Saturday, September 6, 2008

Did Bush Spies Monitor Iraqi Allies?

Iraqi Leadership Responds Furiously to Allegations in New Woodward Book


"The United States has spied extensively on Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi government leaders, the American investigative journalist Bob Woodward has revealed.

We know everything he says,” the journalist quotes one source as saying, in The War Within, his fourth book on George Bush’s presidency. The US administration’s decision to spy continually on Mr Maliki shows deep distrust of the Iraqi leadership by the US. The surveillance took place even while Mr Maliki was speaking to Mr Bush by video-phone once a week......

Though this motive is not referred to in Mr Woodward’s book the prime aim of US espionage targeting Iraqi officials has been to find out the true relations between the Baghdad government and Iran,. Washington has been deeply suspicious of Mr Maliki and his predominantly Shia government for maintaining close relations with Tehran even while the US was threatening to go to war with Iran.....

Mr Woodward writes very much from a Washington viewpoint even where he is critical of the White House. He assumes that little happens in Iraq that is not initiated by the US. In the summary of the book published so far there is little mention of the central role of Iran and the Shia-Sunni conflict inside Iraq in determining the level of violence.

The prime minister spent long years of exile in Syria and his most important ally in Iraq is the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq which was founded on Iran’s initiative in Tehran in 1982. So Mr Maliki and his associates were welll used to Syrian and Iranian security monitoring their activities.

Overall, the extent of US surveillance of its Shia and Kurdish allies in Iraq reveals a deep anxiety in Washington that in supporting a government in Baghdad dominated by Shia Islamic parties it has promoted a government that is closer to Iran than the US."

THis is how Palestinan patients are treated

From Dr. Mona El-Farra's Blog

Erez Crossing, by Donna Wallach:

"I along with others from Free Gaza Movement decided not to return with the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty to Cyprus and instead to remain in Gaza Strip for a while to continue the work of breaking the siege. Throughout the time I am staying here I will participate with the others in various actions in Rafah, Gaza City, and other areas throughout the Gaza Strip, including going out in fishing boats to challenge the Israeli Navy preventing the Palestinian fishermen from fishing more than 6 miles out.In addition, we are re-organizing ISM Rafah, to do Palestinian led solidarity work here."This past Friday a 64 year-old Palestinian woman from Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip arrived to the Erez crossing accompanied by all of the remaining members of the Free Gaza Movement. She has been suffering for seven months with a tumor on her spine. Without the necessary surgery granted her by St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem, she will become paralyzed and will live in constant pain, from what I understand. We, FGM members,walked in front of her as a protection for her to not be shot by the Israeli soldiers guarding their border. She was being pushed in a wheel chair. Slowly we approached the Israeli side, holding our arms in the air and many of us clutching our passports."A Palestinian man was the liaison between Dr. Mona El-Farra and the Israeli "authorities". Dr. Mona El-Farra was the main organizer for this action of bringing this 64 year-old woman to cross the Erez checkpoint.The Palestinian man kept on telling us that we needed to stop because the Israelis told him they were going to shoot us. We decided it was more important to challenge the Crime Against Humanity of Israel not permitting this woman to receive the urgent medical treatment she needed, so we continued to walk towards the Israeli gate with our arm sup in the air. We finally reached the Israeli gate without a shot being fired, not a bullet not a tear gas canister or a sound bomb. In the end though, the Israelis heartlessly told the woman she had to go back home,but could return an 8th time."On Sunday 31st August, we from FGM arrived at about 9:00am from Rafah,the southernmost area in Gaza Strip, to Erez crossing, the northernmost area in Gaza Strip. We came to continue standing in solidarity with the woman from the village of Beit Hanoun. We arrived late and she and Dr.Mona El-Farra had already left for the border. We gathered inside the crude fenced in area where all Palestinians and others wait for permission to cross the dirt pathway to arrive to the Israeli gate. We waited hours, then we heard that the woman was turned back again, with ridiculous excuse that a member of her family must accompany her into Israel to the hospital. This woman came back, yet was not defeated. Almost all the members of her family have been wrongfully blacklisted by Israel, meaning that they cannot enter the Apartheid State of Israel.Finally the woman's 75 year-old husband was granted permission to enter Israel with her. After he arrived to Erez and the paper work for him was filled out, they went off to the Israeli side. We continued to wait Ianthe heat to hear that she had crossed and was inside the Israeli ambulance that would take her to the hospital and to her surgery which was supposed to have started on Sunday. Dr. Mona El-Farra told us that she continued to tell the Israeli authorities that members of the Free Gaza Movement were waiting at Erez to ensure that the woman would enter this time and that we were willing to die, we would walk again to the border even if the soldiers would shoot and kill us, we would do what it takes so that the Israelis would allow her to enter, which they finally did. The 8th time was the charm for this very brave and courageous woman sitting in a wheelchair who defied the Israelis with all of their gun power."31 August 2008 Donna Wallach

Syria: Israel's election stalls peace drive; Olmert Should Make His Son the Next PM!

"Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday that his country had made specific proposals for peace with Israel to Turkish mediators but that the latest round of indirect negotiations between the two states had been postponed because of internal Israeli politics and that the outcome would depend on who becomes Israel's next prime minister in elections there......"

This is the Extent of the Mahdi "Army" "Resistance" to the Occupation!

Mamma Mia!

In Baghdad's Sadr City: Seven minutes of 'no to America'

"BAGHDAD (AFP) - Seven minutes of "No to America" and then they left, ducking for shade. That was the extent of the protest by fewer than 200 Shiite radicals after Friday prayers in Baghdad's anti-US enclave of Sadr City.

The promising posters pasted on the walls of the sprawling shanty district in the east of the Iraqi capital called on supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to "peacefully reject and condemn" the US occupation......

But after a speech by imam Said Abdul Satar al-Battat -- a mixture of Koranic prayer and incantations railing against the evils of America -- fewer than 200 people crowded around for the usual burning of the American flag. "No to America! No to the devil," they shouted. "We are with you, Moqtada, to liberate Iraq!"

As was the case after prayers on Friday last week, dozens of Sadr's followers also signed blood oaths to continue their fight against US forces in Iraq.

More than a week ago Sadr ordered a halt to armed operations by his 60,000-strong Mahdi Army militia, blamed by Washington for some of the worst sectarian killings of Sunni Arabs in the war-torn country. Sadr's decision came after he promised earlier last month to dismantle the once feared militia if a planned security pact between Baghdad and Washington provides for the withdrawal of US troops......."

Real News Video: McCain's (Cold) War

Reactions to McCain speech to RNC from Phyllis Bennis, Paul Heinbecker and Jonathan Schell, Part2

Hound and Hunter

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Dave Brown, The Independent.

Obama got Gustav wrong

The Democrat gave his rival the chance to score points as the hurricane approached New Orleans

Naomi Klein
The Guardian, Saturday September 6 2008

"......Gustav should have been political rat poison for the Republicans, no matter how well it was managed. Yet, as Peter Baker noted in the New York Times, "rather than run away from the hurricane and its political risks, Mr McCain ran toward it". If this strategy worked, it was at least partly because Barack Obama has been running away from New Orleans for his entire campaign......

