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Friday, August 8, 2014

Killing Palestine - When will enough be enough?

Killing Palestine - When will enough be enough?

Catherine Shakdam




July 27, 2014
In yet another gruesome display of violence and bloodshed, Israel has declared war on the Gaza strip, its prime minister having announced that an example would have to be made out of Hamas for peace to ever have a chance to flourish.
Under PM Benjamin Netanyahu's impetus, Israel's peace will be negotiated with hard iron, guns pressed onto women and children's neck, since all Palestinians have been labelled terrorists.
But this new war on Gaza has little to do with peace and even less to do with terrorism, unless of course one would be willing to admit that killing and maiming innocent civilian populations would actually qualify, in which case the award would go to Israel.
Israel is not the victim western media have quite clumsily and desperately attempted to portray; the horrors which have unfolded before the world's communities, the ever mounting death toll, the images of wounded children, dead children, orphaned children should suffice as testament to Israel's barbaric streak.
But Israel, the apartheid state, the terror state, the racist state, the police state wants the world to empathize and sympathize with its people. It wants to project onto the world this idea that its people, the so-called "Chosen People" have, because of their inherent superiority the right, and to an extent the duty to annihilate whoever and whatever they perceive as a threat to their existence.
Waving the guilt of the holocaust as a protective cloak, Israel has perpetuated this idea that its people can bear no critic and face no opposition. Forever the victim, forever the martyr of the world, Israel feels the world ought to bow before its will, never to challenge its actions as its very existence has been ordained by God.
It is such a narrative which has driven the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since 1948. Because Nazi Germany committed genocide against the Jews, Israel was given a licence to kill on Palestine. Because the world felt too guilty to argue with Zionits' calls for a state of Israel, Palestine was made to burn and cry.
Because the world has been blinded by lies, Palestine has stood to suffer decades of humiliation and injustice. A perfectly well-oiled terror machine, Israel has committed more crimes against humanity than any so-called democracy.
Israel cannot claim moral high ground against Palestine, it has lost the right to ever be granted the luxury of a tear as its land is still soaked with the blood of the innocent.
Israel's buildings have been erected on stolen lands, its fields bear the stolen fruits of Palestine, its people claimed ownership of a land which was never theirs to have.

Israel's hatred

Because Israel has been driving the propaganda bus, always pushing for the demonization of Palestine, its people, its politicians, it is often too easy to forget that it is Palestinians who are paying with their lives for Israel's aggression.
Driven into a crazed trance by Prime Minister Netanyahu over the death of three young settlers, whose death it is important to note was exploited by the government to sell yet another war on Gaza, Israelis have spit their venom at Palestinians in the most horrific manner, revealing to the world the extent of their hatred, the blackness of their hearts.
Israel is the monster not Palestine.
In a detailed report Electronic Intifada clearly outlined Netanyahu's deceit, detailing how his cabinet chose to stage a revenge campaign against Hamas to revert into a state of war and thus refocus Israel's attention toward the cause which has been feeding its very life force – the destruction of Palestine.
Israel's June rescue show, the calls for the return of Israel's three youth after their disappearance, was all but an elaborated plan set in place to legitimize another war, another bloodshed on Gaza.
"Max Blumenthal has documented it was all a shameful and cynical political show. The Israeli leadership knew within the first day of their disappearance that the youths were dead; bullet holes, blood samples and a telephone recording provided evidence of what happened. But the ever-receptive Jewish-Israeli public demanded revenge and by the time the extent of the sham was revealed, the Israelis had killed nine people in the West Bank and three more in the Gaza Strip through missiles they fired in "retaliation" for the West Bank murders," wrote Ahmed Moor.
But Israel' sickening gist would not end at the unwarranted and illegal brutalization of an entire people. Israel pushed the envelope further yet, revealing the true nature of its essence.
Following weeks of what can only be described as a vicious, racist campaign against Palestinians Netanyahu has quite overwhelmingly convinced his people that Palestinians are lesser human beings destined to die under the mighty boot of Israel.
Regardless of officials claims before the international community that Israel is a moral people, a good people; Israel has shown its true colours too many times for the world to care to ignore.
When officials have felt so bold as to openly call for the massacre of all Palestinians – women, children and the elderly - there is little moral ground to be had.
Earlier this week Israeli politician, Ayelet Shaked, wrote in a controversial Facebook post, "all Palestinians are our enemies...Israel should declare war on the entire [Palestinian] people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure."
Many Israeli Facebook users have posted violent and disturbing content on their personal accounts. Talya Shilok Edry, who has more than one thousand followers, posted the following "status": "What an orgasm to see the Israeli Defense Forces bomb buildings in Gaza with children and families at the same time. Boom boom."
Edry's Facebook timeline shows a pattern of calls for bloodshed against Palestinians. Writing about the murdered sixteen-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, who was kidnapped and burned alive by Israeli youth, she stated: "Sweet settlers, next time you kidnap an Arab boy, call me and let me torture him!! Why do you get to have all the fun?"
And yet, Palestinians are made to bear the blame.
While Israel rains death and terror onto Palestine much of the world has looked onto Palestine and in a perfect paradox called on its people to look for peace. But how can there be peace when Israel continues to deny Palestinians the right to exist?
Where else on earth is there a system where a government tolerates and condones its citizen to infringe on another people' sovereignty – illegal settlements – while arguing it is legitimate?
Is there ever a justification for the targeting of children? Is it ever legitimate to brutalize and terrorize children on account of their ethnicity? Is it ever moral to impeded on another's most basic human rights and yet pretend to righteousness?
Israel is the monster not Palestine.


Source 

Is the West Bank ripe for an intifada?

Is the West Bank ripe for an intifada?

Mya Guarnieri


July 27, 2014
Media and politicians have been quick to claim that Palestinian protests against Operation Protective Edge mark the beginning of a third intifada. But in Beit Sahour, the town that was the heart of the First Intifada, some are skeptical that today’s demonstrations will turn into tomorrow’s revolution. 
Some ten thousand Palestinians marched from Ramallah on Thursday night to Qalandia checkpoint, in protest of Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip and in hopes of reaching Jerusalem. One man was killed and dozens were injured in what was the largest demonstration the West Bank has seen in years.
While protesters and observers alike speculate that this marks the beginning of the Third Intifada, the mood in Beit Sahour – the small, predominately Christian town that was the heart of the First Intifada – is decidedly more pessimistic.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, "Nasser," a Beit Sahouri and veteran of the First Intifada who was arrested nearly a dozen times for his political activities says that recent protests in West Bank are "emotional."
Palestinian youth burn an Israeli flag during clashes following a protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza in the Qalandyia checkpoint near Ramallah, July 24, 2014.
Palestnians marched from Al Amar refugee camp to Qalandyia checkpoint to protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
The First Intifada was "based on hope," he explains, which allowed people to slow down, think ahead, and "restrain themselves and strategize."
People are "moving out of emotions now and that becomes violent," Nasser says, pointing to the Second Intifada as an example. Many Palestinians feel that the Second Intifada accomplished very little.
Today, he adds, "We lack any political movement that’s capable of moving the masses—neither Hamas, nor Fatah, nor any other group."
Nasser’s sentiments were echoed at a small demonstration in Beit Sahour on Monday, as the West Bank observed a general strike in protest of Operation Protective Edge and what is being called a massacre in Shajaiyah. A few dozen protesters attempted to march towards an Israeli army base that is perched on a hill outside the village. But they were quickly deterred by tear gas.
"This is all about Gaza right now," said a woman in her late twenties. She hung back, watching, as theshebab, young men, edged forward. "When there’s a ceasefire, the people [in the West Bank] will go back to sleep."
For years, Palestinians have pointed out that demonstrations in the West Bank are usually reactionary and don’t reflect clear goals, vision, or a long-term strategy. Protests and strikes against Israel’s last two military operations in Gaza – 2008-2009’s Operation Cast Lead and 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense – did not snowball into Intifadas.
"We have no leadership," is another oft-repeated explanation as to why there is no sustained revolt against the Israeli occupation. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is widely viewed as a puppet who is more concerned with placating the Israelis than taking care of his people. And West Bank protests are often put down by Palestinian Authority security forces.

        
A professional in his mid-30s, who was born and raised in Beit Sahour and whose father was arrested three times during the First Intifada, attended Monday night’s march. The man, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, felt discouraged by the small demonstration. "There’s no one supporting the protesters," George said, calling the PA the "Palestinian Zionist Authority."
"When you have an authority that supposedly works for your benefit and you see the [Palestinian] security personnel…acting just like Israeli soldiers," George continued. "There will be no motivation to do anything."
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh is the author of Popular Resistance in Palestine, a professor at Bethlehem University, and an activist. He responds to concerns regarding leadership and organization.
Such questions, Dr. Qumsiyeh says, "assume that colonized, occupied people sit down together to come up with a strategy. If you’re looking for organization, it doesn’t happen this way. Sometimes at the peak of a revolution, leaders emerge—revolution makes leaders, leaders don’t make revolutions."
Clashes erupted between Palestinians and the Israeli army during a demonstration in Solidarity with the Gaza Strip, at Huwwara military checkpoint, Nablus, West Bank, July 24, 2014. 3 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)
He adds that claims that leaders or political parties are necessary for an intifada suggest that Palestinians are "still thinking paternalistically, that a father figure has to tell them what to do."
Dr. Qumsiyeh points to the spontaneous nightly protests in Bethlehem as proof positive that the youth can get an intifada moving on their own. "Uprisings happen when there is no leadership. That’s happening in Bethlehem now. Who told these kids to go out every night?"
Hundreds of protesters have attend the nightly demonstrations in Bethlehem, which neighbors Beit Sahour. But these demonstrations are dominated by shebab – young Palestinian men. And some young Palestinian women say they’re uncomfortable joining.
"We are a patriarchal society," Dr. Qumsiyeh reflects. "I hate that personally. The old men in the PLO—I’d love to see them all gone and see women and young people in charge."
While the media’s eyes are trained on the male-dominated, urban protests that erupted in response to Operation Protective Edge, demonstrations are more sustained and egalitarian in the Palestinian villages. The weekly protest in Nabi Saleh comes to mind. Since 2009, men, women, and children have been marching to reach the village’s spring that was expropriated by Israel. Nariman Tamimi, the wife of organizer Bassem Tamimi, is a leader in the demonstrations. And Nabi Saleh has seen a number of women’s marches, as well.
Indeed, many argue that the strength of the First Intifada is that it engaged men, women, children, and families of all economic classes. That the middle class Beit Sahouris interviewed for this article all asked to remain anonymous suggests that, today, they feel like they have too much to lose.
Many here say that neoliberal policies has had a sedating effect on the West Bank. Some blame former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his focus on economic development; they blame banks that give loans to Palestinians, encouraging them to live beyond their means and chaining them to debt. Others point to a society that is increasingly driven by consumerism.
Family members and friends mourn next to the body of killed Palestinian Mohammed al-Araj during his funeral at the Qalandiya refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on July 25, 2014. Al-Araj was shot with live ammunition in his head during a demonstration the night before in Qalandiya. At least other 500 Palestinians were injured from live ammunition, some of them are still under critical condition. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
All people think about today, George argues, "is paying off their debt. There’s no time to think of the occupation." He adds that in 1987, when the First Intifada began, the financial system was different. Loans and consumerism "didn’t exist" then.
Nasser agrees that Palestinian society is more consumerist and individualistic than it was in the past and that this is an obstacle to getting a revolution off the ground. But he’s quick to add that "the generation that grew up under the PA and Israel cannot help but be individualistic, to find a way to benefit from the situation."
Also problematic, Nasser says, is that Palestinians have "adapted" to the occupation. "We got used to not going to Jerusalem, we got used to checkpoints. We’ve lost a major part of our self-respect. We cannot have a massive intifada without a mental shift."
While Dr. Qumsiyeh agrees, remarking, "Our first liberation has to be of our own minds," he insists that the circumstances are ripe for a revolution. He ticks the list off on his hand, taking the opportunity to again point out that previous intifadas didn’t begin with leaders but, rather, with the people.
"They started because of pent-up frustration," he says. The other conditions? "One: paralysis of the peace process; two: lack of trust in the Palestinian leadership." The third, according to Dr. Qumsiyeh, is that "the occupier becomes even more arrogant. They assume they can get away with anything."
Like killing civilians in Gaza.
Nasser maintains that the Third Intifada has yet to begin. But he calls it "inevitable."
"There’s one thing I’m sure of," he says. "Palestinians are not going to raise a white flag."
As for the young woman who, on Monday, was sure that the West Bank will go back to sleep – on Friday morning, she woke up to the news of the 10,000 strong march on Qalandiya. And she said, "[No one] can predict anything anymore."
A shorter version of this article was first published on Al Jazeera English


