Friday, November 30, 2007

The Great Siege of Gaza - Part 2

Well, expect an attack in full force on Gaza anytime now.

The Annapolis sham is over, and the invitations are in the trash can.

The Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported that the chances of a major Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip have increased now the Annapolis conference is over.

An Israeli military spokesman said that "the Israeli response will come swiftly" if any projectiles are fired across the border. All troops are trained and ready for an invasion, according to the Israeli army. Israeli forces have killed ten Palestinians in Gaza over the last week, by air strikes and missiles fired from ships stationed offshore. An outright invasion of Gaza, one of the most crowded places on earth, would likely result in much higher casualties.

Meanwhile, Palestinian forces are striking back, forcing huge losses on Israelis:

Qassam strike kills 7 cows on kibbutz near Gaza
...milk production was expected to fall over the coming days.

To put that in context, read The Great Siege of Gaza - Part 1

The Great Siege of Gaza - Part 1

Very few reports come out of Gaza these days, because most international news agencies avoid the place. But read See Gaza and Weep if you want to know how things really are:


The purpose of our visit was to bring moral support to elderly Fr. Manuel, who ministers to his flock, runs an excellent school (for Christians and Muslims) and is revered as a local hero. Should he ever leave Gaza, the Israeli authorities will not allow his return, so he has allowed himself to be incarcerated there for 9 years. He’d had no visitors since February and when he heard we were coming, said a colleague, he burst into tears.
...Israel has banned fishing off the Gaza coast, ruined the livelihoods of 3,000 licensed fishermen and their families, and impoverished the local diet. The military fires on boats that defy the ban.
...Gaza is just 365 sq km - 45 km long, up to 12 km wide and entirely sealed from the outside world by an Israeli fence guarded by watchtowers, snipers and tanks. Israel controls Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters and airwaves. A vast prison with air-strikes, beach shelling, troops, tanks, armoured bulldozers, uncaring of civilian casualties.
...Gaza could easily blossom into a coastal paradise; a prosperous, independent trading state. But Israel's hatred of Gaza and its people is terrifying. The economy is strangulated and for 1.5 million souls, life is hell.
...Flour to make bread has doubled in price; cement for concrete to repair damaged homes and infrastructure has gone up 1,000 percent! Some schools are having to teach three shifts a day. It is truly a humanitarian crisis, as the UN and various charities have repeatedly warned Western governments. A friend emailed: “Today in Gaza ... we have no cement to build graves for those who die.”
Cancer patients: Of 450 patients 35% are children and 25% women. They are forbidden to leave Gaza for medical treatment or surgery. For many, there is no medication because cancer drugs cannot cross the border.
Hemodialysis machines: Of 69 machines in 4 hospitals 20 are out of order. Israel blocks supply of spares deeming them not humanitarian items. 3 more have exceeded their design

Stock levels

Zero stock of 85 items of essential medical drugs.
Zero stock of 12 items of essential psychiatric drugs.
2 weeks’ stock of anaesthetics for surgery, after which the theatres will close down.
Zero stock of X-ray bags and sterilization bags.
Near zero stock of stationery: medical files and examination forms. These are re-used several times risking errors in documentation.
Severe shortage of cloth and dressings, barely enough body bags and hospital bed covers. Zero stocks of patients' food in all hospitals.
2 weeks’ stock of hospital cleaning fluids.
Diesel and gas stocks for under 15 days.

The total number of people who died as a result of the border closure since June has risen to 44. (Refers to hospital patients only)

It is estimated that a thousand patients – advanced cases of kidney disease and cancer and those badly injured by Israeli air-strikes - need immediate transfers. In the meantime, Israel blackmails chronically sick patients. If they agree to inform on relatives and friends they can cross the border for treatment… if not they can “stay in Gaza and die”.

...back to Erez and its state-of-the-art de-humanisation, to shuffle through a maze of steel gates, cattle pens and a sinister X-ray machine, on Israeli command, and queue interminably for questioning by the rudest people on earth.Only 50 or 60 people had gone through the crossing that day, so the 3-hour hold-up was entirely down to Israeli bloody-mindedness.

...tell us, Mr Gordon Brown, why is Britain complicit in such a base and cowardly scheme? We hit bottom in Iraq… how much lower can we sink?

Then see this:
"A matter of revenge": Israel denying medical treatment to Gaza
"Upon arrival at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza, the Shabak officers start interrogating patients, demanding them to give the Shabak information about friends and neighbors. When a patient refuses to give such information, the Shabak sends him back to Gaza," explained Miri Weingarten of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR), based in Tel Aviv.

Gaza's only power plant was bombed by Israeli F16s in June last year.

High Court orders state to delay planned power cuts to Gaza at least one week, pending a full presentation detailing the proposed operation.
...the justices upheld the state's plan to reduce fuel transfers to the Strip

Dig Another Hole - Chickenhawks Cluck From Top of Dung Heap

Pakistan’s Collapse, Our Problem By FREDERICK W. KAGAN (the intellectual architect of the Iraq 'surge' and MICHAEL O’HANLON (his Democrat counterpart, who has backed war with Iraq since 2002 and is a chief proponent of a long-term occupation of Iraq).
Think Progress reports their positively daft proposition:
[T]he United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss. … We need to think — now — about our feasible military options in Pakistan, should it really come to that. … Pakistan may be the next big test.
In the op-ed, they recommend the use of Special Forces to secure the nukes, or a “broader option” requiring “a sizable combat force.” “Somehow, American forces would have to team with Pakistanis to secure critical sites and possibly to move the material to a safer place,” they write. “Moderate Muslim nations” would join the U.S. in organizing a combat force in Pakistan.
The duo claims it is not “strategically prudent to withdraw our forces from an improving situation in Iraq to implement these plans. But such a plan would eviscerate the “out of balance” U.S. military, according to Gen. George Casey.
The National Security Network adds:
Kagan and O’Hanlon clearly have a hidden stash of U.S. soldiers. Even if you were sending “just” 40,000-50,000, our military could not sustain that operation without taking our troops out of Iraq.
O’Hanlon and Kagan’s strategy depends on cooperation from Pakistan and “moderate Muslim nations,” but such cooperation is unlikely as President Bush’s approval rating in Pakistan is currently at nine percent and at similar levels across the Muslim world.
The comments on the ThinkProgress post say it all:

I say we should just invade everyone. Let’s start by invading Scotland and confiscating all the whisky.
Comment by
gummitch — November 19, 2007 @ 2:45 pm
Eraserhead and the Pillsbury Blowboy… hardly the Dynamic Duo…
This country really is having a nervous breakdown.
Comment by The Republic of Stupidity — November 19, 2007 @
2:45 pm
Ah, man! They’ve left out India, Sri Lanka, and those bastards from Diego Garcia! How the hell am I supposed to feel safe knowing that D.G. is working hard to acquire a bomb of some sort….or maybe its a road flare….

"Why Don't They Like Us?"

