Saturday, June 14, 2008

Report: Israel killed 635 Palestinians in Gaza in one year

"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Quds Press news agency revealed in a report issued Saturday that the IOA troops had killed since June 2007 until this current month 635 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip alone while 83 others were killed during the same period in the West Bank.

The report illustrates that the IOF troops had killed 235 Palestinian citizens during the period extending from last mid-June until the end of 2007 and 400 others since the beginning of 2008 in Gaza as a result of the Israeli military escalations.

In a new development, the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced in a communiqué received by the PIC that its fighters managed at noon Saturday to blow up an Israeli armored bulldozer by firing four successive anti-armor RPGs at it in the east of Al-Maghazi area, central Gaza Strip.

The Brigades said that this operation was carried out in retaliation to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza."

“Syria Will Retrieve Golan Even without Peace”


"14/06/2008 Syrian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Faisal al-Mokdad said on Saturday that Damascus retains several options to reclaim the occupied Golan Heights, including options of a less-than diplomatic nature – the Jordanian daily ‘al-Dustour’ reports.

Al-Mokdad went on to address Israeli settlers of the Golan, saying “the settlers should bear in mind that we will defend our land at any time [Sure thing......Syria has not fired a shot to recover the Golan since 1973; but watch out now! If you believe this, I have a bridge I would like to sell to you]. They should know that the Golan Heights belong to us and that they should not be raising their children in the Golan, since this is not their place. They will not enjoy their lives there.”

Syria has several courses of action if Israel refuses to return the Golan – however we still support peace and are not afraid of entering peace negotiations with Israel,” said Mokdad.

Syria was surprised to find that the commitments that Israel made in the past regarding the Syrian channel, were not binding,” he said......."

George W. Bush pictured with the long standing dictator of Saudi Arabia, the country which provided 14 of the 911 hijackers.

Latest From Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza

A Quest for Freedom

"Gaza these days

no fuel -no power-no gas it was not nice of me, not to update my blog, and to keep you informed about my life in Gaza, but I am sure you can understand me very well, specially that you all know by now that writing for me is a state of truth, and deep feelings, I write because I want you to know the truth about my life in Gaza, and also to feel that I am still alive and I have not been converted ,to an object or number!

I write to keep the link between myself and the outside world , the normal natural world ,with a deep feeling that I am like all of us in Gaza , we don’t belong to this world any more . we don’t belong to this silent impotent world , when we have been converted to a piece of news , small pieces of news, that attract the world attention and sympathy , for short while , and the siege continues and different crimes against humanity are daily committed by the occupation collective punishment , and by us as Palestinians , when we fail to over bridge the gap between Fath and hamas(the two largest parties in Palestine ) in order to reach an agreement , so we can confront the occupation , and focus on non violent resistance, to reach our national goals of freedom and self-determination , when peace that is based on justice prevail.

Hearing about Gaza is much different than living in Gaza. So please allow me to accompany you in a tour, during one of my days in Gaza....."


Vice President of the European Parliament


On Monday 16th June in Luxembourg, in the margins of the EU GENERAL AFFAIRS and EXTERNAL RELATIONS COUNCIL

Rome 13th June 2008

“We strongly feel that without serious signs of good faith translated into tangible improvements on the ground, the time is not yet right to upgrade EU-Israel relations" was the final statement by a 14 MEPs ad hoc delegation, belonging to different political groups. The ad hoc delegation visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 31 May to 2 June. The delegation witnessed the wall, check points, the expansion of the Israeli settlements on Occupied Territories and the siege in Gaza.

“This is not to punish Israel, but to be coherent with our rules - firstly with the respect of human rights that are fundamental in all association agreements between European Union and third countries. Human rights that continue to be systematically violated by the ongoing Israeli policies towards the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian Territory” added Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament, who was also part of the ad hoc delegation.

Regarding the EU-Israel Association Council meeting, scheduled to take place on Monday 16th June, within the margins of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Luisa Morgantini reinforced the same reservations expressed by the delegation. "Urgent actions to counteract eroding confidence in the Palestinian- Israeli process are needed,” expressed MEP Morgantini.

The ad hoc delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory, was co-chaired by Mrs Veronique DE KEYSER and Mrs Annemie NEYTS-UYTTEBROECK, and included fourteen MEPs belonging to different political groups. Attached below, is the official statement released by the delegation during a press conference in Jerusalem on 2nd June 2008.

Further info Luisa Morgantini 0039 348 39 21 465 or Rome Office 0039 06 69 95 02 17 ;; "

Coercive Diplomacy Disputed at Centrist Meet

By Gareth Porter

"The assumption that the US should exploit its military dominance to exert pressure on adversaries has long dominated the thinking of the US national security and political elite in the past. But this central tenet of conventional security doctrine was sharply rejected this week by a senior practitioner of crisis diplomacy at the debut of a major new centrist foreign policy think tank.

At the first conference of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Ambassador James Dobbins, who was the Bill Clinton administration's special envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo and the George W. Bush administration's first special envoy to Afghanistan, sharply rejected the well-established concept of coercive diplomacy.......

The idea that diplomatic negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program must be backed by the threat of war is so deeply entrenched in Washington that endorsement of it seems to have become a criterion for any candidate being taken seriously by the national security community.

Thus all three top Democratic hopefuls supported it during their primary fight for the Democratic nomination.

Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in early 2007, Clinton said that, in dealing with the possibility of an Iranian nuclear capability, "no option can be taken off the table." Obama and Edwards also explicitly refused to rule out the use of force against Iran if it refused to accept US demands to end its uranium enrichment program."

The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner

By Dave Brown, The Independent

While Bush and NATO ARE Still "Making Progress" in Afghanistan....

Hundreds of Taliban prisoners freed after attack on Afghan jail

"Taliban militants blew open one of Afghanistan's biggest prisons last night, setting free more than 400 insurgents and 700 criminals.

A suicide bomber drove a lorry packed full of explosives into the main gates of Kandahar prison, while teams of militants attacked the building with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

A Taliban spokesman said 30 insurgents on motorcycles and two suicide bombers were involved in the attack. Officials said almost all of the 1,150 prisoners escaped in the gun battle that ensued, including more than 400 Taliban.

Witnesses said that Taliban gunmen stormed into the jail, shooting guards as they raced to free their fellow militants.

The brother of President Hamid Karzai, Walid Karzai, said a second wave of suicide bombers then ran into the prison and blew down two of the compound's mud walls. Mr Karzai, who is the head of the provincial council, said: "All the prisoners escaped. There is no one left." The first blast, from a water tanker filled with explosives, destroyed the main gate, killing all of the guards nearby........"

Gaza prisoners in bid to lift ban on family visits

By Donald Macintyre
The Independent

"Palestinian prisoners from Gaza held in Israeli jails have launched a legal battle along with their families to lift a year-long ban on visits organised by the Red Cross.

Their legal action, supported by a series of Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, is seeking to overturn a decision by the Israeli authorities to bar prison visits while Hamas remains in control of Gaza.

One of the Israeli organisations, Hamoked, says there are about 930 prisoners from Gaza held in Israeli jails and the cancellation of regular family visits "constitutes collective punishment and violates international law"........"

