Archive for July, 2008

Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’

Posted in World Affairs on July 30, 2008 by albasheer
Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’
Phillip F. Tourney

I have heard it for the entirety of my 61 years of life–Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. In fact, in recent memory I have heard this phrase more than I’ve heard ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ or even ‘Have a Good 4th of July’.

Israel seems to exist quite well. Her people have a very high living standard compared to the rest of the world. Israel has the most sophisticated armed forces in the Middle East, if indeed not the world. According to one of our former presidents, Israel is said to possess several hundred nuclear weapons and if we are to believe some of the things said by Israel’s leaders in recent years she is ready to destroy mankind if her leaders choose to do so.

Israeli’s live a very good life style, second to none. A swimming pool in every back yard on stolen land, plenty of food, jobs, stocks, cash, you name it. Their quality of life continues to grow and prosper every month of every year.

Now what I have a problem with is this–doesn’t the United States of America also have a ‘Right to Exist’?

Yes we do, but unfortunately that right is being taken away from us every second, every minute, every hour, every month and every year and all for the sake of Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. What’s wrong with this story? Well, I’ll explain what’s wrong with it and believe me, its not that hard to figure out.

Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ has virtually bankrupted the United States, and all of it off the backs of hard-working Americans for the last sixty years. We’ve given Israel untold billions of dollars NEVER TO BE REPAID, to say nothing of the military hardware in the billions we (I should say the United States) just flat-out gives them, including free training for their fighter pilots.

The United States continues to supply Israel with cash payments every day in the millions of dollars, and remember–THIS IS BORROWED MONEY. Do you understand this my fellow Americans? We borrow money for the sake of Israel but yet we do not barrow it for the sake and safety of our own citizens. This money must be paid back by us our children, their children and their children and this cycle will never be broken until the Untied States gives up its passionate attachment to the Jewish state.

Our sons and daughters are paying a very heavy price in Iraq. 4000+dead, tens of thousands wounded so badly that their lives will never be the same and who knows when it will end.

The United States is fighting this war in Iraq all for the sake of Israel. Americans getting killed, wounded and us spending billions of tax dollars we don’t have, and for what? Let me remind you, in case you have forgotten–FOR ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST.

The ugly truth is that the United States can’t take much more. It is bending to the very breaking point of no return, and now the war drums beat once again in Israel that we must attack Iran or they will. When Israel spouts this aggression the gas prices go up and up, along with the price of food and just about everything else we need so that America can exist. It is a heavy burden on the American people, Israel’s benefactors. Many in this country are losing their homes, their jobs and can’t even afford food and all because they gave everything they had for Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’.

This year the United States has gone through so many natural disasters it boggles the mind. One after the other–fire, floods, tornadoes, you name it and we’ve had it and up to our collective eyeballs. And through all of this, where has America’s greatest ally been? I haven’t seen Israel hand over a red cent to this country when it was in need. Israel could care less about us, their benefactors the USA. If we were broke and down to our last cent, you can bet the ranch that Israel would demand it go into her coffers and God help any politician who would vote against it.

But then, why do we even bother discussing such business as politicians voting in America’s best interest? It goes without saying that when Israel wants something she gets it, no strings attached from a subservient President and congress.

It’s time we cut this step child Israel lose and let her make it on their own. No more wars for Israel. No more money, no more nothing. If Israel wants money let her people earn it. If they want a war LET THEM FIGHT IT ON THEIR OWN. NO MORE AMERICAN BLOOD OR TREASURE SPENT ON ISRAEL’S ‘RIGHT TO EXIST’.

For those who think I am wet behind the ears on this one, think twice–I know all too well what Israel thinks about Americans, because 41 years ago I saw them murder my shipmates in cold blood with no remorse in their black hearts or in their vacant souls. Their entire war machine was bought and paid for– you guessed it–by you, the people of the United States and they used that to murder America’s sons.

History will repeat itself if the Government doesn’t wise up soon, and they won’t unless they hear from you, me and the rest of the American public as we demand no more free rides for any country, and especially not Israel. America has its own ‘Right to Exist’ and no one, not even the Jewish state, should come before our own family and friends.

Phillip F. Tourney

Survivor, USS Liberty June 8 1967

Co-Host of The Liberty Hour Radio Program

Saturdays 0900 MST RBN

tonktime5@yahoo.com

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© 2008 Phillip F. Tourney

SOURCE: http://ussliberty.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/israel’s-‘right-to-exist’/

URL: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2008/07/29/israel_s_right_to_exist

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ICC and al-Bashir: Ocampo’s Justice

Posted in World Affairs on July 28, 2008 by albasheer
ICC and al-Bashir: Ocampo’s Justice
Ramzy Baroud

The crimes committed against innocent people in Darfur represent a shameful episode in the history of Sudan and its neighbours, including Chad, which has played a dubious role in sustaining the seething conflict. Equally disgraceful is the politicising of the bloody conflict in ways that will ensure its continuation.

The decision of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor-general, Luis Moreno- Ocampo, to file an arrest warrant for Sudan’s current President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, and the international responses to his decision, demonstrate both the politicising of the crisis and the selectiveness of international law.