In a previous post, I mentioned that the world was fed up with Americans because China refused to let the US Navy go on holiday in Hong Kong.
So what do the prats do? They pack up, and turn for home, deliberately passing through the Taiwan Strait to provoke China:
Tokyo, Japan (AHN) - After the Chinese government initially refused to allow a U.S. warship to dock in Hong Kong last week, sources say the Navy ordered the vessels to return to port in Japan, and to specifically travel along the contentious Taiwan Strait on its way back to Yokosuka.
The United States has cautiously avoided traveling through the Taiwan Strait since 1996, when Taiwan's first presidential vote created turmoil. However, sources say that following China's rejection on November 21, six aircraft carriers, including the USS Kitty Hawk, moved in the South China Sea, crossing the Taiwan Strait.
According to Japanese reports, the U.S. Navy carriers deployed aircraft to the flight decks in preparation for launch, if the situation called for it.

Hubris: Excessive pride to the point that a mortal challenges the superiority of the gods; Hubris is a fatal flaw which is inevitably punished.
Shit-shifting: If you've dug yourself deep into a pile of manure, and find it difficult to get out without the stuff all over your face, go straight to the other side of the pile and dig another hole.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

tell the rapist and the victim to sort it out

That, in a nutshell, is what Annapolis has been all about- like umpteen 'Peace Conferences' over the past 60 years
Compare those maps with this:

World Fed Up With Americans

I don't think most Americans realise what damage their current government's policies and behaviour are doing to their image abroad.
I was born just 10 days after Pearl Harbor, and all my life has been dominated by the perception that American values, way of life, liberty, freedom, democracy, etc should be aspired to by the rest of us.

Now, I look at the following report, see that America's bully-boats aren't even wanted in the Orient's prime shopping mall, and I realise the party's over:

US Pacific Commander Criticizes China on Naval Issue
By Al Pessin Pentagon27 November 2007

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific has criticized China for denying three U.S. Navy ships access to Hong Kong Harbor in recent weeks, saying the decisions were not responsible.

When the boss of a huge naval fleet bleats that:

"....hundreds of family members of the task force's crew had flown to Hong Kong at their own expense to meet the ship and spend the holiday with their loved ones" , but were denied conjugal rights, you know the world's falling apart.

What holiday with their 'loved ones' ?

Well, I think that might have been 'Thanksgiving' when Americans celebrate their conquest of the poor buggers who inhabited their country before they arrived.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Annapolis - What a fuck-up

George Bush's speechwriter actually wrote this, and GWB dutifully mouthed it during his opening address at Annapolis:

"And when liberty takes root in Iraqi soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions across the Middle East who want their societies built on freedom and peace and hope."

- according to the Jerusalem Post:

He also said:

"Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it is to launch negotiations ....."
(Giving Israel more time to build walls, divisive roads, steal the water, and settle Russians in 'the Palestinian homeland'.)

"The emergence of responsible Palestinian leaders has given Israeli leaders the confidence they need ...."
(Abu Mazen, I told you I need three cubes of ice in my whisky, not two!)

"Second, the time is right because a battle is underway for the future of the Middle East - and we must not cede victory...."
(And we won't, even if we've built the biggest ever helicopter rescue pad on earth in the middle of Baghdad)

"President Abbas and his government....are offering the Palestinian people....a homeland of their own...."
(Or whatever is left of where they've been living for countless generations already)

"We're here because....We're here because....We're here."

"For these negotiations to succeed, the Palestinians must do their part. "
(Shut up and die)

"The United States will help Palestinian leaders build these free institutions - and the United States will keep its commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people. "
(The United States has recently shown the whole world exactly how it builds its own 'free institutions'. Think Guantanamo.)

"The task begun here at Annapolis will be difficult. This is the beginning of the process, not the end of it - and no doubt a lot of work remains to be done. Yet the parties can approach this work with confidence. The time is right. The cause is just. And with hard effort, I know they can succeed. "
(Now where have I ever heard that crap before, during half a century of 'negotiations'?)

"President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert, I pledge to devote my effort during my time as ..."
( alcoholic lame duck...)

"Thanks for coming. May God bless their work"
(Whose work?)

It's now Wednesday, 28 November 2007. I predict, with some confidence, that the Israeli delegation will return home, recover a little from jet lag, and launch a Shock 'n Awe campaign on Gaza by this weekend, and no-one will give a shit, because 'the Palestinians, once again, haven't done their part'.

To all of those who predicted this flim-flam would be a failure, I can only retort:

"Did you think it would be as bad as this?"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

War is Nuts

While Israel lobbies loudly for an end to Iran's nuclear development, up to and including 'pre-emptive attacks', with its usual hypocrisy (Israel is the Middle East's only existing nuclear power), another major conflict has erupted between Israel and it's vassal state, the almighty USA.
U.S. officials demanding halt to indirect Israel imports of Iranian pistachio nuts
The reddish nuts are landing in Israeli shops after funneling through Turkey, violating Israeli law that bans all Iranian imports and angering American officials who are urging Israel to crack down as part of their attempt to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum said in a meeting with Israeli officials in Rome on Monday that the pistachio imports must stop, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday.

[Israeli Agriculture Minister] Simchon said a recent meeting with a senior U.S. agriculture official focused on using technology to detect the origin of pistachios. He said that would involve chemical testing to determine the climate and soil of where the nuts were grown.

California is the second largest producer of pistachios in the world, according to the former California Pistachio Coalition. Iran is first.

"As a proud native of the golden state (California), I think Israelis should eat American pistachios, not Iranian ones," said Stewart Tuttle, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Palestinian State - Solution for Israel's Niggers?

This statement, by Tzipi Livni, Israel's Foreign Minister takes the ethnic cleansing of the 'Jewish State' a whole lot further:
Livni: Palestinian state - solution for Israeli Arabs as well
"The future Palestinian state would serve as a national solution for the Palestinians of the West Bank, those living in the refugee camps and those who are citizens with equal rights in the Jewish state, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated Sunday. "
In other words:
- We can use this opportunity (Annapolis) to get rid of our fellow 'Israeli democratic citizens' by cooking up a new 'state' beyond the 'fence'.
- We'll deal with the Sephardis later.
Born in Tel Aviv, Livni is the daughter of Eitan Livni, a Polish-born former Irgun member and Likud member of the Knesset. Her mother, Sara (nee Rosenberg) also fought in the Irgun.
Irgun (Hebrew: ארגון‎; shorthand for Ha'Irgun Ha'Tsvai Ha'Leumi B'Eretz Yisrael, הארגון הצבאי הלאומי בארץ ישראל, "National Military Organization in the Land of Israel") was a Zionist militant group that operated in Palestine from 1931 to 1948, as a militant offshoot of the earlier and larger Haganah (Hebrew: "The Defense", ההגנה) Jewish paramilitary organization. In Israel, Irgun is commonly referred to as Etzel (אצ"ל), an acronym of the Hebrew initials. For secrecy reasons, people often referred to the Irgun, in the time in which it operated, as Haganah Bet (Hebrew: literally "Defense 'B' " or "Second Defense" הגנה ב), Haganah Ha'leumit (ההגנה הלאומית) or Ha'ma'amad (המעמד).
The group made attacks against Palestinian Arabs a central part of their initial efforts.

  • It was armed expression of the nascent ideology of Revisionist Zionism, expressed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky as that "every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs and the British; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state".
  • The organization was a political predecessor movement to Israel's right-wing Herut (or "Freedom") party, which led to today's Likud party.

