WHERE DO YOU STAND? INTENSIFICATION OF U.S.-ZIONIST GENOCIDE TO DESTROY THE PALESTINIAN NATION :
Commentary: Where do you stand?
Left liberal ‘Support’ for Palestinian liberation is based on liberal imperialist-zionist positions—(including the ludicrous lie that Israel controls U.S. superpower and is destroying it)— more pervasively that there should be justice for both Palestine AND "Israel", the oppressed & the oppressor, thus legitimizing the fascist settler state and its U.S. master.
What does genuine anti-imperialist-zionist support for Palestine --and all oppressed, occupied nations -- mean? Following are articles expressing genuine support and others demonstrating the liberal apologetics characteristic of most of the u.s. ‘left’, as represented by Noam Chomsky, reputed "anti-imperialist-pro-Palestine" guru. This reputation immunizes him from critical scrutiny and grants his treacherous position wide legitimacy and influence on the ‘left’: (1) to validate the existence of Israel’s racist colonial settler state in the name of a “two state solution” --on the Palestinian nations historic homeland -- criticizing only Israel’s “policies”, not its illegitimate existence
(2) to function as apologist for U.S. imperialist by accusing Israel of “...breaking sharply with U.S. policy”--as if the u.s., contrary to its recalcitrant zionist partner, supports Palestinian liberation, as if the zionist entity could exist without U.S. support and is an independent agent, as if the U.S. doesn’t call the shots for “eretz israel” whose expansionist agenda jibes with and serves the U.S. global domination Pax Americana agenda and its global war of terror. Where do you stand?
U.S. Policy Blueprint for Israel
A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
Following is a report prepared by The U.S. Institute for Advanced Strategic and
Political Studies’ "Study Group for the incoming Benjamin Netanyahu regime on
a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000."
The main ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which
prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles
Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav
Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy
for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports
From one of many U.S. based zionist foundations and think-tanks
JEWISH INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS/JINSA
Item: The U.S. military is training Abu Mazen’s “Presidential Guard” in the belief or ephemeral hope that this particular group of Palestinians, more than others, meets an American standard for the responsible exercise of lethal force. This would be risible if it were not so dangerous....
The U.S. is training one army of the government against another army of the government but, according to reports from the area, Fatah, including American-trained forces, have been almost entirely ineffectual against Hamas. Fatah is pleading for more weapons... Hamas is fighting Fatah for control in order to freely pursue its terrorist agenda against Israel. And despite American help - or because it only saw our help as a means to an entirely different end - Fatah is in no position to advance its own goals (not that those are so great, either). This suggests that Israel may be forced to consider intervention for its own safety. If it comes, the U.S. will bear heavy responsibility.
JINSA has a Two-Fold Mandate:
1. To educate the American public about the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded; and
2. To inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Israel prepares Gaza attack to crush Hamas
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
THTT T THREE Israeli divisions comprising 20,000 troops are on standby, ready for a full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip as Hamas militants continue to fire salvos of rockets into Israel
A cabinet meeting in Jerusalem today will test whether there is the political will for an onslaught that is likely to be costly both in casualties from the Israeli Defence Forces and for the Palestinian civilian population.
Yesterday Israeli aircraft fired missiles towards Gaza City and the towns of Beit Hanoun and Jabalya, killing four people and bringing to 24 the number of Palestinians who have died in airstrikes in the past week. The rival Hamas and Fatah factions reached a ceasefire agreement after a week of internecine fighting. Earlier truces had collapsed within hours and it was not clear if this one would hold.
The Israeli army’s high command is recommending an attack to crush Hamas “before Gaza turns into another southern Lebanon”, said a source. But they are opposed by elements in the security forces who argue that the timing is premature.
The battle plan is to cut Gaza into three parts, seal its borders and crush Hamas by flooding its towns and villages with troops in an operation intended to last no more than a week. Israel would rely on speed, superior technology, better training and intelligence and sheer force of numbers to smash Hamas...
The generals insist that they are ready to invade. Earlier this year in the remote Negev desert, three army divisions completed a dress rehearsal for an incursion into Gaza. A giant Palestinian “refugee camp” was built to help the infantry to train in door-to-door search methods in the tightly packed Palestinian camps. The last time they attempted such an attack was five years ago in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin. Many houses were demolished and 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Palestinians were killed....
With Israeli connivance, about 500 well-trained Palestinian Authority soldiers were rushed from Egypt into Gaza last week to help their Fatah comrades who are fighting for their lives against the more powerful Hamas militants.
“We should have no illusions,” said an Israeli defence source. “Once we step in, Fatah will not stand on Gaza’s pavements to cheer us on. They will join Hamas in the fighting and postpone their battles for later.”...The Israelis are expected to go for a lightning strike aimed at killing as many militants as possible in the first few days before pulling out. “We won’t have more than a week for the fighting,” said a military source familiar with the plan.
On Friday Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, summoned the diplomatic corps to outline the Hamas threat. “We want peace in the Middle East,” she said. “But sometimes the only way to maintain normal life in Gaza is to put pressure on the militants.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition and the most popular Israeli politician, has no doubt about it. “The attacks on our citizens are horrible,” he said in Sderot last week. “The government should launch an attack to stop the rockets.”...
NEW ENGLAND COMMITTEE TO DEFEND PALESTINE
Principles of Unity
• Palestine is Arab land. We support the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people to liberate themselves from military occupation and colonial settlement in all of historic Palestine. We affirm the right of Palestinians to reclaim their land and resources, to maintain their culture, and to free their land from occupation by soldiers and settlers by any means necessary.
• We oppose the existence of the colonial-settler state of "Israel."
• We are for an end to all US aid to "Israel" – military, economic, and political.
• We oppose all forms of normalization with "Israel." We support boycotts and other popular actions aimed at isolating "Israel" economically and politically.
• We recognize that the struggle of the Palestinian people is part of a regional struggle against US, European, and Zionist imperialism. We support the regional struggle for indigenous sovereignty over land and resources.
Statement by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine on the Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration:
New England Committee to DefendPalestine: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Balfour Declaration led to the dispossession of land and displacement of the Palestinian people. The colonization of Palestinian can be seen as the most recent overt manifestation of colonial history lasting for centuries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The same European powers that sought to divide up the non-European world in 1917 occupied Turtle Island (the North American continent) in 1492. As Europeans ethnically cleansed the Americas of their indigenous populations, they claimed that they were bringing "civilization." These same powers forced millions of Africans onto boats and brought them here against their will as slaves in the name of American "freedom." And it is these same racist powers today who continue to force their way of life onto the rest of the world, finding ever-new justifications for doing so, in complete contempt of decency, humanity, and world opinion. The rhetoric of "manifest destiny" has been replaced by the "war on terror" but the methods and goals are equally racist and genocidal.
On November 2nd, Palestinians all over the world remember that the Nakba ("catastrophe") of 1948 was the direct result of the European colonial project articulated by Balfour in 1917....
Confessions of a human bomb from Palestine
by Hujayra al 'Arabi
"We are a strong people. We are steadfast. That is not enough to prevail against the machinery of Death that has been set in motion against us. The fact that we have survived a century of genocide speaks eloquently of our strength and steadfastness, but how much longer can we endure? Those . who robbed us originally of our land die peacefully in their beds of old age, having spawned another two or three generations of robbers and thieves Those offspring convince themselves that they bear no responsibility for the continuing deprivation of our people as they invite more robbers into our homeland, while herding more of our people over the bridge to exile. They will not listen to the voice of justice. They speak of 'peace' when they have made the word an obscenity."
Continued at: http://www.freearabvoice.org/articles/ConfessionsOfAHumanBombFromPalesti...
“I Don’t Want to Know Their Names” : The Plan for Genocide in Gaza and Judaization in Galilee
by Julie Saad
Julie Saad explains Sharon's "disengagement" plan as a cover for continued genocide and war against Palestine.
In this article, Saad quotes Israeli author and "peace activist"A.B. Yehoshua, who says, “ …after we remove the settlements and after we stop being an occupation army, all the rules of war will be different. We will exercise our full force. We will not have to run around looking for this terrorist or that instigator – we will make use of force against an entire population. We will use total force. Because from the minute we withdraw I don't want to know their names. I don't want any personal relations with them. I am no longer in a situation of occupation and policing and B'Tselem [the human rights organization]. Instead, I will be standing opposite them in a position of nation versus nation.”
Repression of Palestinian Activists in the US: Where are the Defenders of Justice?
By Noah Cohen
"Based on the official position of the National Lawyer’s Guild in support of the Palestinian Right of Return and other similar positions, one would expect strong support in NLG chapters across the nation for the rights of Palestinian activists in the US. The NLG has historically helped in the defense of Palestinians; David Cole continues to represent the LA8 in their ongoing appeals.
In Boston, this support has not been forthcoming from any of the existing organizations. In addition, active members of the civil liberties community who have taken public stands on the Palestinian cause have clearly been on the side of “left Zionism.” Our experience suggests that “left-Zionists” in particular may have an interest in silencing Palestinian activists, since this allows them to dominate what passes for “pro-Palestinian” politics in the US. Palestinians who call for strong positions in support of their full historic rights to land and their right to defend themselves from colonial settlers “by any means necessary” are frequently repudiated and shut out of public venues by these same nominal “pro-Palestinians.” [...]
Palestinian refugee, father, and professor found not guilty December 6, 2005, but still in jail. "Since 1995, Dr.Al-Arian has been the target of an orchestrated campaign to silence him for his views in support of Palestinian human rights. After nine years of a highly public investigation, the government has yet to provide evidence to support its claims against Al-Arian and his codefendants. Meanwhile, the case has already been intensely politicized by years of misinformation and lobbying by pro-Israel groups. On Feb. 20, 2003, Dr. Al-Arian and three others were arrested at their homes in a pre-dawn raid by federal agents. The arrests were yet another indication that, under the guise of fighting terrorism, the Bush administration, led by Attorney General John Ashcroft, is silencing political speech and expression protected under the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights."Continued at http://www.freesamialarian.com/home.htm
Attacks / Prisoners: Continued at http://www.altimimi.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Ite...
NECDP co-founder, Amer Jubran.
Amer Jubran was one of the co-founders of the New England Committee to Defend Palestine... Amer was the subject of a relentless campaign of persecution and harassment by the FBI, the INS, and Homeland Security, which began on November 4 of 2002, barely two days after the first public action of the NECDP on the streets of Boston. Even before that, he had been subject to illegitimate arrest and intrusive surveillance by local and federal police agencies going back to June 2001 when he organized a protest of the "Israel Day Celebration" in Brookline, Massachusetts.
He is now living in Jordan as a result of the government's efforts to silence his speech in defense of the Palestinians' struggle against colonialism, apartheid and genocide, and to sabotage any effort aimed at building a political current in the U.S. that fully supports the creation of a liberated Palestinian state in all of historic Palestine.
breaking it down...
Is the US Anti-War Movement Pro-Resistance?
By Amer Jubran
February 4, 2004
At this point, it is a waste of time to discuss the perfidy of the US government. It is established beyond doubt that Bush, like presidents before him, represents the interests of a prosperous war industry. What is worth researching, though, is the methods by which the US managed to achieve its vast criminal empire. Such research needs not focus on the well-known economic and military machinery and its political consequences, but rather on the unconventional and secret strategies employed by the US to encircle and strangle its prospective targets. These strategies include client regimes, large-scale media propaganda, and co-opting opponents of the system. One such opponent is the United States "antiwar movement."
As one administration after another wages war with impunity, culminating with Bush ignoring 10 million antiwar protesters on February 15, 2003, any hope one might have that this movement could bring change has become wishful thinking. In order to bring the US war machine to a halt, insights are needed into why the antiwar movement has not been effective. This must include an examination of the leadership, culture, theoretical and practical goals, mission, and strategies of the movement as it stands today.
During the Vietnam era, the US government spent a great deal of resources on researching the movement and its impact. It responded to the movement with imprisonment, harassment, and assassination of leaders. An entire system of social rewards was developed to buy people off. The government's most effective strategy, however, was its choosing to contain the opposition rather than attempt to eradicate it. It was by this means that a "loyal opposition" was created - an opposition which the government could manipulate and control, allowing it enough power to reach a large segment of the population, and to disseminate a message of change, but withholding the power necessary for such change to be in any way implemented.
In the Vietnam era many realized the government could not be trusted. The pretense of a democracy in which two parties struggled against each other to keep the USA honest would no longer work. Elite planners understood that non-governmental organizations could do what the Democrats had formerly done. That is, they could push for reform of policies set by Republicans, and their free expression of political frustration could be promoted and used as a sign of a healthy, confident democracy. Such organizations could thus continue work vital to the government's longevity, absorbing the opposition in the name of reform, and the Democrats and Republicans could more openly merge forces.
After thirty years under this system the movement has established its right to freedom of expression, and not much else. The focus has changed from demands for changes in government policy to just having the right to express those demands.
Unlike the 60's, when antiwar protesters were attacked by dogs, sticks, and water hoses, protesters today are accompanied by police motorcades. The government issues rally permits, marching permits, sound permits, and vending permits. Some consider it a victory just to obtain a permit to protest. This reflects how demoralized the antiwar movement has become. Of course, once a protest is permitted, it will then be subjected to massive police supervision, as we have all seen.
