Saturday, December 4, 2010
"The ‘fluidity’ of US power relations with Latin America is a product of the continuities and changes in Latin America. Past hegemony continues to weigh heavy, but the future augurs a continued decline. The current balance of power will however be determined by shifts in world markets, in which the US is destined to play a lesser role. Hence the greater probability of more divergences in policy, barring major breakdowns within Latin America.....
Nevertheless, there are powerful reasons to consider the decline in US power as a long term and irreversible trend. Among the most important structural considerations is the embedded military-zionist power configuration which dictates continuing wars which bankrupt the treasury, devalue the currency and undermine any effort to project economic power and new initiatives to recover market shares in Latin America.
Secondly, the new dynamic capitalist centers in Asia are firmly established, growing and defining a multi-polar economic world. They have established in the minds of Latin American policymakers and ruling classes a new ‘world view’: Their future interests lie in Asia. As a consequence of this fact Latin America’s rulers have reoriented the direction of trade and investment, away from the US.
Thirdly, there are no signs of any reversal of the decline of US manufacturing; nor has Washington demonstrated any capacity to curtail the trade and budget deficits. Washington lacks the capacity to challenge, subvert or co-opt the emerging capitalist power configuration which underpins Latin America’s independent politics [Washington can only control, intimidate, threaten and bully its House Arabs.]. "
"....The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has announced that the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" into the latest Assange-facilitated leak under Washington's Espionage Act. Asked how the US could prosecute Assange, a non-US citizen, Holder said, "Let me be clear. This is not saber-rattling," and vowed "to swiftly close the gaps in current US legislation…"
In other words the espionage statute is being rewritten to target Assange, and in short order, if not already, President Obama – who as a candidate pledged "transparency" in government - will sign an order okaying the seizing of Assange and his transport into the US jurisdiction. Render first, fight the habeas corpus lawsuits later.....
Years ago Rebecca West wrote in her novel The Thinking Reed of a British diplomat who, "even when he was peering down a woman's dress at her breasts managed to look as though he was thinking about India." In the updated version, given Hillary Clinton's orders to the State Department, the US envoy, pretending to admire the figure of the charming French cultural attaché, would actually be thinking how to steal her credit card information, obtain a retinal scan, her email passwords and frequent flier number.....
These latest WikiLeaks files contains some 261,000,000 words - about 3,000 books. They display the entrails of the American Empire. As Israel Shamir wrote here last week, "The files show US political infiltration of nearly every country, even supposedly neutral states such as Sweden and Switzerland. US embassies keep a close watch on their hosts. They have penetrated the media, the arms business, oil, intelligence, and they lobby to put US companies at the head of the line."
And Assange? Hopefully he will have a long reprieve from premature burial. Ecuador offered him sanctuary until the US Embassy in Quito gave the president a swift command and the invitation was rescinded. Switzerland? Istanbul? Hmmm. As noted above, he should, at the least, view with caution women eagerly inviting his embraces and certainly stay away from overpasses, bridges, and open windows.
"Students across the US are protesting a public relations campaign that brings soldiers from the Israeli army to speak on campuses. These tours are an attempt to justify recent war crimes committed by the army and are coordinated by various organizations, the most well-known being the Zionist organization StandWithUs...."
".......The uproar over the leaks comes as the combined 16 US intelligence agencies are reportedly preparing to release a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) unanimously concluding Iran is not building nuclear weapons. Interesting coincidence, to say the least.
Washington sources say this NIE reconfirms the 2007 finding that Iran had ceased all development of nuclear arms four years earlier. Before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, CIA and UN reports that Saddam Hussein’s regime had no weapons of mass destruction were ignored or covered up by the White House, which was racing toward war.
Now, a fierce struggle over the next NIE is raging in Washington between groups urging war against Iran and the US intelligence community and Pentagon. There are still officials in Washington who put America’s national interests first and resist bending to political pressure or financial inducements.
The upright Adm. Dennis Blair, the last US national intelligence director, was ousted because he refused to endorse claims Iran was making nuclear weapons.
President Barack Obama appears to have ducked this explosive issue. Politically wounded and unable to fully control all the levers of presidential power, Obama seems unwilling or unable to stand up to Israel’s powerful partisans as the war drums beat ever louder.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is at least doing in part what America’s elected leaders and supposed free media should have been doing: telling citizens what’s really going on. Let’s see what other squirmy secrets will be exposed when the next rock is turned over."
The Guardian, Saturday 4 December 2010
"There have been various suggestions as to what to do to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, after a week in which his revelations have severely embarrassed US diplomacy. Tom Flanagan, a former aide to the Canadian prime minister, called for his assassination, and then regretted his glib remark. Mike Huckabee said that those found guilty of leaking the cables should be executed for putting national security at risk. You would expect a future Republican presidential candidate to say that. But a Democrat administration is close behind. A team from the justice department and the Pentagon are exploring whether to charge Mr Assange under the Espionage Act. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has said this is not sabre-rattling. Are they all about to turn into minions of which Richard Nixon would have been proud?
