Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


Stumbling on Happiness [& that's if you'e damn lucky!]

apparently a compendium of "Behavioral Decision Making" topics
which intrigued me so much at
Wharton that I scored the highest on the
pooled Management1 Final Exam, prompting Prof. Paul Schoemaker to award me an A+!
subtext: Christians aspire to get around this by imagining a "certain" and great "final outcome"!   QED

Guest Reviewer: Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of bestselling books Blink and The Tipping Point, and is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Several years ago, on a flight from New York to California, I had the good fortune to sit next to a psychologist named Dan Gilbert. He had a shiny bald head, an irrepressible good humor, and we talked (or, more accurately, he talked) from at least the Hudson to the Rockies--and I was completely charmed. He had the wonderful quality many academics have--which is that he was interested in the kinds of questions that all of us care about but never have the time or opportunity to explore. He had also had a quality that is rare among academics. He had the ability to translate his work for people who were outside his world.

Now Gilbert has written a book about his psychological research. It is called Stumbling on Happiness, and reading it reminded me of that plane ride long ago. It is a delight to read. Gilbert is charming and funny and has a rare gift for making very complicated ideas come alive.

Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. Gilbert sets out to figure what that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?

In making his case, Gilbert walks us through a series of fascinating--and in some ways troubling--facts about the way our minds work. In particular, Gilbert is interested in delineating the shortcomings of imagination. We're far too accepting of the conclusions of our imaginations. Our imaginations aren't particularly imaginative. Our imaginations are really bad at telling us how we will think when the future finally comes. And our personal experiences aren't nearly as good at correcting these errors as we might think.

I suppose that I really should go on at this point, and talk in more detail about what Gilbert means by that--and how his argument unfolds. But I feel like that might ruin the experience of reading Stumbling on Happiness. This is a psychological detective story about our [deFECTive psychology! /js]  one of the great mysteries of our lives. If you have even the slightest curiosity about the human condition, you ought to read it. Trust me. --Malcolm Gladwell

Stumbling on Happiness  
See larger image

246 of 269 people found the following review helpful:

A pretty happy read- but not as happy as you think it is going to be, May 6, 2006
Reviewer: Shalom Freedman "Shalom Freedman" (Jerusalem,Israel) - See all my reviews
Here are some of the most important points of this book:
1) We often exaggerate in imagining the long- term emotional effects certain events will have on us.
2) Most of us tend to have a basic level of happiness which we revert to eventually.
3) People generally err in imagining what will make them happy.
4) People tend to find ways of rationalizing unhappy outcomes so as to make them more acceptable to themselves.
5) People tend to repeat the same errors in imagining what will make them happy.
6) Events and outcomes which we dread may when they come about turn into new opportunities for happiness.
7) Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it.
8) Happiness is rarely as good as we imagine it to be, and rarely lasts as long as we think it will. The same mistaken expectations apply to unhappiness.

Gilbert makes these points and others with much anecdotal evidence and humor.

A pretty happy read, but not as happy as you think it is going to be.

90 of 104 people found the following review helpful:

This Too Will Pass, May 6, 2006
Reviewer: C. Hutton "book maven" (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
Mr. Gilbert has written a lively academic approach on the subjective subject of happiness. The reader looking for advice on how to manage their own lives will not find it here. Rather the author looks at the way people manage their own expectations of impending events and how they cope with anxiety. Many persons re-evaluate both stressful events in a more positive light (childbirth) and achieved goals in a less satisfactory fashion (buying that new car does not buy happiness). Ironically, clinically depressed persons see how how difficult life can be and have an inability to re-evaluate stressful situations. They lack this coping mechanism that other persons have : that both happiness and unhappiness will have their season and move on. For the reader desiring further reading on this topic, Dan McMahon's "Happiness: a History" takes a longer and more historical approach to how happiness has changed over the ages.

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Practical, scholarly approach to finding happiness, August 2, 2006
Reviewer: soulsearcher "soulsearcher" (Nashville) - See all my reviews
We've all gone down certain roads looking for happiness and found out, sadly, that the roads were dead ends.

If you're like me, there have been times in your life when you have wanted to just give up on happiness. But Gilbert shows that happiness is attainable in ways that we may not expect.

Gilbert shows why we seek happiness, and gives practical on how to "stumble" upon it. This book has given me insights that I never even imagined.

Another book on this topic
I'd recommend is: "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices" by John Allen. It's more than just a Christmas story. It shows how kind acts and service to others are the real keys to lasting happiness.

Also: the classic "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen.
(Are James and John related?)

Enjoyable read, a bit scant in application, July 28, 2006
Reviewer: Hyok Lee (Corona, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a very enjoyable read, written in a funny, witty, conversational style. Gilbert uses examples from everyday life that illustrate how flawed people's perceptions and memory can be.

The example he uses in order to show how people tend to dwell on the ending, rather than the overall experience is his enjoyment of the movie, "Schindler's List." He recalled that he hated the movie, while his wife recalled that he liked it. Of course he was offended that someone would tell him what he liked or disliked, which presumable only he would know best. So they watched the movie over again. The result? They were both right. Gilbert thoroughly enjoyed the movie, until the end. He found the way it ended distasteful, and that was what he remembered. His wife remembered that he enjoyed the majority of the movie.

The book is filled with examples from real life and from various research studies that show how people's perceptions can often be illogical. For example, people tended to prefer a longer immersion in unpleasantly cold water, that ends with a slightly less unpleasantly cold water, over a shorter immersion in the same unpleasantly cold water that does not include the slightly warmer finish. The preference for the prolonged suffering shows the human tendency to concentrate on the ending, rather than the overall experience.

He also goes on to show how human ability to perdict how they are going to feel about future events often are inaccurate. People make poor decision about their lives because their inability to imagine the future accurately. It was found that people were much more accurate in their predictions about how they would like or dislike future event when they interviewed people who were presently going through the event that they were contemplating for the future.

Just like Gilbert's conclusions about "Schindler's List," I felt where this book fell a bit short was in the ending, in telling the reader how to implement all these finding to make their lives happier and better. He seems to have only one take away in term of application of the principles: rather than imagining the future, ask someone who is experiencing the very thing you are thinking of doing. Thinking of a career change? Ask someone who is going through a career change. While this advice is helpful, I felt there could have been more in the way of "how to." The "how to" section was very short, and only mentioned this interview method. I would like to have seen more in terms of how you should alter your perception of things, so that it is more conducive to happiness.

