Saturday, November 3, 2007

Snowflakes and Scare-Mongering

The Independent

"Fear-mongering, arrogance and bureaucratic bullying. By such tools, Donald Rumsfeld became one of the most powerful, most unpopular and ultimately most unsuccessful Pentagon chiefs in history. Any doubts about that judgement have been removed by the publication this week in The Washington Post of a selection of his “snow-flakes” - the short memos the former defence secretary was wont to fire off daily in scores to his staff. They pestered, they irritated, and on occasion they terrorised their recipients. Together, they give a depressing snapshot of the modus operandi of their boss, as he presided over the debacle in Iraq......

Most depressing, however, while the man himself has gone, his methods remain. Mr Rumsfeld was forced from his job in November 2006, after the Republican midterm election defeat for which his mismanagement of the war was largely responsible. His successor, Robert Gates, has a low-key, cautious and thoughtful style, far removed from the abrasive Rumsfeld. But the scare-mongering continues. Be it the use of torture or the threat posed by Iran, this White House (still featuring Mr Rumsfeld’s ally Dick Cheney) trots out the same justification: America is in mortal peril, and all means are justified. In other words, as the departed, unlamented master would put it: “Keep elevating the threat.”"

US Said to Give 'Green Light' to Israeli Operation


"03/11/2007 The United States has given a "green light" to an Israeli occupation army operation in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning. The report cites "credible diplomatic sources" as saying that the US approval came after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of a wide-scale operation as an answer to the unprecedented arms smuggling within Gaza. According to al-Akhbar, the intelligence was shared during Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's last visit to Washington. Sources told the Lebanese daily that the intelligence depicted a worrying picture of an "arms race" between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In addition, Israel presented details of money transfers between the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

In the past few days, Barak met a number of times with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to decide definitively on the timing of a wide-scale operation, Al-Akhbar cited the sources as saying. Further, the sources stated that despite the "green light," Israel was hesitating to launch an operation out of concerns that it would complicate preparations for the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast summit in Annapolis. Until the timing of the operation is decided, Israeli army forces stationed on the Gaza border will continue training for a massive military operation in the Strip, the report said."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you support tightening the surveillance of the activities of western humanitarian organizations?

With about 1,200 responding so far, 85% said yes.

Increasingly-Anti-US Turks Protest Rice Visit to Istanbul
Courtesy of

Rapture rescue will airlift you to safety. If you can afford it

The booming business of privatised disaster services in the US goes against the principle that every life is of equal value

Naomi Klein
Saturday November 3, 2007
The Guardian

"I used to worry that the US was in the grip of extremists who sincerely believed the Apocalypse was coming and that they and their friends would be airlifted to heavenly safety. I have since reconsidered. The country is indeed in the grip of extremists who are determined to act out the biblical climax - the saving of the chosen and the burning of the masses - but without any divine intervention. Heaven can wait. Thanks to the booming business of privatised disaster services, we're getting the Rapture right here on earth......

One customer described a scene of modern-day Revelation. "Just picture it. You are in that raging wildfire. Smoke everywhere. Flames everywhere," he told the Los Angeles Times. "Here's a couple of guys showing up in what looks like a firetruck who are experts trained in fighting wildfire, and they're there specifically to protect your home.".....With public fire departments cut to the bone, gone are the days of rapid response, when everyone was entitled to equal protection. Now, increasingly intense natural disasters will be met with the new model: Rapture response......

.....In this secular version of the Rapture, God's hand is unnecessary. Not when you have retired CIA agents and ex-special forces lifting the chosen to safety - no need to pray, just pay....."

Deja vu all over again

The US is smearing IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei for not finding evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons. Sound familiar?

By Ian Williams
The Guardian

"When it comes to Iran's nuclear capabilities, whose word would you rather take: that of a Nobel prize-winning head of an international agency specializing in nuclear issues who was proved triumphantly right about Iraq, or that of a bunch of belligerent neocons who make no secret of their desire to whack Iran at the earliest opportunity and who made such a pigs ear of Iraq?......"

US increases pressure on diplomats to serve in Iraq

· Prospect of first forced postings since Vietnam
· Only one-third of positions in Baghdad embassy filled

Ed Pilkington in New York
Saturday November 3, 2007
The Guardian

"The Bush administration took a hard line yesterday on US diplomats resisting postings to Iraq, when secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and the US ambassador in Baghdad issued blunt reminders of their duty to serve anywhere in the world.....

The row flared up on Wednesday at a meeting between state department officials and their managers at which individual employees likened a tour of Iraq to a "potential death sentence". The department's hierarchy countered that only three foreign service personnel had been killed since the invasion of Iraq in 2003......

....On Monday up to 300 were told they were "prime candidates" to fill 48 posts in the new embassy, and that they would be forced to go should any of the positions remain unfilled voluntarily. So far only 15 officials have volunteered......

James Collins, a former US ambassador to Moscow who runs the Russian-Eurasian programme of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, told the Guardian the return to directed assignments, as they are known, was an unfortunate step. "The management of the state department has a big problem if they have to resort to 1960s rules in order to do 21st-century work."...."


By Robert Fisk

".....Well, think again. For in Canada lives Maher Arar, a totally harmless software engineer – originally from Damascus – who was picked up at JFK airport in New York and underwent an almost identical "rendition" to the fictional Egyptian in the movie. Suspected of being a member of al-Qa'ida – the Canadian Mounties had a hand in passing on this nonsense to the FBI – he was put on a CIA plane to Syria where he was held in an underground prison and tortured. The Canadian government later awarded Arar $10m in compensation and he received a public apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But Bush's thugs didn't get fazed like Streep's CIA boss. They still claim that Arar is a "terrorist suspect"; which is why, when he testified to a special US congressional meeting on 18 October, he had to appear on a giant video screen in Washington.......

And what, one wonders, were Bush's toughs doing sending Arar off to Syria, a country that they themselves claim to be a "terrorist" state which supports "terrorist" organisations like Hizbollah. President Bush, it seems, wants to threaten Damascus, but is happy to rely on his brutal Syrian chums if they'll be obliging enough to plug in the electricity and attach the wires in an underground prison on Washington's behalf......

Yes, and I suppose if electric shocks to the body constitute torture – if, mind you – that would be unconstitutional. Right? The New York Times readers at least spotted the immorality of Mukasey's remarks. A former US assistant attorney asked "how the United States could hope to regain its position as a respected world leader on the great issues of human rights if its chief law enforcement officer cannot even bring himself to acknowledge the undeniable verity that waterboarding constitutes torture..."......

Yet all is not lost for the torture lovers in America. Here's what Republican senator Arlen Spector – a firm friend of Israel – had to say about Mukasey's shameful remarks: "We're glad to see somebody who is strong, with a strong record, take over this department."

So is truth stranger than fiction? Or is Hollywood waking up – after Syriana and Munich – to the gross injustices of the Middle East and the shameless and illegal policies of the US in the region? Go and see Rendition – it will make you angry – and remember Arar. And you can take a beautiful woman along to share your fury."

Friday, November 2, 2007

palestinian child prisoners

Contributed by Lucia

"The rogue and terrorist state of Israel imprisoning kids as young as 8 years old."

America takes another step towards the “Long War”

A great article contributed by the author

By Fabius Maximus


This report is just a sketch, some thoughts that hopefully spark discussion about America’s rush to war. It proposes the following:

* There is as yet insufficient evidence that America is threatened sufficiently to justify the large-scale mobilization of citizens that we call “war.”

* There is insufficient public evidence that al Qaeda or Islamic jihadists are such a threat.

* The war was begun in Iraq and Afghanistan with inadequate analysis and planning, and those errors continue to this day.

* Even if this threat is of sufficient magnitude, war is not necessarily the solution.

