Blood-boiling history of Hindu India

Blood-boiling history of Hindu India : Anti-Pakistan


war-mongering has no takers

As this is written Brahminism and Islam, the centuries- old enemies (see DSA ref. p.5 bottom), are again on the collision course. However, a bloody nuclear war looming over the sub-continent has gone to background as India found itself friendless in the world.

In this war frenzy, the Pakistani Muslims were united but India ’s Hinduists looked weak and divided. Even the recent Islamic terrorist attack on Bombay has gone to background.

This is because the overwhelming productive labour (85%) of “Hindu India” is not only not Hindu but victim of Hinduism. Dr. Ambedkar had said all this. The Indian Govt. also knows it. That is why it is not ready to be swayed by the micro-minority war-mongers. The Manmohan Singh Govt. is hesitating though the war-mongering Brahminists are craving for “hate, revenge, blood and bomb”.

Hindu logic: Not only the victims of Hinduism are producers of wealth but they are also advocates of peace. All producers need peace. It is only the consumers that crave for war. The Bahujans are so pre-occupied with their day-to-day drudgery, busy earning their daily bread that they are totally oblivious of the Hindu heroes’ cry for war, blood and bomb.

This has been the unfortunate topsy-turvey situation in India where the producers have no voice at all. Their job is to only stand and wait. And then to do and die. This is the Hindu logic, said Dr. Ambedkar.

What is happening today is not new to students of history. Gujarati Bania M.K. Gandhi, blackmailing Babasaheb on “separate electorate” for Dalits by resorting to his fake fast-unto-death, had given a clear warning that the Untouchables could remain in India only as slaves of the ruling Hindus and at their mercy. This is continuing even to this day.

When the British were leaving India , the very same Brahminical rulers managed to partition the country at the cost of enormous bloodbath. And the creation of Islamic Pakistan gave a wonderful opportunity for the rulers to dub the majority Muslims who decided to remain in India as traitors and Pakistani agents.

Thirst for blood: How about 15 to 20% of the Indian Muslim population is reduced to grinding poverty, pushed to urban slums, daily facing war and violence was graphically depicted in the Sachar Committee report by an upper caste (Hindu). (DV Jan.16, 2007 p.9).

In 1971, the very same Brahminical rulers managed to get Pakistan divided by creating Bangladesh with the help of Mujibur Rahman.

The thirst of this micro-minority Brahminical Social Order for blood is limitless. The killing of over 3,000 Sikhs in cold blood in “Blue Star” (1984), the anti-Mandal war and violence (1991), the demolition of Babri Masjid (1992), the “Gujarat Genocide” killing over 2,500 Muslims. It is an endless story of killing and blood-letting.

When will their thirst for blood end?

There is no war hysteria in the vast countryside and even in the urban working class areas. In other words, the Bahujan Samaj — comprising the SC/ST/BCs and the Muslim/Christian/Sikhs (85%) — are busy doing their daily work and do not contribute to the current beating of war drums and the call for “blood-for-blood” revenge.

Tragedy of India : This hysteria exhibited through their “national” toilet papers and their television is confined to the micro-minority manuwadi upper castes who are not even 15% of our population. There are ever so many saner elements among the upper castes who do not share the call for hate, revenge, blood, bomb.

But the problem of Hindu India is though the govt. is elected by the Bahujans, the minority Brahminical forces control it. As they have the monopoly media, live in big cities and control the country’s entire property and posts, their voice is alone heard.

And the tragedy of India is this unrepresentative, anti-social minority fascist voice is called the “public opinion”. We are over 85%, but none cares for our voice.

Since the last over 60 years every govt. that came right from the Kashmiri Brahmin Nehru up to the Khatri Sikh Manmohan Singh (who is not even an elected leader), came to rule by the votes of the Bahujans and after getting elected it started serving the ruling class. The elected leaders also join the ruling class and concentrate only on implementing its agenda. The only agenda is to keep them poor, illiterate, diseased, toiling masses in perpetual misery.

Once  you  are  poor,  you  automatically remain uneducated and then inject in them all the Brahminical poison so that they permanently remain slaves of the Brahminical rulers.

This cycle of exploitation is continuing with the full blessings of the ruling Brahminical religion, their millions of holy men, their super rich temples, and their “sacred scriptures”.

Dr. Ambedkar died a sad man: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Father of India, had said all these hundreds of times and died a sad man because the ruling Brahminical order used the monster Mahatma to see that every warning given by Babasaheb is maligned, rejected and dug deep in the sands of history.

This is the tragic history of “independent India ” which this very Mahatma handed over to the Hindu hounds and reduced us into permanent slavery. And converted India into a failed state.

If there is a war today it is the innocent, hard-working producers of wealth who will suffer and die. That is why our people are always peace-mongers. Only the Dalal Street Dagabhajis want war.

Religious hatred: The perpetrators of war frenzy are hiding the fact that they are motivated by religious hatred. The Brahminical toilet papers are experts in suppressing the truth. But even a child can make out that the Hindu hate-mongers are itching for war — which nobody in India wants except this ruling class. conference symbolised how much Bush is hated not only in the Muslim world but all over the world and even inside America .

The religious hatred generated by the tiny Brahminical rulers of India resulted in the partition of India and hundreds of anti-Muslim riots — big and small. Yet the Brahminical thirst for blood is not quenched. They want more war, more violence, more blood, despite having not a single friendly neighbour but believing in the  goodwill of one single country, America , which itself is hesitating to support the Hindu hysteria.

Pakistan wins diplomatic battle: That means “Hindu India ” has found itself lonely and isolated. A Brahminical daily DNA (Dec.27, 2008) even frankly admitted in its lead story saying “ Pakistan wins”. Because China , Saudi Arabia and even America which India approached asked India to stop sabre-rattling. The Bengali Brahmin Foreign Minister was spitting too much fire and whipping up a war hysteria. India has not a single friend in the world except America but even that became  unhelpful.

But on the other Pakistan , a small and weak country, won the first round. Going by the reports in the Brahminical media itself the entire Pakistani political, religious, military leadership, plus the media, stood as one man to fight “Hindu India”. But inside India the Bengali Brahmin Foreign Minister and the Khatri Sikh PM spoke in different voices. The Bahujans who never hate Muslims refused to support their centuries-old Brahminical enemy.

India as a failed state: An offshoot of the current crisis is Gen. Kiyani, the Pakistan army chief, has emerged as the strongman much to the disappointment of the Indian rulers who fondly hoped the corrupt President Zardari would be favourable to India . Zardari has now gone to background in the current churning. Even Nawaz Shariff who earlier differed on some issues has fallen in line. This is another blow on the Brahminical face.

In contrast the opinion in India ’s ruling class itself is divided. Only the irresponsible Brahminical media is itching for war.

We have no hope in the Brahminical hate-mongers ever giving up their hate and their unending thirst for blood and more blood. Any student who has studied the tragic history of India will have to come to this conclusion.

Though India is called a democracy where the majority is supposed to rule, the Bahujan majority of toiling Indians have no voice because they are made slaves. India has already become a failed state, and as our “India Shining” regular column has revealed we as a country are being pushed backward and more backward.

The Brahminical ruling class not only lives in luxury but, as the latest Bombay terrorist attack has revealed, is ever eager to turn any incident to its advantage to further bludgeon the already bleeding Bahujans.

Why India has no revolution: Foreign observers are wondering why the toiling millions, unable to bear the pain of exploitation, are not revolting. Yes. This is a good question which we have answered many times.

Revolution will come only when the oppressed people become conscious of their exploitation and get angry. Here in India the people no doubt are in great pain. But they are not getting angry because they don’t know who is causing this pain. The Hindu rulers have so effectively mesmerised the suffering masses and convinced them that their suffering is because of their own destiny. This Hindu poison injected deep into their veins has convinced them that their suffering is their own making. They are made so unthinking that they can’t identify the enemy-oppressor even when he is standing right in front of him and siphoning off his blood — even as he falls dead in this painless (Hindu) operation. Dr. Ambedkar has said all these.

Letters of blood: Except Dalit Voice, we have not even a single media to bring this to the notice of the victims of this painless operation.

This is the tragic, blood-curdling history of Hindu India. This history has been repeating — endlessly centuries after century.

If any good-hearted, far-sighted, impartial, noble historian were to come in future, she or he can write the sordid, atrophied, violent, criminal past of India only in letters of blood. (Dec.Jan.1, 2009)

(Hindu Serpent vs. Muslim Mongoose, DSA-2007, Rs. 25).

European Leaders Ready To Supply Troops and Ships To Israel

EU commits to anti-smuggling efforts

SHARM AL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Jan. 19 (UPI) — European leaders say they will work to prevent arms smuggling to Palestinian militants operating inside the Gaza Strip.Meeting Sunday at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh, the European Union leaders’ commitment answers a key Israeli condition for lifting blockades of Gaza, the EU Observer reported. Specifically, the EU’s “Big Three” of France, Germany and Britain offered troops and technological assistance in cooperation with the United States and Egypt to clamp down on Gaza arms smuggling, perhaps through an international naval force.

In return, the EU leaders called on Israel to lift the Gaza blockades, which they say are causing a humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.

“Israel should state immediately and clearly that if rocket fire will stop, the Israeli army will leave Gaza. There is no other solution to achieve peace,” the Observer reported French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying at the summit.

The EU leaders were taking advantage of a one-week truce called by Hamas militants, allowing the entry of humanitarian aid, announcing an additional $29 million in such aid, the Observer said.


© 2009 United Press International, Inc.

Richard Holbrooke and Serbian War Crimes Trial

Karadzic-Holbrooke deal confirmed
Fri, 01 Aug 2008 06:18:24 GMT

Mohammad Sacirbey,Radovan Karadzic

Mohammad Sacirbey, former Bosnian foreign minster says that US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke made an unambiguous political deal with Serb leader Radavan Karadzic.

Sacirbey pointing out that he has been telling this story for more than a decade now, said the Holbrooke-Karadzic pact called for Karadzic to give up leadership of his political party and to drop out of public life in return for his already existing war crimes indictment being scrapped.

In an exclusive interview with a Press TV correspondent, Sacirbey confirmed that a top US diplomat, Robert Frowick, head of the OSCE mission in Bosnia in 1996 was his source for the information of the Holbrooke-Karadzic deal. Sacirbey described Frowick as an unimpeachable point of reference.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance at the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal on Thursday charged with genocide.

Karadzic alleged in his remarks to the court that he had made a deal in 1996 with then top US negotiator Richard Holbrooke to drop out of public life in return for his war crimes indictment being dropped.

The US has always denied the Karadzic family’s claims that a deal was made. Now the straightforward statements of former foreign minister Sacirbey raises an obvious contradiction to American claims and heightens the tensions around the Karadzic trial, as no one knows what other potential bombshells he might drop next or whether the court will allow him to speak.

In a July 26 interview with Germany’s Spiegel Online International, Holbrooke was asked about rumors that he had told Karadzic that if he retired from politics, he wouldn’t be sent to the war crimes tribunal. “Those are lies I do not comment on any longer,” Holbrooke said at the time.

Elsewhere, Holbrooke, who was the architect of the Dayton peace agreement that belatedly ended the Bosnian conflict and the ethnic cleansing and genocide against Europe’s only indigenous Muslim population, said in an interview aired on CNN on Thursday, that he won a commitment from Karadzic in July 1996 to step down from his political positions.

“I negotiated a very tough deal. He had to step down immediately from both his posts as president of the Serb part of Bosnia and as head of his party. And he did so,” Holbrooke said in a recorded interview. Apparently Karadzic provided the quid pro quo of the agreement in his statements on Thursday.

Hillary, Tzipi Step 1, Stop Iranian Enrichment

Hillary, Tzipi to stop Iran enrichment
Fri, 23 Jan 2009 08:12:27 GMT

Israeli FM Tzipi Livni (L) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

US secretary of state and Israel’s foreign minister have reportedly reached an agreement to work together in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel’s daily Haaretz said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and the new US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the deal during a phone conversation on Thursday.

The report added that they also agreed to take joint measures to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Clinton officially gained the control of the US State Department on Thursday.

The US, Israel and their European allies accuse Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory Iran of developing a nuclear program for military purposes. Tehran says it only seeks civilian applications of the technology.

Last week, Clinton said that the Obama administration would pursue ‘an attitude toward engagement (with Iran) that might bear fruit’.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said, in a Thursday letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Berlin is ready to aid the Obama administration in resolving issues such as the Iranian nuclear standoff.

Ehud Olmert Wanted Poster

TRANSLATION GOOGLE-TRANSLATE

צו מעצר נגד: אהוד אולמרט Arrest warrant against: Ehud Olmert

על פי אמנת ג’נבה ואמנת רומא According to the Fourth Geneva Oamnt Rome

האישום: פשעים נגד האנושות ופשעי מלחמה Charges: crimes against humanity war crimes

אהוד אולמרט Ehud Olmert

ב-12 ביולי 2006 הורה החשוד על הפצצת ערים ואזורים מיושבים בלבנון בידי מטוסים וארטילריה – הפצצה שנמשכה 34 יום, ומכיוון שנעשתה לאזורים מיושבים הינה מוגדרת כפשע מלחמה על פי החוק הבינלאומי. On 12 July 2006 ordered the suspect to the bombing cities and regions in Lebanon מיושבים by aircraft artillery – the bomb which lasted 34 days, and made to מיושבים is defined as a war crime under international law. בהפצצות ואח”כ גם בתקיפה הקרקעית עליה הורה החשוד, נהרגו כ-1,200 בני אדם ונפצעו כ-4,400. במסגרת זו הורה גם החשוד על ירי של כמה אלפי פצצות מצרר לעבר שטחים נרחבים מיושבים בלבנון, דבר האסור על פי אמנות בינלאומיות. סה”כ נורו כמיליון פצצות קטנות, שהביאו למותם (לאחר המלחמה) של 30 בני אדם ופציעתם של 215 מהם 90 ילדים. Vaftztzot then land on which the assault also ordered the suspect, killing approximately -1,200 people and injured about -4400. In this framework, also ordered the shooting of the suspect several thousand bombs Mtzrr at מיושבים areas in Lebanon, something forbidden under international conventions. Total million small bombs were fired, that led to the deaths (after the war) of 30 persons and the injury of 215 children, 90 of them.

