Saturday, September 20, 2008

This is Zionism: Twilight Zone / Dead on arrival

Hawara Checkpoint

By Gideon Levy

"Nothing helped. Not the pleas, not the cries of the woman in labor, not the father's explanations in excellent Hebrew, nor the blood that flowed in the car. The commander of the checkpoint, a fine Israeli who had completed an officers' course, heard the cries, saw the women writhing in pain in the back seat of the car, listened to the father's heartrending pleas and was unmoved. The heart of the Israeli officer was indifferent and cruel. For over an hour, he would not let the car with the young woman in labor pass through the Hawara checkpoint on the way to the hospital in Nablus. Not to Tel Aviv; but to Nablus; not for shopping, not for work; but to get to the hospital in an emergency. Nothing helped.....

Nahil Abu-Rada is not the first woman to lose her baby this way because of the occupation, and she won't be the last. At least a half-dozen checkpoint births that ended in death have been documented here over the years, and nothing has changed. No punishments, no lessons, not even a request for forgiveness from parents who lose their children because of the coldheartedness of soldiers......"

The War Within by Bob Woodward

A Book Review
By As'ad Abu Khalil (The Angry Arab)

"The War Within by Bob Woodward should be read by all those who want to understand the American war and occupation of Iraq. There are many things that have not been mentioned in the media reviews of the book. Woodward is unlike himself in this book: he has more cited sources and more (very brief and in passing) analytic conclusions than usual. You really are struck that none of the civilians who handle Iraq at the White House know the Middle East, or have studied the Middle East. Those who know the Middle East were in the military and were skeptical from the beginning. Gen. Abizaid for example drew the right conclusion early on: "We need to get the fuck out." (p. 5).....

What is lacking in reviews of the book is the most damning conclusion: that the Bush administration was lying to the American public throughout: statements that were made in public were contradicted by classified reports that were read in private meetings. In fact, the best case scenario for Iraq was according to them a Mubarak-like dictator....

...And you read about the pathetic sectarian figure: the puppet prime minister, Nuri Al-Maliki. The puppet is at pains to dismiss accounts of public opinion surveys that point to Iraqi public rejection of American occupation. He assures US officials: "We do not have public opinion polls in Iraq...There are definiately those who talk about the Americans leaving. But it is the top-level people who will decide, and we want you to stay." (p. 111) Some people spoke of "bringing Saddam back" as plan B for Iraq.....

...And you read about the Saudi King: how unhappy he is about the Iraq situation. He was expecting a replacement of Saddam by another Sunni dictator. He was angry with the Americans over that and would refuse to discuss the matter. And like Saudi media, he would refer to Shi`ites as "Safavids"--he is as ignorant as his media, not knowing about the glories of the Safavid dynasty......"

Economic Meltdown: Don’t Say We Weren’t Forewarned

By Robert Scheer

"Has the war on terrorism become the modern equivalent of the Roman Circus, drawing the people’s attention away from the failures of those who rule them? Corporate America is a shambles because deregulation, the mantra of our president and his party, has proved to be a license to steal....

The politicians hesitate to act because candidates of both parties are lavishly financed by the very people who are conning a gullible public."

The Making of Recent U.S. Middle East Policies

A New and Revealing Study of the Influence of the Neocons

A Good Book Review


"Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Editions, Norfolk, Virginia, 2008

Not a few honest political analysts have long recognized the tight relationship between the Israel-U.S. partnership and the disastrous Bush administration adventures throughout the Middle East, including its backing for Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinians. Stephen Sniegoski has had the persistence to ferret out mountains of impossible-to-challenge evidence that this Israel-U.S. connection is the driving force behind virtually all Middle East decisionmaking over the last eight years, as well as the political courage to write a book about it.

Sniegoski’s new book demonstrates clearly how U.S. and Israeli policies and actions with respect to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the other Gulf states, and even most recently Georgia are all tied together in a bundle of interrelated linkages, each of which affects all the others. The right wing of Israeli politics, the neoconservatives in the U.S. who strongly support Israel, and the aging Israel lobby in the United States all have worked together, and are still doing so, to bring about more wars, regime changes, and instability, specifically the fragmentation of any Middle Eastern states that might ever conceivably threaten Israel.

In addition, one purpose of such wars and other changes is explicitly to intensify the discouragement of Palestinians as the latter’s potential allies are knocked off one by one, making it easier for Israel, over time, to finish off the Palestinians. That’s the theory.....

This book is a veritable bible on the neocons -- and a frightening one. Anyone who thought that neocon thinking and policymaking had become passé with the political eclipse of the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith will be disquieted to find that these individuals were only the tip of the iceberg and that on all issues having to do with Israel neocon thinking lives on in policymaking councils and is about to be passed on to the next administration, whether it be Democratic or Republican."

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Joke of Palestinian “democracy” under Fatah, Israel

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

The Peoples Voice

"Jockeying for an advantageous public posture vis-à-vis Hamas, the Fatah movement has been calling for the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The proposal is being touted as the only way to resolve the enduring crisis between Fatah and Hamas, following the latter’s counter-coup in Gaza in June of last year. The proposal, however, seems to be more of a propagandist gambit than a sincere effort aimed at achieving inter-Palestinian reconciliation. And it doesn’t suggest that Fatah, now solidly backed and financed by the United States, has undergone a true democratic transformation......

The idea was very simple: Impose draconian economic and financial strangulation as much as possible on ordinary Palestinians to make them not only regret their erstwhile decision to vote for Hamas but also actively turn against the Islamic movement in ways analogous to the many CIA-induced coups in Latin and Central America.

Earlier this year, the American magazine “Vanity Fair” published an extensive investigative report titled “How the Bush Administration Lied to Congress and Armed Fatah to Provoke Palestinian Civil War Aiming to Overthrow Hamas.”......

Fatah leaders may argue, mostly for the sake of argument, that that the elections are an internal Palestinian matter. Well, this is true, but we all know that the PA is not a state, let alone a sovereign one. We also know that the PA is 150% subservient to the US which is in turn subservient to Israel. So why speak to the monkey when you can speak to organ grinder?!!

Second, let us argue, at least for the sake of argument, that Hamas won the elections, so would Fatah accept the results this time? Would the tens of thousands of American-trained and American-paid anti-Hamas soldiers in the West Bank accept the jurisdiction of the new Hamas-led government?

In fact, it would be more than naïve to think that they would. We are talking after all about security forces whose raison d’être is to fight and annihilate Hamas as is evident from the vindictive campaign against suspected Hamas supporters and Islamic institutions now underway all over the West Bank.....

This scandalous and gangsterly conduct by a state that calls itself the only democracy in the Middle East is a clarion proof that democracy under a foreign military occupation is a big farce. To be sure, this is a message that all Palestinian factions, particularly Fatah and Hamas, ought to comprehend and internalize. Failing to do so will make us the laughingstock of the world."

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Pak army protected bin Laden and Taliban

Khawar Mehdi: What happened to Pakistani military after 9/11? Part 4 of 4

"In part 4 of this series, Pakistan analyst Khawar Mehdi tells Pepe Escobar about the repercussions of Musharraf's crucial policy switch after 9/11, abandoning the Taliban and embracing the Bush-declared "war on terror". Mehdi recalls the visit by a Pakistani delegation to Afghanistan that allegedly asked Taliban emir Mulah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden. Mehdi argues that the true story was that the head of the delegation, Pakistani ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, convinced the Taliban to implement a new Pakistani plan, advising the Taliban to retreat instead of facing overwhelming US military power. Mehdi also discusses how Musharraf's radical U-turn has been extremely confusing for the Pakistani armed forces and for the ISI - which had nurtured the Taliban since the mid-1990s."

Fury over British embassy link to Jewish settlement-builder

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Saturday, 20 September 2008

"The British Government's plan to rent new premises in a Tel Aviv skyscraper has run into trouble after a wave of protests that their prospective landlord is a major participant in Jewish settlement-building in the occupied West Bank.

The British embassy has been in negotiations to lease three floors in Kirya Tower from Africa Israel Investments, a company controlled by Lev Leviev, a London-based property and diamonds billionaire with substantial business interests in Israel.

Pro-Palestinian organisations are urging the Foreign Office to cancel the plans, arguing that one of the company's subsidiaries is prominent in settlement building and that Mr Leviev is a big contributor to the Land Redemption fund, which acquires Palestinian land for Jewish settlements.

Daniel Machover, of the UK-based Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, says in a letter to The Independent that renting space from Mr Leviev is "tantamount to HM Government condoning Israel's settlement building, supporting clear violations of international law, which in some cases [amounts] to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and hindering the possibility of peace in the Middle East". Most Western governments – including Britain's – regard settlements as illegal under international law......."

Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan?

