Saturday, May 26, 2007

Swan Song of the Democrats

You Can't Stand on Principles When You're in Retreat


"The Democrats did us all a favor by giving Bush his Iraq war-money. After all, the Dems have supported the war from the get-go; so why not expose them as the hypocrites they really are?

The truth is, no one is really surprised by Friday's vote. We have one party in America"the War Party---the Dems are merely a junior partner in that system.

It boggles the mind that so many so-called "liberals" continue to be hoodwinked by the Democratic Party. After all, what do they offer---a slight boost in the hourly wage? Better management of foreign massacres?!?......

What a disaster!

The Democratic Party is not the party that people think it is. This is the party of Rahm Emanuel and the DLC. The leadership is unwaveringly pro-war, pro Israel, and pro free trade. There's no room for anything else. The Democrats have no intention withdrawing from Iraq. That's just speculation on the part of blindly-optimistic voters who still believe that their voices will be heard. They won't be heard. The Democrats will NEVER get us out of Iraq.

The real position of the Dems on Iraq is even MORE IMMORAL than the Republicans. They want to redeploy outside of the country while reducing the number of troops on the ground. In other words, they want to build a "sustainable" model for stealing the world's second largest petroleum reserves......."

Record U.S. Casualties in May

In just the first 25 days of this month, 101 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq. The total for the "Coalition" for the same period is 106. Thus, May is on track as the deadliest month since January 2005.

U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq so far......3,452

"Coalition" Troops Killed...............3,728

U.S. Troops Wounded.................25,549

U.S. helicopter crash during training routine in Jordan injures two pilots

"AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - A U.S. helicopter crashed during a routine training mission in Jordan, injuring both pilots, the U.S. military announced Saturday.

Both pilots were in stable condition after the crash, but one will be flown to a U.S. medical facility for additional treatment, according to the statement by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. The other was expected to be released soon to return to duty.

The statement said the pilots were with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, but their names were not disclosed.

"The crash occurred Friday night south of Al Qatranah, near King Faisal Air Base, in an uninhabited area," said Deputy Public Affairs Officer Lt. John Gay. Al Qatranah is located about 80 kilometres south of the capital, Amman.

The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter was participating in exercise Infinite Moonlight, an annual exercise between U.S. and Jordanian forces, according to the military's statement. The cause of the accident is under investigation. "

Imperial Rot

Are the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the Beginning of the End of the American Empire?


"......Under the offensive military doctrine of 'Pre-emptive Wars' and the 'Global War against Terrorism', the United States' pursuit of military conquest was backed by Israel, Great Britain and several newly incorporated client states from Eastern Europe. The White House's grandiose scheme of world conquest was orchestrated and pre-maturely celebrated by top Zioncon (Zionist Conservative) officials embedded in the Pentagon, White House and the National Security Council.

The imperial wars of conquest however were stopped literally dead in their tracks at their starting point: Iraq and Afghanistan......

From a world historical perspective, the Iraqi and Afghan resistance has successfully stymied Washington's pursuit of world domination through a series of offensive wars. The success of the national liberation movements led to the over-extension of the US imperial armed forces ­ weakening efforts to launch programed ground wars against Iran, Syria and elsewhere. The prolonged resistance led to wholesale domestic opposition in the face of never-ending US casualties and skyrocketing financial costs......

The success of the resistance movements in Iraq and Afghanistan and the appeal of their examples has encouraged new formidable anti-colonial struggles, led by Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia as well as having stiffened the resolve of Iranian leaders to resist US demands to unilaterally suspend their nuclear programs. Further abroad, the weakening of US global military interventionist capacity has taken the heat off of progressive governments in Venezuela and revolutionary Cuba. The consolidation of the Venezuelan nationalist-populist government has had a powerful demonstration impact throughout Latin America, encouraging new anti-imperialist movements and dissident governments in Ecuador and beyond. In an all out battle of ideas, programs, foreign aid and solidarity, Bush is losing out to President Chavez......"

Cheney, Israel and Iran

Frustrated with Bush, the Veep Urges Israel to Attack Iran


"......Clemens cites a Cheney aide as indicating "that Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake" by supporting the diplomatic approach to Iran apparently favored by the State Department. So Cheney plans to deploy an "end run strategy" around the president (who's more swayed at present by Condi Rice's "realists" than Cheney's neocons) if his flank doesn't prevail and Bush resists the demand of the neocons and the AIPAC lobby for a bloody showdown.......

This is the most frightening piece I've read some time, along with Justin Raimondo's latest column on that draws upon it. Raimondo citing a recent CNN interview with Seymour Hersh links Cheney and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams (the most powerful neocon presently in the administration) to U.S. support for the Sunni Fatah al Islam militia in Lebanon as a means to weaken Hizbollah. "George W. Bush," he declares, "is totally out of the loop" in what Raimondo calls "the Cheney administration."......

It's been clear for five years at least that Cheney, the key figure in this administration formally headed by a hopelessly confused little boy still learning to talk, wants to get the boy to issue the orders necessary to bring down the Iranian and Syrian governments and crush their allies in Lebanon and Palestine. He and his chief of staff "Scooter" Libby, along with Perle and the whole cabal, seemed so in charge until the Iraqi people through their resistence to occupation caused the American people to realize the costs of imperialist aggression and created some space for critical journalism in an incipiently fascist atmosphere. Now there is indeed a "race underway" not just between two factions of the administration but between the antiwar movement and the Apocalypse Now movement spearheaded by Cheney....."

Solidarity in Shatila (Remember Sabra and Shatila?)

Mayssoun Sukarieh writing from Shatila Refugee Camp, Live from Lebanon, 26 May 2007

"......Nuhad, as well as almost everyone else I talked to in the camp, are very touched by an interview they heard with one of displaced, as he was leaving Nahr al-Bared. Apparently, someone had called for the extermination of Palestinians with chemical weapons. "It is better than this slow death we live, better than the uncertainty that haunts us, better than being displaced over and over and over again. We will relax and make others relax too." He said these words in tears, and everybody in the camp quoted him out of total disillusionment, anger and helplessness from their unbearable conditions living as refugees.

The state of solidarity in Shatila has nothing to do with Fateh al-Islam. No one talked about them; everybody felt unconcerned with what was going on between the Lebanese Army and this group. After all, they are not Palestinian and have no popularity anywhere. None of the people I spoke to in Shatila expressed any sympathy with Fateh al-Islam; they just showed concern and anger at the way the Lebanese Army is shelling the camp and destroying the houses of the people.

Nadia says that her cousin said seventy percent of his neighborhood in the camp is totally destroyed. "Maybe it is all leveled now." Nadia, as everybody else in the camp, feels that the Palestinians are paying a price for a fight that has nothing to do with them. It is not a Palestinian group, not a group fighting for the Palestinian or refugee cause, they just were operating from the camp. As for why they had come there, most of the people have the same answer: they always referred to the unbearable conditions of the refugees in the camp, a fact that made them subject to all sorts of exploitation.

Abu Hicham, a seventy-year-old from Sheikh Daoud in Akka (Palestine) -- as he insisted on being introduced -- suggests that it seems they are hitting two birds with one stone. If the government is the party that armed the group in the first place, positioning them in one of the Palestinian camps, to later play on this fact in order to suggest that the camps are places of terror that need to be under total control of the government, maybe this is a step towards a war they will wage on us before our normalization. "You know daughter, they will need to kill some of us before our domestification."......

How all this will unfold is still not clear. What is clear, though, it does not look good for us, daughter," Abu Hicham says. "The future is bleak, as bleak as watching Palestinians being displaced again, and again. How many Nakbas we have to witness before our return, who knows, my daughter, who knows."

If Shatila residents are pretty sure of their disconnection with Fateh al-Islam, they are pretty sure too that something is awaiting them, something that does not look good."

Nahr al-Bared Flees to Beirut

Dr. Marcy Newman, Electronic Lebanon, 26 May 2007
(Dr. Marcy Newman is a Visiting Professor at the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut and a Fellow at the Initiative for Middle East Policy Dialogue)

"......The media in Lebanon is no better. The Lebanese army reported yesterday that only one Palestinian has died in Nahr al-Bared. In our brief mapping of the refugees from Nahr al Bared refugee camp, which is not anywhere near complete, we have found and confirmed the following people have been killed by the Lebanese army:

1. Montaha Kamal Khalil
2. Ahmad Daghloul
3. Ra'ed el Shans
4. Abd el Latif Al Kaza'
5. Oday Nser Ismail, 16 years old
6. Jihad Abo el Ez, 35 years old
7. Ashraf Akl, 30 years old
8. Adel Younes, a teacher, 50 years old
9. Lina Jabr, 18 years old, her house fell on her
10. Abo Leiman Bhnan
11. Sleiman Bhnan, a doctor
12. Nayef el Saleh
13. Amer Nadwa
14. Saeed Sleiman

The Lebanese army also bombed the following civilian institutions in Nahr al-Bared camp:

1. Jenin Medical Center
2. Amal Medical Center
3. Bayt el Maqdes
4. Palestine Center, Dr. Fathala
5. Khaled Ben Walid Mosque
6. Al Quds Mosque
7. Al Jalil Mosque

As the refugees continue flow into refugee camps around Lebanon, approximately 15,000 remain in Nahr al-Bared trapped for a variety of reasons. We will continue to administer aid through grassroots organizations on a house-to-house basis."

