Saturday, 4 December 2010

Israeli official: Collapse of Aqsa Mosque is imminent

[ 04/12/2010 - 02:47 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, the Commander of the Jerusalem district of the Home Front Command, has warned that a disaster might befall the holy Aqsa Mosque and that the old Marwani Mosque might collapse soon.

He told an Israeli weekly published on Friday that a collapse would happen, but the only "question is when? And how many will be killed and injured?"

Lev-Ran said that an emergency plan is always present when prayers in Ramadan are offered, adding the Home Front Command and the police are always on the alert.

Observers believe that Lev-Ran's statement is only a test balloon to check the Arab reaction, adding that the demolition of the Aqsa was taken a while ago by the Israeli decision makers but was awaiting the proper time for implementation.

Land caved in near the Aqsa Mosque and in occupied Jerusalem as a result of the Israeli excavations and tunnels dug underneath the holy site.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

MP Attal: All Hamas cadres detained by PA in Jericho jail in isolation cells

[ 04/12/2010 - 02:08 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Attal said that the Hamas-affiliated detainees imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Jericho prison are separated from each other in very small solitary cells.

MP Attal added in a press release on Friday that the incarceration conditions in this PA jail are much worse than Israeli prisons, and appealed to human rights organizations to intervene to end the suffering of Hamas prisoners there.

In a separate incident, the PA security militias stormed on Friday the Mosque of Abrar in Al-Khalil city and kidnapped Sheikh Jibril Al-Jiyawi and his son Muntaser from inside the mosque as they were performing their evening prayers.

Eyewitnesses said that the militias took the father and his son to the preventive security headquarters in the city and then ransacked their home.

The militias also kidnapped seven other Palestinians affiliated with Hamas in the cities of Nablus, Tulkarem, Ramallah, Jenin, and Salfit, according to local sources on Saturday.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Without land, Gaza farmers grow crops on roofs

Eva Bartlett, The Electronic Intifada, 3 December 2010

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Rooftop farming (Eva Bartlett/IPS)
BEIT HANOUN, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "We grow on our roof because we are farmers but have no land now," says Moatassan Hamad, 21, from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

"Our family is large and thankfully what we grow feeds us," he says. They grow a variety of staple vegetables.

"Cabbage and eggplants in winter, and endochriyya [a plant used for making soup] and chili and garlic and onions in summer. And other things that we can sell, like flowers and palm tree seedlings."

The house is a typical cement block house, in the crush of a Palestinian refugee camp. "There is no space in camps, no trees, no public gardens," Hamad says.

The flourish of greenery and color of his garden contrasts the utilitarian grey of their home and those close around it. Large blue plastic containers sprout date, orange and palm tree seedlings; parsley, cacti and peppers flourish.

"Our friends and guests like to sit up here, because most of them don't have anything like this," Hamad adds.

Hussein Shabat, director of the Palestinian Center for Youth Development, guides families working on rooftop garden projects, sometimes with the aid of outside donors.

"Beit Hanoun is an important place for such gardens. It's near the border with Israel, and much agricultural land has been destroyed repeatedly by the Israeli army," he says. The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee reports that up to 75,000 dunams (a dunam equals 1,000 square meters) of prime agricultural land has been destroyed by Israeli bulldozers and bombings.

"Also many farmers are unable to access their land because of the Israelis," Shabat adds. The Israeli imposition of a "buffer zone" along Gaza's borders swallows at least a third of Gaza's farmland and renders lethal any border regions farmers try to access. This land formerly produced wheat, barley and a variety of fruits and nuts; it was Gaza's food basket.

"Many people have left their homes and land near border areas, because they are afraid of the constant Israeli shooting and shelling attacks," Shabat says. Beit Hanoun is now a waterless, treeless landscape.

On the flat, square, cement roof of another Beit Hanoun home, Ahed Shabat, 42, looks after the plants and vegetables growing in tubs and cement planters amidst hung laundry and water tanks.

"We grow things we can use year round, like garlic and onions," he says. "But also seasonal plants like spinach, parsley, radishes, eggplant, corn, okra and chili peppers.

"We also grow flowers and herbs to use in tea, like mint, mirimiyya and zaatar," he adds. The latter two herbs, that commonly grow wild in the hills of the occupied West Bank, are a staple for most Palestinians' tea, and have medicinal uses.

The rooftop helps support his family of six, and is a tranquil island. "This garden is mostly for our family's consumption, and at the same time saves us money," Ahed Shabat explains. "My family enjoys sitting up here amongst the plants, because most of Beit Hanoun's plant life has been destroyed."

Home-grown food projects like rooftop gardens, and raising rabbits and chickens on the roof help combat the severe poverty of Gaza's 80 percent food-aid dependent population. Those living in tightly-packed refugee camps or overcrowded towns but with access to a roof can potentially stave off malnutrition and at the same time generate a small income.

"I love raising birds," says Abu Jihad, 17, at his rooftop coop of roughly 100 chickens and a score of pigeons in central Gaza. "In the beginning I learned about chickens watching how my friend worked with his coop. The only place I had to keep chickens was our roof."

Abu Jihad's chicken coop takes up the northeastern quarter, a ramshackle 1.5-by-3-meter pen of scavenged bits of wood, metal and chicken wiring, which he opens daily to let the birds run and peck all over the roof.

"I started with nine chicks my friend had given me, and bought another ten from pocket money that I'd saved. My family gave me a little more money to help out, so I bought another thirty."

The business is not easy. "This spring there were cool winds in the morning. I only had basic materials for a simple cage which was very exposed. Some of my chicks died from the wind and exposure to the intense sun."

