Saturday, September 29, 2007

US trains Gulf air forces for war with Iran

The American air force is working with military leaders from the Gulf to train and prepare Arab air forces for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

"An air warfare conference in Washington last week was told how American air chiefs have helped to co-ordinate intelligence-sharing with Gulf Arab nations and organise combined exercises designed to make it easier to fight together.

Gen Michael Mosley, the US Air Force chief of staff, used the conference to seek closer links with allies whose support America might need if President George W Bush chooses to bomb Iran.

Pentagon air chiefs have helped set up an air warfare centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Gulf nations are training their fighter pilots and America has big bases. It is modelled on the US Air Force warfare centre at Nellis air force base in Nevada.

Jordan and the UAE have both taken part in combined exercises designed to make sure their air forces can fly, and fight, together and with American jets......"

The futility of betting on US for Peace in Palestine

News Analysis by Khalid Amayreh

"While logistical preparations are underway for the November peace conference, reportedly to take place in Annapolis, there are few signs, if any, suggesting that the much-heralded American sponsored effort will succeed in achieving what dozens of previous conferences, meetings, and initiatives failed to achieve......

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he believed that the main goal of the upcoming conference shouldn’t be “peacemaking” but rather preparing the right environment for enabling true peacemaking to materialize.....

If seeing is believing, the phantasmagoric images of murdered Palestinian children, mutilated to pieces of scattered human flesh by heavy Israeli artillery bombardment of heavily-populated neighborhoods suggest that Israel is interested more in shedding the blood of Palestinian school children to pieces and less in pursuing peace......

As to the Palestinian and other Arab players, it is sufficiently obvious that they are acting and behaving like beggars, not equal partners.Indeed, while Israel was slaughtering his people in Gaza and denying Palestinians their natural right to access Muslim holy places in East Jerusalem , Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas held another warm meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister who, in characteristic arrogance, told him that these Palestinian civilians, murdered by the Israeli war machine, were killed for the sake of peace. The Zionist official actually stopped short of asking Abbas to thank Israel for killing these helpless innocent victims.....

However, Abbas’s assertions will mean nothing if they are not backed up by hard political stands on the ground. But the fact that Abbas has been acting like a beggar, and for that matter an undignified one, shows that he either doesn’t mean what he says, or doesn’t say what he means.....

In fact, the US, especially this fascist and conspicuously anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian administration, has always had a deep romantic involvement with Israeli criminality, fascism and territorial expansion.....

More to the point, apart from US complicity, there are real fears that the Bush administration may be using the upcoming conference as another show for hatching plans to attack a major Muslim country in the Middle East . If so, the Arab regimes attending the conference would be justifiably seen as “accomplices” and quislings working in cahoots with the Bush administration against Iran ......

I am saying that because as long as US interests are not harmed, or at least hurt, not through violence, the American people will not press their government and Jewish-controlled senators and congressmen, to extricate American politics and policies from the Zionist stranglehold.

It is true, Palestine and Palestinians won’t be free from Zio-Nazism until and unless the American people and their government are free from AIPAC and the hateful Jewish lobby. Former President Jimmy Carter and some prominent symbols of the American academia have realized this cardinal reality. So, why can’t these Arab regimes see the same reality.?

Let them begin with some symbolic steps to liberate themselves from subservience to Jewish-controlled America. How about demanding Euros instead of dollars for their oil?[dream on Khalid]"

Neocon 'godfather' Norman Podhoretz tells Bush: bomb Iran

Times Online

"ONE of the founding fathers of neoconservatism has privately urged President George W Bush to bomb Iran rather than allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

Norman Podhoretz, an intellectual guru of the neoconservative movement who has joined Rudolph Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign as a senior foreign policy adviser, held an unpublicised meeting with Bush late last spring at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

The encounter reveals the enduring influence of the neoconservatives at the highest reaches of the White House, despite some high-profile casualties in the past year.

Karl Rove, who was still serving in the White House as Bush’s deputy chief of staff, took notes. But the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, was not logged on the president’s schedule.

“I urged Bush to take action against the Iranian nuclear facilities and explained why I thought there was no alternative,” said Podhoretz, 77, in an interview with The Sunday Times.

“I laid out the worst-case scenario – bombing Iran – versus the worst-case consequences of allowing the Iranians to get the bomb.”

He also told Bush: “You have the awesome responsibility to prevent another holocaust. You’re the only one with the guts to do it.” The president looked very solemn, Podhoretz said......"

After shock

From Poland to Iraq and from China to New Orleans, neoliberalism has risen on the back of what Naomi Klein calls ‘disaster capitalism’. She spoke to Oscar Reyes about her new book, The Shock Doctrine, and new forms of resistance.

Contributed by Datta

Naomi Klein interviewed by
Oscar Reyes

"The central message of my book is that we've been told that our ideas have been tried and failed but, in fact, it is the opposite. Our ideas work, but they cost. They are very good for economic growth but they really eat into super-profit, and that is why there has been such an aggressive attempt to paint them as failures.
This idea of co-operatives did not fail - it was never tried. Solidarity never got a chance to enact its real economic programme in Poland before those dreams were betrayed with shock therapy. In Russia there was a very clear choice not to democratically remake the economy, despite the fact that 67 per cent of Russians stated that their preferred means of privatising state companies was to hand them over to the workers as workers' cooperatives.

I find it tremendously hopeful to realise that these ideas that we have been told are impractical did not fail. The notion that our ideas are already discredited is the major source of weakness on the left. It is what makes us tentative in key moments. Pulling these lost worlds out of the narrative of our last 35 years shows that what the vast majority of people wanted in South Africa, Poland, Russia and China did not fail, but was crushed. It was crushed by military tanks and crushed by think tanks....."

A Ticking Bomb

Middle East Looking a Lot Like Europe on the Eve of World War One



".....If this downward spiral of events in Europe reminds us of the Middle East today, it should. There too we see a series of crises, each holding the potential of kicking off a much larger war. There are almost too many to list: the war in Iraq, the U.S versus Iran, Israel vs. Syria, the U.S. vs. Syria, Syria vs. Lebanon, Turkey vs. Kurdistan, the war in Afghanistan, the de-stabilization of Pakistan, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and the permanent crisis of Israel vs. the Palestinians. Each is a tick of the bomb, bringing us closer and closer to the explosion no one wants, no one outside the neo-con cabal and Likud, anyway.

A basic rule of history is that the inevitable eventually happens. If you keep on smoking in the powder magazine, you will at some point blow it up. No one can predict the specific event or its timing, but everyone can see the trend and where it is leading.

In the Middle East today, as in Europe in the decade before World War I, the desperate need is for a country or a leader to reverse the trend. Then, the two European leaders most opposed to war, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, were able to do little more than drag their feet, trying to slow the train of events down. That was not enough, and it will not be enough today in the Middle East either.

Where do we see a leader who can turn aside the march toward war? Not in the Middle East itself, nor among American Presidential candidates, only two of whom, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, represent a real change of direction. Not in Europe, whose heads of government are terrified of breaking with the Americans. Not in Moscow or Beijing, both of which are happy to see America digging its own grave. No matter where we look, the horizon is empty.

Where vision is wanting, the people perish. As they did in Central Europe in the 20th century, by the tens of millions."

Iraq's WMD Myth

Why Clinton is Culpable


"A former senior UN diplomat has revealed to me details of how, just over 10 years ago, the Clinton administration deliberately sabotaged UN weapons inspections in Iraq.

American officials were fearful that Iraq would be officially certified as weapons-free, a development that was seen as a political liability for Bill Clinton. Thus the stage was set for the manufacture of the Iraqi WMD myth as the excuse for George Bush's catastrophic invasion of Iraq......"

What's Good for the Goose.....

Iran's parliament approves labeling CIA, U.S. Army terrorist groups

"Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution to label the CIA and the U.S. Army terrorist organizations.

The move is seen as a diplomatic tit-for-tat after the U.S. Senate voted in favor of a resolution urging the State Department to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

"The aggressor U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency are terrorists and also nurture terror," said a statement by the 215 lawmakers who signed the resolution at an open session of the Iranian parliament. The session was broadcast live on state-run radio......."

