Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shulamit Aloni: Calling dissidents ant-Semitic is a trick. We always use it.

The use and abuse of the anti-Semitism smear in order to silence critics of Israeli policies.

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Abandoning 'universal jurisdiction'?

"Britain's foreign minister has pledged that the UK will quickly amend a law that has allowed pro-Palestinian activists to request arrest warrants for visiting Israeli officials over alleged war crimes. Activists in Britain have sought the arrest of Israeli officials in the past under the principle of "universal jurisdiction", which allows courts to prosecute alleged war crimes from elsewhere in the world. The reassurance came after Israel suspended 'special strategic dialogue' with the UK in protest over the law. But what message is the UK sending to the rest of the world?"

UN will be judged on whether it upholds Palestinian rights

Richard Falk, The Electronic Intifada, 5 November 2010

The following is an oral presentation made by Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967, to the United Nations General Assembly on 20 October 2010:

"....It is important, distinguished delegates, that urgent and tangible attention be devoted by this body to the ongoing ordeal of the Palestinian people whose fundamental rights are being daily violated in numerous ways. This intolerable, immoral and unlawful occupation must be brought to an end, and there is no present prospect that traditional diplomacy will achieve this goal. The United Nations will be judged now and in the future by whether it contributes, at long last, to the long-deferred realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination, and thereby brings a just peace to both peoples."

Ali Abunimah lecture at Stanford, Nov 3, 2010 - Youtube in 13 parts!

By Ali Abunimah

"My lecture at Stanford, hosted by Students Confronting Israeli Apartheid on Nov 3, 2010. Go to the Youtube page to access the subsequent segments."

Will the Elections Change Obama's Iran Policy?

By Tony Karon

".....There's no indication that the President or other key decisionmakers have abandoned their skepticism of a military solution to the standoff, based on an awareness that the consequences of starting a war could be more dangerous than any threat currently posed by Iran. But the Times reports that a debate is under way within the Administration over whether Obama should be amplifying the threat of military action if Iran remains defiant. The Administration's Iran point man, Dennis Ross, has made clear in his writings on the matter that he believes Iran will back down only if it believes it faces a credible threat of military action.....

The fact that the Western powers lack consensus among themselves, much less with other key players such as Russia and China, on an acceptable compromise would only be a problem if there was any expectation of a breakthrough in the next round of talks. But neither side appears to be seeking one. For the U.S., the talks are an opportunity to send Iran a message that pressure will increase until Tehran is ready to yield; for Iran, the negotiations are an opportunity to make clear that it has no intention of backing down, confident it can ride out the sanctions and any other pressure the U.S. can plausibly muster.

The same stalemate persisted through the second term of George W. Bush's Administration, and resulted in Iran crossing the threshold to become a nuclear-capable state by mastering enrichment. But Obama, under pressure from an even more hawkish and assertive Congress, is unlikely to have the luxury enjoyed by his predecessor of maintaining a passive hard line while Iran's nuclear capacity grows."

Only justice can bring peace to this benighted region

By Robert Fisk

".....No one in their right mind would think that al-Qa'ida would burn its energies on such a petty – though revolting – act in Lebanon. But al-Qa'ida does exist in Lebanon. We have President Bashar al-Assad's word on that. Indeed, it's interesting to hear what Assad actually said on the subject last week – since his relationship with Shia Hezbollah and Shia Iran makes him no friend of bin Laden's outfit. In an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, he said "We talk about al-Qa'ida as if it exists as a well-structured, unified organisation. This isn't true. It acts more as a current of thought that calls itself al-Qa'ida. This organisation is the result (of a situation) and not the cause. It is a result of chaos, of weak development. It is a result of political errors and a kind of political direction." To say that this organisation "exists everywhere, in Syria as in all Arab and Islamic countries, does not mean that it is widespread or popular".

Yet Assad can't absolve his own regime or those of the other Arab states whose security laws ban any political meetings – other than those approved by state officials – and thus long ago forced Muslims to discuss politics in the only institution they regularly visit: the mosque. And of course, the supreme irony this week has been to hear our lords and masters praising the helpfulness of the Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia for alerting the West to the aircraft package bombs when it was this same Saudi Arabia that nurtured Osama bin Laden and his merry men over many years.

Because the Middle East's dictators also like to scare their populations. Egypt's poor are disgusted by their ruling elite but that elite wants to ensure there are no Islamic revolutions in Cairo. And the West wants to ensure that there are no Islamic revolutions in Cairo, or Libya, or Algeria, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia. (You name the rest.) The immediate problem is that al-Qa'ida is trying to undermine these regimes as well as the West. And so they lump Iraq itself – whether it is a democracy is a bit irrelevant when it doesn't have a government and is too busy executing its old Baathist enemies to protect its own people – along with the country's Christians and its Shias. And we are continuing to stage drone attacks on Pakistan and bomb the innocent in Afghanistan and tolerate the torture regimes of the Arab world and allow Israel to steal more land from the Palestinians. I'm afraid it's the same old story. Justice will bring peace – not intelligence wars against "world terror". But our leaders will still not admit this."

Iraqi prisoners were abused at 'UK's Abu Ghraib', court hears

Detainees were starved, deprived of sleep and threatened with execution at JFIT facilities near Basra, high court told

Ian Cobain
The Guardian, Saturday 6 November 2010

"Evidence of the alleged systematic and brutal mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at a secret British military interrogation centre that is being described as "the UK's Abu Ghraib" emerged yesterday during high court proceedings brought by more than 200 former inmates.

The court was told there was evidence that detainees were starved, deprived of sleep, subjected to sensory deprivation and threatened with execution at the shadowy facilities near Basra operated by the Joint Forces Interrogation Team, or JFIT....."

في ذكرى كفر قاسم مجزرة في كنيسة النجاة ببغداد

By the Iraqi writer Haifa Zangana

هيفاء زنكنة
"في كفر قاسم، القرية الفلسطينية، قتل في 29 تشرين الأول/اكتوبر 1956، 48 من الرجالوالنساء والاطفال العائدين من الحقول الى بيوتهم بعد قضاء يوم عملهم. كانت جريمتهم،أن حظر التجول كان قد فرض على قريتهم قبل ساعة، ولم يسمعوا بالخبر. كان القتلة منحرس الكيان الصهيوني، غير ان أيا منهم لم يعاقب. فأصبحت مجزرة كفر قاسم واحدة منسلسلة مجازر الاحتلال الصهيوني المستمرة، ضد العرب، حتى اليوم.

في كنيسة النجاة،في منطقة الكرادة ببغداد، وفي اسبوع ذكرى مجزرة كفر قاسم، في يوم 31 تشرينالاول/اكتوبر، قتل 46 شخصا وجرح 60، اجتمع معظمهم من الرجال والنساء والاطفال لأداءالصلاة. كانت جريمتهم انهم تشبثوا بالبقاء في منطقتهم، في مدينتهم بغداد، في بلدهمالعراق، ولم يخضعوا لابتزاز التهجير القسري لتحويل المنطقة، بكاملها، ملكا صرفالطائفة معينة دون غيرها، ضمن مخطط تقسيم بغداد والعراق الى كانتونات طائفية، أما عنطريق عروض شراء البيوت باسعار مغرية، أحيانا، كما يحدث في منطقة الكرادة، أوترويعهم وارهابهم، الى حد القتل، اذا لم يستجيبوا لضغوط البيع. فالكل يعرف بأنمنطقة الكرادة، في بغداد، هي منطقة محصنة بقوات الأمن الميليشية، والكل يعلم بأنالموجودين، في الكنيسة، من أهل العراق الأصيلين، لذلك استبيحت دماؤهم وأجبروا علىالهجرة، كما هو حال ملايين المهجرين والنازحين والشهداء منذ عام الغزو.

