It’s not just Afghanistan; it’s everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

It’s not just Afghanistan; it’s everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan by babasteve

Central Asia has oil and gas.

And heroin.

Journalist Simon Reeve said of his trip to the Stans, such as Uzbekistan:

“Most people I met longed for a return to the financial security of Communism…

Tajikistan kids by babasteve

“Unemployment is now rampant in Central Asia.

Poverty, censorship and government repression are the norm.” (BBC NEWS Meet the Stans)

Craig Murray, the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, has written about how ISLAM KARIMOV, President of Uzbekistan, boils people Alive.

It was the CIA that promoted Islamism in Central Asia, as a way of ending control by Russia. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

The CIA now has an intelligence alliance with the Uzbek government of Islam Karimov,[1] .

The CIA has funded and trained a counterterrorism unit of the Uzbek military. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

Who gets to control the oil, the gas and the pipelines?

Rick Rozoff, at Global Research, 10 July 2009, wrote Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

Among the points made:

1. Countries involved in Afghanistan include Germany, Romania, formerly neutral Finland and Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia.

2. Pentagon And NATO are fanning out from Afghanistan into Central Asia and the states of the Caspian Sea.

3. In June 2009, in Kazakhstan, the defence chiefs of 28 NATO countries and 22 partner countries held a meeting of its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).

Kazakhstan has the largest proven reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.

NATO’s partner countries in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Kazakhstan Presidential Palace by Em and Ernie

4. Top Pentagon officials have paid a number of visits to countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

These US officials want from these countries:

A. military bases.

B. troop commitments

C. the right to move war materials through these countries.

5. The Pentagon has recently regained use of the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan by sjameron

6. The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative to Central Asia and the South Caucasus is Robert Simmons, an American.

Simmons has recruited a force of Georgian troops for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has gathered additional Azerbaijani soldiers for the same purpose.

Who gets to control the oil and gas?

7. Turkmenistan now allows overflights by the USA. It also allows US troops on its territory. It has offered the US the use of the air base at Mary.

The USA wants Turkmenistan’s oil and gas to go not to Russian pipelines but to the Western-controlled pipelines which deliberately bypass Russia, Armenia and Iran.

8. Turkmenistan has put up 32 Caspian oil and gas field units for international tenders. Bidders include US and European companies.

Turkmenistan people by minifastcar33

9. The USA supports the Nabucco pipeline.

A US spokesman said: “An inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco project envisaging natural gas supplies from the basin of the Caspian Sea to Europe avoiding Russia will be signed in Ankara on July 13….

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Iraq are considered as among potential energy resources for Nabucco.

“The US stands against Iran’s participation in Nabucco’s realization but supports gas transportation to Europe from Iraq.”

Azerbaijan by teuchterlad

10. The US and NATO are active in Azerbaijan.

The U.S. wants military cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of land forces.

Azerbaijan has a lingering dispute with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia is an ally of both Russia and Iran.

11. Reportedly, the USA and NATO want to bring Armenia over to their side.

‘Colour Revolutions’ were used by the USA and NATO to win over Georgia and the Ukraine.

Russia is being ringed in by NATO states and partners.

Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) is currently a de facto independent republic. Azerbaijan wants it back.

12. If Azerbaijan goes to war against Nagorno Karabakh, countries that could be drawn into the conflict include Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and NATO states including Turkey and the United States.

The USA and NATO have been increasing cooperation with Azerbaijan.

13. Israel is deeply involved in the Caspian area.

On 28 June 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Azerbaijan, before going on to Kazakhstan.

According to an Armenian news site, “Israel rearms Azerbaijani army”.

Israel supplied neighboring Georgia with drones for its war with Russia in August 2008.

14. On 1 July 2009, The Jerusalem Post reported: “Israel gains ground in Central Asia.”

According to the Jerusalem post, “Israel played the central role in rebuilding and modernizing the Azeri military after its losses in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Russian analyst Andrei Areshev was quoted by an Armenian news source as saying “It’s unclear whether Israel plays its own game or acts as an agent of another power wishing the destabilization of Russia and Iran.”