Consider this bizarre twist. The US Congress passed a resolution, on 22 June 2004, declaring that the violence in Darfur was state-sponsored genocide. The resolution — named the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act — was signed into law by President Bush in October 2006.

Between the vote and Bush’s signature the United Nations conducted a sweeping investigation — unlike Congress’s rash decision which was based almost entirely on lobby and interest group pressure — declaring, in early 2005, that both the government and militias were systematically abusing civilians in Sudan’s western province. It insisted, however, that no genocide had taken place.

The US is not a signatory of the ICC — understandably so, given that many legal experts deem the war crimes of invading and occupying Iraq as the worst since World War II. Although the ICC is, in theory, an independent body, it often investigates or provides legal opinions on cases passed on by the United Nations Security Council which is dominated by the United States, its vetoes and foreign policy interests.

It is anomalous that Moreno-Ocampo’s request adhered to Congress’s political labelling of the conflict in western Sudan and not that of the United Nations’ own comprehensive and less politicised report.

Equally interesting is the response of the US and other governments, as well as regional and international bodies to the decision.

The US, which like Sudan doesn’t recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC, was pleased by the court prosecutor-general’s move. “In our view, recognition of the humanitarian disaster and the atrocities that have gone on there is a positive thing,” said US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack.

China and Russia — both of which have immense and growing economic interests in Africa — found the decision unhelpful and called for restraint. It’s not only the Sudanese government that they wish to woo but other African states, alarmed by the court’s move which is likely to worsen the tribal war and jeopardise the safety of the people of Darfur and the numerous humanitarian missions and workers in the region. (The UN has already declared its intent to pull back staff from a joint UN-African Union mission, one welcomed by the Al-Bashir government and which is credited for contributing to the slight improvement in the situation there).

The African Union, often discounted, if not entirely undermined, by Western political institutions, has called on the ICC to suspend its decision until the crisis in Darfur is resolved. In fact, intense efforts have succeeded in bringing warring parties to the negotiation table and extracting important concessions that, with international support, could bring the crisis to an end. But the call made by AU chairman, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe, is unlikely to be heeded as economic and political interests in Darfur are too significant for Western countries to allow Africa’s own leaders to meddle.

While some human rights organisations and many media pundits, largely based in Western capitals, welcomed Moreno-Ocampo’s request — conveniently ignoring the hypocrisy of the decision and the mayhem and instability it will create in the already fractious region — others in Africa and the Middle East are not impressed. African and Middle Eastern media decried the selectiveness and rigidity of international law when the conflict concerns poor countries, and its blindness and flexibility when the perpetrators of crimes are countries that wield military and economic might, and often the power of veto.

The ICC was established in 2002, immediately before the US aggression against Iraq. Interestingly, the ICC’s jurisdiction — for obvious reasons — doesn’t include the crime of aggression. Equally telling is that the court has so far investigated just four conflicts — in Northern Uganda, Congo, Darfur and the Central African Republic. One cannot help but wonder if only Africans are capable of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

It’s this selectiveness that makes Moreno-Ocampo’s request a textbook example of the inner-workings of international law. It exposes governments like the US and Britain which condemn war crimes and authoritarian regimes in Sudan, Zimbabwe and elsewhere while perpetrating war crimes of their own, aiding and abetting authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, as hopelessly addicted to double standards.

For Moreno-Ocampo’s decision — and the entire international legal apparatus in the West — to be taken seriously, impartiality and fairness are essential. They are qualities, however, that remain conspicuously absent, vetoed, or otherwise shunted, into the sidings of history.

Regardless of whether the ICC judges will honour Moreno- Ocampo’s request to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president the Darfur conflict cannot be settled by selective justice, self- serving politics or contract-seeking oil corporations. Justice in Sudan, or anywhere else for that matter, cannot be obtained through such practices which are at best “unhelpful” and at worse could be used by the international order’s self-appointed policemen to further legitimatise their destructive policies of “intervention” — economic sanctions, war, and the rest.

-Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London).

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July 27, 2008 Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book, ‘The Second Palestinian Intifada’: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London), is available from Amazon and other book venues. Visit his website: http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

US Warns Israel –There Will Be No ‘USS Liberty Pt II’

Posted in World Affairs on July 28, 2008 by albasheer
US Warns Israel –There Will Be No ‘USS Liberty Pt II’
Mark Glenn – The Ugly Truth July 28, 2008

For the last 41 years, Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty has been a taboo topic about which neither the Jewish state nor the US has allowed free and open discussion. Like a paid-off judge in the service of organized crime interests who pounds his gavel on the bench, for the last 4 decades Israel and her supporters in the US government have bellowed ‘case closed’ and have raked over the coals anyone–including the survivors of the attack themselves–from arguing otherwise. Realizing the tidal wave of outrage that would occur if the American people were to come of age and lose their innocence in realizing what Israel did in murdering 34 American servicemen 4 decades ago in a premeditated attack, (to say nothing of the cover-up perpetrated by the US government) it has been on the list of forbidden topics……until recently.

