Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kamal died from lack of medicine 3 days after this picture.
photo by Alan Pogue (www.documentaryphotographs.com)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bert- I remember that hot day that Alan took that picture. Flies swarming thru the hospital. The doctor's warned us to not drink the water coming out of the faucets in the hospital because it would make us sick. I was ashamed to be an American. Later I wrote this poem:

A Seabeck Exercise

I breathe in Kamal
three days from death
in a Baghdad hospital

I breathe out
a happy laughing
fourteen year old boy

I breathe in
the grasping Imperium

I breathe out
as she should be

I breathe in


1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bert! I haven't seen you in ages! I wondered if you were still in this area.

So this case is still going on? I haven't been to a lot of meetings lately, since I have a recording project and a number of other things going on. This March and April, I visited Ireland for the first time in 21 years; and I'm really starting to think I'd like to move there. Haven't made any firm plans though.

Anyway, I've been out of the loop on a lot of things, but I'd still like to stay involved. Best wishes to you and all fellow activists...


LiveJournal: http://virgofolkie.livejournal.com

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of both America and Iraqis, Bert. I will be hoping for the right outcome of the case you are going to argue before the Supreme Court, on this vital issue of universal, fundamental human rights and wrongs.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

Nice talking with you last night at the birthday party. I also have my own site at http://tribes.tribe.net/usdprotection, where I go by the name Daniel. The forum is devoted to helping Americans protect their wealth, so that they do not lose their freedom and their power at the same time. Destruction of the middle class is (historically) necessary when authoritarian governments seek total power. We seem to be eating away at the same large problem, but from two different perspectives. Best regards... Daniel

5:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hi Bert,

I just suggested to members of We Are Change Seattle -- who are on video going to confront Albright when she comes here this week -- that they should ask if her new anti-genocide task force is going to investigate the 500,000Iraqui children who died from UN sanctions on her watch as secretary of state!

Please read article pasted below!

Happy New Year!

Rebecca (Em Campbell)

'Never Again' and Meaning It This Time

The Genocide Prevention Task Force will advise the U.S. government on preventing future mass atrocities and genocides
By Gary Feuerberg
Epoch Times Washington, D.C. Staff Nov 18, 2007

ANTICIPATING THE NEXT ATROCITY: Former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen (L) confers with former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright (R), Nov 13, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They are Co-Chairs of the newly founded Genocide Prevention Task Force.

The Task Force will make "practical recommendations" to better enable the U.S. government "to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities," according to the press release. (Gary Feuerberg/The Epoch Times)

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- Argentine Athletes Support the Human Rights Torch Relay Thursday, November 01, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The cry, 'never again' that arose out of the ashes of the Nazi Holocaust may trigger a deep sense of guilt as we look on helplessly at the genocides and mass killings in Cambodia, Rwanda, Tibet, the Congo, former Yugoslavia, and most recently in the Darfur region of Sudan. Now, to become more responsive and proactive to the emerging threat of a future genocide, a new task force has been convened.

Co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, the "Genocide Prevention Task Force" will generate practical recommendations to enable the U.S. government to respond more effectively to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.

Speaking at the National Press Club, November 13, Secretary Albright and Secretary Cohen want to see a more systematic and informed approach to how mass killings and genocide are handled by the U.S. government than the rather ad hoc way it is being handled now.

"We are convinced that the U.S. government can and must do better in preventing genocide—a crime that threatens not only our values but our national interests," said Secretary Cohen.

Their case is that the U.S. should be smarter on dealing with this subject where our record of prevention has been less than stellar.

"The world agrees that genocide is unacceptable and yet genocide and mass killings continue. Our challenge is to match words to deeds and stop the unacceptable," said Secretary Albright.

While many of our efforts to prevent mass killings and rape, such as occurring now in the Sudan, are based on the best of intentions, Albright and Cohen expressed a certain disappointment that we haven't lived up better to our ideals.

PREVENTING GENOCIDE IN THE FUTURE: Madeleine K. Albright is serving as Co-Chair of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. She served as Secretary of State, 1997-2001, in the Clinton administration. From 1993-97, Dr. Albright served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Secretary Albright spoke at the National Press Club on Nov. 13. (Gary Feuerberg/The Epoch Times)"[Preventing genocide], simple on the surface, is in fact one of the most persistent puzzles of our times. We have a duty to find the answer before the vow of 'never again' is once again betrayed," said Secretary Albright.
Former Secretary of State Albright and former Secretary of Defense Cohen built a congenial working relationship in the past when both served in the Clinton Administration. President Clinton reached across party lines and selected William Cohen, who had been a Republican senator from Maine, to head the Defense Department. The respective co-chairs' party affiliations help make the Task Force nonpartisan. At this news conference, Secretary Cohen praised Albright for taking the lead in preventing genocide in Kosovo, when she was Secretary of State.

