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Scoop Feedback: Israel, Angry From The USA, Sweden

IN THIS EDITION: Israel's daily aggression against Palestinians - In Response To Andy Binder - Further In Response To Andy Binder - Letter in response to MP Murray Smith's media release on community boards - Palme Plan?

Scoop welcomes feedback. Please send news and views to editor@scoop.co.nz.

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Israel's daily aggression against Palestinians

Your column is a joke! You say you have no premeditated bias, and yet you list every sad thing that happens to the Palestinians/Arabs. Why not at least mention why Israel is fighting a war? Oh yeah, that might make the world think the Palestinians/Arabs have never taught their young to hate (despite the Oslo '93 accord), or their Imams never incite the kind of hatred that would have made Herr Goebbels grin from ear to ear, or their leaders never send their young men to hunt for woman and children with the promise of those 72 virgins awaiting them after they press the magic button.

I guess it's better to weep about uprooted trees, than to weep about the chance for peace Arafat and his band of thieves rejected in the summer 2002, without a wimper of a counter proposal.

Howard

Ohio, USA

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In Response To Andy Binder

Andy,

It seems that you may have gotten too emotional too early when browsing through Scoop. The sentiment in Scoop is not Anti American, it's anti Bush and his anti his cronies. Don't take it personally. I haven't read "Down with America" anywhere.

The atrocities Saddam has committed are mentioned many times within articles in the site - did you not read them ?. The issue with that, is that Reagan, and the administration at the time, were fully aware of it of his gassing, his use of chemical weapons and his brutal secret police. It did not affect their decision to restore diplomatic relations with Saddam at the time. This is stated in official US government documents. He was thought of as very ok then, so why remove him now ?

Bombing Iraq may not remove Saddam. Like the sanctions, it will only affect the millions of Iraqi's who are already living in poverty and fear.

Oh and by the way, bombing dams and power stations contravenes the Geneva Convention. They are useless objects, they are not weapons or battle ships or warplanes. It's a war crime. So, America committed war crimes in the Gulf war and may do the same thing again. Will anyone try to indict US leaders ? Maybe. Henry Kissinger can't go to France, because he will be arrested for war crimes. Think about it.

And anyone who disagrees with the US is not a communist. If controlling the media is a part of a communist regime, then you guys are part way there.

Regards,

Darren Ashfield
Tauranga

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Further In Response To Andy Binder

Interesting

Hi and hello. This is my slogan, once you see this opening phrase, you know it is me.

My name is Assaad Daoud. I am a blind Palestinian man residing in Windsor Canada since March third 1993.

I have two degrees in Arabic Literature and History. The first was obtained from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the second from the University of Windsor.

I am pleased to be a regular visitor of your web site. As you know, the computer is my only means to read, I do have a speaking software, and thus at five in the morning I am sitting in my Quasy office sifting through the web sites looking for news about the Occupied territories and the war on Iraq.

I do not hail the main stream media and the first time I was introduced to your web site was when the Yellow Times was shut down as a sign of "Democratic Health".

One reason why I am writing to you is that I do appreciate what you are doing and I keep passing most if not all of your articles to my friends and acquaintances. It is a very tiresome job but I have an obligation towards my people and to you as a little thank you for your advocacy.

Another reason is that while I was going through your web site, I came across the feedback sent to you from the USA, well, I read your account on your policy and I see you as fair balanced and just. But, you, me and the rest of the world have a problem with some "UMMericans" rather than Americans. The former represent the advocacy for War, the latter represent those ordinary people who want to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the world, those people are those who want to promote intercultural tolerance and mutual respect and appreciation, they see themselves actualised and realised within a bigger niche: the world at large.

Nobody is anti-American but when some UMMERICANS have a "superiority complex" then, they will never rest or let the world rest.

Thank you for reading my humble account.

sincerely,

Assaad Daoud.

Canada

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Letter in response to MP Murray Smith's media release on community boards

Letter follows:

United Future MP Murray Smith usefully draws attention to a major contradiction in the recently passed Local Government Act. Although its stated aim is to strengthen community participation, its clauses could result in the demise of locally elected community boards.

Under the act, councils will have the power to disband local community boards. Given councils will also have (limited) bulk funding to cover both themselves and community boards, they may be apt to do so. Communities would have no way of preventing this because, as Murray Smith mentions, their right to vote on whether or not they wish to retain or abolish their community boards has been removed from the act.

Murray Smith's plea is for communities to be asked explicitly whether they wish to retain community boards or disband them. I do not think that, as things stand, this would work.

My experience as a community board representative (1992-95), and in my work on some pilot sociological research in 1998, indicate problems. It is my belief that many would not support community boards, because they hardly know these boards exist. In my pilot research, none of the respondents knew about community boards, and who their representatives were. Most did not differentiate between city, regional council and community board representatives, and all were confused about the difference between electorates and wards. I have seen nothing to indicate this has changed, quite the reverse.

Murray Smith is right to draw attention to the potential for a correlation between greater community participation and the existence of community boards. It makes sense to believe that where there are community boards with representatives, elected by the local community to make decisions on local issues, community participation will be strong and that the communities in question would then vote overwhelmingly for retaining their boards.

Regrettably, in practice, little of this potential is achieved. So, instead of asking people whether they wish to retain or disband community boards, I would propose that policies be devised that would require community boards to develop meaningful and inclusive participatory processes with people who elect them.

Hazel Ashton

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Palme Plan?

Hello I recently was forwarded a January article about the US/ Swedish unofficial relationship. The article was titled "Sweden Offers Free-speech Refuge To U.S. Officials"

The article described former CIA agent Blaine Williams and other US officials fleeing the despotism of the US under Sweden's Palme Plan.

I am looking for other confirmation before sending this email as a forward. In other places on the web I have seen this described as a parody. Do you have any suggestions on how to document or confirm this article?

Was it intended as a parody?

sincerely yours,

william copeland

SCOOP EDITOR REPLIES: Yes it was a parody. That said you are far from alone in wondering about this. In fact it would appear there are a very large number of people who read this and hope it is true. Perhaps the Swedish Government might like to consider taking up the idea?

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