Monday, July 31, 2006

"IDF is Engaged in Indiscriminate Killing" in Gaza--Ha'aretz

"The Israel Defense Forces has killed 97 people in the Gaza Strip since the fighting began in Lebanon. Most of them were armed, and the rest were civilians - children, women, men, the elderly. The large number of fatalities suggests the IDF is engaged in indiscriminate killing under the cover of the war in the north."


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mass Burial in Lebanon

"I love the people of America. It's the government I hate. Tell the American people that we received their gift. The missile that they gave to Israel - we have received it, and this is the result," he says, motioning to the coffins.

I thank him, but he says nothing to me - just glares, turns abruptly and walks away.

Israeli Prime Minister--Thoughts Channeled Via Angry Airwaves

Israeli Prime Minister on Qana. "Olmert: Hezbollah used Qana as base to launch 100s of rockets", so we decided to kill all the women and children who are launching these rockets. I proudly announce to the Israeli nation that we have succeeded in killing a large number of the women and children of the enemy today, and will kill more tomorrow. This is the essence of Zionism. And we shall continue to kill their women and children; this has been the mission of our proud IDF. And if anybody protests, we can easily call those women and children terrorists--whether they are PLO, Hizbullah, Communists, it does not matter. As the only democracy in the Middle East, we have the moral duty to kill their woman and children. I ask the people of Israel to stand behind the Israeli army in its moment of glory as they continue to kill the women and children of Lebanon and Palestine. And I have received the full support of the US administration (and 70% of the American public), and the US Secretary of State assures me that she only hears the "pangs of birth" of the New Middle East with every cry and scream from women and children under the rubble all over Lebanon. Secretary Rice has asked for more cries and screams of women and children in the rubble of destroyed buildings in Lebanon because she strongly feels that the "pangs" are very necessary for the birth of its "New Middle East."

Israeli Missile Strike in Lebanon Kills More than 50

QANA, Lebanon, July 30 — Israeli missiles hit several buildings in a southern Lebanon village as people slept Sunday, killing at least 56, most of them children, in the deadliest attack in 19 days of fighting.


Al-Maliki Visit to U.S. Draws Ire of Cleric

In a sermon yesterday rich with bloody imagery and religious struggle, an influential Shiite cleric condemned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's trip to Washington this week as a betrayal of Islam and a humiliation to his people at the hands of U.S. and Israeli aggressors.

Sheik Khafaji intertwined the bloodshed in Iraq and Lebanon, calling it a design by Christians and Jews to defeat the Muslim world.

He criticized al-Maliki's speech before the U.S. Congress and asked: "What forced you to eat with the occupiers? Is that your reward? You know more than anybody else that the car bombings, terrorism, explosions and bloodletting in Iraq are under the protection of Zionist-American plans."

Israel Rejects Ceasefire to Allow Aid Flow to Civilians

"Israel on Saturday rejected a U.N. call for a 72-hour truce to bring humanitarian aid to trapped civilians in south Lebanon as its warplanes continued pounding towns and villages in the area."

"Meanwhile Israeli forces pulled back from positions on the outskirts of the Hizbullah stronghold town of Bint Jbeil and returned to the border town of Maroun al Ras, captured on July 23, security officials said."

"On the diplomatic front, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to arrive in Israel Saturday to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. She is bringing with her a package of proposals aimed at ending the violence in Lebanon."

Via Informed Comment

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hezbollah Politicians Back Peace Package--Israel Of Course Said No

BEIRUT (AP) — Hezbollah politicians, while expressing reservations, have joined their critics in the government in agreeing to a peace package that includes strengthening an international force in south Lebanon and disarming the guerrillas, the government said.

The agreement — reached after a heated six-hour Cabinet meeting — was the first time that Hezbollah has signed onto a proposal for ending the crisis that includes the deploying of international forces.

The package falls short of American and Israeli demands in that it calls for an immediate cease-fire before working out details of a force and includes other conditions.

But European Union officials said Friday the proposals form a basis for an agreement, increasing the pressure on the United States to call for a cease-fire.

Some US Troops Frustrated

"I mean, if you compare the casualty count from this war to, say, World War II, you know obviously it doesn't even compare," Fulcher said. "But World War II, the big picture was clear — you know you're fighting because somebody was trying to take over the world, basically. This is like, what did we invade here for?" [because somebody was trying to take over the world--guess who? LJ]

"How did it become, 'Well, now we have to rebuild this place from the ground up'?" Fulcher asked.

He kept talking. "They say we're here and we've given them freedom, but really what is that? You know, what is freedom? You've got kids here who can't go to school. You've got people here who don't have jobs anymore. You've got people here who don't have power," he said. "You know, so yeah, they've got freedom now, but when they didn't have freedom, everybody had a job."

Steffey got up to leave the porch and go to bed.

Via News from Iraq

Death Knell for the UN--Mike Whitney

"The only "silver lining" to Israel’s lethal rampage is that it signals the death-knell for the enfeebled United Nations. The Bush administration has torpedoed every effort to reach a peace agreement and blocked all resolutions criticizing Israeli aggression. This, of course, is why Israeli-loyalist, John Bolton, was installed as US Ambassador in the first place; to oversee the destruction of the UN and pave the way for a wider regional war. So far, he has succeeded admirably. Working in tandem with Condi Rice, Bolton has delivered a ferocious "one-two" punch that has KO’d the diplomatic work of EU, the Arab League and the bumbling foreign ministers from around the globe. Now, whenever Condi or Bolton speaks, it looks like the entire world stands behind them lending international credibility to Israel’s ongoing depredations in Lebanon."

"Meanwhile, the feckless Kofi Annan is scampering away as fast as possible from his bombed-out outpost on the Lebanese border. The UN’s humiliating retreat is bound to be the final nail in the coffin for the toothless organization. The UN has done nothing to defend Lebanon’s civilians just as it did nothing during Israel’s 18-year reign of terror from 1982 to 2000. While innocent people are being cut down in their homes and cars and the country’s infrastructure is being reduced smoldering heaps of twisted iron and rubble; the so-called "international community" is breezily debating how to punish Hezbollah."

"What a farce. Some one should remind the Secretary General that the Daisy Cutters, cluster-bombs and napalm descending hourly on Beirut are not the work of Hezbollah, but their marauding neighbor to the south."

"The UN is powerless to stop the fighting and Kofi Annan is too frail to call for an emergency meeting of the General Assembly to eject the US from the Security Council. Thus, the institution continues to slip further into disrepute lacking the moral authority to be effective and quickly becoming a "rubber-stamp" for US/Israeli aggression."

Letter from an Israeli Jew to Angry Arab Newservice

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I [As'ad Abukhalil] received this message:
"Dear sir,
I live in Israel and I am a Jew. We don't all support the policies of Olmert or the policies of the Labor party either. And many of us grieve for the loss of lives in Lebanon and Palestine just as deeply as you grieve for those lives. I am sorry that this is happening to your country and I hope and pray that your family and friends will be safe and I hope that not one more Palestinian must die for the crimes of the state, the Israeli state.
I would like to leave Israel before my son turns of age where he must serve in the military, I will not have my child be a part of an occupying army. I don't want my child to have the guilt of the death of your loved ones or of Palestinians on his heart.
Please know that we are all not like the thugs that visit your blog and say cruel and callous things. I abhor the messages they leave on your blog and they are not representative of Judaism. Zionism is not Judaism. One day the Jews around the world will realize this fact and I hope that when they beg you and Palestinians for forgiveness that you will forgive them for the spiritual malaise that has afflicted them.
In peace and in solidarity,

Destroying the Village in order to Save It--Left I on the News

It's more than a cliche. It's official U.S. and British policy:
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday rejected calls for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon, saying that today's violence will lead to a better future for the Middle East.
I love the headline on the article:
Bush, Blair stand behind Israel
Yeah, just like they stand behind the troops in Iraq. Way behind.

Even Voice of America Says Israel Bombing Counterproductive

"Here in the south, Hezbollah is not just a militant group, it is a political party with deep roots in the community. It provides social services, such as schools and clinics. Together with the Shi'ite Amal party, it is the de facto authority here."

"And so it is no surprise that support for what locals call "the resistance" is strong. An elderly woman named Husna expressed a common view as she described the conditions her family is living under."

"The situation is non-existent for us," she said. "We are living in the bunkers, taking cover. We have no food." Then she says, "We are with Nasrallah, and we are with the resistance, even if it means total destruction."

