Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year From Riverbend

Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Lynching...

"It's official. Maliki and his people are psychopaths. This really is a new low. It's outrageous- an execution during Eid. Muslims all over the world (with the exception of Iran) are outraged. Eid is a time of peace, of putting aside quarrels and anger- at least for the duration of Eid.

This does not bode well for the coming year. No one imagined the madmen would actually do it during a religious holiday. It is religiously unacceptable and before, it was constitutionally illegal.
We thought we'd at least get a few days of peace and some time to enjoy the Eid holiday, which coincides with the New Year this year. We've spent the first two days of a holy holiday watching bits and pieces of a sordid lynching.

America the savior… After nearly four years and Bush's biggest achievement in Iraq has been a lynching. Bravo Americans.

Maliki has made the mistake of his life. His signature and unhidden glee at the whole execution, especially on the first day of Eid Al Adha (the Eid where millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca), will only do more to damage his already tattered reputation. He's like a vulture in a suit (or a balding weasel). It's almost embarrassing. I kept expecting Muwafaq Al Rubaii to run over and wipe the drool from the corner of his mouth as he signed for the execution. Are these the people who represent the New Iraq? We're in so much more trouble than I ever thought.

And no- not the celebrations BBC are claiming. With the exception of a few areas, the streets are empty.

Now we come to CNN. Shame on you CNN journalists- you're getting lazy. The least you can do is get the last words correct when you write a story about an execution. Your articles are read the world over and will go down in history as references. You people are the biggest news network in the world- the least you can do is spend some money on a decent translator. Saddam's last words were NOT "Muqtada Al Sadr" as Munir Haddad claimed, according to the article below. If anyone had seen at least part of the video they showed on TV, you'd know that.

"A witness, Iraqi Judge Munir Haddad, said that one of the executioners told Hussein that the former dictator had destroyed Iraq, which sparked an argument that was joined by several government officials in the room.

As a noose was tightened around Hussein's neck, one of the executioners yelled "long live Muqtada al-Sadr," Haddad said, referring to the powerful anti-American Shiite religious leader.

Hussein, a Sunni, uttered one last phrase before he died, saying "Muqtada al-Sadr" in a mocking tone, according to Haddad's account."

From the video that was leaked, it was not an executioner who yelled "long live Muqtada al-Sadr". See, this is another low the Maliki government sunk to- they had some hecklers conveniently standing by during the execution. Maliki claimed they were "some witnesses from the trial", but they were, very obviously, hecklers. The moment the noose was around Saddam's neck, they began chanting, in unison, "God's prayers be on Mohamed and on Mohamed's family…" Something else I didn't quite catch (but it was very coordinated), and then "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada!" One of them called out to Saddam, "Go to hell…" (in Arabic). Saddam looked down disdainfully and answered "Heya hay il marjala…?" which is basically saying, "Is this your manhood…?".

Someone half-heartedly called out to the hecklers, "I beg you, I beg you- the man is being executed!" They were slightly quieter and then Saddam stood and said, "Ashadu an la ilaha ila Allah, wa ashhadu ana Mohammedun rasool Allah…" Which means, "I witness there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is His messenger." These are the words a Muslim (Sunnis and Shia alike) should say on their deathbed. He repeated this one more time, very clearly, but before he could finish it, he was lynched.

So, no, CNN, his last words were not "Muqtada Al Sadr" in a mocking tone- just thought someone should clear that up. (Really people, six of you contributed to that article!)

Then again, one could argue that it was a judge who gave them that false information. A judge on the Iraqi appeals court- one of the judges who ratified the execution order. Everyone knows Iraqi judges under American tutelage never lie- that explains CNN's confusion.

Muwafaq Al Rubai was said he was "weak and frightened". Apparently, Rubai saw a different lynching because according to the video they leaked, he didn't look frightened at all. His voice didn't shake and he refused to put on the black hood. He looked resigned to his fate, and during the heckling he looked as defiant as ever. (It's quite a contrast to Muhsin Abdul Hameed's public hysterics last year when the Americans raided his home.)

It's one thing to have militias participating in killings. This is allegedly the democracy the Americans flaunt. Is this how bloodthirsty and frightening we've become? Is this what Iraq stands for now? Executions? I'm sure the rest of the Arab countries will be impressed.

One of the most advanced countries in the world did not help to reconstruct Iraq, they didn't even help produce a decent constitution. They did, however, contribute nicely to a kangaroo court and a lynching. A lynching shall go down in history as America's biggest accomplishment in Iraq. So who's next? Who hangs for the hundreds of thousands who've died as a direct result of this war and occupation? Bush? Blair? Maliki? Jaffari? Allawi? Chalabi?

2006 has definitely been representative of Maliki and his government- killings like never before and a lynching to end it properly. Death and destruction everywhere. I'm so tired of all of this… "

Faces Of The Dead

It’s another grim milestone as we ring in the new year: 3,000 U.S. military members have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Click here for an interactive multimedia presentation by The N.Y. Times.

Lebanon Destroyed, Destabilised, Desperate for Change

By Dahr Jamail, IPS, 31 December 2006

"......Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, head of a fractured and largely impotent government, is now facing a crisis as Hezbollah withdrew its ministers from government positions following demands for a "unity" government free from "western influence."

Having emerged from the war with claims that it is the victor, the group has flexed its newfound political muscle in making these demands to pressure what it sees as a U.S.-backed government.

A southern Beirut victory demonstration late September brought over a million supporters on the streets - a quarter of the entire population of Lebanon. The demonstrators later reassembled to carry out continuing protests against the Siniora-led government.

Portrayed as sectarian by most western media outlets, or as supporters of a coup attempt engineered by Hezbollah allies Iran and Syria, the demonstrators are really Lebanon's poor and disenfranchised, mostly the Shia community. They are seeking a government that gives them both representation and basic services.

Hezbollah, now in a position to provide these demands more than ever following the war, promises to deliver.

As forces outside Lebanon continue to influence internal politics, the people in Lebanon seem caught in the middle once again. But to avoid a sectarian divide this time, Hezbollah has allied itself with Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian politician who promises to "clean up" the corrupt Lebanese government.

Unless the Siniora government makes large concessions to include the massive and growing power of Hezbollah and its followers, instability in Lebanon could build up in 2007."

Latuff: New Year

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

FACTBOX-Worst months for U.S. war dead in Iraq

"Dec 31 (Reuters) - The number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq has reached 3,000, according to the Web site on Sunday.

Below are the five months with highest U.S. death tolls since the war started in March 2003.

November 2004 - 137 dead

April 2004 - 135 dead

December 2006 - 111 dead

January 2005 - 107 dead

October 2006 - 106 dead."

Ah....., The Good Times We Had Together!

Saddam is dead, move on (and Zeyad's read of the future)

"US media likes to pick on things. You know, find an event or incident and make a gala spectacle of it. For days and weeks on end.

But the US media in Iraq likes to focus on some issues in order to blanket other more important issues.

For example, why are no US papers examining how Badr has become the Iraqi state? Or that Sadr's forces have become the municipality?

What future of Iraq could there possibly be?

Saddam is dead. And Iraq is likely to die with him. He said Iraq is nothing without him and proving him right are all the sectarians routinely killing the country for the sake of foreign powers.

In any case, Zeyad (Healing Iraq) gives us a picture of the future of Iraq even though he may not have intended to be a soothsayer:

"It utterly disgusts me that Sadr's supporters have infiltrated every level of the state, and that the witnesses, including Iraqi government officials, have made this look like a sectarian issue. They were doomed to repeat Iraqi history by hanging their former oppressor and labeling it as justice. In a perfect situation, Saddam's execution would have united Iraqis, but thanks to the actions of the new Iraqi rulers, it will only serve to divide further. I doubt any of them will prevail as much as Saddam did, though."

Like I said yesterday, this is the new Iraq? It is far, far worse than during Saddam's time.

And this is just the beginning, I cannot stress that enough. It will simply get worse.

Saddam's execution will be a footnote in the history of Iraq which has executed itself

Nice work by the Unapologetic Mexican

Please don't let on that you knew me when...

صدام يتوسد الثرى وملامح طائفية في الإعدام

"من أعدم صدام؟
وأظهر شريط تسجيل عرضته الجزيرة لحظات الإعدام وقوف صدام رابط الجأش في مواجهة فرقة الإعدام، ووسط جلادين ملثمين هم أقرب إلى رجال المليشيا منهم إلى عسكريين محترفين، حيث كانوا يرتدون سترات جلدية مدنية.

وكشف الشريط المثير للجدل من خلال شعارات الجلادين أنهم من مؤيدي الزعيم الشيعي مقتدى الصدر، وقد هتف هؤلاء باسمه وباسم المرجع الشيعي محمد باقر الصدر الذي قتله أعوان صدام في الثمانينيات.

وأضفت تلك الهتافات على عملية الإعدام ملامح عملية لتصفية مذهبية الطابع غاب عنها العراق الدولة، وحسب مراقبين فإن هذا الشريط يترك للأجيال صورة مهيبة لصدام، ويضع تساؤلات عمن أعدم صدام، الحكومة العراقية أم مليشيات سياسية.

وأثار المكان الذي أعدم فيه صدام -الشعبة الخامسة التابعة لدائرة الاستخبارات العسكرية في النظام السابق- بعدا آخر في هذا الاتجاه.

