>Homepage > Archives > Chris Mills' email digest # 32
April 24, 2003

Hello all -

the mainstream media seem to have almost forgotten there was a war, with all the frenzy about SARS.  There's still lots of information coming via the 'net...

Keep on keeping on,


"Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous"
-- George Bernard Shaw

Calls to Action   

See lists of upcoming peace actions across Canada.

National Capital Region events.

US actions for peace.

I'm too late to send this URL in time for Earth Day, but it's still timely to visit the site and find out about ongoing campaigns to do with water. 

The concept of an ecological footprint.


News /information

Ed Vuillamy reports in The Observer on discussions between the US and Israel concerning the building of a pipeline to export Iraqi oil.  Under a Memorandum originally signed in 1975 by Henry Kissinger (and quietly renewed every five years) the US guarantees a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it means domestic shortages.  The pipeline plan was promoted by Rumsfeld and meant to be build by the Bechtel corporation, awarded a multi-billion dollar reconstruction contract last week.  A would give the US reliable access to Gulf oil other than from Saudi Arabia. 

For more about Bechtel's ties with the Bush administration

This article from Counterpunch documents big contracts awarded Bush's friends for Iraq reconstruction.

Kathleen McGowan reports on scientists around the world severing their connections with US scientific societies ito protest the invasion of Iraq. The most widely circulated protest was a terse e-mail written by the prominent neural networking theorist Daniel Amit to the journal Physical Review E , which is published by the American Physical Society. The journal's editors had asked Amit, who is trained in statistical mechanics, to review a manuscript.

An invaluable resource. 


Counting the Dead

Tonight's news isn't TV-packaged,
it comes by phone.
After 9/11 he became depressed, his mother says,
and then came Iraq.
He couldn't take it.
She is speaking of her son,
fifteen when he hanged himself
in their garage.

How many of the boy-faced men
trained to murder families that may be terrorists
but turn out to be families
will follow his retreat?
How many, seduced by memory,
will come home,
sit beside death
and add their names to the list?

Conditioned to think in numbers
we count 126 American soldiers, 30 British,
keeping track as the lists grow.
When the dead are Afghan or Iraqi
we substitute thousands
or tens of thousands
always careful to emphasize
the impossibility of accuracy.

Numbers obliterating faces, bodies
blown apart by cluster bombs
or burnt beyond recognition.
Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli earth mover
as she defended a house in Rafa
her fluorescent vest
proclaiming the human shield
her murderers sought to erase.

Independent journalists, never those
"embedded" with the troops
identified by large letters
on their vehicles
murdered by friendly fire
or accidents that were not accidents.
Wars fought for peace
perpetuating war.

Death by fragging , natural causes
or collateral damage:
tabulated, commentated,
each taking its place on the list.
But what of those unnameable echoes
we label coincidence, madness
or despair?
What of the never-ending?

Counting, an exercise in tidiness,
has nothing to do
with the living or the dying.
Just as keeping track
has nothing to do
with who we are or might be.
Look at her. Look at him.
Do not avert your eyes.

Circular waves trace circle after circle
in this global pool of blood,
as one by one the bodies drop
or thousands by thousands.
Stained hands command the troops,
write policy, gesture arrogance
as they illustrate their lies.
They will not wash clean.

It is time we learn to count backwards.

--Margaret Randall, at the "end" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq

Check out The American Prospect, a "magazine of public ideas." 

Amy Goodman interviews Robert Fisk (one of the most respected independent journalists in the Middle East) for Democracy NOW! 

Noam Chomsky  offers a solution to end terrorism: Stop supporting it. 

Maureen Dowd on chest-banging Republicans:  "There's nothing scarier than conservatives in transports of social and political engineering."

Because a little humour can go a long way in dark times, check out atmo, a Swedish site where you can find the cult hit clip of Bush and Blair singing a love duet, plus many other creative stress-busters. 

And another very moving poem from Margaret Randall - she says she's finished writing books, but I'm hoping she'll collect these poems and publish them some day. 

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