Saturday, 7 November 2009

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan–The “Inglourious Basterd” Of Fort Hood?


Published November 7, 2009

“Since the Mossad had all the security arrangements in hand, it would not be a problem bringing the killers as close as they wanted to President Bush and then staging his assassination. In the ensuing confusion, the Mossad people would kill the ‘perpetrators,’ scoring yet another victory for the Mossad. With the assassins dead, it would be difficult to discover where the ‘security breach’ had been, except that several countries involved in the conference, such as Syria, were regarded as countries that assisted terrorists.”

—Ex-Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky, describing in his book ‘The Other Side of Deception’ how the Mossad planned to assassinate President George Bush at the Madrid peace conference in October of 1991 for the purpose of blaming it on Arab extremists.

Those who know me are now doubt asking themselves confidently–“Ok, how long before he blames this latest atrocity on the Jews?” waiting to see what kind of complex conspiracy theory I am able to weave out of the Fort Hood massacre…

Well, never one to disappoint, as a matter of fact, I do believe (and with all my heart incidentally) that the Jews/Zionists/Neocons were involved in it. Up to their eyeballs, as a matter of fact. As far as I’m concerned this (the notion that this latest massacre was/is the result of the Jews and their criminal behavior, both in the Middle East and beyond) is not as much a conspiracy theory as it is a conspiracy fact. For me, it is as settled and irrevocable as 2+2 = 4 and the laws governing gravity.

However, I don’t (as of this moment) believe the Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a Manchurian Candidate programmed to do this. I don’t (as of this moment) think someone from Mossad, CIA or anything else snatched him, took him to some far away place, subjected him to psychotropic drugs and hypnotism and turned him into a ticking time bomb so that he would go and do something like this so that they could have their made-to-order high media profile event.

Not that those who do believe this are out in left field for doing so. After all, both the timing and the parameters associated with it are, well, impeccable. As far as Jewish interests are concerned, what could be better than something like this? It is a winning lottery ticket that will pay out week after week for who knows how long. If there was ever a time they needed to “change the subject” as it were and get the stupid gentiles re-fixated on “Ahab the Ayrab” instead of their own criminal behavior it is now.

We have Bernie Madoff and his infamous multi-billion dollar heist still a topic of household discussion. We have the organ-trafficking Rabbis, Roman Polanski’s rape and sodomizing of a 13 year old, the Gaza war crimes report in the UN and much, much more. Definitely not one of Jewry’s stellar moments in history.

Furthermore, Israel’s favorite pit bull–meaning the US– is worn out as far as the fighting goes. As a result of fighting Israel’s wars for her the land of the free and home of the brave is bankrupt and just doesn’t have the bite she did 8 years ago when this whole mess began. Iran sits over there smoldering and Jewish interests are crapping their collective pants in panic over the possibility their genocidal plans might have to be shelved for yet another decade or–Yahweh forbid–that they may have to be abandoned altogether.

So certainly this latest incident carries all the hallmarks of one of Israel’s “By way of deception, thou shalt do war” false flag events that she utilizes with the same frequency as a priest makes the sign of the cross. And after considering what Israel did in murdering 34 Americans aboard the USS Liberty June 8, 1967 (in the interests of getting a war started between the US and the Soviet Union) the Lavon Affair and her involvement in the 1983 US Marine Barracks bombings in Beirut we can dismiss the idea she wouldn’t sink THAT low.

I admit that initially my instinct was to “go there” and assume it was another op in gettin’ the God-fearin’, red-blooded ‘mericans whooped up to go ‘n kill some sand niggers for Geeeezus and to do the dirty work (yet again) for the Chosenites. In fact, as soon as I had heard the news report that a bunch of GIs had been gunned down at an army base I said to myself “Ok, let’s see now…don’t tell me, let me guess…no, no, no, no, don’t tell me, IT WAS AN AY-RAB, RIGHT?”

But as of this moment, the fact is that it doesn’t take extraordinary means to bring something like this about. In this case it really could be as simple to explain as one pissed off Arab-American who decided to settle a few scores, not unlike what took place in the recently-released movie “Inglourious Basterds”.

Yes, that’s right, just like that movie that was all the rave amongst the Jews and their brain-dead Christian Zionist worshippers worldwide, where Jewish characters decided they had “had enough“ of their fellow Chosenites being treated so shabbily by the Nazis and decided to settle the score by bashing their brains in with baseball bats, collecting scalps, carving swastikas in human flesh and all sorts of other methods of “divine justice” the sick mind of Quentin Tarantino could conjure up after drinking a bottle of Mogen David wine and reading the 1st 5 books of the Old Testament.

No, again, AS OF THIS MOMENT it appears to be a case of an Arab-American–sick of being pushed around and degraded because of his religion–saying “no mas”…It doesn’t require any “Manchurianism” to push a man into doing something desperate when faced with the prospect of being shipped overseas so that he can be a cog in the big war machine. Faced with (a) killing fellow soldiers about to depart to Iraq where they will each take their turn in gang-raping the country and blowing innocent women and children into tiny bits, VS (b) him resorting to desperate/irrational measures, why then would such a man NOT step into the role of the “Bear Jew” in Tarantino’s film?

This is to say nothing of the fact that as an army psychiatrist his job was dealing with all the head cases coming back after fighting two wars against Muslim countries. How many times does a psychiatrist hear GIs telling stories about gunning down women and children (who look just like his mother, father, brothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, nephews, etc) before he snaps?

Nevertheless, despite the fact as of this moment it appears to be nothing more than a person reaching his limit and going over the edge, Jewish interests will of course make the most of it as if it WERE one of their “babies”. They would just as soon pass up an opportunity like this as a sailor at sea for six months would pass up a visit to the local brothel having a “buy one get one free” sale.

“YOU SEE???“ will be the chorus–“WE TOLD YOU WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE LIKE…NOW GET SUITED-UP AND GET BUSY WITH THE BOMBS AND BULLETS”. All the usual suspects will use this as prime efface evidence that Islam is inherently violent, that it produces savage killers and that all Muslims–top to bottom–cannot be trusted in civilized societies. These same traitorous, war-mongering criminal elements working in the service of Jewish interests in bringing about the sick, genocidal fantasies contained in the Old Testament will be given yet another platform to begin anew their misquoting of the Koran as they did following 9/11 and how this latest is just an all-too-predictable/religiously-mandated script that “infidels” must be killed if the Muslims are to get their “72 virgins“.

More worrisome though is how this latest will be used in putting the heat on Obama, as Jewish interests will no doubt claim that it is because of his “reluctance” in “getting tough” with Islam (re, widening the war against Israel’s enemies to include Iran et al) that brought it about. At a time when the world teeters on the edge of America going to war against Iran, something like this could easily tip the balance in Israel’s favor if the right propaganda is used, which most certainly it will.

And we can forget all about the American people learning from past mistakes, applying some sense of reason to this and not flying off the handle. As far as they are concerned, it is the morning of 9/11/2001 and 2 planes hijacked by a bunch of camel jockeys have just crashed into the Twin Towers. The lines at the recruiting stations throughout the country will start getting a little longer in the following days as young men sign up to go and get even with the “towel heads” and “hajjis” responsible for this latest atrocity. Americans who yesterday were grumbling over the fact that they are being bled dry as a result of Uncle Sam fighting these wars in the Middle East will grumble no more, or at least for a while.

In the Jewish community, the reactions are just as predictable. Following Netanyahu’s shtick immediately after 9/11 when he said that what took place on September 11 was “good“ because it would generate “immediate sympathy for Israel”, so too will Jewish interests affect a collective face of sorrow, cry a river of crocodile tears while inside their hearts they laugh and cheer over this latest Gentile bloodbath in America in the same way as the 5 Mossad officers did on the morning of 9/11 in Liberty State Park New Jersey as the Twin Towers came crumbling down.

And in the meantime, the very thing that caused this individual to take a leave of absence from his sanity and go on a killing spree (meaning the holocaust of Muslims in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan for Israel’s benefit) will get wider and bloodier, leading to even more events such as what took place.