בקיץ 2007 הורה החשוד על הטלת מצור על כ-1.5 מיליון בני אדם תושבי עזה, ומנע מהם מזון, מים, חשמל ותרופות – דבר הנאסר במפורש בחוק הבינלאומי. In the summer of 2007 ordered the suspect to the imposition of the blockade as -1.5 million people of Gaza, preventing them from food, water, electricity & Medications – something explicitly prohibited in international law. בדצמבר 2008 הורה החשוד על תקיפה אווירית ואח”כ קרקעית על תושבי עזה, תוך זריעת הרס רב והרג יותר מ-1,200 בני אדם – מאות מהם ילדים. In December 2008 ordered the suspect to attack air and then land on the residents of Gaza, while Zriat destroyed much and killed more than -1,200 people – hundreds of them children.

ב-10 בדצמבר 2008 הוגשה תלונה רשמית לבית הדין הפלילי הבינלאומי שבהאג, הולנד, נגד החשוד וכן אנשים נוספים בחשד לפשעי מלחמה ופשעים נגד האנשות על חלקו במצור על עזה. בחודש מרץ 2009 החשוד עומד לאבד מחסינותו הדיפלומטית. On 10 December 2008 submitted a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court Sbhag, Netherlands, against the suspect and other people on suspicion of war crimes crimes against Hansot on the part of the siege on Gaza. In March 2009 the suspect is about to lose diplomatic Mhsinoto.

תיאורו של החשוד: גבר לבן כבן 60 גובהו גבוה מהממוצע, שיערו מקריח והוא נוהג לאחוז בידו סיגר. Description of the suspect: a white man כבן 60 high average height, forests and driving decalvant percentage cigar in his hand. עיניו כחולות. Blue eyes.

תצלום באדיבותו הרבה של משרד ראש הממשלה Photo Badiboto much of Prime Minister’s Office

כל היודע דבר על החשוד הנמצא מחוץ לגבולות ישראל, עליו לדווח מיד ל Any well-informed on the suspect who is outside the borders of Israel, to report immediately to

The Prosecutor The Prosecutor
POBox 19519 POBox 19519
2500 Hague 2500 Hague
Netherlands Netherlands
Fax +31 70 515 8 Fax +31 70 515 8 555
otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int otp.informationdesk @ icc-cpi.int

זהות המתקשרים תישאר חסויה המתקשרים identity will remain confidential

Tzipi Livni Wanted Poster

TRANSLATION GOOGLE-TRANSLATE

צו מעצר נגד: ציפי לבני Arrest warrant against: Tzipi Livni

על פי אמנת ג’נבה ואמנת רומא According to the Fourth Geneva Oamnt Rome

האישום: פשעים נגד האנושות ופשעי מלחמה Charges: crimes against humanity war crimes

ציפי לבני Tzipi Livni

בתאריך ה-12 ביולי 2006 הורתה החשודה יחד עם אנשים נוספים על תקיפה אווירית ואח”כ ארטילרית וקרקעית על אזורים מיושבים ומאוכלסים בלבנון. במשך 34 יום ועם 12,000 גיחות אוויריות, 100,000 פגזי ארטילריה ותותחים, נפגעו בלבנון 350 בתי ספר, 15,000 בתי מגורים נהרסו באופן מוחלט ועוד פגיעה חלקית ב-130,000 בתים. ההתקפה אותה יזמה החשודה ואחרים גרמה להרס מקורות מים, בתי חולים, השמדת תחנות כוח ועוד תשתיות חיוניות לבני אדם שאין ביכולת המאשימה לתאר. On the 12th of July 2006 and suspicious of people with information on the air and then artillery assault on the ground מיושבים populated areas in Lebanon. For 34 days and 12,000 air sorties, 100,000 artillery shells ותותחים, were 350 schools in Lebanon, 15,000 residential houses are destroyed total and partial damage to houses in -130000. The attack was initiated her suspicious and caused destruction of water sources, hospitals, power stations and destruction of infrastructure essential to humans there is no ability Hmasima to describe.

בעקבות כך אולצו כ-900,000 בני אדם לעזוב את ביתם כשרבים נשארו ללא קורת גג במשך ימים. Following that some were forced -900000 people leave their home כשרבים remain without shelter for days. כ-1,200 בני אדם נהרגו, יותר מ-4,400 נפצעו: כ-30% מההרוגים (כ-360) היו ילדים מתחת לגיל 13. Some -1,200 people were killed, wounded more than -4400: approximately 30% of the dead (about -360) were children under the age of 13.

ב-27 בדצמבר 2008 הורתה החשודה יחד עם אנשים אחרים על מתקפה אווירית, ימית ויבשתית על אזורים מיושבים בצפיפות ברצועת עזה. On 27 December 2008 and suspicious of other people along with the air attack, Marine Oibstit מיושבים density areas on the Gaza Strip. בהתקפות שהשמידו בתי מגורים, בתי חולים, בתי ספר ותשתיות אחרות הדרושות לחיי בני אדם, נהרגו יותר מ-1,200 בני אדם, בהם מאות ילדים. Attacks Shshmido residential houses, hospitals, schools and infrastructure needed to other people, killing more than -1,200 people, including hundreds of children. 200,000 איש הפכו פליטים כתוצאה מההרס וההפצצות. 200,000 people became refugees as a result Mhhars Ohhftztzot.

פגיעה בחפים מפשע, ירי ללא הבחנה לאזורים מיושבים בבני אדם ופגיעה בתשתיות חיוניות של מים, חשמל ובתי חולים כל אלה נאסרו בכמה אמנות שונות בחוק הבינלאומי ומוגדרים לפיכך פשע מלחמה ופשעים נגד האנושות. Attacks on innocent people, shooting indiscriminately into areas of human injury מיושבים essential infrastructure of water, electricity and hospitals all are prohibited by law in several different art international war crime so defined crimes against humanity.

תיאורה של החשודה: אשה לבנה, כבת 50, גובהה מעל הממוצע ושיערה בלונדיני. A description of the suspicious: a white woman, 50 layer, above the average height Oshiara blond.

תצלום באדיבות משרד החוץ הישראלי Photo courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

כל היודע דבר על החשודה הנמצאת מחוץ לגבולות ישראל, עליו לדווח מיד ל Any well-informed about suspicious that is outside of Israel, to report immediately to

The Prosecutor The Prosecutor
POBox 19519 POBox 19519
2500 Hague 2500 Hague
Netherlands Netherlands
Fax +31 70 515 8 Fax +31 70 515 8 555
otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int otp.informationdesk @ icc-cpi.int

זהות המתקשרים תישאר חסויה המתקשרים identity will remain confidential

Zionism; a Disease of the Mind

Zionism; a Disease of the Mind

To virtually incarcerate the Palestinian people inside degrading cages, destroying their livelihoods, confiscating their lands, stealing their water and uprooting their trees, and then to condemn their legitimate resistance as terrorism is a disease of the mind, notes Zaid Nabulsi.
I lost my gloves one day in a coffee shop in Geneva, and I tell you, it’s difficult to ride without them when it’s really cold. So as I was paying for a new pair with a credit card, the salesman, whom I knew was from Israel, tried to start some small talk by asking me what my family name means. I told him that it relates to the city of Nablus where my family is originally from.

Suddenly, the most bewildered look was plastered on his face. “Where is Nablus?” he asked, “I’ve never heard of it.” Then, after realizing that I knew he was bullshitting me, he pretended to remember, “Ah, Shkheim you mean? ”With my insistence not to learn these ugly names that the deranged Zionists have dug up from oblivion to erase our identity, that name certainly didn’t ring a bell. But now it was my turn. Although I knew where he was from, I asked “And you’re… from?” As he smiled while reminding me, I replicated the same look on his face moments ago. “Israel? Where is that?” Then after a brief pause, “Ah, the land of Canaan you mean. Palestine”.

You see if you want to get biblical on me, there is no such thing as Israel either, and I made that clear to this smartass. Here we were all of a sudden; my family descended from a place called Shkheim, and this guy a Palestinian. God does work in mysterious ways, but I still thanked Him for His small mercies that at least my name was not Zaid Shkheimy. “Have a nice day”, I told my Israeli friend. It was in fact a very cold, but still magnificently sunny day to hit the roads. The gloves warmed up my grip on the bike, but my heart was still frozen. I just cannot stand thieves who steal your gloves, or any other kind of thieves.

It was then that it finally occurred to me. Zionism is a sickness, for it takes much more than just a twisted ideology to make people think like that. It requires a profound leap of immorality of a higher order to instill this mentality in your followers. Zionism is not merely a political movement, but in its essence represents a deeply disturbed view of the world, which is a reflection of a terrible disease of the mind.

Indeed, to deny the existence of a vibrant community such as the Palestinian society in the early twentieth century and describe Palestine as “a land without a people for a people without a land” is a disease of the mind.

To assert property claims over real estate after the lapse of more than 2000 years with the same certainty of title as if one resided there yesterday is a disease of the mind.

To describe the colonial immigration to Palestine of a European people with no proven historical link to the ancient Israelites – and whose great, great recorded ancestors have never set foot there – as some kind of a “return” to that land is indicative of a perverted misunderstanding and misapplication of the verb to “return” and can only be a result of a disease of the mind.

To blame the Palestinians for being unreasonable in rejecting a partition plan in 1947 which gave the Jews, who only owned 7 percent of the land, an astonishing half of Palestine, is a disease of the mind.

To demand of the Arabs at the time to peacefully succumb to such partition, where 86 percent of the land designated for the proposed Jewish state was Palestinian-inhabited and owned land, is a disease of the mind.

To eventually grab 78 percent of Palestine through war and to force the flight of the population through deliberate massacres and then call it a war of independence is a disease of the mind.

To deny the orchestrated massacres and eradications of hundreds of Palestinian villages in 1948 and then denounce the Israeli historians who later exposed this truth as self-hating Jews is a disease of the mind.

To claim that having escaped the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and Dachau is a justification for the murder, expulsion, and occupation of another guiltless people is a disease of the mind.

To legislate that any resident of Poland, Hungary, New York, Brazil, Australia, Iceland, or even Planet Mars, who happens to be blessed with a Jewish mother (yet cannot point to Palestine on the map) has a superior right to “return” and settle in Palestine to someone who has been expelled from his very own land, confined to a squalid refugee camp, and still holds the keys to his house, is a disease of the mind.

To blame God for the theft and occupation of someone else’s land by claiming that it was He who had pledged this land exclusively to the Jews, and to seriously promote the myth of a land promised by the Almighty to His favorite children as an excuse for this crime, is a disease of the mind.

To milk the pockets of the world for the atrocities of the Nazis, while stubbornly refusing a simple admission of guilt, let alone compensation or repatriation, for the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people is a disease of the mind.

To keep reminding and blackmailing the world of the plight of the Jews under Hitler 70 years ago, while at the same time inflicting on the Palestinians today the same fate of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, is a disease of the mind.

To virtually incarcerate the Palestinian people inside degrading cages, destroying their livelihoods, confiscating their lands, stealing their water and uprooting their trees, and then to condemn their legitimate resistance as terrorism is a disease of the mind.

To believe you have the right to chase the Palestinians into an Arab capital city in 1982 and to indiscriminately bombard its civilians for a relentless three months, murdering thousands of innocent people is a disease of the mind.

To encircle the civilian camps of Sabra and Chatila after evacuating the fighters and to unleash on them trained dogs (while providing them with night-illuminating flares for efficiency) and then deny culpability for the carnage is a disease of the mind.

To publicly declare a policy of breaking the bones of Palestinian stone-throwers to prevent them from lifting stones again and to enact this policy is a disease of the mind.

To have the sadistic streak of exacting vengeance on the innocent families of suicide bombers by punishing them with the dynamiting of their home is a disease of the mind.

To describe the offer of giving the Palestinians 80 percent of 22 percent of 100 percent of what is originally their own land as a “generous” offer is a disease of the mind.

To believe that you have the right to continue to humiliate the Palestinians at gun point by making them queue for hours to move between their villages, forcing mothers to give birth at check-points is a disease of the mind.

To flatten the camp of Jenin on its inhabitants and deny any wrongdoing is a delusional condition which is symptomatic of a serious disease of the mind.

To build a huge separation wall under the pretext of security, which disconnects farmers from their farms and children from their schools, while stealing even more territory as the wall freely zigzags and encroaches on Palestinian land is a disease of the mind.

To leave behind, in the last 10 days of a losing war in Lebanon, more than one million cluster bombs which have no purpose except to murder and maim unsuspecting civilians is a product of an evil disease of the mind.

To believe that the entire world is out to get you and to denounce any critic of the racist policies of the State of Israel as an anti-Semite, the latest victim being none other than peace-making Jimmy Carter, is an acute stage of mass paranoia, which is a disease of the mind.

To possess, in the midst of a non-nuclear Arab world, more than 200 nuclear warheads capable of incinerating the whole planet in addition to having the most advanced arsenal of weaponry in the world while continuing to play the role of a victim is a disease of the mind.

Yes, and for that salesman in peaceful Geneva to be so insecure as to refuse to acknowledge the name of the largest West Bank city under his country’s brutal military occupation is, sadly, nothing but an infectious disease of the mind.

Zaid Nabulsi is a lawyer. He spent many years working for the United Nations in Geneva. This article was originally published in Jordan’s Living Well magazine.