For some whites and excluded minorities such as Natives, Blacks, Arabs, Latinos, and others whose political tone was too radical, the US developed more serious measures. The strategy was to hit these groups hard, away from public view. A large number of those who could leave choose to do so, and work within the system. Some whites saw the double standard and this made them sensitive about their privilege but paralyzed in their ability to take initiatives. Naturally, the minorities reacted with contempt toward whites. Part of the antiwar movement was thus divided, and thus conquered
"Give Peace A Chance"
Today in the US, there are many groupings in the movement. The biggest two differ in their political positions and tone, but are comparable in their behavior. One takes the position of reforming the system by appealing to the president, government, Congress, and voters. During the Gulf War of 1991, this group demanded the US "let the sanctions work." Similarly, leading up to the occupation of Iraq in 2003, it said, "let the inspections work." No matter what the outrage, this bloc's song is "Give peace a chance."
The moral base for this bloc is "peace" - an abstract goal that no one disagrees with but which lacks critical definition. It does not seek to address root causes - the fundamental need for justice as a requisite for peace, and the immediate necessity of stopping the US war machine in order to obtain that justice. Instead, it claims to be objective, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and blames bad leaders on both sides - a US president and a third world tyrant, Bush and Saddam, Sharon and Arafat - as if both sides were equal.
The dominant philosophy in this bloc is pacifism - at any cost. Not only does this ensure zero risk to themselves in confrontations with the authorities, it leads them to condemn the resistance even of those being oppressed. Only if the victims of the US are purely oppressed and do not fight back does this bloc advocate for them. It joins with the US government in labeling resistance movements as "terrorist."
The most troubling area in this bloc's politics is its position on Palestine -- its complete failure to understand the long history of racism, killing, displacement, and torture used against Palestinians, and to understand the Palestinians' commonality with other people around the world who have been invaded and dispossessed. Its position on Palestine is not very far from the official public position of the United States, Israel, and the Arab client regimes. The leadership of this bloc accepts only "good Palestinians" as activists in their movement. A good Palestinian is one who accepts their vision of peace between what it contends are two populations -- Israelis and Palestinians -- competing for equal rights. History is thus erased. The oppressor is put on an equal footing with the oppressed. Worse, the Israeli aggressor is treated as the victim.
This bloc's leadership is composed mainly of white liberals, and is heavily infiltrated by Zionists. It draws its constituencies from left democrats, churches, academics, and some students. Normally, the constituencies are loyal. Members are steady in their numbers and contributions.
"Bring the Troops Home Now"
Criticism of the second bloc is more important than of the first. The first practically announces itself as a loyal opposition. The second does not -- its opposition is more formidable. The second bloc takes a strong stand against US imperialism but does so on the basis of the material self-interest of another abstraction-of--the working class. With this group, the needs of working people at home take priority over support for resistance in countries under US attack. Instead of spending money on war, this group says, money should be spent on providing jobs, education, and health care. Their priority demand, "Bring the troops home now," comes close to the mainstream's "Support the troops," and is a betrayal of those people in other nations whom "the troops" are busy shooting at, bombing, and colonizing.
This group rightly points out the existence of an "economic draft" but does not grapple with the fact that poor and minority people who have been taken in by the economic draft are capable of moral choice, did not have to join, and are just as guilty of the crimes of imperialism as George Bush if they pull the trigger. Also not recognized is that many of the "troops" bring with them the prevalent US diseases of ignorance and racism, and fight because they believe in what they are doing. A significant number are not minorities. Some come from military families. The best reason for wanting these particular soldiers to come "home" is to stop them from killing people. To appeal for their return on the basis of an injustice done to them twists both logic and morality. Yet more ink will be spent on one GI resister in this bloc's newspapers and leaflets than on a thousand Iraqi resisters who gave their lives confronting Uncle Sam. Indeed, more ink will be spent on the need for domestic health care and education and decent jobs in the relatively wealthy US than on the right of Iraqis or Palestinians just to live.
It is important for any movement's leadership to take a position on issues. Constituencies need clear analysis in order to understand world events and mobilize in response to them. However, clear, strong positions are of no use if an organization's main goal is to build numbers. Building numbers means slogans with broad appeal and minimum controversy which generate the largest possible protests. The goal becomes flexing political muscle and self- promotion which, in turn, establish the power of an organization, and give it credibility in negotiations. The negotiations are carried out on two tracks.
The first track is with the US government
When concerns about permits, collecting funds, and event promotion become more important than changing a brutal system, the movement is in trouble. After the dramatic protests of Seattle and Quebec City, the government became more serious about granting permits to protest. It asserted its right to control when, how, and where protesting could take place. Lengthy negotiations with protest organizers became necessary. Concessions were required. The result was a long stream of non-violent, peaceful, and inconsequential protests in several years of some of the most blatant military and economic violence the world has ever seen.
The protest against the World Economic Forum in New York City in the winter of 2002 provides an example. The authorities cleared all protests from twenty city blocks around where the forum was taking place, except for the area of the official protest. Protesters who wanted to get to the designated area were allowed to do so only through numerous and arbitrary police barricades. They were then corralled into narrow pens along the street, block after block, standing for hours in miserable, cold weather. The only action was speeches and chanting. If anyone wished to break away and march to the Waldorf Astoria, where the forum was being held, they had to go through the security marshals
of the protest organizers before getting to the police lines. At the end of the day, the statement came from the stage: "Go home in small groups; we have won today by showing the ruling class that the movement is strong and present." In fact, the ruling class only learned that the movement is willing to sit in pens and police itself all day long, and mount no challenge whatsoever to the fat capitalists assembled in the forum.
The second track of negotiations is with the liberal "peace" bloc of the antiwar movement.
Using slogans to recruit and build numbers is an act of sectarianism. Sectarian attitudes focus on recognition. Milder politics lead to greater numbers and resources. The second bloc wants to tap into these resources, but also wants to be recognized as dominant in the movement. An ideal strategy is building a principled position and allowing people time to discover its consistency and clarity. But overcoming differences in political opinions with the other bloc requires a compromise. At this point, language is made to serve both sides of an issue. For example, demands like "Free Palestine . . Victory to Palestine . . . Long live the Intifada" and "Stop US Imperialism" become "End the Occupation" and "Support the troops--bring them home."
With time, the importance of such issues as Palestinian and Iraqi resistance could be brought to the weaker bloc, but such effort would meet with decisive opposition from Zionists both within and outside the movement who are in a position to dictate the political agenda. To maintain numbers, popularity, power, and financial backing, the anti-imperialist bloc is forced to sacrifice principles and make deals. Sometimes, these deals require dropping an issue or, worse, presenting it diluted. The blood and suffering of victims of US imperialism are thus used to serve the purposes of power politics.
Another critical problem is this bloc's readiness to adjust its agenda to its sources of funding, making such decisions without the knowledge of its wider constituency. For example, funding from the Muslim clergy shifted the focus of the April 2002 demonstration to Palestine, a focus which was certainly correct, but which should not have depended on money. On October 25, 2003, funding from the liberal donors of the Vanguard organization resulted in Palestine being dropped from a large west coast antiwar protest. Because of funds pouring in from Vanguard, key organizers who had once been in support of Palestine attempted to veto a speaker for the Palestinian resistance from addressing the San Francisco audience. However, they did allow the Democrats to speak on the stage that day.
Although this bloc is a coalition, decisions on strategy and events are made by only a few individuals. A central committee selects people it deems appropriate to represent various causes. These people are often limited to describing first hand how the US government made their lives miserable, leaving political analysis to the central leadership. Furthermore, if the representative criticizes a stand, or how an event is handled, regardless if it was right or wrong, this individual will be iced. Instead of healthy debate, critics are condemned.
The second bloc has difficulty maintaining loyal members and allies. That is why it doesn't grow. Unlike the pacifists and reformists of the first bloc, the constituency of the second bloc is made up of radicals angry at injustice. These people possess the best qualities of revolutionaries -- bravery, political sophistication, and a willingness to sacrifice. Sadly, they find themselves sucked in by something that talks revolution, but doesn't deliver. As a result, radicals either lose interest or disperse into smaller groups with smaller resources and try to avoid sectarian conflict with the larger bloc. They are miles ahead of the first bloc in seeking to resist, but they are halted and slowed down.
Both blocs differ in their politics, but have like strategies. During a crisis, they both call for a stand and make plans for a massive protest. Inevitably, that protest falls on a Saturday. A protest in a public park on a Saturday in Washington, D.C. might maximize the numbers of those who attend, but it does nothing to interfere with business as usual. The government is away for the weekend. Why can't a day be chosen when someone is there to listen, or when the White House or Congress is about to decide on a matter important to the movement? When Turkey's Parliament was deciding if it should join the US in invading Iraq, hundreds of thousands opposing the war surrounded the building and threatened violence if the resolution passed. The result was defeat of the resolution and Turkey staying out of the war.
Both blocs of the antiwar movement take protest only so far as political rallies with a stage and speakers, followed by a permitted "march." Would the coalition proceed if a permit were rejected? Anarchists' who protest without permits and who do interrupt business as usual, are denounced by some in the antiwar movement. Instead of being viewed as a wing in the movement that counters the inertia of the pacifists, they are left to deal with police brutality alone. This makes them distrust the rest of the antiwar movement. Is there anyone in the US antiwar movement who resists the US government as fighters in Vietnam, Columbia, Iraq, and Palestine have done? Is there an underground that has recognized the futility of peaceful protest and mobilized to directly stop US war and aggression? In the current movement, anarchists have gone further along these lines than anyone else, but no one has gone far.
Both blocs are reactive to whatever the US government does. They wait for Washington to make the decisions. A clear strategy of taking initiatives and putting the government on the defensive is absent.
Every movement likes to brag about its victories and achievements. Here is a short list of what the US has done since Vietnam:
attacked and started the war in Afghanistan 1980
attacked Iran 1980
pushed Iraq to attack Iran 1980
attacked Central America 1980's
attacked Lebanon 1983
invaded Grenada 1983
attacked Libya 1986
attacked Iran 1986
invaded Panama 1989
attacked Iraq 1991
invaded Somalia 1993
attacked Yugoslavia 1999
attacked Afghanistan 2001
attacked Iraq again 2003
As well, the US continues to maintain Israeli oppression of Palestine, it continues to wage war against Colombia using a phony war on drugs as a pretext, it continues to defy international treaties regarding war crimes, it continues to refuse to submit to an international court of law, it continues to steal oil from the Arab world, and it continues to support the dictatorships of its many client regimes. At home it has created the police- state Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, the Border Security Act, and the world's largest prison population.
Where is the list of achievements and victories of the antiwar movement?
The Reconciliation Game is for Saving the Occupier his Criminal Operatives . Beware of it Beware of those playing the Double side Game
Sheikh Majeed Al-Gaood
...The Reconciliation they want is the one leading to normalization with the Occupation his Project , the acceptance of all his Results . It also means the complete submission to the current situation imposed on Iraq his people . Wich means the ending of the National Resistance the acceptance of the Sectarian Ethnical! Division of Iraq . This Reconciliation is the way to grant success to the American Project his enlargement to include all of the Arab Countries ; which would allow Israel to realize all its goals in the region . The goals representing a part of the American-Zionist Project..
The Notion of the “Jewish State” as an “Apartheid Regime” is a Liberal-Zionist One
by Gary Zatzman
November 21, 2005
The cause of Palestine consists of the restoration of the national rights of
the Palestinian people and enabling the Palestinians to exercise their right
of self-determination in their own territory. Theirs is the territory
illegally mandated to Great Britain by the League of Nations in 1920-21 and
subsequently "partitioned" by the United Nations in 1947 to establish a
so-called "Jewish state" enclave for the Zionist movement. Enabling the
Palestinians to exercise their right of self-determination in their own
territory means implementing the Palestinians' right to return to their
lands and to be restored in the property/properties that were taken from
them in the course of acts of conquest by the Zionist movement, and in clear
cut violation of international law, during 1947-48 and again in June 1967.
Many activists in this highly just cause have been drawing comparisons
between the regimen of bantustans and separate laws imposed on the native
population by the tiny apartheid white-racist minority's regime in South
Africa between 1948 and 1991 and the "legal" regime by which the
Zionists' regulatory authorities at all levels -- up to the
Knesset/legislature and the Cabinet/executive, as well as throughout the
armed forces -- have continued to secure their own presence and dominance by
extending their control over every possible aspect of Palestinians' lives.
Although not identical, the colonialist and racist pedigrees and impacts of
each system of oppression are structurally comparable. However, whereas the
solution in South Africa always turned upon finding some new form of state
in which majority rule would prevail and white-racist privilege be finally
extirpated, the cause of Palestine entails eliminating the Zionist junta's
so-called "Jewish state" of European-American colonialist privilege and
restoring to the Palestinians what the Zionists stole. How does disabling
the racist provisions of the laws and regulations of the State of Israel,
and reforming the "Jewish-only" element to become fully inclusive of the
entire population, bring the Palestinians any closer to restoring what the
Zionists stole? ...
The line of freelance organization of external "support" for the cause of
Palestine is liberal Zionism at its most diabolical: it is liberal Zionism
at work plotting to seize control of the Palestinian movement for national
liberation on one of its most vital points. Organization of external
"support" for the cause of Palestine is a matter for those actually waging
the struggle for national liberation within Palestine to tackle, to give the
direction and designate organizations and individuals to do it.
