Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sedition ... الفتنة

فضيحة مخابراتية للبريطانيين يتناقلها ابناء البصرة

"Short summary:
A tribal head called a meeting to defuse a simmering rumor that two prominent leaders were contemplating killing each other. The discussion that ensued revealed that both of the leaders were separately informed by the "British Intelligence" (henceforth, lack of) that they were the assassination target of the other. Proper advice was administered."

Habila Adding to His Frequent Flyer Miles

Haneyya visits Switzerland next month

"GAZA, (PIC)-- PA premier Ismail Haneyya is to pay an official visit to Switzerland next month at the invitation of the Swiss government, a statement issued by the PA foreign ministry on Saturday declared.

The statement said that foreign minister Ziyad Abu Amre discussed the visit preparations with his Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmy-Rey, who is also this year's Swiss president, in Geneva......."


It is going to be hard to get Habila back to his house in a refugee camp in Gaza. Soon he will ask for an airport in Gaza to keep up with his travel needs. Here is a hint, Mr. Prime Minister: Switzerland is a great place to open one of those famous, secret bank accounts.

One More of America's Palestinians Speaks

The Looming Challenges

Palestine and Peace

"......When there is a vacuum in any conflict, particularly a political vacuum, violence takes over and fills that vacuum. Extremism fills that vacuum. And this is exactly what happened given the fact that since the year 2000, there has been no peace process, the U.S. has kept its distance [and] there was no genuine intervention in order to re-legitimize peace. So, keeping one's distance is certainly quite counterproductive if not destructive. In cases of conflict, you do need the political will to intervene effectively [she is urging direct U.S. involvement; since it worked so well between 1993-2000??].......

....And when it comes to the Palestinians, you have to talk to all Palestinian interlocutors-those who were chosen by the Palestinian people. And fortunately right now, we all know that the PLO is the party in power to negotiate, and the presidency has the mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. There is no reason not to engage.[What PLO is she talking about? The one that appoints its own fossilized "leaders" as "representatives" of the Palestinians? No one has authorized these people to negotiate on their behalf. Of course she is behind the Usraeli stooge Abbas since he will do America's bidding.].......

There is, of course, the Arab initiative that is ready. Again, it may not be perfect, but it is there. It's a comprehensive approach......

.....And returning to UN resolutions, for the first time, Israel and the U.S. had to go to the UN and ask for a UN resolution and at the same time, they asked for international troops on the ground. All these are precedents, and these have to be understood in context again. They can be in many ways not a blueprint but influences or indicators for how to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue [she wants a U.S.-imposed military solution with an "international troops" cover and the UN fig leaf.].....

The latest elections prove that Palestinian society is extremely polarized. And I am saying this as [Palestinian Finance Minister] Salam [Fayyad] and I are in the Third Way, as you know. Salam was here last week. But the polarization was very clear between Fateh and Hamas, between people who had militias, people who had extreme ideologies and so on. The third alternative, including the old traditional left, did not make it numerically significant. We may be qualitatively significant but quantitatively certainly not that decisive.[she is not interested in a culture and ideology of resistance, to her this is "extremism;" the U.S. calls it extremism and terror, so does she (and the other U.S. stooge Fayyad)].....

....Let's put together a coalition of the willing for peace this time and see whether we can make a difference. So what works? Rapid, bold, decisive steps straight into permanent status issues that we all know; we do not need to reinvent the wheel. We do not have much time......

....Now how would this government end? How long will it last? How would it end? It depends on other factors, but if there is agreement, this government could be in preparation for elections. Elections cannot take place without consensus, without the agreement of all parties involved, particularly Hamas and Fateh. So maybe between now and the end of the year, there can be elections if all parties are convinced that early elections can work or it can be a preparation for a new type of government which we had advocated earlier: a government of professional, independent nationalists.....[she is advocating the U.S. formula of "government" of technocrats, like her buddy World-Bank-Fayyad and others who were created by and owe their survival to various western NGOs]....

The security forces cannot be political forces, they must be depoliticized and they must not be engaged in anything financial. They must be reformed in terms also of their numbers. The militias have to be disbanded, including the executive force. I do not see the executive force as a legitimate security service. It is a militia and it was given the title of a security force. All illegal weapons must be collected.The use of weapons must be regulated, particularly in Gaza.[she is advocating the Usraeli definition of "security services." She wants Palestinian puppet forces to control Palestinians and to disarm and end the resistance. According to her, they shouldn't be "politicized," meaning intended for resistance]....

The National Security Council [the one headed by Dahlan] has to be a credible and effective council and not, again, a combination of power basis and leaders. Lawlessness and kidnappings have to end.....

.....The Hamas political agenda has really undergone some serious transformations. I don't know if you're aware of it, but they have accepted the two-state solution. They've accepted the long term period of quiet and ceasefire. They have accepted all these things. They recognized signed agreements, Arab legitimacy international legitimacy and so on. All the things we were asking them to do, they have done......"

Deciding About Iraq: Withdrawal.....No Withdrawal.....Withdrawal....No....
By Baha Boukhari

We are now in the firing line, sadly

By Robert Fisk

"When did the sands run out for us journalists? When did the moment of immunity pass away? When we took to wearing flak jackets or donned military costumes in the 1990 Gulf War? In Bosnia? In the cancerous, repetitive use of "terrorism, terrorism, terrorism" in our news reports? In Iraq, as we stood in our gated hotels, behind our watchtowers and bodyguards? When we grew used to what Martin Bell calls the "two palm trees", the Monty Python-like shrubbery that stands as a back-lot to almost every BBC report from the roof of its Baghdad office?.....

And so it has come to pass. We cannot move in most of Iraq for fear of being butchered by our countries' enemies. We cannot move in southern Afghanistan. Italian journalists might be ransomed by their governments. Afghan journalists - I am thinking of the reporter/translator of the Italian who was kidnapped - simply have their heads chopped off. Never has reporting been so circumscribed by these terrors. Never have we been so poorly informed......

Well, one reason is because this is not the Second World War. Nor is it - Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara, please note - World War Three. We are illegally fighting wars across the Middle East, supporting occupation and - by our frivolous support for the most objectionable governments - killing tens of thousands of innocents.

As journalists we can oppose this. We can raise our voices against these great injustices. But only if we are free. Yes, of course, I add my voice to those demanding the release of Alan Johnston. His imprisonment is a disaster for the Palestinians and for all the Arabs of the Middle East. And as long as he is held, how can we cover the atrocities of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Gaza?"

Inside Africa's Guantánamo

The only way the US can prop up its client regime in Somalia is through lawlessness and slaughter

Salim Lone
Saturday April 28, 2007
The Guardian

"This is the most lawless war of our generation. All wars of aggression lack legitimacy, but no conflict in recent memory has witnessed such mounting layers of illegality as the current one in Somalia. Violations of the UN charter and of international humanitarian law are regrettably commonplace in our age, and they abound in the carnage that the world is allowing to unfold in Mogadishu, but this war has in addition explicitly violated two UN security council resolutions. To complete the picture, one of these resolutions contravenes the charter itself.

The complete impunity with which Ethiopia and the transitional Somali government have been allowed to violate these resolutions explains the ruthlessness of the military assaults that have been under way for six weeks now. The details of the atrocities being committed were formally acknowledged by a western government for the first time when Germany, which holds the current EU presidency, had its ambassador to Somalia, Walter Lindner, write a tough letter - made public on Wednesday - to Somalia's president, Abdullahi Yusuf.......

Work must begin to derail the astounding proposal from the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, which is to be discussed by the security council in mid-June. He would like to mount a UN-sanctioned "coalition of the willing" to enforce peace and restore order in Somalia - in other words, the UN would help Ethiopia and the United States achieve what their own illegal military interventions have failed to accomplish: the entrenchment of a client regime that lacks any popular support. Such an operation is unlikely to succeed in any event, but it could further threaten the turbulent Horn of Africa, which is already teetering on the brink of chaos.

The Somali government is busy crying "al-Qaida" at every turn and offering lucrative deals to oil companies, in a bid to entice greater western support. But this war was lost long ago. In turning to the arch enemy Ethiopia, the transitional government's fate was sealed: the nation will not abide an Ethiopian-US occupation......"

The PA is Israel's Hire-a-Cop

US Administration presents model for peace: "freedom of movement in return for security"

"Bethlehem - Ma'an – the Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, has reported that the American administration has presented model "examinations of implementation" to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These models contain what is required to be implemented by each party, in accordance with a specific timetable, endorsed by Washington.

In the heart of the new plan, which Washington has dubbed "freedom of movement in return for security" is the requirement that Israel facilitates and expands the freedom of movement for Palestinians at the Gaza Strip crossings, in addition to the removal of a number of military checkpoints deployed in the West Bank. This is to be implemented in return for the completion of the reorganization of the Palestinian security forces affiliated to President Abbas.

