Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thoughts on Fatah Convention and thoughts on Palestine

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Saturday, 01 August 2009

"......We as Palestinians have unique advantages and disadvantages in our struggles for liberation. We must analyze these scientifically and act accordingly. For example we need to leverage the tremendous sympathy and solidarity of people around the world to produce power (e.g. through better managed campaigns of boycotts, divestments and sanctions). And as the geopolitical landscape shifts around us (e.g. due to the failure and shedding of militarism or the mistakes of Israel with Turkey), we do need to take advantage in strengthening our position? In my upcoming book I show by hundreds of examples that we were/are able to seize these opportunities in timely manner when we had/have a dynamic responsive society that can adapt without bureaucracy or dictatorship. For example, this happened when clan relations were shed in favor of political party affiliation or when younger generations took leadership on the ground during the 1987-1991 Intifada.

We Palestinians can indeed shape our future with choices we make everyday even in the context of existing power structures (and those are changing). Neither reckless bravado and useless 1960s rhetoric nor supine begging for endless negotiations will help us at this critical junction. These are times that demand new ways of thinking......."

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaza launches 'better virtues' campaign - 31 Jul 09

"A campaign has been launched in Gaza by the religous affairs ministry to promote what it calls "better virtues".

The initiative goes from street level all the way to the supreme court, declaring what men and women lawyers can and cannot wear. Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin explains."

Real News Video with Eric Margolis: Afghanistan: US up to its ears in trouble

Margolis: The US is not just fighting the Taliban, they are fighting the Pashtun people

More at The Real News

Elections Under Occupation
By Emad Hajjaj

United for freedom and universal justice

Omar Barghouti and Sid Shniad, The Electronic Intifada, 31 July 2009
(Omar Barghouti is a founding member of the >Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). Sid Shniad is a co-chair of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.)

".....There is a growing understanding of the fundamental issues that drive the crisis: the occupation of Palestinian land by Zionist Jews claiming a right to do so by virtue of an alleged historical-Biblical entitlement; the expulsion of masses of Palestinians from their homeland -- first by Zionist militias and, later, the state of Israel -- at the time of Israel's establishment; the legalized and institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the ongoing military occupation and colonization of Palestinian and other Arab lands conquered in 1967.

As a result, a long-overdue determination has arisen in the ranks of civil society around the world, a determination to take concrete steps to generate tactics and strategies to bring a satisfactory resolution to this ongoing crisis by addressing its root causes......"

A night in Bilin

Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 31 July 2009
(Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair. He writes a blog for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, entitled “Life on Wheels,” which can be found at

"Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. So far, 17 youths have been arrested, some as young as 16 years of age, usually for their participation in the demonstrations. Many of the boys will not see their family again for months. With the situation getting critical, local activists of the Bilin Popular Committee called for a night demonstration to protest against the raids......."

Israeli Conundrum: 'How to Deal with Iran'

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".....Regardless of why the US targeted Iraq, and why its objectives were not met, Israel's own calculations were a surprising success, as the Iraqi menace (manufactured or real) has been eliminated, and the ghost of chaos will likely haunt that unfortunate country for years to come.

Now, it's Iran's turn. In fact, it has been Iran's turn for years, but nothing seems to be moving on that front. If the Iraq experiment were successful, the US would have definitely jumped at the opportunity to trample Iran, an oil-rich country with crucially strategic positioning. Controlling Iran would have been the missing piece of the puzzle that would push the borders of US control and influence to lock horns, if necessary with the emerging Asian giants, and of course, Russia......

....It seems that the US - despite the use of threatening language - is edging towards living with and "containing" a nuclear Iran, but, expectedly, Israel is not......

.....The unprecedented deployment into the Red Sea was meant as a signal that Iran is within Israeli range. The message, however, carried perhaps a deeper political meaning - that Israel is capable of striking Iran with the help of regional allies. In other words, Israel is hardly the isolated party in this conflict......

The US and its European allies seem out of ideas regarding how to deal with Iran, leaving Israel with a major conundrum: either living in the potential shadow of a nuclear Iran, as a long-term regional power, or striking the Islamic Republic with the hope that its erroneously perceived "shaky" regime will quickly crumble, leaving the US to pick up the pieces, and the whole region to deal with the chaos that will surely follow."

Christians Largely Mum on Torture

by Ray McGovern, August 01, 2009

"Anyone harboring doubts that the institutional Church is riding shotgun for the system, even regarding heinous sin like torture, should be chastened by the results of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

Who but the cowardly crew leading the "Christian" churches can be held responsible for the fact that many of their flock believe torture of suspected terrorists is "justified?"

Those polled were white non-Hispanic Catholics, white Evangelicals, and white mainline Protestants. A majority (54 percent) of those who attend church regularly said torture could be "justified," while a majority of those not attending church regularly responded that torture was rarely or never justified......"

Saudis, US "working closely" on Iran

Press TV

"Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal says his country and the United States are "working closely" on Iranian nuclear program.

"Today, our two nations are working closely … to emphasize the need for Iran to adhere to its obligation under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," al-Faisal said in a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington.

The comments came as Iran insists that its nuclear activities are in line with its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and are aimed at the civilian applications of the technology......."

COMMENT: However, prince Faisal praised Israel's possession of over 200 nuclear bombs since this contributes to peace and the stability of the Royals of Saudi Arabia.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Those Palestinians are Breaking all the Guinness Book World Records! The Largest Kenafah, The Most Kites Flown, and now.......

Habila's Son Memorizes the Qur'an in Just 35 Days!

Who Needs Liberation and Siege Breaking?
Keep Those Guinness Records Coming!

As They Used to Say, "Revolution" Until Victory!

نجل رئيس الوزراء إسماعيل هنية يتم حفظ القرآن الكريم كاملاً في 35 يومًا

تمكَّن "عائد" نجل رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني إسماعيل هنية، قبل أيام قليلة، من إتمام حفظ القرآن الكريم في مدة قصيرة لا تتجاوز 35 يومًا، بعد التحاقه بمخيمات "تاج الوقار" لتحفيظ القرآن الكريم، التي تُقيمها "دار القرآن الكريم والسنة في قطاع غزة".

