Saturday, February 19, 2011

Carlos Latuff: Bahrain King orders killing of civilians

Group Rate, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Hundreds killed/Injured in Libya

Libyan forces have reportedly opened fire at a funeral in the eastern city of Benghazi, killing at least 15 people and injuring scores more as protests against Muammar Gaddafi, the country's long-time ruler, continued.
The victims on Saturday were mourning the loss of protesters who had been killed during anti-government demonstrations in the city during the past week, witnesses told Al Jazeera.
Reports of the deaths came after Human Rights Watch said earlier on Saturday that 84 people had died over the past three days.
A doctor in Benghazi told Al Jazeera that he had seen 70 bodies at the city's hospital on Friday.
"I have seen it on my own eyes: At least 70 bodies at the hospital," Wuwufaq al-Zuwail, a physician, said. Al-Zuwail said that security forces had also prevented ambulances reaching the site of the protests.
Ahmed, a businessman and resident of Benghazi who declined to give his real name for his own safety, told Al Jazeera that hospitals in the city were overwhelmed with the number of dead and injured and were running out of blood.
"It's a big, big massacre. We've never heard of anything like this before. It's horrible," he said.

Al-Jazeera Video: Pleas for Benghazi amid deadly protests

Al-Jazeera Video: Eye witness account from Libyan town Benghazi

Al-Jazeera Video: Algerian police break up crowd at pro-reform rally‎

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Bahrain on the brink

Al-Jazeera Video: US balancing act on Bahrain

Al-Jazeera Video: Night protest in Benghazi, Libya

Al-Jazeera Video: Bahraini protesters fired upon

Real News Video with Transcript: Day Of Rage And Massive Protests Across Middle East

Nader Hashemi: Brutal repression in Bahrain, Libya,Yemen and Iran; Hundreds of thousands in Cairo as struggle continues

More at The Real News

Dictators are "Disposable": The Rise and Fall of America's Military Henchmen

History Repeats Itself? From the "King of Java" to the Pharaoh of Egypt

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research

"From Suharto to Mubarak: History Repeats Itself?

President Suharto of Indonesia was deposed following mass protests in May 1998.

The Western media in chorus pointed to "democratization": the "King of Java" had been deposed by mass protests, much in the same way as Hosni Mubarak, described by today's media as "The Pharaoh of Egypt".....

Egypt: US Sponsored Coup d'Etat?

In Egypt, following Mubarak's demise, the military machine prevails. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt’s defense minister, commander in chief of the Armed Forces and since February 11, 2011 head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, is the de facto Head of State, the Vice presidency is held by Omar Suleiman. Both men are US appointees.

Tantawi has developed a longstanding relationship to the US military, at the highest levels
, from the time when he was in command of allied forces during the Gulf war in 1991. Ahmed Shafik, a former commander in Chief of the Air Force occupies the position of Prime Minister.

The military not only has the mandate to implement democracy, several opposition leaders including Mohammed Al Baradei have called upon the Egyptian population to support the military.

The US supported civil society opposition (which includes Kefaya, the April 6 Movement) is in liaison with both the military and the US embassy.......

Both Suleiman and Tantawi, now in charge of "the transition to democracy" on behalf of the protest movement, are Washington's new military henchmen. So much for democracy. Both men are responsible for carrying out torture on behalf of the CIA under the agency's "extraordinary rendition" program.....

Washington is the puppetmaster, which controls both the military machine as well as Egypt's civil society opposition. The terms of "negotiation" between the representatives of the protest movement and the military have already been determined in Washington DC.

The US funded civil society and youth organizations have betrayed the grassroots movement. "

Dark humour in a time of dictatorship


By Robert Fisk

"....Out from a paper bag at the back of the shop came a portrait of the great man, father of Egypt's real independence struggle, hero of 1919 when the Egyptian people – secular and religious, Muslim and Copt, men and women together – rose up in street demonstrations and industrial strikes to demand their freedom from Britain. It sounds familiar. It should. Here is a quotation from Mohammed Rifaat's Awakening of Modern Egypt which could have been written by any of us these past three weeks.

"The Revolution emblem of the Crescent embracing the Cross, which was held high overhead in their processions and funerals, in Mosques and Churches, had demonstrated ever since the union between the national elements of the nation ... during the Revolution, with their brothers, husbands and men folk out during the revolt demonstrating, and exposing themselves ... to the severest penalty, women couldn't help but play their part in the men's struggle for liberty and independence."

I saw the banners of Crescent and Cross in Tahrir Square last week – forgetting its almost 100-year-old historical antecedent – and reading Rifaat's account is like running the original black and white version of a movie. The spread of strikes across Egypt, the cutting of railway lines, the brutality of repression – by British soldiers in 1919, using live rounds rather than the coshes and tear gas of Mubarak's goons – was an almost fingerprint perfect copy of what would happen in Cairo almost a century later. And in 1919, American President Woodrow Wilson even did an Obama. Instead of supporting the Egyptian democrats and adhering to his gospel of self-determination for all races, he immediately recognised the British protectorate over Egypt.......

....What possessed La Clinton – and Obama – to tolerate him through the first two weeks of the new Egyptian revolution? As a frequent visitor to Washington, I think I can understand. For the US presidency and State Department and the Pentagon are now so in thrall to everything Israeli that Israeli intelligence – which, for its own reasons, wanted to keep Mubarak as dictator – carries more weight than US diplomatic reports or America's own intelligence files.....

....Truly, the Americans are all at sea. Just as they were in Tunisia....

Yet the farce of dictatorship – for the black humour of the dreadful regimes that have humiliated the Arab world for so many years has a strong flavour of terrible comedy about it – continues. Could there, for example, have been a more dreadful symbol of this dark world than the 19-year-old Syrian girl dragged into a special security court in Syria this week – chained and blindfolded, for heaven's sake – to be sentenced for using the internet to "reveal information to a foreign power that should remain secret"? Her real crime was to ask for a role in shaping the future of her country and to complain that Obama should do more for Palestinians. Wearing trousers and a wool hat – Syrian prisons do not have central heating – she was given a five-year prison sentence. Obama, of course, maintained a mouse-like silence.

Just as he did when Egyptian police stole US embassy cars in Cairo and used them to drive down demonstrators in the streets. Only when video footage revealed the identity of the vehicles did the embassy sneakily admit that the armoured cars had been stolen. It didn't tell us that at the time, needless to say, presumably because it didn't want to say that Mubarak's mobsters had stolen them....."

