Saturday, June 20, 2009
"أ- النظام الإيراني نظام شمولي، وليس مجرد دولة سلطوية. إنه نظام مركزي قوي ومتطور في نظم الإدارة والرقابة، ويحكم بموجب أيديولوجية تدعي أجوبة على كل شيء، وتتوق إلى أن تتخلل كافة نواحي الحياة. وبدل الحزب وتنظيمات الشباب، يعتمد على تنظيمات واسعة تجمع بين الأمن والأيديولوجية وحتى المنفعة لفئات واسعة من السكان، خاصة عبر "الباسيج".
كما يعتمد على شبكة واسعة ومنظمة من الملالي، وعلى تسيس أجهزة الأمن والحرس الثوري. ولكنه يختلف عن النظم الشمولية التي نعرفها بأمرين مهمين جدا، بل فاصلين عن الأنظمة الشمولية الأخرى:
- الفرق الأول: لم نعرف نظاما شموليا يتبنى هذا القدر من التنافسية الدستورية داخل النظام الحاكم وضمن أيديولوجيته، وهو تنافس منظم في انتخابات تطرح فيها برامج مختلفة فعلا في إطار قواعد اللعبة المتفق عليها،
- الفرق الثاني: أن الأيديولوجية الرسمية التي تتخلل عمل المؤسسات الحاكمة والحيِّز العام والتربية والتعليم كهوية وكمرشد في العمل، مذهب ديني حقيقي تؤمن به غالبية الناس أصلا، وليست دينا إلحاديا أو دنيويا كما في حالة الشيوعية والفاشية لا تؤمن به إلا نخبة من الحزبيين لا يلبث إيمانهم أن يتحول إلى مجرد مصلحة، ولا يؤمن به حتى أبناؤهم.
الشباب من أبناء الفقراء يؤيدون نجاد، تماما كما يؤيد أبناء الفقراء شافيز في فنزويلا, وانتخاب نجاد عام 2005 كان احتجاجيا -ومن قبل الشباب قبل غيرهم- على المحافظين الذين فسدوا، وليس فقط على الإصلاحيين
سيتجاوز النظام الإيراني الأزمة الحالية معتمدا على عدد من الأدوات, والسؤال الهام: هل سيستفيد منها بانتزاع شعارات الإصلاح من الفاسدين والتحالف مع يسار الإصلاح ضد يمينه، أم سيعتمد على القمع وحده؟
Contributed by Fatima
"شبه رئيس الكنيست الأسبق أفراهام بورغ إسرائيل بالشيطان بسبب ما وصفه ممارساتها العنصرية والفاشية، وذلك في محاضرة نظمتها جمعية سيكوي الإسرائيلية اليوم بعنوان المخاوف والمواقف وأثرها على الصراع.
وأوضح بورغ ضمن محاضرته في بلدة مسغاف في الجليل أن إسرائيل قامت من أجل حل القضية اليهودية لكنها لا تزال عالقة بالماضي وتؤسس علاقاتها مع الآخر على خوف الإسرائيليين من بيئتهم وكأنهم في أوروبا في القرن التاسع عشر.
وأوضح بورغ -الذي تقلد مناصب مرموقة منها وزير الداخلية ورئيس الكنيست- أن إسرائيل تعيش على الرؤية إياها بأن اليهود شعب بلا أرض يريد أرضا بلا شعب، وهي لا ترى الآخر وتحاول تجاوزه بمناورات مختلفة بخلاف الواقع على الأرض.
"Youtube has removed my video, “Feeling The Hate In Jerusalem,” on the baseless grounds that it contains “inappropriate content.” They have offered me no further explanation and have stonewalled my inquiries and attempts to rectify the situation. Thus they have censored a video that contains far less inflammatory content than thousands of video they are already hosting. Why? I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube. At the same time these elements have attempted to paint me as a self-hating Jew determined to foment anti-Semitism. I answered this last charge to Ha’aretz (read the barely coherent article here) last week: “I have received death threats from people, mainly ones calling me a self-hating Jew. I am self-hating, but my self-hatred has nothing to do with me being Jewish.”
Jewish Voices for Peace (the parent organization of the excellent website Muzzlewatch) is preparing an action for tomorrow to pressure Youtube into restoring the video. They are asking their members to email firstname.lastname@example.org to demand an explanation for the censorship. For now, I have reposted the video on Vimeo and urge everyone to distribute it widely."
"RAMALLAH, Jun 20 (IPS) - Forty international aid agencies and NGOs have released a joint statement condemning Israel's blockade of Gaza, to mark the second anniversary of the coastal territory being hermetically sealed off from the outside world.
"We, United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organisations, express deepening concern over Israel's continued blockade of the Gaza Strip which has now been in force for two years.
"These indiscriminate sanctions are affecting the entire 1.5 million population of Gaza, and ordinary women, children and the elderly are the first victims," read the statement, to mark the anniversary Wednesday.....
Friday, June 19, 2009
By Azmi Bishara
COMMENT: I posted the Arabic version of this article موسم القوانين العنصرية on May 31.
"What is behind the latest wave of legislative proposals flooding the Knesset agenda? I refer specifically to those intended to curb manifestations of Palestinian patriotism and to restrict the political activity of Arab Israelis.
The aim of these laws is to impose the Israeli nationalist creed by coercion. It's really that simple.....