And even though (as of this moment) I see no reason to believe it was anything other than one man reaching his limit, this isn’t to say I believe the powers-that-be don’t possess the ability to brainwash individuals into doing such things.

After all, if they were able to program 300,000,000 Americans into murdering over a million Iraqis, why could they not get one guy to kill a few dozen?

© 2009 Mark Glenn

Gen. James Jones: "'Afghanistan Will Swallow Them Up'"


US military personnel attached to the ISAF are seen at Orgun-E Camp, Afghanistan in this Nov. 5, 2009 photo.
(Full interview later) Spiegel online, thanks to Guthman, here

In a SPIEGEL interview, the national security adviser to the White House, General James Jones, has expressed strong skepticism regarding the request of General Stanley McChrystal for another 40,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama's national security adviser, General James Jones, has expressed strong skepticism regarding the request of the US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, for another 40,000 troops to be sent to the country.

"Generals always ask for more troops. Take it from me," Jones told SPIEGEL in an interview. "I believe we will not solve the problem with troops alone. The minimum number is important, of course. But there is no maximum number, however." General Jones explained: "You can keep on putting troops in, and you could have 200,000 troops there and Afghanistan will swallow them up as it has done in the past."

Instead of nation building, he brought up the idea of transferring responsibility to Afghanistan as soon as possible. General Jones said: "We need a better plan with the allies to gradually turn over responsibility for the country to Afghan institutions and organizations in as short a time as possible." When asked about when US troops will be withdrawn, he answered: "I don't know when that will be. But I do know that our president and other leaders are very insistent on doing everything that we can to make sure that it happens sooner rather than later. That we can in fact, begin to turn over responsibility to the Afghans."

General Jones emphasized several times during the interview that it's time for the Afghan authorities to take care of their country. "If they want the promise of a democratic society and peace and stability, better opportunities for their children then this government and all of the governors have to do a much better job than they have done so far," he said...."

Posted by G, Z, or B at 7:47 AM



November 7, 2009 at 9:13 am (Associate Post, Israel, Occupation, Palestine)

Image by Abonoon


Sad week in review

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

One of these days, I would like to write a book to document the 1001 ways that Zionists use to take over land and distract attention at the same time. In history we had false flag operations like the Lavon Affair (Israeli agents attacking Western Interests to blame it on Arab nationalists) and countless other incidents of creating mayhem to ensure distraction. More recently as more ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem goes on, the Lebanese government reveals collaboration between Israeli intelligence in South Lebanon nurtured and worked with extremist groups to fire Katyusha’s at Israel to keep the Northern front humming and give a bad name to Hezbollah. Israel pirates a ship in International waters it claims were destined for Hezbollah. Israeli agents infiltrate demonstrations wearing masks and insult Christians. Israel recruits agents among sick Palestinians in Gaza desperate to leave to get treatment and use trickery to capture Palestinian men in compromising position and use the pictures to blackmail them into collaboration. But mostly now, it is enough to keep scaring the Israeli public to stay on board with eth elites making billions off of impoverishing the average person (Israel builds massive security industries while more than 1/3rd of its population lives below the poverty line).

As Gideon Levy put it in Haaretz yesterday: “Every few weeks you have to sow fear, every few months you need to make threats, and once every year or two you have to have another little war. Blind cooperation between the defense establishment and the media holds the promise of another round of fighting. In that way, it’s possible to escape some of the blame from the Goldstone report and wallow in the conditions we love best: being the victim, feeling threatened and uniting in the face of the great external danger allegedly in the offing”[1]

Though he did not explain why the victimhood card is used: because without it, this whole project of bringing Jews from around the world to settle on stolen Palestinian land collapses. It would collapse because the truth would come out. The truth that Zionism not only victimized the Palestinians (70% of us are refugees or displaced people) but also Jews [2]

The US State Department declared this week that “Israel dismally fails the requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society “[3]. Yet the US gives Israel the largest share of foreign aid, billions/year even as this is contrary to US law to support human rights violators. The Israel-first lobby in Washington ensures the US arm-twists smaller nations to vote against International law. Yet, even Israel’s endless distractions and the US power and might seem unable to stem the bad news for the racist apartheid regime. The UN General assembly voted overwhelmingly to support the Goldstone report 114 votes in favor, 18 opposed and 44 abstentions.. Those of you in different countries should check how your country voted and write to thank them if voting yes or to ask for explanation for those spineless ones who voted no or abstain. History will not be kind to sweeping war crimes under the rug. Goldstone had written to congress to correct the distortions, outright lies, and inaccuracies that were in the resolution that was drafted for them by AIPAC trained congressional aids in fascist congressmen offices (Like Ross-Lehtinen) but the Goldstone letter was ignored. Even the Gladstone report that they were condemning was not incorporated into the congressional record (otherwise future historians might see how stupid Congress is or maybe how stupid Congress thinks the public is). So the AIPAC resolution condemning the Goldstone report (and thus supporting war crimes) passed by 9:1. 36 brave congressmen stand out and should be thanked for showing some backbone. (Action link [4])

Here in Palestine, we commemorated with sadness the November 2, 1917 horrific Balfour Decalration in which Britain promised Palestine to the European Zionist movement in order to secure help in getting the US to join WWI.

In other news, a US army officer who as a psychiatrist treated patients suffering after return from illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan (and was scheduled to be shipped there) went berserk and shot 13 of his comrades and injured 31. The Zionists in the media are having a field day with this. No one even mentioned on the religious persuasion or family background of the many hundreds of other Americans who engaged in similar kinds of mass-killing. In this case had he been Jewish American, Mexican American or anything else his background or religious beliefs would never have been mentioned. I found it rather disgusting that outfits like the Associated Press engage in such smear campaigns. All major Muslim American organizations issued statements condemning the attack. This is indeed a sad event; killing should be condemned by ALL but is also sad that some are allowed to exploit such events for political purposes.

In yet other news, Mahmoud Abbas declared that he will not run for the upcoming elections. In essence he is telling the US an Israel: you did not want to have a two state solution based on the road map to peace that you yourself drafted (and that calls for full freeze on settlement activity including “natural growth” and including occupied Jerusalem). He is saying to them further that “if you do not want that, then my line of negotiations with you has indeed reached a dead end (he has actually been engaged in informal and formal negotiations for nearly three decades). And let Fatah come up with a different line.” Now we could of course see a Fatah candidate who is more compliant with Israeli demands or we could see a more sober and realistic approach. My recommendation to Fatah is to give up on the “authority” and on the illusionary “two states” and begin the (yet hard) process of educating friends and foes about the value of a democratic secular state in all of historic Palestine. As I argued in my last book, that will bring a durable peace instead of the charade of the current “peace process” (I know the peace process industry will not be happy with us finally beginning to choke off their main source of income and power).

On more uplifting news, on the anniversary of the Berlin wall collapse, Palestinians breached the apartheid wall knocking down one of its concrete segments (video here [5]). And residents of Aida refugee camp got to see the rest of Palestine. Rich Wiles wrote: “Um Qassim was born over 70 years ago in the village of Al Kabu. Her early childhood was spent amongst the clean air and fresh water of this Palestinian village. In 1948 everything changed for Um Qassim as it did for all Palestinians, and today she is one of the 4,500 residents of Aida Camp…I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here forever. It’s so, so, beautiful, and it’s still ours…”[6] And a final action, please sign the petition Sign the petition to Norway’s University of Trondheim to Boycott Israel (sign at link below [7].

A luta continua–the struggle goes on.