إذ يرى النائب عن جبهة التوافق الشيخ خلف العليان أن اختيار المكان يشير إلى أن "إيران هي من نفذ الحكم"، موضحا أن الشعبة الخامسة هي المكان الذي كان ينفذ فيه حكم الإعدام بحق كل من يثبت تعاونه مع النظام الإيراني، "وبالتالي فإن اختيار هذا المكان يدلل على أن هناك رغبة للانتقام من قبل إيران وأعوانها داخل العراق". "

Go To The Hell That Is Iraq?

"One man shouts "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada," a reference to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who heads a powerful Shi'ite political movement and a militia blamed by Washington and Sunni Arabs for running death squads targeting Saddam's Sunni Arab minority.

Saddam, the noose around his neck, appears to smile and shoot back: "Is this what you call manhood?"

Another onlooker, despite pleas from another for witnesses to observe the proprieties, yells: "Go to hell!" and Saddam, seemingly accusing his enemies of destroying the nation he once led, replies: "The hell that is Iraq?""


In One Brief Sentence, Saddam Exposed His Puppet Enemies And Their Role In Destroying Iraq; He Went To The Heart Of The Matter.

Body Bag Number 3,000 Was Filled Today

U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq......3,000

"Coalition" Troops Killed.......3,250

U.S. Troops Wounded.........22,565

Happy New Year, Executioner-in-Chief!

US will be defeated in Afghanistan: Former CIA official

"Washington, Dec 31: A former senior CIA operative who tracked Osama bin Laden for 10 long years foresees "an apparent American defeat in Afghanistan".

Michael Sheuer said the way ahead in Afghanistan and along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border "ultimately would lead to the defeat of US and NATO forces and the demise of the Karzai government".

Scheuer told the Daily Times in Washington that by failing to accomplish the only mission that had to be accomplished in Afghanistan, the US was now faced with a growing insurgency that probably already outnumbered the combined US-NATO forces.

But he has handsome words of praise for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. The US has seldom found an ally better than Musharraf, who has acted to advance "US interests" even while jeopardizing his own, Sheuer observed.

Some of Musharraf's actions, like sending Pakistani troops to tribal areas, were clearly "against Pakistan's interests" and have "brought his country to the brink of a civil war", he said.

By not abandoning the Cold War practice of trying to find foreigners to do "America's dirty work, we have blithely assumed that Musharraf's Pakistan is an American proxy, with national-security interests that mirror those of the US", he said.

"The truth is that virtually none of the many things Musharraf has done to assist the US in Afghanistan has been in Pakistan's national interest; indeed, by sending the Pakistani Army into the Pashtun regions he brought his country to the brink of civil war."

His praise for Musharraf was in sharp contrast to criticism from most American think tanks who, while crediting the President with working to fight terrorism, accuse him of either not doing enough or serving the interests of the Pakistani Pushtuns who support the Taliban and host foreign and Al Qaeda fighters.

The Sep 1 agreement that Musharraf's regime signed with the tribals in North Waziristan has worked precisely in that direction and incensed Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Musharaf had also worked to rescue Pakistani nationals fighting alongside the Taliban, when the latter's regime fell, allowing in the process many key Taliban and Al Qaeda hands to escape, they have said.

However, Sheuer takes a peep into American history to draw an analogy about Musharraf's role. "

Israeli newspapers welcome Saddam death

PHOTOGRAPHS of Saddam Hussein moments before his death by hanging were on the front pages of all Israel's major newspapers today, and all the papers welcomed the execution of the former Iraqi dictator.

"“Good riddance,” read the headline in the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot....

...“Saddam's reign of terror ends on the gallows,” wrote the right-leaning Jerusalem Post.

Israel considered Saddam to be one of its foremost enemies, both for the Scud missiles that he rained down on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, and for the steadfast support he provided to the Palestinians, including money paid to the families of suicide bombers.

In 1981, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad because of suspicions that Iraq wanted to build nuclear weapons.

While welcoming Saddam's execution, the newspapers also warned that his hanging was unlikely to change the region for the better.

Was it worth it?” asked the liberal Haaretz. “If daily life in Iraq is the criterion by which this question is answered, the execution of Saddam has had no impact.”

Yediot wrote: “No matter what they say about him, he went to his death in dignity, with his head held high, without asking for pity, without clinging to his hangman's feet.”"


The Israelis were in good company; they were joined by George W. Bush, Iran, Maliki, Hakim and Muqtada Al-Sadr.

UAE paper: Israel agrees to conditions to release its captured soldier

Palestinians Holding Pictures Of Loved Ones Imprisoned By Israel

"Gaza - Israel has agreed to conditions set by the Palestinian resistance factions that captured the IOF soldier, Gilad Shalit, in the Gaza Strip over six months ago in order to release him, a UAE paper quoted sources as saying.

The UAE daily ‘Al-Khalij’ quoted those unidentified sources as saying that the Israeli government had agreed to release 1,500 Palestinian prisoners of all factions including women, minors, sick and those serving long terms.

It added that family of Shalit and the Israeli government recently saw a one-minute video showing that Shalit was still alive unlike what the Israeli intelligence had recently claimed that he was dead.

The sources said that Israeli premier Ehud Olmert would declare his government’s approval of the prisoners’ swap deal during his upcoming Cairo visit.

They said that the soldier would be transferred to Egypt away from the cameras and that Israel will simultaneously release 650 Palestinian prisoners as a first batch and two weeks later would release some 750 others, then in early February Israel would release 80 prisoners including senior leaders and those serving long terms."


This would be a tremendous boost to Hamas and a vindication of its approach. The Palestinian public can't help but contrast that with the pathetic approach of Abbas, the puppet. After all the hugs and kisses by Olmert a week ago, Abbas was promised that Israel would release a number of Palestinian prisoners to "strengthen Abbas." The timing was supposed to coincide with Eid Al-Adha. As it turned out Israel did not keep any of the promises made to Abbas, leaving him to appear as the fool that he is.

EI 2006: Year in Review

Video, The Electronic Intifada, 30 December 2006

Watch Video

"It was the year of the first Palestinian parliamentary elections in a decade, humanitarian crisis, on top of an aid boycott, large scale military attacks on civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon and, of course, the occupation. A year of often forgotten but unforgiving places like Beit Hanoun, Nablus, Beit Lahya, Beirut, Tyre, Jenin and Qana, and those buzzwords "retaliation", "ceasefire", and "recognition". Above all, it was three-hundred-and-sixty-five days on which every one of us will look back in our own special way. Remembering the highlights and low points of our own personal 2006, while perhaps pondering for a few minutes at least to consider the troubled world and times we live in."

Journalist: Brace for guerilla warfare in Golan

Syrian journalist tells Ynet Israel's poor performance against Hizbullah last summer buoyed Assad who is seeking to mobilize Syrian people for a possible confrontation with Israel to free Golan Heights, says Israel is not interested in peace

"Israel 's poor performance against Hizbullah last summer boosted support for President Bashar Assad 's popularity among the Syrian people who are ready for confrontation with Israel, a senior Syrian journalist told Ynet.

"There is no doubt that the Lebanon war and the Israeli defeat are a source of encouragement, and also a source for recruiting the Syrian people who see itself as a pioneer and example to other Arab people. It is looking at how the Lebanese defeated and expelled the Israelis from their land while its land remains occupied. "The Syrian people understood the possibility that a war will break out, even at the price Damascus and Syrian cities being bombarded," a senior Syrian journalist told Ynet.

His words reflect the Syrian regime's mood as Israel continues to shun Syrian peace overtures.

Assad has been signaling willingness to talk peace with the Jewish state, but on the other hand, the journalist says, "The principle is that so long we haven't freed our land in a peaceful path, we are entitled to do so militarily. The Syrian people in the occupied Golan Heights have the right to return to their homeland." "


Personally I have my doubts, but I am posting the "interview" for what it is worth. There is a huge difference between the motivation and the caliber of Hizbullah fighters and the troops of any Arab regime, including Syria. The regime's military power is not structured to fight to liberate the Golan; the command structure is based on loyalty to the regime. The foot soldier is not motivated and would surrender at the first opportunity, as we saw in the past.

I think that these are just noises being made by the Asad regime. One day he sends "peace" feelers to the U.S. and Israel, the next day he huffs and puffs. We are too old and too familiar with this type of impotent regime. It just wants an opening for romance with Uncle Sam; nothing more, nothing less.

What the Number 3000 Hides

By Juan Cole

"Iraqi guerrillas killed 6 more GIs and AP put the total dead in combat at 2998. The dreadful milestone of 3000 is upon us.

Like all statistics, this one is deceptive. It does not include US troops killed in Afghanistan, that oddly forgotten war where the US still has a division engaging in active combat. Nor is it nice to ignore NATO dead in Afghanistan, including French and Canadians (yes).

The number does not include the Coalition troops killed in Iraq. The sacrifices of the British, Italians, and others should be included.

And why ignore the seriously wounded? These brave warriors have brain damage, or spinal damage, or have lost limbs or been burned and disfigured. There are probably 8000 of them. Their sacrifice should be foregrounded. Life is not going to be easy for them, and they are not goiing to get that much help from Bush.

Indeed, why not count all the wounded? The number must be near 25000 by now.

Then there are all the I raq Vets with post traumatic stress disorder and a myriad of other combat related mental diseases. There is alcoholism, domestic violence, divorce.

The true number of Americans and US allies who are in some sense casualties of war is in the tens of thousands.

