Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dahlan's Photo Album

Contributed by Lucia
Courtesy of Angry Arab Blog






(many more photos of the traitors Dahlan and Abbas with Israeli military and political leaders; just click on the title of this post. There are 15 pages with photos; you can click on each page in the index located in the upper lefthand corner.)

أتحداك يا عبّاس

بقلم : د. ابراهيم حمامي

"....
اليوم وأنا استمع لعبّاس وهو يكرر ويجتر الأكذوبة تلو الأخرى، ولا عجب في ذلك فقد فعلها يوم 17/10/2006 وكررها في 16/12/2006 في لقاءاته الصحفية المعدة سلفاً، وأنا استمع لهذه الشخصية المريضة المهزوزة، وأنا استمع له وهو يتفوه بعبارات لا تليق حتى بأزعرن زعران الحواري، وأنا استمع لمن يهين نفسه قبل أن يهين غيره، تذكرت تلك الحلقة وتيقنت تماماً وعن قصد هذه المرة أنه لا يمكن أن يكون رئيساً حتى لنفسه.

قاموس عباس من الألفاظ السياسية ينحصر في "حقيرة" ومشتقاتها، وأضاف اليوم له دنيئة وسخيفة، وكمّلها بالتستر بالدين وحفر القبور، ثم أنهاها بلا شرعية أكثر مؤسسات السلطة شرعية وهو المجلس التشريعي، ليسدل الستار على صلاحياته الديكتاتورية الجديدة بمنطق "أنا عباسكم الأعلى فاعبدون" والعياذ بالله.

لا جدال أن الرجل – أقولها مجازاً- قد جن جنونه، وفقد صوابه، فبعد اسهال المراسيم التي ينام ويستيقظ عليها، وبعد أن أصبح كل مجرم بحق الشعب الفلسطيني شهيداً بطلاً يمنح نوط القدس، وصلت به درجة جنون العظمة لدرجة أنه صدّق أكاذيبه، فهو لن ينتظر أحد وسيقرر وحده دون غيره الانتخابات وموعدها، وسيغير ما يشاء وحده دون غيره شكل المنظمة الميتة وتركيبتها، وسيصدر المراسيم وحده دون غيره لأنه القانون وفوق القانون.

مسكين أنت يا عبّاس وقد ضحك اليوم عليك الناس، مهزوز مريض ضعيف لا تملك من أمرك شيء، والدليل هو هذا التحدي:

أتحداك يا عباس ومعي الملايين أن تجري انتخابات حتى لمن في منطقتك السوداء في فلسطين

أتحداك يا عباس ووراءك حكومة الزور وكل منظمتك البالية الميتة أن تسقط حقي وحق الملايين في العودة

أتحداك ومعك كل زمرة الفساد والمطبلين والناعقين أن تذهب لأي مدينة فلسطينية وحدك دون حماية المحتل وزعران السكك من عصاباتك التي تعيث فسادا في الضفة الغربية

أتحداك يا عبّاس يا أبو الشرعية والحاكم بأمره أن تستفتي أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني عليك أو على أي من عصابة العشرة المحتمية بالاحتلال في المنطقة السوداء برام الله

أتحداك في أي وقت أو زمان أنت كوهينهم الأكبر أو من تختاره لمناظرة في أي موضوع تشاء مع العبد لله أو مع أصغر شبل فلسطيني

هل أكمل يا عبّاس؟ التحدي قائم اليوم وغداً وبعد غد، وكما ذكرتك ومن معك بما ظننتم أنكم انسيتمونا اياه، سأذكرك بالتحدي مرة تلو الأخرى، لأضيفه لتحديات سابقة وصلتك وعقبت عليها بنفسك تارة وعن طريق أزلامك تارة أخرى.

يقول من أحترم رأيه ونظرته من أهل السياسة لا الطارئين عليها تعقيباً على ما ذكره عبّاس، وفي توافق غريب تحت عنوان " العائل المستكبر ... العاجزون يتحدون"، وهنا أقتبس:

"لا توجد لحظات أشقى على الإنسان من أن يستمع إلى شخص معجون بالغباء والجبن والعجز يتعاطى الذكاء الصناعي وادعاء المعرفة :

رجل عاجز لكنه يتحرك برجل صناعية واحدة أمريكية صهيونية وهذه المرة لا توجد عليها أختام عربية بالوساطة ، ومظاهر عجزه لا تنتهي :

عاجز عن مواجهة حماس في قطاع غزة ويعاني من هزيمة مرة ثم يعلن التحدي وهو مهزوم مكسور ثم يطلب من العالم أن يعاقبوا حماس لأنه غير قادر على معاقبتها بالعصا التي يظنها بين يديه.

عاجز عن تصميم رؤية سياسية لعلاج موقفه من رفض التعاطي مع حماس سياسيا بعد أن قامت بحماية نفسها من غول دايتون الفلسطيني وهو يعلم أنه لا فكاك له من الجلوس إلى حماس لرسم أي مسار يتحرك فيه.

وعاجز عن استخدام أي ورقة بيده للتلويح بها أمام خصمه وصديقه "أولمرت" ليجبره على الجلوس للتفاوض السياسي معه لا التفاوض في الشؤون الحيايتة التي يتسلى بها اليهود عليه كعادتهم مع من سبقه، ويزيد من عجز هذا الرجل فريق المستشارين العاجز الأحمق من حوله .

وفوق عجزه فهو جبان إلى حد الهوس بالجبن وامتصاصه من كافة مسامه ومسام مرافقيه فلم يكتف باستغلال حاجة المطاردين فدفعهم إلى تحسين سلوكهم تجاه عدوهم واستصدر لهم براءات مؤقتة حتى استعاد هجومهم على الورقة الرابحة الوحيدة بيدنا وهي الإغلاظ على عدونا بالمقاومة، وقد سمعته مرارا يتحدث أن المقاومة بكل أنواعها لا خير فيها وأنه مستعد أن يلقي بكل من يلقي حجرا على دورية (إسرائيلية) في سجن لا يخرج منه حتى يتوب.

وفوق عجزه وجبنه فهو غبي جداً وسبب غبائه المكتسب - وإن كان في أصل خلقته متذاكياً- أنه لا يفقه من السياسة سوى أنها المطالبة ثم المزيد من المطالبة بينما يقفز عنه الآخرون وهم ساخرون من هذا العاجز الغبي الذي لم يتعلم أن من يمتلك القوة كبرت أم صغرت هو القادر على إزاحة الأقوياء من مكانهم وإلزامهم بما يعزم عليه .

لقد ابتلينا بهذا الرجل الذي يتسنم الآن أعلى المراكز السياسية من رئاسة السلطة إلى رئاسة منظمة التحرير وهو ذاهب بهما إلى حيث تستحقان : فالسلطة كانت مشروعاً صهيونيا وآن لها تتحلل من هذا القيد الصهيوني، وأما المنظمة فقد كانت مشروعا احتكاريا تجميليا نفعيا وآن لها أن تتجرد من كل هؤلاء بوضعها في درج الإهمال بدل أن تستخدم كورقة في درج الاستغلال" انتهى الاقتباس.

أهنت نفسك وأضحكت الناس عليك، حتى من كانوا حولك شعروا بالخزي وذكروك على الهواء أنك على الهواء، لكن هيهات فهذا أنت تصر على الذهاب لآخر طريق الغي والبهتان دون خجل.

دون مواربة وباللغة الوحيدة التي تفهمها: لا بارك الله فيك ولا وفقك ولا سدد خطاك، لا أنت ولا باقي العصابة التى ترى في المحتل ولياً حميما، وفي الشعب الفلسطيني عدوا حقيرا سخيفا دنيئا."

The Future of Palestine


An Interview with Jonathan Cook

By SAKER
CounterPunch

"First, I would like to turn to the "Israel-Palestine: One Country, One State" conference you just attended organized by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid on the future of Palestine. What was its purpose, its importance, and what impact do you expect it to have?

What was the mood of the conference participants? What did they foresee as the likely future developments in Palestine?

Turning to Palestine now, could you describe the situation in the West Bank? What is the influence of Hamas and Fatah there? How much support is there, in your opinion, for Abbas?

What have you observed is going on in the Israeli public opinion? Putting aside the settlers and their supporters, why is it that the Israeli public is not demanding a change in policies? Don't they see that the "beat the Arabs - they only understand force" theory has totally discredited itself?

To what degree can Israeli actions be explained by Judaism and its teachings? Is racism towards the Arabs a determining factor here or not?

What do Israelis think about the US neocons, do they see them as true friends of Israel or not?

Lebanon: many in the region say that the war last summer was only a first round, and that this war will resume in the near future. Do you agree? If yes, what do you think the Israelis could reasonably hope to achieve by resuming this war? Do they seriously hope to "disarm Hezbollah"?