[2] see Lenni Brenner’s article “The Zionist Operation Was A Success, The Jewish Patients Died”


[4] and see how your congressperson voted and write to them all

[5] see Video

[6] more at


'US foreign policy is straight out of the mafia'


Noam Chomsky is the west's most prominent critic of US imperialism, yet he is rarely interviewed in the mainstream media. Seumas Milne meets him

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky: 'Obama's campaign rhetoric was completely vacuous' Photograph: Rex Features

Noam Chomsky is the closest thing in the English-speaking world to an intellectual superstar. A philosopher of language and political campaigner of towering academic reputation, who as good as invented modern linguistics, he is entertained by presidents, addresses the UN general assembly and commands a mass international audience. When he spoke in London last week, thousands of young people battled for tickets to attend his lectures, followed live on the internet across the globe, as the 80-year-old American linguist fielded questions from as far away as besieged Gaza.

But the bulk of the mainstream western media doesn't seem to have noticed. His books sell in their hundreds of thousands, he is mobbed by students as a celebrity, but he is rarely reported or interviewed in the US outside radical journals and websites. The explanation, of course, isn't hard to find. Chomsky is America's most prominent critic of the US imperial role in the world, which he has used his erudition and standing to expose and excoriate since Vietnam.

Like the English philosopher Bertrand Russell, who spoke out against western-backed wars until his death at the age of 97, Chomsky has lent his academic prestige to a relentless campaign against his own country's barbarities abroad – though in contrast to the aristocratic Russell, Chomsky is the child of working class Jewish refugees from Tsarist pogroms. Not surprisingly, he has been repaid with either denunciation or, far more typically, silence. Whereas a much slighter figure such as the Atlanticist French philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy is lionised at home and abroad, Chomsky and his genuine popularity are ignored.

Indeed, his books have been banned from the US prison library in Guantánamo. You'd hardly need a clearer example of his model of how dissenting views are filtered out of the western media, set out in his 1990's book Manufacturing Consent, than his own case. But as Chomsky is the first to point out, the marginalisation of opponents of western state policy is as nothing compared to the brutalities suffered by those who challenge states backed by the US and its allies in the Middle East.

We meet in a break between a schedule of lectures and talks that would be punishing for a man half his age. At the podium, Chomsky's style is dry and low-key, as he ranges without pausing for breath from one region and historical conflict to another, always buttressed with a barrage of sources and quotations, often from US government archives and leaders themselves.

But in discussion he is warm and engaged, only hampered by slight deafness. He has only recently started travelling again, he explains, after a three-year hiatus while he was caring for his wife and fellow linguist, Carol, who died from cancer last December. Despite their privilege, his concentrated exposure to the continuing injustices and exorbitant expense of the US health system has clearly left him angry. Public emergency rooms are "uncivilised, there is no health care", he says, and the same kind of corporate interests that drive US foreign policy are also setting the limits of domestic social reform.

All three schemes now being considered for Barack Obama's health care reform are "to the right of the public, which is two to one in favour of a public option. But the New York Times says that has no political support, by which they mean from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies." Now the American Petroleum Institute is determined to "follow the success of the insurance industry in killing off health reform," Chomsky says, and do the same to hopes of genuine international action at next month's Copenhagen climate change summit. Only the forms of power have changed since the foundation of the republic, he says, when James Madison insisted that the new state should "protect the minority of the opulent against the majority".

Chomsky supported Obama's election campaign in swing states, but regards his presidency as representing little more than a "shift back towards the centre" and a striking foreign policy continuity with George Bush's second administration. "The first Bush administration was way off the spectrum, America's prestige sank to a historic low and the people who run the country didn't like that." But he is surprised so many people abroad, especially in the third world, are disappointed at how little Obama has changed. "His campaign rhetoric, hope and change, was entirely vacuous. There was no principled criticism of the Iraq war: he called it a strategic blunder. And Condoleezza Rice was black – does that mean she was sympathetic to third world problems?"

The veteran activist has described the US invasion of Afghanistan as "one of the most immoral acts in modern history", which united the jihadist movement around al-Qaida, sharply increased the level of terrorism and was "perfectly irrational – unless the security of the population is not the main priority". Which, of course, Chomsky believes, it is not. "States are not moral agents," he says, and believes that now that Obama is escalating the war, it has become even clearer that the occupation is about the credibility of Nato and US global power.

This is a recurrent theme in Chomsky's thinking about the American empire. He argues that since government officials first formulated plans for a "grand area" strategy for US global domination in the early 1940s, successive administrations have been guided by a "godfather principle, straight out of the mafia: that defiance cannot be tolerated. It's a major feature of state policy." "Successful defiance" has to be punished, even where it damages business interests, as in the economic blockade of Cuba – in case "the contagion spreads".

The gap between the interests of those who control American foreign policy and the public is also borne out, in Chomsky's view, by the US's unwavering support for Israel and "rejectionism" of the two-state solution effectively on offer for 30 years. That's not because of the overweening power of the Israel lobby in the US, but because Israel is a strategic and commercial asset which underpins rather than undermines US domination of the Middle East. "Even in the 1950s, President Eisenhower was concerned about what he called a campaign of hatred of the US in the Arab world, because of the perception on the Arab street that it supported harsh and oppressive regimes to take their oil."

Half a century later, corporations like Lockheed Martin and Exxon Mobil are doing fine, he says: America's one-sided role in the Middle East isn't harming their interests, whatever risks it might bring for anyone else.

Chomsky is sometimes criticised on the left for encouraging pessimism or inaction by emphasising the overwhelming weight of US power – or for failing to connect his own activism with labour or social movements on the ground. He is certainly his own man, holds some idiosyncratic views (I was startled, for instance, to hear him say that Vietnam was a strategic victory for the US in southeast Asia, despite its humiliating 1975 withdrawal) and has drawn flak for defending freedom of speech for Holocaust deniers. He describes himself as an anarchist or libertarian socialist, but often sounds more like a radical liberal – which is perhaps why he enrages more middle-of-the-road American liberals who don't appreciate their views being taken to the logical conclusion.

But for an octogenarian who has been active on the left since the 1930s, Chomsky sounds strikingly upbeat. He's a keen supporter of the wave of progressive change that has swept South America in the past decade ("one of the liberal criticisms of Bush is that he didn't pay enough attention to Latin America – it was the best thing that ever happened to Latin America"). He also believes there are now constraints on imperial power which didn't exist in the past: "They couldn't get away with the kind of chemical warfare and blanket B52 bombing that Kennedy did," in the 1960s. He even has some qualified hopes for the internet as a way around the monopoly of the corporate-dominated media.

But what of the charge so often made that he's an "anti-American" figure who can only see the crimes of his own government while ignoring the crimes of others around the world? "Anti-Americanism is a pure totalitarian concept," he retorts. "The very notion is idiotic. Of course you don't deny other crimes, but your primary moral responsibility is for your own actions, which you can do something about. It's the same charge which was made in the Bible by King Ahab, the epitome of evil, when he demanded of the prophet Elijah: why are you a hater of Israel? He was identifying himself with society and criticism of the state with criticism of society."

It's a telling analogy. Chomsky is a studiedly modest man who would balk at any such comparison. But in the Biblical tradition of the conflict between prophets and kings, there's not the slightest doubt which side he represents.

The Jewish Final Solution


This comment by LudolfVieken is spot on. The Israelis went out of their way to use weapons - white phosphorous, DIME, depleted uranium, etc. - and methods of attack - human shields, bombing houses and schools, blowing up buildings they had instructed Palestinians to take shelter in, etc, - that were genocidal in intent (and the poisoning and environmental destruction were directed at causing birth defects, miscarriages, etc., thus continuing the destruction). This is the start of their 'Final Solution' to the 'demographic problem'. Then they went out of their way to decimate the economy in Gaza by systematically destroying factories, something which doesn't even fall under their bogus reason of stopping the rockets (which, of course, had already stopped). They are preparing for the one-state solution by using genocide and economic warfare to ensure that the Palestinians will be in the minority. The process will continue - I guarantee it (and do you really want to hear me tell you 'I told you so' when the next Jewish atrocity occurs?) - with increasing gruesomeness, until the world puts a stop to it by eliminating the Jewish-dominated state in the Middle East. Since the atrocities are inevitable, why not stop them now?