Inside Nahr el-Bared

"Another Waco in the Making"


Bedawi and Nahr el-Bared Palestinian Refugee Camps, Lebanon.

".....The "security agents" on the slopes above the army looking down into al-Baled are the main sniper danger. People claim they are Hariri militia but I can not confirm that. The army told the PLO they would stop them but as of Saturday night they are still shooting. They are trying to shoot anyone they see inside or leaving al-Bared. Someone should stop them.....

One NGO group of three from Beirut left a few hours ago in tears from frustration, sadness and anger from repeatedly being stopped by the army from taking supplies to al Barad. Their cargo of water and blankets abandoned. On Saturday the Palestinian Red Crescent, which for a quarter century has provide the medical service to both camps has been formally and completely banned from al-Bared and told they will be shot if they try to enter al-Bared. I met with the PRCS leadership and drivers.

There is some-near panic in Bedawi caused by many rumors. One rumor, widely believed, is that the Lebanese government plans to demolish al-Bared to make room for the huge US/NATO airbase which is to be built next to the camp. 5,000 of the Palestinians in al-Bared are from the 1975 ethnically cleansed east Beirut camp Telazatter. The PLO moved them to al-Bared at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war (1975-90) and they live close together in one al-Bared neighborhood. Saw women wailing that they may be another Telazatter massacre and destruction of their homes.

Many Palestinian young men are being arrested as they leave al-Bared......

Fear among PLO camp leaders that there could be a blood bath. "It's the Bush complex," one German NGO volunteer said. "The Lebanese government wants to be macho like the Israelis to gain some respect. This could be another Waco in the making, for no reason." The PLO is trying to mediate with the army to avoid a slaughter that would occur if the army tries to enter al-Bared. "What is needed is leadership and for the warlords to keep quiet. The army has behaved very badly but it's the politicians fault."

The army moved the press position to more than one mile from al Bared, "for security". The army has orders to give no information to the press. Some journalists feel something terrible is going to happen here. Just heard the army has now completely sealed the camp. No access to the wounded still in basements and bombed houses needing help. Palestinians activist in Bedawi say that if the army goes into al-Bared and makes a massacre that Palestinian from all over Lebanon will fight. This may be what some here or outside Lebanon are hoping for.

The Welch Club wants the army to "wipe out the terrorists", and "protect our Palestinian brothers". Not one Palestinian in either camp or observer I know believes that. Rather the Palestinian community here believes that the whole Fatah al-Islam "very strange case" was designed to assault their 420,000 population here....."

Dear Hamas,

The above is our proposed standard uniform for your "Executive Force." Please consider, since it would make our targeting even easier.



The Stupidity of Hamas: The "Executive Force" is Still Being Executed Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel. Dissolve the Farce and Become Real Guerrillas!!

"Gaza - Ma'an - Four Palestinians have been killed and over thirty injured in four strikes by Israeli planes on Executive Force positions in several towns across the Gaza Strip on Saturday at noon.

Director of emergencies and ambulances in the ministry of health, Dr Muawiya Hassanein stated that the four Palestinians were killed, and six injured, in an air strike on the Executive Force in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City.

The identities of the deceased have been revealed: Mohammad Ad Dairy, Ali An Nashshar, Adil As Siafi, and Ahmad Ad Dam. It is not yet clear if the killed men were members of the Executive Force.

Gazan medical sources stated that many injuries were admitted to Ash-Shifa' hospital after the Badr position was hit by Israeli planes.

In the south of the strip, Israeli planes launched a further two air raids on an Executive Force post in Tal As Sultan in Rafah, and upon a Hamas security body base in Khan Younis.

Medical authorities expect the death toll to rise dramatically because of the critical condition and injuries of many, with more people still to find under the damaged buildings.

He confirmed that medical and rescue crews are still working on retrieving people still trapped under the damaged buildings.

Al-Qassam members were also injured in the strikes against Ash-Shati refugee camp.

In Rafah, Israeli planes targeted a Qassam position, west of the city, with at least five rockets, causing the total devastation of several Al Qassam buildings.

Israeli planes also struck Al Qassam positions in the evacuated former settlement of Neveh Dakalim.

In the raid on the former settlement, an entire building was destroyed and fire continued to blaze in the area. A fire fighting crew arrived at the scene, accompanied by ambulances, yet Israeli jets launched another strike, causing damage to two ambulances and injuring a man.

These most recent strikes are considered the most intense raids since the Israeli escalation nine days ago."


A couple of days ago we were told that the Israeli air force has run out of targets to hit; it is clear that is not the case. It is not because of the skills of Israel, IT IS THE STUPIDITY OF HAMAS that is making this possible. Does Hamas not understand that this campaign is coordinated with the Israeli agents Abbas and Dahlan to wipe out the "Executive Force?" The goal is not just to topple Hamas politically, but to eradicate it as a movement. When your very survival as a movement is at stake, you have to shift gears and change your thinking dramatically. It is not Sulta and stupid "government" any longer. Dissolve all of these fixed, rigid and vulnerable structures and become a fluid and unpredictable movement that lies low when the enemy is hitting hard. You should preserve your forces and wait for when the enemy is vulnerable (read the "Art of War"). The Gaza strip is swarming with Israeli agents. All of the "security" apparatus of Abbas are eyes and ears for Israel. Don't put your fighters in cars at this time, there are informers guiding Israeli missiles. Don't send these fighters to their death unnecessarily; martyrdom can wait!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lebanon: Army imposes restrictions on coverage of northern clashes

"New York, May 25, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that journalists have been prevented since Monday from entering a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon during clashes between Islamist militants and the Lebanese Army......

The Lebanese Army has not publicly explained the restriction, although officials initially told journalists that it was imposed for safety reasons. Reporters told CPJ that some journalists followed aid convoys into the camp Wednesday night to report on conditions, but the Lebanese Army quickly forced them out.

In addition, journalists said, the Lebanese Army forced journalists to move out of a nearby high-rise building that had been one of the main press locations. Officials cited safety reasons in moving them on Tuesday to a building that is farther away and has obstructed views. Journalists told CPJ that they suspected the army was also attempting to hinder coverage of the humanitarian crisis inside the camp where, according to news reports, more than a dozen civilians were killed and 12,000 refugees forced to flee the camp.....

Attacks against journalists were also reported. Al-Akhbar photographer Wael al-Ladifi, Al-Balad photographer Asad Ahmad, Agence France-Presse photographer Ramzy Haidar, and Al-Alam cameraman Ali Tahimi said they were beaten by members of the Lebanese Army on Thursday.

The journalists told CPJ that they were covering the exodus of thousands of Palestinian refugees to the nearby Beddawi camp when Lebanese soldiers warned them not to take images of the army. When Lebanese civilians supporting the army also attempted to obstruct the journalists, they said, an argument broke out. Soldiers intervened by taking al-Ladifi to an army tank where they beat him and accused him of being an Israeli spy, he told CPJ. An army captain tried to grab Ahmad’s camera and began beating him in front of several journalists and civilians. Soldiers then pointed their weapons and beat the journalists, they said......"


I wonder why the Hariri scribe, Robert Fisk, doesn't bother to report from inside these two camps (Baddawi and Nahr El-Bared), since he seems to have good relations with "the troops" and he always writes about how courteous and well-natured they are

By Imad Hajjaj

The March to War: Syria Preparing for US-Israeli Attacks

A Well-Written, Long Article

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, May 25, 2007

"Syria was in the sights of the White House and Pentagon since the advent of the “Global War on Terror.” Attacks on Lebanon and Syria have long been expected as a phase in the American-led war march unfolding in the Middle East and Central Asia in the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001......

Syria is now the subject of intense covert and overt diplomatic U.S. and E.U. pressure as the Anglo-American war machine is running out of time. Attempts are also underway to create a wedge between Iran and Syria. Military provisions are additionally underway on the immediate borders of Syria for a possible war in the Levant and a broader Middle Eastern war that would stretch from the borders of Egypt and Turkey to the frontier of Western China. Israel is also making preparations for yet another war, while the U.S. and British militaries continue to marshal their armed forces into Afghanistan, Iraq, and the broader Middle East.....

