5/8/8 U.S.Aid to Myanmar: "The political effects of natural disasters are difficult to predict."

digest commentary:



Historically u.s. capitalism has (temporarily) resolved deep structural crises (as opposed to trade cyclical crises) by restructuring global capital and the world map under its hegemony via imperialist war. This is the intended function of the bogus 'war on terrorism'. The fact that it has boomeranged and exacerbated the capital crisis, means U.S. measures in the 'homeland' and worldwide will become ever more extreme: increasingly it must tighten the fascist infrastructure screws revealing its basic predatory nature.
Contrary to liberal illusions, the nature of capital/ism cannot be changed by supporting the system's electoral trap. It is not a crisis of politicians and policies but of the fundamental political-economic nature of capitalism, the system they represent and serve, whose inherent contradictions have come to a boiling point. It will not go quietly into the night. Capital must expand or die. Its bipartisan ruling class will continue to devour everything in its path, ever more cruelly, to survive -- until we finally end its anarchic reign of terror.

. ..depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World...
Henry Kissinger, National Security Memo 200, April 24, 1974

There are only two possible ways in which a world of 10 billion people can be averted. Either the current birth rates must come down more quickly. Or the current death rates must go up. There is no other way. There are, of course, many ways in which the death rates can go up. In a thermonuclear age, war can accomplish it very quickly and decisively. Famine and disease are nature’s ancient checks on population growth, and neither one has disappeared from the scene … To put it simply: Excessive population growth is the greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of most of the societies in the developing world.
Robert McNamara, Speech to the Club of Rome Oct. 2, 1979

Overpopulation and rapid demographic growth of Mexico is already today one of the major threats to the national security of the United States. Unless the U.S.-Mexico border is sealed, we will be up to our necks in Mexicans for whom we cannot find jobs.
Robert McNamara, World Bank president, March 19,1982

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people; control money and you control the world.
Henry Kissinger, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger#Quotes

[To the possessor of money capital] ...the process of production appears merely as an unavoidable intermediate link, as a necessary evil for the sake of money-making. All nations with a capitalist mode of production are therefore seized periodically by a feverish attempt to make money without the intervention of the process of production.
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume II, “The Circuit of Money Capital”

by Raymond Lotta
...What we are witnessing now is that a particular dynamic of growth, marked by intensified financialization, is generating new contradictions and new barriers to sustained accumulation.The level of debt to economic output in the U.S. is at an all-time high. The financing of the trade and government deficits (that is, providing credit for purchases of imports and having investors buy Treasury debt) depends on a steady and growing inflow of capital from abroad. But the weakening of the dollar and the emergence of competitor currencies, like the euro, increasingly threatens these mechanisms. And very crucial to this has been the process where dollars earned by countries like China through trade with the U.S., are then recycled back into the U.S. economy through purchase of Treasury bonds and other investments.
In the U.S., the financial sector is seriously strained and is a flashpoint of heightened global financial instability, if not breakdown, leading to a major economic slump.
Here we come to a basic point of this analysis: A financial crisis has broken out because of the severe imbalances built up between the financial system—and its expectations of future profits—and the accumulation of capital, that is, the structures and actual production of profit based on exploitation of wage-labor.... U.S. imperialism has been attempting to parlay its military might into a new world order.... a restructuring of global political and production relations that will enable it to resolve or mitigate some of the problems and tensions it faces—and to lock in its global supremacy over rivals and potential rivals for decades to come....


Burma or, by decree of the current ruling military junta, the Union of Myanmar (Burmese: , pronounced [pjìdàunzṵ mjəmà nàinŋàndɔ̀]), is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia.
The United Kingdom began conquering Burma in 1824 and incorporated the country into the British Raj in 1886. Burma was administered as a province of British India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony. The country achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 4 January 1948, as the "Union of Burma." It became the "Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma" on 4 January 1974, before reverting to the "Union of Burma" on 23 September 1988. On 18 June 1989, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) adopted the name "Union of Myanmar" for English transliteration. This controversial name change in English was not recognized by the opposition groups and many English-speaking nations.
The country is bordered by China on the north, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, and India on the northwest, with the Bay of Bengal to the southwest. One-third of Burma's total perimeter, 1,930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.... a total area of 678,500 square kilometres (261,970 sq mi), the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world, (after Zambia). It is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas and slightly larger than Afghanistan. It is located between Chittagong Division of Bangladesh and Assam, Nagaland and Manipur of India to the northwest. It shares its longest borders with Tibet and Yunnan of China to the northeast for a total of 2,185 km (1,358 mi). Burma is bounded by Laos and Thailand to the southeast. Burma has a 1,930 km (1,199 mi) of contiguous coastline along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to the southwest and the south, which forms one-third of its total perimeter.

The delta, core of Myanmar's economy now devastated
The major agricultural product is rice which covers about 60% of the country's total cultivated land area. Rice accounts for 97% of total food grain production by weight. Through collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), 52 modern rice varieties were released in the country between 1966 and 1997, helping increase national rice production to 14 million tons in 1987 and to 19 million tons in 1996. By 1988, modern varieties were planted on half of the country's ricelands, including 98 percent of the irrigated areas

Humanitarian aid
In April 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified financial and other restrictions that the military government places on international humanitarian assistance. The GAO report, entitled "Assistance Programs Constrained in Burma", outlined the specific efforts of the government to hinder the humanitarian work of international organizations, including restrictions on the free movement of international staff within the country. The report notes that the regime has tightened its control over assistance work since former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt was purged in October 2004. The military junta passed guidelines in February 2006, which formalized these restrictive policies. According to the report, the guidelines require that programs run by humanitarian groups "enhance and safeguard the national interest" and that international organizations coordinate with state agents and select their Burmese staff from government-prepared lists of individuals....

