Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hezbollah versus the CIA’s Cedar Revolution

A Good Analysis
By Kurt Nimmo

"As the engineered sectarian melt-down in Lebanon crawls forward, it is interesting to read the neocon columnists as they bewail the erosion of the “Cedar Revolution,” that is to say the neocon-neolib subversion of Lebanese politics.

But what of this so-called Cedar Revolution? Is it purely a Lebanese political phenomenon, having risen out of the anger and opposition to the presence of Syria in the country? Hardly.

“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) functions as an instrument of CIA penetration into civil society, by enabling the ‘legitimate’ funding of millions of dollars to promote U.S. foreign policy abroad and influence internal politics of foreign nations while avoiding Congressional scrutiny,” writes Eva Golinger. According to Ralph McGehee, a former CIA agent, and other former CIA operatives, the agency manipulated the trade union movement in the Philippines through USAID front organizations.

But it is not simply Asia where USAID works its “democratic” magic, more accurately described as cultural and economic voodoo. The CIA (and Pentagon) connected so-called NGO has turned up in Iraq, Haiti, the Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

It is especially interesting to read the account of USAID interference in Lebanon, as recounted by the Lebanese socialist Bassem Chit. “Lebanon’s ‘cedar revolution’ is being touted as the shining example of regime change on the cheap. Since the mass protest drove out the Syrians last year, Lebanon has seen an ascending flow of US interference. It varies from direct political manipulation and media campaigns to discreet funding of civil movements through ‘NGOs,” Chit wrote in May of this year. "An American-Lebanese woman representing Freedom House was accompanied by a “retired revolutionary” from Ukraine. The guy was eager to get us on board, and boasted of the joys of being “US-funded” — he added that after Ukraine’s Orange Revolution he even had the opportunity to “meet George Bush.” He obviously thought that was enough to close the deal.""That the US is wanting to finance Lebanese leftists might seem odd, but it is part of a pattern of political interference that emerged since the invasion of Iraq. During the “cedar revolution” US ambassador Jeffrey Feltman invited many of the leaders of the anti-Syrian movement to dinner parties. The US embassy also had a direct hand in fomenting the anti-Syrian protests".

The New York Post reported how, at the height of last year’s protests, “the CIA and European intelligence services were quietly giving money and logistical support to organizers of the anti-Syrian protests to ramp up pressure on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad… The secret program is similar to previous support of pro-democracy movements in Georgia and Ukraine, which also led to peaceful demonstrations.”

Now the country is awash with dubious NGOs. Among them is the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon, headed by Ziad Abdel Nour. The son of wealthy right wing Lebanese MP, Nour let the cat out of the bag when he declared, “We have absolutely no problem with heavy US involvement in Lebanon. On an economic level, military level, political level, security level… whatever it is. Israel is the 51st state of the United States. Let Lebanon be the 52nd state. And if the Arabs don’t like it, tough luck.”

It is interesting Chit mentions the Freedom House. This so-called NGO is stacked with neocons and neolib one-worlders, including James “World War Four” Woolsey, a former director of the CIA and VP for Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Rockefeller protégé Zbigniew Brzezinski, the engineer behind the Afghan Mujahideen, eventually to conveniently morph into al-Qaeda. Others include the Trilateralist Samuel P. Huntington, architect of the “clash of civilizations” currently underway, and Clinton national security adviser Anthony Lake, former Kissinger lackey and Clinton’s pointman on the bombing of Yugoslavia.

Of course, Mr. Loyola is speaking the language of his masters—the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, yet another neocon “think tank” aligned with the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, and the above mentioned Freedom House.

Predictably, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies includes on its roster the usual suspects, including the Ritchie Rich Steve Forbes, Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Newt Gingrich, Joseph Lieberman, James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and Richard Perle.

Obviously, with friends like these, Lebanon needs no enemies."

A selective memory

Sectarianism is hardly a new weapon in the colonialist arsenal

Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

"....The identity crisis in the eastern Arab world is a modern phenomenon, not the extension of a condition with deep historical roots. Nor are nationalism and state- and nation-building concepts that conflict with the existence of tribal and sectarian affiliations; they are answers to the challenges of building a modern society. The problem in Iraq, today, is that the country's tribal and sectarian structure is being forced on Iraqis as a mold for political affiliation. People aren't born as a nation; nations are built. And in order to build a nation you don't go delving into history, when there was no state or nation and when all that existed were tribes and sects, as some Orientalists do.

Proponents of the modern Arab nationalist project, by contrast, hoped to forge a sense of Arab nationalist identity as a basis for a political entity and citizenship and, perhaps, democratic government at a later stage.

In Iraq, as they and other colonial powers did elsewhere in the Levant, the British set about constructing a regional state, not as a means for superseding tribal and sectarian affiliations but as a structure that deliberately entrenched these divisions and aimed them against Arab nationalism. Colonial authorities, we recall, depended primarily on minorities -- or those they classified as minorities -- to build the "national" army. Now, nearly a century after the Sykes-Picot agreement, people are wringing their hands over the failure of that state, while throughout the colonial powers and their successors fought the only serious and feasible alternative, Arab nationalism. And now they are scrambling for solutions, such as a loose federation or increasing the number of troops in Iraq, as a last ditch attempt to preserve the unity of the country before "bringing Iraq to an end".

How curious. Contrary to what we had thought, Rumsfeld's resignation or dismissal may herald a greater military involvement and a tightening of the American grip in Iraq. Nor is this regarded at odds with the appeal to talk to Syria and Iran over Iraq. Now the theory on Iraq is do whatever it takes to win and impose a federal solution or let the country fall apart.

After having identified Arab nationalism as enemy number one, they co-opted Arab nationalist criticisms of the sub-regional state and its dependence on tribal and sectarian groupings and then distorted and turned these criticisms against both the state and Arab nationalism. Now the Arabs are required to recognise tribal and sectarian divisions as the only structural basis for a pluralistic society and to stop thinking of these pre- modern allegiances as possible impediments to statehood and nationalism, as Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries concluded.

Today's Iraqi occupation ideologues have concocted three super-simplistic myths to which they have reduced contemporary Iraq history: a Sunni- based Baathist regime ruled over the Shia, the oppressed Shia appealed to the US and Britain for help, and the resistance to the occupation is really a sectarian war between the Sunni and Shia. Their need to invent a fiction in order to cover up their failure and to suggest that Iraq either has to go the way they say or else, is not all that different from the fiction of weapons of mass destruction, the major difference being that they are now producing a real weapon of mass destruction aimed at Iraq and the eastern Arab world.

The Arab nationalist and leftist parties were not sectarian or ethnic allegiances. Iraq, together with its political elites and general public, passed through periods in which non-sectarian ideas and affiliations prevailed. Nor were previous Iraqi governments sectarian in nature: they didn't even allow religious affiliations to appear on identity papers and other official documents, and the use or exploitation of sectarian allegiances was regarded as shameful, perhaps criminal and certainly politically incorrect. If anything, it is the suppression of sectarianism that is contributing to the vehemence of today's sectarian chauvinists who are avenging past ills perpetrated by the Saddam regime. But this regime was not "Sunni"; it was a monolithic state apparatus shored up by a single party and state police and intelligence agencies, all of which consisted of both Sunnis and Shias.

Under previous Iraqi governments, officials did not like to have sectarian tags affixed to them. Only now has this become the rule, which is applied retroactively even to those who lived and died without an ounce of sectarianism in their blood. Abdel Karim Qasem is now labelled "Shia", Abdel-Salam Aref "Sunni"; the "Shia" Naji Taleb was prime minister under Aref; the founder of the Baath Party was originally "Christian", as was one of its most prominent members, Tareq Aziz, while Fouad Al-Rukabi, the first national chief of the Baath Party, was Shia. In 1963, in fact, all the civilian members of the Regional Command were Shia. Over the period of Baath Party rule there were three prime ministers: Ahmed Hussein Khudeir "Sunni", Saadoun Hamadi "Shia" and Mohamed Hamza Al-Zubeidi "Shia" and of the two speakers of the National Assembly, one -- Naim Haddad -- was Sunni and the other -- Saadoun Hamadi -- was Shia.

It is probably also futile to point out that things weren't always as monolithic and centralised as they were under Saddam Hussein, either in the government or the Baath Party, and that even under Saddam the monopoly on power was not a Sunni one wielded against the Shia but rather a monopoly by a military junta whose sway in the party and the state intersected with the regional and kinship ties of its constituents.

The first religious figure to have died as the result of torture was Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al-Badri Al-Samaraai, a Sunni. Mohamed Baqir Al-Sadr was executed ten years later. Moreover, for those who care to remember, the Sunni and Shia fundamentalist offensive was directed against the "secularist regime" in Iraq and the Iranian media constantly reminded its public that the two assassinations were connected and proof of the Baathist regime's war against Islam, both Sunni and Shia. But does anybody in the Iranian media mention Al-Badri today? Similarly forgotten are the armed confrontations against the government in Falluja in the 1970s (The so-called "Dervish Uprising") and the Ramadi uprising during the funeral of Mohamed Mazloum.

Evidently, the rule of political sectarianism and the preparation of the Arab world for the latest colonialist weapon, requires partial collective memory alongside partial collective amnesia."

Bolton Busy Framing Syria for Gemayel Assassination

By Kurt Nimmo

"“John Bolton, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said recent probes into political killings in Lebanon suggested Syrian involvement. He told the BBC that if Syria was deemed to have been involved, the implications were serious.”

And besides, if not for the meddlesome James Baker, Pierre might still be alive. Baker and crew want Syria involved in talks regarding the future of Iraq—a bleak future, thanks to the United States—an effort the neocons will stop at any cost.

“A few weeks ago the White House took the unprecedented step of saying that Syria and Iran, acting through Hezbollah, were on the verge of staging a coup d’etat against the democratically elected government of Lebanon, and I have to say that this assassination of Pierre Gemayel might well be the first shot in that coup,” thus Syria is “not just a supporter of terrorism but is a state actor in a terrorist fashion,” said Bolton. “I think the United States has to take that into account when it decides whether and to what extent to deal with a country like that.”

