Saturday, July 7, 2007

US ME Wars: Social Opposition, Political Impotence

By James Petras
Special to

"......The collapse of the US peace movement, the lack of credibility of most of its leaders and the demoralization of many activists can be traced to strategic political failures: the unwillingness to identify and confront the real pro-war movements and the inability to create a political alternative to the bellicose Democratic Party. The political failure of the leaders of the peace movement is all the more dramatic in the face of the large majority of passive Americans who oppose the war, most of whom did not display their flags this Fourth of July and are not led in tow by either the pro-Israel lobby or their intellectual apologists within progressive circles.

The word to anti-war critics of the world is that over sixty percent of the US public opposes the war but our streets are empty because our peace movement leaders are spineless and politically impotent."

Can Palestinians Trust Oslo Architects?

There is good reason for the Palestinians to ask the following question: Are the architects of Oslo trying to sell the national cause for sheqalims and dollars?

By Dr. Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Special to

"Is the architect of Oslo trying to get the Palestinians another deal? Abbas and his comrades sold Oslo to the Palestinians for slogans, and today they are selling their unholy alliance with Israel for a few Israeli sheqalims and some dollars. They surrendered what was left of Palestine in Oslo, and today they are selling the Palestinian cause all together. The Oslo story has to be retold everyday because its architects who betrayed the Palestinians in Oslo are at it again. They are collaborating with no other than the Israeli butchers against a common enemy, the Palestinian resistance.....

....To insure that Israel would accept only the Oslo negotiations, Arafat asked the Washington team to stand firm in demanding the inclusion of Jerusalem in the interim agreement while instructing the Oslo negotiators to accept Israel’s demand to exclude it.

Joseph Masaad argued in Al-Ahram Weekly that the framers of the Oslo agreement created a process that serves Israel’s expansionist policies and empowered privileged Palestinians whose personal fortunes were tied to it. Thus even after the Oslo process proved to be a disaster to the Palestinian people, and the Israelis used it to achieve what it was intended for, the Palestinian Authority elites continue to cling to it as a sacred institution because they are its only Palestinian beneficiaries......

Mazin Qumsiyeh concluded that the recognition given by Israel to Arafat, rather than the new Palestinian leadership, was used as the price to “extract concessions on key issues”. To get the best deal, the Israelis chose to negotiate with the PLO leaders, who were eager to return to Palestine and establish themselves in what the Israelis call the “disputed territory”, rather than with the inside Palestinians who insisted on a commitment to unconditional end of occupation and “immediate and substantive withdrawal of the Israeli army from the West Bank”.....

....Until the permanent agreement is reached, the Israeli government retains sole responsibility for foreign affairs, defense and borders, and most important, the agreement does not restrain Israeli settlement activities. To seal the fate of their people, the Oslo architects agreed on behalf of the Palestinians to give Israel the right to collect and control their taxes, thus giving Israel, their oppressor, the power of the purse, the Palestinian purse.

There is good reason for the Palestinians to ask one more question. Are the architects of Oslo trying to sell the national cause for sheqalims and dollars? There is a popular Arab proverb that says: “the believer will not be bitten from the same burrow twice”.

Groups denounce shooting of cameraman

"JERUSALEM - Media advocacy groups condemned the shooting of a cameraman for Hamas TV who lay wounded on the ground when he came under more fire during a clash with Israeli troops.

The incident, captured by TV cameras, took place Thursday during heavy fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli forces in central Gaza. The cameraman, Imad Ghanem, had to have both legs amputated as a result of his injuries.......

The shooting was captured on film and broadcast on al-Jazeera satellite television, but the footage did not show who fired at Ghanem. However, Ghanem later said from his hospital bed the shots came from an Israeli tank.

On Friday, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists condemned the shooting and called for an investigation.

Two other media advocacy groups, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, also have issued protests. "The Israeli military's repeated attacks on media and journalists during military operations are unacceptable and constitute violations of international humanitarian law," said Reporters Without Borders. The group demanded an investigation into why soldiers continued firing toward Ghanem after he had been injured.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also called for an investigation. "We are horrified by the Israeli forces apparent targeting of cameraman Imad Ghanem," the group's executive director, Joel Simon, said. "He was carrying out legitimate journalistic duties when he was seriously wounded. Deliberate targeting of journalists cannot be justified. We call on the Israeli army to investigate this incident fully and make its findings public.""

Libby a long-time Israeli intelligence agent

by Wayne Madsen Report

Global Research, July 7, 2007

"Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Leibowitz) has been a long-serving intelligence agent for Israel's Mossad, according to a veteran CIA "official cover" officer who spoke to the Wayne Madsen Report on deep background. The CIA's Clandestine Service has, over the years, gathered a tremendous amount of intelligence on Libby's activities on behalf of Mossad.

Libby served as the lawyer for Switzerland- based American fugitive financier Marc Rich, aka Mark David Reich, who is also known to be an Israeli intelligence asset and someone Israel relies upon for missions that demand "plausible deniability" on the part of the Mossad. Rich heads up a worldwide empire of dummy corporations, foundations, and numbered bank accounts that have been involved in sanctions busting and weapons smuggling. The nations involved include Israel, United States, United Kingdom, Iran, Panama, Colombia, Russia, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Cuba, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bermuda, France, Italy, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Zambia, Sw

In 1983, the then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York urged jail time for Rich and his partner Pincus Green for racketeering. The name of that U.S. Attorney is Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, who is now running for president, praised Bush's decision to commute Libby's jail sentence. After Clinton 's pardon of Rich, Giuliani said he was "shocked." Paul Klebnikov, the Moscow editor for Forbes' Russian edition, wrote about the connections of Rich to Russian gangsters like Boris Berezovsky, a business partner of Neil Bush, in his book "Godfather of the Kremlin." Klebnikov was shot to death gangland-style on a Moscow street on July 9, 2004.

Libby not only provided the Mossad with a top agent inside the White House but also an important conduit for the Russian-Israeli Mafia....."

Guerrilla Warfare

Guerrilla Warfare

By Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Written in 1961
(pdf file version)


CHAPTER I: general principles of guerrilla warfare
1 Essence of guerrilla warfare
2 Guerrilla strategy
4 Guerrilla tactics
5 Warfare on favorable ground
6 Suburban warfare
1 Guerilla fighter: social reformer
2 Guerilla fighter as combatant
3 Organization of a guerrilla band
5 Beginning, development, and end of a guerilla war
CHAPTER III: Organization of a guerilla front
1 Supply
2 Civil organization
3 The role of a woman
4 Medical problems
5 Sabotage
6 War industry
7 Propaganda
8 Intelligence
9 Training and indoctrination
10 The organization of the army of a revolutionary movement

1 Organization in secret of the first guerrilla band
2 Defense of power that has been won

1 Analysis of Cuban situation, it's present and its future

Word Version of the Book

Palestinian Karzai: "I Am the (non)State"

Fatah: "President Abbas will be the source of constitutional solutions"

"Bethlehem – Ma'an – The spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the West Bank, Jamal Nazzal, on Saturday stated that President Abbas' jurisdiction "will be the source of constitutional solutions".

In an interview with Palestine radio, Nazzal stated "Article 43 of the basic Palestinian law empowers the president to issue decisions, which are as effective as law, as long as Hamas continues to prevent the PLC from convening". Fatah PLC members boycotted the most recent session, held this week, which subsequently had to be cancelled due to not achieving a quorum of members. Over 40 Hamas PLC members have been detained by Israel over the last twelve months.

Asked "what will happen to the emergency government after 30 days [the legally-prescribed period of the state of emergency], Nazzal stated, "The law did not limit the number of times the president can announce the state of emergency, and so, the judicial advisors can extend the state of emergency as long as the mutiny which caused that state continues."......"


"L'État, c'est moi" -- Abbas.

Europe Marches Meekly Behind Washington

Why Europe Marches Meekly Behind Washington on Hamas

A Good Piece
By Mark Perry

"Tony Karon: "A couple of days ago, I did a quick survey of some of my regular readers to canvas opinions on why it is that Europe, so obviously knowing better, has nonetheless wholly embraced the disastrous U.S. boycott of the democratically-elected Hamas government. I asked them to respond to the following: My most recent posting includes Alistair Crooke’s observations about how the Europeans are as culpable as the U.S. in the application of a hopelessly dysfunctional policy on Hamas after it won the Palestinian election. But the Europeans obviously ought to know better, and I’ve seen no good explanation for why this is the case — it’s easy to see how the Bush Administration has arrived here, but less so the Europeans: There’s no significant Israel lobby in Europe, is there? Are they simply compensating for the damage Iraq has done to the Transatlantic relationship? Or is this somehow a reflection of their own, domestic Islamo-phobia?....

