Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Decider at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention
(Reuters photo)

Top US Jewish group recognises genocide of 1.5 million Armenians

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
The Independent

"The Anti-Defamation League, a leading US-based Jewish organisation, has for the first time - and with some reluctance - recognised the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks between 1915 and 1917 as genocide.

It did so under pressure from some American Jewish communities, including those in areas where there are Armenian populations, and against a background of attempts to push a new bill through Congress to force the United States to recognise the genocide. Like Israel, the US does not officially acknowledge it......."

Turning Iraq into Vietnam

Bush's Killing Fields


".....The only reason we stayed in Vietnam as long as we did was to avoid the U.S. superpower from being perceived as the "loser." American involvement in Vietnam finally ended because our soldiers refused to fight, our people took to the streets in record numbers, Nixon was weakened by his impending impeachment, and the North Vietnamese--unlike the government in the South--won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people.

Congress has no more will to end the Iraq War than it did the Vietnam War. It was one year after our troops came home that Congress finally cut the funding for all support of the South Vietnamese government; Nixon didn't veto the bill because he needed insurance against impeachment. There is no substantial support in Congress or among the leading presidential candidates to bring all the troops home and disband the mega-bases Bush has built in Iraq.

Resistance to the Iraq War will continue to grow within the military. Like the Vietnamese, the Iraqis will be instrumental in ending Bush's war. The soldiers pegged it in their op-ed: Iraqis "will soon realize that the best way to regain their dignity is to call us what we are--an army of occupation--and force our withdrawal.""

History, the Last Refuge of Scoundrels

"We'll All Be Dead"


"We'll never know whether Germanicus, the highly accomplished Roman general, was mortified by the actions of his spawn, the insane and insanely destructive emperor Caligula. Or whether he was even more humiliated that, on top of that particularly notable contribution to imperial history, his grandson Nero would later strive valiantly to best the family high-water mark for sheer degenerate depravity. We won't know because Germanicus had the good grace or the good fortune to die before either of them came to power.

Not so George H. W. Bush. He's still very alive, and there's little he can do to avoid the shame of having fathered the boy who nearly ruined America, and may yet still do so in his remaining 17 months as the country's emperor......

Bob Woodward once asked Bush, "How is history likely to judge your Iraq war?" His response? "History, we don't know--we'll all be dead."

Notwithstanding that this is perhaps the most honest sentence ever to pass across this sorry Caligula's perpetually lying lips, he might also have mentioned, while he was at it, that one hell of a lot of us are already dead because of his lies and aggression.

Like about a million Iraqi civilians, so far. And counting.

Yeah, you'd think he might have mentioned that part. Unless you're the Bush administration, that is, for whom not counting is just yet another way of lying and aggressing.

Welcome to History, regressive style."

The Great Financial Crisis

Who's Got a Turd in His Briefcase?


"......Where is Greenspan, since he started the whole scam with his low interest, deregulated financial markets? The homely hero of all hedge-derivatives-innovative financial scamsters sanctioned, approved and promoted the pyramid swindles. He's off advising Deutsch Bank and suckering the international bankers for $100,000 fees for his failed financial recipes. But for those speculators who made a bundle and left, Greenspan is not part of the emerging turd culture. For them he is still the financial genius who made their fortunes......

Let them lose their pants, writes orthodox Market pundits like Marty Wolf in the Financial Times. "In order to value risk, they should lose properly. To bail them out", they argue, "is a moral hazard." Meaning of course, that if the hype and scam speculators are covered by a Federal Bank bail out, they lose nothing, and will repeat swindling in the future. Bailouts are a formula for financial scam recidivism. So much, alas, for the advice of orthodox market experts. European Central Banks and the US Federal Reserve know what class they represent: Real existing speculator plungers, not textbook risk-calculating value-oriented entrepreneurs, are their reference group. The risk of letting the bad boys sink is that there are too many of them, working in most of the most powerful investment houses, managing too many funds, for the most powerful financiers.

"There are no good financiers and bad speculators", one philosophically inclined fund manager (who is likely carrying a turd) put it, "We are all in this together, if we sink so does the whole financial system." Is this a self-interested plea for financial solidarity, a closet Marxist or a prophet of doom? Nobody knows till we delve into the Black Hole of the financial crisis. That won't happen till the brief cases open."

Don't Carpool with Nouri al-Maliki


"As he heads for the office these days Nouri al-Maliki should bid his family especially tender farewells. If the patterns of US foreign policy are any guide, the Iraqi prime minister is a very poor insurance risk......

Here's where al-Maliki should take a look at a dark episode in Vietnam not long before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963. A few weeks earlier in that same month a coup, code-named Operation Bravo Two, pushed by U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and the CIA, and executed by South Vietnamese officers led swiftly to the murder of South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem and Diem's brother......"

Mark your calenders: Tunnel Trade on Aljazeera

"I'm going take the liberty to use a post for advertisement. After all, what kind of blog would this be if I didn't use it for shameless self-promotion? I'm happy to announce that finally-after months of hard work-our film (our being Saeed Farouky, myself, and the wonderful production team at Tourist with a Typewriter in London), Tunnel Trade, will air on Aljazeera English at the following dates and times:

Monday, September 2, 2007
14:30 GMT and again at 01:30 GMT

Thursday, September 5, 2007
01:30 and 13:30

Friday, September 6, 2007
06:30 and 08:30

If you don't get the channel, you can watch the program live on their website."

Bishara: Now Hezbollah is stronger than ever


"25/08/2007 Former Arab MK Azmi Bishara praised Hezbollah Friday, saying it is now stronger than ever. Bishara made the comments during a tour of south Lebanon border villages, where he visited the graves of Lebanese war victims and met with their families.
"Everybody envies the Lebanese for their resistance (Hezbollah) and its leadership, but I envy the resistance for its people," said Bishara, according to comments carried by the state-run National News Agency. Bishara also condemned Israeli attacks against innocent Lebanese civilians during the fighting last year.
"The massacres that were carried out by Israel were not a coincidence but were a strategic policy to frighten people," he said.
He praised Hezbollah for its performance during the 34-day war last summer. "I am convinced that Israel has become incapable of attacking Lebanon again, and that is a very big achievement for the resistance," he said. "Hezbollah has rearmed itself in the last year and perhaps is now stronger than ever, he added," according to the NNA. He did not elaborate. Israeli Police said Bishara would be arrested immediately if he returns to occupied Palestine on charges of espionage for Hezbollah during last summer's war.
Both he and Hezbollah have denied the accusations. He has said he is a victim of political persecution."

Ex-MK Bishara says will head bid to try U.S., Israeli 'war criminals'

"Former Israeli Arab MK and Balad chairman, Azmi Bishara, accused by Israel of spying for Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War told a Lebanese newspaper he will head an international push to try "the war criminals, Israel and America".

Bishara made the statement while touring south Lebanon, where he was hosted by Hezbollah's media division. He said Israel and the United States would be condemned for the damage they caused to Lebanon during last year's war.

On his tour, he visited Hezbollah battle headquarters north of the Israeli town of Avivim, and Bint Jbail where he laid wreaths on the graves of civilians killed in the fighting last summer. Bishara also visited Kfar Qana where an Israel Air Forces strike killed 29 in the community center during the Second Lebanon War.

Bishara called the attack on Kfar Qana the worst civilian slaughter since Deir Yassin in 1948, adding that these incidents made the "long-awaited agreement with the Zionist entity an impossibility".

In a speech Friday, Bishara praised Hezbollah saying it is now stronger than ever.

"Everybody envies the Lebanese for their resistance [Hezbollah] and its leadership, but I envy the resistance for its people," said Bishara, according to comments carried by the state-run National News Agency.

Bishara also condemned Israeli attacks against innocent Lebanese civilians during the fighting last year.

"The massacres that were carried out by Israel were not a coincidence but were a strategic policy to frighten people," he said......."

Deception, Lies and Manipulation of Palestinian Public Opinion

A Comment by Tony Sayegh

The current online poll by the Arabic Al-Jazeera is very interesting and illustrative of the attempts of the PA and those behind it (Israel, the U.S., the E.U. and the various puppet Arab regimes) to manipulate Arab public opinion in general and Palestinian public opinion in particular.

The poll was introduced on August 23 and it asks an important and timely question. The question is about who is responsible for the cutoff of electricity in Gaza: the Fayyad government, the Haniyya government or both. This is an important question especially since the quisling Fayyad “government” attempted to use the crisis and the resulting human suffering in Gaza, for which it was directly responsible, to turn the Palestinians in Gaza against Hamas. Fayyad’s henchmen openly asked the population in Gaza to rise up and demonstrate in the streets against Hamas and to blame their suffering on Hamas.

