Thursday, August 31, 2006
Raed in the Middle found on Angry Arab
U.S. sniper kills family of four in Ramadi – witnesses
Ramadi, Aug 31, (VOI) – An Iraqi family of four people was killed by U.S. sniper fire on Thursday morning in Ramadi, Anbar province, eyewitnesses said.
“A man, his wife and two children were walking home in al-Huz neighborhood when a U.S. sniper shot them dead at 11:00 a.m. in al-Ma’ared Street,” a witness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
U.S. Marines have been stationed on the roof tops of high buildings in several neighborhoods of Ramadi for two days, he said.
Earlier on Thursday, witnesses reported that U.S. forces blew up many government buildings in the restive Iraqi town of Ramadi at dawn
Kevin Zeese: What is Camp Democracy? When and where will it be occurring? Who is involved?
David Swanson: Camp Democracy is an attempt to bring together movements for peace and justice to demand change. It's motivated by:
1) Lots of ordinary people around the country demanding to know when they could come to Washington and refuse to leave without peace and accountability;
2) The need for Bush not to be able to escape Camp Casey by leaving Crawford; and
3) The need to bring movements together that are interwoven on the policy level but not at the level of grassroots organizing
Camp Democracy will bring together movements for peace, Katrina recovery, immigrants rights, labor rights, electoral reform, women's rights, environmental sanity, accountability and impeachment. We'll open the camp in Washington, D.C., on September 5th and run at least until September 21, the International Day of Peace, when a movement called Declaration of Peace has planned massive civil disobedience. We will provide nonviolence training during Camp Democracy. We'll also provide panel discussions, workshops, dramatic performances, concerts, lobbying training, and lobbying for an end to funding of the war -- because the war must end and because we need our money for useful projects.
This will not be a march preceded by speeches. It will be a Chautauqua, a teach-in, a movement-building festival. And its’ aim will be to kick-start the sort of massive occupation of our nation's capital that ought to come spontaneously from an aware and responsible public. This is do-or-die time for the people of this country if we want to have a government of, by, or for us, if we want to have a world without endless war, if we want to have social justice or security, if we want to have a sustainable planet for our grandchildren.
questions about the regional strategy pursued by Bush and its
consequences for Israel.
In a column published by the Ha'aretz newspaper last week, former
Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami argued that, in the aftermath of the
Lebanon war, which, in his view, had "proven the limits of [Israeli]
power," a peace accord with Syria and the Palestinians had become
"essential" for Israel, particularly in light of "the worrisome
decline of the status of Israel's ally in this part of the world and
"U.S. deterrence, and respect for the superpower have been eroded
unrecognizably," he wrote. "An exclusive Pax Americana in the Middle
East is no longer possible because not only is the U.S. not an
inspiration today, it does not instill fear."
Found on Ali Abunimah newsletter
Iraqis confound Anglo-American efforts to recolonise their country,
the unbreakability, whatever the cost, of the Palestinian
resistance, and now the success of Hizbullah. If there is no
settlement there can only be war, war and more war, until one day it
is Tel Aviv which is on fire and the Israeli leaders' intransigence
brings the whole state down on their heads. Nor is it only Israel
that will pay the price for continued conflict: the enduring
injustice of Palestinian dispossession has already poisoned
western-Muslim relations and helped spill violence and hatred on to
our own streets. There is still time to choose peace. But make no
mistake, with the victory of Hizbullah, a terrible beauty is born."
Found on Ali Abunimah (Electronic Lebanon)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
In Lebanon, the pattern continues. An armed resistance a few thousand strong has humbled the fifth-most powerful army in the world, which is supplied and backed by the superpower. That much we know. What is not known is the extraordinary and decisive part played by the unarmed people of southern Lebanon. Reported as a trail of victims, the spectacle of people heading back to their homes was an epic act of defiance and resistance. On 13 August, as the Israeli army advanced in southern Lebanon, they warned people not to return to their homes. This was defied almost to a man, woman and child, who abandoned the refugee centres and headed south, jamming the roads and flashing victory signs.
An eyewitness, Simon Assaf, described "gangs of local men along the route clear[ing] paths by dragging away the piles of electrical cable, rubble and twisted metal that littered the highway. A new stream of cars would rapidly form through every breach in the rubble. There were no army or police . . . it was the locals who directed traffic, guided cars past dangerous craters and pushed buses up dirt tracks around collapsed bridges. As they neared their homes, the refugees would form great processions. Town after town, village after village was reclaimed. Powerless to confront this human wave, the Israelis abandoned their positions and began fleeing to the border. This flood of people emerged out of an unprecedented mass movement that grew up across the country as the bombs rained down."
