Saturday, July 11, 2009

Barack Obama tells Africa to stop blaming colonialism for problems

Contributed by Wibur

head of a visit to Ghana at the weekend, he said: "Ultimately, I'm a big believer that Africans are responsible for Africa.

"I think part of what's hampered advancement in Africa is that for many years we've made excuses about corruption or poor governance, that this was somehow the consequence of neo-colonialism, or the West has been oppressive, or racism – I'm not a big – I'm not a believer in excuses.

The victory of defeat

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 10 July 2009

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

How do you see the the Arab and Muslim response to the events in Xinjiang (China)?

Early responses show that 96% think that the response was weak, while 4% think that it was appropriate.

Why Is a Leading Feminist Organization Lending Its Name to Support Escalation in Afghanistan?

Waging war does not lead to the liberation of women anywhere -- even if you call soldiers "peacekeeping forces."

Contributed by Wilbur

By Sonali Kolhatkar and Mariam Rawi

"Years ago, following the initial military success of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the temporary fall of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan were promised that the occupying armies would rebuild the country and improve life for the Afghan people.

Today, eight years after the U.S. entered Kabul, there are still piles of garbage in the streets. There is no running water. There is only intermittent electricity in the cities, and none in the countryside. Afghans live under the constant threat of military violence.

The U.S. invasion has been a failure, and increasing the U.S. troop presence will not undo the destruction the war has brought to the daily lives of Afghans.

As humanitarians and as feminists, it is the welfare of the civilian population in Afghanistan that concerns us most deeply. That is why it was so discouraging to learn that the Feminist Majority Foundation has lent its good name -- and the good name of feminism in general -- to advocate for further troop escalation and war......"

Netanyahu turns to Nazi language

The Israeli prime minister's use of the word 'Judenrein' is a cynical attempt to skew the fight over West Bank settlements

Peter Beaumont, Friday 10 July 2009

".....Indeed, according to a report acquired by the Peace Now group in 2006, which it claimed it had acquired from the Israeli government's civil administration, as much as 32% of the land on which settlements are built is, in reality, privately owned by Palestinians.

The reality is that this is not about truth or the justness of Israel's historical argument for the existence of communities in territories it calls by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria. The evocation of Judenrein by Netanyahu and by other commentators is the most cynical of ploys in a negotiation that his government feels that is going against it. Under pressure from Obama to freeze settlement building completely – including the construction that Israel likes to label as "natural growth" – it is being forced into ever more extreme language to defend the continued existence of the settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories in language, like that used with Steinmeier, to embarrass and cajole.

There are words with particular meanings. Bloody with the worst offences. To use "Judenrein" so cheaply to score a political point dishonours the memory of history and its victims. It shames Israel's prime minister."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Video: Amin Odeh: Even If You Are Standing Alone

Contributed by Linda Jansen

"Profile of a Palestinian human rights activist based in Seattle."

Worse than Iraq: 184 UK soldiers dead in 'the longest campaign'

Five killed in single bomb blast as operation makes them vulnerable

The Guardian

"With thousands of British troops moving out of their bases in a major operation to confront the Taliban in northern Helmand, they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a determined, though unconventional, enemy.

Fifteen British soldiers have been killed over the past 10 days, the highest losses to enemy action since UK troops were first sent to Afghanistan in 2001; 184 have now lost their lives there, more than the total killed in Iraq......."

G8 Meetings End In Dismal Failure

Contributed by FUBAR

7/10/09 Geneva,Switzerland

Ban Ki Moon echoed the sentiments of all gathered G8 leaders when he expressed his sadness and profound frustration at not even getting Tony Sayegh to take the weekend off, much less a whole week, which was the original proposal desired by all gathered G8 sponsors and leaders.

"It is with profound disappointment, and not some small annoyance, that we leave this summit totally defeated by Mr. Sayegh," said Moon.

"The words of Mrs.Tony Sayegh still echo in my mind as she laughed at our original proposal," Ban Ki Moon continued. She said, "Tony is more stubborn than the donkey of Don Quixote and believe me, you don't stand a chance. If FUBAR, who is a God among men, couldn't get him to take even one day off, what can you puny, sniveling mortals do? By the way, you don't have FUBAR's phone number do you? Do you think you could get it Mr. Bigshot head of the UN?"

Moon lamented, "I did not heed her words and for this I am sorry and ashamed."

Sayegh, of course, could not be reached for comment as he was busy blogging, but a longtime fan, FUBAR, of Beverly Hills, CA. said, "Yeah, what can you do? A stubborn Palestinian is an immovable force of Nature."

FUBAR continued, "If Tony won't take some time off, then sadly and most regrettably, I may have to start hitting on his wife."

Obama's Biden Problem


"....There were those who said sadly, “Joe just isn’t Joe any more.”

They were wrong.

Appropriately, it was on the topic of Israel that, as vice president, Biden first tossed aside unmanly prudence. Even given the zeal of almost every member of the US Congress to satisfy the Israel lobby, Biden has always been conspicuous for his slavish posture towards the Holy State. Accepting Obama’s offer of the vice presidential nomination last summer, he announced emphatically that he would not have considered accepting the invitation if he had entertained the slightest suspicion that Obama was not one hundred per cent in Israel’s corner. In fact the Israel lobby did entertain these unworthy suspicions, which is why it pushed strongly for Biden as veep.

It wasn’t far into Obama’s first months in the White House that the Lobby began to feel that even though Obama’s chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel, their suspicions were justified. The president dared to mention in public the right of Palestinians to some form of state. He said the settlements on the West Bank had to stop. (True, he didn’t say anything categorical about actually existing illegal settlements.) He seemed too eager to parley with Iran, too demure on the topic of its nuclear program.

On July 5 George Stephanopoulos interviewed Biden in Baghdad for his Sunday morning talk show on the ABC network and promptly put the question: “if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat,[and] they have to take out the nuclear program militarily, the United States will not stand in the way?”

Biden lunged for the driver’s wheel and swerved US government policy in a whole new direction: “We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.”

The White House spent the next two days categorically denying that it was giving – via Biden - Israel the go-ahead to make a unilateral attack on Iran. The United States is "absolutely not" flashing Israel a green light to attack Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN in Moscow on July 7. "We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East.”...."

UN to Israel: Tear down that wall

Press TV

" United Nations human rights investigator calls on the Israeli leadership to cease the construction of the now 7-year old Apartheid Wall in the West Bank.