والكل يعلم،كما في كفر قاسم، أن القتلة معروفون. والكل يعلم بان أيا منهم لن يعاقب في ظل حكومةالاحتلال الطائفية، وان أيدي القتلة ستغسل بالتضبيب الاعلامي لتضاف مجزرة كنيسةالنجاة الى سلسلة مذابح الغزاة ومستخدميهم، المسكوت عنها. ولكي لا ننسى الاسبابالحقيقية وراء مجزرة الكنيسة وتفجيرات الاماكن العامة والمساجد، ولكي لا نصدق كل مايقدم الينا من تبريرات جاهزة واتهامات بائتة، ولكي تبقى صورة القتلة الحقيقيينواضحة في اذهاننا، من المفيد ان نستحضر وقائع تاريخنا الذي طغى عليه الاحتلال.

يقول د. عدنان بكرية في مقال له عن ذكرى كفر قاسم: 'لقد ذهل "بن غوريون" عندمااكتشف في أوائل الخمسينات أنه لم يتم تهجير الشعب الفلسطيني بالكامل وبأن هناك قرىفلسطينية كاملة لم تدمر بل صمدت وما زالت صامدة وعندما زار منطقة الجليل سألمرافقيه: هل نحن في سورية أم في إسرائيل؟ من هناك انطلقت الفكرة، تهجير ما تبقى منأبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في الداخل وكان لا بد له من إيجاد الفرصة المواتية لتنفيذهذا المخطط ولو كلفه الأمر ارتكاب المجازر أو افتعال حالة حرب مع دولة عربية مجاورةواستغلال حالة الحرب للإقدام على تهجير ما تبقى من أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني هنا فيالداخل>

وفي بغداد، على إيقاع جيش يرتشف الدم، 'تدين' الولايات المتحدة مساءمدينتنا الدامي. وبمنأى عن الشهداء العراقيين، تقف بريطانيا لـ'تدين' يوم تجمعالغربان لنهش الأحياء. وخلف أسوار من كونكريت وأسلحة مضادة لغضب الشعب، تقف عصاباتوميليشيات الغزاة ومافيات الثراء الفاحش لـ'تدين' كل ايام الاسبوع الدامية. هل هناكيوم من أيام الاسبوع لم يتم غسله بدماء النساء والأطفال منذ عام2003 وحتى الآن؟ هلمن جامع او كنيسة أو مدرسة او مستشفى لم تحصدها آلة الموت؟ هل بقيت امرأة عراقية لمتلبس السواد؟ هل توقفت عشتار، سيدة الآلهة، عن الصراخ كما تصرخ المرأة عند الولادة،عن النواح بصوتها الجميل نادبة: 'واحسرتاه! لقد عادت الايام الاولى الى طين'. أيكارثة، أي انتقام، أي حقد جلبه الغزاة، قالعو الاشجار والحياة. أي موت أرسوا فيالبلادّ

بغداد، المرفأ، الحضن الفسيح، الدافىء، انكمشت تحت وطأة الزوابع وتسلطالظلام. بنوا الاسوار فيها وحولها. خنقوها مقسمين اياها الى 50 منطقة. لكل منطقةنقطة دخول ونقطة خروج وقوات ميليشيات تتحكم بالداخل والخارج. أقاموا 1400 نقطةتفتيش لتمزيق اوصالها لاحمايتها. بغداد المساجد والكنائس والمعابد أعادوها الى طينوجعلوا لكل يوم مجزرة. ما عاد أحد يتذكر كيف خلق الانسان الاعياد ليحتفل بالانسان. كنا نتذكر الايام بالاعياد. عيد العمال، عيد الفلاحين، عيد الشجرة، عيد المرأة، عيدالميلاد، عيد رأس السنة، عيد السلام. صارت الايام ترتدي الحداد وتحسب باعدادالقتلى. صار من العار ان يمر يوم بلا عزاء. وكأنهم أقسموا ان يتحول كل يوم الى مجلسعزاء يجلله السواد. النساء يرتدين السواد. الاطفال يحملهم على اكتافهم رجال يرتدونالسواد، يتنقلون من مدينة الى اخرى بحثا عن ثواب مجالس النحيب.

هل سيكبر الاطفالليحملوا اطفالا يرتدون السواد؟ صرنا لايغادرنا الموتى. باتت الحياة وزر خطيئة عليناان نحملها كالاحجار الثقيلة على مدى كل الاعوام، حتى بتنا نتساءل هل نحن موجودون فيالمكان الخطأ في الزمن الخطأ؟ هل أصبنا، جميعا، بمرض الخرف، حيث يعاني المصاب منمحنة مزدوجة: ينسى الحاضر بينما يتذكر الماضي البعيد بقوة ووضوح؟ في كلتي الحالتينيعيش المصاب بالخرف في ظلمة فقدان التواصل مع نفسه، ومع الناس والعالم المحيط به،منكرا وجودهم مهما كانوا قريبين منه.

الا ان خرف حكام الاحتلال، خلافا لما هومتداول، معروفة أسبابه. إنه حالة انتقائية يتغدى فيها المصاب على السلطة والنفوذوالمال الحرام. وعلاج هذا الوباء المستشري، الذي بات، يمس حياة كل عائلة عراقية،معروف ايضا. انها المقاومة. فاما ان نقيم في مجالس العزاء منكسي الرؤوس ننوح ونندبمصابنا، أبد الدهر، وندفن ايامنا واعيادنا وحياتنا بأيدينا، او ان نقف، سوية،صارخين غضبا ونحن نمد ايدينا لنقاوم. نقاوم المستعمر ووكلاءه، نقاوم من يحاولايهامنا باننا نحمل خطيئة ألف عام، نقاوم لا لأننا ننشد الموت ولكن لأننا نقدس الحياة

The Lying Clown: “I Will Not Join the Zionist Movement”


"06/11/2010 Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat equates Israel's request at recognition as a “Jewish state” with a request to join the "Zionist movement," army radio reported on Saturday.

Erekat reportedly made the remark [What a liar! Even the collaborator-in-chief, Abbas, clearly indicated that he has no problem recognizing Israel as "the Jewish state." Abbas said, "Israel can call itself whatever it wants; if it considers itself a Jewish state, that is fine by us."] during his visit to Washington where he has met with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, as well as other senior State Department officials, saying "they [Israel] want me to join the Zionist movement. I will not."

In addition, he said, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must choose between settlements and peace, referring to the reason peace talks were stalled on when building moratorium expired on September 26. The Palestinians have demanded a resumption of the freeze as a condition for rejoining direct talks.

Last week, Erekat said that the Palestinians are willing to give the United States at least two more weeks [what a joke! The clown is "giving" his masters (who pay him and keep him in that PA) the time they need! Yep.] to break the impasse in the peace process and to return both sides to the negotiating table, despite a looming deadline set by the Arab League.

Despite the fact that the Arab League on October 9 gave the US only 30 days to find a way to continue the talks, Erekat said the Palestinians were willing to give the US the time it needed."

US 'exploited' Iraq communal strife

US military deliberately sent Shia and Kurdish commandoes into Sunni areas for torture, Wikileaks documents show.

By Gareth Porter

"The revelation by Wikileaks of a US military order directing US forces not to investigate cases of torture of detainees by Iraqis has been treated in news reports as yet another case of lack of concern by the US military about detainee abuse.