The Lebanese resistance, armed and unarmed, is from the same wellspring as other movements throughout the world. Each has learned to put aside its sectarian differences in the face of a common enemy - rampant empire and its proxies. In Bolivia, Latin America's poorest country, the first government of indigenous people since their enslavement by Spain was elected by a landslide this year, after hundreds of thousands of unarmed campesinos and former miners faced the guns of an army sent by the oligarchic dictator, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Marching on La Paz, the capital, they forced him to flee to the United States, where he had sent his millions. This followed a mass resistance to the privatising of the water supply of Cochabamba, Bolivia's second city, and its takeover by a consortium dominated by the mighty Bechtel company. Now Bechtel, too, has been forced to flee.
Found on Information Clearinghouse
First she was admitted to a local hospital for treatment of exhaustion and dehydration and to undergo gynecological tests. Last week she underwent a hysterectomy.
Then Tuesday night police from the Waco suburb of Woodway arrested her near Crawford on traffic warrants.
She was cited for following too closely and failure to appear.
Sheehan was released after she paid a $400 fine.
As a result, dissent in America is pretty much limited to marches, protests, boycotts, petitions, Michael Moore documentaries, the occasional vote for a third party candidate, and articles like this one. All of these methods (at least in their safe-for-mass-consumption versions) are deemed "legal" by those with the guns and, in their own way, legitimize the power held by those with the guns. Thus, all such tactics are ultimately impotent in terms of provoking systemic, long-term change. If you don't believe me, ask yourself why you haven't taken your rebellion beyond the methods listed above. Your answer is likely the same as mine: "We've got the numbers, but they've got the guns."
Maybe author Derrick Jensen had it right when he said:
"We still think we have something to lose. That's what's stopping us. As soon as we realize we have nothing left to lose we'll be dangerous."After all, as Jim Morrison sang: "No one here gets out alive.
Mickey Z on Uruknet
Sunday, August 27, 2006
UFPJ's statements join the US-proxy regimes of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, in holding the popular resistance movement responsible for the savagery of Zionist colonial conquest - a textbook example of blaming the victim.
Found on Uruknet
August 26, 2006
The U.S. blocked a ceasefire in Lebanon for weeks as Israel continued its killing spree; only after the price Israel was paying became too high did they start getting cold feet and ask their U.S. allies to move in the U.N. and get a ceasefire which they hoped could achieve the goals they weren't able to achieve militarily. But, as readers of this blog know well, Israel has another war going, this one against the Palestinians. And the calls for a ceasefire on that front? Why, they're just deafening. Deafening silence, that is. Well, unless you're on the wrong end of an Israeli bomb, like two Reuters journalists were today:
An Israeli air strike hit a Reuters vehicle in Gaza City on Saturday, wounding two journalists as they covered a military incursion, doctors and residents said.As usual, the Israelis had their cover story ready:
One of the Palestinian journalists, who worked for a local media organization, was seriously wounded. A cameraman working for Reuters was knocked unconscious in the air strike, one of several in the area.
The Israeli army said the vehicle was hit because it was acting suspiciously in an area of combat and had not been identified as belonging to the media.Also as usual, the Israelis were lying through their teeth:
The missile struck the vehicle after dark. The armored car was clearly labeled as a media vehicle, with signs on all sides, including the roof.Eli Stephens on Uruknet
They say that America's increasingly right-wing courts are bent on halting the forward march of civil rights, but that's a typical liberal canard. Why, just last week, a federal judge - appointed by Ronald Reagan, no less - issued a bold ruling that offers shield and succor to a small, despised minority on the fringes of American society.
In a little-noticed decision unsealed on August 18, US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III overturned a $10 million fraud verdict against Custer Battles LLC, one of the many crony conquistadors who gorged on the vast porkfest known as "Iraqi reconstruction" during the high and palmy days of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Ellis's judgment effectively provides blanket immunity for the many politically-wired gorgers who made off with almost $9 billion in "unaccounted-for" taxpayer money during the CPA's misrule of Iraq from April 2003 to June 2004 - one of the greatest heists in world history.
Found on Uruknet
Saturday, August 26, 2006
A seventh-grade geography teacher at Carmody Middle School was suspended with pay today when he refused to take down three foreign flags on display in his classroom. Eric Hamlin said the flags of China, Mexico and the United Nations were relevant to the unit on the fundamentals of geography he teaches during the first six weeks of the semester. He's used the same display for most of the nine years he's taught in Jefferson County, Hamlin said.
The foreign flags are in addition to the standard U.S. flag found in all classrooms.TalkLeft via Cursor.org
"As I have said before in this space, the Democrats are not above out-warmongering the GOP on the question of Iran, and that means there is no natural brake on the sociopathic militarism inherent in this administration. After their failure in Iraq, and a brief exile in the wilderness, the neocons are riding high again – and that means endless troubles for us all ….
BRITAIN is considering demanding the extradition of two Israeli soldiers on charges of killing a British aid worker and a film-maker.
The government's top law officer has confirmed that Britain has not ruled out forcing Tel Aviv to hand over the soldiers in line with a 50-year-old international law.Forwarded to Local List by Cindy Corrie
came to his parent's century-old summer home on the Maine coast for a little relaxation and some family time this weekend. He did get that, along with a reminder that his policy is unpopular with some people.
