"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Friday, July 11, 2008

(The Real News Network Videos: Emphasis Iran) But First Up | Canada’s Refugee Board Was Ordered By A Judge To Rehear An Application By A US War Resister To Remain In Canada.

Canada’s refugee board was ordered by a judge to rehear an application by a US war resister to remain in Canada. Federal Court Justice Robert Barnes said that mistakes were made by Canada’a Immigration and Refugee Board when they turned down Joshua Key’s claim for asylum. In 2003, Key served eight months in Iraq as a combat engineer. On his return to the US on leave, he his wife and four young children moved to Canada to seek refuge. There are more than two hundred US war deserters in Canada avoiding service in Iraq. A recent poll shows that 64% of Canadians would let US war resisters stay in the country. On June 3rd the Canadian parliament passed a non binding resolution calling for deserters to be allowed to stay and to put a halt to deportations. So far Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a close ally of the Bush administration, has ignored the resolution.

U.S. Deserter Wins Appeal In Battle For Refugee Status

Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service | Published: Friday, July 04, 2008

OTTAWA - A Canadian court has sided for the first time with a military deserter who fled to Canada seeking refugee status, ruling Friday that the US soldier witnessed enough human rights abuses during a stint in Iraq that he could qualify for asylum.

The decision also marked the first time that the federal court, which has heard a handful of cases involving deserters, concluded that military action against civilians in Iraq violates the 1949 Geneva Convention, an international prohibition against humiliating and degrading treatment.

Federal Court Justice Richard Barnes ordered the Immigration and Refugee Board to reconsider the failed refugee claim of Joshua Key, a soldier who entered Canada with his wife, Brandi, and their small children in March 2005.

Key, an army private, deserted during a two-week break from serving as a combat engineer in Iraq, where he spent eight months in 2003 and says he was involved in military-condoned home invasions against civilians.

"This is a real breakthrough," said Lee Zaslofsky of the Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign. "What excites us is this may also apply to other war resisters who took part in Iraq."

The Refugee Board found that Joshua Key was required, on a systematic basis as a soldier, to violate the Geneva Conventions. And that decision by the Refugee Board would have led to refugee status, except the board said, no, that's not enough: he must also show that he was required to commit war crimes. The justice said the other day, no, you're wrong: even violations of the Geneva Conventions are sufficient to give a basis for a refugee claim.

The only problem I have with this matter is those who are attempting to create a class of “misdemeanor war offenses”. The Geneva Conventions are clear and not open to interpretation!

What's A Rational American Foreign Policy? Part 1

What's A Rational American Foreign Policy? Part 2

What's A Rational American Foreign Policy? Part 3

Lieberman wants stronger action against Iran

Secret war against Iran underway (SH)

Seymour Hersh: The secret war in Iran (SH)

Cheney and manufacturing consent on Iran (SH)

The most radical president in history (SH)

Attack on Iran would turn region into a fireball

Will Cheney get his war?

Iran's missile test muscle flex

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran test-fired more long-range missiles overnight in a second round of exercises meant to show that the country can defend itself against any attack by the U.S. or Israel, Iranian state television reported Thursday.

The weapons have "special capabilities" and included missiles launched from naval ships in the Persian Gulf, along with torpedoes and surface-to-surface missiles, the broadcast said. It did not elaborate.

A brief video clip showed two missiles being fired simultaneously in the darkness, followed by red plumes of fire and smoke.

VIDEO: Iran state TV reports missile tests second time in row

The report came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran that Washington will not back down in the face of threats against Israel.

Gold firms on Iran missle launch, rise in oil

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gold firmed on Wednesday as reports Iran had test-fired missiles lifted oil prices and prompted buying of bullion as a safe haven play.

Spot gold advanced to $926.90/928.10 an ounce by 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT) from $921.35/922.55 an ounce in late Tuesday trade in New York. Earlier, the precious metal shed 1 percent to a near two-week low of $912.50 as oil prices fell.

"The prices are holding up because of a risk premium generated by the tensions in the Middle East," said commodity analyst Manqoba Madinane at Standard Bank in Johannesbourg.

"Oil prices have increased from yesterday's levels and that's also supporting the upside on gold," he said.

Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday and warned the United States and Israel it was ready to retaliate for any attack over its disputed nuclear projects.