But the deeper significance of the order, which has been missed by the news media, is that it was part of a larger US strategy of exploiting Shia sectarian hatred against Sunnis to help suppress the Sunni insurgency when Sunnis had rejected the US war.

And General David Petraeus was a key figure in developing the strategy of using Shia and Kurdish forces to suppress Sunnis in 2004-2005.

The strategy involved the deliberate deployment of Shia and Kurdish police commandoes in areas of Sunni insurgency in the full knowledge that they were torturing Sunni detainees, as the reports released by Wikileaks show.....

In fact, the US military and the US Embassy were well aware of the serious risk that the strategy of relying on vengeful Shia police commandos to track down Sunnis would exacerbate sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shia. In May 2005, Ann Scott Tyson wrote in the Washington Post that US military analysts did not deny that the US strategy "aggravates the underlying fault lines in Iraqi society, heightening the prospects of civil strife".

In late July 2005, when Petraeus was still heading the command, an unnamed "senior American officer" at MNSTC-I was asked by John F. Burns of the New York Times whether the US might end up arming Iraqis for a civil war. The officer answered, "Maybe"....."


While Iraqis were slaughtering other Iraqis, in the service of the US occupation, consider this story from Afghanistan today.

I think that the Afghans are displaying by far a stronger sense of national identity and cohesion than the Iraqis. Their main resistance is against the foreign occupation instead of slaughtering each other. That resistance to foreigners has a very long tradition in Afghanistan, but in Iraq they are too busy with their sectarian bloodbaths and they want the occupiers to stay!

It was not always like that. In the 1920 uprising against the British Empire, all Iraqis fought together against the British occupation. In fact the Kurds played a leading role in that fight to the extent that Winston Churchill bombed Kurdish villages from the air to subdue the Kurds.

3 US troops killed by Afghan soldier

"Three American troops have been killed by an Afghan National Army soldier in southern Afghanistan, a NATO statement says.

NATO said on Saturday that the Afghan soldier opened fire on the troopers and killed them in the city of Sangin in Helmand province on Friday evening.

“The coalition and the Afghan government” launched a joint investigation into the incident, NATO added.

An Afghan soldier shot and killed the American service members on their base” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef said in a statement on Saturday.

He added that the Afghan solider defected to the militants after killing the Americans.

Taliban militants “took him to a safe place,” the Taliban spokesperson further explained...."

No Comment, by Emad Hajjaj

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wee are the chooosen! Weee are the chooosen! Ha ha ha!

The Dismantling of the Iraqi state

[Very good article analyzing the destruction of Iraq by the US and it's local allies. The Author is neither a former Baathist nor a Sunni Muslim for the record.]

by: Dirk Adriaensens
Just days after the devastating attacks of 9/11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz declared that a major focus of US foreign policy would be "ending states that sponsor terrorism." Iraq was labeled a "terrorist state" targeted for termination. President Bush went on to declare Iraq the major front of the global war on terror. US forces invaded the country illegally with the express aim of dismantling the Iraqi state. After World War II, the social sciences focused on state-building and development models. Little has been written about state destruction and de-development. We can now, after seven years of war and occupation, state for certain that state ending was a deliberate policy objective.
The consequences in human and cultural terms of the destruction of the Iraqi state have been enormous: notably the death of over 1.3 million civilians; the degradation in social infrastructure, including electricity, potable water and sewage systems; over eight million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance; abject poverty: the UN Human rights report for the first quarter of 2007 found that 54 percent of Iraqis were living on less than $1 a day; the displacement of minimum 2.5 million refugees and 2,764,000 internally displaced people as to end 2009. One in six Iraqis is displaced. Ethnic and religious minorities are on the verge of extinction. UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, published a 218-page report entitled "State of the World's Cities, 2010-2011." Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20 percent. Today, that percentage has risen to 53 percent: 11 million of the 19 million total urban dwellers.
Destroying Iraqi Education
 Since 2007, bombings at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad have killed or maimed more than 335 students and staff members, according to a 19 October, 2009, New York Times article, and a 12-foot-high blast wall has been built around the campus. MNF-I, the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police units, occupied more than 70 school buildings for military purposes in the Diyala governorate alone, in clear violation of The Hague Conventions. 
Eliminating the Iraqi Middle Class
Parallel to the destruction of Iraq's educational infrastructure, this repression has led to the mass forced displacement of the bulk of Iraq's educated middle class - the main engine of progress and development in modern states. Iraq's intellectual and technical class has been subject to a systematic and ongoing campaign of intimidation, abduction, extortion, random killings and targeted assassinations. The decimation of professional ranks took place in the context of a generalized assault on Iraq's professional middle class, including doctors, engineers, lawyers and judges as well as political and religious leaders. Roughly 40 percent of Iraq's middle class is believed to have fled by the end of 2006. Few have returned. Up to 75 percent of Iraq's doctors, pharmacists and nurses have left their jobs since the US-led invasion in 2003. More than half of those have emigrated. Twenty thousand of Iraq's 34,000 registered physicians left Iraq after the US invasion. As of April 2009, fewer than 2,000 returned, the same as the number who were killed during the course of the war.
To this date, there has been no systematic investigation of this phenomenon by the occupation authorities. Not a single arrest has been reported in regard to this terrorization of intellectuals. The inclination to treat this systematic assault on Iraqi professionals as somehow inconsequential is consistent with the occupation powers' more general role in the decapitation of Iraqi society.

Ethnic Cleansing
It became clear after the invasion in 2003 that the Iraqi exile groups were to play an important role in the violent response to dissent in occupied Iraq. Already on January 1, 2004, it was reported that the US government planned to create paramilitary units comprised of militiamen from Iraqi Kurdish and exile groups, including the Badr brigades, the Iraqi National Congress and the Iraqi National Accord, to wage a campaign of terror and extrajudicial killing, similar to the Phoenix program in Vietnam: the terror and assassination campaign that killed tens of thousands of civilians.
The $87 billion supplemental appropriation for the war in November 2003 included $3 billion for a classified program, funds that would be used for the paramilitaries for the next three years. Over that period, the news from Iraq gradually came to be dominated by reports of death squads and ethnic cleansing, described in the press as "sectarian violence," that was used as the new central narrative of the war and the principal justification for continued occupation. Some of the violence may have been spontaneous, but there is overwhelming evidence that most of it was the result of the plans described by several American experts in December 2003.
Despite subsequent American efforts to distance US policy from the horrific results of this campaign, it was launched with the full support of conservative opinion makers in the USA, a Wall Street Journal editorial even declaring that, "The Kurds and the INC have excellent intelligence operations that we should allow them to exploit ... especially to conduct counterinsurgency in the Sunny Triangle."
In conclusion, the dirty war in Iraq continues. Even as President Barack Obama was announcing the end of combat in Iraq, US forces were still fighting alongside their Iraqi colleagues. The tasks of the 50,000 remaining US troops, 5,800 of them airmen, are "advising" and training the Iraqi Army, "providing security" and carrying out "counterterrorism" missions.

STL = Sandbag the Lebanese

Just as Israel Intended


".....Yadlin (former head of Israeli Military Intelligence): “These [spies] succeeded in many assassination operations against our enemies in Lebanon. They also made great achievements in besieging Hezbollah and obliging the Syrian army to withdraw from Lebanon.”

Because it has ignored both Israel’s political and military incentives to incriminate Hezbollah (and corroborative spy testimony and video evidence), the STL and its chief prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, are doing a great injustice to Lebanese who want to see Hariri’s killers brought to justice. Instead, they appear intent on sandbagging the truth and the stability of Lebanon … just as Israel intended.

