Thursday, July 31, 2014

tunnels in the American civil war

"On this day, Pennsylvania troops begin digging a tunnel toward the Rebels at Petersburg, Virginia, in order to blow a hole in the Confederate lines and break the stalemate." Were those terror tunnels as well?

Inspiration of ISIS

People didn't notice, or noticed but did not want to mention for obvious reasons: but ISIS on Twitter a few days ago explained their practices of destroying tombs of prophets. They said that Muhammad Ibn `Abdul-Wahab had done that.  How many times do we have to tell you that the inspiration for those fanatics come from the ideology of the regime you most like in the Middle East--after Israel.

Did you say "Israeli peace camp"?

"Even some of the veteran activists in what is known as Israel’s “peace camp” have declined to speak out against the prime minister or the war."

So does the US condemn Israeli shelling of civilians?

"QUESTION: When you say that you condemn the shelling, whose shelling are we talking about here?
MS. HARF: Well, we understand that UNRWA has put out a statement on its views. We would underscore the importance of a full and prompt investigation to determine the facts here.
QUESTION: So you are not ready to condemn Israel per se for the shelling of the school.
MS. HARF: Correct. We have said that there needs to be a full investigation to see what happened here.
QUESTION: But you’re condemning whoever it was that did it.
MS. HARF: Correct. That’s correct." (thanks Marc)

I know that American correspondents are just waiting and hoping for Palestinians to erupt in anti-resistance sentiments but

He is transporting his child to a hospital and chanting for resistance.  Just like American correspondents were predicting that Hizbullah was finished in 2006 after the war--hell, Saudi and Hariri journalists assured them of that.

Yet, funerals of the Israelis are the only ones allowed in US press

Tweet and delete

"On Gaza, celebrity courage — and cowardice — over social media"

Don't think that the French press is any better: "Ils Pratiquent la Taqiya"

From Jérôme in France: "I know that you find quite entertaining that alleged Hizbullah commanders and leaders regularly give discrediting information about their groups to their most vocal journalist opponents.

A French "specialist" who is neither a scholar nor a journalist wrote a book claiming that he met the amir of AQ in France (!) who revealed him all his organisation's secret plans for France.

There is an interview of him there:

According to him, "Al-Qaida possède une structure quasiment parfaite dans notre pays avec des armes et des agents qui exploitent les failles de notre système et contournent ses forces pour s'y infiltrer sans éveiller les soupçons"

Even better, all Muslims are potentially suspects. If a Muslim is not practising, he could as well be part of this machiavelic plan:

"Ils pratiquent la Taqiya, l'art de la dissimulation. Ils mènent une vie discrète, "normale". Les célibataires doivent se marier, à une femme arabe, qui travaille, mais qui ne portera jamais le voile. Lui ne porte ni la barbe ni la djellaba. Leurs enfants doivent fréquenter de bonnes écoles. L'agent est encouragé à éviter les contacts au sein de sa propre communauté, à dénigrer, si besoin, publiquement l'islam radical."

The guy is invited everywhere and nobody questions his credentials. We're just expected to take everything at face value..."

Children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor

"children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN-designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced. We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge. We believe there were at least three impacts."

Notice that Isareli war crimes--unlike Syrian regime war crimes--are all "possible" or "probabl" or "likely"

"Today's attack on the Jabaliya Elementary Girls School has been described as a possible war crime by the UN."  Does that mean that it is possible that an attack on a school girl could be considered not a war crime?

Another Palestinian burned to death

"A Palestinian youth has been found burned to death in Hebron, on Tuesday. Karama al-Hashlamon, age 25, was pronounced dead early Wednesday in Hebron's al-Ahli Hospital, according to Ma'an correspondence." (thanks Amir)

Arab nations silent on Gaza?

From Alfred: " I am not sure what the Zionist pandering American media means by Arab "nations" silent on gaza. If they are comparing Arab heads of states to Erdogan statements in turkey about Israeli aggression, then yes, leaders like SISI and Gulf Kings have not made strong statements against Israel. But, the Israeli collaborator Abbas have called the Israeli attacks on Gaza "genocide" and "massacres". It is interesting how the Zionist pandering American media is not paying attention to what Abbas is saying when he denounces Israel (even though he is very willing to start negotiating "peace" with the "genocidal" Israeli leaders very soon).  If you read the Gulf media like Arab News, it shows pictures of injured children and they are denouncing Israeli "genocide".  Even though their leaders do nothing, the Gulf media HAVE TO show sympathy with the Palestinians to their outraged population. To say that the Arab" nations" are silent on Gaza is another attempt by the Zionist pandering media to justify Israeli aggresion and to say that Hamas is an extremist "terrorist" group and the Arabs hate them anyway so the world should be upset with Hamas and not Israel. "

