Bring forth what is true/
Write it so it is clear/
Defend it to your last breath.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
CNN repeated a claim made by Michael Dixon (head of the pro-Israel advocacy group Stand With Us) that the Free Gaza Flotilla refused to carry a letter to POW Gilad Shalit from his father. Free Gaza vehemently denies this claim on their website. Shalit has been incarcerated in Gaza for 3 years, ever since the escalation at the onset of Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah that displaced a million Lebanese and 350,000-500,000 Israeli's although the latter mostly had homes to return to and killed 1,191 Lebanese civilians compared to 44 Israeli civilians. Four UN officials were killed by an Israeli bunker buster despite persistent pleas via radio for mercy. Kofi Annan famously described the attack as "apparently deliberate".
The U.N. is on the verge of politely suggesting that the C.I.A cease their campaign of drone attacks in Pakistan. The suggestion has been made that although the bombings don't fit the U.N.'s definition of war crimes, the drone pilots themselves may be subject to prosecution in Pakistan if they ever stop playing Call Of Duty long enough to visit Pakistan. Oh wait! Not even then.
"Those who think we strike at terrorists over the objections of the Pakistani government are mistaken. This is a common fight against those who menace both our countries. That fact alone renders absurd the notion that U.S. officials might be tried in a Pakistani court for counterterrorism operations."
-Unnamed U.S. Official
Oh Unnamed U.S. Official, you've provided me and your journalist contacts with so many great quotes over the years. Your so much cooler than Confidential Informant! Thanks for once again pointing out the truth at the heart of another non-story, despite your embarrassingly over-reaching definition of terrorists.
It's been a month since deepwater horizon exploded killing eleven workers and spewing a constant flow of life-crippling crude into the gulf of Mexico. Despite government and corporate rhetoric, the hemorrhage continues and has reached the Loop Current which could take it to the gulf stream, Florida, and points beyond. Attempts to salvage the oil have been portrayed as attempts to stop the oil from flowing as officials scramble to manage public perception instead of environmental and economic impact.
is a blistering analysis of The Obama Administration's foreign policy (written by British Pakistani Historian, Tariq Ali) mostly in relation to Israel, Iran, Iraq, & "AFPAK", it's superfluous distinctions from previous administrations, and it's preponderance of similarities to them.
Anyway, it's hella long so here's some quotes if you don't have time. Four links were added by me and two annotations by the author included in different quotes:
in relation to Israel
"On December 27, 2008, the idf launched an all-out air and ground assault on the population of Gaza. Bombing, burning, killing continued without interruption for twenty-two days, during which time the President-Elect uttered not a syllable of reproof. By pre-arrangement, Tel Aviv called off its blitz a few hours before his inauguration on January 20, 2009, not to spoil the party."
"the un Fact Finding Mission set up to look at the invasion of Gaza reported that the idf had not always acted by the book, though naturally rocket-attacks by Hamas had provoked it. Chaired by one of the most notorious time-servers of ‘international justice’, the South African judge Richard Goldstone, a prosecutor at the pre-orchestrated Hague Tribunal on Yugoslavia and self-professed Zionist, the Mission’s complaints against Israel could hardly have been feebler, in startling contrast to the testimony they heard in Gaza and which was made available on their website. But unaccustomed to Establishment criticism of any kind, Tel Aviv reacted with dudgeon, and so Washington instructed its client at the head of the plo, Mahmoud Abbas, that he must oppose any consideration of it at the un. This was too much even for Abbas’s followers and amid the ensuing uproar he had to retract, discrediting himself even further. The episode confirmed that aipac’s grip on Washington remains as strong as ever—contrary to delusions on the us left that the Israel lobby of old, never really much of a force, was now being superseded by a more enlightened brand of American Zionism. "
in relation to Iraq
"In 2002, on his way up the political ladder as a low-profile state senator in Illinois, Obama opposed the attack on Iraq; it was politically inexpensive to do so. By the time he was elected President, American forces had occupied the country for six years, and his first act was to maintain Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, long-time cia functionary and veteran of the Iran–Contra affair, in the Pentagon. A cruder and more demonstrative signal of political continuity could hardly have been conceived."
