Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cosmetics firm LUSH endorses "Freedom for Palestine" song!

The UK-based international cosmetics firm LUSH has endorsed a single aimed at raising awareness of the struggle for human rights in Palestine.
Ali Abunimah-Electronic Intifada
The move by LUSH marks a significant shift toward mainstreaming the struggle for equality in Palestine that recalls how songs such as “Free Nelson Mandela” helped do the same for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s.
LUSH’s support for the song – and for freedom for Palestine – comes after best-selling rock band Coldplay had urged its fans to check out the Freedom for Palestine video in messages posted on their Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

Leader: Iran backs anti-US movements. What a Big-Time Liar!


Sure,....LIAR-IN-CHIEF! Is this why Iran supported the US in its invasion of Afghanistan and it supports the US puppet, Karzai?

Is this why Iran's Iraqi puppets entered Baghdad on top of US tanks? Is this why your puppet Maliki is the favorite puppet of the US? Is this why your president entered the Green Zone in Baghdad, under the protection of US Marines, to spend two days with the joint Puppet Maliki?

Enough of these lies, Big Liar, you are not fooling anyone!

"Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the country throws its weight behind all popular anti-US movements in the region.

“Our stance regarding these public movements is crystal clear. Anywhere there is a popular Islamic and anti-US movement, we support it,” the Leader said on Saturday......"

Video: فهم منطق القمع

لماذا لا نواجه العنف بعنف مثله؟

Al-Jazeera Video: President Saleh 'leaves Yemen'

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian protesters bury the dead in Hama

The Despot is Down and Out! Saleh 'to seek medical care in Saudi Arabia'


Reports say Yemen's president has accepted offer to receive treatment in the kingdom after attack on his Sanaa compound.

"Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has reportedly accepted an offer from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to travel to the kingdom for medical treatment.

There were conflicting reports of Saleh's whereabouts, with sources telling Al Jazeera that the president was being treated at a hospital in Sanaa and that a Saudi aircraft was ready to take him to Saudi Arabia if needed.

Saudi sources earlier said Saleh had arrived in the country on Saturday evening, a day after he suffered injuries in an attack on his palace compound in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Meanwhile, Reuters news agency quoted a Saudi official as saying Saleh was on his way to Saudi Arabia.

"He's on his way. He'll be arriving tonight. He's coming for medical treatment. We are the closest country and we have the capabilities," the official, who asked not to be named, said.

When asked whether Saleh was stepping down from power, he said: "He's coming for medical treatment."[The Kingdom of Horrors can Keep Him, with Bin Ali!]....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Uncertainty over Yemen attack

Real News Video: 9/11 and Who Rules Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed: The Saudi dictatorship was the incubator of al Qaeda

Don't Miss it.

More at The Real News

Real News Video: Yemen president injured as civil war looms

EuroNews: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been injured after the presidential palace came under attack

More at The Real News

Real News Video: 'Dozens' killed in Hama protests

ITN News: Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 34 protesters in Hama, an activist has said

More at The Real News

Today's Cartoon by the Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

New Egypt; What New Egypt? Death of driver in police custody sparks clashes in Cairo

Al-Masry Al-Youm

"Violence broke out on Friday afternoon between citizens and police officers from Azbakeya police station.

The fight started after a driver detained at the station died. Colleagues and relatives of Mohamed Saeed, 40, accused the police of torturing him to death.

The Ministry of Interior denied this, saying locals beat the driver after he assaulted the head of the police station. It added that he died at the Demerdash Hospital.

Eyewitnesses said they saw stones and Molotov cocktails being thrown near the station. Central security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who torched a central security truck. Some protesters claimed the police brought in thugs to attack them.

Disturbances initially erupted when officers from the police station detained eight drivers in Ramses Square for obstructing traffic. When fellow drivers learned of Saeed's death after an alleged beating, they attempted to break into the station. Police responded by firing shots into the air to disperse them.

Walid Mahmoud, a driver, claimed the police beat the arrested drivers with sticks, injuring some of them. "One hour later Saeed died, even though he was able-bodied," he said....."

Also, See This From Hossam El-Hamalawy:

Rage against the Police

I Am Waiting for Netanyahu to Fly Next to Benghazi: William Hague in Benghazi to "support Libyan rebels"!

British foreign secretary holds talks with opposition figures in a show of support for the Libyan people

The Guardian

"The foreign secretary, William Hague, has flown into the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi for the first ministerial-level talks with opposition figures.

Hague said the mission, on which he is accompanied by the international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, was designed to show British support for the Libyan people [The official British hypocrisy and political machinations know no limit! Remember, Blair was (and probably still is) a special friend and adviser of Gaddafi!

This is becoming like a Gilbert and Sullivan production, but is not funny.] ....."

Do the American people support the 'special relationship?'

By Stephen M. Walt

"....The next day, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who rejected several of Obama's assertions and lectured him about what "Israel expects" from its great power patron. Then Obama felt it was smart politics to go to AIPAC and clarify his remarks. It was a pretty good speech, but Obama didn't offer any ideas for how his vision of Middle East peace might be realized and he certainly never suggested that -- horrors! -- the United States might use its considerable leverage to push both sides to an agreement. And then Netanyahu received a hero's welcome up on Capitol Hill, getting twenty-nine standing ovations for a defiant speech that made it clear that the only "two-state" solution he's willing to contemplate is one where the Palestinians live in disconnected Bantustans under near-total Israeli control.....

But what of his more basic claim that the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel is really a reflection of "the public's overwhelming sympathy?" There are at least three big problems with this assertion.....

When you combine these facts with the sometimes thuggish tactics used against people who don't subscribe to the party line on this issue, you have a situation where politicians and appointed officials will bend over backwards to support the special relationship (or just remain silent), even when they know it's not good for the United States or Israel and when most Americans (including plenty of American Jews) would support a more normal relationship. In short, a relationship that would be healthier for the United States and Israel alike...."

The US is Losing Pakistan

Ties between the US and Pakistan were already strained over differences on Afghanistan. The hit on Osama bin Laden might have been the final straw.

By Patrick Seale


Keep in mind that Pakistan is the model USrael has in mind for the "new" Egypt under the junta of Tantawi.

"The US and Pakistani governments seem to be heading for a divorce full of recriminations. So great are the divergent objectives and lack of trust between them that Pakistan seems to be contemplating moving out of the United States’ orbit altogether and into China’s embrace.....

The paradox is that Pakistan has in recent years been pressured to do US bidding in making war on militant Islamic groups — in its own country if not in Afghanistan — and has paid dearly for it. Not only have military operations against these militants been extremely costly for Pakistan in men and treasure, but they have also provoked lethal retaliation from groups such as Tahrik-e-Taliban in the form of suicide bombings and other attacks. Pakistan’s internal security situation is now dire, and its economy gravely damaged. It’s wrestling with a soaring budget deficit, frequent power cuts and a growing danger of political and social chaos....."