You may think that Isarel is a war criminal but look at this:

"At least 17 people were killed in an Israeli strike on a packed Gaza market Wednesday in a deadly raid that came as Israel was observing a four-hour humanitarian lull. It was supposed to have been a rare pause for Gaza's battered population of 1.8 million to go out in safety to stock up on goods, and for medics to evacuate the dead and wounded. Instead, there was further bloody mayhem with more than 30 people killed across Gaza in the first three hours of the lull alone, sending the death toll from 23 days of unrelenting Israeli attacks soaring to 1,336." (thanks Basim)

Judith Butler: on how every Palestinian is an artillary in Zionist thinking

"The Israeli government and the media started to say that everyone who was killed or injured in Gaza was a member of Hamas; or that they were all being used as part of the war effort; that even the children were instruments of the war effort; that the Palestinians put them out there, in the targets, to show that Israelis would kill children, and this was actually part of a war effort. At this point, every single living being who is Palestinian becomes a war instrument. They are all, in their being, or by virtue of being Palestinian, declaring war on Israel or seeking the destruction of the Israel.

So any and all Palestinian lives that are killed or injured are understood no longer to be lives, no longer understood to be living, no longer understood even to be human in a recognizable sense, but they are artillery. The bodies themselves are artillery. And of course, the extreme instance of that is the suicide bomber, who has become unpopular in recent years. That is the instance in which a body becomes artillery, or becomes part of a violent act. If that figure gets extended to the entire Palestinian population, then there is no living human population anymore, and no one who is killed there can be grieved. Because everyone who is a living Palestinian is, in their being, a declaration of war, or a threat to the existence of Israel, or pure military artillery, materiel. They have been transformed, in the Israeli war imaginary, into pure war instruments.

So when a people who believes that another people is out to destroy them sees all the means of destruction killed, or some extraordinary number of the means of destruction destroyed, they are thrilled, because they think their safety and well-being and happiness are being purchased, are being achieved through this destruction. "

"Why do they hate us"? What have we done to them (besides killing them, that is)?

"In the last week the U.S. has provided Israel with tank rounds and illumination rounds for grenade launchers requested as part of a foreign military arms sale. The weapons came from a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition stored by the U.S. military in Israel for that country's use if needed for an emergency.  However, a U.S. defense official stressed the delivery of weapons from the existing stockpile in Israel was more a matter of convenience to rotate U.S. ammunition stocks than an emergency request from Israel." How...convenient.

This is Zionism

"Some 66% don’t believe Israel is a shared homeland for Jews and Arabs; 53% think Israel should prioritize its Jewish citizens over the Arab ones."

Saudi Mufti has spoken

He said that demonstrating for Gaza is merely "noise and rabble".

ISISism: in Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism, etc

Of course, the fanaticism and intolerance of ISIS speak of a trend in every religion (no, not in atheism for those who keep asking me in Arabic when I say that).  Here is a Lebanese Christian bishop fulminating against Muslims and Jews.  (Today, he said that his words were distorted when there is an actual recording).

The FBI would like to learn more from "Mustafa"

"Meanwhile, Caesar is scheduled to hold private meetings this week with lawmakers and State Department officials, as well as the FBI, who want to learn more about the photos."

Qasim Sulaymani

By the way, regarding the statement that was made by Qasim Sulaymani yesterday about resistance.  It was noteworthy that he saluted the resistance work of Kata'ib Abu `Ali Mustafa (the military branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).  It is probably the first time that an Iranian official ever praised a communist group.

PS Hasan Nasrallah, under pressure from communists, did acknowledge publicly the roles of Lebanese communists in the resistance against Israel a few years ago.

These Israeli atrocities

The propaganda by Israel and its advocates in US media may work on the ignorant but for somebody of my age none of those atrocities are new. Israel managed to kill some 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians (overwhelmingly civilians) back in 1982 and there were no tunnels to speak of, and no Hamas and Hizbullah.

Before and After: Gaza

(thanks Fadi)

Western media report: a "top Hizbullah official" died twice: once in Syria and once in Iraq

The same guy was reported to have been killed in Syria and later reported killed in Iraq.   Nour tells me that he may be reported killed in Ukraine next week. (thanks Nour)

Shaykh Zayid in Iran in 1975

I came across this picture from An-Nahar of 1975. It seems that Shaykh Zayid did not discover the Arabness of the occupied islands before the fall of the Shah.

"Arab nations silent on Gaza"? For real?

