Saturday, January 16, 2010

Al-Jazeera Video: UN confronts 'worst ever disaster'

"The United Nations says Haiti's earthquake is the worst disaster it has ever had to deal with.

Aid is now pouring in, with a steady flow of relief getting through the nation's only airport.

The World Food Programme says it expects to feed a million people. But survivors say help is not happening fast enough as dead bodies lie scattered on the capital's streets.

Tarek Bazley reports."

The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, January 15, 2010

"Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti's national economy and the impoverishment of its population.

The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country's predicament.

A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair.

Haiti's history, its colonial past have been erased.

The US military has come to the rescue of an impoverished Nation. What is its Mandate?

Is it Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?.....

Haiti is a country under military occupation since the US instigated Coup d'Etat of February 2004. The entry of ten thousand heavily armed US troops, coupled with the activities of local militia could potentially precipitate the country into social chaos. These foreign forces have entered the country to reinforce MINUSTAH "peacekeepers" [including 1,500 Jordanians] and Haitian police forces (integrated by former Tonton Macoute), which since 2004, have been responsible for war crimes directed against the Haitian people, including the indiscriminate killing of civilians.

These troops reinforce the existing occupation forces under UN mandate. Twenty thousand foreign troops under SOUTHCOM and MINUSTAH commands will be present in the country. In all likelihood, there will be an integration or coordination of the command structures of SOUTHCOM and MINUSTAH......."

Naomi Klein on how corporate branding has taken over America

Ten years after the publication of No Logo, Naomi Klein switches her attention from the mall to Barack Obama and discovers that corporate culture has taken over the US government

Naomi Klein
The Guardian, Saturday 16 January 2010

"....Perhaps Obama should be viewed in much the same way. Once again, the market research has been done for us. What the election and the global embrace of Obama's brand proved decisively is that there is a tremendous appetite for progressive change – that many, many people do not want markets opened at gunpoint, are repelled by torture, believe passionately in civil liberties, want corporations out of politics, see global warming as the fight of our time, and very much want to be part of a political project larger than themselves.

Those kinds of transformative goals are only ever achieved when independent social movements build the ­numbers and the organisational power to make muscular demands of their elites. Obama won office by ­capitalising on our profound nostalgia for those kinds of social movements. But it was only an echo, a memory. The task ahead is to build movements that are – to borrow an old Coke slogan – the real thing. As Studs Terkel, the great oral historian, used to say: "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.""

EU parliamentary delegation visits blockaded Gaza

"GAZA, (PIC)-- A high-ranking European parliamentary delegation arrived Friday in the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with the besieged Gaza people and to see for themselves the effects of the Israeli war on Gaza.

The delegation, which comprises 56 parliament members from 12 European countries and the European Union, is headed by Sir Gerald Kaufman, a veteran British MP.

They crossed into Gaza on Friday afternoon through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt where they were received by an official Palestinian parliamentary delegation headed by the first deputy speaker Dr. Ahmad Bahar.

Speaking at a news conference at the Rafah crossing, Sir Gerald Kauffman said that the visit of the delegation was a message of solidarity with Gaza and called for an end to the Israeli siege.

He also said: "anybody who uses white phosphorous should be arrested and should be tried for war crimes". Kauffman said that while many Israeli leaders avoid travelling to European countries for fear of being arrested, we know that there are 1.5 million human beings in the Gaza Strip suffering because of the Israeli siege.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the PLC, told reporters that the visiting delegation know the extent of destruction caused by the Israeli war on Gaza, but now they will see that destruction for themselves."

Short Video: Think tank explores Israeli siege one year after Cast Lead

Friday, January 15, 2010

The stakes get higher as Arab princes try to outdo each other

Do the Saudis not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?

A Very Good Comment
By Robert Fisk
Saturday, 16 January 2010

"Prince al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia is quite a man.....he's just announced that he wants to construct the world's tallest building – a 1km-high goliath which will dwarf his neighbour emir in Dubai who last month opened the paltry 25,000ft Burj Khalifa amid the sand dunes of his bankrupt creditors. The nephew of King Abdullah, al-Waleed understandably calls his company Kingdom Holdings. He also happens to be a major shareholder in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.....

Because yesterday morning, I was taking an al-Jazeera television crew around the repulsive, obscene, outrageous, filthy, stinking slums of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps not far from my home in Beirut, a place of such squalor that the gorge rises that human beings even live there. Sabra and Chatila – yes, the site of that infamous massacre in 1982 when Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel slaughtered up to 1,700 Palestinian civilians while the Israeli army surrounded the camps, watched the killings – and did nothing. They were the survivors of the great exodus or ethnic cleansing of 1948 – or their sons or grandsons – who fled Galilee for the "temporary" safety of Lebanon....

....but what is one to make of all this? Afghanistan is collapsing in blood; Iraq remains a state of semi-civil war; the Israelis continue to thieve land for Jews and Jews only from the Arabs who hold the title deeds to that property – and Prince al-Waled wants to build a tower reaching a kilometre into the sky. Do the Saudis – who gave so much largesse to the Taliban (we have to forget this, of course, along with the fact that the Saudis provided most of the murderers of 9/11, which is why we bombed Kabul rather than Riyadh) – not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?......

But these days, Arab compliance reaches new heights every day. Now, for example, we have the Egyptian government – and its ever popular president (see the American-approved presidential election results which are way above 90 per cent) – building a wall around Rafah, part of the vast mass of poverty which constitutes Gaza, thus preventing food, gasoline (and, no doubt, weapons) from reaching the trapped Palestinians of this prison camp. A camp, one has to add, which meets with the full approval of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara, whose honourable involvement in the invasion of Iraq has now been outdone by is extraordinary success as peace envoy to the Middle East.

Egypt's intelligence boss (a certain Mr Sulieman who might be the next president of Egypt were it not for his pattern of heart attacks) approves of this wall, which is a very definite assistance to Israel and which will yet further impoverish the Palestinians of Gaza to the point at which the inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila might actually feel themselves lucky they don't live in "Palestine"......

....The foreign minister himself, our dear friend Mr Lieberman, has now acquired the habit – every time poor old (and I mean old) US envoy George Mitchell raises the question of Jerusalem – of walking out of the room. That's what Obama's point man is worth......

But fear not. The princes and the emirs and the caliphs and the presidents will be able to outbid each other in towers and hotels. I have a bigger painting set than yours. I have a sharper pencil, more crayons, a larger train set (Qatar, please note), a bigger bear than yours. And the world will watch this tragedy and marvel at the toy boxes now being opened in the Middle East. And, by the way, how many crayons do the children of Sabra and Chatila have? "

CNN Video: West Bank Demolitions by Israel

Contributed by Fatima

"A West Bank farming community cries foul after its 180 residents are left homeless. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports."