وقالت مصادر خاصة من مكتب رئيس الوزراء إسماعيل هنية لمراسل "المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام" الخميس (30-7) إن "عائد" حصل على درجة متميزة بين زملائه من حفَظة القرآن الكريم، وإنه تمكَّن من الحصول على الدرجة الثانية على شعبته.

وكان "عائد" قد التحق بمخيمات "تاج الوقار" في المسجد الغربي بمخيم الشاطئ، الذي يقطنه والده رئيس الوزراء.

وأفادت المصادر بأن رئيس الوزراء قدَّم وعدًا لنجله "عائد" بالسفر إلى بيت الله الحرام لأداء عمرة؛ مكافأةً له على إتمامه حفظ القرآن الكريم.

The Biden and Clinton Mutinies

A Very Good Comment


"Time bombs tossed seemingly casually in the past month by his vice president and his secretary of state disclose president Obama, in the dawn of his first term, already the target of carefully meditated onslaughts by senior members of his own cabinet.

At the superficial level Obama is presiding over an undisciplined administration; on a more realistic and sinister construction, he is facing mutiny, publicly conducted by two people who only a year ago were claiming that their qualifications to be in the Oval Office were far superior to those of the junior senator from Illinois .

The great danger to Obama posed by Biden's and Clinton's "time bombs" (a precisely correct description if we call them political, not diplomatic time bombs) is not international confusion and ridicule over what precisely are the US government’s policies, but a direct onslaught on his presidency by a domestic Israeli lobby that is so out of control that it renders ridiculous Obama’s puny attempt to stop settlements--or to curb Israeli aggression in any other way......

The Israel lobby has been promoting the idea of a US “nuclear umbrella” for some years, with one of its leading exponents being Dennis Ross, now in charge of Middle Eastern policy at Obama’s National Security Council. In her campaign last year Clinton flourished the notion as an example of the sort of policy initiative that set her apart from that novice in foreign affairs, Barack Obama......

The Biden and Clinton "foreign" policy is: 1) to recreate the same old Cold War (with a new appendage, the US versus Iran nuclear confrontation) for the same old reasons: to pump up domestic defense spending; and 2) to continue sixty years of supporting Israeli imperialism for the same reasons that every president from Harry to Dubya (perhaps barring Ike) did so: to corner Israel lobby money and votes. Regarding the latter, Obama did the same by grabbing the Chicago-based Crown and Pritzker family money very early in his campaign and by making Rahm Emanuel his very first appointment (the two are hardly unrelated).

So right from the start Obama was already an Israel lobby fellow traveler. The Mitchell appointment and the toothless blather about settlements were simply cosmetic, bones tossed to the increasing proportion of the American electorate that's grossed out by the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs from the Holy Land......

The window for any new president to impose a decisive change in foreign policy comes in the first three months, before opposition has time to solidify. Obama squandered that opportunity, stocking his foreign policy team with tarnished players such as Ross. As the calculated indiscretions of Biden and Clinton suggest, not to mention the arrogance of Netanyahu and his political associates, the window of opportunity has closed.....

Hence Biden and Clinton's mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama's popularity weakens. When the results of the latest Rasmussen presidential poll were published, showing Obama's declining numbers, there were news reports of cheering in Tel Aviv....."

EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh’s Parents Discuss Their Son’s Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre...

EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh’s Parents Discuss Their Son’s Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre, to His Abuse at the Hands of US Forces

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"In their first extended interview, the parents of John Walker Lindh, Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh, join us for the hour to tell their son’s story. He was born in Washington, DC in 1981. At the age of sixteen, he converted to Islam. In 1999, Lindh left the United States for Yemen to study Arabic and the Koran. He later traveled to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan, before 9/11, where he received military training from the US-backed, Taliban-run Afghan Army to fight against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan’s civil war. He was captured in late 2001, found emaciated and wounded, one of the few to survive a massacre by the Northern Alliance. To his parents’ relief, he was handed to US forces, but they brutalized him, as well. Donald Rumsfeld had ordered them to “take the gloves off.” He was designated Detainee 001 in the war on terror. When he returned to the United States in January 2002, he was being held as a prisoner accused of conspiring to kill Americans. As part of a plea deal, Lindh pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was given a twenty-year sentence....."

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Ball over the Wall

The state of play at the West Bank

More at The Real News

"Israel and the US call the Wall snaking through the West Bank a "barrier". What if the barrier becomes the playing field for an unlikely soccer match? Pepe Escobar kicks in."

The moneyman behind the Jewish expansion in East Jerusalem

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jul 31, 2009, 00:19

(left) Irving Moskowitz

"The take down by the FBI of a group of Syrian-Jewish rabbis who have held fund raisers for the Binyamin Netanyahu coalition partner, the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, has highlighted the financing of the expansion of Jewish building in East Jerusalem, which is not recognized as part of Israel by the United Nations....."

Code Pink activists protest Ahava beauty products, manufactured in Israeli settlements

"Dozens of international women of the Code Pink antiwar movement, protested on Wednesday against the purchase of “Ahava” products manufactured by an Israeli company in Mitzpe Shalem settlement. Wearing bikinis and swim suits, the protesters demanded a boycott of the company that uses Palestinian natural resources in the occupied West Bank.

The protestors gathered near cosmetic stores in Washington. They wore bikinis and splashed their bodies with mud referring to the ‘dirty work’ of the Ahava Company.

The movement announced that Israel is stealing the Palestinian natural resources and producing its Dead Sea products at the settlement.

The campaign, known as “Stolen Beauty”, was launched last month against the company which exports its products to 25 countries.

Paris Marron, the national online organizer of Code Pink, said that Ahava Company claims that it is devoted to beauty and purity, but at the same time it acts against the international law.

