Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Arab world and Israel's nuclear arsenal

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

"......Indeed, who would deter, let alone repulse Israel from embarking on the unthinkable? Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Or perhaps the hedonistic, illiterate and ignorant Sheikhs and Emirs and kings who think that erecting high buildings is the ultimate sign of progress and civilization?

The answer is clear. And unfortunately, only one country in the region, apart from the aggressor Israel, is serious about protecting its people from an external aggression of genocidal proportions.

This country ought to be lauded and praised for its dignified determination to be free, not castigated by impotent Arab states that continue to cede their respective sovereignty to the United States ."

UN Protects Israel from racism charges

Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 17 April 2009

"BETHLEHEM, occupied West Bank (IPS) - As the wreckage from Israel's recent siege on Gaza continues to smolder, international civil society organizations are assembling this week in Switzerland to address Israel's crimes of military occupation and racism.

But any discussion on Israel's actions in Palestine will be excluded from the formal framework at the Durban Anti-Racism Review Conference in Geneva Monday. Israel-Palestine has been deliberately eliminated from the official program, structured by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR). Civil society groups believe that the United States, countries within the European Union and Israel pressured the UN to omit a review of Israel's racial discrimination against Palestinians......"

Scenario for 2009 Israeli Strike on Iran

by Gordon Prather, April 18, 2009

".....So, what principal message did Cordesman send?

“Iran should be engaged directly by the U.S. with an agenda open to all areas of military and non-military issues that both are in agreement or disagreement.”

And what message did DEBKAfile and the Likudniks receive?

That if Hillary’s “diplomacy” fails - as it will - to “halt” Iran’s IAEA Safeguarded “nuclear activities” Israel will be left “with no option” but to attack and destroy them before the year is out!"

صبراً يا قوم 'حزب الله'

صبراً يا قوم 'حزب الله'

رأي القدس

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

الحرب موجودة ومستعرة فعلاً، ولكن على الورق، وعبر الحناجر، ومن جانب واحد، أي الجانب المصري فقط. فالصحف ووسائل الاعلام المصرية المتلفزة تزدحم بالتهجمات والمقالات البذيئة التي تستهدف 'حزب الله' وايران من خلفه، بينما يلتزم اعلام 'حزب الله' الصمت المطبق، ولا يعير هذه الحملة أي اهتمام.
سبب هذا الهدوء من قبل حزب الله وقيادته، والامتناع عن الرد على 'البذاءات' الاعلامية المصرية، يعود الى حكمة سياسية يتمتع بها المسؤولون في الحزب، وغالباً ما تعطي ثمارها بشكل ايجابي في نهاية المطاف. فالقارئ العربي يزداد تعاطفاً مع الحزب وقيادته كلما اطلع على المستوى الهابط للهجمات عليه في الصحافة المصرية، لأن معظم هذه الأقلام غير مقتنعة بما تكتب، ولهذا يصعب عليها اقناع الآخرين.
فهل يعقل ان تشن كل هذه الحملات الاعلامية بسبب شخص واحد ألقي القبض عليه، وهو يحاول مساعدة اشقائه المحاصرين المجوعين في قطاع غزة، بعد ان شارك النظام المصري في تشديد الحصار عليهم، وتواطأ مع العدوان الاسرائيلي ضدهم على امل ان يؤدي العدوان الى القضاء على حركة 'حماس' وظاهرة المقاومة في القطاع؟
لا نعتقد ان شخصاً واحداً، او خلية واحدة، يمكن ان تهز الأمن القومي او السيادة المصرية، ولكن ما نعتقده ان النظام المصري الذي يواجه ازمات داخلية متفاقمة بسبب الفساد ونهب المال العام وتدهور مستويات المعيشة وارتفاع معدلات البطالة، وجد في 'خطأ' حزب الله غير المقصود فرصة لايجاد 'عدو' خارجي يستخدمه ككبش فداء لالهاء الشعب المصري عن هذه الأزمات.
حزب الله يجب ان لا يشجع هذه الوساطات، ناهيك عن قبوله بها، لأنها تعني اعترافه بارتكاب 'خطأ ما' بانحيازه الى المقاومة، وانخراطه في عمليات دعمها. والنظام المصري هو الذي اخطأ عندما بالغ بهذه الحادثة، ووظفها بشكل مخجل يخدم اسرائيل اكثر مما يخدم الأمن القومي المصري الذي اصبح مثل قميص عثمان يستخدم كذريعة لخنق مليون ونصف مليون فلسطيني في قطاع غزة، ولتحريض الاشقاء المصريين ضد اخوانهم العرب والمسلمين.
فلتستمر الحملة الاعلامية ضد 'حزب الله'، ولتتصاعد اكثر فأكثر، ليستنفد اصحابها كل ما في جعبتهم وقاموسهم من الفاظ بذيئة، حتى يفقد هذا السلاح القديم الصدئ مفعوله دفعة واحدة. ففي ذلك خير لمصر قبل ان يكون خيراً للعرب الذين طالما استخدم هذا السلاح ضدهم.

The wars come and go but the enemy remains the same

Note how the Taliban has now become conflated with al-Qa’ida

By Robert Fisk

"Is the Ministry of Fear about to be reopened? I thought – when Lord Blair finally departed from us and George Bush left the White House – that the institution had been closed down, that we might have been allowed a few hours in the broad sunlit uplands. Change? Hope? Renewal? Inspiration? But no, the semantics of our masters are reverting to type. There are no uplands, just another new dark age of fear and terror...... Only, of course, this wasn't Bush-speak. It was a Bush-clone, called Obama-speak.......

....The border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan is now "the most dangerous place in the world", according to Obama......

Ho hum. In the days of empire, we crossed the Durand line from the Raj into Afghanistan. Now Obama's going to change the plot by invading in the opposite direction, from Afghanistan into the former Raj. And with just 20,000 extra troops.....

Do we never learn? Muslim Pakistan is detonating in front of our eyes while Israel, when it's not grabbing more land from Muslim Palestinians in the West Bank, is claiming that Iran – not Pakistan – is the greatest threat to world peace. Its foreign minister doesn't even want a Palestinian state any more. And what should we be doing? Trying to resolve the wound of Kashmir, of "Palestine", of Kurdistan, of Lebanon. But no, we're off on another adventure. Poison, dirty bombs, the lot. The most dangerous place in the world. Carry on up the Khyber."

