The mission of TGD is to provide
connections to  every corner of
this remarkable world.
Remarkable images of people, news and wonders.
Recent images from Afghanistan
The White Mountains
near Tora Bora.
(C) Foley, Michael
2003/The Streets of
Kabul
Another view of the house.
Photographed by Said Marjan Zazai
www.afghanan.net
Usama bin Laden's house in Zazi,
Afghanistan. The window on the
right side of the picture was the
room where Laden used to hide
under this big rock.
Photographed by Said Marjan Zazai
www.afghanan.net
Generations in Afghanistan
www.afghanan.net
Girls back at school
(C) Foley, Michael
2003/The Streets of Kabul
A mother lifts her burka
to speak to her daughter
as they flee Kunduz
(Image, right, from
November 25, 2001)
www.time.com
SION TOUHIG/GETTY IMAGES
At a Pashtun wedding
(C) Foley, Michael
2003/The Streets of
Kabul
kites fly again
(C) Foley, Michael
2003/The Streets
of Kabul
Other remarkable images
The amazing 3-d sidewalk art
of Julian Beever!
See more of his art here.
Ants, seen through a
magnifying glass, dig
their tunnels in lighted
Antworks, from
Fascination, at the
American International
Toy Fair in New York.
A bird sits on a tree
during a solar
eclipse on March 29,
2006 seen from
Islamabad, Pakistan.
(Photo by Aamir
Qureshi/AFP/Getty
Images)
Jumbo jellyfish, up to 6
pounds have been causing
problems for Japanese
fishermen.
Yomiuri Shimbun / AFP -
Getty Images file  
Fields of lavender
Provence, France
www.web-provence.com
The Dragon Dance for the
celebration of Chinese New
Year in Sarawak, Malaysia
One in a
million!
Sent in by
Petie,
Austin, Texas
Warming Disasters

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science
Writer
WASHINGTON - Scientists are not
so sure that the oncoming train
of global warming can be avoided.

"In the short-term, I'm not sure
that anyone can stop it," said
John Walsh, director of the
Center for Global Change and
Arctic System Research at the
FAMINE IN NIGER
This award-winning photo,
shows the emaciated
fingers of a one year old
mother's lips at a feeding
station in Niger.
Photographer Finbarr
O'Reilly, Reuters
Kashmiri family sits
outside their home,
leveled by earthquake.
Surviving winter will
be difficult.
www.savethechildren.org
Window Rock Arizona.
Water, wind and ice
have created this
large window in the
sandstone.
Kulusuk,
Greenland near
the arctic circle
Greenpeace activists
the famous Christ
statue in Rio de
Janeiro, on March 16,
2006. It read, "The
future of the planet
is in your hands."
Photo: Daniel Beltra,
Greenpeace/AP
Recent facts and images from the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
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Relatives of Palestinian Khalid Madi,
16, grieve while mourners, unseen, carry
his body out of the family house during
his funeral at Khan Younis in southern
Gaza Strip, Monday, March 8, 2004. The
youth was driving a tractor on the
family farm when he was hit in the back
by a large-caliber bullet shot from
Israeli forces, doctors said.
(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
The remains of a bus destroyed by
a suicide bomber. Eight people
were killed in the attack which
was carried out on February 22,
2004.
Photo credit: Ayelet Even-Nur
Israeli rescue workers recover
bodies from the wreckage of a
destroyed bus following an
explosion in Jerusalem on August
19, 2003. A Palestinian suicide
bombing blew apart a bus, killing
23 people and wounding about 80.
Photo credit: Haim Zach, Reuters
www.openbethlehem.org
You can leave a message on
the wall by clicking here.
www.miftah.org
"Israel has demolished
almost 12,000 Palestinian
homes, leaving some 70,000
without shelter."
-- Jeff Halper of Israeli
Committee Against House
Demolitions
More than 4,000,000 m² of
cultivated Palestinian land
has been deliberately
destroyed by Israel since
late September 2000.
www.miftah.org
next to an ambulance at
Bodies lie on stretchers
the scene of a bombing
base near Tel Aviv on
September 9, 2003.  
Photo credit: Nir Elias,
Reuters
March 28, 2002 - A photographer
photographing the destruction at the
Palestinian suicide bomber blew
himself up during a Passover seder,
killing 28 people and wounding
around 140.
Photo credit: Laszlo Balogh, Reuters
British activist Tom
Hurndall shot in the
head by Israeli sniper
while carrying 3
Palestinian
children out
of crossfire. He died on
January 13, 2004 after 9
months in a coma.
www.haaretz.com
On March 16, 2003, 23-year-old
American activist Rachel Corrie was
run over by an Israeli bulldozer
while protesting against the
demolition of a Palestinian home in
Rafah. There has been no American
investigation of this matter.
www.wikipedia.org
Mourners cry during the funeral for
Jewish settler Doron Zisserman who was
killed by Palestinian gunmen at the
Einav settlement in the northern West
Bank. June 1, 2003
Photo credit: Reinhard Krause, Reuters
November 21, 2002 - The covered bodies
of victims of a suicide bombing, lined
up at the side of the road. A
Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11
people on November 21, 2002 when he
blew himself up on a crowded bus
during the morning rush hour in
Jerusalem.
Photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen, Reuters
"The map displays three kinds of
roads in the West Bank: roads on
which Palestinian travel is permit
is required, roads on which
Palestinians are forbidden to
travel unless they have a special
permit, and roads on which only
Israeli citizens are allowed to
travel."
www.btselem.org
"While the built-up area of the
settlements in the West Bank
covers 1.7 percent of the West
Bank, the settlements control 41.9
percent of the entire West Bank."
www.btselem.org.
Israeli ambulance workers help a
wounded victim of a suicide bombing
in Jerusalem March 21, 2002. A
Palestinian suicide bomber killed
three people and wounded more than 40
on a busy Jerusalem shopping street.
Photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov, Reuters

