Archive for April, 2008

American Intifada, or Democratic-Revolution?

Posted in World Affairs on April 30, 2008 by albasheer
American Intifada, or Democratic-Revolution?
Peter Chamberlin

Our government’s plans to finish the police state are very similar to those used by the Israeli government in the pre-Intifada days of September 2001, where the making of aggressive preparations to create a defensible position served as the final spark needed to start the uprising which they then planned to repel. In other words, the provocative preparations that have been made in the name of fighting “terror” will, at some critical point, trigger the conflagration. Like the Israelis, the Bush government cannot know beforehand what the “last straw” will be, but it can reasonably assume that there will be some violent reaction to open government preparations for violence, which will serve as legitimate provocation for the total police state transformation of our “democracy.”

According to retired Israeli Brigadier General Zvika Fogel (chief of staff of Southern Command headquarters in February 2000), in “Collision Course,” By Yotam Feldman: < “The constellation of preparations we made actually led to the confrontation – there was no other choice…the conceptual sequence is that we [were] creating the conditions for a confrontation by the very fact of our preparations,”

The Israelis prepared for the event by planning for the day after, much like America’s rulers did in the Patriot Act and the neocon Project for a New American Century plots against freedom. They were plans for a police state, awaiting the “catastrophic event” that would trigger them. These coups were planned to begin the day after the next random terrorist attack set it in motion. “It is clear to everyone that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We want to decide which event would foment the explosion.” Our government, like the Israelis, intended to be the “explosion,” that would come after a (Palestinian) terrorist lit the fuse. Reflecting dominant Israeli thinking on the starting date of the uprising, Gen. Fogel related the Zionist position, exactly the opposite of the Palestinian testimony: “In the Gaza Strip, the second Intifada began on September 27, 2000, the day before Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. A Fatah man initiated a roadside bomb attack on soldiers who were escorting a convoy of settlers from Karni checkpoint to Netzarim [a settlement].” In this perfect example of militant Zionist thinking, the plan was to discreetly provoke the violence that would one day justify plans to retaliate with overwhelming force, under the guise of “self-defense.” This aggressive mode of thinking dominates American planners, as well, with this and other faulty Israeli strategies repeated by American forces in the war on terror.

The Israeli plan was to come down with the full weight of the brutal Zionist ideology, to create the”Iron Wall” conditions that were recommended by Israeli hero Ze’ev “Wolf” Jabotinsky (father of Jewish Defense League), intended to paralyze the Palestinians with overwhelming fear for their lives.

Hear is a great video on the ‘Iron Wall’ doctrine, from IfAmericansKnew.org.

This doctrine, formulated by one of Zionism’s greatest heroes, postulates that peace with the Palestinians will only be possible when they are fully subdued into submission, on Israel’s terms, by a wall of deadly force, against which, resistance is impossible. This is the force of division that drives the building of the “Apartheid Wall” through Palestine. This wall strategy is the essence of American and Israeli strategy in the war on terror – build impenetrable walls to divide and fence the people in, then pound them into submission behind them.

“Settlement can thus develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population, behind an IRON WALL which they will be powerless to break down. ….a voluntary agreement is just not possible. As long as the Arabs preserve a gleam of hope that they will succeed in getting rid of us, nothing in the world can cause them to relinquish this hope… only then will the moderates offer suggestions for compromise. Then only will they begin bargaining with us on practical matters, such as guarantees against PUSHING THEM OUT, and equality of civil, and national rights.” Ze’ev Jabotinsky.

According to Gen. Fogel, “we opened a dialogue of weapons.” (Here is a video of Israelis “dialoging” a bunch of protesters along the “Apartheid Wall” which runs through Bil`in, Israel.) This video tells a portion of this fascist torment first hand, taking the reader where my words cannot go.

Their “dialogue” would eventually escalate to the point where “no one died a natural death in the Gaza Strip – they were all killed by us.” After the Intifada and Israeli operations were well underway, the Israelis created “death zones in the Gaza Strip – areas in which IDF soldiers were authorized to open fire at anyone who entered them. “We understood that in order to reduce the margin of error, we had to create areas in which anyone who entered was considered a terrorist.” American leaders have delineated a symbolic “death zone,” of silence on the most controversial elements of the 9/11 cover-up and the war on terror, where those “un-Americans” who dare to ask the wrong questions are labeled terrorist-supporters, with their careers and possibly their freedom in danger of being shot down.

Fogel feels justified in what they did in Gaza then, as well as in the unfolding operation there now, arguing that the end justifies the brutal means used to get there. “I say that the operation in Gaza is a necessity that has to be carried out in conjunction with other actions…. After all, after an equation is created, when it will be clear that you are not afraid of entering the Gaza Strip [kill zone] and striking at them, the majority – who are rational – will understand that it is worthwhile to live.” Afterwards, the Iron Wall essence of Zionist ideology will have been justified, by these standards. The same line of reasoning is being used to justify the slow adaptation of brutal fascist Israeli tactics as standard operating procedure for America’s police forces.

The closer we get to zero hour for the American police state, the more brutal police policies here become. More and more, we are being conditioned to seeing large groups of police dressed in military style uniforms brutally suppressing political dissent. Weapons and tactics used are increasingly the same as those used by the military for crowd control in war zones. The epidemic of tasering, clubbing, secret arrests and police harassment, directed at Americans who boldly express themselves in legal acts of protest, is pumping up the volume of a building wave of fascist oppression. The anger of those who would resist this wave of fascism is building as well. What will be the “red line” for America, the crossing of which will unleash the much-anticipated social upheaval and the ushering in of the police state?

