Saturday 20 December 2008

Flashback: Just a Mile-Stone in the Land of the Empty Promises

Just a Milestone ,
on a very long road........

By; Raja Ibrahim Chemayel

Where to bury a sorrow
where to bury my anger
where to bury my frustrations ,
my aggression.....

Where to bury the Truth
Where did I bury my Youth

Where to bury our rights
Where did they bury the light

Where to bury a Nationality
Where to bury my Identity
my Sensitivity, my Rationality

Where to bury
Abou Ammar...??

in Damascus near Salah El Deen
or in Cairo near Anwar el Saddat
in Beirut near Ghassan Kanafany
in Algeria near Prince Abdel Kader
in Hanoi near Ho Chih Minh's tomb
in the USA near Martin-Luther King


in Oslo near,
his own Peace-Illusion

or near

Illusion of any Peace .

Abou Ammar dies ,
there should be no funerals !!
because nothing would have changed
nothing would have died
because it will be just another day ,
in a long march,
in a long struggle ,
on the way to Freedom
to Liberation

Palestine cannot die !!
Palestinians do not die !!

Palestine was always here
even before David , Jesus ,
Ben Gorion and Yasser

A Just-Cause
the immortality...

The Death of any leader
is not an end......
it is merely,
just a
Milestone !!

Moses was not buried
Jerusalem neither ,
he was buried on a Hill-top
south of Amman,
"the Land of the empty Promises"

If ever anyone would dare
to bury the Palestinian-Cause ,
in Jerusalem ,itself , or elsewhere

it will rise again
three days later !!
without any Leader
and regardless who would be the next Leader.

The Just Cause is the Leader...
a Just Cause needs no Leader .

To kill Palestine ,
you have to kill all Arabs
and later, to kill the Truth.....itself.


What makes the
Palestinian's Democracy
so special .

Palestine is the only Arab country which has direct elections for the President.

Lebanese elect a corrupt-parliament which elects a clean President.

Egyptians have had only one candidate who has never lost, since more than a quarter of a Century.

Tunisians are inspired by the Egyptian-tradition-of a Democracy

Syrian-president inherits from his father.....

Yemen has a President but he shall not leave unless in a coffin,

which is very usual, in our Arab-political-environment.

Iraqi has had one , but George did not like him,he caught him with

a lot of "Weapons of Mass Distraction"

Sudanese must also have some valid excuse , which I do not know.

Comes now ,

the rest of Arab-States and Regimes.....

those have no problem at all !!............

Why ?? did you ask me ??

simply because, they never hold any elections ,

thus no falsified-elections neither ,
nor any counting and recounting of the ballots
like in Zimbabwe or Ukraine or the USA........

moreover those Arab-Monarchs

are the friends of the USA

which is one more reason,

not to have elections, at all !!

Conclusion :

56 Years of occupation , deprivation ,deportation,eviction
division and enwallment*......

have finally produced
relatively speaking ,
the Best Democracy
in the Middle East

of course after Israel's own Democracy,

which is the only Democracy,of course .

Bearing in mind that ,
the president of this Best Democracy
was previously "approved" by
the PM of that Only democracy.....

Sherlck Hommos , PhD

Palestinophile** Hallucinating for Democracies

on the twelfth day in 2005

just 18 days before Gawwad Allawi's election.......or funerals !!

NB :

*"enwallement" is a brand-new English word , born only 20 minutes ago in this is a cousin to the French word "enmurer" and uncle of the German "eingemauert"..............big deal Sherlock !!

**"palestinophile" is a state of mind which one gets as soon as one knows all the Truth about Israel. The sooner the better !!

Iraq: Zaidi shoes destroyed after Bush attack

Iraq: Zaidi shoes destroyed after Bush attack

Written by press TV

Friday, 19 December 2008

Muntadhar al-Zeidi used to work for al-Baghdadiya TV station

Security agents, looking for explosives, have destroyed the shoes which Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi hurled at outgoing US President.

"The shoes were examined by the Iraqi and American security services and then destroyed," the investigating judge, Dhiya al-Kenani, told AFP on Thursday. The judge meanwhile stated that lack of the valuable piece of evidence in the case - Zaidi's shoes - would not place obstacles in the way of investigation proceedings. "I would have preferred to have had the shoes as evidence for the case but since Muntadhar al-Zaidi has confessed to his action and that the television pictures confirm it, the investigation can continue," he said.

Zaidi has been in custody since he threw shoes and shouted insults at Bush during Sunday's news conference
Under Iraqi law, the journalist could face between five and 15 years behind bars if found guilty of 'aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit.' Zaidi grabbed the world spotlight after he threw both of his shoes at Bush while the US president and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were holding a news conference Sunday after Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad. Relatives and colleagues have said Muntadhar did the act because he 'detested' Bush and America.

"It's Kristallnacht Two!" An Ethnic Cleansing in America


Call any Jewish friend across the few days and the degrees of separation from someone financially devastated by Bernie Madoff are often only one or two. One rich Jewish friend in New York volunteers that because of some intricate family dispute his own money hadn’t been parked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. On the other hand his uncle had woken up the morning after Madoff’s arrest to discover that the $40 million he’d entrusted to Bernie was gone forever, along with the multi-million pension fund of his workforce, which he’d also entrusted to Madoff.

It’s not just ruined heiresses in the Palm Beach Country Club now faced with the prospect of dividing the contents of the Whiskas can into two equal portions for mistress and cat, it’s academics on Ivy League campuses, doctors in Santa Monica, rich people from Boston to San Francisco to the West Side of Los Angeles finding their retirement nest eggs or charitable trusts wiped out overnight.

In terms of financial and psychological impact, Bernard Maddow’s $50 billion heist certainly ranks as a major ethnic cleansing here in America, a hugely traumatic event for American Jewry. Of course Madoff had clients of every creed and nation, but he made a specialty of trolling for Jewish money. I asked a Jewish woman I know here in California if any in her circle had taken a hit. She looked at me tremulously, shaking her head, on the edge of tears. Though no one was in immediate earshot, she whispered, “They kept telling me to put my money with Madoff. At that time the entry level was $250,000. I dodged the bullet. Some of my friends didn’t. They’ve lost everything. This is Kristallnacht Two.” Her fear and horror would scarcely have been diminished if she’d heard what a perfectly nice young person had remarked to me earlier, apropos the Madoff affair: “Now the rich people will know what it’s like.”

