Saturday, May 10, 2008

Al-Jazeera Video: Pro-Palestinian rally through London

"Al Jazeera's Mark Seddon reports on the Palestinian rally held in central London.

Thousands of people marched through the streets of London, to show their support for the Palestinian cause.

The demonstrators were calling for an end to the siege on Gaza, the right of return for Palestinians, and an end to Israeli occupation. "

Lebanon in crisis: an interview with editor Samah Idriss

Stefan Christoff, Electronic Lebanon, 10 May 2008

".....Samah Idriss is a co-founder of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel, lexicographer, literary critic who earned a Ph.D from Columbia University in 1991, and is editor-in-chief of al-Adab, a Lebanese Arabic-language arts and culture magazine based in Beirut. Samah is also deeply involved in the Civil Resistance Campaign in Lebanon that organizes Lebanese and internationals to provide direct aid at a grassroots level to people impacted by the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon. Samah Idriss spoke with Stefan Christoff concerning the current political crisis in Lebanon........

....Clearly there is a strategy from the government and pro-government forces to portray Hizballah as the outsiders, to try to portray Hizballah as a force coming to change the nature of Beirut by bringing in Shi'ite elements, Iranian elements, Persian elements, barbarian elements, etc. All oriental stereotypes that mainstream western media and some mainstream Arab media will quickly adopt. It is not certain, however, that this portrayal for Hizballah could work in the Arab media because Hizballah is widely respected as the major defender for the Arab cause, for the Palestinian cause.

Across the Middle East the mainstream Sunni populations don't view Hizballah or its leader Hassan Nasrallah as a sectarian leader or simply a Shi'ite leader. However, the mainstream pro-government media in Lebanon attempt to portray Hizballah as a completely sectarian movement, in tune with the political lines fostered by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, France and the US.......

On an international level, obviously this government is allied with the US, with France, with Saudi Arabia, with Egypt, viewing itself as part of the US or EU political agenda in the Middle East, that they put forward with the empty slogan, "I Love Life" in Lebanon. Today the government presents itself to the west as fighting a Syrian and Iranian axis that is based on a culture of martyrdom or a culture of death, as the government claims, while the current government represents western values in Lebanon, values put forward with empty slogans that utilize words like "freedom," "sovereignty" and "independence."

Actually, the government also uses language to present Hizballah as somehow an external force to Lebanon, using similar language that we use in Lebanon to describe Israeli forces. While at the time, a real external threat invaded Lebanon in 2006, the Israeli army, the current government did nothing to resist, contrary to their slogans about sovereignty, independence and freedom.......
Hizballah's telecommunication network is an important weapon for the resistance movement in Lebanon, playing a critical role in 2006 war. In a sense the communications system is even more important than Hizballah's rockets or weaponry. In 2006 the entire weapons arsenal would have done little without the telecommunications network. Now for the Lebanese government to demand to control this communications network, or for it to be dismantled, is equivalent to demanding that Hizballah hand over their arms to the government.

Israel and the US first wanted to politically disarm Hizballah through UN Resolution 1559, with support from western-backed forces in Lebanon. Once this strategy failed the US and Israel tried to disarm Hizballah by force in 2006 through an invasion. In a sense it was the US that invaded Lebanon in 2006. This attempt to disarm Hizballah failed due to the Lebanese resistance. Now again the same forces are attempting to disarm Hizballah, however, through a different strategy, using different titles, and this time the focus is on the telecommunications network of Hizballah in Lebanon -- a critical element to Hizballah's arms......."

Real News Video: Five million orphans in Iraq

"Alive in Baghdad: Most orphanages a disgrace, this is a story of one that works

Saturday May 10th, 2008

We show this segment courtesy of Alive in Baghdad employs Iraqi journalists to produce video packages each week about a variety of topics on daily life in Iraq.

The number of Iraqi orphans increased in the last few years due to the war. According to official Iraqi government statistics released in December 2007, the number of Iraqi orphans had reached at least five million over the last three years. Many due to the Sunni-Shia conflict. There are several social organizations caring for a small number of these Iraqi orphans, such as Child Aid International. There are approximately 26 orphanages that Alive in Baghdad has been able to locate around Iraq. Eight orphanages are in Baghdad and another 18 are distributed all over Iraq and generally they accept kids between the age of 6 and 18 years old.

One of the biggest scandals that happened in the history of the Iraq conflict is the one that happened in Al-Hanan orphanage. There were many pictures distributed online and by television of Iraqi orphans lying on the floor naked, with no food for weeks, sick and nearly dying. After this the Iraqi government began to show more attention for the orphans, there were many stories being reported regarding Al-Hanan Orphanage, like sexual abuses and bad treatment of the kids living there.

Al-A’ssal House is one of the rare orphanages that still take care of the young children who have a dead father or who are orphans due to losing both parents. The house has a special method and it’s opposed to the toy guns due to Iraq’s situation and the reason behind it, which is the constant conflict that Iraq is undergoing. Another organization was also created by this house, and it’s called the Sazan organization. This organization is taking in orphans for free, with no payment at all. Also this house employs Iraq widows in order to help the Iraqi women support themselves during the war. Despite all their hard work, this orphanage has not yet received any funding from the Iraqi government or sponsorship by a bigger humanitarian aid organization while other orphanages such as Al-Hanan orphanage received funds from the Iraqi government without oversight."

Beirut on the Brink

The Opposition's Patience Runs Thin


"“If we wanted to stage a coup, you would have woken up this morning in prison, or in the middle of the sea. We do not want that. It is a political issue, with a political solution through early elections.”

- Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, in comments directed tothe U.S.-backed Lebanese government, Al-ManarTV, 8 May 2008.......

And let us not forgot the actions that this “cabinet,” minus the five ministers, have taken over the past several years.

Ha’aretz correspondent Avi Issacharoff, author of Spider Webs - The Story of the Second Lebanon War writes:

"For the first time, we reveal…that moderate Arab states and the people close to the Lebanese government have conveyed messages to the Israeli government via different sides demanding Israel continue the war until Hezbollah was completely crushed.”.........

Unsurprisingly, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League this week. It is these countries – all monarchies or dictatorships – that feel most threatened by Lebanon’s crisis. The root of their fear is embodied in Nasrallah’s statement quoted at the beginning of this article calling for a political solution: accountability of the government, a check on its actions, and elections. All are anathema to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of Jordan and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, lest their own people should one day make similar demands.

Although this conflict is often couched in sectarian terms—Sunni versus Shiite—this is just window dressing. It instead involves issues of legitimate political representation and the desire of those who oppose U.S. and Israeli designs on the region to no longer be marginalized.

It would behoove Prime Minister Siniora and the ruling March 14 Coalition, after seeing not only what Hezbollah is capable of but the restraint they are able to exert, to enter into serious and genuine negotiations to form a unity and power-sharing government. Hezbollah and the opposition have restrained their hand, although the manufactured accusations against them have tested their limits and patience and served only to push Beirut to the brink of disaster.

As Nasrallah himself warned: “I said, before Jumblatt, that any hand that reaches for the resistance, its arms will be cut off. Israel tried that in the July War, and we cut its hand off. We do not advise you to try us.”"

Street Notes from the Hamra District

Hezbollah Eases Up and Beirut Opens Its Shutters

By Franklin Lamb

"......As of this afternoon the losers and winners appear as follows:

The main losers obviously are the Bush administration, Israel and their Welch Club allies. Personal losers are Amin Gemayel, barely still the "leader" of the Phalange Party, as he talks tough and tries to rally his 'forces'…from Paris. Samir Geagea has pretty much nudged him aside and is reportedly casting his dark gaze toward Saad Hariri who may be planning to retire from politics and help with the very big family business. After the parties meet with President Bush next week, a 'shaking out' process may begin.