15. In an Azerbaijani news report called “Israeli air force to join overseas exercises with eye on Iran,” it was revealed that the Israeli Air Force “will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state…”

16. It’s a long war.

Back in 1978, the USA was training Moslem warriors in Afganistan.


It is not yet clear who is winning. Alliances can shift.

On 13 July 2009, we learn a Nabucco Europe gas pipeline deal has been agreed BUT that the Turk PM wants Iranian and Russian gas in Nabucco

Turkey and four European Union countries, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria, have signed an agreement to construct the Nabucco natural gas pipeline to bring gas from the Caspian and the Middle East across Turkey and into Europe.

It has still to be agreed where the gas will come from.

Azerbaijan will be the main source of Nabucco’s gas when the pipeline is opened, due by 2014.

However, two weeks ago, Azerbaijan agreed to sell some of its gas to Russia.

Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Egypt are possible suppliers to Nabucco in the longer term.

Russia is planning two of its own new gas pipelines to Europe.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on 13 July 2009 that Turkey wanted Iranian gas to be transported to Europe via the planned Nabucco pipeline “when conditions allow.”

The USA opposes this.

The Nabucco Consortium has mentioned Russia as a source for gas.

Erdogan also said he believed Russian gas could be transported to Europe via Nabucco.

The USA opposes this.

RAW & Mossad, The Secret Link

Story from:

Thirty-five years ago, in September 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was founded with Rameshwar Nath Kao at its helm, then prime minister Indira Gandhi asked him to cultivate Israel’s Mossad. She believed relations between the two intelligence agencies was necessary to monitor developments that could threaten India and Israel.

The efficient spymaster he was, Kao established a clandestine relationship with Mossad. In the 1950s, New Delhi had permitted Tel Aviv to establish a consulate in Mumbai. But full-fledged diplomatic relations with Israel were discouraged because India supported the Palestinian cause; having an Israeli embassy in New Delhi, various governments believed, would rupture its relations with the Arab world.

This was where the RAW-Mossad liaison came in. Among the threats the two external intelligence agencies identified were the military relationship between Pakistan and China and North Korea, especially after then Pakistan foreign minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Pyongyang in 1971 to establish a military relationship with North Korea.

Again, Israel was worried by reports that Pakistani army officers were training Libyans and Iranians to handle Chinese and North Korean military equipment.

RAW-Mossad relations were a secret till Morarji Desai became prime minister in 1977. RAW officials had alerted him about the Zia-ul Haq regime’s plans to acquire nuclear capability. While French assistance to Pakistan for a plutonium reprocessing plant was well known, the uranium enrichment plant at Kahuta was a secret. After the French stopped helping Islamabad under pressure from the Carter administration, Pakistan was determined to keep the Kahuta plant a secret. Islamabad did not want Washington to prevent its commissioning.

RAW agents were shocked when Desai called Zia and told the Pakistani military dictator: ‘General, I know what you are up to in Kahuta. RAW has got me all the details.’ The prime minister’s indiscretion threatened to expose RAW sources.

The unfortunate revelation came about the same time that General Moshe Dayan, hero of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, was secretly visiting Kathmandu for a meeting with Indian representatives. Islamabad believed Dayan’s visit was connected with a joint operation by Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies to end Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Apprehensive about an Indo-Israeli air strike on Kahuta, surface-to-air missiles were mounted around the uranium enrichment plant. These fears grew after the Israeli bombardment of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

Zia decided Islamabad needed to reassure Israel that it had nothing to fear from Pakistan’s nuclear plans. Intermediaries — Americans close to Israel — established the initial contacts between Islamabad and Tel Aviv. Israel was confidant the US would not allow Pakistan’s nuclear capability to threaten Israel. That is why Israeli experts do not mention the threat from Pakistan when they refer to the need for pre-emptive strikes against Iraq, Iran and Libya’s nuclear schemes.

By the early 1980s, the US had discovered Pakistan’s Kahuta project. By then northwest Pakistan was the staging ground for mujahideen attacks against Soviet troops in Afghanistan and Zia no longer feared US objections to his nuclear agenda. But Pakistani concerns over Israel persisted, hence Zia decided to establish a clandestine relationship between Inter-Services Intelligence and Mossad via officers of the two services posted at their embassies in Washington, DC.