"Tear down that wall, Mr. Netanyahu," said the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk on Thursday addressing the Israeli prime minister, UN News Center reported.

He made the comments in The Hague at a conference on the fifth anniversary of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) issuance of the Advisory Opinion which denounced Tel Aviv's erection of the 723-kilometer (449-mile) barrier as illegal.

"There will be no peace between these two peoples until Israel shows respect for Palestinian rights under international law," said Falk. "And a good place to start would be with the wall," he added.

In 2002, the Zionist regime started building the barrier in the West Bank village of Ni'lin, arrogating vast expanses of Palestinian land under the pretext of "protecting" Israeli settlers from "terrorist attacks" by the Palestinian resistance movements. In comparison, the Berlin wall was only 155 kilometers in length......"

Tehran troubles

By Alastair Crooke, Conflicts Forum, July 9, 2009

"The troubles that followed the Iranian Presidential elections have – with rare exceptions – been misread by the Western press and policymakers; it was not an East European model ‘colour revolution’; nor was Presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi’s movement an uprising of liberal westernised sympathisers against the principles of the Iranian Revolution – albeit there were some who are hostile to the Revolution amongst his supporters. Iran’s Revolution is not about to implode as a result of this election, but we may expect changes at the top.

Recent events stemmed not from a genuine popular uprising, although plainly for some in north Tehran it was very real; but arose from a dispute between certain ‘Old Guard’ clergy, centred around Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who all assumed power in 1979, and who were deeply angered and threatened by President Ahmadinejad’s assault on their personal wealth, and by the latter’s claims that it was these senior clerics’ pursuit of their own narrow self-interest, at the expense of ordinary people, that was the root cause of Iran’s economic woes....."

Palestinian refugee dies at the Iraqi-Syrian border

"A Palestinian refugee died on Thursday at the Al Waleed camp, on the Iraqi-Syrian border after a sharp decline in her health condition, while stranded along with hundreds of other refugees on the border. The woman was identified as Suad Abdul-Qader Al Hallaq. The Palestinian refugees who fled Iraq after the war remain stranded in several make-shift refugee camps.

The Union for Palestinian Refugees called on the international community to act and save the lives of the refugees at the Al Waleed refugee camp. Last Friday, a refugee identified as Shihada Mohammad Abu Hamad, died at the same refugee camp due to the lack of medication and equipment at the make-shift clinic in the camp.

There are nearly 1600 refugees in Al Waleed camp, Some of the refugees were sent to Sweden, Norway and the United States, while Sudan said it would host the rest. 39 refugees are expected to be transferred to Sudan next month.

Several Palestinian refugees were abducted, tortured and killed by armed groups in Iraq after the United States army occupied Iraq. Increasing attacks, including abductions and bombings in refugee camps, forced the Palestinian refugees to flee Iraq but got stranded on the borders with Jordan and Syria.

Thirty-four thousand Palestinians lived in Iraq before the American invasion in 2003, Many have since faced harassment, threats of deportation, abuse by the media, arbitrary detention, torture and murder, the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition reported.

Several refugee neighborhoods in Baghdad were bombarded and attacked, and many Palestinians were killed, kidnapped, imprisoned and forced out of the country.

The UNHCR reported that nearly 21000 refugees have left Iraq since 2003, and 1300 are still there.

Fact Sheet – The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition

A number of Palestinians who were forced to leave are now stranded in refugee camps on the Syrian and Jordanian borders:

Season of Travesties: Freedom and Democracy in mid-2009

By Noam Chomsky

"......While our thoughts are turned to elections, we should not forget one recent authentically "free and fair" election in the Middle East region, in Palestine in January 2006, to which the US and its allies at once responded with harsh punishment for the population that voted "the wrong way." The pretexts offered were laughable, and the response caused scarcely a ripple on the flood of commentary on Washington's noble "efforts to spread democracy to the Muslim world," a feat that reveals impressive subordination to authority.

No less impressive is the readiness to agree that Israel is justified in imposing a harsh and destructive siege on Gaza, and attacking it with merciless violence using US equipment and diplomatic support, as it did last winter. There of course is a pretext: "the right to self-defense." The pretext has been almost universally accepted in the West, though Israeli actions are sometimes condemned as "disproportionate." The reaction is remarkable, because the pretext collapses on the most cursory inspection. The issue is the right TO USE FORCE in self-defense, and a state has that right only if it has exhausted peaceful means. In this case, Israel has simply refused to use the peaceful means that have been readily available. All of this has been amply discussed elsewhere, and it should be unnecessary to review the simple facts once again.

Once again relying on the impunity it receives as a US client, Israel brought the month of June 2009 to a close by enforcing the siege with a brazen act of hijacking. On June 30, the Israeli navy hijacked the Free Gaza movement boat "Spirit of Humanity" -- in international waters, according to those aboard -- and forced it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The boat had left from Cyprus, where the cargo was inspected: it consisted of medicines, reconstruction supplies, and toys. The human rights workers aboard included Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire and former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was sent to Ramleh prison in Israel - apparently without a word from the Obama administration. The crime scarcely elicited a yawn - with some justice, one might argue, since Israel has been hijacking boats travelling between Cyprus and Lebanon for decades, kidnapping and sometimes killing passengers or sending them in Israeli prisons without charge where they join thousands of others, in some cases held for many years as hostages. So why even bother to report this latest outrage by a rogue state and its patron, for whom law is a theme for 4th of July speeches and a weapon against enemies?

Israel's hijacking is a far more extreme crime than anything carried out by Somalis driven to piracy by poverty and despair, and destruction of their fishing grounds by robbery and dumping of toxic wastes - not to speak of the destruction of their economy by a Bush counter-terror operation conceded to have been fraudulent, and a US-backed Ethiopian invasion.......

Possibly Israel chose not to join the Convention because of its regular practice of hijacking boats in international waters at that time......."

How Do You Say, "Quisling, Dayton Army" in French?

Israel may allow PA counter-terror force

"The IDF is considering allowing the Palestinians to establish a specially trained counterterror squad qualified to carry out pinpoint operations against Hamas terrorist cells in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Such a force would be able to carry out special operations against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank more effectively than could existing Palestinian security forces. The French have already offered to train such a team.

