Archive for the 'Middle east' Category

America’s hypocrisy shines bright in Egypt.

So funny to see Hillary Clinton saying that, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,”

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2044902,00.html#ixzz1COoCSMvg

while El Baradei has a different idea about this:

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=205272

Of course, it’s this cozy relationship our leaders and businessmen in the US have with dictators that gives us a bad name in the world. Clinton has been quoted as saying, “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/09/AR2009030902478.html

Idiotic.

Of course, Egyptians on the street are a bit upset that the gas cannisters being fired at them by their police have, “made in the USA,” inscribed on them. That is the least of our assistance to them though, we also give 2.2 billion dollars and all sorts of high tech weapons to the Egyptian dictatorship.

Bush had quite a cozy relationship with Mubarak as well: “Our friendship is strong. It’s a cornerstone of — one of the main cornerstones of our policy in this region, and it’s based on our shared commitment to peace, security and prosperity.  I appreciate the opportunity, Mr. President, to give you an update on my trip. And I appreciate the advice you’ve given me. You’ve seen a lot in your years as President; you’ve got a great deal of experience, and I appreciate you feeling comfortable in sharing that experience once again with me.  I really appreciate Egypt’s support in the war on terror.”

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080116-2.html

Here is Obama encouraging Mubarak to reform: “No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven’t met him. I’ve spoken to him on the phone.  He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.  But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.  And, as I said before, the United States’ job is not to lecture, but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values that ultimately will work – not just for our country, but for the aspirations of a lot of people.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/06/090602_obama_transcript.shtml

Now the US calls for immediate reforms. This is why the US is hated around the world.

Now, there are rumors that Sunday, the army will crack down mercilessly on the protests after stirring up some staged violence on the part of the protesters and the US will likely condone the violence in favor of, “stability.” And so the story goes.

Israel restricts Gazans access to their own land.

A new UN report shows that Israel has cost Gaza 300 million dollars in lost revenue due to taking up their land to make a buffer zone and killing those who come into the buffer zone (which consists mainly of farm land). The report also notes that around 26 million dollars have been lost by Palestinian fishermen who can only go out 4.5 kilometers without being shot at by the Israeli navy.

Though in most cases the troops fire warning shots, 22 people have been killed and 146 have been wounded in such incidents since the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/un-report-idf-barring-gazans-access-to-farms-fishing-zones-1.309022

Overall, this land grab constitutes 17% of Gaza’s territory.

It is this Israel that killed Fadel Shana, Reuters cameraman along with 8 other civilians back in 2008:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fadel_Shana’a

Of course, if Palestinians were encroaching on Israeli land and taking away their livelihood and killing Israeli civilians in order to create a “necessary buffer zone” to fend against Israeli militant attacks, we would hear a whole lot about it in the news.

No real point to this post, just pointing out that Israel continues to kill, by land or by sea, by guns or by inducing poverty… it is no difference.

Brookings poll uncovers some interesting information

This first question is hardly a surprise and should alert the Obama administration to the fact that the Arab population is not as stupid as they may have hoped. His speech in Cairo may have created hope, but that hope has dwindled and now the Arab peoples know the truth. Obama is no different. He will not deal justly with the middle-east, no more than any of his predecessors have.

These results here are very interesting. The way you hear it in the newspapers, everyone in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are opposed to Iran’s nuclear program. These numbers show a different story though. The Arabs polled were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE. Saudi Arabia and Egypt citizens comprised approximately 20% each of the people polled.

Of those polled, 61% said they were most dissappointed with Obama’s handling of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They also saw our middle-east policy as being driven by a need to protect Israel and control oil. Also, 59% polled said that when they see a documentary about the Jewish Holocaust, they resent it because they feel it brings sympathy towards the Jews at the expense of the Palestinians. Very interesting. Similar to Ahmadinejad’s position.

77% also believed that Iran has a right to it’s nuclear program.

In a world where there is only one superpower, 35% wanted France to be that superpower! Only 7% wanted the USA.  Also beating out the USA were China, Germany, Britain and Russia. Pakistan just lost to the USA at 6%!

Two countries that pose the biggest threat to Arab Peoples? 88% Israel and 77% USA. Iran was 10%. Interesting.

