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Cynthia McKinney prevented from leaving US

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    Cynthia McKinney prevented from leaving US November 23rd, 2008 http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/11/cynthia-mckinney- prevented-from-leaving-us/
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2008
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      Cynthia McKinney prevented from leaving US
      November 23rd, 2008
      http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/11/cynthia-mckinney-
      prevented-from-leaving-us/


      Today, November 23rd, I was slated to give remarks in Damascus, Syria
      at a Conference being held to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the
      Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, sadly, the 60th year that
      the Palestinian people have been denied their Right of Return
      enshrined in that Universal Declaration. But a funny thing happened
      to me while at the Atlanta airport on my way to the Conference: I was
      not allowed to exit the country.

      I do believe that it was just a misunderstanding. But the insecurity
      experienced on a daily basis by innocent Palestinians is not.
      Innocent Palestinians are trapped in a violent, stateless twilight
      zone imposed on them by an international order that favors a country
      reported to have completed its nuclear triad as many as eight years
      ago, although Israel has remained ambiguous on the subject. President
      Jimmy Carter informed us that Israel had as many as 150 nuclear
      weapons, and Israel's allies are among the most militarily
      sophisticated on the planet. Military engagement, then, is untenable.
      Therefore the exigency of diplomacy and international law.

      The Palestinians should at least be able to count on the protections
      of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What is happening to
      Palestinians in Gaza right now, subjected to an Israeli-imposed
      blockade, has drawn the attention of the United Nations Secretary
      General, Ban Ki-moon, who noted that over half of the civilians in
      Gaza are children. Even The Los Angeles Times criticized Israel's
      lockdown of Gaza that is keeping food, fuel, and medicine from
      civilians. Even so, Israel stood fast by its decision to seal Gaza's
      openings. But where are the voices of concern coming from the
      corridors of power inside the United States? Is the subject of
      Palestinian human rights taboo inside the United States Government
      and its government-to-be? I hope not. Following is the speech I would
      have given today had I been able to attend the Damascus Conference.

      Cynthia McKinney
      Right of Return Congregation
      Damascus, Syria
      November 23, 2008


      Thank you to our hosts for inviting me to participate in this most
      important and timely First Arab-International Congregation for the
      Right of Return. Words are an insufficient expression of my
      appreciation for being remembered as one willing to stand for justice
      in Washington, D.C., even in the face of tremendously difficult
      pressures.

      Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir, thank you for including me in the
      Malaysian Peace Organisation's monumental effort to criminalize war,
      to show the horrors of the treatment of innocent individuals during
      the war against and occupation of Iraq by the militaries and their
      corporate contractors of Britain, Israel, and the United States.
      Thank you for standing up to huge international economic forces
      trying to dominate your country and showing an impressionable woman
      like me that it is possible to stand up to "the big boys" and win.
      And thank you for your efforts to bring war criminal, torturer,
      decimator of the United States Constitution, the George W. Bush
      Administration, to justice in international litigation.

      Delegates and participants, I must declare that at a time when
      scientists agree that the climate of the earth is changing in
      unpredictable and possibly calamitous ways, such that the future of
      humankind hangs in the balance, it is unconscionable that we have to
      dedicate this time to and focus our energies on policies that
      represent a blatant and utter disregard for human rights and self-
      determination and that represent in many respects, a denial of human
      life, itself.

      In the same year as Palestinians endured a series of massacres and
      expulsions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became
      international law. And while the United Nations is proud that the
      Declaration was flown into Outer Space just a few days ago on the
      Space Shuttle, if one were to read it and then land in the Middle
      East, I think it would be clear that Palestine is the place that the
      Universal Declaration forgot.

      Sadly, both the spirit of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights
      and the noblest ideals of the United Nations are broken. This has
      occurred in large measure due to policies that emanate from
      Washington, D.C. If we want to change those policies, and I do
      believe that we can, then we have to change the underlying values of
      those who become Washington's policy makers. In other words, we must
      launch the necessary movement that puts people in office who share
      our values.