You cannot blame Israeli intelligence officials for being unable to contain their glee."

Israel Claims Victory in US Midterm Elections

Did Anyone Really Think They Would Lose?


"......Next January’s 112th Congress is already receiving rave advance reviews, some coming from the more than half a million Jewish settlers in more than 100 illegal colonies in occupied Palestine who are pleased to see President Obama emasculated and the sentiments expressed in his June 2008 Cairo speech long forgotten. Many are hoping he will be replaced by likes of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, or a Mike Huckabee in 2012. Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, which represents Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and whose representatives are increasingly on the rampage, by word and by deed, spoke for many when he told a post election news conference that he expected the new Congress "will facilitate a more open-minded approach to Israel's needs [i.e., yet more Palestinian land] than what we've experienced over the last two years."....

The post Congressional election euphoria has not extended to Lebanon and this region. This is because over here it is widely believed that the new Congress, with respect to Lebanon’s arch foe Israel which has committed serial aggressions against it for half a century, will pick up right where the old Congress left off without missing a beat...."

Real News Video: U.S. and Iran Prop Up Unconstitutional Gov in Iraq

Sahar Issa: Violence may break out against violation of election results in Iraq

More at The Real News

New $600B Fed Stimulus Fuels Fears of U.S. Currency War

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"The Federal Reserve will pump $600 billion more into the U.S. economy and keep interest rates at historical low levels. The short-term impact of the Fed’s move—known as quantitative easing—has been a jump in stock prices across the globe. Many nations, however, have accused the United States of waging a currency war by devaluing the dollar. We speak to former Wall Street economist and University of Missouri Professor Michael Hudson. "The object of warfare is a takeover a country’s land, raw materials, and assets and grab them," Hudson says. "In the past, this used to be done militarily by invading them. Today, you can do it financially simply by creating credit, which is what the Federal Reserve has done."....."

Leader of the Revolution, by Mr. Fish

Boycott victory: Africa Israel suspends settlement construction

Press release, Adalah-NY, 4 November 2010

"The following press release was issued by Adalah-NY on 3 November 2010:

Africa Israel, the flagship company of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, announced this week that it is no longer involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities. Africa Israel subsequently denied that this was a political decision. However, in the last few years numerous organizations, firms, governments and celebrities have exerted pressure and severed their relationships with Leviev and his companies over their involvement in settlement construction and other human rights abuses, in response to a boycott campaign initiated by Adalah-NY.....

As recently as 2008 Leviev expressed strong support for Israel's continued takeover of Palestinian land. In a March 2008 interview in Haaretz daily, reporter Anshel Pfeffer asked Leviev, "Do you have a problem with building in the territories?" Leviev responded, "Not if the State of Israel grants permits legally." According to an English translation of the same Haaretz interview published in The Jewish Chronicle, Leviev explained, "For me, Israel, Jerusalem and Haifa are all the same. ... So are the Golan Heights. As far as I'm concerned, all of Eretz Israel is holy. To decide the future of Jerusalem? It belongs to the Jewish people. What is there to decide? Jerusalem is not a topic for discussion."....."

The Biggest Threat to America

It's bankruptcy

By Justin Raimondo

"......Our economic terror alert, if such a thing existed, ought to be at the brightest red, because what we’re facing is the biggest threat to our national security ever: I’m talking about the spiraling national debt, and the ongoing destruction of the dollar.

People realize this, albeit in an indirect way: that’s what all this “tea party” noise is about, although the tea partiers themselves, for the most part, don’t realize the enormity and immediacy of the threat. Somewhere in the background, just below the level of consciousness, a time-bomb is tick-ticking away. Some people hear it, in various degrees of loudness, while others are deaf to this ominous sound.

The day after the election, the Federal Reserve made a little-noticed announcement that it’s printing up another $1 trillion. Go here for a fuller explanation of how and why it happened, and what it means. Suffice to say here that what goes up must come down: a bubble, inflated, must eventually pop. That’s simple enough, but let’s take it one step further: the hubris that inspires the Fed to print up more play money, which will drive up inflation, increase the cost of imports (i.e. everything), and make goods more expensive for average Americans is in the same league as that which inspired George W. Bush and his minions to declare a “war on terrorism,” invade the Middle East, and imagine they would prevail.

The irony is that the former will be the undoing of the latter: the destruction of the dollar means the implosion of the American empire, and the relegation of the US to what used to be called – in more politically incorrect times – a “Third World” nation. ....."

The party game is over. Stand and fight

The lesson of the French anti-government protests is that “normal” politics exists only to promote corporate interests. Britain must prepare for a rebirth of the only thing that works — direct action.

By John Pilger
New Statesman

".......Today, they are claiming 21st-century Britain and imposing their vicious, antique ideology, albeit served as economic snake oil. Their designs have nothing to do with a "deficit crisis". A deficit of 10 per cent is not remotely a crisis. When Britain was officially bankrupt at the end of the Second World War, the government built its greatest public institutions, such as the National Health Service and the arts edifices of London's South Bank.

There is no economic rationale for the assault described cravenly by the BBC as a "public spending review". The debt is exclusively the responsibility of those who incurred it, the super-rich and the gamblers. However, that's beside the point. What is happening in Britain is the seizure of an opportunity to destroy the tenuous humanity of the modern state. It is a coup, a "shock doctrine" as applied to Pinochet's Chile and Yeltsin's Russia.

In Britain, there is no need for tanks in the streets. In its managerial indifference to the freedoms it is said to hold dear, bourgeois Britain has allowed parliament to create a surveillance state with 3,000 new criminal offences and laws: more than for the whole of the previous century. Powers of arrest and detention have never been greater. The police have the impunity to kill....."

America is now officially for sale

(Click on the cartoon Sam Karzai, by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)

It's the Tea Party spirit distilled: pose as the champion of Joe America, while actually ripping him off

By Johann Hari
The Independent

"The laws and policies of the legislature of the United States of America are now effectively on e-Bay, for sale to the highest bidder. Are you a Wall Street boss who wants to party like it’s 2007? Are you a Big Coal baron who wants to burn, baby, burn? Are you an insurance company that wants to be able to kick sick people off your rolls? Meet John Boehner, the most powerful Republican and soon-to-be Speaker of the House. But – of course! – you already have.....

Fast-forward to 2010. John Boehner came from a poor family of twelve children, and heroically worked three jobs (including as a janitor) to put himself through business school. But when he got to elected office, it turned out that there was alot more money to be reaped from serving the interests of rich people than serving the people he came from. He took money from the insurance companies, and voted to deny healthcare coverage to sick children and to the people who hurried to the World Trade Centre on 9/11 to try to dig people from the wreckage, exposing them to deadly toxins. He took money from defense contractors, and supported every war going. He tirelessly champions the overdog, while hoovering up their cash and flying on their private jets to some of the most luxury resorts in the world.

In the campaign, Boehner said his priority was to “stand up for ordinary Americans” against “the elite”, and to “cut the deficit as a matter of urgency.” So what has been his first priority as Speaker? To fight furiously to keep the gigantic Bush tax cuts for the elite richest two percent of Americans, even though this alone will add two trillion dollars to the deficit over the next decade. It’s very revealing. He immediately dumps on his propaganda causes – ordinary Americans, and the deficit – while slavishly serving his one true cause: serving the interests of rich people like the ones who happen to pay for his campaigns and his jaunts......

