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Israeli restrictions ensure slow pace of Gaza reconstruction

IRIN | July 21, 2011

The housing crisis in the Gaza Strip is not going to be resolved any time soon: Only a small number of the 40,000 units needed to meet natural population growth and the destruction of homes in Israeli military operations are being built, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Israel restricts the import of building materials deemed to be of potential military benefit to Gaza’s Hamas government. A limited number of international, mainly-UN-backed, building projects are being allowed to go ahead, but the Israeli checking process is causing delays.

Israel’s spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the (Palestinian) Territories (COGAT), Guy Inbar, told IRIN that COGAT reviews all international projects due to security concerns. “COGAT wants to have supervision that the projects are not being implemented near Hamas facilities, and to ensure that construction material goes only to the [Israeli-approved international] projects and not to Hamas.”

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has only brought in a tiny fraction of the construction material needed – 3,291 trucks since June 2010 (under 4 percent of the agency’s overall US$660 million construction plan to rebuild homes and schools in the Gaza Strip over three years).

It had also planned to build 100 schools, a teacher training centre, 10,000 “shelters” and two healthcare centres. “The so-called `easing’ of the blockade has made almost no difference in the lives of real people,” said UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness in Jerusalem.

In June 2010, after several international activists died trying to end the blockade, Israel announced a package of measures to ease its blockade of the territory to provide relief to Gaza’s population, while protecting Israeli citizens from harm. However, basic construction material like cement, gravel and asphalt remained on specific lists of prohibited “dual-use” items.

And as if to emphasize its determination to maintain the blockade, on 19 July Israeli commandos intercepted and boarded an international protest boat trying to reach Gaza.

Approved Projects

Some 73 reconstruction projects worth about 28 percent of the cost of UNRWA’s entire work plan for Gaza, have been approved by COGAT. Currently, UNRWA is entering about 240 trucks per week of aggregate and 90 trucks of other building materials. At this rate it will take a year to enter the supplies for the 73 approved projects, said Gunness.

Approved water and sanitation projects are also being delayed due to the lack of construction material.

As a result of the restrictions, there has been a significant increase in the amount of construction material entering Gaza via underground tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border over the past year. An estimated 98,000 tons of construction material was entering Gaza monthly, according to a March report by OCHA. A similar amount was also now entering via the Kerem Shalom crossing, OCHA reported in June.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called the blockade “a collective punishment in clear violation of international humanitarian law”.

According to Israel, Gaza is no long occupied territory since it withdrew its forces in 2005, and the Hamas government in power is now responsible for the welfare of Gaza’s population.

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | 1 Comment

Puppets in Revolt: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the United States

By James Petras :: 07.22.2011


Empires are built through the promotion and backing of local collaborators who act at the behest of imperial rulers. They are rewarded with the outward symbols of authority and financial handouts, even as it is understood that they hold their position only at the tolerance of their imperial superiors.

Imperial collaborators are referred to by the occupied people and the colonial resistance as “puppets” or “traitors”; by western journalists and critics as “clients”; by the imperial scribes and officials as “loyal allies” as long as they remain obedient to their sponsors and paymaster.

Puppet rulers have a long and ignoble history during the 20th century. Subsequent to US invasions in Central America and the Caribbean a whole string of bloody puppet dictators were put in power to implement policies favorable to US corporations and banks and to back US regional dominance. Duvalier (father and son) in Haiti, Trujillo in the Dominion Republic, Batista in Cuba, Somoza (father and son) in Nicaragua and a host of other tyrants served to safeguard imperial military and economic interests, while plundering the economies and ruling with an iron fist.

Rule via puppets is characteristic of most empires. The British excelled in propping up tribal chiefs as tax collectors, backing Indian royalty to muster sepoys to serve under British generals. The French cultivated a francophone African elite to provide cannon fodder for its imperial wars in Europe and Africa. “Late” imperial countries like Japan set up puppet regimes in Manchuria and Germany promoted the Vichy puppets in occupied France and the Quisling regime in Norway.

Post-Colonial Rule: Nationalists and Neo-Colonial Puppets

Powerful national liberation, anti-colonial movements following World War II, challenged European and US imperial dominance in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Faced with the enormous costs of reconstruction in Europe and Japan and domestic mass movements opposed to continuing colonial wars, the US and Europe sought to retain their economic holdings, military bases via ‘political collaborators’. They would assume administrative, military and political responsibilities, forging new links between the formally independent country and their old and new imperial masters. The economic and military institutional continuities between colonial and post-colonial regimes were defined as ‘neo-colonialism’.