                        Occupied Territories     Israel
Palestinians killed by Israeli         3289                 56
security forces  

Palestinians killed by Israeli           41
civilians   

Israelis killed by                      453                539
Palestinians  

Palestinian minors killed by            669                  1
Israeli security forces

Israeli minors killed by Palestinians    38                 80

Palestinians killed during the course   317
of an assasination

Palestinians who were the object of     203
a targeted killing

Source: www.btselem.org
"The barrier route includes large
“fingers” which reach deep into the
West Bank to surround the Ariel and
Qedumim settlements. In addition, a
new section of the Barrier has been
added around Ma'ale Adumim and the
settlements near it. Given the
settlements, constructing the
barrier around them will have
widespread ramifications on the
freedom of movement for the
Palestinian population in the West
Bank."
www.btselem.org
Water Deprivation
"One of the first military orders
of [after 1967] was the
confiscation of almost all West
Bank wells. Since then, drilling
for new wells has been banned and
quotas have been imposed on the
existing ones. The amount of water
allocated to Palestinians has been
capped at 1967 levels, despite the
subsequent growth in population.
Instead of the minimum of 150
liters daily per person,
recommended by the World Health
Organization, Palestinians have to
make do with only 50-85 liters and
an ongoing severe shortage of
running water. In contrast, in the
surrounding Israeli settlements
each settler is provided with 280
to 300 liters daily."
www.miftah.org

"The water shortage violates the
basic human rights of Palestinian
residents of the Occupied
Territories such as the right to
health, to adequate housing, to
equality, and to benefit from
their natural resources. This harm
results from Israeli policy, in
effect since 1967, based on an
unfair division of resources
shared by Israel and the
Palestinians."
www.btselem.org
East Jerusalem
"Israel has expropriated more than
5,845 acres of mostly of East
Jerusalem - for construction of
ten major Israeli settlement
neighborhoods. [Simultaneously]
Israel has enforced a strict quota
on Arab "Israel has expropriated
more than construction in East
Jerusalem." 5,845 acres of mostly
5,845 acres of mostly
Palestinian-owned land - one third
Palestinian-owned land - one third
of East Jerusalem - for
construction of ten major Israeli
settlement neighborhoods.
[Simultaneously] Israel has
enforced a strict quota on Arab
construction in East Jerusalem."
[This follows a policy from 1976
which makes its stated goal to
create a large Jewish majority in
Jerusalem.]

"Israeli settlement neighborhoods,
with a population approaching
200,000, will isolate Palestinian
neighborhoods in East Jerusalem
from their West Bank hinterland"
[making future Palestinian claims
for East Jerusalem more difficult].
The American Committee on Jerusalem
Now Amer. Task Force on Palestine
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The International Law
The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an "Occupying Power" to "transfer parts
of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" (article
49(6)). Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem has been deemed illegal by the UN
Security Council (resolutions 267), and has not been recognized by other
states.  There are 400,000 Israeli settlers living in East Jerusalem and the
West Bank.
Sources:
Fourth Geneva Convention and www.btselem.org
TGD Analysis: Jerusalem should be cornerstone of enduring peace

Mutual recognition between Palestinians and Israelis can begin with mutual recognition of both
Palestinian and Israeli rights to the city of Jerusalem. Israeli leaders seek to impose terms regarding
the Israel-Palestine border. This seems more like hegemony than a path to peace and mutual recognition.

Jerusalem is held as sacred by three major religions, and more than half of the people on Earth. Both
Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital. In the original UN partition plan in 1947,
Jerusalem was designated as an international city. The strongest cornerstone for building peace and
mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians would be a peace agreement that recognizes
Jerusalem as an international city and the united capital for the two States of Israel and Palestine.
Regional stability simply is not realistic so long as only one side has control of Jerusalem.

