Archive for July, 2010

Chomsky: Israel’s War Against Palestine — Now What?

July 31, 2010

By Noam Chomsky, ZNet, July 28, 2010
Source: Israeli Occupation Archive
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Noam Chomsky’s ZSpace Page

The past few years have proven to be particularly awful for the Palestinian people. The suffocating Israeli siege of Gaza, despite some slight loosening, continues to this day, with Egypt’s active support and Washington’s tacit approval; Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, was the single most devastating event for the inhabitants of the Occupied Territories since 1967; Israel’s settlement program proceeds unabated; Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has raised the level of violent confrontation further; and Israel’s crackdown on domestic dissent, particularly among its Palestinian citizens, has reached unprecedented levels with the arrest of activists and threatened measures against Arab MPs.

The Israeli Occupation Archive asked Noam Chomsky for his assessment of the current situation and future prospects.

IOA:  The Goldstone report, the Abu Dhabi Mossad assassination, the Gaza Flotilla attack: all these have severely weakened Israel’s international reputation — in Europe, in Turkey, in Egypt. How has the US-Israeli relationship fared through all this, and how has this affected the larger US strategic project in the Middle East and its efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Noam Chomsky: I would add the Gaza attack itself, quite apart from the Goldstone report. It was so savage that it led to a substantial change in attitudes among the general population, though not noticeably among the political class or the media. But governmental relations haven’t changed, and no change should have been expected. Washington strongly supported the Gaza attack, and participated directly in it. The attack was clearly timed so that Obama could keep to the hypocritical “there’s only one president so I cannot comment” stance. It ended, surely by plan, at the moment that he took office, so that he could adopt the posture of “let’s look forward and forget the past,” very convenient for partners in crime. The media and commentators — unanimously, to my knowledge — evaded the central fact about the war: the issue was not whether Israel had a right to defend itself from rockets, but whether it had the right to do so by force. It surely did not, because the US-Israel knew that peaceful means were available but refused to pursue them: accepting Hamas’s offer to renew the cease-fire, which Hamas had observed even though Israel did so only partially. That suffices to establish the criminality of the attack. Disproportionality in the use of force is a minor crime by comparison. The other events you mention had little impact in the US, with one exception: there is now some concern in the US military and intelligence that support for Israeli crimes and intransigence may harm military operations in the field. General David Petraeus quickly retracted his comments to this effect, but others are expressing the same concern, among them Bruce Riedel, an influential long-time senior intelligence official and presidential advisor. Israeli intelligence understands this problem very well. Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned the Israeli Knesset that they are treading on thin ice for this reason. That might prove significant.

Continues >>

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China convicts Uighur web managers on state security charges

July 31, 2010

Web manager Dilshat Perhat was sentenced to five years in jail by an Urumqi court

Web manager Dilshat Perhat was sentenced to five years in jail by an Urumqi court

© Private

Amnesty International, 30 July 2010

Amnesty International has condemned the closed trial and conviction of three Uighur website managers on state security charges.

Dilshat Perhat, web manager and owner of the Diyarim website was sentenced to five years by an Urumqi court in a closed trial on 21 July; Nureli, web manager of Salkin was sentenced to three years; and Nijat Azat, web manager of Shabnam was sentenced to 10 years, according to Dilmurat Perhat, Dishat’s brother.

The three websites were among the most popular Uighur language news and community forums operating in Xinjiang prior to the 5 July 2009 riots.

”The Chinese governments’ attempts to control all online activity in Xinjiang is not going to silence those with genuine grievances,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific Director for Amnesty International. “These three Uighur web managers must be released.”

Continues >>

Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq

July 30, 2010

uruknet.info, July 29, 2010

Source: Russia Today

29iraq-deformed-child.jpg

Reports have emerged that the UK used depleted uranium weapons during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A UK defense official has reportedly admitted using highly controversial ammunition.

“UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in a written reply to the House of Commons Thursday, Iranian Press TV reported, citing the Kuwait News Agency.

It is alleged that a joint inquiry by Iraq’s environment, health and science ministries uncovered more than 40 sites across the war-torn country contaminated with high levels of radiation.

The use of uranium ammunition is widely controversial because of potential long-term health effects. The US and UK have allegedly used up to 2,000 tons of such ammunition during the war.

Continues >>

The Suffering of Fallujah

July 30, 2010

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fallujah . . .