'Nuff said.

How to Treat a Dying 'Terrorist' Child

Read this, and weep (perhaps, or if you think that this little girl is a 'terrorist', then say "Serves her right!" )

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m Last update - 22:56 16/11/2007
Toxic treatment By Esti Ahronovitz - Edited for brevity only:

Jamal Harma sits in a coffee shop in the village of Hawara, near Nablus. He comes from the Balata refugee camp.

His daughter Farah died of cancer. "I don't wish the loss of a child on anyone," he says.

In January 2005, Farah, then 10 years old, was diagnosed with bone cancer. The tumor was discovered in her right knee after a biopsy at Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. From there she was referred to Al-Watani Hospital in Nablus, and from there to Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv for radiation treatment.
And even though the doctors in Nablus proposed that she go to Jordan for treatment, he preferred to take her to Assuta, in the framework of an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the hospital, which stipulates that Assuta will accept, in return for payment, cancer patients who need radiation treatment that cannot be performed in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

"We all cried. The good news was that the cells were still small. Microscopic. At Al-Watani Hospital, we were told that she wouldn't need chemotherapy, only radiation. That the tumor was just starting to grow."

On February 24, 2005, Farah and her grandmother took the daily minibus that transports patients from Nablus to Tel Aviv, and went to Assuta Hospital.

Jamal didn't have the necessary permits to leave Nablus, so he stayed at home, worrying.

When Farah returned home, there was a large circle drawn on her leg with a black marking pen, from the thigh to the calf - the area the doctor had marked as the target for radiation.

According to the civil suit filed two months ago in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, Prof. Natalio Walach, an oncologist who heads the chemotherapy unit at Assaf Harofeh Hospital and also served as director of radiotherapy at Assuta, sent Farah for radiation treatment without examining any medical information and without conducting any further examination to determine the exact type of the girl's cancer.

He looked at Farah's leg, and based on the referral letter from the Palestinian health ministry, decided on the treatment. The suit charges that Walach did this without following a standard procedure known as treatment planning, which is designed to ensure that maximum benefit is obtained from the dangerous radiation treatments - in other words, that maximum radiation is aimed at the tumor and minimum radiation at the healthy tissue.

...during the brief meeting with the doctor, Farah and her escort were not asked a single question and did not receive any explanation about the method of treatment. There was no physical examination.

This week, Walach said: "I don't remember the case that well."

"Fourteen times my daughter traveled to Assuta, for two weeks in a row. She left Nablus every day with her grandmother at seven in the morning, passed through the checkpoints and got to Tel Aviv." But her father was restless with worry.

On March 16, Harma took his daughter tor another radiation treatment at Assuta, and afterward they went to Ichilov Hospital, where they met with Dr. Yehuda Kollender, the deputy head of the orthopedic oncology department. "When we met Kollender," says Jamal, "he asked me: 'Why did you come to us so late?'

I told him: 'She's being treated at Assuta.' He asked me: 'What are you doing there at Assuta?' I said: 'What do you mean? Radiation.' Kollender took off his glasses, looked at me and clutched his head in his hands. He told his secretary not to let anyone else in the room. 'We're in big trouble,' he told me. I didn't understand what was happening. He called Assuta Hospital, while I was sitting there. I don't know whom he spoke to there.

'How could such a thing happen?' he asked them. 'You'll be responsible. This wouldn't happen to a child from Israel.''

This week, Kollender recalled: "A little girl came to me with an advanced and neglected tumor, and when her father told me that the girl was getting radiation at Assuta, my hair stood on end. Every expert in oncology, actually every specialist in oncology or orthopedics, knows that the standard treatment all over the world for such a case is chemotherapy, followed by limb-preserving surgery, and then another round of chemotherapy.

I called Assuta right away and started to shout and search for the oncologist who sent this girl for radiation.

When he called me back he said: 'She was referred for radiation, so I sent her for radiation.'"

At the request of Physicians for Human Rights, Bendel received Farah Harma's medical file. "We were stunned to discover that the file of a girl who was ill with an aggressive form of cancer consisted of just two pages," says Bendel. "The first page contained Walach's diagnosis, that Farah had osteosarcoma, and the second page documented the amounts of radiation. You've got a girl with such a dangerous tumor and this is her whole medical file?"

The papers show that Farah was given radiation with a Cobalt 60 machine. The lawsuit claims that this is a very outdated radiation instrument that has not been used for medical purposes in Israeli hospitals for years. Today there are more modern machines than the Cobalt 60, but these are used in a limited fashion, and only for very specific purposes. "As far as is known," says Sfard, "the standard method of radiation treatment is with a linear accelerator.

As a matter of fact, Assuta Hospital is the only medical institution that still administers radiation with a Cobalt 60, and it does not do so to Israelis. The only use made of this machine at Assuta is for the treatments the hospital gives Palestinians as part of the agreement with the PA."

Sfard, the attorney for Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights, says he hears about awful things that happen to Palestinians every day. "But when I heard this story, I could hardly believe it. It's bloodcurdling. After I started looking into it, I was just appalled. It seems that at Assuta there's a separate medical channel for Palestinians, and they are given inferior care. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Someone's making money from this. And we're talking about cancer-stricken children here."

"A Cobalt 60 machine was formerly in use at Assuta," the hospital said, "for those limited medical uses that were approved by top-ranking medical specialists in Israel, and in the past both Israelis and Palestinians were treated with it, as was standard in advanced Western countries like France, Italy, Belgium, England, Spain and in leading and recognized medical institutions in America."

Meller and Bendel decided not to ignore the matter. They requested a meeting with Assuta's medical director, Dr. Orna Ophir. At the meeting Ophir admitted that the Cobalt 60 machine did not meet the accepted standard in Israel and that the use made of it at Assuta was solely to meet the needs of the Palestinian Authority.

At the meeting, Bendel reproached Ophir, saying that Assuta had found a way to make money from a service it couldn't sell to Israelis. Bendel says Ophir confirmed this and even added, as the lawsuit says, that she saw no ethical problem in selling an out-of-date treatment to Palestinians.

"It's not my problem," she told the shocked Bendel and Meller.

Ophir acknowledged that in Harma's case, "a terrible mistake was made," but she backed Walach, saying that "he did what the Palestinian doctor told him to do." The lawsuit also asserts that Ophir remarked: "Farah's parents had given up on her before they came to us. They have fourth-rate doctors, and they want me to give them first-rate treatment." Bendel was horrified by Ophir's reaction: "Where is the ethical and moral responsibility you expect from a medical institution and the people running it?"

Sfard maintains that Assuta Hospital acted according to a discriminatory standard and followed a much lower medical standard than it does when treating Israelis. "The hospital violated its constitutional duty to preserve human dignity." Sfard adds that "when Assuta was asked to clarify its numerous faults, what was uncovered was an indifferent and racist system motivated by financial considerations, to the point that the hospital's paramount and central role of treating the sick seemed to have been forgotten."

This is a unique lawsuit.

The expert opinion of Prof. Meller is appended to the lawsuit. "It's a very tragic story," Meller said this week. "If something like this were to happen to an Israeli child, who knows how far the case would have gone. In the United States, a lawsuit like this would be for millions of dollars.