The newspaper added that the American ambassador to Israel, and the United States' Security Coordinator delivered these reports to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

It is expected that the coming week will see wide-ranging discussions taking place over the American document and the possible Israeli response to it.

The newspaper also stated that, last week, the United States had offered the Palestinian Authority "concrete steps" that should be implemented in preparation for a special meeting to be held on Friday between the head of the PLO negotiations department, and an American delegation. It is widely believed that chief negotiator Erekat will give the Palestinian response to the American demands, represented in the necessity that the Palestinian Authority "must fight those who fire rockets, and to work to restore order and stability to the Gaza Strip".

The document entitled "freedom of movement in return for security" was initially prepared in November 2005, and comprises four main points:

1 - The opening of the Karni crossing [the primary import and export crossing]
2 - The reopening of the Rafah crossing [pedestrian transit to/from Egypt] and Kerem Abu-Salem [the entry point for goods from Egypt]
3 - To give the Palestinians in the West Bank "more freedom of movement"
4 – That the Palestinian Authority enforces "necessary security procedures" "



This is why the U.S., with the direction of Keith Dayton, is arming and training Palestinian puppet forces. Iraq is the model: replace Maliki with Abbas, Ramallah's Mouqata'a with Baghdad's Green Zone, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad with the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem, Iraqi death squads directly under the CIA with Dahlan's death squads, Maliki's puppet forces with Abbas' puppet forces and the picture is complete. Just as in Iraq, Palestinian puppet forces will next be fighting the Palestinian resistance and trying to crush it with complete coordination with Usrael.

The key question is: are the Palestinians up to the challenge, and do they grasp what is being planned for them?

Missile raid would hit Iran nuclear plans - Olmert

Prime minister tells Germany’s Focus magazine Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program could be severely damaged by firing 1,000 cruise missiles in 10-day attack; ‘nobody ruling military action out,’ he says; PM's Office: Interview never took place

"Iran’s disputed nuclear program could be severely hit by firing 1,000 cruise missiles in a 10-day attack, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Asked in an interview with Germany’s Focus magazine whether military action would be an option if Iran continued to defy the United Nations, Olmert said: “Nobody is ruling it out.”

The full interview with the prime minister will be published Sunday......"

More Hot Air From Chief Windbag

Mash'al warns: "Palestinians cannot tolerate the prevailing situation and it may blow up"

"Bethlehem – Ma'an – Head of the Hamas politburo, Khaled Mash'al, warned of the continuation of the crippling economic embargo and Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people.

Mash'al said that Israeli measures seek to block any political horizon between Israel and Palestinians. He said that Israel aims to corner Palestinians in order to force them to make more concessions. "The Palestinians," Mash'al says, "will not tolerate the prevailing situation and it may blow up."

Mash'al spoke to the press following his meeting with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa. He says "after the Mecca agreement was signed, the unity government was composed and the Arab Summit has made decisions, everyone is looking forward to lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinian people, yet it is moving in slow motion."

He added: "The Palestinian people are hoping that the Arab nations and the international community will break the embargo and send aid to the Palestinians, however, everything is going very slowly. The unity government has been composed for two months and the siege still prevails in the Palestinian territories shattering the great hope of the Palestinians when the unity government was formed."

"We are discussing with the Secretary General of the Arab League a quick Arab move, which is very urgently needed in order to break the siege, and after that, the European countries will take a similar step. Then we have to construct different strategies regarding the US and Israel," Mash'al added......."



What a pathetic, incompetent "leader." He hitches his hopes and the Palestinian future to the wagon of the so-called Arab League! He is expecting the very same Usraeli puppets to have the backbone to do anything and to stand up to their master. Is this leadership? Have the Palestinians learned anything about the Arab regimes in 90 years of struggle? Apparently not. Next we will see Hamas' leaders begging the puppet boy king of Jordan to help mediate with Israel, since he is Israel's favorite "Arab" stooge. Don't laugh now; a trip to Jordan by Habila is being arranged.

Notice that even the terms Mash'al uses are now taken from Condoleezza's book. An example is, " block any political horizon...." Rice was the first to introduce "political horizon" to the "peace process" rhetoric. After that all the puppets, starting with Abbas started using the term; now Mash'al is on board.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Adhamiya Wall in Baghdad

Click on photo to enlarge

Video: Tales Of Terror - Somalia Report

Contributed by Datta

BBC Newsnight For 26/04/07:

6 Minute Video

"Asha Hagi Elmi, a politician, talks about the genocide in Somalia being committed under the pretext of of "War on Terror""

"My Credibility is This Big"

Video: Humvee Hunting in Iraq

Protestors rally in Jaffa against intentions to evict Arab families

Marchers say Israel Lands Authority trying to create a Jewish Jaffa, compare evictions to events of 1948

Ethnic Cleansing at Work

"Hundreds of Jaffa residents on Friday participated in a march to protest measures that the Israel Lands Authority and the Amidar housing company have taken in the past year to evict Arab families from Jaffa.

The Israel Lands Authority and Amidar claim the families invaded the properties and built on them illegally.

The march was organized by The Popular Committee to Defend the Land and the Right to Residency, which was established by the Arab residents of Jaffa several weeks ago.

According to the committee's leaders, the Authority and Amidar in the past year issued 500 eviction notices to Arab families from the Al Ajami and Givat Aliya neighborhoods, and some of the notices have evolved into eviction lawsuits.

The organizers of the march questioned why the Authority and Amidar have taken a sudden interest in the matter in the past year, when the families have been living in their homes for several decades. They say the families have held a status of protected tenants who pay rent.

The residents' representatives say the authority and Amidar are attempting to Judaize Jaffa while also making a profit from selling the properties, which are near the seafront, to an affluent Jewish population.

The protesters in the march shouted various slogans such as "Jews and Arabs against house demolitions" and "The transfer won?t happen."

According to the "This is a tsunami of evictions and demolitions," said Al Ajami neighborhood chairman, Camel Agbaria. "The struggle for a roof over one's head should be the ultimate struggle. Instead of firing bullets, they fire dollar bills here."......"

"The Most Lawless War of Our Generation" - Fmr. UN Spokesperson on Somalia

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

An Excellent Interview

"In Somali, fierce clashes in Mogadishu are being described as some of the heaviest fighting in the city's history. Some 329 people have been killed over the past ten days. This comes just three weeks after another series of battles claimed at least 1,000 lives. The United Nations says more people - over 350,000 - have been displaced in Somalia in the past three months than anywhere else in the world....

The escalating war in Somalia has received little attention in the U.S. media especially on broadcast television. Using the Lexis database, Democracy Now examined ABC, NBC and CBS's coverage of Somalia in the evening newscasts over the past three months. The result may surprise you: ABC and NBC has not mentioned the war at all. CBS mentioned the war once. The network dedicated a total of three sentences to the story......

Salim Lone is a columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya and a former spokesperson for the UN mission in Iraq. He joins us today from London.....

AMY GOODMAN: Salim Lone, you're now in London. The British think tank Chatham House criticized the US role in the war. The authors of the report write, “In an uncomfortably familiar pattern, general multilateral concern to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Somalia has been hijacked by unilateral actors, especially Ethiopia and the United States.”

SALIM LONE: Well, you know, this is par for the course these days. What they also should have mentioned -- but it’s an excellent report, by the way. I really enjoyed reading it, and I’m so glad they were so candid. But one of the big issues here is not merely the unilateralism of the United States, but the inability of the international community and particularly the United Nations Security Council to try to play, if not an independent role, at least a moderating role. It is quite astonishing that for now three months, there has been terrible violence in Somalia, and yet we have not heard anything from the security council about how this carnage must stop. There is no interest whatsoever......

AMY GOODMAN: State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack. Salim Lone, columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya, your response?

SALIM LONE: Well, I mean, I’m very interested in the Iraq analogy, and it is really multiple, apart from what was already said there. The contrasts are striking, as well. But let me add to the analogy, actually, that May 1 is approaching. That was the day when on the -- right after the war, President Bush said that his mission had been accomplished. We have the same statement coming out of the prime minister of Somalia yesterday, that the mission has been accomplished and the insurgents have been wiped out.

But let's look at the other contrasts, which are very fascinating. In Iraq, the world body, the Security Council, for the first time in many years since the Soviet Union collapsed, stood up to the United States and refused, despite enormous pressure, to authorize a UN war in Iraq. In Somalia's case, it is precisely the opposite......

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General’s call for a coalition of the willing to go into Somalia? You’re a former UN official.

SALIM LONE: You know, it is so disgraceful. For him to try to get the Security Council -- that's what he proposes, the Security Council, in case there is no peace in Somalia in the meeting in June, in mid-June, to discuss it in the Security Council -- for him to propose that the UN should now go in to do what the US and Ethiopia have been unable to do, which is basically to impose a client regime on Somalia, it's just absolutely disgraceful......"