Right-wing congressmen and elitist commentators have been integral to the plotters, defining a non-lethal political “kill zone,” where concerned American opponents of the police state dare not enter. Senators like Lindsay Graham, have sounded the alarm about “fifth columnists” among the American people and Fox News types have hyped the dangers of anti-Bush criticisms as treasonous acts, approaching sedition, spelling-out the parameters of unacceptable debate. Cross into the “kill zone” at your own peril! Journalists have been warned over and over that their actions “provide aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Journalists, bloggers and radical radio hosts who violate the rules of allowed debate, like the leaders of the Palestinian liberation movement, will pay the price, when the time is right. Following the pattern of escalation set by Israel, we are witnessing the transformation of our democracy in stages. Even though the government repression here is still in the non-lethal stage, at a moment’s notice the plans for total militarization of America’s streets could go into effect. Tasers and pepper spray can be replaced at any time with much deadlier “dialogue.” Like Israel, when the crackdown here begins, we can expect to see mass arrests of agitators and leaders.

Today, on the Alex Jones program, Mike Rivero of WhatReallyHappened was asked what he thought were the reasons for the escalating police brutality and threats against the outspoken. Jones asked whether Rivero thought that the fascism would soon increase exponentially, whether we were nearing a point where conspiracy theorist radio hosts and free-thinking bloggers were about to be taken-up in a wave of arrests. Mike laughed, and theorized that these escalating police tactics merely demonstrated their complete fecklessness, in the face of a building peaceful democratic-revolution (like that of the recently Ukrainian “orange revolution,” and elsewhere). He didn’t seem to doubt that such arrests were coming, only that if they came, they would represent acts of desperation by the crumbling empire of the elite. Whenever we stop seeing new daily postings at sites like PrisonPlanet, Infowars and WhatReallyHappened, we will know that it has begun.

I believe that Mearsheimer and Walt were absolutely right-on in their assessment of the measure of Israeli domination of American foreign policy, and that Israel will not relent in driving us to a catastrophe in Iran on its behalf. But the authors of The Lobby were far too timid in their criticism of Israel, preferring to act like gentlemen, refusing to say that Israeli actions were hostile, or a “conspiracy” to dominate America. They protested that charges like Israeli “control” of America’s government were “canards,” that were only used by anti-Semites. They are only “canards” if they are not true. I hate to disappoint them, but they pretty much proved this canard to be true. They should be man enough to admit it. No matter how much they protest, we are like cattle being driven to the slaughter, in order to help Israel try to stave-off the total collapse of Zionism, the only real “existential threat” to Israel.

In order for Israel to be the “Jewish State” they claim to be, they must have a Jewish majority, and this is not true in much of Israel, especially in the areas known as “Judea and Samaria,” aka. The West Bank. Zionist doctrine has always called for expelling all but 20% of the Israeli Arabs, for “wood-cutters” and other menial labor. “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters.”-Uri Lubrani, special adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion.

The Zionist position is that Israel stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. It is an accepted fact that when Zionists speak of the “Palestinian state,” they are not referring to the “Occupied Territories,” they are speaking of Jordan. According to Noam Chomsky, when Israelis say that “there can be no additional Palestinian state,” they mean other than Jordan.

Even more extremist Zionists believe that “Eretz Yisrael” (greater Israel) covers the ancient land of promise – stretching all the way to the Euphrates River, then to Nile, reaching from there into central Turkey.

The more that America copies failed Israeli policies in the war on terror, such as carrying-out targeted assassinations using Hellfire missiles on crowded streets, the more that total defeat is assured. The more like Israel we become, securing democratic rights for the elite class only, the more like Nazi Germany we become. The hard truth is that modern Israel has patterned all its anti-Palestinian policies after those from the early stages of the fascist German regime. This is the direction where US policies are heading. It is only a matter of time before Israel makes the transformation to total fascism (and drives all the Palestinians from their homes and their homeland). How long before Bush follows suit?

To oppose the violence of Zionism and its spread to our country under the false banner of “neoconservatism,” is every patriot’s duty. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, even though the Israeli propagandists like the ADL and this guy, and also this guy (the father of Daniel Pearl), keep getting free press to proclaim the lie, in places like the Jerusalem Post.

The Zionists are using slur tactics that will ultimately backfire on them, as we are starting to see today. By resorting to the tactic of relying on the charge of “anti-Semitism” as their first line of defense for every incident where someone dares to criticize Israel or the Israel lobby, the Zionists will see it come back to haunt them. By attempting to counter anti-Zionism or anti-Israel statements with the same blanket of protection that is given to the Jewish people, over the charge of anti-Semitism (in the middle of two unpopular wars being waged for Israel), the Zionist lobby will cause unjust persecution for all Jewish Americans. If the American Jewish community fails to separate itself from the Zionist supporters of the war for Israel, then the rapidly building wave of anti-Israel sentiments might easily turn into a true wave of anti-Semitism.

Mearsheimer and Walt have provided the documentation to prove that Israeli Zionists have been the primary drivers for the Iraq war and now the new global war centered on Iran. Abe Foxman and friends have tried to call these patriotic authors anti-Semitic, charging that they are reviving the “old canard,” that accuses the Jews of starting wars. Foxman, it is not a canard if it is true.

Lobby-inspired legislation, like the hate crimes bill and the Homeland Terrorism Act, focus upon conspiracy theories, and the spreading of them. They focus upon critics of Israel, claiming to be fighting the spreading of racial hatred. The bills’ supporters claim that what they do, they do for America.