3000 is a horrible number. But it is not the only dreadful number. By concentrating on it, Washington politicians and the US press hide from us the true magnitude of the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Iraqi Resistance Will Have The Last Word

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Arab Nation Today

Did Sharon Order the Assassination of Arafat?

The Revelations of Uri Dan


"Longtime and now recently deceased confidant to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Uri Dan, published a book in France that may have been his 2006 one titled Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait in which he accused the former prime minister of assassinating Palestinian Authority (PA) President Yasser Arafat by poisoning him. Dan claimed Sharon got approval from George Bush by phone early in 2004 to proceed with his plan after he told the US president he was no longer committed to "not" liquidating the Palestinian leader who then was under siege and practically incarcerated in what remained of his Ramallah compound, most of which had already been destroyed by the Israelis in a lawless act of retribution against him.

Based on his record during his tenure as Texas governor, when he authorized more death row inmate executions than any US governor in history (and was called by some the Texecutioner), this revelation should come as no surprise. It's even clearer based on Ariel Sharon's boast once about his relationship with George Bush saying: "We have the US president under our control."


Hang ‘em High in Baghdad: the Object Lesson of Saddam’s Execution

By Kurt Nimmo

".....Bush and crew will likely never face justice, or for that matter the prospect of hooded thugs fitting a rope around their necks. In America, war criminals are allowed to retire and write their memoirs.

Saddam was executed not so much as an act of justice—as if a kangaroo court, installed by an occupation military force, can seriously deliver justice—for the U.S. government does not give a damn about justice for the Iraqi people, or for that matter any other people, but rather the execution of Saddam was engineered to serve as an object lesson to those who would resist the combined interests of the international banker criminal cartel, the think tank neolibs, and their neocon kissing cousins who serve the interests of the Likudniks in Israel, with plenty of profitable spillover for the military-industrial-intelligence complex, a behemothic monster over shadowing the threat Dwight Eisenhower warned us about as he left office on January 17, 1961. "

To the Iraqi Expatriate Celebrants in Dearborn, Michigan

by Linda Milazzo

"Tonight in Dearborn Michigan, Iraqi expatriates have taken to the streets to celebrate the hanging of Saddam Hussein. As a non-Iraqi who values the lives of the people living in Iraq today, I have a message for these celebrants:

If you truly believe, as you have stated to American media, that Saddam's hanging justifies the deaths of 650,000 innocent Iraqis under the regime of George W. Bush, you are neither lovers of Iraq nor lovers of Iraqis.

Shame on you!

The death of one man cannot justify the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children who survived Saddam, but perished under George W. Bush.

Shame on you for celebrating in the safety of your comfortable Michigan neighborhoods while the people still living in your "beloved homeland" are subjected to car bombs, abduction and torture every day.

As you celebrate your retribution, do so visualizing the faces of your dead and maimed compatriots who have perished since March 20, 2003... all of whom would have preferred an internationally subdued, monitored and intact Iraq under Saddam Hussein, to the violence and anarchy in Iraq under George W. Bush.

If you believe for one minute that Saddam's death justifies the demise of the infrastructure of Iraq. If you believe for one minute that Saddam's death justifies the sectarian violence in Iraq. If you believe for one minute that Saddam's death justifies the current hell of "your" people in Iraq... then trade places with them.

Give them your comfortable homes in Michigan and take their destroyed homes and lives in Iraq. Perhaps then you will stop your celebration and consider the hell they will live through tomorrow even after the death of Saddam.

Millions of Iraqis suffered under the regime of Saddam Hussein. If you or your loved ones were victims of his cruelty, I am sorry. I understand and accept your hatred for him. But to celebrate the current state of turmoil in Iraq for even one night is neither humane nor patriotic to me."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The Question is:

How Do You Consider Executing Saddam On The First Day Of Eid Al-Adha?

With Over 3,200 Responses, Here Are The Opinions:

It Was An Insult..........................93.3%

Cause For Rejoicing By His Victims...3.7%

It Was A Normal Judicial Matter...... 3.1%

Another Palestinian opinion on Saddam, by Christian Sunni

'In this Arpil 24, 2003 file photo, the remains of an Iraqi person is seen in the process of being unearthed at the bottom of a makeshift grave, at a formerly off-limits government cemetery for those who were 'disappeared' by Saddam Hussein's regime and which opened to Iraqi citizens after Hussein was overthrown by the U.S., in the Abu Ghraib suburb of Baghdad. Saddam was executed by the new Iraqi government Saturday Dec. 30, 2006, after a court convicted and sentenced him to death for his role in the murders of 148 Shiite Muslims from Dujail. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)':

The hanging of Saddam Hussein was something truly historic--Arabs have never seen anything like it.

First, let me say that I am 100% against the death penalty--even for war criminals. There is something truly barbaric about a government--any government that engages in premeditated murder.

Second, I thought the hanging of Saddam only shined a giant spotlight on the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy in the region. For many Arabs the execution of Saddam is bittersweet. Saddam was executed after a trial for ordering the killing of 100+ Iraqis in Dujail, but Palestinians and other Arabs cannot help but notice that no matter how many Palestinians are slaughtered by the Israeli Occupation Forces that the US will never take a principled stand in regards to Israel. Never. As a result many Arabs see the hanging as the racist and bigoted brutality of US foreign policy. The US is a country that suppresses even the slightest condemnation of Israel at the United Nations when Israel engages in the wanton slaughter of a civilian population.

Hypocrisy and bigotry from the US aside, we should not let our anger over US foreign policy blind us to the fact that Saddam was a murderous tyrant.

Iraq: State of the Evidence: Photographs: Mass Graves and Documentary Evidence of Crimes from Saddam Hussein's Regime.

Another group that fell victim to Saddam were the Marsh Arabs, they never did anything wrong. They were ethnically cleansed from their land when Saddam Hussein diverted the rivers and drained the habitat of the Marsh Arabs, forcing their exodus. He ended their way of living, a civilization that was thousands of years old. See picture of Marsh Arab children:

And to the Palestinians who will look back with nostalgia at the "superior" treatment of Palestinians by Saddam--let me remind you that under Saddam Palestinians were not able to own property or become citizens of the state. He only treated them slightly better than other Arab tyrants treat the Palestinians.

"حماس": إعدام صدام مخالفة لكل الأعراف والمواثيق الدولية

اعتبرت توقيته استهتاراً بكل القيم الإسلامية والعربية

"غزة - المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

اعتبرت حركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" إعدام الرئيس العراقي السابق صدام حسين بأنها جريمة إعدام سياسي، فرضتها الإدارة الأمريكية عبر الحكومة العراقية، مؤكدة أنها "جاءت مخالفة لكل الأعراف والمواثيق الدولية، ومخالفة لوثيقة جنيف الرابعة المتعلقة بمعاملة أسرى الحرب".

وقالت الحركة في بيان لها؛ "إنّ جريمة اغتيال صدام حسين جاءت في توقيت مدروس يستهدف النيل من العرب والمسلمين، فالقضية بالنسبة لنا، ليست دفاعاً عن صدام حسين، وإنما دفاعاً عن الكرامة العربية والمشاعر الإنسانية التي يُستهان بها".

وأضافت إن "جريمة الاغتيال التي ارتكبت، فجر اليوم السبت، في أول أيام عيد الأضحى المبارك هي استهتار بكل القيم الإسلامية والعربية، وما كان للإعدام أن يُنفّذ لولا الهوان العربي والإسلامي".

وأشارت "حماس" إلى أنه "لو كان صدام قد ارتكب أي جريمة؛ فكان الأولى أن يحاكمه شعبه لا أن يحاكمه المحتل الأمريكي، الذي يجب أن يُحاكَم على الجرائم التي ارتكبت وترتكب كل يوم على يديه في العراق وفلسطين وأفغانستان وغيرها من بقاع الأرض".

من جهته؛ قال إسماعيل رضوان، المتحدث باسم "حماس" إن الإدارة الأمريكية أرادت من خلال تنفيذ حكم الإعدام بصدام "خلق حالة من الاحباط والضغط على نفوس الجماهير العربية والإسلامية في أول أيام عيد الأضحى المبارك".

وأوضح أن هذا "الاستكبار العالمي الذي تقوده أمريكا الظالمة لن يدوم طويلاً، ولن يعمر طويلاً أمام صمود وثبات ومقاومة أبناء الشعوب العربية والإسلامية"، مؤكداً أن إعدام صدام اليوم "يمثل صفعة للأنظمة الهزيلة التي تأبى إلا أن تبقى خاضعة للهيمنة والسيطرة الأمريكية في المنطقة".

وتساءل رضوان "من سيحاكم الإدارة الأمريكية ضد ما ارتكبته من جرائم ضد أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني والشعوب العربية والإسلامية في أفغانستان والعراق وفلسطين؟"، موضحا أن "أيادي الإدارة الأمريكية ملطخة بالدماء إلى جانب الفظائع التي تقوم في سجن أبو غريب وغوانتنامو"، مطالباً بمحاكمة هذه الإدارة لتنال عقابها". "

Wage Peace Campaign

"What is this?

AFSC urges peace supporters to organize events in their hometowns the day after the 3,000th U.S. military death in Iraq is announced.

Together, we'll mourn all the lives lost in this war and call for the troops to come home.

There are currently
243 events planned in 44 states and counting... "

The After-Saddam Era

Hanging Saddam

By Mike Whitney

"The execution of Saddam Hussein is another grim chapter in the catalogue of war crimes perpetrated against the Iraqi people. It is a gratuitous act of barbarism devoid of justice.