The Taliban are better trained, and – sad to say – increasingly tolerated by the local civilian population

By Robert Fisk

".......We, of course, have been peddling this crackpot nonsense for years in south-west Asia. First of all, back in 2001, we won the war in Afghanistan by overthrowing the Taliban. Then we marched off to win the war in Iraq. Now – with at least one suicide bombing a day and the nation carved up into mutually antagonistic sectarian enclaves – we have won the war in Iraq and are heading back to re-win the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban, so thoroughly trounced by our chaps seven years ago, have proved their moral and political bankruptcy by recapturing half the country.

It seems an age since Donald "Stuff Happens" Rumsfeld declared,"A government has been put in place (in Afghanistan), and the Islamists are no more the law in Kabul. Of course, from time to time a hand grenade, a mortar explodes – but in New York and in San Francisco, victims also fall. As for me, I'm full of hope." Oddly, back in the Eighties, I heard exactly the same from a Soviet general at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan – yes, the very same Bagram airbase where the CIA lads tortured to death a few of the Afghans who escaped the earlier Russian massacres. Only "terrorist remnants" remained in the Afghan mountains, the jolly Russian general assured us. Afghan troops, along with the limited Soviet "intervention" forces, were restoring peace to democratic Afghanistan.......

The Soviet general at Bagram now has his amanuensis in General David McKiernan, the senior US officer in Afghanistan, who proudly announced last month that US forces had killed "between 30 and 35 Taliban" in a raid on Azizabad near Herat. "In the light of emerging evidence pertaining (sic) to civilian casualties in the ... counter-insurgency operation," the luckless general now says, he feels it "prudent" – another big sic here – to review his original investigation. The evidence "pertaining", of course, is that the Americans probably killed 90 people in Azizabad, most of them women and children. We – let us be frank and own up to our role in the hapless Nato alliance in Afghanistan – have now slaughtered more than 500 Afghan civilians this year alone. These include a Nato missile attack on a wedding party in July when we splattered 47 of the guests all over the village of Deh Bala.

And Obama and McCain really think they're going to win in Afghanistan – before, I suppose, rushing their soldiers back to Iraq when the Baghdad government collapses. What the British couldn't do in the 19th century and what the Russians couldn't do at the end of the 20th century, we're going to achieve at the start of the 21 century, taking our terrible war into nuclear-armed Pakistan just for good measure. Fantasy again.

Joseph Conrad, who understood the powerlessness of powerful nations, would surely have made something of this. Yes, we have lost after we won in Afghanistan and now we will lose as we try to win again. Stuff happens."

Free market ideology is far from finished

But with Wall Street rescued by government intervention, there's never been a better time to argue for collectivist solutions

Naomi Klein, Friday September 19 2008

"Whatever the events of this week mean, nobody should believe the overblown claims that the market crisis signals the death of "free market" ideology. Free market ideology has always been a servant to the interests of capital, and its presence ebbs and flows depending on its usefulness to those interests.

During boom times, it's profitable to preach laissez faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles to inflate. When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance, and it goes dormant while big government rides to the rescue. But rest assured: the ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalisation for deep cuts to social programmes, and for a renewed push to privatise what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are, sadly, too costly......."

Former Israeli military and intelligence officials active in Arab countries

A Very Important Story
Could the Silent Partnership Between Israel and the Arab Regimes Be More Clear Than This??

"The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported on Thursday that dozens of former Israeli military officers and a large number of Mosad (Israeli Intelligence) and Shabak (Israeli secret service) members are active in cooperation with the Israeli Security devices in several Arab countries in the Gulf.

The countries in question have outstanding relations with the United States, and the Israeli security services are active there through specialized foreign security agencies.

The Haaretz report added that the security officials are carrying wide range of security activities in the Arab Gulf and are spending tens of millions of US Dollars.

There activities include training Arab security personnel on operating advanced weaponry, intelligence equipment, border protection techniques, techniques to counter kidnapping attempts, coups, and attempts to occupy strategic facilities such as Oil refineries.

The report mentioned several names of senior Israeli security officials who are participating in these programs such as Giora Island, the former head of the Israeli National Security Council, and General Doron Almong. In addition, several companies and the Air Force Development Agency are active in the Arab Gulf under the direct supervision of the Israeli Security Ministry.

The Swedish AGT international company, which was formed by the Israeli-American businessman, Mani Kochavi, won a contract worth hundreds of millions of US Dollars to construct a project which belongs to the Israeli Internal Security in one of the Arab gulf Emirates.

Haaretz added that Al Zawiya newspaper based in the Arab gulf reported on the issue in March 2008.

Kochavi is also the head of the Sentry Technology Group (STG) which is of the corporations which managed to garner fast growth in the security arena in the United States.

The STG was also a partner with the Israeli Air Force Industries which sells equipment and the required technologies specialized in airport security in the United States and other countries, including countries in the Middle East.

Recently STG purchased equipment worth tens of millions of US Dollars in Israeli companies which specialize in developing monitoring and control programs.

The former Israeli Air Force leader, Etan Bin Elyahu, said that he left STG several years ago, after it started operating outside the United States.

Kochavi is hiring dozens of officer s who previously worked in the Israeli army, in addition to hiring several senior officials of the Israeli army and the air force industries, and officials who worked with the Shabak and the Mosad.

A spokesperson f Kochavi stated that all company’s operations are conducted under the supervision of the Israeli security agency and all of its branches.

Kochavi is an Israeli who moved to live in the United States and collected his fortune in the real estate business. In Recent years, and especially after the September 11 attack, he got involved with the Homeland Security and developed relations with Israeli security agencies. He then started hiring former senior security officials.

The Israeli security agencies are very active in encouraging security industries and weapon manufacturing and are active in exporting them to several Arab Countries, especially the countries that have good relations with the United States and could find themselves threatened by Iran. "

The Pogroms in the West Bank Continue....Settlers burn Palestinian olive groves, crops in several West Bank areas

"According to Israeli sources, a number of incidents of violence by Israeli settlers took place in different parts of the West Bank on Wednesday after the removal of some settlers from the outpost of Yad Yair.

Israeli settlers, living illegally on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, burned a number of olive groves belonging to Palestinian families in the villages of Madameh, Burin and Asira al-Kabaliya. In addition, settlers burned a field of crops near the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli military prevented fire trucks from arriving in a timely manner - but the Israeli military retorted that it was the Civil Administration of the Palestinian Authority that was to blame for the delay

One Israeli settler told the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz, " If the police haven't yet gotten it, then they will - there's a price to be paid for hitting settlements and outposts" - although no Israeli police were targeted by the violence. Palestinian civilians were the main targets of the wave of vandalism, but tires of jeeps belonging to the Israeli military were slashed at the military base of Horesh Yaron.

In another incident, in the village of Dolev, west of Ramallah, Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian homes, causing major damage to the homes.

Also, Israeli settlers closed the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron and began throwing rocks at Palestinian cars.

Noam Federman, formerly with the Israeli right-wing armed movement 'Kach', was detained in that incident. "

Video: Tariq Ali on Pakistan-Part 2 of 2. (Part 1 posted yesterday)

Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia on the Rise in Europe

By Jim Lobe

"WASHINGTON, Sep 18 (IPS) - Both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have risen in Europe over the last four years, according to a survey conducted earlier this year and released here Thursday by the Pew Research Centre.

While attitudes towards Muslims are substantially more negative than those against Jews across Europe, anti-Jewish sentiment as grown steadily in five of the six countries surveyed on the question, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project (PGAP) survey that was conducted last spring.

The increase in anti-Jewish feeling was particularly pronounced in Spain. In 2005, 21 percent of respondents there said they had unfavourable opinions of Jews. That percentage rose to 46 percent in 2008, just below the 52 percent of Spaniards who said they held negative views of Muslims.

"Ethnocentric attitudes are on the rise in Europe," according to an analysis that accompanied the survey. ''Growing numbers of people in several major European countries say they have an unfavourable opinion of Jews, and opinions of Muslims, which were already substantially more negative, have also grown increasingly so compared with several years ago."

The survey found that both anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish opinion in Western Europe were most prevalent among older people, those with less education, and those who identified their political views with the right....."

Insurgents in Afghanistan show strength, sophistication

This summer, foreign troop deaths have exceeded those of U.S. forces in Iraq. 'We feel that things are going very, very well for us,' one Taliban fighter says.

By Laura King
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

"KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — A summer of heavy fighting during which Western military leaders had hoped to seize the initiative from Islamic militants has instead revealed an insurgency capable of employing complex new tactics and fighting across a broad swath of Afghanistan.

Over the last three months, insurgents have exacted the most punishing casualty tolls on Western forces since the Afghan war began nearly seven years ago. Numbers of foreign troops killed have exceeded U.S. military deaths in Iraq....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand new poll asks the question:

Do you believe that opening Arab embassies in Baghdad serves the interests of the Iraqi people?