Even though America faces no realistic threat from “homegrown terrorists” and occasional hate crimes are no reason to shred the Constitution. One of the central complaints cited, about the extremist belief systems of conspiracy theorists, relates to alleged Israeli involvement in the 9-11 attacks. This is being played-up as the mother of all hate crimes, in order to silence growing popular outrage over the cover-up and the whitewash of one of the greatest crimes in American history. There is ample evidence of Israeli involvement in the attacks.

To remain silent while the proof of state involvement in the attacks is flushed down the memory hole, would be a crime against our forefathers and veterans.

The Zionization of America continues apace. The replication of Israeli police and military tactics is accelerating America’s downfall. The passage of Zionist-inspired (written) laws is making normal political opposition to those policies nearly impossible. Like the Israelis in the days just before the second Intifada, our government has laid the foundations for a domestic war on protesters and resisters. What we do next, as concerned defenders of the homeland, will determine what form the resistance is about to take – will we have our own peaceful “orange revolution,” or an American Intifada?

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December 27, 2007 By Peter Chamberlin
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‘What Has Happened to the Conscience of the World?’

Posted in World Affairs on April 30, 2008 by albasheer
‘What Has Happened to the Conscience of the World?’
Siraj Wahab, Arab News

JEDDAH, 30 April 2008 — The headlines coming out of Gaza daily stun people as women and children are slain by Israeli airstrikes and the plight of the Palestinians worsens through blockades and embargoes of food, fuel and freedom. Pick up any newspaper, turn on any news channel and the message is the same: Gaza is a war zone — a war zone with only one army and an entire population of victims, struggling to stay alive and wondering if they will be alive tomorrow.

Arab News recently gathered four young Saudis to voice their views on the current Palestinian situation, and their assessments were both brutal and often pessimistic about the future of the Middle East as long as Israel disregards human rights and seeks to isolate the Palestinians instead of reaching consensus with them.

“Israel is meting out collective punishment,” said Badria Modeer, who is studying international relations at Dar Al-Hekma Women’s College. “The whole population is being attacked. They are killing infants; they are killing children. Why? And the worst part is nobody can stop them. What has happened to the conscience of the world? Where is humanity? Do other people in the world not see what we are seeing on our television screens every day and every night?”

“The whole Gaza Strip is surrounded by Israelis,” said Ahmad Sabri, 21, who studied political science at Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz University. “Why did they cut fuel supplies to the entire country? Why did they cut electricity? Power cuts led to dozens of patients dying in hospitals. Isn’t this a massacre? If those patients had been Israelis there would have been a flurry of condemnation led by the United States, but when it’s Palestinian patients who die quietly in the night because there’s no electricity nobody talks about them. This is mass murder.”

Most took a dim view of US foreign policy and its unflagging support for Israel and the failure of the United Nations to act effectively.

“I am not optimistic. Israel is a bully,” said Khaled Yeslam, 25, a graduate of Jeddah’s College of Business Administration who now works at a PR firm. “Israel came into being by force, and it will not listen to reason. American politicians are completely subservient to the Israeli lobby.”

“I don’t believe in the UN; it is not fair,” said Hidaya Abbas, 20, who is a student at Dar Al-Hekma College. “The UN can’t do anything. Instead of being busy putting pressure and sanctions on Iran just because it is allegedly in the process of producing nuclear energy why don’t they impose sanctions on Israel, which has 200 nuclear warheads? Iranians are not at war with anyone, but Israel has no qualms about bombing civilians. Why can’t the UN slap sanctions on Israel? It is a useless organization.”

“America is directly responsible for what is happening in Gaza today because they support the Israeli occupation morally, financially and militarily,” Sabri said. “They also support Israel in the United Nations by blocking all resolutions that condemn Israeli massacres. More specifically, the American government’s foreign policy is the problem.”

“I am for peace. I fully support King Abdullah’s peace initiative that calls for the creation of Palestine on pre-1967 borders,” Modeer said. “If we can’t have the entire cake, we can have some piece of cake — at least we have something rather than having nothing. Saudi Arabia is a rich country. It has good relations with the Americans, and if we pressure America, then Americans can pressure Israel to give up its occupation.”

Not everyone shared Modeer’s conciliatory perspective.

“I think peace can only be between two equal parties,” said Sabri. “I’m against the peace initiative, because it gives legitimacy to the occupation. It lends dignity to thieves. Yes, the Israelis are thieves. They stole our land. According to the international law, Palestinians have the right to resist occupation just like all the wars of liberation in history. Nobody can deny them the right of armed resistance. This happened everywhere.”

“Anybody who is talking about peace with Israelis does not make sense to me,” Abbas said. “Israel is occupying Palestine; how can we make peace with them? Let me simplify it. I have a house, and suddenly someone comes and tells me ‘I will take your house and then I will kill you’. So will I say: ‘OK, OK. Don’t kill me; take half of the house?’ That doesn’t make sense to me. Peace treaties are like that. If somebody wants to kill me and take my house, I don’t give him half of my house — I fight back. They are Zionists at the end of the day, and they are occupying our lands. They are taking something that doesn’t belong to them. They are killing children. So it is the right of the Palestinian people to fight back, and they are fighting. They are not terrorists — the occupiers are.”

The extreme events in Gaza are leading to worries about a conviction among some young people that the horrific situation requires a violent response.

“Islam stands strictly against killing civilians, but any occupier is not a civilian,” Sabri said. “He is stealing my land; he is stealing my water. There are five million Israelis living on my land, and there are six million Palestinian refugees all over the world. It doesn’t matter whether he is holding a gun or not. The most important fact is that most Israelis are reservists and will be called to service whenever required. So every Israeli has to be resisted.”

