough to give Landis victory on the final stage into Paris.

Having put virtually a minute between himself and the Spaniard, Flandis should be able to enjoy a celebratory Sunday on the 154.5km from Sceaux-Anthony before the sprinters fight it out on the Champs-Elysees.

"It's a wonderful feeling," he said as he prepares to succeed compatriot Lance Armstrong as Tour champion.

"I was one of the lucky ones to be part of Lance's seven wins (as a former team-mate at US Postal). I was there for three of them but it wouldn't have been the same if I couldn't have done it on my own. I am very happy."

"I knew these guys would fight as hard as they could. They certainly made me work for it"

Floyd Landis

Honchar, who won the first long time-trial on stage seven by a minute from Landis, again set a scorching pace on the baking plains of Burgundy.

The veteran Ukrainian was more than three minutes quicker than anyone else when he arrived in Montceau-les-Mines, until Landis briefly threatened his supremacy.

The American was a second ahead at the first check-point after 16.5 of the 57km, but could not maintain his blistering early pace.

Landis was more concerned with eating into his deficit on Pereiro, which he turned into a minute lead by the 34km mark.

Andreas Kloden, runner-up to Armstrong two years ago, also kept up a high pace to finish second and oust Carlos Sastre from the third podium place.

"I knew with the general classification on the line these guys would fight as hard as they could and they certainly made me work for it," added a beaming Landis at the finish.

"Normally I am very confident in my ability to time-trial but when the yellow jersey is on the line and people have that incentive, it is not so easy to beat them."

Scot David Millar also enjoyed a succesful day, finishing 11th, four minutes behind Honchar.

"I was really relaxed and really enjoyed it today," Millar said. "I hadn't even gone round the course and I had no idea what to expect. But I feel like I used to. I started to fire again."

Results from stage 19's time-trial:
1. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr/T-Mobile) 1:07:46
2. Andreas Kloeden (Ger/T-Mobile) at 41 secs
3. Floyd Landis (USA/Phonak) at 1:11
4. Oscar Pereiro (Spa/Caisse) at 2:40
5. Sebastian Lang (Ger/Gerolsteiner) at 3:18
6. David Zabriskie (USA/CSC) at 3:35
7. Viatceslav Ekimov (Rus/DSC) at 3:41
8. Cadel Evans (Aus/CSC) at 3:41
9. Bert Grabsch (Ger/Phonak)
10. Damiano Cunego (Ita/Lampre) at 3:44
Selected others:
11. David Millar (Gbr/Saunier Duval) at 4:01
56. Bradley Wiggins (Gbr/Cofidis) at 7:35

General classification:
1. Floyd Landis (USA/Phonak) 85 hours, 42 minutes, 30 seconds
2. Oscar Pereiro (Spa/Caisse d'Epargne) +59 seconds
3. Andreas Kloeden (Ger/T-Mobile) +1:29
4. Carlos Sastre (Spa/CSC) +3:13
5. Cadel Evans (Aus/Dav-Lotto) +5:08
6. Denis Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) +7:06
7. Cyril Dessel (Fra/AG2R) +8:41
8. Christophe Moreau (Fra/AG2R) +9:37
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa/Euskaltel) +12:05
10. Michael Rogers (Aus/T-Mobile) +15:07
Selected others:
59. David Millar (GB/Saulnier) +2 hrs 03:51
123. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Cofidis) +3hrs 25:13

Quote of the Day...

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed..."

~~Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

U.N. Fires Warning Shots...

Funny how the Israelis made the full transition from being victims of the Holocaust, to being perpetrators of the same against their neighbors only two generations later, enit?

Isn't this the very same sort of behaviour the U.S. has identified in the past as justification for invasion and full scale military intervention (Iraq)? Funny how these rules change according to the needs and wants of the moment. The fact is, the longer this current shitstorm goes on, the richer Bu$h and $lick Dick get, as global oil prices rise in response to the crisis.


UN Warning On Mid-East War Crimes
War crimes could have been committed in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza, a senior UN official has said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said international law stressed the need to protect civilians.

There is an obligation on all parties to respect the "principle of proportionality", she said.

About 300 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the violence. Thirty Israelis, including 15 civilians, have also been killed.

Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians... Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable
--Louise Arbour

The UN reported on Wednesday that about 100 Palestinians, civilians and fighters, have been killed since the start of the Israeli offensive in Gaza in late June.

Both crises were precipitated by the capture by Hamas and Hezbollah of Israeli soldiers in cross-border operations into Israel.

Along with a massive shelling campaign across Lebanon and Gaza by Israel, Hezbollah has been firing barrages of missiles into northern Israel, targeting urban areas, and Palestinian militants continue their rocket fire into Israel.

"Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians," Ms Arbour said.

"Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable."

'Personal exposure'

Ms Arbour expressed "grave concern over the continued killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory".

Without pointing to specific individuals, she suggested that leaders could bear personal responsibility.

"I do believe that on the basis of evidence that is available in the public domain there are very serious concerns that the level of civilian casualties, the indiscriminate shelling of cities and so on, on their face raise sufficient questions that I think one must issue a sobering signal to those who are behind these initiatives to examine very closely their personal exposure," she told the BBC.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/20 08:52:10 GMT


21 July 2006

Dumb George...