There are ethical violations here, and violations of the most minimal rules of medical conduct."

Assuta Hospital says that Farah Harma arrived there with a referral for radiation from the Palestinian hospital.

Meller chuckles. "It's as if you were to come to Assuta with a referral letter that said, 'Cut off her head.' Would they cut off your head then? It's not serious. If a little girl came to my department today, no matter where she came from, we wouldn't touch her before going over all the pathology material and doing every possible examination, including a biopsy. Not because I don't trust other doctors. It's a repeat examination for legal defense purposes that is standard all over the world. And they didn't do this; then they compounded the mistake by administering radiation with an outdated machine that they wouldn't dare use on an Israeli patient. The third thing is that kids are kids. You can't treat a little girl with osteosarcoma without the definite involvement of a pediatric oncologist and a multidisciplinary team. Prof. Walach is a retired oncologist who is employed by Assuta. He is not a pediatric oncologist."

What effect does unnecessary radiation have? "Radiation destroys cells. It causes localized damage and stunts the local growth of a limb. Radiation treatments increase the chances of tumors some years later, which are a consequence of the radiation."

The dramatic day when Harma met with Dr. Yehuda Kollender was the last day that Farah received radiation treatment.

Kollender and Meller ordered that the radiation at Assuta be halted and began to treat the girl in their department, in an attempt to save her life.

Jamal Harma stopped working and sold his car, which he had used as a taxi, in order to be able to stay in Tel Aviv by his daughter's side. He never budged from her bed.

"That was also the time there was a closure and they closed the checkpoints. Sometimes they wouldn't let me out. I'd carry Farah in my arms, or on my back, and trudge all the way through the mountains to get around the checkpoints. Then I'd take a taxi to Taibe, get a taxi from there to Kfar Sava and from there to the Tel Aviv central bus station. We didn't give up. "

When her hair started falling out, because of the chemotherapy, the doctor recommended that we shave it all off. I said to her, 'Daddy's little girl, your hair is going to fall out, it's better that I shave it off for you and afterward you'll grow new hair that's prettier and stronger and you'll be able to go back and play with your friends.' We went into the shower in the hospital and I shaved her head. It was so hard. She cried and I cried."

But the battle was lost. "Farah's condition was very serious and she didn't respond to the treatments," explains Prof. Meller.

"Jewish State ?"

Some readers may notice that I copy a lot from other blogs. That's because the situation is more than a little complex, and I can't get my own mind around certain plots and sub-plots.

Here's Lawrence of Cyberia on the latest demand from the Israelis that the Palestinians recognise the "Jewish State" - excerpts:

"At one time, everyone knew that peace would break out all over the Middle East if the Palestinians would just recognize Israel. But then the PLO went and spoiled things [nearkly 20 years ago, in 1979] by recognizing Israel, so there had to be a new excuse for not ending the Occupation.

The new demand was that the Palestinians had to recognize Israel's "right to exist". And now, to ward off any danger that peace might raise its ugly head at Annapolis, here's a timely new one: the Palestinians have to recognize that Israel exists; that it has a right to exist; and that it has the right to exist as a "Jewish state".

...Israelis don't seem to have a common understanding of what they mean by a "Jewish state"; yet they insist the Palestinians must recognize nonetheless that Israel is one.

After all, how can Palestinians have a right to return to their homes in a "Jewish state" when they're not even Jewish, and non-Jews shouldn't expect to be allowed to live in a "Jewish state" in the first place...

The PLO says that Palestinians, like everyone else, give diplomatic recognition to countries, not to demographic balances, religious leanings or political affiliations. In recognizing Iran, for example, they give formal acceptance to Iran's sovereignty, its people and its borders, but not to its religious orientation. If Iran wants to call itself "The Islamic Republic of...", that is purely an internal Iranian affair. It's "Iran" that international diplomacy recognizes, not the Islamic-ness or Republic-ness of its political system. Similarly, if Israel wishes to call itself "The Jewish State of...", that is an internal Israeli affair, which does not need and cannot demand recognition from the PLO or anyone else in the world community.

The one thing they won't say is that Israel is formally a "Jewish state", i.e. a state for Jews. Just as a Jewish American might recognize that the USA is a Christian country in terms of its dominant population and cultural traditions, but would never accept that it should be formally designated a "Christian state", because that immediately defines Jews and other non-Christians as lesser citizens. For some outrageous no-doubt Islamofascist Jew-hating reason, the Palestinians similarly refuse to declare that Israel is constitutionally a state where Israelis of Palestinian descent are inferior citizens.

Israelis need to decide what it is they mean by a "Jewish state", before they accuse the Palestinians of being unreasonable in rejecting it. Right now, I suspect that some of them are happy to conflate the two different understandings of what a "Jewish state" is; perhaps so that when the PLO rejects Olmert's demand for a "state for Jews", they can pretend the PLO is rejecting too the idea of Israel as a "state of Jews".

I suppose if you understand that the price of a universally-recognized Jewish-majority state in the 1967 borders is finally getting out of the Occupied Territories, and you really don't want to do that, it's a lot easier to derail peace talks by whipping up fears of being driven into the sea than to simply acknowledge you're not willing to pay the price.

It's a bit like having the President of Iran say that the Occupation regime over Jerusalem will disappear from the pages of time, and then pretending that he really said he would "wipe Israel off the map"; because it's always easier to invoke the Hitler bogeyman than to answer Ahmadinejad's questions about why exactly Muslim-majority Palestine should be dismantled to make way for a sectarian Zionist state....

Maybe Israelis could take a short break from insisting on what the Palestinians must give them, and make up their minds what exactly it is they want. Then perhaps if they could actually listen to what they're being offered, they might even be pleasantly surprised to find it's something they could live with after all.
Couldn't put it better.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dirty Dershy Waterboards Himself

Alan Dershowitz, prime attack-dog for the Zionist Compliancy Movement (aka the ADL, AIPAC, etc) has managed to incriminate himself after extremely bad treatment by a blogger.
He says:
"A post by Larisa Alexandrovna entitled "Alan Dershowitz: Was He Against Nazi Practices Before He Was for Them?" dated November 11, 2007,
well illustrates how some blogs endanger rational discourse and substitute name-calling for serious debate about controversial issues. Alexandrovna purports to be responding to an op-ed piece I wrote in the Wall Street Journal in which I stated unequivocally that "I am personally opposed to the use of torture." That is my normative position.
In making an argument for political accountability if torture were to be used in extreme cases involving the risk of mass casualties (the so-called "ticking bomb scenario"), I quoted former President Bill Clinton and current Senator John McCain. I then dealt with the demonstrably false factual claim that some make that torture never works.
In responding to this wholly empirical claim, I said the following:
There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works - it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives."
It is a well-known empirical fact that lawyers ply their trade by twisting the words of others, or by combobulating their own statements to confuse, and we should expect nothing less from the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
So, let's translate Dirty Dershy's statement above:
A (mere blogger) - Larisa Alexandrovna - shows how I think some blogs substitute rational discourse for my 'serious debate' about controversial issues.
Alexandrovna responded to a squib I dashed off for the Wall Street Journal in which I mentioned "I am personally opposed to the use of torture."
That's OK, but only sometimes.
I do think torture might be used in some cases (the so-called "ticking bomb scenario"). I even quoted Bill Clinton and John McCain. I then dealt with the claim that torture never works.
Some say it never works - it only produces false information.
This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.
(Sorry, I don't have a single bit of evidence about that to quote, although I did underline the word factual in the very next paragraph).