Walid Jumblatt is another loser since his provocations, taunts, and Welch Club cheerleader role to take on Hezbollah left him at its mercy both in the Mountains and in his Beirut home. Whatever credibility he had has evaporated.......

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora loses more of his waning influence and status. One of his main problems is that he is increasingly seen as a Bush administration puppet. Not least of his worries this morning, as he prepares to avoid being dumped by Bush next week, is the ringing endorsement he received yesterday from Secretary of State Rice, without bringing herself to mention Siniora by name.......

One frustrated US Senate Intelligence Committee staffer emailed this morning with a tinge of irony and cynicism:

Referring to President Bush: "Now this loser has really done it. Having effectively delivered Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran, he has now handed them Lebanon. Mark my words, Saudi Arabia is next and the Saudis know it and will make a deal with Iran."

The major winners are obvious: Lebanon's Christian population allied with General Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Hezbollah, Amal and their Sunni, Druze and international supporters.

Hassan Nasrallah's position is probably the strongest it has ever been, not just in Lebanon but throughout the region. If he wanted to be a dictator of all of Lebanon, which he eschews, he could have the position today.

Rami Khoury, writing in Beirut's Daily Star this morning got it right in this observer's view when he wrote:

Nasrallah's task now is to create an inclusive environment conducive to the answering of these and other challenges. He and his party cannot be expected to come up with all of the solutions, and nor should they want to: If they cannot draw other players - and not just their closest allies - into the process, Nasrallah runs the risk of being cast as a dictator by default.

Hizbullah and its partners have frequently argued that their counterparts in the March 14 Forces coalition were not interested in true partnership, only in dictating terms. Now Nasrallah has to prove that his side is ready, willing and able to live up to its own expectations, and speed is of the essence: After 15 years of civil war, 15 of diluted sovereignty, and three of limbo, the Lebanese deserve at last to have a level of politics commensurate with their talents and energies. If Nasrallah is the man who makes this happen, history will judge his actions to have been a revolution, not a coup, and a long-overdue one at that.

Late news is that the airport may open by Monday but this is not certain. "

Celebrating evil

Comment by Khalid Amayreh

"Normal nations, like normal people, don’t celebrate their days of infamy. In fact, they struggle to forget them. Some countries with a troubled past try hard to deal with their shameful legacies, often by openly acknowledging their sins and apologizing to their victims and to their victims’ descendants.

However, in Israel, which encapsulates evil and racism, ethnic cleansing is celebrated with utmost pride as a consummate national achievement and a glorious success story. “This is our manifest destiny,” many Zionists would ostentatiously argue, with glee and deep satisfaction apparent in the tone of their voices.

Sixty years ago today, one of the greatest thefts in history took place in Palestine: when armed Zionist gangs launched a massive campaign of murder and terror against the native Palestinians.

The marauding vandals of Zionism murdered thousands of innocent people, destroyed thousands of homes, bulldozed hundreds of villages, and expelled the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral motherland.

This campaign of genocidal ethnic cleansing, as Israeli historian and political analyst Ilan Pappe argued in his recent book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” was not an unintended consequence or fortuitous occurrence, or even a “miracle,” as Israel’s first president, Chairman Weizmann, proclaimed; it was actually the result of long and meticulous planning......."

Hizbollah rules west Beirut in Iran's proxy war with US

By Robert Fisk

"Another American humiliation. The Shia gunmen who drove past my apartment in west Beirut yesterday afternoon were hooting their horns, making V-signs, leaning out of the windows of SUVs with their rifles in the air, proving to the Muslims of the capital that the elected government of Lebanon has lost.

And it has. The national army still patrols the streets, but solely to prevent sectarian killings or massacres. Far from dismantling the pro-Iranian Hizbollah's secret telecommunications system – and disarming the Hizbollah itself – the cabinet of Fouad Siniora sits in the old Turkish serail in Beirut, denouncing violence with the same authority as the Iraqi government in Baghdad's green zone......

.......The same applies to Saad Hariri, one of the most prominent government MPs and the son of the murdered former prime minister Rafik Hariri. He remains in his west Beirut palace in Koreitem, guarded by police and soldiers but unable to move without Hizbollah's approval. The symbolism is everything.

When Hamas became part of the Palestinian government, the West rejected it. So Hamas took over Gaza. When the Hizbollah became part of the Lebanese government, the Americans rejected it. Now Hizbollah has taken over west Beirut. The parallels are not exact, of course.....

No, this is not a civil war. Nor is it a coup d'etat, though it meets some of the criteria. It is part of the war against America in the Middle East. The Hizbollah "must stop sowing trouble," the White House said rather meekly. Yes, like the Taliban. And al-Qa'ida. And the Iraqi insurgents. And Hamas. And who else?"

Hizbullah's web

The Guardian, Saturday May 10 2008

".....Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hizbullah, who rarely makes public appearances, accused Mr Siniora of crossing "a red line". In a long and threatening speech he said that Hizbullah's secure communications system was its most powerful tool in the 2006 war against Israel. The guns started firing within hours of his words.

Predictably, Hizbullah's better-trained fighters won easily. By yesterday they had seized control of large areas of Beirut's Muslim sector, besieging in their residences the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt (whom they blame for the confrontation) and the Sunni leader Saad Hariri. Mr Hariri's television station was forced off the air, his newspaper offices were in flames, and Hizbullah gunmen roamed freely in neighbourhoods once controlled by the government. The Lebanese army stayed neutral throughout. Hizbullah's show of force left the government even weaker than it was at the start of the week. The government had bitten off more than it could chew in confronting Hizbullah over its fibre-optic cables. The government cannot now retreat, because if it did it would be finished, but nor can it impose its authority on the ground.

Behind a weaker Lebanese government lies a Bush administration which has alternated between periods of neglect and urging direct confrontation. Neither has worked. Nor has its isolation of Syria. George Bush arrives in the region for his final tour next week. His programme has more to do with paying homage to Israel on the 60th anniversary of its founding than it has with dousing the flames of conflict that the US and Israel keep on fanning. Lebanon is just one more of Mr Bush's failures in the Middle East."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Who is responsible for the security explosion in Lebanon: pro-government forces, the opposition, or both?

With over 700 responding so far, here is the breakdown:


Video From The New FOX News, Formerly Known as Al-Jazeera: Inside Iraq - Iran's influence - 9 May 08

Part 1

Part 2

"In its latest report on global terrorism, the US state department says that despite Iran's pledge to help stabilise Iraq, the Iranians continue to provide logistical and financial support to militant groups which are targeting coalition and Iraqi security forces. Inside Iraq asks how this latest US salvo on Iran will play out amidst the escalating violence and rising death toll of both Iraqi civilians and American troops in Iraq? "

'Nasrallah Ruined 3Yrs of Arab, Foreign Intel Efforts'


"10/05/2008 The former head of Israel's intelligence Aaron Zeevi Farkash said that he had warned Washington against relying on its allies in Lebanon. "We advised the CIA not to rely on Walid Jumblatt or Saad Hariri because we tested them in 2006 and they proved helpless in the face of Hezbollah."

In an interview with Filkka-Israel site on the internet, Zeevi stressed "Israel has given Lebanese Forces (of Samir Geagea) men the best training and they will appear in any future confrontation. Lebanese Forces fighters will hold on much longer in Hezbollah's faces, but eventually they will be defeated."

The former intelligence chief said Tel Aviv and Washington are in a dilemma because "no force in Lebanon can strike Hezbollah and we are not ready yet to take this step. All the Americans can do is send some guards to the dwellings of Saniora, Jumblatt and Hariri."

When asked if the Americans are going to embark in Lebanon, Zeevi said that "this is what Condi told Saniora. He was collapsed and accused Jumblatt of cowardice and fleeing from the battle. So she promised Saniora to get a presidential decree to send the Marines to central Beirut only to protect his headquarters."