"‘It’s an atomic bomb in the world of Jewish philanthropy,’ Mark Charendoff, president of the Jewish Funders Network, told Anthony Weiss and Gabrielle Birkner of The Forward newspaper. ‘There’s going to be fallout from this for years to come.’ The collapse of the investment firm of Bernard Madoff has opened a black hole at the center of the tight knit circles of wealthy Jews who socialize and do business together, and who, year after year, support Jewish causes… ”

Among those apparently taking serious and even financially fatal hits: Yeshiva University in New York; Senator Frank Lautenberg, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, real estate and media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman (“significantly hurt”), GMAC Financial Services chairman J. Ezra Merkin (who ran a hedge fund, Ascot Partners, which reinvested many charities’ funds with Madoff), the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, Jeff Katzenberg, the Boston-based Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation (which has closed its doors), Eliot Spitzer’s family, the Chais Family Foundation, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Foundation, Hadassah (the Women’s Zionist Organization of America), the United Jewish Endowment Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington , the Los Angeles’ Jewish Community Foundation’s $238 million Common Investment Pool, the American Jewish Congress, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

It’s a savage body blow to the commercial real estate market in New York. Christine Haughney in Friday’s New York Times quotes Robert J. Ivanhoe, a lawyer who is representing 10 developers and investors who lost $5 million to $50 million each, as saying “The level of devastation, both financial and on a human level, is astounding,” Haughney cites a Manhattan psychotherapist who counsels real estate leaders and bankers as saying “most of the patients he has seen this week have close friends and relatives who lost money with Mr. Madoff. The victims include executives at the global commercial brokerage CB Richard Ellis, most prominently Stephen Siegel, a major Bronx landlord who is chairman of worldwide operations at the brokerage.”

A huge problem is that many developers were using their investments with Madoff as collateral on projects and now banks are saying, “Show us the money.” Residential real estate will take a hit too as people back out of purchases because they’ve lost their money , or abandon coops because they can longer afford the annual fees and mortgage payments.

Pam Martens, CounterPuncher and former Wall St stockbroker, points out to me that “Yes, in the early years Madoff and his brother, Peter, worked the Jewish country clubs and got referrals from referrals. But as he ran into trouble with redemptions and needed ever larger pools of new money, he turned to funds of funds (hedge funds that raise money and then dole it out to various hedge fund money managers). That meant that Madoff really didn't know who the ultimate individual investors were. That also means that a lot of these people don't yet know they're victims because they were never told by their fund of funds that their money went to Madoff. (He would not let his name be given out by the fund of funds; obviously so the SEC couldn't figure out how much money he was really taking in.) So expect to hear a lot more big names being announced as victims over the next few weeks.”

"People are horrified. They are frightened of being exposed. They don't know how to go on," said a Boston-area psychologist, cited in an interesting story by Svea Herbst of Reuters: “Many duped investors have been left with a sense of betrayal so strong that it will cause severe psychological scars, said Dr. James Grubman, a psychologist who counsels wealthy families in the Boston area struggling with the emotional issues of having money. "He gave his investors a lot of intangibles. He allowed people to feel they were part of an exclusive club, part of the 'in crowd' and ultimately deemed worthy of investing with him."

How did Madoff, despite widespread suspicions across many years, continue to allure so many investors, smart fellows like Steven Spielberg well equipped with expert number crunchers? The most gullible dupes of all are those who preen themselves as being privileged accomplices in a profitable conspiracy, at scant risk to themselves. Part of Madoff’s genius as a swindler was that he turned many away. As my father, Claud, used to joke to me, “Alexander, people talk about ‘falling into the clutches of money lenders. I had to force my way in.” Madoff would turn down applicants unless they could put up millions, and that of course vastly increased the zeal of the suckers to be on a good thing, to join the exclusive club.

Of course many of them thought Madoff’s famous model was dubious. After all, how could the laws of financial gravity be defied, year after year, producing an unending yield (for the fortunate) of 10 to 12 per cent annual returns on capital invested. But the thought came with a knowing wink, that Bernie was scoring these huge returns, by being in the know, running on the inside track, using insider knowledge. As my father pointed out to me many times, many people have a bit of larceny in their bloodstream, and it’s what con men trade on, as Gogol imperishably described in Dead Souls.

CounterPuncher Pam Martens, who will be writing about the affair here in a few days, was on to Madoff back in 1991, as Susan Antilla described in a column on Bloomberg. Martens was “taking over management of a customer’s municipal-bond portfolio, but was alarmed when she heard how the man had invested the rest of his nest egg.

"He told me that the bulk of his money was with Bernie Madoff, and that Madoff guarantees a 13 percent a year return. I said, “First of all, that’s impossible, and second of all, that’s illegal.’” Martens got copies of the man’s brokerage statements and phoned Madoff. “I said, ‘I’m looking at Mr. X’s statements, and it’s clear you’re not doing anything here that generated 13 percent a year,’ He said, ‘No one has ever dared question what I’m doing.’”

In the years that followed, there were those who did question. Some of them pressed their suspicions upon bodies like the SEC, stating emphatically their view that Madoff was running a Ponzi game. Madoff sailed through the charges for a variety of reasons. First, he posed as a regulator and due diligence watchdog himself. The SEC thought he was one of their own. Then again, he had heavy duty social and financial connections and heavy duty political protection. Here’s where there should be a lot more investigation. Madoff poured money into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign war chest ($100,000 between 2005 and 2008)and made large contributions to important Democrats on the Finance Committees, like Rep Henry Waxman and Senator Charles Schumer. Waxman and Schumer have hastily announced they’re donating this money to charity. (Who knows? Maybe the donations have gone to the next Ponzi racket down the food chain so it’ll come back to them again as protection money.)

The carnage will go on for years. As Dean Rotbart points out in The Jewish Journal:

“A phalanx of plaintiffs attorneys are trolling this very moment for clients who are certain to mount a legal assault on charities, universities and other non-profits in a bid to force them to disgorge past donations whose origins can be linked back to the Madoff scheme.

“At the very least, large numbers of individuals and institutions who today consider themselves to be victims of the Madoff scandal should brace for forthcoming legal actions that will allege their remaining wealth is not theirs at all – rather, it is the recoverable property of other claimants who were bilked by Madoff.

To keep their libraries, laboratories, scholarship programs, hospital services, meal programs and the like, universities and other non-profits who continue to operate in the wake of the Madoff scandal will also almost certainly have to retain law firms to combat efforts to strip those non-profits of past Madoff-related donations – whether directly from Madoff or indirectly from Madoff investors.”

Maybe not. Since a ot of Madoff-derived money went to Israel, I think perhaps we will soon see Congress rush through legislation to limit the liability of Madoff recipient non-profits, with President Obama , whose campagn contributions surely included Madoff money too, only to happy to sign on the dotted line.

On the larger canvas, what exactly separates Madoff’s operation from those of the banks rewarded for their shady follies by a $700 billion bailout? Just like Madoff, the banks finally had to admit that all their public financial statements were false, that the supposed assets were worthless.

The operating assumption of the Ponzi scheme is that the tide will always rise, that old investors can be repaid by the infusions ponied up by the fresh recruits. For the past twenty years the entire American economy has become—to quote Bernie’s succinct résumé of his business to his sons —“a giant Ponzi scheme,”.

Uncle Sam is the biggest Ponzi operator of all, with the added magical power denied Madoff (unless forgery was among his talents) of being able to print money at will. CounterPunch tip of the week. Wheelbarrow stocks. Buy ‘em while the price is right. Soon Americans will be needing wheelbarrows to put the money in to go shopping. A vast new wheelbarrow industry could be part of Obama’s recovery plan. Collapsible wheelbarrows for the soccer moms to get in the back of the Volvo. Electric-powered wheelbarrows. Hybrid wheelbarrows from GM. Gold-plated wheelbarrows from the Defense sector.

This was no one-man operation, run after hours by Madoff with a secret ledger. No one person can single-handedly run a $50 billion business, even one with cooked books. This was a family business. Every decade has its signature swindles capturing the zeitgeist, and we remember them fondly – from Clifford Irving’s homage to Howard Hughes, the Hitler Diaries, Keating. Madoff is in the pantheon now. Though the legal obstacles will be formidable, I hope Spielberg, one of those stung by Madoff, gets around to making a movie about him. The Jewish Journal has even comes up with a title for him, Swindler’s List.

It’s Not Over till it’s Over
As snow here in a good deal of America falls on the just and unjust alike, and here at CounterPunch we use blowtorches to open the ice-frozen post box, let me rally CounterPunchers to one last thought for our future. We’ve had a strong year. Month after month our site has attracted millions of unique visitors. Our newsletters have been well received and have won new subscribers. CounterPunch Books enjoy a steady sale. It’s an encouraging picture and all of us here at CounterPunch thank you for your donations and subscriptions, but the edgy fact remains that in financial terms we’re never more than an inch or two from the edge of the cliff. We need every penny we can get, and so as we head to year’s end, and if you haven’t been wiped out by Bernie Madoff and feel that you have something to send our way, remember that all donations are tax deductible.

Donate now if you can!

Our latest newsletter has three very strong pieces – starting with Bill and Kathy Christison’s powerful description of the fearful sufferings inflicted on Gaza by Israel and the United States. Barbara Rose Johnston takes us to the Guatemalan gravesites of one more human catastrophe instigated by the terror network known as the World Bank. I review the grim Bush record on freedom and constitutional protections

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Alexander Cockburn can be reached at

Fighting Within - Gilad Atzmon Interviews Sid Shniad (IJV Canada)

By Gilad Atzmon • Dec 19th, 2008 at 20:50 • Category: Analysis, Biography, Gilad Atzmon, Gilad's Choice, Interviews, Israel, Newswire, Our Authors, Palestine, Quotes, Religion, Resistance, War, Zionism

Recently I have been corresponding with Sid Shniad (1), a founding member of Canadian Independent Jewish Voice (Canadian IJV) (2). Those who are familiar with my writing are well aware of the fact that I am highly critical of any form of Jewish political activism, for I consider it to be a racially orientated discourse.

Yet, as much as I am interested in elaboration on the issue, a true dialogue with Jewish political activists is pretty much impossible. Jewish political ethnic campaigners and political activists have much to lose. They are fully aware of the categorical contradiction between the aim for universal values and tribal activism. They have much incoherence and inconsistency to hide.

Sid, however, was different, though we do not agree on many things, we have managed to keep an open and fruitful dialogue. He was very helpful and addressed each issue in a very positive manner.

Gilad: Hello Sid, I will start with a very brief question. Assuming that you are a secular human being, what makes you into a Jew? And what does it mean to operate politically as a Jew?

Sid: I come from a long line of irreligious Jews. My great-grandfather was a rabbi in Poland, but since that time there has been very little religion in my family. My father was not bar mitzvahed, but he strongly identified as a Jew.

Part of his identity stemmed from his experience of anti-Semitism. As a young man, he was an excellent student at the City College of New York. He desperately wanted to be a doctor, but was kept from medical school by the existence of stringent quotas on the number of Jews who were admitted.

In addition to that, however, he (and my mother, who was also from an irreligious family) became Communists during the Great Depression. They saw this as a logical step to take in response to what they saw as a fundamentally unjust society. I always felt that they became Communists for the right reason — to work for universal social justice — and that they quit being Communists for the right reason, when they learned Khruschev's denunciations of Stalin's crimes.

For me, being raised during the McCarthy era in the United States, being Jewish and being active in the pursuit of social justice were one and the same thing.

Gilad: I am still in the dark regarding your Jewish political identity. I am now more familiar with your family background, with your father being persecuted for being a Jew and with your parents’ decision to become Communists. This is a very familiar story which I can easily empathise with, however, I would expect that the transformation into Communism and ‘universal social justice’, should have led your parents to drop their tribal affiliation. Am I on a wrong track here? I’ll rephrase the initial question:

what makes you into a Jew? And what does it mean for you to operate politically as a Jew?

Sid: There were many Jewish Communists who continued to see themselves as Jews, Gilad. I gather from your question that you see this as an inconsistency.

Gilad: You are actually correct. I may as well remind you that Lenin elaborated on the issue when he criticized the Bund in 1903. The inconsistency is obvious, as the gap between the tribal and the universal is unbridgeable.

Sid: You are not alone in this view. Both Jews and non-Jews tend to see religiosity as central to Jewishness.

Gilad: Not at all, I am fully aware of Jewishness being a coherent identity yet it is a racially orientated one. Hence, I do not grasp the pretence of claim for ‘Jewish progressive activism’ and ‘humanism’. The question to follow is how do you bridge the gap between the Tribal, secular, racially-orientated identity (i.e. Jewishness) and the universal (e.g. Communism and Humanism)?

Sid: As a young man I read Isaac Deutscher's book, The Non-Jewish Jew, in which he argued that there is a longstanding tradition of Jewish heretics who belong to a particular Jewish tradition. In their ranks Deutscher included Spinoza, Heine, Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Trotsky, and Freud. All of them clearly went beyond the limits of conventional religiosity. (My father was a big fan of Deutscher.)

Gilad: This is obviously correct, you can add to the list Otto Weininger, Simon Weil and Christ and yet, the fact that some Jews were great Humanists doesn’t resolve the issue. As you probably know, Spinoza, Marx, Rosa Luxemburg and Trotsky did not operate politically as Jews. They were Humanists who happen to be of Jewish descent. Yet you are different, you operate politically as a Jew. In other words, you leave me no other option but to ask you the same question again:

What makes you, Sid, into a Jew? And what does it mean for you, Sid, to operate politically as a Jew?

Sid: You point out that Jewish Humanists have not tended to operate politically as Jews but you are curious about my experience, because you say that I do operate politically as a Jew.

Gilad: Let’s us try and be accurate. I made a note that the Humanists that you mentioned did not operate politically as Jews. However, I am interested in your case because you operate politically as a Jew. I want to learn how you bridge the gap between the chosen and the ordinary.

Sid: For most of my adult life, I have been active in non-Jewish Palestinian solidarity organisations, antiwar work, and left politics and resisted becoming involved in organisations that were identified as Jewish. But I have come to the conclusion that Jews with good politics on the issue of Israel and Palestine have a uniquely important role to play in combating the influence of the reactionary Zionist organisations that tend to dominate the Jewish community and providing telling criticism of the Israeli government.

Gilad: Now I am very happy because for the first time you really start to address my question. You also admit that, “Zionist organizations dominate the Jewish community”.

Sid: This realisation has led me to become active in creating Independent Jewish Voices in Canada in the last two years, where we have found that the organized presence of Jews who militantly oppose Zionist organisations and the Israeli government provides breathing space and a degree of comfort for both Jews and non-Jews who are uncomfortable with what Israel and its allies are doing, but who have been reluctant to come out of the closet on these issues.

Gilad: I fully respect your answer and I appreciate the honesty. Moreover, I understand the need of Jews to stand up and say, ‘we are different’, ‘we do not accept the Zionist Hegemony within the Jewish world’.

However, I must share with you some of my concerns and would I like to learn from you how you address these issues.

Chaim Weizmann said once: ‘there are no American Jews or French Jews but rather Jews who live in America and Jews who live in France’. In other words, the early Zionist leader suggested that Jewishness is a primary political quality. Wouldn’t you agree that acting politically as a Jew affirms Weizmann’s suggestion? How can you counter Weizmann’s argument while being a member of a primarily Jewish political group?

Sid: I would not interpret Weizmann's statement to mean that Jewishness is a primarily political quality. Rather, I interpret this to mean that Jewishness is not akin to nationality.

Gilad: You may be right to say it when referring to the pre 20th century Jewish reality, however, Zionism was very successful in transforming Jewishness into a national identity, and as you already admitted, a very successful one. As painful and devastating as it may be, Zionism is the dominant voice within the contemporary Jewish discourse.

Sid: Frankly, I am surprised that Weizmann made this statement, since mainstream Zionism took it upon itself to create a Jewish nation-state. But I don't feel the need to rebut it.

Gilad: I respect your decision not to rebut it. However, I wonder why it takes you by surprise. In fact, to a certain extent, once operating politically as a Jew within the Canadian IJV, you yourself act as a Jew who lives in Canada rather than a Canadian who happens to be a Jew. I hope you can see it. Anyway, let’s move on.

More than once I came across people who told me, ‘Gilad you can say it because you are a Jew’. My reaction has been rather radical. I dropped any form of Jewish entitlement. Consequently, I categorically refuse to operate as a Jew. I insist that everyone should be able to say what he or she feels regardless of his or her ethnic origin. One should be able to criticise the Holocaust industry or the official Zionist Holocaust narrative despite one’s mother not being a ‘holocaust survivor’. Similarly, one must be entitled to criticise Jewish power despite one not being physically or mentally circumcised. I am obviously concerned with the fact that Jewish progressive political activism actually suppresses the discourse. It elevates the chosen and silences the ordinary. I would like to learn from you what you think about it.

Sid: I heartily agree with you. That is the reason that for my entire life, until the last couple of years, my social-political activism has taken place outside of organisations that are identified as Jewish.

Gilad: I am very happy to hear it coming from you, as you may know my bitterest enemies here in the UK are actually two to four self-proclaimed ‘progressive Jews’. As far as I am aware, they must be cross with me because I have managed to pull the rug from under their feet exposing the severe incoherence in any Jewish progressive political activism.

Sid: Yet, we better acknowledge the unfortunate fact that powerful Zionist forces have capitalised on their Jewishness and used it as a club to neutralise and punish both Jews and non-Jews who are offside the Zionist project or who criticise Israeli crimes.

Gilad: We do agree here as well, and yet the question is how to confront the Zionist beast. And the place to start is, maybe, to ask where exactly Zionism ends and Jewishness starts. I believe that since Zionism and Jewishness are both dynamic notions, Zionism and Jewishness create a versatile amalgam that shifts rapidly and moulds into very many things. For that matter, I believe that there is no real demarcation between Zionism and Jewishness. However, this is my take, but what is yours?

Sid: I have come to the conclusion that there is an important role — not an exclusivist one — for Jews to play in combating Zionist organisations and criticising the behavior of Israel. At the same time, however, I continue to be active in non-Jewish organizations dedicated to Palestinian solidarity and antiwar work.

Gilad: It is very interesting and genuine the way you express it and I understand pretty well where you come from. In fact I wish you luck.

In the past I published some harsh criticism of the ‘not in my name’ political argument. I argued that those who shout ‘not in my name’ actually throw the blame on everyone else. Considering Jewish Independent Voice being a miniature body, you actually affirm the strength of Zionism by a approving its total dominance within the Jewish community. I wonder how would you counter this argument?

Sid: First, I don't understand how saying "not in my name" blames everyone else. The logic of that escapes me.

Gilad: It is actually pretty simple, once you stand up and shout “Not in my name” you imply that everyone else who failed to join your choir his implicated with guilt. For instance, the two million Brits who marched in London shouting ‘not in my name’ a week before violence broke out in Iraq, affirmed that the 60 million who stayed at home approved Blair’s criminal policy. They actually foolishly admitted that a crime was about to be committed in the name of the vast majority of the British people. This is actually a very foolish tactic because in fact the majority of British people didn’t support the war. Following a similar logic, once Moishe, Chaim, Yatzek and another dozen Jews shout ‘not in my name’ as Jews, they basically affirm the devastating fact that Zionist crimes are committed in the name of the totality of the Jewish people who fail to shout.

Sid, you may note here that I do not blame the Jewish people as people for two main reasons:

a. I do not know all Jewish people;
b. I know enough Jews who do not care at all about Israel and Zionism.

Yet, I am exposing some fundamental fault in the ‘not in my name’ call. The Jazz legend Charlie Haden has managed to come up with a very clever solution. He decided to call his anti war jazz project ‘Not in OUR name’. This obviously made a lot of sense within the discourse of the British and American anti war movement. The Majority of Brits and Americans indeed oppose the neocon wars. However, it makes no sense within the context of Jewish political activism because the fact that 55-500 Jews around the world shout not in ‘our’ names while other millions participate actively in the Zionist murderous scheme makes the progressive Jewish project looks pathetic. It affirms the Zionist call.

Sid: Somehow, I don't think that ‘affirm’ is the right term here. Instead, I would say that the strength of Zionism within the Jewish community (and beyond) cannot be denied.

Gilad: I am very happy to hear that you admit it, because as it seems the so-called Jewish progressive ethnic campaigners and activists on this side of the pool refuse to admit it yet.

Sid: So an organisation that is predominantly Jewish (we have non-Jewish allies involved in IJV) has a distinct role to play in the struggle against Zionism.

Gilad: Again, I can see where you come from, yet I hope that you can see also that the ‘not in my name’ is not necessarily the right tactic. All those lists of several hundreds of Jewish names look a bit sad in comparison to the many millions of Jews who are affiliated with Zionist activism in one way or another.

In short, the fact that two hundred Jews protest against the institutional Zionist crime is not going to vindicate the Jewish tribal collective.

Sid: Can you elaborate?

Gilad: Golda Meir said in the 1970s that mixed marriage is the greatest threat to Jewish existence. She was actually expressing a genuine fear of true assimilation. I would follow her line of thought and argue that the biggest threat to Zionist institutional crime is a true political assimilation of Jewish Humanists.

Rather than having Jews operating as a fifth column and gatekeepers within the solidarity movement, what we really need are Jewish Humanists like yourself and others to join the struggle for Humanism as equals amongst equals.

Sid, I hope that you wouldn’t mind me asking just one more question before we conclude this interview.

Is there such a thing as Jewish secular values or Jewish secular ethics? Zionism insisted upon portraying an image of a Jewish secular value system. It failed, but is there any other Jewish secular alternative?

Sid: My entire acquaintance with Jewishness has been secular. Some religious and Zionist Jews insist, therefore, that I'm not Jewish.

I find this view to be both ridiculous and a testimony to the degree to which secular political and social engagement, which was dominant in Jewish society in the modern world as recently as forty years ago, has been supplanted as a defining characteristic of the community by a revival of religiosity and the ascent of tribalism.

I would like to think that my activism — in Jewish as well as non-Jewish organisations — is the embodiment of a great Jewish tradition that is worthy of emulation.

Gilad: Sid, sorry to raise the question again, what is this ‘Jewish tradition’? As far as I can see the greatest humanists of Jewish origin actually stood against the so-called ‘Jewish tradition’ whether it was Christ, Marx or Spinoza. So please enlighten me briefly, what exactly is the ‘Jewish secular value system’? Can I read about it in any textbook? I ask you because I really tried to look into it, I indeed found many Humanists who happened to be Jews but none of them were referring to their universal ethics as the outcome of any ‘Jewish tradition’ or at least not a secular one. (3)

Sid: As I mentioned before, Isaac Deutscher wrote a book about this, called The Non-Jewish Jew, in which he described people like Spinoza and Marx and situated them in a tradition of Jewish opposition to the dominant mindsets of the Jewish community. In addition, I think that it's essential to appreciate the disproportionate numbers of Jews who were involved in labour, civil rights, Socialist and Communist movements from the late 19th century through the late 1960s.

Gilad: Again we come back to the same point: some Jews had been great Humanists. But surely you can see that both Marx and Spinoza fought the Jewish tradition rather than continued it. They were aiming at universalism rather than tribalism.

Sid: Given my personal background, I always saw this involvement as the essence of Jewishness. It has been a rude awakening for me to see what has happened over the past 40 years, a period when Jewish paranoia, self-centredness and tribalism has come to dominate the Jewish community, thanks largely to the influence of Israel and Zionism.

Gilad: You know Sid, I have a slight problem with your last comment. If Humanist ‘involvement’ is indeed the ‘essence of Jewishness’, how come Zionism rather than Humanism is the dominant voice within the contemporary Jewish discourse? Unlike you, I do not think that Jewishness has anything to do with humanism. In fact I regard Jewishness, or at least its modern embodiment. i.e. Zionism, as categorically and institutionally inhuman. Like you though, I agree that some Jews are Humanists and even great Humanists. My interpretation of this wonderful phenomenon is very simple. Their greatness is the outcome of their protest and reaction against their own tribal upbringing.

Sid: This is exactly where Jewish activism comes into practice. I would like to see the Jewish community shake off this influence and re-join the ranks of those who side with the oppressed everywhere. Hopefully the efforts of organizations like IJV will contribute to that happening.

Gilad: Sid, I wish you luck again, Inshallah you’ll get there soon. Thanks for your time and effort. It was an enlightening experience talking to you. Since it was me who launched this interview, I would like to welcome you to say the final word.

Sid: I think I've said it!

(1) Sid Shniad (Pronounced “Shnide”)

Sid is an American expatriate who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is active in the labour, antiwar and social solidarity movements, including, the Vancouver-based antiwar coalition, the Canada-Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet), and a new national organisation, Independent Jewish Voices (Canada).

He was raised in Los Angeles during the McCarthy era. During the late 1960s, Sid attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he studied politics and political philosophy. To stay out of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, he taught school in the inner city of Los Angeles for five years.

Sid has lived and worked in Vancouver since 1974, where he has been employed as the Research Director at the Vancouver-based Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) since 1980.

Sid’s activist inspiration comes from members of his family, who were trade unionists, socialists and communists active in the labour, civil rights and social justice movements.

(2) Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) represents Canadian Jews from diverse backgrounds, occupations and affiliations who have in common a commitment to social justice and universal human rights. IJV promotes the expression of alternative Jewish voices, particularly in respect of the grave situation in the Middle East, which threatens the future of Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the stability of the whole region.

We believe that human rights are universal and indivisible and should be upheld without exception, including Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Canadian IJV sustains that there is no justification for any form of racism, be it anti-Semitism, anti-Arab racism or Islamophobia, under any circumstance.

The IJV insists also that the battle against anti-Semitism is vitally important and that it is threatened by the reflexive practice of branding opposition to Israeli government policies as anti-Semitic. We are attempting to reclaim the Jewish tradition support for universal freedoms, human rights and social justice.

(3) Emmanuel Levinas who tried to preach Jewish ethics to the world insisting that the birth of ethics was in Jerusalem was actually referring to the Talmud rather than any Jewish secular school.

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Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, composer, producer and writer.
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Friday 19 December 2008

Gaza is not lost ....


Mahmoud Abbas wants to annex Gaza
but without Hamas.

Ehud Olmert wants to raze Gaza ,to uproot Hamas
and to replant it with Israeli settlers .

Husny Mubarak wants to dump and forget Gaza
otherwise the USA shall make him loose the next election.

The Arab Gulf States want to send yet another donation-cheque
just to keep Gaza on the Mediterranean Sea side .

Mummer Qaddafi wants to remind us of Gaza
so we forget who are his newest-friends.

The Western-Peace- Activist did not forget Gaza
because the Arabs have lost their balls .

Eng. Moustafa Roosenbloomsarcasmologue and cartographer
Posted by Raja at 6:03 PM

Thursday 18 December 2008

Jewish Newspaper Advocates Mass Murder of Innocent Muslim Civilians

Mark Glenn – The Ugly Truth Dec 17, 2008

While the ADL and Other Jewish Groups Remain Silent

Like the infamous three monkeys of the “See no evil/Hear no evil/Speak no evil” caricature, mainstream Jewish groups are pretending not to notice a recent piece appearing in an Orthodox newspaper calling for the slaughter of innocent civilians in Muslim countries.

Entitled “The Appropriate Response to Islamic Terror”, Lawrence Kulak writing in the 5 Towns Jewish Times opines that the “final solution” to the “Muslim Problem” the West faces today is simple–‘Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.’ In particular, he and the newspaper carrying the piece are calling for the deliberate killing of innocent women and children as a form of collective punishment (a war crime by international law) to those who would dare attack the apple of God’s eye–Israel–or any of those fighting her wars for her. As of the moment of this writing, the lone organization sounding the alarm over the piece is CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations while at the same time all major Jewish organizations (yes, the same ones lecturing everyone else on a daily basis on issues of hate, bigotry, extremism and terror) are doing nothing to protest or distance themselves from the piece, the writer or publication.

As far as the wording of the piece itself, it is a case study in typical Zionist hatred of Gentiles and the justification of any and all violence against them and more so against those in the Muslim world resisting Jewish fanaticism and extremism. By his own words and arguments the writer Kulak betrays the fact that he operates under a barbaric code of morality that has no place in a civilized world and which has been the sole cause of Jews being ‘persecuted’ and expelled from every place they have dwelt throughout history. Those political leaders who don’t see things his way with regards to bombing the hell out of innocent women and children are ‘incompetent’ and he uses quotation marks around the word “horror” when speaking of entire families being blown to bits with laser-guided bombs, indicating that he sees no horror in it at all.

Perhaps most disturbing of all though is how he begins his piece. Like a Nazi “mad scientist” character in a film describing in a measured, unemotional voice the extermination of those deemed “enemies of the New Order“, so too does Kulak go about the business of dispassionately describing his idea of slaughtering non-combatants in a seemingly sterile, soulless manner. In the opening words, he speaks of the “great discoveries” such as penicillin that have been made in the field of medicine that took place by accident, and then goes on to describe in the same manner how the “cure” for terrorism was accidentally discovered when the American military bombed a tent in Afghanistan, killing an entire family.

Of the many things obviously deserving mention here, the first is that such a program of deliberately targeting Muslim women and children for extermination HAS already been done. One need look no further than what has taken place in Palestine for the last 60 years that to date has resulted in over a quarter of a million innocent civilian deaths. Added to this are the massacres at places such as Deir Yassin and at refugee camps such as Sabra and Shatilla, just a few of the many living historical testimonies to murder on a mass scale fueled by Jewish hatred of gentiles and the extremism it has always produced.

Next–and more up to date–is the fact that over a million innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been murdered in the last five years as a result of the same process advocated by the writer, and those not dead today will certainly be dead tomorrow as a result of the depleted uranium left by the US and the destruction of infrastructure that unavoidably results in disease and starvation.

So as far as Kulak and the newspaper publishing his gospel of hate are concerned, what they are advocating is already a fait accompli. What all are left to conclude therefore is that what they are really driving it is an increase in the amount of civilian deaths than is already taking place. Possibly fearing that some readers MIGHT have a moral problem with what he is advocating, Kulak then goes on to dispel such possible (albeit unlikely, considering the readership for this particular paper) attacks of conscience by characterizing his idea as a “common sense” solution “etched in the Mosaic law”.

For those unfamiliar, what he is referencing here are the Old Testament tales of genocide committed by the Israelites–forerunners to today’s “Jews”–as they invaded village after village after village of peaceful, peaceable people and (at least by the biblical account) slaughtered every single man, woman and child. The only exceptions were those “young girls who had not slept with a man” who could then “be used” for whatever purposes “God’s chosen people” decided as well as those who resigned to live as slaves, or, in the biblical language ‘hewers of wood and carriers of water’.

By referencing the Mosaic law what Kulak is saying here in effect is that “The God of our forefathers–Yahweh, not only sanctioned this kind of behavior, He commanded it and we are therefore duty-bound to continue on in the ‘traditions’ left us by our patriarchs’.

As far as the worldwide backlash that would no doubt ensue from such a program, Kulak again betrays the fact he has no sense of universal decency and that the bottom line always deals with Israel and what benefit’s the Chosen People–‘Any and all collateral damage in the form of casualties to friends, relatives, or anyone connected to the lives of these terrorists should be swiftly ignored.’

His one-sided Jewish thinking also betrays the fact that he and his fellow chosenites are always ‘the victim’, pure as the wind driven snow and any untoward behavior that winds up in their neighborhood is the result of injustices done to them and never the result of their own evil actions. It is always ‘the other guy’s fault’ and more so, the world’s fault for not coming to grips with Islam in the proper context, meaning in the manner the Jews demand–

‘As for the Islamic terrorists themselves, there has been a universal ineptitude in understanding their mentalities and how they work. Primarily because of leftist leaders and public sympathy with revolutionary mindsets, which have in cancerous fashion infiltrated the efficient workings of Western governments and Israel, the tactics that are necessary to defeat Islamic terror have been suppressed and discarded as politically incorrect.’

What Kulak and his paper of course fail to mention is the ‘ineptitude’ under which the West has suffered in understanding the ‘mentality’ of his co-religionists who were the bringers of terrorism to the Middle East generations ago. Before the ghettos of Europe were flushed of the criminal filth holed up there for centuries and then collectively transported like a deadly flesh-eating bacteria into what was an otherwise healthy political/cultural eco-system the Middle East there was no such thing as terrorism. What he is advocating with his superior Jewish intellect therefore is that the very thing that led to Islamic extremism in the first place–meaning the murder of innocent women and children–be used as the cure for wiping it out. It does not take one of Einstein’s nieces or nephews to figure out that Kulak’s remedy is akin to trying to put out an already out-of-control fire by tossing a bucket of gasoline on it.

The truth is, had the West better understood the maniacal, genocidal and subversive nature of the ‘mentality’ produced in the corrosive, corrupting environment known as the synagogue, the various nations that today find themselves being blackmailed into fighting the war to end all wars for the benefit of Israel would not have fallen prey to this apocalyptic scheme, or at least not so easily. If there is any mentality that deserves study, it is the one that views itself as the embodiment of God on earth and which views all outsiders as having emanated from one of the ‘satanic spheres’ as Judaism teaches.

By now–5 years after the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan that has resulted in unprecedented human misery affecting tens of millions–an article being penned by some sick Jewish supremacist as he perversely fantasizes about the genocide of Middle Easterners has no doubt lost its shock value. Within seconds of 9/11 taking place a floodgate of anti-Islamic hysteria was unleashed upon America’s airwaves as spies for Israel called for the mother of all holocausts–meaning the destruction of over a billion Muslims worldwide–on a minute-by-minute basis and therefore one more instance of this is not ‘news’ by any means.

What is noteworthy however is the obvious sense of hypocrisy permeating the entire circumstance. After all, this is the heyday of creatures such as Abe Foxman and Morris Dees who, along with their organizations ADL and Southern Poverty Law Center are constantly getting into the collective face of humanity and proselytizing about the dangers of “hate” and “intolerance.” Everytime an utterance is made by non-Jews of any stripe–be they Muslim, Christian or none of the above–where the idea of violence (real or imagined) is threatened against even ONE of God’s Chosen People and–BATTA-BOOM!!!–the presses are kicked into overdrive. Having said this then, where, oh were are the watchmen on the tower, warning of this impending storm of bloodshed and violence against the Semites of the Middle East as advocated by the 5 Towns Jewish Times? Where is their patented program of wailing, shrieking and gnashing of teeth, as well as their demands for a retraction, apology and the loss of employment for the offending writer?

Well, as usual, surprise-surprise, they and their fellow travelers are quiet as church mice, (or synagogue rats, whichever is more appropriate) and for reasons so obvious that a blind man could see them in a minute–the writer is Jewish and is advocating for Jewish interests.

In an age where all creatures great and small living in the land of the free and home of the brave are subjected to a concerted, ceaseless program of pogromophobia by an hysterical Jewish-owned/Jewish-controlled media whenever some eruption of “extremism” takes place from any other corner (be it Muslim, neo-Nazi or whatever) the fact that not a microbe of discussion or “in-depth” investigation has taken place surrounding this event speaks volumes about the agenda ruling America these days. It does not take the prophetic powers of Nostradamus to envision what would happen if such a piece appeared in some Muslim publication in Dearborn, Michigan rather than in a Jewish publication in NY, NY.

As of the moment of this writing, the reaction out there on the Jewish blogosphere to the protests of CAIR is to characterize CAIR’s action as –surprise, surprise, “anti-Semitic”. To think such a day would arrive, when disagreeing with the slaughter of women and children could be called such is “beyond the pale”, no pun intended.