Yangon protest on February 22, 2007 was one of the first such demonstrations in recent years to challenge the junta's economic mismanagement rather than its legal right to rule. The protesters detained in the February rally had said they were released after signing an acknowledgment of police orders that they should not hold any future public demonstrations without first obtaining official permission.[112]
The military government stated its intention to crack down on these human rights activists, according to an April 23, 2007, report in the country's official press. The announcement, which comprised a full page of the official newspaper, followed calls by human rights advocacy groups, including London-based Amnesty International, for authorities to investigate recent violent attacks on rights activists in the country....
As of 22 September 2007, the Buddhist monks have withdrawn spiritual services from all military personnel in a symbolic move that is seen as very powerful in such a deeply religious country as Burma. The military rulers seem at a loss as to how to deal with the demonstrations by the monks as using violence against monks would incense and enrage the people of Burma even further, almost certainly prompting massive civil unrest and perhaps violence. However, the longer the junta allows the protests to continue, the weaker the regime looks. The danger is that eventually the military government will be forced to act rashly and doing so will provoke the citizenry even more. Some international news agencies are referring to the uprising as a Saffron Revolution.

Summary: Since 1998, USAID and the State Department have collaborated closely on programming decisions and plans to implement democracy and humanitarian assistance programs for the Burmese.

Inputs, Outputs, Activities: FY 2005 Program: Establish and Ensure Media
Freedom and Freedom of Information ($4,500,000 ESF; $2,366,000 ESF Prior
Year Unobligated). $370,000 will be provided to support targeted programs
through the U.S. Embassy’s American Center. USAID will continue to support
training and advocacy for a transition to a democratic government in Burma.
There will be an enhanced focus on preparing the Burmese population, both
inside and outside Burma, to participate in a free and democratic society in
the future. Principal grantees are the National Endowment for Democracy,
Internews, and the World Education/World Learning Consortium (WE/WL). The
State Department-managed portion of this program component will support
information and media activities (radio, newspapers, newsletters, human
rights documentation) and institution building programs (independent trade
unions, political party development, ethnic coalitions and solidarity
building efforts, women’s groups, student groups, transition planning)
through a grant to the National Endowment for Democracy.

'Cui bono': another timely 'natural disaster' ... u.s. by 'an accident of timing' happens to have 3 Navy warships nearby
Myanmar Appeals for Global Aid as Death Toll Rises
Unlike after the tsunami a few years ago, Myanmar's reclusive government has appealed for help from international aid agencies as food and water run short — although there are no reports yet of new aid being allowed in."We have to welcome the fact that they've said that they need international aid," James East, World Vision communications director for the Asia-Pacific region, tells Steve Inskeep. "That's a change. I would like to think it's an opportunity for engagement.... World Vision has hundreds of people working in Myanmar...."President Bush said Tuesday that U.S. aid was already making its way to the stricken country. .. "The United States has made an initial aid contribution, but we want to do a lot more. We're prepared to move U.S. Navy assets to help find those who have lost their lives, to help find the missing and to help stabilize the situation. But in order to do so, the military junta must allow our disaster assessment teams into the country."... State television said Myanmar would accept aid from any country. It also said planes flew in Wednesday with tents from Japan, medicine and clothing from Bangladesh and India, packets of noodles from Thailand and dried bacon from China. The first U.N. flights, carrying 45 metric tons of high energy biscuits, were due to arrive early Thursday.... aid workers told the AP that the government wanted emergency supplies to be distributed by relief workers already in place, rather than through foreign staff brought into Myanmar...
Jim Andrews, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said satellite photos showed flooding of similar magnitude to that of Hurricane Katrina. "It's a similar kind of land to New Orleans ... an intricate network of tidal creeks and openings that allow easy access for a powerful storm surge to penetrate right into populated land,"...
President Bush said the U.S. was ready to deliver aid and was prepared to use Navy ships and aircraft to help search for the dead and missing. But it wasn't known if the junta, which regularly accuses Washington of trying to subvert its rule, would accept an American military operation in its territory.
Three Navy warships participating in an exercise in the Gulf of Thailand were standing by. A U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane also landed in Thailand and another was on the way, Air Force spokeswoman Megan Orton said at the Pentagon....

Analysis: Devastating Cyclone Raises Risks For Myanmar Junta
Grant Peck
BANGKOK, Thailand, May. 6, 2008
(AP) The deadly cyclone that ripped into Myanmar poses a threat to the stranglehold on power of the country's ruling generals, becoming a force for change more powerful than huge pro-democracy demonstrations and international sanctions.Few people think revolution is in the air, not while battered survivors are still burying the thousands of dead.
By an accident of timing, the cyclone hit just a week before Saturday's referendum on a new constitution. The junta hopes its proposed charter passes smoothly despite opposition from feisty democracy activists, but now it may face angry citizens in no mood to approve anything the government likes, even though the vote has been postponed in some areas hit by the storm.
No matter what happens in the referendum, the higher the storm's death toll climbs _ and the less effective the government's relief effort proves _ the bigger the potential for undermining the military's mandate to rule.
People in the region are notably superstitious, and the bad aura surrounding a tragedy often attaches itself to their governments. Rulers are considered responsible for natural conditions and a disaster can be viewed as a sign that officials have lost the "mandate of heaven."...
The need for a major relief effort poses a dilemma for the junta: how much assistance to accept from abroad. Allowing a major influx of foreigners carries risks, injecting unwanted outside influence and giving the aid givers rather than the junta credit for a recovery. But keeping out international aid would focus blame squarely on the military should it fail to restore peoples' livelihoods.
The most extreme change potentially could come within the military itself, providing an opening for more moderate officers to expand their influence if relief failures discredit the hard-line leaders at the top.
Dr. Alpaslan Ozerdem, of the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit of England's University of York, noted the sudden devastation of a natural disaster can unleash "a huge anger from the public for the inadequacies of the state."
Cases in recent history where disasters helped blaze a trail for reform include a 1985 earthquake in Mexico that many believe marked the beginning of the end for the long-ruling PRI party; Nicaragua's 1972 earthquake, which led to the decline of the Somoza dictatorship; and a 1970 cyclone where Pakistan's inadequate relief efforts contributed to the breakaway of the country's east to form Bangladesh. "The image of the state as a paternal figure _ a heavy handed protector _ collapses spectacularly," Ozerdem said....

whipping up anti-Myanmar/pro-u.s. military "aid" public opinion
Burma cyclone death toll may top 100000: U.S. diplomat
"The information that we're receiving indicates that there may well be over 100,000 deaths in the delta area," Shari Villarosa, the charge d'affaires of the U.S. embassy in Burma, told reporters on a conference call from Rangon. Ms. Villarosa said that the 100,000 figure was not a confirmed death toll but was based on estimates provided by an international non-governmental organization. She declined to identify the organization... French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner suggested invoking a UN "responsibility to protect" clause without waiting for military approval.... The United Nations recognized in 2005 the concept of "responsibility to protect" civilians when their governments could or would not do it, even if this meant intervention that violated national sovereignty.... Thailand, China, India and Indonesia were flying in relief supplies, the United States and Australia appealed to Burma's ruling military to accept their assistance.

