Letters by Misneach

Location: Reunion, Réunion

My family is from Micronesia and my name is Edward, although now we live in Reunion. I have 3 sisters and 4 brothers, and we all play different traditional musical instruments. Or maybe that was a dream that I had...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Letter to Ms. Clinton

Senator Clinton,

I am writing to implore you to have the courage to condemn the murderous policies being carried out by the Israeli Defence Forces in Lebanon and Palestine.

It is well known throughout the world (as evidenced by the recent Security Council Veto of a Resolution calling for Israel to cease its use of "disproportionate" force) that Israel is able to continue enacting such policies strictly due to American support.

While the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas were also condemnable, for an ally of America (with american full support, at least from the government) to react in kind, and in fact to a greater extent with a ratio of 150 to 4 of civilian casualties to actual Suspected Militants killed, is for us to stoop so low as to be as bad as the terrorists themselves.

If your fear is to alienate Jewish voters, I would implore you to consider the fact that being Jewish and supporting Israeli attacks on Lebanon are not necessarily the same thing, much the same as being American and supporting the Iraq war are not the same thing.

You should also note that our military forces are stretched thin already, and the situation is deteriorating to such an extent (and threatening to soon include Syria and Iran) that American intervention might soon be necessary. We cannot afford yet another war.

While many Americans are being kept ignorant as to the number of civilians slaughtered in this conflict, I implore you, for the sake of doing what is Right, take action on this important issue. In 4 days 150 civilians have died, how many will it be in another week? Or two?

I thank you kindly for your time and consideration in listening to my opinion. I look forward to hearing your position on the matter.

Friday, July 14, 2006

CNN Supports Murderous Israeli Policies

I am appalled by the CNN story Friday, July 14, 2006; Posted: 1:02 p.m. EDT (17:02 GMT) entitled "Rockets fly into Israel as it pounds Lebanon".

On a consistant basis throughout the article you reiterate the attacks on Israel by Hezbollah, while marginalising the far more violent and widespread attacks by Israel in Lebanon.

In one day of attacks on Lebanon, the IDF has killed more than 50 civilians. Hezbollah's response of firing rockets into Israel, called "retaliation" by them in an attempt at justification, has killed roughly 2 civilians.

The number of people killed by the IDF is more than 20 times more than the number of people killed by Hezbollah, but yet your main focus in this piece is the "self-defence" nature of Israel's attacks and their assertion that they are only attacking "Hezbollah Targets."

It is no wonder that, in your poll, most of your readers feel that Israel is justified in their actions; you are providing a very one-sided picture of what is going on.

To ignore the "disproportunate" nature of Israel's use of force in Lebanon is to express CNNs tacit support for these murderous incursions.

Are the 50 Lebanese civilians who have lost their lives so much less important than the 2 Israelis strictly because they are Arab? I can think of no other logical conclusion to draw from your coverage.
Sent as an open letter to CNN regarding their one-sided coverage of the violence in Lebanon. They included a poll asking their viewers if they felt that Israel was justified in their actions, and of the nearly 100,000 votes, the vast majority said yes. This is not surprising given the one-sided nature of CNN's appalling coverage.
The story I was responding to, in case it gets moved or edited, is below.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Israeli warships and aircraft were clamping down on Lebanon's air, sea and land infrastructure on Friday, three days after Hezbollah guerrillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.

Israeli rescue services report a large barrage of rockets hitting northern Israel late Friday. Also, three explosions have been heard in Beirut.

The rocket attacks on Israel have prompted Israel's Cabinet to approve continued military operations in Lebanon, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.

In the past two days, about 200 rockets have been fired from Lebanon at Israeli targets, according to The Associated Press.

On Thursday, two missiles fired from Lebanon hit the center of Haifa, Israel's third-largest city -- extending beyond the range of any missiles fired at Israel from Lebanon in the past.

Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Dan Gillerman said many missiles that have been fired from Lebanon toward the northern Israel were made in Iran. (Watch Israeli fires, rubble, wounded from rocket attacks -- 2:08)

"Many of the long-range missiles fired into Israel in the recent days were Iranian missiles made by the same regime that is now trying to possess nuclear weapons," Gillerman said at the U.N. on Friday.

When asked by CNN what role Syria or Iran may have played in the current crisis, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said it would be "strange" for Hezbollah to have "done this alone."

However, Hezbollah guerrillas denied firing the two rockets, which had a range longer than previous missiles fired at Israel from Lebanon.

Haifa residents have been urged Friday to seek safety in bomb shelters, The Associated Press reported.

