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Democracy is a threat to America?!?!


That’s what some in the US intelligence agency believed during the term of President Jimmy Carter and so they schemed to prevent Carter from winning a second term by sabotaging his presidency.  These and other remarkable facts are contained in an article written by Robert Parry.  Take time to read the link.  Among other things it asserts

Too many powerful interests do not want the American people to accept even the possibility that U.S. intelligence operatives and a longtime ally could intervene to oust a president who had impinged on what those two groups considered their vital interests.

To accept that scenario would mean that two of the great fears of American democracy had come true – George Washington’s warning against the dangers of “entangling alliances” and Harry Truman’s concern that the clandestine operations of the CIA had the makings of an “American Gestapo.”

there is no doubt that CIA Old Boys and Likudniks had strong motives for seeking President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1980.Inside the CIA, Carter and his CIA Director Stansfield Turner were blamed for firing many of the free-wheeling covert operatives from the Vietnam era, for ousting legendary spymaster Ted Shackley, and for failing to protect longtime U.S. allies (and friends of the CIA), such as Iran’s Shah and Nicaragua’s dictator Anastasio Somoza.

As for Israel, Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin was furious over Carter’s high-handed actions at Camp David in 1978 forcing Israel to trade the occupied Sinai to Egypt for a peace deal. Begin feared that Carter would use his second term to bully Israel into accepting a Palestinian state on West Bank lands that Likud considered part of Israel’s divinely granted territory.

Begin recognized that the scheme required Carter winning a second term in 1980 when, Kimche wrote, “he would be free to compel Israel to accept a settlement of the Palestinian problem on his and Egyptian terms, without having to fear the backlash of the American Jewish lobby.”In his 1992 memoir, Profits of War, Ari Ben-Menashe, an Israeli military intelligence officer who worked with Likud, agreed that Begin and other Likud leaders held Carter in contempt.

“Begin loathed Carter for the peace agreement forced upon him at Camp David,” Ben-Menashe wrote. “As Begin saw it, the agreement took away Sinai from Israel, did not create a comprehensive peace, and left the Palestinian issue hanging on Israel’s back.”

So, in order to buy time for Israel to “change the facts on the ground” by moving Jewish settlers into the West Bank, Begin felt Carter’s reelection had to be prevented. A different president also presumably would give Israel a freer hand to deal with problems on its northern border with Lebanon.

As for the CIA Old Boys, legendary CIA officer Miles Copeland told me that “the CIA within the CIA” – the inner-most circle of powerful intelligence figures who felt they understood best the strategic needs of the United States – believed Carter and his naïve faith in American democratic ideals represented a grave threat to the nation.

“Carter really believed in all the principles that we talk about in the West,” Copeland said, shaking his mane of white hair. “As smart as Carter is, he did believe in Mom, apple pie and the corner drug store. And those things that are good in America are good everywhere else. …

“Carter, I say, was not a stupid man,” Copeland said, adding that Carter had an even worse flaw: “He was a principled man.”

Parry, who has been following and writing about this thread for several decades provides extensive documentation about the claims of the CIA and G.H.W.Bush’s involvement in the ‘October surprise’ that resulted in the release of American hostages on the day of Ronald Regan’s inauguration in 1981.  I strongly suggest you read the entire article; it dispels a lot of current myths about what went on during that period, but two in particular I want to point out here. First off, the Iranians were negotiating with the Great Satan, not fighting it, and the Republicans were negotiating with the Iranians as well; Reagan was not someone Iranians feared rather he was someone they felt they could trust.  Indeed, ever since the inception of the theocratic Iran, its leaders have reached out to America and tried to negotiate peacefully and come to terms with it. The second myth which must be refuted is the notion that our ally Israel does not spy on its friend America.  Rather, since the Camp David accords, Israel has been actively engaged in inserting itself in American politics, directly and through its surrogates, Jonathan Pollard just one of many, to influence the American political process.  CIA operatives implied that Jimmy Carter’s belief in ‘democracy’ was a threat to American interests and the same meme has been proclaimed by the Israeli ambassador to the US, yet both countries claim to be democracies.  If that doesn’t get you to rethink politics, nothing will.

Pandering Politician


I don’t care who his opposition is, although it is Jesse Jackson, jr. unless he is as distasteful and repugnant, the people in the Illinois 2nd Congressional should summarily and resoundingly refute the politics of one Isaac Hayes, republican, running for that district.  No, unfortunately, it is not the singer Isaac Hayes of Hot Buttered Soul and Shaft fame, although if that Hayes were exhumed and wound up on the ballot he would be a better candidate DEAD than the live pungently loathsome Hayes running today.

Isaac Hayes, the alive one, is morally unsavory, and an embarrassment to what America stands for, what America has gone through, and especially as a black American, what his ancestors fought for so many years ago, respect for the rights of the individual and the rule of law.  He has descended into the lowest common denominator of hate politics,  and succumbed to the dark side of racial pandering.

In fact any politician who embraces the meme of the evil, dark, terror ridden Arab mentality and religion is a throw back to the years when fear and hate were the overriding emotions that drove human interaction.  For the gutless, unprincipled aspiring politician who sees a quick buck from a grateful donor who peddles this racism, the motivation for this is clear; a large, wealthy life living off the trough of the United States government.  I hope the people are smarter than Hayes and throw him out on his ear.

This is what has raised my ire, a statement his campaign issued addressing the Palestinian Menace. Substitute the name of any other ethnic group living any place in the world and perhaps you can see the problem with his statement.  A minority candidate invoking racial stereotypes against another group of people in order to win votes is demagoguery at its worst.

It is evident from the last incident in the eastern Mediterranean that the flotilla of peace was a rouse to smuggle terrorists and weapons to Gaza in order to attack Israel. Specifically, the supporters of the so-called flotilla of peace were pro-Palestinians and pro-Hamas organizations and individuals in various European nation-states mainly from Britain, Greece, and Turkey. These specific organizations were involved in sending previous aid convoys to the Gaza Strip by land and sea. The main purpose of these organizations and individuals was to make a show of sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in order to embarrass Israel and exert diplomatic and media pressure. I will stand with Israel in the U.S. Congress and expose these terrorist activities and support a strong U.S.-Israeli nexus in fighting global Jihad.