Will cyclone unleash change in Myanmar?
By Laurie Goering | Tribune correspondent
... anger is surging against the isolated country's longtime military rulers, analysts said Tuesday.
But what form the frustration might take — and whether it could lead to the political change long sought by protesting monks and democracy campaigners — remains unclear as thousands in the Southeast Asian nation struggle simply to cope with the aftermath of the disaster. "People in general are quite frustrated and angry, but I cannot say whether that will lead to street protests," said Soe Myint, editor of the Mizzima News, a New Delhi-based Myanmar news publication run by exiles.... The disaster has posed difficult dilemmas for the ruling junta: To help the country's estimated 1 million homeless, it has taken the unusual step of requesting international assistance, but the response has come with criticism and conditions, including demands to open the country to foreign aid workers and disaster assessment teams.President George W. Bush on Tuesday offered the help of the U.S. Navy, a contribution unlikely to be accepted enthusiastically by a regime that accuses the U.S. of trying to subvert it....Natural disasters have a long history of altering political landscapes...."Catastrophic 'natural' disasters create the conditions for potential political change — often at the hands of a discontented civil society," wrote Mark Pelling, a geography expert at King's College London, in a research paper. "A state's incapacity to respond adequately to a disaster can create a temporary power vacuum, and potentially a watershed moment."..."It's one thing to be hit by a cyclone and another thing for your government to prevent people from helping you," said Maung Zarni, a longtime Burmese exile now working as a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford. "Psychologically, people are going to feel extremely angry and frustrated."Those frustrations may play out Saturday, the day the country's military junta hopes to hold a long-planned referendum on a new national constitution that would entrench military rule by giving military-appointed lawmakers the power to block any proposed constitutional amendment. Ignoring opposition demands for a delay, the government has insisted it will go ahead with the vote in all provinces of the country except those most seriously hit by Cyclone Nargis. As a result, the vote "will be an opportunity for people to express their anguish," Mizzima News' Myint predicted....
The political effects of natural disasters are difficult to predict. Following the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami, secessionist rebels in Indonesia's hard-hit Aceh province reached a peace accord with the country's government. But the disaster had little similar effect in conflict-riven Sri Lanka, where breakaway Tamil Tiger guerrillas are now engaged in a full-out war with government forces. "You get completely different outcomes," said Robert Templer, a Myanmar expert and director of Asia programs with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. "So you have to be cautious about suggesting which direction [Myanmar] is headed. It could go either way."...

Following are some omnipresent 'pro-democracy' organizations, most under the vast U.S. government supported Open Society Institute and its satellite orgs. including Human Rights Watch & freedom House, and countlessa other global "initiatives', media and orgs, plus numerous Christian missionary groups, that the Myanmar govt.correctly believes work as agents of U.S. imperialist intervention and 'development' under guise of 'humanitarian aid'

Results for USAID - 'open society institute' about 20455 results found

Regional Overview
Program Data Sheet

PROGRAM TITLE: Promote Democracy and Aid Burmese Refugees (Pillar: Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance)
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE AND NUMBER: Democracy and Humanitarian Assistance, 482-002
STATUS: Continuing

Summary: USAID's program of democracy and humanitarian assistance includes-

Training and advocacy for a transition to a democratic government in Burma;
Humanitarian assistance to refugees living along the Thai-Burma border to improve access to primary healthcare;
Humanitarian activities to help maintain nutrition and food security of the refugee population; and
Humanitarian activities to improve the quality of education being provided to refugee children.

Inputs, Outputs, and Activities: FY 2002 Program: USAID's program will support activities that provide humanitarian assistance to Burmese refugees and for pro-democracy activities. The State Department's program provides grants to organizations that support Burmese pro-democracy efforts. USAID programmed funds will finance activities that assist Burmese refugees, internally displaced people, and pro-democracy groups. To date, these program activities have supported training and advocacy for a transition to a democratic government in Burma as well as humanitarian assistance to refugees living along the Thai-Burma border. Humanitarian activities have improved the access to primary healthcare, helped maintain nutrition and food security of the refugee population, and improved the quality of education being provided to refugee children.

Planned FY 2003 Program: USAID and the Department of State continue to evaluate opportunities to strengthen the capacity of nongovernmental Burmese organizations and persons that will play a key role in any transition to a more democratic government. In FY 2003, USAID and the Department of State plan to provide greater training opportunities for Burmese both inside and outside of Burma in key disciplines such as economics, finance, political science and government, and law. In addition, USAID anticipates shifting some effort to address the humanitarian needs of the growing population of Burmese refugees that live outside officially designated camps in Thailand.

Performance and Results: As a result of USAID activities, the Open Society Institute reports that by the end of June 2001, 275 grants for scholarships, which supplement higher education costs (average grant is about $500) were awarded to Burmese students worldwide. The grants are used to obtain undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. degrees. Internews reports that the SHAN (Burmese newspaper) increased its circulation by 500 a month (or by 25%) using a savings measure that Internews recommended. Now they not only have a cleaner, neater layout but also are publishing and distributing 500 extra copies per month. The International Rescue Committee reports between December 2000 and May 2001 almost 100% of the approximately 16,000 Karenni refugees in camps near Mae Hong Son were immunized for diptheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, and polio. World Education reports that in addition to its continuing efforts to strengthen the quality of the primary school curriculum and teaching capabilities, it also trained 55 teachers in special education. This enables the refugee schools to begin to address the special learning needs of deaf and blind children, children afflicted with cerebral palsy, and others.

Principal Contractors, Grantees, or Agencies: Key USAID partners include the International Rescue Committee, World Education, the Open Society Institute, and Internews. Department of State partners include World Vision, National Endowment for Democracy, and Project Burma.