In resistance we are united

Basra's occupiers depart defeated. Our message to belligerent British leaders? Good riddance

Hassan Juma'a
(Hassan Juma'a is president of the Iraqi Oil Workers Federation, based in Basra)
The Guardian, Saturday 18 April 2009

"Six years after US and British tanks rolled into Basra, the scene is one of devastation, with the blood of the innocent spread across the city and Iraq's tortured land. Not even schools and hospitals were spared. On a pretext of lies, history's greatest empire launched the 2003 war to occupy Mesopotamia, inflicting untold damage on the cradle of civilisation. It was an aggression instigated by a small minority of warmongers......

I call on supporters of freedom across the world to stand by the Iraqi people. And to the British anti-war movement I say thank you, but my final message to the British warmongers is: "good riddance". The curse of your Iraqi victims will always be with you, for you killed innocent people and you tortured captives. Go to the dustbin of history, and never forget heroic Basra and the great struggle of the Iraqi people."

Muslim Brotherhood at a crossroads

As the leader of Egypt's opposition steps down, questions of the party's identity and purpose frame the debate over a successor

A Good Analysis
[COMMENT: Make no mistake about it, the Muslim Brotherhood has never been and never will be a "revolutionary" movement. Recent timidness towards the Pharaoh's regime and the impotence of its Hamas allies in Gaza vis-à-vis the Pharaoh and his machinations are proof enough. Young Muslim activists need to establish a new movement rather than try to change the Brotherhood from within. That change will not take place. I also have my suspicions about the Brotherhood ultimately being used as a tool of the West and the reactionary, puppet Arab regimes.]

By Jack Shenker, Saturday 18 April 2009

"There are several recurring themes one becomes wearily familiar with when following the erratic world of Egyptian politics. Sensational revelations about Zionist/Iranian plots to destabilise the nation are a permanent fixture, as are empty policy statements parroted by government spokesmen and stoic silence from the regime on any issue that actually matters. One thing you don't often hear about, though, is resignation speeches – it takes a lifetime's work acquiring wasta (connections, or influence) to ascend to the top of any of the country's numerous greasy poles, and once politicians are up there they tend to be remarkably unenthusiastic about climbing back down.

Yet a resignation speech is exactly what the papers here have recently been chewing over – and it's all the more remarkable coming from the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akef, who at 80 years old is about to become the movement's first ever leader not to hang on to his position for life. Akef himself is not blind to the significance of this exotic event: "In Egypt there are no former officials ... there are only dead officials," he observed wryly when asked why the announcement that he would step down in January 2010 had created such a furore.....

......Events across the border in Gaza exposed both the Brotherhood's strengths and weaknesses; it has an unparalleled capacity to turn out demonstrators in large numbers, yet regime oppression of the group is increasing – the Brotherhood believes that 1,700 of its members were arrested for Gaza-related activities.

Moreover, the leadership seems out of touch with the relatively decentralised industrial actions sweeping the country, and even more confused over how to align itself in relation to both the US......

What is the Brothers is a far deeper, more potent and cross-generational divide between those who see the primary reason for the group's existence as one of political participation, and those who want to disengage with politics, and concentrate on da'wa (evangelism). Recent events have strengthened the hand of the latter, religiously conservative group, who argue that the organisation's flirtation with the formal electoral process (the Brotherhood won 20% of contested parliamentary seats in 2005, despite being officially outlawed) has brought them nothing but grief......."

Israel stands ready to bomb Iran's nuclear sites

Times Online

"The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.....

Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face.

“Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” one senior defence official told The Times.......

Sudan was practice for the Israeli forces on a long-range attack,” Ronen Bergman, the author of The Secret War with Iran, said. “They wanted to see how they handled the transfer of information, hitting a moving target ... In that sense it was a rehearsal.”......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This is a brand new poll; it asks:

Do you expect a dispute between Washington and Tel Aviv about the issue of the Jewishness of Israel?

With about 200 responding so far (it is very early), 81% said no.

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

The "Peace Process".......
One Piece at a Time....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Those Urging The Palestinians to Rely On Peaceful Protests Only, Should Read This:

Israeli troops kill apartheid wall protester

Press TV

[COMMENT: Please see the excellent piece by Ramzy Baroud on this very topic; just scroll down 9 posts.]

"Israeli forces have shot dead a demonstrator in clashes with Palestinians who were protesting the separation barrier in the West Bank.

Palestinian medics reported Bassam Ibrahim, 30, sustained serious wounds after Israeli troops fired at him during a Friday demonstration in Bil'in and later died at a hospital in Ramallah.

According to Ma'an news agency, the man had previously been listed in serious condition following a direct shot to the stomach from an Israeli fired tear-gas canister.

Witnesses said the projectile was labeled as "40 mm bullet, special/long range" in Hebrew, the same type of weapon that critically injured a foreign activist in Ni'lin on 13 March. Tristan Anderson -- an American national -- was shot in the head from a distance of 60 meters.

The Israeli authorities said they would launch an investigation into the incident.

The West Bank town of Bil'in is the scene of weekly demonstrations against the Israeli 'apartheid wall' in the nearby village of Ni'lin.

The protesters condemn the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land for constructing 723 km (454 miles) of a barrier of steel and concrete walls, fences and barbed wire.

Tel Aviv claims its soldiers try to disperse the stone-hurling Palestinians and foreign activists with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets, however, the protestors say of live rounds being shot at them. "

Obama Releases Bush-Era Memos Authorizing Torture Techniques, Rules Out Prosecuting CIA Interrogators who Carried Them Out

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"The Obama administration has released four memos from the Bush-era Justice Department that approved and provided the legal basis for the CIA’s use of torture. While President Obama has said he will not pursue prosecutions of CIA employees, he did not explicitly address the question of prosecuting the former Justice Department lawyers who authored the memos. The memos’ release comes as a Spanish court is considering bringing indictments against six Bush-era lawyers. We get analysis from human rights attorney Scott Horton...."

Persia Rising

Iran Offers More Than Just Cash



"It may seem incongruous that in 2009, the U.S.A would have much competition from the Islamic republic of Iran for the hearts and minds of the Lebanese, a diverse 18 sect, highly sophisticated population, with a history of western attachments extending back before the Crusades.