The decision to consider the establishment of such a team was made following the Palestinian Authority's operation against a Hamas cell in Kalkilya last month, during which five Hamas terrorists and four members of the US-trained Palestinian security force were killed.

The four Palestinian battalions trained by the United States in Jordan and already deployed in the West Bank were taught how to enforce law and order and conduct regular police-like operations, but were not given military training. Their equipment consists of pistols and Kalashnikov rifles, and the content of their training is approved by Israel.

The IDF is therefore considering allowing the establishment of a small, elite Palestinian squad that would be capable of conducting operations like the one in Kalkilya more effectively and with fewer casualties....."

Destroying Gaza

Sara Roy, The Electronic Intifada, 9 July 2009

".....What possible benefit can be derived from an increasingly impoverished, unhealthy, densely crowded and furious Gaza alongside Israel? Gaza's terrible injustice not only threatens Israeli and regional security, but it undermines America's credibility, alienating our claim to democratic practice and the rule of law.

If Palestinians are continually denied what we want and demand for ourselves -- an ordinary life, dignity, livelihood, safety and a place where they can raise their children -- and are forced, yet again, to face the destruction of their families, then the inevitable outcome will be greater and more extreme violence across all factions, both old and increasingly new. What looms is no less than the loss of entire generation of Palestinians. And if this happens -- perhaps it already has -- we shall all bear the cost."

Video: The war in Gaza, January 2009

Israel 'will not withdraw from Golan Heights'

Press TV

"The Israeli government has said it will not withdraw from the entire strategic Golan Heights even in return for a peace deal with Syria.

The remark was made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top policy adviser Uzi Arad in an interview published in the Israeli daily Haaretz on Friday.

Israel must remain on the Golan Heights to a depth of several miles "for strategic, military and settlement reasons'', Arad said.

Netanyahu's national security adviser further urged the Syrians to resume peace talks with Israel with no preconditions but "with each side aware of the other's position.''....."

Barack McNamara Obama

Why Can't Obama See His Wars Are Unwinnable?

By Ted Rall

".......Like McNamara, Obama doesn't understand a basic truth: you can't successfully manage an inherently doomed premise. Colonialism is dead. Occupiers will never enjoy peace. Neither the Afghans nor the Iraqis nor the Pakistanis will rest until we withdraw our forces. The only success we will find is in accepting defeat sooner rather than later.

"What went wrong [in Vietnam] was a basic misunderstanding or misevaluation of the threat to our security represented by the North Vietnamese," McNamara said in his Berkeley oral history." Today's domino theory is Bush's (now Obama's) clash of civilizations, the argument that unless we fight them "there" we will have to fight them here. Afghanistan and Iraq don't present security threats to the United States. The presence of U.S. troops and drone planes, on the other hand...

In fairness to McNamara, it only took two years for him to call to an end of the bombing of North Vietnam. By 1966 he was advising LBJ to start pulling back. But, like a gambler trying to recoup and justify his losses, the president kept doubling down. "We didn't know our opposition," concluded McNamara. "So the first lesson is know your opponents. I want to suggest to you that we don't know our potential opponents today."

Actually, it's worse than that. Then, like now, we don't have opponents. We create them."

China’s Porcelain Empire

Fragile – and not a threat to us

by Justin Raimondo, July 10, 2009

"Remember when China was supposed to be the next up-and-coming superpower? With a third of the world’s population, a totalitarian regime seemingly secure, and a well-earned reputation as a rising industrial powerhouse, "Red" China has long been one of the War Party’s favorite bogeymen. When all else failed, in the post-cold war world, and the supply of potential enemies seemed exhausted, they just hauled out the Chinese scarecrow to scare the doves away......

It is an act that cannot be successfully pulled off forever, for the simple reason that China is far too big, and its government woefully top-heavy and out-of-touch. Communism in China is but a formalistic religion, all ritual and no real content, and yet that is the only factor – embodied by the Communist Party of China — keeping the country together. Whether this hollow dictatorship can retain its hold much longer is very much up in the air. Events in Urumqi augur the break-up of the Communist state, just as the Polish upsurge led by Solidarity prefigured the implosion of the Soviet empire. China’s empire, thought to made of steel, may very well turn out to be fragile porcelain......"

Colonizing Iraq

By Michael Schwartz and Tom Engelhardt, July 10, 2009

Who Owns Iraq?

In 2007, Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve, told Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that "taking Saddam out was essential" — a point he made in his book The Age of Turbulence — because the United States could not afford to be "beholden to potentially unfriendly sources of oil and gas" in Iraq. It’s exactly that sort of thinking that’s still operating in U.S. policy circles: the 2008 National Defense Strategy, for example, calls for the use of American military power to maintain "access to and flow of energy resources vital to the world economy."

After only five months in office, the Obama administration has already provided significant evidence that, like its predecessor, it remains committed to maintaining that "access to and flow of energy resources" in Iraq, even as it places its major military bet on winning the expanding war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. .....

What this looks like is an attempted twenty-first-century version of colonial domination, possibly on the cheap, as resources are transferred to the Eastern wing of the Greater Middle East. There is, of course, no more a guarantee that this new strategy — perhaps best thought of as colonialism lite or the Obama Doctrine — will succeed than there was for the many failed military-first offensives undertaken by the Bush administration. After all, in the unsettled, still violent atmosphere of Iraq, even the major oil companies have hesitated to rush in and the auctioning of oil contracts has begun to look uncertain, even as other "civilian" initiatives remain, at best, incomplete.

As the Obama administration comes face-to-face with the reality of trying fulfill General Odierno’s ambition of making Iraq into "a long-term partner with the United States in the Middle East" while fighting a major counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, it may also encounter a familiar dilemma faced by nineteenth-century colonial powers: that without the application of overwhelming military force, the intended colony may drift away toward sovereign independence. If so, then the dreary prediction of Pulitzer Prize-winning military correspondent Thomas Ricks — that the United States is only "halfway through this war" — may prove all too accurate. "

Breaking News.....Breaking News......The "Dialog".....The "Dialog"....BARF!

Hammad: We are ready to release Fatah criminals to make the dialogue succeed

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Fathi Hammad, the PA interior minister of interior in the Gaza Strip said on Thursday that his ministry was ready to release criminal and security detainees affiliated with Fatah faction for the sake of making the Palestinian national dialogue succeed.