There is, however, one significant difference from ‘A Face In The Crowd’. At the end of the film – spoiler alert – Lonesome Rhodes is finishing a show and, as the end credits roll and the music swells, he rants against his viewers, believing they can’t hear him. But in the control box, a producer deliberately flips a switch. Suddenly millions hear him say: “Those morons out there. I’d give ‘em dog food and make ‘em think it’s steak. Good night you stupid idiots. Good night you miserable slobs. They’re like a bunch of trained seals – I toss ‘em a fish and they lap it up.” John Boehner and Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are ridiculing their followers just as crudely. Can’t somebody at Fox flip the switch? "

Video: سافرت القضية - فيروز

Thursday, November 4, 2010

عن أية مصالحة تتحدث حماس؟!


"في ظل هرولة قيادة السلطة ومنظمة التحرير وحركة فتح (محمود عباس وفريقه) نحو مزيد من المواقف التي تثير القهر في أوساط الشعب الفلسطيني، يأتي الحديث المتواصل (يغيب بين حين وآخر) من قبل حماس عن المصالحة، الأمر الذي يثير الكثير من القلق والأسئلة لدى محبيها ومريديها في الشارع الفلسطيني، وربما العربي أيضا.

يحدث ذلك في ظل إدراك سائر المعنيين بالملف الفلسطيني لحقيقة أن مسار السلطة في ظل الوضع الراهن لم ولن يتعدى بأي حال الحفاظ على سلطة أوسلو ومن ثم تقدمها نحو شبه دولة على ما يتركه الجدار من الضفة، مع ترك القضايا الكبرى كجزء من إشكالات نزاع حدودي مع "الجارة" العبرية.

وينهض الإصرار على برنامج التنسيق الأمني وما ينطوي عليه من إساءة للشعب الفلسطيني وعدوان يومي على حركة حماس في الضفة الغربية.. ينهض كشاهد على ذلك، فضلا عن حقيقة أن السلطة لن تغادر مربع الوفاء للبرنامج الذي أنشئت من أجله، وكذلك لشروط المانحين، وقبلها شروط المحتلين الذين يمنحون بطاقات "في.آي.بي" لقادتها، بينما لا يتمكن قائد حمساوي واحد من مغادرة الضفة الغربية.

ليس هذا وحده ما يثير الأسئلة في سلوك حماس السياسي، فهناك إلى جانبه ميوعة الخطاب السياسي التي يلمسها المراقبون من قبل بعض قادتها في مواجهة الوفود الأجنبية التي تواصل رحيلها باتجاه غزة ودمشق، حيث لم يعد مصطلح الهدنة قائما عند الحديث عن قبول دولة في حدود 67، مما يعطي الانطباع بأنها نهاية المطاف، فضلا عن الرسائل الموجهة للإدارة الأميركية، وكذلك مغامرات أحمد يوسف الذي ما زال يقدم نفسه بوصفه المستشار السياسي لرئيس الوزراء، وإلى جانبه ثلة من "الواقعيين" الذين يذكّروننا بهذا النمط من السياسيين في تجربة فتح الطويلة المعروفة. مع العلم بأن من الصعب على هؤلاء أن يتحركوا لولا حصولهم على غطاء من بعض الجهات في الحركة، تحديدا في قطاع غزة (في الضفة هناك ناصر الشاعر الذي يستخدم ذات الخطاب، مع أنه للأمانة أقل ميلا إلى المغامرة وطرح المبادرات من صاحبه في غزة).

أسوأ ما في هذه الممارسة السياسية هو منحها الغطاء لخطاب فتح، حيث لم يتوقف قادتها وأنصارها عن الحديث عن تساويهم مع حماس في حل الدولتين، مع علمهم بالفارق الكبير، ليس فقط لجهة رفض حماس الاعتراف بما تبقى من فلسطين للصهاينة (لم تعد الدولة حلا مرحليا بالنسبة لفتح، إذ عرض عباس إنهاء النزاع والتنازل عن المطالب التاريخية)، بل أيضا لجهة تنازلات عباس المتعلقة بتبادل الأراضي (يعني بقاء المستوطنات الكبيرة)، وشطب حق العودة إلى الأراضي المحتلة عام 48، فضلا عن قبوله العملي بالدولة المؤقتة حتى لو رفضها باللسان (لا يكفون هنا عن الحديث عن ورقة أحمد يوسف الشهيرة التي استنكرتها قيادة حماس).

ولعل الشيء الأسوأ في هذا الجانب هو تجريب المجرب، إذ مرّت فتح بذات التجربة من دون جدوى، ومن العبث أن تستعيدها حماس بذات التفاصيل، مع إدراك العقلاء لحقيقة أن الاعتراف بشروط الرباعية أمر لا بد منه لكي تحصل حماس على "الشرعية الدولية"، مع أن ذلك لن يمنحها الأفضلية على فريق عباس أيضا. وإذا قيل إنها الأكثر تمثيلا للفلسطينيين، فإنها لن تغدو كذلك حين تعترف بالشروط المذكورة، لأن الناس سينفضون من حولها.

من القضايا الإشكالية التي نتابعها ذلك التعامل الناعم مع ما يجري لفرع الحركة في الضفة الغربية، والذي لا يتجاوز الحديث عنه في وسائل إعلام الحركة، مع أنه من النوع الذي يستحق أكثر من ذلك بكثير، هو الذي تجاوز سائر الخطوط الحمراء التي لم يتجرأ عليها العدو نفسه.

في الجانب الآخر من المشهد، ينهض الجهد الكبير الذي يبذله الجهاز العسكري (كتائب القسام) في قطاع غزة من أجل ترتيب الوضع الداخلي على نحو يمكّن الحركة من مواجهة أي عدوان إسرائيلي جديد، إلى جانب مساع لتفعيل العمل العسكري في الضفة أسفرت عن عدد من العمليات المهمة رغم شراسة القمع والتعاون الأمني.

لكن ذلك كله -على روعته وأهميته- يكاد يغيب وسط هجوم الطرف الآخر، وفي ظل أداء سياسي مرتبك وإشكالي بات يؤكد بهذا القدر أو ذاك أن همّ الحركة الأساسي هو الحفاظ على قطاع غزة بصرف النظر عن مصير القضية الذي ترك عمليا لفريق عباس، اللهم باستثناء بيانات وتصريحات لا يلتفت إليها الطرف الآخر الذي يمضي في برنامجه بدعم عربي ودولي، مع غطاء فتحاوي يبدو متوقعا في ظل اختطاف الحركة من قبل الفريق المذكور، وعدم قدرة المعترضين داخلها على فعل شيء، وهم الذين يدركون أن غطاءً عربيا لا يتوفر لهم، فضلا عن وقوعهم أسرى لواقع الاحتلال وواقع السلطة التي تتنفس من خلال الرئة التي يوفرها هو لا غيره.

لقد ثبت عمليا وواقعيا أن الجمع بين المقاومة والسلطة ليس ممكنا، ومن صمموا سلطة أوسلو يدركون ذلك، ولو كانت حماس في الضفة لما كان بوسعها إسناد برنامج المقاومة مع الاحتفاظ بالسلطة، لأن خروج جيش الاحتلال من غزة هو الذي منحها تلك الفرصة، أعني فرصة التمسك ببرنامج المقاومة بقدر ما (لو تواجد الجيش الإسرائيلي داخل القطاع لرأينا قادة حماس الذين يتمسكون بالبرنامج المذكور رهن السجون مثل إخوانهم في الضفة).

