Saturday, December 5, 2009

Real News Video: America cannot be the hegemon of Western Asia

Wilkerson Part 2: Diplomacy must lead a regional solution to Afghan war; there is no military solution

More at The Real News

War Cries From a Defeated Man


".....In the wake of the speech – particularly after polls showing that it had failed to increase prowar sentiment - the Democrats were glum, well aware that they will be saddled with an unpopular war through the 2010 midterm elections and that Obama will unhesitatingly turn to Republicans in Congress to get the necessary vote for the money to finance the widening war. From the left came pledges to revive the antiwar movement, dormant these past two years......"

Pentagon's War Pitch Belied by Taliban-Qaeda Conflict

By Gareth Porter

"WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (IPS) - U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen argued in Senate Testimony Wednesday that the 30,000-troop increase is necessary to prevent the Taliban from giving new safe havens to al Qaeda terrorists.

But that argument is flatly contradicted by the evidence of fundamental conflicts between the interests of the Taliban and those of al Qaeda that has emerged in recent years, according to counterterrorism and intelligence analysts specialising in Afghanistan......

President Barack Obama appears to have been informed about the evidence of divergent Taliban and al Qaeda interests. Senior administration officials told the New York Times in early October, evidently with the encouragement of the White House, that the Taliban was now viewed by the national security team as a group that did not have "ambitions to attack the United States". "


by William S. Lind, December 05, 2009

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff; Click on it to enlarge)

"......Now the shoe is on the other foot, and liberals are bidden to hold their tongues as President Obama makes Bush’s wars his own. The usual Washington sellout is in gear.

It should not come as a surprise. America is now a one-party state. The one party is the Establishment party, which is also the war party. Unless you are willing to cheer permanent war for permanent peace, you cannot be a member of the Establishment....

On the operational level, we are adopting a fortress strategy: Festung Kandahar. The Taliban’s operational countermove is obvious: take the rest of the Pashtun areas, isolate us in our fortresses, then work to sever the supply lines running to the fortresses, including Kabul. The Taliban is already attempting to do this; our concentration should make it all the easier.....

If we add all this up, we see that militarily it makes no sense. Of course, that is true of any military option in the Afghan war. We are fighting the Pashtun, and in the end, the Pashtun always win Afghan wars. "This time is different" is, as always, the battle cry of Folly.....

The real choice Obama faced was not how many troops to send. We do not have enough troops to commit a militarily meaningful number. The real choice was to get out now or get out later. His duty as chief executive, the state of America’s treasury (empty), concern for the well-being of our troops and their families, and the hopelessness of the situation all dictated he get out now. By punting the decision, he showed America and the world what he is made of. Dec. 1, 2009, was the date the Obama presidency failed."

Where is the Pharaoh, "Defending Egyptian Dignity," Now? How About All These Poor Egyptians Dying? Algeria Had Nothing to Do With This.....

Many missing in Egypt boat accident


"Dozens of people have been reported as missing after two passenger ferries collided in the north of Egypt's Nile river.

At least 40 passengers were believed to be on board, but there were contradictory reports over how many of them might have gone missing.

Security sources put the number of missing people at between 14 and 38.....

Rescuers were still searching for those thought to be missing after one of the ferries broke in half and the other overturned.......

Egypt has frequent transportation accidents, mainly because of poor infrastructure.

In February 2006, a ferry in the Red Sea caught fire and sank en route to Egypt from Saudi Arabia, killing 1,034 of the 1,400 people on board. An Egyptian appeals court in March this year found the owner of the ferry guilty of manslaughter and sentenced him to seven years in jail.

Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour resigned in October over a train crash south of Cairo which killed 18 people."

From now on this is Obama's war

Watching him make the most important speech of his term was profoundly depressing

By Rupert Cornwell
The Independent

"Be careful what you wish for. Barack Obama wanted the American presidency, and with a brilliant campaign he won it. As late as early this summer, disbelief could still be suspended. Cartoonists were still depicting him as Superman, leaping over every problem mere mortals might put in his way. But he too has now been exposed as a mere mortal. He's not soaring over problems. Rather, he may be crushed by them......

More than 40 years ago, an earlier Democratic president named Lyndon B Johnson, with a no less ambitious domestic agenda than Obama, was confronted by the same choice. We all know how Vietnam ended. No two conflicts are exactly alike. But with every passing month, the similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan grow.

George Orwell once observed that the quickest way to end a war is to lose it – but losing a war is also the quickest way to lose a presidency, too. That reasoning prevailed with LBJ, though Vietnam forced him out of the White House regardless. For Obama, the stakes are as high now......

The great promise of this presidency was that it would usher in a new way of doing politics. It would, as they say, break the mould. But the Afghan speech, so full of politics as usual, gave the lie to that. We all should be careful what we wish for."

These Iranian troubadours show how music can corrupt the soul

I am old enough to remember Ruhollah Khomeini banning Mozart and Haydn

A Nice Piece
By Robert Fisk

(Left: Marcel Khalifa)

".....Yes, real live troubadours in the real live Islamic Republic, two of them, hacking at a violin and beating on a "zarb" drum, the work of the classical Persian musicians, a combination – for a westerner – of gypsy and nursery melodies, a sudden revelation of 14th- and 15th-century music in a regime which aspires to the purity of the 8th......

But I am old enough to remember Ruhollah Khomeini banning Mozart and Haydn. So how do the Revolutionary Guards, praetorians of the Ayatollah's spirituality in President Ahmedinejad's oh-so-chaste republic, react to these ghosts of culture past? "I play music to earn money," Zandegani replies, a little shiftily I think. "We earn maybe $40 or $50 a day." In theory, all music must pass Iran's censorship authorities; a female singer, for example, is not allowed to sing solo lest her lone voice be too arousing for male listeners.

But music and Islam have a dodgy relationship. In Saudi Universities – and here I thank Jonas Otterbeck, Independent reader extraordinaire of Malmo University in Sweden – the most sanctimonious of students have assaulted music enthusiasts; when a professor at King Saud University, Hamzah Muzeini, condemned this brutality in the daily Al-Watan newspaper, he was convicted by a Sharia court – a ruling later overturned by King Abdullah. Yet according to journalist Rabah al-Quwai'i, some sheikhs encourage youths to burn instruments and books in public. In Saudi, I should add, Christmas carols – like all Christian religious services – are banned, except for the all-purpose "Jingle Bells". Father Christmas, I suppose, wasn't really a Christian.