Paul Woodward adds that Europe defaults to a “proxy consensus” of following the U.S. lead because the alternative requires a more drastic break with the U.S. “New governments in Europe have good reason to assume that the next administration in Washington will be just as biased towards Israel as is the current one, they have little interest in creating a rift that would extend well beyond 2008.”

Helena Cobban calls it “learned helplessness,” deriding “the chimera of ‘an independent European foreign polic.y’ ” The Europeans, she notes, “(1) can’t even get their own governance issues organized, (2) like to wallow in letting the U.S. make all the mistakes, (3) have been moving seriously rightward in recent years, and (4) have a lot of issues of their own regarding Muslims and Arabs.”

For my friend Tim McGirk, TIME’s correspondent in Jerusalem, the explanation is that “Europeans are especially sensitive to the charge of anti-Semitism.....

The most complete response, however, came from Mark Perry of Conflicts Forum, a longtime national security expert in Washington, whose most recent book, Partners in Command explores the relationship between Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall in managing the U.S. war in Europe. Mark, together with his Conflicts Forum colleague Alastair Crooke, actually briefed the EU on the need to engage with Hamas following its election victory in January 2006, but their advice was rejected even though it was acknowledged they were right. I’m thrilled to welcome Mark as a Rootless Cosmopolitan contributor!....."

Mark Perry: ".....Fischer discarded his prepared comments and spoke bluntly, and in English. “Excuse me,” he said, “I am not convinced.” As Rumsfeld sat, silent, Fischer even wagged his finger. It was the first time in anyone’s memory that any European diplomat had dared lecture an American.

.....When my colleague, Alastair Crooke and I, made a presentation to EU Ambassadors in Brussels on Hamas in the wake of their victory in the parliamentary elections of January of 2006, the Rumsfeld-Fischer confrontation was still a vivid and painful memory. And it was for this reason that our argument for a European opening to Hamas — in defiance of U.S. pressure for an economic boycott of their democratically elected government — was universally spurned. “We know you are right, really we do” one ambassador said after our presentation. “But we will not break with the Americans. We just cannot do it.”

......The French, Germans and of course the U.K — but also Spain and Italy — have maintained the alliance and I have been given to think that it will be maintained even in the face of America’s continued foreign policy fumbles. And perhaps for good reason.....

In the end, the Europeans might well know the Americans are wrong (that a boycott of Hamas will not work, that the war in Iraq was a blood-filled waste, that a confrontation with Iran will lead to a military debacle, that Afghanistan is lost … ), indeed, might well be convinced that the American program cannot and will not succeed, ever, anywhere. They might know it now and might someday in the future say that they told us so. Even so, the nations of Europe, that grand alliance, will never splinter, as it nearly did in February of 2003. For Europe ’s calculation is quite like Churchill’s: they would rather be wrong with us, than right alone.""

War Bitch Alert: Iran becoming increasingly dangerous, says Rice

US secretary of state says US committed to diplomatic solution to Iranian nuclear problem, but does not rule out military solution

"Iran has become "increasingly dangerous" US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC's "Closing Bell" program on Friday.

"This (Iran) is a very dangerous state with very dangerous policies and we need the help and support and intensify efforts of the international community to deal with Iran," Rice said, while refusing to rule out a military solution to the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

In the interview, Rice said US President George W. Bush was still committed to "diplomatic solutions to the Iranian problem", but that Iran must know "there are coercive elements to our policy as well." "The president's never going to take his options off the table and frankly no one should want the American president to take his options off the table," she said......

Shortly after the interview, the US State Department announced that Rice is scheduled to visit the Middle East this month in a fresh push for peace, hoping to build on momentum created by the appointment of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a special envoy for the region......"

"What we admire about you ("moderates") is your true and unyielding attachment to the olive branch!"

Body Bag Number 3,601 Has Just Been Filled

U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq.............3,601

"Coalition" Troops Killed.............3,887

U.S. Troops Wounded...............26,558

Fatah on shaky ground in West Bank

Many are looking to the fractured Palestinian party to curb Hamas' reach, but some wonder whether it will be able to hang on to its stronghold

The Los Angeles Times

"RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Routed in the Gaza Strip, the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is fractured and adrift at a moment when it is viewed by the outside world as the best hope for blunting the militant Hamas movement in the West Bank. Once dominant in Palestinian affairs, the organization long led by the late Yasser Arafat is beset by a weak and aging leadership, internal schisms and a widespread reputation among Palestinians as corrupt, ineffectual and out of touch. Those troubles have some Palestinians wondering whether Fatah is more likely to lose the West Bank than to recapture the Gaza Strip from Hamas.

The crisis facing Fatah has deepened since Hamas crushed its forces in Gaza last month, leaving Fatah's authority limited to the West Bank. The United States, Israel and European allies have promised to bolster Abbas, a relative moderate, and his party as a way to isolate Hamas.....

For their part, Fatah officials have responded to the Gaza loss by blaming one another, with little sign of serious reckoning at top levels over how to revive their beleaguered party. The leaders want early elections, though it is not clear that Fatah would win.

Hani Masri, a political analyst in the West Bank, said the Gaza defeat unmasked deep problems that bode ill for Fatah's lasting prospects in the West Bank, long the party's stronghold. "It shows there is something wrong in leadership, administration, in the movement, in its forces, in its ideologies. And these problems exist in the West Bank," Masri said. "If Fatah does not learn from these mistakes, the West Bank will be similar to Gaza, even if it takes longer."......"

Friday, July 6, 2007

The revolution starts now

Osamah Khalil, The Electronic Intifada, 6 July 2007

".....This process begins with the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority. All Palestinians living under the 41st year of their occupation in the West Bank and Gaza must declare that they will no longer be a party to their own occupation. That they will not allow Israel to illegally withhold their tax revenues, while launching repeated incursions and invasions killing with virtual impunity. Nor will they permit representatives of their "government' to benefit financially and politically from Israel's occupation, from the construction of Israel's apartheid wall to the expansion of settlements on Palestinian land and the suppression of political activity. For American President George W. Bush's favored sons -- Mahmoud Abbas, Salam Fayyad, Mohammad Dahlan and their ilk -- to resign with what little dignity that remains and leave Palestine for whatever shore will take them, in order to allow a new PLO to emerge not tainted by the stench of corruption and collusion. Any government which is beholden to the financial and military support of its peoples' enemies is not deserving of either the title "Palestinian" or "Authority." Indeed, the time for this grotesque charade to end is now and it is long overdue.....

However, the Palestinians can no longer look toward the Arab world, the United States, the members of the European Union, or the United Nations for support or assistance. The historical evidence of the past sixty years clearly demonstrates that they have no interest in Palestinian-self-determination or a truly independent Palestine. Moreover, they have actively colluded with Israel and the United States to prevent both. Indeed, the plethora of failed "peace" initiatives, whose worthless papers could pave a road from Washington to Jerusalem and the fetid carcass of the "peace process" rotting on its shoulder, illustrates the utter failure and deliberate impotence of the international community to resolve the plight of the Palestinians. While individuals from these nations and bodies can and are welcome to assist, the Palestinians must liberate themselves. The Palestinian national movement, which once stood proudly along other national liberation struggles, cannot be allowed to end with a descent into factional fighting, war-lord fragmentation and chaotic rule of the gun. Failure to act quickly to reverse this course will result not in an independent Palestinian state or a "one state solution," but rather with Palestinians huddled into open-air prisons ruled by a web of collaborators with the support and legitimacy of the international community.....

Moreover, as demonstrated by recent events in Gaza and Lebanon, the Palestinian people remain surrounded by powerful enemies who are intent on their subjugation and defeat. As they did after 1948, the Arab governments are again actively suppressing Palestinian political activity, while publicly espousing the rhetoric of Arab unity and brotherhood. Meanwhile Bush's "vision" of a Palestinian state has proven to be a nightmarish, Guernica-like chimera whose abyss we are quickly sliding toward. We must not falter or tarry; the time for change has come. The revolution starts now or it won't start at all. "

Head for the Bomb Shelters: the Bitch is Coming, the Bitch is Coming!!

