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JustPeace Campaign Page
Who Is Going To Investigate The Investigators
? Was Keith Locke’s question on 4 August, when he called for an inquiry into the way the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) gathers and presents information, in the wake of damning independent criticism of the way it “sexed-up” evidence against Ahmed Zaoui.
The Refugee Status Appeals Authority, which granted refugee status to Mr Zaoui on Friday, levelled stinging criticism of the evidence submitted by the SIS about the Algerian’s background.
“The Authority’s report shows a shocking level of incompetence and bias in the SIS’s intelligence gathering operations and a naïve trust in what it is told by journalists and overseas agencies,” said Keith. “It found that much of what the SIS submitted as ‘fact’ consisted ‘solely of unsourced extracts from various news reports with no attempt to excise opinion from fact… Now that the SIS’s incompetence and bias has been revealed, nothing less than a full, independent inquiry into its operations will suffice to restore any confidence in it.” Read
West Papua Solidarity Conference And Speaking Tour
The Fourth International Solidarity Conference for West Papua (Southern component) will be held in Auckland from 8-10 August, 2003. The Conference will bring together West Papuan delegates with solidarity activists from Australia, Europe, United States, and several Pacific nations. It has been timed to take place just before the Pacific Islands Forum to highlight the importance that the solidarity movement places on the work of the regional body.
Leading West Papuan human rights defender John Rumbiak will participate in the conference, meet with local and international politicians and conduct a national speaking tour.
At 41, John is an outspoken and fearless advocate for his people. He is the supervisor of ELSHAM, the Jayapura-based Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy. Under Mr. Rumbiak’s supervision, ELSHAM has been at the forefront of efforts to establish Papua as a Zone of Peace, an initiative involving Papua’s governor, key officials, church and other civil society leaders.
Elsham is internationally respected for its human rights monitoring work but has under strong pressure from the Indonesian military. John and his team have received death threats and been subject to violence, intimidation and harassment.
Indonesian Human Rights Committee and Pax Christi are co-organisers of the Auckland conference.
An 8 page information brochure – ”
West Papua: One People, One Soul
” -about the West Papuan struggle for self-determination and justice is available from IHRC Box 68-419 Auckland or
clear [dot] net [dot] nz
– 50 cents each. An excellent brief backgrounder on the situation – buy a set for your peace group!
Speaking Tour And Vigil
Auckland, Sunday 10 August, 7:30 p.m
. Public Meeting to hear human rights leader John Rumbiak and other conference delegates. St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, opposite the Mosque.
Auckland, Thursday 14 August, 5:45 p.m
. ” Free West Papua” vigil at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum, Sheraton Hotel, Symonds St.
Wellington, Monday 18 August, 7 p.m
. Public Meeting, Athena College, 203 Willis St.
Christchurch, Wednesday, 20 August, 7:30 p.m
, Public Meeting, Trade Union Centre 199 Armagh Street.
Dunedin, Thursday, 21 August
, Public Meeting,
Further details will appear in next week’s JustPeace and on the
Peace Movement Aotearoa website
Peace Groups Target War Profiteers And “Corporate Looters” Of Iraq
American anti-war activists and organizations have launched a new campaign calling for an end to war profiteering by military contractors, and challenging what they call the “second invasion” of Iraq by powerful corporate interests seeking to control the country’s oil, water and other resources.
The Stop the War Profiteers Campaign was initiated by the North Carolina-based Institute for Southern Studies.
“A handful of Bush-connected corporations are poised to make billions in profits while U.S. troops are killed almost daily, and Iraq plunges deeper into a colonial nightmare,” said Dr. Rania Masri, a campaign coordinator and program director at the Institute.
“Halliburton, Bechtel, MCI and other war profiteers are part of a larger invasion by outside corporate interests hoping to control the wealth and resources of Iraq – wealth and resources that belong to the Iraqi people,” Masri added.
The campaign calls on elected leaders to take several steps to stop war profiteering at taxpayer expense and to end the “corporate looting” of Iraq, including:
- holding congressional hearings to investigate war profiteering;
- reining in war profiteering by military contractors, and;
- halting the U.S-led drive to hand over Iraq’s industries, services and
- resources to powerful multinational corporations
Find out more about the campaign and who the profiteering companies are at
The Institute for Southern Studies
. For how much the war is costing and what profits might be made see ‘costofwar’ under Analysis, below.
War – What Does It Cost
? Martin Sieff of UPI wrote on 31 July.
”The liberation of Iraq was to have been the war that paid for itself in spades, and gave U.S. corporations the inside track on the greatest energy bonanza of the 21st century. Instead, it has become a fiscal nightmare, a monetary Vietnam that already accounts for around 15 percent of the U.S. annual budget deficit, a figure likely to only grow remorselessly into the unforeseeable future… On July 26, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told National Public Radio that rebuilding Iraq is certain to cost U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over the next few years. He estimated the rebuilding costs alone at $30 billion.”
Lugar may have under-estimated the cost. For the most up-to-date estimates and projections go to
Cost of War
. Go past the frightening calculator, where hundreds of dollars turn into thousands by the second, and on to the next page for an explanation of the numbers and how they are calculated (see the extract below) and then go on to check out how many good things that money could buy in the US alone – health care, education, public housing. It’s a salutory experience.
Cost of Deployment and Return
To keep the Cost of War counter accurate, we periodically readjust our estimate to keep up with the the announced costs of the invasion. The most recent adjustment occurred on August 5, 2003. Department of Defense Comptroller Dov Zakheim on April 16, 2003 briefed the press on the Pentagon’s estimate that to date the war had cost between $10-$12 billion in military operations, including the cost of airlift and sealift of troops and equipment, plus another $9 billion in the first 3 1/2 weeks of conflict. He added that the cost of returning troops and equipment to base would be another $5-$7 billion, for a total of between $24-$28 billion. We have taken the middle figure, $26 billion, and used it as the cost of the war up until April 17.
The Fiscal 2003 Supplemental Appropriations Bill, (H.R. 1559) allocated some $8 billion to garner foreign support for the war (in further military and economic aid to several countries, including Jordan, Israel, and Egypt) and to help reconstruct Iraq (including over $400 million to ensure the proper functioning of Iraq’s oil industry). The entire legislation is available through the Library of Congress legislative database; the Council for a Livable World published a useful summary. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Joshua Bolten, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 29 that by June 30 the US had already spent $2 billion in reconstruction funds, but Administration officials avoided saying how much would be spent on reconstruction in the coming months. We have included this $8 billion figure although it may be slightly high; if so, CostofWar.com will readjust it once the government provides more exact information.”
JustPeace was produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
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