Others became ill. "Medicine is very expensive, because of [Israel's] siege, and I was already struggling just to bring them food. But I bought medicine, because they all would have died otherwise."

Surviving a touchy start, his birds have multiplied and thrived. "Now I've got around fifty couples, and different types of chickens," says Abu Jihad.

The eggs and meat are better quality than factory-farmed chickens, he says, because of the natural food he gives them. "I don't feed them any steroids or chemicals, just vegetable peelings and dried bread and seeds, and I let them walk around on the roof every day."

Some nongovernmental groups in Gaza do assist in such projects, but Abu Jihad took the initiative to start the project himself.

"I spent a lot of money starting with the birds, and didn't earn anything from them for a long time. When I had more chickens and different types of chickens, I began to earn a little money. If my family didn't need money, then I'd use the money from the eggs I sold to buy the birds food."

What started as a project from fascination has developed into a relatively lucrative means of contributing to his family's needs.

All rights reserved, IPS -- Inter Press Service (2010). Total or partial publication, retransmission or sale forbidden.

WikiLeaks: Israel's Security Concerns Often Clash With U.S. Interests

Source Here

In an explosive WikiLeaks revelation, Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, the head of the Political Military Bureau of Israel's Ministry of Defense, while discussing Israeli requests for U.S. military aid, "acknowledged the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel's security focus is so narrow that its QME [Qualitative Military Edge] concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region," according to the State Department.

Gilad's "typically frank" remarks lend credence to the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, then CENTCOM Commander, before the Senate Armed Service Committee in March. Petraeus articulated several reasons why U.S. and Israeli interests did not necessarily coincide. The Arab-Israeli conflict, according to Petraeus, "present[s] distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests," and "foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel." Petraeus went on to describe how Israel's ongoing conflicts spurred recruitment efforts for al-Qaeda and increased Iranian influence in the region.

What appears obvious to Petraeus and is reluctantly admitted to by Gilad is lost on Israel's most vociferous backers on Capitol Hill, such as incoming Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, who declared after conducting private diplomacy with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and undermining the Obama administration's efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that "the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other." In Cantor's view, daylight between the strategic interests of the United States and Israel is inconceivable because they are symbiotic.

Cantor would do well to read some of the 19 cables released so far by WikiLeaks from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, which shed important light on behind-the-scene tensions between Israel's quest for complete military dominance and U.S. attempts to militarize the Middle East, as evidenced by Gilad's admission. These documents display an incomplete, yet consistent, pattern of the United States saturating its allies with weapons while deflecting Israeli pressure not to do so.

Much of the disagreement, sanitized in diplomatic parlance, stems from different interpretations of what constitutes Israel's qualitative military edge (QME). This technical assessment, whose provisions were snuck into the 2008 Naval Vessel Transfer Act, sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman, requires the president to certify that any sale of weapons or military services to Middle East countries "will not adversely affect Israel's qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel." The law also mandates the president to submit to Congress secret reports that include an "empirical and qualitative assessment on an ongoing basis of the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel."

In conversations with U.S. officials, Israel stakes out an unequivocal position: any U.S. weapons sale, even to the most friendly of regimes, is potentially devastating to its security. The State Department reports that Israeli officials "attempted to make the argument that moderate Arab countries could in the future become adversaries -- and that this should be taken into account in the QME process." Israel raises specific concerns about the potential sale of F15-SA fighter planes to Saudi Arabia, the transfer of Cessna Caravan planes and Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to Lebanon, and C-7 AMRAAM missiles to Jordan.

The always candid Gilad went a step further, stating the QME was nothing more than a "codename" for "potential threats against Israel." The cable summarizes his thinking:
"Israel currently enjoys peace with regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- but the future is uncertain, and each of these regimes faces the potential for change, he [Gilad] argued. U.S. weapons -- 'the best in the world'-- level the playing field by reducing the need for training -- and could ultimately aid a future enemy of Israel, Gilad said."
While staking out this maximalist position, Israeli officials, however, are resigned to massive U.S. weapons sales in the region. The State Department notes that "Israel understands U.S. policy intentions to arm moderate Arab states in the region to counter the Iranian threat, and prefers such sales originate from the United States instead of other countries like Russia or China." Israel's Assistant Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz "seemed to acknowledge that Israel does not expect that all QME decisions will break in its favor, but that Israel only expects a fair and equitable process that incorporates 'intimate dialogue.'" And Israel's Mossad Chief Yair Dagan "clarified that he would not oppose U.S. security assistance to America's Arab partners. He expressed concern, nevertheless, about the current policies of those partners -- especially with regards to Syria and Iran. Dagan added that if those countries must choose between buying defensive systems from the U.S. or France, then he would prefer they buy systems from the U.S., as this would bring them closer to the U.S."

Israel's stance is a pragmatic one, in the realization that U.S. arms sales to the region will take place even over its objections. Discussing with Dagan the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for $30 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel, then Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns affirmed in 2007 that the "MOU serves as a concrete reminder that the U.S. stands by its long-term security commitments to its friends, and is ready to help them with their needs."

However, Burns also "noted that the Middle East is now at the heart of American interests. Because Egypt also plays a vital role in the region, the U.S. would also renew its security assistance commitment to that country. U.S. relations with the Gulf states were longstanding, and America would stay true to those friendships, as well." In other words, massive amounts of U.S. military aid to Israel in no way conflict with massive U.S. arms sales to the region in general, as witnessed by the Obama administration's record-breaking $60 billion sale of fighter planes and attack helicopters to Saudi Arabia, announced just last month.