Crushing Haiti, Now as Always

When Haitian Ministers Take a 50 Percent Cut of Aide Money It's Called "Corruption," When NGOs Skim 50 Percent It's Called "Overhead"


"The US-run aid effort for Haiti is beginning to look chillingly similar to the criminally slow and disorganized US government support for New Orleans after it was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Four years ago President Bush was famously mute and detached when the levies broke in Louisiana. By way of contrast President Obama was promising Haitians that everything would be done for survivors within hours of the calamity.

The rhetoric from Washington has been very different during these two disasters, but the outcome may be much the same. In both cases very little aid arrived at the time it was most needed and, in the case of Port-au-Prince, when people trapped under collapsed buildings were still alive. When foreign rescue teams with heavy lifting gear does come it will be too late. No wonder enraged Haitians are building roadblocks out of rocks and dead bodies.

In New Orleans and Port-au-Prince there is the same official terror of looting by local people so the first outside help to arrive is in the shape of armed troops. The US currently has 3,500 soldiers, 2,200 Marines and 300 medical personnel on their way to Haiti....."

Breaking and Exciting News....Habila Has a Strategy! A New Resistance Axis: Egypt-S.A.-Syria-Turkey (why not Togo?)...

What is he smoking anyway?

إسماعيل هنية يدعو لإستراتيجية فلسطينية عربية جديدة عبر محور تركيا

"غزة- دعا رئيس الحكومة الفلسطينية المقالة التي تديرها حركة حماس إسماعيل هنية الجمعة إلى رسم إستراتيجية فلسطينية عربية جديدة تقوم على أسس تقييم حقيقي لمسيرة التسوية التي وصلت إلى طريق مسدود.
وحث هنية خلال إلقائه خطبة صلاة الجمعة في أحد مساجد مدينة غزة على أن يكون التوازن الجديد قائما على المحور المصري والسعودي والسوري الذي ينفتح على تركيا.

وقال هنية إن تركيا تطوي حاليا صفحة تحالف استراتيجي مع إسرائيل وهي تستعيد دورها الإسلامي وتعود بقوة لقضايا الأمة وبالتحديد القضية الفلسطينية.

وحدد هنية ثلاثة أسس لهذا التحالف هي الاعتراف بفشل المفاوضات والذهاب إلى حوار وطني بهدف التوصل إلى برنامج سياسي يقوم على الثوابت الفلسطينية، وتحقيق المصالحة الوطنية الفلسطينية الحقيقية.

«العربي الغاضب» يروي لجمهور يوازيه غضباً عن «فلسطين في السياق اللبناني»

Angry Arab's Talk at the AUB

ابراهيم شرارة

"لا يمكن لمحاضرة يلقيها الدكتور أسعد أبو خليل أن تبدأ بهدوء. أستاذ العلاقات الدولية في جامعة كاليفورنيا، الذي يُعرف باسم مدوّنته على الإنترنت: «العربي الغاضب»، يعرف تماماً كيف يلاقي جمهوره. وبما أن اللقاء كان في «قاعة عصام فارس»، في «الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت»، بدعوة من «النادي الثقافي الفلسطيني» فيها، فلا بد من تفسير يستهل به أبو خليل حديثه: «هذه الجامعة التي أتحدث فيها اليوم، بيني وبينها عداء مستحكم.. على جدرانها كتبت شعارات ثورية، ورسمت مطارق ومناجل وكلاشينكوفات».
إشارة كهذه هي للتعبير عن رفض الكثيرين لما تمثله هذه الجامعة بالتحديد، كما يقول. وما تمثله يحكي عنه أبو خليل بلغة الوثائق المنشورة عن تاريخها: لم يوارب بعض رؤسائها وكبار الموظفين فيها في طلب تدخل عسكري أميركي في عدة دول في المنطقة. ولم تتوانَ عن ممارسة دور سافر في «مكافحة» الشيوعية في بيروت. وقد تسرب الفكر الصهيوني إلى مناهجها الدراسية. وأيضاً: كان رؤساؤها، مع رؤساء الحكومات اللبنانية، يبحثون أفضل السبل لقمع المتظاهرين والمتضامنين مع فلسطين.
من هنا، يدخل أبو خليل إلى عنوان المحاضرة: «فلسطين في السياق اللبناني». فالجامعة هي عنصر من العناصر التي ارتبطت، كغيرها من المكونات السياسية في البلد، بمواجهة القضية الفلسطينية، حسبما يقول.
وقضية فلسطين، بحسب المحاضر، لا يجب أن تُختزل بالأرض، ولا بالرموز المرتبطة بها. ليست القضية فقط أشجار الزيتون والبرتقال ومفاتيح المنازل المحفوظة في مخيمات اللاجئين. هي أيضاً المقاومة المستمرة منذ قرن من الزمن، وهي رفض الانصياع الممثل بالأنظمة العربية للمشيئة الإسرائيلية، يقول أبو خليل.
والحديث عن القضية في السياق اللبناني لا بد أن يبدأ من نشأة الكيان. نشأة يرى أبو خليل أنها تماثل نشأة الكيان الصهيوني. فالقابلة القانونية لها هي نفسها: الاستعمار الغربي.

Real News Video (with Transcript): The Afghan war and the 'Grand Chessboard' Pt2

Brzezinski: Six months before Soviet invasion, we financed the Mujahideen

More at The Real News

Michael Ratner, Ali Abunimah, Fida Qishta speak on Palestine in NYC, Jan 21

Iran-Saudi Arabia come to blows over Yemen

Press TV

"Saudi Arabia has denied being involved in a military offensive against Houthi fighters in Northern Yemen after Iran's president slammed the country over the issue.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at Saudi Arabia for its violent military offensive against the civilians in northern Yemen......

The Iranian president questioned why Riyadh had not used its military weapons against Zionists to defend Gazans during Israeli 22-day Operation Cast Lead which killed over 1400 people.....

Al-Faisal's remarks, however, quite categorically contradict the news reported nearly on a daily basis by Houthi fighters over the Saudi air offensive against the people of Yemen.....

Yet, the Saudi foreign minister made no response to Ahmadinejad's remarks when it came to the Kingdom's failure in supporting the people of Palestine, despite claiming to be the ultimate defender of Muslims across the world....."

Who Killed Massoud Ali Mohammadi?

– and why?

by Justin Raimondo, January 15, 2010

"Imagine the following scenario: The chief executive of a foreign country decides to conduct terrorist operations inside U.S. territory, and signs a “presidential finding” to that effect. Furthermore, that “finding” authorizes the foreign government’s agents to engage in “defensive lethal action,” i.e. assassinations. And what if, shortly after this information has been leaked to the public, prominent US government officials and even a nuclear scientist or two are assassinated, kidnapped, or otherwise targeted by mysterious terrorists, with no one taking “credit” for these actions?

How long before the United States military turned that country into a pile of molten rock and charred debris? I give it about fifteen minutes, max.

However, if that chief executive happened to be an American president, and if the “finding” was approved by Democratic congressonal leaders, and if the targets of these assassinations and kidnappings were Iranian – well, then, it isn’t terrorism, now is it – since nothing we do is ever so characterized, no matter how accurate such a description may be......