Interestingly, the comparison of Zionist oppression with white-racist South
African apartheid no longer passes muster with Archbishop Desmond Tutu or
other prominent leaders of the ANC-led struggle against apartheid. The
archbishop explicitly commented that what he was been able to witness and
learn about daily life under Zionist occupation in the West Bank alone is
already many times worse than anything he experienced during apartheid. If
such a determinedly non-revolutionary activist has already seen through the
falsehood of the analogy, the time would seem to have ripened to set this
analogy aside once and for all and remain clear-eyed about, as well as
vigilant against, the liberal Zionists' aim and presence in the cause of
Gary Zatzman is co-editor of Dossier on Palestine. He can be reached at:
Slave Sovereignty: Palestinian Elections Under Occupation
By OMAR BARGHOUTI
Many Palestinians are boasting that they will soon enjoy, again, the most free and democratic elections in the entire Arab World. The only problem is that electing a Palestinian president while still under the boot of the occupier is an oxymoron. Sovereignty and occupation are mutually exclusive. The world, including many well-informed readers, seem to think that the Palestinian people is actually practicing the ultimate form of sovereignty by freely choosing its own president. This is easily extrapolated in the heads of many to mean that Palestinians are in a way free. So what's all this talk about occupation? Notice, for example, how little media attention is given now to the almost daily killings of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli occupation forces. Of course, the only thing that matters is who is running; who is not; what Mahmoud Abbas might have intended to say; or what Marwan Barghouti could have done only if . Bulldozing houses in Rafah, expanding colonies in Hebron and killing innocent children in Beit Lahya is simply a bore, a peripheral story, an ordinary occurrence in the midst of an election extraordinaire.
There are several things wrong in this picture, least of which is the fact that it is false.
First, some facts. This Sunday, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will be electing the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), not the president of the Palestinian people. The former is an organ created according to the 1993 Oslo agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel, according to which the PA will do little more than run the educational, health, municipal and taxation services. In addition, it will do its very best to provide security for Israel, mainly by clamping down on the armed resistance factions.
Israel and the United States helped create the PA specifically to control the occupied territories, -- while maintaining the foundations of occupation, of course -- and eventually to sign some "peace" treaty that would exonerate Israel from its legal and moral obligations to allow the repatriation and compensation of the Palestinian refugees, to comprehensively withdraw its entire colonial apparatus from the West Bank and Gaza -- not just by removing its army but also its Jewish colonies, illegal under international law -- and to end its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens.
Ironically, the PA at best represents a minority of the Palestinian people, those in the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip. The majority of Palestinians, refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel, are not represented by the PA. Here's where the real paradox lies: how can an entity that represents no more than one third of the people of Palestine be expected to meaningfully and legally sign away the rights of the remaining two thirds? Easy. Redefine the Palestinians to preclude those unwanted two-thirds. Since Oslo, the mainstream media in the west, and puppet Arab media as well, have done just that. They have used the term Palestinian exclusively to mean those resident in the occupied West Bank and Gaza alone. Problem solved!
Well, not quite. Those two-thirds cannot be easily written out of history and out of the identity of Palestine. They are increasingly becoming well-organized, politically active and they have developed their own channels of expression, if not yet their own frames of representation. Plus, many Palestinians in the occupied territories are themselves refugees who yearn to return to Haifa, Jaffa, Lydda, Majdal and Acre, all in what is now Israel. In all semi-accurate public opinion polls, the number one issue of political interest for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has consistently remained the right of return for the refugees. So it seems that the PA project may not after all yield the expected returns on the Israeli-American investment.
Given this picture, shouldn't any form of sovereignty, albeit limited, help Palestinians declare their independence of Israel? But that's precisely the problem. The Palestinians are not free; they should not be giving the world the impression that they are. They are a nation under a very real and brutal occupation that is committing crimes with utter impunity and passé colonial arrogance. They should remind the world in every occasion that the only just and enduring solution to the conflict in the region can be attained by ending Israel's oppression -- in all three forms mentioned above -- not by changing the Palestinians' perception of it. They should struggle to revive the moribund structures of the PLO, the only organization that ever represented all Palestinians. All three components of the Palestinian people urgently need a single, democratically elected body to represent their interests and to shoulder the responsibility for their fate. This task is well beyond the ability, the job description or the best intentions of the PA.
Ten years after Oslo, the PA's political function seems to have become restricted to acting as an accessory to colonial rule, allowing Israel to maintain its oppression, while appearing to the world as engaged in some peace process. Since Oslo, the formerly closed doors have opened to Israel: in Europe, Africa, Asia and even in the middle of the Arab World. The once formidable Arab boycott of Israel has all but collapsed, allowing Israeli businesses to reap massive profits, boosting the Israeli economy to record growth rates, just before the second intifada broke out. In fact, the only peace that this Oslo process has achieved is the deadly silence of the oppressed while the oppressors go on with their regular business.
A presidential election under these circumstances can only help Israel cover up its speeding colonization of what remains of Palestine, while the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are busy celebrating their superior "democracy."
When the slaves are distracted with "free" elections of their deputy jailers, the masters can only rejoice.
Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian political analyst. He can be reached at: email@example.com
note: contrast unequivocal support for the just Palestinian struggle for self-determination with sleazy apologetics by Noam Chomsky, so-called Palestine-Israel ‘left’ authority, where he (1) justifies Israel’s racist colonial settler state in the name of a “two state solution”--on the Palestinian nations historic land and (2) acts as apologist for U.S. accusing Israel of “...breaking sharply with U.S. policy”--as though U.S. imperialism doesn’t call the shots and bank-roll “eretz-Israel”’s expansionist agenda to serve its own global rule agenda :
Noam Chomsky perspective on the Palestinian - Israeli issue
Palestine-Israel-USA, Politics, 12/26/2005
... There was no effort to conceal the fact that Gaza disengagement was, in reality, West Bank expansion. The official plan stated that Israel will permanently take over major "population centers, cities, towns and villages, security areas and other places of special interest to Israel." That was endorsed by the US Ambassador, as it had been by the President, breaking sharply with US policy. Along with the disengagement plan, Israel announced investment of tens of millions of dollars in West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Sharon approved new housing units in the town of Ma'aleh Adumim to the East of Jerusalem, the core of the salient that divides the southern from the central Bantustan, along with other expansion plans. Ha'aretz political commentator Aluf Benn added that the timing was "no coincidence." Rather, it underscores Sharon's determination that Gaza disengagement is a component of the plan to expand permanent control over the West Bank...
...consistent with Chief Justice Barak's doctrine that Israeli law supersedes international law, particularly in East Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. Practically speaking, he is correct, as long as the US continues to provide the required economic, military, and diplomatic support, as it has been doing for 30 years, in violation of the international consensus on a two-state settlement...
In 1976, the major Arab states introduced a resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a peace settlement on the international border, based on UN 242, the basic document as all agree, but now adding a call for a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. The US vetoed the resolution, again in 1980. The General Assembly passed similar resolutions year after year, with the US and Israel opposed. The matter reached a head in 1988, when the PLO moved from tacit approval to formal acceptance of the two-state consensus. Israel responded with the declaration that there can be no "additional" Palestinian state between the Jordan and the sea – Jordan already being a Palestinian state -- and that the status of the territories must be settled according to Israeli guidelines. The US endorsed Israel's stand. I can only add what I wrote at the time: it's as if someone were to argue that Jews don't need a "second homeland" in Israel because they already have New York...
High-level informal negotiations continued, leading to the Geneva Accord of December 2002, welcomed by virtually the entire world, rejected by Israel, dismissed by Washington. That could have been the basis for a just peace. It still can be. However, by then, Bush-Sharon bulldozers were demolishing any basis for it.
Every sane Israel hawk understood that it is absurd for Israel to leave 8000 settlers in Gaza, protected by a large part of the army while taking over scarce water resources and arable land. The sane conclusion was to withdraw from Gaza while expanding through the West Bank. That will continue as long as Washington insists on marching "on the road to catastrophe" by rejecting minimal Palestinian rights, to quote the warning of the four former heads of Israel's Shin Bet Security Service. There are clear alternatives, and if that march to catastrophe continues, we will have only ourselves to blame.
note: Newsweek/MSNBC now gives once reviled anarchist Professor Chomsky “The Last Word”
The Last Word: Noam Chomsky
A Tale of Two Quagmires
Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to
kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to
have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the
Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it
means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there, I don't care. And I
don't mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial
and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal..."
From an Interview with Ariel Sharon published in the Israeli daily Davar
Dec. 17, 1982
SUPPORT THE PALESTINIAN NATION! THIS IS MAJOR MOVE TOWARD THE FASCIST IMPERIALIST-ZIONIST "FINAL SOLUTION"
U.S.-ISRAEL are fomenting "civil war", arming Abbas/ Fatah to destroy Hamas and the Palestinian struggle for national liberation. "Israel" has no right to exist on Palestinian land, or "security" from justified Palestinian resistance to U.S. supported genocidal occupation. Over 50 Palestinians have been killed in past week, Hamas leadership targeted -- no Israeli dead.
ISRAEL: SACRED U.S. ARTICLE OF FAITH-- ITS MIDDLE EAST--AND THUS GLOBAL--HEGEMONY DEPENDS ON ITS ZIONIST PROXY
...As the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle thus far, pocketing over $58,000 as of October 31 last year, Senator Clinton now has Iran in her crosshairs.
During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered on December 11, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, “I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel’s right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day ... It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel...”
Lies Of The Israeli Peace Movement
By Richard Hugus
... It is time to respond to the pacifist progressive in particular who collaborates with the oppressor by equating and condemning all violence. The language of resistance must be clearly spoken: It is right for Palestinians to resist the occupation, not just the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, but of all of Palestine, by whatever means possible. It is right for the Iraqi resistance to resist the similar vicious US occupation of Iraq. It was right for the Sioux to resist, it was right for the African slave to resist, it was right for the Vietnamese to resist. In no way can the minor losses of the oppressor be equated with or compensate for the original crime of his aggression. It is time for progressives in the US to openly and clearly support resistance to the monster that the US has become, and the proxies it supports, like Israel, and increasingly this means rejecting the false language of the pacifist. The conflict in Palestine is not morally ambiguous. It is not a battle between two sides who are equally guilty. Zionists attacked, Palestinians defended. There is a right and a wrong.
Bravo Abbas! Bravo Hamas!
by Gabriel Ash; Dissident Voice; January 28, 2006
Elections results in the Occupied Territories show that Fatah has lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament by a stunningly large margin. This is a transformational event with lasting geopolitical importance, for Hamas and Fatah, for Palestinians and Israelis, and for the world.
Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah and head of the make-believe Palestinian “government”, was never an inspiring figure. Palestine today is still at a stage that requires a liberation movement. Yet Abbas, even more than Arafat before him, bought into the Western conceit that he was a head of state in the making. Rather than leading the struggle for liberation, Abbas focused on being a technocrat to satisfy the rhetorical needs of the EU and the US who funded him. In his speeches, he sometimes channeled the words dictated to him by his donors more than the aspirations of his constituents. His handling of his greatest challenge as a politician -- restoring cohesion and a sense of purpose to Fatah -- was mediocre. The necessary takeover of Fatah by the younger generation of leaders is happening, but far from smoothly, and older figures widely perceived as corrupt and ineffectual continue to cling to power. Finally, Abbas has staked his grand strategy on the continuation of Oslo and a negotiated peace with Israel. On that front he has achieved nothing; although, to be fair, it wasn’t his fault.
Nevertheless, Abbas is about to make history, and leave his people and the whole region an inspiring gift. Abbas is overseeing the first grand democratic defeat of an Arab leader in a popular election. If he steps down as he has promised to do, he will have completed an achievement without parallel. Let it be noticed that losing was not as easy as it may seem. Abbas had to overcome and ignore the persistent calls within his own party to postpone the elections. He had to contend with a grand chorus of Israeli, US and EU voices calling on him to undermine the democratic process by excluding Hamas. He had opportunities aplenty to cave in. He did not. Palestinians, not the least because of their poverty and years of stubborn resistance, have a more democratic culture than the rest of the Middle East. Nevertheless, it is to Abbas’ credit that he accepted and expressed this democratic spirit. It is a rare leader anywhere, and rarer still in the Middle East, who doesn’t imagine himself God’s gift to his nation. For defending the integrity of this fragile democratic exercise even as it went against him Abbas deserves an unqualified Bravo.
Hamas is the big winner of the elections. It too deserves a Bravo. (From reading the mainstream Western media, one gets the impression that the only interesting question is when Hamas will recognize Israel and renounce violence. Our “objective” journalists cannot possibly adopt a perspective other than that of the Israeli state. Do send them a nice card; their “profession” is the oldest in the world. I will not bore you with the same question. I hope Hamas does what Palestinians expect them to do and nothing else -- lead the fight for liberty and dignity.)
For many years now Hamas has been at the forefront of the struggle for Palestinian liberation. While far from being alone, Hamas recognized early that Oslo was a cul-de-sac and a fraud. For better or for worse -- and the jury is still out -- Hamas played a crucial role in the decision to meet the militarized Israeli repression of the second intifada with arms. Hamas was early to adopt the tactic of suicide attacks. Thanks to the usual double standard, these are viewed in the West as more reprehensible than the much more lethal weapons routinely used by Israel. Fatefully, Hamas took a hard line on the use of suicide attacks, refusing to accept distinctions others proposed, such as between civilian and military targets, or between targets inside the Occupied Territories and those in pre-67 Israel. While I believe this was Hamas’ biggest mistake and a missed opportunity to drive a wedge between Israel’s bellicose leadership and less bellicose public, Hamas’ position reflected significant segments of Palestinian public opinion and was neither less nor more immoral than Israel’s military practices.
Crucial to its current electoral success is Hamas’ recognition that resistance is more than guns. Since its inception, Hamas has operated mosques, schools, clinics and charities. It has made the survival and maintenance of Palestinian society a major priority, providing vital services in an economic environment that got bleaker by the day. Despite not having access to the larger sums and apparently useless expertise that the PA received from the US and the EU, Hamas is widely recognized to have done a better job than the PA as a provider of services. That is no small success and reflects well on the qualities of Hamas’ leaders and cadres. Beyond that, it demonstrates Hamas ability to maintain a spirit of dedication and personal integrity.