The sad reality is that this process deliberately fuels an unnecessary and never-ending arms escalation in the Middle East, making President Obama's goal of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace during his first term in office that much more remote. WikiLeaks has done a great service by exposing the inner workings of how U.S. diplomacy is drowning the region in weapons. As President Jimmy Carter once said, "We cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war."

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service (CRS).

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

34 ships to carry aid to Gaza next April

[ 04/12/2010 - 08:08 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The international campaign for solidarity with the Palestinian people is preparing to send 34 ships loaded with humanitarian relief material to the Gaza Strip by next April, Mariam Zakut, the director general of culture and thought society, said.

She added that the vessels would also carry Arab and foreign solidarity activists from various world continents.

Zakut, who was participating in the international week for solidarity with the Palestinian people in France, said that the fleet targets forcing Israel to recognize the Palestinian people's rights and end its siege of Gaza.

The human rights activist said that she carried with her documentary films and photos explaining the tragic conditions in the Strip as a result of the Israeli siege for the fourth year running.

Zakut pointed out that she addressed rallies in various French cities organized by civil societies during which boycotting Israeli goods was a prominent goal during her campaign.

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Al-Akhbar WikiLeaks: A leak within Wikileaks or perhaps from a third-party source who wanted to beat Wikileaks' planned release. ..."

Via Friday-lunch Club

"...The documents appear to be authentic as the cables from Tripoli match up with The Atlantic's background reporting for an earlier story on a 2009 Libyan nuclear crisis, some details of which The Atlantic did not publish but nonetheless appear in Al Akhbar's cables. The rest of the cables are from U.S. embassies in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. They portray U.S. diplomats as struggling to understand and influence the region's oppressive and sometimes unpredictable regime.... Another series from Beirut in 2008 shows Lebanese Defense Minister Elias al-Murr telling U.S. diplomats, in a message he implied they should pass on to Israeli officials, that the Lebanese military would not resist an Israeli invasion so long as the Israeli forces abided by certain conditions. Murr, apparently hoping that an Israeli invasion would destroy much of the Hezbollah insurgency and the communities in Lebanon's south that support it, promised an Israeli invasion would go unchallenged as long as it did not pass certain physical boundaries and did not bomb Christian communities...... If Al Akhbar did not receive the cables from Wikileaks, it's unclear whether the newspaper got them from a leak within Wikileaks or perhaps from a third-party source who wanted to beat Wikileaks' planned release. ..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 11:00 AM
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Clashes between protestors and occupation police in Eisaweyya

[ 03/12/2010 - 09:58 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Clashes broke out, Friday evening, in the Eisaweyya suburb of occupied Jerusalem after a protest march in which local residents and foreign sympathisers participated.

Local sources said that violent confrontations took place on the western entrance to the suburb after a march protesting the closure of the village’s entrances and the home demolitions that took place recently.

The sources added that IOF troops fired rubber coated bullets and teargas canisters at the protestors. No casualties were reported at the time.

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"xxxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel.."


C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002837


Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reason 1.4 (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: The Ambassador met separately with xxxxx during the week of September 15....

¶9. (C) xxxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel. xxxxx appeared impressed by the level of reverse immigration from Israel to Russia, saying that only approximately 1,000 Russians emigrated to Israel over the past year. xxxxx impressions, saying that approximately 2,000 Jews in the entire former Soviet Union moved to Israel in the past year. Both regarded the figures as the product of Russia's growing stability and wealth. Adding greater depth on Russian-Israeli relations, xxxxx blamed the falling dollar for the reduction of Israeli support to the Russian Jewish educational system. xxxxx lauded the recently signed visa-free travel agreement between Russia and Israel since it would mean less work for him, no longer needing to help his community members receive visas.
Posted by G, Z, or B at 6:34 PM
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Abbas’s militia kidnap five Hamas supporters, 3 of them university students

[ 03/12/2010 - 09:02 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Abbas’s militia continue its campaign against Hamas supporters in all districts. They kidnapped 5 activists in the districts of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem and Salfit, said local sources on Friday.

In the district of Tulkarem:
The militia kidnapped Wael Mussalamani as he left the Khadouri University after kidnapping, a few days ago, freed prisoner Mazhar Khreis, who spent five years in Israeli occupation jails.

Meanwhile, the militia continues to detain journalist Yazid Khader from the village of Deir al-Ghsoun for the fourth day running after kidnapping him while attending a relative’s wedding. He was released from Abbas’s jails only a few weeks ago.

The same militia continues to detain journalist Tareq Shehab from the village of Anabta for more than a month. He was kidnapped several times before.

In the district of Nablus:
Abbas’s militia kidnapped Arafat Ahmad, a student at Najah University, after storming his accommodation in the city.

In the district of Jenin:
The militia kidnapped Abdessalam Habaybah, a student at Najah University and a former captive in Israeli occupation jails, after summoning him two days ago. He is due to graduate at the end of this university term.

In the district of Salfit:
Abbas’s militia kidnapped Bilal Abdel-Rahim Harb, a student at Najah university, from the village of Skaka

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"..I am solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision.."


Yukiya Amano says Iran could be making a nuclear weapon
In a later cable in October, the US mission in Vienna goes as far as describing Amano as "DG of all states, but in agreement with us".
"... Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons programMore candidly, Amano noted the importance of maintaining a certain "constructive ambiguity" about his plans, at least until he took over for DG ElBaradei in December...." 
... The other pressing question for the US mission during the transition was the fate of the deputy director generals, particularly Olli Heinonen, the head of the safeguards division - a widely-respected Finn who ran the inspections of Iran, Syria, North Korea and other nuclear rogue suspects, and who was consequently the second most (or perhaps the most) important person in the IAEA's Vienna headquarters, from Washington's point of view. He was due to retire in Summer 2010, causing some anxiety in the US delegation...
Posted by G, Z, or B at 12:14 PM
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Middle East countries leaking their own cables?