Beware the Chicago boys

Obama's vow of love for free markets gives reason to fear a replay of Bill Clinton's 1993 U-turn

By Naomi Klein
The Guardian, Saturday June 14 2008

"Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the race to declare, on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed the 37-year-old Jason Furman, one of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, to head his economic team....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Iraq - US-Iraq secret deal - 13 June 08 Part 2

"America is believed to be negotiating a secret deal with Iraq. One that perpetuates the military occupation of Iraq indefinitely. The new deal, if it goes through, would grant the Americans a right to use more than 50 bases in Iraq, indefinitely. It also means immunity for the US troops and contractors against the Iraqi law. A free hand to carry out military activities without the approval of Baghdad. How would such a deal impact Iraq in the long run? "

Real News Video: Hard right neocons and AIPAC

Jim Lobe: The origin of the Zionist, Neocon, Christian Right alliance (Part 1 of 2)

"Pepe Escobar talks with Jim Lobe about this history of the Israel Lobby in the United States. From Christian Zionists to Neo-conservatives"

'US, Israel two sides of same coin'

Press TV

"Lebanon's top cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah draws a parallel between the US and Israel in the savage killing of innocent people.

"The US and its protégé, Israel, are two sides of the same coin in their brutal killing of innocent people," said the prominent Lebanese cleric in his weekly Friday prayer sermon delivered from the Imamayn Hassanayn Mosque in Haret Hreik.

"When US military aircraft bomb innocent Afghan families and kill Pakistani soldiers to warn them nobody better dare stick their necks out against White House policy on its so-called war on terror, it looks very much like its Israeli ally which launches air strikes against residential units in the Gaza Strip," said the senior cleric.

"Washington sees the world as an area under its dominance and feels no shame in the kidnapping and torture of those opposing its policies in its military bases stationed across the globe," Fadlallah added.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who voices concern over the 'captivity' of Israeli soldiers, expresses no sympathy over the appalling condition of 11,000 Palestinians subject to psychological and physical torture in Israeli prisons, the cleric argued.

Fadlallah sees no difference between Israeli or American prison guards, as the US soldiers have tortured many prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Abu Ghraib, and prisons in Afghanistan. "

Chomsky: Bush a catastrophe, a gambler

Press TV

"Noam Chomsky believes that everything the Bush administration has done has turned into a catastrophe, calling war on Iran a wild gamble.

When interviewed by Press TV about the possibility of a US-led attack Iran the world renowned US foreign policy analyst said, “It is conceivable that they would be willing to enter a wild gamble and to see what happens. Remember that everything Bush administration has done almost without an exception has turned into a catastrophe for the interests they represent.”

US intelligence seems to oppose it. The US military opposes it. The Americans and surely the whole world oppose it,” he said while acknowledging his own doubts if the Bush administration would be swayed by those pressures.

People like DicK Cheney are unpredictable,” he said in the live Friday interview.

About Iran's nuclear talks with the IAEA, he said, “The right solution to this problem is to declare a nuclear weapons' free zone in the entire region which would include Iran, Israel, American forces deployed there and so on. About three quarters of Americans favor it and I think that's the right idea.”

About the controversial US long-term security treaty with Iraq which stipulates American investors are to be given concessions denied others to Iraq's resources, he said, “That's brazen imperialism, saying we invaded you so that we could control your country, and so that our corporations can have privileged access to your resources.” "

Friday, June 13, 2008

Video: Freedom Next Time

Propaganda as Journalism

By John Pilger

"Australian journalist, author, film maker John Pilger speaks about global media consolidation, war by journalism, US military's quest for domination/hegemony in the post 9/11 era, false history in the guise of 'objective' journalism.

Filmed in Chicago at Socialism 2007: Socialism for the 21st Century by Paul Hubbard. June 16, 2007 "

(About 45 minutes)

US Congress: Establish Diplomatic Relations With Israel or Else!

Bill Presses Iraq To Recognize Israel

"Washington - To the many challenges facing the fledgling Iraqi government, Congress may soon add this: Recognize the State of Israel and establish diplomatic ties with Jerusalem, or else risk losing some of the billions in aid that Baghdad receives from the United States......."

"Peace Negotiations" With The Palestinians
By Emad Hajjaj

تسريبات اسرائيلية تحتاج الي توضيح

تسريبات اسرائيلية تحتاج الي توضيح

لا نعرف مدي دقة تصريحات ايالون هذه، وما اذا كانت مجرد جزء من عملية التضليل وبالونات الاختبار التي تطلقها الحكومة الاسرائيلية من حين الي آخر، ولكن تأكيد الرئيس الامريكي جورج دبليو بوش مجددا علي امكانية التوصل الي اتفاق قبل نهاية هذا العام يعطي بعض المصداقية لاقوال ايالون، فقبل اسبوع تقريبا جري تسريب انباء عن توصل الطرفين المتفاوضين، الفلسطيني والاسرائيلي، الي اتفاق حول الحدود، اي حدود الدولة الفلسطينية المفترضة، ولم ينف السيد قريع الذي اجتمع مع نظرائه الاسرائيليين عشرات المرات، هذه التسريبات، بل أكدها بصورة غير مباشرة.
المشكلة تكمن في ان هذه المفاوضات تجري في اجواء مغلفة بالسرية المطلقة، بعيدا عن اعين الصحافة والرأي العام في الجانبين، الامر الذي يزيد من غموضها، وزيادة حدة التكهنات بشأن ما يجري خلف الغرف المغلقة.
فاذا كان الوفد الاسرائيلي المفاوض يملك استراتيجية واضحة، ومرجعيات محددة يعود اليها مثل مجلس الوزراء المصغر، فإن الوفد الفلسطيني المفاوض لا يملك اي مرجعية حقيقية شرعية، ومحكوم بمزاج شخصين، هما رئيسه السيد احمد قريع ورئيس السلطة في رام الله السيد محمود عباس.
ان اكثر ما نخشاه ان يفاجئنا الرجلان باتفاق صدمة جديد مع الاسرائيليين يمررانه علي الشعب الفلسطيني من خلال استفتاء مزور، تماما مثلما فاجآنا باتفاق اوسلو قبل خمسة عشر عاما.
فالسلطة في رام الله لا تحتكم الي المؤسسات الشرعية الفلسطينية، بل لا تعترف بوجودها، فالمجلس الوطني الفلسطيني معطل، وحتي لو جري تفعيله فإنه لم يعد يمثل القوي الحقيقية علي الارض، اما المجلس التشريعي فثلث اعضائه في السجون الاسرائيلية ولم يجتمع منذ عام علي الاقل.
الشعب الفلسطيني يجب ان يتحرك، ويفرض ضوابطه علي السلطة ورئيسها، ويصر علي الشفافية المطلقة، لانه المتضرر الاكبر من اي اتفاق ينتقص من الحقوق الشرعية، وينحرف عن الثوابت الاساسية

Change, What Change?


"On Tuesday June 3 Barack Obama claimed the greatest prize the Democratic Party can offer, namely his nomination as its candidate for the presidency. The very next day the salesman of “change” raced from Minnesota back to Washington and publicly abased himself at the feet of an organization whose prime mission is to ensure that change unpalatable to the state of Israel will never be pressed by the United States government. The terms of Obama’s surrender exploded like rhetorical cluster bombs across the Middle East. To Israel and its Arab neighbors it surely signaled that whoever moves into the White House next January, there will be no swerve from Bush’s role as guarantor of Israeli intransigeance.

