When is an "Alien" not a threat or a drain on U.S.? When you conscript them to the army so they can obtain their rights. Fight first. Perhaps Die.

Pentagon expanding number of 'foreigners' recruited

By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, December 6, 2008

(12-06) 05:57 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

The Pentagon plans to recruit more foreigners in a fresh effort to make up for chronic shortages of doctors, nurses and linguists available for wartime duty.

The Defense Department already draws from aliens living in the United States on green cards and seeking permanent residency. But under a trial program, it will now look to also recruit from pools of foreigners who've been living in the states on student and work visas, with refugee or political asylum status and other temporary visas.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to recruit certain legal residents whose critical medical and language skills are "vital to the national interest," officials said, using for the first time a law passed three years ago.

Gates' action enables the services to start a one-year pilot program to find up to 1,000 foreigners who have lived in the states legally for at least two years. The new recruits into the armed forces would get accelerated treatment in the process toward becoming U.S. citizens in return for military service in the United States or abroad.

"The services are doing a tremendous job of recruiting quality personnel to meet our various missions," sometimes with bonus pay and tuition for medical school, said Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy. But they haven't been able to fill their need for 24,000 doctors, dentists and nurses in the Defense Department.

The Pentagon's doctor and nurse corps remain 1,000 short of the numbers needed to treat all the military's patients, and Carr said he hoped the program would fill the gaps.

The military's most pressing need is for neurosurgeons and dermatologists to treat troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain and burn injuries.

The force also lacks nurses with a broad range of specialties, Carr said.

At the same time, the U.S. Special Operations Command needs more people with special language and cultural skills for a war on terrorism that has taken the armed forces to more remote places across the globe.

Though the military has been looking for more Arabic speakers and others to help with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new program looks to recruit those proficient in some three dozen languages, including Albanian, Korean, Punjabi, Somali, Turkish, Burmese, Chinese, Czech, Malay and Swahili

There are now 29,000 non-citizens in uniform today, Carr said, with about 8,000 more enlisting every year.

He expects that among those who will be interested in the new effort are doctors with work visas who are employed at hospitals around the country, a program aimed at tackling shortages among U.S. medical professionals.


On the Net:

Defense Department


European Governments Should Resettle Guantanamo Detainees

European Governments Should Resettle Guantanamo Detainees

(Berlin, November 10, 2008) – European governments should provide humanitarian protection to those Guantanamo detainees who will not be charged with a crime but cannot be returned to their countries of origin for fear of torture or other serious human rights violations, five leading human rights organizations said today. European governments should agree to accept them into their countries and ensure they are provided with adequate support.
Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, Reprieve, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) urged governments to work with the new US administration to take this important step in order to facilitate the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo. The human rights groups made their call after a two-day closed strategic workshop in Berlin, convened by the organizations with other international actors active on the issue of humanitarian protection.

“We must find a solution to the 50 men imprisoned at Guantanamo simply because they have nowhere to go,” said Emi MacLean, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The US government has twice previously tried to send our client, Abdul Ra’ouf Al Qassim, to Libya even though it is undisputed that he would likely be tortured, or disappeared into Libyan jails, if returned. His survival depends on the simple humanitarian gesture of another country opening their doors to him.”

It is the primary responsibility of the United States to find solutions for all those held at Guantanamo, since it brought them to the detention facility and is holding them there unlawfully. If the United States is not planning to charge and try them in ordinary US courts, and cannot release them to their own countries safely, it should immediately offer them an opportunity to be released into the United States.

It is also clear, however, that governments in Europe and elsewhere can and should play a vital role in providing such individuals with humanitarian protection in the form of a safe place to get on with their lives after years of suffering. The involvement of European governments will be instrumental in reaching a solution to this problem – a solution that is critical to the international aim of closing Guantanamo.

“Everyone appears to rightly agree that Guantanamo must be closed, and President-elect Obama has said that he will close it,” said Daniel Gorevan, Counter Terror with Justice campaign manager at Amnesty International. “Clearly, other governments can help make this happen by offering protection to individuals who cannot be released to their own countries. This would have a double effect: helping to end the ordeal of an individual unlawfully held in violation of his human rights, and helping end the international human rights scandal that is Guantanamo.”

Around 50 of the detainees currently held in Guantanamo cannot lawfully be sent back to their countries of origin because they would face a real risk of human rights violations such as torture or other ill-treatment. They come from countries including China, Libya, Russia, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.

“This is a key opportunity for both sides of the Atlantic to move beyond the misguided acts of the ‘war on terror’: rendition, secret detention, and torture,” said Cori Crider, staff attorney at Reprieve. “President-elect Obama says he will close Guantanamo – the question is when and how. One of Reprieve’s clients was sent back to Tunisia, drugged, hit, and threatened with the rape of his wife and daughter. Another is fighting, even now, to stay in Guantanamo because Tunisia threatened him with ‘water torture in the barrel.’ The US still asserts total authority to send him back. Europe can send a powerful message by reaching out to Obama and providing a safe alternative for these few people.”

“President-elect Obama has committed to closing Guantanamo, but he is going to need Europe’s help,” said Joanne Mariner, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program director at Human Rights Watch. “European governments could provide much-needed assistance by agreeing to take in some of the detainees who cannot be sent back home.”

“FIDH and CCR mobilised 77 members of the European Parliament who issued a joint call to EU member States to offer relocation for Guantanamo detainees,” said Souhayr Belhassen, president of FIDH. “As an important strategic partner of the US, the EU should help the Administration relocate these men.”

Statements of Support from International Actors

“The efforts must be renewed now with European governments and the U.S. government working to close Guantanamo and offer protection to those unable to be returned safely to their own countries. The efforts of human rights NGOs are coming at the best moment, in order to use the next months in the most positive way.”
– Anne-Marie Lizin, Special Representative on Guantanamo for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.

“I urge European governments to open their doors to a small number of men who fear persecution or torture if transferred to their home countries. Such assistance is both the right thing to do, and of critical importance in our attempts to push for the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay.”
– Thomas Hammerberg, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe

“We are at a critical juncture. It is now possible to anticipate the closing of Guantanamo, the end to the US practice of executive detention, and the re-affirmation of fundamental human rights principles, including the prohibition of torture in all circumstances. But European engagement and support will be essential to get there. One step that European governments should take is to accept into their borders the small number of men at Guantanamo who cannot be repatriated safely. Guantanamo cannot be closed until these men have a country which will accept them, and where their lives and liberty are not in jeopardy.”
– Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Related Material

More information on Guantanamo
Thematic पेज

Confessions of a former Guantanamo प्रोसेचुटर
Commentary, October 23, 2008

Ask Secretary Rice to support UN peacekeeping troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo

More than 250,000 civilians displaced by recent fighting:
Ask Secretary Rice to support UN peacekeeping troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Help guarantee hope for civilians in the DRC.
Take Action Now!

UN peacekeepers remain the last hope for hundreds of thousands of affected civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly women and children. The current force is thinly stretched and cannot effectively enforce its mandate of stopping attacks against civilians and protecting humanitarian operations.

"The United States is deeply concerned by the spiraling crisis in the Congo. (...) We urge the Congolese Government, rebel leadership and the neighboring governments to take all possible measures to prevent human rights abuses by troops under their command. We condemn all attacks on innocent civilians and urge all parties to the conflict to ensure that such attacks cease. The cycle of violence and impunity must be stopped."

