Monday, February 28, 2011

"'Oil - Not Democracy - is What West Wants in Libya'" -- Russia Today

"An Empire of Lies-Why Our Media Betray Us" -- Jonathan Cook


In our globalised world, the question of who is at the centre of empire is much less clear than it once was. The US government is today less the heart of empire than its enabler. What were until recently the arms of empire, especially the financial and military industries, have become a transnational imperial elite whose interests are not bound by borders and whose powers largely evade legislative and moral controls.

Israel’s leadership, we should note, as well its elite supporters around the world — including the Zionist lobbies, the arms manufacturers and Western militaries, and to a degree even the crumbling Arab tyrannies of the Middle East — are an integral element in that transnational elite.

The imperial elites’ success depends to a large extent on a shared belief among the western public both that “we” need them to secure our livelihoods and security and that at the same time we are really their masters. Some of the necessary illusions perpetuated by the transnational elites include:

  • That we elect governments whose job is to restrain the corporations;
  • That we, in particular, and the global workforce in general are the chief beneficiaries of the corporations’ wealth creation;
  • That the corporations and the ideology that underpins them, global capitalism, are the only hope for freedom;
  • That consumption is not only an expression of our freedom but also a major source of our happiness;
  • That economic growth can be maintained indefinitely and at no long-term cost to the health of the planet;
  • And that there are groups, called terrorists, who want to destroy this benevolent system of wealth creation and personal improvement.

These assumptions, however fanciful they may appear when subjected to scrutiny, are the ideological bedrock on which the narratives of our societies in the West are constructed and from which ultimately our sense of identity derives. This ideological system appears to us — and I am using “we” and “us” to refer to western publics only — to describe the natural order.

The job of sanctifying these assumptions — and ensuring they are not scrutinised — falls to our mainstream media. Western corporations own the media, and their advertising makes the industry profitable. In this sense, the media cannot fulfil the function of watchdog of power, because in fact it is power. It is the power of the globalised elite to control and limit the ideological and imaginative horizons of the media’s readers and viewers. It does so to ensure that imperial interests, which are synonymous with those of the corporations, are not threatened.

The Curveball story neatly illustrates the media’s role.

"Oil Spike to Spoil US Economy Bubble" -- RT News

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beethoven to Israeli Symphony: "Quit Using My Music to Whitewash Your Crimes"

Seattle requests audiences to reject Israeli Symphony role in the whitewashing of Israel's near to genocidal treatment of the Palestinians. Leaflet with explaining why.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"US Defends Arms Flow to Yemen" -- Press TV

US State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley has defended Washington’s military aid to Yemen despite the use of the American weaponry by Sana’a regime in brutal crushing of pro-democracy uprisings.

In response to a question by a Press TV reporter at a Thursday news briefing for the foreign press, Crowley defended continued lethal US military aid to Yemen’s autocratic government as a necessary measure to combat ‘terrorism.’

“That itself justifies the ongoing cooperation that we have,” he said.

Crowley said the US has no plans to sever its military ties to Yemen even though US military aid is being used to suppress the pro-democracy uprising there.

The majority of Yemenis are unhappy with the expanding US military ties with their despotic government, especially in view of its harsh crackdown on protesters in recent days.

This has led to an uneasy alliance between the two governments, facing an uncertain future.

In recent days, thousands of Yemeni protesters have taken to the streets across the country, calling for the ouster of President Abdullah Saleh.

The Yemeni president has described the pro-democracy protesters as “elements of a coup.”

Saleh, in power for 33 years, said that he would leave power after his term expires in 2013. He has also promised not to hand power to his son.

The Yemeni incumbent president has also pledged to raise wages of government employees and to provide 60,000 job opportunities for university graduates.

The Yemeni government crackdown on protesters, inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, has so far left at least 24 people dead.

The US also occasionally carries out drone attacks in Yemen. Despite such extraordinary measures, the country has grown increasingly unstable.


Reminder ~ come join the Anti-Fascist Marching Band to give the IPO an appropriate welcome!

Benaroya Hall, 2nd Ave between Union & University
Saturday February 26th at 7:00

This Saturday, February 26th, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is coming to perform at Benaroya Hall. Be there with us to the musical accompaniment of the Anti-Fascist Marching Band to give the IPO an appropriate welcome.
The IPO is described by the American Friends of the IPO as "Israel's finest cultural emissary." American Friends of the IPO further notes that "the goodwill created by [the IPO's] of enormous value to the State of Israel. As a result, the IPO maintains its position at the forefront of cultural diplomacy and the international music scene."
By serving as cultural ambassadors for Israel, the IPO is participating in the whitewashing of Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and the continued stealing of their lands and lives.
We cannot allow this orchestra to play without challenging the image of Israel it is attempting to portray.
Meet in front of Benaroya Hall at 2nd Ave between Union and University at 7:00. There will be fliers to hand out, signs, and a banner.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"You Are Invited to Hear: Mohammed Omer from Gaza, Recipient of the Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism"

Structural Violence in Gaza plus a report on his recent time between Egypt and Gaza

Friday, February 25 at 7 PM

Friends Meeting House, University District

4001 – 9th Avenue N.E., Seattle

Mohammed Omer is a citizen of Rafah refugee camp in Gaza.
In 2008, he received the Martha Gelhorn prize for journalism – the “Voice of the Voiceless” Returning home after receiving the award, he was severely beaten. While recovering, Mohammed pursued his studies and recently received an MA in International Political Economy and Development. Please join us to hear this inspiring man.
Sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee, Arab American Community Coalition, The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, Voices of Palestine, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility


Amin Odeh

Voices of Palestine

Wisconsin's Billionaires Make Sacrifice? -- Real News

More at The Real News

A Father Speaks for his Son" - By Ahmet Dogan

My son, Furkan, was killed in May [2010] by the Israeli military while attempting to deliver humanitarian aid by sea to the Gaza Strip. As he was just 19, he asked his mother and me for our permission to participate. Our decision will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Furkan Doğan (20 October 1991 – 31 May 2010) A Turkish American who was the youngest person killed in the Gaza flotilla raid

We could not crush his humanitarian impulse and say no to him. Parents the world over wrestle with questions of when to let their children pursue their dreams, and most reluctantly let go as their children enter early adulthood. We did the same and took parental satisfaction in his concern for others. But never did I imagine that the Israeli military would storm his ship, killing Furkan and eight others, and then blame our son and his co-passengers for their own deaths.

