Saturday, January 9, 2010
Jordan Acknowledges Counter-Terror Role in Afghanistan
(Left: Abdullah Bin Hussein I, great grandfather of the present stooge "king," who was killed by the Palestinian Mustafa Ashu, for his treason in selling Palestine to the early Zionists.)
"09/01/2010 Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Friday openly acknowledged that Jordan had a counter-terrorism role in Afghanistan and planned to enhance operations there.
Jordan's presence in Afghanistan was thrown wide open when a bomber blew himself up last week at a US base in Afghanistan, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, a top intelligence officer and member of the royal family.
"Our presence in Afghanistan today is twofold," Judeh told reporters during a press briefing with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Number one, to combat terrorism and the root causes of terrorism, but also to help out in the humanitarian effort that is needed there," Jordan's top diplomat said.
"And I would like to say that our presence in Afghanistan will be enhanced and increased in the coming phase. This is something that is ongoing. Jordan was one of the first countries there," he said. "We are not only part of a network of countries that are trying to assist Afghanistan and Afghanis, but also trying to combat terror and terrorism," Judeh said. "But we're also there to defend Jordan's national interests and... to defend Jordanians and safeguard them against this growing threat," he said.
After the attack at the US base in Khost, near the Pakistani border, Western diplomats said that the revelation of Jordanian involvement in a US intelligence operation in Afghanistan was a blow for the Amman government.
"Jordan is likely to be embarrassed by the fact that Captain Ali's death has revealed its cooperation with the CIA, which is not going to go down well with a predominantly anti-American public opinion," one Western diplomat told AFP.
Information Minister Nabil Sharif earlier rejected as "baseless" reports that the bomber was Jordanian and again denied a Jordanian role in the coalition operations in Afghanistan."
(Left: King Hussein, father of the present USraeli puppet, who was documented to be on the CIA payroll.)
83% of over 11,000 respondents to the current Al-Jazeera poll oppose coordination between Western and Arab intelligence agencies.
"video has been released showing a suicide bomber who attacked a US base in Afghanistan and killed seven people, including six CIA officers.
In the tape, Hammam Khalid Al-Balawi says that the attack was in response to the killing of Baitullah Mehsud, the former Pakistani Taliban leader, and urged other revenge attacks inside and outside of the US.
Al Jazeera's Clayton Swisher reports."
COMMENT: They don't make revolutions the way they used to; is anyone reading about that in the Arab world? Not many, I am afraid.
"(January 3, 2010) -- On the 51st anniversary of the victory of the Revolution two days ago, the memories of that January 1st, 1959 came flooding back to me. None of us ever thought that half a century later, a time that has flown past very fast, we would be remembering it as if it were only yesterday.
On December 28, 1958, during the meeting at the Oriente sugar mill with the Commander in Chief of the enemy forces, whose elite units were besieged with no possibility of escaping, he admitted his defeat and appealed to our generosity to try finding an honorable way out for the rest of his forces. He was aware of our humane treatment of prisoners and injured enemies without exception. He accepted the agreement I proposed, even though I warned him that the ongoing operations would proceed uninterrupted. However, he traveled to the capital and, incited by US embassy, he promoted a coup d'état.
We were preparing for the combats of that day January 1st when in the early morning hours we learned that the tyrant had escaped. Right away orders were issued to the Rebel Army not to accept a ceasefire and carry on the fight at all fronts. At the same time, through Radio Rebelde the workers were called on to declare a Revolutionary general strike, which was immediately backed by the entire nation. The attempted coup was defeated and that same day, in the afternoon, our victorious troops entered Santiago de Cuba......"
By Scott Ritter
"....The heart of the problems facing the United States in the Middle East lies not in actions taking place in Baghdad or Tehran but rather in Gaza and Tel Aviv. The continued refusal of the United States to address the issue of Palestine and the Palestinians in a manner that reflects the reality of the situation on the ground, rather than the situation that exists inside Washington, as manipulated and interpreted by Israeli interests, means that the tension and unrest this issue generates will never be resolved. The conflicts with Iraq and Iran are, in many ways, simply symptoms of a larger disease represented by the failure of the United States to formulate a sound and realistic policy regarding Palestine. So long as American politicians find themselves constrained by a pro-Israeli lobby that refuses to permit the inclusion of either the concept or reality of Palestine into the lexicon of American foreign policy considerations (beyond simplistic “dual-state” and other demeaning and dishonest formulations), then there can and will be no long-term solution to any other modern Middle Eastern problem. Solving the Palestine-Israel problem wouldn’t by and of itself resolve all outstanding issues. But it would create the foundation of regional stability and rationality upon which all other solutions could be constructed......"
(Sousan Hammad is a writer and journalist based in the Palestinian city of Nazareth.)
"One of the travesties of living in a colonized environment is that the inferior, or oppressed, aspire to win admittance to the Western world. There seems to be an emerging trend of this type of appeasement, where submission has replaced the revolution. The introduction to spectacles, like the breaking of a Guinness record for the largest plate of kanafeh and the search for a national beauty queen, are just two examples of how absurd practices are coming to be seen as normal in Palestinian cities......
Occupied Miss Palestine canceled
In Ramallah, the circumstances were different. The inaugural West Bank beauty pageant was set to run on 26 December (a day prior to the first anniversary of the Israeli-led war on the Palestinian people in Gaza). But five days before the competition, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials decided to cancel the event because of the "conflicting schedule."
Hamas published a press release prior to the PA's decision, stating that such a contest "completely contradicts Palestinian values and traditions." The statement added, "Showing beautiful girls in front of the mass media and the audience while our people in Gaza are suffering ... is rejected and is considered a blind imitation of Western traditions."........
The tragedy, here, is not only the transformation of women into fetishized commodities, but the belief that these events will create a sense of normalcy in Palestine. While both pageant organizers might mean well, their yearning for recognition and appeasement from the West only places them in a static and inferior space where they are devaluing the Palestinian struggle. If only we could convince them otherwise. This is why we must first decolonize the mind before we decolonize the land."