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

Stumbling on Brilliance, July 26, 2006
Reviewer: gjc (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
I am an academic psychologist who is interested in social behaviour and emotion. So, of course, a book about how people predict their emotional responses to future events and how this interacts with their social behaviour was always going to appeal to me. But, I don't buy every book that might appeal to me, so how did I know I'd like this one? How did I know this book would make me happy?

Well, to be perfectly honest, the main reason I bought this book was this: Dan Gilbert is a fantastic writer. I knew this from having read many of his scholarly journal articles. In fact, I was so sure that this book would be brilliantly written that I preordered it. And, I was right, it is. However, predicting our likes and the things that will make us happy is not something we're always good at, and that's whole the point of this book.

Just to belabor the brilliance of Dan Gilbert's writing for a second, this quote comes from the Acknowledgements section: "This is the part of the book where the author claims that nobody writes a book by himself and then names all the people who presumably wrote the book for him...Alas, all the people who wrote this book are me, so let me thank those who by their gifts enable me to write the book without them.". That's the kind of witty wordsmithery that you'll find from cover to cover of Stumbling on Happiness.

Very little of the content of this book surprised me, but then again I've spent the best part of the last 13 years studying psychology. What I would expect is that this book will surprise most people, probably because most people make the same mistake economists do; they presume that they, and others, are rational. Stumbling on Happiness successfully highlights many of the limits of human rationality.

In reading this book you will gain a well synthesized and up-to-date look at some of the most interesting research happening in psychology today. And, although every reviewer is at pains to point out this that is not a self-help book, you may just gain some insight into yourself.

For people who enjoyed the insights this book provided about human behaviour, thinking, and emotions I'd recommend the following three books to compliment it: "Intuition" by David Myers, "Strangers to Ourselves" by Tim Wilson, and "The Illusion of Conscious Will" by Daniel Wegner. In addition, lots more examples of Dan Gilbert's fantastic writing (mostly journal articles and book chapters) can be downloaded from his website at Harvard.

Rand's Objectivism Critiqued by Kelley L Ross, Ph.D. [ via @Intellectual Conservative Icons]

web page is
FYI from
Conservative criticism of Ayn Rand's philosophy   at the collection of great thinkers listed at
js- FYI best pronounced "eye-yan Rand", AFAIK!

Man is not the best of things in the universe.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI, Chapter vii; 3-4 (H. Rackham, Loeb Classical Library, 1926, 1982, p. 342)

Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Ayn Rand (born Alice Rosenbaum) is a fascinating person and an inspiring advocate of freedom but a very mixed blessing philosophically. Her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are still best selling introductions to the ideas of personal freedom and of the free market. As literature they may have drawbacks, but they are compelling "reads," which is certainly what Rand would have wanted. Rand's passionate and moralistic tone, while off-putting to many, is nevertheless probably a real part of her appeal and is no less than an equal and opposite reaction to the self-righteousness that is still characteristic of leftist rhetoric. Few writers convey an irresistible ferocity of convictions as Rand does. To many, including the present writer, raised and indoctrinated with the standard disparagements of capitalism, a novel like Atlas Shrugged can produce something very much like a Conversion Experience. At the same time, the harsh certainty of an autodidact and self-made person, and the high handed authoritarian manner of Rand's personality, worked against her case, her cause, and her life.

Although David Kelley, Leonard Peikoff, and others now try to develop her thought into a complete philosophical system, nothing can hide the relative shallowness of her knowledge:  She despised Immanuel Kant but then actually invokes "treating persons as ends rather than as means only" to explain the nature of morality. Perhaps she had picked that up without realizing it was from Kant [note]. At the same time, the Nietzschean inspiration that evidently is behind her "virtue of selfishness" approach to ethics seems to have embarrassed her later:  She very properly realized that, since the free market is built upon voluntary exchanges, capitalism requires firm moral limits, ruling out violence, coercion, fraud, etc. That was certainly not a concern of Nietzsche, but it was very much a concern of Adam Smith, who realized that, in a context of mutually voluntary exchange, people will always go for the best deal, producing the "invisible hand" effect of mutual and public goods being produced by private preferences. This confuses people enough in regard to Smith; and that makes it all the easier to mistakenly see Rand as advocating a view of capitalists as righteous predators -- especially unfortunate when the popular vision of laissez-faire capitalism is already of merciless and oppressive robber barons. A careful reading of Rand dispels that idea, but her rhetoric works against a good understanding.

Rand also confuses her case with her emphasis on individuals being deliberately "rational." That sets her against the Austrian and Chicago principles of economics that the free market is the means of coordinating limited knowledge, not some place where rationalistic supermen (e.g. the John Galt of Atlas Shrugged) display superhuman intellectual and moral powers. That makes it sound like the free market works just because such supermen exist to control it. Rand herself was actually aware that was not true:  At her best moments she asserts only that capitalism is superior because it automatically, through the "invisible hand," rewards the more rational behavior, not because some superrational persons must exist to hand out those rewards. That would have been F.A. Hayek's "intentionalistic fallacy." Nevertheless, one is left with the impression that Rand and her "Objectivist" successors do commit Hayek's "fatal conceit" by supposing that heroic characters will exercise a superrationalistic control over themselves and the economy, and that capitalism is not really a way of coping with ignorance, or with dispersed knowledge.

Rand certainly tried to exercise a superrationalistic control in her own life, with disastrous results:  Her psychological understanding of people, and even of herself, was clearly and gravely limited. Thus she engineered the marriage between Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, even though (according to Barbara, in The Passion of Ayn Rand) they weren't all that attracted to each other -- their unease was "irrational" to Rand. Then she decided that she and Nathaniel should have some sort of "rational" love affair, like characters in her novels. That Nathaniel was not comfortable with that, especially since they were both already married, does not seem to have mattered. When he finally refused to continue their relationship, Rand furiously expelled him from her "movement" and then scuttled the "movement" itself. That was, curiously, all for the better, since under her control the Objectivist movement was taking on more and more of the authoritarian or totalitarian overtones of the very ideologies it was supposedly opposing.