In your experience, what does the Jewish "street" say about a possible war between the US and Iran? Is a US attack on Iran seen as a real possibility and what do you expect the Palestinian response to such a situation would be?

Much is made of Hezbollah's popularity in Palestine. How popular are Iran and Khamenei or Hezbollah and Nasrallah in Palestine?
"

Israel’s Primal Myth: A Barrier to Peace


A Good Piece
By Barry Lando
Truthdig

".....There can be no peace in the Middle East until Israel and the Palestinians deal with one key issue: the Palestinian demand that Israel recognize their right of return. That demand is based on the Arab charge that the Zionist state created the refugee problem in the war of 1948-49 by a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. It’s an accusation that Israel’s leaders have consistently rejected......It has become increasingly evident, however, that the Israeli position is, in fact, a self-serving myth created when the Jewish state was born, perpetuated ever since by the country’s leaders and still blandly accepted by Washington.....

.....But since the early 1990’s a new generation of Israeli historians and investigative journalists—drawing on formerly classified documents of as well as recollections of Israeli leaders of the War of Independence—have demolished the traditional Israeli position. According to their research, the Palestinians fled their villages, not in response to a call from Arab leaders, but because of a concerted campaign of terror—including massacres and rape—perpetrated by military units of the newly declared Israeli state.....

According to Sylvain Cypel, a leading correspondent for Le Monde, the full version of that UN resolution [Resolution 181] was never published in its entirety in Hebrew. The reason for that oversight may be simple. From the beginning Israel’s future leaders were determined that the Jewish state, carved out of the British mandate, would be just a first step towards the eventual takeover of all the land of Palestine. As David Ben Gurion, who would become Israel’s first Prime Minister, confided to labor party members in 1941, “As soon as we gain power, once our state is established we’ll annul [the partition] and will spread out over all the territory of Israel.”.....

....In fact, according to Benny Morris, one of the first of the new Israeli historians European Zionist leaders had secretly discussed plans for transferring the Arab population out of Palestine as far back as 1937 in Zurich. They had few illusions that the relocation of up to 500,000 Arabs could be peacefully achieved. “It is hard to imagine a transfer without recourse to force,” Ben Gurion later wrote in 1941. Such blunt talk was for internal use only. Outwardly, a different myth was already being prepared. “They lied, oh, how they lied,” thundered Gideon Levy, “The Arabs were always the bad guys, and we were the just, absolute, and sole victims. That’s what we’ve been told.”....

....“In no case did a Palestinian population abandon its homes before an attack.” To the contrary, Israeli intelligence services had actually intercepted calls from Arab leaders asking Palestinians either to remain in their homes or to return if they had already fled. Morris and other Israeli historians concluded that the Palestinians’ flight was—as the Arabs had long claimed—the result of a purposeful policy of Israeli forces, whose communiqués at the time spoke openly of “cleansing” or “purifying” the conquered Arab villages.

According to General Yigal Allon, in May 12, 1948, as his men approached each Arab town, they tossed in tracts with the message in Arabic, “if you don’t flee immediately, you will all be slaughtered, your daughters will be raped.” Those were not empty threats......

According to Cypel, “Of the 875,000 Palestinians who found themselves in the expanded State of Israel at the end of the war, only 150,000 were left after the new expulsions following the cease fire with the Arab states. The others, that is 82 percent, were driven out half of them by military force, the rest under the combined influence of threat, terror, and a deep felling of abandonment and powerless..”

As if to destroy evidence of the Palestinian past, over the following years some 400 out of 500 Palestinian towns and ancestral villages were burned, dynamited and bulldozed, obliterated from the maps of Israel.

When the war in Kosovo broke out in 1999 an Israeli editorialist wryly wrote “How lucky we were then there was no CNN in 1948 or the whole world would have been able to see in Palestine the images we are seeing today.”......

....there is still widespread apprehension among Israelis to any questioning of the country’s self-image of moral superiority and perpetual victim of aggression. “The revelation of the slightest flaw, the revelation of the least stain, whether in the past or… the present, seems to evoke such fear that it challenges not only the existence but the very legitimacy of this society in the eyes of a large majority of its own members.”

While Israel’s difficulty in dealing with its own past may thus make some sense, much more remarkable is how successful the Israelis have been in convincing American leaders to play along with their founding myth."

Giuliani and the Dogs of War

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
CounterPunch

".....It's been obvious for months that the path to the White House in 2008 does not lie in endorsing Bush's disastrous enterprise. Yet McCain did so and is now having to pay the bill, voyaging to Iraq and insinuating from inside a vast security cordon, his venerable torso encased in body armor, that it was as safe to stroll around Baghdad and its suburbs as Phoenix, in his home state of Arizona. Most Americans scoffed with incredulity at this claim.....

Now, undeterred by McCain's impending political extinction as a the prime pro-war candidate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is seizing the battle standard from the senator's stricken hand. Giuliani named his list of foreign policy advisers last week. This is an important political ritual, whereby political commentators can run their eyes down the list and assess at a glance what sort of headway the candidate is making in winning the support of the political establishment, starting with Henry Kissinger. Giuliani's list is heavily freighted with pro-war types, including the apex neo-con, Norman Podhoretz. No candidate lofting tossing the name Podhoretz into the laptops of the press corps, is aiming at the peace vote. Podhoretz is former editor of the American Jewish Committee's Commentary magazine, the neocons' in-house journal. He's been touting war on Islam and pretty much everywhere on the planet else barring Israel ever since the mid-70s, when he worried that America would quit its support for Israel just as it slunk out of Vietnam.....His wife, Midge Decter, became a moving spirit in the Committee on the Present Danger, his son-in-law Elliot Abrams went to work for Reagan, plead guilty to lying to Congress about the US role in the Reagan-era shuttle of arms and money, labeled the Iran-Contras scandal. These days Elliot in the Bush White House and Norman is now at Giuliani's elbow.

By publicly identifying Podhoretz as one of his foreign policy advisers, Giuliani is not only emphasizing his view that the United States should stay in Iraq for the long haul. He's saying that he esteems the counsel of a man who is calling for an immediate attack on Iran......

The Israel lobby has been publicly pushing for it for over a year. Senator Joseph Lieberman recently put up a resolution in Congress stigmatizing Iran....."

Nasrallah in the Crosshairs


How Will the Third Lebanon War Start?

By RANNIE AMIRI
CounterPunch

".....Since then, both Israel and the United States have not stopped seething at the opportunity lost to vanquish an organization which has proven itself capable of doing what no other Arab country, party or ruler has ever done before: precipitating an Israeli retreat from occupied territory as occurred in 2000 and withstanding the full onslaught by their lauded military last year, allowing them to emerge the victor. Hezbollah and its charismatic leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, not only survived but soon became the toast of the "Arab street" (no small task for a Shia group in the predominately Sunni Arab world). Because Nasrallah showed no interest in playing the sectarian card, his appeal as a nationalist leader was likened to that of Gamal Abdel Nasser and won him wide acclaim......

A few weeks ago, disturbing reports surfaced from both the Syrian weekly Al-Madar and Qatar's Al-Watan newspaper. Despite being a bit sensational sounding and not distributed by the Western media, when the above context is kept in mind, they seem more than plausible. To paraphrase the headline: "Plot to kill Nasrallah by United States, Israeli and Saudi intelligence foiled." According to Al-Madar, the intelligence agencies of these nations attempted to infiltrate Hezbollah's bunkers in a bid to assassinate Nasrallah. Collaborators in this effort included former Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan ("Bandar Bush") and Fatah's former security chief in Gaza, Mohammad Dahlan.....

But why him? Simply, Hezbollah under his leadership is perceived as a threat to the order which the United States and Israel would like to establish throughout the Middle East: a cadre of docile Arab rulers, deferential to the West yet authoritarian in controlling their own "street." The perks and privileges of being in this club include a life-long term, money, and arms. Its most prominent members are King Abdullah of Jordan, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Fouad Siniora and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas are the latest recruits.....

If war is to be ultimately avoided in Lebanon, people of all political and religious stripes, irrespective their opinion of Hassan Nasrallah or Hezbollah, need to send a clear message to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the PA that their interference will no longer be tolerated."

Hamas versus Al-Qaeda

by Saleh Al-Naami

Global Research, July 21, 2007
Al Ahram Weekly - 2007-07-12


".....Gawaher Ghadir, 21, is one of very few female students who doesn't wear a head scarf at the Al-Azhar University in Gaza. Nobody, either from Hamas or the security services belonging to the Hamas administration has ever asked her to do so. And she doesn't think that anyone is going to.

Ahmed Ghannash, who sells music tapes and CDs from a stand on Al-Mukhtar Street, the thoroughfare that divides Gaza city into two, said that he resumed business after Hamas gained power. In the past, unknown gunmen threatened to burn his stand unless he stopped selling music recordings.