Straight out of the Israeli government’s hasbara handbook.  The fact that someone gleefully runs with such outdated and erroneous information should be embarrassing even to the Israelis. The fact that it isn’t reflects poorly on the state of affairs of American politics. It would be pointless to go over what’s wrong with this statement…..we’ve done that rather extensively here on the pages of Miscellany101 but the common thread of a victimized Israel, albeit this time embarrassed, still manages to come through in this statement.  Haven’t American voters grown weary of the politics of destruction and hate?  Are we  not yet fed up with pitting one group of people against another in a hate filled caricature laden orgy of religious and ethnic excesses clearly designed to inflame passions and incite hostility against one another.  Indeed, anger/wrath is one of the 7 seven deadly sins which has provoked the Palestinian debate for the last 70 years, and caused our Nation to lose sight of the rule of law, justice and equality.   Hayes clearly has no shame; I hope the voters in the 2nd congressional district don’t either and kick this ne’er do well to the curb. Can you say ‘uncle tom’ boys and girls?

No Free Speech AGAINST Israel


We always hear how Muslim groups try to limit or stifle free speech, especially when it comes to anything critical of their religion. Those attempts, such as they were,  have not legalized the cessation of speech critical of religion or Islam, however, in Israel a bill has been introduced in the Knesset to criminalize any advocacy of boycott action against Israel by ANYONE ANYWHERE in the world!  What that means is this

As to individuals who are not citizens or residents of Israel, their right to enter the country will be deprived for at least 10 years should they be involved in a boycott. Another measure would ban foreign entities or anyone on their behalf from engaging in any actions using Israeli bank accounts, Israeli stocks, or Israeli land.

Quite naturally this is aimed at the Israel divestment movement taking place in the West and the people backing this bill also want to freeze any money such groups have in Israel and appropriate it for the State of Israel, in effect stealing the money or rather in more polite terms nationalizing foreign investment.  So anyone anywhere in the world who calls for boycotting Israel could either lose access to their money or  be assessed a penalty of 30,000 shekels just for exercising the right to protest Israeli treatment of its indigenous people.  BOYCOTT!

Can we go any lower?


I hope this guy has an epiphany before he passes on and much like former Alabama governor George Wallace, takes retracts all the idiotic, stupid things he’s said in his lifetime.  I can’t believe he can possibly say anything more stupid than this

Now, I think it’s wrong to use racial profiling for the reasons of discriminating against people, but it’s not wrong to use race or other indicators for the sake of identifying that are violating the law.

It’s just a common sense thing. Law enforcement needs to use common sense indicators. Those common sense indicators are all kinds of things, from what kind of clothes people wear – my suit in my case – what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] (he meant accent….)they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have, there’re, there’re all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it’s just a sixth sense and they can’t put their finger on it. But these law enforcement officers, if they were going to be discriminating against people on the sole basis of race, singling people out, that’d be going on already.

Is there any more to say here? You can read more about King’s bouts with diarrhea of the mouth here.

We’re not racists but…


We’ve all heard that one before right?  It’s now the cry given out by European Jews, i.e. white skinned, who don’t want their daughters going to school with more native Jews, read that darker skinned and it’s something straight out of 1950s-60s America.  That just goes to prove how Israel is not the “haven” for equality and goodness it tells so many people it is.  Strange things come out of the mouths of people who want to justify their prejudices.  How about this one for an excuse to keep ones daughters from being in the same school as the others

Esther Bark, 50, who has seven daughters, said the issue is keeping the girls away from the temptations of the modern world. ”To suddenly put them in an open-minded place is not good for them,” she said.

This also goes to show you how some Israelis view womanhood.  Evidently it’s quite alright to keep their daughters in the dark, ignorant, closed minded instead of open minded.  Can we conclude that being barefoot and pregnant won’t be far behind?  So much for being a light unto the nations.  It’s interesting the Ashkhenazi take what could be considered a fascist position and makes me wonder if their mind set more closely resembles their ‘nazi’ brethren of another era in European history.  It would appear Israelis would rather live in the darkness of a bygone era that includes tribalism and racism…..or rather the white Israelis that is.  I don’t understand how it is that elements of Israeli society cling so quickly to such racist tendencies when some of the same people were once at the forefront of a nascent civil rights movement in America…unless what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

The Xenophobia of the Israeli Press


Amazing!  Simple amazing what one can find on the printed pages of the Israeli press!! It espouses a racist agenda in something as far reaching and cross cultural as sports competitions, i.e. the World Cup play and who to cheer for, while still managing to maintain its victimology status, and yes it probably is satire, much like the “joke”, ‘We Con the World‘ was shameless satire

The Turks, whose Islamic fundamentalist wannabe martyrs tried to kill Israeli soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara last Monday, did not make the tournament. The sanctimonious Swedes and Norwegians thankfully won’t be there, either.

Brazil, in cooperation with the Turks, initiated a proposal that could have facilitated the nuclearization of Iran, voted with the Turks against Wednesday’s UN sanctions, and recently treated visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad like a king.

Israelis won’t be cheering for North Korea, which built a Syrian nuclear facility, or Algeria, for obvious reasons. Germany remains Iran’s largest-trading partner, and a massive 20-billion-euro Swiss gas deal with Iran should prevent Israelis from backing Switzerland, which hosts the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council.

There are many reasons not to root for England; from its attempt to prosecute opposition leader Tzipi Livni, its deputy prime minister’s support for banning weapons sales to Israel, it being the home of Israel boycotter Elvis Costello, and its recent expulsion of a Mossad official due to his alleged role in facilitating the use of British passports to kill a mega-terrorist.

Honduras has a large Palestinian population. Paraguay sheltered many Nazis, including Joseph Mengele, after the Holocaust. The Ivory Coast is 60% Muslim.

There’s more but I think you get the point; Israeli media has a bone to pick with most of the world and it’s all because the world has made Israel a victim, and the Muslims are to blame for it.

The NYT’s advocacy for imperialism


The NYT is a regular target on the pages of Miscellany101 and it is an easy one.  Its reporters lie, make articles up, for which some are punished or disciplined and others not, or tow an administration’s line, if it serves the purpose of corporate and ethnic imperialism.

Allison Weir has outed the NYT’s story on the Gaza Flotilla inquiry that will supposedly be handled by the Israeli government.  The writer of the Times’ story is both an Israeli and one with suspected ties to the murderous IDF so you can only imagine the slant of that piece.  You can read Weir’s revelations about that story here. The Times has a habit of using Israelis to write pieces on Israel and they see nothing wrong with that.  I suggest therefore that they hire a Palestinian to write articles on Gaza and the Israeli blockade of that territory, but I’m sure that will never fly.