Public rejection of corruption is no doubt a major explanation for the rise of Hamas. But so is religion. Palestinian society has turned increasingly to religion in response to the hardships of daily life under Israeli occupation. At the same time, it is hard not to credit the religious bond and commitment for Hamas’ strength and ability to resist the lure of corruption. It is fashionable in the West, especially at the center and left of the political discourse, to compare “our fundamentalists with theirs.” While there is truth in that comparison, it misses quite a lot. “Our fundamentalists,” from George Bush to Pat Robertson, are fundamentally corrupt. Their religion is a racket. On the Muslim side the opposite seems often to be the case. Far from being a shakedown, religion over there is an antidote to corruption. Karl Marx famously dismissed religion as “Opium for the masses.” In the Middle East it is more like amphetamines. It keeps people going past the end of exhaustion and despair.
While Palestinian society turned more religious, Hamas turned more ecumenical. Palestinian parliamentarian Hanan Ashrawi expressed fear that “militants will now impose their fundamentalist social agenda and lead the Palestinians into international isolation.” That is a distinct and worrying possibility, but it is not set in stone. In these elections the candidates for Hamas’ new political party “Reform and Change” included women, Christians, and moderates. Hamas is now a larger political tent of Palestinian nationalism with a strong religious orientation; it encompasses radicals, moderates and conservatives with a variety of perspectives. Tensions between democratic and religious authority will continue to exist, and narrow fundamentalist tendencies are clearly present. But there is also hope that the current openness will hold and that Hamas will continue to develop toward increased democracy and inclusiveness.
With regards to the national struggle, which understandably casts a large shadow, Hamas has staked two major differences from Fatah. These differences underscore the threat that the victory of Hamas poses to the West’s colonial strategies.
Hamas maintains it will continue to defend armed struggle as a legitimate option. For now, Hamas is abstaining from violence, although the cease-fire agreed in Cairo had officially expired. It is quite possible that Hamas will continue to favor peaceful means. But it refuses to cave in to pressure and maintains the right to evaluate its strategies from a Palestinian rather than Western perspective. American, Israeli and European officials claim they will not talk to Hamas as long as it doesn’t renounce violence. As long as these hypocrites don’t renounce violence themselves, they have zero moral authority. Hamas deserves credit for refusing to take moral guidance from self-righteous bullies.
Hamas is also refusing to recognize Israel and negotiate on the basis of Oslo and the roadmap. Instead Hamas candidates have outlined a strategy of independence, strengthening Palestinian society and resistance and advancing national goals without relying on Israeli and international approval. Hamas calls this option “ignoring Israel.”
In the current international context, such a strategy is dangerous but not without sense. While Israel demands to be recognized, it is clearly unwilling to recognize minimal Palestinian demands. Both the White House and the Democrats -- “progressive” such as Barack Obama and regressive like Clinton and Lieberman -- are parroting Israel like a second grade pupil reading from My Pet Goat. The EU seems mostly interested in helping the US play a “good cop, bad cop” routine. There will be a price to pay, but Hamas seems to think the West has currently little to offer Palestinians beyond money to lubricate the wheels of corruption. There is precious little evidence to prove them wrong.
As Hamas handles the pressure of assuming power, either in a coalition with Fatah or alone, it is possible that these two principles will be watered down significantly. The price for consistency may be too high, especially in lost foreign assistance. Palestinians today survive on foreign charity (or, one could rephrase that as saying that the Israeli occupation is financed by the EU and the US). Unless Hamas can hook up new donors to replace the EU and US, it may be willing to compromise rather than face a popular backlash. I hope that Hamas finds creative ways to subvert this new phase of Western colonialism. But realistically, the challenge is enormous.
As a secular leftist, I would have been more comfortable had Palestinian society coalesced around a leftist resistance movement. I’m sure many readers share that preference. But Palestine is not in Latin America, and our comfort level is not the most pressing issue. Hamas is today an important face of the Palestinian struggle for liberty, equality and justice. It is the face chosen by the majority of the Palestinian public in the Occupied Territories in clear defiance of Western colonialism. With its new power and old habits, Hamas will have plenty of opportunities to go wrong. However, as long as it maintains its commitment to democracy and strives to advance the rights of all Palestinians to full human dignity, Hamas can be a force for good.
Gabriel Ash is an activist and writer who writes because the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword and sometimes not. He welcomes comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
US Holocaust Commission And Holocaust Denial
By Dr Gideon Polya
...This US Resolution [ UN General Assembly] was an act of (a) gross dishonesty and (b) gross hypocrisy. Thus (a) the dishonest IMPLICATION was that Iran (not mentioned in the Resolution but mentioned in the US and Israeli UN speeches) has offended – yet the Iranian delegate made it quite clear that Iran recognized the horror of the Jewish Holocaust and condemned the “Genocide and immense sufferings associated with that horrific crime” (words of the Iranian delegate) (see: http://www.newsbull.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40398 ); and (b) the US is actively involved in on-going Holocaust Commission in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan and, together with Israel, has been involved in obscene, public promotion of an Iranian Holocaust involving nuclear weapons.
Conspicuously absent from the US Resolution were the ongoing 1990-2007 Iraqi Holocaust ( 2.6 million excess deaths and 3.7 million refugees so far); and the 2001-2007 Afghan Holocaust (2.2 million excess deaths and 3.7 million refugees so far) (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11293/42/ , http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11849/42/ , http://mwcnews.net/content/view/12163/42/ and http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11968/42/ ) ...
Not content with horrendous Holocaust Commission and Holocaust Denial in relation to the Iraqi Genocide (Iraqi Holocaust) and the Afghan Genocide (Afghan Holocaust), the US and its proxy Israel have both been threatening pre-emptive nuclear attack on peaceful, non-nuclear-armed, non-aggressive Iran (a Google search for the obscene phrase “nuke Iran” and for the phrase “Jewish Holocaust” today yielded about 0.3 million URLs in both cases) – clear, unequivocal and horrifying Holocaust Promotion.
It is not only the US that is involved in Holocaust Promotion, Holocaust Commission, Holocaust Ignoring and Holocaust Denial - the UK, Australia and their Coalition and NATO Allies are also involved in Holocaust Commission and Holocaust Denial in relation to both Afghanistan and Iraq (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11293/42/ ). Racist White Australia has been involved in all the US post-1950 Asian wars, is currently actively involved in the Iraqi Holocaust and the Afghan Holocaust and is in practical denial over the appalling, ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide (the annual death rate of Australian Aborigines, 2.2%, is similar to that of Australian sheep, 2.5%) (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/10865/26/ ). Israel as a key partner in US-Israeli State Terrorism is involved in an ongoing Palestinian Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 0.3 million; 6 million Palestinian refugees; 3.5 million Occupied Palestinians held in abusive captivity for 40 years) (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11409/42/ ).
PROPAGANDA AS "NEWS"
"Killing the Palestinians and then Killing the Story"
Pro-Israeli Editors Seek to Influence Al-Jazeera International English Satellite TV
Khalid Amayreh on Zionist influence at Al-Jazeera International and Al-Jazeera/English.net
State of siege: Israel flourishes amid the bombs
Gabriel Rozenberg: Economics Reporter
May 21, 2007 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article1803568.e...
A bloody and costly war, the constant threat of terror attacks, a string of political scandals and a land almost devoid of natural resources. Only in Israel could this be the backdrop for the most impressive economic success story of the modern Middle East.
Despite the war with Lebanon, 2006 was a golden year for the economy of the region’s only liberal democracy. GDP grew by 5.1 per cent, competitiveness improved sharply and the stock market surged. Israel came fifteenth in the World Economic Forum’s global competitive index, topping the list of Middle East states and up from 23rd place the previous year. Its nearest regional rival, the United Arab Emirates, came 32nd. In recent years, this small state has turned itself into a “world technology powerhouse”, according to Augusto López Claros, the WEF’s chief economist. Much of the credit must go to Binyamin Netanyahu, who as Finance Minister in 2003 cut a deal with the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, that gave him free rein to push through market reforms[...]
Overthrow, America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
The recent of Saddam Hussein may have turned "regime change" into a contemporary buzzword, but it's been a tactic of American foreign policy [always u.s. capitalist 'manifest destiny' strategy for global domination] for more than 110 years. Beginning with the ouster of Hawaii's monarchy in 1893, Kinzer runs through the foreign governments the U.S. has had a hand in toppling. http:/www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17743.htm
The people of Palestine must seize power now
By Redress Information & Analysis
21 May 2007
Palestinians must organize from the grassroots upwards to form an all-inclusive, progressive, patriotic liberation movement to seize control from Fatah, Hamas and their like and refocus the struggle on liberation and the right of return....
For the past weeks and months, friends of the Palestinian people throughout the world have been witnessing with growing despair the spectacle of Palestinian killing Palestinian, of parasites – from the Salafi Group, to mafia-style clans to common criminals and collaborators – exploit the resulting lawlessness for their own gain, all the time while the Israeli occupation consolidates and the land grabs continue at a spectacular pace.
Ever since the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, an unholy alliance of Israel, the United States, the European Union and Egypt embarked on a concerted effort to undermine Hamas by making the Palestinian territories ungovernable.
First came the use of starvation as a weapon. The United States, together with the European Union and Israel, colluded to starve the Palestinians into removing the Hamas government and replacing it with compliant politicians. While the US and its European satellites cut off all aid to the Palestinians, Israel expropriated Palestinian tax money, a practice known to the civilized world as robbery. The message to the Palestinian people was clear: you can have democracy only if you elect the people we want you to elect, otherwise you shall starve. The result is there for all to see. According to Professor Sara Roy of Harvard University [...]
The second part of the strategy consisted of finding a Palestinian collaborator to help undermine the rule of Hamas. To its eternal shame, the Palestine Liberation Movement (Fatah) under the leadership of Mahmud Abbas put itself forward as a willing proxy to implement the Euro-American-Israeli plot against the people of Palestine....
Enter Egypt, which since the Camp David agreements of the late 1970s had become the main instrument of Israel and US... in the Arab world. According to several sources*, from January 2007 Egypt... began to send large quantities of weapons to Fatah, with the aim of triggering a civil war in the Palestinian territories....
The irony... of this situation is that neither Mahmud Abbas, nor Fatah, nor Hamas have any power or authority over anything, not over the Palestinian people or even over their own gunmen. The “Palestinian National Authority” (PNA) itself is a misnomer: it never had, was never intended to have by the Oslo agreements that created it and never will have any power or authority over anything...
The stark fact is that the fratricidal blood letting which is devastating Palestinian society and losing the Palestinians their hard-won international support is the logical consequence of the Oslo agreements of 1993 which set up the PNA. The sole purpose of these agreements was to establish disconnected enclaves, or bantustans, into which the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza can be squeezed, leaving the remainder of the post-1967 occupied territories populated by Jewish settlers – in fact, squatters and misfits brought over from the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union. The intention was that these bantustans be controlled by a quisling Palestinian regime, a role which Fatah was happy to perform in return for a little power.
DEMOCRACY DECEPTION--VIDEO 2 mins.
Democracy is a word used as a mask We don't really believe in democracy in America, nor have we ever done so. America stands for domination. Period...domination exported to the Middle East, just as it was exported 100 years ago to Indian Country; to Oklahoma, and to Mexican territories.
The second coming of Saladin (excerpt)
By Pepe Escobar , THE ROVING EYE
Divide and rejoice
Conditions are more than ripe for the advent of a new Saladin - after the Nakhba, the 1967 lightning Israeli victory against the Arabs, the failures of pan-Arabism, the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Israeli attack on Lebanon, the limited appeal of Salafi-jihadism, the non-stop stifling of nationalist movements by Western-backed brutal dictatorships/client monarchies.
When the future Saladin looks at the troubled and dejected Middle East, the first thing he sees is US Vice President Dick Cheney shopping for yet another war - skipping the "axis of evil" (Iran, unofficial member Syria) and ordering support from the "axis of fear" (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, the Emirates) in his relentless demonizing of Iran. After inflating sectarianism in Iraq, this time the imperial "divide and rule" weapon of choice is Arabs vs Persians.
The administration of US President George W Bush may have taken a leaf from former colonial power France - which invented Greater Lebanon as a confessional state, thus prone to perennial turbulence - to apply it in Iraq. But plunging Iraq into civil war to control better it is not enough (and there's still the matter of securing the oilfields).
Forcing a practically de facto partition of Iraq into three warring crypto-states - a Kurdistan, a southern "Shi'iteistan" and a small central, oil-deprived Sunnistan - mired in a sea of blood in the heart of the Middle East is not enough. For Cheney, the industrial-military complex and assorted Ziocon (Zionist/neo-conservative) warriors, the big prize is the subjugation of Iran. Because Iran, apart from its natural wealth, is the only power capable - at least potentially - of challenging regional US hegemony.
Yet the trademark Cheney threats - with the standard high-tech aircraft-carrier background - are not cutting much ice. Al-Jazeera has been rhetorically bombarded by everybody and his neighbor - from retired Egyptian generals to Emirati political analysts - stressing that the Middle East will not support another US war. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, in a swift move, has just been to the United Arab Emirates - the first visit by any Iranian leader since the Emirates became independent in 1971, and all the more crucial because of a still-running dispute over a bunch of Persian Gulf islands.
The House of Saud - for which the only thing that matters is its own survival - desperately wants a solution as soon as possible for the Palestinian tragedy, before they may be buried six feet under by the terrible sandstorms blowing from Mesopotamia (think of hordes of battle-hardened Salafi-jihadis coming home after fighting the US in Iraq).
