Friday, April 14, 2006

Et respondens rex dicet illis

25:40. And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

(Et respondens rex dicet illis amen dico vobis quamdiu fecistis uni de his fratribus meis minimis mihi fecistis)

Good Friday 2006

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We'd Rather Kill 'Em Off By Peaceful Means

This child like all the other millions of Iraqi children has been caught up in war. For the third time in twenty years Iraqi children are suffering war. Conditions for children in Iraq, already bad, are deteriorating sharply. Even before the invasion led by America, the American domination of occupied Iraq, and now the American fomentation of civil war. This child's outlook is grim:

1. Nearly half of Iraq's population is under the age of 15.

2. 70 percent of child deaths are caused by diarrhea and respiratory infections.

3. One in eight children die before their fifth birthday, Iraq now has one of the highest mortality rates in the world.

4. Acute malnutrition among children has nearly doubled since the American led occupation of Iraq.

On April 2nd this year at the behest of the American occupiers the Ministry of Trade cancelled food subsidies on and a food ration programme would be. According to the same trade ministry's own figures nearly 26.5 million of the country's 28 million people depend upon those monthly food rations. Paul Wolfowitz one of the men responsible for the dire conditions faced by this child is now using World Bank loans to promote the American government's agenda of "definitively dominating" the Middle East. Wolfowitz now really does hate the thought of war he's learnt that it's more effective to kill 'em off by peaceful means.

From the comments:

MFI - could you repost information on the groups who are doing good work in Iraq - was one Caritas? I'd much prefer to end my little donations to them instead of politicians who continue this insanity.

American Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

AFSC programs addressing Iraq

Iraq Peacebuilding Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Iraq Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Middle East Peace Education Program, Atlanta, Georgia

Middle East Peacebuilding Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Peace and Economic Security Program, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Quaker United Nations Office, New York, New York City, New York

CAFOD has been supporting:


CAFOD's Dutch sister agency has been implementing a primary health care programme in the north of Iraq. CAFOD supports this programme which has successfully restored eight primary health centres. A mobile health team ensures that those who are unable to get to the centres has access to free medicines and the services of a qualified doctor.

Caritas Iraq

Runs a Well Baby programme which addresses the basic needs of the mothers and babies in the community.


IRAC is giving computer training to people in Kerbala. Basic word- processing and spreadsheet skills will make it much easier for them to find employment. Many of these trainees are former political prisoners and 30 per cent are women.

Iraqi Al-Amal

Youth reconciliation programme - forming links between Iraqi school groups and similar groups around the world via the internet. The programme will enable young Iraqis to meet others from troubled areas around the Middle East, at an international summer camp in Egypt.


Organisation working in Sulaymaniyah works with young people. They provide social workers at a drop-in centre for working street children. One of the centre’s aims is to encourage the children to continue their schooling, as a whole generation has had its education disrupted by successive wars and fighting.

Romero Close,
London, SW9 9TY
reg. charity no. 285776

Tel: 00 44 20 7733 7900
Fax: 00 44 20 7274 9630


I don't know much about their programmes but a search on their site turns up a few items. They're still in Iraq I know.

My recommendation is to give either via CAFOD or the Quakers rather than via CARITAS. I am investigating other charities but it is slow work.

Here's a resource to check out who's who:

The American Institute of Philanthropy

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) announces its top-rated list of charities offering aid to the potentially millions of people facing water shortages, power outages, and health epidemics. AIP, a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade (A to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, identifies the following 19 relief charities, which are providing aid to the victims that receive an “A” or “B” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency:

· American Friends Service Committee (A)
· American Red Cross (A-)
· American Refugee Committee (A+)
· AmeriCares (B)
· CARE (A-)
· Catholic Relief Services (A-)
· Church World Service (A-)
· Direct Relief International (B+)
· Doctors without Borders (A)
· Food for the Hungry (B)
· International Rescue Committee (A+)
· Lutheran World Relief (A)
· Mercy Corps (B+)
· Oxfam-America (B+)
· Save the Children (A)
· Samaritan's Purse (B)

That text is unabashedly stolen from here My take is that I won't give a penny to the Red Cross. They're way too bureaucratic and there've been corruption scandals. My favourite medical charity - MSF (Doctors without borders in the US) has been driven out of Iraq and Afghanistan in the case of Afghanistan as a result of the US policy of deliberately trying to make it seem as though they were part of American forces. The same was done in Iraq. Many MSF people died as a result.

There's also Interaction's List But it's quite old so you'd need to check. Listed on that page are
the International Rescue Commitee you might be able to help refugees directly by contacting them. They do superb work.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bunker Busters

The Congressional Research Service (The Library of Congress) [PDF] report on "Bunker Busters" can be downloaded from here:

Bunker Busters: Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate [PDF]


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Proper Procedure


At the suggestion of reader pete tx I have added to bottom of this posting a larger photogaph of the munitions in question. The image has been flipped horizontally for ease of identification.