Cutting short his trip in Europe the first week of July, recently-appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen flew to Tel Aviv along with an entourage of high-ranking US military personnel and, upon his arrival, rushed to meet with the highest-ranking members of Israel’s military establishment. While this is not unusual (as many such meetings have been taking place as of late) what was unusual was the topic discussed–Israel‘s attack on the USS Liberty 41 years ago during the 6 day war and how ‘important’ it was ‘not to allow history to repeat itself,’ given the present tensions existing between Israel and Iran. Considering the subject of that meeting and the well-known cover-up that has taken place these last 41 years, the meeting should have made headline news all over America. Sadly, however, it did not, just another testimony to the fact that America is now officially ‘occupied territory’ every bit as much as Arab Palestine.

The fact that the meeting took place at all is news enough, but what is of even more importance is what can be inferred from the meeting. Given the fact that this brazen 2 hour attack upon the United States has been hushed up these last 41 years, there can be little else to conclude by Mullen’s meeting other than the obvious–That someone from within the intelligence or military apparatus of the United States has looked towards the horizon and concluded that Israel is planning a ‘USS Liberty Pt II,’ meaning an attack on a US ship, most likely in the Persian Gulf, leading to a massive loss of life to be then blamed on Iran. As was intended in 1967 when Israel attacked the Liberty, Americans would be incensed into such a war frenzy that they would demand the ‘obliteration’ (a la Hillary Clinton) of the guilty party, the false identity of which the Jewish media establishment in America would be all too glad to provide. And while all players involved have been tight-lipped about the particulars of this story, what can be concluded nevertheless is that Mullen’s impromptu trip to Israel and subsequent discussion was in effect a stern warning to Israel of ‘Don’t even think about it bubba’.

Those who suspect that Mullen (a company man not cut from the same cloth as the recently ‘retired’ Adm. William Fallon) has been afflicted with a sudden case of patriotic fever should consider this recent news against the more likely backdrop of sheer pragmatism. The sad fact is, patriotism more than likely had little to do with it. The US is having its rear end handed to it in Iraq and Afghanistan and now some in Washington are beginning to realize that they‘ve just put their foot into something nasty with regards to Israel’s dirty wars in the Middle East that will never be finished as long as she exists. With oil and virtually all consumer products skyrocketing in price simultaneous to the US economy going down the drain, some now understand that by signing on as Israel’s pit bull in the Muslim world that America will wind up paying the ultimate price for her devotion to the Jewish state, meaning the complete destruction of her economy and her position as a world power.

It is no secret Mullen is very friendly when it comes to the great experiment in Jewish self rule in the Middle East as well as his willingness to tow the line with regards to the sworn enemies of that great experiment. Immediately after the release of the National Intelligence Estimate in early December of 2007 stating that Iran had no nuclear weapons program America’s highest ranking military officer high-tailed it to Israel (the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to do so in a decade) to reassure her of America’s support that would ‘last 1,000 years’.

As of late however, America’s top general officer seems to be singing a different tune with regards to widening the present debacle to include war with Iran that stands the very real chance of bringing into the fray nuclear-armed nations such as Russia and China. Out of necessity therefore he has now joined with saner voices both within and outside the Bush administration who are trying to an apocalyptic end to America. In discussing an attack on Iran Mullen recently stated that opening a third front would be ‘extremely stressful’ on the US military and added that it would lead to consequences ‘difficult to predict’, adding that “There is need for better clarity, even dialogue at some level.”

And this, added to all the other things taking place these days (not excluding of course the talk of withdrawing US troops from Iraq) is what is making Israel jittery to the point she would contemplate pulling off another ‘USS Liberty’. For the sake of her own survival she simply cannot afford to have her ‘fixer’ in the Middle East walk away from a ‘hit’ to which he has been assigned, and it is for this reason that forward-thinking people in the US are beginning to sense Israel may soon pull a few surprises out of her infamous black bag of dirty tricks.

Once the stomping grounds solely of ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists’ that the Jewish state might pull a fast one in order to get the US involved in a war for her own interests, now ‘respectable’ people have begun to voice such thoughts openly as well. In a recent piece appearing in an issue of American Conservative Magazine entitled ‘If Iran is Attacking, It Might Really Be Israel’, ex-CIA officer Phillip Giraldi writes as follows–

‘Some intel types are beginning to express concerns that the Israelis might do something completely crazy to get the US involved. There are a number of possible “false flag” scenarios in which the Israelis could stage an incident that they will make to look Iranian, either by employing Iranian weapons or by leaving a communications footprint that points to Tehran’s involvement. Those who argue Israel would never do such a thing should think again. Israel is willing to behave with complete ruthlessness towards the US if they feel that the stakes are high enough. Witness the attack on the USS Liberty and the bombing of the US Consulate in Alexandria in the 1950s. If they now believe that Iran is a threat that must be eliminated it is not implausible to assume they will stop at nothing to get the United States to do it for them, particularly as their air force is only able to damage the Iranian nuclear program, not destroy it…’

Joined alongside Giraldi is long-time former CIA analyst Ray McGovern who in his most recent piece ‘Israel Planning a September/October Surprise?’ writes the following with regards to the US pulling out of the Middle East and what Israel might do as a result–

