Tag Archives: Middle East

Precendent for US covert intervention in Syria, is less Libya than Cambodia

Stay Out of Syria, No War with Iran and Syria, Cease Covert War in Syria
OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- While antiwar traditionalists remain stymied about Syria, let’s recognize that the US-EU intervention has already begun. Stop the escalating covert destruction of Syria. Bring our Special Forces boys home now.

STAY OUT OF SYRIA and CEASE COVERT WAR IN SYRIA

NO WAR WITH IRAN AND SYRIA

CEASE COVERT WAR IN SYRIA

STAY OUT OF SYRIA

In the struggle for Middle East land, Palestinian violence will always win

Israel can build all the new settlements it wants, take heart, it only takes one horrific Tate-Labianca-like crime scene to curb the Zionist homecoming charade. Israel can terrorize Gaza to smithereens, the Palestinians have nowhere to flee. American Jews on the other hand, are not going to leave comfortable digs, to relocate to Jerusalem where their 11-month-old might be slashed to death in her crib. Such dastardly strategy comes at a price of course, against a military willing to defy international law and exact collective punishment for the deed of one zealot, but Israel knows that even its US billions in weapons cannot compete with one Palestinian knife that finds its mark.

Odd, isn’t it? On the battlefield, Goliath can slay an entire West Bank of Davids, but when the contest is holding ground, you can take it, but if you can’t convince your people to settle it, the land will revert to its rightful inhabitants.

I’ll leave you to decide if the murder of an Israeli settler family is off-limits. They’re moved unto properties appropriated from Palestinians, illegal settlement of occupied land, they’re ferried by armored SUVs in military convoys, their rooftops, front gates, walls and streets are guarded by soldiers, their neighborhoods buffered by “sterile zones” purged of all inhabitants, the persistence of their habitation is used to advertise for more settlers and demoralize the non-Jewish native population in waiting of cleansing. Are settlers “innocent civilians,” irrespective old or young age? Who is to blame for putting settler children into homes whose previous inhabitants have been put out on the street, who can only assail their walls with stones?

Remember too, it’s the Israeli settlers, more than the IDF soldiers, who routinely raid Palestinian homes, orchards and farms, killing their neighbors with impunity. Where does any settler get to pretend they should be considered an innocent civilian?

Arab Palestine is confronted with a slow death by attrition. Israel has never disguised its plan to ethnically purge the entire of what it calls Judea and Sumaria. What does it matter then, if resistance violence begets occupier retaliation, if this brazen home-invasion-family-murder provokes an avenging of deaths ten fold? The Russian Partisans paid fifty to one. The Gaza massacre was 300 to one. The Gilad Shalit prisoner ratio is tens of thousands to one, still well shy of US military disproportional force.

Peace activists want to curb armed resistance in favor of nonviolence, calculating that peace will come when Palestinian martyrdom awakens the Israeli conscience, or whichever comes first, Palestinian blood runs dry. This suits Israel of course, its Apartheid State needs the Palestinians gone, for Jews cannot forever pretend they have a Democray while subjugating an inferior untouchable class. So long as one Palestinian remains who fights back, Israel will never conquer Palestine.

Israel can plan all the settlement construction sites it wants, the more beautiful the better, in the end the people of Palestine can claim them in partial compensation.

Robert Fisk and the language of power, danger words: Competing Narratives

Celebrated reporter -and verb- Robert Fisk had harsh words, “danger words” he called them, for host Al-Jazeera where he gave an address about the language of power which has infected newsman and reader alike. Beware your unambiguous acceptance of empty terms into which state propagandists let you infer nuance: power players, activism, non-state actors, key players, geostrategic players, narratives, external players, meaningful solutions, –meaning what?
I’ll not divulge why these stung Al-J, but I’d like to detail the full list, and commit not to condone their false usage at NMT, without ridicule, “quotes” or disclaimer.

Fisk listed several expressions which he attributes to government craftsmen. Unfortunately journalists have been parroting these terms without questioning their dubious meaning. Fisk began with a favorite, the endless, disingenuous, “peace process.” What is that – victor-defined purgatory? Why would “peace” be a “process” Fisk asks.

How appropriate that some of the West’s strongest critics are linguists. Fisk lauded the current seagoing rescue of Gaza, the convoy determined to break the Israeli blockade. He compared it to the Berlin Airlift, when governments saw fit to help besieged peoples, even former enemies. This time however, the people have to act where their governments do not.

I read recently that the Gaza Freedom Flotilla might be preparing accommodations for Noam Chomsky to join the passage. Won’t that be an escalation? I imagine if Robert Fisk would climb aboard too, it would spell doom for any chance the relief supplies would reach the Gazans. A ship convoy with Chomsky and Fisk on board would present an opportunity that an Israeli torpedo could not resist.

Here is his list. If you can’t peruse the lecture, at least ponder these words with as much skepticism as you can. The parenthesis denote my shorthand.

peace process (detente under duress, while enduring repression)

“Peace of the Brave” (accept your subjugation, coined for Algeria, then France lost)

“Hearts and Minds” (Vietnam era psych-ops, then US lost)

spike (to avoid saying: increase)

surge (reinforcements, you send them in you’re losing)

key players (only puppets and their masters need apply)

back on track (the objective has been on rails?)

peace envoy (in mob-speak: the cleaner)

road map (winner’s bill of lading for the spoils)

experts (vetted opinions)

indirect talks (concurrent soliloquies, duets performed solo in proximity to common fiddler calling tune)

competing narratives (parallel universes in one? naturally the perpetrator is going to tell a different tale, disputing that of victim’s; ungoing result is no justice and no injustice) examples:
occupied vs. disputed;
wall vs. security barrier;
colonization vs settlements, outposts or Jewish neighborhoods.

foreign fighters (them, but always us)

Af-Pak (ignores third party India and thus dispute to Kashmir)

appeasers (sissies who don’t have bully’s back)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (not Iraq, now not Iran)

think tanks (ministry of propaganda privatized)

challenges (avoids they are problems)

intervention (asserted authority by military force)

change agents (by undisclosed means?)

Until asked otherwise, I’ll append Fisk’s talk here:

Robert Fisk, The Independent newspaper’s Middle East correspondent, gave the following address to the fifth Al Jazeera annual forum on May 23.

Power and the media are not just about cosy relationships between journalists and political leaders, between editors and presidents. They are not just about the parasitic-osmotic relationship between supposedly honourable reporters and the nexus of power that runs between White House and state department and Pentagon, between Downing Street and the foreign office and the ministry of defence. In the western context, power and the media is about words – and the use of words.