In an interview, General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, frankly stated that the U.S. has been set on initiating a major military road map of international warfare that would start in Afghanistan and Iraq and end with Iran......And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defence’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”.....

France and Germany, the Franco-German entente, are partners in this historic neo-colonial project: thus the project is no longer strictly Anglo-American, it is a NATO project. It is no coincidence that all these targeted nations, aside from Libya, fall within the operational-level military command boundaries of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). NATO expansion is also linked to the wars and the pending wars in this vast region......

The bills approved after the November 2006 U.S. Congressional elections by the U.S. Congress, which is controlled by the Democrats, are merely a continuation of the Bush Jr. Administration’s agenda. The U.S. Congress has approved and passed bills for the funding of the continued occupation of Iraq, given the White House additional powers, and paved the way for future wars in the Middle East......

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi visited Syria with a delegation that included Democrats and a Republican. [19] The visits to Damascus from the U.S. State Department and the House Speaker essentially were part of a combined effort and served the exact same interests, which was to get the Syrians to capitulate.......

It is no mere coincidence that fighting has broken out in Lebanon between Fatah Al-Islam, a previously unheard of radical militant group, and the Lebanese Armed Forces, days after David Welch, the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. State Department, held unprecedented meetings with General Michel Sulaiman (Solomon) the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. Although Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, and American channels created Fatah Al-Islam, Syria is conveniently being blamed as the perpetrator in a calculated move to strengthen the manufactured war dossier against Damascus."

Nasrallah urges political solution

Contributed by Datta

"Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, has cautioned the Lebanese government against storming the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon where fighters are holding out against Lebanese troops.

In a televised speech on Friday, he also criticised US weapons aid to the Lebanese army, saying that Lebanon risked getting dragged into America's war against al-Qaeda.

Nasrallah said: "The problem in the north can be solved politically and through the judiciary in a way that protects the Lebanese army, our Palestinian brothers, the state and peace and stability without transforming Lebanon into a battleground in which we fight al-Qaida on behalf of the Americans."
He said accepting US help would draw more fighters into the country and potentially destabilise it.......

Nasrallah said the Fatah Islam fighters who attacked the military should be brought to justice.

But he said Hezbollah opposed any military incursion into the camp to crush the fighters.

He said: "The Nahr el-Bared camp and Palestinian civilians are a red line. We will not accept or provide cover or be partners in this."

'Dangerous thing'

Hezbollah and its supporters accuse Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, of being a puppet of the US and are pushing for his removal.

Nasrallah called a large airlifting of US military supplies to the Lebanese military to help in the Nahr el-Bared fight "a dangerous thing".

He said: "Does it concern us that we start a conflict with al-Qaeda in Lebanon and consequently attract members and fighters of al-Qaeda from all over the world to Lebanon to conduct their battle with the Lebanese army and the rest of the Lebanese?""

السيد نصر الله: المخيم خط احمر وتعالوا لحكومة انقاذ


النقطة الثانية، موضوع مخيم نهر البارد، المدنيون الفلسطينيون والفصائل في مخيم نهر البارد، والمخيم كمخيم هذا يجب ان يكون من الثوابت وخط احمر اذا اردنا ان نكون عادلين ومنصفين وبقية المدنيين واللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، اذا كانت الدولة تشن حرب على الارهاب لايعني ان تقتل الناس في الشوارع، انتم دولة يجب ان تتصرفوا كدولة، مذكرة توقيف واعتقال وأصول التوقيف يجب ان تراعى والناس تذهب الى القضاء وتحاكم لا ان تكون الحرب على الارهاب على الطريقة (البوشية)، ان تقتل الناس في الطرقات ورجل الامن يصبح المدعي العام، وهو المحامي والقاضي والجلاد هذا شيء خطير ويهدد الامن والسلم في لبنان.

في اليوم الاول سمعت احد الابطال يدعو لإقتحام المخيم، هناك مخيم فيه 30 الى 40 الف نسمة ليس لهم علاقة، هل يعقل انه اذا اردنا اعتقال مسلحين ان اهجم على 40 الف نسمة وادمر المخيم، المخيم الفلسطيني من الناحية الانسانية والاخلاقية وحتى القانونية مثل أي بلدة لبنانية. هؤلاء يعيشون احلام ومشاريع قديمة، هذا خطأ هذا خطير جدا، هذا يستدعي الكثير من الذكريات الاليمة والقاسية والصعبة، نحن بكل صراحة ووضوح الجيش خط احمر ولا يجوز ان يمس به ومن قتل ضباط وعناصر الجيش يجب ان يحاكم وتتوفر له محاكمة عادلة ولا يجوز ان يسامح، لكن مخيم نهر البارد خط احمر، المدنيين لبنانيين وفلسطينيين، لا يمكن ان نقبل او نغطي او نكون شركاء بتغطية حرب مخيمات من هذا النوع لا نعرف الى اين تصل وفي النهاية الحرب حرب من.

يجب ان نتنبه الى التدخل الاميركي، في هذه الحادثة، يجب ان يحصل فيما بعد تحقيق حول اسباب الحادث من اخذ القرار كيف صار القرار، اليوم الاميركييون اقاموا جسرا جوياً لإرسال ذخائر للجيش اللبناني بناءا على طلب السنيورة ام لا، هذا شيء خطير، نحن ايام الحرب على لبنان كانت الدولة اللبنانية تطلب بالحد الادنى كان يقال، ان تتدخل اميركا من اجل وقف الحرب علينا، ولكن الولايات المتحدة رفضت ان تطلب من الاسرائيليين وقف الحرب بل طلبت مواصلة الحرب، لماذا الغيرة اليوم على الجيش اللبناني، هذا سؤال برسم اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين والشعوب العربية و14 اذار و8 اذار.

This is what Bandar Bush, Elliott Abrams, Saad Hariri and Fouad Siniora worked so hard to accomplish in Lebanon....
Congratulations to the "axis of moderates"

A Horrible and Shocking Video: Summary executions perpetrated by Abbas and Dahlan’s men

Contributed and Translated by Lucia

By Silvia Cattori

Click Here to Watch This Shocking Video

"This video is the only document that can give us an idea from what happened in Gaza from May 11th to May 18th. It shows us how President Mahmoud Abbas’ armed forces liquidate disarmed, defenceless men for being sympathizers or members of the Hamas democratically elected government.

The sequence - where can be viewed the execution of a disarmed young Palestinian by these faithless, lawless forces acting under the command of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his henchman Mohamed Dahlan, was filmed from a balcony. It took place in a street close to the headquarters of the security forces acting under Abbas’ command. El Saraya neighbourhood.

This film does not show us the entirety from what happened. Missing is the scene where the young Palestinian, summoned to leave his car, immediately forced to get on his knees, falls under the shootings. The sequence starts at the moment when the man collapses, soaked in his blood.

It can be viewed how the ambulance is arriving; it can be viewed how president Abbas’ armed forces, in black gear, masked, prevent the ambulance personnel from helping the young man. It can be heard how one of the armed men shouts at the ambulance personnel: "Let him die". Then, it can be viewed how the man, trying to get up, falls under the shootings, dying.

The name of this young Palestinian, executed by armed Palestinians ready to kill the Hamas people, is reproduced on the list of the article: Palestine: Summary executions. (1) No media in Palestine spoke about it. Except rare media related to the Hamas movement. The proof that they are under the control of the Fatah party, Abbas’ party; the party related to these forces that are ready to betray their people in order to grab power again with the Israeli and United States’ support, willing to liquidate the people who are supporting the democratically elected Hamas government.

Where are the so-called representatives of the Palestinian people at the U.N., or the European Union, who enjoy of total freedom to denounce the traitors that are throwing their people down to even more horror and hatred? Why are they not so interested in denouncing what is being organised against their people? Are they waiting for Mr. Abbas (2) to come out victorious of this coup d'etat planned and consented by Condoleezza Rice?"

Israel, US, and Egypt back Fatah's fight against Hamas

The Bush administration has spent most of its $84 million in aid to Palestinians to train an elite corps of Fatah-loyal fighters.

By Dan Murphy | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
and Joshua Mitnick | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
(A long Article)

".......That attack was a "wake-up call" to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas on the need to do more to strengthen forces loyal to the Palestinian president, says Gershon Baskin, codirector of the independent Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information in Jerusalem.

"If Abbas's forces aren't strengthened with weapons, technical training, and money, Gaza is lost. That's the bottom line. Do the Americans and the Israelis want to write off Gaza to the Islamic fundamentalists?"

But the impression shared by many in Gaza that the US is helping Fatah in its power struggle with Hamas, rather than simply strengthening border security, could lead to a spiral of violence, some in Gaza warn.