‘My guess is the Israeli leaders are apoplectic…This dramatic change — or even just the specter of it — greatly increases Israel’s incentive to ensure US involvement in the area that would endure for several years. The Israelis need to create “facts on the ground” — something to guarantee Washington will stand by “our ally.” The legislation drafted by AIPAC calls for a blockade of Iran. That would be one way to entangle; there are many others. The point is that the growing danger the Israelis perceive will probably prompt them to find a way to get the US involved in hostilities with Iran. All Israel has to do is to arrange to be attacked. Not a problem. There are endless possibilities among which Israel can choose to catalyze such a confrontation. Viewed from Tel Aviv it appears an increasingly threatening situation, with more urgent need to “embed” (so to speak) the United States even more deeply in the region — in a confrontation involving both countries with Iran. A perfect storm is brewing…In sum, Israel is likely to be preparing a September/October surprise designed to keep the US bogged down in Iraq and in the wider region by provoking hostilities with Iran. And don’t be surprised if it starts as early as August…

Readers will recall that American Free Press newspaper predicted in the aftermath of the National Intelligence Estimate being released that the prospect of war with Iran being cancelled would likely result in Israel resorting to desperate measures in getting her way. AFP further speculated that the timing of the release of the NIE was suspicious, coming just a few days before Dec 7, the day Americans remember the attack on Pearl Harbor and that possibly the release of the report was timed to prevent a sneak attack by an Israeli sub on a US ship stationed in the Persian Gulf.

For her part, Israel is attempting to play the role of the innocent, cooperative and concerned ally in the wake of Mullen’s meeting by summoning Judge Jay Cristol, a federal bankruptcy judge in Miami who wrote a book in 2002 exculpating Israel of any wrongdoing in the Liberty attack. He is lecturing at military academies in Haifa and Ashdod on how to avoid the ‘mistakes’ that led to the attack on the Liberty.

One thing is for certain. Out of all the topics to be discussed with his Israeli counterparts, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mullen picked the topic of the USS Liberty, and not because he felt nostalgic or guilty over the way the survivors have been treated these last 41 years. He, like many within the military and intelligence establishment, no doubt realizes that America sits at the precipice of destruction and is no doubt trying to pull her back before that proverbial ‘point of no return’ is reached, if in fact it has not been reached already.

And as sobering a theme as all this may be, the fact is that it may turn out to be much worse. What Israel wants, Israel gets, and the fact that an attack on a US ship has been thwarted does not mean that the fat lady has sung, as now the likelihood of a false flag attack on the American mainland has been made all the more likely. This time however, just for good measure and for spite, it might not be a city building coming down after being struck by an airliner, but rather an entire city being consumed in a mushroom cloud, courtesy of a place called Dimona and a criminal organization known as Mossad.

2008 by Mark Glenn
http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/us-warns-israel-there-will-be-no-%e2%80%98uss-liberty-pt-ii%e2%80%99/

Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?

Posted in World Affairs on July 26, 2008 by albasheer
Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?
Paul Craig Roberts

“On October 21 (1948) the Government of Israel took a decision that was to have a lasting and divisive effect on the rights and status of those Arabs who lived within its borders: the official establishment of military government in the areas where most of the inhabitants were Arabs.” – Martin Gilbert, Israel: A History

I had given up on finding an American with a moral conscience and the courage to go with it and was on the verge of retiring my keyboard when I met the Rev. Thomas L. Are. Rev. Are is a Presbyterian pastor who used to tell his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation: “I am a Zionist.” Like most Americans, Rev. Are had been seduced by Israeli propaganda and helped to spread the propaganda among his congregation.

Around 1990 Rev. Are had an awakening for which he credits the Christian Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and author Marc Ellis, co-editor of the book, Beyond Occupation.

Realizing that his ignorance of the situation on the ground had made him complicit in great crimes, Rev. Are wrote a book hoping to save others from his mistake and perhaps in part to make amends, Israeli Peace/Palestinian Justice, published in Canada in 1994.

Rev. Are researched his subject and wrote a brave book. Keep in mind that 1994 was long prior to Walt and Mearsheimer’s recent book, which exposed the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to control the explanation Americans receive about the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Rev. Are begins with an account of Israel’s opening attack on the Palestinians, an event which took place before most Americans alive today were born. He quotes the distinguished British historian, Arnold J. Toynbee: “The treatment of the Palestinian Arabs in 1947 (and 1948) was as morally indefensible as the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis. Though nor comparable in quantity to the crimes of the Nazis, it was comparable in quality.”

Golda Meir, considered by Israelis as a great leader and by others as one of history’s great killers, disputed the facts: “It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

Golda Meir’s apology for Israel’s great crimes is so counter-factual that it blows the mind. Palestinian refugee camps still exist outside Palestine filled with Palestinians and their descendants whose towns, villages, homes and lands were seized by the Israelis in 1948. Rev. Are provides the reader with Na’im Ateek’s description of what happened to him, an 11-year old, when the Jews came to take Beisan on May 12, 1948. Entire Palestinian communities simply disappeared.

In 1949 the United Nations counted 711,000 Palestinian refugees.