The Ballad of Dumb George
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 21 July 2006

I cannot believe how incredibly stupid you are. I mean rock-hard stupid. Dehydrated-rock-hard stupid. Stupid so stupid that it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different dimension of stupid. You are trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Stupid gotten so dense that no intellect can escape. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. You emit more stupid in one second than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar stupid.

- "The Ultimate Flame," author unknown

George W. Bush is a good man, word has it. He's plain-spoken, they say. A regular fella. A good guy to have a beer with, except he supposedly doesn't drink anymore.

I wish, more than anything, that he were drinking. I wish he were drinking all the time. I wish, oh how I wish, that he were stand-up-fall-down-ralphing-down-his-shirt loaded every minute of every day. It would be a comfort, simply because it would explain a great many things. Having a drunk for a president is, after all, a fixable situation. Put him to bed at Camp David for a few weeks and surround him with Secret Service agents. Let his body clean itself out. Problem solved, and really, would anyone actually notice his absence?

I don't believe Bush has gotten off the sauce, if truth be told. I know more than a few boozers who, like George, periodically show up with odd wounds on their faces they got from falling over or running into walls. The injuries that appear on George's mien from time to time can perhaps be explained away - maybe Dick Cheney is stalking the halls with a shotgun loaded with rock salt and blasting anyone, even the boss, who gets in his way - but if "George still drinks" were up on the big board at the MGM Grand sports book, I'd take the bet no matter what the oddsmakers had to say.

Having a drunk for a president is manageable. Having a stone bozo for a president, on the other hand, is a calamity of global proportions.

Let's take a walk through the last few days. George winged off to Russia for trade talks at the G-8 summit, and managed in the course of 100 hours to embarrass himself and our entire country. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is smarter than Bush by several orders of magnitude, insulted George in front of the international press corps with a tight quip about "democracy" in Iraq. No trade deal got done. The whole thing was a humiliating waste of time, captured best by all the photos of Bush and Putin together. In each and every one of them, Putin is looking at George with an _expression that somehow conveyed disgust, disdain and awe simultaneously.

Putin's disgust and disdain are easily understood - the poor guy was trapped in a room with our knucklehead president for hours, after all - but the awe requires notice. What, Putin must have thought, is this fool doing running a country?

After that came the much-noted open-mike gaffe, during which George dropped an s-bomb while discussing the Middle East crisis with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The cussing doesn't trouble me - those who know say that John F. Kennedy swore like a sailor whenever he talked shop - but the rest of the scene was like something out of a high school cafeteria. Bush sat there, talking with what looked like seventeen doughnuts stuffed into his gob, while poor Tony tried to discuss matters of life and death.

You have to listen to the audio to get a full grasp of what transpired. It wasn't just the dialogue. It was the tone in Blair's voice. He sounded for all the world like a teacher attempting to explain something to an exceptionally dull student. His tone suggested infinite patience and a touch of true sadness, as if he could not quite believe he was speaking this way to an American president.

"It takes him eight hours to fly home," said George at one point during the open-mike massacre. "Eight hours. Russia's big and so is China." He was, presumably, speaking to someone about Chinese President Hu Jintao's travel requirements, but really now. Huffington Post writer Cenk Uygur captured the unbelievable vapidity of the discourse.

"Russia's big and so is China?" exclaimed Uygur. "This guys sounds like a third grader. Do you know anyone who would have a conversation like this with their neighbor, let alone a business associate, let alone a world leader? Who's proud to know that Russia is big and so is China? If someone is this ignorant, they're usually embarrassed and try not to talk much. But this guy is so dumb he has no idea how dumb he is. This sounds like a conversation you might have with a child, a mentally challenged child. Johnny, do you know how big Russia is? How about China? This would all be unfortunate if George were your dentist, or worse yet, your accountant. But he is the leader of the free world. This man makes life or death decisions every day. If you say you're not scared about that, you're lying."

Then came the pig-roast thing. Newsday described it best: "As Israeli warplanes were preparing an attack on Lebanon Thursday afternoon, and a Lebanese militia was aiming a rocket at the ancient Israeli city of Safed, President George W. Bush was bantering with reporters in Germany about a pig. Bush kept bringing up the roast wild boar he was about to dine on at a banquet that night, even when asked about the swelling crisis in the Middle East, where pig meat is forbidden to religious Jews and Muslims. 'Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?' a reporter asked. 'And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war?' 'I thought you were going to ask me about the pig,' Bush replied blithely. Then he brought the pig up again - for the fifth time - before giving a long answer that ended with his saying Israel needed to protect itself."

After this came the moment when George tried to give German Chancellor Angela Merkel a back massage while she was speaking to someone at the summit table. He sidled up behind her and just started rubbing. Merkel's reaction was instantaneous and dramatic: she flinched, flailed her arms up and basically waved the president of the United States away from her. Her reaction would have been no different if Bush had dropped a live catfish down the back of her shirt.