Several hundred anti-war demonstrators gathered Saturday to march on the road toward Walker's Point. The stone-and-shingle compound on a craggy promontory is owned by former President Bush and his wife, Barbara, and named after his mother's family.
From Jane Cutter on Uruknet
From the invaluable Counterpunch.
Friday, August 25, 2006
link to whole article: http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/abuaardvark/2006/08/what_the_iraqi_.html
Thursday, August 24, 2006
"That’s not to say that Jack Quinn is a bad guy. He’s just doing what lots of folks do in the course of making a very comfortable living in Washington."
"In today’s cash-fueled political world, both parties claim they have no option but to function as indentured servants of corporate America. This, not surprisingly, creates a dynamic of dependency and obligation. The Republicans have excelled at this game, especially under the tutelage of Karl Rove and Tom DeLay. But the Democrats have, increasingly, belied their long-assumed commitment to the little guy and the average American by cozying up to the money trough as well."
Link to whole article: http://realnews.org/rn/content/25demconsultants.html
(Linker mechanism not working)
Bombs in Cafes: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa.
Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937.
Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa.
Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem.
Bombing of Foreign Embassies: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 in Rome (against the British).
Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah.
Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against British targets in UK.
(for documentation, consult The Arab Women's Information Committee and The Institute for Palestine Studies, Who Are the Terrorists? Aspects of Zionist and Israeli Terrorism, (Beirut: Insitute for Palestine Studies, 1972).
From Angry Arab News Service
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Nicole Kidman and 83 Hollywood heavyweights are using the power of the press to speak out against terrorism.
She has joined 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, including News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today's Los Angeles Times newspaper.
It specifically targets "terrorist organisations" such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.
"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hizbollah and Hamas," the ad reads.
"If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die.
"We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."
A who's who of Hollywood heavyweights joined Kidman and Murdoch on the ad.
The actors listed included: Michael Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Danny De Vito, Don Johnson, James Woods, Kelly Preston, Patricia Heaton and William Hurt.
Directors Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Dick Donner and Sam Raimi also signed their names.
Other Hollywood powerplayers supporting the ad included Sumner Redstone, the chairman and majority owner of Paramount Pictures, and billionaire mogul, Haim Saban.
Lost track of where I picked this up.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
"The shooting took place during the weekly Friday protest against the seperation wall in the city of Bil’in, a small village near Ramallah, which will be deeply affected by the illegal barrier that appropriates 50% of its lands and about 70% of its cultivated area."
"Conservative radio host Mike Gallagher suggested the idea during a segment Tuesday (August 15, 2006) with constitutional lawyer Michael Gross discussing racial profiling."
Via Newshounds on Whatreallyhappened.com
The No. 5 U.S. carrier, which has slashed most employees' pay and is looking to cut jobs as it prepares to exit bankruptcy, put the tips in a booklet handed out to about 50 workers and posted for a time on its employee Web site.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
"One reason for such broad Democratic support for the resolution may stem from the fact that the Arms Control Export Act forbids arms transfers to countries that use American weapons for non-defensive purposes, such as attacking civilians. Thus, in order to protect the profits of politically influential American arms merchants, the Democrats joined with Republicans in supporting language in the resolution claiming that Israel's actions were “legitimate self-defense.”
Thursday, August 10, 2006
As the world watches, Israel has besieged and ravaged our country, created a humanitarian and environmental disaster, and shattered our infrastructure and economy, putting an intolerable strain on our social and economic systems. Fuel, food and medical equipment are in short supply; homes, factories and warehouses have been destroyed; roads severed, bridges smashed and airports disabled.
Counterpunch. You may have to scroll down if this moves from top spot.
Five activists were arrested by police after boarding an aircraft belonging to the US Air National Guard in the latest incident, just before midnight on Monday.
The group from Trident Ploughshares broke through the airport's perimeter fence and boarded the plane.
The peace group described themselves as "war-crime detectives" and said they were searching for arms being sent to Israel for use in attacks against Lebanon.
That's the way to do it, hey?
The American-French draft reflects the interests of three central colonial powers in the region: the U.S., the main colonial power in Iraq and Afghanistan; its client and proxy Israel, which is occupying the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza as well as part of Syria, and occupied south Lebanon for 22 years (1978-2000); and France, the former colonial empire in Lebanon after WWI. No wonder that the draft, which pays lip-service to Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity, in fact suggests a partition of this small land.
Seems like the first thing they need to do then is change the name to "War Criminals Protection Act."
"Olmert's 15-minute meeting with Robertson came on an intense day of political activity, and could be seen as implicit recognition of the importance of the Christian right in US politics."
Iraq Mirror World
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
LOS ANGELES - A foundation created by filmmaker Steven Spielberg will donate $1 million to relief efforts in Israel as it battles with Hezbollah.
The Righteous Persons Foundation will make an initial contribution of $250,000 to the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Israel Crisis Fund. The foundation will then follow up with gifts to the New Israel Fund and other organizations that are providing relief to those evacuated from northern Israel, said Marvin Levy, foundation spokesman.
The Jewish Foundation will use its donation to support emergency efforts for evacuated children, install shatterproof glass in Haifa's three hospitals and provide emergency assistance at the Naharia hospital, he said.
The New Israel Fund will use its donation to set up crisis hot lines and provide food and other emergency supplies to families in northern Israel, Levy said.
From Angry Arab News Service
It is our hope that this campaign will not only provide a measure of justice to displaced and distressed Lebanese citizens, but will also contribute to an immediate ceasefire, and an end to the continuing destruction of Lebanon. The first Citizen's Convoy will leave for South Lebanon on Saturday, August 12.
The morgue's assistant manager, Doctor Abdul Razzaq al-Obaidi, told Reuters about 90 percent of the deaths were due to violence in the capital, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have stepped up their troops levels to combat sectarian bloodshed.
The morgue received 1,595 bodies in June.
Via Today in Iraq
From Irag Mirror World
"Following the IDF difficulties in defeating Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s ballistic warfare, the Israeli Government is now searching for contractors with some advanced experience in large scale reinforced concrete constructions. The mission ahead is the building of a solid concrete roof over the entire Jewish State (known as ‘Greater Israel’). PM Olmert is determined that the only way to defend Israel’s populated area is to cover the Jewish State with a thick layer of iron and cement."
"The Democratic Party won’t tolerate any outspoken dissent. It is a cheerleader for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. Just listen to Jerry Nadler, a New York congressman identified as among the most progressive in the Democratic congressional caucus. On a pro-Israel rally on July 18 Nadler asked the crowd, “Since when should a response to aggression and murder be proportionate?” In other words, a green light for war crimes, such as Israel has been committing every day. Despite all the schedules for withdrawal suddenly offered by candidates such as Hillary Clinton, or Maria Cantwell, it’s still a Party of War in the service of empire. Who is the leading mainstream political voice calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon? The Republican senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel. The Democrats rushed to attack him, with Joe Biden winning by a nose, from Charles Schumer and the rest of the pack."
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out from here. Big-time Democrats like Senators Lautenberg, Clinton, Obama and Feingold have signaled their intention to support the Democratic nominee from Connecticut. If the GOP pulls the same kind of trick we see in Pennsylvania - funneling cash to the third-party candidate to undercut the Democratic candidate - it will come to light, and Lieberman will be hard-pressed to defend himself.
This was historic. Opposition to the war was the main issue in this primary, and it was proven to be a winning issue. The effect upon the upcoming midterms will be dynamic. Several Democratic hopefuls will have to do some tall stepping to get around their own Lieberman-like positions on Iraq if they hope to have a shot at the Oval Office in 2008. The media will, of course, blast them for flip-flopping, thus undercutting their nascent campaigns. In short, the deck has been shuffled by Ned Lamont.
Do not think this was all about the war, however. Joseph Lieberman has been constructing this petard for some time now, out of a variety of disparate pieces. On Tuesday night, he was hoist with it. Time will tell what it will all mean for the rest of us.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 Bush, Islamic Fascism and the Christians of Jounieh
Hizbullah is a poor people's movement. It could have been moderated over time, and its adherents could have been pulled into more moderate, mainstream politics if the world had devoted itself to seeing that the Lebanese economy flourished and its government was gradually strengthened. That was the achievement of the Lebanese and regional political elite in the 1990s. If the Israelis had not aggressively occupied the Lebanese South, there would have been no Hizbullah. If the Israelis had left ten years earlier, Hizbullah would have disarmed when all the other militias did. Hizbullah could have been nurtured out of existence if Lebanon had been helped.
Now, extremism has been strengthened. Lebanon is abject, on its knees, stricken with a plague inflicted on it by Bush and Olmert. The abject, the humiliated, the impoverished do not, as Bush and Olmert fondly imagine to themselves, lie down and let the mighty walk over them. They blow up skyscrapers. [MORE CLEVERLY THAN THEIR OVERPOWERED AGGRESSORS--LJ]
The idea that the whole Eastern Mediterranean had to be polluted, that the Christian Lebanese economy had to be destroyed for the next decade or two, that 900,000 persons had to be rendered homeless, that a whole country had to be pounded into rubble because some Lebanese Shiites voted for Hizbullah in the last election, putting 12 in parliament, is obscene. Bush's glib ignorance is destroying our world. Our children will suffer for it, and perhaps our grandchildren after them.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
GHAZIYEH, Lebanon (AP) - Mourners in a funeral procession for Israeli airstrike victims scattered in panic Tuesday as warplanes again unleashed missiles that hit buildings and killed 13 people, witnesses and officials said.
The first missile struck a building about five minutes after the march by about 1,500 people had passed by, killing one person and wounding five.
The blast was close enough to send mourners screaming, "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" Some broke away from the procession, while others continued on.
They were burying some of the 15 people killed in Ghaziyeh on Monday, when Israeli airstrikes flattened three buildings in the Shiite town southeast of the port city of Sidon.
About 30 minutes after Tuesday's first airstrike, Israeli warplanes staged four more bombing runs, destroying two buildings, said Mayor Mohammed Ghaddar.
Twelve more people were killed and 18 wounded in those strikes, according to tally from three area hospitals.
from angry arab
"Mr. Samra had been sitting with friends elsewhere. He raced to the building and frantically began to dig. He found his 5-year-old daughter, Sally, torn apart. Her torso and an arm lay separate from her legs. Another daughter, Noor, 8, was moving under the rubble. His granddaughter Lynn, not yet 2, had part of her face smashed. His wife, Alia Waabi, had died immediately."
"Two other daughters, Zahra and Mirna, made it to safety, though Zahra was badly injured."
“This is my family,” he said, his face creased, sitting under the eaves of the stone houses. “Three of them are buried and three of them are in hospitals.”
After the adrenaline of the rescue and its aftermath fell away, Mr. Samra sank into blankness. He could not focus on anything. He had trouble remembering things. His vision seemed to blur.
via angry arab.
"They have known about these problems for a long time and promised for many years to fix them, and they haven't done so," said Peter van Tuyn, an environmental lawyer based in Anchorage.
Lebanese officials said there were many reports of other casualties throughout southern Lebanon but rescue workers were not able to reach the sites because of continued Israeli airstrikes. Israel also threatened to attack UN peacekeepers if they attempted to repair bomb-damaged bridges in southern Lebanon. UN officials contacted the Israeli army to inform them that a team of Chinese military engineers attached to the UN force in Lebanon intended to repair the bridge on the Beirut to Tyre road to enable the transport of humanitarian supplies.
According to the UN, Israeli officials said the engineers would become a target if they attempted to repair the bridge.
GUARDIAN, VIA ANGRY ARAB, WHICH IS A MUST READ EVERY DAY.
Monday, August 07, 2006
"As in all wars and conflicts , the real enemies , or "bad guys", are the rich, powerful leaders of nations who cause all the suffering and start all the wars, and use religion and nationalism to get all of us the hate each other, and then they watch us kill each other in the name of god and country."
[Amnesty's call, in part:]
"Urge Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora to take measures to ensure that Hizbullah immediately ends its targeting of Israeli civilians, notably its firing of Katyusha rockets and other projectiles into Israeli towns and villages, and that Hizbullah fighters do not initiate armed attacks from residential civilian areas and avoid locating military objectives within civilian areas. Call on him to ensure that Hizbullah treats the two captured Israeli soldiers humanely and allows them immediate access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)."
"Write to Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora"
The US and France have agreed on wording for a cease-fire resolution. Hezbollah would stop attacking Israel and Israel would cease “all offensive military actions.”
Except... doesn’t Israel claim that everything it’s done has been defensive?
Oh, and Israel would be allowed to keep its troops occupying Lebanon.
It calls for an end to weapons being supplied to Hezbollah by other countries, so that the only military power in Lebanon would be Israel (well, I hear that there’s a Lebanese army too, but since its entire response to the bombing, invasion and occupation of its country has been, um, nothing, I don’t think we need to count it).
Israel says it will continue operations while it studies the draft... very... slowly.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
"That didn't speak well of her advocacy for working families," Tran said.
"The Iraq war is her No. 1 issue because the conflict sucks money and attention from other domestic priorities, she said. The invasion was completely unjustifiable, she said, and Cantwell's support of it made her complicit in an international crime."
"Although she credits Cantwell with some environmental victories, such as defeating a measure that would have allowed oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, Tran said Cantwell hasn't done enough for other vulnerable areas of Alaska.""The fact that she hasn't been a complete failure doesn't make her a great environmentalist," Tran said.
"Why has this outrageously racist doctrine survived so long, rewarded by billions of dollars in US aid every year? We know the reasons. For too many Westerners, Israel's Jewish character conflates with the Holocaust legacy to make intuitive sense of Israel's claim to be under continual assault. Deep-seated Judeo-Christian bias against Islam demonizes Israel's mostly Muslim victims. European racist prejudice against Arabs (brown-skinned natives) casts their material dispossession as less humanly significant. Naïve Christian visions of the "Holy Land" naturalize Jewish governance in biblical landscapes. Idiot Christian evangelistic notions of the Rapture and the End Times posit Jewish governance as essential to the return of the Messiah and the final Millennium (even though, in that repellent narrative, Jews will roast afterwards).""All those notions and prejudices, long confounding international action, must now be set aside. The raw logic of Israel's distorted self-image and racist doctrines is expressed beyond confusion by the now-stark reality: the moonscape rubble of once-lovely Lebanese villages; a million desperate people trying to survive Israeli aerial attacks as they carry children and wheel disabled grandparents down cratered roads; the limp bodies of children pulled from the dusty basements of crushed buildings. This is the reality of Israel's national doctrine, the direct outcome of its racist worldview. It is endangering everyone, and it must stop"
"Olmert, Bush and Condi Rice, there is no difference," he read. "In the name of democracy, you are killing the children, and innocent people. And destroying all means of life and humanity. Instead of stopping the war, you put oil on the fire. You send funds and deliver bombs to kill more and more innocent people. Under your forged democracy, you know, and we know, the main reasons for this war is the New Middle East Plan."