"U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Israel and the West Bank this month to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace, making her first trip to the region since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, a U.S. official said on Friday.

Rice's July 16-20 trip to Ramallah, Jerusalem and Accra, where she will discuss trade and economic issues with African officials, is her first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in four months.

"The secretary will visit Jerusalem and Ramallah for meetings with officials from the Israeli and the Palestinian Authority governments," the U.S. official told reporters, adding that additional stops were possible......"

Archives show Israel levelled mosques: report

Contributed by Lucia

"JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel destroyed more than 100 mosques in Palestinian villages incorporated into the state, including the site where the head of Imam Hussein was allegedly buried, a daily wrote on Friday.

According to archives quoted by the Haaretz newspaper, Israel's legendary general Moshe Dayan -- himself an avid amateur archaeologist -- gave the order to blow up the mosque while he was a young lieutenant colonel.

Haaretz said the Mashhad Nabi Hussein in Majdal, now Ashkelon, dated back to the 11th century and was where tradition had it that the head of Imam Hussein, killed in 680 by armies of the Sunni caliph Yazid in Karbala, was interred.

Around 9,000 Arabs who lived in Majdal fled during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and 3,000 who remained in a ghetto were subsequently forced out by Israel.

The Mashhad Nabi Hussein mosque was blown up deliberately as part of a broader operation that included at least two additional mosques, one in Yavneh and the other in the nearby Mediterranean city of Ashdod, Haaretz said.

Of the 160 mosques in Palestinian villages incorporated into Israel under the armistice agreements, fewer than 40 are still standing, the newspaper quoted a Tel Aviv University study as showing.

Various holy sites were levelled despite protests from the then head of the Israeli antiquities department, Shmuel Yeivin, who believed that ancient sites and holy places needed to be preserved whoever they were sacred to."

Hezbollah: Feltman de facto leader of February 14 bloc


"Hezbollah issued a statement Friday commenting on US Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffery Feltman's televised interview with the LBC Thursday. The statement said: "There was no need for a televised interview so that the Lebanese rediscover the truth that they already know by heart about Feltman being the de facto leader of the February 14 powers. His accusations in all directions were not new, some of which need not be commented on because they are repeated and lack credibility. Feltman instructs politicians in Lebanon on daily basis, but what's prominent is that he has bluntly exposed his team and their role as tools to carry out what he decides and to echo his words. The paradox is that while Feltman moves from place to place and from media outlet to another, his tools and supplements outside Lebanon have cleared the way for him to directly and openly administer the country by giving instructions and making decisions, thus accurately reflecting Washington's conception of freedom, independence and sovereignty," Hezbollah's statement said. "

AMB: we will not allow a Karzai in Palestine

"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB), the armed wing of Fatah has issued a statement in the West Bank calling for the head of the so called emergency government to resign because he called for disbanding resistance groups.

The AMB said in the statement: "We, at the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, at a time while the Zionist enemy is killing our people and shedding their blood, were surprised at statements made by Salam Fayyad, head of the emergency government, in which he spoke ill of the Palestinian resistance."

"We have ignored statement he made to CNN when he said that resistance brought misery to the Palestinian people. We said [,at the time] that there could have been a mistake in translation or something of the sort, but [after that] the truth was clear about the man of America as he is the first Prime Minister who holds an American nationality," the AMB said.

The AMB asked Fayyad to appologise to the Palestinian people, to fallen heroes, to the wounded and the captives for insulting the people and their resistance.

The AMB praised a number of its prominent leaders who resigned their posts in the security forces and stressed that the resistance faction will not allow a "Karzai" in Palestine.

The AMB also said that its fighters will not stand idle while the Israeli occupation is killing Palestinians calling on its Gaza branch to fight in "the same trench" with other Palestinian factions active in resisting the occupation."

Palestinians stranded at Rafah declare a hunger strike

"RAFAH, (PIC)-- A number of Palestinians stranded at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday declared they are going on a hunger strike to protest the fact that their plight over the past twenty days was being ignored.

More than 6000 Palestinian passengers are stranded at the Egyptian side, many of them patients and they include women, children and elderly people. They are living in very harsh conditions as they have to sleep on pavements and are running out of money. Many of them are in need of medical attention.

The Israeli occupation authorities have closed the Rafah crossing since 19th June and only opened it for a short while on two occasions, to allow some deported Palestinians held at Egyptian ports to return to Gaza, and the second occasion was to allow representatives of Palestinian factions who were having talks in Cairo to return to Gaza. A part from that the crossing has been closed for normal passenger movement between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

The Mizan human rights organization has issued an appeal for the crossing to be opened to end the plight of the thousands of stranded passengers, stressing that the organization has learnt of 14 deaths so far amongst the stranded passengers whose corpses were allowed to be transported to the Strip via the Karm Abu Salem crossing, but living people are so far not allowed to return.

The organization appealed to the international community to intervene and help end the plight of those Palestinians who are being subjected to a form of collective punishment by the Israeli occupation."

They died wearing uniforms and because their stupid leaders never learned anything about guerrilla resistance....
Many more will die, without learning or questioning.....
This is a crime!

Dressed like an army....
Pretend to be an army, and act like an army....
But without the weapons of an army....
Is this stupid or what?

CNN’s image fetish

By Mark Perry, Conflicts Forum, July 6, 2007

"......On CNN — “the world’s news leader” — anchor Suzanne Malveaux led off the afternoon news hour with a segment on the freeing of BBC reporter Alan Johnston. The news clip showed a smiling Johnston waving to an assembled crowd in Gaza City and then meeting with an apparently jubilant Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Malveaux then appeared, on-screen, with the following question: “After last month’s brutal factional fighting, Hamas may be cleaning up Gaza, but can it clean up its image?”

To help unpack this shattering question, Malveaux turned to the inimitable Fawaz Gerges, as calm and educated an expert presence as can be found on television. And for good reason: any other analyst might have reached through the camera to strangle Malveaux.....but Gerges, smiled, nodded knowingly, and peered intently at the camera. He then tried to explain — Hamas was ending lawlessness, had promised to release Johnston … “I think this is a very important start on the part of Hamas,” he said....

....She didn’t win an Emmy for nothin’ ya know: “There are some reports that Hamas is linked to this group that kidnapped Johnston, the Army of Islam. Is this true to your knowledge? Does this seem to be some sort of show?” Gerges blinked, but only for a moment.....Ever patient, ever put-upon, ever understanding, ever, ever, ever Fawaz Gerges: “No, Suzanne,” he said slowly, perhaps with just a hint of an uncomfortable laugh. “Based on everything we know, the so-called the ultra-militant group, the so-called Islamic Army that kidnapped Johnston is not part of the Hamas leadership.” Malveaux canted her head, her eyes narrowed. Was this true? Could it be? After all: Hamas was Islamic and the Army of Islam was Islamic. The two seemed to mesh. The two groups even shared the same word. After all, other top-notch CNN reporters had made the same connection — the bombers in Glasgow were doctors, and Ayman Zawahiri was a doctor … so …? No wonder she was skeptical......

Yes, look at where we are today — in which eleven Palestinians died in a “routine operation” in Gaza, in which two Americans were indicted for murdering innocent Iraqis, in which seventeen Iraqis were killed by a car bomb, and in which a leading anchor on “the world news leader” thinks that a movement that represents a people that are being regularly pulverized, butchered, eviscerated, crushed, manacled, hacked, gashed, shot, slashed, killed — and who are fighting every single day just to stay alive — should be concerned about their image. My God. Maybe Malveaux has a point.
Maybe Hamas should hire Israel’s firm

Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust

by Richard Falk
(Richard Falk is Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara)

"......Against this background, it is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as 'holocaust.'.....

Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy. If ever the ethos of 'a responsibility to protect,' recently adopted by the UN Security Council as the basis of 'humanitarian intervention' is applicable, it would be to act now to start protecting the people of Gaza from further pain and suffering. But it would be unrealistic to expect the UN to do anything in the face of this crisis, given the pattern of US support for Israel and taking into account the extent to which European governments have lent their weight to recent illicit efforts to crush Hamas as a Palestinian political force......."