Tony Blair and the Emperor's New Clothes


Dear friends,
please find below, in case you missed it, a wonderful article which appeared on the website of Bethlehem based Palestinian News Agency, Maan News.

The article is an interview with the Alexandra Darby, the niece of Tony Blair (former British PM now Middle East Quartet Envoy) and her mother, Lauren Booth (Blair's sister in law). In August 2008, Booth, who is a journalist and broadcaster, was one of the participants on the Free Gaza boats, which helped break the siege of Gaza. Booth subsequently spent a month or more in Gaza working as a human rights volunteer and reporting on the siege. She has since returned to Palestine to participate in the Peace Cycle, bringing her daughter with her.

During their visit to Hebron, Booth and her daughter, just happened to cross paths with Tony Blair's cavalcade which had been in Hebron as well. Alex notes, after her and her mother spoke with local Palestinian residents, that her uncle visit reminded her of the Hans Christian Andersen fable of "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Alex told Maan: “Do you know the story of the emperor’s new clothes?" she asks, "Well the emperor is blinded by what they do, because for real there is nothing there. And I think that’s what they are doing, because when he went to visit the Old City, and well, the Israelis didn’t make him go through the metal bit to get into the mosque; he went through the wide bit. So he thinks, ‘Well, then it's right what they say, these people aren’t poor, these people aren’t under an occupation.’ That’s what they are trying to make him see, so he can make others see the same.”

What a wonderful comment from such a young person!

In solidarity,


Quartet envoy's eight-year-old niece sees the real Palestine

published 22/10/09 and updated on 27/10/09

Bethlehem - Ma’an - Eight-year-old Alexandra Darby, the niece of Quartet envoy Tony Blair, toured the West Bank this week on a bicycle, peddling an estimated 200 kilometers from Amman to Jerusalem.

Asked what she will tell her school friends about the Peace Cycle journey, Alex reflected, “I’ll tell them that the people here are very nice, not like they say in the newspapers.”

Alex Darby - photo by Maan News.

The West Bank is not a usual vacation site for most eight-year-olds. But, as mother, journalist and activist Lauren Booth explained, “She’s been asking me for the last five years why she can’t go to Palestine, and despite the fact that the Israelis can make it bloody trying to get in and out, the greeting here I knew would be so sensational for her that I didn’t have a reason not to bring her.”

Why doesn't Alex think other kids get to come to Palestine? “Because, of course, the telly, which says Palestinians are not like us, that they are a revolting people, a violent people, a nasty people, it’s mad. In fact it’s the exact opposite, it’s the Israelis.”

Alex and Tony visit Hebron

On Tuesday, Alex visited Hebron with the Peace Cycle Group. As she entered the streets leading to the Old City, she saw her uncle’s motorcade drive away.

While in the city, mom Lauren had heard the Quartet envoy, and husband of her sister, may be in the area. “We tried to wave them down,” she said, but “they thought we were just waving at them [as fans] so they just waved back. They thought people on the streets were waving at them, which was a bit frustrating.”

But it meant Alex had the fortuitous experience of meeting the people who had just escorted Blair around the city. His visit was reported as a chance for Blair to hear about the troubles of Palestinians in Hebron so he could better inform the decisions of the Quartet as it pushes its Middle East peace Road Map.

“As soon as Blair left, we arrived and got to speak to the local dignitaries and to the police who had been part of showing him around, and their disappointment was total,” Lauren explained.

“He was shown into the mosque and cheered in by Israeli soldiers. He went not through the cattle grid and the humiliation of checkpoints that the local population has to go through to get to their own mosque; he went in through open doors used only by Israelis. How is he going to learn, and make any judgment about what the Palestinian people need, if that’s the sort of trip he makes?”

Tony Blair - former British PM and now Middle East Quartet Envoy.

Touring the area with her mom and the group, listening to the way people talked about Blair’s visit, and what he was supposed to be doing, reminded Alex of the Hans Christian Andersen fable The Emperor’s New Clothes. The tale is of a leader who hires swindlers to make him new robes and is fooled into believing they are made of a magical fabric that only the worthy can see.

“Do you know the story of the emperor’s new clothes?" she asks, "Well the emperor is blinded by what they do, because for real there is nothing there. And I think that’s what they are doing, because when he went to visit the Old City, and well, the Israelis didn’t make him go through the metal bit to get into the mosque; he went through the wide bit. So he thinks, ‘Well, then it's right what they say, these people aren’t poor, these people aren’t under an occupation.’ That’s what they are trying to make him see, so he can make others see the same.”

“The Palestinian Authority is culpable in this as well,” Lauren adds, “they arrange these visits so that he doesn’t have tea with a local family; they go along with these supposed security issues that allow Israel to protect foreign diplomats from the supposedly violent Palestinians and they never get to see the real situation.”

Alex, however, saw the real Hebron.

“I felt a bit scared in Hebron,” she admits, tucking her legs up into the chair, “You never really could be alone. When you came in there are Israelis looking down at you, then we got to one bit, there was this big thing the Israelis could look through just to see far-er, and he had a big gun,” Alex said describing the guard towers that dot the Old City.

“She has been afraid twice,” Lauren explained, “both times because of settlers, and that’s disappointing that she had to feel that. I never want any child to have to go through that, but she did… and it really affected her.”

Going home

Wednesday was the last night for Alex and Lauren in Palestine, so thoughts turned to what would happen when she returned to class.

What did she tell her friends before leaving? “I’ve told them about the siege, but they don’t listen, my best friend listens though.”

What will she tell them when she gets back? “I think it’s a mad idea to build a wall, to think of people getting guns and building a giant wall around France and saying ‘This is England;’ it’s mad.”

Does she think her visit will prompt them to come and see the place for themselves? “I don’t really think they will, because if I tell them about the soldiers they’ll be scared… I think their parents would come first, to get to know some people and make friends, then when they know the people quite well and that they’re nice, then perhaps they’ll bring their children.”

Peace Cycle - photo by Maan News.

That comment prompts an idea in Lauren, who, along with the other members of the Peace Cycle Team, has used the trip to make connections with local initiatives, hoping to pair them with organizations in the UK and Europe. “You need to know the people first, you’re right. Do you think your classmates would want to Skype with the kids in Jenin that you met?”

Alex nods, excited about the prospect of keeping in touch with some of her new friends.

“I have brought the most precious thing in my life to Palestine with the knowledge that she will be loved and cared for,” Lauren says as the buss rolls up to take the group to a school for the blind in Beit Jala, “and that she has found this to be a place where children are adored and not in the least like she would have expected it to be as a child exposed to the news.”

Getting nervous about the visit, Alex asks if we want to hear the song she will share with the children at the school.

“Are you ready?

Free my people Palestine - Sing it loud
We will never let you die - Sing it loud
Palestine West Bank Ramallah Gaza, this is for the child that is looking for an answer
I wish I could take your tears and turn them into laughter
Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza!”

Posted by Kim at 10:16 AM

Declassified FBI File Alleges an Israeli Intelligence Agent Worked at AIPAC


Thu Nov 5, 2009 8:20am EST
Israeli Espionage part 1 of 4

See Parts 2,3, and 4 below
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An agent of the Israeli
intelligence service worked on the staff of the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC) according to a newly declassified FBI file.
An August 13, 1984 secret communication from the FBI Washington Field Office
(WFO) to the FBI director states, “WFO files disclose that AIPAC is a powerful
pro-Israel lobbying group staffed by U.S. citizens. WFO files contain an
unsubstantiated allegation that a member of the Israeli Intelligence Service
was a staff member of AIPAC.” The newly declassified document may be
downloaded from the Israel Lobby Archive at:
The secret FBI file was declassified and released to the Institute for
Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) under a Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request. IRmep sought the FBI files to file a third amicus brief urging
Judge T.S. Ellis not to dismiss charges against two AIPAC staffers under the
1917 Espionage Act. The DOJ dropped espionage charges against former AIPAC
staffers Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman on May 1, 2009.
According to the newly released IRmep book “Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby
Undermines America’s Economy,” the 1984 and 2005 espionage incidents were not
isolated events. Using declassified documents, “Spy Trade” documents Israeli
covert actions against US military and industrial targets from the 1940s
through the present.
“Spy Trade” also presents a damage assessment for the 1984 AIPAC industrial
espionage incident: US $71 billion in lost exports, equivalent to 100,000 jobs
over the last decade. “Spy Trade” may be purchased at,, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.
The Israel Lobby Archive,, is a unit of the Institute for
Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington. The Archive digitizes
declassified documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act filings
with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The Archive facilitates
permanent direct citizen access to critical records that briefly enter the
public domain but vanish for lack of warranted mainstream media coverage.
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy
Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy,
Posted in Zionist Threat
« Dennis Ross and Iran: The Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans?

