Israel attacks Sudan and blames Hamas?


sudan_gazaIsrael  launched an attack on Sudanese territory to supposedly interdict an arms convoy supplied by Iran headed to Gaza….and if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.  No doubt an attack took place, or that’s according to US authorities and it was launched by Israel, but the reasons for the attack hardly have anything to do with weapons.  Hamas makes a good point when they say

“Should it turn out that there were raids and a high number of people killed, this would mean Israel is seeking to use the opportunity to blame Hamas and hit Sudan,” he said.

The fact that the Gaza Strip is not a neighbour of Sudan, with Egypt in between, “shows these are false claims,” he added.

Israel has pounded Gaza and Egypt in attempts to destroy the tunnel system they say exists to smuggle things into Gaza; however, now they think it’s justified to bomb a regional neighbor that has never hosted, fomented, incited or carried out any attacks against Israel.  Sudan is a political foe of Israel; it is a predominantly Muslim country which has repudiated Israel’s expansionist policies in the West Bank and Gaza.  I would hope that the predominantly Christian country of America would repudiate Israeli policy in Palestine… UN resolutions demand at least that.  Should the US expect an attack of the magnitude of the Sudanese intrusion?  Have we already had such an attack?  Israel makes it clear they think they can go anywhere and attack anyone they think has a terrorist infrastructure.  Of course only Israel can single-handedly define what constitutes a “terrorist infrastructure” whether in a contiguous neighbor or one far removed, like Sudan, Cyprus, or even western Europe and or North America.  What’s even more unfortunate about all this is the US would rather be impotent in its response to Israeli aggression than to take a stand against it.  In doing so, America has signed on to Israeli aggression against all its “foes” and the possibility of a world war the likes of the previous two.  It seems humanity gets this once a century itch to literally fight itself to the death, when it’s not necessary nor prudent; but it’s become our destiny and America has become the prime enabler in movement towards that end.  Instability of the region that allows for Israeli hegemony has always been the goal of Israeli policy, that and the usurpation of its neighbors natural resources.  In order to accomplish this they cannot have opposition; acquiescence is essential and the slightest objection vocal or otherwise is considered an existential threat to those  goals.  That said, one should only expect more death and destruction.

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idg_cartoon

Toilet paper as a political weapon


I never knew just how incendiary toilet paper could be.  First it was given a heightened status for the military personnel at Guantanamo Bay who were told how the maniacally trained terrorists could fashion knives from toilet paper and kill all the guards there and then swim to mainland USA and continue their killing rampage with other improvised weapons equally deadly.  Of course it’s hilarious, but there were some misguided souls who believed it.  Now comes word toilet paper is too dangerous to allow the citizens of Gaza to have and so all aide shipments that include toilet paper cannot be allowed. In the light of that explanation, I can understand why hummus is not allowed in either, seeing as how hummus creates the condition that calls for the use of toilet paper. Next we’ll be told how feminine products such as pads and tampons aren’t allowed for adult women.

Out with the old!


I’m NOT a big fan of the UK these days, what with their obsequious adoption of US foreign policy measures, which included their  security forces’ gunning down  innocent residents merely on suspicion, their rendering of suspects and their abandonment of their residents to US rendition.  Neither do I think that this latest news is really their turning over a new leaf although that’s exactly what it should signify.

Britain says it is re-establishing contacts with the political wing of the Lebanese movement Hezbollah. The move follows “positive political developments” in Lebanon, officials from the UK Foreign Office said. It comes about 10 months after Hezbollah signed a unity accord in Lebanon and joined the government.

Of course it took no time for the Lobby via the American government to respond negatively to the news, and at this stage in America’s political development that’s entirely expected.  The American government has become a political arm of the Israeli war machine, spouting all the necessary rhetoric to keep the government of Israel at the top, for now, of the Middle East’s hierarchy.  The Obama administration even uses the same tactics as the Lobby, lies and deceit, claiming that it wasn’t given a proper advanced warning of this political development, as if such a warning was essential to the interests of either America, the UK, Lebanon or Hezbollah.  Rather, it appears as a veiled threat that for the moment at least Britain has no right to decide for itself what is in its best interests with other countries.  What is painfully obvious is that the Lobby has gone far beyond asserting Israel’s right to exist, which like every other sovereign country it has, instead it now declares it has the right to decide for other countries what is in their (Israel’s) interests exclusively.  This all or nothing, zero sum game signified by the one way flow of information, material, good will all in Israel’s direction is necessary for the establishment of the Israeli empire.  It ignores the admission of its foes that the right to exist belongs to all communities and peace should come from both sides, because Empire is established only on the corpses of opponents, not through peace treaties.  So it should come as no surprise that news Hamas wants peace with Israel and wants to stop attacks from its soil against Israel  doesn’t get mentioned in political discussions taking place around the world because such news means Israel must cease its aggressive policy against Palestinians, something it is not willing, nor able given the current political climate in Israel, to do.  Syria’s announcement that it can live peacefully alongside its Israeli neighbor was met with Israeli invasion of Syrian airspace on a suspect nuclear weapons site, still shrouded in doubt and mystery.