Powerful statement. The U.S. State Department issued it more than 10 years ago, in August 1998. It did not prevent what became known as “Africa’s first world war” (1998-2003), which was centered in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and involved several neighboring countries.

Today, the humanitarian and human rights crisis in eastern DRC will again spiral out of control – if we do not act now.

At least 250,000 civilians have been displaced by the recent fighting, bringing the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from this and previous rounds of conflict to well over one million. Many IDPs remain out of the reach of aid workers, and some humanitarian operations have been suspended because of the fragile security situation. There is a high risk that the situation will escalate into a regional conflict.

Amnesty International works continuously on addressing the underlying causes of conflict, trying to end impunity for perpetrators of the most egregious human rights violations. But, our priority now is to protect civilians through reinforcing the capacity of the UN’s peacekeeping mission (Mission des Nationa Unies en République Démocratique du Congo, MONUC).

A few hours ago, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, briefed the Security Council and stressed the difficulties facing the UN peacekeepers. Now, members of the Security Council must act to strengthen the peacekeepers’ capacity.

We must act to guarantee that hope for civilians becomes a reality, not a sound bite. Ask Secretary Condoleezza Rice for her support to strengthen UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Larry Cox
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA
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Counter-Recruiter Seeks to Block Students’ Data From the Military

Barbara G. Harris, 72, looked her troops in the eye. Staring out at mohawks on one side of the room, salt-white bobs on the other, she said in her delicately firm way: “Hold your ground. You have every right to stand there, and if anyone tells you differently, tell them your rights.”

A retired teacher and longtime peace advocate, Ms. Harris was tutoring 20 new enlistees in the art of “counter-recruitment,” her personal crusade to block recruiters for the United States military from contacting New York City high school students.

She had assembled the group in her war room, a space near Union Square lent by a sympathetic organization, where plants and antiwar signs line the walls, in preparation for a blitz Thursday evening at parent-teacher conferences, where Ms. Harris and the others plan to stand on sidewalks outside school buildings armed with opt-out forms and their best sales pitches.

“You don’t have a whole lot of time — that’s the point,” Ms. Harris told the volunteers, who ranged in age from college students to the Granny Peace Brigade, a New York group of older women started in 2005 to protest the Iraq war. “Don’t be frustrated by that. They do stop.”

Ms. Harris’s efforts this week come as the Department of Education is facing renewed criticism from the New York Civil Liberties Union on the issue of military recruitment, after changing its policy in September to allow recruiters to get data about high school students from a central office. In the past, recruiters had to go from school to school to get names, addresses and phone numbers for students.

Federal law requires that schools provide the military the same access as colleges and other prospective employers. Parents are allowed to block access to a child’s information by signing an opt-out form.

Douglas Smith, a spokesman for the United States Army recruiting command, said that he was unaware of Ms. Harris but that the military did not object to counter-recruitment efforts. “We would hope that we would have an open discourse and not have one group try to stifle the ability of the other group to speak,” he said.

Ms. Harris, who lives in Midtown, started counter-recruiting three years ago, troubled by what she saw as an increasingly aggressive attempt to recruit low-income and minority students into the armed forces (she calls it a “poverty draft”). She has made it her mission to inform students, parents and teachers of alternatives to joining the military. She was among 18 members of the Granny Peace Brigade arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at the Times Square recruitment center in 2005; they were later acquitted of all charges.

Her latest campaign caps a half-century of protests. In the 1950s, while her friends ducked under desks and talked of fallout shelters, Ms. Harris took to the streets, rallying against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As the Vietnam War roiled, she focused on peace and women’s rights. She got a job teaching special-needs children at a public school in Pleasantville, N.Y., followed by a 21-year stint as a corporate trainer at AT&T. In the 1990s, Ms. Harris returned to the classroom, teaching English as a second language at the New School until her retirement in 2002. She has two children and two grandchildren.

Friends describe her as a protester who rarely raises her voice and makes it a point not to talk over others.

“She is an absolute wonder,” said Nancy Kricorian, coordinator for the city’s chapter of Code Pink, a women’s antiwar group Ms. Harris belongs to. “She can talk to the most rabid person, somebody who totally disagrees with what we’re doing, in an even and convincing way.”

Bev Rice, a member of the Granny Peace Brigade who planned to help with Thursday’s counter-recruitment effort, said: “Nothing appears to upset her. She’s just the type of person you want to do something for.”

Ms. Harris, who canvasses on parent-teacher nights in fall and spring, and talks with community groups about high school recruiting in between, estimated that 9 out of 10 parents she speaks with do not know about the opt-out form, despite the city’s requirement that principals distribute information about it.

“You give them the information, you see them change their minds,” she said. “They know their kids are vulnerable. They say: ‘They’re calling my baby and I don’t want them to speak to my child. What should I do?’ ”

Over the years, Ms. Harris watched as military recruiters became, in her eyes, unduly forceful in the hallways of New York high schools. Recruiters formed friendships with students, she said, and gave them the impression that being a soldier can cure all their struggles.

Ms. Harris said she does not mind if students join the military, as long as they are informed of the risks and other opportunities, and meet with recruiters off school grounds. But she said that as she spoke with students in poor neighborhoods like East Harlem, she discovered that many of them were unaware that they could get financial aid for college on their own and saw the military as their only option.

“For many of these young kids, especially boys, it’s a macho thing — you’re strong, you’re one of the team, you get this respect if you join,” she said. “If a young person wants to enlist, at least he or she knows what it’s about, what the truth about recruiting is. They can decide if that’s the best choice for them.”

October 23, 2008



Insite Support Letter

If you have not already done so, please take the time to consider signing onto the petition supporting Insite:

For a short video clip on the supervised injection site & the how Harper and his government are out of step on this issue:


Thought processes made visible

Fluorescent Proteins In The Brain Light Up During Individual Action Potentials Making It Possible To Track Nerve Cell Communication

05 Oct 2008

Thought processes made visible:

An international team of scientists headed by Mazahir Hasan of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg has succeeded in optically detecting individual action potentials in the brains of living animals. The scientists introduced fluorescent indicator proteins into the brain cells of mice via viral gene vectors: the illumination of the fluorescent proteins indicates both when and which neurons are communicating with each other. This new method enables the observation of brain activity over a period of many months and provides new ways of identifying, for example, the early onset of dysfunction in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The fluorescent proteins could also provide scientists with information about the ways in which normal aging processes affect nerve cell communication. (Nature Methods, September 2008)

A nerve cell is a major hub for the exchange of valuable information. The nose, eyes, ears, and other sense organs perceive our environment through various antennae known as receptors. The numerous stimuli are then passed on to the neurons. All of this information is collected, processed, and finally transferred to specific brain centers at these hubs - the human brain consists of almost 100 billion nerve cells. The nerve cell uses a special means of transport for this purpose: the action potential which codes the information, thus enabling communication between the nerve cells.

Calcium as the starting gun

An action potential of this kind is an electrical excitation and arises when our nerve cells receive the information via a stimulus: the voltage across the cell membrane of the neuron changes and various ion channels open and close in a very specialized manner. Shortly before the nerve cell forwards the information via the stimulus, calcium ions pour into the nerve cell, acting as the starting gun for the flow of data from one neuron to the next.

In the past, action potential was measured and rendered visible using microelectrodes. However, this method only enabled the monitoring of a limited number of cells engaged in the process of communication. Moreover, scientists were unable to record neuronal communication in a clearly identifiable way over a longer period or in freely moving animals using this method.