And so it turns out that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though not until we arrived and started using them.

Along with whatever else we did to Fallujah – exacted collective punishment on a defiant city (a war crime) in November 2004, killed thousands of civilians, shattered the infrastructure (nearly six years later, the sewage system hasn’t been repaired and waste flows in the streets) — we also, apparently, nuked the city, leaving a legacy of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and genetic abnormality.

Freedom isn’t free. Remember when that was the go-to phrase of the citizen war zealots among us, their all-purpose rebuttal when those of us appalled by this insane war cited civilian casualty stats? Discussion over. Thought stops here.

Continues >>

Srebrenica 15 Years Later

July 30, 2010

By Kevin Beck, Foreign Policy Journal, July 30, 2010

The July 1995 massacre and murder of 8000 Bosnian men and boys in the eastern Bosnian city of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Hercegovina continues to be a stain on humanity as more than seventy major mass graves have been located in Bosnia-Hercegovina containing civilians killed during the worst war crimes in Europe since the days of World War Two.

While there has been partial accountability for these terrible crimes of mass slaughter and ethnic intolerance that took place during the final months of the civil war and genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina, efforts to more fully hold those responsible accountable have progressed slowly in the fifteen years since the tragedy.

Continues >>

Obama Administration In Danger Of Establishing ‘New Normal’ With Worst Bush-Era Policies, Says ACLU

July 30, 2010
eNews Park Forest,  29 July 2010 13:08 Press Release Analysis

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–July 29, 2010.  The Obama administration has repudiated some of the Bush administration’s most egregious national security policies but is in danger of institutionalizing others permanently into law, thereby creating a troubling “new normal,” according to a new report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Establishing a New Normal: National Security, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Under the Obama Administration,” an 18-month review of the Obama administration’s record on national security issues affecting civil liberties, concludes that the current administration’s record on issues of national security and civil liberties is decidedly mixed: President Obama has made great strides in some areas, such as his auspicious first steps to categorically prohibit torture, outlaw the CIA’s use of secret overseas detention sites and release the Bush administration’s torture memos, but he has failed to eliminate some of the worst policies put in place by President Bush, such as military commissions and indefinite detention. He has also expanded the Bush administration’s “targeted killing” program.

Continues >>

“The Real Terrorist Was Me” Speech By A U.S. War Veteran

July 30, 2010

Information Clearing House,  July 29, 2010
Video


Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us
– Mike Prysner


Please Support the Veterans at:
http://www.ivaw.org/

TRANSCRIPT

Time Content
00:00 → 00:04

I tried hard to be proud of my service

00:04 → 00:06

but all i can feel is shame

00:06 → 00:10

The racism you can not master the reality of the occupation

00:10 → 00:12

it’s the people it’s the human beings

00:12 → 00:16

I seem i claim by guilt everytime i see

00:16 → 00:19

an eldery man like the one that could’t walk

00:19 → 00:21

and we brought by the stretcher and we called the Iraq’s Police to take him away

00:21 → 00:25

I feel guilt everytime i see a mother with her children like the one who cried hystericly

00:25 → 00:29

and screaming that we are worst than Saddam, as we forced her from her home.

00:29 → 00:35

I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street.

00:35 → 00:38

We are told we are fighting terrorists;

00:38 → 00:43

the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is in this occupation.

00:43 → 00:47

Racism within the military has long been an important tool

00:47 → 00:49

to justify the destruction and occupation of another country.

00:49 → 00:54

It’s long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people.

00:54 → 00:57

Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government.

00:57 → 01:03

It’s a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship.

01:03 → 01:08

It’s more destructive than an artillery shell or a bunker buster, or a Tom Hawk Missile.

01:08 → 01:11

While all those weapons are created and owned by this government,

01:11 → 01:14

they are harmless without people willing to use them.

01:14 → 01:18

Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger, or lab a mortal round.

01:18 → 01:21

They don’t have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war.

01:21 → 01:25

They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers in the harms way.

01:25 → 01:28

They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question.

01:28 → 01:33

They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon,

01:33 → 01:36

when the ranks of the military are willing to follow orders to use it.

01:36 → 01:38

They can send every last soldier anywhere on earth,

01:38 → 01:42

but there’ll only be a war, as soldiers are willing to fight.

01:42 → 01:46

And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering

01:46 → 01:50

care only about expending their wealth controlling the world economy.