It is about semantics.

It is about the employment of phrases and clauses and their origins. And it is about the misuse of history; and about our ignorance of history.

More and more today, we journalists have become prisoners of the language of power.

Is this because we no longer care about linguistics? Is this because lap-tops ‘correct’ our spelling, ‘trim’ our grammar so that our sentences so often turn out to be identical to those of our rulers? Is this why newspaper editorials today often sound like political speeches?

Let me show you what I mean.

For two decades now, the US and British – and Israeli and Palestinian – leaderships have used the words ‘peace process’ to define the hopeless, inadequate, dishonourable agreement that allowed the US and Israel to dominate whatever slivers of land would be given to an occupied people.

I first queried this expression, and its provenance, at the time of Oslo – although how easily we forget that the secret surrenders at Oslo were themselves a conspiracy without any legal basis. Poor old Oslo, I always think! What did Oslo ever do to deserve this? It was the White House agreement that sealed this preposterous and dubious treaty – in which refugees, borders, Israeli colonies – even timetables – were to be delayed until they could no longer be negotiated.

And how easily we forget the White House lawn – though, yes, we remember the images – upon which it was Clinton who quoted from the Qur’an, and Arafat who chose to say: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. President.” And what did we call this nonsense afterwards? Yes, it was ‘a moment of history’! Was it? Was it so?

Do you remember what Arafat called it? “The peace of the brave.” But I don’t remember any of us pointing out that “the peace of the brave” was used originally by General de Gaulle about the end of the Algerian war. The French lost the war in Algeria. We did not spot this extraordinary irony.

Same again today. We western journalists – used yet again by our masters – have been reporting our jolly generals in Afghanistan as saying that their war can only be won with a “hearts and minds” campaign. No-one asked them the obvious question: Wasn’t this the very same phrase used about Vietnamese civilians in the Vietnam war? And didn’t we – didn’t the West – lose the war in Vietnam?

Yet now we western journalists are actually using – about Afghanistan – the phrase ‘hearts and minds’ in our reports as if it is a new dictionary definition rather than a symbol of defeat for the second time in four decades, in some cases used by the very same soldiers who peddled this nonsense – at a younger age – in Vietnam.

Just look at the individual words which we have recently co-opted from the US military.

When we westerners find that ‘our’ enemies – al-Qaeda, for example, or the Taliban -have set off more bombs and staged more attacks than usual, we call it ‘a spike in violence’. Ah yes, a ‘spike’!

A ‘spike’ in violence, ladies and gentlemen is a word first used, according to my files, by a brigadier general in the Baghdad Green Zone in 2004. Yet now we use that phrase, we extemporise on it, we relay it on the air as our phrase. We are using, quite literally, an expression created for us by the Pentagon. A spike, of course, goes sharply up, then sharply downwards. A ‘spike’ therefore avoids the ominous use of the words ‘increase in violence’ – for an increase, ladies and gentlemen, might not go down again afterwards.

Now again, when US generals refer to a sudden increase in their forces for an assault on Fallujah or central Baghdad or Kandahar – a mass movement of soldiers brought into Muslim countries by the tens of thousands – they call this a ‘surge’. And a surge, like a tsunami, or any other natural phenomena, can be devastating in its effects. What these ‘surges’ really are – to use the real words of serious journalism – are reinforcements. And reinforcements are sent to wars when armies are losing those wars. But our television and newspaper boys and girls are still talking about ‘surges’ without any attribution at all! The Pentagon wins again.

Meanwhile the ‘peace process’ collapsed. Therefore our leaders – or ‘key players’ as we like to call them – tried to make it work again. Therefore the process had to be put ‘back on track’. It was a railway train, you see. The carriages had come off the line. So the train had to be put ‘back on track’. The Clinton administration first used this phrase, then the Israelis, then the BBC.

But there was a problem when the ‘peace process’ had been put ‘back on track’ – and still came off the line. So we produced a ‘road map’ – run by a Quartet and led by our old Friend of God, Tony Blair, who – in an obscenity of history – we now refer to as a ‘peace envoy’.

But the ‘road map’ isn’t working. And now, I notice, the old ‘peace process’ is back in our newspapers and on our television screens. And two days ago, on CNN, one of those boring old fogies that the TV boys and girls call ‘experts’ – I’ll come back to them in a moment – told us again that the ‘peace process’ was being put ‘back on track’ because of the opening of ‘indirect talks’ between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t just about clichés – this is preposterous journalism. There is no battle between power and the media. Through language, we have become them.

Maybe one problem is that we no longer think for ourselves because we no longer read books. The Arabs still read books – I’m not talking here about Arab illiteracy rates – but I’m not sure that we in the West still read books. I often dictate messages over the phone and find I have to spend ten minutes to repeat to someone’s secretary a mere hundred words. They don’t know how to spell.

I was on a plane the other day, from Paris to Beirut – the flying time is about three hours and 45 minutes – and the woman next to me was reading a French book about the history of the Second World War. And she was turning the page every few seconds. She had finished the book before we reached Beirut! And I suddenly realised she wasn’t reading the book – she was surfing the pages! She had lost the ability to what I call ‘deep read’. Is this one of our problems as journalists, I wonder, that we no longer ‘deep read’? We merely use the first words that come to hand …

Let me show you another piece of media cowardice that makes my 63-year-old teeth grind together after 34 years of eating humus and tahina in the Middle East.

We are told, in so many analysis features, that what we have to deal with in the Middle East are ‘competing narratives’. How very cosy. There’s no justice, no injustice, just a couple of people who tell different history stories. ‘Competing narratives’ now regularly pop up in the British press. The phrase is a species – or sub-species – of the false language of anthropology. It deletes the possibility that one group of people – in the Middle East, for example – are occupied, while another group of people are doing the occupying. Again, no justice, no injustice, no oppression or oppressing, just some friendly ‘competing narratives’, a football match, if you like, a level playing field because the two sides are – are they not – ‘in competition’. It’s two sides in a football match. And two sides have to be given equal time in every story.

So an ‘occupation’ can become a ‘dispute’. Thus a ‘wall’ becomes a ‘fence’ or a ‘security barrier’. Thus Israeli colonisation of Arab land contrary to all international law becomes ‘settlements’ or ‘outposts’ or ‘Jewish neighbourhoods’.

You will not be surprised to know that it was Colin Powell, in his starring, powerless appearance as secretary of state to George W. Bush, who told US diplomats in the Middle East to refer to occupied Palestinian land as ‘disputed land’ – and that was good enough for most of the American media.