In 2005 the United Nations Relief and Works Agency estimated 4.25 million Palestinians and their descendants were refugees from their homeland.

The Israeli policy of evicting non-Jews has continued for six decades. On June 19, 2008, the Laity Committee in the Holy Land reported in Window Into Palestine that the Israeli Ministry of Interior is taking away the residency rights of Jerusalem Christians who have been reclassified as “visitors in their own city.”

On December 10, 2007, MK Ephraim Sneh boasted in the Jerusalem Post that Israel had achieved “a true Zionist victory” over the UN partition plan “which sought to establish two nations in the land of Israel.” The partition plan had assigned Israel 56 percent of Palestine, leaving the inhabitants with only 44 percent. But Israel had altered this over time. Sneh proudly declared: “When we complete the permanent agreement, we will hold 78 percent of the land while the Palestinians will control 22 percent.”

Sneb could have added that the 22 percent is essentially a collection of unconnected ghettos cut off from one another and from roads, water, medical care, and jobs.

Rev. Are documents that the abuse of Palestinians’ human rights is official Israeli policy. Killings, torture, and beatings are routine. On May 17, 1990, the Washington Post reported that Save the Children “documented indiscriminate beating, tear-gassing and shooting of children at home or just outside the house playing in the street, who were sitting in the classroom or going to the store for groceries.”

On January 19, 1988, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, later Prime Minister, announced the policy of “punitive beating” of Palestinians. The Israelis described the purpose of punitive beating: “Our task is to recreate a barrier and once again put the fear of death into the Arabs of the area.”

According to Save the Children, beatings of children and women are common. Rev. Are, citing the report in the Washington Post, writes: “Save the Children concluded that one-third of beaten children were under ten years old, and one-fifth under the age of five. Nearly a third of the children beaten suffered broken bones.”

On February 8, 1988, Newsweek magazine quoted an Israeli soldier: “We got orders to knock on every door, enter and take out all the males. The younger ones we lined up with their faces against the wall, and soldiers beat them with billy clubs. This was no private initiative, these were orders from our company commander…. After one soldier finished beating a detainee, another soldier called him ‘you Nazi,’ and the first man shot back: ‘You bleeding heart.’ When one soldier tried to stop another from beating an Arab for no reason, a fist fight broke out.”

These were the old days before conscience was eliminated from the ranks of the Israeli military.

In the London Sunday Times, June 19, 1977, Ralph Schoenman, executive director of the Bertrand Russell Foundation, wrote: “Israeli interrogators routinely ill-treat and torture Arab prisoners. Prisoners are hooded or blindfolded and are hung by their wrists for long periods. Most are struck in the genitals or in other ways sexually abused. Most are sexually assaulted. Others are administered electric shock.”

Amnesty International concluded that “there is no country in the world in which the use of official and sustained torture is as well established and documented as in the case of Israel.”

Even the pro-Israeli Washington Post reported: “Upon arrest, a detainee undergoes a period of starvation, deprivation of sleep by organized methods and prolonged periods during which the prisoner is made to stand with his hands cuffed and raised, a filthy sack covering the head. Prisoners are dragged on the ground, beaten with objects, kicked, stripped and placed under ice-cold showers.”

Sounds like Abu Gharib. There are news reports that Israeli torture experts participated in the torture of the detainees assembled by the American military as part of the Bush Regime’s propaganda onslaught to convince Americans that Iraq was overflowing with al-Qaeda terrorists. On July 23, 2008, Antiwar.com posted an Iraqi news report that the Iraqi government had released a total of 109,087 Iraqis that the Americans had “detained.” Obviously, these “terrorist detainees” had been used for the needs of Bush Regime propaganda. No one will ever know how many of them were abused by Israeli torturers imported by the CIA.

Rev. Are’s book makes sensible suggestions for resolving the conflict that Israel began. However, the problem is that Israeli governments believe only in force. The policy of the Israeli government has always been to beat, kill, and brutalize Palestinians into submission and flight. Anyone who doubts this can read the book of Israel’s finest historian Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006).

Americans are a gullible and naive people. They have been complicit for 60 years in crimes that in Arnold Toynbee’s words “are comparable in quality” to the crimes of Nazi Germany. As Toynbee was writing decades ago, the accumulated Israeli crimes might now be comparable also in quantity.

The US routinely vetoes United Nations condemnations of Israel for its brutal crimes against the Palestinians. Insouciant American taxpayers have been bled for a half century to provide the Israelis with superior military weapons with which Israelis assault their neighbors, all the while convincing America – essentially a captive nation – that Israel is the victim.

John F. Mahoney wrote: “Thomas Are reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: an active pastor who comes to the unsettling realization that he and his people have been fed a terrible lie that is killing and torturing thousands of innocent men, women and children. Not without ample research and prayer does such a pastor, in turn, risk unsettling his congregation. The Reverend Are has done his homework and, I suspect, has prayed often and long during the writing of this courageous book.”

Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian and pastor who was executed for his active participation in the German Resistance against Nazism.

Professor Benjamin M. Weir, San Francisco Theological Seminary, wrote: “This book will make the reader squirm. It asks you to lend your voice in behalf of the voiceless.”