King Abdullah is not bent on antagonizing Iran. On the contrary: the most important guest at the recent Riyadh conference was Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki. Saudis and Iranians want to prevent US-provoked sectarianism in Iraq from spreading regionally. And King Abdullah wants a better deal for Sunni Arab Iraqis (hence his identification of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as an Iranian puppet).
While Cheney wants to pit Saudi Arabia against Iran, a discreet, behind-the-scenes Saudi-Iranian pact of no aggression may be all but inevitable, diplomats tell Asia Times Online. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said as much on the record: "Stop any attempt aimed at spreading sectarian strife in the region."
Iran of course can be very persuasive, holding some tasty cards up its sleeve - such as hard-earned intelligence directly implicating the Saudis in training the Sunni Arab muqawama (resistance) in Iraq on explosive form penetrators (EFPs), which the Pentagon foolishly insists come from Iran. Everyone in Iraq knows it is operatives from "axis of fear" allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt - and also Pakistan - who have provided the Sunni Arab guerrillas in Iraq with technology and training on improvised explosive devices and EFPs.
Thus we have another Bush administration foreign-policy special: Cheney coddling guerrilla-arming Sunni Arabs - who are facilitating the killing of American soldiers in Iraq - to support an attack on Shi'ite Persians (allied with the Iraqi Shi'ites supported by the Americans ...).
Anyway, Iraqi Shi'ites are more than winning the US surge game. The surging US soldiers are fighting various strands of the Sunni Arab resistance and al-Qaeda in Iraq. Meanwhile, the officially ensconced Badr Organization and its shady death-squad spinoffs are free to apply a lot of deadly pressure on the Sunni Arab civilian population. The Mehdi Army, on Muqtada al-Sadr's orders, is just lying low - not taking the bait of fighting the Americans. Nothing will change the reality of this surge picture in the next few months.
About that clash
A possible Saudi-Iranian entente would be a classic case of local powers taking the destiny of the region in their own hands. In a parallel register, in southern Beirut - prime Hezbollah territory - there are plenty of banners in front of buildings destroyed by Israel last summer. They read: "The Zionist enemy destroys, the Islamic Republic of Iran builds."
Unity in the Muslim world is not a chimera: crypto-scientific Western babble of the "Arabs are extinct" variety is plain silly, as are nonagenarian Bernard Lewis' pontifications on the "clash of civilizations" - the "perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage". The new Saladin would tell Lewis to get a grip on reality and admit that the unabated political repression, tremendous social inequality and prevailing economic disaster all over the Middle East are direct consequences of decades of "divide and rule" Western imperialism plus some extra decades of non-stop meddling coupled with rapacious, arrogant and ignorant local elites.
The new Saladin knows how the US and Britain initially supported the Muslim Brotherhood - and then the Brotherhood supported the birth of Hamas. He knows how the US and Britain initially supported Iranian clerics - especially the late ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - against the shah. He knows how the US and Britain initially supported the Taliban. The aim was always to stifle any form of progressive, secular movement by socialists, communists or Arab nationalists.
A possible Saudi-Iran entente is still a dream. There is the parallel emergence of a coalition of top members of the "axis of fear" - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan - with Turkey and, of all players, Israel. Common objective: the containment of Iran. And not only Iran, but also Hezbollah and Hamas. King Abdullah was persuaded of this strategy by notorious Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka "Bandar Bush", former Saudi ambassador in the US for 22 years, a close friend of both Bush and Cheney, and now the head of the Saudi National Security Council.
The strategy was in fact masterminded by a pedestrian version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Cheney; Bandar; US deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams; and former US ambassador in Iraq and Afghan jack-of-all-trades Zalmay Khalilzad. What the popular masses in the Middle East think about this is of course irrelevant. In majority-Sunni Egypt, for instance, the most popular politicians are by far Hezbollah's Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Khalid Meshal from Hamas, and Ahmadinejad. Two Shi'ites and a Sunni amply supported by Shi'ites.
About that 'war on terror'
The Bush administration is cunningly trying to spin the theme of "Sunni solidarity" to push the dagger of fitna (dissent) even further into the heart of Islam, always focusing on the same target: total, unchallenged domination of the Middle East.
Cheney could not but have also enlisted Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf (who facilitates US intelligence on countless covert ops inside southeastern Iran organized from Balochistan in Pakistan). Some players are getting itchy, though. Turkey had to announce on the record that it would not join any "anti-Shi'ite alliance". Turkey cannot afford to antagonize Iran - not with the coming November referendum on the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The new Saladin also sees that the "war on terror" is far from over - metastasized into more subtle forms of Islamophobia, and still directly related to the attempted oil grab in the "big prizes" of Iraq and Iran. The privileged strategy to conquer fabulous natural wealth in the lands of Islam has been predictable from the start; building a case against the "barbarian", "uncivilized" and "pre-modern" Muslim world; vilifying Islam as a religion and Muslim culture and mores; promoting de facto discrimination and in may cases outright racism against Muslims in the wealthy north; equating Islam with terrorism.
The new Saladin knows it as much as virtually the whole 1.5-billion-strong ummah knows it.
And then there's the Shi'ite world. As long as US so-called elites fail to understand the phenomenal power of Shi'ism, any brilliant armchair strategy they cook up is destined to fail miserably.
Shi'ites in Iraq will never be co-opted by any US agenda - no matter the Himalayas of wishful thinking involved. They will never sacrifice their collective consciousness - forged by oppression and exclusion - nor their profound sense of historic victimization to the benefit of a made-in-America "liberal" utopia. Shi'ites will continue to stress their tremendous hostility to Zionism; to their society being corrupted by Western - especially US - popular and trash culture; and most of all to imperial designs on Muslim lands and natural wealth. It's in the DNA of Shi'ites to see themselves as the guardians of true Islam.
The hour of the wolf
So where will the new Saladin come from?
He could be Nasrallah - who forced the formerly mighty Israeli army to back off, and who will inevitably prevail in a majority government in Lebanon through democratic elections.
He could be a young Sadrist who has never entered the Green Zone, and who before that was a member of the "sanctions generation", growing up in absolute marginalization. Now he goes to al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, he will get his diploma, and he will be better equipped to fight for the true liberation of Iraq. He could be Muqtada al-Sadr himself - the legitimate popular leader of a national-liberation movement.
He could be the son of a Palestinian refugee who grew up in Damascus or Beirut, got an education, emigrated to Canada to perfect his skills, learn from the best the West has to offer, and then one day come back and enter politics with a vengeance.
He could be a Muslim Brotherhood intellectual in Syria. He would fully back the Sunni Arab resistance in Iraq. He would fully back deposing the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan. He would fully back Hamas. As a Muslim Brotherhood Saladin, he would fight for a Sunni Arab Greater Syria capable of talking some sense into Israel.
He could be a Saudi-trained Sunni Arab sniper in Baghdad who posts his killing videos as manifestos on the Internet. Or he could even not be an Arab, but a Persian - a resistance hero in case of a tactical nuclear US strike.
The soul of Saladin may be impatient for an heir. So are hundreds of millions in the ummah. What rough warrior, its hour come out at last, slouches toward Jerusalem, Damascus or Baghdad to be born?
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007). He may be reached at email@example.com.
Do not confuse governments with the people & remember that the enemies of our enemies are not necessarily our friends...
OPPOSING U.S. ATTACKS ON IRAN & EVERY SOVEREIGN NATION
Report: Gulf states give Israel ok to use airspace for strikes against Iran :
The newspaper also quoted a Pentagon official said saying that Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan would assist Israeli raids on Iran.
Israel seeks Pentagon permission for Iran air strike
Con Coughlin, The Telegraph
Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon. A senior Israeli defence official said negotiations were now underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Teheran developing nuclear weapons...
Iran's President Did Not Say "Israel must be wiped off the map"
By Arash Norouzi
Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West's apparatus of political oppression... the "Zionist regime" was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets. Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world's struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16218.htm
Iran offered 'to make peace with Israel'
By Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON - Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders, according to a secret Iranian proposal to the United States.
The two-page proposal for a broad Iran-US agreement covering all the issues separating the two countries, a copy of which was obtained by Inter Press Service (IPS), was conveyed to the US in late April or early May 2003.
Trita Parsi, a specialist on Iranian foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies who provided the document to IPS, says he got it from an Iranian official this year but is not at liberty to reveal the source.
The two-page document contradicts the official line of the Bush administration that Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and the sponsorship of terrorism in the region.
Parsi says the document is a summary of an even more detailed Iranian negotiating proposal that he learned about in 2003 from the US intermediary who carried it to the State Department on behalf of the Swiss Embassy in late April or early May that year. The intermediary has not yet agreed to be identified, Parsi said.
The negotiating proposal indicated clearly that Iran was prepared to give up its role as a supporter of armed groups in the region in return for a larger bargain with the United States. What the Iranians wanted in return, as suggested by the document itself as well as expert observers of Iranian policy, was an end to US hostility and recognition of Iran as a legitimate power in the region.
Before the 2003 proposal, Iran had criticized Arab governments that had supported the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The negotiating document, however, offered "acceptance of the Arab League Beirut Declaration", which it also referred to as the "Saudi initiative, two-states approach".
The March 2002 Beirut Declaration represented the Arab League's first official acceptance of the land-for-peace principle as well as a comprehensive peace with Israel in return for Israel's withdrawal to the territory it had controlled before the 1967 war. Iran's proposed concession on the issue would have aligned its policy with that of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others with which the United States enjoyed intimate relations.
Another concession in the document was a "stop of any material support to Palestinian opposition groups (Hamas, Jihad, etc) from Iranian territory" along with "pressure on these organizations to stop violent actions against civilians within borders of 1967".
Even more surprising, given the extremely close relationship between Iran and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shi'ite organization, the proposal offered to take "action on Hezbollah to become a mere political organization within Lebanon".
The Iranian proposal also offered to accept much tighter controls by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for "full access to peaceful nuclear technology". It offered "full cooperation with IAEA based on Iranian adoption of all relevant instruments (93+2 and all further IAEA protocols)".
That was a reference to protocols that would require Iran to provide IAEA monitors with access to any facility they might request, whether it had been declared by Iran or not. That would have made it much more difficult for Iran to carry out any secret nuclear activities without being detected.
In return for these concessions, which contradicted Iran's public rhetoric about Israel and anti-Israeli forces, the secret Iranian proposal sought US agreement to a list of Iranian aims. The list included a "halt in US hostile behavior and rectification of status of Iran in the US", as well as the "abolishment of all sanctions".
Also among Iran's aims was "recognition of Iran's legitimate security interests in the region with according defense capacity". According to a number of Iran specialists, the aim of security and an official acknowledgment of Iran's status as a regional power were central to the Iranian interest in a broad agreement with the United States.
Negotiation of a deal with the US that would advance Iran's security and fundamental geopolitical political interests in the Persian Gulf region in return for accepting the existence of Israel and other Iranian concessions has long been discussed among senior Iranian national-security officials, according to Parsi and other analysts of Iranian national security policy.
An Iranian threat to destroy Israel [SIC] has been a major propaganda theme of the Bush administration for months. On March 10, President George W Bush said, "The Iranian president has stated his desire to destroy our ally, Israel. So when you start listening to what he has said to their desire to develop a nuclear weapon, then you begin to see an issue of grave national-security concern."
But in 2003, Bush refused to allow any response to the Iranian offer to negotiate an agreement that would have accepted the existence of Israel. Flynt Leverett, then the senior specialist on the Middle East on the National Security Council staff, recalled in an interview that it was "literally a few days" between the receipt of the Iranian proposal and the dispatch of a message to the Swiss ambassador expressing displeasure that he had forwarded it to Washington.
Interest in such a deal is still very much alive in Tehran, despite the US refusal to respond to the 2003 proposal. Turkish international-relations professor Mustafa Kibaroglu of Bilkent University writes in the latest issue of Middle East Journal that "senior analysts" from Iran told him last July that "the formal recognition of Israel by Iran may also be possible if essentially a 'grand bargain' can be achieved between the US and Iran".
The proposal's offer to dismantle the main thrust of Iran's Islamic and anti-Israel policy would be strongly opposed by some of the extreme conservatives among the mullahs who engineered the repression of the reformist movement in 2004 and who backed President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in last year's election.
However, many conservative opponents of the reform movement in Iran have also supported a negotiated deal with the United States that would benefit Iran, according to Paul Pillar, the former national intelligence officer on Iran. "Even some of the hardliners accepted the idea that if you could strike a deal with the devil, you would do it," he said in an interview last month.
The conservatives were unhappy not with the idea of a deal with the United States but with the fact that it was a supporter of the reform movement of former president Mohammad Khatami who would get the credit for the breakthrough, Pillar said.
Parsi says the ultimate authority on Iran's foreign policy, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was "directly involved" in the Iranian proposal, according to the senior Iranian national-security officials he interviewed in 2004. Khamenei has aligned himself with the conservatives in opposing the pro-democratic movement.
Gareth Porter is a historian and national security policy analyst. His latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in June 2005.
Digest note: following is an important analysis, no longer available to Stratfor non-members, that reveals what may be US strategy behind its very public warmongering pressure/threats.
Public disinformation: one source of the US monopoly mainstream media 'news'/propaganda /'spin' presented by its agents:
"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media"
former CIA Director William Colby (died suddenly after freak canoe accident) Bernstein's 1977 Oct. Rolling stone article.