What's next? Will George go to the United Nations, sit on Kofi Annan's head, and fart like some bratty brother tormenting a sibling? Will the cameras catch him playing penny hockey during Middle East peace negotiations? You can't say it'll never happen. It reminds me of the scene from "Caddyshack" where the golfers are hiding in the bushes and betting on whether the Smails kid picks his nose. It is not too farfetched a concept to believe that the other G-8 leaders were doing something very similar while watching Bush.

There were, by my count, no less than twenty different moments in the last few days where George brought shame and disgrace upon this country. He did not do this by being too tough, or too soft, or too strident. He did this simply by being himself. His head is an echo chamber where very stupid bats roost. He has the intellect of a bag of rocks. Maybe it's impolite to say this, but it has to be said.

And yeah, Mr. Uygur, it is really, really scary. I wish the man were a drunk. I'd sleep better, and so would the world.


William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

To Mr. Bush and the United States Government...

Statement of the Tetuwan Oyate,

Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council,

Against the United States Invasion of Iraq

and call for United Nations General Assembly Intervention

In the fall of 1875, the United States government issued an ultimatum to a nation of people that stood in the way of their advancement across the North American continent. The Lakota people were given a few weeks to leave their own country and return to a reservation established by the Americans “or be considered ‘hostiles’ subject to forced removal.” The Lakota refusal to heed the ultimatum resulted in a war that included the charge of the 7th Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his ultimate defeat on June 25, 1876.

On March 18, 2003 George W. Bush issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Iraqi President Sadaam Hussein and his sons to go into exile or face “military conflict.” Shortly after the world listened to the American president’s demands, the assault and invasion by American troops began. Again, the 7th cavalry is advancing on a city of people living on their own terms in their own territory.

If America, or the world for that matter, wants to understand the American mind-set behind the war in Iraq, it’s simple. Ask an Indian. The current invasion and planned occupation of Iraq is the latest chapter in the American colonial process. It is a process that hides behind the forced imposition of “democracy” and “human rights” as Americans interpret these terms. Usually that interpretation involves benefits for American interests whether those interests are land, resources, gold or oil.

In our nation, the Lakota Nation, it started about 153 years ago. Our territory was to be “liberated” by the Americans when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. The occupation of our land by foreign forces began shortly after the American discovery of these resources and, in violation of international treaties and conventions, has continued ever since. Our battle to eject the “infidels” has also continued.

The Tetuwan Oyate, Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council, was founded in 1894, four years after the 7th Cavalry took its revenge for the loss at the Battle of the Little Big Horn when a peaceful camp of mostly sickly elders, women and children were massacred in the snows at Wounded Knee in present day South Dakota. The Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council was established to enforce the provisions of our peace treaties lawfully made with the United States that guaranteed our sovereignty over our land, resources and culture. For over a century the United States has used every weapon in its massive arsenal to ensure that the rights of the Lakota Nation are abrogated and that our people are held in servitude. Our elders and leaders have taken our battle from the Supreme Court of the United States to the institutions of the United Nations in order to preserve our right to our territory, our sovereignty as a nation and our self-determination over our own future. The Lakota Nation defends the sovereignty of all peoples, not necessarily the sovereign.

Today, watching the media reports on American television, we see the same history unfolding that our people have and continue to experience. As American troops open fire on vehicles filled with families escaping the horrors of the invasion of their territory, our genetic memories recall the massacres in our own country. Tony Black Feather, the Spokesman for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council and the United Nations delegate of the traditional Lakota Nation in our international efforts, stated:

“This is the same history. We are watching history repeat itself again and again. This is not a war. It is a mass murder for oil and resources – the same thing they did to us – the same people are in Iraq that killed my Lakota people and stole our Lakota land. We are not involved in this so-called war because we are a nation that has treaties which separate us from the United States. We have always been a nation. We are saddened that the United States is using the wealth that they stole from our territories to make war on innocent people. We cannot condone the use of what are our resources under international treaties to support the [United States] invasion of Iraq. We sympathize with the people of Iraq. The United States is trying to put the Iraqi people under the same reservation and trust system that they have used against our people.”

Support of Mr. Black Feather’s assertion was provided in a BBC report on April 3, 2003, when the British Foreign Minister for the Middle East, Mike O’Brien, stated that the American post-war plans include the appointment of 23 American “ministers” who will be established in Baghdad. These “ministers” sound very similar to the Indian “agents” installed on reservations throughout the United States whose job is to represent the interests of the American government. Although Mr. O’Brien stated emphatically that the United States has no plans to “colonize” Iraq, the facts seem to dispute the denials.

In its colonization of Indian territory in North America, in violation of the United States constitution in which “all treaties made, or which shall be made… shall be the supreme law of the land”[1], the American government has gone to great lengths to give the appearance that our territory was never colonized in violation of these treaties. Indeed the myth has evolved into a romantic history in which the land never really belonged to anyone but the Americans. Plenary power, sovereignty, nation-to-nation, citizenship and Indian reorganization are all terms familiar to individuals aware of America’s manipulation of the language of colonization.