None of these movements, political or military pose even the slightest existential threat to Israel, yet they are all met with the same heavy handedness that only a leadership steeped in the oppression of its past adversaries can bring to bear on a defenseless population.  Part of that defenseless population includes those living in America who see oppression and brutality emanating from the Israeli side and call it just that.  Charles Freeman is one of the latest casualties of the Israeli blitzkreig. If America’s political leadership is able to muster the backbone necessary to fight the Lobby war, and free itself of its indulgence to that Lobby, only then will there be peace in the Middle East and the survival of all parties there will be a possibility.  Until then, we are destined for more conflict, death, destruction and political casualties of decent, honest civil servants and civilians at the hands of the Lobby and its military wing the Israeli government.

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Israel and human shields


shieldAs abominable as the idea is human shields are used to protect one group of combatants from another.  The accusation is usually hurled from defenders of western ideologies towards their enemies, i.e. Saddam, Hamas, et.al. so before this gets lost in the memory hole I thought I’d post this article.  It’s one of several that have been printed since the Gaza genocide.

The Israeli soldiers outside Majdi Abed Rabbo’s home were after the three Hamas fighters holed up next door, and they wanted Abed Rabbo to be their point man.

For the next 24 hours, Abed Rabbo said, the soldiers repeatedly forced him to walk through the battle zone to see whether the militants were dead or alive.

Abed Rabbo wasn’t alone. Eight other residents in this northern Gaza Strip neighborhood told McClatchy in separate interviews that Israeli soldiers had conscripted them to check homes for booby traps, to smash holes in the walls of houses so that soldiers could use them as escape routes or to try to pull dead Palestinian militants from the rubble.

The Israeli military told McClatchy that it’s investigating a variety of allegations about its Gaza operation but it categorically rejected suggestions that soldiers forced any Palestinians to work for them.

“Of course we don’t use human shields,” Israeli military spokesman Capt. Elie Isaacson said. “Just the opposite. We do everything in our power to avoid harm to civilians, bearing in mind that we know Hamas purposely puts them in harm’s way.”

U.S. and Israeli human-rights groups dispute that.

“There is powerful evidence that Israel used the tactic that they are accusing Hamas of using,” said Fred Abrahams, a Human Rights Watch senior researcher who’s investigating what happened in Gaza during the recent Israeli military offensive, which killed more than 1,200 Palestinians.

“The testimony seems pretty extensive and presents grave suspicions that Israeli soldiers forced Palestinians to perform dangerous tasks,” said B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli. “And the fact that we’re seeing these allegations on such a wide scale leads us to suspect that this was policy and not the decisions of one or two random soldiers.”

Not much will come of this revelation; Israel is rarely rebuked for its human rights abuses and this will be no different, however, the next time you hear the Israelis comment on human shields being used by their opponents you can reply they, the Israelis, probably taught them the technique.

Stunning words from the mainstream


Paul Craig Roberts is a maverick of sorts, ever since he left the Reagan administration and began writing editorials about current events.  He still reflects fondly on Reagan, the conservative most modern day conservatives like to pattern themselves after, but speaks disdainfully of GW Bush and the people who surrounded him, calling them ‘brownshirts with the same level of intelligence and morals as Hitler’s enthusiastic supporters.’ Amen to that.  However, he has written a damning editorial on the war on terror, written by the way, at about the same time as Dick Cheney’s rather high treasonous remarks, which speaks volumes on how that war has been carried out and whether it’s real.  I’d like to produce exercepts of it below. He does a far better job of saying it than I ever could.

According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.