The Children of 5767

"I'm Not Going to Lose My Mind, Just Because I Lost My Heart"


"It was a pretty quiet year, relatively speaking. Only 457 Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed, according to the B'Tselem human rights organization, including the victims of Qassam rockets. Fewer casualties than in many previous years. However, it was still a terrible year: 92 Palestinian children were killed (fortunately, not a single Israeli child was killed by Palestinians, despite the Qassams). One-fifth of the Palestinians killed were children and teens - a disproportionate, almost unprecedented number. The Jewish year of 5767. Almost 100 children, who were alive and playing last New Year, didn't survive to see this one......

And what about the unborn babies? They weren't safe either. A bullet in the back of Maha Qatuni, a woman who was seven months pregnant and got up during the night to protect her children in their home, struck her fetus in the womb, shattering its head. The wounded mother lay in the Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus, hooked up to numerous tubes. She was going to name the baby Daoud. Does killing a fetus count as murder? And how "old" was the deceased? He was certainly the youngest of the many children Israel killed in the past year.

Happy New Year. "

Handicapped Gaza woman beats the odds

Rami Almeghari writing from Gaza City, occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, Sep 29, 2007

Saeda Alkhaldi showing her work in the Gaza Strip Society for the Disabled. (Iyad Albaba)

"At the age of 24, Saeda Alkhaldi, a woman from Gaza City who suffers from polio, restarted her education starting from elementary school until she had her bachelor of arts six years later. Her will made her strong enough to make her way into academic life, despite her disability. Now Saeda is a board and staff member at the Gaza Strip Society for the Disabled, where she is in charge of the women's activities department....."

So What About Iran?

How to Make Iraq Look Like Whipped Cream


"A respected American paper posted a scoop this week: Vice-President Dick Cheney, the King of Hawks, has thought up a Machiavellian scheme for an attack on Iran. Its main point: Israel will start by bombing an Iranian nuclear installation, Iran will respond by launching missiles at Israel, and this will serve as a pretext for an American attack on Iran.

Far-fetched? Not really. It is rather like what happened in 1956. Then France, Israel and Britain secretly planned to attack Egypt in order to topple Gamal Abd-al-Nasser ("regime change" in today's lingo.) It was agreed that Israeli paratroops would be dropped near the Suez Canal, and that the resulting conflict would serve as a pretext for the French and British to occupy the canal area in order to "secure" the waterway. This plan was implemented (and failed miserably)......

Would the pretext have stood up? In other words, is the US obliged to enter a war on our side, even when that war is caused by us? In theory, the answer is yes. The current agreements between the US and Israel say that America has to come to Israel's aid in any war - whoever started it.

Is there any substance to this leak? Hard to know. But it strengthens the suspicion that an attack on Iran is more imminent than people imagine.

Do Bush, Cheney & Co. indeed intend to attack Iran?

I don't know, but my suspicion that they might is getting stronger.......

If the American attack turns into a long war of attrition, and if the American public comes to see it as a disaster (as is happening right now with the Iraqi adventure), some will surely put the blame on Israel. It is no secret that the Pro-Israel lobby and its allies - the (mostly Jewish) neo-cons and the Christian Zionists - are pushing America into this war, just as they pushed it into Iraq. For Israeli policy, the hoped-for gains of this war may turn into giant losses - not only for Israel, but also for the American Jewish community....."

Ellsberg Calls for Actions to Prevent War with Iran

by Michael Yoder

".....He said the Senate resolution passed Wednesday declaring Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization is an invitation for Bush to declare war on Iran.

Ellsberg compared Wednesday’s resolution to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, passed Aug. 7, 1964, that gave Johnson a virtually blank check for combat in North Vietnam. He laid out a scenario of $200 a barrel for oil, the possibility of retaliatory attacks against the U.S. and the president keeping open the “nuclear option” to attack Iran. He said he is asking people in government who have information that could stop such a war before it happens to not do what he did by releasing the Pentagon Papers after the war started. He said they should do what he didn’t do - release the information before a disaster happens. “Don’t wait till the war has started,” Ellsberg told the audience. “Don’t wait till the bombs are falling or thousands more have died.”......"

The Coming 'Stab in the Back' Campaign

Eric Alterman
The Nation

".....The coming campaign's foundations are already in place. They rest on three building blocks: an attack on the loyalty of those willing to recognize reality; the construction of an alternative reality in which victory is deemed to be imminent; and, finally, a shifting of blame for a supposedly premature withdrawal to those who refuse to play along......

In his clinically delusional book World War IV, Podhoretz paints Bush as a "great president" and professes to see in Iraq "enormous strides that had been made in democratizing and unifying the country under a workable federal system." No less implausibly, he compares war opponents, like former National Security Advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, to a "domestic insurgency" with a "life-and-death stake" in America's defeat. Podhoretz flatters himself and his fellow armchair generals with his claim that his screeds in Commentary and the Wall Street Journal editorial pages represent a "war of less bloody than the one being fought by our troops in the Middle East."....."

Sarkozy, the new Blair

The French president longs to play the newly vacant, thankless role of Washington's sidekick on the world stage.

By Soumaya Ghannoushi
The Guardian

"......The truth is, this is as absurd a policy turn as can be. And its timing could not be more wrong.

Sarkozy is courting Washington's favour at a time when even its traditional allies are turning away from it, keen to be seen to keep their distance, weary of being associated with its president in the eyes of increasingly hostile international public opinion.

What does France stand to gain from this exchange? The answer is, nothing. Drowning in crises in Iraq and Afghanistan, deeply loathed around the world and isolated at home, Bush has nothing to offer France, or any one else. He is now a heavy burden shunned by almost everyone, a sinking ship no one wants to board or cling on to.

France has greatly benefited from its opposition to America's war on Iraq. It was able to increase its international standing and strengthen its soft power in various parts of the world where it had been retreating.....

A sarcastic old Arab proverb says of one who mistimes an action: "Off to pilgrimage when everyone else is back." Sarkozy wants to be Blair when Blair's time is long gone.

All he stands to gain is the dubious honour of being known as Bush's new poodle, and having angry protesters against US foreign policy burn his effigy instead of Blair's."

Thanks a million, Ayn Rand, for setting the greedy free

The trickle-down theory beloved of Greenspan and his ilk is less a philosophy than a handy excuse for avarice

Naomi Klein
Saturday September 29, 2007
The Guardian

".....Since I began touring with my book The Shock Doctrine, I have had a number of exchanges like this, revolving around the same basic question: when hard-right political leaders and their advisers apply brutal economic shock therapy, do they honestly believe the trickle-down effects will build equitable societies - or are they just deliberately creating the conditions for yet another corporate feeding frenzy? Put bluntly: has the world been transformed over the past three decades by lofty ideology or by lowly greed?......

Much of the debate around Greenspan's legacy has revolved around the matter of hypocrisy, of a man preaching laissez faire who repeatedly intervened in the market to save the wealthiest players. The economy that is Greenspan's legacy hardly fits the definition of a libertarian market, but looks very much like another phenomenon described in his book: "When a government's leaders routinely seek out private-sector individuals or businesses and, in exchange for political support, bestow favours on them, the society is said to be in the grip of 'crony capitalism'.".....

.....Then he discovered Ayn Rand. "What she did ... was to make me think why capitalism is not only efficient and practical, but also moral," he said in 1974.

Rand's ideas about the "utopia of greed" allowed Greenspan to keep doing what he was doing but infused his corporate service with a powerful new sense of mission: making money wasn't just good for him, it was good for society as a whole. Of course, the flip side of this is the cruel disregard for those left behind. "Undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfilment," Greenspan wrote as a zealous new convert. "Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should." Was it this mindset that served him well as he supported shock therapy in Russia (72 million impoverished) and east Asia after the 1997 economic crisis (24 million pushed into unemployment)?......"

Realism in Iraq

Syria could help to avert some of the worst consequences of failed American policies in the Middle East.

By Joschka Fischer
The Guardian

"The Washington mountain has laboured and brought forth less than a mouse. General Petraeus and President Bush have spoken, but United States policy in Iraq remains as it was. This policy has led the US into a trap, so that now the largest and most important power in the world is facing only bad options......

It is incomprehensible, then, why the US, having succeeded in striking a deal with Libya, vehemently rejects any initiative towards Syria. If Syria changed sides, the situation in the region would be fundamentally transformed. This would be true for Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq and, above all, Iran.