It is my responsibility to speak for my son and voice his concern for Palestinians in Gaza. It is my responsibility to stand up to an Israeli propaganda effort that has attempted to paint our beautiful child as a fanatic and not the caring young man we knew him to be.

Every major American TV network looped cherry-picked Israeli Defense Forces video of the events on the Mavi Marmara. Now it is my turn to travel to the United States, speak on my son's behalf and attempt to achieve a measure of justice for him.

I will forever be proud of my son. He was a humanistic and conscientious child and a fine young man. I remember Furkan as unfailingly polite, helpful and generous. He disliked violence his entire life.

Deeply concerned by the plight of Palestinians suffering under the Israeli siege, he was determined to take humanitarian aid there with his own hands and give it to the children of Gaza. Furkan was well aware that the Israeli siege had made approximately 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza dependent on aid and that educational opportunities for children were being foreclosed for lack of schools and textbooks.

He wanted to breathe the same air as these children, commiserate and make life a bit more bearable for them.

In recent years, he became alert to the injustices to which Israel subjects Palestinians -- the siege of Gaza, the two-tiered legal system that discriminates against Palestinians and the colonization of the West Bank that strips Palestinians of their land and the potential for a Palestinian state.

But Furkan's particular sensitivity was always for the children, especially those killed and injured despite their obvious innocence. The killing of more than 300 Palestinian children during the 2008-2009 Israeli assault on Gaza profoundly influenced him and motivated him to participate in the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza. He was determined to find a solution to their need -- to do something -- to not look away as too much of the world was doing.

He never got the chance. While filming the Israeli takeover of his ship, he was shot five times and died on board.

Though Furkan was an American citizen born in Troy, American officials jumped to take Israel's side, notwithstanding clear evidence that Israel selectively released footage to exonerate its soldiers for the deadly mayhem they unleashed while storming the humanitarian ship in the dead of night.

The Obama administration's failure to support my son and my family's humanitarian concern for Palestinians comes from the same misguided policy that has led to decades of support for Middle East autocrats and Israeli governments that have long oppressed Palestinians.

And the American position seems oblivious to the findings of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The mission determined that the "circumstances of the killing of at least six of the passengers were in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution." My son's name was included among the six.

Faced with such facts, what family would not push Furkan's government to take up his case? I am in Washington and New York City this week, not only to champion justice for my son, but also to remind Washington that the U.N. mission concluded that "a humanitarian crisis existed" in May 2010 in Gaza and that "for this reason alone the blockade is unlawful."

Furkan, though young, also saw the bigger picture. He sought not simply humanitarian relief for Palestinians, but also freedom from Israeli subjugation. With freedom advancing in Tunisia, Egypt, and around the Gulf, Palestinians' long efforts to free themselves from Israeli domination are also worthy of recognition and support.

Ahmet Dogan studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is an assistant professor of accounting at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Emergency Protest to support the Libyan people TODAY at Westlake @ 3pm

Downtown Seattle at 4th & Pine

3 PM

Workers Invade Olympia to Stop Lawmakers from Blaming Them For Wall Sreet's Budget Breaking


Following the peoples' example!
WA Workers in Solidarity with Workers in Wisconsin today in Olympia!

SEIU and Co. Outside Rotunda


Wisconsin Solidarity in Olympia

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"What If the Egyptian Protesters Were Democrats?" -- Steven Salaita


If the Egyptian protesters were Democrats, they would have accepted Mubarak’s proposed reforms—not because those reforms were good, but because Democrats are accustomed to settling for empty rhetoric. They would have accepted Mubarak’s handpicked successor, the infamous torturer Omar Suleiman—not because they like him, but because he would presumably be less evil than his predecessor. They would have accepted the inevitability of defeat—not because they wanted to lose, but because losing would be both pragmatic and realistic. The actual Egyptian protesters, however, would only accept freedom.

For those who might respond to this hypothetical exercise by pointing out that the United States is not Egypt, I would agree. Egypt under Mubarak was more equitable than the United States under Barack Obama. Egypt has far less income inequality than the United States, and all of Mubarak’s brutality was at least indirectly underwritten by the American government.

The people of the Middle East and North Africa have never listened to American liberals, who through the years have loved to bestow unsolicited advice on Arabs. Had the Arabs accepted this unsolicited advice, they would have become Democrats instead of revolutionaries.

The only acceptable liberal American response to the revolutions in the Arab World is the silence that enlivens a sincere attempt to listen. Clearly it is time for American liberals to stop lecturing Arabs and start following their example, instead.

Omar Batiste, Presenté

Our beloved Omar Batiste has passed away this morning Sunday 2/20/2011.
Good bye Omar; you will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew you.


This is what vigils will be like -- no Omar. We will miss you. One of the Voices of Palestine

On Wisconsin! Inspiring Video.

Wisconsin "Budget Repair Bill" Protest Pt 2 from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.