Robert Fisk in Bahrain: 'They didn't run away. They faced the bullets head-on'

After Egypt's revolution, the people [Except for the Palestinians] have lost their fear

""Massacre – it's a massacre," the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

A few feet away, six nurses were fighting for the life of a pale-faced, bearded man with blood oozing out of his chest. "I have to take him to theatre now," a doctor screamed. "There is no time – he's dying!"......

The demonstration at the hospital had already drawn thousands of Shia protesters – including hundreds of doctors and nurses from all over Manama, still in their white gowns – to demand the resignation of the Bahraini Minister of Health, Faisal Mohamed al-Homor, for refusing to allow ambulances to fetch the dead and injured from Thursday morning's police attack on the Pearl Square demonstrators.

But their fury turned to near-hysteria when the first wounded were brought in yesterday. Up to 100 doctors crowded into the emergency rooms, shouting and cursing their King and their government as paramedics fought to push trolleys loaded with the latest victims through screaming crowds.....

The staff felt that they too were victims. And they were right. Five ambulances sent to the street – yesterday's victims were shot down opposite a fire station close to Pearl Square – were stopped by the army. Moments later, the hospital discovered that all their mobile phones had been switched off. Inside the hospital was a doctor, Sadeq al-Aberi, who was himself badly hurt by the police when he went to help the wounded on Thursday morning.

Rumours burned like petrol in Bahrain yesterday and many medical staff were insisting that up to 60 corpses had been taken from Pearl Square on Thursday morning and that police were seen by crowds loading bodies into three refrigerated trucks. One man showed me a mobile phone snapshot in which the three trucks could be seen clearly, parked behind several army armoured personnel carriers. According to other demonstrators, the vehicles, which bore Saudi registration plates, were later seen on the highway to Saudi Arabia. It is easy to dismiss such ghoulish stories, but I found one man – another male nurse at the hospital who works under the umbrella of the United Nations – who told me that an American colleague, he gave his name as "Jarrod", had videotaped the bodies being put into the trucks but was then arrested by the police and had not been seen since....

But the heavy hand of Saudi Arabia may not be far away. The Saudis are fearful that the demonstrations in Manama and the towns of Bahrain will light equally provocative fires in the east of their kingdom, where a substantial Shia minority lives around Dhahran and other towns close to the Kuwaiti border. Their desire to see the Shia of Bahrain crushed as quickly as possible was made very clear at Thursday's Gulf summit here, with all the sheikhs and princes agreeing that there would be no Egyptian-style revolution in a kingdom which has a Shia majority of perhaps 70 per cent and a small Sunni minority which includes the royal family.....

And many in the crowd said – as the Egyptians said – that they had lost their fear of the authorities, of the police and army......

.....In the past, small Shia uprisings were ruthlessly crushed in Bahrain with the help of a Jordanian torturer and a senior intelligence factotum who just happened to be a former British Special Branch officer.....

A doctor who gave his name as Hussein stopped me leaving the emergency room because he wanted to explain his anger. "The Israelis do this sort of thing to the Palestinians – but these are Arabs shooting at Arabs," he bellowed above the din of screams and shouts of fury. "This is the Bahraini government doing this to their own people. I was in Egypt two weeks ago, working at the Qasr el-Aini hospitalbut things are much more fucked up here." "

Middle East: Ten days that shook the world

The echo of Egypt's revolution is rocking despotic regimes from Algiers to Damascus

The Guardian, Saturday 19 February 2011

"It is just one extraordinary week since the fall of the Egyptian president. For 30 years Hosni Mubarak had been the region's representative figure of the west's way of doing business. Like the ocean after an earthquake, the shock waves of his fall have grown in violence until now they are rocking despotic regimes from Algiers to Damascus.

Some of the UK's closest allies – old friends in Gulf states like Bahrain and new ones like Libya's Colonel Gaddafi – are brutally repressing protests, potentially using teargas and other material legitimately imported from British companies. This looks like a street-level Arab revolt, each uprising different in origin but all sharing the common denominator of youth and the inspiration of Tunis and Cairo relayed by text message and internet. The protesters are confronting rulers who have been courted by generations of western politicians. The result is an almost unprecedented challenge to postwar foreign policy. It demands a response which recognises that there will be no return to business as usual, and that the conversation can no longer be restricted to a narrow elite. It is time to substitute a new era of shared values for the old one of national interest......"

Libya and Bahrain protests – LIVE

• Dozens reported killed in deadly crackdowns
• Video shows Libya protester shot in head
• Iran opposition calls for more demonstrations
• Follow the latest developments as they happen

The Guardian

This page will update automatically every minute
Video: Night protest in Benghazi, Libya


Video: Al Bayda (2/18) - Protester shot in the head by Khamis Al-Gaddafi's battalion

انتصار فكرة الثورة../

د.جمال زحالقة

لقد أثبتت الثورة أنّ نظام الطغيان يسقط بالثورة، وبعدها يمكن الحديث بجدية عن ديمقراطية وحريات وعدالة واجتثاث الفساد وفصل السلطات. هذا الدرس تلقفته الشعوب العربية التي تعاني من نفس الأنظمة الشمولية، وهي لم تعد تقبل بها، وأصبحت أكثر استعداداً للثورة عليها. لقد انتصرت فكرة الثورة، أما إذا أرادت بعض الأنظمة أن تنقذ نفسها وتتفادى مصير مبارك وبن علي من خلال تنفيذ إصلاحات تستجيب لمصالح ومطالب الشعوب، فعليها أن تقوم بذلك بسرعة وأن تتحرك بجدية، فلم يعد سهلاً إقناع الشعوب بالانتقال التدريجي نحو الديمقراطية في إطار النظام القائم، وربما لم يعد ذلك ممكنناً أصلا.

إن انتصار الثورة في مصر تحديدًا، هو رسالة لكل الشعوب العربية بأن نهاية الطغيان ممكنة، فإذا سقط في مصر يمكن أن يسقط في كل بلد، إذا توفرت إرادة جماعية لإسقاطه، ولا حاجة لانتظار الانتقال المتدرج لإنهاء النظام

Three questions for Marwan Bishara

Our senior political analyst on US decision to veto UNSC draft resolution condemning Israel's illegal settlements.

Marwan Bishara


Does the US veto risk a backlash in the Arab world?

