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Re: [casi] 'Human shield' faces $10,000 fine

Spot the difference (both quotes by Taylor Griffin, U.S. Treasury Dept.):
1) "The Bush administration is committed to the full and fair endorsement of
the law" (re. breaking trade sanctions against Iraq).
2) (The Bush administration) "is committed to the full and fair enforcement
of the U.S. embargo against Cuba."

Dear All on List,

President Bush's administration seems eager to demonstrate that, in relation
to colonial wars, all the trappings of legality are seen to be scrupulously
adhered to - whenever convenient.

Was the war against Iraq according to internationally acceptable norms and
behaviour? Has the utmost care been taken to protect the lives and welfare
of Iraqi citizens, many of them non-combatants? Have the Geneva Conventions,
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.S. Constitution itself, all
been respected and followed, meticulously? Of course not! Has disseminated
information, for the U.S. public,
as well as for peoples abroad, been totally honest, without the slightest
hint of deception? Were the reasons for going to war as a very last option,
and not a foregone conclusion, convincing to anyone with a modicum of
intelligence? Now, months after the war was "declared", searches for those
eternally evidential WMDs continues (a bit more than 45 mins!). But, rest
assured, one day,  like that proverbial crock of gold at the end of the
rainbow, we'll find them. It'll prove that the war was just and legal - or
maybe that don't matter too much, at least it was "patriotic" (or so we are

In the prevailing, war-mongering, climate, some U.S. citizens feel obliged
to follow their consciences and show some humanity. One such shining
example, there are others, of personal integrity, a lady of 62, from
Sarasota, she was amongst a small U.S. contingent who risked their lives as
"human shields" in Iraq.
Faith Fippinger is now faced with massive fines for breaking the law by
crossing the Iraqi border - in violation of U.S. trade sanctions. Hundreds
of thousands of people, in army uniforms, are not being charged with
criminal offenses - perhaps they are merely following orders?

It looks as if the U.S. Treasury Dept. prefers to, quietly, be handed over
an ?initial fine of $10.000. Although no guarantee the case would then be
closed, such a "settlement" is reccommended. Who should be surprised that
U.S. authorities favour settlements - having, for decades, supported
hundreds of
them in Palestinian Occupied Territories!


Bert Gedin.

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