Yellow and blue fluorescent proteins

This situation could be set to change. As part of an intensive international cooperation project, Mazahir Hasan has made nerve cells, which release a single action potential, optically visible in mice. This means that the communication of entire groups of neurons can be observed over an extended period of time. Mazahir Hasan also attracted attention in 2004 when he demonstrated for the first time that fluorescent proteins are suitable for making activity in the brains of mice visible (Hasan et al., 2004 PLoS Biology 2:e163).

For this new recent development, Hasan used a sensor protein called D3cpv, which was generated by Amy Palmer at the Roger Tsien Laboratory of the University of California in San Diego, as a complex of numerous interconnected protein subunits. Two of these subunits react to the binding of calcium ions to the complex: the yellow-fluorescent protein (YFP) lights up and the illuminating power of cyan-fluorescent protein (CFP) declines - a coincidence that would later prove crucial to the success of the study.

The Max Planck scientists introduced the corresponding genetic material - that is the construction manual for this protein complex - into the genetic material of viruses. Hasan and his team then used these viruses as a genetic "ferry" for introducing the genetic material into the brains of mice. The protein complex was actually produced in the nerve cells of the "infected" mice and functions there as an calcium indicator: if the calcium level within a cell increases - which is the case with every action potential - the D3cpv changes form when it binds to calcium. As a result, the two fluorescent proteins, CFP and YFP, move closer to each other and the transmission of energy between the CFP and YFP changes.

"To observe this change, we use a two-photon microscope developed by Winfried Denk", explains Hasan. Each individual action potential that arises due to a stimulus makes itself directly perceivable in the brain through yellow illumination and the simultaneous reduction in the emission of blue light. The two-photon microscope pinpoints the coincidence between the two fluorescent signals very accurately and clearly reveals which nerve cells are communicating and exchanging information with each other and when.

Damian Wallace and Jason Kerr from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen were able to confirm this finding: targeted electrical recordings of neuronal activity after the triggering of stimulus showed that the colour change actually coincides with the firing of the action potentials. Hasan's method sheds light on which nerve cells will talk to each other and in which time period. However, it is only applicable if the neurons fire action potentials with a frequency of less than one hertz.

Insight into complex thought processes

The researchers were thus able to demonstrate for the first time that genetic calcium indicators provide optical proof of the perceptions of the sensory system in higher organisms. "With this method we can understand, in greater detail, how the human brain regulates complex thought processes and, for example, how it transforms the numerous sensory impressions into long-term memories", says Hasan. Developments resulting from the aging of the nerve cells can also be understood better as a result - "as we now have a way of observing the neurons over longer periods of time," concludes Hasan. Moreover, the sensor proteins could prove very useful in helping researchers to reach a better understanding at the cellular level of neurological diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's chorea.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

Original work:

Damian J Wallace, Stephan Meyer zum Alten Borgloh, Simone Astori, Ying Yang, Melanie Bausen, Sebastian Kügler, Amy E Palmer, Roger Y Tsien, Rolf Sprengel, Jason N D Kerr, Winfried Denk & Mazahir T Hasan
Single-spike detection in vitro and in vivo with a genetic Ca2+ sensor
Nature Methods, Vol.5 No. 9, September 2008, 797

Mazahir T Hasan, Rainer W Friedrich, Thomas Euler, Matthew E Larkum, Günter Giese, Matthias Both, Jens Duebel, Jack Waters, Hermann Bujard, Oliver Griesbeck, Roger Y Tsien, Takeharu Nagai, Atsushi Miyawaki, Winfried Denk
Functional fluorescent Ca2+ indicator proteins in transgenic mice under TET control
PLOS Biology, Vol.2 No.6, June 2004, e163

Source: Mazahir T. Hasan
Article URL:

Main News Category: Neurology / Neuroscience

Also Appears In: Alzheimer's / Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Biology / Biochemistry,

Obama ahead plans for independent living and services

Longmore: Palin talks about ’special needs children,’ but …

… Obama has substantive plans for all people with disabilities

October 5th, 2008

Writing in, Paul K. Longmore says presidential campaign coverage has included a lot of talk about “special needs” children, thanks to Sarah Palin, but little about the issues that concern the 54 million Americans with disabilities of all ages.

Longmore compares the stances of the McCain-Palin ticket and the Obama-Biden ticket on healthcare, health insurance and social services for people with disabilities.

An excerpt:
Even though 90 percent of the 54 Americans with disabilities are adults, Palin, John McCain, and the news media have talked almost exclusively about children. And that talk has been mostly about “compassion” not “issues.”

The McCain-Palin campaign website has a single page on “Americans with Disabilities for McCain,” but it says nothing about policy positions. Other pages mention autism and disabled veterans but no other issues.

In contrast, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have said little on the campaign trail about disability issues but their campaign website provides detailed policy proposals in a comprehensive “Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities.”

Paul K. Longmore is a professor of history and director, Institute on Disability, at San Francisco State University. His “ Open letter to the disability rights constituency ” appeared exclusively on this site last month.

from an excellent blog on the rights of disabled persons


for the love of the absurd

a facebook discussion

that sounds very non-verbal :-)


blog it


November 3, 2003: Senator Fritz Hollings has his "Cambodian Moment"

Senator Fritz Hollings has his "Cambodian Moment"

The War in Iraq,
Its Parallels to Vietnam
and Congress' Unwillingness to Pay for It

Senate Floor Remarks November 3, 2003
by Senator Fritz Hollings
published November 7, 2003

Mr. President, I come to acknowledge my "Cambodian moment" in the Iraq war. I refer to the Cambodian moment that Senator Mansfield experienced after years and years of opposing the war in Vietnam. He had a practice of taking written memoranda time and again to both Presidents Johnson and Nixon, supporting the President openly on the floor of the Senate, but finally at the time Cambodia was invaded under President Nixon, he could not take it any longer and spoke out.

He went on national TV and said: This war was a mistake from the get go.

The next day, he got a letter from an admirer who had just lost her son.

She said: I just buried my son and came home and watched you on this program. You said it was a mistake from the get go. Why didn't you speak out sooner?

She said: My regret is that you did not speak out sooner or loudly enough for me to hear.

It is time we speak out, because unless we put in 100,000 or 150,000 more United States troops and get law and order in Iraq, in Baghdad, we are going to have operation meat grinder continue, and it is our meat. In conscience, I cannot stand silent any longer. What happens if we had invaded the city of Atlanta, let's say. We had landed at Hartsfield Airport, and then we had gone on to an aircraft carrier and said: Whoopee, mission accomplished; when the truth of the matter is, two divisions of Republican Guards have blended into the environs of Atlanta with all kind of ammunition dumps, and all they do day in and day out is raid the dumps, set traps, blow us up, kill more Americans, and we talk about schools opening and hospitals working, and that we have a water system. This cannot goon. It has to stop.

Let me start by saying I believe, unlike most of my colleagues, that the intelligence we had on Iraq was sound. We knew from the outset a lot about Iraq in the sense we had conquered it and we had two overflights, one in the north and one in the south. We could look down and see in the middle of Iraq. For 10 years we knew exactly what was going on. If we had any doubts, we could check with the Israeli intelligence. Don't tell me Israel didn't have good intelligence on nuclear weapons because she went in there back in the eighties -- she is a small country and can't play games and can't wait around for the United Nations and conferences. She had to knock that nuclear facility out.