For Iran, this development would be tantamount to a strategic worst-case scenario, bringing about its definitive isolation. Should it become a realistic prospect, a decisive approach to Iran would make sense. The ensuing "grand bargain" should concern the stabilisation of Iraq, Iran's nuclear programme, and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If successful, the bargain should also aim at a total normalisation of relations between Iran and the US....."


'The President Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing'

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has consistently led the way in telling the story of what's really going on in Iraq and Iran. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke to him about America's Hitler, Bush's Vietnam, and how the US press failed the First Amendment.

....Seymour Hersh:.....The Iranians are not even doing what they claim to be doing. The IAEA has been saying all along that they've been making progress but basically, Iran is nowhere. Of course the US and Israel are going to say you have to look at the worst case scenario, but there isn't enough evidence to justify a bombing raid......

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?

Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That's just their game......

Hersh: Oh no. We're going to build democracy. The real thing in the mind of this president is he wants to reshape the Middle East and make it a model. He absolutely believes it. I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can't have that in public life. But if it were Kissinger this time around, I'd actually be relieved because I'd know that the madness would be tied to some oil deal. But in this case, what you see is what you get. This guy believes he's doing God's work.....

Hersh: The Surge means basically that, in some way, the president has accepted ethnic cleansing, whether he's talking about it or not. When he first announced the Surge in January, he described it as a way to bring the parties together. He's not saying that any more. I think he now understands that ethnic cleansing is what is going to happen. You're going to have a Kurdistan. You're going to have a Sunni area that we're going to have to support forever. And you're going to have the Shiites in the South.....

Hersh: The validity is that the US is fighting a guerrilla war and doesn't know the culture. But the difference is that at a certain point, because of Congressional and public opposition, the Vietnam War was no longer tenable. But these guys now don't care. They see it but they don't care.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If the Iraq war does end up as a defeat for the US, will it leave as deep a wound as the Vietnam War did?

Hersh: Much worse. Vietnam was a tactical mistake. This is strategic. How do you repair damages with whole cultures? On the home front, though, we'll rationalize it away. Don't worry about that. Again, there's no learning curve. No learning curve at all. We'll be ready to fight another stupid war in another two decades......"

Friday, September 28, 2007

Abbas says 'olive branch' won't fall from his hands

"Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said his government was completely committed to a U.S.-proposed Mideast peace conference and vowed that the olive branch of peace would not fall from his hands.

His impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly Friday recalled the famous address to the same forum in 1974 by his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who appeared wearing a holster and carrying a sprig. Arafat told the assembled leaders that he carried both the olive branch and the freedom fighter's gun, and implored the world not to let that branch fall......."


The same nonsense talk as in 1974......
33 years later and nothing has changed....
Except that half the West Bank has been annexed.....
May be uprooting all those damn olive trees is not a bad idea after all!

Something to Make You Throw Up, by Robert Fisk

Dinner in Beirut, and a lesson in courage

"...... Why not? And so last Wednesday, the fog came creeping through the iron gateway of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt's town house in Beirut where he and a few brave MPs had gathered for dinner before parliament's useless vote on the presidential elections – now delayed until 23 October......

The food, as always, was impeccable. And why should those who face death by explosives or gunfire every day not eat well? Not for nothing has Nora Jumblatt been called the world's best hostess. I sat close to the Jumblatts while their guests – Ghazi Aridi, the minister of information, Marwan Hamade, minister of communications, and Tripoli MP Mosbah Al-Ahdab and a Beirut judge – joked and talked and showed insouciance for the fog of danger that shrouds their lives.

......Who is next? That is the question we all ask. "They" – the Syrians or their agents or gunmen working for mysterious governments – are out there, planning the next murder to cut Fouad Siniora's tiny majority down. "There will be another two dead in the next three weeks," Jumblatt said. And the dinner guests all looked at each other.

"We have all made our wills," Nora said quietly. Even you, Nora? She didn't think she was a target. "But I may be with Walid." And I looked at these educated, brave men – their policies not always wise, perhaps, but their courage unmistakable – and pondered how little we Westerners now care for the life of Lebanon......."


Sorry, I had to rush to the bathroom to throw up; thanks Robert!

مشاركة سورية في مؤتمر السلام

مشاركة سورية في مؤتمر السلام

"لم يبق علي موعد انعقاد مؤتمر الشرق الاوسط للسلام الا سبعة اسابيع تقريبا، ومع ذلك ما زال هذا المؤتمر يتسم بالغموض، ويفتقر الي جدول اعمال واضح بشأن القضايا التي ستطرح علي مائدة البحث.
فحتي هذه اللحظة ما زال من غير المعروف عدد الدول المشاركة، وعلي اي مستوي ستكون هذه المشاركة، هل علي مستوي زعماء الدول او وزراء خارجيتهم، ثم من هي هذه الدول وما هي طبيعة دورها، ومن سيكون عضوا مراقبا ومن سيكون عضوا فاعلا، وما هي مدة هذا المؤتمر أو سقفه الزمني الاعلي؟
الرئيس جورج بوش صاحب الدعوة الي المؤتمر قرر ان تكون السيدة كوندوليزا رايس رئيسته، وهذا يعني انه سيكون علي مستوي وزراء الخارجية، لانه من غير المعقول ان يحضر زعماء من الشرق الاوسط ويشاركون بمؤتمر تتزعمه وزيرة خارجية امريكا وليس رئيسها، ولكن كل شيء جائز، ومعظم الزعماء العرب لا يستطيعون مخالفة اي امر للسيدة رايس، او يرفضون دعوة موجهة منها. السيدة رايس قالت ان المؤتمر سيبحث القضية الفلسطينية فقط، اي انه سيركز علي الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة، ولن يتطرق الي قضايا اخري، مثل احتلال هضبة الجولان او مستقبل مزارع شبعا اللبنانية.
حصر جدول اعمال المؤتمر بالاراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة دون غيرها يعني ان المشاركة السورية غير مرغوب فيها، وحتي اذا تمت فانها ستكون ثانوية، اي ان تقتصر علي دور المراقبة، او اكمال العدد لا اكثر ولا اقل.
المسؤولون السوريون قالوا انهم لم يتلقوا اي دعوة رسمية للمشاركة في هذا المؤتمر، وكل ما سمعوه حول مشاركتهم جاء عبر وسائل الاعلام، اي كلام اطلقته السيدة رايس في الهواء حول دعوة سورية ولبنان الي المؤتمر، ولم تترجمه عمليا علي الورق.
الموقف السوري تجاه هذا المؤتمر بدا مرتبكا، فبعض المسؤولين السوريين مثل السيد وليد المعلم قال ان سورية ستشارك، والبعض الاخر قال انها ستدرس الدعوة وتقرر بشأنها، ولكن بعد وصولها رسميا.
السيد عمرو موسي امين عام جامعة الدول العربية، المتواجد حاليا في نيويورك لحضور جلسات الجمعية العامة للامم المتحدة قال ان سورية ستشارك في المؤتمر. واكد في مؤتمر صحافي ان الولايات المتحدة اعلنت تأييدها للمشاركة السورية هذه، باعتبار سورية عضوا في لجنة المتابعة العربية.
المشاركة السورية ربما جاءت لتوفير غطاء لمشاركة المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الامارات العربية المتحدة، لان الولايات المتحدة حريصة ان يجلس وزيرا خارجية البلدين جنبا الي جنب مع وزيرة الخارجية الاسرائيلية، ويتبادلا المصافحات معها امام عدسات التلفزة.
امين عام جامعة الدول العربية بدأ التمهيد لمشاركة السعودية والامارات اللتين لم تقيما اي اتصالات رسمية علنية مع اسرائيل بالمطالبة بموقف اسرائيلي بتجميد العمليات الاستيطانية في الضفة الغربية في الفترة المقبلة ريثما ينعقد المؤتمر. ومن المؤكد ان الدولة العبرية لن تجد اي مشكلة في تجميد الاستيطان ستة اسابيع اذا كان المقابل هو مشاركة عربية موسعة ومن قبل دول لا تقيم علاقات معها.
الشروط العربية تتواضع بشكل مرعب مع اقتراب موعد انعقاد المؤتمر، ولن يكون مفاجئا بالنسبة الينا اذا ما اسقط العرب كل هذه الشروط في الايام المقبلة، وذهبوا الي المؤتمر وفق الشروط الاسرائيلية، اي التطبيع قبل الجلوس الي مائدة المفاوضات."