"Obama promised a withdrawal of all us ‘combat’ troops from Iraq within sixteen months of his taking office, i.e. by May 2010—adorned with a safety clause that this pledge could be ‘refined’ in the light of events. It promptly was, with the February 2009 announcement that combat troops would now leave Iraq by September 2010, while the ‘residual’ 50,000 forces could also engage in combat operations to ‘protect our ongoing civilian and military efforts’."
"The slaughter and devastation wreaked on Iraq by the United States and its allies, chiefly Britain, are now well known: the destruction of the country’s cultural patrimony, the brutal dismembering of its social infrastructure, the theft of its natural resources, the sundering of its mixed neighbourhoods, and above all the death or displacement of countless of its citizens—over a million dead; three million refugees; five million orphans, according to government figures."
"Washington has put down markers in the modern equivalents—vastly larger and more hideous—of the Crusader fortresses of old. The Balad military base, within easy bomber reach of Baghdad, is a small-town American city-state. Containing an airport that is reportedly the busiest in the world after Heathrow, it can house over 30,000 us soldiers and auxiliaries—an immigrant labour force composed largely of South Asian workers who clean homes, cook food and staff Subway sandwich bars; drug-dealers are never in short supply, while mobile Eastern European prostitutes serve Balad’s other needs. Fifteen bus routes complement the airport, but commuting remains a problem for some of the service staff. Another thirteen military and air-force bases are scattered throughout the country, among them Camp Renegade near Kirkuk, to guard the oil-wells, Badraj on the Iranian border, for espionage in the Islamic Republic, and a British base dating back to the 1930s at Nasiriyah, upgraded to serve American appetites. In Baghdad itself, meanwhile, the us proconsul can now enjoy the largest and most expensive embassy in the world—it is the size of the Vatican City—in the fortified enclave of the Green Zone."
"For American elites, Iran has long posed a conundrum: an ‘Islamic Republic’ publicly breathing fire against the Great Satan while quietly extending assistance to it wherever most needed, be it collusion with counter-revolution in Nicaragua, invasion of Afghanistan or occupation of Iraq."
"Factional struggles in the clerical establishment escalated over the presidential election in June 2009, when a bid by its most openly pro-Western wing to take power on a wave of (mostly) middle-class protest was suppressed by an incumbent counter-strike that combined electoral fraud and militia violence. For Obama, the opportunity for ideological posturing was too great to resist. In a peerless display of sanctimony, he lamented with moist-eyed grief the death of a demonstrator killed in Tehran on the same day his drones wiped out sixty villagers, most of them women and children, in Pakistan. With the Western media in full cry behind the President, the thwarted candidate in the Iranian contest—historically one of the worst butchers of the regime, responsible for mass executions in the 80s—was converted into another icon of the Free World."
"Israel and its lobbyists may be the prime movers in ongoing agitation against Iran, but they are not alone. The Saudi monarchy, a sui generis confessional dictatorship, remains fearful that a Tehran–Baghdad combination might destabilize the Peninsula: Shia constitute a large majority in Bahrain and the oil-producing region of the Saudi state itself. But the Saudis are also aware that any direct attack on Tehran could pose an even bigger threat to their rule, provoking Shia uprisings that might engulf them. For Riyadh, an alternative route under review in Washington is preferable—inserting Turkey into the regional equation as a Sunni–nato detachment of the empire, buttressing the Saudi petrodollars offered to Syria to break with Iran. This would serve as a counter-thrust against any future Tehran–Baghdad axis and cut off Hezbollah from Damascus, softening it up for another assault by the idf."