And finally…

And yet, in this Orwellian age of doublespeak and doublethink, it is the Muslims, not the Jews, who are bloodthirsty, vengeful and cruel.

‘They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours.’

(c) 2008 Mark Glenn

Correspondent, American Free Press Newspaper

A whopping 100 pairs of shoes lined up in front of the White House ...

... to protest the arrest of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the TV reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush at a Baghdad news conference.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

The emperor gets the boot

By Pepe Escobar

In the end, President George W Bush ended up finding his weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


Munthather al-Zaidi, the 28-year-old Baghdad correspondent for the independent, anti-occupation, anti-sectarian, Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya satellite channel who sent Bush a "goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people" in the form of a flying pair of size 10s and instantly achieved folk hero status all over the Arab nation and across "the Internets" (copyright Bush), with a simple, graphically impeccable gesture brought to a close not only Bush's ultra-secretive last stop in Iraq (a press conference with sometime US puppet Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki) but managed to sum up the whole Iraqi tragedy. No wonder he has been dubbed “the new Saladin” across the Arab world.

From now on three historic images will forever sum up the Bush administration-generated Iraqi tragedy: Bush's “Mission Accomplished” stunt off San Diego harbor; the “black scarecrow” figure tortured at Abu Ghraib; and Iraq's leather-soled kiss to the man who destroyed the country. The toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad's Firdous Square in April 9, 2003, was nothing but a staged event for US networks.

Al-Zaidi called Bush, in Arabic, at the top of his lungs, ya kalb ("you dog") - now a legendary Youtube epithet that around the world has been largely interpreted as unfair to dogs, who for all their barking do not gang up and launch pre-emptive wars that cause more than 1 million deaths and displace more than 4 million people.

Before being taken down by US and Iraqi secret service ops, al-Zaidi still had time to yell, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” - a factual, journalistic response to the lies he had just endured from Bush, who in his prepared remarks pontificated on the "success" of the recent parliament-approved Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), a "success" Bush attributes to the troop "surge".

For the record: SOFA, negotiated after an extremely turbulent eight months, rules that the US military must totally withdraw from Iraq by December 2011 (a real timeline, always fought by the Bush camp); there will be no military bases left behind; and the US military cannot use Iraq to attack Iran or anyone else. For all practical purposes - and of course barring inexorable Pentagon pressure over president-elect Barack Obama - the neo-colonial Bush war/occupation will be over by the end of 2011. Bush's White House was so exultant with this "success" that it did not even publish a copy of SOFA in English.

The overwhelming majority of Sunni and Shi'ite Iraqis (but not the Kurds) want the end of the occupation - just like al-Zaidi. Before hurling his leather-soled missiles, al-Zaidi certainly had Bush's true legacy in Iraq in mind, which includes hundreds of thousands of dead and "disappeared", over 4 million internally and externally displaced, 70% unemployment, a lack of electricity, a lack of drinking water, a cholera epidemic, the balkanization of Baghdad - a shabby, dangerous collection of Sunni and Shi'ite ghettos separated by high blast walls - and the horrendously incompetent kleptocracy that calls itself the Iraqi parliament.

Everyone is guilty
These shoes also metaphorically hit the huge Bush administration army of advisers, analysts, sycophants, politicians, diplomats, generals, UN bureaucrats, businessmen, "human-rights" wags, media hacks and assorted profiteers that made the Iraqi tragedy possible. These shoes put to immense shame US public opinion, which overwhelmingly condoned the 2003 invasion and occupation and only turned against it when facts on the ground and horrific non-stop carnage spelled out that this was an "unwinnable" war.

For its part, US corporate media, with predictable inanity - or rather as still more evidence of its spinelessness in confronting the Bush administration - chose to endlessly dwell on Bush's cat-like reflexes ("I saw his sole") when he dodged al-Zaidi's flying size 10s.

Predictably adding (real) injury to the insult, and therefore amplifying its already formidable impact, Iraqi TV al-Sharqiya reported that al-Zaidi is for all practical purposes being tortured at Camp Cropper - the sinister, sprawling, US-controlled Baghdad airport prison; and his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC he has a broken hand, broken ribs, an eye injury and suffers from internal bleeding. Al-Sharquiya also points to signs of torture on his thighs and an immobile right arm. Al-Sharqiya has had firsthand experience on the matter - they just lost four reporters who uncovered and reported widespread torture in Green Zone prisons.

Before al-Zaidi's act became a global Internet sensation this past Monday, on Sunday al-Jazeera's news anchor Layla Al-Sheikhly, an Iraqi, was the only one to report it properly; other Arab networks - mindful of hurting American feelings - blacked out the crucial "you dog" bit. Asad AbuKhalil, professor of politics at California State University, Stanislaus and editor of the Angry Arab blog, quipped, "The fellow would have preferred rotten eggs and tomatoes if they were as easy to sneak through the tight security checks as ... shoes."

As has been extensively reported in the Arab world, al-Zaidi graduated in journalism from Baghdad University, was an active member of the Iraqi Student Union before the invasion and has always been anti-occupation. After he graduated, he worked at al-Qasim al-Mushterek newspaper, an Iraqi daily founded after the invasion, then at the al-Diyar satellite channel, and finally joined the al-Baghdadiya satellite channel. The fact that he may be technically a "leftist" is irrelevant; his act has been hailed all over Iraq and the Arab nation (after all, Iraq is considered by Arabs as the eastern flank of the Arab nation) by Sunnis and Shi'ites, seculars and Islamists alike. He had already been kidnapped and tortured - by a Shi'ite militia - before.

Mobilization for al-Zaidi's release before he is waterboarded to death is essential. Al-Jazeera's Arabic channel reported that up to 100 Arab lawyers have volunteered to defend him. Street protests against his detention have been held in Baghdad, Mosul, Sunni Fallujah and Shi'ite Nassiriya. Technically, he is being "investigated" by the military command in charge of Baghdad security, headed by the sinister Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser. He may face charges of insulting a foreign leader as well as Maliki, who was side-by-side with Bush - and get a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

I did it my way
Contrast the shoes targeting Bush with Bush's last throes - his mandated "Operation Legacy" conducted by Texan Macchiavelli Karl Rove (consisting of a two-page list of talking points now endlessly spun by outgoing Bush administration officials to gullible corporate media). Instead, a real-life "Operation Legacy" shortlist should include all the aspects of the Bush doctrine ("In what respect, Charlie?", as Sara "Barracuda" Palin would say); the destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, with the option of illegal raids into the Pakistani tribal areas and a pre-emptive attack on Iran; the complete normalization of torture - and outsourcing of torture - as an "American value"; a monstrous national deficit that spells national bankruptcy; the destruction of the US economy; and a repressive police state which spies on its citizens - ripping the constitution and the Bill of Rights to shreds.

Only a few days before al-Zaidi's act, in an interview published in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, president-elect Barack Obama promised, "We've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular ... So we need to take advantage of that."

If Obama really wants to seize the "opportunity" and "reboot" America's image, he must convince the Muslim world that the US will renounce pre-emptive wars against Muslim countries; will stop demonizing them; will renounce the silly and misguided concept of "Islamofascism"; will practice an equitable foreign policy; and will not tolerate the slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by the state of Israel. He could start with a speech in Baghdad. Not a Bush-style ultra-secretive appearance at a military base or in the Green Zone, but a speech in real-life, open-air Baghdad, in Firdous Square for instance.