By Mel Frykberg
(Left: Patriarch of the Church, Theophilos)
"RAMALLAH, Jan 8 (IPS) - Israel’s bid to keep occupied East Jerusalem under its sovereignty and prevent its incorporation into a future Palestinian state has been boosted over the years with the acquiescence of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The church’s sale of politically sensitive land in East Jerusalem under dubious circumstances and amidst charges of political blackmail have caused outrage amongst Greek Orthodox Palestinians and threatened to split the church.....
Palestinians have been expelled from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers whose settlement there has been politically and economically encouraged by Israel. Apart from social restrictions Palestinians are regularly denied building permits and those who build anyway, due to chronic housing shortages, face destruction of their homes by Jerusalem municipality.
The crisis within the Palestinian Greek Orthodox Church came to a head on Wednesday, the Orthodox Christmas Eve, when the patriarch of the church, Theophilos, had to be escorted into Bethlehem’s Manger Square by Palestinian riot police to attend celebrations.
Several hundred Palestinian protestors from the Council of Arab Orthodox Institutions and Organisations in Palestine, representing 19 groups, booed his arrival and waved placards that read: "The Holy Land is not for Sale or Lease"......
Elias Isaid, leader of the Greek Orthodox Club of Beit Sahour, stated: "Today's demonstration is the start of our action against the patriarch.’’ He warned that the patriarch could be declared persona non-grata in Bethlehem if legitimate grievances were not taken into consideration.
The Greek Orthodox Church is the biggest private owner of land in Jerusalem and owns most of the land in the West Bank on which the Christian religious sites, including the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, are built.
Much of this land was donated to it by Orthodox Christian Palestinians in the late 1800s. Over the last few decades the church has increased land sales to the Israeli authorities or leased land to them for a period of 999 years.
This has enabled Israel to build a number of large Israeli settlements in the East Jerusalem area, creating a corridor with other West Bank settlements and effectively cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
But the church’s land sales have come against a background of corruption allegations. Nicholas Papadimas, a previous church treasurer in Jerusalem, was behind some of the sales before he fled the country and was charged in Greece with stealing church funds in a separate case......"
Speaking in Washington on Friday, Abul Ghait said that assistance destined for Gaza should be handed to the Egyptian Red Crescent [which means that the aid would sit in El-Arish and rot or spoil as has happened repeatedly before, and the Palestinians would never see it!] that would in turn hand it to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The measure blocks any future convoys such as Lifeline from heading directly to the Strip to deliver the relief material.
The Egyptian chief diplomat said that his country would never allow once against the "farce" that accompanied the entry of the Lifeline convoy members into the Egyptian territory and their "aggressive" acts including damaging utilities in El-Arish harbor. Abul Ghait said that the convoy members provoked Egypt and tried to impose their will on its lands.
Egyptian security forces brutally assaulted the convoy members in El-Arish for demanding access into Gaza with all accompanying relief materials and vehicles. Cairo blocked the entry of almost a quarter of the vehicles saying that it should be coordinated with Israel."
Friday, January 8, 2010
"The famous song, Va pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi was first performed in 1842 when the Northern part of Italy was under the thumb of the Austrian empire. It is a song about the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered, and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar).
The song has become a plaintive cry for freedom for all occupied people and is dedicated to the Palestinian fight for justice, from the Occupied West Bank to besieged Gaza. Supporters from around the world marched on December 31, 2009 and January 1, 2010 to demand of their governments, "Break the siege on Gaza, let them live in peace and with dignity""
"The Palestinian nongovernmental organization Addameer was founded in 1992 to promote and protect the rights of political prisoners. The Electronic Intifada interviewed Sahar Francis, a human rights lawyer and the director of Addameer, about the recent repression wave targeting Palestinian human rights activists protesting Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank. Three activists, Jamal Juma, Abdallah Abu Rahmah and Mohammad Othman, have been detained over the past several months. They join the 8,338 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons that Addameer recorded at the end of 2009. More than 300 detainees are children, 18 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and 738 are from Gaza. At least 291 prisoners are held in administrative detention, while 778 prisoners are serving life sentences.
A Related Story by Amnesty International:
Israeli detention of Palestinian activists must end
"8 January 2010
The Israeli authorities must immediately release, or bring before a fair trial, three Palestinian human rights activists detained in Israel following their protests against the construction of the West Bank fence/wall, Amnesty International said on Friday.
In a letter sent to Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence and Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday, Amnesty International expressed concern that Jamal Juma', Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman were prisoners of conscience, held for legitimately voicing their opposition to the fence/wall.
"These men have all been involved in campaigning against the building of this construction, much of it on the land of the occupied West Bank, and we fear that this is the real reason for their imprisonment," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. "If this is the case they must be released immediately and unconditionally."
Jamal Juma' is the co-ordinator of the "Stop the Wall" campaign and a prominent human rights activist. He was arrested by the Israeli authorities on 16 December 2009. He has not been formally charged with any offence since his detention and information relating to his arrest has not been shared with his lawyer.....
Mohammed Othman, a volunteer with the "Stop the Wall" campaign, has been detained continuously since 22 September 2009. He was arrested on his return from Norway, after meeting activist groups there campaigning against the fence/wall and is being held without charge or trial in Israeli administrative detention.
The International Court of Justice ruled in an advisory opinion in 2004 that the construction of the fence/wall on the territory of the occupied West Bank is contrary to international law and should be dismantled. Israel has ignored the ruling....."
Stop this nonsense NOW! Allah is Arabic for God. As I said before I am a Christian and I pray to Allah!
Contributed by Molly
"There were angry protests at mosques in Malaysia after four arson attacks on Christian churches, apparently provoked by a controversy over the use by Christians of the word Allah.
Police were increasing their patrols of areas around churches and Christian communities were hiring security guards, after petrol bombs were thrown at four churches in and around the capital Kuala Lumpur, partially destroying one of them. Hours later, Muslim preachers used Friday prayers to object to a court decision that would allow use of "Allah" as the Malaysian language term for the Christian God.
“We will not allow the word Allah to be inscribed in your churches,” said one speaker at the Kampung Bahru mosque in central Kuala Lumpur. Protesters carried posters reading “Heresy arises from words wrongly used” and “Allah is only for us”....."
‘Blackwatergate’–Private Military Firm in Firestorm of Controversy Over Involvements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany
With Amy Goodman
"Blackwater is all over the news. In the last 72 hours, a series of breaking developments involving the notorious private military firm have come to light, ranging from their involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even Germany, as well as legal cases here at home. We speak with investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D–IL), a leading member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, who is launching an investigation into why two Blackwater contractors were among the dead in the December 30 suicide bombing at the CIA station at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan......"