Yet is appears to be the case, as the power and prestige of Iran quickly spreads in the region and its myriad relations with Lebanon, which have existed for a millennia, deepen as American influence wanes.

The extent to which Washington has ‘lost’ Lebanon to Iran will likely be clarified in the near term, as the ripples from the Bush legacy, the seismic effects of Israel’s recent slaughter in Gaza, and the results of the coming Lebanese and Iranian elections impact the region......"

Thin Ice From Here to the Horizon

CounterPunch Diary


"On any rational assessment the popular new president is skating on thin ice. Pollyanna bulletins about the economy puff up from the White House and Federal Reserve, like auguries of a new Pope through the Vatican chimney. “Habemus spem.” We have hope. We’ve just heard it from President Obama: "We are starting to see glimmers of hope across the economy." From Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who’s so far unleashed $12 trillion in booster money, we get the always sinister reassurance, like Death giving the Appointee in Samarra a friendly tap on the shoulder, "the foundations of our economy are strong".

The economic news in the near and medium term is ghastly, as Mike Whitney outlined on this site last Thursday......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Jerusalem Palestinians fear eviction by Israel - 17 Apr 09

"George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, has met Palestinian leaders in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as part of efforts to revive stalled peace talks.

Many Palestinians hope that he will intervene to stop them being evicted from their homes by Israel. But Palestinian families in east Jerusalem were this week served with eviction notices, despite the fact that the eastern half of the city is meant to constitute the capital of a future Palestinian state. The evictions are illegal, according to international law.

Clayton Swisher met some of those threatened with the loss of their homes."

Al-Jazeera Video: Al-Aqsa ban highlights battle for Jerusalem - 16 Apr 09

"Israeli security forces have prevented Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

They say it has been cordoned off because of potential clashes with Jewish protesters.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Jerusalem, the disputed city in the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "

Lieberman Gives Suleiman a Message to the Pharaoh. He Tells him, "Come Here to Israel or Go to Hell!"

Suleiman to meet Lieberman during visit to Israel

[COMMENT: What happened to the Egyptian pledge of not dealing with the racist Fascist, Lieberman? Well, the pledge was observed for a few days. The Pharaoh's regime has the moral fortitude of a whore; what else should we expect!]

"Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth reported on Friday that Egypt’s Intelligence Chief, Omar Suleiman, will be holding a meeting with the new Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, during his visit to Israel next Wednesday. This comes after the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Abu Al Gheit, said that Egypt will not welcome Lieberman due to his insulting statements against Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak.

But on Friday Abu Al Gheit said his country will not be boycotting any Israeli minister, including Lieberman.

Egyptian sources reported that Suleiman’s visit to Israel comes to familiarize him with the new Israeli government, to observe Israel’s position regarding the issue of a prisoner-swap deal and the fate of the stalled peace process. Suleiman’s visit is also meant to prepare for an anticipated meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Egyptian president, in July.

It is worth mentioning that on Thursday, Abu Al Gheit told the Russia Today TV that Egypt will not deal with Lieberman, and that the country will not welcome him on its soil.

The “conflict” between Lieberman and Egypt stems from last year when Lieberman was addressing the Knesset and said that Mubarak “can go to hell” while commenting on Mubarak’s rejection of a visit to Israel under the current conditions. Lieberman never withdrew his statements until his speech earlier this month when he took office as Foreign Minister. He did not actually apologize but said that he would like to visit Egypt and also welcomed Egyptian leaders, including Mubarak, to Israel.

Lieberman also said that Egypt plays an important role in regional stability."

Up, up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

By Scott Ritter

"North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides which, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?......"

Egypt Trying to Find Balance Through Anti-Lieberman Stance


"17/04/2009 The Egyptian regime is embarrassed by Israel's recent remarks that it provided Cairo with intelligence about the so called Hezbollah network in Egypt. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has been seeking to establish a sort of balance in the Egyptian stance regarding the assault on Hezbollah and cut the road for any Egyptian and Arab public speculation that would put his country under suspicion of collusion with Israel......

Israeli observers have revealed that Egypt's next step, after Hezbollah, will be campaigning against Hamas. Ephraim Kam, deputy head of the Israeli institute for national security studies said that the Egyptian position bore two significant aspects for Israel. It is necessary that Egypt take radical steps against terror groups that are seeking to attack Israel. It is also in Israel's interest that an Arab country openly challenges the extremist tripartite Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and portray them as enemies to Arab moderates, Kam said. He expressed belief that Egypt will be ready to accept intelligence from Israel against this axis in a covert manner given the sensitivity of cooperating with Israel that would expose Egypt to Arab criticism.

Egypt's next step will be aiming at Hamas and Cairo will give the movement the choice to either be with it or be dealt with as an enemy, like Hezbollah, Ehud Yaari, an Israeli journalist specializing in Arab affairs, said.

Mutual interests on the strategic level between us and Egypt are stronger than they used to be two decades ago. We have a mutual enemy that is Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, Eli Shakid said......."

Non-Violence in Palestine: Timing and Intentions

A Good Piece
By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".....For decades, the Palestinian struggle for freedom was largely a non-violent movement. With occasional pockets of armed resistance, Palestinians in the occupied territories employed methods of general strikes, demonstrations and the like to express their demands and desires to finally live in freedom. And yet these were the years where Palestinians saw that great majority of their homeland swallowed up into what is now the State of Israel. Land was stolen with no recompense to its owners, prisons burst at the seams with prisoners who never received a trial, houses demolished by the hundreds, entire orchards of olive and fruit trees ransacked and burned. All this was carried out in the confines of an “Intifada-free” society. So, it might be suggested that Palestinians gave non-violent resistance more than a fair shot.

It seems that there is an ongoing trend among many in the “establishment” to celebrate those broken and oppressed refugees who in spite of more than sixty years of bondage call for non-violence or passive resistance. While the intention is in itself honorable, one must question the timing......

Amidst the grief and rage that followed, Belgium found it fitting to nominate one sorrow-stricken doctor and father of three lovely daughters from Gaza, the Nobel Prize, in recognition of his efforts to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis......

In the midst of this mess, where is the call for Israel to embrace non-violence? Would the media and the world community press the Israelis to embrace non-violence, had they endured such atrocities such as those witnessed in Gaza?......