More insidious than that was the complacent yawn emanating from from sections of the liberal commentariat for which freedom of information is a given. So what's new about the Gulf Arab Sunnis wanting America or Israel to bomb Iran, or Colonel Gaddafi's taste for blonde Ukrainian nurses, or Nicolas Sarkozy being described as mercurial and authoritarian, they sneer. Maybe for them, nothing is new. Would that we all could be so wise. But for large areas of the world which do not have the luxury of being able to criticise their governments, the revelations about the private thoughts of their own leaders are important.....
The cables are more than just embarrassing. They reveal the gap that has opened in some parts of the world, like Yemen, between Hillary Clinton's stated aims to fight terrorism and spread democracy around the world, and the means her country uses to do this. In Yemen's case, US air strikes against al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula in December 2009 killed dozens of civilians along with wanted jihadis. The means to the end involves dealing with Yemen's "bizarre and petulant" president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who told General David Petraeus, then head of US Central Command, that he and his ministers would continue to lie to their country that American bombs were theirs. If anything will turn Yemen into a facsimile of the tribal belt in Pakistan, this will. Saleh has warned that his country is on the brink of becoming Somalia......"
Robert Booth and Ian Black
guardian.co.uk, Friday 3 December 2010
"Yemen's long-serving president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, emerges from the US embassy cables as a perplexing partner in the "war on terror" who flits from disdain for the Americans to congeniality while all the time wrestling to keep a lid on the simmering tensions in a country that he warns is on the brink of becoming "worse than Somalia".
Also See This:
WikiLeaks cables: Yemen offered US 'open door' to attack al-Qaida on its soil Dispatches reveal president's secret deal to let US launch missile attacks on Aqap, but claim it as Yemen's own work
"Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is ecstatic. He has come to the conclusion that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, revealing that the Saudis privately favour a military strike on Iran, has vindicated Israel's hawkish stance. With Saudi Arabia aboard the war train, how can it possibly be derailed?
Of course, he is totally wrong. The revelation that the Saudi royals agree with the Israeli position adds exactly nothing to the case for war. The House of Saud? Whom exactly do they speak for? Not even the Saudi people, let alone anybody else in the Muslim world. In fact, the Saudi endorsement could be the kiss of death for Netanyahu's plans....."
"Yemen's president secretly offered US forces access to his country to take on al-Qaeda, according to the latest diplomatic cables released by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Ali Abdullah Saleh told John Brennan, the US president's deputy national security adviser, that the US had an "open door on terrorism" in Yemen, according to reports in The Guardian and The New York Times on Friday.
"I have given you an open door on terrorism. So I am not responsible," Saleh told Brennan back in September 2009, the papers reported......"
(Murr, right, reportedly said Israel should desist from bombing Christian areas while attacking Hezbollah.)
Contributed by Zarathustra
"Lebanon's defence minister offered advice to Israel in 2008 on how they might defeat Hezbollah, the Shia group based in southern Lebanon, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The memo, published in Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, showed Elias Murr telling US officials that areas under Hezbollah control would not receive Lebanese forces' protection from attacks.
"If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hezbollah's problem,'' Murr reportedly said....."
Abbas threatens to dissolve PA, Again, and Again, and...But Don't Believe the Traitor. The Decision is Not His; Hillary Decides.
"Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has said that if no peace deal can be agreed with Israel and the international community cannot approve a Palestinian state, he may dissolve his governing body....."
Friday, December 3, 2010
وذكرت وسائل اعلام اسرائيلية أن أردوغان نقل تعازيه لنتنياهو لمصرع 41 اسرائيلياً في الحريق، وابدى استعداد حكومته تقديم المزيد من المساعدة لإسرائيل.
وقال نتنياهو في المحادثة: "نحن نقدر مساعدتكم وأنا واثق من ان هذه الحادثة قد تكون ثغرة لتحسين العلاقات بين الدولتين".
وأجرى نتنياهو اليوم جولة في منطقة الحرائق وزار المصابين في المستشفيات في حيفا.
وشكر نتنياهو في حديثه مع الصحافيين الرئيس الروسي ميدفيديف ورئيس الوزراء فلاديمير بوتين، والشعب الروسي على الإستجابة السريعة لطلب المساعدة.