* To the extent that force is required, at present we are not equipped to employ it in the manner needed. A scimitar makes a fine weapon, but a poor scalpel......"

CODEPINK Activist Barred from Capitol After Calling Rice “War Criminal”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"We end today's broadcast here in Washington D.C. with Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz. She is the antiwar activist who covered her hands in fake blood and approached Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week at the start of a congressional hearing. A photograph of Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz and Rice appeared in newspapers across the country.

After she approached Rice, Ali-Fairooz screamed that the blood "of millions of Iraqis" was on the hands of the Bush administration. Moments later Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz was arrested. She was charged with disorderly conduct, defacing of government property and assault on a federal officer. She has been banned from the grounds of Capitol Hill and reportedly could face up prison time......

Desiree joins us now in the firehouse -- not in the firehouse, we’re in Washington, D.C., but we are also joined by Medea Benjamin, who is one of the co-founders of CODEPINK..... "

Aunt Condi Wants You!

Rice tries to quell staff dissent over forced duty in Iraq

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- State Department officials should serve where they are needed -- even in war-torn Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

Rice was responding to foreign service officers' objections to the possibility of "directed assignments" in Iraq. The issue has caused an uproar in the State Department, resulting in a contentious town hall-style meeting Wednesday.

The new directives would be needed if enough qualified foreign service officers don't step forward to fill open positions at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

If the State Department enforces directed assignments, it will be the first time since the Vietnam War era.

One official called the order to serve in Iraq "a potential death sentence" during the town meeting......"

The Case of the LA8: U.S. Drops Twenty-Year Effort to Deport Arab Americans for Supporting Palestinian National Rights

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"The U.S. government has dropped a major deportation case dating back to the Reagan administration. On Tuesday, the Board of Immigration Appeals announced prosecutors will end a twenty-year attempt to deport two Palestinian Americans for allegedly raising money for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In 1987, the Reagan administration attempted to bar the two men, Khader Hamide and Michel Shehadeh, and six others on the grounds that they were connected to a communist group. The men became known as the L.A. Eight. They were never deported because a federal appeals court declared the anti-communist law unconstitutional.

Earlier this year, an immigration judge ruled the government violated the defendants’ constitutional rights in a case he called "an embarrassment to the rule of law.” The ruling marked the government’s sixth unsuccessful attempt at prosecution. Under a settlement, Hamide and Shehadeh will be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship in three years.

Michel Shehadeh joins us the phone from California. One of his attorneys, Marc Van Der Hout of the National Lawyers Guild, is here in Washington.....

MICHEL SHEHADEH: Well, Amy, this case happened in 1987, on January 26 of 1987, and I was living in Long Beach then. I was sleeping in my apartment with my three-year-old son when about fifteen agents barged into my house and handcuffed me and dragged me outside in front of my son. And outside, the scene was like a scene from Hollywood. We had the local police, three carloads, aiming their guns at the house and a helicopter hovering on top of the house. And they took me to prison, where we were in custody -- it was then I found out that the other seven were also arrested. And we were incarcerated in San Pedro State Prison, maximum security for twenty-three days.

It took us a while to find out -- until our attorneys came and visited after one week, that we found out the charges and the nature of the charges. We didn’t know why we were incarcerated. We were wondering what, you know, the reason were. And after one week, we found out that there was a plan, a secret plan then, that was leaked to the newspapers then, was -- the plan was entitled “Alien Terrorists and Undesirables: A Contingency Plan.” And in the plan there were an outline of a test case, and that test case to establish a legal precedent, so in case of a war, as the plan says, or an incident, then Arab Americans will be round up en masse and put in concentration camp, like what happened to the Japanese Americans in 1945 after Pearl Harbor. And this test case will be to establish that legal precedent, so the government will be able to do it. And they said that they learned that from the registrations of Iranians in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution, when they wanted to do a registration of the Iranians, and they couldn’t, because they didn’t have the law.

So our attorneys in court were able to prove and establish that the process of this case followed the outline of the test case that was outlined in their plan to the letter. And so, we believe that we were this test case over the years. And, you know, we had six sets of charges throughout, because, as Marc has outlined, we were charged under the McCarran-Walter Act, then under the 1990 Immigration Act, then under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, then under the PATRIOT Act, and also under the Real ID Act. So, we were charged retroactively also for things allegedly that were done way before the law was established......"

A Case for Arab Dignity

Saddest of all is the fact that Arab masses lack the ability to even vent their frustrations, having lived under a tight grip for decades and crushed mercilessly whenever they dared to march for their rights.

By Ramzy Baroud
Special to

".....The Iraq scenario has set a dreadful precedent. Those not content by their current rulers were forced to rethink their priorities when they saw the US-induced chaos in Iraq in action. Those who giddily capitalized on the democracy window were mercilessly crushed. Palestinians were subdued and democracy was snatched away from its proper owners, the majority of the people, and was handed back to the corrupt few. In Egypt, coercion and corruption during elections has managed to maintain the status quo.

There are no easy answers here, no snappy recommendations or full-proof solutions. The task is truly overwhelming. But it is clear that the true interests of the Arab peoples can only be served by Arabs themselves; reforms can not be imposed, true, but that is impossible to achieve under the current power relations - rulers setting themselves up as unquestionably superior to their people, TV channels promoting rampant consumerism and providing endless distraction, and uncountable multitudes seeking deliverance, escapism and, often, falling prey to extremism. For Arab countries to have some hope of a meaningful future (and indeed present), grassroots work must replace intellectual detachment, wealth must be invested in building self-sustained societies, and, most importantly, the dignity of Arab women and men must be preserved above all else."

Gearing up for War against Iran

What then are the pointers indicating that President Bush will undertake a huge escalation of tension and conflict leading to war during the remainder of his presidency?

By Iqbal Jassat
Special to

"......While this military bombing spree is viewed as a flagrant violation of Syria’s sovereignty, Crooke points to an ulterior motive in Israel’s aggressive conduct: Israel’s military experiment of September 6 demonstrated that the diplomatic community remained passive. It was a “test-run” seeking to gauge international reaction to an “accidental” war against Syria and from which point of ignition its architects’ confidently expect its flames to spread to its ultimate target: Iran.

Another indicator is the intense Israeli military build-up on the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967. Major General Wolfgang Jilke, the Austrian commander of the UN Observer Force deployed on the Golan Heights, voiced his concerns in an interview with Der Spiegel, on September 9.

Crookes’ investigation reveals that Jilke has alerted public opinion to the danger of clashes breaking out due to Israel’s unprecedented concentration of troops and military build-up now entering its fourth month. The escalation in activities involves a massive surge of military exercises and enormous construction activity. In addition, the Israeli army is digging many kilometres of trenches, which according to Jilke, are clearly aimed at preparing for a military offensive involving heavy artillery and air force.

While some purging of neo-conservative elements within the Bush administration seemed to suggest that in conjunction with America’s failure to chart its intended course in Iraq, war mongering will come to an end; this is a ruse!

The current architect of a new war, David Wurmser is from the same rightwing pro-Israeli camp of neocons. He is cited as having floated a scenario in which an engineered provocation will result into an “accidental war” that would escalate quickly into a conflict whose trajectory ultimately would be Iran, according to Crooke."

Gaza and the Fall "Peace" Conference
By Naser Jafari

The Easy Way to Stop the Looming US Attack on Iran

No Time for Letter Writing


"Even as one faction of the American government, the military and the corporatocracy grow collectively more alarmed about the possibility of a US attack on Iran, the Bush/Cheney administration and its allies seem increasingly moving towards just such a new war.

Okay, so Sen. James Webb (D-VA) and 29 other US Senators who oppose such a mad plan have done what? They've written a letter to the president telling him that he cannot attack Iran without express approval in advance from the Congress.

A letter! Boy, that'll stop him.

What's the matter with these people?....."