If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harassments when they fly.

The “war on terror” is a hoax that fronts for American control of oil pipelines, the profits of the military-security complex, the assault on civil liberty by fomenters of a police state, and Israel’s territorial expansion.

There were no al Qaeda in Iraq until the Americans brought them there by invading and overthrowing Saddam Hussein, who kept al Qaeda out of Iraq. The Taliban is not a terrorist organization, but a movement attempting to unify Afghanistan under Muslim law. The only Americans threatened by the Taliban are the Americans Bush sent to Afghanistan to kill Taliban and to impose a puppet state on the Afghan people.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine, or what little remains of Palestine after Israel’s illegal annexations. Hamas is a terrorist organization in the same sense that the Israeli government and the US government are terrorist organizations. In an effort to bring Hamas under Israeli hegemony, Israel employs terror bombing and assassinations against Palestinians. Hamas replies to the Israeli terror with homemade and ineffectual rockets.

Hezbollah represents the Shi’ites of southern Lebanon, another area in the Middle East that Israel seeks for its territorial expansion.

The US brands Hamas and Hezbollah “terrorist organizations” for no other reason than the US is on Israel’s side of the conflict. There is no objective basis for the US Department of State’s “finding” that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. It is merely a propagandistic declaration.

The retired American generals who serve as war propagandists for Fox “News” are forever claiming that Iran arms the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents and Hamas. But where are the arms? To deal with American tanks, insurgents have to construct homemade explosive devices out of artillery shells. After six years of conflict the insurgents still have no weapon against the American helicopter gunships. Contrast this “arming” with the weaponry the US supplied to the Afghans three decades ago when they were fighting to drive out the Soviets.

The films of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza show large numbers of Gazans fleeing from Israeli bombs or digging out the dead and maimed, and none of these people are armed. A person would think that by now every Palestinian would be armed, every man, woman, and child. Yet, all the films of the Israeli attack show an unarmed population. Hamas has to construct homemade rockets that are little more than a sign of defiance. If Hamas were armed by Iran, Israel’s assault on Gaza would have cost Israel its helicopter gunships, its tanks, and hundreds of lives of its soldiers.

The great mystery is: why after 60 years of oppression are the Palestinians still an unarmed people? Clearly, the Muslim countries are complicit with Israel and the US in keeping the Palestinians unarmed.

The unsupported assertion that Iran supplies sophisticated arms to the Palestinians is like the unsupported assertion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. These assertions are propagandistic justifications for killing Arab civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure in order to secure US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.


My heroes of the day


I want to congratulate two men who took a principled  stand at the risk of their careers and even their lives when you look at who they are and what they represent, to categorically denounce positions taken that were detrimental to the people suffering in Gaza.

Tayyip Erdogan, whose country Turkey is trying to get admitted into the European Union as well as NATO probably jeopardized those chances when he made an impassioned plea at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland against the Israeli aggression and genocide in Gaza.  He criticised the audience of international officials and corporate chiefs for applauding Peres’s emotional defence of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead. Not sparing any measure, Erdogan said what needs to be said to an Israel that seems to think it is above reproach.  You can view his comments, translated into English, here

Imagine all the things in store for Turkey now that he, its prime minister, did what he did?  Threats will be made against the country’s application to the world bodies it wants to enter, as well as against Erdogan himself and the usual cries of anti-semitism will come from every corner of the world, but the substance of his remarks, that Israel engaged in wholesale slaughter of a population, much like that which occured between Turkey and Armenia which will be thrown in Erdogan’s face, will be ignored.  Nevertheless, kudos for Tayyip Erdogan for being principled.

My other hero is Mohammad Baredei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who said a BBC decision not to air an aid appeal for victims in Gaza violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people, irrespective of who is right or wrong.  The BBC said it wasn’t airing the appeal because, now hold on to your seats, it would get in the way of their objectivity in covering the events in Gaza.  Several other channels in England aired the appeal, but the BBC and SkyNews, owned by James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, *ahem* refused to do so.  As a result Baradei has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC, without mentioning how long such a boycott would last.  Kudos to him as well.  He too chose principle over political expediency, taking a position in light of today’s news which is necessary to stem the Israeli juggernaut that refuses to accept any criticism or consequences of and for its actions.   Here is the highly milquetoast ad the BBC refused to air.