The World Turned Upside-Down

Bizarro Bush thinks he's George Washington, but he's really George III
By Justin Raimondo

"I see that our befuddled, subliterate president is likening U.S. troops in Iraq to the soldiers of the Continental Army: this is true, but only in the Bizarro World sense employed by Bush and his neocon minions, who live in an alternate universe where up is down, right is wrong, and the invasion of Iraq is a great triumph. "We give thanks for all the brave citizen-soldiers of our Continental Army who dropped pitchforks and took up muskets to fight for our freedom and liberty and independence," Bush said. "You're the successors of those brave men. … Like those early patriots, you're fighting a new and unprecedented war."

The central organizing principle of the Bizarro World sub-universe is inversion, and the president's comparison is a sterling example of Bizarro logic in practice: the American revolutionaries were rebelling against an arrogant imperial entity that had oppressed and brutalized them beyond the limits of tolerance, therefore they are like the conquering army of occupation currently battling an insurgency that enjoys the active support of the Iraqi civilian population. Get it?......" this the U.N.?
Could you please send over some international forces to mediate the dispute with my husband?

By Hamed Najeeb

How Syria helped win Johnston's release

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"Syria's involvement in the recent release of British journalist Alan Johnston is just the latest example of the positive role that Damascus can play in Palestine and the Middle East. The Syrians want to be seen as problem solvers and show the world that they can deliver in Palestine and even Iraq. Washington knows this, but is reluctant to admit it in public......

Syria, the only country that has refused to bend to US pressure and sign a flawed peace deal with Israel, has credibility in the Arab street. Radical groups like Hamas and Hezbollah trust and listen to Syria. That does not apply to countries like Jordan and Egypt, that can play a mediating role in some crises but do not have the credibility that Syria enjoys. Syria loves to play the fireman, especially in Palestinian affairs. Doing so gives the country leverage over other Arab affairs and proves that it is still a power broker in Palestine.

That status was reduced when former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was around and tried to clip Syria's wings in Palestinian politics - in vain, due to Syria's strong alliance with Hamas.

Second, Syria uses this diplomacy to market its image in the Western world as a source of stability. It loved the way Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, described it during her April 2007 visit to Syria, saying, "the road to Damascus is the road to peace".

The Syrians want to be seen as problem-solvers rather than problem-seekers. They want to show the world - mainly the US - that just as they can deliver in Palestine, they can deliver in Iraq and Lebanon.

Former US secretary of state Warren Christopher wrote in The Washington Post about his encounter with Syria in the 1990s and how the country influenced the leaders of Hezbollah to stop the conflicts with Israel in 1993 and 1996. He said: "We never knew exactly what the Syrians did, but clearly Hezbollah responded to their direction." And perhaps we won't know what the Syrians did with Hamas, but clearly Hamas - and the Islamic Army - responded to their direction. "

Hugo Chávez: world tour 2007

Buoyed up by oil revenues and popular support, Venezuala's president is busy building a global 'anti-imperialist' alliance. But is he pushing his luck?

By Dilip Hiro
The Guardian

"Buoyed by his re-election as president of Venezuela last December, and the continuing high price of petroleum in which his country abounds, Hugo Chávez is busily rallying countries opposed to United States' hegemony in world affairs. He is doing so while preparing Venezuelans to develop resistance war as an effective anti-imperialist tool to counter Washington's non-military campaign to overthrow his socialist government and seize Venezuela's vast oil resources - an assessment disputed by the Bush administration.

To further these broad objectives, he recently undertook a week-long trip to Russia, Belarus and Iran......

Little wonder that Chávez was warmly received in Tehran by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - with the Marxist Venezuelan leader swiftly adopting the local vocabulary of "American imperialism" and his hosts' specially coined term "global arrogance" interchangeably: "Cooperation of independent countries like Iran and Venezuela has an effective role in defeating the policies of imperialism and saving nations," he said. "The pillars of the global arrogance have become shaky."....."

Many Al Aqsa Brigades members resign from the security forces

"Nablus – Ma'an – The leader of the Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades in Nablus, Alaa Sanaqra, along with several other brigades' members, submitted their resignation from the security forces on Thursday, as a result of what they called "internal differences".

Sanaqra told Ma'an he "resigned from the security bodies, along with many others, due to differences." He refused to clarify the nature of these differences.

In recent years, many brigades' members have been employed in the security forces in order to be protected against the Israelis and prevent brigades' members being targeted by Israeli forces. "

Here is Something to Make You Laugh

Abbas presents medal of courage to General Ghareeb

"Ramallah – Ma'an – Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, has bestowed the Jerusalem medal of courage on General Mohammad Theyab Hussein Ghareeb.

Abbas did so in his function as High Commander of the Palestinian Forces.

The general has been awarded the medal on account of his heroism and braveness while serving the Palestinian cause. "


I am curious; what did the great "General" do to deserve such special honor?

Did he help the IOF more than any other Quisling officer in the pay of Abbas?

Did he display special sadism in torturing Palestinians he arrested at the behest of the IOF?

Did General Keith Dayton have special words of praise for him?

Did he run away faster than any other PA officer when the IOF conducted its nightly raids in the West Bank?

Did he polish the Abbas boots better than any other PA officer?

Has the CIA found special talents in him and recommended him to Abbas?

Has he helped Abbas and his sons steal more money and to smuggle it out, than any other PA yes man?

Ross: Risk of war

Former senior US diplomat warns of risk of war with Syria this summer in exclusive Ynetnews interview; criticizes US for being soft on Damascus; says Fatah will lose West Bank to Hamas if it does not change

"Dennis Ross, the former senior American Middle East peace negotiator, says he thinks "there is a risk of war" between Israel and Syria this summer.....

"Syria has rearmed Hizbullah to the teeth – there should be a price to pay for that," Ross insisted, pointing out that the Bush administration had failed to implement its own Syria Accountability Act. He said the US and Europe should aim to "squeeze the Syrian economy" and use a policy of "sticks before carrots" in their dealings with Damascus.....

Ross also warned of the dangers to Israel following Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip. "I don't share the view (of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert) that we have a new opportunity… there should be a new sense of urgency.".....

Fatah will only remain in charge of the West Bank if it changed, said Ross, noting that it had lost the Palestinian Authority elections because it had lost the confidence of the Palestinian people. "It has to end the image and reality of its corruption… It has to show it can deliver on a better life for Palestinians and achieve Palestinian national aspirations. If it doesn't, it will lose in the West Bank."

Ross said the onus was also on Fatah to deliver in terms of fighting terrorism. "If the security situation does not change, all the fine words will be for nothing. There has to be coordination between Israel and Fatah, but Fatah has to deliver.".....

The Bush administration, he said, should be focused on "the 18 months they have left to ensure that Fatah is in a better situation vis-à-vis Hamas." ....."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Is This the Next Uniform for Palestinian "Guerrillas"??
Might as Well....

Hamas is the address for doing business

By Mark Perry, Conflicts Forum, July 5, 2007

"......Three weeks ago, as soon as Hamas assumed exclusive responsibility for security in Gaza, the release of Johnston was held up as a litmus test of the government’s ability to exercise authority. In a matter of days, Hamas’ law and order agenda was bringing calm to the infamously lawless streets of the Gaza Strip. Even so, it was only Alan Johnston’s freedom that would command international attention.

Now, in less than a month, bold promises have been translated into reality and as a columnist put it yesterday in Israel’s leading daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, this success delivers a simple message, “… when it comes to the Palestinians, Hamas is the address for doing business.”"