The ISI knew Mossad would be interested in information about the Libyan, Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabian military. Pakistani army officers were often posted on deputation in the Arab world — in these very countries — and had access to valuable information, which the ISI offered Mossad.

When young Israeli tourists began visiting the Kashmir valley in the early nineties Pakistan suspected they were Israeli army officers in disguise to help Indian security forces with counter-terrorism operations. The ISI propaganda inspired a series of terrorist attacks on the unsuspecting Israeli tourists. One was slain, another kidnapped.

The Kashmiri Muslim Diaspora in the US feared the attacks would alienate the influential Jewish community who, they felt, could lobby the US government and turn it against Kashmiri organisations clamouring for independence. Soon after, presumably caving into pressure, the terrorists released the kidnapped Israeli. During negotiations for his release, Israeli government officials, including senior intelligence operatives, arrived in Delhi.

The ensuing interaction with Indian officials led to India establishing embassy-level relations with Israel in 1992. The decision was taken by a Congress prime minister — P V Narasimha Rao — whose government also began pressing the American Jewish lobby for support in getting the US to declare Pakistan a sponsor of terrorism. The lobbying bore some results.

The US State Department put Pakistan on a ‘watch-list’ for six months in 1993. The Clinton administration ‘persuaded’ then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to dismiss Lieutenant General Javed Nasir, then director general of the ISI. The Americans were livid that the ISI refused to play ball with the CIA who wanted to buy unused Stinger missiles from the Afghan mujahideen, then in power in Kabul.

After she returned to power towards the end of 1993, Benazir Bhutto intensified the ISI’s liaison with Mossad. She too began to cultivate the American Jewish lobby. Benazir is said to have a secret meeting in New York with a senior Israeli emissary, who flew to the US during her visit to Washington, DC in 1995 for talks with Clinton.

From his days as Bhutto’s director general of military operations, Pervez Musharraf has been a keen advocate of Pakistan establishing diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.

The new defence relationship between India and Israel — where the Jewish State has become the second-biggest seller of weapons to India, after Russia — bother Musharraf no end. Like another military dictator before him, the Pakistan president is also wary that the fear of terrorists gaining control over Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal could lead to an Israel-led pre-emptive strike against his country.

Musharraf is the first Pakistani leader to speak publicly about diplomatic relations with Israel. His pragmatic corps commanders share his view that India’s defence relationship with Israel need to be countered and are unlikely to oppose such a move. But the generals are wary of the backlash from the streets. Recognising Israel and establishing an Israeli embassy in Islamabad would be unacceptable to the increasingly powerful mullahs who see the United States, Israel and India as enemies of Pakistan and Islam.

Ancient Israeli Myths Deter Peace

Netanyahu: a tyrant like Moses?

Ancient Israeli Myths Deter Peace

by Robert Parry*

Does Israel’s claim to be a Jews-only state have any legitimate foundation? Not according to Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, whose investigative findings suggest that Israel’s rationale rests purely on Biblical mythology rather than historical facts. The question is not simply rhetorical, at a time when Netanyahu has recently backtracked on earlier agreements by demanding that Palestinians not only recognize Israel as a state (which the Palestinians did as part of the 1993 Oslo Accords) but specifically as a “Jewish State.” With the intrusion of such myths dampening the prospects for finally achieving peace in the region – yet again, one is left wondering whether peace is indeed on Israel’s agenda. Has the time come to deconstruct them once and for all?

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Charlton Heston starring as Moses in “The Ten Commandements”, 1956 film by Cecil B. DeMille.

The rationale for formally designating Israel a Jewish state – as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now demands [1] – rests on three religious-political pillars: God’s purported covenant with Moses instructing the ancient Israelites to conquer the land, the injustice of the Roman-era Diaspora that supposedly removed them centuries later, and the brutal persecution of European Jews in the Holocaust.

Yet, the first two of these pillars appear to be based on almost no historical reality, the stuff of legend and possibly even lies that crumble under any serious scrutiny.