Israel, scared of Iran, chastised by Hizbullah, that leaves the Palestinians

Israel, scared of Iran, chastised by Hizbullah, that leaves the Palestinians

The London Review of Books has one of its multi-commentator sections on Gaza. The one that stood out to me was from the Israeli playwright, Yitzhak Laor:

We’ve been here before. It’s a ritual. Every two or three years, our military mounts another bloody expedition. The enemy is always smaller, weaker; our military is always larger, technologically more sophisticated, prepared for full-scale war against a full-scale army. But Iran is too scary, and even the relatively small Hizbullah gave us a hard time. That leaves the Palestinians.Israel is engaged in a long war of annihilation against Palestinian society. The objective is to destroy the Palestinian nation and drive it back into pre-modern groupings based on the tribe, the clan and the enclave. This is the last phase of the Zionist colonial mission, culminating in inaccessible townships, camps, villages, districts, all of them to be walled or fenced off, and patrolled by a powerful army which, in the absence of a proper military objective, is really an over-equipped police force, with F16s, Apaches, tanks, artillery, commando units and hi-tech surveillance at its disposal.

The extent of the cruelty, the lack of shame and the refusal of self-restraint are striking, both in anthropological terms and historically. The worldwide Jewish support for this vandal offensive makes one wonder if this isn’t the moment Zionism is taking over the Jewish people.

But the real issue is that since 1991, and even more since the Oslo agreements in 1993, Israel has played on the idea that it really is trading land for peace, while the truth is very different. Israel has not given up the territories, but cantonised and blockaded them. The new strategy is to confine the Palestinians: they do not belong in our space, they are to remain out of sight, packed into their townships and camps, or swelling our prisons. This project now has the support of most of the Israeli press and academics.

We are the masters. We work and travel. They can make their living by policing their own people. We drive on the highways. They must live across the hills. The hills are ours. So are the fences. We control the roads, and the checkpoints and the borders. We control their electricity, their water, their milk, their oil, their wheat and their gasoline. If they protest peacefully we fire tear gas at them. If they throw stones, we fire bullets. If they launch a rocket, we destroy a house and its inhabitants. If they launch a missile, we destroy families, neighbourhoods, streets, towns.

Israel doesn’t want a Palestinian state alongside it. It is willing to prove this with hundreds of dead and thousands of disabled, in a single ‘operation’. The message is always the same: leave or remain in subjugation, under our military dictatorship. We are a democracy. We have decided democratically that you will live like dogs.

On 27 December just before the bombs started falling on Gaza, the Zionist parties, from Meretz to Yisrael Beiteinu, were unanimously in favour of the attack. As usual – it’s the ritual again – differences emerged only over the dispatch of blankets and medication to Gaza. Our most fervent pro-war columnist, Ari Shavit, has suggested that Israel should go on with the assault and build a hospital for the victims. The enemy is wounded, bleeding, dying, desperate for help. Nobody is coming unless Obama moves – yes, we are all waiting for Godot. Maybe this time he shows up.

I’m starting to think that this assault on Gaza might just turn out to be Israel’s Sharpeville.

Israeli Govt. Spokesman Squirming Over Jonathan Miller Expose of Illegal Weapon Use

Has the audacity to blame videos of  burning Phosphorus on Hamas weapons!

more about “WHAT REALLY HAPPENED | The History Th…“, posted with vodpod

Afghanistan, India Opening Strategic Road to Iran, Closing Road to War

Afghanistan, India open strategic road to Iran

Reuters

KABUL, Jan 22, 2009 : Afghan President Hamid Karzai and India’s foreign minister opened a new road on Thursday that would help link Afghanistan with a port in Iran and challenge Pakistani dominance of trade routes into the landlocked country.

The 220-km road in the southwest Afghan province of Nimroz is the centrepiece of a $1.1 billion Indian reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. It has drawn criticism from Pakistan, worried about New Delhi’s growing influence in the region.

India hopes to be able to deliver goods to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chahbahar, and this has triggered fears in Pakistan that it is being encircled.

“This project symbolises India’s strong commitment towards development of Afghanistan,” said Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“It also symbolises the strong determination of the government and people of these two countries that they will not succumb to the pressure of the forces of terror,” added Mr Mukherjee, who said he had discussed intelligence-sharing with his Afghan counterpart Rangeen Dadfar Spanta.

Eleven Indian workers and 126 Afghan police and soldiers, who were providing security for the road, were killed during its construction, said Mr Mukherjee. “In fact, for the construction of (every) 1.5km of road, one human life was sacrificed.”

The road, which cost $150 million and was entirely funded by India, runs from Delaram in Nimroz to Zaranj on the Iranian border, which connects to the Iranian port of Chahbahar. It opens up an alternate route into Afghanistan, which now relies mostly on goods transported overland from ports in Pakistan.-—Reuters

Palestine stands for global resistance

Palestine stands for global resistance

Published Jan 21, 2009 4:59 PM

Sara Flounders
Sara Flounders
WW photo

The following is from a talk by Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, at the Palestine Plenary Session of the Jan. 16-18 Beirut International Forum for Resistance, Anti-Imperialism, Peoples’ Solidarity and Alternatives.

The United Nations just stands by, the European Union is in full support of the Zionist state and the whole war is paid for and equipped by U.S. imperialism. From Saudi Arabia to Egypt to India, nations who were once considered friends of Palestine stand by and watch Gaza burn—day after day after day!

The Zionists’ use of bunker busters, F-16 jets, cluster bombs, white phosphorus bombs and the systematic destruction of food warehouses and emergency relief provisions is all well publicized throughout the entire region, but absolutely nothing is done in the face of the most serious war crimes.

Why, why is this? The global inaction is because the rich and powerful are terrified of, and desperately want to destroy, resistance in their own countries. They want to destroy the glorious example of resistance—which Palestine represents to the whole world

Every one of the great powers and their collaborators hope that by attacking Heroic Gaza they can push back and demoralize the struggle in the whole region.

Gaza is a harbinger of wider war against oppressed people of the world. We are on the eve of a global capitalist crisis. This means massive insecurity, cutbacks in all social programs, unemployment for millions.

Millions of working people will seek to fight back against a system of endless war and greater and greater divide of enormous wealth for a handful and poverty for the overwhelming majority. Increasingly they will identify with and take heart from the many forms of resistance they see around them.

We need to militantly support Hamas, the democratically elected choice of the people, which is being demonized, hunted and assassinated by the Zionists, as is every heroic fighter.

We need to make it clear that we support the right to resist, the right to fire rockets, the right to dig tunnels, the right to organize the people against sure starvation and the blockade that Israel has criminally imposed.

For decades the Palestinian struggle has been the shining example to all the world of a people who refuse to submit to colonial domination, apartheid conditions, the most brutal forms of segregation and subjugation.

At this forum we salute the powerful resistance of Iraq and the struggle waged by all of the different forces opposing U.S. occupation.

We salute the resistance in Afghanistan—a resistance that the U.S. never expected.

We salute the heroic forces in Lebanon, led by Hezbollah, which organized such a devastating setback to Israel in 2006.

We stand with the people of Syria and with Iran, who, in the face of U.S./Israeli threats, have been steadfast.

We applaud the people of Venezuela and Bolivia, who have shown such great solidarity with the struggle in Gaza as they organize to build a more just society.

We must intensify the struggle against NATO, the U.S./European Union military arm. Now we need to connect the criminal role of NATO in Afghanistan, NATO in the Balkans, in Georgia—to the phony Israeli ceasefire in Gaza. Washington now wants NATO military forces in Palestine and Egypt! NATO is the U.S. shield to do what Israel alone can no longer do. It is an effort to impose greater U.S. control in the region. But there is greater and greater resistance everywhere to these plans.

Organizers represented at this forum are involved in the most practical work of mobilizing opposition at the grass roots. Collectively we have brought millions into the streets in public demonstrations of solidarity. This is true in the Arab and Muslim world, through the entire South, and also in the imperialist countries. In some places we have blocked and even occupied the embassies of Israel and targeted countries that have collaborated with Israel’s war crimes. Activists here today have taken boats to Gaza and taken up collections for people-to-people humanitarian aid.

From the U.S.—we are proud to have helped to organize many thousands of people in the streets, emergency demonstrations day after day for three weeks in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and many other cities.

We must sustain an ongoing movement to boycott, divest and to impose sanctions [BDS] on the Israeli state and war crimes charges on its leaders. We must demand an accounting from our own governments.

We need to continue and deepen all these actions to find the best way of throwing a giant shoe into the gears of the imperialist and Zionist war machines.

Sisters and brothers—Gaza stands for global resistance.

It is the resistance of a whole people against starvation, blockade and siege.

World solidarity is a responsibility!

Palestine is fighting for all of us!

We must fight for Palestine!



Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World.

‘CIA plans to split India by 2015′

‘CIA plans to split India by 2015′

By: Ketan Ranga
Mumbai:Reveals a serving army officer, who is one of the 452 witnesses in the September 29 Malegaon blast case

In a shocking revelation, an army officer, one of the 452 witnesses in the September 29 Malegaon blast case, has revealed in his statement that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had a grand design to split India into smaller independent countries by 2015.

According the statement, the officer had attended one of the meetings held by the Malegaon blast accused on April 12, 2008 at the Ram temple in Bhopal. The officer from the Army Education Corps said that he was shocked by the proceedings.

He added that an ex-Raw personnel, who was present in the meeting, divulged these sinister plans of splitting the nation, based on a similar operation in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).

The witness added that the ex-Raw official also revealed that the CIA had managed to penetrate several departments in India. The officer cautioned the witness that the meeting was being observed by the Intelligence Bureau.

Sinister plans

The officer met Lt Col Shrikant Purohit in an official dinner at the Officers’ Mess of AEC training college and centre in the second week of December 2007 at Deolali. He told Purohit about a plan to take premature retirement to develop his village, and establish an old age home.

On January 26, 2008, Purohit asked him to come to Faridabad and meet a few people for his project. There he was introduced to Sameer Kulkarni and the other accused in the Malegaon blast case. Then on April 12, 2008, Purohit called him for a meeting at Ram Mandir. He met all the Malegaon accused and another 20 people, along with the ex-Raw officer and the IB source.

The former RAW officer spoke about the USSR and Purohit spoke about his plans to bring Abhinav Bharat to the fore. Purohit also spoke about Hindu fundamentals and his contacts in Israel and Thailand.

Financial Terrorism January 2009

Financial Terrorism January 2009 – Financial News Analysis in Context

Financial Terrorism January 2009

Financial News Analysis in Context

January 22, 2009

Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

Also see Financial Terrorism November–December 2008

Financial Terrorism January 2009

Ron Paul, Interviewed by Glenn Beck on Fox News Channel, January 21, 2009

In this dynamic and engaging conversation, both Congressman Ron Paul and Fox News anchor Glenn Beck refuse to draw the blatantly obvious conclusions from their own analysis. So, even though they both predict the collapse of the dollar due to its deliberate and systematic dilution, 70% since October 2008, and its eventual replacement with a new global currency and new monetary system which they project to be based on gold, they refuse to see this path as the devilishly premeditated plan for global currency, nor divulge the fact that the bulk of the world’s gold supply is now held in the hands of the same International banking cartel and their surrogates like Barrick Gold.

Are Glenn Beck and Ron Paul so intelligence-challenged to not recognize the multivariate criminal sting operations under manufacture that will soon acquire an unbreakable stranglehold upon the entire world? Or are they simply astute enough to understand the permissible envelop of discourse so that crucial omissions are their life-vests as they pseudo-challenge the conventional mainstream wisdom in the lofty guise of dissent?

Why do they project, in effect, that the bankers are morons, the Congress is irresponsible, and that this is all just sheer recklessness which if not checked will crash the dollar? Why don’t they instead, blanketly and correctly assert that the Congress and the Executive are both beholden to the banksters and in on the scam, and that this path is a criminal premeditation, a monstrous conspiracy on the part of the globalists to create a ‘one-world’ government? That its sine qua non is the control and consolidation of the world’s monetary system into one set of elitist financial hands? That the global hijacking of world’s money supply will once again be suitably camouflaged just as the Federal Reserve System was in 1913 – setting it up as a partnership between the private banking cartel and the government, with the government having only insubstantial and ineffectual powers?

Congressman Ron Paul continually resists the temptation of putting his trigger-finger on these crimes against humanity as an inside job! Watch him do his repeat performance also with respect to 911 and the manufactured ‘war on terror’, as merely the blowback of a reckless foreign policy rather than an inside job with a fabricated enemy, in this ‘Open Letter to Ron Paul’s supporters‘. Half-truths, like half-doctors, have rarely if ever accurately diagnosed, let alone cured, any disease except through the sheer ‘luck of the Irish’. And the world is running rather short of leprechauns right now. Half-truths can only lead to absurdities, like a yogi sitting cross-legged on his rump in the Hindu Kush and armed to the teeth only with secure cellphones and laptops, bringing down the mightiest sole-superpower in the history of mankind while demolishing its three tall buildings into fine rubble, all from his reclusive hideout! Ron Paul perpetuates this absurdity to the blazing accolades of his fawning followers. And more importantly, to the convenience of maintaining the sacred-cow axioms of the establishment.

Henry Kissinger, The world must forge a new order or retreat to chaos, The Independent, January 20, 2009

‘As the new US administration prepares to take office amid grave financial and international crises, it may seem counterintuitive to argue that the very unsettled nature of the international system generates a unique opportunity for creative diplomacy. That opportunity involves a seeming contradiction. On one level, the financial collapse represents a major blow to the standing of the United States. While American political judgments have often proved controversial, the American prescription for a world financial order has generally been unchallenged. Now disillusionment with the United States’ management of it is widespread. At the same time, the magnitude of the debacle makes it impossible for the rest of the world to shelter any longer behind American predominance or American failings. Every country will have to reassess its own contribution to the prevailing crisis. Each will seek to make itself independent, to the greatest possible degree, of the conditions that produced the collapse; at the same time, each will be obliged to face the reality that its dilemmas can be mastered only by common action. Even the most affluent countries will confront shrinking resources. Each will have to redefine its national priorities. An international order will emerge if a system of compatible priorities comes into being. It will fragment disastrously if the various priorities cannot be reconciled. The nadir of the international financial system coincides with simultaneous political crises around the globe. Never have so many transformations occurred at the same time in so many different parts of the world and been made accessible via instantaneous communication. The alternative to a new international order is chaos.