"PHOTOS: Rally and ‘carve-in’ for John T. Williams" -- Seattle PI

"Teri Hanlon, bottom center, raises her drum with others during a rally and "carve-in" against the decision not to charge former officer Ian Birk for the shooting death of John T. Williams by former Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk. The gathering took place after a rowdy night of protest where a police car window was smashed and pepper spray was used on protesters. (Photos by Joshua Trujillo,"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In Case You've Never Seen a Beaver Up Close & Personal

Seattle Parks Dept. Tweeted This & I got it off the Seattle Stranger Slog Blog

Seattle Libyans Support The People

"U.S. Justice v. the World" -- Glenn Greenwald


There are legalistic questions involved in cases such as the one brought by Padilla -- i.e., whether courts should allow monetary damages to be sought against government officials for Constitutional violations in the absence of a Congressional statute (a "Bivens" claim) and whether such officials should enjoy "qualified immunity" for their illegal acts where the illegality is unclear (as Rumsfeld absurdly alleged the torture of Padilla was) -- but one key fact is not complex. Not a single War on Terror detainee has been accorded any redress in American courts for the severe abuses to which they were subjected (including innocent people being detained for years, rendered and even tortured), and worse, no detainee has been allowed by courts even to have their claims heard. After the U.S. Government implemented a worldwide regime of torture, lawless detention, and other abuses, the doors of the American justice system have been slammed shut in the face of any and all victims seeking to have their rights vindicated or even their claims heard. If an American citizen can't even sue political officials who lawlessly imprison and torture him in his own country -- if political leaders are vested with immunity from a claim of this type -- what rational person can argue that the rule of law or the Constitution binds our government officials?

In one sense, this is hardly surprising. As I've written about before -- and as my forthcoming (September) book documents -- we now have a multi-tiered justice system in the United States where citizens have their legal rights, obligations and punishments determined exclusively by their status and class. Thus, someone like Jose Padilla, in the lowest class of literal non-person (accused Terrorist), has virtually no chance regardless of the merits of his claims against someone like Donald Rumsfeld, who resides in the highest and most privileged class (high-level political official). As Padilla's counsel, Ben Wizner, said, the court yesterday ruled "that Donald Rumsfeld is above the law and Jose Padilla is beneath it." That's just what the American justice system is.

But compare the posture of the American justice system to those in other countries with regard to how victims of illegal War on Terror policies have been treated. Maher Arar -- a Canadian citizen who was abducted by the U.S. in 2002 at JFK Airport and sent to Syria to be tortured for ten months despite being innocent -- had his case dismissed by American courts before it was even heard on the ground (raised by both the Bush and Obama DOJ) that vital state secrets would be jeopardized by allowing him his day in court; by stark contrast, the Canadian government published a comprehensive public report detailing its own culpable role (and that of the U.S.) in his wrongful abduction, while the Canadian Prime Minister publicly apologized to Arar and announced that he would be paid $8.9 million in compensation for Canada's role in what happened to him.

Binyam Mohamed -- the British resident who was rendered to Morocco and then brutally tortured at Guantanamo -- suffered the same treatment in American courts as Arar thanks to the Obama DOJ's insistence that what was done to him was a "state secret": his case was dismissed at the initial stage; by contrast, British courts repeatedly ruled in favor of his right to be heard in court, and in November, 2010, it was announced that the British government would pay him, along with 15 other Guantanamo detainees, several million dollars in damages. In January, 2011, an Egyptian-born Australian citizen, Mamdouh Habib, reached a monetary settlement with the Australian government after winning the right to sue Australian officials in that nation's court system for their collusion in his torture at Guantanamo and other locations. Similarly, numerous countries in both Eastern and Western Europe and elsewhere have probed and publicly accounted for their governments' role in colluding with the U.S. in abusing human rights over the last decade.

The U.S. Government stands virtually alone in steadfastly blocking all such investigations even though it was the U.S. in the lead in creating this torture and detention system. Indeed, the American political class barely bothers any longer with even the pretense of legal accountability. Each political party shields the other from any accountability in a ritual of lawlessness, while the courts concoct ever-new doctrines for shielding our political class from any legal scrutiny

Think Again, U.S.A. & Your Secretary NYTimes!

Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said the United States expected that the protesters knew that Washington supported their aspirations and opposed the use of violence against them.

They still think Arabs [and the rest of us] are idiots!

"Women of the Revolution"

when i was in a socialist group, it espoused the idea that people change in a revolution, which is how we get to a new society. i think this article goes along way to prove that idea. we'll have to wait to see how the work of these women resonates with the wider society. linda

When 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz wrote on Facebook that she was going to Cairo's Tahrir Square and urged all those who wanted to save the country to join her, the founding member of the April 6 Youth Movement was hoping to seize the moment as Tunisians showed that it was possible for a popular uprising to defeat a dictator.

Mahfouz later explained on Egyptian television that she and three others from the movement went to the square and began shouting: "Egyptians, four people set themselves on fire out of humiliation and poverty. Egyptians, four people set fire to themselves because they were afraid of the security agencies, not of the fire. Four people set fire to themselves in order to tell you to awaken. We are setting ourselves on fire so that you will take action. Four people set themselves on fire in order to say to the regime: Wake up. We are fed up."

In a video she subsequently posted online , which quickly went viral, she declared: "As long as you say there is no hope, then there will be no hope, but if you go down and take a stance, then there will be hope."

"Veteran Egypt Activist Sees Revolution as Ongoing"

good article on "overnight success" of egyptian labor activist/blogger/journalist Hossam El-Hamalawy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hillary Hits Heights of Hypocrisy
"It is the ultimate definition of lip service that Secretary of State Clinton would be trumpeting the U.S. government's supposed concerns for free speech rights and this man would be simultaneously brutalized and arrested for engaging in a peaceful act of dissent at her speech," stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the PCJF.