There are plenty of political reasons for this, of course. Obama's campaign is pitching itself to the middle class, not the class of discarded people New Orleans represents. The problem is that by remaining virtually silent about the most dramatic domestic outrage in modern US history, Obama created a political vacuum. When Gustav hit, all McCain needed to do to fill it was show up. Sure, it was cynical for McCain to claim the hurricane zone as a campaign backdrop; but it was Obama who left that potent terrain vacant......"

Fatah leader: Abbas's security apparatuses protect Israeli citizens

"RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Husam Khader, the newly released prominent Fatah leader, said that the PA security apparatuses in the West Bank turned into parties protecting the security of Israeli citizens while Israel gives nothing in return, warning that there might be "another coup" against the PA in Ramallah.

In a press statement to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, Khader castigated PA chief Mahmoud Abbas for negotiating with Israel, saying that the coup might occur because Abbas has achieved nothing in the framework of his talks with the Israeli occupation for two years, while his security apparatuses are indulged in protecting the security of Israel.

The Fatah leader underlined that anyone succeeding Abbas, who believes in negotiations and settlement process, would find himself before two options, either to resign or to start another intifada. He pointed out that the next Intifada would not be an uprising of stones or martyrs, but an uprising of missiles and weaponry.

Khader had accused immediately upon his release from Israeli jails influential parties within Fatah and the PA of turning him in to the Israeli occupation to arrest him.

Meanwhile, a report issued by the Hamas Movement and a copy of which was received by the PIC, the IOF troops and the PA security apparatuses shared the kidnapping of about 345 Palestinian citizens during August in different West Bank areas.

The report pointed out that the IOF troops kidnapped about 175 Palestinians including two women and killed two others during more than 136 incursions into West Bank areas.

The report added that the PA security apparatuses, in the context of its role in protecting Israel's security, kidnapped about 170 Palestinians, summoned dozens of women for investigation and raided huge numbers of humanitarian institutions and commercial stores."

France mulling the idea of sending troops to Gaza, West Bank

"PARIS, (PIC)-- France is mulling the idea of sending international troops to Gaza and the West Bank to back the PA security apparatuses because Israel does not trust these apparatuses, according to a European diplomat.

The Reuters news agency quoted another EU diplomat as saying that the idea of deploying international troops in the Palestinian lands and not in Gaza alone would be tabled one day in the framework of finding a settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Western diplomats said that the idea might be studied at the convention of the forthcoming EU foreign ministers to be held in the French city of Avignon.

According to observers, the idea of dispatching foreign troops to Gaza came to the surface after the Zio-American attempts in cooperation with the PA in Ramallah to topple the constitutional government of Hamas through invading the Strip and destabilizing the state of security there had gone awry."

شكرا لايسلندا

شكرا لايسلندا

عبد الباري عطوان

"قرار حكومة ايسلندا قبول 29 لاجئاً فلسطينياً عالقين منذ عامين في معسكر للاجئين على الحدود العراقية السورية، في منطقة صحراوية قفراء، هو 'وصمة عار' في جبين كل العرب، حكاما كانوا أو شعوباً، ودليل واضح على الوضع المزري الذي وصلت إليه الأمة على الأصعدة كافة، والأخلاقي منها على وجه الخصوص.
مؤسف ان تغلق الحكومة السورية، التي تميزت عن كل الدول العربية الأخرى، في فتح قلبها للعرب جميعاً دون استثناء، ودون تأشيرة دخول، وفتحت ابوابها مشكورة، لأكثر من مليون ونصف مليون لاجئ عراقي، ابوابها في وجه هؤلاء، وتبقيهم في العراء، وسط العقارب والثعابين وعواصف الغبار لأكثر من عامين، ومؤسف أكثر ان لا تتقدم دولة عربية واحدة بعرض لاستقبالهم وهي التي تصفهم بانهم اشقاء في الدم والعقيدة.
هؤلاء لم يغادروا العراق بحثاً عن عمل، أو سعياً وراء عيش رغيد، أو لتحسين ظروفهم المعيشية، وأنما للنجاة بأرواحهم وأطفالهم من عمليات القتل على الهوية، التي مارستها ضدهم، وغيرهم، الميليشيات الطائفية الحاقدة المنعدمة الضمير والخلق، هذه الميليشيات التي مزقت هوية العراق الوطنية وتحالفت مع المحتل ومشروعه الاستعماري الإذلالي، ورسخت ارثاً غريباً على العراق يقوم على الأحقاد المذهبية والكراهية للعرب والعروبة. كنا نتمنى، وقد ضاقت الخيارات أمام هؤلاء، أن تعاملهم دول الجوار العراقي، وسورية على وجه الخصوص، المعاملة نفسها التي عاملت بها اشقاءهم العراقيين، ولا نقول أفضل، لا ان تمارس ضدهم التمييز مثلما حدث ويحدث، وهو أمر يتنافى مع تاريخ سورية ومبادئها المعلنة، وقناعات قيادتها الايديولوجية.

من حقنا أن نسأل بمرارة: لماذا تثبت ايسلندا الجليدية الباردة المجهولة الموقع في المحيط الأطلنطي، انها أكثر حرارة ودفئاً وانسانية من الغالبية الساحقة من الحكومات العربية وشعوبها التي تحمل في عروقها الجينات نفسها، وتتغنى ليل نهار بالعروبة والقومية، والأمة الواحدة، والمصير الواحد، والرسالة الخالدة؟ انه امر مخجل بكل المقاييس، ولا نجد له أي تفسير غير انعدام المروءة والنخوة والشهامة التي قيل ان العرب مشهورون بها.
لا نفهم، ولا يمكن ان نتفهم اسباب هذا العقوق، وجفاف العواطف الانسانية تجاه هؤلاء، والاغلاق المحكم للحدود في وجوههم، غير المشاركة، بحسن نية أو سوئها، في المشاريع الغربية لتهجير الفلسطينيين، وتوطينهم في أماكن بعيدة عن وطنهم الأم، والغاء أو تذويب حق العودة الذي هو أساس القضية الفلسطينية.