It is very early in the polling cycle, but with about 500 responding so far, 70% said no.

Al-Jazeera Video: From Palestine to Iceland_Sept 18 08

"After living for two and a half years in a makeshift desert camp in Baghdad, a group of Palestinian women and children have moved to Iceland. Iceland's government has now opened its doors to immigrants, but not everyone there has been welcoming. Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reports. "

COMMENT: Thanks to the terror of the sectarian Shiite thugs in Iraq and to the "generosity" of their Arab brethren, including the Syrian and Jordanian governments, these destitute Palestinians found refuge not far from the North Pole, in Iceland! Shame, and great shame, on all Arabs and Muslims for such cowardice and indifference.

Thank you Iceland; thank you Chile; thank you Brazil; thank you Norway!

For you Arabs and Muslims: Hang your heads in shame and keep protesting those damn Danish cartoons!

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: al Qaeda and the jihad's tribal connections

Pakistani analyst Khawar Mehdi: The jihad's ideology and leaders Part 3 of 5

"In the third part of this series, Pakistani analyst Khawar Mehdi tells Pepe Escobar how al Qaeda after 9/11 reorganized and established itself in North Waziristan in the tribal areas. But it's not only Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the historical al Qaeda leadership that enjoys freedom of movement. There is also the Haqqani family, whose stalwart is fabled 1980s Afghan jihad commander Jalaluddin Haqqani; and another notorious old guard mujahid, Gulbuddiin Hekmatyar, very much favored by the Saudis during the 1980s and an avid practitioner of the politics of jihad. Hekmatyar fighters are even closing in on Peshawar, the capital of the Northwest Frontier Province, using the very popular rationale that "the Americans are now attacking us"."

Pogrom in Nablus

There is an unsaid understanding between the army and settlers

By Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Al-Ahram Weekly

"With ostensibly tacit consent from the Israeli occupation army, gangs of Jewish terrorists, otherwise known as settlers, have been assaulting unprotected Palestinian civilians and their property in many parts of the West Bank.

The most serious incident took place at the village of Asira Al-Qibliya south of Nablus this week when dozens of heavily armed settler terrorists rampaged through the peaceable Arab community, shooting randomly at terrified Palestinians and vandalising their homes and cars.

Fearing for their lives, the villagers had either to flee the village or barricade themselves in their homes as Israeli soldiers refused to make genuine efforts to stop the rampaging settlers. Footage of the incident, obtained from the Israeli human rights group, Btselem, showed Israeli soldiers present at the scene of the rampage, but virtually doing nothing to stop violence...... [View Btselem Video Here]

There are two good reasons not to take Olmert and Barak's denunciations seriously. First, the Israeli army itself is heavily infiltrated by Zionist elements, especially followers of their mentor Abraham Kook. Some Israeli sources have estimated that more than 50 per cent of commissioned army officers happen to be either settlers themselves or adherents of religious Zionism. Many Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank are themselves settlers, which explains the army's reluctance to deal more forcefully with settler violence against Palestinians.

Second, Israel today is undergoing a pre- election season and politicians think twice before upsetting and alienating the powerful religious Zionist camp. As Israeli Jews drift towards right-wing jingoism, this campaign of ethnic cleansing will continue unless strong outside pressure is brought to bear."

An end to the 'Anglosphere'?

Sarkozy's courting of Syria is just part of a wider strategy to fill the economic and political vacuum left by US wariness

Matthias S Klein, Thursday September 18

"....As Washington gives Damascus the "we will only talk to you once you have fulfilled all our demands" treatment, from his first day in office the French president has aimed to fill the gap. Sarkozy's goal, so it seems, is to expand France's regional role beyond its traditional sphere of influence, the Maghreb, regain a position in the Levant that it last held in the 1940s, and – this is a very new thing – even gain a foothold in the Gulf.....

During the recent visit to Syria, economic considerations again loomed large. French cement-maker Lafarge will become the biggest foreign investor, building two factories, Total will expand its oil business, and Airbus wants to sell planes.....

....It is the emergence of France as a major economic player which then translates into political influence. And this is happening as the US is discouraging its private sector from doing business in the region – either through direct bans or as a side-effect of its foreign policy. Sarkozy is capitalising on the American weakness and has quickly grasped the opportunity to make France into a great power in the Middle East again.....

The era of the Gulf as an "Anglosphere" may be coming to an end. Already Dubai's residents talk about hearing a lot of French spoken, something that simply never happened before. And soon it won't just be businesspeople – from next year onwards, France will station up to 500 soldiers in a permanent military base to be located in the Abu Dhabi emirate and in Qatar, right next to one of the biggest US military bases in the region."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

سوريا: هل أفطر النظام على "بصلة"!