The Chorus of Slander on Palestine


"....A number of professors have come under attack in recent years, most visibly Norman G. Finkelstein, who this summer was, along with colleague Mehrene Larudee, denied tenure at DePaul University in Chicago. Various writers such as former President Jimmy Carter, Joel Kovel, et al., have also felt the heat of this contrived debate. Intense disagreement over the Israel lobby and the amount of influence it does or does not wield in Washington continues to escalate. Yet, Finkelstein's work as a scholar is rather uncontroversial. Though the word controversy follows him around now like a shadow, one need only go through his findings and documentation to see the precise and careful nature of his work, along with the validity of what he's reporting. That his critics tend to use general and abstract characterizations of him -- rarely his work -- to make their condemnations is revealing. Ad hominem judgments are quick and easy; reading human rights reports and footnotes is less so.

The maelstrom surrounding Carter and his largely conservative and cautious Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is another such example. Kovel's Overcoming Zionism, while I cannot agree with him to the letter (i.e. his argument for a one-state solution), does offer an informative, eye-opening, and well-reasoned critique of Zionism and Israel's policies and behavior. Like those against Finkelstein, the criticisms leveled at Kovel are generic renderings bearing no resemblance to what appears in his book. The work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby, also something I don't agree with one hundred percent, is worth considering as it enhances legitimate debate. But, regardless of where there may be rational disagreement, open and unsuppressed dialogue about US-Israeli relations and Palestine is the singular path to broader understanding and popular active support for a just resolution benefiting both sides......."

'Invade and Bomb With Hillary and Rahm'

Why war with Iran is likely

By Justin Raimondo

".....How do we account for the sudden rise of a new war hysteria, this time directed against Iran? While the administration has turned up the volume of its anti-Iranian rhetoric, and the mass media has duly – and largely uncritically – reported it, this is only part of the reason for the ominous uptick. The core reason is that we're entering the political season, and none of the presidential candidates presented to us as "major" will take war with Iran off the table: indeed, the Republicans – with one exception – seem to be competing with each other to see who can take the most ferociously provocative stance. When it comes to Iran, the Democrats are almost as bad – and, in the case of the putative frontrunner, perhaps even worse. As Bill Safire put it on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, in the context of discussing Hillary's possible picks for the VP slot,

"What about Rahm Emanuel, the most powerful voice in the House of Representatives that agrees with Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs. He's a hawk. And although he's a rootin' tootin' liberal on domestic affairs, he is a hawk on foreign affairs. I was at the—a roast for him for Epilepsy Association, and Hillary Clinton was there, and I said, quite frankly, here you have the hawkish side of the Democratic Party. If they get together, the bumper sticker will read ‘Invade and bomb with Hillary and Rahm.'"......."

Report: Lebanese army fires at Israeli planes

London-based newspaper reported Lebanese troops fired at Israeli fighter jets conducting sortie on Thursday, Hizbullah slams government for 'failing to prevent violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

Hundreds of PA police arrive in Nablus to impose security for Israel

"Hundreds of Palestinian security officers arrived in Nablus on Friday in a Western-backed crackdown on gunmen in the West Bank intended to impose order ahead of a peace conference with Israel. The police are expected to significantly establish their presence in the town by the afternoon hours.

Israel, which is seeking to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, approved the deployment in the flashpoint city. Israeli government spokesman David Baker said the move would improve security. More Palestinian forces could be deployed elsewhere in the West Bank if the initiative worked well......

The deployment was agreed upon following a meeting Thursday evening between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad.....

Nonetheless, Israel has made it clear that the Israel Defense Forces will continue to operate in the West Bank city when needed and will retain overall security responsibility in the Nablus area, while the police officers will focus on imposing law and order.

According to recent reports, United States Mideast security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton has said behind closed doors that the Palestinian security forces operating in the West Bank are not adequately prepared to accept security responsibility over Palestinian cities [they are just helping the Israelis]......"

The calamity of Iraq has not even won us cheap oil

We knew the war was built on lies - but to have increased petrol prices as well as terror will surely seal history's verdict

Geoffrey Wheatcroft
Friday November 2, 2007
The Guardian

".....Finally there is what has sometimes been dismissed as a conspiracy theory: that it was really a war for oil. This idea looks a little less cranky now that Alan Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve Board, has acknowledged "what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil". But here again, there was no need to await his verdict. After all, the most powerful man in British politics had told us the same thing even before the war began. "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy," said Rupert Murdoch, "would be $20 a barrel for oil."

And so, on top of the whole list of false predictions and collapsed justifications, we have this final absurdity. As both Greenspan and Murdoch have very likely noticed, the price of oil hit a record $96 a barrel yesterday, and is still going up.

In April 2003, our previous prime minister confidently pronounced that "just as we had a strategy for war, so we have a strategy for peace". It is not pre-empting the judgment of history to say with even greater confidence that no good whatever has come out of this war, that no single good reason for it can any longer be adduced - and that "we" had never had any plan at all, not to say the faintest idea what "we" were doing."

Rice Against 'Compromises' with the Lebanon Opposition


"02/11/2007 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday warned against diplomatic moves to solve Lebanon's serious political crisis by "compromising" with the Lebanese national opposition. "I think there is a lot of talk right now about compromise," she told journalists on a plane taking her to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders on Kurdish rebels.
"There are a lot of discussions going on. That is fine," she added before a stopover in Ireland. "But any candidate for president or any president needs to be committed to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence, needs to be committed to resolutions that Lebanon has signed on to ... and needs to be committed to carrying on the tribunal."
Rice was referring to the international UN-backed tribunal that was set up to prosecute those behind the murder of former Prime Minister martyr Rafiq Hariri, a five-time PM who was killed along with 22 others in a massive Beirut explosion in February 2005. She did not name names, but her statement appeared to be a veiled reference to a meeting between MP General Michel Aoun and head of the Future parliamentary bloc MP Saad Hariri.
Rice said she was going to discuss the issue with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Turkey to send "the right message: It is "that the March 14 majority should not be put in a position of having to accept either extra-constitutional measures or measures that would undermine the program that they stand for.""

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A parallel PLO

Palestinian factions plan an alternative to the Annapolis conference and it will convene in Damascus

By Khaled Amayreh from Ramallah
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....In addition to Hamas, several Palestinian factions plan to attend the Damascus conference, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second most important PLO faction after Fatah. The participation of the PFLP is significant in that it signals an end to the erstwhile PLO unity against Hamas that has prevailed since its takeover of the Gaza Strip in mid-June. Abbas can no longer claim that he enjoys the full backing of PLO factions in his protracted showdown with Hamas.

Participants will also include the Damascus-based PFLP-General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril, as well as the Islamic Jihad organisation, headed by Ramadan Abdullah Shallah. Farouk Al-Qaddumi and Hani Al-Hassan, two senior members of Fatah, have indicated they will attend in protest against what they term "Abbas's line" and "his subservience to America and Israel".

In addition to organised factions, as many as 700 Palestinian and Arab intellectuals could turn up for the conference, lending the meeting even greater credibility as a vehicle for the expression of national concerns.

According to its organisers, the conference will seek to reassert Palestinian national constants and reaffirm opposition to "the attempted liquidation of the Palestinian cause", particularly the right of return of five million Palestinian refugees.....

The Damascus conference, say sources close to the organisers, could well opt to select "alternative and parallel national bodies" should it become clear that the current American-backed PLO in Ramallah intends to continue to disregard "the Palestinian national consensus". The parallel institutions may include a new National Council and a new Executive Committee, offering an alternative to the current PLO executive committee in Ramallah headed by Abbas.....