Naturally, no state, however totalitarian it may be, can impose love and loyalty for it by force, let alone a colonialist state that would like to force this on the indigenous inhabitants it had reduced to a minority on their own land. Certainly it would be much easier for Israel to prohibit manifestations of disloyalty than to legislate for forced manifestations of loyalty.
For many years I've been advocating a Palestinian interpretation of citizenship in Israel that Israel continues to reject, with consequences to myself that readers may well be aware of. According to this interpretation, the Palestinian Israeli effectively tells the ruling authorities, "My loyalty does not go beyond the bounds of being a law abiding citizen who pays his taxes and the like. As for my keeping in touch with Palestinian history and with the Arab world in matters that should be inter-Arab, such things should not have to pass via you or require your approval." Such talk was previously unheard of in Israel and it came as quite a shock to the ears of interlocutors used to liberal-sounding references to "our Arab citizens" who serve as "a bridge of peace" and proof of "the power of Israeli democracy". Rejecting such condescension, the new type of Palestinian says, "My Palestinianness existed before your state was created on top of the ruins of my people. Citizenship is a compromise I have accepted in order to be able to go on living here in my land. It is not a favour that you bestow on me with strings attached."
Apparently, more and more Arab citizens have come around to this attitude, to the extent that Israel has begun to realise that the material exigencies of life or gradual acclimatisation to Israeli ways and political realities will not be able to stop the trend. It has come to believe that only new laws will bring a halt to what it regards as dangerous manifestations of disloyalty. Such laws will be inherently oppressive but they will simultaneously pronounce the failure of Israelification."
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"...On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”
On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported: “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”
A few days previously, the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”
On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”......
Timmerman goes on to write that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars promoting ‘color’ revolutions . . . Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.” Timmerman’s own neocon Foundation for Democracy is “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”"
" I am sure that Americans would favour the emergence from the present situation of a truly popularly based government and it is very appropriate for the president to make clear that that is what he favours. Now if it turns out that it is not possible for a government to emerge in Iran that can deal with itself as a nation rather than as a cause then we have a different situation, then we may conclude that we must work for regime change in Iran from the outside but if I understand the president correctly he does not want to do this as a visible intervention in the current crisis."
Global Research, June 18, 2009
"....Also disturbing are more moderate, supposedly even-handed, and progressive US voices....On June 13, Stephen Zunes asked....Juan Cole admitted....
The Nation magazine has had a shameful record since inception.... Now it's at it again in a June 13 Robert Dreyfuss article headlined.....
A lack of journalistic and analytical integrity on the left and right continues to hype fraud without a shred of supportive evidence, so something sinister may be visible on Iranian streets. If true, the Obama administration likely is behind it or at least in support, so Iranians need remember their history....
Iranian Street Protests and Their Ominous Possibilities
Leading up to and after the Iranian election, The New York Times played its customary role as lead media gatekeeper/instigator doing what it does best - sanitizing news, filtering out uncomfortable truths, and presenting distorted opinions for the powerful interests it represents.....
What's going on? Are anti-Ahmadinejad protests spontaneous or are covert instigators inciting them?....
Writing in the New Yorker's June 29, 2008 issue, Seymour Hersh said "Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country's religious leadership."....."
A Very Good Analysis
Global Research, June 18, 2009
"There is hardly any election, in which the White House has a significant stake, where the electoral defeat of the pro-US candidate is not denounced as illegitimate by the entire political and mass media elite. In the most recent period, the White House and its camp followers cried foul following the free (and monitored) elections in Venezuela and Gaza, while joyously fabricating an ‘electoral success’ in Lebanon despite the fact that the Hezbollah-led coalition received over 53% of the vote.....
.....Western leaders rejected the results because they ‘knew’ that their reformist candidate could not lose…For months they published daily interviews, editorials and reports from the field ‘detailing’ the failures of Ahmadinejad’s administration; they cited the support from clerics, former officials, merchants in the bazaar and above all women and young urbanites fluent in English, to prove that Mousavi was headed for a landslide victory. A victory for Mousavi was described as a victory for the ‘voices of moderation’, at least the White House’s version of that vacuous cliché......
Paradoxically, US commentators (left, right and center) who bought into the electoral fraud hoax are inadvertently providing Netanyahu and his American followers with the arguments and fabrications: Where they see religious wars, we see class wars; where they see electoral fraud, we see imperial destabilization."
"OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Detained Hamas lawmakers called on the Egyptian government, as the host and sponsor of inter-Palestinian dialogue, to pressure former PA president Mahmoud Abbas to release political detainees in the prisons of his militias.
The MP's added that everyone knows how sensitive this issue is and the effect of leaving it unsolved on the inter-Palestinian dialogue, stressing that there were tens of political detainees in the jails of Abbas's militia who spent more than a year in those jails.
The detained MP's stressed that any agreement imposed without solving this sensitive issue will not be more than a crisis management agreement and not a solution, likening this situation to carrying a ticking bomb, that could go off any time, in one's own pocket.
Meanwhile, Hamas said on Thursday that there was no truth to news reports that Abbas's militia has released 20 Hamas political prisoners in the West Bank and stressed that reaching an agreement with Fatah has become very difficult.[No kidding!]"