Okay, I admit it. Ray's performance was more spectacular than when I did the same thing (no Vets for Peace shirt however) with my husband and another guy at UW commencement when Madeleine Albright was given an honorary doctorate there, after her frank assessment that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was "worth it" for the U.S. to enforce its sanctions on Sadam Hussein. People didn't try to citizens arrest us or anything. I'm sure we had signs but cell phones didn't have cameras then. I'm sure she couldn't see us as we were in the bleachers. Made us feel better though, and the leafletting beforehand also. Linda

Getting more and more adept, Hillary revels in her quick and fork-ed tongue (Iran shooting demonstrators bad; Bahrain, okey-doke with her & the 5th Fleet, who parks there)

John T. Williams' Murdered by Seattle Policeman Ian Birk -- State Backs Cop

Does this mean we are living in a police state?

"Cop killer" is a label that allows limitless punishment for anyone accused of this crime and even retribution against their family and friends.

Yet, when the roles are reversed and it is the cop that kills (even a physically or mentally unarmed person), it is almost impossible to get the state to hold the perpetrator accountable.

So a guy (typically) with a gun who gets hurt upholding laws that in the main are set up to preserve the wealth of the elite is worthy of more compassion than an innocent civilian like John T. Williams who is torn from his family and friends by an act that is judged by the prosecutor and "progressive" legislator Adam Kline to be fine with them.

This kind of thinking has to stop. The only thing we should do with men (predominantly) authorized by the state to kill us is organize to get rid of the state that is protecting them. We need to remind the public of the heinous acts and pronouncements of Satterburg, Kline, McGinn and Diaz.

There can be no peace for John T. Williams or his family (or the families of the numerous others killed by state violence) until we have done the work to change this.


P.S. Watch out Iraq/Afghanistan. Ian Birk will probably try to be a gunslinger for Obama now that he lost his job in Seattle.

Commenters in SEATTLE TIMES agree:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ian Birk Will Not Be Charged for the Murder of John T. Williams! Rally Tomorrow A.M.

Emergency Rally - 9am Seattle Courthouse [Feb. 16] via ISO

In a phenomenal slap in the face the prosecutor has decided NOT to charge officer Birk in the murder of woodcarver John T. Williams
Seattle activists are organizing to win justice for police shooting victim John T. Williams (Chris Mobley | SW)

Emergency Rally
9am, Wednesday 2/16
Courthouse 401 5th Ave\

for updates on the mobilization

For more on the Williams shooting and ensuing Police inquest

Egypt Revolution - Wave Your Flag [Can't Get Enough of This. Can You?]

"Bahrain Rising" -- Pulse Media
On the tiny island state of Bahrain an intelligent, highly politicised Shia majority is ruled by an actively sectarian Sunni ‘king’ and his mercenary police force. To ensure minimum fraternisation, and to shrink the Shia majority, Sunni Arabs from such countries as Syria, Jordan and Yemen are awarded citizenship after loyal service in the police.

Bahrain was known to Sumerians as Dilmun, a possible location for the Garden of Eden. Today it’s known to Americans as the home of the Fifth Fleet, one of the more essential bases for guarding the Gulf. It’s linked by causeway to Saudi Arabia, which provides it with security and thousands of drunk young men on Thursday nights. It is likely that Saudi Arabia would intervene if Bahrain went the way of Egypt.

Unlike other Gulf countries, Bahrain has always been notable for its angry mass demonstrations against assaults on Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Not surprising, then, that February 14th’s Day of Anger attracted a wide section of Bahraini society, including Sunnis. There’s nothing sectarian about the protestors’ democratic demands – one of their chants is Not Sunni Not Shii Just Bahraini – but we can expect sectarian mobilisation by the regime and Saudi-owned media if protests continue, as they doubtless will. The Bahraini people will be described as an unwitting front for Shii-Persian assault. For this reason, the Iranian leadership would do well to remain silent as events unfurl (Iran’s comments on the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, after all, have been inaccurate and propagandistic.)

Police killed a protestor yesterday. At his funeral this morning they killed another man. And there are reports of a child also shot dead.

There’s information on state repression at the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Photos of the Day of Anger here. Media coverage is not great (Jazeera’s home base Qatar is swimming distance from Bahrain – we’ll see if this means anything), so follow on the facebook page, and in Arabic.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Sanasino- My Name Is Not Irak

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Turkey Gaza Flotilla Probe: Five Shot Dead at Close Range"


A Turkish government inquiry into Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American says Israeli soldiers shot five victims at close range.

Turkey released details of its formal inquiry into the May 31 incident Friday, hours after submitting the report to a United Nations panel investigating the incident. Eight Turkish citizens and a Turkish-American were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara.

Israel has insisted its soldiers acted in self-defense after being attacked by activists on board. An Israeli inquiry into the raid last month cleared the military and government of any wrongdoing and said that the armed defense of Israel’s maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal strip was justified under international law.

The Turkish inquiry report – a summary of which was released to journalists Friday – concluded that Israeli soldiers used excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate force on unarmed civilians. It said the raid was a blatant violation of international laws.

“The force used was not justified, it was excessive,” committee member Mithat Rende, a Foreign Ministry official, told reporters.

The report said Israeli soldiers fired live bullets from helicopters, killing two of the activists, even before they had rappelled on board. Five of the victims were killed from close range, it added.

Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old Turkish-American, was lying wounded after being shot in the leg when he was kicked by two soldiers, who then shot him from close range execution-style, according to the summary.