The conferences of the American Israel Public Committee have become showcases for the political clout of this lobbying group. The clout is real......

As Uri Avnery, the veteran Israeli writer and peace activist expostulated here furiously in the wake of this last sentence: “Along comes Obama and retrieves from the junkyard the outworn slogan ‘Undivided Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel for all Eternity’. Since Camp David, all Israeli governments have understood that this mantra constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to any peace process. It has disappeared - quietly, almost secretly - from the arsenal of official slogans. No Palestinian, no Arab, no Muslim will make peace with Israel if the Haram-al-Sharif compound (also called the Temple Mount), one of the three holiest places of Islam and the most outstanding symbol of Palestinian nationalism, is not transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. That is one of the core issues of the conflict. On that very issue, the Camp David conference of 2000 broke up.”....."

Gaza: Mogadishu or Dubai?

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

".....Enter the savior
........ the Israeli elite still seems to be locked on war mode. Take Ephraim Sneh, a man many Israelis - and Jewish-Americans - believe should be the next Israeli prime minister. Sneh is no dove, but he's not a fanatic either. He's a former deputy defense minister (1999-2001), a retired general and a highly influential Labor member of the Knesset. Sneh actively sold himself at the AIPAC meeting as having the ultimate Gaza solution......

According to Sneh, "The problem of Gaza is that there are 1 million people there living in poverty and now without jobs and without hope. And if you want to uproot Hamas - something that Israel must do one day - the way to do it is not just by military option, which would break the military force of Hamas, but to enable the legitimate government of [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad to restore its authority, and immediately after that to embark in an economic development plan to build, through private enterprise, 100,000 jobs in Gaza." .....

Sneh's problem, for all his moderate proposals, is the Israeli elite's problem: Hamas is regarded as nothing but a bunch of "terrorists" - while its popular appeal is totally negated.

Sneh may even sound like some other (Arab) demonizers of Hamas such as al-Arabiya TV, a de facto media arm of the House of Saud, whose cultivation of the bizarre includes a report titled "Israel preserves the option of peaceful stabilization in Gaza"........

Sneh, by the way, knows Abbas well. They meet "relatively frequently". Abbas is considered "a man of peace" who "represents the majority of the Palestinian people, who want normalcy and know that terror is counterproductive". Former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon use to say the same things about Abbas.......

Sneh insists Hamas "proved they cannot solve the general problem in Gaza. They can't build stability, they can't build prosperity, they can't feed the kids of Gaza with bullets". He might add that nobody can build anything in a gulag under a total embargo.

So Gaza can become a new Dubai - but first Hamas has to be smashed. Anyone familiar with Gaza knows this schizophrenic proposition will never fly - unless 1.5 million people are exterminated. Seems "Mogadishu" is here to stay.

But the whole drama in Gaza goes way beyond Hamas. It is directly connected to the larger Israel and US-Iran confrontation - and the relentless demonization campaign against Iran in both Israel and the US.

The Islamic Republic actively supports Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Although it is never stated publicly, smashing Hamas and crippling Iran would be essential for the Zionist and militaristic wing of the Israeli elites in advancing the larger project of Eretz Israel. This greater Israel would include most, if not all of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and south Lebanon up to the Litani River, an extremely precious source of water and a key reason for the Israeli attack on south Lebanon in the 2006 war, thwarted by Hezbollah.

So is it about Dubai and Mogadishu? Way beyond it, it's all about Iran and water."

BBC's Pro-Israeli Bias

A Very Good Piece
by Stephen Lendman

Global Research, June 13, 2008

".....Impartiality has no place on BBC nor does its claim about "honesty, integrity, (and being) free from political influence and commercial pressure." How can it? Its Director-General, Executive Board Chairman, BBC Trust Chairman and senior managers are government-appointed and charged with a singular task - to function as a "propaganda system for elite interests." On all vital issues - war and peace, state and corporate corruption, human rights, social justice, or coverage of the Middle East's longest and most intractable conflict, Westminster and the establishment rest easy. They know BBC is "reliable" - pro-government, pro-business and dismissive of the public trust it disdains. Now more than ever.

This article covers one example among many - BBC's distorted, one-sided support for Israel and its antipathy toward Palestinians. In this respect, it's fully in step with its American and European counterparts - Israeli interests matter; Palestinian ones don't; as long as that holds, conflict resolution is impossible. Therein lies the problem. With its reputation, world reach, and influence, BBC's coverage exacerbates it......"

By Mike Luckovich

John McCain’s Chilling Project for America

By Elliot Cohen

"John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it....."

'Israel Lobby' authors in Jerusalem: Ahmadinejad not inciting to genocide

"....."If you bring up the Israel lobby, you are asking for trouble," Walt said as he opened his lecture. He said he knew he was playing with fire when he wrote the book, but said he would not be deterred by personal attacks against him........

On Thursday Mearsheimer and Walt, both renowned political scientists long before their book came out, outlined their findings in a brief introduction. They argued that the only logical explanation for the U.S. government handing Israel $3 billion (1.95 billion) in annual aid, far more than any other U.S. ally, and supporting it unconditionally was the pro-Israel lobby, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. They said AIPAC wields disproportionate power because of deep financial resources and heavy-handed tactics.......

At one point, 25-year-old international relations student Liad Gilhar accused the professors of distorting facts and providing fodder for anti-Semites. "You need to choose your words carefully," Gilhar said.

Walt shot back. "With all due respect, I don't think it is my words that harm Israel, but rather Israel's actions."

A professor criticized the authors for failing to condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. "I don't think he is inciting to genocide," Walt responded.

Mearsheimer said Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians helped fuel terrorism against the United States and that, unlike in Israel, there was no healthy debate on the matter in America.

"The U.S. media coverage is heavily slanted in Israel's direction," he said.

Not all in the audience were hostile.

Korina Kagan, a political science lecturer, said she essentially agreed with their thesis and was appalled by the attacks against them, especially from academic circles.

"The smear campaign against them is worse than anything they have ever written, she said," adding that many of their positions are shared by commentators in the Israeli media. "We need to have a free academic exchange."
Mearsheimer and Walt were invited to Israel by Gush Shalom....."

The Revolt of the Liberated

Iraq – 'liberated' nation or outpost of empire?
by Justin Raimondo

"......The great problem with the Iraqis is that, unlike the Japanese and the Koreans, they're fighting back. McCain's response is to crush them. The Democrats would rather cut and run. Within the imperial paradigm accepted by both parties – a conceptual framework that simply assumes our overweening global military presence – the GOP has the advantage of looking "tougher," while the Democrats look merely craven......

The frontiers of empire are being pushed outward, and Iraq – bristling with American bases and weaponry – is slated to become a launching pad for U.S. military adventurism in the region. This is happening without significant domestic opposition from either party: aside from some very loud grumbling, the top national security mavens in the U.S. Senate have stopped short of taking any actions, aside from writing worrisome letters to Condi Rice. As the Post points out, "Although they have questioned the status of forces agreement's contents, lawmakers have not raised the issue of its congressional ratification."......