"......Initially, a PA security spokesman said Amr killed himself by jumping from the third floor of the Mukhabarat headquarters. However, it was clear that this story had no credibility and was mainly intended to cover up the real story, namely that the man was actually tortured to death at the hands of the Mukhabrat interrogator.
Amr’s family initially demanded that an autopsy be performed on his body in the Israeli forensic institute known as Abu Kabir to rule out possible “foul play” by PA security elements, e.g. bribing or coercing doctors to falsify the autopsy report. Eventually, however, Fatah leaders and PA officials convinced the victim’s father to perform the autopsy at al Quds University medical college in Abu Dis near Jerusalem, assuring him that no foul play would be allowed.
However, as of this time (Thursday afternoon, 18 June), no autopsy report has been released, which might suggest that the PA has some thing to hide from the public.
This also explains PA efforts to prevent the media from covering the story and especially filming the body, which bore clear scars of torture especially in its lower parts.
On Monday, 15 June, members of the Preventive Security Force (PSF) detained an Al-Jazeera TV crew after filming the body shortly before the burial rites at Amr’s home village. The PSF men confiscated the crew’s cameras and recording equipments, and also detained correspondent Wael al Shoyoukhi for several hours. The equipments were returned to the crew hours later after the videotaped materials showing the scars of torture had been erased.......
There have been certain rumors that the Fatah movement was seeking to strike a deal with the bereaved family whereby the family would cede its right to pursue the killer in return for an undisclosed amount of money. However, the family vehemently denied these rumors, saying “the blood of our son was not for sale.”
The PA has been clearly embarrassed by the murder for several reasons. First, the victim’s father and many of his immediate relatives are veteran Fatah activists and many of them are actually members of the PA security agencies. Indeed, the head of the interrogation department at the General Intelligence in Hebron is a distant cousin of the victim.......
This prospect would complicate the operations of the PA security apparatus, especially interrogators involved in torturing Hamas’s detainees. The rationale is that interrogators would start feeling that the PA would protect them if the harsh interrogation tactics they employ led to the death of the person being interrogated, as was the case with Haitham Amr and several others victims.
Similarly, the PA can’t just fabricate a denial of any wrong doing since this would convince nobody, including the victim’s family, which is generally affiliated with Fatah.
Hence, it is highly likely that the PA security agencies will let the case die down......
However, it is amply clear that torture, even harsh torture, is still widely practiced by some PA security agencies.
According to observers in Occupied Palestine, a key reason contributing to PA flaccidity and ostensible indifference concerning the ostensible rampancy of torture and other human rights violations in the West Bank is that western powers, upon which the PA depends for its financial survival, have shown little or no concern over this matter. "
".....Since the fighting in the camp ended nearly two years ago, most of the so-called "old camp" has been bulldozed and reconstruction is set to begin within the next month. Along the perimeter of the old camp however the ruins of more than 200 houses are still standing. They're under the sole control of the Lebanese army, which still prevents residents from returning.....
However, the Lebanese army did have plans for the construction of an army base in Nahr al-Bared. On 16 January, the Lebanese cabinet decided to establish a naval base in the camp as well. Both plans concern mainly areas A' and E' and the coastal strip along the old camp. Just months ago, fierce protest to these plans was voiced by the camp's residents and the government has reportedly dropped its plans. However, only when the Lebanese army finally makes clear its intentions for the handover of the remaining parts of the camp will residents' worries be dispelled -- or their fears for the future of Nahr al-Bared confirmed."
by Justin Raimondo, June 19, 2009
".....I would note that Obama’s skepticism in the face of the Green Revolution echoes the sourness of the Israelis, who are also disdaining Mousavi’s peacemaking credentials. As Meir Dagan, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, recently testified before the Knesset:
"The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mir Hossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element…It is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran’s nuclear program when he was prime minister."
A Mousavi government in power in Tehran would not necessarily be friendlier to Israel, and yet it is unmistakably true that the sort of reflexive hostility to the US exhibited by Ahmadinejad would no longer prevail. The only way to effectively deny this — as Obama has done — is to conflate Israeli and American interests. Both Washington and Tel Aviv fully realize their interests are diverging, and yet neither side has been able to say so publicly, and unequivocally, for domestic political reasons. The Americans are constrained by their vociferous Israel lobby, just as the Netanyahu government is reined in by the unwillingness of the Israeli public to take on its biggest ally and chief sponsor........."
A Good Comment
By Patrick Cockburn
"At first sight, what is happening in Tehran today looks very like the extraordinary events of the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago. But how deep do the similarities go? On 2 December 1978, two million Iranians filled the streets of central Tehran to demand an end to the rule of the Shah and the return of Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the most popular revolution in history.....
....Mass rally and public martyrdom are part of the Iranian revolutionary tradition, just as the barricade is part of the tradition in France. A difference between 1978-9 and today is that the Iranian government has no intention of letting history repeat itself......
What makes the Iranian revolution different from previous revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries is that it was a religious revolution in terms of its leadership and inspiration. Thirty years later, when "Islamic revolution" is seen as such a menace in the West, it is difficult to recall what a surprising development it was in the late 1970s. Revolutions were supposed to follow roughly in the footsteps of the French, Russian or Chinese revolutions. Their tone was secular and anti-religious. Priests were the defenders of the established order.....
.....It was the Iranian revolution that made political Islam such a potent and, to its enemies, such a menacing force.