The Israelis have long utilized assassination as a tool in their bag of tricks, and do so semi-openly: what other intelligence agency has an entire special section devoted to taking out its enemies? Mohammadi is the third prominent Iranian scientist to have met with foul play in the past year or so – see here, and here – and the idea that the Israelis are behind it was not only given voice by the Iranians, but also by the Stratfor research organization, which is said to have ties with Israeli intelligence.

Who killed Mohammadi? We don’t know, and may never know for sure: but all indications point to Israel, and it’s no wonder that even Debka, the Israeli web site with links to Mossad, practically claimed “credit” for the act on Tel Aviv’s behalf......."

If Haiti Were a Bank, by Steve Bell

For Israel, a reckoning

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the growing boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. Based on the anti-apartheid campaign that helped bring down the racist regime in South Africa, BDS is becoming a catch-cry for freedom in countries whose governments continue to ignore the Palestinians' struggle against another form of apartheid and which Nelson Mandela has described as "the greatest moral issue of our time".

By John Pilger
14 Jan 2010

"The farce of the climate change summit in Copenhagen affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity. It also illuminated a resistance growing perhaps as never before: an internationalism linking justice for the planet earth with universal human rights, and criminal justice for those who invade and dispossess with impunity. And the best news comes from Palestine.

Palestinian resistance to the theft of their country reached a critical moment in 2001 when Israel was identified as an apartheid state at a United Nations conference on racism in Durban, South Africa....

In the United States and Europe, trade unions, academic associations and mainstream churches have brought back the strategies and tactics that were used against apartheid South Africa.....

Like the South Africa campaign, the issue of law is central. No state is allowed to flout international law as wilfully as Israel.....

Complementing this is the rapid development of international criminal law since the Pinochet case in 1999 when the former Chilean dictator was placed under house arrest in Britain. Israeli warmongers now face similar prosecution in countries which have “universal jurisdiction” laws.....

There is a clear momentum now. To mark the first anniversary of the Gaza atrocity, a great humanitarian procession from 42 countries – Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, old and young, trade unionists, writers, artists, musicians and those leading convoys of food and medicine – converged on Egypt, and even though the American bribed dictatorship in Cairo prevented most from proceeding to Gaza, the people in that open prison knew they were not alone, and children climbed on walls and raised the Palestinian flag. And this is just a beginning."

The Hashemites Guarding and Protecting Their Zionist Masters.....Jordan Arrests Suspects in Attack on Israeli Convoy; More Arrests Expected


"15/01/2010 Jordanian security forces have arrested several suspects in connection with an apparent assassination attempt on Israeli diplomats, the A-Rad newspaper reported Friday.

Israeli and Jordanian security officials were cooperating to pinpoint those responsible for Thursday's attack in which a roadside bomb was detonated as two cars with Israeli diplomatic officials passed on the road from Amman to the Allenby Bridge.

Media outlets in Amman assessed that a "professional terror cell" was behind the attack, and warned that other similar assassination attempts would be made in the near future.....

The cars were carrying four Israelis from the embassy in Amman, and two security guards. No one was hurt. Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Daniel Nevo, was not in the vehicle. Israeli Radio reported that Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh phoned Nevo after the attack and expressed relief that no one had been injured.

After the bomb was detonated in an obviously well-planned attack some 20 kilometers from the border crossing, the cars reportedly sped to a nearby Jordanian Army base. The Jordanian Army clamped a closure on the area and carried out searches. Al Arabiya reported that one man was arrested......"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The "Jewish" State....
A Cartoon by Tony Auth (Philadelphia Inquirer)....
Originally Published in 2003; Not far From Present Reality.

إستراتيجية لا تملك حماس سواها

وقد أصبحت هذه السلطة مع مرور السنين جزءًا لا يتجزأ من المشروع الصهيوني الأمر الذي أدى إلى تآكل مشروعية وصدقية حركة فتح ومنظمة التحرير فيما يتعلق بالمشروع الوطني الفلسطيني. بالمقابل، تستمد حركة حماس شرعيتها من مشروعها الإسلامي والوطني الذي يؤمن بحتمية التحرير ويصر على خيار المقاومة المسلحة وسيلة لاقتلاع الكيان الصهيوني من فلسطين، كل فلسطين.

وإزاء هذا الواقع لا يوجد أمام حركة حماس من خيار سوى الدفاع عن موقفها بكافة الوسائل، والامتناع عن تقديم أي مبادرات أو طرح حلول تنال من صدقيتها، والالتزام بعدم الرضوخ بأي حال من الأحوال للضغوط التي تستهدف حملها على استبدال الأمر الواقع بما هو أسوأ منه.
بل ينبغي أن تشترط حماس أن تتضمن المصالحة الإجراءات التالية الأقل:

- فتح معبر رفح أمام الناس والبضائع بحيث يصبح في حده الأدنى نقطة حدودية بين قطرين عربيين كما هو حال النقاط العبورية بين الأقطار العربية الأخرى. وأن تحكم حركة الناس والبضائع عبر المعبر من خلال الاتفاقيات العربية التي تنظم ذلك إضافة إلى ما تمليه المصلحة الفلسطينية المصرية المشتركة بمنأى تام عن أي شروط صهيونية أو مطالب أميركية.

- إعمار قطاع غزة، وفي سبيل تحقيق ذلك السماح بإدخال كافة المواد التي تتطلبها إعادة الإعمار من إسمنت وحديد وألمنيوم وأخشاب وآليات وغير ذلك من مستلزمات.

- وقف كافة أشكال التنسيق الأمني بين سلطة رام الله والكيان الصهيوني، وإطلاق جميع المعتقلين من منتسبي حماس أو الفصائل الفلسطينية الأخرى الذين اعتقلوا بموجب التنسيق الأمني المذكور. وهذا يتطلب ابتداءً طرد الجنرال دايتون وتفكيك الجهاز الذي يعمل معه في الضفة الغربية.

- ربط إجراء الانتخابات التشريعية والرئاسية بمنجزات المصالحة على الأرض بما يضمن نزاهة الانتخابات وشفافيتها ويؤمن للناس حرية الاختيار.

قد يتصور البعض أن الأطراف الإقليمية والدولية غير مضطرة للقبول بشروط حماس، وأن الضيق الذي يعيشه الناس في الضفة والقطاع يشكل عامل ضغط على الحركة ويعمل بذلك لصالح المجتمع الدولي بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. إلا أن الحقيقة غير ذلك على الإطلاق، فمأزق المجتمع الدولي الداعم للصهاينة يزداد صعوبة يومًا بعد يوم، بينما الشعب الفلسطيني بمجمله لا يلوم حماس على ما هو فيه من ضائقة بقدر ما يلوم الأطراف الدولية والإقليمية الممالئة لإسرائيل.

وحتى الجدار الفولاذي الذي شرعت مصر في إنشائه على امتداد الخط الفاصل بين رفح سيناء ورفح غزة ما هو إلا تعبير عن عمق المأزق الذي يجد النظام المصري نفسه فيه بعد أن فشلت كافة أساليب الابتزاز التي مارسها لإجبار حماس على التوقيع على وثيقة المصالحة.