Clearly, the same propaganda efforts have begun with respect to Iraq. At the beginning of the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld enumerated several objectives: the first was to topple Saddam Hussein and the second to locate and destroy Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. President Bush, his team, and the Pentagon media sources now more frequently speak of “freeing the Iraqi people." This has replaced disarming Iraq as the main focus. Some analysts see the re-ordering of priorities and shriller language as a response to the realities on the ground in Iraq. Saddam has not used non-conventional weapons and U.S. and British troops have so far not found any to justify a war which much of the international community opposes. Many analysts, both in the United States and abroad, however, see the shifts either as a consequence of Bush's failure to making a convincing case for war or as evidence of a hidden agenda in the Middle East.[2] For the leadership of the Lakota Nation, the American agenda is not so hidden, and many experts agree.

"The real target of the war is to make US supremacy prevail on a strategic oil-rich region, and to protect Israel's regional superiority and its monopoly over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East,” alleged British Middle East expert and journalist Patrick Seale.[3] "I think the basic reasoning behind the policy, as far as most people around the world are concerned, is for oil and control of the Gulf region," said Li Jianying, vice president of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.[4] Despite the rhetoric of the American, British and Spanish leaders, few outside of the United States seem fooled by the American motives in this invasion.

Official movement within the United Nations in opposition to the war is also growing. On April 1, 2003 Secretary-General Kofi Annan said there is "lots of unhappiness" at the United Nations about the war in Iraq and that Arab nations want the United Nations to do more to bring about a cease-fire. The 22-member Arab Group met with Annan and announced that it would push for adoption of a resolution in the General Assembly to show the strength of world opposition to the U.S. military campaign. The Organization of the Islamic Conference Group, with 57 member nations, also supported taking the issue to the General Assembly.[5] Based on our own history, the Lakota Nation supports these efforts in opposition to the American invasion and colonization, especially with respect to actions applying international law to an international situation. For our people, this is how a civilized, peaceful world is achieved.

During our long experience with American occupation, the Lakota Nation has seen the United States utilize its vast economic and military power to suppress opposition to its own agenda. In the same way, the United States has stubbornly ignored the overwhelming opposition to this war by the rest of the world. In a communication, obtained by Greenpeace, the United States urged countries to vote against or abstain from supporting a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war, adding it would be considered "unhelpful and directed against the United States." The United States further threatened that invoking the Uniting for Peace resolution will be "harmful to the UN."

"This communication is nothing short of a thinly veiled threat. This is the last chance for the overwhelming majority of UN member states who are opposed to this war to stand up for the charter of the UN and the rule of law," said Greenpeace campaigner Mike Townsley. "It's vital that UN member states reject US pressure to undermine their rights, and support the Arab League's resolution to call for an end to the ongoing invasion of Iraq which is costing more lives day by the day," he added.[6]

Within the United Nations system the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council of the Lakota Nation has been fighting alongside other Indigenous peoples for the passage of the Declaration on the Rights of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. However, some powerful states, including the US, are opposed to many of its provisions on group rights, self-determination and the management of resources provided in the Declaration. It would appear that aspects relating to these same issues can be found in the current invasion of Iraq by the American regime. Undermining fundamental international law and human rights seems to be the current strategy of the United States government. At the latest meeting on the Draft Declaration on Indigenous Rights at the United Nations in December 2002, the US was more vocal than ever, having had a State Department directive to basically prevent Indigenous peoples from anything other than US defined internal self-determination (which would give legitimacy to plenary power, abrogation of treaties, no control over resources, etc.) and other basic human rights.

“It was a fierce struggle with words between representatives of Indigenous peoples allied with some of the governments against a few of the very large states: the USA, Canada, and Australia, to name a few. The very fact that it is a struggle over human rights is appalling. Yet when the idea of recognizing the inalienable human rights of Indigenous peoples comes to the forefront, some of the largest and most powerful governments in the world begin to experience anxiety. Why? Because their domestic activities begin to see the light of day, and the world family starts to learn of abuses that go against the ideals and images those governments wish to portray. It is similar to when the abusive activities of a dysfunctional family start to be exposed for all the world to see. The abusers experience much anxiety and will try everything to maintain the status quo.”[7]

On the next to the last day of the Draft Declaration meeting, the United States seemed to give the same thinly veiled threat that the Greenpeace communiqué exposed, stating that unless the Declaration was passed with the U.S. changes and the way they wanted it, they would consider it null and void in two years.[8] Again, the same tactics that are being used against the Lakota Nation and other Indigenous peoples by the United States are now being used by the United States against Iraq. The world family of nations must act now and together in order to strengthen the institution of the United Nations as a viable venue for peaceful dialogue.