Syrian city holds mass funerals

Residents bury dozens of people killed by security forces during marches on "Children's Freedom Friday" in Hama.


"Most shops are closed in the central Syrian city of Hama as funerals are held for scores of protesters shot dead by security [of the regime, not the people.] forces a day earlier, local residents say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based independent rights group, said on Saturday that at least 48 people were killed the day before in Hama, which has become a new centre for protest and violence.

A Syrian human rights activist put Friday's death toll among protesters at 63, up from an initial count of 48. Most of the dead were killed in Hama after troops opened fire on crowds.

Sources in Syria confirmed that the internet had been mostly restored, after authorities shut it down on Friday.

At least 1,270 people have been killed [in Egypt about 800 were killed in the uprising, and Egypt's population is 4 times that of Syria] since an uprising against Bashar Assad's government began in mid-March, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees, which helps organise and document Syria's protests.

In 1982, the Syrian government of Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar, heavily bombed the city to crush an uprising, killing thousands...."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand new poll asks:

Do you believe that military operations are sufficient to resolve the Libyan crisis?

With about 1,000 responding so far, a thin majority (57%) said yes.

ثوار ليبيا.. واسرائيل

ثوار ليبيا.. واسرائيل
عبد الباري عطوان

"شخصياً.. لم افاجأ باعلان الكاتب والفيلسوف الفرنسي برنارد هنري ليفي انه نقل رسالة من المجلس الوطني الانتقالي الليبي ممثل 'الثوار'، الى بنيامين نتنياهو رئيس وزراء اسرائيل اثناء لقائه معه في القدس المحتلة يوم الخميس الماضي، يتضمن فحواها تعهد النظام الليبي القادم بالعدالة للفلسطينيين والامن للاسرائيليين، وانه اي النظام الليبي القادم، سيقيم علاقات عادية مع اسرائيل.
مصدر عدم المفاجأة انني اعرف تاريخ هنري ليفي هذا جيدا، وعلاقاته الوثيقة مع اسرائيل، ودفاعه المستميت عن جرائمها ومجازرها الدموية في حق العرب الفلسطينيين، وقد انتابتني الشكوك في طبيعة المجلس الوطني الليبي واهدافه منذ اللحظة الاولى التي شاهدت فيها المستر ليفي اليهودي الصهيوني يتخذ من مدينة بنغازي، مقرا له، وممثلا لحكامها الجدد.
قبل اربعين يوما استضافني برنامج 'نيوزنايت' البريطاني الشهير (في محطة بي.بي.سي الناطقة بالانكليزية) للحديث عن الثورة في ليبيا، وكان على الطرف الآخر، عبر الاقمار الصناعية، الفيلسوف ليفي، وقد اتفقنا على دموية نظام العقيد معمر القذافي، ومخططاته لارتكاب مجزرة ضد المدنيين في بنغازي وضرورة حمايتهم بكل الطرق والوسائل، ولكن ما اختلفنا عليه هو الاسباب الحقيقية لتدخل حلف الناتو، وقلت يومها ان هذا الحلف ليس مؤسسة خيرية، وان الاستيلاء على النفط الليبي، ومحاولة اعادة ليبيا الى عهود الاستعمار الغربي هو احد ابراز اهداف هذا التدخل.
الفيلسوف ليفي جادلني بحدة، واختلف معي، وشرح انه هو الذي اتصل بالرئيس الفرنسي نيكولا ساركوزي من بنغازي طالبا منه التدخل عسكريا وبسرعة لحماية اهل بنغازي، واستجاب ساركوزي لندائه فورا، وارسل طائراته لقصف قوات القذافي الزاحفة نحو المدينة.
قلت للفيلسوف ليفي، بعد ان استغربت وجوده في بنغازي بعد ايام معدودة من اشتعال فتيل الثورة وتحولها فورا الى تمرد عسكري، قلت له لماذا لم تذهب الى قطاع غزة عندما كانت الطائرات الاسرائيلية تقصف اهله المسالمين العزل بقنابل الفوسفور الابيض والقنابل من مختلف الاحجام وتقتل 1400 من اهله نصفهم تقريبا من الاطفال، وهنا زمجر غاضبا، وقال ان القطاع محكوم من قبل منظمة 'حماس' الارهابية المتطرفة مما يعني، من وجهة نظري، انه طالما الحال كذلك فان ذبح هؤلاء الاطفال امر مبرر.
' ' '
وقفنا في هذه الصحيفة منذ اليوم الاول مع الثورة في ليبيا، وايدنا مطالبها المشروعة في تغيير النظام، وليس اصلاحه فقط، لانه نظام اهان الشعب الليبي واذله، وحرمه من ابسط قواعد العيش الكريم، واهدر ثرواته الهائلة، وحول البلاد الى مزرعة له ولابنائه وافراد حاشيته، ولكن بعد خطف ثورة الشعب الليبي من قبل بعض الطامعين في السلطة من بعض اركان النظام الليبي، والاستعانة بحلف الناتو وقواته وطائراته وصواريخه، وتوفير التغطية له لقتل ليبيين آخرين في الطرف الآخر بدأنا نراجع موقفنا، وننظر بعين الشك والريبة الى نوايا الذين حرفوا الثورة الليبية عن مسارها.
تعرضنا للكثير من الهجمات الظالمة والبذيئة من قبل بعض المخدوعين، او المأجورين المحرضين من قبل عناصر صهيونية، لاننا قلنا ان البلاد تنجرف الى حرب اهلية، واننا نعارض التدخل الاجنبي، وان التنظيمات المتطرفة هي المستفيد الاكبر من تحول ليبيا الى دولة فاشلة، ولكن عندما اعلنت امريكا الداعم الرئيسي للثوار الليبيين انها تخشى من سقوط اسلحة في ايدي تنظيم 'القاعدة، واكد بان كي مون امين عام الامم المتحدة ان طرفي الصراع في ليبيا يرتكبان جرائم حرب، وكشفت وكالة 'رويترز' ان مرتزقة بريطانيين وفرنسيين حاربوا الى جانب الثوار في مصراتة.. سكتت الاقلام وجفت الصحف.
الاستعانة بقوات الناتو ضد نظام همجي ظالم امر مبرر في نظر الكثيرين، في ليبيا وخارجها، طالما ان هذه القوات جاءت لحماية الابرياء من المجازر التي كان يخطط لها نظام القذافي وكتائب ابنائه، ولكن ماذا سيقول هؤلاء الآن، وهم يرون المجلس الانتقالي يستعين بنتنياهو، ويفتح القنوات معه، ويعده بالتطبيع بعد وصوله الى قمة السلطة؟
الشعب الليبي، شعب المجاهد عمر المختار، الذي ثار على الاستبداد الداخلي، وقدم مئات الشهداء، لا يمكن ان يقبل بالاستبداد الخارجي، وعودة الاستعمار الغربي الى اراضيه، ونهب ثرواته، مثلما لن يقبل مطلقا باي نظام حكم يقيم علاقات مع اسرائيل التي تنتهك الاعراض وتحتل المقدسات في الاراضي الفلسطينية العربية المحتلة.
ليبيا التي اتت بالعقيد معمر القذافي ورفاقه الى سدة الحكم هي ليبيا الوطنية، المخلصة لقضايا امتها، الحريصة على وجهها العربي، وهويتها الوطنية الاسلامية. وليبيا التي تريد اليوم التخلص من نظام القذافي الفاسد، وتؤسس لنظام جديد يقوم على العدالة والمساواة والحريات السياسية والنظام القضائي المستقل والديمقراطية الحقيقية، هي ليبيا الوطنية ايضا.
' ' '
نظام الملك ادريس السنوسي التعددي الشفاف لم يسقط بسبب الفساد او الظلم، وانما سقط لاسباب قومية عربية، وشذوذه في ذلك الوقت عن مسيرة الثورات العربية المطالبة بالتصدي للاغتصاب الصهيوني لقطعة عزيزة من الامة العربيـــة والاسلامية، وضرورة تسخـــير كل الامكانات من اجل نصرتها.
الملك ادريس اعاد ثلاثين الف دولار كانت في حوزته الى السفارة الليبية في تركيا التي كان يزورها زيارة رسمية بعد نجاح الانقلاب ضد نظام حكمه، وغادر الى القاهرة وهو لا يملك ثمن العشاء له ولحاشيته، بينما ابناء العقيد الليبي، والوزراء المنشقون عن حكمه الذين انضموا الى الثوار يملكون المليارات.
الثوار لا يستعينون بالمرتزقة وشركات توظيفهم الاوروبية لكسب معركتهم ضد الظلم والفساد، الانظمة الديكتاتورية القمعية هي التي تفعل ذلك، وعندما تقول وكالة رويترز ان شركات فرنسية وبريطانية وامريكية (علاقات عامة) تجند مرتزقة يقاتلون الى جانب الثوار، او نيابة عنهم، في مصراتة، وتؤكد ذلك صحيفة 'الغاريديان' البريطانية المحترمة، فاننا يجب ان نعيد حساباتنا، ولكن دون ان نقف في خندق النظام الليبي الفاسد المجرم.
نجد لزاما علينا ان نذّكر 'الثوار' الليبيين بان جميع الذين استعانوا باسرائيل، واقاموا علاقات طبيعية معها انتهوا نهاية مأساوية مخجلة، ابتداء من الرئيس محمد انور السادات، مرورا بخليفته حسني مبارك وانتهاء بالرئيسين الموريتاني معاوية ولد الطايع والتونسي زين العابدين بن علي. مع فارق رئيسي وهو ان هؤلاء كانوا يجلسون فوق كراسي الحكم، وعلى رؤوس انظمة قوية تملك جيوشاً واجهزة امنية قوية، اما المجلس الانتقالي الليبي فما زال في مرحلة 'الحبو' في افضل الاحوال، ولم يحظ الا باعتراف دولتين عربيتين فقط.. ما زال مجلسا مؤقتا.
وباستعانته باسرائيل، بالطريقة التي رأينا بشائرها، سيحكم على نفسه بانه لن ينمو مطلقا وان نما فبطريقة غير شرعية.
نفي تحميل ليفي رسالة الى نتنياهو لا يكفي. اطردوا هذا الصهيوني واقطعوا كل العلاقات معه وامثاله ان كنتم صادقين، وعودوا الى بدايات ثورتكم النقية الطاهرة وسنكون معكم ان كنتم فاعلين.