The revolution was not only Islamic, but was rooted in the theology and beliefs of one particular Islamic sect. At a moment when intelligence services were looking at Moscow, Peking and Havana as the inspiration for revolution, none of them foresaw the danger to the status quo that was brewing in the clerical seminaries of Najaf in Iraq and Qom in Iran. The birth of revolutionary Shi'ism surprised the world. In theory, Shia theology is more likely to spawn revolution than the Sunni because so many of its beliefs and ceremonies revolve around the lost battle of Kerbala in AD680. It was here that Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet, and 72 of his companions and relatives, were massacred by the soldiers of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid 1.
It is a story of refusal to bow to injustice, of resistance to oppression and martyrdom.....
The Iranian revolution was more deeply rooted than it appeared to be. It sprang from a coherent ideology. It succeeded partly because it caught its enemies, as well as most of its supporters, by surprise. But it was not a spontaneous event. Khomeini and the clergy who supported him were committed revolutionaries. They had thought out how to take power and how to keep it. They might decry nationalism, but it was their commitment to defending the Iranian nation from foreign encroachments which was so crucial to their success.....
By the time the Shah left Iran on 16 January 1979 he had almost no support. This again is very different from the present situation. President Ahmadinejad was re-elected with 62.6 per cent of the vote last week. His opponents claim the poll was rigged, although this is almost exactly the same as his vote in 2005, when he won 61.7 per cent. The point is that Mr Ahmadinejad is a popular politician and the Shah was not. He is very unlikely to be forced from power. Nor is he likely to surrender as the Shah did when he found he was unable to cope with the uprising....."
"19/06/2009 US President Barack Obama's “reassertion” of US leadership in the Middle East offers a rare opportunity to get “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians because a “historic settlement” was within reach, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Mubarak said Obama was willing to take a lead in achieving peace and the Arab world would reciprocate. "A historic settlement is within reach, one that would give the Palestinians their state and freedom from occupation while granting Israel recognition and security to live in peace," wrote Mubarak. "Egypt stands ready to seize that moment, and I am confident that the Arab world will do the same," he added......."
Thursday, June 18, 2009
From Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
"Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have been quite reticent over the death of Haitham Amr, a 28-year-old nurse, in PA custody in Hebron earlier this week.
Amr, a father of two children, was arrested on Thursday, 11 June at his home, at the village of Beit al-Rush el-Fouga, 20 km south-west of al-Khalil, by a combined force of the Preventive Security (PSF) and General Intelligence (GI) or (Mukhabarat).
The village is classified as part of “Area-C,” which means that PA security personnel can’t enter it without prior coordination with the Israeli occupation army.
“On Thursday, some 30 armed men from the Palestinian Authority arrived at my home. They told me they wanted to take my son, Haitham, with them for a few hours.
“It never occurred to me, even in my wildest nightmares, that they would murder him in cold blood a few hours later,” said his father, Abdullah, himself a retired nurse.
Amr, the victim, was driven straight to the General Intelligence (GI) headquarters in downtown Hebron where he reportedly underwent an unusually harsh interrogation over his relation with Hamas.
According to a doctor who examined the body, Amr was subjected to extraordinarily harsh forms of torture, including severe beating using clubs and other objects, possibly plastic hoses. Moreover, the victim seemed to have been forced to sit down on a broken glass bottle which badly mutilated his rectum, causing intensive bleeding. This particular torture technique had been widely used by the PA security agencies against the opponents of the Oslo Accords in the Gaza Strip during the PA rule from 1995-2000.
Undergoing unrelenting torture for more than 48 hours, Amr eventually had massive internal hemorrhage Sunday, 15 June. A few hours later, shortly after midnight he was pronounced dead at the government hospital in Hebron ."
Hamas: Fatah is not willing to end the political detention file
"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement on Thursday said that Fatah faction did not respond positively to the efforts made to end the political detention file and always tried to evade its responsibility in this regard.
In a press statement received by the PIC, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum explained that the Fatah talk about its approval to release 20 political prisoners and on the same day its security apparatuses kidnapped more than this number and its reluctance to promise to end the detention file proved that Fatah still pursues the revolving door policy to mislead the public opinion......"
COMMENT: The Hamas fools still don't get it! Keep that "dialog" going; there are still a few Hamas supporters left on the West Bank whom Dayton wants to eradicate.
By URI AVNERY
"....The front page of Haaretz carried an article by Gideon Levy, in which he wrote that “the courageous call of Uri Avnery and his friends four decades ago is now being echoed, though feebly, from end to end (of the Israeli political spectrum).”
I would be lying if I denied feeling a brief glow of satisfaction, but it faded quickly. This was no “historic” speech, not even a “great” speech. It was a clever speech.
It contained some sanctimonious verbiage to appease Barack Obama, followed right away by the opposite, to pacify the Israeli extreme right. Not much more......"
By JONATHAN COOK
in Canada Park.
"Canada’s chief diplomat in Israel has been honoured at an Israeli public park -- built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law -- as one of the donors who helped establish the park on the ruins of three Palestinian villages......
However, photographs by Amos Keenan, who entered the villages with the army as an official photographer, confirm Palestinian testimony that the Israeli soldiers faced no resistance as they advanced.