Rae Abileah, a member of the movement, said that Code Pink is launching an international campaign against the products of the company in protest to its illegal activities in occupied Palestinian territories. She added that the activists handed store managers letters that included factual information about the production process, and demanded that they stop selling Ahava products as they violate the Geneva Convention.

It is worth mentioning that Code Pink urged Kristen Davis, star of the “Sex and the City” to stop representing Ahava.

The campaign against Ahava Dead Sea products held its first protest over a month ago. The protest was held at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, in cooperation the coalition of Women for Peace. Israeli sources reported that the protestors managed to close the Ahava store for a whole day, an issue which encouraged them to push for activating the boycott campaign in stores in the United States....."

Israel's Discriminatory Land Policies

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 31, 2009

"Israel's late 1947 -1948 "War of Independence" took six months to create a new Jewish state, excluding Arabs to the greatest extent possible. To accomplish it, widespread war crimes and atrocities were committed as about 800,000 people were brutally uprooted, ethnically cleansed, or murdered in cold blood. In addition, 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities were destroyed and erased except in the collective memories of their inhabitants and descendants who'll always consider them their rightful homes.....

Israel does it anyway and plans continued settlement expansions on expropriated Palestinian lands. Interior Minister Eli Yishai threatened to use every resource possible to the maximum. The Ofra settlement is indicative. At least 58% of it was built on privately owned Palestinian land, now lost to make way for Jews. The same pattern holds throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians are being removed to accommodate an expanding Jewish population on all land that Israel values, and under Netanyahu's "natural growth" policy, it may accelerate faster than ever. "

Fatah: Don’t allow Dayton to control your convention

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

"I think it would be safe to say that virtually all Palestinians, including Hamas, would like to see Fatah’s upcoming Congress succeed in rehabilitating the movement, mainly by extricating it from the quagmire of corruption, treachery and “security coordination” with Israel, the Nazi-like occupier of our homeland and tormentor of our people......

It is simply unacceptable and scandalous for a liberation movement to have some of its leaders telling Israeli occupation army commanders that “We are allies, and our goals are the same, and our common enemy is Hamas.” Some years ago, those uttering such words would have met a harsh fate.

This is why such people shouldn’t stay in their jobs, let alone in Fatah, for one minute.

In the final analysis, the real contradiction is between us, the Palestinian people, and Israel , the Nazi-like occupier of our country, not among ourselves. This is what every Palestinian, including every member of Fatah, ought to understand.

Why Obama's peace process is still going nowhere

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 30 July 2009

".....Neither South Africa nor Northern Ireland offer exact analogies or ready-made blueprints for Palestine/Israel. But to continue to pretend that these working bi-national and one-state models have nothing to teach is to condemn Palestinians and Israelis to decades more of conflict, as diplomats chase mirages and Israel pursues its colonial policies unchecked."

Free Gaza Video: Is Israel guilty of piracy

"Is Israel guilty of piracy? Watch the video and decide for yourself how many international and maritime laws Israel has broken. The Israeli navy hijacked the Spirit of Humanity in international waters. The Israeli government hijacks Palestinian fishing boats, in Palestinian territorial waters, kidnaps the fishermen, and sends its military out to shoot to wound and kill them as they struggle to make a living. After watching this video, you will be convinced that Israel has committed acts of piracy against Palestinians and against internationals. No other country would be allowed to do what Israel does on a daily basis.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers were accompanying fishermen to document attacks on them by the Israeli Navy, and to provide a deterrence to these attacks. (
For more information and current reports about Gaza fishermen:
Footage by ISM volunteers,
Andrew Muncie
Vittorio Arrigoni
Donna Wallach......"

Let Them Eat Kenafah – A Poem

By Samah Sabawi and Nahedh ElRayes Jr.
Palestine Chronicle

"They ate the world's largest Kenafah in Nablus.
And broke a Guinness world record
In absurdity and madness

Esteemed dignitaries
And press from around the globe,
All gathered to admire the emperor’s newest robe.
And to eat a slice of pastry…

Seduced by the scrumptious tasty treat
Through the checkpoints
Down the road along a Nablus street
They came…

From the fields of grief
And villages carved by an apartheid wall
Along the mud roads they walked,
Where farmers become heroes then martyrs they fall
They came…

They didn’t stop to enjoy the sight of Banksy’s balloons
On the world’s largest canvass,
Nor did they notice the security goons
And the people they harass.
They didn’t even smile when they saw the donkey
Handing the Israeli soldier his paper ID
They walked in the shadow of settlements
They walked past the powers that be
And there, in that surreal reality
They ate Kenafah in Nablus

They eat stale food in Gaza’s neighborhoods
Where merchants make a fortune selling expired goods
Digging tunnels under a city that can hold its own
Yet no such book holds a record for what Gaza is known
Guinness did not check his mail
to read about the world’s largest open air jail

One of the most condensed places on earth
Sadly though, for what it’s worth
The inmates have finally began to learn
Every night they curse El Deomocratiah
And with hungry pangs they dream Of Kenafah Nabulsiyah

They eat sour grapes in the camps, they stand alone
Silently breaking a few records of their own
They stand alone
The world’s largest refugee population
The longest standing problem at the United Nations
They wait for the implementation of resolution 194
And every night they sleep on their bare cold floor
They wait!

But this night…
From the far distance they hear
The words of their naked emperor loud and clear:

If my people are hungry for justice and dignity,
Let them eat Kenafah in Nablus city

Obama’s Secret Police

Government Spies Infiltrate Antiwar Movement

by Justin Raimondo, July 31, 2009

"Well, we can relax, because the bad old days of the Bush administration, when government agencies routinely spied on the antiwar movement and other dissidents, are over — right?

Wrong – very wrong.

The indispensable Amy Goodman has the scoop: The Seattle Port Militarization Resistance (SPMR) group Washington state thought that their listserv coordinator, who went by the name "John Jacob," was one of them: a dedicated antiwar activist and self-described anarchist. They trusted him, they put him in a key position, they befriended him – and then they found out that he was a government informant. ........."