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

"... One Washington lobbyist who represents countries in the Middle East said that local press in several countries he works on is reporting on cables that haven't yet been reported on by the media outlets who had advance access to the documents. The lobbyist speculated that foreign governments may also be selectively leaking cables they've come across in order to spin them in their own favor before WikiLeaks or local media has a chance to weigh in." "New leaked cables are coming from weird sources, think tanks, the countries involved. There's a lot of stuff being quoted in local press from cables that haven't been released yet and I have no idea where they are coming from," this lobbyist said..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 8:41 AM
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Jeff Gates: WikiLeaks and The Sound of Silence

December 3, 2010 by Jeff Gates

The scope and scale of WikiLeaks is a marvel to behold. Some praise it as the ultimate form of democracy. Others as the epitome of the most sacred of liberty’s principles: the right to know.

Yet the real story here is not what’s revealed but what’s withheld. The marvel is not what we now know but what is already known that is left unsaid. And what’s given an interpretive spin by those newspapers granted priority access.

The facts suggest that WikiLeaks is less about the right to know than the right to deceive.

Take for example the release of diplomatic cables on the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia and the interpretative gloss given by The New York Times.

Ashkenazi General David Kezerashvili returned to Georgia from Tel Aviv to lead an assault on separatists in South Ossetia with the support of Israeli arms and Israeli training. That crisis reignited Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

Then as now, it appeared there was a possibility of resolving Israel’s six-decade occupation of Palestine. At that time, The Quartet was coordinating the peace-making efforts of Russia and the U.S. along with the European Union and the United Nations.

Tel Aviv was not pleased.

Then as now, efforts to broker a peace were thwarted by creating a crisis within a coalition of those willing to invest their geopolitical capital to end a conflict that has long served its Zionist purpose as a source of other conflicts.

The resulting rift between the U.S. and Russia ensured some well-timed entropy and reduced the possibility of ending a decades-long occupation. Then as now, that occupation must end to bring peace to the region.

The Sound of Silence

Without that broader context, it’s not possible to isolate the motivation for that well-timed war. Yet the cables released by WikiLeaks say nothing about that. Nor does The New York Times.

Nor do the cables mention Tel Aviv’s interest in a pipeline across Georgia meant to move Caspian oil through Turkey and on to Eurasia, using Israel as a fee-collecting intermediary.

As with so much that is left “un-leaked,” the silence is telling.

What is leaked is accurately reported: “Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged.” Yet The Times says nothing about the undisclosed bias motivating that behavior. That silence is deceptive.

Instead Times reporter C.J. Chivers notes only that the bombardments by Georgia of South Ossetia “plunged Georgia into war, pitting the West against Russia in a standoff over both Russian military actions and the behavior of a small nation that the United States had helped arm and train.”

Now as then, there’s no mention in the paper of record of the role played by an Ashkenazi general, the Israeli training of Georgian troops or the arms and equipment that Israel provided.
Tel Aviv must be pleased.

The Greatest Threat to Peace

The Times notes “the reliance on one-sided information” as Georgian President Saakashvili told the U.S. Ambassador “the Russians are out to take over Georgia and install a new regime.”

After the Russian Army dealt the Israeli-trained Georgians a quick defeat, President George W. Bush, as the U.S. economy was sliding into a recession, announced a $1 billion aid package to help Georgia rebuild. Rest assured those funds were borrowed.

In the netherworld where Colonial Zionists excel in catalyzing well-timed crises and generating interest-bearing debt, WikiLeaks has already achieved iconic status. Much as The Quartet faded into memory, the peace talks that showed promise just last week have been displaced by talk of yet another crisis—with Iran.

For those skilled at gaining traction for a storyline and then advancing a narrative, WikiLeaks is akin to a script doctor. With The Clash of Civilizations losing traction, this latest crisis helped put it back on track.

Only time will tell if this traction suffices to take the “coalition of the willing” from Iraq and Afghanistan into Iran. Occasionally those played for the fool turn their attention to the deceiver. An October 2003 poll of 7,500 respondents in the European Union found that Israel was considered the greatest threat to world peace.

The U.S. military is not without considerable knowledge confirming the common source of the fixed intelligence that induced America to invade Iraq.

With the Israel lobby seeking to induce the U.S. into Iran, events may take an unprecedented turn. A coalition of the willing might well be persuaded to secure Palestine along its 1967 borders with troops deployed to protect Jerusalem as a site of significance to three major faith traditions.

Should the U.S. Commander-in-Chief decide to earn his Nobel peace prize, he may order U.S. troops to secure the only known nuclear arsenal in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv will not be pleased.

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Ros-Lehtinen to Roed Larsen: "Lebanon is becoming insubordinate..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

What a pair........!

"... Lebanon's government is increasingly "subordinate" to Iran and Syria, a top US lawmaker told UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on Tuesday... "Hezbollah, with the help of Iran and Syria, is massively rearming, the Lebanese government is becoming more and more subordinate to Iran and Syria, and the line between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hezbollah is gradually being erased, ... Above all, we must protect the security of our allies and ensure that those responsible for (late) prime minister (Rafiq) Hariri's murder are held responsible," the Florida lawmaker added. Roed-Larsen has been overseeing UN Security Council Resolution 1559, a text adopted in 2004 by the 15-member body that calls for "the disbanding and disarmament" of all militias in Lebanon..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 8:17 AM
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'Zionists control US foreign policy'

'Zionists control US foreign policy'
Fri Dec 3, 2010 6:19PM

Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas
Renowned American author and veteran journalist Helen Thomas says the "Zionists" are in full control of the US foreign policy and its other institutions.