Washington's refusal to join the international community in affirming the applicability of international law in Palestine, could further alienate an Arab world already in turmoil.

In fact, it could add fuel to Arab anger and deepen disappointment at those crucial times.

But the Obama administration has been carefully balancing its options between angering Palestinians and Arabs or alienating Israel and pro-Israeli groups in the US.

Good to his reputation, the pragmatic president has opted for appeasing Israel and its friends.

When weighing in the costs and benefits of supporting such a resolution, the Obama administration seems to have concluded that angering Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, pales in comparison to angering Israeli premier Netanyahu and his allies in Washington and in Congress.

It's possible that Netanyahu will reciprocate by offering Obama a tactical compromise to ease the international pressure on both of their countries.

Whether this is in the US national interest or simply in the interests of politics as usual in Washington remains to be seen.

It's clear, however, that neither the Obama administration nor Congress have internalised the historical transformation sweeping through the Arab region.

Rather, it continues to deal with the Arabs and Palestinians with the same imperial mindset that long managed its relations with self-serving Arab dictators and clients, as if nothing has changed in the region."

Scores killed in Libya protests

Human Rights Watch says 84 people killed in past three days during rallies calling for ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.


"Security forces in Libya have killed scores of pro-democracy protesters in demonstrations demanding the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, the country's long time ruler.

Human Rights Watch said on Saturday that 84 people had died over the past three days.

A doctor in Benghazi told Al Jazeera that he had seen 70 bodies at the city's hospital on Friday in one of the harshest crackdowns against peaceful protesters thus far.

"I have seen it on my own eyes: At least 70 bodies at the hospital," said Wuwufaq al-Zuwail, a physician.

Al-Zuwail said that security forces had also prevented ambulances reaching the site of the protests.

The Libyan government has also blocked Al Jazeera TV signal in the country and people have also reported that the network's website is inaccessible from there...."

Yemen: End Deadly Attacks on Protesters

At Least 6 Dead, More Than 100 Injured, in 8 Days of Demonstrations

"New York) - President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen should immediately halt attacks by security forces on peaceful protesters and journalists and order an investigation into the deaths of at least six protesters since February 16, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks have also injured at least 100 people since February 11.

Pro-government groups who appeared to have support and assistance from uniformed security personnel have attacked peaceful protesters in Sanaa and Aden, witnesses told Human Rights Watch.

"The authorities should immediately rein in the security forces and disarm pro-government provocateurs," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "An independent and impartial investigation into the past week's events is needed, and government officials responsible for abuses should be prosecuted."......"

Libya: Security Forces Kill 84 Over Three Days

End Attacks on Peaceful Protesters

"(New York) - Government security forces have killed at least 84 people in three days of protests in several cities in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today, based on telephone interviews with local hospital staff and witnesses.

The Libyan authorities should immediately end attacks on peaceful protesters and protect them from assault by pro-government armed groups, Human Rights Watch said.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the eastern Libyan cities of Benghazi, Baida, Ajdabiya, Zawiya, and Derna on February 18, 2011, following violent attacks against peaceful protests the day before that killed 20 people in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in Derna. Hospital sources told Human Rights Watch that security forces killed 35 people in Benghazi on February 18, almost all with live ammunition.

"Muammar Gaddafi's security forces are firing on Libyan citizens and killing scores simply because they're demanding change and accountability," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Libyan authorities should allow peaceful protesters to have their say."

Muammar Gaddafi has ruled Libya for 42 years.........

"The Libyan government doesn't allow journalists and human rights monitors to work freely," said Stork. "But the world is watching what's happening, and abusive forces and their commanders can be held to account.""

أطحنا بغير المبارك فمتى سنغسل عارُنا في كامب ديفيد؟../

زهير أندراوس

"بعيدًا عن المشاعر الجياشّة والعواطف نقول بصراحة إننّا ما زلنا ننتظر رؤية إنجازات الثورة المصريّة على أرض الواقع،
الرئيس المخلوع، حسني مبارك، بات في خبر كان، ولكن مع ذلك، لا بدّ من الإشارة وبالبنط العريض إلى أنّ أحمد أبو الغيط، المتخصص في دبلوماسية تكسير الأيدي والأرجل بقي وزيرًا للخارجيّة في حكومة تصريف الأعمال، وهذا الوزير هو الذي هدد الشعب الفلسطينيّ المجوّع في قطاع غزة، بفعل الحصار المفروض عليه من قبل الدولة العبرية وبتواطؤ مصريّ بأنّ السلطات المصريّة ستلجأ للقوة المفرطة لصد الشعب الفلسطينيّ إذا تجرأ على اقتحام معبر رفح، المعبر الوحيد، الذي لم يُفتح إلا لمامًا، لا نعرف ماذا يفعل يتيم النظام البائد، أيْ وزير الخارجية، في الحكومة الانتقالية، ألمْ يجدوا شخصية أخرى مقبولة على الشعب وعلى الأمّة العربيّة، سوى أبو الغيط؟ فعلاوة على كونه شريكًا فعّالاً في التآمر على الشعب الفلسطينيّ وانحيازه غير المبرر للسلطة الفلسطينية، قاد أبو الغيط السياسة الخارجيّة المصريّة، وأوصلها إلى الدرك الأسفل، ففي عهده تقهقر الدور المصري وتحولّت هذه الدولة العربيّة من قوة إقليمية مؤثرة وفاعلة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط إلى مجرد لاعب ثانوي، والنظام انشغل من رأسه حتى أخمص قدميه في محاولات قمع الحريّات، مصر التي كانت في عهد عبد الناصر القوة المؤثرة والريادية في الشرق الأوسط وفي العالم الثالث، ولعبت دورًا بارزًا في منظمة دول عدم الانحياز، باتت في عهد السادات ومن بعده مبارك، وهو خير سلف لخير خلف، دولة تعيش على المعونات الأمريكيّة،
ولكي نكون أوضح من الأوضح، فإننّا نرى أنّه من الأهمية بمكان إعادة النظر في هذه الاتفاقية من الجانب المصري، وربّما حتى إلغائها، لأنّ العلاقات الدوليّة محكومة بموازين القوى، وفي حال أقدم النظام المصريّ على هذه الخطوة، فإنّه سيردع إسرائيل ويُعلّم معلمتها، أمريكا، درسًا في الكرامة، ناهيك عن أنّ إلغائها سيُقلل من عربدة إسرائيل المارقة، ويمنح الفلسطينيين متنفسًا من الابتزاز الإسرائيلي والأمريكي المستمر منذ أوسلو المشؤوم، مضافًا إلى ذلك، يجب أنْ نأخذ على محمل الجد بيان المجلس الأعلى للقوات المسلحة المصريّة والذي أعلن بشكلٍ غير قابلٍ للتأويل بأنّ مصر ستبقى ملتزمة بالاتفاقيات الإقليمية التي وقعّت عليها، بكلمات أخرى، حتى الانتخابات القادمة لن تقوم حكومة تسيير الأعمال بإلغاء الاتفاقية مع إسرائيل.
نحن على علمٍ بأنّه من السابق لأوانه تقييم إنجازات الثورة المصريّة العظيمة، ولكن نرى أنّ هناك العديد من القضايا الخارجيّة الملحة التي يجب أنْ تؤخذ بعين الاعتبار: إلغاء كامب ديفيد، تحسين العلاقة مع سورية، إعادة تقييم العلاقات مع إيران ومع تنظيمات المقاومة والممانعة في الوطن العربيّ وفوق كلّ ذلك، إعادة الوطن المسلوب للمواطن المقهور.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Carlos Latuff: Red Carpet for King of Bahrain