رغم كل ذلك، فإن حماس هي الأقدر على الثبات في لعبة عض الأصابع هذه، وما من شك في أن البديل عن ثباتها وصبرها لن يكون الانفراج والتيسير وإنما التجاوز والتهميش إن لم يكن المزيد من الابتزاز والتضييق. والثبات على الموقف ومقاومة كافة الضغوط هو الإستراتيجية التي لا تملك حماس سواها

Human rights defenders Mohammad Othman and Jamal Juma released

Press release, Addameer and Stop the Wall, 14 January 2010

(Left: Mohammad Othman)

"On 13 January 2010, Mohammad Othman and Jamal Juma, Palestinian human rights defenders active in the campaign against the annexation wall unlawfully constructed by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory, were finally released from Israeli detention. Addameer and Stop the Wall contend that both were arrested in an effort to curb the success of their peaceful activities in defense of Palestinian human rights.

Addameer and Stop the Wall would like to express a heartfelt and sincere thank you to everyone who took action on behalf of Mohammad and Jamal....

Addameer and Stop the Wall therefore continue to urge the international community, including diplomatic missions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to intervene with Israel, calling for:

* an end to the Israeli practice of arbitrary detention of human rights defenders;

* the immediate release of all human rights defenders involved with the grassroots movement against the wall and settlements spearheaded by "Stop the Wall" campaign;

* full adherence to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights as applied to the Palestinian population in the OPT;

* full respect for the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders; and,

* full implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders........"

Naomi Klein Issues Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Journalist and author Naomi Klein spoke in New York last night and addressed the crisis in Haiti: “We have to be absolutely clear that this tragedy—which is part natural, part unnatural—must, under no circumstances, be used to, one, further indebt Haiti and, two, to push through unpopular corporatist policies in the interest of our corporations. This is not conspiracy theory they have done it again and again.”...."

Al-Jazeera Video:

"Religious tensions are rising in Malaysia following a High Court ruling which declared non-Muslims could use the Arabic word 'Allah' when referring to God. [14 Jan 2010] "

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Who killed the nuclear scientist?

"Iran faces more politcal intrigue after Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a prominent nuclear scientest, was killed by a bomb blast on Tuesday. [13 Jan 2010]

Who was the assassinated professor? Was he a "staunch supporter" of the regime as Iran's media claims, or a subversive as Iranian reformists allege? "

Jamal Juma' - local organizer released from detention

"Jamal Juma’, co-coordinator of the Stop The Wall campaign was released yesterday evening. Jamal had been arrested on December 16th, 2009 having been called in for questioning previously. He had been detained without charge for approximately 1 month, in clear violation of his human and civil rights.

Mr. Juma kindly spoke to IMEMC this afternoon about the methods used by the Israeli military against him, both as a prisoner and as a member of the popular movement aginst the wall.

“In the first 12 days I was interrogated and they targeted my work with the popular committees, the non-violence work. The main accusation was incitement. They said that my work was a danger to the security of Israel at a local and international level.. It is clear that they are panicking about the popular struggle, the international solidarity and the steps to boycott Israel. That is why they are starting to target Palestinian activists inside, to stop the movement outside.”

“They haven’t learnt their lessons from the past. They still think they can crush the Palestinian movement and can stop us with violence, but they are losing. They are violating the people’s rights, international law, and committing crimes against the people.”

“Since 2004, 18 young people have been killed over this wall but it doesn’t stop the people from demonstrating. We have thousands of people arrested and released, and we also have hundreds who have been injured, but they don’t stop. The opposite. It then starts in another village.”

I’m really optimistic that the more they try and stop the people, the more they try to crush us, and put us in jail, the more we continue the movement, and for us there is very strong evidence that what we’re working on is very effective.”

“One of the impacts is the international solidarity that wasn’t as big before. It has become all over. Mainstream organizations, such as Amnesty International, for example, and on official political levels like consuls, representatives, and also the EU and political parties, all have begun to strongly question Israel.”

“They tried to show me that I am one of the main inciters of people violating Israeli rules and targeting the Israeli state & reputation, which is a crime, according to them. In the end, they had nothing to sell to the courts. No real accusations could be made.”

Some people spend years in prison without seeing the courts. Huge international pressure prevented me from this (he means prevented this from happening to me).” "

The United States, Israel and the retreat of freedom

A Superb Piece

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 January 2010

"The world is suffering from a "freedom recession" according to a new report from the American think tank Freedom House ("Freedom in the World 2010," 12 January 2010).......

Freedom House's approach to Israel provides the starkest example of the abyss into which liberal thinking has fallen on the relationship between colonialism and freedom. Israel, we are told, "remains the only country in the [Middle East] region to hold a Freedom in the World designation of Free."......

Despite this, on the tables accompanying the report, "Israel" receives the highest score of "1" for political rights, and a very respectable "2" for civil liberties -- on a par with Italy and Japan. The overall impression is of minor glitches that could occur in any exemplary "Western" democracy......

Israeli Jewish leftists (a rapidly dwindling group) and Western liberal sympathizers tend to view Israel within its 1967 boundaries as a flawed democracy -- perfectible with a reallocation of resources and less discrimination against non-Jews, even as they remain fully invested in maintaining Israel as a "Jewish state" with a Jewish demographic majority.

They view the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the original sin that corrupted a purer Zionist vision, and thus remain fixated on the chimera of "ending the occupation" through a "two-state solution." Once this nirvana is reached, so they believe, Israel can resume its destiny as a liberal democratic state among others......

Israel's 1948 and subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and ongoing repressive rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not exceptional or temporary conditions. They are constitutive of the situation that allows Israeli Jews to currently claim they live in a (flawed) liberal democracy.

To be clear, the argument is not that conditions in Israel and the occupied territories are indistinguishable; rather it is that they form a single interdependent system. Israeli Jews can "freely" elect a Jewish government in Israel only because most Palestinians have already been ethnically cleansed. Thus the maintenance of this "liberal democratic" Jewish space depends directly on the permanent denial of fundamental rights to Palestinians.....

Israel has sometimes been described as an "ethnocracy" -- a state where one ethnic group dominates and enjoys a wide range of liberal rights which are denied to others. But these liberal rights depend directly on the successful repression of the non-privileged ethnic group(s). As rebellions by the disenfranchised require ever greater levels of repression and violence to control, the repression must also be turned inwards.

In recent days, Israel extended for six months a ban on Sheikh Raed Salah, an Israeli citizen, and leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, from traveling to Jerusalem, Israel's ostensible capital, where he had been exercising his civil rights to campaign against Israeli efforts to "Judaize" the city.....

These means of "internal" repression resemble the movement bans, censorship and other forms of harassment that the South African apartheid regime began to deploy in its late stages against dissenting whites, eroding the "liberal democratic" space they had for so long enjoyed at the expense of the country's black majority.

Maintaining a Jewish-controlled "liberal democratic" regime in Palestine/Israel is incompatible with the exercise of the inalienable rights of Palestinians. It emphatically depends on their permanent violation, especially the right of return......"