Israeli Espionage part 2 of 4

Israeli Espionage part 3 of 4
Israeli Espionage Part 4 of 4

November 6, 2009 Posted by Elias

Ministry of prisoners holds IOA responsible for lives of Nafha prisoners


[ 07/11/2009 - 07:40 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The ministry of prisoners in the Gaza Strip has held the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) and its prisons authority responsible for the life of Palestinian prisoners in the notorious Nafha desert prison.

Riyadh Al-Ashkar, the ministry's spokesman, said in a statement on Friday that the IOA particularly targets Nafha prisoners because they include tens of senior prisoners who are responsible, according to the IOA, of issuing decisions that all prisoners abide by.

They are therefore pressured and humiliated to make them preoccupied with the Israeli prisons authority's (IPA) arbitrary measures, he opined.

Ashkar noted that the prisoners in Nafha have lately complained of the intensification of the storming of their rooms and provocative night searches during which they are insulted and forced to undergo humiliating strip searches.

He said that the prisoners went on a single day hunger strike in protest against those measures but the IPA punished them by depriving them of visits and moved some of them to isolation cells.

The prisoners are discussing retaliatory choices in face of such measures including an open-ended hunger strike, Ashkar underlined.

He asked the international institutions topped by the Red Cross to send representatives to investigate the IPA repressive measures against prisoners in Nafha and all other IOA jails and to end their worsening incarceration conditions.

New Petition for Mahmoud Abbas to resign


Posted by Ali Dahmash Saturday, November 07, 2009 Labels: ,

I created the following Petition online calling for Mahmoud Abbas to resign and step down.

Read below and kindly sign the Petition.

To: U.N, U.S Congress, The Arab League

This is a petition calling the current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his government to resign and step down. The Palestinian People have had enough with the failures of this government and the disclaimer of Palestinian rights by putting the Goldstone report on hold. The Goldstone Report which has accused Israel for the first time in committing War crimes and human rights violation that is supported my most European countries.

Abbas has put the Peace Process in danger by appointing the current corrupted government, ignored Israel’s atrocities and ethnic cleansing in Occupied East Jerusalem and the continuous building of the Illegal settlements in the West Bank all because of his personal interests.

It is time for new leadership in Palestine that will lead the Palestinians to Peace and Prosperity. We need someone like Mustafa Barghouti and Hanan Ashrawi.


Ali Dahmash

To sign the Petition Click Here!

IOF troops wound two Palestinian children during an anti-wall demonstration


[ 06/11/2009 - 11:03 PM ]

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)-- IOF troops wounded two Palestinian children during the weekly anti-wall demonstration in the village of al-Masara to the south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.

Local sources said that Obada Breijeyyah (8years) and Zaid Zawahrah (12 years) were wounded in confrontations with the IOF after the Friday prayers during the anti-wall demonstration which takes place every Friday to protest the apartheid wall and the expansion of Jewish settlements on confiscated Palestinian lands.

Muhammad Breijeyyah, a member of the popular committee against the wall said that IOF troops fired teargas at the demonstrators and tried to kidnap Zaid Zawahrah after beating him up was not for the local residents who took him off the army truck.

Demonstrators participating in this and other anti-wall demonstrations in the West Bank also marked the Balfour Declaration which was made on 2nd November 1917.

VIDEO: Mohammed Omer on the hell that is Gaza


- November 7, 2009 – 5 November 2009

On Nov. 5, 2009, at the Palestine Center, in Washington, D.C., an award-winning journalist, Mohammed Omer, discussed the desperate human rights situation in Gaza–the result of Israel/s recent siege and military offensive. His presentation included his personal observations, interviews with the people of Gaza, his photographs and a video. Mr. Omer, now 25 years of age, was born and raised in the Rafah refugee camp. He spoke for over an hour, including the Q&A session.

MAKDISI: Good riddance, Abbas

November 7, 2009

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, was no good for Palestine. And his exit will make a peaceful solution more likely.

by Saree Makdisi - Foreign Policy - 6 November 2009

The announcement that Mahmoud Abbas has decided not to stand for re-election as head of the Palestinian Authority should come as a relief to all Palestinians. In fact, Abbas’s departure will open a much-needed opportunity to take stock of where things stand and assess the future course of the Palestinian struggle.

Never an appealing or charismatic figure, Abbas has been losing popular support since his first day in office five years ago (his term technically expired in January 2009). Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, in which he played a prominent role, the official Palestinian leadership has been pursuing a formula for peace — the two-state solution — that has yielded nothing more than the intensification of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. Those 16 years have been characterized by the further immobilization and immiseration of the Palestinian people, and an ever-growing list of civilian casualties, most recently in Gaza.

We are left with no other conclusion than this: that the so-called peace process with which Abbas has been indelibly associated, albeit as the Israelis’ junior assistant, was calculated to produce exactly these results. The very first step of the Oslo process, undertaken with Abbas’s assent in 1993, was to fragment and separate the occupied territories into shards of land, disconnected from each other and from the outside world, under total, institutionalized Israeli domination. Take one look at a map and you can’t miss the separation of Gaza from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the further internal splintering of the West Bank, all of which is the direct result of Oslo.

Today, the Palestinian Authority (PA) over which Abbas presides is seen as a puppet. It has become the manager of the day-to-day burdens of military occupation, responsible for the hassle and expense of administering a restless population. All this is done on behalf of the Israelis, who have meanwhile gone on expropriating Palestinian land, bulldozing Palestinian homes, and building exclusively Jewish settlements in violation of international law (doubling the population of settlers since peace talks began). To all Palestinians other than the tiny clique who benefit from this arrangement, the sight of Abbas’s U.S.-trained and Israeli-armed PA militiamen cooperating with Israeli forces — if not taking direct orders from them — is nothing short of grotesque. And when Abbas recently succumbed to Israeli and U.S. pressure and dropped his support for the Goldstone report, a U.N. Human Rights Council-mandated investigation into last year’s Gaza incursion, many Palestinians saw it as the last straw both for Abbas — and for the PA itself.
What, then, are the alternatives?

Hamas stands for nothing other than, at best, defiance for the sake of defiance. It has no blueprint, no formula, no vision capable of unifying Palestinians and moving them closer to the achievement of their goals. Moreover, its religious rhetoric repels those Christian and secular Palestinians who have always been in the vanguard of the national movement and has little to offer to Muslim Palestinians either.
But to get bogged down in a discussion of other alternative candidates for the PA presidency, whether from Fatah or other parties, is to miss the point: The PA is irrelevant to the future of the Palestinian people as a whole.

To really grasp this, we have to remember something that the language packaging the peace process since the early 1990s has taught us to forget: Only a minority of Palestinians live under occupation. It is that minority on whom the world’s imagination has been focused since Oslo.

The single largest component of the Palestinian people consists of those who were driven from their homes during the 1948 creation of Israel and their descendants. They were never, even theoretically, addressed or represented by the PA. Nor were the 1.5 million Palestinians who live as second-class citizens in Israel and who suffer from systematic and institutionalized discrimination because they are non-Jews inhabiting a state that wants to be Jewish.