بمعنى آخر لا نريد أن يكون هؤلاء استثناء لأنهم فلسطينيون، وانما ان يعاملوا معاملة اشقائهم العراقيين الفارين بأرواحهم وهم الذين لا يزيد عدد من بقي منهم في العراق عن عشرين ألفا فقط، أي أقل من سكان حارة صغيرة في أي مدينة عربية.
لا ننكر ابداً ان الاردن وسورية ولبنان ومصر استقبلت مئات الآلاف من اللاجئين الفلسطينيين وأكرمت وفادتهم، ونقر بأن اللاجئ الفلسطيني يعامل في سورية معاملة شقيقه السوري في المدارس والجامعات والوظائف، بل ان رئيس سلاح الطيران السوري هو أحد هؤلاء اللاجئين، ولكن ما نستغربه هو افساد كل هذه الانجازات الانسانية والقومية من خلال اغلاق الأبواب في وجه هؤلاء بالطريقة التي نشاهدها، مثلما نتساءل عن الحكمة التي يستند اليها النظامان في الأردن وسورية في ادارة الظهر لمثل هذه المشكلة الانسانية الصرفة.
بالأمس الحكومة السويدية أعلنت عن عزمها استقبال 155 لاجئاً من هؤلاء العالقين، وباستثناء السودان لم نسمع أي دولة عربية، فقيرة كانت أم غنية، ثارت في عروقها دماء النخوة والكرامة وهي ترى أطفالاً في العراء في ظروف معيشية قاسية، قررت ان تحذو حذو السويد وايسلندا والبرازيل، وتستقبل هؤلاء.
ومن المؤسف أن السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية ورئيسها لا تعير أي اهتمام لمحنة هؤلاء والشيءنفسه يمكن أن يقال أيضاً عن المكتب السياسي لحركة 'حماس' واعضائه المقيمين في العاصمة السورية، فالطرفان منشغلان حالياً، اما في الكيد لبعضهما البعض، أو في مفاوضات السلام العبثية (حالة سلطة رام الله) وكيفية تكريس التهدئة مع اسرائيل (سلطة حماس في غزة). فلماذا لا يطالب اصدقاء ايران وهي صاحبة دالة كبرى على حكومة المالكي وميليشياتها، ان تلجم هذه الميليشيات وتكف عن تطهير هؤلاء عرقياً لانهم من غير مذهبها؟
تخلينا عن المطالبة بتجييش الجيوش لتحرير الأقصى والقدس المحتلة من الاسرائيليين قبل عقود، فنحن نرى كيف تتهافت الحكومات العربية على مفاوضات السلام مع الدولة العبرية، لكسر عزلتها او استعادة اراضيها او نيل الرضى الأمريكي، نطالب فقط ببعض الرحمة والشفقة، ووضع بعض الحالات الانسانية للفلسطينيين في عين الاعتبار، ولا نعتقد ان استيعاب هؤلاء اللاجئين العالقين على الحدود في صحراء قاحلة، سيغضب واشنطن، أو يعرقل مفاوضات السلام الجارية مع الدولة العبرية.

الدول الاوروبية الاستعمارية العنصرية تستقبل يوميا آلاف المهاجرين العرب والافارقة والآسيويين القادمين اليها على ظهر زوارق الموت، وتفتح لهم مراكز الايواء، وتعاملهم بطريقة انسانية في معظم الاحيان، ويجبرون منظمات تدافع عنهم، وعن حقوقهم، رغم انهم جاءوا في معظمهم بحثاً عن فرصة عمل، ومستقبل أفضل بعد أن ضاقت سبل العيش في وجههم في بلدانهم الأصلية بسبب الفساد والاستبداد.
نشعر بغصة شديدة في حلوقنا عندما نقول شكراً لأيسلندا والبرازيل والسويد على استضافتها لهؤلاء، واكرام وفادتهم، والعناية بأطفالهم، وتوفير لقمة عيش كريمة لهم، ليس لانها لا تستحق الشكر، وانما لاننا توقعنا مثل هذه الإلتفاتة من أشقاء يتحدثون اللغة نفسها، ويدينون بالعقيدة نفسها، تطالب بنصرة المظلوم وايواء الشقيق، واكرام الجار، ومن المفترض انهم ينتمون إلى 'خير أمة اخرجت للناس'.
فليهنأ الطائفيون بعراقهم الجديد، وليهنأ العرب بمئات المليارات من عوائدهم النفطية، وصناديقهم السيادية الاستثمارية المتضخمة، ولكن
عليهم جميعاً أن يتذكروا ان هذا الوضع المزري المخجل لن يستمر طويلاً بل لا يجب أن يستمر."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Please Meet the "African" Clown and......
His Tamer/ Trainer

"The war in Iraq is part of God’s plan", VP Palin

From Imad Khadduri's Blog

""The war in Iraq is part of God’s plan, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said in June in a speech at her former church.
Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate whose son will deploy to Iraq in a few weeks, told the students that “our national leaders, are sending [the troops] out on a task that is from God.”Building a natural-gas pipeline is also part of God’s will, she said, according to a video published by the Huffington Post taken from material posted on the website of the Wasilla Assembly of God. "
Palin said war in Iraq, gas pipeline are God’s will, September 2, 2008....."

PM Haniya: Gaza rather needs Arab support not Arab forces

"Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya, said on Friday that Gaza does need Arab forces on its soil, but rather needs Arab political and financial support.

During a celebration ceremony of 2500 memorizers of the Islamic holy book of Quran, held on Thursday evening in Gaza city, the prime minister was quoted as saying " Gaza needs an effective Arab role not Arab troops. This support is needed to lift the Israeli siege and defy the American-Israeli arrogance".

" Gaza is now free, secure and stable, therefore, it is determined to restore the national unity on correct basis, away from any American dictations or Veto", Haniya was added.

Part of the ceremony, the Islamist PM promised a reward of 100 U.S dollar to each memorizer of the Quran, calling on the Arab nations to provide Gaza with the needed financial support.

Haniya's remarks came in response to a proposal by the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmad Abueghiet, that Arab troops be brought in Gaza for the sake of unifying the Palestinian factions, particularly Fatah and Hamas.

All other Gaza-based factions have slammed the proposal, as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's local leader , Rabah Mhanna, described it 'aimless', while the popular resistance committees' local leader , Ayman aL-Shihniya, said these troops should rather head for the occupied Jerusalem to free it from the Israeli occupation.

Currently, representatives of Palestinian faction hold meetings with Egyptian officials, in a bid to establish national unity in the Palestinian territories amidst split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. "

Another fig leaf for deception

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 September 2008

".....The Olmert plan -- apparently endorsed by Rice -- is not to be taken seriously. At best it will provide the participants with something to present at the UN gathering in September in order to pretend they made progress. It will also provide their successors with an empty process to latch on to, by which to evade their responsibilities for the plight of the Palestinians as all others have done before them.

Despite the fact that the new Olmert plan has been rejected by the Palestinian Authority, it is unlikely that more arm twisting will not occur at the UN General Assembly meetings in New York this month to get them to agree on a new "declaration of commitment" on Olmert's proposals."

All square

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"It's more than possible that within the next few months a pro-gun, pro-Big Oil, mooseburger-eating PR stunt named Sarah Palin, whose foreign policy credentials are burnished by a visit to Canada, will have her finger on America's nuclear button if anything untoward happens to a septuagenarian president. But fear not: Palin will have a plan, just as she has/will have (it's not at all clear) a plan for Iraq: "[T]hat is what we have to make sure, [that] there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan."....."

Latest From Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza: hello all iam alive and active , will never give up

"Dear all

friends , sisters, brothers , comrades all over the world , all of you who have supported me while writing my blog , just a quick words to let you know:

I am fine , but the whole situation in Gaza is so frustrating and not easy to handle day after day. It is is not easy living under such circumstances , while the borders are closed, and 1.5 million live under collective punishment.

The success of the Free Gaza Movement gave us some hope for the future , it was a small act , but great and courageous too , a few determined , strong activists did the miracle. In an unprecented voyage, the first boats to arrive from international waters to Gaza shores in 41 years. A lot of work can be done to make the change , to ring the bell , to wake up the deaf , silent and blind international community goverments. What is happening in Gaza under the siege and the occupation is not only a human rights violation, it is a war crime......"