"At a local vegetable market, a man who did not give his name said he thinks Israel is trying to turn Lebanese people against each other."

"And this war, this war is not dividing us," he said. "It's actually quite the contrary, it's uniting us against Israeli terror, against Israel's barbaric actions. When this happens to us, it unites us, it doesn't divide us."

"And to a degree, that is true. Shiite refugees from the south are sheltering in Christian, Sunni and Druze villages to the north. This outpouring of support for their plight has been a remarkable show of cross-sectarian unity in a country that fought a 15-year civil war along religious fault lines."

Via Informed Comment

Oil Spill Hits Lebanon--Dahr Jamail

"With the oil spill and the war, all of the tourists are gone," he said.
"I came to Byblos from south Beirut since my home was bombed, yet even
here two nights ago the Israelis bombed an Army radar nearby. The same
one they bombed two weeks ago."

The tourist beaches off the coast of Beirut stand empty as well. Pools
of oil slosh up with the waves, staining the beach and the rocks.

"If we tried to fish, the Israelis would kill us," said Hafez, a
Palestinian fisherman. "But nobody would eat the fish anyway even if we
could fish.. Now we wait for a miracle, something to take this oil away
and stop this war."

Israel's Cyber Soldiers

"In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate."

Resulting in:

"Doron Barkat, 29, in Jerusalem, spends long nights trawling the web to try to swing the debate Israel’s way. “When I see internet polls for or against Israel I send out a mailing list to vote for Israel,” he said. “It can be that after 15 minutes there will be 400 votes for Israel."

Via Angry Arab

Friday, July 28, 2006

Empire: War and Propaganda--John Pilger

"Watching this unfold in Wahington - I am staying in a hotel taken over by evangelical "Christians for Israel" apparently seeking rapture - I have heard only the crudest colonial refrain and no truth. Hezbollah, drone America's journalistic caricatures, is "armed and funded by Syria and Iran", and so they beckon an attack on those countries, while remaining silent about America's $3bn-a-day gift of planes and small arms and bombs to a state whose international lawlessness is a registered world record. There is never mention that, just as the rise of Hamas was a response to the atrocities and humiliations the Palestinians have suffered for half a century, so Hezbollah was formed only as a defence against Ariel Sharon's murderous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which left 22,000 people dead. There is never mention that Israel intervenes at will, illegally and brutally, in the remaining 22 per cent of historic Palestine, having demolished 11,000 homes and walled off people from their farmlands, and families, and hospitals, and schools. There is never mention that the threat to Israel's existence is a canard, and the true enemy of its people is not the Arabs, but Zionism and an imperial America that guarantees the Jewish state as the antithesis of humane Judaism."

Summing up:

"I think Orwell got it right in this passage from Nineteen Eighty-Four, a tale of the ultimate empire: "'And in the general hardening of outlook that set in . . . practices which had been long abandoned - imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions . . . and the deportation of whole populations - not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.'"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Republican Senator Takes On Bolton--McDermott Take Note, Please

"Must have had spinach and Wheaties this morning. Chafee was dogged in questioning John Bolton on his views about Israel-Palestine, about the root causes of the crisis in the Middle East, about Bolton's simple-minded use of the term "terrorism", and about Bolton's views of "shaping the Middle East" as one of the greatest challenges America faces.

"Senator Chafee started off reading a Bolton statement that he made in the past where Bolton essentially blamed terrorism as the fundamental problem in the Middle East. Chafee said to Bolton: "You are a brilliant man. Terrorism is a device. Your statement makes no sense. Explain it."

"Bolton gave a long and convoluted response but also stated: "There is no basis for peace in the Middle East now." He suggested that one of the reasons why the U.S. has resisted calls for immediate cease fire in the region is that it wants to generate a "comprehensive solution". He said "we need to use current circumstances as a fulcrum to move towards a more stable, longer term solution."

"Chafee jumped back: "Can't you go any deeper? This isn't just terrorism. What about the history of terrorism in the region? What are the root causes?"

Then, later:

"Chafee asked John Bolton if he thought that one of the root causes of our problems in the Middle East is our failure to make progress on a viable, contiguous Palestinian state existing peacefully, side-by-side next to Israel."


Huh? NYT Poll Confusing But Not Good NewsAt Any Rate

"Yet, in the latest poll, 47 percent gave Mr. Bush good marks for handling the situation in Israel, with 27 percent disapproving and 26 percent saying they did not know. That was the highest registration of approval for the president in any of the poll’s performance measures."

Later in article:

"Support for the president’s staunch backing of Israel goes only so far: 39 percent indicated they approved of it, but 40 percent said the United States should avoid saying anything at all about the conflict (Only 7 percent said the United States should criticize Israel, though many respondents cast blame for the conflict on both sides)."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Progressive" Dems Outflank Repubs on Right (Again)

"The latest Israeli attack on a neighboring state finds Republicans and Democrats engaged in a grovelling game of leapfrog, trying to see who can jump farther and crouch lower in obeisance to the Light Of The Nations (LOTN). Bush and company are shipping 'em high explosives in quantities the Condor Legion could only dream of. The Democrats, like the Pope, have no legions to send, but also like some of the nastier Popes of old, they yield to none in their devotion to the policing of thought. So the Democrats are trying to outflank the Bushies by attacking their pet Iraqi, prime minister Maliki, who has apparently been so tactless as to suggest that maybe the Israelis shouldn't be bombing Lebanon into the Stone Age."

Found on Democrat Watch via highlights Barney Frank's involvement, but what about John Lewis (former member of SNCC)?

Half of Americans Approve of Israel's Military Attacks in Lebanon

"PRINCETON, NJ -- According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, the American public clearly denounces the recent actions of the Hezbollah organization in Lebanon and sympathizes with Israel's position, but stops short of endorsing the extent of military action taken by Israel thus far. While Israel is reportedly amassing ground troops to invade southern Lebanon if its air attacks don't succeed in crippling Hezbollah, American public opinion tilts against a ground invasion."

Bill Clinton Urges Dems To Unite Behind War Criminal Bush

"The latest evidence of the Democrats' uncivil war was in full view this week when former President Clinton, still the most popular figure in the Democratic Party, told its antiwar forces to cease their attempts to purge Democrats who support the war.

"Clinton went to Waterbury, Conn., Monday to campaign for embattled Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is trailing anti-war insurgent Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary. Clinton campaigns for lots of Democrats, only in this case he was speaking up for a Democrat who is despised by his party's pacifist, anti-war forces because of his support for President Bush's war.

"But Clinton's appearance at a packed rally in the Palace Theater had to do with more than just saving Lieberman from a looming defeat. It also had to do with his party's weakened posture on national security and fighting terrorism and, by proxy, with helping his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who, like Lieberman, thinks the United States must continue to support the Iraqis in their struggle for democracy and is opposed to a withdrawal until that mission is accomplished. Like other pro-war Democrats, Sen. Clinton has felt the wrath of anti-war activists who will be an obstacle to her ambitions to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Bill Clinton does not mince words about what his party's now-dominant antiwar wing wants to do to any Democrat who supports the war -- calling the attempt by leftist ideologues like to oust Lieberman "the nuttiest strategy I ever heard in my life."

"I think the Democrats are making a mistake to go after each other," he said earlier this month at a conference at the Aspen Institute -- lecturing his party's rank and file not to "allow our differences over what to do now in Iraq ... divide us instead of focusing on replacing Republicans." Clinton is not the only Democrat chastising his party's left. Leon Panetta, Clinton's White House chief of staff, also took Democrats to task for going after Lieberman.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letter to Lebanon's Prime Minister--Mike Whitney

What type of man would put out the “red carpet” for his enemy while his people are still being slaughtered in the field?

A simple phone call to the State Department could have stopped the Secretary from landing in Lebanon. How much courage does that take?

If you were a brave man you would have placed the Secretary and her entire entourage under “house arrest” demanding that Israel stop its “scorched earth” campaign before releasing Rice and her people. But, we do not expect you to do the “courageous thing”, just the “decent thing”.

No one expects you to join the resistance and fight the butchers who have invaded your country from the south. No one expects you to risk your life to show your love for Lebanon or your willingness to die for your countryman. But why would you humiliate yourself by posing with the very people who have devastated your homeland and killed your country’s children? Is your dignity worth so little that you would grovel at Israel/America’s feet for a villa in the Riviera and a pocket full of silver?