Normally, such ancient stories might be regarded as harmless tales that some people treasure as part of their Judeo-Christian faiths, except that Netanyahu’s new demand means that these myths now threaten peace in the Middle East and conceivably could push the modern world into more bloody warfare. Therefore, they must be given fresh examination.

Ironically, it was the Nazis’ drive to exterminate European Jews during World War II that is the one pillar founded on historical reality, although some extreme enemies of Israel insist on making Holocaust denial a central feature of their attacks.

Also, some adversaries, like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have argued that it is unfair to make the Palestinians pay for a crime against humanity committed by the Germans. [2]

Yet, the Holocaust is not in historical dispute. That horrible reality – an industrial-style extermination campaign that also targeted Gypsies, homosexuals and Communists – was proven after the World War II from a multitude of Nazi records, photographs and eyewitness accounts.

It is the tales of Moses from the Torah (or the first five books of the Old Testament) and the legend of the Roman Diaspora that lack serious historical underpinnings.

The Diaspora myth has been addressed in a new book by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand [3], When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? [4] It debunks the notion that Rome removed the Jewish people en masse from the Holy Land in the First and Second Centuries A.D. and scattered them across Europe.

Instead, most East European Jews appear to be descendents of converts, principally from the Kingdom of the Khazars in eastern Russia, who embraced Judaism in the Eighth Century, A.D. The descendants of the Khazars then were driven from their native lands by invasions and – through migration – created the Jewish populations of Eastern Europe.

Thus, Sand argues, many of today’s Israelis who emigrated from Europe after World War II have little or no genealogical connection to the land. According to Sand, a bitter irony of Israel’s founding may be that it displaced Palestinians who could be the actual descendants of the ancient Israelites, who stayed on the land and eventually converted to Islam.

Other descendants of those ancient Israelites maintained Judaism as a strong presence in the Middle East, both in Palestine and in successful communities from Egypt to Iraq and Iran. These Jews faced few religious pressures until after Israel was founded in 1948, when this new European intrusion into Islamic lands was viewed in the context of the Crusades a millennium ago.

The Moses Myth

Yet, while questioning the Diaspora myth is a sensitive topic for many Israelis and their supporters around the world, it is even touchier to challenge the Biblical claim that God, through Moses, struck a covenant with the Israelites to conquer the land and possess it for all time.

Because the Torah is sacred to Jews – and to many Christians as the revealed word of God in the Old Testament – it has been dangerous to examine the factual history behind these texts in an objective manner.

For centuries, the Catholic Church and some Protestant faiths persecuted anyone who questioned Moses’s supposed authorship of the chapters even though their internal contradictions and the description of Moses’s death at the end of Deuteronomy made that long-held belief untenable.

As Richard Elliott Friedman recounts in his 1987 book, Who Wrote the Bible?, “Religious opposition to the new investigation (into the traditional belief about Moses’s authorship) persisted during the 19th Century” and didn’t collapse until 1943 when Pope Pius XII “encouraged scholars to pursue knowledge about the biblical writers.”

Modern Biblical scholars now agree that Moses was not the author of the Torah, that the stories were passed down orally from the 14th Century B.C. and were put into writing centuries later. But the legendary figure of Moses has remained almost beyond criticism, not only for many Jews but for people of the Christian and Islamic faiths. (He is treated as a holy messenger in the Koran.)

Many Americans think of Moses as the angry but righteous leader as portrayed by Charlton Heston in the 1956 epic “The Ten Commandments”, or they think of their feel-good Bible studies as children. Yet, many archaeologists believe that the Moses stories were largely made up.

“This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel,” summed up Professor Ze’ev Herzog, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

“The many Egyptian documents that we have make no mention of the Israelites’ presence in Egypt and are also silent about the events of the Exodus.”

However, other scholars believe that some did emigrate to Egypt, suffered in servitude there, and may have been led back to Canaan by Moses or a Moses-like leader.

Nevertheless, because of the powerful influence of the Torah (and the Old Testament), the biblical Moses carries extraordinary religious and historical weight, inspiring Israeli settlers to claim Palestinian lands as rightfully theirs and rallying fundamentalist Christians across the American heartland to embrace whatever actions the Israelis take.