Siniora called the crisis a "controlled war," and described it as an opportunity for the region to address the Israeli-Palestinian problem that has existed since 1948, when Israel was created. (Watch Lebanon's prime minister describe how bad his crisis is -- 5:00)

Israeli forces Friday hit Lebanese highways and renewed attacks on Beirut's international airport, crippling a runway.

Israeli aircraft also carried out more airstrikes on a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut and an airstrike on Hezbollah's radio station, Reuters reported, wounding at least one person. The radio station, al-Nour, remained on the air, the news agency said.

Siniora called on President Bush and other world leaders to press Israel to halt the attacks.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday that Bush declined Siniora's request, adding: "The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel," Reuters reported.

Bush "believes the Israelis have the right to protect themselves and that in doing that they should limit as much as possible so-called collateral damage not only to facilities but also to human lives", Snow said, according to Reuters.

Olmert said Israel would not halt its offensive until Hezbollah was disarmed, AP reported. He made the comment in a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Israeli government officials said.

Rockets on Friday hit the town of Yesod Hamaalah, the army and Israeli rescue services said.

Police reported that Katyusha rockets were hitting towns in northern Israel -- five rockets hit Nahariya, five struck Safed, two hit Hatzor and four hit Pqui'in. Also, the IDF reported a barrage of Katyusha rockets had hit Kiryat Shmona.

Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel have killed two people, the IDF said, and more than 100 Israelis have been wounded in the attacks.

Israel launched the military operation against Hezbollah after the group's militants killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others from northern Israel on Wednesday. Five more Israeli soldiers have been killed since.

Since the fighting began, Israeli attacks on what it sees as Hezbollah targets in Lebanon have killed at least 63 Lebanese people, including two soldiers, and wounded 167 others, Lebanon's internal security forces told CNN on Friday.

Diplomatic efforts to calm the crisis resumed at the United Nations Security Council in New York, at the convening of an "urgent meeting."

Before Friday's bombing of Beirut airport, the United States helped broker an unusual deal that allowed a runway at the Beirut airport to be repaired long enough to allow a private aircraft carrying former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Nakati and five planes from Middle East Airlines to take off.

Israel's navy continued its blockade of Lebanese ports, including Tripoli, Sidon and Tyre.

Overnight, IDF warplanes attacked 18 targets in Lebanon, including the headquarters for the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in east Lebanon.

Israeli planes also attacked Hezbollah headquarters in southern Beirut overnight, according to IDF. Bridges and roads leading to the offices were destroyed in the operation.

Along the Israel-Lebanon border, IDF attacked two Hezbollah outposts, a weapons storage facility used by militants and three fuel stations south of Sidon.

Despite several countries -- including the United States and Lebanon -- contending that Lebanon doesn't have the capacity to extend its authority into Hezbollah-held territory, Israel has blamed the Lebanese government for the violence and charged it with the safe release of the soldiers.

Hezbollah, which enjoys substantial backing from Syria and Iran, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel. The group holds 23 of the 128 seats in Lebanon's parliament. (Watch as fighting along the border intensifies -- 1:45)

AP: Hundreds of Palestinians enter Gaza
Palestinian militants forced open a border gate between Egypt and Gaza on Friday, AP reported, wounding an Egyptian officer before letting hundreds of people who had been trapped on the Egyptian side of the border to get into Gaza.

Egyptian police Capt. Mohammed Abdel Hadi said masked Palestinian militants firing guns broke into the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, clearing the way for the trapped Gazans, according to AP.

The report came after Israel Defense Forces said it withdrew troops from central Gaza Friday but Israeli troops remained in the southern part of the territory.

The army had been in central Gaza trying to find an Israeli soldier kidnapped June 25 and to quell rocket attacks against Israeli citizens.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

To the American Voters

The past few years have seen a drastic increase in the number of policies that the government is pursuing that are far from being in the best interests of their people. I can't help but think of the fact that the majority of our leaders in America, Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, do not do what is in our best interests. I am beginning to think that this is a built-in facet of our two-party system, but whatever the reason it's not boding well for those of us who are concerned about the world we will leave (or not leave) our children and grandchildren.

Difficulties have been illustrated that average people have in becoming involved in the government. Could this be the reason why a very select few are meant to represent us, but seldom actually fullfill those obligations?