Uzi Narkiss, the Israeli general who led the assault on the villages, has said their destruction was “revenge” for the army’s failure to capture this much-prized section of West Bank land -- then known as the Latrun Salient -- in the earlier, 1948 war.
Today most of the Palestinian families expelled from the three villages are living in the West Bank or Jordan, unable to visit their former lands."
"......Upon seeing the destruction of the American International School (one of seven schools completely destroyed in Gaza and 87 other schools severely damaged), Carter said "I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wreaked against your people," adding that he felt partly responsible because the school had been "deliberately destroyed by bombs from F-16s made in my country."......"
"Western media, along with thousands of Iranians protesting around the world, have formed a rough consensus over the six days since Iran's Presidential Election that Ahmadinejad's victory was the result of widespread fraud. However, a recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post references a rare public opinion poll in suggesting that the election may indeed have been fair. While there is not enough information to determine whether or not the election was rigged, this poll certainly doesn't rule out the possibility. If only because the poll's authors concluded prior to the election that the very same data predicted a relatively close vote. Yet today, those same authors are claiming that their figures demonstrate the validity of Ahmadinejad's landslide victory."
The Palestinians are Ignoring it, so WAFA Speaks Hebrew to the Israelis. How Natural for the Quislings!
"The official Palestine News and Information Center (WAFA) officially launched its Hebrew-language news Website to provide Hebrew speaking readers with what the agency described as accurate information from Palestine.
President Mahmoud Abbas said that this page is meant to be a means of communication and direct dialogue with the Israelis. He said that the news Website would show credibility, objectivity and accuracy in order to reflect the legitimate Palestinian aspiration and eagerness to live in peace and liberty in their sovereign Palestinian state. He added that the Palestinian Authority believes in coexistence and peace between the two peoples.
"It was like a bossa nova song playing in an elevator on fire: while people power was still driving events in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad showed up at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization proclaiming "the international capitalist order is retreating" and that the age of empires has ended. That's entirely possible - but maybe some other old orders are ending as well.....
It's crucial to keep in mind that all this extraordinary drama - at least for now - is being played out within the limits of the Islamic Republic system. The outstanding Tehran protest on Wednesday - with at least tens of thousands of people - was essentially silent, and extremely peaceful, while at night people all over Iran scream "Allah-u Akbar" (God is great) from the top of their lungs. This is about Iran. This is not - and never was - about the West......"
"Dogged by a constant stream of civilian deaths, the new US commander in Afghanistan says special ops forces will address the problem. There are growing indications, though, that the military will instead simply shift the blame to the Taliban through better propaganda operations....."
What Does This Photo Tell You?
Is There Really a "Rift" Between the U.S. and Israel?
Is Obama Going to "Get Tough" with Israel?
Don't Delude Yourself and Listen to the Bankrupt PA and the Puppet Arab Regimes.
IT REMAINS USRAEL! With a Division of Labor: A Good Cop, Bad Cop Strategy.
Will the Arabs (the Palestinians included) Ever Learn? I Think that They Don't Want to Learn.
"....All this begs a few questions: If not now, when exactly will Obama’s policies be scrutinized with the same veracity that Bush’s were? When will the media end its love affair with Obama and hold his feet to the fire like they did Bush once the wheels fell off the war in Iraq? When will progressives see their issues as paramount and oppose Obama and the Democratic Party until they embrace their concerns?
If these questions are not answered soon, we are in many more years of war and bloodshed, funded by US taxpayers and approved by a Democrat controlled White House and Congress."
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
"Furious protests threaten to undermine the Iraqi government's controversial plan to give international oil companies a stake in its giant oilfields in a desperate effort to raise declining oil production and revenues.
In less than two weeks, on 29 and 30 June, the Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussain Shahristani, will award service contracts to the world's largest oil companies to develop six of Iraq's largest oil-producing fields over 20 to 25 years....."
A Good Comment
The Guardian, Thursday 18 June 2009
"....That is also reflected in the western media, whose cameras focus so lovingly on Tehran's gilded youth and for whom Ahmadinejad is nothing but a Holocaust-denying fanatic. The other Ahmadinejad, who is seen to stand up for the country's independence, expose elite corruption on TV and use Iran's oil wealth to boost the incomes of the poor majority, is largely invisible abroad.
Meanwhile, resistance and wider violence have been growing again in Iraq, as US occupation troops pull back from the cities. And in Afghanistan, far from winding down the occupation, Obama is escalating the conflict as promised, with another 21,000 US troops being sent this summer to fight the unwinnable war, as attacks on Nato forces have reached an all-time peak. At the same time, the spread of the Afghan war into neighbouring Pakistan has left thousands of civilians dead, created more than two million refugees and led to a civilian carnage from US drone attacks across the northwest of the country.....
In such a context, the neutralisation of Iran as an independent regional power would be a huge prize for the US – defanging recalcitrants from Baghdad to Beirut – and a route out of the strategic impasse created by the invasion of Iraq. But so far, the signs from Tehran are still that that's unlikely to be achieved by a colour-coded revolution."
"Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says the recent speech by the Israeli Prime Minister suggests that the regime is hatching a new "plot" against the region.
"What is happening in the region is a US-Israeli plan. There is a scheme with a clear division of roles between the US and Israel to divide the Arab region," Nasrallah said on Wednesday.
"We should defend our country against what is being plotted for the region ... which includes a possible relocation of the 1948 Palestinians to Lebanon," the Hezbollah leader added......"