It's not difficult to understand the objections to modern music and pop. Hamdi Hassan, a member of the Egyptian Assembly for the Muslim Brotherhood, complained about Ruby's first video and "the gyration of other pop stars". Incredibly, of all issues raised by the Brotherhood in the Assembly between 2000 and 2005, 80 per cent involved cultural and media issues – so much for the injustices of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan! In my own country of choice, Lebanon, the Ministry of Defence monitors music, according to musician Mohamed Hamza. In November, 1999, Marcel Khalife was charged with blasphemy before the Beirut courts, an outrageous infringement of cultural liberty supported by the Sunni Grand Mufti, Mohamed Kabbani. Khalife had set a verse by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish to music in his album Arabic Coffeepot, but Darwish's poem contained lines from the Koran (part of verse four of Sura 12, for the uninitiated) and protesters argued that Khalife had defiled the Koran by singing it as part of a commercial song. Shiite clerics – to their great credit – defended the song-writer. He was acquitted, the Beirut judge adding that Khalife had "chanted the poem in gravity and composure that reveal a deep perception of the humanism expressed in the poem ornamented with the holy phrase." Phew.

But when Amar Hassan wanted to sing about love as well as politics in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in 2005, he was threatened before a Nablus court and his concert broken up by gunfire and the explosion of stun guns. The conflict, as Otterbeck realised in his thesis, has deep roots: between secular nationalistic music and Islamist music. In Algeria, the Islamic Armed Group made their point in lethal fashion, assassinating Berber singer Matoub Lounès.

On Al-Jazeera television, Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi claims there's nothing forbidden about music unless it is slanderous, sexually exciting or – and here's the rub – if it's listened to with over-enthusiasm (Islam supposedly being against all things in excess). Sufis have suggested that uneducated listeners may be stirred to sexual desire while experienced practitioners are moved by music to do God's will. The old, I suppose, know how to control themselves when they hear Mozart's "Jupiter" symphony. In Iraq, the musical scene has been bleak indeed. Shia Islamists attacked music-playing male and female students in a Basra park in 2005, killing two and wounding five others. Between 2003 and 2006, the UN found that as many as 75 Iraqi singers had been murdered; 80 per cent of the country's professional singers had left the country by the end of 2006.

I guess it's really all to do with that most jealously guarded commodity, the human soul, over which music exerts such passion. While the passion of humans should be directed towards God, music, it seems, is a diversion, even worse a perversion, the path to alcohol, adultery, murder. An Islamist internet site quotes the classical scholar Abu Hanifa who insisted that "musical instruments are the wine of the soul, and what it does to the soul is worse than what intoxicating drinks do.".... "

In a Hole, by Dave Brown

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

The Middle East's invisibles

Millions of disabled people in Arab and north African societies face exclusion and discrimination – and almost certain poverty

Jack Shenker, Saturday 5 December 2009

"....This isn't just a question of Arab society acknowledging the existence of disabled people, it's about acknowledging their place within the spectrum of "ordinary" life.

The problem though, as Brian Whitaker points out in his recent book What's Really Wrong With the Middle East, is that the idea of society being vibrant, pluralistic and above all a forum in which individuals can legitimately carve out their own personal thought and space in their own manner – and still be an accepted part of the community – is one that is stubbornly denied through social norms inculcated through both the family and school systems. Educational models in the Arab World tends to encourage "submission, obedience, subordination and compliance, rather than free critical thinking"; in other words, children are taught that the best route to success is to accept their parents and schoolteachers vision of the world unquestionably and to learn it by rote.

It is little wonder, then, that the Middle East's disabled population struggle to be accorded the status of productive, self-expressive individuals that they deserve, but are instead diminished into caricatures. Government neglect of the disabled is unacceptable, but the real challenges start closer to home."

Iran slams Saudi offensive into Yemen

Press TV

"A senior Iranian official has admonished the Saudi government for entering the Yemen conflict by launching an offensive in northern parts of the country.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called into question the Saudi motive behind its offensive into northern Yemen, which he said had exacerbated the already worsening situation in Yemen.

“An unfair conflict has arisen in Yemen but I wonder how [our] Saudi brothers who are Muslim do such a thing. They are in fact … killing Muslims," Larijani said, citing negotiation as the only means to defuse the crisis in Yemen.

He advised the Riyadh government against “inciting division” among Muslims." If Saudis have rockets, why don't they use them against Israel but instead drop them on poor innocent people …The Saudi government is Islamic and should not excite division among Muslims."

Larijani reiterated that the Saudi involvement in Yemen fighting was a “seditious act instigated by the enemies of Islam."

He said Saudi Arabia had financially supported Saddam Hussein's attack against Iran in the 1980s for the simple reason that Iraqis were Arabs but now refuses to intervene in issues related to other Arab nations.

We told them (Saudis) not to collaborate with Saddam's dictatorial regime but they retorted that Iraqis were Arabs. Why is it now that you don't intervene to help in Lebanon and Palestine considering that they are mostly Sunni [Arabs]? Why don't you confront the Zionist regime?" he retorted......."

Al-Jazeera Video: Gazans fleeced in investment scam

"Underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip are the only way for millions of dollars worth of essential supplies to get past Israel's siege of the coastal territory.

But it has now emerged that at least 40,000 Gazans have lost their life savings in scheme that promised up to 50 per cent profits in return for an investment in tunnel trading.

Hamas, which has de facto control of Gaza, returned a fraction of the $100m that disappeared through the scheme, and has said that is investigating the fraud.

However, with hundreds of middlemen as yet unpunished and many of them rumoured to have had links to Hamas, the duped Gazans say that more should be done.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Awad reports from Gaza."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Obama's Promises...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Check Your Tires Regularly!

According to the Syrian Regime, Here is What Happens When a Tire Blows Up....
Only Three People Were Killed and Many More Were Injured.

Photo courtesy of Angry Arab

The Twin Frauds of Obama

Afghanistan and Elkhart, Indiana


"Goldman Sachs senior executives are arming themselves with New York gun permits, according to Alice Schroeder on The banksters “are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.”

One can understand why the banksters are worried. The company, now known as Gold Sacks, has a large responsibility for the financial crisis and the fraudulent “securities” that wrecked the world economy and Americans’ pensions. A former Gold Sachs CEO had control of the US Treasury during the Bush regime from which he diverted $750 billion to bail out the banks, thus supplying them with free capital. Gold Sachs made $27,000 million during the first three quarters of 2009 and is paying out massive bonuses, leaving the busted taxpayers with the debt and interest charges.

Little wonder the US can’t afford health care for the uninsured and unemployed. It is far more important to finance multi-million dollar bonuses for investment bankers. I mean, what would we do without capitalism?....."

Lebanon: an End to Sectarian Politics?

Suleiman and Nasrallah's Clarion Call


"....Lebanon’s entire political structure and climate revolves around sectarianism. The country’s 128-member parliament or “Chamber of Deputies,” is based on a confessional distribution of seats, divided equally between Muslims and Christians irrespective of political affiliation (as is the prime minister’s cabinet). In parliament, the Christian side is further subdivided in a fixed allotment among seven dominations, and the Muslim half among four.

The country’s top three political posts – president, prime minster, and speaker of the parliament – must be assigned to a Maronite Christian, Sunni Muslim, and Shia Muslim respectively. Sectarian quotas have even found their way into the public sector, the military and the security services.....