Another activist, Cevdet Kiliclar, was killed with laser-guided weapons while taking photographs, the report said.

Gentle Reminder of What the Revolution Means

Support Solidarity Activists Under FBI Attack & Protect Your Community, Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Friends Center

FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Can it happen in Seattle?

Learn how to protect yourself and your community!

With speakers Hatem Abudayyeh & Damon Shadid

WED February 16, 7-9 p.m.

University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle 98105

FREE Admission - Donations accepted

On Sept. 24, the FBI raided the homes of anti-war and international solidarity activists in Minneapolis & Chicago, then subpoenaed 14 people to appear before a Grand Jury investigating “material support of terrorism.” During the raids the FBI took computers, cell phones, documents and personal family items. In total, 14 activists were subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury. Since then 9 other activists have been subpoenaed, 6 of them Palestinian activists. This type of repression is a tool to silence dissent and to repress our movements for social justice. The 23 activists have refused to testify in this Grand Jury investigation.

Hear from Chicago activist Hatem Abudayyeh, whose home was raided Sept 24th, and who faces this Grand Jury investigation. Hatem is Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network, a community based organization that helps empower Arab Americans and Arab immigrants. The son of Palestinian immigrants who themselves were leaders in Chicago’s Arab community, Hatem was born in Chicago.

Seattle attorney Damon Shadid will help us get the facts on Grand Juries, and know our legal rights with the FBI: Can such raids happen here in Seattle? What steps should I take to protect myself and my community? Damon Shadid is the owner of The Shadid Law Firm. He is active in the community doing race and social justice work with the Middle Eastern Legal Association and the Mayor's Race and Social Justice Roundtable.

Sponsored by Seattle United Against FBI Repression

For more info: 206.898.3349

U.S. Treasury Shoveling Money to Developers from Program Meant to Help Poor

What this article calls "gaming the system" sounds like fraud to me!


Goldman [Sachs] arranged $28 million in New Markets financing for the theater. U.S. Bancorp put $8.4 million into construction and loaned an additional $11 million. That allowed it to win $10.9 million in tax credits, city records show.

Goldman will collect a fee of $1.4 million for tracking finances for the government, according to Goldman spokesman Stephen Cohen.

The 599-seat Gerding Theater opened in 2006.

The League of Women Voters in Portland assails the use of federal tax subsidies.

"It's ludicrous," says Shelley Lorenzen, a former League of Women Voters board member who has studied Portland urban renewal. "The area has become kind of the hottest real-estate market in town, with the best restaurants, art galleries and very high-end condos."

Kellogg, the former Treasury official who helped structure the subsidy plan, says New Markets needs changes. It should divert money from projects such as high-end hotels and exhibit halls, he says. New Markets should target small-business development in regions that truly need a lift, Kellogg says. After all, he says, that was the point from the start.

"Rendition For Mubarak: Hand Him Over To The Iraqi Resistance" -- Ikhras
Now that Hosni Mubarak has been ousted by the Egyptians what should happen to the former dictator? His three decades of corruption, brutality, and repression are well known, but it doesn’t appear he is likely to stand trial for his crimes against the Egyptian people. The Egyptian revolutionaries were merciful towards their former tyrant, and are happy to just see him leave. But even if the Egyptians are content with him relinquishing power and getting out of their lives, there are others in the Arab world who might also want to put him on trial.

Mubarak’s list of crimes extends beyond the borders of the country he ruled. He collaborated with the Zionist entity against the Arab world for his entire tenure. His intelligence services were enlisted as sub-contractors for the CIA in a rendition to torture program for young men from various Arab countries. In the last few years his collaboration with the rulers of the Zionist state to impose a siege on the Palestinians of Gaza amounts to complicity in crimes against humanity. And he has spent the last year of his rule building, with the help of the American military, an underground steel wall to snuff out whatever life was left in Gaza. He also found time to help stir sectarian strife in Lebanon.

And then there is Iraq. Mubarak played a key role in the 1991 war on Iraq. After Iraqi troops entered the Kuwaiti province altering the regional balance of power and igniting a “crisis” for the Western imperialist powers there was an opportunity to resolve the situation and bring the incident to a quick resolution. It was Mubarak, acting on instructions from the American administration that scuttled all diplomatic efforts to prevent the internationalization of an inter-Arab issue, and then sent his army to join the Western military coalition that invaded the Arabian Peninsula and systematically destroyed Iraq. His thugs and business partners were rewarded handsomely for their political prostitution. The US and the American oil-colonies in the gulf erased about $20 Billion worth of debt.

Mubarak’s role in the US war on Iraq was part of his slavish subservience to all US diktats, and one of the reasons that saw Egypt’s formerly prominent role in the region diminish to that of a vassal state. The Egyptian people never understood why their country would be allied with the US against Iraq, just as they couldn’t understand why Egypt should be allied with Israel against the Palestinians. We know that in the 1991 war the Egyptian soldiers who were forced to participate were cheering on the Iraqi forces as they launched missiles on occupied Palestine 48. This disconnect between popular opinion and official policy increased the alienation of the regime from its own people, and was a contributing factor to the decades of built up resentment which culminated in the popular revolution. During the uprising it was evident that the Camp David regime’s regional role was one of the factors that contributed to the Egyptian people’s alienation from the regime.

It’s only natural that the toppling of the Egyptian dictator be celebrated across the Arab world. The celebratory Arab mood from Morocco to Bahrain is not only an affirmation of Arab Nationalism, but also a reaction of an entire nation that has been impacted by the tyranny and treason of Mubarak. Nowhere has this impact been more devastating than in Iraq. The Iraqi people have yet to wake from an over 20-year nightmare for which the Mubarak regime bears some responsibility along with the other Arab traitors and tyrants that will inevitably, sooner or later, meet the same fate as that of Mubarak.