Dems Hound Maliki for Condemning Israeli Attacks

"Al-Maliki's visit, meanwhile, prompted a sharply worded letter from leading Senate Democrats saying it is essential that the Iraqi leader clarify, before his Wednesday address to Congress, whether he supports or denounces Hezbollah's attacks against Israel."

"Your failure to condemn Hezbollah's aggression and recognize Israel's right to defend itself raises serious questions about whether Iraq under your leadership can play a constructive role in resolving the current crisis and bringing stability to the Middle East," said the letter obtained by The Associated Press. It was signed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Charles Schumer of New York."

"Al-Maliki has condemned Israel's offensive and has said he plans to tell Bush personally that the United States and the international community have not done enough to stop it.
Democrats also asserted Monday that the fierce fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants was turning attention of Americans away from the fact that conditions continue to deteriorate in Iraq."


Madison's Warning and the Israeli Lobby--Michael Scheuer

"In the last week, Americans have seen their president, his advisers, and their elected representatives behave as a pack of well-groomed Pavlovian dogs, while exhibiting equivalent IQ power. Not unlike automatons, Mr. Bush and Secretary Rice spoke the traditional mantra: "Israel has the right to defend itself." Then, the popularly elected protectors of American interests passed resolutions repeating that mantra with majorities strikingly similar to those Cold War communist rulers could always count on receiving from their so-called parliaments. Finally, this two-branch, AIPAC-funded, mid-term-election-minded faction agreed on the weekend to very publicly dispatch large consignments of U.S.-made precision weapons to fill the recently depleted stocks of the Israeli military. All of these actions were, of course, played out against a backdrop of editorial screeches, claiming "Israel is bravely and nobly fighting America's and/or the West's war," from the likes of such noted U.S.-interests-be-damned voices as Ann Coulter, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, William Kristol and the Weekly Standard's crew of certifiable zanies, and the reliably hysterical"

Israeli Cluster Munitions Hit Civilians in Lebanon--Human Rights Watch

(Beirut, July 24, 2006) – Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Researchers on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that a cluster munitions attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed one and wounded at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch researchers also photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Via Angry Arab--read Angry Arab to break your heart

Is A Supine Opposition Party An Opposition Party at All?

from Eli on LeftIontheNews: "Gosh wouldn't it be nice to have an actual opposition party in the United States?"

"'The Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, called for a freeze on all arms export licences after government figures showed that British arms sales to Israel more than doubled last year to £22.5m.'"

"We just want to go where there is no war"--Dahr Jamail

"An average of a dozen bodies per day wash up on the shores of the Tigris in Baghdad as sectarian killings have spun completely out of control. Revenge killings are occurring not by the day but by the hour in Iraq. In February, Les Roberts, one of the co-authors of the Lancet report, said that we shouldn't be discussing Iraqi deaths by the tens of thousands, but rather whether it is 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000."

"That was five months ago. That was before this June, when the Baghdad morgue alone received 1,595 bodies that month. That was before a recent UN report, released last week after gathering data from the Iraqi Ministry of Health (which tracks deaths recorded in hospitals around Iraq) and the Baghdad morgue, reported that in March, 2,378 Iraqis were killed, 2,284 in April, 2,669 in May and 3,149 in June."

Red Cross Ambulances Destroyed in Israeli Air Strike on Rescue Mission

"The ambulance headlamps were on, the blue light overhead was flashing, and another light illuminated the Red Cross flag when the first Israeli missile hit, shearing off the right leg of the man on the stretcher inside. As he lay screaming beneath fire and smoke, patients and ambulance workers scrambled for safety, crawling over glass in the dark. Then another missile hit the second ambulance."

"Even in a war which has turned the roads of south Lebanon into killing zones, Israel's rocket strike on two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances on Sunday night set a deadly new milestone."

"Six ambulance workers were wounded and three generations of the Fawaz family, being transported to hospital from Tibnin with what were originally minor injuries, were left fighting for their lives. Two ambulances were entirely destroyed, their roofs pierced by missiles."

From Ali Abunimah--Electronic Intifada

Monday, July 24, 2006

Israel Massacres Family They Told to Leave

An Israeli rocket, which Lebanese officials said was likely fired from a helicopter, slammed into the center of the Shaitos’ van as it sped round a bend a few miles west of their village, and the van crashed into a hillside. Three occupants were killed: an uncle, Mohammad; the grandmother, Nazira; and a Syrian man who had guarded their home. The missile also critically wounded Mrs. Shaito and her sister. Eleven others suffered less severe wounds.

Congress & the Israeli Attack on Lebanon

"On July 20, the U.S. House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 410-8 margin, voted to unconditionally endorse Israel's ongoing attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Senate passed a similar resolution defending the Israeli attack earlier in the week by a voice vote, but included a clause that “urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure.” By contrast, the House version omits this section and even praises Israel for “minimizing civilian loss,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The resolution also praises President George W. Bush for “fully supporting Israel,” even though Bush has blocked diplomatic efforts for a cease-fire and has isolated the United States in the international community by supporting the Israeli attacks."

Via Angry Arab Newservice

Iraqi Parliament Speaker: Invasion/Occupation Work of Butchers

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 22 — The speaker of the Iraqi Parliament criticized the American government’s involvement in Iraq on Saturday, likening the invasion and its consequences to “the work of butchers” and demanding that the American authorities disentangle themselves from Iraq’s political affairs.

From NYT via WTF Is It Now.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sectarian break-up of Iraq is now inevitable, admit officials

"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said.

Later in article:

The switch of American and British media attention to Lebanon and away from the rapidly deteriorating situation in Baghdad is much to the political benefit of Mr Blair and Mr Bush.

"Maliki's trip to Washington is all part of the US domestic agenda to put a good face on things for November," a European diplomat in Baghdad was quoted as saying.

rom invaluable Patrick Cockburn off Angry Arab

U.S. Frees [Innocent] Man Believed Last 9/11 Detainee

NEW YORK -- An Algerian man believed to be the last domestic detainee still in custody from a national dragnet after Sept. 11 -- and who was cleared of links to terrorism in November 2001 -- was set free this week, his lawyer said Friday.

Benemar Benatta, 32, went to Ontario, Canada, where he is seeking political asylum, after being released from a Buffalo, N.Y., immigration lockup Thursday, attorney Catherine Amirfar said. "After five years, he had become all but hopeless," she said. "Now he's cautiously optimistic."

A Crack in the Monolith?

Analysis: Staunch support for Israel hinders diplomacy


WASHINGTON -- President Bush's uncompromising support for Israel in its battle with Hezbollah, a stance now backed by Congress, is threatening to isolate the United States even further from the international community.

It is also putting the administration at odds with fragile democratic governments in the Middle East that it is simultaneously trying to prop up, and sowing increasing anger across the Arab world.

Disaster in the Making--Charley Reese

"By the way, the Israelis never ended their occupation of Gaza. They forced settlers to withdraw because it was too much trouble to guard them. But they retained control of Gaza. Nobody can go in or out without Israeli permission. The airport is closed. They cut off the tax money that is paid by Palestinians and rightfully should have gone to the Palestinian Authority. In other words, they turned Gaza, already one of the most densely populated areas in the world, into a Middle East version of the Warsaw Ghetto. And they regularly bombed it or sprayed it with artillery.""

Ali Abunimah Explains the Roots of Israel's Attacks

"Today because of their determination not to be driven from
what remains of their land
, and due to their higher birth
rate, Palestinians are once again becoming the majority
population. Their struggle draws support across the Arab
world, including from groups like Hezbollah."

"For the first time since the 1948 expulsions accompanying
Israel's foundation, Jews no longer form the absolute
majority in the territory they control."

"Israeli and Palestinian official statistics count 5.3
million Jews living in Israel-Palestine and 5.6 million
non-Jews (this does not include millions more Palestinian
refugees outside the country)."

"Israeli leaders understand what this means. Prime minister
Ehud Olmert said in 2003: "We are approaching the point
where more and more Palestinians will say 'There is no
place for two states between the [River] Jordan and the
[Mediterranean] sea. All we want is the right to vote'.
The day they get it, we [Israeli Jews] will lose

"Olmert added: "I shudder to think that liberal Jewish
organisations that shouldered the burden of struggle
against apartheid in South Africa will lead the struggle
against us."
Also included is an attempt at defending Israel.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Dead Are Rotting in the Rubble of Smashed Homes--Mike Whitney

Purity of Arms: "The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) serviceman and woman will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property."