However, Hammad confirmed in a televised interview with the Gaza-based Al-Aqsa satellite TV that the PA security forces of his ministry succeeded in unearthing and dismantling subversive Fatah networks operating in the Gaza Strip on orders of the disgraced leaders of the "treacherous" trend within Fatah faction who are closely coordinating with the Israeli security departments.

He also pointed out that the objective of those spy networks was to renew the bank of targets in Gaza, including information on the political and military leaders of Hamas Movement as well as the movements of the PA ministers, especially those of Premier Ismael Haneyya, and members of the PA parliament in Gaza among other targets.

COMMENT: What a sacrifice for the sake of PRINCIPLE! Hamas is willing to free criminals and those, "closely coordinating with the Israeli security departments," all to make the "dialog" succeed!

This is political prostitution.

How can Palestinians take these "leaders" seriously?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guess What? It is Palestinian Pundit's Third Anniversary!

By Tony Sayegh

It is hard to believe, but three years have passed by since the start of P.P. The first post on July 9, 2006 dealt with Gaza and was titled, “No, This Is Not a Warsaw Ghetto, This is Gaza Now!” Three years later, Gaza is in a much worse shape, thanks to the total, medieval, siege imposed and enforced jointly by the IOF and their new ally, the Pharaoh of Egypt.

A lot has happened in the world during these three years, but in the case of the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, not only there has been no progress, but actually there has been regression. Not only that none of the Arab regimes are actively supporting the Palestinians, but actually many of them are actively working against them and are normalizing with the racist state of Israel as it puts into action the most racist and expansionist colonization of what is left of Palestinian land.

To make things worse, the so-called Palestinian leaders are totally incapable of even loosening the noose which they voluntarily put around their own necks. I am not only including the quisling Abbas and his Dayton army, but also Hamas which chose to be part of the Oslo process, while denying that. Instead of liberation and real resistance the Palestinian "leaders" are now after "recognition" and are chasing the same Oslo mirage while the land disappears under their feet.

One was hoping that Hamas would turn the tables against the quisling PA, but instead it became a de-facto part of the PA. We keep hearing the same nonsense about "elections", "ministries", "MPs", "dialog," etc when in reality they all live in large jails controlled by the IOF. There was a glimmer of hope that Hamas might transform itself into a revolutionary movement, but that hope has faded by now. Hamas seems to be following the same path as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt of not challenging the existing order, but instead to struggle to get a slice of the pie, no matter how meager it is.

The significance of this rather lengthy introduction is that the Palestinian people have to re-invent themselves: Fatah is finished and the way Hamas is going, it is not willing to replace Fatah as being representative of the majority of the Palestinians. A third Intifada is needed and all Palestinians, including those in the Diaspora, need to be brought into the struggle.

The Palestinians can’t and should not become a regime among regimes. We can’t afford tribalism and blind, unquestioning faith in the "leaders." This blog tries to play a small role in keeping the flow of uncensored information and to get to the bottom of the real story. We do not have our own agenda and we do not listen to any regime or movement. We let facts speak for themselves.

I know that this approach offends some readers, occasionally. However, it is only through the free flow of information and intelligent debate that the Palestinians can hope to get out of the deep hole our "leaders" have dug up for us. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves, with no sugarcoating the bitter truth.

If there is anything I can promise you during this coming year, it is my daily dedication to this task and the open-minded acceptance of any constructive criticism and comments. Please keep those comments coming!

حماس: مصر طالبتنا بتقديم تنازلات لاسرائيل والفصائل تدعو لرعاية عربية للحوار الفلسطيني

حماس: مصر طالبتنا بتقديم تنازلات لاسرائيل والفصائل تدعو لرعاية عربية للحوار الفلسطيني

"رام الله ـ لندن ـ 'القدس العربي' ـ من احمد المصري ووليد عوض:
كشف قيادي في حركة حماس لـ'القدس العربي'، ان جولة الحوار الفلسطيني القادمة ستكون صعبة للغاية، ولا أحد يعلم إلى اين ستسير الأمور، وذلك لأن الجولة الماضية تأجلت بسبب طلب المصريين من حركة حماس تقديم 'شيء ما' لوزير الدفاع الاسرائيلي ايهود باراك، بمعنى تقديم تنازل معين.
واضاف القيادي الذي رفض الكشف عن اسمه ان هذا الموضوع اشعر قادة حماس بالقلق الشديد خصوصا عندما قال لهم مسؤول امني مصري رفيع ان باراك سيذهب الى الكنيست بيدين فارغتين، وان المطلوب من حركة حماس ان تضع بيديه أي شيء ليقف في الكنيست ويقدم على اتخاذ خطوات ستستفيد منها حركة حماس.
واضاف المسؤول أن حركة حماس شعرت انها تتعرض لـ'عملية ابتزاز غير مسبوقة'، وهو ما اثار قلق قادتها المشاركين بالحوار، ودفعهم الى التوقف عن مواصلة الحوار وطلب تأجيله.
وأشار القيادي الى ان هذا التصرف المصري 'ليس له ما يبرره'، فيما رأى مقربون من الحركة 'أن هذه المسألة هي عبارة عن 'رشوة' واضحة لباراك، وهذه الرشوة تأتي اثناء الحوار الفلسطيني ـ الفلسطيني، وهي تكشف عدم حيادية مصر في مسألة الحوار، وأنها تسعى فعلا إلى الضغط على الأطراف الفلسطينية لتقديم تنازلات لصالح إسرائيل'.
يذكر أن العلاقات بين حركة حماس ومصر شهدت توتراً اثناء الحرب على قطاع غزة، وشهدت اتهامات لمصر من قبل قياديين في حركة حماس، أشاروا في حينه إلى انحياز مصري لصالح إسرائيل.
ويؤكد القياديون في الفصائل الفلسطينية المختلفة أهمية العامل الإقليمي في دفع الحوار الفلسطيني.
وقال أمين سر تحالف فصائل المقاومة خالد عبد المجيد إن التدخلات الإسرائيلية والاشتراطات الأمريكية تعطل الحوار، وإنه يراوح مكانه في ظل إصرار مصر على 'احتكار هذه الورقة' دون إشراك أي قوة عربية

Obama’s Rollback Strategy: Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan (and the Boomerang Effect)

The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.