Nasrallah also said that Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu's speech "dashed the hopes of moderate Arab countries, which were counting on the (US President Barack) Obama administration to bring about a compromise......."
السيد حسن نصر الله
1 hour, 31 minutes.
The last 7 minutes are particularly important. The focus is Netanyahu's latest speech, the attempted liquidation of the Palestinian cause and settling of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
COMMENT: Mitchell knows what he is talking about. I also believe that all the Arab sheep, after loudly protesting the Netanyahu speech, will obey the U.S. order and continue the "peace process" charade.
What will be their line in the face of Netanyahu giving them all the finger? They will say that, "the U.S. assured us that Netanyahu is only posturing and playing for his domestic audience (Israel is a democracy, you know, unlike all the Arab regimes who do not need to bother with such niceties.) and what he said in his speech is not his final position. Also, the U.S. assured us that it will continue to use its influence with Israel to reach a settlement base on the "two-state solution."
So the charade will continue; that I guarantee. There is nothing else for the bankrupt PA and the Arab regimes.
When was the last time that they defied government orders and went to the street by the tens of thousands to show their displeasure
with anything their government has done ? Arab regimes have mastered the art of oppression so well for generations that they have created a generation of Arab youth that is fully happy to sit down , play cards , smoke Hookah and dream about going to Dubai or
the west to work and make a lot of money. A generation of youth that cares more about meaningless danish cartoons humiliating
the prophet than their daily humiliation and oppression. You have youth movements active all around the world from Latin America
to Iran to Turkey where the young people are trying to take an active role in determining their future, but not in the Arab world.
Arab youth's indifference and apathy is a direct result of the massive failure of their parent's generation. It is sad that everyone in the 3rd world it seems is attempting to change their reality , except Arabs , where the same tyrants and their sons have been ruling them for decades and that does not seem to concern them at all.
By KARIM MAKDISI
".....In sum, while Lebanon’s June 2009 elections might have been internationally praised as ‘free and fair,’ it represented a step backwards in terms of long-term, socially progressive reform for the Lebanese themselves. On the one hand it has re-entrenched sectarianism, deepened rifts and mistrust between Sunnis and Shia’a communities, and brought out the chauvinist tendencies within the Christian elite. On the other hand, the elections returned to power politicians committed to crony capitalism and dependency on regional patrons. There are no socially progressive elements in either camp, and there is little hope that the newly elected parliament will address the inherent structural problems in Lebanon’s sectarian system that lead inexorably to conflict. Indeed, the truth is that the current mood of good will and apparent compromise between the election winners and losers is almost entirely a function of regional rapprochements between Syria and Saudi Arabia, and Iran and the US, rather than a collective realization among the newly elected politicians that things must change. This of course means that if and when regional tension returns, Lebanon will likely unravel once again. With the “peace process” train back on track, the Lebanese would be wise to fasten their seatbelts......"
By JONATHAN COOK
"The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits.
The findings by Defence for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorise Palestinian civilians, including children......"
by Phyllis Bennis
"Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threw a rhetorical bone to President Obama in his much anticipated speech on June 14, when he used the term "Palestinian state." But he conceded nothing of substance, reiterating Israel's continuing rejection of real Palestinian statehood, independence, sovereignty, and self-determination. He demanded that the Palestinians recognize and accept Israel as the "national homeland of the Jewish People," not a state of all its citizens, thus requiring Palestinians to accept the legitimacy of Israel's discriminatory practices. And his speech continued Israel's escalation of threats against Iran......"
Egyptian peace activists accompanying the international supporters stated that an American supporter started a hunger strike.
Four French activists, three Americans, two Egyptian reporters and an Italian national started the protest on June 13.
A German woman married to a Palestinian living in Gaza, and her six children, also joined the protest, as they are demanding to be allowed into the coastal region.
A Palestinian-Belgian man carrying insulin to his diabetic daughter in Gaza joined the protest on Monday. The man has not been able to see his daughter since several years due to the siege.
Furthermore, a Palestinian-Swedish family; the father, mother and their seven children, also joined the protest demanding to enter Gaza.
Egyptian security officers tried to force the protestors away from the border area, and even threatened to evacuate them by force."
Global Research, June 17, 2009
"On June 15, AP reported that "Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a four-star American general with a long history in special operations, took charge of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan (today), a change in command the Pentagon hopes will turn the tide in an increasingly violent eight-year war."
McChrystal is a hired gun, an assassin, a man known for committing war crime atrocities as head of the Pentagon's infamous Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) - established in 1980 and comprised of the Army's Delta Force and Navy Seals, de facto death squads writer Seymour Hersh described post-9/11 as an "executive assassination wing" operating out of Dick Cheney's office......
By 1968, the program was expanded and called Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation (ICEX), then Phoenix. From General William Westmoreland and "Ambassador-for-pacification Robert Komer" on down, "neutralizing" the VC was top priority.
Westmoreland took charge. A Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) organization was established, under which Phoenix was run. Cooper cited numerous problems for its failure and criticized experts sifting through them to get it right next time. He called the program a "gimmick" unable to "compensate for South Vietnam's" popular opposition to the war and concluded that no counterinsurgency can succeed under those circumstances.
Certainly not in Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries historically opposed to foreign occupations with a record of brave resistance to end them......"
"Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in his meeting with the principal opposition candidate in the presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, clearly spelled out where Mousavi's loyalties ought to lie in the face of "provocative actions" from Iran's enemies. And with re-elected President Mahmud Ahmadinejad finding the time to attend a summit in Russia, the signs are that the color revolution struggling to be born on the streets of Tehran has miscarried.....
The Obama administration faces difficult choices. The stir in Tehran is fast becoming a "Twitter revolution". No such thing has ever happened there, despite the best efforts of former US vice president Dick Cheney and his covert team for well over four years for triggering "regime change".
The US is sensing the potential of a "Twitter revolution" in Iran. Earlier, in Moldova, the potential of Twitter to trigger convulsions in popular moods was studied. The US State Department confirmed on Tuesday it had contacted Twitter to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut daytime service to Iranians...."
By Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 17 June 2009
"....First, Netanyahu wants Palestinians to become committed Zionists. They can prove this by declaring, "We recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land." As he pointed out, it is only the failure of Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular to commit themselves to the Zionist dream that has caused conflict....
Mere heartfelt commitment to Zionism will not be enough, however. For the Palestinians' conversion to have "practical meaning," Netanyahu explained, "there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel's borders." In other words, Palestinians must agree to help Israel complete the ethnic cleansing it began in 1947-48.....
....Some recalcitrant Palestinians may not wish to become Zionists. Therefore, the newly pledged Zionist Palestinians would have to launch a civil war to defeat those who foolishly insist on resisting Zionism. Or as Netanyahu put it, the "Palestinian Authority will have to establish the rule of law in Gaza and overcome Hamas." (In fact, this civil war has already been underway for several years as the American and Israeli-backed Palestinian "security forces," led by US Lt. General Keith Dayton, have escalated their attacks on Hamas)......"
Marian Houk, The Electronic Intifada, 16 June 2009
(Marian Houk is a journalist currently working in Jerusalem with experience at the United Nations and in the region. Her blog is www.un-truth.com.)
"Israel is currently using provisions in the lengthy documents of the Oslo accords as the legal basis for intensifying efforts to suppress activities in Jerusalem that the state says are linked to the Palestinian Authority (PA).....
The Israeli government argues broadly that because the Oslo accords leaves the issue of Jerusalem unresolved until final status talks, it is forbidden to function in Jerusalem. Yet, just a month after the first of the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres promised in writing that Israel would not "hamper" -- and would instead "preserve" and "encourage" -- the activity of "all the Palestinian institutions of East Jerusalem.".....
The latest examples of this crackdown were closure orders delivered last month by armed Israeli police and border police at the opening and closing sessions of this year's annual Palestine Festival of Literature, which were scheduled to be held in East Jerusalem's Al-Hakawati Palestinian National Theater......."
"In May 2007, the battle between the militant group Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army broke out in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Almost the entire camp was destroyed during the three months of heavy fighting and in the months following the battle when the the Lebanese army had complete control of the camp. Two years later, nearly all the rubble has been cleared from the "old camp," the core of Nahr al-Bared. However, though the displaced residents grow increasingly desperate, reconstruction has yet to begin.
Not only does the Lebanese army keep residents away from the old camp, it also controls movement in and out of the surrounding area known as the "new camp." Anyone entering the new camp requires a valid permit issued by the army. Refugees and non-governmental organizations working to revitalize the once robust economy of the camp face crippling isolation, as the marketplace of Nahr al-Bared is totally cut off from the surrounding villages. A flailing economy and soaring unemployment are only a few of the consequences of the destruction and ongoing siege of the camp.
This 26-minute film follows a father and his son as they attempt to deal with their unemployment. The two have been living in temporary metal shelters for more than a year, waiting to return to their camp. By documenting issues of reconstruction, temporary housing, economy, unemployment and despair, the film touches on the daily experience of life in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp."
Carter Speaks from Both Corners of his Mouth...First He Tells Israeli Colonists "..Their "settlement" Will Last Forever"....Now Tells Palestinians:
Seeking a Proud and Peaceful Future
Transcript of former US President Jimmy Carter's Address to the United Nations Relief Works Agency's Human Rights Graduation in Gaza, June 16, 2009.
By Jimmy Carter - Gaza
"....I have personally witnessed free and fair elections in Palestine when Yasir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas were elected president and when legislative members were chosen for your parliament. I hope to return next January [for probably a rigged "election" under the bayonets of the troops from the puppet Arab regimes, sent to Gaza to "guarantee" Palestinian "unity"] for a similar event that will unite all Palestinians as you seek a proud and peaceful future.
Ladies and gentlemen, children of Gaza, thank you for inviting me and for sharing this happy occasion with me. Congratulations for your achievements."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
آثار التعذيب على جسد الشهيد هيثم عمرو
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
"The Iraqi government expects al-Qa'ida and Baathist insurgent groups to launch a wave of attacks so they can take credit for compelling the US military to leave Iraqi cities by 30 June, according to a senior Iraqi minister.
An American military team was dispatched from Baghdad to Damascus at the weekend to demand that Syria help choke off a guerrilla offensive by imposing greater control over its border with Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari revealed in an interview with The Independent.