Free Gaza Movement

"Date : 09-05-2008

In August 2008 the Free Gaza Movement shattered the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by peacefully sailing from Cyprus to Gaza and back again. It was the first time in over forty years that international ships docked in Gaza Port, and the first time in over sixty years that Palestinians freely entered and exited their own country.

On September 22nd the Free Gaza Movement will return to Gaza to demonstrate that the sea lanes between Gaza and the rest of the world have been permanently opened, and we're going to take the mail with us!

Currently, all mail sent to Palestinians from abroad must first be delivered to Israel. Mail is regularly blocked by Israel and prevented from being delivered to the people of Gaza. We believe that the mail must go through, so we're going to take it in ourselves.

The Free Gaza Movement is announcing two programs for delivering mail to Gaza: Family & Friends, and Letters from the World.

If you have family or friends in Gaza and would like to send them a letter, then please place the letter in an unsealed envelope, and address the envelope in both Arabic and English. Place this envelope in a larger envelope and mail it to:

Family & Friends Mail to Gaza
Free Gaza Movement
P.O. Box 5341
Beverly Hills, CA 90209-5341

Please DO NOT send money, checks, packages, or valuable items. We CANNOT accept money, valuables, or packages - only letters.

If you do not know anyone in Gaza, but would like to get to know someone, we want to help you try and find a pen pal. This program is available to people of all ages and from all places in the world. We would especially like to encourage schools to participate in the Letters from the World Program.

Place your letter in an unsealed envelope, and address the envelope to the type of person you would like it to be delivered to (for example: "For an 8-year-old girl," or "For a male high school student," "For a teacher," "For a fishermen," etc...). Please include your email address if possible. Place the envelope in a larger envelope and mail it to:

Letters from the World
Free Gaza Movement
P.O. Box 5341
Beverly Hills, CA 90209-5341

Nasrallah emphasizes war readiness

Press TV

"Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Thursday that if the Israeli military steps into Lebanon it will be destroyed.

Delivering a speech from the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, he said that Ramadan boosts the determination of the faithful and this is of importance in Lebanon.

He said that today the resistance in Lebanon is an example of what faith can achieve and an expression of determination.

Hezbollah's chief noted that the war is not over and "we are still in the midst of a battle. In the past few weeks we have heard a lot of threats from the enemy. It threatened to strike us, hit us and crush us. It threatened to destroy the people and the state of Lebanon."

Nasrallah said that "Israel knows that it has lost its veneer of naval and air invincibility in the previous war and Ehud Barak has said that the only way to defeat Lebanon is by ground forces, and for this he has proposed five land military contingencies."

He added that such talk by Barak is psychological warfare but if these military plans do manifest in Lebanon they will be destroyed "in Lebanon's valleys, roads and in any place they come into Lebanon."....."

France mulls sending EU mission to help Palestinian security forces

"France, currently the president of the European Union is considering the possibility of sending a European Union mission to help security in the Palestinian territories, diplomats said on Friday before a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers.

The European Union already helps monitor the Rafah crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and provides training and equipment for the Palestinian police.

One EU diplomat said the French (EU) Presidency was considering backing Palestinian security forces in the territories because of the lack of trusts between those forces and Israel. "It is the main problem," he said.

"The idea of an international force in the (Palestinian) territories and not only in Gaza is in the air for the medium or long term, in the framework of a resolution (of the conflict)," another EU envoy said....."

Israel allows weapons transfer to Abbas

"Security officials say Israel allowed PA security forces to receive some 1,000 rifles, tens of thousands of bullets through Jordan in move aimed at bolstering Abbas against Hamas......"

Russian units raid Georgian airfields for use in Israeli strike against Iran – report

"The raids were disclosed by UPI chief editor Arnaud de Borchgrave [Posted Here], who is also on the Washington Times staff, and picked up by the Iranian Fars news agency. The Russian raids of two Georgian airfields, which Tbilisi had allowed Israel to use for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, followed the Georgian offensive against South Ossetia on Aug. 7.

Under the secret agreement with Georgia, the airfields had been earmarked for use by Israeli fighter-bombers taking off to strike Iran in return for training and arms supplies.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that flying from S. Georgia over the Caspian Sea to Iran would sharply trim the distance to be spanned by Israeli fighter-bombers, reducing flying time to 3.5 hours.

Northern Iran and the Tehran region, where most of the nuclear facilities are concentrated, would be within range, with no need to request US permission to pass through Iraq air space.

Russian Special Forces also raided other Israeli facilities in southern Georgia and captured Israeli spy drones, says the report.

Israel was said to have used the two airfields to “conduct recon flights over southern Russia as well as into nearby Iran.” The US intelligence sources quoted by UPI reported that the Russian force also carried home other Israeli military equipment captured at the air bases.

Our sources say that if the Russians got hold of an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle complete with sophisticated electronic reconnaissance equipment, they will have secured some of the IDF’s most secret devices for spying on Iran and Syria.

When this happened before, Russian military engineers quickly dismantled the equipment, studied it and passed the technology on to Tehran and Damascus."

Coexistence with Occupation Not an Option

By Sam Bahour – The West Bank
Palestine Chronicle

"Palestinians have been historically outmaneuvered, politically neutralized, and made totally dependent on international handouts. Or have they? A newly released Palestinian strategy document which outlines strategic political options gives witness to a renewed breath of fresh air in the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence.

After 60 years of dispossession and 40 years of a brutal Israeli military occupation, many of the world’s power brokers are convinced that the Palestinians are successfully being forced into submission and acceptance of the colossal injustices that have been carried out against them.

Leading the choir is the U.S. and its Israeli ally, along with several undemocratic Arab regimes......

The Palestinian people have given everyone – including their own traditional leadership – plenty of time to end this humiliating and brutal occupation. When all else fails, Palestinians will reclaim the initiative, and will continue to do so over and over, until this occupation is consigned to the trash bin of history, along with all the war criminals who allowed it to persist for so many years. "

Sarah Palin: The Xena of the War Party

The neocons embrace the politics of celebrity

By Justin Raimondo

".....The Palin choice is really all about the internal politics of the GOP, as much as it is about the hubris of McCain's handlers. With the party led over the cliff by the neocons, whose Iraq adventure has cost them control of Congress and likely the White House, it was necessary to start anew. By reaching back into the party grassroots, and playing the gender card, the neocons could retain control of the GOP instead of being blamed for its demise – and, perhaps, hold on to the White House.

It's a big gamble, because Palin's unreadiness to be President, in the event of McCain's untimely demise, is all too apparent. Far from injecting a youthful note into the campaign, Palin's physical presence next to the Old Man only underscores his advanced age – and the prospect of President Palin staring us in the face. If that doesn't scare voters, then nothing will......"

The Clown's Shameful and Humiliating Public Surrender.....
To the Empire and the Princess of Darkness.

Is There No Shame or Dignity Left in ANY Arab Leader??

