“We must enlighten the nation and strengthen our unity.”

“We must enlighten the nation and strengthen our unity.”

Yemen Times Staff

Dr. Al-Mortada Bin Zaid Al-Mahatwary

As Israeli attacks continue in Gaza, killing almost 900 people and wounding over 3,000 in what the International Committee of the Red Cross has described as a “full-blown” humanitarian crisis, preachers in the Arab world react to this ongoing offensive in many ways. Dr. Al-Mortada Bin Zaid Al-Mahatwary, founder and chairman of the Badr Centre for Islamic Studies, professor of law at Sana’a University and the preacher of the Badr Mosque, speaks to Ola Al-Shami of the Yemen Times on the recent assault on the Gaza Strip.

What are your roles as preachers with regard to this situation?

We have to urge the public to respond actively in facing this tyrannical attack. Strictly speaking, the most dangerous issues we are facing are the calls for separation and division between the Sunni and Shiite parties. Anyone who propagates this, especially during this critical time, is – in my opinion- an agent for Israel. There is no way to negotiate with Israel as they massacre the men, women and children of Gaza.

By deviating Arab attention from the crimes in Palestine, the agents of America and Israel play their game dividing us and spread propaganda in the name of Islam. They now blame the people of Gaza for the crimes committed against them. May Allah save Islam from those rumors. Our role is to enlighten the nation and strengthen our unity so that Israel’s lies cannot divide the Muslims.

What is the public supposed to do?

They should take to the streets in organized strikes, and they should be careful of Israel’s propaganda and rumors and strongly oppose them. Also, they should urge their rulers to oppose the crimes committed in Gaza. It is because of the public’s carelessness that Arab rulers make no effort. Israel wouldn’t dare to perpetuate its crimes if it faced strong and united opposition from the Arab rulers.

What – in your opinion- is the best thing to be done during this crucial period?

Right now Arabs must believe that fighting is the best way to defend freedom and humanity. If we can’t, we must support our brothers financially, with weapons, protests and with prayer. The media plays a vital role in spreading our protest and objections to what is happening in Palestine.

These protests are severely curtailed in some Arab countries. Why?

Although, we should insist on raising our voice, these strikes should also be logical. That is don’t break the cars or attack the buildings to show your anger. It’s the wrong way to express your anger.

Islamic resistance movement Hamas is categorized by many governments as a terrorist organization. Do you agree?

Israeli agents want to enjoy their vacations on the beaches of Tel Aviv and Hamas and Hezbollah are an annoyance in this matter. In this context, they are terrorists because they scare these agents and they scare Israel. Moreover, these confronting attacks make America angry, and if America is angry it is a big problem for most of its agents. To seek the truth, can a person who fights the occupation who took his land and made him homeless accused as a terrorist? On the contrary, this person should be honored for his natural reaction. It’s illogical to call the movement that resists occupation and fights for freedom a terrorist one.

Can Arab-Israeli negotiations play an active role in this issue?

No. These negotiations are like child’s play. They have been negotiating since the first Israeli attack on Palestine with no outcomes. What have the negotiation achieved? There has been no progress since the beginning.

You called for people to support the people of Gaza and collect donations for them. To what extent were the people responsive?

It was amazing, even children chose to give what was on their pocket to support their brothers in Gaza. We will try to hand over this money or this support to honest people to deliver it to our brothers and families in Gaza.

What is the relationship between the party struggles in Arab countries and the recent situation in Gaza in your opinion?

Activating quarrels and conflicts among Muslims in the Arab world is an Israeli project since historical times. We must therefore be careful, and we should not stimulate any struggles at this critical time. This is the time to be united to fight those who kill our children and women.

To whom would you address a final word?

I demand that Israeli agents in Arab countries be aware of that the Arab nation will be united again and sooner or later Arab civilization will come back. Also, I pray against those who sow the seeds of conflict among the Arabs.

Dr. Al-Mortada Bin Zaid Al-Mahatwary is a renowned Yemeni reformist of the Zaydi sect. From a family of religious and language scholars, Al-Mahatwary studied jurisprudence and Arabic in Sana’a. He later received a masters and a Ph.D. degree with distinction from Cairo University. For his Ph.D., he conducted research on the subject of slander and defamation in Islam.

Al-Mahatwary’s opinions and calls for reform are regarded by many as unorthodox and quite controversial, bringing upon him the wrath of both the establishment and other rival Islamic groups.

Putin extends olive branch to Turkey with Blue Stream plans

Putin extends olive branch to Turkey with Blue Stream plans

From left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pose during the inauguration ceremony of the Blue Stream pipeline at the pumping station in Samsun on Nov. 17, 2005.

In a bid that many analysts are likely to interpret as a signal directed at Turkey, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed on Saturday the possibility of working toward expanding the Blue Stream gas pipeline, which currently travels under the Black Sea to Turkey

Putin made these comments at a news conference Saturday after talks with Mirek Topolanek, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, which is presently occupying the EU’s rotating presidency. The talks were aimed at ending the stand-off between Russia and Ukraine over gas transit through Ukraine that has left a number of Eastern and Central European countries with acute gas shortages.

At the news conference Putin expressed interest in the “construction of new gas pipelines — the Nord Stream, the South Stream and a possible expansion of Blue Stream — and gas liquefaction, i.e., the construction of a plant for gas liquefaction and the construction of a tanker fleet.”

The proposed expansion of Blue Stream would link to a Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline currently under consideration and would also involve a branch to Southeastern Europe.

The ongoing crisis has highlighted the pressing need to diversify energy routes for natural gas. Russia supplies Europe with about 25 percent of the continent’s natural gas, most of which passes through Ukraine. A significant amount of Russian gas destined for Turkey travels through Ukraine as well. Another pipeline from Russia to Turkey travels under the Black Sea and is called Blue Stream, delivering 35 million cubic meters of gas daily. The pipeline is said to be operating well under capacity.

Russia’s expression to extend the pipeline has significant implications for Turkey, with many analysts noting that the present crisis underlines the need to diversify pipeline routes. Dr. Sohbet Karbuz, head of the oil and natural gas department at the Observatoire Mediterraneen de L’Energie (OME), said that the interesting thing is that “politics comes before business in the pipeline business.”

If the pipeline is expanded, it would be significantly to Turkey’s benefit, Karbuz noted. Turkey could then extract transit fees for gas supplies traversing Turkey en route to European markets as well as “increase Turkey’s leverage vis-à-vis the EU.”

Another expert on energy politics who spoke to Today’s Zaman on condition of anonymity expressed the view that Putin’s proposal to extend the Blue Stream was intended to send the message to Turkey that “Russia is ready to cooperate with Turkey.”

The message had subtle implications for broader security issues, the expert noted. “This is not the first time that Russia has conveyed such a position. Russia has long been interested in getting involved in the Nabucco project; however, it has been unable as a result of reservations of the EU and the US.” The key message, according to the official: “Turkey needs to take a side.”

Karbuz notes that if the South Stream project is developed first, the urgency to complete the Nabucco project would be reduced.

“We will see what happens in the coming months,” said Karbuz, in response to Putin’s recent statements concerning discussions with South Stream partner countries. “At present the Memorandum of Understanding [to build the South Stream pipeline] between partner states is not important. Contracts are key. If the contracts come up before Nabucco’s completion, Turkey would be affected.”

Russia’s proposed expansion of South Stream, if actualized before the completion of Nabucco, estimated for 2013, would likely come at the expense of a Blue Stream expansion and the completion of Nabucco as it would bypass Turkey.

In related developments, Ukraine reportedly signed a deal Sunday that provides for EU, Ukrainian and Russian observers to monitor gas flows through Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have not come to an agreement on supplies to Ukraine, and they remain cut off. Experts have said it may take 36 hours from the time gas starts flowing for capacity to build up in pipelines and reach consumers in Europe.

12 January 2009, Monday


Analysis of Israel’s Gaza Operation by USAK Experts

Analysis of Israel’s Gaza Operation by USAK Experts

USAK experts analyzed Israel’s Gaza assault and evaluated possible consequences for the region as well as for the world.

USAK security expert, Ihsan Bal:

Israel´s method of combating terrorism is quite different from the world standard. By following this strategy, Israel is punishing the local people instead of directly targetingthe terrorists, and the people in Gaza, who were already struggling under Israel’s previous embargos, are now seriously injured.

In other words, Israel is targeting civiliansso that the people of Gaza share the cost of supporting Hamas. It can be said that Israel’s strategy of combating terrorism is very different due to this type of behavior.

Israel’s blockade on Palestinians, lasting for years, did not produce the desired consequences, but it caused moral casualties for Palestinians as well as material ones.

On the other hand, Israel’s intention by attacking civilians, hospitals, and infrastructure, and by using disproportionate force is to show Palestinians that the source of this aggression is their support of Hamas. Undoubtedly, in this way, Israel expects to eliminate Hamas militants and wants to direct the care of people to the Al-Fatah and Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Israel’s antiterrorism measures are deductive; to put it more clearly, Israel aims to destroy Hamas by punishing the civilians.

While Israel displays a disproportionate use of force in its attacks on Gaza, at the same time, it attempts to gain support of the world public opinion by using propaganda tools effectively. In this regard, Israel chose to mark Hamas as a terrorist organization, particularly in the eyes of the USA and Europe, by mentioning its name together with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and through these means tries to justify its antiterrorist actions.

In sum, Israel prefers to punish civilians instead of combating Hamas. At the same time, it conducts propaganda campaigns in order to focus attention on Hamas as well as provide justification of its acts against Hamas.

In response to Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Livni’s statement that “[Israel] is not targeting civilians, but Hamas,” Ihsan Bal argues it is not possible to distinguish between the civilians and militants during air attacks and land operations. If these operations were only against Hamas militants, they must be performed under the light of intelligence service sources and under the control of special military forces. Israel’s intentions are also made clear when we look at their means of assault. As they attack with bombs, military tanks, and air planes, itis difficult to say that the main target of the operations is Hamas.

Director of USAK, Sedat Laciner:

Israel is making a big mistake in Palestine. The most important reason for this is Israel’s irrational behavior in dealing with the region’s realities. Since the first day of its foundation, Israel has implemented fear-driven politics against its neighbors. In this regard, Israel has not attempted to comply with its environment; on the contrary, it has challengedthe region and its realities. Violence-oriented behaviour has been institutionalized in the territories of Israel, thereby, a kind of reactive attitude based on fear and reflex act developed in the country.

If you look at Gaza, a region that has been perceived as a threat by Israel, it is not difficult to recognize that it has no economy and is mainly dependent on foreign aid in order to survive. The region’s underdevelopment is mainly due to the blockade and embargo strictly applied by Israel throughout the years.

In the militaristic sphere, we encounter an organization, named Hamas, that has rudimentary conventional weapons and does not even have a regular army. So, it is very difficult to explain Israel’s concerns regarding Hamas, because Isreal is militarily superior to Hamas and also has the support of the USA.

If Israel would choose to use only military methods in the region, she could have integrated Gaza and even abolished Hamas.

In conclusion, it makes no sense for Isreal to fearHamas as a military, economic, or humanitarian force, and we must emphasizethat, in comparison, Israel uses disproportionate force.

USAK EU expert, Mehmet Ozcan:

The EU is usually far away from exhibiting a holistic approach to the crises. Although the EU has accepted that all of these events are a humanitarian tragedy, it did not react strongly. One of the most significant indicators of that is the expression of the term presidency of the EU. The Czech Republic has tacitly approved the actions of the Israeli soldiers by saying that Israel’s actions are defensive, not offensive. This definition was condemned by the member states of the EU, after which the Czech Republic made an official expression about the misunderstanding of the abovementioned speech. However, in my opinion it was too late to correct this mistake. Gaza attacks are a violation of the right to life. It is not acceptable to assess Israel’s attacks in the framework of international law or international humanitarian law, because Israel abused the right of self-defense by using disproportionate force.

Translated by Muzaffer Vatansever, JTW.

Israels “Cast Lead” Operation & Mass Executions

Kawther Salam: “Israel sowed horror, terror and death and will harvest a generation of Palestinian resistance”.

The Israeli military Operation “Cast Lead” is based on ethnic cleansing of the ittihad_news-4families of Palestinian politicians and resistance in Gaza. According to the cabinet of the criminal Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, and the chief of the Israeli intelligence, Yuval Diskin, the military Operation “Cast Lead” must put an end to some political activists, Palestinian resistance and their families as the only solution to “decrease the terror” of revenge against Israel. According to these Israeli war criminals, the murder of the families of Palestinian political activists and resistance fighters is very important for the security of Israel. By murdering their families, Israel will guarantee that no revenge would be possible in the future.

I wonder, and I would ask the cabinet of the criminals Olmert and Barak if the Holocaust ittihad_newsput an end to Jews or not? Why are their criminal plans based on ethnic cleansing and terror, while they know that murdering these civilian families of the resistance and the politicians will never end the Palestinian resistance and the political activists. Israel itself is responsible for any revenge against Israel. The planners of the “Cast Lead” operation, the new holocaust in Gaza, are responsible for increased hate against Israel as well as against all the Jews of the world. This should be very clear to all Jews.
This attack is a clear war crime, it is genocide, and a war against all humanity. The ethnic cleansing will never end the Palestinian resistance while their lives are subject every day to injustice under the criminal and Nazi occupation of the Jews. I would ask the genocidal cabinet of Olmert, as well as the criminals in the war ministry, if the Holocaust put an end to the Jews, and why are their criminal plans based on ethnic cleansing and terror, while they know that it will never end the Palestinians?

On Sunday, January 11, 2009, the sixteenth day of Israeli military operation “Cast ittihad_news-5Lead”, the Zionist criminals justified their crimes against humanity as self-defense and as “war against terrorism”, calling themselves “Israeli Defense Forces soldiers” while they continued to strike Palestinian civilian targets across the area of Beit Hanon, murdering over 14 civilians and causing injuries to several people, among them were five children and two women.

The Palestinian journalist Jalal Nashwan, age 52, an employee of Palestine TV Al-Aqsa was murdered during the bloody invasion to Beit Hanon in the northern part of Gaza Strip. Nashwan was not carrying a gun or shooting at the criminal Israeli troops when they rained him with bullets. Eyewitnesses and medical sources said that the Israeli occupation forces in Beit Hanoun executed Nashwan in cold blood while he was covering the criminal invasion of Gaza. Nashwan was shot in several times in different parts of his body and left bleeding to death on the street without allowing medical teams to reach him.

Nashwan was not the first journalist murdered by the Israeli war criminals during the occupation of Gaza. The criminals of the IAF murdered on January 8, 2009, Palestinian photo-journalist Ihab Al-Wahidi, an employee of Palestine TV, his Moroccan wife Rokaia Abu Al-Naja, and his old mother when they shot missiles on their house in the Tal area in Gaza

Palestinian medical sources announced that rescue crews found 12 bodies in the Sheikh ittihad_news-1Ajlin neighbourhood in the southern part of Gaza City following the Israeli invasion in the area. Most of the bodies are still unidentified, some of them were identified by the families who had lost their children. The medical sources demand an immediate and urgent intervention to end the Holocaust in Gaza. They said that the Israeli forces are committing collective massacres against the Palestinian people. They demand an immediate and urgent intervention to end the Holocaust.

Four members of one family in the North-west of Gaza City were murdered when the IDF ittihad_news-2criminals dropped a missile, burning the family house and a number of neighbouring houses in the same area. Dr. Moawiyah Hasanain, the director of Al-Shifa’a hospital, called today upon the human rights organizations and international humanitarian workers to visit the Gaza Strip to see and to investigate the serious conditions of the wounded people and to prepare a report which condemns the use of internationally forbidden weapons which the Israeli occupation is using in their attack on Gaza.