Syrian protesting "They Syrian people will not be humiliated"

Graphic video of Bahrain Military killing innocent unarmed peaceful protesters

Yemen development from Aljazeera

Mubarak, Take the Asshole With You .....
And Go to Jeddah....
Where Deposed Tyrants Go to Die.

(According to France 2, the deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has died in Saudi Arabia after falling into a coma two days ago.)

Libya protests: massacres reported as Gaddafi imposes news blackout

Opposition says 61 killed as diplomats report use of heavy weapons in Benghazi and rumours sweep the country

Ian Black and Owen Bowcott, Friday 18 February 2011

"Libyans have taken to the streets and buried their dead, accusing government forces of perpetrating massacres in Benghazi and other towns said to have been taken over by anti-regime protesters.

Opposition sources claimed that at least 61 protesters had been killed in three days of unprecedented unrest largely in Libya's impoverished eastern region, though it was not possible to confirm that figure.

Human Rights Watch reported that 24 people had been killed by Thursday.

Diplomats reported the use of heavy weapons in Benghazi, Libya's second city, and "a rapidly deteriorating situation" in the latest Arab country to be hit by serious unrest.

Amid a near-total official news blackout, fragmentary information and a ban on journalists entering Libya, there was a blizzard of rumours and claims about killings by mercenaries and defections by members of the security forces.

In one highly significant development, prisoners were reported to have escaped en masse from al-Jadida jail in the capital, Tripoli, which has so far been calm.....

Amer Saad, a political activist from Derna, told al-Jazeera: "The protesters in al-Bayda have been able to seize control of the military airbase in the city and have executed 50 African mercenaries and two Libyan conspirators. Even in Derna today, a number of conspirators were executed. They were locked up in the holding cells of a police station because they resisted, and some died burning inside the building.

"This will be the end of every oppressor who stands with Gaddafi. Gaddafi is over, that's it, he has no presence here any more. The eastern regions of Libya are now free regions. If he wants to reclaim it, he will need to bomb us with nuclear or chemical bombs. This is his only option. The people have stood and said they will not go back."....."

Breaking Headlines From Al-Jazeera

مصادر للجزيرة: السلطات الليبية تحجب موقعي تويتر وفيسبوك في العاصمة طرابلس ملكالبحرين يطلب من ولي العهد الشروع في حوار وطني مع كل الأطراف شهود عيان: متظاهرون في بنغازي يسيطرون على دبابات للجيش الليبي شهود عيان: أكثر من مائة ألف متظاهر في بنغازي يطالبون بتغيير النظام في ليبيا مصادر للجزيرة نت: استقالة محافظ عدن عدنان الجفري ونائب الرئيس يرفضها مصادر للجزيرة نت: قتيل رابع في احتجاجات عدن شهود عيان: اعتصامات مستمرة أمام المحكمة العليا في بنغازي شرقي ليبيا شهود عيان: حرق سجن "الجديدة" في تاجوراء على الساحل الشمالي الليبي وإطلاق سراح السجناء أوباما يندد باستخدام العنف ضد المتظاهرين في ليبيا واليمن والبحرين ويدعو لاحترام حرية التعبير اجتماع طارئ لنائب الرئيس اليمني بقيادات أمنية ومحلية بعدن واتساع دائرة الاشتباكات في جميع المديريات عدد ضحايا المواجهات في عدن جنوب اليمن يرتفع إلى 5 قتلى متظاهرون غاضبون يحرقون مقر إذاعة بنغازي في شرق ليبيا مصادر حقوقية ليبية: يتم حاليا تفريغ سجن الجديدة في العاصمة طرابلس من سجنائه ونقلهم بواسطة سيارات إلى مكان مجهول مواجهات عنيفة تدور حاليا في مدن البيضاء وطبرق ودرنة والمرج في ليبيا فرنسا تطلب من رعاياها توخي الحذر والابتعاد عن التظاهرات التي تجري في ليبيا مصادر ليبية للجزيرة نت: 20 جثة وصلت مستشفى الجلاء في بنغازي، وعدد كبير من الجرحى في حالة حرجة مصر توافق على عبور السفينتين الحربيتين قناة السويس بتجاه سوريا مراسل الجزيرة: السلطات المصرية تقرر فتح معبر رفح لمدة ثلاثة أيام لتسهيل عودة العالقين ممثلو الثورة المصرية يطالبون بإسقاط الحكومة الحالية وإلغاء حالة الطوارئء وإطلاق المعتقلين السياسيين ثلاثة ملايين مصري يحتشدون في ميدان التحرير احتفالا بالثورة ودعما لمطالبها


Bahrain forces fire at protesters

Troops open live fire around Pearl roundabout in Manama after nightfall, at least 50 wounded.


Anatomy of Egypt's Revolution (Part Two)

Conditions and Consequences


".....Like similar great historical events, the triumph of the Egyptian revolution will have direct and significant consequences on the country, the region, and the world. Unsurprisingly some of the conditions that factored considerably in the success of the revolution have now become facts on the ground, such as the larger role of youth and women in politics and public life. Thus they are discussed here as well. Here are some of the most important consequences of Egypt’s revolution.

