Friday, July 29, 2011

Nuclear Nato Crimes

Libya War Lies - Worse Than Iraq

By Thomas Mountain, author of the widely read article by the same title - explains his perception of the real reasons for the war on Libya. Thomas C. Mountain is an independent western journalist based in the Horn of Africa, and has been living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987. Read more articles by Thomas C. Mountain at at this link.

The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.

According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.

Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gaddafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.

There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gunships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people, which completely invalidates any justification for the No-Fly Zone in the Security Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.

After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi, which included Gadaffi supporters.

Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had died there, ten thousand even. No, only 110 lost their lives, including pro-government people.

No rapes, no African mercenaries, no helicopter gunships or bombers, and only 110 ten deaths prior to the launch of the NATO bombing campaign; every reason was based on a lie.

Today, according to the Libyan Red Crescent Society, over 1,100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombs, including over 400 women and children. Over 6,000 Libyan civilians have been injured or wounded by the bombing, many very seriously.

Compared to the war on Iraq, these numbers are tiny, but the reasons for the Libyan war have no merit in any form.

Saddam Hussein was evil; he invaded his neighbors in wars that killed up to a million. He used Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in the form of poison gas on both his neighbors and his own people, killing tens of thousands. He was brutal and corrupt and when American tanks rolled into Iraq the Iraqi people refused to fight for him, simply put their weapons down and went home.

Libya under Col. Gadaffi hasn’t invaded their neighbors. Gadaffi never used WMD on anyone, let alone his own people. As for Gadaffi being brutal, in Libya’s neighbor Algeria, the Algerian military fought a counterinsurgency for a decade in the 1990’s that witnessed the deaths of some 200,000 Algerians. Now that is brutal and nothing anywhere near this has happened in Libya.

In Egypt and Tunisia, western puppets like Mubarak and Ben Ali had almost no support amongst their people with few if anyone willing to fight and die to defend them.

The majority of the Libyan people are rallying behind the Libyan government and “the leader”, Muammar Gadaffi, with over one million people demonstrating in support on July 1 in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Thousands of Libyan youth are on the front lines fighting the rebels and despite thousands of NATO air strikes, authentic journalists on the ground in western Libya report that their morale remains high.

In Egypt, the popular explosion that resulted in the Army seizing power from Mubarak began in the very poorest neighborhoods in Cairo and other Egyptian cities where the price of basic food items like bread, sugar, and cooking oil had skyrocketed and led to widespread hunger. In many parts of Egypt’s poor neighborhoods, gasoline/benzene is easier to find then clean drinking water. Medical care and education is only for those with the money to pay for it. Life for the people of Tunisia is not that much better.

In contrast, the Libyan people have the longest life expectancy in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public health system in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public education system in the Arab world. Most Libyan families own their own home and most Libyan families own their own automobile. Libya is so much better off than its neighbors every year tens of thousands of Egyptians and Tunisians migrated to Libya to earn money to feed their families, doing the dirty work the Libyan people refused to do.

When it comes to how Gadaffi oversaw a dramatic rise in the standard of living for the Libyan people despite decades of UN inSecurity Council sanctions against the Libyan economy, honest observers acknowledge that Gadaffi stands head and shoulders above the kings, sheiks, emirs and various dictators who rule the rest of the Arab world.

So why did NATO launch this war against Libya?

First of all, Gadaffi was on the verge of creating a new banking system in Africa that was going to put the IMF, World Bank, and assorted other western banksters out of business in Africa. No more predatory western loans used to cripple African economies; instead, a $42 billion dollar African Investment Bank would be supplying major loans at little or even zero interest rates.

Libya has funded major infrastructure projects across Africa that have begun to link up African economies and break the perpetual dependency on the western countries for imports. Here in Eritrea, the new road connecting Eritrea and Sudan is just one small example.

What seems to have finally tipped the balance in favor of direct western military intervention was the reported demand by Gadaffi that the USA oil companies who have long been major players in the Libyan petroleum industry were going to have to compensate Libya to the tune of tens of billions of dollars for the damage done to the Libyan economy by the USA instigated “Lockerbie Bombing” sanctions imposed by the UN inSecurity Council throughout the 1990’s into early 2000’s. This is based on the unearthing of evidence that the CIA paid millions of dollars to witnesses in the Lockerbie Bombing trial to change their stories to implicate Libya, which was used as the basis for the very damaging UN sanctions against Libya. The government of the USA lied and damaged Libya so the USA oil companies were going to have to pay up to cover the cost of their government’s actions. Not hard to see why Gadaffi had to go, is it?

Add the fact that Gadaffi had signaled clearly that he saw both Libya’s and Africa’s future economic development linked more to China and Russia, rather than the west, and it was just a matter of time before the CIA’s contingency plan to overthrow the Libyan government was put on the front burner.

NATO’s war against Libya has much more in common with NATO’s Kosovo war against Serbia. But one still cannot compare Gadaffi to Saddam or even the much smaller-time criminals in the Serbian leadership. The Libyan War lies are worse than Iraq.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Takes On Breivik

Before the deadly attack in Norway that killed 76 people, suspect Anders Behring Breivik left a long trail of material meticulously outlining his political beliefs. His 1,500-page political manifesto titled, "A European Declaration of Independence," seeks common cause with xenophobic right-wing groups around the world, particularly in the United States.

It draws heavily on the writing of prominent anti-Islam American bloggers, as well as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. His writing reveals he is a right-wing nationalist fueled by a combined hatred of Muslims, Marxists, multiculturalists and feminist women.

Even after the massacre in Norway, some right-wing pundits in the United States have come out in defense of Breivik's analysis. Democracy Now! interviews Jeff Sharlet, an author who has written extensively about right-wing movements in the United States, and who has read much of Breivik's 1500-page manifesto.

"What struck me most about this document is just how American it is in every way, a huge amount of it is from American sources," Sharlet says. "He is a great admirer of America because the United States, unlike Europe, has maintained its 'Christian identity.'"

Part 1

Part 2

Inside Guantanamo

A former Guantanamo Torture prison guard puts truth to the official lies.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

State Dept & Zetas

State Dept. Allegedly Sold Guns to Zetas

It’s a stunning allegation that makes the other gunrunning scandals look like child’s play.

July 22, 2011 - by Bob Owens

Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons:

Jordan, who served as director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center in 1995, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons purchased in the Dallas area through El Paso.

Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot, told the Times he supported Jordan’s allegations, adding that the Zetas have reportedly bought property in the Columbus, N.M., border region to stash weapons and other contraband.

“From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales Program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”

The U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program is run from the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. It regulates and licenses private U.S. companies’ overseas sales of weapons and other defense materials, defense services, and military training. This does not include the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which authorized sales to foreign governments.

An El Paso Times article – as of now ignored by mainstream media — went into much more shocking detail:

“They’ve found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era,” Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.

“The information about the arms trafficking was provided to our U.S. authorities long before the ‘Columbus 11′ investigation began,” said Plumlee, referring to recent indictments accusing several Columbus city officials of arms trafficking in conjunction with alleged accomplices in El Paso and Chaparral, N.M.

Jesús Rejón Aguilar, the number three man in the Zeta’s hierarchy, disclosed last week that the Zetas bought weapons in the United States and transported them across the Rio Grande. Mexican federal authorities captured Rejón on July 3 in the state of Mexico, and presented him to the news media the next day. His recorded video statement was uploaded on YouTube.

Jordan agreed with Plumlee’s allegations that the Zetas are operating in the Columbus-Palomas border.

Plumlee, who has testified before U.S. congressional committees about arms and drug trafficking, said the roads in Southern New Mexico provide smugglers easy access to Mexico’s highway networks. provides a map of the air-smuggling route originating in Dallas at Alliance Airport and ending in Columbus, New Mexico — a small town that has also been rocked by the arrests and guilty pleas of the town mayor and other elected officials who were running guns to a cartel safehouse, and then apparently into Mexico.

There is no direct link made as of yet between the Columbus, NM, officials case and the allegations of the Dallas-to-Columbus air smuggling route, but the possible connection should raise eyebrows.

If these allegations can be verified: what on Earth was the State Department thinking supplying the direct sale of military weapons to a cartel front company? Weapons that were then smuggled out of the very airport used by the Drug Enforcement Agency charged with bringing down the cartels?

Anthony Martin at the Examiner brings up one of the most damning and compelling questions that the State Department and Obama administration must answer if this story is true:

The program is set up so that the sale of U.S. guns to foreign entities involve direct negotiations with the governments of those countries purchasing the weapons. The description of the program specifically states that it regulates the sale of U.S. firearms to other countries or international organizations.

How, then, did a drug cartel purchase weapons through this program when it is neither an international organization nor a government?

At The Truth About Guns, Brad Kozak opines:

The ATF was not the only ones running guns to Mexico. Apparently the State Department was playing, too. And then consider this angle — was the State Department competing with the ATF for the hearts and minds of the Mexican drug trade?

If the ATF is supplying the Sinaloas (with Calderón’s tacit approval and/or help) and State is playing for the Zetas, where does that leave the rest of America?

It sounds like a fictional thriller, but considering what we’ve already learned of Operation Fast and Furious, the Justice Department, and the possibility of even more gunrunning operations (Operation Castaway) out of DOJ, is a rival program being run out of State really a bizarre accusation?

Palestinian Children

Israel's Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children's Right to Education

by Stephen Lendman

In July 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a new report titled, "Education Denied: Israel's Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children's Right to Education," even though it's a fundamental human right.

It involves progressively developing children as individuals and responsible citizens. It's key in helping them "raise their standard of living, and (be able to further their) economic, social and cultural development and growth of society."

PCHR's report addresses Israeli policies that affect primary education achievement for all Palestinians by 2015.

International law recognizes the right to education for everyone, including Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) stating:

"The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education....(It) shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups," as well as advance activities for peace.

Fourth Geneva's Article 50 states:

"The Occupying Power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the education of children."

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) calls it an indispensable human right, essential to include the following features:

-- Availability in proper, well-functioning, educational institutions;

-- Accessibility to everyone without discrimination or unaffordability;

-- Acceptability in terms of substance and quality; and

-- Adaptability to reflect the needs of changing societies.

"The best interests of (students) must always be the primary consideration."

Various other core international law provisions affirm that "basic learning needs of all satisfied." Primary responsibility falls on State Parties, obligated to respect, protect, and fulfill "positive measures to enable and assist individuals and communities to enjoy the right to education."

As an occupying power, Israel is obligated by law to provide and encourage proper education for everyone. Nonetheless, it systematically denies Palestinian children the right to primary (and secondary) education. Its quality and accessibility are hampered by:

-- military operations;

-- physical safety issues;

-- home demolitions and forced displacements;

-- school overcrowding;

-- too few facilities;

-- many in disrepair;

-- lack of teaching materials; and

-- deteriorating children's mental health, living in a violent environment.

In addition, basic rights for all besieged Gazans are denied or severely restricted, including for school children to be properly educated. Earlier from 2000 - 2004, Israeli attacks destroyed 73 educational institutions. During Cast Lead, public and private schools were deliberately targeted, damaged or destroyed.

Afterwards, Israel banned construction materials to prevent rebuilding, a policy still largely in force. As a result, "82 per cent of (damaged) Gaza schools (haven't) been repaired due to the lack of reconstruction materials." As a result, quality and accessibility of education to all students have been severely compromised.

Frequent Israeli incursions also jeopardize children's safety. Moreover, they and schools are "consistently targeted by Israeli forces....Instances of killing and wounding of children at school have been recorded," as well as educational facilities closed following military attacks.

In fact, schools in Gaza's "buffer zone" near Israel face frequent sniper and other attacks, targeting Palestinians (including children) in so-called restricted areas. In 2010, five children were killed, another 44 wounded. As of April 2011, three children were killed, another 10 injured.

As a result, trauma, anxiety, and lack of concentration affect student performance, worried more about safety than learning. Isolation, an electricity crisis, unsafe water, and lack of basic necessities exacerbate conditions further.

East Jerusalem also faces a chronic classroom shortage at all levels. As a result, a February 8, 2010 memo from Deputy Attorney General Yehudit Karp to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Israel's failure to fulfill its legal obligations causes "disastrous consequences for the education system in East Jerusalem."

Overall, around 5,300 students aren't enrolled in any educational institution. Israel has done nothing to alleviate the problem or reduce the high dropout rate, "notably in the post-elementary educational cycle."

West Bank performance also is unsatisfactory. In 2009, PA Ministry of Education and Higher Education standardized tests showed:

-- only 43% of fourth-graders passed math;

-- 66.7% passed Arabic; and

-- 45.8% passed science.

PCHR noted that today's tragic situation is easily reversed and preventable. Only the international community's failure to hold Israel accountable prevents it. "This is not acceptable....Palestinian children's fundamental right to education (must be) ensured, and their future(s) protected."

A Final Comment

A new B'Tselem report titled, "No Minor Matter: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel on Suspicion of Stone-Throwing" discusses another issue affecting hundreds of persecuted children.

From 2005 through 2010, "at least 835 Palestinian minors were arrested and tried in military courts - not for vandalism, arson, robbery, rape or murder, for alleged stone-throwing. Thirty-four were aged 12 - 13, 255 aged 14 - 15, and 546 aged 16 -17.

All except one were convicted. Due process and judicial fairness are nonstarters. Children are illegally treated like adults in violation of international law, including:

Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stating:

"The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child...shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time."

However, Israeli military orders systematically violate international law provisions, norms and standards, operating extrajudicially with regard to arrests, interrogations, detentions, treatment, family member visitation rights, and legal representation, even for minors aged 10 or younger.

Even though Israel established a West Bank Military Youth Court in November 2009, serious violations of children's rights continue.

B'Tselem interviewed 50 minors for its report, obtaining information from their arrest to release. Numerous rights violations were revealed, including:

-- soldiers arrested 30 minors at home in the middle of the night;

-- parents weren't allowed to accompany them or know details of their detention;

-- three were interrogated the same night; 19 the next morning; three that afternoon; and two five days later;

-- only three got enough sleep prior to questioning; five said soldiers woke them if they dozed off;

-- 19 said they were threatened and treated violently;

-- 23 were denied basic functions, including going to the bathroom, eating and drinking;

-- most children arrested were detained without bail until proceedings against them concluded; as a result, most (like adults) accept a plea bargain, pleading guilty to lesser charges (whether or not culpable for any) for shorter sentences; otherwise, they could be kept in jails or prison for long periods pre-trial, exacting a terrible toll;

-- military courts impose incarceration in lieu of alternative punishments, in violation of international law.

In fact, 93% of minors convicted of stone-throwing were imprisoned for a few days to 20 months. Nineteen were 13 or younger even though Israeli law prohibits incarceration of children under age 14. Their only relief was shorter sentences when, in fact, stone-throwing, at most, is a misdemeanor, warranting nothing more than a reprimand, regardless of age.

Israel, however, convicted them lawlessly for being Muslims in a Jewish state. Most were denied family visitations, telephone privileges, and availability of educational services other than a few subjects inadequately, denying their ability to learn and be promoted.

Few Israeli officials involved in security and judicial procedures called for reforming brazen practices, infringing the rights of minors, even though Israel is obligated under international law to do so.

In fact, Principle 1 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child states:

"Every child, without exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to (fundamental human and civil) rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his (or her) family."

Israel, however, spurns all international laws, norms and standards, doing what it damn pleases extrajudicially because world leaders don't hold it accountable. As a result, Palestinians chafe grievously under the yoke of its repression.

More Than Taboo

More Than Taboo from Ryantineocon on Vimeo.

I cannot assess whether or not the content in this video is true. Therefore, let me label it as counter propaganda. That should be fair enough.

False Flag Operation

Norway Terror Attacks a False Flag Operation

Webster G. Tarpley

The tragic terror attacks in Norway display a number of the telltale signs of a false flag provocation. It is reported that, although the world media are attempting to focus on Anders Behring Breivik as a lone assassin in the tradition of Lee Harvey Oswald, many eyewitnesses agree that a second shooter was active in the massacre at the Utøya summer youth camp outside of Oslo. It has also come to light that a special police unit had conducted drills or exercises near the opera house in downtown Oslo which involved the detonation of bombs during 2010– exactly what caused the bloodshed a few hundred meters away this Friday. Further research reveals that United States intelligence agencies had been conducting a large-scale program of recruiting retired Norwegian police officers with the alleged purpose of conducting surveillance inside the country. This program, known as SIMAS Surveillance Detection Units, provided a perfect vehicle for the penetration and subversion of the Norwegian police by NATO.

A motive for the attack is also present: as part of its attempt to mount an independent foreign policy, including the imminent diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state as part of a general rapprochement with the Arab world, Norway was leading the smaller NATO states in dropping out of the imperialist aggressor coalition currently bombing Libya. Norway was scheduled to stop all bombing and other sorties against the Gaddafi forces as out of August 1 at the latest.

Finally, the CIA limited hangout operation known as Wikileaks has already furnished a prefabricated off-the-shelf case for incompetence and malfeasance against the current Norwegian government that is doing all these things – in the form of a series of real or doctored dispatches which document the alleged negligence of this government in dealing with the terrorist threat, all in the view of US State Department officials.

VG of Oslo: “Several” Eyewitnesses Say there were Two Shooters on the Island

As noted, world press and media of the Anglo-American school have immediately battened onto Breivik as an archetypal lone assassin cast in the mold of Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, and so many others. The problem for the terror mythographs is that , in most of these cases, there is credible to overwhelming evidence that these figures could not have acted alone. Among more recent loan assassins, Breivik could be compared to Major Nidal Hasan of Fort Hood, Texas, whose shooting spree dates back to November 2009. Hasan is accused of having killed seven people. At the time, it was considered remarkable that Hasan had managed to kill so many armed soldiers on the military base. But early reports suggested that there were one or two other shooters in addition to Hasan. As usually happens, these extra shooters were soon expunged from the hegemonic media narrative.1

In the Norwegian case, the evidence that Breivik was not alone in claiming his fearful toll of victims is clear and convincing. Here are some excerpts from a report published by the Oslo newspaper VG:

“Several of the youths who were at the Utøya the shooting drama, told VG that they are convinced that there must have been more than one perpetrator. Marius Helander Røset believes the same thing: – I am sure that there was shooting from two different places on the island at the same time, he said.

Witnesses: – There were two people

Police believe Anders Behring Breivik (32) is the perpetrator who was dressed as a policeman , and have charged him for two terrorist attacks. Young people interviewed by VG describe an additional perpetrator – who was not wearing a police uniform. The person was following them around was 180 centimeters tall, had thick dark hair and a Nordic appearance. He had a pistol in his right hand and a rifle on his back. – I believe that there were two people who were shooting, says Alexander Stavdal (23)….

At the press conference Saturday morning opened the police said that there could have been several perpetrators and emphasized that there is an ongoing investigation.”2

The presence of a second shooter is of course most inconvenient for the lone assassin theory, since it represents incontrovertible evidence of a criminal conspiracy, the very thing which the media coverage is usually anxious to avoid. In the Norwegian case, the reports of a second shooter seemed to be persistent enough 36 hours after the main event so as to hold out some hope that the entire official version can be brought down on this particular.

Police Had Drilled Setting off Bombs in Same Area During 2010

Another telltale critical sign of a false flag operation is the holding of drills or exercises –allegedly for counterterrorism purposes — by the police or the military at the same time as the terror attack, or shortly before the real terror attack begins. Sometimes, the terror drills or exercises are scheduled to begin slightly after the time when the actual terror attack occurs. For large-scale terror actions, which the Norway attacks were, it is not uncommon for the drills to occur well in advance – 9/11, for example, was the result of capabilities which had been built up over a period of several years, as well as of future drills stretching well into 2002. In these cases, it is often discovered that the self-styled anti-terror drill or exercise contains a simulated action or event which strongly resembles the real world terror attack, the one which actually kills people. The media will then refer to an astounding coincidence or a weird happenstance, but the reality is that the terror drill has been taken live or flipped live in the form of real killings. Once the drill has occurred, the capabilities, hardware, etc., which it has created can remain in place to be mobilized at the desired moment. The secret is that the legally sanctioned drill has been used to conduit or bootleg the actual butchery through a government bureaucracy whose resources are required to run the terror but in which there are many officials who cannot be allowed to know what is happening.

The Norway events provide a very clear illustration of this principle. In Oslo, a powerful bomb went off in or near the building which houses the office of the Prime Minister. Exactly as we would expect, special anti-terror police had been drilling setting off bombs in a nearby part of the Norwegian capital in advance, specifically during 2010. The public had not been informed in advance, but found out what was happening when they began hearing bombs in the opera house district, less than a kilometer away from the prime minister’s office which was attacked on Friday. Here is a report from the newspaper Aftenposten:

“Armed police were seen in the area around the opera house in Oslo, and violent explosions could be heard over large parts of the city. No one knew that this was all a matter of practice. The Information Section of the Oslo police deeply regrets that the public was not made aware of the seemingly dramatic exercise….It was the emergency squad, the national police special unit against terrorism, which was conducting a drill in the cordoned off area at Bjørvika pier. According to a press release from the police, nearly a day after the exercise, the drill consisted of training in the controlled detonation of explosive charges….The exercise will continue for the rest of Wednesday night and a few more explosions are expected….The exercise followed a familiar pattern for all anti-terror forces around the world: The men lowered themselves down from the ceiling and into through the window that had just been blown out, while they fired hand their weapons.”3

Peter Power of Visor Consultants told BBC Radio Five in the wake of the London subway bombings of July 7, 2005 that his firm had been conducting an exercise based on explosions going off in substantially the same stations of the London underground at the same times when the real explosions had actually occurred. The Norwegian events exhibit the same kind of strange coincidence.

A Motive: Norway Had Decided to Stop Bombing Libya August 1

The targets of the Norwegian terror attacks are all expressly political, including government offices and a summer youth camp of the ruling Labor Party, and thus point in the direction of politics. The government of Norway is currently a coalition composed of the Labor Party, the Socialist Left Party, and the Center Party. Norway has traditionally attempted to cultivate a pro-Arab foreign policy, as seen in its sponsorship of the Oslo peace accords between Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the mid-1990s. The current government has announced its intention of granting diplomatic recognition to a Palestinian state in the near future. When the destabilization of Libya began last February, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of the Labor Party warned Norway’s partners in the NATO alliance against getting involved.

But soon after this, Norway gave in to US pressure and agreed to participate in NATO’s bombing of Libya for an initial period of three months, sending six planes which have carried out an estimated 10% of all the bombing raids mounted by the Atlantic alliance. However, as the end of its three-month commitment had passed, Norway had reduced its contingent to four planes during the month of July, and had announced on June 10 that it was planning to withdraw altogether from the NATO bombing coalition no later than August 1.

The Norwegian decision to drop out of the NATO attack coalition was associated with a similar move by the Netherlands, which was announced on that same day of June 10. The Dutch had decided to maintain their contingent of six planes, but will no longer take part in bombing attacks on ground targets. Henceforth, the Dutch are willing only to help enforce the no-fly zone through air interdiction. There was therefore the potential that Norway’s example could trigger a general tendency by the smaller NATO states to quit the bombing coalition, in which their collective presence is highly significant.

Leading figures of the Norwegian government were among the first to undercut the supposed rationale for the NATO bombing, while urging negotiations: ‘”The solution to the problems in Libya are political, they cannot be solved by military means alone,” Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg told reporters gathered for a conference in Oslo on May 13. “We are very much supporting all efforts to find a political solution to the challenges we are facing in Libya,” he added. Norway’s government …pledged to scale down its role in NATO-orchestrated air strikes on Libya after its current three-month commitment ends on June 24.4

This was the policy of the entire Norwegian government: ‘Norway will scale down its fighter jet contribution in Libya from six to four planes and withdraw completely from the NATO-led operation by Aug. 1, the government said Friday…. Defense Minister Grete Faremo said she expects understanding from NATO allies because Norway has a small air force and cannot “maintain a large fighter jet contribution during a long time.” Norway’s air force, meanwhile says its F-16 jets have carried out about 10 percent of the NATO airstrikes in Libya since March 31. The parties in Norway’s center-left coalition government had been at odds over whether to extend the country’s participation, which was scheduled to expire June 24. The most leftist faction in the government, the Socialist Left Party, opposed an extension, but a compromise was reached to stay in the operation until Aug. 1 with fewer planes. “It is wise to end the Norwegian fighter jet contribution. Now Norway should apply its efforts to find a peaceful solution in Libya,” Socialist Left Party lawmaker Baard Vegar Solhjell said.’5

State Department Complained of Norway’s “Lack of Commitment” to Libyan Adventure

The Norwegian decision to stop waging war against Libya, the first of its kind by any member of the Atlantic alliance, has attracted the attention of diplomatic observers, one of whom commented that the current government in Oslo has advocated “a distinctly more peaceful approach to global policies by the Norwegian government…. [despite] recent pressure from the US on Norway to contribute more in Libya military campaign. Norway has been resisting that pressure and pushing for a more peaceful approach to the US-led NATO attacks on Libya and refused to provide weapons to NATO, finally announcing last month that Norway would quit its military role in Libya by August 1. In March, as the US was rallying unilateral support to invade Libya, Norway’s minister of foreign affairs Jonas Gahr Støre was one of the few nations to warn the US against armed intervention in Libya. Norway initially supplied six fighter jets for Libya operations and has carried out about 10% of the Libya strikes since 19 March. However, US officials singled out Norway and Denmark for their ‘lack of commitment’ to the mission to oust Gaddafi… Other Norway-Libya links include Norway’s major oil- and fertilizer-related interests in Libya: the Norwegian state-owned Statoil, which has about 30 employees at its Tripoli offices….[Norway’s] businesses have conducted major business operations in Libya, in co-operation with Qaddafi’s regime.”6

At the present stage of the inquiry, the best estimate of a motive for the Norwegian attacks is to punish the country for its independent and pro-Arab foreign policy in general, and for its repudiation of the NATO bombing coalition arrayed against Libya in particular.

Are SIMAS Surveillance Detection Units the New Gladio for Norway?

US and NATO intelligence have been shown to possess extraordinary capabilities inside Norway, many of which may be operating outside of the control of the Norwegian government. In early November 2010, the Oslo television channel TV2 exposed the existence of an extensive network of paid assets and informants of US intelligence recruited from the ranks of retired police and other officials. The ostensible goal of this program was the surveillance of Norwegians who were taking part in demonstrations and other activities critical of the United States and its policies. One of the Norwegians recruited was the former chief of the anti-terror section of the Oslo police.7 Although the goal was supposedly merely surveillance, it is possible to imagine some other and far more sinister activities that could be carried out by such a network of retired cops, including the identification and subversion of rotten apples on the active-duty police force. Some of the capabilities of a network of this type would not be totally alien to the sort of events that have just occurred in Norway.

The official name for the type of espionage cell which the United States was creating in Norway is Surveillance Detection Unit (SDU). The SDUs in turn operate within the framework of the Security Incident Management Analysis System (SIMAS). SIMAS is known to be used for spying and surveillance by US Embassies not just in the Nordic bloc of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, but worldwide. The terror events also raise the question of whether SIMAS has an operational dimension. Could this apparatus represents a modern version of the Cold War stay behind networks set up in all NATO countries and best-known under the name of the Italian branch, Gladio?

The Norwegian government needs to find out. Thus far Norwegian ministers have asserted that they never approved the SIMAS network of SDUs. “We never knew about it,” claimed Norway’s Justice Minister Knut Storberget and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in chorus. Hillary Clinton stated instead that the Norwegians had been informed.

CIA’s Wikileaks Limited Hangout Has Rationale for Toppling Norway’s Government

Thanks to document dumps by the CIA limited hangout subsidiary generally known as Wikileaks, an obvious path for using the Norwegian terror attacks as a rationale for overthrowing the current government has already been provided. Real or doctored State Department cables obligingly made available by Wikileaks portray the Norwegian government which NATO hates as a collection of bunglers and misfits, unable to take effective measures to safeguard the national security of the country.

Some of these tables have been published in the immediate wake of the terror attacks by the London Daily Telegraph, a newspaper reputedly close to NATO intelligence circles. According to this article, while ‘talking about an attempt by the Police Security Service (PST) to track one particular suspected Al Qaeda terror cell, a cable written by the US Ambassador to Norway, Barry White, describes [how Norwegian authorities] … refused the help of the UK authorities to put surveillance on a potential suspect and adds: “Not only will they not put their own resources on him…but they also just turned down the visiting UK intel service’s offer of two twelve-person surveillance teams.” The cable goes on to say the UK and US intelligence services analyzed coded conversation between terror suspects and decided it warranted surveillance. But, says the cable, “PST instead found a way to interpret the same translated coded conversation in a rosier, less threatening light, an interpretation which makes little sense to the US or UK.”’ A catalog of even the most recent failures and fiascos of the FBI and the CIA in the so-called Global War on Terror would help to put these hypocritical judgments into proper perspective, but it would also be too voluminous to be appended here.

Another damaging particular appears made to order for an attempt to blame the alleged bungling of the Norwegian government for the Oslo bomb attack: ‘The memo also reveals how, despite apparently having surveillance on the suspect, the PST lost track of bomb-making equipment which was being stored in an apartment after it was apparently removed without investigators’ noticing. The PST then failed to track one suspect for 14 days because the investigator assigned to him was called away on another job. The memo concludes: “The PST is in over its head…it simply cannot keep up.”’

Another State Department memo dished up by Wikileaks, supposedly written in 2007… adds: “The official police (PST) threat evaluation…states that international terror organizations are not a direct threat against Norway. A memo written in 2008 shows how the US felt that Norway was not awake to the possibility of a potential terrorist attack. The cable reads: “We repeatedly press Norwegian authorities to take terrorism seriously. We will seek to build on this momentum to fight the still-prevalent feeling that terrorism happens elsewhere, not in peaceful Norway.” And a cable written just last year adds: “The PST still viewed Denmark as more of a target than Norway, for reasons very specific to the cartoon controversy.” 8

The government of Norway needs to go on the offensive and establish the whole truth of what has just occurred. Otherwise, that government is likely to succumb to the internationally orchestrated campaign which the Wikileaks documents so clearly foreshadow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Police State

As the American Empire Spreads Abroad,

it Becomes a Police State at Home

by Sherwood Ross
Global Research, July 25, 2011

As America's empire spreads abroad, it becomes ever more the police state at home. The methods used for the suppression of foreigners by military force and violence are eventually mirrored in the “homeland.”

In an article last September 25th titled “It Is Official: the US Is A Police State,” author Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Treasury Secretary during the Reagan years, wrote, “'Violent extremism' is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning's FBI foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with 'the material support of terrorism'...”

The FBI raids at home are reminiscent of U.S. military raids overseas. In Iraq, for instance, labor union offices were raided and rifled and labor leaders imprisoned by the Occupation forces. Their “crime” was to oppose sweetheart contract deals with private oil firms.

The vast U.S. prison system, which houses 2.4 million Americans, may be compared with the Gulag the U.S. has built abroad. America today is the World's Jailer. As Allan Uthman reported on AlterNet, in 2006 the Bush regime began building “detention centers” to warehouse inmates for unspecified “new programs” when the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root nearly $400 million. What we do abroad, we do at home.

Adopting police state tactics on Americans the U.S. Empire first used on subjects abroad has a long history. When Filipinos rebelled against U.S. rule after their country was “liberated” from Spain, captured resistance fighters were subjected to water torture. Twenty years later, imprisoned American pacifists who opposed the Wilson administration's entry into World War One were hung by their hands, and had running hoses shoved in their faces.

In its editorial of July 25th, The Nation magazine denounces America's use of “secret armies, covert operations...offshore torture centers, out-of-control armed corporations, runaway military spending, wars by fleets of robots, wars by assassination---and all the other features of the imperial presidency...”

The magazine has long sought to end these practices. It's still a great idea but now it's a tad late. The Reactionary Elite that runs America is powerful. Congress rubber-stamps President Obama's five wars of aggression abroad and enacts laws at home that scorch individual liberty. The result is the emergent police state.

The other day I watched people entering a bus station in Orlando, Florida, submit to a body scan by two security officers who had no probable cause whatever to search them. Americans boarding trains and planes now accept such scans routinely. In area after area, Americans are accepting violations of their privacy in the name of “national security” with hardly a murmur of dissent. The Bush regime created "watch"(75,000 names) and "no fly"(45,000 names) lists that restrict individuals' air travel--and those searched and/or stopped from flying can complain all they like because it won't do them any good.

Robert Johnson, an American citizen, Naomi Wolf reports in her book “The End of America”(Chelsea Green), described the humiliation factor of being strip searched when he attempted to board an airplane: "I had to take off my pants. I had to take off my sneakers, then I had to take off my socks. I was treated like a criminal." This has now become a commonplace ordeal for countless numbers of Americans. Even at the height of World War Two, such invasions of personal rights would have been unthinkable.

Fear of government, unlike anything I have ever known in my lifetime, appears widespread. How do I know people are fearful? Because many readers call me “courageous” (which I definitely am not) for challenging the government, revealing that they truly do fear to speak out.

David Cole, a professor at Georgetown Law School, writes in The Nation that Congress last May reauthorized provisions of the misnamed “Patriot Act” that “permit the government to obtain 'roving' wiretaps without identifying the person or the phone to be tapped, (to)demand records from libraries and businesses without establishing any reason to believe the target is involved in criminal, much less terrorist, activity; and (to)use surveillance powers initially restricted to agents of foreign governments or terrorist organizations against 'lone wolves' not affiliated with any such group or government.” This is an echo of the ECHELON system the U.S. and its British Commonwealth allies have employed since World War Two to eavesdrop on the entire planet, track dissenters, and steal business secrets.

Cole also writes Attorney General Eric Holder will now allow FBI agents “to rummage through citizens' trash, conduct searches of computer databases and repeatedly use surveillance squads to track people without any suspicion of individual wrongdoing or court approval.” (Just like the body searches at the bus terminal.) The absence of court approval is significant in that a court is the only legal bulwark a citizen has against unbridled police power. And now that's gone. The peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered far worse at the hands of American-led military.

The fact is, when the Empire goes to war, the life of its individual citizen is devalued and degraded---not only on the battlefield, where it is often sacrificed for all the wrong reasons, but at home as well. It's happening here. The right to form unions freely is scrapped in defiance of the vast majority of workers who want one. The public treasury is looted by Congress to bail out the bankers over the 100-to-one protests of constituents. Foreign wars are waged over the wishes of the popular majority who want them ended.

As liberty after liberty is being circumscribed or eliminated, the common man and woman are being reduced to the common serf. Harold Laski, a former chairman of the British Labor Party, once noted, “We live under a system by which the many are exploited by the few, and war is the ultimate sanction of that exploitation.” Imperialism---whether practiced by Spain in the 16th century, England in the 18th century, Soviet Russia, Imperial Japan, and Nazi Germany in the 20th century, or America today---is a gangrene that expands tyranny at home with the equivalent velocity that it spreads war abroad.

Sherwood Ross is director of the Anti-War News Service. He formerly worked as a columnist for daily newspapers and wire services.

Massacre in Norway

More About the Jewish Right Wing Connection

by Gilad Atzmon

Thanks to respected anti-Zionist Jeff Blankfort (who provided me with a crucial link) I have now learned that, just one day before last Friday’s Massacre in Norway, former Trotsky-ite turned neo-con David Horowitz carried an article by Joseph Klein in his Front Page magazine, entitled "The Quislings of Norway," which might as well have provided mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik with all the motivation he needed to commit his crime.

You are advised to read the article in full here:

Here are some of the ‘pearls’ produced by the pro-war Jewish rightwing magazine, just a few hours before Behring Breivik picked up his guns and launched into his lethal journey:

“The infamous Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany as it conquered his own country, must be applauding in his grave…In the latest example of Norwegian collaboration with the enemies of the Jews, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere declared during a press conference this week, alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, that “Norway believes it is perfectly legitimate for the Palestinian president to turn to the United Nations” to seek recognition of an independent Palestinian state.”

“During the Nazi occupation of Norway, nearly all Jews were either deported to death camps or fled to Sweden and beyond. Today, Norway is effectively under the occupation of anti-Semitic leftists and radical Muslims, and appears willing to help enable the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.”

“Norway’s Labor Party lawmaker Anders Mathisen has gone even further and publicly denied the Holocaust. He said that Jews “exaggerated their stories” and “there is no evidence the gas chambers and or mass graves existed.” While the Norwegian political establishment and opinion-maker elite may not have reached that point of lunacy just yet, they do tend to treat Muslims as the victims of Israeli oppression – as if today’s Muslims are filling the shoes of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and today’s Nazis are the Israelis.”

“Socialist leader Kristin Halvorsen has been leading the boycott Israel campaign. While serving as Norway’s finance minister, she was amongst the demonstrators at an anti-Israel protest, in which a poster read (translated): “The greatest axis of evil: USA and Israel.” Among the slogans repeatedly shouted at the demonstration was (as translated) “Death to the Jews!”

“Last year, the Norwegian government decided to divest from two Israeli entities working in the West Bank. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund divested from the Israeli company Elbit, because it has worked on the Israeli security fence that keeps out Palestinian suicide bombers. Israel has also been blocked from bidding for Norwegian defense contracts.”

“Part of the motivation for this anti-Semitism is the influx into Norway in recent decades of masses of Muslims from Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere. Multiculturalism has taught Norway’s cultural elite to take an uncritical, even obsequious, posture toward every aspect of Muslim culture and belief. When Muslim leaders rant against Israel and the Jews, the reflexive response of the multiculturalist elite is to join them in their rantings. This is called solidarity.”

The truth of the matter is surely clear by now : it is Jewish right wing pro-war platforms such as FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Pipes, Harry’s Place and others following their example, that consciously, openly , deviously and divisively cultivate a prevalent culture of hate and Islamophobia.

Was Behring Breivik a follower of FrontPage Magazine or the equally inciting and hateful Harry’s Place? We cannot know for sure yet -- but hopefully we will find out soon.

However, the message should be urgent and clear to all of us: police, intelligence and home security services around the world must surely investigate, and clampdown on these hate inspiring outlets, immediately. Their motivations, aims and activities must be brought under scrutiny and questioned. For the sake of peace and our general safety, law makers in Europe and America had better quickly put into place the necessary measures to restrain the activity of these Zionist warmongers in our midst.

Threat Of The West

By Ibrahim Hewitt, 23 Jul 2011

A few years ago, the respected Cambridge scholar T J Winter, also known by his Muslim name of Abdal Hakim Murad, gave a fascinating lecture to Humanities staff and students at the University of Leicester. The title was "Islam and the threat of the West", turning on its head the more usual - then and now - "Islam and the threat to the West".

It was a novel approach which, in a nutshell, illustrated that, historically, aggression has been directed more from Europe to the Muslim world than the other way round. His evidence for such a view was impeccably sourced.

I thought about Abdal Hakim's talk this morning as I read the reports coming in of the dreadful bombing and shooting in Norway wherein, of course, there was speculation that these two events were "Islamic-terror related". No doubt we will learn more over the coming days, but the early signs are, in fact, that the perpetrator was a "blond, blue-eyed Norwegian" with "political traits towards the right, and anti-Muslim views". Not surprisingly, the man's intentions were neither linked to these "traits", nor to his postings on "websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies". Any influence "remains to be seen"; echoes of Oklahoma 1995.

Interestingly, this criminal is described by one unnamed Norwegian official as a "madman". He may well be, but this is one way that the motivations for heinous crimes can be airbrushed out of the story before they have the chance to take hold in the popular imagination.

Closing the book

In 1969, for example, Denis Michael Rohan, an Australian Christian who set fire to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, was dismissed as a "madman" and sent for psychiatric treatment; end of story. The right-wing fundamentalists plotting to destroy the mosque, and the nearby Dome of the Rock, lived to fight another day. I suspect that that is what will happen with the Norwegian bomber/shooter; his right-wing links and Christian fundamentalist contacts will be dismissed as irrelevant. This, we will be told, was the work of a "deranged" person "acting independently". Ergo, the only organised "terror threats" to civilisation are still "Islamic-related" and the focus of anti-terror legislation and efforts must remain in the Muslim world and on Muslim communities in Europe and the USA.

If we allow this to happen, we will be doing the world a great disservice, not least because the new right is on the rise across the West - and Oklahoma was proof that its followers are capable of immense destruction.

Neo-Nazi immigrants from Eastern Europe have even been active in Israel where the government, while deploring such far-right activity in its midst is actually edging ever more to the far-right on a daily basis. Ministers advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in order to purify Israel as a "Jewish state"; precious human rights for which the world has struggled are overridden in the name of "state security"; criminals in uniform are allowed to get away, quite literally, with murder.

All of this takes place with the collusion of Western governments which are themselves showing right-wing tendencies towards double-speak on matters of respect and tolerance for minorities. If you are even remotely "different" in Europe today, especially if you are a Muslim, you are eyed with suspicion and must go out of your way to "prove" your loyalty to a state which, if the truth was made known, would get rid of you if only it had the guts to pass the necessary legislation to do so. In some cases, such legislation is virtually in place in the guise of "anti-terror" measures.

All of this is backed by a vociferous and influential right-wing media which supports Israel right or wrong - and a pro-Israel lobby which acts as if it is untouchable. Given the political context across the West, it probably is.

Attacks against the left

It is significant that the target of the Norwegian "madman" appears to have been the left-leaning Labour Party, both in Oslo and on the island where the shootings took place. Across Europe, the left has been forming alliances with Muslim groups to fight fascism and racism of all kinds, and it cannot be a coincidence that The politics of multiculturalism in the new Europe, a collection of essays from across the continent, published in 1997, concluded almost without exception that "the challenge" facing Europe was the presence of large Muslim communities in "our" midst. Anyone who claims therefore, that the perpetrator's "right-wing traits" and "anti-Muslim views", or even links with "Christian fundamentalist" websites are irrelevant is trying to draw a veil over the unacceptable truths of such "traits" and expecting us to believe that right-wing ideology is incapable of prompting someone towards such criminality.

Of course, that idea is nonsensical. Right-wing ideology was behind the Holocaust; it has been behind most anti-Semitism and other racism around the world; the notion of Europe's and Europeans' racial superiority - giving cultural credibility to the far-right - gave rise to the slave trade and the scramble for Africa leading to untold atrocities against "the Other"; ditto in the Middle and Far East. Ironically, it is also far-right Zionism - far from the socialist myths of Zionist pioneers in the 1930s and before - which has been behind the ethnic cleansing of Palestine throughout the 20th century, right up to today, as a specific policy to be pursued - by military means if necessary.

This is well-documented and yet ignored by our political masters. In the context of the latest apparently far-right atrocities in Norway, it is equally ironic that the word in English for a traitor who collaborates with an enemy power stems from Major Vidkun Quisling who ruled Norway on behalf of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

We dismiss this "madman" as a one-off "not linked to any international terrorist organisations" at our peril. If nothing else, history has shown us that such ideologies are trans-national across and beyond the West, with catastrophic effects on the rest of the world. We have been warned.

Bolivia Media

Bolivia: Media Conglomerates

May Come to an End

Fortunato Esquivel

In 1997 the Law on Telecomunications was approved, a law which is presently in force and which may now be in its death agony as the Parliament begins this week (1) to debate new norms which will replace the 1997 legislation, to the great benefit of the people of Bolivia, and which will probably bring to an end the rule of the media conglomerates, which can only be compared to the great landed estates of other times.
The law currently in force, enacted by the neoliberal government in office at the time, reorganized the radio spectrum, although in truth this was a genial device to get rid of radio stations run by unions, which were the only media in opposition to the neoliberal establishment. From that time, all were given a licence for twenty years, the period established for the use of frequencies.
The twenty years would end in 2017, but by then new regulations will be in force in accord with legislation to be debated this week. The authorities have indicated that the concession of frequencies will be to the order of 33% for the private sector, 33% for the public (government, administrations, cities and public universities) and 34% for community radios and those controlled by first nations and groups of small landholders (campesinos).
At the present time, 98% of the frequencies are in the hands of the private sector whose privileges allow them to establish true "media conglomerates" that guarantee political power to manipulate public opinion.
The norm currently under debate refers to the concession of frequencies in radio and television, but the announcement alone mobilized the owners of these media conglomerates to "denounce" this legislative proposal as an attack on their interests. The leader of the station owners is a former employee of the U.S. Embassy and a competent producer of programs in the Voice of America. He affirmed that the new legislation intends to divide the frequencies into sectarian groups.
The new Telecommunications Law will ensure an adequate distribution of frequencies. It should prevent bankers and powerful economic interests from monopolizing frequencies, and using them to maintain their power, since the media are strategic elements that should also not be in the hands of foreigners.
In these times of change, the media should be at the service of and benefit all Bolivians through a free, equitable and participative communication, which would support the aspirations of peoples whose struggles for real change have been building up for some time now.
If we look carefully at the present situation, one can only conclude that the media are at the service of oligarchs. They are their instruments of domination and subjection in support of their own interests, which is sufficient reason to hope that the legislation now under consideration in Parliament will put an end to the patrimony of the oligarchy and transform it into the property of all Bolivians.
The monopolies are coming to an end
The Telecomunications Law will replace existing legislation and regulate the technical functioning of audiovisual media. It is possible that some time in the future, some thought will be given to another Media Legislation which could regulate the content and legal exercise of communicators, beginning with the owners, who at the present time, for the most part, have nothing to do with journalism. We hope for an auspicious labour on the part of legislators who must be able, without fear, to continue with consultations and technical advice as necessary.
On being approved promptly, the Telecomunications Legislation will put an end to the neoliberal control that has been in force for fourteen years, as well as to the chaotic disorder among frequencies assigned and in the content of radio stations that are more than a thousand in number and television stations that number some five hundred channels.
Media oligarchs
Three television networks have accumulated an enormous power to manipulate public opinion, at the service of sectarian political interests and in fierce opposition to real change towards inclusion which may be seen for the first time in Bolivia. Who are the proprietors and what interests do they represent? Here they are:
Red Uno
Its proprietor is the businessman and politician of Croat origin, Ivo Kuljis Füchner. He forms part of a society with Gonzalo Sáchez de Lozada (MNR – Nationalist Revolutionary Movement), Carlos Palenque (CONDEPA – Patriot Awareness), Johnny Fernández (UCS – Solidarity Civic Union) and Manfred Reyes Villa (NFR – New Republican Force). As a politician he was a failure, but he obtained significant benefits for his enterprises.
In the business world, he is involved in successful operations in banking, the supermarket chain Hipermaxi, the meat-processing operation Fridosa, Kupel industries, cattle raising on a large scale, exportation of soya, real estate and educational institutions, among others.
This begin as an effort on the part of journalists who hoped that from their professional competence, they would be able to offer television programming that would be less alienating. At the time they were unique in their national programming.
However, impartiality does not appear to have much of a future in this country and this network moved towards neoliberalism, sliding in that direction until it ended up in the hands of an Arab businessman Abdalá Daher, whose interests, among others, are the importation of electronic equipment. Daher is not involved in political activity and the only scandal in which he was involved was having been subjected to pressure to contribute to Eduardo Rosza Flores to head up the separatist movement in Santa Cruz.
This network is the most radical of the media conglomerates, related to CNN in the US and under the proprietorship of the Monasterios family, whose principal representative is Osvaldo Monasterios Añez, an active militant in the MNR and a member of Parliament on two occasions.
His media network has much to defend, since the Monastarios are tied to large banking enterprises, producers of soft drinks, ice cream, alcohol and its derivatives, large cattle estates (including the Nelore cattle), importation of furniture, administration of the duty-free zone Zoframaq (Puerto Suárez), among other interests.
The interests are there, this is clear
Such an enormous economic power is defended by a large band of journalists through programmes carefully structured to mount a tenacious opposition to the present process of change, based on surveys and investigations that are clearly manipulated, and quite obviously discard their hardly credible pretensions of impartiality and objectivity.
The members of Parliament who will consider the new Telecomunications Legislation are obliged to consider whether the media should be in the hands of powerful businessmen whose interests may twist public opinion, if they can ensure the collaboration of chosen manipulators who work for them, if they can be found.
ALAI AMLATINA, 12/07/2011. (Translation: Jordan Bishop).
(1) NDLR: On the day this article was published (July 12) the Chamber of Deputies approved the project of the Telecomunications Legislation which will guarantee an equitable distribution of frequencies, and the projected legislation is to be sent to the upper chamber (the Senate) for revision and approval.
Posted by Bolivia Rising on Saturday, July 23, 2011 0 comments
Labels: media

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Massacre In Norway


by Gilad Atzmon

I learned last night from an Israeli online journal, that two days before the Utoya Island massacre, AUF’s (Labour Party's youth movement) leader Eskil Pedersen gave an interview to the Dagbladet, Norway's second largest tabloid newspaper, in which he unveiled what he thinks of Israel.

In the course of the interview, Pedersen stated that he “believes the time has come for more drastic measures against Israel, and (that he) wants the Foreign Minister to impose an economic boycott against the country.”

Pederson went on to say, “The peace process goes nowhere, and though the whole world expect Israel to comply, they do not. We in Labour Youth will have a unilateral economic embargo of Israel from the Norwegian side.”

The AUF Labour Party Youth Movement have been devoted promoters of the Israel Boycott campaign, The Dagbladet newspaper reporting that “The AUF has long been a supporter of an international boycott of Israel, but the decision at the last congress, demands that Norway imposes a unilateral economic embargo on the country and it must be stricter than before.”

“I acknowledge that this is a drastic measure”, stated Pedersen, “but I think it gives a clear indication that we are tired of Israel's behaviour, quite simply”.

Yesterday we also learned that mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik was openly enthusiastic about Israel. According to a variety of internet outlets, Behring Breivik was a regular poster on several Norwegian internet sites, notably the blog, which is run by Hans Rustad, a former left-wing journalist. Hans Rustad is Jewish, extremely pro-Zionist, and warns against ‘Islam-isation’, violence, and other social problems he assumes to be connected with Muslim immigration.

Alongside the UK’s infamously Islamophobic Harry’s Place and other Jewish pro-war Zionist blogs, the observant amongst us are becoming more and more aware of an increasingly pervasive trend of Jerusalemite internet journals that -- ostensibly – like to give the impression of ‘rallying for the preservation of Western culture,’ and of ‘standing up for democratic values’. For the most obvious of reasons, these blog pages are almost exclusively focused on ‘the problem of Islam,’ and on Muslim migrants’ ‘troubled and reactionary’ communities and politics, whilst all the while, simultaneously, relentlessly and forcefully propounding a propagandistic Zionist agenda. Interestingly enough, other immigrants are routinely depicted on these blog pages as being 'harmless', or as 'positive contributors to society' -- you won’t find Hans Rustad or Harry Place criticising the Jewish Lobbies, the Lord Levy’s or the Russian Oligarchs’ disastrous impact on ‘Western culture’ or on ‘democratic values’ any time soon.

Gordon Duff wrote yesterday in “Veterans Today” that the “car bombing carries the signature of an intelligence agency. Nobody else bothers with such things.”

And indeed it is after all, pretty clear that a car bomb of such magnitude, and an operation of such sophistication is not exactly something a layman can put together with such apparent ease: it would surely take some specialist knowledge, and the question here is, who could provide such knowledge, and such a vast amount of lethal explosives?

I am not in a position at present to firmly point a finger at Israel, its agents, or its sayanim -- but assembling the information together, and considering all possibilities may suggest that Anders Behring Breivik might indeed, have been a Sabbath Goy.

Within its Judaic mundane-societal context, the Sabbath Goy is simply there to accomplish some minor tasks the Jews cannot undertake during the Sabbath. But within the Zion-ised reality we tragically enough live in, the Sabbath Goy kills for the Jewish state. He may even do it voluntarily.

Being an admirer of Israel, Behring Breivik does appear to have treated his fellow countrymen in the same way that the IDF treats Palestinians.

Devastatingly enough, in Israel, Behring Breivik found a few enthusiastic followers who praised his action against the Norwegian youth. In the Hebrew article that reported about the AUF camp being pro Palestinian and supportive of the Israel Boycott Campaign, I found the following comments amongst other supports for the massacre:

24. “Oslo criminals paid”

26. “It's stupidity and evil not to desire death for those who call to boycott Israel.’

41. “Hitler Youth members killed in the bombing of Germany were also innocent. Let us all cry about the terrible evil bombardment carried out by the Allied…We have a bunch of haters of Israel meeting in a country that hates Israel in a conference that endorses the boycott.. So it's not okay, not nice, really a tragedy for families, and we condemn the act itself, but to cry about it? Come on. We Jews are not Christians. In the Jewish religion there is no obligation to love or mourn for the enemy.”

The full facts of the Norwegian tragedy are, as yet, unknown, but the message should by now be transparently and urgently clear to all of us: Western intelligence agencies must immediately crackdown on Israeli and Zionist operators in our midst, and regarding the terrible events of the weekend, it must be made absolutely clear who it was that spread such hate and promoted such terror, and for what exact reasons.

Anonymous Arrested

The following text accompanies the video below as posted on YouTube along with the video.

- AnonyMous Press Release on Arrested: These actions should not go unanswered..

- On the 19th of July, 2011, The US, UK and dutch governments decided that they finally had enough of their citizens' rights to freedom. In true dystopian style, these governments have trounced upon not only the rights of these individuals, but the basic rights of all individuals: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association.

These actions should not go unanswered.

Those who were arrested believe in a cause, believe in an idea, believe in all of us. We must respond with a real and concentrated effort to redress these arrests. We, as Anonymous, have a very real responsibility to these people, who were jailed fighting for freedom, so we can continue to fight for theirs.

Have you ever joined a sit in, taken part in a strike, marched in the street, or attempted to block access to a building in protest? Anon's actions are the cyber equivalent of these traditional forms of protest, arresting our activists for doing this is a crime against freedom and democracy. But how could our actions be seen and accepted as real protests by governments, when we are shown daily, that they only tolerate demonstrations that serve their own purposes...

Anonymous has now been falsely labeled as a "terrorist group"; people are getting arrested for this unjust accusation and it has become a dirty cat and mouse game with incalculable and uncontrollable consequences. All our actions can be directly compared to protesting on the street... is that terrorism? How could anyone know and prove that an individual belongs to this "group"? Governments can now arrest any activist under this "label" without a real charge and nothing to prove that they belong to or identify with Anonymous. Even though Anonymous is not a "group" it is an idea shared by all who value freedom and justice.

Governments can achieve nothing by attempting to silence participants in Anonymous, as for every one of us that falls, ten more will take their place.

People of the world... do not forget that Anonymous fights not for our own freedom, but for the freedom of everyone, including You.

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty"
Thomas Jefferson

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Iron Wall

In 1923 Vladimir Jabotinsky, leading intellectual of the Zionist movement and father of the right wing of that movement, wrote: "Zionist colonization must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population - behind an The Iron Wall , which the native population cannot breach."

First published in Russian under the title O Zheleznoi Stene in Rassvyet, 4 November 1923. From that day these words became the official and unspoken policy of the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel. Settlements were used from the beginning to create a Zionist foothold in Palestine. The Iron Wall documentary exposes this phenomenon and follows the timeline, size, population of the settlements, and its impact on the peace process. This film also touches on the latest project to make the settlements a permanent fact on the ground; the wall that Israel is building in the West Bank and its impact on the Palestinian people.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drug Terminology

The $26 Billion Drug War Addiction

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How the U.S. frames and describes its counternarcotics operations, home and abroad, is fundamentally important – measured by the tens of billions of U.S. government dollars spent in drug enforcement, the millions of Americans who have been arrested and incarcerated for drug violations, and the many lives lost in drug wars, including the more than 45,000 dead in Mexico in last four years.
The Obama administration has dropped the term “war on drugs” in official discourse, yet it still lends uncritical support – both financially and in its public diplomacy – to Mexico’s military-led drug war.

At the same time, however, the Obama administration has given new credence to exaggerated drug-driven threat assessments, which posit that U.S. national security and homeland security are threatened by Mexican drug trafficking and organized crime groups. Increasingly, U.S. government and military sources refer to the “transnational threats” to the homeland from the Mexico-based Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs).

It is unclear if U.S. government and military strategists have duly considered the meaning and implications of using the transnational threat terminology when referring to the illegal drug trade in the United States. Certainly, there is no publicly available documentation of this reevaluation of terminology and strategy.

Within the policy and academic communities, there has been little or no reflection or debate about the ongoing rhetorical transition from the previously dominant terms – cartels, drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), or simply organized crime groups.

As “drug war analysts” like Sylvia Longmire (author of Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars) and Homeland Security officials increasingly popularize the concept of TCOs and transnational threats, the media, for the most part, is passively following suit.

TCOs Now Making Their Mark on American Home Entertainment

In an article in Homeland Security Today titled “Mexican TCOs Make Their Mark on American Media,” correspondent Longmire summarizes the transition in terminology, as she sees it:

Not too long ago, organized crime groups in Mexico—commonly (and inaccurately) known as cartels, were referred to as drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs. In the last couple of years, US government agencies have stopped using this moniker and switched to using transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) to refer to the narcos because their portfolio of illegal activities has significantly expanded in scope and geographic area.

None of the main federal agencies that have counternarcotics operations (ICE, CBP, DEA, ONDCP, etc.) or the participating U.S. military commands (Northcom and SouthCom) have bothered to offer an explanation for the transition in terminology.

The term TCO is now used interchangeably with DTO, although TCO seems to be in ascendance in official pronouncements and strategy statements. The usage of “transnational threats, “when referring to drug flows through Mexico, is now commonly included in assessments of border security, national security, and homeland security.

It may be, as drug war analyst Longmire indicates, that the introduction of the terms “TCOs” and “transnational threats” stems from careful study and strategic reflection by Washington’s array of drug warriors.

However, there isn’t much of a paper trail to demonstrate this decision to shift nomenclature, or to explain this recent elevation in threat assessment. What is more, none of the civilian agencies or military commands spouting this terminology apparently believes there is any need to explain to Congress or the public just why they have switched drug war terminology.

When asked about the provenance of these terms and their incorporation into such new Border Patrol-led programs like the Arizona-based Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats, DHS officials say that they are “field-sourced” -- meaning that Border Patrol agents on the line initiated the new transnational nomenclature and DHS simply followed their lead.

DHS can’t point to any department-level explanation for the switch.

It could very well be that that there the switch that Longmire refers to was simply the product of a perceived need to attract attention and support with some new drug war language.

It is also quite possible that the emergence of the new threat terminology is nothing more than a national security version of games Follow the Leader or Simon Says.

One agency or military command merely follows the lead of another, copying their rhetoric and strategic formulations, and so on across the entire national security/homeland security/drug war apparatus.

Along the border, DHS now routinely characterizes all illegal drug and illegal immigrant crossings as “transnational crime” – noting that drug mules and immigrants are commonly part of business enterprises that involve fees, even if only involving small criminal bands that pay the security forces and larger criminal organizations for the right to work the border.

Straight Talk Absent in Obama Administration

Tens of thousands of Mexicans are being killed and the many millions of Mexican people live in fear. The Obama administration asserts that U.S. national security is acutely threatened by illegal drugs that cross the border and by the organizations that traffic them.

Given this horrific violence, one might expect that more care be given to describe and define the identity of the TCO enemy we are fighting on both sides of the border.

Straight talking that transcends drug war moralizing and boasts about drug seizures is desperately needed but is to be found nowhere in Obama administration pronouncements about border security and regional counternarcotics strategy.

It may be that one term – whether it be DTO, TCO, cartel, or organized crime – doesn’t adequately describe the constellation of actors in the drug trade.

The reckless use of such terms as “transnational threats” and TCOs to describe national security risks serves to feed the flames of politically motivated fear-mongering about immigration, drugs, and the border. It also serves to bolster the notion that the drug trade is essentially a national security not a public safety issue, more war than crime.

The lack of definition and nuance also turns these concepts into analytical mush, as when those involved in counterfeit DVDs and CDs are labeled transnational criminals.

(And why, by the way, as the Homeland Security Today article implies, is the “American media” the only sector adversely affected by this intellectual property theft. Or is it that, true to their nationalist and anti-imperialist convictions, these transnational criminals refrain from pirating Mexican music and films, or European or Latin American media products?)

In response to a New York Times op-ed by drug war consultant Longmire who argued that legalizing marijuana won’t “kill the cartels,” a close observer of the drug trade, Al Giordano of Narco News, argued that the drug market differs radically from normal criminal activity because of the extraordinary high level of profits and the organization needed to manage the production and trade.

According to Giordano:

What’s happening in Mexico and elsewhere is that cartel drug profits are underwriting conventional types of criminal activity. Were it not for drugs revenue, conventional criminal activity by cartels would have to support itself, and that would make things far too difficult to sustain a large operation.

Drug War Addiction

In Mexico and Central America, the violence and frightening reach of the drug trafficking organizations -- along with spread of extortion, kidnappings, and other crime not directly related to the DTOS -- raise pressing policy questions about the character of the crisis and most appropriate response.

By referring to illegal drug trafficking as an “acute threat to the security of the United States” as it did in the new Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy and through its careless (and undefined) warning about TCOs and transnational threats at home, the Obama administration seems intent on conflating the drug wars in Mexico and Central America with a reinvigorated drug war at home.

Alarmism and fear-mongering have proved effective tools of political mobilization by conservatives, immigration restrictionists, and border security hawks across the nation, and especially in the border states of Arizona and Texas.

To a large extent, the transnational threats and TCOs that President Obama, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and the U.S. military are warning us about are creations of Washington’s inability to break its addiction to drug-prohibition righteousness and $26 billion in annual injections of counternarcotics spending.

U.S. and Ethiopia Kill

Somalis With Food Weapon

By Glen Ford,

July 21, 2011

The drought that threatens more than ten million lives in the Horn of Africa has been made vastly more deadly by U.S. and Ethiopian use of food as a weapon of war. The Americans last year forced the collapse of cooperation between aid agencies and Shabab resistance fighters in Somalia. And Ethiopia, a center of the drought, has virtually sealed off its rebellious Ogaden region from outside observers and aid providers, including the International Red Cross, in order to conceal its brutal, collective punishment of ethnic Somalis.
"The Ethiopian government has blocked the International Red Cross and other aid agencies from carrying out relief work in the region."
At least 10 million people are in danger of starvation in Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia, under the worst drought conditions in 60 years. This should be taken as fact. But when it comes to which humans are to blame for relief supplies being unavailable to the victims, don’t believe a word that the United States government says. Washington is not only the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, it is also the biggest liar on the planet, none of whose words can be taken at face value.
The Americans claim the Shabab Islamist fighters made the drought crisis worse by preventing international aid agencies from distributing food relief. But only last year, in February 2010, the New York Times was running a headline, "UN Officials Assail U.S. for Withholding Somali Aid." We explored that story in Black Agenda Report. Back then, United Nations officials charged the U.S. with imposing conditions that made it "impossible" to deliver tens of millions in food aid to hungry Somalis. The Americans refused to allow food to be transferred from warehouses in Kenya, claiming it might enrich the coffers of the Shabab, who controlled about half of Somalia. The U.S. finally let some food pass through, but only on the condition that aid workers not pay any fees at Shabab checkpoints around the country. Aid workers on the ground said that following U.S. orders would make them "look like spies." Apparently, they were right.
It was a clear case of the United States using food as a weapon of war, starving the people of Somalia in order to destroy the social base for the resistance to U.S. proxy rule over the country. We do know that the relationship between the Shabab and international aid agencies fell apart, at that point, so one could conclude that Washington succeeded in its mission. Starving people are now paying the price.
"A look at the map of the drought-stricken areas shows that the Ogaden is a center of the crisis."
The U.S.-backed puppet government in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, waited until this week to declare a drought emergency in Somalia. Kenya, another American puppet, refused to allow Somalis to enter a brand new – and empty – refugee camp. Ethiopia may be the worst case. Not only did it bring on what was then Africa's "worst humanitarian crisis," according to the UN, by invading the country in late 2006, at the instigation of the United States – Ethiopia has virtually sealed off its vast Ogaden region to outside observers, and a look at the map of the drought-stricken areas shows that the Ogaden is a center of the crisis!
The Ogaden is populated by ethnic Somalis who have been fighting their own guerilla war against the Ethiopian dictatorship, whom they charge with using food as a weapon of war. Of the 10 million people at risk of starvation, a huge portion live – or are now dying – in the Ogaden. As the dependable Thomas C. Mountain reports from nearby Eritrea, the Ethiopian government has blocked the International Red Cross and other aid agencies from carrying out relief work in the region. The Obama administration, which now gives the Ethiopian dictatorship more money than any regime in Africa, could force the doors to the Ogaden open with one phone call. But it won't, because Ethiopia and the U.S. are on the same mission, and there is nothing humanitarian about it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Arab Revolution

Questions about the Arab Revolution

Dr Salim Nazzal has devoted the article to cast some light on the socio-cultural phenomenon assuming that the major challenge which faces the Arab revolution might be the traditional culture more than the political.

The Arab Revolution is still going on after 6 months of its eruption. And most observers expect it to continue and to expand to more Arab countries in what has been considered to be the most historical moment in the Arab history since the advent of Islam which put Arabs on the stage of history. This revolution revived much of the hopes for progress after decades of Arab defeats and stagnation on various levels.

Studying the socio cultural phenomenon, especially in sociology and anthropology teach us that societies are all the time subjected to continuous change whether through internal factors such as despotism and corruption or through the influence of external factors such as accularation, foreign invasion etc. That’s why many saw in the Arab revolution a revolution of a globized youth who adapt the values of modernity, which might collide to this or that extent with the traditional values.

If that assumption is true, the Arab revolution might be the first fruit of the impact of globalization on non western societies. Yet we need to remember that Arab historians view the advent of the Arab enlightement period (1830-1920) as the reaction to the Napoleon invasion of Egypt and Palestine which made Arabs realize their weakness compared with the French invaders. This naturally consolidated the argument which put emphasis on the external factors .And here I would consider the invasion of Iraq and the American Zionist propoganda towards Arabs and Muslims a major factor of the role of the external pressures.

However I am tempted to comment on the impact of the European invasion and the globalized (invasion) and its impact on the current Arab thinking in order to draw some comparison between both, but I will made quick comment because I prefer to leave this to an independent paper.

Therefore it is noteworthy to note down that there is some correlation between the Arab enlightement questions and the current questions because these questions were mostly focused on the notion of Progress if it is possible to put it in a generalized word though of the fact that the question of human rights has not been clear in previous questions compared for instance with the current revolution. And also we find similarity between the Arabs of today who view the Turkish model of combining” authenticity and modernity” as a good example to follow, and the enlightment Arab period which showed interest in the Japanese experience which represented in their view a successful experience of the combination between modernity and authenticity.

Nevertheless, the Arab revolt has raised problematic questions that are difficult to answer them or it has not been, until now deeply debated. On top of these questions, is it possible for the traditional religious culture to adapt modern values?

In the European experience for instance as the Syrian thinker Sadiq Al-Azm rightly notes, the liberal culture preceded democracy and this is expressed in the anti despotic literature of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes in England, Voltaire and Rousseau in France and others. Al Azm is known for his book (critique to the religious thinking) which appeared after the 1967 war in which Al Azm returned the Arab defeat in the war with the Zionist state to the domination of the religious traditional culture. In this regards he was a pioneer to explain the Arab problems through examining the socio cultural structure. This methodology has been invested in later period by major Arab thinker such as Abu Al Jabre and Muhammad Arkoun who both died few months before the eruption of the current Arab revolution.

So whatever was said about the role of modern communication in the current Arab revolution we need to remember that the major revolutions in history took place before the modern means of communication? In this regards, the role of Face book in initiating the Arab revolution is a question that need a deeper debate despite that it is not possible to ignore the impact and the importance of modern communication in connecting people together.

The French Revolution usually seen as the inspiring revolution in the modern times was the first implementation in the political reality of the age of enlightenment.

It was an (orphan!) in every sense of the word. It took place in a time when all Europe was subjected to absolute monarchies. This, which might explains the alliance of all Europe against the French revolution. Especially in Britain's the traditional enemy of France which considered supporting the revolutionary ideas equal to treason. Which created the trend of the (British McCarthyism) about 300 years before the emergence of the hysteria of McCarthyism in America?

We do not have a parallel example in history of the role of counter-revolution outside of the experience the French Revolution except in the Bolshevik revolution. Which also possess uniqueness of the French Revolution, which also led to the unity of the conservative forces in Europe to fight (the Ghost of Communist, which is wandering in Europe)?

In this regards Arabs might be lucky because they can learn or benefit from the experiences of democracy in the East and West, unlike the French Revolution which had to make its way alone, and perhaps this explains the linkage done between the ideas of modern liberalism and the ideas of democracy of the Greek antique culture. This coupled with efforts to weaken the role of the Church in public life towards modernizing the democratic ideas towards establishing the society run by all and for all citizens.

The question is, if the French Revolution found a (Greek ancient ancestor) to build on what are the Arab historical references in this matter?

The late Arab thinker Muhammad Al Jabre has widened the perspective of the Arab word (Good Salaf, good ancestors) which pointed towards the first ideal Islamic period to make it include all ideologies. According to this view all ideologies in this regard has a sort of Salaf, or reference to build on, whether this in liberal thought or communist or Islamic.

In the Arab region, there is no historical predecessor that could be building on except in the period of the Arab enlightment era which extends from the middle of the 19th century and lasted until the beginning of the 20 century. That period witnessed much critical writings with the aim to modernize the Arab political and cultural life. This is clear in the writings which addressed political issues about the state and the right of citizens and social questions as the situation of woman in the society. This was obvious in the writing of Abd Al Rahman Al kawakibi anti despotic writings and Farah Anton call for liberalism and others. But despite the impact of the Arab critical writings it is obvious that Arabs could not convey these thoughts into the realm of politics due to various internal and external reasons, nor they succeed to made these ideas part of the mass culture.

This is the problematic which was behind the question posed by Antoine Douaihy about the capabilities of communities of traditional loyalties where the interest of the group comes before the individual to achieve a real break with the pre modern culture. The legitimacy of this question lies in the fact that Arab societies are still living pre-modern loyalties, viewed by most Liberal and left winger as a major obstacle towards achieving democracy and freedom. This is precisely what Majed al sheikh meant when he said about the difficulties of establishing a transition towards democracy without custodian cultural able to break with the past and cause a democratic penetration.

However Al Douaihy like many Arab intellectuals wonders about the possibility of adopting the Turkish model seen by many as a sort of balancing between the religious and secular values.

Nevertheless the dangers threatening the Arab revolution are too many to mention in one article. These dangers are both internal from the counter revolution forces and the uncertain ability of the cultural structure to carry a huge change, and the external which lies in the imperial powers and the Zionist state which undoubtedly will try to influence the Arab revolution for its interests.. But as I have devoted the article to cast some light on the socio cultural phenomenon assuming that the major challenge which faces the Arab revolution might be the traditional culture more than the political. I tend to think so because the change this time is not to replace the current corrupted rulers with less corrupted rulers but rather to create a new social order which could not be established without solid cultural grounds.

And as I do not have any answer to this question I like to draw the attention that the expectation of the Arab revolution must not be much high simply because integrating democratic culture in traditional societies cannot be achieved only by changing the head of the political system. My expectation is not however part of the optimism, pessimism dualism but rather on the belief that major changes cannot be achieved over night to say the least.

Posing these questions does not mean not to support the Arab Revolution but rather to raise some questions that were not dealt with properly especially in the first wave of optimism after the success of the revolution in both Tunis and Egypt.

Yet the question remains where the Arab Revolution goes, is difficult to answer, especially in the light of many possible scenarios. These scenarios are ranging between the successes in openings more windows towards democracy or the failure, and possibly chaos. But if one is not sure about these entire scenarios one can be sure that it is impossible to return to the pre-revolution era because the revolution brought about a social volcano that would have a major impact on the Arab societies in the years to come.

Dr Salim Nazzal is a Palestinian-Norwegian historian in the Middle East, who has written extensively on social and political issues in the region. His writing has been published in various publications and translated into more than 13 languages

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