Saturday, December 8, 2007

Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism

"Author Sami Michael, president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said upon the release of the organization's annual report that racism was so rife it was damaging civil liberty in Israel......

The report's key points include a 26-percent rise in the number of racist incidents against Arabs and twice as many Jews reporting a feeling of hate toward Arabs......

According to the June 2007 Democracy Index of the Israel Democracy Institute, for example, only half the public believes that Jews and Arabs must have full equal rights.

Among Jewish respondents, 55 percent support the idea that the state should encourage Arab emigration from Israel and 78 percent oppose the inclusion of Arab political parties in the government. According to a Haifa University study, 74 percent of Jewish youths in Israel think that Arabs are "unclean.".....

They also include bills that require ministers and MKs to swear allegiance to a Jewish state and those that set aside 13 percent of all state lands owned by the Jewish National Fund for Jews only......"

U.S. intel report on Iran was political: Bolton

"BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence services were seeking to influence political policy-making with their assessment Iran had halted its nuclear arms program in 2003, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said.

Der Spiegel magazine quoted Bolton Saturday as saying the aim of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), contradicting his and President George W. Bush's own oft-stated position, was not to provide the latest intelligence on Iran.

"This is politics disguised as intelligence," Bolton was quoted as saying in an article appearing in next week's edition.

Bolton described the NIE, released Monday, as a "quasi-putsch" by the agencies, Der Spiegel said......"

No to the apartheid 2 states solution

No State Has the Right to Exist as a Racist State
An Interview with Omar Barghouti

A Very Good, Long Interview
by Silvia Cattori

"Omar Barghouti belongs to a new generation of Palestinians who never adhered to the solution of « Two States, Two peoples ». They are advocating, instead, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel as well as a «secular, democratic state» solution, where Palestinians and Israelis would share equal rights, after historic injustices are redressed and the refugees are allowed to return......

Silvia Cattori: The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, “The dream that was Palestine is finally dead.” [3]. How do you react to this kind of statement?

Omar Barghouti: That is wishful thinking. Neoconservatives, who control the Wall Street Journal, are on their way to the dustbin of history after all their failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would like to think that Palestinians are finished. I think they are finished. It will take some time, for sure, but I honestly believe their crusade has been proven criminal and futile and their arguments refuted.

Their grand ideological design - that was supposed to start with Iraq and then roll like a domino throughout the oil-rich Arab region, all the way to controlling the world - is being shattered. Their vision has been exposed as fundamentally racist, dogmatic, and profoundly flawed. Thanks to the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, this neocon vision of empire is on its way to ultimate defeat.....

Silvia Cattori: Can we hope that, thanks to voices like those of Ilan Pappe, of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt [13], of Jimmy Carter, of John Dugard, who broke certain taboos, and thanks to the efforts of anonymous people who helped these voices be heard, that you are at the beginning of a new era regarding a radicalisation towards Israel?
And will these new voices bring about a balance to the voices like Avnery, (who is indeed useful, but nevertheless, supports unjust solutions), to make these voices unacceptable for the Palestinians?

Omar Barghouti: Anti-Zionist Jewish voices are increasingly exposing the deception espoused by soft Zionists like Avnery. Being a Zionist today essentially means believing that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was acceptable or justifiable in order to establish the Jewish State, and that Palestinian refugees should not be allowed to return, in order to maintain the “Jewish character” –read: racist supremacy- of the State.......

Silvia Cattori: But those politicians who have an interest in applying the brakes whenever holding Israel to account, are still very influential in the debate. Do you agree with Palestinian political scientist Abdel-Sattar Qassem [15], who said that «real Palestinians» have so far had only a very small role in the debate about Palestine?

Omar Barghouti: Genuine representatives of Palestinian public opinion are seldom given a chance to be heard, because the mainstream western media, the large international conferences, the European and American funding organizations, are not interested in any principled Palestinian position advocating the application of international law and universal rights. They invite people who are pliable, “moderates” who will readily give up the right of return, for instance, and accept “Israel’s right to exist” as a racist apartheid state, in return for a subset of Palestinian rights. Only those “good Arabs” are sought after in such world forums......."

When Will Bush Come Clean?

Lies Upon Lies


"The recent disclosure that the latest National Intelligence Estimate concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapon program several years ago, assuming Iran ever had such a program, has caused consternation among neoconservatives, right-wing Israeli government officials, and Bush regime ranks.......

Why do the US media and the investigative committees of Congress have no interest whatsoever in finding the agenda behind Bush’s wars?

How can Americans be a free people living under a rule of law when the president can commit the country to catastrophic wars on the basis of deception and escape all accountability?

And Bush has the chutzpah to call on Iran to “come clean” about its nuclear program or face diplomatic isolation. When is Bush going to “come clean” and tell us the real agenda behind his lies, deceptions, and wars?"

The Coup Against Bush and Cheney

Tragedy of the Ridiculous White House

A Good Piece

"The one thing a president cannot afford to be is ridiculous. This week George Bush lurched into that fatal category and into the true twilight of his presidency, festooned with all the traditional discomfitures. Senior aides and close advisors parley with literary agents and find compelling reason to quit the White House and spend more time with their families. In public even the First Lady seems to edge away from her stricken mate......

....For months the blathersphere has quivered with predictions of a coup here in the US coinciding with an attack on Iran. The bit they got wrong was that their supposed perps turned out to be on the receiving end and the coup was aimed at preventing such an attack......

.....In practice this means that in the late summer senior intelligence officials figured the consensus in Washington and Wall Street Iran against an attack on Iran was powerful enough for them to lower the boom on the neo-cons. The latter have now retreated in disarray to their bunkers at the Weekly Standard and the National Review for a last stand, bellowing that it’s a filthy plot by peaceniks in the State Department. Actually, it is, in part, exactly that. It strikes at the neo-cons and it strikes at Israel, which has staked much on firing the US to attack Iran......

Humiliated by the NIE which flatly contradicted all his recent claims about Iran’s rush for nuclear weapons, Bush flailed away in his Tuesday press conference, eliciting contempt as he claimed he’d only just become aware of the NIE. “If that’s true,” Senator Joe Biden declared, “ he has the most incompetent staff in modern American history and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.”......."

Gulf Countries Speak Out against Iran Military Option


"08/12/2007 Gulf countries, cautious about the nuclear standoff between the United States and Iran, signaled loudly at a regional security conference on Saturday their opposition to any military option against Tehran.

Washington, wrong-footed by its own National Intelligence Estimate in its accusations that Iran wanted nuclear weapons, has emphasized that no options have been ruled out in forcing it to end its nuclear enrichment program. The NIE on Tuesday said that Iran, which insists its current program is for peaceful power generation, had halted a secret nuclear weapons program four years ago.

"We want the military factor (of Iran's nuclear program) to be eliminated," the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said on Saturday. "What we care for in the GCC is finding solutions that enhance security and stability ... and believe in dialogue as a way to solve the crisis," between the West and Iran, he said.

"We are not for the military confrontation option," said Attiyah.
Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamed bin Jassem al-Thani went further, calling on Washington to engage Tehran in dialogue to reach a solution. "Direct talks do not mean agreeing (from the start) with the other party," he told conference delegates on Saturday, among them US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Qatar, in a surprising move, invited Iran's President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to attend a GCC annual summit on Monday, making him the first Iranian president to take part in a Gulf leaders summit. "I don't think we can try to solve our problems through trying to seal Iran (off from) the region. They are a very important player," he said defending Qatar's decision. He also reiterated that being "pushed into a military confrontation with Iran" would not be in the interest of the GCC countries.

Toby Dodge, a Middle East consulting senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), said the GCC fears of military escalation in the Gulf were justified.
"Iran would retaliate to any (US) military action and the Gulf region would be affected... I assume that their strategy is to support an active US policy to restrain Iran (on the nuclear front), but short of military action," he told AFP."

غيتس يعتبر إيران خطرا على المنطقة لا إسرائيل وقطر ترفض

Gates says Israel’s nuclear program does not threaten the region because the Jewish state does not seek to destroy its neighbors or support terror

"This reply from the US defense secretary Robert Gates to a question at the Manama Dialogue conference Friday, Dec. 8, was greeted with laughter by the audience of Arab officials.

Gates denied the US applied a double standard by defending Israel while demanding that Iran abandon uranium enrichment. “Israel is not training terrorists to subvert its neighbors; it has not shipped weapons in a place like Iraq to kill thousands of innocent civilians covertly, threatened to destroy any of its neighbors or trying to destabilize the government of Lebanon.

Earlier the US defense secretary blasted Iran’s support for insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Hizballah and Hamas terror. "There can be little doubt that their destabilizing foreign policies are a threat to the interests of the United States, to the interests of every country in the Middle East and to the interests of all countries within the range of the ballistic missiles Iran is developing."

Gates argued that Iran is still developing ballistic missiles and uranium enrichment and its weapons program could be restarted any time."

"اعتبر وزير الدفاع الأميركي روبرت غيتس أن إسرائيل لا تشكل تهديدا بصفتها قوة نووية كما هو الحال مع إيران -إذا نجحت بامتلاك هذه التكنولوجيا- بينما أشار رئيس الوزراء ووزير الخارجية القطري الشيخ حمد بن جاسم بن جبر آل ثاني إلى أن أفعال إسرائيل هي التي تحدد ما إذا كانت مصدر خطر على الأمن الإقليمي أم لا.

ففي معرض رده على سؤال في جلسة اليوم السبت بمنتدى البحرين للحوار حول الأمن الأقليمي المنعقد في المنامة بدعوة من المعهد الدولي للدراسات الاستراتيجية، قال غيتس إن إسرائيل -صاحبة أكبر ترسانة نووية في الشرق الأوسط- لا تشكل مصدر تهديد للأمن الإقليمي.