Foreign aid gave birth to and enriched an ‘indigenous’ kleptocratic bourgeoisie which provided a fig leaf to imperial resource extraction. Military aid, training missions and overseas scholarships trained a new generation of military and civilian bureaucrats inculcated with imperial-centered ‘world views’ and loyalties. The military-police-administrative apparatus was perceived by imperial rulers as the best guarantor of the emerging order, given the fragility of neo-colonial rule, their narrow base of appeal and the demands of the masses for substantive socio-economic structural changes to accompany political independence.

The post-colonial period was riven with long term large-scale anti-imperial social revolutions (China, Indo-China), military coups (throughout the three continents), international civil wars (Korea) and mostly successful nationalist-populist transformations (Iraq, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, etc.). The latter became the bases for the non-aligned movements. Outright ‘colonial settler regimes’ (South Africa, Israel/Palestine, Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) were the exception. Complex “associations”, depending on the specific power relations between empire and local elites, generally increased income, trade and investments for the decolonized newly independent countries. Independence created an internal dynamic based on large scale state intervention and a mixed economy.

The post-colonial period of radical nationalist and socialist uprisings, lasted less than a decade in most of the three continents. By the end of the 1970’s, imperial backed coups overthrew national-populist and socialist regimes in the Congo, Algeria, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and in numerous other countries. The newly independent radical regimes in the former Portuguese colonies, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and the nationalist regimes and movements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Latin America were severely weakened by the collapse of the USSR and China’s conversion to capitalism. The US appeared as the sole ‘superpower’ without a military and economic counterweight. US and European military and economic empire builders saw an opportunity to exploit natural resources, expropriate thousands of public enterprises, build a network of military bases and recruit new mercenary armies to extend imperial dominance.

The question arose as to the form the new US empire would take: the means through which the remaining nationalist rulers would be ousted. Equally important: with the demise of the USSR and China/Indo-China’s conversion to capitalism, what ideology or even ‘argument’ would serve to justify the powerful thrust of post-colonial, empire building?

Washington’s New World Order: Colonial Revivalism and Contemporary Puppetry:

Western imperialism’s recovery from the defeats during the national independence struggles (1945-1970’s) included the massive rebuilding of a new imperial order. With the collapse of the USSR, the incorporation of Eastern Europe as imperial satellites and the subsequent conversion of radical nationalists (Angola, Mozambique etc.) to kleptocrat free marketers, a powerful thrust was given to White House visions of unlimited dominance, based on projections of uncontested unilateral military power.

The spread of ‘free market ideology’ between 1980 – 2000, based on the ascendancy of neo-liberal rulers throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and a large swathe of Asia opened the door for unprecedented pillage, privatizations (mostly the same thing) and the concentration of wealth. Corresponding to the pillage and the concentration of a unipolar military power, a group of ultra-militarists, so-called neo-conservatives ideologues, deeply imbued with the Israeli colonial mentality entered into the strategic decision-making positions in Washington, with tremendous leverage in European spheres of power – especially in England.

History went into reverse. The 1990’s were inaugurated with colonial style wars, launched against Iraq and Yugoslavia, leading to the break-up of states and the imposition of puppet regimes in (Northern Iraq) ‘Kurdistan’, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia (former Yugoslavia). Military success, quick and low cost victories, confirmed and hardened the beliefs of the neo-conservative and neo-liberal ideologues that empire building was the inevitable wave of the future. Only an appropriate political trigger was necessary to mobilize the financial and human resources to pursue the new military driven empire.

The events of 9/11/2001 were thoroughly exploited to launch sequential wars of colonial conquest. In the name of a “word wide military crusade against terrorism”, plans were made, massive funds were allocated and a mass media propaganda blitz was launched, to justify a series of colonial wars.

The new imperial order began with the invasion of Afghanistan (2001) and the overthrow of the Taliban Islamic-nationalist regime, (which never had anything to do with 9/11). Afghanistan was occupied by the US – NATO – mercenary armies but not conquered. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq led the Islamic, nationalist and trade union anti-colonial forces to regroup and prolonged armed and civil resistance movements.

Because of widespread nationalist and anti-Zionist influence within the existing Iraqi civilian, police and military apparatus, neo-conservative ideologues in Washington opted for the total dismantling of the state. They attempted to refashion a colonial state based on sectarian leaders, local tribal chiefdoms, foreign contractors and the appointment and ‘clearance’ of reliable exile politicians as ‘presidential or ‘prime ministerial’ national fig leafs for the colonized state.