What else did we know about Iraq? We knew they didn't have terrorists there at the time. Oh, yes, while we are trying to internationalize a defense effort, what we find is, our effort is more or less internationalizing terrorism.

The most ridiculous thing on the TV last night was to hear the President say foreigners are in Iraq killing our soldiers. Can you imagine us, thousands of miles away, talking about foreigners killing our soldiers? Come on.

What happened was, Iraq did not have terrorists at the time we went in. They tried to connect al-Qaida to Iraq, but now the President himself has acknowledged you couldn't connect al-Qaida. They didn't have nuclear capability.

And, of course, there was no democracy. There weren't people yearning for it, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz said, meeting us in the streets waving: Whoopee, we finally got democracy.

Anybody who knows the history of the Mideast knows that is a bunch of nonsense. They don't have democracy in Iraq, in Syria, in Iran, in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, in Libya -- or go right around the Mideast. Where does somebody think they are going to meet us in the streets and say: Whoopee for democracy?

I wish the distinguished Chair would pay attention to this one. What did George Herbert Walker Bush, the former President, say in his book, "A World Transformed"?

I firmly believed that we should not march into Baghdad....To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter day Arab hero...assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war.

That is what President George Herbert Walker Bush, the President's daddy, said.

We all knew that about Iraq. But why did we go in and why did the Senator from South Carolina vote for the resolution last October? Why? I can tell my colleagues why. On August 7, Vice President Cheney, speaking in California, said of Saddam Hussein: What we know now from various sources is that he continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Then on September 8: We do know with absolute certainty that he is attempting to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

Then the President of the United States himself said, in his weekly address on September 14, before we voted in October: Saddam Hussein has the scientists and infrastructure for a nuclear weapons program and has illicitly sought to purchase the equipment needed to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Then on September 24, Prime Minister Blair said that the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam continues in his efforts to develop
nuclear weapons.

On September 8 of last year, Condoleezza Rice said that we do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

On October 7, President Bush said: Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

Now, any reasonable, sober, mature, experienced individual listening to that litany knows to vote against that resolution would have been pure folly. One has to back the President.

I am not on the Intelligence Committee. I was not privy to any kind of intelligence but I knew we had a lot of intelligence. The truth is, I thought the Israeli intelligence was really furnishing all of this information and that we were going in this time for our little friend Israel. Instead of them being blamed, we could finish up what Desert Storm had left undone; namely, getting rid of Saddam and getting rid of nuclear at the same time. I voted for the resolution. I was misled. Now we hear that this is not Vietnam. I read my friends Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman. They say this is not a Vietnam.

The heck it is not. This crowd has got historical amnesia. There is no education in the second kick of a mule. This was a bad mistake. We were mislead. We are in there now, and I am hearing the same things that the Senator heard in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 right on through 1973. At the time I was a young politician, having just come to the Senate, listening to those who knew. I knew Leader Mansfield would know about Vietnam.

I knew my friend Senator Dick Russell was against the war in Vietnam from the get-go. Now, if Senator Mansfield had spoken up, he could have saved 10,000 lives. We would have followed him in the Senate. But he was trying to follow the mistake and the misread of Maddox and the Turner joy that brought about the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

There are similarities. There are the misleading statements that I have just given, the litany by the President telling us all there was reconstituted nuclear. Here again we are in a guerilla war. It is an urban guerilla war, not in the bushes of Vietnam but we still again are trying to win the hearts and minds.

We were trying to victimize Vietnam. In this one we are trying to Iraqi Iraq. We are trying to do our best doing the same things over and over again. In fact, in this particular war we received the Pentagon papers a lot earlier. I ask unanimous consent that this article in USA Today entitled "Defense Memo: A Grim Outlook," by Secretary Rumsfeld, be printed in the Record at this particular point.

Mr. President, I do not know how many more similarities we are going to get. Iraq is Vietnam all over for the Senator from South Carolina. Now we have to either put the troops in there or else get out as soon as we can. I take it the present plan is to Iraqi Iraq; namely, train up a bunch of folks together, give them high pay. They have 70-percent unemployment so they will all grab and get a uniform and act as if they are security, but that will give us a cover and face to leave and leave as soon as we can, unless we are going to put the troops in there and get law and order.

What we have done is come into Iraq against the military requirements of taking the city. We just stopped at the airport and declared mission accomplished, and look around and wonder and say this is part of the war on terror.

This is not and was not a part of the war on terror. Yes, there are terrorists in there now, but Iraq was not a part of the war on terror. It was quiet. It was not bothering anybody. They did not have al-Qaida. They did not have nuclear capabilities. They were not connected in any way to 9/11. We went in there under a mislead.

We learned in World War II that no matter how well the gun was aimed, if the recoil is going to kill the guncrew one does not fire the gun. Yes, it was a good aim to get Saddam but now look at the headline. I ask unanimous consent to include this particular article from the Financial Times, "Al-Qaida Exploits Insecurity in Iraq to Acquire Weapons and Swell Its Ranks."

I thank the distinguished Chair. We now have more terrorism than less terrorism. That is the fact. We have the entire world turned against us. When we cannot get Mexico and Canada to go along with us, we are in trouble.

I am hopeful the United States will win back the hearts and minds of the world's people, because we were always loved, respected, and looked up to for leadership.

In this particular venture what we have done is exactly what President George Herbert Walker Bush warned against. He said to watch out; do not
go into that place. I quote again, now that my distinguished friend is here. I want that particular quote to appear in the Record again. He said in his book A World Transformed:

I firmly believe that we should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war.

Iraq is Vietnam all over again. I know the distinguished Senator from Alaska revered our friend Senator Mansfield. I will never forget when Senator Mansfield said all Senators are equal, and when they rolled the Senator from Alaska on a particular matter he was concerned with, he, himself -- that is Leader Mansfield -- got up, took the floor, and put Alaska's amendments up and we passed them.

So Senator Mansfield took some 5 years and 17 memos to Presidents before he finally changed his mind and spoke. That is exactly where I am today as I enter this particular debate with respect to the supplemental. I would oppose the supplemental on one score, namely we will not pay for it. We tell that poor GI, downtown in Baghdad, we hope you don't get killed, and the reason we hope you don't get killed is because we want you to hurry back. We want you to hurry back so we can give you the bill because we are not going to pay for it. We in the Congress, my generation, we need a tax cut so we can get reelected next year. We are not going to pay for it.

This is the first war in the history of the United States where there is no sacrifice on the homefront. They all run around the mulberry bush here saying "it's not Vietnam" and that we have to stay.

We either have to get in or get out. We can't stand for operation meat grinder to continue day in and day out.

In a war on terror, I just want the administration to know that might does not make right. On the contrary, right makes might. Winning the hearts and minds of the world's peoples, I can tell you here and now, we have to get right on our policy in the Mideast. We all back Israel, but we don't back the taking over of these settlements. If you have been a conquered people -- and I read where the distinguished Senator from Alaska went down into those areas for the first time in Israel -- for 35 years you have looked not only for your light and water but your jobs up in Israel. Anybody with any get-up-and-go has gotten up and gone, after 35 years. You have the disenchanted. They don't have an army or anything else like that. So don't be amazed. You have to play it with an even hand.

Might makes right in this terror war. We got onto this Iraqi venture, which was a bad mistake from the very beginning. There is not any question about it. If I went to a funeral this afternoon of a fallen soldier in Iraq, what would I say? Did they fall there for democracy? They are not going to have a democracy. It is going to be the Shiite democracy, like they have in Iran -- at best. That is exactly what Secretary Rumsfeld said we were not going to have.