And there you have it once again, within the short span of 6 weeks. Henry Kissinger floats the same trial balloon as Gideon Rachman previously did in ‘And now for a world government’, Financial Times, December 8 2008. Project Humanbeingsfirst’s response to the Gideon Rachman’s oped also applies to unraveling Dr. Kissinger’s disingenuous “Now disillusionment with the United States’ management of it is widespread” and “The alternative to a new international order is chaos.” Especially, when his globalist financial cohorts, and ‘full spectrum dominance’ Zionist advocates, are the very ones who have calculatingly planted, germinated, nurtured, fully grown, and now ready to harvest, those very seeds of chaos as per CFR’s 1974 paradigm argued in ‘The Hard Road To World Order‘:

In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

So they diabolically manufacture the cataclysms, and then propose exactly the solutions they prefer that would fulfill their globalist agendas! It once again brings to full circle implementation these ominous words of G. Edward Griffin from ‘The Capitalist Conspiracy‘: “Create conditions so frightful at home and abroad, that the abandonment of personal liberties and national sovereignty, will appear as a reasonable price for a return to domestic tranquility and world peace.”

What more proof does one need, with tortuous events continually repeating and always serendipitously being conforment to the requirements of their desired solutions that only make them richer, more powerful, and owning greater and greater combines, that there is a diabolically orchestrated conspiracy for one-world government by the financial oligarchs, and that it is now brazenly ‘breaking surface’?

The fact that it is a coterie led by a handful of world’s most powerful Jewish families is perhaps insignificant, for as W. Cleon Skousen observed in 1970, they are aided and abetted by several million peoples of all stripes:

‘Of course we should be quick to recognize that no small group could wield such gigantic power unless millions of people in all walks of life were “in on the take” and were willing to knuckle down to the iron-clad regimentation of the ruthless bosses behind the scenes. As we shall see, the network has succeeded in building its power structure by using tremendous quantities of money (together with the vast influence it buys) to manipulate, intimidate, or corrupt millions of men and women and their institutions on a world-wide basis.’

Watch for more and more mainstream news reports, books, opeds floating this very idea so diabolically seeded into the mainstream discourse space by the devilish mastermind Dr. Henry Kissinger “The alternative to a new international order is chaos”. He along with his twin, the other diabolical mastermind, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, are both under the ideological pay-strings of misanthrope David Rockefellers’ various Councils, Commissions, Foundations, and Population Reduction Memorandums. The new occupant of the White House does not come empty handed.

Remember the Reuter’s Cameraman Killed By Tank On Film?

In the grand settling-up between the Israeli government and the human race over their outrageous war crimes, don’t forget their past war crimes and the regular use of these illegal weapons (fleshettes) against the innocent human beings in Palestine.

Israeli tank kills Reuters cameraman and civilians

more about “Israeli tank kills Reuters cameraman …“, posted with vodpod

Obama Spokesman Holbrooke Outlines Approach to Afghanistan and Russia

_44852482_3688f09a-966a-4ad9-8e45-2fcccb26dc8d

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the architect of the Dayton Accords which ended the Bosnian war, will take on responsibility for implementing an integrated strategy to US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Holbrooke outlines approach to Afghanistan and Russia

Richard Holbrooke, an assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs, speaks with Martin Savidge about the international challenges awaiting the next U.S. president, including complex difficulties in Afghanistan and a newly aggressive Russia.

Holbrooke, a former ambassador to the United Nations, is touted as a possible secretary of state in the Obama administration.

See the first part of Holbrooke’s interview here.

In the video Holbrooke appears to support CIA policy of counter-terrorism, splitting moderates from extremists, “reconcilables from unreconcilables,” bringing the reconcilables into the political process through bribes with land and money.  Holbrooke realizes that you can’t send NATO troops into Pakistan.

He blames Russia for invading Georgia

Russia “broke Cold war rules” by invading Georgia and changing the “terrain everywhere.”  To his credit, even though he supports the Bush/Cheney version of the events in Georgia, he states that there can be no new cold war, or the retaking of former USSR states by Russia.

The Crisis in Gaza: An Interview with Gilbert Achcar

The Crisis in Gaza:

An Interview with Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar lived in Lebanon for many years. He is now Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. He is the author of many books analysing politics and society in the Middle East from a Left perspective, including The Clash of Barbarisms, Eastern Cauldron, The 33-Day War and Perilous Power (a collection of dialogues between Achcar and Noam Chomsky). He spoke to Daniel Finn for Irish Left Review about the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip and its likely consequences.

The interview was conducted on the 10th of January 2009 and published on the Irish Left Review website.

Daniel Finn: What do you think are the chief goals of Israeli strategy at present in their assault on the Gaza strip?

Gilbert Achcar: Well that’s a complicated question actually, because there are different levels involved. Seen through a wide angle, it is part of an ongoing struggle between Israel on the one hand and both Hamas and Hezbollah on the other, a struggle which reached a previous peak in 2006, when during the summer Israel was simultaneously waging a war against Gaza and another one, a major onslaught, on Lebanon. That was related to the global strategy of the Bush administration in its confrontation with Iran, with the conception prevailing in Washington that Hamas and Hezbollah are tools of the Iranian state and therefore part of an alliance of forces that should be smashed if ever US hegemony in the region as well as Israeli security is to be stabilized. It is therefore a further stage in the same ongoing war that has been unfolding for the last few years.

Now if we narrow the focus, the fact that this has been launched at this very moment, starting on the 27 of December, is of course related to shorter term political considerations: on the one hand, the Bush Administration will soon be out of the scene and although the Israeli government have no real reason to fear a major change in US policy in the Middle East, if we judge from all the signs given by the Obama team, there remains the prospect that the new Administration will get into talks with Iran, as Obama said he would during the electoral campaign. In that case, US backing for a tough stance in the confrontation with Iran might be diluted. Taking that into consideration, one reason why the campaign is being launched right now is in order to spare the next administration the need to cope from the beginning with a major crisis in the Middle East, so there was relief in the Obama team that this is done under Bush.

The problem is that the operation went on much longer than expected, as is now a recurrent pattern in Israel’s aggressions: bygone indeed are the days of the “Six-Day War.” Ideally for the Israeli government-and there were a lot of comments about this possibility some months ago-there should have been a strike against Iran itself before the Bush administration left the scene. However, that became impossible for a number of reasons related to the deep trouble in which the Bush administration finds itself: not only the general political weakness of a lame-duck president, but also the economic crisis, which makes any kind of military confrontation with Iran at this point something that would certainly be harmful to the interest of the global economy [this interview was conducted before the revelation by The New York Times of the rejection by the Bush administration of a recent request by Israel of a green light for airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilities]. Instead of these strikes against Iran that it was wishing for, Israel is attacking Hamas which it sees as a proxy for Iran.

And then there are even narrower perspectives involved which are the electoral considerations in Israel. As you know, new Israeli elections are to be held soon, and parties represented in the Israeli coalition government-Olmert and Livni’s Kadima on the one hand and Ehud Barak’s Labour party on the other-are facing strong competition from Likud, the far right wing of the mainstream Zionist scene in Israel. In a sense this onslaught on Gaza is a way to preempt the outbidding on which Netanyahu would certainly have built his electoral campaign. So if you put all these issues into consideration you get an overdetermination, i.e. a multiplicity of reasons for this operation to be launched right now. All the rest, the rockets launched by Hamas and all that, are just pretexts, in the same way that the abduction of 2 soldiers by Hezbollah in July 2006 was but a pretext used by Israel to launch a premeditated full-scale aggression.

Daniel Finn: The last major round of confrontation between Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah in 2006 ended in a major setback for the Israeli state and all kinds of recriminations among the political and military elites. Do you think Israel now has a realistic chance of overturning that setback and talking up a victory, or does it face another defeat?

Gilbert Achcar: Well, here lies the reason why the situation is extremely dangerous and worrying right now. Think about it: this onslaught has started on the 27th of Dec so that means we are some 2 weeks into the fighting and you have already a heavier death toll in absolute numbers than what you had in Lebanon after the first two weeks of intensive bombing. And if you take it in relative numbers, knowing that the Lebanese population is close to 3 times larger than the population of Gaza, then it is much, much more. What is very worrying and dangerous about the present situation is precisely that, because of the previous fiasco in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Israel cannot afford another fiasco of the same kind. They cannot afford a new one, for both strategic reasons and opportunistic or short-term ones, small fry political calculations, that is.

On the one hand the Israeli state stands to lose a lot of its so-called military credibility if it faces a new fiasco, all the more so that the enemy they are facing this time, i.e. Hamas in Gaza, is certainly much weaker than what Hezbollah is and was in Lebanon. Hezbollah is certainly stronger in the Lebanese Shiite community than Hamas is in Gaza where you have a bitter contest between Hamas and the PA/Fatah, and you have a few other groups competing for the same constituency. Beyond that, of course, for very obvious reasons, Hezbollah had many more weapons than Hamas has in Gaza, which is a small strip of land surrounded from all sides and under heavy surveillance. They can smuggle some light weapons, not major weapons into Gaza whereas in Lebanon, Hezbollah could build up an important arsenal – all the more easily that it was done with Syria’s backing.

So if Israel gets into a second fiasco even against Hamas which is quite weaker than Hezbollah, then this will be seen necessarily as a major disaster, worse than the 2006 one for Israel. Not to mention, and this is the second point, the petty consideration. If the ruling coalition in Israel comes out from the present war with another fiasco, its parties won’t even need to go to elections. Netanyahu would stand to smash them completely and they know that. So they cannot afford a fiasco for these two reasons combined and this is what makes the situation very, very worrying. They might develop the syndrome of the wounded beast, getting more ferocious than they are already. The level of Israeli atrocity is increasing war after war. The 33-Day War in 2006 was already the most brutal aggression in the long history of Israeli wars, the most brutal utilization of power by Israel, carpet-bombing whole regions of Lebanon, civilian areas.

The pretext then as now is that fighters are hiding among the population. This is the most hypocritical argument: what do they want them to do, to regroup in some wasteland with signposts saying “Bomb us here”? This is preposterous. The truth is that Israel is trying to crush mass political parties, which are armed, of course, but they have to be armed because they are permanently under threat. These are armed popular movements. Most of their armed members are not professional fighters living in barracks. When you take all these aspects of the problem into consideration, there are very, very serious grounds for the mounting, increasing worries that are expressed by international humanitarian agencies.

A lot of people now sense that the population of Gaza is really under threat of massive extermination. This is not the usual kind of exaggeration, it is a sober assessment when you face such a level of violence and brutality, day after day, with more and more so-called accidents in which concentrations of civilians are targeted with mass-murder as a result. The only alternative to a fiasco for Israel is to push forward its ground offensive in the populated areas. The worst-case scenario becomes therefore quite possible, and that would mean thousands and thousands of people killed, not to mention the maimed and wounded, and that is absolutely frightening.

Daniel Finn: If Hamas is going to be seen as a victor even a partial victor coming out of this latest confrontation with Israel, what does it have to do? Is it enough for Hamas to survive? Do they just have to keep standing?

Gilbert Achcar: If Hamas manages to come out of this war standing up, that is. The fact is that due to the geographical conditions, they have already suffered a certainly higher proportional rate of casualties in their ranks than Hezbollah did in 2006. The day when Israeli bombing started, the very first day, if you remember, it targeted buildings of the Hamas security force, and the death toll was immediately very heavy. But if at the level of leadership and basic structure they manage to come out preserving more or less their existence without giving any major concession or, let’s say, no major concession that is not reciprocated like, ‘We stop firing rockets but we get guarantees that you, Israel, stop shooting at us and stop embargoing us, strangulating us’-if they come out of this war with a deal of this kind, this would mean an Israeli fiasco and this would be seen for them as a political victory in the same way that Hezbollah achieved one in 2006.

But right now at the time we are speaking, this is purely hypothetical because we cannot predict how things will evolve. What is actually clear is that at the regional level, if not at the world level, this Israeli onslaught has increased tremendously the popularity of Hamas. We cannot take it for granted, however, that the same applies to the Palestinians in Gaza precisely because of this competition between Hamas and Fatah. On this there are mixed reports. Of course, Fatah supporters will say ‘Hamas have put us in this terrible situation, we are suffering because of them; of course Israel is the first to blame, but…’, this same ‘but’ that we have heard from some Arab regimes. This is what the Egyptian government, which is very obviously in collusion with this Israeli onslaught, expressed from the very start, and that is what we heard here and there from Arab allies of the United States, the same rhetoric we heard in 2006, the same blame that was put on Hezbollah for Israel’s onslaught on Lebanon. The final political outcome for Hamas remains to be seen. It is, I think, too early now to make any assessment for what it will be in the long run or even in the medium term. For the time being, as I said, the only certain thing is for Hamas at the regional level an increasing popularity, which is the almost automatic outcome that you get every time Israel singles out an Arab target and starts striking at it. The target becomes automatically popular because of the hatred for Israel and its permanent aggression in the region: any victim of Israel, and especially any force resisting Israel, is sure of achieving popularity in the region.

Daniel Finn: There has been talk over the last week of a certain amount of discontent among a younger generation of Fatah. There have been reports that Marwan Barghouti has sent messages from his prison cell critical of the statements made by Mahmoud Abbas. Do you think that is likely to take on any substantial form with the current leadership of Fatah being undermined; do you think there’s any chance of the Fatah leadership changing course?

Gilbert Achcar: Barghouti is in a sense a reserve card for Fatah. Mahmoud Abbas has already burnt his cards to a great degree. He doesn’t have any credibility anymore, but appears as a servile man, a secondary pawn in this regional game. He is not popular even within Fatah, so it is clear that Fatah will be in need of another leading figure immediately or very soon, and Barghouti would be an alternative. But since he is in jail, his fate much depends on Israel-and on Washington, to be sure. Now, to know how Barghouti would behave if ever he was liberated from jail is hard to tell. The main problem is what kind of relation he would have with the US and their number one Palestinian stooge Muhammad Dahlan. Dahlan and Barghouti were in electoral alliance in the January 2006 election. Does it mean that they will maintain a collaboration and form a cohesive dominant team in the post-Abbas Fatah, or will they be in competition? It remains to be seen.