The role of the people:....

The role of the youth:.....

The role of women: .....

The rejection of sectarianism:.....

The revival of a value-based moral system:.....

The end of dictatorship: .....

The appreciation of freedom: ....

Spreading a culture of democracy:.....

Asserting Independence: .....

Supporting the Palestinian Cause:.....

Influencing the Arab World and the region:.....

The role of the military and security forces:

In part III, Al-Amin will examine the challenges facing Egypt’s revolution. Part One can be found here.

Blood on the Streets of Bahrain

Days of Rage; Decades of Oppression


"....The al-Khalifa monarchy and its imported mercenaries are at a crossroads. The protestors’ demands are reasonable and legitimate. The king would be wise to accede to them before overthrow of the entire regime becomes their only acceptable alternative. After Thursday’s violent crackdown against unarmed civilians, there may now be no other option."

Scientific American: Egypt's revolution vindicates the philosopher Gene Sharp's theory of nonviolent activism

Cairo demonstrators and militaryWhereas most pundits have focused on the role of social media in Egypt's revolution, what impressed me most was that one of the most powerful, entrenched regimes in the world was toppled by a nonviolent uprising. Does anyone doubt that if the protesters had resorted to violence, they would have been violently crushed by Mubarak?

Egypt represents an extraordinary vindication of the philosophy of Gene Sharp, a political scientist whose work I described here last July. For decades, Sharp has argued that nonviolence is the best means of overthrowing corrupt, violent, repressive regimes. He disseminates his ideas through books such as From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation (1993), which has been translated into 24 languages, including Arabic, and can be downloaded from the Web site of The Albert Einstein Institution, a tiny nonprofit founded by Sharp in 1983.

Egyptian Uprising Fueled by Striking Workers Across Nation

"Since the popular uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, thousands of employees across Egypt have walked out on strike. Their demands range from rising wages to removing corrupt officials affiliated with Mubarak’s National Democratic Party. Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat speaks to Khaled Ali, a labor lawyer with the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights...."

"A Celebration, Not a Protest": Massive Crowd Packs Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Mark One Week Since Mubarak’s Ouster

"Tens of thousands have gathered for a victory march through Cairo’s Tahrir Square today to celebrate the overthrow of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Democracy Now! Senior Producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports from Cairo....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Spotlight Libya

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt holds 'victory march' in Cairo

Al-Jazeera Video: Libya's deadly 'day of rage'

Al-Jazeera Video: Libyan protesters defy crackdown

Al-Jazeera Video: Violent response to Bahrain protest

Real News Video with Transcript: Israeli Leadership Fears Arab Popular Democracy

Michel Warschawski: I'm concerned that Israel will stage an attack on Gaza or Lebanon as a diversion

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This latest poll deals with the Libyan uprising:

Do you expect that the Libyan protests will lead to regime change in Libya?

I was surprised by the large percentage of those who said YES!

With over 1,200 responding, 81% said yes.

The Battle of Bahrain

King Hamad – the Mubarak of the Gulf

by Justin Raimondo
, February 18, 2011

"........The rebellion in Bahrain is a dagger pointed at the heart of the War Party’s campaign against Iran, and more: it is a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of the House of Saud. Right across the King Fahd causeway,in the oil-rich Eastern province, are as many as two million Shi’ites, who live and work atop the world’s greatest concentration of oil reserves and around 90 percent of Saudi oil production. The predominantly Shi’ite workers who work those oil fields are the key to the Kingdom’s wealth and future stability, and the Saudi kleptocrats cannot afford to let a Shi’ite uprising in Bahrain succeed.

Bahrain – and Saudi Arabia – are the weak underbelly of the elaborate US security structure in the region
. In place since Franklin Delano Roosevelt cemented the US alliance with the House of Saud, in 1943, it may all be coming undone – and in very short order."

Next stop: The House of Saud


By Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

"Here's a crash course on how one of "our" - monarchic - dictators treats his own people during the great 2011 Arab revolt.

The king of Bahrain, Hamad al-Khalifa, has blood on his hands after his mercenary security forces - Pakistani, Indian, Syrian and Jordanian - with no previous warning, attacked sleeping, peaceful protesters at 3 am on Thursday at the Pearl roundabout, the tiny Gulf country's version of Cairo's Tahrir Square.

In the brutal crackdown, at least five people have been killed - including a young child - and 2,000 injured, some by gunshots, two of these in critical condition. Riot police targeted doctors and medics and prevented ambulances and blood donors from reaching the Pearl roundabout. A doctor at Salmaniya hospital told al-Jazeera there was a refrigerated truck outside the hospital, which he fears the army has used to remove more dead bodies.

The resourceful Maryama Alkawaka of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights was there; "It was very violent, [the police] were not showing any mercy." An avalanche of tweets from Bahrainis denounced an "Israeli-style" sneak attack and shoot-to-kill approach. And many have denounced al-Jazeera for not having kept a live satellite link as it had in Cairo, and for implying that this was only a Shi'ite protest. The Pearl roundabout is now surrounded by nearly 100 tanks at every entrance and exit. Downtown Manama has been turned into a ghost city.....

Kill them, but with a velvet glove

Is Washington remotely outraged by all this? The record speaks for itself. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "deep concern", according to the State Department, and "urged restraint". The Pentagon said Bahrain was "an important partner"; later Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman - certainly to make sure everything was dandy with the US Navy's 5th Fleet and its 2,250 personnel housed in an isolated compound inside 24 hectares in the center of Manama.....

Under these strategic circumstances, it's hard to dismiss Lebanese political scientist and blogger at the Angry Arab website As'ad AbuKhalil, when he stresses, "The US had to plot the repression of Bahrain to appease Saudi Arabia and other Arab tyrants who were mad at Obama for not defending Mubarak to the every end.".....

The Arab News newspaper anyway has already warned that those winds of freedom from northern Africa may hit Saudi Arabia. And it may all revolve around youth unemployment, at an unsustainable 40%. There's no question; the great 2011 Arab revolt will only fulfill its historic mission when it shakes the foundations of the House of Saud. Young Saudi Sunnis and Shi'ites, you have nothing to lose but your fear. "

Video: Thousands join funerals of protesters in Bahrain


Steve Bell's Latest

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Arab youth, don't lose momentum now

Our generation has finally rediscovered the lost revolutionary heritage of our forefathers – we must keep the dream alive

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Friday 18 February 2011

"......This Arab quest for freedom and liberation has always had powerful opponents; our dreams are their nightmares. They know as well as we do that the Egyptian revolution represents not just the overthrow of the ancien regime, but the decolonisation of the country. The first condition of true representative democracy is independence. But this is not something that the American, Israeli and other foreign governments wish for Egypt or any other Arab country, in spite of the attempts at presenting the Egyptian military establishment as a free-standing independent actor.