Was it for nuclear? No.

Was it for terrorists? No, they didn't have terrorists there.

Your son gave his life for what? As their Senator, I am embarrassed. It wasn't for any of those things. Why we went in, the administration has yet to tell us. They keep changing the rules and the goalposts every time. But somehow, somewhere they have to really put the force in there, quit trying to do it on the cheap, put the force in there and clean out that city, so they will quit killing them, or otherwise get out as fast as we can.


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What witnesses are saying


Tibetan students at Lanzhou’s Northwest National University staged a peaceful demonstration on the university ground. Eyewitness photo.
>> View a slideshow of students protests.

Following are first-hand accounts from people who spoke to RFA on Tuesday, March 18, through Saturday, March 22, 2008, in which they notably report spreading protests and a sharply increased police and troop presence. For security reasons, we do not identify some of our sources by name in order to protect them from retaliation.

"Right now, we are protesting in the area of Tsolho. We are demanding that the Chinese leadership open a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and peacefully resolve the Tibetan issue. We are also demanding that His Holiness be allowed to visit Tibet. Our protest is peaceful and involves about ten to fifteen monks from Serlho monastery in the Tsolho (in Chinese, Hainan) prefecture. Just now we are marching toward the subdistrict headquarters, and from there we plan to go to the county government center. Hundreds of local Tibetans, mainly nomads, have joined us ... We have marched about four to five miles from Serlho monastery, but we fear that the Chinese security forces will not allow us to proceed to Shang and the county government center. This protest march is also an expression of our support to those Tibetans who launched peaceful protests in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet. Now, security forces seem to be coming. Thank you. Please let others know what we are doing and broadcast it to the world." --Monk protestor, speaking live during protest march, in interview with RFA's Tibetan service, March 22, 2008

"On March 18, we--the monks of Palyul Darthang monastery in Amdo Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo)--marched to the local county government center. There were about 300 of us, joined by local Tibetans. At that time, there were no PAP there, but only about 40 local police. We marched to the local government office compound, pulled down the Chinese flag, and put up the Tibetan flag. The local police didn't dare to interfere. They simply watched from a distance and took photographs. We then marched to the local school and hospital and pulled down the Chinese flag and replaced it with the Tibetan flag. We also stormed the local detention center and demanded that the authorities release all the prisoners, which they did. We conducted all these protests peacefully, harmed no one, and did no damage. Then, later in the afternoon, four trucks full of armed security forces arrived ... They arrested about five to six Tibetans, and possibly more. Right now, only those monks who took no part in the protest are still in the monastery. The rest are hiding up in the mountains. The head monks are being pressured to hand over the main culprits. [The Chinese] are also announcing that anyone who surrenders voluntarily will be spared. The rest will face 'serious consequences.' The monastery is now surrounded by security forces. Please let others know what we did and what our condition is. Thanks." --Monk at Palyul Darthang, speaking to RFA's Tibetan service, March 22, 2008


Map of the protest areas. Graphic: RFA
>>> View larger image

"On March 20, Chinese security forces arrived in the town of Kiku in Serthar (Seda, in Chinese) county. There were about 1,000 of them. They tried to pull down the Tibetan flag that had been raised by protestors at the town headquarters building on the 17th, and when the protestors peacefully resisted, the security forces opened fire, killing two protestors. Their names were Kyari and Tsedo. Both were from Tseshul village. Another eight persons, including Yeshe Dorje and Tabke, were seriously wounded and were taken to Serthar county hospital. In the same county, over 1,000 Tibetans led by monks from Serthar Sera monastery began a protest march, walking about 30 miles to the point where the two Tibetans were killed. They carried Tibetan flags and pictures of the Dalai Lama and shouted slogans like 'Long Live the Dalai Lama!,' 'Human Rights for Tibet!,' and 'Tibet is Independent!' They also distributed leaflets calling for Tibetan independence. The security forces threatened them with 'serious consequences,' but the protestors are determined to continue with their peaceful demonstrations. So far, there have been no [additional] shootings." -- Source in Serthar, interviewed by RFA Tibetan service, March 21, 2008.

"I am in Lhasa at my brother's house, but we cannot go into the town. The security forces have blocked everything off … Those who have residence permits are allowed to move around, but those who don't are not allowed to go out. On the 15th and 16th, any Tibetan going out was detained. Now, the Chinese security forces are still blocking us. Chinese security personnel are bringing photos taken by security forces and asking people if they know who these persons are and where they can be found. We heard that one monk was recently arrested. The Chinese have jammed RFA and VOA broadcasts, and we can not hear programs in Lhasa." -- Tibetan American citizen who is still in Lhasa, interviewed by RFA Tibetan service, March 20, 2008.

“Many Chinese security forces have arrived in the Serkar monastery in the Kham Gapa area to impart re-education programs among the monks. But all the monks refused to participate in the program and instead raised slogans demanding religious freedom and human rights. There are around 500 monks. The Chinese army before leaving the monastery threatened the monks that they were going to come back the next day to deal with them. I have not received any further information after that.”—Tibetan witness in Ngaba [Aba], March 20, 2008.

“In Qinghai, Tibetan students from the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous area protested on March 19. There are about 800 students, and roughly 400 participated in the protests. They brought down Chinese flags and set them on fire. Security forces came in and the student protesters were surrounded. The local security forces issued a warning that they have orders to shoot anyone if they create problems in the area. The Tibetan students aren’t allowed to make any contact with other Tibetans in the area for fear of protests.”—Source in Qinghai, March 20, 2008

The local security forces issued a warning that they have orders to shoot anyone if they create problems in the area.

Source in Qinghai

“In the Tseko area of Amdo, the monks are continuing peaceful protests as of March 20. About 2,000 Tibetans, both monk and laypersons, are involved in the protests. The protesters are calling for the Chinese leadership to open peaceful dialogue with the Dalai Lama and resolve the Tibetan issue peaceful. They are demanding a meaningful autonomous status inclusive of all Tibetan areas. They were also demanding the Chinese leadership to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the Amdo region. Right now there are no security forces in the area but we heard that they are coming. We have no freedom inside. We are right now protesting in front of county government offices. We are about 2,000 protestors, and we are protesting peacefully.”—Amdo protester, speaking above the sound of a demonstration to RFA-Tibetan, March 20

“As of today, the Chinese police are conducting house-to-house searches of all Tibetan homes in the Amdo Ngaba [Aba] area. Pictures of Dalai Lama or any articles, objects, and documents that are politically sensitive in nature are being confiscated—and at the same, they arrest Tibetans when any such items are found in their homes. Tibetans are also told that they will be detained until the end of Olympics and once the Olympics are over, court proceedings will then begin.” —Tibetan witness in Ngaba, March 20, 2008, March 20

“We must show IDs when going in and out of the city. The curfew is still in effect and the streets are basically abandoned. The shops are not doing much business. People are staying home.” —Tibetan resident of Lhasa, speaking to RFA-Mandarin, March 20

“People are getting arrested for saying even one sentence that they oughtn’t say. I am scared. I cannot tell you anything.”—Tibetan woman resident of Lhasa, speaking to RFA-Mandarin, March 20

“A lot of people have been arrested. I have been staying home and haven’t been able to keep in touch with my friends. My cell phone has no signal. When people call me on my cell phone the message says it’s turned off. But in fact I never turned it off.”—Tibetan man, resident of Lhasa, speaking to RFA-Mandarin, March 20

“In Lhasa, Tibetans without IDs are being detained—regardless whether they participated in the protest. A lot of Tibetans are nomadic herdsmen who do not carry IDs. Prisons in Lhasa are filled to capacity.”—Spokesman, Tibetan exile government, speaking to RFA-Mandarin, March 20

“Last night 60 police trucks arrived in Bora area. Seven to 10 were already placed in the area. But this morning all 60 police trucks were gone. Monks in the local monasteries aren’t allowed out and those who are outside aren’t allowed in. On March 18, Tibetans from different remote areas came to the county center on horses, and many young Tibetans come on motorcycles. The motorcycles were run over by Chinese police trucks and over 30 of them completely crushed. So far there are no reports of arrests and shooting in this area.”—Kunchok Gyatso, of Drepung Goman monastery in India, after speaking with sources in Bora

Tibetans who go into town are being searched. Male Tibetans and youths are thoroughly searched, but they go a little easier on the women. They search their handbags but not their whole body. It is frightening to see Lhasa entirely filled with armed forces.