Audio: Challenging Noam Chomsky's opposition to boycotting Israel (Ali Abunimah & Jeff Blankfort)

January 14, 2010

"Why does Noam Chomsky oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and why does he think Palestinians should not talk about justice and redress for their ethnic cleansing from their homeland in 1948? Why does Chomsky dismiss any talk about the influence of the Israel lobby?

On 13 January 2010, Ali Abunimah and Jeffrey Blankfort were invited to respond directly to an interview Chomsky gave earlier on these topics, on KPFA's show Voices from the Middle East and North Africa hosted by Khalil Bendib. Chomsky was invited to take part in a direct debate but declined. Listen!"

Click Here to Listen

Arab Papers on Apology: Israel Only Understands Turkish


"14/01/2010 The Arab press did not hide its elation over Israel’s apology to Turkey over its diplomatic faux pas. The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar called the Turkish Prime Minister “Sultan Erdogan” in its main headline. It continued on to quip: “Israel understands only Turkish: the apology was on the same scale as the humiliation.”

“The threat was effective. The Israelis quickly got on their knees and made a move in proportionate to the humiliation they committed,” wrote the Lebanese paper. “They sent a letter of apology from Ayalon himself to President Gul after being pressured by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The most important thing stated in the letter: ‘I apologize for the manner in which Israel behaved. I did not mean to humiliate the ambassador…’

The daily wrote that most importantly the wording of the apology was agreed upon between Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman......"

An Odyssey for Justice

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"The recent actions of people from around the world in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza have arguably represented the closest manifestation of international solidarity since the International Brigades against fascism during the Spanish Civil War. A bold assertion?

Admittedly, I may not be as in tune with reality as I should be. Born and raised in a Gaza refugee camp where most refugees felt that no one cared about their plight, it was easy to believe that nothing could possibly break away from the ever tenuous and redundant stances by Arab and other countries — whose acts of solidarity went no further than hollow words of condemnation. The recent noble stances by activists from all over the world therefore seem like an unprecedented act of solidarity which, dare I believe, indicates the direct mass involvement of civil society as a real party in the ongoing Palestinian struggle for political and human rights.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), when various European powers were turning blind eye to the atrocities committed in Spain, almost 40,000 men and women, representing 52 countries, made the decision to fight fascism......

The valiant peace warriors of Viva Palestina have truly set new standards for how far a peace and justice activist is willing to go to back up his/her words with actions. Many millions around the world watched — despite the mainstream media’s shameless disregard of the unfolding drama — as nearly 500 activists and their 200 vehicles, laden with badly needed medical supplies for besieged Gaza, took off on a historic odyssey to break the siege. Just as they neared Gaza, they were forced by the Egyptian government to backtrack due to a technicality, and then began an arduous journey across the desert and sea and several countries. And as they approached Gaza again, in the Egyptian port of El Arish, they were blocked and dozens were left injured.

The Gaza Freedom March was similarly met with intimidation, assaults and violence.

These are not Palestinians, but internationals. From Malaysia to South Africa, from the UK to the U.S., men, women, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, people of different cultural and political backgrounds showed themselves as unified in their belief in justice and human rights. While Palestine has always enjoyed universal solidarity, with many fearless activists — who can forget Rachel Corrie? — a collective action of this magnitude and of this level of commitment is a new addition to a conflict that has been reduced over time to that of beleaguered Palestinians and a militarily powerful Israel......."

George W. Obama

After his first year, Obama shows his true face

By Nat Hentoff
The Village Voice

"Before President Obama, it was grimly accurate to write, as I often did in the Voice, that George W. Bush came into the presidency with no discernible background in constitutional civil liberties or any acquaintance with the Constitution itself. Accordingly, he turned the "war on terror" over to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld—ardent believers that the Constitution presents grave obstacles in a time of global jihad.

But now, Bush's successor—who actually taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago—is continuing much of the Bush-Cheney parallel government and, in some cases, is going much further in disregarding our laws and the international treaties we've signed........"

The Empire Discovers Yemen

by Philip Giraldi, January 14, 2010

"It was another one of those Orwellian moments that have occurred so frequently over the past eight years. On January 4th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that "… we see global implications from the war in Yemen and the ongoing efforts by al-Qaeda in Yemen to use it as a base for terrorist attacks far beyond the region." As in Orwell’s 1984, one almost expected Clinton to intone "We have always been at war with Yemen" during a two minutes of hate rally held on the White House lawn. The Clinton statement was widely reported in the media as a call to arms by the Obama Administration because Yemen has become a "global threat." The White House’s identification of a new enemy was good news for those who had become concerned that the war on terror, now called overseas contingency operations, was not expanding quickly enough........

The Obama Administration needs to step back from what it is doing. It must first acknowledge that it doesn’t have a clue what is going on in Yemen or in most other places. It should stop the fearmongering and recognize that Yemen is not a threat to the United States, must realize that it will not fix the country through the addition of American soldiers, and that the best thing to do when dealing with a complex and poorly understood situation is to leave it alone......"

What hope for Hebron?

With attacks on Palestinians by settlers commonplace, the last thing Hebron needs is the removal of international observers

Seth Freedman, Thursday 14 January 2010

"The situation is getting worse here," says Zleikha Muhtaseb, the principal of a Palestinian kindergarten in Hebron's old city. "After the intifada calmed down, we thought things were improving, but now it's getting worse again: roadblocks are increasing, soldiers are attacking Palestinians at checkpoints, and the settlers are becoming more violent. Day and night the settlers threaten [local Palestinians], throwing stones and trying to burn their property, in order to put more and more pressure on them."

Since the establishment of Israeli settlements in Hebron, life has never been easy for the Palestinian residents, who have felt the full force of the occupation come down on their city and stifle the area both economically and socially. In the once-heaving souk, fewer than 10% of the shops are now open for business, with scores forcibly closed by the army for "security reasons". Anti-Arab slogans are sprayed on shutters throughout the old city, and the windows and doors of Palestinian homes are shielded by metal mesh to try to prevent attacks by settlers.

In the initially euphoric wake of the Oslo Accords, Israeli and Palestinian officials agreed to station a force of international observers, called TIPH, in Hebron "to monitor the situation ... and record breaches of international law". Despite their ostensibly toothless directivethey are not allowed to intervene when they witness to a crime, nor are they free to publish their findings without prior consent from Israeli officials – many Palestinians have come to view TIPH as a vital tool in their struggle for justice in a largely lawless city. "When TIPH are present, the soldiers feel more responsible for their actions," explains Muhtaseb. "If no one is watching, violence from the soldiers and settlers will increase.".

TIPH has been ever-present in Hebron since its establishment in 1997, but its days may be numbered. Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, warned that TIPH's mandate might not be renewed when it expires at the end of the month. "They are exceeding their mandate," Ayalon said in the Israeli press......