Wogs do it, Jews do it
Even educated Yank-ees do it
Let's do it, let's fall in line

In Spain, the best upper sets did it

(See: Inquisition)
Larisa Alexandrovna replies here

THE ANNAPOLIS conference is a joke. Though not in the least funny.

Uri Avnery gets it right, as usual, and I can do no better than quote him in full:

"Like quite a lot of political initiatives, this one too, according to all the indications, started more or less by accident. George Bush was due to make a speech. He was looking for a theme that would give it some substance. Something that would divert attention away from his fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. Something simple, optimistic, easy to swallow.

Somehow, the idea of a "meeting" of leaders to promote the Israeli-Palestinian "process" came up. An international meeting is always nice - it looks good on television, it provides plenty of photo-opportunities, it radiates optimism. We meet, ergo we exist.

So Bush voiced the idea: a "meeting" for the promotion of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Without any preceding strategic planning, any careful preparations, anything much at all.

That's why Bush did not go into any details: no clear aim, no agenda, no location, no date, no list of invitees. Just an ethereal meeting. This fact by itself testifies to the lack of seriousness of the entire enterprise.

This may shock people who have never seen close up how politics are actually conducted. It is hard to accept the intolerable lightness with which decisions are often made, the irresponsibility of leaders and the arbitrary way important processes are set in motion.

FROM THE MOMENT this idea was launched, it could not be called back. The President has spoken, the initiative starts on its way. As the saying goes: One fool throws a stone into the water, a dozen wise men cannot retrieve it.

Once the "meeting" had been announced, it became an important enterprise. The experts of all parties started to work frantically on the undefined event, each trying to steer it in the direction which would benefit them the most.

Bush and Condoleezza Rice want an impressive event, to prove that the United States is vigorously promoting peace and democracy, and that they can succeed where the great Henry Kissinger failed. Jimmy Carter failed to turn the Israeli-Egyptian peace into an Israeli-Palestinian peace. Bill Clinton failed at Camp David. If Bush succeeds where all his illustrious predecessors have failed, won't that show who is the greatest of them all?
Ehud Olmert urgently needs a resounding political achievement in order to blur the memory of his dismal failure in the Second Lebanon War and to extricate himself from the dozen or so criminal investigations for corruption that are pursuing him. His ambition knows no bounds: he wants to be photographed shaking the hand of the King of Saudi Arabia. A feat no Israeli prime minister before him has achieved.
Mahmoud Abbas wants to show Hamas and the rebellious factions in his own Fatah movement that he can succeed where the great Yasser Arafat failed - to be accepted among the world's leaders as an equal partner.
This could, therefore, become a great, almost historic conference, if …

IF ALL these hopes were something more than pipedreams. None of them has any substance. For one simple reason: no one of the three partners has any capital at his disposal.

Bush is bankrupt. In order to succeed at Annapolis, he would have to exert intense pressure on Israel, to compel it to take the necessary steps: agree to the establishment of a real Palestinian state, give up East Jerusalem, restore the Green Line border (with some small swaps of territory), find an agreed-upon compromise formula for the refugee issue.
But Bush is quite unable to exert the slightest pressure on Israel, even if he wanted to. In the US, the election season has already begun, and the two big parties are bulwarks standing in the way of any pressure on Israel. The Jewish and Evangelistic lobbies, together with the neo-cons, will not allow one critical word about Israel to be uttered unpunished.

Olmert is in an even weaker position. His coalition still survives only because there is no alternative in the present Knesset. It includes elements that in any other country would be called fascist (For historical reasons, Israelis don't like to use this term). He is prevented by his partners from making any compromise, however tiny - even if he wanted to reach an agreement.
This week, the Knesset adopted a bill that requires a two-thirds majority for any change of the borders of Greater Jerusalem. This means that Olmert cannot even give up one of the outlying Palestinian villages that were annexed to Jerusalem in 1967. He is also prevented from even approaching the 'core issues" of the conflict.

Mahmoud Abbas cannot move away from the conditions laid down by Yasser Arafat (the 3rd anniversary of whose death was commemorated this week). If he strays from the straight and narrow, he will fall. He has already lost the Gaza Strip, and can lose the West Bank, too. On the other side, if he threatens violence, he will lose all he has got: the favor of Bush and the cooperation of the Israeli security forces.
The three poker players are going to sit down together, pretending to start the game, while none of them has a cent to put on the table.

THE MAJESTIC mountain seems to be getting smaller and smaller by the minute. It's against the laws of nature: the closer we get to it, the smaller it seems. What looked to many like a veritable Mt. Everest first turned into an ordinary mountain, then into a hill, and now it hardly looks like an anthill. And even that is shrinking, too.

First the participants were to deal with the "core issues". Then it was announced that a weighty declaration of intentions was to be adopted. Then a mere collection of empty phrases was proposed. Now even that is in doubt.

Not one of the three leaders is still dreaming of an achievement. All they hope for now is to minimize the damage - but how to get out of a situation like this?

As usual, our side is the most creative at this task. After all, we are experts in building roadblocks, walls and fences. This week, an obstacle larger then the Great Wall of China appeared.

Ehud Olmert demanded that, before any negotiations, the Palestinians "recognize Israel as a Jewish state". He was followed by his coalition partner, the ultra-right Avigdor Liberman, who proposed staying away from Annapolis altogether if the Palestinians do not fulfill this demand in advance.

Let's examine this condition for a moment:

The Palestinians are not required to recognize the state of Israel. After all, they have already done so in the Oslo agreement - in spite of the fact that Israel has yet to recognize the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own based on the Green Line borders.

No, the government of Israel demands much more: the Palestinians must now recognize Israel as a "Jewish state".
Does the USA demand to be recognized as a "Christian" or "Anglo-Saxon state"? Did Stalin demand that the US recognize the Soviet Union as a "Communist state"? Does Poland demand to be recognized as a "Catholic state", or Pakistan as an "Islamic state"? Is there any precedent at all for a state to demand the recognition of its domestic regime?

The demand is ridiculous per se. But this can easily be shown by analysis ad absurdum.

What is a "Jewish state"? That has never been spelled out. Is it a state with a majority of Jewish citizens? Is it "the state of the Jewish people" - meaning the Jews from Brooklyn, Paris and Moscow? Is it "a state belonging to the Jewish religion" - and if so, does it belong to secular Jews as well? Or perhaps it belongs only to Jews under the Law of Return - i.e. those with a Jewish mother who have not converted to another religion?

These questions have not been decided. Are the Palestinians required to recognize something that is the subject of debate in Israel itself?

According to the official doctrine, Israel is a "Jewish and democratic state". What should the Palestinians do if, according to democratic principles, some day my opinion prevails and Israel becomes an "Israeli state" that belongs to all its citizens - and to them alone? (After all, the US belongs to all its citizens, including Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, not to mention "Native-Americans".)

The sting is, of course, that this formula is quite unacceptable to Palestinians because it would hurt the million and a half Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. The definition "Jewish state" turns them automatically into - at best - second class citizens. If Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues were to accede to this demand, they would be sticking a knife in the backs of their own relatives.

Olmert & Co. know this, of course. They are not posing this demand in order to get it accepted. They pose it in order that it not be accepted. By this ploy they hope to avoid any obligation to start meaningful negotiations.

Moreover, according to the deceased Road Map, which all parties pretend to accept, Israel must dismantle all settlements set up after March, 2000, and freeze all the others. Olmert is quite unable to do that. At the same time, Mahmoud Abbas must destroy the "terror infrastructure". Abbas can't do that either - as long as there is no independent Palestinian state with an elected government.

I imagine Bush tossing and turning in his bed at night, cursing the speechwriter who put this miserable sentence into his mouth. On their way to heaven, his curses must be mingling with those of Olmert and Abbas.

WHEN THE leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine were about to sign the Declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, the document was not ready. Sitting in front of the cameras and history, they had to sign on an empty page. I am afraid that something like that will happen in Annapolis.

And then all of them will head back to their respective homes, heaving a heartfelt sigh of relief.

Peace Talks?

Annapolis won’t directly lead to progress, but it will force Israel to embarrass the Americans in public, an action which the Israelis know will be the beginning of the end of the weird special relationship, especially in this climate where it has become commonplace for vassal states to disrespect the United States. When the state that depends the most on the United States for its very existence chooses to make Americans look like weak fools, the patronage won’t last much longer.
Sunday, November 18, 2007 Irrelevantization

Isn't War Fun?

Read the ongoing story about Marine Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, a country boy from Kentucky, in Am I to blame for his private war?

Maybe it will make you think a little bit more about the real victims of the Great War on Terror on both sides.

"'Blake Miller is a flipped-out, 22-year-old former Marine who was involved in a major battle,' Armstrong said. 'He's been through a lot, seen a lot. I can't endorse the quick fix. It's a common pattern that vets are in and out of therapy for years.'

"They drove me to the secluded mountain top outside Pikeville to show me the spot where Miller had asked Jessica to be his girl, just days before he shipped out to Iraq. They laughed, embarrassed by the story. Miller sipped root beer and Jessica Nehi orange soda."

"It was 9 November 2006, two years after I took the famous picture of Miller and a year after he left the Marines. In his empty apartment, Miller took his wedding picture from the wall and replaced it with a Meritorious Mast, a certificate detailing his valour in combat. He drank beer for comrades living and lost. He spoke the names of the dead: Brown, Gavriel, Holmes, Ziolkowski.

'I didn't cry then and I won't now,' Miller said. 'I just can't.'

"Miller lives in a refurbished trailer behind his father's house. Two TVs provide constant background chatter. The refrigerator is bare. A hound called Mudbone spends most days tied in the yard."

Definitions of cannon fodder on the Web:

  • An expression used to denote the treatment of armed forces as a worthless commodity to be expended. Fodder is food for livestock - the livestock

  • soldiers who are regarded as expendable in the face of artillery fire

  • Cannon Fodder is a short series of two war (and later science fiction) themed action computer and video games developed by Sensible Software, initially released for the Commodore Amiga. Only two games in the series were released, but were converted to most active systems at the time of release. Fodder

  • Cannon fodder is an informal term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The term is generally used in situations where soldiers are forced to fight against hopeless odds, such as occurred during trench warfare in World War I. fodder

Do you believe in God? - I am a scientist, I don’t do religion

I came across this poem in the comments section of another blogsite
but it's so relevant that I'm plagiarising it in full:

Visit Nahida's website - If her poetry doesn't convince you, her photos certainly will.

Windows Live Spaces

-Do you believe in God?
-I am a scientist, I don’t do religion

-Do you think we are here for a purpose?
-I am a biologist, I don’t do theology

-Can you see the splendour in this equation?
-I am an artist, I don’t do mathematics

-Isn’t this garden just fascinating?
-I am an accountant, I don’t do botanic

-Do you like this poem?
-I am a chemist, I don’t do poetry

-Do you think drinking water is good for you?
-I am a physicist, I don’t do nutrition

-What do you think of the war on terror?
-I’m a priest, I don’t do politics

-Do you like this ruby-red colour in my painting?
-I am a politician, I don’t do art

-Do you think there was once a country called Palestine?
-I am an historian; I don’t do geography

-Do you think separating people with a wall mounts to apartheid?
-I am a solicitor, I don’t do international law

-Do you think people have the right to choose their faith?
-I am an atheist; I have no time for irrationality and superstition

-Do you think Muslim women should have the right to choose the way they dress?
-I am a secular free-thinker; I don’t like offensive religious symbols

-Do you think killing thousands of innocent people is a war crime?
-I am policeman; I don’t voice my opinion

-Do you agree with bombing schools and children?
-I am a teacher; I don’t take sides

-Do you agree with the right of self-defence?
-I am a Christian; I always turn the other cheek

-Do you think boycotting a tyranny could be fruitful?
-I am a shopkeeper; I get the best value for money, I don’t care where it comes from

-Do you agree with illegal settlement, and land confiscation?
-I am a journalist; I have to give an impartial view

-Do you oppose oppression and occupation?
-I am a human right advocate; I have to be neutral

-Do you feel guilty after shooting little boys for throwing stones?
- I am a soldier; I only follow orders

-Doctor… doctor… I had enough, I think I am going mad, I feel sick, can’t breath, I’m trembling, sweating, aching all over, help me…

-I am an orthopaedic; I only do bones

When you come to see a doctor, you can’t be vague; you’ve got to be precise:
Is this pain in your lower abdomen or upper thigh?
Is it at the top of your fingernail or at the bottom of your ear?
Is it in your left nostril or your right toe?
Is it above your hip or beneath your eye-brow?
I did my PHD in MCP (metacarpophalangeal joint ) known as knuckle/ finger joint; do you realize?
You need to be specific; I need to know before referring you to the relevant specialist,


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The rainy season has begun.

A few years ago, I claimed that Siargao was the wettest place in Asia, based on a highly unscientific experiment.

Last night we had a shower, one of many over the past few days, so, this time, I set up a rigourously-controlled scientific measuring device, at about 9:45pm.
- A bucket, placed in the middle of the lawn.

This morning, the bucket was nearly full, so I measured the depth of water in it - 25cm.

Then I did various abstruse calculations to correct for the sectional conical shape of the bucket, but the difference was minimal.

That's right; about 10 inches of rain - overnight

Added - 14/12/07 - a bit later:

1 inch rain = 6.25 inches snow

This is an average value though. Colder areas will have a lower number while warmer areas will have a higher number.

But, earlier on, in the same discussion, someone wrote that his grandfather reckoned 10 inches of snow for every inch of rain.

Either way, you will get our equivalent:-
10" * 6.25" = 5 feet 2 inches of snow
or 10" * 10" = 8.3 feet of snow

Thank God it doesn't snow here. Five feet of the damned stuff would entirely cover Shedney, my 'companion'.

W Somerset Maugham wrote a classical story Rain
which starts out:
"It was nearly bed-time and when they awoke next morning land would be in sight. Dr. Macphail lit his pipe and...."