We are not talking about the destruction of Israel


ghaziand with that simple declaration by Ghazi Hamad, peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be close at hand, right? Wait, there’s more.

Senior officials in the Islamic group Hamas are indicating a willingness to negotiate a long-term truce with Israel as long as the borders of Gaza are opened to the rest of the world.

“We want to be part of the international community,” Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad told The Associated Press at the Gaza-Egypt border, where he was coordinating Arab aid shipments. “I think Hamas has no interest now to increase the number of crises in Gaza or to challenge the world.”

*snip*

“A dialogue with Hamas as a terror organization would be a strategic mistake, because Israel advocates dialogue with the moderates and displaying toughness against the extremists,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the Maariv daily this week.

Israel’s position is based on the fact that Hamas refuses to recognize its right to exist. However, the three Hamas leaders interviewed said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their “resistance” against Israel if that were achieved.

“We accept a state in the ’67 borders,” said Hamad. “We are not talking about the destruction of Israel.”

How long will it take to derail this show of goodwill from Hamas?  What kind of conditions will be placed on them that would not be worthy of consideration by any nationalist movement, forcing them to reject the idea of peace with their implacable opponent, Israel?  At first glance this should signal the end of all hostilities between the two parties, but in reality, this is only the beginning.

America’s Iran jones


What is it with US policy makers that they have to go off and antagonize Iran at every chance they get, even when it’s not necessary?  Two threads have appeared in news stories today centered around Iran with this trend as if to anticipate and undermine what Obama is going to say in a letter he’s putting together to send to that country’s leaders.

Before getting onto those two themes, let me say I’ve always been distressed at how government has this seamy undercurrent that works to under cut what official Washington is doing, and both the official and unofficial seem to like the give and take in this relationship of setting, revising, ignoring, cancelling policy.  It would seem to me once you get  your marching orders from the CiC you take them and run with them, not go off and rub his nose in them with your own pronouncements, but that’s what it seems Robert Gates, Defense Secretary has done.

When U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran of “subversive activity” in Latin America Tuesday, it raised the question whether he is trying to discourage President Barack Obama from abandoning the hard-line policy of coercive diplomacy toward Iran he has favored for nearly three decades.

In his Senate armed services committee testimony Tuesday, Gates said Iran was “opening a lot of offices and a lot of fronts behind which they interfere in what is going on.” Gates offered no further explanation for what sounded like a Cold War-era propaganda charge against the Soviet Union.

Gates has made no secret of his skepticism about any softening of U.S. policy toward Iran. In response to a question at the National Defense University last September on how he would advise the next president to improve relations with Iran, Gates implicitly rejected what he called “outreach” to Iran as useless.

Gates’ 1992 sabotage of the Bush plan for reciprocating Iran goodwill relied in part on making public charges against Iran that created a more unfavorable political climate in Washington for such a policy.

It will be interesting to see what Obama’s reaction to all this political posturing Gates is making so early in the Administration’s efforts towards rapprochement with Iran. We will  be able to take measure of Obama depending on his response; if he lets Gates continue with his “subversive” activity he can be viewed as a weak President undeserving of a second term, the nation’s trust, or respect of his “underlings”.  If he kicks Gates out so soon after asking him to stay on as Defense Secretary he’ll find himself facing criticism for not being a stable administrator or able to hold his people in check, preferring to give in to his impetuous side and getting rid of them whimsically.  The perfect damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The second salvo against Obama comes from of all places the Likud party’s boisterous and wrong Benjamin Netanyahu who says the Iranian nuclear weapons are more a problem than the global economy.  Netanyahu is great for hyperbole, probably something he picked up as a result of his public school education in Cheltenham, Pa. back in the day.  This we expect from Bibi who likes to somehow challenge the masculinity of America’s leaders by questioning their ability to take on his enemies for his benefit.  Using his typical adroit slight of foot maneuvers he turns everything that has to deal with anything into Iranian nukes.

Asked about achieving peace in Gaza, Netanyahu swiftly turned his answer to Iran, which he said is in a “100-yard dash” to get nuclear weapons.

*snip*

“We have had two wars with two Iranian proxies in two years and Persia has now two bases on the eastern Mediterranean,” said Netanyahu, referring to this month’s brutal fighting in Gaza against Hamas and Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“I think we are going to have to deal with neutralizing the power of the mother regime,” he said. “The Hamas stronghold would be about as important, if Iranian power was neutralized, as Cuba was when the Soviet Union became irrelevant.”

