Cain at a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem
By Ali Gharib
Former pizza company CEO and GOP candidate Herman Cain started his presidential campaign — quite by accident, it seems — as an advocate for a cherished Palestinian ideal to return to their homelands throughout historic Palestine by endorsing the “right of return.” But he’s come a long way since then. Cain’s not “foreign policy dumb,” he says, and now he’s challenging reporters to take on his expertise in global affairs. He’s come so far on the Palestinian issue that he is even hedging about whether or not Palestinians have a national identity at all.
In an interview with the free Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom (or Israel Today), Cain, in attempt to show how President Obama’s “lack of a firm stand regarding Israel has emboldened Israel’s enemies,” made his most disparaging comments yet about Palestinians, verging on denying their existence as a people:
I think that the so-called Palestinian people have this urge for unilateral recognition because they see this president as weak.
In reality, the Palestinian national movement is decades old, if not more — and certainly older than Obama. But the most shocking part of Cain’s statement was his equivocation on the existence of the Palestinian people. As Center for American Progress analyst Matt Duss wrote last year:
Despite the fact that scholars such as Rashid Khalidi have established the emergence of a distinct Palestinian national consciousness in the 19th century, the offensive idea that the Palestinians don’t exist — or the equally offensive idea that they only exist as a negative reaction to the creation of Israel — is unfortunately still a fairly common belief among Israel hawks. [...]
As Peter Beinart noted in his recent piece in the New York Review of Books, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself made the claim in his 1993 book A Place Among the Nations.
With regard to Duss’s last point, it seems Israel Hayom is the perfect place for Cain to make his statement. In a 2008 New Yorker profile of the daily paper’s owner, American right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Connie Bruck wrote:
In the Israeli media world, Israel Hayom is referred to as Bibi-ton, because many believe that it serves as a mouthpiece for Netanyahu, whose nickname is Bibi, and who has long received extraordinarily negative press coverage in Israel.
Cain’s latest comments about the “so-called Palestinian people” and his bogus interpretation of their national movement should give us an idea of what kind of progress (or lack thereof) a Cain presidency would make in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Sheikh Raed Salah was arrested in his hotel room three days after legally entering the UK in June. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)
By Asa Winstanley
The Electronic Intifada
27 October 2011
A UK immigration court ruled yesterday that popular Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah could be deported from the country, after being banned by Home Secretary Theresa May in June.
The Electronic Intifada can now also exclusively reveal new details of an Israeli government role in the UK plot to exclude Salah.
Following yesterday’s decision, Salah could now take his appeal to a higher court, and meanwhile will remain in the UK on bail. Salah’s lawyer told The Electronic Intifada yesterday that his legal team were considering the judgment very carefully and could not comment further for the time being.
The judgment that Salah could be deported for “unacceptable behavior” comes as The Electronic Intifada reveals new details of the Israeli role in Salah’s June-July detention by the UK government. Government emails obtained by The Electronic Intifada contain evidence that the Israeli embassy in London gave information to the British government later used in an attempt to deport him from the country.
Read the full story at: The Electronic Intifada
Aid to Israel should be conditional upon the government fulfilling its obligations from negotiations with Palestine.
Like Egypt's aid is contingent upon peace with Israel, Israel's aid should also depend on negotiations and taking the necessary steps towards peace with Palestine [GALLO/GETTY]
By MJ Rosenberg
In my last piece, I highlighted a Washington Post in which Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Pincus urged that the $3bn aid package to Israel be re-examined.
Israel, with a population of seven million, receives $3bn a year from the United States while the entire continent of Africa, with a population over a billion, receives $8bn. Israel is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, while many countries in Africa languish in poverty and disease, especially HIV/AIDS. Obviously, these relative aid levels are ridiculous.
Nonetheless, I am now having second thoughts about the issue as a result of a call from a friend who works to increase aid levels for Africa.
Fukushima's Israeli Connection
By Richard Walker -
A leading Japanese journalist recently made two incredible claims about the Fukushima power plant that suffered a nuclear meltdown in March 2011, sending shockwaves around the world. First, the former editor of a national newspaper in Japan says the U.S. and Israel knew Fukushima had weapons-grade uranium and plutonium that were exposed to the atmosphere after a massive tsunami wave hit the reactor. Second, he contends that Israeli intelligence sabotaged the reactor in retaliation for Japan’s support of an independent Palestinian state.
According to Yoishi Shimatsu, a former editor of Japan Times Weekly, these nuclear materials were shipped to the plant in 2007 on the orders of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, with the connivance of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The shipment was in the form of warhead cores secretly removed from the U.S. nuclear warheads facility BWXT Plantex near Amarillo, Texas. While acting as the middleman, Israel transported warheads from the port of Houston, and in the process kept the best ones while giving the Japanese older warhead cores that had to be further enriched at Fukushima.
'The tide of war is receding,' said Obama. (Zoriah - zoriah.net)
By Ramzy Baroud
In a White House Statement on October 21, US President Barack Obama pledged that his country would finally withdraw forces from Iraq.
“After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over,” he said.
Providing some context to Obama’s announcement, a CBSNews.com report published on the same day stated, “The war in Iraq has meant the death of more than 4,400 U.S. troops and come at a cost of more than $700 billion.”
The US media is now failing to process any facts aside from the losses suffered by the US, who wrought war and destruction on a country in urgent need of peace and humanitarian assistance. For over a decade prior to the war, Iraq was reeling under US-led UN sanctions, which left the country’s infrastructure in a state of near collapse.
By Ira Glunts
Hasbara is the Hebrew word for a particular type of pernicious propaganda first employed by early Zionists leaders to explain the unexplainable actions of the Jewish administration in Palestine. In recent years, hasbara has been disseminated by certain Christian fundamentalists who believe supporting Israel brings them closer to God, and also by many members of the United States Congress who have been co-opted by the powerful pro-Israel lobby. Now the lobby has its sights set on a new group of potential collaborators: African Americans.
A group of 18 African American local and state politicians, including the presidents of the City Councils of Atlanta and Detroit, recently enjoyed a tour of Israel courtesy of the American-Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF). AIEF was also the sponsor of the infamous 2011 US Congressional summer trip to Israel, during which 81 American lawmakers diverted their attention from the budget debate and the U.S. financial crisis in order to focus on the sightseeing pleasures of the Holy Land-- and to be propagandized by the Netanyahu government. AIEF is part of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the biggest pro-Israel lobbying group in the U.S.
By Franklin Lamb
During the late evening of 10/20/11 the White House, the Office of the Secretary of State, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Libyan Embassy in Washington, DC received a faxed communication from an American organized international legal team currently preparing their departure to Libya.
The international lawyers, whose assistance has been arranged through Gadhafi family members and friends, has accepted the obligation to represent Seif al Islam against charges filed by the International Criminal Court on June 26, 2011 and to represent him in any and all legal proceedings that the NTC government may bring against him in Libya. They have been advised by Gadafi supporters in Libya and neighboring countries that the NTC at the direction of NATO, fully intends to see Seif al Islam killed before he can address the international media and his supporters, following the transfer of his father’s leadership authority to Seif on August 29, 2011. Seif has been planning to announce his candidacy in the planned coming election. Informal polls throughout Libya have shown him garnering close to 70% of the vote if he is allowed to stand for office under the now NATO controlled country.
by ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Denied post mortem imagery of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, the world now has at its disposal photographs of Muammar Qaddafi, dispatched with a bullet to the head after being wounded by NATO’s ground troops outside Sirte. Did the terminal command, Finish Him Off, come via cell phone from the US State Department whose Secretary, Hillary Clinton, had earlier called for his death, or by dint of local initiative? At all events, since Qaddafi was a prisoner at the time of his execution, it was a war crime and I trust that in the years of her retirement Mrs Clinton will be detained amid some foreign vacation and handed a subpoena.
My friend and neighbor in Petrolia, Joe Paff, wrote a response to a dreadful story about Qaddafi’s killing on Yahoo’s site, commenting “This kind of gloating is bound to come back and bite your butt. Imagine how many people in the world would like to see Netanyahu or Obama dragged from their hiding holes and tortured. It will take about six months for everyone to regret the ‘new’ Libyan ‘democrats.’”
Members of Hamas military wing and people greet freed prisoners upon arrival
at Rafah Crossing with Egypt in Gaza, Oct. 18, 2011.
(Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel will not release top security prisoners, nor common criminals, in the second phase of its prisoner swap deal with Hamas, senior official in the Gaza-ruling faction Mahmoud Zahhar said Sunday.
Under the second phase of the deal reached last week, 550 Palestinians -- who remain unnamed -- will be freed from Israeli jails within two months, coming after the release of 477 prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Tuesday.
While the Gaza militants who kidnapped Shalit will not directly negotiate the list in the second phase, Hamas leader Zahhar told Ma'an the movement had set the criteria for which prisoners would be freed, and Egypt -- who brokered the deal -- would guarantee their observation by Israel.
His comments come after Israeli intelligence officials told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday that petty criminals rather than security prisoners would be selected by Israel for release in the deal's second part.
By William A. Cook
' … disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people …' -- (United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Today the American people, in concert with their brothers and sisters around the world, proclaim the rights to which they are entitled by birth and citizenship, by Constitutional law and Proclamation, and by membership in the collective body of nations that has universalized recognition of these rights for all humanity. And today, in cities and hamlets across this nation, and in many nations around the world, people gather in peace to demand of their governments’ recognition of these rights that have been abrogated by the few and denied to many.
Citizens no longer control their government; they are slaves to it. Representatives no longer serve the citizen seeking their consent to govern, they are servants of the corporations and lobbies that control the economic system to which the citizen is enslaved. Presidents no longer lead, they are the obedient lackeys of their corporate overseers. Freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want do not determine the needs of humans, economics of the market place supersedes all at the expense of the citizen and human rights. We exist in a corporate world of unending wars, of vengeance and recrimination, of fear as a commodity that imprisons the mind, of greed that destroys the resources of this planet without remorse, and of insatiable arrogance that harbors no concern for those it destroys.
By Clive Hambidge
Does Israel really care for its returned son? Or was he used as a political pawn? As a young soldier returns home to assuage the "righteous indignation" of a nation state, no longer "sensitive [even] to its image of democracy", one can only agonize on the return of other soldiers and civilians of no blame apart from being under the yoke of Israel. They are those who, on being released from Israeli prisons, there incarcerated for resisting a "brutal occupation", find themselves in another prison, Gaza, while many are sent into exile and an uncertain future.
Does Israel really care for its returned son? Or was he used as a political pawn? Was "partial intelligence" soon after his capture enough to effect a rescue operation? Evidence suggests that it was, but more importantly what of Gaza and the conditions inside Israel's notorious prisons? The world must seek the testimonies of the returned sons and daughters of Palestine and learn of and from their ordeal.
The late Rachel Corrie said of Gaza in January 2003, "I couldn't even believe that a place like this existed." Almost 150 square miles packed with human suffering only matched by human stoicism and dignity. Over 1.5 million people, two thirds of whom are refugees, toil in an open prison created and sustained by Israel through the pernicious and unconscionable use of "de-development", the "deliberate, systematic and progressive dismemberment of an indigenous economy by a dominant one, where economic -and by extension, societal- potential is not only distorted but denied." This, it has to be said, done to encourage a Semitic exodus. For those (Palestinian) Semites who would leave, a denial of any return and their "residence rights". For those that would stay, a life of subsistence under an illegal blockade and the expression by successive Israeli governments of the worst aspects of the human condition; hate, leading to the inevitable expression of the evils of Apartheid.
Announcing new plans to build thousands of settler units, Israel continues to undermine efforts to see direct peace talks resume with the Palestinian Authority, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
Seemingly hell-bent on thwarting renewed efforts by the International Quartet to encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Israeli government has announced fresh plans to build a large settlement south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.
The new colony, slated to include thousands of settler units, is designed to create an irreversible demographic barrier between occupied Arab East Jerusalem and the Bethlehem region, which includes the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahur as well as dozens of smaller towns and villages.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of a panel that would look for ways to "legalise" colonies and outposts illegally built on private Palestinian lands. According to international law, all Jewish settlements established on land occupied since 1967 are illegal.
October 21, 2011 - - Russia’s NATO envoy has written in his microblog that the Western elation over the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi could have sadistic grounds.
“The faces of the leaders of ‘world democracies’ are so happy, as if they remembered how they hanged stray cats in basements in their childhoods,” Russian envoy to NATO and the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote in his twitter status on Friday.
"In this case, America spent $2 billion and didn't lose a single life. This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has in the past." -- Joe Biden
By Pepe Escobar
They are fighting over the carcass as vultures. The French Ministry of Defense said they got him with a Rafale fighter jet firing over his convoy. The Pentagon said they got him with a Predator firing a Hellfire missile. After a wounded Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sought refuge in a filthy drain underneath a highway - an eerie echo of Saddam Hussein's "hole" - he was found by Transitional National Council (TNC) "rebels". And then duly executed.
Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a Libyan doctor who accompanied Gaddafi's body in an ambulance and examined it, said he died from two bullets, one to the chest, one to the head.
The TNC - which has peddled lies, lies and more lies for months - swears he died in "crossfire". It may have been a mob. It may have been Mohammad al-Bibi, a 20-year-old sporting a New York Yankees baseball cap who posed to the whole world brandishing Gaddafi's golden pistol; his ticket perhaps to collect the hefty $20 million dangled as the bounty for Gaddafi "dead or alive".
It gets curioser and curioser when one remembers that this is exactly what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her lightning visit to Tripoli, had announced less than 48 hours before; Gaddafi should be "captured or killed". The Fairy Queenie satisfied Clinton's wishes, who learned about it by watching the screen of a BlackBerry - and reacting with the semantic earthquake "Wow!"
By Corbett B. Daly
October 21, 2011 "CBS" - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.
"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.
Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC).
The reporter asked if Qaddafi's death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.
"No," she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying "I'm sure it did" with a chuckle.
Palestinian freedom is non-negotiable. (FreeGaza.org)
(The following is a condensed version of Susan Abulhawa's speech at the Al-Awda Center grand opening)
By Susan Abulhawa
Summary: Susan Abulhawa presents an argument to abandon all negotiations with Israel and to abandon calls for the One State and Two State solutions; and in fact, to abandon academic debates on a political construct in favor of embracing the basic calls of Palestinian civil society for essential human rights. This strategy includes the need for a consensus and unified call originating from Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and agreed upon with the various Palestinian communities that make up the Palestinian Nation, including: Palestinians of the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, refugee camps outside of Palestine, the worldwide Diaspora and Palestinians of 1948. She argues that the greatest and unstoppable power available to Palestinians lies in their roots, the moral authority of their struggle for freedom. Harnessing that power, to which Israel has no real defenses, is the most practical path forward and it is rests on the need for 1) a unified call for freedom and the full range of human rights and dignities 2) a point of synergy among the multitude of internal and external movements which include direct action and solidarity activities inside Palestine and around the world and 3) sustained mobilization from the bottom up, hopefully with the assistance of the Palestinian Authority, but at least without interference from them.
To try to comprehend the PA’s UN bid for statehood and to figure out what the ramifications are on many fronts, it behooves us to take a look at history because, this is, after all, not the first time that a Palestinian state was formally declared. I know there are legal differences between the declaration of state in the 1980s and the current application for recognition, but for all intents and purposes, they are both attempts to achieve statehood by seeking international recognition, which, I feel, is the wrong approach for our struggle at this moment in history and, in my opinion is also probably a cynically calculated move that has little to do with actually achieving statehood.
Hamas, not Fatah, is gaining popularity in the West Bank after the deal with Israel to release Palestinian prisoners
By Ian Black
Mahmoud Abbas addresses newly released Palestinian prisoners in Ramallah. Photograph: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters
Palestinians in the West Bank are celebrating the release of the hundreds of prisoners exchanged for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but the political implications of the unprecedented deal look like bad news for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority as well as the PLO and its main group, Fatah, addressed a rally in Ramallah – unusually, with Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Hamas's leader in the West Bank – in a ceremony which included laying a wreath at Yasser Arafat's tomb.
"Your efforts have not been in vain," he told a crowd of thousands, which included 133 of the freed prisoners. "You have sacrificed, fought and paid the price. You will see the results of your struggle by the inception of a free and independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem."
Finally a prisoner swap deal has been reached -- widely seen as a victory for Hamas -- on captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Palestine
Having lost all hope of rescuing or securing the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by military means, Israel has finally agreed to accept nearly all Hamas's conditions for a prisoner swap deal that would also see the release from Israeli prisons of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including men, women and children.
In an emergency meeting that lasted several hours Tuesday night, the Israeli cabinet approved the prisoner swap deal by a large margin, with only three ministers voting against the deal. The head of the Shin Bet (Israel's domestic security agency) Yoram Cohen Israel was forced to accept the deal, seemingly because there was no other way to bring Shalit home.
An open-ended hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli prisons highlights the barbarous conditions to which they are subject, writes Saleh Al-Naami
A Palestinian schoolboy walks past a mural depicting captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip
In the dead of silence, the sound of Jamal Hassan's fall onto the floor of his cell in Shatta Prison in Israel was especially loud on Friday evening. When the guards opened the door to his cell, they found blood flowing from his head and he had lost consciousness. He was transferred to a nearby Israeli hospital. Hassan, 31, is one of hundreds of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails who 18 days ago began an open-ended hunger strike to protest the brutal conditions they are subjected to. These conditions include a long series of procedures ordered by Binyamin Netanyahu's cabinet in an attempt to pressure Hamas to speed up the prisoner exchange deal and abandon preconditions for releasing the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Hassan, who is serving a life term in prison, succumbed to hunger, thirst and solitary confinement and passed out. The Israeli authorities are not releasing any information about his health condition, while Palestinian sources assert that the Israelis are concealing the fact that they transferred a large number of Palestinian prisoners to hospitals, out of concern that this news would trigger an angry reaction among the Palestinian public.
The former intelligence analyst, Robert Baer, joins The World Today and warns the Obama adminstration to step back from blaming Iran for the foiled assasination plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington. The former CIA case agent says the attack doesn't appear to have been planned by Iran, and that the US may have got its assessment dangerously wrong. He says the US must open a direct diplomatic channel with the Iranian regime .. or risk igniting an uncontrollable war.
ELEANOR HALL: Now to the United States where a former intelligence analyst is warning the Obama administration to step back from blaming Iran for the foiled assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
The US attorney-general says Iran is behind what would have been a blatant act of international terrorism and which investigating authorities said was intended to be a prelude to other attacks.
The Iranian regime is denying any involvement in the plot and says the allegations are US propaganda.
At a press conference announcing the plot and the charging of two Iranians, attorney-general Eric Holder said that the US would "hold Iran accountable for its actions".
By Ismail Salami
In a 'united against Iran campaign,' the US government has accused Tehran of orchestrating an assassination plot against the Saudi envoy in Washington, a move which is to be seen as part of a US stratagem to carry on with its plan of demonizing and isolating the Islamic Republic of Iran.
US Vice President Joe Biden said on "The Early Show" on Wednesday that "It's critically important that we unite the world in the isolation of and dealing with the Iranians. That's the surest way to be able to get results."
Obviously, the US officials will use the fabricated occasion to press for new international sanctions as they say that Iranian agents have sought to hire a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi envoy on American soil.
Regardless of the impertinence and hollowness of the claim, one should not disregard the influence of the powerful Zionist lobby in the new mudslinging plan which is, as Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani puts it, a 'tactless and childish game.”
Tehran would have to be terminally foolish to try to snuff out an ambassador on US soil, author says.
By Pepe Escobar
Washington is looking to increase sanctions on Iran as a result of the plot to kill a Saudi ambassador [EPA]
No one ever lost money betting on the dull predictability of the US government. Just as Occupy Wall Street is firing imaginations all across the spectrum - piercing the noxious revolving door between government and casino capitalism - Washington brought us all down to earth, sensationally advertising an Iranian cum Mexican cartel terror plot straight out of The Fast and the Furious movie franchise. The potential victim: Adel al-Jubeir, the ambassador in the US of that lovely counter-revolutionary Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
FBI Director Robert Mueller insisted the Iran-masterminded terror plot "reads like the pages of a Hollywood script". It does. And quite a sloppy script at that. Fast and Furious duo Paul Walker/Vin Diesel wouldn't be caught dead near it.
The good guys in this Washington production are the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, they uncovered "a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on US soil with explosives".
By MJ Rosenberg
A few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I attended a big holiday dinner with family and friends. Naturally much of the conversation revolved around the terrorist attacks and the rage and sorrow we all felt. There was also considerable discussion about President George W. Bush's handling of the catastrophe and his decision to send troops to Afghanistan in pursuit of the perpetrators and to eliminate the Taliban regime that was hosting them.
Everyone at the table approved of the president's actions and believed that there was no alternative. Moreover, and this was somewhat surprising considering that none of us thought Bush had been legitimately elected, we all believed that he was being honest about the situation the United States faced and the options that were before him.
There was, however, one dissenter. My younger son, then in college, was absolutely opposed to going into Afghanistan. He said that there had to be a better way to respond than rushing into a war that, in his opinion, would likely expand and last "forever." Besides, he added, "I don't believe a word that comes out of Bush's mouth."
The Obama administration continues to claim the Iranian government helped orchestrate the plot, while admitting evidence is lacking
by John Glaser
United States officials in the Obama administration and Justice Department have explicitly claimed that Iran’s supreme leader and the Quds Force covert operations unit were likely aware of the so-called terror plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States. But evidence of that is lacking and many officials have admitted there are gaps in their understanding of the plot.
The Obama administration has combatively blamed the highest echelons of the Iranian government and promised impending consequences, despite the fact that there is no solid information about “exactly how high it goes,” as one official put it.
Anonymous government officials speaking to various media outlets have said that their belief that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “more than likely” had prior knowledge of the plot is based on inference. The Quds Force operates, they reason, in accordance and obedience to Iran’s supreme leadership, so a rogue actor is unlikely.
Read the full story at Anti-war
The idea that the United States is uniquely virtuous may be comforting to Americans. Too bad it's not true.
BY STEPHEN M. WALT | NOVEMBER 2011
Over the last two centuries, prominent Americans have described the United States as an "empire of liberty," a "shining city on a hill," the "last best hope of Earth," the "leader of the free world," and the "indispensable nation." These enduring tropes explain why all presidential candidates feel compelled to offer ritualistic paeans to America's greatness and why President Barack Obama landed in hot water -- most recently, from Mitt Romney -- for saying that while he believed in "American exceptionalism," it was no different from "British exceptionalism," "Greek exceptionalism," or any other country's brand of patriotic chest-thumping.
Most statements of "American exceptionalism" presume that America's values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration. They also imply that the United States is both destined and entitled to play a distinct and positive role on the world stage.
The alleged Iranian plot would make great material for a spy novel, but it would go against Iran's own interests and past behavior
Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubeir speaks in Annapolis / Reuters
By Max Fisher
It's entirely possible that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement today is exactly what it looks like: the U.S. discovery and foiling of a plot by Iranian government agents to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a bomb attack, possibly in Washington, DC. Iran has a record sponsoring terrorism, and Iran-Saudi competition can sometimes look like a Cold War of the Middle East. But, for all the plausibility that Iran might be willing to blow up a Saudi ambassador, it's not at all apparent what they would gain from it. Iran has never been shy about sponsoring terrorism, but only when it was within their interests, or at least their perceived interests. It's hard to see how they could have possibly decided on a plot like the one that Holder claimed today.