By Emad Hajjaj (Abu Mahjoob)

The greater rift

The conflict between Fatah and Hamas disguises a more dangerous divide that threatens the very existence of the PLO

By Nicola Nasser
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....The Fatah-Hamas and PA-PLO divisions have given rise to a "third" force that has yet to assume an overt political framework. However, its principles and policies are clear: they overlap with, if they are not identical to, the US-Israeli "vision" for an end to the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This force, whose constituent elements intersect with a trend within Fatah and factions in the PLO, is keen to fuel both divisions, as it is the sole beneficiary of their perpetuation. As it manoeuvres between the two sides, it wrests a little more ground for itself every day. It, not Fatah, is now the third force. It effectively controls the PA in Ramallah as it strives to assert its control over all decision-making centres in Fatah, the PA and the PLO while simultaneously working to perpetuate the political, military and economic blockade against Hamas because it does not yet have the capacities to infiltrate its ranks in Gaza. In short, it is engaged in a stealthy bid to commandeer the Palestinian national movement.....

The current PA government is also the least representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas disputed its legitimacy from the outset. It has no support among the factions allied with Fatah within the PLO framework. Nor does it have support from Fatah itself, specifically from the Fatah central committee which appointed all previous governments. This government's only basis of legitimacy resides in the fact that its head was appointed by an elected president who is nearing the end of his term of office. Perhaps this is the reason that the occupation power is rounding up Hamas's parliamentary deputies. That way the legislative assembly will remain suspended, because if it were to resume session it would dispel the last remnant of the government's legitimacy. "

Teachers listen to Hamas

Debilitating the educational and health sectors in Gaza is Fatah's new strategy for bringing down Hamas -- a strategy that is failing and will likely backfire

By Saleh Al-Naami
Al-Ahram Weekly

"....Boreik has been asked to bring in teachers to keep the schools running. He is pleased with the results. Eight of the 10 schools he is supervising are now fully staffed, and the remaining two are almost so. Boreik says that at the beginning of the strike, 80 per cent of the staff stayed at home. "But thanks to the effort exerted by the emergency committees, schools in Gaza are now operating to near full capacity."

The Ramallah government told teachers that they wouldn't be paid unless they stopped going to work, Boreik said. "We talked to every single teacher and told them that the Haniyeh government would pay their salaries regularly and in full." The majority of teachers went back to work, and some were replaced with fresh college graduates.

The Palestine Teachers' Union (PTU), a non-elected body controlled by the PLO, called the strike. Palestinian factions in the past accused the PTU of being a "pawn" in the hands of the Ramallah government. A year ago, elections were held to form a rival labour union, the Palestine Teachers' Syndicate (PTS). Hamas candidates won and are now in control of the PTS.....

So far, Hamas has been able to ride the storm. Haniyeh's government says that it can pay the salaries of those employees who come to work and has kept the schools running. It is likely to do the same in the health sector. At that point, it may turn out that the strikes have more invigorated than weakened Hamas."

Real News Video With Pepe Escobar: A broken POW McCain was saved by love of country

Pepe Escobar and Paul Jay react to McCain's speech to the RNC

Real News Video: McCain targets Russia

Reactions to McCain speech to RNC from Phyllis Bennis, Paul Heinbecker and Jonathan Schell

'Ethnic cleansing by stealth'

With every cruel and unusual punishment meted out against West Bank villagers, Israel is fomenting more and more hate against its own people

Contributed by DJ

A Very Good Comment
Seth Freedman, Thursday September 04 2008

".....The residents of Umm al-Kheir, and several other villages in the area, are prevented from building on their own land, or from grazing their flocks in the pastures nearby, due to the severe restrictions imposed on them by the army and police. In order to protect the ever-expanding settlements, more and more land is annexed under the guise of erecting "security zones", effectively strangling the natural growth of the Palestinian communities, and destroying their livelihoods in one fell swoop.

Their sorry situation is by no means unique; similar repressive tactics are used throughout the West Bank. The policy was described to me by a local activist as "ethnic cleansing by stealth", with the ultimate aim being to make life so tough for the Palestinians that they hold their hands up in despair and relocate elsewhere. Where they go is of little interest to those holding the reins of Israeli power, so long as it's far enough away for the vacated land to be redistributed to a new generation of settlers......

Those who are too blind to see that this is what is occurring under their noses are the same people who convince themselves that the true aim of Israel is to live in peace with its neighbours. The Palestinians, however, live and breathe the reality every day of their lives, and they are not so easily fooled. And if they are to be prevented from feeling as though they've got nothing to lose and resorting once more to violent resistance, there needs to be a major change in the way Israel treats their, and their children's, human rights and needs."

Running Mates

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Steve Bell, The Guardian

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doing Israel’s work

By Khalid Amayreh

"With obvious American-approval and encouragement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) regime in Ramallah is seriously persecuting the very people it is supposed to protect and whose interests it claims to safeguard.

They are worse than the Israeli occupiers,” an old shopkeeper from the Hebron region whispered to this writer after local security agents arrested his neighbor for selling Islamic paraphernalia.

Some observers in Occupied Palestine have begun using terms such as “reign of terror,” “fascists,” “gangs,” and “terrorist regime” to describe the way the American-backed regime is treating Palestinians.

This week, a leading Palestinian human rights group, described the status of human rights and civil liberties under the PA regime as “dismal and appalling.” Al-Haq, which means “truth,” pointed out in a detailed report [see next post below] that the PA was letting the security agencies run the country in utter violation of the rule of law. “I tell the donors it’s high time they pressured the Authority to implement its commitments towards the independence of the judiciary,” said Shahwan Jabarin, al-Haq director. He pointed out that “military courts” were issuing arrest warrants against civilians and undermining a civilian judiciary that had undergone reform and improvement in the West Bank. “Subjecting civilians to military jurisdiction severely infringes upon the fundamental rights of Palestinians and the rule of law.”.......

Interestingly, the wanton repression is being carried out in the name of upholding law and order and under the false rubric of safeguarding Palestinian national interests.

Today, the PA regime is a serious liability undermining our people’s ability to withstand Israeli repression. Some Palestinians are already contemplating emigration because they can’t withstand the sinister behavior of the PA government, especially the security agencies.

PA repression of the Palestinian people should therefore be viewed as no less than another layer of the Israeli occupation since the PA is very much a police state without a state, an entity that is first and foremost responsible to Israel and the United States; it is an authority that represses and torments its people on Israel’s behalf and in order to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the donor countries.......

In fact, however, the West, especially the US, is actively helping the PA build a police state (of course minus sovereignty) where political dissidents and non-conformist journalists are arrested, beaten, tortured and occasionally killed. The un-elected government of Salam Fayyad in Ramallah often presents itself as an example of a modern administration that is transparent, corruption-free and upholding the rule of law. But in reality this is very much a deceptive and inaccurate portrait of a government that is answerable to no one except perhaps the American administration.......

Today, the notorious “security committee” introduced into every government ministry is granted the final say in instating civil servants in their jobs or firing them because of their political orientation. A classical or rather scandalous example of how the security agencies are corroding Palestinian civil life is the refusal of the PA government to pay the salaries of some 3000 teachers hired in 2006 under the democratically-elected government led by Hamas.
For two years now, the PA government has been telling the teachers that their “files” are still being reviewed by the “security agencies.” However, the truth is that many of these teachers are being punished because they are suspected of having voted for Hamas or other political parties when the legislative elections took place in 2006......

...... Some observers contend that even at the height of Israeli repression, when the Israeli army’s so-called “Civil Administration” was running the West Bank, teachers continued to receive their salaries, notwithstanding their political opposition to the occupation.......