Lebanon 7-20-06: 300 dead, 20,000 wounded, 500,000 displaced by Israeli aggression; vast swathes of the infrastructure in complete ruins; including airports, the highway grid, electrical power stations, sea-ports, factories, housing units and apartments, and all major bridges and highways. The Los Angeles Times reports, "Civil structure appears to have broken down almost completely. Ambulances have not been able to operate. The dead are rotting in the rubble of smashed homes. Food and clean drinking water are running out."

The destruction of Lebanon is a completely man-made catastrophe orchestrated in Tel Aviv and rubber-stamped in Washington. The death and suffering are now on a scale that rivals the Asian tsunami.

From Uruknet. Article ends well:

The sacking of Lebanon should rouse the world from its terminal state of apathy. The nut-jobs are on the loose and they don’t care who gets killed in the process. The United Nations, the U.S. Congress, and the Arab League have proved utterly worthless in slowing the prospect of an all-out, regional conflagration. The Bush-Olmert juggernaut will continue to lurch uncontrollably through the Middle East until it is stopped in its tracks.

What alternative is there but resistance?

Londoners Say "We Are All Hezbollah"

But it is as well for the BBC and ITN that they saw and heard so little of today's protests, which happened all over the UK with the largest in London, since the message was unequivocal and clear: Israel is a terrorist state, and we will support the Lebanese resistance, including Hezbollah. Israel has deliberately targeted the civilian infrasture including food and medicine supplies; it has bombed fleeing convoys; suburbs where no combat is to be found; villages; roads which emergency vehicles use; it has caused hundreds of thousands to have to flee, and has ordered hundreds of thousands more to flee from South Lebanon which it openly intends to invade and annexe in the most flagrant gesture of Zionist expansionism; already hundreds are dead, and many hundreds are still uncounted. The latest blow from Israel was to knock out the communications and television centre - no phone calls or TV addresses to the outside world pleading for help. Not when Israel's in town. If Israel is allowed to get away with this, it will not stop. And the US, which is behind this war, will not stop. They will advance to Tehran and Damascus in whatever order they can. And from thence, who knows? You bet we support the Lebanese resistance. Even the US-supported Lebanese government has announced it will support the resistance by fighting Israel.

Found on Left I on the News

U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis

WASHINGTON, July 21 — The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

Found on Angry Arab Newsservice

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Iraq War Is A Huge Success--Aseem Shrivastava

"The hidden agenda of the US government in Iraq has been three -- fold. Firstly, to take control of the world’s second largest oil reserves, thereby seizing one of the key oil spigots of competitors like Japan, China and the EU. Secondly, to prevent the dollar -- based world oil market from transacting in Euros, something Iran, Iraq and Venezuela were attempting since 2002, when the Euro was launched. Thirdly, the establishment of permanent US military bases in the strategic heart of the world. (The US has built the world’s largest embassy – employing 5000 people – in Baghdad)."

"In all three respects, the war has been a resounding success. US oil companies have taken charge of Iraqi oil. In the future it is through them that Japan, China, EU and any other competitors will have to buy oil from the region, something that gives the US formidable leverage. The oil market continues to transact in dollars, fragile as it is as a global reserve currency. Iranian experiments with the Euro Bourse have not taken off.

Later in article:

"Among those who know, the accepted view is that Iraq has suffered two assaults, the military and the corporate , both filling the coffers of Washington’s patron corporations at the expense of epic human misery. Reviewing the enormous corruption and the no -- bid contracts handed out to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel, The Boston Globe recently suggested that the American involvement “amounts to two invasions. First the bombs. Then the banks. This is robbery, not reconstruction.” To add insult to these injuries, all US oil corporations operating in Iraq have been granted total legal immunity from prosecution for any crime -- involving labor, human rights or environmental law or any other violations -- under an Executive Order issued by the President a few years ago. For all that the “international community” cares about human rights and the environment, Exxon -- Mobil or Chevron -- Texaco could use slave labor or spill their oil off the coast of Basra without having to worry about any sort of prosecution whatsoever. Rule of law in the new, democratic Iraq."

From Counterpunch

Israel's Blood Money Relationship to U.S. Corps

"Israel's relationship with the United States is unique in a number of ways. And one of those ways is that essentially the United States provides 20% of the Israeli military budget on an annual basis, and then about 70% of that money that is given from the United States, from U.S. taxpayers, to Israel is then spent on weapons from Lockheed Martin and Boeing and Raytheon. Most other countries don't have that sort of cash relationship, where they go straight to U.S. corporations with U.S. money to buy weapons that are then used in the Occupied Territories and against Lebanon."

Democracy Now

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Repugs More Pwopressive Than the Pwogs on Iraq?

Seen on WTF is it Now.

"Faced with almost daily reports of sectarian carnage in Iraq, congressional Republicans are shifting their message on the war from speaking optimistically of progress to acknowledging the difficulty of the mission and pointing up mistakes in planning and execution. '

"Rep. Christopher Shays (Conn.) is using his House Government Reform subcommittee on national security to vent criticism of the White House's war strategy and new estimates of the monetary cost of the war. Rep. Gil Gutknecht (Minn.), once a strong supporter of the war, returned from Iraq this week declaring that conditions in Baghdad were far worse "than we'd been led to believe" and urging that troop withdrawals begin immediately. '

Of course, it's probably this (from Downing Street site):

"Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney listed a few recent news headlines to illustrate that even the Supreme Court and the Pentagon are now admitting that the opponents of the president's policy in Iraq have been right all along."

"But Congresswoman Barbara Lee warned, "Our efforts will be in vain if we're not vigilant ... Politically motivated, cosmetic troop draw-downs may begin as the November election approaches."

From Angry Arab: US Ambassador Shuns Pics of Slaughter

In the offices of the prime minister of Lebanon (Pierre Laval), they posted pictures of Israeli massacres in Lebanon. Above, the US ambassador refuses to look at the pictures.

Fear Is Growing in Beirut

"A friend called a few minutes ago, scared and begging me to go hide with her in Baabdat in the mountains. She said her friend who works with the UN and lives in Washington called her to tell her to stay out of Beirut, because she heard that by Saturday, it will be hell, nothing will stop them. The city will be theirs : my city , my dearest city , my only home , is open to their warplanes and shells. Our kids, as of Saturday, will be the targets of Israeli fire. So it's said. What I fear the most is that by Saturday, July the 22nd, Beirut will be cut off from the rest of the country, and the world. Every morning, I rush to the office to make sure the internet is still working. Every day I ask myself: why didn't they stop it?"

"As of Saturday, I fear every city or region will be cut off from the rest of the country. Maybe they won't bomb us. Maybe they will just leave us in our cities and villages to starve and rot to death. Maybe they will do both."

"Worse than not knowing what will happen is knowing that whatever the Israelis decide to do, nobody wants or can stop them.

Black Commentator on Israeli Apartheid

"Our first duty is to tell the truth to each other. We must combat among ourselves the bogus historical narratives which permit indifference to US policy in the Middle East in general, and support of Israeli apartheid in particular. The churchgoers among us urgently, publicly and repeatedly must confront and debunk the nonsense which holds that “wars and rumors of wars” are something predestined to happen in the biblical holy land for what they are – bad scripture and fake history. We need to interrupt, correct and school everyone who talks to us about a “cycle of violence” in the Holy Land, as though some raggedy fool with a suicide belt, or a few hundred fighters with small arms are or ever have been equivalent to the devastation wrought by the established gulags, checkpoints, airborne firepower, economic strangulation, house demolitions and nuclear armed might of the Israeli state. The two sides do not have access to anything like equal means of inflicting violence, and so cannot be equally culpable or equally responsible for stopping that violence."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

US Media Ignoring Slaughter in Middle East

Please read The Angry Arab Dahr Jamail Left I on the News Electronic Lebanon. The Seattle PI doesn't even have Lebanon on the front page anywhere except for a link on how Hezbollah is "dividing Lebanese society. We need to know what is going on.

I heard Robert Fisk naming Seattle as the place where Boeing makes some of the weapons Isreal is using on the Lebanese this morning. Shame on us.

End Usreal's Barbarism Now.