Dr. Hasanain pointed out that the injured who arrive at hospitals suffer from severe burns and lacerations in the tissues of blood, and shattered nerves and bones, with roasted and chopped tissue which is originally a result of the fragments of the missiles. He said that the occupation used lethal weapons designed to cause significant and lasting harm, and that the injuries are forcing the amputations of the extremities of the wounded.

A philosopher of ancient Greece said that the gods first turn insane those whom they would destroy. When I see the horrible crimes of the Jews against my people, I can only conclude that these are the deeds of the criminally insane. This should give the saner ones among the Jews pause, but I doubt that they will understand, since after all they have no connection with the culture of the Mediterranean peoples and no roots in the region.

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

A very large delivery of  US weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of “ammunition” is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as “unusual”:

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

“This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” he added.

“Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare. (Reuters, Jan 10, 2009)

The Pentagon has entrusted a Greek merchant shipping company to deliver the weapons to Israel:

“The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.

The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as “ammunition” on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A “hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.(Ibid)

It is worth noting that a similar unusually large shipment of  US ordinance to Israel was scheduled in early December:

“Tender documents indicate that the German ship hired by the US in early December also carried a massive cargo of weapons that weighed over 2.6 million kg [2600 tons] and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina.” (Press TV, 10 Jan 2009)

Are These Large Shipments of Ordinance Connected to the Invasion of Gaza?

The request by the Pentagon to transport ordinance in a commercial vessel, according to Reuters, was made on December 31, 4 days after the commencement of the aerial bombings of Gaza by F16 Fighter jets.

Analysts have hastily concluded, without evidence, that the 2 shipments of “ammunition” were intended to supply Israel’s armed forces in support of its military invasion of Gaza.

“A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be “irregular” and linked to the Gaza offensive.” (Reuters, January 10, 2009)

These reports are mistaken. Delivery of ordinance always precedes the onslaught of a military operation. The ordinance required under “Operation Cast Lead” was decided upon in June 2008. Further to Tel Aviv’s request under the US military aid program to Israel, the U.S. Congress approved in September 2008 the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster high precision GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39).

The GBU 39 smart bombs produced by Boeing were delivered to Israel in November. They were used in the initial air raids on Gaza:

“…The Israel Air Force has used the new lightweight GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb acquired from the USA, in the recent attacks in Gaza. The [Jerusalem] Post mentioned the new weapons ordered last September having arrived last month [November], and already put to action with the IAF fighters. These weapons could have been deployed by the Boeing/IAF F-15Is, since sofar SDB is cleared for use only with this type of aircraft.

It is highly unlikely that the bulk of the weaponry included in these two large shipments, scheduled to arrive in Israel in late January, is intended to be used in Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The GBU-39 is lightweight (130 kg). The entire shipment of GBU 39s (1000 units) would be of the order of a modest 130 tons. In other words, the specifications of the GBU 39 do not match the description of the “unusually large” and  “heavy” shipment of ordinance.


Escalation Scenario

The shipment ordered on December 31 is of the order of 3000 tons, an unusually large and heavy cargo of “ammunition” pointing to the transfer of heavy weaponry to Israel.

According to US military statements, the ordinance is for stockpiling, to be used “at short notice” in the eventuality of a conflict:

“This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza. …The U.S. military pre-positions stockpiles in some countries in case it needs supplies at short notice.” (Reuters, 10 Jan 2009, emphasis added)

Whatever the nature of these large weapons shipments, they are intended for use in a future military operation in the Middle East.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term Operation Operation (TIRANNT) in May 2003, an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria has been envisaged. TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous official statements and US military documents have pointed to an expanded Middle East war.

What these shipments suggest is that the “escalation scenario” not only prevails, but has reached a more active stage in the process of US-Israeli military planning.

Whether these weapons will be used or not is not known. The central question, in this regard, is whether the Gaza invasion is part of a broader military adventure directed against Lebanon, Syria and Iran, in which heavier weaponry including US made bunker buster bombs will be used.

History of US Weapons Shipments to Israel

The stockpiling of US made bunker buster bombs by Israel has been ongoing since 2005:

“The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years.

Among the bombs the [Israeli] air force will get are 500 one-ton bunker busters that can penetrate two-meter-thick cement walls; 2,500 regular one-ton bombs; 1,000 half-ton bombs; and 500 quarter-ton bombs. The bombs Israel is acquiring include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.

The sale will augment existing Israeli supplies of smart bombs. The Pentagon told Congress that the bombs are meant to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage [against Iran], and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests.” (Jewish Virtual Library: September 21-22, 2004, Haaretz / Jerusalem Post.)

The actual shipments of US made bunker buster bombs started in 2005. The US approved in April 2005, the delivery of:

some 5,000  “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than ‘adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster [a variant of the GBU 28]'” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Nuclear Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005)

The BLU-109 is smaller than the GBU 28. “It  is a 2,000lbs warhead that can be used in combination with a GPS guidance kit […], and can penetrate up to 15 feet of fortified concrete.” (See F16.net)

In 2006 at the height of the Lebanon War in August 2006, a major shipment of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 bombs, according to the New York Times, was dispatched to Israel.

The GBU 28 is produced by Raytheon. It was used against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, has the the capability of penetrating some 20 feet of reinforced concrete. (Haaretz, 9 Nov 2008)  In contrast to the GBU 39 smart bombs (130 kg) used against Gaza, each GBU-28 weighs a hefty 2.2 tons.

“The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. The GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead.” Federation of American Scientists,

(For a visual depiction see  “Bob Sherman, How the GBU-28 works”, USA Today on-line.).


Video of GBU 28 on UTube

The recent unusually large shipments of weaponry to Israel are part of the 2004 agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, financed by US military aid to Israel.

As mentioned above, there is a history of delivery of bunker buster bombs (including the GBU 28), going back to 2005. While the nature and composition of these recent weapons shipments to Israel are not known, one suspects that they include the heavier version of the bunker buster bombs including the GBU-28.

In this regard, it is worth noting that last Summer, Israel requested the Pentagon to deliver GBU-28 bunker buster bombs. The stated purpose was to use them in the eventuality of a military operation directed against Iran.

In September 2008, according to US and Israeli press reports quoting Pentagon officials, Tel Aviv’s request was turned down. According to the reports, Washington categorically refused to deliver the shipment of GBU 28 bunker buster bombs, to be used to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Instead” Washington accepted to deliver the lightweight GBU-39 for use against Gaza.

The U.S. had “rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

The Americans viewed [Israel’s] request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran. In early September, Haaretz reported that the request had included GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bombs.

In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 “bunker buster” bombs which Israeli military experts said “could provide a powerful new weapon” in Gaza, AP reported.

So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran. (Defense Update.com, December 2008)

Media Disinformation

The official statements and press reports are bogus. Israel and the US have always acted in close coordination. Washington does not “demand that Israel give them prior notice” of a military operation:

The report in Haaretz suggests that the Bush Administration was adamant and did not want the Israelis to attack Iran. In fact, the reports suggested that the US would shoot down Israeli planes, if they tried to attack Iran:

“Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of “If you want, coordinate with him.” (Haaretz Nov 9, 2008)

This Israeli report is misleading. Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval and the US does not shoot down the planes of its closest ally.

The Nature and Composition of  the Recent US Weapons Shipments to Israel

These unusually large shipments of ordinance would normally require Congressional approval.  To our knowledge, there is no public record of approval of the unusually large shipments of heavy “ammunition” to Israel.

The nature and composition of the shipments are not known. Was Israel’s request for the delivery of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 accepted by Washington, bypassing the US Congress? Are GBU 28 bombs, each of which weighs 2.2 tons part of the 3000 ton shipments to Israel. Are tactical bunker buster mini-nuclear bombs included in Israel’s arsenal? These are questions to be raised in the US Congress.

The two shipments of “ammunition” are slated to arrive in Israel, respectively no later than the 25th and 31st of January.

Secretary Robert Gates who remains at the helm of the Department of Defense ensures continuity in the military agenda.

Preparing for a Confrontation with Iran: Beefing Up Israel’s Missile Defense System

In early January, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system. This project is part of the military aid package to Israel approved by the Pentagon in September 2008:

The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September. ….

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network.

“This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,” Morrell said. “It will … more than double the range of Israel’s missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”

This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance.” (Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009, emphasis added.)

The new X-band radar system ‘permits an intercept soon after launch over enemy instead of friendly territory” (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran’s missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008).

The X-band radar would “integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Ibid)

What this means is that Washington calls the shots. The US rather than Israel would control the Air Defense system:  ”This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.'” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added).

In other words, the US military controls Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the US global missile defense system. Under these circumstances, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without the consent of the US High Command.

The large shipments of US ordinance, slated to arrive in Israel after the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States and Commander in Chief are part of the broader program of US-Israeli military cooperation in relation to Iran.

The reinforcement of Israel’s missile defenses combined with the large shipments of US weapons are part of an escalation scenario, which could lead the World under an Obama Administration into a broader Middle East war.

New Cold War?

There has been a military build on both sides. Iran has responded to the Israeli-US initiative, by beefing up it own missile defense system with the support of Russia. According to reports (December 21), Moscow and Tehran have been holding talks on the supply by Russia of “medium-range air defense systems – specifically, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems” (Asian Times, January 9, 2009)

Jewish Supremacism Rules America

Jewish Supremacism Rules America

The Likudnik dominated Bush regime and the American Knesset cheer on their Jewish masters’ war crimes in Palestine

By Bob Finch

The Israeli military’s disproportionate, merciless, and savage, attacks on the democratically elected Hamas government have displayed the utter contempt that the Jews-only state in Palestine has for Palestinian civilians in Gaza just as its attacks on Hezbollah in 2006 showed its contempt for Lebanese civilians. The use of jet fighters to attack civilian targets, the Jewish military’s use of white phosphorus in Palestinian residential areas, its attacks on ambulances and united nations’ buildings, Jewish soldiers standing by while Palestinian babies starve to death, etc, etc, clearly demonstrates to people around the world that Zionists regard Palestinians as sub-human. The Israeli massacres in Gaza are a blatant display of Jewish racism which they’ve tried to hide for most of the last sixty years or so during their everyday, piecemeal, ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

American politicians recently passed two resolutions giving wholehearted support to the Israeli massacres of innocent Palestinian civilians. “Earlier this afternoon, the United States House of Representatives voted 390-5 in favor of H. RES. 34, voicing their support for the Israeli military effort in the Gaza Strip. The bill, co-sponsored by 11 representatives, demanded that Hamas end its rocket fire against Israel and renounce violence, while expressing “vigorous support and unwavering commitment” to Israel and declaring that its two weeks of attacks on the Gaza Strip were rightful acts of self-defense. The vote echoed a similar vote in the Senate yesterday, which “allows for the long-term improvement of daily living conditions of the ordinary people of Gaza” while likewise proclaiming attacks against them self-defense.” (Jason Ditz ‘House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Cheering Israeli War on Gaza’ January 9, 2009).

That American politicians not merely endorsed, but lavished praise, on such a slaughter, which is just the latest manifestation of the Zionists’ six decades long campaign of ethnically cleansing Palestinians, shows they are perfectly comfortable with Jewish supremacism. American political leaders who support the Israeli massive bank robbery of Palestinian assets have completely lost all sense of morality and justice. A state that was founded solely through the exercise of terror, and that has been sustained for six decades by the extravagant use of state terrorism, has not the slightest basis in morality for denouncing those who, having suffered at the hands of such terrorism, use similar tactics with which to fight back. If the Jews-only state is morally and politically bankrupt then so are American (and Western) politicians who give overwhelming support to such a degenerate state.

So far there have been two good analyses of Congress’s support for the massacres in Gaza. However, neither Glenn Greenwald nor Adam Horowitz. mention that these congressional resolutions underline the current balance of power between America and the Jewish colonial state in Palestine. When one country gives its wholehearted support to another country whatever it might do, then the former is obviously servile to the latter: no matter that it possesses the world’s most powerful military.

The votes in Congress show beyond doubt that America is run by a Jewish elite. This elite funds the country’s Jewish lobby which then bribes (and, if necessary, blackmails) American politicians to mouth militant Jewish racist propaganda. American politicians are like Dogs in crufts ‘Dog of the year’ competitions who are led around the arena by their Jewish handlers who have lavishly groomed their four legged pets for the big occasion. The Dogs show their appreciation for their masters by merrily wagging their tails. Sit, beg, roll over, play dead. American politicians will do anything and say anything for a few bite sized chews from their Zionist masters.

These Jewish owned politicians could never get away with their blatant subservience to Jewish racism if they weren’t also pressured into such a state of humiliation by Zionist propaganda being pumped out on a daily basis by America’s Zionist dominated media. In turn, the Zionist flag wavers in Congress and the Zionist dominated media would have much more trouble glorifying Jewish supremacism if it wasn’t for the complicity of America’s Zionist dominated universities. America’s protectors of the Truth have become propagandists for Jewish racist lies and fabrications. And, in turn, America’s politicians, its universities, and its media, would all find it difficult to wallow in Jewish racism if the country’s supposedly radical political opposition wasn’t also equally dominated by Jewish funders and Zionist crackpots whether this is the neo-lefties, the neo-greenies, the neo-antiwar/peaceniks, or the neo-libertarians, etc. Virtually every sector of American politics is funded, managed, or manned, by Jewish Zionists, they even fund Christian organizations to help them to spread Christianity in America.

The American Congress is no longer a democratic institution representing, protecting, and promoting, the interests of Americans living in America. It has become a Jewish colonial outpost more concerned with financing, protecting, and cheerleading, for the scandalous activities of the rachman-like Jewish racists stealing Palestinian land on the other side of the world. America’s Israeli-firsters are pushing the country’s national interests around the world down the plughole because they’ve succeeded in channeling the Bush regime’s entire political and military energies into promoting Jewish military dominance over the Middle East.

The American knesset’s role is, firstly, to act as a cheerleader for the Jews-only state’s continued illegal and immoral colonization of Palestine. Secondly, to syphon American financial and military resources to the squatter state so that it can continue its ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians in Palestine. And thirdly, to bully the rest of the world from taking action against Jewish racism and colonization. The American knesset is just a branch of the Jewish Knesset just as America’s two mainstream political parties are merely competing branches of the Likud party headquartered in occupied Palestine.

The Likudniks were the main funders and promoters of all the major political contenders in America’s recent presidential election so it is hardly surprising that their candidate won the election. Obama’s reward for winning the election was having the privilege of choosing his own dog handler, Rahm Emanuel, an out and out Israeli-firster who has fought for the country of his birth but not for the country he’s temporarily made his home. The question is why Emanuel, such an ardent supporter of the racist state, a Jewish supremacist, a super-Zionist, should leave his beloved homeland to settle down in an alien country and get involved in its political process? Alexander Cockburn states that, “With men like Emanuel and “special assistant on the Middle East” Dan Kurtzer at Obama’s elbow, I imagine the Israeli embassy won’t have much difficulty in monitoring Obama’s plans ..” (Alexander Cockburn ‘Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza: Criminal, for Sure; But Also Stupid’ January 9-11, 2009). Emanuel will be able to convey the Jewish prime minister’s orders directly to Obama.

The Israelis are hoping that if they can cut off Hamas’s head they can present it as a gift to their new American president and then portray the slaughter as the Jewish state dutifully trying to please its superpower protector. This will have two beneficial political consequences for Israel. Firstly, it will uphold the politically kosher pretense that America is the master and the Jews-only state a mere servant. And, secondly, it will put Obama into debt to the Jews-only state which might lead him to reciprocate by ordering an American military attack on Iran or permitting an Israeli attack on Iran.