Israel admits white phosphorus use


"Israel has admitted to using white phosphorus during its war on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, but says it did so in accordance with international law.

The admission came in a 163-page document published by the Israeli foreign ministry on Thursday ahead of a UN report next week........

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli army had initially denied using white phosphorus, a chemical agent that causes severe burns.

"During the war, when we first started seeing the white phosphorous, the Israeli army said that everything it was using was in compliance with international law; it would not tell us whether or not it was using it," she said.......

"As the campaign went on, it became very obvious [on television] that it was being used and the Israeli army, as well as government spokesmen, told us that it was being used," our correspondent said........"

No Whitewash, by Dave Rowson

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

What might the world look like if the bailout works? Like Sarah Palin

She was the last clear expression of capitalism-as-usual. And if we waste this chance, it will be back to drill-baby-drill

By Naomi Klein, Thursday 30 July 2009

"The US bailout is a robbery in progress, the greatest heist in monetary history. But consider for a moment: what if it actually works, what if the financial sector is saved and the economy returns to the course it was on before the crisis struck? Is that what we want? And what would that world look like?

The answer is that it would look like Sarah Palin. Hear me out – this is not a joke. We're so busy laughing at her we may not have given sufficient consideration to the meaning of the Palin moment. Think about it, Sarah Palin stepped on to the world stage as vice-presidential candidate on 29 August 2008 at a McCain campaign rally. Two weeks later, on 15 September, Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering the global financial meltdown.

So in a way Palin was the last clear expression of capitalism-as-usual before everything went south......

Because make no mistake, capitalism will be back. And the same message will return, though there may be someone new selling that message: You don't need to change. Keep consuming all you want. There's plenty more. Drill, baby, drill. Maybe there will be some technological fix that will make all our problems disappear.

And that is why we need to be absolutely clear right now. Capitalism can survive this crisis. But the world can't survive another capitalist comeback."

Breaking Israel's spell

The British Jewish community must move beyond the idea that being 'loyal' means placing Israeli policy is beyond criticism

Seth Freedman, Friday 31 July 2009

"........People who apply logic, reason, and above all compassion in every facet of their daily lives suspend their principles when it comes to Israel, preferring to don a mantle of defiance and defensiveness when dealing with one of the most thorny issues to face Judaism in modern times.

I've just spent a month in the heart of the north-west London bubble, running the gauntlet of pro-Israel zealotry almost every time the Israel/Palestine issue reared its head. Accusing dissenters of being self-haters, traitors and of washing Israel's dirty linen in public is the bread and butter of the diehard Zionist brigade – and that's just to those Jews daring to speak out against Israeli policies and crimes.......

Jewish schools offer classes in "Israel advocacy" to their students, as though it were the most natural thing in the world for British Jewish pupils to be armed with facts and figures to defend the reputation of a state hundreds of miles away and with a vastly different constitution and a set of policies to the country in which they were born, raised and now live. That the Israeli government intends to pay young Israelis to become internet hasbara warriors is bad enough, but for impressionable British teens to be roped into the cause without any recourse to alternative political thinking in the classroom is beyond the pale – and demonstrates the smothering attitude of educators when it comes to dealing honestly with Israeli affairs........"

Interview: Sami al-Hajj


"Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman who was arrested by Pakistani forces on the border with Afghanistan in December 2001 while covering the US-led invasion, says his captors knew they were working with faulty intelligence information.

Al-Hajj was moved between Pakistani and Afghan detention centres before being flown out of the region and thrown into a grisly cell at the Guantanamo detention facility.

He said he spent six years and seven months at Guantanamo because of an "error" and has accused the administration of George Bush, the former US president, of continuing to incarcerate him despite knowing they had the wrong man.

Since his release, however, Al-Hajj says he is determined to use his plight to raise awareness of the conditions other inmates currently held at Guantanamo are facing and to pressure the US government for their release.

Al-Hajj and other released detainees are expected to launch the Guantanamo Justice Centre (GJC), a non-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva, which aims to peacefully resolve the plight of those who remain in US custody. A British branch will be opened at the end of July.

Al Jazeera's Ahmed Janabi met with al-Hajj on the eve of the GJC's launch.

Al Jazeera: Why were you arrested? ............."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Qahwaji to Military: Be Prepared to Confront Israeli Aggression


"30/07/2009 Lebanon's Army commander General Jean Qahwaji "ordered" the military on Thursday to be on high alert in anticipation of any possible Israeli attack on Lebanon, in an address to celebrate the Lebanese Army's 64th anniversary on August 1.
"You have combated the flames of sedition that was invading one region to the other and you provided the necessary stability," he said in his statement.

"Today, great missions await you and you must be fully prepared to confront any possible (Israeli) aggression," he said.

Qahwaji urged the military establishment to preserve its unity, which "is growing stronger each day."

He pledged to "work effortlessly to meet … your army's defensive and security needs."
COMMENT (on the lighter side) : The funny thing is that the Lebanese Army commander's last name (Qahwaji) means coffee server, in Arabic. Well, some in the IOF may prefer coffee instead of tea, from the tea servers of Lebanon.

Palestinian state proposal, by Carlos Latuff

EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border on Who’s Behind the Coup, His Attempts to Return Home,.......

EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border on Who’s Behind the Coup, His Attempts to Return Home, the Role of the United States and More...

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"In a Democracy Now! national broadcast exclusive, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya joins us from the Nicaragua-Honduras border for a wide-ranging interview on his attempts to return home, who’s behind the coup, the role of the United States, and much more. “I think the United States is going to lose a great deal of influence in Latin America if it does not turn the coup d’état around,” Zeleya says. “It will not be able to put forth its idea about democracy. It won’t be credible before anyone.” On his message to the Honduran people, Zelaya says they should “maintain their resistance against those who want to take their rights away…so that no one will be able to disrespect them, which is what the coup regime is doing today.”......."

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire

And Ten Steps to Take to Do So

by Chalmers Johnson

"However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union......"