A few days ago, a high-ranking PA official told an Israeli newspaper, that the repression was necessary to “govern.” Well, this official should be told that a government based on repression of its citizens is a failed government, both politically and morally. Besides, what “governing” is this uneducated official talking about? Doesn’t he realize that he can hardly leaves the confines of Ramallah without an Israeli permit? ........

Apart from that, it is obvious that Hamas is not really trying to topple the PA rule in the West Bank (as Fatah is doing in Gaza), since doing so would necessitate that Hamas be militarily stronger than Israel and the PA combined, which is a silly and unthinkable idea.

Hence, the claims by Fatah that the current reign of repression in the West Bank is meant to forestall a possible “coup” by Hamas against the “legitimate authority” has absolutely no credibility whatsoever."

I really worry about the very brave Khalid Amayreh. I am afraid that it is a question of time before Abbas and his USraeli-supported goons either arrest him, or worse.

Palestinian human rights group worried about PA military courts

An Important Story

"The Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq put out a statement on Wednesday indicating that the rights group believes the use of military courts by the Palestinian Authority could lead the Authority down a slippery slope toward authoritarianism.

The group stated that the use of these courts against civilians “might lead towards an authoritarian regime, at the expenses of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Palestinians, the rule of law and the independency of the judiciary.”

The statement of Al Haq comes as the Fateh party attempts to assert control of the Palestinian government (under Israeli occupation). The Fateh party has been supported by Israel in its attempts to take back control of the government from the democratically-elected Hamas government since 2006.

Stronghanded tactics by the Fateh security forces have been asserted by Palestinians who support Hamas. In addition, the Fateh security forces have been accused of unlawful arrests of civilians.

According to Al Haq, “Several calls and statements have been sent to the Palestinian president and prime minister as well as the Ministry of Justice and general prosecution, to stop military judiciary intervention in the civil judiciary. Despite this, the military judiciary still violates and intervene in civil judiciary jurisdiction.”

Israeli authorities have pushed the Fateh party to make arrests of Palestinians that Israel considers dangerous, in an attempt to have the Palestinian Authority carry out the objectives and actions of the Israeli military occupation.

The Al-Haq organization specifically called for the Palestinian Authority to implement a ruling made on the 28th of August by the Palestinian High Court of Justice that would end the jurisdiction over civilians of the Military Attorney General and Military Judiciary. "

Slave trade heads to Israel

By Mona Alami

Asia Times

"JERUSALEM - Israel continues to be a favorite destination for the trafficking of women for the sex industry - also known as the white slave trade - and for a form of modern slavery where migrant laborers from developing countries are exploited.

The US State Department placed Israel in Tier 2 position in its 2007 Trafficking in Persons report. Also, an Israeli court ruled against the country's work visa policy which forces foreign workers into indentured labor with a single employer.

"Israel was only upgraded to Tier 2 last year," said Romm Lewkowicz, a spokesman from Israel's Hotline for Migrant Workers, an advocacy group which defends the rights of foreign workers........"

Biden: Israel Decisions must be Made in J’lem, Not D.C


"04/09/2008 Israel must remain a strong ally of the United States, however its decisions "must be made in Jerusalem", said Delaware Senator and Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee Joseph Biden during a teleconference held with members of the Jewish press on Wednesday.

Biden also expressed his support of Israel's right to protect itself, saying, "Israel has the right to defend itself and it doesn't have to ask, just as any other free and independent country.

The Vice Presidential nominee vowed that the U.S. will "always stand by Israel, without telling Israelis what they can and cannot do."......."

Shin Bet to Palestinian: Collaborate or go to jail

"On July 27, Gaza resident Hamed Keshta arrived at the Erez border crossing, carrying an entry permit into Israel. He was headed to Ashkelon's Ganei Dan Hotel to meet with representatives from his employer, EUBAM. The European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah supervises and assists the Palestinian Authority in operating the border crossing with Egypt.

This was the first time since 1994 that Keshta, 33, of Rafah, married with two children, had crossed the border into Israel. It was to apply for a visa at the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv. Keshta remained in Canada, even obtaining citizenship, until 2004 when he returned to Gaza. Since then he has worked as an interpreter and as a "fixer," a go-between for Western media outlets. He worked for the London Sunday Times, Britain's Channel 4 TV and the French production company Playprod. He has been at EUBAM since April 2006. The Ashkelon meeting was connected to a promotion from interpreter to assistant security director in the Rafah area.

"When I got to the border crossing, to my great surprise I was arrested by Israeli security officials," Keshta related in a recent telephone interview. He described the events of that day and the month's detention and interrogation at a Shin Bet security service facility that followed.....

According to Ben-Natan, as soon as Keshta was arrested the investigators proposed that he cooperate with them and become one of their agents. When he refused the interrogations began in earnest. "I assume," he said, "that it is the standard interrogation that thousands of other Palestinians undergo. They did not hit me, but I was placed in restraints and forced to sit on a chair. The interrogators' questions focused on the tunnels" under the Rafah crossing......"

Sarah Palin's Foreign Policy Expertise

Sarah Palin, the nominee for the position of the vice president of the USA, was recently told of the advances made by Russian troops in Georgia.

Her reaction? "Have they reached Atlanta?"

Israel plans for war with Iran and Syria

Times Online

"The conflict with Hezbollah has led to a strategic rethink in Israel. A key conclusion is that too much attention has been paid to Palestinian militants in Gaza and the West Bank instead of the two biggest state sponsors of terrorism in the region, who pose a far greater danger to Israel’s existence, defence insiders say.

The challenge from Iran and Syria is now top of the Israeli defence agenda, higher than the Palestinian one,” said an Israeli defence source. Shortly before the war in Lebanon Major-General Eliezer Shkedi, the commander of the air force, was placed in charge of the “Iranian front”, a new position in the Israeli Defence Forces. His job will be to command any future strikes on Iran and Syria....."

US' Somalia Policy Likely to Bring Blowback

By Jim Lobe

"US counterterrorism policies and support for the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia have helped create an increasingly desperate humanitarian and security situation in the East African nation, whose population has become increasingly radicalized and anti-US, according to a new report by a major US human rights group.....

"US counterterrorism policies have not only compromised other international agendas in Somalia, they have generated a high level of anti-Americanism and are contributing to radicalization of the population," concluded the report, entitled "Somalia: A Country in Peril, a Foreign Policy Nightmare."

"In what could become a dangerous instance of blowback, defense and intelligence operations intended to make the United States more secure from the threat of terrorism may be increasing the threat of jihadist attacks on American interests," the report stressed......"

Hunting for Trouble in.....Georgia (no, not the state)!

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Palin comes out punching

Pepe Escobar and Paul Jay react to Sarah Palin's speech

Real News Video: Robert Parry on the 'real' John McCain

Investigative journalist Bob Parry talks about McCain, his defense of Bush/Cheney and Iraq war

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Dave Brown, The Independent.

Palestinian Contras Want Arab Regimes' Oppression Troops!! Abbas Can't Be Seen Returning to Gaza Atop an Israeli Tank

Palestinians to propose Arab military force for Gaza

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Wednesday September 03 2008

"The Palestinian government in Ramallah will propose that Arab nations deploy a joint military force in Gaza once a coalition government has been formed between the rival factions Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian foreign minister, Riad Malki, said today.