Where All Despots End Up: Five top Yemeni officials in Saudi for treatment


"Five top members of the government were sent to Saudi Arabia for treatment of wounds they suffered in a rebel rocket attack on the presidential palace, the official government news agency reported today. President Ali Abdullah Saleh was slightly injured....

As for Saleh's injuries, Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi spoke of only "scratches to his face."[Hopefully 4-inches deep.] But there were indications the injuries may have been more severe. Saleh, in his late 60s, was taken to a Defense Ministry hospital, while officials promised repeatedly that he would soon appear in public. But by late Saturday morning, state television had aired only an audio message from the president, with an old still photo....."

Gazans try to storm Egyptian border crossing


"Palestinian travellers say dozens of angry Gazans attempted to storm a crossing at the Egyptian border but were pushed back.

The commotion came just a week after Egypt permanently reopened the crossing and lifted travel restrictions on the Gaza Strip.

Several travelers at the Rafah crossing say about 200 people waited to cross into Egypt today but were denied entry.

Dozens then pushed up against a terminal fence, until Hamas forces cordoned off the area. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safe passage.

It wasn't immediately clear why the Gazans were prevented from crossing into Egypt.
Gaza's Hamas rulers have complained that despite Egypt's ending of its four-year blockade, there are still limitations on Palestinian travel. "

A Weak Position by HRW, but Better Than Nothing: Yemen: Other States Should Freeze Officials' Assets

Forces and Gangs Kill Protesters, Attack Medical Workers in Taizz

June 4, 2011

"(Tunis) - The Yemeni government's escalating violence against largely peaceful protesters and medical workers should prompt countries around the world to freeze foreign assets of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his top security officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Other countries should also ban all exports of arms and security equipment to Yemen, Human Rights Watch said.

During the three-day rampage in Taizz, beginning May 29, 2011, and followed by an additional attack on June 3, state security forces, in concert with pro-government assailants, shot dead at least 19 people, including a young boy and a man who bled to death after troops forced a doctor to stop tending him, witnesses and doctors told Human Rights Watch. Doctors pronounced at least eight other protesters clinically dead. They said the clashes left at least 262 people wounded. Security forces and armed gangs also burned and razed protesters' tents to force them from their sit-in site, fired on medical facilities using live ammunition, prevented medical workers from treating wounded protesters, and detained a doctor and four nurses along with two dozen protesters, the doctors and witnesses said.

"First the security forces kill and wound protesters, then they keep medical workers from treating the wounded and raze the protesters' camps to wipe out all traces of them," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Foreign countries need to respond. They should freeze the assets of the president and other top officials until these horrendous abuses stop and those responsible are brought to account."......

..... The US, the EU, and Gulf states have condemned serious human rights violations and stepped up calls for the president to relinquish power, but have stopped short of imposing arms embargoes and individual sanctions similar to those in place against officials in Syria and Libya....."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Report: U.S. to offer Turkey major role in Mideast talks if it stops Gaza flotilla

The U.S. government is considering to offer Turkey a deal in which Ankara would stop a second Gaza flotilla that is due to depart later this month in exchange for the opportunity to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in Ankara, the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported Friday.
Israel has been preparing to block the second aid flotilla sailing from Turkey to Gaza, one year after the Israel Defense Forces' deadly raid on the first Gaza flotilla in which nine Turkish activists died. Turkey has demanded Israel apologize for the raid in order to restore Turkish-Israeli ties.