Of course, we understand perfectly well the way the neocons want to “deal with” Syria. Last summer, as Israel bogged down in Lebanon, fought to a standstill by Hezbollah, it was reported that Bush wanted the Israelis to attack Syria, but the Israelis “balked at the scheme,” according to Robert Parry of Consortium News. Sure it was nuts. After all, it is the job of the United States to attack Israel’s enemies, not the other way around.

One such neocon is Michael Ledeen, who wrote in July that the “great opportunity” of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon “is to bring down Assad along with destroying Hezbollah,” never mind that Israel was incapable of doing the latter, let alone the former. “There are many Syrians who are ready to act, but the first step toward the removal of Assad is for the president and the secretary of state to call for regime change in Syria.” No doubt Ledeen believes this would be a “cakewalk” similar to the one in Iraq.

According to the BBC, “the US is in a diplomatic quandary” over the Gemayel assassination. “It seems increasingly likely that a key advisory panel on future strategy in Iraq will suggest bringing in Syria to create a long-term solution to the violence,” even though “the assassination of Mr. Gemayel has made that all the more difficult,” obviously to the delight of the Israelis and neocons who dread any such diplomatic overtures parlayed in the direction of Syria.

Finally, according to the neocon “research” organization, the Middle East Research Institute, famous for mistranslating the speeches of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, citing the anti-Syrian Lebanese daily newspaper al-Nahar, the assassination of Pierre Gemayel was carried out by the “Fighters for the Unity of al-Sham [Greater Syria] and its Liberty.” Sounding oddly like “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” the alleged communiqué made obligatory references to Allah and promised retribution against “those who unceasingly spouted their venom against Syria and against the Resistance,” that is to say Hezbollah.

Obviously, the Mossad and the Pentagon, the latter through P2OG operations, are as busy in Lebanon as they are in Iraq."

تجارة الاحتلال تتغذي علي دماء العراقيين جميعا

هيفاء زنكنة

ـ"الجريمة البشعة في مدينة الصدر. كيف نصفها؟ القصف العشوائي بالهاون علي الكاظمية والاعظمية، علي مسجد الامام ابو حنيفة، عشرات الضحايا من الشهداء والجرحى.ـ
كل قتيل سيترك وراءه عائلة بلا معين. كل امرأة ستترك اطفالا يتامي..ـ

كم من قتيل وجريح؟ كيف ستعوض عوائل الضحايا؟ هل هناك ما يعوض فقدان أم او أب أو زوج أو شقيق؟ ماذا عن المارة المذعورين المتراكضين في مدينة الصدر، الاهالي المحاصرين في الاعظمية والكاظمية وهم يتلقون القنابل والهاون، ماذا عن الدم المختلط بتراب الوطن، المغسول مع بقايا الاجساد المحترقة، مع رماد الاشلاء؟ ماذا عن رائحة الموت الذي بات مرادفا للحياة في العراق، بعد ان كانت شوارعنا ومدننا واحياؤنا تفوح بعبير القداح وورد الجوري؟ ـ
والجثث مجهولة الهوية؟ كم مرة اسبوعيا نقرأ الخبر التالي: عثرت الشرطة اليوم علي اثنتين وخمسين جثة مجهولة الهوية في مناطق متفرقة من بغداد. اغلب الجثث كانت موثوقة الايدي ومعصوبة الاعين وعليها اثار تعذيب واطلاقات نارية في اماكن متفرقة من الجسم؟ـ
هل سيخبرنا جواد المالكي، وهو رئيس الوزراء المنتخب افتراضا، عدد الشهداء واسمائهم وما سيخلفونه من يتامي وأرامل؟ هل سيأخذ معه، يوم يمضي، للقاء رب عمله جورج بوش في الاسبوع المقبل في عمان، قائمة باسماء الشهداء العراقيين ليقرأها اسما اسما بحضور افراد الادارة الديمقراطية؟ كم سيحتاج المالكي ليقرأ اسماء الشهداء العراقيين الذين بلغ عددهم 650 ألف شهيد، والقائمة تطول؟ ـ
هل سيقرأ اسماء العلماء والطيارين والاكاديمين والاطباء والصحافيين والاعلاميين؟ هل سيقرأ اسماء المختطفين من كلية التعليم العالي والبحث العلمي الذين تم رمي اجسادهم المعذبة في الشارع وأحدهم الدكتور عبد السلام السويدان، رئيس دائرة البعثات؟ هل سيحكي لسيده بوش تفاصيل اغتيال الصحافي الدكتور سعد مهدي شلاش، عضو المؤتمر القومي العربي واحد كتاّب صحيفة راية العرب المناهضة للاحتلال، الصادرة في بغداد، وعضو نقابة الصحافيين العراقيين، وكيف عثر علي الراحل مقتولاً مع زوجته بطلقات نارية في منزله ببغداد؟ وهل سيجد الوقت الكافي ليعلمه بان الدكتور سعد شلاش كان احد الصحافيين العاملين في وكالة الانباء العراقية بدرجة مدير، كما عمل ايضاً استاذاً للتاريخ في كلية الآداب بالجامعة المستنصرية، وانه أحد العقول التي يبكي العراق فقدانها يوميا؟ـ
أو لعل كل ما سيفعله المالكي هو استجداء تمديد بقاء قوات الاحتلال عاما آخر؟ ـ
من هو المسؤول عن الانتهاكات والجرائم والمجازر؟ـ
عن حفر خندق الطائفية؟ـ
أليس هو الاحتلال بانواعه؟ـ
احتلال الغزاة الارهابيين المتمثل بفرق الموت التي أسسها السفير الامريكي السابق نيغروبونتي، الاب الروحي لفرق الموت في نيكاراغوا وبقية دول امريكا اللاتينية التي سببت قتل عشرات الالاف.ـ
ومخابرات السي آي أية ومقرها في المنطقة الخضراء المسؤولة عن قتل ما يزيد علي الستة ملايين شخص في جميع انحاء العالم منذ الثمانينات وحتي الان وحسب وثائقها ومصادرها هي.ـ
والسيارات المفخخة في الاسواق المكتظة من قبل القوات الامريكية انتقاما وتشويها لسمعة المقاومة.ـ
وحراس المنشآت وعددهم بالالاف الذين تم تدريبهم من قبل السي آي أية وبرعاية شركة رعاها احمد الجلبي، الابن المغضوب عليه من قبل البنتاغون الامريكي، بعد ان وجد مصدرا جديدا لامتصاص الاموال غير قوائم الدفع الامريكية،ـ
والمرتزقة الذين لم يعد بامكان احد احصائهم المنتشرين في طول البلاد وعرضها،ـ
وقوات الموساد الاسرائيلي وقواعدها وضباطها،ـ
والحراس الامنيون من بريطانيين وامريكيين،ـ
وقوات الاحتلال العسكري بجنودها واسلحتها،ـ
والميليشيات، ـ
والجنود العراقيين المُدربين من قبل قوات الاحتلال،ـ
وساسة الاحتلال الطائفي الاثني المقيت المتنازعوؤن فيما بينهم الي حد تبادل الشتائم والسباب والكلمات البذيئة. ـ

Documents Reveal Secret Talks Between U.S. and Iraqi Armed Resistance

by Tom Hayden

"Failures on the battlefield and in the recent American elections are propelling the Bush Administration to consider significant changes in Iraq policy. Having placed the Shiite majority in power, the Administration now wonders if the country is being delivered to Iran. Having fought the Sunni-led insurgency for three years, the Administration wonders if negotiations are the only way to reduce American casualties. It is not to holiday that Bush and Rice are meeting next week with Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki while Cheney rushes to Saudi Arabia. The only question being kept from the American people is what the high-level talks are about.

On November 22 on the Huffington Post (was posted here), I revealed that American officials have contacted Sunni nationalist insurgents to explore a cease-fire and replacement of the al-Maliki government with an interim one. This plan would reduce US casualties against the Sunni-led insurgency [recently one hundred deaths per month], while being consistent with the Pentagon desire to focus firepower on the Shiite Mahdi Army, led by “radical cleric” Moktada al-Sadr, the most prominent Shiite leader calling for an American withdrawal from Iraq. The current obstacle to an all-out American offensive against al-Sadr’s stronghold in Sadr City happens to be Prime Minister al-Maliki, whose governing coalition includes al-Sadr.

Today’s car bomb explosions in Sadr City and the violent attacks against Baghdad’s health ministry are aimed at two main al-Sadr power bases [his representatives direct the health ministry].

Sensing that al-Maliki will agree to anything Bush demands, al-Sadr now is demanding that al-Maliki call off his meeting with the President.

Questions have arisen in the media concerning the evidence of my November 22 report that Americans have been involved in direct contacts with the Sunni armed resistance. The evidence is confirmed by a recent impromptu meeting in Amman between a resistance representative and US Congressman Jim McDermott, in the course of two days of discussions facilitated by a former Jordanian diplomat, Munther Haddadin.

More specific are documents dated November 13 and November 16 by an American contractor sketching detailed ongoing discussions with insurgent Sunni leaders aimed at a cease-fire. The plans can only be paraphrased and the contractor’s name withheld for reasons of confidentiality. It is not clear that the blueprint awaited an okay at the highest level as of November 16, or whether it was moving forward with plausible deniability.

Here is the plan, paraphrased briefly, as proposed by a source within the Green Zone who serves as an authorized back-channel link to the insurgent groups:

Leaders of the organized resistance groups are seeking immediate meetings with top American generals towards the goal of a cease-fire. Meetings with lower-level US officials already have occurred. The resistance groups reject the ability of the al-Maliki government to unify its government, and therefore wants an interim government imposed before new elections can be held.

The former Baathist-dominated national army, intelligence services and police, whose leaders currently are heading the underground resistance, would be rehired, restored and re-integrated into national structures under this plan.

Multinational Force [MNF-I] activities aimed at controlling militias to be expanded.