He stopped, interrupting himself. "All this war, just for that!" he exclaimed, outraged. "They want to make the Middle East new, to be in Israel and America's hands."
You hear this a lot in Lebanon these days. When Condoleezza Rice described the death of Lebanese civilians as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East," I don't think she really thought through how that would sound in Lebanon. Or maybe she just didn't care.
The Nation via Angry Arab
AMMAN, Jordan — "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan and 14 other U.S. anti-war activists on Saturday joined Iraqi lawmakers in demanding a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.The activists, representing the largest U.S. anti-war coalition, have been in Jordan since Thursday for talks with the Iraqi parliament members. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to meet the activists during last month's talks with President Bush in Washington.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
"We dropped leaflets warning residents to leave because the army will attack Hizbollah rocket launching sites in Sidon," he said. Other army officials confirmed the warning had been given.
"A local official in Sidon, who asked not to be named, said Hizbollah's Shi'ite guerrillas were not present in the mainly Sunni Muslim city. One resident said he had seen a leaflet that warned people to leave, but that did not mention Sidon by name."
"You repeatedly claim that Israel is acting in self-defense. How preposterous! Self-defense on other people's occupied territory is tantamount to one thing: blatant aggression."
"You call Hizbullah a terrorist organization. We call it a legitimate resistance movement. There would have been no military wing of Hizbullah if there had been no Lebanese territory under Israeli occupation, if there had been no Lebanese hostages languishing in Israeli jails, and if Lebanon had not been exposed to almost daily Israeli intrusions into its airspace and territorial waters, and to sporadic incursions into Lebanese land and bombardment of civilian targets."
"You cannot eliminate a party by demolishing a whole country. This would have been achieved peacefully by Israel withdrawing from the land it occupies, releasing Lebanese prisoners, and desisting from further acts of aggression against Lebanon."
"Israel is the most horrendous terrorist power. And you, Mr. President, are unmistakably a direct partner, and hence a straight terrorist."Via Angry Arab
"Predictable as that [Irag demos supporting Hizbollah] may be, the raising of Hizbullah's flag by demonstrators in Saudi Arabia last Tuesday could prove more portentous. About 2,000 people from the kingdom's marginalised Shia minority defied a ban on public protests in the city of Qatif, according to witnesses. A Shia website carried photographs and quoted the slogan: "Not Sunnis, not Shias - it's one Islamic unity. O beloved Hizbullah, destroy Tel Aviv!"
"Mohammed Abdel Qader Jasem, a Kuwaiti lawyer and writer, argued that Israel's action in Lebanon may pave the way for a "yellow tide" (referring to Hizbullah's flag) to sweep the Gulf."
"In Bahrain, where marches have attracted up to 5,000 demonstrators, the Sunni monarchy finds itself in the tricky position of having to show solidarity with its Shia majority's indignation without compromising its status as an American ally and base for the US navy's Fifth Fleet."
Friday, August 04, 2006
"People tell me I shouldn't get hung up on this because, you know, if the Dems get in they'll make sure the seniors get their Social Security checks a little faster -- or they'll keep the Supreme Court out of the hands of legal madmen or do something about global climate change or save the whales or whatever else it is that's supposed to make the Democratic Party infinitely preferable to the Republicans."
"It's not that I discount these differences entirely -- although they're easily oversold. But compared to the fate that awaits the republic, and the world, if the United States deliberately starts a war with Iran, those other considerations start to look pretty insignificant. I mean, we're talking about World War III here, fought by people who want to use tactical nuclear weapons. I'm supposed to put that out of my mind because the Dems might be a little bit more generous about funding the VA budget??? I'm sorry, but that's fucking nuts."
"We want the same thing. I want to go home to my wife," Graves, of Killeen, Tex., said he told Hit officials when his unit, the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, arrived here in February. The goal, Graves said, is for U.S. forces to leave Hit proper and patrol only the main highway passing by the town.
Another U.S. officer put it more bluntly: "Nobody wants us here, so why are we here? That's the big question," said Maj. Brent E. Lilly. Lilly leads a Marine civil affairs team that has disbursed many thousands of dollars for damage claims and projects in Hit, but is still mortared almost daily. "If we leave, all the attacks would stop, because we'd be gone."Via Angry Arab
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Hank Johnson collected at least $34,100 on Tuesday from individuals and political action committees (PACs) that supported Majette, Davis or both, including several pro-Israel PACs. Overall, Johnson reported receiving $63,100 on Tuesday."