What right does Bush have to kill Saddam? What right does the author of Abu Ghraib, Falluja, Haditha and countless other atrocities have to pass judgment on the former leader of a nation which posed no threat to the United States?

Let’s be clear, the lowliest, most ruthless Iraqi has more right to rule Iraq than the most upright American. That’s what’s meant by “self determination”. When we honor “self rule” we avoid bloody interventions like the invasion of Iraq.

Bush believes that killing Saddam will achieve the “closure” which has eluded him through 4 years of occupation. But he is mistaken. Saddam’s death will only eliminate any opportunity for a political solution. Reconciliation will be impossible and Saddam will die as a hero.

Is that what Bush wants?

Or does Bush really know what he wants? Perhaps, he is just a war-mongering psychopath completely disconnected from reality.

Capital punishment is a moral evil. The state never has the right to kill its own people regardless of their crimes; Saddam is no exception. But the premeditated murder of Saddam is particularly appalling, because it is stupid as well as unjust. It cuts off dialogue with the very people (the Ba’athist-led resistance) who need to be entered into the political process to achieve normalization. Bush is destroying his last chance for a negotiated settlement and paving the way for America’s total defeat.

It’s complete madness.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, told the Times Online that “the deposed president could be hanged ‘within hours’” and that his death sentence would be executed by Saturday at the latest.

Munir Haddad, the presiding judge on the appeals court, said, “All the measures have been done. There is no reason for delays.”

Plans are already underway to film the entire event.

It’s impossible to imagine a more fitting summary of 6 years of Bush rule than video-footage of Saddam’s limp figure dangling at the end of a rope. The pictures will no doubt replace the iconic photos of the hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner who appeared in headlines across the world.

The United States will pay a heavy price for Bush’s savagery. The war is already going badly and this latest travesty will only quicken America’s inevitable withdrawal.

America has become a moral swamp, its leaders incapable of wisdom or mercy. Hanging Saddam only adds to our mutual disgrace and exposes the real face of American justice."

Saddam at the End of a Rope

What's Good for Saddam May Be Good for Mubarak or the Saudi Royals



"It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging--- most of it (bar the last moments) shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. After a trial so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch---the largest single unit of the US Human Rights industry--- had to condemn it as a total travesty. Judges were changed on Washington's orders; defense lawyers were killed and the whole procedure resembled a well-orchestrated lynch mob. Where Nuremberg was a more dignified application of victor's justice, Saddam's trial has, till now, been the crudest and most grotesque. The Great Thinker President's reference to it 'as a milestone on the road to Iraqi democracy' as clear an indication as any that Washington pressed the trigger.

The contemptible leaders of the European Union, supposedly hostile to capital punishment, were silent, as usual. And while some Shia factions celebrated in Baghdad, the figures published by a fairly independent establishment outfit, the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies (its self-description: "which attempts to spread the conscious necessity of realizing basic freedoms, consolidating democratic values and foundations of civil society") reveal that just under 90 per cent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before it was occupied.

The ICRSC research is based on detailed house-to-house interviewing carried out during the third week of November 2006.
Only five per cent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than in 2003; 89 per cent of the people said the political situation had deteriorated; 79 per cent saw a decline in the economic situation; 12 per cent felt things had improved and 9 per cent said there was no change. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent felt the security situation was worse than before. Interestingly, about 50 per cent of those questioned identified themselves only as "Muslims"; 34 per cent as Shiites and 14 per cent as Sunnis. Add to this the figures supplied by the UNHCR: 1.6 million Iraqis (7 per cent of the population) have fled the country since March 2003 and 100,000 Iraqis leave every month, Christians, doctors, engineers, women, etc. There are one million in Syria, 750,000 in Jordan, 150,000 in Cairo. These are refugees that do not excite the sympathy of Western public opinion, since the US (and EU backed) occupation is the cause. These are not compared (as was the case in Kosovo) to the atrocities of the Third Reich. Perhaps it was these statistics (and the estimates of a million Iraqi dead) that necessitated the execution of Saddam Hussein?

That Saddam was a tyrant is beyond dispute, but what is conveniently forgotten is that most of his crimes were committed when he was a staunch ally of those who now occupy the country. It was, as he admitted in one of his trial outbursts, the approval of Washington (and the poison gas supplied by West Germany) that gave him the confidence to douse Halabja with chemicals in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war. He deserved a proper trial and punishment in an independent Iraq. Not this. The double standards applied by the West never cease to astonish. Indonesia's Suharto who presided over a mountain of corpses (At least a million to accept the lowest figure) was protected by Washington. He never annoyed them as much as Saddam.

And what of those who have created the mess in Iraq today? The torturers of Abu Ghraib; the pitiless butchers of Fallujah; the ethnic cleansers of Baghdad, the Kurdish prison boss who boasts that his model is Guantanamo. Will Bush and Blair ever be tried for war crimes? Doubtful. And Aznar, currently employed as a lecturer at Georgetown University in Washington, DC , where the language of instruction is English of which he doesn't speak a word. His reward is a punishment for the students.

Saddam's hanging might send a shiver through the collective, if artificial, spine of the Arab ruling elites. If Saddam can be hanged, so can Mubarak, or the Hashemite joker in Amman or the Saudi royals, as long as those who topple them are happy to play ball with Washington."

3000 - 2

December deadliest month for U.S. in Iraq in 2 yrs

"BAGHDAD, Dec 30 (Reuters) - December became the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq in two years after the U.S. military reported six more combat deaths, leaving the tally just two short of the emotive 3,000 mark.

Three U.S. marines died on Thursday from wounds suffered in combat in Iraq's western Anbar province. One soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in northwest Baghdad and another soldier was killed in Anbar on Friday, the military said on Saturday.

Another statement announced the death of a U.S. soldier killed by a roadside bomb in southwest Baghdad on Friday.

The latest deaths take the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the invasion of March 2003 to 2,998, according to, a Web site that tracks U.S. deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The number who died in December is now 109, three more than the previous high this year in October, and the highest since November 2004 when 137 U.S. servicemen and women died.

Mounting U.S. casualties are raising pressure on U.S. President George W. Bush to set a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from the increasingly unpopular war. "


The Worst May Still Be Coming.

Silencing Saddam

By Robert Scheer

"It is a very frightening precedent that the United States can invade a country on false pretenses, depose its leader and summarily execute him without an international trial or appeals process. This is about vengeance, not justice, for if it were the latter the existing international norms would have been observed. The trial should have been overseen by the World Court, in a country that could have guaranteed the safety of defense lawyers, who, in this case, were killed or otherwise intimidated.

The irony here is that the crimes for which Saddam Hussein was convicted occurred before the United States, in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, embraced him. Those crimes were well known to have occurred 15 months before Rumsfeld visited Iraq to usher in an alliance between the United States and Saddam to defeat Iran.

The fact is that Saddam Hussein knew a great deal about the United States’ role in Iraq, including deals made with Bush’s father. This rush to execute him had the feel of a gangster silencing the key witness to a crime.

At Nuremberg in the wake of World War II the U.S. set the bar very high by declaring that even the Nazis, who had committed the most heinous of crimes, should have a fair trial. The U.S. and allies insisted on this not to serve those charged, but to educate the public through a believable accounting. In the case of Saddam, the bar was lowered to the mud, with the proceedings turned into a political circus reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials."

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Mr. Fish

In The Meantime: Scarlett, author of the Iraq war dossier, is knighted

The Independent

"John Scarlett, who took responsibility for the error-ridden dossier that justified the war in Iraq, is knighted in today's New Year's Honours list. The award will enrage peace campaigners, who have accused the veteran spymaster of saving Tony Blair's skin over the flawed case for the invasion.

The news came as a British soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra yesterday, the 127th to die since the invasion in 2003.

Sir John, the head of MI6, played a key role in the Hutton Inquiry hearings into the death of the weapons expert David Kelly, three years ago. He steadfastly defended the dossier, which contained the notorious claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes. And he dismissed accusations he had bowed to pressure to "sex up" the document's conclusions.

As chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, he told the inquiry he had "overall charge and responsibility" for the dossier.

Sir John allowed last-minute changes that had the effect of strengthening its conclusions, leading Lord Hutton to suggest that he could have been "subconsciously influenced" by his political masters.

One crucial alteration was to cut the observation that Saddam Hussein was more likely to use chemical and biological weapons defensively than offensively - a change was made after Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's chief of staff, said the passage could pose "a problem" that could be seized on by anti-war critics.

Sir John insisted the amendment "was not as a result of the intervention from Downing Street"."


Ah, The Standards Of The Civilized West!

When All Else Fails, Execute Saddam

"BAGHDAD, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- About 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led invasion than it is today, according to a new ICRSS poll.

The findings emerged after house-to-house interviews conducted by the ICRSS during the third week of November. About 2,000 people from Baghdad (82 percent), Anbar and Najaf (9 percent each) were randomly asked to express their opinion. Twenty-four percent of the respondents were women.

Only five percent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than in 2003. While 89 percent of the people said the political situation had deteriorated, 79 percent saw a decline in the economic situation; 12 percent felt things had improved and 9 percent said there was no change. Predictably, 95 percent felt the security situation was worse than before.

The results of the poll conducted by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies and shared with the Gulf Research Center, has a margin error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The ICRSS is an independent institution "which attempts to spread the conscious necessity of realizing basic freedoms, consolidating democratic values and foundations of civil society."