Americans who can no longer think for themselves and who are terrified of disapproval by their peer group are incapable of lending their voices to anyone except those who control the world of propaganda in which they live.

The ignorance and unconcern of Americans is a great frustration to my friends in the Israeli peace movement. Without outside support those Israelis who believe in good will are deprived, by America’s support for their government’s policy of violence, of any peaceful resolution of a conflict began in 1947 by Israeli aggression against unsuspecting Palestinian villages.

Rev. Are wrote his book with the hope that the pen is mightier than the sword and that facts can crowd out propaganda and create a framework for a just resolution of the Palestinian issue. In his concluding chapter, “What Christians Can Do,” Rev. Are writes: “We cannot allow others to dictate our thinking on any subject, especially on anything as important as Christian faithfulness, which is tested by an attitude towards seeking justice for the oppressed. It’s a Christian’s duty to know.”

Duty, of course, has costs. Rev. Are writes: “Speak up for the Palestinians and you will make enemies. Yet, as Christians, we must be willing to raise issues that until now we have chosen to dodge.”

More than a decade later, President Jimmy Carter, a true friend of Israel, tried again to awaken Americans’ moral conscience with his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Carter was instantly demonized by the Israel Lobby.

Sixty years of efforts by good and humane people to hold Israel accountable have so far failed, but they are more important today than ever before. Israel has its captive American nation on the verge of attacking Iran, the consequences of which could be catastrophic for all concerned. The alleged purpose of the attack is to eliminate nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons. The real reason is to eliminate all support for Hamas and Hezbollah so that Israel can seize the entire West Bank and southern Lebanon. The Bush regime is eager to do Israel’s bidding, and the media and evangelical “Christian” churches have been preparing the American people for the event.

It is paradoxical that Israel is demonstrating that veracity lies not in the Christian belief in good will but in Lenin’s doctrine that violence is the effective force in history and that the evangelical Christian Zionist churches agree.

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© 2008 Paul Craig Roberts

SOURCE: http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=13193

Blowback through the looking glass

Posted in World Affairs on July 26, 2008 by albasheer
Blowback through the looking glass
By Robert Weitzel

“If I had a world of my own . . . nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.” -Alice in Wonderland-

Alice: “You want democracy in the Middle East?”

Uncle Sam: “I do.”

Alice: “And Iran was a democracy?”

Uncle Sam: “It was.”

Alice: “With a constitution?”

Uncle Sam: “Of course!”

Alice: “But you replaced that democracy with a dictatorship?”

Uncle Sam: “ I certainly did!”

Alice: “I don’t understand you?”

Uncle Sam: “My dear, how else will democracy flourish in the Middle East?”

Alice: “It’s all so dreadfully confusing.”

In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” the White Queen assured Alice that “it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” A contemporary reader stepping into the “looking glass” world of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East may well understand the Queen’s contrariness as “blowback”—an event that appears to be without cause but is the unintended consequence of a past action. Blowback is a “sort of memory” that always works forward.

In 1953, Uncle Sam, at the behest of his British ally, stepped through the looking glass to attack Iran. The CIA’s month-long covert war deposed the popularly elected Mohammad Mossadegh and ended the Middle East’s oldest constitutional democracy.

To secure a foothold for democracy in the region—and keep oil flowing at an Anglo-American price—Uncle Sam placed Mohammad Reza Shah back on the Peacock Throne.

The twenty-five years of oppressive dictatorship that followed was the “sort of memory” that came blowing back through the looking glass with the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which resulted in a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Iran and the transmogrification of Uncle Sam into “Shaytan Bozorg”—the Great Satan.

The Islamic Revolution brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who have inspired a generation of new recruits in the war against the imperialist aggression of the West; a war that blew back through the looking glass—and the Twin Towers—as the “War on Terror.”

This June, both presumptive presidential candidates made their obligatory supplication at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington D.C. In the “looking glass” world of American politics, candidates for national office—from federal dogcatcher to the White House—cannot get elected without first being “voted in” by Israel’s representatives in the United States.

John McCain told the AIPAC audience, “The State of Israel stands . . . as the great democracy of the Middle East. [It has] thrived and . . . built a nation that’s an inspiration to free nations everywhere.”

Barack Obama told the same audience, “In a state of constant insecurity, Israel has maintained a vibrant and open discourse, and a resilient commitment to the rule of law.”

The White Queen told Alice, “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

In 1948, Uncle Sam was the first in line to recognize the birth of the State of Israel in the Land of Palestine. The birth pain of this “great [Jewish-only] democracy of the Middle East” is known to the entirety of the Arab world as the “Nakhba” (catastrophe)—the murder of 800 Palestinian Arabs in twenty-four separate Israeli terror attacks that were calculated to initiate the “ethic cleansing” of 700,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 500 villages.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied and began to illegally settle the whole of the Land of Palestine. It has since created an apartheid state whose “resilient commitment to the rule of law” has forced over four million Palestinians behind walls and beyond the reach of human rights.

In its sixty-years as an “inspiration to free nations everywhere,” Israel has yet to draft a constitution, much less a bill of rights. To do so would mean the self-destruction of the Jewish State as envisioned by the Zionist ideology that created and sustains it. If Israel is to self-destruct, it will be in an apocalyptic battle to save itself from itself.

Uncle Sam’s implicit support for Israel’s repressive policies against the Palestinian people and his overt support of Israel’s aggression against neighboring states has blown back through the looking glass with Iran’s determination to acquire the nuclear technology with which to both power and protect itself.

As AIPAC-vetted politicians vow to “totally obliterate” Iran if it continues along a nuclear path, the other side of the looking glass reveals Uncle Sam offering to help the Shah develop an Iranian nuclear weapons program in the 1970s, just as he had earlier given a wink and a nod—and no doubt assistance— as Israel began developing its now 200-strong nuclear arsenal.

Uncle Sam’s foreign policy in the Middle East has created Alice’s contrary world where “what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.” It is a world filled with the “sort of memory” that always works forward to become the stuff of nightmares and the roost for returning chickens.

Alice: “So, you ended a democracy that was and support a “democracy” that isn’t or ever will be until it ceases being a “democracy” so that democracy will flourish in a land whose only experience of democracy has been what democracy isn’t?”

Uncle Sam: “Well said!”

Alice: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

— Robert Weitzel is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@mac.com

Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran

Posted in World Affairs on July 24, 2008 by albasheer
Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran
What Really Happened – July 23, 2008

One of the great crimes committed against the people of Iraq was the looting of the Baghdad Museum and the destruction of many important ancient sites inside Iraq.

As the drums beat for more war in Iran, there is a valid concern that Iran’s ancient archeological sites face risk of destruction. I agree. And more to the point, I think that destruction of ancient sites is deliberate policy.

Egypt is literally littered with the ruins of the ancient temples and palaces of her rulers. As much as has been found, it is estimated that only 1/3 of Egypt’s archeological wonders have been uncovered. A newly discovered temple was uncovered while digging a sewer line, and a cache of finely preserved mummies was literally stumbled over by a cow in a pasture.

Iraq’s ancient heritage was enshrined in its ancient sites and museum. As a result of the war, many of those sites have been damaged or destroyed. Part of the ancient city or Ur now lies underneath a US air base runway. The treasures of the museum have only partly been recovered. The treasures from the looted archaeological sites have been scattered to the world.

Now we take aim at Persia, and as the illustrations in this National Geographic article show, there is a rich cultural heritage of artifacts and ancient sites facing the bombs.

All of this wealth of archaeological treasures must of course annoy Israel. We are raised from birth with Old Testament tales of the greatness of the ancient Israelites, of the powerful kingdoms of Solomon and David and the first temple. Yet Israel, while rich in antiquities, is almost totally devoid of artifacts from this supposedly glorious time in her history. The existence of the fabled First Temple was supported with just two artifacts, a carved staff ornament in the shape of a pomegranate and the Jehoash tablet. Both of these artifacts have been exposed as frauds. We are told that once there was a magnificent temple on that hill, but it “all went away.” The wonders emerging from the soil of Egypt, Iraq, and Iran serve as a constant reminder that ancient buildings of such a scale as we are told the First Temple was simply do not vanish without a trace.

There is considerable reason to suspect that the tales told in the Old Testament are just that; tales. The Bible is not science, it is the collected stories of a primitive tribal people telling each other how important they are. And like fishermen talking about the won that got away, or Ramses with his temple carvings of the did-not-really-happen victory over the Hittites at Kadesh, the writers of the ancient testaments assumed that the people they were telling stories to had no way to verify the claims for themselves. So “embellishment” was a low-risk activity.

We do know from the available archaeological evidence that the Exodus probably actually happened to the Hyksos, not the Israelites. http://hebdo.ahram.org.eg/arab/ahram/2007/4/18/voy2.htm We know that the story of Moses is suspect because no Egyptian princess would hide a Hebrew child inside Pharaoh’s household, then give the kid a Hebrew name (“Moses” is actually an Egyptian title meaning “Prince” and is included in the names of many Pharaoh’s names such as Tut-Moses, Ah-Moses, Ra-Moses (Ramses) etc.) But a good story is a good story and the writers of the ancient texts were probably not thinking much further into the future than the guys who pen the “Celebrity dates space alien” stories you see at supermarket checkout lines. The fact that the celebrity is a real person does not prove the space alien exists. It’s just a story.

But, over time, entire religions with attendant wealth and power structures have been built on the premise that these stories really happened exactly as written. And today, here in the 21st century world, technology has started to catch up with these ancient legends and call many of them into doubt.

So, for a nation that justifies its existence on the writings of the Old Torah, the plethora of sites and artifacts confirming the ancient histories of Egypt, Iraq, Iran, etc. etc. etc. must seem a dire political threat for a nation whose own ancient history seems to have left little if any traces.

In that context, the strange behavior of the US military which posted guards around the Iraq oil ministry while leaving the Baghdad museum unguarded suddenly starts to make sense, if the supporters of a very insecure nation decide that leveling the archaeological playing field is preferable to allowing the obvious disparity in archaeological proofs of claimed ancient histories to stand clear in the world’s view!