This is a step in a series of steps being taken by the PA to reintroduce chaos and turbulence in Gaza. Strikes and worker stoppages are being attempted again; one of these by medical professionals of all people. Fatah supporters are urged to demonstrate in the streets (Hamas rallies are prohibited in the West Bank), but then when they use violence and are dispersed by the police, they cry foul and Hamas is accused of curtailing the freedom of the press. It is a case of heads I win, tails you lose.

It is all indicative of intelligence and organization the PA does not possess. It is the handiwork of Elliott Abrams all over again and it is attempting the creative chaos, a la the Chilean model that toppled Allende, one more time.

Back to the poll; admittedly its results reflect the views of the larger Arab public, not just that of the Palestinians. However, those views should be similar if not identical. I followed the results from the beginning and initially they remained pretty much stable, as would be expected in a random poll. After 3,000 had taken part the results were: Fayyad responsible (77%), Haniyya responsible (9%) and both responsible (14%). Soon after that, the results began to shift consistently in a decidedly one direction: increased blame for Haniyya and reduced blame for Fayyad. As of this writing, with 17,000 responding, those blaming Fayyad are down to 71% and those blaming Haniyya are up to 16%. Still, it is not what Fayyad and those behind him had hoped for.

The important point is that there is a determined and organized effort to distort and shape Palestinian public opinion. Money being handed over to the PA as well as advice and training by the U.S. and various NGOs are being put to work. This is just a small part of a wider media campaign to sell the PA and the American line to the Palestinian and Arab public. Most of the Palestinian media, including radio and television, is controlled by the PA and its hacks. Similarly, most of the Arab media has been bought and is controlled by Saudi money and is peddling the American line, after all of the disasters that the U.S. has brought to Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, etc.

It was interesting that on the same day that this Al-Jazeera poll was introduced, the PA surrogate Ghassan Khatib, masquerading as a pollster, published the results of a “poll” showing increased support for the Fayyad “government” and declining support for Hamas. I commented on those results and on who Khatib is in an earlier comment. The contrast between the results of these two polls is dramatic which should totally discredit Khatib and his “polls.”

Even I question the 'truth' about 9/11

By Robert Fisk

"......But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It's not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93's debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I'm not talking about the crazed "research" of David Icke's Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the "raver" bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be "fraudulent or deceptive"......

But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose "Islamic" advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the "Fajr" prayer to be included in Atta's letter.

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious "war on terror" which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush's happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that "we're an empire now – we create our own reality". True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Latest Latuff Cartoon

By Abu Mahjoob

Azmi Bishara: Now Hezbollah is stronger than ever

"A former Arab Israeli lawmaker accused by Israel of spying for Hezbollah during its war with Israel last summer praised the guerrilla group Friday, saying it is now stronger than ever.

Azmi Bishara, a once prominent Arab Israeli Knesset leader who has been on the run since June, made the comments during a tour of south Lebanon border villages, where he visited the graves of Lebanese war victims and met with their families.

"Everybody envies the Lebanese for their resistance [Hezbollah] and its leadership, but I envy the resistance for its people," said Bishara, according to comments carried by the state-run National News Agency.

Bishara also condemned Israeli attacks against innocent Lebanese civilians during the fighting last year. "The massacres that were carried out by Israel were not a coincidence but were a strategic policy to frighten people," he said.

He praised Hezbollah for its performance during the 34-day war last summer, which was triggered by Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross border guerrilla raid. "I am convinced that Israel has become incapable of attacking Lebanon again, and that is a very big achievement for the resistance," he said.

"Hezbollah has rearmed itself in the last year and perhaps is now stronger than ever, he added," according to the NNA. He did not elaborate......"

The next intifada

By Miko Peled, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 24, 2007
(Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist and writer living in the US, and co-founder of the Elbanna Peled Foundation. He is the son of the late Israeli General Matti Peled)

"With his latest statements and unrestrained violence, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, has once again confirmed that the occupation, the oppression and the slow genocide of Palestinians by the Israeli war machine he heads will not stop. Any talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders are meaningless he says, and as far as he is concerned there will be no relief for the Palestinians, not even symbolic relief for people trying to cross the checkpoints. After all, even a short delay at the checkpoint can put an end to the life on an innocent Palestinian. Barak who has earned the dubious distinction of Israel's most decorated soldier, by killing mostly unarmed Palestinian civilians, will do nothing that might hinder the liquidation of Palestinians, young or old. With Barak in control of Israel's security apparatus Israelis and Palestinians can expect more violence and more losses of innocent lives......

In a recent article that was published in the United States, Dr. Mona El Farra from Gaza wrote that, "This may seem an unlikely time to discuss the prospect of one state with equal rights for all, but the fighting in Gaza makes clear that a cordoned-off Gaza Bantustan is no solution." The question that Dr. El Farra raises is monumental: Why is it right to speak of equal rights everywhere except for Israel and Palestine? Indeed, it may be an unlikely time but it is never the less the right time to discuss the establishment of a secular, democratic state in Israel/Palestine in which human and civil rights are guaranteed to all its citizens.

Clearly it is time for Israelis and Palestinians to rise and defy the highly decorated General Barak and the violent system he heads. It is a system that through the use and manipulation of violence has kept the two nations captive within the conflict for 60 years. It is time for a joint, non-violent struggle that will finally free the two peoples from the violence imposed on them, and bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Hamas unveils documents revealing collaboration between PA security and enemy

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas has uncovered, on Thursday, more documents that prove the collaboration of the previous PA security agencies in Gaza with spy agencies of foreign countries.

Said Seyam, former Interior Minister, said: "The [former] PA Preventive Security Apparatus and the [former] PA General Intelligence Apparatus spied on the resistance in terms of their training camps, their arms, their cadres and supplied the information to enemy intelligence agencies both Zionist and Western. This was followed by the bombing of a number of positions, cars and homes which were associated with the resistance."

He also proved using documents that the two apparatuses were involved in spying on a number of leaders and wanted activists both political and military including Dr. Abdel-Aziz al-Rantisi, Adnan al-Ghoul and Muhammad Daif as well as the Hamas office which was frequented by Sheik Ahmad Yassin.

He also revealed that those apparatuses did coordinate with Israeli, American and other foreign spy agencies since 1997, providing them with information on Islamic activists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip......

He also showed the minutes of a meeting between chiefs of the former PA preventive security and CIA officers in which they discuss ways of spying on Muhammad al-Daif, general commander of the Qassam Brigades. Amongst the suggestions made was bugging Daif's car and mobile phone.

The minutes mention the name John, representing the CIA who suggested a present in the form of a cigarette ashtray which will be bugged.

Seyam commented on this saying that if any information reaches the CIA then it definitely reaches the Israeli occupation.

The minutes of another meeting with Mark and Tom from the CIA discuss ways of spying on Dr. Abdel-Aziz al-Rantisi, the prominent Hamas leader who was assassinated by the Israeli occupation. Tom also suggests entering Sheikh Ahmad Yassin's office to survey it and plant bugs in the office.

Seyam also revealed cooperation between the former PA preventive security, the CIA and British intelligence to conspire against Hamas.

He also revealed the help PA security extended to the Israeli occupation to assassinate many leaders and military activists.

These contacts did not stop even when Hamas formed the government as officers of the PA security held meetings with Italian, Spanish and British agents, without the knowledge of the government, during which information about the resistance and Hamas in particular was divulged.

Seyam also revealed a plan prepared by the PA security to thwart Hamas in the West Bank, mainly through assassination of prominent activists."

US 'poised to strike Iran'

BOB Baer, the former Middle East CIA operative whose first book about his life inspired the oil-and-espionage thriller Syriana, is working on a new book on Iran, but says he was told by senior intelligence officials that he had better get it published in the next couple of months because things could be about to change.

"Baer, in an interview with The Weekend Australian, says his contacts in the administration suggest a strategic airstrike on Iran is a real possibility in the months ahead.

"What I'm getting is a sense that their sentiment is they are going to hit the Iranians and not just because of Israel, but due to the fact that Iran is the predominant power in the Gulf and it is hostile and its power is creeping into the Gulf at every level," Baer says.

He says his contacts have told him of his book: "You better hurry up because the thesis is going to change. I told them submission is in January but they said, 'You're probably going to be too late'."......

