Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not that this should be the main objection, but a friend pointed out to me that not only is Israel slaughtering innocents, but making it much more likely that we in the U.S. will be slaughtered as well by the terrorist attacks that this will surely engender.

A New Low for the New York Times: Ethan Bronner on Gaza

By the Angry One

First, notice that Bronner goes out of his way several times in the article to list the targets of Israel bombing to assure the readers that all are terrorist targets: “his air force struck at the organization’s civic institutions—the Islamic University, Interior Ministry and presidential guesthouse.” Yet he is made to admit: “The death toll surpassed 350, some 60 of them civilians, according to United Nations officials.”

But he then moves quickly to report to you about the horrors of Hamas bombing of Israel, and at one point I almost expected him to report that Hamas fighter jets were bombing the Israeli coast.

At least a quarter of the dead are civilians

Speaking earlier today on the growing death toll in the Gaza Strip, United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesman Christopher Gunness said that “a minimum of 25 percent of all those killed are civilians,” adding that “it may well be far higher.”

At present count, that would put the minimum civilian toll in the Gaza Strip at roughly 100 killed. 1,900 people have also been reported wounded, though so far there is no breakdown of civilians and militants in the wounded toll.

Fairouz: We will return

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Palestine's Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

What has and is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full-swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created.

I already posted this on the Palestinian Pundit, but TGIA asked me to post it here.

Palestine's Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

What has and is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full-swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I used to have a desire to argue with Zionists, to confront them, to try to change their minds (American Zionists more than actual israelis), but I've lost that. If I ever hear someone say something in support of Israel again, I will just walk away. If they haven't learned already, they never will. But if they ask me why I turned away, you better believe I'll tell them.

I'm glad at least some (one?) Jews are waking up

Today I end my support of Israel by "Chilean Jew"

I'm Jewish and descendant of holocaust survivors. Moreover, I've been a Zionist all of my life. I went to a Zionist school, I was active in Zionist youth groups. I've always been a fervent supporter of Israel as a refuge for Jews around the world who seek a place to exercise their traditions and embrace their identity in peace.

Via As'ad- Nir Rosen: Gaza: the logic of colonial power

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims' struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.
I feel too upset about the news to post. I invited TGIA to post, but it must be night in Australia. I hope Yasmin isn't stuck in transit somewhere.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good article from Johann Hari: The True Story Behind This War is Not the One Israel is Telling

There will now be a war over the story of this war. The Israeli government says: we withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and in return we got Hamas and Qassam rockets being rained on our cities. Some 16 civilians have been murdered. How many more are we supposed to sacrifice? It is a plausible narrative, and there are shards of truth in it - but it is also filled with holes. If we want to understand the reality and really stop the rockets, we need to rewind a few years, and view the runway to this war dispassionately.

From Amira Hass

S. saw the results of some of Saturday's bombings when he visited a friend whose office is located near Gaza City's police headquarters. One person killed in that attack was Hassan Abu Shnab, the eldest son of former senior Hamas official Ismail Abu Shnab.

The elder Abu Shnab, whom Israel assassinated five years ago, was one of the first Hamas politicians to speak in favor of a two-state solution. Hassan worked as a clerk at the local university and played in the police band for fun. He was performing at a police graduation ceremony on Saturday when the bomb struck.

"Seventy policemen were killed there, not all Hamas members," said S., who opposes Hamas.

But they're all thugs and terrorists, right?
By the way, Anand said he will not be commenting here any longer.
from Haaretz, Zvi Barel writes: "Six months ago Israel asked and received a cease-fire from Hamas. It unilaterally violated it when it blew up a tunnel, while still asking Egypt to get the Islamic group to hold its fire." Yet the U.S. media refers that only Hamas violated the ceasefire.
It's times like this that I wish I were religious. It would be a comfort.
Zionists are thinking 290 down, 3.9 million to go (I'm assuming they don't care about the ones in the Lebanon, Syria or Jordan too much).
The crazy thing is, the Israelis really could have peace if they wanted it. They could pull out of the West Bank totally, and let them be a normal state without any of the unacceptable provisos like retaining control of WB water and air space. Not that I agree with this solution, but it would pretty much stop attacks. Why don't they do this? My guesses:

1. A good portion of the population is religious loonies who believe God gave them ALL of Palestine.
2. They need or think they need the water under the West Bank.
3. For most of the atheist Israelis, although they may not be religious in the traditional sense, their Zionism is religious in its irrationality and absolutism.
4. Their racism (well, Zionism is racism of course).
5. Part of the Israelis' identity is about fighting their enemies (this is not true in the diaspora, part, if not most of our identity rests on thinking everybody hating us, but not fighting back).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An eye for an eyelash.

During the first intifada, it was 5 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. During the second, it was 20 to one. Now it is 200 to zero.


Gaza massacres must spur us to action

By Ali AbuNimah

What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce.
It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce,
Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel
starves them, kills them and continues to violently
colonize their land. Israel has not only banned food and
medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is
also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there
is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for

That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks
-- whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in
Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and
bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the
West Bank, and yet Israel's attacks, killings, land theft,
settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one
single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in
Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel's demands, even
assembling "security forces" to fight the resistance on
Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single
Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel's
relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for
instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50
years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November,
so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.

Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did
last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of
children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once
again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that
this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people
feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense
of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to
channel it into a political response that can change the
course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them.
Already I have received notices of demonstrations and
solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the
world. That is important. But what will happen after the
demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we
continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real
solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political
action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group
reaffirmed this today as it "called upon all civil society
organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately
in any possible way to put pressure on their governments
to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute
sanctions against it."

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for
Palestine ( provides the
framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw
emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do
not wake up to "another Gaza" ever again.

Israel slaughters over 200, any chance of peace

Just hours after Israeli President Shimon Peres insisted his nation had no plans to ignite a war in the Gaza Strip and urged Arab nations to appoint “peace envoys” for the crisis, the Israeli military launched an unprecedented attack on the Gaza Strip.

The attack, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” by the Israeli military after a Hanukkah poem, targeted police stations across the strip, killing Hamas security officials (reportedly including police chief Major-General Tawfik Jaber) and nearby civilians. The toll at present count was 195 killed and 270 wounded, according to a Hamas spokesman.

The attacks are expected to continue, with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowing “the operation will last as long as necessary” and promising to widen the campaign from its already enormous scale.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Aramaic religious song

There is something seriously wrong with 90 million Americans

31 percent of American say Bush has been a good president.

I wish we could give them...Alaska.
I asked my family to give to this organization in lieu of personal gifts this year.

Bread lines in Gaza


In Egypt, 2008 can easily be labeled the woman's year. In addition to numerous new legislations championing women’s rights, 2008 saw the first female marriage registrar, the first female village mayor and the first sexual harassment case brought to court by a young woman.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fairuz singing a Christmas song

For atheists today

Some years ago, the evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins pointed out to me that Sir Isaac Newton, the founder of modern physics and mathematics, and arguably the greatest scientist of all time, was born on Christmas Day, and that therefore Newton’s Birthday could be an alternative, if somewhat nerdy, excuse for a winter holiday.

The top censored stories of 2008

#1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
# 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
# 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
# 4 ILEA: Is the US Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America?
# 5 Seizing War Protesters’ Assets
# 6 The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
# 7 Guest Workers Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
# 8 Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly
#9 Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
# 10 APA Complicit in CIA Torture
# 11 El Salvador’s Water Privatization and the Global War on Terror
# 12 Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind
# 13 Tracking Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq
# 14 Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste
# 15 Worldwide Slavery

read it

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Across the Middle East, young people like Mr. Fawaz, angry, alienated and deprived of opportunity, have accepted Islam as an agent of change and rebellion. It is their rock ’n’ roll, their long hair and love beads. Through Islam, they defy the status quo and challenge governments seen as corrupt and incompetent.