في هذا السياق كان مثيرا أن يتحدث أحد قادة الحركة عن عدم الحاجة للمقاومة من قطاع غزة لأنه تحرر. ومع علمنا أن القادة الآخرين لا يقبلون مقولته ويرفضونها، فإن الحقيقة أن القطاع لم يتحرر، ليس فقط لأن جزءًا من أرضه لا يزال تحت الاحتلال (الشريط الحدودي)، بل أيضا لأن بحره وسماءه ومعابره البرية تخضع للاحتلال أيضا، باستثناء معبر رفح الخاضع لسلطات المصرية التي لا تغامر بمخالفة ما يريده الإسرائيليون على هذا الصعيد. صحيح أن فرص المقاومة من القطاع -خلا الصواريخ ذات الكلفة العالية- محدودة، إلا أن كسر هذه المعادلة سيكون ممكنا بين وقت وآخر حين تتوفر الإرادة.

من المؤكد أن قادة الجهاز العسكري لا يتصرفون بروحية ما ذهب إليه القائد إياه، وهم ومعهم الكثير من السياسيين يصلون الليل بالنهار من أجل أن يكون القطاع قاعدة للمقاومة وشوكة في حلوق الغزاة، بدليل هذا القلق اليومي الذي يبديه قادة العدو في مواجهة مساعي مراكمة القوة العسكرية من قبل الحركة.

نفتح قوسا لنشير إلى أن التنظير السياسي الضمني الذي استندت إليه خطة شارون للانسحاب من قطاع غزة هو إخراجه من دائرة الصراع ليغدو مثل الأردن ومصر، وليمتد مشروع الحل الانتقالي إلى الضفة بالتدريج، أولا إلى حدود 28 سبتمبر/أيلول 2000، وثانيا وأخيرا مع بعض التعديلات إلى حدود الجدار، وليغدو المؤقت دائما. وقد تأكد ذلك مباشرة عندما شرع محمد دحلان في طرح نظرية سلاح الشرعية الوحيد وجمع سلاح "المليشيات" الذي لم تعد له حاجة.

وإذا كانت المصالحة مع جماعة السلطة شبه مستحيلة تبعا لرفض حماس التنازل عن القطاع (هي محقة في ذلك دون شك)، وعدم قدرة السلطة على مخالفة الأوامر الأميركية الإسرائيلية المتعلقة بالجهاز الأمني في الضفة من جهة أخرى، فإن المسار الآخر يراوح بين تثبيت الانفصال أو وقوع المستحيل (نجاح المصالحة) الذي يعني الإقرار ببرنامج السلطة أو الدولة تحت الاحتلال في حدود الجدار. وفي الحالتين سنكون إزاء وضع كارثي، والأرجح أن البرنامج الأخير سيمر بسهولة أكبر في حال تثبيت الانفصال (في المدى القريب على الأقل)، وسيكون بوسع مصر التعايش مع دولة القطاع العتيدة كما تعايشت مع النظام السوداني "الأصولي الإخواني" من قبل، وهي تمضي في هذا الاتجاه عبر مساع محمومة لإحداث اختراقات في جسم الحركة في القطاع وتصنيفها بين معتدلين ومتطرفين، مستخدمة مسألة المعبر والدخول والخروج التي تملك مفاتيحها ويحتاجها أهل القطاع جميعا، بما في ذلك قادة الحركة وعائلاتهم.

وسيكون هذا المسار أكثر قابلية للتطبيق إذا وافق الإسرائيليون على المشروع (مشروع الانفصال) ولم يتورطوا في حرب من أجل ضم القطاع إلى تسوية الضفة، لاسيما أنهم لا يخفون قلقهم من سياسة التسلح التي تتبعها الحركة هنا، والتي ستخل -لو في الحد الأدنى- بميزان القوى الذي اعتادوا عليه طوال عقود، الأمر الذي ينطبق بدرجة أكبر على حالة حزب الله في لبنان.

في السياق المذكور تتعالى أصوات في الساحة الإسرائيلية تتحدث عن الانفصال عن قطاع غزة، وقد كشفت صحيفة يديعوت أحرونوت عن خطة سرية أعدها وزير الخارجية الإسرائيلي ليبرمان خلاصتها انفصال ثان عن قطاع غزة، ويعني ذلك فصل القطاع نهائيا عن الضفة وإغلاق كل المعابر معه، والتوقف عن تزويده بالماء والكهرباء، وبالتالي الحصول على شرعية دولية لإنهاء احتلاله.

والخلاصة بحسب كلام ليبرمان هي توقف الدولة العبرية عن تحمل أية مسؤولية عن "القطاع بشكل مطلق، وأن من يريد الدخول إلى غزة فليدخل، وحدودنا ستكون مغلقة بإحكام".

في هذه الأجواء يبدو سؤال المستقبل مطروحا بقوة على الحركة التي عليها أن تؤكد للجميع أنها لم تنشغل بالقطاع عن القضية، وأن المقاومة بالنسبة إليها ليست مجرد شعار، ولن يحدث ذلك من دون برنامج شامل يُطرح على الشعب الفلسطيني، وتحدثنا عنه مرارا، عنوانه إدارة بالتوافق لقطاع غزة، وإعلان مقاومة شاملة حتى دحر الاحتلال دون قيد أو شرط عن الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة من دون الاعتراف بأي شيء للمحتلين، وليكون مقدمة للتحرير الشامل.

إن برنامجا من هذا النوع سينسخ مرحلة أوسلو بكل مصائبها ويعيد القضية إلى سكتها الصحيحة، وهو سيتوج حماس قائدة فعلية لنضال الشعب الفلسطيني، لاسيما أن رموز الطرف الآخر سيفقدون ما تبقى لهم من مصداقية ومشروعية برفضهم المشروع المذكور وإصرارهم على مسار الاستجداء الذي يراوحون فيه منذ سبع سنوات (مع أن تاريخ بدايته الحقيقية هو سبتمبر/أيلول 1993)، بل ربما قبل ذلك بكثير.

إن رفض حماس المصالحة على قاعدة البرنامج المشار إليه تختلف عن رفضها على قاعدة تفاصيل تتعلق بالأمن والانتخابات، إلى غير ما هنالك من تفاصيل عنوانها الحفاظ على سلطة أوسلو والوفاء لشروطها واستحقاقاتها.

وإذا رفض القوم، فإن التعويل سيبقى قائما على انتفاضة جديدة في الضفة تأتي ردا على ممارسات العدو في القدس والأقصى، إلى جانب الرد على صفقة عباس-فياض القائمة على بيع القضية بالرواتب والاستثمارات (المستفيدون من ذلك هم القلة)، وتحويلها إلى نزاع حدودي يتجاهل القضايا الأهم، وفي مقدمتها القدس واللاجئين، بل وحتى الأرض (السلطة لن تتعدى حدود الجدار).

Al-Jazeera Video: Baghdad reels from blasts to public spots

Britain Caves To Israeli Pressure; Agrees To Revoke 'universal Jurisdiction' Law

"In his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories this week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague reported being 'ambushed' by Israeli officials who cancelled a high-level security briefing with Hague in response to a British threat to arrest an Israeli official for war crimes.

Hague said he resented this move by Israel, since the British coalition government had already agreed to change the 'universal jurisdiction law' which allows for the prosecution of foreign citizens who have engaged in crimes against humanity....."

Sic transit gloria Obama

(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The US electorate has decided to reward a bunch of clowns and crooks responsible for America's political, economic and cultural debacle in the first place. Democrats sowed the seeds of their own doom by failing even to try to live up to 2008's collective rapture over "Change we can believe in". After taking a "shellacking", it's about time for President Barack Obama to start playing offense [Are you kidding?? Do you know where can Obama get a spine implant, Pepe?]......