If and when Obama takes the White House, the Iraq war will immediately become his war, and his party's war. The issue will then be: a negotiated end to the conflict and the occupation, or else a series of "surges" culminating in an open conflict with Iran. A third scenario – an ignominious helicopters-taking-off-from-rooftops retreat – is a real possibility, too. Staying the course is no longer an option. "

Garrisoning the Global Gas Station

by Michael T. Klare and Tom Engelhardt

"If you thought things were bad, with a barrel of crude oil at $136 and the oil heartlands of our planet verging on chaos, don't be surprised, but you may still have something to look forward to. Alexei Miller, chairman of Russia's vast state-owned energy monopoly, Gazprom, just suggested that, within 18 months, that same barrel could be selling for a nifty $250. Put that in your tank and? well, don't drive it. It will be far too valuable.

Think of Miller's sobering prediction as, at least in part, a result of the Bush administration's attempt to "secure" the Middle East and the oil-rich Caspian basin by force in two failing wars (and occupations). Now, imagine for a moment, what his price scenario might be if, as journalist Jim Lobe – never one to leap from rumors to sensational conclusions – recently suggested, forces in the Bush administration (and in Israel) in favor of launching an air campaign against Iran are gaining strength. Just the suggestion last week by Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli deputy prime minister, that an attack on Iran is "unavoidable" if that country doesn't halt its nuclear program – "If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective." – helped send the price of crude oil soaring. Imagine what an actual air attack might do.

You know that old joke: military justice is to justice as military music is to music; well, someday, not so far into the future, a similar, though far grimmer joke, is likely to be made about Washington's attempts to secure the U.S. oil supply by military means. In the meantime, Michael Klare, author most recently of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, considers the madness of Washington's long-term militarization of oil delivery and the devastating oil wars that have resulted......"

Obama Is a Truly Democratic Expansionist

A Good Piece
By John Pilger

"In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: "The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it." What has changed? The terror of the rich is greater than ever, and the poor have passed on their delusion to those who believe that when George W Bush finally steps down next January, his numerous threats to the rest of humanity will diminish.

The nomination of Barack Obama, which, according to one breathless commentator, "marks a truly exciting and historic moment in US history", is a product of the new delusion. Actually, it just seems new. Truly exciting and historic moments have been fabricated around US presidential campaigns for as long as I can recall, generating what can only be described as bullsh*t on a grand scale......

It is time the wishful-thinkers grew up politically and debated the world of great power as it is, not as they hope it will be. Like all serious presidential candidates, past and present, Obama is a hawk and an expansionist. He comes from an unbroken Democratic tradition, as the war-making of presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton demonstrates. Obama's difference may be that he feels an even greater need to show how tough he is. However much the colour of his skin draws out both racists and supporters, it is otherwise irrelevant to the great power game. The "truly exciting and historic moment in US history" will only occur when the game itself is challenged."

Bush Pledges on Iraq Bases Pact Were a Ruse

By Gareth Porter

"Two key pledges made by the George W. Bush administration on military bases in its negotiations with the government of Iraq have now been revealed as carefully-worded ruses aimed at concealing US negotiating aims from both US citizens and Iraqis who would object to them if they were made clear.

Recent statements by Iraqis familiar with US demands in negotiations on the US-Iraq "strategic framework" agreement have highlighted the fact that administration promises that it would not seek "permanent bases" or the use of bases to attack Iran or any other neighboring countries were deliberately misleading. The wording used by the Bush administration appears to have been chosen to obscure its intention to have both long-term access to Iraqi bases and complete freedom to use them to launch operations against Iran and Syria.....

"Senior Iraqi military sources" were quoted by GulfNews as saying the agreement gave the United States "the strike, from within Iraqi territory, any country it considers a threat to its national security." That interpretation was based on the absence of specific language ruling out US military operations without the prior consent of the Iraqi government......."

Gaza 'genius' helps besieged city survive a year of Israel's blockade

By Donald Macintyre in Gaza City
Friday, 13 June 2008

"......But then Mr Annan is proudly trying to make a point that, while it might be electric, this Peugeot is no milkfloat. "It can do 100kph (62mph)," he says with a grin, as our knuckles whiten in the passenger seats. Whether or not Mr Annan's friend Hesham Abu Sido, an electrical consultant, is justified in describing the electric vehicle as a "genius idea" which is "the most fantastic thing that has happened in Gaza", it is certainly a case of turning adversity into opportunity.

It also proves that Gaza's famous entrepreneurial spirit has not yet been snuffed out by the draconian economic blockade imposed by Israel after the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized full control of the Strip by force a year ago tomorrow.

Since then, Gaza has seen continuing conflict, ever-deepening poverty, shortages, unemployment and despair. Against that background, the white Peugeot has become a symbol of Gaza's suppressed potential......."

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel......

Gaza: 14 Killed, 40 Wounded in Israeli Attacks


"13/06/2008 Palestinians reported that at least seven people have been killed and 40 more wounded in a large explosion in northern Gaza on Thursday afternoon.

Hamas sources told Israeli daily Ynet that two of the seven people martyred were senior operatives from the organization: Hassan Abu-Shakfa, one of the organization's commanders in northern Gaza, and Ashraf Mushtaha, another of Hamas' senior operatives.

The incident occurred in the home of Ahmed Hamouda, who is a member of the Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. A source from the resistance organization said that the fact that the blast occurred during a meeting held by the senior operatives is evidence that the explosion was part of an Israeli attack, and witnesses also reported the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike.

Palestinians said there were women and children among those wounded, five of them are said to be in serious condition. The explosion resounded throughout the far corners of the city and the house has been completely destroyed. A number of neighboring residential buildings and business establishments were seriously damaged.

Sources in Gaza reported Thursday evening that a Palestinian was martyred and three others were injured during an Israeli occupation attack east of Khan Younis.

At around 11 pm Palestinian sources reported that three Hamas resistance fighters were killed in an Israeli strike targeting the organization's observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier in the day occupation forces operating in Gaza killed three Palestinian fighters. Two of them, members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, were killed in the Beit Lahiya region."
Tony: Same old pattern, not much Palestinian learning and adaptation. Hamas' learning curve is quite flat, nothing compared with Hizbullah. It is obvious that Hamas is not operating as an effective guerrilla force; Hamas likes to pretend that it is a state. I read most of its pronouncements and communiques in Arabic; many are reminiscent of Arab regimes: long on empty rhetoric and meaningless bravado. An example is to declare that, "The Qassam anti-aircraft ground units are defending Gaza and are repelling the attacking Israeli air force!" This is not credible at all since Hamas does not have the required missiles. Even during the peak of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Hizbullah (with by far more capabilities) never made comparable claims. By shooting at the Israeli aircraft they expose their positions and provide their coordinates to the Israelis who fire their missiles within seconds and that explains why Palestinian fighters often die as a group (a cell).

Hamas has not adjusted its tactics to take into account that the IOF uses very sophisticated technology to track their movements and determine their locations. Even when mortars are fired, the trajectory is traced back to the firing cell which is hit almost immediately. Another doctrine which Hamas must abandon is to keep fighters as sentry in fixed positions (murabitoon!); this is not too smart and no guerrilla in his right mind would do. I expect more of the same to continue, including fiery speeches by Mr. Haniyeh.