In their own words

"Because we know as Arabs that we never knew justice, never knew refinement, never knew superiority whether it is political or social or in any field, without Islam. Islam was always the solution. Islam is what elevated us. So if we are only directed to Islam, we will be liberated from many things. We will be liberated from Western domination, our society will grow economically, our political dealings, whether internally or externally, we will be stronger in our external dealings and even in our internal political affairs it will be better because Islam will abolish many bad things like the wasta for example. Islam will abolish it. So like they say, Islam is the solution."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Americans now doing the work “Americans won’t do.”

"the situation is getting more difficult by the day," says Salvador Perez, a 45-year-old Mexican day laborer who has been in the U.S. since 2003. "I like this country for the work opportunity, but now I can barely scrape together a few dollars to send home to my family after paying for rent and food."

Latin American workers bore the brunt of the collapse of the construction sector, which employs 20% to 30% of all foreign-born Hispanics in this country. As the housing market tumbled last year, they lost jobs in ever-greater numbers.

Competition has become fierce even in agriculture, where farmers had struggled in recent years to hire enough immigrants to harvest crops, sometimes letting fruit wither on the vine.

Growers across the country are reporting that farmhands are plentiful; in fact, they are turning down potential field workers. "For the first time since 9/11, we have applicants in excess of our requirements,"

Pope likens "saving" gays to saving the rainforest, calls gays a "wound"

Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.

Could he really be unaware that at least 3/4 of his clergy is gay?

Human trafficking in every US city

The reality is that human trafficking goes on in nearly every American city and town, said Lisette Arsuaga, director of development for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, a human rights organization in Los Angeles.

Arabs lavished jewels on Rice

President George W. Bush's foreign policies may be unpopular in the Middle East, but Arab leaders showered his top diplomat with jewelry worth far more than a quarter of a million dollars last year. While Bush himself didn't fare nearly as well, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raked in at least $316,000 in gem-encrusted baubles from the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia alone, making her one of top recipients among U.S. officials of gifts from foreign heads of state and government and their aides in 2007.

In January, Jordan's King Abdullah II gave Rice an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings estimated to be worth $147,000, according to the State Department's annual inventory of such items released Monday just in time for Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret

It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?
But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.
"We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.

“The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the Price for Eight Years of Bush”

Linda Bilmes and Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz have a piece in the January 2009 edition of Harper’s Magazine called “The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the Price for Eight Years of Bush.”
They estimate that the cost of undoing the Bush administration’s economic choices, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the collapse of the financial system, soaring debt and new commitments to interest payments and Medicare, all add up to over $10 trillion.
Stiglitz and Bilmes write, “As bad as things are, though, this is just the beginning.” They add, “The Obama Administration, facing the most serious economic crisis in at least a generation, will need to mount an expansionary fiscal policy. The problem is how much the country’s debt mountain will crimp our ability to pay for the type of change we just voted for."

I think that if you go back to 2001, when the President took office, you can remember there was a surplus, a budget surplus of about $150 billion and the congressional budget office at the time was projecting that that surplus would continue over the next several years. And since then, things have unraveled in every possible dimension that you can measure and certainly across every metric that economists measure. The budget deficit has disappeared. Our national debt has gone from about $5.5 trillion to between $10 and $15 trillion, depending on how much of the bailout you count. Inflation is higher. Unemployment is higher. Four million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Five million people have lost their health insurance. And the more you look into it, the more you see the very severe economic consequences that have been the result of errors and poor judgment during the past eight years.

Divided Lebanon's common genes

"Whether you take a Christian village in the north of Lebanon or a Muslim village in the south, the DNA make-up of its residents is likely to be identical," says Dr Zalloua.

Shoe thrower expected to be shot after throwing first shoe.

Uday al-Zaidi said his brother had told an investigative judge Sunday that he had expected to be shot after hurling his first shoe.

He said the reporter has a tooth missing, his nose was injured and there were bruises on his arms and legs.

So Brave!

Saudi court tells girl aged EIGHT she cannot divorce husband who is 50 years her senior

"She doesn't know yet that she has been married," Jtili said then of the girl who was about to begin her fourth year at primary school.

U.N. religious hate vote alarms liberty groups

he U.N. General Assembly Thursday approved a "Defamation of Religion" resolution, largely supported by Islamic countries, condemning critical or offensive expressions directed at any religious faith. What's not to like?

"The 'defamation of religions' resolution is a direct violation of the United Nations' mandate to protect religious freedom, as peaceful religious speech -- a manifestation of belief -- will be silenced as a result of it," Angela C. Wu, international law director of the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history.

“A hundred. American.”

“That seems like a lot,” you say, with a smile so as not to kill the deal. “How much would you charge a Haitian?”

Benavil’s voice rises with feigned indignation. “A hundred dollars. This is a major effort.”

You hold firm. “Could you bring down your fee to 50 U.S.?”

Benavil pauses. But only for effect. He knows he’s still got you for much more than a Haitian would pay. “Oui,” he says with a smile.

But the deal isn’t done. Benavil leans in close. “This is a rather delicate question. Is this someone you want as just a worker? Or also someone who will be a ‘partner’? You understand what I mean?”

You don’t blink at being asked if you want the child for sex. “I mean, is it possible to have someone that could be both?”

“Oui!” Benavil responds enthusiastically.

If you’re interested in taking your purchase back to the United States, Benavil tells you that he can “arrange” the proper papers to make it look as though you’ve adopted the child.

He offers you a 13-year-old girl.

“That’s a little bit old,” you say.

“I know of another girl who’s 12. Then ones that are 10, 11,” he responds.

The negotiation is finished, and you tell Benavil not to make any moves without further word from you. Here, 600 miles from the United States, and five hours from Manhattan, you have successfully arranged to buy a human being for 50 bucks.

Livni: As prime minister, I will topple Hamas regime in Gaza

"The state of Israel, and a government under me, will make it a strategic objective to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza," Livni told members of her centrist Kadima party. "The means for doing this should be military, economic and diplomatic."

Iraqi shoe-thrower: I would do it again

"In a letter to Iraqi prime minister, Muntadhar al-Zaidi has only apologized to Nuri al-Maliki himself," Fardanews reported, citing comments by an Iraqi source familiar with the case.

"He said that he felt no remorse for throwing his shoes at the 'Great Satan', George Bush, and added that he would repeat his actions if he sees him again, because Bush's forces have killed many of Iraq's children," added the source.

Syrian UN rep claims UN gay rights declaration would lead to sex crimes against children

Some United Nations member states are calling for the institution's first gay rights declaration, an initiative which has met with resistance by an Arab-backed opposition.

The declaration that was presented Thursday at the UN General Assembly calls for decriminalization of homosexuality.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another woman "offered" as bride.

Also Friday, the head of a large West Bank family offered one of its eligible females as a bride for al-Zeidi. The leader, 75-year-old Ahmad Salim Judeh, said that the 500-member clan had raised $30,000 for al-Zeidi's legal defense.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ah, democracy

US Troops Open Fire On Fallujah Students at Shoe Rally

Wednesday: 35 Iraqis Killed, 70 Wounded

Trial of Iraqi shoe-thrower held without his presence

They must have threatened to make his and his family's life hell.

A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister says the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush has asked for a pardon.

Spokesman Yassin Majid says that in a letter sent Thursday to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the journalist described his behavior as "an ugly act" and asked to be pardoned.