Since the Egyptian revolutionaries are content with letting Mubarak leave the country, and Iraq remains occupied and administered by a US installed puppet regime, let’s start a new rendition-to-resistance program that leads to Mubarak being handed over to the Iraqi resistance fighters so they can exercise their own right to put him on trial for his crimes against the Iraqi people.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Guide to Reading the Egyptian Uprising in its first week -- Angry Arab Newservice
1) Nothing you see now will stay.
2) Struggle between different forces and powers will take months and years to be resolved (it took Nasser until 1954 to control the scene in Cairo after the Revolution.
3) The names you hear now may not be heard from again, and there will be new names that you have not heard of before.
4) Some figures from the "ancien regime" will rear their faces and even prosper in the new regime.
5) Egypt has changed no matter what will happen. Fear is gone and control of state is loosened.
6) There will be violence: it is unlikely with 300 dead and 2000 injured that there won't be revenge and assassinations.
7) Expect Mubrak-leaks: new documents will be leaked that will be embarrassing and damning (a document has been released by an Egyptian newspaper showing a horrible diplomatic order by the lousy Mubarak's foreign minister, Ahmad Abu Al-Ghayt.
8) Enemies of the US/Israel in the country and in the region will have an advantage inside the country--politically and intelligence wise
9) There will be new political parties and groups and old ones will wither away
10) Mubarak can't stay in the country. He said that he wants to die on Egyptian soil. He very well may--but not a natural death.
11) The media will change: the courageous journalists (a small number) of the previous era will be the new media star (`Abdul-Halim Qandil and Hamdi Qandil (no relation) and Ibrahim `Isa).
12) The Muslim Brotherhood will be courted by Iran, Turkey, and...US (not to mention Saudi Arabia which will only court them to appease the US although Saudi Arabia may be tempted to subvert the democratic system by supporting the Brothers to spite the US. Saudi anger at US is intense.
13) The role of the middle classes will recede on the streets, and that of peasants and workers will rise.
14) The vulgar singer, Sha`ban `Abdul-Rahim who sang for Husni Mubarak will come out with songs against him.

Egypt Remembers -- Online Memorial to Those Who Died for a Free Egypt

"The Revolution Continues After Mubarak's Fall" -- Ali Abunimah
via Aletho News

On many minds -- especially Israeli and American ones -- has been the question of whether a new democratic Egyptian government will tear up the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. That of course, is up to the Egyptian people, although the transitional military government confirmed in its fourth statement Egypt's adherence to "all international and regional treaties."

But the treaty is not really the issue. Even if democratic Egypt maintains the treaty, the treaty never required Egypt to join Israeli and American conspiracies against other Arabs. It never required Egypt to become the keystone in an American-led alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia against an allegedly expansionist Iran. It never required Egypt to adopt and disseminate the vile "Sunni vs. Shia" sectarian rhetoric that was deliberately used to try to shore up this narrative of confrontation. It never required Egypt to participate in Israel's cruel siege of Gaza or collaborate closely with its intelligence services against Palestinians. It never required Egypt to become a world center of torture for the United States in its so-called "War on Terror." The treaty did not require Egypt to shoot dead migrants crossing Sinai from other parts of Africa just to spare Israelis from seeing black people in Tel Aviv. No treaty required or requires Egypt to carry on with these and so many more shameful policies that earned Hosni Mubarak and his regime the hatred of millions of Arabs and others far beyond Egypt's borders.

There is no doubt that the United States will not give up its hegemony in Egypt easily, and will do all it can to frustrate any Egyptian move toward an independent regional policy, using as leverage its deep ties and enormous aid to the Egyptian military that now rules the country. The regional ambitions of the United States remain the main external threat to the success of Egypt's revolution.

Whatever break or continuity there is with Egypt's past policies, the calculations have changed for remaining members of the so-called "alliance of moderates," particularly Saudi Arabia -- which allegedly offered to prop Mubarak up financially if the US withdrew its aid -- Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

'Egypt Fed Up with Foreign Bullying - People Won't Accept New Stooge'

Israel Extends Administrative Detention of Ayed Dudein for Twelfth Time

NABLUS — Israeli intelligence has extended the period of detention of the longest running Palestinian administrative detainee Ayed Dudein for the twelfth consecutive time since his arrest, the Ahrar center for prisoners studies said.

The Israeli Supreme Court denied appeals submitted by Dudein’s lawyer requesting his release, claiming a ”secret file” was prepared against him and his release was a security concern for Israel, Ahrar center director Fouad Al-Khafsh said.

He has so far not received a fair trial.

In administrative detention since October 2009, Dudein, a father of six who works as assistant director of the Al-Khalil emergency department, has been in and out of Israeli prisons over the past 13 years. He has refused bargains by the Israeli Supreme Court that would have him exiled.

Dudein’s wife Umm Hamza contacted the Ahrar center complaining of years of instability since her husband’s arrest and frequent raids on their home.

Dudein is a prominent figure among Palestinian detainees and is respected by the country’s factions. One of his brothers serving a life sentence has been detained since 1992. His mother passed away two months back, but his detention kept him from bidding her farewell.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ميدان التحرير لحظة تنحي مبارك Tahrir Square moment Mubarak step down

How Mubarak Snuck out of Cairo -- Angry Arab

Egypt's Joy as Mubarak Quits -- Tariq Ali


Arab history, despite appearances, is not static. Soon after the Israeli victory of 1967 that marked the defeat of secular Arab nationalism, one of the great Arab poets, Nizar Qabbani wrote:

Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don't read about us,
Don't ape us,
Don't accept us,
Don't accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.