A clarion call has thus been issued for Lebanon to advance beyond its sectarian nature and adopt a political structure which eschews sectarianism and instead implement one based on equitable, and proportional, representation.

It is time for Lebanon to embrace it."

Eliot Spitzer: Geithner, Bernanke “Complicit” in Financial Crisis and Should Go

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"In an extended interview, we speak with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer about the financial crisis and how it was handled by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Bernanke and Geithner “actually built and participated in creating the structure that now has collapsed,” Spitzer says and calls on them to be replaced. Spitzer also talks about the scandal that erupted last year that forced him to resign as governor. “I have no doubt there were many people who were opposed to me–very powerful forces–who were happy to see me go,” Spitzer says. “Whether they participated I’ll let others figure that out. I resigned because of what I did.”...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - The one or two state debate

"....On Wednesday, Anand Naidoo spoke to two Palestinians with opposing takes on the issue.

Ghassan Khatib is a former Palestinian minister who currently heads the Palestinian Government Media Centre. He was a member of the Madrid Peace Delegation from 1991 to 1993.

Ali Abunimeh is the co-founder of the website "Electronic Intifada", and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. "

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Iraq - afghanistan - the new Iraq? 4 Dec 09

Featuring Angry Arab (Professor As'ad Abu Khalil)

"We ask whether Obama's new military strategy is destined to fail "

Real News Video: "Obama's choice" pure politics

Lawrence Wilkerson: Obama's campaign rhetoric and his generals put him in a corner on Afghanistan

More at The Real News

Report finds new Israeli war doctrine targets civilians

An Important Piece

Press release, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, 3 December 2009

"The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released today [2 December 2009] a new report which exposes the shifts in Israel's combat doctrine as evidenced in the prosecution of operation "Cast Lead" and from numerous public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers and senior Israeli government officials.

The report, "No Second Thoughts: Changes in the IDF's Combat Doctrine In Light Of Operation 'Cast Lead'," demonstrates Israel's application of a new combat doctrine during the hostilities in Gaza, which is based on two principles:

"Zero Casualties": The complete prioritization of avoiding IDF [Israeli army] casualties while disregarding the increased risk to Palestinian civilians. The implementation of this policy is evident in the massive use of fire power, the use of white phosphorous weapons in densely populated areas, and in firing at Palestinians in the streets, with no discrimination between combatants and civilians, this even after the IDF would order the evacuation of residents from civilian homes.

"Dahiyah Doctrine": named after the residential Dahiyah district in Beirut, where Hizballah enjoyed support and also had its headquarters. The district was massively bombed by the IDF during the Second Lebanon War. The doctrine promotes targeting civilian infrastructure in order to cause widespread destruction and suffering among the civilian population so as to foment popular opposition to Israel's opponents (namely Hamas and Hizballah)......"

Obama Pleases the Neocons

President Barack Obama’s escalation of the Afghan War has upset many rank-and-file Democrats who had hoped for a more peaceful strategy, but Obama’s order to dispatch 30,000 more U.S. troops is being welcomed by neoconservatives, a group that has long favored U.S. military interventions in Muslim lands.

By Robert Parry
December 3, 2009

"After Obama’s West Point speech on Tuesday, the neocons gloated over their success in turning the Obama administration’s deliberations on Afghanistan toward an Iraq-like “surge” and away from negotiations aimed at winding down the eight-year-old war.

The Washington Post’s editorial pages, which have become the flagship for neocon opinion, sounded almost giddy.....

But there remains a glaring impracticality in the neocons and their hegemonic rhetoric. Krauthammer combines his call for the American people to accept their inner “hegemon” with a tirade against those who say it’s time for the United States to reduce its military budget and begin addressing its economic and social problems.

To the neocons, all that is important is the American ability to project military power around the world – and especially in the Middle East. The reality of the disappearing U.S. industrial base and America’s decaying infrastructure do not fit into the soaring rhetoric about U.S. global power......"

Poll: Americans Turn Sharply Against Interventionism

First Time in 40 Years Americans Want to 'Mind Their Own Business'

By Jason Ditz

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"Polling data released today by the Pew Research Center showed the start of what may well be an historic shift in the American public’s foreign policy priorities away from a multi-decade bias toward globalist interventionism and toward what the center called “isolationist sentiment.”

But far from isolationist, the policy supported appeared to be a less bellicose, decidedly non-interventionist foreign policy, but one which still recognized the value of foreign trade (more supportive of free trade now than in previous polls, in fact).

The real eye-popping statistic, however, was that for the first time in the poll’s 40 year history, most Americans supported a policy of “minding its own business internationally.

Fascinatingly enough the study asked the same questions of members of the Council on Foreign Relations, and showed that the group of influential policy-makers still sees the world with largely the same mindset it had been in the past, seeing America needing to take a “leadership” role in the world and putting top priority on more interventionist policies.

The transition is far from complete. Most Americans, for instance, still support military action against Iran in principle and many still have a troubling attachment to the value of torture. But if the trend continues, the more interesting question will be if the CFR members start to catch up with popular sentiment on foreign policy or if the split between popular opinion and government policy will continue to grow."

Obama’s War: The Reaction

The neocons and the war liberals are on board

by Justin Raimondo, December 04, 2009

"......A good number of Obama’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders are to be found on the neoconservative Right: we have David "Axis of Evil" Frum, who said we shouldn’t expect Churchillian rhetoric because it is not 1940 (what an admission for a neocon to make, surely a first!). National Review’s editors agreed: "Churchillian it was not." Yet they endorsed the president’s policy prescriptions, for the most part, while disdaining his tone (not bloodthirsty enough for their tastes). Bill Kristol, one of the intellectual architects [.pdf] of the Iraq war, opined in the pages of the Washington Post that, despite the speech’s flaws – notably the mention of a "too cute by half" deadline for the beginning of U.S. withdrawal – he is over the moon that Obama has "embraced the use of military force as a key instrument of national power." The Weekly Standard editor cited an exchange between a reporter and a senior U.S. official who was asked about Iran’s insistence that the Obama surge in Afghanistan is the same as the previous Bush surge in Iraq. The official replied that Obama’s war is being fought to protect the U.S. and its allies: "It’s easy to understand Iran’s perspective perhaps that there is some continuity here in the U.S. policy. That’s because the interest is consistent." Avers Kristol: "’The interest is consistent.’ That’s the heart of the matter. It’s encouraging that Obama seems to understand this fact.".........