“This is creating a new generation of extremists,” Yeslam said. “We see blood being spilt in Palestine, and here are our people talking about business, economy and peace. So naturally, they are getting attracted to the extreme point of view: that of violence. You can’t blame the youth. They are frustrated — very, very angry at their helplessness. Remember, the Bin Ladens and the Al-Zawahiris emerged out of this chaos. They exploited the frustration of our youth. The world should wake up and tell Israel to stop its barbarity.”

All of them long for the rarest commodity in the Middle East, which is peace.

“Those Israeli settlers have the right to live in Palestine like all Christians in Palestine and like all the Jews in Iraq, like the Jews in Tunisia and Egypt and the Christians in Yemen,” Sabri said. “They have the right to live as Palestinian citizens like all the Jews and Christians living in the Islamic world. There are a lot of Christian Palestinians. They are our brothers and sisters. They are not occupiers; they are part of the country. This is what should happen. There should be coexistence. But the Israelis came as an armed force, so they are occupiers, and they need to be resisted.”

“Every European and every Americans should log onto IfAmericansKnew.org website to know what is happening in Palestine,” Abbas said. “All of us would stop thinking in a selfish way. This earth belongs to all people. We are all brothers and sisters in this world and share this world, and it is important that we find solutions for our grandchildren.”

“Israel should lift the siege immediately,” Modeer said. “Commit to the peace deal — open the borders. Let there be free trade. Let the Palestinians live in peace.”

IRAQ: War Launched to Protect Israel – Bush Adviser

Posted in World Affairs on April 29, 2008 by albasheer
IRAQ: War Launched to Protect Israel – Bush Adviser
By Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON, Mar 29 (IPS) – IPS uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 — the 9/11 commission — in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Zelikow’s casting of the attack on Iraq as one launched to protect Israel appears at odds with the public position of President George W. Bush and his administration, which has never overtly drawn the link between its war on the regime of former president Hussein and its concern for Israel’s security.

The administration has instead insisted it launched the war to liberate the Iraqi people, destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to protect the United States.

Zelikow made his statements about ”the unstated threat” during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president.

He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.

”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,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of 9/11 and the future of the war on the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

”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,” said Zelikow.

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington’s desire to defend the Jewish state.

The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to ward off accusations that it derailed the ”war on terrorism” it launched after 9/11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears to have posed no direct threat to the United States.

Israel is Washington’s biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving annual direct aid of three to four billion dollars.

Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they need to play their vital advisory role.

Known in intelligence circles as ”Piffy-ab”, the board is supposed to evaluate the nation’s intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make.

The unpaid appointees on the board require a security clearance known as ”code word” that is higher than top secret.

The national security adviser to former President George H.W. Bush (1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the various military intelligence groups and the Pentagon’s National Reconnaissance Office.

Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and email messages from IPS for this story.

Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration.

Before his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current president’s transition team in January 2001.

In that capacity, Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on reorganising and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC) and prioritising its work.

Richard A. Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush’s predecessor President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not heeding his terrorism warnings, said Zelikow was among those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December 2000.

Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995 book about the unification of Germany.

Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official — Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and the ”Muslim Middle East”.

Aside from his position at the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also director of the Miller Centre of Public Affairs and White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

His close ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of interest in 2002 from families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, who protested his appointment to the investigative body.

In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of ”scarce hard currency” to harness ”communications against electromagnetic pulse”, a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio, electronic and electrical communications.

That was ”a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride out a nuclear exchange — they (Iraqi officials) were not preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis”, according to Zelikow.

He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the United States, and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.

”Play out those scenarios,” he told his audience, ”and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking very much about it”.

”Don’t look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, ‘gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel’? Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant.”

To date, the possibility of the United States attacking Iraq to protect Israel has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration.

Analysts who reviewed Zelikow’s statements said they are concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war, which has been hushed up.

”Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the protection of Israel as a component,” said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. ”But this is a very good piece of evidence of that.”

Others say the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq.

”They (the administration) made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it,” said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.

But he downplayed the Israel link. ”In terms of securing Israel, it doesn’t make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat,” he said.

Still, Brown says Zelikow’s words carried weight.

”Certainly his position would allow him to speak with a little bit more expertise about the thinking of the Bush administration, but it doesn’t strike me that he is any more authoritative than Wolfowitz, or Rice or Powell or anybody else. All of them were sort of fishing about for justification for a decision that has already been made,” Brown said. (END/2004)

Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Black Hole in Bush’s Brain

Posted in World Affairs on April 28, 2008 by albasheer
Black Hole in Bush’s Brain
By: Peter Chamberlin – April 27, 2008

Judging from the campaign rhetoric coming out of both camps, whoever wins the Oval Office will be inclined to continue the failed military policies in Iraq and to pursue a confrontation with Iran. Apparently it does not matter to either party what will follow those actions, or what these disastrous policies have produced as they played-out in Iraq and Afghanistan. It does not matter who gets elected, whether it is “bomb, bomb Iran” McCain, or “obliterate/massive retaliation” Clinton, nothing will change.