Pakistan was a special case of imperial penetration, military intervention and political manipulation, linking large scale military aid, bribes and corruption to establish a puppet regime. The latter sanctioned sustained violations of sovereignty by US warplanes (“drones” and piloted), commando operations and the large scale mobilization of the Pakistan military for US counter-insurgency operations displacing millions of Pakistan ‘tribal’ peoples.

The Puppet Regime Imperative

Contrary to US and EU propaganda, the invasions and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the military interventions in Pakistan were never popular. They were actively and passively opposed by the vast majority of the population. No sooner were the colonial civil officials imposed by force of arms and efforts began to administer the country then passive popular and sporadic armed resistance emerged. The colonial officials were seen for what they were: an alien, exploitative, presence. Treasuries were looted, the entire economy was paralyzed, elementary services (water, electricity, sewage systems, etc.) did not function, and millions were uprooted. The wars and occupations radically decimated the pre-colonial society and the colonial officials were hard pressed to create a replacement.

Billions in military spending failed to create a civil service capable of governance. The colonial rulers had severe problems locating willing collaborators with technical or administrative experience. Those willing to serve lacked even a modicum of popular acceptance.

The colonial conquest and occupation eventually settled on establishing a parallel collaborator regime which would be financed and subordinate to the imperial authorities. Imperial strategists believed they would provide a political façade to ‘legitimate’ and negotiate with the occupation. The enticement to collaborate was the billions of dollars channeled into the colonized state apparatus (and easily plundered through phony ‘reconstruction’ projects) to compensate for the risks of political assassination by nationalist resistance fighters. At the pinnacle of the parallel regimes were the puppet rulers, each certified by the CIA for their loyalty, servility and willingness to sustain imperial supremacy over the occupied people. They obeyed Washington’s demands to privatize public enterprises and supported Pentagon recruitment of a mercenary army under colonial command.

Hamid Karzai was chosen as the puppet ruler in Afghanistan, based merely on his family ties with drug traffickers and compatibility with warlords and elders on the imperial payroll. His isolation was highlighted by the fact that even the presidential guard was made up of US Marines. In Iraq, US colonial officials in consultation with the White House and the CIA chose Nouri al Maliki as the “Prime Minister” based on his zealous “hands on” engagement in torturing resistance fighters suspected of attacking US occupation forces.

In Pakistan the US backed a convicted felon on the lam, Asif Ali Zardari as President. He repeatedly demonstrated his accommodating spirit by approving large scale, long term US aerial and ground operations on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border. Zardari emptied the Pakistani treasury and mobilized millions of soldiers to assault and displace frontier population centers sympathetic to the Afghan resistance.

Puppets in Action: Between Imperial Subservience and Mass Isolation

The three puppet regimes have provided a fig leaf for the imperial savaging of the colonized people of the countries they preside over. Nouri al Maliki has over the past 5 years, not only justified the US occupation but actively promoted the assassination and torture of thousands of anti-colonial activists and resistance fighters. He has sold billion dollar oil and gas concessions to overseas oil companies. He has presided over the theft (‘disappearance’ or “unaccountable”) of billions of dollars in oil revenues and US foreign aid (squeezed from US tax payers). Hamid Karzai, who has rarely ventured out of the presidential compound without his US Marine bodyguards, has been ineffective in gathering even token support except through his extended family. His main prop was narco warlord brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, killed by his CIA certified Chief of Security. Since Karzai’s domestic support is extremely narrow, his main functions include attending external donor meetings, issuing press statements and rubber stamping each increase (“surge”) in US troops. The intensified use of Special Forces death squads and drone warplanes, inflicting high civilian casualties, has further enraged Afghans. The entire civilian and military apparatus nominally under Karzai is unquestionably, penetrated by Taliban and other nationalist groups, making him totally dependent on the US troops and warlords and drug traffickers on the CIA payroll.

The Pakistani puppet Arif Ali Zardari, despite strong resistance from sectors of the military and intelligence agencies, and despite 85% popular hostility to the US, has plunged the country into a series of sustained large scale military offenses against Islamist communities in the Northeast territories, displacing over 4 million refugees. Under orders from the White House to escalate the war against Taliban sanctuaries and their Pakistan armed allies, Zardari has lost all credibility as a ‘national’ politician. He has outraged nationalist loyalties by ‘covertly’ approving US gross violations of sovereignty by allowing US Special Forces to operate from Pakistan bases in their murderous operations against local Islamic militants. The daily US drone bombing of civilians in villages, on highways and in markets has led to a near universal consensus of his puppet status. While puppet rulers provide a useful façade for external propaganda purposes, their effectiveness diminishes to zero domestically, as their subservience before the imperial slaughter of non-combatants increases. The initial imperial propaganda ploy portraying the puppets as “associate” or “power-sharers” loses credibility as it becomes transparent that the puppet rulers are impotent to rectify imperial abuses. This is especially the case with pervasive human rights violations and the destruction of the economy. Foreign aid is widely perceived as nurturing widespread extortion, corruption and incompetent administration of basic services.