"Palestinians believe the American support to Abbas is to take out Hamas rather than help secure the border crossings," says Omar Shaban, a political expert in Gaza who once worked as an adviser to Abbas.

The US has to "present it in a way that they are helping the PA and not the president's office," he said. Otherwise, "it puts more oil on the fire. There is a big fear within Hamas that these weapons will be used against them, which makes them take the initiative to get more weapons and to protect themselves … you are promoting the competition between the Fatah generals and Hamas."

While the US says that is not part of its goal, it will be difficult to convince Hamas supporters otherwise......."

Patrick Seale: Al-Qaeda rears its head in Lebanon


".......Seale also stated that some expert observers of the complicated Lebanese scene point to the fact that Lebanon's Sunni population has always felt the lack of an armed force of its own. Moreover, he added, the Sunnis in Lebanon have often felt that they could not rely on the Army, which is a mixed, multi-confessional and reasonably neutral force. "The late Rafiq al-Hariri tried to build up the Internal Security Force, largely recruited among Sunnis, and endowed with its own intelligence service, as a counterweight to the Army. But this was not entirely successful," Seale said.

Some analysts according to Seale, believe that a group like Fatah al-Islam was initially tolerated, and perhaps even funded, by Lebanese Sunnis who may have seen in it the embryo of the militia they needed. They certainly longed to be able to demonstrate that they could stand up to the Shi 'is and to Syria.

Seale's assessment intersected with US prominent Journalist Seymour Hersh's latest article in the New Yorker magazine, in which he stated that based on the International Crises group's report, the head of the Future parliamentary bloc Saad Hariri had paid a sum of 48 thousand USD to bail out four members of an Islamic militant group from the Donniyeh region in north Lebanon. They were arrested while attempting to establish a small "Islamic state in northern Lebanon." Hersh quoted a high ranking official in the Saniora government saying that there are Sunni Jihadists operating in Lebanon and that the government, according to the official, takes a liberal position that allows groups like al-Qaeda to have presence in Lebanon!"

As Gaza burns

It is imperative that Fatah and Hamas reach an accord sooner or later to prevent further infighting

By Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......Some observes speculated that the disproportionate attacks on Hamas, coupled with renewed threats to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal constitute pro-active Israeli intervention in the intermittent confrontations between Hamas and the so-called "pro-American trend" within Fatah, headed by Mohamed Dahlan.

Indeed, Israeli military leaders were hesitant about attacking Hamas while the infighting between the two Palestinian organisations raged. However, when it died down, the Israeli army moved specifically against Hamas.

Last week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that unnamed Western governments, including presumably the US, had asked Israel to help Fatah defeat Hamas, following the example of Ethiopian intervention in Somalia against the former Union of Islamic Courts' fighters.

Fatah angrily dismissed these accusations as any veracity thereof would portray them as proxies of the Israelis and Americans fighting Patriotic Palestinians.

On Sunday, Urayeb Rantawi, a Palestinian commentator based in Jordan, urged Fatah to confirm their raison d'être and clarify their goals. "We want to know and the Palestinian people want to know, is Fatah still the glorious liberation movement that started and maintained the struggle for freedom and liberation over the decades or has it turned into an Israelised group that is being financed and armed by the United States and Israel?"......

On the political level, it is also safe to assume that confrontations will resume sooner rather than later if the forces and militias answerable to Dahlan, and Hamas's Executive Force continue to refuse to answer to the Palestinian Interior Ministry.

Indeed, it was due to this refusal that Hani Al-Qawasmeh, the former interior minister, angrily quit his job recently, arguing that the militias ignored orders from the Interior Ministry.

More to the point, it is also imperative that the Palestinian leadership make sure that the Fatah forces sever all contacts and coordination with American representatives, such as the United States Security Coordinator to the PA and Israel, Keith W Dayton, who make no secret of their desire to stoke the fire of civil war among Palestinians, apparently for the purpose of serving Israeli interests."

Syria Offering its Services to the Empire

How Damascus can help US find its lost keys

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"This is what is happening to the US administration, searching for solutions in Lebanon because there seemingly is no light in Iraq - the real place where they should be looking for their "lost keys".

Yet even Lebanon is falling into darkness. The situation in northern Lebanon, where the army is combating al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic insurgents called Fatah al-Islam, is worrying - to say the least. Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh complicated matters even more by appearing on CNN to say that Fatah al-Islam, a Sunni militia, had actually been supported by the Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora, to serve as a counterbalance to Hezbollah, a Shi'ite group, in case further Sunni-Shi'ite hostilities erupted in Lebanon.

The idea was apparently the brainchild of Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security adviser, Vice President Dick Cheney and Saudi National Security Adviser Bandar bin Sultan......

Syria can also be a vital player in the "war on terror" that is so dear to America. They have had their own war with Islamists since the 1960s and have been keeping files on Syrian and non-Syrian Islamists, many of whom they handed over to the US after the attacks on the US of September 11, 2001.

The Islamists have seduced America into the sands of the Middle East. It's not the other way around, as many people believe. Syria knows this territory well and can be of great help to the Americans - if treated as an ally in the "war on terror". Syria wants to be seen as part of the solution to the Middle East, rather than a part of the problem. That is where the Americans should be looking: Damascus. It is one part of the Middle East where the streetlights still work and where America could find its "lost keys". "

Iraq's Sadrists follow Hezbollah's path

By Mahan Abedin
Asia Times

"The success of Iran's policy in Lebanon, where the Islamic Republic exerts extensive influence through its local ally Hezbollah, has raised the question of whether Iran can repeat the same experience in war-torn Iraq.

If the Islamic Republic is seeking to create a Hezbollah-style ally in Iraq, its best partner would be the Sadrist movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr. But re-creating the Hezbollah experience in Iraq is a daunting task that is likely to take many years to bear fruit. The ill-disciplined and fragmented Sadr movement is worlds apart from the iron-clad discipline and sophistication of Lebanon's Hezbollah. And Muqtada is no Hassan Nasrallah.

But despite these challenges, the Sadr movement can be used by Iran to consolidate its influence in a steadily fragmenting Iraq and to manage hostilities with the United States. The Islamic Republic excels at developing and using non-state actors in unstable countries, and war-torn Iraq provides Iran with plenty of motivation to mobilize its unique skills and resources for this purpose.......

As this scenario unfolds, the Iranians will give more importance to their relationship with Muqtada and the different components and factions of his movement. While Iran would prefer to exert influence in a unified and stable (albeit weak) Iraq, it can still manage an extensive network of patronage and influence in an unstable and bloody situation.

In the final analysis, the Sadr movement will likely play an important role in how Iran and the United States manage tensions and eventually reach some kind of broad understanding, without necessarily normalizing relations. While tension is unlikely to escalate into a shooting war, the Mahdi Army still gives the Islamic Republic potent leverage in the increasingly aggressive positioning that is likely to precede any significant breakthrough in the Iranian-US cold war."

Blowback in Tripoli?

By Tony Karon

"Last March, I noted Seymour Hersh’s alarming report on the efforts by Dick Cheney and his friends in Saudi Arabia to wage a proxy war against Iran, by enlisting all manner of Sunni fundamentalist jihadis, notably in Lebanon where they would be beefed up as a counterweight to Hezbollah. At the time I wrote:

These people have no shame, nor sense of humor or history, it seems: After all, it was a similar strategy in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that created al-Qaeda in the first place. This time, it will be different, Hersh’s sources insist, no doubt with a straight face......

All I can say is, it didn’t take long, did it? The radical Qaeda-oriented group fighting a pitched battle with the Lebanese Army at the expense of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Tripoli, Fatah al-Islam, appears to have been one of the beneficiaries of this strategy.

As Hersh told CNN this week, the carnage in Lebanon may be a sign of another Cheney-Abrams adventure gone bad.

CNN’s Hala Gorani begins by asking Hersh who is funding and arming groups such Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr el Bared refugee camp......"

S’agit-il vraiment, "simplement", d’un "combat inter-palestinien" ?

A French translation of a comment I wrote and it appeared on the website

Contributed by Lucia

Par Tony Sayegh

"Pour les amis, comme pour les ennemis des Palestiniens, il est à la mode de déplorer ce qu’ils qualifient de combats inter-palestiniens. D’aucuns sont allés jusqu’à parler de guerre civile.
Le Hamas et le Fatah sont également tenus pour responsables, dans ce qui veut se faire passer pour de l’observation avisée et fiable, dans divers commentaires......."

The Cabal Strikes Back

The neocons are discredited – but not defeated

By Justin Raimondo

"You would think that a political tendency such as the neoconservatives, one that has presided over a disastrous war which is increasingly unpopular, and which has unleashed a wave of resentment and even hatred against them, would just crawl back under the rock from whence they sprang and lay low for the duration. Not the neocons, however: they may be down, but they are far from out, as this report from Washington policy wonk Steve Clemons makes all too ominously clear:

"Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

"This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an 'end run strategy’ around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument. The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).".......