Yet, it may still be possible to realise our dream if we can keep close to popular consensus, which in Egypt's case has growing influence within the lower ranks of the army, who are overwhelmingly patriotic. The challenge for this generation of Arab youth is not to lose the momentum: our generation has finally rediscovered the lost revolutionary heritage of our parents and grandparents. Today, hundreds of thousands are struggling for their freedom in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Palestine. If the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have taught us anything, it is that we organise without respite until the rest of the Arab world is also free: we carry the dream."

Bahrain mourners call for end to monarchy

Mood of defiance against entire ruling system after brutal attack on Pearl Square protest camp that left at least five dead

The Guardian

"Thousands of mourners are calling for the downfall of Bahrain's ruling monarchy as they begin burying those killed during an assault on pro-reform protesters that has brought army tanks into the streets of the west's most strategic Gulf ally.

The reaction against Bahrain's king and his inner circle reflects an escalation of protesters' initial demands for the Sunni monarchy's hold on top government posts to be diluted, and for discrimination by the Shia majority to be addressed.

The mood, however, appears to have turned towards defiance of the entire ruling system after the attack on a protest camp in Bahrain's capital, Manama, on Thursday left at least five dead and more than 230 injured. The country was placed on an emergency-like footing, with military forces in key areas and checkpoints on main roads...."

Libyan protesters in deadly clashes with police

Security forces have fired on demonstrators, with funerals in Benghazi and al-Bayda expected to spark more protests

Owen Bowcott, Friday 18 February 2011

"Anti-Gadaffi demonstrators have taken over several cities in eastern Libya but scores have been killed, according to exiled opposition groups based in London.

Government troops have withdrawn from al-Bayda, the country's third largest city and scene of earlier confrontations, and protesters have blocked the airport's runway to prevent military reinforcements arriving, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya maintains.

Mohamad Ali Abdalla, deputy director of the NFSL who has been in touch with Libyan opposition groups across the country, said: "I was told that there were 13 deaths in the city of al-Bayda alone last night and six more in Benghazi.

"In al-Bayda the city has been taken over and protesters are dismantling the runway to stop any military planes landing.

"In total there have been 30 deaths in [the eastern city of] Benghazi since demonstrations began on January 15th. Some of those who died were injured citizens who had been taken to al-Jala hospital in Benghazi.

"Members of the revolutionary committee were shooting the injured who were brought in. I was told this by a nurse in al-Jala Hospital."

The government's revolutionary committee headquarters have been captured in other places, the NFSL claimed. In Ajdabiya, in north-eastern Libya, demonstrators were in charge of the city....."

Libya protests caught on amateur video

Protesters in Tobruk seen knocking over statue of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's Green Book in footage posted on YouTube, Friday 18 February 2011

Video: Bahrain mourners protest over deadly crackdown

Thousands mourn on the streets and the main opposition party quits parliament after the death of protesters in a police crackdown, Friday 18 February 2011

Libyans in US allege coercion

Ambassador denies students' allegations that embassy threatened to cut scholarships if they missed pro-Gaddafi rallies.


"In an apparent effort to control the public narrative in the wake of rare protests that have spread throughout Libya, the country's government is threatening to withdraw scholarship funding from citizens studying in the United States unless they attend pro-government rallies in Washington this weekend, Al Jazeera has learned.

Several Libyans studying in the US said they and their peers have received phone calls this week from a man employed by the Libyan embassy instructing them to join rallies in the capital on Friday and Saturday. The man told the students that their government-funded scholarships would be cut off if they did not attend....."

Video: مظاهرات طبرق 17-2-2011 وتدمير مجسم للكتاب الأخضر

Live Blog - Libya

From our headquarters in Doha, we keep you updated on all things in Libya.

"February 18, 2011

12:16pm Hassan El Amin, editor of Libya Al Mostaqbal, talks live to Al Jazeera from London. He says that reports of 75 dead and hundreds injured in recent violence against protesters.

9:08am BBC radio, quoting an eyewitness, said protesters against Gaddafi's four decades long rule clashed with security forces, who were using guns, and doctors had counted the bodies of 10 people.

8:31am Thousands of anti-government protesters are on the streets of Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, a day after "day of rage" demonstrations led to fatal skirmishes with the security forces.



Libyans bury dead after clashes

Funerals for those killed, expected in both Benghazi and Al Bayda, could act as a catalyst for more protests.

"Libya is set for renewed displays of public anger towards their governments, as protesters bury people killed in recent clashes.

Thousands of anti-government protesters seeking to oust longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi have taken to the streets of Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, a day after "day of rage" demonstrations led to fatal skirmishes with the security forces.

Funerals for those killed, expected in both Benghazi and Al Bayda later on Friday, could act as a catalyst for more protests.

Tight controls on media and communications in Libya made it difficult to assess the extent of the violence, but on Friday unverified reports on social network sites said up to 50 people had died.

Pro-government supporters also were out on the streets early on Friday, according to the Libyan state television, which purported to transmit images labelled "live" that showed men chanting slogans in support of Gaddafi......"

عشرات القتلى والجرحى بمظاهرات ليبيا

استؤنفت اليوم من بنغازي


"أفادت تقارير متواترة بأن عشرات القتلى والجرحى سقطوا بالرصاص في الاحتجاجات غير المسبوقة التي وقعت أمس في عدد من المدن الليبية خاصة في شرقي البلاد في إطار ما سمي "يوم غضب", بينما استؤنفت المظاهرات في بنغازي اليوم الجمعة.

وكانت تلك الاحتجاجات قد بدأت قبل ثلاثة أيام, ورُددت فيها لأول مرة هتافات تنادي برحيل الزعيم الليبي معمر القذافي الذي يحكم ليبيا منذ 42 عاما, وبإقرار دستور للبلاد.