USAID: Burma
Asia and the Middle East are strategically and economically important to the U.S. USAID's development programs serve foreign policy objectives, particularly the promotion of international peace and prosperity, while ...
http://www.usaid.gov/pubs/bj2001/ane/mm/ - 11.6KB
14 Mar 08
Currently, USAID administers the following programs under the Burma earmark:
Humanitarian assistance to provide access to health care, support migrant rights activities, and strengthen control of priority infectious diseases for out-of-camp Burmese in Thailand: This assistance complements assistance from the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration;
Democracy activities that finance training for Burmese journalists and public information workers to improve the quality and dissemination of news and information on the situation inside Burma [...]

The USAID Program: Programming decisions are made jointly by the State Department and USAID. Programs in FY 2005 will be funded with carryover funds from the ESF earmark in the FY 2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and the current earmark in the FY 2005 Bill. USAID-administered activities are managed by the Regional Development Mission/Asia (RDM/A) in Bangkok, Thailand in consultation with the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon and the State Department in Washington, D.C. State administered activities are managed by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (State/DRL).
Scholarships for Burmese refugees to study at colleges and universities in Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia, and the U.S.; and Program support to the American Center in Rangoon, including publications, library services, English language and other training, and education and democracy-building programs that includes work with the media.
(Excerpted from the 2006 Congressional Budget Justification for Burma)

USAID will support primary education programs; finance educational and health activities; and fund education, journalist training, and small grants to media groups. USAID's Regional Development Mission/Asia (RDM/A) manages these activities with a total ESF funding in FY 2006 of $10.9 million and $7.0 million requested for FY 2007. Please see RDM/A's Congressional Budget Justification for additional information

just bare tip of U.S.-Soros imperialist juggernaut in Myanmar and SE Asia
Media and Communications : Myanmar (Burma) : Selected Internet ...
Selected Internet Resources: Myanmar (Burma) Portals to the World contain ... Burma Project OSI's Burma Project is dedicated to broadening the debate on ...
www.loc.gov/rr/international/ asian/burma/resources/burma-media.html - 9k - Cached - Similar pages

INCORE (Myanmar/Burma) INCORE (International Conflict Research) guide to Internet ... OSI-New York, OSI-Budapest, OSF-London, OSI-Paris and OSI-Brussels are ...www.soros.org/initiatives/bpsai/links/education - 33k - Cached - Similar pages

... Preparing for Burma's Economic Transition (Open Society Institute (OSI)) ..... Myanmar/Burma Update Conference 18-19 November 2004 (The Australian ...
www.burmalibrary.org/notice.php - 110k - Cached - Similar pages

Oct 2, 2007 ... Countries: Myanmar (Burma); Topics: Humanitarian, War & Conflict .... Why do you people ignore the fact George Soros’ OSI has been bank ...
www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/10/02/ myanmar-list-of-detainees-and-letter-from-a-88-generation-worker/

This pathfinder includes information about government, politics, and law in Burma. Created and maintained by the Asian Division Collections and Services Directorate

Burma (http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/Burma_TF.pdf)
Time for Change: Report of an Independent Task Force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, 2003.

Burma Daily (http://myanmardaily.com/)
Sponsor: WorldNews.com-the WorldNews Network.

The Burma Project (http://www.soros.org/initiatives/bpsai/)
Burma Project's list of organizations with activities and programs focusing on Burma.

The BurmaNet News (http://www.burmanet.org/)
The BurmaNet News is an on-line newspaper covering Burma (Myanmar) and is published in English and Burmese Go to today's issue Subscribe Open Society Institute, Burma Project OSI's Burma Project is dedicated to broadening the debate on Burma, increasing international awareness of conditions in Burma and to helping the country make the transition from a closed to an open society.

Human rights in South-East Asia (http://resolver.library.cornell.edu/misc/3866195)
A website providing links to electronic resources on the topic of human rights in Southeast Asia. It includes reports and articles from national and international agencies and commissions and non-governmental organizations working in Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

World Report 2002: Burma (http://www.hrw.org/wr2k2/asia2.html)
Human Rights Watch, based in New York City, presents information on the human rights developments in Burma in 2001, as part of the "World Report 2002." In Burma, there seem to be no sign of changes in law or police concerning political rights. Grave human rights violations remain unaddressed in Burma. The report highlights the defense of human rights in Burma and the role of the international community in Burma.

Truth (http://www.myanmar-information.net/truth/truth.html)
Official Burmese government rebuttals of reports, announcements, speeches, and statements issued by various pro-democracy and human rights advocacy groups such as the National League for Democracy, Amnesty International, Ayeyawady Press, and Reporters Sans Borders. Translated by New Light of Myanmar and Daw Kyi Kyi Hla (Myanmar Perspectives). Nine chapters, in PDF format.

The truth (http://resolver.library.cornell.edu/misc/3991076)
The response of Burma's Office of Strategic Studies to the National League for Democracy's accusations against the government of civil and human rights violations.

OTI works in conjunction with other USAID offices and bureaus, including:

Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance
Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
Office of Democracy and Governance
Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation
Latin American & Caribbean Bureau
Africa Bureau
Asia & Near East Bureau
Europe & Eurasia Bureau
U.S. Government || International Partners || Other Governments ||
International Organizations || Conflict Resources

U.S. Government

Department of State
Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Department of State, Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Bureau
National Security Council
U.S. Institute for Peace
Voice of America
International Partners

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
Alliance for International Conflict Resolution
Asia Foundation
Carter Center
Catholic Relief Services
Creative Associates
European Platform for Conflict Prevention
Georgetown University
Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy
Institute for World Affairs
International Alert
International Center for Journalists
International Center for Nonprofit Law
International Crisis Group
International Foundation for Election Systems
International Organization for Migration
International Republican Institute
Louis Berger International
Management Systems International
National Democratic Institute
Open Society Institute
Salesian Missions
Save the Children
Search for Common Ground
Transparency International
World Education
World Learning
World Vision
Other Governments



Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Canadian Peacebuilding Initiative
European Union

Conflict Prevention & Civilian Crisis Management

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
GTZ/Crisis Prevention and Conflict Transformation Programme

Swedish International Development Agency/Humanitarian Assistance and Conflict Management
United Kingdom

Department for International Development (DFID)
DFID/Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department
International Organizations