Majid says that Muntadhar al-Zeidi in the letter recalls the kindness the prime minister once showed him during an interview in 2005 and asked for al-Maliki to show him kindness once again.

Al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, could face two years imprisonment for insulting a foreign leader.

One of Zaidi's brothers said he had no information about him but found the idea he sent Maliki an apology unbelievable.

"This information is absolutely not true. This is a lie. Muntazer is my brother and I know him very well. He does not apologize," Udai al-Zaidi said. He added: "But if it happened, I tell you it happened under pressure."

An Egyptian man offered his 20-year-old daughter to Zaidi as a bride and shoemakers from Turkey to Lebanon have claimed the shoes he threw were made in their factories.

Zaidi was brought before an investigating judge on Tuesday and admitted "aggression against a president," a crime that could incur a 15-year sentence, judicial officials said. He could face trial soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

But As'ad knows better

While throwing your shoes at someone would be considered insulting in any culture, in the Arab world, the gesture has a special potency: footwear is commonly used to deliver both verbal and physical insult. In Egypt, for example, many popular and colourful insults include the mention of shoes: "You son of a shoe", "You have shoes for brains", "You'll follow me like an old shoe", etc.

Although their offensiveness is largely lost in translation, delivered in Arabic they are a sure-fire way of getting people's backs up. But why this obsession with shoes? Does it reflect a weird foot fetish? One shoe-lover I know found the whole episode a terrible waste of a pair of perfectly good shoes.

The offensive power of shoes probably has something to do with the lowly status of the shoe, which resides, downtrodden with its face in the dirt, all the way at the bottom of the clothing hierarchy. That's why worshippers leave their shoes outside mosques.

That is probably why hot-blooded working-class Egyptian women sometimes take off their shoes or slippers to hit men who harass them on the street: to show that the man belongs in the gutter and is not worthy of contempt. Bizarrely and inexplicably, slapping someone on the back of the neck and calling them a "nape" ('afa) is also a huge insult.

A History of Music Torture in the War on Terror

The message, as released Guantánamo prisoner Ruhal Ahmed explained in an interview earlier this year, was less significant than the relentless, inescapable noise. Describing how he experienced music torture “on many occasions,” Ahmed said, “I can bear being beaten up, it's not a problem. Once you accept that you're going to go into the interrogation room and be beaten up, it's fine. You can prepare yourself mentally. But when you're being psychologically tortured, you can't.” He added, however, that “from the end of 2003 they introduced the music and it became even worse. Before that, you could try and focus on something else. It makes you feel like you are going mad. You lose the plot and it’s very scary to think that you might go crazy because of all the music, because of the loud noise, and because after a while you don’t hear the lyrics at all, all you hear is heavy banging.”

Witness to Genocide

Forensic archaeologists uncover evidence of a secret massacre
Two boys, between the ages of seven and ten, were blindfolded before they were shot. On average, each adult was shot nine times, each child four times

Anfal proceeded with terrifying precision. Iraqi aircraft first dropped conventional bombs and chemical weapons on unsuspecting Kurdish villages; ground attacks followed, driving the survivors to collection points situated near main roads. Paramilitary and military forces waited in secret to gather up the terrified families and bus them to army camps and temporary holding centers. Seven months later, in September 1988, the Iraqi government announced the end of Anfal and declared a general amnesty for anyone who had sided with Iran during the war. By then, however, some 100,000 Kurds had vanished without a trace and around 2,600 Kurdish villages lay in ruins.

I just happened upon this article in the current issue of Archaeology magazine. It is not an endorsement of the Iraq war.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Madoff scandal hurts zionist charities

. here and here

Joe gave me better links, but I forgot which thread they are in.

With news this bad, what's next for America?

To some it signals the end of the American empire, to others it's just part of the vicious capitalist cycle. Either way, the litany of bad economic news in America has many pondering where it all goes from here.

"We are seeing the beginning of the end of the American empire," said Howard Zinn, author of "A People's History of the United States."

Some Turks apologize for Armenian massacres

A group of about 200 Turkish intellectuals on Monday issued an apology on the Internet for the World War I-era massacres of Armenians in Turkey.

The group of prominent academics, journalists, writers and artists avoided using the contentious term "genocide" in the apology, using the less explosive "Great Catastrophe" instead.

"My conscience does not accept that (we) remain insensitive toward and deny the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected in 1915," read the apology. "I reject this injustice, share in the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers, and apologize to them."

Shoe thrower 'beaten in custody'

The brother of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has said that the reporter has been beaten in custody.
Muntadar al-Zaidi has suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.
A second day of rallies in support of Mr Zaidi have been held across Iraq, calling for his release.
Meanwhile, offers to buy the shoes are being made around the Arab world, reports say. Mr Zaidi told our correspondent that despite offers from many lawyers his brother has not been given access to a legal representative since being arrested by forces under the command of Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Zionists threaten UN assembly head

A spokesman for U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann says U.S. authorities have been asked to help investigate online death threats against his boss.

By the way, he is a Catholic priest. It is gratifying to see religious people of conscience (he is the one who said Israel should be called an apartheid state).

Family: Shoe thrower hates both US, Iran role

"He hates the American physical occupation as much as he hates the Iranian moral occupation," Dhirgham said, alluding to the influence of pro-Iranian Shiite clerics in political and social life. "As for Iran, he considers the regime to be the other side of the American coin."
That's a view widely held among Iraqis — including many Shiites — who believe the Americans and the Iranians have been fighting a proxy war in their country through Tehran's alleged links to Shiite extremists.

Growing Evidence US Won’t Honor Iraq Pact

Yesterday, top US military commander in Iraq General Ray Odierno said that, though the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) explicitly requires all US forces to be out of Iraqi cities by June 30, he expects troops will remain in the cities past that date. The Sadr bloc’s Liwaa Sumeissim said this underscored their belief that the US doesn’t feel bound by the pact, and that he expects the US to use any pretext to keep forces in Iraq beyond that 2011 deadline as well.

And once again, the Iraqi government seems to have little objection with the US going back on one of the key tenets of the SOFA it sold to parliament. The Iraqi Defense Ministry says that US troops will be allowed to remain in cities past the deadline with permission from the Iraqi government. The permission to flout the terms of the SOFA seems remarkably easy for the US to obtain, leaving open the question of which clauses of the pact will carry any weight going forward.

The parliamentary bloc of Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stood as the primary opponents of the SOFA, which narrowly passed late last month. The bloc said the SOFA would legitimize the US occupation, and expressed skepticism that the US would honor the terms at any rate. The last few days have only strengthened that case.

And on Friday Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, at a Pentagon press briefing, was already speaking of keeping American forces in Iraq past the 2011 “firm” deadline the SOFA dictates.

Palestinian fashion designer Mirvat Ghandur (R) shows off her winning dress in Lebanese TV talent show Mission Fashion, worn by winning model Sabrina Arab of Algeria. The inscription reads: "Everyone has a homeland... except us, our homeland lives in us".
It's on the BBC middle east page.

Iraqis rally to free Bush shoe "bomber"

Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody.

Correspondents say the protesters are supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr - a leading critic of the US presence in Iraq. Smaller protests were reported in Basra and Najaf.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Israelis who go to jail rather than kill Palestinians

Dear Mary,

My name is Omer Goldman. I am 19 years old. I am one of the Shministim. Thank you for signing the Shministim letter to support me and my friends.

Tell your friends to send a letter to the
Israeli Minister of Defense.

I am Omer Goldman.
I am one of the Shministim.
I need your help.