He agrees with many in the intelligence community in Washington that a strike on Iran could be a disaster and counterproductive to US interests, but he says that the rising level of impatience in the Bush administration over Iran's belligerence on its nuclear program and its destabilising role in Iraq could mean that something snaps.

"In the CIA, they are calling what the Iranians are doing to us in Iraq as the slow cook -- where we get cooked there for the next 10 years and then we give up completely and leave."

But Baer says an emboldened Iran in the event of mass US withdrawal from Iraq "scares the shit out of Saudis, the Bahrainis and all the Arab gulf states". "They are saying: 'What are you going to do now that you've created a mess in Iraq and what are you going to do about Iran?'."

Intelligence sources say military contingency planning on Iran under the Bush administration has been under way since 2003 but the latest speculation has been a surgical strike on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard......"

By Pat Bagley

US: President must agree with our policies in region

Al-Manar - Mohamad Shmaysani

"24/08/2007 US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch held talks with French officials in Paris, resulting in a serious disagreement between the two sides and a refusal by the American diplomat of any concession for the sake of settling the Lebanese crisis.

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily quoted a "diplomatic report" that has reached Beirut as saying that Welch supports electing a president from the Lebanese bloc that agrees with US policies in the region. "We are ready to accept a president from outside this bloc on condition that he is moderate and expresses frankly his willingness to cooperate with us, not to confront our policy in Lebanon and the region and to have a clear stance regarding Hezbollah and future relations with Syria. The US also wants to have presidential election held on time without any amendment of the constitution......"

Finally....The Lebanese "Army" Can Do Something Besides Serving Tea to the IOF,
And Raising the White Flag...

More War on the Horizon

A Good Piece

By Paul Craig Roberts

"No pullout from Iraq while I'm president, declares George W. Bush.

On to Iran, declares Vice President Cheney.

Israel is a "peace-seeking state" that needs $30 billion of US taxpayers' money for war, declares State Department official Nicholas Burns.

The Democratic Congress, if not fully behind the Iraqi war, at least no longer is in the way of it. Nor are the Democrats in the way of the Bush regime's build up for initiating war with Iran.

The Bush regime says it is going to designate part of Iran's military – the Revolutionary Guards – a terrorist organization, whose bases and facilities Bush intends to bomb along with Iran's nuclear energy sites. Three US aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran. B-2 Stealth Bombers are being fitted to carry 30,000 pound "bunker-buster" bombs to use against hardened sites. Politicized US generals assert that Iran is providing arms and aid to the Iraqi resistance to the US occupation. The media is feeding the US population the same propaganda about nonexistent Iranian weapons of mass destruction that they fed us about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. A former CIA Middle East field officer, Robert Baer, has written in Time magazine that the Bush regime has decided to attack the Revolutionary Guards within the next 6 months. Remember the "cakewalk war"? Well, this time the neocons think that an attack on the Revolutionary Guards will free Iran from Islamic influence and cause Iranians to back the US against their own government.

Lies, unprovoked aggression, and delusional expectations – the same ingredients that produced the Iraq catastrophe – all over again. The entire Bush regime and both political parties are complicit, along with the media and US allies.......

The Bush regime's planned war against Iran casts light on the large increase in military armaments that the US is supplying to Israel. With Iraq in chaos and civil war, an attack on Iran leaves as opposition to Israel only Syria and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel cannot finish off the Palestinians until Hezbollah is destroyed. An Israeli attack on Syria while the US attacks Iran would leave Hezbollah without supplies in the face of a new Israeli attack.

The agenda unfolding before our eyes may be the neoconservative/Israeli/Cheney plan to rid the Middle East of any check to Israeli territorial expansion. Nicholas Burns said that the $30 billion in military aid was not conditional on any Israeli concessions or progress toward resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Israel's ghettoizing and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian West Bank proceeds apace......

America's hegemonic hubris is a sickness. A country that tolerates a war criminal while he openly plans to attack yet another country is definitely not a light unto the world."

Maliki’s Fate and America’s

By Tony Karon

".......Iraq is hardly the only theater in which U.S. power is clearly on the wane. Whether it be the grandstanding of Russia and Venezuela or the more understated (and much more profound) challenge of China to U.S. geopolitical hegemony, encroaching at will now in the traditional U.S. “sphere of influence” of Latin America, sewing up Africa, and so on. A few years ago, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, comprising Russia, China, the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran (with observer status) would have been dismissed as a kind of geopolitical sour-grapes club. Instead, it represents a growing challenge to U.S. influence throughout the region. As Dilip Hiro noted recently, “No superpower in modern times has maintained its supremacy for more than several generations. And, however exceptional its leaders may have thought themselves, the United States, already clearly past its zenith, has no chance of becoming an exception to this age-old pattern of history.”.....

Hardly surprising, then, that Maliki — like all Iraqi politicians — is hedging his bets, assuming a U.S. withdrawal is inevitable at some point, and doing his best to strengthen his position for the conflicts that will follow. I wouldn’t bet on his surviving. Then again, Maliki may also be aware of a corollary to the trend of declining U.S. power most graphically illustrated in the plight of the likes of Mahmoud Abbas in the Palestinian Territories and Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan (if she continues on the path of making common cause with Musharraf at Washington’s behest): Right now, in many different parts of the world where the U.S. has vital interests at stake, being allied with Washington is less of a boon than it is a political kiss of death."

That "Oriental thang" ...

By Layla Anwar

".......And you felt so tall and so high did you not? The same way you felt with the small boy or the 14 year old girl...

Ah! tight Iraq... Saving themselves for your invasion or so you think.

People of America, I have news for you.

This is hell let loose. There is no tight here. All is flowing.

Blood is flowing, lives are flowing...
Tight bodies are flowing.
All is one huge flood, in one huge hurricane,
that will embrace you,
embrace your "tight" hearts and equally "tight" minds...

This is no Katrina, no Dean...This is the Iraqi hurricane...
The hurricane of the little boy on the boulevard, the hurricane of the 14 years old girl that was "Awww so tight"... the hurricane of the desperate, lost, " hajji"...

And this is the Arab woman you can't identify with.
She is here. Typing away...
And reminding you of the flood that will soon engulf you.

Yeah, am that "oriental thang." So pay heed."

Bush: In the footsteps of Napoleon

By Juan Cole
Asia Times

".......Ending the era of liberal imperialism

Between 1801 and 2003 stretched endless decades in which colonialism proved a plausible strategy for European powers in the Middle East, including the French enterprise in Algeria (1830-1962) and the British veiled protectorate over Egypt (1882-1922). In these years, European militaries and their weaponry were so advanced, and the means of resistance to which Arab peasants had access so limited, that colonial governments could be imposed.

That imperial moment passed with celerity after World War II, in part because the masses of the Third World joined political parties, learned to read and - with how-to-do-it examples all around them - began to mount political resistance to foreign occupations of every sort. While the 21st century American arsenal has many fancy, exceedingly destructive toys in it, nothing has changed with regard to the ability of colonized peoples to network socially and, sooner or later, push any foreign occupying force out.

Napoleon and Bush failed because both launched their operations at moments when Western military and technological superiority was not assured. While Napoleon's army had better artillery and muskets, the Egyptians had a superb cavalry and their old muskets were serviceable enough for purposes of sniping at the enemy. They also had an ally with advanced weaponry and the desire to use it - the British Navy.

In 2007, the high-tech US military - as had been true in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, as was true for the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s - is still vulnerable to guerrilla tactics and effective low-tech weapons of resistance such as roadside bombs. Even more effective has been the guerrillas' social warfare, their success in making Iraq ungovernable through the promotion of clan and sectarian feuds, through targeted bombings and other attacks, and through sabotage of the Iraqi infrastructure.

From the time of Napoleon to that of Bush, the use of the rhetoric of liberty versus tyranny, of uplift versus decadence, appears to have been a constant among imperialists from republics - and has remained domestically effective in rallying support for colonial wars......

For both Bush and Napoleon, the genteel diction of liberation, rights and prosperity served to obscure or justify a major invasion and occupation of a Middle Eastern land, involving the unleashing of slaughter and terror against its people. Military action would leave towns destroyed, families displaced and countless dead.

Given the ongoing carnage in Iraq, Bush's boast that, with "new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians", now seems not just hollow but macabre. The equation of a foreign military occupation with liberty and prosperity is, in the cold light of day, no less bizarre than the promise of war with virtually no civilian casualties.