(AP photo)
Would the Arab Sheeple Dare Mounting a Similar Protest?
Don't Count on it...

The Teflon Alliance with Israel

See No Evil


".......It has become almost trite to quote George Washington's farewell speech urging moderation in foreign attachments, but his injunctions 200 years ago have an eerie applicability to the U.S. relationship with Israel today. Warning against "a passionate attachment of one nation for another," Washington observed that this creates "a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification."

The U.S. alliance with Israel has unquestionably led to a gross distortion of U.S. policy in exactly the way in which Washington predicted, creating the illusion of a common interest where none exists and injecting Israel's enmities into the U.S. with little or no justification. If the U.S. cannot distinguish its own interests from those of Israel and Israel's lobby, then it simply cannot act, as it should, purely in its own interest. Those who minimize the role of the Israel lobby in influencing U.S. policy choices, and who refuse or fail to recognize the part Israel and the lobby have played in leading the U.S. into disastrous foreign adventures, pose an incalculable danger to the U.S., for a failure to recognize the reason for a misguided policy will inevitably doom us to repeat it."

More Meaningless Noise From Hamas

Hamas warns of harsh response to IDF killings

"Hamas warned Thursday that Israel will pay a heavy price for its attacks in the Gaza Strip, which killed 12 Palestinians over the preceding two days. One spokesman for the organization threatened to call on Palestinian groups to undertake all means of defense, which hints at the resumption of suicide bombings......"

The rising of Latin America - the genesis of 'The War On Democracy'

Victor Jara

By John Pilger

"......We filmed in the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, where Jara was taken along with thousands of other political prisoners. By all accounts, he was a source of strength for his comrades, singing for them until soldiers beat him to the ground and smashed his hands. He wrote his last song there and it was smuggled out on scraps of paper. These are the words:

What horror the face of fascism


They carry out their plans with

knife-like precision ...

For them, blood equals medals ...

How hard it is to sing

When I must sing of horror ...

In which silence and screams

Are the end of my song.

After two days of torture, they killed him. The War On Democracy is about such courage and a warning to us all that "for them" nothing has changed, that "blood equals medals"."

By Mike Luckovich

Israeli reporter still roaming in Syria: Yediot

I think that this story is significant, even though it has received little attention. This reporter has published more than one story from inside Syria, and continues to do so. It is inconceivable that he is in Syria without coordinating with the Syrian regime. Is this the "tough" Syrian response to the aerial Israeli attack on Syria?


"28/09/2007 Ynet said its reporter and commentator Ron Ben-Yishai continues his journey in Syria, attends "Yom Kippur service at the last synagogue in Damascus." Yediot Aharonot had earlier published a report saying Ben-Yishai had visited what the daily said was the Israeli air raid site in Deir el-Zor, north east of Syria. Observers say that the Israeli reporter had made several reports in Syria and took snapshots to support his stories and then left the Arab country back to occupied Palestine to publish them one at a time."

No Hope in the Democrats

Democrats signal capitulation on Iraq – and Iran

By Justin Raimondo

"As the cool undercurrents of Indian summer hint at winter frosts to come, the rhetoric of the Democrats' at their most recent presidential debate foreshadows their capitulation to the War Party on the two vital issues of the day: Iraq and Iran. The first fifteen minutes of the debate were devoted entirely to these issues, and, to anyone who wants to find hope in the prospect of a Democrat in the White House, watching the performance of the Seven Dwarves & Gravel (I'll resist the temptation to dub him the Troll) was a depressing experience......

That Senator Gravel, alone, had the courage to raise the alarm, and confront Hillary on this issue, speaks volumes about the state of the Democratic party – and the political impotence of the antiwar majority in this country. Those who want us out of Iraq, and, furthermore, are bitterly opposed to the prospect of yet another war in that neck of the woods, are the new silent majority. Silent because we don't hear this view reflected in the media – where pro-war commentary and "centrist" of-course-we-can't-withdraw-until-2012 punditry prevails – and also politically impotent: with the Democratic frontrunners basically taking a Bush-lite approach."

Unveiling men in the Arab world

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"......We are not saying that one should ignore the cartoons or outrageous statements, but rather, one should only give them the attention they deserve, with no exaggerations, and concentrate on more concrete issues relating to the Arab and Muslim worlds. The Prophet is too great to be affected by these ugly cartoons or the words of Ezzat Attiya. The reality is that these Arabs cannot - for a variety of reasons - speak out on the real issues that torment their lives. And even when they can, they are completely incapable of changing reality. That is why they go on to the next level - the small things in life - that they can control. It makes them feel important......

Unveiling men
In 1930, the Syrian daily Al-Shaab wrote an editorial saying: "Men should unveil, before women in Syria." A woman's veil, it added, is a physical garment that covers her head and sometimes her face. It is a matter of personal choice and freedom. It does not prevent her from being a good citizen and a highly professional or prolific woman......

Most men in our societies are more veiled than any of these women. A man's veil is an abstract one, created by him at will and not imposed by God. It is a veil against freedom and education. It is a veil against new ideas and dialogue. It is this man-veil that makes him walk up to the Danish Embassy and set it ablaze, thinking that this will lead him directly to heaven.

It is this man-veil that accounts today for so much ignorance in the Arab and Muslim world, and results in statements like those of Ezzat Attiya or the recent one pertaining to actresses and their marriage scenes. It is this man-veil that produces men who cannot accept women as equals, or lets them debate whether a woman's toes should be revealed in public, while other people around the world are studying astronomy, genetics, and informatics.

It is this man-veil that wrongly dwarfs Islam in the eyes of the West from a great religion discussing grand ideas to a mob movement against a bunch of silly cartoons, or Rushdie. It is this man-veil that lets men fear and hate the West. It is this man-veil that has produced men who value and have nourished themselves on ignorance and violence - at will - and contributed nothing to civilization for the past 500 years......"

Anti-Iran hawks win partial victory

By Jim Lobe
Asia Times

"WASHINGTON - Amid growing speculation about prospects for US military action against Iran, neo-conservatives and other hawks won a significant - if somewhat incomplete - victory in rallying the Democratic-led Congress to its side.

In a 76-22 vote on Wednesday, senators approved a non-binding amendment to the 2008 defense authorization bill that called for the administration of President George W Bush to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) "a foreign terrorist organization".......

That paralysis, however, appears to have favored the hawks, who have pressed their campaign for cross-border military action against Iran in the opinion pages of such neo-conservative publications as The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

Their calls for action became so intense that the commander of the US Central Command and Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, who has been trying to get authorization to negotiate an "incidents at sea" agreement with Iran, complained publicly that "this constant drumbeat of conflict is ... not helpful and not useful. It is not a good idea to be in a state of war. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions," he told Al-Jazeera.......

Indeed, it was Lieberman and Republican Senator John Kyl - an honorary co-chair of the pro-Likud Committee on the Present Danger - who co-sponsored the Senate amendment naming the IRGC as a terrorist group in an effort clearly designed to help tilt the internal balance within the administration.

As introduced, the amendment, which according to several Capitol Hill sources was drafted by AIPAC, actually went considerably further, deploying language that some senators argued could be interpreted as authorizing war against Iran.

Among other provisions, it called for the US to "combat, contain and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran ... and its indigenous Iraqi proxies" and "the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including ... military instruments, in support of [that] policy"......."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

US, NATO and Israel Deploy Nukes directed against Iran

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 27, 2007

".......In recent developments, Wayne Madsen (September 27) has suggested, based on US and foreign intelligence sources, that the B-52 carrying the advanced cruise missiles with bunker buster nuclear warheads was in fact destined for the Middle East.

Is the B-52 Barksdale incident in any way related to US plans to use nuclear weapons against Iran?

Madsen suggests, in this regard, that the operation of shipping the nuclear warheads was aborted "due to internal opposition within the Air Force and U.S. Intelligence Community", which was opposed to a planned US attack on Iran using nuclear warheads.

To grasp the seriousness of the "Barksdale incident", it is important to understand the broader context of nuclear weapons deployment respectively by the US, NATO and Israel.

We are not dealing with a single aborted operation of deployment of nuclear weapons to the Middle East.

There are indications that a large number of US made nuclear weapons are currently deployed in Western Europe and the Middle East including Israel.