American researcher Suzanne Maloney spells out the results of the “successfully” surging American war on Iraq:

“Of the many American illusions and delusions surrounding this war, the Administration’s calculations with respect to Iran were among the most wildly off base. Instead of generating a liberal, secular democracy whose reverberations would drive out Iran’s clerical oligarchs, the disastrous Bush policies fostered a sectarian Iraq that has helped empower Iranian hardliners. Rather than serving as an anchor for a new era of stability and American preeminence in the Persian Gulf, the new Iraq represents a strategic black hole, bleeding Washington of military resources and political influence while extending Iran’s primacy among its neighbors.” http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2008/0321_iraq_maloney.aspx
In spite of the problems these policies have created for us and the world (including the deadly fuel inflation ignited by the chaos), and the devastating human toll taken so far, the Cheney wing of the co-presidency continues to pursue every possible avenue for expanding the failed war into a regional conflagration, which could only be settled with nuclear weapons.The bulldog drive to crush all opposition that has characterized every move of the Bush White House, is once again ignoring reality to envision a new America-dominated world order that can only be built upon the ruins of the demolished old order. If only some situation could be created which would provide the perfect pretext that would justify pushing the button on Iran. Would we be correct in judging Cheney to be a super-patriot, or is he really a secret neo-communist, hoping to forcefully overthrow the world order and enthrone his elitist neocon proletariat and their corporate state as a world dictatorship?

It is no coincidence that the nations that have been targeted are all enemies of Israel. Neither is it a coincidence that Israel has been the source of the “evidence” (much of it fabricated) that has been used, and is still being used, to authorize the war resolutions. For those who charge that it is “anti-Semitic” to maintain that Israel or its Jewish-American supporters have hijacked the “war on terror,” serving as prime motivators for the war in Iraq and the coming conflict with Iran and Syria, the primary “evidence” that has been used by the Israel lobby to sell these wars was clearly “made in Israel.” It is not anti-Semitic to point-out that no one wants these criminal wars to escalate except Israel and the war criminal Cheney faction, who are now looking to cover their own asses for what they have done. The only voices demanding the destruction of Iran are Jewish voices and their Zionist neocon supporters.

Ariel Sharon’s Israeli branch of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans produced the trumped-up “evidence” that was used to start the aggression on Iraq. The only “proof” that Iran is building a nuke came from the Mossad, even though it was alleged to have come through the MEK terrorist group. The only evidence introduced in the recent CIA hearings on the Syrian attack were three still photos, courtesy of the Mossad. Any real evidence backing-up Israeli claims was destroyed in Israel’s arrogant self-defeating attack.

The Israeli attack on Syria last September was another attempt to jumpstart the highly anticipated regional war, but it was also the product of a joint American/Israeli conspiracy intended to undermine international treaties and to destroy the progress made by peace-making institutions in eliminating war. This violent assault on the arms control regime is meant to continue the privileged status for Israel that has been carved-out for it, a rogue nuclear-armed nation which refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Syria was invaded to maintain Israel’s nuclear monopoly, even though Syria has signed the NPT and it has received past US support for nuclear research under the Atoms for Peace Program. Israel makes the Muslim nations pariahs in the world community, even though it has created the illegal Dimona nuclear facility, which has never been inspected, not even by the US. The double standard established by America for its outlaw ally is at the root of the Middle East’s security problems.

Like the evidence on Iran’s nuclear intentions, the Israeli-supplied “documentation” on an alleged Syrian reactor is not only another photoshop fraud, it is the only evidence to prove that there ever was a reactor. We are asked to believe Israel, whose nuclear policy has always been one of strategic deception, that Syria violated the laws that Israel refuses to even acknowledge. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, condemned the attack for its corrosive impact on non-proliferation issues and for the Israeli flaunting of international law in the destruction of any real evidence.
“‘The director general deplores the fact that this information was not provided to the agency in a timely manner, in accordance with the agency’s responsibilities under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to enable it to verify its veracity and establish the facts,’ ElBaradei said in a statement today.

He was critical of Israel’s bombing of the site of the alleged reactor. ‘The director general views the unilateral use of force by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the nonproliferation regime,’ the statement said.” http://uruknet.info/?p=m43423&amp;hd=&amp;size=1&amp;l=e

Israel’s nuclear program has always operated outside the law, without any international oversight, for one purpose – to produce as many nuclear weapons as possible for it to use to threaten its neighbors and anyone else who stands in their way. It was built with an oversized cooling capacity, to allow for its planned future expansion into a medium-sized bomb factory. Playing to international sympathy, following a duplicitous path of deception, Zionist Israel hid its violent secret plans for illegal expansions that were to be carried-out under the thinly veiled threats of nuclear destruction. Its secret nuclear weapons program made no pretense whatsoever of being based on a legitimate nuclear power program. Israel has no nuclear power plants and Dimona is too small for power generation.

Since its inception in the minds of militant Zionists, Israeli expansion and territorial grabs have always been necessary components of the plan for ethnic cleansing in Palestine and other select areas of the Middle East that Zionist colonizers refer to as “Greater Israel” (just as they refer to the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria,” as they pretend to negotiate over Palestinian rights to this land).

“We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.” David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar.

The steady acquisition of Western technology, especially nuclear technology has been the key to implementing the planned colonization of Arab lands. Tensions with targeted neighbors have risen and fallen as needed to create the palpable threat to Israel that would warrant the massive transfer of military technology to Israel.

“Barak gives the go-ahead for a silly and dangerous assassination attempt in tranquil Bethlehem; just to rekindle the fire, lest there be a lull…If there’s a lull in Qassams fired, then Barak does everything he can to ensure their renewal to justify the ‘large-scale op’ in Gaza he intends to make.” http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/964489.html

Part of the ongoing escalation is due to Israeli designs upon new advanced American fighters. Israel’s use of deception as a tool of diplomacy, as well as a military strategy, has allowed Israel to stage terrorist attacks intended to implicate its enemies and provide cover for incursions into Arab territory. The ongoing “settlement” policy and partitioning of Palestine are justified as defensive measures, although the Palestinians are clearly the ones defending themselves against the occupation and invasion of their homeland.