Just why does the UNDP find it fitting to highlight a survey that concludes that most Palestinian youth find violence “unhelpful” at such a time? And why does the world renown a man who calls for reconciliation, a term that somehow suggests a conflict between people of equal standing, while his daughters rest in fresh graves? Some may suggest that non-violent resistance in such situations is the embodiment of the dignified struggle.

Others might call it surrender."

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Netanyahu

By Rannie Amiri
Palestine Chronicle

".....When peace with the Palestinians is in sight, Israel will turn violent.

This is quite understandable though, when one realizes that the entire raison d’être of the Jewish state is based on the principle of establishing “greater Israel.” That could not happen of course, were there to be a just peace. As the country’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion infamously proclaimed, “To maintain the status quo will not do. We have to set up a dynamic state bent upon expansion.”....

Regardless of whether Lieberman will ultimately make Netanyahu out to be the “moderate,” his positions underscore the moral temperament the government has adopted.

Just this week for example, Israeli transport minister Yisrael Katz called for Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah’s assassination, while the “dovish” President Shimon Peres threatened Israel would strike Iran. With an aim to further incite, Peres felt he too must jump on the sectarian bandwagon, saying a clash between Sunni Arabs and [Shia] Iran was “inevitable.”......

Like Benjamin Button, Israel is regressing; not in age, but politically and morally. And as its enemies become involved in more constructive talks with the U.S. and Europe, Netanyahu – or whoever the prime minister may be – will inevitably seek to instigate a new crisis in order to justify continuing Israel’s aggressive policies.

This explains why many who follow the Middle East, including this writer, remain pessimistic at the prospects for peace in the region."

Hopebroken and hopesick, Obama fans need a new start

The penny has dropped: hope alone won't save the world. Time for a fresh lexicon. And to hope less, demand more

Naomi Klein
The Guardian, Friday 17 April 2009

"All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from the US treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from re-regulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.

Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard. This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programmes capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding......."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pirates, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - Gaza's unending nightmare - 15 April 09

Part 1:

Part 2:

"Riz speaks with Mahmoud Daher (WHO) in Gaza and Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who was in Gaza in January to provide medical care, and described what he saw as "nightmarish havoc". "

The mother of all cockfights

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"What President Barack Obama won't do - and the Pentagon won't allow - is to do a full Vietnam and go down as the president who lost the American empire of bases and the dream of prevailing in the New Great Game in Eurasia. Meanwhile, it will be Predator hell from above raining over angry Pashtun tribals in Pakistan.

Countless more Pashtun wedding parties will be incinerated in the name of the brand new "overseas contingency operations", formerly the "global war on terror". Make no mistake: there will be blood - a lot of blood - in the mother of all cockfights.

Piracy of Africa [A Cartoon From Jordan]

By Emad Hajjaj (Abu Mahjoob)

The rhetoric of "peace"

A Good Comment
By Ziyaad Lunat, The Electronic Intifada, 15 April 2009
(Ziyaad Lunat is an activist for Palestine and co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Initiative (

"The Israelis have offered the Palestinians many types of "peace." Their first attempt to reach out to the Palestinians was in 1948 with an offer of a "racist peace." Ethnic cleansing was the basis of a "racist peace" where Zionist terrorists drove out two thirds of the Palestinian population from their homes. Its logic was that expulsion would end strife between Zionists and Palestinians (by eliminating one side) enabling the Zionists to enjoy peace in an ethnic Jewish haven. The Palestinians, stubborn as they were, refused a racist Zionist state as the basis for "peace."........

Since taking office, Salam Fayyad, the unelected prime minister of the Palestinian Collaborationist Authority, has worked with Quartet envoy Tony Blair to develop an economic plan to "revitalize" the Palestinian economy. The Paris conference at the end of 2007 raised $7.4 billion for the "Palestinian Reform and Development Plan." It called for the creation of "an enabling environment for private sector growth." The document says nothing about basic freedoms or human rights. Moreover, it positions Israel as an implementing partner, normalizing its status as the occupier and explicitly accepting the existing colonizing structures. The plan, for example, calls for "tourist-friendly checkpoints.".....

.....Of course, it is not all doom and gloom; the Palestinians have survived worst attempts on their existence. This mode of thinking -- that the Palestinians can simply be manipulated -- is too naive in its underpinnings. It is linked to an orientalist view of the lesser people, which sees them as devoid of principles, with the assumption that Palestinians with a full stomach will accept their condition of oppression. Israel has butchered the word "peace" with its many strands. Netanyahu's latest proposal of an "economic peace" will go to the history books as one of the many failed attempts to control a people with a thirst for freedom and justice."

Break-Their-Legs-Abul Gheit: We'll Talk to Israel, But not to Lieberman.......[What a Joke!]


"16/04/2009 Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit warned that his country would not welcome Lieberman so long as his divisive positions remained unchanged. He said Wednesday that his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, is not welcome in Egypt.

"His feet will not step on Egyptian soil as long as he maintains his positions," Abul Gheit told Russia Today TV.

Lieberman sparked outrage in Egypt last year when he criticized its president, Hosni Mubarak, in a speech before the Knesset, saying that the Egyptian leader could "go to hell."

Lieberman was critical of Mubarak's refusal to make an official state visit to Israel. The Egyptian leader's sole trip to Israel was for the 1995 funeral of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin......."

Animal Farm Finds a Palestinian Stage

By Mel Frykberg

RAMALLAH, Apr 15 (IPS) - "Intifadah", scream the animals as they chase Jones from the farm. Strobe lights flash and loud music blares as the packed audience sits captivated, eyes trained on the stage below.....

Freedom Theatre, in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern Palestinian West Bank, one and a half hours drive north of Ramallah, has been running a play based on George Orwell's Animal Farm that was about the corruption of revolutionaries in Stalinist Russia. The play at the refugee camp is presented with a decidedly Palestinian twist; a cast of animals eventually overthrow their human oppressor Jones, only to then turn on one another.

The play, adapted from the original Animal Farm by director Nabil Al-Raee, is about the social restrictions within Palestinian society and the corruption in Palestinian leadership. And, about the difficulties of living under Israeli occupation......