"هذا إذا صام"
د. عادل سمارة

"إلى أين يتجه قطار النظام في سوريا، ما هي وجهته، ومن الذي يوجهه، مصلحة النخبة الحاكمة وخوفها على وجودها، مصلحة البرجوازية السورية عامة، ضغوطات داخلية، إغواء عربي وإغراء صهيوني، وتهديد أميركي...الخ اسئلة كثيرة كلها محيرة، ولكن اللافت أكثر حتى من الأسئلة هو:
1- التناول المحدود والحذر لما يقوم به النظام في سوريا،
2- عدم تناول الأمر من اصدقاء النظام السوري لأنهم حريصون على العلاقة، وعدم تناوله من قبل ناقدي وأعداء النظام السوري لأنهم يريدون له ان يكمل الغطس!
تفسيرات حسن النية
يؤكد مؤيدو النظام السوري ومن يتعاطفون معه أن كافة محادثاته مع الكيان الصهيوني ليست إلا إشغالا للوقت وكسباً له. وأن هذه المحادثات لن تذهب لما هو ابعد من اختبار النوايا، وأن سوريا تحت ضغط هائل لا يمكنها إلا أن تحاول تنفيس بعض جوانبه.
والحقيقة أن هؤلاء أنفسهم يسيرون على قاعدة "إلتمس لأخيك عذراً" وهي قاعدة لا تنفع للسياسة ومصائر الشعوب. فهم أنفسهم الذين غفروا للنظام السوري مشاركته في تدمير العراق عام 1991 بذريعة أن صدام حسين قدم لأميركا مبررات العدوان على بلاده، على اعتبار أنه اجتاح بلدا تعترف به الأمم المتحدة. هذا وكأن الولايات المتحدة سوف تعدم خلق مبررات لضرب العراق أو غير العراق.
لعل الأمر الأكثر خطورة ووبالاً، أن عدوان 1991، وجه ضربة قاصمة للقومية العربية حيث انخرطت جيوش عدة دول عربية في اذيال جيوش المركز الإمبريالي لتدمير بلد عربي آخر. وكان الدرس المقصود انه لا توجد هناك قومية عربية واحدة ولا أمة واحدة طالما دخلت جيوش الأنظمة العربية "مطهر" المشاركة في العدوان على قطر عربي. وهو دخول يشبه إلى حد بعيد دخول حركة حماس في "مطهر" أوسلو، واستمرار زعمها أنها ضد اوسلو بما هو اعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني. ليس هدفنا هنا هو وضع مسطرة يمشي عليها الآخرون كما الصراط المستقيم، ولكن القضايا الجوهرية والمصيرية عصيةً، لا يمكن إخضاعها للتفسيرات المتعددة. فيما يخص المبدأ هناك تفسير واحد.
ويصبح من نافل القول تذكير هؤلاء أو حتى إرشادهم إلى توفر معلومات ضافية عن قرارات الولايات المتحدة احتلال العراق قبيل 1991 بوقت طويل، وقبيل 2003 بوقت أطول. وهذا يجعل من قبيل السذاجة محاولة إقناع من قرر أن لا يقتنع. أما الحديث عن قرارات الأمم المتحدة، فمن لا يعرف أن هذه القرارات معلقة أوراقها في المراحيض العامة للصهيونية منذ ستة عقود. كما ان الدول التي خلقت الأمم المتحدة استعملت نفس المزاعم بشأن تأديب جورجيا على يد روسيا مع أن الأولى هي المعتدية.
أما وقد مضت على الاستعمار المباشر للوطن العربي قرابة قرنين من الزمن، فإن من لا زال يعتقد أن الاستعمار لا يُقدم على الغزو بدون مبررات يقدمها أهل الوطن، فهذا يعني ان حركة التحرر العربية في غيبوبة، وأنها أعجز عن حمل اسم المهمة المناطة بها. أما يسارها، فلم يفهم بعد ما هو النظام الراسمالي العالمي والذي تعتبر الحرب صناعته الأساس.
تفيد القراءة الطبقية للنظام السوري، الذي بدأ الانفتاح منذ أكثر من عقد من الزمان، وأفسح الطريق للقطاع الخاص كي يمارس الاستغلال، كما لم يقدم النظام اية مرونات للطبقات الشعبية بالمقابل، تفيد هذه المستويات أن النظام في سوريا ذاهب باتجاه مزيد من الخصخصة، وتصفية القطاع العام، وبالتالي تبني سياسات التبعية مقابل الإنتاج، وتفوق الجناح الكمبرادوري في الدولة على البرجوازية القومية الإنتاجية. وهذه إعادة متأخرة ثلاثة عقود على ما "بادرت" للغطس فيه البرجوازية المصرية التي أدى انفتاحها إلى تحول مصر إلى جئة كبرى في المنطقة، بغض النظر عن ثرثرات كثير من الساسة الرسميين بأن مصر كبرى دول المنطقة، "ولا يمكن تجاوزها في اية ترتيبات". والحقيقة، ان عدم التجاوز ناجم عن كون نظام مصر شريكاً في مختلف "طبخات" الخراب في الوطن العربي وخاصة التسوية مع الكيان الصهيوني الإشكنازي.
وبخصوص القراءة القطرية، فحتى وقت قصير، كان النظام السوري ربما الوحيد بين الأنظمة العربية الذي ما زال يردد بعض الشعارات القومية سواء بسبب إيديولوجيا حزب البعث، أو لأنه يعتبر فلسطين جنوب سوريا. لكن محاولة الدخول في مفاوضات مع الكيان الصهيوني، اية مفاوضات وبأي مستوى، ومباشرة أو عبر وسيط كلها تؤشر إلى أن النظام السوري قرر الإنطواء القطري وبالتالي أغمض العينين عن الحقيقة القومية.
لعل الشاهد الأبرز على هذا التوجه هو تحويل العلاقة بين سوريا ولبنان من علاقة البلد الواحد إلى علاقة الدولتين، وبالتالي تبادل السفراء. وقد تكون المفارقة أن هذا التبادل يتم بتوجيهات فرنسية. فالحكم الفرنسي الحالي، جاء رديفا للولايات المتحدة وبديلا لحكومة توني بليرفي الوطن العربي. ولا يغير في الدور الفرنسي وجود مصالح معينة لفرنسا لا تتطابق مع المصالح الأميركية، إنما في الاستراتيجية العامة في المنطقة تتلاقى مصالح النظامين. وعليه، فإن العلاقات الجديدة بين سوريا ولبنان هي متابعة لسايكس-بيكو، ولكن هذه المرة بإشراف بيكو بدون مارك سايكس! وفي حين كان الطرف العربي غائباً في سايكس-بيكو 1916، فإن الطرف العربي حاضر وراضٍ هذه المرة اي بعد قرن كامل من الزمن تقريباً. بعبارة أخرى، بعد قرن من لجوء الاستعمار للتآمر لتشكيل قطريات عربية، تأتي القطريات الآن لتكون القابلة "القانونية" للوليد القطري المسخ! ولتكاثر أميبي سيتلو لا محالة، ولكن إلى حين.
الغبش على قراءة المقاومة
لم يتضح بعد كيف ستتعامل سوريا مع المقاومة العراقية، ومن غير الواضح طبيعة علاقة سوريا بهذه المقاومة. وهل يتم التفاعل الشعبي السوري مع العراق رغم عساكر النظام أم عبر غض الطرف السوري عن الأمر. كما ليست واضحة حدود الضغط الفرنسي لصالح أميركا في هذا الشأن.
لكن ما هو واضح هو على الأقل الضربة المعنوية متجلية في تبادل السفراء بين سوريا وبين العراق المحتل، وهو أمر له آثاره النفسية على الأقل على مقاومة الشعب العربي في العراق.
لا يمكن عزل تبادل السفراء هذا عن التكويع للرضى الأميركي عبر "قِوادة" فرنسية. ولا يمكن رؤية هذا أو قرائته بعيداً عن المحادثات مع الكيان الصهيوني، بمعنى أن هناك ترتيبات موسعة في المنطقة، وأن هذه التحركات تصب في إغلاق فجواتها.
ولن تكون المقاومة في لبنان بعيدة عن هذه التطورات التي إذا ما استمرت، ولا يبدو غير ذلك، فإن المقاومة اللبنانية ستجد نفسها مطالبة بدفع حسابات هائلة، ستكون اصعب عليها من محاربة العدو. ربما يمر سلاح المقاومة، وخاصة حزب الله، بدرجات من الحصار، ستبدا بعدم ضرورته، ومن ثم منع حمله ولاحقا منع اقتنائه. وإذا كانت فرنسا قد جردت سوريا من موقفها القومي، فإن بوسع فرنسا تسليح أعداء المقاومة لاغتيال المقاومة.
ياتي الموقف الخطير من مختلف قوى المقاومة في لبنان وفي العراق وفلسطين ومكاتب المقاومة في سوريا في فترة تبذل الولايات المتحدة جهدا هائلا لاجتثاث مطلق رصاصة في المنطقة لا سيما يعد أن ثبت ان شأفة المقاومة لا تنكسر، وأن بوسع المقاومة تحقيق انتصارات، وهذا أمر يرعب الحكام العرب بنفس القدر الذي يخيف فيه العدو الصهيوني والأميركي. يجب تحطيم المقاومة قبل أن تتصل بمختلف الطبقات الشعبية في الوطن العربي فتكون الكارثة المحققة.
الإحراج الروسي
توقع البعض أن يؤدي الموقف الروسي من العدوان الجورجي إلى رفع سقف بعض الأنظمة العربية. وقد اندرجت زيارة الرئيس السوري إلى موسكو في هذا السياق التفاؤلي. ولكن مسار النظام السوري اتسم بدور مزدوج يبدو أكبر من حجم قوة اقليمية صغيرة. فقد واصل النظام السوري علاقته بفرنسا، والتقاطع مع الوساطة التركية إلى درجة التوضيح بأن توقف المحادثات غير المباشرة مع الكيان الصهيوني جاء بناء على طلب الكيان نفسه، اي ليس بناء على التمنُّع السوري! هذا إلى جانب التواصل مع موسكو في الوقت الذي سخنت فيه العلاقات الباردة بين الغرب وروسيا، وهذا أمر يمكن لدولة ذات وزن ابعد من إقليمي أن تفرضه على علاقاتها الدولية. بكلمة أخرى، هذا موقف يليق بوطن عربي متحد ليكون حاملاً مناسباً له.
حتى الآن، ليس من الواضح أن الأنظمة العربية سوف تستغل الوثبة الروسية. فالتاريخ لا يكرر نفسه هنا. بل لا شيىء يتكرر لأن كل شيىء يتحول. وربما بالعكس، فما نخشاه أن تصطف الأنظمة العربية، باموالها تحديداً إلى جانب سيدها الإمبريالي الخطر على الإنسانية بوضوح ووقاحة.
على المدى القريب جداً وحتى اليومي، يبدو أن التطورات السياسية للنظام السوري تصب في تقديم خدمات للمحافظية الجديدة في اميركا لتُكسبها أصواتاً جديدة. فقد يعتقد بعض العرب والمسلمين الأميركيين، أن سوريا التي تبدو وكأنها تلعب سياسة النِدْ، ستؤثر على الحكم الأميركي المقبل، وبالتالي يبادر هؤلاء للتصويت للجمهوريين.
إن الإسلام السياسي التركي، بما هو إسلام "متأورب" حيث واصل الإسلاميون تقديم "استرحام" القبول في الحضن الأوروبي، فإن تركيا لا بد ستستغل دورها في توريط سوريا في تسوية تشطب القضية الفلسطينية، سوف تستغل ذلك لتحسين صورتها لدى الغرب الراسمالي، وبالتالي يُعيد الإسلاميون لتركيا، في عصر ما بعد السوفييت، دوراً جديداً في حقبة العولمة وعصر روسيا. وإذا كانت سوريا على علاقة قوية بإيران منذ أن تنازعت مع العراق قبل 28 عاماً، فها هي تنفتح على النظام العميل في العراق، وربما تستبدل الفراش الشيعي بفراش سني، أو تلوح بواحدهما للآخر!
بقي أن نختم بحكمة التبعية الاقتصادية، بمعنى أن الدول الصغيرة لا بد تكون تابعة سواء كانت راسمالية أو إشتراكية،وعليه، فليس أمام القطريات العربية التي هي صغيرة الحجم والشأن، إلا أن تكون تابعة طالما هي قطرية من جهة ومتخارجة من جهة ثانية.
ماذا قالت سوريا لمن نقدها من العرب:
كتبت صحيفة "الثورة:
" حملت سوريا صليب العرب دون ان يتوانى أشقاء عرب عن صلبنا مرات ومرات... لكن...اعذرونا قليلا،... في ان نسعى لطريق يوصلنا الى حقنا وتحرير وطننا،... لا سيما بعد ان أخرجت ألسنة عربية طويلة لنا ، ولم ينكر الشامتون شماتتهم إذ هم ربحوا بالنكوص بالعهد".
وهل يحق للحرة أن تعيش بنهديها إذا قامت جارتها بذلك؟ وهل حان رمي صليب العرب، لا سيما والعرب جميعاً ما زالوا مصلوبين؟ ثم من هم العرب الذين تتحدث عنهم الثورة؟ أليسوا عرب أميركا؟ أليسوا الكمبرادور؟ هل يمثلون الشعب وهل يحترمهم الشعب؟ بالطبع لا، بل إن هذه الأنظمة تُلحق بكل مواطن عربي اينما ذهب عار مجرد بقائها. وهل التفاوض على الجولان هو تحرير؟ أم أن سوريا تطبَّعت على افتراءات ومزاعم كامب ديفيد وأوسلو. فكثيرا ما ردد أهل التسوية ان إعادة الإنتشار الصهيوني من سيناء هو تحرير ومن مدن الضفة الغربية هو تحرير؟ سوريا تعرف الصحيح!
وأشارت "الثورة" إلى ما أسمته "غدر كامب ديفيد" الذي عقدت فيه مصر معاهدة سلام مع إسرائيل ، واتفاقية اوسلو بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين".
ولكن، إذا كان كامب ديفيد غدراً، وهو غدر من الطراز القاتل، فهل يبرر هذا غدراً بالمقابل؟ وإذا كان غدر كامب ديفيد بسوريا، فهل يغدر النظام السوري فلسطين؟
واضافت الثورة: " ان دمشق لا تتدخل في شئون اي من الدول العربية فيما يتدخل العرب في شئونها، وزادت: ببساطة يطلب زعيم ينطق بالحقد والكراهية ولا يخفيهما ، بفتح جبهة الجولان (وهو سيساعدنا) وببساطة أخرى تتجرأ الأقلام لتصف حركتنا اتجاه السلام ...تجاه العلاقات مع دول اخرى .. تجاه العالم.. وكما تريد. ألم ندفع دما لحماية لبنان وتحرير جنوبه، ...فكان سعير العداء الذي لا يتوقف ، والذي يقرأ كما يشاء ويرانا اصل البلاء"(القدس 8-8-2008 ).
بالمفهوم القومي والثوري يجب على كل قطر قومي التوجه أن يتدخل في القطريات الأخريات، لأن القطرية غير شرعية بالطبيعة وبالضرورة وبحكم وجوب توفير مستقبل اشرف. وهذا الشعار يذكرنا بقرار منظمة التحرير عدم التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية للأنظمة العربية، وهو "العدم" الذي كان الهدف منه ان تتحول هذه المنظمة إلى قطرية عربية، وها هي قد تحولت! وليتها لم تتحول. لنا أن نتذكر هنا مزايدات اليسار على اليمين في بدايات سبعينات القرن الماضي. لكن اليسار اصطف مؤدباً إلى جانب اليمين ولم يتدخل حتى في مزظمة التحرير الفلسطينية نفسها، واصبح يَنعت من ينقد المنظمة بأنه "برجوازي صغير" "قصير النفس" تروتسكاوي" "ثقافوي" ...الخ. وها هي سوريا تنقل "الصنعة". هل تسير سوريا حقا في حركة باتجاه السلام؟ من قال أن راسمالية المركز تؤمن بأي سلام؟ هل يُعقل هذا الحديث في الفترة التي ترمي فيها الولايات المتحدة بجيوشها في ستين دولة، وهذا فقط المعروف . وهل يمكن للكيان الصهيوني الإشكنازي أن يعيش في المنطقة بسلام وفي سلام؟
ليس شرطاً أن تفتح سوريا جبهة الجولان، وحتى لو لم تساعد في تحرير جنوب لبنان، لربما كان هناك عذراً. ولكن، ألا أقل من عدم الاعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني؟ هل اصبح هذا ثمناً يعجز عنه الجميع؟ إذا ظل الحال على هذا المنوال، فإن الكيان سوف يفتح مخافر في كل الوطن العربي بحيث يقوم كل فرد بكتابة نص اعترافه بالكيان الصهيوني، من الذي يبصم إلا الذي بمستوى كتابة "وثيقة الاستقلال الفلسطينية".
قد تكون سوريا آخر برجوازية قومية التوجه التي تسقط ورقة التوت، فلتسقط طالما هي ورقة توت، لأن البشرية تجاوزت العُري الطبيعي يوم الخلق الأول.
ملاحظة1: هل يمكن لجماعة إعلان دمشق أن تقول لنا لماذا قررت تحسين علاقتها مع النظام هذه الأيام!
ملاحظة 2: عزيزتي القارئة وعزيزي القارىء، التالي سؤال استفزازي ولا يخلو من درجة من "القِحة": لو كان كاتب هذه السطور من الذين يعيشون على فائض القيمة والريع النفطي، هل كان سيكتب أو حتى يؤذِّن في الجرَّة؟ هل يفسر هذا سكوت جيوش من المثقفين العرب عن ما يقوم به النظام السوري تجاه القضية القومية، ناهيك عن الوضع الداخلي؟