It is no accident that many of the rhetorical strategies employed by Bush originated with Napoleon, a notorious spinmeister and confidence man. At least Napoleon looked to the future, seeing clearly the coming breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the likelihood that European powers would be able to colonize its provinces. Napoleon's failure in Egypt did not forestall decades of French colonial success in Algeria and Indochina, even if that era of imperial triumph could not, in the end, be sustained in the face of the political and social awakening of the colonized. Bush's neo-colonialism, on the other hand, swam against the tide of history, and its failure is all the more criminal for having been so predictable. "

Come back Karl Rove, all is forgiven

Without Bush's Brain in the White House, the wheels are starting to fall off. Just look at the president's last speech.

By Ian Williams
The Guardian

"There can have been few speeches more laughable than George Bush's latest. Referring to books he has surely never read, laden with specious historical parallels guaranteed to turn round and bite him in the bum, it is one long "speechwriter wanted at the White House" ad.

But bad speechwriting notwithstanding, didn't the president remember that Karl Rove's parting words were almost certainly "Don't mention Vietnam"? The parallels are obvious: a prolonged war started on false pretences in which untold thousands on both sides die and the US is eventually driven out anyway.

Quite apart from the historical echoes - the Tonkin Gulf Incident and the invented weapons of mass destruction - it has to be a definition of chutzpah for George Bush, of all people, to turn up at all at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. But to invoke Vietnam really takes the prize......."

Democracy's new dawn is on CCTV: the security state as infotainment

So keen are America's leaders to hear dissent they're videotaping the dissenters. Welcome to a world of total surveillance

Naomi Klein
Friday August 24, 2007
The Guardian

"As protesters gathered recently outside the Security and Prosperity Partnership summit in Montebello, Quebec, to confront George Bush, Felipe Calderón, the Mexican president, and Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, Associated Press reported this surreal detail: "Leaders were not able to see the protesters in person, but they could watch the protesters on TV monitors inside the hotel ... Cameramen hired to ensure that demonstrators would be able to pass along their messages to the three leaders sat idly in a tent full of audio and video equipment ... A sign on the outside of the tent said, 'Our cameras are here today providing your right to be seen and heard. Please let us help you get your message out. Thank You.'"

Yes, it's true: like contestants on a reality TV show, protesters at the SPP meeting were invited to vent into video cameras, their rants to be beamed to "protest-trons" inside the summit enclave. It was security state as infotainment - Big Brother meets, well, Big Brother. The spokesperson for Prime Minister Harper explained that although protesters were herded into empty fields, the video link meant that their right to political speech was protected. "Under the law, they need to be seen and heard, and they will be."......

Which brings us back to the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Who needs clumsy old border checks when the authorities are making sure we are seen and heard at all times - in high definition, online and off, on land and from the sky? Security is the new prosperity. Surveillance is the new democracy."

Hamas accuses PA “Justice system” of cover-up in Raddad’s murder case

From Khalid Amayreh in the occupied West Bank

"Hamas on Thursday accused the Palestinian Authority of failure to establish justice with regard to the murder last month of Muhammed Raddad, a college student at al-Najah University in Nablus . Raddad reportedly was shot and seriously wounded by a Palestinian security operative inside college campus on 24 July, 2007. The 20-year-old student succumbed to his wounds at a Nablus hospital three days later.

The identity of the murderer is known to them, he is known to everyone, he shot the martyr (Raddad) at a very close range in full view of people, and now they are trying to dilute the issue and create confusion in order to help the murderer escape with impunity,” said a Hamas spokesman in the City of Nablus. The spokesman disclosed the name of the suspect, saying that several people have given solemn affidavits stating that they saw the murderer pull his pistol and shoot the victim from a close range.”

Earlier this month, the independent Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian territories, al-Mizan , published the results of an investigation into the incident, blaming PA security “gunmen” for the murder. “Four gunmen pulled (Muhammed) Raddad, dragged him to the ground, beat him with the butts of their firearms, and kicked him. And then one gunman pulled his pistol and shot Raddad in back of his head from a close range.” Immediately after the shooting, all the security operatives left the campus abruptly as paramedics arrived on the scene to take Raddad to hospital where he died on 27 July.

Al-Mizan official, Samir Zakkut, stressed in an interview with this reporter that the killer “was not masked, and everyone present at that spot saw him carry out the act of killing.” “He shot him at a very close range, I am speaking of two or three meters at the very most.”

On Tuesday, the Najah University administration dismissed eight university students affiliated with the Islamic bloc. Some of the students are believed to have eye-witnessed the incident, sources in Nablus said.

Raddad’s mother, Um Muhammed, told this reporter on Thursday, 23 August, that she didn’t have much confidence in the PA judicial system to uphold the rule of law and establish justice with regard to her murdered son. “I have the impression that they are trying to cover up for the killer, perhaps create confusion for the purpose of diluting the case. “You know the conditions in the country,” said the woman, referring to the state of lawlessness prevailing in much of the occupied Palestinian territories......

The Hamas spokesman in Nablus, who wouldn’t give his name, probably because he fears arrest or abduction, by Fatah militiamen or PA security agencies, claimed that there was a “complete coordination between the University administration and Fatah and the security agencies against Islamic-oriented students, especially those affiliated with Hamas.”

PA security forces have arrested hundreds of pro-Hamas activists throughout the West Bank, ostensibly as revenge for the mid-June takeover by Hamas of the Gaza Strip......

The al-Mizan report blamed the “entry of the gunmen” for creating a tense atmosphere on campus. The report also recommended that the administrations of all Palestinian colleges to bar students and armed elements from entering campus."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Video: Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran. Fox Attacks : Iran

A Boycott Of Israel: Something Has Changed

By John Pilger

"......The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is as much America's crusade as Israel's. On 16 August, the Bush administration announced an unprecedented $30bn military "aid package" for Israel, the world's fourth biggest military power, an air power greater than Britain, a nuclear power greater than France. No other country on earth enjoys such immunity, allowing it to act without sanction, as Israel. No other country has such a record of lawlessness: not one of the world's tyrannies comes close. International treaties, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ratified by Iran, are ignored by Israel. There is nothing like it in UN history.

But something is changing. Perhaps last summer's panoramic horror beamed from Lebanon on to the world's TV screens provided the catalyst. Or perhaps cynicism of Bush and Blair and the incessant use of the inanity, "terror", together with the day-by-day dissemination of a fabricated insecurity in all our lives, has finally brought the attention of the international community outside the rogue states, Britain and the US, back to one of its principal sources, Israel.....

The courageous Israeli historian, Ilan Pappé, believes a single democratic state, to which the Palestinian refugees are given the right of return, is the only feasible and just solution, and that a sanctions and boycott campaign is critical in achieving this. Would the Israeli population be moved by a worldwide boycott? Although they would rarely admit it, South Africa's whites were moved enough to support an historic change. A boycott of Israeli institutions, goods and services, says Pappé, "will not change the [Israeli] position in a day, but it will send a clear message that [the premises of Zionism] are racist and unacceptable in the 21st century . . . They would have to choose." And so would the rest of us."

Preparing for the Attack on Iran: Draft report logs bleak outlook for Iran

"WASHINGTON - A draft intelligence report portrays a bleak political situation in Iran, anticipating little progress in getting Tehran to halt its nuclear program or stop supporting militant groups in the region, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The latest in a series of reports from the nation's 16 intelligence agencies, the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is nearly complete and could be shared with President Bush and other policymakers within weeks, said officials familiar with the report, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been released. The report is expected to be completed as soon as next week, one official said.

It is one of three reports the intelligence community is wrapping up on the Persian Gulf. Another looks at Iran's nuclear program. And an update on the situation in Iraq is to be released Thursday......"

Bush Invokes Vietnam to Argue Against U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"President Bush warned Wednesday that a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would lead to mass bloodshed similar to what happened in Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War. He urged critics of the current war to "learn something from history" and "resist the allure of retreat." We speak with historian and investigative journalist, Gareth Porter.

Gareth Porter, a historian and investigative journalist. He is a specialist in U.S. military and foreign policy and was the director of the IndoChina resource center towards the end of the Vietnam War. He now writes regularly on Iraq and Iran for Inter Press Service and maintains a blog on The Huffington Post. His most recent book is "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam."......

GARETH PORTER: Well, you know, the problem, of course, with that view is that we -- I mean, it’s ambiguous -- essentially ambiguous whether Nixon and Kissinger believed that they could salvage something in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and in the world or not. I mean, it depends on how you look at it. I think that it’s true that Kissinger and Nixon did not believe that they could really produce a stable, long-lasting South Vietnamese anti-communist regime. That’s pretty clear on the record.