The U.S and Iran: an unlikely, powerful alliance
FASCIST HOMELAND UPDATES
Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions... "I think everybody in the region knows that there is a proxy war already afoot with the United States supporting anti-Iranian elements in the region as well as opposition groups within Iran," said Vali Nasr, adjunct senior fellow for Mideast studies at the Council on Foreign Relations...and this covert action is now being escalated by the new U.S. directive, and that can very quickly lead to Iranian retaliation and a cycle of escalation.... the United States has supported and encouraged an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, that has conducted deadly raids inside Iran from bases on the rugged Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan "tri-border region." U.S. officials deny any "direct funding" of Jundullah groups but say the leader of Jundullah was in regular contact with U.S. officials.
American intelligence sources say Jundullah has received money and weapons through the Afghanistan and Pakistan military and Pakistan's intelligence service. Pakistan has officially denied any connection. A report broadcast on Iranian TV last Sunday said Iranian authorities had captured 10 men crossing the border with $500,000 in cash along with "maps of sensitive areas" and "modern spy equipment." A senior Pakistani official told ABCNews.com the 10 men were members of Jundullah. The leader of the Jundullah group, according to the Pakistani official, has been recruiting and training "hundreds of men" for "unspecified missions" across the border in Iran. http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/05/bush_authorizes.html
New presidential directive gives Bush dictatorial power
National Security & Homeland Security Presidential Directive establishes "National Continuity Policy"
by Larry Chin
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html signed on May 9, 2007 declares that in the event of a “catastrophic event”, George W. Bush can become what is best described as "a dictator":
This directive, completely unnoticed by the media, and given no scrutiny by Congress, literally gives the White House unprecedented dictatorial power over the government and the country, bypassing the US Congress and obliterating the separation of powers. The directive also placed the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic “security”. This is another step towards official martial law (see “US government fans homeland security fears”), which suggests that a new "catastrophic event" 9/11-type pretext could be in the pipeline. The directive defines a “Catastrophic Emergency” as the following."Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions[...] The full text is below.
U.S. Real ID Act: Emergence of Real Big Brother
The Real ID Act was tacked onto a 2005 bill titled "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005." The emergency bill was primarily meant to approve $82 billion for the war in Iraq and Asian tsunami financial aid, and was signed by President Bush on May 11, 2005. The Republican-driven House attached the Real ID Act to this bill, which landed on the president's desk without a Senate debate.
The act was meant to prevent terrorism [SIC] by creating stricter and uniform standards for states to follow concerning state-issued IDs. It calls for states to revamp their state-issued drivers licenses and non-drivers identification cards in order to implement uniform security features across all states. States can choose to turn their backs on the act, but their citizens would not be able to board an airplane or enter federal buildings. This penalty would take effect on May 11, 2008.
Though Congress denies that, this act would signal the dawn of national identity cards...
This stems from the security aspects that will be required for these state-issued driver's license cards. These Real ID cards will feature a two-dimensional, non-encrypted barcode that will contain personal information such as the citizen's home address. Since the cards will not be encrypted (due to "operational complexity"), everyday businesses like bars and banks would be able to scan and store a customer's home address, among other pieces of personal information...
States would be required to scan all documentary evidence into a database shared with other states. Documentary evidence would include proofs of birthdates, legal status, and social security numbers. Having all of this sensitive information merged together would create a hodgepodge of information, not to mention a headache waiting to happen, according to Bruce Schneier, a security technologist. "The security risks of this database are enormous. It would be a kludge of existing databases that are incompatible, full of erroneous data and unreliable," he said.
Rumsfeld admits "Flight 93" was shot down
VIDEO Footage and transcripts
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Rumsfeld stated in speech to US troops in Iraq 12/24/ 2004 that United Airlines Flight 93 was "shot down" on 9/11:
Donald Rumsfeld's surprise visits to US troops in Iraq
All Things Considered 8:00 PM EST NPR
December 24, 2004 Friday
ANCHOR: ROBERT SIEGEL
Sec. RUMSFELD: The people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul are the people who did the bombing in Spain or the people who attacked the United States in New York and shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon.
While the words of the former Secretary of Defense (12/24/2004) contradict the official story as contained in the 9/11 Commission report, they are consistent with the statements by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (who at the time was National Security adviser) to the effect that orders had indeed been given by the President and Commander in Chief to shoot down a civilian aircraft over Pennsylvania. Below are excerpts of the 9/11 statements of Bush, Cheney and Rice recorded by CBS News:
PELLEY: (Voiceover) Down in the bunker, Mr. Cheney was trying to figure out how many planes were hijacked. At the time they feared there could be as many as 11.
As the planes are tracking toward Washington, a discussion begins about whether we should shoot them down. How did that happen?
Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, I discussed it with the president. Are we prepared to order our aircraft to shoot down these airliners that have been hijacked? He said yes.
PELLEY: That was your advice to the president?
Vice Pres. CHENEY: I--it was my advice. It was his decision.
Pres. BUSH: That's a sobering moment, to order your own combat aircraft to shoot down your own civilian aircraft. But it was an easy decision to make, given the--given the fact that we had learned that a commercial aircraft was being used as a weapon. I say easy decision. It was--I didn't hesitate; let me put it to you that way. I knew what had to be done.
(Footage of Pennsylvania crash site)
PELLEY: (Voiceover) And the passengers on United Flight 93 also knew what had to be done. They fought for control, and sacrificed themselves in a Pennsylvania meadow. The flight was 15 minutes from Washington.
Dr. RICE: There was that horrible time when we wondered if Flight 93 had, indeed, been shot down by an American pilot.
PELLEY: On the orders of the president.
Dr. RICE: Yes.
Web Sites Listing Informants Concern Justice Dept.
By ADAM LIPTAK, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/washington/22plea.html?_r=1&th=&emc=th...
There are three “rats of the week” on the home page of whosarat.com, a Web site devoted to exposing the identities of witnesses cooperating with the government. The site posts their names and mug shots, along with court documents detailing what they have agreed to do in exchange for lenient sentences.
Last week, for instance, the site featured a Florida man who agreed in September to plead guilty to cocaine possession but not gun charges in exchange for his commitment to work “in an undercover role to contact and negotiate with sources of controlled substances.” The site says it has identified 4,300 informers and 400 undercover agents, many of them from documents obtained from court files available on the Internet.
“The reality is this,” said a spokesman for the site... “Everybody has a choice in life about what they want to do for a living. Nobody likes a tattletale.”
Federal prosecutors are furious, and the Justice Department has begun urging the federal courts to make fundamental changes in public access to electronic court files by removing all plea agreements from them — whether involving cooperating witnesses or not....
The site itself says it is “designed to assist attorneys and criminal defendants with few resources.” Defense lawyers are, in fact, hungry for any information about the nature of the case against their clients. “The more information out there, the easier it is for the truth to come out at trial,” said David O. Markus, a criminal defense lawyer in Miami. Eliminating electronic access to plea agreements and related documents would represent a real hardship, Mr. Markus said.
“It doesn’t advance any of the stated safety goals, and it just serves as a roadblock to the public’s constitutional right to access to their court,” Mr. Markus said. “If there is an issue in a particular case, then let’s address it, but to sweep everything under the rug isn’t right.”
Repeat after me class: only "terrorists"/ al-Qaeda /Islamic extremists resist U.S. liberation
"If you are not with us [U.S.] you're with the terrorists", GWB
Hersh: Bush administration arranged support for militants attacking Lebanon
...an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Farah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah. Hersh points out that the current situation is much like that during the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980's – which gave rise to al Qaeda – with the same people involved in both the US and Saudi Arabia and the "same pattern" of the US using jihadists that the Saudis assure US they can control.
May 22, '07 http://www.blacklistednews.com/view.asp?ID=3302
Source: RawStory - David Edwards and Muriel Kane
In an interview on CNN International's Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh explains that the current violence in Lebanon is the result of an attempt by the Lebanese government to crack down on a militant Sunni group, Fatah al-Islam, that it formerly supported.
Last March, Hersh reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hardline Sunni jihadists.
A key element of this policy shift was an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Farah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah.
Hersh points out that the current situation is much like that during the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980's – which gave rise to al Qaeda – with the same people involved in both the US and Saudi Arabia and the "same pattern" of the US using jihadists that the Saudis assure us they can control.
When asked why the administration would be acting in a way that appears to run counter to US interests, Hirsh says that, since the Israelis lost to them last summer, "the fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute."
As a result, Hersh implies, the Bush administration is no longer acting rationally in its policy. "We're in the business of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia. ... "We're in the business of creating ... sectarian violence." And he describes the scheme of funding Fatah al-Islam as "a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia world, and it just simply -- it bit us in the rear."
U.S. quietly, dramatically increasing Iraq troop levels
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.
Bush may double force by Christmas House Democrats to send Bush war-spending bill without timetable.
Pentagon considers staying in Iraq for 'decades'
One scenario includes a "series of military installations [that] could be maintained around Iraq, with a total of total of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, for a long period of time — maybe a few decades."Under that plan, US forces would not be on patrol in Iraq, as they are now, says NPR, but they could continue to train Iraqi forces. The Iraq installations would be part of the so-called "lilly pad" strategy that the US military has been developing since 2004. Gen. Pace, along with former Under Secretary for Policy at the Pentagon, Douglas Feith, and former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was an architect of the strategy.
Bases in Iraq would be used to protect US interests in the area and keep Iran and Syria from interfering... http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Pentagon_considers_staying_in_Iraq_for_052...
Blaming it on your quisling government and manufactured lies
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaeda elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a northern summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.
Iraq planning for sudden U.S. pullout
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's military is drawing up plans to cope with any quick U.S. military pullout, the defense minister said Monday, as a senior American official warned that the Bush administration may reconsider its support if Iraqi leaders don't make major reforms by fall.
Stepped-up war urged on Afghan poppy fields
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Profits from Afghanistan's thriving poppy fields are increasingly flowing to Taliban fighters, leading U.S. and NATO officials to conclude that the counterinsurgency mission must now include stepped-up anti-drug efforts.
Dialectics of Terror
by M. Shahid Alam
“If you kill one person, it is murder. If you kill a hundred thousand, it is foreign policy.” Anonymous I doubt if I have come across a more pithy statement exposing the hypocrisy of America’s war against terrorism; but this is what I read, well before September 11, 2001, on a car-sticker in the commuter parking lot in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA.
States are founded on a monopoly over violence, which has always included the right to kill. In fact, that is the very essence of the state. States seek to enforce this monopoly by amassing instruments of violence; but that is scarcely enough. They also use religion, ideology and laws to delegitimize and root out violence stemming from non-state agents....Unchallenged, the state can turn the instruments of violence against its own population. This leads to state tyranny. The state can also wage wars to enrich one or more sectional interests. This defines the dual challenge before all organized societies: restraining state tyranny and limiting its war-making powers.
Often, there has existed a tradeoff between tyranny and wars. Arguably, such a tradeoff was at work during the period of European expansion since the sixteenth century, when Europeans slowly secured political rights even as they engaged in growing, even genocidal, violence, especially against non-Europeans. As Western states gradually conceded rights to their own populations, they intensified the murder and enslavement of Americans and Africans, founding white colonies on lands stolen from them. Few Westerners were troubled by this inverse connection: this was the essence of racism.
The United States is only the most successful of the colonial creations, a fact that has left its indelible mark on American thinking. It is a country that was founded on violence against its native inhabitants; this led, over three centuries of expansion, to the near extermination of Indians, with the few survivors relocated to inhospitable reservations. Its history also includes the violence – on a nearly equal scale – perpetrated against the Africans who were torn from their continent to create wealth for the new Republic. Such a genesis, steeped in violence against others races, convinced most Americans that they had the divine right – like the ancient Israelites – to build their prosperity on the ruin of other, ‘inferior’ races.
In addition to the manipulations of a corporate media, this ethos explains why so many Americans support the actions of their government abroad – in Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Vietnam, Iran, Palestine or Iraq, to name only a few. It is unnecessary to look too closely into these interventions since they are undertaken to secure ‘our’ interests. Even if they result in deaths – the deaths of more than three-quarters of a million children, as in Iraq – to borrow a felicitous phrase from Madeline Albright, “the price is worth it.”
Of course, few Americans understand that their country has long stood at the apex – and, therefore, is the chief beneficiary – of a global system that produces poverty for the greater part of humanity, including within the United States itself; that this system subordinates all social, cultural, environmental and human values to the imperatives of corporate capital; a system that now kills people by the millions merely by setting the rules that devastate their economies, deprive them of their livelihood, their dignity and, eventually, their lives. The corporate media, the school curricula, and the Congress ensure that most Americans never see past the web of deceit – about a free, just, tolerant and caring United States – that covers up the human carnage and environmental wreckage this system produces.
The wretched of the earth are not so easily duped. They can see – and quite clearly, through the lens of their dark days – how corporate capital, with United States in the lead, produces their home-based tyrannies; how their economies have been devastated to enrich transnational corporations and their local collaborators; how the two stifle indigenous movements for human rights, women’s rights, and worker’s rights; how they devalue indigenous traditions and languages; how corporate capital uses their countries as markets, as sources of cheap labor, as fields for testing new, deadlier weapons, and as sites for dumping toxic wastes; how their men and women sell body parts because the markets place little value on their labor.
The world – outside the dominant West – has watched how the Zionists, with the support of Britain and the United States, imposed a historical anachronism, a colonial-settler state in Palestine, a throw-back to a sanguinary past, when indigenous populations in the Americas could be cleansed with impunity to make room for Europe’s superior races. In horror, they watch daily how a racist Israel destroys the lives of millions of Palestinians through US-financed weaponry and fresh-contrived acts of malice; how it attacks its neighbors at will; how it has destabilized, distorted and derailed the historical process in an entire region; and how, in a final but foreordained twist, American men and women have now been drawn into this conflict, to make the Middle East safe for Israeli hegemony.