The reporter asked Zeevi about the reason behind the failure of the assassination plot against Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on the 25th of April. "I don't know why, but killing Nasrallah was not impossible with the presence of thousands of Lebanese informers working with the Americans. Everything is lost now. Three years of intelligence efforts by international and Arab sides have gone overnight. Most intelligence agents have left Beirut and the Lebanese are no longer able to move under the cover of their daily mission, each according to his rank in some security services. The west has lost a lot after Nasrallah surprised their allies," Zeevi said.

On the assassination of top resistance commander martyr Imad Moghniyeh, Zeevi revealed that a "Lebanese side had provided Israel with the picture of Moghniyeh showing his real face. Only one person knew who (Hajj Radwan) was. He is a Lebanese leader whose security body was trained by Moghniyeh."
When the reporter asked: Is he Jumblatt?
Zeevi said: No comment
. "

Seven Palestinians killed in Gaza and the West Bank

"KHAN YOUNIS, RAFAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation airforce escalated its bombing of Palestinian police stations in the southern Gaza Strip Friday night killing five policemen, raising the number of casualties to seven over the past 24 hours.

Three Palestinian policemen were killed in when their station Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, was bombed.

Palestinian security and medical sources said that Apache helicopters fired two rockets at a police station to the west of Khan Younis and fired a third at policemen running out of the station.

Shortly before that, two Palestinian security personnel were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their headquarters in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. Three others were wounded in the attack.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli war planes fired two rockets at the Security headquarters......."

Friday, May 9, 2008

The End of the New Middle East

By Nir Rosen

"......In Palestine, furious that Hamas won democratic and fair elections, the US (along with the Saudis, Jordanians, Israelis, Egyptians and others), backed the unpopular Fatah and Mahmud Abbas, a traitor to his own people, collaborating with their occupiers. As Fatah tortured its opponents Gaza was suffocated and the Palestinian people punished for their decision to take part in elections. As Fatah thugs attempted a coup in Gaza, Hamas thwarted this threat with a counter coup and easily defeated the American backed Palestinian militias......

.......The Americans thought that they could pick a proxy and get him to rule Lebanon. But Lebanon is too complicated for them, and they didn't know that no single group can rule Lebanon. The Americans along with their Saudi allies backed the creation of sectarian Sunni militias in Lebanon, some of whom were even trained in Jordan. Their ideology consisted of anti Shiite sectarianism. But these Sunni militiamen proved a complete failure, and America's proxies in Lebanon barely put up a fight, despite their strident anti Shiite rhetoric. Now it is clear that Beirut is firmly in the hands of Hizballah and nothing the Americans can do will dislodge or weaken this popular movement, just as they cannot weaken the Sadrists in Iraq or Hamas in Gaza.

Jordanian training, which was provided to the Sunni militias in Lebanon, the Fatah militias in Palestine and even Iraqi security forces, has proven inadequate. Note that in Iraq, the Iraqi security forces are either sectarian death squads or are unable to fight, and rely on the Americans.

Say what you will about Hizballah and its allies, whether you sympathize with them or oppose them, it is clear that they cannot be dislodged, that they are an integral part of Lebanon and the Middle East. They proved this when they won the war of 2006 and proved this once again yesterday when they dispatched pro American and Saudi militias with ease and seized control of Beirut. If one dreams of a Hizballah without weapons, or a Hamas that does not engage in violent resistance, or any sort of peaceful resolution in the Middle East, then one has to begin at the beginning, with the Israeli occupation of Palestine (as well as a little bit of Syrian territory)."

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

By Philip Giraldi

"There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action. The decision to go ahead with plans to attack Iran is the direct result of concerns being expressed over the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where Iranian ally Hezbollah appears to have gained the upper hand against government forces and might be able to dominate the fractious political situation. The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran. The US demanded that Iran admit that it has been interfering in Iraq and also commit itself to taking steps to end the support of various militant groups. There was also a warning about interfering in Lebanon. The Iranian government reportedly responded quickly, restating its position that it would not discuss the matter until the US ceases its own meddling employing Iranian dissident groups. The perceived Iranian intransigence coupled with the Lebanese situation convinced the White House that some sort of unambiguous signal has to be sent to the Iranian leadership, presumably in the form of cruise missiles. It is to be presumed that the attack will be as “pinpoint” and limited as possible, intended to target only al-Qods and avoid civilian casualties. The decision to proceed with plans for an attack is not final. The President will still have to give the order to launch after all preparations are made. "

A Wild Day in Beirut

Street Notes from the Hamra District


"......Hezbollah appears in complete control of West Beirut.

1. According to the guys manning the Berms on airport road the airport will stayed closed until the 'three conditions' are met i.e the pro-US government pledges to keep its hands off the optic fiber telecommunication network of the Resistance, the Government reinstates head of Airport Security Wafiq Shouqair, and agrees to a dialogue. Until that happens, West Beirut and the Airport will stay closed.

2. This observer was amazed to see and learn that Hezbollah/Amal also are deployed all over Mt. Lebanon. Approaching a Druze area, near the Kamal Jumblatt Hospital in Choufeit close to 1 p.m. today I turned down a side road to make a telephone call at one of the phone shops. I was shocked to see approximately 80 heavily armed fighters. "Oh”, I thought to myself, “finally I see Jumblatt's militia." As I pulled up to the phone store several fighters approached my motorcycle—which is well known in Dahiyeh. "Habibee!", one young man called as he put his free arm around me. Turns out he is a neighbor of mine from Harek Hreik. "What are you doing here with PSP (Druze militia?)", I lamely ask. "No, no, we are all Hezbollah and Amal here!
How is that possible in Jumblatt territory? "Khalas, there is no Jumblatt territory! We and our friends are all throughout the mountains. We are ready to fight both the Zionists and anyone else who wants to fight us

After a while, one is able to distinguish in Hamra the difference between Amal and Hezbollah fighters from a block away. The former tend to be smaller, more thin, randomly dressed and sometimes hooded, a bit unkempt, fun-loving and happy to pose for photos and joke. Hezbollah by contrast are polite but all business with an obvious command structure and a tested professionalism. Several this morning look surprised at seeing someone riding around the area and advised: "Please go to your home. We don't know what will happen"......

Jumblatt has not just been humiliated in the mountains but also in his Beirut residence at Clemenceau near AUB. When I drove by en route to Hamra Street I saw about 75 fighters outside his home. I was surprised to learn they were not Jumblatt's protectors but once more Hezbollah/Amal. "Maybe he will invite us to lunch. We have orders not to harm him." I was later to learn that the Army rescued Jumblatt around 11:30 am, and he is said to be rethinking his options......

It appears in order to calm the atmosphere in Lebanon right now and remove the berms of July 2006 rubble blocking the airport road as well as the evacuation of fighters from West Beirut and the Mountains, the Bush administration must order the reversal of Monday's Lebanese Cabinet decisions. It is widely believed that they ordered them and are responsible to reverse them and to accept a dialogue with the Opposition."

Army takes control of Future TV

Contributed by Jim

"The Lebanese army has taken control of the pro-government Future TV station and al-Mostaqbal newspaper as radio al-Sharq has gone off air.

The TV station is owned by Saad al-Hariri, leader of Lebanon's Western-backed ruling coalition.

Amid ongoing clashes in Beirut, some 800 gunmen affiliated to Hariri's al-Mostaqbal (Future) Movement surrendered to the army last night. The opposition has reportedly taken full control of key neighborhoods of Beirut, including al-Hamra and al-Wardan but the situation in the Lebanese capital is now relatively calm, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The army, meanwhile, has surrounded the house of leader of Lebanese Druze community, Walid Jumblatt, to protect him.

Hariri had earlier said that the government could reverse a decision to outlaw a telecommunication network used by Hezbollah and it also could mull over the reinstallation of the sacked security chief of Beirut Airport.