Tibetan witness in Lhasa

“In Lhasa, many Tibetans are being arrested. Just this morning I saw three Tibetans arrested in the Taring market area. They were severely beaten and then handcuffed and taken away. Additional troops are said to have been called from China and the Kongpo area. Tibetans who go into town are being searched. Male Tibetans and youths are thoroughly searched, but they go a little easier on the women. They search their handbags but not their whole body. It is frightening to see Lhasa entirely filled with armed forces. The license plates of Chinese armored vehicles are covered in order to mask their [unit] identity.”—Tibetan witness in Lhasa

“There is no peace in Karze city. As of yesterday, one person was killed and nine were beaten and taken away. The families of those who were taken away have no hope of seeing their relatives alive; they are just waiting for the bodies. However, the families have no regrets and believe that they have died for a good cause. Meanwhile, seven more Tibetans were arrested: Gyurme, Penpa, Dorje, Jamyang, Kunga, Chime Gonpo, and Namsa Wangden. No Tibetan is allowed to move freely near the main Karze County Center—only the People’s Armed Police (PAP) can go there. The local county government officials have no authority, and administrative control has been taken over by the PAP. Local people saw the arrival of 40 new vehicles and two planes and estimate that close to 10,000 armed police are now here.”—Tibetan witness in Karze

“The Tibetan students at the Maerkang Normal College—their homes and parents are in Ngawa [Aba]. They heard some rumors and wanted to go back home. The school stopped them from going, saying that it would be safer on campus. I am not sure on which day the clash occurred. But there is a curfew in place on campus and from March 15 the students haven’t been allowed to go home. When they are on campus, their safety is assured. The school is concerned about people causing trouble.”—Han Chinese teacher at Maerkang Normal College, Maerkang county, Gansu province, interviewed by RFA’s Mandarin service

“It is inconvenient for me to talk about the situation. I cannot reach my folks back home by phone. I kept calling but kept getting a busy signal and could not get through. I am deeply concerned about my family’s well-being. I know nothing about what’s happening there. Communication channels are not working.”—Tibetan student enrolled at the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, interviewed by RFA’s Mandarin service

The World Community Cannot Turn a Blind Eye, Rebiya Kadeer

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama has dedicated his entire life to the peaceful promotion of legitimate aspirations of the Tibetan people for cultural autonomy and survival," more

“It is inconvenient for me to talk. My cell phone is under surveillance. I cannot tell you if there have been protests on campus. It’s inconvenient…”—Tibetan university student in Shanghai, interviewed by RFA’s Mandarin service

“All major thoroughfares leading to the Tibet Autonomous Region’s office in Chengdu are manned by riot police and also armed police sitting in cars waiting. I walked around the neighborhood and saw no fewer than 60 vehicles, including minivans and cars, with tags indicating that they were from public security. All cars traveling toward the direction of the TAR office are subject to inspection. Car trunks are searched. The drivers must get out of the cars and show their IDs.”—Huang Xiaomin, a Han Chinese activist in Chengdu, interviewed by RFA’s Mandarin service

“Using Free Gate, I was able to see on the Internet that in Lhasa protesting monks were dealt with in a very rough manner, and that even tanks were mobilized. I think it was too much. I heard that people died. I used to work in areas with a lot of Tibetans. I have known many ethnic minorities. I am especially fond of Tibetans. Let me give you an example. If I lack food and water, I can knock on the door of any Tibetan home and they will take care of me. They will give me food and shelter. This actually happened to me and five or six of my friends. If they really tried to cause trouble, it was most likely because there was something inappropriate about our policy. I call on our Tibetan friends not to hate all Han Chinese. I am deeply saddened by what I saw –tanks…Where there are tanks, bad things happen…”—Beijing-based Chinese caller to RFA’s Mandarin-language Listener Hotline program

students with flag

Buddhist monks march in Xiahe, Gansu Province on March 14, 2008. AFP

“A total of 18 dead bodies were confirmed in the Ngaba [Aba] protests. In Kirti monastery alone, 15 bodies were brought in for final death-rites. Three bodies were also confirmed in a neighboring nomadic area. There are many other monasteries in the Ngaba area, and other bodies could have been brought to these monasteries for final rites. So 18 deaths are confirmed for this area...They don't dare go to Chinese hospitals and are receiving treatment at home.”—Tibetan witness account

What Asian listeners are saying
On our message boards, blogs, in emails and talk shows over the air, Asian listeners and Web readers react to Tibetan turmoil.
From the Vietnamese message board:
Can RFA, please, explain for me: why none of the 700 newspapers in Vietnam has the stories on Tibetan unrest? What are they afraid of or are they waiting for Vietnamese government’s order? U Nguyen Thai - Saigon, March 15, 2008.

“Chinese police backed by the People's Armed Police [PAP] are raiding Tibetan houses in the Lhasa area. They are looking for residential permits, and if anyone doesn't have these permits they are taken away without explanation. Even those Tibetans who have the permits, but who are suspected for any reason, are taken away. For example, around 10 p.m. on March 15, a group of police backed by the PAP began raiding Tibetan houses. One family from Kham Tsawa Pasho was raided. The father Kalsang Gyaltsen has two sons, Lochoe and Jampa, and a daughter. The daughter had a residential permit, and the other family members had applied for permits, but these were still pending. So the Chinese police arrested the father and two sons and took them away. The daughter has no idea where they were taken. The police searched the house and found 10,000 yuan, since the family were running a small stall in the area ... The police did not listen to their pleas and took the money ... The daughter has been left in the house all alone with no money and does not know where her father and brothers are detained. She is extremely worried and concerned about their welfare. In the same courtyard there was another family from Kham Dege in Sichuan. The father's name is Tsonyi, and he also has two sons. That same night, their house was raided and they were also arrested. It is said that all six members of these families are innocent and did not participate in the protests. As policy, the Chinese are arresting almost all young Tibetans—both male and female. Nobody knows where they are taken, and if anyone tries to leave their own courtyard they can be arrested. There is no way to ask about or search for family members. Nobody knows if they are being killed, detained, or beaten, or even if they are alive or dead, and there is no way to find out. So there is virtual terror in Lhasa.”—Jampel from Canada, who called his relatives in Lhasa