A Tyrannical Leader

But who was Moses?

According to biblical lore, Moses was a Hebrew child raised in the royal Egyptian court before breaking with his protectors and remaking himself into a leader of Hebrew slaves. He guided them out of Egypt and transformed them, as they wandered for decades in the Sinai desert, into an Israelite nation, giving them specific laws and detailed rules of behavior.

During that time, Moses announced a covenant with God that granted the Israelites permanent dominion over the lands across the Jordan River, and he instructed them to destroy other peoples inhabiting those territories. Moses, however, never returned to the Promised Land, dying near the Jordan, before the conquest began.

Though Moses is regarded by many as a great law giver (the Ten Commandants) and as a major force in the formation of monotheism (the belief in one God), the text of the Torah present him as a cruel and tyrannical leader.

From a modern perspective, Moses might be viewed as a “dictator who killed his own people” when they disobeyed him and an advocate of genocide against outsiders. His claims that he spoke with the Lord sound more like a megalomaniac who believed he could scare a primitive people into following his orders by claiming they were edicts from God.

Indeed, over the centuries, many tyrants have used religion (especially monotheism) to justify repression and to eliminate enemies and rivals. The religious wars in Europe during the Middle Ages are a classic example of how kings and popes wrapped their personal power in the bloody cloak of religion, torturing and burning alive “heretics” who wouldn’t submit.

The biblical Moses appears to have been such a tyrant, though the Sunday school version often played down this extreme side of his personality.

In Exodus, for instance, there is the famous story of the Israelites, creating a visible idol of their God in the form of a golden calf while Moses is absent on Mount Sinai. When Moses returns with stone tablets conveying laws of behavior, he is furious and smashes the tablets.

According to the Torah, Moses then grinds up the golden calf, mixes it with water and makes the Israelites drink it. Then, Moses recruits what we would today call a “death squad.”

The Torah reads: “Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, to me!’ And the Levites gathered round him. And he said to them, ‘Thus said the Lord God of Israel, “Put every man his sword on his thigh, and cross over and back from gate to gate in the camp, and each man kill his brother and each man his fellow and each man his kin”’ And the Levites did according to the word of Moses, and about three thousand men of the people fell on that day.”

In other words, Moses ordered a massacre of Israelites whom he regarded as his enemies, people who had challenged his authority in the form of dancing around the golden calf.

Robert Alter in his 2004 book, The Five Books of Moses, comments on Moses’s instruction: “each man kill his brother,” etc.

“This chilling command enjoins the sword-wielding Levites to show no mercy to friend or kin,” Alter wrote. “The figure of three thousand dead in the next verse indicates that this is not an indiscriminate massacre but an assault on the ringleaders – or perhaps, those guilty of the most egregious excesses – among the orgiasts.”

Higher Authority

It also seemed that whenever Moses was setting some rule, whether as grand as the Ten Commandants or as minor as personal hygiene, he always invoked the Almighty.

In Leviticus, for instance, God supposedly takes a direct interest in dictating how women should be treated after childbirth, with one set of rules for giving birth to sons and another for daughters.

According to this account, the Lord tell Moses, “Speak to the Israelites, saying ‘Should a woman quicken with seed and bear a male, she shall be unclean seven days, as in the days of her menstrual unwellness she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And thirty days and three she shall stay in her blood purity. She shall touch no consecrated thing nor shall she come into the sanctuary till the days of her purity are completed.

“And if she bears a female, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation, and sixty days and six she shall stay over her blood purity. And when the days of her purity are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a yearling lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for an offense offering to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest. And he shall bring it forward before the Lord and atone for her, and she shall be clean from the flowing of her blood.”

If you think that’s a lot of unnecessary detail, you should read the Lord’s instructions via Moses for how to assess whether a boil is leprosy or not.

In Deuteronomy, Moses explains to the Israelites about their right to reclaim the land of their forefathers, again speaking for God:

“And the Lord your God shall bring you to the land that your fathers took hold of, and you shall take hold of it, and He shall do well with you and make you more multitudinous than your fathers.”