Peace and justice are what the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council works for. In a prophetic statement before the United Nations 54th Session of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in March of 1998, Tony Black Feather spoke of the need for the United Nations to oppose the violation of the sovereignty of any nation by another:

“The threat to human rights, self-determination and sovereignty over our unique cultures cannot be tolerated at any level. No nation-state, despite its superior economic or military power, can be permitted to control the lives of the world’s people. We believe the efforts by nation states like Iraq [this was said during the embargo that was going on in 1998 after the first Gulf War] to defend the sovereignty of their territory is a fundamental principle of international relations. Historically, tactics of divide, starve and conquer have been used against our people so we understand the use of embargoes and pressure from within and without… While we cannot condone the oppression of ethnic groups within modern nations, we staunchly defend Iraq’s right to protect its sovereignty.” [9]

The Lakota Nation stands with UN member states that have called on the United Nations to reject moves by the United States to block a resolution in the UN General Assembly condemning the invasion of Iraq, calling for a ceasefire and a withdrawal of US and British armed forces. Human rights, sovereignty and self-determination are fundamental principles of both Lakota Natural Law and the United Nations Charter. Unilateral invasion and colonization is a violation of international human rights law and cannot be condoned or supported. By going to the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, war opponents have a much better chance of winning approval for a resolution if they can draft a text with broad appeal based on these principles. “… It is certain that self-determination is now a human right in international law.”[10] “Human rights can only exist truly and fully when self-determination also exists. Such is the fundamental importance of self-determination as a human right and as a prerequisite for the enjoyment of all the other rights and freedoms.”[11]

Implementation and universal respect for these principles are the real battles and victory can be had if the world stands united against tyranny. The Lakota Nation and Indigenous peoples everywhere are aware of the devastation caused by colonization and the lack of respect for the right to sovereignty and self-determination. The example of Lakota history has much to teach a world in which one nation’s intentions are to impose American values and interests upon the world’s cultures and races until all that is left are American values and interests. The Teton Sioux Nation agrees with British Middle East expert and journalist Patrick Seale who said, "whatever the military outcome of the battle of Baghdad, the Americans and the British have lost the war politically and morally."

In another 100 years, if the United States can survive, will it still be hiding its history of colonization and domination? When will Americans realize that the people who died on September 11th died for nothing if America refuses to examine its own role in the tragedy? When will Americans learn that their way is not the only way, and that peoples have cultures and histories that they are willing to fight to protect and preserve? The Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council acknowledges that many American individuals are asking these questions and ally with us and we are grateful that diverse peoples can come together to stop American government and corporate interests in their unrelenting pursuit for domination.

The UN Charter and many of its conventions and standards are established in recognition of what Lakota people call Natural Law. That is why we have gone to the United Nations. We are hopeful that our world of nations will stand together against the abuser, the schoolyard bully, and the violator of international law. The Right to Self Determination in the preamble of the UN Charter applies to all peoples. Diversity is the cornerstone of Natural Law. It does not say that might makes right.

The people of the Lakota Nation pray for the peoples and nations (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) that have experienced and are experiencing the weight of American imperialism. We pray for true, sacred peace which includes true justice and stand with those states within the United Nations calling for an end to current American aggression.

Tetuwan Oyate

Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council

Tony Black Feather Kent Lebsock

Spokesman Legal & Corresponding Secretary

308-862-2607 505-341-4230



"Snakes" Deplanes Critics -

Looks like David (my brother) has hit the Big-League: E! Online News...


"Snakes" Deplanes Critics - Jul 19, 2006 - E! Online News

SNAKES ON A PLANE by David Waldon

This is my brother's first book, due out on 28.July 2006. We are so very proud of him!


SNAKES ON A PLANE by David Waldon - Snakes on a Plane - tribe.net

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela OM, CC, AC, QC

Happy Birthday and Thank You!

It's quite astounding to see, not only the vast number of tributes, but also the wide, global distribution of them. Mandela is a man who has touched Mind and Hearts in every corner of the world. To bad we can't elect him as our next president...


Poets Hail Nelson Mandela's Life
By Shen Liknaitzky

A book of poetry celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela has been launched to mark the South African statesman's 88th birthday on Tuesday.

The book, titled Halala Madiba (Hail Mandela), is more than an anthology about one man.

It is also the story - through poems from around the world - of South Africa's freedom struggle.

The poets include former statesmen, reggae and rap artists, performance poets, and even a 12-year-old child.

It follows the trajectory of Mandela from freedom fighter to "grand old man".

It was the long years of incarceration on Robben Island, beginning in 1963, which inspired the first poems.

One of the earliest is "And I Watch it in Mandela" by South African John Matshikiza, written in 1974.

It is not for the safety of silence
That this man has opened his arms to lead.
The strength of his words hangs in the air
As the strength in his eyes remains on the sky;
And the years of impatient waiting draw on
While this man burns to clear the smoke in the air.
There is fire here,
Which no prison
Can kill in this man;
And I watch it in Mandela.

This poem was written during the darkest days, but it is full of fire - and a sense of what was to come was borne out when Mandela was, eventually released.

Like everyone else, John Matshikiza remembers that day: "I was in London, I was with my mother and my daughter and my partner and we were all just bowled over by what was happening.

"We'd been waiting all of our lives for this. That is all I can say. It was the whole of my life."


That same day in February 1990 was evoked by poet Chris Mann in his poem "Tamed", published in 1992:

You come out onto the dais,
distant as a god, a totem, raise
your arms and we roar
with an adoration like a rage.

As well as spanning more than 30 years, the poems come from everywhere in the world - most of course from South Africa, as well as many from elsewhere on the continent.