One Unexploded Bomb Per Person

Dahr Jamail, Electronic Lebanon, 27 April 2007

"SRIFA, Southern Lebanon, 27 April (IPS) - Close to a million unexploded bombs are estimated to litter southern Lebanon, according to UN forces engaged in the hazardous task of removing them.

The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the Security Council in 1978 to confirm an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and restore international peace and security. After the war last year it has a new job on its hands.

Following the July-August war between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, UNIFIL enhanced its force and took on new tasks such as monitoring the cessation of hostilities and removing untold numbers of unexploded missiles, mines and cluster bombs.

Most of these lie in southern Lebanon, which took the brunt of bombings from Israeli warplanes.....

"Between 10-40 percent of the cluster bombs do not explode on impact," a lieutenant who gave his name as Verbeke, with the Belgian contingent of UNIFIL, told IPS at the site of a 500kg unexploded bomb in Srifa, a little town near the border. "Sometimes they get stuck in trees or bushes, and there are Lebanese people being injured or killed by them nearly every single day."

Israeli warplanes roared overhead as he spoke, in clear violation of the ceasefire agreement brokered between Lebanon and Israel......"

Sarkozy has Israel's stamp of approval

Contributed by Fatima

Sarkozy has Israel's stamp of approval

Occupation Under a Different Name

Israel said seeking expanded role for EU at Gaza-Egypt crossing

"Israel has asked the European Union to expand the powers of its monitors at Gaza's border crossing with Egypt to help prevent militants from bringing in money and equipment, EU diplomats said on Friday.

"There is some flexibility" to negotiate the mandate of the monitors, said a senior EU official involved in talks, a month before the expiry of the current mandate at the border. But the official said the bloc would not accept changes that transform the monitoring mission into one with expansive executive powers.

European and Israeli officials sought to play down any discord, but one Western diplomat involved in the matter said preparations were under way in case the EU decided to pull the monitors out of the Rafah crossing with Egypt altogether......."

Strange bedfellows

King Abdullah tries to woo the Israelis into accepting the Arab Peace Plan

By Khaled Amayreh in East Jerusalem
Al-Ahram Weekly

"....According to the Israeli media, the king told the visiting Israeli officials that, "we are in the same boat, we have the same problems, and we have the same enemies.".....

More significantly, Abdullah II is said to have told the Israeli delegation that clauses in the Arab Peace Plan pertaining to the Palestinian refugees' right of return should be understood as referring to "compensation" not "repatriation", and that "everything will be consensual and that the Arab Peace Plan was not actually a plan but merely a talking point.".....

However, government spokesman Nasser Judeh denied that the king ever made these remarks during the meeting.....

The king's remarks drew angry reactions throughout the occupied Palestinian territories and at various levels. Hamas asked the Jordanian government to clarify the statements attributed to the king in regard to the right of return and also Hamas being an enemy of Jordan.....

A more stinging response to the royal statements came from the Palestinian public. Abdul-Sattar Qassem, professor of political science at An-Najah University in Nablus and former presidential candidate, argued that Palestinians would attach more credibility to the Hebrew press reports on the King's statements than to denials by Jordanian officials. "It is true the Israelis lie a lot, but Arab leaders lie even more, they are inured to lying to their people and to deceiving and misleading them.

"We, the Arab and Muslim masses, know quite well for many decades that you [Jordanian officials] and the Zionist entity face a common enemy and that enemy is the United Arab Islamic Trend. We also know that you have been coordinating intelligence efforts against all free Arab and Islamic movements. "We are your and Israel's common enemy. But we will continue our struggle for the unity of the Arab umma. So, do what you may, and kill whomever you want to kill, for eventually you will only reap defeat."

The severity of Palestinian reaction to the Jordanian king's reported remarks reflect a growing determination to cling to the right of return for the refugees as a paramount right that should never be compromised especially as Israel continues to steal more Palestinian land and build Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territories......

There is no doubt that the Jordanian leadership, namely King Abdullah II, is very worried about the possible ramifications and turbulence that may engulf the region, especially its most vulnerable spots, such as Jordan, if the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is allowed to linger on without resolution....."

Iraq fighters film wins Doha award

"A film about the lives of Iraqi and foreign fighters in northern Baghdad has won first prize at the Al Jazeera International Documentary festival in the Qatari capital Doha.

Meeting Resistance - directed by the UK/US team of Steve Connors and Molly Bingham - won the award, including a 50,000 Riyal ($13,737) prize, for the best long film.

The film beat off competition from 32 other features to win the award at the third Al Jazeera documentary festival.....

Meeting Resistance focuses on eight fighters based in the northern Baghdad suburb of Adhamiya and details their personal and political reasons for their involvement in attacks on US forces.

The fighters come from a range of backgrounds.

Most are Iraqi, but one man is a Syrian who says he came to Iraq after an appeal from his local mosque to "join the jihad".

Adhamiya is now reported to be a largely Sunni part of the Iraqi capital but the film - made between June 2003 and May 2004 - depicts the area's mixed nature before months of bloody sectarian conflict began.

Three of the fighters are Shia, another is a former Iraqi Republican Guard officer who was married to a Shia woman.

Some are motivated by a desire to end the US occupation of Iraq at that time while others draw on their religious beliefs and one is an imam at an Adhamiya mosque.

All, however, are united by a desire to drive foreign forces from Iraq."

As I predicted in an earlier post, Habila was smiling and waving as he spoke to Journalists in Gaza on Friday.

Stealing from the Poor and Giving to the Rich

The plundering of Iraq's wealth, first by the UN and now by Iraq's new Green Zone czars, is the biggest, most shameful financial-political scandal of our times.

By Ramzy Baroud

".....As Mr von Sponeck spoke, I reflected on my lengthy interview with Iraq's former Ambassador to the United Nations Mohamed Al-Duri. Al-Duri, being interviewed for the first time by English-language media since taking up his post at the UN, revealed to me in early 2001, in equally shocking detail, what sanctions had done to his country and people. He claimed that the UN was a key part of the problem. Led by two countries, the US and Britain, the UN Oil for Food Programme and the "humanitarian" mission it established in Iraq was reducing Iraqis to beggary, robbing the country blind and mis-managing funds, whereas the large bulk fuelled UN-related missions and operations, with needy Iraqi families receiving next to nothing. He spoke of the manipulation of Iraq's wealth for political purposes and alleged that the UN was a tool in the hands of the US government, aimed at encouraging widespread popular dissatisfaction with Saddam's government, before the country was dragged into war.....

The robbery in Iraq hardly discontinued after the "liberation". On the contrary, it intensified beyond belief. The US Government Accountability Office uncovered appalling discrepancies in the US military administration's handling of money: uncountable billions went missing; hundreds of contractors fully paid but the work never done; layer upon layer of shady companies, mercenaries and sub-contractors (Halliburton and its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root but mere illustrations). In partnership with the new rulers of Iraq, these corporations are stealing the wealth of the once prosperous nation, leaving it in shambles.

And now, the Iraqis are facing enormous pressure to approve the Iraqi oil and gas law. The draft bill, according to Iraqi MP Nureddin Al-Hayyali, would give "50 per cent of the Iraqi people's oil wealth to foreign investing oil firms". The nationalisation of the country's oil industry in 1972 is being reversed. The robbery that began in the early 1990s continues unabated. Shameful as it is, Iraq's new rulers are stealing from the poor and giving the spoils to the rich."

“And the walls came tumbling down”

by Sonja Karkar
Women for Palestine

".....Others are much more sinister: concrete slabs that are used to control populations that we fear or do not like. We use the euphemism “security” to justify their “necessity” without any care for the human suffering going on behind them.

Whether for protection and security or to contain and imprison, walls are a symbol of failure – a failure to revel in freedom and embrace our common humanity: that is reason enough to bring them down. In 1989, the world watched in rapture as the Berlin Wall tumbled. At 4 metres high and 166km long, it had stood for 28 years creating an Iron Curtain between East and Western Europe. However, for all its immensity, the wall – with its watch-towers, border patrols, barbed wire, guard dogs and searchlights – never worked......

Humankind has not learnt its lesson despite the costly failures of containment which dot our history. It seems that once in government, the mindset of politicians becomes focused on dreams of invincibility at all costs, even human ones. This filters down and insidiously contaminates the people they purport to lead creating an “us and them” mentality which erects real and invisible walls. Without knowing it, the concepts of freedom, democracy and peace slip silently away from the lives of those who erect the walls as much as from those the walls contain. We are all to blame. We cannot speak of symbols, or triumphantly clutch our piece of the Berlin Wall, or put our white arm around a black brother, or speak about Christian love, God’s people and Allah the all-Merciful unless we are prepared to raise our voices against the new walls being built before our eyes and bring them tumbling down. "

وتستمر المؤامرة.. أخطر ملفات فلسطين (2-2)

If you can read Arabic, this is a great, long article and a recommended reading.