Al-Jazeera Video with Professor Joseph Mas'ad: Arab development - 29 July 09

Part 1:

Part 2:

"What is the greatest threat to human security in the Arab world and what will it take for the region to meet the significant challenges it faces today? "

North Jersey: epicenter of 'Kosher Nostra' and Mossad activity

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"The recent rolling up of a Syrian Jewish criminal syndicate that was involved in buying off local elected and appointed government officials in north Jersey is but one in a long series of law enforcement operations directed, sometimes unsuccessfully due to the immense power of the Israel Lobby in the United States, against Jewish criminal networks in the New Jersey-New York region. These criminal networks also have one important thing in common: close connections to Israeli politicians and businessmen......"

Breaking the Gaza Siege.........with Kites!

Gaza children to break World record of flying kites

Left: Preparing the Hamas Air Force.

"In an attempt to break the Guinness world record for the most kites flown at the same time around 1,000 children will unite at the beaches of Gaza on Thursday afternoon.

The attempt is part of the Summer Games program run by the UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, that is offered to young Palestinians during their summer break from school.Thousands of teachers give up their summer holidays to join the program each year trying to create a positive summer experience for Gaza's children. A challenging task as the children of Gaza are faced with the effects of the Israeli blockade of the territory, entering its third year now, and are also still psychologically dealing with the war that happened seven months ago......"

Next: 10,000 kites to liberate Jerusalem; stay tuned.

Police and thieves pillage Helmand

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

"The major United States and British military offensive in Afghanistan's Helmand province is aimed at wresting the US$3 billion drug epicenter from the Taliban by bringing back Afghan army and police. But as Western troops depart, police linked to a local warlord are committing systematic abuses against the population, including the abduction and rape of pre-teen boys...."

Smiles all round over Lebanon's cabinet

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"Lebanon's premier-designate Saad Hariri has finally created a cabinet, and it includes two members of the heel-dragging Hezbollah. The news comes just days after Washington announced it will lift certain sanctions on Syria, indicating the Beirut breakthrough is the result of Damascus' improved relations with the US - and with Saudi Arabia....."

No Trouble, by Mr. Fish

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Using the UN to undermine Palestinian rights

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 29 July 2009
(Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative of Jordan at the United Nations.)

"European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana surprised observers on 11 July when he called, during a speech in London, for the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state by a certain date even if no agreement had been reached between Israelis and Palestinians.

On its face, this proposal sounds dramatic......

.....Instead, Solana seems to be calling for the UN to endorse vague ideas and start again an entire process that has proven totally misguided and fruitless. The real worry, however, is that Solana, who has always taken his political cues from Washington, is launching a trial balloon. He may be proposing a course of action to save the Obama administration from the failure of the process being conducted by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

It is not far-fetched to imagine the United States, which effectively controls the Security Council, proposing a resolution embodying Solana-like ideas, and packaging this as being part of a new US commitment to international joint action and legitimacy. The Palestinians will be presented with a fait accompli where they will be told that any demands for the their legitimate and inalienable rights beyond what the resolution contains are now invalid......"

EU Stepping Closer to Israel, Regardless

David Cronin interviews European Commissioner for External Relations BENITA FERRERO-WALDNER

"BRUSSELS, Jul 29 (IPS) - Israel enjoys closer relations with the European Union than almost any other foreign country - and work on deepening ties with Israel continues, even as its oppression of the Palestinian people worsens......"

The Disappearing Palestinian

by Philip Giraldi, July 30, 2009

"Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said that there were no Palestinians. All she had to do was look out the window to see an Arab or two, but her point was less factual than political in that she was denying that there had ever been any national identity for Palestinian Arabs, suggesting that arriving European Jews were doing little more than filling a political vacuum by returning to where their ancestors had in ancient times founded a state. It was a convenient national creation myth.......

The irony is that Israelis might intend for the Palestinians to disappear, but they are also acutely aware that the demographics are not running that way. Within ten years there will be a mostly Muslim Arab majority between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel can then survive only by abandoning any pretense of democracy and creating a complete police state with its Jewish citizens ruling over Arabs like a helot class or it can, alternatively, ethnically cleanse all the Christians and Muslims from its territory and make the Jewish religion the only basis for Israeli citizenship......."

More on Lubna Hussein: Public flogging holds no fear for woman who dared wear trousers

UN worker to stand trial in Sudan after sacrificing her right to immunity

By Katherine Butler, Foreign Editor
The Independent

"A Sudanese woman arrested for wearing trousers and facing a public flogging as punishment, was applauded by democracy activists yesterday after she took a defiant stand against Sudan's rulers and the repressive version of Islam she accuses them of enforcing in Africa's biggest country.

Lubna Hussein, a local employee of the UN's peacekeeping mission, was offered immunity from prosecution as a judge opened proceedings against her for "offences against the public taste". But in a dramatic step she announced to the court that she was sacrificing her UN job and the immunity that goes with it, so that her case would go to a full trial. "I wish to resign from the UN, I wish this court case to continue," she told a courtroom packed with supporters, women's rights activists, human rights workers and a handful of Western diplomats......

Ms Hassan said the fact that the trouser affair would now go to trial would intensify the international focus on Sudan's human rights violations. "This is not just about Lubna, it concerns all Sudanese," she said. "And it is not just a women's issue, it is about the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of everything, it concerns all Sudanese. This is an issue of democracy and dictatorship. It is shocking that they have prosecuted Lubna and punished the other women, and she has done us a favour by turning it into a public relations disaster for the authorities. They will have to think twice in future before going after a woman in this way."......"

There can be no Middle East settlement without Hamas

By throwing their weight behind repression on the West Bank, the US and Britain are only making a viable peace less likely

Seumas Milne, Wednesday 29 July 2009

"......But the only deal envisaged by the US is one with the unpopular Mahmoud Abbas, whose term as president expired last January. As the Democratic chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, John Kerry, put it recently: "Hamas has already won one election – we cannot allow them to win another."

