Sunday, September 18, 2005

Middle East Again

This Middle East and globally-concerned posting returns to the normal content of this blog -- Katrina #19 was posted right before this one, so there's new Katrina content right below this one. Blogspot apologizes for the lack of spacing and paragraphs on this posting. It's too late at night for me to reinsert such basic necessities...The Katrina blog to follow is cleaner...


1) This is about as "in your face" a speech as onecould imagine -- and most of his points are right onthe mark. Clearly, "the natives are restless":

People with blood-soaked hands.The following is the text of a controversial speech byMahathir Mohamad at Suhakam’s Human Rights Conferenceon 09/09/05, which led to the walkout of a number ofdiplomats and made news all over the world.By Mahathir Mohamad09/16/05 "ICH" -- -- I would like to thank Suhakam forthis honour to address you on a subject that you havemore knowledge and experience than I do. You are concerned with human rights or hak asasimanusia. And it is only right that as a civilisedsociety and nation we should all be concerned withhuman rights in our country and in fact in the world.But human rights should be upheld because they cancontribute to a better quality of life. To kill100,000 people because you suspect that the humanrights of a few have been denied seem to be acontradiction. Yet the fanaticism of the champions ofhuman rights have led to more people being deprived oftheir rights and many their lives than the numbersaved. It seems to me that we have lost our sense ofproportion.With civilisational advances it is only right that thehuman community try to distinguish itself more andmore from those of the other creatures created by Godwhich are unable to think, to reason and to overcomethe influence of base desires and feelings. Submissionto the strong and the powerful was right in the animalworld and in primitive human societies. But the moreadvance the society the greater should be the capacityto think, to recognise and evaluate between right andwrong and to choose between these based on higherreasoning power and not just base feelings anddesires. The world today is, in the sense of the ability tomake right choices, still very primitive. For examplethose who claim to be the most civilised still believethat the misfortune which befall them as a result ofthe actions by their enemies are wrong but themisfortune that they inflict on their enemies areright. This is seen from the concern and anger overthe death of 1,700 US soldiers in Iraq but the deathof a hundred times more of Iraqis as a result of themilitary invasion and occupation of Iraq and the civilwar precipitated by the imposition of democraticelections are not even mentioned.There is no tally of Iraqi deaths but every singledeath of a US soldier is reported to the world. Theseare soldiers who must expect to be killed. But theIraqis who die because of US action or the civil warin Iraq that the US has precipitated are innocentcivilians who under the dictatorship of Saddam Husseinwould be alive.You and I read reports of the death of Iraqis withequanimity as if it is right and just. You and I donot react with anger and horror over this injustice,this abuse of the rights of the Iraqis to live, to befree from terror including state initiated terror.Prior to the invasion of Iraq on false pretences,500,000 infants died because sanctions deprived themof medicine and food/ Asked by the press, MadeleneAlbright, then US secretary of state, whether shethought the price was not too high for stopping SaddamHussein’s dictatorship, she said it was difficult butthe price (death of 500,000 children) was worth it.At the time this was happening where were the peoplewho are concerned with human rights? Did they exposethe abuses of Britain and America? Did they protestagainst their own governments? No. It is because they,the enemy, are killed. That is acceptable. But theirown people must not be killed. To kill them is tocommit acts of terror.Yet what is an act of terror. Isn’t it any act thatterrifies people? Are not the people terrified at theidea of being bombed and killed? Those who are to bekilled by exploding bombs know they would have theirbodies torn from their heads and limbs. Some will dieinstantly no doubt. But many would not. They wouldfeel their limbs being torn from their bodies, theirguts spilled on the ground through their tornedabdomen. They would wait in terrible pain for helpthat may not come. And they would again experience theterror, expecting the next bomb or rocket. And thosewho survive would know the terror of what would, whatcould happen to them personally when the bombers comeagain, tomorrow, the day after, the week or monthafter.They would know that they could be next to have theirheads torn off from their bodies, their limbs too.They would know that they would die violently or theywould survive in horrible pain, minus arms, minuslegs, maimed forever. And yet the bombings would goon. In Iraq for 10 years between the Gulf War and theIraq invasion, the people lived in terrible fear. Theywere terrorised. Have they any rights? Did the peopleof the world care?The British and American bomber pilots came,unopposed, safe and cosy in their state-of-the-artaircrafts, pressing buttons to drop bombs, to kill andmaim real people who were their targets, just targets.And these murderers, for that is what they are, wouldgo back to celebrate ‘Mission accomplished’.Who are the terrorists? The people below who werebombed or the bombers? Whose rights have been snatchedaway?I relate this because there are not just doublestandards where human rights are concerned, there aremultiple standards. Rightly we should be concernedwhether prisoners and detained foreign workers in thiscountry are treated well or not. We should beconcerned whether everyone can exercise his right tovote or not, whether the food given to detainees arewholesome or not, indeed whether detention withouttrial is a violation of human rights or not.But the people whose hands are soaked in the blood ofthe innocents, the blood of the Iraqis, the Afghans,the Panamanians, the Nicaraguans, the Chileans, theEcuadorians; the people who assassinated thepresidents of Panama, Chile, Ecuador; the people whoignored international law and