In another incident, related by the columnist Samuel Francis, when Rand learned that the economist Murray Rothbard's wife, Joey, was a devout Christian, she all but ordered that if Joey did not see the light and become an atheist in six months, Rothbard, who was an agnostic, must divorce her. Rothbard never had any intention of doing anything of the sort, and this estranged him from Rand, who found such "irrational" behavior intolerable.

It is revealing that as Rand refined her idea of the heroic personality from the Howard Roark of The Fountainhead to John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, the type became steadily drained of, indeed, personality. Galt seems little better than a robotic mouthpiece of merciless ideology. Howard Roark was already peculiar enough, since he would just sit staring at the phone while waiting for work. He might at least have read magazines. Subsidiary characters, like Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart, possess something more like real personalities. This deadness of such central characters is an excellent warning that Rand had passed beyond a desire for mere human beings as her ideals. (Jung probably would have detected an animus projection.) This was an unhelpful bit of falseness, not to mention humorlessness, with which to burden her case for capitalism.

One drawback of Rand's literary method to present her ideas, although it follows in the great Russian tradition of philosophical novels, is the manner in which it sometimes obscures historical realities that would reinforce her argument. Thus the Taggart Railroad of Atlas Shrugged may strike someone with an average knowledge of American history as the kind of thing that never existed. Most people know that the transcontinental railroads were built with federal subsidies and federal land grants. They may also know that such railroads were tangled up in hopelessly corrupt, politicized financial schemes and in the end were so badly run and managed that they all (Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, & Northern Pacific) went bankrupt in the Panic of 1893. It takes somewhat better knowledge to know about James J. Hill, who built his own transcontinental railroad, the Great Northern, without public subsidies or land grants and often with the political opposition and obstructionism of the rival Northern Pacific and its political backers. Some of Rand's stories about the Taggart, for instance the challenge of building a Mississippi bridge, seem to have been inspired by real incidents in the building of the Great Northern. Unlike the other transcontinentals, Hill's railroad was financially sound; and after they went bankrupt, he was able to buy the Northern Pacific and also the Burlington. Hill, sadly, had to end his days furious and frustrated with the ignorant manipulations of the Interstate Commerce Commission. By merely fictionalizing Hill, Rand did not help combat the standard, biased history of American railroads (cf. Albro Martin, Railroads Triumphant, The Growth, Rejection & Rebirth of a Vital American Force, Oxford University Press, 1992).

Rand's respect for philosophy is one virtue of her system, but her epistemology and metaphysics miss much of the point of modern philosophy. Indeed, her ideal, rather like Mortimer Adler, was Aristotle. This could be good, since Aristotle's view of substance steered Rand away from a reductionistic materialism. Her development of Aristotle, on the other hand, ends up with something rather like Leibniz's view of concepts:  Concepts refer to every characteristic contained in every individual of their kind. This was not an improvement on Aristotle, who realized that if there are natural kinds, then there are both essential and accidental characteristics of those kinds. The meaning of concepts would be about the essential characteristics. For Leibniz's view of concepts to work, one would have to have, as Leibniz well understood himself, the infinite knowledge of God:  It would be impossible for our finite understanding to encompass all the characteristics of all the individuals of their kind. One suspects that Rand was not one to let God claim some superior status to human (or her) comprehension and knowledge.

Rand's description of "concept formation" seems more sensible. Qualities are "abstracted" from experience and formulated into concepts. Rand shoots for a "conceptualist" theory of universals, which avoids an Aristotelian "realism" of substantial essences on the one hand and the subjectivism of "nominalism," where universals are just words, on the other hand. However, a conceptualist theory cannot be consistently maintained (and this is not just a problem for Rand). Even if concepts may be conventional and arbitrary in many ways, they can only be connected to reality if they are based on some abstract features that are really in the objects. Thus, as soon as Rand allows that the terms for features "abstracted" from experience refer to features that are really there, then she has let in some form of Aristotelian realism, whether she wants to or not. And if there are indeed natural kinds, then there must be natural, and real, essences. Otherwise her theory is nominalist and subjectivist. Evidently aware of that tension, we have the motivation for Rand's idea that concepts refer to everything in the objects. That preserves the objectivism of her theory, and so the appropriateness of "Objectivism" as the name of it, but, as we have seen, it leads down the paradoxical road of a Leibnizian theory of concepts.

Rand's theory of concepts, regarded by both Rand and her successors as the centerpiece of her thought, leads, as in Leibniz, to a view of all truth as essentially analytic. Such a theory, in turn, is pregnant with the potential for speculative dogmatism, ultimately relying, as it must, on a Rationalistic (and Aristotelian) sense of the self-evidence of first principles. Rand's "Objectivism" is, indeed, Rationalistic metaphysics. A good indication of this is that the principle of causality is itself viewed as a corollary of the principle of identity. Identity (either (x)x=x or P->P; stated by Rand as "A is A") itself is a tautology of no positive content, overinterpreted by Rand as the basis of various substantive propositions. Few philosophers since Hume, apart from speculative metaphysicians like Hegel, have regarded causality as logically related to any tautological or analytic truth. The watershed insights of Hume and Kant are thus overlooked and their theories denigrated. Peikoff ("The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy," in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Meridian, 1990) even confuses Kant's definition of synthetic propositions with the Logical Positivist interpretation that all synthetic propositions are contingent. Since Kant would not accept such a trivialization of his theory for a minute (he would even regard it as a misunderstanding of Hume), Peikoff cannot even begin to address the substance of the issues that Kant considers. "Objectivist" epistemology has not been awakened, as Kant was by Hume, from its "dogmatic slumber."

Rand's fundamental law of morality, that one is never justified in initiating the use of force against others (though I am now told that this originally came from Lysander Spooner), has been adopted as the basic Principle of the Libertarian Party. This is an illuminating version of the Moral Law in that it highlights an aspect of morality, politics, and law often overlooked:  That they are about the justification of the use of force. People who casually toss around ideas about what should and should not be allowed in society, or about how much of people's income should be taxed, or what restrictions should be put on property rights, often don't seem to be aware that they are talking about sending men with guns, the police, against people who don't agree with such dispositions and who may not be willing to comply with them. Thus, since it has not seemed wise to many to "allow" people to harm themselves by freely using opiates, cocaine, or marijuana, people have shown themselves willing to harm the uncooperative with equal or greater severity by fining or seizing their wealth and property, putting them in jail for long periods among hardened, violent criminals, and denying them various rights and privileges of citizenship and commerce in addition to the natural penalties, such as they may be, of drug use -- in short, by ruining their lives in retribution for disobeying "society." Behind even those sanctions, furthermore, is the threat of death should the uncooperative choose to defend their Natural Rights to control of their own bodies by "resisting" the representatives of "authority," the men with guns, by force. Few Americans have sympathy for people who resist the police, whatever their reasons.