So watch out for ‘competing narratives’, ladies and gentlemen. There are no ‘competing narratives’, of course, between the US military and the Taliban. When there are, however, you’ll know the West has lost.

But I’ll give you a lovely, personal example of how ‘competing narratives’ come undone. Last month, I gave a lecture in Toronto to mark the 95th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide, the deliberate mass murder of one and a half million Armenian Christians by the Ottoman Turkish army and militia. Before my talk, I was interviewed on Canadian Television, CTV, which also owns the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. And from the start, I could see that the interviewer had a problem. Canada has a large Armenian community. But Toronto also has a large Turkish community. And the Turks, as the Globe and Mail always tell us, “hotly dispute” that this was a genocide. So the interviewer called the genocide “deadly massacres”.

Of course, I spotted her specific problem straight away. She could not call the massacres a ‘genocide’, because the Turkish community would be outraged. But equally, she sensed that ‘massacres’ on its own – especially with the gruesome studio background photographs of dead Armenians – was not quite up to defining a million and a half murdered human beings. Hence the ‘deadly massacres’. How odd!!! If there are ‘deadly’ massacres, are there some massacres which are not ‘deadly’, from which the victims walk away alive? It was a ludicrous tautology.

In the end, I told this little tale of journalistic cowardice to my Armenian audience, among whom were sitting CTV executives. Within an hour of my ending, my Armenian host received an SMS about me from a CTV reporter. “Shitting on CTV was way out of line,” the reporter complained. I doubted, personally, if the word ‘shitting’ would find its way onto CTV. But then, neither does ‘genocide’. I’m afraid ‘competing narratives’ had just exploded.

Yet the use of the language of power – of its beacon-words and its beacon-phrases -goes on among us still. How many times have I heard western reporters talking about ‘foreign fighters’ in Afghanistan? They are referring, of course, to the various Arab groups supposedly helping the Taliban. We heard the same story from Iraq. Saudis, Jordanians, Palestinian, Chechen fighters, of course. The generals called them ‘foreign fighters’. And then immediately we western reporters did the same. Calling them ‘foreign fighters’ meant they were an invading force. But not once – ever – have I heard a mainstream western television station refer to the fact that there are at least 150,000 ‘foreign fighters’ in Afghanistan. And that most of them, ladies and gentlemen, are in American or other Nato uniforms!

Similarly, the pernicious phrase ‘Af-Pak’ – as racist as it is politically dishonest – is now used by reporters when it originally was a creation of the US state department, on the day that Richard Holbrooke was appointed special US representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the phrase avoided the use of the word ‘India’ whose influence in Afghanistan and whose presence in Afghanistan, is a vital part of the story. Furthermore, ‘Af-Pak’ – by deleting India – effectively deleted the whole Kashmir crisis from the conflict in south-east Asia. It thus deprived Pakistan of any say in US local policy on Kashmir – after all, Holbrooke was made the ‘Af-Pak’ envoy, specifically forbidden from discussing Kashmir. Thus the phrase ‘Af-Pak’, which totally deletes the tragedy of Kashmir – too many ‘competing narratives’, perhaps? – means that when we journalists use the same phrase, ‘Af-Pak’, which was surely created for us journalists, we are doing the state department’s work.

Now let’s look at history. Our leaders love history. Most of all, they love the Second World War. In 2003, George W. Bush thought he was Churchill as well as George W. Bush. True, Bush had spent the Vietnam war protecting the skies of Texas from the Vietcong. But now, in 2003, he was standing up to the ‘appeasers’ who did not want a war with Saddam who was, of course, ‘the Hitler of the Tigris’. The appeasers were the British who did not want to fight Nazi Germany in 1938. Blair, of course, also tried on Churchill’s waistcoat and jacket for size. No ‘appeaser’ he. America was Britain’s oldest ally, he proclaimed – and both Bush and Blair reminded journalists that the US had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Britain in her hour of need in 1940.

But none of this was true.

Britain’s old ally was not the United States. It was Portugal, a neutral fascist state during World War Two. Only my own newspaper, The Independent, picked this up.

Nor did America fight alongside Britain in her hour of need in 1940, when Hitler threatened invasion and the German air force blitzed London. No, in 1940 America was enjoying a very profitable period of neutrality – and did not join Britain in the war until Japan attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbour in December of 1941.

Ouch!

Back in 1956, I read the other day, Eden called Nasser the ‘Mussolini of the Nile’. A bad mistake. Nasser was loved by the Arabs, not hated as Mussolini was by the majority of Africans, especially the Arab Libyans. The Mussolini parallel was not challenged or questioned by the British press. And we all know what happened at Suez in 1956.

Yes, when it comes to history, we journalists really do let the presidents and prime ministers take us for a ride.

Today, as foreigners try to take food and fuel by sea to the hungry Palestinians of Gaza, we journalists should be reminding our viewers and listeners of a long-ago day when America and Britain went to the aid of a surrounded people, bringing food and fuel – our own servicemen dying as they did so – to help a starving population. That population had been surrounded by a fence erected by a brutal army which wished to starve the people into submission. The army was Russian. The city was Berlin. The wall was to come later. The people had been our enemies only three years earlier. Yet we flew the Berlin airlift to save them. Now look at Gaza today. Which western journalist – and we love historical parallels – has even mentioned 1948 Berlin in the context of Gaza?

Look at more recent times. Saddam had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ – you can fit ‘WMD’ into a headline – but of course, he didn’t, and the American press went through embarrassing bouts of self-condemnation afterwards. How could it have been so misled, the New York Times asked itself? It had not, the paper concluded, challenged the Bush administration enough.

And now the very same paper is softly – very softly – banging the drums for war in Iran. Iran is working on WMD. And after the war, if there is a war, more self-condemnation, no doubt, if there are no nuclear weapons projects.

Yet the most dangerous side of our new semantic war, our use of the words of power – though it is not a war since we have largely surrendered – is that it isolates us from our viewers and readers. They are not stupid. They understand words, in many cases – I fear – better than we do. History, too. They know that we are drowning our vocabulary with the language of generals and presidents, from the so-called elites, from the arrogance of the Brookings Institute experts, or those of those of the Rand Corporation or what I call the ‘THINK TANKS’. Thus we have become part of this language.

Here, for example, are some of the danger words:

· POWER PLAYERS

· ACTIVISM

· NON-STATE ACTORS

· KEY PLAYERS

· GEOSTRATEGIC PLAYERS

· NARRATIVES

· EXTERNAL PLAYERS

· PEACE PROCESS

· MEANINGFUL SOLUTIONS

· AF-PAK

· CHANGE AGENTS (whatever these sinister creatures are).