mounted militaryattacks, invading and killing hundreds of Panamanianin order to arrest Noriega and to try him not underPanamanian laws but under their own country’s law,have these people a right to question human rights inour country, to make a list and grade the human rightsrecord of the countries of the world yearly, thesepeople with blood-soaked hands.They have not questioned the blatant abuses of humanrights in countries that are friendly to them. In factthey provide the means for these countries to indulgein human rights abuses.Israel is provided with weapons, helicopter gunships,bullets coated with depleted uranium to wage waragainst people whose only way to retaliate is bycommitting suicide bombing. The Israeli soldiers werewell-protected with body armour, operated fromarmoured tanks and armoured bulldozers, to rocket andbomb the Palestinian and demolish their houses whilethe occupants were still inside.Israel has nuclear weapons but it was provided withbombers to bomb so-called nuclear research facilitiesin other countries. And as with American and Britishactions, the Israeli bombs and rockets tore up theliving Palestinians, Iraqis and soon Syrians andIranians, without the slightest consideration that thepeople they killed have rights, have human rights totheir lives, to security and peace.Then there are other friends of these terroristnations who abuse the rights of their own people, denythem even the simplest democratic rights, jailing andexecuting their people without fair trial but are notcriticised or condemned.But when countries are not friendly with these greatpowers, their governments claim they have a right toexpend money to subvert the government, to support theNGOs to overthrow the government, to ensure onlycandidates willing to submit to them win. Already weare seeing elections in which candidates wanting tostay independent being rejected while only those readyto submit to these powers being allowed to contest andto win.There was a time when nations pledged not to interferein the internal affairs of other countries. As aresult many authoritarian regimes emerged whichcommitted terrible atrocities. Cambodia and Pol Pot isa case in mind. Because of the principle ofnon-interference in the internal affairs of countries,two million Cambodians died horrible deaths.There is a case for interference. But who determineswhen there is a case? Is this right to be given to aparticular superpower? If so, can we be assured thesuperpower would act in the best interest of thecountry concerned, in order to uphold human rights.Saddam Hussein was tried by the media and found guiltyof oppressing his people. But that was not the excusefor invading Iraq. The excuse was that Iraq threatenedthe world with weapons of mass destruction (WMD).Specifically Britain was supposed to be threatenedwith WMD capable of hitting it within 45 minutes ofthe order being given by Saddam.As we all know it was a lie. Every agency tasked withverifying the accusation that Saddam had weapons ofmass destruction could not prove it. Even theintelligence agencies of the US and Britain said thatthere was no weapon of mass destruction that Saddamcould threaten the US or Britain or the world with.And today, after months of thorough search withoutSaddam and his people getting in the way, no WMD hasbeen found.Yet the US and UK took it upon themselves to invadeIraq in order to remove an allegedly authoritariangovernment. The result of the invasion is that manymore people have been killed and injured than Saddamwas ever accused of. Worse still, the powers which aresupposed to save the Iraqi people have brokeninternational laws on human rights, by detainingIraqis and others and torturing them at Guantanamo,Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.So can we accept that these big powers alone have aright to determine when to interfere in the internalaffairs of other countries to protect human rights?Malaysia is concerned about human rights within itsborders. It does not need the interference of foreignpowers before it sets up Suhakam, a body dedicated tooverseeing and ensuring that there are no abuses ofhuman rights within its borders.People in Malaysia seem to be quite happy. They canwork and do business and make as much money as theylike. There is no restriction on the freedom to moveabout, to go abroad even.They have political parties that they are free tojoin, whether these are pro-government oranti-government. They can read newspapers, whichsupport or oppose the government. While the localelectronic media is supportive of the government, noone is prevented from watching or listening to foreignbroadcasts which are mostly critical of thegovernment.Foreign newspapers and magazines are freely available.In fact many foreign papers, like the InternationalHerald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal areprinted in Malaysia and are freely available toMalaysians. Then there is the Internet which no oneseems able to stop even if libelous lies are screened.Periodically, without fail there would be elections inMalaysia. Anyone and everyone can participate in theseelections. The campaigns by both sides are vigorousand hard-hitting. And the results show quite clearlythat despite accusations against the government ofundemocratic practices, many opposition candidateswould win. In fact several states were lost to theopposition parties. Not one of the winning oppositioncandidates has been charged in court and found guiltyof some minor breaches of the election procedure andprevented from taking his seat in Parliament ashappens in a certain country.But all these notwithstanding, Malaysia is accused ofhaving a totalitarian government during the 22 yearsof my premiership. That I had released detainees onassumption of office as prime minister and I had usedthe ISA sparingly does not mitigate against theaccusation that I was a dictator, an abuser of humanrights.And not using the ISA, not detaining a person withouttrial would not help either. And so when a former DPMwas charged in court, defended by nine lawyers andfound guilty through due process, all that was saidwas that there was a conspiracy, the court wasinfluenced and manipulated and the trial was a sham.So you are damned if you use the ISA, and you aredamned if you don’t use the ISA.In