وأشار إلى أن إسرائيل لا تدرب "الإرهابيين للذهاب إلى العراق أو تقوم بأعمال تخريبية في الدول المجاورة، أو تسعى لزعزعة استقرار الحكومة اللبنانية" في إشارة واضحة إلى كل من إيران وسوريا اللتين تتهمهما واشنطن بدعم المسلحين في العراق، والمقاومة الفلسطينية وحزب الله في لبنان.

وشدد الوزير الأميركي على أن هذه المعطيات كفيلة لأن تكون دليلا على الاختلاف الكبير بين إسرائيل وإيران "لناحيتي التاريخ والسلوك" حسب تعبيره، رافضا الاتهامات الموجهة للإدارة الأميركية بممارسة "الكيل بمكيالين" فيما يخص الملفين النوويين لإسرائيل وإيران.

وقوبلت تصريحات غيتس بالضحك في قاعة النقاش التي استضافت عددا من المسؤولين الحكوميين في الشرق الأوسط.

يشار أن غيتس أثار قبل عام غضب الإسرائيليين عندما ضم في شهادته أمام الكونغرس إسرائيل إلى قائمة الدول النووية التي تعتبر من الأسباب وراء سعي إيران لامتلاك أسلحة نووية.

الموقف القطري

وفي معرض رده على نفس السؤال، قال رئيس الوزراء ووزير الخارجية القطري إن المقارنة بين الطرفين (إسرائيل وإيران) واضحة عبر الأفعال، مشيرا إلى أن إسرائيل احتلت وما تزال تحتل أراض عربية، وتعمل على تقتيل الشعب الفلسطيني وتتوغل داخل أراضي السلطة الفلسطينية.

ومع اعترافه بوجود خلافات مع إيران حول بعض المسائل الإقليمية ومنها الجزر الإماراتية الثلاث التي احتلتها طهران في زمن الشاه، شدد الوزير القطري على ضرورة تعزيز العلاقات مع إيران كونها جزءا من المنطقة لا يمكن تجاوزه.

وكشف أن الولايات المتحدة وحلفاءها قدموا لإيران "حزمة من الحوافز للتخلي عن برنامجها النووي" ضمت في أحد بنودها ما وصفه "التفاهم مع دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي" دون معرفة واستشارة دول المجلس.

وخلص في كلامه إلى أن أمن الخليج يجب أن يكون مسؤولية دولية، للدور الهام الذي تلعبه هذه المنطقة على صعيد الاقتصاد العالمي بصفتها مصدر طاقة حيوي."

After the Release of the N.I.E.
Cheney: Don't Worry, I Have Several Other Rugs (excuses to attack Iran)!

Because the Pharaoh Has No Balls: Visiting European medics warn of a health disaster in Gaza

"A delegation of European medics in Gaza warned on Saturday of an imminent health disaster in the Gaza Strip, due to the ongoing Israeli siege.

The delegation's remarks came on the sideline of a visit to the Gaza-European hospital, to the south of the coastal region.

Dr. Walter Konty, Swiss head of the five-member delegation, was quated as saying " it is unfair to punish an entire community, as what Israel is currently imprisoning the Palestinians at a big jail, the same as what Jews went through during the II World War".

Member of the delegation, Palestinian-Swiss doctor, Abdelrahman Jandali, expressed his concern and fear over the current situation, saying " the current situation is alarming"

Nurse Barbil Kostali, wondered as to how the Palestinians are holding and bearable toward such an Israeli closure of their travel and commercial crossings.

Head of the local committee to break the siege, MP Jamal aL-Khodari, escorted the visiting team and produced facts and figures about the repercussions of the underway Israeli siege.

aL-Khodary stated that with Israel preventing access of 900 patients to treatment at hospitals outside the Gaza Strip, means a pre-determined ' slow death sentence'.

He called on the visitors to convey the real image of Gaza siege to the outside world, warning of the continuation of the Israeli closure, unless the international community and the European Union intervene immediately. "

The Warpath to Regime Change

by Gareth Porter

"Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative allies in the George W. Bush administration only began agitating for the use of military force against Iran once they had finally given up the illusion that regime change in Iran would happen without it.

And they did not give it up until late 2005, according to a former high-level Foreign Service officer who participated in U.S. discussions with Iran from 2001 until late 2005......

The neoconservatives were particularly serious about going after Syria.....But contrary to the popular notion that the neoconservatives believed that "real men go to Tehran," no one was yet proposing that Iran should be the military target.....

In a September 2007 interview with the Telegraph, a few months after he had left Cheney's office, Wurmser confirmed his belief that regime change in Syria – by force, if necessary – would directly affect the stability of the Tehran regime. If Iran were seen to be unable to do anything to prevent the overthrow of the regime in Syria, he suggested, it would seriously undermine the Islamic regime's prestige at home.....

Mann observes that the neoconservatives had never foresworn the use of force against Iran, but they had argued that less force would be needed in Iran than had been used in Iraq. By early 2006, however, that assumption was being discarded by prominent neoconservatives.....

Within the administration, meanwhile, Wurmser was looking for the opportunity to propose a military option against Iran. In his September 2007 interview with the Telegraph, he insisted that the United States must be willing to "escalate as far as we need to go to topple the [Iranian] regime if necessary.....

Neoconservatives aligned with Cheney argued that Iran was now threatening U.S. dominant position in the region through its proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territory, as well as with its nuclear program. They insisted the administration had to push back by targeting Iran's Quds Force personnel in Iraq, increasing naval presence in the Gulf, and accusing Iran of supporting the killing of U.S. troops.

Although the ostensible rationale was to pressure Iran to back down on the nuclear issue, in light of the previous views, it appears that they were hoping to use military power against Iran to accomplish their original goal of regime change."

Bush Spins Iran's Centrifuges

by Ray McGovern

".....Without weaver-in-chief Karl Rove and former presidential spokesman Tony Snow, it is amateur hour at the White House. And the theater would be as funny as "The Daily Show" were the subject not so serious.

Judging from President George W. Bush’s words and body language he is far from giving up on ways to “justify” attacking Iran’s nuclear program – weapons-related or not. He appears convinced he must honor the pledge he has made to Israel’s current leaders to eliminate what they have called an “existential threat” to Israel.

This came through in a particularly pointed way when an agitated president ad-libbed about the possibility of World War III, complaining loudly, “We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced he wants to destroy Israel.”.....

So what can Cheney and Bush do now to “justify” striking Iran?......

In other words, there is no sign that Gates wants to abet using Iranian meddling in Iraq as a pretext for a military strike on Iran. Gates’s well-deserved chameleon-like reputation counsels caution here, since a word from Cheney or Bush could conceivably make Gates a fervent champion of this pretext for war.......

At about the same time Dick Cheney complained that since the Iranians are “already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas, nobody can figure why they need nuclear as well to generate energy.”.....

Cheney and Rumsfeld persuaded a hesitant President Ford to offer Iran a deal that would have meant at least $6.4 billion for U.S. corporations like Westinghouse and General Electric, had not the Shah been unceremoniously dumped three years later. The offer included a reprocessing facility for a complete nuclear fuels cycle – essentially the same capability that the U.S. and Israel now insist Iran cannot be allowed to acquire.

A pity that our domesticated media seem unable to catch the disingenuousness."

Shame on Indonesian normalizers

From Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

"This week, Israeli media reported that a delegation of Indonesian Muslim religious leaders arrived in occupied Palestine and was being hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

According to the reports, the clerics, who claimed to represent up to 70 million people in the most populous Muslim country, told Peres that they wanted to present the moderate face of Islam that seeks cooperation and peace with other countries and religions and repudiate Islamic extremists.....

This is a question we put to these Indonesian Muslim dignitaries who have come to occupied Palestine to be deceived and duped by the most lying people on earth.

Certainly, the Palestinian people are not against good and constructive relations between the followers or Islam, Judaism and Christianity and other religions.

However, it is always wrong to visit a country whose political leaders and military commanders regularly instruct their trigger-happy troops to murder school children, farmers, day laborers and college students and then an obscenely mendacious hasbara (propaganda) machine would be entrusted with the dishonest task of turning the black into white and the white into black and the big lie into a virtual truth that is glorified by millions. Have they stopped claiming that the Israeli army is in fact the most moral army in the world?

There is no doubt that these Indonesian delegates are making a great harm to the cause of Islam, to the Palestinian cause, and to the cause of al Masjidul Aqsa since their untimely and unwise visit would be interpreted by a condescending Israel as bestowing some legitimacy on Israel’s Nazi-like policies and practices against the Palestinian people.

As a result of your visit, Israel’s crimes will cost less, and Peres and Olmert and their cohorts will tell non-Muslim critics of Israeli criminality…well, you surely won’t be more Muslim than the Muslim!!

Shame on you. "

A Must Watch Video: Abbas' Thugs Violently Attacking Anti-Annapolis Demonstration in Al-Khalil (Hebron)

Click Here to Watch

This is a clear indication of the kind of "state" the US is arming and training the Palestinian Lahad forces for. A "state" where the "security forces" are solely to keep the population terrorized and under heel, with no freedoms whatsoever; precisely the same as in all the dictatorial Arab regimes.