Erdogan, Chavez and Ahmadinejad were the most admired world leaders (Obama wasn’t featured in this one).

Methinks it would behoove the people of the USA to look at why the people of Arab nations have these opinions. There are good reasons.

http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx

Cold blooded execution of US citizen by Israeli military captured on video

This video, smuggled out of Israel, purports to show the execution of the US citizen aboard the Gaza flotilla by Israeli Defense Forces. Whether this is the US citizen or not, the execution of this civilian by Israeli military is chilling and it shows exactly why all camera film was confiscated besides the IDF controlled footage.

Economic warfare against Gaza

Why is the blockade on Gaza in place?

Last week, after Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers on a Turkish-organized Gaza aid flotilla, Israel again said its aim was to stop the flow of terrorist arms into Gaza.

However, 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.

I thought it was to stop terrorists from lobbing rockets over the border. But then, why would they have withheld soda pop and potato chips until now? Have you ever been hit by a flying potato chip before?

Israel’s cruel policy toward Gaza is exposed to the world and the US is virtually alone in supporting it.  Gotta stop.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/09/95621/israeli-document-gaza-blockade.html#ixzz0qTW6Zw97

Eye-witness to the Israeli attack on the Flotilla speaks up.

This is a terrific account from one who was very close to the action on the Gaza Flotilla and one that puts things into sharp perspective. Check it out:

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 murderers, 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 theMavi 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.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25657.htm

Haneen Zuabi, Gaza flotilla humanitarian, very courageous.

This woman is very heroic.  She insisted on addressing the Israeli Knessett and said some amazing things and put up with some pretty bad verbal abuse from her fellow politicians. Check it out:

Her statement followed a heated Knesset debate about the IDF flotilla raid.  The debate, which at times verged in a brawl, was brought to an end when Deputy Defense Minister, MK Matan Vilnai proposed that the debate be moved to the foreign affairs committee as it was “serving no useful purpose.”

After the debate, Rivlin invited Zuabi to make her statement.

The invitation to Zuabi, led to a breakout of fierce verbal altercations, resulting in the ejection of Kadima MK Eli Aflalo, Balad MK Jamal Zahalka and Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli.

Several more MKs were ejected during Zuabi’s speech. Ironically some of the ejected MKs subsequently returned to the chamber, continuing to cause a commotion and receiving further verbal warnings from Rivlin.

Referring to the earlier debate, Zuabi said she was “astonished by the incitement and despised the words she had heard.”

She said that she had agreed to participate in the flotilla as it was a “political human and moral ‘mitzva’ to oppose the imprisonment of 1.5 million people.”

She described the blockade of Gaza as an “illegal, inhuman, illegitimate siege opposed by every politician who has a moral position… …only the immoral support the blockade.” 

Zuabi described the raid on the flotilla as a “pirate operation that was criminal and against international law.”

She attacked the film of the raid that the IDF released: “Why does the Israeli government oppose an inquiry? Why does it oppose revealing the truth? Why did you take journalists’ cameras? Why did you only publish the pictures linked to the IDF operation, Why didn’t you publicize film of the ten men who died?.”

She criticized those attacking her, saying “Who is the criminal?  Did I murder anyone?”.

At this point an MK shouted “check if she has a knife” resulting in uproar.

Soon after this Knesset speaker Rivlin ended the debate, saying Zuabi had been given ample time to make her statement.

Speaking in the angry debate that took place prior to her statement, MK Arieh Eldad (National Union) called Israeli Arabs “enemies of Israel”, Kadima MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovitz said the Arab parties’ Knesset members were “parliamentary spies”.

Israel Beiteinu MK David Rotem said that “Arab MKs do not represent the Arab citizens, they represent terror organizations in Gaza.”

Rotem went on to suggest that Arab Israelis “look up at the observation decks and see a model for behavior” they should emulate.  The observation deck was lined with Druze elders.

At the other end of the spectrum, MK Dov Henin (Hadash) said that the debate was “A low point in the history of the Knesset.”

Henin went on to warn of the consequences of the blockade, saying, “Gaza will not go away even if you close your eyes.”

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177271


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