He has proposed a national dialogue on the issue

Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Wednesday that the government's moves were a declaration of war against his movement. "

Israel is 60, Zionism is Dead, What Now?

By Tony Karon

"......Israel has been unable, however, to end the conflict over its creation that has raged since 1948 on its own terms. The Palestinians driven out during the Nakbah have not simply disappeared or been absorbed into surrounding Arab populations, as Israel’s founders had hoped. And without justice for the Palestinians, Israel is no closer now than it was 60 years ago to being able to live in a genuine peace with its neighbors.

At this point, however, the Israelis don’t seem to care.

The curious irony of history, though, is that while the Zionist movement managed to successfully create a nation state in the Middle East against considerable odds, that movement is deadthe majority of Jews quite simply don’t want to be part of a Jewish nation-state in the Middle East. And so the very purpose of Israel has come into question. Jewish immigration to Israel is at an all-time low, and that’s unlikely to change. In a world where persecution of Jews is increasingly marginal, the majority of Jews prefer to live scattered among the peoples, rather than in an ethnic enclave of our own. That’s what we’ve chosen. So where does this leave Israel?........"

Aoun: What Happened Today is Victory for Lebanon


"09/05/2008 The Head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Michel Aoun said recent incidents have put the "trail on the right track." "What took place was victory for Lebanon and its constitution", Aoun said. He added that "I had toured the world and the UN Security Council and I warned them that we are heading towards clash, but unfortunately we didn't get much attention. I also called on the Lebanese not to get weapons because they will later dispose them. I even urged the world not to back a rule that is not the size of Lebanon," General Aoun said.

"We'll return back to our daily life, our roads will be safe and we'll look forward to building Lebanon in the future", Aoun added. He assured the Lebanese people that no one will be targeted, "but some officials will have to shoulder their political responsibilities."
Aoun hoped that all streets would reopen, both opposition and government's camps (sit-in and Grand Serail) would be removed and the crisis would end completely."

The Terror that begot Israel

By Khalid Amayreh

"“We committed Nazi acts.”
Aharon Zisling, Israel’s first Agriculture Minister

There is no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young (Arab) girls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested.”
General Richard Catling, British Army Assistant Inspector after interrogating several female survivors (The Palestinian Catastrophe, Michael Palumbo, 1987)

As the evil state of Israel is celebrating sixty years of ethnic cleansing and atrocities against the native Palestinians, many people around the world, especially young generations, will not be fully aware of the manner in which Israel came into existence. Similarly, the younger Zionist generations who don’t stop calling their Palestinian victims “terrorists” should have a clearer idea about Israel’s manifestly criminal past which Zionist school textbooks shamelessly glamorize and glorify

Prior to "Jewish" statehood, three main Jewish terror organizations operated in Palestine, primarily against Palestinian civilians and British mandate targets. The three were: The Haganah, the Zvei Leumi or Irgun and the Stern Gang. The Haganah (Defence) had a field army of up to 160,000 well-trained and well-armed men and a unit called the Palmach, with more than 6,000 terrorists. The Irgun included as many as 5,000 terrorists, while the Stern Gang included 200-300 dangerous terrorists.

The following are merely some examples of Zionist terrorism prior to the creation of the Zionist state in 1948: The list doesn't include the bigger massacres such as Dir Yasin, Dawaymeh, Tantura and others......."

Jumblatt Services to Israel Innumerable


"09/05/2008 Walid Jumblatt's services to the Israeli enemy against the Resistance in Lebanon are innumerable.

Indeed, the Lebanese MP has always been the first to aim at sensitive points, giving Israel a golden opportunity to benefit from them.
Jumblatt's speeches have always constituted intelligence material for Israel to found many of its aggressive acts on both political and combat levels.

The Resistance communications' network case is a clear proof: Jumblatt put this issue in the crosshairs of Israel.
"..Communications linking Beirut to South Lebanon to Western Bekaa and the Jizzeen region as well as Baalbek and Hermel," Jumblatt said when raising the issue last week.
"The most dangerous thing is that the Lebanese telecommunication ministry discovered that Hezbollah had spread a communications network across Lebanon to secure Hezbollah from Israeli and US wiretapping," Israeli expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Oded Granot, said in the wake of Jumblatt's comments.

Another service Jumblatt extended to the Israelis on a golden plate was raising the issue of smuggling arms to the resistance via Syria and his demand to put Lebanese-Syrian borders under international control. So Israel took Jumblatt's stance as a pretext to intensify violations of Lebanon's sovereignty.
"Yesterday, some 20 trucks loaded with weapons entered into Lebanon. Why are weapons and ammunition sent to Lebanon through the Lebanese Syrian border?" Jumblatt asked during one of his interviews.
In the same context, Israeli analyst Ami Dror wondered whether Israel was ready in view of "Hezbollah's accumulation of weapons or it should urge the world to perceive that we won't accept this and request the United Nations deploys forces on the border with Syria to prevent army smuggling that allows Hezbollah to build its force."

Moreover, Jumblatt's extensive rhetoric about security squares and crossings between the Bekaa and the South constituted a document on which Israeli minister of transport Shaoul Moufaz relied and essentially used in the strategic dialogue between the US and Israel. "The South is one square. Baalbek-Hermel is another, and the same goes for Jizzeen and Mount Lebanon," Jumblatt stressed.

As for Jumblatt's focus on what he and his allies call "Hezbollah's destruction of Lebanon in the July 2006 war," it goes without saying that it was a faithful interpretation of an Israeli wish.
"I had said that Hezbollah has won this war, but what a huge price Lebanon has paid," Jumblatt said in the wake of Hezbollah's victory in 2006.
"We had hoped that Hezbollah be considered as a party that has destroyed Lebanon because this would weaken it," former Israeli national security adviser Giora Eiland said.

This conformity between Jumblatt and Israeli positions, in fact reflects collusion by both sides against the resistance, and this had practically materialized during the July War."

Gun battles as Hizbollah claims Lebanon is at war

By Robert Fisk

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"If you want to fight us, you'll have to fight us. This was Sayed Hassan Nasrallah's message to the Lebanese government yesterday and his words were followed within seconds by two massive gun battles in the streets of Beirut.

He had spoken in that careful, thought-through, distressing way in which he always threatens the Hizbollah's enemies. He even swapped the names of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, with that of the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt – calling Jumblatt the real prime minister and Siniora his deputy – and blamed both for trying to set up a CIA-Mossad base at Beirut airport. What other reason could there be, he asked, for the two men to demand the dismantlement of Hizbollah's communications system and the suspension of the head of airport security? This was "a Lebanese government declaration of war against the resistance". Well, maybe. But Nasrallah still wants the Hizbollah's enemies to be the Israelis – not his Lebanese opponents........"

A Video From The New FOX News, Formerly Known as Al-Jazeera: Civil war in Lebanon? - 08 May 08

Part 1

Part 2

Hezbollah 'seizes west Beirut'


"Hezbollah is reported to have taken control of large areas of the Lebanese capital from groups loyal to the government following gun battles.

"There are no clashes anymore because no one is standing in the way of the opposition forces," a Lebanese security official said on Friday......

A rocket-propelled grenade earlier hit the fence of the heavily protected residence of Saad al-Hariri, the Sunni politician and leader of the governing coalition, in the suburb of Koreitem, a Muslim area of western Beirut on Friday. Al-Hariri was believed to be inside at the time but unhurt......

Armed men loyal to Hezbollah also forced Future News, an al-Hariri-owned TV station, off the air in Beirut......

Saudi response

Reports have also emerged that the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon advised Fouad Siniora, the prime minister, to step down......

Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said: "This is a significant move considering that the Saudi government is a staunch supporter of the ruling coalition in Beirut.

"The Saudis see this as a dangerous situation that can escalate rapidly.".....

"Jumblatt did not anticipate such a strong response from Hezbollah, and he is resigned to the fact that the group is much stronger than other armed militia," she said......."

Hezbollah overruns west Beirut as Lebanon on brink

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"BEIRUT (AFP) - Hezbollah gunmen seized control of west Beirut on Friday after a third day of battles with pro-government foes in the Lebanese capital pushed the nation dangerously close to all-out civil war.

The sectarian fighting had eased by early afternoon as the army and police moved across areas now in the hands of Shiite opposition forces who routed Sunni militants loyal to the Western-backed government.

"There are no clashes anymore because no one is standing in the way of the opposition forces," a security official said on condition of anonymity......

In Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- whose country is Iran's closest regional ally -- said the unrest was a purely "internal affair."

Witnesses reported fierce gunbattles in several parts of west Beirut as the Sunni neighourhoods considered bastions of Lebanon's ruling bloc fell to militants from Hezbollah and its ally Amal.......
Hezbollah, the most powerful armed movement in Lebanon, has also forced the shutdown of all media belonging to the family of parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri, while a rocket hit the outer perimeter of his Beirut residence.......

Gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades surrounded the headquarters of the Hariri's Future Television and his movement's Al-Mustaqbal newspaper early Friday, forcing all its media outlets to close.

"The army is in control of institutions placed under its authority, such as the media outlets of the Future Movement," the army said.

"It also controls the area around the government headquarters, the central bank, major roads and the area where Hariri and Jumblatt's residences are located in west Beirut," referring to prominent Druze leader Walid Jumblatt....... "

AFP: Opposition Takes Control of all Western Beirut

From Al-Manar

Contributed by Uprooted Palestinian

"09/05/2008 The Lebanese National Opposition announced western Beirut under its control, according to AFP.

Calm has prevailed in most areas in the Lebanese capital Beirut, after the latest incidents saw the mercenaries of the Mustakbal militia flee from most neighborhoods. Residents as well as National Opposition loyalists forced Mustakabal gunmen to lay down their arms and surrender. From the Watwat area to Zaydaniyeh, Tamer Mallat neighborhood, Tallet al-Khayyat, Karakon Druz, Jnah, Ras el-Nabeh, Nweiri, Basta and elsewhere, Mustakbal militiamen surrendered and others fled as Lebanese Army forces deployed in the regions.

Sunni forces in Beirut contacted al-Manar TV to express relief that their city has become free of mercenaries. They also expressed regret that the Mustakbal militia has deceived young men working in security firms and brought them from northern Lebanon under the pretext of protecting some institutions. Al-Manar interviewed some of these young men who have been captured by opposition forces. One of them said that he and other young men were brought into Beirut as part of their job as private security men. He added that when they arrived to the capital, Mustakbal militiamen gave them weapons to fight opposition forces. The fatigued young man said that he was not aware of any fighting and that he was abandoned along with his colleagues, lost in the streets of Beirut and unaware of what's going on. "I did not come form north Lebanon to fight anyone. My family is poor. I work in a security firm and I earn 400$ per month. They brought us and gave us arms. We refused because this was not our job. We laid down our arms and surrendered because we neither want to kill nor get killed for nothing," the young man said.

Mustakbal and Progressive Socialist Party militiamen also surrendered in the regions of Khaldeh, Aramoun and Bchamoun.

Meanwhile, the Mustakbal media outlets, namely Future TV stations, Al-Sharq radio station, Liwa' newspaper have stopped broadcasting since the early hours of Friday. Future TV employyes made extensive calls to evacuate them from the building after Mustakbal militiamen abandoned them. The Lebanese Army took control of the Future TV building. Moreover, opposition supporters took the mission of protecting the residence of Interior Minister in Fouad Saniora's unconstitutional government, Hasan Sabaa, after his protection body fled the perimeter of his dwelling.

The head of the Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblatt has reportedly requested personal protection and was evacuated from his residence in Clemanceau, escorted by Lebanese army forces, according to media reports.
However the Druz MP denied such reports. "

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Slide Show of Today's Events in Lebanon

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

Al-Jazeera Video: Nasrallah address Lebanon - 08 May 08

"Hezbollah's leader has warned the government's moves to close the Shia group's private telephone network are tantamount to "a declaration of war".

Al Jazeera broadcast extracts of his speech. "

Sayyed Nasrallah's Press Conference on May 8 (Arabic)

المؤتمر الصحفي لسماحة الامين العام

السيد نصرالله:لن نقبل أي تآمر على سلاحنا والمس بوجودنا

خاص قناة المنار - محمد عبد الله

"السيد نصرالله:لن نقبل أي تآمر على سلاحنا والمس بوجودنا
السيد نصر الله: اليوم يوم الوفاء للوعد بقطع اليد
السيد نصرالله: القرار هو بمثابة اعلان حرب
السيد نصر الله:فريق السلطة ادخل لبنان في مرحلة دقيقة