The problem, of course, is that the real reason that those leaders continued that war for four years had very little, if anything, to do with Vietnam itself. They were more concerned with, really, their own credibility, the credibility of the US military machine, the credibility of the United States as the world's preeminent superpower, and that's why they continued that war. And I think that’s another parallel, really, that needs to be discussed between Vietnam and Iraq, because I think the same thing is true now of George Bush and the Bush administration, that they really -- that their concern is not about Iraq, per se. They cry crocodile tears about the Iraqi people, as Bush did about the Cambodian people, but they really don't care about the people. What they care about is the “credibility,” quote/unquote, of the United States.

And if you look at the Op-Ed piece by Peter Rodman in the New York Times last June, which Bush quoted yesterday -- and Rodman, by the way is the direct link between Henry Kissinger, who he worked for during the Vietnam War, and George Bush, who he worked for during the Iraq war -- Rodman and William Shawcross really were more concerned --

AMY GOODMAN: Shawcross, who wrote Sideshow --

GARETH PORTER: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: -- about Cambodia.

GARETH PORTER: About Cambodia. And it’s bizarre that Shawcross is associating himself now with Henry Kissinger’s viewpoint on Cambodia and Vietnam. But what Shawcross and Rodman expressed in that Op-Ed piece was really mostly concern about “credibility,” quote/unquote......

AMY GOODMAN: An excerpt of War Made Easy. Gareth Porter, final comment, and could you include what you’ve been writing about, which is your belief that the US might well attack Iran?

GARETH PORTER: Well, I mean, that’s right exactly. The linkage between Bush's speech, the Rodman article in the New York Times and the current situation regarding policy toward Iran is precisely that Rodman argues very specifically in his piece -- again, Rodman being a former Bush administration official, as well as a former assistant to Kissinger -- that we have to prevail in Iraq so that we can impress Iran with our determination and strength, our credibility. He says, in fact, that the United States cannot be strong against Iran or anywhere, if we accept defeat in Iraq. So these people are really girding for the potential war with Iran. I think that Rodman probably is part of that group that would like to have a war with Iran, as well. And so, I think that this is another indicator that Bush is certainly preparing for a potential war against Iran. I think that’s a very grave danger at this moment.....

AMY GOODMAN: We just have ten seconds, but Cheney's role in pushing for attacking Iran, Gareth Porter?

GARETH PORTER: Dick Cheney, we know, is determined to use the excuse of alleged Iranian training camps -- that’s camps supposedly in Iran, where Hezbollah is training the troops of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army -- as an excuse to attack Iran, with the hope that the Iranians would then retaliate and make possible then a strategic attack against Iran's -- not only the nuclear fatalities, but against economic and military targets. The aim of the Bush administration is to weaken Iran as a power in the Middle East.

صحيفة: سلام فياض رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية القادم بدلاً من عباس بـ "قرار أمريكي"

واشنطن ترى فيه رجلها الأول في فلسطين

"كشفت صحيفة "فلسطين" اليومية، التي تصدر في غزة، عن وجود خلافات شديدة بين رئيس السلطة محمود عباس ورئيس "حكومته" سلام فياض.

وأشارت إلى الانتقادات العلنية التي يطلقها فياض ضد عباس، والتي يقول فيها إن عباس لا يملك رؤية أو برنامجاً سياسياً، كما أنه لا يعرف كيف يتعامل مع الأزمة الحالية بعد الحسم العسكري في قطاع غزة، وأن هناك حالة من التخبط في القرارات.

وقالت الصحيفة نقلا عن مصادر وصفتها بأنها "مطلعة وموثوقة"، إن الخلاف خرج من نطاق عباس وفياض واتسع ليشمل طبقة أوسع ممن يحاول فياض تحشيدهم من حوله لتشكيل لوبي ضاغط

على رئيس السلطة محمود عباس للاستجابة إلى ما يسعى إليه فياض، من إثبات صحة وجهة نظره في التعامل مع الوضع الحالي، وكيفية التعاون من الإدارة الأمريكية والكيان الصهيوني.

وأشارت المصادر نفسها إلى أن محمود عباس غير مقتنع كثيراً برئيس وزرائه، ويرى أنه فُرض عليه منذ أن كان رئيساً للوزراء في حكومة الرئيس عرفات، وأن هذا الفرض جاء من الإدارة الأمريكية التي ترى أن فياض هو رجلها الأول في فلسطين.

وأضافت الصحيفة: "إن الإدارة الأمريكية باتت أكثر اقتناعاً بأن فياض سيكون رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية القادم، وأن الإدارة الأمريكية تعمل على تهيئة المجال وخلق الأجواء المؤيدة لفياض حتى في حركة "فتح" وخاصة أصحاب مشروع دايتون وأصحاب مشروع التنسيق والتطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني".

وبحسب المصادر؛ فإن "فياض اختار بدقة وعناية فائقة فريق "وزارته" وركز فيها على نوعيات محددة لها علاقة بالمشروع الأمريكي الصهيوني، مضيفة أن جل "الوزراء" في تشكيلة فياض هم من المؤيدين والمشاركين في وثيقة جنيف التي تنازلت عن حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين وتنازلت عن القدس". "

Gulf between Qaddoumi and Abbas widens as Fayyad receives US blessing for Presidential bid

----------------------------------------------------------Rice: That's My Boy!------------------------------------------------------

"Bethlehem – Ma'an – The Jordanian daily, Ad-Dustur, on Thursday quoted "reliable Palestinian sources" as saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not intend to stand in presidential elections after his term ends in a year and a half. The sources added that a prominent Fatah leader, and member of its central committee, Mahir Ghneim, has refused to be nominated as Abbas' successor.

According to the Jordanian newspaper, the relationship between Abbas and the Fatah leader-in-exile, Farouq Qaddoumi, is witnessing an increasingly wide gap. The sources described Qaddoumi as having been the main driver of Fatah's central committee, convincing members to reject Abbas' nomination of new central committee members, such as Azzam Al-Ahmad and Nabil Amr. No explanation has yet been made for the rejection.

The newspaper quoted the same sources as saying that the Palestinian leadership are frustrated. They said that the Prime Minister of the Palestinian caretaker government, Salam Fayyad, has entered the nomination arena "through the US doors".

The United States has allegedly informed Arab countries of their wish to have Fayyad nominated for the Palestinian presidential elections. So, the Jordanian paper reports, Fayyad has become Washington's nominee to become Abbas' successor, in the wake of Mohammad Dahlan falling out of favour with the US, after years of patronage ended in the failure in the Gaza confrontations with Hamas."

A question

Missing Links

"In the opinions section of Al-Masryoun this morning, a Dr Ahmad Darraj describes the Egyptian regime as having unceasingly and in every possible way, politically, culturally, and in workplaces across the country, worked to alienate the population and create a level of popular hatred against the regime, which the more it is stopped up with additional repression, the more latent power it accumulates for its eventual explosion. He says you have to ask yourself what a government is going to be able to do once it has so completely cut itself off from its people, "killing them instead of protecting them, and starving them instead of nurturing them..." He continues:

And the bigger and more pressing question is when will we see the exit of this government of starvation and of thirst, ignorance, blindness and police coercion. What is keeping alive this government whose people boycotts it and raises its banners of opposition to it in every location an of every type and every color?!! And is it possible for a ruling regime to continue, based on the support of enemies and their supporters in the White House and the Knesset, to stand up against its own people with security forces and weapons and torture!!!

The heading for this article is: "From psychological resistance to civil disobedience," his point being that the invisible discontent is about to come out into the open. We in the anglosphere don't get to hear that much about the issue of Egyptian civil discontent, one way or the other., and I post this tiny excerpt only to try and give a small indication of the enormous issues connected with US-supported regimes like that of Egypt. At the very least, if there is to be a critical debate about the Muslim Brotherhood political program, shouldn't that be balanced with an equally strong and well-informed debate about the American bi-partisan program that supports regimes like this one?"