As Colin Powell told Bob Woodward, after 9/11, the neocons centered around the office of the vice president set up "a separate government." That government – widely discredited, and reeling from the recent trial and conviction of one its principal figures – is now engaged in a struggle for power with the legal and duly constituted government, the outcome of which has yet to be determined. What is clear, however, is that the Cheney administration will stop at nothing in its effort to win that fight – even if it means starting World War IV. This is an outcome the neocons would dearly love to see, and I have to say that, sadly, their chances of success are quite good."

Iran 'accused of attacks in Iraq to bolster US strategy'

The Independent

"The Bush administration may be highlighting accusations that the Iranian government is behind attacks in Iraq in order to strengthen its hand in preparing for military strikes on Iran, according to a leading British think-tank.

In a report sifting the evidence produced by US authorities against Iran, the independent think-tank Basic cast doubt on the strength of the intelligence, saying that proved links between the Tehran regime and militia inside Iraq remained "sketchy".....

Turning to the US strategic motivation for highlighting the Iranian role in Iraq, Basic (British American Security Information Council) suggested that Iran could be a "useful scapegoat to divert the blame" for failures in Iraq away from the occupying powers. But also, "if Tehran can be cast as a source of regional instability in the eyes of the international community, then the US administration's hand will be strengthened as it seeks support for stronger measures to oppose Iranian nuclear ambitions"......."

PM Haniyeh's advisor tells Israeli TV: "projectiles are like fireworks"

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli TV Channel Two broadcast an interview on Thursday with the Palestinian Prime Minister's advisor, Dr Ahmad Yousef, in which Yousef described the homemade projectiles launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel as "fireworks".

The advisor said that these projectiles are not causing any damage or harm to Israel. Only one Israeli has been killed, he said, while 63 Palestinians were killed in the last week alone.

Yousef added that "Israel is using these projectiles in order to kill Palestinians. "Can the stick be compared with the sword?" he asked. "These projectiles are almost like fireworks; they are not killing. Only one Israeli woman has been killed, but the Israeli military machine killed 63 [Palestinians] last week." He added, "The president described them as useless."

After Ma'an News Agency published what was reported by the Israeli TV, Dr. Yousef contacted the agency denying what he said on the Israeli TV and told Ma'an, "What I said was taken out of context." He added, "What was published was partially broadcast from a whole sequence."

In his statement to Ma'an, Yousef said that the TV reported only part of what he said. He also told the TV that the Palestinian people have the right to retaliate for the "Israeli aggression with all available means."

He also added that "Israel succeeded in playing the role of the victim by showing its people as facing a wave of rockets from the Palestinian resistance in order to justify its aggression and massacres and to frustrate the government."

The advisor also said that the effects of the Palestinian projectiles "are not the same as what the Israel media try to show and publish."

Dov Weissglas, the chief advisor and office director of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, described the Palestinian projectiles as "fireworks" in 2003. The Israeli political parties and politicians launched a campaign of criticism at the office at the time and called on the director to apologize as they considered the statement to be weakening the Israeli story in regard to these projectiles. "

US sends arms shipments to Saniora's government


"25/05/2007 In response to the calls of head of the unconstitutional government of Fouad Saniora, demanding military aid, two military transport planes landed at the Beirut airport on Friday, bringing foreign military aid to the Lebanese army. The development comes after the United States said it would rush supplies to Beirut. Lebanese officials would not disclose where the military planes came from whether directly from the United States or from U.S. military depots in the Middle East.
Late Thursday, a United Arab Emirates air force plane also arrived with supplies.
A Pentagon official said earlier Thursday that the U.S. was rushing ammunition and other equipment to the Lebanese army in a military airlift of eight planes. But local Lebanese television stations said even more planes were expected to arrive.
A U.S. military official at the Pentagon said the 'Lebanese government had asked the United States several days ago to expedite the shipment of a broad range of equipment and ammunition that already was in the pipeline for delivery to the country. The Beirut government subsequently told the U.S. it needed the ammunition right away, a security official said.
In response, the U.S. sent the first planes loaded largely with ammunition, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. All the materials en route had previously been requested, the agreements were already in place, and they were in the delivery process, the official stressed.
The official did not know exactly how much ammunition was included in the transports Friday. The planes, flying over the city in the morning, were spotted by many residents."



Cheering to the beat of the Palestinians' misery

Sami Hermez, Electronic Lebanon, 25 May 2007

".......What is more disturbing is that the petition, with over 10,000 signatories thus far, echoes the general mood in the country, where we have seen people take to the streets in support and celebration of the army; and where people are expressing their hatred for the Palestinian refugees by uttering such things as: "Let the army finish us from the Palestinians once and for all." In other words, the "salvation" that we are to be guaranteed of by our support of the army in this petition is a salvation from the Palestinians. In our habitual, almost instinctive resort to religious imagery, this petition claims the army as Jesus Christ and the Palestinians as all things evil.

In Lebanon we have seen this before. In the 1970s it was the Christian Phalange party among others who resorted to this language; today we are hearing it across sectarian lines. Perhaps, as proof of a lack of any moral direction, the Lebanese national narrative will once and for all be determined through the claim of a common Palestinian enemy. And I will remain disgusted!

Have those who signed the petition and who have celebrated the Lebanese army in the streets not drawn any connections between the army they are so fond of and their Zionist neighbors? In the first three days of the recent events involving the Lebanese army and Fateh el-Islam in the Nahr el-Bared camp, the Lebanese army committed what would amount to war crimes in a similar fashion to that of the Israeli army in Gaza and in Lebanon last summer, firing on a civilian population indiscriminately. When the Israelis do this, we scream at the injustice, but when the Lebanese army does it we applaud them. These are double standards.

It is sad and distressing that over 30 Lebanese soldiers have been killed as they pursue the fanatic group, Fateh al-Islam, but the blood of those soldiers is on the hands of the Lebanese government who would send them into combat without armor, training or proper intelligence. Is no one blaming the government, internal security forces or the Lebanese army itself for either their incompetence or complicity in allowing this group, which is not Palestinian, to enter the country in the first place? The onus is on the government which was responsible for overseeing the borders, and, disregarding the conspiracies of having been involved in arming this group in the first place, Fateh el-Islam could only be what it is today because certain Lebanese figures or groups allowed this to happen. Is anyone else finding it hard to believe that a militia of a few hundred fighters could form in a country the size of Lebanon, without the army or internal security's knowledge? I wonder why it is, then, that the Palestinians alone must pay the price while we cheer to the beats of their misery with utter callousness?......

I recall last summer that when Israel realized it could not successfully enter Lebanon with ground forces to fight Hizballah it decided to bomb the entire country. That summer, the country was the camp. Today Lebanon enforces Israeli military policy on a smaller scale. Rather than the annihilation of a country, what we were seeing in the Palestinian camp of Nahr el-Bared was the collective punishment of an entire civilian population through the indiscriminate use of force on a hermetically sealed camp......

Sadly, accountability does not exist in Lebanon, and thus, there will be no equivalent to the Winograd commission, no call for the prime minister to resign, and no trial of the government or those responsible for starting the current conflagration. The best way to support the army and honor the dead Lebanese soldiers is to call for an internal investigation. Anything short of that is clear proof of our society's moral bankruptcy."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Guardian at the Gates: Surging Toward War With Iran

by Chris Floyd

Global Research, May 24, 2007

"If you have any doubt that the Bush Administration is planning a military strike against Iran, then check out the lead story in today's Guardian: Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq. The story, which is based entirely -- entirely -- on the unchallenged statements of three anonymous "American officials," not only alleges that Iran is "already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces" -- including the increasing mortar attacks on the Green Zone -- but also asserts that Tehran has entered into an active military alliance with al-Qaeda. Together, this new axis of evil will launch a "nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive" aimed at undermining the scheduled September progress report from U.S. General David Petraeus on the vaunted "surge." Oh, and to top it all off, the same officials told the Guardian's stenographer, Simon Tisdall, that Iran has now also allied itself with its long-time enemy, the Taliban, and are helping kill Americans in Afghanistan as well.

To reiterate: the claim now from "top Bush officials" is that Iran has entered into an alliance with al Qaeda and is "committing daily acts of war" against American forces. As a casus belli, this beats the hell out of an "imminent threat" from undiscovered WMD, the entirely specious charge used by the Bush Faction to gull the nation into aggressive war with Iraq. In fact, at the time of that invasion, no Iraqi had killed an American in the 12 years since the first Gulf War; but here, we have the Bushists claiming that Iranians are killing Americans right this very minute -- every single day.