In the days to come, there will doubtless be more examples of the new illiberal liberalism. I didn’t have space to deal with them all in this column, but we’ve got plenty of time. After all, we’re stuck with Obama for a few more years yet, and his cultists will no doubt come up with plenty of morally bankrupt rationales for his murderous policies abroad. That’s what you and I have to look forward to: years of wading through the "arguments" of contemptible hacks like Cesca, Slater, et al. So you’ll forgive me if I go lie down for a bit – I feel a headache coming on…"

How the anti-Semites of Hizbollah have sent Anne Frank back into hiding

By Robert Fisk

"......There is no doubt that Israel's use of the Holocaust to suppress any legitimate criticism of Israel's current brutality towards the Palestinians has much to do with this. Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic, but the facile slander of anti-Semitism against anyone who condemns Israel's outrageous behaviour towards its neighbours long ago provoked a deep sense of cynicism among Arabs towards the facts of 20th century Jewish history in Europe. The insistence of Palestinian academics such as Edward Said that the Jewish Holocaust should not be denied – on the basis that a denial of one people's suffering automatically negated another people's suffering (the Palestinians, albeit on a far smaller scale) – has received little understanding in the Muslim world. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ravings about the Holocaust have only encouraged the habit of "denialism".

A pity. For while serious study of the subject might have been denied to pupils at a school at Mseitbeh – a Shia suburb of Beirut – who were using The Interactive Reader Plus for English Learners, Lebanese students are also deprived of Victor Klemperer's diaries. Klemperer, a German Jewish academic, condemned the Jewish colonisation of pre-Second World War Palestine even as he and his wife were threatened by the Nazis in his native Dresden. Ironically, I bought my copy of Klemperer's books in highly Islamic Pakistan.

In other words, not all Jewish Holocaust survivors – or victims – would automatically have supported the creation of the State of Israel......"

Realistic engagement with Hezbollah

Britain's decision to talk to Hezbollah is a nuanced move, but any call for disarmament is likely to fall on deaf ears

James Denselow, Friday 4 December 2009

".....If Miliband thinks that low-level engagement with Hezbollah on the basis of disarming the group is going to work then he may have been surprised to hear how even the pro-west March 14 alliance had backed off this demand as part of the formation of the cabinet. AFP reported that Lebanese information minister Tarek Mitri had affirmed the right of "Lebanon, its government, its people, its army and its resistance" to liberate all Lebanese territory (ie the Shebaa farms).

Low-level engagement with Hezbollah reflects an acknowledgement of its powerful position within the divided Lebanese state. However, calls for its disarmament will fall on deaf ears unless a host of other factors occur beforehand. This is not an argument against engagement, but a call for realism that understands that simply agreeing to meet with your enemies does not give you the power to dictate terms."

تحقيق عن بعض أوجه النشاط الاستخباري لبعض الأجهزة الأجنبية والعربية داخل الضفة الغربية..

A Very Good Report (in Arabic)

عــ48ـرب/ خالد خليل

"استخدام المخابرات الأمريكية للثقافة والمثقفين من خلال عملها في منظمات أهلية ومراكز أبحاث ليس جديدًا ويعود إلى عدة عقود ماضية، حيث تتكشف كل فترة بعض الوثائق التي يمر عليها الزمن وفقًا للقانون الأمريكي ويمكن كشفها على الملأ انسجامًا مع مبدأ اخراج الوثائق التي مضى عليها 30 عامًا ونشرها لتكون في متناول يد الجمهور.
وقد بات التعامل مع المنظمات الأهلية الفلسطينية في السنوات الأخيرة يأخذ طابعًا مكشوفًا، وموثقًا إلى حدٍ كبير حيث يستخدم قسم كبير من هذه المنظمات في خدمة الرؤى الاستراتيجية لأمريكا وحلفائها، من أجل تمرير مشاريعها السياسية وإجراء تغييرات بنيوية على المجتمع الفلسطيني.

وقد استخدمت المخابرات الأمريكية والاسرائيلية مؤسسات دعم عالمية للقيام بهذه المهمة من خلال تضمين طلبات الدعم شروطًا تضمن تبعية هذه المنظمات والباحثين العاملين داخلها للرؤية الغربية فيما يتعلق بالإسلام والحفاظ على أمن اسرائيل والموقف من الإرهاب.

وقد أصبح أي دعمٍ لهذه المنظمات مشروطا بالتوقيع على "وثيقة منع الإرهاب"، أمريكية المنشأ. وقد وقّع على الوثيقة جميع وزراء السلطة الفلسطينية والرئيس أبو مازن ورئيس الحكومة سلام فياض، الأمر الذي يسهّل عملية توقيع المنظمات الأهلية عليها. ففي مقابلة نشرت في ملحق النزاهة الصادر عن مؤسسة "أمان" يقول د. مصطفى البرغوثي منتقدا: الجيل الجديد من المنظمات الأهلية مطواع لشروط المانحين.
والتوقيع هو الخطوة الأولى، لكن الأهم منه هو العمل بموجب الرؤية التي تفرضها مؤسسات الدعم والتي بالطبع توجهها أجهزة المخابرات. ومن تسوّل له نفسه الخروج من هذا الخط وعن هذه الرؤية سيتعرض إلى الإفقار داخل المؤسسة إلى درجة قطع الدعم نهائيًا، إضافة إلى محاربته فيما بعد من الأجهزة الأمنية للسلطة الوطنية أو السلطات الإسرائيلية، كما يعتقد جميع الناشطين الذين قابلتهم أثناء إعداد هذا التقرير.
النشاط الأمني
وقد تحدث الجنرال كيث دايتون المنسق الأمني الأمريكي في محاضرة ألقاها في 7-5-2009 حول فكرة السلام من خلال الأمن وجاء فيها أن أمريكا وكندا والمملكة المتحدة يعملان سوية على هذه المهمة، بالإضافة إلى ما يسمى بناء القوات الفلسطينية
مراكز بحث
وعلى سبيل المثال تقوم علاقات وثيقة بين جماعة الوسطية (في منطقة القدس ورام الله) والقنصلية الأمريكية في القدس، ويقوم هذا التيار على نشر الأفكار الإسلامية الوسطية كما يحلو لهم تسميتها، وتقوم بعض الدول الغربية كألمانيا بدعم بعض أنشطتهم. وما يثير التساؤل هو التطابق المريب بين أفكارهم والوصفة الأمريكية "للإسلام المعتدل" حسب دراسة معهد راند الأمريكي، كذلك فإن مركز علم تسوية النزاعات في منطقة بيت لحم يتم دعم أنشطته من بعض الدول الغربية ومؤسساتها خاصة ألمانيا (مرة أخرى!).
الضفة الغربية مسرح لأجهزة المخابرات الغربية والعربية
الدول الغربية، وتحديدًا أمريكا وحلفاؤها، لها محطات استخبارية ونشاط استخباري مكثّف داخل الضفة الغربية وهذه المحطات عادة لا تهتم بجمع التفاصيل الصغيرة والجزئيات كما يقول "فؤاد" (اسم مستعار لباحث سياسي نشيط في الضفة، لا نستطيع نشر اسمه حفاظًا على أمنه الشخصي) ويضيف أنّ التفاصيل تأتي جاهزة عادة مِن قِبل المخابرات الإسرائيلية والفلسطينية، وتتضمن تفاصيل عن المواقع والنشيطين، ومن يشكلون خطرًا على الأمن.. وغير ذلك.