Online Journal Contributing Writer
"The psychological warfare operations by neo-conservatives, who have Denmark under a virtual occupation government reminiscent of the pro-Nazi government during World War II, to stoke anti-Muslim feelings in Denmark, reached another zenith in the "axe attack" on Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard....."
"....On January 4th we said goodbye to the last contingent of French delegates, who left for Paris the next day. Among them were a couple who had spent their honeymoon in the Giza Strip, and several Muslim brothers who have developed strong relationships with Palestinian and Egyptian activists living here in Cairo. They are all determined to return to Cairo on December 31st of 2010, for the second Gaza Freedom March. Their solidarity and tireless efforts have inspired many people in Cairo, Gaza, and around the world, and next year they will return even stronger than they were when they began. And until that date, the streets of Cairo, Gaza, Paris, and all of our communities around the world will be inspired daily by the chant that still rings in our ears: Palestine Vivra!"
"NAZARETH, Israel // Health officials in Israel are subjecting many female Ethiopian immigrants to a controversial long-term birth control drug in what Israeli women’s groups allege is a racist policy to reduce the number of black babies.
The contraceptive, known as Depo Provera, which is given by injection every three months, is considered by many doctors as a birth control method of last resort because of problems treating its side effects.
However, according to a report published last week, use of the contraceptive by Israeli doctors has risen threefold over the past few years. Figures show that 57 per cent of Depo Provera users in Israel are Ethiopian, even though the community accounts for less than two per cent of the total population....."
"Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, has plumbed new depths and caused deep offence with his shameful bullying of the Viva Palestina convoy bound for Gaza, which had driven for weeks and thousands of miles from many countries to bring medical aid and other relief to women and children cruelly shut off from the world and under endless lethal bombardment by Israel.
The dirty tricks resorted to by Mubarak and his lieutenants, which repeatedly delayed the convoy when only a few hours away from its destination, forced it to retrace its steps and take a dangerous and unnecessary sea voyage menaced by Israeli gunboats, heaped massive extra costs on the mercy mission then confronted it with 2,000 riot police, put him and his rotten regime beyond the pale. In other words, far outside acceptable standards of decency......"
by Justin Raimondo, January 08, 2010
"The drumbeat for war with Iran started quite some time ago, but as we begin the new year the tom-toms are getting more frenetic and certainly louder. It wasn’t twenty-four hours after the intrepid Gareth Porter effectively debunked the latest war propaganda in the Times of London – a forged document purporting to show Iranian nuclear scientists working on a design for a "nuclear trigger" – that they started bringing out the big guns: a "news" story in the New York Times claiming the Iranians are hiding their bomb-making activities deep in underground tunnels.....
Churchgoers targeted after Coptic Christmas Eve mass in apparent payback for alleged rape of Muslim girl by Christian
Jack Shenker in Cairo
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 January 2010
"Clashes between thousands of protesters and riot police shook Egypt today after six Coptic Christians were murdered, prompting some of the worst sectarian violence the country has seen.
"It is all religious now," said the church's Bishop Kirollos. "This is a religious war, about how they can finish off the Christians in Egypt."......
Some political analysts believe the growth in sectarian tensions has been fuelled by the political failings of the ruling regime, which has faced increased domestic dissent in recent years. "This was not an isolated incident," said Nabil Abdel Fattah, director of history and social studies at Cairo's al-Ahram Centre. "It has emerged out of the decay of national unity in Egypt, which in turn has arisen through the extensive exploitation of religion by politicians. There has been an attempt by the government and the bureaucratic apparatus to encourage Islamisation in an effort to hide their own lack of legitimacy." "
عبد الستار قاسم
"لغزة حق على كل العرب والمسلمين ليس بالإغاثة فقط، وإنما بمواجهة إسرائيل بكل قوة وبأس، ولها حق على كل أحرار العالم، لكن حقها أولا عند شعب فلسطين، وبالأخص عند الضفة الغربية.
لا شك أن فلسطينيي الشتات يبذلون جهودا كبيرة من أجل إغاثة غزة، ولو كان الأمر بأيديهم لجيشوا لغزة، ولقدموا لأجلها كافة أنواع التضحيات، ولا شك أن الفلسطينيين في الأرض المحتلة/48 يقدمون ما يستطيعون ضمن الظروف القاسية التي يعيشونها تحت الاحتلال.
الناس يهبون لنجدة غزة من أمريكا اللاتينية إلى اليابان إلا الضفة الغربية التي تغرق في البحث عن تبريرات تافهة لأعمال مخزية. بدل القيام بأعمال مجدية، وخطوات وطنية نحو التخلص من الانحدار الرهيب الذي وصلت إليه، تنشغل بمحاولات فاشلة لفلسفة الهبوط وتزيينه وتبريره، وربما لدى البعض، للهروب منه وهميا.
طوابير من الناس تهرب نحو إيهام نفسها بأنها تقوم بأعمال وطنية خالدة عجز عنها الأولون والآخرون، وإن استمعت إليهم ظننت أن الوطنية المشرقة العظيمة قد توقفت عندهم دون غيرهم.
المجرم يدور حول جريمته، والذي يقوم بفعل مشين لا يكل من البحث عن أساليب ووسائل لتغطية فعلته، والذي يفشل لا ييأس من قذف الآخرين، ولا يجد في الآخرين إلا شماعة يعلق عليها خيبته.
الضفة مشغولة جدا في تزيين التنسيق الأمني مع إسرائيل، وأن المسألة ليست دفاعا عن الأمن الإسرائيلي، وإنما دفاع عن الأمن الفلسطيني، ومشغولة في تبرير وجود دايتون، والإسهاب في الفضائل التي يقدمها طاقمه من أجل أمن الفلسطينيين وراحتهم، وفي تبرير تغلغل عناصر المخابرات الأمريكية في المجتمع الفلسطيني وتركيزهم على أريحا لتصبح مقرا تخريبيا لهم ولأعوانهم في المنطقة. والتزيين يشتد مع كل كمشة دولارات تُنعف، أو شحنة سيارات تُرسل.