What Netanyahu doesn’t tell you about his metaphor  is while the Soviet Union became irrelevant because American ideas triumphed a military dictatorship without the US having to fire a single shot at the Soviet Union, Iran’s leadership and in fact all of that country has to be laid to waste militarily, according to the Netanyahu school of thought in order for his enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah, to become irrelevant. Typical.  In any event, this kind of bluster is to be expected from this quarter, and Obama would do well to ignore it and press on with his agenda, not that of an intractable and petulant “ally”.  Unfortunately, he can’t so easily dismiss Netanyahu, and if Gates continues with his own agenda as well, it might be even more difficult.  Bush may be gone, but the neocons are still lurking and haven’t given up hope of re-establishing themselves in policy making  positions or of somehow influencing policy.

From the ‘more things change the more they remain the same’ department


We’ve seen how the Israelis have deployed almost every kind of munition against the Palestinians of Gaza, short of a nuclear bomb.  Genotoxic, chemical, and now flechette rounds have been chronicled used against civilians in Gaza.

Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m wide and 100m long.

An anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation, flechettes should never be used in built-up civilian areas. The Israeli army has used them in Gaza periodically for several years. In most cases their use has resulted in civilians being killed or injured.

Amnesty International’s fact-finding team in Gaza first heard about the use of flechettes in the most recent conflict some ten days ago. The father of one of the victims showed the team a flechette which had been taken out of his son’s body.

In its latest post on Amnesty International’s Livewire blog, the team described how on Monday it visited towns and villages around Gaza and found more hard evidence of the use of flechettes.

I’ve ceased being indignant about Israeli atrocity, they are simply too many and the international community seems unwilling to hold Israelis accountable for them.  Flechette rounds were more egregiously mentioned and documented  in the death of the Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana who photographed his own death at the hand of that munition.  The video below clearly depicts the effectiveness of the round.

As is customary with Israeli atrocities exposed, the investigation into this young man’s death exonerated the tank crew and business returned to usual on the part of Reuters, who by the way along with other media, was barred from entering Gaza during the latest Israeli incursion. The revelation of this latest use of flechettes will be equally ignored by the Israelis and forgotten by the international community until the next offense is recorded by a complacent and indifferent media.  What needs to happen, if it hasn’t happened already, is each offense documented should be taken before the International Court and charges of crimes against humanity be lodged against Israel until there is a sufficient body of evidence before a world body which will then pursue charges against Israeli leadership and cite the Israeli government as the pariah it has become.  Short of that, Amnesty International’s mention of such crimes in and of itself  is meaningless and only fodder for bloggers’ cannons.

Quote of the day


Over the last four weeks the powerful Israeli propaganda machine has been churning out lie after lie about Hamas in order to excuse its own inexcusable onslaught. Israel stopped journalists going into Gaza, preventing any independent reporting on the war crimes its forces were committing. Truth is usually the first casualty in war. Gaza was not even a war in the conventional sense of the word; it was one-sided carnage.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, not the corrupt regime led by Mahmoud Abbas. Second, Hamas spokesmen have repeatedly declared their readiness for a long-term ceasefire. Khalid Mish’al recently did so on these pages (Comment, 6 January). Third, Hamas has a solid record of observing ceasefires, while Israel has a consistent record of sabotaging them. Fourth, even during the ceasefire Israel did not lift its economic blockade of the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza, a form of collective punishment forbidden by international law. Fifth, the offensive unleashed in Gaza was illegal, immoral and unnecessary. If all Israel wanted was to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, all it had to do was to observe the ceasefire brokered by Egypt in June 2008.
Professor Avi Shlaim
Oxford

Israeli leaders love to lie!


olmert1You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin eyes

First there was this regarding white phosphorous in Gaza


The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus during the assault on Gaza, but aid agencies say they have no doubt it has been used.

“It is an absolute certainty,” said Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. He had seen Israeli artillery fire white phosphorus shells at Gaza City, Garlasco said.

Israel initially claimed that it was not using white phosphorus. It later explained that shells being loaded for a howitzer, identified from photographs as phosphorus rounds, were empty “quiet” shells used for target marking.

The M825A1 rounds, which are the kind identified as being fired by Israeli forces, are made primarily for use as a smokescreen in a way that limits their effect as an incendiary weapon, experts say.