America’s Israel-centric foreign policy is focused upon making the Palestinians invisible, to hide the crimes being committed against them, as their human rights are stolen and they are swept from their ancestor’s land. America is the classic “enabler” for the dysfunctional Jewish state, forcing the world to accept double standards for Israelis and Palestinians, making it possible to take away the guaranteed human rights of the native inhabitants of the land, in order to give special rights to the colonizers who had previously sworn to defend native rights. American leaders are doing everything possible to hide the suffering of the Palestinians and to twist the facts about the campaign to drive them from the land, in an effort to make it appear that all Israeli attacks are self-defense. Zionist Israel cannot continue its ambitious expansionist plans without harming its status in the world without this cloak to hide its murderous actions.

This war is driven by multiple delusions, the main error being that it can eventually be won by the application of greater and greater amounts of force. Advocates of this strategy ignore the basic immorality of the argument, that victory at any price is an acceptable cost. If the American people remember their power and are given time to think about the direction of the war, they will realize how wrong these policies are. Considering that Bush is following a policy that generates more enemies than can be killed without the use of nuclear weapons and he shares Cheney’s obsession with finding an excuse to nuke Iran, it becomes apparent that America’s leaders are working against the people’s interests.

Any leader who does not support instantly stopping the prosecution of this conflict is supporting the continuation of this black hole. The only solution to the chaos in Iraq is a complete turnaround of policy, centered upon undoing the damage done by Bush’s plan, which consisted of beating the Iraqi people senseless, until they submitted to all of his demands. If there is no candidate for president who advocates such a total reversal of American foreign policy, then there is not candidate worth voting for. It does not matter whether these policies have been an unending series of mistakes or if the chaotic storm that is Iraq today is the product of a cynical heartless plan, Bush or whoever succeeds him (if he allows a successor) must not be allowed to expand this failed military strategy.

United They All Stand in Their Commitment to Israel

Posted in World Affairs on April 28, 2008 by albasheer
United They All Stand in Their Commitment to Israel
Sherene Walid Awad, Arab News

It seems like Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and John McCain can’t agree on anything these days – whether it is guns, elitism, NAFTA, and the definition of “the typical white person.” However, there is, at the very least, one shared passion amongst the three. And, strangely enough, that passion (ostensibly) has nothing to do with the country that each of these individuals is campaigning to lead. On April 6, the National Committee for Israel’s 60th Anniversary announced its newest additions to the membership list: While they can’t all be president, Obama, Clinton and McCain can at least proudly proclaim now that they are all vice-chairmen of the committee to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday next month (along with George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and every former living US secretary of state).

Maybe I shouldn’t be appalled by this. Maybe I shouldn’t be upset, or even surprised, that a whole series of past, present, and future most powerful people in the world are willing to serve as chairmen on a committee to celebrate an event that had the direct effect of ensuring that, today, Palestinians constitute the longest-lasting refugee situation in modern history.

Israel has always had a friend in the United States from the day of its founding, but the American political establishment’s relationship with the Jewish state goes far, far beyond friendship or common interests, and it makes the prospect of the United States serving as an honest-broker in Mideast peace more remote than ever. There is a fair solution to the conflict between Palestine and Israel, and, with all the cynicism and emotional baggage I bring to the table, I cannot see why it would be in anyone’s interest – the United States included – to continue delaying the possibility of such peace. When Bush Jr. invaded Iraq and proclaimed it to be his grand experiment in bringing democracy to the Middle East, one of my first thoughts was – why not try that in Palestine? Why not make a sincere commitment to spend part of your four or eight years in office brokering a just peace between Jews and Arabs through creating a democratic, secular, free Palestinian state?

No, instead Bush tied the American people to a bloody disastrous collapse of Iraqi society that has cost, and will continue to cost the United States billions of dollars and thousands of lives, all for the sake of a pointless experiment. And in the meantime, American leadership, with all its prestige, authority, and potential for positive leadership in the world, continues in its failure to serve as the basic building block for Middle East peace: A fair and impartial partner. American presidents, and presidential candidates, now don’t even bother to maintain a facade of neutrality in dealing with Israel. Instead, they wholeheartedly work to celebrate a day that Palestinians mark as the catastrophe of their own nationhood, they ensure that Israel continues to receive upwards of $3 billion a year (or 30 percent of the entire annual foreign aid budget) in cash and military equipment, and they work tirelessly in the international community to ensure that Israel never has to bear responsibility for violating countless UN resolutions, the Geneva Convention, and basic international humanitarian norms. A special word here for “my friend” Barack Obama. I attended his rally last week, and came away from it inspired, hopeful, and so impressed by the man’s apparent vision and articulation of a future for those at the bottom of the pile. I’m not an American, but as I watched him speak, I honestly thought that with someone like him in charge, that future could include me and my people as well. Not so much.

Obama’s pandering over the past few weeks in particular has been especially appalling. Apart from his volunteer service on the Israel 60th committee, he has condemned Jimmy Carter for meeting with Hamas representatives (yes, meeting with and talking to the enemy! Sound familiar?), set up a campaign blog in Hebrew, described UN resolutions criticizing Israeli human rights and international law violations as “attacks” on Israel, rejected the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, dismissed the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem as their capital, and assured and reassured Jewish leaders across the United States that a President Obama will continue to be absent and irrelevant in the Israel/Palestine conflict as his predecessors. But, rest assured, he will continue to sign the checks.

– Sherene Walid Awad is a JD candidate at Notre Dame Law School, US.

When Corporate Media Were Imperial Shills, or: Now and Always

Posted in World Affairs on April 27, 2008 by albasheer
When Corporate Media Were Imperial Shills, or: Now and Always

There are certain standards of good journalism we should all expect and demand from major news agencies and wire services. For example, when a news service injects color into a report, it should be the opinion of the person or group being covered in the report, and attribution to the source of that opinion should be made evident by some form of citation, as in the following example:

Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu is a maniacal sociopath who not only profited off the Sept. 11 attacks but also played a part, current and former boyfriends said.