Of course, there is a whole article in the Times about the subject and comrade Kieran tells me that he saw this headline ""CNN DEVELOPING STORY: ARAB NATIONS SILENT ON GAZA".  This is very convenient for the US media: to claim that why criticize Israel when Arab "nations" are silent.  Now it is most convenient (as in the Times story) when they conflate the Arab tyrannical regimes (who are all clients of the US) with the Arab people themselves.  This makes the silence or acquiescence of Sisi and Saudi King representative of the Arab people.  Yesterday, two New York Times reporters even dared to criticize Arab tyrants for their silence.  I replied that it is quite convenient and safe for them to express criticisms of allies of Israel but not of Israel itself.  If you know Arabic, you should just follow the debate and outrage by Arabs from the maghrib to the Gulf about Gaza. 

"Mustafa" at the Holocaust Museum

This was not a big story due to the coverage of the war on Gaza (or the war of the tunnels, according to US news).  But the photographer who defected from the Syrian regime (and his defection has been considered the most notable since the defection of Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl in 1937) has been under wraps by the Qatari and American governments who control him.  We still don't know why the Syrian regime was taking pictures of its victims except to keep historic evidence of its crimes of repression but leave that to another time.  "Mustafa", his real name has not been released, was revealed to a select group of press people at the Holocaust Museum, of all places.  But why the Holocaust museum? We have been accustomed to Zionist dismissal of anyone who ever invokes the word Holocaust or Nazi in reference to Israel as a clear and unabashed anti-Semite, but Israel and Zionists seem rather casual in their invoking the words Nazi and holocaust to all enemies of Israel.  The person who hosted the event was none other than Michael Chertoff , one of the most fanatic Zionists and enemies of civil liberties especially for Arabs and Muslims.  The event ended with "Mustafa" promising to release some of his collection of pictures--but only for the website of the...Holocaust Museum.  Kid you not.

PS Of course, the Holocaust Museum is not new to political games and tricks.  It was in fact founded, according to historians of the Jimmy Carter era, as a cheap and exploitative political move by Carter to improve his standing with the Jewish community while seeking reelection. 

Characteristics of Israeli propaganda in the West

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  "Characteristics of Israeli propaganda in the West".

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No such headlines in US newspapers

If you need to verify how "surgical" Israeli bombing has been, check this headline of the Washington Post

Don't you like the phrasing: "Gaza power plant disabled"?  It is like they sent electricians and simply disabled it.

In a nutshell

"It’s worth listening carefully when Netanyahu speaks to the Israeli people. What is going on in Palestine today is not really about Hamas. It is not about rockets. It is not about “human shields” or terrorism or tunnels. It is about Israel’s permanent control over Palestinian land and Palestinian lives. That is what Netanyahu is really saying, and that is what he now admits he has “always” talked about. It is about an unswerving, decades-long Israeli policy of denying Palestine self-determination, freedom, and sovereignty.

What Israel is doing in Gaza now is collective punishment. It is punishment for Gaza’s refusal to be a docile ghetto. It is punishment for the gall of Palestinians in unifying, and of Hamas and other factions in responding to Israel’s siege and its provocations with resistance, armed or otherwise, after Israel repeatedly reacted to unarmed protest with crushing force. Despite years of ceasefires and truces, the siege of Gaza has never been lifted."

One of the best background articles you need to read about the Israeli war: "The Thrasybulus Syndrome: Israel’s War on Gaza"

This is the most comprehensive article that you need about the Israeli war on Gaza.  It is written not by a leftist radical, but by a mainstream well-known professor of international relations.  David C Hendrickson is a professor at Colorado College, where I knew him (and liked him) during my several visiting appointments there. 