This deployment pertains explicitly to targets in Iran

Without downplaying the significance of the Barksdale incident, if Washington were to decide to use nuclear weapons against Iran, they could be launched at short notice from a number of military bases in Western Europe and the Middle East. Turkey has some 90 B61 tactical nuclear weapons which are fully deployed.(See details below).

We are dealing with a coordinated military operation in which US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) plays a central role. The main coalition partners are the US, NATO and Israel........"

B-52 Nukes Headed for Iran: Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater

An Important Story
by Wayne Madsen

Global Research, September 27, 2007
Wayne Madsen Report

"WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52 transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

However, elements of the Air Force, supported by U.S. intelligence agency personnel, successfully revealed the ultimate destination of the nuclear weapons and the mission was aborted due to internal opposition within the Air Force and U.S. Intelligence Community.

Yesterday, the Washington Post attempted to explain away the fact that America's nuclear command and control system broke down in an unprecedented manner by reporting that it was the result of "security failures at multiple levels." It is now apparent that the command and control breakdown, reported as a BENT SPEAR incident to the Secretary of Defense and White House, was not the result of a command and control chain-of-command "failures" but the result of a revolt and push back by various echelons within the Air Force and intelligence agencies against a planned U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional weapons.......

CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the cover for a pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran had it not been for BENT SPEAR involving the B-52. In on the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran involving nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; members of the CHECKMATE team at the Pentagon, who have close connections to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli think tanks in Washington, including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, a political adviser to Tony Blair prior to becoming a Member of Parliament; Israeli political leaders like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who did his part last week to ratchet up tensions with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a probability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans for Iran were delayed....."

Crawling on hands and knees

The build-up to the "peace conference" is wearing out Abbas's kneecaps

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......Indeed, with less than six weeks separating us from the November conference, it seems that virtually no noteworthy progress has been made in the loudly touted talks between Olmert and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. As one disgruntled Palestinian official in Ramallah put it, the talks revealed that Abbas and Olmert were talking at cross purposes. "These talks were a total failure. President Abbas wanted a concrete agreement on the core issues, namely ending the occupation, but Olmert was just prevaricating, quibbling and babbling about Hamas, isolating the extremists and Israeli good-will gestures."

Last week, officials in Ramallah warned that the PA might not attend the conference if it became clear that it would be "a talking occasion". However, the warning was largely seen as a desperate tactic aimed at getting the Bush administration to press Israel to address the final status issues, at least in order to enhance Abbas's public standing among Palestinians, especially vis-à-vis Hamas. Interestingly, the warnings from Ramallah, coming from an "authority" whose very survival depends almost completely on Israeli and American good-will, were rebuffed rather sooner than later this week when the American secretary of state made it abundantly clear that she was washing her hands of any responsibility, that it was up to the two sides, not the Bush administration, to see to it that the conference won't turn into a mere talking occasion......

....Israel, it is increasingly obvious, has come to view Abbas -- at least privately very much as -- a puppet leader. This week, and under this very title, Israeli commentator Gideon Levy wrote that Abbas shouldn't go to Washington. "Even his meetings with Ehud Olmert are gradually turning into a disgrace and have become a humiliation for his people. It is impossible to bear the spectacle of the Palestinian leader's jolly visits in Jerusalem, bussing the cheek of the wife of the very prime minister who is meanwhile threatening to blockade a million and a half of his people, condemning them to darkness and hunger."......"

Bush, Oil and Moral Bankruptcy

The Truth is Out There--Can We Handle It?

Former CIA Analyst

"It is an exceedingly dangerous time. Vice President Dick Cheney and his hard-core "neo-conservative" protégés in the administration and Congress are pushing harder and harder for President George W. Bush, isolated from reality, to honor the promise he made to Israel to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

On Sept. 23, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned pointedly:

"If we escalate tensions, if we succumb to hysteria, if we start making threats, we are likely to stampede ourselves into a war [with Iran], which most reasonable people agree would be a disaster for us...I think the administration, the president and the vice president particularly, are trying to hype the atmosphere, and that is reminiscent of what preceded the war in Iraq."

So why the pressure for a wider war in which any victory will be Pyrrhic-for Israel and for the U.S.? The short answer is arrogant stupidity; the longer answer-what the Chinese used to call "great power chauvinism"-and oil........"

Why Did Israel Attack Syria?

An Opening Shot for War on Iran?

Another Great Piece

"....Israel's leadership understood the gravity of the moment. In January 2007 the Herzliya conference, an annual festival of strategy-making, invited no less than 40 Washington opinion-formers to join the usual throng of Israeli politicians, generals, journalists and academics. For a week the Israeli and American delegates spoke as one: Iran and its presumed proxy, Hizbullah, were bent on the genocidal destruction of Israel. Tehran's development of a nuclear program -- whether for civilian use, as Iran argues, or for military use, as the US and Israel claim -- had to be stopped at all costs......

.....In particular Syria, after witnessing the whirlwind of savagery unleashed against Lebanon last summer, feared it was next in line in the US-Israeli campaign to break Tehran's network of regional alliances. It deduced, probably correctly, that neither the US nor Israel would dare attack Iran without first clobbering Hizbullah and Damascus......

Nonetheless, the political significance of the justifications for the Israeli air strike is that both neatly tie together various strands of an argument needed by the neocons and Israel in making their case for an attack on Iran before Bush leaves office in early 2009. Each scenario suggests a Shia "axis of evil", coordinated by Iran, that is actively plotting Israel's destruction. And each story offers the pretext for an attack on Syria as a prelude to a pre-emptive strike against Tehran -- launched either by Washington or Tel Aviv -- to save Israel......

It should hardly need pointing out that we are again in a hall of mirrors, as we were during the period leading up to America's invasion of Iraq and have been during its subsequent occupation.....

The latest accusations should be seen as an example of Israel and the neocons "creating their own reality", as one Bush adviser famously observed of the neocon philosophy of power. The more that Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are menaced by Israel, the more they are forced to huddle together and behave in ways to protect themselves -- such as arming -- that can be portrayed as a "genocidal" threat to Israel and world order......

But they are also the evidence needed by Israel and the neocons to convict Syria and Iran in the court of Washington opinion. The attack on Syria is part of a clever hustle, one designed to vanquish or bypass the doubters in the Bush Administration, both by proving Syria's culpability and by provoking it to respond......

....Which is reason enough why Israel and the neocons are so bitterly opposed. Instead they must establish a new reality -- one in which the forces of "creative destruction" so beloved of the neocons engulf yet more of the region. For the rest of us, a simpler vocabulary suffices. What is being sold is catastrophe."

'A Coup Has Occurred'

by Daniel Ellsberg

"Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War, offered insights into the looming war with Iran and the loss of liberty in the United States at an American University symposium on Sept. 20.

Below is an edited transcript of Ellsberg's remarkable speech......

The Next Coup

Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It's not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That's the next coup, that completes the first......"

Joe’s Borrowed Idea: Split Iraq into Three Pieces

By Kurt Nimmo

"It is, to say the least, a predictable outcome, one that dovetails nicely with the neocon master plan. “US lawmakers voted Wednesday to split Iraq into a loose federation of sectarian-based regions and urged President George W Bush to press Iraqi leaders to agree,” reports Monsters and Critics. “More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the non-binding measure in the Senate, 75-23, showing frustration in both parties about Bush’s war policy and lagging national reconciliation in Iraq.” How anybody expects “national reconciliation” in a country—or the mere shadow of a country—bombed to kingdom come is not explained, not that it matters, as splintering Iraq into three distinct pieces harks back to the earliest Israeli planners, or maybe I should say criminal connivers......"

Ahmadinejad told the truth: “If the Holocaust happened, why must Palestinians pay?”

By Khalid Amayreh

"......Ahmadinejad posed many legitimate questions which Israel supporters have been striving for ages to keep off the conscience of the world. The fact that these questions were posed and highlighted at a respectable forum where the eyes of the world were focused made the mad dogs of Zionism go quite rabid.

Ahmadinejad simply asked the question often asked by hundreds of millions of ordinary Arabs and Muslims as well other conscientious people around the world.” Why is that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?” And “if the holocaust did happen, why must the Palestinians pay?” Yes, why? Why? Why?......"

Abbas: Don’t cross the red-lines

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

"Like most Palestinians, I don’t count much on Mahmoud Abbas to put up a meaningful resistance to Israel’s persistent attempts to obtain a formal Palestinian recognition of it as “a state of and for the Jews.”