The second article more brazen than the first is the sophomoric grandstanding of the Times about the story of Afghanistan’s supposed wealth of natural resources.  We are pretty much on record for saying that the two wars fought by America in Iraq and Afghanistan are about regime change and control of the natural resources therein, so the Times’ announcement is not earth shattering as far as we are concerned, but the timing is what we find immensely dubious as do others as well.

The way in which the story was presented — with on-the-record quotations from the Commander in Chief of CENTCOM, no less — and the weird promotion of a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense to Undersecretary of Defense suggest a broad and deliberate information operation designed to influence public opinion on the course of the war. Indeed, as every reader of Jared Diamond’s popular works of geographic determinism knows well, a country rich in mineral resources will tend toward stability over time, assuming it has a strong, central, and stable government.

Risen’s story notes that the minerals discovery comes at a propitious time. He focuses on lithium, a critical component of electronics. One official tells him that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium” — a comparison to oil. (I can see it now: “We must wean ourselves off our dependence on foreign lithium!”)

What better way to remind people about the country’s potential bright future — and by people I mean the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans — than by publicizing or re-publicizing valid (but already public) information about the region’s potential wealth?

The Obama administration and the military know that a page-one, throat-clearing New York Times story will get instant worldwide attention. The story is accurate, but the news is not that new; let’s think a bit harder about the context.

This “news” about the riches of Afghanistan precedes another Times story which talks about the problems the Afghan mission is facing and how it might be somewhat difficult to meet the Obama administration’s deadline of withdrawal from that war ravaged country (What better way to insure circulation levels than to beat the drums for more war?) as if to prepare their readership for the bad news by re-cycling a story about the riches at the US’ disposal if we only stay the course.  Why anyone bothers to read the Times is unfathomable; my suggestion is you don’t!

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No Such thing as Israeli transparency


Israel being transparent would result in the Goldstone report all over again, or worse something like  this

In a 116-page document, entitled I Lost Everything: Israel’s Unlawful Destruction of Property in the Gaza Conflict , the report documents the complete destruction of orchards and farms as well as 189 buildings. These included 11 factories, eight warehouses and 170 residential buildings, rendering 971 people homeless during Operation Cast Lead which began on December 27th, 2008 and ended on January 18th, 2009.

The report said that a dozen specific targetings documented in the report account for only 5 per cent of the homes, warehouses and factories destroyed during the conflict. The report stated: “These cases describe instances in which Israeli forces caused extensive destruction of homes, factories, farms and greenhouses in areas under [Israeli] control without any evident military purpose”.

The human rights group said there had been no evidence of fighting in the vicinity of these facilities at the time of the attacks and Israeli bulldozers demolished the property after fighting had ceased and Israel had taken full control.

In “many cases, the destruction was carried out during the final days of the campaign when an Israeli withdrawal was imminent”, HRW said. “Individuals responsible for committing or ordering such destruction should be prosecuted for war crimes.”

What Israel has agreed to do, in investigating itself is so weak and designed to paint the perpetrator as the victim is this

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent the last two weeks searching for a process that would win the endorsement of the U.S. and appear credible to the international community, but not spiral out of the government’s control.

To that end, the five-member panel will have a narrow mandate. It is chiefly tasked with evaluating the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, imposed three years ago when the Islamic militant group Hamas established full control over the coastal strip, and whether the use of force during the raid was consistent with international practices. The commission also will look into the identity and motivations of activists aboard the ship, some of whom Israel has accused of having links to terrorist groups.

So what we will see emanate from the Israeli report will be ‘the devil made me do it’ excuses for their infringement on international law. Meanwhile as if to underscore the point that the blockade is not about stemming the flow of weapons into Gaza, nor of securing the state of Israel from any threat posed by Hamas comes  this

..

in response to a lawsuit by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the Israeli government explained the blockade as an exercise of the right of economic warfare.”A country has the right to decide that it chooses not to engage in economic relations or to give economic assistance to the other party to the conflict, or that it wishes to operate using ‘economic warfare,’” the government said.

Sari Bashi, the director of Gisha, said the documents prove that Israel isn’t imposing its blockade for its stated reasons, but rather as collective punishment for the Palestinian population of Gaza. Gisha focuses on Palestinian rights.
Whatever findings come from the Israeli report will be purely about state interests for Israel, and that’s to be expected and even welcomed.  There is enough evidence to indict Israel for illegal activity and it’s only natural for the state of Israel to do what it can to countermand that body of evidence.  What is shameful is that they will get away with it while everything else will be ignored, forgotten, or flushed down the memory hole. The victims of Israeli rage on that morning as well as the people of Gaza deserve better than that from a 21st century world citizenry.

First Hand Account


I’m truly amazed not everyone in the Gaza Flotilla illegally interdicted by the IDF weren’t all killed.  Perhaps they didn’t have enough ammunition for that task. The second best alternative to keeping away from an enquiring public what happened would be to take all recording devices and destroy them, advance the recordings of the IDF and begin the process of discrediting eyewitnesses to the carnage.  Look for the latter to happen at any moment; however, now there is a lot that’s being said about what took place that fateful morning and none of it paints any type of picture of our friend and stalwart ally other than of murderer.

“I saw them carrying this one IDF guy down,” he recalls. “He looked terrified, like he thought he was going to be killed. But when a big Turkish guy, who had seen seriously injured passengers who had been shot by the IDF, charged over and tried to hit the commando, the Turkish aid workers pushed him off and pinned him to the wall. They protected this Israeli soldier.”

That was when he found the backpack which the soldier had dropped. “I figured I’d look inside and see what he was carrying,” Neish says. “And inside was this kind of flip-book. It was full of photos and names in English and Hebrew of who was on all the ships. The booklet also had a detailed diagram of the decks of the Mavi Marmara.”

Meanwhile, he says, more and more people were being carried down the stairs from the mayhem above—people who’d been shot, and people who were dying or people already dead. “I took detailed photos of the dead and wounded with my camera,” he says, adding, “There were several guys who had two neat bullet holes side by side on the side of their head–clearly they were executed.”