The US-controlled Multi-National Force [MNF-I] would be redeployed to control the eastern border with Iran.

A Status of Forces agreement would be negotiated immediately permitting the presence of American troops in Iraq for as long as ten years. Troop reductions and redeployments would be permitted over time.

Amnesty and prisoner releases would be negotiated between the parties, with the Americans guaranteeing the end of torture of those held in the detention centers and prisons of the current, Shiite-controlled Iraqi state.

De-Baathification edicts issued by Paul Bremer would be rescinded, allowing tens of thousands of former Baathists to resume military and professional service.

An American commitment to financing reconstruction would be continued, and the new Iraqi regime would guarantee incentives for private American companies to participate in the rebuilding effort.

War-debt relief for Kuwait and other countries.

These are essentially similar proposals to those offered by Sunni nationalists and armed resistance groups since 2005. Low-level contacts have been reported before. What is new, apparently, is the November American election results showing a public demand to disengage and sharply reduce American casualty levels. The American neo-conservatives have been discredited and, in their place, a faction of bipartisan “realists” has emerged in the Iraq Study Group led by James Baker. Condoleeza Rice is thought to have aligned herself with the realists.

Neither the Pentagon nor the realists are committed to bringing American troops home in the near future. Instead, they seek to reduce American casualties, check the influence of Iran, and redeploy US troops to permanent bases. The draft plan for a Status of Forces Agreement is based on the models of Germany and Japan.

An even more realistic position, though not yet an acceptable one, is that of former CIA director John Deutch, calling for an American troop withdrawal combined with a diplomatic initiative to Iran, seeking non-intervention by Teheran in exchange for the US leaving.

Secretive wars include secretive diplomacy. The American people will be the last to find out what future is being prepared in the flurry of events beginning now. "


Cheney meets with Saudi king in Riyadh

"RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Vice President Dick Cheney sought Saudi help on Saturday in dealing with Iraq's spiraling violence and other regional trouble spots where U.S. policy is on the line: Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Cheney's visit with King Abdullah was brief, lasting only a few hours before he flew back to Washington, but it underlined the two allies' concerns over upheavals across the Middle East, which many Arabs blame on U.S. policies.

In a sign of the urgency of the U.S. concern, President Bush is scheduled to meet with Iraq's prime minister in the Jordanian capital Wednesday and Thursday to discuss security matters."



Palestinian boys look at the body of 10-year-old Abed Salman, who was killed by Israeli occupation troops, during his funeral in the northern Gaza Strip November 24, 2006.

Mishaal warns of third intifada if no political settlement reached within six months after government formation

"Cairo - Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chief of the Hamas Movement, on Saturday tabled his vision of a political settlement for the Middle East crisis stipulating an Israeli withdrawal to the 4th June 1967 borders including east Jerusalem and return of refugees within six months after formation of the PA unity government.

Mishaal, addressing a press conference in the Egyptian journalists syndicate, said the Palestinian national unity government would grant the international community, the USA and Europe six months after its formation for accomplishing a real political step in the region.

He underlined that all Palestinian forces were unanimous on establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 occupied lands that would end the Israeli occupation of those lands without leaving behind any Israeli settlement, "whether big or small". He noted that the Palestinian position was backed by Arab unanimity, and asked the Arab countries and the world to exploit this opportunity.

Mishaal, however, warned that in the event that step was not actualized then the Palestinian people would close down all political files and embark on a third intifada. He cautioned that the struggle would then be open for all possibilities.

He further warned that the PA would collapse, contrary to the USA and Israeli wishes, which do not wish to shoulder the responsibility for such a collapse.

There would be no negotiations on any settlement but rather there should be implementation of those demands on the part of the occupation, the Hamas leader elaborated.

Addressing those who believe that pressures and siege would frustrate Palestinians into abandoning Hamas, Mishaal said, "They are living a big illusion, Hamas will rather get stronger and all the resistance will get stronger".

The Hamas supreme leader also held the Hebrew state responsible for obstructing the exchange of prisoners between the Palestinians and Israel. "We covered major strides but finalizing the matter is not in our hands, we are not the cause for any delay, but rather it is the other party that is responsible for the delay", he explained.

He affirmed, however, that there was no other alternative to releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the freedom of the captured Israeli serviceman.

Mishaal finally asserted, "We will not beg for lifting the siege laid to the Palestinian people, it is the Palestinian people's right that this siege would come to an end"."

Who bombed the shrines?.

"The perfect controlled demolition.

Take a good look at the picture above because I will tell you what I see.

I see a damaged dome caused by an explosion set very professionally that the two minarets from the both sides weren’t effected by the explosion.

Not even one single “gold plate” fall down from the minarets while the explosion was so heavy that caused the collapse of the dome.

Tell me, Is this work of few terrorists who wants to finish the job as fast as possible?

The one who did this, entered the mosque comfortably carrying explosions, he had all the time to study the construction of the building and find the perfect angles to set the explosions in a way that only the dome will be destroyed.

This is a professional, controlled demolition and the bombs set by demolition experts.

Attwar, the TV Anchor

Now, let’s talk about the death of the three Iraqi journalists.

TV anchor Attwar, age 26 years is a significant young woman born in Samarra, moved to Baghdad just 3-4 years ago, Attwar worked for Al-Jazeera first and then she moved to Al-Arbyia.

I am not writing Attwar’s autobiography here but this has connection to the events, Attwar (I think you are smart enough to know that she is a Sunni) was well-known of her support for the Iraqi cause and blaming the occupation for the mess in Iraq.

One ex-Abu Ghraib prisoner tells this story about Attwar:

When I came out through the gates of Abu-Ghraib there was TV team waiting outside asked me for an interview, I said yes, then came TV anchor Attwar and asked “How do you fell no…. “she couldn’t finish her question because she burst in tears when she saw how do I look like, bare feet, torn clothes….

This is an example of Attwar mentality.

What the media didn’t told on Attwar’s death is this:

Attwar and her other two colleagues found dead but the TV team was four members, bad news four the US but one of the team survived the assassination to tell this:

Attwar being born in Samarra, her relatives and friends are still there, she managed to interview eyewitnesses on the explosion and people live in the area around the mosque.

Notice, they found the TV-team’s bodies later but didn’t found the documentary she made,

Who benefit from killing Atwwar, Sunnis? She is a Sunni. Resistance? She sympathise with the resistance. Shiite riot? Samarra is dominated by Sunnis.

The answer is simple, Attwar killed because she knew “too much”.

Zalamy Khalilzad weird message.

Sunni Clerical Association of Muslim Scholars, issued a 4 points condemnation letter to the bombing of shrine in Samara, You can see a picture of the letter here (Arabic), I don’t want go translating the whole letter but point 2 in the letter is a very important point.

It says the following:

We were suspicious when the US ambassador in Iraq (Zalamy Khalil) said: “A sectarian government who run their own ethnical militias to be incharge of the security (in Iraq) will not be acceptable”, such announcement should be addressed in secret meetings and not through “Satellite TV channels”, such public announcement will rally and moblize the shiia supporters of the “list 555” (Shiite alliance party).

SCAS are right, Zalamy Khalilzad announcement in public was meant to hit two birds in one stone, first an advertisement to the world that the US wants a united Iraq (for the public consumption only), second and the mean reason is he wanted to remind the Iraq alliances Shiites that they still under the US control.

Worth to notice that all news agancies wrote Khalilzad announcment as: During a rare news conference, Khalilzad….example

Shiite alliances didn’t understand the seriousness of Zalamy Khalil and they condemned “Khalilzad” announcement (Hakim, Jaffri..etc), several times they repeated that Iraq can make it’s own decisions and we don’t want an interfering in Iraqi matters from any external power, one Iraqi official said:

“Zalmay Khalil went too far with his demands”

Was the mosque explosion a continuation in the US and Shiite “dialog” but this time the US uses a “harsher language”?.

By the way today the so called Al-Qaeda in Iraq condemned the bombing, Baath party condemned the bombing and many fractions of Iraqi resistance condemned it also."


الضاري يهاجم حكومة المالكي ويدعو لسحب الاعتراف بها

"طالب الأمين العام لهيئة علماء المسلمين في العراق الشيخ حارث الضاري الدول العربية والأمم المتحدة بسحب الاعتراف من الحكومة العراقية الحالية برئاسة نوري المالكي، ووصفها بأنها حكومة تستغل الطائفية لتستعين بها على البقاء في الحكم وممارسة ما سماه النهب والإثراء.

وقال الضاري في مؤتمر صحفي بمقر نقابة الصحفيين المصريين في القاهرة إن هذه الحكومة "تعمل على ما يؤجج الوضع في العراق على نحو مقصود أو غير مقصود ليتسنى لها تحقيق مخططاتها بشأن تقسيم العراق خدمة للاحتلال".

وأشار إلى أن "قوات الاحتلال والحكومة تغطي عمل عصابات الإجرام والمليشيات المسلحة وتوفر لها السلاح من أجل تصفية القوى العراقية الرافضة للاحتلال وتأجيج الفتنة"، متهما القوى السياسية المشاركة في الحكم بمساعدة "الاحتلال" في العراق لتحقيق مصالحها الشخصية.

وشدد على أن ما يجري في العراق من فتن أو إقصاء أو اقتتال هو صراع سياسي مغطى بشيء من الطائفية السياسية وليس صراعا مذهبيا كما يروق لبعض الساسة أو أجهزة الإعلام -التي تروج لمصطلحات مثل السنة أو الشيعة- تسميته.

وأكد أن السياسيين في العراق أفلسوا من قواعدهم الشعبية وفقدوا الكثير من أوراقهم بعد أن قادوا البلد بعد أربع سنين من الاحتلال إلى المزيد من الدمار وإلى حافة الحرب الأهلية، معربا عن ثقته بقدرة الشعب العراقي على تجاوز هذه المحنة والحفاظ على وحدة البلد.

وأشار إلى أن العملية السياسية وصلت إلى طريق مسدود بعد أن فشلت في تقديم أي شيء للشعب بل قادته من سيئ إلى أسوأ.

وحول دعوة الزعيم الشيعي مقتدى الصدر له لتحريم قتل الشيعة، قال الضاري إنه أصدر ميثاق شرف يتبرأ من أي جهة تتعرض للمدنيين العراقيين وحتى غير العراقيين المؤتمنين، لكن لم يوقع عليه سوى ثلاث مرجعيات هي مرجعية آية الله جواد الخالصي ومرجعية آية الله البغدادي والتيار الصدري، أما بقية الأطراف المشاركة في الحكم فلم توقع عليه.

وأشار إلى أن هيئة علماء المسلمين وافقت بعد ذلك على عدة مواثيق لتحريم الدم العراقي وتحريم استهداف دور العبادة وقع عليها بمشاركة المراجع العراقية الأخرى في مؤتمر القاهرة ومكة. وأكد الضاري أنه لا يعترف سوى بالمقاومة التي تستهدف الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق، أما الذي يستهدف المدنيين العراقيين فليسوا من المقاومة.

وجدد الضاري رفضه الاعتراف بمذكرة الاعتقال أو التحقيق التي أصدرتها الحكومة العراقية ضده، وقال إن وقوف العديد من الأطراف العراقية معه ضدها استفتاء على صحة المنهج الذي يتبناه."

A French colonial legacy of despair

Finally, a good piece by Robert Fisk!

"...I hasten to add that - compared to the mendacious, utterly false, repulsively hypocritical and cancerous foreign policy of Dame Beckett of Basra - Chirac's dealings with France's former colonies and mandates are positively Christ-like in their integrity. But the Lebanon that France was to create after the First World War was to be based on the sectarian divisions which the infamous François Georges-Picot had observed earlier as a humble consul in this jewel of the old Ottoman empire, divided as it was between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims and Druze and Christian Maronites - France's favourite community and the faith of the murdered Pierre Gemayel - and the Greek Orthodox and the Greek Catholics and the Chaldeans and the rest. At that time the Maronites represented a thin majority, but emigration and their propensity for smaller families than their Muslim neighbours steadily turned the Christians into a minority which may now number 29 per cent or less.

But the French wanted the Maronites to run Lebanon and thus after independence bequeathed them the presidency. Sunni Muslims would hold the prime ministership and the Shias, who are today the largest community, would be compensated by holding the speakership of parliament. The French thus wanted Lebanon's "independence" - but they wanted it to be in France's favour.

Two problems immediately presented themselves to the Lebanese. By claiming the largest area which it was possible to rule with the tiniest majority - the Maronite religious leader of the time, Patriarch Hayek, was responsible for this - the Christians ensured that they would soon be outnumbered and thus rule their country from a position of minority power. After Irish partition, old James Craig, the founder of Northern Ireland, was a wiser bird than Hayek. From the historic province of Ulster, he ruthlessly dispensed with the three counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan because their Protestant communities were too small to sustain - and created a new Ulster whose six counties ensured a Protestant majority for decades to come.
The other Lebanese problem - which the people of Northern Ireland will immediately spot - is that a sectarian state, where only Maronites can be the president and where only Sunnis can be the prime minister, cannot be a modern state. Yet if you take away the sectarianism France created, Lebanon will no longer be Lebanon. The French realised all this in the same way - I suspect - as the Americans have now realised the nature of their sectarian monster in Iraq. Listen to what that great Arab historian, Albert Hourani, wrote about the experience of being a Levantine in 1946 - and apply it to Iraq. To live in such a way, Hourani wrote:

"is to live in two worlds or more at once, without belonging to either; to be able to go through the external forms which indicate the possession of a certain nationality, religion or culture, without actually possessing it. ... It is to belong to no community and to possess nothing of one's own. It reveals itself in lostness, cynicism and despair."

Amid such geopolitical uncertainties, it is easy for westerners to see these people in the borders and colours in which we have chosen to define them. Hence all those newspaper maps of Lebanon - Shias at the bottom and on the right, the Sunnis and Druze in the middle and at the top, and the Christians uneasily wedged between Beirut and the northern Mediterranean coast. We draw the same sectarian maps of Iraq - Shias at the bottom, Sunnis in the middle (the famous "Sunni triangle" though it is not triangular at all) and Kurds at the top.

The British army adopted the same cynical colonial attitude in its cartography of Belfast. I still possess their sectarian maps of the 1970s in which Protestant areas were coloured orange (of course) and Catholic districts were green (of course) while the mixed, middle-class area around Malone Road appeared as a dull brown, the colour of a fine, dry sherry. But we do not draw these maps of our own British or American cities. I could draw a map of Bradford's ethnic districts - but we would never print it. I could draw a black-white ethnic map of Washington - but the Washington Post would never dream of publishing it.

And thus we divide the "other", while assiduously denying the "other" in ourself. This is what the French did in Lebanon, what the British did in Northern Ireland and the Americans are now doing in Iraq. In this way we maintain our homogenous power. Pierre Gemayel grew up in Bikfaya, firmly in that wedge of territory north of Beirut. Many Lebanese now fear a conflict between those who support the "democracy" to which Gemayel belonged and the Shias, the people - in every sense of the word - at the "bottom". And the French are going to ensure the country in which all these poor people are trapped remains "independent".

Quite so. And by the way, when did we ever see an ethnic map of Paris and its banlieues? "

Iraqi coalition on brink of collapse as country descends towards civil war

· Key ally tells PM to choose between him and Bush
· Iranian leaders to meet Talabani at Tehran talks

Jonathan Steele in Irbil, Robert Tait in Tehran and Julian Borger in Washington
Saturday November 25, 2006
The Guardian

"Iraq's precarious government was teetering yesterday as a powerful Shia militia leader threatened to withdraw support after sectarian killings reached a new peak and the country lurched closer to all-out civil war. The prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was forced to choose between his US protectors and an essential pillar of his coalition, when Moqtada al-Sadr declared his intention to walk out, potentially bringing down the government, if Mr Maliki went ahead with a meeting with President George Bush in Jordan next week.

Mr Maliki, a moderate Shia, faced the dilemma as the cycle of killings reached new levels of savagery. Yesterday, there were reports that at least 60 Sunnis had died in revenge killings and suicide attacks, including one episode in which Shia militiamen seized six Sunnis as they were leaving a mosque, doused them with petrol and set them alight, while soldiers reportedly stood by. In another attack, gunmen burned mosques and killed more than 30 Sunnis in Baghdad's Hurriya district before US forces intervened.

The violence added new urgency to a regional summit in Tehran this weekend on Iraq's fate. Iraq's neighbours, particularly Syria and Iran, have been accused of pulling strings in the Iraqi chaos, and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is today due to play host to his Iraqi counterpart, Jalal Talabani.

The Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, was invited but reports from Damascus suggested he would not attend. Syria restored diplomatic relations with Iraq this week after a 24-year gap. In a reflection of the importance Iran attaches to the summit, Mr Talabani is also expected to meet the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate say on foreign policy.

Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, predicted that Mr Talabani's visit would produce "important agreements". He described the violence and the US-British occupying forces as "two sides of the same coin" adding: "The two issues should be taken into consideration jointly and a comprehensive solution found."

Observers in Tehran said the government there hoped to use its summit as an overture to Washington. "The Iranian leadership are trying to use Mr Talabani, who has a special role inside Iraq and has never criticised Iran, as a mediator between Tehran and Washington," said Saeed Leylaz, a political analyst. "Mr Ahmadinejad is hopeful that he can attract America's attention through Iraq."

Since taking office, Mr Maliki has been under constant US pressure to disarm the Mahdi army and other Shia militias, while remaining beholden to them to stay in power. The Sadr party demanded yesterday that Mr Maliki "specify the nature of its relations with the occupation forces", demanded a timetable for a US withdrawal, and issued its ultimatum over the scheduled Bush-Maliki meeting in Jordan next Wednesday and Thursday. "There is no reason to meet the criminal who is behind the terrorism," said Faleh Hassan Shansal, a Sadrist MP."



Odwan urges Khameni to end Palestinian refugees' suffering in Iraq

"Gaza - Dr. Atef Odwan, the PA minister of refugees' affairs, has urged Ayatollah Ali Khameni, the spiritual guide of the Islamic republic of Iran, to use his good offices and end the suffering of Palestinian refugees in Iraq, who are the daily targets of murder, torture, abduction, harassment and detention.

Odwan, in an urgent message to Khameni on Friday, asked the Iranian government to immediately intervene to end the oppression befalling Palestinians in Iraq, affirming that they were experiencing their worst nightmares as a result of the systematic assaults on the part of a number of "suspicious groups".

The minister asked Khameni to address an urgent appeal and to send emissaries to concerned parties in Iraq to end the Palestinians' ordeals and to spare them the ongoing differences and rivalries.

"We hope that you would use your influence over the Shiites in Iraq to end the oppression against Palestinians, to spare them the daily persecutions and to allow them to live in dignity as respectable guests," Odwan's message read.

He recalled that Palestinians did not choose to live in Iraq by their own free will but rather were driven out of their homeland by force at the hands of "Zionist occupation" and were living in Iraq on temporary basis until they could return to their homes in Palestine. He said that Palestinians in Iraq contributed in building and developing that country and never backed any party against another.

The minister said that the ill-practices against Palestinians in Iraq ran contrary to Islamic teachings, adding that the Palestinian people who suffered and still are suffering from occupation's repression in Palestine should not suffer oppression at the hands of their brethren in the Arab and Islamic countries.

The Palestinian people are looking forward to Arab and Muslim backing to lift the oppression befalling them wherever they may be, Odwan underlined."


To me the role of Iran in this human tragedy is very revealing about the regime's hypocrisy and double dealing. The Shiite death squads that are killing and terrorizing the Palestinians in Iraq are directly supported and controlled by Tehran. If Iran tells them to stop persecuting the Palestinians, they (death squads) would comply. Iran never fails to exploit Palestine and Jerusalem as a rallying cry for its own political ends. Tehran talks of preparing Al-Quds brigades to "liberate Jerusalem;" why not start by liberating the Palestinians next door in Iraq? Why not afford them a minimum humanitarian treatment? Forget that most of them are Muslims.

Iran likes to show off by appearing to champion Hamas and the Palestinians, but when deeds, not words, are in order such as in this case, Iran is totally silent. Do you see why I am cynical?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Interview With George Galloway

"George Bush and Tony Blair are not Christians"

George Galloway is an outspoken politician. He's vehemently against both the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

11/21/06 - The Hour - CBC - Video Runtime 7 Minutes

Meanwhile in Palestine

Bil'in peaceful protest marks agriculture season, demands free accesses to isolated orchards: This Friday in Bil'in, some 250 Palestinians and 50 Israeli and international peace activists carried the weekly protest against the Israeli annexation Wall in Bil'in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Eight residents, one Israeli reporter and one international peace activists were injured after the soldiers attacked the protesters and one resident was taken prisoner.

Four day military detention for non-violent Bil’in activist: Non-violent activist from Bil'in, Ayad Burnat, was seized and badly beaten by soldiers when he reached the other side of the gate. He was then arrested and is currently in detention in Ofer where he will be held for four days. Villagers have been told Ayad has been charged with throwing stones, a clearly trumped-up charge as Ayad was with the peaceful demonstrators the whole time.

Land deals from beyond the grave: The "burning ground" file reveals a small portion of the methods that put thousands of dunams of private Palestinian lands into the hands of Israeli construction firms. The ideological fervor of the Israeli government and the settlers to "redeem" the lands of Israel attracts criminals, Arab collaborators and Jewish con men. Paz says he has no doubt that if the police continue burrowing through Civil Administration files, they will discover the Amram brothers are not the only members of the large "family" that lives off the theft of Palestinian lands.

December 2: International ‘End the Gaza Siege’ Day: So far, the campaign project is reporting that 38 cities where actions are being planned on or about December 2 , when the big demonstration will take place in Israel... One last note: Not a single Arab city is participating in the campaign. Weird? Not at all. Arab street demonstrated for ages and nothing changed.

Amnesty International: “Israel: Fear for Safety”: The attack against Tove Johannsson, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a solidarity group of peace activists, was witnessed and documented by several other international human rights defenders. They reported that the group was surrounded by up to 100 Israeli settlers who spat at them, kicked and shoved them, while Israeli soldiers standing at the checkpoint nearby took no action to prevent the attack.

Behind the Wall: Palestinian Teens Speak Out: BW was initiated by English language students last school year because they felt Palestinian youth were underrepresented on the world stage. They were also convinced that their homeland needed at least one publication giving Palestinian teens a voice. Thus, Behind the Wall was created to share their attitudes, ideas, and experiences to the world.

P.A Ministry of Health: “15 killed, 47 injured in the Gaza Strip since Wednesday”: Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Thursday afternoon that fifteen residents were killed and forty-seven were injured in the period between Wednesday until Friday afternoon, after Israeli decided to escalate its offensive in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops kill boy (10) in Gaza: Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians including a young boy in clashes in Gaza today and the government said its assault would end only if gunmen stopped attacking the Jewish state from the strip.

3 soldiers injured in Beit Hanoun: Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were moderately and lightly injured on Friday when their armored vehicle drove over an explosive device south of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.

5 Qassams fired at western Negev: No injuries were reported but residents said windows were broken. Another rocket landed in open fields. Two Qassam rockets were fired at Sderot overnight Friday. One of the rockets landed in the city center, damaging a shop but causing no injuries.

Hamas supremo in Egypt talks on prisoner swap: Exiled Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal reportedly held talks with Egyptian officials on the problems facing the formation of a Palestinian national unity government and securing a prisoner swap deal with Israel.

Palestinian factions pledge to halt rocket fire if Israel stops Gaza assault: The Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Fatah agreed last night to stop launching Qassam rockets against Israel, if the Israel Defense Forces cease its operations in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad source Hader Habib said last night.

Israel: No end to Gaza offensive until Palestinians halt rocket fire: In addition, Israel Defense Forces sources told Israel Radio on Friday that military activity in the Gaza Strip will continue, and even intensify, in an effort to move the Qassam cells to areas that are less convenient for firing rockets at Israel.

Israel rejects Palestinian offer to halt rocket fire: "Our people are victim of a barbaric Israeli offensive that has left more than 400 dead and 1,500 wounded while thousands of homes have been destroyed," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared in Gaza City late Thursday.

State paid illegal settlers millions in compensation: The government's Disengagement Administration (Sela) has paid millions of shekels in compensation to dozens of families evacuated from illegal outposts in the Gaza Strip in the context of the August 2005 disengagement, Haaretz has learned. By law, only residents of legal settlements were entitled to compensation.

U.S. general says building up Abbas's guard: In his first interview since taking up the post in March, Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that Iran is helping arm and fund Hamas, and the United States wants to prevent "moderate forces" in the Palestinian territories from being eliminated.

Israel sending Hamas cease-fire signals: Recognizing that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is incapable of halting the Kassam rocket fire from Gaza, Israel reportedly is conveying messages indirectly to Hamas to try and secure a cease-fire. While insisting that Israel was not maintaining a continuous, indirect dialogue with Hamas, a government official on Thursday night acknowledged that messages were "getting through."

Noted religious Zionist rabbi calls for anti-Qassam militias: "Had the reins of the state been in 'Jewish' hands, not necessarily religious, we should have allowed the youth of Sderot, Ashkelon, the western Negev and anyone fit to bear arms ... to fight back in the framework of ungoverned militias," he wrote in remarks that will be published Friday in the weekly Zomet Institute bulletin Shabbat Beshabato.

A selective memory - By Azmi Bishara: Everyone calling for the dissolution of the Iraqi state, as though it were some philanthropic society or political party or joint-stock company, dredges up this study on Iraqi history. Needless to say, Israeli scholars hit upon it well before American journalists. Asher Susser referred to it in substantiation of his prediction that the Iraqi state would disintegrate after the war and that its people would revert to pre-state allegiances. He also expects the same of other Arab states.

Rice drops plan for Jordan peace summit due to PA turmoil: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had wanted to use her trip to Jordan next week to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian talks, but the idea was shelved due to the Palestinians' ongoing failure to establish a unity government, Israeli government sources said.

Will Israel join the nuclear club?: In February, Bush visited India and signed a declaration of strategic partnership with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, the United States will legitimize India's atomic bomb in retrospect and in return India will submit the civilian part of its nuclear industry to international inspection and will commit itself to refraining from proliferating atomic weapons.

UN rights chief says Palestinians, Israelis feel abandoned by world: Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said her talks with both Palestinians and Israelis during a five-day visit to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip made apparent "their profound sense of frustration and abandonment, including a perception that the international community is not doing enough to protect them."

Syrian Jews: Talk to Syria now: The head of New York's Jewish-Syrian community, Jack Avital, has blasted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for failing to "check the sincerity" of Syrian President Bashar Assad's peace overtures, the New York Jewish Week reported.

Former MI officer: Israel must sit down for talks with Syria: Ben Ari argues that Syrian president Bashar Assad and the Syrian military exploited the war in Lebanon to draw the conclusion that rocket and missile arsenals are the most important component in a conflict with Israel.

U.S. Groups To Host Rightist Minister With Anti-Arab Plan: The leader of the secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, Lieberman is best known for his proposal to transfer part of Israel's Arab population by turning over territory within the 1967 border to the Palestinians. But he is slated to speak about Iran on December 12, when he addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in his capacity as deputy prime minister in charge of strategic threats.

Palestinian man shot dead in occupied Gaza : Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Hamas member who was filming the group's operations in northern Gaza.

Israel rejects rocket truce offer : Israel has dismissed an offer from Palestinian armed groups to stop firing rockets in exchange for a halt to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Gideon Levy : A prayer in paradise : The kindergarten teacher is lying on a stretcher, covered with blood. The minibus is parked alongside. From somewhere to the left, the army cannon is firing shells.

France okays firing at Israeli jets over Lebanon: French soldiers in Lebanon who feel threatened by aggressive Israeli overflights are permitted to shoot at IAF fighter jets, a high-ranking French military officer told The Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile in Iraq

Gunmen rampage through Baghdad district, kill 30: police: Gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns rampaged through a Sunni enclave in a mainly Shi'ite district in Baghdad on Friday, killing 30 people and setting mosques and homes ablaze, Iraqi police said.

Another 26 killed as U.S. occupation continues: A double suicide attack killed 22 people and wounded 45 at a market in a Shi'ite district in the northern city of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border, police said.

6 Sunnis burned alive, police say: Shia militia grabbed six Sunnis, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive Friday in what is believed to be revenge for deadly car bombings and mortar attacks in Baghdad's largest Shia district.

British soldier killed in Iraq : The soldier, a member of the Parachute Regiment, was shot during the operation in Basra and taken to a nearby military hospital where he later died.

Baghdad toll exceeds 200 : The death toll from a series of bombs in Sadr City, a poor Shia area of Baghdad, has reached 202. An estimated 250 people were wounded in Thursday afternoon's attacks.

Shiites Warn of Government Withdrawal : A powerful legislative bloc loyal to firebrand Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr threatened to withdraw from the government if Iraq’s prime minister attends a scheduled meeting with President Bush in Jordan next week.

Bush Visit Threatens to Fracture Iraqi Government: As the death toll from a series of devastating car bombs in a Shiite district here rose today to more than 200, a powerful legislative bloc loyal to firebrand Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr threatened to withdraw from the government if Iraq’s prime minister attends a scheduled meeting with President Bush in Jordan next week.

Iraqi president to seek Iranian help: Seeking to assert itself as a regional power, Iran said on Tuesday it had also invited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to join the summit. But on Thursday, apparently after either Baghdad or Damascus had rejected the offer, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said a three-way meeting was "not on the agenda".

Sunni mosques attacked after deadly Baghdad bombings: Just a few hours before the attack, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political group threatened to quit the national unity government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets US President George W. Bush in Jordan on November 29. At least four Sunni mosques were attacked by militias in western Baghdad.

Iraq Blast Kills 22 in North; Baghdad Toll Now 202: A car bombing killed at least 22 people in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar as the death toll rose to 202 in yesterday's Baghdad explosions, the deadliest coordinated attacks since the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.

Iraqi Kid Runs For Water

A short video.

Here’s how “our boys” entertain themselves in Iraq. Disgusting.

Or watch here:

Iraqi Kid Runs For Water

An Iraqi Album

(Mr., The Mule Driver Has To Put Up With The Mule's Farts)

"BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani postponed his much-anticipated visit to Tehran because of a curfew imposed on Baghdad because of soaring violence. "I can't go because the airport is closed. If it is open on Sunday, I'll go then," Talabani told reporters."

Internecine Squabble Between Neolibs and Neocons Over Lebanon Makes for Turgid Reading in the Los Angeles Times

A good piece
By Kurt Nimmo

"According to Nathan Brown, a plodder for the neoliberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the United Nations, the Bushian “vision” for the Middle East has failed.

“The assassination Tuesday of Pierre Gemayel, a Cabinet minister and scion of one of the countries’ leading Maronite Catholic families, has renewed fears of civil war and raised suspicion that Syria is again asserting itself in the affairs of its restive neighbor,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Lebanon’s ‘Cedar Revolution,’ which gave power to anti-Syria forces, was heralded along with the 2005 elections in Iraq, Egypt and the Palestinian territories as part of a new movement that was going to be ‘as important as the fall of the Berlin Wall,’ Brown said.”

Never mind that Lebanon’s “Cedar Revolution” was but another intelligence operation gussied up in the vestment of so-called democracy. “We know now that the ‘Cedar Revolution’ was just another clever ‘made-in-Washington’ public relations scam orchestrated by skillful American NGOs and Israeli intelligence agencies. The ‘color-coded’ revolutions have since been widely discredited as more of Uncle Sam’s tricks for bringing about regime change in countries where the leaders fail to conform to the economic diktats of the IMF and World Bank,” writes Mike Whitney.

“Palestinian voters have since granted power to the militant group Hamas, which the administration has yet to recognize. Egypt’s reforms have stalled. And in Iraq, the government has proved unable to run the country amid increasing violence and rising U.S. casualties. Many Iraqis say they would prefer a return to authoritarian rule,” the Times continues.

Indeed, the Palestinian people elected Hamas because they were sick and tired of the corruption and cronyism of Arafat and the PLO. One “of the reasons that Hamas won the election is because the corruption of these people living in their big houses was so manifest that people didn’t want to take it anymore,” Jeffrey Blankfort tells the San Francisco Independent Media Center. “The fact of the matter is that it was Arafat’s and the PLO’s corruption that led to the rise of Hamas, because Hamas was honest and was providing for the people, and they weren’t spending everything on themselves…. Arafat was getting eight million dollars annually from Israel.” Since Hamas does not collaborate with Israel, it must be crushed, its leaders abducted and imprisoned in Israeli torture dungeons.

In Egypt, the “iron-fisted” dictator Hosni Mubarak promised “constitutional and legislative reforms which will ensure the ideal electoral system, strengthen political parties and the role of women in parliament,” even if these so-called reforms lead to the installment of Gamal Mubarak, son of Hosni. It is business as usual in Egypt, as human rights organizations repeatedly document. “Infringements of freedom of expression, association and assembly, particularly in the run up to the People’s Assembly elections… raised doubt about the government’s stated commitment to fair and free elections. State security forces continued to commit grave human rights violations with impunity, including the detention without charge or trial of political detainees and torture, and political opponents continued to be sentenced after unfair trials,” Human Rights Watch noted in 2000. The people of Egypt have endured a “state of emergency” since 1981.

Naturally, the Iraqis prefer the return of Saddam and the Ba’athists to the brutal occupation of U.S. troops. Even during Bush Senior’s sanctions, dutifully carried out and extended by Bill Clinton, the average Iraqi was better off than he or she is now under the crushing yoke of Bush the Junior’s “democracy.” Many Iraqis recall the day when their country was the envy of the Arab world with its top-notch healthcare and educational systems. Malnutrition rates are “now roughly equal that of Burundi, a central African nation torn by more than a decade of war,” explains Doug Lorimer, citing results of an Iraq Health Ministry report. “The report added that acute malnutrition among Iraqi children had nearly doubled since the occupation began, with nearly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from ‘wasting,’ a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein.” But then, as Rumsfeld quipped, “democracy is messy.”

“A collapse of the Lebanese government would mark a further expansion in the influence of Hezbollah—and of Syria and Iran, which back the Shiite Muslim militant group—many of the analysts said,” the Times reports. “It would be a setback to the U.S. goal of uniting the country around a stronger central government, and to hopes that an expanded Lebanese army could protect Israel from Hezbollah attacks.”

Of course, this is precisely the plan—to reduce Lebanon, and the rest of the Arab and Islamic Middle East, into a cauldron of simmering ethnic and religious violence, thus realizing the neocon “Clean Break” and Oded Yinon’s plan for balkanization.

In fact, the average grunt in the Lebanese army realizes Hezbollah was organized as a response to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and it is now the only force capable of keeping Israel out of the country, as the result of Israel’s invasion last summer amply demonstrates. Moreover, it is apparently too much to ask the “liberal” Los Angeles Times, an indefatigable apologist for Israeli brutality and war crimes, to set the record straight—the invasion began after Israeli soldiers were captured in the town of Aitaa al-Chaab, inside Lebanon, a fact reported by Forbes, the Hindustan Times, AFP, Asia Times, and others, but later swept down the memory hole.

“U.S. officials have been trying to help the Lebanese government resist pressure from Hezbollah, which wants to replace Siniora’s team with a ‘unity’ government that would give Shiites more say and block many of Siniora’s initiatives and goals.”

Never mind that Lebanon’s Shia are systematically excluded from the government. “A 60-year-old National Covenant divides public offices between Christians and Muslims, yet in actuality the country has long been run by a Christian and Sunni oligarchy, with input from Druze leaders. Shiites, the largest and poorest of the four groups, are disdained by the elite, and until recently, were virtually disenfranchised by the Lebanese political apparatus,” writes Eric Laursen, a fact you will not read in the Los Angeles Times.

Fouad al-Siniora and his government are darlings in the eyes of the neoliberals, as Lebanon fits nicely in the loan sharking model preferred by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “While a proposed economic reform package may help cut the country’s massive debt burden, it would also make living conditions harder for ordinary people and fail to stem the so-called ‘brain drain’ phenomenon, say economists,” IRIN, a “project” of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported earlier this year. “Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora and Finance Minister Jihad Azour are scheduled to head to Washington. There they are expected to discuss reforms and push for international support in meetings with World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials.” According to Albert Dagher of the Lebanese University, neoliberal “privatization,” or unhindered thievery of public infrastructure, “would serve to increase the burden on ordinary citizens” and “result in significant cuts in state budgets for education, health and other public services,” thus reducing the overall standard of living, as planned.

“Concern over events in Lebanon has grown in Washington. The administration registered its alarm this month in a statement saying there was ‘mounting evidence’ that Iran, Syria and Hezbollah were collaborating to overthrow the Siniora government,” the Times warns.

In other words, in order to salvage the plans of both the neocons and the neolibs, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, bugaboos of the Israeli “vision” of a “democratic Middle East,” are to be illustrated as meddlesome demons, per usual. As poverty and exclusion in Lebanon are primarily due to “socio-economic disparities,” once again according to the United Nations, and more than half of the population are living between a “low degree of satisfaction” and “intermediate satisfaction,” it stands to reason the neoliberal toady Fouad al-Siniora should go. No doubt the Israeli invasion, resulting in the displacement of more than a half million people, added to the desire to get rid of al-Siniora the banker and his minions. It makes perfect sense to look toward Hezbollah as a protector, as it is the only force capable of responding to Israeli provocation.

“Some analysts argue that, rather than the democratic ascendancy Bush foresaw in early 2005, Lebanon represents a trend that will bring instability and spell a sharp decline in U.S. influence in the region,” the Times concludes. “That trend is marked by the rise in influence of Hezbollah and Iran, the increase in the influence of fundamentalist Islam, the growth of sectarian militias, higher oil prices and the stagnation of efforts to find an Israeli-Palestinian peace, said Richard N. Haass, a top State Department official during Bush’s first term and now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

Haass and his CFR cronies may feign consternation for the sake of public consumption, but in fact the neolib plan for the Middle East is moving forward swimmingly. It should be noted that Richard Haass is the president of the CFR and as VP and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and he brings together the neolib and neocon factions (while Brookings, at first glance, is a “liberal” think tank, with such luminaries as Strobe Talbott, Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, and Teresa Heinz, the billionaire philanthropic wife of John Kerry, it is in fact yet another reactionary criminal organization funded by the likes of the John M. Olin Foundation, and connected at the hip to the American Enterprise Institute, where Bush gets his “minds”). Call it a tag team effort between kissing cousins.

Like the classic shell game or confidence trick, the neolibs are attempting to shift blame for the “failure” of Bushian “democracy” in the Middle East on the neocons, who are to be set-up as fall guys. Increasingly, we are sold on the idea that the “adults,” in the guise of James Baker and the Iraq Study Group, are now in control and a new path will be forged in the untamed wilderness that has sprouted up around the neocon effort to democratize benighted Arabs through shock and awe.

In fact, there is very little difference between the neocon and neolib versions of reality in the Middle East, as both will result in more violence and misery. If the Baker Boys accomplish anything, it will be a marginalization of the Israeli effort to create a Greater Middle East, rolling the outlaw settler state back to the status of a junior partner, while emphasizing the World Bank and IMF component designed to return fantastic profit and inflict untold hardship on the people of the Middle East in the process, as they victimize millions around the world.

Of course, the more strident and fanatically Zionist among the neocons—determined to attack both Syria and Iran while the Baker Boys appear ready to talk, although one should never trust a talking neolib—may pull off something catastrophic in the next two years as Bush winds down his ill-gotten presidency.

Indeed, one may argue with a large degree of accuracy that the assassination of Pierre Gemayel is a show of brinkmanship on the part of Israel and the neocons, intended to send a message to their neolib cousins, much in the same way a Mafia family, through violence and murder, sends a message to a rival family. "

Palestinians on Iraq-Syria border

Source: UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

"UNHCR is very concerned about five Palestinians – three men and two boys – who were arrested on Tuesday by Iraqi security forces at Al Tanf border crossing between Iraq and Syria. The five were part of a group of more than 300 Palestinians from Baghdad who have been stranded at a tented site in no man's-land at Al Tanf since early May this year after fleeing the targeted violence and killings of Palestinians in the capital.

Relatives of the men told UNHCR that the five had left the site around mid-afternoon in search for diesel fuel for a generator from truck drivers who pass the border area. When they had not returned by midnight, the families reported them missing to the Syrian border authorities who found out from their Iraqi counterparts that the five had been detained on the Iraqi side.

So far, we have not been able to establish all the facts surrounding the arrest including the arresting authority and detention facility. Over the last three days our staff in Baghdad and Damascus have been following up with Syrian and Iraqi border authorities to get further details of their arrest and to intervene on behalf of the detainees.

The Palestinian group in Al Tanf have suffered from incidents of harassment at the border. In August, our staff from Syria saw Iraqi armoured vehicles with armed guards enter the camp and threaten and intimidate the refugees with their weapons. UNHCR staff intervened and put an end to the situation. In another incident in June, Iraqi security forces harassed a Palestinian man from the group and threatened to take him back to Iraq by force. Eventually, the man was released.

UNHCR has formally approached the Iraqi authorities as well as the Multi-National Forces expressing our concern over these acts of intimidation against the Palestinian group and requesting cooperation to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

The Palestinians in Al Tanf are among an estimated 10,000-20,000 Palestinians remaining in Iraq – many of whom have tried to flee the country fearing persecution. But getting out is very difficult as many Palestinians in Iraq lack valid identity documents – and have nowhere to renew them – and are being refused entry when trying to flee to neighbouring countries. UNHCR has repeatedly appealed to the Iraqi authorities and the Multi-National Forces to provide increased protection for the Palestinians. It has also appealed to countries in the Arab region, Israel, as well as resettlement countries, to provide a humane – if only temporary – solution for this specifically targeted group. These appeals have so far yielded few results."

How to Let Lebanon Live


"Lebanon is one piece on a chess board, and its fate cannot be decided in isolation from the rest. Syrian and Israeli policies have more impact than the decisions of Lebanon's elected leaders. Both neighbors--probably the worst any country could ask for--have visions of the Lebanon they want. Syria prefers one where it can choose the president, parliament, prime minister and cabinet. Israel wants to rid Lebanon of what is undoubtedly its most popular political party, Hizballah. It would also like a compliant, pro-American president and government of the kind it tried to implant by force in 1982.

So, what can the United States do? I can tell you what it has done. In 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger approved the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. In 1982, his successor, Al Haig, encouraged Israel's invasion. Then, in 1990, another American secretary of state, James Baker, gave the go-ahead for the Syrian army to return to the parts of Lebanon from which it had been excluded in 1982. Neither Syria nor Israel entered Lebanon without an American okay. An American diktat could keep them both out, if the US cared as much about Lebanon as its politicians claim.

The Middle East lurches from crisis to crisis--often on Lebanon's fertile ground--because no one in Washington has the integrity or the wisdom to force a peace that gives the Palestinians a place to live independently and Israel the chance to be something more interesting than a local military superpower. When Israeli soldiers stop uprooting olive trees in the West Bank and protecting settlers on the Golan, the Lebanese won't live in fear that someone is inciting them to war once again."

A Prayer in Paradise

"The Children were Shouting. I Still Can't Sleep Remembering Their Screams"


"The kindergarten teacher is lying on a stretcher, covered with blood. The minibus is parked alongside. From somewhere to the left, the army cannon is firing shells. The children are lying on the ground next to one another. That is how one of the children described the morning when they were driving to their kindergarten in Beit Lahia and an Israel Defense Forces shell or missile--the army spokesman refuses to say--exploded several meters away and mortally wounded the teacher before their eyes.

Two high school-students on their way to school, Ramzi al-Sharafi, 15 and Mohammad Ashour, 16, were killed in the bombing. And this week the children of the Indira Gandhi kindergarten buried their teacher, Najwa--which means "prayer" in Arabic--the mother of two toddlers, who lay in a coma for about two weeks in Gaza's Shifa Hospital.

Almost nothing was written in Israel about the shelling of the minibus carrying 20 youngsters. It happened two days before the shelling that killed 22 residents of neighboring Beit Hanun, at the height of Operation Autumn Clouds. By a miracle the missile/shell did not hit the minibus directly, but landed at a distance of 15 meters from it.

The traumatized children from the kindergarten have not recovered. This week they marched, bearing wreaths and signs they had drawn in memory of their beloved teacher, in the mourning procession to Najwa Khalif's home; the adults interred her in the Beit Lahia cemetery.

Indira Gandhi Hamuda, the owner of the new kindergarten, an impressive 35-year-old woman, says that during the past months she used to tell the children that the Israelis don't kill children, only those who fire Qassams, and that they had nothing to fear as long as they didn't go up to the rooftops. Last week one of the children asked: "You told us that the Israelis don't kill children, but only the Qassam launchers, so why did they shoot at our minibus?"

What can you say to a four-year-old who saw his kindergarten teacher lying covered with blood alongside their minibus? That the firing on the minibus was meant to prevent Qassams, which have only intensified since then?"


What are the likely outcomes of the current events in Lebanon?

With over 2,000 responding (so far), here are the results:

Toppling of President Lahoud------9.5%

Fall of the Siniora government----54.5%

More political assassinations-------36%

Palestinian Solidarity Discourse and Zionist Hegemony

11/23/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Let’s face it; while the Palestinian and Arab resistance evolves into an absolute example of the ultimate heroism and collective patriotism, the Palestinian solidarity movement in the UK and around the world is not exactly what could be called a profound success story. In fact, it would be erroneous to state that this is really the fault of those who dedicate their time and energy to it. Supporting the Palestinians is a complicated subject. Though the crimes against the Palestinians have taken place in broad daylight and are not some well-kept secret, the priorities of the solidarity movement are far from being clear.

When thinking about Palestinian society we are basically used to thinking of some sharp ideological and cultural disputes between the Hamas and PLO. Not that I wish to undermine that staunch disagreement, but I am here to suggest an alternative perspective that perhaps could lead towards a different understanding of the notion of Palestinian activism and solidarity both ideologically and pragmatically.

I maintain that Palestinian people are largely divided into three main groups and it is actually this division that dictates three different political narratives, with three different political discourses and agendas to consider: The three groups can be described as follows:

1. The Palestinians who happen to live within the Israeli State and possess Israeli citizenship - The Israelis have a name for them; they call them ‘Israeli Arabs’. These Palestinians are largely discriminated by Israeli law in all aspects of their lives; their struggle is for civil rights and civil equality.

2. The Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories - In most cases those Palestinians are locked behind walls and barbed wire in Bantustans and concentration camps in the so-called ‘Palestinian Authority Controlled Area’ (PA). Practically speaking, those people live under a criminal occupation. For three decades these people have been terrorised on a daily basis by Israeli soldiers in roadblocks and incursions, they are subject to air raids and artillery bombardments. Their civil system is shattered, their educational system is falling apart, their health system is extinct. These Palestinian people are craving for a single day with no casualties.

3. The Diaspora Palestinians - Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed over the course of the years and denied return to their homes by the racially orientated Israeli legal system (the Law of Return and Absentee Laws). The Israelis do not have a name for them, they simply deny their existence. The Diaspora Palestinians live all over around the world. According to the UN statistics every third refugee is a Palestinian. Millions of exiled Palestinians live in the region in refugee camps, the others can be found in every corner of the globe, many are here may be among us tonight. The Diaspora Palestinians know their rights and they want to be able to come home if they so choose, they demand their right of return.

Confronting very different realities, the three groups above have managed to develop three competing political discourses: The 1st group, the so-called ‘Israeli Arabs’, struggle for equality. The means they have to achieve their goals are largely political. They search for a voice within the racially orientated Israeli society.

The 2nd group, namely the ‘PA inhabitants’, battle against the occupation. They fight for liberation. Their means are political, civil resistance as well as armed struggle (in fact it is within the 2nd group where the bitter struggle for hegemony between the PLO and the Hamas is taking place).

Being out of Israel and lacking international support as well as adequate political representation, the 3rd group is still ignored by the entire Israeli political system and even by major players within the international community. The exiled Palestinians are largely neglected and their demand for the right of return is yet to be addressed properly.

Apparently, the Palestinian discourse is fragmented. It is divided into at least three different, sometimes opposing discourses. Cleverly, not to mention mercilessly, on their behalf, it is the Israelis who maintain this very state of fragmentation. It is the Israelis who manage to stop the Palestinian political and cultural discourse from integrating into a single grand solid narrative. How do they do it? They apply different tactics that maintain the isolation and conflict between the three distinct groups. Within the State of Israel the Israelis maintain a racially orientated legal system that turns the Israeli Palestinians into 10th class citizens. When PA inhabitants are concerned, the Israeli military maintains solid and constant pressure on the civilian population. Gaza is kept starving, it is bombed on a daily basis. Some of it is flattened. More than a few observers regard the situation in the PA as nothing but slow extermination and genocide.

In order to humiliate the 3rd group, the Israelis enforce a racist legislation that welcomes Jews to the country but rejects others (Law of Return). In practice it is a racially orientated system that stops exiled Palestinians from returning to their land.

Paradoxically enough, the more pain the Israelis inflict on any of the groups, the further the Palestinians get from establishing a grand narrative of resistance. Similarly, the more vicious the Israelis are, the further the Palestinian Solidarity movement is getting from establishing a unified agenda of activism.

Indeed the Palestinian solidarity campaigner is confused and asks himself what campaign to choose. Who should be supported? The division of the Palestinian discourse into three conflicting narratives makes the issue of solidarity rather complicated. Seemingly, different Palestinian solidarity groups follow different political calls and Palestinian causes. Some call for an end to the Israeli occupation, others call for the right of return. Some call for equality. Many of the solidarity campaigners are divided amongst themselves. Those who call for the right of return and ‘one State’ are totally unhappy with what they regard as a watery and limited demand for the ‘end of occupation’. Seemingly, Palestinian solidarity is trapped.

Joining one call and not another is actually surrendering to a discourse that is violently and criminally imposed by the Israelis. This is exactly where Zionism is maintaining its hegemony within the Palestinian solidarity discourse. It is Israeli brutality that dictates a state of ideological fragmentation upon the Palestinian solidarity discourse. Whatever decision the Palestinian activist is willing to make is set a priori to dismiss a certain notion of the Palestinian cause. It is indeed painful to admit that it is the Israelis who have set us into this trap. Our work, discourse and terminology as activists are totally shaped by Israeli aggression.

The Battle Is Not Lost

However, there is a way around that complexity. Rather than surrendering to the Zionist practice which splits the Palestinian solidarity discourse, we can simply redefine the core of the Palestinian tragedy, which is now turning into a global crisis.

Once we manage to internalise that the discourse of solidarity with Palestinians is dominated by the malicious and brutal Israeli practices, we are more or less ready to admit: it is the Jewish State: a racist nationalist ideology that we must oppose primarily. It is Jewish State and its supporters around the world that we must tackle. It is Zionism and global Zionism that we must confront immediately.

Yet, this is exactly where the solidarity campaigner loses his grip. To identify the Palestinian disaster with the concept of ‘Jews Only State’ is a leap not many activists are capable to do for the time being. To admit that the Jewish State is the core of the problem implies that there may be something slightly more fundamental in the conflict than merely colonial interests or an ethnic dispute over land. To identify the ‘Jews Only State’ as the core of the problem is to admit that peace is not necessarily an option. The reason is rather simple: the ‘Jews Only State’ follows an expansionist and racially orientated philosophy. It leaves no room for other people as a matter of fact and principle.

Yet, once we come to grips with this very understanding, once we are enlightened and realise that something here is slightly more fundamental than merely a battle between an invader facing some indigenous counter freedom fighting. We are probably more or less ready to engage in a critical enquiry into the notion of Zionism. We are more or less ready to grasp the notion of the emerging secular emancipated Jewish collective identity. We are ready to confront the modern notion of Jewishness (rather than Judaism). Once we are brave enough to admit that Zionism is a continuation of Jewishness (rather than Judaism), once we admit that Israel draws its force from a racist ideology, harboured in national chauvinism and blatant expansionism, once we admit that Zionism, which was once a marginal Jewish ideology, has become the voice of world Jewry, once we accept it all, we may be ready to defeat the Zionist disease. We do it for the sake of the Palestinians but as well for the sake of world peace.

The Gatekeepers

Let’s try to think of an imaginary situation in which a dozen exiled German dissident intellectuals insist upon monitoring and controlling Churchill’s addresses to the British public at the peak of the Blitz. Every time Churchill speaks his heart calling the British people to stand firm against Germany and its military might, the exiled dissident Germans raise their voice: “It isn’t Germany, Mr Prime Minister, it is the Nazi party, the German people and the German spirit are innocent.” Churchill obviously apologises immediately.

I assume that you all realise that such a scene is totally surreal. Britain would never allow a bunch of German exiles to control its rhetoric at the time of a war against Germany. Moreover, dissident German intellectuals would not have the Chutzpah to even consider telling the British what should or what shouldn’t be the appropriate rhetoric to use at time of a war with Germany.

However, when it comes to the Palestinian solidarity discourse, we are somehow far more tolerant. In spite of the fact that it is the ‘Jews Only State’ that we struggle against, we allow a bunch of self-appointed Jewish leaders and activists to become our gatekeepers. As soon as anyone identifies the symptoms of Zionism with some fundamental or essential Jewish precepts a smear campaign is launched against that person.

I have been closely monitoring the Jewish left discourse for more than a few years now. I might as well admit that I can think of at least one good reason behind Jewish anti-Zionist activism. I do understand the need of some humanist Jews to stand up and say, ‘I am a Jew and I find Zionism disgusting.’ At a certain stage of my life I myself was saying just that. As some of you know, I totally admire Torah Jews for doing just that. However, when it comes to predominantly Jewish socialist and secular left groups, I am slightly confused.

Moshe Machover, a legendary Israeli dissident and a Jewish Marxist who happens to be the intellectual mentor of the British progressive Jewish activists, expressed the following view just a few days ago when he stated a complaint he had with a petition. ( “anti-Semitism is a Palestinian problem, as it pushes Jews into the arms of Zionism. This has long been understood by all progressive Palestinians. Anti-semitism is an objective ally of Zionism, and the common enemy of Palestinians, Jews, and all humankind.” (

Indeed anti-Semitism may be a problem, yet, is it really a Palestinian problem? Should the Palestinian solidarity campaign engage in fighting anti-Semitism? Shouldn’t we leave it to ADL and Abe Foxman? I think that we better try to do whatever we can to save the people of Beit Hanoun. This is where we are needed. I am certain that the vast majority of the Palestinian activists know that I am right.

Every PSC campaigner I have ever spoken to admits to me that only very few Palestinians find interest in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. In fact, the statement by Machover provides the reason. According to Machover, those amongst the Palestinians who fail to see that anti-Semitism is the problem are nothing but reactionary, as only the ‘Progressive’ Palestinians acknowledge that anti-Semitism is indeed a problem. Let me tell you, the Palestinians I know do not like it when Machover or anyone else calls them reactionaries just because they are not that concerned with anti-Semitism. Reading Machover, it is rather clear that such views serve as a body shield for Jewish secular collectivism and the Zio-centric historical narrative. If to be honest, there is not much reason for any Palestinian to join a movement predominated by the obsession with anti-Semitism.

May I tell you, I am not an historian. I am academically trained as a philosopher and particularly as a continental one. I am interested in the notion of essence. For me to attack Zionism is to aim towards a thorough realisation of the essence of Zionism. To a certain extent I am indeed an essentialist. This is pretty worrying for those who try to reduce the discourse into positivistic exchange regarding numbers and historical facts. I am interested in the spirit of Zionism. I’m concerned about that which transforms the Israelis and their supporters into ethically blind killing machines.

Beyond Chutzpah

You may have heard of the book I am holding in my hand. Probably, it’s the ultimate Zionist filth: Alan Dershowitz’s The Case For Israel. I don’t know whether any of you have ever considered reading this banal not to say idiotic text. I did, it fell into my hands a few days ago.

Shockingly enough, this book is structured as a beginner’s guide for the Zionist enthusiast, a kind of “Israel for Dummies”. It teaches the nationalist Jew how to be an advocate and defend the ‘case of Israel’. We know already that Norman Finkelstein has managed to prove beyond doubt that the text is academically a farce. Yet, there is something revealing in this text.

The book is a set of deconstructions of ‘the anti-Zionist argument’. It starts with the heaviest ideological and moral accusation against Israel and it gets lighter, more historical and forensic as you progress.

Dershowitz launches with the ‘million Shekels’ question “Is Israel a Colonial, Imperialist State?” To a certain degree Dershowitz manages to tackle the question. He asks, “if it is indeed a colonial state, what flag does it serve?” Fair enough, I say, he may be right. I myself do not regard Zionism as a colonial adventure. However, hang on for a second, Mr. Dershowitz. It seems you might be getting off the hook easily here. Our problem with Israel has nothing to do with its colonial characteristics. Our problems with the ‘Jews Only State’ have something to do with its racist, expansionist and nationalist qualities. Our problems with Israel have something to do with it being a Fascist State supported by the vast majority of Jewish people around the world.

Now if you, Scottish activists stop for a second, ask yourselves why Dershowitz starts his book tackling the colonial aspect of Israel rather than facing its Fascist characteristics. My answer is simple. We are afraid to admit that Israel is indeed a Fascist State. It is predominantly the politically correct groups that furnish Dershowitz with a Zionist fig leaf. In fact, it is the Jewish gatekeepers on the left who have managed to reduce Zionism merely into a colonial adventure. Why did they do it? I can think of two reasons:

1. If Israel, the ‘Jews Only State’ is wrong for being a racially orientated adventure, then ‘Jews for peace’, ‘Jews against Zionism’, ‘Jewish Socialists’, ‘Jews Sans Frontieres’ etc. are all wrong for the very same reason (being a racially orientated adventure).

2. To regard the Israeli Palestinian conflict as a colonial dispute is to make sure it fits nicely into their notion of working class politics. May I suggest that a universal working class vision of Israel implies that the Jewish State is nothing but a Fascist experiment.

I would use this opportunity and appeal to our friends amongst the Jewish socialists and other Jewish solidarity groups. I would ask them to clear the stage willingly, and to re-join as ordinary human beings. The Palestinian Solidarity movement is craving for a change. It needs open gates rather than gatekeepers. It yearns for an open and dynamic discourse. The Palestinians on the ground have realised it already. They democratically elected an alternative vision of their future. Isn’t it about time we support the Palestinians for what they are rather than expecting them to fit into our worldview?

Raised as a secular Israeli Jew in Jerusalem, Gilad Atzmon witnessed and empathised with the daily sufferings of Palestinians and spent 20 years trying to resolve for himself the tensions of his background. Finally disillusioned, he moved away from Israel and went to England to study philosophy. Visit his website