This is why it is extremely important that the Palestinian masses tell this man that he is already going too far in sacrificing vital Palestinian national interests in order to appease the explicitly fascist government of Israel.

A few days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters that he had already received a commitment from Abbas to recognize Israel as “a state of the Jews.”

If true, this means that Abbas has committed an unforgivable strategic blunder affecting millions of Palestinians in the Diaspora and in Israel proper. To be honest, it is even more than a mere blunder, it is a grand treachery of immense historical proportions......"
Contributed by Datta

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Mr. Fish

Iraq Will Have to Wait

A Very Good Article
By Scott Ritter

".......In the days and weeks that have since passed, two things have become clear: Neither Congress nor the American people (including the antiwar movement) have a plan or the gumption to confront President Bush in anything more than cosmetic fashion over the war in Iraq, and while those charged with oversight mill about looking to score cheap political points and/or save face, the administration continues its march toward conflict with Iran unimpeded.....

Continued war in Iraq is a tragedy. Having the conflict spread to Iran would be a disaster. No one can claim to possess a crystal ball showing the future. There are many who, when confronted with the potential for conflict with Iran, choose to brush these warnings aside, noting that such a conflict would be madness, and that the United States currently lacks the resources to fight a war with Iran. Such wishful thinking borders on irresponsible foolishness. If the headlines from this month tell us anything, it is that war with Iran is very much a possibility. The Bush administration has been actively planning war with Iran since the fall of 2004. Since that time, several windows of opportunity have presented themselves (most recently in spring 2007), but the Bush administration found itself unable to pull the trigger for one reason or another (the Navy’s rejection of the presence of a third carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf scuttled the spring 2007 plans)......

We all should remember the fall of 2002. Many felt that there was no chance for a war with Iraq, especially once U.N. inspectors made their return. In March 2003, everyone who thought so was proved wrong. The fall of 2007 is no different. There is a sense of complacency when one speaks of the potential for a war with Iran. But time is not on the side of those who oppose conflict. If nothing is done to change the political situation inside America regarding Iran, there is an all too real possibility for a war to break out in the spring of 2008......."

David and Goliath: Palestinian Artist Spreads Hope

Rana Ghassan believes that history has shown us that it is our darkest hours, which provide us with the contrasting background for the brightest light of hope and inspiration. Clearly, this idea is captured in her work.

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".......With a hearty clutch on a handful of stones, his only weapon, the bulging veins and blanched knuckles convey an uncommon strength that so fluently and completely relays the history of the Palestinian struggle. It is not a message of victimization, weakness and pity. Yes, it does speak of adversity, injustice, but also of empowerment and the will to rise above wrong. If there is any notion that Palestinians would wish to relay, it is this; that their fight is not born of weakness and pity, but of brazen determination and guts. Ghassan is an ambassador in her own right, and has, in my opinion, conveyed this message impeccably.

"David and Goliath" reflects a symphony of emotions. She masterfully brings together elements of accurate drawing, mood coloration, and phenomenal composition, capturing subtle emotions sometimes hidden within a live scene or photograph, and expresses the struggle of life under oppression in an inspiring light of courage and struggle........"

US frets at Iran's 'strategic dominance'

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

"......The Bush administration has never used the term "strategic dominance" in any public statement on Iran. According to a concept of regional "dominance" defined by perceptions - which would mean the perceptions of Sunni Arab states who are opposed to any Shi'ite influence in the region - Iran could be seen as already having "strategic dominance" in the region.

The reported conclusion that the increased attacks by Shi'ite forces represent an effort to achieve such dominance could be the basis for a new argument that only by reducing Iranian influence in Iraq through military action can the United States avert Iranian "strategic dominance" in the region.

That conclusion about "strategic dominance" thus implies that destroying what is perceived to be the political-military bases of Iranian influence in Iraq has become the key US war aim.

The conclusion that the Shi'ite militias' rocket attacks on coalition targets represent a bid to "control the pace of escalation" could be interpreted as expressing a concern that the US lacks the military capacity to suppress those forces. That raises the question whether the advocates of war against Iran have introduced the concept of "escalation dominance" as a way of supporting their favorite option - attacking targets inside Iran.......

Joe Cirincione, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think-tank, said that if the report of the administration's conclusions about Iranian aims is true, "it is a disturbing sign that the hardliners have regained the pre-eminent policymaking position"........"

American "Diplomacy" With Teeth....
Or, as The Bitch Barks!

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Iran: Chronicle of a War Foretold?

By Tony Karon

".....I tend to agree, though, with the assessment of Steve Clemons that the Cheney/berserk position won’t necessarily prevail — but that the posturing and rhetoric from Washington could force the U.S. into an “accidental” war (a prospect that the berserkers have actually been trying to engineer). Its domestic and internal political shape — besides the neocons around Cheney, there’s also the AIPAC warning Capitol Hill that any legislators seeking to restrain the White House from military action against Iran will henceforth be treated as anti-Semites — certainly appears to be dissuading the Administration from sending any signals to Tehran making clear that Washington has no aggressive intent. Indeed, based on what they’re hearing from Washington, the Iranians might well assume that confrontation is inevitable.

The key to avoiding a confrontation may be the U.S. military, whose opposition to such a catastrophic blunder remains steadfast. The problem, though, is that the Bush Administration has painted itself into a corner by defining a “diplomatic solution” as simply an Iranian surrender to U.S. terms on the issue of uranium enrichment. But there’s little chance of that — which may help explain the rather cynical French hysteria — nor of any new sanctions any time soon, since Iran is cooperating with the IAEA to address outstanding concerns. That’s going to leave the Cheney berserkers, and the Israeli politicians scrambling to outdo each other in satisfying the public’s expectation of action, entering 2008 with no sign that diplomacy is going to produce the only outcome short of war that they’re prepared to countenance."

رهبان بورما وشيوخ المسيار

رهبان بورما وشيوخ المسيار

عبد الباري عطوان

جميع شعوب الارض تتحرك، تتظاهر، تنتفض، وتقدم التضحيات من اجل تغيير مجتمعاتها نحو الافضل، وتكريس حقوق المواطنين في الحريات والمشاركة في السلطة وصياغة حاضرهم ومستقبل اجيالهم الا شعوبنا العربية، والسبب هو وعاظ السلاطين وفتاواهم التخديرية التي تركز علي الهوامش والتفاصيل الصغيرة، وتبتعد عن القضايا الجوهرية.
علماء الدين كانوا يتصدرون المظاهرات واعمال المقاومة ضد الاحتلال الفرنسي والانكليزي، الآن تحولوا الي ادوات في يد الحاكم، يستقبل بعض كبارهم المسؤولين الاسرائيليين، ويبرر التطبيع، ويبيح المحظورات، ويشرع القتال ضد بلد عربي مسلم شقيق ويقف الي جانب القوات الامريكية حرصا علي منصبه، وطمعا في منحة من حاكم ظالم فاسد.
علينا ان نعترف اننا امة مريضة بمرض عضال أحد ابرز اسبابه وعاظ السلاطين، وشيوخ المسيار، الذين يلعبون دورا كبيرا في تجهيل الاجيال الحالية والمستقبلية حتي تظل هذه الامة في سبات اهل الكهف ولأطول فترة ممكنة.
فعندما يطفح كيل رهبان بورما المسالمين انتصارا لشعبهم الذي لا يواجه ربع القمع والفساد الذي تواجهه شعوبنا علي ايدي حكامها الظلمة، ولا يطفح كيل علمائنا ورجال ديننا، فهذا ابرز تشخيص للورم السرطاني الكبير الذي ينتشر في خلايا هذه الامة.
نتمني ارسال بعثات الي بورما لكي يتعلم ابناؤنا من رهبانها وشعبها معاني الثورة علي الظلم والقمع والديكتاتورية، وكيفية عدم التردد في قول كلمة حق في وجه سلاطين جائرين."

Help! Please Feed the Blog Today.

I will not be able to do more updating of the blog today. Therefore, please pitch in with good stories, comments, cartoons, audios, videos, etc. Just provide your comments and/or a link to the original in the comment section; for that I would be very appreciative. I will resume regular updating tomorrow.



Datta, Catholic Sunni Shia and Steven Rix for the great links provided.

By Mike Luckovich

By Khalil Bendib

Why Does Norman Podhoretz Hate America?

by Michael Scheuer

"Norman Podhoretz's new book, World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, is a hate-filled, anti-American book of the first order. Podhoretz hates every American who does not support the neoconservatives' views, the foreign policy they have devised, and the military and national security disasters to which they are leading America.......

At one point in his book Podhoretz quotes W.H. Auden's description of the 1930s as "a low and dishonest decade." (188) There is no better overall description for Norman Podhoretz's World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism than "low and dishonest."

Dress Rehearsal for War

Ahmadinejad's visit revives the War Party's sinking fortunes

By Justin Raimondo

"Just when you thought the War Party was down, and nearly out, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did them the favor of paying a visit to New York, the town that trademarked rudeness. This gave the usual suspects an opportunity to rehearse, so to speak, for the coming war with Iran......

The extraordinary din of catcalls and pure hatred that greeted Ahmadinejad upon his arrival in our country is like the Two-Minutes Hate in George Orwell's 1984, a novel that continues to remind us of the author's preternatural prescience. As a prelude to the bombing of Iran and the commencement of the Third Gulf War, this week's orgy of vitriol sets the tone for what is to come. "

Sharon's Support of Fatah: Ariel Sharon sought Barghouti's backing for PA premier in 2006

"Former prime minister Ariel Sharon's aides inquired whether imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti would support Salam Fayad for prime minister should Fatah win the January 2006 elections, Haaretz has learned.

MK Haim Oron (Meretz), who visited Barghouti in his Israeli prison, served as the liaison between Barghouti and Sharon's bureau. Barghouti told Oron that he would support Fayad and objected to forming a coalition with Hamas.

Sharon's staff concluded that Barghouti had the power to help Fatah win the elections, and therefore, the authorities improved his prison conditions: After more than two and a half years in solitary confinement, he was moved to an ordinary cell, and later transferred from Ohalei Kedar Prison to Hadarim.

He was also allowed to receive visitors, including senior Palestinian officials, and the Shin Bet security service permitted television channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya to interview him.

Israeli officials involved in the contacts said that Barghouti told Sharon that should Fatah win the elections, he would urge a program of reforms in the Palestinian Authority. The sources added that the talks with Barghouti convinced Sharon's aides that allowing him more contact with the media and with other Palestinians would increase his ability to contribute to a Fatah victory......."

Exclusive: Ynet reporter visits site of ‘Syria operation’

"Deir Ezzor is a city located in the Syria’s northeast region close to the Turkish border, and home to what Syria claims to be an agricultural research station. It was there that residents heard the sound of jets overhead on the night between the fifth and sixth of September. It was there that Israel allegedly carried out an air raid two weeks ago.....

“There were a few Israeli planes here that made supersonic booms over the city and maybe even dropped something. We didn’t hear any explosions on the ground,” said Ali (alias), a resident of the city......

The full story will be published Wednesday by Yedioth Ahronoth. A complete documentation of Ron Ben-Yishai’s visit to Damascus, the Syrian Golan, and other sites, will be published in Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth at the end of next week."

Buddha vs the barrel of a gun

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"With the United Nations as his stage, US President George W Bush announced to the world his decision to slap new economic sanctions on Myanmar. This is just for internal American consumption. The outcome of the showdown between thousands of Buddhist monks and the military rulers in Myanmar will in all likelihood be decided in China...."

The Iraq oil grab that went awry

By Dilip Hiro
Asia Times

"US officials have consistently dismissed the notion that the Iraq war was all about oil as too simple-minded for serious debate. Now former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan has waded in, writing that "the Iraq war is largely about oil". The dreams of black gold have spawned a story of greed, mismanagement and incompetence of spectacular proportions....."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Arab League's Latest Meeting....
It Supported the Saudi "Peace" Plan....

The Puppets' Lineup to Kiss Livni's Rear End: Livni meets Arab leaders in N.Y. in bid to normalize ties

"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, met with a number of Arab leaders and diplomats in a bid to normalize ties between Israel and some Arab states.

Livni met Tuesday in New York with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, stressing to him the importance of strengthening the ties between Arab countries and Israel on the basis of a "staged normalization".

Livni and the Qatar leader also discussed the ongoing talks between Israel and Palestinians leading up to the U.S.-led November peace conference and Qatar's willingness to support the negotiations.....

On Monday, Livni met with the Jordanian and Mauritanian foreign ministers, as well as the deputy foreign minister of Oman, Sayyid Bader, which cut off diplomatic ties with Israel following the second Intifada.

Bader and Livni met during a dinner that took place in order to commemorate the regional water purification plant in Oman, the last remnant of joint cooperation projects between Israel and the Arab world which began following the Madrid Conference. Israel, Oman, Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations all participated in its construction and scientists from the different countries work together through out the year. "

The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

An Excellent Interview

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

".....For more on Ahmadinejad's visit, we're joined by two guests. Ervand Abrahamian is an Iran expert and CUNY Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College here at the City University of New York. He's the author of several books on Iran, co-author of a new book from City Lights called Targeting Iran. And joining me from Washington, D.C. is Trita Parsi. He’s the president of the National Iranian American Council, the largest Iranian American organization in the United States, author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States.....

AMY GOODMAN: Does this remind you of Saddam Hussein before the war?

ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: It does. In fact, Ahmadinejad didn't say it last night -- yesterday, but his policy is that there is no likelihood of war, because no one in their right senses would think of invading or attacking Iran. And that's the premise he works on, which is, I think, a completely wrong premise, because he doesn't seem to understand American politics, the same people who gave us the war on Iraq, the same people who are running foreign policy now. But he begins from the premise that no one in their right senses would think of attacking Iran......

TRITA PARSI: Israel has for a very long time been a critical factor in America's formulation of a policy vis-à-vis Iran. But what's really interesting is that the influence of Israel has gone in completely different directions, if we just go back fifteen years. During the 1980s, in spite of the Iranian Revolution, in spite of Ayatollah Khomeini’s many, many harsh remarks about Israel, far, far worse than what anything Ahmadinejad has said so far, Israel at the time was the country that was lobbying the United States to open up talks with Iran to try to rebuild the US-Iran relations, because of strategic imperatives that Israel had. Israel needed Iran, because it was fearing the Arab world and a potential war with the Arabs.

After 1991, ’92, that's when you see the real shift in Israeli-Iranian relations, because that's when the entire geopolitical map of the Middle East is redrawn. The Soviet Union collapses. The last standing army of the Arabs, that of Saddam Hussein, is defeated in the Persian Gulf War. And you have an entirely new security environment in the Middle East, in which the two factors, the Soviets and the Arabs, that had pushed Iran and Israel closer together suddenly evaporate. But as their security environment improves, they also start to realize that they may be ending up in a situation in which they can become potential threats to each other. And that's when you see how the Israelis shift 180 degrees. Now the Israeli argument was that the United States should not talk to Iran, because there is no such thing as Iranian moderates.....

AMY GOODMAN: Your book, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States. And a final question for Professor Abrahamian: Are you afraid for your people? Are you afraid for the people of Iran?

ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: Yes. I’m very much concerned that in the next few months there will be air strikes. I think what we saw before with Iraq, we are having a rerun of that, very much the same rhetoric. The same type of people are pushing for war and using even the same sort of arguments that often -- unsubstantiated arguments blown out of proportion. For instance, the constant drumbeat that Iran is actually supplying weaponry to the insurgents that are killing Americans, this is basically saying that Iran has already declared war on the United States. When you try to actually pin down what is the evidence for that, it boils down to the yellowcake stories and the stuff about Saddam Hussein being behind al-Qaeda. Until the United States actually gets real evidence that Iran is providing lethal weapons to the insurgents, I would not accept any of those arguments at face value......"

Haydar 'abd al-Shafi: RIP

From Laila El-Haddad

"The sad news from Gaza this morning was the passing of the great Haydar 'abd al-Shafi after a two-year battle with stomach cancer. My friend had this to say about him:

A few hours ago, Dr. Haydar 'Abd al-Shafi passed away at his home in Gaza
City. He was 88 years old.

For those who may not have known, Dr. 'Abd al-Shafi was a leading independent Palestinian political figure. He led medical and relief efforts during the 1948 and 1967 wars, was a founding member of the PLO (later serving on the executive committee), and was founder and director of the Gaza Red Crescent Society. Dr. 'Abd al-Shafi endured imprisonment and exile at the
hands of the Israeli military.

Dr. 'Abd al-Shafi will be best remembered for leading the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace conference and the subsequent talks in Washington. His eloquence and calm passion helped communicate the aspirations and arguments of the Palestinian Intifada to a global audience. But his insistence that any good-faith peace efforts required a halt to Zionist colonization in the 1967 territories led Israel to stonewall the talks and Yasir 'Arafat to circumvent them, thus producing
the Oslo Accords. And the rest, as they say, is history

Dr. 'Abd al-Shafi's strenuous criticism of the Oslo regime's perpetuation of the occupation confirmed his status as a leading independent voice in Palestinian politics. During the 1996 Palestinian Legislative Council elections, he won more votes than any other candidate; he later resigned from the PLC after concluding that it had no power to improve the situation."

Ducks in a Row: Congress, Media Clamber on Board the War Train to Persia

Contributed by Andrew

By Chris Floyd

"Jon Schwarz, citing Carah Ong at Iran Nuclear Watch, reports that the Senate vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment -- essentially, a pre-emptive approval of any military action that the Bush Regime wants to take against Iran -- could be voted on as soon as Tuesday......

Some believe that, in the end, Bush won't pull the trigger on Iran, that he will be stopped, or at least dissuaded, by recalcitrant military brass unwilling to see their overstretched, crumbling forces broken completely in a major new conflict. But I think these are false hopes. As we have seen over the years, the Bush Regime ruthlessly purges officers who question the Leader's maniacal agenda or stand up too strongly for the honor and well-being of their troops. And the planned attack on Iran will be mostly a matter of airpower and naval-based missiles: remote killing by generals and admirals who love their glitzy, high-tech toys and want to give them the kind of unbridled work-out they've been denied since the early days of the Iraq invasion. (All that daily, workhorse dumping of a few bombs and missiles on Iraqi civilian areas here and there just doesn't provide the same kind of thrill.)......"

The Stooge is Given the Orders

Podhoretz: the Little Demon on Bush’s Shoulder

By Kurt Nimmo

"....First and foremost, it is no secret Podhoretz, one of the most dangerous neocons on the planet, has Bush’s attention, and second the neocon agenda is not “radical right-wing,” as the old broken down left-right political paradigm no longer works. Podhoretz’s sermon on the White House mount is simply another chapter in the neocon-neolib plan to domesticate the Middle East by way of cruise missile and bunker busters.....

....Israel’s “Arab policy” in “its most intimate particulars, is one of deliberate … acts of provocation, intended to generate Arab hostility and thus to create pretexts for armed action and territorial expansion,” explains Naseer H. Aruri.

Norman Podhoretz is one of several primary abettors of this policy, a sort of traveling salesman shuttling between Tel Aviv and Washington, a fact made apparent by the ease of Podhoretz’s appearance on both U.S. and Israeli television, insisting the United States bomb Iranian kindergarten classrooms and hospitals.....

If you’d like a taste of what Podhoretz’s war will look like, read former CIA officer Philip Giraldi’s latest post over at the Antiwar site. “Podhoretz undoubtedly sees the current global conflict as something that is good and necessary, both containable and winnable, but as his judgment on Iraq was fallible, his prediction of Iran’s rapid destruction is also unreliable. It might be useful to imagine just how war with Iran could play out if the Iranians don’t roll over and surrender at the first whiff of grapeshot.”

Giraldi’s speculation—a minor incident leading to a full-blown regional nuclear war—is entirely plausible. Indeed, it may become a horrific reality now that the little neocon demon Norman Podhoretz—deemed the “Unrepentant Neocon” by the War Street, er Wall Street Journal—has taken roost on Bush’s shoulder."

Arab poetry's sometimes subversive answer to "American Idol"

Saifedean Ammous, The Electronic Intifada, Sep 25, 2007

"Imagine an American TV network deciding to take the American Idol format and apply it to poetry: lining up poets to read their poems in front of temperamental judges while the nation gets out its mobile phones to vote for its favorite poet. One can be sure the show would not survive the first commercial break before the chastened executives pull the plug on it and replace it with yet another series on the Life and Times of Nicole Ritchie. Yet, that was exactly the formula for the latest TV sensation to take Arab countries by storm......"

Border impasse arises again

Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, The Electronic Intifada, Sep 25, 2007

"CAIRO, 24 September (IPS) - The border crisis that had appeared to subside last month is back, with an estimated 2,000 Palestinians marooned on Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip. A new security arrangement between Cairo, Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has effectively sealed the last sovereign transit point in or out of the troubled territory, which has been governed by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas since mid-June....."

Delegation from Barcelona visits Gaza City

"Gaza – Ma'an – A Spanish delegation from the Spanish city of Barcelona in Spain on Monday condemned "the tyrannical Israeli conduct against the Gaza Strip" which they said was aimed at depriving people of food, medicine and freedom.

The delegation is currently on a visit to Gaza City, which is twinned with the city of Barcelona.

The delegation met on Monday with the Mayor of Gaza City, Majid Abu Ramadan and handed over a letter of solidarity from the Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, who expressing the solidarity of the district of Catalonia with Gaza City and its residents.

Commenting on the letter of solidarity, the Mayor of Gaza city requested that the people of Spain be informed of the suffering of the people of Gaza City."

Turning Ahmadinejad Into Public Enemy No. 1

by Juan Cole

"......Taking potshots at a bantam cock of a populist like Ahmadinejad is actually a way of expressing another, deeper anxiety: fear of Iran’s rising position as a regional power and its challenge to the American and Israeli status quo. The real reason his visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state. The neoconservatives are even claiming that the United States has been at war with Iran since 1979......

And now the American war party, undeterred by the quagmire in Iraq, convinced that their model of New Empire is working, is eager to go on the offensive again. They may yet find a pretext to plunge the United States into another war. Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York this year will not include his visit to Ground Zero, because that is hallowed ground for American patriotism and he is being depicted as not just a critic of the United States but as the leader of an enemy state. His visit may, however, be ground zero for the next big military struggle of the United States in the Middle East, one that really will make Iraq look like a cakewalk."

What World War III May Look Like

A Must Read

"......It might start with a minor incident, possibly involving an American Marine patrol operating out of the new base at Badrah near the Iranian border. The Marines are surrounded by superior Iranian forces claiming that the Americans have strayed inside Iranian territory. The Marines refuse to surrender their weapons and instead open fire. The Iranians respond. Helicopter gunships are called in to support the Marines, and artillery fire is directed against Iranian military targets close to the border. President Bush calls the incident an act of war and, in an emotional speech to the nation, orders U.S. forces to attack. A hastily called meeting of the UN Security Council results in a 17-1 vote urging the United States to exercise restraint, with only Washington voting "no." In the UN General Assembly, only the U.S., Israel, Micronesia, and Costa Rica support the military action. The U.S. is effectively alone.

In the first few days, overwhelming American air and naval superiority destroy Iran's principal air, naval, and army bases. Iranian Revolutionary Guard facilities are particularly targeted and are obliterated, as are the known Iranian nuclear research and development sites. Population centers are avoided, though smart weapons destroy communications centers and command and control facilities. There are nevertheless large numbers of civilian casualties and widespread radioactive contamination as many of the targeted sites are in or near cities. Infrastructure is also hit, particularly bridges, roads, and power generation stations close to known nuclear research centers and military sites. The U.S. media, which had supported the administration's plans to engage Iran, rallies around the flag, praising the surgical attacks designed to cripple Tehran's nuclear weapons program. Congress supports the bombing, with leaders from both parties praising the president and commenting that Iran had it coming.......

The United States uses a neutron-type bomb against the main Iranian nuclear research center at Natanz, which it had already bombed conventionally and destroyed. It vows to bomb again if Iran continues to resist. Iran is defiant and fires another wave of Silkworms at U.S. ships, sinking one. Suicide bombers hit U.S. targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China place their nuclear forces on high alert. Pakistani militants take over parliament, aided by radical elements in the army and the intelligence service. India launches a preemptive strike against the main Pakistani nuclear centers at Wah and Multan, where the country's arsenal is believed to be concentrated. Pakistan has hidden some of its nukes elsewhere, however, and is able to strike back by bombing New Delhi. World War III has begun."