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development / Development Assistance Committee
Peace, Conflict and Development Cooperation Network
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
United Nations
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
United Nations Development Programme / Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery
World Bank
Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit
Conflict Resources

Informational Resources

Beyond Conflict
Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict
Center for Strategic for International Studies/Association of the US Army Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project
Collaborative for Development Action Reflecting on Peace Practice Project
Compendium of Operational Frameworks for Peacebuilding and Donor Coordination
Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Network
ConflictWeb (USAID users only)
Country Indicators for Foreign Policy
CRInfo: A Comprehensive Gateway to Conflict Resolution Resources
Crisis Watch
Institute for Peace and War Reporting
International Conflict Research Conflict Data Service
International Peace Research Institute
Relief Web
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
War-Torn Societies Project
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Conflict Prevention Project
Academic/Training Resources

Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University
Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland
Conflict Management Program, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University
INCORE, Ulster, Northern Ireland
Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
International Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict, University of Colorado
International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University
Peace and Conflict Transformation, School for International Training



Israel News Agency Creates Israel 60 Birthday Website Resource Center
Israel News Agency / Google News ^ | April 26, 2008 | Israel News Agency Staff
By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem ----- April 26, 2008 ....... The Israel News Agency has constructed the largest, most powerful resource Website center for Israel 60 birthday anniversary celebrations and events.The Israel 60 Birthday Website is entitled: Israel 60 Birthday Anniversary Celebrations Events."From Israel 60 logos, T-shirts, posters, books, history, photos and maps to the latest news and videos as to what is happening in Jerusalem, London, New York and Washington, the INA is compiling and centralizing almost all information about Israel 60th birthday celebration into one site," said Israel News Agency publisher Joel Leyden.
"In addition to illustrating the latest news and events listed on this Israel 60 mother of all blogs, we are optimizing this news and event blog as we do all news and feature content on the Israel News Agency. The Israel 60 Birthday Website will combat Palestine, Iran, Nazi and Syria sites which have started to attack Israel's 60th birthday by enjoying a stronger search engine optimization (SEO) marketing and public relations ranking on Google and appearing throughout the Net using all of the tools of Web 2.0."
"In addition to receiving daily updates from the Israel Government Press Office and other Israel ministries on Israel 60 Birthday anniversary celebration events, the Israel News Agency is consolidating all pro-Israel resources on the Israel 60 birthday from KKL nature hikes, planned Israel laser light shows and Jewish Agency links to education, Aliya and the Holocaust to the Israel New York Consulate contest on the 60 Faces of Israel, Democracy, Israel @ 60 resources from the United Jewish Communities, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute and other American and Zionist organizations and resource centers in Canada and Europe.".The Israel News Agency was the first on-line, Israel Government Press Office accredited source of news and feature stories from Israel since 1995. "The Israel News Agency took on Iran when they came out with their Iran Holocaust Cartoon contest and has taken on Nazi Websites and videos in Google, YouTube and Facebook by burying their hate propaganda," said Leyden. "We have every intention in seeing that Israel's 60 birthday celebrations and events are not hijacked by our enemies but rather embraced and enjoyed by our Jewish and Christian friends around the world."

The Israel News Agency will be providing special attention to a Friends of Israel 60 Birthday Celebration Website to be launched early next week which will name each and every supporter of Israel. This special Israel 60 birthday celebration Website will transfer an expected 2 million dollars in supporter's donations to several well respected charities in Israel which provide food, emergency medical treatment and support to terror victims....

Many of the events planned for Israel's 60 birthday are already taking place from Minnesota, Ohio and Miami to London, Paris and New York. On the eve of Israel Independence Day, May 7, a spectacular laser, music and light show will make Israel’s skies come alive. Citizens of Beersheba, Haifa, Eilat, Netanya , Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ashdod will all be able to enjoy this Israel 60th birthday event.

On Israel Independence Day, Wednesday May 8, The Israel Air Force will provide an impressive air show and a fly-by across Israel’s skies. A huge IDF paratrooper demonstration will also take place, as well as an IDF naval review by the Israel Sea Corps. Israel President, Shimon Peres, will also hold a joint birthday party at his Jerusalem residence for all in Israel sharing a Hebrew-calendar birthday with the State of Israel.

The three massive Israel 60th birthday concerts will take place in Israel's Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square as well as in Nitzanim beach in the south and Achziv beach in the north. Each of these concerts will be geared toward different age groups, and will feature different and unique musical styles. Israel Anglo Singles, the largest Anglo singles dating and support site in Israel, is planning a large Israel 60 birthday beach picnic in Tel Aviv.

A long list of celebrities will be coming to Israel for the Israel 60th birthday anniversary celebrations. They include: film director Steven Spielberg, US President George W. Bush, former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair, Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Le'vy, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former German foreign minister Joscka Fischer, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, social networking Web site Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin....

Ahmadinejad calls Zionist regime a 'stinking corpse
Tehran, May 8, IRNA
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here on Thursday labeled the Zionist regime as a "stinking corpse" and said those who think they can revive the corpse of this fabricated and usurper regime are in mistaken. Lambasting the 60th anniversary of establishment of the Zionist regime, he said those who attend such a shameful ceremony should bear in their mind that their names will be listed as Zionist criminals. Addressing Majlis representatives, he said the philosophy of existence of the Zionist regime is now under question and the usurper and fabricated regime is moving towards annihilation.
The Zionist regime is a puppet for bullying powers, he said adding that the global arrogance established the Zionist regime 60 years ago in Palestine to continue its historical straggles with the Muslim world but after the Lebanese nation slapped it in the face, they are like dead rats."If any regional countries assist the Zionist regime, they will burn in fire arising from nations' hatred," said the president. "If some think that they can make any change in the global calculations, they are in mistaken because nations around the world will bury them ," concluded President Ahmadinejad.