Khreisha, though, argues that in its current form the Palestinian National Council is far from representative of the Palestinian people and is "unqualified" to decide on issues that will determine their future. "This is a senile council that was appointed, not elected, by Yasser Arafat. It is amorphous, and we don't really know how many members it has. The PNC is little more than a joke." "

Video: Faulty Intel Source "Curve Ball" Revealed

"(CBS) 60 Minutes has identified the man whose fabricated story of Iraqi biological weapons drove the U.S. argument for invading Iraq. It has also obtained video of "Curve Ball," as he was known in intelligence circles, and discovered he was not only a liar, but also a thief and a poor student instead of the chemical engineering whiz he claimed to be.....Curve Ball is an Iraqi defector named Rafid Ahmed Alwan, who arrived at a German refugee center in 1999. To bolster his asylum case and increase his importance, he told officials he was a star chemical engineer who had been in charge of a facility at Djerf al Nadaf that was making mobile biological weapons......"

Rumsfeld: Muslims avoid physical labor.., wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran", develop "bumper sticker statements"

Rumsfeld memos show his unique spin on the war on terror

"In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor," and wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.....

Spanning from 2002 to shortly after his resignation following the 2006 congressional elections, a sampling of his trademark missives obtained Wednesday reveals a defense secretary disdainful of media criticism and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war.

Rumsfeld,....produced 20 to 60 snowflakes a day and regularly poured out his thoughts in writing as the basis for developing policy, aides said......

In a 2004 memo on the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Rumsfeld concluded that the challenges there are "not unusual." Pessimistic news reports - "our publics risk falling prey to the argument that all is lost" - simply result from the wrong standards being applied, he wrote in one of the memos obtained by the Washington Post.

Under siege in April 2006, when a series of retired generals denounced him and called for his resignation in newspaper op-ed pieces, Rumsfeld produced a memo after a conference call with military analysts. "Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists," he wrote. People will "rally" to sacrifice, he noted after the meeting. "They are looking for leadership. Sacrifice (equals) Victory."

The only man to hold the top Pentagon job twice - as both the youngest and the oldest defense secretary - Rumsfeld suggested that the public should know that there will be no "terminal event" in the fight against terrorism like the signing ceremony on the battleship Missouri when Japan surrendered to end World War II. "It is going to be a long war," he wrote. "Iraq is only one battleground."

Based on the discussion with military analysts, Rumsfeld tied Iran and Iraq. "Iran is the concern of the American people, and if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran," he wrote in his April 2006 memo.....

In one of his longer ruminations, in May 2004, Rumsfeld considers whether to redefine the terrorism fight as a "worldwide insurgency." The goal of the enemy, he wrote, is to "end the state system, using terrorism, to drive the non-radicals from the world." He then advised aides "to test what the results could be" if the war on terrorism is renamed.

Neither Europe nor the United Nations understands the threat or the bigger picture, Rumsfeld complains in the same memo.

He also laments that oil wealth has at times detached Muslims "from the reality of the work, effort and investment that leads to wealth for the rest of the world. Too often Muslims are against physical labor, so they bring in Koreans and Pakistanis while their young people remain unemployed," he wrote. "An unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism." If radicals "get a hold of" oil-rich Saudi Arabia, he added, the United States will have "an enormous national security problem."......"

The Neocons' Crazy Dream of World War III

by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

Global Research, November 1, 2007

"......Let us remind ourselves that 25 years ago, neocon Podhoretz and other dimwits wanted President Ronald Reagan to launch a (preventive) nuclear war against the Soviet Union. Indeed, in the early '80s, some neocon advisers around Reagan were deluding themselves and were arguing that the Soviet Union was preparing for a pre-emptive attack on the United States. They opposed President Reagan's efforts at rapprochement. They were pushing for the U.S. to achieve ''nuclear dominance'' and argued that only a ''strategy of strength'' matters. —Mr. Reagan ridiculed them with their hairy plan and he was wise enough to dismiss these exceptionally naive and warmongering "advisers".

What is frightening today is that many of the same insane Neocons (Podhoretz, Pipes, Perle, ...etc.) are now advising the current Bush-Cheney administration. With the operative help of Vice president Dick Cheney, they have already succeeded in persuading George W. Bush to invade Iraq, telling him that it would be a "cakewalk" and that the "war will finance itself" out of Iraq's oil revenues. Amazingly, Bush's ears are still open to such wrong-headed advice. Will he be persuaded to launch a campaign of nuclear bombing against Iran, and fall into the neocon trap that President Ronald Reagan avoided?....."

Abizaid: Mideast wars may last 50 years (Until the Last Drop of Oil Has Been Extracted)

"PITTSBURGH - It might take as long as half a century before U.S. troops can leave the volatile Middle East, according to retired Army Gen. John Abizaid.

"Over time, we will have to shift the burden of the military fight from our forces directly to regional forces, and we will have to play an indirect role, but we shouldn't assume for even a minute that in the next 25 to 50 years the American military might be able to come home, relax and take it easy, because the strategic situation in the region doesn't seem to show that as being possible," Abizaid said Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University......"

George Bush's Personal Spy Drone

"DARPA, the Pentagon's far-side research agency, has a plan to send a robotic surveillance drone anywhere in the world within an hour. And it is apparently intended for one particular user: The President of the United States. Space News reports on this "Rapid Eye" unmanned aerial vehicle project......

The concept of using rockets to deploy sensors as rapidly as possible to any hot spot throughout the world also is a goal of the U.S. Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space initiative.

"We didn't have that in mind," Tether said, noting that DARPA's concept for Rapid Eye is to support "the president." Nevertheless, the same concept could be used to support military personnel in the field, Tether said.

Sounds interesting. Now, I'm hoping there's an obvious answer to this question: How will Russia's early warning system know -- prior to reentry -- that the zillion-mile-per-hour projectile is carrying a drone, and not, say, a nuclear warhead?....."

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Tom Toles

Discount Season: Supermarket Discounts....and "Peace" Conference Concessions!
By Hamed Najeeb

A Question for Would-Be Presidents

How Do You Propose to Avoid a Long War?


"As the Presidential debate wallow their sorry way through a sea of inanities, leaving in their wake 600 million glazed eyes, a novel thought occurs: what if some mad cur introduced a real question into one of them? At the very least, it would be fun to watch the puppets' strings snap (each party has a single candidate who is not a Punchinello, Ron Paul for the Republicans and Dennis Kucinich for the Democrats). I have just such a question at hand, one that happens to be central to the future of our republic: How, dear sir or madam, do you propose, if elected President, to avoid a long war?

Wouldn't it be fun to watch Senator McNasty and Lady MacBeth, the Great Chicago Vacuum and the Little Brooklyn Duce wrestle with that?......

"Persistent conflict"is "the new normal," General George Casey, the Army's chief of staff, told the House Armed Services Committee last month. The Army must remake itself with that in mind, he added.

What' s wrong with this picture? Sun Tzu said it succinctly: "There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare." Acceptance by any Presidential candidate of a "long war" or "persistent conflict" is an admission of grand strategic imbecility. Which, just possibly, ought not be the highest qualification for public office, all appearances notwithstanding......"

New Cold War: Great Game for Supremacy in the New World Order? [4a]

Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History PART 4a

By Andrew G. Marshall

"There has been much talk in recent months of a return to the Cold War, as increasingly there is growing disparities and tensing relations between the West, namely the Anglo-Americans, and the Russian Federation, the former Soviet Union, as well as China. ‘Is the Cold War Back?’ as the headline of a Reuters article asked, stating, “Russia has revived its Soviet-era practice of continuous long-range bomber patrols, sending 14 aircraft on such missions in the latest in a series of moves apparently designed to show off Russia’s new-found assertiveness,” and that “Russia’s military is now receiving a major injection of cash to modernise ageing equipment — including new planes — after years of under-funding and neglect since the Soviet Union ceased to exist.”1......"

Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History PART 4b

"Not only are the Anglo-Americans fully on board and preparing for a possible attack on Iran, but even the Franco-German Entente seems to be steadily leaning that direction. French President Nicholas Sarkozy made headlines recently when he “called Iran’s nuclear ambition the world’s most dangerous problem,” and further, “raised the possibility that the country could be bombed if it persisted in building an atomic weapon,” as reported by the Sunday Times. The article continued, “The biggest challenge to the world was the avoidance of conflict between Islam and the West, President Sarkozy told the annual gathering of French ambassadors. Iran was the crossroads of the Middle East’s troubles and its nuclear aims ‘are without doubt the most serious crisis that weighs today on the international scene,”......"

The Catastrophic Military Occupation of Iraq is Rarely Described Accurately in the U.S. Media

Kevin Zeese interviews Dahr Jamail

"An Interview with independent journalist Dahr Jamail “The bogus idea that if the U.S. leaves things will worsen is both inherently racist and ignorant.”

Dahr Jamail’s MidEast Dispatches, which can be seen at, are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Iraq. (You can sign up on the site to receive his reports via email.) Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country. In the MidEast, Dahr has also has reported from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Jamail writes for the Inter Press Service, The Asia Times and many other outlets. His reports have also been published in The Nation, The Sunday Herald, Islam Online, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Independent to name just a few. Dahr Jamail’s current book, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq......"

Envoys Resist Forced Iraq Duty

Top State Dept. Officials Face Angry Questions

"Uneasy U.S. diplomats yesterday challenged senior State Department officials in unusually blunt terms over a decision to order some of them to serve at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or risk losing their jobs.

At a town hall meeting in the department's main auditorium attended by hundreds of Foreign Service officers, some of them criticized fundamental aspects of State's personnel policies in Iraq. They took issue with the size of the embassy -- the biggest in U.S. history -- and the inadequate training they received before being sent to serve in a war zone. One woman said she returned from a tour in Basra with post-traumatic stress disorder only to find that the State Department would not authorize medical treatment......"

The Thunder of Turkish War Drums

By Eric Margolis

".....No one should be surprised by this crisis. Critics long warned the US invasion of Iraq would inevitably release the genie of Kurdish nationalism. Creation of a virtually independent, US-backed Kurdish state in northern Iraq was certain to provoke a violent reaction by Turkey.

Ankara has warned for a decade it would never tolerate creation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq which it fears would quickly spark demands by Turkey’s restive Kurds for their own state.

Washington has been piously urging "restraint" on Turkey, a key US ally. By contrast, after two Israeli soldiers were captured last year in a routine border clash with Hezbullah guerrillas, the White House gave Israel a green light to bomb and invade Lebanon, killing over 1,100 civilians and causing $4 billion of damage.

This crisis is a huge mess for all concerned. Turkey provides 70% of air-delivered supplies to US forces in Iraq and allows US military aircraft to use its airspace. Turkey also quietly allows Israel certain overflight rights, which may eventually include the right to launch an air blitz against Iran through Turkish air space. Israel’s recent air attack on a mysterious Syrian building was flown over Turkish territory. Turkey’s military approved the Israeli overflight; its civilian government knew nothing about the attack until afterwards.

Meanwhile, anti-Americanism is peaking in Turkey. Turkey’s powerful army and civilian government make conflicting policies. Turkey’s popular democratic government wants no part of America’s war in Iraq and is loathe to attack Iraq, fearing getting embroiled in the US-created debacle. But Turkey’s powerful military establishment, a state within the state with very close links to the Pentagon and Israel, is pressing for an invasion of Iraq....."

The Wages of Hegemony

Catapulting Propaganda


""See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

Bush, at the Athena Performing Arts Center at Greece Athena Middle and High School Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Rochester, NY

When he departs the White House on 20 January, 2009, the current resident will bequeath to the American people and the next administration an interminable war in the Middle East and a depreciated currency.

And that's the good news. It assumes there is a successor administration and that no Cheney-contrived "national emergency" will make it possible for Bush to test drive National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD-51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20 to cancel the 2008 election.

Neoconservatives led by vice president Dick Cheney remain determined to effect "regime change" in Iran. The allegation of weapons of mass destruction falsely brought against Iraq is now being deployed against Iran......

The decline in American power and influence could be dramatic. Part of America's power results from European countries going along with Washington. However, the sharp rise in the Euro's value has hurt European exports, squeezing profit margins, wages, and encouraging offshore production. Fights over monetary policy between European capitals could doom both the EU and the Euro, leaving the world with no reserve currency and America with embittered former allies....."

U.S. Navy's ex-chief rabbi urges U.S. Jews to help Jewish troops

"The American Jewish community must regard as a top priority its responsibility to meet the religious and spiritual needs of Jewish soldiers serving in the United States military, Rear Admiral Harold Robinson maintains.

Last week, Robinson completed 36 years of service as the chief military rabbi of the U.S. Marines. In a recent conversation he said "though public interest in the U.S. military increased since September 11, it has become increasingly challenging for Jewish soldiers to maintain a close connection with their heritage.".

Robinson estimates that of the upwards of one million soldiers currently serving in the army, approximately 1 percent are Jewish....."

Ex-Minister Aloni: Barak, Halutz should be tried by UN


"Israeli Former Education Minister Shulamit Aloni said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz should be tried at the International Court of Justice at The Hague for committing “crimes against humanity,” The former minister and leftist leader made the remarks in an interview with Zuheir Andreus, the managing director of Arab-Israeli newspaper Ma al-Ahdath. In the full interview, to be published Friday, Aloni slams the Barak over the punitive measures he introduced in the Gaza Strip: “Collective punishment is an inhumane move. Ehud Barak is the most dangerous person in the State of Israel, because of his character, because he’s a man of war, and because of his arrogance.” “He does all those extreme things because he thinks that he’s beating Bibi (Netanyahu) that way,” the former minister added. Aloni also lashed out at former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz over claims that Israel used cluster bombs during the Second Lebanon War. “Whoever uses cluster bombs in an area where civilians reside is a criminal in my mind,” Aloni said. “He should be put on trial here first, but if not here, then at the International Court of Justice.” During the interview, the former minister said that a week ago she delivered a lecture at the National Security College and told officers: “Why are you making a big fuss over people with blood on their hands? Each one of you has blood on your hands. They throw bombs, and you throw bombs. You have airplanes, but they don’t, so they blow themselves up.” Aloni said that one of those in attendance asked her: “You treat their blood like our blood?” The former minister reportedly responded: “Yes, it’s just as red.”"

Mahmoud Abbas.... the Marshal Pétain of the Palestinian People

In a recent piece author Chris Hedges described Mahmoud Abbas as "..Mahmoud Abbas, who has become the Marshal Pétain of the Palestinian people." What a fitting description of a Palestinian traitor.

"In 1940, aged 83, Petain agreed to head the Vichy government in occupied France. Petain fled to Switzerland after the Normandy landings but when he returned in April, 1945, he was arrested and charged with treason. Petain was found guilty of and sentenced to death for aiding the German enemy. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. Henri-Philippe Petain died in prison in 1951."

The cartoon below is perfect to describe Abbas, just replace the Nazi soldier with the Zio-Nazi, Olmert.

Saving France - for Germany
or, in this case, saving Palestine for Israel.

Facing defeat in Afghanistan

As the allies squabble about burden-sharing, the situation on the ground is becoming increasingly grim.

By Simon Tisdall
The Guardian

".....Despite a steady escalation of force levels from about 5,000 in 2003 to more than 40,000 today, the fight grows ever more desperate. The possibility of military failure, previously unthinkable, is now openly discussed. Few deny that Nato's first and biggest operation outside Europe is in trouble. According to a senior European diplomat, the alliance's cohesion and credibility is increasingly on the line......"