Despite this edifying emphasis, however, Rand's moral principle is clearly incomplete. First, it makes no provision for "privileges of necessity", which means it would be morally acceptable to let a drowning person die or a starving person starve even if it would present no burden or difficulty to rescue them. No use of force would be involved, simply a wrong of omission. Since wrongs of omission present difficulties of definition and implementation in any case, this is not too serious a fault for Rand's principle, unless it is to be insisted upon that the principle is perfect, rigorous, and exhaustive. It would be foolish to do so, though many do. The second problem with the principle is that it leaves issues of property rights entirely undefined. Is stealing someone's unattended luggage at an airport a moral wrong? It involves no obvious use of "force" against the victim's person. Therefore, if "force" is to mean any unauthorized action against property, property rights must be independently defined; and historically, among libertarians, there have been considerable differences of opinion about the scope of property rights -- including "Georgist" ideas that more property should not be allowed than can be used. Decisions in that area, however, can be no logical consequence of Rand's moral principle. As with cases of necessity, such a difficulty with Rand's theory does not discredit it but does show its limitations and incompleteness. The only really serious error would be to deny such limitations and incompleteness.

Consequently, Ayn Rand as a philosopher has relatively little to contribute to the doctrine of the Friesian School. She may be taken, nevertheless, for what she will continue to be:  An inspiring advocate for the free market and for the creativity of the autonomous individual. With her intimate, personal knowledge of the Russian Revolution, and all the loathing that it inspired in her, Rand will always be an invaluable witness to the practice and folly of totalitarianism. She is also a useful one person test to distinguish libertarians from conservatives:  Her atheism alienates most conservatives, who may even speak of her bitterly and dismissively. A defining moment in that respect was the savage review by Whittaker Chambers of Atlas Shrugged, when it came out, in the National Review. Many admirers of Rand have never forgiven William F. Buckley or conservative Cold Warriors for that attack. At the same time, Rand presents a difficult case for the Left. Since the preferred political universe for leftists contains a one dimensional spectrum from "progressive" to "reactionary," where the reactionary end is a seamless fabric of capitalism, religion, racism, and sexism, Rand is disconcertingly off the track and invulnerable to typical modes of leftist ad hominem religion and race baiting argumentation. Also, as a tremendously successful self-made woman, long before the ascendancy of political feminism, she is invulnerable to the typical feminist mode of gender argumention against "dead white males." These inconveniences make it preferable for the Left to ignore Rand, which mostly they can and have, given the minority and ignorable status of libertarianism. Rand herself and her followers have made that easier by often resenting and taking a sort of heresiological attitude towards fellow libertarians who are suspicious, as Charles Murray has recently put it [in What It Means to be a Libertarian, a Personal Interpretation, 1997], of the "well fortified" ideology of "Objectivism." Rand herself even wanted to sue Reason magazine for running a cover story on her in the late 1970's. Such conflicts and absurdities are typical in ideological movements, but it is a weakness. Rand's own seriousness about philosophy, although to her credit, was also a weakness, in that it complicated and ideologized her case for capitalism and gave her followers this heresiological attitude and a standoffishness to other advocates for freedom. That seems less of a problem for the self-made Objectivist David Kelley than for the anointed successor of Rand, Leonard Peikoff. But, like most philosophers, Rand is better taken as a goldmine for ideas than as authoritative doctrine.

Another of Rand's sins against the Left and still of current interest was her willingness to testify as a "friendly witness" in the 1947 hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Acitivies (HUAC) on Communist infiltration of Hollywood. Rand's only complaint was that they didn't let her testify enough. She was the only person at the hearings who had actually lived under Communism, indeed been a witness to the entire Russian Revolution and Civil War, and she wanted to explain how anti-capitalist messages were included in many mainstream Hollywood movies. It may not be remembered much now that Rand got her real start in America working in Hollywood, living for many years in the San Fernando Valley. This is still of current interest because, after many years of hard feelings, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1999 finally gave an Oscar to Elia Kazan, director of such classics as On the Waterfront (1954) -- which itself was about a man fighting with his conscience over whether to expose his gangster (i.e. Communist) friends. Kazan, after leaving the Communist Party, was willing to "name names" to HUAC in 1952.

While Communism failed and fell in the real world, in the make-believe world of Hollywood Communist propaganda succeeded quite nicely, and many people still believe that the HUAC investigations were "witch hunts" for non-existent enemies or well-meaning idealists. Well meaning idealists there were, but they were not the targets of the Committee. Instead, they became the "useful idiot" liberals, in Lenin's words, who whitewashed all the real Communists and their activities. The useful idiots are still at it, though since the 60's many of them, as anti-anti-Communists, have been all but indistinguishable from their Communist friends in Vietnam, Cuba, and Nicaragua. As it turned out, the easiest way to find the Communists in Hollywood was just to subpoena all the suspects. Almost everyone who then refused to testify or took the Fifth Amendment, it happened, actually were Party members (acting on Party orders) or fellow travelers, as we know now from many sources, including the Soviet archives that also reveal the Soviet funding and direction of the Communist Party USA and its activities in Hollywood. These were not idealists but willing agents of tyranny, murder, and crimes against humanity. Rand would have no more patience now with leftists whining about "McCarthyism" than she did in 1947 with the lying and dissimulating agents of the living mass murderer Josef Stalin.

"Why I am not an Objectivist," by Michael Huemer

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Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Ayn Rand (1905-1982), Note

Thus Rand says:

The basic social principle of the Objectivist ethics is that just as life is an end in itself, so every living human being is an end in himself, not the means to the ends or the welfare of others... ["The Objectivist Ethics," 1961, The Virtue of Selfishness, Signet, 1964, p.27]

While Rand's apologists now want to say that she knew this was from Kant, I haven't yet heard the citation where she said so. Indeed, Rand typically never credited anyone but Aristotle as a worthy precedessor to herself. And although she had many reservations even about Aristotle, and while she condemned the ideas of many historical philosophers by name, referencing other philosophers from whom she may have derived ideas as much as from Aristotle never became part of her methodology. Kant is never mentioned in her writings except with demonization and caricature. Critics of Rand regard her manner, at times, as approaching plagarism -- it certainly often involved ingratitude, as with her lack of tribute to Isabel Paterson, from whom she may have derived much knowledge -- both Nathaniel and Barbara Branden note that Rand actually didn't do much reading in philosophy herself (though now Rand apologists tend to say either that this is a lie or that Rand had already done as much reading as was necessary).