Neish smuggled his photos out of Israel to Turkey despite his arrest on the ship and imprisonment in Israel for several days. “I pulled out the memory card, tossed my camera and anything I had on me that had anything to do with electronics, and then kept moving the chip around so it wouldn’t be found,” he says. “The Israelis took all the cameras and computers. They were smashing some and keeping others. I put the chip in my mouth under my tongue, between my butt cheeks, in my sock, everywhere, to keep them from finding it,” he says. He finally handed it to a Turk who was leaving for a flight home on a Turkish airline. He says the card ended up in the hands of an organization called Free Gaza, and he has seen some of his pictures published, so he knows they made it out successfully.

Neish says that claims that the Israeli commandos were just armed with paint guns and 9 mm pistols are “Bullshit–at one point when I was in the stairwell, a commando opened a hatch above, stuck in a machine gun, and started firing. Bullets were bouncing all over the place. If the guy had gotten to look in and see where he was shooting, I’d have been dead, but two Turkish guys in the stairwell, who had short lengths of chain with them that they had taken from the access points to the lifeboats, stood to the side of the hatch and whipped them up at the barrell. I don’t know if they were trying to hit the commando or to use them to snatch away the gun, but the Israeli backed off, and they slammed and locked the hatch.”

“I never saw a single paint gun, or a sign of a fired paint ball!” he says.

He also didn’t see any guns in the hands of people who were on the ship. “In the whole time I was there on the ship, I never saw a single weapon in the hands of the crew or the aid workers,” he says. Indeed, Neish, who originally had been on a smaller 70-foot yacht called the Challenger II, had transferred to the Mavi Marmara after a stop in Cyprus, because his boat had been sabatoged by Israeli agents (a claim verified by the Israeli government), making it impossible to steer. “When we came aboard the big boat, I was frisked and my bag was inspected for weapons,” he says. “Being an engineer, I of course had a pocket knife, but they took that and tossed it into the ocean. Nobody was allowed to have any weapons on this voyage. They were very careful about that.”

What he did see during the IDF assault was severe bullet wounds. “In addition to several people I saw who were killed, I saw several dozen wounded people. There was one older guy who was just propped up against the wall with a huge hole in his chest. He died as I was taking his picture.”

Neish says he saw many of the 9 who were known to have been killed, and of the 40 who were wounded, and adds, “There were many more who were wounded, too, but less seriously. In the Israeli prison, I saw people with knife wounds and broken bones. Some were hiding their injuries so they wouldn’t be taken away from the others.” He also says, “Initially there were reports that 16 on the boat had been killed. The medical station said 16. There was a suspicion that some bodies may have been thrown overboard. But what people think now is that the the other seven who are missing, since we’re not hearing from families, may have been Israeli spies.”

Once the Israeli commandos had secured control of the Mavi Marmara, Neish says the ship’s passengers and crew were rounded up, with the men put in one area on deck, and the women put below in another area. The men were told to squat, and had their hands bound with plastic cuffs, which Neish says were pulled so tight that his wrists were cut and his hands swelled up and turned purple (he is still suffering nerve damage from the experience, which his doctor in Canada says he hopes will gradually repair on its own).

“They told us to be quiet,” he says. “But at one point this Turkish imam stood up and started singing a call to prayer. Everybody was dead quiet–even the Israelis. But after about ten seconds, this Israeli officer stomped over through the squatting people, pulled out his pistol and pointed at the guy’s head, yelling ‘Shut up!’ in English. The imam looked at him directly and just kept singing! I thought, Jesus Christ, he’s gonna kill him! Then I thought, well, this is what I’m here for, I guess, so I stood up. The officer wheeled around and pointed his gun at my head. The imam finished his song and sat down, and then I sat down.”

While the commandeered vessels were sailed to the Israeli port of Ashdot, the captives were left without food or water. “All we were given were some chocolate bars that the Israelis pilfered from the ship’s stores,” says Neish. “You had to grovel to get to go to the bathroom, and many people had to just go in their pants.”

Things didn’t get much better once the passengers were transferred to an Israeli prison. He and the other prisoners with him, who hadn’t eaten for more than half a day, were tossed a frozen block of bread and some cucumbers.

On the second day, someone from the Canadian embassy came around, calling out his name. “It turned out he’d been going to every cell looking for me,” says Neish. “My daughter had been frantically telling the Canadian government I was in the flotilla. Even though the Israelis had my name and knew where I was, they weren’t telling the Canadian embassy people. In fact the Canadians–and my daughter–thought I was dead, because people had said I’d been near the initial assault. The good thing is that as they went around calling out for me, they discovered two Arab-born Canadians that they hadn’t known were there.”

“Eventually they got to my cell and I answered them. The embassy official said, ‘You’re Kevin? You’re supposed to be dead.’”

After being held for a few days, there was a rush to move everyone to the Ben Gurion airport for a flight to Turkey. “It turned out that Israeli lawyers had brought our case to the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of our capture on international waters. There was a chance that the court would order the IDF to put us back on our ships and let us go, so the government wanted to get us out of Israel and moot the case. But two guys were hauled off, probably by Mossad (the Israeli intelligence agency). So we all said, ‘No. We don’t go unless you bring them back.’”

The two men were returned and were allowed to leave with the rest of the group.

“I honestly never thought the Israelis would board the ship,” says Neish. “I thought we’d get into Gaza. I mean, I went as part of the Free Gaza Movement, and they had made prior attempts, with some getting in, and some getting boarded or rammed, but this time it was a big flotilla. I figured we’d be stopped, and maybe searched. My boat, the Challenger II, only had dignitaries on board including three German MPs, and then Lt. Col. Ann Wright and myself.

At one point in the Israeli prison, all the violence finally got to this man who had witnessed more death and mayhem than many active duty US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. “I broke down and started crying,” he admits. “This big Turkish guy came over and asked me, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘Sixteen people died.’”

“He said to me, ‘No, they died for a wonderful cause. They’re happy. You just go out and tell your story.’”

Look for the Israeli investigation to completely whitewash all that has been spoken by those who were there and discredit them as well.

This is how it’s done


The western world, particularly America, keeps getting upstaged by these developing countries that are showing the international community how to behave on a global level.  First there was the murder of a Palestinian activist in Dubai, and the UAE’s meticulous handling of that murder investigation which was so spot on it penetrated the invicibility of the lawless and dreaded Mossad, led to the arrest of one person in Poland, the expulsion by Ireland of an Israeli diplomat, the unraveling of the purse strings behind Mossad operations, which sadly America has declined to follow up on and earned Dubai/UAE the respect of the international community.

Brazil and Turkey both brokered a deal with Iran, a deal the US was in favor of until the Israeli interests in the US government decided to go on with their stated program of regime change for Iran and implemented sanctions at the UN level.  What’s significant about the deal is it’s what America said would be necessary to avoid sanctions, but no one stepped up to the plate to forge it until Turkey and Brazil did which brought down upon them the wrath and scorn of the western world and Israel.

That leads us to the latest diplomatic coup and that is Turkey’s announcement they are freezing ties with Israel unless Israel agrees to an international investigation into the murder of at least 9 people aboard a Turkish ship, many of the victims Turkish nationals.  Turkish outrage was evident from the very beginning, yet the country carried itself with diplomatic aplomb; insisting the Israelis immediately release the hostages of the flotilla Israel had seized, providing transportation for those released and returning them first to Turkey and then to their country of origin; all of this under the watchful gaze and inaction of a seething West paralyzed by its fear of even the most  minimal response to an international atrocity.   The suspension of ties, if it’s carried out by Turkey, is complete from military to intelligence gathering and sharing to diplomatic.  The situation demands no less than that from any and all countries, yet because of a wholly unhealthy relationship between Israel and some of her allies, that country is literally able to get away with murder.  Turkey, and Dubai moderate countries and allies of America are once again giving a civics lesson in how to be good neighbors and friends to the rest of the world and it’s high time the world pay attention instead of dismissing them.  By demanding Israel follow the rule of law and have transparent investigations into their behavior with meaningful consequences for Israeli illegal activity, these countries are contributing to the health and stability of peace and international relations.  Unfortunately, there are far too many who believe dissent is the illegal activity and are not able to see where inaction against Israeli terrorism is doing more to aggravate tensions and instability than meaningful, constructive calls for action.  Turkey 2, Israel 0.

Targetting the Victims


In a bid to reverse the reality that at least nine people were killed, murdered, by Israel in the commission of a crime, supporters of the Israeli government are now trying to turn the tables on the victims of that crime and enforce  legal ramifications against them for standing up to Israeli illegal activity.

A half-dozen elected Democrats called on the State Department to ban every flotilla participant from entering the United States.Well, only some of them called for everyone to be denied visas. Most of them just called for an “investigation” into the terrible terror ties of the activists aboard the flotilla, sponsored by a Turkish NGO called IHH that is not on any American watch list.

The organizers of this way of thought have successfully made people who were trying to provide the most basic of necessities to a people who have been marginalized and at the doors of abject poverty while under a military imprisonment into terrorists  who should be banned from entering the US.  It may very well be that none of the non-citizens of America would ever want to come to the US, but banning them from entry no doubt puts them on no fly lists that could disrupt their travel to other countries and cause them unknown inconvenience and trouble. This is in reality the goal of political zionism much like the blockade of Gaza is the goal to Palestinians, creating instability and chaos to the order of individuals, communities and societies and thereby instilling hopelessness.  It helps that the targeted are demonized and despised by everyone else too, while leaving the message that opposition to political zionism is fruitless and counterproductive.

What is disappointing is that US elected officials have gone on the bandwagon when even the most cursory attention to this issue of the Gaza blockade by even the most junior member of their staff would demonstrate  to them how the blockade itself is illegal, the cost of the blockade to the Palestinians living in Gaza is astronomically high, some of the effects being chronic mental health issues, infant mortality, a lack of proper education, high unemployment, the complete breakdown of municipal services, etc. and that aid organizers are merely trying to provide subsistence levels to a population under armed guard.  Yet, the prisoners of the prison called Gaza are the perpetrators of this misery and criminal activity, not its victims and those who are trying to come to their aid should be banned or suffer the ignominy of travel restrictions. Such is the false reality of political zionism.

Niqab in America


We’ve written about women who choose to wear the niqab before at several places here at Miscellany101, but it is becoming an increasing phenomenon here in America and has caught the eye of main stream corporate media as well. What distinguishes America from her European colleagues in government is she has allowed people to exercise their freedom and not just given lip service to the notion, even if doing so makes others uncomfortable.  That’s the beauty of this country.  It is up to us to insure it remain that way.   I strongly urge you to take a look at the article in its entirety at the link; I will post a brief excerpt for you to read below

HEBAH AHMED (her first name is pronounced HIB-ah) was born in Chattanooga, raised in Nashville and Houston, and speaks with a slight drawl. She played basketball for her Catholic high school, earned a master’s in mechanical engineering and once worked in the Gulf of Mexico oilfields.

She is not a Muslim Everywoman; it is not a role she would ever claim for herself. Her story is hers alone. But she was willing to spend several days with a reporter to give an idea of what American life looks like from behind the veil, a garment that has become a powerful symbol of culture clash.

All that’s visible of Ms. Ahmed when she ventures into mixed company are her deep brown eyes, some faint freckles where the sun hits the top of her nose, and her hands. She used to leave the house in jeans and T-shirt (she still can, under her jilbab), but that all changed after the 9/11 attacks. It shook her deeply that the people who had committed the horrifying acts had identified themselves as Muslims.

“I just kept thinking ‘Why would they do this in the name of Islam?’ ” she said. “Does my religion really say to do those horrible things?”

HEBAH AHMED (her first name is pronounced HIB-ah) was born in Chattanooga, raised in Nashville and Houston, and speaks with a slight drawl. She played basketball for her Catholic high school, earned a master’s in mechanical engineering and once worked in the Gulf of Mexico oilfields.

She is not a Muslim Everywoman; it is not a role she would ever claim for herself. Her story is hers alone. But she was willing to spend several days with a reporter to give an idea of what American life looks like from behind the veil, a garment that has become a powerful symbol of culture clash.

All that’s visible of Ms. Ahmed when she ventures into mixed company are her deep brown eyes, some faint freckles where the sun hits the top of her nose, and her hands. She used to leave the house in jeans and T-shirt (she still can, under her jilbab), but that all changed after the 9/11 attacks. It shook her deeply that the people who had committed the horrifying acts had identified themselves as Muslims.

“I just kept thinking ‘Why would they do this in the name of Islam?’ ” she said. “Does my religion really say to do those horrible things?”

“I was really questioning my life’s purpose,” Ms. Ahmed said. “And everything about the bigger picture. I just wasn’t about me and my career anymore.”

