Mornings In Glory

by Soren Dreier

The Lady of the Mist had awoken, now hovering through the rolling hills, touched by the first quiet strokes of golden rays. Mister Porcupine awoke and gently called on his children: “Breakfast time! The bark is soft and moist and juicy. Smelling good. No time to straighten the Quills. Off we go, move it, move it”

They all managed, shall we say, not so much in an orderly fashion, to wiggle themselves out of the rocks and go into the meadow. Mr. Porcupine greeted the Lady of the Mist: “Nice to see you, you are being very kind to our little family.” The Lady of the Mist nodded a silent ‘you’re welcome’ as she continued her advance down toward the lakeshore.

Crossing the Meadow, they could hear a staccato humming: “I ain’t good looking and I ain’t that smart, but baby I´m a sensitive guy…” and as the sound came closer so did the singer: It was Rhino Beatle, paving his way through the dew heavy grass in not an absolutely straight line.

“You’re busy this morning,” Porcupine said.

“Yeah, gotta get home to the missus, it got late. Hung out with these frogs at the place that just opened you know, ‘Under the Ferns’, boy they just can’t stop. Heavy drinkers, just saying, that’s why they burp all the time and make it sound charming… it isn’t. Did I tell you the one: Three salamanders and a Crane walked into a bar? These three Salamanders walked into a bar, see and…”

He suddenly stopped when he realized he had to get home safe before the Ants got up. They had a strange affection for turning a beetle upside down and stinging it to death.

“Gotta, go – one thing is the Ants the other thing the wrath of the Missus, a tiny beetle can only handle so much…” And off he went like a locomotive on dizzy train tracks.

The dew-covered Bluebells got a rude awakening by the Porcupines’ brute force tanking right through them and it airlifted a quadrillion of Tinker Bell like Fairies.

“Well, not the kind of morning awakening I had in mind,” one of them laughed, “but now that we´re up let’s get to work.” They were the devas minding the Bluebells and since they shared the same toning of blue, it was a mutual rewarding relationship.



U.N. Finds Israel’s Killings in Gaza Amount to ‘War Crimes’

Human rights groups demanded accountability and justice for victims on Thursday after United Nations investigators said Israeli troops may have committed war crimes during anti-occupation protests in Gaza last year.

“The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities,” the U.N. officials wrote in a new report(pdf), which relied on interviews, thousands of documents, and video footage showing Israeli soldiers using live ammunition against Palestinians—including children, journalists, and medical workers.

According to the report—which is the result of a months-long investigation—Israeli snipers killed over 180 unarmed Palestinians and injured more than 6,100 others with live ammunition between March 30 and December 31 of last year.

Bangladeshi lawyer Sara Hossein said in a statement that there “can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them.”

“Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities,” Hossain continued. “Many young persons’ lives have been altered forever. One hundred twenty-two people have had a limb amputated since March 30 last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

Santiago Canton of Argentina, who chaired the U.N. panel that compiled the report, said the detailed investigation found that there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law” during last year’s anti-occupation protests.

“Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel,” Canton added.

But as the report points out, Israeli officials have not been quick to probe those responsible for killing and maiming Palestinian civilians:

The government of Israel has consistently failed to meaningfully investigate and prosecute commanders and soldiers for crimes and violations committed against Palestinians or to provide reparation to victims in accordance with international norms.

In a statement, Amnesty International called the U.N.’s conclusions “damning” and called for Israel’s “long-standing cycle of impunity” to finally come to an end.

“The U.N. must now follow through on its recommendations to gather information on alleged perpetrators that can be passed to national and international justice mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court,” concluded Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Those responsible for these deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.”



Israel’s fingerprints are all over India’s escalating conflict with Pakistan

Signing up to the ‘war on terror’ – especially ‘Islamist terror’ – may seem natural for two states built on colonial partition whose security is threatened by Muslim neighbours

Robert Fisk

When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist camp” were the first words. A “command and control centre” destroyed, many “terrorists” killed. The military was retaliating for a “terrorist attack” on its troops, we were told.

An Islamist “jihadi” base had been eliminated. Then I heard the name Balakot and realised that it was neither in Gaza, nor in Syria – not even in Lebanon – but in Pakistan. Strange thing, that. How could anyone mix up Israel and India?

Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.