بقلم : د. إبراهيم حمّامي

"تسارعت الأحداث خلال الأسبوع المنصرم، فجاءت تسابق هذا الجزء الثاني من أخطر ملفات فلسطين، ولتثبت حقيقة أن تيار وزمرة أوسلو لم ولن يستكينوا حتى تحقيق هدفهم المتمثل في السيطرة على مفاصل ومقدرات الشعب الفلسطيني تمهيداً لتركيعه النهائي - طبعاً كما تزين لهم عقولهم والخطط التي تعد لهم في الخفاء والعلن.

أيضاً تسارعت وتيرة الردود ورسائل التهديد والوعيد والشتم والتهجم الشخصي، ربما كخطوات استباقية أرادها البعض حتى لا يُنشر هذا الجزء الثاني من أخطر ملفات فلسطين والذي يحدد دور زعيم الفلتان المجرم دحلان فيما يجري، وكذلك يثبت أن تيار الفتنة والفوضى ما زال حتى اللحظة يسعى وبكل قوة لتمرير مخططه، برغم اتفاق مكة وحكومة الوحدة الوطنية التي أرادوها غطاء شرعياً لتحصينهم من الشعب وغضبته.

ما بعد اتفاق مكة

في مقدمة ما كتبت بتاريخ 15/04/2007 تحت عنوان "إعادة استنساخ" قلت:

ظن البعض - ولست منهم- أن ثلاثة أيام في مكة المكرمة مع أداء فريضة العمرة قد غيّر من سلوك وطباع وأفكار زمرة الفساد والإفساد، وظنوا أيضاً أن اتفاق مكة المكرمة قد جب ما قبله، وأن صفحة جديدة بدأت بعد طي الصفحات السوداء القديمة على قاعدة "عفا الله عما سلف"، واعتقدوا أن عهداً جديداً من الوفاق والوئام انبلج فأصبح متآمر الأمس كأنه "ولي حميم

ماذا بعد؟

هذه هي زمرة وعصابة أوسلو وهذا تخطيطهم ومخططهم، وهذه رموزهم وشخوصهم، وهذا توثيقنا وتفصيلنا، فهل لعاقل أن يسأل بعد اليوم أو يشك في أهداف هذه الزمرة ومراميها، وهل يمكن الوثوق بهم وهم يعدون ويخططون بعدما أعطوا الأمان وأقسموا أغلظ الأيمان؟

خلال أيام وربما ساعات يستعد جيش الاحتلال لشن عدوان جديد على الشعب الفلسطيني، ومع هذا العدوان تغرز زمرة أوسلو خنجرها المسموم المدعوم عسكرياً ومادياً واستخباراتياً في ظهر شعبنا، وتستمر في تلقي الأسلحة والأموال وفي تخريج الدفعات المتتالية من حرس عبّاس الذي بات أقرب ما يكون لحرس إمبراطوري، وواهم من يظن أن أياً من هؤلاء سيرفع سلاحه أو يستخدم ما تدرب عليه في مواجهة العدوان أو حماية الشعب، وواهم من يعتقد أن لدى عصابة أوسلو ذرة من الوطنية، فالتدريبات والأسلحة والذخائر هي لصدور شعبنا ولقمعه، وفي وقت الفراغ لإحراق مؤسساته كما الجامعة الاسلامية.

لكل من سيقفز قفزاته المعتادة في الهواء ليعلن أن هذا التوثيق هو فتنة وضرب للوحدة الوطنية، نقول ودون خوف أو وجل أن هذا التوثيق هو للقضاء على الفتنة ورموزها، وهو لفضح ما يخططون له أمام شعبنا ليقول كلمته الفصل، وهو تسمية للأشياء بمسمياتها، ولا يمكن أن يكون المجرم إلا مجرما، وهكذا هو دحلان رأس الفتنة وزعيم الفلتان مجرم عميل، والرجل الأول ل"إسرائيل"، وهكذا هو محمود عباس كوهين فلسطين وعدوها الداخلي الأول، وهكذا هي كل عصابة أوسلو، ولن تفزعنا أو تفت من عزائمنا أراجيف وألاعيب التلاعب بالعبارات والألفاظ من فتنة وغيرها، ولن تثنينا التهديدات ولا الشتائم التي تصل ليل نهار مؤكدة أخلاق هذه العصابة، ولن نهدأ حتى يتخلص شعبنا من الطفيليات التي تشوه تاريخه ونضاله. "

Neocon Sarko Poised to Win French Elections

By Kurt Nimmo

"Big choice for the French, as the 2007 election plays out with Nicolas Sarkozy on top, followed closely by Ségolène Royal. Sarkozy, billed as a “law and order” candidate, is considered the bête noire of the so-called Left, in France actually a gaggle of ineffectual and lukewarm socialists. Sarko, as he is both affectionately and derisively nicknamed, called for ethnically cleansing the banlieue of La Courneuve in June 2005 “with a Kärcher,” a well-known brand of pressure cleaning equipment, a rather remarkable comment, as he is Minister of the Interior. It is this attitude and his “circulaire Sarkozy” mandating a crack down on Muslim immigrants, that has won the favor of the neocons on the other side of the pond in America. It helps, as well, that Sarko supports the invasion and occupation of Iraq......

In short, the French people have a choice between a neocon who likes to call Muslim immigrants voyous (thugs) or a graduate of the elite École nationale d’administration, in other words Ségolène Royal is one of a handful of énarques selected to become senior bureaucrats in France. For some reason, probably a throwback to their royal past, the French people accept this ironclad political monopoly with little question.

If the neocons and the Israel Firsters have their way, Sarko will come out the winner, as his well-established animosity toward Muslims—indeed, the whole of the Islamic Maghreb—is a more or less a perfect fit, whereas Royal’s socialist neoliberalism may result in flip-flopping disaster for the “clash of civilizations” game plan. In order to cinch the election, the neocons and Likudniks in Israel are tolling the “al-Qaeda” bell, as should be expected......."

A Slap in the Face of the "Unity Government"

EU Commissioner: EU funds to continue to bypass Palestinian government, concern about violations of international law

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel has stated that the European Union will continue to bypass the Palestinian government, which is headed by a Hamas prime minister, until this government overtly recognizes Israel, renounces terror and demonstrates its commitment to the previously signed peace agreements, Palestinian journalistic sources have said.

Mr. Michel said, "As long as these demands are not met, there will be no change in the system or style, or the aid presented by the European Union." Speaking to UN officials, Mr. Michel has assured that UN agencies can count on continued EU support for projects in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Palestinians had hoped that the formation of the Palestinian national unity government in mid March would motivate the EU and other major donors to lift the economic embargo, which was imposed on the Palestinian Authority when Hamas won the legislative elections in January 2006......."


What is the point of maintaining this beggar of a government when all it is capable of is capitulating to everyone's dictates while providing nothing to the Palestinians.

Who needs this disgrace besides Usrael?

The Losers "Leading" Palestinian Surrender

Mash'al and Abbas summoned to Cairo by Egyptian intelligence chief;
Egypt praised for halting an Israeli offensive

".......Well-informed Palestinian sources said that Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman had sent an urgent letter to Abbas and Mash'al urging them to come to Cairo for a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity.

Israeli letter: end the projectile-launching!

The sources said that this letter concentrated on the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli threats to invade the Strip, in addition to the continued projectile-launching at Israeli towns. The sources added that the letter was sent by Suleiman after the Egyptians received an urgent letter from the Israeli government, calling them to pressure the Palestinian Authority leadership to stop the projectile-launching from the Strip.

The letter is also reported to confirm that Israel will launch a wide military operation if the projectiles continue.

Mubarak's efforts

On Thursday, the head of negotiations in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Saeb Erekat, hailed the role of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak in preventing an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip........"


Celebrate the Palestinian "leadership's" capitulation to the Egyptian CIA asset Suleiman who was capitulating to Israeli orders to stop or else. I expect Habila to hold a press conference any minute now to wave and smile and praise the heroic role of brotherly Egypt and this great Palestinian victory.

Serving British soldier exposes horror of war in 'crazy' Basra

A British soldier has broken ranks within days of returning from Iraq to speak publicly of the horror of his tour of duty there, painting a picture of troops under siege, "sitting ducks" to an increasingly sophisticated insurgency.

Contributed by Datta

The Independent

".......But, he said, he felt strongly that somebody had to speak out: "I want people to see it as it is; not the sugar-coated version."

His public protest is a sign of the groundswell of anger among the troops, and predictions that more will come forward to break the traditional covenant of silent service. Just last month, Pte Steve Baldwin, 22, a soldier in the same regiment, spoke to The Independent about the way he had been "pushed aside" since being injured by a roadside bomb which killed three others during the Staffords' first tour of Iraq in 2005......