We are all Hamza's mothers Silent protest in Damascus

مؤتمر العرب وتركيا - الجلسة الافتتاحية - د.عزمي بشارة- 1/2

مؤتمر العرب وتركيا - الجلسة الافتتاحية - د.عزمي بشارة- 1/2

مؤتمر العرب وتركيا - الجلسة الافتتاحية - د.عزمي بشارة- 2/2

The Cowardly Lebanese "Army" is at it, Again! They Miss Serving Tea to the IOF: Lebanon army bans demonstrations near Israel border

"TYRE, Lebanon — Lebanon has banned all demonstrations near the Israeli border as the Palestinians gear up to mark 44 years since the seizure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six Day War, a security official told AFP on Friday.

"The army has taken the decision to ban any demonstration south of the Litani (river) and particularly at the border," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The army will not allow anyone to approach the border."[The Watchdog for Israel??]

Palestinians in Lebanon and other Arab states neighbouring Israel had said they planned to march on the Jewish state's borders on Sunday to mark the anniversary, known in Arabic as the "Naqsa" or "setback."

Organisers of the protest said in a statement that the march had been cancelled because of the ban, and instead called on Palestinians in Lebanon to stage sit-ins and gatherings on Sunday inside the refugee camps....."

Lebanese Soldiers Serve Tea To Israeli Soldiers in Marjayoun

Been There, Done That, But it did Not Help the Pharaoh! Syrian Internet Networks Shut Down as Protests Intensify

"June 3 (Bloomberg) -- About two-thirds of Syria’s Internet networks became unreachable today as protests against President Bashar al-Assad intensified.

Starting early this morning, the routes to 40 of 59 networks were withdrawn from the global routing table, security firm Renesys said on its website. The country’s Web traffic depends on domestic operator Syriatel Mobile Telecom SA, the company said.

Syrian security forces killed more than 60 people in the town of Hama and injured as many 20 people in Deir Al-Zour as thousands demonstrated today after prayers in Hama, Damascus and the province of Idlib, Mahmoud Merhi, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, said today. Gunfire was heard also in Nawa in the south, he said, adding that the central towns of Rastan and Talbiseh are surrounded by tanks and troops.

Spokesmen for the Syrian Ministry of Communications and Technology and Syriatel couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.

In several North African and Middle Eastern countries, a “critical battle” is taking place for control of mobile-phone connections and Internet access, Amnesty International said last month after demonstrations against governments in Tunisia and Egypt...."

Al-Quds Al-'Arabi Cartoon, by Emad Hajjaj

The Only Way to Remove Them!

شام - معرة النعمان - لأمن يهرب من متظاهري الحرية

A Video Sent Today From Inside Syria: The Brutal "Security" Forces Running AWAY From Angry Protesters!

شام - معرة النعمان - لأمن يهرب من متظاهري الحرية

Al-Jazeera Video: Syria's brutal crackdown continues

The Determination of the Arab Revolutions

Autumn of the Autocrats?


"After the relatively swift triumphs of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions in deposing their dictators earlier this year, other Arab dictators drew a different set of lessons than their populations did.

Fed up with decades of repression, corruption, and the break down of state institutions, as well as the complete loss of faith in any meaningful political or social reforms in their societies, people across the Arab world this spring have waged simultaneous mass movements to force sweeping changes.

Arab autocrats, sustained for decades by the powerful security state, were shocked and startled as they observed in horror the dismantling of the security apparatuses in Tunisia and Egypt, facing fearless populace willing to sacrifice their lives to liberate themselves from the yoke of tyranny and regain their freedoms and dignity....

However, the authoritarian regimes drew different lessons from the Tunisian and Egyptian experience. They did not see the power and determination of the people but the weakness of the regimes and fragility and indecisiveness of its leaders.

In each case, though engulfed in its own particular circumstances and distinct features, the overall framework of how each regime dealt with its own popular uprising is strikingly similar.....

Ultimately, the main strategy of each regime is to regain the initiative from the streets so they continue to use these different tactics in order to split the opposition or wear down the people. Endless promises, delay tactics, and old style propaganda techniques and maneuvers are utilized. President Saleh employed his infamous delaying schemes to wear down the opposition, thus promising to step down five different times as a result of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, only to renege each time. Eventually, the GCC itself completely abandoned its own initiative. The Syrian president officially lifted the state of emergency. Yet since then, over 1200 people have lost their lives and over 12,000 have been detained without trial. Electricity as well as water and phone lines were cut off from some cities that were under siege by the military for many days.

....In essence, the dictators and their cronies are fighting, not just to stay in power, but also to literally escape punishment for their crimes. But perhaps the most brutal and effective tactic to derail any peaceful revolution is to drag the country into civil war.

Regional players such as Israel and the Saudi ruling family, as well as other international players are very nervous about the popular discontent and the changes sweeping the region.....

People in the Arab world are instead determined to rely on themselves with an uncompromising will to continue their just struggle for freedom and dignity echoing the voice of another young leader in the Latin American jungles many decades ago, as Che Guevara reminded his comrades “Until victory always” but “better to die standing, than to live on your knees.” "

Yemen: attack on president keeps observers guessing

Confusion reigns in Yemen over President Saleh's injuries. Whatever the truth, the country is facing a decisive moment

Brian Whitaker, Friday 3 June 2011

"I started this morning planning to write a general blog post about Yemen, but events took a dramatic turn this afternoon – and are still developing. Let's start with the official version. The presidential palace in Yemen was hit by shells on Friday. Government sources said at first that President Saleh was unhurt and would be giving a news conference within an hour.

The news conference didn't happen and the new line seems to be that the president has been slightly injured and is now in hospital.

At present, there is no way of knowing if this is true. Being taken to hospital could explain why Saleh hasn't given the promised news conference. So would being killed. We can't be absolutely sure that Saleh is still alive until he is seen on television talking about what happened.

If he were dead, Yemeni officials wouldn't necessarily say so until the resulting power vacuum had been filled. Similarly, if his injuries were serious, officials might still be expected to describe them as slight....."

Guardian Video: Sana'a Friday prayers rally piles pressure on Yemen's ruler

As the presidential palace is hit by a rocket attack, tens of thousands of anti-regime protesters in central Sana'a demonstrate against Ali Abdullah Saleh after Friday prayers

Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Middle East unrest – live updates

The Guardian

"The Associated Press's latest dispatch from Sanaa has an updated casualty count, saying that six guards at the presidential palace were killed and seven top officials injured, quoting an "official" who was at the scene:

A volley of three rockets hit Saleh's presidential compound Friday as he and other officials were praying at a mosque inside, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Six presidential guards were killed, according to a medical official.