Hamas blew away the brilliant breaking down of the ghetto wall at Rafah five months ago. Since then it fell in the trap of trusting the Pharaoh who has bought time and built even more permanent ghetto wall to tighten the siege even more. Now the Egyptians are being trained in Texas, by the US Army, on how to detect the Palestinian tunnels (under the wall) and to destroy them.

Hamas is also indulging in wishful thinking about the Israeli-Egyptian charade of a possible ceasefire, and that Israel would not dare invade Gaza. There will be no ceasefire, and just as the Iraqi experience has taught us, after the siege comes the invasion; this is what is coming in Gaza.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I read Palestinian history, there is so much (too much?) to absorb; the amount of suffering and the fact that people allowed this to happen, so the predominant feeling I have is to be numbly sad.  There are statistics and dates but no individual people jump out who have died, who have lost something precious to them, whether a home, a loved one, or a way of life.  When it happens today and they attack and kill children and the elderly, the numbness is no longer possible, and above the sadness rises an anger that eclipses it.  An anger that is my natural reaction to attacks on the especially defenseless.  An anger that comes from love and my desire for justice.  An anger that I do not know how to turn into something useful, which only makes me angrier.  It is an anger I cannot control.  An anger that would never let me hesitate to give my life for these people, if only my life would save them.   

Video: Jewish settler attack on film

Footage from a video camera handed out by a human rights group appears to show Jewish settlers beating up Palestinians on the West Bank.

An elderly shepherd, his wife and a nephew say they were attacked by four masked men for allowing their animals to graze near the settlement of Susia. The woman spent three days in the hospital after the attack. So far, no-one has been arrested.

click on title for video

Poll: Most Israelis, Palestinians see no point in peace talks

A poll conducted by an Israeli university and a Palestinian think tank and published Thursday shows that most Israelis and Palestinians see no point to current peace negotiations or the truce Egypt is trying to mediate between Hamas and Israel.

Nato's lost cause

The west's 'good war' in Afghanistan has turned bad. A local solution, rather than a neocolonial one, is what's needed

In the latest clashes on the Pakistan-Afghan border, Nato troops have killed 11 Pakistani soldiers and injured many more, creating a serious crisis in the country and angering the Pakistan military high command, already split on the question.

US failure in Afghanistan is now evident and Nato desperation only too visible. Spreading the war to Pakistan would be a disaster for all sides. The Bush-Cheney era is drawing to a close, but it is unlikely that their replacements, despite the debacle in Iraq, will settle the American giant back to a digestive sleep.

Gaza hospitals in need of care. Is it A Genocide Yet?

Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 12 June 2008

"JABALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza, 11 June (IPS) - In the brightly painted new intensive care unit wing of al-Awda, northern Gaza's only emergency medical facility in the massive Jabaliya refugee camp, doctors, nurses, aides and administrators are ready to provide emergency surgery services for the area's 300,000 people.

But the metal bed frames remain empty of patients -- and of mattresses, and IV bags, and heart monitors, and other basic supplies needed at any medical facility. The equipment has been purchased, but remains in the occupied West Bank city Ramallah, prevented by Israel from being taken into Gaza......"

The US must face up to the reality that it has very few friends in Iraq

By Tony Karon

"The conclusion of Iraq’s story is, of course, unwritten, but now that the US has declared that it’s time to write the next chapter – the one that determines the future of the American troop presence there – Washington is finding that it’s own ideas are substantially at odds with those of even key Iraqi allies......."


By Mairead McGuire
Northern Ireland Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

"On 5th June, 2008 whilst attending Conference in Bil’in on Nonviolence, I Was invited by friends, who are members of Christian Peacemakers’ team based in Hebron, to go with them to see what is happening in Hebron.

On arrival in Hebron we met with the Administrator of the Hebron Orphanages. He explained that the Israeli army is threatening to close 14 schools and orphanages In the Hebron district. Eight of these schools and orphanages belong to the Islamic Charitable Society, while the remaining six belong to the Muslim Youth Society.(On 26th February the Israeli army forces handed over military orders of closures and confiscations of two bakeries, administrative buildings, a warehouse, three schools and two orphanages. All of these owned by the ICS.)......"

US strike hits Pakistan's raw nerve

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"Tuesday's raid by United States warplanes into Pakistani territory in which 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed will further strain the US's relations with one of its key allies in the "war on terror", which it accuses of aiding the Taliban. But Islamabad has to weave an intricate web with militants to protect its own back....."

War on Iran: Law the first casualty

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"The decision by the United States and Israel to escalate the threat levels against Iran, as reflected in President George W Bush's statement in Europe that all options remain on the table, has been matched by an equally resolute defiance by Iran. Another unjustified, illegal war in the Middle East is being plotted......"

Bike Jacker

By Mike Luckovich

Latest From Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza

A Quest for Freedom "Fishermen Action Day"

"Last April's report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs identified a growing crisis. Titled "Polluting the Sea in the Gaza Strip,” the report indicated that "between 50 and 60 million litres of partially treated and untreated sewage have been flowing daily into the Mediterranean Sea since 24 January". It also warned of the contamination of sea waters which is posing health risks for bathers and consumers of seafood.

In response to this crisis, a public event-Quest for Freedom- will be held at the Gaza port on Monday, June 16th 2008, from 9:00 to 11:00. The event will include opportunities to join fisherman on their boats for a firsthand exposure to the conditions that threaten their own livelihoods, the health of Gazan citizens, and the vitality of the natural environment.

On the same day, groups in other countries will carry out demonstrations of solidarity. This is part of a growing international movement in which people around the world join together to protest the collective punishment being inflicted on Gaza.

On behalf of "the Palestinian International Campaign to End Siege on Gaza", we would like to invite you to attend. We look forward to your participation.


Dr. Mona El-Farra
Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege"

'Special Weapons' Have a Fallout on Babies

By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

"FALLUJAH, Jun 12 (IPS) - Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.

The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.

In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tonnes of DU in Iraq thus far......."

Israel and Syria in Diplomatic Charade

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Jun 12 (IPS) - After an eight-year hiatus, Israel and Syria have resumed negotiations -- albeit via Turkish middlemen -- on the issue of the strategic Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967. But according to analysts in Cairo, neither side appears entirely genuine in its desire to reach a final settlement.....

But while Israel-Syria talks are scheduled to resume next week, probably in Turkey, some analysts in Cairo say the negotiations represent little more than a tactical ploy by both sides.

"Syria appears to be merely playing along with the talks," said Kandil. "This way, Damascus hopes to counteract the isolation imposed on it by Washington and prove to the international community that it is interested in peace. Syria also hopes that, by participating, Washington might tone down its support for the regime's political opponents operating abroad.".....

Egyptian analysts expressed little surprise that the two antagonists had chosen Turkey over Egypt -- a traditional leader in the region -- to mediate the dispute.

"Egypt has lost much of its former diplomatic weight," said Kandil. "Turkey, meanwhile, has kept up strong relations with both Israel and Syria, and boasts considerable stature -- political and economic -- in the region." "

Strike on Iran nuclear sites under discussion again

By Dion Nissenbaum
McClatchy Newspapers

"JERUSALEM — Six months ago, after American intelligence agencies declared that Iran had shelved its nuclear-weapons program, the chances of a U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran before President Bush left office seemed remote.