وانطلقت الاحتجاجات من شرقي ليبيا وتحديدا من بنغازي (ألف كيلومتر شرق طرابلس), وقابلتها مظاهرات مؤيدة للقذافي خاصة في العاصمة طرابلس.

وتطورت الاحتجاجات -التي بادر بالدعوة إليها ناشطون على المواقع الاجتماعية مثل فيس بوك ضد الفساد وسوء الأحوال المعيشية- إلى مواجهات دامية بدأت في بنغازي, وانتقلت شرارتها إلى مدن البيضاء وأجدابيا ودرنة حيث أحرقت مقار أمنية وأخرى تابعة لأجهزة مؤيدة للنظام مثل اللجان الثورية

Libya: Security Forces Fire on 'Day of Anger' Demonstrations

Government Should Respect Right to Peaceful Protest and Investigate Deaths

Human Rights Watch

"(New York) - The Libyan security forces killed at least 24 protesters and wounded many others in a crackdown on peaceful demonstrations across the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should cease the use of lethal force unless absolutely necessary to protect lives and open an independent investigation into the lethal shootings, Human Rights Watch said.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters took to the streets on February 17, 2011, in Baida, Benghazy, Zenten, Derna, and Ajdabiya. According to multiple witnesses, Libyan security forces shot and killed the demonstrators in efforts to disperse the protests.

"The security forces' vicious attacks on peaceful demonstrators lay bare the reality of Muammar Gaddafi's brutality when faced with any internal dissent," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Libyans should not have to risk their lives to make a stand for their rights as human beings."

Some of the worst violence was in the eastern city of Baida......"

Bahrain: End Deadly Attacks on Peaceful Protesters

At Least 5 Dead, Hundreds Injured; Latest Assault Appeared Planned at Senior Levels

"(Washington, DC) - Bahrain's King Hamad Al Khalifa and Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Al Khalifa should immediately and publicly order a halt to deadly attacks on peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks have left at least five dead and hundreds wounded, some critically, since February 14, 2011.

Human Rights Watch also called on King Hamad to explain who was responsible for ordering the 3 a.m. attack on February 17 on a demonstrators' camp at Manama's Pearl Roundabout while most of those inside, including families with children, reportedly were sleeping. The king should hold those responsible fully accountable for the unlawful use of lethal force. The assault, which led to three deaths, involved hundreds of riot police and at least one helicopter, showing all the signs of having been planned and authorized at very high levels, Human Rights Watch said.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this escalating use of deadly force, and apparent misuse of weapons like teargas, against sleeping people," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "King Hamad and other high officials need to explain how and why this happened and to hold everyone who authorized and carried out this attack fully accountable."....."

حس الفكاهة في الثورة المصرية - BBC

Courtesy of

Emad Hajjaj's Latest Cartoon: The Terrified Domino.

Egypt is Not Tunisia.....

Yemen is Not Egypt....

Bahrain is Not Yemen....

Libya is Not Bahrain.....

Algeria is Not Libya.....

Syria is Not.....

(Notice that Emad did not mention Jordan in his cartoon, because......he lives in Jordan!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bahrain: No conflict. Plenty of interest

The strategic interests of the US, Britain and France and the values they uphold appeared in stark contrast

The Guardian, Friday 18 February 2011

"On Tuesday President Barack Obama found it ironic that an Iranian regime which had celebrated the popular uprising in Egypt had gunned down and beaten Iranians demonstrating peacefully. Two days later the boot was on the other foot. Security forces in Bahrain, a kingdom the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, described in December as a model partner for the US, gunned down protesters, some in their sleep, assaulted doctors who came to their aid, and beat anyone they came into contact with. Women and children were not spared....

Once again, the strategic interests of the US, Britain and France and the values they uphold as universal rights appeared in stark contrast to each other. There can be no doubt that the tiny island kingdom in the Gulf is a strategic interest. Manama is home of the US fifth fleet, whose main task is to protect Saudi oil installations and the Gulf waterways. Both view the ruling al-Khalifa family as instrumental in containing Iran, which has long claimed the island as its territory. If the US ever grew cold on its ally, the Saudi kingdom never would. Neither power would permit regime change in Bahrain. There is simply too much at stake. But that is what the majority of Bahraini opposition may now have in mind. Before yesterday's police brutalities, their main demands were a constitution written by an elected assembly and the release of political prisoners. Most of them did not demand that King Hamad al-Khalifa himself should go. They do now......

.....Before the spectre of Iran is invoked (and there is no evidence yet of its involvement in the Bahraini protest), it is worth remembering that none of the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya or Yemen have been particularly Islamic in nature. The generation demanding basic political rights are interested not in ideology, but in an end to tyranny and corruption. It should be clear where the west's interests lie."

Bahrain security forces accused of deliberately recruiting foreign nationals

Al Khalifa regime hires non-native Sunni Muslims in concerted effort to swing balance in Shia-majority Bahrain, say analysts

Ian Black, Middle East editor, Thursday 17 February 2011

"Bahrain's security forces are the backbone of the Al Khalifa regime, now facing unprecedented unrest after overnight shootings. But large numbers of their personnel are recruited from other countries, including Jordan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Tanks and troops from Saudi Arabia were also reported to have been deployed in support of Bahraini forces.

Precise numbers are a closely guarded secret, but in recent years the Manama government has made a concerted effort to recruit non-native Sunni Muslims as part of an attempt to swing the demographic balance against the Shia majority – who make up around 65% of the population of 1 million..... A Jordanian official is currently described as the organisation's "master torturer"......"

Anatomy of Egypt's Revolution

Conditions and Consequences



"Like perfect storms, several factors have to simultaneously and collectively come together for popular uprisings or protests, even massive ones, to turn into a revolution. That is why only a few of them have been successful in world history. A revolution is, by definition, a successful struggle embraced by the masses that radically alters the existing political, economic, and social order.

The triumphs of the American, French, Russian, Cuban, and Iranian revolutions were the exceptions. While each one had its genesis in battling an oppressive or corrupt existing political system, each engendered its own unique features while satisfying distinctive conditions in order to produce a successful outcome....

So what are the elements that distinguish the Egyptian revolution?

Historians will most likely debate for many years the various factors that came together to set off the uprising that turned it into a triumphant revolution. However, the most significant and distinctive features are outlined here. They are:

Popular revolution: ......

The Role of the Youth:.....

The Role of Women:......

Non-ideological and homogeneous:....

Disciplined and focused:......