And far from supporting the Palestinian national unity necessary to make any peace agreement stick, America and its allies are doing everything possible to deepen the split between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah movement. In fact, the US, Britain and the EU make support for the Palestinian Authority (PA) dependent on a continuing security crackdown against Hamas activists in the West Bank – justified as fighting terrorism – which makes reconciliation between the two Palestinian parties ever more far-fetched.

As a result, more than 1,000 political prisoners are reported by human rights groups to be held without trial in PA jails, while extrajudicial killings, torture and raids on Hamas-linked social institutions have become routine by security forces trained and funded by the US and the EU. And heading the effort to build up Abbas's forces that carry out these operations is US Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton – increasingly regarded as the real power in the West Bank – supported by British officials and the Foreign Office-sponsored security firm Libra Advisory Group, fresh from working for the occupation forces in Iraq........

The aim of Abbas, under US and EU guidance, is to complete the transformation of Fatah from a national liberation movement into the governing party of a state that doesn't exist. Money and gerrrymandering are likely to see off internal opposition, such as from the grassroots West Bank Fatah leader Hussam Khader, who calls for unity with Hamas and a twin strategy of resistance and negotiation.

"We expect nothing from Obama," Khader told me yesterday. Even if Abbas were to sign up to the half-baked collection of walled-in West Bank bantustans masquerading as an independent state that currently seems the most the US might be ready to squeeze out of Israel, he would not be able to sustain or legitimise it. Until the US feels it necessary to use its leverage with Israel to deliver something closer to a genuinely just settlement, the prospect must be of renewed violence, with ever greater global consequences. "

Clinton moved to halt disclosure of CIA torture evidence, court told

Richard Norton-Taylor, Wednesday 29 July 2009

"Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, personally intervened to suppress evidence of CIA collusion in the torture of a British resident, the high court heard today.

The dramatic turn emerged as lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, the UK resident abused in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco and Guantánamo Bay, joined by lawyers for the Guardian and other media groups, asked the court to order the disclosure of CIA material......"

Exciting News: The Dialog......The Dialog.......The Dia......Barf, but with a Turkish Accent!

'Turkey Wants to Mediate Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation Talks'


"30/07/2009 Turkey has formally requested to assume responsibility for inter-factional Palestinian talks, the pan-Arab satellite news network Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.

Ankara reportedly asked Egypt to relinquish its exclusive mediation role in discussions between the ruling Fatah movement headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamic Hamas organization.

The network reported that the Turkish government made the request to Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Ankara also sent a message to Abbas stating its willingness to aid in advancing the Palestinian dialogue......"

المطلوب بمصر ثورة "للناس الأحرار"


"وصف ناشطون وسياسيون مصريون المرحلة التي يعيشها الشعب المصري بأنها تشبه تلك التي سبقت قيام ثورة يوليو من حيث استشراء الفساد وغياب الديمقراطية وقمع الشعب وغياب العدالة الاجتماعية.

وطالبت ندوة بنقابة الصحفيين المصريين مساء الثلاثاء في ذكرى ثورة يوليو/تموز 1952 بـ"ثورة جديدة" لاستعادة مصر من أيدي النظام الحالي الذي "اختطفها لصالح أجندات عائلية وفئوية على حساب مصلحة الشعب المصري".
وحدد المنسق العام لحركة كفاية عبد الحليم قنديل ثلاث أولويات لإنجاز التغيير السياسي، أولاها استعادة مصر بعد أن "اختطفت من قبل النظام الحاكم الحالي" لأن الأمة العربية لن تستعاد ما لم تستعد مصر، حسب قوله.

وحدد الثانية في الثبات على الوطنية المصرية باعتبارها خطوة على طريق القومية العربية قائلا إن أي تيار وطني خاصة الناصري لا بد أن ينطلق مشروعه النهضوي الأساسي من مصر خاصة في ظل وجود مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي يستهدف تحويل الأمة العربية إلى ممالك طائفية انطلاقا من هذا البلد.

أما الثالثة برأيه فالانخراط في حركة التغيير في مصر وانصهار التيارات كافة في بوتقة العمل ضد نظام حسني مبارك الذي "اختطف مصر" وسمح بانتزاع سيادة قرارها السياسي، ولم يعد مطلوبا ولا مقبولا من المؤسسة العسكرية، حسب قوله، أن تقوم بما قام به الضباط الأحرار، فقد حان وقت الثورة "بالناس" ولصالح "الناس".

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sudanese dictator's misogyny

"Today, the Sudanese dictatorship imposes a sentence of 40 lashes against the leftist journalist who dared to wear pants in public."

الصحفية السودانية لبنى أحمد الحسين تتلقى 40 جلدة

"تنفذ اليوم السلطات السودانية حكمها بجلد الصحفية السودانية، لبنى أحمد الحسين، التي تكتب في جريدة ''الصحافة'' اليسارية وتشتغل مع بعثة الأمم المتحدة في الخرطوم، 40 جلدة لأنها ارتدت ملابس ''مفضوحة''، بعد ثلاثة أسابيع من جلد 10 نساء أخريات للسبب نفسه.
وقالت لبنى أحمد الحسين، أمس، أنها تلقت اتصالاً هاتفياً من السلطات لإبلاغها بالمثول أمام القاضي، صباح اليوم الأربعاء، مضيفة أنه ''من المهم أن يعلم الناس ما يحدث''، داعية الصحافيين إلى حضور مثولها أمام المحكمة ومشاهدة عملية جلدها، مؤكدة أنها ستتلقى 40 جلدة مع دفعها لغرامة قدرت بـ250 جنيه سوداني، أي ما يعادل 100 دولار. وقد وزعت الصحفية السودانية ما يقارب 500 بطاقة دعوة على شخصيات إعلامية ومن الجمعيات المدافعة عن حقوق الإنسان والمجتمع المدني لحضور عقوبة جلدها.
وروت لبنى بنت الحسين لمختلف وسائل الإعلام أنها وبتاريخ 3 جويلية الجاري في مطعم عندما دخلت قوات الشرطة وأمرت 13 امرأة يرتدين سراويل بمرافقتهم إلى مركز الشرطة. وأضافت الصحافية التي ارتدت غطاء للرأس ''لقد اصطحبوني و12 فتاة أخرى بينهن ''جنوبيات''، وتم تنفيذ عقوبة على 10 منهن، حيث تلقت كل واحدة منهن 10 جلدات''.
ووجه إلى الثلاث الباقيات وبينهن الصحافية، الاتهام ''بموجب الفصل 152 من القانون الجنائي السوداني'' مثلما أضافت، مشيرة إلى أن تاريخ المحاكمة لم يحدد حتى الآن.
وتنص المادة المذكورة على أنه ''من يأتي في مكان عام فعلا أو سلوكا فاضحا أو مخلا بالآداب العامة أو يرتدي زيا فاضحاً أو مخلا بالآداب العامة يسبب مضايقة للشعور العام، يعاقب بالجلد بما لا يتجاوز 40 جلدة أو بالغرامة أو بالعقوبتين معا''.