"Comparative bullet lead analysis was developed in the early 1960s by researchers at General Atomic (now General Activation Analysis, Incorporated, Encinitas, California) under a federal grant to develop uses for neutron activation analysis (NAA). Researchers developed procedures for analyzing such materials as gunshot primer residues, glass, paint, and bullet lead. The results of their research were published in U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Reports (Lukens et al. 1970; Lukens et al. 1970), the Journal of Radioanalytical Chemistry (Guinn 1982; Guinn et al. 1987), and the Journal of Forensic Sciences (Lukens and Guinn 1971). In one research effort, the group acquired and analyzed samples from bullet lead manufacturers. The results of these analyses confirmed that a cast billet poured from a pot of molten lead is relatively homogeneous, but that leads poured from separate molten batches are distinguishable. As a result, comparative bullet lead analysis has been adopted by laboratories and accepted by courts internationally (Andrasko et al. 1993; Blacklock and Sadler 1978; Brandone and Piancone 1984; Capannesi and Sedda 1992; Cohen et al. 1988; Desai and Parthasarathy 1983; Dufosse and Touron 1998; Gillespie and Krishnan 1969; Guy and Pate 1973; Kishi 1987; Krishnan 1973; Krishnan and Jervis 1984; Sankar Das et al. 1978; Sreenivas et al. 1978; Suzuki and Yoshiteru 1996)."

In this case however none of that will be necessary.

Any Questions?


Monday, April 10, 2006

Some more required reading

"The raid on a mosque in Sadr City is another evidence that United States Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and the top generals on the ground have run out of ideas. The main victims are members of the Sadr movement and the Da'wa Party, whose leader is the current Iraqi prime minister, Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari. The two groups have no history of good relations with the Americans and both have stood against the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. The latest showdown between these two entities -- the Sadris and the Da'wa -- was over the nomination of prime minister for the coming four years.

Against the wishes of the US Embassy and its close Iraqi allies, Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari was nominated by one vote over the US favourite -- or "the lesser of two evils" -- Adel Abdul-Mahdi of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

The main problem that emerged from the recent Iraqi election, and the previous ones, is the devastating failure of US favourite candidates to achieve any success. This has been the case with democratic elections everywhere in the Middle East -- HAMAS is another stark example. Disturbing as it may be, this outcome is a test for the US rhetoric about democracy in the Middle East."

The sleeping giant - Abbas Kadhim

"Present western policy faithfully reproduces 19th-century European policy. This proposed the modernisation and democratisation of the Ottoman empire and the Persian monarchy, but only as a cover for colonial ambitions and for the dismemberment of those declining entities. Those colonial ambitions brought the Balkan cauldron to the boil, thus precipitating the first world war, which led to the second."

Islam’s resistance movement

"Iran, Palestine and Haiti demonstrate that it is no longer enough to be democratically elected. The Iranian election of June 2005 met with worldwide approval. A massive voter turnout was able to choose between candidates representing a wide range of different opinions within the framework of official Islamism. The West’s favoured candidate, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, fought a brilliant campaign and was expected to win. Nobody mentioned a nuclear threat. But everything changed abruptly after the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has made a series of unacceptable pronouncements about Israel.

Iran is being swiftly demonised. Although it has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and denies any military nuclear ambitions, France’s foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, recently accused it of pursuing a “secret military nuclear programme” (1). The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has already forgotten last year’s election and has asked Congress for $75m to promote democracy in Iran.


Winston Churchill said that “democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. What seems to upset people now is their inability to predetermine the result of an election. If only democracies could be made to measure and guaranteed to fit."

Democracy to order

"It cannot be dissimulated that the Coalition is strictly American; that is, the Americans never really relied militarily on other powers. The British are there for political support –and possibly for logistical backup. Most of the occupation has been conducted by US troops. And for quite some time now there has been defection from within the ranks of the Coalition by powers that were originally allied with the cause.

One could say that the number of countries participating today in the Coalition has diminished significantly, to the extent that the Americans are increasingly relying on private contractors to meet security needs. Today in Baghdad there are more mercenaries working for private security firms than there are troops from official Coalition members."

Via The indispensable Nur al-Cubicle's "Straight Talk from the French on Iraq"


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Did the day 9-4 remind you of anything??

Did the day 9-4 remind you of anything??

"It reminds me the worse day in Iraq. The worse day that every single Iraqi live.
In the beginning, there were some people who love Us Army and believed that they came to help us but now and after three years passed. No body reach this point and didn't lose someone from his family and some people he love."