In Iraq, over the past thirteen years, the world has watched the United States showcase the methods it will use to crush challenges to the New World Order – that was launched after the end of the Cold War. This new imperialism commands more capital and more lethal weapons than the old imperialisms of Britain, France or Germany. It is imperialism without rivals and, therefore, it dares to pursue its schemes, its wars, and its genocidal campaigns, under the cover of international legitimacy: through the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and World Trade Organization. In brief, it is a deadlier, more pernicious imperialism.
Under the cover of the Security Council, the United States has waged a total war against Iraq ...The aerial bombing of Iraq, in the months preceding the ground action in January 1991, sought the destruction of the country’s civilian infrastructure, a genocidal act under international law; it destroyed power plants, water-purification plants, sewage facilities, bridges and bomb shelters. It was the official (though unstated) aim of these bombings to sting the Iraqis into overthrowing their rulers. Worse, the war was followed by a never-relenting campaign of aerial bombings and the most complete sanctions in recorded history. According to a UN study, the sanctions had killed half a million Iraqi children by 1995; the deaths were the result of a five-fold increase in child mortality rates. It would have taken five Hiroshima bombs to produce this grisly toll...
The terrorist attacks of 9-11 shocked, perhaps traumatized, a whole nation. Yet the same Americans expressed little concern – in fact, most could profess total ignorance – about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians caused by daily bombings and crippling sanctions over a period of thirteen years. Of course, the dollar and the dinar are not the same. American deaths could not be equated on a one-to-one basis with Iraqi deaths. If indeed so many Iraqis had been killed by the United States, those were deaths they deserved for harboring ill-will towards this country. They were after all evil. And evil people should never be given a chance to repent or change their evil-doing propensities. Senator John McCain said it succinctly: “We’re coming after you. God may have mercy on you, but we won’t.” ...
An act of terror is nearly always attributed to a failure of intelligence, security, or both. In a country that, annually, spends tens of billions of dollars on intelligence gathering and trillions more on its military, the attacks of 9-11 amounted to massive failures on two fronts: intelligence and security. This should have led immediately to a Congressional inquiry to identify and remedy these failures. However, due to obstructions from the Bush administration, the Congress could not start an official inquiry into these failures until more than a year after 9-11. Instead, the Bush administration claimed falsely, as it turns out – with hardly a murmur from the Congress or the US corporate media – that 9-11 was unforeseen, it could not have been imagined, and there had been no advance warnings. Instantly, President Bush declared that 9-11 was an act of war (making it the first act of war perpetrated by nineteen civilians), and proceeded to declare unlimited war against terrorists (also the first time that war had been declared against elusive non-state actors). In the name of a bogus war against terrorism, the United States claimed for itself the right to wage preemptive wars against any country suspected of harboring terrorists or possessing weapons of mass destruction (what are weapons for if not mass destruction?) with an intent (US would be the judge of that) to use them against the United States....
Although the onslaughts of the Crusaders against the Muslims in the Levant, starting in the 1090s, lasted for nearly two centuries; and although their conquests at their peak embraced much of old Syria, it is quite remarkable that this did not alarm the Islamic world into waging Jihad against the ‘Infidels.’ On several occasion, one Muslim prince allied himself with the Crusaders to contain the ambitions of another Muslim prince. It was only in 1187, after Salahuddin united Syria and Egypt, that the Muslims took back Jerusalem. But they did not pursue this war to its bitter end; the Crusaders retained control of parts of coastal Syria for another hundred years. In fact, several years later, Salahuddin’s successors even returned Jerusalem to the Cruaders provided they would not fortify it. In other words, the Crusades which loom so large in European imagination were not regarded by the Muslims as a civilizational war.
Of course that was then, when Islamic societies were cultured, refined, tolerant, self-confident and strong, and though the Crusades threw the combined might of Western Europe – that region’s first united enterprise – to regain the Christian holy lands, the Muslims took the invasions in their stride. Eventually, the resources of a relatively small part of the Muslim world were sufficient to end this European adventure, which left few lasting effects on the region. In the more recent past, Islamic societies have been divided, fragmented, backward, outstripped by their European adversaries, their states embedded in the periphery of global capitalism, and their rulers allied with Western powers against their own people. These divisions are not a natural state in the historical consciousness of Muslims.
More ominously, since 1917 the Arabs have faced settler-colonialism in their very heartland, an open-ended imperialist project successively supported by Britain and the United States. This Zionist insertion in the Middle East, self-consciously promoted as the outpost of the West in the Islamic world, produced its own twisted dialectics. An exclusive Jewish state founded on fundamentalist claims (and nothing gets more fundamentalist than a twentieth-century imperialism founded on ‘divine’ promises about real estate made three thousand years back) was bound to evoke its alter ego in the Islamic world. When Israel inflicted a humiliating defeat on Egypt and Syria in 1967 – two countries that were the leading embodiments of Arab nationalism – this opened up a political space in the Arab world for the insertion of Islamists into the region’s political landscape. One fundamentalism would now be pitted against another.
This contest may now be reaching its climax – with United States entering the war directly. It is an end that could have been foretold – this did not require prophetic insight. In part at least, it is the unfolding of the logic of the Zionist insertion in the Arab world. On the one hand, this has provoked and facilitated the growth of a broad spectrum of Islamist movements in the Islamic world, some of which were forced by US-supported repression in their home countries to target the United States directly. On the other hand, the Zionist occupation of one-time Biblical lands has given encouragement to Christian Zionism in the United States, the belief that Israel prepares the ground for the second coming of Christ. At the same time, several Zionist propagandists – based in America’s think tanks, media and academia – have worked tirelessly to arouse old Western fears about Islam, giving it new forms. They paint Islam as a violent religion, perennially at war against infidels, opposed to democracy, fearful of women’s rights, unable to modernize, and raging at the West for its freedoms and prosperity. They never tire of repeating that the Arabs ‘hate’ Israel because it is the only ‘democracy’ in the Middle East. ...
What can be the outcome of all this? During their long rampage through history, starting in 1492, the Western powers have shown little respect for the peoples they encountered in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. Many of them are not around to recount the gory history of their extermination through imported diseases, warfare, and forced labor in mines and plantations. Others, their numbers diminished, were forced into peonage, or consigned to mutilated lives on reservations. Many tens of millions were bought and sold into slavery. Proud empires were dismembered. Great civilizations were denigrated. All this had happened before, but not on this scale. In part, perhaps, the extraordinary scale of these depredations might be attributed to what William McNeill calls the “bloody-mindedness” of Europeans. Much of this, however, is due to historical accidents which elevated West Europeans – and not the Chinese, Turks, or Indians – to great power based on their exploitation of inorganic sources of energy. If we are to apportion blame, we might as well award the prize to Britain’s rich coal deposits.
In the period since the Second World War, some of the massive historical disequilibria created by Western powers have been corrected. China and India are on their feet; so are Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These countries are on their feet and advancing. But the wounds of imperialism in Africa run deeper. The colonial legacies of fragmented societies, deskilled populations, arbitrary boundaries, and economies tied to failing primary production continue to produce wars, civil wars, corruption, massacres, and diseases. But Africa can be ignored; the deaths of a million Africans in the Congo do not merit the attention given to one suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Africa can be ignored because its troubles do not affect vital Western interests; at least not yet.
Then there is the failure of the Islamic world to reconstitute itself. As late as 1700, the Muslims commanded three major empires – the Mughal, Ottoman and Safavid – that together controlled the greater part of the Islamic world, stretching in a continuous line from the borders of Morocco to the eastern borders of India. After a period of rivalry among indigenous successor states and European interlopers, all of India was firmly in British control by the 1860s. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated more slowly, losing its European territories in the nineteenth century and its Arab territories during the First World War, when they were divvied up amongst the British, French, Zionists, Maronites and a clutch of oil-rich protectorates. Only the Iranians held on to most of the territories acquired by the Safavids. As a result, when the Islamic world emerged out of the colonial era, it had been politically fragmented, divided into some forty states, none with the potential to serve as a core state; this fragmentation was most striking in Islam’s Arab heartland. In addition, significant Muslim populations now lived in states with non-Muslim majorities.
Why did the Muslims fail to reconstitute their power? Most importantly, this was because Muslim power lacked a demographic base. The Mughal and Ottoman Empires – the Ottoman Empire in Europe – were not sustainable because they ruled over non-Muslim majorities. More recently, the Muslims have been the victims of geological ‘luck,’ containing the richest deposits of the fuel that drives the global economy. The great powers could not let the Muslims control ‘their lifeblood.’ They suffered a third setback from a historical accident: the impetus that Hitler gave to the Zionist movement. Now there had emerged a powerful new interest – a specifically Jewish interest – in keeping the Arabs divided and dispossessed.
It does not appear, however, that the Islamic societies have accepted their fragmentation, or their subjugation by neocolonial/comprador regimes who work for the United States, Britain and France. We have watched the resilience of the Muslims, their determination to fight for their dignity, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Palestine, Chechnya and Mindanao – among other places. In the meanwhile, their demographic weakness is being reversed. At the beginning of the twentieth century the Muslims constituted barely a tenth of the world’s population; today that share exceeds one fifth, and continues to rise. Moreover, unlike the Chinese or Hindus, the Muslims occupy a broad swathe of territory from Nigeria, Senegal and Morocco in the west to Sinjiang and the Indonesian Archipelago in the east. It would be hard to corral a population of this size that spans half the globe. More likely the US-British-Israeli siege of the Islamic world, now underway in the name of the war against terrorism, will lead to a broadening conflict with unforeseen consequences that could easily turn very costly for either or both parties.
Can the situation yet be saved? In the weeks preceding the launch of the war against Iraq, when tens of millions of people – mostly in Western cities – were marching in protest against the war, it appeared that there was hope; that the ideologies of hatred and the tactics of fear-mongering would be defeated; that these massive movements would result in civil disobedience if the carnage in Iraq were launched despite these protests. But once the war began, the protesters melted away like picnicking crowds when a sunny day is marred by rains. In retrospect, the protests lacked the depth to graduate into a political movement, to work for lasting changes. America does not easily stomach anti-war protestors once it starts a war. War is serious business: and it must have the undivided support of the whole country once the killing begins.
The anti-war protests may yet regroup, but that will not be before many more body bags arrive in the continental United States, before many more young Americans are mutilated for life, before many tens of thousands of Iraqis are dispatched to early deaths. Attempts are already underway to invent new lies to keep Americans deluded about the war; to tighten the noose around Iran; to hide the growing casualties of war; to lure poor Mexicans and Guatemalans to die for America; to substitute Indian and Pakistani body bags for American ones. This war-mongering by the United States cannot be stopped unless more Americans can be taught to separate their government from their country, their leaders from their national interests, their tribal affiliations from their common humanity. But that means getting past the media, the political establishment, the social scientists, the schools, and native prejudices....
M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. His last book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations, was published by Palgrave in 2000. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his webpage at http://msalam.net.
Divide and Conquer: The Politics of Palestinian Human Rights
by Lana Habash
I recently had occasion to talk with a professor at a well-known human rights center on the subject of Palestine. Although the center claims to derive its mandate from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — a declaration whose very title insists on universal application — I quickly found that the professor’s commitment to universality grew less firm when the rights in question belong to Palestinians. Although the Declaration is unequivocal in affirming the right of refugees to return to their homes and reclaim their property, the professor stated that she didn’t support this particular right in all cases, specifically NOT in the case of Palestine. When I asked her about the validity of a Jewish state that practiced Apartheid, she told me that she saw the establishment of a Jewish state on Palestinian land as past history, and she didn’t see the significance of debating it now. When I asked her what she thought of the ongoing practice of ethnically cleansing Palestinian communities within the Green Line (in what is now called Israel) in areas like the Naqab (Negev) through land confiscation and poisoning crops, she admitted that she knew nothing about it.
This conversation with a human rights professor at an academic institution wouldn’t be a cause of great concern if it weren’t also fairly typical of the human rights discourse on Palestine in American activist circles. This discourse is generally governed by two rules:
(1) The discussion of Palestinian human rights must be strictly limited to the rights of Palestinians after 1967. The human rights of Palestinians before this period must consistently be ignored, denied, or deemed negotiable; and
(2) The “Green Line” defines the players, their privileges, their rights, and the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their claims to protection under international human rights law.
These two rules have helped to ensure that the discourse on “human rights” does not serve Palestinians in a struggle to obtain their rights, but rather facilitates the ongoing colonization of their land.
• On human rights discourse and the rights of Palestinians before 1967
Imagine for a moment a discussion of the human rights of indigenous South Africans absent a discussion of the racism and colonialist ideology that laid the foundation for the oppressive policies of white South Africa. Those advocating for the human rights of South African native people would decry the prison conditions of jailed indigenous South Africans, denounce the horrifying exploitation of their labor, and would oppose the most repressive policies of white South African violence against popular resistance to Apartheid, but would say nothing about Apartheid itself. In such a case, one of the fundamental human rights violations “necessary” to maintain the privileges of a minority white population on South African land would be deemed acceptable (the system of segregation and racist laws called Apartheid) because the security of white South African “rights” (read dominance) would otherwise be threatened. Such a human rights framework would not only have been flawed because it failed to address the fundamental crime of Apartheid, but also because in doing so it would have failed to change in any way the human rights violations built on that foundation. It would rather have helped support the lie propagated by the Apartheid regime: the notion that Apartheid and human rights were compatible. Such a discourse would neither question nor oppose racism but only the most repressive manifestations of it and even this “opposition” would have been meaningless, since repression was a necessary consequence of the system of Apartheid.