As the domestic resistance grows and as the imperial countries’ ‘will’ to continue a decade long war and occupation wanes, the puppet rulers, feel intense pressure to make, at least, token expressions of ‘independence’. The puppets begin to “talk back’ to the puppet-masters, attempting to play to the vast chorus of mass indignation over the most egregious occupation crimes against humanity. The colonial occupation begins to sink, under the weight of billion dollar a week expenditures from depleted treasuries.The token troop withdrawals, signal the growing importance and dependence on a highly suspect ‘native’ mercenary force, causing the puppets increasingly to fear for loss of office and life.

Puppet rulers begin to contemplate that it is time to probe the possibilities of making a deal with the resistance; time to voice popular indignation at civilian killings; time to praise the withdrawal of troops, but nothing consequential. No abandoning the protection of the imperial Praetorian Guard or, god forbid the latest tranche of foreign aid. An opportune time for Ali Zardari to criticize the US military intrusion, killing Bin Laden. Time for Al Maliki to call on the US to “honor” its troop withdrawal in Iraq. Time for Karzai to welcome the Afghan military takeover of a province of least resistance (Bamiyan). Are the puppets in some sort of ‘revolt’ against the puppet master? Washington apparently is annoyed: $800 million in aid to Pakistan has been held up pending greater military and intelligence collaboration in scourging the countryside and cities in search of Islamic resistance fighters. The Taliban assassination of Karzai’s brother and top political adviser Jan Mohamed Khan, important assets in buttering the puppet regime, signals that the puppet rulers’ occasional critical emotional ejaculations are not resonating with the Taliban “shadow government” which covers the nation and prepares a new military offensive.

The puppet ‘revolts’ neither influence the colonial master nor attract the anti-colonial masses. They signal the demise of a US attempt at colonial revivalism. It spells the end of the illusion of the neo-conservative and neo-liberal ideologists who fervently believed that US military power was capably of invading, occupying and ruling the Islamic world via shadow puppets projected over a mass of submissive peoples. The colonial example of Israel, a narrow strip of arid coastline, remains an anomaly in a sea of independent Islamic and secular states. Efforts by its US advocates to reproduce Israel’s relative consolidation through wars, occupations and puppet regimes has instead led to the bankruptcy of the US and the collapse of the colonial state. Puppets will be in flight; troops are in retreat; flags will be lowered and a period of prolonged civil war is in the offing. Can a democratic social revolution replace puppets and puppet masters? We in the United States live in a time of profound and deepening crises, in which rightwing extremism has penetrated the highest office and has seized the initiative for now but hopefully not forever. The overseas colonial wars are coming to a close, are domestic wars on the horizon?

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

The threshold for a terrorism expert must be very low

By Benjamin Doherty – The Electronic Intifada –  07/23/2011

Immediately after news of the bombing of government buildings in Norway’s capital Oslo, the Internet buzzed with speculation about who might have done it and why. Most speculation focused on so-called Islamist militancy and Muslims. The urge to speculate after grave events is understandable, but the focus of speculation, its amplification through social media, its legitimization in mainstream media, and the privilege granted to so-called experts is a common pattern…

From the “experts” to The New York Times 

The New York Times originally reported:

A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute that studies terrorism.

In later editions, the story was revised to read:

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

The source is Will McCants, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. On his website he describes himself as formerly “Senior Adviser for Countering Violent Extremism at the U.S. Department of State, program manager of the Minerva Initiative at the Department of Defense, and fellow at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.” This morning, he posted “Alleged Claim for Oslo Attacks” on his blog Jihadica:

This was posted by Abu Sulayman al-Nasir to the Arabic jihadi forum, Shmukh, around 10:30am EST (thread 118187). Shmukh is the main forum for Arabic-speaking jihadis who support al-Qaeda. Since the thread is now inaccessible (either locked or taken down), I am posting it here. I don’t have time at the moment to translate the whole thing but I translated the most important bits on twitter.

The Shmukh [no kidding] web site is not accessible to just anyone, so he is the primary source for this claim. McCants stated from the beginning that the claim had been removed or hidden, and on Twitter he even cast doubt on whether it was a claim of responsibility at all.