نداء إلى محمود درويش

*جوزيف مسعد

"مفردات العصر الأميركي الجديد مبنيّة على ثنائيات تعريفية، تبدأ بثنائية الحضارة ‏والبربرية وتمتد لثنائية «المعتدلين» و«المتطرفين».
هذه الفلسفة التصنيفية ليست بجديدة ‏على «القرن الأميركي»، فما زلنا نذكر الفرق النوعي الذي أصر عليه رونالد ريغان ‏وأيديولوجيّوه، بين الديكتاتوريات «السلطوية» الحليفة لأميركا والديكتاتوريات «الشموليّة» ‏المعادية لها‎.‎‏ فالصراع بالنسبة إلى أميركا ليس بين الديموقراطية والديكتاتورية، بل بين ‏الديكتاتوريات الموالية والخاضعة للمصالح الأميركية والديكتاتوريات والديموقراطيات ‏المقاومة لها.‏
فقد جيَّرت المجموعة المهيمنة من المثقفين العرب المدّعين العلمانية هذه الثنائيات ‏لخدمتها، واقترضت من أميركا استراتيجيّاتها البيانية لدحض حجج أعدائها. فنحن ‏اليوم لسنا أمام صراع وطني بين من ينادي بالديموقراطية في البلاد العربية ومن ‏يعزّز الديكتاتورية، بل صراعنا الحسم، حسب مثقّفينا هؤلاء، هو بين «العلمانيين» ‏و«الإسلاميين».‏
فها هو شاعر فلسطين العلماني، محمود درويش، الذي لم يتفوّه ببنت شفة ضدّ الفظائع ‏التي ارتكبتها وترتكبها «فتح» ضد الشعب الفلسطيني تحت قيادة عرفات وخلفائه، يطلّ ‏علينا بقصيدة (؟) على الصفحة الأولى من جريدة الحياة السعودية، يشبّه فيها إسماعيل ‏هنيّة بأبي سفيان (وكأن قيادة «فتح» أصبحت تمثّل رسول الإسلام بذاته!). ويدين ‏الثقافة العربية الإسلامية التي برز العِلم فيها في ساحات مساجدها عبر العصور لعدم ‏تفريقها ما بين «الجامع والجامعة»، متخذاً تاريخ أوروبا «العلماني» مثالاً يريد لنا أن ‏نحتذي به، متشرباً فكر «عصر الأنوار» الأوروبي، ومتناسياً أن هذا الفكر «التنويري» ‏هو الفكر المؤسّس للعنصرية والكولونيالية الأوروبية، ولعلمانية طالما كانت ملتصقة ‏بالفكر الإمبريالي المسيحي الذي حول المسيحية بفلسفتها ومبادئها إلى «علمانية»، ‏وأخرجها من تصنيف الدين، في الوقت الذي أصر فيه على إبقاء اليهودية ‏والإسلام كأديان نقيضة لمسيحيته المعلمنة. ‏
فالضفة وغزة لم تقبعا في «أقبية الظلام» تحت الاحتلال الإسرائيلي وحكم سلطة ‏عملائه، بل هي غزّة الآن، التي أصبحت تحت حكم «حماس» الديموقراطي، تقبع في ‏«أقبية الظلام». ‏
لقد فات شاعرنا العظيم ملاحظة أن قوى «الظلام» الإسلامية هي من يدافع ويحمي ‏الديموقراطية الفلسطينية (على الأقلّ بالمفهوم العمليّ للديموقراطية)، بينما تغرقنا «فتح» ‏وعلمانيّتها المزعومة في ظلام الديكتاتورية العميلة مع الاحتلال، نظريةً وممارسةً. ‏أي تناقض صارخ هذا الذي يدافع فيه شاعر علمانيّ عن حكم عملاء الاحتلال، ويدين ‏فيه الدفاع عن الديموقراطية!‏
حسب شاعرنا الموقّر، أن النضـــــــــال الحالي ليس نضال التحرير ضد الاحتلال أو نضـــــــــــال ‏الديمــــوقراطية ضد الديكتاتورية، بل هو نضال نور «فتح» الديكتاتوري ضد ظلام ‏‏«حماس» الديموقراطـــــــي. فما يغيظ شاعرنا ليس الأصوليّين، «فهم مؤمنون عــــــــلى طريقتهم ‏الخاصة، ولكن يغيظني أنصارهم العلمانيون وأنصارهم الملحدون...».‏
يا شاعرنا المبجّل، نحن لا نريد أن نغيظك البتة، فإن أنصار «حماس» من الملحدين ‏والمؤمنين ومن العلمانيين والإسلاميين هم أنصار الديموقراطية الفلسطينية الحقة، لأن ‏نضال هؤلاء هو النضال ضد الديكتاتورية العميلة (بالمفهوم القانوني للعمالة).
أما ‏العلمانيون المؤازرون للديكتاتورية والفكر الكولونيالي فهمّهم الأكبر هو حياة الرفاهية ‏التي تؤمّنها لهم عمالة «فتح» وفسادها وسرقاتها لأموال الشعب الفلسطيني لتمتيع قياداتها ‏ومثقفيها. ‏
نحن ندعو شاعرنا العظيم وأنصاره العلمانيين المنتشرين في الإعلام العربي، العلمانيّ ‏الزعم والسلفيّ التمويل، أن يعودوا إلى ما كانوا عليه قبل استسلام أوسلو: مثقّفين ضد ‏السلطة، لا مثقفين يدافعون عنها. فالنضال الآنيّ هو نضال التحرير الديموقراطي ضد ‏ظلامية الاحتلال والفساد والديكتاتورية الخاضعة لمصالح أميركا. فهل أنت معنا؟"
‏* أستاذ السياسة والفكر العربي الحديث في جامعة كولومبيا في نيويورك‏

A Farewell to Arms Control

By Scott Ritter

"Scott Ritter, a former U.N. weapons inspector and the author of “Waging Peace,” mourns the passing of the United Nations agency charged with monitoring Iraq’s WMD program. That agency suffered a political assassination recently to save the Bush administration any lingering embarrassment. With the closure of UNMOVIC, Ritter writes, the world has lost perhaps its last best hope for meaningful arms control and inspection.....

This capability is now forever lost with the demise of UNMOVIC, proof positive that the real problems confronting the world’s collective peace and security continue to be undermined by an American administration willing to exact any price in order to win cheap political points. Americans rightly measure the cost of the Iraq war in terms of dead and wounded American service members. Some even spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. But scant few will reflect on the potential harm done to future generations of Americans, and others around the world, as we bid a silent farewell to meaningful arms control."

Stonewalling in Ramallah

Even as the Abbas government does Israel's bidding, it is being targeted by its new patron

By Khaled Amayreh from East Jerusalem
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......Nabil Amr, an aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying this week that it was likely that the term of the Fayyad government would be extended indefinitely despite "the legal reservations".

Amr suggested that the inability of the Palestinian Legislative Council to convene would eventually force the Fatah-dominated PA leadership to take "extra-judicial" or even "non-lawful" decisions to extend the term of the present government in Ramallah indefinitely......

The Abbas-Fayyad regime, relying on the "legitimacy of the fait accompli ", Western backing and Israeli acceptance, has adopted several measures which it hopes will eventually enable the Abbas-Dahlan camp to "legally" and "lawfully" reverse the outcome of the 2006 legislative elections which Hamas won. Needless to say, the exclusion of Hamas from any Palestinian political authority has been a consistent demand by Israel and the Bush administration.

In addition to the continuing de-legitimisation of the present Hamas- dominated parliament, which could shortly culminate in its dissolution, the Abbas-Fayyad regime is employing every possible political, economical and propaganda strategy to marginalise Hamas. This is in an attempt to bring about new elections they hope to win.....

The unnamed official added that Abbas's security forces intend to continue battling the establishment of a Hamas network in the area. However, this claim seems utterly disingenuous if only because Israel tightly controls every square metre of the occupied territories which would make it difficult for a large-scale Hamas armament let alone a possible takeover by the group.

Interestingly, PA arrests of Hamas activists often occur simultaneously with the Israeli military arresting or targeting the same individuals.

Israel rounds up an average of 15 to 20 Hamas supporters per night, many of whom are held captive, without charge or trial, in the notorious detention camp, known as Kitziot, in the heart of the Negev desert.

Needless to say, this perceived or real collusion between the PA and the Israeli army against Hamas is bound to seriously harm the PA and Fatah's image in the short and long term......"

The war within Fatah

Dismissing the recent infighting in Gaza as a showdown between Fatah and Hamas only is simplifying a far more complex problem

By Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Tensions are growing between supporters of the American-backed Dahlan faction and the supporters of Yasser Arafat. Tensions between the two polarised camps increased dramatically last week when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who backs Dahlan, fired veteran Fatah leader and former PA interior minister Hani Al-Hassan who had accused Dahlan of planning to murder him -- a charge which Dahlan vehemently denied.....

In addition to Abbas and Dahlan, the "moderate camp" within Fatah includes people like Ahmed Abdul-Rahman, Al-Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, Nabil Amr and security officers such General Intelligence Chief Tawfiq Tirawi.

The Arafat camp includes the bulk of veteran Fatah leaders such as the Tunis-based head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) political department, Farouk Al-Qaddoumi, Hani Al-Hassan, Jebril Rajoub, Marwan Al-Barghouti, Ahmed Hellis and militant leaders affiliated with Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.....