Both Democrats and Republicans Consistently Support the State of Israel

"Almost uniformly, the Democrats in the delegation predicted that there would be no partisan gain for either side on the issue."

“'I think it’s a wash,'” said Representative Joseph Crowley, whose district includes parts of Queens and the Bronx. “'I think both Democrats and Republicans consistently support the state of Israel.'”

How craven can you get? "[N]o partisan gain" in uttering a word even to stop Isreal's slaughter in Lebanon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The "Angry Arab" Has Interview in Aljazerra

As the main power-broker in the Middle East, what role can the US play to end the violence?

You have to be either ignorant or foolish or both to consider the US interested in ending the current conflict. The US has clearly endorsed an unconditional Israeli aggression on Lebanon and Palestine. The US will leave it to Israel to decide not only the manner of killing of Arabs, but even to determine the number of Arabs that Israel wishes to kill.

Scraping Human Flesh off a Humvee for $7.00/Hour

"The politicians, not just the Republicans but the Democrats, too, could care less about spreading democracy," he said. "We are pawns. The soldiers are being used."

Israel's Path to Total War

"Putting the discourse of Israel as the aggrieved party to full throttle, Brooks and other like-minded pundits are busy cultivating an ill-informed American public, as there is no serious attempt by the US media to bring home the Palestinians' sufferings to Americans. There are not even half-decent reports on their plight after the recent barrage of lethal Israel attacks throwing Gaza into "semi-feudalism", other than a passing reference in the New York Times that there is no electricity or adequate running water, causing the beginning of a massive health epidemic. As Arnold Toynbee once wrote in A Study of History, "The absent are always in the wrong."

Monday, July 17, 2006

"It Seems Like We Will Go to the End Now"--Israeli Ambassador

"Israel, with U.S. support, intends to resist calls for a cease-fire and continue a longer-term strategy of punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of precision bombing in Lebanon, according to senior Israeli and U.S. officials."

Yeah, you wondered why they asked Syria to leave Lebanon and why they put the Hamas government in jail a couple weeks ago?

Now you know.

US Has "Cut and Run" on Alleged Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq

From Thomas Paine's Corner via
"Brian J. Foley, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, sums up the situation this way: "It looks as if the Administration has 'cut and run' on its alleged effort to bring democracy to Iraq -- though I don't think the Administration was ever serious about giving freedom to regular Iraqis. If so, there would be a referendum for Iraqis to vote on whether U.S. troops should leave -- the debate would not be limited to discussion among U.S. leaders. Creating a government would be an Iraqi initiative, not a US-controlled one. Unfortunately, after the unnecessary invasion and all of the unnecessary death, destruction, and disorder, and the failure to provide services such as electricity and water in a timely manner, U.S. leaders are probably now afraid to let the Iraqi people have any real control over their own country and destiny."

Feingold Stands Firmly With the State of USreal

in its entirety, from Leftionthenews: Feingold on USreal's attacks on Lebanon--

Liberal watch

Judging from the support from sites like Daily Kos, Sen. Russell Feingold seems to be the current "liberal hope" for the next Presidential election. Here's what this "left" Democrat has to say about what's going on:
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold today defended Israel's right to protect itself amid the escalating conflict along its borders, saying, "I don't think any country is going to let their soldiers be kidnapped, transported, killed ... without a serious response."

Feingold said he would not second-guess "whether that response was exactly as it should be."

Said Feingold: "My hope would be that Israel would use as much restraint as possible .... It's in Israel's interest and the interests of peace. But I do think Israel has not only a right but also a responsibility to respond to the Hezbollah attack."

Feingold posted a statement on his Web site Friday saying, "I stand firmly with the people of Israel and their government as they defend themselves against these outrageous attacks."
Any questions?

The Democrats, every bit as much as the Republicans, are the party of imperialism. They may at times advocate different tactics, or even different strategies, but their goals are for all intents and purposes identical.

People Are Dying: G.W. Expresses Preference for Diet Coke

"You eight hours [to get home from G-8]? Me, too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country," Bush said, at one point telling a waiter he wanted Diet Coke. "Takes him eight hours to fly home. Russia's big and so is China. Yeah Blair, what're you doing? Are you leaving."

Bush thanked Blair for the gift of a sweater and joked that he knew Blair had picked it out personally. "Absolutely," Blair responded, with a laugh.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Children Die in Convoy Attack as Israel Widens Lebanon Assault

"Israel steeply escalated its military campaign against Hizbollah in Lebanon yesterday with a series of air strikes that left more than 35 civilians dead, including a single strike on a convoy of families fleeing the fighting in a village near Tyre in the south of the country that killed more than 20 people, most of them children."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Corporate Media Faithfully Spins Lebanese Mass Murder [Graphic photo]

"Meanwhile, more than 20 years removed, the corporate media spin of Israeli mass murder in Lebanon, undoubtedly supported by the Israeli people, continues unabated. Early this morning, I switched on the brainwashing tube, only to catch Andrea Mitchell [AN NBC REPORTER I BELIEVE] calling in to Don Imus’ MSNBC show. As to be expected, Mitchell whitewashed Israel’s murder campaign, and Imus, chewing gum with a cowboy hat pulled low over his brow, muttered: "We’d do the same."

"In fact, Don, we are doing the same, only worse in Iraq. 100,000 and more Iraqis have paid the ultimate price for our delusions engineered by a gaggle of pro-Likudite neocons."

"My question is: how the hell does the average American sleep at night?"

By Kurt Nimmo of Another Day in the Empire on

Armed Honour: How to Stop Rape in Iraq

"The rape of Abeer, the rape of Iraq. The part contains the whole. An American soldier imposes his will on an Iraqi girl. The American military imposes its will on Iraq society. Both acts are motivated by the same wretched morality which bestows the same feeling of entitlement."

"Steven Green is no "bad apple". He's typical fruit of a bad society, one morally indifferent to what is being done in its name in Iraq."

Found on

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tanya Reinhart's Very Clear Explanation on Israel's Attacks on Gaza

"In Israeli discourse, Israel ended the occupation in Gaza when it evacuated its settlers from the Strip, and the Palestinians' behavior therefore constitutes ingratitude. But there is nothing further from reality than this description. In fact, as was already stipulated in the Disengagement Plan, Gaza remained under complete Israeli military control, operating from outside. Israel prevented any possibility of economic independence for the Strip and from the very beginning, Israel did not implement a single one of the clauses of the agreement on border-crossings of November 2005. Israel simply substituted the expensive occupation of Gaza with a cheap occupation, one which in Israel's view exempts it from the occupier's responsibility to maintain the Strip, and from concern for the welfare and the lives of its million and a half residents, as determined in the Fourth Geneva Convention."

found on Electronic Intifada Walt & Mearsheimer Were Right About The Israeli Lobby

"Israel's fifth column in America has been enormously successful in "spinning" the latest news from the Middle East. Instead of reporting that Israel is invading Lebanon, the "mainstream" media avers that Israel has "entered" Lebanon – as casually as one would enter a room in one's own house. The first few paragraphs of many news stories describe the latest attacks on Israeli targets and accounts of the damage done, while, five paragraphs down, we finally get word that 55 civilians have been killed by the latest Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon."

"The Mearsheimer-Walt thesis – that U.S. foreign policy has been hijacked (kidnapped, if you will) by what they refer to as "the Lobby" – has so far been confirmed by the events of the past few days. The United States is giving what appears to be unconditional support to phase two of the "Clean Break" plan, targeting Syria and Iran, albeit while cautioning the Israelis on Lebanon."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Militarism and the Corporate Welfare State

"The latter seems odd, given that business people are always harping about getting the government out of our (their) lives; all the while they are using government to obtain no bid contracts, to write legislation in the corporate interest, stocking the judiciary with pro-corporate judges, redrawing political districts and using the military to invade and occupy sovereign nations in order to privatize them. Iraq provides a compelling case study. "

Also on Iraq:

"According to author Antonia Juhasz, “Prior to the first Gulf War in 1991 and even after eight years of war with Iran, Iraq was ranked 15 out of 130 countries on the 1990 United Nations Human Development Index. Before the first Bush invasion, Iraq had the highest percentage of college-educated citizens in the Middle East and above average overall literacy rates. According to the World Health Organization, prior to 1991 health care reached approximately 97 percent of the urban population and 78 percent of rural residents, while the infant mortality rate was well below average for developing countries. “

What Are We to Think of America Now?