Freedom Theatre had planned to tour Ramallah with the production, but the local theatre withdrew, scared of the controversy the play would create. The Palestinian leadership based in Ramallah's government headquarters, or Muqata, does not take kindly to criticism. An application for funding for the production from a Palestinian cultural foundation was declined.

"Part of the anger generated is based on the portrayal of the revolutionaries as being as corrupt as their oppressors, or even more so," director of the theatre's drama school Samia Steti told IPS. In one of the scenes, Molly, one of the horses, runs away from the farm. "The corruption here is worse than when Jones was in control," says Molly.

The human who comes to talk business at the end of the play wears green army uniform and speaks Hebrew, a reference to the Israeli military. "It is a thinly veiled attack on the corruption of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its collaboration with Israel at the expense of Palestinian citizens," adds Steti.

This is presented in several ways. After the Intifadah, the head pig, Napoleon, is flanked by two black-clad, Kalashnikov-toting dogs who dress like Palestinian security forces.

Boxer, one of the horses, remarks: "We have to be obedient to Napoleon. We have to sacrifice for him." Boxer is worked to death, and killed when he is no longer considered useful.

"Our society tends to lack a culture of questioning and free thinking," says Khamis......"

The Fourth Generation Armies Are Winning

by William S. Lind, April 16, 2009

"Events since I began writing this column have, I think, generally validated the Four Generations framework. Iraq was not a "cakewalk," nor did our initial invasion of Afghanistan "eviscerate" the Taliban. Mullah Omar proved the better prophet; before the first American bomb fell, he said, "We will lose the government and lose Kabul, but it doesn’t matter."

What lessons might we draw from my previous columns and their interplay with the larger world? Three seem to me to be of overriding importance......

It does not end with this. These foreign policy failures and military defeats – or even more embarrassing "victories" – become just two of a larger series of crises, including the economic crisis (depression followed by runaway inflation), foreign exchange crisis (collapse of the dollar), political crisis (no one in the Establishment knows what to do, but the Establishment offers the voters no alternative to itself), energy crisis, etc. Together, these discrete crises snowball into a systemic crisis, which is what happens when the outside world demands greater change than the political system permits. At that point, the political system collapses and is replaced by something else. In the old days, it meant a change of dynasty. What might it mean today? My guess is a radical devolution, at the conclusion of which life is once again local.

That would be, on the whole, a happy outcome. But I fear this will be a trip where the journey is not half the fun."

Peace Out

By Justin Raimondo

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"....The big truth is that the antiwar movement has largely collapsed in the face of Barack Obama’s victory: the massive antiwar marches that were a feature of the Bush years are a thing of the past. Those ostensibly antiwar organizations that did so much to agitate against the Iraq War have now fallen into line behind their commander in chief and are simply awaiting orders......."

Guardian Video: Baghdad: City of Walls, part 1: Scars of war

Baghdad, a traumatised city, wears its scars as a series of giant walls dividing its neighbourhoods.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports from his hometown in the first part of his City of Walls video series.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Thursday 16 April 2009

part 2: Crossing the wall

Eight new ghettos divide Baghdad's Shia and Sunni neighbourhoods. In the second film of his City of Walls series Ghaith Abdul-Ahad looks across the wall from Sunni Khaadimiyah to Shia Khazira, where murder, hatred and division are perilously close to the surface.

part 3: City of the dead

From a Sadr City graveyard to the orphans of the conflict, what legacy will the poison of hatred and violence bequeath Baghdad? Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports in the third film from his City of Walls video series.

part 4: Hope in hell?

March 2009. There are glimmers of hope within the cantonised neighbourhoods of Baghdad but grief and hatred run deep and wounds are fresh. In the final film from his City of Walls video series, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad finds there is evidence that the killing is still going on...

How can you trust the cowardly BBC?

The BBC Trust is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby which abused Bowen

A Great Comment
By Robert Fisk

"The BBC Trust's report on Jeremy Bowen's dispatches from the Middle East is pusillanimous, cowardly, outrageous, factually wrong and ethically dishonest. But I am mincing my words.

The trust – how I love that word which so dishonours everything about the BBC – has collapsed, in the most shameful way, against the usual Israeli lobbyists who have claimed – against all the facts – that Bowen was wrong to tell the truth.

Let's go step by step through this pitiful business. Zionism does indeed instinctively "push out" the frontier. The new Israeli wall – longer and taller than the Berlin Wall although the BBC management cowards still insist its reporters call it a "security barrier" (the translation of the East German phrase for the Berlin Wall) – has gobbled up another 10 per cent of the 22 per cent of "Palestine" that Arafat/Mahmoud Abbas were supposed to negotiate. Bowen's own brilliant book on the 1967 war, Six Days, makes this land-grab perfectly clear.

Anyone who has read the history of Zionism will be aware that its aim was to dispossess the Arabs and take over Palestine. Why else are Zionists continuing to steal Arab land for Jews, and Jews only, against all international law? Who for a moment can contradict that this defies everyone's interpretation of international law except its own?

Even when the International Court in The Hague stated that the Israeli wall was illegal – the BBC, at this point, was calling it a "fence"!Israel simply claimed that the court was wrong.....

....the gutless George Bush accepted Israel had the right to keep these illegally held territories. Thus the BBC Trust – how cruel that word "trust" now becomes – has gone along with the Bush definition of Israel's new boundaries (inside Arab land, of course)......

....The fact that the BBC Trust uses the Hebrew name for Har Homa – not the original Arab name, Jebel Abu Ghoneim – shows just how far it is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby......

And this, remember, is the same institution which said that to broadcast an appeal for medicines for wounded Palestinians in Gaza might upset its "neutrality". Legless Palestinian children clearly don't count as much as the BBC's pompous executives......"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll deals with arms to the resistance in Gaza; it asks:

Do you support getting arms (for the resistance) into Gaza, using any means?

With over 5,000 responding, 92% said yes.

Israel won't cooperate with UN probe of Gaza war

Israel has informed the United Nations it will refuse to cooperate with a probe of war crimes allegedly committed during the military offensive in the Gaza Strip, a senior official said.

Aid still rotting outside Gaza

AL-ARISH, Egypt (IPS) - Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt's North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.

Solving Palestine While Israel Destroys It

Obama's Bubble of Ignorance


"To a greater degree than perhaps ever before, Washington today is engulfed in denial about Israel and its stupefying behavior, about its murderous policies toward the Palestinians, about the efforts of Israel and its U.S. defenders to force us to ignore its atrocities. Blinders have always been part of the attire of U.S. policymakers and politicians with regard to Israel and Israeli actions, but in the wake of the three-week Israeli assault that laid waste to the tiny territory of Gaza -- an assault ended very conveniently just before Barack Obama was inaugurated, so that he has been able to act as though it never occurred -- the perspective from which Washington operates is strikingly more blinkered than ever in the past......

The house of cards that is the “peace-process industry” that Abunimah referred to -- that house of cards that pretends Israel is not a rogue nation rampaging through its neighborhood whenever it feels like it -- must soon collapse. As Abunimah told the Capitol Hill conference, what people know in Europe and in Chicago, where he lives and works, is quite different from what people in Washington and New York think they know and, as he noted, silence about the realities on the ground in Palestine is no longer an option. When the history of this period is written, Abunimah said, “Gaza will be seen as the moment after which it became impossible for Israel to be integrated into the region as a so-called Jewish-Zionist state.”"

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Welcome to the new “New World Order”

Pepe Escobar Pt1: A tsunami of hype around another New World Order

More at The Real News

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Welcome to the new “New World Order”

Welcome to the new “New World Order” Pt2
Pepe Escobar: There will be class war, there will be blood

More at The Real News

The Pharaoh in the Service of Zion....

Egypt confiscates fuel meant for Gaza

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"Egyptian sources reported on Tuesday that Egyptian border police confiscated 19.000 litres of fuel which were meant to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip via underground tunnels.

The police arrested the drivers of four trucks carrying fuel and are searching for two others who abandoned their trucks and escaped.......

Also, the Egyptian police confiscated a truck containing clothes also meant for Gaza.The driver, Adel Sbeih Oweidh, was arrested.

In an another incident police confiscated a truck filled with cement close to the entrance to a tunnel. The driver and others with him apparently escaped through the tunnel.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egyptian security sources said that two more tunnels had been discovered in the border area."

The quintessential Palestinian experience

Laila El-Haddad writing from the United States, Live from Palestine, 14 April 2009

"......I hold a Palestinian Authority passport. It replaced the "temporary two-year Jordanian passport for Gaza residents" that we held until the Oslo Accords and the creation of the Palestinian Authority in the mid 1990s, which itself replaced the Egyptian travel documents we held before that. A progression in a long line of stateless documentation.

It is a passport that allows no passage. A passport that denied me entry to my own home. This is its purpose: to mark me, brand me, so that I am easily identified and cast aside without questions; it is convenient for those giving the orders. It is a system for the collective identification of those with no identity.......

Now that we are warm, clothed, showered, rested and recovered from whatever awful virus we picked up in the bowels of Cairo airport, I keep thinking to myself: what more could I have done?

"The quintessential Palestinian experience," historian Rashid Khalidi has written, "takes place at a border, an airport, a checkpoint: in short, at any one of those many modern barriers where identities are checked and verified."

In this place, adds Robyn Creswell, "connection" turns out to be only another word for separation or quarantine: the loop of airports never ends, like Borges's famous library. The cruelty of the Palestinian situation is that these purgatories are in no way extraordinary but rather the backdrop of daily existence.""

Anatomy of Bush's Torture 'Paradigm'

The prose of the recently leaked report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on torture seems colorless. It is at the same time obscene — almost pornographic.

By Ray McGovern
April 14, 2009

"The 41-page ICRC report depicts scenes of prisoners forced to remain naked for long periods, sometimes in the presence of women, often with their hands shackled over their heads in "stress positions" as they are left to soil themselves.

The report's images of sadism also include prisoners slammed against walls, locked in tiny boxes, and strapped to a bench and subjected to the drowning sensation of waterboarding......

The sudden appearance of the damning report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, initially given to the CIA’s acting general counsel on Feb. 14, 2007, greatly complicates any rotten-apples-at-the-bottom-of-the-barrel-type disingenuousness.

In a departure from the usual diplomatic parlance, the ICRC minces not a word in referring to those who authorized torture. In the report itself, the Red Cross calls on current U.S. authoritiesto punish the perpetrators, where appropriate, to prevent such abuses from happening again.”

What do you suppose is holding Attorney General Eric Holder back from appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate, with a view toward rubbing out, once and for all, this shameful stain on our collective conscience?"

Obama and the Pirates

A foreign policy "success" may backfire

by Justin Raimondo, April 15, 2009

"......In this scenario, the West will do its moral duty and embark on the first symbolic step of a major campaign for international economic and moral uplift. A black American president will extend a helping hand to an African nation without a functioning state. If, in Afghanistan, our alleged goal is to exact a punitive justice, in Somalia, or, indeed, anywhere in Africa, it will be deemed a "humanitarian" act. In more practical terms, however, it would be a project very similar to what we are attempting in Afghanistan: building a central government from the ground up – a project sure to gladden many liberal hearts.

The ultimate logic of liberal interventionism boils down to this: if government intervention is good, per se, on the home front, then why not apply the same principle abroad? Military action is, after all, the ultimate government action – and one, need I remind you, that modern liberals have not hesitated to project overseas. FDR, LBJ, and JFK come immediately to mind. And then there was Clinton, whose own foray into Somalia perhaps prefigures what awaits Obama, if he makes the mistake of taking his own rhetoric seriously."

Netanyahu's false promises

Against all the evidence, Tony Blair claims that Binyamin Netanyahu will build a Palestinian nation 'from the bottom up'

Henry Siegman, Tuesday 14 April 2009
(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"Tony Blair, who now serves as the Middle East Quartet's envoy, has told Time magazine he has concluded that the return to power of the newly elected Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu – universally seen as a near-fatal setback to prospects for a two-state solution – may be a blessing.