The clincher is the new charge that the Iranians are now actively allied with al Qaeda. It is by now a well-worn modus operandi of the Bush Terror Warriors simply to declare that anyone they don't like -- anyone who is a candidate for what Bush calls "the path of action" -- is an ally of al Qaeda. This is what was done in the last Terror War "regime change" aggression, in Somalia. And of course, this is what was done in the build-up to the Iraq invasion. At every turn, Bush explicitly equated the conflict with Saddam with the "war on terror," i.e., the fight against al Qaeda.......

Looking at the story on-line -- as Cole did, presumably, and as will the vast majority of American readers -- does not convey the lurid setting that the Guardian's print edition gives to the story. From every newsstand in Britain, you can see the large, double-decked banner headlines screaming of Iran's plans for a summer offensive -- with no quote marks, no qualifications, just a bald statement of fact. The headlines stream across the page underneath a full-length picture of a smoldering Bradley armored car that has just been destroyed by a roadside bomb. (Supplied -- or even planted! -- by those dastardly Iranians, no doubt.) In terms of its visuals, and the unsubtle message conveyed to passers-by and casual readers by the headlines and photo, the Guardian piece is a far more garish and effective piece of propaganda than any pre-Iraq War story that appeared in the staid New York Times.

So we should not be surprised to see the Guardian story blowing back across the water to be milked by the Administration and its many outside agitators for another act of aggression. But beyond its utility as a bloody shirt, the story is also important for the insight it provides on how the Bushists are laying the groundwork for the attack on Iran -- and how far along they are in the warmongering campaign. If we have already gotten to the "al Qaeda alliance" stage -- the hottest of hot buttons, and one that will give ample cover to the many Democrats eager to show how bristlingly butch they are despite their lukewarm opposition to the "mishandled" Iraq war -- then the first laments of Iranian children being torn to shreds by falling bombs cannot be too far off."

ومستشار هنية يطالب بوقف اطلاق القسام

What is going on here?

Habila's close adviser (Ahmad Yousef) has mocked the launching of Qassam rockets, in pretty much the same fashion as the puppet Abbas. He said that they are pretty useless and you can't fight Israel since it has much more advanced weapons. He said that firing Qassams is just sending a political message!!!

Has Habila abandoned Hamas? Is fear of being killed in an Israeli air strike (today Israel fired a rocket at a shed next to his house) the reason for such statement? Or is it the spirit of "unity" that has finally caught the imagination of Mr. Yousef.

I have never trusted this Yousef character and I still maintain that he is a U.S. operative. It has become very embarrassing for Hamas; does Habila still speak for it, or has he joined Dahlan and company? As they say, the specter of possible death concentrates the mind, but to this extent?

"في خطوة نادرة للغاية هاجم مساء امس الخميس الدكتور احمد يوسف، المستشار السياسي لرئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني اسماعيل هنية، ظاهرة اطلاق الصواريخ من جانب المقاومة الفلسطينية باتجاه جنوب الدولة العبرية.
وقال الدكتور يوسف، وهو من قياديي حركة حماس في مقابلة مع القناة الثانية في التلفزيون الاسرائيلي ان القسام لا يجدي نفعا، وعلي المقاومين الفلسطينيين الكف عن اطلاقه.
واضاف يوسف، الذي كان يتحدث لمراسل التلفزيون من احد البيوت التي اختبأ فيها خشية استهدافه من جانب جيش الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، ان علي الفلسطينيين ان يكونوا واقعيين وان يفهموا معادلة القوة بينهم وبين الدولة العبرية وجيش احتلالها. واضاف قائلا ان صواريخ القسام التي اطلقت باتجاه جنوب الدولة العبرية ادت الي وفاة اسرائيلية واحدة، بينما انضم الي قافلة شهداء فلسطين جراء القصف الاسرائيلي المكثف علي قطاع غزة 65 شهيدا.
وزاد المستشار يوسف انه لا يمكن المقارنة بين العصا والسيف، فنحن نحمل العصا، والاسرائيليون يحملون السيف، ونحن نعلم ان اسرائيل تتفوق علينا من ناحية الاسلحة ومن ناحية التطور التكنولوجي، لانها دولة تملك الكثير مما نملكه نحن، ابناء الشعب العربي الفلسطيني .
وشدد في سياق حديثه علي ان صواريخ القسام التي تطلقها المقاومة الفلسطينية هي عبارة عن اشارات لا اكثر ولا اقل لاسرائيل، لكي تقوم بشن العدوان تلو العدوان علي الشعب الفلسطيني في قطاع غزة وفي الضفة الغربية المحتلة، علي الرغم من اننا، نحن مشاريع شهادة، الا انه يتحتم علينا فهم الواقع الذي نعيش فيه والتصرف بحكمة وبحنكة ، وعاد وكرر في نهاية اللقاء المتلفز ان صواريخ القسام ما هي الا مفرقعات نارية ليس الا......."

نهر البارد مقدمة لصيف ملتهب

عبد الباري عطوان

"ما يجري حاليا من توترات وصدامات في مخيم نهر البارد في شمال لبنان، وقطاع غزة جنوب فلسطين، علاوة علي العراق وافغانستان، انعكاس، او بالاحري، مقدمات لصيف ملتهب ينتظر المنطقة بأسرها، ربما تكون ذروته حربا امريكية ـ ايرانية.
افتعال الحرب في مخيم نهر البارد قد يكون بهدف التغطية علي الخطط الامريكية لتسليح الجيش اللبناني بأسلحة حديثة لا للتصدي لجماعة فتح الاسلام وهي مجموعة لا يزيد تعدادها عن مئتي مسلح، وانما لتصفية حزب الله لمنع اقدامه علي اي رد فعل انتقامي من اسرائيل في حال حدوث اي هجوم علي ايران.
وليس صدفة ان الاعلان عن تسليح الجيش اللبناني باسلحة امريكية حديثة يتزامن مع خطة امريكية لتعزيز حرس الرئاسة الفلسطيني لتصفية حركة حماس من خلال دعمه بالمال والسلاح.
ما نريد قوله ان التصعيد باتجاه الحرب الكبري، وربما الاخيرة في المنطقة يسير علي قدم وساق، ولن يكون مفاجئا اذا ما افقنا في اي يوم من الايام المقبلة علي انباء القصف السجادي لايران بمختلف انواع الاسلحة والقنابل والصواريخ من البحر والجو، لاستعادة هيبة الولايات المتحدة، وانقاذ ماء وجهها المهدور في العراق.
فاذا كان الجيش اللبناني يريد استرداد كرامته المهدورة في نهر البارد، فما بالك بالقوة الاعظم في التاريخ؟

The Latest From Laila El-Haddad in Gaza

Palestinians inspecting the damage to a grocery store hit in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, early on Thursday. (AP)

And we sleep

"......But this time, the "target" wasn't some distant building or family gathering hall in Shija3iya or Jabaliya, it was a money changer on my very street, Omar al-Mukhtar, in Gaza's Remal neighbourhood. And the supermarket next door.

After things calmed down, I dozed off, only to be shocked out of bed at around 3am by a thunderous explosion, another attack. It shook us from our insides. My mother became hysterical, flailing her arms and screaming uncontrablly. We hugged each other, I tried to calm her down. "Its ok, its nothing, maybe an F-16..its ok".

But it was not ok. This explosion was closer than ever before. At first we thought maybe the "target" was a store in our building. It turned out to be another money changer only a few shops down from our house, no more than 50 metres. The store was leveled.

And then there was nothign left to do but sleep. But there was a horrible, sinking feeling in my stomach, the result of panic and fear and ugly certainty of it all. It took a few hours for the knots in my stomach to slowly unwind and settle. I felt nauseous.

What exactly the Israeli army is "targeting" is a mystery. But of course the media machine spins it as "Hamas targets". This is how it read the next morning in Haaretz-including a note on how the attacks resulted in "no damage or casualities". I thought, maybe the author shoudl come to Gaza.

The popular thinking seems to hold that they have simply run out of "legitimate" targets-whatever the hell that is anyway (MPS? Homes?)-and so have now resorted to bombing things like moneychangers and supermarkets. This is according to an Israeli army general himself in the radio, who said his army really did not know what else to strike.

And there is nothing left to do but sleep."

Interview: As'ad Abukhalil on the Nahr al-Bared siege

Ali Abunimah, Electronic Lebanon, 24 May 2007

".......EI: Palestinian refugees fleeing from Nahr al-Bared camp have been quoted in press reports saying that Fath al-Islam militants had infilitrated into the camp over the past year, that they were very separate and didn't have much contact with the camp residents except to condemn them for smoking, or playing music, or putting up posters. One of the things a refugee witness remarked on was that the camp is guarded on all sides by the Lebanese army. He wondered how these militants got in noting that they didn't drop in from the sky. How would you answer that question?