Armindo Vaz d'Almeida, a former prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe, wrote "Poem to the Southern Wind" in 1987. This is an extract of a translation from the original Portuguese:

And the steps of men keep going
patiently counting the stones of the road
long road on which you
encapsulating the spirit of insurgency
like a light of inspiring brilliance
you rise against the pale destiny
imposed on your mutilated flag.


But perhaps surprisingly, the collection also includes poems that are critical of a man seen by many as a hero.

"There is also one really interesting poem which is written by an apartheid - one could call him - apparatchik, someone who worked within the apartheid state," says Richard Bartlett, the editor of the collection.

"He wrote a poem saying that Mandela got what he deserved and that if he hadn't been thrown in prison South Africa wouldn't be as free a country as it is now and this was written in the mid 1970s, so that is one of the poems that is not just praising Mandela."

Gerrit Fourie's poem "Rivonia", written in Afrikaans in 1976, translates as follows:

Let them be remembered, and what they wanted to do:
let the fear and the blood and violence, death
hatred, vengeance, vandalism and looting, anguish,
pain, agony, noise and racket and rape,
let this, the rejection of order, discipline,
civilisation, love of humanity, let this, I say, never
in all eternity as long as there are those who can think, ever
be forgotten or denied.

But the majority of the poems are conducting an intimate conversation with Mandela himself - from the endless years when he was in prison to the moment of release and beyond.

Published in 2004, Jekwu Ikeme's "When Mandela Goes" imagines life after a man who has dominated South African history for more than half a century.

When you go chosen soldier in the crusade of dreams
our tears shall not cloud your journey home.
When you go Madiba your nobility shall be our lasting inheritance
this land you so love shall continue to love
we shall trail the long and majestic walk
your gallant walk shall be our cross and shepherd.

Feel inspired to put pen to paper? Send us your poems about Nelson Mandela using the form at the end of the page - a small selection will appear below.

I am a Baobab tree
The wind blows strong against my branches,
Yet I am unmoved
My roots go deep within the soil which is my heart, my home
Throughout the changing seasons,
I hold fast to my principles
I stand tall among my enemies and provide shelter for my friends
I am a Baobab tree
I am Nelson Mandela
Chantal, USA

They have guns, you have roses They want to promote war, but you peace And it is you dear old man Who showed roses can gain against guns Peace can gain against war
Sinan Kaygusuz, Istanbul

They locked a hawk in a cruel cage
And yet a dove fed on solitude, emerged
Cast power aside to become our Moses
And with gentleness shows us truth
Mandela Mandela we've needed you
Why didn't they know who you were?
J Reknar, Hamilton, Bermuda

You are,
our hope
our inspiration
our future

You have,
shown us love
taught us forgiveness
exemplified dignity
brought us freedom

You have,
taught them love
shown them greatness

Your are,
the messiah
Katukula Mwiya, Mongu, Zambia

It's just another day in life,
Heart of Africa,
I can't wait to see you from a distance.

You took up the shield
Not to blame but understand
Tried and trusted
That one day,
That one time,
Men will understand.

We thirst to hear those words again
Peace, humility, unite and reconcile,
Among the great men of Africa.

Lord keep heart of Africa.
God keep Nelson Mandela
Long live my Hero.
Long live Heart of Africa!
Prossy Nannyombi, Entebbe, Uganda

I can see quadruple rainbows in the sky,
The mystical optical phenomenon,
With multicoloured arcs,
With continuous spectrum of light,
Their beauty is inexplicable in my imagination.
Yes, I can see quadruple rainbows in your eyes.
Samuel E Ebenya, Abuja, Nigeria

From beneath the dusty Earth,
Emerged a son of the soil to bring hope,
Not only to the inhabitant of his native land,
But the Planet Earth itself.
When you still walk on the face of our Planet,
May the Angles of the GOOD Lord hover over that part,
Of the Earth that you set foot on,
May these Angels multiply,
So that true and complete freedom of the Human soul,
Be achieved here on the Planet.
Amongst the brightest stars of the Heaven,
You have your place there.
May the days ahead continue to be good for you Madiba and for all.
May God Bless your soul, Halala Rolinhlanhla ka Madiba.
Golden Gadzirayi Nyambuya, South Africa

Who Is Mandela?
Is he a Hero, No
Is he a Saviour, No No
Is he a Statesman, No No No
Is he a Model, No No No No

He's not ONLY that but he's ALL those,
a hero, Saviour, statesman, model
And he's even more than these combined

He is the American Martin Luther
He is the Indian Gandhi
He is the Israeli Moses
But for South Africa, for Africa
and for the rest of the World

His name will be sang throughout ages
His fame will continue to spread
His patience, courage, principles,
will be yearned for always
And his life will be imitated at all times

Long life Mandela
And Happy Birthday to You.
Noel-duku Rubena, Khartoum - Sudan

Mandela, Nelson
A true African son
All your life you defied the odds
Even presently when you are old
You stand up for what you believe and value
With defiance and eloquence
Determination and bravery
Tolerance and patience
Will always be seen
In you, our great African son
A living legend
not only in Africa
but in the entire world
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela
God Bless You!
Abdalla Alwi Bafagih, Toronto, Canada