COMMENT: Is this the future of Gaza under Hamas?? It is moving in that direction for sure.

Al-Jazeera (Arabic) is also covering this story and is reporting that the journalist was given the option of claiming diplomatic immunity (since she works for the UN) to avoid the lashing. To her credit she refused the diplomatic immunity, and even offered to resign from the UN mission, since such luxury is not available to other Sudanese women subject to the same barbaric laws.
رفضت حصانة أممية وتأجلت محاكمتها

Sudan court adjourns 'trouser' case

"A Sudanese court has adjourned the case of a woman who was arrested and charged with dressing indecently after she was seen wearing trousers in a Khartoum cafe......

Al-Hussein was arrested, along with 13 other women, in a raid on a Khartoum cafe in early July and charged with breaching Islamic law.......

Al-Hussein said that she decided to speak out because flogging is a practice many women endure in silence.

"Let the people see for themselves. It is not only my issue," she said......."

How Will Arabs Wake Up?

The Way to Power

(Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University.)


".....But it is undeniable that the Arabs failed to do one essential thing -- which is to build active institutions which are able to mobilize, regulate and organize the social, economic and political forces in their societies. As The Economist editorial mentions, but for reasons different from those I have in mind, “democracy is not only about elections. It is about education, coexistence, and building independent institutions like an independent judiciary and free media [COMMENT: You should tell that to your boss, El Presidente Asad, Dr. Shaaban]”. Real citizenship is not only caring about oneself and one’s family and relatives, iIt is about building a nation and caring about its future. Individual salvation is a dominant phenomenon in the Arab world, and seeking to secure the future of one’s children and grandchildren at the expense of the future of the nation, whereas building the future of the nation should be the only insurance policy for everyone.....

....The main driving force for development and modernization in the West remains the human mind. Modern technology is easy to come by compared with enlightened thought which produces technology, ideas, materials and institutions and all that which drive people towards a better future. There is nothing wrong in acknowledging that we have not woken up yet, but what is dangerously wrong is to remain complacently asleep while blaming colonialism and the enemies of freedom. Human beings remain the most precious capital, and education is the key to mobilizing this tremendous asset. So, let us start with an open and candid discussion of the condition of education as an indication of our awakening; and when the Arabs wake up they are bound to produce, as they did in the past, what is best for them and for humanity."

Al-Jazeera Video: Witness - Made in Palestine

Part 1:

Part 2:

"The Keffiyeh is more than just a practical headdress and over recent decades it has come to symbolise the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. The documentary looks at the last keffiyeh maker in the West Bank who has finally fallen victim to a cocktail of competition from China, globalisation and Israeli occupation. "

Re-imagining Palestine

Self determination, Ethical De-colonization and Equality

By Omar Barghouti


With Yassir Arafat's departure, the doubling of the population of Jewish-Israeli colonial settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory, the latest Israeli slow genocide in Gaza and the fast disintegration of the last vestiges of Israeli "democracy," the two-state "solution" for the Palestinian-Israeli colonial conflict is finally dead. Good riddance! This was never a moral or practical solution to start with, as its main objective has always been to win official Palestinian legitimization of Israel's colonial and apartheid existence on top of most of the area of historic Palestine. It is high time to move on to the most just, morally sound and sustainable solution: the secular, democratic unitary state........"

Human Rights in Palestine

Review of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) Report

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 29, 2009

" The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) 2008 Annual Report (225 pages)

Established in 1995, PCHR functions independently in Gaza and enjoys "Consultative Status" with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It's also an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists-Geneva, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Paris, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network in Copenhagen, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Cairo, and the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) in Stockholm.
Palestinian lawyers and human rights activists established it to:

-- "protect human rights and promote the rule of law;"

-- create, develop and promote a democratic culture in Palestinian society; and

-- work for Palestinian self-determination and independence "in accordance with international law and UN resolutions."

PCHR is an "independent legal body dedicated to the protection of human rights, the promotion of the rule of law, and the upholding of democratic principles in the Occupied Territories." It issues documents, fact sheets, and reports like its latest 2008 Annual Report - divided in two parts......"

Israel wrestles with Iran problem

By Ramzy Baroud
Asia Times

As the US military option against Iran largely dissipates, Israel's frustration and worries grow. If Iran is not neutralized militarily - as the US did Iraq - then a nuclear Iran is a matter of time. If Israel strikes Iran, there are no guarantees that such an act - which will certainly harm US strategic interests - will in any way destroy, or even slow down the Iranian nuclear program.

The US and its European allies seem out of ideas regarding how to deal with Iran, leaving Israel with a major conundrum: either living in the potential shadow of a nuclear Iran, as a long-term regional power, or striking the Islamic Republic with the hope that its erroneously perceived "shaky" regime will quickly crumble, leaving the US to pick up the pieces, and the whole region to deal with the chaos that will surely follow. "

The Chinese Come Calling

By Robert Scheer

"What a hoot. The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world’s most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic......."