While TIPH's work is at best palliative rather than having any serious impact on resolving the tensions in Hebron, forcibly evicting it would nonetheless deal a serious blow to any Palestinian hopes that their Israeli counterparts might be open to negotiation. The decision taken later this month will be a critical one not only for the beleaguered residents of Hebron, but for the region as a whole."

'We will be there': Blair gave secret pledge to Bush on Iraq war, Campbell reveals

By Steve Bell, The Guardian

Why not Somalia? Why not Darfur? Why not Mars?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Jerusalem
13 January, 2009

".....Let us not forget that the holocaust of the mid-1900s didn’t start with genocidal mass killings; it rather started with the type of things that Israel is now doing to the Palestinians, such as a violently-racist discourse, venomous and vitriolic media attacks, the ubermenschen vs. untermenschen mentality and eventually a Kristallnacht.

Well, the Israelis themselves say openly that the Gaza campaign was a mere “prova” for things to come.

We all know the rest of the story. "

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

الجيش الأردني يعلن مقتل ثلاثة من جنوده وجرح 23 في زلزال هايتي

الجيش الأردني يعلن مقتل ثلاثة من جنوده وجرح 23 في زلزال هايتي

"عمان- أعلن الجيش الأردني الأربعاء مقتل ثلاثة عسكريين ضمن صفوف قوات حفظ السلام الأردنية العاملة في جزيرة هايتي، وإصابة 23 آخرين في الزلزال الذي ضرب الجزيرة مساء الثلاثاء.
ووفقا لما نقلته وكالة أنباء بترا الأردنية، أصيب 18 من مرتبات القوات المسلحة الأردنية وخمسة من أفراد سرايا الأمن العام وقوات الدرك والمراقبين العاملين ضمن بعثة الامم المتحدة في هايتي، وصفت اصاباتهم بالطفيفة.

وبحسب المكتب الإعلامي بمديرية الأمن العام، تواصل الجهات المختصة الاتصال مع قيادة المجموعة الاردنية في هايتي للوقوف على آخر المستجدات.


Jordan, as the obedient puppy dog of the Empire, is becoming a global power!

It has a military mission in Afghanistan, and last week we learned that a royal Jordanian, working as a CIA operative was killed in Afghanistan, with 7 other high-ranking CIA agents.

This news item says that 3 Jordanian soldiers were killed and 23 others wounded in the Haiti earthquake, yesterday.

What in the world are the Jordanian soldiers doing in Haiti? They are part of the mercenary "peace" mission the Empire put together there, after ousting the legitimate president Aristide.

Three Jordanian peacekeepers killed in Haiti quake

"Three Jordanian peacekeepers were killed and 21 wounded in the massive earthquake that rocked Haiti, the army said.

"Major Atta Manasir, Major Asharf Jaiusi and Corporal Raed Khawaldeh of the Jordanian peacekeeping force in Haiti died (in) the earthquake that hit the area on Tuesday night," an army spokesman said in a statement.

"Twenty-one other members of the armed forces were slightly injured in the quake." The spokesman gave no further details......

Jordan has 1,497 soldiers serving under the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), nearly half them deployed around the crime-torn slum of Cite Soleil.

At least nine Jordanian soldiers have been killed in Haiti in hostile fire since the deployment of the UN mission there in June 2004....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This latest poll asks:

Do you believe that the US is behind the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist?

With over 1,600 responding so far, 82% said yes.

The Iron Dome

Israel's New Rocket Defense System Further Tightens Screws on Gaza


"....Certainly, several big question marks hang over the Israeli project, despite the large claims being made by Israeli officials.

Analyst Reuven Pedatzur noted today in the Haaretz newspaper that Israel was peddling “deceptions and half-truths” over Iron Dome. He pointed out that the flight time of a few seconds for rockets fired at Israeli communities close to Gaza, such as Sderot, is far shorter than the time needed by Iron Dome to calculate an interception.

Even more significantly, what economic sense does it make for Israel to try to destroy home-made rockets when each interceptor missile costs an estimated $100,000?.....

Sealing the Rafah border was one of the main goals of Operation Cast Lead, but Israeli aerial bombardments only had limited success in destroying the tunnels there. Instead, Egypt is building a steel wall underground in an attempt to foil the smugglers. Although Cairo is taking the flak for the wall’s construction, and has its own interests in punishing Hamas, the driving forces behind the scheme are almost certainly Israel and the United States. US engineers are reported to be providing the technical expertise to make the wall as effective as possible.....

The increasing isolation of Gaza -- and the ratcheting up of pressure -- is designed to send a message to Gaza: that Hamas has nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from resisting Israel’s occupation, and that ordinary Gazans should turn their back on the Islamic movement.

But there is also a message for Hamas’s rivals in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and his Fatah supporters are being daily reminded that their own chances of extracting significant concessions from Israel -- through a policy of quietism -- are even more anaemic than Hamas’s.

The hope in Israel is that sooner or later Mr Abbas, or his successor, will realise there is no choice but to sign up to whatever territorial crumbs of the West Bank Israel is prepared to concede as a Palestinian state."

Al-Jazeera Video: Blast kills Iranian nuclear physicist

"An Iranian nuclear physicist has been killed in Tehran - a killing the government is placing squarely on the shoulders of the US and Israel. The US has denied this calling it absurd. Massoud Ali Mohammadi was leaving for his job at Tehran University, when a bomb placed on a motorcycle near his house went off. Al Jazeera's Alireza Roneghi reports from Tehran (12 Jan 10)."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Israel wall: Security or apartheid? - 12 Jan 2010

"Israel's government has approved plans for the construction of a barrier along its border with Egypt in a bid to stop illegal entry, particularly by militants.

The latest Israeli move could divert some of the attention caused by the Egyptian plan to build a wall. Israel believes this is the best option to protect its borders with Egypt. The other option would be to amend the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty to allow for more Egyptian border troops to be deployed.

Can fences and walls provide the security a nation seeks and where does it leave genuine asylum seekers from Africa? "

Haiti Devastated by Largest Earthquake in 200 Years, Thousands Feared Dead

"Haiti has been devastated by a massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake, the largest to strike the Caribbean nation in more than two centuries. Buildings have collapsed. Fires rage in the streets. The extent of the disaster is still unknown but there are fears thousands of people may have died and tens of thousands homeless. We get the latest on Haiti, a country rocked by natural as well as political crises. We speak with journalist Kim Ives of Haiti Liberte and Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat, her family at the epicenter of the quake...."

Al-Jazeera Video: People & Power - One Law for All?

"People & Power investigates whether Israeli Arabs are regularly the victims of legal double standards. [13 Jan 2010]"

Real News Video: The Afghan war and the 'Grand Chessboard' Pt1

Zbigniew Brzezinski on Afghanistan and the American strategy for Eurasia and the world

More at The Real News

A killer blow against US-Iran ties

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"The assassination of Dr Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a Tehran University nuclear physicist, on Tuesday, blamed by the Iranian government on the United States and Israel and their fifth-column allies inside Iran, is the latest sign of an ominous, growing shadow war with Iran over its nuclear standoff with the West.........