The Palestinians have not fought and died for 90 years to have a two-bit dictator subjugate them for the benefit of the occupiers; never!
-- Tony Sayegh

"حماس" تنفي نيتها تسليم مقار لعباس وتتمسك بحوار غير مشروط

"غزة ـ المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

نفت حركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" بشدة، نيّتها تسليم المقار الأمنية أو أي من الوزارات المدنية في قطاع غزة إلى رئيس السلطة محمود عباس، مقابل استئناف الحوار مع حركة "فتح".

وأكد سامي أبو زهري، المتحدث باسم الحركة في تصريح له مساء الجمعة (7/12)، أنّ كل ما ورد من معلومات في وكالة "معاً" الإخبارية بشأن استعدادات لتسليم مقار أمنية أو وزارات مدنية هي "أنباء عارية عن الصحة ولا أساس لها، وهدفها خلق مزيد من البلبلة".

وجدّد أبو زهري تمسّك حركة "حماس" بالحوار، لكنه استدرك قائلاً إنّ "الذي يعطِّل الحوار هو موقف الرئيس عباس وحركة فتح التي وضعت اشتراطات غير معقولة لبدء الحوار".

وكان أبو زهري قد نفى في وقت سابق وجود أي خلافات داخلية كما ذكرت وكالة "معاً"، مؤكداً أنّ حركة "حماس" موحّدة في الداخل والخارج وأنّ كافة مواقفها تأتي بشكل شوري، في حين اتهم وسائل إعلامية بمحاولة النيل من الحركة والإساءة إليها من خلال بثها معلومات مغلوطة لا أساس لها من الصحة".

وقال المتحدث إنّ "معاً" هي "صاحبة باع طويل في تلفيق الأخبار ضد الحركة، من خلال تفننها في صناعة الأخبار التي تشوِّه صورة حركته أمام الرأي العام الفلسطيني"، وفق ما ذكر، مؤكداً أنّ ما يجري من قبلها هو "إثارة لإشاعات مغرضة تأتي في سياق استهداف حماس إعلامياً وسياسياً"، حسب تحذيره. "

I will post the English version of this item, when available.

It confirms what I said yesterday, namely that Maan was fabricating a story (Maan Exclusive!) about Hamas having agreed to give back Gaza to Abbas and detailing supposed divisions within the ranks of the movement.

Basically Hamas firmly denied all of that and its spokesman made it clear that Maan is known for fabricating stories that distort the Hamas image.

I fully agree with that assessment of Maan. In fact I have stopped visiting the Maan site some time back. The agency is far from neutral and its "news" is filtered through a Fatah filter. I advise others to ignore that site because it is used for disinformation; to me that is unforgivable.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Video: They Have Cancelled Christmas in Bethlehem

The Syrian Tango: Syria 'not pessimistic' on Middle East peace talks

"WASHINGTON (AFP) - Syria is not pessimistic about US-brokered talks that had set a goal of a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of 2008, said its envoy to Washington, Imad Moustapha.

But he warned that Israel's occupation of territories and killing of Palestinians could wreck negotiations launched at the US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland last month.

"It can go into the footnotes of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict but it can be the start of something and I am not going to be very pessimistic," Moustapha told a forum organized by Georgetown University late Thursday.

"Negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis are happening right now as we talk, there is always this possibility -- remote or not -- that something might happen, something positive," he said......."


I wonder how much Syria got for this prostitution; but the regime is used to it.

Summit’s Goal: Perpetuate Repression of Palestinians

by Barb Olson and Amal Othman
(members of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project)
The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)

".....If you want to see the reality obscured by the lofty language of politicians, visit the concentration camp that is Gaza, invisible at Annapolis. Smell the stench of raw sewage and uncollected garbage. Listen to the cries of hungry children and watch sick people die from Israel cutting the electricity or the embargo on medicine or from waiting too long at the perpetually sealed borders. Watch women screaming over the bodies of children and husbands torn apart by Israeli bombardment or vicious fighting among rival gangs of camp inmates.

The original online transcript of Bush’s Annapolis speech referred to the “Iraqi soil of the West Bank and Gaza.” Official versions corrected this to “rocky soil.” But the cruel irony of this Freudian slip remains. Iraq certainly does resemble Gaza, with the West Bank close behind. This is not a path to peace."

The Zero-Sum Fiasco

by Dilip Hiro and Tom Engelhardt

".....Having emerged in a self-congratulatory mode as the "sole superpower" after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. now finds itself competing with a secondary power in the Middle East. This humbling realization seems to have finally penetrated the minds of top policy makers in the Bush administration, causing concern.....

In its regional policies, it does not differentiate between Sunnis and Shi'ites. It has taken the lead in offering aid, material and moral, to Hamas, even though it is a Sunni Palestinian movement.

Iran's stance is in line with popular sentiment among Arabs. Hassan Nasrallah, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – respectively, the heads of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, the Palestinian Hamas movement, and Iran – now top opinion polls as favorite leaders in Arab countries. That is, ordinary Arabs generally ignore sectarian differences, except when it comes to occupied Iraq.

Worried by this fact, Arab rulers have resorted to stressing their sectarian, rather than ideological or policy disagreements, with Iran. The Bush administration has encouraged them to do so. Eager to counter rising Iranian influence by any means, its top officials are now trying to rally Arab rulers as Sunnis against Shi'ite Iran, forgetting that a hasty and unnecessary invasion of Iraq was what has brought about this wretched mess in the first place.

Increasingly, Washington under Bush will be the loser, no matter who prevails in the region – an apt definition of a superpower in decline and of a genuine zero-sum fiasco. "

Iran: Why Won't We Take Yes For An Answer?

Israel's amen corner tries to spin the NIE report

By Justin Raimondo

"Israel's lobby in the US is "scrambling," as Ron Kampeas puts it in the Jewish Exponent, to defend the draconian sanctions imposed on Iran for its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. With a war-weary America unlikely to respond favorably to the news that President Bush has ordered an attack on Iran, the War Party has had to content itself with preparing the ground for a future conflict, including a campaign to isolate Tehran economically, diplomatically, and politically. Now, however, as Kampeas reports,

"The NIE is being held up by Congress, the presidential candidates and the media as an argument for tamping down isolation of the Islamic Republic rather than a vindication of earlier warnings that Iran indeed was pursuing a bomb. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations organized an emergency conference call of members on Tuesday to address how the news could threaten its recent campaign to isolate Iran."......"

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment - "You Sir, Have No Business Being President!"

"...There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has left us with tonight.

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible....."

The politics of anti-Semitism: Zionism, the Bund and Jewish Identity politics

By Gilad Atzmon
Online Journal Guest Writer

Dec 7, 2007, 00:44

"Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for?

I made up my mind. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people. If this makes me into an anti-Semite in the eyes of some confused Diaspora Jews (left, right and centre), I will have to learn to live with it. At the end of the day, I cannot make everyone happy......."

Israel, Cheney and Bush – What Did They Know and When Did They Know It?

By Ted Lang

"The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate assessing Iran’s nuclear military capability was just released on Monday, December 3rd. The NIE clearly debunks the Cheney-Bush neocon regime’s neocon-job desperately trying to convince the American people and the world that a neo-Nazi invasion of Iran must immediately be put on the table.....

And you can just bet that Bush will ignore this truthful, factual intelligence assessment with the same level of energy with which he embraced the intelligence and policy lies of weapons of mass destruction, regime change, bringing democracy, and allowing Iraqis to govern themselves. "

By Mr. Fish

Castles in the air

Though Israel must be gleeful following the Annapolis debacle, theatrics won't change the nature or resolve of the ground struggle for Palestinian national liberation

By Mustafa Al-Barghouti
Al-Ahram Weekly

".......Israel has gained the time it wanted and that it hopes to turn to its best advantage. However, it has not won the contest. The outcome of that will be determined by events on the ground. It will be determined by the unfolding progress of the peaceful Palestinian grassroots struggle, backed by the mounting international movement of solidarity with their cause, which are exposing the true nature of the Israeli regime and of those who cooperate with it.

This is something that has Olmert worried, because the name of Israel has begun to become synonymous with apartheid. It is a worry he will not be able to allay by gaining control over the so-called peace process and turning into something that has no bearing on the actual struggle on the ground, which cannot be halted by administrative decrees."

The plight of Iraqi refugees

The same UN that failed the Iraqi people must now make mandatory US-UK reparations to Iraq and the allocation of Iraqi oil revenues for Iraqi refugees

By Denis Halliday
(former UN assistant secretary- general and among the first endorsers of the Iraqi International Initiative on Iraqi Refugees)
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Demanding of our attention and action today is the terrible plight of Iraqi refugees, both those outside the country and internally displaced persons (IDPs). They number to date a fifth of the Iraqi population......

It is urgent that we assist our Iraqi friends find the shortest possible route to the restoration of their national sovereignty. We need to demand an end to all forms of foreign interference. And we need to recognise that the people of Iraq alone can best determine what is to be the future for their country, and in what manner that future is to be pursued, and obtained."

The real goal of Annapolis

While the world watched the Arabs, Annapolis was for Israel and the US to prepare the ground for attacking Iran

By Saleh Al-Naami
Al-Ahram Weekly

"At 8.45 last Wednesday morning, when most of the Arab delegation members to the Annapolis meeting were still in their hotel rooms, American President George W Bush met alone with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Bush's White House office. According to most commentators in Israel, this very early meeting was the most important event related to the Annapolis meeting because it was entirely devoted to discussing Iran's nuclear programme. Spokespersons for Olmert have affirmed that the meeting addressed means of coordination between the two allies to confront Iranian nuclear activities. Although both parties have kept quiet on the outcome of the meeting, Israeli sources have indicated that it was devoted to answering the follow question: To what degree can bets be placed on economic sanctions thwarting Iranian nuclear ambitions, and if the answer indicates an insufficient likelihood of success, what kind of military mobilisation can meet this goal? This important meeting suggested to many that Israeli and American enthusiasm for the Annapolis meeting was essentially because it provided an opportunity for Israel and the United States to address the Iranian issue......."