I am not a regular critic of Al Jazeera. It gives me the freedom to speak on air. Only a few years ago, when Wadah Khanfar (now Director General of Al Jazeera) was Al Jazeera’s man in Baghdad, the US military began a slanderous campaign against Wadah’s bureau, claiming – untruthfully – that Al Jazeera was in league with al-Qaeda because they were receiving videotapes of attacks on US forces. I went to Fallujah to check this out. Wadah was 100 per cent correct. Al-Qaeda was handing in their ambush footage without any warning, pushing it through office letter-boxes. The Americans were lying.

Wadah is, of course, wondering what is coming next.

Well, I have to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that all those ‘danger words’ I have just read out to you – from KEY PLAYERS to NARRATIVES to PEACE PROCESS to AF-PAK – all occur in the nine-page Al Jazeera programme for this very forum.

I’m not condemning Al Jazeera for this, ladies and gentlemen. Because this vocabulary is not adopted through political connivance. It is an infection that we all suffer from – I’ve used ‘peace process’ a few times myself, though with quotation marks which you can’t use on television – but yes, it’s a contagion.

And when we use these words, we become one with the power and the elites which rule our world without fear of challenge from the media. Al Jazeera has done more than any television network I know to challenge authority, both in the Middle East and in the West. (And I am not using ‘challenge’ in the sense of ‘problem’, as in ‘”I face many challenges,” says General McCrystal.’)

How do we escape this disease? Watch out for the spell-checkers in our lap-tops, the sub-editor’s dreams of one-syllable words, stop using Wikipedia. And read books – real books, with paper pages, which means deep reading. History books, especially.

Al Jazeera is giving good coverage to the flotilla – the convoy of boats setting off for Gaza. I don’t think they are a bunch of anti-Israelis. I think the international convoy is on its way because people aboard these ships – from all over the world – are trying to do what our supposedly humanitarian leaders have failed to do. They are bringing food and fuel and hospital equipment to those who suffer. In any other context, the Obamas and the Sarkozys and the Camerons would be competing to land US Marines and the Royal Navy and French forces with humanitarian aid – as Clinton did in Somalia. Didn’t the God-like Blair believe in humanitarian ‘intervention’ in Kosovo and Sierra Leone?

In normal circumstances, Blair might even have put a foot over the border.

But no. We dare not offend the Israelis. And so ordinary people are trying to do what their leaders have culpably failed to do. Their leaders have failed them.

Have the media? Are we showing documentary footage of the Berlin airlift today? Or of Clinton’s attempt to rescue the starving people of Somalia, of Blair’s humanitarian ‘intervention’ in the Balkans, just to remind our viewers and readers – and the people on those boats – that this is about hypocrisy on a massive scale?

The hell we are! We prefer ‘competing narratives’. Few politicians want the Gaza voyage to reach its destination – be its end successful, farcical or tragic. We believe in the ‘peace process’, the ‘road map’. Keep the ‘fence’ around the Palestinians. Let the ‘key players’ sort it out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not your ‘key speaker’ this morning.

I am your guest, and I thank you for your patience in listening to me.

On whose border will Israel attack Iran

With all of Israel’s gesticulation about Iran, you might think the axis of evil bordered on Israel. Especially given reports that Israel plans to launch ground assaults on Iran after December. Oddly it does not.
US encirclement of Iran
At minimum, Israeli forces would have to cross Jordan or Syria, then Iraq or Turkey, to reach Iran. French newspaper Le Canard Enchainé reports that the IDF has ordered combat rations and is assembling elite commando units. On whose sovereign land will Israel mobilize?

Wikipedia and those romantic Zionists

Wikipedia for IsraelIn researching the evolution of Zionist terrorism, from clandestine militias like Bar-Giora, to Hashomer, Haganah, Etzel, and the pro-Nazi Stern Gang, I came upon this opening paragraph in Wikipedia. Describing Bar-Giora, it began: “On September 28, 1907, a group of activists from Poalei Zion gathered in Yitzhak Ben-Zvi’s tiny Jaffa apartment. There was no furniture, the men sat on the floor in a circle and used a crate for a desk.”
Some helpful Wiki elf was obviously feeling sentimental.

Here’s the full paragraph, one third of the only more nostalgic full article:

On September 28, 1907, a group of activists from Poalei Zion gathered in Yitzhak Ben-Zvi’s tiny Jaffa apartment. There was no furniture, the men sat on the floor in a circle and used a crate for a desk. Inspired by Israel Shochat’s ideas, they agreed that the only way to fulfill the dream of becoming a Jewish nation was to rise up and assert themselves through cultivating and defending their land themselves. The state of things in the early years of the 20th Century in Palestine, was such that Jewish farmers employed Arabs to work their farms and protect them, and in turn were subject to landlords, such as Edmond de Rothschild’s agents. There was much discontent and disillusionment.

Thus I was sparked to delve into the oft-derided accusation that Wikipedia is biased toward Israel. Compare the paragraph above, to the introductions of Wiki articles about militant Muslim or Arab groups. Start with Wiki’s official terrorist list and judge for yourself.

CAMERA
Electronic Intifada documented an interesting story last year, when they interrupted the Zionist site CAMERA from organizing commando edit raids on Wikipedia to ensure Israel was always shown in a favorable light. In its report, EI leaked the email thread which, by the way, serves as a great instruction manual for aspiring Wiki editors. We’ll reprint the conversation below.

The episode is documented in several articles. Beginning with EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group’s plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia, The Electronic Intifada, 21 April 2008. (Reprinted in Global Research 4/24.)

Alex Beam, of The Boston Globe, broke the story in print on May 6, 2008, in War of the virtual Wiki-worlds.

Next came Israel Shamir, Wiki, the Chaos Controlled, who asserted that CAMERA’s interrupted zeal masked Wikipedia’s already Zionist admins. Shamir’s continuing battle with Wikipedia can be followed in wiki/Talk).

IRGUN, ET AL
Hashomer clandestine paramilitary malitiaAbout the clandestine pre-Israel paramilitary organizations, which eventually became the Israel Defense Force? Their history is very interesting. The Zionist policy of using “retaliation” to justify strikes, started right from the beginning.

When the Jewish settlers, many of whom were immigrating into Palestine illegally, felt that British authorities were not giving them preferred treatment in disputes with local Arabs, they organized private armies to quell Arab unrest over their expanding landholdings.