Till then, this is what the US gets - a flicker of poetic justice still shining in the post-everything era: a little emperor cowering behind a lectern dodging a flying shoe.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. He may be reached at

A " Size 10 " memorabilia......

Show me your shoe
and I shall
surely show no shame.

George W. Bush has, indeed, declared after that shoe-incident
that this projectile ( The shoe) was actually a Size 10 shoe.

Size 10 means in European-standards, a size 45 shoe .
(No offence for our US colleagues and US readers
but here in Europe we are more advanced, we reached the 45 )

George Bush must have measured that shoe
because he obviously has kept it as "corpus delicti"
for the next invasion......of Malaysia or France.
or as a memorabilia to show it to his grand-children,later on.

And, symbolically ,
this pair of shoes are :
the only honest thing which George has got out of Iraq.
(or, also, the only thing which George has earned or deserved , so far )

The Smithsonian-Museum would like to have them too,
and Larry King shall interview them next Friday......

Oprah Winfrey declined them , due to some unpleasant odours
because that Journalist was very recently in a prison without showers
for 45 days , while being investigated by Black-Waters . (true!)

It is a bit ironic that The Neo-Cons brought to us democracy
and got back some used -smelly-old-shoes , in return !!!

Eng. Moustafa Roosenbloom

Tuesday 16 December 2008

The weapon of the occupied

Matthew Cassel, The Electronic Intifada, 16 December 2008

A Palestinian boy holds a shoe during a demonstration in Gaza City calling for the release of Muntadher al-Zaidi, 16 December 2008. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

It's not surprising that since the George W. Bush shoe-dodging incident the US media has been recalling the infamous "shoeing" of the Saddam statue by a few Iraqis after American forces had brought it down.

These images were aired over and over in the international media to show that Iraqis celebrated the toppling of their former ruler. Reports later emerged that this event had been mostly staged by the American military and the media had not accurately shown how few the numbers of people who had actually been around to hit decapitated statue with their shoes. Most Iraqis did not celebrate the event because many were frightened in their homes, or packing their bags to leave their country and the extreme violence that their occupiers had brought with them to Iraq.

But others, especially many in the Arab world, might recall another event where flying shoes made the front pages.

It was 28 September 2000. Then opposition candidate to become Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, decided to take a "stroll" to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest sites. He claimed the move was not meant to be provocative, and that he was just taking a walk "to see what happens here." However, the previous decade, there had been at least two incidents during which Jewish Israelis threatened the mosque compound and Israeli forces carried out several mass killings of worshippers, and Palestinians revolted leading to the death of nearly 100 Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Sharon's provocation led to clashes between Palestinian worshippers and more than 1,000 of Sharon's occupation forces who just so happened to be in the area and armed with rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas and full riot gear. The Palestinian worshippers on the other hand were armed with their shoes. Images of this incident made it around the world as worshippers flung shoes at the Israeli occupation forces. The reaction to Sharon's visit quickly spread throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as Palestinians en masse took to the streets. Israel's response, gunning down dozens of unarmed Palestinian protestors in a few days, led to years of violence. This incident, led to what many say was the incident that ignited the second Palestinian intifada, while after leaving al-Aqsa, Sharon arrogantly claimed, "There was no provocation here."

A move of such arrogance could only be matched by Sharon's good friend eight years later.

After five years of war that ousted a dictator and replaced him with blood-filled chaos and an American occupation more deadly than the invasion, war-maker Bush made a surprise final visit to Baghdad and claimed yet again that the war "is decisively on its way to being won." It was upon hearing these words that Iraqi journalist Muntadher al-Zaidi stood up and like those confronted with Sharon's provocation, threw whatever he had on him that could be easily made into a projectile. Al-Zaidi was also sure to send a verbal attachment with the shoes when he shouted in Arabic, "this is a goodbye kiss, you dog!"

Had more Iraqi civilians been allowed into the press conference, we can be sure that most of their shoes, keys, cell phones and whatever else they had on them would've also landed on the stage. But they weren't and instead they've taken to the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere around the country to demand al-Zaidi's release. Reports have also emerged of US military convoys, in the latest round of Iraqi insurgency, being shoed by Iraqi civilians.

What can a shoe do when thrown against the side of a heavily armored US military vehicle? Make a loud thud. Perhaps some dirt from the shoe might come off and stay on the vehicle.

Shoes are a weapon of the masses. The fact is that most do not have the means to defend against their foreign invaders equipped with superior American-made weaponry. Shoes, like stones and most other projectiles used by the masses, are not about defeating or causing physical damage to the enemy. It is a symbolic act, and one filled with anger. It is a clear and simple message from the people to the occupiers that they are not welcome. And it is a message that the occupiers and their media so arrogantly refuse to admit.

It was an image seen throughout the world as Iraqis and much of the world opposed to the US-led war applauded. On the following day in Cairo, a man walking through an outdoor cafe where I was sitting encouraged people to buy the newspapers on the back of his bicycle by shouting, "Al-Zaidi throws shoes at Bush!" Egyptians circled the man to purchase copies of the paper as they laughed and cheered at what have become historic images of al-Zaidi taking aim and Bush's blurred head dodging the flying shoe.

But why did Western media constantly explain that shoe throwing is considered offensive in Arab culture? Unlike the entire Western media, I'm not going to claim to know the answer to this great cultural phenomenon. Maybe it's not a phenomenon at all. Maybe it is what any of us would do if someone as arrogant as Ariel Sharon or George W. Bush visited the place that they've brutalized for years.

I would've liked an explanation then of the significance of eggs in American culture and what it meant when one was hurled at Bush's motorcade during his inauguration in 2001. Many hungry Palestinians or Iraqis might view an egg as too valuable a resource to waste by throwing at a despised politician. Or what about an explanation for the pie-in-the-face tactic commonly used by activists to humiliate someone they do not agree with? Or what about vegetables? I remember as a kid always watching cartoons or films in which performers would have vegetables, especially big juicy tomatoes hurled at them if they did a poor job. So why is it so hard for a culture that brings rotten vegetables to a theater in order to throw them in the event that the singer was off key, to need an explanation about why someone would remove his shoes and throw them at Bush?

Even Bush himself seems to have understood the gist of the message without the media's cultural interpretations when he responded to a reporter who asked about the incident, "It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers."

Could it be that Iraqis and Palestinians aren't as armed and violent as they're portrayed, and that the shoe is just something that everyone is armed, or rather footed with, and can easily be thrown? Perhaps, but when described in the US it always has to be exaggerated to fit into Bush's simplistic equation that "they" are so much different than "us."

Like 2000 in Jerusalem or 2008 in Baghdad, shoeing incidents are most likely not premeditated. Forget the cultural differences when it comes to the meaning of shoes for a moment and focus on the real question: will an occupied people ever accept their occupiers? There is no more straightforward answer to this question than a shoe whizzing past the US president's head.

Matthew Cassel is Assistant Editor of The Electronic Intifada.