"I feel upset because our neighbours like Lebanon, Iraq and Palestineare being attacked," said Hamad al-Khatib, 26-year-old owner of a mobilephone store in central Damascus. "Israel doesn't care about international law. We thought America was peaceful, but we see them support Israel, which is killing women and children. What are we to think of America now?

From Dahr Jamail's website

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

AWOL Soldier's Cause Gets a Hand

"We are asking the government to enforce their sexual-harassment policy, rather than protect the perpetrators -- currently all three (alleged) offenders are free, while she is in custody," Avila-Smith said.

For Swift's 22nd birthday Saturday, her family and supporters are urging a national day of action on her behalf. A rally and vigil are planned for noon outside Fort Lewis at Exit 119 off Interstate 5. Another in her hometown, Eugene, is planned for noon at the Federal Building.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mike Whitney on the Invisibility of Palestinian Suffering

"The account of Palestinian suffering and victim-hood rarely finds its way into the mainstream press, but in the present case, it has been completely ignored. In fact, none of the media provide any context for the current invasion at all. Israel’s blockade of food and lethal provocations have been going on for months, and yet, the accounts from Gaza would have the reader believe that history began on the day that the Israeli soldier was captured. "

Mike Whitney will be speaking at or about 5 p.m. at the Lake Forest Park Snow Chataqua on Saturday. It's at: July 15 - at 17840 40th NE in beautiful Lake Forest Park -

Robt. Jamieson: Can Cantwell Buy Off the Antiwar Movement?

"[Mark] Wilson and [Dal] LaMagna now gain by humming along to an old tune: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It is better, left-leaning thinking goes, to rally behind a Democrat with beauty marks than let a Republican with possible warts crash the party."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Who Started [This]?--Gideon Levy in Isaeli paper H'aaretz

"We started. We started with the occupation, and we are duty-bound to end it, a real and complete ending. We started with the violence. There is no violence worse than the violence of the occupier, using force on an entire nation, so the question about who fired first is therefore an evasion meant to distort the picture. After Oslo, too, there were those who claimed that "we left the territories," in a similar mixture of blindness and lies."

"Gaza is in serious trouble, ruled by death, horror and daily difficulties, far from the eyes and hearts of Israelis. We are only shown the Qassams. We only see theQassams. The West Bank is still under the boot of occupation, the settlements are flourishing, and every limply extended hand for an agreement, including that ofIsmail Haniyeh, is immediately rejected. And after all this, if someone still has second thoughts, the winning answer is promptly delivered: "They started." They started and justice is on our side, while the fact is that they did not start and justice is not with us."

Hamdan and Watada--By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith

Last paragraph of an article in both the Nation and War Crimes analyzing what Lt. Watada's courageous stand could mean to the U.S. Outlines important precedents for acts like Watada's to spark movements that can make real changes--the Civil Rights movement being one.

"When Lieutenant Watada refused to deploy to Iraq, he struck a blow against the Iraq war. Since the Supreme Court decision in the Hamdan case, he may also have become the point person in the effort to restore the rule of law in America. It took the civil rights movement to overcome massive resistance and realize the promise of equality made in the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision. So today it will take a movement for checks and balances and against war crimes to overcome Bush administration resistance and realize the promise of constitutional restoration proffered in the Hamdan decision. Lieutenant Watada may represent the emergence of that movement."

Originally found on

Sunday, July 09, 2006

CEOs Get Paid to Leave When They Do Badly

This is amazing when you consider other people starve when they lose their job, whether it was their fault or not.

"The $18.2 million Nike paid William Perez in 2005 made him the highest-paid chief executive in the Northwest last year, according to The Seattle Times' annual calculation of how the region's public companies compensated their leaders."

"In Perez's case, it would be hard to argue he earned it."

"During his one-year tenure, Nike's stock price fell by more than $7 per share and The Swoosh lost nearly $2 billion in market value."

"Nike's board did not demand a refund when it asked the underperforming Perez to leave in January. Just the opposite. On top of his 2005 compensation, Nike gave Perez $8.3 million in severance pay, including $150,000 to cover moving expenses."

Iraqis Are Living (and Dying) in Hell on Earth

"Here is another email I received the day before the aforementioned,
from another friend in Baghdad:

/Dear friend,/

/ Maybe this is the last message I am going to send ... really I don't
have anyone here. I am like a foreigner in my own country. I am really
feeling very afraid. I am living next to Al Sadr City and the Al Sadr
militia is killing anyone who is Sunni, especially when any explosion
attacks the Shia. They come to our zone and take Sunni people from their
houses and kill them. They killed one of my relatives. They killed my
neighbor, who was only 26 years old. My friend, the situation now in
Baghdad is very bad. Do you know that there is no work and no safety,
even in my own house? I'm very sad to tell you that I am very tired from
changing my house. My family and I leave the house every month for three
weeks and we run away like some one who did a crime. What is our crime?/

/ We are in a very bad situation. It is so bad now. Please help, is all
that I ask as we need help now. We are living, just waiting for our turn
to die ... Please help us if you can ... I don't have any one to ask but

"So while Iraqis are being killed or fearing death as they suffer through
the daily hell that is the US occupation, Cheney, the real force behind
this "administration," tells CNN, "No matter how you carve it - you can
call it anything you want - but basically, it is packing it in, going
home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the
Americans don't have the stomach for this fight."

"Guess what, Dick - moral and sane Americans "don't have the stomach for
this fight" because this fight should have never taken place. And anyone
with a soul, let alone a conscience, should be more than happy to see US
troops in Iraq "packing it in."

From a email dispatch from Dahr Jamail. He is asking for support there to return to Iraq.

Wonder Why U.S. Education Sucks?

"In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."

Found on

Clintonistas Call for Pre-Emptivive Strike on N. Korea

"That's why, in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on June 22, we urged the Bush Administration to strike the Taepo Dong 2 on its launchpad before the test could be conducted. "Surgical strike" is a much abused term, but destroying a test missile as it is being readied for launch qualifies for this category because only one U.S. cruise missile or precision bomb with an ordinary high-explosive warhead could easily puncture and ignite the multistory test booster. As with space-shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral, all personnel would normally be a safe distance away from the rocket at the time, so there should be no collateral damage."

Found on

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Patrick Cockburn: US Siding with Sunnis Against Shia

"The US army is masking the fact that it is increasingly at war with the Iraqi Shia militias by referring to both Sunni and Shia as insurgents. Thus, after the raid into al-Sadr City, the US military said in a statement: "The captured individual heads multiple insurgent cells in Baghdad whose main focus is to conduct attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces." This conceals the fact that the US is fighting the Mehdi Army, which is controlled by Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party is an important part of the Iraqi government."

Air Force Times: Pentagon Says 40,000 Deserted Since 2000

"Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanistan."

"Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted."

Found on News from Iraq

Telling U.S. How to Be Good Neighbor

"For the last decade and a half, Washington and its allies in Mexican politics, including Mr. Calderón, have promoted a free-trade economic model that has failed to deliver the prosperity its advocates promised. Although the Mexican economy grew by 3 percent last year, the country's poverty and inequality indicators remain typical to bad by Latin American standards, with the richest 10 percent of citizens controlling 43 percent of the country's wealth, while some 40 percent of Mexicans live below the poverty line."

The advice part (probably a waste of breath, but worth a try):

"The best thing the United States can do now is to support the push for a recount and to refrain from calling on Mr. López Obrador to concede. Then, no matter who finally wins the election, the White House should renegotiate Nafta, allowing Mexico to set its own policy in support of its rural economy. If the Bush administration does otherwise, it might help begin yet another season of Mexican upheaval — just as the Aztecs might have predicted."

Friday, July 07, 2006

They Are Killing Us and We Need to Defend Ourselves

"He thought for a moment, then said: "It's not that we want to fight. It's because they are killing us and we need to defend ourselves and we are helpless."

"He said he did not believe Israeli leaders when they promised that Israel would "provide quiet for quiet," saying that the Israelis had broader aims to control the Palestinians and take their land. "They need to understand that there are people here," he said. "Peace doesn't come through violence, but understanding."

"But Israel withdrew from Gaza last summer. How did he feel then? Mr. Eid smiled broadly. "A year ago we were very happy, it was like a festival," he said. "We went to the sea, where we couldn't go, we felt like free people." There was another burst of gunfire. "And now they're back," he said, "and our children are clutching at us."