The Israelis are thus hoping for a geopolitical jackpot by defeating or dismantling Hamas. Firstly, they will have crushed Palestinian resistance thereby giving a huge boost to their ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine. Secondly, they will be able to exert considerable pressure on the Obama administration to launch an attack on the Jews’ main enemy. And, thirdly, they hope that a military attack on Iran will lead to a regional war, perhaps even world war three, which will further boost the Jews-only state’s regional military dominance and enable further progress to be made in ethnically cleansing all palestinians from palestine. If the Jews’ defeat hamas this will give the neoconservatives/neoliberals such a huge political boost that it will make war against Iran almost inevitable.

Zionism has arrived

Zionism has arrived

It has achieved the goal of creating a master race out of the Jews of Europe. Jabotinsky’s followers even framed it in verse:

“In blood and sweat, our race will rise, proud and generous and cruel.”

What happens in Gaza, the death of 800 people, mostly civilians, crushed under debris, mutilated, children starved to death near the decomposing body of their parents, all this is a very natural part and consequence of that project.

But blood and sweat are serious annoyances to a master race. There is therefore another part, and it is told by small details, details such as who lives within the rocket range of Hamas and Hizbullah and who doesn’t, and details like the identity of the Israeli soldiers dispatched by Hamas to the corner of hell reserved for child murderers.

For those who are still repressing reality, here is the death toll as of this writing: four soldiers from the national-religious community, two Druze and one son of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. ( Haaretz )

The white, secular, affluent, Ashkenazi Jews of European descent can watch the massacres from TV screes in Tel-Aviv, shed a tear for peace and write op-eds about how poor and endangered Israel is in the New York Times. Their servants are quelling the uprising of their slaves. Isn’t that nice!

Are Cheney And His London Backers Pushing Broader War In Southwest Asia?


Are Cheney And His London Backers Pushing Broader War In Southwest Asia?

Lyndon LaRouche today issued the following strategic assessment, based on recent discussions with sources in Washington and in Southwest Asia.

“Based on a series of recent reports, it is our assessment that Vice President Dick Cheney, with backing from London, is pressing for a broader confrontation in Southwest Asia, that would extend the already ongoing, disastrous Gaza incursion, into a multi-front war, engulfing Lebanon, Syria and Iran. This effort, which has reached a critical threshold in the past 48 hours, is part of the same London-directed global showdown that we see with the recent Ukrainian actions, aimed at creating a major European wide energy and security crisis, that could lead to a new Eurasian war.

“We have received credible reports that Cheney, in league with British and Saudi factions, is attempting to pressure the Israeli government and military into a suicidal extension of the conflict against Hezbollah and Syria. The broader purpose is to give Cheney the opportunity, during the closing hours of the present Administration, the justification to launch American military actions against Iran, despite powerful opposition from within the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department. Such actions have been prevented, up until this moment, through a concerted opposition from within those U.S. institutions, as reflected in frequent public statements by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff head Adm. Mike Mullen, and others.

“This effort to create a series of impossible strategic crises for the incoming Obama Administration, at a moment when they hope to concentrate their initial efforts on the onrushing global financial disintegration, and the full-scale collapse of what remains of the U.S. economy, is, by our direct information, a focus of Vice President Cheney’s activities. We are pursuing reports that Cheney has personally intervened, as recently as Jan. 8, to promote an Israeli second-front war against Lebanon. We have credible indications that the same Anglo-Saudi circles of `Al Yamamah’ notoriety, are directly engaged in weapons trafficking, aimed at triggering this expansion of the crisis. Specifically, we have evidence that Saudi-supplied weapons have been used, as part of the efforts to implicate Iran, and that Saudi assets may be engaged inside Lebanon in efforts to force a second front. So far, Israel has not fallen into this expanded `Sykes-Picot’ trap; however, there is an ongoing London-directed effort, working through Cheney and other assets, to break that opposition, before Barack Obama is inaugurated on Jan. 20th as the 44th President of the United States.

“It is my personal assessment that the gravest danger of such an escalation, as well as other provocations, as in Ukraine, is between now and Jan. 16. I shall be addressing this matter as a feature of my scheduled Jan. 16, 2009 international webcast. However, I determined, based on reports I have received in the past hours, that this crisis demanded my immediate comment. I share the view of some leading figures within the U.S.A. national security establishment, that the threat of an attack on Iran, is not off the table, entirely. Until Bush and Cheney have left office, this threat, and other similar global strategic provocations, remain a very high possibility. Under these circumstances, it is critical to understand that Cheney is a hand grenade, in the fist of the British.

The Israeli Rape of Gaza will go down in history alongside the rape of Nanking and the attack on Guernica

The Israeli Rape of Gaza will go down in history alongside the rape of Nanking and the attack on Guernica

Andy Martin

(CHICAGO)(January 12, 2009) The Japanese Rape of Nanking, the Nazi attacks on Guernica. You can add the Rape of Gaza to the senseless slaughters that will be remembered as turning points in history. Pictures in the N. Y. Times of “chanting” Israelis before they spill Palestinian blood are spine chilling.

Israel is doomed; will America follow? Will America be dragged down by Israel’s bloodthirsty insanity? Very possibly.

Barack Obama’s “dreams” for “change” are being destroyed by Israeli leaders. He is not enough of a man to condemn this villainy, and he will pay as well. How they all pay, and when, remains to be seen.

When graphic pictures of Israeli savagery start turning up on local New York City television stations, you know that a serious calamity has been triggered by Israeli arrogance and greed. WABC-TV Channel 7 was unable to avoid the reality that the majority of causalities were innocent civilians, mostly women and children, not “Hamas fighters.”

This “war” of the American-armed against the unarmed has been a relentless torrent of Israeli atrocities, and Israeli disinformation about those atrocities. Making war on a civilian population, historically condemned today at Guernica and Nanking, when there were obvious alternatives for peace in the Middle East, will doom the Israeli state just as much as the end of Nazi Germany and the end of Imperial Japan were foreordained by their attacks on unarmed cities.

Why, then, is Israel engaging in a senseless slaughter of women and children in Gaza?

During the Middle Ages anti-Semites created the “blood libel” that Jews captured children to slaughter them. These claims were outrageous lies, but the viciousness of the concepts persisted and led to the insanity of the Third Reich.

Today is it not a lie or a libel, however, to state unequivocally that Israelis are indeed slaughtering children, despite Israeli denials to the contrary. Are we witnessing a blood libel, or a blood reality? The pictures of Israeli troops “chanting” before they went in to spill the blood of women and children were chilling; nothing like this has been seen since the Nazi storm troopers of the Second World War. Chanting what?

Israelis, of course, claim they are merely “protecting” themselves. They are doing no such thing. Over the past week even the New York Times and Washington Post have been forced to print op-ed commentaries that document the gruesome realty and mendacity and the crass political motives behind the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people. Israel abandoned a working truce in Gaza to launch blood-soaked attacks on innocent civilians. Why?

In an earlier column, I made the point that the real target and the true victim of the Israeli slaughter was Barack Obama. Obama has terrified Israeli leaders with claims that he wants peace. Israel was created in the wake of a war and can only survive through endless war. Israel cannot exist at peace with its neighbors because the very existence of the Israeli state has become an anathema to every civilized nation in the world except the United States.

And, yes, Channel 7 also showed pictures of Palestinians congratulating Americans on their weapons of mass destruction. American bombs and American planes are spilling Palestinian blood. Israelis have tied us to their homicidal policies. People know where the Israeli torture chambers and killing machines originate: in the good old U S of A.

Those of us who tell the truth about Israeli aggression are smeared as “anti-Semites” and worse. We are nothing of the kind. We are civilized human beings who condemn the blood soaked leaders of the Israeli state and their insatiable hunger for Palestinian blood. In a ritual so sick it is frightening, Israelis hunger for Palestinian blood to slake their own thirst for legitimacy as a nation. They will never succeed and never satisfy that thirst.

I am no friend of Barack Obama; indeed I have been and I continue to be one of his harshest critics. But today I feel pity for Obama. I have a deep sympathy for Obama and his supporters. Israeli leaders are destroying Obama, and Americans will be the ones to get the bill.

There is never a one-for-one relationship between outrageous acts by nations, but sometimes we come close. During the 1980’s, Americans tragically destroyed an Iranian airliner. The incident was a mistake, but we paid with the subsequent Lockerbie attacks on Pan American Airways. Blood for blood.

Are Palestinians going to launch attacks on the United States? Not on your life. Palestinians have never attacked any nation. They have been defending their homes and land for over sixty years, nothing more. They have had to defend against a relentless blood lust of the Israeli people to “defeat” the Palestinian people. As recently as last week an Israeli leader looked down on Palestinians as “defeated.” Defeated by whom? For what?

It is Israel that is defeated. They just don’t know it yet. Their endless game of “blood for land” is over. Israel’s latest treachery and slaughter will be internationalized in ways that we can’t yet see or predict. Most likely, the Palestinians will not even be the ones to extract the revenge. But in Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, America will be an increasing anathema. To play on Obama’s own words, I don’t think he can “reboot” the jackboots of George Bush’s policies. The images are too embedded in our minds.

The hypocrisy and impotence of Arab leaders is also sickening. The Mubarek dictatorship is moved closer to its deathbed because of the Palestinian slaughter. Egyptian perfidiousness has reached sickening proportions. An Egyptian “ambassador” sits in Israel while Palestinians are slaughtered. What is the ambassador doing? Sipping tea with Israelis? The American puppet Mubarek, of course, has contempt for his own people, and treats them like hogs. Why would he not treat Palestinians even worse?

In Jordan, the British puppet monarchy will probably fall as well, and sooner than we expect.

All of these catastrophes for U. S. policy are not going to happen next week. But they have become as inevitable as the disintegration of the Israeli state. In seeking to exterminate Palestine, and to “defeat” Palestinians, Israel has triggered the timeline for its own extermination and defeat.

We like to condemn the “holy warriors” of Islam, and indeed Islamic fanatics are a negation of everything we believe in the civilized west. In accusing Israel of bloodthirsty tactics I am not doing so to endorse militant Islam. Unlike Israelis, who try to shoehorn their critics into a “for us” or “against us” routine, I am against both sides. I find both extremes odious and self-destructive.

But the holy warriors of the Israeli state, who today chant on their tanks as they go in to the spill Arab blood, will be chanting different melodies in the years ahead. They may not be so arrogant and racist as they are now.

Israel committed a classic, colossal blunder. Israelis feared Obama; I did not. On Al-Jazeera in November I predicted that Obama would be Bush III, more of the same mindless support for Israel. In reality, Israel had nothing to fear from Obama. But they were consumed by fear anyway, irrational fear. Obama would have liked nothing better than to let the Middle East slide for another eight years; but the rape of Gaza has made continued American support for Israel untenable.

Politicians, of course, will still seek money from the “Israel Lobby,” and loudmouths such as Senator Chares Schumer will still glory in the spilling of Arab blood. No doubt.

But from the Rape of Gaza forward, America’s support for Israel has become toxic and fatal. Americans will now have to decide whether they want their own nation destroyed to endorse and support the blood lust of the Israeli military junta.

When the Obama voters and Obama himself wake up and see the reality and mendacity of the Israeli bloodbath, directed at America as much as at Palestinians, there will be a reaction and it will not be a pleasant one. Israelis, of course, being a sociopathic society, think they can drink a little Palestinian blood, stop the spilling, and then play “pretend” and go back to normal relations with neighbors and the U. S. I don’t think so.

If Americans die, and they probably will as a result of and in the wake of the Israeli pogroms, we will no longer be able to ask “Why do they hate us” when the answer has been splayed across local TV stations in the United States: because we pay taxes to Washington to support politicians who support bloodthirsty Israelis in their holy wars against Islam.

This is a strongly worded column, but not one that is ultimately anti-Israel or anti-American, or pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab. Individual Israelis who favor peace are as helpless as individual Americans who seek peace. We have been hijacked by maniacs in our national leaderships. Ultimately, however, senseless slaughter advances no agenda. Blood-soaked policies only reverberate, sooner or later, on the perpetrators, not the victims.

Once, a helpless baby, an “Obama,” was born and he went on-rightly or wrongly-to assume power in the United States. Perhaps today somewhere bleeding in Gaza is a helpless child that will grow up some day to slay the bloodthirsty Israelis. I wouldn’t be surprised. History has a way of playing tricks on us.

We began this century drunk on our own “superpower” status and were later consumed by a bloodthirsty hunger to unleash our weapons of mass destruction on Iraq. The American blood that we spilled has been wasted. We accomplished nothing but our own destruction. The world is not a safer place today.

America is much weaker in 2009 than we were six years ago in 2003. We destroyed ourselves through our own blood lust. Today the “superpower” has become a laughingstock, and we are stymied by a supposedly “dead man,” Osama bin Laden, and a handful of irregulars in the Taliban forces. Saddam Hussein was an unspeakably evil man but he posed no threat to the United States. In removing Saddam we created a fissure that we may not be able to close.

Obama promised to change this toxic status quo and to end the stalemate. I never believed him. But today I pity him. George Bush has left him mountains of Palestinian corpses that will be avenged by someone, somewhere, on Obama’s watch. It won’t be a pretty sight when it happens.

Obama will be blamed of course. But while I am an Obama critic second, I am always an American patriot first. I am not happy to predict such a glum future for our nation and its foreign relations. I am not happy at all.

As much as I dislike Obama and oppose his political views, today it is hard not to grieve for him. Israel is destroying his future, America’s future, and its own future by the Rape of Gaza. Once again, we are blinded by our own stupidity and our own blood lust.

Nanking, Guernica, and now Gaza. When will they ever learn?

When Jews got a State, Gaza got Oppression

When Jews got a State, Gaza got Oppression

by Mohamed Elmasry

(Sunday, January 11, 2009)

“Israel has the further unfair advantage of being “marketed” by an extensive Western media propaganda machine. Today that machine is spreading the shameful, immoral lie that the current killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza is a price worth paying for keeping Zionist Israel in charge.”

It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when Gaza did not look like the disheveled, ravaged and burning wasteland we see every day in media photos and news video reports. But civilization in fact owes much to Gaza and her people.

In 570 CE a pilgrim to the Holy Land wrote that “Gaza is a splendid city, full of pleasant things; the men in it are most honest, distinguished by every generosity, and warm to friends and visitors.”

At that time, Gaza City was a jewel along the Palestinian coast, the last outpost of civilization and supplies for travelers facing an arduous and unforgiving trek through the Sinai desert down to Egypt.

Early Christians escaping the power centres of their persecutors found refuge in Gaza; similarly, early Muslims from Arabia enjoyed the hospitality of the Gazan natives. It is said that Hashem, great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), died there on a journey from Mecca to Palestine. His grave has long been a shrine in Gaza and in peacetime is visited by many.

Conquerors came and went over the intervening centuries, yet Gaza stood proud as a centre of culture and commerce. The most recent invaders have been the Zionist Israelis who are now bent on breaking its spirit by dealing out relentless death, destruction and misery.

But those who know the character and heritage of Gazans deeply believe that even the well-equipped Zionist Israelis of this 21st century will fail to break the will and the spirit of Gaza, just as Alexander the Great’s bloody conquest of 332 BCE, or Janneus’s brutal attack of 96 BCE failed.

It was in Gaza in 1170 CE that European Crusaders surrendered their strategic control of the area to Saladin, returning it once again to an era of prosperity and peace. Centuries later, however, that peace would be interrupted by another wave of invading conquerors — first the British and then the Zionist Jews. Yet through all of Gaza’s political and military setbacks, its enemies have never prevailed. Ultimately, it was not they who would determine Gaza’s future, either in the past or in today’s uncertain future.