In Palestinian human rights advocacy in America, this framework is the norm. The human rights of Palestinian people prior to 1967 are neither part of the discussion nor part of the aim of advocacy. In 1948, over 780, 000 Palestinians (over 82% of the indigenous population of Palestine at that time) were forcibly transferred from their land, in some cases at gunpoint, in other cases through threats of massacres like the massacre of over 250 Palestinians in Deir Yassin. 530 of an estimated 550 total villages were depopulated. Over 78% of Palestinian land was confiscated for the establishment of a state for Jewish people. The establishment of the Law of Return and the Absentee Property Law in the 1950’s — racist laws which defined the boundaries of inclusion (Jewish people) and exclusion (indigenous Palestinians) — were cornerstones in the establishment of an Israeli Apartheid state that continues to this day. None of these facts are part of the predominant American human rights perspective on Palestine. All of the human rights abuses noted above are rooted in and justified through Zionism.
Zionism is a European colonialist ideology and political process of creating and maintaining a Jewish majority in Palestine, granting rights and privileges to Jewish people that supersede any rights of the indigenous people of Palestine. In Zionism, the process of “Judaizing” or “redeeming” the land (expropriating the land of indigenous Palestinians and using it for exclusively Jewish use) is used as justification for all policies, no matter how repressive, both preceding and following 1967.
This demographic war waged on the Palestinian people meets the definitions of both the crime of Apartheid and the crime of genocide as defined in international law. Recognition of these crimes is startlingly absent from most mainstream discussions of Palestinian human rights in America. Utilizing the framework of Zionism, “Palestine/Israel” peace groups maintain that Israeli rights to Palestinian land and resources (justified through racism and taken by military force) and Palestinian rights to their own resources and land (defined as specifically the West Bank and Gaza and not the rest of historic Palestine) are somehow equal.
In this framework, rights for Palestinians, like the right of return and the right to resist occupation, become debatable and negotiable because they threaten the existence of the Jewish state. This resembles the argument by the slave owner that freeing slaves might cause the economic collapse of the plantation. In both cases, a fundamental injustice becomes the justification for further injustice.
In the human rights framework, racism and genocide should neither be morally acceptable nor morally defensible in any context. This is true in South Africa, it is true in the Americas, and it is true in Palestine.
• On Palestinian human rights and geography
The Green Line is the name given to the lines established in 1949 that constituted the de facto borders of what is called pre-1967 Israel, the part of historic Palestine militarily occupied by Zionists in 1948. It should be stressed at the outset that the Green Line has not been observed as any kind of “border” by the Israelis as demonstrated by continued expansion of settlements, Israeli bypass roads, water theft, and the Annexation/Apartheid Wall. In spite of Israeli attempts at disruption, contiguous Palestinian communities on both sides of the Green Line have remained deeply tied to one another through culture, family, and economy. The Green Line does not describe a real boundary in the world, not even a recognized political boundary. It exists almost entirely within “discourse.”
Palestinians are denied and Israeli settlers granted privileges, rights, and legitimacy based on where they exist geographically in relation to this line. This involves definitions of who is a Palestinian, an “Arab Israeli”, an Israeli “civilian”, or an Israeli “settler.”
To clarify, Palestinians currently living in the West Bank and Gaza are the most commonly understood definition of “Palestinian.” There is a general acceptance in America that these Palestinians inhabit what is to be a future Palestinian state, that this land is under military occupation, and that the occupation of this land should eventually end. We will, for the moment, ignore the fact that the material circumstances that would make such a state possible are being eliminated daily by the occupier. The human rights abuses perpetrated against these Palestinians are well known, though they continue unabated despite extensive reporting and documentation. Collective punishment, home demolition, torture, illegal detention, illegal settlement, destruction of infrastructure and farm land, water and land theft are justified by proponents of Israel as necessary to preserve the “security” of the Jewish state.
The Palestinians currently living within the boundaries of the so-called Green Line are subdivided into “Arab Israelis” and the Palestinian Bedouin of the Naqab. These Palestinians also live under military occupation (in their case since 1948). Racist laws and policies prevent these Palestinians from equal citizenship on their own land. Their villages within the Green Line are unrecognized on Israeli maps, making the process of “Judaizing the land” nearly impossible to oppose, as there is no acknowledgement by Israel that they exist in the first place. Palestinians in unrecognized villages within the Green Line pay taxes as citizens but are often denied water, electricity, and education. They are subject to the same type of severe military repression experienced by West Bank and Gazan Palestinians when they resist confiscation and settlement of their land. The history of Land Day illustrates this well: on March 30th, 1976 the Israeli government killed six Palestinians and injured hundreds to suppress a general strike protesting further theft of Palestinian land in the Nazareth area. Another example is the case of the thirteen Palestinian “Israelis” killed within the Green Line at the start of the Al Aqsa Intifada in September 2000. This second Intifada has represented a serious threat to the Israeli colonization project. It is the manifestation of Palestinian resistance to colonial occupation on both sides of the Green Line.
In the case of the Palestinian Bedouin, an ongoing program of land expropriation and dispossession has continued since 1948, when the vast majority of Palestinian Bedouin were dispossessed of their land. The remaining Bedouin, like the rest of the Palestinian population, were placed under military rule from 1948 through 1966. Many were relocated to urban townships through a process of land confiscation, home demolition, and other coercive methods. The Israeli government has rendered Bedouin cultivation of their own land illegal and has poisoned their food crops with toxic chemicals to destroy their way of life.
In the case of both the “Arab Israelis” and the Bedouin, human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians within the Green Line are not commonly discussed or known within the American human rights community. In fact, the “rights” of Palestinians within Israel are often paraded as part of the mythology of Israel’s singular “democracy” in the region. On those rare occasions when the question is discussed, it is discussed as the problem of “a minority” struggling for equal rights within the state of Israel. This is another lie propagated by the discourse on Palestine by means of the Green Line: although the total population of Palestinians living within the boundaries of historic Palestine is now greater than or equal to the number of Jewish-Israelis, and Palestinian communities have maintained strong interdependent relationships throughout their historic land, the imaginary Green Line creates a false impression of separate communities so that one becomes a “minority” struggling for inclusion, and the other a “foreign people” struggling for independence.
The Palestinian refugee population living in Jordan numbers approximately 80% of the current Jordanian population. These Palestinians have historically engaged in resistance struggles to return to their land in historic Palestine and as a result have been repressed in horrific ways. In the case of Black September (September, 1970) over 3,000 Palestinians in Jordan were massacred by the Jordanian government as part of a regional attack on Palestinian resistance to colonial occupation of historic Palestine.
There is another significant Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon. This population has also suffered severe human rights violations. At Sabra and Shatilla in September, 1982 the now twice-elected Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon presided over the massacre of over 2,750 Palestinian refugees by Lebanese Christian Phalangists.
Finally, there is the wider Palestinian diaspora in areas outside of Jordan and Lebanon who have an internationally recognized right to return to their homes in historic Palestine. These Palestinians also suffer political repression when they attempt to advocate for the rights guaranteed to them. When members of the Palestinian diaspora living in the United States, for example, support anti-racist, anti-colonialist politics and support the right of return and the right of Palestinians to resist colonial occupation, they are typically deported, detained without trial, and in some cases tortured — all in the name of American and Israeli security. They are often marginalized as “fanatic” or “extremist” by the very human rights groups that claim to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Green Line functions in other ways to obscure the process of colonization. Israeli settlers so often mentioned in the news are defined as those Israelis who are in settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. These settlers are armed and protected by the full force of the Israeli military. They engage in routine and unprovoked attacks on the Palestinian population, sometimes attacking children with knives, guns, and rocks in an effort to intimidate Palestinian families into relinquishing their property. When the Palestinian community attempts to defend itself against these attacks, the Israeli occupation forces march in to “restore order.” The human rights community at best asserts that these settlers should be relocated to areas within the Green Line. As the Israeli government claims “disengagement” from Gaza and claims this as a concession for “peace”, it promises to relocate these Gaza settlers to other areas now occupied by indigenous Palestinians (the Naqab within the Green Line, for example, and ironically, other areas of new and expanding settlements within the West Bank and Al Quds (East Jerusalem)). These individuals who have defied international law are being compensated by the international community for the “trouble” of resettlement to the tune of $227,000/settler.
“Israeli civilians” within the Green Line are portrayed quite differently from Israeli settlers of the West Bank and Gaza, despite the similarities in their material relationship to the indigenous people of Palestine. These people are often portrayed in American media as innocent individuals who “want to live in peace” with their neighbors. These “civilians” are also settlers on Palestinian land occupied through military force. They live in houses and on property that belongs to Palestinian refugees. They claim rights to land and resources that have been taken by force and over which they maintain exclusive control under a system of laws based on racist ideology. The vast majority of these Israeli civilians advocate for separation and segregation. Even the Israeli Peace movement continues to maintain that Israeli injustice in Palestine does not include the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948, but rather only the occupation of Palestinian land since 1967. These civilians fight for the preservation of their privileges as Jews within Israel that allow them to buy land (Palestinians cannot), travel freely (Palestinians cannot), settle in historic Palestine permanently (Palestinians born and raised in historic Palestine cannot return despite international laws guaranteeing their right to do so), express their political opinions freely without fear of detention or torture (Palestinians who are considered Israeli citizens do not enjoy this freedom), enjoy education, electricity, and free use of the water of historic Palestine (Palestinian “Israelis” often have none of these freedoms in the unrecognized villages).
Israeli civilians are often armed and their privileges are protected by Israeli soldiers. In places like Nazareth, a Palestinian community within the Green Line, these Israeli civilians also engage in violent rampages against Palestinians. And, as in the West Bank and Gaza, if Palestinians within the Green Line resist, the Israeli military again marches in to “restore order.” We who work for Palestinian human rights are not supposed to speak of how these Israeli civilians came to be in Palestine. We are not supposed to speak about how it is that these Israeli civilians own and continue to live on property previously inhabited by a majority indigenous Palestinian population, or how it is that they maintain racist privilege over indigenous Palestinians in historic Palestine. We are not supposed to talk about mass forced transfer of over 82% of the population, the thirty-five massacres, “present absenteeism”, the 530 depopulated Palestinian villages, Apartheid laws and other laws preventing Palestinians from owning land or even earning wages for their labor, during the birth of the much celebrated “oasis of democracy.”
If we turn away from the purely imaginary lines that have been drawn for the purpose of maintaining a discourse on Palestine, and turn instead to the historical and material realities of life in Palestine, much false "complexity" dissolves. Israeli settlers are settlers whether they settled in 1936, 1948, 1967, 1980, or 2005, and whether they settled in Jaffa (Tel Aviv), the Naqab (Negev), Khalil (Hebron), or Gaza. The “rights” of these settlers in all instances are based on land theft and racism against the indigenous population. The "rights" of these settlers in all instances are preserved through military force. The material relationship of these settlers to Palestinians will continue to be genocidal as long as they continue to live on stolen Palestinian land, utilize stolen Palestinian resources, and advocate for their privileges as Jews to do all of the above.
The indigenous people of historic Palestine are Palestinian whether they are refugees of 1948, 1967, or 2005, and whether they are the “internally displaced” Palestinians living within the Green Line called “Israeli Arabs”, or Bedouin, or the “externally displaced” Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon, or the larger Palestinian diaspora. All of these Palestinians have the right to live freely in their homes in Palestine.
We are left, then, with only one essential human rights question to be answered. This question is capable of reframing the discussion in such a way that actually advances the cause of Palestinian human rights: Do the rights and protections of international humanitarian law apply to all Palestinians?
The bulk of human rights discourse has focused on applying humanitarian law to Israeli government policy in the West Bank and Gaza and has focused human rights advocacy on Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Historically it has been shown over and over again that genocide begins with separation of the indigenous people. Once the work of separation has been accomplished, the work of the colonial power — whether it be in the Americas, South Africa, or Israel — is to split the indigenous population into subgroups to further the project of colonization. This is done through a variety of different methods, including all of the following: empowering a minority sector of the indigenous population to police its own people (as in the case of the Palestinian Druze); establishing racist Jim Crow laws which grant some “rights” to Palestinians within the Green Line while simultaneously assuring that these rights never challenge the fundamental racist privilege of Jews over non-Jews; negotiating “peace” treaties at gunpoint where chosen Palestinian representatives on the other side of the Green Line sign away rights and land while seemingly assuring (but not really) a limitation on the genocidal conditions imposed by the colonial power; and imposing collective punishment to isolate Palestinians who resist colonial occupation from larger communities of Palestinian support.
In accepting these divisions, the American human rights framework as it has been applied to Palestinians has not only failed to stop human rights violations, but has facilitated the colonization and genocide of Palestinian people. It has done this by accepting the validity of the Jewish state and by giving only limited and conditional support to certain human rights for certain Palestinians living in certain areas at certain times.
The American human rights framework as it currently functions in Palestine has become a tool used by Israel and its proponents to legitimize colonial land theft and genocide rather than oppose it. True human rights advocacy that supports the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine must start by acknowledging the rights of all Palestinians, whether they are from 1948 Jaffa, 1967 Nablus, or the Naqab or Jayyus of 2005. It means necessarily that we must discuss Zionism from its origins in Europe in the 1880’s to its present manifestations in Palestine. We must reject the idea that colonialism, genocide, Apartheid, or any form of racism is ever justifiable or defensible. We must also reject the idea that colonial governments like the US or Israel will ever negotiate against their own interests. These are the first steps in creating true international solidarity that supports the Palestinian people’s legitimate resistance against ongoing colonization, occupation, Apartheid, and genocide in all of historic Palestine.
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This documentary reveals how CIA pioneered, developed,manipulated prisoner abuse, sold drugs, changed regimes and killed people world wide.