In the short term the security-conscious Israelis could control the security of Jerusalem, but over time
this would become a shared responsibility. Israeli control over who can build in East Jerusalem or its
suburbs would be turned over to a Palestinian building commission. Growth of Israeli settlements east of
Jerusalem would be regulated by Palestinians. Israelis would retain control of the regulation of who can
build in West Jerusalem and its suburbs. Over time the two commissions would merge.

This
Common Sense agreement would include Israeli recognition of Palestine along largely pre-1967
borders, with complete control over all resources therein. Palestinians would agree to resolve the
refugee issue by accepting compensation to be provided to the millions of Palestinian refugees, and the
right to live in the Palestinian State, but not Israel, except in a relatively small number of cases.

These terms are very similar to what was proposed in the Geneva Accord concept. This concept blends the
Geneva Accord
plus a unified Jerusalem as an international city and the capital of both nations.  Long
term regional peace and stability can only be accomplished when the parties share a united Jerusalem.

***A detailed version of this analysis will appear in a future
Common Sense column on TGD's home page.
and the reality of Slavery today!
Slavery's terrible history...
A person enters debt bondage when
their labour is demanded as a means of
repayment of a loan, or of money given
in advance. Usually, people are
tricked or trapped into working for no
pay or very little pay (in return for
such a loan), in conditions which
violate their human rights. The United
Nations Working Group on Contemporary
Forms of Slavery estimated in 1999
that some 20 million people are held
in bonded labour around the world.
www.antislavery.org
Debt Bondage is Slavery
Along with the rest of her family,
10-year-old Thaku, left, spent
eight years in captivity. She went
one whole year without seeing her
parents, who were chained at night
at another location.
Photo: DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE
www.devp.org
To supply labor for the plantation
economies of the Americas,
Europeans forcibly removed roughly
12 million people from Africa
between the 15th and the 19th
centuries. These men, women, and
children were marched from their
homes to the coast and placed on
“slavers” like the one pictured in
this diagram from an 1808 report
on the African slave trade.
Designed to carry the largest
number of people in the smallest
possible space, these ships
provided an indescribably horrible
experience for the humans chained
below decks. Roughly one in six
slaves died at sea from disease,
malnutrition, and suicide.
Photo of Turkish brothel.
the methods by which
several hundred thousand
women and girls are lured
by promises of jobs, taken
to foreign countries,
beaten, raped and sold to
be sex slaves. This is a
worldwide problem, and this
form of slavery is known to
exist in Russia, Turkey,
China, India, Thailand, the
United States, and Eastern
and Western Europe. Read
how they made this film:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/page
s/frontline/slaves/making/
Or discuss and learn more
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/page
s/frontline/slaves/
Children Forced to Fight
"I’ve seen people get their hands cut off, a ten-year-old girl
raped and then die, and so many men and women burned alive... So
many times I just cried inside my heart because I didn’t dare cry
out loud."
- fourteen-year-old girl, abducted in January 1999 by the
Revolutionary United Front, a rebel group in Sierra Leone
Human Rights Watch
Some 300,000 children are serving as soldiers
participate in all aspects of contemporary warfare.
They wield AK-47s and M-16s on the front lines of
combat, serve as human mine detectors, participate in
suicide missions, carry supplies, and act as spies,
messengers or lookouts.  Child soldiers are being
used in more than thirty countries around the world.
Human Rights Watch has interviewed child soldiers
from countries including Angola, Colombia, Lebanon,
Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.
Human Rights Watch
Source: Thomas Clarkson, The
History of the Rise, Progress, and
Accomplishment of the African
Slave-Trade by the British
Parliament (1808)—American Social
History Project
What future for Iraq?
she arrives at a
hospital to check the
whereabouts of her
daughters, who were
killed in a suicide car
bomb in Baghdad. At
least 15 people were
killed, mostly
policemen, when a
suicide car bomber a
Baghdad anti-terrorism
unit.
(AFP/Karim Sahib)
An Iraqi girl stands behind
an Iraqi flag as she watches
hundreds of Shiites
worshippers protesting in
Baghdad following Friday noon
prayer against the death of
15 people, who were killed
two days ago when gunmen
sprayed automatic fire at
them while returning from a
pilgrimage in the holy city
of Karbala, south of Baghdad.
(AFP/Ali Al-Saadi)
By DEB RIECHMANN --
Washington (AP)
President Bush expressed
frustration Wednesday, March
29, 2006, that Iraqis have so
far failed to form a unity
government, but he said
withdrawing U.S. troops from
Iraq too early would damage
U.S. security.