Nearly 50 percent of the respondents identified themselves only as "Muslims"; 34 percent were Shiites and 14 percent, Sunnis."

They Were Afraid Of Him Even In His Death
A U.S. Death Squad Carried Out The Orders Of The Executioner-In-Chief

The Hangman And Executioner-In-Chief

International lawlessness

The US-backed invasion of Somalia to topple its Islamists is a dangerous, illegal act of aggression

Salim Lone
(Salim Lone was UN spokesman in Iraq in 2003 and is a columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya)
Saturday December 30, 2006
The Guardian

"Undeterred by the horrors and disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the Bush administration has opened another battlefront in the Muslim world. With US backing, Ethiopian troops have invaded Somalia in an illegal war of aggression. But this brazen US-sponsored bid to topple the popular Islamists who had brought Somalia its first peace and security in 16 years has already begun to backfire. Looting has forced the transitional government to declare a state of emergency. Clan warlords, who had terrorised Somalia until they were driven out by the Islamists this year, have begun carving up the city once again. And the African Union, which helped create the transitional government, has called for the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from the country, as did Kenya, a close US and Ethiopian ally.

They had little choice: the invasion was a clear violation of international law and a UN security council resolution, which the US itself pushed through earlier this month, that explicitly forbade troops from any neighbouring country from joining even the new peace-keeping force it authorised for Somalia. That still did not prevent the Bush administration from issuing a strong statement of support for the Ethiopian offensive.

As with Iraq in 2003, the US has cast this as a war to curtail terrorism. The real goal of course is to gain a direct foothold in another highly strategic and oil rich region by installing a client regime in Somalia. The US had already been violating the UN arms embargo on Somalia by supporting the warlords who drove out the UN peace-keepers in 1993 by killing 18 US soldiers, in order to push out the Islamists. That effort failed and an Ethiopian invasion remained the only way to oust a group with popular support. All independent experts warned against such a war, saying it would destabilise the region.

Ethiopia itself is highly unstable. Thought of as a Christian nation, it has a sizeable Muslim population which has begun to assert itself after marginalisation in the power structure. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi heads a dictatorial regime which has held on to power with US support after losing last year's elections. But this war, unlike its conflict with Eritrea, will not unify the country behind Meles.

To achieve its goals, the US once again ensnared the UN security council, which cravenly adopted a resolution which will further cement its reputation as an anti-Muslim body. It authorised a regional peace-keeping force to enter Somalia to protect the weak and isolated transitional government and "restore peace and stability". But all major international news organisations had reported that the country experienced this year its first respite from the utter lawlessness and terror that prevailed since 1991. A multilateral force was suddenly deemed necessary only because it was the Islamists that had brought about this stability - and they had done so not through violence but primarily through rallying people to their side by creating law and order through the application of sharia law, which Somalis universally practise.

The Islamists are not angels. But their collective pool of terror acts is dwarfed by the terrorism of the warlords that the US has been supporting in blatant violation of the UN arms embargo.

The US has every right to be concerned about terror. But the best anti-dote to terrorism in Somalia is stability, which the Union of Islamic Courts provided. The Islamists have strong public support, which has grown in the face of US and Ethiopian interventions. As in other Muslim-western conflicts, the way to secure peace is to engage with the Islamists to ensure that they have no reason to turn to terror. "

Friday, December 29, 2006

A dictator created then destroyed by America

By Robert Fisk

"....But history will record that the Arabs and other Muslims and, indeed, many millions in the West, will ask another question this weekend, a question that will not be posed in other Western newspapers because it is not the narrative laid down for us by our presidents and prime ministers - what about the other guilty men?

No, Tony Blair is not Saddam. We don't gas our enemies. George W Bush is not Saddam. He didn't invade Iran or Kuwait. He only invaded Iraq. But hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead - and thousands of Western troops are dead - because Messrs Bush and Blair and the Spanish Prime Minister and the Italian Prime Minister and the Australian Prime Minister went to war in 2003 on a potage of lies and mendacity and, given the weapons we used, with great brutality.

In the aftermath of the international crimes against humanity of 2001 we have tortured, we have murdered, we have brutalised and killed the innocent - we have even added our shame at Abu Ghraib to Saddam's shame at Abu Ghraib - and yet we are supposed to forget these terrible crimes as we applaud the swinging corpse of the dictator we created.

Who encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did. No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddam's weird trial, forbad any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him.....

And the mass killings we perpetrated in 2003 with our depleted uranium shells and our "bunker buster" bombs and our phosphorous, the murderous post-invasion sieges of Fallujah and Najaf, the hell-disaster of anarchy we unleashed on the Iraqi population in the aftermath of our "victory" - our "mission accomplished" - who will be found guilty of this? Such expiation as we might expect will come, no doubt, in the self-serving memoirs of Blair and Bush, written in comfortable and wealthy retirement......

But that is not how the Arab world will see him. At first, those who suffered from Saddam's cruelty will welcome his execution. Hundreds wanted to pull the hangman's lever. So will many other Kurds and Shia outside Iraq welcome his end. But they - and millions of other Muslims - will remember how he was informed of his death sentence at the dawn of the Eid al-Adha feast, which recalls the would-be sacrifice by Abraham, of his son, a commemoration which even the ghastly Saddam cynically used to celebrate by releasing prisoners from his jails. "Handed over to the Iraqi authorities," he may have been before his death. But his execution will go down - correctly - as an American affair and time will add its false but lasting gloss to all this - that the West destroyed an Arab leader who no longer obeyed his orders from Washington, that, for all his wrongdoing (and this will be the terrible get-out for Arab historians, this shaving away of his crimes) Saddam died a "martyr" to the will of the new "Crusaders".

When he was captured in November of 2003, the insurgency against American troops increased in ferocity. After his death, it will redouble in intensity again."

Will Bush Be Tried And Convicted?

Review of the year: Iraq

A nation soaked in blood tears itself apart

By Patrick Cockburn
The Independent
Published: 29 December 2006

"....After the horrors of this year, Sunni and Shia will hardly be able to co-operate closely in future. The sense of Iraqi identity may have been damaged beyond repair. But, more than most states, Iraq is dominated by its capital and Shia and Sunni will continue to fight to rule Baghdad until they either win or know there is no hope of victory."

Olmert and Abbas "push the wedge" in Palestine

James Brooks, The Electronic Intifada, 29 December 2006

"The recent "peace" overtures between Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Abbas do not promise significantly improved conditions for Palestinians or an end to the Israeli occupation. More likely results include intensified efforts to split the Palestinian public and undermine their legally elected government......

......If Mr. Abbas were sincerely interested in forming a national unity government with Hamas, he would not have sold their prisoners of state so cheaply. Had he been truly committed to democracy last March, he would have led his defeated party into loyal opposition in the newly elected Hamas government. By closing ranks with Hamas, Abbas and Fateh could have shown the world that Palestinians would obey their own constitution, work out their own issues, and would not be prey to outside interference or blockades.

Instead, he set out to commandeer the PA's security forces and led Fateh into the disloyal opposition they have maintained to this day. Lately he has taken the PA into new constitutional territory by claiming the unilateral power to call new elections. His Fateh-packed Supreme Court recently declared that decisions made by the current PLC are "null and void". Fortified by a significant new supply of US weapons and training, Mr. Abbas appears dangerously close to usurping both the Palestinian constitution and the will of the people by pretending to be the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian Authority.

In following this course, Mr. Abbas has made himself available to external forces that wish to make him the ultimate spoiler of last January's free and fair elections. The ultimate goal of these parties, Israel foremost among them, may be to trigger Palestinian civil war and fatally split the Palestinians' national solidarity, their key to survival. Perhaps to this end, the myth that Israel has "no partner for peace" is being transformed into the myth that Israel has "only one partner for peace", one that, under present conditions, cannot claim to represent the Palestinian people."

Neocons and Democrats Tussle over Long or Short “Surge” of Violence in Iraq

By Kurt Nimmo

".....Most recently, the “surge” concept—basically, throwing more troops into the Iraqi meat grinder—was tweaked by the neocon Frederick Kagan, brother of Robert Kagan, sidekick of top drawer neocon Bill Kristol, “resident scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute, where Bush gets his “minds,” and member in good standing over at the Council on Foreign Relations, the neolib coven. Kagan has teamed up with retired Army General Jack Keane, a former member of the neocon infested Defense Policy Board and director over at the death merchant General Dynamics, and they spelled out their version of the “surge” on the pages of the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post.....

.....Obviously, in order to tell the truth, one has to be far away from the whorehouse, that is to say the halls of Congress, White House conference rooms, and the inner offices of the State Department. Recall Colin Powell, who fondly refers to Kristol and the neocons as “fucking crazies,” on December 17 telling CBS that a troop increase “cannot be sustained.” In short, Bush’s “surge” will be a disaster, but then the neocons deal in disaster, as their master plan is to use up the U.S. military in an effort to destroy the Arab and Muslim Middle East, as the Israelis demand.

“A faction [more specifically, a neocon faction] in the Pentagon among the U.S. commanders in Iraq has been promoting the surge option to useful journalists such as Michael Gordon of the New York Times. In the Pentagon itself, sentiment is against the ’surge,’ at least if you want to believe a report in the Washington Post. In the Pentagon, they know there are no troops available, making people serve longer tours promotes mutiny, and 30,000 more troops would make no difference,” notes the San Francisco Chronicle (see previous link).

But then the neocons running the Iraq “war” are not interested in making a difference—they are primarily concerned with working up a violent lather that ultimately splits the nation into at least three distinct pieces. As well, they need troops positioned for the spillover effect of the coming attack against Iran, on tap before the unitary decider exits office, or rather steps off the throne, as he was not elected in the first place. "

Palestinian Democracy, Condoleezza Style

Rice asked Israel to strengthen Fatah and choke Hamas

"Nazareth – American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Washington this month that Israel must "choke off" Hamas, the Hebrew newspaper Ma'ariv reported.

She added that it is necessary to strengthen Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in advance of a possible all-out war between militias of the rival Hamas and Fatah factions.

Israeli media reported Thursday that the government approved a shipment of a large number of weapons and ammunition for Abbas's Presidential Guard militia of about 5,000 elite fighters, but he has denied the report."

Sectarian Ties Weaken Duty’s Call for Iraq Forces

“I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting,” Major Voorhies said.

For Maj. William Voorhies, the American commander of the military training unit at the scene, the moment encapsulated his increasingly frustrating task — trying to build up Iraqi security forces who themselves are being used as proxies in a spreading sectarian war. This time, it was a Sunni politician — Vice Prime Minister Salam al-Zubaie — but the more powerful Shiites interfered even more often.

A two-day reporting trip accompanying Major Voorhies’s unit and combat troops seemed to back his statement, as did other commanding officers expressing similar frustration.

“I have personally witnessed about a half-dozen of these incidents of what I would call political pressure, where a minister or someone from a minister’s office contacts one of these Iraqi commanders,” said Lt. Col. Steven Miska, the deputy commander for the Dagger Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division, who oversees combat operations in a wide swath of western Baghdad.

“These politicians are connected with either the militias or Sunni insurgents.”

Whatever plan the Bush administration unveils — a large force increase, a withdrawal or something in between — this country’s security is going to be left in the hands of Iraqi forces. Those forces, already struggling with corruption and infiltration, have shown little willingness to stand up to political pressure.

“I believe everyone, to some extent, is influenced by the militias,” Colonel Miska said. “While some Iraqi security forces may be complicit with the militias, others fear for their families when confronting the militia, and that is the more pervasive threat.”


Number of Palestinians murdered by Jewish state tripled in 2006

Israeli security forces killed 660 Palestinians in 2006 - three times more than in 2005, according to an Israeli human rights group.

B'Tselem, which monitors human rights in the occupied territories, said the figure included 141 children.

At least 322 had taken no part in hostile acts, the group said.

In the same period, the number of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis has fallen - 23 Israelis were killed in 2006 compared with 50 last year.

The Israeli military renewed ground operations in the Gaza Strip after militants captured an Israeli soldier in a border raid in June.

Since June, Israeli troops have killed about 405 Palestinians in Gaza, including 88 children. More than half of the casualties were civilians, B'Tselem said.

As of November, 9,075 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails. This number included 345 minors, it said.

Of these, 738 (22 minors) were being detained without trial and without knowing the charges against them, the group said.

Latest From Riverbend

End of Another Year...

"....2006 has been, decidedly, the worst year yet. No- really. The magnitude of this war and occupation is only now hitting the country full force. It's like having a big piece of hard, dry earth you are determined to break apart. You drive in the first stake in the form of an infrastructure damaged with missiles and the newest in arms technology, the first cracks begin to form. Several smaller stakes come in the form of politicians like Chalabi, Al Hakim, Talbani, Pachachi, Allawi and Maliki. The cracks slowly begin to multiply and stretch across the once solid piece of earth, reaching out towards its edges like so many skeletal hands. And you apply pressure. You surround it from all sides and push and pull. Slowly, but surely, it begins coming apart- a chip here, a chunk there.

That is Iraq right now. The Americans have done a fine job of working to break it apart. This last year has nearly everyone convinced that that was the plan right from the start. There were too many blunders for them to actually have been, simply, blunders. The 'mistakes' were too catastrophic. The people the Bush administration chose to support and promote were openly and publicly terrible- from the conman and embezzler Chalabi, to the terrorist Jaffari, to the militia man Maliki. The decisions, like disbanding the Iraqi army, abolishing the original constitution, and allowing militias to take over Iraqi security were too damaging to be anything but intentional.

The question now is, but why? I really have been asking myself that these last few days. What does America possibly gain by damaging Iraq to this extent? I'm certain only raving idiots still believe this war and occupation were about WMD or an actual fear of Saddam.

Al Qaeda? That's laughable. Bush has effectively created more terrorists in Iraq these last 4 years than Osama could have created in 10 different terrorist camps in the distant hills of Afghanistan. Our children now play games of 'sniper' and 'jihadi', pretending that one hit an American soldier between the eyes and this one overturned a Humvee.

This last year especially has been a turning point. Nearly every Iraqi has lost so much. So much. There's no way to describe the loss we've experienced with this war and occupation. There are no words to relay the feelings that come with the knowledge that daily almost 40 corpses are found in different states of decay and mutilation. There is no compensation for the dense, black cloud of fear that hangs over the head of every Iraqi. Fear of things so out of ones hands, it borders on the ridiculous- like whether your name is 'too Sunni' or 'too Shia'. Fear of the larger things- like the Americans in the tank, the police patrolling your area in black bandanas and green banners, and the Iraqi soldiers wearing black masks at the checkpoint.

Again, I can't help but ask myself why this was all done? What was the point of breaking Iraq so that it was beyond repair? Iran seems to be the only gainer. Their presence in Iraq is so well-established, publicly criticizing a cleric or ayatollah verges on suicide. Has the situation gone so beyond America that it is now irretrievable? Or was this a part of the plan all along? My head aches just posing the questions.

What has me most puzzled right now is: why add fuel to the fire? Sunnis and moderate Shia are being chased out of the larger cities in the south and the capital. Baghdad is being torn apart with Shia leaving Sunni areas and Sunnis leaving Shia areas- some under threat and some in fear of attacks. People are being openly shot at check points or in drive by killings… Many colleges have stopped classes. Thousands of Iraqis no longer send their children to school- it's just not safe.

Why make things worse by insisting on Saddam's execution now? Who gains if they hang Saddam? Iran, naturally, but who else? There is a real fear that this execution will be the final blow that will shatter Iraq. Some Sunni and Shia tribes have threatened to arm their members against the Americans if Saddam is executed. Iraqis in general are watching closely to see what happens next, and quietly preparing for the worst.

This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is "Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We're hanging him- he symbolizes you." And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).

That is, of course, why Talbani doesn't want to sign his death penalty- not because the mob man suddenly grew a conscience, but because he doesn't want to be the one who does the hanging- he won't be able to travel far away enough if he does that.

Maliki's government couldn't contain their glee. They announced the ratification of the execution order before the actual court did. A few nights ago, some American news program interviewed Maliki's bureau chief, Basim Al-Hassani who was speaking in accented American English about the upcoming execution like it was a carnival he'd be attending. He sat, looking sleazy and not a little bit ridiculous, his dialogue interspersed with 'gonna', 'gotta' and 'wanna'... Which happens, I suppose, when the only people you mix with are American soldiers.

My only conclusion is that the Americans want to withdraw from Iraq, but would like to leave behind a full-fledged civil war because it wouldn't look good if they withdraw and things actually begin to improve, would it?

Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.

Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?"

Inching towards implosion

With thousands of Palestinians facing starvation, Fatah and Hamas increasingly fought one another in 2006, with the spectre of mass civil strife looming at every turn

By Khaled Amayreh from occupied Palestine
Al-Ahram Weekly

"It is doubtless that 2006 will be viewed by historians as one of the most tumultuous years in the annals of Palestinian history.

On 25 January, legislative elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem finally took place after a series of postponements and delays by the Fatah leadership, mainly due to worries that the erstwhile Palestinian Authority (PA) ruling party was not sufficiently prepared for the polls.

The elections were monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, including former US president Jimmy Carter, who testified to their fairness, transparency and democratic nature.

The results of the elections showed that Fatah's fears were vindicated. Hamas won 75 seats of the 132 making up the Palestinian Legislative Council, with Fatah taking only 47, the remainder going to a few independents and a number of small leftist, liberal and secular parties. For Fatah, the outcome represented a humiliating defeat for a movement that ever since its inception in 1965 viewed itself as embodying the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people for freedom and liberation.

Hence, Fatah found it difficult to accept the results, despite public utterances to the contrary. Hamas also seemed to have outperformed itself; never having imagined it would win so many seats. The big gain for Hamas presented a real challenge to what remained essentially a resistance movement that had few connections.....


End of the neocons

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

"...American democratic evangelism ended because the policy was a complete failure. It failed in Lebanon, which liberated the Arabs from the 1967 complex for the second time, because of all the drastic misjudgements over Israeli might, over the power and resolve of the resistance, and over the feasibility of driving a sectarian wedge into Arab society around a successful anti-Israeli resistance movement -- your average Egyptian couldn't have cared less what kind of turban resistance fighters were wearing or how they held their hands during prayers. The policy failed in Palestine where it had been assumed that foreign pressure would sway the minds of voters in local elections that happened to be more about family connections, corruption, the decrepitude of a movement caught in a struggle between the old guard and fresh blood, and, of course, about patriotic issues and self-determination. In Iraq, this policy along with all others proved a total and unmitigated disaster. The dissolution of the Iraqi army and the dismantlement of the state cast that country back to a Hobbesian "war of all against all," whose participants include the occupying power from overseas and the looming neighbour, and in which the primary motive for life is fear of death. In this anarchy, societal affiliations have become politicised thanks to new leaderships put into place by the occupation regardless of their lack of either a social base or a record of political accomplishment. And by tapping into an abundant source of cheap sectarian capital and feeding the occupier handpicked distorted information, these leaderships have lured the occupation into playing along with their agenda. The result is an epidemic of sectarianism where none had previously existed, an epidemic that is all the more lethal due to the lack of any effective immunity now that the conviction in an overarching Arab identity has been thrown out with the filthy bathwater of the old regime......

.....The current "internal" strife in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon is a continuation of the clash with Washington's neoconservative administration by other means. In Palestine, the last of the neocons are to be found in the clique surrounding the Palestinian president, which refuses so much as a domestic compromise on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders. This is the group that insists on meeting US-Israeli conditions, that frowned at the national reconciliation document because it could not serve as a basis for entering into negotiations with Israel, that prayed that the Israeli offensive against Lebanon would teach Hizbullah and all inspired by it a lesson and then lamented the victory of the Lebanese resistance, that wants Europe and the US not to lift the blockade against the elected Palestinian government so as to help it back into power. The remnants of the neoconservatives are still to be found among the 14 March group in Lebanon, who regard the Baker-Hamilton report as a defeat for them, who fear the very thought of a dialogue between the US and Syria and Iran, who rejected a ceasefire during the war on Lebanon before they could be assured that the country could not revert to its pre-12 July conditions, as though they had been the ones to have launched the assault to begin with. The last of the neocons are to be found among the Iraqi forces that restrict even those who could from reining in the militias, who obstruct any possible dialogue with the Baath Party, who have turned national reconciliation conferences into a façade that Bush can use to support his claim that something is moving forward in Iraq, into parleys that succeed in drafting closing statements only because the intent to follow through was never there to begin with, into the type of surgery that can be followed by the pronouncement, "The operation was a success, but the patient died."



By Malcom Lagauche

"......The current scenario just does not make sense. The people who lied through their teeth (Bush, Cheney, Rice, Bremer, Powell, Rumsfeld, et al) and stole tens of billions of dollars that belonged to the country of Iraq, are proudly speaking of creating a new Middle East or conducting booksigning tours for their memoirs. The results of their lies led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; a cost of about a trillion dollars so far to the U.S. public; and the destruction of a country’s culture and infrastructure. Even the history of Iraq has been re-written by people in Washington D.C.

On the other hand, the guy with the moustache who told the truth about all the lies and adhered to the U.N. request for inspections, as well as supplied a 12,000-page report that documented in detail every aspect of Iraq’s former WMD programs, sits in a jail cell awaiting execution. Something is fundamentally wrong when things can get so far out of hand.

Today, Saddam Hussein is the freest man in Iraq, although he is behind bars. His mind is clear and his integrity is nothing short of incredible. He awaits death with dignity. Not once has he cracked under torture or pressure. Even when offered a "get out of jail free" card by the U.S. if he stopped the resistance, Saddam refused to capitulate.

Other leaders, such as Ghadaffi and Noriega did succumb to U.S. pressure. Ghadaffi, once a revolutionary, today is nothing more than the head inspector of the transfer of his country’s oil to the capitalist giants. He no longer has a grand view of society. He may not be in jail, but he is a slave......"

Latuff: Palestinians Right To Exist

(Click on to enlarge)
Latuff: We're always hearing about the Israel's right to exist. But, what about the Palestinians? Don't they have the right to exist too? Don't they have the right to live in their own state?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

3,000 - 4


U.S. Deaths In Iraq Are Running At The Highest Level Of The Year, And That Is Before The "Surge." December has seen the death of 107 U.S. troops so far and is already the year's worst month. Happy New Year Mr. Decider!

U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq......2,996

"Coalition" Troops Killed.......3,246

U.S. Troops Wounded.........22,565

The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter's Book

Carter's Real Sin is Cutting to the Heart of the Problem



"As Jimmy Carter's new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid climbs the bestseller list, the reaction of Israel's apologists scales new peaks of lunacy. I will examine a pair of typical examples and then look at the latest weapon to silence Carter.

Apartheid Analogy

No aspect of Carter's book has evoked more outrage than its identification of Israeli policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with apartheid. Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post called it "foolish and unfair," the Boston Globe editorialized that it was "irresponsibly provocative," while the New York Times reported that Jewish groups condemned it as "dangerous and anti-Semitic." (1)

In fact the comparison is a commonplace among informed commentators.......

...Those sharing Carter's iniquitous belief also include the editorial board of Israel's leading newspaper Haaretz, which observed in September 2006 that "the apartheid regime in the territories remains intact; millions of Palestinians are living without rights, freedom of movement or a livelihood, under the yoke of ongoing Israeli occupation," as well as former Israeli Knesset member Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel, South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate for Peace Desmond Tutu and "father" of human rights law in South Africa John Dugard......

...The shrill reaction to Carter's mention of apartheid is probably due not only to the term's emotive resonances but its legal-political implications as well. According to Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions as well as the Statute of the International Criminal Court, "practices of apartheid" constitute war crimes. Small wonder, then, that despite--or, rather, because of--its aptness, Carter is being bullied into repudiating the term.....

...Carter's real sin is that he cut to the heart of the problem: "Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law." "

العراق بالأحمر والأسود...سيخرجوا حقناً لرأس المال وليس الدم

From Ramallah: Dr. Adel Samara
د. عادل سمارة

لمن نستمع نحن العرب، بل العروبيون، فليس كل عربي هو عربي! هل نستمع لتقرير بيكر-هاملتون، أم لتصريحات روبرت جيتس، أم لزيارة جون ابي زيد لإثيوبيا ، أم لتخلي حكام العرب عن السودان: ليدخله وباء جند الإستعمار المعولم ، أم لأقوال أولمرت "أن لا محادثات مع سوريا إلا برضى أميركي". أم نستمع لهذه جميعاً من جهة، أم نسأل التاريخ، والذاكرة والاقتصاد وعقولنا؟
لا جدال في أن ما يصدر عن مركز العولمة مفيد معلوماتياً، حتى لو كان الكثير منه بقصد التضليل، والأكثر منه لا يُقال. فقد يرى البعص في تصريحات جيتس ما يُعاكس أو يرد على تقرير بيكر-هاملتون، أو كأن هذا التقرير هو حالة مهجنة ومركية لرؤية حزبين متعارضين. وقد تكون القراءة الأكثر هدوءاً، أن كله يكمل بعضه بعضاً، وكله في خدمة الطبقة الحاكمة، وفي "الإجتهاد أجر وثواب".
يجدر أن لا يغيب عن البال ان الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي هما حزبان لنفس الطبقة، وليست العلاقة بينهما تقاسم أدوار بقدر ما هي تكامل أداء الوظيفة لأن من ليس في الحكم منهما، هو في المصلحة المشتركة، بمعنى انه حين تم احتلال العراق كان الجمهوريون يخدمون الطبقة الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة التي يشكل الديمقراطيون جزءا بنيويا عميقا منها.
ودون حديث عميق في تقرير بيكر-هاملتون، فالتقرير ينص بوضوح على غرق جيش الإحتلال في إشكالية الهزيمة في العراق، لكنه لا يتحدث أو ينصح بخروج نهائي من العراق. ربما هو تقرير لإتقاء الخسائر الأكبر والأكثر وهو لإنارة الطريق امام السلطة الأميركية نفسها التي تدير الحرب على العراق.
من ناحية جوهرية، فتقرير بيكر-هاملتون وحديث جيتس يكملان بعضهما البعض. فالعدوان الأميركي على العراق كان من أجل النفط، ولم يجف النفط بعد. وإن المرء ليعجب من اي كاتب لا يبدأ من هنا وينتهي هنا. الحرب في العراق هي تعبئة منابع النفط المنهوب بدم العراقيين والجنود الأميركيين، الأحمر بدل الأسود، تماماً كما يضخون الماء ليخرج الغاز إلى الأعلى. هذه هي المعادلة الإقتصادية البشرية في العراق. وليست رؤيتها بعبقرية، بل كل ما يحتاجه المرء، بعضاً من ضمير ليقول ما يعرف ويفهم ويستنتج. وكل الحذلقات والفذلكات عن سوء فهم عربي غربي، أو خلاف ثقافي أو ديني، أو حتى صراع حضاري، رغم أهمية هذا تحديداً، كل هذا ليس سوى رقص خارج الحلبة.
فطالما أن هناك نفطاً، هناك احتلال. وكما كتبنا في هذه النشرة منذ احتلال بغداد 9 نيسان 2003، بأن الإستعمار يبدأ بالجملة ويخرج بالتدريج، لكنه يخرج، نعم، ظل الاعتقاد نفسه، إنما لا يخرج الإحتلال سريعاً ولا شريفاً.
في كثير من الحالات خلق الاستعمار بدائل محلية له. ولكن في العراق ما زال الأمر صعباً ويبدو أنه يزداد صعوبة يوما بعد يوم، حيث يدرك العراقيون، حتى العملاء منهم، ان الإحتلال جاء ليسحق العميل قبل الأصيل. وأن هذا الإحتلال، لا يثق حتى بعملائه لأن مصالحه لا تثق إلا بجلده. ويبدو ان الاستعمار لفرط أهمية مصالحه لا يثق بمن يبدلون جلودهم!
يحلم الاحتلال بتقاسم الأدوار في العراق، ان تشرف حكومة العملاء على "الأمن" الداخلي، وتشرف قواعد بعيدة ومحمية من جيشه على "الأمن النفطي"، وهو الحلم الذي حالت المقاومة دونه وستحول دونه إلى النهاية لا شك. وهذا ما يتقاطع جداً مع حديث جيتس: "نحن هنا إلى أمد بعيد". فهل من عجب إذن ان نقول كما ذكرنا في هذ النشرة منذ عامين بأن الأميركيين ينوون الاستيطان في العراق؟ ألا ينطوي هذا القول على نهب وسلب وقتل واحتقار؟
ليس هذا خيال شاعر. فقرابة 200 ألف جندي هم اكثر من سكان العديد من بلدان عربية في الخليج. وأكثر من عرب هذه البلدان مجتمعة في السبعينات. وقد يزداد هذا العدد. فهناك 9 ملايين حاملي البطاقة الخضراء في أميركا من مختلف فقراء العالم الذين يحلمون بالجنة الخضراء في أميركا، ويفدونها بدمائهم التي تراق في العراق. ولن يحول دون هذا الاستيطان المصلحي سوى الإنهيار الإقتصادي، بمعنى أن ارواح طالبي البطاقات الخضراء، وحتى دماء حمر الرقاب، لن تثني الطبقة الحاكمة عن الذهب الأسود. فالاستعداد لبذل الأحمر مقابل الأسود لا حدود له، إلا حينما تصبح الصفقة غير مربحة قط. بعبارة أخرى، فالإحتلال ذاهب هناك في صفقة اقتصادية، لديه رصيد هائل من الدم ليسفحه هناك دون حساب، والفقر في العالم كنتاج لراس المال قادر على تزويد أميركا بمزيد من الدم ليسفح في العراق.
ولا شك أن هناك جيوشاً أخرى لأميركا في العراق، ودماء جنودها ليست أثمن من دم حاملي البطاقة الخضراء، سواء في الحكومة العميلة التي يكاد دورها ينحصر في إدارة القتل الداخلي المتبادل بين أهل العراق. وهناك أنظمة مجاورة تخدم الإستيطان النفطي. فمن سوء الطالع للعراق ان الوسط المحيط به ليس مع المقاومة، بل معادٍ لها. وهذا دليل آخر على ألمعية هذه المقاومة بمعنى أنها تصمد في واقع مجافٍ إلى درجة كبيرة.
من اين تبدأ الهزيمة إذن؟ تبدأ من الخسارة الإقتصادية. فالمسألة هي حساب الربح والخسارة ولا قيمة للإنسان فيها، فكيف إذا كان غير واعٍ أو جره فقره إلى حتفه وهو يعلم؟
قبل ستينات القرن الماضي (القرن العشرين كي لا يبدو الزمان بعيداً) كان فائض الميزان التجاري الأميركي 10 مليار دولار. وحتى بداية سبعينات القرن نفسه انعكس الأمر ليصبح مقدار العجز بنفس مقدار الفائض الذي كان في الستينات. وذلك بفضل حرب فيتنام التي لم تنزعج أميركا من كونها حرقت دماء عشرات آلاف الجنود، بل لأنها حرقت عشرات مليارات الدولارات. فأصل اللعبة هو المال أو هو البضائع مترجمة إلى سيولة مالية. اي اصبحت المضارية غير مجدية. ولم يسعف الإقتصاد ألأميركي كونه ألأقوى في العالم وحصته من الإنتاج السلعي العالمي أكثر من 30 بالمئة.
صحيح أن الأزمة الإقتصادية العالمية الممتدة منذ 1973 وحتى اليوم، رغم ما تخللها، من صعود مؤقت مرة هنا وأخرى هناك، لمؤشر معدل الربح، صحيح أنها ضربت المركز كله، والعالم كله، وليس المركز الأميركي وحده، ولكن تاثير هذه الأزمة على الولايات المتحدة كان اعظم. فلم يسعف اقتصادها ما قامت به من طباعة الدولارات وضخها في السوق، ولا إلغاء القاعدة الذهبية وتعويم الدولار. فقد أخذ العدوان على فيتنام يلتهم كل هذا، إلى جانب حواشيه مثل، زيادة المساعدات الأجنبية للدول العميلة والإنفاق على قواعدها وجيوشها في اليابان وجنوب كوريا وتايوان "لمواجهة الشيوعية" رغم أن هذه الجيوش لم تكن منشغلة في حروب.
تكمن أهمية هذه التطورات أنها أهلكت الإنتاج الأميركي المدني، ودفعته للتحول إلى اقتصاد يتركز أكثر في الإنتاج الحربي. بعبارة أخرى، ربما لم تتراجع اميركا من حيث المستوى التكنولوجي بقدر ما جرى تحويل في الدور الإنتاجي من المدني لصالح العسكري. وهذا لا يعني أن الآخرين لم يأخذوا من حصة أميركا من السوق العالمي "المدني". والمهم ان كل هذا قد اضعف الاقتصاد وحوله من حربي إلى مدني. وأخيراً هربت أميركا من فيتنام. لكنها لم تفقد المصلحة الطبقية لحكامها في العدوان من أجل السوق والثروة، ناهيك أن الإقتصاد نفسه لم يكن ليغامر بقاعدتة الإنتاجية التسليحية. ولكن، أيضا، لا يمكن للإنتاج العسكري أن يعوض الخسارة في مبيعات الإنتاج المدني. فالإنتاج المدني مطلوب لكل المليارات، أما العسكري فمطلوب، ولو بالجملة، لبؤر التوتر. لذا ربما نفهم لماذا تدعم أميركا العدوان ألأثيوبي على الصومال وذهاب أبي زيد، إلى هناك. فليس من منطق في القول أن أميركا تخشى حكومة إسلامية في الصومال، في منطقة ليس فيها من سوق قادر على الاستهلاك العالي أو ثروة توجب النهب، ولكن إشعال المنطقة يخلق طلباً على السلاح، وبالتالي فإن ما لم ينفقه الناس على شراء الإنتاج المدني او حتى ما ينفقوه يذهب لشراء لأسلحة. فهل هناك أكثر وحشية من هذه المعادلة التي لا يعرف المرء منها للوهلة الأولى سوى أن أبي زيد زار المنطقة!
لم يكن النفط غائباً عن المعادلة في الستينات والسبعينات. لكنه كان في اليد بفضل الحكومات الوكيلة. وكانت طفرة اسعار النفط التي سحبت من الغرب الراسمالي فوائض هائلة، لتعيدها إليها نفس الأنظمة وإن بطرق شتى. فما الجديد إذن في احتلال العراق؟
ليس هنا موقع الحديث المفصل، لكن العراق كان بلداً له مشروع قومي، ونفط مؤمم، ونفط بدأ يبيعه باليورو. واهم من كل هذا، فقد شهدت الثمانينات والتسعينات، وحتى اليوم طفرة إنتاجية في الصين والهند وغيرهما، واصبح التحكم بنفط العالم هو أداة ضبط إيقاع الإنتاج والسوق. وكيف يكون ذلك لبلد لم يعد هو المنتج الرئيسي منفردا في هذا العالم. فبعد تراجع حصة اميركا من الإنتاج المدني العالمي، كان لا بد أن تنافس مدنياً عبر الأسلحة، لا بد من احتلال العراق للسيطرة على النفط والتحكم بتدفقه، وعند الاضطرار ، خلق مستوطنات (عسكرية/مدنية) هناك، لتتحول القواعد إلى مدن عسكرية مدنية. وبهذا تحاول اميركا التحكم بنمو هذين البلدين، بل والعالم بأسره. هذا إضافة إلى تحويل أفغانستان إلى قاعدة لأميركا هناك اقرب إلى كل آسيا. وماذا يهم الطبقات الحاكمة في أميركا ونظيراتها في الغرب الراسمالي لو ماتت جنودهم هناك؟ لا شيىء، فهناك تخريجيتين:
العلنية: الدفاع عن مصلحة الأمة
والسرية: ليموت أبناء الطبقات الشعبية من أجل راس المال.
لذا، كان طبيعياً وضروريا تدمير العراق وافغانستان. كان لا بد من التدمير ليتبعه التعمير، هذا منطق راس المال. وهو منطق لا تظهر بشاعته للوهلة الأولى. فليس الأمر مجرد هدم أبنية وطرقات قديمة لإقامة بديلة جديدة، بل هي ذبح ملايين البشر من أجل تشغيل ماكينة راس المال. ماكينة تدور بالدم والنفط، بالأحمر والأسود. لذا، دُمر العراق بدءاً من حضارة سومر وأكد، وحتى الجيش وذبح مئات الألاف واغتيل العلماء، واغتصبت النساء ولا ندري ماذا بعد.
وكل هذا تم باسم دمقرطة العراق على يد بلد يفاخر ب "المجتمع المدني"، هذا الزعم الذي يصلي في محرابه كثير من المثقفين العرب، تجار استيراد الثقافة "كمبرادور الثقافة".
وهكذا، يبقى الإحتلال في العراق طالما المشروع مربحاً وإلى أن يصبح المشروع خاسراً و/أو يثور طالبو البطاقة الخضراء لفرط خوفهم وموتهم، أو خوفهم من حتفهم وإلى جانب هذا كله، إلى أن يكون في الكثير من محيط العراق من هم أفضل ممن هم اليوم. والى أن تمتد المقاومة إلى وطن المقاومة، وهي تمتد حقاً