Fox is pushing for Iran war, senator says

"23/08/2007 Senator Sanders of Vermont is backing a campaign to warn Americans that Fox News is using jingoistic programming to push the nation into a military attack on Iran. Mr. Sanders, a self-described socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, joined with a liberal filmmaker yesterday to denounce the popular cable channel for leading a drumbeat in favor of a military strike against Tehran. "The leader of that effort is Fox News, which, in many ways, is a propaganda machine," Mr. Sanders said during a conference call with reporters and bloggers. He said the network was echoing "increased rumblings" from President Bush and Vice President Cheney about the prospect of an attack on Iran.
"We have got to put pressure on the mass media not to play the same craven role that they played in Iraq, where they essentially collapsed and became a megaphone for Bush's policies," the senator said. The call was arranged by Robert Greenwald, who skewered Fox for conservative bias in his 2004 film, "Outfoxed." He released a Web video yesterday juxtaposing stark warnings the network offered recently about Iran with similar clips about Iraq before and after the American-led invasion in 2003.
"Fox wants war with Iran," Mr. Greenwald said. "It's about fear. A... Several of us were struck by the fact that we have heard all these words before." A spokeswoman for Fox News did not respond to three messages seeking comment for this article. A Democratic presidential debate scheduled to take place on Fox last week was canceled after liberal activists denounced the network as a Republican propaganda outlet and urged candidates to boycott.
The new 3 1/2-minute montage, "Fox Attacks! Iran," marries recent video of Fox reporters and guests claiming that Iran has ties to Al Qaeda with older clips of talk about Iraq's links to the terrorist group. It also draws parallels between claims about Iran's nuclear program and assertions that proved incorrect about Iraq's work on weapons of mass destruction. The video features Fox sound bites from Senator Lieberman of Connecticut and a former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. "It seems like he has his own show on the air, practically," Mr. Greenwald said. While Mr. Greenwald suggested that information about Iran's nuclear program was being distorted and exaggerated, Mr. Sanders acknowledged that Iran poses a serious threat. However, asked yesterday whether he had a plan to rein in the Islamic regime in Tehran, the senator said, "Do I have one right here in front of me? No, I don't." The filmmaker said Fox does not present voices opposed to a military strike on Iran, though the tightly edited clips on his Web site strip the snippets of nearly all context that could be used to assess that claim."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Arab Weapons of Deterrence

Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Who is responsible for the cutoff of the electricity in Gaza?

- The Fayyad government
- The Haniyya government
- Both

With over 3,000 taking part so far, here are the results:

- Fayyad---- 77%
- Haniyya--- 9%
- Both------ 14%

غزة في محرقة "المجتمع المدني" الأوروبي

د. عادل سمارة
رام الله المحتلة

" نُشر قبل بضع سنوات إعلان في الصحافة المحلية للمناطق المحتلة. هو إعلان مركًّب، موضوعه ضد المقاومة، وكاتبوه وموقعوه مثقفون "أو هكذا يزعمون ويُزعم" محليون، ودافعوا تكاليفه الأوروبيين، أو المركز الرأسمالي الأوروبي المتجدد "الإتحاد الأوروبي"، والمستفيد منه الإحتلال الصهيوني وسيدته أم البيت الأبيض والفعال السوداء.

ما ومن الذي جمع هؤلاء معاً، الله أعلم، وتعلم كذلك المصالح الفردية والفئوية والتبعية الثقافية، بمعنى أن هناك مثقفون "معظمهم من بلادنا" عبيداً عند مثقفين معظمهم من غير جلدتنا. ولكي لا نظلم الذكورية التي نحب أن نفعل بها، فإنهم مثقفون ومثقفات!

أجمع آباء هذا البيان على تسميته "بيان أل 55" وهو ما حمَّلته كجزء من كتابي عن المثقفين. "مثقفون في خدمة الآخر: بيان أل 55 نموجاً". وهو الكتاب الذي اثار حفيظة الكثيرين الذين اعتبروا هذا الأسلوب في الكتابة "لا يُراعي إلإًّ ولا ذمة" بينما قال ألطفهم: "أنت لم تترك لك أحداً يحبُّك". هذا وكأن ما يبغيه المرء في هذه البلاد هو تجنيد محبين أو عُشاق من النخبة ذات الرائحة الكريهة! وهذه حالة فصل عشوائي وتعسفي بين الوعي والقضية، باعتبار الوعي بالقضية والطبقة والأمة هو حبها.

تذكرت هذه الواقعة حيث وجدت بعض النور في مكتبتي في اللحظات التي كان قطاع غزة يموت في الظلام وحر الصيف اللاهب الذي ليس بمعدلات الطبيعة وحدها، بل اساساً من الإنبعاث الحراري من البلدان الصناعية الأوروبية أولاً وأميركا لاحقاً. فهؤلاء لم يكتفوا وخاصة الإتحاد الأوروبي أن أقاموا لنا جهنم "الصهيونية" في فلسطين، وأقاموا للعالم جهنم راس المال وجشع التراكم، فها هم يتلفون بقطع الكهرباء عن قطاع غزة، يتلفون حليب الأطفال والمواد الغذائية وعلاجات المرضى، ويغلقون كتب الطلبة.

يقوم اليوم الإتحاد الأوروبي بجريمة أفظع مما ارتكبه حتى الإحتلال، الذي كان يترنح طرباً حيث تخريب قطاع غزة لصالحه وليس على يده. وتترأس الإتحاد الأوروبي اليوم حكومة السيدة ميركل، التي يبدو وكأنها تكفِّر عن دور ما لأجدادها المباشرين بالمحرقة، فتقوم بحرقنا بخوراً في معبد محرقة قامت بها النازية.

كي لا نخدع ابنائنا واصدقائنا، فإن الغرب الراسمالي الذي لولاه لما كان في فلسطين سوى "اليهود الوطنية"، يُقيم موقفه من الصراع العربي الصهيوني على العبارة التالية:
"خُلق الكيان الصهيوني في فلسطين ليبقى، وطُرد الفلسطينيون من بلادهم ليُوطَّنوا خارجها وبعيداً عنها". ولأن الفلسطينيين يقاومون ما آتتهم القوة، فإن هذا الغرب كأنما طرح شعاراً آخر مفاده: " لا مقاومة في حقبة العولمة".

ومن هنا، فإن تخرصات هذا الغرب الراسمالي عن حقوق الإنسان، والديمقراطية، والحريات، والتعددية، والمجتمع المدني، ...إنما مقصود بها لهم كغرب وحسب. أما بقية العالم، فهم "أغيار- غوييم" وليس شرطاً أن يقولوها، فهم يؤكدونها.

يعرف المثقفون في خدمة الآخر كل هذا، ويرون بالطبع محرقة غزة، ويمتدحون ذلك، ويذهبون طبعاً إلى مؤسسات الأنجزة التي توظفهم، ويتقاطرون في طوابير ذليلة إلى المراكز الثقافية البريطانية والفرنسية والألمانية، والمؤسسات المشابهة للحكومات "غير الحكومية"، أقصد النرويج والسويد والدنمارك باعتبار هذه من "بُغاث" الطير الراسمالي الغربي التي تأتي في منزلة وسطى، اي أدنى من الحكومات الحكومية الإمبريالية ذات التاريخ والحاضر "السافل والدموي" في بلادنا والعالم، وأعلى من مجرد منظمات غير حكومية أي الأنجزة بما هي قواعد للآخر.

هذه حالة هائلة من المفارقة بنظر الغربيين القتلة على الأقل: فقد لا يستطيعون فهم كيف يمكن لمثقف محلي أن يتغزل في حرق أطفال غزة، وأين ؟ أمام من يفعل ذلك؟ الا يستدعي هذا قراءة معمقة في كره الذات؟ وهل يمكن لإنسان أن يكره شعبه إلى هذا الحد؟ وفي التحليل الأخير، هل يستحق هذا الكاره الكريه أن نقلق على حبه لنا!

ولكن، إذا كان هؤلاء المثقفين أحقر من أن يثيروا سخطنا عليهم، فإن الحري بنا أن نقرأ الغرب الرأسمالي والعنصري والمركزاني بحذر ونقد. يجب ان نقرأه جيداًً وعميقاً، لا أن نعمي أنفسنا عن قرائته باصولية وسلفية، يجب أن ننقده بعمق وعنف، وذلك على الأقل كي نحترم أنفسنا.

محرقة غزة، هي اللغم الخطير الثاني، وقد تكون هناك ألغاماً لم نعرفها بعد. كان اللغم الأول في أعقاب أوسلو حين قالت أوروبا لفريق أوسلو من الفلسطينيين، اقلُّوا من التشغيل في الخط الأخضر، ووسعوا الجهاز البيروقراطي للحكم الذاتي ونحن "نتكفل" بالرواتب. وحينما لم ينتخب الفلسطيني على هواهم قبل عام ونصف، قطعوا الرواتب، وكان ما كان. ونفس الإتحاد الأوروبي، الذي هو متحد بمصالحه ومتحد في خدمة الصهيونية ومتحد ضد شعبنا، هو الذي تعهد بدفع كلفة إنارة قطاع غزة، ولذا، قام بقطع النور عن الناس كي يثوروا على حماس. نفس النهج الصهيوني ونهج كل استعمار في التاريخ. أما السؤال المعلق: كم مظاهرة حصلت في أوروبا "المجتمع المدني" احتجاجاً على هذه المحرقة!!!"