Obama says US will always stand by Israel:
US presidential hopeful Barack Obama congratulated Israel in honor of its 60th Independence Day, saying that the United States will always stand by Israel to ensure that it can defend itself against the threats of terror and violence, from Gaza to Tehran. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3540975,00.html

Hamas TV Childs' Puppets Vow to Return to Israeli Cities "Defeat the Enemies of Allah"
Special Dispatch | No. 1915 | May 5, 200
Hamas TV Childs' Puppets 'Kuku the Bird' and 'Fufu the Chick' Discuss Israel's 60th Anniversary, Vow to Return to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, and Other Cities in Israel and to "Defeat the Enemies of Allah"

This week, "Al-Mutamyazoon," the weekly children's show on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, included a segment showing puppets Kuku, a bird, and Fufu, a chick, discussing the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel. The puppets repeatedly declared that the Palestinians will "return as victors" to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Ashdod, and other Israeli cities.
The following are excerpts from the show, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2, 2008.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit www.memritv.org/clip/en/1759.htm
To view MEMRI TV's page on Al-Aqsa TV, visit www.memritv.org/content/en/tv_channel_indiv.htm?id=175 .

The Challenge
The close bilateral relationship that the United States has with Israel serves the U.S. national security interest by furthering our goals of regional peace and reform. The Government of Israel's (GOI) political and economic stability continues to be a key objective of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
The fundamental USAID objective in Israel is to support the Israeli economy, a task of special importance as the GOI implements a series of ambitious reforms required for financial stability and sustainable growth. U.S. assistance supports Israel's economic and political stability by enabling the GOI to pursue further economic reforms and relieving the economic burden Israel has incurred due to its regional isolation and the unstable security situation in the Middle East.[...]

Google: Kiss Freedom Goodbye
Gabriele Zamparini, The Cat's Dream
Google's censorship against Uruknet.info [see below, Google: Kiss Freedom Goodbye] and other anti-Zionist blogs and websites may better be understood by reading the following:
1) Israel News Agency Creates Israel 60 Birthday Website Resource Center
"In addition to illustrating the latest news and events listed on this Israel 60 mother of all blogs, we are optimizing this news and event blog as we do all news and feature content on the Israel News Agency. The Israel 60 Birthday Website will combat Palestine, Iran, Nazi and Syria sites which have started to attack Israel's 60th birthday by enjoying a stronger search engine optimization (SEO) marketing and public relations ranking on Google and appearing throughout the Net using all of the tools of Web 2.0." (...)

2) Facebook, Google founders to attend Jerusalem conference in May
By Guy Grimland, Haaretz Correspondent
Co-founder of internet giant Google, Sergey Brin, will join Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Yahoo president Susan Decker at a presidential panel on technology to be held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center May 13-15. The convention, which was formed at the initiative of President Shimon Peres, will also be attended by a number of Israeli political, religious and financial leaders, as well as academics and cultural figures.
The panel will discuss issues facing technology in today's age and the future, in particular in regard to how it will affect Israel and the Jewish world.
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will also take part in the conference, as will French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former prime minister of the Czech Republic Vaclev Havel, Nobel Prize Laureate Eli Wiesel, and Georgia President Michael Saakashvili [...]

destroy the family in order to save it
A Picture Worth A Thousand Words
Newspaper Criticized For Publishing Photo
Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist
Yesterday, according to The New York Times, we dropped a bomb on a home in Sadr City and burned alive a pregnant woman and her children. How long is the siege of Sadr -- how long are we going to keep bombing Iraqis? DANA PEROXIDE: Well, I’m not aware of that particular report. I have not -- I’ve not seen it. THOMAS: Well, it was pretty buried in the story. PERINO: Okay. Well, the operation against the militias in Sadr City will continue until they root them out. And that is expressly in order to protect people like you just mentioned. .... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=43788

Video: Sami Al Hajj returns to Sudan - 02 May 08
Sami Al Hajj, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, had not tasted freedom since 2001. But now he is in his homeland Sudan after spending six years at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was held without charge or trial. The frail and sick looking man was delivered to Sudanese authorities in Khartoum. There he had an emotional reunion with his family as he arrived at hospital. Amr Al-Kahky, who worked with al Hajj before his imprisonement, went to meet him and sent this report from Khartoum... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=43689
Al-Hajj: US wanted him to spy
A celebration has been held in Sudan after the release of Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman, from Guantanamo Bay, with hundreds of well-wishers in attendance. Civil society groups and the Al Jazeera television network organised the gathering in the capital, Khartoum, on Monday to mark his freedom. He addressed the rally and said that his US captors had hoped to turn him into a spy... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=43772


Pentagon Expands Propaganda Reach With Foreign "News" Websites
Military run electronic media outlets form global network of "Information Operations" to take on "adversaries on the internet"
The Pentagon is expanding "Information Operations" on the Internet with purposefully set up foreign news websites that are designed to look like independent media sources but in reality are nothing more than direct military propaganda.
USA Today reports: "The Pentagon is setting up a global network of foreign-language news websites, including an Arabic site for Iraqis, and hiring local journalists to write current events stories and other content that promote U.S. interests and counter insurgent messages."
The websites at http://www.balkantimes.com, http://www.magharebia.com and http://mawtani.com are three of the said Pentagon run operations aimed at people in the Balkans, North Africa and Iraq.
The front pages of the sites appear to be populated with regionalized news stories, but the disclaimers buried within the sites and accessible only via small links at the bottom of the pages reveal that all three are run by the US Department of Defense.
See screenshots below for the disclaimers (click to link through):
The Mawtani.com disclaimer is in Arabic. It reads:

"(Mawtani.com is) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to support the resolution No. 1723 (of the) Security Council of the United Nations. (Mawtani.com) highlights and emphasizes the move towards greater regional stability through bilateral and multilateral cooperation ... and the steps taken by governments towards stability in Iraq."

Though Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England commented that the sites are "an essential part of (their) responsibility … to shape the security environment in their respective areas.", other Pentagon spokesmen have claimed that the sites' content is not intended as propaganda, but is "a counter to extremist propaganda … with truth." Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations commented that the websites are designed to counter enemies on the internet who put out information that is not in keeping with the interests and goals of the U.S. military: "It's important to … engage these foreign audiences and inform," Vickers said. "Our adversaries use the Internet to great advantage, so we have the responsibility of countering (their messages) with accurate, truthful information, and these websites are a good vehicle." Since when has the federal government and its war machine military been concerned with promoting the truth?
Websites are also scheduled to go into operation for Latin America and Asia. The entire network, referred to as the "Trans Regional Web Initiative" will consist of multiple sites throughout the world that will "influence foreign audiences per Government-approved Concepts of Operations (CONOPs), conceptual approaches and previously approved prototypes." according to a Special Operations Command notice aimed at contractors interested in running the sites.