But even before that, Rudyard Kipling wrote: Mandalay:
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

I really don't think, now, that Kipling ever went to Mandalay, in the very middle of the country, or to the old Moulmein Pagoda, about 400 miles away. China was near, but never 'crost the Bay. It was, and still is, due north where the dawn is unlikely to come up, let alone noisily.

But the bit that really got me (although "There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me; For the wind is in the palm-trees..." does ring certain sentimental bells) was:

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
Law! wot do they understand?

I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

And that got me into this mess, where I came to avoid the world-famous English climate .

Iran's Nuclear Bomb - Let's Be Real

The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program.
Iran's current effort includes several research sites, a uranium mine, a nuclear reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include a uranium enrichment plant.
The Iranian government asserts that the program's goal is to develop nuclear power plants, and that it plans to use them to generate 6,000 MW of electricity by 2010

The U.S. and some other nations [Guess who] officials allege the program covers an attempt to acquire nuclear weapons.

As of October 2007, however, the IAEA has seen "no evidence" that this is the case.
I haven't the space to give details, but you can read an extraordinary amount of detail and commomn sense about the Iranian atomic programme here

That will be a very useful historical reference when we wake up after the nightmare and find out what Mr Brown and Mr Bush and Sarko the Sayan got us into.
But please note: The aerial photo of the Bushehr Atomic Plant above bears a remarkable resemblance to the Syrian building recently bombed by the Israelis.

If Anyone Had Any Sense or Education, They Might Have Read This

Xenophon's 10,000 f***d up in Iran and Turkey, so why do Mr Brown and Mr Bush and Sarko the Sayan think they will do any better?

Second-rate Scot Marches Against Persians

I really didn't believe us English had a successor to GWB's poodle until I read this:

Gordon Brown declared last night that Britain "will lead" the international campaign to stop Iran's nuclear programme, calling for new sanctions on oil and gas investments in the Islamic republic if it fails to comply with UN resolutions.

Does this really mean that our unelected British Prime Minister will send British squaddies off again to fight some damned silly war?

G*d knows we're struggling enough in the (4th, 5th?) Afghan War, and have been sent packing from Basra

Monday, November 12, 2007

How to be a Jewish Nigger in Israel - 2 - a Couple of Traitors in the USA

I wrote a little about the Ashkenazi/Sephardi problems within the exclusive population of the Jewish State at:
How to be a Jewish Nigger in Israel - 1
but I didn't (just two weeks ago) realise what Ashkenazi paranoia can really be like:

Read this: (extracts) from:
Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question
by Meyrav Wurmser - Middle East Quarterly Spring 2005

"In July 2004, for example, a poem appeared online entitled, "I Am an Arab Refugee":

When I hear Fayruz singing,
"I shall never forget thee, Palestine,"
I swear to you with my right hand that at once I am a Palestinian.
All of a sudden I know:
I am an Arab refugee
and, if not,let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.

The author is not a Palestinian refugee but rather an Israeli Jew. His name is Sami Shalom Chetrit, a Mizrahi professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem who, along with Mizrahi academics like Ella Shohat, Eli Avraham, Oren Yiftachel, Yehouda Shenhav, Pnina Motzafi-Haller and others has developed a radical critique of ethnic relations in Israel. True to post-Zionism, an intellectual movement that believes that Zionism lacks moral validity, post-Zionist Mizrahi writers believe that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state.

The post-Zionist Mizrahi writers continue to live their parents' insults and humiliations at the hands of the European Ashkenazi Jewish establishment that absorbed them in Israel after immigration. Discriminatory policies created a continuing social and economic gap between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim.

The radical Mizrahim who turned to post-Zionism tap into anger beyond the well-known complaints of past ill-treatment, including the maabarot, the squalid tent cities into which Mizrahim were placed upon arrival in Israel; the humiliation of Moroccan and other Mizrahi Jews when Israeli immigration authorities shaved their heads and sprayed their bodies with the pesticide DDT.
[Just as Germans did to Jews in Auschwitz ]

Read on if you really want to.

But it seems that little Meyrav, together with her husband, David, have insinuated themselves into the very heart of American politics:

Meyrav Wurmser, the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the neoconservative-aligned Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, and a contributing expert at the Israel-based Ariel Center, is a longtime proponent of hardline Likud Party policies in the Middle East and, along with her husband David Wurmser (an adviser on Mideast issues to Vice President Dick Cheney), a member of an elite clique of policy wonks who helped shape ideas that seem to have heavily influenced the George W. Bush administration's response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks

David Wurmser's contributions to American foreign policy have also been profound.
US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes'
US hawk David Wurmser 'plotted Iran war'

He was, until he resigned, the major Mid-East advisor to the one-time Wisconsin telephone linesman who is still Vice President of the United States, despite all reasonable calls for his dismissal for incompetence and unreasonable arrogance.

In the "Good Old Days" (1953), the Rosenbergs were executed in the United States for working for a Foreign Power.

The only difference between these two sets of traitors in the USA is that the Rosenbergs worked for a supposed enemy, while the Wurmsers work for Uncle Sam's master.

I believe, as do many others, that the Rosenbergs were judicially murdered during one of America's fits of directed xenophobia.

Luckily for the Wurmsers, judicial murder of supposed spies is no longer practiced (visibly) in America.
Jonathan Pollard
Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal

Turkey Gobbles

I don't necessarily agree fully with what Turkey's President told Shimon Peres during the latest trip by the veteran tourist/diplomat, but it's interesting:

As reported by the Jerusalem Post:
Emphasis by me
, interpolated comments by me.

Peres told Gul that Israel could not accept a nuclear Iran.

In response, Gul said that while Turkey was against the development of weapons of mass destruction, it did believe countries had the right to develop alternative sources of energy.

Peres told Gul that Israel did not accept this line of thinking and that Iran had a large amount of oil and natural gas and so did not need an alternative source of energy.
[Israel has no nuclear power, and no oil or natural gas. But it does have a large nuclear establishment at Dimona, and some 200 nukular bombs. It therefore has a divine right to chide its neighbours for even thinking about nuclear power].
Iran does not need nuclear energy," said Peres [with unimpeachable authority]
"I know the president has a different assessment, but we feel threatened."

Another sensitive issue raised in talks was the US Congress initiative to recognize the Armenian genocide. Gul told Peres that Turkey would not tolerate this issue coming up every few months.
"It is not worth ruining today's good relations over an event of the past," Gul told Peres.
[No, it certainly isn't, so perhaps we should also forget the events of the past in Eastern Europe (the Holocaust, Shoah, or whatever you want to call it, and get on with life).]

Peres said that Israel supported Turkey's initiative to set up a team of Armenian and Turkish historians to examine the events of 1915-17 and in addition, Gul thanked Peres for his efforts in working to thwart the US plan.
[What's this? A dastardly US plan to equate the genocide of ONLY 1.5 million Armenians with at least 4 times as many (6 million) Jews? ]

Peres expressed cautious optimism regarding the peace process with the Palestinians.