Fabricating Palestinian Public Opinion, the So-Called Pollster Ghassan Khatib

A Comment by Tony Sayegh

Whenever the Palestinian public opinion needs to be manipulated, and the real story spun, the puppet PA turns to so-called "independent" pollster Ghassan Khatib. His poll "results," fabricated in advance to show increased support for Fatah and the Vichy "government" of Abbas and Fayyad and decreased support for Hamas, are trumpeted by the Zionist press as proof that their agent Abbas is making headway, that they are betting on the right "horse." This article by AP and published by Haaretz and Ynet shows the results of the latest "poll."

All of Khatib's "polls" conform to this pattern and usually reach the same conclusions: Abbas and Fatah are popular and Hamas is being defeated. Say what?

The most infamous of Khatib's polls was the one he supposedly conducted just days before the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. In that "poll" he predicted that Fatah would win comfortably over Hamas. Was it just faulty polling, or simple spin and propaganda?

The man's background suggests that he is no "independent" pollster. A review of some of the positions he held should make that clear:

* Palestinian Authority Minister of Planning
* Palestinian Authority Minister of Labor, 2002
* Involved in the Washington Negotiations, 1991-1993
* Member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace process, 1991
* Palestinian People's Party representative to the Palestinian Authority is a website that presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints on prominent issues of concern. It focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process. It is produced, edited and partially written by Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian, and Yossi Alpher, an Israeli. maintains complete organizational and institutional symmetry between its Palestinian and Israeli components. It draws financial support from the European Union and additional philanthropic sources based outside the region.

Now you decide on this latest "poll."

Poll: Palestinians prefer Fatah gov't over Hamas-led cabinet
By Associated Press.

The Iraqis don't deserve us. So we betray them...

By Robert Fisk

"Always, we have betrayed them. We backed "Flossy" in Yemen. The French backed their local "harkis" in Algeria; then the FLN victory forced them to swallow their own French military medals before dispatching them into mass graves. In Vietnam, the Americans demanded democracy and, one by one - after praising the Vietnamese for voting under fire in so many cities, towns and villages - they destroyed the elected prime ministers because they were not abiding by American orders.

Now we are at work in Iraq. Those pesky Iraqis don't deserve our sacrifice, it seems, because their elected leaders are not doing what we want them to do......

Maliki's state visits to the crazed Ahmedinejad and the much more serious Bashar al-Assad appear to be, in Henry VIII's words, "treachery, treachery, treachery". But Maliki is showing loyalty to his former Iranian masters and their Syrian Alawite allies (the Alawites being an interesting satellite of the Shias).

These creatures - let us use the right word - belong to us and thus we can step on them when we wish. We will not learn - we will never learn, it seems - the key to Iraq. The majority of the people are Muslim Shias. The majority of their leaders, including the "fiery" Muqtada al-Sadr were trained, nurtured, weaned, loved, taught in Iran. And now, suddenly, we hate them. The Iraqis do not deserve us. This is to be the grit on the sand that will give our tanks traction to leave Iraq. Bring on the clowns! Maybe they can help us too. "

How can this bloody failure be regarded as a good war?

The western occupation of Afghanistan has brought neither peace nor development - and it fuels the terror threat

Seumas Milne
Thursday August 23, 2007
The Guardian

"Enthusiasts for the catastrophe that is the Iraq war may be hard to come by these days, but Afghanistan is another matter. The invasion and occupation that opened George Bush's war on terror are still championed by powerful voices in the occupying states as - in the words of the New York Times this week - "the good war" that can still be won. While speculation intensifies about British withdrawal from Basra, there's no such talk about a retreat from Kabul or Kandahar. On the contrary, the plan is to increase British troop numbers from the current 7,000, and ministers, commanders and officials have been hammering home the message all summer that Britain is in Afghanistan, as the foreign secretary, David Miliband, insisted, for the long haul......

Britain is now fighting its fourth war in Afghanistan in 170 years, and might have learned by now that you cannot impose a government from outside against a people's will. Earlier this summer the Afghan senate called for a date to be set for the withdrawal of foreign troops and negotiations with the Taliban, as did the Pakistani foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, this month. There will be no peace or stability in Afghanistan while foreign troops remain, and a wider settlement will surely have to include the Taliban and regional powers such as Iran and Pakistan. Unfortunately, politics dictates that a great deal more blood is likely to be shed on both sides before that comes to be accepted."

Don't know much about history

Why is George Bush suddenly making parallels between Iraq and Vietnam? Because he's preparing to shift the blame for another disaster.

By Matthew Yglesias
The Guardian

".......All this, however, was but the appetizer for a shocking embrace of a historically illiterate account of the Vietnam war. "One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens," Bush said "whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields.'" While it is of course true that people died in South Vietnam following American withdrawal, millions died during the United States' years of military involvement as well, a great many killed by the American military at enormous expense and with no end in sight. The killing fields of Pol Pot's Cambodia, meanwhile, were if anything more a consequence of America's destabilization of the region than of America's departure.

Unenlightening as Bush's analogies may be, they do serve as an interesting sign of the times. For years, war-supporters derided any efforts to draw parallels between Iraq and Vietnam as unwarranted, now they're eager to draw them. The reason, most likely, is that while the hawks lost the war in Vietnam and eventually even lost the debate over the war, they believe themselves to have eventually won the larger political battle as Ronald Reagan embraced Bush-style revisionist accounts of the war in southeast Asia as part of his march to the White House in 1980.

For months now, many conservatives have been fundamentally positioning themselves for the post-war era, readying the arguments that will blame the failure of the venture in Iraq on its opponents rather than its architects. That Bush himself has chosen to join them is, perhaps, on some level the clearest reflection of the reality that the president knows perfectly well that the war is unwinnable, and blame-shifting now the best hope for saving his historical legacy."

Bush whips up a storm over 'surge'

By Jim Lobe
Asia Times

"......Bush's remarks, the first in a series of appearances and other administration initiatives designed to rally support for maintaining as many as 170,000 US troops in Iraq well into next year in advance of a critical report to Congress due in mid-September, suggested to supporters and critics alike that the president remains as determined as ever to hold out against pressure, even from his own party, to begin withdrawing troops in the coming months......

But critics argued that Bush fundamentally misunderstood the historical precedents he cited. "Bush is cherry-picking history to support his case for staying the course," said Johns, who was a senior military planner during the Vietnam War. "What I learned in Vietnam is that US forces could not conduct a counterinsurgency operation. The longer we stay there [Iraq], the worse it's going to get."

As for Bush's references to the violence, especially in Cambodia, that followed its withdrawal from Indochina, Simon noted that much of it happened "because the United States left too late, not too early. It was the expansion of the war [into Cambodia] that opened the door to Pol Pot and the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. The longer you stay the worse it gets." "

Welcome to Hillary's wars

By Pepe Escobar

"..........White House logic spells a preemptive attack on the IRGC as setting off a new popular Iranian revolution and the the fall of the ayatollahs. Anyone remotely familiar with the complexity of Iranian society and the pull of national pride knows this will not happen.

Well, that's just a detail. The Pentagon has been desperately spinning for months that IRGC-supplied explosive formed projectiles, or shaped charges, capable of making minced meat out of an Abrams tank, are killing American soldiers in Iraq.

There's no conclusive proof. Why bother? Once again - as in the buildup toward war on Iraq - "facts" will have to conform to a predetermined decision, and this has been the anointed casus belli du jour for an attack on Iran. Moreover, the IRGC helped Hezbollah to win the war against Israel in the summer of 2006. That should be "proof" enough of its evil character.

As for a "Hillary with balls" persona who voted for the war on Iraq and wholeheartedly supports a zillion-dollar missile-defense system, she may be just winning a war of political positioning. Or she may actually mean it. Presidential candidate Hillary, with her eyes already on the history books, knows as much as anyone in the US establishment that the US hyperpower, declining or not, simply cannot accept a majority-Shi'ite Iraqi government closely aligned with an Islamic Republic of Iran......."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hamas leader: Palestinians will 'never stop the intifada'

By Dion Nissenbaum | McClatchy Newspapers

"DAMASCUS, Syria — Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' most influential political leader, told McClatchy Newspapers that his Islamist organization is unwilling to make any significant concessions to Israel or to its Palestinian rivals in Fatah to repair fractured Middle East peace talks.