الهدف الرئيس من وراء النشاط الاستخباري الغربي والعربي على السواء هو تحديد توجهات لدى المجتمع الفلسطيني بحركاته وأحزابه، والعمل على تغييرها وفقًا للرؤية الغربية.
المخابرات المصرية تدخل على الخط
السعودية أيضًا
على صعيد آخر يقال ان السعودية أيضًا دخلت على الخط من خلال جماعات دينية معروفة بالجماعات السلفية الدعوية. ويقول من قابلتهم إن وكلاء سعوديين يمولون نشاطات هذه الجماعات بهدف نشر الأفكار السلفية البعيدة عن الجهاد والمقاومة، في محاربة ومواجهة الجماعات الإسلامية الأخرى.

ويؤكد "مفيد" (وهو مقرب من حركة فتح) أن الأجهزة الأمنية تستخدم هذه الجماعات لمحاربة حماس بالضبط كما تستخدم الدول العربية جماعات من هذا النوع لمواجهة الحركات الإسلامية الجهادية.

The Nobel Laureate 'to expand drone strikes' in Pakistan

Press TV

"The administration of Nobel peace laureate, President Barack Obama, has authorized an expansion of drone attacks on Pakistan's troubled tribal regions, a new report says.

The New York Times report also says US and Pakistani officials are discussing the possibility of CIA operated drone strikes in Pakistan's Baluchistan province for the first time.

The purported aim of the American air strikes is to target militants. But Pakistani media outlets say the raids have mostly killed civilians......"

The Lies of the Pathetic Syrian Regime: Syria blames blast on tyre (tire in the US) blowout!

"Syria's interior minister has said an explosion which killed at least three people and injured many more was caused by a tyre blowout and not a terrorist attack

Said Mohammad Sammour told state-run Syrian TV on Thursday that a bus driver and two petrol station workers were killed in the "accidental" explosion in the Sayeda Zainab district in Damascus......"


Sure, exploding tires can cause many deaths (especially of pedestrians)!

And Israel's raid on a suspected nuclear facility in 2007 was just an attack on a falafel stand. The US attack over the eastern border, which killed dozens of Syrians, was only a signal of the thawing relations with Washington!

Keep at it Bouthaina Sha'ban; we believe every word of your propaganda.

Long live the Ba'th, corruption and incompetence.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fool Me Twice

by Philip Giraldi, December 03, 2009

"Remember the old line, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me," the point being that after you are conned once you should never again be so gullible as to be taken in a second time? Well, by that standard the American public and media should be ashamed of themselves as they are about to be fooled again. It is hard to ignore the fact that Washington is marching towards a confrontation with Iran that will surely lead to war that is being orchestrated by the same players that brought about Iraq.

Consider for a moment how the argument to use military force against Iran is being shaped in a way that is very similar to the arguments that were used to prepare for war with Iraq......"

Explosion shakes Syrian security

A bus blast that killed three may allow Damascus to crack down, but it calls into question the effectiveness of its rule by force

Chris Phillips, Thursday 3 December 2009

"The explosion that ripped through a bus of Iranian pilgrims in Damascus, killing at least three people, will send shock waves through Syria. Until recently Syrians were used to seeing such blasts on their television screens rather than on the streets of their own cities, which they considered a rare stable point in the Middle East.

The explosion will remind Syrians of a bomb attack last September and the assassination of Imad Mughniyah in 2008. All of this adds to a growing sense that Damascus is no longer immune from the carnage regularly seen in neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon.......

In spite of the destruction, however, the Ba'ath regime can actually use explosions such as this to its advantage in the short term. It can portray itself as a fellow victim of al-Qaida-type terrorism to western powers in its attempts to continue an international rehabilitation. At the same time, it can use the threat of future attacks to justify its tight grip on its own population, boosting a security presence and further stifling opposition.

In the long term, however, the regime has a developing problem. Whether this explosion proves to be a terror attack or not, the perception that its iron-fisted approach to governing can protect Syria's civilians from the carnage of its neighbours is being challenged. Internal militant groups do exist, and are willing to strike. Three explosions, alongside Israel's raid on a suspected nuclear facility in 2007 and the US attack over the eastern border from Iraq in late 2008 openly question the Ba'ath regime's claim to provide "autocratic stability"......."

Bangladeshi Farmer Sends “Aid” to Dubai Government

Contributed by ENAYAT

"EP: In an unusual turn of events, a rural farmer from a village 200 km north of Dhaka has donated $500 in “aid” to the city state of Dubai to help its struggling economy through the worst financial crisis in its history. Enayatul Bungawalla, who is 44 and married with 4 children, announced the decision after he became aware of the massive debt crisis currently plaguing the Arab Emirate. “I worked in Dubai for 10 years starting in the late 90’s” said Mr. Bungawalla who was interviewed by a local TV station from his porch yesterday afternoon, “and while the Emiratis treated me like a slave, I have fond memories of the place.”......"

Abu Mahjoob's Take on the Swiss Vote

President Obama's Afghanistan Escalation Speech

By Phyllis Bennis
Foreign Policy

"There was one way in which President Obama’s escalation speech brought significant relief to the 59% of people in this country, as well as the overwhelming majorities of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and elsewhere who oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan: It was a pretty lousy speech. That is, it had none of the power, the lyricism, the passion for history, the capacity to engage and to persuade virtually every listener, even those who may ultimately disagree, that have characterized the president’s earlier addresses.

And for that failure, we should be very grateful.

Because everything else in this politically and militarily defensive speech reflected accountability not to President Obama’s base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington’s traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define “national security.”......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Somali ministers killed by hotel suicide bomb - 03 Dec 09

"At least 19 people have been killed including three government ministers after an explosion ripped through the Shamo Hotel in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, during a graduation ceremony.

A suicide bomber disguised as a woman carried out Thursday's attack at the hotel during a crowded graduation ceremony for medical students from a local university, Dahir Mohamud Gelle, the Somali information minister, said.

Witnesses said the attack appeared to have targeted government officials.

It is the deadliest attack to hit Mogadishu for several months. No-one has yet claimed responsibility.

Of the three ministers killed in the blast, one was a woman - Qamar Aden Ali, the health minister. Ibrahim Hassan Adow, the minister for higher education, and Ahmed Abdullahi Wayel, the minister for education, also died.

Also among the dead were two journalists and two professors. At least 50 students were reportedly injured.

Saleban Olad Roble, the Somali sports minister, was also injured in the explosion.

Thursday's attack is the second time this year members of government have been killed in a suicide bombing.

In June, the national security minister died in a suicide bombing that killed at least 24 people. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack.

Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston's reports."

Al-Jazeera Video: Video shows Palestinian man hit in car attack - 02 Dec 09

"Violence erupted in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday when a Palestinian man entered a petrol station at the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba in the occupied West Bank and stabbed two settlers.

But that was not the end of the story. According to the Israeli army, the Palestinian was then shot by a soldier, after which a car, apparently driven by a settler, ran over the wounded Palestinian, twice, with Israeli soldiers all around.