Seven top officials were wounded, including the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the parliament speaker and the governor of Sanaa, the official said. The most serious injuries were to Sanaa's governor Nooman Dweid, and Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al-Alimi, who is also the president's top security adviser and who remained unconscious from his wounds, the official said....."

'Dozens killed' in fresh Syria protests

Activists say 34 people killed in the city of Hama during one of the largest anti-government protests in the uprising.


"Syrian security forces have opened fire on one of the largest anti-government protests in the 10-week uprising so far, leaving at least 34 people dead in the central city of Hama, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the victims were killed on Friday as security forces dispersed a rally of more than 50,000 people in a city where thousands died in a failed 1982 revolt against the government.

The deaths came as president Bashar al-Assad's forces renewed their assault on towns seen as key to the demonstrations calling for an end to his family's 40-year rule.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the Hama protest was among the largest yet in the uprising that began in mid-March. He said security forces also shot dead one person in the village of Has in the northern province of Idlib........

'Children's Friday'

The opposition had called for Friday's nationwide rallies to commemorate the nearly 30 children killed during the uprising.

In the southern city of Deraa, where the uprising began 10 weeks ago, scores of people rallied in the city's old quarter, chanting "No dialogue with the killers of children," an activist said.

The protesters were referring to a decree by Assad to set up a committee tasked with leading a national dialogue.

The call for protests came after a video surfaced earlier this week on YouTube, Facebook and websites featuring Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old boy whose tortured and mutilated body was returned to his family weeks after he disappeared during the protests.

The boy has since become a symbol to Syria's uprising and many people carried his posters during anti-regime rallies this week."

A Sample of Fresh Videos From Inside Syria, Documenting Protests Against the Bloody Regime Today, Friday June3, 2011.

شام - حوران - مظاهرات جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6-11 ج1

شام - حوران - مظاهرات جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6-11 ج2

شام - حوران - مظاهرات جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6-11 ج3

شام - عامودا - مظاهرات جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6 ج1

شام - عامودا - مظاهرات جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6 ج2

شام - حوران - المسيفرة - جمعة أطفال الحرية 3-6 ج1

أفكار ميثاقية لأي ثورة عربية ديمقراطية

"تلح ضرورة توفر أفكار ومبادئ ميثاقية لأي ديمقراطية عربية قادمة يقوم على أساسها عهد بالالتزام بقيم الثورة بين قوى الثورة وجمهورها وبين القوى السياسية المتنافسة المؤهلة للحكم. وليس المقصود هو مبادئ دستورية أو فوق دستورية، بل ترويج أفكار ومبادئ وقيم تستند إليها عملية صياغة مبادئ الدولة الديمقراطية العربية. بعضها يصلح أن يكون في الدستور، وبعضها قيم ثاوية في أساسه، وأخرى لا يمكن أن يشملها دستور، ولكنها توجه السياسات إذا ما تحولت إلى شبه مسلمات يمكن أن تكنى بـ "قيم الثورات العربية الديمقراطية ومقاصدها".

ونحن نستخدم هذه العبارة مع درايتنا بالنقاش الدائر بعد كل ثورة حول تغير مصادر الشرعية. ما هو المصدر الجديد للشرعية؟ هل هي مبادئ فوق دستورية، أم هي إرادة الأغلبية؟ فالمبادئ فوق الدستورية تحتاج لمن يضعها، وإرادة الأغلبية تصلح لتغيير الحكومات مرة كل بضعة أعوام وليس لوضع الدستور.

فلا يجوز تغيير الدستور بشكل متواتر، وذلك ليس فقط لأن الأغلبية متقلبة، بل أيضا لأنه يجب أن يستند إلى مبادئ راسخة. ومهما قلبنا بسؤال الدجاجة والبيضة هذا وبحثنا عن مصادر مطلقة فوق الآني والراهن، فإنه لا بديل عن ترسخ مبادئ وقيم متفق عليها تحكم الحياة السياسية. ولا بديل عن محاولة صياغتها والتناقش حولها
أفكار ميثاقية:
لكي يمكن انتخاب النظام دوريا لا بد من حريات سياسية: حرية الرأي، وحرية الوصول للمعلومات، وحرية الاجتماع والتنظيم
المواطنية هي التجسيد الحقوقي الفردي لتشكل الأمة ذات السيادة, والديمقراطية هي أرقى أشكال ممارسة المواطنية بتجسيدها للمواطنية عبر الأمة الديمقراطية سيدة ذاتها ومصيرها

Seymour Hersh: Despite Intelligence Rejecting Iran as Nuclear Threat, U.S. Could Be Headed for Iraq Redux

"In his latest article for the New Yorker magazine, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says the United States might attack Iran based on distorted estimates of Iran’s nuclear and military threat – just like it did with Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Hersh reveals that despite using Iranian informants and cutting edge surveillance technology, U.S. officials have been unable to find decisive evidence that Iran has been moving enriched uranium to an underground weapon-making center...."

Seymour Hersh on the Arab Spring, "Disaster" U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Looming Crisis in Iraq

"Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh assesses the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa amidst ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Despite touted gains and an upcoming U.S. military withdrawal deadline in Iraq, Hersh says: "Whatever you’re hearing, Iraq is going bad ... It’s sectarian war, and the big question will be whether we pull out or not." On the uprisings, Hersh says Saudi Arabia—fearing an overthrow of the regional order—is driving the embattled regimes’ attempts to crush the protests...."

Crushed Ice in Nuseirat: My Gaza Refugee Camp Revisited

By Ramzy Baroud in Gaza

"...It has been many years since I last stood here, in the Red Square. Named after the many people who were killed at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the First Uprising of 1987, the once open area has shrunk, like many other spaces in and around the refugee camp. The population of the Gaza Strip has grown significantly, as has poverty. Surrounded and besieged by Israel, 1.6 million people living in 360 square kilometers (139 square miles) are now exploiting every inch of this tiny and continually shrinking space. Still, Gaza persists....

My father was buried in an area called Zawydeh. In 2008, I was told he was buried in a ‘small graveyard,’ which encouraged me to attempt to find the grave on my own. However, the graveyard is no longer small and I spent over an hour trying to locate it. In the process, I learned that some of my friends and relatives have also died.....

I found my father’s grave at last. My dad, Mohammed. The wonderful, loving, resourceful, angry, thundering and warm man. He never imagined he would one day be buried in Gaza. He wanted to go home to Beit Daras, his long destroyed village in Palestine. “I will see you soon, son,” he had told me many years ago, when I last saw him. I now wrote him a note, and buried it in the Gaza earth by his headstone.....