President Bush said that
Saddam Hussein's divisive
legacy, not continued U.S.
involvement in Iraq, is
responsible for ongoing
sectarian violence that is
threatening the formation of
a democratic government.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
By ZIAD KHALAF
SAMARRA, Iraq (AP) -

"
Assailants wearing
uniforms detonated
two bombs inside one
of Iraq's most
revered Shiite
shrines Wednesday,
February 22, blowing
the top off its
landmark golden dome
and spawning mass
protests and
reprisal attacks
against dozens of
Sunni mosques."
An Iraqi man grieves at
the funeral of a
relative killed by a
bomb explosion in the
town of Khalis, 30 km
(18 miles) northwest of
Baquba, March 24, 2006.
A bomb placed near a
mosque exploded as
worshippers were leaving
midday prayers on
Friday, killing five
people and wounding 17,
police said.
REUTERS/Helmiy al-Azawi
   TGD Analysis: Piecing together the Iraqi puzzle

What happens during the next three to six months will determine whether the new Iraqi government and
the American mission in Iraq succeeds or fails. Failure means civil war and this would be a terrible
tragedy for the Iraqi people.

President Bush can complain about the divisive
"legacy of Saddam Hussein," but once he chose to send
U.S. forces into Iraq the stability of the country became his responsibility. This war was initiated
after several members of the Bush administration, including Bush himself, exaggerated the threat Iraq
posed to America, even describing shrill images of
"mushroom clouds." Worse still, the management of
the conflict and occupation in Iraq has suffered from layers of incompetence from the political
leadership in Washington.

The only hope for near-term stability and avoiding civil war in Iraq is to neutralize the political
forces that are pulling the country apart: Constitutional provisions breaking the country into
federal provinces will divide Iraq into culturally isolated enclaves; the prospect of Sunnis in
western Iraq having very little say in the use of oil revenues perpetuates fighting because people
with no future have very little left to lose; and worst of all, the religious militias which have
infiltrated Iraqi law enforcement are acting as death squads.

Shiite leaders, after suffering terribly under Saddam's domination will be reluctant to give up these
political advantages. In fact, they will probably not agree unless U.S. ambassador Khalilzad, with
the backing of President Bush, makes it clear that failure to resolve these sources of sectarian
tension will force the beginning of staged withdrawals of American forces.

Thus, the decisions of current Iraqi political leaders, not the actions of insurgents, could make it
necessary to gradually withdraw American forces.  It is their country and their choice to shape
Iraq's political future. But American troops should not remain if the choices of the current Iraqi
leaders cause civil war there.

***A detailed version of this analysis will appear in a future
Common Sense column on TGD's home page.
Diverse religious celebrations around the world
Muslim-American girls
celebrating Eid al-Fitr
in the United States.
The Holi festival of
color takes place
throughout India.  This
photo was taken in
Chennai.  Rajesh
Agarwal explained,  
``Holi is a harvest
festival. The religious
meaning behind the
festival is the
celebration of the
elimination of evil.
Holi is the celebration
of the death of Holika,
Prahlad's evil aunt. We
light a bonfire at
night signifying
Holika's death,'' says
Rajesh Agarwal.
By Prince Frederick
reporting for The Hindu.
Find out more about
Hinduism here.
Bulgarian children
play swirl fireballs
26 February 2006 in
the village of
Lozen, some 15 km
east from Sofia.
Bulgarians mark
Mesni Zagovezni, an
Orthodox Christian
holiday during which
they chase away evil
spirits with fire
rituals.
Valentina Petrova,
AFP/Getty Images
Find out more about
Christianity here.
KOSTROMA, Russia –
March 24, 2006
For the first time in
many years, the
Jewish community of
Kostroma, Russia
hosted a Bar Mitzvah
ceremony this week.
Earlier on, Jewish
boys reaching the age
of adulthood had
traveled to Moscow to
participate in group
Bar Mitzvah events
conducted there.
Find out more about
Judaism here.
Tibetans climb high to
tie prayer flags
during a prayer
session on the third
day of the Tibetan New
Year, Dharmsala,
India, Thursday, March
2, 2006. Believed to
spread prayers on
wind, different
colored flags
represent the five
elements of air,
water, sky, earth and
fire.  
AP Photo,
Ashwini Bhatia
Find out more about
Buddhism here.
Eid ul-Fitr marks the
end of Ramadan, a month
of fasting. It is a
joyful celebration of
the achievement of
enhanced piety. It is a
day of forgiveness, Eid
ul-Fitr marks the of
congregation, end of
Ramadan, a month end of
Ramadan, a month of
fasting. It is a of
fasting. It is a joyful
celebration of the
achievement of day of
forgiveness, day of
forgiveness, moral
victory and peace, moral
victory and peace, of
congregation,
fellowship, brotherhood
and unity. Muslims are
not only celebrating the
end of fasting, but
thanking their God for
the help and strength
that they believe he
gave them throughout the
previous month to help
them practice
self-control.
Find out more about
Islam here.
*More information on these religions can be found at:  http://belief.net/