"The reason I bring up this historical background is that it shows that Republicans have a "realist conservative" position to fall back on now that Bush's neo-conservativism has become a fiery wreck. (And if you want to know what a realist conservative policy looks like in the Middle East, think of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper which - although smeared by the usual suspects as some kind of looney left Protocols of the Elders of Zion - reflects the basic premises of realist conservatism: 1. that Israel has a right to exist; 2. that Palestinians have a legitimate political grievance; 3. that the U.S. has interests in the Middle East far beyond Israel; and therefore 4. conflating U.S. and Israeli interests in the Middle East may be bad for Israel, but is certainly bad for the U.S. in that it destroys the prospect of normal relations with the Arab world). You can hardly say the same thing about a Democratic Party that is institutionally unable to utter a rational word about Israel. And this has the potential to really hurt the Democrats unless they can get their act together, open up debate, and come up with their own coherent foreign policy alternative to neoconservatism."
"At first blush, this appears to be a narrow definition, containing only those who in fact are implicated in some serious crime. But any limit to that definition vanishes upon closer examination of the legislation. For one of the “war crimes” listed in the statute is conspiracy. Because conspiracy has long been criticized as a vague and open-ended concept that is amenable to abuse by prosecutors, it has not traditionally been part of the law of war. The situation at hand shows why. To allow individuals to be designated “enemy combatants” based on the allegation that they have some part of a terrorist “conspiracy” is to return to the Wolfowitz definition. It is to legitimate the detention of the English teacher and the little old lady in Switzerland on the minimal—and entirely blameless—acts they committed."
"Last week's condemnation of Maliki reveals with stark clarity that the Muslim world remains terra incognita for U.S. governing elites. Nearly 60 years after President Truman recognized the state of Israel to win the domestic pro-Israel vote for the then cash-strapped and vote-needy Democrats, Schumer and Dean have stayed true to that cynical mission, a mission the Republicans have also signed on to heart and soul. More important, the failure of America's elites to see that no genuine U.S. national interests are at stake in the Arab-Israeli conflict and that our model of democracy has little or no relevance in the Islamic world except – as the Founders foresaw – as a symbol, has put Americans in harm's way at home and abroad. Indeed, their reality-free foreign policy has made America a target for the hatred of increasing numbers of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims."
Washington Post Service
WASHINGTON - A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such ''commissions'' to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not al Qaeda members or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal plan.
The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, also allows the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon's social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate. The attempt has backfired. In Lebanon itself, 87% of the population now support Hizbullah's resistance, including 80% of Christian and Druze and 89% of Sunni Muslims, while 8% believe the US supports Lebanon. But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by the "international community" since the US and its allies that commit or are complicit in these appalling crimes will not permit it.
It has now become clear that the assault on Lebanon to wipe out Hizbullah had been prepared long before. Israel's crimes had been given a green light by the US and its loyal British ally, despite the opposition to Blair in his own country.
In short, the peace that Lebanon enjoyed has come to an end, and a paralysed country is forced to remember a past it had hoped to forget. The state terror inflicted on Lebanon is being repeated in the Gaza ghetto, while the "international community" stands by and watches in silence. Meanwhile, the rest of Palestine is annexed and dismantled with the direct participation of the US and the tacit approval of its allies.
We offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it. For our part, we will use all the means at our disposal to expose the complicity of our governments in these crimes. There will be no peace in the Middle East while the occupations of Palestine and Iraq and the temporarily "paused" bombings of Lebanon continue.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
From As'ad Abukhalil at Angry Arab Newservice.
AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. "They [Congress] were given a resolution by AIPAC," said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. "They didn't prepare one."
Discussion in Congress quickly widened beyond Israel to include a broader policy of confrontation toward the entire Middle East. Congressmen sent a flurry of "dear colleague" letters to one another, hoping to pressure the Administration into tightening sanctions on Syria and Iran, Hezbollah's two main state sponsors. Former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross addressed a packed AIPAC-sponsored luncheon on the Hill, where, according to one aide present, Ross told the room: "This is all about Syria and Iran...we shouldn't be condemning Israel now." Said Representative Robert Andrews, a Democrat from New Jersey and co-chair of the Iran Working Group, which this week hosted an official from the Israeli embassy: "I concur completely with that approach."
Democrats, as they did during the Dubai ports scandal, used the crisis to score a few cheap, easy political points against the Bush Administration. The new prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, found himself engulfed in a Congressional firestorm after he denounced Israel's attacks on Lebanon as an act of "aggression." Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rahm Emanuel, who volunteered in Israel during the first Gulf War, called on Maliki to cancel his planned address before Congress. Asked Senator Chuck Schumer, who skipped Maliki's July 26 speech: "Which side is he on when it comes to the war on terror?" Howard Dean one upped his colleagues, labeling Maliki an "anti-Semite" during a speech in Palm Beach, Florida.
