The Price of Silence [music video]

One World - Human Rights


WASHINGTON, Dec 19 ( - As the world celebrates the 60th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this month, a new music video is circulating on the Internet, bringing together 16 of the world's top musicians -- some of whom have fled oppressive regimes -- in a rousing musical plea to world leaders to guarantee human rights for all.

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While President Bush and other Western politicians continue to defend the invasion and affirm that freedom has made progress in Iraq, there are growing signs that women are the long-term losers in Iraq. Aside from the displacement, human losses and poverty they have faced, human rights activists warn that women have lost status in the "new Iraq" and face increased levels of violence.

Even as the daily level of factional brutality decreases and a semblance of fragile stability returns -- still upset regularly by attacks like the one that caused devastation in Kirkuk recently -- violence against women shows no sign of abating, fuelled by a resurgence of religious radicalism that seeks to limit women's mobility and visibility.

As UK troops pulled out of the south, they left local women hostage to militias who have imposed their autocratic rule and launched a vindictive war against women. Honor killings are on the rise in the area. More than 80 women have been killed in Basra alone this year, allegedly for shaming their families.

Vigilantes have also taken to imposing a new moral code in several parts of the country. Women traveling alone, going to work or to university, have been raped or killed. Many others have been threatened, and women in increasing numbers have taken to wearing a chador in the hope that it will guarantee their safety or are choosing to stay at home.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

America won’t sign a treaty banning cluster bombs. But can it use them now?

IMAGINE a new war involving NATO. At the combined air-operations centre, the Americans want to destroy a concentration of enemy forces, or a column of vehicles, with cluster bombs, which rain bomblets over a wide area. The tactic has often been used in American-led operations, including those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

In the Hawai'i Army National Guard, a felony conviction usually is enough to get a citizen soldier kicked out of the military.

But when Guard member Ernie Gomez was convicted of a felony in 2005 for terrorizing his wife with a semiautomatic weapon, his military career was far from derailed.

Free on bail, the convicted domestic-violence felon was able to transfer from the Guard to the Army Reserve, get mobilized to active duty status in New Jersey and start an Army job that required a "secret" security clearance to train war-bound troops.

Gomez even was able to enroll in and complete a military police training course while a felon.

Wish I could say this surprises, but it doesn't, and not only as to recent history, but we as a Nation are going to have alot of problems coming out, and it's not going to be the fault of most as to what they were before, but how they are now!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."