During WWI, these fighters, formed as Hashomer, worked behind the lines with an intelligence branch named Nili, to help the British drive out the Turks. When the Paris Treaty of 1919 did not yield a Zionist state as promised, the militants reformed as Haganah. Commando units under FOSH attacked Arabs during the revolts of the 1930s, which became HISH to fight on the side of the Allies in WWII, meanwhile the Haganah Bet, better known as the Etzel, or Irgun, unleashed terrorist attacks against the British.

In 1938 Irgun leader David Raziel, defined Israel’s prevailing policy of DEFENSIVE ATTACK:

“The actions of the Haganah alone will never be a true victory. If the goal of the war is to break the will of the enemy – and this cannot be attained without destroying his spirit – clearly we cannot be satisfied with solely defensive operations… Defensiveness by way of offensiveness, in order to deprive the enemy the option of attacking, is called active defense.”

During WWII, Irgun kept up its fight against the British, in collaboration with Nazi Germany. In exchange for FIRST) the promise of Palestine being made an independent Zionist state, and SECOND) that Jews of Occupied Europe be allowed to emigrate to Israel, instead of the Nazi suggested destination of Gibraltar.

After the war, Irgun scored its most dramatic attacks, before and during the formation of Israel. Widely denounced by international critics as a terrorist organization, Irgun became the right-wing predecessor to today’s Likud Party.

Wikipedia describes this episode in a tentative fashion: An offshoot of Irgun, better known as the STERN GANG, (but the Wiki article is named by its official Lihi title), tried to make a pact with the Nazis, but never heard back. Later Lihi was honored for its historic contribution to the establishment of Israel.

Israel needs a time out

Time magazine cover ISRAEL TIME TO GOISN’T IT TIME to divest ourselves of Israel, boycott their businesses, and cancel their US military subsidy? At some point we enablers have to leave the racist supremacists to make friends with their would-be neighbors in the Middle East, or they should pack up their carpet bags and come home. How many more Palestinians and Lebanese have to die before we can confirm that the Zionist theology of these white colonial overseers is rabid?

Israel-Palestine can be a democracy like anywhere else. There’s no reason an unpopular, non-Muslim theocracy need be imposed on the Middle East, especially by force and by theft of the land. The Zionist occupiers are Europeans and Americans. Let them stay as expats if they choose, but we could certainly expect them to respect the ways of their hosts. No?

Israeli fury seals a Single State Solution

Israeli Defense ForceIsrael’s relentless and unrepentant program to exterminate the Palestinians of Gaza, will yield but a single outcome. And it would certainly please the Palestinians, if they live to see it. First, if Palestine is deprived of viability as an independent state, Israel is left with only a single state solution. Second, with Israel convinced that its security from rocket fire depends on every last Arab neighbor being interned or interred, there is no other choice but cloistered Apartheid. Will the international community long tolerate a feudal theocracy constantly inflaming the resentment of its indigenous laborers?

I was being facetious to suggest that Palestinians will not live to see Israel vanquished.

Much as Israel might try, the Palestinians won’t be killed off like North America’s original natives. Neither Gaza nor the West Bank will succumb to genocide, alcoholism or uranium poisoning, nor vanish like an eclipsed civilization. They can be driven off, and dispersed among the neighbors, but the Palestinian diaspora will hang interminable with a much fresher claim to the lands of their fathers than ever had the Zionists.

But on the ground, the captive Palestinians will never reconstitute even a client state, so long as Israel pens them in like Soweto. Lands allotted to Palestinians will be work camps, and prison camps, with every un-free man’s right to rebel against the yoke of occupation. Israel will dodge rockets until the last slave is shackled.

And I guess the world will sit by and let them do that. However blatant they want to be about it.

Knowing that after Lebanon and Gaza, Israel has disciplinary actions aimed at Syria and Iran, what are the prospects for cohabitation in the Middle East? Does Israel expect that its “right to exist” grants it a swath of no-man’s zone, extended beyond the borders of all its neighbors? Israel’s wrathful attack on Gaza, as retaliation for Hamas’ motley rockets, the disproportionality of the air strikes, and the IDF’s disregard for innocent civilian casualties, betrays Israel’s racist ambivalence about the fate of non-Jews. Without a humanitarian regard for others, how can Israel expect to be asked to the adult’s table?

So Israel has sealed its own fate. Obliterate the Palestinians or drive them off, ostracize the neighbors until you are all alone. Israel will be a solitary state, inhabited by the white elite, separated by a state religion forbidden to their darker working castes. The untouchables will live behind apartheid walls until delivered by an Arab Mandela. Then international pressure, hopefully too a domestic conscience, will bring Democracy, and then, as current opponents of a single-state-solution fear, a popular vote will eradicate the oppression of religious rule.

Say goodbye to Israel, the Jewish State. It will “be wiped off the map” of the Middle East, and left for Jews and Palestinians to inhabit with equality. So long as particular Palestinians do not survive who have claims to properties appropriated by the Zionists, or so long as some compensation is offered to buy off the Palestinian’s right of return, the rich Jewish enclaves will coexist with the have-nots, like the gated communities of any other third world nation.

Or Israelis could choose the single state solution right now.

A look at Life under Jewish Apartheid

Jonathan CookIn his book Israeli Palestinians: the Unwanted Who Stayed, Jonathan Cook paints a picture which reminds me in some ways of the Deep South in the late Fifties and early Sixties which I vaguely experienced as a young kid. But it differs in major factors, too. Maybe a better comparison would be that the Israeli Palestinians are in the same situation as the Cherokee Nation when the White Settlers started invading their lands.

The Cherokee then became citizens of the US, but were considered not of the US. They were separate and unequal in the eyes of the majority, and now we know what the Final Solution was for them.

If the world allows this ethnic cleansing in the Middle East by the Jews to continue, the Israeli Palestinians may ultimately share much the same fate as the Cherokees eventually did. Pushed off their land and out of their possessions, as in fact has already occurred for millions of Palestinians.

The Arab countries’ dictatorships propped up by US power certainly have not helped affairs much at all. They are too busy looting their own countrymen and too allied with the US government for the rest of the Arab people to be able to help the Palestinians much out. And the other Native American tribes in the past were unable (and possibly at times unwilling?) to help the Cherokee out either.

Visit the Jonathan Cook website He has a bird’s eye view of what Israel is actually like, and it is not a pretty picture he paints.

The AIPAC friendship society at work

AIPAC is an organization of friendship, and its work is legendary. A recent film allows us to see just how this melding of minds works in actual practice. See the film over at the BBC and ask yourself, is Zionism really racism?