I first went to prison on September 23 and served 35 days. I am lucky, after 2 times in jail, I got a medical discharge, but I'm the only one. By the time you read this, many of my friends will be in prison too: in for three weeks, out for one, and then back in, over and over, until they are 21. The reason? We refuse to do military service for the Israeli army because of the occupation.

I grew up with the army. My father was deputy head of Mossad and I saw my sister, who is eight years older than me, do her military service. As a young girl, I wanted to be a soldier. The military was such a part of my life that I never even questioned it.

Earlier this year, I went to a peace demonstration in Palestine. I had always been told that the Israeli army was there to defend me, but during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side.

When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed. And so, I have joined with a number of other young people who are refusing to serve - they call us the Shministim. On December 18th, we are holding a Day of Action in Israel, and we are determined to show Israelis and the world that there is wide support for stopping a culture of war. Will you join us?

The unrest that has gripped Greece is spilling over into the rest of Europe...

...raising concerns the clashes could be a trigger for opponents of globalization disaffected youth and others outraged by the continent's economic turmoil and soaring unemployment. Protesters in Spain, Denmark and Italy smashed shop windows, pelted police with bottles and attacked banks this week, while in France, cars were set ablaze Thursday outside the Greek consulate in Bordeaux, where protesters scrawled graffiti warning about a looming "insurrection."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

55 dead in bombing at restaurant in Iraq's north

A suicide bomber struck a crowded restaurant on Thursday where Kurdish officials were meeting with Arab tribal leaders to discuss long-standing ethnic tensions, killing at least 55 people in Iraq's north, police said.
The attack outside the northern city of Kirkuk was the deadliest attack in Iraq in nearly six months.
Suspicion fell on extremist groups trying to undercut ethnic reconciliation efforts. Such groups, particularly al-Qaida in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunnah and Ansar al-Islam, use suicide attacks to exploit divisions.

The bombing near the ethniclly mixed city came during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. "Among the dead are women and children as the bomber blew himself up inside the family section," Ahmad Saleh, an Iraqi journalist who was near the scene of the blast, told Al Jazeera.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Criticisms of Edward Said

Critics of Said's theory, such as the historian Bernard Lewis, argue that Said's account contains many factual, methodological and conceptual errors. Said ignores many genuine contributions to the study of Eastern cultures made by Westerners during the Enlightenment and Victorian eras. Said's theory does not explain why the French and English pursued the study of Islam in the 16th and 17th centuries, long before they had any control or hope of control in the Middle East. He has been criticised for ignoring the contributions of Italian, Dutch, and particularly the massive contribution of German scholars. Lewis claims that the scholarship of these nations was more important to European Orientalism than the French or British, but the countries in question either had no colonial projects in the Mideast (Dutch and Germans), or no connection between their Orientalist research and their colonialism (Italians). Said's theory also does not explain why much of Orientalist study did nothing to advance the cause of imperialism. As Lewis asks,
What imperial purpose was served by deciphering the ancient Egyptian language, for example, and then restoring to the Egyptians knowledge of and pride in their forgotten, ancient past?

Lewis argued that Orientalism arose from humanism, which was distinct from Imperialist ideology, and sometimes in opposition to it. Orientalist study of Islam arose from the rejection of religious dogma, and was an important spur to discovery of alternative cultures. Lewis criticised as "intellectual protectionism" the argument that only those within a culture could usefully discuss it.

Global demand for oil to plummet

Global oil demand will collapse next year and commodities will not return to the highs they reached this summer in the foreseeable future, two authoritative reports said on Tuesday as they forecast a long and painful worldwide recession.

The stark conclusions came as the World Bank’s chief economist predicted that the world faced “the worst recession since the Great Depression”.

Monday, December 8, 2008

9/11 suspects ask to 'plead guilty'

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — All five of the Guantánamo detainees charged with planning and coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks have asked a military judge to accept their confessions in full. The request appeared to be intended to cut short any effort to try them, and to challenge the United States government to put them to death.

Taliban destroy 100 trucks in biggest raid on Nato supplies bound for Afghanistan

Gunmen mounted the biggest attack yet on Nato supplies going to Afghanistan yesterday, torching more than 100 trucks carrying equipment at a depot in north-west Pakistan, the main route for supplies to troops in Afghanistan.

Obama sides with protesting Chicago factory workers

“When it comes to the situation here in Chicago with the workers who are asking for their benefits and payments they have earned, I think they are absolutely right,” said Obama during a Sunday news conference, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. “What’s happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy.

Who wrote the Quran?

Soroush said that “when you read the Koran, you have to feel that a human being is speaking to you, i.e. the words, images, rules and regulations and the like all are coming from a human mind.”

I'm surprise the angry one didn't write on this.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Listen: I love Palestine, I will never stop defending the Palestinians right to THEIR LAND (all of Israel, yes, Israeli may stay but only if they will share), but sometimes you got to wonder: why aren't more people up in arms about this or this?

Workers occupy factory in Chicago.

Workers laid off from their jobs at a factory have occupied the building and are demanding assurances they'll get severance and vacation pay that they say they are owed.

About 200 employees of Republic Windows and Doors began their sit-in Friday, the last scheduled day of the plant's operation.

“I have to stay,” Raul Flores told a local news organization. “Not just for me. For my family. For my children.”

thanks, Dad :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Israel Preparing to Attack Iran Without US Assistance

Israeli military sources are now suggesting that the nation is drawing up plans for an attack on Iran’s civilian nuclear plant that would not require coordination with the US.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No shit: Jihadi world angry with India

Question: What is the significance of the attack on Mumbai in light of what is happening in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Answer: The most significant reading is that Islamic radical groups are gaining momentum. The US war against terror has failed in its objective. Now that al-Qaeda has returned home [al-Qaeda began in Afghanistan] after seven years in Iraq, they are sharing all their knowledge gathered in Iraq with other Islamic radical groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar. Al-Qaeda is freely operating inside the tribal belt on the edges of Pakistan.

Imams call for black ribbons on Bakr-Eid

The imams, under the banner of All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques, called for subdued Eid-ul-Azha (Bakr-Eid) festivities across the country, scheduled for Tuesday.

The imams described the Mumbai carnage as an attack on the nation, as it appealed to all the mosques, muftis and madrasas to reiterate in this week's Friday prayers that Islam forbids the killing of innocent people and is against any form of terrorism.
How many here have any idea what is going on in Zimbabwe or the Congo? They are such horrorshows that it is painful to read about them for me. I would guess people might know a bit more about Somalia.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Georgia run-off denies Obama total control of Senate

The guy who called Blacks "the other folks" won.

Declassified government docs show U.S. let Saddam gas Kurds for farm deal

Declassified U.S. government documents show that while Saddam Hussein was gassing Iraqi Kurds, the U.S. opposed punishing Iraq with a trade embargo because it was cultivating Iraq as an ally against Iran and as a market for U.S. farm exports.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just another day in Palestine

Teenagers killed by the IOF, babies dying from lack of medicine, mosques desecrated...

On November 15, the London Independent headlined an article titled; “Chronic malnutrition in Gaza blamed on Israel.” Writer Donald Macintyre referred to a leaked Red Cross report he called “explosive.”

It chronicled “the devastating effect of the siege that Israel imposed after Hamas (took control of Gaza) in June 2007 and notes that the dramatic fall in living standards triggered a shift in diet that will damage the long-term health of (Gaza’s population). Alarming deficiencies (showed up) in iron, vitamin A and vitamin D.”