Then came images like this

wp

and with them came this admission

After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel finally admitted yesterday that the weapon was deployed in its offensive.

The army’s use of white phosphorus – which makes a distinctive shellburst of dozens of smoke trails – was reported first by The Times on January 5, when it was strenuously denied by the army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence and international outcry, Israel has been forced to backtrack on that initial denial. “Yes, phosphorus was used but not in any illegal manner,” Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told The Times. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is holding an investigation concerning one specific incident.”

Palmor can even lie and backtrack in the same sound bite and seem convincing to the uninitiated.  There will be no investigation of substance, of course, no charges will be forthcoming against ANYONE in the Israeli government, despite this because  such talk has been making the rounds since 2006 when Israel decimated Lebanon during its homicidal rampage in that country.

Imagine how hard I laughed when I read,

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Friday that he wept upon hearing a Palestinian father calling for help live on television after his children were killed during Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. “I cried when I saw this. Who didn’t? How could you not?,” Olmert told the Israeli newspaper Maariv in an interview..

because Israel has been dropping a new munition researched and developed in the US, called DIME, Dense Inert Metal Explosive, a  LCD (“low collateral damage”) weapon developed to  produce an unusually powerful blast within a relatively small area, spraying a superheated “micro-shrapnel” of powdered Heavy Metal Tungsten Alloy (HMTA). Scientific studies have found that HMTA is chemically toxic, damages the immune system, rapidly causes cancer, and attacks DNA (genotoxic).  This produces the ultimate in collateral damage, altering the genetic makeup of people not initially killed in the blast and affecting generations of civilians.  Perhaps, what happened to the children of the Palestinian doctor Olmert supposedly wept for was merciful, they died quickly but Olmert would have you believe he was concerned for the children.  It’s the doctor who must worry for himself and any surviving members of his family for years to come.  So, to put it mildly, Olmert is full of it and this weeping business  is just another in a series of lies he/they made.  You can tell when they lie, because  their lips move.

Four people died here, all women, shot!


Hat tip to Lenin’s Tomb.

They’re baaaacccckkkk!!


idfThe timing couldn’t be more accurate.  We’ve pointed out how the Israelis are usually the first to kill after conflict pauses that last more than one week.  In fact the empirical evidence says  over 90% of the time the Israeli government acts provocatively to end truces with its Palestinian neighbors/prisoners but less than one week after announcing a unilateral truce the Israelis are  at it again this time in the West Bank, kidnapping civilians from Jenin and Qaryut as well as shelling Gaza from naval boats off the coast.  Both actions are nothing more than a provocation designed to get the Palestinians to respond in a way that will justify a disproportionate military response on the order of a week ago.

If that doesn’t work, the Israelis are quite content to sit back, tighten the screws on their already strangling blockade and let the Palestinians starve until they try to break the blockade, at which point they’ll return militarily.

“This war and the ceasefire have not brought about a lifting of the siege on Gaza. People might not be dying by gunfire, but they may still starve to death or succumb to easily treatable ailments. This brutal siege has crippled Gaza and most importantly the children”, he ( Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP) emphasised, referring on the siege policy that Israel has heavily imposed on the Gaza Strip for 14 months.

Of course the Israelis will say the blockade is to restrict the flow of arms to Hamas, but much needed supplies are being denied to the few remaining civilians  of Gaza and the blockade has become a political tool to ratchet up pressure on Hamas or Gazans in general.  The Israelis are offering the excuse that they want the people of Gaza to disavow their elected officials, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

“Hamas is now our army, the only ones fighting to defend the Palestinian people,” said Gaza resident Ahmed al-Sultan, standing outside the rubble of the north Gaza City home his family has lived in for 40 years. “I saw how they fight, their courage and their sacrifice, and so I’ve changed my opinion about them.”

After it won control in Gaza, Hamas sentenced Mr. Sultan to death. He won a reprieve through a connected relative. Today, he calls the Palestinian Authority leaders he once served, who are based in the West Bank, “donkeys” and says Hamas, his onetime nemesis, are “rightful defenders of the Palestinian people.”

