Vice-President Joseph Biden
The White House
February 2, 2009
An OPEN LETTER regarding the Security Conference 2009, in Munich, Germany
Dear Mr. Vice-President:
As, according to the media, you are apparently planning to attend the
so-called Security Conference, February 6 to 8, 2009, here in Munich,
we, members of the Munich American Peace Committee, would appreciate
your doing your utmost to analyze, criticize, change the nature of, or
even use your influence to end this conference, the world's largest
and most important meeting of the Military Industrial Complex. Of
course, we think the best method for combating the influence of the
Security Conference, and thus implementing President Obama's and your
widely supported policies for
diplomacy, non-aggression, peace and
disarmament, would be not to
attend the conference, and to withdraw,
under protest, the U.S.-delegation from participation in this and
other preparations for further wars of aggression.
This meeting, as you surely know, brings together highest ranking
political leaders, military brass and executives of the armaments
industry. These people personify the Military Industrial Complex, so
clearly defined by former President Dwight Eisenhower. Past
experience has proven that the participants in the Security Conference
have never been involved in reducing the arms race, ending
international wars, searching for better methods and diplomacy for
achieving peace. As best evidenced, the industrial companies
represented, such as General Dynamics, Lockheed-Martin, Snowcraft
Groups from the United States; EADS, Howaldswerke-Deutsche Werft,
Krauss Maffei of Europe and Germany, are almost purely weapons
manufacturers. The Security Conference secures
only more billions for
these corporations. The policies of our government, which in the past
has subsidized these wasteful and destructive conglomerates, must
change. Reducing and ending the influence of these corporations could
start here in Munich!
Thus our protest against the very insecurity of the "Security
Conference" has been of long duration. We, in the Munich American
Peace Committee (MAPC), are a group of United States citizens, living
in Munich and surroundings, where we have been working together, also
with the peace movement here and in other parts of Germany, for 25
years. We are also associated with other American peace and
environmental groups at home, in Europe and overseas, whose activities
we support according to our mutual needs. Many of us are Democrats
(some active in Democrats Abroad), many voted with enthusiasm for
Barack Obama and you. All of us voted for a peace
To quote President Dwight Eisenhower (only the word "new" is out of
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large
arms industry is new in the American experience. The total
influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city,
every State house, every office of the Federal government. … We must
not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources
and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our
We ask you to use, as Vice-President of the United States, your huge
influence, and that of our new President Barack Obama, to achieve the
expected transformation, to start change from a largely militarized to
an essentially peaceful society.
Richard Forward and members of the Munich American Peace Committee
Vice-President Joseph Biden
Letter to AAW from War Resisters Support Campaign Toronto
Dear AAWFrance --
I see on your website that you will be holding a vigil on September 13.
I am writing to ask that you consider taking as one of the themes of
your vigil the issue of supporting US Iraq War resisters in Canada. By
doing so, you will be joining with our Day of Action which will feature
events in cities and towns across Canada.
Our reason for holding the September 13 Day of Action is the crisis the
war resisters are facing due to the determination of the right-wing
Harper government to force them to return to the US to face punishment.
In July war resister Robin Long was arrested and deported to the US.
Last week, Robin was courtm martialled and sentenced to 15 months in
prison and a dishonourable discharge -- one of the heavisest sentences
yet seen for this "offence'. His only crime was to come to canada to
seek sanctuary, to live peacefully here, and to speak out publicly
against the Iraq War.
More recently, war resister Jeremy hinzman and his family(his wife, 6
year old son, and 4 week old daughter) were told they must leave Canada
by September 23 or face deportation. In the US Jeremy would no doubt
face heavy punishment as the first, and best known, war resister to
come to Canada because of his opposition to the war.
We are asking our friends and supporters in Canada, the US, and around
the world to join us in our Day of Action if they can, and it would be
great if our friends in Paris could do that.
War Resisters Support Campaign
Poland is just the latest fall guy for an American foreign policy dictated by military industrial lobbyists in Washington
The Guardian, Tuesday August 19 2008
It's a novel way to take your own life. Just as Russia demonstrates what happens to former minions that annoy it, Poland agrees to host a US missile defence base. The Russians, as Poland expected, respond to this proposal by offering to turn the country into a parking lot. This proves that the missile defence system is necessary after all: it will stop the missiles Russia will now aim at Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK in response to, er, their involvement in the missile defence system.
The American government insists that the interceptors, which will be stationed on the Baltic coast, have nothing to do with Russia: their purpose is to defend Europe and the US against the intercontinental ballistic missiles Iran and North Korea don't possess. This is why they are being placed in Poland, which, as every geography student in Texas knows, shares a border with both rogue states.
They permit us to look forward to a glowing future, in which missile defence, according to the Pentagon, will "protect our homeland ... and our friends and allies from ballistic missile attack"; as long as the Russians wait until it's working before they nuke us. The good news is that, at the present rate of progress, reliable missile defence is only 50 years away. The bad news is that it has been 50 years away for the past six decades.
The system has been in development since 1946, and so far it has achieved a grand total of nothing. You wouldn't know it if you read the press releases published by the Pentagon's missile defence agency: the word "success" features more often than any other noun. It is true that the programme has managed to hit two out of the five missiles fired over the past five years during tests of its main component, the ground-based midcourse missile defence (GMD) system. But, sadly, these tests bear no relation to anything resembling a real nuclear strike.
All the trials run so far - successful or otherwise - have been rigged. The target, its type, trajectory and destination, are known before the test begins. Only one enemy missile is used, as the system doesn't have a hope in hell of knocking down two or more. If decoy missiles are deployed, they bear no resemblance to the target and they are identified as decoys in advance. In order to try to enhance the appearance of success, recent flight tests have become even less realistic: the agency has now stopped using decoys altogether when testing its GMD system.
This points to one of the intractable weaknesses of missile defence: it is hard to see how the interceptors could ever outwit enemy attempts to confuse them. As Philip Coyle - formerly a senior official at the Pentagon with responsibility for missile defence - points out, there are endless means by which another state could fool the system. For every real missile it launched, it could dispatch a host of dummies with the same radar and infra-red signatures. Even balloons or bits of metal foil would render anything resembling the current system inoperable. You can reduce a missile's susceptibility to laser penetration by 90% by painting it white. This sophisticated avoidance technology, available from your local hardware shop, makes another multibillion component of the programme obsolete. Or you could simply forget about ballistic missiles and attack using cruise missiles, against which the system is useless.
Missile defence is so expensive and the measures required to evade it so cheap that if the US government were serious about making the system work it would bankrupt the country, just as the arms race helped to bring the Soviet Union down. By spending a couple of billion dollars on decoy technologies, Russia would commit the US to trillions of dollars of countermeasures. The cost ratios are such that even Iran could outspend the US.
The US has spent between $120bn and $150bn on the programme since Ronald Reagan relaunched it in 1983. Under George Bush, the costs have accelerated. The Pentagon has requested $62bn for the next five-year tranche, which means that the total cost between 2003 and 2013 will be $110bn. Yet there are no clear criteria for success. As a recent paper in the journal Defense and Security Analysis shows, the Pentagon invented a new funding system in order to allow the missile defence programme to evade the government's usual accounting standards. It's called spiral development, which is quite appropriate, because it ensures that the costs spiral out of control.
Spiral development means, in the words of a Pentagon directive, that "the end-state requirements are not known at programme initiation". Instead, the system is allowed to develop in whatever way officials think fit. The result is that no one has the faintest idea what the programme is supposed to achieve, or whether it has achieved it. There are no fixed dates, no fixed costs for any component of the programme, no penalties for slippage or failure, no standards of any kind against which the system can be judged. And this monstrous scheme is still incapable of achieving what a few hundred dollars' worth of diplomacy could do in an afternoon.
So why commit endless billions to a programme that is bound to fail? I'll give you a clue: the answer is in the question. It persists because it doesn't work.
US politics, because of the failure by both Republicans and Democrats to deal with the problems of campaign finance, is rotten from head to toe. But under Bush, the corruption has acquired Nigerian qualities. Federal government is a vast corporate welfare programme, rewarding the industries that give millions of dollars in political donations with contracts worth billions. Missile defence is the biggest pork barrel of all, the magic pudding that won't run out, however much you eat. The funds channelled to defence, aerospace and other manufacturing and service companies will never run dry because the system will never work.
To keep the pudding flowing, the administration must exaggerate the threats from nations that have no means of nuking it - and ignore the likely responses of those that do. Russia is not without its own corrupting influences. You could see the grim delight of the Russian generals and defence officials last week, who have found in this new deployment an excuse to enhance their power and demand bigger budgets. Poor old Poland, like the Czech Republic and the UK, gets strongarmed into becoming America's groundbait.
If we seek to understand American foreign policy in terms of a rational engagement with international problems, or even as an effective means of projecting power, we are looking in the wrong place. The government's interests have always been provincial. It seeks to appease lobbyists, shift public opinion at crucial stages of the political cycle, accommodate crazy Christian fantasies and pander to television companies run by eccentric billionaires. The US does not really have a foreign policy. It has a series of domestic policies which it projects beyond its borders. That they threaten the world with 57 varieties of destruction is of no concern to the current administration. The only question of interest is who gets paid and what the political kickbacks will be.
Israel unleashes terror on Gaza
by Matthew Cookson
Israel unleashed terror on the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip last week, when it launched a military operation including airstrikes.
It claimed it was attempting to stop the Hamas Islamist movement firing rockets into Israel, but its real aim is to crush the Palestinian people’s resistance to their oppression.
Israel murdered over 100 Palestinians, the majority civilians, in the five day assault and injured over 350 people. In contrast, only three Israelis died, including two soldiers and one civilian.
As Israel “withdrew” from Gaza on Monday of this week – just as US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice was about to arrive for a two-day visit – its leaders were already pledging further attacks on Gaza.
Prime minister Ehud Olmert said, “We are in the midst of a combat action. What happened was not a one off event.”
Amjad Shawa, Palestinian NGO network coordinator for Gaza, and Mona el-Farra, a doctor at Al Awda hospital in Jabalia refugee camp, spoke to Socialist Worker on Monday of this week.
“These have been very difficult days,” said Amjad. “A huge number of people have been killed, including women, children and disabled people. Many NGOs have been destroyed, such as those that supply medical relief.
“It was a massacre, with no mercy shown towards the children. They were killing our beautiful youth every day.
“People went three days without water during the attack. The 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip were already suffering from the Israeli siege that began in 2006.
“Now it’s getting worse. We are spending most of the day without electricity. There is a shortage of fuel to operate water wells and run ambulances.
“Any new military operation will increase our problems. The Palestinians are facing a catastrophe.”
Mona said, “Last Saturday the hospital received 69 injured people. These casualties were more than the capacity of the hospital’s beds and two operating theatres. Many of the injured had to lie on the floor.
“We had to evacuate some of the injured people to another hospital. Some were left to bleed until they died because of a lack of resources.
“There is little electricity in the Gaza Strip – blackouts are now the rule. The ministry of health is advising people to boil drinking water, as there is no chlorine to treat it. The health of people is deteriorating.
“On Monday everyone in Gaza went to funerals of those killed in the assault. The Israeli operation did not stop.”
The attack on Gaza is the latest part of the US and Israel’s plans to destroy Hamas. This month’s issue of Vanity Fair magazine reveals how George Bush was outraged when Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.
He launched a plan to get the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement to prepare a coup against Hamas. This was foiled after clashes that led to Hamas taking control of Gaza in June last year.
“It looks like what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted by Hamas before it could happen,” said David Wurmser, a former adviser to US vice-president Dick Cheney.
“Israel uses the excuse of Palestinian rocket attacks,” said Mona. “But it is trying to hide the fact that the occupation is continuing. Israel stopped directly occupying Gaza in 2004, but it is still controlling our lives by remote control.
“This is a disproportionate war between an army and a people’s resistance. It is the Palestinian people’s right to resist occupation.”
Amjad said, “Israel killed children in its attack. Were they firing rockets from Gaza? No – they were killed because they were Palestinian, because of their identity and nationality.”
Amjad and Mona are both calling for people in Britain and other countries to show solidarity with the people of Gaza by joining protests, such as the 15 March World Against War demonstrations.
Amjad said, “We are hoping that the people who value justice will act to help us. We need help to get hope for those who are losing some of it every day. People in the prison of Gaza feel alone. And we need to feel that people in Britain are with us.
“Please show your solidarity with the people in Palestine by joining protests in your country. Show Israel that the Palestinians are not alone and that you are against its crimes. Protest for our children and infants.”
Mona said, “Protests against Israel’s attacks are important. They make us feel that we are not alone.”
Dear Friends and Members,
Americans Against the War-France supports USA war resisters in Canada. Below are copies of our English/French handouts. Hope you can join us to support the young people who refuse to fight in an unjust and illegal war.
LET U.S.A. WAR RESISTERS STAY IN CANADA
Prime Minister Stephen Harper 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2 CANADA
Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Diane Finley Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1 CANADA
Stéphane Dion, Liberal Party 81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400 Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6M8 CANADA
I am writing to ask you to make a provision for sanctuary for the scores of U.S. military service members currently in Canada, most of whom have traveled to your country in order to resist fighting in the war on Iraq.
Between 1965 and 1973, 50,OOO Americans were able to take refuge in Canada when resisting to fight the war on Vietnam.
Today Canada again faces the choice of whether to give refuge to resisters of an unjust war. Since immigrating to Canada has become much harder now, war resisters are seeking refugee status in accord with United Nations guidelines:
“Soldiers who refuse to fight in wars that are widely condemned by the international community as contrary to standards of human conduct should be considered as refugees.”
The Canadian Refugee Board, however, has refused to hear arguments that the war in Iraq is illegal, and it continues to reject these claims.
The first two U.S. objectors to apply, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, were recently denied a hearing on their appeal by the Supreme Court of Canada. For more information, see:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/426/99/ and http://www.resisters.ca/resisters_stories.html
Robin Long nearly became the first war resister to be deported. We are thankful that Canadian immigration officials have put his deportation on hold. However, he and other U.S. war resisters still face deportation—even before a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Regardless of the decisions of the Refugee Board or the courts, the Canadian government should not become party to the persecution of war resisters. If forced back to the U.S., soldiers of conscience face years of incarceration and stigmatizing discharges. Although unlikely, even the death penalty remains a possible penalty for desertion in wartime under the U.S. military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Nearly two of three Canadians are in favor of U.S. war resisters being allowed to stay according to a recent poll, and of course many wonderful Canadians have opened their homes to resisters from the U.S.A.. Please continue Canada’s rich tradition of being a refuge from militarism.
I ask that the Canadian government demonstrate its commitment to international law.
I seek your assurance that U.S. war resisters will not be forced to leave Canada.
distributed by Americans Against the War - France . aawfrance.org
Objecteurs de conscience Etatsunisiens
Le gouvernement Canadien doit permettre aux objecteurs de conscience de se réfugier au Canada.
Entre 1965 et1973, plus de 50 000 Etatsunisiens se sont refugiés au Canada, refusant de participer à la guerre du Vietnam.
Trente ans plus tard, le Canada est confronté à un choix similaire: donner refuge aux personnes qui refusent d'être complices de la guerre menée par le gouvernement Etatsunisien contre l'Irak, ou les renvoyer aux Etats Unis.
Il y a actuellement au moins deux objecteurs de conscience Etatsunisien qui refusent de se battre en Iraq:
Jeremy Hinzman, soldat dans la 82e division aéroportée, est arrivé à Toronto avec sa famille en janvier 2004 et a demandé le statut de réfugié.
Brandon Hughey, soldat américain de 19 ans, est arrivé à St. Catherines deux mois plus tard et a également demandé le statut de réfugié. voir sites en anglais
http://www.resisters.ca/resisters_stories.html et http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/426/99/
Nous demandons au gouvernement Canadien de ne pas punir les objecteurs de con -science en les renvoyant aux États-Unis ou ils seraient passibles d’emprisonnement et, même, de la peine de mort.
Pétition en Français:
-Premier Ministre Stephen Harper 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A0A2
-Ministre de Citoyenté & Immigration Diane Finley Ottowa, Ontario K1A 1L1
-Stéphane Dion, Liberal Party 81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400 Ottawa Ontario K1P 6M8
Je, soussigné-e-, demande au gouvernement Canadien de démontrer son attachement au droit international et aux traités dont il est signataire, en prenant les mesures nécessaires pour que les objecteurs de conscience Etatsunisiens puissent se réfugier au Canada.
NOM ADRESSE OU EMAIL SIGNATURE
Excerpt from November 13, 2007
Hillary's Big Problem and How Bill Can Fix It
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Rumsfeld Flees Paris
I expressed the hope here not so long ago that when they finally quit the White House, leading members of the Bush gang will find it impossible to travel outside the Homeland since every airport they land at, every conference they attend, will feature a posse of local gendarmes with warrants for their arrest so that they can answer charges of war crimes.
On Friday, October 26, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had to be whisked out of France by US embassy officials to avoid just this fate. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and two Paris-based groups, the International Federation of Human Rights and the League of Human Rights. filed a legal complaint with the Paris prosecutor charging Rumsfeld of responsibility for torture at Guantanamo and in Iraq.
Indeed Rumsfeld's role was personal and direct. Andrew Cockburn detailed on this website back in April, 2007, Rumsfeld's micromanagement of torture, as in the case of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi inmate in Guantanamo alleged to have been recruited for the 9/11 hijackings only to fail to gain entry into the U.S. Air Force Lt. General Randall Schmidt, appointed in 2005 to investigate charges by FBI officials of torture at Guantanamo, recorded in a 55-page statement how Rumsfeld ordered the techniques "for Mister Kahtani (sic) number one." On Rumsfeld's instructions, Qahtani's jailers forced him to stand for long periods, isolating him, stripping him, telling him to bark like a dog, and more. "There were no limits put on this and no boundaries", Schmidt reported. After a few days, the sessions had to be temporarily suspended when Qahtani's heartbeat slowed to 35 beats a minute. Rumsfeld was "personally involved", the general stressed, "in the interrogation of one person." Bypassing the normal chain of command, the secretary called the prison chief directly on a weekly basis for reports on progress with Qahtani.
As for Abu Ghraib, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the overall commander of the U.S. military prison system in Iraq has described how she found a piece of paper stuck on a pole outside a little office used by the interrogators. "It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things," Karpinski said. Over to the side of the paper was a line of handwriting, which to her appeared to be in the same hand and with the same ink as the signature. The line read: "Make sure this happens!!"
Only four days before Rumsfeld's arrival in Paris, Americans Against the War, a spirited organization (whose branches in Paris and Montpellier I addressed last year) learned of his impending visit to Paris to address a conference organized by Foreign Policy magazine. Let a couple of members of AAW take up the story, as they retailed it in the wake of the successful action:
"Tout d'abord, I nominate Peter Cross for Hero of the day (or maybe the week or month, or or...). Had he not told us about Rumsfeld's imminent visit to Paris, the protest outside Interalliee, where the breakfast took place, would not have happened, but, more importantly, the Federation Internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), would not have frantically, in four days, put together a dossier of charges against DR which they delivered last night to the Procureur du Tribunal de Grande Instance. With the charges filed, and DR here when they were filed, France is obligated to pursue the investigation into DR's authorization of torture, in violation of the 1984 Convention against Torture, which both france and the US ratified. Hopefully the suit will also bring to the fore Sarkozy's relationship to the US and his tacit consent to its warmongering policies. A big thanks to Peggy for having contacted the LIDH and maintained contact with them.
"Les desobeisants, a group of mostly young, mostly anti-nuke activists who practice civil disobedience, organized a meeting [Thursday] night to plan for [Friday's] action.Peggy and I met at 8 a.m. across the street from the 18th century hotel particulier where the Cercle de l'Union Interalliee, a private club founded at the end of the First World War, has its headquarters. Interalliée's goals are 'contribuer à maintenir la paix et l'harmonie entre les nations en développant les relations entre les personnalités les plus représentatives de l'activité française et étrangère.' Was it Rumsfeld's desire for peace and harmony that made Foreign Policy magazine choose to hold its breakfast there?
"About 8:30, whom do we see jauntily walking up rue du faubourg St. Honore, but none other than DR, surrounded by 4 or 5 men who were probably secret service-maybe even Blackwater stand-ins. And by coincidence, les desobeisants arrived at the same moment. Instantly they unfurled banners-Donald Rumsfeld War criminal (in English), and Donald Rumsfeld, prix Nobel de la Guerre as we pursued DR into the courtyard. Yelling "criminel de guerre," and other things I don't remember, we went as far into the courtyard as we could go-not terribly far. For the next two and a half hours we stood outside, with the very long banners at first strung across the façade, then held when we were asked to take them down.
"I really liked how les desobeisants operate. They approach people, get right in their faces, but do so in very charming, disarming (no pun) ways, and are always extremely polite. It helps that some of them are in clown costume. What really struck me was the behavior of the police. Here we had an arch criminal, one of the most reviled men on the planet, representative of a country the French president is sucking up to, confronted by a group of militants carrying long banners, some shooting large rubber bones out of cardboard bazooka (that would be the clowns). No one asked us to refrain from anything, except hanging the banners on the building (seems to have been someone from Interalliee who asked us not to do that). And we had no permit! Les desobeisants know exactly what the laws are regarding civil disobedience-in fact, they have weekend trainings and invited any of us who wants to attend to do so (they're free). The trainings are not just about civil disobedience but planning interesting and attention-grabbing actions.
"We waited for DR to exit the building. As people were filing out, we asked them about the breakfast, I handed out our flyers. Either DR got out by lying on the floor of a car with blackened windows, and we missed him, or he escaped through some passageway that might link the US embassy with the Interalliee building, or he just waited until we dispersed."
Imagine what would happen to someone deploying a cardboard bazooka firing rubber bones in the vicinity of police and security guardsin Washington DC. There have also been efforts in Germany and Sweden to detain Rumsfeld on charges of war crimes and torture.
USA / FRANCE
DONALD RUMSFELD CHARGED WITH TORTURE DURING TRIP TO FRANCE
See FIDH website: www.fidh.org
Complaint Filed Against Former Defense Secretary for Torture, Abuse at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib
Today, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with ordering and authorizing torture.
Rumsfeld was in Paris for a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine.
“The filing of this French case against Rumsfeld demonstrates that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice. Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide. A torturer is an enemy of all humankind,” said CCR President Michael Ratner.
“France is under the obligation to investigate and prosecute Rumsfeld’s accountability for crimes of torture in Guantanamo and Iraq. France has no choice but to open an investigation if an alleged torturer is on its territory. I hope that the fight against impunity will not be sacrificed in the name of politics. We call on France to refuse to be a safe haven for criminals.” said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen.
“We want to combat impunity and therefore demand a judicial investigation and a criminal prosecution wherever there is jurisdiction over the torture incidents,” said ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck.
"The impunity of a criminal government is always intolerable. That the US is the hyperpower of the moment and especially that it is a democracy makes the impunity of Donald Rumsfield even more unbearable than that of an Hissène Habré or a Radovan Karadzic" announced Jean-Pierre Dubois, LDH President.
The criminal complaint states that because of the failure of authorities in the United States and Iraq to launch any independent investigation into the responsibility of Rumsfeld and other high-level U.S. officials for torture despite a documented paper trail and government memos implicating them in direct as well as command responsibility for torture – and because the U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court – it is the legal obligation of states such as France to take up the case.
In this case, charges are brought under the 1984 Convention against Torture, ratified by both the United States and France, which has been used in France in previous torture cases.
French courts therefore have an obligation under the Convention against Torture to prosecute individuals responsible for acts of torture if they are present on French territory  . This will be the only case filed while he is in the country, which makes the obligations to investigate and prosecute under international law extremely strong.
Rumsfeld’s presence on French territory gives French courts jurisdiction to prosecute him for having ordered and authorized torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.
In addition, having resigned from his position of U.S. Secretary of Defense a year ago, Rumsfeld can no longer try to claim immunity as a head of state or government official. Nor can he claim immunity as former state official, as international law does not recognize such immunity in the case of international crimes including the crime of torture.
Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, former commander of Abu Ghraib and other U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, submitted written testimony to the Paris Prosecutor for the plaintiffs’ case on Rumsfeld’s responsibility for the abuse of detainees.
This is the fifth time Rumsfeld has been charged with direct involvement in torture stemming from his role in the Bush administration’s program of torture post-9/11.
Two previous criminal complaints were filed in Germany under its universal jurisdiction statute, which allows Germany to prosecute serious international crimes regardless of where they occurred or the nationality of the perpetrators or victims. One case was filed in fall 2004 by CCR, FIDH, and Berlin attorney Wolfgang Kaleck; that case was dismissed in February 2005 in response to official pressure from the U.S., in particular from the Pentagon.
The second case was filed in fall 2006 by the same groups as well as dozens of national and international human rights groups, Nobel Peace Prize winners and the United Nations former Special Rapporteur on Torture. The 2006 complaint was presented on behalf of 12 Iraqi citizens who had been held and abused in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and one Saudi citizen still held at Guantánamo. This case was dismissed in April 2007, and an appeal will be filed against this decision next week.
Two other cases were filed against Rumsfeld in Argentina in 2005 and in Sweden in 2007.
Press contact : Karine Appy + 33 1 43 55 14 12 / + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / + 33 6 68 42 93 47
See FIDH website: www.fidh.org for list of key-documents mainly in French
Testimony of Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib
Well, I just got back to my office after the Rumsfeld event and, having
washed my hands repeatedly, will try to jot down my impressions, for what
First, the crowd and the reception: lots of “institutionnels” (French
Foreign and Defence Ministries, some EU and NATO types, one three-star
French general in uniform), lots of people from French think tanks and such
(IRIS etc, Foreign Policy magazine itself), a fair few journalists (I
spotted Le Monde, Le Figaro, TF1, L’Express, others too I think, but no TV
cameras), and a fair sprinkling of business types (a couple of people from
Thalès, several banks, …). On the top table, seated between the three-star
general and Rumsfeld was Giscard d’Estaign’s son, who is with some bank, I
think. In all, about 100 people in attendance. Debate moderated by the
editor of FP/France (François Whathisname) and the ubiquitous Alexander
Adler, who fawned fatuously over Rumsfeld to disgusting effect. That aside,
the reception he met with was generally polite, interested, but neither
overtly hostile nor especially warm. The guy from L’Express was the only one
during the Q&A to grill Rumsfeld at all aggressively (asking what, if
Rumsfeld as reported held Afghanistan to be a great success, he thought an
average failure might look like) – to the palpable relief of those too
polite or intimidated to do so themselves.
Speaking below one of those huge French tapestries, depicting a lot of
scimitar-wielding Saracens in turbans preparing to abduct what seemed to be
a white infanta and mother (wish I’d got a photo of that!), Rumsfeld
delivered a speech on threats to global security which covered a lot more
than just the Middle East, and was very much pointed towards the future
rather than the past, even the recent past. Among the most salient points
- his insistence on the potential threat of China (in particular on
the military level, including the telling observation that “many of the
states in the region are coming to realise, I think, that weakness invites
aggression”), presented explicitly as a potential aggressor nation
- his support for those in Japan who favour a break with that
country’s pacifist heritage and low-spend defence policy (“it is unique in
history for a number two economic power to devote just 1% of its GDP to
- his concern about the link between demographics and defence
spending in Europe (ageing population + extensive social safety-net => less
money available for military spending, already “too low” at 2% of GDP)
- his enthusiasm for the “new leadership” in Europe, in particular
Sarkozy, which gives “grounds for optimism” that the perceived problems with
defence and social spending may be overcome, France could integrate the
military structures of NATO etc etc
- and his relatively conciliatory attitude towards Iran (in both
his speech and the Q&A that followed, he stressed that he did not believe
that US military action against Iran was in any way inevitable, that
diplomacy could work and was being pursued, that the Iranians had been
“helpful” to the US/NATO in Afghanistan (even if they were “arming the
insurgents in Iraq”), etc.
Turning to the “Broader Middle East”, he pointed to galloping demographic
growth and the existence of an “extremist minority wielding disproportionate
influence” as reasons why the region will continue to be a problem (for the
US, for the world…) in the forthcoming period. On Afghanistan, vaunted the
successes of the US/NATO, citing the “gateway test” (5m Afghan refugees have
made a “conscious decision” to return, therefore things must be getting
better). On Iraq, trotted out the traditional justifications for the
invasion, barring WMD but including the Saddam-Qaeda canard (Saddam, he
claimed, had harboured the perpetrators of the first World Trade Centre
attack and Abou Mossab Zarqawi – an outrageous lie, since Zarqawi was in the
no man’s land created by the US/UK no-fly zone in the north. Nobody took him
up on this, of course). There was no suggestion whatsoever that the region’s
problems might have any other significant cause than the agitation of that
“extremist minority” – and certainly not occupation, foreign-backed
dictators, poverty, etc etc (although he did, in passing, muse that an
occupation, say of Iraq, should not be too heavy-handed lest it encourage
opposition, before going on to develop folksy metaphors about
nation-building and teaching one’s child to ride a bicycle). Unsurprisingly,
failed to apply the same “gateway test” to Iraq (again, unchallenged). The
remedy to the “extremist” problem, obviously, is to support the “moderate
Muslim leaders”, in particular Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, Hamid Karzai, whom
he cited repeatedly, lauding their bravery. But on the whole, one got the
impression that he did not feel that there was ever going to be an end to
the Global War on Terror. Lapsing into a classic Rumsfeldism, he explained
that there are two piles of problems: the problems you can solve and the
problems you can’t solve; problems that can be solved (build that
bridge/freeway/ building), you solve; problems that can’t be solved (create
a safe world/workplace), you have to “work on”, and people (journalists and
academics in particular) should not be shocked that they never get fully
solved. Quoted Shimon Peres as saying that problems that can’t be solved are
not problems but facts that have to be lived with and adapted to, he implied
(without saying so) that terrorism can never be eradicated and therefore we
will have to live with the GWOT for ever.
The overall impression I had of Rumsfeld was of a man who knows, but
sometimes still has to remind himself, that he no longer wields the immense
power he once had, but is confident nonetheless that he is protected from
the consequences of his actions. Twinkling, almost avuncular most of the
time, ever ready with the amusing anecdote, he only occasionally let the
old, abrasive Rummy come to the fore, notably when put on the spot about his
record. “When you get up in the morning and you start doing things, you know
you’re going to upset some people. And I don’t personally have a problem
with that,” he blustered, briefly, while trying to explain away the
“generals’ revolt” in terms of his decision to nominate a retired Special
Forces officer as Army Chief of Staff instead of the regular Army guy who
expected to be in line (“so a few people didn’t make three or four stars who
thought they were going to make three or four stars. That’s a lot of broken
china.”). But even there it is almost half-hearted, or disingenuous: while
he’s prompt to assume responsibility for upsetting a few US generals, it is
the better to deflect charges that he shares responsibility for destroying
Iraq, and much else besides.
Worth remembering, I think, that the guy is no longer in power. He’s with
the Hoover Institute or somesuch now, I think, and on the conference
circuit, which turns a pretty penny, so it’s possible this trip to France
was, for him, not much more than a junket. I’m not at all sure how close his
contacts are with the declining Bush Administration even, and there were
certainly no hint of any planned meetings with French officials. Although
that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any, of course.
Apart from that, they make a nice cup of coffee at the Cercle Interlliés.
And bravo to all those who had a hand in filing the torture suit against
EVENTS of the DAY
Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:30 am (PST)
Tout d'abord, I nominate ******* for Hero of the day (or maybe
the week or month, or or...). Had he not told us about Rumsfeld's
imminent visit to Paris, the protest outside Interalliee, where the
breakfast took place, would not have happened, but, more importantly,
the Federation Internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme
(FIDH), would not have frantically, in four days, put together a
dossier of charges against DR which they delivered last night to the
Procureur du Tribunal de Grande Instance. With the charges filed, and
DR here when they were filed, France is obligated to pursue the
investigation into DR’s authorization of torture, in violation of the
1984 Convention against Torture, which both france and the US
ratified. Hopefully the suit will also bring to the fore Sarkozy's
relationship to the US and his tacit consent to its warmongering
policies. A big thanks to ***** for having contacted the LIDH and
maintained contact with them. And another big thanks to ***** for his
excellent report on the “Petit Dejeuner des Cons.”
Les desobeisants, a group of mostly young, mostly anti-nuke activists
who practice civil disobedience, having learned from us of DR's
visit, first at the meeting of the Mouvement de la Paix on Monday,
and again at the Arnove event, organized a meeting last night to plan
for today's action. When Victoria, Evi, and I left it around 10, they
hadn't come to any conclusion, except to meet at 7:30 this morning at
the Carousel du Louvre. The fact that we created this event with
people we scarcely knew of, underscores the need for us to make
contact with as many different like-minded groups as we can (and as
we are beginning to do), and to keep them all informed of events like
this. It’s unfortunate that ACG didn’t join us—they heard of DR’s
visit from a few different sources and had our flyer. Maybe it’s not
sufficient to hand out flyers—we need to phone or email the groups as
a follow up.
Peggy and I met at 8 a.m. across the street from the 18th century
hotel particulier where the Cercle de l'Union Interalliee, a private
club founded at the end of the First World War, has its headquarters.
Interalliée’s goals are “contribuer à maintenir la paix et l'harmonie
entre les nations en développant les relations entre les
personnalités les plus représentatives de l'activité française et
étrangère.” Was it Rumsfeld’s desire for peace and harmony that made
Foreign Policy magazine choose to hold its breakfast there?
About 8:30, whom do we see jauntily walking up rue du faubourg St.
Honore, but none other than DR, surrounded by 4 or 5 men who were
probably secret service—maybe even Blackwater stand-ins. And by
coincidence, les desobeisants arrived at the same moment, with AAW’s
newest recruit Evi. Instantly they unfurled banners—Donald Rumsfeld
War criminal (in English), and Donald Rumsfeld, prix Nobel de la
Guerre (both based on suggestions we had made in the meeting last
night) as we pursued DR into the courtyard. Yelling “criminel de
guerre,” and other things I don’t remember, we went as far into the
courtyard as we could go—not terribly far. For the next two and a
half hours we stood outside, with the very long banners at first
strung across the façade, then held when we were asked to take them
I really liked how les desobeisants operate. They approach people,
get right in their faces, but do so in very charming, disarming (no
pun) ways, and are always extremely polite. It helps that some of
them are in clown costume. What really struck me was the behavior of
the police. Here we had an arch criminal, one of the most reviled men
on the planet, representative of a country the French president is
sucking up to, confronted by a group of militants carrying long
banners, some shooting large rubber bones out of cardboard bazooka
(that would be the clowns). No one asked us to refrain from anything,
except hanging the banners on the building (seems to have been
someone from Interalliee who asked us not to do that). And we had no
permit! Les desobeicants know exactly what the laws are regarding
civil disobedience—in fact, they have weekend trainings and invited
any of us who wants to attend to do so (they’re free). The trainings
are not just about civil disobedience but planning interesting and
attention-grabbing actions. I imagine we could call on them for
reinforcements at some future event we might organize.