The "moderate camp" has the money and the physical means to assert itself by force if necessary, at least for the time-being. However, this camp has a major strategic liability, namely a lack of support among Fatah's rank and file and, indeed, among the Palestinian masses as a whole.

Recent revelations by Hamas which allegedly implicate Dahlan in an American-backed plan to reverse the outcome of the 2006 Palestinian elections and depose of the Hamas-led national unity government by force have seriously tarnished his image and that of Abbas in the eyes of many Palestinians.

The anti-Dahlan camp, while lacking the financial resources at Dahlan's disposal, has the advantage of wide support within Fatah and even stronger public support....

One of the strongest assets the anti-Dahlan camp within Fatah is betting on is Abbas's apparent inability to extract any meaningful political concessions from Israel with regard to ending its 40-year-old occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem....."

Detained Palestinians complain of Lebanon army abuse

"BEIRUT (Reuters) - Dozens of Palestinians detained while leaving a besieged refugee camp in Lebanon have complained of abuse by the Lebanese army, ranging from beatings to some cases of sexual abuse, human and civil rights activists say.....

Most of those detained were young men. Some were held for several days and described abuse and ill-treatment. "Many Palestinian refugees in the camp stopped fleeing because they heard Palestinians were being detained and abused," said Mahmoud al-Hanafy, head of the Palestinian Organisation for Human Rights, or "Shahed" which has documented 60 cases......

Abu Mohammed, a 38-year-old Palestinian who has sought refuge with his extended family in a storage room just outside Beddawi camp, said he was detained by the army for eight days. He said he was blindfolded much of the time, beaten severely with batons, threatened with electrocution and subjected to verbal abuse and sleep deprivation. "I had to stand for 36 hours. Every time I slumped, they would beat me. At one point I felt them slip my hands into something behind my back and they started raising me, soon after I lost consciousness and they splashed me with water," he said......

"From the testimonies that have been gathering, the abuse is physical and psychological and it is severe. The evidence points to a pattern emerging," said Caoimhe Butterly, a human rights activist who has been living in Beddawi for over a month. "Almost all detainees describe a bare minimum of being verbally taunted and severely beaten, to more serious allegations of death threats, threats of being electrocuted, people having their toes cut off, and being told to choose their preferred way to die."

Between human rights groups, NGOs, concerned individuals and journalists, the testimonies include two cases of electrocution and two of sexual abuse, Butterly said.......

Human Rights Watch, which has also been in touch with civil activists and has documented some of its own cases, said it was very concerned about the cases of "more violent ill-treatment." "We've raised this issue with the army directly and they're denying that it's happening, we've asked them to investigate some of these cases," said Nadim Khoury, Human Rights Watch researcher responsible for Lebanon.

Khoury also said that most Lebanese media had avoided covering the story because "it was bad for morale of the army.""

Video: Palestinian Journalist Shot by Israeli Forces

Contributed by Fatima

Video: Watch Nour Odeh's report on Israel's Gaza incursion

Israeli troops continue policy of targeting journalists during latest Gaza invasion

A man tries to move an Al-Aqsa TV cameraman after he was shot by Israeli troops [AFP]

"Gaza - Ma'an – The Palestinian Youth Media Assembly has expressed concern over "the increase of the targeting of Palestinian journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories by Israeli troops. Many Palestinian journalists have been injured or killed, the latest of which was the shooting of Al Aqsa TV's photographer on Thursday".

The assembly declared "the Israeli forces deliberately shot at the photographer, Imad Ghanim, injuring him in such a way as to necessitate the amputation of his legs."

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the assembly stated that Israeli troops "noticed Ghanim, while he was wearing clothing marked "PRESS", but they shot at him, intending to kill him." The statement urged Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International to intervene to stop the "Israeli attacks against Palestinian journalists, and to protect these journalists from the Israeli aggression."

Al Jazeera satellite channel aired footage of the incident involving Al Aqsa TV photographer Imad Ghanim. The film shows the cameraman falling after being shot, and then being hit by two more bullets as he lay on the ground.

Menawhile, the team reporting on the central Gaza invasion for the Al Arabiya satellite channel narrowly escaped death when Israeli forces opened fire at them, as events unfolded near Al Bureij refugee camp on Thursday.

Hanan Al Masri, reporter for Al Arabiya, told Ma'an "the Israeli forces shot intensively at the team, although there was no reason to do so." She added that she and her team, in addition to three from Reuters, "were forced to hide in one of the houses because the Israeli forces continued to shoot at them, destroying some of the technical devices, as well as the water tanks of the house we sheltered in." "

Al-Qaeda, the Eternal Covert Operation: British "Terror" Incident latest Product of "War on Terror" Propaganda

by Larry Chin

Global Research, July 5, 2007

"It is a well-established and deliberately unaddressed historical fact that the CIA created "radical Islam" and Islamic "terrorism" during the Cold War. It is also a documented fact that the US, its allies, and their intelligence agencies (CIA, Pakistan’s ISI, Britain’s MI-6, etc.) have -- from the 1970s to the present day -- continued to use and guide terrorist groups, including "Al-Qaeda," as intelligence and propaganda assets. "Islamic terrorism" is a manufactured weapon of Western geostrategy, serving Anglo-American interests.

Planned covert operations and false flag operations using "terrorists" in direct and indirect military-intelligence roles are of imperial design. Such operations (exemplified by 9/11), and their predictable propaganda results ("the war on terrorism") are now routine events......

The imperial hand behind "radicalism"

Who or what is truly behind "Islamic terrorism" and "terror" catastrophes? Who or what created it, and funds, manages, nurtures and wields "terror"? Whose geostrategic interests have been exclusively served by "terror"? Whose political goals have been permanently destroyed? Cui bono? The answers lead directly t0 the highest levels in Washington, London, Tel Aviv, Islamabad, etc.

"Islamic terrorism" is a covert operation and a geostrategy. "Al-Qaeda" is a military-intelligence asset and a leading brand of war propaganda."

Latin America and Its Axis of Hope

An Interview with Tariq Ali


"In late 2006 I reviewed Tariq Ali's new book Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, which aims to explain the new rise of the political left in Latin America. On June 27 this year, I had the chance to interview Ali in Sydney, Australia around the issues raised in his book. Ali's links to Latin America stretch back four decades as in 1967, he travelled to Bolivia as a member of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation to observe the trial of Régis Debray as Che Guevara aimed to create a new revolution.

A current member of the advisory board of TeleSur, a joint venture by Venezuela, Argentina , Cuba, Uruguay, Bolivia and now Ecuador, to establish a television network to counter US hegemony, Ali has held numerous conversations with the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, as well as other high-ranking officials in Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador. An author of almost thirty books, Tariq Ali is also an editor of the New Left Review. The following is a complete transcript of my interview with Ali....."

By Mike Luckovich

Israeli prison authorities effect violent segregation of Palestinian detainees

From Khalid Amayreh in East Jerusalem

"Israeli prison authorities have been carrying out a violent segregation of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees along political and factional lines, prisoners and human rights sources said Thursday.

According to “Abu Muhammed,” a prisoner leader at the notorious Ketziot detention camp in the Negev desert, Israeli soldiers and Shin Beth agents have been forcibly segregating prisoners, especially those affiliated with Fatah and Hamas.

“They are doing this by coercion and against the will of the prisoners. There are no problems between the prisoners who totally reject these provocative measures,” said Abu Muhammed (nom de guerre) in a telephone call....."

More on the intelligence-bonanza

"Thanks to a heads-up from commenter Fatima at palestinianpundit, the Egyptian weekly Al-Osboa fixed the link to the story in its current issue about the role of the Gaza intelligence-bonanza in improving relations between Hamas and Egypt.....

Several of these points were also referred to in the piece in Al-Masriyoun, including the reference to kidnapping of an Egyptian security official a year ago; spying on Egypt; smuggling counterfeit money into Egypt; and support for terrorist attacks in the Egyptian tourist areas of Sharm el-Sheikh and Taha. The main new point in this Al-Osboa piece is that this intelligence information was turned over in its entirety, by the Egyptian security people to whom Hamas gave it, to the Egyptian political authorities, and this resulted in the dramatic change in the attitude of Egypt with respect to Hamas."