Jacky Rowland reports."

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinian fury over evictions - 02 Dec 09

"Jewish families staking claim to houses already lived in by Palestinians is all too familiar in occupied East Jerusalem.

There is quite literally a battle underway for the identity of East Jerusalem. House by house, family by family, the settlers are trying to dispossess the Palestinians and replace them with Jews.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Jerusalem."

Real News Video: An election validated by blood and repression

Honduran coup government continues repressive tactics on election day (Report from San Pedro Sula)

More at The Real News

Sheikh Sabri Barred From Al Aqsa Mosque For Six Months

"The Israeli Authorities in Jerusalem handed Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, head of the Higher Islamic Committee in Jerusalem, a restriction order preventing him from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque, in East Jerusalem, for six months.

Sheikh Sabri is also the Khatib of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The Sheikh was handed the new order on Wednesday directly after he returned to the country after conducting pilgrimage in Mecca......"

Iran left out in the cold

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"Notably absent from President Obama's Afghan speech this week were references to other stakeholders in the region - especially Iran. Apart from the role Tehran can play regarding security issues, as long as the bulk of the Afghan drug trade passes through Iran, the country can't afford to sit idly by.....

After nearly a year in office, Obama's initial enthusiasm for some sort of resurrection of the US-Iran common cause on Afghanistan has apparently fizzled out. It has been replaced with a new strategy of self-reliance, reflected in the omission of any reference to Iran and other important regional players. Should things not go as planned, however, Obama may soon veer back to his initial belief hat the road to Kabul travels through Tehran."

Palestinian Reflections on American Political Ideology

By Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza
Palestine Chronicle

"....‘Workability’ and ‘practicability’ are the basis of the justification of positions taken by the American establishment. However that does not take into account the circumstances under which these positions are ‘workable,’ neither historically nor socially. Whatever ‘we’, white liberal Americans, want is justifiable and thus legitimate since it is 'workable' and 'practical' regardless of the means through which it is achieved. Thus Apartheid, Nazism, Zionism, American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan can be "easily" justified and sold to CNNized citizens.

Mr. Obama's policy, and that of his Secretary of State, is a remodeling of the ideas of old American pragmatism re-theorized to suit the requirements and outlooks of the liberal middle-class politicians of the late-capitalist American society—albeit in a black mask this time.......

No need, then, to wonder why Mr. Obama, and his Secretary of State, hate us. We are no match for the macho, powerful, White Ashkenazis. During the 1967 war, Edward Said noted that Americans kept asking "how are we doing?" We, Arabs and Palestinians, are not part of that WE. We are the "THEM;" the “Other.” We occupy a part of what Fredric Jameson would call American "political unconscious." Our death is never counted; the death of half a million Iraqi children from sanctions, like the death of 434 Palestinian children during the Gaza massacre, is "collateral damage," whereas the 9/11 victims are individuals with families, names, and "powerful narratives.""

This strategy has been tried before – without success

By Robert Fisk

"....Victor Sebestyen, who has researched a book about the fall of the Soviet empire, has written at length of those frozen days after the Russian army stormed into Afghanistan just after Christmas of 1979. He quotes General Sergei Akhromeyev, commander of the Soviet armed forces, addressing the Soviet Politburo in 1986. "There is no piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another. Nevertheless much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centres, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory we seize.".........

"Every day the government says that food prices are coming down," he said. "Every day we are told that things are getting better thanks to the cooperation of the Soviet Union. But it is not true. Do you realise that the government cannot even control the roads? Fuck them. They only hold on to the cities." The "mujahedin" infested Helmand province and crossed and recrossed the Pakistani border, just as they do today. A Soviet Mig fighter-bomber even crossed the frontier in early 1980 to attack the guerrillas. The Pakistani government – and the United States, of course – condemned this as a flagrant breach of Pakistan's sovereignty. Well, tell that to the young Americans who control the unmanned Predators so often crossing the border today to attack the guerrillas.

In Moscow almost a quarter of a century later, I went to meet the former Russian occupiers of Afghanistan. Some were now addicted to drugs, others suffered from what we call stress disorder.

And on this historic day – when Barack Obama plunges ever deeper into chaos – let us remember the British retreat from Kabul and its destruction in 1842."

Shattering Israel's image of 'democracy'

In the Negev, an area targeted for so-called 'development', lies the Israel that its government does not want to be seen

Ben White, Thursday 3 December 2009

"A struggle over land, home demolitions, and an Israeli government working with Jewish agencies to "develop" the land for the benefit of one group at the expense of another. It could be a picture of the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, but in fact, it's inside Israel – in the Negev.......

This is the Israel that its government and propagandists do not want to be seen, the Israel where non-Jews are a demographic "threat", and the state works with agencies (often funded by western donors) to "secure" a Jewish majority. It is the reality behind the myth of Israel as the region's only democracy, and away from the weekly twists and turns of the peace process, such policies shed light on the root problem preventing a resolution of the conflict just as well as, or better than, the number of housing units in Gilo."

Jeddah flood deaths shame Saudi royals

For lack of a sewage system, many citizens in one of the world's richest countries died. The Al Saud family's misrule is to blame

Ali al-Ahmed
(Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs), Thursday 3 December 200

"Last week the Saudi city of Jeddah was afflicted by heavy rains that lasted only a few hours but caused massive flooding and the deaths of more than 500 people. To lessen the embarrassment, official reports shrank the number of flood-related deaths to just over 100.

Many Saudis are asking how such a catastrophe could occur in one of the world's richest countries and in its second-largest and most cosmopolitan city.

This was the most severe nature-related calamity that the world's largest oil exporter has seen in the past 50 years but the real reason for the death and destruction that occurred last Wednesday is endemic corruption in the Saudi government......

The state of our country is best exemplified by the Musk Lake, where 1,200 tankers of human waste from Jeddah sewage have been dumped daily for the past 25 years. Naming this chasm of foulness "musk" gives great insight in how Saudi rulers distort the simplest of realities. Musk Lake, not the only lake of human waste in the country, has been the source of diseases such as dengue fever, which has killed dozens and afflicted thousands for years.

At the end of the day, the Saudi absolute monarchy will absolve itself from any responsibility and shortcomings, and its princes will continue live the high life with very little care in the world......"

The Two Faces of Iran Which Facilitated the Original US Invasion and Supported the Puppet Northern Alliance...

Iran slams US troop surge in Afghanistan

Press TV

"Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Washington's decision to dispatch 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will not stabilize the war-torn country.

"The real solution for Afghanistan is to respect its sovereignty and let the Afghan people determine their own political fate," the Iranian official said late Wednesday.

"Increasing forces in Afghanistan will not resolve the crisis in that country," he added......"

Servitor of the Two Holy Sites......
Inspecting His Mighty Army......
On its Way to Liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.....

Starting in Yemen!
By Slaughtering Yemeni Villagers.