We waited for DR to exit the building. As people were filing out, we
asked them about the breakfast, I handed out our flyers. That’s how
we met Peter. Either DR got out by lying on the floor of a car with
blackened windows, and we missed him, or he escaped through some
passageway that might link the US embassy with the Interalliee
building, or he just waited until we dispersed.
I don’t know what media coverage we got—if some other event doesn’t
eclipse ours, then we might be on France 3’s 19h30 newscast. Maybe we
were on France Inter. Hopefully FIDH will get lots of coverage for
In some ways I think this was perhaps the most important event that
AAW has organized/participated in, because the possible consequences
of it—lots of attention on DR’s crime and on , Sarko’s pro-americanism
—are most significant. Some of us persisted in marking DR’s presence
here, and even though there were only Peggy, Evi, and myself from
AAW, and we had no AAW banners, we had an impact beyond our just
having been the catalysts. I’m sure DR will not sleep soundly tonight
knowing that AAW is on to him….
sent to Democrats Abroad on June 28, 2007
Dear Democrats Abroad:
We the undersigned anti-war groups call upon Democrats Abroad, its 70 country organizations, its local chapters within those countries and its individual members, to join us in condemning publicly and resolutely the pro-war actions of the Democratic Party.
We do so knowing that within the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad there are thousands of members who are sincerely against war in general and against the war in Iraq in particular. Increasing numbers have been voicing their dismay and disillusionment about the Democratic Party, including such well-known current and former Democrats as Cindy Sheehan, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney.
We know and recognize that in the past Democrats Abroad came out strongly against the occupation in Iraq, against the troop build-up in Iraq, against a possible attack on Iran and against the Military Commissions Act.
However in the past criticism was confined to the Bush Administration and did not acknowledge that many (and in some cases most) Democratic legislators voted to support the Bush Administration in pursuing and justifying the war.
In the November 2006 election the Democratic Party gained control of both houses of Congress. This victory was recognized as a mandate from the American people to bring the Iraq war to an end. The Congress has done very little in this regard. Nor have they made any effort to invalidate The Military Commissions Act or repeal The Patriot Act. Nor have they supported the impeachment of President Bush or Vice-President Cheney.
Instead they have played politics with the lives of thousands of US soldiers and millions of Iraqi people, have failed to defend the US Constitution, and have even increased the possibility of more wars in the future by not taking a firm stand against an attack on Iran.
We are now asking you to broaden your criticism by publicly condemning these actions and omissions of the Democratic Party.
By doing so you will have much more effect than your past criticisms and resolutions against the Bush Administration because you will be putting pressure where that pressure will be felt: on your own organization, in the name of Democrats Abroad.
Just as US citizens have the responsibility to speak out against theaggressive policies of our government, so Democrats should speak out against the Democratic Party whose actions before November did not prevent war and since November have actively facilitated war.
We end by quoting Democratic Senator Robert Byrd's comments opposing the October 2002 Iraq Resolution (supported by a majority of Democratic Senators) which gave President Bush the constitutional authority to invade Iraq:
'Congress might as well just close the doors, put a sign over the doors and say: 'Going fishing.' Put a sign on the Statue of Liberty up here: 'Out of business.' That is exactly, that is precisely what we are about to do, if we vote for this resolution as it is currently written.'
As U.S citizens we must try and prevent the same thing happening now when the Democratic Party controls both houses of Congress (thanks to the anti-war vote of November 2006) and has the constitutional power to end the war.
Yours sincerely in peace and justice:
Americans for Peace and Justice, Montpellier, France
Americans Against the War, France
American Voices Abroad, Beirut, Lebanon
U.S. Citizens Against War, Florence, Italy
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome
Munich American Peace Committee, Munich, Germany
American Voices Abroad Military Project, International
DOWN LOAD LETTER HERE pdf format
Published on Sunday, June 10, 2007 by Agence France Presse
Joint US-Israeli Military Exercises Begin
Agence France Presse staff
JERUSALEM — American and Israeli air forces Sunday began week-long joint exercises in southern Israel, simulating dog-fights and bombing targets on the ground, the army said.
Dozens of aircraft are taking part in the exercises in the southern Negev desert, it said.
Army radio said the exercises were taking place in the context of recent discussions between Israel and its main ally on the controversial nuclear program of the Jewish state’s arch-foe Iran.
But an Israeli military source said that the exercises were “planned two years ago and are not linked to the situation in any country.”
The US, Israel, and many Western countries fear that Iran’s nuclear program is a guise for developing atomic weapons. Tehran says it is meant for civilian uses only.
Israel, widely believed to be the sole, if undeclared, nuclear power in the Middle East, considers the Islamic republic its arch-foe after repeated statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be wiped off the map.
Copyright © AFP 2007
Bush's Escalation Provokes Constitutional Crisis - and Progressive Mobilization
Showing his utter contempt for the will of the American people, George Bush is moving ahead with his plan to escalate the War in Iraq by 20,000 troops, starting by January 31.
Senator Ted Kennedy is drawing a line in the sand by introducing a bill to require Congress to approve Bush's escalation. But Bush is making it clear he would defy Congress - just as he has defied the American people.
Just as we predicted, Bush is provoking a "Constitutional Crisis
Be sure to sign our impeachment petitions:
Ten Reasons to Impeach Bush and Cheney
Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney
At long last, the broad progressive movement is gearing up to stop Bush by organizing events both locally and nationally. You can find local events in your area, or post them yourself for others to sign up and attend at:
Below are listed some selected national events to plan for. A more complete list is at:
Jan. 10: 9:00 p.m. Bush to announce escalation of occupation of Iraq. Protesters to gather in Lafayette Square Park to make sure the press hears "De-escalate! Investigate! Troops Home Now!" Join us!
Note that many members of Congress will claim they have no power to stop this. A report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund shows that Congress does have this power and has often used it in the past:
Senator Ted Kennedy has introduced a bill to block this escalation:
You can let your Congress Member know you expect them to block any escalation and immediately begin defunding the war and bringing our troops safely home:
Jan 11: Events all over the United States and a Congressional Call-In Day to close Guantanamo.
Jan 11: Events in Washington D.C. to close Guantanamo, including a 10:00 a.m. rally in Upper Senate Park; a 10:30 a.m. press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court with Witness Against Torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Amnesty USA; a march in orange prisoner jumpsuits to federal court; nonviolent civil disobedience and a rally in front of court; a 6:30 p.m. teach-in at Georgetown Law School; plus lobbying of Congress.
Jan. 11: Events Across the Country to Oppose Escalation of Iraq Occupation: Join the Nationwide Peace Surge! Join with Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace & Justice, CodePink, TrueMajority, Working Assets, U.S. Labor Against War, Peace Action, Mainstreet Moms, NOW, WAND, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Faithful America, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, Physicians for Social Responsibility, DC for Democracy, Sojourners, Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet.org, and many more. Volunteers will host actions across the country within 24 hours of the President’s speech with a simple message: "America says NO more troops in Iraq!" Of course, America says much more than that! We say to Congress: Cut off the money for war, bring the troops home, and hold Bush and Cheney accountable! Take that message to these events! Find an Event in Your Area:
Jan 11: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Antiwar Demonstration across from the White House in Lafayette Square Park led by DC for Democracy.
Jan. 12: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Former Senator George McGovern and Dr. William Polk present a plan to withdraw from Iraq at an event hosted by Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee in 345 Cannon House Office Building.
Jan. 12: 12:30 p.m. Former Senator George McGovern to Speak at National Press Club About How to End the War
Jan. 15: 12:00 p.m. in Bethesda, Md., March to Lockheed Martin Headquarters to Demand They Stop Making Weapons That Primarily Harm Civilians and the Environment
Jan. 17: Possible introduction of impeachment resolution in a state legislature to be named very soon.
Jan. 23: Bush to deliver State of the Union (Shall we see who can count the most lies?)
Jan. 28: Congressman Henry Waxman to hold a town hall meeting in his district.
Jan. 27-29: March for peace and impeachment, workshops, lobbying for defunding and investigating (See below).
Feb. 5: Bush expected to submit budget.
Feb. 5: Lt. Ehren Watada to face Court Martial.
Feb. 5: Occupation Project Begins, set to last 8 weeks. Get ready to occupy Congress Members' offices for peace and impeachment.
Feb. 15: Four-Year Anniversary of the World's Largest Protest
Feb. 16-26 Congress to recess. Meet with your Congress Member at home!
March 4: March Forth. Events led by the Backbone Campaign.