Will McCants This is not necessarily a claim of responsibility. Could just be forum user blowing hot air. forum members also confused abt who this guy is
Jul 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Will McCants For those asking, the “claim” from the Helpers of the Global Jihad was posted to Shmukh, the most elite jihadi forum (it’s in Arabic)
Jul 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Will McCants @leialya it is a password protected forum. you won’t be able to access it without password.
Jul 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

McCants later reported that the claim of responsibility was retracted by the author “Abu Sulayman al-Nasir.” Furthermore, according to McCants, the moderator of this forum declared that speculation about the attack would be prohibited because the contents of the forum were appearing in mainstream media. It does seem more than a little bit odd that genuine “jihadis” would post on a closed forum that a former US official and “counterterrorism expert” openly writes about infiltrating.

Will McCants Shmukh forum administrator warning members not to speculate on who’s behind #oslo attacks. Says will cut threads that speculate
Jul 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Will McCants Shmukh members speculating that reason for admin shutting down speculation is due to media getting their info straight from the forum #oslo
Jul 22 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

It’s too bad McCants didn’t exercise the caution and restraint that he says the forum moderator did.

All of this comes only from Will McCants. In his original post, he named the source and identified the organization (in Arabic) but provided no context. Did he know who the author Abu Sulayman al-Nasir was? Had he heard of this group Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami before? These are the kinds of answers a “terrorism expert” should provide.

How media amplified a false claim

The media also failed. They reported on the claims McCants disseminated because his position and perceived expertise gave these claims credibility. Would The New York Times have required multiple sources and independent confirmation of the existence of the posting and its contents if it had not come from someone with McCants’ supposedly solid credentials?

For hours after McCants posted the update that the claim of responsibility was retracted, BBC, the New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post were still promoting information originally sourced from him. The news was carried around the world and became the main story line in much of the initial coverage.

The threshold for a terrorism expert must be very low…

Speculation hurts real people

A crucial absence in everyone’s concept of “terrorism expertise” is insight into the functioning of this knowledge in a sensationalistic, reckless media and political environment where Islamophobia is the norm. Even the Christian President of the United States is routinely suspected of being Muslim as if it were a crime, and accused of sympathy with Islamist “radicals” and “terrorists.”

Disseminating false, unverifiable information should be a blemish on McCants’ credibility, but what is more likely is that his failure will harm other communities elsewhere before it harms his career.

As the scale of the catastrophe to strike Norway was revealed, we also learned that Anders Behring Breivik, the only suspect to be arrested in the attack, had a history of disseminating anti-Muslim and xenophobic ideas on the Internet, and cited approvingly none other than Daniel Pipes, a notorious Islamophobe, Bush administration appointee to the United States Institute of Peace and self-described “terrorism expert.”

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Islamophobia | 1 Comment

On Democracy and Slave Owners

By Seraj Assi | Palestine Chronicle | July 22, 2011

This month the Knesset in Israel approved the final reading of the Boycott Prohibition Law, which imposes severe punishments on any person or organization that calls, directly or indirectly, for boycotting Israel, including the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Boycott Law is by no means surprising. For it joins a series of fascist laws that were recently approved by Knesset starting from the “Nakba Law” through the Loyalty Law, along with a list of new law bills under preparation.

What is unique about these laws is that they render unnecessary any effort to explain what make them fascist. Yet it seems that all these laws represent a state of denial and political disconnect on the side of Israel. The Boycott Law in its turn misses the point because the campaign for boycotting the Israeli products primarily includes the Israeli law itself. For the boycotters’ main message to the State of Israel is that its existence on Palestinian lands is completely illegal.

This takes us directly to the question of Israel’s democracy as a whole. We should remember here that the Constitutional Law of 1985, which was passed by the vast majority of the Knesset, bans the participation in the Knesset elections of any party that opposes the principle of the “Jewish State”.

The Law makes it clear that the Israeli democracy is an exclusively ethnic democracy fashioned for the exclusive interests of the Jewish community. This kind of democracy can therefore be seen as a modern colonial version of the slave-owners’ democracy in ancient Greek society. At bottom of the whole structure are the natives, namely the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who have been made into a class of “free servants” of this hegemonic democracy.

Israel’s democracy thus functions as the political rule designed by the Zionist institution to maintain the repression of Arab-Palestinian citizens and Palestinians everywhere through legal manipulations. The idea is to reduce all forms of resistance against Zionist hegemony in the region to the narrow official circles and state courtrooms and turn all political struggles into civil struggles.

It is thus a democracy goaded into the service of the Zionist colonial enterprise. For any voice that is not directly aligned with the Zionist interests is immediately silenced- hence the abundance of this kind of fascist legislations. Perhaps this examines why the supremacy of the so-called Israeli democracy is stated in such a violent way so that any critique of its core principles and foundations is met with fanatic nationalist hysteria.

Statements flooding from Israeli official circulations to defend Israel’s democracy by all means clearly testify to the strategic role democracy plays in service of the Zionist agenda. For Zionist statesmen know very well that without this kind of democracy, it will be almost impossible to carry out Israel’s ethnic hegemony in the region while effectively reducing all forms of resistance to peaceful and gentlemanly legal struggles. This is the winning formula of liberal Zionism.

The irony is that Israel’s democracy has long been propagated worldwide as a witness to an Israeli multicultural and hybrid space where Arab citizens can vote and Arab Knesset members can enjoy full parliament privileges. Here precisely lies the bitter irony of the practice of this kind of democracy. For according to this democracy, Arabs in Israel are allowed, once every few years, to decide which particular representatives of the Zionist gang should be in the Knesset to oppress them!

Hypothetically speaking, Israel could become the greatest democracy in the world- a haven of human rights and social justice and a dreamland of multiculturalism and hybridity. To be sure, however, it will always remain a colonial state whose existence was founded on the dispossession of another people. The combination of democracy with the multicultural space, whether real or fictional, should not hide the deep hegemonic structures of this hybridity and the historical conditions that created it, namely, the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

Unfortunately, one now has to undertake excavations in order to reveal this truth and bring it to the knowledge of the masses and intellectuals alike. It now requires an enormous intellectual effort to remind liberal activists, academics, politicians and intellectuals that any critique of Israel and its institutions must begin with its colonial foundations instead of its contemporary political hypocrisy and undemocratic pitfalls.

Seraj Assi is a PhD Student in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC.

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Comments Off on On Democracy and Slave Owners

Iran nuclear scientist assassinated

Press TV – July 23, 2011

A prominent Iranian physicist has been assassinated by unknown terrorists, informed sources with the Iranian police say.

The assailants who were riding a motorcycle attacked and killed Daryoush Rezaie, 35, in front of his house in eastern Tehran on Saturday afternoon, ISNA reported.

His wife sustained injuries during the attack and was immediately transferred to hospital.

According to Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Rezaie was a nuclear physicist.

On November 29, 2010, two other Iranian academics became the target of terrorist attacks. Unidentified terrorists detonated bombs in the vehicles of Dr. Majid Shahriari and Professor Fereydoun Abbasi in separate locations in Tehran. Shahriari was killed immediately but Abbasi and his wife sustained injuries.

On December 2, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that Mossad, CIA and MI6 spy agencies played a role in those attacks.

Meanwhile, Resolution 1747 adopted by the United Nations Security Council in March 2007 against the Islamic Republic cited Abbasi’s name as a “nuclear scientist,” thus suggesting that perpetrators behind the assassination could be traced through those who included the professor’s name in the UN resolution.

July 23, 2011 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Why Israel’s Struggle Is Our Struggle, Too

From the desk of Fjordman (associated with the Norwegian terror suspect) published in The  Brussels Journal on 2010-04-12

As Bat Ye’or showed in Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis and I elaborated in my own book Defeating Eurabia, Eurabia was born when Western European leaders abandoned their pro-Israeli stance due to Arab threats in the 1970s. This should serve as a reminder of how closely the fate of Europe is tied to that of Israel. Three years ago I wrote the essay Why Europeans Should Support Israel. As I stated there, “Bat Ye’or’s predictions about Arab anti-Semitism spreading in Europe as the continent’s Islamization and descent into Eurabia continues have so far proved depressingly accurate. This trend needs to be fought, vigorously, by all serious European anti-Jihadists. Not only because it is immoral and unfair to Israelis, which it is, but also because those who assist it are depriving Europeans of the opportunity to fully grasp the threat and understand the nature of the Jihad that is now targeting much of Europe as well.”

I remember one Holocaust survivor who was asked what he had learned from the Second World War. He replied that “When somebody says he wants to kill you, you should believe him.” Jews have learned this lesson the hard way, which is why they will fight, as they should, when people such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran brag about how they want to wipe out Jews in a “final victory.” The rest of us should fight, too.