Source 

Merciless Israeli mobs are hunting Palestinians


(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International) Merciless Israeli mobs are hunting Palestinians

Rania Khalek

227mob.jpg
Right-wing Israelis rioting in Jerusalem earlier this month.(Tali Mayer / ActiveStills) 

July 27, 2014
All eyes are on Gaza, where the death toll from Israel’s merciless bombing campaign has topped 1,000
But back in Jerusalem, where sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair was burned alive by Jewish vigilantes in a "revenge killing" incited by Israeli politicians early this month, right-wing lynch mobs continue to roam the streets in search of Arabs to attack. 
Their most recent victims are twenty-year-old Palestinians Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz from the Beit Hannina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. The pair were severely beaten into unconsciousness on Friday night by Israeli youths armed with iron bars and baseball bats. 
Mahfouz told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he and Shwiki were on their way to the light rail when they were stopped by "a man [coming] from the direction of Neve Yaakov,"  an illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. 
"He said give me a cigarette. I told him I don’t have any, and he heard [from my accent] I’m Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe twelve people. They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head," Mahfouz recounted. 
Haaretz added, "According to the victims, police officers that arrived at the scene did not call an ambulance, and they were instead evacuated by passersby to receive medical treatment at a Beit Khanina [sic] clinic. They were later rushed to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in serious condition."
Though investigators believe the beating to be racially motivated, no one has been arrested. 

Police complicity

Israeli police have a pattern of ignoring hate crimes against Palestinians, as was the case immediately following the reported kidnapping of Muhammad Abu Khudair. Police did not immediately respond when his family called to report that he had been kidnapped and they actively thwarted efforts to locate those who murdered him by spreading false rumors that Abu Khudair was murdered by his family in an "honor killing" over his sexuality. 
Police also neglected to respond when Abu Khudair’s murderers tried to kidnap ten-year-old Mousa Zalum from the same East Jerusalem neighborhood two days earlier. 
When police aren’t busy ignoring Jewish vigilante violence against Palestinians, they are actively participating in it. 
On Thursday night last week, police teamed up with a Jewish mob assaulting two Palestinian men while they were delivering bread to grocery markets on Jaffa Street in West Jerusalem from their van. 
The men — identified by Ma’an News Agency as twenty-year-old Amir Mazin Abu Eisha and Laith Ubeidat (age not specified) — were encircled and beaten with empty bottles by a mob of some twenty to thirty Israelis, according to their attorney, Khaldun Nijim.  
Rather than assist the men as they were being attacked, Nijim told Ma’an, "The Israeli police stopped them in their van and pointed guns at them."
Nijim added: "After they drove away a few meters, the police shot at them. They then stopped and were assaulted again."
After barring an ambulance from transferring Abu Eisha, who sustained head and ear injuries, to the hospital for medical treatment, police detained the two Palestinian men at the Russian Compound police station close to the scene and charged them with "having a knife and obstructing the work of police," according to Nijim. 
Abu Eisha and Ubeidat were eventually released on bail but are currently under ten days of house arrest. Meanwhile, several of the mob participants filed complaints against their victims, accusing the men of trying to assault them with a knife.

Racist activism on the rise

The same Ma’an article notes that in Jerusalem, "Jaffa street has been covered with flyers warning Arabs not to 'touch’ Jewish women in recent weeks, as part of a right-wing Jewish campaign to prevent mixing among Jews and Arabs."
The fliers were probably designed and distributed by Lehava, a fanatical anti-miscegenation group whose sister organization, Hemla, receives state fundingto "rescue" Jewish women from romantic relationships with Arab men. 
Leanne Gale, an anti-racist activist living in Jerusalem, recently reported on her blog that Lehava has been holding nightly gatherings in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square and littering all of Jerusalem with stickers and fliers in Arabic that state, among other things, "Do not even think about a Jewish woman."
Other catchphrases adorned on Lehava T-shirts and stickers include "Jews love Jews" and "The women of Israel for the nation of Israel," according to Gale. 

Fascist mobs from Haifa to Tel Aviv

Violent mobs of anti-Arab fascists aren’t isolated to Jerusalem.
Last week in Haifa, the Arab deputy mayor and his son were brutally beaten by a mob of Jewish supremacists chanting "death to Arabs" and "death to leftists" in response to a rally against the Gaza onslaught. Police did nothing to stop the assault.
Similar fascist demonstrators have surfaced in supposedly liberal Tel Aviv as well, verbally and physically attacking Palestinians and leftists protesting the war on Gaza. 
Israeli blogger Elizabeth Tsurkov, who has been regularly attending and live-tweeting the racist attacks against anti-war demonstrators in recent weeks, heard a new racist chant mocking the more than two hundred children slaughtered by Israel’s merciless bombing campaign in Gaza: "Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left." 

Incitement from the top

While calls for extermination have been rampant both in the streets of Israeland on Israeli social media for months, the "death to Arabs" sentiment is not isolated to vigilantes. 
Take for example Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked, a rising star in the far-rightwing Jewish Home party, who recently called for genocide by slaughtering Palestinian mothers to prevent them from giving birth to "little snakes."
Fast forward several weeks, and the United Nations is reporting an alarming rise in miscarriages and premature births in Gaza, where newborn infants are dying due electricity blackouts that shutdown their incubators.
Another Israeli public official inciting violence is Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of the illegal West Bank settlement Kiryat Arba, who issued a religious edict declaring that it is permissible under Jewish religious law for the Israeli army to "punish the enemy population with whatever measures it deems proper," even if that means "exterminat[ing] the enemy."
Since then, portions of Gaza have been reduced to rubble in apocalypse-like scenes that look indistinguishable from the flattened cities of Syria. 
With all eyes glued to Israel’s destruction of the besieged Gaza Strip, little attention is being paid to the heightened levels of racism in Israeli society as demands for "death to Arabs" echo across the country with devastating consequences for Palestinians from Shujaiya to Qalandiya to Jerusalem to Haifa. 


Source 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Why Obama Ignored Iraq

- FrontPage Magazine - http://www.frontpagemag.com -
Why Obama Ignored Iraq
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On July 7, 2014 
ISIS marching through Iraq has smashed the media’s taboo against criticizing Obama’s foreign policy. Substantive discussions are taking place about why his foreign policy is such a miserable failure.
And they mostly miss the point.
Liberal journalists still proceed from the fallacy that there was a foreign policy debate between neo-conservative interventionists and liberal non-interventionists. These are a series of digested Bush era talking points that have no relationship to reality since Bush’s foreign policy on Iraq carried over from Bill Clinton. It’s why Hillary gets so uncomfortable when she has to discuss her vote on Iraq.
The liberals weren’t non-interventionists who insisted on multilateralism and UN approval before acting. Obama, like virtually every other Democrat, disproved that myth as fast as he could. Nor were they even opponents of the Iraq War until opposing the war became politically convenient.
Obama however isn’t on this map at all. It’s not that he is an opponent of intervention. The Libyans can tell you that. It’s that his reasons for intervening fall completely outside the grid of national interests.
The anti-war activist as pacifist is largely a myth. There are a few anti-war activists who oppose all wars, but mostly they just oppose America. Obama, who got his foot up the political ladder by flirting with the anti-war movement, falls into that category. Obama isn’t opposed to wars. He’s opposed to America.
Obama is an ideological interventionist, not a nationalist interventionist. And despite his multilateralist rhetoric, he isn’t your usual globalist either. Instead he uses national and international power as platforms for pursuing ideological goals without any regard to national or international interests.
That is true of both his foreign and domestic policy.
Obama’s foreign policy is issue oriented, just like his domestic policy is. There is no national agenda, only a leftist agenda. America is just a power platform for pursuing policy goals.
Domestically, Obama does not care about fixing the economy. The economy is a vehicle for pursuing social justice, environmental justice and all the many unjust justices of the left. It has no innate value. Likewise national security and power have no value except as tools for promoting leftist policies.
Obama thinks of the ideological issue first. Then he packages it as a national interest for popular consumption. It’s a Wilsonian approach that is not only far more extreme than the policies of most White House occupants have been, but also more detached.
Wilson couldn’t understand that American power couldn’t exist without a national interest. Obama and his staffers see America as just another transnational institution that they happen to be running, not all that different than a corporation, non-profit or UN body. They don’t see it as a country, but a series of policymaking offices that reach across the country and the world.
It’s a globalized mode of thinking that is common among Eurocrats, but has never been represented in the Oval Office before.
Obama doesn’t just oppose America. He disregards it as an outmoded institution. When confronted with the border crisis or the rise of ISIS, he doesn’t see them in terms of American interests or even world interests, but in the narrow terms of leftist ideology.
He will use national and international institutions to promote LGBT rights or Green Energy. He won’t however get involved in actively using them for national security unless he absolutely has to in order to protect his own political power.
To a transnational mindset, institutions exist to promote issues. America is only of value to the extent that it can promote the left’s agenda. To the extent that it doesn’t, America is dead weight.
Once Bush was out, Iraq ceased to matter because it was no longer a packaged issue. It couldn’t be broken down into a simplistic Blame Bush policy agenda. And so Obama stopped paying attention.
Now Iraq is getting in the way of the things that he really cares about, such as illegal alien amnesty, dismantling Israel and transsexual bathrooms, because these are ideologically meaningful issues to him. And like every other obstacle, whether it was the national debt or the VA scandal, he pretends to take them seriously until a sufficient amount of time passes and he can dismiss them as “phony scandals”.
Obama didn’t just ignore Iraq because he wanted to avoid any connections to a war that he had helped make unpopular. He ignored Iraq because it had nothing to offer his ideology. If Iraq had a secular dictator, he might have been interested. If Islamists were fighting to take over from that dictator, there would have been planes and diplomats flying over Baghdad before you could shout, “Allah Akbar.”
It’s why he backed the Islamist overthrow of Arab governments, but not the popular protests against Islamist governments in Iran or Turkey.
But Iraq was a battle between Sunni and Shiite Islamists, backed by the Saudis and Iran. Even the left has trouble picking a side between two anti-American Islamic factions who are divided over theological issues, instead of practical things like dialectical materialism and the discourse of othering. In a pinch they pick the Iranian side as being more anti-American, but the prospect of American intervention on the same side as the Shiites confuses them even further and they have to go lie down in a dark room.
When there is no clear ideological guide, Obama takes meetings with generals, tunes them out, plays with his phone and delays doing something for as long as possible. That was the pattern in Afghanistan and Syria. Ideologues can’t function without an ideological orientation. When the ideological value of a problem is unclear, Obama either freezes up, like a robot whose manual was misplaced, or ignores it.
Obama’s only approach to Iraq came from Bush era opposition. Without Bush to push against, he had no idea what if anything should be done about Iraq. He still doesn’t. Instead he resorts to the antiquated attacks on Bush because it’s the last time that Iraq made any sense to him. It was the last time that the left had successfully packaged Iraq into a simple scenario in which there was only one right choice.
Ideologues are not big on independent thinking. When everything is politicized, they lose the ability to see the things that can’t be neatly assigned to one side or another.  America is being run by a blinkered ideologue who ignores issues that fall outside his ideological spectrum.
Those problems that he doesn’t cause directly and intentionally through his ideology, he causes indirectly and unintentionally by being unable to operate outside his ideology except in an emergency. Like the difference between the pilot who flies a plane deliberately into a mountain and the one who accidentally flies it into a mountain, there is a gap in motivation, but not in outcome.
History will not record why Obama screwed everything up. It will only record that he did it.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

Obama’s Secret Directive Supporting Global Islamism

- FrontPage Magazine - http://www.frontpagemag.com -
Obama’s Secret Directive Supporting Global Islamism
Posted By Raymond Ibrahim On July 4, 2014 
recent Gulf News report sheds some light on how and why the United States helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies to power, followed by all the subsequent chaos and atrocities in the Mideast region.
Large portions of the report follow with my commentary interspersed for added context:
Dubai: For the past decade, two successive US administrations have maintained close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, to name just the most prominent cases.
The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the “Arab Spring” erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other “political Islamist” movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for “stable regimes” even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing “moderate” Islamic political movements (italics added for emphasis throughout).
And we have certainly witnessed this shift.  Chaos and the Islamic ascendancy in the Middle East and North Africa never flourished as under the Obama administration—and precisely because the administration shifted from supporting stability under secular-minded autocrats.
The most significant example of this is how the Obama administration threw Hosni Mubarak—a U.S. ally for three decades—under the bus in order to support the Islamists, most specifically the Muslim Brotherhood.  And we saw how that ended—with another revolution, hailed as the largest revolution in human history, with the average Egyptian accusing Obama of being a terrorist supporter.
To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
“Embarrassingly naïve and uninformed view” is synonymous with the “orthodox and mainstream view pushed forth by Mideast studies professors and academics,” especially those with political influence, such as the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University, in Washington D.C.  Such programs, which I’m only too well acquainted with, begin with false—that is, “embarrassingly naïve and uninformed”—premises, namely: that the source of all the region’s woes are (formerly) U.S.-propped autocrats (reality is that dictators don’t create such societies but rather are the natural outcome of Islamic societies and are the ones most prone to keeping law and order—compare Iraq under Saddam and Iraq now, as a “democracy,” with “ISIS” proclaiming a caliphate).  Mideast academics have also long spearheaded the idea that there are “moderate” Islamists and “radical” Islamists, and that the U.S. should work with the former (in reality they are all radical—to be an Islamist is to be radical—the only difference is that the “moderate” Islamists don’t wear their radicalism on their sleeves, even as they work toward the same goals that the more open “radicals” work for, namely, a Sharia-enforcing caliphate).
The revelations were made by Al Hewar centre in Washington, DC, which obtained the documents in question.
This too is significant. As Daniel Greenfield writes: “Al-Hewar, which actually got hold of the documents, is linked to the International Institute of Islamic Thought… which is a Muslim Brotherhood front group.  Figures in the Muslim Brotherhood had threatened to leak understandings with Obama Inc. This is the next best thing. It warns Obama that if he tries to forget about them, they can prove that the relationship was official policy.”
To be sure, after the ousting of the Brotherhood in Egypt, several Brotherhood members made, sometimes not so veiled, threats to the Obama administration if it turned its back on them, including top ranking Brotherhood member, Khairat al-Shatter’s son.
Through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, thousands of pages of documentation of the US State Department’s dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood are in the process of being declassified and released to the public.
If and when these thousands of pages are released, they should be combed through, as no doubt answers to many of the Obama administration’s hitherto inexplicable policies in the Middle East will be found—to wit:
US State Department documents obtained under the FOIA confirm that the Obama administration maintained frequent contact and ties with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, in April 2012, US officials arranged for the public relations director of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Gaair, to come to Washington to speak at a conference on “Islamists in Power” hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Indeed, despite the administration’s later insistence that it did not favor the Islamists over other parties, anecdotes implying otherwise were constantly on display.  In Egypt alone, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson, due to her close ties not just to President Morsi, but the Muslim Brotherhood in general, became such a hated figure in the months before last year’s anti-Brotherhood revolution.
A State Department Cable classified “Confidential” report says the following: “Benghazi Meeting With Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: On April 2 [2012] Mission Benghazi met with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood steering committee, who will speak at the April 5 Carnegie Endowment ‘Islamist in Power’ conference in Washington, D.C. He described the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision to form a political party as both an opportunity and an obligation in post-revolution Libya after years of operating underground.
These documents on the Obama administration’s connections with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya are especially disturbing in the context of earlier revelations made in Arabic media, including that the Brotherhood’s Libyan wing was very much involved in the 9/11 Benghazi U.S. consulate attack.
Another State Department paper marked “Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)” contained talking points for Deputy Secretary of State William Burns’ scheduled July 14, 2012 meeting with Mohammad Sawan, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was also head of the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party. The document is heavily redacted, but nevertheless provides clear indication of Washington’s sympathies for the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a major political force in the post-Gaddafi Libya. The talking points recommended that Secretary Burns tell Sawan that the US government entities “share your party’s concerns in ensuring that a comprehensive transitional justice process is undertaken to address past violations so that they do not spark new discontent.”
“To address past violations so that they do not spark new discontent” is another way of stating another popular position among Mideast professors, namely that whenever Islamists engage in violence or terrorism, that is proof positive that they have a legitimate grievance, hence the US must “appease” lest it “spark new discontent” (perhaps the true backdrop of Benghazi).
The Burns paper described the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: “Prior to last year’s revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned for over three decades and its members were fiercely pursued by the Gaddafi regime.
In light of all the chaos the Islamists have been responsible for in Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, et al—is it now obvious why Arab autocrats like Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, and currently Bashar Assad have always “banned” and “fiercely pursued” the Brotherhood and its affiliates?

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

France, Qatar, and the New World Disorder


France, Qatar, and the New World Disorder

According to investigative journalist Silvia Cattori, the barbaric bombing of Aleppo University on January 15 has been officially claimed by the terrorist group the Al Nousra Front. This confirmation should not come as a surprise to those who have been following closely events in the Levant since March 17, 2011, when unknown snipers opened fire in the Southern Syrian town of Deraa killing several policemen and innocent protestors.
Since then, snipers and jihadist death squads from Libya, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and even France and the UK inter alia, backed by Nato intelligence and Gulf petro-monarch cash, have waged a genocidal non-conventional war upon the Syrian people which has relied heavily on a sophisticated international disinformation campaign in the corporate controlled press, whereby all crimes committed by the terrorists are systematically blamed on the Syrian government.
Eighty-two students in Aleppo University were murdered on Tuesday January 15 from a missile launched by the Western media’s beloved “rebels”: these gangs of convicts, drug-smugglers, rapists, child abusers, and common thugs presented to the gullible Western public as “revolutionaries.”
Since 2011, over 2000 schools and educational centres in Syria have been destroyed by the Western-backed jihadists, who are attempting to annihilate the Syrian state in order to construct a “New Middle East” that accords with Nato and Gulf state geopolitical objectives. When will this nightmare of terrorism end?
Meanwhile, there was an icy silence in Paris, London, and Washington, not a word of condemnation after last week’s Aleppo atrocity.
Unlike the Houla Massacre last year, committed by the rebels but blamed on the Syrian government, there were no calls from Paris, London and Washington for an international investigation after the Aleppo bombing. Everybody knows who the perpetrators are. So there is silence. Cowards hide. Cowards prey on the weak and defenseless. Cowards dissemble and use cover for their actions. The Western military-intelligence establishment are despicable cowards. They hide behind pompous newspeak about human rights and democracy while committing the most heinous crimes known to man. They bomb other countries while pushing buttons in computers, thousands of miles from the action. They send in drugged psychopaths to kill, rob and destroy the people of countries who get in their way.
The callous silence of the Western governments at the massacre in Aleppo contrasted sharply with the strong and unequivocal condemnations that came from Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, and China. The emerging powers in the world are bearing witness to the self-destruction of Western civilization through an excess of hubris, greed and megalomania.
There are no words in any language to describe the atrocities NATO‘s contras are committing against the people of Syria. But the world is looking on in horror and outrage. Large parts of Latin America know what is going on. Large parts of Asia and Russia too, know who is behind the violence in Syria. The truth will out in time. The balance of power in the world is shifting and sooner or later, the criminals behind these neo-colonial wars and their vast network of collaborators will be brought to justice. There are signs that Jordan may realign itself with Iraq, Iran, and Syria after signing new energy deals with Iraq on January. This could be fatal for the terrorists in Western Syria, as Jordan has hitherto been used as a base for the terror campaign. The Syrian state is strong enough to survive. The spirit of the Syrian people is indomitable. The illusions of the Arab Spring have faded. No one can argue now that the Arab Spring was about democracy and human rights. The Muslim Brotherhood have taken power in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya with Western support. No one can pretend any more that the conflict in Syria is about democracy.
The French military-industrial-media complex is currently buzzing with orgiastic delight as French troops re-conquer mineral and gas-rich Mali, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, while French Special Forces train and facilitate Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Syria — a geopolitical theatre of the absurd worthy of Ionescu!
France is one of the most culturally and politically literate civilizations in the world, and has a long and militant left-wing tradition. Yet, the only cause that rallies the official “left-wing” intelligentsia in Paris today is gay marriage. The French “left” are due to march on the streets of Paris soon in support of a new law permitting gay marriage. The French government bombed and destroyed two African countries in 2011. France is engaged in an endless colonial war in Afghanistan, while the “patrie de droits de l’homme” has been conducting a covert war in Syria since last year and is now attempting to bomb its way back into Mali with a view to destroying Algeria. Uranium-rich Niger will be next. In short, neo-colonial aggression by the French government has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people and has ruined the lives of millions of others; it is complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity and is leading us closer to world war, yet the French “left “are only concerned about gay marriage rights! Furthermore, domestic repression in France is on the increase with more and more troops being brought out onto the streets of Paris to “protect” the population from potential “Islamists” the French government’s Gulf friends are financing, while France’s African and Magreb immigrant minorities are constantly stopped and harassed for no reason by the police. But who cares, as long as homosexuals can marry!
On a more positive note, there are some encouraging signs of increasing political dissent emanating from the more moderate officials of French imperialism. It would appear that the US strategy of chaos, the nihilistic policy of supporting Islamic terrorists in order to destroy one state while claiming to fight them in another is becoming impossible to ignore. Former French foreign minister Dominique De Villepin told radio France Inter on January 18 that the cause of the destabilisation in Mali was Nato’s war on Libya in 2011. De Villepin conceded that Libya is now overrun by jihadist militia.
Responding to a question from a caller concerning Qatar’s role in funding Islamist groups, De Villepin seemed to indicate that it was possible that “certain Gulf states” were financing Islamist extremist groups in Mali and Syria. It is unfortunately impossible to reproduce De Vilepin’s exact response to the question concerning Qatar’s role in Syria and Mali as France Inter edited this from their podcast version. They also edited out De Villepin’s highly significant suggestion that France should enter into negotiations with Russia in an effort to resolve the geopolitical impasse in Syria. In short, the three most important contributions by the former French foreign minister were edited outby the war propagandists running France’s state radio. In these strange, belligerent times even the voices of moderate imperialism are anathema to the roaring dogs of war.
Qatar’s financing of Islamist terror in Mali, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere and the incestuous relationship between the absolutist Gulf emirate and the Quai d’Orsay is now no secret to the more informed sections of the French public. Marine Le Pen, president of France’s far right party Front National told France Info on January 18: “I would like to point out an incoherence here. We are allies of Qatar, a country which is arming terrorists all over the world.” As I pointed out in previous articles, the absence of a genuine, anti-imperialist Left is opening the door to far right opportunism. Marine Le Pen is a clever operator. She understands that a significant portion of the French public are baffled by Quai d’Orsay’s love affair with the Gulf despots. Le Pen alludes to this but does not explain the real reasons for this relationship. The real reasons for the French elite’s love affair with gulf despotism has to do with the convergence of class interests. The Gulf despots support neo-liberal capitalism. They are authoritarian and neo-feudal. There is nothing Western capitalists love more than authoritarian regimes who comply with western economic interests and crush all dissent. For example, Qatari poet Mohammed Al-Ajami was imprisoned for life recently for the crime of criticizing the Emir of Qatar.
The Far Right will never explain the class basis for the West’s alliance with Wahhabite terrorism. That is because the Far Right represents the same class as their “moderate” Right and “Centre” Left opponents. Therefore, Le Pen will use her access to mainstream media to hoodwink disaffected French citizens into supporting her candidacy for the next presidential election. By then, the chaos wrought by Hollande’s government in the Middle East and throughout Africa will set the stage for Le Pen’s fascist programme to “restore order.” Once in power, the true nature of the Front National’s tyranny will be unleashed on what is left of genuine left-wing opponents in France.
As in the 1930s, a weak “social democracy” paves the way for the ascendance of the Far Right. Only this time there is no communist party to fight them.
Instead there are farcical characters such as Jean-Luc Mélanchon, leader of the “left-wing” coalition known as Front de Gauche. Mélanchon also spoke toFrance Inter on January 18, where he simple expressed reserve at the legitimacy of the French intervention. However, when asked if he agreed with ultra-conservative Gisgard d’Estaing’s comment that the French intervention was “neo-colonialism,” Mélanchon said he would not use such terms. One should not forget that Mélanchon supported France’s bombing of the Libyan people in 2011 and also supports France’s covert war on Syria. Yet, this is a man who claims to be “left-wing” and an admirer of genuine anti-imperialist leaders such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela! Cherchez l’erreur!
This is not the first time Qatar’s funding of Islamic terrorism has been admitted by the mainstream French media. The widely read satirical journal Le Canard Enchainé published an article in June 2012 confirming the fact long exposed by the alternative media that France’s closest “partner” in the Middle East was in fact a state-sponsor of Islamist terrorism. Alain Chouet, the former chef de service of the French intelligence agency has also confirmed the role of Qatar in financing Islamic terrorism in Syria and Mali. It is now becoming impossible to ignore the horrible reality behind France’s foreign wars, as more and more officials and mainstream journalists are exposing the French government’s complicity in terrorism. Using the Special Forces and terrorist groups of the petro-monarchies to destabilize resource rich nations and attain geo-political objectives; only fools and simpletons could fail to see the devastating reality of this insane quest for global hegemony.
After the repression of the Paris Commune in 1871, the reactionary French government of Adolphe Thiers promoted the Catholic religion in education as a means of deflecting the desires of the French working class away for social justice towards piety and obedience to the bourgeois state. A similar policy was adopted in Ireland by the British imperial state after the failure of the Young Irelander uprising of 1848. Catholic seminaries proliferated and Irish workers were told to put up with their fate in this life in order to secure deliverance in the next. This is the current policy of many European governments, who are allowing the feudal monarchies of the Gulf to take control of their Muslim populated, proletarian suburbs. Thus Qatar is now the chief foreign investor in France’s poor suburbs where young, ignorant Muslims are indoctrinated in neo-feudalist obscurantism, thereby deflecting them from the path of class struggle and social liberation.
The absurdity of current French foreign policy becomes glaringly apparent when one considers the fact that secular, Baathist Syria, more than any other country in the Middle East, has deep cultural ties with France. Until last year, French tourists flocked to Syria’s hundreds of breath-taking historical and archeological sites. The Syrian government has always been a keen promoter of French culture. Syria is one of the few Arab countries where books by atheist authors are widely read. Secularism is as fundamental to modern Syria as it is to France.
In this sense, Bachar Al-Assad’s Syria is ironically the most pro-Western country in the Middle East and France could have no greater ally against Islamist terrorism than the Syrian Arab Republic, yet Paris backs the Islamists! Both the Syrian president and the Syrian UN Ambassador Dr. Bashar Ja’afari speak French. In spite of this, Dr. Ja’afari has never been invited to speak on French TV or radio. Not once has the Syrian government been allowed to present its side of the story to the French public. Paris’s corrupt elites are only interested in talking to the semi-literate thugs of the Gulf States who keep their own people in ignorance, while promoting the most barbaric form of anti-Islam around the world. After all, the state of bondage which subjects of these countries experience represents a model society for the degenerate transatlantic oligarchs.
Notwithstanding the efforts of some of France’s most authoritative Arabists such as world-renowned Franco-Syrian scholar Bassam Tahhan to inform the French public about the true nature of events in Syria, the French ruling elite continues to mask its crimes in palid pronouncements on human rights and democracy. Blogger Alain Jules puts it eloquently when he writes:
Storm and fury lurk behind a kneaded facade of goodness. The permanent refusal to shake hands, the dictat, the violence and the perpetual, morbid and mortifying logos.
Describing the French political scene in Paris during the 1930’s, Micheal Jabara Carley writes: “This was the “Republic of Pals” where “rigorously honest men were on good terms with fairly honest men who were on good terms with shady men who were on good terms with despicable crooks.”1
Despicable crooks are still running this world and as Malcolm X understood too well, their media servants in all languages work over time to make us love the crooks and hate their victims.
  1. Carley, Micheal Jabara, 1939: The Alliance That Never Was And the Coming of World War II, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1999) p.15. []
Gearóid Ó Colmáin was born in Cork, Ireland, and is currently based in Paris. He is a former bilingual columnist with Metro Eireann. His interests include geopolitcs, globalisation, philosophy and the arts. He is a member of Pôle de renaissance communiste en France (PRCF) a political movement which advocates Marxism-Leninism and the formation of a revolutionary communist party in France. Read other articles by Gearóid, or visit Gearóid's website.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Syrian civil war: No end in sight


Syrian civil war: No end in sight

Posted Jan. 14, 2013, at 11:22 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 14, 2013, at 12:41 p.m.
The most frustrating part of covering the Lebanese civil war (1975-90) was that after a while, there was nothing left to say. Syria is starting to feel just the same. It’s horrible, but atrocities are a daily event in all civil wars. It’s not going to stop any time soon, but you can only say that so many times before people get bored and move on. Except for the people who actually live near Syria’s borders, the audience for “news” about Syria has already moved on.
Consider, for example, last week’s exhaustive study by the United Nations Human Rights Commission concluding that 60,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war since March, 2011. That’s considerably higher than the previous estimates of deaths in the war, which were running around 40,000, and the UNHRC hoped that this new number would finally galvanise the rest of the world into action, but it changed nothing.
Last month’s “news” was that the Russians were on the brink of abandoning their Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, which would surely bring about his rapid downfall. “One must look the facts in the face,” said Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister and Middle Eastern envoy. “Unfortunately, the victory of the Syrian opposition cannot be ruled out.”
However, Bogdanov did not actually say that a rebel victory was desirable. On the contrary, he said that it would not happen for a long time, if ever, and that such a victory would ruin Syria. Then, the spokesman of the Russian foreign ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, announced that the media had simply misunderstood Bogdanov: “We have not changed our position, and we will not change it.”
And so to this week’s piece of theatre: a widely touted speech in Damascus in which President al-Assad would propose a way to end the conflict peacefully. He did no such thing, of course, instead declaring his eternal refusal to negotiate with the “terrorists” who are fighting his army. He will only talk to the “puppet-masters” (an unholy alliance, he claims, between Israel, Western governments and al-Qaeda), not to the puppets.
Well, what did you expect? He and his Alawite sect are convinced that they must go on ruling Syria or face destruction. He’s not actually losing the war, either. Syrians are deeply divided by sect and ethnicity and class, and enough of those groups are on Assad’s side that he can probably hold out for a very long time. By the time he finally loses (or wins), perhaps years from now, Syria will indeed be ruined.
So why doesn’t everybody else “do something about it”? Because what “everybody else” really means is “somebody else, but not me.” No government is going to order its soldiers to risk their lives in a military intervention abroad unless it has reasonable confidence that their sacrifice will not be futile. That assurance is simply not available to governments that might contemplate intervention in Syria.
It has been a quarter-century since the first dictatorial regimes were overthrown by non-violent revolutions, and the remaining ones have all had time to study the phenomenon. They have unanimously and quite correctly concluded that their best chance of survival is to push the protesters into violence. In a civil war, everybody is in the wrong, and the side with the greatest ability to inflict violence (the regime) may win.
Some regimes, like the Communists in eastern Europe or the apartheid regime in South Africa, decided that they would not impose a civil war on the country even if the alternative was losing power. Others, like the Egyptian regime two years ago, could not trust the army to fight a civil war on their behalf. But the senior commanders of the Syrian army are almost all Alawites, and they were actually willing to fight rather than surrender power.
Now they have their war, and it will go on for a long time. By the end, there may not even be a unified Syrian state any more. And no outside force is going to stop it.
Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose commentary is published in 45 countries.