In a rare 90-minute interview with an American news reporter earlier this week, Mashaal dismissed any suggestion that Hamas would recognize Israel or agree to early elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He said Hamas wouldn't release an Israeli soldier captured last summer in the Gaza Strip unless Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

And he warned that the Palestinians could stage a third violent uprising, known as an intifada, if Israel doesn't relinquish control of the West Bank.

"The Palestinian people will never stop the intifada," Mashaal said. "Maybe they will calm down. Sometimes they might stop to catch their breath. But the only thing that will stop resistance is ending the occupation.".......

But he said Hamas wouldn't apologize for its actions in Gaza — a precondition that Abbas has set for any talks with Hamas.

"Maybe we should ask who should apologize to whom," said Mashaal, who criticized Fatah for cooperating with the United States and Israel, both of which refused to deal with Hamas after it won elections last year.

"Who should apologize: the victim or the assailant?" asked Mashaal. "Who should apologize? The one who won the elections and was besieged, or the people who were cooperating with the enemies of the Palestinian people?"

Mashaal said Hamas wouldn't cooperate should Abbas and his supporters succeed in changing Palestinian laws to call early legislative elections. Not only would Hamas boycott the elections, he said, but it would thwart attempts to vote in the Gaza Strip.

"Those who are practicing democracy with dictatorship — this is not democracy; it's a game," he said. "It's misleading. And Hamas will not accept it."......"

Iran has remote-controlled launch pads

"Preparing for a possible American or Israeli strike on its nuclear installations, Iran has developed a remote-controlled launch system that can be used to operate dozens of unmanned Shihab ballistic missile launchers in underground bunkers, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

After recent upgrades, the Shihab-3 ballistic missiles are believed to have a target range of 2,000-kilometers. The missile was initially developed with a 1,300-km. range.

According to informed Western sources, the remote-controlled launch system was developed by the Iranians in conjunction with North Korea and by employing Chinese technology. Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Yayha Rahim Safavi said recently that Iran had equipped its Shihab missiles with an advanced guidance system that can control them after they are launched......"

Tehran gets ready for potential US strikes

"KUWAIT: Despite US foreign policy's focus on the situation in Iraq and in anticipation of September's Congress hearing, high-ranking sources stated that the Iranian leadership is taking US threats to strike its nuclear sites very seriously.

Furthermore, the sources highlighted that the Iranian leadership had recently increased its military formations including the Revolutionary Guards and the regular army forces. The sources also noted that Iran was currently weighing three options to respond to any potential US military strikes and that the three options included targets within the Gulf region.

Elaborately, the sources explained that the first option( known as the violent response) would involve destroying all US military and logistic bases around the Gulf region, which is the most favored option by the Iranian president.

The second option, favored by Imam Ali Khame'ni, involves intensive strikes on a Gulf state that hosts US Marine Forces and that had suspended its 1973 constitution, which would eventually help create a mess that might develop into changing the whole situation. This option would also ensure maintaining good relationships with other GCC states, as believed by its supporters.

The sources added that the third option, favored by Hashimi Rafsenjani calls for avoiding the risk of any attacks on any GCC states and that the conflict should be restricted with the US alone. Moreover, the sources highlighted that the Iranian leadership had fully discussed the three options this week in anticipation of a potential US strike after finishing the Iraqi issue within a few months....."

Former CIA officer says U.S ready to strike Iran within 6 months

"WASHINGTON, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - The United States could deliver a military strike against Iran within the next six months, a former CIA officer told Fox News.

In an interview Tuesday the U.S. TV channel asked Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, whether the U.S. was preparing for military action against Iran, citing Baer's column for Time Magazine on August 18, where he suggested that Washington officials expect an attack within the next six months.

"I've taken an informal poll inside the government," Baer told Fox. "The feeling is we will hit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC]."

He said the George W. Bush administration is convinced "that the Iranians are interfering in Iraq and the rest of the Gulf," but what his sources anticipate is "not exactly a war." "We won't see American troops cross the border," said Baer. "If this is going to happen, it is going to happen very quickly and it is going to surprise a lot of people."

There were recent reports that Washington would put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard - the largest branch of Iran's military, separate from the rest of the army - on the terrorism list.

Baer said the U.S. military suspects that the Revolutionary Guard is the main supplier of sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to insurgents killing coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also said there is a belief among neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration that the Revolutionary Guard is an obstacle to democratic and a friendly Iran.

"IRGC IED's are a casus belli for this administration. There will be an attack on Iran," Baer quoted an anonymous White House source as saying......"

What Do Israel and the US Expect From Abbas?

By Ramzy Baroud, English

"The rash and self-defeatist behavior emanating from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his close circle in the West Bank cannot possibly be intended for the benefit of the Palestinian people or for their internationally-sanctioned struggle for human rights, freedom and equality. Abbas, and his self-serving Palestinian elites seem hell-bent on exploiting the unfolding Palestinian drama to further cement their status and position, even if such an attitude will lead to the total decimation of any little hope left of recovering denied Palestinian rights.......

Abbas, like every autocratic ruler, understands that any practical application of democracy in the Middle East — as in other parts of the world — must pass the American test, an old lesson that the region was forced to learn time and again. Whatever serves American interests represents true democracy; anyone who dares to challenge these interests is duly ostracized and removed. However, “friendly” regimes, from the US point of view, that fail to exhibit even a symbolic token of a democratic governance are viewed as “moderate”, as opposed to the “extremist” others who could be very much democratic, such as Hamas.

Indeed, Abbas understands the roles of the democratic game very well; well educated in political science and history, he has been immersed in the region’s tumultuous politics for over four decades. While Abbas has the right to deduce his own view of the world, he has no right to apply such deductions to eradicate the historic struggle of an entire nation. His actions are both unethical and unjustified, to say the least. The aging leader and the shady characters surrounding him will go down in history books alongside all the rulers and elites that sided with their occupier and tormented their own people in exchange for worldly profits and shallow status.

While corporate media across the world predictably fails to acknowledge the anti-democratic nature of the Abbas-managed government, Israeli politicians, policy advisers and commentators are hardly discreet about the role they expect Abbas to play: Abbas’ security forces must crack down on any dissent among Palestinians. In fact, Abbas’ apparatus has proved exemplary in meeting these objectives. Thus, the Palestinian leader and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad are being rewarded generously: Tens of millions of US taxpayers’ dollars, tax funds that Israel has illegally held from the elected Hamas government, military training for its weak security forces and, finally, an international platform to provide Abbas with the political validation he needs.

Abbas, in return, is throwing in a few extras, beyond the measures expected from him. A few of his government’s mouthpieces are disseminating inaccurate information to international media equating Hamas to Al-Qaeda terrorists and Taleban militants; some have gone as far as alleging an actual link between Hamas and Al-Qaeda, a charge that can only contribute further to the misery and isolation of Palestinians.

As a reward for Abbas’ active involvement in deepening the desperation in Gaza and widening disunity among Palestinians, he has been granted the privilege of meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert once every two weeks, and also the trust and confidence of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her boss. Any attempt at reconciliation with Hamas, which is supported by the majority of Palestinians, at least in the Occupied Territories, would most definitely lead to the withdrawal of some, if not of all of these advantages, a risk Abbas will not take.

But Palestinian disunity is disastrous, not only because it’s a diversion from the struggle for freedom and sovereignty and because it distracts the international community from Israel’s illegal occupations, it also presents Hamas and Fatah with very limited options: Hamas’ isolation will likely strengthen the more radical view among its members, which will make it difficult to find a common ground in the future; Fatah, which is losing its popular support by the day, would have to continue to rely on outside help and initiatives, notwithstanding the hardly promising international Middle East peace conference — aimed at solidifying the support for Abbas against Hamas, or at the revival of the “Jordan option”, linking the West Bank to Jordan through a confederation. Talks about the latter could become terrifyingly real because Abbas cannot maintain control over Palestinians without the active support of regional and international actors, such as Egypt and Jordan.

In the months leading to the November peace conference, Abbas is expected to further demonstrate his trustworthiness to Israel and the US, at the expense of the Palestinian people, who are now denied the only strong card in their six-decade struggle for freedom: Their collectiveness. The day this is no longer possible, Israel’s victory will be complete."

The Stooge is Not Allowed to Speak; His Spokesman "Protests"

"Abbas' office: Escalation casts doubt on Israel's intentions regarding peace

Spokesman for Palestinian president says ‘Israel’s assassination of 13 civilians in one day, including innocent children, is a massacre which cannot be justified’; calls for international community’s intervention..."