The incessant demonization of Israel in the mass media prevents us from realizing that what we are dealing with is a global campaign of bloody conquest. Those of us who read the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) or websites such as Jihad Watch know that Islamic leaders and preachers regularly and openly brag about how they are planning to conquer our lands, defile our women and wipe out our civilization. When people say that they want to kill you and wipe out your culture you should take them seriously. They mean exactly what they say; it’s not a code word for “I feel so humiliated by Western support for Israel.”

And it’s not about “human rights,” either. The “human rights” of Muslims, especially those of Muslim women, are violated every single day in Muslim majority countries, not to mention those of the religious minorities who are unfortunate enough to live there. From an Islamic point of view, human rights are the invention of Western Crusaders. Groups such as Palestinian Hamas only talk about “human rights” to deceive a Western audience. What they really mean is “We hate you, infidel scum, and your worthless culture. Our brave Jihadists will slaughter you and crush you like bugs while we defile your women and keep your children as slaves.” Of course, if asked by the BBC, the CNN or The New York Times they will state their concern for “human rights” and “Islamophobia.” It sounds much better on TV.

If Arabs truly wanted peace with Israel they could have had peace a long time ago. But they don’t want peace. This is about the fact that Islam should dominate the entire world, starting with the Middle East. The Jews of Israel, in contrast, do not want to “take over the entire world,” they simply want a tiny piece of land where they can live in dignity and practice their religion in freedom. What is happening between Israelis and their neighbors is not a “cycle of violence,” any more than it is in the Indian subcontinent. After the partition of India, non-Muslim communities have been nearly wiped out in Pakistan due to persecution, whereas Muslims in the Republic of India have increased their numbers and enjoy special rights. It’s not about mutual ethnic cleansing; it’s about brutal Muslim oppression of non-Muslims, sanctioned by Islamic law and religious texts. The same goes for Thailand and Southeast Asia. Thai Buddhists do not have a history of bothering others; Muslims have an uninterrupted history stretching across 1400 years and several continents of doing so. Those who focus on the non-existing “Israeli aggression” serve to hide the global violence coming from the Islamic world.

I have exchanged emails with an Israeli gentleman who fears that we are approaching a new world war. Frankly, so do I, and the main reason for this is the irrational and suicidal behavior of the modern West. Having an anti-Western, pro-Islamic Marxist at the helm of the largest Western country doesn’t help, nor does it help that the European Union has de facto surrendered the entire European continent to ongoing Islamic colonization, and bans any opposition to this among the natives. I fear for the future of Europe, and of Israel. The Israeli gentleman hopes that Israel will survive yet another military clash with their Muslim neighbors, and perhaps be enlarged, due to their traditional Muslim inaptitude. He also believes, as do I, that the West is in a decadent phase and will soon face a financial collapse.

It bears repeating what I wrote regarding the retreat of the Western world order in 2007: These massive changes and the real or perceived weakness of the Western civilization that has been dominant globally for centuries could very well create a new world war. Multiculturalism and the inability or unwillingness of Western nations to uphold their borders from massive immigration is viewed by Muslims as an invitation for attack and a signal that their ancient Western rival is weak and ripe for conquest. This is no doubt the background for the ongoing aggressive posture by the Iranian president, among others.

Muslims really do believe that the time has now come for overthrowing the West and putting Islam into the global, dominant position it should have according to their scriptures. They will spare no efforts, including nuclear war, in achieving this goal. The Iranian president has quite openly stated that “Islam will soon rule the world,” which implies that they will have to destroy or subdue the West. Al-Qaeda strategists have earlier outlined a schedule for awakening the Islamic world and crushing the West, with a timeline stretching over the coming fifteen to twenty years. They still stick to this plan, which means that tensions are bound to escalate even further in the near future. Westerners need to understand that a world war of sorts with the Islamic world is already inevitable by now, no matter what we do. The only question is whether this will be a cold or a hot world war. We will rapidly approach the latter, if countries such as Iran are allowed to gain nuclear weapons and continued Muslim immigration pushes Western European nations to the brink of civil war. Iranian nukes need to be prevented at absolutely all costs, if we are to have any chance of avoiding further escalation of the most dangerous kind.

In the animal kingdom, if the top dog shows signs of weakness then the others will start competing about who should replace him as leader. The West – the USA very much included, not just Western Europe – is now showing unmistakable signs of weakness and ideological senility. This means that all of the major tectonic plates of global politics will soon make rapid moves, which will trigger a wave of earthquakes and political tsunamis that will completely alter the political landscape. I cannot say exactly how this will play out, but it will accelerate within the coming generation, probably already within the next five to ten years.