....A few of my friends have been killed, but many others have remained steadfast, building, repairing, educating and surviving. The astonishing level of determination that has always defined Gaza is much stronger than I remember it. No one seeks pity in this place.....

“There was a large building here,” I remarked inquisitively to a cousin at one point in my journey.

He replied casually. “It’s been destroyed in the latest war, but the people crushed the rubble, processed it into concrete and the building now stands on the other side of the street”. In Gaza, few discuss what has been destroyed, but many speak of rebuilding...

I held onto my plastic cup of Barrad (like snow cone) all the way to Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, taking careful, slow sips. It tasted exactly as I remembered it from when I was six years old. Since then, nothing in the world has tasted better....."

His End is Very Near! Yemeni president 'injured in attack' This Will be the Fate of Syria's Rabbit, if He Does Not Run Fast!

Ali Abdullah Saleh and many senior government officials reportedly injured in shelling of presidential palace.


"Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has reportedly been injured in an attack on the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa.

The country's prime minister was also reportedly injured in the attack as street fighting between Saleh's forces and a tribal federation widened on Friday in the capital, the Reuters news agency reported.

Four presidential guards and the speaker of parliament are reportedly in critical condition....."

Today's Cartoon by the Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Today is Dedicated to "Children For Freedom" in Syria.

Only winners from brutal repression of Shia majority will be Saudi Arabia

By Patrick Cockburn

"How to explain the ferocity of the Bahraini al-Khalifa royal family's assault on the majority of its own people? Despite an end to martial law, the security forces show no signs of ceasing to beat detainees to the point of death, threaten schoolgirls with rape and force women to drink bottles of urine.

The systematic use of torture in Bahrain has all the demented savagery of the European witch trials in the 16th and 17th centuries. In both cases, interrogators wanted to give substance to imagined conspiracies by extracting forced confessions. In Europe, innocent women were forced to confess to witchcraft, while in Bahrain the aim of the torturers is to get their victims to admit to seeking to overthrow the government. Often they are accused of having treasonous links with Iran, something for which the New York-based Human Rights Watch says there is "zero evidence".....

In the short term, the al-Khalifa's strategy has worked and the opposition is cowed, but the price may be permanent hatred of the majority of Bahrainis for the monarchy. The regime may try to change the demographic balance by driving thousands of Shia from the island by intimidation and sacking [The regime wants the overthrow of the people!]. Inevitably it will have to rely on Saudi Arabia to an even greater degree than in the past, making the island little more than a Saudi protectorate."

It's not just Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF itself should be on trial

Imagine a prominent figure was charged, not with raping a hotel maid, but with starving her, and her family, to death

By Johann Hari
Friday, 3 June 2011

"Sometimes, the most revealing aspect of the shrieking babble of the 24/7 news agenda is the silence. Often the most important facts are hiding beneath the noise, unmentioned and undiscussed.

So the fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is facing trial for allegedly raping a maid in a New York hotel room is – rightly – big news. But imagine a prominent figure was charged not with raping a maid, but starving her to death, along with her children, her parents, and thousands of other people. That is what the IMF has done to innocent people in the recent past. That is what it will do again, unless we transform it beyond all recognition. But that is left in the silence.....

If Strauss-Kahn is guilty, I suspect I know how it happened. He must have mistaken the maid for a poor country in financial trouble. Heads of the IMF have, after all, been allowed to rape them with impunity for years. "

Saudi Arabia's Women2Drive campaign is up against society

Manal al-Sharif's protest over women's right to drive leaves her open to smears and mud slinging. The issue must be politicised

Nesrine Malik, Friday 3 June 2011

"Manal al-Sharif, the woman who attracted global attention to the Saudi Women2Drive campaign when she posted videos of herself driving on YouTube, was released earlier this week from Dammam prison.

As a condition of her release she signed a pledge that she will not participate in the Women2Drive initiative and has officially withdrawn from the campaign......

The Manal al-Sharif file may be closed, but there are already other videos popping up on YouTube of Saudi women driving, filmed by their fathers and husbands. She has provided a focal point that, hopefully, in the runup to the official launch of the Women2Drive campaign on 17 June, will enable others to realise that strength is in numbers, that momentum must bubble up from the belly of society, and that a full-on political engagement is in order."

Fury over Vodafone Egypt advert claiming revolution as its own

Video scorned because phone company shut down its network at Mubarak's behest to hamper protests

Jack Shenker, Friday 3 June 2011

"Vodafone is facing a backlash in Egypt over an advert suggesting it helped inspire this year's revolution in the country.

The three-minute commercial featured excerpts from a Vodafone ad campaign entitled Our Power , which was launched three weeks before an anti-government uprising swept the country. The video goes on to show images from protest rallies in Cairo's Tahrir Square before claiming: "We didn't send people to the streets, we didn't start the revolution … We only reminded Egyptians how powerful they are."

The short film features screengrabs of Facebook and Twitter messages posted by Egyptians approving of the Vodafone ad campaign, then an audio recording of Hosni Mubarak's resignation as president being announced on TV.

In fact, many pro-change activists blame Vodafone and other mobile phone companies for following Egyptian government orders and implementing a communications blackout at the height of the revolution. They have condemned the advert as a "sickening" attempt to push up sales by "riding the revolutionary bandwagon", and an insult to the hundreds who died in the struggle to bring down Mubarak..... "

Army and Revolution in Egypt العسكر والثورة المصرية

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

The Role of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces After the Revolution: Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mohamed Waked from Jadaliyya on Vimeo.

"Jadalliya interviews Comrade Mohamed Waked…"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Al-Jazeera Video: US steps up cyber propaganda war

"The US military is developing software that would allow military personnel to use fake profiles in online chat rooms.

The idea is to use social media to spread positive messages about the United States. While the Pentagon says it is a bid to counter violent extremist and enemy ideologies, critics call it propaganda."

Israel accused after Palestinian boys burned by mystery canister

Military experts say unidentified devices found in West Bank may have contained outlawed white phosphorus

The Guardian, Friday 3 June 2011

"The Israeli army has been accused of leaving dangerous munitions near Palestinian homes after two boys were seriously burnt when they picked up a mysterious silver canister which exuded toxic white fumes.

A second canister, discovered nearby less than a week later, was destroyed by the army in a controlled explosion

The army does not deny leaving the devices, but would not identify them and suggested they were left over after training exercises. But the area where they were found does not feature on an army map of designated training areas and the canisters appeared new and unweathered.....

A spokesman for Physicians for Human Rights and Israeli non-governmental organisation said that the incident represented a violation of the Palestinians' right to the health by the Israeli army.

"Leaving bombs unattended on the lands of Palestinians where children and others spend most of their time is a violation of human rights. Worse, is the fact that the army denied these children a better treatment in Israeli hospitals despite the fact that they admitted it was a bomb they had left in the field," the spokesman said.