With Amy Goodman
"WikiLeaks is coming under attack from all sides. The U.S. government and embassies around the world are criticizing the whistleblowing group for releasing a massive trove of secret state department cables.The WikiLeaks website is struggling to stay at home just days after Amazon pulled the site from its servers following political pressure. The State Department has blocked all its employees from accessing the site and is warning all government employees not to read the cables, even at home. "These attacks will not stop our mission, but should be setting off alarm bells about the rule of law in the United States," said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. We host a debate between Steven Aftergood, a leading transparency advocate who has become a leading critic of WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com...."
"To some he is a traitor. To others he is the tool of a subtle propaganda campaign hatched by a spy agency. But what Julian Assange is really up to with WikiLeaks is more radical: crashing the carefully maintained information system that dominates our lives with its lies.....
And then there's the conspiracy that didn't happen: how come the Pentagon, for all its ultra-high-tech savvy ways, has not been willing, or able, to completely shut down WikiLeaks?
There's thunderous chatter everywhere on WikiLeaks' "motives" for releasing these cables. We just need to go back to Assange's thinking to realize there's no "motive". The intellectual void and political autism of America's diplomats is self-evident; they can only "understand" the Other: the world in terms of good guys and bad guys. The great French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard is 80 this Friday. How fresh if he would shoot a remake of Made in USA, now featuring the perplexity of the system as it contemplates its reflection in a giant, digital mirror. "
by Justin Raimondo, December 03, 2010
"I love how the pundits are yawning over the latest WikiLeaks revelations: oh, there’s nothing to see here, it’s all so boring, no "smoking gun," so let’s just move right along. These people are just plain lazy: they want "scoops" delivered to their front doors, all neatly packaged and labeled as such. In short, they don’t want to have to do any work, beyond the usual cut-and-paste. Which is why a lot of the really juicy stuff coming out of WikiLeaks continues to elude them.
Take, for example, this excerpt from a cable dated May 15, 2009 — entitled "Israel, A Promised Land for Organized Crime?" – sent by our embassy in Tel Aviv, which deals with the rising influence of Israeli organized crime:
"As recently as March 2009, Zvika Ben Shabat, Yaacov Avitan, and Tzuri Roka requested visas to attend a ‘security-related convention’ in Las Vegas. According to local media reports, all three had involvement with OC. Post asked the applicants to provide police reports for any criminal records in Israel, but without such evidence there is no immediate ineligibility for links to OC. Luckily, all three have so far failed to return for continued adjudication of their applications. Nevertheless, it is fair to assume that many known OC figures hold valid tourist visas to the United States and travel freely."
What are organized crime figures doing showing up at a "security-related convention" in Las Vegas?......."
".....In his seminal, Anatomy of a War, the historian Gabriel Kolko says that the party of Ho Chi Minh enjoyed "success as a social movement based largely on its response to peasant desires." He now says that its surrender to the "free market" is a betrayal. His disillusion is understandable, but the need to internationalize a war-ruined country was desperate, along with building a counterweight to China, the ancient foe. Unlike China, and despite the new Gucci emporiums in the center of Hanoi and Saigon, the Vietnamese have not yet gone all the way with the brutalities of "tiger" or crony capitalism. Since 1985, the rate of malnutrition among children has almost halved. And tens of thousands of those who fled in boats have quietly returned without "a single case of victimization," according to the EU official who led the assistance program in 1995. In many parts of the country, forests are rising again and the sound of birds and the rustle of wildlife are heard again, thanks to a re-greening program initiated during the war by Professor Vo Quy of Vietnam National University in Hanoi....."
(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)
"From the very large photo dominating page nine of the New York Times of Nov. 29, you can just tell from the look on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s face, not to mention the endless ranks of military officers standing in rows behind him, that Iran is determined to build a nuclear weapon. Anyone can tell. It’s obvious, right?
Never mind the doubting Thomases in those 16 U.S. intelligence agencies who — this time at least — have been demanding actual evidence before reversing their "high confidence" three years ago that Iran had stopped work on the warhead in the fall of 2003 and their belief that the work hadn’t resumed.
But can’t everyone tell from the defiant look on Ahmadinejad’s face that the Iranian president is a menace to us all?
I know someone will ask about those 19 advanced missiles Iran supposedly bought from North Korea. After all, we have a photo of them in a parade in North Korea, which proves this "mystery missile" really exists — despite some missile experts believing the North Koreans were just wheeling around a mock-up of the missile, not the real thing.
But the missiles — or the mock-ups — still looked real enough to be cited by the likes of Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman to highlight the grave threat from Iran......"
"02/12/2010 Al-Akhbar newspaper started on Thursday to release texts of correspondences between the American embassy in Beirut and the US Department of State in Washington concerning political and security details being published on the Wikileaks website. [See link that was posted on PP yesterday]
“The scandalous details of the meetings that took place between the US ambassador in Lebanon and Former Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications and Lebanese Defense Minister Elias el-Murr unveil they were collaborating with a foreign side like informers instigating against other Lebanese side without limits,” the daily said. It also revealed that if the list of expenses which was spent by Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman in Beirut was uncovered, “then one can understand the reason behind these officials’ enthusiasm and immoderation in submitting information to the US embassy.”