Blair informs us that he had a serious chat with Netanyahu in which it became clear that far from putting Palestinian statehood beyond reach, Netanyahu intends to become the father of the Palestinian nation......."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

خطيئة الرئيس عباس في العراق

خطيئة الرئيس عباس في العراق

رأي القدس

المفاجأة الاكبر في هذا التحرك كانت بزيارتيه الى كل من بغداد، حيث التقى رئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي ورئيس الجمهورية جلال الطالباني، واربيل في كردستان حيث استقبل كرئيس جمهورية من قبل السيد مسعود البارزاني رئيس الاقليم.
ربما يكون مفهوماً ان يزور السيد عباس، بعد ان كرس وجوده في محور الاعتدال العربي، العاصمة العراقية بغداد، وان يلتقي رموز نظام الحكم في العراق الجديد الذين عادوا الى العراق مع قوات الاحتلال الامريكي، فهو يتمتع مثلهم بسيادة منقوصة ويرأس سلطة خاضعة اراضيها للاحتلال المباشر، ولا يتحرك دون أوامره، وبتنسيق مسبق معه، ولكن ان يذهب الى اربيل، وفي مثل هذا التوقيت، فهو امر يدل على انعدام الرؤية السياسية، وسوء التقدير، علاوة على قراءة خاطئة لتطورات الاوضاع في العراق ككل.
زيارة السيد عباس لاربيل ستفسر من قبل بعض العراقيين الذين دفعوا ثمناً غالياً بسبب تمسكهم بعروبة العراق، والانتصار للقضية الفلسطينية، على انها سابقة خطيرة تخدم مشروع الانفصال وتقسيم العراق، وتعترف باقليم كردستان كدولة مستقلة تماماً عن الوطن الأم.
السيد عباس حاول الايحاء بانه ذهب الى اربيل والتقى رئيس اقليمها السيد البارزاني من اجل ان يبحث عن مأوى آمن لاستيعاب بعض الأسر الفلسطينية التي تقطعت بها السبل في العراق بعد الاحتلال الامريكي على ايدي ميليشيات طائفية تتبع الحكومة الحالية والائتلاف المسيطر عليها. فقد صرح ناطق باسمه بانه جرى الاتفاق على ايواء بعض الفلسطينيين في الشمال العراقي الكردي اثناء المباحثات مع السيد البارزاني.
المهمة سامية دون شك، ولكن ما يمكن ان يترتب عليها من تبعات سياسية للشعب الفلسطيني على درجة كبيرة من الخطورة
اخطاء الرئيس عباس كثيرة، وليس هنا مجال لحصرها، ولكن زيارتيه الاخيرتين لكل من بغداد واربيل هما الأكثر خطورة، ولم يتم التشاور حولهما مع اي من المؤسسات الفلسطينية، وخاصة تلك التابعة لحركة 'فتح' ولا نقول منظمة التحرير فاقدة الصلاحية والشرعية

The futility of “peace talks” with Israel

Analysis by Khalid Amayreh

".....I recently asked PA Chief negotiator Sa’eb Ureikat if he thought that any Israeli government would ever agree to return to the borders of the 1967. Ureikat said he didn’t think so but added that “we have to keep the negotiation going because life itself is negotiation.” (Ureikat has actually written a book bearing the title "Life Is Negotiation").

Well, if indeed life is negotiation, then the PA, including Ureikat himself, has been doing an extremely dismal job negotiating with Israel in the last 20 years....."

Get Ready for the Washington-Tehran Tango

Iran offers to train Afghan police

The Telegraph

""We have announced our readiness to train the Afghan police," Esmaeel Ahmadi-Moghadam, Iran's national police chief. But he added that there had been no talks with Nato on "any direct co-operation with foreign forces in Afghanistan".

Tehran's offer follows US overtures to Iran as it tries to include Afghanistan's powerful neighbour in a new White House strategy to defeat the country's insurgency......."

Taxing Grandma to Subsidize Goldman Sachs

Parking Billions


"......This all comes at a cost to someone—America’s elderly.

Many retirees depend on interest from certificates of deposit. Those rates are down dramatically, and as CDs expire retirees are compelled to reinvest their savings at lower rates and live on less. They can take comfort that their sacrifices are helping pay off Wall Street's losses from the lavish bonuses paid bankers. For example, the $70.3 million Goldman doled to CEO Lloyd Blankfein in 2007.

The contrast between how the banks and car companies are treated is the product of political acumen, not financial skills, at Goldman Sachs and other banks. Feeding the campaign machines of both political parties and lavishing speaking fees on future White House economic advisors, these financial wizards have managed to purchase preferred treatment in our Capital....."

Alastair Crooke on BBC Radio 4

"Alastair Crooke recently appeared on Start the Week, presented by Andrew Marr, where he discussed his recently published book, Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution.
The complete broadcast can be heard here (in RealAudio)."

War, Oil and Gas Pipelines: Turkey is Washington’s Geopolitical Pivot

by F. William Engdahl
Global Research, April 14, 2009

"The recent visit of US President Obama to Turkey was far more significant than the President’s speech would suggest. For Washington Turkey today has become a geopolitical “pivot state” which is in the position to tilt the Eurasian power equation towards Washington or significantly away from it depending on how Turkey develops its ties with Moscow and its role regarding key energy pipelines....."

Should Palestinian citizens vote in Israel's parliamentary elections?

Nimer Sultany, The Electronic Intifada, 13 April 2009

(Nimer Sultany is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School. He is the editor of Citizens Without Citizenship, Israel and the Palestinian Minority 2003, and Israel and the Palestinian Minority 2004. )

"The recent Israeli elections witnessed a revival of the debate among the Palestinian citizens of Israel concerning the meaning of their participation, or the lack thereof, in the electoral process. The disqualification of Arab parties by the Knesset's Central Elections Committee and the subsequent reversal of the decision by Israel's high court led to two paradoxical results......

Thus, the moment in which boycott could become a serious and viable option is fast approaching, if the necessary preparations are made. Nonetheless, the boycott is not an end in itself and must not be used in the context of a feeling of resignation towards politics and the possibility of having an impact. Otherwise, it will be no more than another means of depriving the people of hope. We must distinguish between the tendency to retreat from politics and engage in self-interest at the personal level or that of the narrowly-defined group (such as the family, village or religious community), and between employing the boycott as a political weapon for achieving political goals. The boycott must be used in the context of empowerment....."

Video: Israeli gunboats hem in Gaza fishermen

Press TV

"Gaza fishermen are subjet to isareli naval attacks alomst daily...."