The Real Reason for the Gaza Invasion

"The destruction of Gaza's power plant and loss of electricity to some 700,000 people; the consequent scarcity of water, build-up of sewage that cannot be disposed of, and inevitable spread of disease; the shortages of fuel and threats to the running of vital services such as hospitals; the sonic booms of Israeli aircraft that terrify Gaza's children and unpredictable air strikes that terrify everyone; the inability of Palestinian officials to run bombed ministries and provide services; the constant threat of invasion by massed Israeli troops on the "border"; and the breakdown of law and order as Fatah and Hamas gunmen are encouraged to turn on each other. All these factors are designed to one end: the slow demand by Palestinians, civilians and militants alike, to clear out of the hell-hole of Gaza."

"The traffic through the tunnels that once served Gaza's smugglers will change directions: where once cigarettes and arms came into Gaza, the likelihood is that soon it will be people passing through those underground passages to leave Gaza and seek a life outside."

"If this experiment in human despair works in the small Gaza Strip, its lessons can be applied to much bigger effect in the West Bank ghettoes left behind after convergence. This is how ethnic cleansing looks when it is designed not by butchers in uniforms but by technocrats in suits."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Real Terror in Liberty City--About the 7 Florida "Terrorists"

"On Saturday, not far away from where these so-called terrorists were arrested, 9-year-old Shay Jenkins was shot in her front yard. She wasn't the intended victim. Police believe she was hit by a stray bullet. But it doesn't really matter. Shot in the neck on the stoop of her home, she died in her mother's arms.

"She is the 18th person shot and killed in Northwest Miami-Dade this year."

"Nearly all of the victims have been children."

Found on

Imperial Racism--Black Commentator [MUST READ]

"But it [imperial racism] is deadly. It swarms countries, and consumes cities. Fallujah was flattened, with its main hospital the first target. Three hundred thousand people are now refugees in their own country, because of US actions, and an unknown number are dead. That is a war crime – but is not seen as such by most of the US public, who are under the sway of the ideology of imperial racism. The death of an entire city does not matter to them, because there were no real people there. Racism does more than color the situation – it defines it. How do you kill a city and call it victory? Why is this celebrated as a benchmark of “progress”? Is the assumption that the white man’s triumph is, inherently, progress?"

The Israeli Military Army Rolling into North of Gaza--From Gaza, With Love

"15 Palestinians were killed today in Gaza strip during the early hours of the morning."

"my [Dr. Mona El-Farra] main concern now is to find away to get medications and medical supplies through the borders ,into Gaza , the hospital medical resources is exhausted, the borders are completely sealed,some very crucial medications are lacking.,"

"the Rafah borders in the south ,was opened today for 3 hours , there are at least 2000 Palestinians on the Egyptian side ,waiting to enter Gaza , they have been waiting since last Sunday , when the summer rain operation started,internationals were asked to leave Gaza,via Eretz checkpoint , that was opened for 2 hours only(for us here in Gaza this is alarming sign),karni checkpoint (the commercial checkpoint) was opened to let in some stuff for 4 hours,may be to let in more candles , transistors and torches,"

Israeli Soldier's Father Suggests Considering Prisoner Swap

Israeli father suggests considering swap


JERUSALEM -- The father of a captured Israeli soldier called on the government Thursday to consider releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his son, despite the government's refusal to negotiate with the captors.

Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid last week, prompting Israel to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

"Everything has a price. I don't think there will be some sort of move to free Gilad without a price. That's not the way it works in the Middle East," said Shalit's father, Noam.

He said the government already had been considering a prisoner swap before his 19-year-old son was captured.

"There is no reason not to consider this after this incident in order to free someone who was sent by the state to the front lines," he said.

The Hamas-linked militants holding the soldier have demanded a large-scale release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel has rejected the demand and called for the soldier's unconditional release.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

McKinney, Jackson Lee: Separated at Birth

"The moral of this story is clear. It doesn’t matter what McKinney, Jackson Lee or any other black person does or achieves. One is a former college professor and the other an attorney who graduated from an Ivy League school. Both are United States congressional representatives. Tony Snow doesn’t think either one of them is worthy of respect or consideration of any kind. One is indistinguishable from the other and they will be treated the same, with disdain, regardless of their opinions, actions, or CBC monitor grades. Apparently it is true. We all do look alike."

From Black Commentator (via

Nazis: They Don't Always Wear Brown Shirts

"The silly uniforms and salutes of the Nazi's on Washington's Capitol steps marked them as absurd spectacles; uniformed Nazis act like rodeo clowns in the current crisis, drawing our attention (as they must) and bringing a community's focus of scorn wherever they appear. The inevitable shortcomings of markets to meet human needs continues to make fascism alluring to some, and while goose-stepping uniformed Nazi's easily draw crowds of outraged protestors, their better dressed allies embracing corporate solutions to capitalism's problems make headway."

Hoda My Friend['s] Building Is Hit Again--From Gaza, With Love

"Big explosion,very big and so loud, I'm fully awake , so sondos (my daughter) ,we hardly can see any thing it is very dark , the drone hit the ministry of interior building again with 1 missile ,that completely destroyed the building , as I hear the news from the local radio, it is very dark , I contacted Hoda,my friend,she lives next to the building ,to find her hysterically screaming , shouting in pain,trapped under her broken windows, all the windows,of her flat broke ,the fumes fill the place , she is waiting for the emergency team to evacuate her,I can hear the hysterical sounds of her neibours,over the phone ,I feel helpless, don't know what to do,for my friend , I phoned again to offer help , she told me that she is ok , I know she is not , 5 of her neiboughers were injured , some of them the terrified kids I mentioned in one of my previous blogs ,I visited Hoda 4 hours ago , we both were tense , a third friend asked us to talk about anything but not politics ,or what is going on in the Palestinian scene ,we tried to , but couldn't , I left her , walked home , only 5 minute from my place"

PI Editorial Board Has A "Duh" Moment

"There may come a time when we in America must accept that some Iraqis believed they were fighting for their country against foreign invaders."

"Its ruthless leader notwithstanding, Iraq was a sovereign nation before it was invaded and occupied by a U.S.-led coalition of nations."

Homeless Vets--200,000

"In New York, the family ended up in a Bronx shelter "with people who were just out of prison, and with roaches," Noel said. "I'm a young black man from the ghetto, but this was culture shock. This is not what I fought for, what I almost died for. This is not what I was supposed to come home to."

"There are about 200,000 homeless vets in the United States, according to government figures. About 10 percent are from either the 1991 Gulf War or the current one, and about 40 percent are Vietnam veterans."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Report from Gaza--July 3, 2006

5. 30,000 children suffer from malnutrition. This number will
increase as diarrhea spreads. There is a limited supply of good clean
water and high rates of food contamination; diarrhea is expected to
rise by 15% as an outcome of lack of clean water and good hygiene.

6. Premature babies on life support machines are awaiting death
sentences and the number of deaths for preterm deliveries will
increase as well.

7. Children are lacking proper sleep and proper recreation. They are
feeling insecure all the time and have to live with the non-stop
sonic booming and artillery shelling. A number of those children will
continue to suffer from different psychological problems or drawbacks.

(Source: Palestinian Statistics Bureau)

This is from a Gaza physician's blog, From Gaza with Love

12,000 Children Will Starve To Death Today

"According to a United Nations report, “every seven seconds a child dies from starvation.” About 12,000 per day.

"The press would need several special editions or have to add 60 more pages to each edition in order to superficially report the names, which they have; their faces, which are real; and the agonized and despairing families of those 12,000 cadavers who have no mourners nor headlines, no history, for whom no one organizes anniversary masses or tributes. These 12,000 little ones dead each day at the hands of a rotten economic order sold to us as progress, whose laws protect the solidity of its immune building, and which terrorizes via its monetary gangs the deposed government of life."

From Granma--Cuba, LeftI on the News. Eli has more to say on the subject.

Anybody Know Anything About the Poor People's Working Party?

"The working people of the United States live our lives continually with little or no voice. Only another political party by us, for us, and dedicated to us can help us. We do not except the lesser of two evils argument and will not support Democrats and "Greens" who make pretenses they are "on our side." We do not even accept that Democrats or Greens are in fact the lesser evil. That is why a new movement is needed. A progressive worker's movement without elitism and without pretense. The foundation of Poor People's Working Party is the start of that movement."