ABUKHALIL: I think it is certainly suspicious how all these people came into Lebanon, and all indications are that they came into Lebanon legally. We are not talking about infiltrations like those the American media talk about in Iraq. So they came to Lebanon with their passports, came through port entrances controlled by the Lebanese security forces and army and settled in those camps, and as you rightly indicated all these camps are under watch by the Lebanese army.

In an interview on Al-Arabiya television on May 23, the Lebanese defense minister, Ilyas Murr, stated that of the several dozen fighters killed in the battles, not a single a fighter is identified as Palestinian. He said they are mostly Lebanese, Saudi, Yemeni, Algerian, Tunisian, Moroccan and so on.....

EI: What has been the reaction to these events Lebanon and are any groups or parties condemning the bombardment of Nahr al-Bared camp?

ABUKHALIL: As far as reaction in Lebanon this is one of the most painful elements of this story at the personal level. I have never felt more isolation as someone who speaks out on Palestine as I have felt in the past few days. There is an overwhelming, unanimous competition by people and organizations to rally behind the Lebanese army and to pay tribute to the troops. Not a single political party in Lebanon has spoken out, none, against the indiscriminate shelling of the refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared. Hizbullah has taken a position in support of the army, as has the Lebanese Communist Party, and other organizations. Of course we didn't expect anything different from the March 14 movement, but among the opposition it has been a competition of who can show more support. General 'Awn, the main Christian opposition leader has been totally, unconditionally supportive of the Lebanese army and its resort to what is called the "decisive military option" -- which means to allow the Lebanese army to enter or invade the camps......

EI: The Lebanese government would certainly respond to you that they are not targeting the residents of the camp and they have even made statements that they understand that the group that they are targeting is alien to the Palestinians in Lebanon.

ABUKHALIL: What is so ironic is yes, they said all that and they said more. They used the same words uttered by the Israelis when they bombed the refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza. It's the same language the US uses in Afghanistan and Iraq: 'They are hiding behind civilians. They are using civilians as human shields. Hitting civilians is a mistake, the army cares about the civilian population.' All this propaganda of collateral damage is being used by the government.

The Palestinians are also weak regionally and internationally. There is no support for them among Arab governments which explains why the Lebanese government was not only willing and able to do what it did, but yesterday the official statement of the Arab League not only offered support and expressed "satisfaction" to use their own language, for what is happening in Lebanon but offered military assistance as a reward for the shelling of the camp......."

Don't Support the Killers of Palestinians!
Shame on You Hizbullah

The View From Lebanon: Scholar, Ex-Diplomat Speak Out on Current Crisis

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"We go now to Lebanon to speak with Rania Masri, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. She is currently in the Beddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Alastair Crooke also joins us, he is founder of the Conflicts Forum based in Beirut. He is a former British intelligence agent and former special Mid-East adviser to European Union High Representative Javier Solana.....

RANIA MASRI: .....with that, what we have in the Beddawi camp, if we can just -- the Beddawi camp has approximately 15,000 refugees in it already. The number of refugees now in the Beddawi camp has almost doubled, because we have approximately 12,000 refugees from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp who are now in the Beddawi camp. That alone could give you an idea of the amount of lack of goods that is now available in the camp. I mean, there is a lack of extraordinarily basic goods, be it medicine, be it foods, be it mattresses, be it anything. Every individual that we talk to, every agency that we talk to said the same thing, which is that the international agencies have not operated quickly enough to be able to respond to the presence of 12,000 refugees almost overnight in this already extraordinarily impoverished camp of the Beddawi camp. Approximately 25% of these refugees are going to schools. Another 75% are going to homes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the aid, approximately 80% of the aid, is going to those individuals in the schools. 20% of aid is going to the 75% of the refugees in the homes, which means we are having an extraordinary lack of goods that are being given to the people most in need. When we look at the situation and when we keep in mind the ultimatum that’s been given by the minister of defense, which is this threat of actually invading the Nahr al-Bared camp, then we can envision at the very least that the number of refugees we now have in the Beddawi camp from the refugee camp, Nahr al-Bared, is probably going to increase. So as bad and as horrific as the situation is currently in the Beddawi camp, we are expecting it to actually get worse tomorrow.....

Well, there has been a quote/unquote “truce” for almost a day and a half. But one thing I do want to emphasize with regard to the violence -- and, again, this is based upon numerous amounts of eyewitness reports -- that the violence isn’t simply extraordinarily indiscriminate heavy artillery coming from the Lebanese army into this -- let me stress again -- one of the most impoverished Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, which is the Nahr al-Bared camp; in addition to getting this heavy artillery from the Lebanese army, in addition to that, there is a third factor: there probably is an armed civilian camp, you know, group militia, that is operating outside of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, that is attacking both the refugees that are leaving, as well as lobbing sniper attacks into the camp itself. So not only do we have the Palestinians in the camp stuck between Fatah al-Islam, which is a non-Palestinian radical organization and the Lebanese army; they are also stuck between this third armed civilian militia group......

ALASTAIR CROOKE:....It’s a Salafi group, as Seymour described it, which means that their main characteristic is not concern about Palestine or a Palestinian state, but their main concern is their antagonism and their hatred for the Shia. And I think the reason that we saw them in Lebanon probably had something to do also with the conflict this summer, that took place last summer with Israel, and the aftermath of that, which seemed to presage an internal conflict within Lebanon, possibly between the Shia and the Sunnis and with Christians involved, as well. In other words, there was a real fear at some stages that Lebanon could be tipping back toward civil war. And I think in this context, therefore, this group, which is virulently anti-Shia, came across with the idea of defending the Sunnis. Of those that have been killed in this group so far, not one of them has been Palestinian. It’s true that the leader is Palestinian, but the other members of it that have been taken so far have turned out to be Saudi, Tunisian, Yemeni and Lebanese, but not Palestinians. So they ended up in this refugee camp -- they forced their way in; there’s not much refugees can do when 200 determined and armed men enter your camp -- and eventually set up a little satellite area of their own, adjacent to the camp. So I think that’s the context that you have to see this. And I think some Sunnis in Lebanon welcomed their arrival, if you like, as potential reinforcement. If you wanted someone to take on the ranks of Hezbollah, which is a Shia movement, then here was a determined group who hated them that could be co-opted on the basis of your enemy’s enemy is your friend. So I think this is very much the way in which to see what happened. And I think it’s quite true what Seymour said: in a sense, it’s a reflection of a wider policy. It’s not that someone sat down on a pin and said, “We’re going to give support to this particular group and build them up.” I think the rhetoric and the language that is being used by the United States and by Europe, in some cases, of trying to encourage, if you like, Sunni fears about a Shia threat and a Shia menace, the axis of or the crescent of Shia, a threat that faces the region, gives the opportunity and gives a space to these sort of groups to emerge and quite often ends with them getting the support and the financial resources that they require....."

Seymour Hersh: U.S. Indirectly Backed Islamist Militants Fighting Lebanese Army

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"......The Lebanese government accuses Fatah al-Islam of having ties with al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. But there's another theory of who is backing the militant group - the Lebanese government itself, along with the United States. Last March, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker that the U.S. and Saudi governments are covertly backing militant Sunni groups like Fatah al-Islam as part of an overarching foreign policy against Iran and growing Shia influence. Seymour Hersh joins us now on the line from Washington DC.

SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, very simply -- this is over the winter -- the government made -- I think the article is called “The Redirection.” There was a major change of policy by the United States government, essentially, which was that we were going to -- the American government would join with the Brits and other Western allies and with what we call the moderate Sunni governments -- that is, the governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- and join with them and with Israel to fight the Shia.

One of the major goals for America, of course, was the obsession the Bush White House has with Iran, and the other obsession they have is, of course -- is in fear -- is of Hezbollah, the Party of God, that is so dominant in -- the Shia Party of God that’s so dominant in southern Lebanon that once -- and whose leader Hassan Nasrallah wants to play a bigger political role and is doing quite a bit to get there and is in direct confrontation with Siniora.

And so, you have a situation where the Sunni government, pretty much in control now, the American-supported Sunni government headed by Fouad Siniora, who was a deputy or an aide to Rafik Hariri, the slain leader of Lebanon, that government has -- we know, the International Crisis Group reported a couple years ago that the son Saad Hariri, the son of Rafik Hariri, who’s now a major player in the parliament of Lebanon, he put up $40,000 bail to free four Sunni fundamentalists, Jihadist-Salafists -- which you will -- who were tied directly to -- you know, this word “al-Qaeda” is sort of ridiculous -- they were tied to jihadist groups. And God knows, al-Qaeda, in terms of Osama bin Laden, doesn’t have much to do with what we’re talking about. These are independently, more or less, you can call them, fanatical jihadists.

