Another Pak Writer Discussing the “Script Writers” in Pakistan, As If They Were Not In Washington

The contours of a changed, unwritten script Situation


By Shaheen Sehbai

ISLAMABAD: In a week of intense behind the scenes political and diplomatic activity in the federal capital, key new lines have been added to the so called ‘script’, the unofficial, unwritten roadmap drawn up and preserved in the minds of the concerned people, to get rid of the despicable grip on the country of a few powerful highly placed individuals and their friends.

After my meetings with most of the main stakeholders in the present system during the last few days, including top people sitting in the Presidency, the PM House, Senate, National Assembly, Raiwind, the highly charged drawing rooms of Islamabad and the excited corridors ruled by career bureaucrats, the broad contours of the script have become identifiable. This assessment will purely be an analysis and conclusions drawn up by a journalist, but it will have many elements which have either come directly from the people I have met or from circles associated intimately with the real wielders of powers, political and non-political. Even before I started writing these lines, some elements of the new script had started becoming visible publicly.

The key indicators now out in the open include the shocking debacle for PPP on the NRO; the somersault of the MQM to oppose the NRO; a direct demand by Mr Altaf Hussain asking President Zardari to resign; the extra confidence in Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to practically take over matters in his own hands; the emergence of Nawaz Sharif from his friendly opposition bunker; the significant stand taken by Fata MPs; the calm and cool but ever persuasive demeanour of the army chief to discuss “matters of national security” with the prime minister (not the president); the nervousness in some camps over the “messages and ideas” Lady Hillary Clinton has taken back to Washington; and the unusual multi-country tour of our ISI chief, starting with Saudi Arabia, which some government spokespersons hilariously described as a visit in which he had taken a message to the Saudi King from President Zardari.

In the previous script the role of the judiciary and the superior courts was well defined but before that stage could arrive the presidential edifice crumbled under the weight of just a couple of smart political moves by pro-establishment forces. So a calculated fine-tuning had to be done.

What has already happened is known but what is likely to come is more important. All stakeholders agree, and this I can claim after meeting almost all of them in the last few days in Islamabad and Lahore, that President Asif Ali Zardari will have to either step down with dignity, hand over his presidential powers to the PM through a fast-track constitutional amendments process, or become a figure head and stay within his bunker for as long as he does not create any nuisance.

Some apologists for the presidency have already publicly indicated that Mr Zardari is seriously thinking about this course because that would keep him in the top most position, immune to the unpleasant hardships of defending himself in civil courts, a process he has endured for years, and wait for his time to strike back as a relevant PPP leader, with the active aid and presence of son Bilawal and daughters Bakhtawar and Assefa.

This could be the easier way out for him but it involves humiliation and embarrassment on a daily basis as his cronies and confidants, those who do not get away from the country in time, will be dragged in cases and in the media, presenting before the entertained nation a spectacle which Mr Zardari would not like. They will be paying for their sins, of course.

So my analysis is that he will fight back. Some who still have access to him claim that he has expressed these defiant views many a time saying he would never resign and if someone wanted to remove him, he should send an ambulance because he would not walk out on his own two feet.

But this fighting spirit and belligerent posture, although part of his psyche and state of mind, will not be beneficial politically. It is almost certain, and a senior Sindhi politician who knows the PPP and Sindh like the back of his own right hand, openly admits, that for Zardari there would be no “Sindh Card”, as it was available to Benazir Bhutto.

In fact when I asked the Sindhi politician what may happen in Sindh, and the heart of PPP country, if Zardari and his 12 friends were removed from their offices, the answer was: “Only these 13 people will protest, no one else will.” He explained that there are no PPP cadres with fires in their belly left in the interior of Sindh who would rise for Zardari. There is a growing sense of hatred because the Zardari clan has taken over all what was loved by the Bhutto jiyalas. “If today Nawaz Sharif stages a public meeting in Larkana, the country will be surprised at the turnout,” the mainstream Sindhi politician belonging to the PPP told me.

So chances for Mr Zardari to rekindle his political fortunes, once he gives up his powers or if he resigns, are genuinely limited. The PPP would split into factions with the bulk going to a collective committee of PPP stalwarts, seniors and juniors who have remained, or have been kept, on the sidelines by the Zardari coterie. This will also bring the much-needed democracy and openness in the party, breaking the shackles of feudal hold.