How happy he would have been to seen his prophecy being fulfilled.

The new wave of mass opposition has happened at a time where there are no radical nationalist parties in the Arab world, and this has dictated the tactics: huge assemblies in symbolic spaces posing an immediate challenge to authority – as if to say, we are showing our strength, we don't want to test it because we neither organised for that nor are we prepared, but if you mow us down remember the world is watching.

This dependence on global public opinion is moving, but is also a sign of weakness. Had Obama and the Pentagon ordered the Egyptian army to clear the square – however high the cost – the generals would have obeyed orders, but it would have been an extremely risky operation for them, if not for Obama. It could have split the high command from ordinary soldiers and junior officers, many of whose relatives and families are demonstrating and many of whom know and feel that the masses are on the right side. That would have meant a revolutionary upheaval of a sort that neither Washington nor the Muslim Brotherhood – the party of cold calculation – desired.

The show of popular strength was enough to get rid of the current dictator. He'd only go if the US decided to take him away. After much wobbling, they did. They had no other serious option left. The victory, however, belongs to the Egyptian people whose unending courage and sacrifices made all this possible.


The man Hillary Clinton had referred to as a loyal friend, indeed "family", was dumped. The US decided to cut its losses and authorised the military intervention.


The age of political reason is returning to the Arab world. The people are fed up of being colonised and bullied. Meanwhile, the political temperature is rising in Jordan, Algeria and Yemen.

Angry Arab Newservice: "Reflections on the (Possible) Revolution in Egypt"

This is big: very big. I was talking to a friend earlier: this is possibly the biggest strategic shift in the Middle East since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The beauty of it for dreamers (and its alarm for enemies like Israel) is that it is unpredictable. The biggest victory is that `Umar Sulaman is out of the picture now. Israel/US/Saudi Arabia were hoping that he would be the extension of Mubarak until some other clone of Mubarak is found. That was not meant to be. Don't get me wrong: US and Saudi Arabia will now rush with bags of gold and cash to influence all members of the military command council. The beauty of that is that there is no one person: it is a collective leadership (even if this rules for a transitional period) and the momentum of the Egyptian people will restrict their powers, notwithstanding wishes to the contrary by US/Israel/Saudi Arabia. One person in the council will emerge; we don't know who: and there will be leaks and back stabbing and plots and conspiracies. There will be chaos in Egypt: which is good. People will come from nowhere: don't memorize the news names of this developing news story: you will hear of new names soon. This is a big strategic development: if Tunisia affected Egypt: Egypt is destined to affect the entire region (unless you believe that the announcement of cash bonuses from the Bahraini King this morning was a pure act of charity. Israel is in deep trouble, as is the US; Egypt was an intelligence and sabotage center. The entire country and its dyamics are now unleashed on the word. There will be new ideas and new current and trends. Certainly, the freer the Arabs are, the more trouble for the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia. Read the statement of the Saudi foreign minister: he just yesterday remembered the justice of the Palestinian cause. There is panic in Arab ruling circles. I spoke to a dear Jordanian friend this morning: he was calling to congratulate me. I told him: I now think that I will finally see your farm in Jordan. Those who stood by the Egyptian uprising (the Arab people and Hizbullah--Hamas was too afraid to speak a word--and Aljazeera and Arab nationalists everywhere) will be in the good grace of the Egyptian uprising. And those who were opposed: the Wahhabi Arab liberals, Israel, House of Saud and its propaganda outlets will be in trouble. Let me put it this way: Saudi princes will not feel comfortable in returning to the brothels of Cairo anytime soon. The shock for Israel and US is double: not only is Mubarak gone, but so is Sulayman. The ouster of Sulayman ran against their scheme. I believe that Mubarak arranged for that (although the people insisted on it) to get back at the US. Leaving them to scramble. The good thing is that Minister of Defense Tantawi has the leadership skills of Joe (six pack) Biden. Stay tuned.

They (and We) WIN!!!!!! Thank you, Egypt & Tunisia & People Struggling Against Oppression Everywhere!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ppl Sitting in Front of Army Tanks to Prevent Them from Moving Further In


Local [Seattle] Leaders and Groups ask President Obama and U.S. Attorney General to end Grand Jury Investigation of Peace and Solidarity Activists
to view signatures, go to link above
February 7, 2011

Dear President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder:

We write out of grave concern regarding the recent FBI raids on the homes of peace activists, labor organizers and socialists around the country. The raids began on September 24, 2010 in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. Twenty-three activists have now been issued subpoenas to appear before a Grand Jury or face possible imprisonment. The FBI confiscated computers, cell phones, children's artwork, documents, personal papers and photographs, including one of Martin Luther King shaking hands with Malcolm X. These violations of citizen privacy have been justified by FBI claims that it is investigating “material links to terrorism.”

The 16 women and 7 men targeted by the FBI are well-known in their communities as organizers for peace and justice. They have no links whatsoever to terrorism. Yet the FBI has ordered them to provide information regarding their political work, address books and contacts in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in Palestine and Colombia. This constitutes a sweeping witch hunt for information about protected citizen activity, one that calls to mind the McCarthyism of the 1950’s and the COINTELPRO operations of the 1960’s and 70’s. Forcing these activists to provide such information could seriously jeopardize the lives of human rights advocates who are facing repressive governments in other countries.