And so, the goal -- part of the goal in Lebanon, part of the way this policy played out, was, with Saudi help, Prince Bandar -- if you remember him -- we remember Prince Bandar, the Saudi prince, as a major player in Iran-Contra and also in the American effort two decades ago -- if you remember, we supported Osama bin Laden and other jihadists in Afghanistan against the Russians, and that didn’t work out so well. Well, we run right back to the well again, and we began supporting some of these jihadist groups, and particularly -- in the article, I did name Fatah al-Islam.

The idea was to provide them with some arms and some money and some basic equipment so -- these are small units, a couple hundred people. There were three or four around the country given the same help covertly, the goal being they would be potential enemies of Hezbollah in case of warfare; in case Nasrallah decided to do something physical, get kinetic, in Lebanon, the Sunni Siniora government would have some very tough guys on its side, period. That’s the policy......

You know, rational people don’t like being mistreated. And in any case, so what you have is, what seems to me, just a series -- the word you could use is “unintended consequences.” I don’t think anybody in the Siniora government anticipated that the people they were covertly supporting to some degree -- I got an email the other day, and I have not checked this out, from somebody who was in the community, in the intelligence community and still consults with the community, he says, “Why don’t we ask more about the American arms that the fighters of Fatah al-Islam have, are brandishing?” I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I did get that email. And so, that could be true. Both Saudi money and American money, not directly, but indirectly, was fed into these groups......

So I can’t -- I can tell you that -- you know, the thing that’s amazing about this government, the thing that’s really spectacular, is even now how they can get their way mostly with a lot of the American press. For example, I do know -- and, you know, you have to take it on face value. If you’ve been reading me for a long time, you know a lot of the things I write are true or come out to be more or less true. I do know that within the last month, maybe four, four-and-a-half weeks ago, they made a decision that because of the totally dwindling support for the war in Iraq, we go back to the al-Qaeda card, and we start talking about al-Qaeda. And the next thing you know, right after that, Bush went to the Southern Command -- this was a month ago -- and talked, mentioned al-Qaeda twenty-seven times in his speech. He did so just the other day this week -- al-Qaeda this, al-Qaeda that. All of a sudden, the poor Iraqi Sunnis, I mean, they can’t do anything without al-Qaeda. It’s only al-Qaeda that’s dropping the bombs and causing mayhem......"

Come Visit Our Reservation Campaign Endorsed by the U.S.

US consul meets with Palestinian tourism minister in Bethlehem, discuss the importance of tourism in promoting peace

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - The United States consul general in Jerusalem, Jack Walles, visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday, where he was received by the Palestinian minister of tourism and antiquities, Khouloud Daibes. The consular official for economic affairs Steven O'Dowd also attended the meeting.

The Palestinian minister updated the visiting delegation on the Palestinian and regional political and economic situation. She stressed that the international community must stick to their role in assisting the Palestinian people to gain their rights and in accomplishing a just and comprehensive peace in the region [I think I am going to get sick, excuse me while I go throw up]...... "

Fashion Wear for Summer 2007 in the "Arab" World

Occupation Under Another Name

UN envoy: Israel, PA should weigh int'l peacekeepers in Gaza

"The United Nations' newly appointed special envoy to the Middle East said Thursday that Israel, the Palestinians and the UN should consider stationing international peacekeepers in the Gaza Strip.

Michael Williams said, however, that the format of the international force in southern Lebanon, bolstered in the wake of last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah, may not be the ideal model for Gaza.

Israel has been consistently opposed to the deployment of international peacekeepers in Gaza and the West Bank, saying such a move would interfere with its own security measures.

"I'm not sure this [Lebanon] is the right model for Gaza. But I think that this is one of the things that we - the UN - and Israel and the Palestinians need to be thinking about for the future," Williams said.

"It goes without saying it would be a hard task to pull it [a Gaza peacekeeping force] together," said Williams, who helped put together last year's force for southern Lebanon....."

Inside Narh al-Bared and Bedawi Refugee Camps

CounterPunch Exclusive

Who's Behind the Fighting in North Lebanon?

Tripoli, Lebanon

".....After three days of shelling and more than 100 dead and with no electricity or water, Nahr el-Baled reeks of burned and rotting flesh, charred houses with smoldering contents, raw sewage and the acrid smell of exploded mortars and tank rounds.

Press figures of 30,000-32,000 are not accurate. 45,000 live in Bared! Contrary to some reports food and water still not being allowed in.

15 to 70 percent of some areas destroyed. Some light shooting this morning and afternoon. Army shelling at rate of 10-18 shells per minute from 4:30 am to 10 am on Tuesday. Army will not allow Palestinian Red Crescent to move out civilians because they don't trust them. Only the Lebanese Red Cross is allowed. It is possible to enter Bared from the back (east side). The Army taking cameras of journalists they catch. The Lebanese government is controlling the information and don't want extent of damage known yet. Still unrecovered bodies. 40 per cent of the camp population have been evacuated. The rest don't want to leave out of fear of being shot or that they are losing their homes for the 5th time or more for some.

No electricity and cell phone batteries are dying. Relatives who fled are telling families to stay because there are not enough mattresses at Bedawi Camp. Bared evacuees are living up to 25 in one room in Badawi schools etc. 3,000 evacuees in one school in Bedawi. UN aid is starting to arrive at Badawi but workers not able so far to deliver it to Bared due to attack on relief convoy on Tuesday.....

The camp population all say that Fatah Al-Islam came in September-October 2006 and have no relatives in the camp. They are from Saudi, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, and Tunisia and elsewhere. No Palestinians among them except some hanger ons. Most say they are paid by the Hariri group......

I was told the army will have to destroy every house in Bared to remove Fateh al Islam......

.....the situation in Lebanon mirrors, in some respects, the early 1980's when groups sprung up to resist the US green lighted Israeli invasion and occupation. But rather than being Shia and pro-Hezbollah, today's groups are largely Sunni and anti-Hezbollah. Hence they qualify for US aid, funneled by Sunni financial backers in league with the Bush administration which is committed to funding Islamist Sunni groups to weaken Hezbollah.

This project has become the White House obsession following Israel's July 2006 defeat.

To understand what is going on with Fatah al-Islam at Nahr el-Bared one would want a brief introduction to Lebanon's amazing, but shadowy 'Welch Club'.....

The Club is named for its godfather, David Welch, assistant to Secretary of State Rice who is the point man for the Bush administration and is guided by Eliot Abrams.
Key Lebanese members of the Welch Club (aka: the 'Club') include

The Lebanese civil war veteran, warlord, feudalist and mercurial Walid Jumblatt of the Druze party( the Progressive Socialist Party or PSP)

Another civil war veteran, warlord, terrorist (Served 11 years in prison for massacres committed against fellow Christians among others) Samir Geagea. Leader of the extremist Phalange party and its Lebanese Forces (LF) the group that conducted the Israel organized massacre at Sabra-Shatilla (although led by Elie Hobeika, once Geagea's mentor, Geagea did not take part in the Sept. 1982 slaughter of 1,700 Palestinian and Lebanese).

The billionaire, Saudi Sheikh and Club president Saad Hariri leader of the Sunni Future Movement (FM)......

Over a year ago Hariri's Future Movement started setting up Sunni Islamist terrorist cells (the PSP and LF already had their own militia since the civil war and despite the Taif Accords requiring militia to disarm they are now rearmed and itching for action and trying hard to provoke Hezbollah).

The FM created Sunni Islamist 'terrorist' cells were to serve as a cover for (anti-Hezbollah) Welch Club projects. The plan was that actions of these cells, of which Fatah el-Islam is one, could be blamed on al Qaeda or Syria or anyone but the Club......

According to members of both Fatah el-Islam and Jund-al-Sham their groups acted on the directive of the Club president, Saad Hariri.
So what went wrong? "Why the bank robbery" and the slaughter at Nahr el-Baled?

According to operatives of Fatah el-Islam, the Bush administration got cold feet with people like Seymour Hirsh snooping around and with the White House post-Iraq discipline in free fall. Moreover, Hezbollah intelligence knew all about the Clubs activities and was in a position to flip the two groups who were supposed to ignite a Sunni ­Shia civil war which Hezbollah vows to prevent.

Things started to go very wrong quickly for the Club last week.
FM "stopped" the payroll of Fateh el-Islam's account at the Hariri family owned bank

Long story short, Fatah el-Islam must be silenced at all costs. Their tale, if told, is poison for the Club and its sponsors. We will likely see their attempted destruction in the coming days.

Hezbollah is watching and supporting the Lebanese army."