The regiment lost one soldier, Pte Johnathon Wysoczan, 21, during its tour, but 33 more were injured. "I was the first one to get to one of the tents after it was hit, where one of my mates was in bed. The top of his head and his hand was blown off. He is now brain damaged. "We were losing people and didn't have enough to replace them. You hear about the fatalities but not the injuries. We have had four who got shot in the arm, a bloke got blown up twice by roadside bombs and shot in the neck and survived." Most, he said, endured at least one "lucky escape" during their tour. "I had a grenade chucked at me by practically a five-year-old kid. I had a mortar land a couple of metres from me."

The regiment was based in the Shatt al-Arab hotel base, which was handed over to the Iraqi army on 8 April. Of the 40 tents in the base, just five remained unscathed by the end of the tour, he said. "We were just sitting ducks ... On the last tour we were not mortared very often. This tour, it was two to three times a day. Fifteen mortars and three rockets were fired at us in the first hour we were there."

He added: "Towards the end of January to March, it was like a siege mentality. We were getting mortared every hour of the day. We were constantly being fired at. We basically didn't sleep for six months. You couldn't rest. Psychologically, it wore you down. "Every patrol we went on we were either shot at or blown up by roadside bombs. It was crazy."

He insisted that the insurgents appeared to be considerably better trained, funded and equipped than had been the case during their first tour of duty. "Last tour, I never fired my rifle once. This time, I fired 127 rounds on five different occasions. And, in my role [providing medical support], I shouldn't have to fire." He added: "We have overstayed our welcome now. We should speed up the withdrawal. It's a lost battle. We should pull out and call it quits.""

The World Bank has the perfect standard bearer

The bank's credibility was already fatally compromised by hypocrisies far greater than those of Wolfowitz

Naomi Klein
Friday April 27, 2007
The Guardian

"It's not the act itself, it's the hypocrisy. That's the line on Paul Wolfowitz coming from editorial pages around the world. It's neither: not the act (the way he disregarded the rules to get his girlfriend a pay rise); and not the hypocrisy (the fact that Wolfowitz's mission as World Bank president is fighting for "good governance").
First, let's dispense with the supposed hypocrisy problem. "Who wants to be lectured on corruption by someone telling them to 'Do as I say, not as I do'?" asked one journalist. No one, of course. But that's a pretty good description of the game of one-way strip poker that is our global trade system, in which the United States and Europe - via the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation - tell the developing world: "You take down your trade barriers and we'll keep ours up." From farm subsidies to the Dubai Ports World scandal, hypocrisy is our economic order's guiding principle......

The three main institutions at the heart of that crusade are in crisis - not because of the small hypocrisies, but because of the big ones. The World Trade Organisation cannot get back on track, the International Monetary Fund is going broke, displaced by Venezuela and China. And now the World Bank is going down.

The Financial Times reports that when World Bank managers dispensed advice, "they were now laughed at". Perhaps we should all laugh at the World Bank. What we should absolutely not do, however, is participate in the effort to cleanse the bank's ruinous history by repeating the absurd narrative that the reputation of an otherwise laudable anti-poverty organisation has been sullied by one man. The bank understandably wants to throw Wolfowitz overboard. I say: let the ship go down with the captain."

Steve Bell on Congress backing for a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The Guardian

Our Captive Media

Bill Moyers indicts media reporting in the run-up to war

By Justin Raimondo

"I have to say that watching Bill Moyers’ "Buying the War" was quite an experience for me: a kind of vindication, yes, but also, ultimately, quite a depressing experience.

As the editorial director of, my job is to make sure that we cut through the government propaganda and get at the truth about what is really going on in the world, and during the run-up to the Iraq war we had quite a time of it. The lies were coming so thick, and so fast, that it was all we at could do to continually refute them, and yet that is precisely what we did. Moyers takes us through the lies, and shows how the "mainstream" media failed to make any critical analysis of the administration’s allegations. That job, sadly, was left to us.

Saddam’s mythical nuclear program was really the linchpin of the case for war, and we debunked it as early as February, 2001 (also here), and kept doing so throughout the years. The fake "centrifuges," the tall tales of Iraqi "defectors" (in reality, phonies primed by the Iraqi National Congress), and the really quite comical claim by the President that Iraq was going to bomb the U.S. using unmanned aerial vehicles – all of this was derided in this space, and in the editorial columns of, years before the rest of the media woke up to the fact that they’d been fooled.

Iraq’s alleged "links" to al Qaeda – the "cakewalk" fantasy – the Niger uranium mythos – the lies of Ahmed Chalabi – the announced goal of building "democracy" in Iraq: we debunked all this, and more, every day before war finally broke out (having predicted its outbreak as early as 1999).

So, if we – at the time, practically a singlejack operation with even less funding than we have now – could get this right, how come the major media organizations, with all kinds of bureaus, analysts, and whatnot, got the story so wrong? The answer doesn’t really come through in the Moyers documentary......."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

End the Occupation Now

by Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Nobel Prize Winner)

"On Friday April, 20th, 2007, my friend Ann Patterson and I joined the Bil’in Peoples Committee, a Palestinian peace group (based outside Ramallah) for their weekly nonviolent protest and march to the Apartheid Wall. We were joined by Israeli peace activists and some two hundred other activists from over 20 countries, including France, America, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, and India.

Before the peace vigil, I participated in a Press Conference with the Palestinian Minister for Information, Mustafa Barghouti. Minister Barghouti praised the nonviolent vigil of the Bil’in people and the nonviolent resistance of many people around Palestine. He said that the Bil’in resistance movement was a model and example for all. He called for an end to the building of the wall, and for upholding of Palestinian rights under International Law.....

Half way down the road, Israeli soldiers started firing a mystery gas at us, and aimed plastic bullets directly at us. Later, they used water cannons. We were a completely unarmed. It was a peaceful, nonviolent gathering. This vicious attack upon civilians by the Israeli soldiers was totally unprovoked. The soldiers blocked the upper part of the road, thus preventing Dr. Barghouti and some of the Palestinians from joining the main vigil. Then we were tear gassed.

As I helped a French woman, I was shot in the leg with a rubber-covered steel bullet. I was targeted by an Israeli soldier and shot from a distance of 20 metres. This itself was illegal because such lethal weapons, under Israeli military law, are not allowed to be used within a 20 metre range.

Two young women, one from the US and the other New Zealand, helped me to an ambulance. An elderly Palestinian mother was carried away on a stretcher to another ambulance. She was shot in the back with a plastic bullet. I saw one man whose face was covered in blood; he was overcome with the gas. About 20 people were injured.....

This is not only an abuse of human rights and international law by the Israeli government; it is a health and environmental issue. We were all traumatized by the Israeli attack. With the gas on the air, I remembered the words from a Palestinian doctor, who said, “the whole Palestinian people, after 40 years of occupation, are traumatized. It is time for the International Community to act and put a stop to this suffering and injustice.”

I agree. Enough is enough. It is time for action to force the Israeli Government to enter into unconditional talks to end this tragedy upon the good and gentle Palestinian people. End the Occupation Now!"

Fat Boy Puppet Wants Security Blanket to Stay

Iraq criticises US pull-out bill

Attempts by US Democrats to hasten the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq are "damaging to security" in the country, Iraq's foreign minister says.


"Hoshyar Zebari was responding to a vote in the US House of Representatives making further funding of the war conditional on a withdrawal timetable.

The top US general in Iraq said there was still "vastly more work" to do......"

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Mr. Bush, Tear Down These Walls!

Construction of the Berlin Wall

A Good Article
By Scott Ritter

".....It is strangely curious that many ideologues on the right wing of the American political spectrum so openly identify with Reagan. As President Bush’s popularity ratings continue to plummet, many old-time Republicans and political conservatives wax philosophical about the “good old days” when a real conservative held the highest office of the land. Yet these are the same people who, when asked to comment point by point about various aspects of the policies of the administration of President George W. Bush, will defend the establishment of barriers dividing the Iraqi city of Baghdad (as well as the parallel policy of fencing off entire Iraqi villages and neighborhoods), the construction of a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico, and the establishment of a missile defense “shield” (nothing less than a wall projected into outer space) over Europe. Reagan, a Republican president, rightly noted that those who defend freedom must oppose walls. The present-day Republicans seem to have forgotten this.

The ongoing policy of building walls in Baghdad designed to segregate Sunni neighborhoods from Shiite neighborhoods is as morally despicable as it is ineffective. The Soviets built walls; the Nazis walled off entire communities, often as a precursor to rounding up the segregated population and shipping it off to concentration camps. History has rightly condemned both practices. The only modern nation that actively incorporates the construction of walls as an aspect of domestic and foreign policy is Israel, and its policy of apartheid regarding the Palestinians is morally indefensible. That the party of Ronald Reagan would willingly ally itself with those who embrace policies so rightly and strongly condemned by America’s 40th president speaks volumes to the moral vacuum it is operating in today. What is the next step these erstwhile “Reaganites” propose to undertake in Baghdad when the construction of walls fails to impede those who fight for the liberation of their nation from the tyranny of a brutal occupier? Concentration camps?......."