By James Petras

"In a manner reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s New Cold War policies, Obama has vastly increased the military budget, increased the number of combat troops, targeted new regions for military intervention and backed military coups in regions traditionally controlled by the US . However Obama’s rollback strategy occurs in a very different international and domestic context. Unlike Reagan, Obama faces a prolonged and profound recession/depression, massive fiscal and trade deficits, a declining role in the world economy and loss of political dominance in Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia and elsewhere. While Reagan faced off against a decaying Soviet Communist regime, Obama confronts surging world-wide opposition from a variety of independent secular, clerical, nationalist, liberal democratic and socialist electoral regimes and social movements anchored in local struggles.

Obama’s rollback strategy is evident from his very first pronouncements, promising to reassert US dominance (‘leadership’) in the Middle East, his projection of massive military power in Afghanistan and military expansion in Pakistan and the destabilization of regimes through deep intervention by proxies as in Iran and Honduras.

Obama’s pursuit of the rollback strategy operates a multi-track policy of overt military intervention, covert ‘civil society’ operations and soft-sell, seemingly benign diplomatic rhetoric, which relies heavily on mass media propaganda. Major ongoing events illustrate the rollback policies in action......

Obama’s military offensive, his roll-back strategy to recover imperial power is accelerating the decline of the American Republic. His administration’s isolation is increasingly evidenced by his dependence on Israel-Firsters who occupy his Administration and the Congress as well as influential pro-Israel pundits in the mass media who identify roll-back with Israel’s own seizure of Palestinian land and military threats to Iran.

Roll-back has boomeranged: Instead of regaining the imperial presence, Obama has submerged the republic and, with it, the American people into greater misery and instability."

McKinney tells Press TV of Gaza voyage

Press TV

"Back from a harrowing journey to the Palestinian territories, former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney sits down with Press TV to expound on why she made her voyage.

McKinney, accompanied with 20 other activists, traveled aboard a boat named Spirit of Humanity on a journey to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Navy, however, intercepted the ship and took the former US presidential candidate along with all members of the high-profile 'Gaza 21' group into custody on June 30.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV correspondent Colin Campbell in Washington, McKinney said she and her fellow humanitarian relief workers were held illegally at Givon prison in Israel and were told to make false confessions.

"We were imprisoned. We were forced to stay in prison. They told us to say that we had violated the laws. We violated no laws," she said.

According to McKinney, the contents of Spirit of Humanity consisted of medicine, olive trees and crayons.

The medicine destined for the nearly 1.5 million residents of Gaza, who have been suffering from an Israeli blockade for around two years, was confiscated.

"As long as there remains injustice, then there have to be some people who are committed to correcting the injustice," she explained regarding her reason for the journey.

Cynthia McKinney arrived back in the United States on Tuesday after she was deported from Israel.

According to McKinney, Israeli officials sought to force her into signing a document that she would never return to Gaza. The former congresswoman told Press TV, however, that she did not sign the document."

Click Here to Watch Video Interview

In Rare U.S. Broadcast, Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Discusses Coup, Costa Rica Talks, U.S. Role and More

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Talks between the ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the leaders of last week’s military coup begin today in Costa Rica. Shortly before leaving Washington DC for Costa Rica, Zelaya sat down with us for a rare U.S. television interview. He discusses how military coup forces forced him out, the upcoming talks in Costa Rica, his domestic policies in Honduras, the role of the United States and more....."

Mourn on the 4th of July

By John Pilger

"Liberals say that the United States is once again a “nation of moral ideals”, but behind the façade little has changed. With his government of warmongers, Wall Street cronies and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, Barack Obama is merely upholding the myths of a divine America....

I once asked a friend, the great American war correspondent and humanitarian Martha Gellhorn, to explain the term to me. “I’ll tell you what ‘anti-American’ is,” she said. “It’s what governments and their vested interests call those who honour America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity.

“There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States. They are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms, though they would call it common decency. They are not vain. They are the people with a wakeful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. They can be counted on. They were in the South with the civil rights movement, ending slavery. They were in the streets, demanding an end to the wars in Asia. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” "

Al-Jazeera Video: Israel's illegal wall traps Palestinians - 09 Jul 09

"The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Israel to comply with an international court ruling and dismantle its separation barrier through occupied Palestinian land.
Five years ago, the International Court of Justice ruled that the barrier was illegal and should be taken down, but Israel continues to ignore international demands.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reports on Palestinians trapped by the wall."

The two-state solution, Israeli-style

Charity, checkpoints and client rulers

A Very Good Piece
by Jonathan Cook

"......While Israel has been buying yet more time with Washington in bickering over a paltry settlement freeze, it has been forging ahead with the process of creating two Palestinian territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, that, despite supposedly emerging from occupation, are in reality sinking ever deeper into chronic dependency on Israeli goodwill.

This is creating a culture of absolute Israeli control and absolute Palestinian dependency, enforced by proxy Palestinian rulers acting as mini-dictatorships.

For a growing number of Palestinians, the conditions of bare subsistence and even survival are Israeli gifts that few can afford to spurn through political activity, let alone civil disobedience or armed resistance. The Palestinian will to organise and resist as their land is seized for settlements is being inexorably sapped.......

Rather than being an aberration in response to rocket attacks, the blockade of Gaza has become Israel’s template for Palestinian statehood. The West Bank is rapidly undergoing its own version of disengagement and besiegement, with similar predictable results.

Gaza’s blockade -- and the savage battering it took in December and January -- has suggested even to Mr Netanyahu that the Israeli version of the carrot-and-stick approach works.

The stick – a devastated Gaza unable to rise from the rubble because aid and basic goods are kept out – has transformed most of the population into a nation dependent on handouts, borrowing where possible to buy necessities smuggled through the tunnels, and concentrating on the lonely art of survival.......

The carrot -- if it can be called that -- is directed towards Gaza’s leaders, Hamas, rather than its ordinary inhabitants. The message is simple: keep the rocket fire in check and we won’t attack again. We will allow you to rule over the remnants of Gaza.

In the West Bank, the carrot for the leadership is even more tantalisingly visible. The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is colluding in the creation of a series of mini-fiefdoms based on the main cities.

Trained by the US military, Palestinian security forces with light weapons are taking back control of Jenin, Nablus, Jericho, Qalqilya, Ramallah and so on, while the PA is encouraged by promises of economic charity to prop up its legitimacy.