To give an example, killing civilians in Iraq, stealing their natural resources, allowing our Military Personnel and Civilian Contractors to operate above the law, and interning and torturing people who haven't been charged with (or can't be charged with due to a lack of any actual evidence) a crime is only going to increase the threat we face of terrorist attacks. These policies engender rage; the kind of rage the U.S. marine exhibited when they "snapped" and went on a civilian killing spree in Haditha due to one of their own dying, the kind of rage that leads people to follow madmen like Al-Zarqawi because they feel that have no other recourse.

To give another example, what American, prior to the huge propaganda offensive launched from 2001 to 2003, would have possibly supported the invasion of Iraq? What have the people of America gained from that invasion? Based on congressional appropriations (congress is what, half democrat? they're supporting these policies too) we have spent more than 280BILLION dollars on the war in Iraq. That does not include our 400BILLION dollar per year base "defence" budget, or money earmarked for the Orwellian "war on terror." That money could have paid for every child in america(under aged 15) to have had full health insurance coverage for the entire duration of the war (up to this day). It could also have paid to feed the hungry of the world (Amnesty International puts the figure at about 1.5BILLION per year) for close to two hundred years. When given a choice, presented with facts, what American would have chosen to go to Iraq?

There are countless other examples one could give: our spiraling national debt, the loss of millions of jobs since 2000, decay in american quality of living (I am not making this up: Mercer Human Resources group published their annual Quality of Living report on world cities in April, and only one american city, Honolulu, was in the top 30. 15 of the top thirty were in western europe.), and the slow and inevitable disappearance of personal freedoms. I flicked by Fox News the other day, and their byline was "The Cost of Freedom: Forget Social Security." Is that what Americans want?

Perhaps more people who have a rational and balanced view of the world should run for office. Perhaps we should not, as voters, be limited to basically two choices, neither of which has much difference from the other in policy. Perhaps someday our elected officials' actions will reflect our wishes.

That day is not today.

This post was written as a comment on the Question of the Day section of the American website My Left Wing.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Get informed, then take action.

For changes to be made, for action to be taken, and for people to make use of the power they weild, first they must be aware of the situation. They must be informed as to what is going on in the world around them; the world behind the veil that hides realities from us on a daily basis.
Then, and only then, they must make their voices heard. People have power: we must only choose to use it.
At my first available opportunity, I will be adding to this blog contact information and links for government and media agencies, including the major media of the west, and the EU and US governments (to start with). I will also be typing in some letters I have written and will be writing to representatives and companies and organisations about issues of concern in our world today.
With a greuling work schedule these resources may take time in going up, but they are on the way nonetheless.

Open Letter to Reuters

has long been a news favorite of mine based on objectivity and attention to detail, however I am very worried regarding your recent coverage of events unfolding in the Middle East and Asia. Most notably absent is an announcement by the Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO Background) that was run in a front page article in the Asia Times that Iran, India, and Pakistan would all be welcomed as full members. The fact that Pakistan and India would share membership in this energy cooperative notwithstanding, I think it's quite important to note that India and Iran will both be full members of this organization whose members also include China and Russia. I think it's irresponsible for Reuters to run comments about George Bush's reluctance to rule out Nuclear Strikes on Iran and NOT mention that Iran has joined in this organization (as both events happened on the same day). Here's why.
  • Firstly, well known in the western media is the fact that America has been courting India for closer ties for some time, based primarily on a fear of India developing closer ties with China (an American rival these days apparently). If George Bush offering Nuclear technology to India (specifically to try to thwart the above-mentioned increase in diplomatic ties with China) is newsworthy, the fact that India has instead gone and joined the SCO is more than newsworthy.
  • Secondly, with the other full members of the SCO (an interGOVERNMENTAL organization) including Russia and China, it should be MORE THAN newsworthy that Iran has been accepted as a full member. Much has been said recently about Russia's reluctance to agree to sanctions against Iran, so as such the announcement that Iran and Russia are now both in an energy consortium is an IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT. Additionally, (and definitely not the least important issue at hand, not by a long shot) the fact that CHINA is now a close (very close if you do some reasearch into the SCO) partner to Iran economically would make it in China's best interest to defend (with military force if necessary) their economic interests in the country. The U.S. is threatening (implicitly) nuclear strikes on Iran, and somehow the fact that Iran and China are now close partners doesn't get mentioned?

I honestly believe that your lack of due diligence in investigating such matters is an irresponsible blunder. I genuinely hope it is nothing more than a blunder, but what (for me) was once an impressive reputation of Reuters for providing all the things one needs to know is quickly washing down the drain.If there is some specific reason that the country America is threatening nuclear strikes against entering into an exclusive organization with Russia and China (not to mention Pakistan and India) is not newsworthy, then please, let me know what it might be.