Clowns to the left, jokers to the right

The heart of the (sorry) matter is that Obama and the Democrats did not even strive to meet the great expectations awakened by the 2008 "Change we can believe in" collective rapture. They sowed the seeds of their own doom instead. No wonder they were deserted en masse by young people, ethnic minorities, pacifists and environmentalists while at the same time masses of enraged centrists, moderates and independents sought refuge in the right. Add to it the electorate's gullibility in its manipulation by corporate media.

He could start by firing everyone at the White House. It won't happen. Get ready; white Obama will eat him for breakfast in 2012. "

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

by Philip Giraldi, November 04, 2010

"Numerous commentators have noted the complete lack of any debate over foreign policy in the run up to congressional midterm elections, a curious omission for a country that is at war in at least two places overseas with prospects for more. Ironically, the lack of any discussion comes at a time when most Americans are weary of Afghanistan and no longer support the war effort. Many observers would attribute the lack of any expressed concern over the issue of war vs. peace to a unanimity on the part of both Republicans and Democrats over the necessity to continue to wage the so-called "long war" against international terrorism. That the struggle itself is based on a number of false premises and the tactics are questionable and even counterproductive does not appear to bother America’s Solons, who are first and foremost focused on getting reelected and are willing to say or not say whatever it takes to further that objective.

Tuesday’s Republican conquest of the House of Representatives might serve as a welcome rebuke for President Barack Obama if only the GOP were genuinely concerned with constitutionalism, the rule of law, and small government. But they are not, and the downside is that the change in the dominant party in the legislature might well lead to an unmitigated disaster in foreign policy....

Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia is poised to become the House majority whip, the second most powerful position in the House Republican hierarchy, and is frequently spoken of as the heir apparent to John Boehner as majority leader if Boehner opts to become speaker of the House after the Republican win. The Jewish Journal reports that Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives. On October 25th, Cantor told the Jewish Telegraph Agency that a GOP win in the midterm elections would lead to moves to decouple current assistance to Israel from the foreign aid budget, which has to be approved every year and which "includes nations that do not share US interests." Cantor explained that Israel would then receive its aid directly from the treasury or through some other mechanism, possibly the defense department budget, and the Republicans would be empowered to reject the entire Obama foreign aid request to punish the nations that it considers to be unworthy of the largesse without in any way harming Israel. As Cantor explained it, the assistance to Israel would thereby be "protected."

Equally dangerous is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is poised to take over the House Foreign Affairs committee....."

Peace Out!

By Justin Raimondo

"Last year around this time the Pew Research Center undertook its annual overview of American opinion on foreign affairs. The idea is to measure the views of America’s foreign policy elite—as embodied by the members of the Council on Foreign Relations—against the views of the American hoi polloi, i.e., you and I. The results sent shockwaves through the foreign-policy establishment.

Asked if the United States should “mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own,” 49 percent of Americans answered yes—“an all-time high,” according to the authors of the Pew report. But among the experts, policy wonks, and Washington insiders, answers in the affirmative to that question came to exactly … zero.....

That neither party is consistently able to satisfy its base—let alone the broader American public—suggests that conditions are ripe for an upheaval in American politics. In some ways, the climate today resembles the one that brought forth the New Left in the 1960s. Support for the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time low: according to a recent CNN poll, a mere 37 percent support it, while 53 percent say it’s “another Vietnam.” At the same time, the scene also resembles the one that fostered the anti-tax revolts and New Right of the 1970s. All of this could give rise to a new majority coalition, perhaps one emcompassing the best of the Tea Partiers, Ron Paul Republicans, Pat Buchanan brigades, and the long-quiescent Perot voters.

One thing is certain: thanks to Barack Obama, the change this country seeks will not come from the Left."

Most Yemenis See al-Qaeda Presence as ‘Myth’

History of Fake Attacks Cement Belief Saleh Govt Using AQAP as Excuse

by Jason Ditz

"The truth is there is no al-Qaeda.” Such a comment rarely finds currency in a nation’s popular consciousness but in Yemen, home to what the CIA calls the most dangerous of al-Qaeda’s many affiliates (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP), it is all too common.

For some AQAP is just a cynical excuse for the Saleh government to get increased foreign military aid from the US and others. Other Yemenis, particularly in the south, see it as an excuse to attack separatist groups that have nothing to do with international terrorism.

It isn’t naivete on the part of Yemenis, however, but a natural function of the Yemeni government’s constant use of “al-Qaeda” as a justification for attacks on separatist-linked civilians, and as a catch-all for the many different groups that have bones to pick with the Saleh regime......"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Israel hints it cleared killing of Gaza Islamist with Washington

 The Israel Defense Forces hinted on Wednesday that its assassination of a Islamist militant leader in Gaza had been cleared in advance with Washington.

Asked whether Israel had coordinated the hit on Mohammed Nimnim, a commander in the Army of Islam group, with its American ally, an army spokeswoman said.
"Without getting specifically into more details, I can tell you there is very good cooperation between us and the Americans," she said. "We have an ongoing relationship with the Americans, as well as with other forces, and from time to time we pass on information as with other sources," she said.
Nimnim, 37, was killed instantaneously when his car exploded outside a police station in Gaza City. Witness suggested the car was hit by a missile, while some media reports attributed the explosion to a planted bomb.

Bush 'sickened' by Iraq war reasons

Former US president George Bush said he has a "sickening feeling" when reflecting on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - nullifying the claim made by Washington as the basis for the 2003 invasion of the country.

Local media reported on Tuesday that the comments in a new autobiography is aimed at breaking his silence after making way for current president Barack Obama.
The memoir, called Decision Points, is also used to defend his record in domestic and foreign policy, while predicting that history will judge him better than US voters, who gave him low approval ratings as his second term came to an end.
Bush also wrote that the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was justified, saying that "the Iraqi people are better off with a government that answers to them instead of torturing and murdering them".

He also defended his decision to allow what have been called harsh interrogation techniques or torture, such as water-boarding, against terror suspects.

Bush said the techniques "saved lives" and that in response to a request by the CIA to use water-boarding against the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he answered: "Damn right".

The Blood bath in Iraq Continues

A series of explosions across Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, has killed at least 63 people and wounded 285 others, hospital and police officials say.

The bombings began at about 6:15pm local time on Tuesday and took place in at least 10 neighbourhoods, involving booby-trapped cars, roadside bombs and mortar strikes.

"Ten cars exploded with bombs inside them. There were also four roadside bombs and two sticky bombs," said Major General Qassim al-Moussawi, a Baghdad security spokesman.

The attacks appeared directed mostly at the city's majority Shia population, though some blasts occurred in Sunni neighborhoods. Rawya Rageh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Baghdad, said most of the blasts happened near markets and banks and areas that are usually crowded at that time in the evening.

'Violent days'
"There have been a series of attacks of a highly sectarian nature recently. The city is witnessing some very violent days," Rageh said.
"It's all being blamed on the failure of Iraqi politicians to agree on the formation of a government.

Tough questions for Hamas


(Scroll down for more new posts)

Haidar Eid, The Electronic Intifada, 2 November 2010
(Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University and a policy advisor with Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network)

"Hamas's victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections surprised everyone, including its own members and leaders. Many local and international activists were also relieved, as the victory was a blow to the Bush doctrine in the Middle East. It was also a test of the credibility of the liberal democratic approach and its applications in the region.