Obama Faces Carter/Clinton Parallels

By Robert Parry
July 29, 2009

"After six months in office, Barack Obama’s presidency reveals striking parallels not only to Bill Clinton’s troubled first term, but to Jimmy Carter’s only term. And, how those dangers are reappearing show that the Democrats and American progressives have learned little over the past 30 years.

Many analysts already have noted the eerie similarities between Obama’s troubles and Clinton’s political woes 16 years ago. In both cases, the Democratic presidents started off by rebuffing calls for serious investigations of abuses committed by their Republican predecessors.......

‘Hussein’ Obama

Already, pro-Likud elements in the Israeli media have been riling up the population for a prolonged battle with Obama – and some of that anti-Obama animosity is spilling over into the American press as well.

On Tuesday, the New York Times devoted half its op-ed page to an article by Israeli journalist Aluf Benn complaining that Obama, as President, had not yet traveled to Israel to deliver a speech, although he has made a major address in Cairo to the Islamic world and has spoken elsewhere, such as Europe, Russia and Africa.......

Nevertheless, Benn’s article offered a window into how the Israeli media is reacting to Obama. “Israeli rightists have – in columns, articles and public statements – taken to calling the president by his middle name, Hussein, as proof of his pro-Arab tendencies,” Benn wrote......

Given the hostility that Obama has engendered among right-wing Israelis and the continued influence of neocons in the U.S. political/media system, Obama, like Carter, appears surrounded by powerful adversaries, also including many business interests and social conservatives.......

So, the stage is set for a sustained war against Obama and his presidency, with what is likely to include both the ugliness of the personal assault on Clinton and the secret maneuvering that proved so devastating against Carter."

The ‘Superpower’ Conceit

It's nothing but trouble

by Justin Raimondo, July 29, 2009

(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

"The great foreign policy initiative unleashed by the Obama administration, the one that is supposed to earn our new president a place on Mount Rushmore, is a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian question. This issue has bedeviled American presidents starting with Jimmy Carter and continuing through Bill Clinton.........

Forget the Israeli-Palestinian problem. We have problems of our own. If we want to end Arab-Muslim enmity that results from our unthinking and immoral support for Israeli aggression, then there’s a very simple way to achieve this noble aim: cut off all aid to Tel Aviv. Once the $3 billion-plus subsidy is ended, the link between the U.S. and Israel’s racist policies in the occupied territories will end, too. That the Obama administration would never even consider such a "radical" proposal as asking the Israelis to stand on their own feet is all we need to know about the future of our career as an honest Mideast broker. With all this talk of Obama cracking down on the settlement question and demanding "concessions" from the Israelis, when it gets right down to it the president has no real bargaining power. Since Obama can’t, or won’t, threaten Tel Aviv with a withdrawal of funding, Netanyahu and his government can hold out indefinitely, effectively blocking any real progress toward a settlement.

The reason, as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have tirelessly pointed out, is the inordinate power of the Israel lobby to dominate the policymaking process, and specifically the legislative process. The Democratic Party’s fundraising apparatus would suffer a near-fatal blow if the lobby’s wealthy friends decided to withhold their support. Obama may have to choose between a Nobel prize and his party’s political fortunes. And we know which option he’ll choose."

Gulf War legacy flares as 'stingy' Kuwait puts the squeeze on Iraq

Oil-rich state demands billions from Baghdad as dispute over border rages

By Robert Fisk

But there is more – and it involves the ethnic balance in the two nations' populations. "Maybe 40 per cent of people in Kuwait are now Shia rather than Sunni Muslims and these people are now investing heavily in southern Iraq," the oil man said yesterday. "The Kuwaiti Shias are becoming 'Basra-ites' and vice versa. More and more Shia from the south of Iraq are becoming businessmen and trading with Kuwait. This causes a blurring of the border between the two countries, a feeling that the two economies are becoming linked. No wonder the Kuwaitis want to stand by the letter of the law."

There are some unpleasant precedents for the Kuwaitis. The crushing debt which the Treaty of Versailles heaped upon Germany was lesson enough; Germany's financial loss became Hitler's gain. Maybe the Kuwaitis should pull out some history books and ponder what Iraq will look like – and who its leader may be – in 20 years' time."

The defeat siren is sounding for Blair's vainglorious jihad in Afghanistan

The take-hold-and-build strategy is mere pastiche imperialism. All wars end in talking, as must this US vendetta in Afghanistan

Simon Jenkins, Tuesday 28 July 2009

"Fact is at last fighting fantasy in Afghanistan. Fact is that Tony Blair's vainglorious jihad against the Pashtun insurgency is not succeeding, and British commanders, diplomats and politicians know it. After three years of "inkspots", hearts-and-minds and take-hold-and-build, that battle-weary siren of defeat, talking to the enemy, is back onstage.......

Everyone knows that the British will go but the Taliban will stay. That is why the strategy of take, hold and build is mere pastiche imperialism. It relies on the palpable nonsense that the Afghan army, a drugged militia of little competence and less loyalty, will fight and defeat its Pashtun cousins. It will not.

All wars end in talking, even if the conversation is usually brief and one-sided. Such will be any deal with the Taliban, good or bad. As the Canadians and most Europeans have realised, Afghanistan is essentially a war of American vendetta, and the more stupid for it. Yes, it will end in talk, but how many more must die first?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Israeli leader calls Obama 'slave'

Press TV

"Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel's Shas Party, has called US President Barack Obama "a slave" who seeks to rule the world and control Tel Aviv's affairs.

"American insidiousness tells us to build here and not to build there as though we were slaves working for them," he said. "We live in a time when slaves are governing us and are trying to control us."

The racist remarks were made during Yosef's weekly sermon on Saturday during which he protested the Obama administration's policy to exert pressure on Tel Aviv over its settlement expansion.

"We are not employees of the Americans… and Israel does not work for the United States," he shouted........"