Don’t these nice Jewish people have the right to protect themselves from stone throwing kids, ‘suicide bombers’, and the like? Don’t they have a right to the land? AIPAC is certainly a nice group of people, right? Certainly Barack Obama thinks so. See the text of Obama’s AIPAC Speech

Isn’t AIPAC working on behalf of a beleaguered and peaceful people? They just need a little more US assistance per Obama to bludgeon the Muslims into the ground? Vote Obama if that is what you want. Vote for Obama if you want more war in the Middle East.

Bush has lost his credibility, but the Man for ‘Change’ will bring the American people back on board for more of the same. He’s Black, you know? Remember Colin Powell?

Not in My Name

Hello, I participated in the most incredibly diverse rally in front of the United Nations at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Here are my remarks:

Cynthia McKinney Remarks Al Nakba Rally,
“Not in My Name”
United Nations, New York
May 16, 2008

On my birthday last year, I declared my independence from a national
leadership that, through its votes in support of the war machine, is
now complicit in war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity, and
crimes against the peace.

I declared my independence from every bomb dropped, every veteran
maimed, and every child killed.

I noted that the Democratic leadership in Congress had failed to
restore this country to Constitutional rule by repealing the Patriot
Acts, the Secret Evidence Act, and the Military Commissions Act.

That it had aided and abetted illegal spying against the American
people. And that it took impeachment off the table.

In addition, the Democratic Congressional leadership failed to
promote the economic integrity of this country by not repealing the
Bush tax cuts. They failed to institute a livable wage,
Medicare-for-all health care, and gave even more money to the
Pentagon as it misuses our hard-earned dollars.

We can add to that list, too, an abject failure to stand up for human
rights and dignity.

If the Democratic and Republican leadership won’t respect the right
of return for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors, how can we
expect them to champion the right of return for Palestinians?

If this country’s leadership tolerates the wanton murder of unarmed
black and Latino men by law enforcement officials—extra-judicial
killings—how can we expect them to stop or even speak out against
targeted assassinations in the Middle East?

If the Democratic and Republican leadership accept ethnic cleansing
in this country by way of gentrification and predatory lending, why
should we expect them to put an end to it in Palestine?

If the leadership of this country impedes self-determination for
native peoples in this country, why should we expect them to support
indigenous rights for anyone abroad?

And sadly, the sensationalist corporate media would rather trick us
into thinking that reporting on a pastor, a former Vice Presidential
nominee, and a former cable TV magnate constitutes this country’s
much-needed discussion of its own apartheid past and present, so why
should we expect an honest discussion of apartheid and Zionism?

I hope by now it is clear. Our values will never be reflected in
public policy as long as our political parties and our country remain
hijacked.

Hijacked by false patriots who usurp the applause of the people and
all the while betray our values.

I’ve decided that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will
operate any longer as business as usual—not in my name.

That Democrats and Republicans will use my tax dollars and betray my
values, not one day longer—not in my name.

That neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have earned my most
precious political asset—my vote.

And that now is the time to do some things I’ve never done before in
order to have some things I’ve never had before.

And so here today, I declare my independence from weapons transfers:
including Apache Helicopters; F’16s; sidewinder, hellfire, and
Stinger missiles.

I declare my independence from occupation, demolished homes,
political prisoners, and babies dying at checkpoints.

I declare my independence from UN vetoes, expropriated land, stolen
resources, and the installation of puppet regimes.

I declare my independence from all forms of dehumanization and am not
afraid to speak truth to power.

And I am happy to join with peace-loving people around the world who
know that there can be no peace without justice.

Let us never tire in our work for justice.

Thank you.

Liberal scholars make palatable same lie

Do you remember this ignoble sequence of events in the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq? America demanded Iraq cease their nuclear research projects, they did. We insisted they fess up about all their weapons programs, so they released a tower of documents, 75% of which we redacted before passing it on to the UN. We subjected Iraq to weapons inspectors, and called for Saddam to produce and dismantle his long range missiles. When the embargo-depleted, oft-bombarded nation complied, the way was clear for our troops to move in.

If a cowboy did that in a western, which color hat would he be wearing? Throw down your gun so I can shoot you.

Middle East scholar Steven Zunes recounted this episode in his presentation at CC on Thursday. Iraq’s early subjugation would certainly be influencing Iran’s current nuclear strategy. North Korea presented the alternate scenario. Their nuclear program moved forward undeterred, they tested long distance rockets, and they didn’t get invaded. Iran is governed by a repressive regime, but even Iran’s dissidents advocate rushing their nation’s nuclear efforts forward.

Stephen Zunes spoke about the ongoing war and The Mess Bush Leaves Behind, reminding the students of his originally dire predictions before the war started. He made the same point in his CC appearance the year before. In 2003 Zune had predicted failure in Iraq. Much as he would like to have been proven wrong, he says, we have failure. Still unchanged was the narrative that the US adventure in Iraq has been an unmitigated fiasco. The outcome is tragic, the irreversible destruction and loss of life, lamentable. But otherwise Zunes’ liberal theme is pernicious falsehood.

Bush’s history-making sure does look like a mess, but Neocon pocketbooks can only be described as messy in being flush with cash. When will analysts reframe the fiasco for what it still is, a continual mugging of the American taxpayer. Oil profits are up, the weapons industry has windfalls to rival cyclones, and private militia forces are outgrowing the democratic mechanisms to hold multinationals in check. Having a preeminent scholar characterize the GWOT developments as mistakes is to mislead Americans with criminal negligence.

The PLO has now been turned into a tool of Israel and the US

The PLO is now running operations for Israel and the Bush gang against Palestinians, as they sweep gangs of armed thugs into Palestinian towns like Jenin. What a sad demise to the PLO, who under Arafat turned towards corruption and capitulation in a massive way. Under Abbas, this process is now complete, and little remains of the PLO other than goon squads under foreign control. See Abbas sends forces to north WBank in security push

When Jimmy Carter met with Hamas representatives, he as carrot carrier of the US, was well aware of this relative new reality, one which the American public hasn’t quite caught up to understanding. Hamas, with all its defects and blemishes, at least is not corrupted in the manner that the PLO became when it began to get bought off by the US. Hamas has taken over the leadership of the Palestinian community, while the leadership of the PLO went totally astray, looking principally for personal gain for the ‘leaders’.

The US and Israel want a PLO group that is willing to collaborate with the oppression of the Palestinians, in much the same way that many Jews once tried to collaborate with the Nazis, to curry favor for their own personal selves and families. Iraq and Afghanistan also have clumps of traitors, who collaborate witht the foreign occupiers, too.

The PLO is now dead and should be buried. It was defeated by Israeli and American firepower.

Who can bash Iran the hardest?