The French Left: Vive La Resistance--Selling Out = Death

"Compare this to the states, where a peace movement rapidly developed, combining students, some unions, peace groups, and far left groups into the fastest growing peace movement in American history. These groups came together with the one common objective of stopping the war in Iraq, though there were a variety of other planks offered in addition. The Democrats, a majority of which supported the war at the time, threw out the bait of: "First let's get Bush out of office, and then we'll begin to discuss withdrawal after we solidify our troop presence in Iraq." Most of the left bit the bait, and the peace movement breathed its last breath. It's been dormant since."

Anti-War Activists Arrested At Taste Of Chicago

Activists Were Leafleting Near Military Recruitment Booth

(CBS) CHICAGO Anti-war activists were competing with deep dish pizza and fried catfish at the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park this weekend.

Six people were arrested while trying to pass out leaflets on Sunday near military recruiters.

The flyers were entitled, “Bitter Taste of the Military.”

The activists were part of multiple peace organizations, including Code Pink, the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, and the American Friends Service Committee’s Chicago Committee Opposed to the Militarization of Youth and Contra Antimilitaricion, according to a news release.

The activists arrested included one senior citizen and one juvenile. Police arrested them when they refused to leave.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Found on

The U.S. Role in Palestine--Rahul Mahajan

"By starving the government of needed funds and then giving some to NGOs and organizations over which it hoped to have greater influence, under the guise of “humanitarian aid,” the Bush administration planned to undermine Palestinian support for its elected government. According to an International Crisis Group report, it even considered a wholesale shutdown of all social services provided by the government, including education and health care, and replacement of them by NGO-provided services. Only when told by people who actually know something about the situation on the ground, like Quartet Special Envoy James Wolfensohn, that this was absolutely impossible, did they back off."

"Since January, we have seen the particularly shocking spectacle of the entire world collaborating in the openly declared destruction of a democratically elected government at the behest of the United States and Israel. It cloaked itself transparently in the language of the “war on terrorism,” even at a time when Hamas was not carrying out attacks and indicating willingness for serious negotiations with Israel, and was implemented with shocking speed, even though the collateral damage would be the Palestinian people."

"Perhaps Israel’s “Summer Rains” will wash away that cloak and someone somewhere will stand up for democracy once again."

What Mike Whitney Says Here About Israel/Palestine Is Mirror of U.S./Iraq

"The West Bank and Gaza are giant concentration camps. Elections create the unfortunate illusion of democracy and normality. It is a cynical public relations hoax intended to assuage the world’s conscience and put people to sleep."

"By arresting government officials, we can see that Palestinian democracy only exists when it suits Israel’s interests. It is a complete sham."

"The reality of occupation is evident by the facts on the ground and in the photos now appearing from Gaza of bombed-out buildings, traumatized children, bereaved parents and utter hopelessness."

"Israel has robbed the Palestinian people of their freedom. The elections were a fraud. The issue continues to be occupation, and occupation alone."

Monday, July 03, 2006

Imaginings About a Jr. War Criminal--Chris Floyd on Rape/Murders

"The only thing now is to get a good military lawyer. The ones they got working for those Gitmo goobers seem like top-notch shysters – they just beat Bush at the Supreme Court, so try to get one of them. Then just hunker down. If you can string it out long enough, Bush's media brigades can start working the refs for you, muddying the waters, smearing your accusers, providing the proper context, invoking 9/11. (And speaking of 9/11, isn't that what it's really all about? Isn't that what you were really doing when you raped that girl and shot her in the head and burned her body and killed her family – defending our country from those who attacked us on that tragic day? What you did was justice, damn it, not a crime! Just like the whole war.) Meanwhile, Rummy will pull the insider strings to water things down to a wrist-slap somewhere along the line – after the elections. So don't sweat it, brother. You and your pals might be home free yet."

They have now charged a 21-year old ex-soldier (so too late for the above strategy, says Chris Floyd)

From Ward Sutter in The Village Voice

Israel "No Longer Distinguishable from a Terror Organization"

A black flag hangs over the "rolling" operation in Gaza. The more the operation "rolls," the darker the flag becomes. The "summer rains" we are showering on Gaza are not only pointless, but are first and foremost blatantly illegitimate. It is not legitimate to cut off 750,000 people from electricity. It is not legitimate to call on 20,000 people to run from their homes and turn their towns into ghost towns. It is not legitimate to penetrate Syria's airspace. It is not legitimate to kidnap half a government and a quarter of a parliament.

A state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization. The harsher the steps, the more monstrous and stupid they become, the more the moral underpinnings for them are removed and the stronger the impression that the Israeli government has lost its nerve. Now one must hope that the weekend lull, whether initiated by Egypt or the prime minister, and in any case to the dismay of Channel 2's Roni Daniel and the IDF, will lead to a radical change.

Gideon Levy in Haaretz

Everything must be done to win Gilad Shalit's release. What we are doing now in Gaza has nothing to do with freeing him. It is a widescale act of vengeance, the kind that the IDF and Shin Bet have wanted to conduct for some time, mostly motivated by the deep frustration that the army commanders feel about their impotence against the Qassams and the daring Palestinian guerilla raid. There's a huge gap between the army unleashing its frustration and a clever and legitimate operation to free the kidnapped soldier.

Palestinians Prepare for Peace While Israel Practices War

"Palestinians can not be expected to become “good victims” and to remain silent or inactive in the face of these provocations and the grave breaches of international law. Since 1967 Palestinians have called for an immediate end to this belligerent occupation and the comprehensive implementation of international humanitarian law."

"By continuing to support Israel the EU/USA are creating an environment conducive to the rule of jungle not the rule of law. They have brought the rules of Bin Laden – not the rules of international humanitarian law. Thus, anyone who qualifies as a protected person under international humanitarian law is at a serious risk in the current environment."

From Electronic Intifada

Black Commentator: We are Targetted--(And Don't Expect the Dems to Protect Us)

"The Republicans, who are our worst enemies, the White Man’s Party, are playing to the white electorate. The Democrats are not playing to their base – the Black Democratic vote – and that will be their death knell."

Lying Right to the Face of Grieving Parents

"I really want this story to come out; I want people to know what happened to my son," Nadia said. "There is no doubt to me that this is still happening to soldiers today, but our chain of command is awfully reckless; they don't seem to give a damn about what's happening to soldiers."

From Iraqwar.mirror

Sunday, July 02, 2006

[Un]Patriot Act Strikes Again--Sponsored Spanish Tourist Ejected


"It was a beautiful Saturday. My family was looking forward to meeting Javier Carrera, the son of the Spanish family that will be hosting our daughter this school year. Javier landed in Seattle Thursday night. But he was the wrong color and the wrong age to be allowed into the U.S. as a tourist, because of the Patriot Act."

"Javier Carrera is 22 years old and he speaks very little English. On his arrival in Seattle, he was immediately pulled out by the Customs police and asked his intentions. When he said vacation, he was pulled aside for intense questioning."

"Javier Carrera, tourist, was interrogated, thrown in a detention center, and sent back to Spain the following morning. The Shoreline family that had invited him to stay for the summer was never even allowed to see him."

Army Fails Soldiers Who Lost Limbs in War

"And that was it. There was no Plan C. For Stockwell, there was no leg and socket that would allow her to stride quickly and pain-free, that didn’t leave raw, angry marks on her pale thigh. For Halfaker, there was no arm that was strong and nimble and light enough that she could slip it under a silk blouse. Stockwell persisted, learning to walk in her new mechanical leg, though with a noticeable limp. She adapted. Halfaker rebelled, left her arm in a heap in her room. She learned to wash, dress, drive, and run with one arm, her empty sleeve dangling by her side. She adapted too."


Some Iraqi Families Reduced to Trading Children for Food

"One Baghdad family interviewed by IRIN said that unemployment and poverty had pushed them to sell their child in order to support the rest of the family. "It's hard to watch your children without anything to eat," said Abu Karam, a father of nine who sold one of his children for US$60,000. "We sold our child to a foreign family because they paid very well, and he'll have a good life there. In the meantime, the other children will have some thing to eat."

"UNICEF has begun discussions with the ministries of labour and social affairs to address the issue. "The protracted and escalating civil unrest in Iraq is having an extremely adverse impact on Iraqi civilians," said UNICEF-Iraq Child Protection Officer Patrizia Di Giovanni. "On a daily basis, Iraqi children are directly and indirectly affected by ongoing violence."