      We need to do this now more than ever because, sadly, Palestine is
      not Washington's only victim. Enshrined in the Universal Declaration
      is the dignity of humankind and the responsibility of states to
      protect that dignity. Yet, the underlying contradictions between its
      words and what has become standard international practice lay exposed
      to the world this year when then-United Nations High Commissioner for
      Human Rights Louise Arbour proclaimed:

      "In the course of this year, unprecedented efforts must be made to
      ensure that every person in the world can rely on just laws for his
      or her protection. In advancing all human rights for all, we will
      move towards the greatest fulfillment of human potential, a promise
      which is at the heart of the Universal Declaration."

      How insulting it was to hear those words coming from her, for those
      of us who know, because it was she who, as Chief Prosecutor of the
      International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, willfully participated in
      the cover-up of an act of terror that resulted in the assassination
      of two democratically-elected Presidents and that unleashed a torrent
      of murder and bloodletting in which one million souls were
      vanquished. That sad episode in human history has become known as the
      Rwanda Genocide. And shockingly, after the cover-up, Louise Arbour
      was rewarded with the highest position on the planet, in charge of
      Human Rights.

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that justice delayed is justice
      denied. And 60 years is too long to wait for justice.

      The Palestinian people deserve respected self-determination,
      protected human rights, justice, and above all, peace.

      On the night before his murder, Dr. King announced that he was happy
      to be living at the end of the 20th Century where, all over the
      world, men and women were struggling to be free.

      Today, we can touch and feel the results of those cries, on the
      African Continent where apartheid no longer exists as a fact of law.
      A concerted, uncompromising domestic and international effort led to
      its demise.

      And in Latin America, the shackles of U.S. domination have been
      broken. In a series of unprecedented peaceful, people-powered
      revolutions, voters in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile,
      Ecuador, Nicaragua, and most recently Paraguay used the power of the
      political process to materially change their countries' leadership
      and policy orientation toward the United States. Americans,
      accustomed to the Monroe Doctrine which proclaimed U.S. suzerainty
      over all politics in the Western Hemisphere, must now think the
      unthinkable given what has occurred in the last decade.

      Voters in Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti, Spain, and India also took matters
      clearly in their hands to make "a clean break" from policies that
      were an affront to the interests of the majority of the people in
      those countries.

      In country after country, against tremendous odds, people stood up
      and took their fates in their hands. They did what Mario Savio, in
      the 1960s, asked people in the United States to do. These people-
      powered, peaceful revolutions saw individuals put their bodies
      against the levers and the gears and the wheels of the U.S. imperial
      machine and they said to the owners if you don't stop it, we will.
      And I know that people of conscience inside my country can do it,
      too: especially now that the engines of imperial oppression are
      running out of gas.

      Even though the Democratic Party, at the Convention that nominated
      Barack Obama, denied its microphone to Former President Jimmy Carter
      because of his views on Palestine, let me make it clear that Former
      President Carter is not the only person inside the United States who
      believes that peace with justice is possible in Palestine.

      Inside the United States, millions who are not of Arab descent,
      disagree vehemently with the policy of our government to provide the
      military and civilian hardware that snuffs out innocent human life
      that is also Arab.

      Millions of Americans do not pray to Allah, but recognize that it is
      an inalienable right of those who do to live and pray in peace
      wherever they are–including inside the United States.

      Even though their opportunities are severely limited, there are
      millions of people inside the United States struggling to express
      themselves on all of these issues, but whose efforts are stymied by a
      political process that robs them of any opportunity to be heard.

      And then there are the former elected officials who spoke out for
      what was right, for universal application of the Universal
      Declaration, and who were roundly condemned and put out of office as
      a result. My father is one such politician, punished—kicked out of
      office–because of the views of his daughter.

      In my case, I dared to raise my voice in support of the World
      Conference Against Racism and against the sieges of Ramallah, Jenin,
      and the Church of the Nativity. I raised my voice against the
      religious profiling in my country that targets innocent Muslims and
      Arabs for harassment, imprisonment, financial ruin, or worse. Yes, I
      have felt the sting of the special interests since my entry onto the
      national stage when, in my very first Congressional campaign, I
      refused to sign a pledge committing that I would vote to maintain the
      military superiority of Israel over its neighbors, and that Jerusalem
      should be its capital city.