The siege of Gaza is going to lead to a violent escalation

Far from helping settle the Middle East conflict, the US and Europe are fuelling it with their contempt for democracy

Seumas Milne
Thursday November 1, 2007
The Guardian

"....The UN's senior official in Gaza, Karen Koning-Abu Zayd, yesterday branded Israel's intensification of the Gaza siege as a violation of international law: despite its withdrawal two years ago, Israel continues to control all access to the Gaza Strip and remains the occupying power both legally and practically. Not that the situation is much better in the occupied West Bank....

Already, Hamas and the other non-Fatah Palestinian parties are preparing to stage their own conference in Damascus to coincide with the Annapolis jamboree. Their aim is to challenge the right of Abbas, who has never had any of the legitimacy of Yasser Arafat, to represent the Palestinian people in negotiations over its future. While they were prepared to accept him as a negotiator for a national unity government, there will be no acceptance of deals made by a figure many Palestinians now regard as simply operating under US and Israeli licence....

Nor should there be any interest in such a setup for anyone who wants to see a lasting settlement of the conflict. As in previous periods when political progress has been blocked, there are clear signs that pressures for a return to wider resistance are building up on the Palestinian side. The head of Israel's Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, said on Monday that he did not expect a new intifada if Annapolis failed because the Palestinian public was "exhausted and lacks leadership". It's true that any new upsurge in violence is likely to be different from in the past. But Palestinians are also well aware that it was the first intifada that led to the Oslo agreement, for all its weaknesses, and the second intifada that triggered Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza......"

Double-crossing in Kurdistan


By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The United States plan for Iraq all along has been no less than a "soft" partition, including an autonomous Kurdish mini-state and Shi'ite and Sunni regions. Even Turkey had signed on to this, provided the Iraqi Kurds cracked down on Kurdish militants striking into Turkey. With the militants running wild, though, Ankara has to take care of matters itself - and risk throwing the whole grand scheme into jeopardy, including the US's designs on Iran.....

The George W Bush administration would not flinch to betray its allies in Iraqi Kurdistan if that entailed a US "win" in the Iraq quagmire. And it would not flinch to leave its Turkish North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in the wilderness as well - if that entailed further destabilization of Iran.Way beyond the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) vs Turkey skirmish, one of these two double-crossing scenarios will inevitably take place. Washington simply cannot have its kebab and eat it too.....

Not accidentally, the new PKK overdrive coincides with US - and also Israeli - covert support for the PJAK. Israel has not only invested a lot in scores of business ventures in Iraqi Kurdistan, it has also extensively trained Kurdish peshmerga special commandos, who could easily share their knowledge with their PKK cousins......And most of all, the PKK drive coincides with the mysteriously vanished scores of light weapons the Pentagon sent to Iraq with no serial numbers to identify 97% of them.....

US corporate media totally ignore the US/Israeli coddling of the PJAK - and by extension the PKK. The larger context is lost. No one bothers to ask how come the Bush administration seems to be such a huge fan of a greater Kurdistan.....

Turkey has angrily reacted to the US Senate proposal for "soft" partition of Iraq. This is the famous US "Plan B" for Iraq - more an "A" than a "B" because it was floated years ago. And the authors are Israel and ... the Turks themselves.....

....Masterminded by an Israel obsessed with breaking up the 'sea of Arabs' in the Middle East, the plan has proceeded apace ever since, influencing and directing virtually all of Washington's political and military tactics in Iraq. And yet even today it remains nobody's business.".....The Israeli mastermind was Leslie Gelb......

Barzani and Jalal Talabani, Iraqi Kurdish leaders, rival warlords and wily opportunists, duly fulfilled their part of the deal - especially in October 1992 during a joint offensive with the Turkish army against the PKK.....

So what kind of Kurdish "sovereignty" is this? Iraqi Kurds detest, and ignore, the Baghdad government like the plague, and prize their independence; but as soon as they're threatened, they instantly seek refuge under Baghdad's (clipped) wings.

.....Following Barzani's logic, since Iraq is under occupation, the Turks would be actually invading a colonial possession of the US. Thus it should be Petraeus to confront the Turks about what they're up to. Washington in a way has proved its point: Iraqi Kurdistan is a fragile entity that only exists because it always depended on American protection......

US plans for Iraqi Kurdistan, stretching back to that 1990 Israeli-devised Turkish plan, are in jeopardy. And once again all because of the enemy within......

There's no evidence these lessons have been learned. No matter what happens in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Bush administration will still insist on the ethnic card to precipitate regime change in Iran. "

Iran simmers as a hot US political potato

By Jim Lobe
Asia Times

"A long-time US critic of the Iraq war, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, has broken ranks once again in a letter to President George W Bush, Pentagon chief Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging the US to hold direct and comprehensive talks with Tehran. Hagel's letter, which urges a "strategic shift" in efforts, comes amid the increasing clamor for war - and propels Iran to the center of the 2008 presidential race.....

His views are also believed to reflect those of Gates and most of the Pentagon's top brass, even including the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. According to Clemons, the chief of the US Central Command, the top military commander in the Middle East/Gulf region, Admiral William Fallon, also sent Hagel a letter of appreciation after receiving a copy of the senator's letter......"

Musharraf faces up to an emergency

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"The security situation in Pakistan is becoming so critical that President General Pervez Musharraf has to decide whether to continue with a low-intensity - and losing - war against militancy in the tribal areas, or vastly increase the scale of military operations, as the United States is insisting. Some are now suggesting that Musharraf needs "emergency" - ie, dictatorial - powers to properly wage his part of the "war on terror", and democracy be damned....."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is Bush Crazy??

"Near the end of this interview Bush says;

"Whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq, we got more work to do. We the free world has more work to do, and I believe those of us who live in liberty have a responsibility to promote forms of government that deal with what causes 19 kids to get on airplanes to kill 3000 students."

What is he talking about???"

Charges dropped in 20-year-old US case against Palestinian activists

Press Release, Legal rights organizations, Oct 31, 2007

"The 20-year effort to deport two men over their alleged political support of Palestinian self-determination officially came to an end today when the nation's highest administrative body overseeing immigration cases dismissed all charges against Khader Hamide and Michel Shehadeh, members of a group of Palestinian student activists arrested in January 1987, who became known as the LA 8.

The action by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) closes one of the nation's longest-running and most controversial deportation cases, one that tested whether immigrants have the same First Amendment rights as citizens.....

"My family and I feel a tremendous amount of relief today," said Hamide. "After 20 years, the nightmare is finally over. I feel vindicated at long last. This is a victory not only for us, but for the First Amendment of the Constitution and for the rights of all immigrants."

Shehadeh agreed......

The case against the pair began in January 1987 when the government arrested them and six others, who collectively came to be known as the LA 8, placed them in maximum security prison, and accused them of having ties to a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The government alleged that Hamide and Shehadeh distributed newspapers, held demonstrations and organized humanitarian aid fundraisers for Palestinians, and that because these actions supported the PLO faction, they should be deported. The men were initially charged with being associated with a Communist organization, but when a court declared those charges unconstitutional, the government filed new charges of material support for a terrorist group. The case went before the US Court of Appeals four times, the Supreme Court once, and the Board of Immigration Appeals multiple times......"

Video: U.S. to build military base in Lebanon

Click Here to Watch This Short Video

The Latest From Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza

"Hello friends,

Thanks a lot for encourging me to write again , i am realy sorry ,that i let u down by not writing regularly , i have not written since 10th of september 2007. Thanks for your encourging comments.

During Ramadan month (fasting month of moslems of Palestine )i was very busy coordinating relief fund , i managed as head of local committee ,to distribute money vouchers for 1000 families ,in diffrent prts of Gaza strip , i have wonderful collegues who help me to reach those families ,as a team i think we have succeeded , to reach the most poor and needy , in less than a week all the work was done , but the people needs are larger than our capacity , so our work complement other orgs and groups who works in this field .