She also reacted to a backlash against Islam and the news that many American Muslim women were not covering for fear of being targeted. “It was all so wrong,” she said. She took it upon herself to provide a positive example of her embattled faith, in a way that was hard to ignore.

So on Sept. 17, 2001, she wore a hijab into the laboratory where she worked, along with her business attire.

“A co-worker said, ‘You need to wrap a big ol’ American flag around your head so people know what side you’re on,’ ” Ms. Ahmed said. “From then on, they never let up.”

Three months later, she quit her job and started wearing a niqab, covering her face from view when in the presence of men other than her husband.

“I do this because I want to be closer to God, I want to please him and I want to live a modest lifestyle,” said Ms. Ahmed, who asked that her appearance without a veil not be described. “I want to be tested in that way. The niqab is a constant reminder to do the right thing. It’s God-consciousness in my face.”

Obama’s Image with the International Community


GW Bush was such a bad president that anyone elected after him would be warmly received on the world’s stage and the new office holder would barely have to do anything to get such  adulation.  The fact that an African-America with a very exotic past and name would be the next president guaranteed him success even if his policies were/are as disastrous as those of Bush.

In his first year, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize when all he did was make a speech in Cairo reiterating basic precepts that this country was founded on or has built up for the past 200 years, but such ideas were so denigrated or ignored by the Bush administration  that to hear them come from Obama after years of neglect and abuse sounded like a new country had been born on the North American continent.  Sure, there is no doubt that many people hoped the election of Obama would signal a change in the approach America would take towards the rest of the world but sadly such a change has yet to come to pass.

America is still stuck in two wars with no sign of either abating and there is a growing likelihood of a third front looming on the horizon with Iran . Regrettably, after a rather pitiful response to Israel’s massacre of aid activist, Obama doesn’t appear to be able to stave off such a possibility.

The Obama administration is celebrating its victory in getting the UN Security Council on Wednesday to approve a fourth round of economic sanctions against Iran. Obama also is expected to sign on to even more draconian penalties that should soon sail through Congress.

Obama may be thinking that his UN diplomatic achievement will buy him some credibility – and some time – with American neocons and Israel’s Likud government, which favor a showdown with Iran over its nuclear program……

Just as the neocons and Israel wanted “regime change” in Iraq, they have long hungered for “regime change” in Iran, too. A favorite neocon joke at the time of the Iraq War was to speculate on which direction to go next, to Syria or Iran, with the punch-line, “Real men to go (sic) Tehran!”

But the world has such high expectations of an Obama presidency that despite these shortcomings and many others people are still willing to place their hope in the American president’s ability to change the world for the better. Unfortunately these attempts are sorely misguided and very premature.

For example, why would the International Criminal Court  want the US, which is not a signatory or member, and thus not bound by the rules of the Court,  be the enforcer of the Court’s decisions while being out of reach of the purview of the Court?  Such an idead definitely sends the wrong signal to law abiding nations.  Over one hundred countries are members of the ICC, and while there is no lack of  international lawlessness and atrocities the world over for the Court to investigate and adjudicate, it has only managed to  work on cases from the African continent, something which no doubt offers the newly formed unified combat command  of the Defense Deparetment, AFRICOM,  a lot of encouragement and raison d’etre for years to come.

The United States has only recently ended eight years of a complete disregard for international bodies and their decision making processes, yet it is now being enlisted to enforce at the point of military action, internationally arrived at edicts?  Such is the proposal being considered by the ICC.  Perhaps in another time and another place something like this could be contemplated, but now it is too early to tell whether America is ready to assume the role of world leader or remain the world’s number one aggressor.  Judging by the her reaction to the Israeli pummeling of ally Turkey and the sabotaging of diplomacy as well as the reaction to raw power and murder occuring at the time of the ICC convention in Uganda ,of all places, now is not the time for America to enforce any law when it demonstrates abject violations of the law at every turn.  The ICC would be better off rethinking this idea and the sooner they dispel themselves of it, the better and safer we might all be.

Another Henry Gates story, only worse


It’s days like this when I really think America would be better off without police, and especially bad police.  We have the 2nd amendment which assures every American the right to arm himself, and therein be able to protect him/herself, so what else do we need?  Oh, it probably is necessary  to have a judge adjudicate those sticky ‘he said, she said’ cases, but police who think they are better than the average citizen or feel they have special powers over and above those of everyday citizens are really a hindrance to the well being of society, and not a protector.  People have got to stop thinking of police as their personal saviors.

Wayne Burwell was  in his own home, minding his own business when police broke into his home, arrested and dragged him outside  where incredulous neighbors who knew him rushed to his defense and in turn were threaten by police as well.  What kind of sense does that make?  Even one of his neighbors, a retired policeman tried to vouch for Burwell and was told to butt out or face arrest.  Maybe Burwell’s problem is he looked  out of place in that neighborhood or maybe because of his physical condition he didn’t respond quickly enough to officers’ demands but whatever the case he was assaulted in his own home and arrested.

Perhaps someone can tell me how that happens in modern day America; maybe you know how it came to pass that police were called to a scene by someone other than the homeowner, entered the home where they discovered the homeowner who they subsequently arrested with some degree of violence attached to the arrest and then later had to release.  I don’t understand that principle at all.

Doing things the right way


America’s relationship with Israel and her subservience to the State of Israel is harmful for both parties.  For America the harm is in allowing itself to be seen by the rest of the international community as a country that does not respect the rule of law when it doesn’t protest illegal Israeli activity and for Israel the harm is in not having any one tell her to stop her violations of law.  Some how even criticism of Israel, no matter how mild, has become synonymous with an existential threat, or equally as bad with illegal activity itself.  Israel has relegated for itself a god like status among the league of nations and sees itself as the sole judge of international behavior bar none even her largest supporter.

The murderous rampage of Israel on the Gaza bound flotilla evoked barely a peep from the American administration, even for the death of an American citizen, not to mention the number as yet determined  other victims.  America and Israel have placed themselves on a pedestal of being beyond and above the law and there’s nothing the Israelis can do that will cause an American administration to rebuke her. Such a position is surely an untenable one and no state deserves to reserve for itself the right to arbitrarily decide which laws it will follow and which ones it will discard.

America would do well to learn from the people in her own backyard.  The shooting of a young Mexican boy who was on the Mexico side of the border by a US Border guard caused the Mexican government to issue this statement

‘The government reiterates its rejection to the disproportionate use of force on the part on (sic) U.S. authorities on the border with Mexico,’ he (Mexican President Felipe Calderon) added.

Going even further ,the president assured America and his own citizens of his commitment to securing the lives of Mexican citizens  saying, he will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants. Compare that to the less than luke warm reply given by the Obama administration  to the excesses of the IDF and their murder of an American citizen and the kidnapping of over 600 people of the Gaza flotilla.  Not only did the administration not rebuke Israel for its actions, but it went so far as to blame people who were trying to enforce international law and help defenseless people for their own murder. One can conclude therefore that no American can expect his country to protect him from the extra judicial actions of the Israeli government no matter how innocent he may be.  Contrast that to the actions of the  Mexican authorities who simply reiterated that government’s dedication to its own citizens.   How refreshing it is to hear a president pledge to defend his nationals without any regard for diplomacy with others. It’s too bad that president was not elected by Americans. It is something not seen in any president of the United States when faced with the dilemma of American lives vs Israeli sensitivities.

The plague called Zionism


If you keep your ears tuned you can begin to hear the hysterical cries of political zionism which are sure to destroy the lives of all those it touches.  The Free Gaza flotilla has really turned out the worst in this ideology which is bereft of any social benefit.  The followers have engaged in near maniacal rhetoric which sounds frightening.  Take a look

By Israel fighting as if their lives actually depended on it — which it does — Israel will, in fact, be taken more seriously by the international scholyard (sic) bullies. Bring back the “fear factor.” It is the reason why in 1980 Iran released the hostages when Reagan became president, and not during Carter’s presidency, because Carter was rightly seen by the Iranians as a wimp and Reagan was feared as a trigger-happy cowboy.

We are no longer in the general Euopean anti-Semitism mode but deeper into the new run-up (in the Arab mind) to the Final Solution — the extermination of Israel. In old Germany, a Jew sitting on an Aryan park bench was as much of a criminal as a Jew who robs a bank. So we might as well rob the bank. We might as well take out Iran as take out the flotilla.

The Other Side is fearless now. If someone is going to fear anyone, make the bad guys fear Israel. Right now, too many Jews fear the world. Turn the tables. Make the bad guys think that Israel is craziest S.O.B. in the room. Make everyone wonder what the Jews will do. The world will be furious? Imagine that. Imagine winning.

Aside from the fact that his interpretation of an historical event, the Iranian hostage taking is skewed, the author of this piece portrays Israel as if it is a victim when in fact it is the perpetrator.  Political zionism takes as it mantra ‘might makes right’ and has  always relied on the attitude of fear and loathing .  It is just such a philosophy that drives American foreign policy today.  Recall the name of the combat operations started in Iraq: ‘shock and awe’.

Now we are faced with the phenomenon of anyone who opposes the policy of the government of Israel is a terrorist.  The label is pinned to the lapel of anyone who disagrees with state policy, even while believing in the right of the state to exist.  What Israelis fear most is delegitimization, or the exposure of their bankrupt ideology and all it’s sins, to the rest of the world.  You can read more about that here. What better way to fight this existential threat than to hurl false and misleading accusations against one’s opponents thereby keeping them off guard and off message.  That was the reason why cameras were confiscated onboard the Gaza flotilla, because the image of Israel had to be extricated from the brutality of the assault on unarmed people carrying relief supplies to other unarmed, defenseless disenfranchised people and cleaned up enough to present to the world.

Israel simply cannot stand criticism and when they get it they lash out by calling their foes terrorists.  The Arab member of the Knesset was called one, the musical group which cancelled its concert dates in Israel were cultural terrorists and if that’s not good enough then gets called  a supporter or lover of terrorist, something former NYC mayor Ed Koch called a reporter who opposed the illegal boarding of the Gaza flotilla. Everyone fears terrorists and with that one word, Israel is able to disrupt and quell dissent while she continues with her murderous ventures at home, in the occupied territories and abroad.

Let there be no mistake about, Israel policy is built on death and the who the victim is is irrelevant to the Israelis.  They are able to count on any number of people to rewrite history, soften the impact of their destruction or turn victims, the aggrieved into perpetrators and hostiles.  This tendency on their part is so apparent that voices from ranks heretofore silent are coming to the fore:

Killing civilians has been State policy in Israel since 1948 (and, prior to that, of Zionism). It’s not about “tragic mistakes”, there’s no “deep regret for the incident”. Killing civilians is what Israel has founded itself on with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and this is what allows it to live.

What is to be added to this is the outright impunity Israel enjoys due to its being the largest American military base on the planet, and, only marginally, due to its being a Jewish State originated from the Holocaust.

On January 1948, the founding fathers of Israel, Yigal Allon and Ben Gurion, declared that “there is a need for a brutal reaction. We need to be accurate about those we hit, if we accuse a family we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included…. There is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty”. In 1978, the Israeli Chief of Staff, Mordechai Gur, told the Israeli military analyst Ze’ev Schiff that “for 30 years we have been fighting a war against civilians who live in villages…..we struck civilians consciously because they deserved it….our army has never distinguished between civilian and military targets but purposely attacked civilian targets”. In 2000, Dan Halutz, who also was later to be the Israeli Chief of Staff, after an air strike he himself conducted and in which civilians were slain, claimed “What did I feel? Only a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release but a second later it’s gone”.

Such obvious and apparent brutality has forced some who would probably know what they are talking about  to conclude the Israelis act like Nazis. The way for America to rid itself of this problem is to elect politicians who are more concerned about democracy and human rights than fear and war; to boycott buying any thing made in Israel and to not visit the holy places that are under Israeli control.  There’s surely nothing holy about armed soldiers walking among worshippers of any faith.  Israel loathes and fears isolation, yet its policies do nothing more than force that upon Israeli citizens. Whatever path freedom loving people choose it must be made abundantly clear to the Israelis they cannot commit murder and get away with it.

Another GW Bush moment of candor


Thank God for the US Constitution which sets a 2 term limit for the office of President because I really think there are enough people so anesthetized to violations of the law that they would elect Bush to a third term in order to satisfy the blood lust currently going on in the social psyche. Thank God too for Bush’s moments of candor, where he admits to waterboarding and claims he would do it again, which should seal his fate and make him a convicted war criminal.  What’s sad about a grown man with the experiences he has had making false assertions about how this one violation of international law, rather of law that we the American government instituted during the Reagan administration, could save lives is that he is lying.