You are an inspiration to this nation
and other nations.
It because of you,
that a black man can walk in the street freely.
It because of you,
that a black child can get the same education as the white one.
You put South Africa and rest of Africa in the world map.
They thought you were going to come out of Robben weak,
but you came out even stronger.
Bongumusa Derrick Gumbi, Durban, South Africa

Happy Birthday to Mandela!
Oh what a man so brave and strong
I see struggle and hope in his eyes
After all these years he stands so tall
A coloured hero for all the times
Nelson Mandela... this is his name
He reigns from the great Africa
It matters not if he's a saint
His unwavering fight for freedom we remember
Happy birthday to Mandela!
Dana Augustin, Castries, Saint Lucia

The mark of a great man is moderation and integrity
He never sticks to his ideas
Tolerant with others
Omnipresent like the sun light
Solid like a rock
Flexible like a reed
Life happens and brings his way
Nothing is impossible for him
You will always be with us
Happy birthday Mandela
Eva Mateo, Madrid, Spain

A dark past,
A past that seemed pessimistic,
Times when there was no iota of hope,
Mandela sailed through,
With all the guts it took,
Mzee, Tata, call him what you like,
Swam through the dark past,
Waded to a future full of hope.
Wish all people had the same fighting heart!
Omar Babu, Cologne, Germany

I wish I was there
Grandfather, in your fiery bosom where
All our hopes cocooned
Birthed a rainbow moon

You wanted it this way
Aged one, to make today
Sing the song your shackles taught us
Forgiveness our pain must reverse

We dare to dream now
Africa's father, though we know
The dragons you fought are not yet dead
But they will see red
Olusegun Oyedele, Johannesburg (Nigeria expat)

A voice of hope
Crying within confines
Faint but clear
Isolated and tortured

A strong belief
In justice and equality
Self denial and sacrifice
For others

At long, long last
Brought freedom and joy
To a people Long suffering!
John Nzunda, Dar es salaam, Tanzania

They named our student union after you
Never was there a greater
Man ever.
You defeated evil with dignity, a
Man forever.
Your name will never be forgotten
Adam Williams, Manchester, UK

Ichie Madiba we hail thee!
the scion of our fathers gone,
fiercely fearless, gallant defender of the weak,
a warrior with the heart and talons of an eagle,
who shared the abode with darkness,
yet brought forth light and life to our people,
you shine forth in the hearts of dark and white,
to bind the souls of the victim and the vampire,
that good may triumph over villainy.
may your lights burst forth at dawn,
and cast the shadows of hatred,
may your hoary hairs release wisdom,
which your prudent heart has birthed,
live long Madiba!
may your days delay oh Madiba!
ao your eyes would beyond the new Afrika!
Felix-Abrahams Obi, PT, Abuja, Nigeria

His destiny was not always clear
But his path he found without fear
His dreams were mine and yours
And he claimed it without too much use of force
Yes, he's an old man now...
But do you know any man with more affection than him?
Long live Rolihlahla, long live!
Hector Mawonga, Windhoek, Namibia

Mandela will be free! Mandela will be free!
My Father chanted and stomped his feet,
Us both watching the News.
I saw bright blaring pupils in my fathers ecstatic eyes.
I was five, But who was Mandela?
Crowds and dancing people, including my own father,
dancing in our red haired Irish living room.
Vinnie O'Dowd, Drogheda, Ireland

As tall as he can be
so are his beautiful deeds
Papa you proved to the world
that integrity and honesty can win
after enduring so much pain for standing high
high for the silent minority with no voice.
Florah Wahome, Nairobi, Kenya

Bravo Mandela, peoples' inspiration
Brave Mandela, receive congratulation
Happy birthday, courageous grandfather
Hero everyday, blessings father
Josephat Kioko, Mombasa, Kenya

When he could barely walk he stood strong and stood Tall
When they beat him back down to a fall,
he once again arose with a call... a call of freedom
The man that shouted when he could barely talk,
the man that stood when he was already struggling to walk
The man that stood up and said No
No to the disgrace that stood before him,
the man that took your bruises so you didn't have to
The man that continues to Shout when he can barely talk
Matthew Reynolds, Birmingham

A dove of peace,
set in a cage,
once released,
gave birth to an age,
when he goes remember: he suffered, and forgave.
David Litvak, Quebec City

Years ago,
a star from the sky
made his journey to the earth,
protesting the limit of sky,
and searching for freedom,
the star was captured,
some people dared to
create darkness putting their guns
in front of the star,
but the star never stopped shinning,
it lighted the thousands of candles
in the land of darkness,
one day, the star found the freedom
on the land of man,
and still burning to spread the ray of freedom
the forbidden continent
and spreading the rays of inspiration
to the whole world.
Kamal Kumar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/18 06:36:14 GMT


Tour de France: Floyd!

This man is amazing!


ABC News: Floyd Landis Bikes Through the Pain
Tour de France Front-Runner Has Osteonecrosis

July 21, 2006 — - Competing in the Tour de France, a bike race over the equivalent of three Mount Everests, is like running a marathon a day for 20 straight days. It is the epitome of prolonged physical agony.