Three organizations are providing the umbrella for this enterprise: American Academy of Diplomacy, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the United States Institute of Peace.

The Academy was founded in 1983 by Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker, U. Alexis Johnson, and John J. McCloy to promote high standards in American diplomacy (see www.academyofdiplomacy.org). The "Holocaust" museum is a national memorial to the Nazi Holocaust that promotes education on preventing genocide (see www.ushmm.org). The United States Institute of Peace is a nonpartisan, national institution that helps prevent and resolve violent conflicts and provides knowledge and resources to others to build peace around the globe (see www.usip.org). The latter two institutions receive some federal funding.

From these organizations and elsewhere, the task force will draw upon the "talents of well respected policy leaders and former officials," said Ambassador Brandon Grove, who is the Executive Director of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. The Task Force includes some well-known former elected or appointed officials, such as Senators John Danforth and Tom Daschle, and Bush lead speech writer Michael Gerson, Secretary Dan Glickman, Secretary Jack Kemp, and United Nations Ambassador Tom Pickering, to name a few.

The project is privately funded by Humanity United.

Operational Blueprint to Prevent the Next Genocide
It may be hard to see the value-added that this task force will bring towards making a difference in U.S. foreign policy, when the latter already stands for the principles of civil law, respect for minority rights, and opposes mass killings. The difference is that this task force will develop a plan of action to assess the potential of a genocide and how intervention, diplomatically and perhaps militarily, can best be carried out.

Secretary Cohen explained that "the Commission" (Cohen uses the term "Commission" interchangeably with "the Task Force") will "build together a practical framework to help the U.S. government to be proactive in preventing genocide and mass atrocities. This is the first ever [effort] to develop an operational blueprint for preventing and responding to genocide and mass atrocities," said Secretary Cohen.

The Task Force is organized into five working groups: (1) Early warning system (2) Pre-crisis engagement (3) Preventive diplomacy (4) Military intervention (5) International institutions. The hope is that the task force will have a document finished by December 2008 in time for the next administration.

The difficulties that may lie ahead for this new task force or "commission" were plainly evident from some questions put forth at this news conference by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA): "How do you reconcile your work in trying to build a moral American consensus on genocide when very recently each of you signed letters urging [the House to reject the recognition of] the Armenian genocide?"

The questioner was referring to a letter to the House on September 25, signed by eight previous Secretaries of State, including Madeleine Albright, and a similar letter on September 7, signed by three previous Secretaries of Defense, including Secretary William Cohen.

Both letters urged the House not to pass the resolution calling the mass killings of Armenians a genocide. The Secretaries of State letter said that Turkey cutting off U.S access to Turkish airspace, military bases, and the border crossing with Iraq "could endanger our national security interests in the region, including our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan…" However, neither letter denies genocide took place. The letter from former Secretaries of State "urge the Turkish government to reexamine its history," while the former Secretary of Defense letter mentioned the "most terrible of tragedies took place as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated [in 1915-1923]."

Secretary Albright's answer to the alleged Armenian genocide was to say it was better to have a forward looking approach and that the task force work is about preventing genocide and mass killings in the future.

TAKING A PRACTICAL APPROACH: William S. Cohen is serving as Co-Chair of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. He served as Secretary of Defense, 1997-2001, in the Clinton administration. Before his tenure at the Defense Department, he served three terms in the U.S. Senate and three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (R-Maine). Secretary Cohen spoke at the National Press Club on Nov. 13. (Gary Feuerberg /The Epoch Times)Secretary Cohen appeared to be more willing to admit that the decision of not recognizing the Armenian genocide was about timing, and practical matters of "placing our sons and daughters in greater risk." He stated, "There are no absolutes in this action," and "multiple factors have to be taken into account" in matters like this.
Their answers did not satisfy the ANCA. Aram Hamparian, executive director of ANCA, paraphrased Eli Wiesel (Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate), who said the "denial of genocide" is the "final stage" of the genocide. Elaborating on what this means, Wiesel, an Auschwitz survivor, said that the denial of genocide slays the dignity of the survivors—a double killing—by destroying the remembrance of the crime (Emory Magazine, autumn 2000).

But Cohen again responded with the same words: "There are no absolutes."

"We can't look back… From this point forward, what do we do?... How do we generate the will to action in a society that has been unwilling to do so in the past," Cohen asked rhetorically. Cohen expressed the hope that the Commission would provide a set of principles that will be a guide for the U.S. to take the lead—not unilateral action—to shape public opinion domestically and internationally.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mr. Sachs.

I was at the mosque in Cedar Rapids May 8th. I'd asked the question about the one-state or two-state solution in Israel and the territories. You'd raised an interesting question about free speech in different places when I had to leave, but I was disappointed in the way you were interrupted, almost shouted down for questioning the party line. I was VERY impressed by how calmly you bore it. God bless. It was a pleasure to meet you.

11:46 PM  

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