Throughout the heated debate about waterboarding it was pointed out again and again that (a) it’s illegal and the Congress of the United States codified it and (b) there was never any actionable intelligence that resulted from the practice against anyone!  Yet there are still people who dismiss the former, we wrapped the term ‘waterboarding’ into a more pleasant sounding euphemism, ‘enhanced interrogation’ to get out of admitting to an illegal act, and erroneously tout the latter about all the lives saved when we finally tortured  the information from harden criminals.  Why are they purposefully lying?  Even more importantly, and this leaves a very dark stain on the Obama administration, why hasn’t Bush been prosecuted for violating that law which explicitly states

The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the eases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.

Therefore we are obliged to prosecute members of the former administration for their illegal acts of torture and the fact that is not even on the table, or up for discussion, means America continues to go down the road of not respecting its own law or laws it enters into with other nations.  In other words we have become lawless, and GWBush feels quite comfortable propagating his false bravado even though it is illegal because no longer feel it binding to follow the rule of law.  There is no distinction between us and the enemy we claim to fight.

This is courage


Blooded and beaten perhaps, but unbowed nor unapologetic Ken O’Keefe describes in his own words what took place and quite naturally it completely different than what the Israeli government said. My brief observations about O’Keefe’s revelations are these; he is an American patriot who embodies the spirit upon which this country was built, that of critical but principled dissent; respect for the Constitution and a courage to stand up for his convictions.  Unfortunately, the America of today finds such people a threat and will do everything to discredit them or worse.  O’Keefe also brings with him love for the dispossessed or in what might be called in today’s parlance, the underdog. I’m sure there are a lot of O’Keefe’s in the movement to bring much needed relief to the people of Gaza because they are surely needed.  I’m sure too, they realize the sacrifices they are making dealing with the wounded animal called the State of Israel which might include their deaths, but sacrifice was once a part of the fabric of America where going along to get along was not the way of doing business.  To all the O’Keefes of this movement, I salute you one and all.

I remember being asked during the TJP Human Shield Action to Iraq if I was a pacifist, I responded with a quote from Gandhi by saying I am not a passive anything. To the contrary I believe in action, and I also believe in self-defence, 100%, without reservation. I would be incapable of standing by while a tyrant murders my family, and the attack on the Mavi Marmara was like an attack on my Palestinian family. I am proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with those who refused to let a rogue Israeli military exert their will without a fight. And yes, we fought.When I was asked, in the event of an Israeli attack on the Mavi Mamara, would I use the camera, or would I defend the ship? I enthusiastically committed to defence of the ship. Although I am also a huge supporter of non-violence, in fact I believe non-violence must always be the first option. Nonetheless I joined the defence of the Mavi Mamara understanding that violence could be used against us and that we may very well be compelled to use violence in self-defence.

I said this straight to Israeli agents, probably of Mossad or Shin Bet, and I say it again now, on the morning of the attack I was directly involved in the disarming of two Israeli Commandos. This was a forcible, non-negotiable, separation of weapons from commandos who had already murdered two brothers that I had seen that day. One brother with a bullet entering dead center in his forehead, in what appeared to be an execution. I knew the commandos were murdering when I removed a 9mm pistol from one of them. I had that gun in my hands and as an ex-US Marine with training in the use of guns it was completely within my power to use that gun on the commando who may have been the murderer of one of my brothers. But that is not what I, nor any other defender of the ship did. I took that weapon away, removed the bullets, proper lead bullets, separated them from the weapon and hid the gun. I did this in the hopes that we would repel the attack and submit this weapon as evidence in a criminal trial against Israeli authorities for mass murder.

I also helped to physically separate one commando from his assault rifle, which another brother apparently threw into the sea. I and hundreds of others know the truth that makes a mockery of the brave and moral Israeli military. We had in our full possession, three completely disarmed and helpless commandos. These boys were at our mercy, they were out of reach of their fellow murderers, inside the ship and surrounded by 100 or more men. I looked into the eyes of all three of these boys and I can tell you they had the fear of God in them. They looked at us as if we were them, and I have no doubt they did not believe there was any way they would survive that day. They looked like frightened children in the face of an abusive father.

But they did not face an enemy as ruthless as they. Instead the woman provided basic first aid, and ultimately they were released, battered and bruised for sure, but alive. Able to live another day. Able to feel the sun over head and the embrace of loved ones. Unlike those they murdered. Despite mourning the loss of our brothers, feeling rage towards these boys, we let them go. The Israeli prostitutes of propaganda can spew all of their disgusting bile all they wish, the commandos are the murders, we are the defenders, and yet we fought. We fought not just for our lives, not just for our cargo, not just for the people of Palestine, we fought in the name of justice and humanity. We were right to do so, in every way.

While in Israeli custody I, along with everyone else was subjected to endless abuse and flagrant acts of disrespect. Women and elderly were physically and mentally assaulted. Access to food and water and toilets was denied. Dogs were used against us, we ourselves were treated like dogs. We were exposed to direct sun in stress positions while hand cuffed to the point of losing circulation of blood in our hands. We were lied to incessantly, in fact I am awed at the routineness and comfort in their ability to lie, it is remarkable really. We were abused in just about every way imaginable and I myself was beaten and choked to the point of blacking out… and I was beaten again while in my cell.In all this what I saw more than anything else were cowards… and yet I also see my brothers. Because no matter how vile and wrong the Israeli agents and government are, they are still my brothers and sisters and for now I only have pity for them. Because they are relinquishing the most precious thing a human being has, their humanity.

In conclusion; I would like to challenge every endorser of Gandhi, every person who thinks they understand him, who acknowledges him as one of the great souls of our time (which is just about every western leader), I challenge you in the form of a question. Please explain how we, the defenders of the Mavi Marmara, are not the modern example of Gandhi’s essence? But first read the words of Gandhi himself.

“I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence…. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.” – Gandhi

And lastly I have one more challenge. I challenge any critic of merit, publicly, to debate me on a large stage over our actions that day. I would especially love to debate with any Israeli leader who accuses us of wrongdoing, it would be my tremendous pleasure to face off with you. All I saw in Israel was cowards with guns, so I am ripe to see you in a new context. I want to debate with you on the largest stage possible. Take that as an open challenge and let us see just how brave Israeli leaders are.

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