Moses also makes clear that God expected the conquest to include massacres and genocide. Again speaking for the Lord, Moses said:

“I will bring back vengeance on My foes and My enemies I will requite. I will make My shafts drunk with blood, and My sword will eat up flesh from the blood of the fallen and captive, from the flesh of the long-haired foe.”

In his final blessing to the Israelites, Moses makes the genocide message even more explicit, painfully so. He called on them to “smash the loins of [the Lord’s] foes, that His enemies rise no more. … Your enemies cower before you and you on their backs will tread.”

So, more than 3,000 years later, should a modern state like Israel be demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel as an explicitly Jewish state, as Netanyahu now says?

The Diaspora Myth

The second pillar – the Roman Diaspora – also comes from ancient times though not as far back as the stories of Moses. If anything, however, the Diaspora has less of a historical basis.

In When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? Dr. Sand, an expert on European history at the University of Tel Aviv, says the Jews were never exiled en masse from the Holy Land and that the myth of the Diaspora was used by Zionists over the past century to buttress their argument for creating Israel.

Sand, a European Jew born in 1946 to Holocaust survivors in Austria, argues that until the Zionist movement arose, Jews thought of themselves as Jews because they shared a common religion, not because they possessed a direct lineage to the ancient tribes of Israel.

However, at the turn of the 20th Century, Sand asserts, Zionist Jews began assembling a national history to justify creation of a Jewish state by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion and that they had primogeniture over the territory that had become known as Palestine.

The Zionist movement also invented the idea that Jews living in exile were obligated to return to the Promised Land, a concept that had been foreign to Judaism, Sand states.

If Sand’s thesis is correct – and it has faced no substantive rebuttal – it would suggest that many of the Palestinian Arabs have a far more substantial claim to the lands of Israel than do many European Jews who arrived there asserting a God-given claim.

Indeed, Sand theorizes that many Jews, who remained in Judea after Roman legions crushed the last uprising in 136 A.D., eventually converted to Christianity or Islam, meaning that the Palestinians who have been crowded into Gaza or concentrated in the West Bank might be direct descendants of Jews from the Roman era.

In his book – and in an interview with Haaretz about his book [5] – Sand challenged the myth that the Romans relocated the Jews by force to Europe. In the interview, he said:

“I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land – a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that it has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the country.

“The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th Century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.”

The True Descendants

Asked if he was saying that the true descendants of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah are the Palestinians, Sand responded:

“No population remains pure over a period of thousands of years. But the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I are its descendents.

“The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt 1936-1939, knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don’t leave until they are expelled.

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Palestinian farmer: early 20th century.

“Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, ’the vast majority of the peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the land.’”

Criticism of Sand’s book has focused mostly on his credentials as an expert on European history, not ancient Middle Eastern history, a point that Sand readily acknowledges.

One critic, Israel Bartal, dean of humanities at the Hebrew University, attacked Sand’s credentials, but disagreed mostly over Sand’s assertion that the Diaspora story was created as an intentional myth by Zionists seeking to fabricate a direct genealogical connection between many of the world’s Jews and Israel.

“Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions,” Bartal wrote in the newspaper Haaretz. “Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.”

In other words, Bartal is not so much disputing Sand’s historical claims about the Diaspora or the origins of Eastern European Jews, as he is contesting Sand’s notion that Zionists concocted a false history for a cynical political purpose.

But there can be no doubt that the story of the Diaspora has played a key role in the founding of Israel and that the appeal of this powerful narrative has helped generate sympathy around the world, especially in the United States.

“After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom,” reads the preamble to the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

As recently as Israeli’s bombardment of Gaza [6] in January 2009, the myth of the Diaspora was used to justify the slaughter of some 1,400 Palestinians dead, including many children and other non-combatants. When the Israeli government investigated alleged war crimes by its army, Israeli troops testified that extremist Rabbis had proclaimed the invasion a holy war.

The troops said the Rabbis brought them booklets and articles declaring: “We are the Jewish people. We came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

Today, with the emergence of a new Likud-led government in Israel, the Diaspora myth and Moses legends are intruding again on the prospects for finally achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted on a new precondition for talks – that the Palestinians must agree to a “public, binding and unequivocal” recognition that Israel is “the nation state of the Jewish people,” [7] not simply the nation state of the people of Israel. Netanyahu is making this demand although Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population.

This appears to be another case of ancient bloody myths contributing to a modern bloody reality.

 Robert Parry

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

This is a speech not made by Gordon Brown.

I know that this has been a difficult summer.

These sacrifices that have hurt so many families in our country are ones that the whole of Britain will want to acknowledge.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

The USA needs to keep the heroin flowing into Europe.

Heroin profits help to finance the CIA’s terrorist operations.

The USA needs military bases in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan is next door to Iran, Pakistan, China and other countries that we want to destabilise.

To the north of Afghanistan lie huge quantities of oil and gas.

We want to control the oil, the gas and the pipelines.

When it comes to the threat of terrorist attacks on the streets of Britain, just remember that Britain has a long history of arming and using militant Moslem groups to carry out acts of terrorism.

Britain used militant Moslems in Sumatra to undermine Sukarno.

Britain used the Moslem Brotherhood to undermine nationalists in Egypt, Syria and Iran.

Some of Bin Laden’s mujahideen trained in Britain.

And the so-called mastermind of the London tube bombings, Mr Aswat, apparently worked for MI6 in the Balkans.

Our troops are making progress as they attempt to turn Afghanistan into an American colony.

And what about all these Pakis in your neighbourhood?

I can assure you that they are useful as cheap labour; and they mainly vote for Labour.

Some of our leading councillors are Pakis and some have done very well financially, thanks to us.

Remember to fly the flag.

That was a speech not made by Gordon Brown.



Tortured and humiliated, I felt the power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime — and the ‘fearsome resource’ of the dissidents.
By Zarah Ghahramani
July 12, 2009
As an Iranian citizen of voting age, I was entitled to cast my ballot in the June 12 national election. I didn’t do so. It was with good reason I have placed 10,000 miles of safety between myself and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Still, distance couldn’t diminish the anxiety I felt as I watched Iranians in great numbers protesting what they saw as election fraud. I feared for the life of every outraged citizen whose face flashed across my television screen.

The last time protesters swarmed into the streets of Tehran to vent their frustration with the regime, I was among them. That was in the winter of 1999. Hundreds of thousands of undergraduates like me clamored for more freedom to choose what we wore, what we said, what we were permitted to study. We’d grown up after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, had only ever known fundamentalism, and we were sick of it. We marched in a delirium of hope, believing that the justice of our cause was irresistible.

We were foolish in certain ways, but it was good foolish, happy foolish. “Something’s happening,” we said to each other. “Everything will change.” The crowds of Tehranis who watched us marching smiled and called out, “God be with you!” And those few who weren’t smiling? We pitied them; their day was past.

Then one fine morning — a morning on which we didn’t march — the people who’d been watching us without smiling struck back hard. I was walking home from the Tehran University campus after studying in the library when a car pulled up beside me on a quiet street. A man and a woman who said they were police officers (they were not wearing uniforms) hustled me into the back seat. I thought, absurdly, “How rude!” An hour later, I was in a detention center with 20 or more prostitutes who wouldn’t risk talking to me openly because I was, as they explained in whispers, “a political.” Later that day, I was taken to Evin Prison in north Tehran.

Over the month that followed in Evin, I learned that the people I’d pitied, the people whose day was past, had merely been biding their time. A highly detailed dossier was placed on a table before me during my first interrogation. The blindfold I was compelled to wear whenever I wasn’t in my cell had been removed. The dossier included hundreds of photographs of me and my friends engaged in all sorts of innocent activities — drinking coffee together on the steps of my faculty building, chatting, laughing, flirting, waiting for a bus.

“We know everything about you,” my interrogator said. I thought, “So what?” I was still cocky, in quite a snobbish way; I didn’t believe that the smelly, ill-educated man hovering over me had any right to ask a well-educated person such as myself any questions at all. His Farsi grammar was dreadful.