Palestinian Left; A Lost Opportunity

Many in the Left are still parroting old mantras, still fighting for irrelevant appearances on BBC, making demands on Hamas and using such terms as a ‘coup against Palestinian democracy’

A Very Good Piece
By Ramzy Baroud

"When Hamas members were elected as the majority bloc of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and as it became apparent that a US-led international embargo would be an adjoining price to that victory, I contacted many intellectuals and writers in Palestine, mostly those who often positioned themselves as part of the Palestinian Left. I asked them to solidify behind the collective choice of the Palestinian people and to shield Palestinian democracy at any cost......

In the early weeks and months, following Hamas lonely ascent to power in March 2006, we began seeing respected Palestinian intellectuals making some disturbing statements to the media, attacking Hamas as if it’s some alien body, shipped from Tehran, and thus, affectively, validating the international embargo. I had, at times, shared stage with many of those people, proudly, at international forums; some even posed as socialists and spoke fervently of the collective fight against international imperialism and the need to activate civil society in the fight against injustice and so forth. The Hamas victory had indeed exposed the chasm between words and actions, between national priorities and ideological and even individual rigidity and limitations. When Hamas entered into rounds of talks with Palestinian ‘socialist’ groups, I was most certain that the latter would appreciate the intensity of the challenge and would take part in a unity government even if a union with a religious grouping stands at odds with its overall principals. I thought, the situation is too grave for superficial manifestos and party programmes to stand in the way. I was wrong......

The bizarre twist is that Hamas, by a practical definition, is much closer to socialist principals than the urban ‘socialist’ intellectuals.

By defending Hamas and the democratic will of Palestinians, I’ve hardly felt as if I was deviating from of my own principles. My letter to the Palestinian Left hardly generated any response — my communications with progressives in the West generated much greater enthusiasm. Now that the split between Hamas and Fatah has elevated to almost a geographic split as well – a complete departure from the Palestinian national objectives, many in the Left are still parroting old mantras, still fighting for irrelevant appearances on BBC, making demands on Hamas and using such terms as a ‘coup against Palestinian democracy’.

There was hardly a Palestinian Left to begin with; they lost the only opportunity that could’ve made them relevant, and now they continue to pander to the status quo, yet posing as the wise ones in an ocean of dim-witted multitudes: the precise definition of intellectual elitism. "

Blair go home

By Gideon Levy

".....Nor can the declared, more modest goal of his mission - building institutions in the Palestinian Authority - be achieved while boycotting the representatives of half of the Palestinian nation. Peace, Mr. Prime Minister, is made with bitter enemies, like the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland, and Hamas, not only with amiable people who speak fluent English like Abu Mazen and Ehud Olmert. Boycotting the others in advance eliminates any chance for peace before you've even started....."

Salam Pierre Laval Fayyad Vows to Crack Down on Gunmen in W. Bank

"Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad on Thursday pledged to crack down on militants in the West Bank but said success hinged on Israel agreeing to stop pursuing the gunmen.

Fayyad, head of the emergency government that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas established last month after Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip, said the push for law and order would not target the Islamist group alone.

"We need to be very serious about this, regardless of who they may be, which party they may belong to. If they choose not to cooperate in this effort, they are a foe, the party is over," Fayad said.

"We just cannot be serious about building a state and at the same time accepting armed militias ... We have to bring matters under control. This may be our last chance."....."

What an Effective Guerrilla Does and Doesn't Do

This is just a small sampling of what makes a guerrilla effective:

* He does not stand up to a frontal assault by a well-equipped enemy army. Unless he has effective anti-tank weapons he does not stand face-to-face in front of enemy tanks.

* He is never easily identifiable; he looks just like the rest of the population. This means that the guerrilla never wears uniforms, insignia or has any distinguishing features such as a beard.

* The guerrilla always takes the initiative, he selects the time and place for his attack; he doesn't just react. When the enemy attacks, the guerrilla melts away in the population. This is not cowardice, since the guerrilla doesn't have comparable weapons to the enemy.

* The guerrilla is never caught in the open when the enemy attacks. This means that when the enemy has stationed its special forces on roof tops, it is suicidal for the guerrilla to be running in streets and alleys trying to confront the enemy.

* The guerrilla's strength is in being dispersed among the population. Therefore, large groups of guerrillas should never be found together, since they could easily be spotted and destroyed.

* The entire population acts as eyes and ears for the guerrilla. This means that the guerrilla is never surprised by an enemy attack. Early indications of an imminent attack are spotted and relayed to the guerrilla. This also means that the entire population is on the lookout for any disguised enemy infiltrators.

* When the enemy hits at point A the guerrilla finds the enemy's weak points and attacks at point B, such as behind the enemy lines or while the enemy is retreating.

* The guerrilla's arms are well-hidden and dispersed. This makes it hard for the enemy to find and to destroy large weapons cashes.

Palestinians Stubbornly Refuse to Learn Guerrilla War Techniques.....
And Prefer to Die Instead....
Genetic Defect? No; Stupid Leadership? Absolutely!

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Net closes on mosque - and Pakistan

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"A three-day siege of the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad is coming down to a bitter end game between diehard militants holed up inside and the encircling security forces. The fallout from the clash, though, is turning scores of thousands of jihadis against the Pakistani establishment that once nurtured them.....

Recent estimates suggest there are as many as 200,000 Pakistani jihadis, mostly in bases in the Waziristans, NWFP and southwestern Balochistan. Their mission is to join the insurgency in Afghanistan to fight against the foreign occupiers there. The attack on Lal Masjid could give them new targets in their own country. "

Iraq, the new Israel

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Lame-duck US President George W Bush, last week in a speech at the US Naval War College, made it official: Israel is the model for Iraq, although Iraq is rather more like Palestine.

Anyone familiar with the Arab world knows Israel is viewed all across the Middle East as a Western-configured colonial power, illegally gobbling up Palestinian land and treating its own Arab residents as third-rate citizens. Bush's Israeli Iraq - rather Americastan in Iraq, as it is known in many quarters in Baghdad - amounts to nothing less than a public relations nightmare in terms of the US "message" for the wider Middle East......

Iraqis have every reason to fear words, as in the poem by Nazik al-Mala'ikah. Many remember the apocalyptic expressions "axis of evil" or "weapons of mass destruction". They've now been told - by the Mission Accomplisher-in-Chief - their country is the new Israel. An exiled history professor in Damascus may have come up with the only possible way out of the heart of darkness: "Maybe we should abandon Islam, convert to Judaism, and start doing business with Texas." "

Oil a factor in Iraq conflict, says Australian defence minister

"The Australian defence minister today triggered a political storm when he suggested that protecting Iraq's huge oil reserves was a reason for the continuing deployment of foreign troops in the war-torn country.

Brendan Nelson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Iraq was "an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world, and Australians ... need to think what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq"......."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A time for joy and reflection

We cheer the hard-won release of Alan Johnston, who was captured in a chaos imposed from afar

Khalid Mish'al
Thursday July 5, 2007
The Guardian

Contributed by Lucia

"Together with all freedom loving peoples, we in the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, shared the moment of sheer joy yesterday when Alan Johnston stepped out of the darkness of captivity into the light of freedom. We pay tribute to the stoic dignity with which the BBC correspondent in Gaza bore his ordeal. We commend the patience and faith of his parents and all the British, Palestinian and other people around the world who campaigned and prayed for his release. From the outset, we committed ourselves to securing his release. I entered into discussions with British officials, shared information and gave assurances of our concerted efforts to secure Alan's release.

The Palestinian people have been struggling for their freedom for almost a century. In our own land we have been denied basic human rights by an occupier that has enjoyed, under various spurious guises, international support. As Alan Johnston returns home, we hope that the British, and people the world over, reflect on the fact that more than 12,000 Palestinians are languishing in Israeli jails, unjustly denied their freedom. They include ministers of a democratically elected government, parliamentarians, women and even children. Like Alan, they all have loved ones who long to see them again. Many of these hapless captives are their families' breadwinners. But the reality today in occupied Palestine is that there is no bread to win because the international community has imposed comprehensive sanctions on the Palestinians, denying them even the most basic necessities for survival. All of this is done to coerce us into accepting the occupier's terms......