Gazans in 2009 are facing death, deprivation and humiliation, but they live in the same hope as the ancient writer of Psalm 72 who says in Verse 4: “He shall judge the poor of the people; he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.” (Interestingly, on the day this was being written, Christian churches all over the world were using Psalm 72 as one of their appointed Sunday readings.)

From the 1920s on, Zionist Jews were working to create a new state for themselves on Palestinian land; and finally, in 1948, Israel came into being. At that point Gaza City and its hinterland were changed forever by a great influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, driven from their homes by Zionists who took over their lands and property. Like all displaced people, they hoped for a quick return to their towns and villages, once Palestine was liberated from these new conquerors. But more than 60 years on, that has not yet happened.

Like nearly all refugees, those who fled southern Palestine to settle in Gaza arrived in absolute poverty, a situation that continues to this day. Added to their hardships was a brutal Israeli occupation that began in 1967. Now the hardships of occupation, plus an inhumane embargo of essential supplies and food, have been followed by a barbaric genocidal siege.

Never in history has an invading force almost simultaneously waged a war of occupation and retribution by sea, land and air against an oppressed and understandably resistant population – one with barely shoestring resources to counter it. Not Nazi Germany against France, not France against Algeria, not Britain against Ireland – but only an artificially-created Jewish state against native Palestinians.

Today, every one of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents – from the youngest infant to the ill and elderly — lives under threat of death. What was deplorable as a crowded and impoverished ghetto has now become a concentration camp, a place of genocide where hundreds have been killed within a few horrific days, and thousands more wounded.

This is the second time in history that a Jewish state has existed.

But what have they done with the privileges and responsibilities of statehood? In ancient times the Jewish kingdom, which never treated its neighbors as equals, became a frequent flashpoint for war rather than a contributor to regional peace. Unfortunately, little has changed.

The technical, material and personnel resources commanded by the current state of Zionist Israel are hugely disproportionate to its size, mainly due to seemingly limitless financial and political backing provided by American taxpayers.

Israel has the further unfair advantage of being “marketed” by an extensive Western media propaganda machine. Today, that machine is spreading the shameful, immoral lie that the current killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza is a price worth paying for keeping Zionist Israel in charge. But Gazans are the ones really paying the cost of preserving the high standard of living available only to occupation forces and the Jewish settlers who live on conquered lands with beautiful homes, swimming pools, modern schools, hospitals, parks, roads, etc.

Instead of granting Gaza freedom and self-determination and treating all of its native Palestinian people as equals, Zionist Israel assassinated freedom fighters and their families because their democratically elected Hamas government was not to its liking. Hamas’s paralyzed founder and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was killed in March 2004, followed shortly afterwards by the deaths of Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al- Rantisi and his family. Still on the Zionist hit list is Hamas political wing leader, Khaled Meshal, who narrowly survived a 1997 assassination attempt by Mossad (Israeli secret service) agents in Jordan.

“We don’t fight the Jews because they’re Jews, but because they are occupiers,” stresses Meshal. “If the Arabs occupied us, [we’d] fight them too … But why is everybody so worried about our religiosity anyway? Israel has always referred to ancient biblical texts to justify its existence. If an Arab official, for example, wore an Islamic looking turban, he would be sending the wrong signals. But when Israeli officials put on the Jewish kipot (skull cap), that’s not a problem, nobody is worried about religiosity then.”

“We live under occupation and we don’t have the traditional tools to defend ourselves” Meshal continues. “We repeatedly demanded that Israel not target Palestinian civilians and end the siege. But Israel never listened.”

And to another Palestinian one can give thoughtful last words on this tragic episode in Gaza’s history. In his book, My Father Was a Freedom Fighter, Gaza: The Untold Story, Ramzy Baroud writes:

“Now Gaza is undergoing another phase of hardship and defiance. Its modern conquerors are as unpitying as its ancient ones. True, Gaza is ailing, but standing, its people resourceful and as durable as ever, defiant as they have always been, and hell-bent on surviving, for that’s what Gazans do best. And I should know; it’s my home.”

Israeli propaganda has succeeded in presenting this war as an attack on Hamas. It is actually an attack on civilians.

Israeli propaganda has succeeded in presenting this war as an attack on Hamas. It is actually an attack on civilians.

The Israeli propaganda system is a well-oiled machine. Despite the fact that the Israeli Defense (War?) Force have killed nearly a thousand people in two weeks (a rate of murder faster than Darfur and other regions of genocide), the leaders of the world stay silent apart from limp calls for a ceasefire and crocodile tears for the dead on both sides (which is only a legitimate statement if you accept that one Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinians).

The protest in London yesterday bought out over 100,000 people, but when murder is happening on this scale the numbers should really have been treble that. The Israeli propaganda system, it’s called “hasbara” in Hebrew, is the reason they weren’t.

The leaders of Israel were smarting from 2006 when their illegal and murderous attack on Lebanon was actually covered by the media on the ground, and they couldn’t keep their massacres of women and children secret. This time they were ready.

They have reputably been planning the attack and its concomitant campaign of brainwashing for six month, and used these Hamas rockets as the pretext that was lying around (the plan was hatched before the ceasefire was even in place). They did the same in Lebanon, a war they had been planning for a considerable period, and, in that case, they used the capture of two soldiers on the border as cover.

The leaders and those in the government complicit in this campaign of disinformation are criminals. But what about the news networks that report all these lies faithfully? This attack on Gaza has not only shown the true depravity of the state of Israel, it has also shown the true depravity of the mainstream media.

I’m living in London at the moment and watching the BBC News has become an impossible exercise. I am just consumed with this all-encompassing rage as I watch the correspondent in Jerusalem or Sderot or the border with Gaza spouting IDF press releases as news. Of course, they aren’t allowed to report in Gaza itself because the Israelis have banned journalists, but when that happened in Zimbabwe the BBC were up in arms, and they smuggled people in anyway. When it comes to Israel? We’ll do it their way.

This slavish acquiescence to the propaganda machine has been mirrored across the print media, aside from the Guardian, which has been surprisingly good during the attack. The most pernicious technique is the attempt to present “both sides of the war”, when in this “war” the scale of death and destruction on one side, and the minor discomfort on the other, makes it two different stories that can’t be equated. You can’t dedicate two minutes to a school being bombed and 40 people dying, and then spend two minutes at a house of an old women who is shaken because a Qassam rocket hit her home early in the morning.

But while the BBC fills me with rage, if I look at the New York Times, Washington Post and other media in the US, it’s more just a case of laughter. I don’t think they realize how ridiculous they look; it’s a comment on the intellectual climate in the United States that as Israel is bombarding Palestinians and killing hundreds of their women and children, the Wall Street Journal felt right to publish an article titled, “Palestinians need Israel”, a jaunty little polemic about how the moderates were going win when Israel had finished killing hundreds of the women and children of Gaza.

The best propaganda victory for the Israeli machine is a simple one that resonates all over the media without exception. Every media says that Israel is engaged in “a war against Hamas”. All news media takes this as their starting point. But this isn’t and never has been a war against just Hamas. It is a war against all Gazans.

Firstly, when you target a democratically-elected government you are targeting the people who voted them in as well, by definition. Secondly, the Israelis have defined police officers and other civilian jobs as Hamas, which is a blatant contravention of the Geneva Convention. Thirdly, every child or women the Israelis kill they say Hamas was operating close by. This is an open cheque. Hamas is now just a synonym now for “someone we dropped a bomb on”.

You only need to look at the statistics. 827 killed so far in two weeks. It is estimated that of the dead there have been 235 children, 92 women, 62 elderly people, four local journalists and 12 medics, but this cannot be verified because journalists are not allowed into Gaza, so the situation is probably a lot worse. Other estimates predict a third of those killed have been children. Even if we assume this number to be correct that means that nearly a half of all targets kill the wrong people. Or that of the correct targets, the bombing is so imprecise that it kills everyone around the area.

The real modus vivendi was outlined in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz quite clearly. Its reporter, Reuven Pedatzur, in an article titled, “The mistakes of Cast Lead”, writes:

The IDF, which planned to attack buildings and sites populated by hundreds of people, did not warn them in advance to leave, but intended to kill a great many of them, and succeeded.

Examples of this abound. The UN school, where people were directed to escape the onslaught and then slaughtered was clearly marked. This is one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world. They don’t just make mistakes. As the UNRWA representative told the BBC, they had given Israel the GPS coordinates and clearly marked the school, adding that “nowhere is safe”, i.e.every civilian is a target.

Then the UN driver was killed carrying food into Gaza, which fits into a long history of the IDF targeting the UN and aid agencies, who it seems they must attack because they believe the Palestinians to be human beings worthy of help when caught in what Israeli propaganda calls the “cross-fire”, but is actually targeted attacks on civilians.

This also now include Israeli soldiers, four of which have been killed by “friendly fire”, the same amount as Hamas have killed with their rocket attacks. So you have the ridiculous scenario whereby nearly a thousand Gazans have been killed for crimes committed by Hamas but which have been matched by the Israeli military itself.

And just think about it from a strategic point of view. Whatever you say about Mossad and the Shin Bet they are not stupid. If they wanted to really get rid of Hamas and appeal to what they call the “moderates” (read: quislings) they would not embark on a massacre of unprecedented proportions, which has shown up their ally Mahmous Abbas as the collaborator he is, and increased hostility to Fatah. The purpose is to terrorize the population of Gaza, like they did in 2006 before they attacked Lebanon, and like they will continue to do as long as the Palestinians continue to exist as a people and idea, and serve to remind the Israelis of the terrorism on which their country was founded.

Cocaine plane trail is open challenge for Obama administration


Cocaine plane trail is open challenge for Obama



A twin-propeller Cessna 402C aircraft was seized near Carepa, Colombia, just across the border from Panama in mid-December of last year while it was in the process of attempting to transport about 850 kilos of cocaine to a suspected destination in Central America — and an ultimate arrival point in the United States.

The story was not reported in the United States, but rather appeared as a short item in news publications in Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Cessna, according to those news reports, had flown out of an airport in Panama to pick up the payload of white powder in Colombia.

This incident would likely have gone down as simply one more aborted drug run in the trail of thousands that bring the lucrative product to the U.S. each year if it were not for one small fact: the Cessna sported a U.S. tail number and FAA registration history that connect it to a number of other “cocaine planes” that have apparent links to covert U.S. intelligence operations focused, at least in part, on Venezuela and the government of Hugo Chávez.

To trace the trail of this Cessna, it’s necessary to keep a couple numbers in mind, since they are the keys that open up this Pandora’s box. The first is the tail number, N811PW and the second is the aircraft’s unique serial number, 402C0078 — which is referenced specifically in the story published in the Dominican Republic newspaper Diario Horizonte [Daily Horizon].

With those numbers in hand, Narco News requested from the Federal Aviation Administration the full registration history of the Cessna 402C and discovered that just prior to the date it was seized in Colombia (December 13, according to the report in the Panama news publication La Prensa), the Cessna was owned by a Floridian named Roberto Gomez — who changed addresses in the state three times in the three years he owned the aircraft.

Gomez, for his part, says he can’t talk about the Cessna because there are still “questions pending on it.” Gomez claims he is a simple airplane broker and added that the “area [Venezuela] is very hot.”

He declined to answer whether the feds are investigating or talking to him about the seizure of the drug-laden Cessna in Colombia.

Gomez purchased the Cessna in June 2005 from a Rantoul, Kansas, aircraft salvage company named Dodson International Parts Inc., the FCC records show.

However, in a stroke of good fortune for Gomez, on Dec. 12, the day before the Cessna was seized on its cocaine-running mission, the FAA confirmed its deregistration due to the fact that it had been sold to buyers in Venezuelan. That curious coincidence is compounded by the fact that the same pattern of a U.S. registered aircraft being sold just prior to it getting busted in a drug run plays out in a number of other cases that Narco News has investigated over the past year.

Here’s the list of such adventures:

• In April 2006, a DC-9 jet owned by a Florida company (Royal Sons Inc. of Clearwater) was apprehended in Mexico with 5.5 tons of cocaine onboard only days after it was sold to unknown Venezuelan purchasers. The passenger-class jet with tail number N900SA was acquired by Skyway Communications Holding Corp., the parent company of Skyway Aircraft Inc. in Clearwater, Fla., in November 2004 and later sold to Royal Sons — whose president was a shareholder and major creditor in Skyway Communications. Skyway Communications’ CEO, James Kent, according to U.S. Security and Exchange Commission records, served previously in a number of government contract positions supporting national communications and intelligence projects for the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency and the Department of the Navy.

• A Gulfstream II corporate jet crashed in Mexico’s Yucatan in late September 2007 with some 4 tons of cocaine onboard. The jet’s tail number, N987SA, has been linked by European investigators to past CIA rendition flights and it was owned just prior to its crash landing by a Florida duo named Clyde O’Connor and Greg Smith. O’Connor and Smith purchased the ill-fated Gulfstream II, according to a bill of sale, about a week before it crashed from a Florida company owned by two Brazilians — one of whom was Joao Malago.

• Another Florida company, also called Skyway Aircraft Inc. but based in St. Petersburg, exported a total of at least nine aircraft to Venezuela buyers between October 2003 and January 2008, two of which were later linked to drug-running operations (and one of which, when apprehended, was sporting a false tail number linked to the CIA). The owner of Skyway Aircraft in St. Petersburg, Larry Peters, is a business partner with Joao Malago in another Florida company called Atlantic Alcohol. Both companies operate out of the same office in St. Petersburg, according to public records. Another principle of Atlantic Alcohol holds a government security clearance and has worked as a consultant for NASA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

But the intersection of cocaine planes, businesses and government operations does not end with those facts. The recent apprehension of the drug-laden Cessna 402C brings yet another company into the picture.

Harvesting Parts

The Kansas company Dodson International Parts, which sold the Cessna cocaine plane to Gomez, has also done business with one of the owners of another cocaine plane linked to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Clyde O’Connor, who owned the Gulfstream II when it crashed with 4 tons of cocaine on board in Mexico in 2007, previously owned another jet, a Hawker corporate jet that was used by CIA asset Baruch Vega in covert missions targeting narco-traffickers in Colombia in the late 1990s.

The co-owner of the Gulfstream II jet, Greg Smith, owned the Florida company (Aero Group Jets) that leased the Hawker to Vega. Smith also served as a pilot for numerous undercover and/or covert U.S. government missions involving the jet, according to Vega.

The Hawker business-class cruiser, with the tail number N230TS, FAA records show, was bought and sold total of five times between Feb. 9, 2001, and June 16, 2005, through a series of three companies in which O’Connor is listed as an officer or “member.” In other words, O’Connor was essentially moving the Hawker jet back and forth between companies he controlled, according to the FAA records.

Information on where the Hawker jet was during the four years that O’Connor’s various companies owned it was not available.

However, in June 2005, one of the those companies, O’Connor’s Core Investments, sold the Hawker to Dodson International Parts, FAA records show. By coincidence, that is the same month and year that Gomez acquired the Cessna from Dodson International.

Dodson International emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in December 2004, court records indicate. It lists as one of its affiliates a company called Dodson Aviation. The president of both companies is Robert Dodson Jr., according to the bankruptcy court records.

Dodson Aviation made headlines back in 2004 in relation to another jet that it sold to some African purchasers.

The Kansas City Star reported at the time:

A Rantoul, Kan., firm says it faxed to the American Embassy in South Africa on Wednesday sale documents for an airliner seized by Zimbabwe authorities claiming it ferried mercenaries.

The nearly 40-year-old plane was seized by President Robert Mugabe’s forces on Sunday. The government says that instead of carrying just a crew of seven as claimed, the plane had 64 persons aboard along with supplies that might be construed as military material.