Mar 6: Vermont towns to vote on Bush impeachment resolutions
March 17-19: Peace Demonstrations everywhere to mark four years of Iraq War
Ongoing: Cities for Peace
Ongoing: Cities and States for Impeachment
Newly Updated AfterDowningStreet Flyer to Print, Copy, Distribute
March and Lobby in Washington on January 27th, 28th, and 29th
Come to Washington, D.C., on January 27. Join in the march for peace being organized by United for Peace and Justice
and impeachment events on January 28th being planned by Progressive Democrats of America
Make appointments now to meet with your Congress Member on January 29th to demand impeachment and peace. Get organized with others in your Congressional District
TIP: Buy a dozen or more Impeachment Shirts
Sign Up for Lobby Day Now
Register now for the UFPJ Congressional Advocacy Day (lobby day) January 29, 2007
March to the Capitol on J27 -- march into your Rep. and Senators' offices on J29!
Plan to spend three days in D.C. On Saturday, march. On Sunday, take part in workshops and training sessions on peace and impeachment. Meet with fellow activists from your state and congressional district and prepare for Monday. On Monday, lobby your Congress Member and Senators for two things:
1. No more funding for this war.
2. Investigations of the justification for and conduct of this war.
Carter's Real Sin is Cutting to the Heart of the Problem
The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter's Book
December 28, 2006
By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
As Jimmy Carter's new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid climbs the
bestseller list, the reaction of Israel's apologists scales new peaks
of lunacy. I will examine a pair of typical examples and then look at
the latest weapon to silence Carter.
No aspect of Carter's book has evoked more outrage than its
identification of Israeli policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
with apartheid. Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post called it
"foolish and unfair," the Boston Globe editorialized that it was
"irresponsibly provocative," while the New York Times reported that
Jewish groups condemned it as "dangerous and anti-Semitic." (1)
In fact the comparison is a commonplace among informed commentators.
From its initial encounter with Palestine the Zionist movement
confronted a seemingly intractable dilemma: How to create a Jewish
state in a territory that was overwhelmingly non-Jewish? Israeli
historian Benny Morris observes that Zionists could choose from only
two options: "the way of South Africa"--i.e., "the establishment of an
apartheid state, with a settler minority lording it over a large,
exploited native majority"--or "the way of transfer"--i.e., "you could
create a homogeneous Jewish state or at least a state with an
overwhelming Jewish majority by moving or transferring all or most of
the Arabs out." (2)
During the British Mandate period (1917-1947) Zionist settlers labored
on both fronts, laying the foundations of an apartheid-like regime in
Palestine while exploring the prospect of expelling the indigenous
population. Norman Bentwich, a Jewish officer in the Mandatory
government who later taught at the Hebrew University, recalled in his
memoir that, "One of the causes of resentment between Arabs and Jews
was the determined policy of the Jewish public bodies to employ only
Jewish workers.This policy of 'economic apartheid' was bound to
strengthen the resistance of Arabs to Jewish immigration." (3)
Ultimately, however, the Zionist movement resolved the dilemma in 1948
by way of transfer: under the cover of war with neighboring Arab
states, Zionist armies proceeded to "ethnically cleanse" (Morris) the
bulk of the indigenous population, creating a state that didn't need
to rely on anachronistic structures of Western supremacy. (4)
After Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 the same
demographic dilemma resurfaced and alongside it the same pair of
options. Once again Zionists simultaneously laid the foundations for
apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territory while never quite
abandoning hope that an expulsion could be carried off in the event of
After four decades of Israeli occupation, the infrastructure and
superstructure of apartheid have been put in place. Outside the
never-never land of mainstream American Jewry and U.S. media this
reality is barely disputed. Indeed, already more than a decade ago
while the world was celebrating the Oslo Accords, seasoned Israeli
analyst and former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti
observed, "It goes without saying that 'cooperation' based on the
current power relationship is no more than permanent Israeli
domination in disguise, and that Palestinian self-rule is merely a
euphemism for Bantustanization." (6)
If it's "foolish and unfair," "irresponsibly provocative" and
"dangerous and anti-Semitic" to make the apartheid comparison, then
the roster of commentators who have gone awry is rather puzzling. For
example, a major 2002 study of Israeli settlement practices by the
respected Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem concluded:
"Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation
based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the
same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality.
This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is
reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the
apartheid regime in South Africa." A more recent B'Tselem publication
on the road system Israel has established in the West Bank again
concluded that it "bears striking similarities to the racist Apartheid
regime," and even "entails a greater degree of arbitrariness than was
the case with the regime that existed in South Africa." (7)
Those sharing Carter's iniquitous belief also include the editorial
board of Israel's leading newspaper Haaretz, which observed in
September 2006 that "the apartheid regime in the territories remains
intact; millions of Palestinians are living without rights, freedom of
movement or a livelihood, under the yoke of ongoing Israeli
occupation," as well as former Israeli Knesset member Shulamit Aloni,
former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel, South African
Archbishop and Nobel Laureate for Peace Desmond Tutu and "father" of
human rights law in South Africa John Dugard. (8)
Indeed, the list apparently also includes former Israeli prime
minister Ariel Sharon. Pointing to his "fixation with Bantustans,"
Israeli researcher Gershom Gorenberg concluded that it is "no
accident" that Sharon's plan for the West Bank "bears a striking
resemblance to the 'grand apartheid' promoted by the old South African
regime." Sharon himself reportedly stated that "the Bantustan model
was the most appropriate solution to the conflict." (9)
The denial of Carter's critics recalls the glory days of the Daily
Worker. Kinsley asserts that "no one has yet thought to accuse Israel
of creating a phony country in finally acquiescing to the creation of
a Palestinian state." In the real world what he claims "no one has yet
thought" couldn't be more commonplace. The Economist typically reports
that Palestinians have been asked to choose between "a Swiss-cheese
state, comprising most of the West Bank but riddled with settlements,
in which travel is severely hampered," and Israel "pulling out from up
to 40 percent or 50 percent of the West Bank's territory unilaterally,
while keeping most of its settlements." (10)
The shrill reaction to Carter's mention of apartheid is probably due
not only to the term's emotive resonances but its legal-political
implications as well. According to Additional Protocol I to the 1949
Geneva Conventions as well as the Statute of the International
Criminal Court, "practices of apartheid" constitute war crimes. Small
wonder, then, that despite--or, rather, because of--its aptness,
Carter is being bullied into repudiating the term. (11)
Partial or full withdrawal?
In order to discredit Carter the media keep citing the inflammatory
rhetoric of his former collaborator at the Carter Center, Kenneth
Stein. On inspection, however, Stein's claims prove to be devoid of
content. Consider the main one of Carter's "egregious and inexcusable
errors" that Stein enumerates. (12)
According to Stein, Carter erroneously infers on the basis of U.N.
Resolution 242 that Israel "must" withdraw from the West Bank and
Gaza. It is true that whereas media pundits often allege that the
extent of Israel's withdrawal is subject to negotiations, Carter
forthrightly asserts that Israel's "borders must coincide with those
prevailing from 1949 until 1967 (unless modified by mutually agreeable
land swaps), specified in the unanimously adopted U.N. Resolution 242,
which mandates Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories." (13)
In fact and to his credit Carter is right on the mark.
Shortly after the June 1967 war the U.N General Assembly met in
There was "near unanimity" on "the withdrawal of the armed forces from
the territory of neighboring Arab states," Secretary-General U Thant
subsequently observed, because "everyone agrees that there should be
no territorial gains by military conquest." (14)
When the General Assembly couldn't reach consensus on a comprehensive
resolution, deliberations moved to the Security Council. In November
1967 the Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 242, the
preambular paragraph of which emphasized "the inadmissibility of the
acquisition of territory by war." The main framer of 242, Lord Caradon
of the United Kingdom, later recalled that without this preambular
statement "there could have been no unanimous vote" in the Security
Council. (15) Fully 10 of the 15 Security Council members stressed in
their interventions the "inadmissibility" principle and Israel's
obligation to fully withdraw while none of the five other members
registered any disagreement. (16)
For its part the United States repeatedly made clear that it
contemplated at most minor and mutual border adjustments (hence
Carter's caveat of "mutually agreeable land swaps"). Jordanian leaders
were told in early November 1967 that "some territorial adjustment
will be required" on the West Bank but "there must be mutuality in
adjustments" and, on a second occasion, that the U.S. supported "minor
border rectifications" but Jordan would "obtain compensationfor any
territory it is required to give up." (17)
When Israel first proposed annexation of West Bank territory, the U.S.
vehemently replied that 242 "never meant that Israel could extend its
territory to [the] West Bank," and that "there will be no peace if
Israel tries to hold onto large chunks of territory." (18)
In private Israeli leaders themselves suffered no illusions on the
actual meaning of 242. During a closed session of the Labor Party in
1968 Moshe Dayan counseled against endorsing 242 because "it means
withdrawal to the 4 June  boundaries, and because we are in
conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution." (19)
In its landmark 2004 advisory opinion, "Legal Consequences of the
Construction of a Wall In the Occupied Palestinian Territory," the
International Court of Justice repeatedly affirmed the preambular
paragraph of Resolution 242 emphasizing the inadmissibility of
territorial conquest as well as a 1970 General Assembly resolution
emphasizing that "No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat
or use of force shall be recognized as legal." The World Court denoted
this principle a "corollary" of the U.N. Charter and as such
"customary international law" and a "customary rule" binding on all
member States of the United Nations. It merits notice that on this
crucial point none of the Court's 15 justices registered any dissent.