Riverbend is Leaving Iraq

The Great Wall of Segregation...

".....The wall, of course, will protect no one. I sometimes wonder if this is how the concentration camps began in Europe. The Nazi government probably said, "Oh look- we're just going to protect the Jews with this little wall here- it will be difficult for people to get into their special area to hurt them!" And yet, it will also be difficult to get out.

The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart. Promoting and supporting civil war isn't enough, apparently- Iraqis have generally proven to be more tenacious and tolerant than their mullahs, ayatollahs, and Vichy leaders. It's time for America to physically divide and conquer- like Berlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they can continue chasing Sunnis out of "Shia areas" and Shia out of "Sunni areas"......

I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.

On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?.....

So we've been busy. Busy trying to decide what part of our lives to leave behind. Which memories are dispensable? We, like many Iraqis, are not the classic refugees- the ones with only the clothes on their backs and no choice. We are choosing to leave because the other option is simply a continuation of what has been one long nightmare- stay and wait and try to survive......

The problem is that we don't even know if we'll ever see this stuff again. We don't know if whatever we leave, including the house, will be available when and if we come back. There are moments when the injustice of having to leave your country, simply because an imbecile got it into his head to invade it, is overwhelming. It is unfair that in order to survive and live normally, we have to leave our home and what remains of family and friends… And to what?

It's difficult to decide which is more frightening- car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love, to some unspecified place for a future where nothing is certain. "

Why the U.S. Can’t Leave Iraq

By Tony Karon

"......It’s not that they doubt that the U.S. will eventually be forced out of Iraq by domestic pressure driven by the cost in U.S. blood and treasure of maintaining the expedition — they’re not “shocked and awed” by U.S. power, remember, and recognize it as finite and fallible. Each of the players in Iraq has a Plan B for that eventuality, but they’re in no hurry to hasten the moment. (Even Moqtada Sadr plays to popular sentiment by demanding withdrawal, but he’s demanding a timetable rather than immediate withdrawal.) Until then, however, they’ll continue using the U.S. presence to pursue their own political interests and agendas — even as many of them publicly demand U.S. withdrawal — and position themselves to gain maximum advantage when it actually does go (as opposed to acting in ways that advance U.S. interests in order to allow Washington to substantially draw down). And, of course, Washington’s own position reflects a similar gulf between the actual policy and the public statements — Bush, for example, has always dodged the question, whenever asked (even by John Kerry in the presidential debates) about why the U.S. is building 14 permanent bases in Iraq.....

The interests of these regimes, as well as Israel whose own sense of its military deterrent power has been badly shaken by the U.S. failure in Iraq, need the U.S. to remain. So does Turkey, which sees the U.S. presence as the best guarantor against the Iraqi Kurds seceding and forcing Turkey into a political-military quagmire of its own in northern Iraq. (The flip side, of course, is that the Kurds have used the U.S. presence as a buffer against their Arab and Turkish foes, behind which they have maximized their autonomy.) Al-Qaeda’s interest in having the U.S. in Iraq is so obvious there’s no need to dwell on it here......"

Americans: Your Dollars at Work

Members of Abbas' security force march during their graduation ceremony in the West Bank city of Jericho, Wednesday, April 25, 2007.

They are armed and trained with direct U.S. help. Their mission? Provide security to Israel and crush Palestinian resistance.

Arab Puppets Romancing Olmert Across Apartheid Wall
By Hamed Najeeb

Israel to Continue "Limited" Operations.....
By Baha Boukhari

April bloodiest month for UK troops in Iraq since 2003

"BAGHDAD, April 25 (Reuters) - British troops in Iraq passed a bloody milestone this week with the killing of a 20-year-old gunner in the southern city of Basra.

Eleven British soldiers have now been killed in Iraq this month, the highest number of casualties suffered by British forces in a single month since March 2003 when 27 were killed in the opening days of the U.S.-led invasion.

British military analyst Tim Ripley said Basra had become more dangerous for British troops following the announcement by Prime Minister Tony Blair in February that the size of the force was to be reduced by a quarter.

"Now is their chance to prove that you were in the forefront of the struggle and you drove out the imperialists," said Ripley, who writes about Iraq for Jane's publications......."

The puppet who cleared the way for Iraq's destruction

Paul Wolfowitz must bear a large part of the responsibility that is usually laid at the door of his superior alone

Andrew Cockburn
Thursday April 26, 2007
The Guardian

"Among those relishing the exposure of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz's manoeuvres on behalf of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, in recent weeks was almost certainly the former US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was driven from public life thanks to the catastrophe of Iraq, and for the moment at least lurks in obscurity. Wolfowitz, his deputy until 2005, contributed in almost equal measure to the debacle, yet managed to slide from the Pentagon into the presidency of a leading international institution with every chance to redeem himself. Blame for torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, bungling over troop levels, chaos in Iraq's reconstruction, and the general meltdown in Pentagon management has all too often been laid at Rumsfeld's door alone. However, Wolfowitz was an energetic enabler of these outrages and many other notorious initiatives.......

Late last year Perle and other leading neoconservatives lashed out publicly at Rumsfeld, deriding his mismanagement of the Iraqi enterprise they had worked so hard to set in train. "Interesting they are not going after the puppet," the former colleague emailed me in reference to Wolfowitz's absence from his old friends' denunciations.

Given recent sordid revelations, his role in shredding the reputation of the World Bank and the morale of its employees may be harder to obscure."

Looking for alternatives to failure: An answer to Uri Avnery

By Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 26 April 2007

"......The South African model is good subject matter for a comparative study -- not as an object for a hollow emulation. Certain chapters in the history of the colonization in South Africa and the Zionization of Palestine are indeed nearly identical. The ruling methodology of the white settlers in South Africa resembles very closely that applied by the Zionist movement and later Israel against the indigenous population of Palestine since the end of the 19th century. Ever since 1948, the official Israeli policy against some of the Palestinians is more lenient than that of the Apartheid regime; against other Palestinians it is much worse.

But above all the South African model inspires those concerned with the Palestine cause in two crucial directions: by introducing the one democratic state, it offers a new orientation for a future solution instead of the two-state formula that failed, and it invigorates new thinking of how the Israeli occupation can be defeated -- through boycott, divestment, and sanctions (the BDS option).

The facts on the ground are crystal clear: the two-state solution has dismally failed and we have no spare time to waste in futile anticipation of another illusory round of diplomatic efforts that would lead to nowhere. As Avnery admits, the Israeli peace camp has so far failed to persuade the Israeli Jewish society to try the road of peace. A sober and critical assessment of this camp's size and force leads to the inevitable conclusion that it has no chance whatsoever against the prevailing trends in the Israeli Jewish society. It is doubtful whether it will even keep its very minimal presence on the ground, and there is a great concern that it will disappear all together.

Avnery ignores these facts and alleges that the one-state solution is a dangerous panacea to offer to the critically ill patient. All right, so let us prescribe it gradually. But for God's sake let us take the patient off of the very dangerous medicine we have been forcing down his throat the last sixty years and which is about to kill him......."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

القرار الفصل

بقلم : سوسن البرغوتي


المخرج الوحيد للمقاومة الفلسطينية، من نكبة البيع الجماعي، والتي استجدّت بعد مؤتمر القمة، هو حل السلطة الفلسطينية وحكومة الوحدة، والعودة إلى تشكيل جبهة مقاومة للاحتلال، ترتكز على الثوابت أولاً وأخيراً، وتحميل المحتل أعباء تسيير الأمور الحياتية الملزم بها، خاصة وأنه لم تتحرر أي مدينة فلسطينية فعلياً، وأن لا أحد له الحق في مقايضة القضاء على القضية الفلسطينية وشعبها مقابل "الاستسلام"، ومن يريد أن يبيع، فليشهر ممتلكاته في المزاد العلني، لكن ليس على حساب مصير شعب بأسره، والذي يبلغ عدده أكثر من سكان بلد نهض على حساب حروب أمريكا و"إسرائيل" في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق.

وعلى الشعب الفلسطيني بفصائله وكافة ألوانه وتوجهاته السياسية والفكرية، أن يعي خطورة ما يخطط في الخفاء، وأننا ندفع غالياً لخيار المصالحة الوطنية الصورية، فالخلافات الحادة ما زالت قائمة والمؤامرة مستمرة، ولا أحد يراهن على ما يخطط له تيار أوسلو غداً، فالإمدادات لم تنقطع والمعسكرات تُعد لإفناء المقاومة من أجل أمن "إسرائيل".