وهنا اهم ما جاء في المؤتمر الصحافي للأمين العام لـ"حزب الله" السيد حسن نصرالله:
السيد نصرالله: الموضع بالنسبة لنا تجاوز كل الخطوط الحمر ولن نتهاون مع أحد كائنا من كان ونحن نعرف أن موضوع السلكي هو البداية وإذا تساهلنا مع هذا الموضع في المستقبل سيبدأ الحديث عن السلاح
السيد نصرالله: بعد القرارات المظلمة للحكومة سندافع عن قراراتنا وشرعية مقاومتنا وقد أعذر من أنذر
السيد نصرالله: من يبدأ معنا حربا من حقنا أن نواجه بالدفاع عن نفسنا وعن سلاحنا وعن وجودنا وشبكة السلكي هي الجزء الأهم من سلاح المقاومة وفي بنت جبيل خطبت وكان جنبلاط حاضرا وقلت ان اليد التي ستمتد إلى سلاح المقاومة سنقطعها واليوم هو يوم الوفاء لهذا القرار
السيد نصرالله: يريدون عبر قرارهم دفع المقاومة لمواجهة مباشرة مع الجيش لنزع وتعطيل هذه الشراكة
السيد نصرالله: الهدف من القرار تجريد المقاومة من أهم عنصر لحماية قيادتها فهم شركاء في قتلنا
السيد نصرالله: بعد تقرير الخارجية الأميركية الذي بهدلهم لأنهم استخدموا تعابيره نفسها فهم موظفون يلتزمون بالنص. بعد 10 ساعات من الاتصال مع نفس الدولل والعواصم التي غطت حرب تموز أخذ القرار المسشؤوم الذي اعتبر شبكة اتصالات حزب الله اعتداء على الدولة وطلب من القضاء ملاحقة كل من يتبين تورطه بها
السيد نصرالله: ربما اسقدم جنبلاط النائب الفرنسي بشكل متعمد. لقد أوقف هذا النائب في زقاق منزلي انا وأقول اننا لن نتسامح في أمن أحد من كوادرنا. يقولون خطف واعتقال لا مشكلة لدينا
السيد نصرالله: كنا نظن اننا تجاوزنا هذا الموضوع فأعيد إثارة هذا الموضوع عبر رئيس الحكومة وليد جنبلاط لأن السنيورة موظف عند جنبلاط وهو بدوره موظف لدى رايس
السيد نصرالله: شبكة السلكي قرارها لدي اما خيم الاعتصام فيعني المعارضة ككل. انتهى الموضوع هنا وأبدينا الاستعداد ليتحققوا ان الشبكة ليست للاستخدام العام مع العلم ان هناك شبكات هاتفية لجهات سياسية بعضها مرخص وبعدها غير مرخص، لكن بمعزل عن هذا الجانب الموضوع له علاقة بالصراع مع اسرائيل
السيد نصرالله: هذه الشبكة محدودة بقيادات ومراكز المقاومة وليست للإستخدام العام لكي تضر خزينة الدولة وهذه الشبكة لا يمكن استعمالها في موضوع التخابر الدولي وذهب اللجنة ثم عادت وقالوا نغض الطرف عن شبكة السلكي إذا أزيل الإعتصام من وسط المدينة
السيد نصرالله: قلنا اننا نرفض استخدام شبكة اتصالاتنا للتخابر الدولي لأن موضوع التخابر الدولي خارج القانون وحرام
السيد نصرالله: قالوا اننا نريد مد شبكة في جبي وكسروان قلنا غير صحيح وهذا تبلغته اللجنة الوزارية. لسنا بحاجة الى شبكة سلكية في جبيل وكسروان لأن ليس فيها قياداتنا. كذلك ليس الأمر في الشمال. قالوا لنا ان خط الضاحية يخيفهم فتعهدنا اننا لن نعطي خط لحلفائنا
السيد نصرالله: الموضوع ان هناك مرحلة جديدة في المنطقة فرهانات فريق السلطة والرهانات على الحروب سقطت إذا المطلوب خوض المعركة بشكل مختلف في لبنان والعراق وفلسطين وأعيد فتح موضوع الشبكة فأتى ضباط وتواصلنا معهم لأننا دعاة تواصل
السيد نصرالله: في الأشهر الماضية كنا نتفاوض ووصلنا الى نتائج محددة. قبل أشهر أثير الموضوع في فريق السلطة وكلف أهم الفنيين في فريق السلطة بالاتصال معنا والتفاوض على هواجسنا فقلنا لا اشكال الا في موضوع كابل ممدود من الضاحية الى بيروت الغربية فتم قصفه قبل أيام من حرب تموز وقالوا لنا اننا سنقوم باصلاح هذا الكابل اذا تم قصفه فقلنا "من هالعين قبل هالعين"
السيد نصرالله: هذه الشبكة كانت قبل العام 2000 واستمرت وهي ليست جديدة وعندما تحالفوا معنا في التحالف الرباعي المشؤوم كانت الشبكة موجودة وعندما دخلينا إلى الحكومة لم تكت هذه الشبكة اعتداء على السيادة والقانون العام أما الآن والتحالف الرباعي قد أصبح أضغاث أحلام وبعد توصيات فينوغراد والدعوات لتدويل الأزمة وعدم نفع تقارير لارسون وبعد تقرير "البهدلة" للخارجية الأميركية لفريق السلطة بدأ الحديث عن هذه الشبكة
السيد نصرالله: اليوم عندما نأتي الى تقرير فينوغراد نجد ان اهم توصية فيه هي ضرورة القضاء على قدرة ومنظومة السيطرة في حزب الله والذي يشكل عامل الاتصال العنصر الاهم فيها
السيد نصرالله: في حرب تموز أهم عنصر قوة هو القيادة والسيطرة لأن الإتصال مؤمن بين القيادة ومواقع القتال أما لوزير الإعلام وهو صديق سابق فأقول انه قتل عدة قادة للمقاومة بسبب استعمال اللاسلكي
السيد نصرالله: أحسن وأفضل اسلوب لمواجهة التعقيد التكنولوجي هو التبسيط فكانت الشبكة السلكية التابعة للمقاومة عبارة عن سنترال ومجموعة خطوط موصولة على مجموعة منازل ومراكز تابعة للمقاومة، وهذه جزء من سلاح الاشارة للمقاومة في لبنان. هذا السلاح هو الأهم في أي معركة. قبل الـ2000 اهم اسباب نجاح المقاومة هو ان الاسرائيلي لم يكن يكتشف هجومات المقاومة الا لحظتها بسبب اعتمادنا على الاتصال السلكي
السيد نصرالله: هناك نوعين من الإتصالات السلكي واللاسلكي والنوع الثاني أسهل للإستعمال اما مرونة الأول فهي محدودة. لكن مشلكة اللاسلكي هو انه يمكن التنصت عليه او تشويشه وبالتالي ضرب منظومة القايدة كما يمكن استهداف هذا النواع من الإتصالات عبر ضرب شبكة اللاسلكي أما شبكة السلكي فيمكن تفادي ضربها إذا كانت سرية
السيد نصرالله: قرارات السلطة في تلك الليلة الظلماء جعتنا أمام مرحلة جديدة بالكامل. لبنان ما بعد تلك الجلسة المظلمة غير لبنان ما قبلها. على فريق السلطة ان يعلم انه ادخل لبنان اللاى وضع جديد تماما
السيد نصرالله: في كل جيوش العالم هناك سلاح الإشارة كان يعتمد الحمام وقد تطور هذا السلاح مع السلاح الناري وأي جيش أو مقاومة بحاجة لاتصالات للتواصل وهذه الأتصالات مهمة وهي من أهم عوامل أي انتصار
السيد نصرالله: السلطة أدخلت لبنان في مرحلة جديدة نظرا لخطورة قرارتها

السلطة تتّجه للتدويل الكامل... على خلفيّة معركة مذهبيّة

ابراهيم الأمين

"ليس أمام فريق السلطة بعد قراراتها الأخيرة، سوى الذهاب إلى جهات خارجية لتحويلها إلى مواد للبحث وللقرار التنفيذي. وبعد مواجهات أمس المتنقلة سياسياً وفي الشارع، تسارعت وتيرة التوتر لدى فريق السلطة حتى لامس المطالبة بالتوجه إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي والجامعة العربية لطلب الحماية الدولية. وهذا يفرض برأيهم إصدار مجموعة قرارات عربية ودولية من النوع الذي يعلن أن ما يجري الآن في لبنان ليس انقلاباً على الشرعية اللبنانية فحسب، بل على الشرعية الدولية، لتكون النتيجة النهائية أن يتبنى مجلس الأمن الدولي مذكرات حكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة لناحية اعتبار المقاومة اعتداءً على السيادة الوطنية وطلب توفير أمن دولي للمرافق الأساسية في لبنان من مطار إلى مرفأ إلى مقارّ رسمية....

Israel vs. South Africa: Reflecting on cultural boycott

Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 8 May 2008

"In 1965, the American Committee on Africa, following the lead of prominent British arts associations, sponsored a historic declaration against South African apartheid, signed by more than 60 cultural personalities. It read: "We say no to apartheid. We take this pledge in solemn resolve to refuse any encouragement of, or indeed, any professional association with the present Republic of South Africa, this until the day when all its people shall equally enjoy the educational and cultural advantages of that rich and beautiful land."

If one were to replace "Republic of South Africa" with the "State of Israel," the rest should apply just as strongly. Israel today -- 60 years after its establishment through a deliberate and systemic process of ethnic cleansing of a large majority of the indigenous Palestinian population (for an authoritative historical account of the "birth" of Israel, refer to Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine) -- still practices racial discrimination against its own "non-Jewish" citizens; it still maintains the longest military occupation in modern history; it still denies Palestinian refugees -- uprooted, dispossessed and expelled by Zionists over the last six decades -- their internationally-recognized right to return to their homes and properties; and it still commits war crimes and violates basic human rights and tenets of international humanitarian law with utter impunity......."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Lebanon strike - 07 May 08

Part 1

Part 2

"With its crisis worsening, is Lebanon heading towards civil war? "

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Advancing the "Peace Process".....

Lebanon descends into chaos as rival leaders order general strike

By Robert Fisk

".......Lebanon seems to feed on crisis, need crisis, breathe crisis, like a wounded man needs blood. The man who should be the president is head of the army and the man who believes he leads the resistance – Sayed Hassan Nasrallah of the Hizbollah – accuses Mr Jumblatt of doing Israel's work while Mr Jumblatt claims the head of Beirut airport security, Colonel Wafic Chucair, works for the Hizbollah and should be fired.......