As it happens, Rand makes the same mistake with her means/ends principle as many critics of Kant. On her own terms, as being essentially a trader, the good person actually is "the means to the ends or the welfare of others." This is why economic exchanges take place, to further the ends and improve the welfare of each transactor. The missing term is that no one should be forced to be "the means to the ends or the welfare of others" against their will. There is also the ambiguity of what it means for a human being to be "an end in himself." This properly means respecting the will and autonomy of others, but it could also have a substantive interpretation, that respecting their own human nature and human life imposes duties to themselves on autonomous individuals to realize their nature. This is rather like what we actually get in Aristotle and even in Kant, and it can be the basis of paternatistic laws to criminalize actions by which people do things that are simply supposed to be bad for them. It is the ground of old laws involving "crimes against nature." Is it also an implication of Rand's principles? Yes indeed, if we look at Rand's practice as well as at her teaching. People who disagreed with her, even about things that were their own business, were condemned, browbeaten, and even "expelled" from Objectivism. Apparently they weren't living up to the promise of being human, as understood by Rand.

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Pre-Emptive Fair Use!: this is posted for educational purposes -- I will further educate MYSELF to these assertions!! -- but on some future day.   Disclaimer -- sorry to post non-news, but this topic appears to be admired by

and therefore it might symbiotically illuminate several foisted-or-honest agenda concurrently. I do have on open mind.  I do question that my own current opinions could indeed be symptoms of undetected intellectual cancers!
/ "Peace to all, but death to warmongers!"  / js  aka

Who is doing God's work? Pictures your TV overlords forbid you to see.

you'll never read it, but please skim of few highlights and ponder the napalm-fried proletarians -- would YOU be so smug if YOUR NEIGHBORS shown here lived just one state away?
a state of apolitical humanity or eternal accountability

Sunday, July 30, 2006


by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

This article updated 2/8/2006

“How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as mass murderer and a war criminal?" Harold Pinter, Nobel speech.

A peace offer was vetoed just prior to the US / Israeli war on Lebanon.1 Since the war started, there has been much discussion concerning the use of (US) cluster bombs, bunker-busting bombs and chemical weapons – all illegal - presently being used in Lebanon. Some have also said illegal bombs are also being used in Palestine.

Those ruling the American Empire, supported by PM Blair2, have become mad with megalomania. The War of (sic) Terror is not the solution. Those responsible for the Iraq War, illegal kidnapping and detention without representation, and for the bombs used in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Lebanon need to be put on trial for War Crimes. Sanity, dignity, respect, integrity and peace urgently need to be reclaimed.

Our planet is 4,500m years old. Bill Bryson suggested that if one figuratively put this on the scale of a 24-hour clock, “humans emerge at one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight.” Those in the pursuit of total power and money should not use our precious time killing innocent people as well as the planet, but should find a less lethal form of pathological entertainment. We are rapidly, and exponentially, running out of time for our species’ survival.

I have put together an index of photographs, reports and articles which, at our peril, have been irresponsibly ignored [deliberately censored] by the corporate-owned Mainstream Media.

The Geneva Conventions

Protocol I, Article 85, Section 3 of the Geneva Convention: "An indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects and resulting in excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions."

Following is an Index of various reports and articles.

US/UK Arms for Israel

14.07.06. B. Russell, Independent. Britain urged to ban £23m arms trade with Israel.

29.07.06. IRNA. British arms exports to Israel doubled last year.

29.07.06. B. Joffe-Wait, Guardian. Made in the UK, bringing devastation to Lebanon - the British parts in Israel's deadly attack helicopters.


21.10.04. Reuters / Common Dreams. The United States plans to sell Israel $319 million worth of air-launched bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" able to penetrate Iran's underground nuclear facilities, Israeli security sources said on Tuesday. Eyeing Iran Reactors, Israel Seeks U.S. Bunker Bombs.

26.07.06. Berrigan / Hartung, Foreign Policy in Focus. Over the past decade, the United States has transferred more than $17 billion in military aid to this country of just under 7 million people. Who's Arming Israel?

27.07.06. G. Mitchell, Editor and Publisher. Press Overlooks U.S. Role as Arms Merchant in Mideast Conflict.

29.07.06. Reuters. The announcement came two weeks after the administration said it would sell Israel its latest supply of JP-8 aviation fuel valued at up to $210m to help Israeli warplanes “keep peace and security in the region.” US planning $4.6bn in Mideast arms sales.

US Arms to Israel

21.07.06. Reuters. "The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of "precision"-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign. … The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said." US rushes "precision"-guided bombs to Israel.

25.07.06. Marjorie Cohen, Counterpunch. Bush Greenlights War
Crimes. … Israel had just put out an S.O.S. to the United States government to rush over several more bombs Willful Blindness.

In October 1992, an El Al cargo Boeing 747 crashed into this apartment building in Amsterdam Bijlmermeer [edit correction]. Some one thousand people in the vicinity complained of health problems after the crash. It was later revealed by Dutch and Israeli sources that El Al Flight 1862 was transporting precursor chemical weapons substances to Israel from the United States, including dimethyl methylphosphonate, hydrofluoric acid, and isopropanol, in addition to depleted uranium.

26.07.06. Channel 4 news. Tonight a surprise diplomatic rift has blown up between the United States and Britain over the shipment of bunker busting bombs to Israel through a British airport. Margaret Beckett interview (video).
Foreign Office ‘edited’ (sic) version of interview.

27.07.06. P. Graff, Washington Post. A newspaper said Britain had agreed to allow Washington to fly more weapons to Israel via its airports despite Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett saying she was "not happy" about Washington failing to comply with procedures for such flights. US denies breaking UK rules on Israel bomb flights.