But for American cyclist Floyd Landis, the tour is just a slice of his daily pain. On a bike, Landis can climb the Alps with the best of them. But on his feet, he can barely climb stairs.

"He has a shot of winning," said Daniel Coyle, author of "Lance Armstrong's War." "Amazing, considering he can't cross his legs or walk across a parking lot."

Landis has osteonecrosis, which means that not enough blood gets to his right hip, so the ball of that joint has shriveled like a hunk of rotting driftwood. Those who have the disease describe the hurt as "bone crunching bone" mixed with "electric shocks."

Incredible Stamina

Medical science can't explain how cyclists manage the anguish. They may feel pain differently than the rest of us do -- or they simply redefine it.

Landis is just the latest example of a cyclist turning suffering into speed. Two years after a hunting accident, Greg LeMond won the Tour with 37 shotgun pellets still lodged in his body.

And the icon of the sport, Lance Armstrong, didn't win his seven Tours until after an excruciating battle with cancer -- a trial that rebuilt his body and mind.

"Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense that it's absolutely cleansing," Armstrong wrote in his autobiography. "I didn't [ride] for pleasure. I did it for pain."

Coyle said the race is a true test of endurance and strength. "What we see in the Tour de France," he said, "is a grand experiment to see how far human willpower can go."

ABC News' Bill Weir reported this story for "Good Morning America."

Quote of the Day...

"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail..."

--Gore Vidal (b.1925) writer, historian

20 July 2006


Just posting a photo, so that I can use it to update my profile. Nothing important...


Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

Bu$h Reaches for the Race Card...

"Of course you can trust the Republicans, just ask any African-American"

Bush continues to flog that tired old line about the Republicans being the party that freed the slaves, however, the fact is that this Republican Party, the one of 2006, would not in fact have done such a thing if faced with that same decision today. Who in the bloody hell does Bu$h think he's fooling...?


Bush Talk Fails to Win Over NAACP

By Richard Allen Greene
BBC News, Washington

It's not often that a man who has been in the same job for more than five years gets to do something new, but George W Bush has just managed it twice in 24 hours.

The first opportunity came on Wednesday afternoon, when, for the first time, he exercised his right to veto a bill that had been approved by both houses of Congress.

The bill would have lifted a ban the president himself placed on government funding for most research on embryonic stem cells, which many scientists believe could lead to treatment for serious diseases.

The following morning, Mr Bush addressed the annual conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - the nation's leading African-American civil rights organisation.

He had turned down their invitations since becoming president, and looked like he could become the first sitting president since the 1920s to refuse to address the NAACP.

But two short days before the event his spokesman had announced that he would do so for the first time since he was a candidate for president back in 2000.

Difficult ride

In typical fashion, he confronted the controversy head-on with a joke as he began his speech.

He praised the courtesy of NAACP leader Bruce Gordon, who had introduced him, adding: "I thought what he was going to say was, 'It's about time you showed up'."

When Bill Clinton was here, there was a lot more applause - but he had a record behind him
Courtney Patterson,
NAACP delegate

The audience laughed, and cheered when he followed up with: "And I'm glad I did."

But Mr Bush got a more difficult ride for the rest of his 30-plus-minute speech, including a murmur of dissent when he said he came from a family that supported civil rights, and outright boos when he talked about charter schools.

He tried to link his support for religious organisations to the groups that fought for civil rights and was met with stony silence.

Courtney Patterson, a convention delegate from North Carolina, said he came to the president's speech with an open mind - and left disappointed.

"There were a lot of things in his speech that indicate he's not abreast of the real problems of the African-American community," Mr Patterson said.

"There were no specific commitments. How are you going to do the things you promise? What specific policies will you put in place?" he demanded.

Speaking to the BBC as the president's speech ended, he characterised the standing ovation Mr Bush received as "cordial".

"When Bill Clinton was here, there was a lot more applause - but he had a record behind him," Mr Patterson said of the former president.

Electoral considerations

Gerald Martin, an NAACP activist from northern California, said political considerations had forced Mr Bush to come address the organisation at last.

"I expect his advisers told him he couldn't be the only president in 80 years not to address the convention," Mr Martin said.

"It's in his best interests, and in the best interests of the Republican party."

African-Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Only one in ten voted for Mr Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Mr Bush acknowledged that in his speech, pointing out that the first Republican president was the man who ended slavery in the United States.

"I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties to the African-American community," he said.

"For too long my party wrote off the African-American vote and many African-Americans wrote off the Republican Party."

But Carol Swain, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, said Mr Bush could not turn things around with a single speech.

"It's too late into his presidency to expect to neutralise how African-Americans feel about the Republican party," she argued.

She said he would have to make a truly grand gesture if he wanted his party to win African-American votes - apologise for slavery.

"He's the born-again Christian, he should be the one to press Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that would be a national apology for slavery," she said.

"It's the right thing to do at this point in history. For some African-Americans it would persuade them to vote for the Republican party."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/07/20 23:10:14 GMT