Chronic malnutrition is rising steadily, and “micronutrient deficiencies are of great concern.” Since 2007, the reported cited a switch to “low cost/high energy” cereals, sugar and oil and away from higher-cost animal products, fresh fruits and vegetables. This type diet assures long-term harmful consequences for people on it.

From Tony on the Palestinian Pundit: OUTSIDE AGITATOR: Naomi Klein and the new new left

The central thesis of the book is that capitalism and democracy, free markets and free people, do not, as we’ve been told, go hand in hand. On the contrary, capitalism—at least fundamentalist capitalism, of the type promoted by the late economist Milton Friedman and his “Chicago School” acolytes—is so unpopular, and so obviously harmful to everyone except the richest of the rich, that its establishment requires, at best, trickery and, at worst, terror and torture. Friedman believed that markets perform best when freed from government interference, so he advocated getting rid of tariffs, subsidies, minimum-wage laws, public housing, Social Security, financial regulation, and licensing requirements, including those for doctors—indeed, virtually every measure devised to protect people from the market’s harsh logic.

Highest paid presidents around the world

Second on the list is the President of the biggest economy of the world with a GDP of $13.81 trillion (2007). President Elect, Barack Obama will be getting an annual salary of $400,000 when he joins office next year.

Rescuing girls forced to marry

Yasmin will be back soon, she's just tired from taking care of a friend.

Mumbai atrocities highlight need for solution in Kashmir

This probable Pakistani origin of the Mumbai attacks, and the links to Kashmir-focused jihadi groups, means that the horrific events have to be seen in the context of the wider disaster of Western policy in the region since 9/11. The abject failure of the Bush administration to woo the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan away from the Islamists and, instead, managing to convince many of them of the hostility of the West towards all Muslim aspirations, has now led to a gathering catastrophe in Afghanistan where the once-hated Taliban are now again at the gates of Kabul.

Monday: 58 Iraqis Killed, 112 Wounded

At least 58 Iraqis were killed or found dead and another 112 were wounded in the latest violence. There were not many incidents, but the few that were reported were too significant to slip through the cracks. Meanwhile, South Korean troops ended their mission in Arbil. The U.S. military death toll fell to its lowest since the 2003 invasion, but the number of Iraqi deaths has begin to climb again. Also, U.S. President-elect Obama said that U.S. troops could leave Iraqi in 16 months, but he would that up to military commanders.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Terrorism That’s Personal

Terrorism in this part of the world usually means bombs exploding or hotels burning, as the latest horrific scenes from Mumbai attest. Yet alongside the brutal public terrorism that fills the television screens, there is an equally cruel form of terrorism that gets almost no attention and thrives as a result: flinging acid on a woman’s face to leave her hideously deformed.

I know, I'm not supposed to cite Kristof because he doesn't advocate for Palestine. And I'm not supposed to mention non-western violence against women because it happens here, too. Except that blinding and deforming with women doesn't happen here. And, no, if you dig up one case, that won't refute my point.

Muslims refuse to bury militants

Indian Muslims say they do not want the gunmen killed by the security forces during the attacks in Mumbai to be buried in Muslim graveyards.

Community leaders believe the militants cannot be called Muslims because they went against the teachings of Islam and killed innocent civilians.

From As'ad: Iraqi academics assassinated during the US-led occupation

The following relation has being created against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq with the information provided by direct Iraqi university sources and international and Arab media. It only includes names and data referred to university academics assassinated during the Occupation period.

I disagree with Michel Chossudovsky's contention that the murders were committed directly by the US. He also made the claim a few days ago that the US is behind the Mumbai attacks, which this article seems to refute.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A cloud over India's Muslims

A good article by the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum

Friday, November 28, 2008

Walmart employee killed by bargain-crazed crowd

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.

Acid to be thrown on face of man who blinded woman with it

I'm posting this to stimulate discussion, not to prove Muslims are barbarians or anything like that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

American kids asking Santa for jobs for their parents

"They're not asking for a Wii or an Xbox. They're asking for personal care items, they're asking for school supplies, they're asking for warm clothing," Santa said.

India's Muslims in Crisis

The disparities between Muslims, which make up 13.4% of the population, and India's Hindu population, which hovers around 80%, are striking. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking Muslim Indians have shorter life spans, worse health, lower literacy levels, and lower-paying jobs. Add to that toxic brew the lingering resentment over 2002's anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat. The riots, instigated by Hindu nationalists, killed some 2000 people, most of them Muslim. To this day, few of the perpetrators have been convicted.

125 people declared dead so far in Bombay (the Hindu nationalist government renamed it Mumbai in 1996)

It seems their at least one of their motives was to make Americans and Britons not feel safe anywhere. One of the theories of modern terrorism/terrorists seems to me to be terrorize the public so much that they pressure their government to change the policies in question. But has this ever worked?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

US officials flunk test of Amerian history, economics, civics

Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates."


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Global Forecast by U.S. Intelligence Sees Qaeda Falter

It said the global shift from West to East in wealth and economic power “is without precedent in modern history.” Of a projected increase in world population of 1.2 billion by 2025, only 3 percent will take place in Western countries, the report said.

“We’re projecting a multipolar world,” C. Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council and the government’s top intelligence analyst, said at a briefing on the report on Thursday. “The unipolar moment is over, or certainly will be over by 2025.”

DA targeting Cheney turns up missing

Lewis said, “I don’t think he (Cheney) will ever spend a day in court.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bloggers being targeted in ME

In Egypt

In Iran

Dow Plummets

Dow Plummets Nearly 430... Sinks Below 8,000 For First Time Since 2003... Fleeting Chances For Auto Bailout... Bill To Rescue Big Three Is Stalled... White House Reluctant To Use Money From $700B Financial Bailout

Secularist website not welcome in Arab states

The Arabic Network for Human Rights said today that the website of Arab Secularists’ is facing a campaign that it should be blocked in several Arab states. There are already five states which have blocked this website, making it the most blocked website, surpassing even the Alhewar website which has been blocked in four Arab countries.

Four Arab states have blocked both the websites (Saudi, the Emirates, Tunisia and Bahrain) and now the Syrian authorities have joined the four states and blocked the Arab Secularists’ website, which makes it the most banned website.

Zawahiri calls Obama "house nigger"

"America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always," Zawahari said.

He resorted to racial slurs to make his point, calling Obama a "house slave" in Arabic who just did the bidding of his white masters. Subtitles supplied by al-Qaida translated the term as "house negro".

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice

The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead. But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father...

This is Islamic justice, British style. Despite a raucous national debate over the limits of religious tolerance and the pre-eminence of British law, the tenets of Shariah, or Islamic law, are increasingly being applied to everyday life in cities across the country.

The Church of England has its own ecclesiastical courts. British Jews have had their own “beth din” courts for more than a century.

Cheney, Gonzales indicted for "prison profiteering" in South Texas county

Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted on state charges involving federal prisons in a South Texas county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles under the outgoing prosecutor.
The indictment returned Monday has not yet been signed by the presiding judge, and no action can be taken until that happens.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Starving 1.4 million people

Under siege: 70% of Gaza blacked out; Israel turns away convoy carrying medicine

There have been rolling blackouts in Gaza since the power station shut down on Thursday.

Israel has sealed its borders with Gaza virtually every day since 4 November, blocking deliveries of food, fuel, and medicine.

The United Nations was forced to suspend a food program serving 750,000 Palestinians on Friday due to the blockade

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iraqi Cabinet Approves Security Pact With U.S.