The Associated Press usually sticks to that principle, but every once in a while they throw in an editorial opinion, or speculation stated as fact; when they do, it reads like it came from a State Department or Pentagon script, as in the following introductory paragraph from an April 22 headline titled “Suicide car bomber kills 2 US marines in Iraq”:

A bomb-rigged truck exploded at a checkpoint Tuesday near the western city of Ramadi, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding three others in an apparent strike by al-Qaida in Iraq in one of its former strongholds. [1]

First of all, there is overwhelming evidence that “al-Qaida” is simply a neocon concoction that doesn’t even exist—at least certainly not in the capacity we’re led to believe it does. [2]

But let’s just assume that the fantastic “al-Qaida” does exist as advertised; here’s my question for the editor: How is it “apparent” that it was carried out by “al-Qaida,” when there are no quotations or paraphrases in the body of the report justifying the supposition? Sure, AP says that Ramadi was the former stomping grounds of “al-Qaida in Iraq”; but to assume it was the work of “al-Qaida,” based on that U.S. government factoid, would still be speculation on the part of the AP editor. And when not accompanied by attribution to the source of the conjecture other than the editor’s personal deduction, it becomes journalistic quackery.

Corporate disinfo agents rely on creative editing to deliver the government line with subtlety. In reality, their propaganda falls on unsuspecting and untrained eyes and ears like Israeli terrorists in the West Bank fall on an opportunity to get away with taking pop-shots with US-supplied M-16s at Palestinian children who were either throwing stones or just walking to school—like U.S. and Blackwater artillery and 2-ton bombs fall on Iraq and Afghanistan, razing mosques, hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, and priceless cultural treasures—and like possession of the loot thereafter falls so fluidly and discretely into the hands of the so-called civilized governments and corporations of the West.

The current example of unethical journalism by the world’s most prolific and sought-after news agency is not an isolated occurrence: the empire’s Ministry of Misinformation manipulates the truth as a matter of course and self-preservation. And it’s too easy for them. Corporate media peddle government fraud more effectively and prolifically than ever, and they profit handsomely for it. Billions of us are plugged in to their “programming” every day, and billions of us buy the products and services solicited over their airwaves and in their newspapers and periodicals by their sponsors (who are mostly their parent and sister corporations).

Their captivated viewers and readers are easily led to believe that every Iraqi casualty was either an “al-Qaida,” a terrorist, an Iranian-sponsored insurgent, or a victim thereof. And it is never revealed how we know that those dead foreigners were what we said they were. They don’t carry ID badges and they don’t shout, “Al-Qaida rules!” or “Khamenei ownz!” before they’re killed, so how do we know their group or foreign state affiliation, if any?

And in the world of imperial corporate media, there are no such things as the Iraqi resistance (to the U.S. occupation), resistance fighters, or even a U.S. occupation; even if there are, the labels are made to appear too mild or otherwise inappropriate by a flurry of inflammatory quotes from “official sources,” or by immediately shifting the focus onto some negative act committed last week or even decades ago by the anti-occupation actors.

How convenient for the war profiteers that they never have to account for their crimes. Thanks to corporate media “coverage,” only we the “liberators” are defending ourselves; everyone else commits terrorism and encroaches on our Divine Right to violently frolic in their backyard. That’s the sick and backward mentality being plugged into the consciousness of captivated audiences the world over by mainstream media and think-tanks.

The state-sponsored organized crime would not be possible without the support of disinfo cartels, like News Corp and AP—without agitprop labs, like The Israel Project, the American-Turkish Council (ATC), the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)—without the “intellectual holdings” of the empire, like Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Center for Security Policy, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Freedoms Watch, and Project for a New American Century (PNAC)—without the regime-change engineers and future junta staffers, like the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI)—and without the politicians on the payrolls of such entities.

We have to fight back. We have to pull the plug on their life-support mechanisms. It’s urgent that we expose and correct the dangerous disinfo everywhere it surfaces; state-worshiping media certainly won’t do it for us. Writing letters-to-the-editor and op-eds can be effective in getting the truth out to fellow readers, but they rarely if ever make an impact on the way editors report the news. I, personally, have sent dozens if not hundreds of correction requests backed up with mainstream sources, but to no avail: those editors and CEOs usually discard my supplications or just make minor, almost undetectable alterations. Online petitions and the like are usually powerless, no matter how many signatures are collected. People who want to fight back against the fraud need to stop doing business with as many corporate and private sponsors of the offending media and state propaganda mills as possible.

Granted, due to the almost indomitable influence, power, and presence enjoyed by the Ministry in all political, economic, social, and religious areas, boycotts have been basically ineffective thus far; but they can work if enough people and organizations are made aware of the Mafia’s hideous criminality and, in turn, make others aware of it. Start a personal blog and repost other people’s media exposés and the like. Become a contributor to open-invitation blogs, newsletters, and truth-digging forums, like Nolan Chart, OpEdNews, WUFYS, and Anti-Neocons. Those sites allow you to post your own articles or blog entries in an editorial capacity with minimal oversight; while sites like ThePeoplesVoice, Dissident Voice, WhatReallyHappened, et al., allow you to submit content which is then evaluated by the site owners and editors who then decide whether your essay (or already-published article from another author) will be published.