A tail number from the plane suggested that it was registered in the United States to Dodson Aviation in Rantoul. The company, however, said the federal registry is lagging behind its sale of the Boeing 727-100 turbo jet.

ot;>Company director Robert Dodson Sr. [Robert Dodson Jr.’s father] said the sale was completed March 1, after weeks of negotiations with Logo Logistics Co., a firm he believed to be a South African diamond mining company.

Subsequent reports in the foreign press indicate that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark, was implicated in the plot — which was intended to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. Mark Thatcher pleaded guilty in South Africa in 2005 to charges related to the aborted coup d’état and received a four-year suspended sentence as part of a plea bargain.

Dodson International Parts President Robert Dodson Jr. says his company is a legit airline salvage company. He says it buy planes and parts them out for the most part, about a 100 a year, and maybe sells four or five planes a year — so aircraft sales are a small part of the business.

Dodson also says he doesn’t recall the particulars of the sale of the Cessna to Gomez, though he did not dispute the fact that Dodson International did own and eventually sell that aircraft. As far as the Hawker jet Dodson acquired from O’Connor, Dodson says it has since been harvested for parts.

“That Hawker was repossessed by a bank, or at least it was being forced into repossession, and we got it from the bank, and we parted it out,” he says.

Finally, Dodson addressed the plane seized in Zimbabwe by saying his company bought the Boeing 727 through a bid process via the U.S. General Services Administration and then resold it to a South African company called Logo Logistics, which said it planned to use the aircraft to transport security personnel for mining operations. After the plane was sold to Logo, but before the FAA had updated the records, Dodson says, it was seized in Zimbabwe “and the next thing we know is it [the aircraft] is involved in some kind of coup attempt.”

However, Vega, who has been involved with covert and undercover missions for not only the CIA, but DEA and the FBI as well, claims Dodson has a history of being “involved in U.S. government operations.”

Another interesting revelation that reverberates with the echoes of covert U.S. intelligence operations is Dodson’s confirmation that he operates a separate company in Arkansas called Mena Aerospace Inc., located at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.

In fact, one plane-spotter Web site even spied an aircraft owned by Dodson International on the runway of the Mena airport in 2006. That aircraft is currently registered to Dodson International, according to FAA records, but was owned in the early 1990s by Ariana Afghan Airlines.

The Mena airport has been the subject of much controversy over the years, since it allegedly served as a drugs and arms transshipment point for the covert U.S. intelligence agencies’ effort (popularly known as Iran/Contra) to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

But again, Dodson insists the company he operates in Mena has only one purpose.

“Mena Aerospace is a maintenance company in Arkansas, where we have access to a big runway to park large jets, so we can harvest parts,” Dodson says. “The company is still open, with about four employees. But it’s a separate company [from Dodson International].

Ongoing Operation

Clearly, the cloak-and-dagger/plausible-deniability intrigue that surrounds the question of whether the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are, in fact, players in the narco-trafficking business leaves most folks feeling like they are trying to find their way through a house of mirrors.

But over the years, more than one employee in this fun house has come forward out of as sense of conscience or self-preservation to sort out the maze. Normally, attempts are made to quickly discredit these individuals, often through character assassination or trumped up charges.

One such individual is Tosh Plumlee, who has been accused of everything from cashing bad checks (a charge he claims is bogus) to being a crackpot or even a CIA disinformation agent — when his information doesn’t jibe with the pundits of the conspiracy-theory media cult.

But the public record shows that some members of the U.S. Congress have taken seriously Plumlee’s allegations concerning CIA and Pentagon drug-running operations.

Plumlee is a former CIA contract pilot who claims to have delivered thousands of kilos of cocaine a month into the United States in the early 1980s while working as part of the covert Iran/Contra operation. After he became troubled by his mission (not out of patriotism, he says, but out of the fear he would be set up by his employers), Plumlee contacted then-U.S. Senator Gary Hart and blew the whistle on the covert operation.

The following is from a letter sent by Hart in 1991 to U.S. Sen. John Kerry:

In March of 1983, Plumlee contacted my Denver Senate Office and met with Mr. Bill Holen of my Senate Staff. During the initial meeting, Mr. Plumlee raised certain allegations concerning U.S. foreign and military policy toward Nicaragua and the use of covert activities by U.S. intelligence agencies. … He stated that he had grave concerns that certain intelligence information about illegal arms and narcotics shipments were not being appropriately acted upon by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Mr. Plumlee’s stated purpose in contacting my office was to attempt to initiate a congressional investigation of these allegations.

…. Mr. Plumlee raised several issues including that covert U.S. intelligence agencies were directly involved in the smuggling and distribution of drugs to raise funds for covert military operations against the government of Nicaragua. He provided my staff with detailed maps and names of alleged covert landing strips in Mexico, Costa Rica, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida and California where he alleged aircraft cargoes of drugs were off-loaded and replaced with Contra military supplies.

Plumlee was eventually called to testify before Congress on a number of occasions, only to find that the Congressional committees hearing his testimony ordered it classified — which meant if Plumlee later spoke about it publicly, he would be violating the law. And as history has shown, Congress failed to do little more than blow smoke over the Iran/Contra scandal and to this day — despite the detailed investigative reporting of journalist Gary Webb in his Dark Alliance series —the dirty little secret of narco-trafficking by U.S. intelligence agencies is considered the stuff of whacky conspiracy theories by the mainstream media.

Despite the risk of crossing the line with respect to violating his now-classified truth telling, Plumlee appeared on former DEA agent Mike Levine’s New York radio show in 2003 and offered listeners the following warning concerning what he claims is the continuing covert activity on the part of U.S. intelligence agencies in trafficking drugs:

It’s still going on. The reason I said that is that … I hope your listeners remember that someone who has been very active in the drug war said that this stuff is still going on, very secret, very hush hush, very coded. There’s too much money involved.

U.S. intelligence agencies, the CIA as well as its frequent partner in operations, the Pentagon (the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, etc.), carry out covert operations through an elaborate chain of proprietary companies, legitimate businesses (some of whom might not even realize they are being used at times); front companies and cut-out networks and assets. Its all designed to provide the operations with cover and plausible deniability. The goal is to achieve a desired outcome that is very visible, such as the overthrow of a foreign government deemed unacceptable to hegemonic U.S. interests.

However, the methods and the sponsors of the covert action must remain in the shadows, or its effectiveness as a strategy is undermined, if not neutralized.

In the case of the cocaine planes tracked by Narco News, the fact that so many of them (most owned at one point by U.S. companies or individuals with links to past government operations) wind up in the hands of “Venezuelan purchasers” prior to making their drug runs, might simply be a coincidence. On the other hand, it also could be a bit of light creeping through the shadows of the covert world pointing to one target of the operations.

Vega says countries like Venezuela or Cuba provide the perfect cover for a U.S. government operation if the sponsors are seeking to conceal its U.S. roots from the targets.

“If you go through those countries [not deemed friendly to the U.S.], then the corrupt politicians and traffickers you’re dealing with are less likely to assume it’s a U.S. operation,” Vega explains.

Attorney Mark Conrad, a former high-level supervisory U.S. Customs agent who has an extensive background in the intelligence world, offered the following insight into the cocaine planes saga in a prior interview with Narco News:

Even though it looks as if you are unraveling odd connections you may be only seeing a small part of what is going on — or you may be seeing what you are expected to see, missing something else.

My guess — and that is all that it is — is that this has something to do with operations in Venezuela — either to finance ops, or to divert attention from Agency ops in Venezuela to destabilize Chávez. … It is not in the U.S. interests for Chávez to create another Cuba on some of the largest oil field reserves in the world.

If, in fact, as Plumlee suggests, U.S. intelligence agencies are continuing to employ drug- and arms-smuggling tactics as means of carrying out covert strategy, and in this decade it is Venezuela that is a primary target in Latin America, then there must be a base of operations in or near Venezuela, or at least logic would seem to dictate that conclusion.

That place, ideally, would be a location where the worlds of legitimate business, narco-trafficking and government operations all intersect, to assure cover as well as access to assets and logistical support. This place would be like a modern-day Casablanca, though the character played by Humphrey Bogart in that film would likely still be a fiction — or possibly a composite of an isolated resistance movement.

Narco News queried CIA asset Vega about this premise, and he agreed that the island of Curacao, located just off the northwestern coast of Venezuela and a protectorate within the “kingdom” of the Netherlands, meets the test of a Casablanca of the drug war in this case. It’s economy is driven by tourism, oil refining, finance, narco-trafficking and money laundering; the island also is home to a Forward Operation Location (FOL), essentially a U.S. military base that also is staffed by personnel from the DEA, the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs. The FOL is charged, in part, with carrying out anti-narcotic surveillance and missions.

Curacao’s role as a major staging area for U.S. intelligence operations targeting Venezuela also seems to be confirmed by a leaked CIA memo that was the subject of a 2007 report in the publication Venezuela analysis.

From the story:

On a scarier note, an internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a very sinister – almost fantastical, were it not true – plan to destabilize Venezuela during the coming days. The plan, titled “OPERATION PLIERS” was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steered and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington.

… Operation Tenaha [Pliers] has the objective of encouraging an armed insurrection in Venezuela against the government of President Chávez that will justify an intervention of US forces, stationed on the military bases nearby in Curacao and Colombia. The Operation mentions two countries in code: as Blue and Green. These refer to Curacao and Colombia, where the US has operative, active and equipped bases that have been reinforced over the past year and a half in anticipation of a conflict with Venezuela.

‘Here’s looking at you kid’

But any theory, especially one that attempts to envelope a covert intelligence operation, has to be assaulted with the facts and stand the test. In the case of the Cessna 402C, it seems that test is met, in part, as there is a Curacao connection as well.

Narco News discovered a social networking site on the Internet that features photographs of the Cessna and its crew at an airport in Curacao. The photograph was taken on Nov. 22, according to the Web site, about 21 days prior to that same aircraft being picked up in Colombia attempting to transport a payload of 850 kilos of cocaine.

Because it is possible the individuals shown in the photograph were not connected to the plane’s drug run in Colombia on Dec. 13 of last year, Narco News decided to obscure the faces of the plane’s crew in the adjacent photo and to not publish the Web site address.

However, the photo is important because it does place the U.S. registered Cessna (tail No. N811PW) in Curacao prior to its seizure on drug-running charges in Colombia, a fact that, along with all the other facts linking that plane and other aircraft to U.S. intelligence operations, adds weight to Plumlee’s contention that the CIA and Pentagon continue to employ drug-running as one of the “dirty tricks” in their covert operational strategies.

The mainstream media, and the American public in general, now accept the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies, specifically the CIA, employed rendition [kidnapping] and torture as tactics in the war on terror. So how is it possible, despite the mountain of evidence over the years attesting to it, that the same mainstream media is still in denial over the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies are up to their eyeballs in the narco-trafficking business?

This is a question that the incoming Obama administration, and particularly his nominee to head the CIA, former Clinton insider Leon Panetta, must address honestly with the American people, it seems, if they are to have any credibility on this front moving forward.

And the stakes, at least in the opinion of one former CIA case officer, are significant for the American people. Leutrell Osborne, who oversaw spies and assets for the CIA in more than 30 countries on three continents during his 27 years with the agency, says if he if he could tell President-elect Barack Obama anything, it would be to focus the Agency on counterintelligence and do away completely with covert action, which is defined as anything involving dirty tricks — assassinations, state-sponsored terrorism, drug running, coups, psy-ops propaganda, etc.

“I’d like to get to Obama and help him, to let him know what he needs to cut out,” Osborne says.

The reason covert operational tactics need to be eliminated, Osborne explains, is because they are not effective and have been the source of most of the CIA’s problems over the years. He says the blowback against the United States from those covert operations is always more damaging than any benefit attained — with 9/11 being the extreme example of such blowback.

In the case of U.S. intelligence agencies playing in the narco-trafficking world, we only need to look to our streets and prisons, the increased flow of heroin from Afghanistan, and south of our border to Mexico and its escalating murder rate, to understand the impact of the blowback.

But absent real change on this front spurred on by a united citizens effort, we’ll have to be content individually with the wisdom that Humphrey Bogart’s character, Rick, offers in Casablanca:

… It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now… Here’s looking at you kid.

Stay tuned….

Past Stories in Cocaine Planes Series

• Cocaine planes make a “Bogotá Connection”

• U.S. Cocaine-Plane Invasion Spooking Latin America

• Narco News Investigation: Cocaine Planes Cross Paths with Corporate America’s Green Movement

• Third Cocaine Plane Surfaces and is Tied to Web of Government Connections

• Cocaine Jet Crash in Mexico Linked to Narco-Trafficker Who Worked for U.S. Government

• Jet Case Colored with Shades of Iran/Contra and “House of Death”

• Cocaine Jet That Crashed in Mexico Part of Cowboy Government Operation, DEA Sources Claim

• New Document Provides Further Evidence That Owner of Crashed Cocaine Jet Was a U.S. Government Operative

• Mysterious Jet Crash Is Rare Portal Into the “Dark Alliances” of the Drug War

All Together Now

All Together Now

The message emerging from Washington is clear. Pakistan is now seen as the hub of the problem that any campaign against terror must address.

US vice-president-elect Joseph Biden’s Islamabad trip just days before the Obama administration comes into office bears testimony to this.

The Talibanisation of the western part of the country and the confusion among its leadership highlighted by the tragicomic round of counter-accusations and denials post-Mumbai feed off each other. Its nuclear assets are a dangerous addition to the mix, as the US Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism has concluded. If matters continue as they are, Pakistan is liable to be ground zero of an explosion of fundamentalist violence and terrorism that will send shock waves far beyond the confines of South Asia.

Any hope that the civilian government would be able to control the situation has been put to rest by its recent vacillation. It is clear that President Asif Ali Zardari is operating under pressure from the military. More unexpected is the factionalism within the intelligence-military nexus, revealed by ISI chief General Shuja Pasha’s statement that he was willing to visit India.

Add the sacking of national security adviser Mahmoud Durrani to the mix and the picture that emerges is a disturbing one. It is of a civilian administration that may be split by rivalry between Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani while the military is also at odds with itself.

Consequently, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan have turned into powder kegs with the Taliban, whose convoys roll through the suburbs of Peshawar, holding the fuse. Most of the Swat Valley is under the home-grown Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s control and Mullah Omar remains in Quetta.

Patently, the Pakistani government is in no position to arrest the country’s slide. In this situation, it is up to the US to take a lead to back the civilian government against the military leadership. Its postponement of a crucial Pakistan aid donors’ conference points the way forward.

Further conditionality on the $7.6 billion IMF loan is a potent option as well. And, working with India, the Americans have to keep the UK, France as well as Russia on board. China’s non-obstruction at international forums, if not active cooperation, must be obtained. An unstable Pakistan is, as US national security adviser Stephen Hadley said recently, not just dangerous for the US and India. It poses a threat to the whole world.

“Mayor of Kabul” Prepares the New Battlefield Matrix for Obama Team

Karzai arrives to show ‘solidarity’ with India

Indrani Bagchi,

NEW DELHI: India’s post-Mumbai diplomacy also travels through Kabul as Afghan President Hamid Karzai dropped in on Sunday evening on a

“surprise” visit.

Like others before him, Karzai’s intention is to show “solidarity” with India in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. Particularly as Afghanistan is wracked by terrorism from the same sanctuaries in Pakistan that target India.

Karzai’s visit has an importance beyond the obvious, particularly as India ramps up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to act against its terrorists and terror groups. In this, Afghanistan actually plays a crucial role. India has asked Pakistan to take action against terrorists inside Pakistan, and many of these groups are also the ones that are targeting Afghanistan as the Pakistan Taliban. Pakistan-based groups were also behind the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul and an assassination attempt on Karzai in April.