Al-Akhbar said that these documents prove the extent of politicization in the UN investigation in the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri. “It also proves the internal involvement in the open war on Hezbollah and [Free Patriotic Movement leader] General Michel Aoun and the West’s indifference in anything in Lebanon except what is related with Israel’s security,” it added.
The daily ended up by saying that “who wants to look into these documents should be ready first to accept that the majority of governments in our Arab World are ready to sell anything in order to stay in its power place… and then they tell you about freedom sovereignty and independence.”"
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 December 2010
"Lebanese politicians and the media have already reacted nervously to the leaked US state department cables, so the further revelation of U2 spy flights targeting Hizbullah will fuel mounting domestic tension.
Beirut has been for weeks expecting trouble over members of the Shia organisation due to be indicted in the 2005 murder of the former prime minister, Rafiq al-Hariri, above. Al-Akhbar, a pro-Hizbullah paper, today openly accused western-aligned politicians of being "informers" and collaborators in their dealings with US diplomats, as reported in the Wikileaks cables.
Nadim Shehadi, at London's Chatham House thinktank, called the Guardian's revelations of the secret US Cedar Wind flights from UK bases on Cyprus "sensational", since the cables suggest that they were authorised by the Lebanese ministry of defence alone and not the entire government. Britain's reservations about the spy flights were based in part on this aspect.
Furthermore, most Lebanese would assume that any intelligence gathered by the US on Hizbullah would be passed on to Israel, he added. "In the Lebanese context, that assumption is a certainty. People are already talking about preparations for the next war between Israel and Hizbullah."
Saad al-Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister, has already had to deny reports based on the leaked cables that he urged the United States to "go all the way" in stopping Iran's nuclear programme in August 2006."
Thursday, December 2, 2010
(Scroll down for more new posts)
"فاجأنا السيد اسماعيل هنية رئيس حكومة حركة 'حماس' في قطاع غزة بتصريحاته التي ادلى بها يوم امس وجدد فيها موافقته على قيام دولة فلسطينية على الاراضي التي احتلتها اسرائيل في حزيران (يونيو) عام 1967، مثلما فاجأتنا اكثر تأكيداته لمجموعة من الصحافيين الاجانب الذين زاروا قطاع غزة، ان حركة المقاومة الاسلامية ستقبل بعرض اي اتفاق تتوصل اليه السلطة في رام الله مع اسرائيل على استفتاء شعبي، وستلتزم بنتائجه حتى لو جاءت متعارضة مع قناعات حماس السياسية.
مصدر المفاجأة هو توقيت صدور هذه التصريحات، والرسالة المراد توصيلها من خلالها، وما يمكن ان يترتب عليها من انعكاسات سلبية على الحركة نفسها التي ينطق باسمها السيد هنية.
انها ليست المرة الاولى التي توافق فيها 'حماس' على قيام دولة فلسطينية ذات سيادة وعاصمتها القدس على الاراضي المحتلة عام 1967، ولكنها المرة الاولى التي تقبل فيها الحركة بإجراء استفتاء حول اي اتفاق تتوصل اليه سلطة رام الله.
فالسيد هنية لم يذكر ان هذه الدولة ستكون في اطار 'الهدنة' التي تعرضها حركة 'حماس' على الاسرائيليين والمحددة بفترة زمنية محددة اي عشرين او اربعين عاما، كما انه لم يؤكد على طرح حركته الذي يقول بتحرير الاراضي الفلسطينية من البحر الى النهر، اللهم الا اذا كانت الاخبار التي وزعتها وكالات الانباء الغربية جاءت مجتزأة، وهذا ممكن على اي حال.
والأهم من ذلك هو ثقة السيد هنية المطلقة بالسلطة في رام الله في التوصل الى اتفاق مرض للشعب الفلسطيني من خلال اسلوبها التفاوضي اولا، وعرض هذا الاتفاق على الشعب الفلسطيني في استفتاء شعبي نزيه. ثم اي شعب فلسطيني سيشارك في هذا الاستفتاء، هل هو الجزء المقيم منه في الضفة والقطاع فقط، ام المقيمون في المنافي ايضا ويمثلون النسبة الاكبر اي ما يعادل الثلثين؟ ثم ما هي آليات الاستفتاء في الحالة الثانية؟
تصريحات السيد هنية جاءت في زمن توقفت فيه المفاوضات، وانهارت العملية التفاوضية بالكامل، وتبخر حل الدولتين، وتراجعت الولايات المتحدة راعية العملية السلمية عن اي ضغط على حكومة اليمين الاسرائيلي المتطرف، بعد ان قوبلت جميع اغراءاتها وحوافزها واستجداءاتها بتجميد الاستيطان بالرفض المهين.