Daniel Finn: As you said the Egyptian regime in particular and to a greater or lesser extent also all of the pro-US Arab regimes, have been seen as complicit with Israel particularly the Mubarak government. If there is further escalation, if Israel behaves, as you described it, like a wounded animal, using more and more brutal methods against the Palestinians living in Gaza, how difficult is it going to prove for the Egyptian government to be able to contain anger among its own people, which already seems to be very substantial.

Gilbert Achcar: Well, they are not only seen as complicit. They are actually complicit with Israel: They were told about the onslaught before it started and this was reported in the press. The day the onslaught started, the Arabic daily published in London, Al-Quds al-Arabi, ran an article by their correspondent in the West Bank explaining that Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who had been in Cairo the day before, had told the Egyptian authorities that Israel was going to launch an operation against Hamas. General Suleiman, the head of Egyptian intelligence, asked her that Israel target specifically Hamas fighters and take care to spare civilians. Well on the same day the article came out the onslaught started, and it started by targeting police barracks in Gaza. So on the face of it, it was an onslaught sparing civilians and specifically targeting armed forces. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were told that this would happen and they did not even tell Hamas, which was taken by surprise when the onslaught started, hence the initial heavy death toll in the ranks of its armed forces.

The Egyptian government and other pro-US Arab regimes wish very much for a weakened Hamas. They are not for wiping out Hamas, as they know that it would entail a huge and traumatizing human cost, if it were possible at all. They would like a weakened Hamas that would have no choice then but to sever its links with Iran and be obliged to depend on them for its survival: This is what they wish. They want a tamed Hamas and therefore look for Israel to do the taming. So Israel has to teach Hamas a lesson and then Egypt and, behind Egypt, the Saudis and the Jordanians will say to Hamas: ‘Look, you have no other choice but to cooperate with us; either you join the game under our conditions and sever all links with Iran and Syria, or you will have to face Israel alone and the possibility that it crushes you.’

Now if the Israeli operation backfires, they will turn coats immediately, of course, by pure opportunism. They will turn coats and start bashing Israel and multiply statements of condemnation, which don’t go very far. The Egyptian regime could upgrade its disagreement with Israel on the issue of international troops on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza, which Cairo is rejecting and Israel is demanding. There are issues of this kind which could be blown out of proportion, allowing Cairo and fellow Arab regimes to pretend that they do confront Israel, but in a responsible way because they know Israeli military strength and care for the welfare of the people and therefore they are not like those crazy guys of Hamas, etc. This is their kind of hypocritical discourse.

Daniel Finn: Hezbollah organized some very substantial rallies in Lebanon in solidarity with Hamas and in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Is their support likely to remain political or is there any prospect, as some people have speculated in rather alarmist terms, that Hezbollah might open a second front against Israel on the Northern border.

Gilbert Achcar: I don’t think there is any prospect of this kind. It seems that the 3 rockets fired from Lebanon into Northern Israel yesterday were launched by one of the small Palestinian groups linked to Damascus. Hezbollah immediately denied any responsibility and the Lebanese coalition government where Hezbollah is represented condemned unanimously the firing of these rockets. The reality, at this stage, is that you have huge demonstrations and manifestations of political solidarity, but Hezbollah have also drawn the lesson from 2006. If you remember after the 33-Day War in 2006, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview that had he known that Israel would react the way it reacted to the abduction of its two soldiers on the 12th of July, Hezbollah wouldn’t have done it. He was meaning: ‘Had I known that they would destroy my country and kill 1500 of my people, I wouldn’t have given them a pretext for that.’ This is what he meant, addressing human feelings.

At the same time we know that for Israel the abduction was but a pretext: had no soldiers been abducted Israel would have found-or created-whatever pretext in order to do what they tried to do at that time. Hezbollah accepted UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which meant deployment not only of Lebanese troops to Southern Lebanon but also international forces, the UNIFIL, although this is not exactly in the interest of Hezbollah since these forces are heavily composed of NATO forces and are therefore a potential threat to Hezbollah itself. They had to accept them nevertheless because the alternative was to carry on with that horrible war and there were human limits on that level. Hezbollah cannot therefore take what would appear to be a completely irresponsible initiative in opening a second front-especially if it gets no green light for that from both Damascus and Tehran.

On the other hand, how can one expect the Lebanese to open a second front, when the Palestinians on the West Bank themselves, including Hamas, are not opening one: Hamas did not fire rockets from the West Bank. This by the way shows how serious an error was Hamas’s decision to seize full power in Gaza alone, thus separating the two Palestinian territories. Not that they should not have preempted the coup that Dahlan was busy organizing against them with US and Israeli backing, but they should not have wiped out all Fatah presence in PA institutions as they did. Whereas the strategic need is for the struggle to be built on a pan-regional level, the Palestinian scene itself has been fragmented into two segments. This is a pity.

These events also bring into discussion the whole issue of the strategic choices of weapons. Hamas is resisting heroically, no doubt, but we cannot compare the conditions in Lebanon with the conditions in Palestine. During the years when you had the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, Hezbollah was waging a war of attrition against the occupation, concentrating mainly in Lebanese areas against occupying forces. It even reached with the occupier in April 1996, through US mediation, an agreement which stipulated that: ‘Armed groups in Lebanon will not carry out attacks by Katyusha rockets or by any kind of weapon into Israel. Israel and those cooperating with it will not fire any kind of weapon at civilians or civilian targets in Lebanon. Beyond this, the two parties commit to ensuring that under no circumstances will civilians be the target of attack and that civilian populated areas and industrial and electrical installations will not be used as launching grounds for attacks.’ The geographical nature of the Lebanese terrain and the presence of Israeli forces in Lebanese populated areas made a strategy of popular resistance possible, and this triumphed eventually with Israel evacuating Southern Lebanon in what looked like a debacle in 2000.

In the case of Gaza however, Israeli troops had withdrawn from the interior of the Strip and were encircling it. It doesn’t make much sense strategically to confront them militarily by launching rockets into populated areas in Southern Israel. The point is that from the point of view of the Palestinian occupied territories, if you drew up a balance-sheet of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli state since 1967, it is very clear that the peak efficiency of the Palestinian struggle was reached in 1988 with the so-called Revolution of the Stones, the first Intifada, without firearms, suicide bombing, rockets, anything of the kind- just mass mobilization. This is what was most terrible for Israel: it put the Israelis in terrible political difficulty.

There is a lesson to be drawn here. These are matters of strategic understanding which not all forces in the region are sufficiently taking into consideration. There is today a lot of religious-inspired maximalism in the Palestinian struggle, as there was yesterday nationalist-inspired maximalism, but hardly any realistic assessment of the conditions in designing a strategy. Not a strategy of capitulation in the name of “realism,” of course, like that of the PLO-I mean the PA, Arafat and now Mahmoud Abbas-but a strategy of resistance and liberation, of popular resistance to impose on Israel whatever strategic goal is feasible in the present condition. And what remains possible in the prevailing objective conditions is to get Israel to withdraw from the 1967 occupied territories, with the possibility for these territories to organize their own government democratically, to enjoy at least political sovereignty-which is not the case presently when you see how Israel and its Western backers reacted to Hamas’s electoral victory.

Beyond this immediate goal, the only sensible long term strategy has to involve a disruption in the Israeli society itself. It cannot be designed as purely from without Israeli society as have been both the PLO’s strategy and that of Hamas. There is no possibility to defeat Israel militarily from without: no possibility in conventional terms because its weaponry is much stronger than all surrounding Arab states, not to mention the fact that no part of this environment is willing to confront Israel-not only Egypt and Jordan, but Syria too. A “popular war” for the liberation of the whole of historical Palestine does not make sense, because Israelis are the overwhelming majority in the pre-1967 territory. This is not like an occupying army, whether the US in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, or Israel in Lebanon. Beyond that, everyone knows that Israel is a nuclear power since the late 1960s. Any thinking built on destroying the Israeli state from without is therefore irrational, in all senses of the term.

So aside from the requisites of internationalism, i.e. the kind of victory over the Zionist state that is desirable, there is no sensible strategy to defeat it anyway that does not take in account the necessity for a major disruption within Israeli society itself, with a major faction of Israeli society actively opposing the bellicose policies of the Israeli government and fighting for a lasting peaceful settlement based on justice, self-determination and an end to all kinds of discrimination. This is a major, hugely important prerequisite. That is why the Intifada in 1988 was so important: It created a real, deep crisis within Israeli society.

But what we are seeing now is a very high degree of cohesion and unanimity among the Israelis in the most ferocious, severe and brutal aggression of their history and that is something which bodes ill. In such conditions even when you get fiascos like the one in 2006, what do they produce? Not a break of major chunks of the Israeli population away from its government’s policy, let alone with Zionism, and their turning antiwar like major portions of the German population in the First World War or the US population during the Vietnam War, but what you get are rather further shifts to the right. That is why the whole picture is very gloomy in the region because, as I said, if this offensive ends in a fiasco, which is what we wish, we know in advance that this means Netanyahu, who is even worse than the present guys. Where all this will end is very difficult to see.

Daniel Finn: It does appear to be a very dangerous time for the Palestinians and perhaps as dangerous a time that it has faced since 1967. There’s talk in Israel media circles, in establishment circles, about handing over the Gaza strip to Egyptian authority, handing over populated areas of the West Bank to Jordan. And if that plan or something similar was put into practice, that would surely be fatal for Palestinian national aspirations for many years to come. What steps do you think could be taken by forces within Palestinian society to improve the prospects of the national movement?

Gilbert Achcar: I don’t really see things as you described them. First of all, the Jordanian monarchy itself would be rather scared today if it had to resume control of the West Bank. When this was a real prospect, it had already taken into account the rising militancy of the Palestinians, which is why the plans designed by previous King Hussein were federative in nature, that is, plans giving the West Bank, or the West Bank and Gaza, some degree of self-government. But the problem now is that the Jordanian monarchy cannot rely on the likes of Mahmoud Abbas to tame the Palestinian population. They know that they are facing a very radicalized population and that a new junction, a new merge between the Palestinians on the West Bank and Palestinians in Jordan, where they already constitute a majority of the population, would be very dangerous for the Jordanian monarchy. That’s the problem.

A renewed merge of the West bank with Jordan would definitely be in the interest of the Palestinians because the so-called independent state in the West Bank and Gaza does not make sense. This is where I fully agree with those who criticize the two-state solution: A so-called independent state does not make sense in the West Bank, if it is to be held hostage between Israel and Jordan as vice and hammer. Therefore the Palestinian people need the necessary breathing space and outlet provided by Jordan, not to mention the human and familial continuities between the two banks of the River Jordan. There is a natural historical unity of human community between the two banks and for that community to be able to exert self-determination you need a different kind of government in Jordan, a really democratic one and not one where the majority of the population are oppressed by a regime that stirs up ethnical divisions of a tribal nature, as is the case right now.

This is why I don’t think that the prospect of a renewed merging of the two banks is one that the Jordanian government is enthusiastic for, or even actively considering. In 1988 King Hussein officially severed the links between his kingdom and the West Bank: Why did he do so? Very simply because in 1988 you had the Intifada in full swing and he understood that the kind of West Bank that the monarchy ruled over since the deal that his father cut with the Zionists in 1948-the West Bank that his monarchy was able to rule more or less without major trouble until 1967 and that came under Israeli occupation afterwards-had become unmanageable in light of the Intifada. It became a hot potato: too dangerous to handle, and that is why he severed the links officially and abandoned any claims for the West Bank.

Daniel Finn: Do you think the Palestinian political stage is likely to remain the property of Hamas and Fatah for the foreseeable future, or do you think that some of the marginal forces at present have any chance of establishing themselves to a greater extent?

Gilbert Achcar: Well I don’t really see any such prospect presently. I mean, there are no real challengers for the time being to the two major actors, which are Fatah and Hamas. Other existing forces, especially the Palestinian left, lost credibility throughout the years, after having lost so many opportunities. So one cannot expect a sudden miraculous development, unless some new force arises, which we haven’t heard of yet and which would take some time to mature anyway. What you will have under the present conditions are further evolutions from within the two polar forces in Palestinian society-a struggle between different factions within Fatah, and the same for Hamas. Neither of these two forces, because they are big forces and have mass constituencies and memberships, is monolithic. Changes from within them are presently more likely than any unexpected rise of new forces from without.

Now that being said, I wish very strongly that a third force could rise, one which would be a progressive movement based on the left wing tradition that exists among the Palestinians and that is far from being negligible, even in Gaza, although it is not strong enough to be a counterweight to Fatah or Hamas. I wish very much that some Palestinian left-wing force could emerge as a real major player on the scene. But to be frank, for the time being, aside from hope or wish, this is not a realistic prospect, we don’t see any premise for that. •

Gilbert Achcar lived in Lebanon for many years before moving to France, Germany and the UK, where he is now Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. He is the author and co-author of several books, among which The Clash of Barbarisms (2nd ed, 2006) and, with Noam Chomsky, Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (2nd ed, 2008). His next book, The Arabs and the Holocaust, will come out in the autumn of 2009.

India is an epicentre of extremism & terrorism

India is an epicentre of extremism & terrorism

Asif Haroon Raja

Since 2005, Pakistan is under sustained vilification campaign. Ominous assessments are cooked up to create feelings of despondency under a well-planned agenda. Mischievous conjectures give an insight to the deep-seated antagonist feelings nurtured against Pakistan. The question is why such scenarios are not fabricated for India which is an epicentre of extremism and terrorism? India has a tainted history of meddling into the affairs of all its neighbours and indulging in terrorism. It was the first country in the region to plan the dismemberment of its neighbour Pakistan and carried out disinformation campaign and massive cross border terrorism to fulfil its sinister objective in 1971. It has all along striven to force South Asian states to accept Indian hegemony and never hesitated from resorting to naked force or economic strangulation or indulging in Chanakyan tactics to achieve its nefarious designs. In 1948 it had deprived Pakistan of canals water and again in 2008 it stole water from Chenab River in violation of Indus Basin Treaty. RAW is infamous for fuelling trouble in all its neighbours.

Hindu bigotry was witnessed in June 1984 when the Indian soldiers ransacked the holiest shrine of the Sikhs Golden Temple and massacred one thousand Sikhs holed up in the temple and made no attempt to heal their wounds. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated in October 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, the Hindus targeted the Sikhs and killed them in thousands. The state administration closed its eyes and did nothing to prevent the frenzied crowds from committing genocide and raping Sikh women. In 1988, there were 611 cases of communal violence and in 1989, 701 incidents and 802 deaths; in 1990, 1404 incidents took place resulting in 1248 deaths; in 1991, 462 lives were lost in riots and in 1992, 1640 deaths occurred. On 6 December L.K. Advani, leader of BJP led the assault of Hindu zealots to demolish the centuries-old Ayodhya Mosque along with 30 other mosques. The Hindu zealots strove hard to build a Hindu temple in its place and anti-Muslim arson spread to all the major cities of India. Unspeakable atrocities were committed on the hapless Muslims with the active connivance of the police. In Surat, some of the gang rapes were committed under floodlights with video cameras documenting the holy crusade. Hardly had the wounds of Indian Muslims dried up when the fanatical Hindus once again targeted the Muslims of Indian State of Gujarat with vengeance in 2002. The hair-raising carnage was another blot in Indian so-called secular history. 2000 Muslims were knifed, torched and hacked to death.

Thousands of women were raped, their breasts cut off; their bellies split open, their foetuses speared. The State governor Modi himself gave a green light to the pogrom. In occupied Kashmir, over one lac Kashmiris have been killed and thousands of women raped imprudently. The tales of savagery are too harrowing and lengthy to recount. Hindu extremists ran riot against the Christians in Orissa recently where hundreds were burnt alive, nuns raped and churches desecrated on the self-created suspicions that the Christian missionaries were involved in converting untouchable Hindus to Christianity. The Hindu extremists derive a sadistic pleasure in burning alive their victims and torching their houses and carry these gruesome acts as one of their favourite sports.

Every year thousands of people get killed in India on account of home-grown terrorists. Bomb blasts are a regular feature. In 2008 in Ahmedabad, as many as 21 synchronised blasts took place within a short span of 70 minutes. Latest in the series is the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. This port city has been rocked by bomb blasts six times in the past, the worst being in 1993 when 13 bombs exploded in quick succession. From 1994 to 2005, 47371 people got killed in acts of terror. In 2006, 2765 were killed, in 2007, 2598, and in 2008 2260 have been killed by left wing Hindu extremists, Hindu right wing militants and insurgents. The Nagas, Mizos, Assamese, Maghalayans, Tripurans, Manipuris, Bodos, Arunchal Pradeshis, Tamils, Naxalites, Maoists, Sikhs, and the Muslim Kashmiris are still suffering worst atrocities at the hands of Indian security forces. Scores of separatist groups and insurgents are battling the Indian security forces for the lat six decades. Hundreds of armed Hindu terrorist groups which are anti-minorities and want to establish Hindu state keep honing their weapons and receive regular training in martial arts to terrorise people of other religions directing them to follow the Hindu customs and traditions to qualify themselves as Indians.

Indian army is notorious for its savageness. It kills people in custody or in fake encounters and uses rape as a weapon. It has now been caught in the racket of terrorism. Investigations into bomb blasts in Maharashtra’s Muslim dominated towns of Malegaon and Modasa in Gujarat on 29 September led to arrest of ten suspects including a serving Indian Military Intelligence Indian officer Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a retired army Major Ramesh Upadhye, a Hindu monk and a nun. Purohit, a founding member of Hindu extremist Abhinav Bharat Group, was found involved in providing 60 kg RDX explosive to Hindu militants to make bombs. He was also found linked with Samjhota Express Train bombing on 18 February 2007 in which 68 passengers including 50 Pakistanis were burnt to death. The arrested persons are associated with the BJP and all acts of terror were committed at its behest. Till the arrest of Lt Col Prasad, India had held Pakistan’s ISI responsible for Samjhota Train episode.

There are strong indications that radical Hindu elements have infiltrated the rank and file of Indian army and arrest of two officers is just the tip of the ice burg. The Maharashtra Police chief Karkare and two other senior police officers who had traced Lt Col Purohit network were gunned down in Mumbai on the night of 26 November to close the incriminating case. Police chief’s wife has described it a cold blooded murder by Hindu extremists.

Uranium ore theft from mines in India and nuclear smuggling has become a routine affair. Several cases of smuggling of uranium ore took place in 2008. If there is any country with nuclear capability in the world which is vulnerable to theft of its nuclear bombs by terror groups, it is none other than India. India is the only country which is afflicted by such large number of terrorist groups, extremist groups and separatist movements with dangerous agendas. It also ranks equal to Israel in human rights violations.The iron-clad four-fold caste system under Brahmans continues to reign supreme in India while the so-called secularism has been reduced to a farce. The Hindu Dalits as well as other religious minorities have been reduced to serfdom. Some of the most bigoted and ruthless Hindu organisations in India advocating Hindutva are RSS, VHP, Shev Sena, Bajrang Dal, Jana Sangh, Abhinav Bharat and Kar Sevaks.

No state institution has the courage to touch any member of these groups/parties. Patronised by BJP and RAW, these are intolerant towards Islam as well as Christianity and carry deep-seated animosity against Pakistan. Narindar Modi who has been behind Gujarat and Orissa massacres, is favourite of Mossad and has been tipped by BJP as future PM of India. With Lok Sabha already heavy with fascist ministers, Indian federation is likely to be taken over by fascists in next elections.

Taking into account the rising Hindu fascism and terrorism, which has given rise to dozens of separatist movements; it seems that India is ripe for implosion and a real danger to world security. With such a dismal track record of India it is amazing that USA and western countries still consider Pakistan as the epicentre of extremism and terrorism and not India.

—The writer is a Retired Brigadier & contributes regularly for national & foreign newspapers.

Road Maps Hit the Dust

Road Maps Hit the Dust

written by
Susan Safi & Iman Safi
Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)

The world is changing. The Middle East is changing. Perhaps a new Middle East is indeed on the rise. But, which one?

There are existing maps and borders that divide current political entities from each other. There are many other maps, some are drawn, others yet to be designed and perhaps others that will be written with blood.

When George Bush made his infamous “mission accomplished” proclamation, soon after the fall of Baghdad, he was certain that he had witnessed the dawning of his road map

But what axe did America really have to grind in Iraq? Why did America invade it? Saddam was an easy prey, easy to justify in war against, even his staunch supporters were getting tired of standing behind him, both locally; that is within Iraq and regionally and internationally. The White House knew well that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. It was totally aware of Iraq’s faltering military prowess after having lost “Desert Storm” in 1991, followed by a decade and a half of the imposition of a ruthless and brutal blockade. Saddam was not at all a threat to U.S security or to Israel’s, but, his country was located on a very lucrative site. To his east was Iran and to his west was Syria and, underneath his sky lay the world’s second largest oil deposit.

Before the cannons started to thunder, Bush’s Road Map had already been drawn. However, obstacles needed to be removed. Saddam was a good scapegoat and his oil reserves meant that Bush was not going to be short on rounding up bounty hunters to share the war exploits with him. But, Bush was neither going after Saddam nor his oil. He was re-drawing the map and trying to establish one of his own.

Bush’s Road Map was not of his own making. He was not intelligent enough to devise master plans. Surrounding Bush were right wing Zionist fanatics such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitcz, and supporters such as Donald Rumsfeld. To these men the war was not about money only. They were unlike Dick Cheney and his type, who could only see oil and contracts and billions of dollars to be made from the blood and bones and smashed skulls of Iraqi people. These right wing fanatics, better known as the “Neo Cons”, had one and only one objective in mind; the establishment of their Road Map, a Road Map that guaranteed the superiority and longevity of Israel at any cost. They believed they had a mandate from God. They saw themselves as writers of a new chapter in the Old Testament.

The invasion of Iraq was only meant to be the first step. The allegations made against Saddam served as enough of a pretext for the U.S to invade and, once stationed in Iraq, the Americans planned that they would soon be able to create other “evidence” to attack and eliminate the real enemies they were after; Iran and Syria.

The Road Map of the “Neo Cons” suffered a major blow when its authors realized that America was bogged down to its waist in Iraq and, hence, not in a position to think about expansion of military operations further east and west. The rapid succession of events that followed saw the top guns in The “Neo Con” team fall one after another, leaving Bush as a lame duck president. But, the Road Map remains.

One of Israel’s big dreams came true when America began to fight its war in Iraq. Even though America fought Israel’s war on the Iraqi front, Israel was active in pursuing other strategic actions. With ties and links with the Palestinian Authority and “moderate” Arabs, Israel remained diligent in executing its part of the plan. Before too long, polarities emerged within the Arab and Islamic communities. What underpinned them and defined their nature became a contentious subject. It became clear that one grouping had pro-Western policies and aspirations and was also prepared to talk peace and establish it with the Israeli side. This grouping became known as the “moderate Arabs”. The “hardliners” on the other hand, were very ill-defined, at least in the minds of many people. Ill-defined because the alliance they formed with each other had foundations that looked mis-matched. That mis-match raised many question marks about the nature of this alliance and what it aimed for. After all, let us be fair and clear, how can an alliance include states and regimes that are secular, others that are theocratic and others that are communist or totalitarian?

The “moderates” used the inconsistencies of the “hardliners” as a basis for staunch criticism. Certainly, the discrediting between the “moderates” and the “hardliners” was a two way street. But from the “hardliner’s” vantage point, the case against the “moderates” has been one that is based on accusing them of kowtowing to the West, the U.S in particular, and allowing Israel to achieve its ambitions. The “moderates” on the other hand, threw a plethora of accusations at the “hardliners”. They portrayed themselves as being realistic, liberal, forward-thinkers, peace-lovers with the objective of establishing harmony and prosperity for all people of the region, implying that their adversaries had none of these qualities and in addition were engaged in fuelling sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shi’ite

If one examines the sectarian conspiracy theory superficially, it seems plausible. After all, Iran, the major power amongst the “hardliners”, is a Shi’ite Islamic republic and Hezbollah, the Islamic resistance movement of Lebanon, is also predominately a Shi’ite movement. Furthermore, sectarian fighting in post-Saddam Iraq looked ominously dangerous with the potential to spread over the entire region. This fear was used and manipulated by different power brokers, each presenting his side as being above sectarian divisions.

However, if one examines the sectarian conspiracy more thoroughly, one can see more than meets the eye. In the small country of Lebanon, the country that thus far defeated Israel in two wars, the “hardliners” are not entirely comprised of the predominantly Shi’ite Hezbollah. They include secular parties as well as a strong support base that accounts for perhaps half of Lebanon’s Christian population. The bigger “hardline” member of this alliance includes Syria, a secular state, a state that prohibits sectarian and fundamentalist organizations. This same alliance includes the most unlikely bed-fellows, distant and tokenistic as they may be, such as Venezuela and Columbia.

There is little doubt that the so called “hardline” alliance is neither based on religion nor sect. Clearly it is strategically based rather than dogmatic. The inclusion of countries such as Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia at the Gaza conference in Doha on 16 January, 2009 shoots the Shi’ite nature of this alliance right in the guts. One can indeed call into question the validity of the terms “hardliners” and “moderates”. They are perhaps misnomers, more based on convenience than accurate description. One could hardly call nations such as Qatar, Indonesia and Turkey as being “hardliners”. We should perhaps leave it to the nations that made their presence and stand known at the Gaza conference to name and define themselves.

Whilst it is true that Sunni’s and Shi’ites have not displayed much love for each other in the last millennium or so, they did manage to live in relative peace with each other. The same can be said of Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon who, although having had their own share of sectarian conflicts over the decades, have seen the two sects living in peace. Sunni’s and Shi’ites in the greater region did not have bloody conflict until the arrival of the forces of the “Coalition of the Willing”. Their presence evoked a divisiveness and hatred in the hearts of Sunni’s and Shi’ites against each other.

At the time when Americans were pretending to be building a new democratic and secular Iraq, they were indeed deliberately or just stupidly provoking a civil war within that country. Their allies, who came under the “moderate Arab” tag, were beating the drums within their predominately Sunni camps, warning them of an impending Shi’ite dominance, master minded by Iran and executed by its cohorts, predominately Hezbollah and Syria.

In reality, the “moderates”, to date, have been resonating U.S rhetoric. If we were to step back and look at this whole scenario from a distance that allows us to clearly see who is who, we can see two camps emerging. Briefly put, one camp still hoping to establish peace with Israel, believing it will receive what is rightful despite, 18 years down the track, receiving nothing from the Americans and Israelis apart from empty promises and further promises and, the other camp; the “hardliners” adamant to resist the American-Israeli Road Map and to prevent it, at any cost, from coming to fruition.

What individual members of the “hardline” coalition have in mind is something that only history will reveal. But by virtue of the very nature of its constituency, this alliance, as a group, can only have a mandate of a different Middle East in which Israel does not have a carte blanche because, no other cause could give them a common agenda.

Individuals, organizations and governments in the Arab and Muslim world are at a major cross-road. Sooner or later they are going to have to define their position and declare it. The Gaza summit in Doha on Friday 16 January 2009, made that distinction very clear; you are either with us or with Israel and America.

No doubt, the alliances will see some changes within its members and certainly also not all of the “hardline” nations will exhibit the same magnitude of support to the cause. In the event of any military escalation, perhaps only a few will go to war with Israel, but, the political lines are definitely being drawn.

The Arab-Arab reconciliation meeting in Kuwait on 19 January, 2009 is at this stage very fragile, superficial, and perhaps at best, a political spectacle. Short of either a miracle or a momentous change in foreign policies, it bears little hope of longevity and effectiveness. If it survives the odds, it will be worthy of serious analysis.

This is a crucial time for the Arab and Muslim nations. Irrespective of ideologies and religious inclinations and irrespective of how one would perceive the predicament that the region is in, one has to be able to see that this conflict is one that is extremely decisive. Arabs and Muslims have to make a choice between being subordinates and being the masters of their own destinies. They have to choose between being told who should be their neighbor and who should live in their land or being able to decide for themselves who they host and accept. It is a time for them to decide what is more important for them. Is it about being branded as a “hardline terrorist” or knowing and accepting the full responsibility and consequences of owning up to being a freedom fighter? With centuries of both glory and decadence the stand they make now can go either way and it is for future history books to tell the tale of.

Susan Safi & Iman Safi

Mubarak–Enabler for Disfunctional Zionist State

Egypt’s Policy in Gaza

The Drama of Realpolitik

By  Kareem M. Kamel, PhD

International Relations Analyst

Image

It is questioned whether Egypt really collaborated with Israel in order to destroy Hamas? ( Reuters photo)

“Egypt’s malaise is in many ways as dark as that of the Palestinians. Its impotence in the face of Gaza’s suffering is a symbol of its own political sickness,”  Robert Fisk, The Independent.

The murderous Israeli assault on Gaza killed and injured more than 5000 Palestinians and wrought unprecedented destruction on thousands of homes, mosques, refugee camps, institutions, and schools in less than three weeks.

And, amidst whimsical, pusillanimous, and contradictory statements from several Arab capitals, the war has shown beyond doubt the absolute impotence of the official Arab system in the face of Israeli barbarism in Gaza.

So far, the Israelis have adopted a go-it-alone foreign policy and have shown little interest in heeding to the UN Security Council Resolution 1860 or the multiple regional and international initiatives calling for an immediate cease-fire.

The Dilemma

Egypt no longer influences events in ways that would enhance its security standing and regional clout.

More seriously, the current crisis in Gaza – more than any other regional crisis in the past two decades – has raised questions about Egypt’s perceived role in the Middle East and the nature of its relationship with Israel and the West, as well as its capacity for influencing events beyond its borders.

The regime’s contribution in perpetuating the crippling international blockade on Gaza by insisting on limiting movement on the Rafah crossing-point—over which it officially has sovereignty —has further undermined Egypt’s perceived regional role.

Moreover, the crackdown on pro-Gaza demonstrations in Egypt and the projected joint Egyptian-Israeli cooperation in the construction of a multi-million dollar, 12-meter high, concrete barrier along the entire Egyptian-Gaza border have fueled popular perceptions across the world that Egypt is indeed an accomplice with the Israelis.

In Cairo, standing beside Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abou El Gheit— less than 48 hours before the war.  Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Levni, threatened Hamas of military action.

Furthermore, official Egyptian newspapers mounted relentless campaign blaming Hamas, Iran, and Syria for the war and accusing them of “reckless adventurism” and “irresponsibility”.

Such actions have made the official Egyptian position a subject of widespread popular criticism.

As the combatants continue to fight the war out in the streets of Gaza, Egypt has rejected calls for an urgent Arab summit in Qatar, and the recent Egyptian initiative has so far failed to bring an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign.

Israel has only paid lip service to the initiative as it wishes to buy time in order to impose a humiliating settlement on the Palestinians through military pressure.

Main Palestinian factions have decried the initiative, because it liquidates  armed Palestinian resistance, imposes tighter measures on the flow of weapons, and lacks mechanisms to ensure Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Egypt’s position towards the war on Gaza is the ultimate outcome of a whimsical foreign policy that revolves around the Egyptian leadership’s quest for survival and the personal security of the regime.

Egyptian foreign policy lacks a clearly defined strategic doctrine capable of explicitly and clearly identifying Egypt’s security interests, which has steadily eroded Egypt’s capacity to react to regional crises. Egypt no longer influences events in ways that would enhance its security standing and regional clout.

From Regional Leader to US Broker

Egypt’s role was steadily circumscribed to prevent the spread of anti-American ideologies in the region and encourage other Arab states to join US military efforts.

For much of its history, Egypt has not only been a center of civilization, but also a commanding regional role and a significant actor in international and regional affairs.

If one were to analyze the influence of regional players according to their strategic weight—to borrow the terminology of neo-Marxists and dependency theorists—Egypt by virtue of its size, population, and historical significance was always regarded as the “core” of the Middle Eastern state system.

Egypt’s geopolitical weight, coupled with its Arab-Islamic identity and the historical role that it has taken at the center of multiple Arab-Islamic dynasties, has earned Cairo a reputation of being the defender of the Arab/Muslim world against multiple foreign invasions.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Nasser was capable of fostering a relatively cohesive Arab order in face of great odds and serious challenges—despite his sometimes costly miscalculations.

Nasser’s support for the Algerian FLN[1] brought an end to the brutal French occupation of Algeria. And, his ability to stand up to the West and Israel in the 1956 Suez Crisis propelled Egypt’s decolonization and non-aligned role in the Third World to unprecedented levels.

In fact, the nationalization of the Suez Canal unleashed a tide of pan-Arab support that even pro-Western Arab states were forced to applaud in front of popular opinion.

Nasser’s unique trans-state appeal forced the relative unification of the formerly fragmented regional order, making any overt identification with the West became an enormous liability for the West’s clients.

In subsequent years, Nasser was capable of bringing down the pillars of the Western-sponsored regional order, playing one superpower against the other and sponsoring the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy, simply because it had entered the Baghdad Pact of 1955.

Despite the decline of Egyptian influence in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Nasser was still capable of dominating Arab Summit meetings. Even, he mediated a truce between King Hussein of Jordan and PLO[2] leader Yasser Arafat, bringing an end to the bloody events of Black September in 1970.

Sadat’s separate peace treaty with Israel and Egypt’s continuous dependence on US aid for its ailing economy have steadily reduced the country’s ability to take an independent stance in foreign affairs beyond the role that is drawn for it by its American and Israeli patrons.

As a result, over the past three decades, Egypt’s role was steadily circumscribed to prevent the spread of anti-American ideologies in the region and encourage other Arab states to join US military efforts, adding dubious legitimacy for any US-sponsored peace initiative.

This has made Egypt an indispensable pillar in the US-Israeli security architecture for the Middle East. Consequently, Egypt has steadily lost its strategic significance and historical ability to influence events beyond its border— the yardstick through which foreign policy success or failure could be measured.

Reaping the Whirlwind

The Egyptian regime began to see Hamas’ control of Gaza from the narrow prism of its own domestic predicament with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In recent years, Egyptian diplomacy has been increasingly reflective of the idiosyncrasies of a sclerotic decision-making authority. The regime provides the West with limitless pre-emptive concessions in order to maintain its domestic power.
The bouts of mutual recrimination between the Egyptian and Israeli governments should not obfuscate the reality that official Egyptian-Israeli ties have been warming since 2004, when Mubarak and Sharon agreed to set up political, security, and economic committees to upgrade all aspects of bilateral relations.

Both sides concluded the biggest deal ever when they signed a contract worth $2.5 billion for Egypt to supply Israel with natural gas for 15 years.

The Egyptian government also gave Israel veto power on the exporting of Egyptian textiles to US market.

It  agreed to the establishment of a three-way Egyptian-Israeli-US Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) that would give goods made in Egypt preferred status in the United States, only if there was some Israeli contribution in the production process.Since Hamas has come to power in 2006 and staged a counter-coup against the thuggish, Western-sponsored, secular Fatah militia led by Mohammed Dahlan by mid-2007, the Egyptian regime began to see Hamas’ control of Gaza from the narrow prism of its own domestic predicament with the Muslim Brotherhood.

From the perspective of Egyptian decision-makers, Hamas and other Islamic groups in Palestine can not be allowed to proliferate. Hamas’ model of armed resistance in nearby Gaza Strip could embolden the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood— a movement which the regime has been steadily crushing through mass arrests and detentions.

As a result, the Egyptian leadership sought to control the activities of Hamas and to limit its program of resistance by forcing it to accept a prolonged truce with Israel.

Despite Hamas’ acceptance of the six-month truce, Israel insisted on violating its terms by assassinating members of the movement and continuing a crippling economic blockade that turned Gaza into an open-air prison between 2006 and 2009.

Hamas’ rejection of a cease-fire renewal and its resumption of rocket attacks against Israel in late Dec. 2008 were met by outright disdain from the Egyptian authorities who were interested in declawing Palestinian resistance and forcing Hamas to accept the return of Fatah officials to Gaza.

On the regional level, the increasing assertiveness of Iran after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and the success of Hizbollah’s model of armed resistance against Israel exposed the fragility of so-called “moderate” Arabs.

Both factors exposed the futility of “moderate” Arabs’ relentless quest for peace with Israel despite the latter’s rejection of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

As a result, the Egyptian leadership has been weary of what it considers increasing Iranian meddling in regional affairs, interpreting any act of resistance against the Israelis to be the result of Iranian instigation.

Despite being a Sunni movement, Hamas’ adoption of Hizbollah-style rhetoric and military tactics, as well as Nasrallah’s criticism of the Egyptian leadership and his endorsement of Hamas’ military resistance, has prompted an Egyptian backlash against Hamas and those who support it.

Polarizing the Region

As Egypt previously hoped for Hizbollah, It now hopes that Hamas would be more willing to accommodate Egypt’s request for an end to armed resistance against Israel.

And, although the sectarian dimension of the conflict in Gaza is absent, the region has been polarized.

The United States, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, take a stance against the forces of “rejectionism and resistance” of Iran, Syria, Hizbollah, and most of the popular Arab opinion.

Despite possessing over 200 nuclear warheads and its expansionist schemes, Israel is currently being seen by the Egyptian leadership as a less immediate threat than the self-defensive militancy of Hamas.

The result of Egyptian intransigence and short-sighted security concerns has had catastrophic consequences on the Palestinian case.

Currently, In tandem with the Israeli policy, Egypt is concerned with weakening— if not  obliterating—the prospects for any Palestinian military resistance.

The goal is either to directly destroy Hamas on the battlefield or indirectly sponsor cease-fire initiatives that explicitly seek tight guarantees that Palestinians will not re-arm.

In a replay of Egyptian policy at the onset of the Summer 2006 Israeli War on Lebanon, Egyptian officials could scarcely conceal their delight at the prospect of a weak, subservient Hamas.

As Egypt previously hoped for Hizbollah, It now hopes that Hamas would be more willing to accommodate Egypt’s request for an end to armed resistance against Israel.

However, Hamas’ capacity to withstand the Israeli onslaught so far and to appear defiant in face of great odds has strengthened Hamas’ position vis a vis the pro-Western Arab regimes.

In addition, the outpouring of popular support for Palestinian resistance has put those who had hoped for a speedy crumbling of the resistance in Gaza on the defensive.
The Egyptian government’s predicament is further compounded by its failure to present a clear strategy for regaining lost Arab territory.

Amidst the rivers of blood flowing in Palestine, there is a need to go beyond reiterating empty clichés about ongoing peace process and the two-state solution.

By failing to exercise its sovereign right to open the Rafah border-crossing except under the most stringiest of conditions, the Egyptian leadership participates in the collective punishment of Palestinians.

Furthermore, the Egyptian position highlights the regime’s haplessness and its total surrender to Western and Israeli demands.

More seriously, by seeking to further isolate Hamas — rather than considering it a bulwark against Israeli expansionism— the Egyptian government is forcing the Islamic movement more into the hands of its Syrian and Iranian sponsors, laying the seeds for future regional polarization and radicalization.

[1] FLN is the acronym of Front de Liberation Nationale which was an Algerian anti-colonial, resistance group that succeeded in obtaining the Independence of Algeria from the French colonialism.

[2] PLO is the acronym of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.


Kareem M. Kamel, PhD, is an Egyptian analyst based in Cairo, Egypt. He holds an MA in International Relations from the American University in Cairo and a PhD in Political Science from the American University of London. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the American University in Cairo and specializes in the politics of Islam and the Middle East, international relations, and foreign policy analysis.

Could Israelis Face War Crimes Charges Over Gaza?

A child's shoe in a classroom at the UN school that was hit by an Israeli strike on January 17, 2009.
A child’s shoe in a classroom at the UN school that was hit by an Israeli strike on January 17, 2009.
Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty
Israel likes to believe that its Defense Force is the world’s most “moral” army, and it insisted throughout the recent Gaza war that great care was always taken to avoid inflicting civilian casualties. It may surprise and rile many Israelis, then, that their government is trying to protect its citizens from war crimes charges that could be filed in foreign courts over the conduct of hostilities in Gaza. Fearful that Israeli commanders could be targeted for arrest while traveling abroad as private citizens on business or vacation, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Tuesday ordered the Israeli media to refrain from revealing the names of any military personnel who took part in the 22-day offensive. Officers involved in the operation who want to travel abroad are now required to first check in with the office of the Judge Advocate, which will determine if the soldier is on a foreign watch list that might lead to his arrest.
Israeli military experts insist that their forces are far more careful to avoid civilian casualties than, say, the U.S. military has been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, the high civilian casualty toll in Gaza has put the Israeli military’s conduct of operations there under scrutiny, and one senior U.N. official has suggested Israel may have committed “crimes against humanity” in the course of its campaign against Hamas militants hiding among Gaza’s civilian population. Palestinian medical sources claim that over 300 children and 100 women were among Gaza’s 1,200 fatalities. And the United Nations, Amnesty International, the International Committee for the Red Cross (I.C.R.C.), Human Right Watch, as well as Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have all been investigating allegations of conduct that violates the laws of war.

(See pictures of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza)Among the allegations being probed are claims that Israel targeted ambulances and medical crews, improperly used incendiary bombs such as white phosphorus in dense civilian areas (a claim also being internally investigated by the Israeli military), prevented the evacuation of wounded carrying white flags, and targeted schools, hospitals, supply convoys and a U.N. compound where over 1,000 civilians had taken shelter. Although Israel dropped thousands of leaflets and made phone calls to targeted buildings warning of impending bombardments, Palestinians argue that they had no safe places in which to take refuge amid Israel’s fierce bombardment.

Legal experts doubt that Israelis could be hauled before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, because Israel, like the U.S., is not party to the treaty that created it, and also because the U.S. and European governments would likely prevent such a course of action. What worries authorities in Jerusalem is that many European countries are signatories to a Geneva Convention that allows their courts to arrest and prosecute individuals accused of committing war crimes in other countries. Such legal options, Israel fears, may be used to bring politically motivated charges against its citizens. The daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday that Israel’s Foreign and Justice ministries have begun drawing up lists of law firms in different European countries that could be enlisted to defend Israelis in any future cases.

Another influential newspaper, the leftist Haaretz, even urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to set up an independent inquiry into accusations of war crimes by the Israeli military in Gaza. “Has the IDF (the Israeli Defense Forces) crossed the line according to international law?” the paper wrote. “Was there no other way aside from such widespread killing and destruction?” The editorial argued that Israel needed its own inquiry because “We cannot wait until the world has its say, and perhaps takes legal steps of its own.”

Any international inquiry into Israel’s wartime behavior might be more palatable to Israelis if it also probed alleged violations of the Geneva Convention by Hamas. Before and during the conflict, Hamas had fired shot rockets into Israeli towns; inside Gaza, according to the Israeli army, the militants had used civilians as “human shields,” and had stored weapons in schools, hospitals and mosques — all illegal under Geneva.

But regardless of whether any legal action follows, the probes add to the pall of bitterness hanging over an operation whose ambiguous outcome has left many Israelis questioning just what was achieved by their war in Gaza.

uphold the rule of law, restore the constitution and comply with international law

Comment by Vincent Warren, Exec. Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
google news commentRadical justice - 9 hours ago
For those of us who were there at the beginning, when we filed the first habeas corpus cases almost seven years ago to the day that President Obama ordered Guantanamo closed, today’s executive orders are far from radical, although greatly appreciated and much overdue. A long-awaited sigh of relief was heard all around. At last, we have a president in Barack Obama who has committed the nation to uphold the rule of law, restore the constitution and comply with international law.

A radical concept? Not at all. Yet, after the last eight years of rampant and defiant government lawlessness, Barack Obama’s executive orders to close Guantanamo and the secret CIA black sites and comply with the Geneva Conventions appear to many as a radical shift.

Still, we are concerned by the lack of specificity in the President’s order and its vague timeline. Sadly, the very two issues that prompted the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to intervene in 2002 remain of concern even in the wake of these remarkable orders. The first issue is what to do about detention, and the second is what we mean by dangerous and who we trust to define it.

If the men at Guantanamo cannot be immediately charged, they must be released or (for those who would face torture or persecution) found safe havens – our Constitution demands it. Those were among the very first words that lawyers uttered on this issue seven years ago. Two presidents, three attorneys general and two secretaries of defense later, we are still saying the same thing. It is clear that President Obama will comply with the rule of law. The men in Guantanamo who have been sitting in jail for years, however, have heard this before. We continue to remind the decision-makers that each additional day being held illegally deepens the injustice for these men. And, for our nation, each additional day these men are held illegally under the Obama administration means the weakening of his promise to uphold our values and the mandates of our law.

CCR issued a report just last week outlining three simple steps to close Guantanamo and put an end to the dark legacy of torture that exists there. We continue to emphasize that there are at least 60 men who are detained at Guantanamo Bay who are at risk of torture or persecution were they to be returned to their countries of origin, and no plan has been detailed for finding them safe haven.

It took George Bush days to send the men into a black hole. Justice demands that this new government work to get them out with in the first 100 days.

On the second issue, who is dangerous and who do we trust to tell us so? Seven years ago, George Bush declared that the first 20 men sent to Guantánamo were the “worst of the worst.” The country was scared. CCR and others challenged the government to give us more than just the simple assurance: “trust us.” We went to the courts to get the government to put up or shut up by means of the age-old writ of habeas corpus — the right to go before an impartial court and know the charges against one. First, the government delayed, and when it lost in the courts, it delayed some more, all the time releasing 500 men out of the back door of Guantanamo. Why? Because when we pressed the government through the courts, they could no longer deny the truth – that the vast majority of the men in Guantanamo shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Seven years later, the Bush administration has passed the mantle. Yet all around us, the echoes of the outgoing administration tell us, trust us, these last 245 guys are really the worst of the worst. There are 50, no 80, no 100 who we somehow know are guilty but we don’t have the evidence to prosecute or we somehow know may be dangerous in the future so we have to find a way to keep them detained.

What we expect Barack Obama to understand is that our values and the rule of law compel us to challenge him to tell us more than “trust us.” In addition, he has the added burden of taking office after some of these men have been in illegal detention for close to a decade. To delay justice is to deny it. We said it then, and we say it now. This time, we are asking the Obama administration to make quick determinations – within 100 days – as to who they intend to try in federal courts and who they intend to release. Then to get to the business of doing both with the speed and efficiency that, up until this moment, defined only illegal government activities. A radical concept? Not at all.

SCENARIOS-Holbrooke faces big test in Afghanistan/Pakistan

SCENARIOS-Holbrooke faces big test in

Afghanistan/Pakistan

By John Whitesides

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday appointed foreign policy veteran Richard Holbrooke as a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Holbrooke, a former ambassador to the United Nations who negotiated the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war, faces an array of challenges in dealing with the war in Afghanistan and its tense and fragile border with Pakistan.

Here are some of the problems and possibilities for U.S. action in the region:

- President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. He promised during the campaign to bolster troop levels there to battle growing violence and a resurgent Taliban and al Qaeda, but new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at her confirmation hearing that a broader strategy was needed in Afghanistan that included diplomacy, defense and development.

In addition to more troops in Afghanistan, the United States has promised more nonmilitary aid to Pakistan devoted in part to developing tribal areas where al Qaeda militants have flourished. Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda militants are believed to be hiding in the mountainous border region of Pakistan near Afghanistan.

- Clinton has suggested a U.S. envoy would need to shuttle between Pakistan and Afghanistan to help guide the efforts in the border region between the two countries, and has suggested she will be looking for more regional support. The United States could look to India, central Asian states and even China or Russia for help. The United States also has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to battle jihadi groups since the Mumbai attacks in November that killed 179 people and raised tensions between the two south Asian nuclear rivals.

- In developing a comprehensive approach to the region, the Obama administration must also wrestle with the growing tension between India and Pakistan. The two have fought three wars since 1947, and relations between the countries have deteriorated since the Mumbai attacks. India blames the attacks on Pakistani militants, but Islamabad has denied any involvement by state agencies. India has paused a peace process that started in 2004, and the United States must decide how hard it will press for a resumption — particularly before Indian elections in May.

- The United States must decide how involved to become in the dispute over Kashmir, a region claimed by both India and Pakistan that has been a flashpoint between the countries for decades. Pakistan sees a settlement as essential to normalizing relations. India rejects any outside effort to influence its approach to Kashmir and has been nervous about Obama’s suggestion during the campaign that a special envoy was needed there. A solution to that dispute could free Islamabad to focus more on Afghanistan.

Defiant to the end … Gaza’s tunnels back in business as Israelis leave

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, was heading to Brussels yesterday after getting the green light from legal advisers to the Israeli government who had been concerned she would face war crimes allegations.

She was hoping to clinch a deal committing the European Union to contribute forces, ships and technology to anti-smuggling operations. But EU officials said their efforts would focus on providing humanitarian relief and maintaining the ceasefire.

Ehud Barak, moved swiftly from war-making to electioneering yesterday, saying the fighting had given voters – who go to the polls to choose a new parliament on 10 February – a glimpse of the type of leadership they need.

“We have similar tests awaiting us: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. It isn’t over yet. These subjects have not been cleared from the table,” he said.

Defiant to the end … Gaza’s tunnels back in

business as Israelis leave

Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image

JUST as the last remaining Israeli troops left Gaza yesterday, Palestinians resumed smuggling through tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt, showing that Hamas’s supply corridor for weapons might again be functioning despite being the target for hundreds of Israeli shells.

Severing Hamas’s supply line, along with stopping cross-border rocketing, was a goal of the devastating three-week military campaign that ended on Monday. But the arrangements for how to do that are still being worked out in talks between Israel

Egypt, which are to continue today with the visit of Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence ministry official, to Cairo.

In Rafah, on the Egyptian border, bulldozers yesterday cleared debris and Palestinian workers carried out repairs on tunnels damaged by Israeli bombing.

Smugglers were filmed filling a fuel truck with petrol that had come through a cross-border tunnel. Israel has said it destroyed most of the hundreds of tunnels used to bring goods and weaponry into Gaza.

The identity of some people who witnessed the smuggling activity could not be revealed for fear of reprisals from militants and smugglers.

“I saw them bring up fuel from one of the tunnels which is still working,” said a Rafah resident who witnessed the activity.

Egypt has proved unable or unwilling to halt the flow of weapons and medium-range rockets coming through the tunnels, alongside fuel and consumer goods.

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, was heading to Brussels yesterday after getting the green light from legal advisers to the Israeli government who had been concerned she would face war crimes allegations.

She was hoping to clinch a deal committing the European Union to contribute forces, ships and technology to anti-smuggling operations. But EU officials said their efforts would focus on providing humanitarian relief and maintaining the ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Hamas admitted yesterday that it had executed an unspecified number of Palestinians for “spying” for Israel during the war. “The occupation has depended on some spies here in Gaza to inform them of the situation of Hamas leaders,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told reporters in Gaza.

“Maybe some of them were killed because they were acting against the population, against the resistance.”

Mr Barhoum said there was “some investigation and interrogation” regarding last week’s assassination of the Hamas interior minister Sayid Siyam, which the Islamist group believes was made possible by spies working for Israel.

Fatah, the rival Palestinian group which governs the West Bank, said that since fighting ended in the Gaza war – Hamas and Israel put separate ceasefires into effect on Sunday – Hamas militias had carried out a number of attacks against Fatah members in Gaza.

These included, the Fatah statement said, “shooting at the feet of Fatah members, brutal crimes of execution and throwing the bodies in the rubble of destruction”. Fatah appealed to Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority to intervene.

The Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, moved swiftly from war-making to electioneering yesterday, saying the fighting had given voters – who go to the polls to choose a new parliament on 10 February – a glimpse of the type of leadership they need.

“We have similar tests awaiting us: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. It isn’t over yet. These subjects have not been cleared from the table,” he said.

Israeli military faces internal probe over use of white phosphorus

TROUBLING questions have arisen over the Israeli army’s conduct during the war, which claimed the lives of 1,284 Palestinians, including 894 civilians and 280 children, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Thirteen Israelis were killed by Hamas rocket fire or during fighting inside the Strip.

An Israeli army investigation into its use of white phosphorus in Gaza is focusing on an incident in which 20 shells containing the substance were fired into a populated area, Ha’aretz newspaper revealed.

Reports said the incident occurred in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.

White phosphorus is a high-incendiary substance that burns intensely for long periods and is often used to create smoke screens, but can also be used as a weapon, resulting in extreme burns.

Two Palestinian children were killed and 14 people suffered severe burns on 17 January when Israeli shells landed in a UN-run school in the Beit Lahiya area, medical officials said.

Ha’aretz said a brigade of paratroop reservists fired about 20 white phosphorus shells into the built-up area.

Amnesty International has accused Israel of war crimes over its use of the munitions in heavily populated areas.

According to the newspaper report, the Israeli military fired a total of 200 white phosphorus shells during the three-week Gaza offensive. Ha’aretz reported that 180 of the shells targeted militants launching cross-border rocket attacks.

International law forbids white phosphorus use against military targets within concentrations of civilians, except when the targets are clearly separated from them and “all feasible precautions” are taken to avoid casualties among non-combatants.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed that a high-ranking officer had been appointed to investigate the accusation.

Israel ‘will resume bombing’ of Gaza if Hamas reopens tunnels

International Peacekeeping Force Fails to Materialize Quick Enough to Suit Zionist Aggressors.

Israel ‘will resume bombing’ of Gaza if Hamas reopens tunnels

Israel warned on Thursday that it would resume bombing of the cross-border tunnels into Gaza if it detected evidence that Hamas is using the underground channels to replenish its arsenal.

By Damien McElroy

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, said the unilateral ceasefire declared last week would not constrain Israel’s efforts to ensure the flow of weapons from Egypt to Gaza was permanently impaired.

“For the tunnels, nothing will be as it was before,” she said. “Things must be clear – Israel reserves the right to react militarily against the tunnels once and for all.

“If we have to act, we will do so, we will exercise our right to legitimate defence, we will not leave our fate to the Egyptians, nor to the Europeans nor to the Americans.”

Israel is attempting to assemble an international coalition to thwart weapons sales to Hamas, which would include patrols by US and European navies and improved monitoring of the Egyptian side of the border using high technology.

The US Navy was reported to have intercepted one Iranian vessel in the Red Sea that was carrying arms for landing in Sinai.

Hundreds of tunnels run under the border, most were built during an 18-month economic blockade of the 1.5 million strong territory. Smugglers told Israeli newspapers that the flow of goods “never stopped” during the 22-day bombing campaign.

During the offensive on Hamas in Gaza, Israel bombed hundreds of tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border. Destroying the tunnels – also the main supply route for Gaza’s Hamas rulers boycotted by the West – was one of the main goals of Operation Cast Lead that Israel unleashed on Hamas on December 27 The Israeli military estimates that between 60 to 70 per cent of tunnels were destroyed during its bombing campaign, the evidence of which is everywhere one looks along the border.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, also warned that Israel, having destroyed 150 tunnels, would not standby and allow smuggling to resume. He said: “If we are forced to, there will be more attacks.”

‘Phosphorus shells’ hit Gaza UN school Photos

‘Phosphorus shells’ hit Gaza UN school

John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), describes the moments and aftermath of an Israeli strike on a UN school, designated as a shelter, in Beit Lahiya

Photographs by Mohammed Abed/AFP and agencies