انشغل العالم هذه الأيام في ذكرى الحرب على غزة، وفي قافلة شريان الحياة، والضفة ما زالت تبحث عن عناصر جدلية لإثبات أن غزة قد هزمت في حرب الفرقان، أو حرب الكوانين، وأن إسرائيل قد انتصرت لأن الصواريخ التي كانت تنطلق من غزة قد توقفت.
الضفة مشغولة برفض تصريحات بعض قادة الصهاينة بأن هدف الحرب كان تغيير الوضع السياسي في غزة، وأن هدفها انحصر فقط بوقف إطلاق الصواريخ، الأمر الذي حققته إسرائيل.
الضفة هي التي تقرر أهداف حرب إسرائيل على غزة، وهي وحدها التي تقرر أن غزة قد هُزمت. هذا علما أن الجميع قد بات يعرف بأن أمريكا تقيم الجدار الفولاذي في سيناء لأن المقاومة الفلسطينية قد تمكنت من تهريب كميات لا بأس بها من الصواريخ والأدوات القتالية الأخرى، ولأن غزة قد استعصت على الحصار.
الضفة الغربية قد فقدت دورها التاريخي الآن، وقناعتي أنه فقدان مؤقت. لقد تحولت الآن إلى عبء على المسيرة الفلسطينية نحو التحرير، وتمارس أدوارا خارجة عن تاريخ هذا الشعب، ولا يملك الفلسطيني إلا أن يتقلص أمام مهازل تُقترف، وخدمات للعدو تُقدم.
"08/01/2010 Following his meeting with Syrian Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash in Tehran on Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the two countries plan to create a new world order.
Ahmadinejad said the US would eventually be forced by the two states to stop interfering in the region and withdraw its military.
“Iran and Syria have a joint mission to create a new world order on the basis of justice, humanity and belief in God,” Ahmadinejad said....."
"George Galloway, the British MP leading the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to the Gaza Strip has been forced to leave Egypt, the group has said on its website.
Galloway was apparently picked up by Egyptian officials at the Rafah border crossing on Friday and driven to Cairo where he was placed on a flight back to London.
Galloway told Al Jazeera by telephone from the airport that he had been harassed by about 25 Egyptian police officer as he attempted to re-enter Gaza to join the rest of the Viva Palestina activists.
He said Egyptian officials told him he was being sent out of the country and was now "persona non grata".....Seven other members of the Viva Palestinian convoy have also been ordered arrested after being accused of inciting riots in El-Arish......."
Thursday, January 7, 2010
"British lawmaker George Galloway says no more aid convoys destined for the besieged Gaza Strip will pass through Egyptian territory as its authorities caused troubles for Viva Palestina convoy to enter the Palestinian enclave.
"I cannot see any more visits to Egypt since we find it very difficult to deal with the officials who cheated us. They signed a binding agreement with us in Aqaba, Jordan, and they broke it," Galloway said in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.
"There are other ways into Gaza and we are exploring them. You'll see Viva Palestina coming from all corners of the world," he added.
The British anti-war activist added that the third international convoy organized by the British-based group Viva Palestina arrived in the Gaza Strip with no more than three quarters of what the organizers had planned.
It is believed that the remaining quarter of the humanitarian supplies, intended for impoverished Gazans living under crippling Israeli siege, will never reach its intended target in the Gaza Strip......."
With Amy Goodman
"A humanitarian aid convoy has arrived in Gaza nearly a month after it embarked from Britain. Members of the Viva Palestina convoy began passing through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza on Wednesday. They are expected to spend the next 48 hours distributing the aid supplies. We go to Gaza to speak with British MP George Galloway who led the convoy.....
Members of the Viva Palestina convoy began passing through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza on Wednesday. They are expected to spend the next 48 hours distributing the aid supplies.
The convoy was delayed by more than a week following a dispute with the Egyptian government. Hours before the convoy’s entry into Gaza yesterday, an Egyptian soldier was shot dead during a clash with Palestinian protesters who had gathered along the border to protest the delay. At least 35 Palestinians were wounded. On Tuesday, Egyptian forces clashed with members of the Viva Palestina convoy wounding more than 50.
Egypt and Israel have been maintaining a strict blockade on Gaza since 2007, allowing only the most basic supplies to get through. Viva Palestina’s arrival in Gaza comes a year after the three-week Israeli assault that killed over 1,300 Palestinians.
British parliamentarian George Galloway led the Viva Palestina convoy. He joins us now on the telephone from Gaza."
Global Research, January 5, 2010
".....In addition to its geopolitical position as a major global oil transit chokepoint, Yemen is reported to hold some of the world’s greatest untapped oil reserves. Yemen’s Masila Basin and Shabwa Basin are reported by international oil companies to contain "world class discoveries." France’s Total and several smaller international oil companies are engaged in developing Yemen’s oil production. Some fifteen years ago I was told in a private meeting with a well-informed Washington insider that Yemen contained "enough undeveloped oil to fill the oil demand of the entire world for the next fifty years." Perhaps there is more to Washington’s recent Yemen concern than a rag-tag al Qaeda whose very existence as a global terror organization has been doubted by seasoned Islamic experts."
"Drowned out by the United States-driven cacophony over Tehran's alleged belligerence is news of the inauguration of a pipeline connecting Iran's northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan's vast gas reserves. Trumping the sole superpower and its European allies, Ashgabat has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and Iran. And Tehran - "increasingly isolated" according to Washington - finds itself at the center of a newly emerging economic axis...."
".....At 9:45am on 29 December, Evans, myself and two other Gaza Freedom March participants came back to the embassy. We explained that we wished to see Ambassdor Margaret Scobey to discuss why Egypt had prohibited more than 1,300 persons including hundreds of Americans, from going to Gaza to take part in a peaceful march with Palestinian civil society against the siege of Gaza.
We were allowed through the first checkpoint, but told we would have to be sniffed by dogs. But as the dogs finished their task, an Egyptian police officer came running up, and demanded we leave. We stood our ground. We explained that we were Americans, and wanted to visit our embassy. If they would not let us, then they must send someone out to explain why.....