Carter's real sin is that he cut to the heart of the problem: "Peace
will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli
government is willing to comply with international law."
Norman Finkelstein's most recent book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the
misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (University of
California Press). His web site is www.NormanFinkelstein.com.
(1) Michael Kinsley, "It's Not Apartheid," Washington Post (12
December 2006); "Jimmy Carter vs. Jimmy Carter," editorial, Boston
Globe (16 December 2006); Julie Bosman, "Carter Book Stirs Furor With
Its View of Israelis' 'Apartheid'," New York Times (14 December 2006).
(2) Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian exodus of 1948," in
Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds), The War for Palestine
(Cambridge: 2001), pp. 39-40.
(3) Norman and Helen Bentwich, Mandate Memories, 1918-1948 (New York:
1965), p. 53.
(4) Ari Shavit, "Survival of the Fittest," interview with Benny Morris, Haaretz
(9 January 2004).
(5) Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine
Conflict, second edition (New York: 2003), pp. xxvii-xxxi.
(6) Meron Benvenisti, Intimate Enemies (New York: 1995), p. 232.
(7) B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the
Occupied Territories), Land Grab: Israel's settlement policy in the
West Bank (May 2002), p. 104. B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for
Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Forbidden Roads: Israel's
discriminatory road regime in the West Bank (August 2004), p. 3.
(8) "The Problem That Disappeared," editorial, Haaretz (11 September
2006), Roee Nahmias, "'Israeli Terror is Worse,'" Yediot Ahronot (29
July 2005) (Aloni), Chris McGreal, "Worlds Apart: Israel, Palestine
and Apartheid" and "Brothers In Arms: Israel's secret pact with
Pretoria," Guardian (6 February 2006, 7 February 2006) (Tutu, Liel),
John Dugard, "Apartheid: Israelis Adopt What South Africa Dropped,"
Atlanta Journal -Constitution (29 November 2006).
(9) Gershom Gorenberg, "Road Map to Grand Apartheid? Ariel Sharon's
South African inspiration," American Prospect (3 July 2003). Akiva
Eldar, "Sharon's Bantustans Are Far from Copenhagen's Hope," Haaretz
(13 May 2003).
(10) "Ever More Separate," Economist (20 October 2005).
(11) Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary
International Humanitarian Law, Vol. I: Rules (Cambridge: 2005), pp.
310-11, 586, 588-9. The quoted phrase comes from Additional Protocol
I; the wording in the ICC statute slightly differs.
(12) Rachel Zelkowitz, "Professor Describes Carter 'Inaccuracies',"
The Emory Wheel (12 December 2006).
(13) Carter, Palestine, p. 208.
(14) "Introduction to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on
the Work of the Organization, 16 June 1966--15 June 1967," in General
Assembly, Official Records: Twenty-Second Session, Supplement No. 1A.
United Nations (15 September 1967), para. 47.
(15) Lord Caradon et al., U.N. Security Council Resolution 242: A Case
Study in Diplomatic Ambiguity (Washington, D.C.: 1981), p. 13.
(16) John McHugo, "Resolution 242: A Legal Reappraisal of the
Right-Wing Israeli Interpretation of the Withdrawal Phrase With
Reference to the Conflict Between Israel and the Palestinians," in
International and Comparative Law Quarterly (October 2002), pp.
(17) Norman G. Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of
anti-Semitism and the abuse of history (Berkeley: 2005), p. 289.
(19)Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968 (Jerusalem:
1973), p. 247.
(20) Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion (Int'l Ct. of Justice July 9,
2004), 43 IL M 1009 (2004), paras. 74, 87,117.
McKinney's Full Remarks on Bush Impeachment Bill
December 08, 2006
By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor and National Correspondent
US Rep. Cynthia McKinney today became the first US Congresswoman to introduce Articles of Impeachment against President Bush, as well as Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Atlanta Progressive News has obtained the following remarks prepared by the Congresswoman, and has learned she was not allowed to read them on the US House Floor. The remarks are expected to become part of the Congressional Record but will not be available on thomas.loc.gov until next week.
The remarks are reprinted here in full:
I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Throughout my tenure, I've always tried to speak the truth. It's that commitment that brings me here today.
We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.
No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable, what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?
The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.
Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people supported this Administration's actions because they believed in our President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness of everything being considered, two values were rock solid: trust and truth.
From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts, but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion of Iraq.
President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating with President Bush's claim that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent, the President then took our country to war.
This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy, for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our men and women in the military and their families--who have been asked to make sacrifices--including the ultimate sacrifice--to keep us safe.
Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again, the President failed the American people.
When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.
President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.
With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake.
Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship.
I am not willing to put any political party before my principles.
This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.
Under the standards set by the United States Constitution, President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice, should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed H. Res.1106 in the House of Representatives.
To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone.
Starbucks Against Ethiopia
By Eric Leser
Thursday 14 December 2006
Coffee is by far Ethiopia's main resource. It represents between 40 and 60 percent of the country's exports and assures the survival of about 15 million people, essentially the families of poor farmers. In an attempt to increase its income and protect itself from the catastrophic collapse of prices, like the one that took place between 2000 and 2003, Addis Ababa is trying to register the brand names for the regions where its most well-known coffees - Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, and Harar - are produced, much the way cognac or Roquefort are registered.
But Ethiopia runs up against Starbucks. The multinational makes liberal use of Ethiopian names to sell its beverages and does not want to hear about paying for trademarks. Oxfam, the English organization that preaches fair trade, has accused the American group for months of depriving Ethiopian farmers of at least $90 million of additional income per year. "Harar and Sidamo coffees are sold for as much as $24 to $26 a pound by Starbucks. The farmers who grow them receive between 60 cents and $1.10 per pound," explains Oxfam's Seth Petchers.
Ethiopia's first attempt to protect the Sidamo brand goes back to March 2005. The file submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was ultimately rejected. Starbucks had previously tried to register a brand including the word Sidamo. The campaign led by Oxfam has nonetheless forced Starbucks to change strategy and hide behind the National Coffee Association (NCA). In order to reject the Ethiopian request, the USPTO cited the NCA, asserting that regional names are "generic."
Addis Ababa has until the end of the month to make an appeal and will undoubtedly do so. But the country vitally needs to sell its coffee. The Ethiopian government has offered Starbucks a free license in exchange for a registered brand. Eleven American coff?e distributors have already agreed to the proposition. Two weeks ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met with Starbucks boss Jim Donald. But the latter remains unyielding.
The American group proposes a geographic certification of Ethiopian coffees similar to the appellations controles of French wines, Florida orange juice or Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. While Ethiopian farmers often obtain less than 5 percent of their product's final sale price, those of Jamaica get as much as 45 percent. The American authorities are suggesting that certification brings transparency to the system and that the additional revenue really will end up in the farmers' pockets.
3pm Bastille Demo Statement
STOP AUX MASSACRES DE L'ARMEE ISRAELIENNE EN PALESTINE !
Incapables, au cours de l'été, de venir à bout de la résistance du peuple libanais, le gouvernement israélien s'acharne avec une brutalité décuplée contre les territoires palestiniens occupés, notamment dans la Bande de Gaza où les chars tirent sur tout ce qui bouge, y compris les femmes désarmées.
Rien qu'à Beit Hanoun (Bande de Gaza), l'armée a tué la semaine dernière plus de 40 Palestiniens, en blessant des centaines d'autres.Ces hommes, ces femmes, ces enfants attendent que des êtres humains dans le reste du monde s'élèvent contre la barbarie dont ils sont victimes, contre la politique du deux poids, deux mesur es qui permet à Israël d'utiliser des missiles, des bombes à fragmentation, au phosphore contre des gens dans défense, de kidnapper des parlementaires élus par la population, d'affamer tout un peuple et de le terroriser en permanence, alors que « le droit de se défendre » est interdit aux pays qui ne plaisent pas à l'administration Bush.
Nos dirigeants se taisent, y compris quand le gouvernement israélien nomme un fasciste tel que le sinistre Avigdor Lieberman au poste de vice-premier ministre chargé des affaires « stratégiques ». Ils font pire : ils participent à la boucherie en fournissant des armes à Israël (la France participe à la confection des drones qui lancent des missiles sur la population palestinienne) et en coupant les aides aux Palestiniens.
Mais qu'attend-on des Palestiniens ? Qu'ils renoncent à vivre sur le peu de terres qu'on ne leur a pas encore volées ?