Thomas, a former White House journalist, said Israel can never be criticized in the US because Zionists are in control of the American foreign policy as well as its main institutions.

"I can call a president of the US anything in the book, but I can't touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank," Thomas said.

The 90-year-old national columnist says the White House, Congress, Wall Street and Hollywood are all owned by the Zionists.

"Congress, the White House, Hollywood, and Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion," she said.

Thomas also said that she stands by the comments she made about Israel earlier this year, which was condemned by the local Jewish community.

Thomas had said that Israelis should get out of Palestine and return to their homes in Europe and the US.

In an interview, Thomas said that criticizing Israel was the reason she was forced to resign from Hearst Newspapers and was ostracized in Washington.

The longtime White House correspondent, who grew up in Detroit as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn for a workshop on anti-Arab bias.

Jewish groups have called Thomas' earlier remarks unfair and bigoted. They have also slammed Thursday's remarks.


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‘Carmel Fire Disaster Proved Israel Can’t Afford New War’

03/12/2010 The enormous blaze that broke out on the Carmel proved that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front.

In this context, Israeli daily Haaretz said that the Carmel huge fire will be remembered as the October War of the Fire and Rescue Service, who were not prepared to counter a disaster of such magnitude.

Haaretz said that it turned out that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front. “The warning of the outgoing Military Intelligence Chief, Amos Yadlin, that the next war will be a lot more difficult than past experiences, and that Tel Aviv will be a front line, was not translated into the necessary preparation by the authorities assigned the protection of the civilians,” the Israeli daily pointed out.

“Under such circumstances, it is best for Israel not to embark on war against Iran, which will involve thousands of missiles being fired on the home front,” Haaretz said. “After the Second Lebanon War, which exposed how pathetic the civil defense system was, reports were written, exercises were held, but everything broke down under the stress of a real emergency on the Carmel range − an area that already experienced the trauma of Hezbollah missiles.”

Furthermore, the Israeli daily pointed to the help Israel has asked for, an opportunity that wouldn’t be offered for the Zionist entity in the case of war. “Yesterday Israel asked for help from Cyprus and Greece, and the air force traveled to France to bring fire retardants to make up for the material that had run out. In war time, it is doubtful whether Israel will be able to rely on the generosity and largess of its neighbors.”

Haaretz noted that Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is responsible for the firemen and the head of the Fire and Rescue Services, Shimon Romah, were nowhere to be found yesterday. “They are obvious candidates for losing their jobs as a result of the disaster,” the Israeli daily asserted.

The disaster has shown that the Israeli enemy was unable to face the incident alone, pushing Israeli officials to ask for international help.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted Israel was not equipped to deal with the type and magnitude of blaze, which has been ravaging the area around Haifa for 24 hours. He thanked nations sending aid, which included Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, stressing that Israel can't fight massive brushfire alone.

"We can't say that the fire is under control," Israeli Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen told reporters on Friday evening as the largest wildfire in Israeli history continued to burn in the Carmel hills south of Haifa.

Cohen added that despite the assistance received and the cooperation amongst various organizations the fire is continuing to spread in several locations. "The event has not yet ended and even now there are some locations where the fire has not been taken care of," Cohen said. "Despite all the aid forces have received, we can't say that the fire is under control. Perhaps we will be able to say that by Saturday afternoon. The strategic plan of the police is still to save lives and to bring the event to an end as quickly as possible."

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Friday, 3 December 2010

Resistance Triumphs Again: Israeli Spy Attempt Thwarted

03/12/2010 Once again, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon was able to prove to the Israeli enemy that all balances have changed…

Once again, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon proved to the Israeli enemy and the whole world that the Resistance is strengthening day after another and that the days of undermining it have gone forever…

On Friday, the Islamic Resistance announced that it has succeeded in thwarting an Israeli spy attempt on its telecommunications network in Wadi al-Qaisiyeh near Majdal Silim in South Lebanon.

In a statement it released, the Islamic Resistance emphasized that the Israeli enemy blew up its espionage device soon after it was discovered by the Islamic Resistance fighters and technicians.

The statement said that the Lebanese Army has started investigation into the new Israeli violation of the Lebanese sovereignty.

The statement concluded by stressing that the spy attempts of the enemy come in the framework of the continuous Israeli assaults on the national Telecommunication network, which are aimed at violating and therefore controlling it, what constitutes a violation of the sovereignty.

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Gilad Atzmon: The Burning Bush

By: Gilad Atzmon

"Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region."

DateThursday, December 2, 2010 

Disaster in the North of Israel, at least 40 dead as fire rages across the Carmel Mountains. A mass evacuation has begun.

As I am writing these lines, Israeli Fire fighting crews are battling with the flames. They also express no hope of controlling the fire soon. "We lost all control of the fire," said the Haifa Fire fighting services spokesman. "There aren't enough fire fighting resources in Israel in order to put out the fire."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hurried to the scene of the fire on Thursday. He requested the help of the U.S, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Cyprus to send additional forces to aid the Israeli firemen.

A normal country would probably ask for the help of its neighbours, but the Jewish state doesn’t have neighbours. It made all its neighbours into enemies.