"I think the American rapprochement with the Syrians will be judged more by their co-operation, not in Lebanon, but in Iraq," said Mr Zebari. "This is a good moment for them to come clean." Although Syria has been more co-operative with Iraq than in the past, guerrilla fighters are still crossing over the border, he added......."
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 16 June 2009
".....Even after the so-called disengagement from Gaza, the landmark event that supposedly reigned freedom unto Gaza and its people, Israel continued to maintain effective control over Gaza's borders, her air, sea, sky, even the population registry; and continued to impose a longstanding siege. This despite warnings from experts about the dire consequences that would ensue by not guaranteeing movement and access to people and goods. Gaza faced poverty and unemployment unprecedented in 40 years since Israel's occupation as a result.
But by Netanyahu's estimates, this is peace. Gaza is the model – the vision – for what a so-called Palestinian state would look like......
Netanyahu talked idyllically of a peace in which a tourism-driven economy would draw millions to Nazareth and Bethlehem. He forgot to mention the caveat that tourists would first have to face an apartheid barrier twice the size of the Berlin wall, navigate a Kafkaesque matrix of Israeli administrative control and, if they carry the wrong colour ID, scale sewers if they desire to visit a family member across the way in East Jerusalem."
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"....The great macho superpower is eager to restore its hegemony over the Iranian people, thus settling the score with the ayatollahs who overthrew American rule of Iran in 1978.
That is the script. You are watching it every minute on U.S. television.
There is no end of “experts” to support the script. For one example among hundreds, we have Gary Sick, who formerly served on the National Security Council and currently teaches at Columbia University.....
The only hard information available is the poll referenced above. The poll found that Ahmadinejad was the favored candidate by a margin of two to one.
But as in everything else having to do with American hegemony over other peoples, facts and truth play no part. Lies and propaganda rule.
Consumed by its passion for hegemony, America is driven prevail over others, morality and justice be damned. This world-threatening script will play until America bankrupts itself and has so alienated the rest of the world that it is isolated and universally despised."
"Quartet’s special envoy for the Middle East, Tony Blair, welcomed the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and considered it a step forward. He also called on Hamas to change its policies but did not mention the ongoing Israel siege on Gaza...."
Do it for Jimmy! Even Carter is Pushing for "Palestinian Unity!" Translation: Hamas Should Accept Control by Abbas, the Pharaoh and the Quartet!
"أكد جيمي كارتر الرئيس الأمريكي الأسبق أن الطريق إلى إعادة بناء ما دمره الكيان الصهيوني في حربه الأخيرة على القطاع وإنهاء معاناة الشعب الفلسطيني ونشر السلام يمر بالوحدة الفلسطينية - الفلسطينية.
وأضاف في مؤتمر صحفي عقده أمام المدرسة الأمريكية التي قصفت خلال الحرب الصهيونية الأخيرة على قطاع غزة، وفور وصوله إلى القطاع عبر معبر بيت حانون: "أحمل رسالة من عائلة الجندي غلعاد شاليط، وسألتقي قيادات من "حماس" في غزة، كما التقيت قيادات "حماس" في دمشق قبل أيام، وسأطلب منهم تسليم هذه الرسالة".
وأعرب كارتر عن أمله أن يصل الجميع إلى سلام عادل، وأن يتم وضع حدٍّ لمعاناة الفلسطينيين، معربًا في الوقت ذاته عن حزنه إزاء الأحداث الدائرة بين "حماس" و"فتح" في غزة الضفة خلال الفترة القليلة الماضية.
Gaza itself remains frozen in time. Israel will not allow concrete and steel into Gaza, and as a result, nearly five months after the ceasefire no post-war reconstruction has begun....
These are the absurdities that have become the norm in Gaza. But perhaps most absurd of all is how anyone can believe that Israel's severity in the closures, the destruction of the economy and social fabric of the Gaza Strip, will serve to convince Palestinians to place their trust in international law.
What we in the international community must do is to heed the call we heard repeatedly from the people of Gaza: work to break the siege so that they can take care of themselves."
By FLYNT LEVERETT AND HILLARY MANN LEVERETT
"Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and “Iran experts” have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud.
They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad’s 62.6 percent of the vote in this year’s election is essentially the same as the 61.69 percent he received in the final count of the 2005 presidential election, when he trounced former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The shock of the “Iran experts” over Friday’s results is entirely self-generated, based on their preferred assumptions and wishful thinking.....
The Islamic Republic is a system with multiple power centers; within that system, there is a strong and enduring consensus about core issues of national security and foreign policy, including Iran’s nuclear program and relations with the United States. Any of the four candidates in Friday’s election would have continued the nuclear program as Iran’s president; none would agree to its suspension.
Any of the four candidates would be interested in a diplomatic opening with the United States, but that opening would need to be comprehensive, respectful of Iran’s legitimate national security interests and regional importance, accepting of Iran’s right to develop and benefit from the full range of civil nuclear technology — including pursuit of the nuclear fuel cycle — and aimed at genuine rapprochement....."
June 15, 2009
"It’s fast congealing into conventional wisdom that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole re-election through fraud and that the so-called “green revolution” of Mir-Hossein Mousavi – which was based in the country’s intelligentsia and middle class – got robbed.
But a strong case can be made that the large turnout, which was estimated at about 85 percent, was the key to a genuine landslide for Ahmadinejad, who is viewed as a friend of more traditional Iranians from the working classes and among the rural peasants........"