      Other commitments were on that pledge as well, like continued
      financial assistance to Israel at agreed upon levels.

      As a result of my refusal to make such a commitment, and just like
      the old slave woman, Sojourner Truth, who bared her back and showed
      the scars from the lashes meted out to her by her slave master, I
      too, bear scars from the lashes of public humiliation meted out to me
      by the special interests in Washington, D.C. because of my refusal to
      tow the line on Israel policy. This "line" is the policy accepted by
      both the Democratic and Republican Party leadership and why they
      could cooperate so well to coordinate my ouster from Congress. But I
      have survived because I come from the strongest stock of Africans,
      stolen then enslaved, and yet my people survived. I know how to never
      give up, give in, or give out. And I also know how to learn a good
      political lesson. And one lesson I've learned is that the treatment
      accorded to me pales in comparison to what Palestinian victims still
      living in refugee camps face every day of their lives.

      The treatment accorded to me pales in comparison to the fact that
      human life is at stake if the just-released International Atomic
      Energy Agency report is true when it writes that "The only
      explanation for the presence of these modified uranium particles is
      that they were contained in the missiles dropped from the Israeli
      planes." What are the health effects of these weapons, what role did
      the U.S. military play in providing them or the technology that
      underlies them, why is there such silence on this, and most
      fundamentally, what is going on in this part of the world that
      international law has forgotten?

      Clearly, not only the faces of U.S. politicians must change; we must
      change their values, too. We, in the United States, must utilize our
      votes to effect the same kind of people-powered change in the United
      States as has been done in all those other countries. And now, with
      more people than ever inside the United States actually paying
      attention to politics, this is our moment; we must seize this time.
      We must become the leaders we are looking for and get people who
      share our values elected to Congress and the White House.

      Now, I hope you believe me when I say to you that this is not rocket
      science. I have learned politics from its best players. And I say to
      you that even with the failabilities of the U.S. system, it is
      possible for us to do more than vote for a slogan of change, we can
      actually have it. But if we fail to seize this moment, we will
      continue to get what we've always been given: handpicked leaders who
      don't truly represent us.

      With the kind of U.S. weapons that are being used in this part of the
      world, from white phosphorus to depleted uranium, from cluster bombs
      to bunker busting bombs, nothing less than the soul of my country is
      at stake. But for the world, it is the fate of humankind that is at
      stake.

      The people in my country just invested their hopes for a better world
      and a better government in their votes for President-elect Obama.
      However, during an unprecedented two year Presidential campaign, the
      exact kind of change we are to get was never fully defined.
      Therefore, we the people of the United States must act now with
      boldness and confidence. We can set the stage for the kind of change
      that reflects our values.

      Now is not the time for timidity. The U.S. economy is in shambles,
      unemployment and health insecurity are soaring, half of our young
      people do not even graduate from high school; college is
      unaffordable. The middle class that was invested in the stock market
      is seeing their life savings stripped from them by the hour. What we
      are witnessing is the pauperization of a country, in much the same
      way that Russia was pauperized after the fall of the Soviet Union.
      There are clear winners and the losers all know who they are. The
      attentive public in the United States is growing because of these
      conditions. Now is the time for our values to rise because people in
      the United States are now willing to listen.
      So the question really is, "Which way, America?"

      Today we uplift the humanity of the Palestinian people. And what I am
      recommending is the creation of a political movement inside my
      country that will constitute a surgical strike for global justice.
      This gathering is the equivalent of us stepping to the microphone to
      be heard.

      We don't have to lose because we have commitment to the people.

      And we don't have to lose because we refuse to compromise our core
      values.

      We don't have to lose because we seek peace with justice and
      diplomacy over war.

      We don't have to lose.

      By committing to do some things we've never done before I'm certain
      that we can also have some things we've never had before.

      I return to the U.S. committed to do my part to make our dream come
      true.

      Thank you.


      For more information on Cynthia McKinney please visit
      www.allthingscynthiamckinney.com.


      NOTE: Cynthia McKinney was the nominee of the Green Party of the US
      for President this year.


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