Decentralized and highly organized leadership:....

Steadfastness, bravery and determination:......

Creative and resourceful:.....

Ingenious use of technology:....

Effective media strategy:.....

Neutralization of the Army:...

“People Are Bleeding in the Streets:” Bahrain Police Wage Brutal Overnight Attack on Hundreds of Pro-Democracy Protesters

"During an overnight raid in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, heavily armed riot police surrounded thousands of demonstrators as they slept in a central square in the nation’s capital. Rubber bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades were fired into the crowd without warning. At least four people were killed and hundreds injured. Some 60 people are reported missing. We hear from human right activist Nabeel Rajab outside a hospital in Manama where the wounded are being treated...."

The Genies Are Out of the Bottle”: Assessing a Changing Arab World with Noam Chomsky and Al Jazeera’s Marwan Bishara


"Massive public protests continue to sweep the Middle East and North Africa in countries including Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Iran—many being met with violent government crackdowns. We speak to Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at Al Jazeera English and MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky. "Perhaps the Arab moment has come," Bishara says, "It is clear the genies are out of the bottle. I think change is coming to the Arab world." Bishara also discusses "The Palestine Papers," the more than 1,600 secret documents that recorded Middle East peace talks between Israel, the Palestinian leadership and the United States, which were leaked to Al Jazeera and published in January...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Egypt: Change or status quo?

"In Egypt, the fight for meaningful change is far from over. Is the military leadership playing an honest transitional role? Is it really trying to meet the demands of those who rose up against the old regime, or is it in fact working for only limited changes in the country so it can remain in control?"

Al-Jazeera Video: Empire - Social networks, social revolution

Al-Jazeera Video: Police attack protesters in Bahrain

Real News Video with Transcript: After Nasser's Death Sadat Turned Egypt into a US Client State

With Gilbert Achcar

History of Egyptian Military Dictatorship Pt.4: The US scored a major strategic victory turning Sadat and the Egyptian military into their Middle East ally

All about Pearl roundabout


By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The historic, Great 2011 Arab revolt is relentless - those initial jasmine winds from the Maghreb turning into sandstorms east and west and now blanketing all latitudes across Northern Africa and the Middle East all the way to Southwest Asia, in Iran.

This Thursday, the key focus is Libya - check out this cracking rap, where "send the devil back to hell" is directed at the eternal Gaddafi. Sunday the focus is Morocco - check out this video of what young - and old - Moroccans want for their lives.

One doesn't need to be a weatherman to see which way the wind, swirling with Gandhiesque civil disobedience, blows across the whole Umma al Arabiya (the Arab nation). And that includes hugely strategic Bahrain.......

The key problem is that Shi'ites defying the powers that be in Bahrain would seduce all other minority Gulf Arab Shi'ites, from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia itself. And one thing is certain; a really representative Shi'ite-dominated government would mean goodbye to the US 5th Fleet.

This could get really messy - and it certainly will. If protests do reach an Egyptian fever level - crackdown or not - Saudi Arabia will enter the fray to keep the al-Khalifa in power. Rumors swirl that Saudi police has already crossed the causeway to combat protests. The Saudis, like obedient vassals, after all are fighting for the interests of the US naval base. And the circus must go on - there's a Formula 1 race coming. One thing is certain; Shi'ites will put up one hell of a fight. And sooner rather than later, they will be back with a vengeance at the Pearl roundabout. "

Palestinian Authority: Thugs, Police Abuse Peaceful Protesters


"(Ramallah) - The Palestinian Authority should open criminal investigations into members of its security services who apparently beat, kicked, and sexually molested protesters in Ramallah, Human Rights Watch said today. The US and European Union, which provide direct support to the Palestinian security services, should suspend such aid pending concrete steps by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end a culture of impunity for security service abuses, including torture, Human Rights Watch said.

The violence on February 5, 2011, was the third instance since January 30 in which Palestinian security officials have harassed, interrogated, arbitrarily detained and viciously beat peaceful demonstrators......"

Palestinian Authority: No Justice for Torture Death in Custody

UK, US Donors Should Cut Aid to Abusive Palestinian Security Agencies

"(Jerusalem) - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should order an independent investigation into the death of Haitham Amer, Human Rights Watch said today. Amer died 18 months ago, allegedly under torture by Palestinian security agents. A criminal inquiry and subsequent investigation failed to punish anyone for his death.

In recent interviews with Human Rights Watch, three witnesses to Amer's death independently provided graphic accounts of the events that led up to it. All three said they had provided the information in testimony at the inquiry and that they had identified intelligence agents who participated in torture, one of whom was never charged. Countries that provide direct support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security agencies, notably the UK and US, should suspend aid to these agencies until officials are held accountable for human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said.....

Torture Allegations

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), the official ombudsman for human rights abuses by Palestinian authorities, received 164 complaints of torture by the General Intelligence Service and other security agencies, notably Preventive Security, in 2009, and 202 torture complaints in 2010, according to information provided to Human Rights Watch.....

The Witnesses' Accounts

Human Rights Watch interviewed at length two witnesses to Amer's death and spoke to a third witness who confirmed their accounts. All three men had given evidence to prosecutors and testified that guards also tortured them while in detention at the intelligence agency center in Hebron.

Ali Rashid, a resident of Yatta, near Hebron, said guards ignored evidence of Amer's worsening medical condition over several days in custody......"

Did Someone Lose Egypt?

By Philip Giraldi

"Discussing any issue very much depends on the starting point. I have been experiencing a huge disconnect relating to what has taken place in Egypt. The usual talking heads, inside the beltway edition, are already opining over what the United States must do to deal with the "Egypt problem." Apart from the conceit that it is up to Washington to "do something," operating under the assumption that anyone will even listen to President Obama, one has to ask what are the interests that can plausibly be construed as vital to the United States. Apart from the usual concern for how Israel might be viewing developments, I can’t find any, and in that context, I can do nothing but welcome enthusiastically the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak and his eventual replacement by a freely elected government.....

The argument about how America’s pundits and politicians are shaping the discussion on Egypt is critically important because Egypt might only be the first of a number of states that could seek regime change from autocracy to at least some form of popular mandate. If the United States decides that it has no vital interests at stake justifying interfering in that process it will be welcomed by many while serving as a benign enabler of change. If it goes the other way and decides it has to shape and guide what is developing there will only be trouble and bad feeling all around....."