Now, thanks to persistent pressure from Israeli hawks and newly stated concerns by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the idea of a targeted strike meant to cripple Iran's nuclear program is getting a new hearing......"

Caterpillar annual meeting draws protesters

"Pro-Palestinian protesters angry with Caterpillar Inc for selling tractors to Israel picketed the company's annual meeting on Wednesday as shareholders rejected a proposal that would have required Caterpillar to publish a report on its foreign military sales.

Chanting, "Take responsibility and do the right thing," the protesters claimed tractors sold to the Israeli Defense Force have been used to demolish more than 12,000 Palestinian homes in recent years.

Caterpillar, which has been targeted by activists for five years, continues to say that it cannot control how its equipment is used. Sales are made through the U.S. government under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales Program......."

Jail Time for Tenet?

By Ray McGovern

"President George W. Bush used to complain that being president was "hard work," but he has gotten over that. Now he says it "has been a fabulous experience."

Why fabulous? Well, a good part of it has to do with his past.

When Bush screwed up royally – whether in his personal or business affairs – he had to suffer the humiliation of asking his father or his father's friends (sometimes Arab friends) to bail him out.

But now? Wow! As president, young George has found he can escape accountability altogether.

Now when he screws up royally, he need not call Dad; George W. Bush is himself in control of all the levers he needs to pull in order to bail himself out. Is this a great country or what?....."

ضرورة إحباط معاهدة أميركية عراقية

A Good Article in Arabic

منير شفيق

إن البيانات الصادرة عن القيادات الشيعية والسنية المعتبرة ولاسيما من قبل هيئة علماء المسلمين والتيار الصدري وغيرهما في الحسم برفض ما يجري من مفاوضات بين قوات الاحتلال وحكومة المالكي بهدف التوصل إلى معاهدة عسكرية سياسية أمنية وأخرى نفطية، يضع العراق أمام مرحلة جديدة هي تشكيل أوسع جبهة من مختلف مكونات الشعب العراقي الاجتماعية والسياسية إلى جانب قوى المقاومة من أجل الحيلولة دون توقيع هذه الاتفاقيات. وإذا حصل فمن أجل الإطاحة بها قبل أن ترى النور.

إن تشكيل مثل هذه الجبهة وبدعم عربي إيراني تركي سيكون منطلقا ليس لإنقاذ العراق من هذه المعاهدة والاتفاقيات فحسب، وإنما أيضا من أجل فرض رحيل قوات الاحتلال بلا قيد أو شرط، فهي لا تستحق مكافأة على الكوارث التي أنزلتها بالعراق.

بل يمكن أن يتحول الفرز في المعركة ضد المعاهدة والاتفاقيات آنفة الذكر إلى أساس تبنى عليه وحدة شعب العراق التعددية والتوافقية والعادلة مع تكريس استقلاله وسيادته وهويته العربية والإسلامية واستعادة دوره العربي والإسلامي وفي العالم الثالث.

وبهذا تسقط كل المخاوف التي تخشى على مستقبل العراق بعد رحيل قوات الاحتلال، فعوامل وحدة الشعب العراقي وتجاوز الفتنة المذهبية السنية الشيعية كما العربية الكردية، مازالت كامنة وقادرة على أن تصبح هي الغالبة.

وكذلك عوامل التضامن والتعاون الإيراني التركي العربي لأن في ذلك مصلحة عليا للجميع فيما الضد شر على الجميع.

وأخيرا وليس آخرا إن بمقدور تلك الجبهة أن تفرض انسحابا على قوات الاحتلال بلا قيد أو شرط. فالوضع الدولي الراهن وما تواجهه أميركا من ضعف وارتباك وانقسام داخلي حول العراق، إلى جانب ما يعانيه الكيان الصهيوني من تدهور وتراجع وأزمة يسمح بهذا الاختراق.

فكيف يجوز أن تقدم لإدارة بوش هدية المعاهدة والاتفاقية النفطية؟ أو بصورة أدق كيف تترك حكومة المالكي لتعبث بمستقبل العراق وأمن المنطقة بالتوقيع على المعاهدة والاتفاقية النفطية.

فهذه القضية لا تهم العراقيين وحدهم وإنما تهم العرب والمسلمين، فلا عذر لأحد في ألا يعلن رفضه لها ومعارضته لتوقيع أي اتفاقية في ظل الاحتلال حتى لو كان من بين بنودها الانسحاب، لأن ما ستحمله من شروط ستبقى الهيمنة في مقابله، فالانسحاب يجب ألا يكون مشروطا ولا يتم من خلال معاهدة أو اتفاقية."

The reality is that Iraqi authority would be nominal

By Patrick Cockburn

"In practice, there is less to the American "concessions" than would first appear. The reaction in Iraq to the US demands for the long-term use of military bases and other rights has been so furious that Washington is now offering limited concessions in the negotiations. For example, the US is lowering the number of bases it wants from 58 to "the low dozens" and says it is willing to compromise on legal immunity for foreign contractors according to information leaked to The Independent.

George Bush is willing to modify some of the demands so the Iraqi government can declare "a significant climbdown" by the American side allowing Baghdad to sign the treaty by 31 July.

But the US currently only maintains about 30 large bases in Iraq, some the size of small cities; the rest are "forward operating bases".

The US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, denied The Independent's report that the US wanted permanent bases in Iraq. But the reality of the US plan is that Iraqi authority would be purely nominal with a few Iraqi soldiers stationed outside the bases........"

By Steve Bell, The Guardian

Ethiopia accused of war crimes to quell insurgency

Xan Rice, east Africa correspondent, Thursday June 12 2008

"Ethiopia's government has committed extensive war crimes and crimes against humanity during a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the remote Ogaden region, a report says today.

Human Rights Watch accuses the Ethiopian military of extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, forcibly displacing thousands of civilians and using food as a weapon of war in its attempts over the past year to defeat the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which claims to seek self-determination for the eastern region.

Satellite images published in the 130-page report show how villages have been burnt down to deny the rebels a support base - a tactic more often associated with the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan......."

Rice Hopes France Will Deliver Right Messages to Syria


"12/06/2008 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed hope Wednesday that France would deliver the right messages to Syrian President Bashar Assad on the situation in Lebanon and the indirect peace talks with Israel. Rice was commenting on French President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to send envoys to Damascus and invite Assad to Paris for a Mediterranean summit.

She said she assumed the messages to Assad would include "taking advantage of the indirect peace talks with Israel brokered by Turkey and living up to Damascus' obligations under Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701 which urge it not to interfere in Beirut's internal affairs, to demarcate its border with Lebanon and establish diplomatic relations with it."

The messages should also focus on the need for Syria to "be supportive of the efforts that the Palestinians and the Israelis are undertaking to try to find a two-state solution" to end their decades-long conflict.

Rice made the comments on her plane heading to the French capital for a donors conference on Afghanistan."

Sarkozy Invites Olmert, Assad to Paris Conference


"11/06/2008 French President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad to participate in a conference scheduled for July 13 in Paris.

Olmert has expressed his willingness to attend the conference, which will focus on the Middle East, while Assad has yet to respond. Other Mideast leaders are also expected to participate. The invitation was recently relayed to Jerusalem ahead of Sarkozy's scheduled visit to Israel on June 22.

If Assad decides to attend the conference it would mark the first time that leaders from Israel and Syria meet under one roof. However, it remains unclear whether Olmert and Assad will agree to hold one-on-one talks or even shake hands.

Official sources in Jerusalem told Israeli daily Ynet on Tuesday night that the negotiations between Israel and Syria will resume next week in Turkey. "

Israel Haunted by Hezbollah's Score Over Moghniyeh


"12/06/2008 Israel believes Hezbollah may try an attack against Israel in order to "settle accounts" over the assassination of Islamic Resistance commander Imad Moghniyeh last February.

Lebanon on Wednesday rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's call for talks. "There are pending bilateral issues between Lebanon and Israel which are governed by international resolutions which Israel must respect ... and which cannot be the object of political negotiations," a Lebanese government statement issued said.

According to Israeli media, concerns of a Hezbollah action are increasing. Haaretz suggested that one scenario is a hit against an Israeli public figure, particularly someone with a defense background. "The military is particularly concerned with attacks on officers, and security for high-ranking officers has been increased recently. It is considered likely Hezbollah would consider such an assassination an appropriate response to the assassination of Moghniyeh," the daily said. It added that alerts have even been heightened recently, "despite progress in indirect talks between Israel and Hezbollah regarding a prisoner exchange."

An exchange took place recently between Hezbollah and Israel and saw the release of Nassim Nisr from his jail in Israel and the handing over of the remains of some Israeli soldiers who were killed during the Israeli war against Lebanon in 2006."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sieg Heil!

A Pathetic Piece By Layla Anwar

A Glee of Satisfaction....

"I just love it when am proven right. Not because am pompous or anything, but because it means that what I happen to see is correct and not some figment of my imagination.

After all, with all the bullshit I read on blogs and even on my own comment section, I do ask myself questions. But then, an article appears just in time to confirm my initial vision.

In my post Surreal Concidences dated May 28th, 08 -- I textually said there will be a breakthrough between Hezbollah and Israel on the Shabaa farms as these are tied in with Syria.

And I can now tell you that Hezbollah and Israel have been secretly negotiating in Germany and the bits of news I just linked above are nothing but the result of their negotiations.I wonder what the mullahs and pro-Iran pundits and vultures have to say now. Ha!Knowing these political midgets, they will likely to remain silent for a little while or maybe proclaim another "divine victory" hahahahaBut am not too worried, Iran - the greedy courtisane - will dangle the sectarian card again and flare it up somewhere else...Possibly Baghdad again, Yemen (already happening), Pakistan (most definitely) and Saudi Arabia.(in all likelihood). But first, she will wait for new orders from her Zionist masters.And you can be sure to hear the never ending barks of the mullahs and their ideological prostitutes all over again...not that they have stopped. Fascist, racist loyalties oblige !"

Crossing the Line interviews Diana Buttu about Israeli bill to delist Arabic

Podcast, Crossing the Line, 11 June 2008

"This week on Crossing The Line: Israeli MP Limor Livnat recently introduced a draft bill to delist Arabic as an official language of the Jewish state. Former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesperson Diana Buttu joins host Naji Ali to discuss this latest attempt to strip Palestinians of their cultural and national identity.

Also this week, it has been more than a year since fighting between the Fatah al-Islam militant group and the Lebanese army at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon displaced the camp's approximately 30,000 Palestinian residents. Many news outlets broadcasted the battles that took place in the camp, but what they didn't show was the aftermath of the nearly 90-day war due to a media blackout in the country. But the collective a-films managed to get access and documented the human rights violations that took place in Nahr al-Bared. Ali speaks to a-films member Ray Smith about the events which took place in Nahr al-Bared.

Lastly, the US State Department recently denied seven students from Gaza their Fulbright scholarships, citing Israeli movement restrictions, before re-awarding them again. Ali speaks with Dr. Marcy Newman a former Fulbright scholar and activist and professor of English at Idaho State University, about the Fulbright controversy as well as the plight of other university students in Gaza who also wish to travel abroad in order to further their studies."

Click Here to Listen

Hezbollah rejects UN control of Shebaa

Press TV

"Hezbollah lawmaker Mohammad Raad has rejected an initiative that would put the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms under the control of the UN.

In an interview with al-Manar TV, Raad said that Hezbollah would not reach its goal of liberating the occupied territories if it put the Shebaa Farms under the control of the United Nations.

The initiative to place the territory under the control of the United Nations was reportedly put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy visited Lebanon earlier this month to become the first Western head of state to meet with newly-elected President Michel Suleiman, who was elected into office May 25.

Suleiman announced during a meeting on Monday with visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that he would provide the UN with documents 'that will prove the Shebaa Farms belong to Lebanon'......."

WPost's Enduring Bush Cover-up

By Robert Parry

"In a kind of Watergate in reverse, the Washington Post has rallied once again to defend George W. Bush’s honesty, with the paper’s editorial-page editor swatting away the latest swarm of evidence showing how the President took the nation to war in Iraq via a series of lies.

Much as the rival Washington Star in the 1970s let itself be used by Richard Nixon to muddy the Watergate waters – obscuring the mounting evidence of his guilt – now Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt and the newspaper’s hierarchy have lent themselves to the task of covering up Bush’s deceptions about the Iraq War......."

U.S. security talks with Iraq in trouble in Baghdad and D.C.

By Leila Fadel and Warren P. Strobel
McClatchy Newspapers

"BAGHDAD — A proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that would set the conditions for a defense alliance and long-term U.S. troop presence appears increasingly in trouble, facing growing resistance from the Iraqi government, bipartisan opposition in Congress and strong questioning from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

President Bush is trying to finish the agreement before he leaves office, and senior U.S. officials insist publicly that the negotiations can be completed by a July 31 target date. The U.S. is apparently scaling back some of its demands, including backing off one that particularly incenses Iraqis, blanket immunity for private security contractors......"

'Faster, Please!'

Senate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran

by Justin Raimondo

"...... Yes, we are prisoners of history. Our invasion of Iraq has led directly to a looming confrontation with Iran, just as the war-planners knew it would. What the second portion of the Senate report shows, however, is that we are also prisoners of the Israel lobby, which is inexorably pushing us into war with Iran. That lobby exercises enormous power in Washington and beyond, effectively policing not only the media but the government for the least sign of "anti-Israel" (i.e., pro-American) activity, relentless in pursuit of its goals – and its enemies.

Yet there is growing resistance to the Lobby's hegemony, especially within intelligence, counter-intelligence, and law enforcement circles. They, after all, are expected to put up with Israeli shenanigans conducted on American soil and stand by while the White House and the Pentagon let our alleged best friends get away with the crown jewels, the family silver, and the quarters in the cookie jar to boot.

Now the Senate report has blown away much of their cover; that and the recent exposure of Ben Ami Kadish, an Israeli spy handled by the same spook who directed Jonathan Pollard, constitute a double body-blow to Israel's fifth column in America – which is, today, just another name for the War Party and its top leadership.

As Ledeen might put it: "Faster, please!""

An ominous warning that the rapid rise in oil prices has only just begun

The Independent

"The chief executive of the world's largest energy company has issued the most dire warning yet about the soaring the price of oil, predicting that it will hit $250 per barrel "in the foreseeable future".

The forecast from Alexey Miller, the head of the Kremlin-owned gas giant Gazprom, would herald the arrival of £2-per-litre petrol and send shockwaves through the economy. His comments were the most stark to be expressed by an industry executive and come just days after the oil price registered its largest-ever single-day spike, hitting $139.12 per barrel last week amid fears that the world's faltering supply will be unable to keep up with demand........"

Unified? Not for the Palestinians

For the non-Jewish half of Jerusalem, celebrations for the 'unified' city were inappropriate and offensive

By Seth Freedman, Wednesday June 11 2008

"Slumped on a cheap plastic chair in the protest tent that has become his second home, Jawad's eyes blazed momentarily as he vented his rage. "Just because we're Palestinian, does that mean we have to believe their lies?" he spat, when asked how he felt about the claim that Jerusalem was now a "united" city.

"Everything's become worse [since the occupation]", he continued. "We pay almost 50% of the municipality's budget, and get less than 2% of the services in return. Our families are scared to visit us in Silwan, ever since the settlers set up home here; the settlers have stolen all of our trade by encouraging the tourists to only buy from them; they're trying to turn the whole of our village Jewish – and there's every likelihood that they'll succeed".......

For Jawad and his peers in Silwan, there was no question that the event was just another chance for the Zionist nationalists to kick them while they were down – and, it seemed, those doing the kicking weren't denying it either. "Life's tough"; "I don't feel guilty…"; "From the Nile to the Euphrates"; phrases that rang out far louder than the music emanating from the stage, and sentiments that showed the true colours of those championing the cause of conquest and capture for another year. "

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - Al-Qaeda - 10 Jun 08

"This episode of the Riz Khan show asks Abdel Bari Atwan, the author of The Secret History of al-Qaeda, and Reuel Gerecht, a former CIA officer, if al-Qaeda is getting weaker or stronger."

Part 1

Part 2

Real News Video: Will the real Obama please stand up?

Aijaz Ahmad: Obama's economic speech - will Obama shift the economy away from big oil and arms?

Iraq SOFA deal allows future wars

Press TV

"The proposed Iraq-US security treaty includes classified articles that would give US the right to attack other nations from Iraqi soil.

As reported by Press TV correspondent from Baghdad, the controversial classified articles in question include the following measures:

1. US forces would be free to attack via Iraqi airspace, land or waterways any country which threatens global and regional peace and security, menaces Iraqi government and constitution, or instigates terrorist and paramilitary groups.

2. US forces would have the right to set up additional military bases and stations inside Iraq that will support the Iraqi army. The number of the bases would depend on several factors, including the security conditions the US government deems desirable, negotiations with the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US command as well as discussions with the Iraqi Defense Ministry and relevant authorities.

3. The Iraqi government and its judiciary would not have the right to prosecute American forces or individuals. The immunity measure would extend to the US military, security, non-military and logistics firms affiliated with the US Army.

4. The Iraqi government would not have the right to independently determine whether US forces inside Iraq are qualified, nor would it have the right to limit or determine the size of American military bases and their routes.

5. US security forces would have the right to build security centers, particularly their own special prisons, to maintain security.

6. US forces would have the right to use their privilege to arrest those who threaten peace and security without a warrant from the Iraqi government or its institutions.

7. The US government must be informed of and negotiated with on Iraq's regional and international relations as well as signing of agreements so as to safeguard the country's security and constitution.

US forces will control Iraq's defense, interior and intelligence ministries for 10 years to carry out efforts toward training and enabling their staff, a measure which would mean even the weapons used by Iraqi forces and their types must be employed with the consent of US forces.

9. The agreement to be signed would be a pact rather than a treaty.

10· US forces would remain in Iraq for an unspecified and presumably lengthy period depending on conditions in the country. Future reviews on the matter would depend on the US and Iraqi governments. Any review would only be made under certain preconditions, including that Iraq's security and military organizations improve their performance; the country's security situation improves; national reconciliation takes place; neighboring countries are warned; the Iraqi government regains complete control throughout the country; and put an end to the presence of paramilitary forces inside Iraq.

According to Press TV's Baghdad correspondent, the 14-member American delegation now in Iraq to negotiate the deal were asked to revise several articles of the status of forces agreement (SOFA) in order to secure the approval of the Iraqi government......"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who Will Be The Next US President? AIPAC Decides

5 Minute Video By Jon Stewart

Israel’s Ambassador to the UK and his deception

Comment by Khalid Amayreh in Occupid Jerusalem

"Israeli ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor has once again claimed that the United Kingdom is becoming a “hotbed” of anti-Israeli propaganda.

In an opinion piece published in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph, Prosor alleged out that Israel was facing an intensified campaign of delegitimization, demonization and double standards.

“Britain has become a hotbed for radical anti-Israeli views and a haven for disingenuous calls for a one-state solution,” he ranted.

Ignoring the criminal role Israeli universities and academic institutions are playing in consolidating the Israeli occupation and tormenting Palestinians, Prosor criticized efforts by the British University and College Union to sever links with Israeli universities.

Finally, Prosor castigated “disingenuous calls” for a one-state solution, which he called “a euphemism for the destruction of Israel.”


Well, does this man really think that the people of the UK, indeed the people of the world, are not aware of what Israel has been and is doing to the Palestinians? Shouldn’t he realize that Israeli criminality transcends reality and that the utter depravity of Israeli behavior has already gone beyond the pale of what is humanly acceptable?......."

Egyptian traitors train in Texas

From The Vineyard of The Saker

"Ha'aretz as published an article entitled "U.S. Army training Egyptians to find, destroy smuggling tunnels" which describes how Egyptian soldiers are trained by the US Army to prevent any tunnels being dug out of the open air prison of Gaza. Ha'aretz writes:

The United States Army has begun training Egyptian soldiers to locate and destroy tunnels, in an effort to improve the Egyptian army's ability to cope with arms-smuggling from Sinai to the Gaza Strip. A second, larger group of Egyptian soldiers is also due to arrive shortly for training, which is taking place at a U.S. Army base in Texas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is teaching the Egyptian troops how to use advanced technological equipment to find and destroy the tunnels, including instruments that measure ground fluctuations and signal that a tunnel is being dug. There has already been some improvement in Egypt's anti-smuggling activity, said (Israeli) Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, who heads the Military Intelligence research division.

When I read this I wondered how these soldiers would be greeted in Egypt upon their return from this training and how they would be seen once they begin to use their newly learned skills to choke their imprisoned Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza.

It is customary to consider the collaborators of an invading force as traitors and collaboration is usually seen as a capital offense. These Egyptians do not even have the excuse of living under an occupation and one has to conclude that they are willing collaborators of what is a war crime and, possibly, a genocide in progress. Are they denounced as such in the Arab press? Does any Muslim religious authority denounce them as apostates? Has Hamas ever stigmatized them for being traitors? "

Activists move to help Palestinians regain land

JERUSALEM, 10 June 2008 (IRIN) - A group of Israeli human rights activists has begun a project to help Palestinians in the West Bank, who have in the past had land taken away by settlers, regain what they say are their property rights.

Israel's settlements in the West Bank, according to a 2007 report entitled The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli Infrastructure in the West Bank by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), are causing hardship to the local Palestinians: Their ability to develop urban areas is severely hampered, their agricultural land has shrunk and their movement has been restricted.