28.07.06. P. Webster, Timesonline. The Government will allow more American aircraft carrying arms to Israel to stop over in Britain despite private concerns that the Pentagon was “playing fast and loose”. Britain lets more flights land in Scotland.

29.07.06. BBC. Two more American flights carrying "hazardous cargoes" bound for Israel are to refuel at Prestwick Airport this weekend, it has emerged. Airport to handle more US flights.

30.07.06. Crichton / Hutcheon, Sunday Herald. Revealed: Ireland refused to allow bomb flights to land.

30.07.06. EDP24. Planned protests mean that Hazardous cargo flights 'diverted to Mildenhall.'

N.B. And do we now have proof of the 'extraordinary rendition' of US illegal weapons to Israel?
31.07.06. CND. Cargo Plane with Hebrew Markings Arrives in 'Nuclear Area' at RAF Brize Norton.

Cluster Bombs, DU Bunker Busters and Phosphorus Bombs


07.06. Amnesty International. Obligations under international humanitarian law of the parties to the conflict in Israel and Lebanon ISRAEL/LEBANON: ISRAEL AND HIZBULLAH MUST SPARE CIVILIANS.

21.07.06. Relief Web. According to several witness accounts, cluster bombs may have been used by the Israeli forces over the last few days in south Lebanon, particularly in the southern suburbs of Beirut.The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) reports that the Israeli government has announced that it is reserving the right to use cluster bombs in its current intervention in Lebanon. Handicap International is concerned about the possible use of landmines and cluster bombs in Lebanon.

24.07.06. Red Cross Report, uruknet. ICRC - Bulletin No. 3 – Lebanon.

24.07.06. Human Rights Watch. Israel Must Not Use Indiscriminate Weapons. Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon.


11.07.06. Human Rights, Electronic intifada. Palestinian injuries suggest Israel is using chemical weapons in Gaza.

20.07.06. Kurt Nimmo, uruknet. Excellent short precis of illicit weapons. “Israel has plenty of other weapons, gratis the United States and its own burgeoning weapons program, but it appears it prefers to augment its arsenal with chemical weapons.” Israelis adopt poison gas ‘fashion.’ See Nimmo’s referenced url: Overview: Israel’s use of Chemical Weapons.

21.07.06. As-Safir Newspaper, uruknet. Do you know what kind of weapons causes this damage? CAN YOU HELP US, PLEASE! 3

22/23.07.06. W. Madsen Report / “U.S. military intelligence sources have told WMR that the artillery shell shown below being used by an Israel Defense Force member in Lebanon, is a type of dual and multi-use weapon the neocons falsely accused Saddam Hussein of possessing. Although the canister artillery shell is marketed as an anti-land mine fuel-air bomb, its payload can also include the chemicals used in thermobaric bombs, white phosphorous weapons, and chemical weapons.” Photos. Chemical Weapons used against Lebanese Civilians.


22.07.06. M. Chussodovsky, Israeli crimes against humanity: Gruesome images of charred and mutilated bodies following Israeli air strikes.

23.07.06. BRussels Tribunal. States are obliged to protect Lebanon, militarily if necessary, lest international law become a travesty Israel’s wanton bombing of Lebanese civilians is an unequivocal war crime.

23.07.06. G. Myre, NYTimes. (Editor, Index: a source, who wishes to remain anonymous, says: “enlarge the picture of the Israeli artillery (scroll down). The pale green rounds in the foreground are WP, if US artillery markings are still what they used to be. The green rounds with yellow diamonds are beehive (flechette) rounds.”) Israel Presses Air Raids on Lebanon, and Its Ground Forces Move Into a Village.

23.07.06. G. Hoffman, Jerusalem Post. Knesset member Azmi Bishara (Balad) has accused Israel of such massive use of force in the conflict with Hizbullah that "it's like a nuclear bomb falling on Lebanon - the whole country is destroyed." MK Bishara: IDF attacks 'like a nuclear bomb on Lebanon.'

23.07.06. S. Meyer, Index Research. UK demonstration. Meanwhile, the US sends more bombs to Israel. These bombs appear to wreak the same human horrors as the phosphorus bombs used in Fallujah, Iraq. Lebanon vs. the BBC.

23.07.06. Redress Information & Analysis, uruknet. Israel bans reporting of use of "unique" weapons in Lebanon.

24.07.06. Dr. D. Rokke, uruknet. “The delivery of at least 100 GBU 28 bunker busters bombs containing depleted uranium warheads by the United States to Israel for use against targets in Lebanon will result in additional radioactive and chemical toxic contamination with consequent adverse health and environmental effects throughout the middle east.” Depleted Uranium Situation Worsens Requiring Immediate Action By President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert.

24.07.06. Zena el-Khalil, “So, let me ask this question: if Israel gets its weapons from the USA then by default doesn’t that mean that the USA is at war with Lebanon? Blogging from Beirut.

24.07.06. The Jurist, uruknet. Phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs. Lebanon accuses Israel of using "internationally prohibited weapons against civilians."

24.07.06. IRIN. Lebanon president says Israel using phosphorus arms.

24.07.06. Mosaic / ICH. This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience. Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East.

24.07.06. Graphic Video, CNN / Raw Story. Lebanese Doctor Says 'Phosphorus Weapons' Cause Suffering.

24.07.06. Dahr Jamail, WilliamBowlesinfo. Bombings hit children hardest.

24.07.06. Dahr Jamail. “Aren’t people seeing all of this?”

25.07.06. ICH. Photographs from Lebanon.

25.07.06. K. Gannon, the TYRE, Lebanon — Dirty bandages hid the worst of 8-year-old Zainab Jawad’s swollen, bloodied nose Monday.Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital, said patients admitted Sunday had burns from phosphorous incendiary weapons used by Israel. Civilians bear fear, injuries, death, grief.

25.07.06. Democracy Now: Interview with Peter Bouchaert. “Just a few days ago we documented an attack, which took place last Wednesday, on the village of Blida, in which the Israelis used cluster munitions. Human Rights Watch has been very critical of the use of cluster and munitions by the U.S. military, because these are indiscriminate weapons. Basically what they are is one big shell, which opens up and drops a number of smaller bomblets over a very large area. Many of these bomblets don’t explode, so they effectively turn into mines.” Human Rights Watch: Israel Dropping Cluster Bombs on Lebanese Civilians.