the eyes of these self-appointed judges of humanbehaviour worldwide, you can never be right no matterwhat you do, if they do not like you. If they likeyou, a court decision in your favour, even onlaughable grounds, would be right.Those are the people who now seem to appropriate tothemselves the right to lay down the ground rules forhuman rights and who have appointed themselves as theoverseers of human rights credentials of the world.And now these same people have come up with what theycall globalisation. In the first place who has theright to propose and interpret globalisation? It iscertain that globalisation was not conceived by thepoor countries. It was conceived, interpreted andinitiated by the rich.The globalised world is to be without borders. But ifcountries have no borders surely the first thing thatshould happen is that people would be able to movefrom one country to another without any conditions,without papers and passports. The poor people in thepoor countries should be able to migrate to the richcountries where there are jobs and opportunities.But it has been made clear that globalisation,borderlessness are not for people but for capital, forcurrency traders, for corporations, for banks, forNGOs concerned over so-called human rights abuses,over lack of democracy, etc. The flow is, as you cansee, only in one direction. The border crossing willbe done by the rich so as to be able to benefit theirbusiness, banks, currency traders, their NGOs, forhuman rights and for democracy.There will be no flows in the opposite direction, fromthe poor countries to the rich, the flow of poorpeople in search of jobs, the NGOs concerned withhuman rights abuses in the rich and powerful countrieswhere the media self-censors to promote certainparties, where dubious voting results are validated bytame courts. There will be no flow of coloured peopleto white countries. If they succeed they would beapprehended and sent to isolated islands in the middleof the ocean or if they manage to land, they would beaccommodated behind razor-wire fence. It is all verydemocratic and caring for the rights of man.If we care to look back, we will recogniseglobalisation for what it is. It is really not a newidea at all. Globalisation of trade took place whenthe ethnic Europeans found the sea passages to theWest and to the East. They wanted trade, but they camein armed merchantmen with guns and invaded, conqueredand colonised their trading partners.If the indigenous people were weak, they would just beliquidated, shot on sight, their land taken and newethnic European countries set up. Otherwise they wouldbe made a part of empires where the sun never sets,their resources exploited and their people treatedwith disdain.The map of the world today shows the effect ofglobalisation, as interpreted by the ethnic Europeansin history. There was no US, Canada, Australia, LatinAmerica, New Zealand until the Europeans discoveredthe sea passages and started global trade.Before the Europeans, there were Arab, Indian, Chineseand Turkic traders. There was no conquest orcolonisation when these people sailed the seas totrade. Only when the Europeans carried out world tradewere countries invaded, human rights abused, genocidecommitted, empires built and new ethnic Europeannations created on land belonging to others.These are historical facts. Would today’sglobalisation not result in weak countries beingcolonised again, new empires created, and the worldtotally hegemonised. Would today’s globalisation notresult in human rights abuses?In today’s world 20 percent of the people own 80percent of the wealth. Almost two billion people liveon one US dollar a day. They don’t have enough food orclothing or a proper roof over their heads. In winter,many of these people would freeze to death. The peopleof the powerful countries are concerned about ourabuses of human rights.But shouldn’t we be concerned over the unevendistribution of wealth which deprived two billionpeople of their rights to a decent living, deprived bythe avarice of those people who seem so concernedabout us and the unintended occasional lapses that hasresulted in abuse of human rights in our country.We should condemn human rights abuses in our countrybut we must be wary of the people who want todestabilise us because we are too independent and wehave largely succeeded in giving our people a goodlife, and despite all the criticism, we are moredemocratic than most of the friends of the powerfulnations of the world.The globalisation of concern for the poor and theoppressed is sheer hypocrisy. If these people whoappears to be concerned are faced with the situationthat we in Malaysia have to face sometimes, theirreactions and responses are much worse than us. AtGuantanamo detention camp the detainees, some of whomare not even remotely connected with terrorism, aretortured and humiliated. At Abu Ghraib, the mostsenior officers actually sanctioned the inhumantreatment of the detainees.When forced by world opinion to take action againstthose responsible for these reprehensible acts, theculprits were either found not guilty or given lightsentences. They were tried by their own courts undertheir own laws. Their victims were not represented.The countries where the crimes were committed weredenied jurisdiction. Altogether the whole process wasso much eyewash. Yet these are the countries and thepeople who claim that Malaysian courts are manipulatedby the government, that abuses of rights are rampantin Malaysia. And Malaysian NGOs, media and otherslapped it up.We must fight against abuses of human rights. We mustfight for human rights. But we must not take away therights of others, the rights of the majority. We mustnot kill them, invade and destroy their countries inthe name of human rights. Just as many wrong thingsare done in the name of Islam and also otherreligions, worse things are being done in the name ofdemocracy and human rights. We must have a properperspective of things. Two wrongs do not make oneright. Remember the community have rights too, notjust the individual or the minority.We have gained political independence but for many theminds are still colonised.Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a former prime minister ofMalaysia------------------------------------------------------

2) Neo-Conservatives' Analysis:America Has Fallen to a Jacobin CoupBy Paul Craig Roberts09/16/05 "ICH" -- -- The most important casualties ofSeptember 11 are respect for truth and Americanliberty. Propaganda has replaced deliberation based onobjective assessment of fact. The resurrection of theStar Chamber has made moot the legal protections ofliberty.The US invasion of Iraq was based on the deliberatesuppression of fact. The invasion was not the resultof mistaken intelligence. It was based on deliberatelyconcocted "intelligence" designed to deceive the USCongress, the American public, and the United Nations.In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC News,General Colin Powell, who was Secretary of State atthe time of the invasion, expressed dismay that he wasthe one who took the false information to the UN andpresented it to the world. The weapons of massdestruction speech, he said, is a "blot" on hisrecord. The full extent of the deception was madeclear by the leaked top secret "Downing Street Memos."Two and one-half years after the March 2003 invasion,the US Congress and the American people still do notknow the reason Iraq was invaded. The US is boggeddown in an expensive and deadly combat, and no oneoutside the small circle of neoconservatives whoorchestrated the war knows the reason why. Manyguesses are rendered – oil, removal of Israel’s enemy– but the Bush administration has never disclosed itsreal agenda, which it cloaked with the WMD deception.This itself is powerful indication that Americandemocracy is dead. With the exception of rightwingtalk radio, everyone in America now knows that theinvasion of Iraq was based on false information. Yet,40 percent of the public and both political parties inCongress still support the ongoing war. The CIA has issued a report that the war is workingonly for Osama bin Laden. The unprovoked Americanaggression against Iraq, the horrors perpetratedagainst Muslims in Abu Ghraib prison, and theslaughter and mistreatment of Iraqi noncombatants,have radicalized the Muslim world and elevated binLaden from a fringe figure to a leader opposed toAmerican hegemony in the Middle East. The chaoscreated in Iraq by the US military has provided alQaeda with superb training grounds for insurgency andterrorism. Despite overwhelming evidence that the "waron terror" is in fact a war for terror, Republicansstill cheer when Bush says we have to "fight them overthere" so they don’t come "over here."If fact played any role in the decision to continuewith this war, the US would not be spending hundredsof billions of borrowed dollars to provide recruitsand training for al Qaeda, to radicalize Muslims, andto destroy trust in the United States both abroad andamong its own citizens. American casualties (dead and wounded) of thisgratuitous war are now approximately 20,000. In July,Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said the war might continuefor 12 years. US casualties from such protractedcombat would eat away US troop strength. Consideringthe well-publicized recruitment problems, Americawould require a draft or foreign mercenaries in orderto continue a ground war. Like the over-extended RomanEmpire, the US would have to deplete its remainingwealth to pay mercenaries.Dead and wounded Americans are too high a price to payfor a war based on deception. This alone is reason toend the war, if necessary by impeaching Bush andCheney and arresting the neoconservatives for treason.Naked aggression is a war crime under the Nurembergstandard, and neoconservatives have brought this shameto America.There is an even greater cost of the war – the legalsystem that protects liberty, a human achievement forwhich countless numbers of people gave their livesover the centuries. The Bush administration usedSeptember 11 to whip up fear and hysteria and toemploy these weapons against American liberty. TheOrwellian-named Patriot Act has destroyed habeascorpus. The executive branch has gained theunaccountable power to detain American citizens onmere suspicion or accusation, without evidence, and tohold Americans indefinitely without a trial. Foolishly, many Americans believe this power can onlybe used against terrorists. Americans don’t realizethat the government can declare anyone to be aterrorist suspect. As no evidence is required, it isentirely up to the government to decide who is aterrorist. Thus, the power is unaccountable.Unaccountable power is the source of tyranny.The English-speaking world has not seen such powersince the 16th and 17th centuries when the Court ofStar Chamber became a political weapon used againstthe king’s opponents and to circumvent Parliament. TheStar Chamber dispensed with juries, permitted hearsayevidence, and became so reviled that "Star Chamber"became a byword for injustice. The Long Parliamentabolished the Star Chamber in 1641. In obedience tothe Bush regime, the US Congress resurrected it withthe Patriot Act. Can anything be more Orwellian thanidentifying patriotism with the abolition of habeascorpus?Historians are quick to note that the Star Chamber wasmild compared to Gitmo, to the US practice of sendingdetainees abroad to be tortured, and to the justice(sic) regime being run by Attorney General "Torture"Gonzales and his predecessor, "Draped Justice"Ashcroft, who went so far as to say that opposition tothe Patriot Act was itself the mark of a terrorist.The time-honored attorney-client privilege is anothercasualty of the "war on terror." Taking their cue fromthe restrictions placed on lawyers representingStalin’s victims in the 1930s show trials, Justice(sic) Department officials seek to limit attorneysrepresenting terrorist suspects to proceduralniceties. Lynn Stewart, attorney for Omar AbdelRahman, was handed a letter by a Justice (sic)Department prosecutor instructing her how to representher client. When she did what every good lawyer woulddo and represented her client aggressively, she wasarrested, indicted and convicted. Many conservative lawyers have turned a blind eye,because Stewart is regarded as a leftwing lawyer whomthey dislike. Only a few civil libertarians, such asHarvey Silverglate, have pointed out that prosecutorscannot create felonies by writing letters toattorneys. Stewart was convicted for violating aprosecutor’s letter (technically, a SpecialAdministrative Measure). This should make it obviouseven to the blind that American democracy has lost allcontrol over law.Federal officials have sensed the sea change inAmerican law: arbitrary actions and assertions byfederal officials are taking the place of statutorylegislation. We saw an example recently when theFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcedthat news media covering the New Orleans hurricanestory were prohibited from taking pictures of thebodies of inhabitants drowned when the levees failed.Nowhere is FEMA given authority to override the FirstAmendment. Yet, FEMA officials saw no reason not toissue its decree. Rome had one caesar. America hasthem throughout the executive branch.We see the same exercise of arbitrary authority inbreak-ins by police into New Orleans homes in order toconfiscate legally owned firearms. No authority existsfor these violations of the Second Amendment. Noauthority exists for the forceful removal of residentsfrom non-damaged homes. Tyrannical precedents arebeing established by these fantastic abuses ofgovernment authority.In the US today nothing stands in the way of thearbitrary exercise of power by government. Federalcourts have acquiesced in unconstitutional detentionpolicies. There is no opposition party, and there isno media, merely huge conglomerates or collections offederal broadcasting licenses, the owners of which areafraid to displease the government.The collapse of the institutions that confinegovernment to law and bind it with the Constitutionwas sudden. The president previous to Bush wasimpeached by the House for lying about a sexualaffair. If we go back to the 1970s, President RichardNixon had the decency to resign when it came to lightthat he had lied about when he first learned of aminor burglary. Bush’s failures are far more seriousand numerous; yet, Bush has escaped accountability.Polls show that a majority of Americans have lostconfidence in the Iraq war and believe Bush did a poorjob responding to flooded New Orleans. Many Americanshope that these two massive failures have put Bushback into the box of responsible behavior from whichSeptember 11 allowed him to escape. However, there isno indication that the Bush administration sees anyconstraints placed on its behavior by these failures. The identical cronyism and corrupt government contractpractices, by which taxpayers’ money is used to rewardpolitical contributors, so evident in Iraq, is nowevident in New Orleans. Despite having been fought to a stalemate by a fewthousand insurgents in Iraq, the Bush administrationcontinues to issue thunderous threats to Syria andIran. To press its fabricated case against Iran’s allegedweapons of mass destruction program, the Bushadministration is showing every foreign diplomat itcan corral an hour-long slide show titled, "A Historyof Concealment and Deception." Wary foreigners arereminded of the presentations about Iraq’s WMD andwonder who is guilty of deception, Iran or the Bushadministration.Now that the war in Iraq has established that USground forces cannot easily prevail againstinsurgency, the Bush administration is bringing newmilitary threats to the fore. The neocon orchestrated"Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" abandons theestablished doctrine that nuclear weapons arelast-resort options. The Bush administration is soenamored of coercion that it is birthing the doctrineof preemptive nuclear attack. US war doctrine is beingaltered to eliminate the need for a large invasionforce and to use "preventive nuclear strikes" in itsplace.Is this the face that the American people want topresent to the world? It is hard to imagine a greaterrisk to America than to put the entire world on noticethat every country risks being nuked based on meresuspicion. By making nuclear war permissible, the Bushadministration is crossing the line that dividescivilized people from barbarians. The United States isstarting to acquire the image of Nazi Germany.Knowledgeable people should have no trouble drawing uptheir own list of elements common to both the Bush andHitler regimes: the use of extraordinary lies tojustify military aggression; reliance on coercion andthreats in place of diplomacy; total belief in thevirtue and righteousness of one’s cause; the equatingof factual objections or "reality-based" analysis totreason; the redirection of patriotism from country toleader; the belief that defeat resides in debate and aweakening of will; refuge in delusion and denial whenpromised results don’t materialize.As Professor Claes Ryn made clear in his book, Americathe Virtuous, the neoconservatives are neo-Jacobins.There is nothing conservative about them. They arecommitted to the use of coercion to impose theiragenda. Their attitude is merciless toward anyone intheir way, whether fellow citizen or foreigner. "Youare with us or against us." For those on the receivingend, the Nazi and Jacobin mentalities come to the samething.The Bush administration has abandoned Americanprinciples. It is a Jacobin regime. Woe to itscitizens and the rest of the world.Dr. Roberts <paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com> is John M.Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy andResearch Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is aformer associate editor of the Wall Street Journal,former contributing editor for National Review, and aformer assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He isthe co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.


3) Phoenix and the Salvador Option - Non-transparentCIA 'precedents' in Iraq's torrent of bloodshed"Developed by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1967,the Phoenix Program is considered the single-greatestAmerican human-rights aberration of the Vietnam War.Its purpose was to "neutralize" the Vietconginfrastructure. (emphasis added)As Valentine underlines, due process was completelynon-existent under the Phoenix Program and suspects,real or imagined, could be murdered, blackmailed,tortured or detained at will. At one point the programimposed monthly ""neutralization" quotas that led tofurther abuses in the field. The number of victims wasnever established but is estimated at between 40,000and 60,000, of which many were innocent.While recruitment for the Phoenix Program spreadacross all the branches of the US government, not allthose approached accepted to serve. One Air Forceofficer who refused as a matter of conscience wasJacques Klein, who later rose to the rank of generaland became one of the most respected UNtroubleshooters in conflict areas. French-born, Kleinreportedly commented that he would not join Phoenixbecause the means and methods used were "similar tothose used by the Nazis in World War II".Refugees awaken ghosts of Vietnam September 14, 2005Thememoryhole.org describes the Phoenix Program inVietnam as follows: "Created by the CIA in Saigon in1967, Phoenix was a program aimed at 'neutralizing' -through assassination, kidnapping, and systematictorture - the civilian infrastructure that supportedthe Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam. It was aterrifying 'final solution' that violated the GenevaConventions and traditional American ideas of humanmorality." "The following article examines evidence that the'Salvador Option' for Iraq has been ongoing for sometime and attempts to say what such an option willmean.It pays particular attention to the role of theSpecial Police Commandos, considering both thebackground of their US liaisons and their deploymentin Iraq.The article also looks at the evidence for death-squadstyle massacres in Iraq and draws attention to thealmost complete absence of investigation. As such, thearticle represents an initial effort to compile andexamine some of these mass killings and is intended tospur others into further looking at the evidence.Finally, the article turns away from the notion thatsectarianism is a sufficient explanation for theviolence in Iraq, locating it structurally at thehands of the state as part of the ongoing economicsubjugation of Iraq." For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality June2, 2005The above subject matter was dealt with previously onthis site: CIA terrorism in Iraq ... Who? US? June 1,2005 (see attached)Imad Khaddurihttp://abutamam.blogspot.com


4) Bill Moyers takes on US religious extremism:
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20050909/911_and_the_sport_of_god.php

At the Central Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas,where I was baptized in the faith, we believed in afree church in a free state. I still do.My spiritual forebears did not take kindly to livingunder theocrats who embraced religious liberty forthemselves but denied it to others. “Forced worshipstinks in God’s nostrils,” thundered the dissenterRoger Williams as he was banished from Massachusettsfor denying Puritan authority over his conscience. Baptists there were a “pitiful negligible minority”but they were agitators for freedom and thereforedenounced as “incendiaries of the commonwealth” forholding to their belief in that great democracy offaith—the priesthood of all believers. For refusingto pay tribute to the state religion they were fined,flogged, and exiled. In l651 the Baptist ObadiahHolmes was given 30 stripes with a three-corded whipafter he violated the law and took forbidden communionwith another Baptist in Lynn, Mass. His friendsoffered to pay his fine for his release but herefused. They offered him strong drink to anesthetizethe pain of the flogging. Again he refused. It is thelove of liberty, he said, “that must free thesoul.”...


5) Former Iraqi President's Chief Translator emergesas a negotiator:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5268938,00.html

Saddam's Translator Emerges From Obscurity Saturday September 10, 2005 4:16 PMBy SLOBODAN LEKIC Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A familiar face is a rarity inIraq's newly installed political leadership, but atleast one participant in the recent constitutionaldebates was recognizable to television viewersthroughout the country. Sadoun al-Zubaydi, once Saddam Hussein's officialtranslator and a fixture on TV screens during thestrongman's frequent meetings with foreigndignitaries, has emerged from self-imposed obscurityfollowing the dictator's fall, disproving rumors hehad been executed, fled the country or had joined theU.S. occupation authority. Nearly two and a half years after the U.S.-ledinvasion, the articulate and urbane diplomat -considered one of Iraq's leading foreign policyanalysts - now advises Sunni negotiators in talks overIraq's new constitution. Although his current work as a Sunni legislator bringshim into contact with U.S. diplomats in Baghdad, heremains implacably opposed to the Bushadministration's policy in Iraq and the Middle East. ``We're under occupation of a great power that caresnot a bit about Iraq but only about its owninterests,'' he said. ``Nobody in Iraq believes theideological hubris that America is trying to do goodhere.'' He says he has no concrete plans for the future, buthopes to remain in diplomacy or at the university. ``I'm a government animal, I can't work for theprivate sector,'' said the 57-year-old al-Zubaydi. Al-Zubaydi has returned to the limelight as an adviserto the Sunni Arab delegation at the constitutionaltalks, which ended recently when the charter wasadopted by the majority bloc composed of Kurds andShiite Arabs. Although the secular al-Zubaydi refuses to describehimself as either a Sunni or a Shiite, he shares Sunniopposition to Kurdish and Shiite demands that Iraq -traditionally a highly centralized secular state - betransformed into a loose, heavily religiousfederation. ``Federalism would mean fragmentation and the eventualdisintegration of Iraq,'' al-Zubaydi said. ``We wouldend up in civil war like former Yugoslavia.'' Al-Zubaydi, who says he was a low-ranking member ofSaddam's Baath Party, also opposes the purge ofBaathists first initiated by the U.S. occupation andnow backed by the Shiites and Kurds who suffered mostunder Saddam's regime. The United States introduced the policy of``de-Baathification'' soon after the 2003 invasion andit has continued under the current government. Underthe policy, anyone who held a senior position inSaddam's party is barred from government employment.Rank-and-file members are excluded. Al-Zubaydi maintains that the Baath was originally asecular Socialist party deformed by Saddam's rule. Still, al-Zubaydi refrains from direct criticism ofSaddam, saying only that he was ``shrewd andwell-framed intellectually,'' but that he succumbed tothe influence ``of a number of factors, mainly hisfamily and the cronies who surrounded him.'' ``When I met him again in early 2002, he was a changedman - much less focused,'' al-Zubaydi said. ``That's all I will say. One day you'll be able toread all this in detail in my book - if I actuallywrite it.'' He says he is especially skeptical of U.S. intentionsnow in Iraq because he was present at some of the mostcrucial talks between Saddam and U.S. envoys duringthe Iran-Iraq War, in the run-up to the attack onKuwait in 1990, the 1991 Gulf War and again in the 18months preceding the 2003 invasion. ``The meetings were very revealing about U.S.policy,'' is his cryptic comment about what helearned. Al-Zubaydi was present during the pivotal meetingbetween Saddam and U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie onJuly 25, 1990, just prior to Iraq's invasion ofKuwait. Al-Zubaydi maintains that throughout the discussionSaddam never actually told Glaspie of his intention toinvade Kuwait. And when Egyptian President HosniMubarak happened to call from Cairo during thediscussion to talk about the crisis, Saddam moved theAmerican ambassador from the conference room into asecretary's office so she would not overhear himtelling Mubarak about his plans. That meeting later became the source of a heatedcontroversy over whether Glaspie intentionally impliedthat the United States would not intervene if thedictator moved to take over his tiny, oil-richneighbor. The Iraqi transcript of that meeting saidGlaspie told Saddam Washington would not take sides in``Arab-Arab disputes like your border disagreementwith Kuwait.'' But according to al-Zubaydi, Glaspie was in the darkabout the invasion plans when she made that comment. Aweek later, an estimated 100,000 Iraqi troops and 300tanks crossed the Kuwaiti border. Al-Zubaydi - a British-educated English literatureprofessor at the University of Baghdad - served asIraq's ambassador to Indonesia from 1995 to 2001. During his tenure in Indonesia, Zubaydi was involvedin two diplomatic run-ins with then-Secretary of StateMadeleine Albright and Paul Wolfowitz - who laterbecame a chief architect of the invasion of Iraq. The episodes - during which al-Zubaydi challenged theU.S.-backed sanctions regime against Iraq thataccording to U.N. reports resulted in the deaths ofthousands of children - earned him the nickname``Voice of the Arabs'' in Jakarta. The Cairo-basedVoice of the Arabs, or Saut el-Arab, was a wildlypopular radio station that trumpeted Arab unity andopposition to foreign rule during the 1950s and 60s. Al-Zubaydi said he was astonished to receive a call inmid-2003 from Indonesia's then-president MegawatiSukarnoputri who told him she heard he had beenexecuted. ``I told her no, I've just been staying home andwaiting for things to settle a little after theinvasion.''


6) Move-On Announcement for anti-war march in DC nextSaturday:A solid majority of Americans now believe we shouldbegin to bring troops home from Iraq. And, despitecontinued calls across party lines for an exit planfrom Iraq, President Bush continues to insist on"staying the course." The war has drained the federalbudget—forcing us to face Hurricane Katrina with a$352 billion budget deficit1, a degraded and de-fundedFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)2 and athird of the National Guard in affected areas deployedoverseas.3 To date, nearly 1,900 American andcountless Iraqi lives have been lost, with thousandsmore maimed and injured.4Next weekend on Saturday, September 24, there is amassive "End the War on Iraq" peace march and rally inWashington, DC organized by United for Peace andJustice (UFPJ). The weekend of activities will make itunmistakably clear to President Bush and Congress thatthe American people want an exit plan with a timelineto end the war in Iraq. Join United for Peace andJustice next weekend.Saturday, September 24, 2005 :: Washington, DC10:00 AM All-Day Peace & Justice Festival Begins,Washington Monument Grounds on the National Mall onWashington, D.C.11:30 AM Rally at Ellipse across the street from theWhite House in Washington, D.C.12:30 PM March steps off from the EllipseLearn more about the March and rally here:http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?i%64=3091 .If you're coming from a far distance there are busesfrom some cities.3:00 PM Closing Rally and beginning of the "OperationCeasefire" Concert—a ten-hour, free concert at theWashington Monument on the National Mall inWashington, D.C. featuring Joan Baez, Steve Earle,Thievery Corporation, LeTigre and other performers andwith special guest Cindy Sheehan. Learn more about theconcert at the link below.http://www.opceasefire.org/MoveOn.org Political Action is not part of thecoalition organizing the peace march. And among thegroups organizing the rally are some with whom we havedisagreements on a range of issues. But this is amoment when thousands of concerned and reasonableAmericans from all walks of life will come together toprotest the war in Iraq, and we know that many MoveOnmembers will want to be there. We believe the Saturdaymarch and rally will be peaceful and effective. Pleaseconsider attending.Also that weekend—September 24 and 25—the GreenFestival comes to the Washington, D.C. ConventionCenter. The festival is focused on the 'how-to' ofsustainability: how to make sure the money in yourchecking account is not supporting war or oppressiveregimes here and around the world, how to make yourhome more green, how to green your career, how to stopclimate change with simple decisions you make everyday and how to be a great parent in challenging times.Learn more about the Green Festival at the link below.http://www.moveon.org/r?r=913Thanks for all you do.–Tom, Eli, Joan, Rosalyn and the MoveOn.org PoliticalAction Team Friday, September 16th, 2005Sources1. "A Congressional Budget Office Analysis,"Congressional Budget Office, September 7, 2005http://www.moveon.org/r?r=9142. "FEMA's subordinate status may have caused sluggishresponse" Eat Valley Tribune, September 6, 2005http://www.moveon.org/r?r=8823. "Troops Head Home To Another Crisis," TheWashington Post , September 1st. 2005http://www.moveon.org/r?r=8864. Iraq Coalition Casualty Counthttp://icasualties.org/oif/