"The mass of the Afghan poor have received little or nothing from the new foreign-imposed order except increased risk to life and limb, as the re-organized neo-Taliban hit back at the occupation and nato bombs rain so indiscriminately on villages that even Karzai has repeatedly been forced to protest.  Most recently on 27 December when a us black-ops unit killed 10 civilians on the same day as Ahmadinejad’s militias killed 5 demonstrators in Tehran."
on the recent Afghan elections:
"American diplomatic and military functionaries publicly contradicted each other, quarrelling over how far the pretence of democratic elections staged by Karzai should be upheld or rejected. In the event, after vehement denunciations of fraud by the highest functionary in Washington, and a pro forma second round of voting, Obama consummated the farce by congratulating Karzai on a victory more blatantly rigged even than Ahmadinejad’s two months earlier, on which—in top Uriah Heep form—the us President had spared no stern words. Unlike the regime in Tehran, which retains an indigenous base in society, however diminished, what passes for government in Kabul is a Western implant that would disintegrate overnight without the nato praetorians dispatched to protect it."
From the start of his administration, it was announced that Pakistan and Afghanistan would henceforward be treated as an integrated war-zone: ‘Afpak’. A stream of emissaries poured into Islamabad to man up the Pakistani state to the repressive tasks it was being called upon to perform. Inter-Risk, the Pakistani subsidiary of us defence contractor DynCorp, was recently raided by local police, who seized ‘illegal and sophisticated weaponry’. The company’s boss, a retired Captain Ali Jaffar Zaidi, informed reporters that us officials in Islamabad had ordered the import of prohibited weapons ‘in Inter-Risk’s name’, promising that payment would be made by the us embassy. Anwar Abbasi, ‘Why the us security company was raided’, The News, 20 September 2009."
"In April 2009, Zardari ordered the Army to occupy the Swat district in the North-West Frontier Province, taken over by the ttp two months earlier. An all-out military assault drove the ttp back into the hills, and 2 million refugees out of their homes. Emboldened by this humanitarian success, Obama pressed Zardari into sending the Army into fata proper in October, to flush out Taliban fighters—it no longer mattered much whether Afghan or Pakistani—from South Waziristan and Bajaur. Hundreds of thousands more tribespeople were displaced, us bombers roaring overhead as they scattered to the winds."
"How far domestic ethnic cleansing of this sort can be taken, and what kind of results it is likely to produce, have yet to be seen. What is clear is that in forcing the Pakistani Army to turn its guns on its own tribes, with whom it used to be on fairly good terms, Obama is de-stabilizing yet another society in the interests of the American empire."
"After lying enough to voters—promising peace and delivering war—Wilson was re-elected to a second term, though it did not end well for him. In more combative times, Johnson was forced to step down in ignominy for his warmongering, without being able to gull the electors again. Twelve years later, a debacle in Tehran helped sink Carter. If the recent setbacks for Democrats in West Virginia and New Jersey—where Democratic voters stayed at home—become a pattern, Obama could be a third one-term President, abandoned by his supporters and mocked by those he tries so hard to conciliate."
Despite Ken Salazar's warm welcome upon taking office at the Department of The Interior, and reform-minded lip-service in the wake of the 2008 sex/drug/bribery scandal(orgy) at the Minerals Management Service (an agency second only to the IRS in terms of government revenue collected) the insane, disingenuous Policy of issuing "categorical exclusions" to energy companies from having to complete environmental assessments of off shore oil rigs continued as it did under the previous administration.
In response to Stars announcing they wouldn't be playing shows in Arizona due to the state's recent series of racially charged legislative decisions, Fucked Up publicly disagreed, thereby initiating a brief non-feud that ultimately yielded a very decent op-ed by Fucked Up member, Pink Eyes.
Ø Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals. " So ethnic solidarity is no good? Gotcha. Also out are courses or classes designed primarily for a particular ethnic group. Oh well, it's not like bilingual education ever helped anybody, right? At least we have some stringently coherent and meticulously defined guidelines to protect ourselves from Mexican terrorism. Arizona Superintendent For Public Instruction Bob Horne instructs us on ethnic chauvinism,
"Traditionally, the American public school system has brought together students from different backgrounds and taught them to be Americans and to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds," Horne said. "This is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into. Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism."