Archive for the ‘dead’ Category

U.S. Always Pays Top Damages; Ever Notice That? Does That Do Any Good?

January 27, 2009

The government of China is heartbroken that so many Chinese lost children and relatives in the earthquake last year.  Heach famy got $15.00 to help celebrate the Lunar new Year which started yesterday.

When children were sickened and some killed by poisoned milk, China paid compensation:  about $300.00 per family; a little more for the families of the dead.

In Afghanistan today, U.S commanders paid out $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed; “including a known militant commander.”

That’s more than $2,600 for every person killed.  In Afghanistan.

I wonder, why do we pay so much while other people pay so little?  And do out parments matter?  Do they do any good?  Or do Americans pay to remove American guilt?  I just wonder….

And it isn’t like China is broke.  They “own” much of the U.S. including over $1 Trillion in bonds….

China Discovers Compensation for Pain, Agony; But Don’t Expect Much


By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

U.S. commanders on Tuesday traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in a U.S. raid, including a known militant commander. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation.

The issue of civilian deaths is increasingly sensitive in Afghanistan, with President Hamid Karzai accusing the U.S. of killing civilians in three separate cases over the last month. Karzai has repeatedly warned the U.S. and NATO, saying such deaths undermine his government and the international mission.

In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed Karzai’s concerns, telling a Senate committee that “civilian casualties are doing us enormous harm in Afghanistan.”

As U.S. commanders paid villagers near 15 newly dug graves, Karzai met Tuesday in the capital with relatives of some of those killed. He told the villagers he has given the U.S. and NATO one month to respond to a draft agreement calling for increased Afghan participation in military operations.

Karzai said if he does not receive a response within that time, he would ask Afghans what he should do about international military operations. The statement from the presidential palace describing the meeting did not elaborate.

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Hamas Continues to Rocket Isreal, Both Sides Resisting Growing Calls for Cease Fire

January 5, 2009

Hamas continues to send rockets into Israel despite a more than one week assault from the Israeli Air Force and Army.

And it is not yet certain that Hamas will relent.  What is certain right now is that Israel will not stop its offensive until Hamas stops shooting rockets into Israel.

The Associated Press reported at about 1930 Monday that “the U.S. joined a stream of countries pushing for a cease-fire.”

 Monday in Gaza Day 10: Israel’s Assault Continues
 Gaza Day 11: Israel Says No Cease Fire, Deaths Become Unbearable, Diplomats Flock

The International community continues to urge a cease fire but in the UN the US has blocked resolutions demanding that israel stops its attack.

Now France, Britain, Egypt, Turkey and other nations are apparently urging Hamas to relent and stop the rocket attacks.

And Israel will not stop its offensive until Hamas stops the rocket attacks.

“Before the military operation, Hamas targets Israelis whenever it likes and Israel shows restraint,”  Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni  told foreign ministers from the EU. “This is no longer going to be the equation. When Israel is targeted, Israel is going to retaliate.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce before the land invasion began, was due to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Asked about civilian deaths in Gaza, Israeli Maj. Avital Leibovich said, “If Hamas chose cynically to use those civilians as human shields, then Hamas should be accountable.  Civilians will probably continue to get killed, unfortunately, because Hamas put them in the first lines of fire.”


 France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy Seeks Peace in Gaza
Gaza Cease Fire? Israel Clarifies Tough Stand


From The Associated Press:
In Washington, the State Department said the U.S. was pressing for a cease-fire that would include a halt to rocket attacks and an arrangement for reopening crossing points on the border with Israel, said spokesman Sean McCormack. A third element would address the tunnels into Gaza from Egypt through which Hamas has smuggled materials and arms.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has spoken by phone with 17 foreign leaders — in Europe as well as the Middle East — in pursuit of such a cease-fire agreement, McCormack said, adding that much detailed work remains to be done.

“We’re doing a lot of work on these three elements. The secretary is trying to get the international system and various actors in the international system to coalesce around those three elements,” McCormack said.

President George W. Bush, however, emphasized “Israel’s desire to protect itself.”

“The situation now taking place in Gaza was caused by Hamas,” he said in the Oval Office.

In Damascus, Syria, a senior Hamas official rejected the U.S. proposal.

The deputy head of Hamas’ politburo in Syria, Moussa Abu Marzouk, told The Associated Press the U.S. plan seeks to impose “a de facto situation” and encourages Israel to continue its attacks on Gaza.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce before the land invasion began, was due to meet Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.

While blaming Hamas for causing Palestinian suffering with rocket fire that led to the Israeli offensive, Sarkozy has condemned Israel’s use of ground troops, reflecting general world opinion. Sarkozy and other diplomats making their way to the region are expected to press hard for a cease-fire.

A European Union delegation met with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday.

“The EU insists on a cease-fire at the earliest possible moment,” said Karel Schwarzenberg, the foreign minister of the Czech Republic, which took over the EU’s presidency last week. Rocket attacks on Israel also must stop, Schwarzenberg told a joint news conference with Livni.

The EU brought no truce proposals of its own to the region because the cease-fire “must be concluded by the involved parties,” he added.

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Gaza and Obama’s “Deafening Silence:” Arabs and Muslims Wonder

January 5, 2009

With Israel pounding Gaza and killing Palestinians and the U.S. President-elect totally silent, it is difficult to find anyone in the Arab world that is gaining faith in Barack Obama and his ability to change the course of U.S. Middle East policy.

“Change” sounded good to everyone but in a few weeks it may be too late to change the facts on the ground in Gaza: a lot of people will be dead and there may be new management.

Many nations cancelled New Year’s celebrations to show support for the Gazans.  But in Washington D.C. it is inauguration tuxedo rental time, it seems….


By Simon Tisdall
The Guardian (UK)

Barack Obama’s chances of making a fresh start in US relations with the Muslim world, and the Middle East in particular, appear to diminish with each new wave of Israeli attacks on Palestinian targets in Gaza. That seems hardly fair, given the president-elect does not take office until January 20. But foreign wars don’t wait for Washington inaugurations.

Above: The President-elect arrives in Washington

Obama has remained wholly silent during the Gaza crisis. His aides say he is following established protocol that the US has only one president at a time. Hillary Clinton, his designated secretary of state, and Joe Biden, the vice-president-elect and foreign policy expert, have also been uncharacteristically taciturn on the subject.

But evidence is mounting that Obama is already losing ground among key Arab and Muslim audiences that cannot understand why, given his promise of change, he has not spoken out. Arab commentators and editorialists say there is growing disappointment at Obama’s detachment – and that his failure to distance himself from George Bush’s strongly pro-Israeli stance is encouraging the belief that he either shares Bush’s bias or simply does not care.

The Al-Jazeera satellite television station recently broadcast footage of Obama on holiday in Hawaii, wearing shorts and playing golf, juxtaposed with scenes of bloodshed and mayhem in Gaza. Its report criticising “the deafening silence from the Obama team”….

For Barack Obama, Middle East Pressure Cooker Intensifies With Each Unchecked Israeli Move
Obama Inaugural Turning Into 4 Day Fest Needing Massive Security

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Monday in Gaza Day 10: Israel’s Assault Continues

January 5, 2009

Israel continued its air assault and ground attack in Gaza yesterday as both Hamas and the Israelis suffered additional casualties.  Doctors worry about the humanitarian condition and deaths of so many Palestinians caught in the crossfire.

The U.N. Security Council seemed to be gridlocked and no cease-fire was in sight, But France, Turkey, Egypt the EU and others vowed to restart the peace process today.

 France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy Seeks Peace in Gaza
Gaza Cease Fire? Israel Clarifies Tough Stand

Israel called up the reserves a few days ago.  Last night, an Islamic leader called upon Allah.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Israel, used exceptionally harsh words overnight on Sunday to describe Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying Israel would be punished by Allah…..

But Israel shows no signs of letting up on Hama in Gaza.

But neither does Hamas, which continued rocket attacks into Israel.

Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip early Monday.

Above: Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip early Monday.

“After all this overnight pounding that we’ve heard … continuing gun battles … the warning sirens sounded in the town nearby here,” CNN’s Nic Robertson reported Monday. “That was an indication that a rocket was being fired out by Hamas into Israel and the rocket landed on the hillside a little bit away from where we are …”

Israeli troops and tanks continued their offensive and Gaza was divided but not conquered.