August futures finished $5.30 higher at $928.60 an ounce on the COMEX division of New York Mercantile Exchange, after a choppy trading session.

The August contract's trading range narrowed to between $917.20 and $930.50 a tonne, but its seesaw trading pattern left many players waiting for a break out point one way or the other to determine near-term direction, traders said.

"Gold is still waiting for a key break out point one way or the other to determine near-term direction. So it's been fairly choppy trading," said one New York gold trader.

Early in the session, oil rose $2 to around $138 a barrel, after Iran said it had test-fired missiles that could reach Israel and U.S. bases in the region but pared gains to end up just one cent at $136.05 as demand worries weighed.

Rising oil prices increase gold's appeal as an inflation hedge and boost sentiment towards commodities as an asset class while rising tension in the Middle East attracts safe-haven buying.

"Gold benefits directly from geopolitical tension, so it would have received support from that news," said Merrill Lynch metals strategist Daniel Hynes.

The U.S. dollar weakened, as oil prices rebounded and geopolitical tensions resurfaced with news Iran test-fired missiles and unknown gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate in Turkey.

A lower dollar tends to benefit the precious metal, which is often bought as a hedge against currency weakness and so moves in the opposite direction to the greenback.

Other Metals

Among other precious metals, spot platinum firmed to $1,958.50/1,978.50 an ounce from $1,940.50/1,960.00 late in New York. It hit a two-month low of $1,936.50 on Tuesday on fears a slowing U.S. economy could weaken demand from car makers.

Spot palladium was also higher at $442.0/450.0 per ounce, up from 437.50/445.50 on Tuesday.

"(Palladium) price movements correlate to platinum, although long term fundamentals are substantially weaker," noted Marc Elliott, an analyst at investment bank Fairfax.

Spot silver added to gains at $18.09/18.15 an ounce by 3:04 p.m. EDT, up from $17.82/17.88 an ounce in late Tuesday dealings.

Dear MoveOn member,

By all accounts, the news coming out lately about Iran is scary. Iran is testing more missiles, and the Bush administration is promising swift retribution for any attack on the US or our allies.

To top it off, John McCain keeps joking about killing the Iranian people—discussing rising U.S. exports of cigarettes to Iran, he joked, "Maybe that's a way of killing them." And we all remember McCain's infamous, "Bomb Iran" song. (See video below)1

War is not a joke. The truth is that the Bush-McCain policy of reckless saber-rattling and threatening doesn't work—it just makes things worse and increases tensions in the region. What we need is serious, tough, and smart diplomacy—not another war.

Right now, Congress is considering bills that could clear the way for escalation or war. But they can act to make sure President Bush and John McCain don't lead us into another reckless war. Can you sign this petition asking Congress to push for diplomacy and demand Congressional authorization before getting us into another war? Clicking here will add your name:


The petition reads: "Saber-rattling and threats towards Iran without diplomacy is not working. Please support a new direction towards Iran and demand President Bush get Congressional authorization before getting us into another war."

For years, the Bush administration's policy has been the same—tough talk and no real diplomacy. So far, that hasn't helped curtail Iran's apparent nuclear ambitions or advanced American interests.

Unfortunately, John McCain's belligerent comments only make matters worse—at a moment when the Persian Gulf is on the brink of war because of leaders who dehumanize and demonize folks on the other side, John McCain is offering more of the same old approach.

As NPR reported this morning, "McCain believes that the Bush administration's approach has been the right one."2

What we need right now from this administration, and from our next president, is serious diplomacy. As Barack Obama said, "The United States has to gather up others in the region, as well as internationally, to apply pressure on Iran. But it's very difficult for us to do so when we haven't shown a willingness to engage in the sort of direct negotiations with Iran that would give them carrots and sticks for a change in behavior."3

We don't need more saber-rattling, belligerent rhetoric or jokes about killing Iranians.

Too many lives—American, Israeli, and Iranian—are at stake. Please click here to tell Congress to help avoid another war:


Thanks for all you do.


1. "Bad Joke," Progressive Accountability, July 9, 2008

2. "Candidates Diverge On How To Handle Iran," NPR, July 10, 2008

3. "Iran Tests Missiles Able To Reach Israel." US News and World Report, July 10, 2008

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