Malki said he would be taking the idea to a meeting next week of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, which opens on Monday. He said the proposal came from the Palestinians though Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit [the break-their-legs guy], also raised the prospect of sending a pan-Arab force to Gaza last week......"

Jim Crow alive and well in Hebron

Joel Gulledge, The Electronic Intifada, 3 September 2008

"I left my home in the United States to spend the summer in the West Bank, where I was attacked by Israeli settlers late last month. As a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), I went to the south Hebron Hills to help keep young Palestinian children safe from Israeli settlers intent on dominating and hurting Palestinians. Armed only with a video camera, it was my job to escort the children back and forth from school and summer camp.

On 27 July, the children and I were walking home when a group of Israeli settlers assaulted us from a hilltop with fist-sized stones. Some narrowly missed my head. Focusing my video camera, I recorded an Israeli settler flinging stones at the children from his long-range slingshot. When he saw that I was filming him, he struck me in the leg with a rock. He chased me, kicked me and screamed that he was going to kill me. Wrestling the video camera from my hand, he then repeatedly struck me in the face and upper body with a stone.....

The occupied West Bank today is like walking through a page from a different era -- part Wild West, part Jim Crow -- with one set of laws for Palestinians and another set for Israeli settlers.

There are now over 450,000 Israeli settlers living on land taken from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in defiance of international law. The settlers in and around Hebron are, according to Israeli journalist Ran HaCohen, "fanatic extremists even by Israeli standards. They regularly ransack Palestinian shops, cut electricity lines and water pipes, wreck cars, and attack schoolchildren."

The schoolchildren I worked with have no one to protect them. In fact, the Israeli military had refused to provide an escort for them.....

Settler violence toward the children here has been a persistent problem. In 2004, the local Palestinian leadership requested assistance from international organizations. CPT responded and has been accompanying Palestinian children and documenting their interactions with Israeli settlers and soldiers ever since. As my beating demonstrates, we have become targets as well....."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Final Warning to "Uprooted Palestinian"

You have become a major source of irritation to many of our readers, and more and more of them are complaining about this blog and why it tolerates your steady stream of insults and foul language.

I will not tolerate ruinning the comment section because of a few rotten apples like you. I do not care if these rotten apples are Zionist, hate-filled racists or "fellow" Palestinians like you. When readers stop coming to the blog because of commenters like you, that is when I draw the line.

Consider this to be your final warning.

Some Good News! Al-Arian, ex-USF professor, released from prison

"After almost six years in federal custody, former University of South Florida engineering professor Sami Al-Arian set foot outside prison Tuesday afternoon.

"As you can imagine, he is having a very cheerful reunion with his children," said his attorney Jonathan Turley.

Al-Arian, 50, had been held by immigration authorities pending his trial on contempt charges for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Virginia. A federal judge had ordered Al-Arian released on bail in mid July, but officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement took him into custody.

The release of the former University of South Florida professor came as a surprise after ICE officials suddenly "elected to release Dr. Al-Arian" Tuesday, after a petition by his attorneys that his continued incarceration violated his constitutional rights......

For the time being, Al-Arian still faces trial on the contempt charge, but federal judge Leonie Brinkema ordered the criminal contempt trial postponed indefinitely so that the U.S. Supreme Court could consider the case........"

PRC refuses deployment of Arab forces in Gaza

"The Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza (PRC) refused on Wednesday an Egyptian suggestion to deploy Arab forces in Gaza as 'contradicting with the higher national interests of the Palestinian people'.

Ayman Alshishniya, member of the political leadership of PRC, was quoted by media sources as saying " the idea to bring in Arab or foreign troops to Gaza is totally rejected by our faction, as it is in stark contradiction with the interests of our Palestinian people and their resistance",

The political leader added " any troops that enter Gaza not for the sake of liberating the lands, will be dealt with as hostile forces and therefore wont be welcomed with flowers".
He further made clear that 'any Arab troops should head for the occupied east Jerusalem to liberate the aL-Aqsa Mosque, which has been under captivity for the past four decades".

He also slammed the Arab and Islamic nations for not taking part in fighting the Israeli occupation along with the Palestinian people"....... "


The Free Gaza Movement

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date : 09-02-2008

GAZA (2 Sept. 2008) - Four foreign nationals from the UK, USA, Ireland and Australia, who helped peacefully challenge the siege of Gaza by traveling through international waters with the Free Gaza Movement, have so far been refused exit to Israel via Erez Crossing, or to Egypt via Rafah Crossing.

For over two years Israel has severely restricted access to Gaza, blocking aid shipments and trade. As a consequence, Gaza's economy has collapsed, forcing most industries to close and dramatically increasing malnutrition rates among children. Eighty percent of families in Gaza are now completely dependent on United Nations food aid.

Travel outside of Gaza has been likewise blocked by Israel. Over 200 people have died as result of not being able to leave Gaza for medical treatment. Hundreds of Palestinian students, accepted to universities abroad, have also been denied exit visas by Israel.

Among the internationals currently stranded in Gaza are Irish activist and former Hawaiian legislator Kenneth O’Keefe, British journalist Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Dr. William Dienst, a family and emergency room physician from the USA. This refusal of entry by Israel and Egypt effectively confines the internationals to the 40 by 10 kilometre enclave of Gaza, along with 1.5 million Palestinians, likewise sealed off from loved ones who live abroad and denied freedom of movement for purposes of education, medical care, leisure, or work.

The four internationals attempted to peacefully exit Gaza through Israeli controlled Erez crossing on August 29th; Israel denied the exit, stating that the activists had entered Gaza illegally by sea, even though that voyage had been formally allowed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Internal Affairs Ministry, according to newspaper reports. An official statement by Israel’s Defence Ministry (August 25th) declared the Free Gaza Movement did not violate any laws, and that their action posed “no security threat” (Ha’aretz).

Diplomatic channels are trying to negotiate the exit of the human rights workers, who wish, like Palestinians, to exercise their human rights under Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state and (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

For more information, please contact:
Gaza: Lauren Booth, +972598830136
Ken O’Keefe, +972599327112
Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, +972599408438
Jerusalem: Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, +972547366393 "

The Pharaoh's Giveaway of Egypt's Wealth is Temporarily Interrupted

Jerusalem concerned as Egypt halts gas supply to Israel

"The supply of natural gas from Egypt to Israel was halted on Friday and has yet to be resumed. Concern is mounting in Jerusalem: Sources there believe Egypt is struggling to supply all its clients, and has chosen to cut back its supply for its neighbors, including Israel, some of which pay especially low prices for the fuel.

Israel receives Egyptian gas through Egyptian-Israeli consortium EMG.

The Israel Electric Corporation, which is the main consumer of the Egyptian gas, has resorted to buying larger amounts from the Tethys Sea group through spot deals that are significantly more expensive......"