لا نعرف لماذا يتعجل السيد هنية وحركته بتقديم مثل هذه 'المرونة' في المكان الخطأ، ودون ان يطلب أحد ذلك، فهل هي رسالة للولايات المتحدة لفتح حوار مع الحركة، واعتمادها كخيار بديل للسلطة؟ ثم ما هو الفرق بين حركة 'حماس' والسلطة في هذه الحالة؟
ندرك صعوبة الاوضاع في قطاع غزة في ظل الحصار الخانق، مثلما ندرك التهديدات الاسرائيلية المستمرة باجتياح القطاع، ولكننا نعتقد ان هذه 'المرونة' ربما تعطي نتائج عكسية على الحركة وتأييدها في الشارع الفلسطيني، حتى لو كانت من قبيل التكتيك والمناورة السياسية.
Courtesy of Angry Arab
تنشر «الأخبار» على موقعها ابتداءً من اليوم كلّ ما حصلت عليه حصراً من وثائق ويكيليكس التي
لم تُنشر بعد، والمتعلّقة بمجموعة من الدول العربية (مصر، العراق، المغرب، تونس، ليبيا، الجزائر، موريتانيا، ولبنان). وتنشر النسخة الورقية من عدد «الأخبار» اليوم ترجمات من الوثائق اللبنانية، على أن تتم نشر ترجمة لمجموعة أخرى من الوثائق ابتداءاً من الغد.
NOTE: All the documents are in English.
■ لبنان Lebanon
■ ليبيا Libya
■ تونس Tunisia
■ العراق Iraq
■ المغرب Morocco
■ موريتانيا Mauritania
■ مصر Egypt
"The legal pressure on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is mounting. We ask: How long can Julian Assange hide? And under what law can he be prosecuted? "
With Amy Goodman
"Despite sustained denials by the Pentagon, the leaked cables from WikiLeaks confirm that U.S. military Special Operations forces have been secretly working with the Pakistani military to conduct offensive operations and coordinate drone strikes in the areas near the Afghan border. A U.S. embassy cable from October of 2009 states, "These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil.” The cables confirm aspects of a story about the covert U.S. war in Pakistan published in The Nation magazine last year by investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill......"
With Amy Goodman
"As the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks continues to publish secret U.S. diplomatic cables, its founder Julian Assange is facing international arrest over allegations in Sweden. In the U.S., Attorney General Eric Holder has announced WikiLeaks is the target of a criminal probe and some politicians have accused him of violating the Espionage Act. We speak to Assange’s attorney in London, Jennifer Robinson...."
"The timing of the Turkish Prime Minister’s two-day visit to Lebanon could not be more judicious. Lebanon’s enemies have been banging the drums of war louder than ever before. All the malevolent plans hatched following the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri are about to converge for one formidable goal: to destabilize and weaken Lebanon, disarm Hezbollah and allow Israel to return, uncontested, and wreck havoc on the tiny country, the way it remorselessly did in 1982.
The Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Edrogan seemed clear in his intentions during his Lebanon trip. But considering what is at stake, maybe he wasn’t clear enough.....
Now Turkey has appeared in the picture. A new and solid card, it perhaps has the power to change the rules of this painfully predictable game. Israel, in response, is trying to undermine the risk. On November 26, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Israel’s strategy to circumvent Turkey by warming up to and upgrading ties with various Balkan countries: Cyprus, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia. It is just a matter of replacing financial and political losses in one place with gains in another, according to Israel’s straightforward calculations.
But Turkey can prove Israel’s estimate wrong. However, promises that Turkey will no longer stand idle as children and women are killed no longer suffice. Israel seems unmoved by words, perhaps betting on Turkey’s military and economic ties to the West. If Turkey is indeed serious, it must reveal some of its cards, and send a clear message to those fanning the flames: that 2010 is not 1982; that Lebanon will no longer be testing grounds for Israel’s and US lethal weapons; that the times have changed for real. Lebanon and the Middle East are counting on Turkey, not as a wild card, but as a true and lasting friend. "
Jewish Federation of New Mexico's response to my UNM lecture vindicates BDS for justice in Palestine
By Ali Abunimah
"The New Mexico Jewish Link, the official organ of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico (JFNM) carries a lengthy article by Sam Sokolove, the organization's head, denouncing the November 7 speech I gave at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque (December 2010 issue, p.4 of the PDF)
Mr. Sokolove, you may recall, was at the forefront of a failed effort -- in which I was likened to a member of the KKK -- to have several UNM departments withdraw their endorsement for my lecture, which was attended by hundreds of people. Sokolove himself apparently did not bother to show up.