Please Sign The Petition: The International Call to Stop The Gaza Siege Now

I Join In Full Support of Ending the Siege of Gaza that is a genuine call to rescue the people of Gaza from the dramatically deteriorating living conditions resulting from the siege of Israel. I want pressure put on Israel by my Government and Other Governments throughout the world to Stop It Now!

We Join End the Siege (The Palestinian International Campaign to End The Siege on Gaza). And also we join to collect a million messages and signatures (and more) that call for Ending The Siege in Gaza.

We call on Window into Palestine a website to make available our petition and results at a convenient time in a good manner.

We urge everyone into mobilizing individuals and organizations from all around the world, especially from the USA, Europe and Israel, to support the campaign through distributing documents and materials about the devastating impact of the siege and by letting everyone know about Stop The Siege Campaign.

In ending we call upon the international community to utilize all methods available, to stop the collective illegal punishment imposed on the people of Gaza who have done nothing to deserve what is happening to them by Israel.


The Undersigned

Click Here to Sign Petition


Tutu: 2006 Israeli attack on Beit Hanoun possible war crime

"The South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu told the United Nations this week that he believes that a 2006 Israeli attack on the southern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun “showed a disproportionate and reckless disregard for Palestinian civilian life”, and could possibly be considered a war crime.

Tutu was part of an investigatory commission created by the United Nations (UN) shortly after the incident to travel to Gaza and conduct an investigation. But Israel refused to issue the renowned Archbishop and anti-apartheid activist a visa, and the investigation was unable to go forward. Tutu finally was allowed to enter Beit Hanoun this May, 18 months after the incident, and did not manage to conduct an investigation.

In the 2006 attacks, 19 Palestinian civilians, including children, were killed in a barrage of Israeli artillery shells. Said Tutu this week, "It is not too late for an independent, impartial and transparent investigation of the shelling to be held”........ "

Video: Tariq Ali: The Tangled U.S.-Pakistani relationship on the edge of war

Any Stock Tips?

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

By Cam Cardow, The Ottawa Citizen

What is Terrorism?

By Vittorio Arrigoni
The Free Gaza Movement

".....Few days ago

9/11 victims were sadly commemorated remembering a day of mourning for whole humanity, not only for New York citizens or for Chileans looking back on thousands of people dead and disappeared after Pinochet golpe.

But I'm wondering how many 9/11's are taking place every day around the world and every day here in Gaza where 1,5 millions of innocent people are dying slowly, cut off into the bigger open prison ever built in the world.

In the video, which I'm kindly asking you to spread as I did with the former one, we can see a tangible example of terrorism showing every day off the Gazan coasts.

A clear and definitive terrorism which doesn't admit objections or uncertainties about its definition, a 'made in Israel' terrorism.

Fishermen that we are often taking offshore, where the sea is more generous for fishing, few days ago paid a high price.

On Monday 10th of September, at about 5 pm, at a distance of 6 miles from the gazan coasts, in palestinian waters, an Israeli military gunboat deliberately rushed at high speed against one of our fishing boats, that day without internationals on board.

The impact was devastating for the fragile palestinian fishing boat (as it's shown in the video), the israeli military gun boat ran into one side of the fishing boat, literally passing over it and then going on over and sailing on the opposite side.

On the prow marks left on the wood from the Israeli engine turbines are perfectly visible.

Luckily the boat was fishing at that time and it was, therefore, steady and well-judged in water, otherwise it would have tipped over with all the crew which would have certainly died......."

Israeli airline Arkia flew Jordanian peacekeepers to hurricane-ravaged Haiti

"The Israeli airline Arkia secretly flew Jordanian soldiers to the hurricane-ravaged island of Haiti last week in a specially chartered flight for the United Nations, Haaretz has learned.