Eventually, a representative of the embassy emerged and stated that three and only three persons would be allowed to enter. Through an on-the-spot, ad hoc process, CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, activist Kit Kettredge and myself were selected. We made clear to other marchers that we did not view this "concession" as binding them in any way -- they still had the right, as they demanded, to visit the embassy and represent themselves, and we would make that point......
We noted the irony that it was in Cairo last June that US President Barack Obama had lauded and recommended to Palestinians peaceful civil-rights-style actions. And yet here were 1,300 individuals from dozens of countries who had answered such a call from Palestinian civil society only to find their plans blocked by the Egyptian government while they faced constant police harassment.
Cabrera reminded us, "US citizens have been hurt in Gaza, you know, so we are concerned about your safety." To this, I answered that I knew that Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist, had been killed by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza on 16 March 2003, and that the embassy's protestations of concern for our safety would be much more convincing if the United States government had demanded proper accountability from Israel in her killing. Benjamin, Kettredge and I also pointed out that the main source of danger to people in Gaza is from attacks by Israel using weapons provided by the United States.....
...an Egyptian who worked for the embassy -- rushed up shouting at the police in English "no touch, no touch!" This seemed to indicate that while the embassy was content to have us detained against our will for hours, it did not want us treated "too" roughly. (Indeed, journalist Sam Husseini recorded on his blog an Egyptian police official outside the embassy saying that the US embassy "told us" to prevent Americans from reaching the building.)
....Having been held hostage, we were forced to negotiate our own release. It was a lesson -- if we needed one -- that when it comes to the siege of Gaza, the United States government is not part of the solution, but an active part of the problem. And, the United States is not beyond relying on the repressive police tactics of the Egyptian state to protect itself from the opinions of its own citizens."
"Hedy Epstein is what some might see as a contradiction in terms: a survivor of the Holocaust and also a staunch advocate for the Palestinian people. Born in 1924 in Freiburg, Germany, Epstein was 14 when she escaped from Nazi persecution via the Kinderstransport to England. Since her 1948 arrival in the U.S., Epstein has been an advocate for peace and human rights.
Saddam's Spies Now Working With US
by Jason Ditz, January 06, 2010
".....But now, some of Saddam Hussein’s top spies, having fled to Yemen when America invaded, have found a new and unlikely ally in the United States, which is recruiting them into a rival spy agency within the Yemeni government, created specifically to tackle al-Qaeda.
".....Parallel with developments in the political arena, attempts to demonize Iran in the media appear to constitute a growth industry. False articles about Iran poison the foreign policy discourse because they create a dangerous narrative, that Tehran’s rulers are irredeemably evil and completely unwilling to compromise. In intelligence circles this is called disinformation. Nowhere is this barrage of disinformation more evident than in the media empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch, which includes the Wall Street Journal, the Times newspapers in Britain, and Fox television. Murdoch’s media marched in lockstep as a virtual propaganda mill in the lead-up to the Iraq war. Murdoch himself is much esteemed by Israel and by Jewish organizations and he has been outspoken in his approval of Israeli policies, including the devastation of Gaza one year ago. He has received numerous awards in Israel and the US for his support of Israel, most recently in November when he was given the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Laureate Award. In March 2009 he received the National Human Relations award from the American Jewish Committee. Murdoch is generally believed to be extremely close to Tel Aviv’s intelligence service Mossad and some of the stories featured in the media he controls would appear to be disinformation supporting Israeli government positions......
I am not suggesting for a moment that the Times and other Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers don’t do some good reporting, and I would note in particular their exemplary coverage of the Sibel Edmonds story. But I would warn that the conjunction of Middle East issues, most particularly the "Iranian threat," and the newspaper’s editorial slant in favor of Israel and interventionism invite caution. If a breaking story relates to Iran and appears first in the Times it is probably not completely true and might be completely false, a shaky foundation for building a case for war."
A Very Good Comment
The Guardian, Thursday 7 January 2010
"If an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor had gone on hunger strike in support of a besieged people in another part of the world, and hundreds of mostly western protesters had been stoned and beaten by police, you can be sure we'd have heard all about it. But because that is what's been happening in western-backed Egypt, rather than Iran, and the people the protesters are supporting are the Palestinians of Gaza instead of, say, Tibetans, most people in Europe and north America know nothing about it.....
...Last night, George Galloway's Viva Palestina 500-strong convoy of medical aid was finally allowed in, minus 50 of its 200 vehicles, after being repeatedly blocked, diverted and intimidated by Egyptian security – including a violent assault in the Egyptian port of El Arish on Tuesday night which left dozens injured, despite the participation of one British and 10 Turkish MPs.
That followed an attempted "Gaza freedom march" by 1,400 protesters from more than 40 countries, only 84 of whom were allowed across the border – which is what led Hedy Epstein, both of whose parents died in Auschwitz, to refuse food in Cairo, as the group's demonstrations were violently broken up and Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu was feted nearby....
But although the confrontation has been largely ignored in the west, it has been a major media event in the Middle East which has only damaged Egypt. And while the Egyptian government claims it is simply upholding its national sovereignty, the saga has instead starkly exposed its complicity in the US- and European-backed blockade of Gaza and the collective punishment of its one and a half million people....
But two other factors seem to have been decisive in convincing Cairo to bend to American and Israeli pressure and close the vice on Gaza's Palestinians, along with those who support them. The first was a US threat to cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid unless it cracked down on arms and other smuggling. The second is the need for US acquiescence in the widely expected hereditary succession of Mubarak's ex-banker son, Gamal, to the presidency. So, far from protecting its sovereignty, the Egyptian government has sold it for continued foreign subsidy and despotic dynastic rule, sacrificing any pretence to its historic role of Arab leadership in the process....
Decades of oil-hungry backing for despots, from Iran to Oman, Egypt to Saudi Arabia, along with the failure of Arab nationalism to complete the decolonisation of the region, fuelled first the rise of Islamism and then the eruption of al-Qaida-style terror more than a decade ago. But, far from addressing the natural hostility to foreign control of the area and its resources at the centre of the conflict, the disastrous US-led response was to expand the western presence still further, with new and yet more destructive invasions and occupations...."
"The reputation of U.S. military intelligence is in tatters after al-Qaeda inflicted a devastating blow on the CIA in Afghanistan.