Annapolis could mark the beginning of the end for Mahmoud Abbas

A Good Article
By Saleh Al-Naami from Gaza
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....The majority of columnists and opinion writers are now warning Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against accepting American- Israeli proposals that will deepen rifts in Palestine's body politic. Writers and members of the elite connected to the PA who previously defended the attendance of the leadership at the meeting with enthusiasm now express embarrassment over Israel's interpretation of what was agreed in Annapolis. Statements such as that made by the Israel premier Ehud Olmert that the end of 2008 is not an obligatory date for Israel to complete negotiations with the PA, or by Olmert's deputy, Avigdor Lieberman, who said even the end of 2008 may not be an appropriate date for ending the conflict, have undermined Abbas's credibility and ruined his attempts to frame the Annapolis meeting as a Palestinian success.....

......More damaging to Abbas's credibility is that Israel's interpretation of what took place at Annapolis has not stopped his security forces from continuing the policy of "complementary" work, joining the Israeli army to quash resistance in the West Bank, particularly by Hamas.

Ghassan Al-Khatib, who held several ministerial positions in previous Abbas governments, says that many Palestinians now see Abbas's security agencies as playing the same as Antoine Lahad's pro-Israeli South Lebanese Army during Israel's occupation of South Lebanon......

The stresses are being felt within Fatah itself, with some of its leaders publicly speaking out against Annapolis....

There is a growing conviction among Fatah leaders, say sources, that Abbas's political life is reaching an end, speeded on by the public perception that Annapolis was an out and out failure. Many anticipate that the Palestinian president will submit his resignation, and want to see differences with Hamas settled before this happens.....

"Following Annapolis Palestinian public opinion is increasingly convinced that we are on the threshold of a new catastrophe [Nakba], granting legitimacy to Israeli plans for mass population transfers now that Bush has characterised Palestine as the national homeland of the Jews," he [Nehad Al-Sheikh Khalil] told the Weekly.....

Khalil stresses that the Annapolis meeting has served only to harm Abbas's political agenda and his rejection of the militarisation of armed resistance against the occupation at a time when even those close to him realise that its outcome will help Israel not only establish settlements as facts on the ground but also improve Tel Aviv's international standing without Israel showing any flexibility towards the Palestinians....."

Empty heads and full pockets

The PA has come under increasing scrutiny in the aftermath of Annapolis

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Just back from Annapolis, and with no tangible achievements to present to, let alone impress, a people long disillusioned with American-sponsored "peace conferences", Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have been trying desperately to convince the Palestinians that "this time it is going to be serious.".....

In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, Khatib pointed out that the PA believed it was unrealistic, though perfectly legal from the perspective of international law, to have as a starting position the Partition Resolution of 1947 instead of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. "They think it is difficult to revert to the past and that the international community would reject such a step on our part."

Professor Ali Jerbawi of Beir Zeit University disagrees. He told the Weekly that the PA should have made the 1947 partition plan, not UN resolutions 242 and 338, their opening negotiating position. "They are naïve and ignorant. Even my grandmother understood that in order to have a reasonable price for one's commodity, one had to demand first the highest possible price in order to be able to get the wanted price.".....

The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) has at its disposal the services of the Negotiations Support Unit (NSU), which has received tens of million of dollars of funds, but has done very little to make Palestinian negotiators better equipped to face their Israeli counterparts.

Just take a look at the document formulated jointly between Israel and the PA at the last minute at the Annapolis conference. This document, which the NSU helped formulate, was completely void of any call for ending the manifestly criminal blockade of Gaza, the removal of Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank or release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli dungeons and detention camps. Moreover, not a word was mentioned about freezing Israeli settlement expansions.

The NSU is funded and effectively controlled by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a think-tank based in London which is vulnerable to pressure from pro- Israeli circles. For example, two years ago, the ASI forced the NSU to fire two highly-qualified Palestinian-American lawyers, Michael Tarazi and Diana Butto, for going too far in defending Palestinian rights, especially during TV debates with Israeli spokesmen......

But, the main problem lies with the Palestinian Authority itself and its relations with the NSU, mostly based on cronyism and nepotism. The author sought to contact the NSU in Ramallah, but received a hostile response. One lady told me "why don't you go and negotiate with Israel. Maybe you could do a better job.""

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Tom Toles

ISRAEL-OPT: Only 41 percent of Gaza's food import needs being met

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"JERUSALEM, 6 December 2007 (IRIN) - Food imports into the Gaza Strip are only enough to meet 41 percent of demand, the World Food Programme (WFP) has said, though critical UN humanitarian food supplies are being allowed in.

The cost of many basic items, such as beef, wheat and some dairy products have increased significantly, while locally grown produce is fetching extremely low prices on the local market, as exports are banned, threatening the livelihood of farmers......"

ISRAEL-OPT: Fewer resources for a worsening situation - UNRWA

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"NEW YORK, 6 December 2007 (IRIN) - The UN agency supplying basic services for Palestinian refugees is in a funding crisis, and is facing a difficult year as the political situation continues to hamper its work in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Despite initial pledges towards the 2008 budget from 22 donors at a meeting in New York on 4 December, some US$1.21 billion is still required......

UNRWA says over 80,000 civilians in Gaza have lost their jobs in recent months and therefore rely on humanitarian aid.

The economic sanctions are seen to be creating poverty and a reliance on help, which would not be necessary if people were allowed the access to get to work and therefore rely on themselves.

The situation has been exacerbated by the internal politics of the Palestinians.

Grandi described the split between the West Bank and Gaza as leading to disillusionment within the Palestinian people......"

Daughter of the West

By Tariq Ali

"Arranged marriages can be a messy business. Designed principally as a means of accumulating wealth, circumventing undesirable flirtations or transcending clandestine love affairs, they often don’t work. Where both parties are known to loathe each other, only a rash parent, desensitised by the thought of short-term gain, will continue with the process knowing full well that it will end in misery and possibly violence. That this is equally true in political life became clear in the recent attempt by Washington to tie Benazir Bhutto to Pervez Musharraf.

The single, strong parent in this case was a desperate State Department – with John Negroponte as the ghoulish go-between and Gordon Brown as the blushing bridesmaid – fearful that if it did not push this through both parties might soon be too old for recycling. The bride was certainly in a hurry, the groom less so.....

Many Pakistanis – not just the mutinous and mischievous types who have to be locked up at regular intervals – were repelled, and coverage of ‘the deal’ in the Pakistan media was universally hostile, except on state television. The ‘breakthrough’ was loudly trumpeted in the West, however, and a whitewashed Benazir Bhutto was presented on US networks and BBC TV news as the champion of Pakistani democracy – reporters loyally referred to her as ‘the former prime minister’ rather than the fugitive politician facing corruption charges in several countries.

She had returned the favour in advance by expressing sympathy for the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lunching with the Israeli ambassador to the UN (a litmus test) and pledging to ‘wipe out terrorism’ in her own country. In 1979 a previous military dictator had bumped off her father with Washington’s approval, and perhaps she thought it would be safer to seek permanent shelter underneath the imperial umbrella. HarperCollins had paid her half a million dollars to write a new book. The working title she chose was ‘Reconciliation’......

As southern Afghanistan collapses into chaos, and as corruption and massive inflation takes hold, the Taliban is gaining more and more recruits. The generals who convinced Benazir that control of Kabul via the Taliban would give them ‘strategic depth’ may have retired, but their successors know that the Afghans will not tolerate a long-term Western occupation. They hope for the return of a whitewashed Taliban. Instead of encouraging a regional solution that includes India, Iran and Russia, the US would prefer to see the Pakistan army as its permanent cop in Kabul. It won’t work. In Pakistan itself the long night continues as the cycle restarts: military leadership promising reforms degenerates into tyranny, politicians promising social support to the people degenerate into oligarchs. Given that a better functioning neighbour is unlikely to intervene, Pakistan will oscillate between these two forms of rule for the foreseeable future. The people who feel they have tried everything and failed will return to a state of semi-sleep, unless something unpredictable rouses them again. This is always possible."

Policy on Hamas / An Egyptian-Saudi slap to Abbas

"The news from the Rafah border crossing earlier this week astounded the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah. They had arranged with Israel to allow some 2,000 Palestinians from Gaza to go to Saudi Arabia via the Kerem Shalom and Allenby Bridge border crossings for the hajj celebrations.

But Cairo apparently had different plans. The Egyptians allowed 700 Palestinians on Monday and 1,300 on Tuesday to cross the border into Sinai, where buses were waiting to take them to Saudi Arabia.

"The Egyptians stabbed us in the back," a senior PA official said. It turned out that the move had been coordinated with the Hamas government and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi embassy in Cairo swiftly processed the Gaza pilgrims' visa applications sent by the Hamas government, while the Saudi embassy in Amman held up all the visa applications sent by the PA, even those of West Bank pilgrims.

The PA, which had invested huge efforts in organizing the pilgrims' trip to Saudi Arabia in a bid to improve President Mahmoud Abbas' status in the Gaza Strip, was enraged by Egypt and Saudi Arabia's conduct. The PA official in charge of civil coordination, Hussein al-Sheikh, had told the people in Gaza that the visas Hamas would issue for traveling to Saudi Arabia would be invalid.....