It is realy sad to tell you that poverty level has increased in Gaza to unprecented levels ,with the embargo and economical siege , food staples prices have increased , this is the talk of people at the moment ,beside that Israel announced its implementation of the more strict siege and cut off basic supplies and fuel ; medications and medical supplies are big problem, many essential medications are lacking in the pharmacies , detergents too , patients who need to be referred for treatment abroad are denied permit to leave the country.

According to international law we are occupied by Israel , and this puts responsibility on Israel to Guarantee the supplies for the civilians of Gaza , but what Israel is doing is COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT which again is big crime according to international law .THE WORLD IS SILENT I KNOW WE ALL FEEL THAT IN GAZA, we try to survive to help each other to continue living and not to collapse. The burden is big and the responsibility for us , who work in huminatarian field is large , we should not give up ,we canot afford to give up .

A national committee to break the siege has been formulated in Gaza , i am member of that committee , it includes many civil society organisations and some active public figures, we r working hard to let the world hear our vioces , with the help of great networking of groups and organisations world wide , people who believe in our rights and who work in serious way to tell the whole world ,that what is happening in Palestine at the moment , has gone too far in human rights violation

i told u about the siege and the embargo and economical sanctions ,but i need to remind u all that Israeli military operations are continuous

i love u all
and again thanks for encourging me to write , it makes me feel that i am human , it makes me feel i am alive and in real contact with the real world

From Gaza with love
Mona ElFarra"

The Arab Puppet Leader:
We wish you quick recovery, Mr. Olmert; too much shelling is not good for your prostate!

USrael opens ‘security training school’ for Abbas to counter Hamas

Contributed by Lucia

"A new training school has opened in Jericho, in the West Bank, in which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will build up a security force with US funds, apparently in order to counter his rival Hamas.

The 142 officers who are scheduled to graduate in eight months are the front line of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' campaign to assert control in the West Bank and keep it from falling to Hamas.

Abbas is also attempting to reassure Israel and the U.S. that he's strong enough to keep the elected Hamas party down. That is what the Israeli and American leadership have told him he must do, in order to be allowed to beg them for concessions at a U.S. sponsored ‘summit’ in November.

The officers are studying Hebrew (Israel’s official language) and training in the use of arms, with Israeli officers providing some of the training.

The U.S. government has promised $86 million to support Abbas’ security forces. "

Crushing Defeat of US blockade of CUBA at UN General Assembly

The Great Democracies of Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau Were The Only Ones to Vote With the U.S.

"For the sixteen consecutive time, United Nations members voted against the US economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba. The resolution presented by the island received 184 votes in favor, one more than in 2006, four against and one abstention......"

Annapolis: Winners and Losers

By Iqbal Jassat
(Chairman of Media Review Network in South Africa)
Special to

"The following few weeks leading up to year-end is the subject of intense debate and being closely monitored by South Africans and Palestinians.

In the case of the former, the build-up to the ANC’s Limpopo conference has been dominating public discourse, for the expected change in leadership is likely to steer the country and its fortunes for the foreseeable future.

And here the similarity with Palestine ends. For while South Africa is able to determine its future as a free, independent and sovereign country within a democratic dispensation – Palestine remains colonized and occupied!

And the tragedy compounding Palestine is that its President has abdicated his responsibility towards his own people. Instead he has allowed himself to be dictated by the occupying power, which explains why the legitimately elected government of Hamas has been isolated and replaced by a group of unelected fellow-collaborators......"

Hamilton Declaration: An Open Letter to Abbas

Approved by 18 Palestinian Canadian community Associations - Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver, London Ontario, Hamilton, Branford, Montreal, A-lawda, Resistance Art

".....While Palestinians still suffer from the disaster of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian National Authority has now agreed to attend another round of flawed negotiations. This time it does so under the pressure of North America n and European nations that have actively collaborated with Israel to divide the Palestinian people and inflict collective punishment and other war crimes against them. Even now Israel is being allowed to deny the Palestinians the basic necessities for a functioning society through a humiliating siege against the Palestinian people in response to the exercise of Palestinian democracy and the adherence to its results.

It is our belief that the purpose of the Annapolis round of negotiations is to extract further critical concessions from the Palestinians while further delaying final status agreements. In particular, we believe that Israel will attempt to redefine the conflict with the Palestinians as being only about ending the occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, or parts thereof. Such a redefinition leads the Palestinians into the trap of the “two-state” formula which subverts our legitimate rights under international law.....

We stress that any attempt to establish peace and security in the land of Palestine can only be successful if it is firmly based on natural justice and the principles of international law. We reconfirm that the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to receive full compensation for all damage done to their property as well as for all other losses associated with the violation of their rights by Zionist forces is both an inalienable individual and collective right. Any Palestinian leadership that suggests that the inalienable Palestinian right of return ca n be negotiated away abrogates any legitimacy it may have had to speak in the name of the Palestinian people. "

Could Iran redefine Euro-American relations?

By Pablo Ouziel

"As European officials express concern about the fact that the Bush administration's designation of Iranian agencies and firms as supporters of terrorism could block relations with Tehran for years to come, President Vladimir Putin's description of these new U.S. sanctions, as America "running around like a madman with a razor blade in his hand," seems appropriate and worrisome.

The problem is that Europe has been enchanted by America's spread of dollar-democracy and through it has become America's closest 'ally'. Europe's formal political figures no longer represent the voice of the people but the interests of the ruling elites, all of whom are currently courteous to the American Empire. Without being aware, people on the streets in Europe are not really discussing their role in the international arena, but are merely reacting to America's global expectations......"

Cashing In on Terror

By Robert Scheer

"Not to stoke any of the inane conspiracy theories running wild on the Internet, but if Osama bin Laden wasn’t on the payroll of Lockheed-Martin or some other large defense contractor, he deserves to have been. What a boondoggle 9/11 has been for the merchants of war, who this week announced yet another quarter of whopping profits made possible by George Bush’s pretending to fight terrorism by throwing money at outdated Cold War-style weapons systems......."

Palestine Versus the Palestinians? The Iron Laws and Ironies of a People Denied

by Beshara Doumani
(professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley)
Journal of Palestine Studies

"An iron law of the conflict over Palestine has been the refusal by the Zionist movement and its backers, first Great Britain and then the United States, to make room for the existence of Palestinians as a political community. This non-recognition is rooted in historical forces that predate the existence of the Zionist movement and the Palestinians as a people. Consequently, there is a tension between identity and territory, with obvious repercussions for the following questions: Who are the Palestinians? What do they want? And who speaks for them? This essay calls for a critical reappraisal of the relationship between the concepts “Palestine” and “Palestinians,” as well as of the state-centered project of successive phases of the Palestinian national movement......."

Iraqi dam burst 'would drown 500,000'

By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil, Iraq

"A catastrophic failure of the largest dam in Iraq would send a wave 65ft high hurtling down the valley of the river Tigris, killing up to 500,000 people, US engineers warned yesterday.

The dam, which is near Mosul in the north of the country, was built in 1984 on a bed of water-soluble rock and is in imminent danger of collapse. "In terms of the internal erosion potential of the foundation, Mosul Dam is the most dangerous dam in the world," said a report by the US Army Corps of Engineers. "If a small problem [at] Mosul dam occurs, failure is likely." The collapse of the two-mile long, earth-filled dam would release eight billion cubic metres of water in the lake behind it in a giant wave which would flood Mosul – a city of 1.7 million people 20 miles downstream – to a depth of 60ft.

"A catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam would result in flooding along the Tigris river all the way to Baghdad," the US military commander General David Petraeus and the US ambassador Ryan Crocker warned the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in a letter on 3 May this year......

The state of the dam and the experts' belief that it is on the verge of collapse was first revealed by The Independent on 8 August. "It could go at any minute," a senior aid worker, who knew of the struggle by American and Iraqi engineers to save the dam, told this newspaper. "The potential for disaster is very great.".....