The leader of a Palestinian non-governmental organisation in Ramallah confided at the weekend that what is being created are “City Leagues” -- a mocking reference to the Palestinian regional militias known as the Village Leagues armed by Israel in the early 1980s to stamp out Palestinian nationalism by threatening and attacking local political activists. Those were a dismal failure; this time Palestinians are less sure Israel will not succeed.

Palestinian prisons are starting to fill not only with those suspected of belonging to Hamas but those who dissent from Fatah rule. The ground is being carefully tended by Israel to create a brutal client state.......

The same NGO leader concluded, again with bitter irony: “Our leaders are declaring victory: the victory of defeat.”

Should Mr Abbas and his PA functionaries sign up to this Israeli vision of statehood, the defeat for the Palestinians will be greater still."

Offering Israel new opportunities for obstruction

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 8 July 2009

"Israel has never been short of pretexts for obstructing progress towards a Middle East peace settlement. But recent moves to push Arab and Muslim states to normalize ties with Israel as a reward for agreeing to freeze settlement construction will likely provide Israel with more opportunities for obstruction rather than incentives for cooperation......

In the absence of any Arab states' ability for effective collective action, the only option left to disguise weakness was to increase Arab generosity in hope of finally enticing Israel to pay attention. But since the Arabs have already conceded all they can concede, they decided to offer normalization with the Muslim states as a reward for Israel as well. The other side, aware that such moves stem from helplessness not from strength, will not take such measures seriously, except as further opportunities to advance its own aggressive agenda."

Ancient Israeli Myths Deter Peace

By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
July 9, 2009

"The rationale for formally designating Israel a Jewish state – as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now demands – rests on three religious-political pillars: God’s purported covenant with Moses instructing the ancient Israelites to conquer the land, the injustice of the Roman-era Diaspora that supposedly removed them centuries later, and the brutal persecution of European Jews in the Holocaust.

Yet, two of these pillars – Moses conveying God’s covenant to the Israelites and the Roman Diaspora – appear based on almost no historical reality, the stuff of legend and possibly even lies that crumble under any serious scrutiny......

Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted on a new precondition for talks – that the Palestinians must agree to a “public, binding and unequivocal” recognition that Israel is “the nation state of the Jewish people,” not simply the nation state of the people of Israel. Netanyahu is making this demand although Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population.

This appears to be another case of ancient bloody myths contributing to a modern bloody reality."

Forget the Headlines: Iraqi Freedom Deferred

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"As US combat troops redeployed to the outskirts of Iraqi cities on June 30, well-staged celebrations commenced. The pro-US Iraqi government declared “independence day” as police vehicles roamed the streets of war-weary Iraq in an unpersuasive show of national rejoicing. US mainstream media joined the chorus, as if commemorating the end of an era......

However, before we take our eyes off Iraq, Americans must remember their own culpabilities in what transpired there. Antiwar activists and people of conscience must not forget that 130,000 US soldiers remain in the country; that the US has complete control over Iraqi airspace and territorial water; that there is not yet a reason to celebrate and move on. Even if one is trusting enough to believe the administration and army’s own account of its future in Iraq, one should recall comments made by Admiral Mike Mullen last February: “Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a ‘residual force’ of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down terrorist cells and guard American institutions.”

One may be truly eager to see a sovereign, democratic and stable Iraq, but such hopes must not occur at the expense of truth and common sense. "

Israel's wall still deepening the divide

Five years ago the international court of justice ruled that Israel's separation wall should be demolished. But it is still growing

Ben White, Thursday 9 July 2009

"Five years ago today, the international court of justice in The Hague published its advisory opinion on Israel's separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The keenly awaited verdict, requested by the UN's general assembly, was clear: Israel's wall is illegal, it must be removed and adequate compensation paid.

The wall's illegality, and Israel's obligation to dismantle the structure and pay damages for the consequences of the wall thus far, were all agreed by the judges by a margin of 14-1. (The ICJ also accepted the use of the term "wall", since "other expressions" are "no more accurate".) There was also confirmation that Israel's settlements were "a flagrant violation" of the convention, established "in breach of international law" (contrast this with the mealy-mouthed nitpicking over outposts and "freezes" by Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu). Overall, the court found that the route of the wall threatened to create "de facto annexation", with the wall itself described as severely impeding "the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination"........."

Torture Subcontractor, by Steve Bell

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This latest poll asks:

Do you see that a real dispute exists between Tel-Aviv and Washington concerning Iran?

With over 1,000 responding so far, 85% said no.

Fmr. Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Back in U.S. After Being Detained and Deported from Israel

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman


"Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney arrived back in the United States Tuesday following her deportation from Israel. McKinney was one of 21 activists seized by the Israeli military in international waters last week as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. We speak with McKiney and with filmmaker Adam Shapiro who was detained and deported as well....."

Obama in Russia

Has the Kremlin Caved?


".....It looks like Washington has won this stand-off with Moscow, getting its Afghanistan yellow-brick road and its Polish cake. The market value of allying with flashy but fair-weather Washington outshines the more reliable but less alluring Moscow for the present. But US support is for local elites willing to do its bidding. Local populations will gain nothing, and they are wiser than their leaders, with fond memories of their Russian bulwark. The US may have won the battle. Let the US and NATO play out their lethal games in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. “Progress must be shared,” Obama said in his “Moscow speech” to university students. Let’s see what fruits his policies bear that we can divvy up."

Is Texas Harboring a Torture Decider?

The Buck Stops Where It Began


"Seldom does a crime scene have so clear a smoking gun. A two-page presidential memorandum of Feb. 7, 2002, leaves no room for uncertainty regarding the “decider” on torture. His broad-stroke signature made torture official policy.

This should come as no surprise. You see, the Feb. 7, 2002, memorandum has been posted on the Web since June 22, 2004, when then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales mistakenly released it, along with other White House memoranda......

Here is Conclusion Number One of the Senate committee report: “Following the President’s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions…were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.”

It is essential that those responsible for torture be held to account. This is not about “policy differences.” It is about crimes. More important still, it’s about holding fast to our Constitution and enforcing accountability in the executive branch......."

Real News Video: Full Spectrum Dominance and Iran Part 2

With F William Engdahl

More at The Real News

The USraeli "Peace" Plan!

By Naser Jafari

Ah......the Police State Without a State; Celebrate "Palestine" Now (or Else!)

Political prisoner transferred to hospital in Nablus

"Palestinian sources reported that a political prisoner detained at a Palestinian prison since more than seven months, was transferred to a hospital in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, after being subjected to torture in Jneid prison.