01:50 → 01:53

Understand that their power lies only in their ability

01:53 → 01:57

to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest.

01:57 → 02:00

They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability

02:00 → 02:05

to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country.

02:05 → 02:09

And, convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability

02:09 → 02:12

to make us think that we are somehow superior.

02:12 → 02:16

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen,

02:16 → 02:19

have nothing to gain from this occupation.

02:19 → 02:23

The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation.

02:23 → 02:26

In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain,

02:26 → 02:28

but we suffer more because of it.

02:28 → 02:31

We lose wings, and bear trauma and give our lives

02:31 → 02:35

Our families have to watch flag draped coffins rolling into the earth.

02:35 → 02:40

Millions in this country without health care, jobs or access to education,

02:40 → 02:46

just watch over this government squander of a $ 450 million a day in this occupation.

02:55 → 02:59

Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in other country

03:00 → 03:02

and make the rich richer

03:02 → 03:09

without racism we realize that we have more common with the Iraq people than we have with billioners that send us to war

03:38 → 03:40

We need to wake up and realize

03:41 → 03:43

that our real enemy is not the ones living in a distant land

03:43 → 03:45

the people whose names we don’t know

03:46 → 03:47

and cultures we don’t understand

03:47 → 03:50

The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify

03:50 → 03:53

The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable

03:53 → 03:56

the enemy is the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable,

03:56 → 03:59

the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable,

03:59 → 04:02

the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable.

04:02 → 04:05

Our enemies are not five thousands miles away

04:05 → 04:07

the are right here home

04:07 → 04:08

but if we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers

04:08 → 04:12

we can stop this war we can stop this government and we can create a better world

04:12 → 04:27

If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign ennemy…

04:27 → 04:30

The loss of Liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger

04:30 → 04:33

real or imagined from abroad…”

04:33 → 04:36

– James Madison –

04:36 → 04:39

Edité par Phaedrus

The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign

July 30, 2010

by Gareth Porter, CommonDreams.org, July 30, 2010

Reuel Marc Gerecht’s screed justifying an Israeli bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening of  the new Israel lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House Resolution 1553 expressing full support for such an Israeli attack.

What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.

That has long been the Israeli strategy for Iran, because Israel cannot fight a war with Iran without full U.S. involvement. Israel needs to know that the United States will finish the war that Israel wants to start.

Continues >>

Exclusive Intifada Interview with Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna

July 30, 2010
Elias Harb, Intifada Palestine, July 23, 2010

Intifada Exclusive Interview with his Eminence

Archbishop Theodosios “Atallah Hanna”

Archbishop of Sebastia

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Of Jerusalem

“For those who use the Bible to support Israel need to differentiate between God promise and Balfour promise, because the occupation is the result of a promise given to the Israelis by Lord Balfour and not by God.” Archbishop Theodosios


Elias Harb: Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel has claimed in various publications  that Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem and that only under Israeli sovereignty had freedom of worship for all religions been assured in the city. How do you respond to that?

Archbishop Theodosios: The facts on the ground say exactly the opposite, more and more Muslims and Christians are having great difficulties in entering the city. We see thousands are denied the entry to their holiest sites. The Israelis authorities are even preventing the Arab Jerusalemites from entering the Holy sepulcher and the Aqsa mosque on major religious feasts. It is very apparent that the Israelis want Jerusalem to themselves and they do not want to share it with others. It is a big pity that the city of peace, which must symbolizes brotherhood and love to be transformed into a symbol of hatred and division because of Israeli actions.

Continues >>

Dan Ellsberg on WikiLeaks & the Essential Democratic Question: Who Will Tell the People?

July 29, 2010

John Nichols, The Nation, July 29, 2010

The Obama White House was quick to condemn the publication Sunday evening of more than 91,000 secret documents detailing the monumentally misguided and frequently failed attempt by the United States to occupy Afghanistan.

National Security Adviser James Jones took the lead in attacking WikiLeaks for making the details of the war available to the American people—who are, ultimately, supposed to define the direction of US foreign policy—by declaring: “The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.”

Despite the fact that the “Afghanistan War Logs,” which are being published by the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Speigel, detail the mess in Afghanistan, and point to the bigger mess that will be made if the occupation is expanded as the Obama administration proposes, Jones offered a classic don’t-confuse-us-with-the-facts response. “These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.”

Continues >>