This PPP committee, contours of which are already shaping up, have strong arguments to describe the Zardari-led PPP era, which started with the 2008 elections. These arguments start with the failures of Mr Zardari ever since he presented the will of Benazir Bhutto to the PPP CEC. All that the CEC members have done ever since is to take his decisions and policies with a pinch of bitter salt but have gone along because the party had won seats in the name of Benazir Bhutto and they had got a chance to rule after years of wilderness. The corrupt among the party made a mad rush to make money because they realized that this set up will not last long, hence the stigma of corruption not only stuck but intensified.

The Zardari era, the argument goes, consists of broken promises, colossal mistakes in assessing the mood of the people, taking decisions with arrogance, taking on the establishment and institutions which were needed to survive, taking gigantic U-turns when under pressure and smiling about them, claiming unabashedly as if it was a considered policy (like the restoration of judges, sacking and restoration of the Punjab government of PML-N, surrender on the Kerry Lugar Bill and eventually running away from the NRO).

Conversely, if it has been any sign for anyone to read, the PM has always been making politically correct statements, never making a commitment which he knew he would not be able to deliver and most importantly, he has received the “asheerbaad” (blessings) of those who matter on all critical junctures. This is no longer true for Mr Zardari.

So when the judges were to be restored, the Army Chief called on the PM to deliver the quiet message. When the March 15 decision was taken General Kayani called Aitzaz Ahsan to inform Nawaz Sharif. When the Supreme Court was about to give the initial short order on the PCO judges case, the meeting between General Kayani and Aitzaz Ahsan was considered necessary. When things were getting out of hand on the Kerry Lugar Bill, a similar meeting between Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar was held. The army chief also met the chief ministers of NWFP and Balochistan. When NRO erupted on the face of Mr Zardari, another meeting between the Army Chief and the PM was essential on Monday night so that the right message was conveyed. And it was. Then we saw the surrender.

These were domestic developments but the most important external factor which has now been added to the miseries of the presidency is the conclusion Hillary Clinton is believed to have drawn after her eye-opening three-day visit to Pakistan. She was actually on a fact-finding mission as the diplomatic channels in Pakistan and Washington had never informed her about the real situation. When the KLB exploded, State Department was taken aback and when Hillary saw with her own eyes and heard the people, her entire perceptions changed. Her almost three-hour meeting with General Kayani may have sealed many fates.

A shift in Washington’s policy, statements and emphasis would now be expected. She already took pains to ensure that none of her public and private utterances gave the impression that she was supporting any particular individual or any particular coalition government. She talked about the process of democracy and the people of Pakistan and that means faces can change but the Pak-US ties will stay.

The scriptwriters interpret this as a signal that Washington is no longer interested in protecting or prolonging Mr Zardari’s rule, if the people of Pakistan do not so wish. An official in the presidency quietly whispered in my ear that Mr Zardari has reached the point in just one year which General Musharraf took eight years to reach, vis-‡-vis the American support. “It is now for him to survive, the Americans have pulled the rug.”

On the domestic front again, the focus and all eyes would soon shift to the PM House where an hitherto out-shadowed PM was trying to cope and survive. Now the responsibility of making and owning all decisions would be his. Delivering results people expect from a sovereign parliament and a powerful PM under the amended constitution will be an onerous burden on Mr Yusuf Raza Gilani.

My interactions with a broad spectrum of important people reveal that Mr Gilani has not yet prepared himself to shoulder this responsibility. His administrative team is pretty weak and there is a growing sense of disconnect between the people around Mr Gilani and the rest of the top echelons of bureaucracy.

A senior bureaucrat told me the recent mass scale reshuffle in the officialdom by PM Gilani has made many officials nervous. They do not have direct and free access to the PM and a coterie of sorts is also beginning to surround the PM, like the one around the president. But this group is of professionals and civil servants who want to keep the PM under their thumb. It would be a big challenge for Mr Gilani to get a competent and effective team if he were to take charge and show the difference to the nation between a powerful PM and a one-man show which went wrong. He would have to sack high profile ministers, change cronies controlling the state organizations like the Pakistan Steel Mills, PSO, PIA, KESC and many others tainted with corruption.

The forced healthcare plan that will force people to take-up arms

[The forced healthcare plan that will force people to take-up arms.]

Obamacare: Startling new revelations

First, we learned that a $500 billion cut in Medicare will dramatically affect the quality and quantity of health care available to America’s senior citi-zens. Grand-ma’s access is being slashed to add illegal immigrants and 20-some-things into the insurance system. However, this revelation pales in rela-tion to what we heard this week.

By: Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, Bemidji Pioneer

First, we learned that a $500 billion cut in Medicare will dramatically affect the quality and quantity of health care available to America’s senior citi-zens. Grand-ma’s access is being slashed to add illegal immigrants and 20-some-things into the insurance system. However, this revelation pales in rela-tion to what we heard this week.

Here’s the latest shock: Av-erage current health insur-ance premiums with likely triple under Obamacare.

The new data comes from a well regarded, state-by-state study conducted for WellPoint Inc. The most dramatic premium boosts will hit young people. These are the actual individuals that often opt out of insurance plans now.

Reaction from the Obama White House was swift and harsh. Linda Douglass, Obama’s health care spokeswoman, had the audacity to compare the health insurance firm with tobacco companies. Since the White House refuses to argue the facts, they instead turned to using one of their favorite tactics, which is demonizing any voices of dissent.

The reason for the dramatic insurance premium increases is the result of Obamacare regulations. First cause is the mandate that insurance companies take any customer. Insurance traditionally is an actuarial business that rates different customers based on risk factors. This is the reason a driver aged 19 with two speeding tickets pays more for auto insurance than a customer aged 35 with no speeding tickets. Nineteen-year-olds have more accidents. Therefore they pose more risk.

Traditionally, health insurance companies charged customers with risk factors and chronic illness more than young, healthy 19-year-olds. Obamacare stands the concept of insurance on its head. Since an insurance company will be forced to sell to any sick patient, the incentive to buy insurance when you are healthy decreases. Why not wait until you are sick; get cancer, diabetes or some other severe illness before you buy?

To circumvent this problem, Obama is riddling the pro-gram with police-state man-dates on healthy, younger citi-zens. Perverted, negative in-centives such as threats of large fines and even prison time will hang over young pe-ople’s heads to force them to join and stay enrolled in Oba-a’s health care scheme. Does this sound like America to you?

Democratic leaders in Con-gress are seeing support slip through their fingers because Americans are learning that they will end up paying more for less-adequate care. The beneficiaries of this plan are still lobbying hard. Big business will likely dump most of their current employee-based plans and pay the less expensive tax.

Big unions are facing the reality that they are going to be bankrupted by their generous membership health plans. Many want to dump their responsibilities on the new government option recently revived by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. AARP is salivating at the money they will make selling new, bigger Medicare-gap plans after the current program is gutted.

These powerful lobbies are the driving force for change. Individual family finances will pay the higher costs and see no benefit.

There is still time to kill this wrongheaded plan and replace it with reforms that will truly work. Selling insurance across state lines will increase competition and lower prices. Tort reform that eliminates outrageous judgments in malpractice cases will get lawyers out of medicine; this will result in eliminating billions currently being spent in the name of defensive medicine.

Insurance can work, but the costly mandates and regulations already choking the health care system are a big barrier to cutting costs.

Free markets deliver to Americans consumer goods, groceries, veterinary services, and even plastic surgery at affordable prices with little government meddling. Let the free market price and correct the distortions currently in the health care system.

Government has bankrupted Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. Postal Service. Let’s not let the politicians destroy the greatest health care delivery system in the world.

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are bestselling authors and speakers. Together they write a national weekly column distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism.

Top Air Force CIA Officer Given Command Europe

Jim Varhegyi / Air Force Lt. Gen. Mark Welsh III will be commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Top AF CIA officer tapped to command USAFE

 

Staff report
Posted : Tuesday Nov 3, 2009 17:08:40 EST

Gen. Roger Brady, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, will retire early next year and be replaced by Lt. Gen. Mark Welsh III, the Air Force has announced.

Welsh is the Air Force’s top officer at the CIA, where he serves as associate director for military support. He has been confirmed by the Senate for promotion to general.

Brady will retire after 40 years in the Air Force. He has commanded USAFE since January 2008 and is the commander of NATO’s Air Component Command and its Joint Air Power Competency Center.

Welsh spent most of his operational career flying A-10 Thunderbolts and F-16 Fighting Falcons, including as commander of the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. He also served as vice commander of Air Education and Training Command and commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy.

He joined the CIA in August 2008, earning promotion to lieutenant general four months later.

The date of Brady’s retirement and USAFE change of command has not been announced.

The Inhuman Stain: Saying Yes to State Terror

The Inhuman Stain: Saying Yes to State Terror

Chris Floyd

 

November 3, 2009

I’ve been writing about the case of Maher Arar since December 2003. He is the innocent Canadian man who was seized by U.S officials on his way back to Canada and then, at the order of the Justice Department, “renditioned” to Syria, where it was known that the authorities would torture the alleged “terrorist.” They did, brutally. He was finally released, and his innocence was confirmed by the Canadian government, which paid him some $9 million for its part in his ordeal. – The United States, on the other hand, made no apologies, no restitution; instead, the government has resolutely blocked any attempt by Arar to seek justice in American courts.

Now the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed his case, ruling instead that the Executive Branch can capture and torture innocent people as they please, with no legal remedy for the victim, as long as they evoke, however spuriously, the sacred doctrine of “national security.” Indeed, it is entirely accurate to say that “national security,” as determined solely by the president and his designated minions, is now the actual constituion of the United States, the principle by which the state is shaped and governed. Scott Horton at Harper’s has the details.

Below is the first piece I wrote on the Arar case. It should be noted that all the draconian authoritarian powers discussed in this article – almost six years and two presidential elections later – are still in force, and still being rigorously defended by the Obama Administration.

There is a horrible scandal eating away the heart of the American body politic. Among the many corrupted currents loosed upon the nation by the Bush Regime, this scandal is perhaps the worst, for it abets all the others and breeds new pestilence, new perversions at every turn.

Last month, Maher Arar of Canada detailed his ordeal at the hands of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s shadowy security “organs.” On his way back home from a family holiday in Tunis, the Syrian-born Arar — 16 years a Canadian citizen — was seized at a New York airport. Jailed and interrogated without charges, on unspecified allegations of unspecified connections to unspecified terrorist groups, he was then summarily deported, without a hearing, to Syria. When he told the Homeland Chekists he would be tortured there — his family was marked down as dissidents by Syria’s Baathist regime — the Chekists replied that their organ “was not the body that deals with the Geneva Conventions regarding torture.” They shackled him and flew him to the American-friendly regime in Jordan; from there he was bundled across the border to Damascus.

But this is not the scandal we were speaking of.

For 10 months and 10 days, Arar was held in a dank cell in Syria: a “grave,” he called it, a three-by-six unlighted hole filled with cat and rat piss falling down from the grating overhead. He was beaten over and over, often with electrical cable, for weeks on end, kept awake for days, made to witness and hear even more exquisite tortures applied to other prisoners. He was forced to sign false confessions. Ashcroft’s Baathist comrades had a pre-set storyline they wanted filled in: that Arar had gone to Afghanistan, attended terrorist training camps, was plotting mayhem — the usual template. Arar, who had spent years working as a computer consultant for a Boston-based high-tech firm, had done none of those things. Yet he was whipped, broken and tortured into submission.

But this is not the scandal we were speaking of.

Arar’s case is not extraordinary. In the past two years, the Bushist organs have “rendered” thousands of detainees, without charges, hearings or the need to produce any evidence whatsoever, into the hands of regimes which the U.S. government itself denounces for the widespread use of torture. Apparatchiks of the organs make no secret of the practice — or of their knowledge that the “rendered” will indeed be beaten, burned, drugged, raped, even killed. “I do it with my eyes open,” one renderer told the Washington Post. Detainees — including lifelong American residents — have been snatched from the homes, businesses, schools, from streets and airports, and sent to torture pits like Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan — even the stateless chaos of Somalia, where Ashcroft simply dumped more than 30 Somali-Americans last year, without charges, without evidence, without counsel, and with no visible means of support, as the London Times reports.

But this is not the scandal we were speaking of.

Of course, the American organs needn’t rely exclusively on foreigners for torture anymore. Under the enlightened leadership of Ashcroft, Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and other upstanding Christian statesmen, America has now established its own centers for what the organs call “operational flexibility.” These include bases in Bagram, Afghanistan and Diego Garcia, the Indian Ocean island that was forcibly depopulated in the 1960s to make way for a U.S. military installation. Here, the CIA runs secret interrogation units that are even more restricted than the American concentration camp on Guantanamo Bay. Detainees — again, held without charges or evidentiary requirements — are “softened up” by beatings at the hands of military police and Special Forces troops before being subjected to “stress and duress” techniques: sleep deprivation (officially condemned as a torture method by the U.S. government), physical and psychological disorientation, withholding of medical treatment, etc. When beatings and “duress” don’t work, detainees are then “packaged” — hooded, gagged, bound to stretchers with duct tape — and “rendered” into less dainty hands elsewhere.

But this is not the scandal we were speaking of.

Not content with capture and torture, the organs have been given presidential authority to carry out raids and kill “suspected terrorists” (including Americans) on their own volition — without oversight, without charges, without evidence — anywhere in the world, including on American soil. In addition to this general license to kill, Bush has claimed the power to designate anyone he pleases “an enemy combatant” and have them “rendered” into the hands of the organs or simply killed at his express order — without charges, without evidence, with no judicial or legislative oversight whatsoever. The life of every American citizen — indeed, every person on earth — is now at the disposal of his arbitrary whim. Never in history has an individual claimed such universal power — and had the force to back it up.

But this is not the scandal we were speaking of.

All of the above facts — each of them manifest violations of international law and/or the U.S. Constitution  —  have been cheerfully attested to, for years now, by the organs’ own appartchiks, in the Post, the NY Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, the Economist and other high-profile, mainstream publications. The stories appear — then they disappear. There is no reaction. No outcry in Congress or the courts — the supposed guardians of the people’s rights — beyond a few wan calls for more formality in the concentration camp processing or judicial “warrants” for torture. And among the great mass of “the people” itself, there is — nothing. Silence. Inattention. Acquiescence. State terrorism — lawless seizure, filthy torture, official murder — is simply accepted, a part of “normal life,” as in Nazi Germany or Stalin’s empire, where “decent people” with “nothing to hide” approved and applauded the work of the “organs” in “defending national security.”

This is the scandal, this is the nation’s festering shame.This acquiescence to state terror will breed — and attract — a thousand evils for every one it supposedly prevents.



:: Article nr. 59674 sent on 03-nov-2009 17:07 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=59674

Link: www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1869-the-inhuman-sta
in-saying-yes-to-state-terror.html

Clinton tells Abbas: either you budge to Israel, or else

Clinton tells Abbas: either you budge to Israel, or else

By Khalid Amayreh

 

abbas-clinton1256990390737-4-0.jpg
November 3, 2009

The latest visit by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to Occupied Palestine seems to have effectively terminated whatever hopes the Palestinians and other Arabs may have pinned on the Obama administration to adopt an evenhanded approach toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In his public policy discourse toward the Muslim world, which culminated in his Cairo speech on 4 June, President Obama gave a certain impression that his administration would resist Israeli insolence and arrogance of power and introduce a semblance of fairness into its policy toward the Palestinian issue.

Obama also pledged to get Israel to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a precondition for resuming stalled peace talks between the apartheid Israeli regime and the weak Palestinian Authority (PA).

Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that all Obama’s assertions and promises were mostly disingenuous rhetoric that is meant for public relations consumption.

Clinton, in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in occupied Jerusalem Saturday night, stopped short of completely endorsing the Israeli settlement policy, describing Israeli “concessions” as “unprecedented.”

What Clinton seemed to be saying was that the proverbial ball was in the Palestinians’ court and that Israel did or was doing its part of the deal.

This means, according to Clinton’s logic, that it is now the Palestinians’ turn to reciprocate by agreeing to resume the vague, undefined, and open-ended talks with Israel, probably until Israel is able to devour the remainder of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, at which point Clinton or another American Secretary of State, would urge the Palestinians “to be realistic and accept reality.”

Clinton realizes well that with every day passing, Israel devours a fresh chunk of the West Bank. However, she not only fails to say what ought to be said, namely that this is unfair and unacceptable, but also goes as far as demanding that the Palestinians come to terms with Israel’s “right” to steal Palestinian land under the deceptive rubric of a peace process that has more to do with deception and land theft in broad daylight, than with real peace or even real efforts to make peace.

Clinton, who as New York senator had proven that her ethical standards were sub-minimal at best, has actually unmasked the Obama administration’s face, a face that seems to differ little from that of the previous Bush administration.

The continued theft of Palestinian land in al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) and the rest of the West Bank is undoubtedly a brazen act of rape. And instead of demanding that this rape be immediately terminated, Clinton is asking the victim to be considerate and accommodate the feelings and desires of the licentious attacker.

The PA leadership did well by rejecting American bullying. Doing otherwise would have made the PA and its president Mahmoud Abbas incur another spate of anger and indignation among Palestinians, both at home and in the Diaspora.

However, it is till uncertain if Abbas’s rejection of Clinton’s pandering to the extremist Israeli leadership was merely a tactical move or a sustainable position which the PA would uphold in the face of Israeli insolence and the manifestly conspiratorial American posture.

Abbas has been vowing not to resume talks with Israel unless and until the Zionist regime freezes all settlement expansion activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Resisting American pressure does enjoy wide support among Palestinians. In fact, it was one of the rarest instances where the American-backed PA chairman adopted a stand consistent with the Palestinian public opinion.

This is why reneging on or retreating from this position, even under American pressure, would cost Abbas and his Fatah organization dearly in terms of public support.

Needless to say, the latest American betrayal underscores the futility of counting on the US to pressure Israel to end the occupation that started in 1967 and allow for the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Indeed, it is quite plausible to reason that if the US is not able, even if willing, to get Israel to stop the construction of a settler building in East Jerusalem, it would be foolhardy for the Palestinians to expect the same US to get Israel to give up the occupied territories of 1967, allow for the repatriation of the refugees and dismantle Jewish colonies.

Hence, it is crucial that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims disallow themselves to continue being duped and bamboozled by American prevarications and procrastinations which only allows Israel to have more time to create more and more facts on the ground in the West Bank.

But it is uncertain if the Abbas-Fayyad leadership in Ramallah will be able to retain their current position vis-à-vis the settlement issue.

Abbas can’t really be given the benefit of the doubt. After all, he stands at the helm of an authority that can’t survive one month without American and Western aid, which is actually nothing less than bribery money aimed at placating the Palestinians to keep quiet in the face of continued Israeli theft of Palestinian land.

Moreover, the PA leadership proved ad nauseam that it values the legitimacy that comes from Israeli and American acceptance more than that which comes from the Palestinian people’s acceptance.

This is why Abbas must be constantly monitored and reminded that retreating from the current stance on settlements would generate a revolt against him and his authority.

The Palestinian people are always willing to sacrifice for the sake of their freedom. Palestinians would never ever commit adultery with their enduring national cause and inalienable rights for the sake of promised economic prosperity and worldly comfort.

Nonetheless, the PA will have to adopt a series of tangible measures to demonstrate to the American administration that the Palestinians wouldn’t just budge to Israel’s blackmailing tactics and arrogance of power.

If necessary, the PA must show a serious willingness to completely dissolve itself and return to the pre-Oslo era if the US keeps insisting on imposing the Israeli will on our people.

I know that many PA operatives have vested interests in maintaining the status quo. However, it should be well known to everyone concerned that Palestinian national interests in dumping the Israeli occupation in the dustbin of history absolutely override the interests of a few robber barons in swelling their bank accounts with more dollars and shekels.

In addition, the PA should display more national responsibility and statesmanship by forming a collective leadership that would lead the Palestinian people through the treacherous precipices facing our people.

After all, the PA constantly succumbed to American and western pressure in the hope that “fighting and isolating the extremists” would convince Israel and its allies to end the occupation.

Now, that the PA has discovered that the American-conceived and Israeli-sustained rift with Hamas was only meant, from the American view point at least, to weaken the Palestinian national front vis-à-vis Israel, the same PA should be courageous enough to reconsider its disgraceful subservience to the US and Israel and seek immediate reconciliation with Hamas and other patriotic-minded Palestinian forces.

Abbas: you are facing a grave danger. Your head has already hit the ceiling of the hyena’s cave.


:: Article nr. 59697 sent on 04-nov-2009 04:27 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=59697

Destroying Humanity to Quench Our Sick Need to Have It All

[This post is for the good people of Pakistan, just to remind you what life in “liberated Iraq” is all about.  Let the Army and the ISI have their way and this will be the fate of your wives, daughters and mothers.  If you believe that it is necessary to give your government the benefit of the doubt, trusting that they are looking out for your interests…you are dead wrong. Just ask Layla Anwar, or the millions of widows and orphans in Iraq about the joys of Western “liberation theology.”]

Widows, war widows, in a country torn to pieces thanks to you and your fucking democracy…are AS ENTITLED as any woman and as any Western woman to a decent life.

Baghdad’s widows are entitled to husbands/partners, mates, fathers for their kids, support, emotional bonding, sex and the rest…

Abandoned Women – Baghdad’s Widows

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues

 

4betoolfekaiki6.jpg
November 4, 2009

I was once called a black Widow…that’s fine with me…I consider my ex-husband as good as dead. And I stopped mourning him on the day of our divorce. Have you ever seen anyone mourn Chernobyl ? Well my ex was the second disaster after Chernobyl or should I say Iraq ?

Baghdad’s widows on the other hand, don’t share the same predicament. They are not “black widows” by choice.

I was watching a program the other day, and they interviewed a couple of those “black widows”. It’s funny, how the black obliterates all sects, all classes, all backgrounds…it’s funny how black obliterates it all…

There was this woman, very beautiful, living in a slum..slum is too nice of a word..her “home” consisted of a few bricks covered with plastic garbage bags, for a roof top…
She was a mother of 4. Her husband was tortured and killed by the death squads/militias. She borrowed money and built a little kiosk selling colored balloons…the puppet government’s bulldozers arrived one morning and bulldozed her kiosk, her only income…

She said : ” I don’t want anything for myself…but who will feed my kids ? If Maliki is incapable of paying attention to us (widows) then let him leave that golden chair of his, and let someone else take over…I need to feed my kids. “

Another woman was also interviewed, same scene, pools of sewage, mountains of garbage surrounding her “home”, which consisted again of a few bricks covered with plastic for a roof top…

Same story, husband killed by militias…left all alone, lost her family, her home, her job…and had to care for several kids…She cried and cried…the cameraman filmed her and produced a scoop…Tonight, she is still alone, crying…

Many stories…too many. If I tap into that, if I tap into the abandonment, if I tap into the scarcity, if I tap into the solitude, if I tap into the pain and the loss, if I tap into the grief…I will run out of pages.

I am not ready to lift that lid from that well…

Besides, words are words…they did not affect you before, they will not affect you today. Neither words, nor a thousand pictures…

I have become solution oriented…Sometimes the solutions are like some loose patchwork, sometimes they are just a band aid…sometimes they are very imperfect…but this is our Reality and this is what IS.

Facts, you hate them…I love them. Facts, you abhor them, I turn them into statues of worship because they are REALITY – OUR REALITY – OUR TRUTH.

A bit of history for you.

After the Iraq-Iran war, when we had over 1 Million of our men killed fighting off the madness of Iranian Khomeinism, which finally took over Iraq thanks to the American occupation…

After those 8 years of a bleeding war, President Saddam Hussein agreed for the re-insertion of polygamy i.e marrying a second wife, in parallel to the State providing for widows of the Iraq-Iran war : pensions, a piece of land, and having all their financial needs looked after by the State – from their children schooling to everything else; for being wives of martyrs.

President Saddam Hussein was greatly criticized by so called Feminists for this move in that particular context. The allegation was/is, by so called feminists one of them, an Iraqi American, who goes by the name of Zainab Salbi – is ” Saddam reintroduced polygamy” thus usurping women’s rights, that he and his regime have themselves encouraged and enacted…

Of course Zainab Salbi fails to mention that the ratio of women to men was more than double…in other words there were more women than men…then, in the aftermath of the Iraq-Iran war.

Well, Zainab Salbi was blessed by the Clinton administration…I guess that absolves her blatant ignorance about the fate of Iraqi women, even though she tries to purport herself as the expert of that cause, amongst her western feminist circles…

That was then…

Today the ratio is 10 women or so to 1 men. Today, after 2003…after our “liberation”. It’s funny how our liberation finished off our men and tortured, raped and made widows out of our women. Don’t you think ?

So what do Western “feminists” suggest, including the Zainab Salbi’s of this world ?
While they’re living safely and well tucked away in England and in the U.S, pontificating about women’ s rights ?

The puppet Iraqi government that the majority of Western feminists and their lapdogs either supported or failed to out rightly condemn, is no longer supporting it’s 2-3 million widows, 2-3 million widows since 2003…It has simply abandoned them.

Abandoned women to gangs, militias, prostitution, trafficking, poverty, disease, forgetfulness, indifference, callousness…

And we have junk feminists, assuring us that the Iraqi parliament has a ratio of 25% of puppet/junk females.

Who cares about puppet women? There are well over 2 million widows in Baghdad alone.

So what do you suggest “dear” sisters of Feminism ? What do you and your female lapdogs suggest ?

What theory will you come up with now ? How many hours, days, weeks, and years of debate do you need to come up with a solution ?

Because I want a solution…and fuck your theories.

Even though some Iraqi widows are forcing themselves into accepting marriage as second wives to feed their kids…many others are totally marginalized and forgotten…

What woman does not hate polygamous men ? All of us do…deep down, even the most “religious” amongst us.

But there is a greater Wisdom than yours and mine…

Polygamy or more aptly bigamy in the case of “liberated” Iraq and it’s million of widows is a blessing.

Yes it is.

Widows, war widows, in a country torn to pieces thanks to you and your fucking democracy…are AS ENTITLED as any woman and as any Western woman to a decent life.

Baghdad’s widows are entitled to husbands/partners, mates, fathers for their kids, support, emotional bonding, sex and the rest…

And those who are WILLING to be remarried, should be encouraged…

And in a country where your “brave” U.S men and “revolutionary” Iranian “Islamic” militias massacred thousands of our men, leaving 1 man to 10 women, then it is your duty to support Iraq’s widows. Not just materially, but also morally…

And if that means a return of male polygamy/bigamy…then so be it.

In my opinion, it would be most hypocritical to bark about women’s rights and assume that Iraq’s widows will have to be relegated to lives of stoic austerity and celibacy just to fulfill your ideal of what gender relationships should be like — when you yourselves, are unable to reach them in a state of “peace”, i.e when you’re not living or are products of war-occupation torn/massacred societies.

Besides, why are you so shocked ? 3/4 or more, if not more of your men have affairs, outside of marriage/and so-called “committed relationships”…leaving you and her in the Dark/Obscurity for months and years…At least in our case, it’s all legal and in the Light.

Painting : Iraqi female artist, Betool Fekaiki.


:: Article nr. 59708 sent on 04-nov-2009 06:41 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=59708

Link: arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2009/11/abandoned-women-baghdads-widows.html

Israel Thinking of Hiding War Crimes Report with All New War Crimes

Ashkenazi: “Next Battle Likely In Gaza”

Saed Bannoura

 

3ashkenazi.jpg
Gabi Ashkenazi

Wednesday November 04, 2009 – IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated Tuesday that he believes a new war in Gaza is nearing, and that the army is readying to target Qassam launching pads, located in densely populating areas in the Gaza Strip.

He said that the army could be fighting in cities, mosques, hospitals, schools and even kindergartens and added that “the enemies want to force us to fight this way”.

His statements came during a graduation ceremony for army cadets, and were aired by the Israeli Radio.

Meanwhile, the Hamas movement in Gaza said that the Israeli statements regarding Hamas’ successful tests on news “missiles’ clearly prove that Israel is trying to divert world attention from the Goldstone report.

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesperson of Hamas, said that the statements of Ashkenazi were made in an attempt to justify war crimes against humanity in
Gaza, and could as well be meant to justify future crimes.

Israeli Military Intelligence Chief, Amos Yedlin, claimed that Hamas is trying to obtain more weapons and missiles, and that it successfully tested an Iranian missile that could hit Tel Aviv, 60 kilometers (27.28 Miles) away.

He added that during the war on Gaza earlier this year, Hamas fighters fired shells that managed to hit targets 45 kilometers (27.9 Miles) away.

Yedlin also claimed Hamas obtained Iranian missiles, similar to those obtained by Hezbollah, and that the missiles were likely smuggled through the tunnels.