This week seven Americans working for the CIA were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan. The deceased bomber is now alleged to have been a double agent, working for al-Qaeda as well as the CIA. Jordananian intelligence have disputed this, however.
So is Washington losing the intelligence war there? And why? And how would that impact its ongoing military operations? "
"Tel Aviv is conducting war games in the Negev desert, in what appears to be preparation for a new offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
An Israeli TV channel reported the military drills on Thursday, saying the rightist government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely gearing up for a massive attack on Gaza shortly after the anniversary of the deadly Gaza onslaught last year.
It further revealed that Tel Aviv plans to occupy the entire coastal enclave this time to compensate for the failure to overthrow Hamas, the democratically elected ruler of the Gaza Strip.....
Israel has recently stepped up saber-rattling against the Palestinians in Gaza, with Israeli planes dropping thousands of leaflets across Gaza in December, urging Gazans against cooperating with the resistance fighters based in the region, and threatening a new attack."
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
"هاجم النائب البريطاني جورج غالاوي الحكومة المصرية وقال إنها "جزء من الحصار المفروض على الشعب الفلسطيني في غزة ولا مجال لإخفاء ذلك" واتهمها بأنها تبني "جدارا للعار" في إشارة إلى الجدار الفولاذي الذي تقيمه مصر على حدودها مع غزة.
وأضاف غالاوي في برنامج "بلا حدود" على شاشة الجزيرة مساء الأربعاء أن السلطات المصرية تساعد بهذا الجدار على "خنق الشعب الفلسطيني في قطاع غزة لأنه صوت في انتخابات حرة ونزيهة" لحركة المقاومة الإسلامية (حماس) التي اعتبر أنها "حزب لا تحبه مصر ولا إسرائيل ولا الولايات المتحدة ولا بريطانيا".
وقال غالاوي "لست ممن يدعمون حماس، لكن الشعب الفلسطيني هو الذي له الحق في اختيار قادته، وليست مصر أو إسرائيل أو الولايات المتحدة" معتبرا أن "شعب غزة لن يستسلم ولو حاصروه مائة عام" وأن "من يظن أن شعب غزة سيستسلم فهو لا يعرفه".
واتهم النائب البريطاني -الذي يقود قافلة "شريان الحياة 3 التي تحمل مساعدات إنسانية إلى غزة- السلطات المصرية بأنها "خدعت" المسؤولين عن القافلة ونقضت اتفاقا مكتوبا توصل إليه الطرفان برعاية تركية ينص على تسهيل إجراءات دخول المساعدات إلى غزة.
وقال غالاوي إن السلطات المصرية صادرت سيارته ومنعت سيارات أخرى تابعة للقافلة من الدخول إلى غزة، وأضاف "لن أتفاوض بعد اليوم مع أي فرد من حكومة مصر، ومن المستبعد أن تطأ قدماي أرضها أبدا طالما بقيت تحيط بها سياسة العار هذه".
واعتبر أنه "آن الأوان لتغيير وزراء مصر وسياسات حكومتهم إذا كانت هذه هي نوعية الخدمة التي يقدمونها لشعب مصر العظيم" مضيفا "لا أعتقد أن الشعب المصري يستحق هذه الحكومة".
وأثنى غالاوي على الدور التركي في قافلة "شريان الحياة 3"، ووصف رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان بأنه "بطل" وقال "أتمنى لو أن العرب لديهم رئيس وزراء مثل أردوغان ولو أن مصر لديها رئيس وزراء مثل أردوغان ولو أن بريطانيا لديها رئيس وزراء مثل أردوغان".
وكشف أن قوافل شريان الحياة ستستمر من ماليزيا وفنزويلا وجنوب أفريقيا، وأن الرئيس الفنزويلي هوغو شافيز قد يقود "قافلة شريان الحياة 4" وأن رئيس جنوب أفريقيا جاكوب زوما ورئيس وزراء ماليزيا السابق محاضر محمد سيدعمان القافلتين اللتين ستنطلقان من بلديهما "
Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 6 January 2010
"King Abdullah of Jordan looked suitably solemn at the funeral for Captain Sharif Ali bin Zeid, the intelligence officer killed in Afghanistan by his own agent-turned-suicide-bomber. But signs are the king has been badly discomfited by the unprecedented public exposure of his country's role working with the CIA.....
The late King Hussein was even reported to be on the CIA payroll, while his intimate relations with successive British governments have continued under his son. The Jordanian capital, Amman, served as a base for western intelligence operations against Iraq during the long years of sanctions against Saddam Hussein.....
Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) – universally known as the Mukhabarat – is admired by professionals and is sometimes compared to Israel's Mossad secret service. Having its own website provides a veneer of modernity but it has a reputation for ruthlessness that has brought harsh criticism from human rights groups. It plays a key role monitoring Jordan's domestic politics....
Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 6 January 2010
"Jordan is showing signs of deep embarrassment at revelations about the role of its intelligence service in "running" the al-Qaida triple agent who killed seven CIA officers and his own handler in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan last week.
Last weekend, King Abdullah and his wife Rania attended the funeral of Captain Ali bin Zeid, the case officer for the Jordanian jihadi who blew himself up and triggered a huge row about the failures of US espionage operations.
But officials in Amman and the state-controlled media have refused to confirm details of the case as reported in the US media and by al-Jazeera....
CIA officers are stationed inside the Mukhabarat's Amman HQ. The discreet relations between the CIA and Jordan are familiar to intelligence aficionados but were not widely known – until now. "The CIA connection … has now been put out in the public sphere for all to see – especially the Arab street,"....."
Wednesday January 06, 2010 21:28
Report by George Galloway (Audio)
".....17.30 GMT Wednesday 6th January
One month, thousands of miles, ten countries, one ship and a four flights later, Viva Palestina has begun to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.
"We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care.
" We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy's like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege."
Kevin Ovenden, convoy leader
18.30 GMT - Convoy continues to move into the strip to be greeted by flowers and flag-waving crowds. Press conference later to be followed tomorrow with ceremony to hand over the aid......"