What is it about Lebanon that creates these crises? Maybe at heart, it is the same old problem: to be a modern state, Lebanon must abandon confessionalism – the system which provides a Maronite for the presidency, a Sunni for the prime minister's seat, a Shia for the speaker of parliament, and so on. But if Lebanon abandoned confessionalism, it would no longer be Lebanon, because sectarianism is its identity; a fate which its children do not deserve but whose country was created by French masters on the ruins of the Ottoman empire. Ironically, the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora now rules – or tries to rule – his nation from a building which was once the Beirut cavalry stables of the Ottoman army."

Real News Video: Clinton vows to continue campaign

"Eric Margolis: The Clinton's seem ready to destroy the Democratic Party in pursuit of nomination

Thursday May 8th, 2008

The Real News Network Senior Editor Paul Jay and political analyst Eric Margolis discuss Senator Clinton’s determination to continue the protracted battle of the race for the democratic nomination. Eric Margolis makes several notable points : Hillary Clinton’s determination to take the party down to the bitter end, Obama’s recent political battles strengthening him and preparing him for the Republican attack machine, and that the Clinton’s are reliable allies of the neo-con right."

Beating the Drums of a Broader Middle East War

Israel, Syria, and Lebanon Prepare the "Home Fronts"

A Very Good, Long Article

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, May 7, 2008

"The Levant could be the starting point of a major international conflict with global ramifications and which could quickly spin out of control. Such a conflict could even involve the use of Israeli or American nuclear weapons against Iran and Syria. Syria has additionally declared that it is preparing for an inevitable war with Israel despite the fact that it believes that the chances of a war in 2008 are slim.

In the scenario of a war against Iran, the reaction of Syria will be pivotal. Damascus plays a central role and how it acts and reacts will have a definitive impact on Israeli military strategy in regards to Iran. It is in this context that Israel, the U.S. and the E.U., with the help of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, have been attempting to undermine and ultimately destroy the alliance between Syria and Iran. This is part of a geo-strategic stride to foreclose the possibility of a Mediterranean battle-front that might emerge in the Levant as a result of an attack on Iran.
The casus belli for an Israeli attack or a joint Israeli-U.S. attack, possibly involving NATO, against Syria or against both Syria and Iran could use the pretext of any form of retaliation by Hezbollah against Israel for the assassination in Damascus of one of its leaders, Imad Fayez Mughniyeh.

Hezbollah has joined Iranian officials in saying that the U.S. military is incapable of starting another war in the Middle East by launching attacks on Iran and Syria. [1] Israeli officials have also renewed calls for peace by openly mentioning that Tel Aviv is willing to return the Golan Heights back to the Syrians, while there have been strong political noises against the move in Israel. [2]

Tel Aviv is simultaneously part of a U.S. endeavour that claims Syria has a secret nuclear program aided by North Korea. [3] Strategic efforts, with strong links to war preparations, have also started with the aim of bringing temporary calm to the Palestinian Territories as part of the same track of events in the Levant......."

Saniora Seeks Help From Bush; Meeting in 10 Days


"08/05/2008 U.S. President Georges W. Bush and the head of Lebanon's US-backed unconstitutional government, Fouad Saniora will hold talks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on May 18 in the framework of Bush's visit to the region, Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser has said.

The announcement came just after Saniora requested help on Wednesday from US Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch in light of the popular protest movement against his government policies.

In another show of support, US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack renewed his administration's backing of Saniora's bloc and described the rightful demands of the Lebanese as mere 'disguise' for demonstrations.

"I know that these demonstrations have taken place under the guise of labor demonstrations, but I believe that Hezbollah has actually linked them back to some moves that the cabinet had made," McCormack claimed, saying that these kinds of actions serve only to hurt the interests of the Lebanese people.

"If you have access to the airport road cut off, that, of course, affects tourism, which is a real source of revenue for the Lebanese economy," he added. David Welch was, however, the first to damage the tourism season when he predicted hot summer in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, political sources revealed that the ruling bloc exerted pressure on Lebanese army commander General Michel Suleiman to declare a state of emergency. But the sources noted Suleiman has refused any attempt to push the army into street warfare.

According to the sources, Suleiman threatened to withdraw his troops from the streets to maintain the army's unity. The army commander refused to take the responsibility of decisions he didn't participate in taking, in a clear signal to the unconstitutional cabinet's decision with respect to airport security chief Brigadier General Wafiq Shqeir."

The lying old man

Comment by Khalid Amayreh

"Does Shimon Peres carry the genes of a pathological liar? The question may sound facetious to many, but Peres’s apparent inability to distinguish between truth and falsehood makes the question quite valid.

At 84, Peres continues to dish out a daily staple of lies, including obscene lies.

This week, the “hero” of the Qana-1 massacre, told foreign correspondents based in Israel that “Hamas was standing in the way of Palestinian statehood.”

Well, this is, of course, a blatant lie, to say the least, because every honest person under the sun, Jew or gentile, knows well that the main obstacle impeding the realization of peace in the Middle East has been the intensive colonization of Palestinian land and unending expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied territories that belong to another people........

During his stint as Prime Minister in 1996, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres oversaw the Qana-1 massacre in Southern Lebanon when the Israeli Wehrmacht knowingly and deliberately murdered more than a hundred Lebanese civilians, including numerous children who had sought refuge at the UN peace-keeping forces’ headquarters at the village of Qana.

For those who have forgotten or don’t know, neither Peres nor Israel has had the moral courage to say “sorry.”

Obviously they both lack the moral caliber to do so. And their crimes are too colossal and too numerous to be atoned for."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A human rights crime in Gaza

President Jimmy Carter

"The world is witnessing a terrible human rights crime in Gaza, where a million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with almost no access to the outside world by sea, air, or land. An entire population is being brutally punished.

This gross mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza was escalated dramatically by Israel, with United States backing, after political candidates representing Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006. The election was unanimously judged to be honest and fair by all international observers....."

Info-ops: "Iraqis could attack Israel" and Cole helps move the story along

From Missing Links

".....Cole advises dismissing the NYT story not because it isn't true, but because Hizbullah-training of the Mahdi Army or any other Iraqi militia would be insignificant in the larger scheme of things. To the extent that the bobbleheads who follow him (and presumably they are still a significant number) adopt the naturalness of Hizbullah doing a little training of Mahdi Army people, they are being set up for the next leg of the info-operation, already on the same day outlined in Azzaman, namely that Iraqi militia are getting the frightening capability for long-range rocket attacks on Israel.

The unfortunate appearance is that Cole is part of this operation, using his informed commentator status to encourage his readers to swallow the bait."

Gaza improvises under siege

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 7 May 2008

"JERUSALEM/GAZA, 6 May (IRIN) - Intense political divisions in the Gaza Strip have split people on most issues, except one: the situation has never been worse, nearly everyone agrees.

"I never remember Gaza being this bad," said one man in his early 40s. "Living here has become a game of survival." With fuel supplies nearly dry, many people no longer have cooking gas in their homes, leading some to search for alternative methods to make a meal.

"People now are starting to look through the garbage to find combustibles," a Gazan who works for a large international aid organization told IRIN.

"Even my colleagues have begun to search the garbage bins or the sides of the roads to find wood and plastics to burn so they can cook their food at night," he said, requesting anonymity so as to not embarrass his friends.

To add to the woes of the needy, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, has said it has been forced to stop food distribution today and is cutting back on other services it normally supplies, owing to the lack of fuel supplies. This is the second time in two weeks it has done this......"

Media Disinformation: Iran's Link to Iraqi Insurgents

New York Times vs McClatchy

by Greg Mitchell
(Greg Mitchell's new book explores Gordon's and McClatchy's past reporting on Iraq and Iran. It is titled, "So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq.")
Global Research, May 6, 2008

"Michael Gordon, the military writer for The New York Times who contributed several false stories about Iraqi WMD in the runup to the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2002, has written several articles in the past year about Iran’s alleged training of Iraqi insurgents -- or supplying them with weapons to kill Americans. He produced another major report on this subject for today’s Times – based solely on unnamed sources -- which is at odds with an account from McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau.