So naturally Sokolove addresses almost nothing of what I actually said.....
What Mr. Sokolove fears is the growth of support for BDS, especially among Jewish Americans. It is only in the context of trying to stave off this growing movement for justice and equality, that he is willing to acknowledge what he euphemistically calls "some bad Israeli policies."
BDS, we must always remember, is not an end in itself. It's a set of tactics -- like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, or the boycott of apartheid South Africa -- that is intended to bring about real change for the better. In this case, the goal is to end Israel's occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, end Israel's systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel and ensure full respect for the inalienable human rights of Palestinian refugees......"
"A former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer has written a well reasoned op-ed explaining that throwing concessions and gifts to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in an attempt to obtain relatively minor concessions on his part is precisely the wrong policy to pursue. Kurtzer notes that the deal will be a major shift in policy "…the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years" and he asks "Does anyone really believe that there is a substantive connection between a three month settlement freeze and Israel’s professed need for more airplanes?"
The 39 congressmen who signed the Pollard letter might well first consider the failure of Israel to live up to its agreements before demanding yet another bribe to reward its bad behavior. Rather than attempting to appease Bibi Netanyahu and the kleptocrats who surround him, they should first think of what the United States national interest might be. They should be reminded that they do not represent Israel, having been elected by American voters and supported in their posturings by the long suffering US taxpayer. They should for once not seek more concessions for Israel but should instead demand that Tel Aviv comply with what it has agreed to do. If they cannot do that, they do not deserve to sit in the Congress of the United States of America."
AN EXCELLENT COMMENT
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 December 2010
"....Sarah Palin called for its founder Julian Assange to be hunted down as an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands", while former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has demanded that whoever leaked the files should be executed for treason. Not much truck with freedom of information, then, in the land of the free.....
When genuine checks on how it exercises that entirely undemocratic power are so weak at home, let alone in the rest of the world it still dominates, it's both inevitable and right that people everywhere will try to find ways to challenge and hold it to account....
Clinton complained this week that the leaks "tore at the fabric" of government and good relations between states. Far more damaging is her own instruction to ordinary US diplomats to violate the treaties the US government has itself signed and spy on UN officials, along with any other public figure they happen to meet: down to their credit card details, biometric records – and even frequent-flyer account numbers.....
But it is the relentless US mobilisation against Iran that provides the most ominous thread in the leaked despatches. The reports that the king of Saudi Arabia has called on the US to "cut off the head of the snake" and launch what would be a catastrophic attack on Tehran, echoed by his fellow potentates in Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain – and, of course, most dangerously by Israel – were yesterday hailed by the Times as evidence of a new "international consensus" against Iran.
It is nothing of the sort. It simply underlines the fact that after more than half a century the US still has to rely on laughably unrepresentative autocracies and dictatorships to shore up its domination of the Middle East and its resources. While Arab emirs and election-rigging presidents fear the influence of Iran and only wearily bring themselves to raise the Palestinians with their imperial sponsors, their people regard Israel and the US itself as the threats to their security and strongly support Iran's nuclear programme – as the most recent US-conducted poll in the region demonstrated......
....and that Yemen's president Abdullah Saleh felt it necessary to tell General Petraeus this year that he would carry on lying about US military operations against jihadists in his country – "we'll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours" – only emphasises how weak and illegitimate US props and allies are across the Muslim world......
Manning is reported to have said that the latest leaks show how "the first world exploits the third". But they also cast a powerful light on how the US empire has begun to flounder as the post-cold war unipolar moment has passed, former dependable client states like Turkey go their own way and independent regional powers such as China start to make their global presence felt.
By making available Washington's own account of its international dealings WikiLeaks has opened some of the institutions of global power to scrutiny and performed a democratic service in the process...."
A GOOD COMMENT
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 December 2010
"Covering Egypt's parliamentary elections this week was a surreal experience. There was, for example, the polling station where security officials cut the power to prevent us seeing stuffed ballot boxes, only for opposition candidates to light burning torches and lead us self-righteously into the darkness.
• 'He owes the greengrocer money too,' says victim
Martin Chulov in Baghdad
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 1 December 2010
"The plump, smooth-talking stranger hailing himself as a patriot and liberator should have been enough reason for caution. And if that didn't ring alarm bells, a check of his name, Rafid Ahmed Alwan, through any internet search engine most definitely would have.
But neither instinct nor due diligence managed to stop the man the world knows as Curveball from swindling yet another government earlier this year – this time his own – in a $10,000 scam that reveals how little he has changed since his false claims helped the US come up with a pretext to invade Iraq almost eight years ago.
The return to notoriety of Curveball began in September last year when an unassuming member of Iraq's National Reconciliation Commission, Fa'al Niema Thehieb, took a call from an expatriate, now living in Germany, who said he wanted to return home to form a political party that could help the re-election campaign of Nouri al-Maliki.
The caller was Curveball, the most infamous of all Iraqi defectors in the lead-up to the 2003 war...."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Jewish & Democratic: 33% of Israeli Jews think Arabs should be placed in internment camps in the event of a war
"Targeting Iran's nuclear programme seems to have become about targeting the brains behind it. A top Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed and Iran is, predictably, blaming Israel and the CIA. Are the motives as obvious as they seem? And who really stands to benefit from the attacks?"
"How would you behave after being abducted off the street and being locked up here for over a year? People are being detained in Concentration Camps in Iraq under deplorable conditions without being charged with any crime. Many have been there for a year or more and some are now both physically and mentally sick.
There are even children there as young as age 9!
In defense of children in these camps, the US Military personnel actually said..."but they have movie night."
It is claimed that sometimes relatives are grabbed and thrown in the camps when they come to visit. It would not take this happening to too many before people would be afraid to visit, thus depriving those detained from receiving visitation.
Surely some may have done wrong.
However, you cannot just round people up and throw them in a Concentration Camp without any charges...without any justice."
Leaked Cables Reveal U.S. Pressured Spain to Drop Case of Cameraman Killed in 2003 Attack on Journalists in Baghdad
With Amy Goodman
"Leaked U.S. embassy cables from Madrid reveal the United States pressured the Spanish government to close a court case brought by the family of a Spanish cameraman José Couso. Couso was killed in Baghdad when an U.S. Army tank fired on the Palestine Hotel, which was filled with journalists, on April 8, 2003. Three U.S. soldiers have been indicted in Spanish court for Couso’s death. "I am outraged," says Javier Couso, the brother of José Couso. "I can’t believe my government conspired with a foreign government … it seems we are citizens, or at least a small province, of the empire of the United States."....."
"NGO Monitor has launched a campaign targeting a Dutch foundation's financial support to The Electronic Intifada, accusing the publication among other things of "anti-Semitism." NGO Monitor is an extreme right-wing group with close ties to the Israeli government, military, West Bank settlers, a man convicted of misleading the US Congress, and to notoriously Islamophobic individuals and organizations in the United States.
NGO Monitor's campaign of public defamation against The Electronic Intifada has focused on a grant the publication receives from the Dutch foundation ICCO. NGO Monitor has pressured the Dutch government, which subsidizes ICCO, to end its support for The Electronic Intifada. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has apparently already lent public credence to NGO Monitor's campaign against The Electronic Intifada, an independent publication established in February 2001 and read by thousands daily.
NGO Monitor's attack on The Electronic Intifada is part of a well-financed, Israeli-government endorsed effort to silence reporting about and criticism of Israel by attacking so-called "delegitimizers" -- those who speak about well-documented human rights abuses, support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), or promote full equality for Palestinians. Last February, The Electronic Intifada reported that a leading Israeli think-tank had recommended a campaign of "sabotage" against Israel's critics as a matter of state policy ("Israel's new strategy: "sabotage" and "attack" the global justice movement," 16 February 2010)....."
"More than three years after Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in the north of Lebanon was destroyed, its reconstruction is finally under way. However, the process runs at a slow pace and remains only partially funded as further political obstacles appear on the horizon. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army continues to maintain a tight grip on the camp's residents and attempts to silence any criticism.
Anyone approaching the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp on the highway connecting the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli to the Syrian border can see it -- the first row of houses are four stories high. After three years of tough negotiations, countless obstacles and various delays, reconstruction is actually underway.
The master plan for the reconstruction of the camp was prepared in early 2008, only half a year after a 15-week battle between the Lebanese army and the non-Palestinian militant group Fatah al-Islam that left the camp totally devastated. The camp's 30,000 residents were displaced, some for the third or fourth time since they were expelled from Palestine by Zionist militias in 1948 -- what Palestinians call the Nakba.
"CAIRO, Dec 1, 2010 (IPS) - The U.S. has rejected an Egyptian proposal for a "confederation" between northern and southern Sudan, insisting that a Jan. 9 referendum - which will determine the fate of the south - go ahead as scheduled. According to Egyptian analysts, the move proves Washington's determination to see Africa's largest country split in two....."
November 30, 2010
A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.
The Russians provided a comprehensive argument challenging the very existence of the mystery missile that the U.S. claims Iran acquired from North Korea. But readers of the two leading U.S. newspapers never learned those key facts about the document.
The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles - supposedly called the BM-25 - from North Korea. Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the U.S. view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the U.S. side....."
by Justin Raimondo, December 01, 2010
"Rep. Peter King characterizes WikiLeaks as a “terrorist” organization, but who’s the real terrorist-supporter? Wasn’t it Rep. King who signed a statement of support for the “National Council of Resistance,” a front for the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), which appears on the State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations? The MEK has killed American diplomatic personnel, and is described as a fanatic cult by many observers: its supporters, who adhere to a weird combination of Marxism and Islam, were succored by Saddam Hussein in Iraq before the US invasion, where they still persist (under US guard) to this day......