But the story here goes far deeper.  The fire in northern Israel is far from being a coincidence. Israel’s rural landscape is saturated with pine trees. These trees are totally new to the region. They were not there until the 1930’s. The pine trees were introduced to  the Palestinians landscape in the early 1930s  by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in an attempt to  ‘reclaim the land’ .

By 1935, JNF had planted 1.7 million trees over a total area of 1,750 acres.

Over fifty years, the JNF planted over 260 million trees largely on confiscated Palestinian land. It did it all in a desperate attempt to hide the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and their history.

Haifa University

Uprooted Palestinian Playing Cards Under Palestinian Ollives
Along the years the JNF performed a crude attempt to eliminate Palestinian civilisation and their past but it also tried to make Palestine look like Europe. The Palestinian natural forest was eradicated. Similarly the olive trees were uprooted. The pine trees took their place. On the southern part of mount Carmel the Israelis named an area as ‘Little Switzerland’.

I have learned tonight that Little Switzerland is burned. 

However, the facts on the ground were pretty devastating for the JNF.

The pine tree didn’t adapt to the Israeli climate as much as the Israelis failed to adapt to the  Middle East.

According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive. Those few trees that did survive formed nothing but a firetrap. By the end of each Israeli summer each of the Israeli pine forests become a potential deadly zone.

In spite of its nuclear power, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be very vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated  from the land it claims to own.

Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region. 


If Israel, after many drills done during last years, can't deal with a bush fire, I wonder hot it will deal with the expected war with Hezbollah??
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Ministry of prisoners holds Fatah responsible on lives of hunger strikers in Jericho

[ 03/12/2010 - 03:33 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The PA ministry of prisoners in Gaza has held the authority of Fatah in the West Bank fully responsible for the lives of six Palestinian prisoners who went on hunger strike for the tenth day now in the infamous Jericho jail in the West Bank.

In a statement it issued over the matter, the ministry published the names of the hunger strikers, asserting they were maltreated and tortured while in detention.

A year ago, the six kidnapped Palestinians won a ruling from the PA high court dismissing their case and ordering their immediate release, but the PA security refused to implement the court order and kept the six in detention prompting their decision to go on hunger strike till they are released or die for their freedom, the ministry confirmed.

The ministry added that the detainees of the Jericho jail were exposed to incarceration condition worse than the imprisonment conditions in the Israeli jails, explaining that the detainees were maltreated, and denied their right a stroll and exercise.

Furthermore, the ministry said, families of the detainees in the said jail were maltreated and humiliated when they visit their detained sons, quoting the mother of one of the detainees as saying that the prisoners are exposed to slow execution process in the jail.

Relatives of the prisoners asserted that their sons committed no crime or law violation, adding that their sons were tortured and jailed for political reasons for supporting the Islamic Movement in Palestine, adding that many of them were jailed in Israeli jails for many years for the same reasons.

Moreover, the ministry underlined that hundreds of Palestinian citizens were detained and tortured in the PA jails in the West Bank, urging Arab and Muslim countries not to finance the “collaborator” government of Salam Fayyadh, the illegitimate PA prime minister in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the director of the Jericho jail Tareq Sharbati threatened to break the strike even if half of the hunger strikers are killed, prompting wide criticism from human rights organizations, including the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain.

According to organization, the jail administration is launching strong psychological war against the hunger strikers in a bid to end the strike, even by force. The hunger strikers rejected Sharbati’s threats, and insisted on continuing their strike.

According to the Arab organization, international law bans the use of force to break the strike, holding the PA security forces responsible for lives of the six prisoners, urging media outlets to keep the focus on the issue till they are freed and the court order is heeded. It also called on the EU to dispatch fact-finding committee to check what is happening in the Jericho jail.
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“Wikileaks Cable Proves US Controlling STL”

03/12/2010 Day after another, more “secrets” are revealed through the Wikileaks documents recently released, uncovering the “conspiracy” of some Lebanese with the West to target the Resistance.

One of the documents released was focusing on talks between former US ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sison and Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor Danielle Bellemare.

The mentioned cable, dated September 2008 and obtained by website WikiLeaks and published by Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, quoted Bellemare as asking then-US ambassador Sison for intelligence information as he was investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. "Bellemare showed a good understanding of the problems associated with complying ... but his frustration was nonetheless evident: 'You are the key player. If the U.S. doesn't help me, who will?,'" read the cable.

According to the member of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Hasan Fadlallah, the mentioned cable was a proof that Washington is manipulating the probe. "The information leaked on meetings between the prosecutor general of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the former US ambassador confirms what we have always said, that the US administration is using the court and the investigation committee as a tool to target the resistance," MP Fadlallah told Agence France Presse.

"This is a direct result of the failure of Israel's US-backed military offensives against Lebanon," the Hezbollah MP pointed out.
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Breaking news: Hezbullah foils an Israeli trial to spy on its Telecommunications Network

When discovered by Hezbullah the Israel remotely destroyed their spying device ( Al-Manar TV)

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Operation Cedar Sweep: Lebanon Requests US Reconnaissance Flights over Territories

As-Safir Lebanese daily mentioned that Wikileaks leaked diplomatic cables issued on Thursday revealed secret US spy flights taking place from the UK's Cyprus airbase.

Codenamed "Cedar Sweep", the Lebanese defense ministry had asked Washington to conduct this operation over a period extending from April to August 2008 at least.

This was the phase during which internal political conflict was escalating in Lebanon in light of the Seniora government.

The leaks, by disclosing "espionage" American missions over Lebanon and uncovering the blatant breach of Lebanon's sovereignty, and the compliance of these missions with the daily "Israeli" aerial violations, grew concerns of Britain that the request for reconnaissance flights may have been made by the Lebanese Minister of Defense, rather than the entire Lebanese government.