This article is not concerned with domestic or foreign reactions and attempts to topple the sole democratic experience in the Arab world. Rather, it tackles Hamas's failure to live up to its own commitments to its constituencies, many of whom were not necessarily supporters of the movement. It also examines the extent of Hamas's credibility in committing to the social contract that major democracies abide by in terms of respecting individual citizens and safeguarding their dignity. This contract applies not only to male but also to female citizens.

First, one ought to reiterate the fact that Hamas is part of the resistance camp. In addition to the enormous sacrifices that many of its leaders and cadres have made, if creatively invested, Hamas's actions ultimately support the interests of the Palestinian cause. This implies the following question: has Hamas been able to actually build on this high level of commitment and sacrifice, not only on the part of the movement but of Palestinians in general?

Despite its somewhat fiery statements, Hamas's impulse and willingness to deal with American propositions are indeed astonishing. Two letters were sent, as far as I know, to the new Obama administration after the term of former US President George W. Bush ended. The Americans emphasized that they declined to accept the first letter. However, it is the content of the letters and how they reflect the aspirations of Palestinians -- both in all of historic Palestine as well as in the Diaspora -- that is significant.

The content of these letters along with statements made by senior Hamas leaders indicate to the US Hamas's acceptance of and commitment to the two-state solution; i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. Yet many Hamas leaders simultaneously accentuate their refusal to recognize the State of Israel and accept the two-state solution! Simply put, the Palestinian leadership elected by the majority of one-third of the Palestinian people, i.e. the population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is announcing its commitment to a racist solution that disregards the rights of 6-7 million Palestinian refugees, and the national and cultural rights of 1.4 million Palestinians in Israel.

The grave danger underlying this position lies in the fact that it follows the downward trajectory of the right-wing secular dominion over Palestinian leadership since the 1960s. It also follows the downfall of the Stanlinist Palestinian left, whose leadership was co-opted by the nongovernmental organization sector and the Palestinian Authority, and commandeered the internal decision-making of the respective Palestinian organizations. This led to the adoption of positions that were radically different from those they had historically advocated. Indeed, those positions were forsaken with pragmatic justifications that are antithetical to the questions the left should be able to answer creatively, such as the two-state solution and membership in the hijacked and discredited Oslo-era Palestine Liberation Organization.......

The experience of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip offers a miniature model of an Islamic state, whereas the West Bank stands as the Bantustan state to be declared in November 2011. It is common knowledge that Gaza has recently undergone ideological social transformations through laws that are enforced without being enacted. Such laws target individual freedoms, particularly those of women, who are no longer allowed to smoke water pipe in public or ride behind their spouses on motorcycles. Likewise, female students are now forced to wear the jilbab and the hijab, while female lawyers must wear the hijab. Of course, these practices claim to "protect our customs and traditions," but is there a traditional text that bars women from smoking, for instance? The democracy that provided the foundation for the 2006 elections is based on guaranteeing individual freedoms. Many statements made by Hamas leaders inside and outside of Gaza before the elections emphasized that those leaders would respect such freedoms if elected.

The transformation of many members of the resistance, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their homeland and who exerted impressive efforts to defend Gaza in 2009, into religious police like those in Saudi Arabia requires a serious and critical revision by Hamas.

Therefore, it is obvious that Hamas is unable to realize that the war on Gaza in 2009 has created a new political reality whereby Israel pulled the trigger on the racist two-state/two-prison solution. Hamas insists on adopting this approach and claims it is a temporary tactic until the balance of power shifts, as the movement assumes it will within the truce period of ten or twenty years. During this time, it plans to build a state after its model in Gaza. This only indicates the lack of a clear strategic vision to end the conflict, a vision that draws on past global struggles against colonialism, particularly against the abhorrent South African apartheid regime, which collapsed resoundingly in 1994......

However, it is evident that the development of an alternative leadership cannot wait. As a benchmark in the history of the Palestinian struggle, the formation of the BNC along with its main objectives have reconnected the various segments of the Palestinian people to stand in the face of occupation, colonization and institutionalized racist discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to call for the return of refugees. These indivisible demands distinguish the new alternative Palestinian strategy. Yet the question remains: is Gaza willing to constructively interact with such a positive development in the Palestinian struggle with openness to the other national players and without a narrow factional vision?"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This new poll asks:

Do you believe that a US intervention in Yemen will reduce or increase the problems in that country?

With about 900 responding so far, 94% said such intervention will only add to the problems.

America the Clueless

Gridlock is Good


"The American people have spoken, but it’s impossible to decode their incoherent message. Drunk with their capture of the House of Representatives, the Republicans thunder that the verdict of ballot boxes from Maine to Hawai’i is clarion-clear: the ultimate evil in America is government, specifically government as led by President Barack Obama. But when exit pollsters questioned voters on their way to those same ballot boxes, as to who should take the blame for the country’s economic problems, 35 per cent said Wall Street, 30 per cent said Bush and 23 per cent Obama. The American people want a government that mustn't govern, a budget that must simultaneously balance and create jobs, cut spending across the board and leave the Defense budget intact. Collectively, the election makes clear, they haven't a clue which way to march....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Forcing Christians out of Iraq?

"On Sunday, a church siege in Iraq left 58 people dead - with an al-Qaeda-linked group claiming responsibility. So, is the attack a fresh round of violence against this community? And is the aim of the attack to force Christians out of Iraq?"

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaza children bear scars of war

"Israel's war on Gaza almost two years ago killed at least 1,400 Palestinians - including more than 300 children according to human rights groups.

Many of the children who witnessed the violence now suffer ongoing psychological damage.

Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports on how residents are trying to restore some normality to the children of Gaza."

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - Hope vs hype

With Tariq Ali

"Two years after Obama was voted in on a wave of optimism, has he failed to keep his promises?"

Payback at the Polls

By Robert Scheer

"Let’s not shoot the messenger. Yes, the tea party victors are a mixed bag espousing often contradictory and at times weird positions, the source of their funding is questionable and their proposed solutions are vague and at times downright nutty. But they represent the most significant political response to the economic pain that has traumatized swaths of the nation at a time when so-called progressives have been reduced to abject impotence by their deference to a Democratic president.

Barack Obama deserved the rebuke he received at the polls for a failed economic policy that consisted of throwing trillions at Wall Street but getting nothing in return. His amen chorus in the media is quick to blame everyone but the president for his sharp reversal of fortunes. But it is not the fault of tea party Republicans that they responded to the rage out there over lost jobs and homes while the president remained indifferent to the many who are suffering....

Some Democratic leaders will urge Obama to follow President Bill Clinton’s lead after his party’s electoral reversal in the 1994 election and move even further to the right to strengthen his prospects for re-election. It was that opportunistic shift by Clinton that led to his signing off on the radical deregulation of the financial industry that caused the economic meltdown. If Obama follows such advice it will spell further disaster for the nation."

Albuquerque Journal: "UNM Jews Upset Over Palestinian Speaker " (This time desperate Zionists liken me to the KKK)

By Ali Abunimah

"The Albuquerque Journal reports on the "controversry" over my upcoming talk at the University of New Mexico on 7 November. In perhaps a new low for anti-Palestinian activists, Sam Sokolove, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, which has been leading the campaign of vilification and slander, likens me to the KKK while advocates for racist Zionist apartheid Israel are supposedly the equivalent of the NAACP.

What's striking is that the Zionists' smear tactics and vilification have failed. I am really looking forward to being at the University of New Mexico, and we will see if Mr. Sokolove and his colleagues will have the courage of their convictions to show up. I will be more than happy to answer their questions.

Read the full story at the newspaper's website. Here are a few excerpts....."