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/cat_iran.html#089197

Obama, Israel and Palestine

Posted in World Affairs on July 24, 2008 by albasheer
Obama, Israel and Palestine
Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

Barack Obama has finally made his long-awaited pilgrimage to Israel, a rite of passage that no aspiring American politician, let alone a presidential candidate, can afford to miss or ignore.

There (or rather here), Obama uttered all the politically-correct words that Israeli leaders and especially Israel-firsters back home would want to hear.

He called the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 a “miracle,” utterly ignoring the near obliteration of Palestine and expulsion to the four corners of the world of the vast bulk of its indigenous Christian and Muslim inhabitants.

The presidential hopeful told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “I have come to communicate to you my fervent support for Israel.”

In Sderot, in southern Israel, Obama was quoted as saying the following: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything in my power to stop that, and would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

Of course, he mentioned absolutely nothing about the Israeli campaign of murder and terror against Gaza, particularly the year-long harsh blockade of the coastal enclave’s estimated 1.5 million inhabitants, which has killed and maimed thousands of innocent men, women and children whose only “crime” is that they had dared elect a government the Bush administration and Israel didn’t like.

Predictably, Obama lashed out at Iran, saying that “a situation in which Iran was capable of making nuclear weapons would be “game-changing” and would have repercussions across the world.

Again, he utterly and totally ignored Israel’s estimated 300 nuclear warheads, as if even alluding to this well-known fact was an earth-shaking taboo.

Obama is not ignorant of the facts in the Middle East. He is well-aware of the evil nature of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the equally criminal treatment meted out to the Palestinian people.

He also knows well that true and just peace with the Palestinians is the last item on Israel’s agenda as evidenced from the unmitigated Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, especially in occupied Arab East Jerusalem.

Non the less, Obama is also meticulously conscious of the whoring theatre of American politics where political correctness always exceeds and overrides moral rightness.

He knows that the nearly complete Jewish domination of the “media discourse” in America leaves him with only two choices: Either he be conscientious, in which case he would most probably lose; or play the political prostitution game quite skillfully, and have a fair chance of winning. Obama has obviously opted to adopt the later choice.

It is of course true that the sole reason behind Obama’s visit to Israel, a country that got the US involved in two wars in the Middle East and is now hell-bent trying to get the Bush Administration to wage a third war, this time on Iran, has more to do with his efforts to impress American Jewish voters, especially American Zionist leaders, than with showing solidarity with “Sderot” or underscoring his commitment to peace in the Middle East.

But this is only partially true. There are far more Hispanic voters in the US than Jewish voters, but Obama has made no pilgrimage to Mexico as he has to Israel.

Similarly, there are probably at least as many American Muslim voters as there are Jewish voters, who unlike the Jews are expected to overwhelmingly vote for Obama, given their conspicuously nightmarish experience with the Bush administration, especially its witch-hunting campaign against American Muslims.

Yet we have seen Obama display a virtually phobic reaction toward everything and anything Islamic, from refusing to be photographed with two hejab-wearing supporters recently to him completely disavowing his childhood Islamic heritage as if the religion of Islam, which gave the world so much in terms of civilization and culture, were something to be ashamed of.

This probably explains why Obama has carefully avoided visiting the Haram al Sharif esplanade in East Jerusalem, one of the world’s most splendid sites, lest he be caught inadvertently showing signs of respect to the holy place or shaking hands with a Muslim scholar.

Then his political opponents back home would rather enthusiastically seize “the golden opportunity” of having finally found the ultimate “proof” that Obama is in fact a “crypto-follower of Osama bin Laden.” After all, Obama’s last name and Osama’s first have 80% similarity.!!!

Well, anything could work in a country that can be so easily mesmerized by spin doctors and misled to the abyss by organized mendacity.

Yes, it is the spin doctors, the professional liars, that Obama is worried about, I would say much more than he is about Jewish voters. This is why he probably doesn’t want to give them any chances, even at the expense of whatever moral credentials he might have.

I know that the hardcore Jewish leadership in America doesn’t really like or trust Obama, mainly because in the tone of his voice they detect a propensity to refuse total submission to Jewish power. This is the reason that their support of the black candidate is shrouded with more than a thin façade of hypocrisy and disingenuousness.

But why would the “omnipotent lobby” not unmask its doubts and lack of certitude about Obama and switch support to Senator McCain, who is with Israel, heart and soul?

Well, because they are worried that in case Obama won the race, they lobby would probably fall out of favor with the next master of the White House. And that would be very bad for Israel. Hence, their uttered slogan is “we must not allow this Negro to outsmart or outmaneuver us.”

Surely, American Zionism and its powerful lobby, which effectively controls American politics and policies, is fond of Obama’s tongue. But they are not so sure about Obama’s mind and heart.

So, far Obama has done a remarkable job hiding whatever discrepancy there might be between his tongue and his conscience. This is what irks Israel’s firsters most.

Well, let us hope that Obama will be the next President of the United States. At least if he can’t stand up to Israel , whose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rumored to have said “We, the Jews, control America and the Americans know it,” he, at the very least, would be the lesser of the two evils, since a McCain’s presidency would mean another four years of George W. Bush’s policies.

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July 24, 2008 By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem