Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cuba Sowed Seeds

Of Latin America Rebirth

by Seumas Milne

There was one region that saw the bankruptcy of neoliberalism - and now the rest of the world is having to catch up

On 9 October 1967, Che Guevara faced a shaking sergeant Mario Teran, ordered to murder him by the Bolivian president and CIA, and declared: "Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man." The climax of Stephen Soderbergh's two-part epic, Che, in real life this final act of heroic defiance marked the defeat of multiple attempts to spread the Cuban revolution to the rest of Latin America.

But 40 years later, the long-retired executioner, now a reviled old man, had his sight restored by Cuban doctors, an operation paid for by revolutionary Venezuela in the radicalised Bolivia of Evo Morales. Teran was treated as part of a programme which has seen 1.4 million free eye operations carried out by Cuban doctors in 33 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. It is an emblem both of the humanity of Fidel Castro and Guevara's legacy, but also of the transformation of Latin America which has made such extraordinary co-operation possible.

The 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution this month has already been the occasion for a regurgitation of western media tropes about pickled totalitarian misery, while next week's 10th anniversary of Hugo Chávez's presidency in Venezuela will undoubtedly trigger a parallel outburst of hostility, ridicule and unfounded accusations of dictatorship. The fact that Chávez, still commanding close to 60% popular support, is again trying to convince the Venezuelan people to overturn the US-style two-term limit on his job will only intensify such charges, even though the change would merely bring the country into line with the rules in France and Britain.

But it is a response which also utterly fails to grasp the significance of the wave of progressive change that has swept away the old elites and brought a string of radical socialist and social-democratic governments to power across the continent, from Ecuador to Brazil, Paraguay to Argentina: challenging US domination and neoliberal orthodoxy, breaking down social and racial inequality, building regional integration and taking back strategic resources from corporate control.

That is the process which this week saw Bolivians vote, in the land where Guevara was hunted down, to adopt a sweeping new constitution empowering the country's long-suppressed indigenous majority and entrenching land reform and public control of natural resources - after months of violent resistance sponsored by the traditional white ruling class. It's also seen Cuba finally brought into the heart of regional structures from which Washington has strained every nerve to exclude it.

The seeds of this Latin American rebirth were sown half a century ago in Cuba. But it is also more directly rooted in the region's disastrous experience of neoliberalism, first implemented by the bloody Pinochet regime in the 1970s - before being adopted with enthusiasm by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and duly enforced across the world.

The wave of privatisation, deregulation and mass pauperisation it unleashed in Latin America first led to mass unrest in Venezuela in 1989, savagely repressed in the Caracazo massacre of more than 1,000 barrio dwellers and protesters. The impact of the 1998 financial crisis unleashed a far wider rejection of the new market order, the politics of which are still being played out across the continent. And the international significance of this first revolt against neoliberalism on the periphery of the US empire now could not be clearer, as the global meltdown has rapidly discredited the free-market model first rejected in South America.

Hopes are naturally high that Barack Obama will recognise the powerful national, social and ethnic roots of Latin America's reawakening - the election of an Aymara president was as unthinkable in Bolivia as an African American president - and start to build a new relationship of mutual respect. The signs so far are mixed. The new US president has made some positive noises about Cuba, promising to lift the Bush administration's travel and remittances ban for US citizens - though not to end the stifling 47-year-old trade embargo.

But on Venezuela it seemed to be business as usual earlier this month, when Obama insisted that the Venezuelan president had been a "force that has interrupted progress" and claimed Venezuela was "supporting terrorist activities" in Colombia, apparently based on spurious computer disc evidence produced by the Colombian military.

If this is intended as political cover for an opening to Cuba then perhaps it shouldn't be taken too seriously. But if it is an attempt to isolate Venezuela and divide and rule in America's backyard, it's unlikely to work. Venezuela is a powerful regional player and while Chávez may have lost five out of 22 states in November's regional elections on the back of discontent over crime and corruption, his supporters still won 54% of the popular vote to the opposition's 42%.

That is based on a decade of unprecedented mobilisation of oil revenues to achieve impressive social gains, including the near halving of poverty rates, the elimination of illiteracy and a massive expansion of free health and education. The same and more is true of Cuba, famous for first world health and education standards - with better infant mortality rates than the US - in an economically blockaded developing country.

Less well known is the country's success in diversifying its economy since the collapse of the Soviet Union, not just into tourism and biotechnology, but the export of medical services and affordable vaccines to the poorest parts of the world. Anyone who seriously cares about social justice cannot but recognise the scale of these achievements - just as the greatest contribution those genuinely concerned about lack of freedom and democracy in Cuba can make is to help get the US off the Cubans' backs.

None of that means the global crisis now engulfing Latin America isn't potentially a threat to all its radical governments, with falling commodity prices cutting revenues and credit markets drying up. Revolutions can't stand still, and the deflation of the oil cushion that allowed Chávez to leave the interests of the traditional Venezuelan ruling elite untouched means pressure for more radical solutions is likely to grow. Meanwhile, the common sense about the bankruptcy of neoliberalism first recognised in Latin America has now gone global. Whether it generates the same kind of radicalism elsewhere remains to be seen.

Reflections Of Fidel

Deciphering The Thinking Of The New President Of The United States

It isn’t too difficult. After his inauguration, Barack Obama stated that the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to its legitimate owner had to be carefully considered, in the first place, in terms of whether it would affect the defense capacity of the United States in the most minimal way.

He immediately added that, in relation to the return to Cuba of the occupied territory, he would have to consider under which concessions the Cuban side would accede to that solution, which is equivalent to demanding a change in its political system, a price against which Cuba has fought for half a century.

Maintaining a military base in Cuba against the will of our people is in violation of the most elemental principles of international law. It is a faculty of the president of the United States to abide by that standard without any conditions. Not to respect it constitutes an act of arrogance and an abuse of his immense power against a little country.

If one wishes to better understand the abusive nature of the power of the empire, statements published on its official Internet website by the U.S. government on January 22, after Barack Obama’s inauguration, should be taken into account. Biden and Obama are resolutely decided on supporting the relations between the United States and Israel and believe that their incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, the principal U.S. ally in the region.

The United States will never distance itself from Israel, and its president and vice president "believe strongly in Israel’s right to protect its citizens," assures the statement of principles which, on those points, takes up the policy followed by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

It is the mode of sharing in the genocide of Palestinians into which our friend Obama has fallen. He is offering similar sweeteners to Russia, China, Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world, after the United States converted Israel into an important nuclear power that annually absorbs a significant part of the exports of the empire’s prosperous military industry, with which it is threatening, with extreme violence, the population of all countries of Muslim faith.

There are many similar examples; one does not need to be a fortune-teller. For more information, read the statements of the new Pentagon chief, an expert in military affairs.

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 29, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

US Economic Crisis

Analysts are preaching gloom and doom

by Eric Walberg

Even before the euphoria evaporates, analysts are preaching gloom and doom for Obama on the home front.

The easy part is over. A flourish of executive orders closing Guantanamo, dismantling much of president George W Bush’s architecture for the “war on terror”, allowing family planning promotion abroad. The hard part has begun. United States President Barack Obama is faced with an economy in galloping depression, the worst since the 1930s on all counts.

The economic growth of the Bush years, such as it was, was fueled by an explosion of private debt; now credit markets have collapsed and the economy is in free-fall. Housing starts, the traditional indicator of which direction an economy is going in, have never dropped so steeply since records began. Prices are falling, and not only oil prices. The Federal Reserve interest rate is now zero. Median income fell over the past decade and continues to fall. Industrial production last year fell 7.8 per cent from 2007, and manufacturing by 10 per cent. Unemployment is sky-rocketing, with millions of jobs already lost.

He must wrestle with the $700 Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP). Like Bush’s original Operation Iraq Liberation (OIL), it has an embarrassing acronym, considering it is a “cover” for bailing out the rich. The first installment padded the books of floundering financial institutions and bailed out the major US automakers, without any of the guilty parties even having their knuckles rapped. The Associated Press contacted 21 banks which received over $1 billion of federal bailout money, and none of them were able or willing to disclose the use of the funds. Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the Senate that TARP required “fundamental reform”, as it favoured big financial institutions over small businesses, distressed workers and home owners.

The financial meltdown is only going to get worse given the Democrats’ inability to abide anything that smacks of socialism. The only feasible solution, as implemented in similar circumstances by the Swedes (a rightwing government, no less), is nationalization of the culprits. The Swedes bit the bullet, splitting the banks into good and bad parts; the former continued business as usual, while the latter, holding largely illiquid real estate, were managed by the government till the economy improved. The taxpayer ended up almost breaking even. “If you go in with capital, you should have full voting rights,” insists self-proclaimed neoliberal Bo Lundgren, Sweden ’s minister of fiscal and financial affairs at the time.

As it is, the hemorrhaging will continue and the credit markets will remain frozen as the economy enters a deflationary spiral. Strike one for Obama.

As for the $825 billion economic recovery package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, it is already being picked at from all sides. Sixty per cent will be federal spending on education, aid to states for Medicaid, increases in unemployment benefits, dozens of major public works projects to create jobs, and — for the Republicans — $350 billion in tax breaks.

Instead of generating enthusiasm, it is being criticised for lacking stategic vision. There are 152 different appropriations, “an undisciplined sprawl of health, education, entitlement and other spending,” with modest short term impact, according to analyst David Brooks. It will cost $223,000 to create each job. Obama’s inspiration is president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose ambitious Works Progress Administration was a similarly sprawling array of public programmes. Though it provided millions of unemployed with much need jobs building dams and highways, it did little to make a dent in the Great Depression.

In his inauguration speech, Obama’s admiration for “the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job” sounded like something out of a Dickensian novel. His vow to enact universal health care became a vague “Our health care is too costly.” Considering the already accelerating growth in unemployment, he will most likely be presiding over an increase in uninsured Americans, rather than a decrease. His paraphrase of Keynes — “our workers are no less productive ... our minds no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed” did not call for any radical government action, as Keynes did, but for an end “of standing pat, of protecting narrown interests and putting off unpleasant decisions.” Timid platitudes.

His economic advisers are all Clinton hacks with their expertise in Rubinomics, which is pre-Keynesian in its focus on balanced budgets and prudence. Sure, they might change their stripes, but there are many less doctrinaire economists who were not part of the Clinton-Bush era deregulation mania that led to the present mess, such as James Galbraith or Nobel Laureate George Stiglitz, who could hit the ground running, as the dire times require. Strike two.

If things go badly in Iraq and Afghanistan , and Israel continues its Nazi-esque slaughter in Palestine , as most surely will be the case, Obama will soon be in very hot water on all fronts.

The way out, of course, is principled government economic activity, sometimes called socialism. Thatcher’s “There Is No Alternative” (TINA), but in reverse. There are lots of precedents. We have mentioned Sweden in the early 1990s. Taking a leaf from US history, the government owned about a third of the banking system through its own bailout programme by 1935, and used that ownership stake to insist that banks actually help the economy, pressuring them to lend out the money they were getting from Washington . The New Deal went further and lent money directly to businesses, home owners and buyers.

Another leaf from the socialistic 1930s is FDR’s social security programme (which could be emulated by universal health care today) and drive for greater income equality. Under FDR, America went through what labour historians call the Great Compression, a dramatic rise in wages for ordinary workers that greatly reduced income inequality. Before the Great Compression, America was a society of rich and poor; afterward it was a society in which most people, rightly, considered themselves middle class. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman calls for another Great Compression to recreate the middle class lost from president Ronald Reagan on. Again, TINA.

Many argue that the US itself is bankrupt, with its massive trade and budget deficits. But the government can always legislate expenditures, and even with debt-based money creation, when the interest rate is zero, it can, through intelligent spending, create a multiplier effect, increasing employment and consumption at no real cost. It’s possible that reviving the economy — including universal health care — might cost as much as a trillion dollars over the course of Obama’s first term. But the Bush administration wasted at least twice that much on illegal wars and tax cuts for the wealthiest.

However, it can’t convince the world of its creditworthiness without cutting military spending — in itself a blessing. True, the arms industry and the armed forces provide millions of jobs, but they are very, very expensive and destructive ones, and a principled government can do much better things with its money. Ending its bullying of other countries would be another blessing.

Like Obama after Bush, president Jimmy Carter also faced the daunting task of picking up the pieces after a discredited Republican administration, with Middle East politics and an energy crisis topping the agenda. But Carter had it relatively easy compared to Obama. Bush followed in Reagan’s footsteps and effectively bankrupted America with his massive tax cuts to the rich and even more massive spending on the military and failed wars. Far more corrupt and deserving of impeachment than Nixon, his crimes have so far been untouched.

Both Carter and Obama were swept into the White House from nowhere, promising to restore American ideals, pursue alternative energy, support education, help the common man. More to the point, like Carter, Obama was chosen by the ruling economic elite as a pretty face to keep that common man happy despite the economic mess that his predecessors left behind. David Rockefeller met Carter in the mid-1970s and invited him to join the Trilateral Commission. He then went from obscurity to president almost overnight. Obama was discovered by Rockefeller’s protege Zbigniew Brzezinski, invited to join the Council for Foreign Relations, and experienced an equally miraculous climb to the top. His (and Hillary’s) meeting with the Bilderberg Group in June, during the height of the primaries, is well known.

But the approval of the backroom boys doesn’t guarantee success, as Carter famously found out. Sometimes the hand dealt is unplayable. The eminences grises can drop a loser on a dime, as Carter also famously found out. But that may be yet another blessing for someone with courage and integrity. Yet another Nobel Laureate, and one who Obama would do well to consult along with Stiglitz and Krugman, Carter is the only living ex-president with those traits, however flawed his presidency was.

The world fervently hopes that Obama has some of them as well. But his presidency will be made or broken on how he handles the economy. The question is whether he has enough room to manoeuvre, given his poor hand, his patrons and his impatient supporters. The odds, given Carter’s failed presidency, do not look good.


The Imperial Bulldog

One of the deceptive clichés of Western accounts of post World War II history is that NATO was constructed as a defensive arrangement to block the threat of a Soviet attack on Western Europe. This is false. It is true that Western propaganda played up the Soviet menace, but many key U.S. and Western European statesmen recognized that a Soviet invasion was not a real threat. The Soviet Union had been devastated, and while in possession of a large army it was exhausted and needed time for recuperation. The United States was riding high, the war had revitalized its economy, it suffered no war damage, and it had the atomic bomb in its arsenal, which it had displayed to the Soviet Union by killing a quarter of a million Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hitting the Soviet Union before it recovered or had atomic weapons was discussed in Washington, even if rejected in favor of “containment,” economic warfare, and other forms of destabilization. NSC 68, dated April 1950, while decrying the great Soviet menace, explicitly called for a program of destabilization aimed at regime change in that country, finally achieved in 1991.

Thus, even hardliner John Foster Dulles stated back in 1949 that “ I do not know of any responsible high official, military or civilian…in this government or any other government, who believes that the Soviet now plans conquest by open military aggression.” But note Dulles’ language—“open military aggression.” The “threat” was more a matter of possible Soviet support to left political groups and parties in Western Europe. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, a prime mover of NATO, openly stated that the function of a NATO military buildup would be “chiefly for the practical purpose of assuring adequate defense against internal subversion.” The much greater support of rightwing forces by the United States was, of course, not a help to internal subversion, and a threat to democracy; only possible Soviet help to the left fit that category. (Recall Adlai Stevenson’s claim in the late 1960s that the resistance within South Vietnam by indigenous forces hostile to the U.S.-imposed minority regime was “internal aggression.”)

The non-German Western European elites were more worried about German revival and a German threat, and, like U.S. officials, were more concerned about keeping down the power of the left in Europe than any Soviet military threat—and the United States was pressing the Europeans to build up their armed forces, and buy arms from U.S. suppliers! Although knowingly inflated or even concocted, the Soviet military threat was still very useful in discrediting the left by tying it to Stalin and bolshevism and an alleged Soviet invasion and mythical world conquest program.

In fact, the Warsaw Pact was far more a “defensive” arrangement than NATO; its organization followed that of NATO and was clearly a response, and it was a structure of the weaker party and with less reliable members. And in the end, it collapsed, whereas
NATO was important in the long-term process of destabilizing and dismantling the Soviet regime. For one thing, NATO’s armament and strength were part of the U.S. strategy of forcing the Soviets to spend resources on arms rather than provide for the welfare, happiness and loyalty of their population. It also encouraged repression by creating a genuine security threat, which, again, would damage popular loyalty and the reputation of the state abroad. Throughout this early period the Soviet leaders tried hard to negotiate some kind of peace settlement with the West, including giving up East Germany, but the United States and hence its European allies-clients would have none of it.

As noted, in the U.S. official--hence mainstream media-- view, only Soviet intervention in Western Europe after World War II was bad and threatened “internal subversion.” But in a non-Orwellian world it would be recognized that the United States far outdid the Soviet Union in supporting not only “internal subversion” but also real terrorism in the years after 1945. The left had gained strength during World War II by actually fighting against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The United States fought against the left’s subsequent bids for political participation and power by any means, including direct warfare in Greece and by massive funding of anti-left parties and politicians throughout Europe. In Greece it supported the far right, including many former collaborators with fascism, and succeeded in putting in place a nasty rightwing authoritarian regime. It continued to support fascist Spain and accepted fascist Portugal as a founding member of NATO, with NATO arms helping Portugal pursue its colonial wars. And the United States, the dominant NATO power, supported rightwing politicians and former Nazis and fascists elsewhere, while of course claiming to be pro-democratic and fighting against totalitarianism.

Perhaps most interesting was the U.S. and NATO support of paramilitary groups and terrorism. In Italy they were aligned with state and rightwing political factions, secret societies (Propaganda Due [P-2]), and paramilitary groups that, with police cooperation, pursued what was called a “Strategy of Tension,” in which a series of terrorist actions were carried out that were blamed on the left. The most famous was the August 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station, killing 86. The training and integration into police-CIA-NATO operations of former fascists and fascist collaborators was extraordinary in Italy, but common elsewhere in Europe (for the Italian story, see Herman and Brodhead, “The Italian Context: The Fascist Tradition and the Postwar Rehabilitation of the Right,” in Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection [New York: Sheridan Square, 1986]. For Germany, see William Blum, on “Germany 1950s,” in Killing Hope [Common Courage: 1995]).

NATO was also linked to “Operation Gladio,” a program organized by the CIA, with collaboration from NATO governments and security establishments, that in a number of European states set up secret cadres and stashed weapons, supposedly preparing for the threatened Soviet invasion, but actually ready for “internal subversion” and available to support rightwing coups. They were used on a number of occasions by rightwing paramilitary groups to carry out terrorist operations (including the Bologna bombing, and many terrorist incidents carried out in Belgium and Germany).

Gladio and NATO plans were also used to combat an “internal threat” in Greece in 1967: namely, the democratic election of a liberal government. In response, the Greek military put into effect a NATO “Plan Prometheus,” replacing a democratic order with a torture-prone military dictatorship. Neither NATO nor the Johnson administration objected. Other Gladio forces, from Italy and elsewhere, came to train in Greece during its fascist interlude, to learn how to deal with “internal subversion.”

In short, from its inception NATO showed itself to be offensively, not defensively, oriented, antagonistic to diplomacy and peace, and intertwined with widespread terrorist operations and other forms of political intervention that were undemocratic and actual threats to democracy (and if traceable to the Soviets would have been denounced as brazen subversion). .

The Post-Soviet NATO

With the ending of the Soviet Union, and that menacing Warsaw Pact, NATO’s theoretical rationale disappeared. But although that rationale was a fraud, for public consumption NATO still needed to redefine its reason for existence, and it also soon took on a larger and more aggressive role. With no need to support Yugoslavia after the Soviet demise, NATO soon collaborated with its U.S. and German members to war on and dismantle that former Western ally, in the process violating the UN Charter’s prohibition of cross-border warfare (i.e., aggression).

Amusingly, in the midst of the NATO bombing war against Yugoslavia, in April 1999, NATO held its 50th anniversary in Washington, D.C., celebrating its successes and with characteristic Orwellian rhetoric stated its devotion to international law while in the midst of its ongoing blatant violation of the UN Charter. In fact, the original 1949 NATO founding document had begun by reaffirming its members “faith in the UN Charter,” and in Article 1, undertaking, “as set forth in the UN Charter, to settle any international disputes by peaceful means.”
The April 1999 session produced a “Strategic Concept” document that laid out a supposedly new program for NATO now that its “mutual defensive” role in preventing a Soviet invasion had ceased to be plausible. (“The Alliance’s Strategic Concept,” Washington, D.C., April 23, 1999 ( )). The Alliance still stresses “security,” though it has “committed itself to essential new activities in the interest of a wider stability.” It welcomes new members and new “partnership” arrangements, though why these are necessary in a post-Cold War world with the United States and its closest allies so powerful is never made clear. It admits that “large-scale conventional aggression against the Alliance is highly unlikely,” but of course it never mentions the possibility of “large-scale conventional aggression” BY members of the Alliance, and it brags about the NATO role in the Balkans as illustrative of its “commitment of a wider stability.” But not only was this Alliance effort a case of legal aggression—“illegal but legitimate” in the Orwellian phrase of key apologists--contrary to this paper, NATO played a major destabilization role in the Balkans, helping start the ethnic warfare and refusing to pursue a diplomatic option in Kosovo in order to be able to attack Yugoslavia in a bombing war that was in process while this document was being handed out. (For a discussion of the NATO role, see Herman and Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,” Monthly Review, Oct. 2007: )

“Strategic Concept” also claims to favor arms control, but in fact from its very beginning NATO promoted more armaments, and all the new members like Poland and Bulgaria have been obligated to build up their “inter-operable” arms, meaning getting more arms and buying them from U.S. and other Western suppliers. Since this document was produced in 1999, NATO’s leading member, the United States, has more than doubled its military budget and greatly increased arms sales abroad; it has pushed further into space-based military operations; it has withdrawn from the 1972 ABM treaty, refused to ratify the Comprehensive (Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty, and rejected both the Land Mine treaty and UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms. With NATO’s aid it has produced a new arms race, which many U.S. allies and clients, as well as rivals and targets, have joined.

The 1999 document also claims NATO’s support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but at the same time it stresses how important nuclear arms are for NATO’s power—it therefore rejects a central feature of the NNPT, which involved a promise by the nuclear powers to work to eliminate nuclear weapons. What this means is that NATO is keen only on non-proliferation by its targets, like Iran. Nuclear weapons “make a unique contribution in rendering the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable.” But if Iran had such weapons it could make “Alliance” “risks of aggression”—which Alliance member the United States and its partner Israel have threatened—unacceptable. Obviously that would not do.

In its Security segment, Strategic Concept says that it struggles for a security environment “based on the growth of democratic institutions and commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, in which no country would be able to intimidate or coerce any other through the threat or use of force.” The hypocrisy here is mind-boggling. The very essence of NATO policy and practice is to threaten the use of force, and U.S. national security policy is now explicit that it plans to maintain a military superiority and prevent any rival power from challenging that superiority in order to hold sway globally—that is, it plans to rule by intimidation.

NATO now claims to threaten nobody, and even talks in Strategic Concept about possible joint “operations” with Russia. Again, the hypocrisy level is great. As we know, there was a U.S. promise made to Gorbachev when he agreed to allow East Germany to join with the West, that NATO would not move “one inch” further East. Clinton and NATO quickly violated this promise, absorbing into NATO all the former Eastern European Soviet satellites as well as the Baltic states. Only self-deceiving fools and/or propagandists would not recognize this as a security threat to Russia, the only power in the area that could even theoretically threaten the NATO members. But Strategic Concept plays dumb, and only threats to its members are recognized.

Although “oppression, ethnic conflict” and the “proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” are alleged great concerns of the new NATO, its relations with Israel are close, and no impediment whatsoever has been (or will be) placed on Israeli oppression, ethnic cleansing, or its semi-acknowledged substantial nuclear arsenal, and of course neither its war on Lebanon in 2006 nor its current murderous attacks on Gaza have impeded warm relations, any more than the US-UK unprovoked attack on Iraq reduced NATO-member solidarity. If Israel is a highly favored U.S. client, it is then by definition free to violate all the high principles mentioned by Strategic Concept. In 2008 NATO and Israel have signed a military pact, so perhaps NATO will soon be helping Israel’s “security” operations in Gaza. (In fact, Obama’s choice as National Security Adviser, James Jones, has over the past year or so been clamoring for NATO troops to occupy the Gaza Strip and even the West Bank. He is not a lone voice in the U.S. establishment).

The new NATO is a U.S. and imperial pitbull. It is currently helping rearm the world, encouraging the military buildup of the former Baltic and Eastern European Soviet satellites--now U.S. and NATO satellites--working closely with Israel as that NATO partner ethnically cleanses and dispossesses its untermeschen--helping its master establish client states on the Russian southern borders, officially endorsing the U.S. placement of anti-ballistic missiles in Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel, and threateningly elsewhere, at a great distance from the United States, and urging the integration of the U.S. plans with a broader NATO “shield.” This virtually forces Russia into more aggressive moves and accelerated rearmament (just as NATO did in earlier years).

And of course NATO supports the U.S. occupation of Iraq. NATO secretary-general Scheffer regularly boasts that all 26 NATO states are involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom, inside Iraq or Kuwait. Every single Balkan nation except for Serbia has had troops in Iraq, and now has them in Afghanistan. Half of the former Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States have also provided troops for Iraq, with some of these also in Afghanistan. These are training grounds for breaking in and “inter-operationalizing” the new “partners,” and developing a new mercenary base for the growing “out of area” operations of NATO, as NATO participates more actively in the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As noted, NATO brags about its role in the Balkans wars, and both this war and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have violated the UN Charter. Lawlessness is built-in to the new “strategic concept.” Superceding the earlier (fraudulent) “collective self defense,” the ever-expanding NATO powers give themselves the authority to conduct military campaigns "out-of-area" or so-called "non-Article V" missions beyond NATO territory. As the legal scholar Bruno Simma noted back in 1999, "the message which these voices carry in our context is clear: if it turns out that a Security Council mandate or authorization for future NATO 'non-Article 5' missions involving armed force cannot be obtained, NATO must still be able to go ahead with such enforcement. That the Alliance is capable of doing so is being demonstrated in the Kosovo crisis." ("NATO, the UN and the Use of Force: Legal Aspects," European Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1999, reproduced at

The new NATO is pleased to be helping its master project power across the globe. In addition to helping encircle and threaten Russia, it pursues “partnership arrangements” and carries out joint military maneuvers with the so-called Mediterranean Dialogue countries (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Algeria). And NATO has also established new partnerships with the Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), thereby expanding NATO's military ambit from the Atlantic coast of Africa to and throughout the Persian Gulf. In the same time frame there has been a unbroken series of NATO visits to and naval exercises with most of these new partners as well as (this past year) the first formal NATO-Israeli bilateral military treaty.

The pitbull is well positioned to help Israel continue its massive law violations, to help the United States and Israel threaten and perhaps attack Iran, and to enlarge its own cooperative program of pacification of distant peoples in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and no doubt elsewhere—all in the alleged interest of peace and that “wider stability” mentioned in Strategic Concept. NATO, like the UN itself, provides a cover of seeming multilateralism for what is a lawless and virtually uncontrolled imperial expansionism. In reality, NATO, as an aggressive global arm of U.S. and other local affiliated imperialisms, poses a serious threat to global peace and security. It is about to celebrate its 60th anniversary, and while it should have been liquidated back in 1991, it has instead expanded, taking on a new and threatening role traced out in its 1999 Strategic Concept and enjoying a frighteningly malignant growth.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Afghanistan War?

- Its Roots

This is a machine translation of a Spanish language article by Vicenç Navarro that appeared in Sistema Digital.

The new U.S. President, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, has indicated that one of its intentions is to ask its NATO allies to increase their contribution to the war in Afghanistan. Hence the urgency of the Spanish population is informed about the origin of that conflict. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Spanish media have given a skewed version of what happened in that country.

The first time that Afghanistan appeared in the media Spaniards was in the eighties when the media referred to the U.S. intervention to stop the invasion of that country by the Soviet Union. Afghanistan in danger of becoming more a colony of the Soviet empire, which was prevented by the U.S. intervention in support of the liberation forces who fought against a puppet government, satellite in the Soviet Union. This is the most widespread version of what happened in Afghanistan in the mid-eighties and after.

The second time it appeared in Afghanistan when the media was less than a month after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Armed Forces attacked the Taliban regime in that country, causing its collapse and replacement by a government appointed in practice by the U.S. federal government So far the official version, reproduced in the media and persuasion Spaniards. These versions, however, (and especially the first) do not correspond with reality. And it is of great importance and urgency to correct this version, making known the real story of those events. There are several books that have reported critically on the version of events promoted by the means of persuasion and information dominate U.S. and Europe. Among them, the report Afghanistan, Another Untold Story, by Michael Parenti, published in Znet.


Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, was ruled until the mid-seventies by a feudal system in which 75% of the land was owned 3% of the rural population. It was a system based on a huge farm, because of the enormous poverty of its people. But where there is usually also holding resistance. And in the sixties that the forces opposed to feudal regime (ruled by a monarchy) established the People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader of the resistance that forced the ouster of the monarchy in 1973, being replaced by a government that was also of inefficient, corrupt, autocratic and unpopular. The PDP had the strength to demand the abdication of King and dismissal but had not had sufficient strength to change the regime. Dissatisfaction with the regime, however, reached such a level that in 1978 there were many popular movements that forced the resignation of the government. And the Army did not resist such mobilizations. Rather, the support, thus the first popular government led by the PDP led by a national poet and novelist, Noor Mohammed Taraki, (the García Marquez of Afghanistan). The PDP was the ruling party that initiated many reforms including the legalization of unions, the establishment of a minimum wage, progressive taxation, a literacy campaign, and reforms in the areas of health and public health who provided access the population to such services. In rural areas, facilitated the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. A reform that also had a huge impact was to encourage the liberation of women, opening up public education to girls as well as children, and facilitating the integration of women into the labor market and the university. As the daily San Francisco Chronicle (November 17, 2001) "under the PDP government, the women studied agriculture, engineering and commerce at the University. Some women took jobs in government and seven of them were elected to Parliament. Women driving cars, traveling freely, and constituted 57% of university students. " Professor John Ryan of the University of Winnipeg, an expert in agricultural economics and expert on Afghanistan has indicated that the land reform initiated by this government had an enormous impact on the welfare of rural populations. This government also eliminated the cultivation of opium (Afghanistan produces 70% of the opium consumed in the production of heroin).

However, such reforms have generated huge resistance from those groups whose interests were being adversely affected. Among them, three groups led the opposition. You were the owners of large land holdings, were the other religious leaders who were opposed by all means to women's emancipation, and a third group were opium smugglers. In support of these groups came Saudi Arabia, the fundamentalist state that provides aid to Islamic fundamentalists, the Pakistan Army, Afghan fearful that the reforms to contaminate the working class of Pakistan itself, and of course, the federal government of the United States .


It should be stressed that even the CIA, the spy agency of the U.S. federal government had recognized the independent and popular PDP and never (during the period that political battle against the feudal system) referred to the PDP as an "agent of Moscow." Was fully aware that this political force was responding to a demand which had its own independence and autonomy. Despite this, and before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the U.S. federal government was funding the Afghan fundamentalist and extremist forces who were trying to sabotage the reforms that the PDP government (including public schools in rural areas to educate the girls). Mr. Brzezinski, National Security Council of President Carter, has admitted that the U.S. government funded extremist guerrillas who carried out such acts of sabotage, burning, for example, public schools. Moreover, the U.S. federal government encouraged a military coup against the government PDP held briefly in 1979 and killed thousands of Tarak and PDP leader before the next military andalusia PDP retake power.

The hostility of the U.S. federal government towards reform of the government PDP was based in part on opposition from the U.S. government towards the nationalization of land and other interventions that were in conflict with the ideals of the U.S. federal government, reforms also had the advice of technicians from the Soviet Union. The U.S. government was concerned about the possible expansion of Soviet influence. Behind such support had an anti-fundamentalist, as reflected in the figure Brzezinski (a Polish anti-fundamentalist), he considered that the fundamental objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to eliminate the influence of the Soviet Union in the world at the expense of whatever, including the cost of supporting some of the most retrograde and reactionary forces in the world, such as Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan.

The alliance of U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was enormously powerful and threaten the continuity of the government of PDP. Hence, the government requested assistance to the Soviet Union, support that was rejected several times, until finally, the government of the USSR agreed to send military aid to the Afghan army (loyal to the PDP), which was against the fundamentalist guerrillas Mojahidden (Islamic guerrilla fighters) backed by U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.


Finally, in 1979, the government of the Soviet Union accepted the request of the PDP government to send troops in support of the army against mobilization of international forces that they were questioning its stability and viability. In part this was also what he wants the U.S. federal government immediately because it was such an invasion as an excuse to mobilize the Muslim world against the USSR's support of a government Lazio, progressive and eager to modernize the country. U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the sources of the reaction, spent 40 billion dollars in support of Mojahidden, who joined 100,000 Muslim fundamentalists from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (including Bin Laden), Iran and Algeria, armed and advised by CIA.

Ten years later the Soviet troops left Afghanistan. The war, however, continued three years, during which the PDP government remained popular, despite the massive destruction of the country's infrastructure, the result of the great hostility of the reactionary alliance. Even after the collapse of the USSR, the government continued to rule for another year, despite not receiving weapons that might use to defend themselves from extremist forces supported by the governments of U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Again, as in the Spanish Republic, the lack of weapons was the reason that the opposition beat that conflict, the government initiated a Mujahiddeen who started a massive repression, looting, with mass executions, closing public schools , oppressing women in systematic campaigns of rape, destroying the urban areas. In an Amnesty International report in 2001 that accused the Mujahiddeen of "systematic violation of women as a way of terrorizing women and population, and as a reward to the troops." The government started again the opium trade, with the help of Pakistani intelligence services and the CIA (who worked together in support of the Mujahiddeen) Afghanistan becoming the largest producer of heroin in the world. Several of the military Mujahiddeen left Afghanistan and went to fight in Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo and Kashmir beginning of the terrorist network in defense of Muslim fundamentalism.

A fraction of the Mujahiddeen were the Taliban, the fundamentalist group in such a partnership, which by their fanaticism, and cruelty imposed discipline killing govern large areas of the country and finally seized power. Banned music, schools, education lació, libraries and any sign of modernization. Established order, executing all those who create disorder from political opponents to common thieves. Imposed the dress as Burkan to women and forbade the men to shave. Women were deprived of rights, including the educated, and those that were considered immoral were stoned and burned alive. Moreover completed rape of women by Mujahiddeen and the production of opium. The Taliban government had the support of the federal government of President Clinton. According to Ted Rall (it is about oil. "San Francisco Chronicle. Nov.2, 2001), the U.S. government paid until 1999 the salaries of Taliban officials and it was not until 2001, when following the attack on the twin towers, that President Bush to mobilize public support to the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, denounced treatment of women in Afghanistan. Later, even the lady Laura Bush became a feminist and denounced such abuses. On September 11 marked the end of the US-Taliban alliance and the fall of the Taliban government in December 2001 replaced by another pro-US faction of Mujahiddeen who began the fight against the Taliban. Opium production appeared again.

A question that requires answer is how could the U.S. supporting the Taliban government, knowing their support for Bin Laden and the terrorist group (which had been funded by the U.S. in origin)? How is the Taliban government that had never been declared "a government that supported terrorism? One reason is that having done so would have meant that companies could not pretolíficas U.S. have signed an agreement with the Taliban government to build a pipeline to allow transportation of oil from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean. In fact, the support would have continued not to have happened on September 11. And since the story is well known.

Throughout this process, they have forgotten that if it had allowed the PDP government would have made the reforms that the country needed, there would be no "invasion" of Soviet Afghanistan, there would be no war in Afghanistan, Bin Laden would not have occurred and Al Qaeda and there had been a September 11. And this is precisely the truth that is hidden. The story would have taken other paths. Al Qaeda would probably have emerged, but the venue and format would have been different. In the background of the conflict is the strength of the U.S. federal government (and their allies, and especially Saudi Arabia), and their opposition to reforms and secular progressives. Needless to say there are other reasons for the existence of Islamic terrorism. But resistance to this necessary and urgent reforms led by secular and progressive groups is a major cause. Opposition to the massive exploitation that exists in the Muslim world has been channeled through extremely reactionary forces in which religious fundamentalism has been encouraged to stop the popular mobilizations that would have cut and lay out such exploitation.

Vicenç Navarro

Drug Money & Banks

Crime Chief Says Drug Money Flowed Into Banks

ReutersPublished: January 25, 2009

VIENNA: The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."

Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.

(and this article followed the one above)

The author of the following article was at one time the British ambassador to Uzbekistan.

Britain is Protecting the Biggest Heroin Crop of All Time

In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?

The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.

The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.

That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.

That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.

Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.

It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Israel Attitude

'We Could Destroy All European Capitals'
By Nadim Ladki

(IAP News) -- An Israeli professor and military historian hinted that Israel could avenge the holocaust by annihilating millions of Germans and other Europeans.

Speaking during an interview which was published in Jerusalem Friday, Professor Martin Van Crevel said Israel had the capability of hitting most European capitals with nuclear weapons.

"We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force."

Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that "collective deportation" was Israel's only meaningful strategy towards the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this (the Israeli government) are waiting only for the right man and the right time. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago it was 33 per cent, and now, according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent."

Creveld said he was sure that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wanted to deport the Palestinians.

"I think it's quite possible that he wants to do that. He wants to escalate the conflict. He knows that nothing else we do will succeed."

Asked if he was worried about Israel becoming a rogue state if it carried out a genocidal deportation against Palestinians, Creveld quoted former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan who said "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."

Creveld argued that Israel wouldn't care much about becoming a rogue state.

"Our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that this will happen before Israel goes under."

Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

Monday, January 26, 2009

US Moves

To Consolidate New Supply Routes To Afghanistan

Source: World Socialist Web Site

26 January 2009

The commander of US forces in Central Asia, General David Petraeus, announced last week that he had reached an agreement with the Russian government for the transit of "non-military" supplies through its territory to the US and NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan.

Petraeus made a statement from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on January 20, after visits to the Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and a brief stopover in Kabul for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

According to Petraeus, the agreement will allow essential logistical supplies such as fuel, food and construction equipment to be transited via Russia's rail and road network, through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and into northern Afghanistan—one of the few areas of the occupied country where NATO forces are not facing constant attack from insurgents linked to the former Taliban regime or other Islamist-based resistance organisations.

He told journalists: "It is very important as we increase the effort in Afghanistan that we have multiple routes that go into the country. There have been agreements reached and there are transit lines and transit agreements that now include several countries in the Central Asian states and also Russia."

On Friday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking during an official visit to Uzbekistan, announced: "We are ready for full-fledged cooperation with all countries on the issue of assuring security in Afghanistan, including the United States. We hope the new US administration will have greater success than the previous one in resolving the Afghanistan issue."

Representatives of NATO and Russia are holding a summit today in which Afghanistan will figure prominently. The talks are the first to take place since relations were frozen after Moscow's intervention to push back the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia.

The supply route diplomacy is an aspect of the foreign policy of the new Obama administration, which is committed to a dramatic intensification of the Afghan war and a broader assertion of US imperialist interests in Central Asia. This year, as many as 30,000 additional American troops will be deployed to the conflict.

For commanders like Petraeus, who are drawing up the tactical plans for this escalation, the matter of supplies and logistics for their troops in the land-locked country looms large.

For the past seven years, the bulk of US and NATO supplies for the war have been transited via Pakistan, from the port of Karachi through the Khyber Pass and other crossings along the border with Afghanistan.

This route passes through Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and its autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), whose majority ethnic Pashtun population share a common language, culture and religion with the Pashtuns of southern Afghanistan and view the resistance being waged against the US and NATO invasion as their war as well. As was the case during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Pakistani frontier region has provided a safe haven for Afghan guerrillas and a recruitment ground for new fighters.

Under pressure from Washington, the Pakistani government and military have conducted deeply unpopular and costly military operations to try to stem insurgent activity in the FATA. The result has been even greater hatred for the US occupation and greater support for Islamist tendencies that advocate resistance.

Over the past year, the growth of the insurgency has been reflected in increasingly frequent attacks on convoys and supply depots inside Pakistani territory. This month alone, the Khyber Pass has been closed on two occasions due to security concerns, while a crossing north of the city of Quetta was blockaded by tribesmen after military personnel killed a local man.

The spread of the Afghan war into Pakistan is the main factor behind the efforts to develop alternative supply paths.

Throughout the US election campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly insisted that he would order attacks on insurgent targets inside Pakistan—with or without the agreement of the Pakistani government. The Bush administration has been putting Obama's policy into effect since August. Over 30 air strikes have been carried out since by US forces in the FATA, in contempt of Islamabad's protests.

The first attacks under Obama took place last Friday. Homes in the agencies of North and South Waziristan were destroyed by missiles fired by unmanned Predator drones, killing at least 18 people.

From a military standpoint, however, these supposedly "precision" operations have been ineffective. Of approximately 260 people killed, the Pakistani government has estimated that the vast majority were not insurgent leaders or fighters, but Pashtun villagers, including scores of women and children. The attacks have inflamed tribal hostility toward both the occupation of Afghanistan and the collaboration of the Pakistani government with US imperialism.

A full-scale attempt to disrupt insurgent activity in the FATA would require dozens of sorties each day by US and NATO aircraft, in violation of Pakistan's national sovereignty. At a certain point, it would also necessitate ground operations in the rugged terrain along the Afghan border, against the concentrations of Taliban fighters that the Pakistani military has been unable or unwilling to dislodge.

In other words, it would require openly declaring the FATA to be part of the Afghan war theatre. The consequences would be that Pakistan could not reliably be used as a transit route.

A measure of how important the supply question is can be gauged by speculation in American military and foreign policy circles as to whether it even warrants the US taking steps to end its decades-long stand-off with Iran. By far the shortest and most convenient route into Afghanistan would be overland from the Iranian port of Chahbahar on the Arabian Sea, to the Afghan city of Zaranj.

Indian engineers have just completed the construction of a highway from Zaranj to the town of Delaram, where it merges with the major road network linking the country's major cities. The Indian government financed the project to get around Islamabad's refusal to allow Indian goods to transit through Pakistan to Afghanistan. The US military could use the same route as an alternative to sending supplies through the FATA.

Petraeus spoke last year of the "common interest" shared by the US and the Shiite fundamentalist regime in Tehran in regards to Afghanistan—preventing the return to power of Sunni extremists; stemming drug trafficking; and opening up new trade markets.

The think tank Stratfor, which is close to the US intelligence agencies, commented on January 23: "If an arrangement can be worked out between the United States and Iran, western forces could thus reduce their dependence on the main routes through Pakistan and perhaps avoid the logistical and geopolitical costs of having to transport supplies through Central Asia. The United States could clearly benefit from Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan..."

At present, such "cooperation" does not exist. The Obama administration therefore has little choice but to bargain with Russia if it is going to advance its plans for the subjugation of Afghanistan. Russian President Medvedev has indicated that Moscow will be asking for significant concessions on issues such as the expansion of the NATO alliance and the US missile defence system. If such negotiations become difficult, the Iranian option may become more attractive.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dummy Or Real

In 2004, the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev desert. It’s the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a dummy Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hizbullah fought Israel to a draw in the north, so that the IDF could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.

When the Israeli Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz visited the site after the Lebanon war, he told the press that soldiers ‘were preparing for the scenario that will unfold in the dense neighbourhood of Gaza City’. A week into the bombardment of Gaza, Ehud Barak attended a rehearsal for the ground war. Foreign television crews filmed him as he watched ground troops conquer the dummy city, storming the empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them.

‘Gaza is the problem,’ Levy Eshkol, then prime minister of Israel, said in June 1967. ‘I was there in 1956 and saw venomous snakes walking in the street. We should settle some of them in the Sinai, and hopefully the others will immigrate.’ Eshkol was discussing the fate of the newly occupied territories: he and his cabinet wanted the Gaza Strip, but not the people living in it.

Israelis often refer to Gaza as ‘Me’arat Nachashim’, a snake pit. Before the first intifada, when the Strip provided Tel Aviv with people to wash their dishes and clean their streets, Gazans were depicted more humanely. The ‘honeymoon’ ended during their first intifada, after a series of incidents in which a few of these employees stabbed their employers. The religious fervour that was said to have inspired these isolated attacks generated a wave of Islamophobic feeling in Israel, which led to the first enclosure of Gaza and the construction of an electric fence around it. Even after the 1993 Oslo Accords, Gaza remained sealed off from Israel, and was used merely as a pool of cheap labour; throughout the 1990s, ‘peace’ for Gaza meant its gradual transformation into a ghetto.

In 2000, Doron Almog, then the chief of the southern command, began policing the boundaries of Gaza: ‘We established observation points equipped with the best technology and our troops were allowed to fire at anyone reaching the fence at a distance of six kilometres,’ he boasted, suggesting that a similar policy be adopted for the West Bank. In the last two years alone, a hundred Palestinians have been killed by soldiers merely for getting too close to the fences. From 2000 until the current war broke out, Israeli forces killed three thousand Palestinians (634 children among them) in Gaza.

Between 1967 and 2005, Gaza’s land and water were plundered by Jewish settlers in Gush Katif at the expense of the local population. The price of peace and security for the Palestinians there was to give themselves up to imprisonment and colonisation. Since 2000, Gazans have chosen instead to resist in greater numbers and with greater force. It was not the kind of resistance the West approves of: it was Islamic and military. Its hallmark was the use of primitive Qassam rockets, which at first were fired mainly at the settlers in Katif. The presence of the settlers, however, made it hard for the Israeli army to retaliate with the brutality it uses against purely Palestinian targets. So the settlers were removed, not as part of a unilateral peace process as many argued at the time (to the point of suggesting that Ariel Sharon be awarded the Nobel peace prize), but rather to facilitate any subsequent military action against the Gaza Strip and to consolidate control of the West Bank.

After the disengagement from Gaza, Hamas took over, first in democratic elections, then in a pre-emptive coup staged to avert an American-backed takeover by Fatah. Meanwhile, Israeli border guards continued to kill anyone who came too close, and an economic blockade was imposed on the Strip. Hamas retaliated by firing missiles at Sderot, giving Israel a pretext to use its air force, artillery and gunships. Israel claimed to be shooting at ‘the launching areas of the missiles’, but in practice this meant anywhere and everywhere in Gaza. The casualties were high: in 2007 alone three hundred people were killed in Gaza, dozens of them children.

Israel justifies its conduct in Gaza as a part of the fight against terrorism, although it has itself violated every international law of war. Palestinians, it seems, can have no place inside historical Palestine unless they are willing to live without basic civil and human rights. They can be either second-class citizens inside the state of Israel, or inmates in the mega-prisons of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If they resist they are likely to be imprisoned without trial, or killed. This is Israel’s message.

Resistance in Palestine has always been based in villages and towns; where else could it come from? That is why Palestinian cities, towns and villages, dummy or real, have been depicted ever since the 1936 Arab revolt as ‘enemy bases’ in military plans and orders. Any retaliation or punitive action is bound to target civilians, among whom there may be a handful of people who are involved in active resistance against Israel. Haifa was treated as an enemy base in 1948, as was Jenin in 2002; now Beit Hanoun, Rafah and Gaza are regarded that way. When you have the firepower, and no moral inhibitions against massacring civilians, you get the situation we are now witnessing in Gaza.

But it is not only in military discourse that Palestinians are dehumanised. A similar process is at work in Jewish civil society in Israel, and it explains the massive support there for the carnage in Gaza. Palestinians have been so dehumanised by Israeli Jews – whether politicians, soldiers or ordinary citizens – that killing them comes naturally, as did expelling them in 1948, or imprisoning them in the Occupied Territories. The current Western response indicates that its political leaders fail to see the direct connection between the Zionist dehumanisation of the Palestinians and Israel’s barbarous policies in Gaza. There is a grave danger that, at the conclusion of ‘Operation Cast Lead’, Gaza itself will resemble the ghost town in the Negev.

Ilan Pappe, the author of this article, is chair of the history department at the University of Exeter and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine came out in 2007.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Backs Israel

Obama Supports Israel. Period.


Barack Obama's big speech on Israel is now over, and as expected, the candidate made no secret of his support and dedication to the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. "My view is that the United States' special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction," were Obama's words to Haaretz last week. Today, he sounded as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani. At least rhetorically, Obama passed any test anyone might have wanted him to pass. So, he is pro-Israel. Period.


"The kinds of communications that he would engage in and the pressure he envisions on Iran may differ in some respect from the other candidates," an adviser to Barack Obama told the NY Sun yesterday. And in the speech he made today, in Chicago, Obama showed his cards. He was clear, but not as tough as Edwards' "Let me be clear: Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons" or Clinton's "we cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons."

Here's what Obama said: "The world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. And while we should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons."

As I wrote for Slate last week, I don't believe there's a big difference between Democrats and Republicans in regards to Iran-policy. Nevertheless, Obama today sounded somewhat different, more cautious, than the 2004 Obama I quoted at the end of that Slate piece: "In light of the fact that we're now in Iraq, with all the problems in terms of perceptions about America that have been created, us launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in ... On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse. So I guess my instinct would be to err on not having those weapons in the possession of the ruling clerics of Iran."


On engaging Iran: "We need the United States to lead tough-minded diplomacy. This includes direct engagement with Iran similar to the meetings we conducted with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War."

On stopping Iran: "Tough-minded diplomacy would include real leverage through stronger sanctions. It would mean more determined U.S diplomacy at the United Nations. It would mean harnessing the collective power of our friends in Europe who are Iran's major trading partners. It would mean a cooperative strategy with Gulf States who supply Iran with much of the energy resources it needs. It would mean unifying those states to recognize the threat of Iran and increase pressure on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. It would mean full implementation of U.S. sanctions laws. And over the long term, it would mean a focused approach from us to finally end the tyranny of oil, and developing our own alternative sources of energy to drive the price of oil down."

On Iraq and Israel: "A consequence of the Administration's failed strategy in Iraq has been to strengthen Iran's strategic position; reduce U.S. credibility and influence in the region; and place Israel and other nations friendly to the United States in greater peril."

On American aid to Israel: "We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs."

On diplomacy: "Our job is to do more than lay out another road map."

On Israel's security: "Our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region. That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: Our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point."

On the Palestinian leadership: "We should all be concerned about the agreement negotiated among Palestinians in Mecca last month."

On U.S. mediation: "We should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli prime minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States" - or is that about Syria?


Is he really as friendly to Israel as any other candidate? Yesterday, writing about Clinton and Edwards, I mentioned the fact that "the constant interest in, and the open sympathy for, Israeli affairs that is required of all important elected officials in the most Jewish of states in the U.S. has had its effect on" Clinton and Giuliani, The Israel Factor favorites. Obama doesn't have this advantage. He isn't from New York and, more importantly, is relatively new to the public sphere.


It is no secret that Jewish money plays a big role in the Democratic Party. "They don't have the number [of voters], but have the means to get the voters," a prominent Democratic operative told me last week. That's why I told the told the NY Sun that "I don't think his real motive is to win votes. It's, of course, Jewish money." Will he get it? Here's one clue. Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida is going to co-chair Barack Obama's White House drive in the state. And why would Wexler do such thing? Because "I have spoken with Barack to discuss the dangers facing our ally Israel, and I am convinced there will be no stronger supporter of Israel than President Obama", his statement says. It "appears as Obama plans a big day on March 25 of fundraising in Florida, where he will be looking for help from the Jewish Democratic donor community", writes Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times today.


So, did Obama achieve his goal? Sorry, but I will have to repeat here what I wrote just a week ago. It is as true today as it was then: "After talking to people about him all week, I can tell you this: They very much want to be persuaded that Obama should win their backing, as they all understand the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding his candidacy and the importance of Obama adding his voice to the camp of Israel supporters. With such an attitude, it is relatively easy to be convinced."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wanted Ehud Barak

For War Crimes And Crimes Against Humanity

Arrest warrant: Ehud Barak
For violations of the Rome Statute & 4th Geneva Convention

In June 2007, the suspect imposed a siege on 1.5 million residents of Gaza. The siege, which is ongoing in 2009, is collective punishment according to International Law. The year and a half long siege caused severe food and fuel shortages, intermittent drinking water and electricity supply, disruption to sewage treatment plants and shortages of medicine and essential medical equipment, affecting the lives of 1.5 million people - a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute.

On 27 December 2008, the suspect ordered the aerial bombardment of Gazan population centers. The attacks involved hundreds of aircraft sorties, dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on Gazan neighborhoods At least 1,200 people - men, women and children were killed and 5,300 people were injured. The bombs damaged thousands of homes and turned hundreds of thousands of people into refugees.

On 10 December 2008, a formal complaint was submitted by Lebanese lawyers to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, against Ehud Barak and four other Israeli: Ehud Olmert, Matan Vilnai, Avi Dichter and Gabi Ashkenazi on the suspicion that they had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by ordering and maintaining a siege on Gaza.

Description of the suspect: a white man, about 65 years old, lower than average height, graying hair, brown eyes, with glasses.

Anyone who has information about the suspect when he is outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to:

The Prosecutor
POBox 19519
2500 Hague
Fax +31 70 515 8 555

Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff Video
Click Here
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
Dem Bones is Connected To De Debt Bone
[Here is another view to search for the truth in - am]
Our consumer society didn't just happen, it was planned. Not in the 20th or 21st centuries, but in the 19th century by the Skull and Bones secret society.

Skull and Bones, a branch of the Bavarian Illuminati, was founded by William Huntington Russell and fellow classmate Alphonso Taft at Yale University in 1832.

Members, known as “Bonesmen,” include Rockefeller, Kuhn, Loeb and Morgan all connected to the House of Rothschild's global financial empire. They are founders of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, France, and Germany or, for that matter, any central bank anywhere in the world.

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, one of the most important domestic acts in the nation's history, took the power to create money from the people and gave it to the Bonesmen, in theory, for profit.

The process that the Federal Reserve, or any bank, uses to create money “consists of making an entry in a book, that is all,” says Graham Towers, governor of the Bank of Canada. “Each and every time a bank makes a loan (a debt) . . . new bank credit is created—brand new money.”

While a gold-backed currency and even greenbacks have their limits, the Bonesmen's manufactured bank money has no commoditization potential and therefore no limit . Making matters worse, the central banks are allowed to charge interest on borrowed money that never existed in the first place. The money we borrow from the Federal Reserve is money created out of thin air, which we use to buy stuff, but we have to pay interest on those loans, and this becomes what is known as the national debt .

How are the Bonesmen getting wealthy off this money that doesn't exist?

Is it a Ponzi scheme? Not likely.

Narrator Annie Leonard in “The Story of Stuff” stands in line to buy a radio for $4.99 and realizes that we aren't really paying for the stuff we buy. So if we aren't paying, who is?”

The Bonesmen, of course!

Those trees we chopped, mountains we blew up to get the metals inside, and the precious water we consumed all belonged to the Bonesmen at one time. In 1910 they owned or controlled one-sixth of the world's wealth, but their wealth was eventually “cut, mined and hauled away,” as “The Story of Stuff” tells us, so that Americans could have houses, second houses, cars, RVs, TVs and DVDs—the cheap stuff that is currently “trashing the planet”. Don't forget the world they owned and controlled in 1910 had a mostly balanced ecology.

Leonard is correct in saying, “The real costs of making our stuff aren't captured in the price.” But the costs are recorded. According to the Comptroller of the Currency, the books of U.S. banks now carry over $180 trillion in a form of speculative wager known as derivatives. The derivatives represent the money created world-wide since 1910—out of thin air.

About 40 percent of the $10.5-trillion U.S. national debt is owed to the Bonesmen. Warren Buffet and Marketwatch believe if the U.S. defaults on that debt, the loss to the Bonesmen and their derivatives wouldn't be $4.2 trillion or even $180 trillion, but about $500 trillion--money created out of thin air over the past 100 years to pay for our consumer society.

Although the false money that's been created has no limit, the planet's resources do. Consumption at the current rate would require five planets, and the Bonesmen only have one.

The Skull and Bones Federal Reserve became critical to our industrial and consumer society. Thank the Bonesmen for the unprecedented prosperity for the last 100 years, but also blame them for the unprecedented environmental damage and pollution that the planet has suffered.

The Rothschild Brothers of London observed, "The few who understand the (Federal Reserve) system will either be so interested from its profits or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class.”

Eustace Mullins, author of “Secrets of the Federal Reserve,” wrote, "As soon as Mr. Roosevelt took office, the Federal Reserve began to buy government securities at the rate of ten million dollars a week for 10 weeks, and created one hundred million dollars in new (checkbook) currency, which alleviated the critical famine of money and credit, and the factories started hiring people again."

The father of our current president said, "The American way of life is not negotiable," and following 9-11, Bush Jr. simply told Americans that they should go shopping!

At the G8 summit, George W. Bush said, "Goodbye, from the world's biggest polluter.” He proposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which would trash America's last arctic wilderness. Sonar testing is about torturing whales and dolphins, and the border fence that keeps everything out but the illegals is disrupting an extraordinary source of biological diversity along a 2,000-mile-long region that includes deserts, mangrove forests, plains, mountains, river valleys and wetlands.

Inexorably, our consumption patterns are stretching the environment to its limits.

“ From changing climate to polluted air, land, water to declining happiness, it's just not working. But it's not like gravity, we don't gotta to live with it.” But don't try and take back the government from the Bonesmen, we don't have time. In the past three decades alone, one-third of the planet's natural resources have been consumed.

It's time to take action, get united and form “local living economies” that are smart and sustainable. Want to see how? Watch the documentary, “How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.”

It's time for Americans to address the things in life that really matter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gilad Atzmon

Conversation with Gilad Atzmon, world-renowned Jazzist: Bring justice to the Israeli criminals, today!

Palestine Think Tank
Wed, 21 Jan 2009

Interview by: Kourosh Ziabari, MMN

Gilad Atzmon is unique in his stance, unprecedented in his voice and unequivocal in his statements. As an Israel-born jazz musician and anti-Zionist activist, he propagates and chants his anti-Israeli contemplations explicitly and once he finds the opportunity.

As a musician who plays soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, sol, zurna and flute, Atzmon has won several international awards so far, including the BBC Jazz Award 2003, and is considered as one of the most prosperous artists of his rank.

In the position of an anti-Zionist activist, despite being Israeli originally, Gilad Atzmon incessantly denounces his belonging to the Jewish state and proclaims that he merely was born there and no more, which was perceptibly out of his knack and election, and that he feels no sympathy, compassion or nostalgia toward the occupying state of Israel.

During the past years, he has written a stack of articles and given a batch of lectures, performs regularly to condemn the historical belligerence of Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine and currently is lobbying dynamically by traveling to different countries so as to augment the cognition of public opinions about the massacre of Gaza and the butchery of innocent civilians, children and women in the strip.

In his recent trip to Greece, which he departed for a few days ago, Atzmon conducted quite a lot of interviews and appeared on a number of TV, Radio programs so as to express his sharp censure of Israeli genocides in Gaza. He believes that the people of Greece are hopefully much more knowledgeable, well-informed and that's why they have made great efforts to convey their sympathy and patronage to the people in Gaza.

Following is the full text of an exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon in which a variety of topics related to the ongoing slaughter of Gaza, Israeli crimes against humanity and the necessity of holding a trial for the Israeli officials in a just and objective international court is discussed:

Kourosh Ziabari: First, I would like to ask your opinion about the ongoing conflict of Gaza which some named "the most catastrophic battle" in the last decade. What's your idea about the carnage of civilians, children, women and infants in Gaza?

Gilad Atzmon: What we see in Gaza is holocaust denial in its making. The Jewish state exercises hardcore barbarism. Yet, the world keeps silent. Once again we are confronted with the realization that giving a mandate for a national home for the Jewish people has been demonstrated to be a grave lethal mistake. The only question is how to dismantle this monstrous suicidal hawkish creature without turning our planet into a fireball.

Kourosh Ziabari: You criticize the Israeli state so sharply; nevertheless, you may have noted that the Israeli media and statesmen simply stick a label of "traitor" to each of the Israeli citizens, journalists, professors or rhetoricians who uses to blame the Jewish state for its butcheries and onslaughts. How do you solve this?

Gilad Atzmon: To start with, it is not such a bad thing to be a 'traitor' in a murderous state. However, I do not regard myself as an Israeli. I was born there but I haven't lived or visited there for many years. Once I realized that I was residing on stolen land as an oppressor I packed my saxes and left. To a certain extent, I can be regarded as a 'proud self hating Jew'. I am full of shame of myself and those who were my co-nationals. I talk about my shame; I write about it and compose music trying to deal with it.

Kourosh Ziabari: Israeli officials claim that they are just seeking retaliation by attacking the bases of Hamas, merely killing the individuals of army and military. In the other side, they disallow the entrance of journalists and media correspondents into the occupied Gaza Strip and ban them from broadcasting the reality. How can they justify this contradiction? Why they don't allow the journalists into Gaza if they are righteous about their pretensions?

Gilad Atzmon: I do not think that Israelis are concerned at all with contradictions or logical discrepancies. Israelis are not concerned at all with their image either.

I will try to elaborate. Israel is now the largest Jewish Ghetto ever. The Jewish Ghetto is basically a place where Jews can celebrate their symptoms collectively among themselves, without being shy about what they say, think or feel. Israel has already surrounded itself with gigantic walls just to give segregation a real significant meaning. And yet, the Israeli Jewish Ghetto is very different from the East European one. While in the European Ghetto the Jews were intimidated by their surrounding reality, in the Israeli Ghetto the Jews intimidate others. They insist that the entire Middle East must be kept in a state of constant anxiety.

The Ghetto mentality is a very helpful analytic tool. It helps us, for instance, to grasp why Prime Minister Olmert allowed himself to brag in public about humiliating President Bush and Secretary of State Rice. In the Ghetto Jews feel safe, they can speak their mind while being pretty sure that nothing would leak out to the Goyim. In the Ghetto only one logic applies, the Jewish logic.

However, in the 1950's PM Ben Gurion adopted the Jewish Ghetto framework into an Israeli political mantra which he eloquently articulated as follows: "It doesn't matter what the Goyim say, the only thing that matters is what the Jews do". Seemingly, the Jewish Ghetto mantra à la Ben Gurion succeeded in separating the Israelis from the rest of humanity. But it goes further, as we see in Gaza and in any Israeli conflict; it detaches the Hebraic paradigm from any notion of humanist ethics.

This very philosophy is translated easily into Israeli lethal military pragmatism. 'It obviously doesn't really matter what the UN or world's media thinks, all that matters is what the IDF does'.

Now, I will try to address the foreign Journalist topic. Israeli military leaders knew in advance that Gaza was about to become a bloodbath for Palestinian civilians. They obviously knew in advance the weaponry they were about to employ. The last thing they needed was foreign journalists reporting to their media outlets about a massacre in Gaza. World media and the 'right to know' is not an Israeli interest. In the Jewish Ghetto state, all that matters is what the IDF is doing.

The Israelis wanted to finish their job first, to kill many Palestinians, to destroy Gaza and to dismantle its infrastructure so they retrieve their power of deterrence which they have lost many years ago. Journalists reporting from Gaza could simply stand in the way.

Kourosh Ziabari: given such an intricate description, what's the main reason, in your view, for Israel blocking the humanitarian aid ships heading to Gaza? Is there something wrong with the admittance of foods, medicine and first aid to a multitude of people who do not have the least access to the outside world?

Gilad Atzmon: The answer is almost etymological. Talking about 'Humanitarian effort' presumes a deep familiarity with the notion of humanism. Since Israelis have zero commitment to ethics or universal humanism, we cannot expect them to succumb to any humanitarian effort or humanist issue. In the last few days, Israel bombarded hospitals, schools, refugee centers and UN aid distribution centers. We better admit it: the Jewish state is a boiling criminal setting with no comparison. We cannot and should not expect them to follow a humanist call. We should instead anticipate Israel to perform as embodiment of the ultimate evil, and sadly, I must say, they indeed never disappoint here.

Kourosh Ziabari: The employment of white phosphorus in the bombs that the Israeli army unleashes on the heads of civilians and their houses in Gaza seems to be an evident violation of international regulations and the Geneva Convention, significantly. Is there any way of recompensing these war crimes?

Gilad Atzmon: I am not a legal expert so cannot address this question properly. However, it is very interesting to note that in spite of large worldwide condemnation of Israel for using white phosphorus bombs, the Israeli army didn't stop employing this tactic, and it's not the first time they've used unconventional weapons against civilians in the face of international outrage. Every day we see those lethal bombs bursting over civilian targets. Once again we see that it doesn't matter at all what the Goyim say, all that matters is what the Jews do, i.e., kill Palestinian civilians. I would further add that the Israelis lament in continuation about "potential" weapons of mass destruction that other nations might have, it seems to be pathetic while possessing an obscene arsenal of nuclear warheads themselves. If they have no regard for international law, why would they care what world opinion is?

Kourosh Ziabari: Provisionally, even if the war ends now and Israel withdraws from the occupied territories, the result of fatal conflict is more than 1300 dead people and 70% of the infrastructure, buildings, public places has been destroyed. How the real justice could be administered about Israel and its crimes against humanity?

Gilad Atzmon: Again, I am not a legal expert. Yet I do not hold my breath. However, my subject of study is Jewish and Israeli identity. I am interested in the metaphysics of the Israeli genocidal inclination. I am elaborating on the Identity that can inflict so much pain and carnage on innocent civilians. I am interested in the banality of evil as exposed by Israel's ultimate barbarism and the Jewish institutional support of that evil around the world. I believe that once we start to realize what we are up against, we may know how to fight it. I honestly do not believe in international tribunals.A general widely accepted acknowledgment that the Jewish state is nothing but crude barbarism seems to me far more effective.

Kourosh Ziabari: For the last question, what's your message, as an Israeli artist, to the people of Palestine; those mothers who have lost their children or those traumatized children who undergo the aftershocks of losing their parents?

Gilad Atzmon: My Dearest brothers and sisters. It is heartbreaking to watch the death and carnage inflicted on you by the Jewish state. We all see what you are going through and we all know that justice is on your side. I beg you not to lose hope. Evil always comes to an end and Israeli evil is no different. Israel will come to an end though we may have to do something to bring this end about.

However, one thing is rather clear. The so called 'liberal' west failed to save you, sadly enough; the Arab states failed to join your struggle yet. As sad as it may be, as much as justice is on your side, you are alone here confronted with the ultimate evil.

Israel has many bombs in its arsenal. But you Palestinian brothers and sisters have a few things they do not have: Justice is in your side, humanity is in your streets, you have the spirit and you have the ultimate bomb, namely the demographic one.

Palestine is the land, Israel is a state;
States come and go, land stays forever.
Long live Palestine.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?