From Angry Arab Newservice.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time.
The Israel Defense Forces had said after the deadly air-strike that many rockets had been launched from Qana. However, it changed its version on Monday.
From Stanley Rogousky on Counterpunch:
Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin all know how the game is played and they rarely object to it. In spite of some window dressing put out by John Kerry, Russ Feingold and Jack Murtha earlier this year, the Democrats fully support the occupation of Iraq and vote with their checkbooks (and our tax dollars). When Kerry and Feingold introduced a bill that would have had all American troops taken out of Iraq by 2007, it went down in flames, 87 votes to 13. On June 23rd of this year a vote to approve a $517.7 billion war budget for fiscal year 2007 (including $50 billion designated to maintain the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan) passed unanimously.
That's right. All 13 Senate Democrats who voted for the Kerry/Feingold Bill, including Kerry and Feingold, voted to keep the supply of money flowing into the Green Zone and, consequently, to the government of Nouri al-Maliki.
Nevertheless last week the Democrats decided to throw a tantrum. Nouri al-Maliki's statement condemning the Israeli attack on Lebanon threw them into a spasm of rage. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel called on Maliki to cancel his planned address before Congress. Chuck Schumer, who didn't show up for the July 26 speech at all, wondered about Maliki's loyalty to the west. "Which side is he on when it comes to the war on terror." Harry Reid and Dick Durbin demanded that Maliki make some ritualistic statement of support for Israel and against Hizbollah. And Howard Dean turned the volume up to 11, labeling Maliki an "anti-Semite" during a speech in Palm Beach, Florida.
Later in article:
"The Democratic Party's single biggest foreign policy liability is not that Americans think Democrats are soft," he [Peter Beinert] wrote in his editorial in the Washington Post, "it is that Americans think Democrats stand for nothing, that they have no principles beyond political expedience. Given the party's behavior over the past several months, it is not hard to understand why".
We saw some of this yesterday at the Cantwell fundraiser.
Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.
An Israeli raid that hit their home in Nmeirieh had left the man homeless and alone.
"You went and left me alone ... What will I do without you?" he cried.
"I went to bring some water for my children ... 20 minutes later, Israeli warplanes raided my house, killing my wife and kids," he told The Daily Star.
Harakeh is a civil defense worker who worked on aiding dozens of civilians killed and wounded during Israel's strikes on Nabatieh.
"Are my wife and kids terrorists, do they have rockets?" he screamed in pain.
At the 21st day of the Israeli offensive on Lebanon, the health ministry has counted 828 dead, more than 3,200 wounded,' an HRC spokesman who did not wish to be identified said.
'These are identified bodies, and the toll does not count the people still believed to be under the rubble,' he said.
By greenboyJul 31 2006 - 2:22pm
Man how disappointing - it looks like Lamont doesn't have the balls to stand up to AIPAC and criticise the collective punishment of Lebanon. These lines tucked into his lack-balls apologia say it all:
"It is not for the United States to dictate to Israel how it defends itself. Nor is it my place to make tactical recommendations to the president. But I do have some strategic suggestions about what our country should do moving forward.After the fighting stops, the President needs to reengage in this part of the world and work on a peace settlement and a response to the humanitarian concerns in Gaza and elsewhere."
Jeez, did he just take dictation from his AIPAC controller? We don't need to 'dictate to Israel' what they can and can't do, but we could a) ask them to stop bombing Lebanon, and b) stop supplying them with the bombs they are using to kill Lebanese civilians and c) stop giving them billions of dollars in military aid and assistance.And why should the U.S. sit around and wait until more civilians have died before bothering to "work on a peace settlement"? Am I missing something?Also, how can the Preznit 'reengage' in the cisJordan conflict when he has never been engaged in the first place (unless of course you call rubber-stamping Sharon's Bantustan plans 'engagement)?Lamont - what a fucking disappointment. Looks like the race is turning into a contest between "Cherry Coke" and "New Coke" (I hate cherries).
Above comments from Needlenose blog linked to title above.
U2's Bono will deliver a keynote address entitled The Power of One, former US vice-president Al Gore will talk about climate change, and the Israeli vice-premier, Shimon Peres, will appear on a panel named Islam and the West.
Twenty students and users of MySpace, the internet community and latest jewel in the crown of News Corp, will discuss their attitudes and lifestyles in a live focus group called Meet the MySpace Generation.
Roger Ailes, the Fox News executive, will introduce four US military officers, who will share their experiences of serving in Iraq.
Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican and presidential hopeful, will give an address on American politics and senator Hillary Clinton will conduct a "town hall-style" discussion as the gathering wraps up Thursday.
AG Lafley, the chief executive of Procter & Gamble, one of the world's biggest advertisers, will talk about building brands.
Former US president Bill Clinton is set to close the conference on Thursday.