As PA president, Abbas never represented the majority of Palestinians — he never even claimed to, and no successor would either. Nor does the current, PA-pursued two-state solution offer anything to the majority of Palestinians (and to the minority it offers only an illusory “autonomy”). The vast majority of the Palestinians, who do not live in occupied territories, would not be eligible to vote if and when Israel allowed elections to be held.

Peace will only come when the rights and needs of all Palestinians (not only the minority who suffer under occupation) and all Israeli Jews are fully addressed. The demise of Abbas, and with him, hopefully, the PA and the illusion of the two-state solution, opens up the possibility that Palestinians will once again embrace the one-state solution and demand the creation of a single, democratic, and secular state in which Israeli Jews and Palestinians live as equals. That is the only way to a just and lasting peace. Abbas’s departure is a start.

lu said...

Masri also says that Abbas step-down will help the Palestinian cause, and even elevate it to the next level (see: He obviously speaks from a different perspective than Makdisi.

However, Abbas has not stepped-down so far. He only said he did not want to run for the elections, that is, he was only sending an indirect message to the USA so that she asked him to stay. But she did not. Neither Abbas stepped-down from any of the 5 posts he had grabbed. It remains to be seen if he does, given his lust for power.

Clinton said she is willing "to work with him in any new capacity". So, this seems fishy, doesn't it?. I wonder what the machinations are they cooking behind the curtains. It's clear the USA favours Fayyad-Dahlan (as Presi and PM ?) and may even think of Abbas to control de PLO so that Hamas -whom he deeply hates- cannot set foot on it. I wish he left, but for the moment I cannot believe it. He has been the most poisonous thing for Palestine ever. He left everything shred to pieces. What a disgrace of a man!.

What do you think UP?

3:29 AM, November 07, 2009

lu said...

I have just read a piece on the Independent UK, and also signals the possibility of Abbas focusing on the PLO. In the coming days things will become clearer. The media over here speak clearly of his attempt at chantage the US.

You know, when I was younger (than I am, LOL) there was a tv-serie (yeah american) where the characters melted down once their function had ended up. Couldn't this happen to him? Vanish now. At least he would do no more harm. He can go play with his grandchildren in his villas over the Gulf.

3:08 PM, November 07, 2009

Comment: By UP
Yes I agree with Masri Abbas stepping down will help the Palestinian cause, but his exit will not "make a peaceful solution more likely" as Makdisi claimed. It would help to demise the illusion of the two-state solution, but I doubt it may opens up “the possibility that Palestinians will once again embrace the one-state solution and demand the creation of a single, democratic, and secular state in which Israeli Jews and Palestinians live as equals" as Makdisi hoped.

He said Once Again referring to the fact that PLO “Christians and Secular Palestinians” embraced the one-state solution since sixties. So I would ask Sari: why they failed achieve the one state solution goal, before Hamas and Likud stepping into the stage. Their failure paved the way for Hamas.
We failed let them try. Thus Said Habash to the angry arab.

I agree with Sari that the two state solution was an illusion, and would add that the one state solution is another illusion and shall lead to nowhere until the collapse of Zionism.

Makdisi asked: What, then, are the alternatives?

He answered: Not Hamas having no “vision capable of unifying Palestinians and moving them closer to the achievement of their goals”, because "its religious rhetoric repels those Christian and secular Palestinians"

In general, It is expected from a secular like Sari, to put the blame on Hamas, rather than the Christian and Secular Palestinians, who, once upon a time “have been in the vanguard of the national movement and has little to offer to Muslim Palestinians either”, and turned at the end to vanguard PA.

A dreamer would think ABBAS would resign or dissolve the PA, or would repel and stay in Mokataa shouting: Shaheedan, Shaheedan, Shaheedan. He knows what Happened to Arafat who dared to do that, so he would accept any position offered to him by his masters,

Usreal, PA, and moderate Arabs are in a mess. They know that West bankers shall not accept easily a Gazan Traitor as president, so I would say Mahmoud Abbas, in his decision not to stand for re-election as head of the Palestinian Authority, is testing the waters of both Usrael and Fath/PA.
Though I knew from the very beginning the Palestinian Dialogue shall lead to nowhere, politically I supported Hamas calls for union government, because it’s the best way to expose the traitor, and it did, and spoiled the plans to corner Hamas.

I don’t believe Ramalla mafia would abandon the illusion of the “two state solution”. Most likely the elections shall not happen, especially in Gaza. And the coming government in Ramalla, shall be a sub-contractor for occupation.

UN vote overwhelmingly supports Goldstone report


Thalif Deen, The Electronic Intifada, 6 November 2009

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last winter is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear campaign to kill it.

The report, which was favorably voted by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva last month, received overwhelming support Thursday in the 192-member General Assembly.

The vote was 114 in favor and 18 against, with 44 abstentions.

The 18 countries that voted against the resolution included the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Israel.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, singled out Ireland, one of the few Western nations to vote for the resolution, for "supporting" it.

He also noted that a "sizable number of European nations" abstained on the resolution.

Among the abstentions were Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Denmark and Greece.

"The General Assembly sent a powerful message," he told reporters, adding that if Israelis do not comply, "We will go after them."

The Assembly requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report within three months on the implementation of the resolution.

Among other things, the resolution calls upon both the Israelis and the Palestinians to undertake independent investigations of their own on the serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws during the 22-day conflict in Gaza.

Still, Mansour said he rejects any equation of the "occupying power's aggression and crimes with actions committed in response by the Palestinian side."

"We wish to clearly reaffirm that there is absolutely no symmetry or proportionality between the occupier and the occupied," he added.

US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff rejected the Goldstone report as "deeply flawed" and "unbalanced."

He said the United States was fully committed to a two-state solution -- Israel and Palestine -- and will do nothing to hinder it.

Last month, the 15-member Security Council debated the report but refused to take a vote primarily because of the opposition by the United States, a veto-wielding member of the Council.

In Geneva, the Human Rights Council endorsed the report last month by a vote of 25 in favor, six against, 11 abstentions and five no-shows.

The report was also the subject of a vote Tuesday by the US House of Representatives, traditionally sympathetic towards Israel. That vote, condemning the report, was 344 in favor and 36 against.

Nadia Hijab, senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, told IPS the importance of the Goldstone report is evident given the amount of effort Israel, the United States and their allies are investing in trying to bury it.

She said irrespective of the strength or weakness of the General Assembly resolution, the report is important because of its very existence.

Not only does it provide an authoritative basis for Palestinians seeking reparations and accountability, but it also puts the world on notice that international law must be upheld and impunity must end, she said.

"It's simply not going to go away," said Hijab.

The report, authored by a four-member international fact-finding mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, details war crimes charges against both Israel and Hamas.

The mission, and specifically Goldstone, has been politically smeared by pro-Israeli groups in the United States.

The UN mission recommended that the Security Council require Israel to report to it, within the next six months, on investigations and prosecutions it should carry out with regard to the violations cited in the report.

During the ruthless military operation, codenamed "Operation Cast Lead," the Israelis destroyed houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings.

The number of Palestinians killed during the conflict is estimated at between 1,387 and 1,417, mostly civilians, compared with four Israeli fatal casualties in southern Israel and nine soldiers killed during fighting, four of whom died as a result of friendly fire.

The report also recommended that the Security Council set up its own body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions.

"If the expert's reports do not indicate within six months that good faith, independent proceedings are taking place, the Security Council should refer the situation in Gaza to the Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court," the report recommended.

Hijab told IPS the Goldstone report has already had an impact on the Israeli-Palestinian scene.

"It will ensure that henceforth the Israeli state as well as Palestinian armed groups are more careful about the use of force," she said.

In addition, she said, the initial misguided attempt by the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to "postpone" consideration has strengthened the hand of political parties and civil society in setting limits on how far the PA/PLO can go in their alliance with the US and its erosion of Palestinian human rights.

In short, the Goldstone report has been significant before it even reached the General Assembly, and it continues to be discussed the world over, Hijab declared.