In an interview to TOI some time back, Karzai said, “The action is to remove the sanctuaries. Remove the financial sources. Remove the training. Remove those who preach so much hatred against people. Pakistan itself is suffering massively…”

India and Afghanistan have forged close links in the past seven years as India is one of the biggest donors to the reconstruction programme in the war-torn country. It is also one of the biggest headaches for Pakistan which has complained bitterly about India setting up “13 consulates” in Afghanistan (India has 4). In fact, Karzai has asked India to train some Afghan security services personnel, which has been objected to by Pakistan.

Pakistan maintains that India’s presence in Afghanistan is undermining its interests there. This has gained traction in the US through analysts like Ahmed Rashid who has recommended that the solution to Afghanistan will come after Pakistan feels secure with a peace deal with India. It’s an explanation incoming US president Barack Obama has supposedly bought and the coming days will show whether there is any nuancing of the US position.

India has said it will continue to support the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.

Karzai’s visit comes days after his meeting with Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari in Kabul and a day after US vice-president elect Joe Biden met him in an unannounced visit from Islamabad.

The Target is Iran: Israel’s Latest Gamble May Backfire

The Target is Iran: Israel’s Latest Gamble May Backfire

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years’ of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?

Perhaps the massive military onslaught, which has killed over 800 Palestinians and wounded thousands, has nothing to do with Kassam rockets. Perhaps it is not a tactical military operation by Israel, but a strategic decision on the part of Israel’s Anglo-American backers, whose ultimate aim is war against Iran. Perhaps the military calculations in Tel Aviv are that continued massive pounding of Gaza by air and in house-to-house fighting, will take such a ghastly toll on the Palestinian civilian population, that Iran, touted as the backer of Hamas, will be forced to move into the conflict. Perhaps that is precisely the reaction Israel desires, in order to justify launching its war against the Islamic Republic, a war which has been on the drawing boards of the Israelis and their neocon sponsors for many years.

If that is the name of the game, it may well be that it will backfire totally. Not only will Iran not be drawn into the trap, but the continued genocidal campaign against the Palestinians may utterly discredit Israel politically and morally, and contribute to a shift in attitudes even in Europe and, most importantly, in the U.S. That, in turn, may open the way to redefining the conflict and therefore opening the way for real solutions.

The Clean Break Doctrine

What we have witnessed in Gaza since December 27 is the implementation of one crucial part of an Anglo-American strategic doctrine for redrawing the map of the Middle East (within a broader context), known as the “Clean Break.” This doctrine had been cooked up by Dick Cheney’s neocon task force in 1996 and served to then-aspiring PM Benjamin Netanyahu, on a silver platter. The policy had been fashioned by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav, among others, under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in Jerusalem. The paper, which was one in a series of strategic policy papers from 1992 on, outlining how the Anglo-Americans could establish world hegemony in the post-Cold War world, derived its name from the idea that Israel must make a “clean break” with the historic 1993 Oslo Accords between it and the Palestinian Authority, and revert to “a peace process and strategy based on an entirely {new intellectual foundation} one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform”. (http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm).

This new approach involved Israeli initiatives to secure its northern borders: “Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which America can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents in Lebanon…” This did not exclude attacks by proxy Israeli forces on Syria from Lebanon, targetting Syrian sites in Lebanon as well as in Syria proper.

The doctrine went on to develop the idea that Israel, “in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan” could shape the strategic environment “by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria.” “This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq,” the paper specified. As for the Palestinian question, “Clean Break” was equally explicit: “Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize…”

This 1996 policy paper was enthusiastically endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who presented its basic tenets in a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress days later, as “his” policy. However, before it could move accordingly, Israel would have to wait until the neocon establishment which had prepared the doctrine, regained power in Washington. This occurred promptly, in the wake of the dubious results of the 2000 U.S. presidential elections, and the events of September 11, 2001. It was 9-11 which made it possible for the “Clean Break” strategic doctrine to become U.S. military policy.

After the neocons had succeeded in their 2003 war against Iraq to actually depose Saddam Hussein, they followed up with “regime change by other means” in Lebanon (with the Hariri murder laid at Damascus’s door). The Israeli 2008 bombing of a site in Syria alleged to be a nuclear installation, was the ultimate humiliation to Damascus. What remained on the Clean Break agenda were Iran and those militant Islamist Arab forces said to be allied to Tehran, to wit, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It was widely acknowledged in the press and political realm that, were the Cheney faction to endorse an Israeli bid to attack Iran — whether by bombing its presumed nuclear installations, and/or fomenting subversive processes within the country, — then those elements which could engage in an effective asymmetric response against forces allied to the aggressors, must be taken out first. That was the rationale behind the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, a war which, however, did not proceed according to Tel Aviv’s script. Hezbollah prevailed militarily and politically, much to the chagrin of the Cheneyacs in the US/UK and Israel.

The Target is Iran

Throughout 2007 and 2008, the debate raged among concerned parties, including on the http://www.globalresearch.ca website, as to whether the war party would or could mount a military attack against Iran, using the pretext that questions regarding its nuclear program remained open, etc. Statements attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening the existence of Israel, were hyped up, to justify a preemptive strike against Tehran. But certain military realities had to be taken into consideration, at least by those who knew something about warfare.

The concern raised by competent military professionals, including those inside the U.S., was that, were Iran to be attacked (by the U.S. and/or Israel), the asymmetric response on the part of pro-Iranian factors in the region would unleash regional conflict with an immediate potential to become global. This was the thinking which led U.S. officials to tell Israel point blank that they would not endorse a military attack on Iran. Now, further confirming this report, the New York Times has released a timely article detailing Israel’s bid and Washington rejection of permission to bomb Iran’s plant at Natanz.


In the article by David E. Sanger, it is reported that it was following the late 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which said Iran had no nuclear weapons program, that Israel asked the U.S. for bunker busters, permission to fly over Iraqi air space, and refueling equipment. President Bush, according to the article, “was convinced by top administration officials, led by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, that any overt attack on Iran would probably prove ineffective, lead to the expulsion of international inspectors and drive Iran’s nuclear effort further out of view.” Bush et al reportedly also “discussed the possibility that an airstrike could ignite a broad Middle East war” which would draw in U.S. forces in Iraq. The article further quotes a spokesman of Gates, saying the Defense Secretary stated a week earlier that he believed “a potential strike on the Iranian facilities is not something that we or anyone else should be pursuing at this time.”

Among those factors catalogued as pro-Iran, which might be activated in the event of an attack against Iran, were Shi’ite communities as well as armed militias in Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, Kuweit etc., and of course Iraq. Hezbollah remained the leading danger in Lebanon. In addition, the Palestinian Hamas movement, though not Shi’ite, was considered a serious threat. Thus, if any serious Israeli move against Iran were to be considered, one would have to figure out how to deal with Hamas first; not because it were such a powerful military force, comparable, say to Hezbollah, but because its self-conceived role as leading opposition to belligerent Israeli intentions would ensure its immediate mobilization in case of an Israeli move, a mobilization which would not be generically political, but pointedly military, and aimed at any Israeli vulnerabilities.

Thus the move against Hamas. Contrary to Israeli and other propaganda, the onslaught against Hamas in late 2008 had {nothing} to do with that Palestinian faction’s alleged violation of the ceasefire, since it was Israel’s continuing blockade of Gaza which was in violation. Rather, the Israeli military assault constituted a repetition of the strategy tried in 2006 against Hezbollah: to wipe out a potential nuisance, while proceeding to target Iran. The outgoing U.S. administration’s military had signalled its rejection of a new war against Iran, but would obviously not object to Israeli aggression against Hamas, if presented as a thing-in-itself.

The neocon faction, led by outgoing Vice President Cheney, is viewing the Gaza war as a preparation for aggression against Iran, and the spark that ignites regional conflict. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and one of the most outspoken among the neocon war party, announced on December 31, that the Gaza war was the first step towards an attack against Iran, which he deemed necessary. “I don’t think there’s anything at this point standing between Iran and nuclear weapons other than the possibility of the use of military force possibly by the United States, possibly by Israel,” he was quoted by Fox News. “So while our focus obviously is on Gaza now,” he went on, “this could turn out to be a much larger conflict. We’re looking at potentially a multi-front war.” And, as Daniel Luban summarized in a January 10 piece for http://www.antiwar.com, the general consensus among the neocons was that the Gaza war was a proxy war against Iran.

Israel chose the timing of its Gaza war most carefully, with these considerations in mind: the lame duck, lame-brained U.S. President could be counted on to assert publicly that Israel had every right to defend itself from Hamas’s deadly rocket attacks. President-elect Barack Obama would not venture to denounce the Bush administration’s policy as long as it were still officially in power. Any initiatives launched by the European Union would be rebuffed by Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Prime Minister Olmert, in fact, ignored any and all calls for a cease-fire on grounds that Israel alone would decide if and when any such a cease-fire could be organized. Israel’s demands have been that the international community (in whatever form — UN peacekeeping troops or whatever) would have one and only one task: to ensure that Hamas could no longer fire rockets on Israel, and that no weapons could be delivered to Gaza through the Egyptian border. The power of the Israeli establishment to blackmail any European or other attempts at mediation, — on utterly unspoken, totally implicit, but universally understood grounds that any criticism of Israeli policy can be misconstrued as anti-semitic, — has been demonstrated. The attempt of the EU troika to plea for a ceasefire, like the moves by the Russians too, have been ineffective.

Israel may be seriously miscalculating the total situation. It is to be mooted that the Israelis thought, — and perhaps still think — that, if they continue with their inhumane aggression in Gaza, killing women and children and obliterating anything that has to do with civil life in Gaza, then the other side will give up. This will not occur. Anyone who knows how the militant Hamas leaders think, realizes that their resistance even with their relatively modest missiles, will continue to be launched, up to the last man. For militant Hamas members, there is no fear of dying in struggle; on the contrary, a fighter killed in the battle for liberation is a martyr.

By the same token, if the Israelis believe that their escalation of the war will provoke Hezbollah, but more importanly, Iran, to enter the fray, they may be as badly mistaken. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a major speech on December 30, denouncing the Israeli aggression and calling for the defense of Palestinians. Significantly, he explicitly compared the Gaza war to the Israeli war on Hezbollah (Lebanon) in 2006. “What is happening today in Gaza is not similar but identical to what happened in July of 2006” (http://www.presstv.ir/pop/print.aspx?id=79953). He charged that the same international forces, and certain Arab states, “are asking Israel to eliminate Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the rest of the resistance factions….” The marching orders that Nasrallah issued were {not} that others should join the armed struggle. Rather, he called on Arabs to “take to the streets by the thousands, by the tens and hundreds of thousands, and demand from these [Arab] governments to act responsibly.” This included emphatically the demand that Egypt open the Rafah border to Gaza, but, he added, “I am not calling for a coup in Egypt….”. Days later, on January 7, Nasrallah warned Israel against expanding the hostilities to Lebanon, but that was it. The rocket reportedly fired from southern Lebanon against Israel, was not the work of Hezbollah, the group declared.

As for Iran, its leadership’s response has been most cautious. Immediately after the aggression, demonstrations took place in Iran unhindered, but the leadership explicitly warned demonstrators not to attack or occupy diplomatic missions of foreign nations, for example, the British Embassy, which some protestors had targetted. When, on January 5, it was reported that 70,000 Iranian students had declared their readiness to go to Israel as suicide bombers, the regime responded unequivocably that that was {not} the answer. Supreme Leader of the Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on January 10, saying, “I thank the pious and devoted youth who have asked to go to Gaza … but it must be noted that our hands are tied in this arena.” Iran criticized the inaction of Arab governments, but that was it. Iranian Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani had met in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on January 7 to discuss the crisis.

Although some commentators have tried to cast these events in Iran as part of a domestic political faction fight between Ahmadinejad, seen as the militant, and Khamenei, seen as the elder statesman, the issue transcends any such internal political controversy. The issue is strategic, and the Iranians know it.

In short, it appears that both Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership have realized what kind of a trap was being laid for them, and have wisely refrained from taking any irrational step that might entrap them. It is to be expected that they will continue to lie low, and bide their time, in hopes that the Palestinians can hold out until the regime change in Washington is completed.

The Change in Washington

The leading political power which could effect a major shift in the crisis, force Israel to pull back from its genocidal war, and impose serious negotiations aimed at an end to the bloodletting and a just peace, is the United States. History has shown, from Eisenhower’s intervention in the Suez crisis, to later U.S. moves for Middle East peace, by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, et al, that, if the power of the U.S. presidency is brought to bear on the issue, something can be done. The hope is that incoming President Barack Obama will make good on his campaign promises to introduce a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy, engage in dialogue with perceived adversaries (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria), in the pursuit of viable solutions to the regional crises involved.

Although nothing will be certain until Obama delivers his inaugural speech on January 20, there are signs that he may make good on his campaign pledges. First, he has announced a number of encouraging appointments. His naming Leon Panetta as head of the CIA, was a courageous step; although Panetta has no intelligence experience, he has gone on record as principally opposed to any kind of torture, and can be expected to help implement Obama’s pledge to shut down the infamous Guantanamo prison, and to reverse the Bush administration’s anti-constitutional policy and practices. Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden has been a relatively rational voice in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Several other appointees, from the economic policy team, to those in the justice area, like Dawn Johnsen, Elena Kagan and Tom Perelli, come from the Bill Clinton administration.

As for his foreign policy team involved in the Middle East directly, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is obviously central. Many in the region will recall that Mrs. Clinton made an unfortunate reverse conversion on the road to Damascus, some years back. Although she had made headlines, and friends, after having engaged politically and personally with Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian Authority president Yassir Arafat in 1999, she soon thereafter made a U-turn, in the course of her first campaign for a seat in the Senate from the state of New York, where the pro-Zionist vote is significant. That said, Mrs. Clinton is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, who strove to forge a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians, at Camp David, until his bid was sabotaged by Ehud Barak. During the presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton uttered carelessly formulated statements on Iran, — which she later rectified — and of course stood by Israel and its “right to self-defense,” etc., as is expected of any U.S. political figure. It is to be hoped that what she will represent in her new position, will more depend on what the general policy of the Obama presidency will be, than her personal views.

As for Obama, he repeatedly asserted in the campaign that he would meet with perceived adversaries, including the leaderships of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc., on grounds that diplomatic progress can be made with enemies, not just with friends. He recently repeated this, saying he thought Iran constituted a threat, but should be dealt with through diplomacy. Since the outbreak of the Gaza war, reports have been leaked, and then perfunctorily denied, that the Obama tream would be willing to establish contacts with Hamas. The London Guardian reported on January 9 that three people close to the Obama camp had said, on conditions of confidentiality, that Obama would be open to low-level contacts with Hamas


Although this was denied, it sounds plausible.

Considerable attention has been given to the policy orientation of several of Obama’s advisors and other appointees. It has been mooted that Richard Haas will be an important Mideast envoy. Haas was the co-author of a recent CFR study, “Restoring the Balance,” (http://www.cfr.org/publication/17791/), with other individuals who might be Obama advisors, which argues that a “new U.S. strategy” in the Mideast is required, that “a comprehensive diplomatic initiative” towards Iran is on the agenda, that “Arab-Israeli peacemaking needs to become a priority” and so forth. Other members of the Obama team have been involved in the Iraq Study Group, which called for talks with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran, to solve the Iraq mess. Among them is Defense Secretary Gates, who is to stay on.

The intervention of former President Jimmy Carter, has also been most useful. Carter, who oversaw the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, is the author of an insightful book, Peace not Apartheid. In the context of the raging Gaza war, Carter presented an OpEd in the Washington Post on January 8, entitled “An Unnecessary War,” in which he argued, from the standpoint of his experience in the region, that “the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.”

The Boomerang

As the war continues and Israel threatens a further escalation of the conflict, reports of atrocities multiply, and the response of international public opinion is affected. Thus far, we have been informed that a UN school, designated as a refuge for civilans, was bombed; that a UN convoy of humanitarian aid was attacked, killing a driver and injuring others; that a house in which Israeli military had told 110 Palestians to seek safety, was shortly thereafter bombed, and 30 killed; that a UN building outfitted for refugees, was bombed.

Although the Israelis have systematically either denied the facts or pleaded ignorance, there are enough eyewitnesses, especially among Red Cross and UN personnel, to set the record straight. What emerges from the overall picture, is that the Israelis are doing in Gaza what the Anglo-Americans did in Iraq, only in a much shorter time frame and with more devastating consequences. Compare events in Gaza to the drama of Iraq: between 1990, after the invasion of Kuweit, and 2003, when the U.S. declared victory in its war against Saddam Hussein, Iraq had been subjected to a genocidal embargo, which deprived its 18 million citizens of food, medicines and other vital goods. The embargo continued even after Desert Storm had totally destroyed the country’s infrastructure (energy, water, tranportation, health, etc.), and in the interim period, the U.S. and U.K. air forces systematically bombarded Iraq’s anti-aircraft defenses, under the rubric of the “no-fly-zones.”

What the Israelis have done in Gaza, is remarkably similar: through their closure of Gaza, sealing the borders from Israel and Egypt, they put the Palestinian people in the situation of a “concentration camp,” as Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino of the Vatican Justitia et Pax recently stated. The population has been cut off from normal imports of food, medicine and energy, and then subjected to aerial bombardments and artillery attacks by a vastly superior force. The only result can be genocidal.

After the Israeli war against Hezbollah in summer 2006, Israeli senior analyst Dr. Martin van Krefeld told a seminar in Germany, that in that event, the response of the Israelis had been that of “a mad dog!” He described the utterly disproportionate Israeli response as showing that the Israelis were “mad dogs.” Certainly, his characterization would apply today to the Gaza war in spades. But instead of producing awe, such mad dog violence is provoking justified outrage.

Statements by Israeli leaders, featured in news reports in Europe, have contributed to the outrage. Fopreign Minister Livni, for example, stated early on in the war, that the great disparity in casulaties between Palestinians and Israelis, was inconsequential. If hundreds of Palestinians were killed by the air bombardments, as compared to less than ten, from Hamas-fired rockets, no matter; it’s not the numbers, she said, but that fact that Hamas was targetting civilians. Israeli President Shimon Peres made an even more offensive statement. When asked about the high number of Palestinian children killed, he said, yes, that’s true, there are many palestinain children and very few Israeli children casualtieies, but that is because “we take care of our children.”

The psychological control exerted on large parts of the population in Western countries, in Europe and the U.S., as a result of the horrendous crimes perpetrated by the Nazis in World War II against the Jews, has been massive. But, now, in light of the atrocities committed against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, that control is being broken. Tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets since the New Year, to protest the war in Gaza, political figures have spoken out, and letters to the editors of leading German dailies have documented the fact that the psychological blackmail no longer works.

The most eloquent response in Germany to the ongoing Gaza catastrophe has been provided by musician and director Daniel Barenboim, who, prevented by the hostilities from performing as scheduled in Qatar, quickly reorganized his concert program, to bring his historic Arab-Israeli orchestra to Berlin on January 12, and then to Moscow, Milan and Vienna. Barenboim’s commitment has been to define a completely new, higher level, from which standpoint this insane conflict, manipulated over decades by geopolitical forces, can be overcome. The fact that his concert was sold out in 24 hours, and a second concert in Berlin had to be added to accomodate the demand, testifies to the desire among many Germans, to seek solutions to conflict through the medium of the universal ideas of great music.

The author can be reached at mirak.weissbach@googlemail.com

Humanity’s Stake in Gaza

Humanity’s Stake in Gaza

Wasted time is always to be regretted. But in the Middle East, wasting time is also dangerous. Another year has now passed with little progress in bridging the divide between Palestinians and Israelis. The air strikes on Gaza, and continuing rocket attacks on Askelon, Sderot and other towns in southern Israel, only prove how dire the situation is becoming.

Picture: AP

Action is needed in the Middle East to prevent the suffering of civilians.

The security impasse that exists between Israel and the Gazan-Palestinian leadership has also led to blockades of food aid by Israel that have left Gaza’s 1.5 million people facing conditions of real hunger. Israel, it seems, is once again emphasizing the primacy of “hard” security in its dealings with the Palestinians of Gaza, but this focus only serves to block non-violent opportunities for creative solutions to the Israel-Palestine dispute.

Making matters worse, Israeli politicians remain committed to further enlargement of Israel’s West Bank settlements. Pushed to the wall in this way, many Palestinians are beginning to see no other option for fulfilling their national aspirations than radical tactics. Given that this risks renewed violence, it is critical that Israel’s regional partners and international actors understand that Palestinians will not be diverted from their strategic objective of achieving an independent state. The Palestinian people will never abandon their national struggle.

Both Israelis and Palestinians must understand that the mere application of force will never be enough to achieve their long-term ends. What is needed is a viable option for the opposing party to adopt in order for violence not to be deployed. Although force sometimes has its uses, a stable and lasting peace can be delivered only by an integrative, compromise solution.

Conflict resolution, if it is to be successful, requires channeling the energy generated by conflict toward constructive and nonviolent alternatives. This diversion of the energy of war can take place at any stage of the cycle of escalation, but if preventive peace building is not launched at the first sign of trouble, and problems remain unaddressed as the conflict intensifies (especially if it turns violent), some type of intervention will be needed.

Only then can conciliation, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and collaborative problem-solving processes establish themselves. In the end, reconstruction and reconciliation are the only viable means to bring stability, since it cannot be imposed.

None of this is surprising. But it begs the question of why there has not been a more concerted and concentrated focus on transforming the situation in Gaza and Palestine. An international protectorate for the area to protect the Palestinians from their own more dangerous elements, the Palestinians from the Israelis, and perhaps even the Israelis from themselves, has been proposed, but has received scant acknowledgement.

It is this lack of a coordinated attempt to structure an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians – a structure based on an inclusive, interdisciplinary, and systemic approach that can shift the variables and lead to a peace that both peoples regard as equal and fair – that most concerns those of us who work in international crisis resolution.

One key element in building up a structure for reconciliation must be economic growth. As the World Bank has emphasized repeatedly, there is a strong correlation between poverty and conflict. So bridging the human dignity deficit, the divide between haves and have-nots, will be essential to reaching any viable political settlement between Palestinians and Israelis. Yet the efforts here are piecemeal – and thus insufficient to offer real hope for better lives.

Palestinians and Israelis need to establish viable dialogues across the huge social fissures that divide them, as well as dialogues between the authorities and ordinary people who live in a state of confusion about what is being done in their name. Trust needs to be rebuilt if we are to help the parties understand how to overcome past enmities. Only the beginning of public trust will allow problems to be correctly diagnosed and addressed.

Of course, Israel’s need for security must be understood by all sides, but confidence-building measures are needed from all sides as well. What is now needed most of all is a clear message that dialogue, not violence, is the way forward in these very tense times.

In Gaza, mankind’s basic morality is at stake. The suffering and wanton destruction of people’s lives, the despair and absence of human dignity in this region have gone on for too long. The Palestinians of Gaza – indeed, all those across the region who lead blighted lives without hope – cannot wait for new administrations or international institutions to act. If the Fertile Crescent is not to become a futile crescent, we must wake up and find the moral courage and political vision for a quantum leap in Palestine.

by Vaclav Havel, El Hassan bin Talal, Hans Kung, Desmond Tutu, Karel Schwarzenberg and Yohei Sasakawa

Václav Havel is a former President of the Czech Republic, HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal is President of the Arab Thought Forum and President Emeritus of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, Hans Küng is President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Stiftung Weltethos) and Professor Emeritus of Ecumenical Theology at the University of Tübingen, Yohei Sasakawa is a President of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Desmond Tutu is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Karel Schwarzenberg is Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic.

The New Order Is Here

“Soviet” Agents Designed IMF, World Bank &

United Nations

January 8, 2009

whit.jpgby Henry Makow Ph.D.

We usually think of the New World Order as something coming in the future. In fact, a veiled Masonic Jewish banker dictatorship has existed for some time.

This is the first world conquest by infiltration and subversion. They took over the levers of power while maintaining the appearance of democracy and freedom. They did this by duping Jews and Masons, and the population in general with liberalism, socialism, zionism and communism.

(Protocol 1-25:”Far back in ancient times we were the first to cry among the masses of the people the words “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” words many times repeated since these days by stupid poll- parrots who, from all sides around, flew down upon these baits and with them carried away the well-being of the world…”)

The Illuminati formalizes its tyranny by, for example, using the phony “war on terror” as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and build a police state. Notice, no one has asked Barack Obama to withdraw the “Patriot Act.”


Recently, I was reminded of this de facto tyranny when I read that the major institutions of the post-war world were created by  “Soviet spies,” i.e. men working directly for the Illuminati (Masonic) Jewish bankers. The most prominent was Harry Dexter White, a founder (and Director) of the IMF, as well as the World Bank.

As Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, also a Soviet agent, White (originally “Weit”) also delivered the printing plates for US occupation currency in Germany to the Soviets, costing the US $50 billion.  FDR’s administration was rife with Soviet spies, mostly Jews, protected by FDR himself. This included spies in the Manhattan Project who delivered the plans for the atomic bomb to Russia.

There was nothing “Russian” about the USSR. It was an Illuminati (Masonic) Jewish state. So were/are England, the United States and most of Europe.

If White helped found the IMF and World Bank, Alger Hiss, a Colonel in the Soviet GPU, helped design the United Nations and served as its first acting Secretary General. A revival of the League of Nations, the UN is the main mechanism of Masonic Jewish world government.

I say “Masonic Jewish” because most Jews aren’t Masons and most Masons aren’t Jews. But Freemasonry is a secret society based on Judaism. The essence of a secret society is that the membership is manipulated to fulfill a hidden agenda, in this case world domination.

White and Hiss could have been dupes, believing in “changing the world.” But think about it folks. The architects of the IMF, World Bank and United Nations were both “Soviet” agents, traitors, proof that the covert Illuminati takeover was complete in the 1930’s or earlier.

(My source for White and Hiss’ spying is the CIA Interrogation of Gestapo Chief Heinrich Muller, who  intercepted Soviet cables from Washington to Moscow. “Gestapo Chief,” Vol III by Gregory Douglas pp. 162-173. This was later confirmed by the testimony of Soviet defector Elizabeth Bentley and the release of the VENONA material by US Army Signal Intelligence.)


Although Hiss wasn’t a Jew, he was a protege of Felix Frankfurter, a Supreme Court judge and Sabbatean Jew. The Sabbateans were a 17th Century Jewish heresy, a Satanic cult that gave birth to the Illuminati. Numbering over a million,they included powerful bankers like the Rothschilds. When their leader Sabbatai Zvi pretended to convert to Islam (under duress from the Sultan), the Sabbateans imitated him by infiltrating other nationalities and religions. This is the origin of Jewish assimilation (the “Haskalah”), all the more effective because most Jews were sincere.

The hard-core Sabbateans were Cabalists determined to be their own God/Messiah and make the world worship them. They advanced this program by recruiting non-Jewish elites willing to betray their country using Freemasonry as the tent. (Freemasonry is based on Jewish Cabalism.) Communism and Zionism are both Masonic movements and Illuminati instruments. They brought Hitler to power and engineered the Holocaust to reclaim assimilated Jews for Zionism.

Frankfurter was an “adviser” to both Woodrow Wilson and FDR. “Advisers” or “brain trusts”  were the handlers, intermediaries between the Illuminati bankers and the politicians who are front men. Another Jewish “Soviet” agent was LBJ’s handler, Abe Fortas,  also a Supreme Court judge. The ultimate “Soviet” agent was Victor Rothschild himself.

Financed by the central banking cartel, the Illuminati Order control Intelligence agencies and most organizations and corporations of significance. But they operate at arm’s length.  FDR and Stalin both wanted Vice President Henry Wallace, another Soviet agent, to succeed to the Presidency. But Truman was installed instead, probably because the Illuminati wanted a Cold War to further degrade the West. Like all wars, the Cold War was a hoax designed to further concentrate power and profit in the hands of the Illuminati bankers. The Illuminati always require an external enemy to distract attention from themselves, the enemy within.


The whole world is now structured like a Cabalistic secret society. The vast majority of people are duped into thinking they are free and pursuing laudable goals. Only the “adepts” understand that the true purpose of all social trends, movements and world events is to condition the masses to play their role in the Masonic banker world tyranny.

As explained in the “Protocols of Zion,” this role is to be permanently “dumbed down,” or like children, trusting “leaders” in all respects. Thus, arrested development is promoted by undermining heterosexual marriage and family using sexual promiscuity, feminism and homosexuality. Diversity, multiculturalism, migration are all used to undermine nations and races of European descent. “Culture” is drenched in sex, violence, trivia, atheism, nihilism and Satanism, which I suspect originate in Cabalism.

World events and social trends are engineered to advance world government tyranny. Last week, we again heard Henry Kissinger and “Three Stooges,” Brown, Merkel and Sarkozy, describe the economic meltdown as an “opportunity” for a New World Order.

In a famous statement at the June 1991 Bilderberg meeting, David Rockefeller thanked the media for help in creating a  “supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers, which is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries. ”

Of course, the “intellectual elite” is really a fig leaf to cover banker tyranny. More accurately “intellectual whores,” they sugarcoat the world government agenda in spurious platitudes. As I have said, the bankers want to translate their economic monopoly into a total political, cultural, spiritual and mental monopoly. The goal of “hate” laws is to enforce this monopoly on thought itself. These laws have nothing to do with hate.

We live in a colonized, totalitarian society masquerading as a free society. That should be obvious by the way they murder Americans with impunity. They assassinated JFK, killed sailors on the USS Liberty and later thousands of Americans on 9-11.

We live in a totalitarian society dying to take off its mask in a way that makes tyranny appear normal, natural and necessary, so the masses will accept increased degradation and servitude.

Call for creation of UN War Crimes Commission

The International Progress Organization, headed by Dr. Hans Koechler, sent me the statement below

War on Gaza:
Call for creation of United Nations War Crimes Commission

Vienna, 8 January 2009

In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress 25-feb-13101Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, called upon the United Nations Organization to establish a War Crimes Commission with the mandate to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of occupied Gaza (Palestine), to record them and help prepare indictments in conformity with the mandatory provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949 (Fourth Geneva Convention).

Since the beginning of the attack on Gaza on 27 December 2008, numerous and grave breaches of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces have been reported by witnesses on the ground, such as:

The repeated shelling of United Nations (UNRWA) school compounds, designated as places of refuge for the civilian population, with dozens of casualties;

The repeated targeting of ambulances, causing death and injury to medical personnel and the victims of war they were trying to rescue;

Repeated attacks on mosques causing the death of people during prayer time.

Attacks on United Nations (UNRWA) aid convoys;

The systematic targeting of family homes, resulting in the indiscriminate killing of women, children and elderly people;

Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated areas where it is impossible to distinguish between civilian and military targets;

The disproportionate use of force against a defenseless civilian population that is subjected to a total siege, making it impossible for the people to flee from the fighting.