Not even good propaganda
By Justin Raimondo, October 12, 2011
Fake, fake, fake – I’m talking about the latest anti-Iranian propaganda coming out of Washington, which claims the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were involved in a “plot” to take out the Saudi ambassador to the US and blow up both the Saudi and Israeli embassies. The narrative reads like a formulaic melodrama: two Iranians, one a naturalized US citizen, purportedly approached someone they thought was a member of a Mexican drug cartel – according to the indictment ( http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_U.S.%20news/Security/IranPlotComplaint.pdf ), it was a “sophisticated” drug cartel, not the plebeian sort – and proposed paying him $1.5 million to murder Adel al Jubeir, the Kingdom’s ambassador in Washington – oh, and by the way, the Iranians supposedly said, “Are you guys any good with explosives?”
The key to understanding just how fake this story is can be found in the New York Times report, which informs us:
“For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District, said in the news conference. ‘So no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere,’ he said, ‘and no one was actually in ever in any danger.’”
Translation: the whole thing is phony from beginning to end.
By Steve Newcomb
10 October 2011
Greetings on Colonization Day,
I begin by prayerfully remembering our free and independent ancestors, the Lenape and all the Original Nations and Peoples of this vast Turtle Island (Mother Earth), and of the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America.
As you ‘occupy Wall Street,’ I ask you to reflect: You are on the island upon which our Indigenous ancestors lived and thrived for thousands and thousands of years. Please take a moment to recognize that we, the Original Nations, still exist here on Turtle Island. We have the right to exist as free and distinct nations with full self-determination.
What is the true source of our many grievances? It is the mentality and behavior of greed. The word ‘America’ is the combination of two Latin words ame (a command form of ‘love!’) and rica (riches and wealth). The effects of an insatiable desire for and the pursuit of riches and wealth first afflicted our Indigenous nations and peoples, and now afflict all peoples. Clearly, we need to address and rectify the political economy of greed, and the destruction it has caused and continues to cause.
Written by: Mondoweiss
October 12, 2011
By Amirah Mizrahi, Antonia House and Emily Ratner
When we disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s keynote speech at the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual general meeting last November in New Orleans, we were met with hisses, boos, verbal harassment and even physical attacks from other members of the audience. But criminal charges were never so much as mentioned. Yet, on September 23rd, ten students who interrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at UC Irvine in February 2010 were convicted of two misdemeanors for their participation in that protest. Today, October 11, 2011, is a national day of action to protest those unjust convictions. We think it’s a perfect opportunity to look at the similarities and differences in these two actions.
In both protests, each person who stood up to bring attention to crimes committed by the Israeli government acted non-violently, and cooperated fully with security personnel and the police. So what was the difference? Why were we not arrested, charged and tried while the Irvine 11 were? Logically, the opposite should have been true: our target was bigger – the Prime Minister of Israel; our venue was bigger – the largest Jewish event in North America; and our protest came later – inspired in part by the brave actions of the Irvine 11. But there is one more difference, and it proved to be the crucial one: we are Jews and the Irvine 11 are Muslims.
According to Nixon, an Israeli official asked an Egyptian general convalescing in hospital, “We have defeated you Arabs three times (1948, 1967 & 1973) why to you continue to resist us?” The Egyptian replied, "You may have defeated us three times, and you may defeat us 11 times. But the 12th time we will win and Palestine will be liberated."
By Franklin Lamb
09 October, 2011
Beirut: Three weeks after being named by President Obama in January 2009 as the 19th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and during his first day on the job which was February 12, 2009, Leon Panetta, now US Secretary of Defense, signed off on a March 2009 “eyes only” CIA Report that had just been completed by his new agency.
As reported at the time, the CIA Report predicted the demise of Israel within 20 years, if present political trends in the region continued. The CIA intelligence analysts concluded that it was unlikely that Israeli leaders would grant even minimal concessions in order to achieve a settlement with their neighbors, which comprise increasingly disillusioned and rapidly growing dignity and justice seeking populations.
The CIA Report noted that Israeli officials felt emboldened in taking Palestinian land by the myriad support Israel was receiving from the leadership of Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and three other Arab leaders.
Israel and its two most powerful US lobbies, the US Congress and AIPAC, quickly squelched the 2009 Report and only seven copies were eventually acknowledged, one by AIPAC and the others by staffers of select supporters of Israel on key Congressional Committees.