Tuesday's assassination follows the disappearance of another Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, who went missing while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in late May 2009. Tehran has adamantly claimed that he was abducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency. Unconfirmed reports in December said Amiri had been transferred into the US government's custody by Saudi authorities.

The two cases could be viewed as an attack on Iran's human nuclear assets, as the next best substitute for outright military invasion. There is also a relentless public relations campaign in the West against Iran's nuclear program.....

There is a grave danger in this shadow war, in that should it get much worse, Iran could decide to strike back where it can, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, with the US and Iran practically co-dependent in regional security, imperiled by al-Qaeda and the Taliban, it is not in the interests of either country to allow a worsening of their relations at this delicate juncture.....

The notion that Iran will back down in the face of such threats is an inheritance of the previous US administration of George W Bush; it did not work then, nor is it likely to work now.

The Barack Obama administration would be best-served to salvage its self-wrecking ship of Iran diplomacy by veering back to its initial intuition of what works with Iran, that is, persuasive diplomacy. Unfortunately, as the smoke of the bomb explosion that killed Mohammadi clears in Tehran, the hazy thickness of an undeclared shadow war with Iran grows."

Don’t Blame China

By Robert Scheer

"The Chinamen did it. In the great American tradition of finding foreign scapegoats for our problems, the hunt is on to somehow hold China responsible for the misery that Wall Street financiers inflicted upon the world. Even the normally restrained New York Times editorial page argued Tuesday that China’s tying its currency to the dollar was a devious trick that “is exacerbating economic weakness around the globe.”

Tell that to the shoppers at Wal-Mart and Costco who are managing to stay decently clothed while still affording some of the diversionary electronic trinkets that keep them from going crazy-mad at the bankers who cost them their jobs and homes. How absurd to blame China for a crisis brought on by Wall Street hustlers operating within a mile of the Times’ home office. The bankers’ greed was unleashed by a radical deregulation of the financial industry that the newspaper had once encouraged.....

Bomb explosion injures three in south Lebanon

Press TV


Connect the dots: IOF jets have been bombing Gaza almost daily with half a dozen Palestinians murdered in just one day; a terrorist bomb murders an Iranian scientist and professor in Tehran; and now this terrorist bombing in South Lebanon.

Massive training exercises to prepare the Israeli public for possible "chemical attacks" have just taken place, with gas masks issued to all.

Pray tell, who is agitating for war?

"Three people, including two children waiting for their school bus, have been injured in a bomb blast that struck Kfar Fila in southern Lebanon. Naharnet news website cited unnamed security officials in reporting that that blast took place at 7:30 a.m. (0530 GMT) Wednesday at the entrance to a three-storey building.

The security sources identified one of the tenants in the building as Mohammed Zreik, believed to be a Hezbollah official.

Two of Zreik's children — Hasan, 7 and Diala, 11 — were among the wounded. The third casualty was identified as Zainab Hazimeh, 15, Naharnet added. The elder of the two youngsters injured lost a leg in the blast while the other suffered slight wounds to his face, AFP later reported, quoting hospital officials in the nearby town of Nabatiyeh.

It was not immediately clear whether the owner of the building, identified as Hussein Saeed Hamdan, was the target of the bombing or if he was in the building when the bomb went off.

Kfar Fila is a village located 15 kilometers (10 miles) east of the port city of Sidon, and is viewed as one of the bases for the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement."

Iran, 1979 and 2010

by Dilip Hiro and Tom Engelhardt, January 13, 2010

"The Obama administration’s Iran policy is a riddle wrapped inside a conundrum folded into a pickle. So many signals are being sent in so many directions that it’s a wonder the Iranians (or other involved parties) have any idea what’s going on. Barack Obama came into office pledging to reach out diplomatically to Iran. In fact, the administration did so in only a halfhearted way, even as the president quickly began setting deadlines for the Iranians to respond (on their nuclear program) in a way Washington considered satisfactory – or face further "crippling" sanctions. Now, the latest of these deadlines, Jan. 1, 2010, has passed and a move toward new sanctions, especially against companies associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls significant parts of the country’s economy, is evidently being prepared. But China, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of January, recently rejected even a debate on the subject. Like the Russians, the Chinese are deeply involved in developing long-term energy relations with Iran, which means that no sanctions which might "cripple" that country’s economy are likely to make it through the Security Council, no matter which country has the presidency.

In the meantime, rumors, circulating for years, about an impending Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities (which is a polite way of saying Iranian military defenses of every sort) continue to fly. President Obama reportedly even used his supposed inability to hold the Israelis back as a way to urge China’s president to fall into line on sanctions. .......

Regime Change in Tehran?
Don’t bet on it… yet
by Dilip Hiro

The dramatic images of protesters in Iran fearlessly facing – and sometimes countering – the brutal attacks of the regime’s security forces rightly gain the admiration and sympathy of viewers in the West. They also leave many Westerners assuming that this is a preamble to regime change in Tehran, a repeat of history, but with a twist. After all, Iran has the distinction of being the only Middle Eastern state that underwent a revolutionary change – 31 years ago – which originated as a mild street protest.

Viewed objectively, though, this assumption is over-optimistic. It overlooks cardinal differences between the present moment and the 1978-1979 events which led to the overthrow of the shah of Iran and the founding of an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. History shows that a revolutionary movement triumphs only when two vital factors merge: it is supported by a coalition of different social classes and it succeeds in crippling the country’s governing machinery and fracturing the state’s repressive apparatus......"

US denies role in Iran terror despite claims by LA group

Press TV

"Even though a Los Angeles-based terror group claims responsibility for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, Washington denies responsibility in the attack.

"The idea that charged the United States with having anything to do with a murder in Tehran in absurd," Gordon K Duguld, Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department said late Tuesday.

The American denial comes despite the fact the US-based monarchist group, the Iran Royal Association, declared responsibility for the terrorist attack only hours after the incident. It announced in a statement that its "Tondar Commandos" were behind the assassination of Dr. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.

The obscure monarchist group, which seeks to reestablish the Pahlavi reign in Iran, operates a radio broadcast station in the United States and had previously stated that they were based in Los Angeles....."

Latest Cartoon by Emad Hajjaj

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

تهديد الأمن القومي المصري

An Excellent Analysis (Arabic)
By Dr. Abdul-Sattar Qassem

"اتفاقية كامب ديفيد المأساوية
انكشاف الأمن المصري
غزة وترتيبات سيناء
أمن النظام وأمن مصر
أصرّت إسرائيل على هذه الترتيات الأمنية في سلامها مع مصر والأردن، واتفاقياتها مع السلطة الفلسطينية، وأصبح هؤلاء العرب أدوات تسهر على راحة وأمن إسرائيل. بالنسبة لسيناء، تضع اتفاقية كامب ديفيد معايير أمنية منها:

1- تحتفظ مصر بلواء عسكري واحد إلى الغرب من ممري متلا والجدي الإستراتيجيين والواقعين تقريبا عل حافة الثلث الغربي من سيناء، وهو وجود عسكري رمزي هدفه فقط حفظ ماء الوجه لمصر. هذا لواء لا يقوى على الهجوم ولا على الدفاع، ولا يحق له إدخال معدات قتالية إضافية، ويخضع للرقابة المستمرة من قبل القوات الأجنبية الموجودة في سيناء.