Most nationalist movements are not motivated or moved by outside pressure while their country is occupied.  The US tried it with Iraq after the first Gulf war, with little or no results, despite the thousands of deaths and the utter ruin of the Iraqi economy, and it’s really foolhardy to think Gazans will reject Hamas or vote them out of power.   What the Israelis have done rather successfully is a play on the old divide and conquer philosophy, where they have pit one group of Palestinians against another.  Hamas is a by product of this strategy and the Israelis will perpetuate the lie that  Hamas  doesn’t recognize the state of Israel as a a casus belli for any military action against Palestinians, prolonging the conflict, keeping the region unstable, while appealing for and getting  massive military and economic aid from the US.

President Obama should know all this.  The patterns are really very clear and well discernible.  The Israelis can go on with this game of abuse and genocide as long as they are enabled by the US specifically and western powers generally.  The pressure to change will have to come from the citizens of America and the west on their elected officials who are, for the moment anyway, in the back pocket of the Lobby.

By way of deception thou shalt wage war


The entire Gaza operation has been one of deception, from the thousands of rockets launched into southern Israel which have caused the most potently armed country in the region to become afraid, to the attacks on sanctuaries for civilians because they harbored terrorists, the Israelis have used every trick in the book to justify their bloodbath and it has all been built on deception.

The foreign minister, a former Mossad agent knows too well about deception and thousands of people have lined up to help promote the state of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and it bears mentioning now some who have participated in this ruse.

First off there is the IDF itself.  False flags are common in warfare and work pretty good until the perpetrators get caught, and it seems some of the IDF have been caught passing themselves off as Hamas members while they ransacked the streets of Gaza.  Could it be they also fired on their own colleagues as well as the Palestinian civilians, medics, doctors, UN relief staff, all to make a point that Hamas is a terrorist organization?  Or how about merely using the image of Hamas killing its own to destroy the will people have for the government they elected two years ago,  and rise up to overthrow and replace them.  Such hopes are the stuff unfulfilled dreams are made of, like the hope the Iraqis would do the same to Saddam in ’91 and in all the years thereafter as they were starved and plagued to death by way of international sanctions.  Yet they did not revolt and left the work of getting rid of their dictator to us, despite the hardship he and inevitably we put them through.  Surely, those who sent IDF out as Hamas know it would be the same with the Palestinians.

The deception of war was also fought on the cyber  front where people and in particular one “terrorism expert” passed himself as someone he wasn’t and got caught inciting people who had no desire for violence to commit to a way he thought they should act.   Glen Jenvy became abuislam and encouraged people on ummah.com‘s forum to threaten and harm Jewish members of British society.  He then used the forum that he posted to to point out how evil British Muslims are, when the only evil was that emanating from his keyboard.

It’s sad the once “chosen” people of God have turned to deception and wars to ensure the safety of their existence among neighbors, when all they need is dialogue with and respect for them.  It is necessary therefore for all concerned to be diligent in becoming informed.  Old folks once said it best, don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.  Better advice can’t be found, when it comes to Israel’s relationships in the Middle East.

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Politics vs. Integrity: No Brainer!


I remember all the brouhaha surrounding Keith Ellison’s run for the House of Representatives; people were afraid he would institute Islamic Shariah law and therefore felt he was a threat to the security of the US.  He handled himself well throughout all the racist diatribe he faced and prevailed and won election and reelection last fall as well.  Meanwhile another American Muslim was elected to Congress from Indiana named Andre Carson, albeit with a lot less fanfare.  Now I know why.  Politics as it stands today is a business, and congressmen are business people, not representatives in a Republican form of government.  How else can you account for the fact these two Muslims of African-American descent voted either present or for House Resolution 34, which says in part:

expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state……reiterates that Hamas must end the rocket and mortar attacks against Israel…believes strongly that the lives of innocent civilians must be protected to the maximum extent possible…lay(s) blame both for the breaking of the ‘calm’ and for subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza precisely where blame belongs, that is, on Hamas….reiterates its strong support for a just and sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict achieved through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

There’s a lot wrong with the wording of the Resolution and many of the “facts” have been disputed worldwide, and on some of the pages here at Miscellany.  What’s disturbing is that ANYONE could vote for such a lame document that is so  factually inaccurate and easily documented as such, but it passed overwhelmingly, with the votes of 2 Muslim American congressmen…or rather 1.5 votes of the two. Keith Ellison said in part:

Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border have been repeatedly harassed and live daily in fear. Hamas, a terrorist organization founded with the goal of destroying Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2005.