He said that although the two-to-four weeks remaining before Annapolis was not enough time to solve problems [after 60 years of ignoring them], "Annapolis is a station on the way to peace, and afterwards, real negotiations will begin."
[No it isn't, and they won't - see: Countdown to the offensive]

Gul said Turkey would do all it could to bring about the release of the captured IDF soldiers and said Turkey viewed the issue first and foremost as a humanitarian matter.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also arrived in Ankara to participate in a forum on Tuesday during which an announcement is expected to be made on a new industrial zone in the West Bank
I wonder whether Mahmoud Abbas will even mention the thousands of Palestinians kidnapped from their homes and held in unknown conditions, without trial, in Israeli jails and get Turkey to view the issue first and foremost as a humanitarian matter.

Peres also invited Gul to send a delegation for a project to study ways of using nanotechnology to combat terror.
[In other words, some Israeli scientist has developed micro-murderers, and wants to sell them - to whoever]

Peres also asked Gul for permission to borrow Israel-related artifacts from Turkish museums for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations.
[Israelis are nothing if not extremely sentimental].


DesertPeace has it right, as reliably as usual.
Look at Carlos Latuff's 'cartoon' as well:
"Do you...
1. Agree with any of the statements in the above image - Carlos Latuff's 'cartoon'?
2. Get sick and tired of hearing the Kosher Nostra rant on about Israel's 'enemies?'
3. Believe that Palestinians deserve an independent state?
4. Believe that Israel is an apartheid state?
5. Believe that those who speak out against Israeli apartheid are not anti-semites?
6. Believe that Israel is guilty of genocide against the Palestinian people?
6. Believe that Israel's leadership should be put on trial in an International Court for war crimes?
7. Believe that the upcoming 'Peace Conference' in Annaopolis is a farce?
8. Believe that AIPAC and it's Lobby affiliated organisations have too much influence in American foreign policy?
9. Believe that Israel is a threat to world peace because of its foreign policies?
10. Believe that Palestinians (so-called Israeli Arabs) living in 'Israel proper' are treated as second class citizens?

If you answered YES to even ONE of the above....
then take a word of advice from Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai Brith.
You're an anti-Semite

Or read all about him in The New York Times: "Does Abe Foxman Have an Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?"

Quite why Abe Foxman, a Polish-born American,
should be able to pontificate on matters concerning Semites in the Middle East (the vast majority of whom are not Israelis, or Jews) is quite something else.
But perhaps we should remember that almost the entire bunch of Israeli leaders in the short history of that troublesome and aggressive nation were Polish-born Americans, or, at very least kept their US passports under their beds, in case the whole bogus enterprise went disastrously wrong.
Most of the members of [Abe Foxman's] family were murdered in German concentration camps.[citation needed (ie not proven)]
Foxman's father supported Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism. As a young man Foxman belonged to several Zionist youth groups including Betar, the Jabotinsky youth movement, the left-wing Habonim and the apolitical Young Judaea.

Betar Jerusalem
are the bunch of Israeli football hooligans who refused to honour a moment of silence in remembrance of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin just this week.

Do they remind you of something?

Maybe this will.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

To Hell in a Handbasket

I don't always trust my own opinions or statements (and nor should you), so:

The first thing to note is that the (linked) security situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been getting significantly worse over the past 18 months. That is bad news-- because civil strife is always bad news-- first and foremost for the people of the two countries. See, for example, this report of mass arrests in Islamabad.

These situations are also a symptom of the reckless disregard with which the Bushites have viewed every single development in the world since their attention became obsessively focused on Iraq, in 2005-2006.

They are also, like the ongoing deterioration in Palestine, a symptom of the fact that the other big and emerging powers in the world either do not want to step in and stop the US from playing the blocking/disruptive role it has been playing, or they are unable to.

US strategic power everywhere in the world is eroding rapidly. The causes of this erosion are real and deepseated enough. But it is certainly only being accelerated by the Keystone Cops-ish ineptitude of the way US "diplomacy" is being handled.

Friday night, Condi Rice called Pakistani Pres. Musharraf and "warned" him against declaring martial law. The people in the State Dept. also apparently
told the press Rice had done so. Musharraf , who has received more than $10 billion in US aid since 2001, swept the warning away like a minor irritant.

So who's giving Condi and Bush advice on how to handle Washington's diplomacy? It looks amateurish and desperate.

However, I don't want to mock the Bushites too much. I'm a bit afraid that if they feel themselves to be in too much of a corner internationally they might take some rash and drastic action...

Split the Blood Money - Brilliant New Notion

I came upon a quotation today from one of Israel's Founding Fathers that quite took my breath away:
".. as early as February 1951, (Moshe) Sharett linked the compensation Israel would receive from Germany with the compensation Israel would one day give the Arabs: "If we receive compensation from the Germans, it will enable us to make generous compensation to the Arabs. If we demanded compensation from the Germans, we cannot ignore our obligation to pay compensation to the Arabs."
Israel's great debate - By Yossi Sarid

Israel could not survive then, without regular payments from Germany, or now, without regular payments from the USA.
But the idea of compensating the wogs? Preposterous!

"US okays large IDF Gaza op" » Israel » Article
Nov 4, 2007 0:18 Updated Nov 4, 2007 11:21
Lebanese paper: US okays large IDF Gaza op

"The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning that "credible diplomatic sources" had said American approval for a broad operation in Gaza had come after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of such an incursion as an answer to the unprecedented level of arms smuggling to Gaza from Sinai.
IDF combat engineers and infantrymen from the Golani Brigade have been operating on the Gaza-Egyptian border since last week to locate and destroy the tunnels used by weapons smugglers.
Tunnels were found as close as two kilometers from the border with Israel and were destroyed in controlled explosions. IDF sources said they were most probably used by terrorists to leave Gaza on their way to Iran or Syria for training."

Add to that the noises stage right about rockets from north Gaza, and it looks like both north and south Gaza will get another round of military invasion by the Israelis.

And nobody will notice, or even report what atrocities they get up to, just as no-one has noticed in the past, with the inevitable noise created by other on-going and pending events in that corner of the world:

- imminent government collapse or chaos in Pakistan
- ditto in Lebanon
- possible Kurdish invasion by Turkey
- takeovers of southern provinces by organsised Taliban forces in Afghanistan
- any one of several forecast major horrors in Iraq
- a long-heralded attack by Israel and/or the USA on Iran

What do you have, with different events, all on the same theme, happening simultaneously in so many places?

George W. Bush's Freudian slip - World War III ?

Note: A web search for the original Al-Akhbar article found nothing, except 'quotes', all essentially from the same original second-hand report, and all from Israeli sources. A lie repeated is a lie reinforced.

Update and apology: The original Al-Akhbar report is quoted, at:

"The sources said Olmert and Barak have since then been meeting frequently to work out the timing and other details for the attack on Gaza, adding however that the American green light is being complicated or held up by current multi-party efforts to come up with some kind of an Israel-Palestine agreement ahead of the Annapolis peace conference. They said the Israeli troops currently on the Gaza border are receiving instructions and training, in preparation for a giant military operation in the Gaza Strip which will begin in the north and central parts of the Gaza Strip, and then be extended throughout".

Note that the original report does NOT report a US "Okay". The US has altogether made such a mess of things in so many places that they will just have to let the Israelis go ahead anyway.

After the event, these twisted Israeli reports will be used as firm evidence that they did it all with American approval.