The smear campaign against Assange is a disgrace, and good for him for walking out of an interview when his interlocutor insisted on pursuing the “rape” angle. And bravo for making the New York Times go to the Guardian for the cables: that Times “profile” of Assange was another in a long series of smear pieces that have appeared in our court press with suspicious regularity. This is the price some “journalists” pay for access to the corridors of power, and they’re not only willing but downright eager to pay it. Jobs in journalism are hard to come by these days.
One thing I personally appreciate about the WikiLeaks mega-dump is that it provides me with plenty to write about for the next few years, at least. There is so much material here that one could hardly hope to cover it all, and pick up all the little gems that are just waiting to be discovered by the avid researcher. For some time to come I’ll be mining this rich lode – rich with meaning, and heavy with lessons for critics of the interventionist foreign policy consensus. "
"The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, has given his backing to Wikileaks.
Speaking to BBC World Service, Mr Ellsberg disagreed with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement that the latest leaks could endanger lives.
"That's a script that they role out every time there's a leak of any sort," he said.
It is not leaks, but "silences and lies" that put peoples' lives in danger, he believes...."
كل ما هناك فصيلان متصارعان، وعودهما بالمصالحة كاذبة، لأن جوهر خلافهما لا يعدو أن يكون على السلطة!
وفصائل مسكينة لا حضور لهان ولا وزن ولا شأن، تقول كلاما أكبر منها، لا يأخذه أحد على محمل الجد!
وفلسطين تضيع تضيع تضيع.. وشعبها حائر، متوّه، لا مرجعية، ولا دليل يرود الطريق ويصيح: اتبعوني.
دليل لا يبهره لون السجّاد الأحمر، ولا يخيفه اللون الأحمر الذي ينزفه المدلجون إلى فجر فلسطين وحريتها التي لا تدّق إلاّ باليّد المضرّجة ..كما يقول أحمد شوقي
ونحن شعب فلسطين لم ننل المنى، بل ضُللنا، تُوّهنا، وأخذنا إلى مسالك الضلال والتيه، وفقط يفوز مؤقتا بعض السفهاء الذين لا تشغلهم سوى مكاسبهم، وسلامتهم الشخصيّة والأسرية، وتوريث الأبناء والبنات والأصهار ملايين سرقت من دم شعب، ومن طهر أرض، ومن مقدسات لا قداسة لها عندهم!
يكتب روبرت فيسك بشرف ونزاهة ضمير وحسرة، بعد أن يسوق حقائق عمّا تقدمه إدارة أوباما من رشى بالمليارات، ومن طائرات لحكومة نتينياهو مقابل التوقف عن الاستيطان لثلاثة أشهر، مع استثناء القدس: وداعا لك يا فلسطين!...
بينما يواصل صحفيون وكتّاب فلسطينيون تدليسهم على شعبهم، فيروّجون لأوهام الدولة، وينظّرون لقيادة فقدت البوصلة، رغم أن الاحتلال الاستيطاني وصل أسوار بيوتهم في رام الله، ونابلس، والخليل، وبيت لحم، وطولكرم، وجنين، وهم يكتبون انطلاقا من شعار جحا: حادت عن ظهري بسيطة!
انتهى الدرس يا أغبياء!
لا دولة، ولا سلطة.. فكل شيء للاحتلال الصهيوني، وما أنتم سوى ( طراطير) أو ( نواطير) تترصدون أصحاب الكرم، وتنحازون للثعالب!
هل نقول: وداعا يا فلسطين؟!
"01/12/2010 John Bolton is mulling a run for president because he believes the US needs to recover its international standing and be more assertive, including being willing to bomb Iran and scrap the two-state solution, according to Jerusalem Post.
“Both our friends and our adversaries alike have assessed this as a very weak administration, uncomfortable with asserting American interests or defending them, particularly through the use of force internationally,” Bolton told The JPost in an interview Tuesday.
“To raise national security back into the center of the debate – which is where I think it belongs – it could well take a presidential candidacy, because that is what helps focus people’s attention on these issues and that’s why I’m thinking of doing it.”....."
"Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange said, "should resign." Speaking over Skype from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, the WikiLeaks founder was replying to a question by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel over the diplomatic-cable dump that Assange's organization loosed on the world this past weekend. Stengel had said the U.S. Secretary of State was looking like "the fall guy" in the ensuing controversy, and had asked whether her firing or resignation was an outcome that Assange wanted. "I don't think it would make much of a difference either way," Assange said. "But she should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that."....."