2- بإمكان مصر الاحتفاظ بقوة شرطية في سيناء تحمل أسلحة فردية متمثلة بالبنادق الرشاشة والمسدسات وذلك بهدف حفظ الأمن الداخلي المدني، وملاحقة المتسللين، والإرهاب والإرهابيين. هذه قوة غير قتالية، ويخضع عملها وتسليحها للرقابة. وقد أيقن الجميع مؤخرا أن مصر لا تملك صلاحية زيادة هذه القوات أو تقليصها، أو تغيير قواعد ومجال عملها، وذلك عندما وجدت نفسها أمام نقص في الأفراد أثناء تدمير شعب غزة للحدود الاستعمارية بين غزة وسيناء. كان على مصر أن تطلب إذن إسرائيل بزيادة عدد القوات، وإدخال بعض مركبات مكافحة الشغب.

3- ليس بإمكان مصر تغيير الواقع السكاني والعمراني والإنشائي في سيناء بدون موافقة إسرائيل. فمثلا لا تستطيع بناء مدن وقرى جديدة ترفع من أعداد السكان في سيناء، الأمر الذي يعتبر حيويا لأمن مصر، ولا تستطيع إقامة مشاريع اقتصادية وزراعية كيفما تشاء خاصة أن مثل هذه المشاريع تأتي بعمال من قلب مصر ويستقرون في سيناء. إسرائيل معنية ببقاء سيناء غير مأهولة حتى لا تواجه مشاكل أمنية مستقبلا، وهي لم تسمح إلا بتطوير مشاريع زراعية محدودة لم يكن لها تأثير إستراتيجي، وتطوير منتجعات سياحية تسهل مراقبتها أمنيا وعلى رأسها منتجع شرم الشيخ حيث يقيم الرئيس المصري أحيانا.
4- لا تستطيع مصر بناء مطارات عسكرية في سيناء، أو بناء مطارات مدنية يمكن أن تستقبل الطيران العسكري، ولا تستطيع أيضا التحليق فوق سيناء بطائرات عسكرية أو طائرات عمودية قتالية.

5- تشرف على سيناء من الناحيتين الأمنية والعسكرية قوات متعددة الجنسيات بقيادة الولايات المتحدة، وتتمركز في ممري متلا والجدي، وتملك أجهزة إنذار مبكر وأدوات استطلاع ومراقبة على رأسها الأجهزة الفضائية. أميركا تملك صلاحيات الرقابة والتدقيق، وضباطها ودبلوماسيوها يتحركون في سيناء بحرية تامة، بل هم سادة سيناء، ويأمرون المصريين.

باختصار، مصر تتمتع بحكم ذاتي محدود في سيناء، ولا تستطيع ممارسة سيادة، وكل ما يسمعه العربي من مسؤولين مصريين حول سيادة مصر لا أساس له، وهو من قبيل التمنيات الهادفة إلى التبرير.
مصر شبيهة بالسلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله من حيث الحصول على الأموال الأجنبية لقاء تحويل البلد إلى بؤرة عبث للأميركيين وحلفائهم الصهاينة.

أميركا متغلغلة في مصر، وتستطيع تنفيذ مهام بكفاءة عالية ضد النظام إذا شعرت أنه يخل بقواعد الإذعان، أو قواعد التعاون المطلوب. حصل النظام على بعض الخيرات، ومقابل ذلك عليه أن يقدم الكثير من التنازلات والخدمات ولو على حساب مصر.

أمن مصر الآن مكشوف إسرائيليا وأميركيا، وأي محاولة لاستعادته ستعرض النظام المصري للخطر. والسؤال: أيهما أهمّ أمن النظام أم أمن مصر؟ الجواب واضح لدى أغلب الأنظمة العربية وعلى رأسها نظام مصر وهو أن أمن النظام أولى، وليذهب العرب إلى الجحيم إذا كانت خدمة العدو تخدم النظام.
النظام المصري يراعي المصالح والرؤى الأميركية على حساب المصالح القومية العربية والوطنية المصرية، ويفرط في الكثير من أسباب القوة ليتمسك بأسباب الضعف، وهو بذلك لا يخل بإستراتيجية أغلب الأنظمة العربية القائمة على الضعف والتبعية. ولهذا لا غرابة بأن أغلب الأنظمة العربية تتعاون مع إسرائيل سرا وعلانية، أكثر مما يتعاون بعضها مع بعض."

Only Psychiatrists Can Explain Israel's Behavior

by Gideon Levy

".....Can it be rationally explained how a country, to which all of the Arab nations have presented a historic peace proposal, refuses to even discuss this? It is a country that the president of Syria (whose major ally, Iran, is threatening Israel) is begging to come to a peace agreement with, yet it remains insistent in its refusal. Only psychiatric experts could possibly explain how the continued occupation of the Golan Heights and the missed opportunities for peace relate to security or logic. At the same time, they should try to explain the connection between the sanctity of historic sites and sovereignty over them. And above all, they should clarify how such a smart and talented society participates in this march of folly without anyone objecting.

True, it's a difficult case to figure out - all the more reason to recommend the country be sent for observation."

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - GAZAS OPEN WOUNDS

"A year has gone by since Israel launched a crushing military offensive against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. For 22 days in December 2008 and January 2009, Israel bombed the territory from the air, land and sea, killing 1,400 Palestinians. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the war.

Israeli officials gave many reasons for the war, including a stop to the Palestinian missile attacks launched from Gaza, ending the illicit tunnel trade between Egypt and the Palestinians, and even, at one point, ending Hamas' control of Gaza.

The United Nations found that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes in the course of the fighting. Israel was accused of deliberately targeting civilians, industrial sites and water installations, and using disproportionate force to destroy civilian property and infrastructure. Hamas was criticized for using civilians as human shields, and for firing rockets into Israel to spread fear among Israeli civilians.

A year on, Palestinians have largely not been able to rebuild their homes, schools, ministries, water and sanitation networks, roads or hospitals largely due to the ongoing Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

In this episode, Riz takes a closer look at the human toll of the war. He speaks with Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian gynecologist who practiced medicine in Israel and Gaza, and who was well known to Israelis as a peace activist. He lost three daughters and a niece when the Israeli military bombed his home in Gaza 20 days into the war. Riz also speaks with Eyad Sarraj, a prominent Palestinian human rights activist from Gaza who also heads the efforts to reconcile the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas. "

Al-Jazeera Video: Jordan embarrased by Al Qaeda links

"Jordanian authorities are struggling in their fight to curb Al Qaeda's influence in their country.

As news emerges of another Jordanian with Al Qaeda links, killed in Pakistan, Nisreen El Shamalyeh reports on the growing influence of Al Qaeda ideology amongst the US allied country's youth. "