All rights reserved, IPS - Inter Press Service (2009). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.

"A Liberated Lame Duck"

WINEP, here

".... He is particularly upset with the Arab states for not backing him in the Gaza war aftermath. He knew the U.N. report would be a detour from peacemaking, but his Arab allies did not seem to care. In his speech Thursday, Mr. Abbas accused Hamas of "destructive" practices, making it clear he thinks the group is more concerned with their own ideological agenda than with the Palestinian cause.

Mr. Abbas also seems to feel that he has no partner in the Israeli government. .......also seems to believe the Obama administration boxed him in, first insisting on an absolute freeze and, once Mr. Abbas had no choice but to go along with this approach, backed off, leaving him politically exposed.....

Nonetheless, Mr. Abbas has not yet resigned, and he could change his mind. The outcome seems to be in the hands of Hamas, who will view Mr. Abbas's statement as the sign of his personal defeat and a vindication of their own path. If Hamas reverses course and agrees to participate in elections in January as originally favored by Mr. Abbas, Hamas could force the president to make good on his promise. But Hamas may not take the initiative. Their popularity is low and they have opposed elections. Mr. Abbas could remain president indefinitely.

Not having to face the voters could be a strength for Mr. Abbas, rather than a weakness. His Israeli counterpart, Ehud Olmert found being a lame duck liberating. While Mr. Olmert announced his decision to resign last summer, he continued in office for another eight months and used the time to nearly reach a peace accord with Mr. Abbas. Indeed, he conditioned Israelis to the idea that they would have to yield most of the West Bank and even agree to compromises on Jerusalem. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Abbas adopts the Olmert paradigm. Indeed, he might be able to do more to advance peace on his way out than he would by remaining in office."

Posted by G, Z, or B at 4:31 PM

Egypt's Next Unelected President?

The Ascendancy of Gamal Mubarak

Egypt's Next Unelected President?


It is always amusing to see how authoritarian regimes endow themselves with the trappings of democracy – a party, parliament, “elections” – as if they somehow confer legitimacy to otherwise undemocratic governance. In Egypt, the 28-year rule of U.S.-backed president Hosni Mubarak is a good illustration. Although Mubarak claimed election victory in 2005 and his “National Democratic Party” (NDP) holds a majority in parliament, since assuming power in 1981, his government has been most notable for political intimidation of opponents, suppression of dissent, and silencing any and all who dare challenge his authority.

Egypt indeed has become the epitome of a police state. Mubarak has never ruled a day without the powers bequeathed to him by Emergency Law. Instituted immediately after Anwar Sadat’s assassination, these wide-sweeping measures allow his State Security forces to arrest any person without warrant; indefinitely detain any citizen without charge; try civilians in military court; censor the media; restrict political organizations’ freedom of assembly; and tightly curb what the media is permitted to broadcast or publish – all powers of which Mubarak has taken full advantage. Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is officially banned and its members routinely arrested, jailed and tortured under its mandates.

Questions about Mubarak’s potential successor – a subject normally off-limits to public or media speculation – came to a head this week when the NDP held its annual party conference (in direct violation of Egypt’s constitution, Mubarak has never appointed a vice president). Would he announce his intention to seek re-election in 2011 or would his 46-year-old son Gamal, widely believed to be his political heir apparent, declare his own candidacy?

Before answering, it is prudent to recall how Hosni Mubarak behaved during the country’s first direct, multi-candidate presidential election in 2005.

Amidst charges of vote-rigging (the government predictably prohibited outside election monitors), Mubarak won 88 percent of the vote, while his main challenger, Ayman Nour and his Al-Ghad (Tomorrow) party came in a distant second, garnering a mere seven percent.

Recognizing, however, that Nour had the potential of posing a significant challenge to Gamal in a future election, he was thrown in jail on trumped-up forgery charges shortly thereafter. After being tortured for four years, Nour was finally released in rapidly declining health this February (only to be attacked a few months later when a man on a motorcycle ignited a flammable substance near his face, burning his head. Nour blamed regime elements for the incident).

Gamal Mubarak currently heads the powerful policy committee of the NDP, and his hour long address to party members could have doubled as a stump speech. But in the end, neither he nor his father would state their intentions for 2011.

It should be understood that simply positing that Hosni Mubarak may be paving the way for his son to succeed him comes with its perils. In 2001, Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, one of Egypt’s prominent political dissidents, was sentenced to seven years in prison 2001 for alleging Mubarak with doing just that (he was later acquitted in 2003). Ibrahim wrote in 2007:

“Like other autocrats with declining legitimacy, Mubarak is trying to tighten his grip on power. His family is grooming 44-year-old Gamal to succeed his father. Any real or potential competitors, especially ones with charisma and name recognition, are to be defamed, jailed, driven from the country or otherwise eliminated.”

Since his release, Nour has organized a coalition of opposition groups comprised of leftists, liberals and Islamists, calling itself The Egyptian Campaign Against Presidential Succession; all are united in opposing Gamal’s apparent ascension to the presidency.

It only took a week after the announcement of this coalition’s formation before State Security forces raided Nour’s offices and assaulted party members gathered there.

Other names for the 2011 presidency beside Gamal being floated include Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohammad ElBaradei, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, and current director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services Omar Suleiman.

But in Egypt, where the political infrastructure is so intertwined with the state security apparatus, there will never be open and fair elections, despite the senior Mubarak’s proclamation they would be “clean and free.” The only realistic possibilities outside himself are Suleiman, or most likely, Gamal.

Just as with King Abdullah of Jordan, Bashar Assad of Syria, and the current grooming of Libya’s Saif Ghaddafi, it will be a dictator’s son who assumes power; a “candidacy” endorsed by Washington, and one in which the Egyptian people, regrettably, will have very little say.

Rannie Amiri is an independent Middle East commentator. He may be reached at: rbamiri AT yahoo DOT com.

"Get us rid of Erdogan" says WINEP to the Turkish army ...


WINEP's David Schenker does not trust Turkey anymore! Unless the Military (Turkish that is) sends Erdogan packing to comfort Israel.... ! Here

"The European Union has long debated the merits of Turkish EU membership. But now, nearly a decade after Islamists took the reins of power in Ankara, the central question is no longer whether Turkey should be integrated into Europe's economic and political structure, but rather whether Turkey should remain a part of the Western defense structure.

Recent developments suggest that while Turkey's military leadership remains committed to the state's secular, Western orientation and the defining principles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the civilian Islamist government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) seems to have different ideas. Ankara is increasingly pursuing illiberal policies at home, for instance by attacking independent media, while aligning itself with militant, anti-western Middle East regimes abroad.

The latest demonstration of Ankara's political shift was its cancellation last month of Israel's long-standing participation in NATO military exercises in Turkey. Even worse, on the same day Israel was disinvited, Turkey announced imminent military exercises with Syria, a member of the U.S. list of "State Sponsors of Terrorism."....

Ankara is simultaneously moving closer to the mullocracy in Tehran, even though the Islamic Republic is undermining stability in Afghanistan and Iraq by providing insurgents in both countries with explosives that are killing NATO and U.S. soldiers. The Iranian regime is also threatening to annihilate Israel,...

While Ankara's politics have changed, the military's pro-Western disposition reportedly has not. But over the past decade, the dynamics between the politicians and the general staff have been transformed. For better or worse, Western pressures have compelled the Turkish military to remain in the barracks (get them out NOW!), and refrain from interfering in political developments. Today, the Turkish military can do little but watch as the secular, democratic, pro-Western republic established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the early 1900s is undermined.

While it's still too early to write Turkey out of NATO, in the not so distant future, the alliance will reach a decision point. In 2014, NATO's next generation fighter plane, the Joint Strike Fighter, will be delivered. Given the direction of Turkish politics, serious questions must be asked about whether the Islamist government in Ankara can be trusted with the highly advanced technology.