Physicians for Human Rights have said that they have written to ask the army for answers about the incident and will take legal action with the family if the army does not explain how two of these dangerous devices appeared in village lands that are regularly frequented by children, adults and animals."

Al-Jazeera Video: Yemen update: Fighting rages in Sanaa

The USraeli Bills to the Libyan "Revolutionaries" Started Arriving! NO FREE LUNCH! RECOGNIZE ISRAEL!

"Normal" Relations with Israel, Mr. Karzai?? What Else is Part of the Price??


"القدس ـ واشنطن ـ ا ف ب ـ يو بي اي: اعلن الكاتب الفرنسي برنار هنري ليفي انه نقل رسالة من المجلس الوطني الانتقالي في ليبيا، الهيئة التي تمثل الثوار، الى رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو خلال لقاء الخميس في القدس.
وقال ليفي لـ'فرانس برس'، 'خلال لقاء دام ساعة ونصف الساعة ابلغت رئيس الوزراء رسالة شفوية من المجلس مفادها ان النظام الليبي القادم سيكون معتدلا ومناهضا للارهاب، يهتم بالعدالة للفلسطينيين وامن اسرائيل'.
واوضح الكاتب القادم من مدينة مصراتة المحاصرة شرق طرابلس ان الرسالة تقول ان 'النظام الليبي المقبل سيقيم علاقات عادية مع بقية الدول الديمقراطية، بما فيها اسرائيل'.
وردا على سؤال حول رد رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي قال الكاتب والفيلسوف الفرنسي 'يبدو لي انه لم يستغرب الرسالة' وانه 'ايضا لم يعرب عن حسرته على معمر القذافي، احد ألد اعداء اسرائيل'.

Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu

"Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) is ready to recognise Israel, according to French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who says he has passed the message on to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The NTC “will be concerned with justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel” it it takes power, Lévy said after meeting Netanyahu Thursday.

The future regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel.”

Netanyahu's office confirmed the meeting with Lévy but did not comment on the discussion....."

Syrian uprising leaves 13 more dead as protesters dismiss amnesty offer

(Click on map to enlarge)

Rastan shelled by Syrian government forces as continuing offensive belies offer of amnesty for regime opponents

Ian Black, Middle East editor, Thursday 2 June 2011

"Syria's bloody uprising claimed 13 more victims on Thursday when government forces shelled the central town of Rastan in a continuing offensive that belied offers of an amnesty for regime opponents.

Reports from Rastan and nearby Talbisa, north of Homs, described mosques and shops being hit by shellfire. Al-Jazeera reported 60 dead since Sunday in Rastan alone. Talbisa was said to be under siege by tanks, helicopters and snipers.

Further violence seems likely on Friday as protesters mark a "children's Friday" in memory of Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old boy who was killed in the Deraa area and whose battered and mutilated corpse has become a rallying-point for anger at the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ammar Qurabi, head of the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights, referred to the names of 1,113 civilians killed since the protests erupted on 18 March......"

These 'virginity tests' will spark Egypt's next revolution

The 'virginity tests' used by Egypt's new rulers show the struggle for women's rights goes on


Mona Eltahawy, Thursday 2 June 2011

"....Lest we forget, we replaced Hosni Mubarak with a supreme council of Mubaraks – aka the supreme council of armed forces (SCAF) – a general who recently spoke to CNN kindly reminded us how the patriarch sounds. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he admitted that female activists detained during a Tahrir Square demonstration a month after Mubarak's overthrow had indeed been subjected to "virginity tests" – as the women have insisted all along. "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).".....

And with the virginity tests, here is SCAF retracing that thin line between sex and politics again, in the hope of shaming women away from demonstrating. The council has already replicated many of the other sins that had Mubarak facing the wrong end of a revolution: military trials for civilians, detentions and torture (by military police now, state security then), and an intolerance of critics.....

But it's different when the state/SCAF is the one forcing women's legs apart. A protest is planned for Saturday. It's a perfect time for gender to come out of the revolution's closet.

This must be our moment of reckoning with the god of virginity. The rage against the military must also target the humiliation brought by those tests, regardless of who carries them out.

So far, Egypt's Arab-language media has largely looked the other way. As Fatma Emam, a young revolutionary, told Bloomberg soon after Mubarak was forced to step down: "The revolution is not only taking place in Tahrir, it is taking place in every Egyptian house. It is the revolution of fighting the patriarch.""

The unbearable lightness of killing

Earth to Gaddafi and Saleh: Your time is up, stop murdering your people.

By Marwan Bishara

"Ali Abdullah Saleh and Muammar Gaddafi have (long) forfeited their right to the title of president and should no longer be referred to as such.

Presidents and leaders are meant to defend their people against all aggression - internal and external. Their role at the helm of the state is to protect their society and insure its wellbeing.

If the discrepancy between assumed protection and practiced oppression wasn't already clear to the international community over the last three or four decades, the two leaders are providing the necessary proof of where they stand every day.

They are showing, with every passing hour, that the well-being of their regime surpasses the well-being of their people - no matter the heavy cost in life, dignity and property.

Unleashing the heaviest military arsenal possible against their own people, mostly indiscriminately, has earned them the title of war criminals, not presidents. The use of rape as a terrorising, military means against families in the likes of Misurata goes far beyond pure criminality. It's cold-blooded inhumanity.....

Missing the point

President Zuma and other African leaders are missing the point. Arabs and Africans no longer accept the classic ultimatum: oppressive dictators or interventionist Westerners. That's the whole point of the 'Arab Spring'.

Its motives, and overarching goal, are based on the simple idea that human rights are universal.

It is no longer acceptable for Westerners to speak of human rights in Eastern Europe or wherever is convenient or expedient, while denying them in the Middle East. Or for Arab leaders to speak in support of Palestinian rights under occupation while at the same time acting against the rights of Palestinian and Arab people everywhere else. Indeed, as the new Egyptian government lifts the blockade of Gaza, these rights are shown to be compatible and reinforcing in reality.

The same goes for African nations.

In order for Western intervention to be put in check and for Libya, Yemen and Syria to become free societies, it's incumbent upon the likes of South African and Western leaders to stand firm in favour of change, democracy and human rights everywhere in theory and practice.

Arguing that national interest doesn't necessarily coincide with humane foreign policy is false, unless it's meant to camouflage the short term interests of "special interests'', such as oil and arms companies, as a "national interest".

And for now, to do everything possible to stop dictators from turning their cities into senseless killing fields.

That's why it needs to be made clear to leaders like Gaddafi and Saleh that they enjoy no support from anyone and that there is absolutely no future for them in the leadership of their countries. Period."

Clashes Spread Across Yemen, Raising Fears of Civil War

"Clashes are continuing across Yemen in the growing conflict over President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s refusal to step down. At least 15 people were reportedly killed in overnight clashes in the capital city of Sana’a. Dozens have been killed since Monday, when artillery explosions and machine-gun fire shattered a tenuous cease-fire that lasted less than 48 hours. We get a report from Iona Craig of The Times of London, who is in Sana’a...."

"A Country of Dark Corners": Freed Journalist Dorothy Parvaz on Her Syrian Detention and the Assad Regime Crackdown

"Al Jazeera correspondent Dorothy Parvaz disappeared for 19 days when she flew to Damascus to cover the uprising there at the end of April. Parvaz was jailed in a Syrian prison, where she underwent interrogation and witnessed the abuse of pro-democracy protesters. She was ultimately deported to Iran, where she was detained again and then finally released. We speak with Parvaz about her ordeal and the unfolding human rights crisis in Syria....."

Today's Cartoon by the Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

The Republican Monarchy of the Assads, Father and Son.

Time Running Out for Two-State Solution

Analysis by Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Jun 2, 2011 (IPS) - Time is of the essence if the implementation of a two-state solution to end the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to succeed. Changing demographics both within Israeli and Palestinian society could render this impossible, with a one-state solution the only feasible outcome....

Extremely right-wing Haredi political parties such as Shas
are powerful coalition factors in the make-up of Israeli governments, dictating a fair amount of policy. The Haredi population has little education and high rates of unemployment, leading to a drain on Israel’s economy as well as its secular and more politically compromising demographic.

Furthermore, Russian immigrants to Israel now comprise approximately a fifth of the population. Coming from former totalitarian regimes many of them are also little inclined to accept the Palestinians as equals....

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said in 2007, "if the two-state solution fails, Israel will face a South African style struggle for political rights." And "once that happens," he warned, "the state of Israel is finished." "

Popular Opposition Mounts to Camp David Deal

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Jun 1, 2011 (IPS) - Throughout ousted president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, the 1979 Camp David agreement served to keep the peace between historical foes Egypt and Israel. But since Mubarak's February departure, popular calls for the treaty's abrogation have grown louder.

"Egypt's march towards liberation that began with the Jan. 25 Revolution will not be complete until this dishonourable agreement is scrapped," Mohamed Mahmoud, founding member of the Cairo-based Arab/Islamic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (A/IFLP) told IPS.....

Since Mubarak's removal, Egypt has seen a number of demonstrations in front of Israel's embassy in Cairo and consulate in Alexandria. Protesters have demanded that the country's new rulers cut diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, reopen Egypt's border with the besieged Gaza Strip, and - most contentiously - withdraw from Camp David.

On May 15, thousands of demonstrators amassed outside the Israeli embassy, eventually clashing with police in scenes reminiscent of the 18-day Tahrir Uprising. Hundreds suffered excessive teargas inhalation (two of them reportedly died as a consequence), while more than 350 were arrested and hauled before military courts (most have since been conditionally released).

Only two days earlier, as part of a planned "Third Intifadah", hundreds of thousands of Egyptians had gathered in Cairo's Tahir Square in a show of solidarity with their Palestinian brethren. Members of the A/IFLP - formed by a handful of activists after Egypt's revolution - used the occasion to collect signatures for a petition calling for the abrogation of Camp David......

"Even before Mubarak's departure, the idea of modifying the treaty in Egypt's favour was often discussed," Tarek Fahmi, director of the Israeli desk at the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle East Studies told IPS. "But these discussions never reached the implementation phase."

According to Mahmoud, Camp David represented "a central pillar of the former regime," which, despite Mubarak's overthrow, "nevertheless still remains intact."

"We're calling for the treaty's annulment because it restricts Egyptian military deployment on its own sovereign territory, thus limiting its ability to defend itself," he said. "What's more, Camp David forces Egypt to recognise Israel, thereby legitimising the latter's flagrant rape of Palestinian land."....

Egypt's powerful Muslim Brotherhood movement, which many believe could play a major role in Egypt's post-election government, has formally stated its commitment to respect "all international treaties" to which Egypt is signatory - including Camp David.[Hypocrites, BIG TIME!]...."

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The Tie that Binds

by Philip Giraldi, June 02, 2011

"The recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a personal triumph for him and a disaster for the United States. Since the 1960s, if not before, Israel has sought to bind the United States to her by maintaining that the two countries have identical interests worldwide. In reality, this has never been true, even during the cold war when the Soviets were actively engaged in a number of Arab states, but it is a lie that has been assiduously promoted by Israel’s friends in Washington. The false narrative has been used to justify extraordinary levels of taxpayer-provided aid to Israel as well as unlimited political cover in international organizations like the United Nations, where the US Security Council veto has been regularly deployed to negate possible consequences whenever Israel attacks one of its neighbors.....

So what does it all mean? It means that the Obama Administration has no leverage whatsoever against Netanyahu. It has de facto accepted that there will be no peace process in the Middle East because Israel does not want there to be one. It means that the United States will use its veto at the UN as well as other forms of suasion internationally to make sure that Israel is neither criticized nor isolated, no matter what Netanyahu and his colleagues do. It means that largesse from the US taxpayer will continue, with plans afoot to budget the money out of the annual Pentagon appropriation so it will untouchable in any future debate over foreign aid packages. It also means that the United States is part and parcel to the ongoing system of apartheid practiced by the Israelis. To further punish the Palestinians there is even considerable talk in Congress about cutting US aid in response to the formation of a unity government between Fatah and Hamas....."

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The Spanish are having their own Arab Spring

By Adrian Hamilton
The Independent

"....But this is not a repeat of traditional union-led, left-wing organised demonstrations against government of the sort we have seen so often in the past. Far from it. The peculiarity of European politics at the moment is that the revolt against cuts is directed against anyone in power to the benefit of the party in opposition.....

The Spanish protests, in contrast, are not a left-right affair. Rather, like the Arab movements, they are demonstrating against the whole system and the major parties held to be part of it. The means of organisation through social networks is the same as in the Arab uprising. The occupation of public places and the establishment of committees to handle food and rubbish draws on the North African example.

Some of the causes are also the same. Spain now has the highest rate of unemployment in the EU, with a youth unemployment of 45 per cent which is pretty close to the rates experienced through much of the Middle East.

Corruption is held to be widespread, with over 100 candidates in the local election being accused of it. The banking crisis has exposed– as in Ireland – a system in which financiers, developers and politicians hug each other all too closely......

To claim that we in the West should congratulate ourselves on an Arab Spring which looks to us as its example is just to misunderstand its nature and our response. The protesters in the Arab squares are demonstrating against an autocracy and corruption which have become insufferable. The demonstrators in Spain are saying the same about their democratic structures......

Far from it being a moment for self-congratulation, the Arab Spring should be causing us to look at ourselves and see what lessons it has for us....."