Before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, his organization, the African National Congress, was on the U.S. terrorist list because of its organized resistance to the fundamental racism of apartheid rule. Would the FBI raid someone who wrote a letter of support to an imprisoned Nelson Mandela? The Constitution protects every U.S. citizen's right to freedom of speech, association and assembly. It is these protected rights that the recent FBI raids and Justice Department subpoenas clearly violate, threatening democracy itself in these United States.

The Inspector General of the Department of Justice recently criticized the FBI for its inappropriate surveillance of peace and justice organizations. But the FBI is apparently ignoring this report and continuing to abuse its authority. The Inspector General also revealed that hundreds of FBI agents had cheated on their domestic surveillance exams. Apparently, serious corrections are badly needed.

Here in the Northwest, we have not forgotten the false FBI terrorism charges after 9/11 against the owners of a Somali grocery store and wire service in South Seattle. In 2009, Olympia activists planning nonviolent civil disobedience against the war in Iraq were infiltrated by an Army intelligence agent, who passed information to the FBI, police, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Recent media reports indicate that the FBI is acquiring an ever larger database of people who they claim need to be watched, apparently including peace activists, labor organizers and socialists.

We are also disturbed by the FBI’s renewed targeting of the Muslim community with its so-called “sting operations.” Most recently the FBI attempted to infiltrate an agent provocateur into the Muslim community in Irvine, California, and it entrapped two young Muslim American men, including an Oregon teenager, into phony terrorist plots. These FBI entrapment tactics are creating anti-Muslim hysteria in those communities, which should not be the policy of our government.

We are greatly concerned about these threats to our democracy, our First Amendment rights, and the civil liberties of all people who reside in the United States. Please use your authority to stop these assaults on freedom of speech and association, to halt FBI entrapment tactics and Grand Jury witch hunts, to keep nonviolent activists from being sent to prison, and to assure that all property seized by the FBI is returned to the rightful owners.

Thank you for your prompt attention to these most serious matters. We await your proactive response.

cc: Representative Jim McDermott,
Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Amazing: Egyptian Uprising

Protests in Libya -- from Angry Arab Newservice
Comrade Farag sent me this: "Also for some background information on why the 17th of Feb. copied from a news group that i belong to: 3. The Feb. 17th date comemmorates the following, so make sure you talk
about it in your tweets. - In 1987 a group of shabab were executed--their bodies dragged through the
streets of Benghazi and left outside for days--for killing Ahmed Mufda' Werfelli. Werfelli was one of Gaddafi's executionners. He was known to smile and laugh when he put nooses around the people's neck he executed. He was also known for going through the markets, bullying people and gnerally being a jerk. A group of young men followed him and killed him. They were executed for their role. - In 2006 the government called people into the streets, in front of the Italian embassy, to protest the Italian ambassador wearing a t-shirt with the infamous cartoon of the prophet. When people went to the embassy they began to riot...quickly the security forces turned against the people--beating them, etc. The chants then transformed into chants against the regime and gaddafi himself. 18 people were confirmed dead...more were probably killed, they were all young people with one being 15 years old. And 700 were imprisoned, many of which are still in jail. The protests spread through the region--reaching Tobruk. We are commemorating these brutal attacks on the people. 4. Gaddafi yesterday gathered a bunch of people, activists, bloggers, tell them, among other things, that if anybody joins these protests that their tribes will be punished. In hopes that the tribes will keep people quiet. He also said that all of these things were CIA and Mossad conspiracies to tear down Libya. He said that Mubarak wasn't a rich man...he borrowed his clothes from people. He said a lot of delusional things, but mostly he wanted to scare people and to get the tribes to restrain people. 5. One of the Revolutionary committees (Gaddafi's vanguard) called people to the streets to protest on if Gaddafi was going to join them and demand his rights too. Today they organized a protest in Tripoli in front of the Main building of the People's committee in Tripoli. They were blaming AlBaghdadi, the secretary of the committee, for everything in you can see where this is all going. Gaddafi's committees hijaking people'es legitimate claims. Tweet about it, talk about it. Please if you know any tidbit of info post it to dufungy immediately."

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Abu Ghraib Egyptian Style! Police State at Work. Watch & Weep!

via The Very Angry Arab Comment Blog

Come out on Feb. 16 to Support Palestine Solidarity Activist(s) Being Persecuted by FBI & Learn What You Can Do in Self-Defense

FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Can it happen in Seattle?

Learn how to protect yourself and your community!

With speakers Hatem Abudayyeh & Damon Shadid

WED February 16, 7-9 p.m.

University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle 98105

FREE Admission - Donations accepted

On Sept. 24, the FBI raided the homes of anti-war and international solidarity activists in Minneapolis & Chicago, then subpoenaed 14 people to appear before a Grand Jury investigating “material support of terrorism.” During the raids the FBI took computers, cell phones, documents and personal family items. In total, 14 activists were subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury. Since then 9 other activists have been subpoenaed, 6 of them Palestinian activists. This type of repression is a tool to silence dissent and to repress our movements for social justice. The 23 activists have refused to testify in this Grand Jury investigation.

Hear from Chicago activist Hatem Abudayyeh, whose home was raided Sept 24th, and who faces this Grand Jury investigation. Hatem is Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network, a community based organization that helps empower Arab Americans and Arab immigrants. The son of Palestinian immigrants who themselves were leaders in Chicago’s Arab community, Hatem was born in Chicago.

Seattle attorney Damon Shadid will help us get the facts on Grand Juries, and know our legal rights with the FBI: Can such raids happen here in Seattle? What steps should I take to protect myself and my community? Damon Shadid is the owner of The Shadid Law Firm. He is active in the community doing race and social justice work with the Middle Eastern Legal Association and the Mayor's Race and Social Justice Roundtable.

Sponsored by Seattle United Against FBI Repression

For more info: 206.898.3349