Gaza Delegation News Coverage

Written by Ann Wright
The Free Gaza Movement

"The delegation was the Codepink: Women for Peace delegation for International Women's Day in March, 2009. Here are some TV, Radio and Newspaper Interviews, Articles, Blogs, Photos Videos and Talks/Briefbacks on trip to Gaza (Updated as of April 10, 2009)....."

[COMMENT: It has many good links]


By Eric Margolis

"There are a lot of unhappy campers at the Pentagon right now. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates chose last week to present a controversial new budget that will affect the course of US foreign and military policy for decades to come. Furious debate has raged in the Pentagon over the future and mission of US military forces ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Pentagon has been deeply divided over whether the US military should be configured to fight conventional wars against Russia and China, or be transformed into an agile force to combat Third World guerillas.

Both the Bush and Obama White Houses have been pushing the Pentagon to opt for the latter by beefing up forces and deploying new equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan. But many generals and admirals have been bitterly resisting cuts in US conventional forces........"

Iraq in Fragments

by Dahr Jamail, April 14, 2009

".....Having recently returned from Iraq, I experienced living in Baghdad where people were dying violent deaths on a daily basis. Nearly every day of the month I spent there saw a car bomb attack somewhere in the capital city. Nearly every day the so-called Green Zone was mortared. Every day there were kidnappings. On good days there were four hours of electricity on the national grid, in a country now into its seventh year of being occupied by the U.S. military, and where there are now over 200,000 private contractors.

Upon returning home, I experienced the disconnect between that reality, lived by roughly 25 million Iraqis, and the surreal experience of living in the United States – where most media outlets pretend the occupation of Iraq is either not happening, or use the yardstick of decreased U.S. military personnel deaths in Iraq as a measure of success......."

Rabbi-in-chief: Barack Obama's Jewish connection

The Independent

"Rabbi Capers Funnye is in a tiny minority in the US: he's an African-American Jew. He's also Michelle Obama's cousin and has the ear of the US president. Zev Chafets meets the charismatic leader who wants mainstream Judaism to accept that Israelites don't have to be white......"

"Mossad, Foreign Intelligence Are Behind Egypt’s Incitement against Hezbollah"


".....The recent hours have revealed the Israeli role in these accusations and incitement against Hezbollah. News emerged Monday that foreign intelligence services - including Israel's Mossad - provided Egyptian authorities with intelligence and the claims against the Lebanese resistance movement, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. Egypt's chief of intelligence, General Omar Suleiman, is a frequent visitor to Israel and the doors of his counterparts in Tel Aviv are always open, as are those of the Israeli Prime Minister's bureau.

Israeli President Shimon Peres has connected between the Egyptian allegations against Hezbollah and Iran and he launched a personal attack against Sayyed Nasrallah.

Haaretz expressed Israel’s relief to the current situation and latest developments between Cairo and Hezbollah saying that Egyptian intelligence was constantly informing the Israeli intelligence of the investigations with the cell they claimed it belongs to Hezbollah, adding that “Israel is profiting from Egypt-Hezbollah quarrel.”

Haaretz added, “It is true that (Sayyed) Nasrallah is proving again that he is not afraid of confronting the leaders of big and strong countries but this conflict might also impact the upcoming elections in Lebanon. It is unlikely all voters will be happy about the affair, which highlights Iran's control over Hezbollah and creates tension between Beirut and Cairo.”

The main question is why did the Egyptians choose to release the information now and not four months ago, when the ring was uncovered? "

Stooges of the Empire Unite!

Abbas Visits Iraq's Kurdish Region


"......."We did not need any invitation to visit this brotherly nation and we have felt for a long time that the doors were always open to us without even needing to make an appointment," Abbas said at a joint news conference.

"The honorable president Barzani was not even told of our visit until 24 hours beforehand and he said 'Ahlan wa Sahlan,'" Abbas said, using the common Arabic form of greeting.

Barzani for his part praised Abbas for being the first "president" to visit the autonomous region in northern Iraq. "We are used to our Palestinian brothers always being in the forefront of aiding our people in the past and present," he said.

"This visit will cement the relationship between our two peoples with their similar suffering. Just as he is the first president to visit the region we expect and we hope that the Palestinian consulate will be the first consulate to open in Arbil." "

Monday, April 13, 2009

Noam Chomsky on the Global Economic Crisis, Healthcare, US Foreign Policy and Resistance to American Empire

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Part II of our conversation with MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky on the global economic crisis, healthcare, the media, US foreign policy, the expanding wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, resistance to American empire, and more.

“As far as policy is concerned, unless [Obama] is under a lot of pressure from activist sectors, he’s not going to go beyond what he’s presented himself as in actual policy statements or cabinet choices and so on: a centrist Democrat who’s going to basically continue Bush’s polices in a more modulated way,” says Chomsky......"

What is Good for GM is Good for America! GM Told to Prep for Bankruptcy Filing: Report


"WASHINGTON, April 12 - The U.S. Treasury Department is directing General Motors to lay the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing by June 1, even though the automaker has publicly stated it could reorganize outside of court, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

GM is operating under emergency U.S. government loans. It has been told by the Obama administration's task force overseeing its bailout that it must cut costs and reduce its debts in order to continue to receive aid......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Egypt-Hezbollah relations strained - 12 Apr 09

Part 1:

Part 2:

"Relations between Egypt and Hezbollah have deteriorated, after the arrest of 49 people supposedly linked to the Lebanese group. Are Hezbollah's sights really set on Egypt? Was the group sent to help Palestinians in Gaza? Or is this all political brinkmanship?...."

Abbas phones Netanyahu, wishes him a happy Pesach holiday

"On Sunday Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, telphoned the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to wish him a happy Pesach Jewish holiday. This is the first conversation between the two leaders since Netanyahu came to power.

The office of Netanyahu said that the atmosphere of the call “was friendly” and that Netanyahu said that he would like to renew the Palestinian-Israeli coordination to advance the peace process.

Also, Israeli sources said that security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is ongoing and has led to “positive results”.

The sources added that the Palestinian Preventive Security forces informed the Israeli Shabak on Thursday that they had discovered an underground workshop for manufacturing explosives in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Four Hamas members were detained and Israeli sappers were called to the scene to dismantle explosive devices found in the workshop. The sappers also found materials used for manufacturing explosives......."