In addition, while these cables describe the main aim behind the missions of the Cedar Sweep as "fighting terrorism", yet it does not determine the Lebanese areas over which the US flights were conducted over, neither did the cables determine the "terrorist" sides which are the aim of the operation.

The use of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus for US U2 spy plane missions over locations in Lebanon, prompted an acrimonious series of exchanges between British officials and the US embassy in London, according to the cables released by WikiLeaks.

The then foreign secretary David Miliband said the planes gathered intelligence that was then allegedly passed to the Lebanese authorities to help them "track down Hizbullah, reported the Guardian.

He further stated that in the past, such flights have also been carried out on "Israel's" behalf by the US.

The British Government believed that the Lebanese government is denying statements that it had requested aerial reconnaissance flights.

British Foreign Office official, John Hillman said if the Lebanese government denied the said request, then the British government will face difficulties in exploiting British territories in the Cedar Sweep mission.

Hillman clarified that the Human Rights department in the British Foreign Ministry, has referred that in spite of Lebanon's Defense Ministry's guarantees, it will not exploit the exchanged intelligence information in an illegal way.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch, and the US Foreign Ministry has documented cases of torture and arbitrary arrest by the Lebanese armed forces.

Hillman stressed that the Human Rights reports will be evaluated by the first of May, referring that the approval on the Cedar Sweep mission had been discussed in the War and Foreign Ministry, and was finally approved by then Minister of State for Middle East Affairs Kim Howells.
 The wikileaks cables also confirmed the presence of data including the scheduled Cedar Sweep reconnaissance mission in the period of 1 May - 31 August 2008, also confirmed that there had been reconnaissance planes covering northern Iraq and Turkey.

On its part, the US Embassy in Britain considered the additional conditions demanded by the British government were "not only burdensome but unrealistic".

US War and Foreign Ministry Officials also tried to convince British counterparts that "Excessive conditions such as described above will hinder, if not obstruct, our co-operative counter-terrorism efforts", as came in the cables, stressing that the British government supports the Seniora government.

The US cables leaked documents also confirmed that the planes used in Cesar Sweep mission were flown from British Royal Air Force Akrotiri base in Cyprus.

Documents refer that the Foreign Office's director general for British war and intelligence, Mariot Leslie, demanded imposing conditions on launching the reconnaissance planes, and differentiated between the normal reconnaissance planes and those seeking for operations that Cedar Sweep mission.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband (L)
shakes hands with Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora
at the government palace in Beirut November 19, 2008.
Leslie referred that the Americans had not been obedient to the conditions agreed upon by both parties, stressing that Cedar Sweep mission flights were operational and concerned with gathering information.

The cable read, in reference to Mariot Leslie, "She explained that because CEDAR SWEEP was an operational flight, as well as intel-related, "all sorts of additional UK legal obligations come into play," including the EU Convention on Human Rights".

In the cable sent on 20 May 2008, Leslie stated that the British government "desperately needs" its Akrotiry base in Cyprus for its intelligence operations, also committing to keeping the base available for the US and France.

On the other hand, Leslie referred that the Cypriots are hypersensitive concerning the British presence on their territories, which could result in turning off the utilities at any time.

Leslie expressed annoyance from John Hillman's stance referred to in the cable sent on May 14, where she confirmed that the British stance"merely meant to lay out that the HMG approval for CEDAR SWEEP was based on the U.S. assurance that the operation had been requested by the Government of Lebanon and was being conducted in a permissive environment", the cable read.

The Wikileaks revealed cables also included one saying that Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr gave "Israel" advice on how to occupy Lebanon.

According to a secret March 2008 conversation revealed in a diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks, Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr told Americans the Lebanese army would stay out of the way if "Israel" tried to wipe out Hizbullah.

"Making clear that he was not responsible for passing messages to "Israel", Murr told us that "Israel" would do well to avoid two things when it comes for Hizbullah," the cable read.

"One, it must not touch the Blue Line or the UNSCR 1701 areas as this will keep Hizbullah out of these areas," the cable read, in reference that the southern Lebanese area are being patrolled by international troops.

"Two, "Israel" cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas," Murr was cited as saying.

The US cable also added, "Murr is trying to ascertain how long an offensive would be required to clean out Hizbullah... The LAF will move to pre-position food, money, and water with these units so they can stay on their bases when "Israel" comes for Hizbullah - discreetly, Murr added".

"For Murr, the LAF's strategic objective was to survive a three week war ‘completely intact' and able to take over once Hizbullah's militia has been destroyed", the leaks further added.

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The Chilcot Inquiry: Britain’s 9/11 Commission

by Maidhc Ó Cathail / January 5th, 2010
All too often, official inquiries are conducted by the very people who should themselves be under investigation.

In this respect, Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq war bears a distressing similarity to the 9/11 Commission.
In a remarkable symmetry, both inquiries involve a Jewish Zionist historian, who not only advised his country’s leader to go to war against Iraq, but actually provided the ideological justification for that unnecessary war.

Preemptive Wars

Perhaps Philip Zelikow was one of the few people who was not surprised by his appointment as executive director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission. After all, the Professor of History at the University of Virginia had shown uncanny prescience in foreseeing an event such as 9/11 itself. In 1998, as project director of the Catastrophic Terrorism Group, Zelikow had written:

“An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people … would be a watershed event in America’s history.… Like Pearl Harbor, such an event would divide our past and future into a ‘before’ and ‘after.’”