The detainee was identified as Samih Aleiwi, 45. His family said that on Monday, he was moved to the Intensive Care unit at the National Hospital in Nablus, after he was tortured in prison. The family added that they were not allowed to visit him at the hospital, and that security personnel even assaulted his son, Mutasem, before forcing the family out of the hospital. The family also said that Samih was transferred to hospital seven times due to his poor health condition and torture.

He owned a Jewelry store that was shut down by Palestinian security forces after confiscating its contents.

In related news, P.A security forces arrested a pharmacist identified as Omar Al Hanbali directly after he was release from an Israeli prison on Monday. Al Hanbaly was arrested Laban village, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The village is under Israeli security control, but Palestinian security forces were allowed into the village, local sources reported.

The family of Al Hanbaly added that the security forces arrested the wife of Omar to pressure him to turn himself in.

The security forces also arrested Mohammad Halaiqa, from Al Shiokh village the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

His family stated that he works in Israel and that he was arrested as he returned to his village to get married....... "

Six months later, no reconstruction in Gaza

Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 8 July 2009

".....According to local and international estimates, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza remain displaced after the Israeli attack there. A more than two-year-long blockade has prevented building supplies from entering the territory, thus internationally-pledged reconstruction efforts have yet to even begin.

Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a lengthy report on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The report described woresning conditions six months after the Israeli attacks on the coastal territory......."

Elections only fortify Lebanon's sectarian politics

Sami Halabi, Electronic Lebanon, 7 July 2009

"......As the sectarian wheels of Lebanon continue to turn, they pull along the ability of Lebanon's political elite to rule through a perpetual hand-me-down system. Hereditary inheritance of political power occurs across party lines, especially in the new parliamentary majority. The ruling March 14 coalition now includes five sons of deceased politicians, one sister, one wife, one brother and one 26-year-old daughter, Nayla Tueni. Tueni, who has never held any occupation other than working at her father's newspaper, An-Nahar, is against a minimum quota for women in parliament. Moreover, when asked what she was going to do about 28.5 percent of Lebanon's population living below the poverty line, she requested to send me a response by email. In her response, which was a superficial one at best, she said she would focus her "efforts" on her electoral district -- one of the most affluent districts in the entire country.

Who is to blame for this situation? Essentially, it is the people who continue to reinforce the system by electing the same representatives or their progeny time and time again. Yet, it is the people of Lebanon who suffer the most from the lack of basic services or a functioning state, not the "leaders" they continue to elect. The reluctance of most of Lebanon's population to admit to themselves that the core issue hampering progress in their lives is not which tribal lord rules over them for the next four years, but an unwillingness to keep God, and the absolute truth that he embodies, out of government. This is what is keeping them and their country on the brink of disaster, and surely this new government will be no different."

Obama in Russia

The same policies, albeit gift-wrapped

by Justin Raimondo, July 08, 2009

Cartoon by Khalil Bendib

"President Barack Obama’s trip to Russia – overshadowed in our air-headed media by the death and funeral of Michael Jackson – shows that the change we were all so eager to welcome is rather a bit less than anticipated. Indeed, if we take the text of the speech he gave at Moscow’s New Economic School as in any way definitive, one is forced to conclude it looks and sounds like the same old, same old – and possibly a bit worse......

U.S. relations with Russia have been horrendously bad ever since Putin threw out the oligarchs and decided not to take dictation from either Washington or London. The Obama administration has said they want to "reset" the relationship, but it’s all talk and no action. They are needling the Russian bear with the same pointed stick, demanding it jump through a whole series of hoops – and they will no doubt be very good at feigning shock when the bear strikes back."

Obama Slouching Towards an Iran War?

By Tony Karon

".......The fact that the Biden comments coincided with a report in Britain’s Sunday Times — subsequently denied by all sides — that the Saudis have given the go-ahead to an Israeli strike on Iran suggests a concerted campaign to make the Iranians believe an attack is coming.

Does the Obama Administration think an Israeli attack on Iran is a good idea? Obviously not, they’ve made clear many times that they are quite aware of the disastrous consequences that would follow such an event. But I have a suspicion, as does Aluf Benn, that these comments are calculated to make Iran, and others, think that an Israeli military attack is possible and even likely if Iran declines Obama’s negotiating terms. Dennis Ross, ostensibly now a more senior Obama adviser, makes absolutely clear in his book his view that a diplomatic solution requires the Iranians and others to believe that an Israeli attack is a real and imminent threat. Ross even advocates sending the Israelis around European capitals threatening to bomb Iran as a way of stampeding the Europeans into backing tougher sanctions.

If this is the playbook the Obama Administration is adopting, it’s going to blunder its way into war. Because the Iranians are unlikely to simply fold in the face of threats, and will instead more likely raise the ante.......

Yet Obama is now talking about waiting only weeks or months to see whether Iran is willing to engage, before moving on to escalate sanctions. Already, his Congress (at Ross’ behest) is passing legislation designed to create a blockade on Iran importing petroleum (it imports as much as half of its need, despite being an oil producing country - it’s refining capacity is very limited). And Ross’s people in Washington are putting out the spin that Obama is going to be seeking intensified UN sanctions this fall........"

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

By Scott Ritter

"Fireworks lit up the Baghdad sky on the evening of June 30th, signaling the advent of “National Sovereignty Day.” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared the new holiday to commemorate the withdrawal of American combat troops from the Iraqi capital and all other major urban centers, although thousands of “advisers” would remain in the cities, embedded with Iraqi forces. The celebration transpired inside a city that has been radically transformed over the past six years. Even with American combat forces ostensibly withdrawn, Baghdad remains one of the most militarized urban areas in the world. It wasn’t always so. When I was in Baghdad during the 1990s, I was struck by the lack of an overt military presence for a nation purported to be governed by one of the world’s worst militaristic dictatorships......

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military and paramilitary forces under the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The sad reality is not only that Baghdad is a far more militarized city today than at any time under Saddam Hussein, but the United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard. American soldiers are now an iron fist lurking on the edges of the city, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. That our role has so readily transformed from liberator to occupier should come as a surprise to no one......"