It is in this context that we condemn the attempted attacks in London and Glasgow - as we have done in the past after attacks in Spain and the US. We could not be clearer: Hamas will not accept nor tolerate anyone exploiting the sacred cause of the Palestinian people to commit acts of murder and carnage around the world. Our strategy has always been and remains firmly based on the principle that the resistance should be fought only within Palestine....."

The Latest From Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Hello from Rafah

Yasmine Moor writing from Gaza, Occupied Palestine, The Electronic Intifada, 4 July 2007

"Here in Gaza, we're all listening to the radio and watching the news every hour (our only way of knowing what's happening in the outside world), waiting to see what Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), Israel and the US are planning for us, and where our fate will take us.

This has become more than a prison for the people of Gaza. It's hard not to feel like animals in a zoo, where we are caged and have enough food for two weeks at a time to keep us alive, but not well or free while someone decides what to do with us. At least in a zoo, if an animal gets sick, its taken out of the zoo and taken to a hospital. Here in Gaza, God forbid you get sick or injured -- hospitals are packed and one can't easily go to Egypt or the West Bank for medical attention. So one is at the mercy of those few people that run this gated zoo, Mr. Abbas, Israel, and the Quartet......

"Where are you Abu Mazen? Come see my son, he's dead -- where are you? Where are you, you forget about us? And let Israel slaughter us? Come Abu Mazen, come fight off the tanks and missiles. Come, but we won't move, we stand still and won't move and won't leave our homes like Israel has planned for us. We're standing still and praise be to God, praise be to God, we're standing still."

And so we wait to see what is decided for us."

Crime and Non-Punishment

Libby pardon sends a message – and it isn't pretty…

By Justin Raimondo

"In commuting Scooter Libby's sentence so that the vice president's former chief of staff won't spend a minute in jail, the president is sending a message, one that, while going out to multiple recipients, consists of a sentiment succinctly summed up in two words: Screw you!

The first recipient is the general public, which is being disabused of the notion that America is a country without an aristocracy. As chief prosecutor Patrick J. "Bulldog" Fitzgerald averred: "It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals." Yet the commutation – and the Bushies still haven't ruled out a total pardon – tells a different story, one that presents a much more realistic picture of what life in post-9/11 America is all about......"

LEBANON: Deminers urge patience as Palestinians grow restless for return home

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"BEIRUT, 4 July 2007 (IRIN) - The demining agency tasked with neutralising unexploded ordnance (UXO) from the six-week conflict between militants and the Lebanese army in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp has said the removal of immediate UXO threats will take at least a month.

This raises the spectre of further unrest among displaced refugees increasingly desperate to return home.

“The operation should take around four weeks to eliminate the immediate threats, but there is bound to be UXO still found,” David Horrocks, Lebanon Country Programme Manager for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), told IRIN.

“It is going to be very difficult to stop people going back, and it’s important we let the Palestinians know they are returning. But our concern is that the more people who go back the more difficult our job becomes.”

Nearly 35,000 Palestinian refugees have been displaced since the 20 May outbreak of conflict in the northern Nahr al-Bared camp, near Tripoli. The vast majority have settled with families or are temporarily sheltered in cramped, fraught conditions in neighbouring Beddawi camp......"

What Israel's Defeat in Lebanon Means for Defense Industry Fat Cats

The Death of the RMA


"In the 1989 Marine Corps Gazette article where I and four colleagues first laid out the Four Generations of Modern War, we foresaw two potential futures. One, the way the world has gone, was 4GW. The other, the direction the Pentagon has taken, became known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), or, more recently, Transformation. This vision of future war, a vision anchored in hi-tech, high-price "systems," is, I am happy to report, militarily dead.

While its corpse still twitches in Iraq and Afghanistan, its obituary was published in April, in Israel, when the Winograd Commission published its report On May 29, a summary of its findings by Haninah Levine was made available by the Center for Defense Information. The defense industry fat cats must have read it and wept.

The Winograd Commission was established to examine the Israeli debacle in Lebanon last summer. According to the Levine summary, its first lesson is, "Western militaries are in active state of denial concerning the limitations of precision weapons.".....

In how many valleys of Afghanistan is the same sad lesson being taught? In how many towns of Diyala province in Iraq, or streets in Sadr City?.....

The first lessen of the Second Lebanon War is that wishful thinking concerning the capabilities of precision weapon systems overpowered the General Staff' s analytical abilities.... Faith in advanced air and artillery systems as magical "game-changing" systems absolved the General Staff from the need to consider what capabilities (such as distributed and hardened facilities) the enemy possessed, and led the IDF into a strategic trap it had recognized in advance.......

The fact is, Pentagon policy has nothing to do with war, which has a great deal to do with why we are losing two wars. The Pentagon is the last Soviet industry. It is not about producing a product, least of all a product that works. It is solely, entirely, about acquiring and justifying resources. That the RMA does supremely well.

The defeat in Lebanon seems to have confronted the RMA in Israel with the unpleasant reality of the outside world. Will two defeats have the same effect on Washington? Perhaps, but don't bet on it. Half a trillion dollars a year can buy a great deal of political magic."

Editorial: The public renouncements of Hamas affiliation must end

Contributed by Lucia

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - Editor in Chief Nasser Al Lahham - Six days after Hamas' attack on Palestinian Authority departments, one Hamas nominee for a local council in the West Bank announced that he is no longer a member of Hamas, saying that his declaration was due to what Hamas did in the Gaza Strip.

The London-based newspaper 'Al Hayat' announced: "Mahmoud Lutfi Nayef from Tayba village in the Jenin area has announced that he has taken a decision, by his own volition, and that nobody forced him to do so." The paper added that Nayef declared his "full support to Abbas" and he also urged "all those with a living conscience to declare their legitimate and sharia [Islamic jurisprudence] position regarding the incidents in the strip.".....

In fact, Palestine has never witnessed such incidents before, in which factional loyalists backstab their factions in such a way. If there were Palestinians who regretted their factional membership, they left peacefully and continued their normal life. The Palestinian affiliation to any faction has always been assumed willingly rather than compulsorily and nobody in the world could force a Palestinian to join a faction which he does not want to join.

In the sixties or seventies, people were forced by some regimes to make such declarations renouncing their party affiliation. This used to be one of the conditions to gain freedom from jail and from future persecution by the intelligence services in such countries. Such a thing was embarrassing to the person and to their faction; some political parties, especially left-wing parties, used to threaten their members against making such declarations. Many patriots have consequently spent long years in jail refusing to make such declarations, even though they could have left jail just by making one such declaration.

I have noticed that the papers allow such trends and they publish such announcements, but I am calling on these papers to review this policy as these announcements are humiliating. What is requested from the information minister is to intervene and stop such acts, even though the commercial departments of the newspapers will blame us. "

Six Canadian soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

"KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A powerful roadside bomb killed six Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter Wednesday, ripping through their sturdy armoured vehicle on a gravel road in southern Afghanistan.....

The RG-31, known as a Nyala, is a South African-built armoured patrol vehicle designed to withstand ground explosions. But it was evidently unable to protect the seven killed in Wednesday's attack. The vehicle is widely used by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan......

Twenty-two soldiers have now been killed on this rotation alone; by this time last year only eight had died. Altogether, 66 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan since 2002, along with one diplomat.The latest deaths occurred in an area the Canadian military has been using as an example of their mission's achievements in Afghanistan.....

Wednesday's blast is the deadliest involving Canadians since Easter Sunday, April 8, when another devastating roadside-bomb explosion killed six Canadian soldiers in what was then the worst single-day toll for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan......"

Moroccan, Israeli foreign ministers meet

Look Ma: Another Arab Eunuch in the Bag!

"PARIS --The foreign ministers of Israel and Morocco held their first publicly disclosed talks in years Wednesday, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the heart of the discussion.

The Moroccan minister, Mohamed Benaissa, did not speak to reporters after the meeting, but shook his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni's hand for the cameras. In the background, members of the Israeli delegation unwrapped gifts of gold pens they said were given to them by the Moroccans......

In her remarks to reporters - she took no questions - Livni did not specifically address the issue of Israeli ties with Morocco, a U.S. ally.

But she said that Israel and moderate Arab nations including Morocco share common interests. "We have the same concerns, we face the same threats, and so we want to see a process in place so we can move forward," she said.....

Livni said the new Palestinian government that excludes Hamas provides a chance for progress. "The formation of the new Palestinian government gives us hope, and we have to work together," she told reporters after the talks over breakfast in a Paris hotel......"