PA officials have difficulty understanding why Egypt and Saudi Arabia acted against Abbas' interests in this way. Only a week earlier Abbas met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Now they assume that Cairo and Riyadh wanted to protest Abbas' persistent refusal to resume the dialogue with Hamas. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have recently given Abbas hints that he should resume the talks....."

Bark......Bark!....... Iran.....Iran....

Decision time on Iran nearing, Livni says

"'Tehran close to crossing technological threshold after which it will be able to secretly produce nuclear weapons without supervision,' foreign minister says during NATO conference in Brussels......"

The surge is a sideshow. Only total US pullout can succeed

When resistance leaders are given an assurance that the Iraq occupation will end completely, real negotiations can begin

Jonathan Steele
Friday December 7, 2007
The Guardian

"If the gladdest tidings of this pre-Christmas season have been the US intelligence community's brilliant move to undermine a Bush attack on Iran by revealing there is no Iranian nuclear weapons programme, the worst news concerns US policy on Iraq. And it is not just the US announcement of plans to get the Iraqi government to agree to permanent US military bases and an open-ended occupation, thereby confirming what most analysts had long assumed was the Republicans' intention.

More alarming was the Democratic party's reaction and indeed that of the US media. The revelation produced no burst of headlines or commentaries, even though it rides roughshod over most Americans' wishes. A Pew Research poll two weeks ago found 54% wanted the troops home "as soon as possible"......

One day Iraqi resistance leaders will have to be brought into negotiations. They are a legitimate factor in the complex Iraqi equation. National reconciliation which attempts to exclude people who have sacrificed so much in the struggle against foreign occupation has no chance of succeeding. The pre-condition - as happened when the Vietnam war ended - has to be a clear declaration by Washington that it is going altogether, with no bases or "residual forces" left behind. Only then will Iraqis come to the negotiating table seriously, and work out a future that does not leave an elephant in the room."

· Jonathan Steele's new book, Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq, is published next month.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Palestinian Pinochet Reinstated on a NATO Tank: Livni to push for int'l force in Gaza

"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is expected to discuss the idea of the deployment of a NATO force in the region in talks with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Belgium over the weekend, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The idea of a NATO or international force deployed in Gaza has been raised on a number of occasions over the past year, from such diverse sources as Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but has not yet gained much traction......

Traditionally NATO's position was that it would not deploy here until there was a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and does not want to go to Gaza and risk attack from Hamas, which has made clear it would oppose a NATO presence.

However, in recent months the idea of deploying NATO forces in Gaza has been raised as one way of possibly reinstating Abbas there, with the idea that he would "ride in" on NATO's back.

Sources close to Livni said that the idea of NATO "involvement" here, as well as greater Israeli involvement in NATO, would be on Livni's agenda in her talks with the NATO chief......."

Barghouthi: New settlements in Jerusalem big blow to Annapolis

"GAZA, PIC-- Palestinian legislator and former information minister in the dissolved PA unity government MP Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi has described Israel's decision to construct 300 new settlement units in the occupied city of Jerusalem as "big blow" to the US-hosted Annapolis conference.

Barghouthi also affirmed that the Israeli decision confirms Israel's rejection to freeze settlement constructions in the occupied West Bank, especially in Jerusalem city, and supports statements uttered by Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Levni in Annapolis that Israel didn’t offer anything to the Palestinians in order not to "handcuff itself".

"Israel is practicing a deceptive policy and exploits meetings and political gatherings to cover for its expansion schemes purposely to impose facts on the ground through the construction of more settlements and through the daily incursions into the Palestinian lands", affirmed Barghouthi......

Moreover, the PA legislator explained that the Palestinian leadership committed a "big mistake" in attending the ill-fated Annapolis conference and in signing documents free of Palestinian conditions, including comprehensive halt of Israeli settlement construction, elimination of the separation wall, lifting the economic sanctions on Gaza Strip, and retracting declaring it as "enemy entity" among other essential Palestinian objectives......."

Open Letter to Condoleezza Rice

By Dr. Ahmad Yousuf - Senior Political Advisor
Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Gaza

"You have made it a precondition to any engagement with us that we accept certain conditions. Yet you don't apply the same preconditions to the Israelis. You don't require of them recognition of Palestinian rights or a renunciation of the terrible violence that they daily invoke on us.....

We are not anti-American, anti-European or anti-anyone. The root of the problem which neither Israel nor the US is willing to acknowledge, let alone address, is the dispossession of the Palestinian people upon the creation in their homeland of Israel in 1948.....

In the meantime, the people will hold steadfast to their rights and national constants. The internationally sanctioned resistance will not be quashed until the occupier packs its bags and leaves. And the aspiration of a free and independent Palestinian state is realized."

Beauty(?) And The Beast

A Generous Offer?

The Aix Group and the Palestinians

A Very Good Piece
(an Israeli peace with justice activist living in Ramallah, and a founder of the International Solidarity Movement)

"......In addition to oral testimonies given both by Palestinian refugees and Jewish combatants, many official documents describe policies and actions taken by Jewish militias which were designed to expel Palestinians from what has become the state Israel. According to Israeli Historian Benny Morris "In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was to become the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves." Yet Olmert presented the refugee issue as a humanitarian problem, not unlike one caused by a natural disaster....

The suggestion that the refugees do not have the choice to return to the lands from which they were expelled, but instead "return" to a future Palestinian state, is contrary to international humanitarian law, and to UN resolution 194 that "Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date." Despite this, the United States President George Bush promised Ariel Sharon in a letter on the 14th of April 2004 "an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel." Despite the illegality of these promises, they were ratified on June 23, 2004 by both the United States House and Senate. Olmert refers to this letter in his statement as a point of departure for the negotiations.

Working groups are now developing plans to implement Bush’s promise. According to Ha'aretz, The Aix Group, "a semi-official political-economic backchannel" is developing a plan for Palestinian refugees. The Aix Group's members include Israeli, Palestinian and international economic experts, academics, members of economic organizations, and officials from international institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, who participate in the Aix Group in their personal capacities......

The reference to "substantial changes on the ground" as an obstacle that renders the UN resolution inapplicable perpetuates the myth that physical or material obstacles render return impossible. According to Salman Abu Sitta an expert on the Palestinian refugee issue, "90% of the village sites are still vacant, 7% are partially built-over, and only 3% are totally built over in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem." Of course, there are obvious issues that would have to be addressed. But these problems have been dealt with in many places, such as Bosnia, Kosovo and Tajikistan, to name a few, and pose no obstacle in and of themselves to return. A hint to what the real obstacle may be lies in Ha'aretz correspondent Akiva Eldar's statement that "The Aix Group is convinced that if bold steps are not taken in the right direction, the vision of one state for two peoples, based on joint citizenship and equality before the law, will be placed on the agenda."....."

CNN: Seymour Hersh 'vindicated' by new Iran intel estimate

".....However, the NIE was no surprise to veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, who has been writing about it since November 2006. Hersh told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he believes the White House deliberately kept the NIE bottled up for over a year because the vice president was dissatisfied with its conclusions.

"At the time I wrote that, there was a tremendous fight about it because Cheney ... did not want to hear this," Hersh recalled. "I think the vice-president has kept his foot on the neck of that report. ... The intelligence we learned about yesterday has been circulating inside this government at the highest levels for the last year -- and probably longer.".....

By November 2006, Hersh's sources had told him of "a highly classified draft assessment by the C.I.A.," which concluded that satellite monitoring and sophisticated radiation-detection devices planted near Iranian facilities had turned up absolutely no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. However, Bush and Cheney were expected to try to keep those conclusions out of the forthcoming NIE on Iran's nuclear capabilities.

As Hersh explained to Wolf Blitzer at the time, the White House was attempting to counter the CIA assessment with an Israeli claim, based on a "reliable agent," that Iran was working on a trigger for a nuclear device. "The CIA isn’t getting a good look at the Israeli intelligence." Hersh explained. "It’s the old word, stovepiping. It’s the President and the Vice President, it’s pretty much being kept in the White House."......

RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna further reported in January 2007 that the NIE on Iran was intended to be released later that month, but that John Negroponte's was being replaced as Director of National Intelligence because he had refused to tailor the NIE to Vice President Cheney's specificiations.

Despite feeling vindicated by the latest developments, Hersh warned Blitzer that the White House push for war with Iran is "still not over. ... There's always Israel." He explained that "the Israelis were very upset about the report. They think we're naive."

However, Hersh was confident that there was very little chance the NIE could be mistaken, because "It's been four years since we've had any positive evidence of a parallel secret program to build a bomb -- and we've been all over the country.".....

However, Hersh's sources tell him that despite the NIE, Bush's negotiating position is still that the Iranians "have to stop everything ... destroy it. ... Inspectors have to come in that we pick. ... He's not saying that publicly, but that's the private standard.""

Israeli official cancels trip to UK for fear of being arrested for war crimes

"Avi Dichter, the Israeli Public Security Minister, has cancelled a trip to Great Britain after the Israeli Foreign Ministry recommended that he do so. Dichter was head of the Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service, during some of the bloodiest years of the intifada, leading to the potential that he would be arrested for war crimes.

Israeli authorities have not found any evidence of war crimes by Dichter, but most murders of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces are not investigated by the Israeli authorities. Some of the crimes attributed to Dichter include involvement in the Jenin massacre of 2002, in which over 300 Palestinians were killed, many of them buried alive; and a missile strike on a crowded apartment building in Gaza, also in 2002, in which fifteen civilians, mainly women and children, were torn to shreds.

According to British law, any British citizen may file a charge against a foreign official suspected of war crimes, and the police may investigate and possibly issue a warrant if there is evidence to support the charge.

Other Israeli officials who served as military leaders during the second intifada have faced such charges in England. One, former Southern Command chief Doron Almog, found a British police officer waiting for him with an arrest warrant at the London airport, when he arrived there for a visit in 2005. He re-boarded the plane back to Israel to avoid being arrested.

Since that time, the Israeli government has kept a top British law firm on retainer just in case any Israeli official is arrested in Britain. Avi Dichter and others have been cautioned against traveling to the U.K. by the Israeli government due to that country's propensity to prosecute war criminals."

More on This From Haaretz:

"Public Security Minister Avi Dichter canceled a trip to Britain over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002.

Fifteen people were killed in the bombing of Salah Shehade's house in Gaza, among them his wife and three children, when Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service. He is the first minister to have to deal with a possible arrest.....

Dichter contacted the Foreign Ministry and sought an opinion on the matter, among other reasons because of previous cases in which complaints were filed in Britain and arrest warrants were issued on suspicion of war crimes by senior officers who served during the second intifada.

The Foreign Ministry wrote Dichter that it did not recommend he visit Britain because of a high probability that an extreme leftist organization there would file a complaint, which might lead to an arrest warrant. The ministry also wrote that because Dichter was not an official guest of the British government, he did not have immunity from arrest......"

Palestinian student Khaled Al Mudallal at Bradford University, warmly thanked all those who supported his campaign

"At a press conference this morning, Palestinian student Khaled Al Mudallal, who visited Gaza this summer but ended up trapped there, prevented by the Israeli authorities from leaving to complete his studies at Bradford University, warmly thanked all those who supported his campaign.

International pressure mounted to demand Khaled's right to education was respected, which finally forced Israel to let him return to Bradford. Khaled's case was also fought through the Israeli high courts by Gisha, an Israeli human rights organisation, and Khaled finally arrived back in Britain on Tuesday 4 November.

The press conference, held in Westminster, also provided an opportunity for Khaled to meet with Brian Iddon MP, who tabled an Early Day Motion signed by 50 MPs calling for the right to education to be respected and for Khaled to be able to return to Bradford.

Khaled pointed out that although he was able to return to his studies, this was not a time for celebration, as hundreds of students remain trapped in Gaza and unable to leave, despite having been granted visas and places to study in universities worldwide. He pledged that he would continue to work to ensure that they are also able to complete their education.

Chairing the press conference, Ruqqayah Collector, NUS Black Students Officer, talked about the need for students to continue campaigning for the rights of all Palestinian students to education.

Sarah Colborne, PSC chair, highlighted the humanitarian crisis that is resulting from Israel's collective punishment of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza, with 91 essential drugs having run out, and Israel preventing even those needing urgent medical attention from leaving Gaza. She called for increasing pressure on the Israeli government to end its illegal siege of Gaza......"

By Mike Luckovich

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Khalil Bendib

Audio: Crossing the Line interviews Norman Finkelstein

"This week on Crossing The Line: The international conference in Annapolis, Maryland recently came to an end. During the talks US Presient George W. Bush stated that the time is right for peace in the Middle East, but what does that mean in terms of a solution to the decades-long conflict? Host Christopher Brown speaks with Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein, a noted scholar on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the author of several books including his latest, Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and The Abuse of History, about Annapolis' chances for success.

Next, nearly 3,000 Gaza students who study abroad living are being denied by Israel the right to leave to pursue their education. Since the summer's closure of Gaza, few Palestinians have been allowed to leave for work, medical care or educational reasons. Brown talks with Dr. Sonia Nimer, assistant professor in the department of history and archeology at Birzeit University in the West Bank about Israel's violations of the Palestinians' right to education......."

Click Here to Listen

Chávez's revolution cannot stand still if it is to survive

The fate of Venezuela's experiment will be felt beyond its borders, but the dictatorship canard has now been put to rest

Seumas Milne in Caracas
Thursday December 6, 2007
The Guardian

"What happens in Venezuela now matters more than at any time in the country's history - not just for Latin America, but for the wider world. Since the leftwing nationalist Hugo Chávez was first elected in 1998, his oil-rich government has not only spearheaded a challenge to US domination and free-market dogma that has swept through the continent. It has also led the first serious attempt since the collapse of the Soviet Union to create a social alternative to the neoliberal uniformity imposed across the globe. That has become even clearer since the Venezuelan president committed his "Bolivarian revolution" to introducing a new form of "21st century socialism" two years ago.....

But there's little doubt that the fate of the Venezuelan experiment will have an impact far beyond its borders. So far, the cushion of oil has allowed Chávez and his supporters to make rapid progress without challenging the interests of the Venezuelan elite. The dangers of the movement's over-dependency on one man - not least from the threat of assassination - were underlined by the referendum experience. What is certain, however, is that the process cannnot stand still if it is to survive - and to judge by Chávez's response to his first poll defeat, he is in no mood for turning back. We weren't successful, he told the country, "por ahora" - for now."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Red Devil

By Pepe Escobar

"......Crucially, what this means is that roughly one-third of Venezuela wants to forge towards democratic socialism no matter what; one-third prefers to remain under the standard liberal capitalist system; and one-third has not made up their minds yet, or was just too busy surviving to bother to vote. This de facto three-way tie, in itself, is also a major political earthquake. In virtually every country in South America, except fierce US ally Colombia, a similar referendum might yield similar results. The world is definitely not flat......

Most of all Chavez is so dangerous for Washington and right-wing comprador elites in Latin America because he is pushing, no holds barred, towards democratic socialism. For Washington and Wall Street elites this is way worse than the spectre of totalitarian communism branded throughout the Cold War. Everyone in Latin America remembers how Allende in the early 1970s was demonized as a Stalinist dictator by a CIA-funded propaganda campaign. But it was Henry Kissinger who got the whole point, when he told then President Nixon how Allende had to be taken out because he was such a bad example for the rest of the developing world. Chavez is the 21st century Allende. He has already survived a US-backed coup, in 2002. And he knows others – the sons of Operation Pincer - are in the works. Still, even if the Yes had won, he would not have as much institutional power as George Bush......."

The Stupidity of Hamas:
24 of its Uniformed Fighters Murdered by the IOF in Just 8 Days!
And Yet, Hamas Doesn't Change a Thing!
A Performance That Does Not Inspire Confidence.

Habila calls to renew talks with Abbas amidst increased IOF attacks

"Hamas leader and deposed Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday renewed his call for dialogue with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rival Fatah faction, a week after Abbas relaunched peace talks with Israel.....

"We believe it is necessary to immediately begin a non-conditional dialogue that will work to heal the Palestinian wounds," Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the government dissolved by Abbas said Wednesday.....

The group said two dozen of its members have been killed in IDF raids since last week's conference in Annapolis, Maryland. "It is very clear that Annapolis has provided a cover for this Israeli aggression," Haniyeh said.

He called on Arab countries that attended the Annapolis conference to protest against the attacks......"


"He called on Arab countries that attended the Annapolis conference to protest against the attacks"

What has Habila been smoking lately??

Video: Bolton Calls For Congressional Witch-Hunt Into Anti-Bush ‘People In The Intelligence Community’

"......Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons “for 20 years,” he defiantly declared today. To give weight to a single intelligence estimate “would be a mistake.” On Fox News today, Bolton went even further and called for a congressional investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies, stating that the report was politicized by intelligence officials who have their “own agenda”:

I really think the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have to look at how this NIE was put together because there are a lot unexplained points in here. […]

I think there is a risk here, and I raise this as a question, whether people in the intelligence community who had their own agenda on Iran for some time now have politicized this intelligence and politicized these judgments in a way contrary to where the administration was going. I think somebody needs to look at that

Watch Video Clip

There She Goes Again, Slaughtering Another Country: US urges more troops for Somalia

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for more peacekeeping troops to be deployed urgently to Somalia to replace Ethiopian soldiers.

"She said the US appreciated the deployment of an advance Ugandan force but they "frankly need to be joined soon by other forces".

The US is offering to help African states who send troops to Somalia.....

Ethiopian troops marched into Somalia a year ago to help Somalia's UN-backed interim government oust Islamist forces.

The US supported the intervention which has proven unpopular, with insurgents continuing to stage attacks.

The UN says that one million Somalis have been displaced by the fighting, including 60% of the capital's residents.

Last month, Mr Meles acknowledged his troops had become bogged down.....

"We do believe that peace-keeping efforts need to take place in Somalia," Ms Rice said on Wednesday.

"We do believe that the Ethiopian forces should not have to stay in Somalia past a certain point but it's going to require peacekeeping forces to be fairly robust peacekeeping forces and so that will be part of my discussion."......"

What Did Bush Know on Iran, and When Did He Know It?

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"....AMY GOODMAN: According to the Washington Post, intelligence officials began briefing senior members of the Bush administration on parts of the new NIE as early as July.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy. In October, he broke the story that the NIE on Iran had been held up for more than a year as part of an effort by Vice President Dick Cheney. Gareth Porter joins me now from Washington, D.C. Welcome to Democracy Now!.

GARETH PORTER: Good morning, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: So, explain what you understand the Bush administration understood.

GARETH PORTER: Well, I think it’s clear that the intelligence community had found something very different with regard to the Iranian nuclear program much earlier than this fall. It’s very clear that it was at least last spring when they began to work on a very different conclusion about an Iranian nuclear weapons program, which said that Iran had in fact given that idea up. And it’s not clear, actually, whether this conclusion was being developed, in fact, in some form the previous fall.

My story, based on a couple of sources who were in touch with people participating in the NIE process, said that the NIE had in fact been prepared—NIE on Iran had been prepared as of last fall, was ready to be published and was held up by the White House for political reasons. That is to say, it was not regarded as acceptable, and they wanted them to continue working on it. Now, some of that may well have been at some point during 2007, that there was new information coming in which caused the intelligence community to say, well, let’s strengthen the finding, let’s strengthen our conclusions further. But it’s very clear that a large part of the holdup in this NIE process was indeed the White House and certainly was Dick Cheney personally who was intervening in this, saying that we want you to go back to the drawing board and look at this again, because we don’t think that your conclusion that Iran gave up a nuclear weapons weaponization program makes sense........"

It Turns Out Ahmadinejad Was the Truthful One

by Robert Scheer

"Bush is such a liar. Or is he just out to lunch on the most important issue that he faces? In October, he charged that Iran’s nuclear weapons program was bringing the world to the precipice of World War III, even though the White House had been informed at least a month earlier that Iran had no such program and had stopped efforts to develop one back in 2003.....

But whether or not the intelligence agencies are reformed, the president still ignores them. He didn’t listen when they told him he was wrong in claiming that Iraq had purchased yellow cake uranium from Niger and he doesn’t listen now when they tell him his alarms about Iran are without factual foundation. The difference this time around is that because Bush is a discredited lame duck the intelligence chiefs were a bit more forthcoming with their findings in a report that has, in part, been made available to the public....

Once again, they will attack the United Nations’ experts, who have been proved right in Iran as they were in Iraq. A spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed out that the NIE report supports the agency’s view that there is “no evidence” of an undeclared nuclear weapons program in Iran and “validates the assessments of [IAEA Director General] Mohamed ElBaradei, who continuously said in his public statements that he saw no clear and public danger, and that therefore that there was plenty of time for negotiations.”......"

حواة أنابوليس والسلام "خيار" استراتيجي

د. عادل سمارة

"إنتهى حُواة التسوية في أنابوليس لإجراء تسوية مقابل تسوية، على ان يبقى الكيان الصهيوني على ما هو عليها من أرض، ويحوز على مكافأة بأراض أخرى كيف يخطط أو كيف رسمت له خريطة الطريق، بل خطة شارون. كأنما يقول الحُواة: من فهم فهو آمن، من لم يفهم بعد، فليفهم اليوم، ومن يرفض ويقاوم عليه مواجهة طاحونة راس المال المعولم (من المركز حتى العواصم القطرية وإلى مخيم جنين)، طاحونة القتل المفتوح.

ألقى حواة التسوية، فلسطينيون وعرب، كل ما في جعبتهم، تحدثو، خطبوا، كابروا، تنافخو، ضخموا...الخ ولكن لكل شيء حدوده. دفعوا كل ما لديهم، وتوقعوا أن يقبضوا من الكيان بعض الغطاء المعنوي، لكن هذا لم يحصل. فقد واصل الكيان مواصلة الإستيطان، مواصلة القمع، وكما توقع "متشائمون" مثلنا، سيتم خنق قطاع غزة بعد المؤتمر بما هو بؤرة تحت الضربة.

يقول هؤلاء، لقد انطلقت العملية التفاوضية. يا للغرابة، وهل هذه أول عملية تفاوضية يتم إطلاقها؟

وهل كل هذا الضجيج والدخان لإطلاق العملية التفاوضية؟

وهل يحتاج إطلاق العملية التفاوضية، دون تحديد أجندتها، لكل هذا الحضور العربي الرسمي؟

ومن قال أن إسرائيل وفلسطينيي التسوية لا يتفاوضون؟

لماذا تصوير الأمر وكأن هناك كيانين متقابلين متنافرين ويحتاجان لوسيط حتى يتحدثا؟

ما هو موجود هو مستعمرة ودولة استعمارية أعطت لجزء مما تسيطر عليه حكما ذاتياً "ولاية" كما قال أحدهم، وبوسعها سحب هذه الولاية كما حصل في اجتياح 2002 أو إعادتها. ولكن، لم يكن أمام حُواة التسوية إلا القول بانطلاق التفاوض لأن هذا الأمر الوحيد الذي تتقيد به إسرائيل أن تسمح لهم بالحديث، بل الحديث الذي تريد...فشكراً. لقد أرسى اسحق شامير هذا الموقف "يوم مدريد" وما كان ذلك اليوم بسر حينما قال : "سنفاوض العرب 20 عاماً" وها هي العشرون عاماً على مشارف النهاية ولم يتحقق للعرب شيئاً. مضت منها 16 عاماً، واختتمت بتطبيع 16 دولة قطرية عربية، فهنيئاً لشعب الله المختار.

لست ممن يثقون بالسيد عمرو موسى امين عام الجامعة العربية. وليس مرد ذلك الإجماع الرسمي العربي عليه، وهو إجماع حين يحصل يوماً ما علينا توقع كارثة لا محالة؟ بل ما هو أكبر من ذلك، وإن بدا صغيراً جداً. ففي أحد مؤتمرات القمة العربية وصف عمرو موسى الملك حسين بأنه مهرول باتجاه التطبيع مع إسرائيل. ولا يدري سوى الراسخون في العلم لماذا قالها، وهو نفسه وزير خارجية أول نظام إعترف واستمر في الإعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني. فعمرو موسى نفسه قال قبل أيام من مؤتمر أنابوليس، ان العرب ليسوا ذاهبين إلى التطبيع مع إسرائيل في أنابوليس! عجيب، فذاهبون من أجل ماذا؟ ولكي لا يغضب مني الحريصون على المقامات الطبقية واسرار العائلات والبيوت ...وبالطبع الأنظمة، لن اقول إن في هذا الحديث "خيانة" بل استغباء مكشوف للناس!! عجيب، والرجل فيه من الكياسة والخبرة ما يمكن أن يخلصه من سقطة من هذا الوزن، بقليل من المراوغة. فالمرء أعرف ما يكون بنفسه، وأدرى من يكون بقوله.

حسموا ...هناك

ماذا يمكننا وصف هذا الحضور الرسمي العربي لمؤتمر أجندة النقطة الواحدة: وهي "لا أجندة" مجرد وجوب الحضور حضور المذنب "عاري القدمين مكشوف الرأس". فحين تحضر دولة أو دولا مؤتمراً يخص أرضها يكون لها ما تضعه على الطاولة مقابل خصمها. أما حكام القطريات العربية فذهبوا إلى هناك ليسمعوا ويقولوا نعم. وفي حين وضع الفلسطينيون من أهل التسوية وراء ظهرهم، وليس شرطاً وراء التاريخ، الحقوق الثابتة للشعب الفلسطيني والأمة، وضع الحكام العرب وراء ظهرهم قرارات الأمم المتحدة وحتى مبادرتهم على تهافتها، وذهبوا جميعاً ليسمعوا كلمات تخرج من "فاه" بوش باسم خريطة الطريق، ولكنها بانفاس شارون "خطة شارون" المعلق بين السماء والأرض.

وعليه، إذا كان هناك من متابعة للتفاوض، وليس إطلاق عملية التفاوض، فهو على ما حدده شارون، حيث ابتلع بوش وأعاد إخراجه على شاكلة شارونية مع فارق في الحجم فقط. وعليه، فالحضور العربي كان مثابة خلع القطعة الأخيرة في مشهد مثل مشهد لقاء الرب: "عراة تماماً".

صحيح أن الحكام العرب اعتمدوا سياسة فك الموقف الرسمي عن الموقف الشعبي، وهذا ليس جديداً في التاريخ، فالعالم طبقات مهما ثرثر مثقفو الأنظمة بأن هذا الحديث عتيق. فأي نظام ديكتاتوري، وربما كل نظام هو ديكتاتورية طبقة ما. ولكن كل نظام على ارضه. أما الحكام العرب فيخلعون الوطن قطعة قطعة. ومن هنا معنى وقوفهم في مواجهة الموقف الشعبي. ولكي يتم تثبيت هذا الخلع في العراق والصومال والسودان وغيرها، يجب إنهاء المسألة في فلسطين كي تلحق نهائياً بالإسكندرون والأهواز وسبتة ومليلة وجزر طنب وأبو موسي...الخ.

ابعد من القضاء على قومية المعركة

لم يتمكن الحكام العرب من اقتلاع فلسطين من العمق القومي الشعبي، وإن نجحوا حتى اليوم في احتجاز الموقف الشعبي، القومية الكامنة، بالقمع والتشويه الثقافي وشراء النخب وغيرها. وحتى بتجنيد جيوشهم للعدوان على العراق عام 1991، اي لتدريب المواطن العربي على محاربة قطر عربي آخر تحت حراب الأجنبي. وكأننا بالغساسنة والمناذرة، قد أُعيد إنتاجهم ثانية. كان في هذا العدوان درس نفسي إيديولوجي، هو اقتلاع المشاعر القومية للمواطن العربي من الطبقات الشعبية وتحويل معتقده القومي إلى نموذج "خياني" للمسألة القومية مع الإعتذار للثوريين المترفين الذين يرون في التلفظ بكلمة "خيانة" تطاولاً على مقامات الحكام وطواوويس الثقافة والصهينة والتطبيع.

لا بد من اجتثاث الشعور القومي، وفي طريقه بالطبع يتم اجتثاث الشعور الشعبي ووعي هذا وذاك، ويصبح المواطن مطية :

وتضربه الوليدة بالهراوى فلا غِيرٌ لديه ولا نفيرُ

لذا، تم بعدها احتلال العراق، وشاركت الأنظمة في هذا العدوان بأساليب عدة، ومن يمكنه القول انها لم ترسل جنوداً لاحتلال العراق، حتى ولو للطهي! وأصبحت قطريات عدة مراكز تدريب للجيش العميل الجديد في العراق. ومع ذلك، لا يزال الجدل دائراً بين مثقفين/ات بأن ذلك النظام ليس عميلاً، وأن أميركا خلصتهم من نظام طاغٍ. ولكن، عجلة القدر المعولم دائمة الدوران، فهي تطحن السودان وطحنت الصومال، وتهدد لبنان. وربما كان هذا أحد اسباب "هرولة" أنظمة عمرو موسى إلى أنا بوليس، "فيا روح ما بعدك روح"!

بعد كل القتل في فلسطين والعراق والصومال ولبنان وغيره، يقف رئيس سلطة الحكم الذاتي في أنابوليس ويكيل المديح لبوش وتوني بلير وكأنهم صلاح الدين الأيوبي. فهل هناك عجباً فوق هذا؟ ولو من قبيل التكتيك وذر الرماد في العيون، كان يمكنه أن يقول كلمة عن مجزرة غزة، فكان حديث عباس عن وجوب تصفيه حماس، وكأن حماس تحتل يافا!

ماذا يعني حضور ستة عشر حاكماً للإستماع إلى الرئيس الأميركي ووزيرة خارجيته غير التثبيت في ذهن المواطن، أن كل شيء يُدار بالإرادة الأميركية، وأن من يخالف هذه الإرادة سوف يُقيد ويرمى تحت سنابك الخيل كما حصل لملك المناذرة عند كسرى، وبالمناسبة، كان ذلك مما ادى إلى تحالف انتصار المقاومة في "ذي قار".

أراد بوش أن يقول للشعب العربي، مكانكم، فما زالت أميركا هي القوة العظمى التي تأمر فتطاع! ومتى يقول ذلك؟ يقوله في لحظة أعتى هجوم على الأمة العربية.

نعم وابعد من هذا، فلا بد أن يبدو الكيان الصهيوني الإشكنازي طبيعيا في فلسطين ليتم تشغيل العرب ، ولكن هذه المرة "كأمة من المرتزقة" في حرب ضد إيران، على اعتبار اختلاف السنة والشيعة!، فما دام هناك مداً اصولياً فلم لا يتم ضربه ببعضه البعض. حرب السنة والشيعة، ولكن على ماذا؟ على اعتبار أن إيران قوية ستهدد القطريات العربية. ربما، ولكن ما مبرر وجود هذه القطريات إذا كانت أقل من الدفاع عن نفسها؟ ما لزوم جيوشها، وبزاتها العسكرية وعصا المارشالية بيد هذا أو ذاك وكميات هائلة من النياشين والأوسمة بالأقمشة والمعادن على بزاتهم، ليبدو الواحد منهم وكأنه خارج من "صالون تجميل عسكري"، بل هو كذلك.

أليس التاريخ حلبة صراع؟ من لا يحمي وطنه يُستباح وطنه، معادلة بسيطة وسهلة، والإستقواء بالأجنبي هو مناداة الإستعمار ليس أكثر. هل علينا، لأن إيران قوية أن نقاتلها بالنيابة عن اميركا وأوروبا اللتين حلتا، بمساعدة بعضنا محل تركيا؟

هناك الكثير من الحروب المؤجلة، وليست هذه الأنظمة هي المرشحة للقيام بها، ولكن اقل ما بُقال أن لا تدخلنا في حروب عبثية من طراز طائفي ومذهبي، أو من طراز نووي. فإيران قوية مقارنة مع كل جيوش العرب، التي لم تلتق معاً في حرب إلا ضد نظام الرئيس صدام حسين، وعليه، فإن إيران ليست بحاجة إلى النووي لتستقوي على العرب.

لعله مشهد عار حقيقي ان يقف حكام أمة بهذا الكم من الناس والثروة مرتعدين من بلد مجاور وكأنهم أمة من الكهول والعجزة! وهنا لا يقف الأمر عند الحكام، بل إن القوى السياسية ومثقفي الحكام هم الطابور الخامس ضد الطبقات الشعبية حيث يحقنوها بالتبعية الأبدية، والجاهزية لخدمة السيد.

خُيًِل للكثيرين قبيل المؤتمر أن إسرائيل مرغمة على المشاركة. هذا ما بدا من مناورات ألومرت وليفني. ولم يكن هذا إلا تغطية على الحضور العربي الذي لم يكن عليه التردد بل عدم الذهاب بالمطلق. ما كشف عن الموقف الإسرائيلي، كان ما تفوه به أولمرت في المؤتمر، وهو استلهام سلفه شامير وغيره، "التفاوض دون الإلتزام بشيء"، يعني جلسات في المقاهي، نفس المقاهي، وعلى راسها مقهى موسكو الذي استضاف بعض جلسات ما بعد مؤتمر مدريد.

حكام الكيان الصهيوني، أعداء، لكنهم يحترمون محكوميهم، لذا قالوا بوضوح بعد المؤمر:
"لن يعود لاجئاً واحداً، ومطلوب من العرب التطبيع، والإعتراف بيهودية الدولة، ويجب على العرب عدم التدخل بيننا وبين الفلسطينيين ولن نلتزم بنتائج بعد 2008، وعلى العرب التطبيع معنا". ألا يكفي هذا لتفنيد مزاعم فلسطينيي أنابوليس بأن إسرائيل أُرغمت على الحضور! وإذا كان هذا ما حصده من جُرَّ بالسلاسل، فماذا يُفترض أن "يقبض" من ذهب طائعاً!

ولكن لماذا ذهبوا!

إذا كان الحكام العرب قد اعترفوا بالكيان الصهيوني صراحة أو مداورة، سواء من حضر المؤتمر أو من لم يحضر، وهو الإعتراف الذي يشطب حق العودة، بغض النظر عن كتابة ذلك نصاً والبصم عليه بصماً أم لا. الإعتراف بدولة لليهود، لليهود وحدهم، على أرض العرب، وإذا كانوا يمارسون التطبيع وخاصة الإقتصادي مداورة، أو مباشرة، فلماذا كان المؤتمر، ولماذا ذهبوا:
ذهبوا لتثبيت هذه القضايا على الملأ لتؤكد أميركا وتُعرف العالم بأنها هي التي تحكم الأمة العربية، وبأنها ما تزال قوية رغم المقاومة التي تدميها.
ذهبوا ليؤكدوا ما تقوله أميركا بأنها روما العصر وأخطر.

ذهبوا ليضيفوا عبر هذه الحرب النفسية ضربة مًرَّةٍ للمواطن العربي بأن مصيره هو "السلام خيار استراتيجي" أي ليس مثير الوطن إلا عبداً في عصر العبودية الأميركي، وأن الأمة الوحيدة الممنوعة عن الكرامة هي الأمة العربية. وقد تكون هنا مفارقة مدهشة. طالما أن هؤلاء وأميركا لا ينكرون البعد القومي للقضية الفلسطينية، فلماذا لا يتم إنجاز اية خطوة في تصفية القضية إلا بحضور الحكام العرب؟

ذهبوا ليمهدوا الشارع العربي لما هو آت وأخطر، وهو التعبئة لمقاولات الحروب المقبلة وربما تكون ضد إيران .

ذهبوا، وهو الأهم، لتجهيز جبهة الحرب على اية مقاومة، وإن كانت المقاومة المسلحة على قمة الأجندة.

ذهبوا ليفتحوا قنوات لحرق فوائض النفط وهي الفوائض التي طالما حرقت الأمة، لا غيرها.

ألا تحتاج هذه "المهام" إلى مؤتمر؟ بلى، هي بحاجة لانعقاد دائم بالمطلق من قبل الحكام وعساكرهم. لكنها بحاجة ايضاً لنشاط محموم من عملاء الثقافة، من مثقفي الأنظمة، وهذا سوف ينصب لهم سوق عكاظ ليرتزقوا ما شاء النفط.

قد نختم بالتخوف المنسوب لوزير الخارجية السعودي من محاولة فرض معاهدة فرساي جديدة على العرب". هذا حديث في غير محله، تماماً كما هي هذه الأنظمة في غير محلها. فرساي ذهب إليها المهزومون قسراً وبعد حرب طاحنة، قاتلوا فيها من أجل مصالح طبقاتهم، قاتلوا بضراوة ، فما بالك لو كانت أرضهم محتلة. أما الحكام العرب، فلم يقاتلوا حتى دفاعاً عن أرضهم. استدعوا الهزيمة واستدخلوها، وأنتهوا إلى الندم على محاولات بعضهم المشاركة في الدفاع عن فسطين، إنتهوا لاعتماد شعار يندى له الجبين: "السلام خيار استراتيجي"! هل يُعقل هذا، وأنت أمام عدو يعتبر الحرب قراراً مطلقاً! ومعذرة للمدافعين عن الخيانة: هل هذا الخيار خيانة؟ اللهم إلا إذا كان قصد القائل، أن الشعب العربي لن يقبل بفرساي العرب!

بعد كل هذا، هل أمامنا من خيار غير المقاومة؟

ربما يجوز لنا القول أن الرد على هذه الحروب العديدة من الداخل والخارج هو الثبات على الموقف، موقف المقاومة. صحيح أن الصورة تبدو كما لو كانت خاتمة المطاف، ولا خاتمة طالما الحياة دائمة. ولكن بين الخنوع والنهوض، حتى بقوة بسيطة هناك مسافة وعي إنساني واحترام البشر لإنسانيتهم. فليس اسهل من الإقتناع بالقبوع في اقنان الدجاج، لكن هذه الراحة هي بانتظار السكين. فبين سكين الجزار، وسكين الشهادة، الثانية اشرف
. "