كفى حوارات وتصريحات، وكفى متاجرة بالقضية، فالأمر ليس أكثر من جينات يحملونها من الجاهلية، فمقولة "اليوم خمر وغداً أمر"، تعني أن الأنخاب لهم، والغد لا يمكن إلا أن يكون بوضع النقاط على الحروف، فإما فلسطين من بحرها إلى نهرها، وإلا فعلى الشعب الفلسطيني في الداخل والضفة والقطاع، والشتات.. السلام. وإذا كانت منظمة التحرير مجرد عنوان مفرغ من محتواه فلا تلزمنا.. فالشعب الفلسطيني قادر على تجميع طاقاته، ليشكل أفضل منها، والسفارات الفلسطينية في الخارج ما هي إلا مناظر تجميلية دون أي تفعيل أو حماية للفلسطيني في الخارج.أما سلطة أوسلو التي بُنيت على باطل فلن تأتي لنا بالخير، لأنها أداة أمريكية بامتياز.

لذلك كله فالفصائل الفلسطينية معنية ومسؤولة مباشرة عن هذه الإسقاطات المستجدة، إلا إذا زلّ المقاومون في إغراءات سلطة زائفة، ووجدوا أن الحل في تنصّبهم بوظائف مشبوهة مرفوعة على أنقاض هلاك وتصفية كل الشعب الفلسطيني."

Clinton: We may need to confront Iran

"Democratic presidential candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that it might be necessary for America to confront Iran militarily, addressing that possibility more directly than any of the other presidential candidates who spoke this week to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Clinton first said that the US should be engaging directly with Iran to foil any effort to gain nuclear weapons and faulted the Bush administration for "considerably narrowing" the options available to America in countering Iran.

Still, she said, all avenues should be explored, since "if we do have to take offensive military action against Iran, it would be far better if the rest of the world saw it as a position of last resort, not first resort, because the effect and consequences will be global."......"

Now You See it.............. Now You Don't!

What a way to conduct a Mickey Mouse "Resistance"

Palestinians renew truce

"GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian armed factions renewed their commitment to a Gaza Strip truce on Thursday but said rocket salvoes from the territory could resume if Israel did not halt military operations in the occupied West Bank.

The message was delivered to Israel by an Egyptian mediator who has been trying to prevent a major confrontation after Hamas's armed wing fired rockets and declared the Gaza truce dead on Tuesday, Palestinians familiar with the talks said.

The envoy, Major-General Burhan Hammad, "informed the Israelis of the new commitment by the factions and at same time stressed that factions demanded the calm be reciprocal and simultaneous, covering Gaza and the West Bank," a source said......"


Well, the "Resistance" with all the bravado, bluster and huffing and puffing by Hamas day! I guess Habila got the message from Israel and he didn't want to be killed or captured. This is what happens when a resistance movement becomes a political movement; just ask Fatah.

Celebrate the new truce NOW!

انهيار الهدنة.. انقاذ لحماس

An Excellent Editorial (Arabic)

انهيار الهدنة.. انقاذ لحماس
عبد الباري عطوان

الجناح العسكري في حماس كان يعيش حالة من الغليان في قدر مكبوت .. فقد كان من الصعب ان يتحول طابور الاستشهاديين، الي حراس لمعالي الوزراء والمدراء العامين لحركتهم، او فراشين في وزارات هي وزارات بالاسم فقط.
حركة حماس تعرضت الي اكبر خديعة في تاريخها، فقد دخلت الشراكة السياسية بنية طيبة، وعلي امل ان يتم الاعتراف بها كحركة سياسية شرعية منتخبة، او يتم رفع الفيتو المفروض عليها، والتعامل معها، خاصة بعد ان تنازلت عن جميع وزارات السيادة ، واضطرت للقبول بسلام فياض وزيرا للمالية، وزياد عمرو للخارجية، ووافقت مكرهة علي المرشح رقم عشرين لوزارة الداخلية بعد رفض اكثر من مرشح تقدمت باسمه الي الرئيس عباس، ومع ذلك ظل الفيتو مسلطا كالسيف علي رقبتها، ولم يتغير وضع الحصار.
الاهانة الاكبر التي تعرضت لها حماس تمثلت في تعيين العقيد محمد دحلان مستشارا للأمن القومي الفلسطيني، تخضع له جميع الاجهزة الامنية الفلسطينية، ووزير الداخلية الجديد. التعيين جاء بعد يوم واحد فقط من اداء الحكومة الجديدة اليمين الدستورية. وبلغت الشكوك ذروتها عندما اعتمد الكونغرس مبلغ 56 مليون دولار لدعم الحرس الجمهوري (العباسي)، علي ان يقتطع منه مبلغ ثلاثة ملايين دولار للميزانية الخاصة لمصاريف مكتب العقيد دحلان. فقد اصبح وزير الداخلية الفلسطيني مثل شاهد زور او مثل نوري المالكي رئيس وزراء العراق يضع الخطط الأمنية ولا يستطيع تنفيذها لانه لا يحكم علي القوات الامنية.
في ظل كل هذه الاستفزازات المتلاحقة من الصعب ان تستمر الهدنة واذا استمرت فإن بديلها هو انشقاق الجناح العسكري للحركة، وتحوله الي فصيل مستقل يعود الي منابع الحركة الفكرية ومنطلقاتها الاساسية التي وضع اسسها المرحوم الشيخ احمد ياسين، او انضمام عناصره الي منظمات وحركات ما زالت ترفع راية المقاومة، وترفض الانضمام الي العملية السياسية مثل حركة الجهاد الاسلامي ولجان المقاومة الشعبية.
قيادة حركة حماس في الداخل والخارج عكست بانطوائها الملحوظ في الفترة الاخيرة، حالة القلق والارتباك هذه. فمنذ اتفاق مكة لم نر السجاد الاحمر يفرش للسيد خالد مشعل ورفاقه في المطارات والعواصم العربية، كما غابت تصريحاتهم النارية عبر شاشة قناة الجزيرة .. وباتوا يراقبون التهافت الرسمي العربي علي التطبيع مع اسرائيل، والفلتان الامني في الداخل بصمت المحرج ولا نقول العاجز.
انهيار الهدنة، ولو كان مؤقتا، ربما ينقذ حماس من الانشقاق، ويجنبها المصيدة التي نصبها لها القادة العرب، لادخالها بيت الطاعة، واستخدامها كمحلل لتصفية القضية الفلسطينية.

This Protest Won't Go Away

By Dahr Jamail, Electronic Lebanon, 25 April 2007

"BEIRUT, Apr 25 (IPS) - Lebanon is caught in political gridlock in the face of sustained opposition to the U.S.-backed government.

The government is refusing to give in to opposition demands for more representation. The government says it is there to stay; so do the protestors.

Their opposition is very visible. Scores of tents, many with solar powered television sets, wooden walls and doors, and cooking facilities fill several huge parking lots at the foot of the heavily barricaded headquarters of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's government......

Others are happy at the unification amongst the different parties.

"It's new for us to be together with all of these other groups," a student from the Free Patriotic Movement who gave his name as Aran told IPS. "It is good because Muslims, Christians and all of the confessions are here together. We hope this experience will be diffused throughout society."....."

Scott Ritter Video: War will not solve any problem we face with Iran

A Good Video
Contributed by Datta

"Scott Ritter, former Major of the US Marines and Chief UNSCOM Weapons Inspector in Iraq, spoke on the folly of war with Iran in the General Pershing Room of the War Memorial, Indianapolis, IN on April 18, 2007.

This is Part 1 - his presentation in the program "US Policy in the Middle East; Target Iran and the role of Congress"

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Oh No! Not Habila!

Israeli minister threatens to kidnap PA premier if IOF soldiers were captured

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Benjamin Ben Eliezer, the Israeli minister of infrastructure, on Wednesday threatened to kidnap the PA premier, Ismail Haneyya, if the Qassam Brigades captured any more Israeli soldiers.

Hebrew media quoted Ben Eliezer, who was a former war minister, as saying that the IOF would not hesitate in sweeping the Gaza Strip, storming Haneyya's house and taking him hostage if the Palestinians abducted more Israeli soldiers from their bases adjacent to the Strip.

The Hebrew radio also quoted an unidentified Israeli politician as saying that attempts to abduct soldiers and the continued firing of missiles would be met with severe retaliation.

The IOF claimed that the intensified Qassam Brigades firing of missiles on Tuesday was a cover up for an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian security sources said that the IOF troops are preparing to break into certain areas in the Strip mainly those from where the missiles are being fired, but were waiting for a political endorsement to the plan."


This threat makes it crystal clear why you can't have a serious resistance and the trappings of "government" at the same time.

Legendary Broadcaster Bill Moyers Returns to Airwaves With Critical Look at How U.S. News Media Helped Bush Admin Sell the Case for War

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers is returning to the airwaves of PBS tonight to launch his new series Bill Moyers Journal. The debut episode is titled “Buying the War.” Moyers makes the case that the press has yet to come to terms with its role in enabling the Bush Administration to go to war on false pretenses. In a few minutes Bill Moyers will join us here in our Firehouse studio, but first, an excerpt from the program. This part includes an interview with former CBS News anchor Dan Rather who gives his own mea culpa for the media's coverage in the lead-up to the Iraq war. Clip from “Buying the War.”
“Buying the War” airs tonight on the new weekly program Bill Moyers Journal. This marks the return of Bill Moyers to the airwaves of PBS. Two and a half years ago he retired after a 30-year career, where he became one of the most recognizable faces on public television. Bill Moyers joins us in our Firehouse studio......"