Of course, none of this is new, it is merely an expansion of the already vast propaganda network the Pentagon has at is disposal. an expansion of the already vast propaganda network ...In 2005 the U.S. military command in Baghdad admitted that it was paying Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq. Once again this was passed off as a campaign to counter "insurgent" misinformation. These operations are not limited to foreign countries however, they are active inside America, where the unwitting population is more aggressively targeted. CENTCOM has programs to infiltrate blogs and message boards to ensure people, "have the opportunity to read positive stories,"presumably about how Iraq is a wonderful liberated democracy and the war on terror really is about protecting Americans from Al-CIAda.
New York Times published an expose on privately hired operatives who have been appearing on all major US news networks promoting the interests and operations of the Pentagon and generating favorable news coverage of the Bush administration while posing as independent military analysts. This operation was formally announced In 2006 when the Pentagon set up a unit to "better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet". Again, the Pentagon said the move would boost its ability to counter "inaccurate" news stories and exploit new media. February 2000, another branch of the same Pentagon propaganda bureau, Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS), had placed their operatives "in the news division at CNN's Atlanta headquarters as part of an "internship" program starting in the final days of the Kosovo War."...
With the knowledge that government propagandists were utilizing U.S. news network hubs at CNN to run what was described as a "vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory," and that this took place almost eight years ago - just imagine how infested today's networks and newsrooms are with paid agent provocateur propagandists whose sole job specification is to orchestrate methods of mind control [...]

Google Censors Reply At Last!
After more than ten days and many e-mails we sent, Google News replies at last:... We received numerous complaints from users about your site and after reviewing it we've found that we could no longer include it in Google News. We currently don't include sites that are primarily news aggregators, and we weren't able to find any stories on your site that weren't from outside sources... 1) We thank The Google Team for their kind reply, however: 1) The Google Team does not say which kind of complaints they received and from whom; 2) The Google Team writes: "we weren't able to find any stories on your site that weren't from outside sources". Probably The Google Team didn’t look up carefully since Uruknet publishes regularly original articles...; 3) The Google Team writes "We currently don't include sites that are primarily news aggregators." This is patently false because Google News does include a lot of websites that are primarily or exclusively news aggregators. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=43815

Finjan Legal Win May Be Worth Millions; The security technology company won an intellectual property decision in the US.
By Shmulik Shelah
Israeli web security company Finjan Software Inc. has won a significant legal battle in the US after a jury in the US District Court of Delaware found in its favor in a lawsuit first filed in 2006. The jury found that Finjan's US rival Secure Computing Corp. (Nasdaq: SCUR), infringed three patents that Finjan registered over the past decade....

Yuval Ben-Itzhak
Chief Technology Officer
A security industry veteran, Yuval brings strong technology leadership capabilities to Finjan as gained in over 15 years of high-level management positions. Prior to joining Finjan, Yuval was founder and CTO of KaVaDo Inc., a leader in web application security (acquired by Protegrity)... CTO at Ness Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTC), a global provider of end-to-end IT solutions and services...a senior project manager at Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Yuval was in charge of the design and development of multi-million dollar software projects. He began his professional career as a member of an elite intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Forces... responsible for the design and development of security systems for mission-critical projects.... selected as InfoWorld's "Top 25 Most Influential CTOs of 2004" and Computerworld’s "40 Innovative IT People To Watch, Under the Age of 40"...

GOOGLE much more on Finjan's contributions and collaboration with u.s. govt. and telecom industry, for ex., http://search.techrepublic.com.com/search/finjan+securebrowsing.html

By Christopher Ketcham
"There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived 'enemies of the state' almost instantaneously." He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a "national emergency." Executive orders issued over the last three decades define it as a "natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency," while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like "riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order." According to one news report, even "national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad" could be a trigger. ...
"Main Core is the table of contents for all the illegal information that the U.S. government has [compiled] on specific targets." An intelligence expert who has been briefed by high-level contacts in the Department of Homeland Security confirms that a database of this sort exists, but adds that "it is less a mega-database than a way to search numerous other agency databases at the same time."
A host of publicly disclosed programs, sources say, now supply data to Main Core. Most notable are the NSA domestic surveillance programs, initiated in the wake of 9/11, typically referred to in press reports as "warrantless wiretapping." In March, a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal shed further light onto the extraordinarily invasive scope of the NSA efforts: According to the Journal, the government can now electronically monitor "huge volumes of records of domestic e-mails and Internet searches, as well as bank transfers, credit card transactions, travel, and telephone records." Authorities employ "sophisticated software programs" to sift through the data, searching for "suspicious patterns." In effect, the program is a mass catalog of the private lives of Americans. And it's notable that the article hints at the possibility of programs like Main Core. "The [NSA] effort also ties into data from an ad-hoc collection of so-called black programs whose existence is undisclosed," the Journal reported, quoting unnamed officials. "Many of the programs in various agencies began years before the 9/11 attacks but have since been given greater reach."
The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database.
Main Core also allegedly draws on four smaller databases that, in turn, cull from federal, state, and local "intelligence" reports; print and broadcast media; financial records; "commercial databases"; and unidentified "private sector entities." Additional information comes from a database known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, which generates watch lists from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for use by airlines, law enforcement, and border posts. According to the Washington Post, the Terrorist Identities list has quadrupled in size between 2003 and 2007 to include about 435,000 names. The FBI's Terrorist Screening Center border crossing list, which listed 755,000 persons as of fall 2007, grows by 200,000 names a year. A former NSA officer tells Radar that the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, using an electronic-funds transfer surveillance program, also contributes data to Main Core, as does a Pentagon program that was created in 2002 to monitor anti-war protestors and environmental activists such as Greenpeace....
Congress has recently widened the path for both extra-constitutional detentions by the White House and the domestic use of military force during a national emergency. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 effectively suspended habeas corpus and freed up the executive branch to designate any American citizen an "enemy combatant" forfeiting all privileges accorded under the Bill of Rights. The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, also passed in 2006, included a last-minute rider titled "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," which allowed the deployment of U.S. military units not just to put down domestic insurrections—as permitted under posse comitatus and the Insurrection Act of 1807—but also to deal with a wide range of calamities, including "natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or incident."More troubling, in 2002, Congress authorized funding for the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, which, according to Washington Post military intelligence expert William Arkin, "llows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control." [...]