"Indeed, the key prize in their geopolitical strategy of leaping over their opponents to find allies on the other side has been to secure a vital redoubt in American public opinion and in the organs of American state power. Here they have shown extraordinary success, the most potent symbol of which (not counting the annual bill of over $3 billion in military aid) is the twenty-nine standing ovations given to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he addressed Congress in May 2011. (Who sat down first? One wonders.) Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies; those whom they denominate as terrorists, we denominate as terrorists: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Sudan...This support does not simply reflect the adeptness of AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups in granting and withholding favors from members of Congress, but exists throughout the corporate commentariat and is well rooted in broad swathes of U.S. domestic opinion. The latest polls show that 57 percent of Americans believe Israel’s actions in Gaza are justified, with 40 percent opposed. An earlier Pew poll from 2013 showed that 51 percent of Americans sympathize with Israel; only 14 percent sympathize with the Palestinians. The findings are remarkably stable over time. According to a CNN poll, the same 57 percent thought Israel’s actions were justified against Hamas in 2012. In 2009, the approval rate was 63 percent. (The margins are closer in Gallup polling, with a July 22-23 poll showing a 42-39 split on whether Israel’s actions are justified and—disturbing for Israel—a 25-51 split among people aged 18-29.)...There are three expert timelines of the Israeli assault on Gaza published by John Judis, Larry Derfner, and Scott McConnell. They make clear that the first rockets fired by Hamas, after having observed a cease-fire since November 2012, came after a wide range of Israeli provocations. Israel had to deal with intermittent rocket fire from Gaza splinter groups, especially Islamic Jihad, throughout the previous eighteen months, but Hamas kept its fire. In March 2014, Netanyahu acknowledged that the number of rocket attacks from Gaza in the previous year was the “lowest in a decade.” The shock of the three Jewish teenagers kidnapped on June 12 led to widespread official calls for collective punishment, 1500 building searches, and some 500 arrests in the West Bank in the following two weeks, even though the government had every reason to believe that the teenagers were dead and that a group antagonistic to Hamas was behind the kidnappings. The clear purpose was to disrupt the accession of Hamas to the Palestinian “national consensus” government in early June. Israel not only arrested fifty-one Hamas members released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit, but also conducted thirty-four airstrikes on Gaza on July 1 and killed six Hamas men in a bombing raid on a tunnel in Gaza on July 6. After these Israeli actions, came a big volley of Hamas rockets, then Operation Protective Edge...
That America should be deeply associated with these Israeli attacks on Arabs and Muslims cannot be beneficial to American security. Osama bin Laden once revealed that he got the idea for blowing up skyscrapers from witnessing the Israeli shelling of Beirut in 1982; and the plan took shape after he observed the devastation wrought upon Iraq by Desert Storm in 1991. Everyone says that it was the stationing of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia that most offended bin Laden, but it was what the United States did with those forces—the war and the ensuing large civilian death toll in Iraq—that was the greater offense in his book. Violence motivates people, often to kill; that is a universal trait of our divided and depraved humanity.
No prudent foreign policy should ignore the motive for retaliation we give by recklessly using force in the Islamic world ourselves or by identifying the United States so closely with Israel. Adverting to this phenomenon two centuries ago, then-diplomat John Quincy Adams wrote that to take an eye for an eye allowed the allied powers ranged against France to “glut their vengeance for the wrongs” they had received from France, but Adams believed that they were “laying up stores of wrath for the day of wrath in revenge for those which they are inflicting.”"

Let me translate Washington Lingo to you

"Washington "deeply troubled" by Israel's targeting of Gaza power station".  This translates as follows: Washington does not think that Israel has butchered enough women and children and is troubled about the low number of Palestinian casualties but will be sending ASAP more bombs for Israel to use at once on Palestinian civilians.

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries "A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli tank shelling at a UN school in Jebaliya refugee camp, 30 July 2014. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP"

I am sure that the Committee to Protect only Certain Journalists would come out with a most lame statement on this murder of this journalist

And now a word from the US Senate

"The U.S. Senate unanimously supported Israel’s goals in its conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a posture that distances the body from President Obama’s call for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.

In a rare joint action, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader, initiated the resolution passed Tuesday evening by unanimous consent.

The resolution “supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ unrelenting and indiscriminate rocket assault into Israel and Israel’s right to destroy Hamas’ elaborate tunnel system into Israel’s territory.”

That aligns with the goals set forth Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel would stay in Gaza until the tunnels reaching into its territory are destroyed, a day after Obama had phoned him and asked him to agree to an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.”"

What about J Street, you may ask

"This time around, J Street has taken a radically different position, sticking close to other mainstream Jewish groups. J Street has asserted Israel’s right to defend itself, and has condemned Hamas while expressing concern for Palestinian and Israeli civilians."

Before and after the bombing by Israel

Ben Hubbard of the Times denies that Gaza is under the siege and notes the humanity of the occupiers

"Throughout the war, Israel has continued to allow food and electricity into Gaza, complicating Palestinian claims that they are besieged."  So what are the Palestinians really complaining about:  they have food and electricity and Israel is dropping bombs over the heads and butchering them albeit humanely.   Only an American correspondent can write such callous words on this day.


Palestinians mourn the death of civilians, while Israelis mourn the death of an Israeli terrorist soldier.  This is supposed to be equivalent in the US press.

This was the Bush speechwriter who proudly coined "the axis of evil" term

"Conservative pundit David Frum apologized on Wednesday for alleging that the New York Times and other outlets had run faked photos from the violence in Gaza."

Gaza under fire

Now what do Left-wing members of US Congress have to say about Gaza

Actually, nothing at all.

Zionism in pictures

Zionism in pictures.

Israel needs more US money to kill more women and children

"The Obama administration's $225 million request to aid Israel during its war with Hamas may not be enough, warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday afternoon."

Graphic: Israeli massacre of Shuja`iyyah near the farmers' market