Israel’s ground forces moved in after nightfall Saturday following hours of intense, fiery artillery shelling to clear the way, and Hamas warned that its fighters would turn Gaza into an Israeli “graveyard.”

John E. Carey

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Can He Regain Gaza?
Gaza: Pressure Grows on Hamas To Agree to A Cease Fire


The New York Times reported:
Even as President Nicolas Sarkozy of France readied a new quest for a cease-fire, Israeli forces took control of rocket-launching areas and surrounded Gaza City after slicing through the center of the beleaguered territory on Sunday. Israel Radio reported street fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters in the streets of Gaza City early on Monday.

Despite the onslaught, Hamas militants continued to lob rockets into southern Israel, witnesses said, as Gaza residents, fearful of growing casualties, faced severe power shortages and other deprivations. The reported death toll of Palestinians passed 500 since the assault began, including 100 said to be civilians.

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Rockets continue despite Israeli strikes

The Los Angeles Times reports on the Gazan people:

Five civilians die when shells hit a market, while most residents stay indoors to avoid Israeli shelling. ‘Anyone who survives this wave, it will be like they were born again,’ said one man.


From The Jerusalem Post:

Speaking in Antalya following his Middle East tour, Erdogan said Israel was perpetrating “inhumane actions” which would “bring it to destroy itself.”

“Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents,” Erdogan said. His recent tour of the Middle East conspicuously skipped Israel despite the bilateral ties both countries enjoy.

Erdogan has over the past week visited Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as Turkey engaged in shuttle diplomacy with Arab countries in the search for a cease-fire in the Middle East.

From the JerusalemPost:


Turkey Could Push The Hamas case at UN

Turkey could bring the Palestinian faction Hamas’ conditions for ceasefire to the attention of the United Nations, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said late on Sunday, broadcaster CNN Turk report.

“As a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, we could bring the conditions of Hamas for a ceasefire to the attention of the United Nations. Hamas officials have full confidence in Turkey,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.

He also criticized Israel for laying the groundwork for provocation without removing the embargo on Palestinians.

Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan slammed Israel’s Gaza operation, saying the disproportional use of force causes “humanitarian tragedy.”

“Israel creates a humanitarian tragedy with using disproportional force. This would cause problems for Israel as well,” Erdogan said in the southern province of Antalya, without specifying what the problems would be.

He said he would discuss the latest situation in Gaza in his meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday.

Erdogan had visited Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt after Israel launched air operation against Gaza in Dec. 27. He returned Turkey on Sunday as he ended the Middle East tour aimed at helping to reach a ceasefire in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of protestors demonstrated in central Istanbul on Sunday, burning Israeli flags and chanting slogans, after Israeli tanks and ground troops moved in Gaza Saturday.



From The Associated Press:

Dead Hamas Paraded Through Gaza

January 4, 2009

The bodies of a senior Hamas leader’s small children were today ghoulishly paraded through the streets of Gaza as the group pledged to avenge their deaths.

Nizar Rayan, his four wives and 10 of his children were all killed by in an Israeli air strike on his home after he ignored warnings they should go into hiding.

In grisly scenes, mourners held up the bloodied bodies of the children to the cameras in a clear attempt to blacken Israel’s name and highlight its brutality.

Graphic images showed the young children’s uncovered faces as the victims were carried by thousands of angry Hamas supporters during the funeral procession.

The Daily Mail (UK)

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Israel says Gaza assault ‘war to the bitter end’

December 29, 2008

Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described Monday as a “war to the bitter end,” striking next to the Hamas premier’s home, and devastating a security compound and a university building.

The three-day death toll rose to at least 315 by Monday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The U.N. said at least 51 of the dead were civilians, and medics said eight children under the age of 17 were killed in two separate strikes overnight. Israel launched its campaign, the deadliest against Palestinians in decades, on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writers

Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

Since then, the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border has doubled and the Cabinet approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers.

The strikes have driven Hamas leaders into hiding and appear to have gravely damaged the organization’s ability to launch rockets, but barrages continued. Sirens warning of incoming rockets sent Israelis scrambling for cover throughout the day.

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