“On March 18, around 2:05 p.m., a protest took place in Karze [in Chinese, Ganzi] town, Sichuan province. ...Both monks and laypersons took part. It was led by two people, Pema Dechen and Ngoga. The protesters shouted ‘Long live the Dalai Lama,’ and ‘Free Tibet,’ and they distributed leaflets. Several hundred paramilitary police were stationed there to block them… When the protests went on, the Chinese authorities arrested 10 protesters. Some of those who were arrested are Pema Dechen, Gonpo, Tseten Phuntsog, Lobsang, Zangpo, Palden, Gonpo, and so on. One person, Ngoga, who led the demonstration, was killed by gunfire. The other nine were dragged away, and they looked injured, but it wasn’t clear... Now all Karze is filled with Chinese police and paramilitary. Not one Tibetan is allowed to go out or move in the downtown area.”—Tibetan source in Karze [Ganzi], Sichuan province

“More than 200 monks from Dargye monastery came out to protest, but a Chinese spy informed the Chinese authorities. So when the protesters were marching towards Karze downtown, the Chinese police stopped them on the way. The monks protested, and one monk was killed by gunfire.”—Tibetan source in Karze [Ganzi], Sichuan province

“Yesterday and the day before, students from our school [the Tibet Institute of Nationalities in Xianyang, Shanxi province] shouted lots of protest slogans. The university residence building has seven floors and most of the slogans were coming from the third to the seventh floors. Students were throwing thermos flasks and other articles from the top of the building down to the street. There are around 1,000 Tibetans students in the school. Today the school authorities called all the students to a big meeting, where they told us that anyone involved in the incident must submit a written confession and warned that those who are party cadres will lose their party membership. There is no police presence at the school so far. However, we are told at the meeting that this whole incident will be reported to the provincial government, and they will take all the necessary action.”—Tibetan student at the Tibet Institute of Nationalities in Xianyang, Shanxi province

“I told you earlier about a man who died from a gunshot. Yesterday, his family had planned to take his body away for a funeral, but then the police came to their house and seized the dead body. The police told the family that they are taking away all the dead bodies to conduct post-mortem and other investigation. They were also told that all the dead bodies in the recent unrest will be cremated together, and that prior to the cremation, the individual families will be contacted and that they will be allowed to pay a visit to the cremation site after the cremation. With this, the dead body was forcibly taken away with the family powerless to do or say anything.”—Tibetan eyewitness in Lhasa

“Lhasa in general is under heavy security. There's a lot of cleaning up going on after all the recent destruction. Within the city, people are able to go around with their city identity cards but anyone from outside such as pilgrims, or tourists, is barred from entering the city or leaving the city if they are here. I came on a pilgrimage and for the last four days I holed up in my guesthouse, not able to travel or take a walk outside.”—Tibetan source in Lhasa

“More than 300 Tibetans protested in Lithang on March 18. While leading the demonstration, a girl [known as Appa Bumo] carried a picture of the Dalai Lama and a khata [scarf] in her hands. She was arrested by the Chinese security personnel. There is a heavy presence of Chinese military and restrictions have been imposed in the area. All the news media are blocked. Schools, offices, and shops are closed.”—Tibetan witness in Lithang

Following are interviews with Tibetan and Chinese sources on Monday, March 17:

“Today is better, so I can go out. Many people have come out to buy food, too. But there are many armed police standing guard on the street and checking the identification of some passers-by. There are many police on the street. The local government hasn’t asked us foreigners to leave Lhasa, but if you want to go, the Foreign Office will help you.”—Hong Kong businesswoman in Lhasa

“There are about 2,000 students in the Tibetan studies department of the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing—about 40 of them staged a silent protest to mourn the people killed or injured in other parts of Tibet. The police came in, and they are being held now in their classrooms.”—Protest participant, Tibetan, in Beijing

“The Lhasa People’s Hospital has been damaged. The local Tibetans suspect it was damaged by the Chinese so that injured Tibetans couldn't receive treatment. Tibetans who are taken to Lhasa hospitals are now being turned away.”—Tibetan source who declined to be identified

“Monks from a local temple had a clash with armed police, and there were casualties from the armed police.”—Tibetan resident in Ngaba [Aba], Sichuan province

“Riots erupted in town and in rural areas, and there were many police on the streets, but I was not worried about my safety.”—Chinese resident in Ngaba [Aba], Sichuan province

“Tourists were ordered to leave the Ngaba [Aba] area. Three groups of foreign tourists who just arrived here were told to leave immediately.”—Chinese hotel worker in Ngaba, Sichuan province

“On Saturday afternoon, about 400-500 monks took to the streets. They smashed windows and left in less than an hour. There were about 2,000 soldiers who stayed to guard the area.”—Chinese witness who lives near a temple at the junction bwteen Gansu and Sichuan

“Although the scale of protests was small, they still continue…There were about 1,000 armed police stationed in each county, Machu [Maqu] and Luchu [Luqu].”—Chinese witness, describing ongoing protests that began March 14

“Because of riots in Tibet, local authorities has took measures to prevent protests from taking place here. There were about 200 armed police in our county.”—Chinese resident in Tongren county, Qinghai province

“No foreigners are being allowed into the region.”—Hotel worker in Tongren county, Qinghai province

“We could not find hotels …in Xiahe, Gansu province. We were expelled from Xiahe after we finished our coverage. We tried to enter Xiahe again, but we weren’t allowed. Our IDs were carefully examined by roadside checkpoints. The only road leading to Xiahe was blocked. All vehicles had to stop for inspection. Passengers’ IDs and vehicles plate numbers were checked and registered. Journalists couldn’t sneak in. All vehicles leaving Gansu were also carefully examined just as they entered the province. There was a backup of vehicles leaving Gansu.”—British journalist

“They [the police] are deleting all the photos they find of the riots. They won’t let people bring these things out.”—Tour guide, Gansu province

Following are excerpted interviews from Tibetan sources who spoke with RFA on Sunday, March 16, 2008:

“Just now eight bodies have arrived in Kirti monastery.”—Source at Kirti monastery, Ngaba [in Chinese, Aba] prefecture, Sichuan province

“Four Tibetans were killed by sniper fire while they were marching near Kirti monastery… Then a little later, another three were killed. They were shot from a distance. Before they were shot, the protesters had smashed the windows at two police posts....There looked like 5,000 to 6,000 protesters....The names of the three people killed later are Tsezin, Norbu, and Lobsang Tashi.”—Tibetan protester from Ngaba [in Chinese, Aba] prefecture, Sichuan province

“On March 15, there were protests in Kham Tawo ([in Chinese, Daofu] in Ganzi prefecture. Suddenly 10 PAP trucks arrived…Kham Sershul monastery was surrounded by PAP. They are patrolling streets and randomly checking IDs—the situation is very tense.”—Tibetan witness in the Kham region, Karze [in Chinese, Ganzi], Sichuan province

“Five Tibetans succumbed to injuries at the nunnery hospital in Lhasa—it’s the Tsangkhug nunnery in Lhasa. Two Tibetans who were at the hospital were injured and they complained their legs were broken. The body of a young boy is still lying here unclaimed. Several other dead bodies were brought, and many of them were claimed by relatives.”—Source inside Tsangkhug nunnery, Lhasa

“I haven’t been back to my house for two days now. There are troops all over, and we are completely locked inside. I have no information about what is happening outside.”—Tibetan resident of Lhasa