عبد الباري عطوان
"تشهد المنطقة العربية هذه الايام تحركات محمومة انطلقت فجأة بمجرد بدء العام الميلادي الجديد، فالامير سعود الفيصل وزير الخارجية السعودي شدّ الرحال الى القاهرة، ومنها الى دمشق التي لم يزرها منذ سنوات. وجاءت هذه الجولة بعد زيارة للسيد خالد مشعل الى الرياض لم يلتق خلالها العاهل السعودي، وسمع محاضرات مطولة من وزير الخارجية السعودي في العروبة والوطنية. وقبل جولة الامير السعودي هذه التقى الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك بالرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس في شرم الشيخ، ليعقد بعدها، اي الرئيس مبارك، لقاء مع العاهل الاردني الملك عبدالله الثاني، ليطير الاخير الى الرياض للقاء العاهل السعودي.
السؤال هو حول ما تطبخه 'دول الاعتدال' على صُعد عديدة، ابتداء من إعادة إحياء عملية المفاوضات، ومرورا بالملف اليمني بشقيه الحوثي والقاعدي، وانتهاءً بالملف النووي الايراني. فهذه 'الصحوة' العربية التي تنطلق من العاصمــــة السعودية وتجـــد صدى لها في القاهرة لا بد ان وراءها 'امرا ما' يحتم هذا الحراك، يجعلنا نضع ايدينا على قلوبنا تحسبا للعواقب.
الامير سعود الفيصل، رأس الحربة في هذا الحراك، اثار العديد من علامات الاستفهام تحتاج الى اجابات ملحة، ابرزها مواجهته للسيد خالد مشعل رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة 'حماس' عندما سأله سؤالا مباشرا عن هوية حركة 'حماس' واجنداتها، من حيث كونها 'عربية'، او غير عربية، في اشارة واضحة الى ايران.
السيد خالد مشعل اكد دون مواربة على 'عروبة' الحركة، ونفى تقديم العامل الايراني على العمق العربي، ولكنه لم يسأل مضيفه في المقابل عما اذا كانت اجندات دول الاعتدال بزعامة السعودية ومصر 'عربية' ام 'اجندات امريكية'.
ولكن يبدو انه التزم بآداب الضيافة، او ان السؤال السعودي فاجأه فتصرف وكأنه متهم يريد الدفاع عن نفسه وحركته امام محقق ذكي استعد للقاء بشكل جيد.
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لو كنت مكان السيد مشعل لقلت للامير السعودي ان دول محور الاعتدال هي التي دفعت حركة 'حماس' وفصائل مقاومة اخرى للذهاب الى طهران طلبا للعون والمساعدة، لانها تبنت الاستراتيجية الامريكية في المنطقة، واسقطت خيار المقاومة لمصلحة مبادرة سلام عربية ظلت مطروحة على الطاولة لاكثر من سبع سنوات دون ان تحظى من الطرفين الامريكي والاسرائيلي سوى الاحتقار.
السلطة الفلسطينية، الطرف الثاني في المعادلة الفلسطينية، وضعت كل بيضها في سلة دول محور الاعتدال، وتبنت مبادرة السلام التي اطلقتها هذه الدول، فماذا جنت غير المزيد من المستوطنات والاهانات والحواجز الامنية والتوغلات العسكرية الاسرائيلية واعتداءات المستوطنين؟
ومثلما تسمح دول الاعتدال لنفسها، والمملكة العربية السعودية بالذات، ان تطالب الآخرين بالتمسك بالهوية العربية، فإنه من حقنا ايضا ان نطالبها بأن تحدد لنا مفهومها وفهمها لهذه الهوية وحدودها وواجباتها، نريد تعريفا دقيقا حتى نقتدي به، ونلزم الآخرين به، ونحاسبهم وفقه.
من حقنا ان نسأل: هل الهوية العربية هي بناء الاسوار الفولاذية لخنق مليون ونصف مليون انسان عربي وتجويعهم بعد ان تنكر عرب الاعتدال والممانعة لهم، ورضخوا للاملاءات الامريكية ـ الاسرائيلية بتشديد الحصار عليهم، ووقف اي مساعدات مالية او انسانية تصل اليهم؟ ونسأل مرة اخرى هل الهوية العربية التي تُطالَبُ حماس وغيرها بالتمسك بها، تعني العودة الى بيت الطاعة الامريكي، والمفاوضات العبثية؟
الهوية العربية التي نعرفها، وتربينا على هديها، هي هوية مقاومة، هوية تحمل معاني العزة والكرامة ونصرة الشقيق، والتصدي للمحتل، واستعادة الحقوق المغتصبة، فهل هذه هي الهوية التي اراد الامير سعود الفيصل من السيد خالد مشعل والفلسطينيين من انصار المقاومة تبنيها او العودة اليها؟ فإذا كان الحال كذلك فنحن معه، ونؤيده ونشدّ على يده، ولكن اذا كانت هوية اخرى مرتبطة بالاستسلام والتطبيع، والعودة الى مفاوضات عقيمة، وتشديد الحصار على اسود قطاع غزة، فإننا لا نتردد بالقول انها هوية مزوّرة وغير عربية.
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الامير سعود الفيصل اكد ان مباحثاته مع السيد مشعل تركزت على ازالة الشكوك، والمقصود هنا هي شكوك المملكة في مواقف 'حماس' وحركات مقاومة اخرى، وهذا امر مشروع، ولكن ايضا نريد نحن الذين نقف في الخندق المقابل لخندق محور الاعتدال ان تزيل هذه الدول شكوكنا، وتجيب عن الكثير من علامات الاستفهام التي تدور في اذهاننا حول نوايا محور دول الاعتدال تجاه العديد من الملفات المطروحة، مثل العملية السلمية، والحصار، والتغوّل الاستيطاني الاسرائيلي والفحش الامريكي العسكري والامني في العداء للأمتين العربية والاسلامية، والدعم المطلق للعدوان الاسرائيلي.
نتطلع الى مرحلة من المراجعة، تجريها دول محور الاعتدال، لجميع مواقفها السابقة، والكوارث التي ترتبت عليها، وخاصة في كل من العراق وافغانستان، حيث قدمت مساعدات مجانية لامريكا لم تعد علينا بغير الهوان، وحولت الامة العربية الى بقرة ذبيحة يتكاثر عليها الجزارون، وناهشو لحمها.