25.07.06. J. Bone, TimesonLine. As civilian casualties mount, the UN is telling the belligerents that they might be guilty of war crimes. War crimes warning as civilian deaths increase.

25.07.06. Lenin’s tomb / uruknet. Israel uses cluster bombs, chemical weapons.

25.07.06. Gabriele Zamparini, catsdream / uruknet. Did You Know?

25.07.06. Media Lens. Part I: Demolishing Lebanon.
26.07.06. Part II: Demolishing Lebanon.

25.07.06. P.J. Watson, Prison Planet. Burning Babies Are Child's Play To Israel's Ethnic Cleansers.

26.07.06. R. Takieddin, dar al Hayat. Did the American people see on CNN the child whose face was burnt by Israeli phosphorous bombs in Lebanon? Lebanon's Children and Israeli Phosphorous Bombs.

26.07.06. IRIN. The Israeli military has defended itself following allegations by Lebanese government officials, doctors and an international human rights organisation that phosphorous bombs have been used, and have harmed civilians. Lebanon: Israel defends its weapons.

26.07.06. Pulse. [ a BLASPHEMY by any sober judgment] Israel is using phosphorous bombs and cluster bombs against civilians. Letter from retired U.S. Senator on the invasion of Lebanon.

26.07.06. Summary by Tom Café – urls and videos. Update: Israel using chemical weapons & targeting ambulances.

26.07.06. ICH. Lebanon's 9/11 or Why Do They Hate Us? Picture Album.

26.07.06. Wayne Madsen Report. Lebanon attack a joint Israeli-U.S. military operation: Dead UN soldiers had atrocities info.

26.07.06. Aliran. There are even reports that white phosphorus, banned by the Geneva Convention, and cluster bombs have been used in areas populated by civilians. These are all war crimes and those responsible must be prosecuted in an international war crimes tribunal. Rice Go Home.

27.07.06. J. Matthew, Yahoo. Mysterious wounds from Israeli shells in Gaza.

27.07.06. Angola Press. African experts focus chemical weapons ban treaty.

27.07.06. Dahr Jamail, Beirut Journal, Mother Jones. "War is the total failure of the human spirit."

27.07.06. S. Assir, Weekly Ahram. … “it appears that in conflicts in the Middle East the law of the "most powerful" is the one that counts.”Above the law.

27.07.06. AlJazeera. Israel uses cluster bombs in Israel.

27.07.06. Reuters/ Media Channel. Belgian couple to accuse Israel of war crimes.

28.07.06. Dahr Jamail. “The Israeli military is using illegal weapons against civilians in southern Lebanon, according to several reports. Israelis Accused of Using Illegal Weapons.”

28.07.06. Timesonline.
Up to 600 killed
1,788 seriously injured
5,000 homes damaged
More than 2,500 aerial attacks by Israel
500,000 people displaced within Lebanon
200,000 have left the country
3 airports bombed,
62 bridges destroyed

19 civilians dead
26 seriously injured
374 less badly injured
632 treated for shock
33 Israeli soldiers killed
50 injured
1,514 rockets and missiles fired at Israel
200,000 Israelis have left their homes in North Israel
More innocent blood is shed as Israel steps up offensive.

BBC Lebanon Damage Report (and maps).

STATEMENT OF BAMA (British Arab Medical Association, 27th July 2006.

28.07.06. Dahr Jamail. Death Toll Could be Twice the Original Figure.

28.07.06. LEBANON is investigating reports from doctors that Israel has used weapons in its bombardment of southern Lebanon that have caused wounds they have never seen before. Doctors suspect chemical weapons.

28.07.06. Bahrain Daily News. GAZA CITY: Israel is using a new type of weapon possibly containing chemicals against Palestinians, it was alleged yesterday. 'DIRTY' BOMBS HORROR.

28.07.06. UPI. White House wary of war crimes.

29.07.06. J. Stillwater, “You’re safe.”

29.07.06. P.J. Watson, Prison Planet/uruknet. Israelis Rain Down Deadly DU On Lebanese Civilians.

29.07.06. Mike Head, WSWS / uruknet. Internationally banned munitions designed to cause massive civilian casualties—including phosphorous, air-sucking bombs and cluster bombs—are being used to terrorise the Lebanese people, force a mass exodus of residents from south Lebanon and pulverise Hezbollah forces in preparation for a larger ground invasion. Atrocities mount as Israel intensifies bombardment of Lebanon.

29.07.06. Robert Fisk, Independent / ICH. The Truth of Blair’s ‘Urgent Democracy.’



26.07.06. Wayne Madsen Report. Pretext for war with Iran: White House plans to move chem-bio weapons from Iraq into Iran.


The Geneva Conventions

(Protection for sick and wounded combatants on land)

Article 19: Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked.

Article 24: Medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, staff exclusively engaged in the administration of medical units and establishments, as well as chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.


Not the Mainstream Media

Danny Schechter’s Dissector is an invaluable daily source of synthesized media information and comment on the US (UK)/Israeli war on Lebanon.
Blogging Beirut
Electronic Intifada

Cluster Bombs

FAS Military Analysis Network: Cluster Bombs.

Wikipedia: Cluster Bombs.

White Phosphorus Bombs

Wikipedia: White Phosphorus.

Sarah Meyer, Index Research Bombs in Iraq.

28.07.06. BBC. Agent Orange 'caused gene damage.' (NB: Agent Orange is the precursor to White Phosphorus)

Bunker Buster Bombs

Wikipedia: Bunker Buster.

Depleted Uranium

Depleted Uranium Alert.

10.05. Physicians for Social Responsibility Report: DU: Health and Public Health Issues arising from the Use of Depleted Uranium Munitions.

19.02.06. Sunday Times. UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq shells.

21.02.06. Free market news network / uruknet “The Preventive Psychiatry Newsletter has written to its subscribers telling them that the real reason the former Veterans Affairs Secretary, Anthony Principi, recently resigned was because he has been involved in a massive scandal covering up the fact that Gulf War Syndrome was caused by the use of depleted uranium, according to the SF Bay View. DU SCANDAL EXPLODES.

26.02.06. Robert Fisk, Independent / ICH. Something more serious is happening to our planet which we are not being told about Is the problem weather, or is it war?

28.02.06. S. Lendman, Countercurrents. Deplete Uranium – A Hidden Looming Worldwide Calamity.

02.03.06. John Byrne, Raw Story. U.S. signs $38 million deal for depleted uranium tank shells.

William Lewis Film: Depleted Uranium weapons and the Gulf War Syndrome. What the Department of Defense doesn't want you to know. Beyond Treason.

Leuren Moret"
22.07.06. Dr. D. Rokke, AmericanFreePress. World’s foremost expert on the U.S. military’s use of depleted uranium speaks out. Britain, U.S. Using Radioactive ‘Dirty Bombs.’

Dr. Rokke: VIDEO, Depleted Uranium.


6 minute Video. Blair and Bush: Killing To Go On Until We Find A Plan. Click to see here: More Time To Bomb




[1] Israeli invasion of Lebanon planned by neocons in June (2006)
[2] 30.07.06. Observer. Cabinet in open revolt over Blair’s Israel policy.
[3] Following this publication, I sent the article to Jon Snow and Channel 4 news in the UK. I continued to alert them about the use of chemical weapons. There was no response. On 29 July, Alex Thomson reported: “Support for Israel remains strong. Is this because people are not being informed by the Media?” Ahh, I thought. Finally they will mention these terrible bombs. No such luck. The programme focused on how “Israeli anti-war voices were being completely drowned out.” The western world remains, for the most part, ignorant of the illegal US weapons being used, as well as information about US weapon / financial support for Israel.
[4] 28.07.06. Dahr Jamail,, Mother Jones Chest -Beating While Losing the War.


30.07.06. Reuters, altertnet. In today's military operations by the Israel Defense Forces against the village of Qana, a building sheltering civilians was directly hit. At the time of writing, the Lebanese Red Cross Society and the Lebanese Civil Defense have extracted 28 bodies from the rubble, 19 of whom are children. ICRC Press release No 06/83: Lebanon.

30.07.06. Human Rights Watch. Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a war crime. Israel / Lebanon: Israel Responsible for Qana Attack.

30.07.06. Dahr Jamail, IPS. SIDON. Thirty-six-year-old Khuder Gazali, an ambulance driver whose arm was blown off by an Israeli rocket, told IPS that his ambulance was hit (N.B. War Crime) while trying to rescue civilians whose home had just been bombed. … On way to the hospital an Israeli Apache helicopter hit his ambulance with a rocket, severely injuring him and the four people in the back of the vehicle, he said. "So then another ambulance tried to reach us to rescue us, but it too was bombed by an Apache, killing everyone inside it," he said. … A 43-year-old man from Durish Zhair village south of Tyre lay at the Labib Medical Centre with multiple shrapnel wounds and half his body blackened by fire. "Please tell them to stop using white phosphorous," he said. If You Haven’t Left, You’re Hezbollah.”

30.07.06. Reuters, altertnet. In today's military operations by the Israel Defense Forces against the village of Qana, a building sheltering civilians was directly hit. At the time of writing, the Lebanese Red Cross Society and the Lebanese Civil Defense have extracted 28 bodies from the rubble, 19 of whom are children. ICRC Press release No 06/83: Lebanon.

30.07.06. Reuters, altertnet. In today's military operations by the Israel Defense Forces against the village of Qana, a building sheltering civilians was directly hit. At the time of writing, the Lebanese Red Cross Society and the Lebanese Civil Defense have extracted 28 bodies from the rubble, 19 of whom are children. ICRC Press release No 06/83: Lebanon.

31.07.06. Scoop, nz. GPJA has today appealed to the Prime Minister to close the loophole which allows New Zealand’s Rakon Industries to export parts for Israeli bombs being dropped on Lebanon and Palestine. … Reports over the past week make clear that guided bombs and missiles used by the Israeli armed forces to target facilities in Lebanon have been provided directly from the United States. Appeal to freeze Rakon exports for Israeli bombs.

31.07.06. Zaman. OIC: Israel is committing War Crimes, UN Should Act.

31.07.06. F. Biedermann, Dr Taha said he had been sleeping in the surgical ward when it received a direct hit (NB: War Crime) but survived because he was called away to have a cup of tea minutes before the bomb struck. Last survivors flee the ruin of Beint Jabel.

01.08.06. Satellite photographs of destruction in Lebanon:

01.08.06. IRNA. Spanish, Italian Prime Ministers condemn Israeli war crimes in Qana.

01.08.06.Francis Boyle. Prosecuting Israel. A War Crimes Tribunal May Be the Only Deterrent to a Global War.

01.08.06. … the bombs used in the attacks were laser-controlled BSU 37/B bunker busters manufactured by the US… The Bush administration had shipped 2.5 tons, 100 GBU-28 “bunker busters” to the region after the operation began on 12 July. Guardian: Qana Bomb Made in US.

01.08.06. Dahr Jamail / ICH. Red Cross workers and residents of Qana, where Israeli bombing killed at least 60 civilians, have told IPS that no Hezbollah rockets were launched from the city before the Israeli air strike. The Israeli military has said it bombed the building in which several people had taken shelter, more than half of them children, because the Army had faced rocket fire from Qana. No Hezbollah Rockets Fired From Qana.

01.08.07. Dahr Jamail, IPS / Muslim News. (NB: War Crime)Lebanese Red Cross Repeatedly Targeted. THREE Moroccan lawyers are suing Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the Israeli army's attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. Peretz sued for war crimes.

02.08.06. Ha’aretz. Buried in this story: “Witnesses in Baalbek said they saw dozens of IAF helicopters hovering over the city. They said the hospital in Baalbek, filled with patients and wounded people, was bombed (NB: War Crime) by IAF helicopters late Tuesday.” (NB: Balbeck is not in the “incursion” zone, but is north of Beirut.) IDF commandos nab five low-level Hezbollah men in Baalbek raid. Olmertsaid the target “was not functioning as a hospital. "Israel does not raid hospitals," he said. "There are no patients there and there is no hospital.”

This research was first published by the BRussels Tribunal.

Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK.

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musafir said...

The most comprehensive selection of items I have come across on this topic in the blogosphere. Thoroughly researched. It doesn't look as though the plight of the Lebanese is going to end anytime soon. The major powers have their own axe to grind and they don't give a damn about Lebanese civilians -- or about Iraqis and Palestinians. They are pawns caught in a power play.

7:43 PM, August 01, 2006  

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