Islam Shahwan, police spokesman at the Foreign Ministry, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the attacks on music merchants and Internet cafés are now close to zero, down from about 35 attacks per month in the past. In the six months before Gaza fell into Hamas's hands, an Islamic extremist group calling itself the Islamic Swords of Justice -- a group believed to embrace some of Al-Qaeda's ideas -- was particularly active in Gaza. That group called for the closure of Internet cafés and music shops. It attacked some of the parties organised at various wedding halls in Gaza and torched some of the educational institutions run by Christians. The group once threatened to harm female presenters working for Palestine Television unless they covered their heads.

Father Manuel Musallam, head of the Latin community to which many Gaza Christians belong, said that his congregation feels more secure under Hamas control. He added that relations between his community and Hamas are very strong. Musallam goes regularly to visit Ismail Haniyeh, who briefs him on current developments.....

So it is hard to take seriously President Mahmoud Abbas's claim that Hamas was trying to establish an "emirate of darkness" in Gaza along the style of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan......

Interestingly enough, Abbas's suggestion that Hamas was mimicking Al-Qaeda made no impact at all in Israel, where the issue was put to rest a long time ago......

Former Shabak chief Ofer Dekel, a man who used to be in charge of security operations against Hamas, is of the same opinion. He told Yediot Aharonot on 16 March 2006 that massive differences existed between Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Hamas believes in a combination of political work and military pressure and it understands the need for regional alliances and for public support. None of this is true for Al-Qaeda, Dekel remarked. "

Bush Pens Torture Executive Order


By Kurt Nimmo

"In Bushzarro world, up is down, black is white, and abducting people and subjecting them to waterboarding is compliance with the Geneva Conventions. “Five years after he exempted al Qaeda and Taliban members from the Geneva provisions, Bush signed an executive order requiring the CIA to comply with prohibitions against ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ as set down in the conventions’ Common Article 3,” reports the Boston Globe......

Of course, all of this is simply for public consumption, as the CIA has a long and sordid history of “information extraction,” that is to say torture, more recently of the “no touch,” variety.....

Here I part ways with Mr. Sullivan. Indeed, there is a distinct and frightening “comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007,” a fact pointed out on numerous occasions by no shortage of commentators. It should be an obvious comparison after reading Laurence W. Britt’s Fascism Anyone?, where he lists the “common threads” linking fascist regimes. In addition to nationalism, “supremacy of the military/avid militarism,” cronyism and corruption, and control of the mass media, Britt lists “disdain for the importance of human rights” as a hallmark of fascism:

The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

Bush’s executive order, ABC News reports, “is the White House’s first public effort to reach into the CIA’s five-year-old terror detention program, which has been in limbo since a Supreme Court decision last year called its legal foundation into question…. Officials would not provide any details on specific interrogation techniques that the CIA may use under the new order.”

In other words, more of the same, although “clever … propaganda” will once again be used to get the “population… to accept these human rights abuses,” not that the public is paying attention to such things, as far too many of them have bought into the patently absurd demonization of the victims, never mind, upon closer examination, we learn that most of the victims are Afghan dirt farmers and largely innocent Iraqis. "

Letter Sent to Western Media Outlets Asking "Why Aren't You Covering the 6,000 Palestinians Stranded at the Rafah Crossing?"


".....Keith Olbermann countdown@msnbc.com

Dear Mr. Olberman,

Upon researching MSNB'C's coverage of the Palestinian issue, I am unable to find coverage concerning the 6000 Palestinians stranded at the Rafah border crossing in Egypt attempting to get home. The border has been closed to all crossing since June 9th. Many have been waiting since that time languishing in the desert. Palestinian reports say that 28 have died (many stranded are those who left to seek medical help outside Gaza and are not healthy). Sixteen babies have been born, none are eligible for Egyptian citizenship (unlike US law which grants automatic citizenship to those born here) and they have no birth certificates. Even if the border does open, these new mothers with their newborn babies will not be able to go home to Gaza.

Currently Dr. Mona El-Farra who is the vice president of the Gaza Red Crescent Society as well as Husam El Nounou and Marwan Diab of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program are among those stranded attempting to return home. Dr. Mona was returning from her 45 day, 17 city trip to the US which included an appearance before the UN. You can read her statement here http://fromgaza.blogspot.com/2007/06/on-40th-anniversary-of-occupation-my.html Two days ago, Mohammed Omer, an award winning Gazan journalist who appeared on CSPAN in December gave a live interview to KPFK here in Los Angeles from his vantage point in Gaza. It can be heard here http://tinoire1.progressiveindependent.com/

I do believe that MSNBC has correspondents in Cairo who could travel to the Rafah crossing and cover this story. Mohammed's email is Rafahtoday@yahoo.com. He responds quite quickly to emails sent to him . I am also certain that whoever is in Cairo could reach Dr. Mona through the Egyptian Red Crescent who is FINALLY sending some aid to the crossing. Please, please, I do not understand why MSNBC is not covering this issue. If it were 6000 Americans unable to return home, MSNBC would be there in a heartbeat.

Thank You Sincerely,

Robin ****** "

"Please destroy the wall and let me get through to see my children before I die. I can't stand it.".....But the Pharoah Has no Balls


Zeinab Abu Garsh from Rafah in Gaza, stranded on the Gaza Egypt border for 40 days, sits in front of her luggage in the Egyptian frontier town of Rafah.

Husband tells of wife's struggle at Rafah passage

"Occupied Jerusalem: "Please destroy the wall and let me get through to see my children before I die. I can't stand it." These were the last words of Sana' Shanan, a 27-year-old woman from the Jabalyah camp who has been stuck at the Rafah passage, which has been closed for almost two months.

Her 35-year-old husband, Salim, told Gulf News that he called to check on her health and heard her desperation. He recounted her words, "Nobody cares about the Palestinians' suffering ... nobody can live for 38 days under the burning sun."

She asked God to help her and the many other sick people who are threatened by death. Salim who was trying to suppress his tears added that "Sana' left me and three children: the eldest Jamal Salim Shalhah is four, Mohammad is three and the youngest is six months old and never stops crying for his mother who has not been able to give him her love."

Sana' had fallen sick with hepatocirrhosis (a chronic disease due to degeneration of the liver cells) and had travelled to Cairo for treatment. After her successful treatment, she headed back to the Rafah passage to return home, but instead she found herself waiting for her death.

She is one of more than 28 Palestinians who have died at the Rafah passage since its closure after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.

Since that day, the number of Palestinians stuck at the Rafah passage and Al Arish airport has reached more than 12,000.

They are living a tragedy, especially after spending all their money on motels and are now resorting to living on the streets and in gardens.

They have sold their personal belongings from watches to clothes. A number of them have left to Cairo seeking relief, but more than six thousand still remain stuck.

Most of those people are women, children and the elderly. The situation has led to the deterioration of health conditions for some people who have chronic diseases since they are not provided with medicine and money.

They have also not received any humanitarian aid from the government except for $100 (about Dh367) for each family from the resigned government of Hamas.

Humanitarian organisations have warned that the situation is quickly deteriorating and if a solution is not found or if the Palestinians are not transferred to the Gaza Strip or to Cairo, then the mortality rate will quickly increase."

A New "Peace" Conference!

The Empire is Threadbare: We're running out of troops, warns army chief


· Defence memo leak says virtually no reserves left
· 'Intense tempo of life' due to Iraq and Afghan fighting

Richard Norton-Taylor
Saturday July 21, 2007
The Guardian

"The head of the army has warned that Britain is almost running out of troops to defend the country or fight in military operations abroad.

The warning by General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, to fellow defence chiefs comes at a time when the army is asking for a big increase in reservists to be deployed in Afghanistan, reflecting a crisis in Britain's armed forces.

In a secret memorandum he says: "We now have almost no capability to react to the unexpected." Reinforcements for emergencies or for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan were "now almost non-existent"......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll


The question is:

Do you support Abbas' call to Hamas to restore conditions in Gaza to their former status (before June 14)?

With about 400 responding so far (it is early), 83% said no.

Hamas will release Gilad Shalit only if Israel is willing to meet the Hamas terms, says Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri


"Bethlehem – Ma'an – Hamas has on Saturday denied news reports published by Israeli daily Ma'ariv, concerning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demands that Hamas should not release Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier Hamas kidnapped in June 2006.

A spokesman for Hamas , Sami Abu Zuhri, considered what was published "as baseless." He further said that the Ma'arev daily aims to "cover up the Israeli position which refuses to have a prisoner swap."

In a statement received by Ma'an, Abu Zuhri affirmed that Hamas is ready to solve the issue of Corporal Shalit, but only when "the Israeli occupation is committed to the terms and conditions that Hamas has set for the release of Shalit."

"The sooner this issue is closed, the better it is for Hamas," concluded Abu Zuhri. "

Colin Powell calls on international community to negotiate with Hamas

"Bethlehem - Ma'an – Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State, has called on the international community to open dialogue with the Hamas movement.

According to Israeli radio, he stated: "Hamas is controlling the situation in the Gaza Strip. There are no signs that the Hamas movement will vanish, and it's getting huge support from the Palestinian public."

Powell is a widely respected former General, who famously presented the case for the invasion of Iraq to the United Nations Security Council, giving detailed allegations over Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction". It is likely that his statements will cause a stir in US diplomatic circles."

Fatah leaders: Abbas’s call for early elections “crazy step”


"RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- A number of prominent Fatah leaders has described the call of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas for early PA presidential and legislative elections without national harmony as “a call for early civil war”.

The Fatah leaders who spoke to the Quds Press news agency on condition of anonymity described Abbas’s call as an “insane step" that aims at destroying the Palestinian national issue.

They also affirmed that Abbas’s invitation was some sort of “political heresy” as no sane politician could believe that early elections in the PA could be implemented under such kind of political atmosphere prevailing in the Palestinian arena.

“Only under national harmony, especially an agreement between the two biggest factions in the Palestinian arena Hamas and Fatah, early elections could be held as no one can unilaterally hold even municipal elections rather than presidential and legislative elections in the current atmosphere”, the high-ranking Fatah leaders added.

Moreover, they warned that the hasty “unconstitutional” edicts issued by Abbas based on false information fed to him by a one-sided party talking about alleged Hamas’s violations against Fatah cadres in Gaza Strip were indeed dangerous steps jeopardizing the future of the Palestinian national issue.

They described such inclination of Abbas as not reflecting the ideology of the mainstream in Fatah faction, but, they added, those steps reflected the desire by the entourage surrounding Abbas to achieve a number of personal advances at the expense of the Palestinian national unity.

Yet, they affirmed that any attempt by the PLO’s institutions, including the central council and the executive committee, to marginalize Hamas in the Palestinian arena will end up in total failure.

Hamas’s presence in the Palestinian arena is almost equal to the presence of all Palestinian factions under the PLO’s current setup, and thus any attempt to revive dead bodies in the PLO, after they were strangled by the Fatah-controlled PA over the past decade, with the aim to sideline Hamas is a desperate attempt”, the Fatah leaders underscored.

Furthermore, they affirmed that Abbas’s rejection of calls for national dialogue wasn’t gaining the blessing of the bulk of Fatah cadres, describing US president George W. Bush's idea of an international conference over the Palestinian issue next autumn as “futile”, adding that the Israeli occupation government wasn’t ready for negotiations over a final status settlement with the Palestinians."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hamas : a challenge to pro-Western Arab regimes


A Good Piece
By Alberto Cruz, CEPRID-Rebelión

"......Only one organization is applying the brakes now, in a hurry: the Arab League. But not to Israel, to the Palestinians. To Hamas. On June 16th during an urgent meeting of its Foreign Ministers, it said it was not going to get involved and would not favour either of the parties concerned, Hamas or Fatah. Now it is clearly doing so in favour of Fatah . The reactionary Arab regimes cannot let Hamas win. Mubarak's regime thinks that the permanent refusal of Hamas to recognise the State of Israel calls into question its own legitimacy as a leader of the Arab world and one must remember the close links between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, who control almost a fifth of the Egyptian parliament, despite being declared illegal, against whom repression is increasing, with dozens of its leaders and hundreds of its militants imprisoned. Egypt cannot accept a Hamas government on its border with the influence that might imply for the Muslim Brotherhood. That has been Israel's great victory.

We are going to see in the days ahead the reappearance on the table of the "Jordanian option" on the West Bank to give Abbas some stability and to revive the old agreement adopted by the Palestinian National Council in 1983 for a Jordan-Palestine confederation, on condition that the members of that confederation be independent States. Without ignoring the possibility that the Arab League may propose the placing of its own troops (that is to say from Egypt and Jordan) under command of the UN in Gaza. It was Abbas who made the proposal in his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on June 29th. A move that recalls very much what Karzai did in Afghanistan, Maliki in Iraq or Siniora in Lebanon.

Hamas obviously rejects both prospects. It will treat any troops as a force of occupation, with all that implies. Once more, other people doing Israel's dirty work. As in Lebanon. Hamas has the huge challenge ahead of feeding a million and a half people in Gaza. But the reactionary Arab regimes have ahead of them, the challenge of their own peoples who are not going to stand impassively by watching the degradation of Gaza and the famine of its inhabitants. For the moment a poll by the Palestine Information Centre on July 3rd shows clearly that if there were elections in the Territories, as Abbas has said he is prepared to carry out, 51.47% of the population would vote for Ismail Haneya and 38% for Abbas.

What has happened in Gaza is directly attributable to the pro-Western Arab regimes who have on their debit side a huge credibility gap with their peoples and downright failure every time they promote or revive any peace agreement, like the timid 2002 plan they felt obliged to get down from the attic after Hizbollah's victory in the war last summer (2).

And what happened in Gaza has a lot to do with the overall situation in the Middle East. Precisely now with the first anniversary of Israel's Last war in lebanon, the UN Security Council is going to discuss a report from the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon which accepts as valid Israeli claims on the supply of arms from Syria to Hizbollah. The despatch of "international experts" to "supervise" Lebanon's border with Syria is getting ever closer. International tutelage neo-colonial style in Lebanon. As in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the Palestine of Abbas."

Iraq unions vow 'mutiny' over oil law

"BAGHDAD, July 20 (UPI) -- Iraq's unions say the draft oil law is a threat and threaten "mutiny" if Parliament approves the bill.

"This law cancels the great achievements of the Iraq people," Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, told the al-Sharqiyah TV station. He referred specifically to laws that nationalized Iraq's oil sector.

Iraq holds 115 billion barrels of proven reserves, the third largest in the world, and likely much more when the country is fully explored.

It could produce more than the 2 million barrels per day, and many are pushing the oil law as a means of solidifying investment in the sector. The law, as drafted, allows for foreign access to the oil, a line that must not be crossed, the oil unions say.

They have threatened to strike in the past -- and made good on the threat as recently as last month -- and claim workers of all sectors support them.

That was verified by Badri's interview, as reported by the Middle East Economic Survey.

"If the Iraqi Parliament approves this law, we will resort to mutiny," he said. "This law is a bomb that may kill everyone. Iraqi oil does not belong to any certain side. It belongs to all future generations."

The law is stuck in negotiations with various parties demanding either a strong regional/local control over the oil sector vs. a strong federal government control."

Colonialism With An Arab Fig Leaf: UAE to send troops to Afghanistan


"OTTAWA: The United Arab Emirates is planning to send troops to Afghanistan to fight alongside Canadians, at Ottawa’s behest to put a “Muslim face” on the Nato-led coalition, media reported on Friday.

The Toronto Star, citing unnamed sources, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government had been urging the tiny Arab nation to contribute soldiers and equipment to help stabilize war-torn Afghanistan.

Canadian authorities were not immediately available to comment. If the report is accurate, the Afghanistan deployment is believed to be a first for an Arab nation and a diplomatic coup for Canada. The UAE was one of only three countries that recognised the hard-line Taliban government that took control of most of Afghanistan in 1996 and was forced out in a US-led invasion in late 2001. The Toronto daily said the UAE tactical force would be small and mostly symbolic, and serve under Canadian commanders in the field......."

***

IS THE UAE GOING TO SEND TROOPS TO SERVE UNDER THE COMMAND OF THE IOF IN OCCUPYING THE WEST BANK AND JERUSALEM? DON'T LAUGH THAT DAY IS NOT FAR OFF.

عندما يفقد الرئيس اعصابه

عبد الباري عطوان

".......الرئيس عباس يقدم علي مغامرة خطيرة، او انقلاب سياسي ربما يكون اخطر من انقلاب حماس الذي يتحدث عنه بمرارة وقسوة، عنوانه اقصاء حماس من العملية السياسية كلياً، وتجريمها، واعلان الحرب عليها، واتهامها بالارهاب وتحريض العالم بأسره ضدها، بالقول انها تؤوي تنظيم القاعدة وتوفر له الحماية، وهو يعلم جيداً مدي كراهية هذا التنظيم لها ولقيادتها، من خلال اشرطة الدكتور ايمن الظواهري بالصوت والصورة.
استبدال المجلس المركزي بالمجلس التشريعي، وتحويل الاول غير المنتخب الي مرجعية، هما خروج واضح علي الشرعية، ونصوص اتفاقات اوسلو التي هندسها السيد عباس نفسه، ونظام الحكم الاساسي الذي مارس ضغوطاً كبيرة علي الرئيس الراحل ياسر عرفات من اجل اقراره. فالمجلس المركزي هذا لا يمثل ربع الشعب الفلسطيني علاوة علي كونه فاقد الشرعية تماماً، لان عمره القانوني انتهي قبل عشر سنوات علي الاقل.
اعضاء المجلس المركزي الذين صفقوا للسيد عباس وهو يلقي كلمته يمثلون في معظمهم فصائل وهمية، انتهت في معظمها مع انتهاء الحرب الباردة، ولم يبق منها غير منصب الامناء العامين فقط الذين تصدروا الصف الاول، وتجاوزوا سن التقاعد بسنوات.
فدعوة مجلس مركزي غير شرعي، لانتخابات تشريعية ورئاسية، هي دعوة غير شرعية، وأي نتائج ستتمخض عنها بالتالي باطلة، الي جانب النتائج الخطيرة التي يمكن ان تترتب عليها علي صعيد تعميق حالة الانقسام الراهنة جغرافياً وسياسياً ونفسياً.
وحتي محاولة الرئيس عباس للاستنجاد بقيادة فتح التاريخية في الخارج، واستصدار تصاريح لكل من فاروق قدومي وابو ماهر غنيم ومحمد جهاد اعضاء اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح علاوة علي السيد نايف حواتمة امين عام الجبهة الشعبية الديمقراطية، لتعزيز جبهته ضد حماس باءت بالفشل، لان أيا من هؤلاء لم يلب دعوته، مما اظهره بمظهر غير لائق امام الشعب الفلسطيني والعالم بأسره.
الانتخابات حتي تعطي ثمارها، يجب ان تكون نتيجة توافق ومشاركة كل الوان الطيف السياسي دون استثناء او اقصاء، ومن الواضح ان الرئيس عباس لا يريدها كذلك، وبات يتبني تعريف الرئيس بوش لها، اي لن يحدد نتائجها مسبقاً قبل اجرائها، وهذا ما يفسر تغييره النظام الانتخابي الذي جرت علي اساسه انتخابات المجلس التشريعي الاخيرة، من نظام القائمة والدوائر المختلط، الي نظام الدائرة الواحدة، او الانتخابات النسبية مثل الانتخابات الاسرائيلية.
فكيف يمكن ان تكون هناك انتخابات لا تشارك فيها فصائل وتنظيمات تمثل نصف الشعب الفلسطيني علي الاقل، اي حركتي حماس والجهاد الاسلامي، ثم بعد ذلك ثلث الشعب الفلسطيني في الداخل وهم ابناء قطاع غزة؟
حتي الدعوة الي انعقاد المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني الذي مات وشبع موتاً، وكان آخر مرة انعقد فيها قبل عشر سنوات للتصفيق للرئيس بيل كلينتون، والغاء الميثاق الوطني الفلسطيني دعوة غير شرعية، فهو مجلس لم يضم اربعة فصائل رئيسية مثل حماس والجهاد ولجان المقاومة الشعبية وكتائب شهداء الاقصي، ولذلك كل ما انبثق عنه من مؤسسات يعتبر غير شرعي، مثل اللجنة التنفيذية، والمجلس المركزي.
فكيف تدعو لجنة تنفيذية لعقد هذا المجلس ونصف اعضائها انتقلوا الي الرفيق الاعلي، والنصف المتبقي اما من المرضي او من اعضاء يمثلون فصائل انقرضت، وغير ممثلة في المجلس التشريعي المنتخب، لانها لم تفز بأي من المقاعد في الانتخابات الاخيرة.
الرئيس عباس لعب دوراً كبيراً في تجميد اعمال المجلس الوطني، واللجنة التنفيذية في المنظمة لصالح اتفاق اوسلو ومؤسساته، وجعل المجلس التشريعي هو البديل، لان الغلبة فيه كانت لتنظيم فتح ، ولكن بعد ان تغيرت الخريطة بعد انتخابات اشاد الجميع بنزاهتها وحريتها، واصبحت حركة حماس تملك الاغلبية، اعاد احياء عظام المجلس الوطني والمجلس المركزي واللجنة المركزية وهي رميم .
الرئيس عباس امام خيارين لا ثالث لهما في رأينا.
الاول: اقامة سلطة ديمقراطية تقوم علي التوافق السياسي، وتستند الي المقاومة، وتحتكم الي الشعب وصناديق اقتراعه من خلال انتخابات حرة ونزيهة.
الثاني: حل السلطة الوطنية، واعلان ديكتاتورية المقاومة المسلحة، بعد ان فشلت كل الخيارات الاخري، بما في ذلك خيار المفاوضات واحياء ثقافة العناق والتقبيل مع الاسرائيليين التي ماتت بموت الرئيس ياسر عرفات (لم يقبل اسرائيليين مطلقاً).
الرئيس عباس اختار فيما يبدو، ومثلما نري في تحركاته ومراسيمه الاخيرة، النهج الديكتاتوري، مع فارق اساسي وهو ان الديكتاتوريين، عرباً كانوا او اجانب، يعتمدون علي قواهم القمعية الوطنية، ولكن الرئيس عباس يريد الاعتماد في ديكتاتوريته الجديدة علي الاحتلال وقواته، ويتحالف مع اولمرت ضد ابناء جلدته، وينتظر ان يقوم الاخير باعادة تحرير قطاع غزة، وتسليمه مجدداً لمكتب الرئاسة ورموز الفساد السابقة.
الشعب الفلسطيني بحاجة فعلاً الي ثورة انقاذ تتصدي لطرفي المعادلة السياسية الفلسطينية، وتخرجه من هذا الوضع الحرج والخطير، وتعيده الي ثوابته الحقيقية، فقد اتسع الخرق علي الراقع فعلاً ، وبات الوضع لا يحتمل لان نتائجه مدمرة علي الصعد كافة."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon


Free Speech, American Style

Straight talk


A Good Comment

".......The thing everyone should keep in mind at this point is that when the Americans talk about an honorable withdrawal, their idea is to convince the resistance to lay down their arms, and by joining the political process and joining in the governing authority, actually help ratify the occupation [by the Americans] who, when they first came, came to stay, and not to leave voluntarily. If we put these discussions [about negotiating and joining the political process] to one side, and take up instead the language of reality, then what we hear from the American politicians with respect to Iraq is the exact opposite of what is actually happening, because the American forces, on the one hand, while continuing to talk about withdrawal, are in fact launching ever more violent attacks against Iraqi cities, using the worst weapons of killing and destruction, including banned weapons, while on the other hand you have Bush explaining that among the American options there is not the option called "failure", and that he is determined to break the back of the Iraqi resistance.

Qalamji, as I mentioned, doesn't talk about the latest two common-front-resistance announcements, that of the seven groups mentioned in the Guardian yesterday, or that of al-Douri and others mentioned in Al-Quds al-Arabi today, but I think his point would apply, and it is a cautionary one: Beware Americans talking about an honorable withdrawal."

Stranded at the border


Rami Almeghari writing from Al-Arish, Egypt, Live from Palestine, 20 July 2007

"My wife and myself, like thousands of other Palestinians, are currently stranded in Egypt since the Rafah crossing to Gaza was closed in mid-June.

We are now staying closer to our home of Gaza. The destination this time is not Cairo. Rather, it's the coastal town of al-Arish now that my wife has completed her medical treatment in the Egyptian capital.

In the evening of 7 July, we cheerfully smiled for the first time since my wife was hospitalized in a Cairo hospital a month ago, after the doctor assured us she could leave the hospital.

The first thing I thought of was, of course, heading back to Gaza, where our beloved four children, along with the rest of our family, have been anxiously awaiting our return.....

At any rate, we have another means of entering, which is the Rafah crossing terminal. However, Israel has ordered the closure of this crossing for the past five weeks, preventing me from moving, thinking or even fully enjoying that happy moment with my wife.

I had an idea by then -- moving towards the closet destination to our home of Gaza. So we moved to al-Arish, about 45 km away from Gaza, hoping we could get to the border as soon as possible so we could resume our lives.

We have been here for two weeks; however, al-Arish's golden sandy beach, palm trees or even its lit streets haven't and could never compensate for a single moment with our kids......

Despite the fact that Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and despite the US-brokered arrangements for running the crossing with the help of European observers, Israel frequently closes the passage to the extent that in 2006 alone, the terminal was only opened for a fifth of the time......

Unfortunately, the crisis has already begun as the Egyptian Red Crescent Society has provided blankets, food stuffs and medication to hundreds of stranded Palestinians who have run out of money and personal affects -- and their patience has run out as well.

Along with these border-bound people in al-Arish, there are about 5,000 Palestinians, 20 percent of whom are medical patients, who staying in other Egyptian border towns like Sheikh Zweaiyed and Egyptian Rafah.

Twenty-eight medical patients have lost their lives at the border since the crisis began in June, according to Palestinian health ministry.

The Rafah crossing terminal is situated on the borderline between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. When exactly my wife and I will be able to cross that line to reunite with our family is left to Israel's whim."

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement


by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, July 20, 2007

"A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and oppose the Iraq war.

In substance, the Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq:

"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and nationals. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.

The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush's program of "political reform in Iraq", in other words, who questions the legitimacy of an Iraqi "government" installed by the occupation forces......

This latest executive order criminalizes the peace movement. It must be viewed in relation to various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation, the gamut of presidential and national security directives, etc., which are ultimately geared towards repealing constitutional government in the case of an impending "national emergency"......

The war criminals in high office are intent upon repressing all forms of dissent which question the legitimacy of the war in Iraq. The executive order combined with the existing anti terrorist legislation is eventually intended to be used against the anti-war and civil rights movements. It can be used to seize the assets of antiwar groups in America as well as block the property and activities of non-governmental humanitarian organizations providing relief in Iraq, seizing the assets of alternative media involved in a critique of the US-led war, etc.

In May 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would suspend constitutional government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" (Second 9/11 terrorist attack.

On July 11, 2007 the CIA published its National Intelligence Estimate which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a second 9/11 which would according to NSPD 51 immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional government......."

Pimping For Israel: Iran attack could be 2nd Holocaust, Gingrich warns


"WASHINGTON – Former House speaker and possible presidential contender Newt Gingrich said Thursday that the United States should make efforts to bring about a regime change in Iran and warned against the dangers of Tehran attaining nuclear weapons.

An Iranian nuclear strike on the United States could be more ruinous than the Japanese attack in 1941, Gingrich told Project Israel, a non-profit organization established to provide the American media with information on Israel.

On Thursday Project Israel held a press conference on the Iranian threat, and invited presidential hopefuls to participate and voice their opinions on the issue.

According to Gingrich, the danger to Israel is even greater if Iran should attain weapons of mass destruction. Using one or more nuke against Israel could be "a second Holocaust" for the Jewish people, said Gingrich, who is considering running on the Republican ticket.

Rival Democratic candidate Senator Hillary Clinton expressed her opinions in a letter to the organization, saying that American policy on Iran must be unambiguous: We can't let Iran build or acquire nuclear weapons, and we can't allow it to support terrorism, she wrote......."

Karzai and Laval....
Scoundrels and Traitors....
Tfu on Such Scum

Decoding Bush: The President’s Version of the Balfour Declaration


Using President Bush’s own statements and terminology, the author contends that Bush’s peace vision for Palestine, is the same as Israel’s: disconnected Bantustans and perpetual Israeli domination.

By Dr. Hassan Afif El-Hasan
Special to PalestineChronicle.com

"President Bush should be credit for perfecting the art of selling his vision on solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to his Arab allies. He learnt from his campaigning that a good political salesman should have a slogan. He discovered the magic one to market his vision to the Palestinians, “two state solution living side by side!!”.

He repeated it so many times on several occasions without trying to do anything about it, then he bragged that he was the first to promise the Palestinians a state. This is not the first empty slogan the Palestinians have heard. Palestinian leaders who applaud President Bush vision today sold the Oslo agreements repeatedly as “the peace of the brave”. What does Bush vision on Palestine entail?

Bush pledged on April 14, 2004 to support then Prime Minister Sharon promise that in any final peace agreement with the Palestinians the refugees would be denied the right of return to their homes in Israel and the large settlement blocks would be annexed to Israel because they had been “facts on the ground”.
Bush declared his vision for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict “in the light of new realities on the ground (in the occupied West Bank), including already existing major Israeli population centers”. He said “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status (Palestinian-Israeli) negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949”. This vision, to give Palestinians’ land to Israel without their approval, amounts to a second version of Balfour Declaration......"

The Invisible Government


In a speech in Chicago, John Pilger describes how propaganda has become such a potent force in our lives and, in the words of one of its founders, represents 'an invisible government'.

By John Pilger

"The title of this talk is Freedom Next Time, which is the title of my book, and the book is meant as an antidote to the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism. So I thought I would talk today about journalism, about war by journalism, propaganda, and silence, and how that silence might be broken......

We need to make haste. Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action. That great whistleblower Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now. "

By Tom Toles

This Is How Empires End


by Patrick J. Buchanan

".....At a cost of $600 million, with walls able to withstand mortar and rocket fire, and space to accommodate 1,000 Americans, this mammoth embassy, largest on earth, will squat on the banks of the Tigris inside the Green Zone.

But, a decade hence, will the U.S. ambassador be occupying this imperial compound? Or will it be like the ruins of Acre?

What raises the question is a sense the United States, this time, is truly about to write off Iraq as a lost cause.......

It is a near certainty the U.S.-backed government will fall and those we leave behind will suffer the fate of our Vietnamese and Cambodian friends in 1975. As U.S. combat brigades move out, contractors, aid workers and diplomats left behind will be more vulnerable to assassination and kidnapping. There could be a stampede for the exit and a Saigon ending in the Green Zone.......

As for this country, the argument over who is responsible for the worst strategic debacle in American history will be poisonous.

With a U.S. defeat in Iraq, U.S. prestige would plummet across the region. Who will rely on a U.S. commitment for its security? Like the British and French before us, we will be heading home from the Middle East.

What we are about to witness is how empires end."

Washington's Consensus Al Qaeda Deception

Al Qaeda: “stronger than ever”--- or not?

by Larry Chin
Global Research, July 19, 2007

"......Official “war on terrorism” disinformation is repeated ad nauseum, accepted as fact by the mass populace, and used as the justification for ever-expanding Anglo-American war and ever-deepening criminality, virtually no attention is paid to the Anglo-American support and management of “Al-Qaeda” and other “terror” groups, or the criminally fabricated nature of modern “terrorism”. Every major “terrorism” event in recent times has been a US or US-allied covert operation, followed by political manipulation and cover-up. No credible proof has been provided to prove any official assertion made about the true nature of “Al-Qaeda”, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, etc.

Whereas it is a documented fact that Washington’s support and management of "Militant Islamic Network", including “Al-Qaeda”, has been continuous since the Carter administration. A recently declassified French intelligence report details the extent to which “Al-Qaeda” and Osama bin Laden ran operations for the CIA. “Al-Qaeda” as well as Al-Qaeda “foreign fighter hordes” propaganda is a key component of the Pentagon’s Iraq occupation and pacification program. Also see "Who is Osama bin Laden?" and "Al-Qaeda:the database".

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.

Even though the notion of false flag terror has more recently been supported by the likes of activist Cindy Sheehan, the vast majority of Americans remains in absolute denial and ignorance, or fully endorse violent “anti-terrorism” agendas.

The idea of “blowback”, the notion that terrorist assets have turned on their sponsors, is embraced by many, but it is bogus: Western intelligence has not severed its ties to “terrorists”, and, in fact, continues to selectively guide these groups. The true “root cause” of “Islamic terrorism” remains Anglo-American control and guidance of “terror”.

As pointed out by Michel Chossudovsky, the “Al-Qaeda” deception is central to Anglo-American foreign policy, which rests squarely on the perpetual threat of a fabricated outside enemy, and fear of a "new 9/11". This deception provides the ongoing pretext used to justify endless warfare and endless criminality.

Al-Qaeda” is indeed a “global brand”: the pre-eminent brand of Anglo-American covert operation and propaganda apparatus, created, funded, guided and manipulated by leading government powers and intelligence agencies.

Without an end to the “terrorism” lie, there can be no end to the “war on terrorism”."

Because the Pharaoh Has No Balls: Egypt establishes refugee camps for Palestinians stranded at Rafah crossing

"Gaza - Ma'an – Egyptian authorities in the Sinai peninsula city of Al Arish have established seven refugee camps to shelter Palestinians stranded at Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources are saying.

Egyptian sources said that the camps were established after many Palestinians ran out of money and were forced to sleep on the streets and in gardens around the city.

The sources added that the camps have been equipped with basic living supplies and that the residents of the camps will be given meals. The sources reaffirmed that Palestinians will be able to receive free medical treatment at hospitals in Al Arish and nearby cities.

Approximately 6,000 Palestinians have been stranded at the crossing since it was closed on June tenth, during factional fighting in Gaza.

Israeli sources said Thursday that the Rafah crossing will be reopened within two days hours, although there have been no signs of this at the crossing itself. Analysts believe that the establishment of the refugee camps is an indication that the border crisis will take much longer to resolve."

***

Well, Egypt now has its own Palestinian refugee camps! This is the result of subservience and servitude to Israel. When are the Egyptians going to liberate themselves from this Pharaoh?

Parading the Legacy
By Steve Bell, The Guardian

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Catching DEBKAfile in the Lying Act

Do you see any difference between these two photos?


Google Search Produced This Photo in 5 Seconds
The photo was uploaded to WIKIPEDIA on 03-29-2006 and was taken in Iraq with no reference whatsoever to Iran.



This is the caption of this same photo produced by DEBKAfile:

"Iran-made armor-piercing Explosively-Formed Penetrator-EFP"

DEBKAfile posted the photo in their story NATO encounters Iran-made armor-piercing EFP road bombs in Afghanistan like those Tehran sends to Iraq and Hizballah in Lebanon.

This is typical of the lies and disinformation DEBKAfile is known for.

A Wake-up Call

By Paul Craig Roberts

".....The Bush administration is preparing us for more terrorist attacks. The latest intelligence report says that Al Qaeda has regrouped, rebuilt, and has the ability to come after us again. “Al Qaeda will intensify its efforts to put operatives here,” says the report.

Security operatives, such as Michael Chertoff, and various instruments of administration propaganda have warned that we will be attacked before next year’s election. Chertoff is not a person who wants to be known as Chicken Little for telling us that the sky is falling.

Bush has the Republican Party in such a mess that it cannot survive without another 9/11. Whether authentic or orchestrated, an attack will activate Bush’s new executive orders, which create a dictatorial police state in event of “national emergency.”.....

It is possible that Bush is now too weak, that suspicion is too great, and that there is too much internal resistance in the federal bureaucracy and military for any such scenario. If so, then my prediction prior to the invasion that the US invasion of Iraq will destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement will be proven true. The Democrats’ strategy of doing nothing except making sure Bush gets his way will produce the landslide that they expect.

However, this assumes that Cheney, Rove, and their neoconservative allies have lost their cunning and their manipulative skills. It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous assumption
for Democrats and the American people to make.

Once the US experiences new attacks, Bush will be vindicated. His voice will be confident as he speaks to the nation: “My administration knew that there would be more attacks from these terrorists who hate us and our way of life and are determined to destroy every one of us. If only more of you had believed me and supported my war on terror these new attacks would not have happened. Our security efforts were impaired by the Democrats’ determined attempts to surrender to the terrorists by forcing our withdrawal from Iraq and by civil libertarian assaults on our necessary security measures. If only more Americans had trusted their government, this would not have happened.” And so on. Anyone should be able to write the script."

A confined space


After being forced from their homes in Nahr al-Bared, Palestinian refugees are now living in Baddawi refugee camp. Here children from Nahr al-Bared play in the hallways of a UN school where many families are currently living, 19 July 2007. (Matthew Cassel)

Dr. Marcy Newman writing from Beirut, Live from Lebanon, 19 July 2007

"......The overcrowded, densely populated Baddawi refugee camp, filled with double its population, where people are trapped inside for fear of harassment at a checkpoint, is a constant reminder of my spatial surroundings. The recent arrivals in Baddawi, those who fled Nahr al-Bared last week, shared stories with me of what their space has been like for them the past several weeks. They were among the 150-200 Palestinians who fled in this latest, though slight, lull in the army's bombardment of the refugee camp. As has become the custom, teenage boys and men were rounded up and detained by the army. There were photographs of devastating destruction of the homes and community spaces in the camp, of the people who have been injured from the army's siege -- men, women, and children alike. The buildings are so destroyed that one cannot see people's effects remaining. Instead, one sees the few buildings that remain without walls and floors angled to the ground below, everything having slid down to the ground. One sees the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam fighting in the narrow alleys of the camp. One sees not just fragments of buildings, but lives that were lost, communities that were ruined......

These images and stories recall past wars on Palestinian camps in Lebanon and in occupied Palestine. I was sitting with a friend of mine in Shatila who lived through both the invasion of the Israelis/Phalangist movement and the Amal movement in the 1980s the other day when a man from Nahr al-Bared walked into his office. He was in anguish over all he has lost in the camp -- not his home and thankfully not his family, but his photographs, they key to his family's home in Palestine. Reminders of one's spatial history and communities. My friend, whose home in Shatila was destroyed in the war of the camps in the 1980s, began to consider all that he lost from his family's home in Palestine, to loved ones during the camp battles in Beirut, to the objects connecting him to these stories and experiences. Speaking quietly, he offered, "If only I had at least one photograph of myself from before 1967 ..." If only.

It is this past, which may not be represented in photographs any longer as they became and become ashes, that directly informs the fears of Palestinians who want their communities back, if only until al-awda (the right of return to Palestine). If only."

The two-state solution is dead

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

"Like confused, disoriented children, Palestinian leaders and politicians keep babbling about building a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as if the prospect of creating such a state is still real. Some of these leaders, like PA president Mahmoud Abbas and his “eternally-optimistic” Prime Minister Salam Fayadh, even have the audacity to refer to their hapless Ramallah fief as “state of Palestine.”

I really can’t comprehend how these people, who are entrusted with the national burden, continue to deceive themselves and their people, in such a scandalous and obscene manner, by incessantly talking about an impossible state that will never ever see the light, not now or after fifty years.Are they drunk? Are they blind? Are they stupid?....

Israel simply has killed that possibility by building as many as 200 Jewish towns and colonies on the very small territory these misguided leaders are still dreaming of building their putative state. Moreover, Israel has already transferred over half a million fanatical settlers onto the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which really renders any prospect of establishing a Palestinian state worthy of the name utterly unrealistic if not outright impossible......

Arafat’s successors, who have apparently decided to place themselves squarely into Israel’s and America’s laps, mainly in order to isolate Hamas at any price and by whatever means necessary, don’t have the courage to recognize the obvious, namely that there is no real prospect for a Palestinian state.......

Of course, Israel doesn’t like to hear anything about the death of the two-state solution. Israel wants the two-state solution to die practically a quiet and gradual death but hopes to keep it alive formally. This is exactly what has happened as the Israeli government continues to assert its commitment to Palestinian statehood while doing everything possible on the ground to eviscerate such a prospective state of substance......

Needless to say, such a hapless and disfigured entity, the kind of which Israel and her guardian-ally would be a solution for Zionism’s demographic problem, not for the Palestinian question. It is a “state” onto which Israel would eventually dump all unwanted Palestinians, including Israel’s own Palestinian citizens…because “Israel is a Jewish state and you are not Jews.”!!!!.....

Israel will continue to create facts on the ground all over the West Bank until it reaches the point at which a further expansion becomes undesirable. At that point, Israel would appeal “earnestly” to “our Palestinian cousins to come to the peace table and, please, give peace a chance.”......

The deceitful, poisoned words, reflecting “the New Israel” would leave an instant positive impression on Naïve Europeans and North Americans, and the Jewish-controlled media in the west, especially in North America, would just parrot and prominently feature “the earnest calls for peace coming from Israel”.......

Furthermore, the American congress would hold a special session to endorse and bless Israel’s peace drive and to urge the Arabs and especially Palestinians to be realistic and abandon the “culture of hate.” Even the UN Security Council would hold a special session at US request, praising Israel’s “good-will toward the Palestinians,” and calling on Palestinians to reciprocate.

In short, the whole world would celebrate the final consummation of the murder of Palestine. And in case the frustrated and thoroughly tormented Palestinians cried out for justice, they would harshly be silenced and accused of wanting to perpetuate war and conflict and set the clock of time backward when peace was finally getting a real chance. There is no doubt that this is Israel’s ultimate plan for the Palestinians and their homeland......

But there is still a slim chance to avert the unthinkable which is not really unpredictable, given the history of the Middle East. This chance lies in the creation of a single democratic and civil state in the area extending from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan. In such a state, Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and equality, without any discrimination based on religion, color or race.

It is either one state for all, or war, death and destruction for many many years to come. Because Palestinians, who already make up 50% of the population of Palestine-Israel are here to stay. They won’t leave. And they won’t accept occupation and apartheid forever."

Because the Pharaoh Has No Balls: Egypt opens shelters in Sinai to house stranded Palestinians


"Egypt opened shelters on Thursday to house hundreds of Palestinians stranded at the closed border with the Gaza Strip for fear that some could resort to sleeping on the streets, an Egyptian official said.

Border guards and police patrolling the Egyptian border were put on alert over concern that Palestinians in Gaza would blow holes in a border wall to allow those stranded to return home.

The Rafah crossing point into Gaza has been largely shut since June 9, shortly before Hamas Islamists routed Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and took control of the territory.

The Egyptian Red Crescent estimates that roughly 5,000 Palestinians are stranded in dusty Egyptian towns in north Sinai. Many of those have been living in cramped, low-budget hotel rooms or sleeping on mats on the floor in bare concrete shelters as their money runs out.

Ahmed Abdel Hamid, the governor of northern Sinai, told reporters that the government had set up seven shelters in schools, military camps and a youth shelter in el-Arish that could house 900 Palestinians.

"These centers have opened now ... They were opened after some Palestinians ran out of money to guard against them sleeping in the streets," Abdel Hamid said.

He said meals would be served on a daily basis to Palestinians living in the shelters, but the authorities had so far only managed to raise part of the necessary funds.

Local public hospitals had also been instructed to treat stranded Palestinians for free, Abdel Hamid said. He added that more schools could be used to house Palestinians.

Egyptian officials say that most of the stranded Palestinians are Gazans who sought medical treatment abroad, although some were holidaymakers.

Although Palestinian and Egyptian officials technically control the crossing, it can be blocked by Israel......"

The Iran Daily Interview With Jonathan Cook


by Amir Tajik / July 19th, 2007

This is the full text of an interview, conducted by Amir Tajik, published in the English-language Iran Daily on 16 July 2007. Jonathan Cook is a British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State (Pluto Press, 2006) and the forthcoming Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East.

"You have declared that Israel’s attack on Lebanon’s Hezbollah was based on a prepared script. Which countries do you think contributed to this script?

Why attack Lebanon?

Were the Qana attack and demolition of the UN building part of this script?

Israel didn’t attack non-Muslim districts of Lebanon during the 33-day war. Was it deliberate?

Do you agree that Israel is the Middle East’s US military base?

What ambiguities did the Winograd report clarify for both Israel and the US? And what ambiguities did the report itself have?

Why didn’t Arab regimes support Hezbollah during the 33-day war? Wasn’t Hezbollah fighting Israel on behalf of the Arab world?

Israel is often touted by the western media as the only democratic state in the Middle East. Is that true?

Efforts by western countries to resolve the Palestinian crisis are overwhelmed by their concerns for Israeli security. What should be done to change the situation and achieve a sustainable and fair solution?

Jews were promised “a peaceful land” in occupied Palestine when they were encouraged to move there from around the world. Now they’re living like soldiers, constantly fighting for their own security. Given this background, who is an Israeli?

How widespread is the identity crisis among Israelis?

What differentiates Israeli political parties? What are their common points?

Do you think Israel will ultimately accept the formation of a Palestinian state?"

Yes, Bush Is Naked, What of It?


On the Middle East Catwalk with the Bush Administration

by Tony Karon

"President Bush’s announcement of a new Middle East summit is being dutifully reported as a move to “revive” the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, designed to culminate in a two-state solution. But the meeting, if it ever comes about, will be nothing of the sort. U.S. officials have already made clear that the gathering’s purpose will be “to review progress toward building Palestinian institutions, look for ways to support further reforms and support the effort going on right now between the parties together.”

Mushy? Of course it’s mushy. The Bush speech simply restated the key term of the administration’s long dead “roadmap” — before there can be peace talks, the Palestinians will be required to destroy Hamas. In other words, there will be no peace talks, just a lot of wishful thinking. As White House Press Secretary Tony Snow put it, “I think a lot of people are inclined to try to treat this as a big peace conference. It’s not.”......

In this absurdist take on the old fairytale, whenever anyone points out that the emperor has no clothes, they are simply told “duh!” before the players get back acting as if it’s fashion week in the palace. The parlor game in all of this might be deciding which of Bush’s courtiers is the most craven and cynical. The competition is fierce, but here’s a handicapping of the race....

.....Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) had an ambiguous role in the script written by Ariel Sharon and green-lighted by the Bush administration:

Let Abu Mazen succeed in order to marginalize Arafat, end the armed intifada, and achieve for Israel a measure of security. But let him succeed only so far and no further. Let him bring about a more peaceful situation without benefiting from its potential political returns. For Abu Mazen’s success could bring him strength, and his strength would revitalize the threat of a unified Palestinian movement that his rise was meant to thwart.”

Having gambled his political life on the willingness of the United States to press Israel to conclude a two-state deal, Abbas has long been glumly aware of just how bare the negotiation cupboard really is. For years now, he has had to stand by silently being damned, in the eyes of his own people, by the minimalist praise and parsimonious gestures occasionally tossed his way......

That really is one great tragedy of the Bush administration, which essentially outsourced its policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Ariel Sharon. Sharon’s ideas are now so deeply embedded in the mainstream of both parties on Capitol Hill that Congress is even more anti-Palestinian than the administration. As the presidential candidates of both parties fall over one another to take ever harder-line stances on the Palestinians, Iran, and any other subject of concern to Israel, it’s an odds-on bet that the naked imperial fashion show will continue, no matter who replaces Bush on the imperial throne."

Bush's Wooden-Headedness Kills


NEI Ducks Key Issues

By RAY McGOVERN
CounterPunch

"President George W. Bush is convinced, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that he is on the right course in the war in Iraq and the struggle against terrorism. He says he will not change his mind. Thus, we are at an historic moment; and we would be well advised to see what light historians might shed on our current predicament in Iraq and the basic (but unanswered) question as to why so many people resort to terrorism against us.

Historian Barbara Tuchman addressed the kind of situation we face at this juncture in our country's history in her best-selling book, "The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam." (Had she lived, she surely would have updated the book to take Iraq into account).

Tuchman wrote:

"Wooden-headedness...plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts."

Tuchman referred in this context to 16th century Philip II of Spain as the Nobel-laureate (so to speak) woodenhead of all time: "No experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence." Comparisons, I know, can be invidious, but Philip amassed too much power and drained state revenues by failed adventures overseas, leading to Spain's decline. Sadly, Tuchman, who died in 1989, cannot opine as to whether history will see George W. Bush as having displaced Philip as supreme woodenhead. Bush would have a good shot at it, it seems to me....."

Palestinian security forces have become a tool for oppression, says PLC spokesman, Dr. Ahmad Bahar


"Gaza – Ma'an – The acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Ahmad Bahar, a Hamas representative, has on Thursday condemned the attack on Hamas PLC deputy Ahmad Al Haj Ali by Palestinian security services in Nablus.

In a statement received by Ma'an, Bahar said that the security forces have "become a tool for oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank".

Bahar further blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the entire situation. He called upon the international community and its lawmakers for intermediate intervention to bring about the release of Hamas members who have been taken prisoner by the Palestinian security forces.

The PLC spokesman concluded, condemning the continuation of Israel's kidnapping of Palestinian law makers, the number of arrested Palestinian parliamentarians has risen to 45."

War Pimp Alert: IDF: Hamas is smuggling high-tech arms into Gaza

"A senior Israel Defense Forces officer said Thursday that in the past two years Hamas has made a significant leap in the level of sophistication of the arms it is smuggling into Gaza, which he said has reached "import" dimensions.

The officer said Hamas has been able to smuggle in a large quantity of weapons primarily because the border with Egypt has been completely porous following the militant group's takeover of the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas has jumped light years in its capabilities since Israel withdrew from Gaza two years ago," the official said. "Now that Hamas controls Gaza, it is even easier for the group to smuggle weapons across the Egyptian border," he continued.....

The officer said that Israel and Hamas are on a "collision course" in the Gaza Strip, adding that Israel does not have unlimited time to deal a serious blow to Hamas' strengthening in the Strip.....

Hamas rejected the assessment. "This is not true," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "They want to use this as a pretext to tighten the siege on Gaza."....."

Israel’s illegal Occupation is violent and ongoing


by Sonja Karkar
Women for Palestine

"Six years ago almost to the day, the great intellectual Edward Said wrote an article(1) that could almost have been written today. Then he said, “Rarely have I seen such a concentration of Israeli mendacity received with such cringing servility by Palestinians, and all this while millions of Palestinians are suffering the worst possible collective punishment.” I have no doubt that he would have been even more scathing about the state of play now because it seems the Palestinian leadership (many of whom are still around) has learned nothing from the endless deception and betrayal carried out by Israel during all the years of peace talks. Only Israel has gained in this illegal occupation, and criminally so, at the devastating expense of the Palestinian people......

.....Yet, we are supposed to use the language of diplomacy and democracy instead of calling a spade a spade. The Fatah politicians talk about capacity and institution building, extract promises from Palestinians to forgo resistance and agree with Israel to round up anyone who might just have an association with Hamas. Never mind that Israeli soldiers continue their raids into Palestinian towns and continue their brutish violence against a terrified civilian population. Never mind that Gaza is being hermetically sealed from the outside world and the people are being forced to depend on the most basic aid. As the latest staged scenario plays itself out, it is apparent that the US no longer controls the situation, Europe is floundering, the UN is a lame duck , the Palestinian people are the hapless quarries, caged and almost beaten into submission and Israel takes what it wants. And all the while, the politicians smile, shake hands and talk about a “new future” with nary a word about the ordinary people suffering extraordinary hardships under the yoke of Israel’s violent occupation.

Edward Said’s words may have been written in 2001, but the thrust of his message is no less resounding: “. . . no matter the occasion, no matter the question, no matter the newspaper or TV or radio journalist, every question must first be answered with a few basic points about the military occupation . . . This is the source of violence, this is the source of the main problems, and it is the reason Israel can never have real peace. Our entire political position must be based on ending the occupation and this must take precedence over any and every other consideration. . .” It is the occupation, the occupation and the occupation over and over again."