رضاء بيريس ادانة للنظام المصري

رضاء بيريس ادانة للنظام المصري

"ان يعرب شمعون بيريس رئيس اسرائيل عن ارتياحه ورضاه عن نشاط قوات الامن المصرية في مكافحة عمليات التهريب عبر الانفاق بين مصر وقطاع غزة، فهذا امر يؤكد مجدداً على مدى تغول السلطات المصرية في تشديد الحصار على مليون ونصف المليون فلسطيني يعيشون حصاراً ظالماً في القطاع.
مكافحة عمليات التهريب عبر الانفاق من قبل قوات الامن المصرية تعني منع وصول الادوية والطعام والحاجات الضرورية الى الرازحين تحت وطأة الحصار، ولا نعتقد ان هذا الاطراء من قبل بيريس موضع فخر بالنسبة الى الحكومة المصرية، وانما هو موضع ادانة لها، وعنوان لتواطئها مع اشكال العدوان والحصار كافة على مواطنين عرب ومسلمين تربطهم روابط الدم والتاريخ والعقيدة مع ثمانين مليون مصري.
النظام المصري أقام الدنيا ولم يقعدها عندما تعرض موقفه المنحاز للعدوان الاسرائيلي على قطاع غزة لانتقاد حكومات عربية، واعتبر هذا النقد مؤامرة على مصر وسيادتها، ولكنه لم يفعل اي شيء على الارض يبدد مثل هذه الاتهامات، بل يقدم الادلة يوماً بعد يوم لتأكيدها، ولا نعتقد ان بيريس يكذب عندما يقول لمجموعة الصحافيين الاسرائيليين الذين رافقوه في زيارته الى القاهرة ان التعاون الامني بين مصر واسرائيل يتعزز بشكل ملموس ويجري بشكل صحيح.
استقبال الرئيس مبارك لبيريس، وقبله لبنيامين نتنياهو رئيس الوزراء في وقت تتعرض فيه اسرائيل للنبذ من دول اوروبية وعالمثالثية، بسبب مجازرها في قطاع غزة ومواصلتها الاستيطان في الاراضي المحتلة هو تشجيع لها، وكسر العزلة عنها، ومن قبل اكبر دولة عربية، ودفعها للمضي قدماً في السياسات المتطرفة التي تتبعها حالياً.
فاذا كان السيد محمود عباس رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله، الذي لا يستطيع مغادرة مكتبه دون اذن اسرائيلي، يرفض اي لقاء مع نتنياهو وبيريس، فلماذا يستقبلهما الرئيس مبارك زعيم اكبر دولة عربية، وفي مثل هذا التوقيت الذي تتعاظم فيه الضغوط على اسرائيل للتراجع عن غرورها وغطرستها، والقبول بالارادة الدولية؟
يبدو ان العلاقات بين النظام المصري واسرائيل تجاوزت مرحلة 'التطبيع البارد' الى مرحلة التحالف الاستراتيجي الكامل، فقد رأينا الغواصات النووية الاسرائيلية تعبر قناة السويس في اطار مناورات استعداداً لضرب ايران، وها هو بيريس يشيد علانية بدور الاجهزة الامنية المصرية في تجويع مليون ونصف المليون فلسطيني، كانوا وما زالوا امتداداً بشرياً وامنياً وثقافياً لمصر.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is there life after democracy?

Contributed by FUBAR

By Arundhati Roy
Sunday, 05 Jul, 2009

"While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By democracy I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are.

So, is there life after democracy?......

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit? Is it possible to reverse this process? Can something that has mutated go back to being what it used to be?....."

Vietnam War Architect Robert McNamara Dies at 93: A Look at His Legacy With Howard Zinn, Marilyn Young & Jonathan Schell

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara has died at the age of 93. McNamara was one of the key architects of the Vietnam war, which killed at least three million Vietnamese, around one million Cambodians and Laotians, and 58,000 American soldiers. We take a look at McNamara’s legacy with two pre-eminent historians: Howard Zinn and Marilyn Young. We also speak with Jonathan Schell, who covered Vietnam as a reporter in 1967 and met with McNamara in a secret Pentagon meeting...."

McNamara: From the Tokyo Firestorm to the World Bank

May He Rest in Darkness


"Robert McNamara, who died yesterday, July 6, served as Kennedy’s , then as Johnson’s defense secretary. He contributed more than most to the slaughter of 3.4 million Vietnamese (his own estimate). He went on to run the World Bank, where he presided over the impoverishment, eviction from their lands and death of many millions more round the world.

Just as George Kennan, one of the architects of the Cold War, helped bolt together the ramshackle scaffolding of bogus claims that provided the rationalization for Harry Truman’s great “arms scare” in 1948, launching the postwar arms race, McNamara tugged his forelock and said “Aye, aye, Sir” when Kennedy, campaigning against Nxon in the late 1950s attacked the Eisenhower/Nixon administration for having allowed a “missile gap” to develop that had now delivered America naked and helpless into the grip of the Soviet Union.

This was the biggest lie in the history of threat inflation and remains so to this day....."

The Honduras Coup: Is Obama Innocent?

By Michael Parenti

Is President Obama innocent of the events occurring in Honduras, specifically the coup launched by the Honduran military resulting in the abduction and forced deportation of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya? Obama has denounced the coup and demanded that the rules of democracy be honored. Still, several troubling questions remain.

First, almost all the senior Honduran military officers active in the coup are graduates of the Pentagon's School of the Americas (known to many of us as "School of the Assassins"). The Honduran military is trained, advised, equipped, indoctrinated, and financed by the United States national security state. The generals would never have dared to move without tacit consent from the White House or the Pentagon and CIA.

Second, if Obama was not directly involved, then he should be faulted for having no firm command over those US operatives who were. The US military must have known about the plot and US military intelligence must have known and must have reported it back to Washington. Why did Obama's people who had communicated with the coup leaders fail to blow the whistle on them? Why did they not expose and denounce the plot, thereby possibly foiling the entire venture? Instead the US kept quiet about it, a silence that in effect, even if not in intent, served as an act of complicity.

Sixth, as James Petras reminded me, Obama has refused to meet with President Zelaya. He dislikes Zelaya mostly for his close and unexpected affiliation with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. And because of his egalitarian reformist efforts Zelaya is hated by the Honduran oligarchs, the same oligarchs who for many years have been close to and splendidly served by the US empire builders.

As president, Obama has considerable influence and immense resources that might well have thwarted the perpetrators and perhaps could still be applied against them with real effect. As of now his stance on Honduras is too little too late, as is the case with too many other things he does.