It's time that NATO start thinking about a worst case scenario in Turkey. ......... absent a remarkable turnaround, it would appear that the West is losing Turkey. Should this occur, it would constitute the most dramatic development in the region since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 3:08 PM

Obama's Mid-East Mess

Broken Pledges


On November 4, 2009, the 30th anniversary of the student takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini gave a speech which is being much discussed in Washington DC.

The source of some of the angst at the While House and the State Department according to Congressional sources was that “the speech suggests that the Iranian government may be doing what it’s done many times over the past seven years. Which is to say that Iran may appear to agree, then hedge, then disagree, then appear to agree again somewhat, then pull back again, then ask for more time to consider details of the proposal, then finally present a counter-proposal, then say it wants cooperation but has serious doubts about the reliability of the other side and then say it will never give up on its rights, and on and on its goes.”

While omitting Iran’s take on recent events, some on Capitol Hill wondered if Iran’s Wali al Fique (supreme leader) was playing to his base or was using the speech to communicate directly and seriously with the Obama administration. Presumably he was doing both.

Aytollalh’s Khameni’s words were pointed and clear. He declared that Tehran may reject any talks backed by Washington because it is not to be trusted. He acknowledged that the US wanted to negotiate with Tehran “but its talks were full of threats … Every time they have a smile on their face, they are hiding a dagger behind their back. … Iran will not be fooled by the superficial conciliatory tone of the United States…This new American president repeatedly sent us oral and written messages to come and change the page -- to come and cooperate in solving the problems of the world. We said we will not pre-judge. We will see their action and see what they do about the change…But in the past eight months what we have seen is contradictory to what they say. They are telling us to negotiate, but alongside the negotiation there is a threat that if the negotiation does not bear the desired results, then we will do this and we will do that…We do not want any negotiations, the result of which is pre-determined by the United States," he said, adding that Tehran will always pursue its "scientific and technological rights and freedom,” and does not want a “sheep and wolf relation” with those with “ill-intentions” against Iran.

“Why don’t the Iranians trust us on the nuclear issue?” asked a staff member the House Foreign Affairs committee, who conceded he had not read the widely reported speech but he added that “ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on 11/2/09 in Marrakech that the U.N. nuclear deal could not be altered so it is unclear what is left to negotiate about.”

Some American analysts have argued that Iran is quite right to be suspicious of US intensions and have identified a pattern of recent events that undermine the credibility of the Obama administration since the president’s June “open hand-clenched fist” speech in Cairo. A pattern that Iran’s leadership no doubt analyzes as it recalls, and resolves not to continue the half century of Arab-Muslim gullibility when it comes to American and Western promises and inducements.

Some recent examples come to mind:
  • Clinton’s flip-flop on US demands for an Israeli settlement freeze and her throwing in the towel on the Obama administration assertion that Zionist settlement construction must stop. Her “Israel’s has made unprecedented concessions” statement was an obscenity to the ears of Palestinians and to much of the world including Iran. And it led to the 11/05/09 announcement by Mahmoud Abass that he would not seek reelection as President of the Palestinian Authority. All the White House could do was send its spokesman, Robert Gibbs, to the press room to praise Abass as a “true partner for the United States and Israel.”
  • The October 21, 2009, “Juniper Cobra 10” launching of the largest ever joint US-Israel military maneuvers employing more than 1000 military personnel and 17 U.S. warships clearly aimed at threatening Iran which is to be targeted by Arrow, Patriot and Aegis missiles in case of conflict. This was coupled by the obtuse comment of a US naval commander that the US navy will defend Israeli occupied Haifa as if it were San Diego.
  • The Obama administration has conspicuously refused to put the "Jundallah" (God's soldiers) group on the US State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations while keeping Lebanon’s Waad and Jihad al Binna constructions companies on the T list alongside Lebanon’s senior Shia cleric, Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.
  • In May 2009, “Jundallah” claimed responsibility for the killing of civilians in a mosque in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province. Last month, a Jundallah suicide bomber blew himself up at an Iran-supported gathering which was meant to foster closer community relations between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the area. What confidence can Iran’s leaders have in an Obama administration that continues the Bush-Cheney never-ending war on terror with its wrongheaded logic of "my enemy's enemy is my friend?
  • What message does this week’s House Congressional Resolution on the Goldstone Report send to Tehran and the World?
By a margin of 344-36, the US House of Representative quickly passed HR 867, an Israeli lobby resolution, crafted by AIPAC and staff members of Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that condemned the UN Goldstone report which has now been endorsed by the UN General Assembly with a vote of 114 to 18. The Goldstone Report now moves to the UN Security Council and perhaps the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
But according to the US House of Representatives and the vicious attack by the Anti-Defamation League hate group and its Director, Abe Foxman, the Report on wars crimes committed by Israel and Hamas is “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.” Many in Congress, who are strong advocates of an American Israel-centric foreign policy, vie with one another to demonstrate obeisance to Israel, not America. They urged President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton "to strongly and unequivocally oppose any discussion of the report or action on its findings in any international setting”, despite the fact that Judge Goldstone exposed many errors in Congressional criticism of the UN Report.

Ignoring Goldstone’s rebuttal to Israeli lobby attacks on the UN Report, Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer proclaimed:"I think the UN Goldstone report is unbalanced, and unfair, and inaccurate," yet he refused to offer any facts to support his broadside attack while adding that “the UN is totally biased against Israel, which is as careful a government as there is in terms of prosecuting its own defense officials.” Hoyer and his colleagues apparently do not credit the work of B’tselem, who the day before the rushed passage of HR 867 documented that as of 11/04/09 not one Israeli government investigation has been opened regarding Israel's policy during “Cast Lead” with respect to the selection of targets, the open-fire orders given to soldiers, the legality of the weapons used, the balance between injury to civilians and military advantage. Additionally, more than half of 23 cases of Palestinians being killed while holding white flags and all the cases where Gazans were used as human shields were exposed by B’tselem not the Israeli military, whose position, like Hoyer and Ros-Lehtinen, is that these crimes did not happen despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Hoyer and Ros-Lehtinen are pillars of the fake US Congressional Human Rights Caucus, founded in l983 which in its quarter century of self congratulatory investigations of Human Rights abuses has yet to find a single human rights abuse by Israel, irrespective of any murders, slaughtering of innocents, home demolitions, political incarcerations, religious bigotry, illegal use of American weapons, illegal siege of Gaza, and serial invasions of Lebanon, and the continuing theft of Syria’s Golan heights. Over the past few years the CHRC has become an Iran-bashing forum for all manner of Zionist zealots and kooks spreading falsehoods and defamations against Islam and the Islamic Republic.

According to Ros-Lehtinen, "The Goldstone Report illustrates the anti-freedom, anti-Israel bias which deeply pervades the UN system, and it does not deserve consideration or legitimacy from responsible nations. Israel took every reasonable measure to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. It is clear that Israel had every right and duty to defend its citizens from the onslaught of rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas and other militants in Gaza,"

Both Hoyer and Ros-Lehtinen could have been deterred by the White House from creating this latest anti-Arab, anti-Islam House Resolution but they were given a green light by the Obama administration to push their screed. Obama joined in condemning the Goldstones Report and not much appears to be left of his pledge to break from the past and open a new chapter of civility with Iran.

Human Rights Watch which had urged lawmakers not to back the resolution, said that "Instead of denouncing the Goldstone report, the US Congress should urge Israel and Hamas to break the cycle of abuse and impunity, which for too long has fueled hatred and hindered efforts at peace.”

One can hardly expect Iran to believe that these US policy makers should be taken seriously or have any interest to advance their country’s interests rather than Israel’s.Questions of credibility rest more at the door of Barack Obama’s White House that at Iran’s Shura and Majlis.

U.S. Mid-East policy clearly in disarray, from Iran to Palestine. Time is running out if Obama’s claimed vision of dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality does not collapse into complete derision and caricature.

Franklin Lamb is Director of the Washington DC-Beirut Lebanon based Sabra Shatila Foundation. He can be reached at