دول الاعتدال هي التي تآمرت على العراق، واوصلته الى اوضاعه الراهنة عندما تحالفت مع امريكا وسهلت عدوانها واحتلالها، والآن تتباكى عليه، وعلى الهيمنة الايرانية على مقدراته. الا يتطلب الامر اعتذارا للشعب العراقي والامة العربية، واعترافا صريحا واضحا بالخطأ، اليس الاعتراف بالخطأ هو من سمات الفروسية والشجاعة؟
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نعم نريد المصالحة الفلسطينية، ونصلي من اجلها، واي جهد سعودي او مصري في هذا الاطار هو موضع تقدير، ولكن على اي ارضية تتم هذه المصالحة؟ على ارضية المفاوضات العقيمة، او مبادرة سلام عربية محتقرة، ام الاسوار الفولاذية؟ قولوا لنا ما هي رؤيتكم لهذه المصالحة والطرق العملية لتطبيقها، بعيدا عن النصائح والعبارات الانشائية المملة التي سئمناها.
نخشى ان تكون هذه العودة المفاجئة للعروبة رد فعل متعجلا على خطف دول اخرى مثل تركيا وايران للافتة الاسلامية، فعندما كانت العروبة هي عقيدة الغالبية الساحقة من العرب، كانوا يرفعون راية 'الاسلامية'. الآن بعد ان خطفت دول اخرى هذه الراية باستحقاق وقدرة وخطط تنمية وبرامج اقتصادية وعسكرية، عادوا الى راية 'العروبة'.
الامير سعود الفيصل قال انها لحظة التشاور والعمل العربي الجدي، بعد اجتماعه مع الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد، نأمل ان يكون ما يبشر به هو عنوان مرحلة جديدة، عنوانها هوية عربية مقاتلة، وتشاور من اجل المراجعة والاعتراف بالاخطاء، والانطلاق لمرحلة جديدة يكون عنوانها الابرز مواجهة الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، والتصدي للتغول الامريكي في دعمه.
"At least one Egyptian border guard has been killed and 35 Palestinians wounded along the Gaza border during fierce clashes with Egyptian security forces.
A border protest on Wednesday turned violent over frustration that the aid convoy, Viva Palestina, had been delayed.
Egyptian forces opened fire to disperse stone-throwing protesters who had gathered on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing, witnesses and medics said.
But Egyptian officials said the 21-year-old soldier was shot by gunfire from the Palestinian side.
Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Gaza, confirmed that people on both sides of the border opened fire during the clash......"
"Egyptian forces injured at least 35 Palestinians on Wednesday when they clashed with protesters who staged rallies against Cairo's steeling its border with the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The incident occurred when security forces confronted the protesters on the Egypt-Gaza border, Reuters reported. Two of the injured are in critical condition...."
By TARIQ ALI
"....History never repeats itself exactly, but its echoes can sometimes be more deadly. So remembering the past is not designed to make people feel guilty of crimes committed by their forebears or to demand reparations but to ensure that we learn from the past and avoid the mistakes of the 15th and 20th centuries. Have we learnt anything?.....
As citizens of Europe we all have moral and political responsibilities, one of which is to oppose the imperial wars supported by politicians of every stripe, politicians that we have elected. The EU is nothing more than a tiny satellite revolving round the American sun. Nothing more. How many treat the death of an Iraqi, an Afghan or a Pakistani as they would the death of a European or a North American? If these double standards continue, Europeans are sleepwalking into further disaster and on a larger scale than what took place in Granada after 2 January 1492......"
“Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill”–Journalist and Activist Allan Nairn Reviews Obama’s First Year in Office
With Amy Goodman
"In an extended interview, award-winning journalist and activist Allan Nairn looks back over the Obama administration’s foreign policy and national security decisions over the last 12 months. “I think Obama should be remembered as a great man because of the blow he struck against white racism,” Nairn says. “But, once he became president…Obama became a murderer and a terrorist because the U.S. has a machine that spans the globe that has the capacity to kill, and Obama has kept it set on kill. He could have flipped the switch and turned it off but he chose not to do so.” He continues, “In fact, as far as one can tell, Obama seems to have killed more civilians during his first year than Bush did in his first year, and maybe even than Bush killed in his final year.”...."
With Amy Goodman
"In Afghanistan, hundreds have taken to the streets of Kabul and elsewhere to protest U.S. killing of civilians. The incident that has sparked the most outrage took place in eastern Kunar on December 27th when ten Afghans, eight of them schoolchildren, were killed. According to The Times of London, US-led troops dragged innocent children from their beds and shot them during a nighttime raid. Afghan government investigators said the eight students were aged from 11 to 17, all but one of the from the same family....."
"Over the weekend, a march of thousands of Israelis through Tel Aviv marked the end of 10 days of protest in the region against the siege on Gaza. Activists in Cairo, the port of Al- Arish, Tel Aviv, the Northern border with Gaza, and in the Occupied Palestinian cities of Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem brought global attention to the current situation and the effect of the ongoing closures on the Gaza strip."
"Historically Latin America has been of great importance to the United States on numerous counts: the region has in the past, provided the US with a trade surplus; its outflows of licit and ill-begotten funds to US banks, numbers annually in the tens of billions; the US has been, up to recently, the major trading partner in the region; Latin America has provided a lucrative outlet for US buyouts of oil, telecoms, banking and related strategic mining companies during the golden age of imperial pillage (1975 – 1999)......"
Global Research, January 6, 2010
"....This prompted me to write a series of articles exposing the shameful behaviour of the Egyptian Government. I described the Cairo Government as “Obama's rent boy” in the Middle East clearly influenced by the $2 billion of aid it receives from the USA.
Thanks to some heroic camerawork from British film-maker Warren Biggs and American journalist Jehan Hafiz, I was able to back up my words about the violence of the Mukhabarat – the secret police ‑ with some shocking images.
Telling the truth in Cairo, as I have now discovered, can be a rather precarious thing to do and certainly does not endear you to people in power or authority. I have been told that I will never be allowed to enter Egypt again although, as usual, the implied threats are never put down, officially, in writing. I would be devastated if this ban is indeed official because despite the flotsam and jetsam in power, I have a deep respect for ordinary Egyptian people and their country.
Threats are something local journalists have experienced over many years, and there are those who have ended up in Cairo's darkest dungeons for telling the truth, so I salute my fellow scribes for their heroic determination to make sure the facts surface....."