Yet despite his awareness of an imminent threat of “catastrophic terrorism” against the United States, in the Bush administration Zelikow was instrumental in downgrading the status of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Richard Clarke.1 Effectively cutting off his direct access to the President, this prevented Clarke from discussing al-Qaeda with George W. Bush before September 11.

In an even clearer conflict of interest, as a member of Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Zelikow had authored the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States. Dubbed the “Bush Doctrine” by the Washington Post’s hawkishly pro-Israeli columnist Charles Krauthammer,2 it advocated the necessity of “preemptive war.” Based on a policy first mooted in 1992 by two other Jewish neoconservatives, Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby,3 the Zelikow Doctrine provided the justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
While Bush probably believed he was “ridding the world of evil,” Zelikow knew exactly why Iraq was being targeted. In a rare moment of candour, he told an audience at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002:

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990—it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”
Nevertheless, as executive director of the 9/11 Commission Zelikow did his very best to “sell” the Iraq war to the American people. The first expert witness he called had “no special expertise on the events of September 11,” but that didn’t seem to matter too much. Instead of discussing 9/11, Abraham Sofaer, a board member of the pro-Israeli Koret Foundation, made an impassioned speech in support of the “preemptive war” against Iraq.4

An even more controversial “expert” witness called was Laurie Mylroie. Known as the “neocons’ favourite conspiracy theorist,” the American Enterprise Institute scholar had made a career out of seeing the hand of Saddam Hussein behind every anti-American terrorist attack during the previous decade. Her 2000 book, Study of Revenge, in which she laid out her flimsy case against Saddam, acknowledged the assistance of Wolfowitz and Libby, and was blurbed by Richard Perle as “splendid and wholly convincing.”

Exercising a scepticism toward Mylroie’s “batty” theories lacking in much of the media coverage, one of the 9/11 widows lambasted Zelikow for this transparent “sales pitch for the Iraq war.”
Zelikow’s persistent efforts to rewrite the Commission staff’s reports to give the impres
sion of a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq “horrified” some of his staff, many of whom considered him a “White House mole.”5 Little did they suspect, however, that Zelikow’s loyalties might lie much further afield.

Humanitarian Wars

If British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were genuinely interested in finding out why his predecessor followed George Bush into the Iraq quagmire, his appointment of Sir Lawrence Freedman to the five-member Chilcot Inquiry was an odd choice. As the political editor of the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Michael Crick, pointed out, “Critics of the war might argue Sir Lawrence was himself one of the causes of the war!”

Crick was referring to a Freedman memo which formed the basis of Tony Blair’s 1999 Chicago speech, “The Doctrine of the International Community.” In what became known as the “Blair Doctrine,” Freedman had offered an answer to the specious question: “When was military action justified for liberal, humanitarian reasons?”

In addition to the Freedman Doctrine’s justification of military intervention in “rogue states” such as Iraq, Freedman has admitted that he “instigated” a pre-war seminar for the British Prime Minister, because he was “aware of misgivings among some specialists in Iraq about the direction of policy.” Clearly, Freedman has no such “misgivings” himself about the illegal invasion of Iraq. It was, he claims, motivated by “rather noble criteria.”6

In his recent book, A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East, Freedman is dismissive of those who suspect less “noble” motives for the war.

“Another popular theory,” he writes, “is that U.S. foreign policy was effectively hijacked by a group of neoconservatives with a grand design to reshape the Middle East. A conspiratorial version of this theory argues that the aim was to help Israel, by removing a leading rejectionist state from the scene.”
Presumably, the consistency of the prescriptions that runs from Oded Yinon’s “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” through Perle, Feith and Wurmser’s “A Clean Break,” to the so-called “Bush Doctrine” is merely coincidental. Evidently, the learned Professor of War Studies needs to read “The Israeli Origins of the Middle East War Agenda” in Stephen Sniegoski’s The Transparent Cabal.

Perhaps it is also “conspiratorial,” or worse, to wonder about the media’s hyping a book which obscures why America “confronts” Israel’s enemies in the Middle East, while one which exposes the Zionist agenda gets the silent treatment.7 But it certainly is cause for concern when Freedman’s book, which also opts for the euphemism of a “security fence” to describe Israel’s Apartheid Wall, and repeatedly refers to the illegally occupied West Bank as Judea and Samaria,8 is given such credence.

Just as the Zelikow-directed 9/11 Commission suppressed evidence that the main motive for the September 11 attacks was American support for Israel,9 Freedman’s presence on the Chilcot Inquiry is a clear indication that there will be no inquiry into the role of Zionist insiders in taking Britain to war against Iraq—a country that posed a threat not to British interests but to Israel’s regional hegemony.
  1. Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, p. 63. []
  2. Charles Krauthammer, “Charlie Gibson’s Gaffe,” Washington Post, September 13, 2008. []
  3. 1992 Draft Defense Planning Guidance,” RightWeb, March 12, 2008. []
  4. Shenon, p. 104. []
  5. Shenon, p. 322, 107. []
  6. Richard Ingrams, “The insistent doubts about Chilcot’s tame professor,” The Independent, December 5, 2009. []
  7. Paul Gottfried, “The Transparent Cabal,” Taki’s Magazine, September 17, 2008. []
  8. Jason Burke, “From Washington to Kabul the hard way,” Guardian, September 21, 2008. []
  9. What motivated the 9/11 Hijackers? See testimony most didn’t,” Representative Press, You Tube video. []
Maidhc Ó Cathail is a freelance writer. His work has been published by Al Jazeera Magazine,, Dissident Voice, Khaleej Times, Palestine Chronicle and many other publications. Read other articles by Maidhc.

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