But then the torture began, and that changed everything. My cockiness lasted about 10 seconds. Over that month in Evin, I was beaten, lashed, tied to a chair in a stress position for what must have been 12 hours or more, kept in solitary confinement, tormented with tales of what was being done to fellow students who’d marched with me in the street. My head was shorn down to bare skin. I was told to admit to all sorts of dire things — that I’d spied for America, betrayed my native land, chased boys — all of which were nonsense, and all of which I confessed to. Torture works. But it doesn’t produce truth.

Nobody knew for sure I was in Evin. But my family and friends made an educated guess, for although I didn’t know it until later, thousands of student protesters had been arrested at the same time I was. A friend of a friend was able to exert influence, and I was released. Once free, I took months to recover from the ordeal, if mounting rage at what had been done to me can be called recovery. I had been warned by my interrogator before I left Evin that there was more, and worse, to come if I acted up again. It became apparent to me that if I remained in Iran, I would have to act up again. I knew my rage would one day overwhelm me and I would begin screaming in the streets. The only safe course was to leave my native land — my native land! I did.

I fear that the protesters who are being picked up by state security on the streets of Iranian cities right now will be forced to endure what I endured nine years ago. I fear they will be tortured, humiliated, made to sign false “confessions.” It will seem to some of those who survive their ordeal that the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has such fearsome resources of repression at its disposal that all protests are futile. That’s what I thought when I was released from Evin, and that sense of futility contributed to my rage.

I think differently now. I remember my interrogator saying to me: “We can do what we like. No one can help you.” Later, alone in my cell, I thought, “It’s true, they can do what they like.”

But even as I said that, I was imagining freedom. That is something the interrogator and the regime he served don’t dare to do. And in the long term, that is our advantage; our own fearsome resource. We can imagine freedom.

Zarah Ghahramani is the coauthor, with Robert Hillman, of “My Life as a Traitor.” Hillman assisted in the writing of this article.

Petition: Colonialism IS to BLAME for Africa’s PROBLEMS!

Petition: Colonialism IS to BLAME for Africa’s PROBLEMS!

President Obama
Sponsored by:
President Obama,
Enough is Enough!   Young African American students are baffled by your audacity to suggest that the contemporary problems of Africa should be disengaged from the legacies and exigencies of colonialism, neo-colonialism and western oppression.
As people of African descent and on behalf all those who embrace principles of human equality from around the world, we go on record to express our outrage by your words which the media is broadcasting around the world – “African leaders, stop blaming colonialism and Western oppression for the continent’s manifold problems.”

We invite people of good will to join us.   We insist that you   reconsider the basic assumptions, language and values that you bring to critique and create America foreign policy towards Africa in the 21 st century .

Your comments epitomize blaming the victim analysis, and at the same time give a pass to those who are most responsible for the conditions of Africa without benefit of a genuine apology, much less reparations.
Your very words poison the spirit of balanced analysis of very complex issues and suggest a tone of chastisement and condescension that is more than hurtful.   Your comments fuel the culture of entitlement and racism that has so permeated the consciousnesses of people all over the world.
Words have power. As president of the United States , your words can be lethal in that they represent America support and justification for systemic and on-going economic exploitation of Africa ..

The African continent, consisting of   diverse countries, many carved out by the European interests of the 1886 Berlin Conference ,   has been devastated by the centuries of slavery, human and material exploitation upon which western wealth was built.   This same kind of exploitation has led to the near extinction of native people in the United States .

We are not in a post-racial America or world.   African nations have literally been free of colonial rule for 52 years and less. And, the systemic legacy of European and American oppression is still present. We would expect you and your administration   to exhibit a greater level of empathy and understanding of the complexities and interconnections between how the interests of western powers control the options and environment in which very young African nations meet their global realities. We expect no less consideration or respect than you give to the Middle East and   Eastern Europe and emergent Asian nations that have emerged from embroiled liberation struggles of varying degrees.
We have expected more from you not only because you are the leader of  the most powerful nation in the western world, but also because you have first-generation  genetic linkage to Africa.  Understandably, we  are are extremely disheartened by your words and by your politics.  We are disheartened most especially because, as  young people, we bought into your message of hope and transformation.  It pains us, therefore, to think that the caption for your administration of change might very well be  politics as usual.
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