“The Chinese authorities in Lhasa have started arresting Tibetans and searching from house to house. Official warnings were issued to all Tibetan residents of Lhasa that all Tibetan houses will be searched for photos of the Dalai Lama and for Tibetans who were involved in the riots. They were warned that no one should attempt to stop the searches and arrests, and people are not allowed to gather in groups when arrests are made. The TAR [Tibet Autonomous Region] government issued an order to all government departments that Tibetan government workers in different parts of China should report back to Lhasa within three days—they are needed to secure TAR railway lines. Failure to report in will result in ‘consequences.’...” —Witness from Lhasa

“Tibetan students in the Tibetan language department of North West National University of Lanzhou, in Gansu, staged a peaceful demonstration on the school grounds. More than 1,000 Tibetan students took part, and Tibetan students from other departments tried to join in but were blocked. They declared that their protest was peaceful, and they urged the Chinese authorities to stop their crackdown on Tibetans in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas. They also expressed solidarity with those Tibetans who protested in Lhasa, Labrang, and others outside Tibet. They had a banner that read, ‘We stand together with Tibetans, for glorious democracy and life.”—Witness from the Amdo region

Following are excerpted interviews from Tibetan sources who spoke with RFA on Saturday, March 15, 2008:

“I am in the Lhasa area. There was shooting today. Many Tibetans who were dead and barely alive were collected at the TAR [Tibet Autonomous Region] Security Office area, and I heard from a reliable source that there were 67 bodies. Some were alive and most were dead when they were brought in... This included male and female, and I don’t have the details… But it’s confirmed that there were in total about 67 bodies collected at this place. I cannot tell you the source of my information, but 67 bodies were seen by my source. It was officially announced by TAR officials that martial law was imposed. Right now I can hear shootings. We saw many tanks. Sometimes they fire in the air to threaten the Tibetans. At some places, like the Karma Kunsel area [near Lhasa], they are firing right now. Every Tibetan is stopped and their IDs are checked. Even Tibetan government workers are checked, but the Chinese are free to move around. Many Tibetans who were arrested were taken toward the Toelung area and several other jails in different parts of Lhasa. Even in Penpo, six monks were arrested last night and today there were demonstrations and Chinese shops were burnt. I think they might impose these restrictions for at least another seven to eight days. If they are not allowed to move around, the Tibetans won’t get food supplies, and the Tibetans are already suffering shortages of food. Right now the Chinese authorities are cracking down, but there are indications that this could spread further in rural areas. …There is no indication of any organization planning these demonstrations. It was a spontaneous response of Tibetans, and they jumped into the rally. They were shouting ‘Long live the Dalai Lama’ and ‘Independence for Tibet,’ and burning Chinese flags. Right now I was told that Tibetan monks in Samye monastery in Lokha are protesting too.”—Source in Lhasa

“Today there was a huge demonstration in Labrang. It was started at 11:45 a.m.. Yesterday there were roughly 3,000 to 4,000 but today is different. There are many thousands shouting 'Long live the Dalai Lama,' 'Tibet is independent,' and so on. They marched towards local government offices and damaged several windows and a big demonstration is going on.”—Source at Labrang monastery, Amdo

“On March 15, there were two demonstrations in the Lithang area. During the morning, the nomads from Othok Nyakchuka [home of detained lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche] rose up and demonstrated for quite awhile. One of the main leaders in the area was detained. Then on the same day the nomads from the same area as [jailed nomad] Ronggyal Adrak also demonstrated and shouted for quite some time and one monk was arrested. So the atmosphere in Lithang is very tense. The Tibetans were seen gathering in groups in Lithang town and planning something. At the same time, government officials are also planning to sabotage Tibetan plans. It is extremely difficult to get through. About 1,000 Tibetan independence flyers were distributed in Sershul county of Ganzi prefecture. Both Lithang and Sershul are in Ganzi prefecture.”—Source in Lithang area, Kham

“The Chinese authorities are locking up as many Tibetan protesters as possible in different jails. Many of them are detained in a jail behind the Potala Palace and four other prisons in the Lhasa area. The Tibetan protestors were locked in all these jail like animals. When we contacted them this morning, no killing was reported—this could be due to international pressure. It is difficult to give an exact figure for a death toll, but if we total up the deaths from different information, more than 100 Tibetans were killed. As of Saturday morning, the Chinese authorities are imposing martial law and arresting and detaining any Tibetan who comes out in the street and dumping them in jail. There is no sign of calm and stability in Lhasa at this point of time.”—Source in Lhasa

“When I called my contact this morning, several hundred Tibetan youths from Bora, Achok, Tsu, Gaja, Sang-kha, and other areas gathered at Labrang were demonstrating. There were several thousand police and PAP [People’s Armed Police] deployed in the area but so far there was no incident of firing at the crowd. However, several tear-gas shells were fired into the crowd. My contact didn’t see any ransacking in the area but due to smoke from tear-gas, the whole area is clouded and it’s difficult to get a full view of the whole area and any incidents. It is a fact that the number of protesters increased from yesterday. A rough estimate is over 3,000 [at Labrang monastery]. Tibetans are gathering from different directions and increasing the strength of the demonstrations. The demonstrators are shouting, ‘Long live the Dalai Lama,’ ‘Release the Panchen Lama,’ and ‘Start the Sino-Tibetan peace dialogue.’ Some were shouting, ‘Independence for Tibet.' Since there is no open leadership, different groups are raising different slogans and most of them are saying ‘Long live the Dalai Lama.’”—Source in Lhasa

“Today there are army [troops] everywhere. There is no way to go and come. We are confined to our own homes. On Chinese media and TV, they are talking of only 10 Tibetans killed—and those killed were those who committed crimes. According to them, all this is the work of 'the Dalai Lama clique.' Right now, Lhasa city seems to be quiet, without incident, as no-one is allowed to move about, but there have been some clashes between Chinese and Tibetans on the outskirts of Lhasa in rural areas.”—Source in Lhasa

Earlier, on Friday, March 14, a Tibetan witness who joined the Lhasa protests reported as follows:

“Today when the Tibetans were demonstrating, many Tibetans were killed. We Tibetans had no weapons to fight back. When the Tibetans were gathered in front of the Jokhang [temple], the Chinese fired at us. I have personally seen more 100 Tibetans killed when the Chinese fired at the Tibetan crowd. It was the Chinese army who fired and that happened in Lhasa and I personally witnessed the tragedy. Many of those killed were young Tibetans, both boys and girls. ...It started around 10 a.m. ... Young kids, youths, male, female, and old, Tibetans of all ages were taken away to jail. The Tibetans who participated in the protests were from the whole Lhasa area. When I looked back all the Chinese shops were destroyed. I think not one Chinese shop is intact in the Barkhor area. All kinds of things were piled up on the main road and burned. Many vehicles were burned and destroyed. When I look right now, I can still see smoke. The Tibetans collected all the dead bodies in front of the Jokhang [temple] and offered prayers, and scarves. Those family members whose relatives were among those killed took their bodies away. None of my family members are among the killed but I was almost killed too, and many bodies looked familiar. If anybody moves around in town they get arrested and killed. I think the number of Tibetans killed could not be less than 100, as I reported earlier. Those who are dead sacrificed their lives for 6 million Tibetans. My disappointment is that we were not armed and the Chinese fired on unarmed Tibetans. The Chinese threw some poisonous gas and that gas made the Tibetans dazed and blurred. Then they were arrested and taken away. I also saw tanks in the area too, though I did not see many, but they were sent to threaten us. Right now Lhasa is quiet but I still see black smoke in Lhasa town. It was the Chinese army who fired on us.”