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi cabinet voted overwhelmingly Sunday to approve the security agreement that sets the conditions for the Americans' continued presence in Iraq from Jan. 1 until the end of 2011.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saudi-Iranian-cold war

One of the untold stories about the effects of U.S. involvement in the Middle East has been the escalating power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for control of the region. At the height of the insurgency in Iraq, for instance, Saudi Arabia—a supposed U.S. ally—was funneling money and volunteers to the Sunni insurgency to undermine the Maliki government, which it feared could become too susceptible to Iranian influence. The insurgency was prolonged by both countries funding militants in hopes of filling the power vacuum and/or preventing the other from taking control.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Audacity of Hype

The Obama bandwagon is moving fast and furious, rolling over the few remaining pockets of dissent even as it prepares to take power. The mainstream media, particularly on television, has lost all sense of objectivity and proportion, and their reporting of the president-elect's doings has taken on a distinctly Soviet air. "Our Glorious Leader Picks the White House Dog" is the emblematic headline of a servile fourth estate. The political atmosphere is positively eerie: amid calls for "unity" and attacks on "toxic" language that is "divisive," there is an odd uniformity of thought similar to the virtual unanimity that gripped the nation in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Groupthink is all the rage, and the media has joined in the fun. Due to this love-fest, they're oblivious to the warning signs that worry us few and scattered skeptics. They somehow missed the Dear Leader's call for a civilian "national security force," for example, one that is "just as well-funded" and "just as powerful" as the U.S. military.

Yes Men at it again

Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out
that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had
come to an end.

If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's New
York Times.

In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million
papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged
pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass
them out on the street.

Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the
establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate
lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the

The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes
International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as
editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a
recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a
timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of
progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes
we REALLY can" speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)

"It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever,"
said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make
sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do.
After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start
imagining heaven."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal

President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by

Thursday, November 6, 2008

in the first frame, for some reason it cut out the shot of the Black kid looking back at the sign.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

White people feel happy now. They're not racist. I hope you know better. Let's face it: Obama is pretty much a textbook "acceptable" black man. 1. He's half white, so he can't hate white folks, right? and 2. The guy looks white. Would he have won if he looked like this? Would he have won if almost the entire country didn't hate Bush and McCain actually knew how to run a campaign and had ideas other than smearing his opponent Or if the economy wasn't in shambles? Or if Obama's republican opponent was a youngish capable, intelligent white guy? Of course not. Now you can go back to patting yourself on the back.

Obama offers former member of IOF his chief of staff

Former IDF memberRahm Emanuel.


And I was hoping he would offer it to Khalidi.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Guardian's comment is free has a new Middle East section

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Between Hope and Reality

By Ralph Nader

Dear Senator Obama:

In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words "hope and change," "change and hope" have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not "hope and change" but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.

Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?


How McCain could win

It's November 5 and the nation is in shock. Media blame it on the "Bradley effect": Americans supposedly turned into Klansmen inside the voting booth, and Barack Obama turned up with 6 million votes less than calculated from the exit polls. Florida came in for McCain and so did Indiana. Colorado, despite the Democrats' Rocky Mountain high after the Denver convention, stayed surprisingly Red. New Mexico, a state where Anglos are a minority, went McCain by 300 votes, as did Virginia. That's the nightmare. Here's the cold reality. »

Saturday, November 1, 2008

13 year old victim of rape stoned to death in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery by Islamic militants, a human rights group said.

Dozens of men stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to death Oct. 27 in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, Amnesty International and Somali media reported, citing witnesses. The Islamic militia in charge of Kismayo had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her, the rights group said.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What, me, biased?

Indeed, the study found that the research subjects — Californian college students, many of them Democrats supportive of Mr. Obama — unconsciously perceived him as less American even than the former British Prime Minister Tony

It's over

The argument between my husband and me is over. He maintained that is was possible that Obama was secretly pro-Palestinian. (Ali Abunimah claimed this, too) That he kissed AIPAC's ass because he had to. That he is intelligent, and if one were intelligent, that one had tosupport the Palestinians. That if he really wanted to help, one had to pretend to be pro-Israel and then, once one got elected, change one's tune. But if thisis true, we have no reason to believe that he might be right.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Zionists are jumping up and down with joy

KHIRBET QEIYAFA, Israel — Overlooking the verdant Valley of Elah, where the Bible says David toppled Goliath, archaeologists are unearthing a 3,000-year-old fortified city that could reshape views of the period when David ruled over the Israelites. Five lines on pottery uncovered here appear to be the oldest Hebrew text ever found and are likely to have a major impact on knowledge about the history of literacy and alphabet development.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palestinian student campaigns for Obama from Gaza refugee camp

A young Palestinian in a Gaza refugee camp is doing his part to get Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama into office.

With a little help from the Internet, 24-year-old Ibrahim Abu Jayab is cold calling random American families from his parent's home in Gaza, imploring them to vote for Obama.

Seated in front of his computer, he uses the Skype internet phone service to leave messages for potential voters.

"I'm Ibrahim Abu Jayab from Gaza Strip. I support the Senator Obama from Gaza Strip," he said in one. "I think the Senator Obama achieve the peace in the world and in my area."

"For the peace, please elect Senator Obama. Thank you very much."

The media student at Al-Aqsa University, who doesn't speak English, recited these words specifically for this purpose. His computer features a screensaver of a smiling Obama giving a thumbs-up.

This is so fucking sad. I guess this poor guy has no idea that whomever he calls will probably be less likely to vote for Obama because he called. It's sad for many other reasons, too of course...

Mine from the time of Solomon found in Jordan

The fictional King Solomon's Mines held a treasure of gold and diamonds, but archaeologists say the real mines may have supplied the ancient king with copper.
Researchers led by Thomas Levy of the University of California, San Diego, and Mohammad Najjar of Jordan's Friends of Archaeology, discovered a copper-production center in southern Jordan that dates to the 10th century B.C., the time of Solomon's reign.
The discovery occurred at Khirbat en-Nahas, which means "ruins of copper" in Arabic. Located south of the Dead Sea, the region was known in the Old Testament as Edom.
Research at the site in the 1970s and 1980s indicated that metalworking began there in the 7th century B.C., long after Solomon.
But Levy and Najjar dug deeper and were able to date materials such as seeds and sticks to the 10th century B.C.
"We can't believe everything ancient writings tell us," Levy said in a statement. "But this research represents a confluence between the archaeological and scientific data and the Bible."

Only 18% of Americans believe climate change is real an caused by humans

A study — the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the consulting group EcoAmerica — also found that only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful. It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat.

Syria takes tough action

Syria orders US school, cultural center closed

The Syrian government has ordered that an American school and a U.S. cultural center in Damascus be closed in response to a deadly raid by U.S. helicopters near the Syrian border with Iraq.

Syria claims U.S. troops in four helicopters attacked a building near the border with Iraq and killed eight people on Sunday.

U.S. officials said the raid killed a top operative of al-Qaida in Iraq who intelligence suggested was about to conduct an attack in Iraq.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A European Obama

Paris is a multicoloured city - black Africans, North Africans, Asians, Turks and others. But black and brown faces are largely invisible in the top ranks of business, media and politics. France has about six million North African Muslims from its former colonies and another 2.5 million sub-Saharan black Africans, although the numbers are disputed since the government's official policy of égalité dictates that even counting people by race would be discriminatory. But what's not in dispute are the visible facts; out of 577 members of the National Assembly, there are no black or brown faces other than those representing the overseas territories.

Germany is home to some three million Muslims, mostly from Turkey, but only a couple are in parliament. The Netherlands and Sweden are slightly more encouraging - Sweden has members of parliament who trace their origins to Egypt, Eritrea and Congo.

Britain has fared better in terms of raw numbers, starting in 1987 when the first non-white MPs, including Paul Boateng, were elected on the Labour party ticket following urban race riots that underscored the lack of black progress. But leaders of Operation Black Vote, a political mobilisation group, told me Parliament would not be truly representative until there were 50 to 60 minority members, representing Britain's 10 per cent minority population.

So it's difficult, if not impossible, to imagine a Barack Obama emerging in Europe soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More on our anti-Muslim election here.

Maliki Won’t Submit US Security Deal to Parliament

With political and popular support drying up and the Iraqi Council of Ministers unanimously demanding several amendments, the last draft of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the US seems all but dead as top Dawa party members say Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will not submit the deal to parliament.
McCain Campaign Calls Obama a “Socialist”—But Why is That a Smear?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al Qaida endorsing McCain

"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

20 years for asking questions

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan appeals court overturned a death sentence Tuesday for a journalism student accused of blasphemy for asking questions in class about women's rights under Islam. But the judges still sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Block the vote


"I don't think the Democrats get it. All these new rules and games … could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."

Rolling Stone Magazine is making this important investigative story available on the net in its entirety, free of charge.

Read this excerpt, then read it all on-line at Or download it all, with the Kennedy-Palast voter guide, Steal Back Your Vote, at

“The new registrations thrown out, the existing registrations scrubbed, the spoiled ballots, the provisional ballots that were never counted - and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge.

"Jim Crow was laid to rest, but his cousins were not," says Donna Brazile. "We got rid of poll taxes and literacy tests but now have a second generation of schemes to deny our citizens their franchise." Come November, the most crucial demographic may prove to be Americans who have been denied the right to vote. If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat John McCain at the polls - they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.

- From the current Rolling Stone

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

Maez was not alone in being denied his right to vote. On Super Tuesday, one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists. The numbers were even higher in precincts like Las Vegas, where nearly 20 percent of the county's voters were absent from the rolls. With their status in limbo, the voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots, which can be reviewed and discarded by election officials without explanation. On Super Tuesday, more than half of all provisional ballots cast were thrown out statewide.

This November, what happened to Maez will happen to hundreds of thousands of voters across the country. In state after state, Republican operatives - the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics - are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats. If this year's race is as close as the past two elections, the GOP's nationwide campaign could be large enough to determine the presidency in November. "I don't think the Democrats get it," says John Boyd, a voting-rights attorney in Albuquerque who has taken on the Republican Party for impeding access to the ballot. "All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."

Download the rest – and get the Kennedy-Palast comic book/voter guide – at

Or, read it on-line, and watch the video, at

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

Iraqi child

Saturday, October 18, 2008

China clamps down on Muslims (as well as everyone else)

The imam’s sermon at Friday Prayer must run no longer than a half-hour, the rules say. Prayer in public areas outside the mosque is forbidden. Residents of Khotan are not allowed to worship at mosques outside of town.

One rule on the wall says that government workers and nonreligious people may not be “forced” to attend services at the mosque — a generous wording of a law that prohibits government workers and Communist Party members from going at all.

“Of course this makes people angry,” said a teacher in the mosque courtyard, who would give only a partial name, Muhammad, for fear of government retribution. “Excitable people think the government is wrong in what it does. They say that government officials who are Muslims should also be allowed to pray.”

To be a practicing Muslim in the vast autonomous region of northwestern China called Xinjiang is to live under an intricate series of laws and regulations intended to control the spread and practice of Islam, the predominant religion among the Uighurs, a Turkic people uneasy with Chinese rule.

The edicts touch on every facet of a Muslim’s way of life. Official versions of the Koran are the only legal ones. Imams may not teach the Koran in private, and studying Arabic is allowed only at special government schools.

Two of Islam’s five pillars — the sacred fasting month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca called the hajj — are also carefully controlled. Students and government workers are compelled to eat during Ramadan, and the passports of Uighurs have been confiscated across Xinjiang to force them to join government-run hajj tours rather than travel illegally to Mecca on their own.

Government workers are not permitted to practice Islam, which means the slightest sign of devotion, a head scarf on a woman, for example, could lead to a firing.

The Chinese government, which is officially atheist, recognizes five religions — Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism and Buddhism — and tightly regulates their administration and practice. Its oversight in Xinjiang, though, is especially vigilant because it worries about separatist activity in the region.

Some officials contend that insurgent groups in Xinjiang pose one of the biggest security threats to China, and the government says the “three forces” of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism threaten to destabilize the region. But outside scholars of Xinjiang and terrorism experts argue that heavy-handed tactics like the restrictions on Islam will only radicalize more Uighurs.
McCAIN SUPPORTER: I got to ask you a question. I do not believe in—I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not—he’s not—he’s an Arab. He is not—

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: No, ma’am. No, ma’am.


SEN. JOHN McCAIN: No, ma’am. No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that’s what this campaign is all about. He is not. Thank you.

...All the American press can talk about is the fact that Obama is being smeared, not about the fact that a huge swath of humanity is being smeared in this election.

IBRAHIM HOOPER: Yeah, it’s a very good point. The arguments used to attack Islam and Muslims in America are the same arguments that anti-Semites used in pre-World War II Nazi Germany to attack the Jewish community, you know, that all Muslims want to take over America, they want to impose their culture on us, they want to destroy the indigenous culture, they want even to lust after, you know, women of other cultures. It’s the same argumentation that is used in anti-Semitism that’s used in Islamophobia.

Yes, I stole the idea for this post from kabobfest

Iraqis stage mass anti-US rally

Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr have staged a mass demonstration in Baghdad in protest against plans to extend the US mandate in Iraq.

An estimated 50,000 protesters chanted slogans such as "Get out occupier!".

Al-Sadr said that anybody who claims the agreement will end "the occupation of our land," or "tells you that it gives Iraqi sovereignty is a liar".

He also said that the deal "will stigmatise Iraq and its government for years to come".

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says Moqtada Sadr's militant opposition to the US presence has strong grassroots support among many Shias (note: these are not the Shias Iraqi Mojo says are happy about the occupation, these are...other Shias)- and this was a physical manifestation of that opposition.

At least one other big Shia faction is believed to have reservations about the agreement, and some Sunnis have also voiced dissent.

I cut and pasted this from BBC and Al jazeera articles.

It's already stolen

by Greg Palast

ROLLING STONE: It's Already Stolen

Investigation by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

Don’t worry about Mickey Mouse or ACORN stealing the election. According to an investigative report out today in Rolling Stone magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, after a year-long investigation, reveal a systematic program of "GOP vote tampering" on a massive scale.

- Republican Secretaries of State of swing-state Colorado have quietly purged one in six names from their voter rolls.

Over several months, the GOP politicos in Colorado stonewalled every attempt by Rolling Stone to get an answer to the massive purge - ten times the average state's rate of removal.

- While Obama dreams of riding to the White House on a wave of new voters, more then 2.7 million have had their registrations REJECTED under new procedures signed into law by George Bush.
Kennedy, a voting rights lawyer, charges this is a resurgence of 'Jim Crow' tactics to wrongly block Black and Hispanic voters.

- A fired US prosecutor levels new charges - accusing leaders of his own party, Republicans, with criminal acts in an attempt to block legal voters as "fraudulent."

- Digging through government records, the Kennedy-Palast team discovered that, in 2004, a GOP scheme called "caging” ultimately took away the rights of 1.1 million voters. The Rolling Stone duo predict that, this November 4, it will be far worse.

There's more:

- Since the last presidential race, "States used dubious 'list management' rules to scrub at least 10 million voters from their rolls."

Among those was Paul Maez of Las Vegas, New Mexico - a victim of an unreported but devastating purge of voters in that state that left as many as one in nine Democrats without a vote. For Maez, the state's purging his registration was particularly shocking - he's the county elections supervisor.

The Kennedy-Palast revelations go far beyond the sum of questionably purged voters recently reported by the New York Times.

"Republican operatives - the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics," report Kennedy and Palast, under the cover of fighting fraudulent voting, are "systematically disenfranchis[ing] Democrats."

The investigators level a deadly serious charge:

"If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat McCain at the polls - they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering."

Block the Vote by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & Greg Palast in the current issue (#1064) of Rolling Stone.

Note - Kennedy and Palast are releasing, simultaneously with the Rolling Stone investigative report what they call, the vote-theft 'antidote': a 24-page full-color comic book, Steal Back Your Vote, which can be downloaded or obtained in print from their non-partisan website,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Americans Flunk Simple 3-Question Political Survey

The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain's prime minister.

Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.

Al Jazeera profiles racist fanatics in Ohio

Link to video

Coalition of the defeated

From Albania to Spain, the leaders of countries involved in the horrific crime have been their own people.

Suit against God thrown out

A US judge has thrown out a case against God, ruling that because the defendant has no address, legal papers cannot be served.

The suit against God was launched by Nebraska state senator Ernie Chambers, who said he might appeal the ruling.
He sought a permanent injunction to prevent the "death, destruction and terrorisation" caused by God.
Judge Marlon Polk said in his ruling that a plaintiff must have access to the defendant for a case to proceed.
"Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice," Judge Polk wrote in his ruling.

Mr Chambers sued God last year. He said God had threatened him and the people of Nebraska and had inflicted "widespread death, destruction and terrorisation of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Official: 3,000 Christians flee Iraq's Mosul

Hundreds of terrified Christian families have fled Mosul to escape extremist attacks that have increased despite months of U.S. and Iraqi military operations to secure the northern Iraqi city, political and religious officials said Saturday.

Some 3,000 Christians have fled the city over the past week alone in a "major displacement," said Duraid Mohammed Kashmoula, the governor of northern Iraq's Ninevah province. He said most have left for churches, monasteries and the homes of relatives in nearby Christian villages and towns.

"The Christians were subjected to abduction attempts and paid ransom, but now they are subjected to a killing campaign," Kashmoula said, adding he believed "al-Qaida" elements were to blame and called for a renewed drive to root them out.

Political and religious leaders interviewed said the change in tactics may reflect a desire on the part of extremists to forcibly evict all Christians from Iraq's third largest city.

Earlier this week, Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako said he was worried about what he termed a "campaign of killings and deportations against the Christian citizens in Mosul."

Mosul police have reported finding the bullet-riddled bodies of seven Christians in separate attacks so far this month, the latest a day laborer found on Wednesday. On Saturday, militants blew up three abandoned Christian homes in eastern Mosul, police said.

Father Bolis Jacob of Mosul's Mar Afram Church said he was at a loss to understand the violence. "We respect the Islamic religion and the Muslim clerics," he said. "We don't know under what religion's pretexts these terrorists work."

The violence in Mosul occurs despite U.S.-Iraqi operations launched over the summer aimed at routing al-Qaida in Iraq and other insurgents from remaining strongholds north of the capital.

The killings come as Christian leaders are lobbying parliament to pass a law setting aside a number of seats for minorities, such as Christians, in upcoming provincial elections, fearing they could be further marginalized in the predominantly Muslim country.

Iraq's Christian community has been estimated at 3 percent of Iraq's 26 million people, or about 800,000, and has a significant presence in the northern Ninevah province.

In Mosul, where Christians have lived for some 1,800 years, a number of centuries-old churches still stand.

Joseph Jacob, a professor at Mosul University, said there were nearly 20,000 Christians in the city before the 2003 U.S. invasion. But over half have since left for neighboring towns, or new countries, he said.

Islamic extremists have frequently targeted Christians since the invasion, forcing tens of thousands to flee Iraq. Attacks had tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide, but that appears to be changing with the deaths this month.

On Saturday, Bashir Azoz, a 45-year-old carpenter, said he was forced to flee his home in the city's eastern Noor area after gunmen warned a neighbor the day before to leave or face death.

"Where is the government and its security forces as these crimes take place every day?" asked Azoz, who is now staying with his wife and three children in a monastery in the Christian-majority town of Qarqoush, east of Mosul.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hummus war looms between Lebanon and Israel

Figured I'd post it before A'ad did!

BEIRUT, Lebanon - The latest conflict simmering between Lebanon and Israel is all about food: Lebanese businessmen accusing Israel of stealing traditional Middle Eastern dishes like hummus.

Fadi Abboud, president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, said Tuesday his group plans to sue Israel to stop it from marketing hummus and other regional dishes as Israeli.

"It is not enough they (Israelis) are stealing our land. They are also stealing our civilization and our cuisine," said Abboud.

He said his group also seeks to claim the eggplant spread baba ghannouj and tabbouleh, a salad made of chopped parsley and tomatoes, as Lebanon's own.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The rival to the Bible

What is the probably the world's oldest known Bible is being digitised, reuniting its scattered parts for the first time since its discovery 160 years ago. It is markedly different from its modern equivalent. What's left out?
The world's oldest surviving Bible is in bits.
For 1,500 years, the Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery, until it was found - or stolen, as the monks say - in 1844 and split between Egypt, Russia, Germany and Britain.
Now these different parts are to be united online and, from next July, anyone, anywhere in the world with internet access will be able to view the complete text and read a translation.

For those who believe the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God, there will some very uncomfortable questions to answer. It shows there have been thousands of alterations to today's bible.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Syria blast 'was suicide attack'

Syria says that an attack which killed at least 17 people in the capital Damascus on Saturday was carried out by a suicide bomber in a car which entered the country from an Arab neighbour the previous day.

The reports in the Sana news agency and on state television on Sunday did not name the country but Syria shares borders with three Arab countries - Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.

The vehicle, packed with 200kg of explosives, was blown up near a Syrian security installation on the southern outskirts of the capital. It was the biggest attack in the country since the 1980s.

"Investigations showed that a terrorist was driving the car and blew himself up and the car. Confirmation of his identity is under way via a DNA examination of the remains of his corpse," the news agency said.

The Sana news agency said that the attacker belonged to a group which urges Sunni Muslims to kill anyone who does not share their beliefs. It said members of the group had previously been arrested by security forces.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but several people have reportedly been detained in connection with the bombing.

'Extremist forces'

Bashar al-Assad, Syria's president, recently said that "extremist forces" were operating in northern Lebanon and looking to destabilise Syria. About one week ago Syria massed troop along the border with its neighbour.

Hisham Jaber, a military analyst and retired Lebanese general, told Al Jazeera that the blast could be linked to an attack on Lebanese troops in the northern city of Tripoli on Monday.

At least 17 people died and several others were injured in the blast [AFP] "The same side is doing, in my opinion, the two explosions which we can say are 100 per cent a terrorist operation," he said. "I wouldn't say the same section, or same section, but the same side."

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Damascus, said that it was also possible that the attacker was from a group operating out of Iraq.
"Syria share 800km of borders with Iraq, these borders have been described by Western diplomats as porous ... that is why America was psuhing Syria to beef up patrol units," he said.

The bombing was the third security incident in Syria this year.

In February, the military commander of the Lebanese Hezobollah movement was assassinated in Damascus. Then in August, Syria confirmed that Mohammed Sleiman, a general described in the Arab media as Damascus's liasion with Hezbollah, had been shot dead.