Word of the flight was kept confidential due to the political and security sensitivity of the matter. Jordanian soldiers participate in UN peacekeeping and observer missions in Haiti......"

Bring on.....The Clown and Buffoon

Palestinian Authority welcomes Livni victory in Kadima primary

"A top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the Kadima primary election of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Thursday.

"Livni was deeply involved in the peace process so we think she will continue peace-seeking with us," senior Abbas aide Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah......"

Why Obama Is Wrong

By William S. Lind

"....But if Obama is right on Iraq, he is wrong on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. His prescriptions for each are so close to the policies of the Bush administration that if McCain is McBush, Obama appears to be O'Bush. It seems many voters' desire to climb up out of the Bush league altogether is doomed to frustration......

Here we see the central reality of American politics shining through the smoke and mirrors. America has a one-party system. That party is the Establishment Party, and its internal disagreements are minor. Both McCain and Obama are Establishment Party candidates. They agree America must be a world-controlling empire. Both men are Wilsonians, believing we must re-make other countries and cultures in our own image. Neither man conceives any real limits, political, financial, military or moral, on American power. McCain and Obama vie only in determining which can drink more deeply from the poisoned well of hubris, around which, unremarked, lie the bones of every previous world power.

Such is the "choice" the American people get in November."

Vested Interests Drove New Pakistan Policy

by Gareth Porter

"The George W. Bush administration's decision to launch commando raids and step up missiles strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda figures in the tribal areas of Pakistan followed what appears to have been the most contentious policy process over the use of force in Bush's eight-year presidency.

That decision has stirred such strong opposition from the Pakistani military and government that it is now being revisited. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Pakistan Tuesday for the second time in three weeks, and US officials and sources just told Reuters that any future raids would be approved on a mission-by-mission basis by a top US administration official.....

The Bush decision ignored the disconnect between the aims of the new war and the realities on the ground in Pakistan. Commando raids and missile strikes against mid-level or low-level Taliban or al-Qaeda operatives, carried out in a sea of angry Pashtuns, will not stem the flow of fighters from Pakistan into Afghanistan or weaken al-Qaeda. But they will certainly provoke reactions from the tribal population that can tilt the affected areas even further toward the Islamic radicals......"

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: The revamped war on terror exposed

How Pakistan reacts against US Special Forces in the tribal areas

Part 1:

"This is the first part of a series on the new face of the "war on terror" in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region. This follows the latest US Special Forces operations inside Pakistan in the last few days. Journalist and analyst Khawar Mehdi tells Pepe Escobar about the main political players involved; the strain the new US strategy puts over the Pakistani military and government; the ways Pakistani public opinion and tribal area Pashtuns are angrily reacting to it; and the consequences of renewed anti-US sentiment spreading to most sectors of Pakistani society."

Part 2:

Who's in US line of fire in Pak tribal areas
The revamped war on terror: who's who in Pakistan's tribal areas

"In the second part of this series, Pakistan analyst Khawar Mehdi explains to Pepe Escobar how US forces crossed from Afghanistan to Pakistan in hot pursuit, in their raid on the tribal areas on September 2. Mehdi identifies the key tribal leaders the US is after, from fabled mujahideen Jalaluddin Haqqani, a veteran of the jihad in the 1980s, to Baitullah Mahsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, the top Taliban group in the Pakistani tribal areas. The aims and strategies of different groups are also discussed. Included is rare, recent footage shot in North and South Waziristan."

The New Age of Enlightenment Emanating From.....Saudi Arabia!

Taking the Mickey
A Saudi cleric has condemned Disney's lovable cartoon mouse. What could the big-eared rodent possibly have done to offend?

Ariane Sherine, Wednesday September 17 2008

"We've had blasphemous teddy bears and sacrilegious frogs, but this week a new religious animal quivered in the spotlight, as a Saudi cleric insisted that all mice should be killedincluding Mickey Mouse. Sheikh Muhammad Munajid was seemingly unmoved by having the same initials as the cartoon character, and announced that under sharia law "the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature", before insisting that even its cartoon variants should die, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "taking the Mickey"......"

The political class can't face up to the scale of this crisis

Financial meltdown spells the end of the free market model. It is a gift for any leader prepared to advance a new agenda

Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Thursday September 18 2008

"The scale of the crisis engulfing the global financial system can no longer be in doubt. The events of the past few days have confirmed that we are living through the greatest meltdown since the Wall Street crash of 1929. For the second time in barely a week, an avowedly free market government in the citadel of laissez-faire capitalism has been forced to nationalise a linchpin of American finance - this time the world's biggest insurance company, AIG - in an effort to prevent the toxin of collapse spreading further through the US economy.....

What is certain is that the dominance of the free-market model of capitalism, which has held sway across the world for more than two decades, is rapidly coming to an end. When its high priests in Washington are forced to carry out the largest nationalisations ever undertaken outside the communist world, while intervening on an unprecedented scale across markets that were supposed to be self-regulating in order to keep the system afloat, the neoliberal order is transparently falling apart....."

Don't Believe Any Story Until it is Officially Denied.....

Nazzal: No intention to move Hamas offices from Syria to Jordan

"DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Mohammed Nazzal, political bureau member of the Hamas Movement, told Quds Press that his Movement had no intention to move its offices from Syria back to Jordan in the light of the recent developments.

He said such press speculations were not true, adding that reports claiming presence of security problems in Syria were baseless.

Nazzal denied that Hamas had adopted any new security measures to protect its leaders, adding that the same security precautions were being adopted and had nothing to do with the escalation of Israeli threats against Hamas leaders.

In another question, he said that his Movement did not start steps to shift the mediation bid in the prisoners' swap deal from Egypt to another country, and added that Hamas had nothing do with the delay in this question."

"دمشق – المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام
نفى قيادي في المكتب السياسي لحركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" أن تكون سورية قد وجهت لهم أي تعليمات جديدة تتعلق بوجودهم أو بتحركاتهم، وأكد أنّ الاحتياطات الأمنية المشددة التي تتخذها قيادات "حماس" لم يطرأ عليها أي تغيير.
وأوضح عضو المكتب لسياسي لحركة "حماس"، محمد نزال، في تصريحات لـ "قدس برس"، أنّ وجود قيادات "حماس" في دمشق لم يطرأ عليه أي تغيير، وأنّ الأنباء التي تحدثت عن توجه لنقل مكتب "حماس" من دمشق والعودة بها إلى الأردن في سياق التطورات التي يعرفها ملف العلاقات السورية ـ الغربية وضمنها العلاقات السورية ـ الصهيونية غير صحيحة. وقال نزال "كل ما يُثار عن أي أجواء أمنية تتعلق بوجود "حماس" في سورية لا أساس له من الصحة في شيء، وهو من قبيل الإشاعات، وإثارة الأجواء السلبية، ونحن لم نتلق أي شيء من هذا القبيل".
ونفى القيادي الفلسطيني أن تكون "حماس" قد عمدت إلى اتخاذ إجراءات أمنية جديدة لحماية قادتها، وقال "ليس هناك أي جديد في مسألة الوضع الأمني، فالإجراءات الأمنية المتبعة في حماية قادة "حماس" مستمرة، ولا علاقة لها بتصاعد التهديدات الإسرائيلية لقادة "حماس" وإنما هي إجراءات احترازية كانت ولا تزال قائمة".


And so it continues: 26 years after the massacre

A Very Good Comment

By Laurie King, The Electronic Intifada, 17 September 2008

"....It has been more than a quarter of a century since more than 1,000 unarmed men, women, and children were raped, maimed and slaughtered. The massacre occurred at the dividing point of the 1975-1990 Lebanese war. Some might say that the killings were the marker or the catalyst of the war's horrible turning point. Before the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and siege of Beirut in the summer of 1982, the Lebanese civil war had taken many lives and introduced new images and phrases into the Arabic and English languages. The Lebanese war involved many players and funders, not all of them local. But with the entry of the Israeli army and air force, Lebanon witnessed more death and destruction in three months than it had suffered during the previous seven years. Sabra and Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut, marked the site of the Israeli-Palestinian and the internal Lebanese conflicts' intersection. The front lines of these conflicts slashed through the refugee camps for three dark days and three eerily bright nights illuminated by flares that the surrounding Israeli army fired over the camps to assist their Lebanese client militia, the Phalange, in their gruesome tasks......

In her landmark book, On the Origins of Totalitarianism, the German philosopher Hannah Arendt pithily summed up why law is so important: "All that is necessary to achieve total domination is to kill the juridical in Man." The history of the Palestinian people offers a textbook study in the dangers of massacring law and justice. And not only Palestinians are affected. The denial of justice is a denial of humanity, a form of soul murder. There are worse things than dying. Ask anyone in Gaza, where the entire population is daily subjected to genocide on the installment plan.

These atrocities can be and are being committed, because the Sabra and Shatila massacre (among other crimes) was committed, and international justice, or at least the hope of it, was undone. Consequently, it is no exaggeration to say that the Sabra and Shatila massacre did not end 26 years ago today. It's still going on, and all of us are accountable."

Because The Pharaoh Has No Balls: Forgotten at the Gaza-Egypt border

Eva Bartlett writing from al-Arish, Egypt, Live from Palestine, 17 September 2008
(Eva Bartlett is a Canadian human rights advocate and freelancer who spent eight months in 2007 living in West Bank communities and four months in Cairo and at the Rafah crossing)

""His father died this morning," a hotel guest explained, gesturing to Raed, slumped and silent in his chair, face long.

It was Wednesday, 20 August in Sinai's al-Arish, a town about 50 kilometers west of the Gaza-Egypt border....

Silenced and out of the international spotlight, the Palestinians waiting in al-Arish said that their plight at the closed crossing is either ignored or politicized. Many were running out of money, while others had completely run out, having waited for the opening of Rafah for weeks without earning an income. Approximately 200 of the Palestinians who waited to re-enter Gaza were in dire financial circumstances, many borrowing money, others begging, some sleeping in the streets....

Meanwhile, Sameh, the university student, spoke of separation, not only between Palestinians in and outside of Gaza, but of Gaza from the West Bank. Referring to the 19 June ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian armed resistance in Gaza, Sameh said: "By enforcing the truce only in Gaza, Israel is trying to enforce the idea of separating Gaza from the West Bank, as two separate states. But West Bank Palestinians are just like us, and we can't ignore the oppression they in the West Bank face under occupation."

On 30 August, just before Ramadan began, Egypt finally opened the Rafah crossing for two days, allowing in most of the Palestinians waiting in al-Arish at the time and letting hundreds of Palestinians and Egyptians inside Gaza exit to Egypt. However, this was a one-time measure and not a change in policy. With the Rafah crossing tightly re-sealed, the siege still firmly in place. The thousands of patients still needing medical care outside of Gaza, hundreds of students still cut off from their schools abroad, and the countless separated families continue to call for the border to open and remain open."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Killing of Count Folke Bernadotte

60 Years Later


"....This year September 17th is the 60th anniversary of the anniversary of the assassination of Swedish Count Folk Bernadotte. He was the Vice-President of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II.....

Wikipedia states: “Following the 1947 UN Partition Plan, on 20 May 1948, Folke Bernadotte was appointed the United Nations' mediator in Palestine, the first official mediator in the UN's history. In this capacity, he succeeded in achieving a truce in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and laid the groundwork for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.”....

Enter the Stern Gang (or the Fighters for Freedom of Israel as they called themselves). They were one group of what were called “Revisionist” Zionists. They were opposed to the Ben-Gurion Labour Party types. They were so fanatical in their demand for a Jewish state (from the Nile to the Euphrates) that in the 1940’s they came up with a novel idea about foes of the Jews. Hitler was a “persecutor” of Jews, but the “enemy” of Jews was the power that occupied Palestine, the British. There would always be persecutors until Jews vanquished “the enemy” and took over their rightful turf. So logically the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel had to ally itself against the British and with Hitler!

Unfortunately I’m not making this up......"

Christian Fascism by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Bolivia: Fascism Seizes Power - Morales Complains

By James Petras

"Bolivian fascists have seized power in five of the richest states in Bolivia, forcefully ousting all national officials, murdering, injuring and assaulting leaders, activists and voters who have backed the national government – with total impunity.....


The state of siege and the expulsion of the US Ambassador can be seen as much-delayed positive moves to reassert Bolivian sovereignty and to defend the constitutional order. But what next?

The neo-fascists have seized regional governmental power. They still control 80% of Bolivia’s key economic resources. The majority of the population who live under rightist rule are without the protection of the central government. Only a few of the oil and natural gas pipelines have been temporarily secured by federal troops. Morales has relied on the military to defend his regime, sidelining, marginalizing and demobilizing the emerging popular mass self-defense movements. The reliability of the Bolivian Army is not guaranteed. By becoming key to the defense of the Morales regime against the neo-fascist right, the armed forces can assume broader powers, as arbiters of the future of the country. Morales is relatively safe, holed up in the Andes; but his followers in the 5 departments in the east continue to face the repressive rule of neo-fascists and their organized vigilante gangs. Equally important, Morales, faced with violent resistance from the far right, shows every intention of making new concessions on revenue and power sharing with the ruling elite. He is open to making even greater concessions to the one hundred big landowners, media moguls, bankers and agro-exporters who are pushing for secession....."

Russia is determined to bring NATO’s Expansion Eastward to a Halt

The ghost of Stalingrad

By Eric Walberg
Global Research, September 16, 2008
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....If the Russians hold firm, and it is worth remembering their spectacular defeat of the Nazis at Stalingrad in this regard, this crisis will defuse with or without fireworks, US hawks will find their feathers clipped, and the world will adjust to a “post-America” multilateral sanity.

The tide has already turned. The latter-day Dr Strangelove was pointedly ignored on his cheerleading tour of countries supposedly threatened by Russia, except by his pal Saakashvili, and the European Union disregarded the US veepee’s bluster, hammering out an agreement with Russia to replace Russian troops with EU observers in undisputed Georgian territory by 1 October.

The bottom line here is a very mundane one: the EU is Russia’s neighbour and dependent on it for gas, whether her politicians like it or not. It is one thing for the US to wage wars far from its shores, as it is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, or to play war games in other people’s backyards, as it is doing in Poland and Georgia, but it is quite another thing to expect a war-weary Europe to sign up and prepare to freeze in the dark. "

Bull Market by Daryl Cagle

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)



GAZA STRIP (17 September 2008) - An Italian human rights worker with the Free Gaza Movement and International Solidarity Movement was injured today by the Israeli navy while monitoring human rights abuses against Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Vittorio Arrigoni was hit by flying glass when the Israeli navy used a high-power water cannon against the unarmed boats. The water canon smashed the glass surrounding the steering section of the boat, with shards lacerating Arrigoni's back. He was taken to hospital immediately upon
reaching shore, requiring stitches.

The Israeli navy has imposed severe restrictions on fishing in Gazan waters, regularly attacking any boats attempting to fish over 3 nautical miles. With international accompaniment, fishermen have been attempting to fish their own waters, outside of Israeli imposed limits.

40,000 people in Gaza make a living from the fishing industry, a community that has been decimated both by violent Israeli attacks on unarmed fishermen, as well as through the general blockade of fuel and other needed supplies. According to the Fishing Syndicate in Gaza, fishermen need 40,000 litres of fuel and 40,000 litres of natural gas each day to operate
throughout the high fishing season.

In the last year, over 70 fishermen have been arrested by Israeli forces for fishing in their own waters. At least 14 unarmed fishermen have been killed since 2000.

To view video of Israeli forces opening fire on unarmed fishing boats (1
Sept) see:

For More Information, please contact:

(Gaza) Vittorio Arrigoni, +972 59 882 6516 /
(Gaza) Donna Wallach, +972 59 883 6420 /"

BOOKS-IRAQ: "We Blew Her to Pieces"

By Dahr Jamail

"MARFA, Texas, Sep 16 (IPS) - Aside from the Iraqi people, nobody knows what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq better than the soldiers themselves. A new book gives readers vivid and detailed accounts of the devastation the U.S. occupation has brought to Iraq, in the soldiers' own words.

"Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation," published by Haymarket Books Tuesday, is a gut-wrenching, historic chronicle of what the U.S. military has done to Iraq, as well as its own soldiers......"

Has the US Invasion of Pakistan Begun?

by Tariq Ali and Tom Engelhardt

The American War Moves to Pakistan

Bush's war widens dangerously
by Tariq Ali

.....Its effects on Pakistan could be catastrophic, creating a severe crisis within the army and in the country at large. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are opposed to the U.S. presence in the region, viewing it as the most serious threat to peace.

Why, then, has the U.S. decided to destabilize a crucial ally? Within Pakistan, some analysts argue that this is a carefully coordinated move to weaken the Pakistani state yet further by creating a crisis that extends way beyond the badlands on the frontier with Afghanistan. Its ultimate aim, they claim, would be the extraction of the Pakistani military's nuclear fangs. If this were the case, it would imply that Washington was indeed determined to break up the Pakistani state, since the country would very simply not survive a disaster on that scale.

In my view, however, the expansion of the war relates far more to the Bush administration's disastrous occupation in Afghanistan. It is hardly a secret that the regime of President Hamid Karzai is becoming more isolated with each passing day, as Taliban guerrillas move ever closer to Kabul.

When in doubt, escalate the war is an old imperial motto.....

The key in Pakistan, as always, is the army. If the already heightened U.S. raids inside the country continue to escalate, the much-vaunted unity of the military High Command might come under real strain. At a meeting of corps commanders in Rawalpindi on Sept. 12, Pakistani Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani received unanimous support for his relatively mild public denunciation of the recent U.S. strikes inside Pakistan in which he said the country's borders and sovereignty would be defended "at all cost."

Saying, however, that the Army will safeguard the country's sovereignty is different from doing so in practice. This is the heart of the contradiction. Perhaps the attacks will cease on Nov. 4. Perhaps pigs (with or without lipstick) will fly. What is really required in the region is an American/NATO exit strategy from Afghanistan, which should entail a regional solution involving Pakistan, Iran, India, and Russia. These four states could guarantee a national government and massive social reconstruction in that country. No matter what, NATO and the Americans have failed abysmally. "

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you believe the official American story of the events of 9/11?

With over 8,000 responding, 92% said no.

تفاقم الصراعات الفلسطينية: قريع يهاجم حكومة فياض ويرفض مرافقة عباس للقاء اولمرت

تفاقم الصراعات الفلسطينية: قريع يهاجم حكومة فياض ويرفض مرافقة عباس للقاء اولمرت

"رام الله- 'القدس العربي' من وليد عوض:
تشهد الساحة السياسية الفلسطينية منذ فترة صراعات داخلية تفاقمت خلال الايام الماضية وانفجرت مساء الليلة قبل الماضية عندما هاجم رئيس طاقم المفاوضات الفلسطيني احمد قريع مفوض عام حركة فتح حكومة تسيير الاعمال الفلسطينية برئاسة الدكتور سلام فياض، وحذر من ان هناك من يسعى لاختطاف منظمة التحرير.
واعتكف قريع امس في مكتبه ببلدة ابوديس شرق القدس ورفض الرد على اتصالات عدد من المسؤولين الفلسطينيين، في حين اصر على عدم مرافقة الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس للقاء رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي ايهود اولمرت الليلة الماضية في القدس كون لقاءات الاخير في ظل فشل المفاوضات تضر بصورة حركة فتح امام ابناء الشعب الفلسطيني.
وكان قريع طالب عباس بوقف لقاءاته مع اولمرت خصوصا وانه مغادر الحلبة السياسية الاسرائيلية عقب اجراء انتخابات على خلافته في زعامة حزب كاديما الاسرائيلي الذي يقود الحكومة الاسرائيلية.
وحسب مصادر مقربة من قريع الذي وجه انتقادات لعباس لعقده لقاء الليلة الماضية مع اولمرت فان الصراع داخل القيادة الفلسطينية يتمحور حول استمرار المفــــاوضات مع اســـرائيل والضرر الذي تحلقه لقاءات عباس اولمرت 'الفاشلة' بصورة حركة فتح في صفوف الشعب الفلســــطيني، وسعي جهات فلسطيـــنية واعضـــاء فــــي اللجنة التنفيذية لمنـــظمة التحرير خطف المنظمــــة لصالح اجندة ســياســية بعــيدة عن 'فــــتح' اضــــافــة الى الخـــلاف حول حكومة تسيير الاعمال الفلسطينية برئاسة الدكتور سلام فياض واستهدافها لكوادر الحركة في مؤسسات ووزارات السلطة

Syria appoints ambassador to Iraq

"Syria has appointed Nawaf al-Fares as its ambassador to Iraq, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Damascus reported.

Al-Fares, who was sworn in by Bashar al-Assad, Syria's president, on Tuesday, was the governor of Syria's southwestern province of Quneitra.

He is the first Syrian diplomat to fill the post since the 1980s......

Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have all named ambassadors to Iraq in the past month.

But because of security concerns, the only Arab ambassador actually posted in Baghdad is the Emirati."

COMMENT by Zarathustra: The filthy Syrian regime which has not had diplomatic relations with Iraq since 1980 , Sided with Iran during the war , Supported the US in "Liberating" Kuwait, helped the Americans by closing the border to the resistance... Now has the Chuztpah to open an embassy in Iraq further legitimizing the illegal government under occupation. Shame on them and their supporters.

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinians despondent as Israeli polls near - 16 Sep 08

"....The Palestinians main fear is that whoever wins will maintain the status quo: a military occupation consisting of checkpoints, walls, and settlement expansion.

Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh reports."

The two-state solution is nearly dead. But there's one last chance to save it

The arrival of a new Israeli leader must bode well for the peace process, right? Wrong, say veteran negotiators

Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian, Wednesday September 17 2008

".....If she now steps into the top job, that must bode well, bringing the long promised two-state solution within reach, right? Wrong. Conversations with those who have been involved on the diplomatic frontline for more than 15 years, those who have made the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel their life's work, suggest a new despair. With a heavy heart, they are concluding that the two-state solution is dead.

I sat down this week with Shlomo Ben-Ami, Israel's former foreign minister and lead negotiator at the failed peace talks at Camp David in 2000. He would prefer Livni to Mofaz, but he's past believing it will make any great difference. No longer does he think that the effort to reach an agreement with the Palestinians - a project which has endured, on and off, since the Oslo accords of 1993 - depends on having this or that person in charge. The serial failures are not "technical", but structural, built into the conflict.....

The result is deep gloom among the peacemakers. They search now for a "new paradigm". Could that be a single, binational state? "A nightmare," says Ben-Ami, a South Africa situation with no hope of a South Africa solution, given the presence of two national groups equal in number. More unilateral Israeli withdrawals are similarly doomed: after what followed the Israeli pullout from Gaza in 2005 - a Hamas takeover - there would be little support for a similar move in the West Bank.

Instead, there is renewed interest in an old, and once discredited, idea: the Jordanian option. Advocates say Israel would surely feel happier conceding the West Bank to a stable state such as Jordan, than it would to a volatile and split Palestinian movement. Of course, many Palestinians would regard it as a betrayal after decades struggling for independence. But, say the idea's backers, what is more important to Palestinians: a state, or an end to living under occupation?....."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Palestinians of Sabra-Shatila: 26 years after the Massacre - Part One

A Very Good Piece

By Franklin Lamb
The Peoples Voice

".....On September 16, 2008, at precisely 10:30 am, Fairouz Husseini and a gathering of survivors, relatives and friends of the Sabra-Shatila massacre victims, some foreign delegations, students, NGO representatives, a few government officials, dignitaries, and members of the Camp community will gather outside the Kuwaiti Embassy roundabout, on the edge of Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp in Beirut, Lebanon.

Their assembly point will be less than 100 yards from where on September 16, 1982, Ariel Sharon, Gen. Raphael Eitan, Gen. Amos Yalon and their henchmen, Lebanese Phalange Intelligence operatives Elie Hobeika and Fadi Frem, had encouraged, organized, monitored, supplied, assisted directed and finally, when the World learned of the carnage, after 43 hours of carnage, initially denied knowing anything about it.....

Once the word was out in Beirut bout that Hobeika was considering turning on Sharon, he was assassinated en route to his lawyers office on January 24, 2002, by a method very similar to that used against Hezbollah military commander Hajj Radwan (Imad Mughienh) last February....
"Entire families were slain. Groups consisting of 10-20 people were lined up against wall and sprayed with bullets. Mothers died while clutching their babies. All men appeared to be shot in the back. Five youths of fighting age were tied to a pickup truck and dragged through the street before being shot" (LA Times, Sept. 20, 1982)........


Arafat knew better, he later admitted to this observer, than to tell Janet Stevens that the Camp residents would be protected by American guarantees, a written copy of which he carried in his shirt pocket and an argument he used on others to reassure the Popular Committees in the Camps and well as some of his colleagues. "Janet would have beaten me more", Arafat later admitted, as he smiled, "but perhaps she was right".

Another doubter of the wisdom of the catastrophic evacuation that left Shatila and the other Camps unprotected, was the PLO's number two, Khalil al- Wazir, (Abu Jihad), Arafat's most trusted Deputy.

The model of discretion, Abu Jihad remained tight lipped before the International media during the period under review but he spoke frankly and with sadness with fighters who came to ask, within hours of sailing, what he thought they should do, for many were undecided. Janet, like many, urged them to stay. Abu Jihad told them:

"I can't tell anyone to stay or leave…Our people are here, our children, in Shatila, in our camps, our hospitals and our schools; but I say to the one who stays that the Lebanese state isn't about to come and build him a house and offer him a salary. The state may imprison him, just like all the Arab regimes, we have to face that fact."

Then Abu Jihad became angry, an emotion he did not often exhibit, "For myself, I don't want to leave you alone, I'd like to stay with you, but this is what's happened, and those are our circumstances" (Sabra Shatila 1982, Bayan Al Hout, Pluto Press 2004).

The Camp residents' protection gone, the Massacre followed within days and the steep slope into abject poverty and despair for today's Palestinians resulted."