The Palestinian president is caught between the anvil of domestic public opinion and the hammer of US economic sanctions as the UN bid for recognition proceeds, writes Saleh Al-Naami
Omar did not expect his family to be so distraught and despondent when he came home Friday to his home in the town of Al-Khedr on the outskirts of Bethlehem. His father's health took a sharp blow after occupation forces seized large sections of family land to expand the Jewish settlement of Nogdeem, where Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lives. Omar, a university student and an activist in Al-Shebiba movement, the on-campus student arm of Fatah, was one of thousands of Palestinians who welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his return from New York, in an expression of support of what he said in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Following Abbas's celebrated speech in New York, Palestinians wonder whether international support in the UN will help them attain freedom and national rights, writes Khaled Amayreh
A Palestinian protester throws back a gas canister, previously fired by Israeli troops during a demonstration against the expansion of the Jewish settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh
Palestinians are quickly returning to reality following the brief euphoria generated by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's landmark speech at the United Nations on 23 September.
PA officials, who have been overenthusiastic about the creation of an international momentum that would dramatically expedite Palestinian statehood, are now realising that reality is more complex than they previously thought.
This is not to say that Palestinians, including the PA, are having second thoughts about the PA bid to gain UN membership for a prospective state. Far from it, there is a great consensus among Palestinians that Abbas's speech was positive, if not impressive.
However, there is renewed realisation that speeches alone, even if eloquent, alone don't produce statehood and that a lot of struggle, bitterness, as well as sacrifices are still required to convince the world of the long-overdue entitlement of Palestinian statehood, independence and freedom.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has taken root across the nation. Organizers say protestors are drawing attention to the 1% of the population who have destroyed the country and its values through greed.
While many people in Indian Country can sympathize with the protestors’ claims, there is also some growing criticism for the idea behind its name, which overlooks the first occupants of the Wall Street area. This has given rise to the response from Native bloggers and activists to not Occupy Wall Street but Decolonize Wall Street.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
By Jamil Dakwar
It is now an undisputed fact, confirmed by President Obama: the United States has executed two American citizens far away from zones of actual armed conflict and without due process. More than anything, the targeted killings of Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen represent serious challenges to the United States’ reputation for abiding by the rule of law. The killings further complicate US foreign policy in a region currently witnessing bloody revolutions and uprisings motivated by a desire for stronger protection of human rights. It is hard to escape the impression that Obama’s unlawful targeted killings program will ultimately stain this administration’s legacy much like the torture and Guantanamo programs tainted that of the Bush Administration, at least in so far as both administrations have violated international law and evaded transparency and accountability for human rights.
The Obama administration’s rhetoric regarding targeted killings is reminiscent of both the Bush administration’s mantra of “we don’t torture” and its claim that all detainees and prisoners in US custody were treated humanely and in line with domestic laws and applicable treaty obligations. The Bush Administraton spread this misleading legal analysis and lie all over the world, from testimonies in front of Congress to statements at the U.N. Committee against Torture. We now know the ugly truth that the highest levels of American government, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, sanctioned torture, widespread cruelty and abuse in violation of international law. While not identical by any means, over the past three years the Obama Administration has engaged in similar practices. Consider its repeated mantra of “trust us” arguing that “US targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war.”
By Gale Courey Toensing October 4, 2011
AP Photo/Troy Maben
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (AFA), who has made hate-mongering remarks about the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.
You might say he’s an equal opportunity bigot.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (AFA), who has made hate-mongering remarks about the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, African Americans, Muslims, gays and grizzly bears revealed recently that he isn’t too fond of Mormons, either.
On a recent episode of his television show Focal Point, Fischer said that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and that the Church of Latter Day Saints still supports polygamy. But next week, Fischer will be sharing a stage with America’s most famous Mormon, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, TPM reports in a story headlined “Awkward: Mitt Romney Set to Share Stage with Anti-Mormon Shock Jock.” Despite the “inflammatory, hateful and occasionally just plain bizarre remarks” Fischer has made on his show, Republicans vying for the presidency, including Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich all made appearances on Fischer’s show earlier this year, TPM reports.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
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