The Pennsylvania Primary was illustrative about the poor character (Yes, the Republicans always said it was about character) of the 2 Democratic Party contenders. (Hey what happened to the other ever so determined DP wannabes? Where did they go?) At any rate, what the nation was left with was watching Hillary out-bashing Iran over Obama. Obama bashed Iran, too, though. Don’t ever think that he didn’t.

So what is the lesson here for the dopey liberal Democratic Party voters? Did they learn anything at all here? Nah…. They never learn a damn thing. Even mice in a maze have more wits about them than Democratic Party voters do. It’s an insult even to the donkey to be connected with these people.

The lesson for the world is, that all the Democrats respond to the pressures of the American corporate ruling class, and not to the dumb voters. And the lesson was that both corporate parties still want more war in the Middle East.

MARCH 27-30 Sixth Cairo Conference

Sixth Cairo ConferenceThis year for the first time the Hands Off Venezuela campaign will be taking part in the Cairo Conference (International Campaign against US and Zionist Occupation, 6th Cairo Conference, 4th Cairo Forum, Press Syndicate, March 27-30, 2008). HOV will be holding a seminar on The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and the struggle for socialism.
 
On March 25, YOUNG LEFT in Sweden passed a motion in support for the HANDS OFF VENEZUELA campaign.

Hands off Venezuela

A revolution against the horrors of neo-liberalism is spreading through Latin-America. The centre for this development is Venezuela. What is happening there is totally different compared to the politics of cuts in the welfare state that politicians, economist and “experts” have said for decades is necessary. In this poor country a redistribution of wealth and power is taking place. Good housing is provided for ordinary people, poor people are getting access to free healthcare and land is handed out to farmers cooperatives.

A discussion about how to construct a socialist society is taking place. The people have begun to build new structures that they control, that can replace the old state. The power of capital is threatened through nationalisation and workers control.

A privileged layer – the owners of the big companies and the highly paid civil servants in the state – are violently against the changes. In 2002, with the support of the USA, there was an attempted military coup which was followed by a lockout. This is a part of a campaign against the revolution that includes slander in the media, violence and economic sabotage.

The development in Venezuela is connected to the future of the international labour movement. The revolution in Venezuela spreads hope – it shows that another world is possible. It is necessary for the defence of the revolution to get solidarity from the international labour movement. With this appeal we want:

* To show our solidarity with the revolution in Venezuela
* Say no to USA and other international forces attacking the people of Venezuela
* Give our support to the Venezuelan trade union federation UNT
* Support the call for a solidarity conference to discuss how to develop the solidarity movement with Venezuela

Tel Aviv University Poll shows that 81% of Jewish population backs Jewish terrorism against Arabs fighting for freedom

Yes, the Jewish population of Israel is highly supportive of using terrorism against Arab leaders. In fact, 81% is the exact number found by a poll taken by the prestigious Tel Aviv University, and these 81% actually supported increasing the use of terrorism by Jewish military forces, not doing away with it or even just maintaining it at current levels!

Why does the Israeli Jewish community (as well as the US one) think that it is quite alright to do as they do? Simply because the US government is not only supporting Jewish terrorism itself, but is implementing and increasing their own use of terrorism and IDF style tortures throughout the Muslim World, too. The two groups feed off each other’s advocacy and use of criminality.

Poll: 81 percent of Israelis back increasing IDF targeted killings at Haaretz.com

Oh, and while there at Haaretz.com, be sure to click on the trailer of the Let’s Go To War and Pulverize Iran Before they Drive Jews Into The Sea film featured so promiently there. It’s pure ‘entertainment’, but will be taken as being news and important information by jingoistic meatheads around the US and Israel!

Washington’s new nasty little attack dog- the French poodle Sarkozy

Tony Blair, Washington DC’s British poodle has now been replaced with a French poodle, it seems. That little rabid asshole is the new leader of French imperialism, Sarkozy. Sounds like a STD, doesn’t it? Below is the funniest headline (in a sick sort of way) I have seen in a long time…

What a scum bag is this DC puppet, Sarkozy!

Sarkozy: I’ve reached the end of the road with Assad

French president says he’s outraged by Damascus’ intervention in Lebanese political process, expects ‘actions, not talk’ from President Assad
report by Roee Nahmias

Doesn’t it take the cake for a French leader to talk about intervention in the Lebanese political process? France was the colonizer that enslaved this region and has caused so much heartache ever since from its constant and eternal meddling in the affairs of other nations and its exploitation of them. And here is this twit doing it again and making his war mongering threats?

The world should pull France off the Security Council of the United Nations and reprimand this country for its belligerence and interference in the affairs of other nations. Our country is not the only one with sickies in power. To think that this thug Sarkozy is actually in charge of WOMD? Good Grief!

US is not sniping indiscriminantly 1-2-3

The good news is that US sniper teams may not be shooting at everyone they come across anymore, as has been alleged though seldom reported. After all, the rules of war apply to snipers just as they would ordinary soldiers or paintballers: don’t shoot at someone who’s not a combatant, who’s unarmed, or who’s otherwise surrendering. But under pressure to up their kills, US snipers are defying the Hague Conventions with such innovations as 1) bait/entrapment, 2) getting go-ahead to assassinate, and 3) using fingerprint identification to confirm eligibility for execution.

1. Bait and switch
The Asymmetric Warfare Group issues to US snipers “drop items,” insurgent-type items which may be planted on Iraqis they’ve shot, but much more productively, to use as bait to lure passing Iraqis, tempting empty-handed civilians to become item-wielding insurgents whom you don’t have to get permission to shoot. The Washington Post reports:

“Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy,” Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. “Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces.”

2. Under suspicion is as good as being condemned
US snipers are executing targets if they can be confirmed as being suspects. With the cross hairs of your sniper scope aimed at your chosen Iraqi or Afghan, you can await authorization to pull the trigger based on learning the person’s identity, whether by informer or a shouted inquiry. Then according to the US rules of engagement you can terminate him. Here’s an example from the International Herald Tribune.

“From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sergeant Troy Anderson had a clear shot of the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a small village near the Pakistan border last October. And when Captain Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Anderson fired a single bullet into the man’s head, killing him instantly.

…the shooting, near the village of Hasan Kheyl last October, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. The men said such rules allowed them to kill Buntangyar, whom the American military had designated a terrorist cell leader, once they positively identified him.”