September Surprise

Get ready for it…

By Justin Raimondo

"While the rest of the pundits opine about the meaning and implications of Sarah Palin's ascension from small town mayor to prospective vice president – and whether or not her daughter's private life is fair game for any media outlet other than the National Enquirer – those of us whose job it is to stand watch on the ramparts and report the real news are wondering when – not if – the War Party will pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat. For months, I've been warning in this space that an American attack on Iran is imminent, and now I see that the Dutch have reason to agree with my assessment. Their intelligence service reportedly has pulled out of a covert operation inside Iran on the grounds that a U.S. strike is right around the corner – in "a matter of weeks," according to De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper.

As the story goes, the Dutch had infiltrated the purported Iranian weapons project and were firmly ensconced when they got word that the Americans are about to launch a missile attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. They wisely decided to close down the operation and pull out.

Remember, the Israelis have been threatening to strike on their own for months: what's changed is that now, apparently, the U.S. has caved in to what is a blatant case of blackmail and has agreed to do the job for them.......

In terms of American domestic politics, the road to war with Tehran was paved long ago: both major parties and their presidential candidates have given the War Party a green light to strike Tehran, McCain explicitly and Obama tacitly, albeit no less firmly....... "

Commentary: Israel of the Caucasus


Contributed by mia

".....In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey.

The attack ordered by Saakashvili against South Ossetia the night of Aug. 7 provided the Russians the pretext for Moscow to order Special Forces to raid these Israeli facilities where some Israeli drones were reported captured.....

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis was agreed at the highest levels with the approval of the Bush administration. The official liaison between the two entities was Reserve Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch who commanded Israeli forces on the Lebanese border in July 2006. He resigned from the army after the Winograd Commission flayed Israel's conduct of its Second Lebanon War. Hirsch was also blamed for the seizure of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.....

That Russia assessed these Israeli training missions as U.S.-approved is a given....

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis appears to have been cemented at the highest levels, according to YNet, the Israeli electronic daily. But whether the IAF can still count on those air bases to launch bombing missions against Iran's nuke facilities is now in doubt....."

Real News Video: McCain, Palin and the Iraq War

Scott Ritter and Ray McGovern on Palin and what McCain knew about false info that led to Iraq war Part 1:

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Lieberman wants a President 'enemies will fear'

Pepe Escobar and Paul Jay react to Lieberman's speech to the RNC

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Bolton suggests Israel will attack Iran

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton on a possible Israeli strike

Real News Video: Arrested at the RNC

Amy Goodman talks about being detained at the RNC

"Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!. She is co-author, with her brother David Goodman, of the book Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders and the People Who Fight Back. The pair also co-wrote the national best-seller The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them."

Real News Video: Obama Biden and Iraq

The Obama-Biden worldview with Eric Margolis, Phyllis Bennis and Paul Heinbecker Part4

Babies + Guns + Jesus + War Hero + Alaskan Nationalism = Victory!

Click on cartoon by Steve Bell to enlarge.

Israel and Egypt, Partners in a War Crime: Israel traps UK journalist in Gaza

Press TV

"Israel has trapped ex-British prime minister Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth in Gaza, arguing she entered the region illegally.

The British journalist was among the other 43 peace activists who made a voyage and entered Gaza aboard two protest boats in defiance of the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli officials have denied her exit from the Palestinian territory, saying she and the rest of the campaigners aboard did not enter Gaza legally. "Her request presented at the end of last week was rejected because anyone who does not enter officially cannot leave officially," said Gil Kari, spokesman for the Israeli military office in charge of liaison with Gaza.

The British journalist first made the exit request on August 29 to leave the Palestinian territory through Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, but her request was rejected.

Her attempts to leave the impoverished region through Egyptian border were also in vain after the Egyptian authorities rejected her request.

"I'd actually like to say 'thank you very much' to the Israeli authorities at Erez for giving me this fantastic chance to feel just exactly what it is like to be inside what is effectively the world's largest internment camp, where individuals who should have the right to travel under international law are withheld in a 40 kilometer by 10 kilometer camp," Booth told the BBC.

Most of the activists who had sailed to Gaza aboard two boats through international waters on August 23 returned to Cyprus five days later, although some, including Booth remained in the Palestinian territory. The two boats returned to Cyprus a few days later, leaving behind 11 activists to carry out humanitarian work. Two others also tried to leave with Booth at the weekend but were prevented from doing so.

During their voyage, the Israeli regime tried to confront the campaigners through scrambling the boats' communication systems."

Also Please See Al-Manar on this Story:

Blair Sister-in-Law Denied Land Exit from Gaza

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Video: Who Would Jesus Bomb? Just Ask Palin!

Palin: Our Leaders Are Sending Our Troops to Iraq ‘On a Task From God’

"It hasn’t been easy to find anything about Sarah Palin’s positions on foreign policy issues, but this clip from a speech to her church gives a clue:

“Pray for our military. He [Palin's son] is going to be deployed in September to Iraq – pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right for this country – that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what he have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan and that it is God’s plan.” (about 6 min into the clip)"

US-Iraqi agreement: leaked

By Raed Jarrar

"I read about a leaked copy of the US-Iraqi agreement a few days ago when a radio station in Iraq mentioned some of its details, then it was mentioned in some Arab newspapers like Al-Qabas and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. A couple of days ago, one Iraqi website (linked to an Iraqi armed resistance group) published the leaked draft on their web page for less than a couple of days before their website went offline. (Thankfully, I downloaded the 21 pages agreement and saved them before their server went down).

I spent this weekend translating it, and just finished now. you can read the 27 articles August 6th draft by clicking here or here or here. The title of this draft is "Agreement regarding the activities and presence of U.S. forces, and its withdrawal from Iraq", but this is the same agreement that is referred to as a "status of forces agreement" or "SOFA" or framework or whatever. It's the result of months of negotiations after Bush and Al-Maliki signed the "Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America" by the end of last year.

This leaked draft is a treasure of information. It's the first time any document related to this topic is made public. It shows how weak the Iraqi negotiations team is (it is really pathetic to read their "suggestions" on how to fix the disaster of an agreement).

There are many outrageous articles in the agreement that violates Iraq's sovereignty and independence, and gives the U.S. occupation authorities unprecedented rights and privileges, but what has draw my attention the most (so far) are three major points:

1- the agreement does not discuss anything about a complete US withdrawal from Iraq. Instead, it talks about withdrawing "combat troops" without defining what is the difference between combat troops and other troops. It is very clear that the US is planning to stay indefinitely in permanent bases in Iraq (or as the agreement calls them: "installations and areas agreed upon") where the U.S. will continue training and supporting Iraqis armed forces for the foreseeable future.
2- the agreement goes into effect when the two executive branches exchange "memos", instead of waiting for Iraqi parliament's ratification. This is really dangerous, and it is shocking because both the Iraqi and U.S. executive branches have been assuring the Iraqi parliament that no agreement will go into effect without being ratified by Iraq's MPs.
3- this agreement is the blueprint for keeping other occupation armies (aka Multi-national forces) in Iraq on the long run. This explains the silence regarding what will happed to other occupiers (like the U.K. forces) after the expiration of the UN mandate at the end of this year.

It is really disturbing to read how the U.S. government is still going down the same path of intervention and domination in Iraq.

This agreement will not be accepted by the Iraqi people and their elected representatives in the Iraqi parliament, and if the U.S. and Iraqi executive branches try to consider it valid anyway it will lead to more violence in Iraq."