Ne pas exiger de nos politiciens qu'ils prennent clairement position contre les massacres commis par le gouvernement israélien serait non seulement de la non assistance à peuple en danger, mais une condamnation à vivre dans une société de plus en plus injuste et inhumaine pour nous tous.
Nous ne pouvons pas nous résoudre à l'inacceptable, nous ne pouvons pas nous laisser submerger par l'indifférence. C'est vrai, les violations continuelles du droit, les massacres commis tous les jours, ont tendance à annihiler la capacité de réaction.
Tout comme le chantage à l'antisémitisme a réussi à paralyser des hommes et des femmes qui devraient dire haut et fort que les crimes commis par le gouvernement israélien mettent en danger la paix dans le monde.
La résistance du peuple palestinien est notre résistance face un monde de plus en plus barbare.
TOUS AU RASSEMBLEMENT CONTRE LES MASSACRES EN PALESTINE SAMEDI 11 NOVEMBRE A 15 H PLACE DE LA BASTILLE (devant l'Opéra Bastille)
Mouvement de Soutien à la Résistance du Peuple Palestinien (Association SolidariP, Comité palestinien pour le droit au retour - section France,
Enfants de la Palestine,
Mouvement Justice pour la Palestine,
Niort pour la Palestine,
Saint-Ouen Solidarité Palestine),
Comité Palestine 20ème Paris EST,
AFPS Ile de France,
Agir contre la Guerre...
5pm Chatelet Demo Statement
Halte au massacre du peuple palestinien! Respect du droit international !
L'été dernier, la brutalité de l'agression israélienne contre le Liban a traumatisé l'opinion internationale. De nombreuses voix se sont élevées pour appeler à un règlement global du conflit généré par les violations continuelles par Israël du droit international, dans une totale impunité. La suspension des aides financières à l'Autorité Palestinienne, la confiscation des taxes dues à celle-ci par l'État d'Israël, placent la population palestinienne au bord de la catastrophe humanitaire.
La colonisation accélérée de la Cisjordanie et de Jérusalem éloigne chaque jour davantage la perspective d'une paix dans la justice entre Palestiniens et Israéliens. De surcroît, en Israël, vient d'être nommé Vice-premier ministre le dirigeant d'extrême-droite Avigdor Lieberman - qui appelle à chasser les Arabes d'Israël, à transformer les villes et les villages palestiniens en ruines et cimetières selon les " méthodes de l'armée russe en Tchétchénie ".
La bande de Gaza est une véritable prison où les habitants sont soumis à un impitoyable blocus ainsi qu'aux incursions incessantes et aux raids aériens israéliens. Depuis le 1er novembre dernier, à Beit Hanoun, dans la bande de Gaza, l'armée israélienne tire sur une population assiégée, isolée, enfermée, privée d'eau, de nourriture, de médicaments et d'électricité, dans la plus totale indifférence et le silence des Nations. Des civils -- dont des femmes et des enfants -- sont assassinés : près de 60 morts en moins d'une semaine, des centaines de blessés. En Cisjordanie, des hélicoptères, des avions, des chars israéliens sèment toujours davantage la mort et le désespoir.
Devant l'ampleur des crimes de guerre commis par l'armée israélienne et les violations systématiques du droit international:
- Nous demandons au gouvernement français d'assumer ses engagements sur l'application pleine et entière de la IVèmeConvention de Genève* imposant la protection des populations civiles en temps de guerre.
-Nous demandons l'envoi d'une force de protection des populations civiles*, sous l'égide des Nations unies.
- Nous exigeons la suspension immédiate - conformément au vote du Parlement européen en 2002 - de l'accord d'association signé entre l'UE et Israël, ainsi que la suspension immédiate des accords de coopération militaire entre la France et Israël.
- Nous appelons une nouvelle fois le gouvernement français, comme les autorités de l'Union européenne, à agir effectivement pour le respect du droit et pour l'application des résolutions de l'ONU relatives à la Palestine. C'est le préalable à l'établissement d'une paix juste et durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens dans deux Etats souverains.
Rassemblement samedi 11 novembre à 17 heures A la Fontaine des Innocents (M° Les Halles):
Hommage à Yasser Arafat (pour le 2ème anniversaire desa mort)
Halte aux massacres à Gaza
Alliance for freedom and dignity-France (AFD),
Americans Against the War (AAW-France),
Association France-Palestine-Solidarité (AFPS),
Association de Jumelage Palestine-France (AJPF),
Campagne civile internationale pour la protection du peuple palestinien (CCIPPP),
Collectif Paix-Palestine-Israël de Saint-Denis (CPPI),
Comité de vigilance pour une paix réelle au Proche-Orient (CVPR-PO),
Comité Varois pour une Europe Sociale et démocratique,
Coordination des Goupes de Femmes Egalité,
Femmes en noir,
Femmes en noir,
Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR),
Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples (MRAP),
Mouvement de la Paix,
Parti Communiste Français (PCF),
Parti communiste libanais (PCL),
Parti Communiste des Ouvriers de France,
Participation et spiritualité musulmanes (PSM),
Union générale les etudiants de Palestine (GUPS-France),
Union juive française pour la Paix (UJFP),
AAW France - Internal Rules
1 - Statement of principles of AAW
This shall be used to present the association to potential members, the media, and the general public. The general assembly is responsible for approving and modifying the statement, or for establishing the procedure to do so.
2 - Decision-making
a. Decision-making bodies
- The general assembly makes major decisions concerning modifications of the statutes, internal rules, or general orientations of the association.
- The board makes day-to-day decisions, including financial decisions within the limit of available funds.
- Voting members make decisions regarding participation in actions, demonstrations or campaigns in the association's name and the establishment and maintaining of relationships with other groups. These decisions are normally made during meetings of the association. However, they may be made or approved by the board between meetings if necessary.
(i) The consensus method will be used as much as possible to make decisions at general assemblies or other meetings. Urgent decisions may be taken through other means, at the board's discretion.
(ii) In the event that a decision cannot be reached by consensus, any member may request a vote. A quorum is required for all voting procedures (see 3a). Voting will be made by a simple majority (half + 1). In the case of a hung vote, the President (or Acting President) shall cast the deciding vote. Voting shall take place by a raising of hands, unless a secret ballot is requested by any one voting member. Proxy voting shall be allowed within the limit of 1 proxy for any one voting member present. Clear written proof of the proxy power shall be required.
3 - General Assemblies
i) A quorum of one half of active members is required (including vote proxies) to hold a general assembly (ordinary or extraordinary).
ii) In the absence of a quorum, the President shall convene an extraordinary general assembly to be held after two week's notification. Decision-making power will reside in the simple majority of those present, including proxies.
b. Decision-making procedures (see rule 2b.)
The agenda shall be prepared in advance by the board and announced with the convening message. However, any active member may request items to be added to the agenda.
4 - Board
The board shall be chosen at each annual ordinary general assembly, according to the decision-making procedures defined above. The board acts as a steering committee and conducts the day-to-day management of the association. The duties of the officers are as follows:
- President and vice-President: day-to-day management, moderating meetings and events, convening general assemblies, ensuring that the statutes and internal rules are respected. May delegate powers to other active members.
- Secretary: Maintaining, in relation with the Treasurer, the list of members. Drafting minutes of general assemblies. In charge of the documents of the association.
- Treasurer: Collecting membership dues, managing the association's accounts and day-to-day financial affairs. May delegate treasury activities to other active members for particular fundraising events.
The board shall meet at the discretion of any board member.
The President and Treasurer shall have power to operate the association's bank account. The President may delegate this power to other members of the board.
The President may appoint acting officers in the event of resignation of one or more officers. In the event of the resignation of the President, the vice-President shall become acting president. In the event of the resignation of both President and vice-President, an extraordinary assembly shall be organized to elect a new board to serve until the next ordinary general assembly.
General members are those who support the Association's stated principles and have paid their annual dues.
Voting members include general members who have participated in at least one meeting in the three months prior to a vote.
List-serve members are those who send and receive posts on the AAW list-serve.
6- Membership Dues
Membership dues shall be 25 euros per annum, normally payable in June. The amount of dues may be modified by a general assembly, upon a recommendation by the Treasurer.
All members shall be included in the general list-serve. Voting members shall normally be included also in the administrative list-serve.
List-serve participation is open to paying members and nonpaying participants who agree to and uphold the following rules:
- No maligning of an individual list-serve participant or the Association or use of personal invective will be tolerated.
- Posts to the main list-serve will normally be limited to articles, essays, discussions related to topics that fall under the association's stated principles.
- Posts of an administrative nature should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Personal emails should be sent to only the concerned person.
- Personal correspondence placed on the list-serve in violation of a person's privacy will not be tolerated.
- First violation of any of the above rules will result in a warning published on the list serve; second violation will result in the person being removed from the list-serve.
- If anyone feels he/she has been dealt with unfairly, that person may write to: email@example.com