What an Asshole!

Interview: Obama's Afghan strategy

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, analyses Obama's address to the nation.

Many Americans and Europeans have expressed their distaste for the war - so why does the US continue to believe that military power is the only way to solve faraway security problems?

America has long acted as an empire that acts according to international power politics rather than a republic....."

In fear of 'Eurabia'?


A Good Analysis

By Mark LeVine

"......It is not surprising that in Switzerland the focus would be on minarets.

More than most countries, Switzerland defines itself by its visual aesthetic. It is the picture postcard of Europe, with nothing out of place, the quintessential European destination.

Never mind that Swiss Muslims are among the least conservative in Europe and that the call to prayer is already banned in Switzerland.....

Comparisons to anti-Semitism

In the aftermath of Sunday's vote, many commentators, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are comparing Islamophobia in Europe today to the anti-Semitism that plagued the continent in the first half of the 20th century.

While understandable, such comparisons miss the fundamental difference between the position of Jews in Europe then and Muslims in Europe today. Jews had lived in Europe for centuries and, despite anti-Jewish sentiments among huge swaths of Europe's population, were very much a part of their societies' cultures, economies, and increasingly politics.

Indeed, in Germany it was precisely the increasing full participation of Jews in so many parts of national life that made them such an existential threat.They were Europe's most intimate 'other', inside the very fabric of European identity and increasingly, impossible to tell from "real" Europeans. As such they became a lethal virus that, in the Nazi logic, had to be eradicated to restore the purity of the race.

The situation for Muslims today is very different.....

The answer is that people are increasingly scared that their social safety nets are fraying and that life is inexorably going to become harder. And they want quick solutions, not long and complicated dialogues.

And herein lies the real problem underlying the vote. It is not merely about Islam. It is also about the solidification of neo-liberalism economically and conservatism politically across the continent, and ultimately, about globalisation more broadly....

But if history is any guide, Europeans will start out blaming the 'inside other' for their problems, but it will not be too long before their anger, and violence, turns on each other."

بين المخارج المشرِّفة والتخريجات المؤسفة


"توالت مؤخرا تداعيات انتخاب نتنياهو واتضاح طبيعة العلاقات الأميركية الإسرائيلية للمرة الألف حتى في عهد أوباما. وبالعامية "حاصت" القوى السياسية الفلسطينية، أو دارت في مكانها بعصبية وحيرة ضاربة أخماسا بأسداس. وتتالى الإدلاء بمواقف وتصريحات جسيمة تعبِّر عن حالة من عدم الارتياح الشديد. واستنجد رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية بما يسمى "المجتمع الدولي" لأنه لا يمكنه الاستمرار بهذه الطريقة ملوّحا بإمكانية عدم ترشحه (عدم رغبته في الترشح مرة أخرى).

وفي غضون أسبوعين تطرّق ناطقون باسم السلطة مرة إلى إمكانية حل السلطة، ومرة إلى حل الدولة الواحدة، وثالثة إلى التوجه إلى مجلس الأمن لترسيم حدود الدولة الفلسطينية، أي لترسيم حدود الرابع من حزيران. وهي حدود معروفة لا تحتاج إلى ترسيم. لأنها هي هي خطوط الهدنة التي رسمتها المعركة، ووقع عليها في رودس مع الجيش الأردني عام 1949، وأهمها خطوط الهدنة داخل القدس نفسها.. وخرائطها موجودة جاهزة في الأرشيفات. هي إذا خطوط واضحة خلافا لحدود التقسيم 1947 التي رسمتها وصاغتها الأمم المتحدة من لا شيء. وصارت هي أيضا خرائط في الأرشيفات
ولكن هيهات، فالتاريخ لا يعود القهقرى. وعلى أية حال، فإن السلطة هي كل ما يملكه أربابها وربابنتها وربيبوها. ولن يتخلوا عنها. وإذا تخلوا (في خيالنا الجامح طبعا) فلن تقبل إسرائيل أن تعود للاحتلال المباشر، وستنشأ حالة فراغ تملأه الأجهزة الأمنية. والمرشحون لـ"إنقاذ الشعب الفلسطيني" من حالة الفوضى بدعم غربي وإسرائيلي همُ كثُر
وبالتالي فإن "العالم" لا يرى تهديدا، كما لم تهتز قصبة لنفس هذا "العالم" (وهو في عرفهم أميركا وأوروبا) عندما أعلن رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية "عدم رغبته" في ترشيح نفسه. لقد استخدموه ولا يبدو أنهم سيذرفون عليه دمعة، بل سيفكرون فورا في البديل. فهو عزيز فعلا، ولكن معزّته ليس شخصية... حليفهم في مأزق هذا صحيح، ولكنه لا يهدد بالعودة للانتفاضة، ولا حتى للحجر.

وبالتالي فإن الحركة في مجلس الأمن محرجة قليلا له و"للعالم". ولكنها في النهاية سوف تنتهي. ويعودون إلى نفس المأزق. فمجلس الأمن لا يغيِّر موازين القوى، ولا الواقع على الأرض، ولا حتى حين يرسل قوات لتغيير الواقع وإسقاط دول. فحينها لا يقوم مجلس الأمن بتغيير الواقع، بل تقوم بذلك الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها عبر استخدام مجلس الأمن
وفي كل مرة تعود فيها السلطة لاستدعاء المجتمع الدولي الذي همَّشته، أو إلى التضامن الذي هدمته بمعاولها تجد أن قسما كبيرا من الدول التي كانت حليفة للشعب الفلسطيني استغلت أوسلو لتنظم علاقاتها مع إسرائيل (والهند فقط حالة من هذه الحالات). ولكن غيرها كثير، كما لوحظ مؤخرا من زيارة تسيبي لفني المعيبة إلى المغرب. وهي وزيرة خارجية إسرائيل إبان حربها على لبنان وعلى غزة
لقد أعلنت دولة فلسطينية عام 1988 في الجزائر. ولكن قلة تذكر أن الإعلان جاء بناء على قرار التقسيم عام 1947. أما الإعلان الحالي فيرغب في أن يأتي بناء على قرار مجلس الأمن على حدود 1967. أي أن السلطة "تهدد" إسرائيل بالتراجع عن الإعلان السابق، ولتهتز أركان الهيكل. وسوف تبقى السلطة في حدودها الحالية. أي أنها سوف تتحول في أفضل الحالات إلى دولة محاصرة بحدود مؤقتة على نمط اقتراح موفاز. ولكنه سوف يبدو كأنه إنجاز وتحدّ
حين تصل قيادة إلى وضع تهدد فيه بالاستقالة وتخرج من لدنها في الوقت ذاته ثلاث إستراتيجيات متضاربة فلا يعني هذا سوى أنها في مأزق. ومأزق القيادة السياسية إذا ارتبط بخيار سياسي يكاد يكون تاريخيا، ودافعت عنه وربطت مصيرها ومستقبلها به في مرحلة تاريخية معينة، هو مأزق لهذا الخيار. وإذا تورط قسم كبير من نخب الشعب الفلسطيني وجمهوره في هذا الخيار، فإن المأزق هو مأزق شعبي. والشماتة في مثل هذه الحالة هي حماقة، فحال مرتكبها كحال المتشفي بمأساته
ففي رأيي لا يوجد حل لقضية فلسطين، ناهيك عن حلول، بل إما أن توجد إستراتيجية مواجهة عربية أو لا توجد. والمقاومة هي حالة بينية لا بد من توفرها إلى أن توجد إستراتيجية مواجهة عربية. ومهمة المقاومة هي تحرير الأرض بالمعنى القطري للكلمة، ومنع تحوّل إسرائيل إلى حالة طبيعية في المنطقة، وتقديم نماذج ناجحة في مواجهة إسرائيل، وتقديم الدليل على أن هذه المواجهة ممكنة، وتطوير إرادة المجتمعات العربية، ومنع فرض حلول غير عادلة...
لن تعود السلطة الفلسطينية إلى خيار المقاومة. وما زالت الدول العربية غير راغبة في تبني خيار المواجهة من جديد. وهو في رأينا أمر لا بد من حصوله في النهاية بهذه الأنظمة أو بدونها، فإن أي تحديث وتطوير للعالم العربي، وأي نهوض ديمقراطي، وأي نهضة، وحتى أي إلغاء للتأشيرات بين الدول العربية سوف يؤدي إلى التصادم مع إسرائيل