Gag Order Lifted on Internet Archive, Allowing Founder to Speak Out for First Time

'Internet Archive' Wins David-and-Goliath Privacy Tussle With FBI
By Keith Regan
The Internet Archive revealed Wednesday that the FBI dropped an effort to secretly obtain information about the online activities of one of the digital library's users.The Archive was able to reveal that it had been served a National Security Letter by the FBI last year about one of its patrons. The San Francisco-based nonprofit organization prevailed after enlisting the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union."We won," said Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle. "We can now talk about it, and what it is like to get a secret demand. We hope that this will be useful for the others that will receive these powerful demands."... Kahle founded the Internet Archive in 1996 as a repository for snapshots-in-time of the ever-changing Web. The archive is best known for its Wayback Machine.

National Security Letters, or NSLs, have been in existence for some time, but the post-9/11 Patriot Act greatly expanded their use as a tool in the war on terror, with federal law enforcement agencies using them to get phone and Internet records without public knowledge.The Archive received the NSL in November of 2007. The FBI sought personal information about one of the archive's users, such as his name, address and other records pertaining to his use of the site, Kahle said....The Archive responded to the letter by handing over only publicly available documents and simultaneously filing a lawsuit challenging the letter's legality.

"It appears that every time a National Security Letter recipient has challenged an NSL in court and forced the government to justify it, the government has ultimately withdrawn its demand for records," commented ACLU staff attorney Melissa Goodman. "In the absence of much needed judicial oversight -- and with recipients silenced and the public in the dark -- there is nothing to stop the FBI from abusing its NSL power."
While that's good news, it's also troubling because it suggests the FBI and others are getting away with issuing NSLs that go beyond the scope of the authorization under federal law, EFF staff attorney Marcia Hoffman told the E-Commerce Times. "It's a frightening thing to receive a letter like this, and the odds are good that people are responding and complying because they think they have no choice," she said.
The use of gag orders further adds to the problem by making it harder for recipients to connect with groups who can advocate on their behalf. Recipients can contact their attorneys, who are then bound by the gag order. "The question is: How many inappropriate NSLs are being issued and complied with all the time?"....

"Today's American: How Free?"
The U.S. political system is, at best, "a work in progress" according to an evaluation from the pro-democracy group Freedom House[note: another U.S./Soros/OSI supported 'initiative'], which finds significant flaws in the U.S. criminal justice system, counterterrorism strategies and the treatment of minorities and immigrants. Despite concerns, today's America is "quite free," according to group, which constantly places the United States in the top tier with two dozen other nations based on civil liberties and political rights in its annual reports on freedoms around the world.
Despite concerns, today's America is "quite free," according to group, which constantly places the United States in the top tier with two dozen other nations based on civil liberties and political rights in its annual reports on freedoms around the world. In the United States, "challenges to those freedoms by government officials or other actors encounter vigorous and often successful resistance from civil society and the press, the political opposition, and a judiciary that is mindful of its role as a restraint on executive and legislative excess," the authors say. "Indeed, the dynamic, self-correcting nature of American democracy — the resilience of its core institutions and habits even in a time of military conflict — is the most significant finding."...
Deputy Executive Director Thomas Melia said this is the perfect time for Freedom House...to turn its sights on the United States. Not only is it an election year, but also the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "The U.S. is the most important country in the world, and if we do reports on every country, we think from time to time it might be useful to look at our own country," Mr. Melia told The Washington Times yesterday. "In recent years the freedom agenda of the Bush administration has made the most conspicuous ... effort to promote democracy across the world, and it's prompted a lot of people around the world to look at us."...Mr. Melia said many of the authors originally focused on the post-Sept. 11 limitations on civil liberties in the country. However, it became clear in the editing process that the prison camp holding terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and monitoring of individuals under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, don't impact as many Americans as the political process, the criminal justice system and religious freedoms....

capitalist state's unlimited freedom for genocidal national oppression from 'sea to shining' bloody sea:
Brutal Attack By Philadelphia Police
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who saw the video, said, "On the surface it certainly does not look good. Click to view

Joseph Guzman, Survivor of Police Shooting of Sean Bell, speaks on the Verdict and Struggle for Justice
(Africa Live on UhuruRadio.com)
Joseph Guzman was hit by some of the 50 shots fired by NY police that killed 23-year-old Sean Bell in November 2006 just hours before his wedding.
On the morning of April 25, a judge acquitted cops Michael Oliver, Gescar Isnora and Marc Cooper, the only three of the five New York police who murdered Sean Bell and attempted to kill his two friends Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, that were charged. (Hear Joseph Guzman live on Uhuru Radio this Sunday at 1pm U.S. Eastern Time)
While Sean Bell, who was to be marrying his high school sweetheart that morning, died instantly from the barrage of 50 bullets, his two friends survived with near-fatal injuries. Instead, they spent the next couple weeks handcuffed to hospital beds in police custody. The cops who murdered Sean Bell initially told a story of another passenger in Bell’s car who supposedly shot at them first. Then they changed that story and said they thought Guzman pulled a gun. Then at the trial, the story finally transformed into them defending themselves because they thought Sean Bell would run them over with his car.

Arthur Cooperman, the judge who acquitted the killer cops of charges of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment said that he had problems with the fact that some of the witnesses had been convicted or incarcerated before and with the “demeanor” that some of the witnesses had on the stand. The reality is that the outcome of this case is consistent with what is seen throughout the United States where police murder Africans on a regular basis, and the courts consistently rule that they were justified in murdering our brothers, sisters and children. These outcomes have nothing to do with justice. It doesn’t matter that U.S. law says that everyone is due a fair trial and are innocent until proven guilty. The reality is that the white ruling class maintains a dictatorship in the United States. It rules without regard to law.
Read full article at www.uhurunews.com

Over 1000 in Massive Civil Disobedience Over Police Acquittals in Murder of Sean Bell: 200 arrested
On Wednesday, demonstrators halted traffic at six busy intersections in Manhattan and Brooklyn.