All these acts combined make up a situation in which the civilian population is forced to live under ghetto-like circumstances and endure an onslaught of apocalyptic proportions.

Art. 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention describes acts of this nature as “grave breaches” which the States Parties to the Convention have committed themselves to prosecute:

“Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.” (Art. 146)

The President of the International Progress Organization stated that a United Nations War Crimes Commission on the War in Gaza should be set up by the United Nations General Assembly on the basis of Art. 22 of the UN Charter. He recalled historic precedents such as the creation of a Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of War and on Enforcement of Penalties after World War I or of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) in the course of World War II.

Dr. Koechler reiterated his position that, because of the paralysis of the concerned regional organization, the League of Arab States, the United Nations General Assembly should be convened on the basis of the “Uniting for Peace Resolution” and consider emergency measures including the creation of a War Crimes Commission.

Since the UN Security Council, due to an effective “veto” of the occupying power in Palestine (via the United States as permanent member), will not make use of the provision of Art. 13(b) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and refer the situation in Gaza to that Court – and the judiciary of the occupying power itself will not properly investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by its armed forces -, there will be no other avenue for the prosecution of international crimes committed on the territory of Gaza except by invocation of the obligations of UN member states under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the joint initiative of a majority of states for the establishment of an UNWCC for Gaza.

Neither the United Nations Organization nor the International Committee of the Red Cross can tolerate the continued and systematic violation of international humanitarian law in Gaza. There can be no peace without justice and there must be no impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes.

Urgent call for Emergency Special Session of UN General Assembly (31 December 2008)

International Progress Organization
Enquiries: info@i-p-o.org, phone +43-1-5332877, fax +43-1-5332962, postal address: A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 4, Austria

How Many Divisions?

How Many Divisions?

By Uri Avnery

Nearly seventy years ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.

This is the description that would now appear in the history books ­ if the Germans had won the war.

Absurd? No more than the daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam: the Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as “hostages” and exploit the women and children as “human shields”, they leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured.

In this war, as in any modern war, propaganda plays a major role. The disparity between the forces, between the Israeli army – with its airplanes, gunships, drones, warships, artillery and tanks – and the few thousand lightly armed Hamas fighters, is one to a thousand, perhaps one to a million. In the political arena the gap between them is even wider. But in the propaganda war, the gap is almost infinite.

Almost all the Western media initially repeated the official Israeli propaganda line. They almost entirely ignored the Palestinian side of the story, not to mention the daily demonstrations of the Israeli peace camp. The rationale of the Israeli government (“The state must defend its citizens against the Qassam rockets”) has been accepted as the whole truth. The view from the other side, that the Qassams are a retaliation for the siege that starves the one and a half million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, was not mentioned at all.

Only when the horrible scenes from Gaza started to appear on Western TV screens, did world public opinion gradually begin to change.

True, Western and Israeli TV channels showed only a tiny fraction of the dreadful events that appear 24 hours every day on Aljazeera’s Arabic channel, but one picture of a dead baby in the arms of its terrified father is more powerful than a thousand elegantly constructed sentences from the Israeli army spokesman. And that is what is decisive, in the end.

War ­ every war ­ is the realm of lies. Whether called propaganda or psychological warfare, everybody accepts that it is right to lie for one’s country. Anyone who speaks the truth runs the risk of being branded a traitor.

The trouble is that propaganda is most convincing for the propagandist himself. And after you convince yourself that a lie is the truth and falsification reality, you can no longer make rational decisions.

An example of this process surrounds the most shocking atrocity of this war so far: the shelling of the UN Fakhura school in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Immediately after the incident became known throughout the world, the army “revealed” that Hamas fighters had been firing mortars from near the school entrance. As proof they released an aerial photo which indeed showed the school and the mortar. But within a short time the official army liar had to admit that the photo was more than a year old. In brief: a falsification.

Later the official liar claimed that “our soldiers were shot at from inside the school”. Barely a day passed before the army had to admit to UN personnel that that was a lie, too. Nobody had shot from inside the school, no Hamas fighters were inside the school, which was full of terrified refugees.

But the admission made hardly any difference anymore. By that time, the Israeli public was completely convinced that “they shot from inside the school”, and TV announcers stated this as a simple fact.

So it went with the other atrocities. Every baby metamorphosed, in the act of dying, into a Hamas terrorist. Every bombed mosque instantly became a Hamas base, every apartment building an arms cache, every school a terror command post, every civilian government building a “symbol of Hamas rule”. Thus the Israeli army retained its purity as the “most moral army in the world”.

THE TRUTH is that the atrocities are a direct result of the war plan. This reflects the personality of Ehud Barak ­ a man whose way of thinking and actions are clear evidence of what is called “moral insanity”, a sociopathic disorder.

The real aim (apart from gaining seats in the coming elections) is to terminate the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the imagination of the planners, Hamas is an invader which has gained control of a foreign country. The reality is, of course, entirely different.

The Hamas movement won the majority of the votes in the eminently democratic elections that took place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It won because the Palestinians had come to the conclusion that Fatah’s peaceful approach had gained precisely nothing from Israel – neither a freeze of the settlements, nor release of the prisoners, nor any significant steps toward ending the occupation and creating the Palestinian state. Hamas is deeply rooted in the population ­ not only as a resistance movement fighting the foreign occupier, like the Irgun and the Stern Group in the past ­ but also as a political and religious body that provides social, educational and medical services.

From the point of view of the population, the Hamas fighters are not a foreign body, but the sons of every family in the Strip and the other Palestinian regions. They do not “hide behind the population”, the population views them as their only defenders.

Therefore, the whole operation is based on erroneous assumptions. Turning life into living hell does not cause the population to rise up against Hamas, but on the contrary, it unites behind Hamas and reinforces its determination not to surrender. The population of Leningrad did not rise up against Stalin, any more than the Londoners rose up against Churchill.

He who gives the order for such a war with such methods in a densely populated area knows that it will cause dreadful slaughter of civilians. Apparently that did not touch him. Or he believed that “they will change their ways” and “it will sear their consciousness”, so that in future they will not dare to resist Israel.

A top priority for the planners was the need to minimize casualties among the soldiers, knowing that the mood of a large part of the pro-war public would change if reports of such casualties came in. That is what happened in Lebanon Wars I and II.

This consideration played an especially important role because the entire war is a part of the election campaign. Ehud Barak, who gained in the polls in the first days of the war, knew that his ratings would collapse if pictures of dead soldiers filled the TV screens.

Therefore, a new doctrine was applied: to avoid losses among our soldiers by the total destruction of everything in their path. The planners were not only ready to kill 80 Palestinians to save one Israeli soldier, as has happened, but also 800. The avoidance of casualties on our side is the overriding commandment, which is causing record numbers of civilian casualties on the other side.

That means the conscious choice of an especially cruel kind of warfare ­ and that has been its Achilles heel.

A person without imagination, like Barak (his election slogan: “Not a Nice Guy, but a Leader”) cannot imagine how decent people around the world react to actions like the killing of whole extended families, the destruction of houses over the heads of their inhabitants, the rows of boys and girls in white shrouds ready for burial, the reports about people bleeding to death over days because ambulances are not allowed to reach them, the killing of doctors and medics on their way to save lives, the killing of UN drivers bringing in food. The pictures of the hospitals, with the dead, the dying and the injured lying together on the floor for lack of space, have shocked the world. No argument has any force next to an image of a wounded little girl lying on the floor, twisting with pain and crying out: “Mama! Mama!”

The planners thought that they could stop the world from seeing these images by forcibly preventing press coverage. The Israeli journalists, to their shame, agreed to be satisfied with the reports and photos provided by the Army Spokesman, as if they were authentic news, while they themselves remained miles away from the events. Foreign journalists were not allowed in either, until they protested and were taken for quick tours in selected and supervised groups. But in a modern war, such a sterile manufactured view cannot completely exclude all others ­ the cameras are inside the strip, in the middle of the hell, and cannot be controlled. Aljazeera broadcasts the pictures around the clock and reaches every home.

THE BATTLE for the TV screen is one of the decisive battles of the war.

Hundreds of millions of Arabs from Mauritania to Iraq, more than a billion Muslims from Nigeria to Indonesia see the pictures and are horrified. This has a strong impact on the war. Many of the viewers see the rulers of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority as collaborators with Israel in carrying out these atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

The security services of the Arab regimes are registering a dangerous ferment among the peoples. Hosny Mubarak, the most exposed Arab leader because of his closing of the Rafah crossing in the face of terrified refugees, started to pressure the decision- makers in Washington, who until that time had blocked all calls for a cease-fire. These began to understand the menace to vital American interests in the Arab world and suddenly changed their attitude ­ causing consternation among the complacent Israeli diplomats.

People with moral insanity cannot really understand the motives of normal people and must guess their reactions. “How many divisions has the Pope?” Stalin sneered. “How many divisions have people of conscience?” Ehud Barak may well be asking.

As it turns out, they do have some. Not numerous. Not very quick to react. Not very strong and organized. But at a certain moment, when the atrocities overflow and masses of protesters come together, that can decide a war.

The failure to grasp the nature of Hamas has caused a failure to grasp the predictable results. Not only is Israel unable to win the war, Hamas cannot lose it.

Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win. The Hamas fighters would be seen as the paragons of the Arab nation, the heroes of the Palestinian people, models for emulation by every youngster in the Arab world. The West Bank would fall into the hands of Hamas like a ripe fruit, Fatah would drown in a sea of contempt, the Arab regimes would be threatened with collapse.

If the war ends with Hamas still standing, bloodied but unvanquished, in face of the mighty Israeli military machine, it will look like a fantastic victory, a victory of mind over matter.

What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. This will have severe consequences for our long-term future, our standing in the world, our chance of achieving peace and quiet.

In the end, this war is a crime against ourselves, too – a crime against the State of Israel.

Not in my name

Not in my name

In the midst of the carnage in Gaza, it defies belief that my synagogue has asked me to march in solid support of Israel

Brian Klug

In any conflict between peoples, there is a time for balancing the books, for placing facts neatly in the debit and credit columns, for issuing measured statements about the rights and wrongs on both sides. But not in the midst of one-sided carnage. The only decent thing to feel at the present time is outrage. The only thing for decent people to do right now is to condemn, without reserve or qualification, the brutal campaign that the Israeli military is waging against the population of Gaza. Every if and but derogates from decency.

Earlier this week, my synagogue sent its members an email containing details of two rallies in support of Israel “which we would urge you to support”. No ifs and buts here, just solid support for the perpetrator in the midst of the horror it is perpetrating. Is it possible to go further in the opposite direction to decency?

Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.

So, let me place on record the following fact: the board does not speak for all British Jews and certainly not for this one. Nor does the so-called Leadership Council, nor any of the organisations associated with this misbegotten event. None of them represents me or the Judaism that I cherish and which leads me to say as follows: I condemn utterly the military offensive by the government of Israel against the people of Gaza. The loss of any human life, on whatever side of this conflict, is a terrible thing. At this juncture, though, my heart is with the Palestinians on the ground in the midst of their misery. And I extend my hand to those Israelis who are speaking out against their own government.

Hamas rejects the peace plan manipulated by U.S. and European Union to save Israel

Hamas rejects the peace plan manipulated by

U.S. and European Union to save Israel

Hamas and Palestinian resistance organizations on Tuesday broke a diplomatic operated by the U.S., EU and Arab allies of the Zionism in the UN aimed at establishing a truce favorable to the aims of Israel “victorious” retreat from the Strip Gaza, where its troops are already bogged down and suffering heavy casualties until now hidden by the Jewish military.

Below its diplomatic formality, the “peace plan” submitted by Egypt looks for Gaza the reinstatement of the agent of Israel, Abbas, the deployment of an international force requested by the Arab countries allied with the Zionist axis and a blockade of supplies to the resistance organization . In concrete terms, this is a project similar to the isolation of Hamas similar to that against Hezbollah in Lebanon to disguise the defeat of Israel in August 2006.

Ten of the Palestinian resistance groups based in Damascus, including Hamas, rejected the plan by France and Egypt (blessed by the U.S.) for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where the dead on Thursday stood at 763 in a resurgence of ground fighting that began to force Israel to reveal with a “dropper” their systematically concealed figures of Israeli casualties since the start of ground operations.

In a statement, the Palestinian organizations say “they do not see in the Egyptian initiative a valid basis for any acceptable solution” and that the initiative only seeks “to help Israel to achieve the results that they have not been able to achieve so far”, and reject the proposed project which includes items considered risky for the Palestinian resistance and its future.

Egypt and France, with the express support of Washington, has submitted a plan for a “solution” to the crisis in Gaza which formally looks for a “truce” between Israel and the Palestinian organizations for a limited period and the opening of border posts in addition to holding an urgent meeting between the two parties and the relaunchment of the intepalestinian dialogue.

Since the Israeli extermination operation “Cast Lead” started last December 27, at least 763 Palestinians have died and 3,200 have been wounded in Gaza, said the head of emergency services in the Strip, Moawiya Hasanein.

According to the official, the counting of dead could rise in the coming hours, as 375 of the wounded are in critical condition and the Israeli army continued its bombardment by land, sea and air, which have turned the Strip into a Dantesque spectacle of demolished buildings, lack of water, light, food and medicines for the wounded.

During the day of Thursday, planes and land batteries continued demolishing buildings identified as “terrorist sanctuaries” and the UN decided to withdraw from Gaza because of the continuing attacks faced by officials, as well as hospitals and humanitarian convoys are blocked Jewish by troops at the border.

In this scenario, and after being evaluated, for Hamas and other organizations, the real objective of this peace plan is “to impose restrictions on the movement of the resistance by blocking it while Israel is given handsfree to go ahead with whatever they want”.

“The initiative could only help the enemy to achieve the results that have not been obtained so far,” says the text. Also, Palestinian groups have questioned the participation of other Arab countries in the plan, although not named any state in particular.

Hamas also rejected the deployment of international observers in Gaza and renewed calls on Israel to “stop the aggression, withdraw immediately, lift the blockade and open border crossings, especially Rafah, on the border between Gaza and Egypt”.

Besides Hamas, the communique was signed by the Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), among others.

The announcement was broadcasted after leaders of Hamas, Emad al-Alami and Mohamed Naser, returned to Damascus yesterday, after traveling to Cairo, where Egyptian authorities dealt with the initiative.

On Wednesday, and ratifying the nature of the Zionist project, the criminal psychopath, Ehud Olmert, said that the Israeli government was considering “positively” the initiative, but added that it was “soon” to discuss a truce in an attempt to disguise the urgent need for Israel to retreat from the Gaza trap.

Complicit in the operation, the Arab countries “partners”, led by Egypt and Jordan on Thursday called for a vote on a revised resolution that includes the deployment of an international force to prevent the smuggling of arms to Hamas, two of the key demands of Israel and the U.S.

The foreign ministers of several Arab nations “partners”, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, attended the UN with the U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

After several meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Security Council (controlled by the US-EU) is divided pressured by the Arab governments that (to defuse the protests of their peoples) demanded a legally binding resolution that demands the immediate end of the hostilities and the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces, while the “plan” at the UN is created.

Meanwhile the United States, Britain and France demanded a resolution that provides the permanence of Israel in the territory during the cease-fire until the implementation of a “lasting truce” which guarantees to open border crossings and prevent the smuggling of weapons Hamas.

In other words, what we anticipated here a diplomatic Plan B as a substitute for Plan A of military extermination that in thirteen days could not achieve its goal of ending the operational structure of Hamas and rocket launchers, ends being aborted by Hamas and the Palestinian organizations that did not accepted.

In this way, and until today, the Jewish troops continued their process of attrition in the Gaza cemetery which is already starting to become their own cemetery for the Jewish troops.