Gordon asserts that “Militants from the Lebanese group Hezbollah have been training Iraqi militia fighters at a camp near Tehran…An American official said the account of Hezbollah’s role was provided by four Shiite militia members who were captured in Iraq late last year and questioned separately......

But McClatchy has a quite different take.

Leila Fadel, the bureau chief, and Shashank Bengali report: “The Iraqi Government seemed to distance itself from U.S. accusations towards Iran Sunday saying it would not be forced into conflict with its Shiite neighbor. And Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki ordered the formation of a committee to look into foreign intervention in Iraq.

“As the government appeared to back down from its hardening stance against Iran, four marines were killed in Anbar in the deadliest attack in the Sunni province in months......."

Battle of the Hawks

By Robert Scheer

"In the increasingly unlikely event of a McCain-Clinton election, folks who care about the peace issue would have serious reason to worry. Both of these candidates are inveterate hawks, and what we would be up against is a choice between the neoconservatives and the neoliberals as to who could be more adventurous in getting us into unjustifiable foreign wars......"

High tension in Qabatiya after PA security kills child, wounds others

Dayton's Palestinian Dogs

"JENIN, (PIC)-- High tension still prevails throughout the Qabatiya town in Jenin district after PA security elements under the command of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas killed Tuesday a Palestinian child and seriously wounded a young man who is now in a state of clinical death.

Qabatiya citizens reported that the PA security campaign started in the morning with deliberate provocations against citizens at the entrances and alleys of the town.

According to the citizens, it seemed obvious that the PA security elements, through their arbitrary acts, wanted to humiliate and suppress the people of this town at any price.

The citizens elaborated that the PA security dealt brutally with Palestinian workers as they were going to their jobs and prevented students from going to their schools, which created friction and clashes between students and security elements that continued during daylight hours and ended with many injuries in the ranks of students and security elements.

A unit composed of 600 presidential guards was deployed in Jenin in order to carry out security campaigns in line with the security cooperation with the Israeli occupation and the other security apparatuses there were put under its command for three months. The members of this unit were trained in Jordan at the hands of American security experts under the supervision of general Keith Dayton.

The PA security apparatuses kidnapped eight Palestinian citizens in the Qalqilya town, northern West Bank, within a fierce compaign carried out against Hamas's cadres there and deprived their families from knowing where their sons were detained.

Palestinian medical sources reported that the PA security apparatuses transferred prisoner Adulhalim Mara'ba to hospital after his health deteriorated without knowing further details.

A newly-released detainee called Na'el Hammad reported that he was exposed to maltreatment for 20 days at the hands of PA intelligence officers in their jails, adding that he cannot believe what happened to him."

In Lebanon, Criminals Honored, Suspects Condemned


"07/05/2008 This is the rule of Fouad Saniora's US-backed unconstitutional government under which criminals are honored and promoted and suspects are condemned even before conviction.

Who can forget the notorious Marjeyoun 'Tea Party' that took place when the resistance fighters bravely confronting Israeli aggressors in the July 2006 war against Lebanon?

Back then, the ruling bloc that was claiming "adherence to Lebanon's security and sovereignty," was not provoked by the footage of the infamous party whose hero, brigadier general Adnan Dawood, was honored after the war and promoted from colonel to Brigadier General 'because he prevented a massacre in the Marjeyoun barrack. Hospitable Dawood conferred honor upon the Israeli unit that occupied his barrack and ordered one of his soldiers to serve tea to its members.
Then acting interior minister, Ahmad Fatfat, justified Dawood's promotion saying that the Lebanese judiciary has not yet decided on the matter, although the incident is recorded on camera.

In the eyes of Saniora's ruling bloc, Dawood deserves to be promoted but Brigadier General Wafiq Shqeir, in the same eyes, deserves to be removed from his post as the head of Beirut's international airport security body.

The ruling bloc acted against Shqeir based on information provided by MP Walid Jumblatt that Hezbollah was monitoring runway 17 with a camera on a container. Hours after Jumblatt's claims, Shqeir was removed from his post by an unconstitutional decision taking during a gathering of Saniora's ministerial bloc.

Between the infamous and documented tea incident of Dawood and the undocumented case of Shqeir one truth can be concluded: there are double standards by pro-ruling bloc authorities in dealing with internal security issues. "

Here is a video of the tea party, contributed by Lucia in Spain:

See Tea or Treason?, also courtesy of Lucia, for an English transcript of the video.

Bomb.....Bomb......Bomb Iran!

John Bolton: US should bomb Iranian camps

John Bolton, America’s ex-ambassador to the United Nations, has called for US air strikes on Iranian camps where insurgents are trained for war in Iraq.

"Mr Bolton said that striking Iran would represent a major step towards victory in Iraq. While he acknowledged that the risk of a hostile Iranian response harming American’s overseas interests existed, he said the damage inflicted by Tehran would be “far higher” if Washington took no action.

“This is a case where the use of military force against a training camp to show the Iranians we’re not going to tolerate this is really the most prudent thing to do,” he said. “Then the ball would be in Iran’s court to draw the appropriate lesson to stop harming our troops.”......."

The script of the lie, as usual, is handed over to the US by.....Israel:

".....A US spokesman last week confirmed DEBKAfile’s earlier disclosure that the IRGC’s al Qods Brigades had drafted Hizballah personnel to support Iraq’s Shiite militias and train them at facilities in Iran."

Why Isn't It the End of Hillary?

Because she's the War Party's favorite

By Justin Raimondo

"...... What is clear, by now, is that the War Party is openly rooting for Hillary: see the Weekly Standard for the neocons' paean to Hillary the war goddess. Before the Obama surge nearly wiped her out, she was sounding like Obama in his denunciations of the "war that should never have been fought," i.e., Iraq, yet she shifted gears rather abruptly and began presenting herself as a lunch-bucket know-nothing pro-war demagogue who could pass for Joe Lieberman in drag.........

Her "obliterate Iran" jeremiad gained her major traction in those quarters, and the clincher was her endorsement of Charles Krauthammer's demand that the U.S. extend its nuclear shield over Israel. Aside from that, however, and her generally more belligerent attitude toward Iran, is the general tone of her campaign: she's a "tough gal," belting down shots with the boys and showing up the effete intellectual Obama for the wimp that he is........

The War Party – both the Democratic and Republican wings – couldn't be happier. With the Wright smear campaign taking a big chunk out of Obama, and Clinton toeing the party line, they can't lose, unless Obama breaks through......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you believe that removing Hizbullah's communications network would benefit Israel or Lebanon?

With about 500 responding so far (it is early), 83% said that it would benefit Israel.

Olmert 'may quit over scandal'

(Graphic by Ben Heine)
Abbas: "Damn! After all this "negotiating" I will have to start all over again with another Israeli PM!"

"Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, is likely to step down, or at least have his duties as prime minister suspended as bribery allegations against him are probed.

Walid al-Umari, Al Jazeera's Palestine bureau chief reporting from Ramallah, said some Israeli political sources believe Olmert will step down......."

US terror report misses the point

By Ramzy Baroud
Asia Times

"The US State Department's annual terrorism report makes no secret of the fact that al-Qaeda is back, strong as ever. But if al-Qaeda indeed exists on such a large and influential scale in so many countries, is it not time to question the logic used by the George W Bush administration's "war on terror", which was meant to weaken and destroy al-Qaeda in the first place?.....

Instead of dealing with the obvious truths which the terrorism report highlights, the authors of the report have resorted to other logic that places the blame squarely on external circumstance, never holding the US government accountable for its actions.

Finally, is there really a need for lengthy reports that cost large sums of money and thousands of work hours, if the lessons gleaned are always the wrong ones, leading to more blunders that prompt more violence - and more terrorism reports? "