Become a member of a free message board community where the majority of posters may not share your view of reality. These forums allow you to get the word out to a wide array of readers from all political persuasions, and allow you to not only post your material but also debate the issues with those who disagree. It’s a great opportunity to publicly debunk the state-corporate frauds in real time. The best message boards are the ones that don’t rely on corporate advertising to stay afloat; one such site is MyWay.com’s Sound Off. Excite.com’s message boards are almost identical to the ones at MyWay, only with banner ads and such—a minor nuisance.

Make all your friends and family members—especially those who still fall for the government-media fraud—aware of such invaluable sources of political information and interaction.

Avoid watching CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, or their affiliated networks. The History Channel is a huge fraud that peddles pro-empire propaganda 24/7. Even National Public Radio (NPR) has morphed into a mouthpiece for the warfare-welfare state and the Pentagon. [3] The Real News Network, LinkTV Mosaic, and Democracy Now! are among the best sources for multimedia news.

And if you must read an article from the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, or other Ministry source, don’t click on the link that will take you to the original media source of the article: search Google for an independent site that reposted the article. But if you can not avoid entering a Ministry website, leave the site as soon as possible, taking with you the body of the article on your clipboard, and avoid clicking on their advertisements or activating their video players. If a comments section is available, then post a brief but well-sourced rebuttal there; but spend as little time as possible at those sites. And if you repost excerpts of the corporate media-published article for the sake of exposing the fraud, then do what I will be doing from now on: don’t give the fraudsters the courtesy of an activated link back to their site.

At the same time, we should reward ethical journalism and conscientious analysis with full attribution using active hyperlinks. Respect their copyright reservations. Lightly shower the messengers with praise and let them know they are doing an invaluable service to their readers and viewers.

If we do these these things, and encourage others to do the same, then I believe we have a fighting chance to take our Republic back from the tyrannical empire and its snake oil salesmen.

Notes:

[1] apnews[dot]myway[dot]com/article/20080422/D90754300[dot]html
[2] http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/fakealqaeda.html
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/goldstein.html
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/182524/718588
[3] http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts196.html
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18353.htm
http://www.counterpunch.org/solomon03272008.html

The collapse of the United States is accelerating: Oil in Euros vs. US

Posted in World Affairs on April 27, 2008 by albasheer
The collapse of the United States is accelerating: Oil in Euros vs. US
In the last eight years implementing the plans for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) designed “to promote American global leadership” has backfired.

To accomplish PNAC’s goals, all threats needed to be eliminated. From the onset, the United Sates earmarked two countries as mortal enemies: Venezuela and Iran. With Venezuela, it is well documented that the CIA attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chavez. And with Iran, the United States continues to use it as a scapegoat for its failures in Iraq. These cold war tactics however are proving to be US’s undoing.

The United States is hemorrhaging from every orifice, and oil prices can be used to measure the rapidity of its demise.

In April 2006, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez launched “a bid to transform the global politics of oil by seeking a deal with consumer countries which would lock in a price of $50 a barrel.” At the time, this proposed price was $15 a barrel below global market levels, and what must surely seems to be a steal at the current $118 a barrel.

How critical was the decision not to take Chavez’s proposal seriously? Just two short years later, in April 2008, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is stating that oil at current levels is too cheap. That’s calling a 136% increase in price not enough, and most analysis and the market seem to agree. So what has changed in that time? The perceived value of the US dollar of course.

US dollar versus euro

In 1999 the euro was introduced as an accounting currency (travelers’ checks, electronic transfers, banking, etc.) and then launched as physical coins and banknotes on 1 January 2002. The euro replaced the former European Currency Unit (ECU) at a ratio of 1:1. However its value quickly began to drop, reaching a low of 0.8252 relative to the US dollar on 26 October 2000. This proved to be a solid support level for the next two years, and in 2002 the euro began its appreciation reaching a high of 1.60 as of 23 April 2008.

Aside from consolidating power for the new European Union, the euro added liquidity and flexibility to the financial markets which in time has made the euro a very attractive and safe investment as a major global reserve currency.

As of the beginning of 2007, within five short years, euro notes in circulation have exceeded the value of circulating US dollar notes. Considering that the dollar has been devalued by approximately 50% since reaching its high relative to the euro in 2000 (the euro has gained approximately 100%), we can only assume that according to global markets, the US dollar is losing its perceived value.

Price of oil in US dollars and euros

Oil prices had a recent low point in January 1999 at $8 per barrel, after “increased oil production from Iraq coincided with the Asian financial crisis, which reduced demand. The prices then rapidly increased, more than tripling by September 2000 (35 dollars per barrel), then fell until the end of 2001 before steadily increasing.”

1999 is the same year that the euro was introduced as an accounting currency. By the time that the euro was launched as physical coins and banknotes in January 2002, oil was trading at approximately $20 a barrel, and at present, on 23 April 2008, oil is trading at $118 a barrel.

Let’s compare the rise in the price of oil relative to the two currencies.

If we take Autumn of 2000 as our base point when the euro was trading at its low of 0.8252 relative to the US dollar and oil was trading at $35 dollars per barrel, we get the following results: The increase in price of oil in euros has been 74% since 2000, while it has been a 237% increase in US dollars.

Now let’s take a look at what the increase in price of oil in euros and US dollars has been since April 2006 when Hugo Chávez wanted to lock the price at $50 per barrel. (Note: in April 2006 the euro was trading at approximately 1.22 relative to the US dollar).

Taking into account that the euro had a dramatic increase in value from 2002 to 2005, and then began a retraction period through to 2006, the above numbers confirm what Ahmadinejad has been stating, that “the dollar is not money any longer but a handful of paper distributed in the world without commodity support,” and that oil is undervalued at present levels when priced in US petrodollars.