3. Coming soon: fingerprint and biometric matching
In early 2008 US snipers will be given a more efficient system for making split decisions about whether their target may be summarily liquidated. Now with the subject in your sights, you can await instructions from an intelligence database about whether your target has a fingerprint, retina scan, or biometric profile in the records as a suspected insurgent. In which case, be he standing idle, detained or captive, you can shoot him. Read this account from the Washington Post about the JEFF:

“…the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities (JEFF) project or “lab in a box,” analyzes biometrics. It will be delivered to Iraq at the beginning of 2008, the Navy said, to help distinguish insurgents from civilians.

…the military has been scanning the irises and taking the fingerprints of Iraqis, feeding a biometrics data base in West Virginia. To date, a few ad hoc labs have processed about 85,000 pieces of evidence taken from weapons caches or roadside devices.

Each collapsible, sand-colored, 20-by-20-foot unit has its own generator and satellite link. If things go as planned, data will beamed to the Biometric Fusion Center to check against more than a million Iraqi fingerprints.

The next stage is to miniaturize, create “a backpack lab,” so that soldiers who encounter a suspect “could find out within minutes” if he’s on a terrorist watch list, [says the JEFF weapon designer] “A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?”

Iraqi Oil for Beginners

IRAQI OIL FOR BEGINNERS graphic novel by Jon Sack published by Voices in the Wilderness
Iraqi Oil for Beginners is artist-in-exile Jon Sack’s account of a century of Iraq history dominated by the fight over its oil. The 31-page comic can be ordered through the publisher Voices in the Wilderness UK or from Housmans.
 
Sack means his graphic novel to enlighten western readers about the real US and UK motives behind the occupation of Iraq, hopefully before Iraqi legislators are finally coerced into privatizing the oil industry and putting it all in US hands.

After Tony Blair?

The whole English speaking world breathed a sigh of relief when Tony Blair finally was replaced by Gordon Brown. Gone was a toady for the US neocon Bush regime and in was….?

Well, a British Hillary Clinton perhaps? At least it was thought, that Brown would move to get British troops out of Iraq and the corporate media has tried to give the impression that this was the actual case. But is it so really?

What seems to be happening is that British troops are merely being redeployed as support platoons for the Pentagon. See AFP report Troops enter Taliban-held town as British PM visits 10/12/2007 They are being pulled out of Southern Iraq step by step, but then are being sent into Afghanistan!

There seems to be a division of labor developing, where the US does Iraq, and the British do Afghanistan. Hey! And who gets Pakistan then? Musharaf still gets last use from Bush maybe? And Jewish Israel certainly is doing their part by continuing to eagerly subjugate the Palestinians for the US and their ownselves. It’s an ethnic cleansing on a mass scale led by D.C. and the Pentagon.

What we have are new lines being drawn in the US made regional war for regime changes in the Middle East-Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan chain of Muslim countries. Gordon Brown is not retreating from Tony Blair’s melding of the British as junior partners for the US neocon imperialist game plan. Instead, he is continuing that relationship in full.

In short, after Tony Blair we get more of the same, not any real change. And that will be what we get with a Democratic Party President, too. More imperialistic colonialism so that the US-Brit governments continue to control their supply of oil. Lots of corporations are depending on them to do just that.

Ofra Haza- Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
He was born the King Solomon
He was a wise and had a thousand wives
He was a righteous and feeling judge
He was the king and the father of the people
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Two young women came with a child
Claiming I’m the mother of this child
He said: Bring me a sword,
Divide the baby in two
Oh, in two!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
The real mother cried: Don’t!
The other one said: Divide!
Everybody knew who was really true
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
How can the people divide a little child ?
How can the people divide such a little heart ?
Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Ofra Haza, one of the world’s greatest musicians ever… Unfortunately, she had a tragic relationship that ended in her death. Wikipedia has more info about this great Middle Eastern singer.

Where are Salam Pax and Raed Jarrar?

Collected posts of Salam al-JanabiThe BBC has an update on Iraqi bloggers. Riverbend is back, she’s now a refugee in Syria. Nabil is in Jordan. “Zappy” is in the UK. 24stepstoliberty now writes from California.
 
Livesstrong and Najma are in Mosul. Last-of-Iraqis writes from Baghdad and shares the dashed-syntax with neurotic-iraqi-wife from the Green Zone.
 
September last year, Raed Jarrar, namesake of Where is Raed? was not permitted to board a JetBlue plane at JFK because he wore a t-shirt which read “We will not be silenced.” Salam al-Janabi, aka Salam Pax the Baghdad Blogger last posted to Fat Whiner on July 2006, and made a CNN video in April.

Storming Palestine for the West 1917

Aussies and Anzacs reenact WWI battle of BeershebaOn October 31, the occasion of its 90th anniversary, Aussie descendants of the original Anzac forces reenacted the 1917 storming of Beersheba, a key battle in the WWI struggle against the Turks in Palestine. Of all the historic campaigns in recent or near-recent memory, why Beersheba?
 
And why not Beersheba 1948?

The newly created state of Israel overrode Beersheba in 1948, extending the borders apportioned to it by the UN. Beersheba appeared to be a strategic step toward the eventual absorption of Jerusalem and so Israel took it.

As historic reenactments go, why would the storming of Beersheba by the British be of particular interest to Israel? Why not any of the Turkish victories, or those of Egypt?

The Naval Academy at Annapolis

It turns out that the Air Force Academy here in Colorado Springs was not chosen to bring ‘PEACE’ to the Middle East, nor was the Army Academy at West Point. The site for The Cheney Empire to force more of a mess on the Middle East is to be the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Welcome, Palestinians! It’s a festive occasion this week!

What a fitting resort for Dick and his invites! Let’s call it the Sail and Quail Special, shall we? Enough to give one a heart attack even. But really? Is it not somewhat comical that the same US mad bombers planning to destroy Iran next week are today now talking compromise and peace to the non-representatives of the Palestinian people? I bet they even manage to pull out a reference to Gandhi for the media somehow?

OK, let’s wait and see what type of show they have put together for us commoner American dip shits? A political Cirque du Soleil perhaps? Maybe some Bristol brew might help wash this stuff down some while watching any goofy gazoos on TV news this week? And pretzels…

Silencers

Did Blackwater sneak silencers into Iraq? That’s a good question, because silencers are used mainly by snipers. Is this the true face of bringing ‘democracy’ to Iraq?

Is sniping using silencers done by a private Pentagon- contracted corporation of death squad personnel what Iraq is all about for the US government at this point? Yes, it is certainly so. What else can one expect from a government that loves ‘water-boarding’ its captives so?

That and rendering. Dictionary meaning of ‘to render’ is ‘to try out oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.’ ‘Rendering’, a favorite phrase for US government death squad work. Yes, the US government, Pentagon, and Blackwater would be using silencers, too. America’s face to the world.