Hypocracy of Death

by bicyclemark

So lets just review:

A president of a country.

Gets involved in a few deadly and terrible wars.

Targets civilians and uses deadly weapons.

Strips citizens of their rights

Pockets most of the country’s wealth for himself or his friends

Plunders the wealth of other countries

Refuses to admit he has done anything wrong.

Insists that a president must do everything in his power to preserve the country and his office.

…..gets sentenced to death.

Cluster Crimes Against Humanity

by bicyclemark

21 people have died and over 100 have been injured as a result of cluster bombs left over from the Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon over the summer. I was just reading yet another report about it. DemocracyNow had also mentioned last week that Hezbollah had used cluster ammunition. We know that the US has used cluster bombs at various times during their invasion of Iraq. I was also recently informed that the Dutch military owns cluster bombs for an unknown purpose.

Cluster bombs. What useful purpose could such a thing serve, as if bombs themselves weren’t destructive enough. Apparently the chance to have tiny bomblets drop everywhere and blow up later is an appealing thing for all these armies.

Finding Cluster bombs in Bananas!

It is indeed a crime against humanity, if not a war crime, when these bombs are used and then days, months, and years later, civilians are blown up when they happen to encounter an unexploded cluster bomb. This recent story in Lebanon was of children picking olives in an orchard.

Besides the obvious condemning of each of the above mentioned governments, as well as any nation that owns cluster bombs, there are more guilty parties out there. Specifically, the companies that produce these bombs and make big money selling them. They include: General Dynamics Corp, L3 Communications Holdings Inc, Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, Alliant Techsystems Inc, EADS Co (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) and Thales SA. All of these companies should face charges for their role in international crimes; producing weapons that have no defensive use and are known to be uncontrollably destructive.

Now that I made that list, not only am I outraged but I’m also ashamed that so many companies are involved in producing such a terrible weapon.

bm151 An activists story, from Lebanon to Jerusalem

by bicyclemark

It was early July and she was invited to a camp in southern Lebanon. A very special camp. Many nations, cultures, religions, all gathered to work for one common goal. This is my friend Elise’s story of being at the camp as the bombs began to rain down on Lebanon.

No links, listening is all that’s necessary.


Angola, Iran… and Poof Its Over.

by bicyclemark

I’ve been slow to post because life in Berlin was like a vacuum of time. No matter what time it was, I was supposed to be going somewhere to see something or someone.

Not that I’m complaining; it so happens that I have some of the finest friends a guy could have waiting for me in Berlin whenever I’m up for a visit. They’re so influencial, I now have a new city I might one day like to live in. (I can hear my mom gasping already)

But summaries and additional stories will come soon, as well as getting back to real issues instead of the world cup distraction from reality. First I want to talk briefly of my visit to Leipzig to see Angola take on Iran.

My intention is not to talk about the game itself. You can read sports blogs for that crap. But I do want to talk about the people… fans.. as some call them. It was already exciting to be seeing a world cup match, in Germany, in a city was part of old East Germany. But to be seated amongst so many Iranian supporters, and a few sections over from a huge crowd of Angolans… it was quite the experience.

In both cases, it is unlikely any of these fans had actually flown in from the home countries. Most were probably immigrants living in Germany, perhaps even second or third generation. They didn’t sing the songs I think you’d hear at a stadium back in Luanda or Tehran, because they probably haven’t been in a stadium in either city in a long time. Instead they dawned the colors, joined with friends, and filled the stadium. They also cursed their players when they messed up, and shouted their favorite player names, over and over.

As I sat there thinking to myself…this is not a matter of nationalism for one’s country. This is about culture… roots.. and remembering. To cheer for a miracle or at least, a good day, for the idea of a noble and admirable nation that at that moment.. in that stadium… becomes a reality.

On the way out of the stadium, I was happy to hear Portuguese. Angolan Portuguese of course, the sweetest of all the accents, as far as I’m concerned. I listened and watched, as families and neighbors joked with each other about the failures of their team. Flag trading and handshakes were also a common sight between the two groups of fans.

At this point, lots of sports writers these days would praise this is the key to world peace and a sign of how great the world is. But I disagree. As nice as it was, both these groups have sufferred greatly to arrive where they are today. Entire lives were uprooted because of overwhelming and complicated circumstances.

A world cup match may provide some nice stories and some unforgettably sweet moments, but it should not mask the truth about the kind of world we live in and helped create.