As the French writer Guillaume Faye puts it: “I believe that if you drive down the wrong side of the freeway you will eventually have a head-on collision. The precise moment such a collision will occur is difficult to predict, but it is certainly bound to happen. Within ten years or so we are going to be confronted with something never before seen. But more than race war, we are going to experience economic breakdowns, ecological crises, and catastrophic shortages of oil. . . . All the world’s governments operate with short-term agendas and nothing at this point is more disastrous. It is often said that the Earth is sick. But it is man that is sick.”

He thinks we are witnessing the early stages of an Islamic offensive: Twice before in history it has sought to conquer Europe. The first time it was stopped by Charles Martel at Poitiers [in 732]; the second time, in the 17th century, it was beaten back at the walls of Vienna. Islam’s present conquering ambition was revived in Egypt in the 1920s. I’m convinced that certain Islamic leaders believe the moment is now right for a third offensive against the West. As the former Algerian president Houari Boumediène once boasted, the Islamic world today carries in the wombs of its women the weapons that will conquer Europe.”

We have forgotten both our Sun Tzu and our Machiavelli. It is ancient wisdom that you shouldn’t injure what you cannot kill. Either you fight a war properly, with the aim of utterly crushing your enemy’s spirit, or you make peace with him. Don’t tease or hurt him to make him angry and then retreat. This will make you look evil or weak or both, yet that is precisely what the West is doing in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Waging a Politically Correct war against Muslims to make them love us and adopt democracy has to be the stupidest idea anybody has come up with. As columnist Caroline Glick points out, Arab societies are “strong horse” societies where everything boils down to being perceived as the strong horse. The Western world will prevail as long as we are seen as the strong horse and Muslims fear us more than they hate us. Now we give them absolutely no reason to fear us, therefore they despise us.

Muslims respond only to force, even in their own societies, as Wafa Sultan so correctly describes in her brave and brilliant book A God Who Hates. You have to forcefully puncture their always-inflated Muslim egos and make sure they understand that attacking us will gain them nothing, or worse, will be outright counterproductive. It’s the only way to deal with them. That goes for other enemies and potential rivals, too, but for Muslims in particular.

Western so-called leaders currently go out of their way to give Muslims more money and special treatment the more they threaten us, and actively silence those among their own people who oppose continued colonization by alien peoples. The entire West has an “I’m a brainwashed fool, please kick me and squeeze me for money”-sign on our backs. Nobody respects that. We’re the sick man of the world and the joke of the planet. This will not change until somebody forcefully pushes back. If the current crop of Western leaders doesn’t have what it takes then new leadership will be required. Either that or the West will be finished.

Mahathir Mohamad, the then-Prime Minister of the “moderate” Muslim majority country Malaysia, during the Islamic Summit Conference in 2003 called for Muslims to pool their resources to achieve a final victory over “the Jews.” Not everybody remembers that he also longed for a return to the glory days when “Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage.” They want us to kneel and tremble in fear. That’s their ultimate goal, as stipulated in Islamic sharia, in the personal example of Muhammad and in their holy texts. They cannot and will not settle for anything less than that.

Rather than unfairly attacking Israel we should thank Israelis for having served as brave frontline soldiers against the global Islamic Jihad for generations. They are fighting our fight, and we spit them in the face for it. The truth is that Israelis have shown remarkable restraint and civilized behavior compared to the consistently uncivilized behavior of their enemies.

I don’t believe Islam can be reformed; that is impossible. But it has lived by the sword and could die by it. Perhaps a military defeat even more crushing and humiliating than 1967 will shatter the Muslims’ belief in Islam in its very foundations. If they keep on alienating all the major centers of power on the planet simultaneously – from the USA via Europe, Russia and India to China – then that could eventually turn out to be what they get.

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

French peace activists detained, expelled to Jordan

Palestine Information Center – 23/07/2011

JENIN — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) deported on Friday five French activists to Jordan after they were taken prisoner at a military checkpoint between Jenin and Tulkarem cities.

The youth movement in France condemned the arrest of its five members and stated that Israeli troops at this checkpoint arbitrarily detained them, confiscated their passports, and used force to drive them to a nearby military camp where they were held for hours.

An Israeli intelligence officer told the five activists during their interrogation that they would be expelled from Israel and would not be allowed to come back again at the pretext of helping Palestinian resistance organizations he described as terrorist, the youth movement said.

It added that its members were humiliated during their detention and prevented from contacting their families and the official authorities in France.

After spending their night in detention, they were banished to Jordan through Allenby bridge.

The group said it would file a complaint with the French foreign ministry against the IOA for the illegal measures it took against them.

July 23, 2011 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on French peace activists detained, expelled to Jordan