The flat, Mesopotamian plain was the site of the biblical flood where Noah launched his ark to escape the rising waters. Much of the story was drawn from the legend of Gilgamesh, the ancient Mesopotamian hero, which recounts the tale of a great inundation with details strikingly similar to those in Genesis......."

The Lobby, Unmasked

The Israel lobby: "We have an 'unwritten contract' with the American media"

By Justin Raimondo

"Progressive writer Philip Weiss reports on his excellent blog a speech by Andrea Levin, president of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA):

"The fact is, you know, we may be unhappy with the New York Times from time to time, and we at CAMERA have been, but I have to say we are fortunate. The American media is much, much more geared to understanding that there is an unwritten contract between them and us, and that is, that things should be factually accurate, and we get corrections all the time. Those corrections are very meaningful sometimes. We can prevent the repetition of serious errors. … So there is that give and take here in the States."

What is this "unwritten contract"? I'll tell you what it is: it's an agreement to censor anything and everything that offends the Lobby and its glorified, sanitized view of Israel. Here, after all, is a country that practices apartheid, imprisons children, and was founded on ethnic cleansing and bigoted religious obscurantism – and yet they present themselves to the world as a valiant little "democracy," a beleaguered outpost of "the West" in the midst of an Arab sea. It takes a lot of cosmetics to hide the true face of this dog, and that's what CAMERA is all about – prettifying an increasingly ugly reality. The Lobby reserves the right to censor any material that presents Israel in a more realistic light, and anyone who opposes them in their mission on behalf of a foreign power is smeared as an "anti-Semite."......"

For Neocons, Iran Aim Is Still Regime Change

By Gareth Porter

"Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative allies in the George W. Bush administration only began agitating for the use of military force against Iran once they had finally given up the illusion that regime change in Iran would happen without it.

And they did not give it up until late 2005, according to a former high-level Foreign Service officer who participated in the United States discussions with Iran from 2001 until late 2005.....

Within the administration, meanwhile, Wurmser was looking for the opportunity to propose a military option against Iran. In his September 2007 interview with the Telegraph shortly after leaving Cheney's office, he insisted that the United States must be willing to "escalate as far as we need to go to topple the [Iranian] regime if necessary."

That opportunity seemed to present itself in the aftermath of Israel's failed attempt to deal a major blow to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

Neoconservatives aligned with Cheney argued that Iran was now threatening U.S. dominant power in the region, through its proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territory and its nuclear program. They insisted the administration had to push back by targeting Iran's Quds Force personnel in Iraq, increasing naval presence in the Gulf, and accusing Iran of supporting the killing of U.S. troops.

Although the ostensible rationale was to pressure Iran to back down on the nuclear issue, in light of the previous views, it appears that they were hoping to use military power against Iran to accomplish their original goal of regime change."

Attacking Iran for Israel?

By Ray McGovern

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is at her mushroom-cloud hyperbolic best, and this time Iran is the target.

Her claim last week that "the policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge to American security interests in the Middle East and around the world" is simply too much of a stretch......

Are Bush and Cheney again relying on the Rumsfeld dictum, that "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"? There is a simpler answer.

Cat Out of the Bag

The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor, let the cat out of the bag while speaking at the American Jewish Committee luncheon on Oct. 22. In remarks paralleling those of Rice, Meridor said Iran is the chief threat to Israel.

Heavy on the chutzpah, he served gratuitous notice on Washington that effectively countering Iran's nuclear ambitions will take a "united United States in this matter," lest the Iranians conclude, "come January '09, they have it their own way."

Meridor stressed that "very little time" remained to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. How so?

Even were there to be a nuclear program hidden from the IAEA, no serious observer expects Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon much sooner than five years from now.

Truth be told, every other year since 1995 U.S. intelligence has been predicting that Iran could have a nuclear weapon in about five years......"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Video: Palestine Pre-1947

The old lie that palestine was dry desert waiting for a people is just that--a lie. This clip for all people to see the Beauty of the Palestinian People before they were ethnically cleansed and murdered and made into refugees by the State of Israel.

Music by Andrea Bocelli-ALl My Life

Palestinian opponents to Annapolis: We'll elect new president

Palestinian 'opposition' to hold conference in Damascus next week to protest Annapolis conference. Senior Palestinian official: We're considering electing alternate governing body to PLO

"Palestinian organizations in opposition to the Annapolis peace conference are weighing the possibility of electing a replacement body for the PLO in order to present an alternative to the leadership of current Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, a senior Palestinian official has told Ynet.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the PFLP-General Command as well as others are planning to participate in an assembly in Damascus next week to protest the Annapolis summit, the source claimed.

According to these 'anti-Annapolis' bodies, the peace conference "will lead to catastrophic results for the Palestinian people."

At the summit, the groups intend to highlight their opposition to such a peace conference and discuss a possible plan to establish an alternative leadership structure to replace the current government......

"No Palestinian views the PLO as a legitimate representative body and certainly not one that represents the Palestinian people," said the official.

"No Palestinian institution elected Abu Mazen (Abbas) as head of the PLO or as the Palestinian national president in place of Arafat, who was elected in `88."....."

Where Have All the Protests Gone?

By Tom Engelhardt,

"As the occupation of Iraq continues, the number and magnitude of demonstrations appear to be shrinking. What is happening to the protest culture of wars past?....

Where the Vietnam analogy distinctly breaks down, however, is in the streets. In the Vietnam era, the demonstrations started small and built slowly over the years toward the massive -- in Washington, in cities around the country, and then on campuses nationwide. In those years, as anger, anxiety, and outrage mounted, militancy rose, and yet the range of antiwar demonstrators grew to include groups as diverse as "businessmen against the war" and large numbers of ever more vociferous Vietnam vets, often just back from the war itself. Almost exactly the opposite pattern -- the vets aside -- has occurred with Iraq. The prewar demonstrations were monstrous, instantaneously gigantic, at home and abroad. Millions of people grasped just where we were going in late 2002 and early 2003, and grasped as well that the Bush dream of an American-occupied Iraq would lead to disaster and death galore......"

Giuliana Sgrena to Appeal Ruling Dismissing Trial Against U.S. Soldier Accused of Shooting Her and Killing an Italian Intelligence Officer in Iraq

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"An Italian court has dismissed the trial of a U.S. soldier accused in the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq. Specialist Mario Lozano of the New York National Guard allegedly shot Nicola Calipari as he escorted the then-newly freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena to the airport in March of 2005.

The Bush administration has refused to hand over Lozano so prosecutors sought to try him in absentia. But last week an Italian judge ruled Italy has no jurisdiction to pursue the case and threw out the charges......

We go now to Rome, where I'm joined by Giuliana Sgrena, veteran foreign correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. She wrote about the incident in her book "Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq, Rescued by an Italian Secret Service Agent, and Shot by U.S. Forces.".....

GIULIANA SGRENA: I am really disappointed for the decision of the Italian court about the Lozano case, because they decided that Italy has no jurisdiction to put on trial Lozano. And this decision is based on a letter, a Colin Powell letter, that’s attached to the resolution -- UN resolution. But it is a unilateral letter that was not accepted by other governments. So, also the prosecutors and our lawyers found that this is not a base to avoid our sovereignty on the Calipari case......

GIULIANA SGRENA: Oh, it’s not true. I was just doing my work, and many other journalists went to interview the refugees, the refugees of Fallujah. Me, I usually go to interview the refugees, because I think that it’s the people that more suffer for the situation. And also, in this case, I went there just to interview these refugees.

I know that for military, army, it’s not the case to go around and to do an independent work, because they want the journalists just to be embedded, but I can say that in the same day, the same moment that I was there doing to interview the refugees of Fallujah, there was also a photographer working for the US Time taking pictures there. So I was not doing a work with terrorists, because if not everybody work with terrorists. I was just there to interview refugees......."