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Real News Video (with transcript): Obama's Vietnam-lite

Pepe Escobar: It's not Vietnam, said Obama, but neither it is what he said it is

More at The Real News

"President Obama's widely expected surge in Afghanistan is the "gift" US taxpayers received right in the middle of the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. The Pentagon for its part got (more or less) what it wanted - for now. As much as Obama stretched himself to stress this was not a new Vietnam, he trapped himself by conflating al-Qaeda with the Taliban and rehashing the same "war on terror" rationale - all clad in the glorious robes of a "noble struggle for freedom". Pepe Escobar argues the most significant point about Obama's West Point address is what he omitted. He simply ignored the current, high-stakes New Great Game in Eurasia, on which the Pentagon is focused like a laser, and of which Afghanistan is just a peon."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This new poll asks:

Has the Swiss referendum to ban minarets in Switzerland affected your perception of freedoms in Europe?

With about 2,000 responding so far, 84% said yes.

The Obama Puppet

The World's Least Powerful Man


"It didn’t take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.

Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so.

The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.

President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order.

Essentially, Obama is irrelevant......"

Vietnam Vet, Scholar Andrew Bacevichon Obama War Plan: “The President Has Drawn the Wrong Lessons From His Understanding of the History of War”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Andrew Bacevich, a retired colonel and a Vietnam war veteran who spent twenty-three years in the US Army, responds to Presidnt Obama’s plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and the author of “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.”....."

Nir Rosen: “We Managed to Make the Taliban Look Good”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Nir Rosen, independent journalist and fellow at the NYU Center on Law and Security, responds to President Obama decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Rosen has covered both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. His latest articles cover the current state of the US occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan......"

Israeli Spy Imprisoned By The U.S Demands Executing Palestinian Detainees

"Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy imprisoned by the United States harshly attacked talks on the release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees in exchange for the release of the prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, and said that Israel should instead execute the detainees.

His statements came during a meeting with Moshe Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett from the Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The Jpost added that Pollard said that “he is boiling with anger over the news of the nearing release of Palestinian detainees”, and described the issue as "blasphemy".

Pollard further said that Netanyahu should execute the detainees instead of letting them go. He stated that Netanyahu should kill one detainee every day until Hamas releases Shalit.

Pollard was arrested and imprisoned by the United States 25 years ago after was convicted of spying for Israel.

He also rejected a rumor alleging he would be released the same time as Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi. Feiglin said Pollard is ready to “sacrifice his life” and will not accept to be releasing if this means that “terrorists would be release in exchange for his release”.

Feiglin also said that Pollard is in poor health and feels that Israel betrayed him and left him in prison. “They threw me out of their embassy 25 years ago”, Pollard said, “Now they are making me vanish”. "

Vietnam-lite is unveiled

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The United States is in the midst of the most serious unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, and US President Barack Obama is following George W Bush in lavishing trillions of dollars on a few big banks. American taxpayers got nothing. Now, they get the cherry in the cheesecake; Obama escalating his war in Afghanistan. A Vietnam-lite - with a tentative expiry date, July 2011, for the start of a withdrawal. The much-hyped Obama speech on Tuesday night at West Point - edited by the president himself up to the last minute - was a clever rehash of the white man's burden, sketching a progressive narrative for US national security clad in the glorious robes of "the noble struggle for freedom"......

Meanwhile, there's reality. The full spectrum dominance Pentagon gets what it wanted - for now. Call it the revenge of the generals. Who wins, apart from them? Australian armchair warrior David Kilcullen, an adviser and ghostwriter for Petraeus and McChrystal and who is a demi-god for Washington warmongers. Some light neo-cons - certainly not former vice president Dick Cheney, who's been blasting Obama's "weakness". And overall, all subscribers to the Pentagon concept of the "long war".

Two weeks before going to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama sells his new Vietnam-lite to the world out of a US military academy. George Orwell, we salute you. War is indeed peace. "

The back door is left open

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

(Cartoon by Patrick Corrigan, The Toronto Star)

"Providing a textbook demonstration of how the national security apparatus ensures that its preference on issues of military force prevail in the White House, President Obama has made a case to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. But in playing down the link between the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaeda, he's left himself room to maneuver out of the quagmire.....Obama's speech even included the suggestion that the defeat of the Taliban was not necessary to US security. That point could be used by Obama to justify future military or diplomatic moves to extract the United States from the quagmire he appeared to fear only a few weeks ago."

Here We Go Again

By Robert Scheer

"After 30 years of failure, and thanks to the political opportunism of the current commander in chief, the Afghanistan war is still without end or logical purpose.....

In his letter of resignation as a foreign service officer in charge of one of the most hotly contested areas, Hoh wrote: “In the course of my five months of service in Afghanistan … I have lost understanding and confidence in the strategic purpose of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. … I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.”

Maybe they should have given Capt. Hoh the Noble Peace Prize. "

Taliban Vow to Step up Resistance in Afghanistan


"02/12/2009 The Taliban vowed Wednesday to step up resistance and fight against the extra 30,000 American troops US President Barack Obama has ordered to Afghanistan, a spokesman said. "Obama will witness lots of coffins heading to America from Afghanistan," spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahamdi told AFP by telephone from an unknown location.

"Their hope to control Afghanistan by military means will not become reality. The extra 30,000 troops that will come to Afghanistan will provoke stronger resistance and fighting," he added. "They will withdraw shamefully. They cannot achieve their hopes and goals," the spokesman said."