We need to have compassion for the people of Gaza and the tremendous human suffering there.

That is why I will vote “present” on this resolution concerning the current conflict in Gaza.

There are no recorded remarks for Carson regarding this resolution.  On the one hand this vote dispels the notion that Muslim congressmen are monolithic and contrary to American foreign policy, but it also points out how political office in America tends to foster myopic vision of world events when it comes to Israel.  What I would have liked to see is a more compassionate and reasoned voice like the one offered by Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio, who said:

In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about forty. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing thirty people.

Emergency workers have been blocked by the Israeli army from reaching hundreds of injured persons. Today’s Washington Post: 100 survivors rescued in Gaza from roads blocked from Israelis. Relief agencies fear more are trapped, days after neighborhood was shelled…Today, the U.S. Congress is going to be asked to pass a resolution supporting Israel’s actions in Gaza. I’m hopeful that we don’t support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. The U.S. abstained from a UN call for a ceasefire. We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza.

Ellison and Carson could learn a thing or two from Kucinich.  Or there is this even more eloquently expressed opinion from an ordinary citizen, Sarah Shields.

I accuse you, the US Congress, of having voted for US House Resolution 34 by an overwhelming margin, 390-5. In the name of protecting Israel’s security, this Resolution instead protects Israel’s “right” to hold a whole population accountable for the violations of a few. By condoning Israel’s behavior over the past two weeks as self-defense, HR 34 condemns one and a half million Gazans to capital punishment without trial for crimes they have not committed. By publicly acknowledging and approving Israel’s behavior, you now share responsibility for the outcomes.

I accuse you of violating the laws made by the Congress of the United States, laws like the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, which insist that American-made weapons may not be used against civilian populations.I accuse you of supporting flagrant violations of human rights. The combatants you voted to support are required by international law to care for civilian victims of war. Yet the Israeli government denied the International Committee of the Red Cross access to the sites they bombed for four days.

I accuse you of transgressing international law. The United States, as one of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, is required to protect civilians in war, and to call to account anyone who targets them. You have instead voted to support behavior considered criminal according to international law.

I accuse you of putting politics before humanity, of condoning the slaughter of innocents, of supporting war crimes instead of standing up for the most basic human right: the right to live without the terrifying fear of immediate death.

I hold you responsible, each of these 390 members of America’s 111th Congress. I accuse you of complicity in the most serious transgressions that humans can commit.

This is the type of passion we need in American politics, the fervor for going against the “status quo” no matter the stakes, if your position is right.  I salute the Dennnis Kucinichs and Sarah Shields of today who place their humanity before politics or religion or nationality, who make principled positions based on facts that are readily discernible and not on public relations brochures and junkets, and  I ask,  Keith, Andre, where were you when it counted?


Black gold


I blogged how Israel wants the natural resources of its neighbors but didn’t know about this!

…..the invasion of Gaza was in part motivated by vital energy resources, too. According to an article by Jake Bower, “Why It Rains: Hamas holding Israeli gas reserves hostage”:

“GAZA: Plans for proposed $400,000,000 offshore natural gas field development project….The deposit reportedly contains an estimated 50 to 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The field… is considered to be the largest in the area north of Egypt….

Estimated at 100 billion cubic meters of proven reserves, these discoveries potentially offer enough gas to meet Israel’s goal of supplying 25% of its energy needs for more than 20 years – even without further imports. The discovery has also raised realistic expectations of locating oil deposits beneath the gas fields.

Unfortunately for Israel, 60% of these reserves are in waters controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has signed a 25-year contract with British Gas for further exploration in the area…. Keen to secure the gas for its domestic market but unwilling to submit its sensitive energy supplies (and their profits) into the hands of the Palestinians, Israel has for the past 6 years pursued a policy of non-commitment, stalling and obstruction.” (Jake Bower, “Why It Rains: Hamas holding “sraeli” gas reserves hostage”) http://tinyurl.com/7y2bcf

The natural gas deposits are just one more reason why Israel plans to remove Hamas and replace them with Mahmoud Abbas and the corrupt Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Middle East is being reshaped according to the ideological aspirations of Zionists and the exigencies of a viciously-competitive energy market. That’s a combo that makes peace nearly impossible.

Go figure.

Infant shroud


Their parents probably suspected when they dressed them in the morning of their last day on earth they would be dressing them in their burial shrouds.

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