Don't miss Moyers program tonight on PBS

ما العمل لمواجهة مبادرة الحكام؟

 العدو لا يتعب والشعب نائم وحزب الله لا يكفي

An Excellent Article (Arabic)

By Dr. Adel Samara
Ramallah, Occupied Palestine


أين تتجه الأمور؟
سيكون من السذاجة بمكان الفشل في التقاط اللحظة، مهما كانت ملتهبة ومهما كانت اصابعنا عارية وناعمة. هذه اللحظة حارقة كالجمر. فلم نعهد يوماً التقت فيه معظم إن لم نقل كافة الأنظمة العربية، وحتى أنظمة إسلامية على "ترجي" الكيان الصهيوني بقبول استسلامها. والأخطر أنه استسلام خطف تمثيل الفلسطينيين والشعب العربي في قضية فلسطين. واستغل موات الشارع العربي، وجوع وحصار الشعب الفلسطيني.

لم تفضح الأنظمة العربية وجهها لكي تتوقف عند الفضيحة، ولم تشن الولايات المتحدة حربها على الأمة العربية كي تعتذر عن ذلك، فما بالك بالكيان وخاصة بعد لطمة لبنان. شئتم أم أبيتم، فإن قبائل قريش قد جمعت قضها وقضيضها، ذاهبة باتجاه تصفية حق العودة، بما هو مركز القضية الفلسطينية وهي القضية/الصراع الذي يقف في طريق تحرير التجارة الدولية، يعيق التراكم، في أشد لحظات العوز الأميركي والغربي له، وفي لحظة يحتاج المركز الإمبريالي الأرض العربية كمنصة تنطلق منها صواريخه، وتتبعها استثماراته وآليات النهب إلى آسيا، سواء كانت الصين أو الجمهوريات السوفييتية السابقة.

أما الكيان، فقد ذاق طعم هذا النوع من السلام. ولذا، فإن شهيته لن تشبع. فمنذ مفاوضات مدريد_أوسلو والمليارات تتدفق على الكيان كاستثمار أجنبي مباشر. يكفي أنه في العام الماضي 2006 تدفقت على الكيان22,5 بليون دولار. فقد ترافق تدفق الإستثمار الأجنبي المباشر على الكيان مع بدء التسوية وتدمير العراق. كان عام 1990 عاماً فارقاً بامتياز. لذا، يستعجل الكيان مشروع التسوية، ولم يعد يكتفي بالمستوى الحالي، اي اتخاذ التسوية حالة التنسيق مع السلطة الفلسطينية على طريقة التسلية والإثارة لتطمين راس المال الأجنبي ان "السلام" موجود... فتقدموا. يريد الكيان اليوم، أن يلقي بما تحصل لديه من مليارات وفوائض مالية كاستثمارات له في الوطن العربي لكي يحقق انتقاله من مجتمع إسبرطة إلى مجتمع وادي السليكون.

قد تساعدنا في هذه الفترة تجربة الشعب الفلسطيني في نطاق إعداد فرق عملاء التفاوض والتسوية والاستسلام. فقد بدأت القنصلية الأميركية في القدس عام 1978، أو على الأقل هذا العام الذي عرفنا فيه، إرسال "مثقفين" فلسطينيين للتحاور الثقافي والمسرحي مع "نظرائهم" الأميركيين، أو هكذا قيل. كتبت آنذاك في مجلة البيادر الأدبي قبل أن تصبح البيادر السياسي حيث اشتراها اليمين الفلسطيني، أن هذه الزيارات هي تدريب لمثقفين فلسطينيين على المفاوضات للتسوية. ولم يخب ظني. فيحنما بدأت مفاوضات مدريد-اوسلو كان هؤلاء في طليعة المفاوضين، حيث كانوا قد تراكموا في قلعة "جامعة بير زيت" وجامعات أخرى. وبقي هؤلاء على "العهد" للتسوية، وطبعا لم يكونوا وحدهم، فقد باراهم إلى هذا "الشرف" مثقفو منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، ومثقفونا في الأكاديميا الأميركية.

أعتقد أن هناك الآن إعداد لفرق تفاوض من أجل التصفية النهائية هذه المرة، ولذا، ستضم هذه الفرق مثقفين ورجال سياسة واديان من المحيط إلى الخليج، بل ومن بلدان العالم الإسلامي، فليس صدفة حضور بعضهم مؤتمر القمة العربي الأخير وتنطح برفيز مشرف "للوساطة" بين العرب وإسرائيل. كما ستضم بعضاً من مثقفي أراضي الإحتلال الأول، "ابطال" كنيست، فمن اقسم يمين الولاء للدولة العبرية لا بد أن يكمل "إيمانه" بتصفية حق العودة. فقريش الآن مصرة على التصفية.

هذا يعني أن خيار المقاومة هو الخيار الوحيد. والمقاومة هنا متنوعة منها مقاومة الفتنة الطائفية الكبرى التي يعظ بها العملاء من السنة الشيعة بإيحاء من أميركا والكيان، ومنها
مقاومة التطبيع ومقاومة الأنظمة، ومقاومة الإحتلال.  "

Single State?

Tariq Ali interviewed by
Arab Monitor

".....Nowadays we are witnessing an accelerated efforts of the USA and its Western allies to build up a pro-Western front in all the countries you named, from the Gulf to Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, around Syria. The situation that has been created in Iraq prompts the question whether some kind of orderly regime, even a colonial one, can ever come out of this policy ?

“Not at all. I think the occupation of Iraq has been a total disaster, first of all, for the people of Iraq, second, for Iraq as a unified state. I think that Iraq is now dead. It has been killed by the United States, Great Britain and all those who backed them, and it’s being killed now by those who back this occupation. So Iraq has been destroyed against the wishes of the people, who don’t want it to be destroyed. All the opinion polls show that the people in Iraq want it to remain as one country. The United States however, whether they did it knowingly, or more probably as a result of total ignorance, have destroyed Iraq. And the country will be divided into three segments: the largest segment will be with Iran, the middle segment with Saudi Arabia and the Kurdish segment will become an Israeli-American protectorate. That is what I think, is going to happen. And the USA will keep military bases in the northern area. That is their plan. But there are many imponderables. The Turkish government does not like what is happening in Iraq. For its own reasons, they are threatening to intervene. So this is creating an instability of the whole region, which is shocking. There are reports done by medical people and medical institutions confirming that something close to one million Iraqis have been killed. One million Iraqis have died. And the Western citizens see this, read about it and are saying nothing to their governments”.....

Can we have hope that what we’re seeing, a US-NATO project to cut up the Middle East and possibly North Africa, will encounter resistance ? There is a chanche that from within the Islamic world, a power fuelled by the strength of Islam will expand to a spiritual empire all over the world, whose spiritual resistance will be capable of bringing this project to a halt ?

“I don’t think so. I don’t think that Islam is capable of producing this. One of the things that have been characteristic of Islam right from the beginning of this religion until now, is its incapacity to unite and show solidarity with each other. From the beginning, factional wars have wrecked Islam, If it had been as united, as Christianity was at the time of the Crusades, many developments in history would have gone different......

What about the Lebanese Hezbollah ?

“They’re very different. Hezbollah, in fact, the only force capable of defending national sovereignty in Lebanon. The Muslim Brotherhood, in my opinion, is a collaborationist organization. It has collaborated with imperialism in the past and it will be ready to do so again, if only imperialism gives it a chance”......."

Israel: “Jewish only” or democratic?

by Sonja Karkar
Women for Palestine

"The time will have to come for Israel to declare its hand: is it “a state of the Jewish people throughout the world” as it defines itself, or a state of all its citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish? So far Israel has managed to convince the Western world that it is the only democracy in the region, but neglects to add that this democracy works only for its Jewish citizens. This is the conundrum: Israel has been unable to reconcile what it says it is, with want it wants to be – democratic and exclusively Jewish......

The discourse has been taken up in the Palestinian public arena and now Israel is beginning to feel the same stirrings that finally exposed Apartheid South Africa for the racist state it was. It knows that sooner or later it will be forced to commit to being a “Jewish state only” or recognise the Palestinians as equal citizens and a national minority in their own land. Already Palestinian intellectuals have drafted a document called The Democratic Constitution which envisages Israel as a multicultural democracy for the people living and born there. Whatever Azmi Bishara does now in exile, the seed has burst: he has inspired a subjugated people to seek again their liberation. What is surprising is that Israel has taken so long to understand the lessons of history - that no one person or state no matter how powerful can oppress a people forever. However, Israel still has the option to switch course and institute democracy for all, and if genuinely undertaken, this may well be the solution worth working towards for both peoples. "