7) Iraq war commitment quote:From the 9/14 NY Daily News...FIGHTING WORDS: That was funnyman Damon Wayans inOrlando the other day going nuclear on President Bush- and twins Jenna and Barbara - over the war in Iraqand the possible reinstatement of a military draft."I'll send my sons if he sends his daughters," Wayanstold the crowd, including Daily News contributor JawnMurray, at Tom Joyner's Family Reunion in Disneyworld."Put those two drunk b-s on a plane and let them gofight. At least I know my sons would be getting someon the way." By way of White House reaction, FirstLady Laura Bush's press secretary, Susan Whitson,gasped yesterday and told me: "I wouldn't dignify thatwith a response."


8) Galloway - Hitchens Debate in NYC last week:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1781608,00.html

Galloway and Hitchens get down and very dirty Tworival titans of the raging row over Iraq engaged in anintellectual prize fight in New York last night thatquickly degenerated into knock-down, drag-out bar-roombrawl


9) Good thing they're going after the bad guyseffectively:Arrest of US peace activist sparks row in Australia The arrest and planned deportation of a peace activistfrom the United States sparked a political row inAustralia, with an opposition leader accusing thegovernment of pandering to Washington.Greens Party leader Bob Brown said he had seriousconcerns about the reasons for the arrest of ScottParkin given his history of activism against USmilitary contractor Halliburton, which has close tiesto US Vice President Dick Cheney."I think the big question here is whether it's apolitical arrest and deportation," Brown said. "Itseems to have nothing to do with terrorism."The (Prime Minister John) Howard government will dowhatever Washington asks of it and I am very concernedthe request for his arrest came in the wake ofinformation from Washington ... because he's anabsolute thorn in the side of Dick Cheney, Halliburtonand profit-making deals that apply in Iraq."Parkin, who has reportedly been arrested in the US inthe past and took part in a recent protest in Sydneyagainst Halliburton, was detained Saturday as he satat a cafe in Melbourne where he was teaching at peaceactivism workshops.Howard is a close ally of US President George W. Bushand Australia contributed troops to the US-ledinvasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.Brown said he doubted the order for Parkin's arresthad come from Australia's security services, giventhat he was cleared for a visa months ago.Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said ImmigrationMinister Amanda Vanstone had made the decision todetain the American after a security check.Parkin has been in Australia since June, and prominenthuman rights lawyer Julian Burnside said he wanted toknow why it took so long for authorities to act if hewas a security threat."They've got the right but the question is whetherthat right has been exercised in a way that providessufficient protection for ordinary citizens ofAustralia," he said.Parkin's arrest came days after Howard announced plansfor tough new legislation aimed at curbing terrorism,including detention without charge for up to twoweeks and the electronic tagging of suspects for up toa year.



10) Sharon at the UN:“A Defiant Sharon at the United Nations”Information Brief No. 122 (16 September 2005)By Samar Assad*Overview: On 15 September 2005, Israeli Prime MinisterAriel Sharon disregarded the opinions of the 60year-old United Nations (UN) and other internationalpeacekeeping bodies when he stated, moments into hisspeech before the fully-convened UN General Assembly,that Jerusalem will remain the "undivided and eternalcapital of the State of Israel." During his speech, healso stated, wrongly, that Israel ended its control ofand responsibility for the Gaza Strip with the "lastIsraeli soldiers leaving Gaza last week." Sharonfurther disregarded numerous UN resolutions when heannounced that Israel will complete the constructionof the separation wall it is building in the OccupiedPalestinian Territory ("the Wall").The UN Position on JerusalemThe United Nations recognizes East Jerusalem asoccupied territory in accordance with the provisionsof the Fourth Geneva Convention. It therefore rejectsIsraeli claims of full sovereignty over EastJerusalem. Moreover, customary international law, asreflected in the UN Charter (Art. 2, Para. 4), rejectsthe admissibility of acquisition of territory byforce, making Israel's annexation and authority overEast Jerusalem illegal under international law.In 1967, in response to Israel's occupation of theWest Bank and East Jerusalem, the UN Security Councilcalled for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forcesfrom territories occupied in the recent conflict"through its adoption of Resolution 242. The followingyear, the Security Council stated its opposition toIsrael's expansion of Jerusalem's borders when itadopted Resolution 252, which "considers thatall…actions taken by Israel…which tend to change thelegal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannotchange that status." Thirteen years later, the Security Council againstated that "all…actions taken by Israel, theoccupying Power, which purport to alter the characterand status of…Jerusalem have no legal validity andconstitute a flagrant violation of the GenevaConvention relative to the Protection of CivilianPersons in Time of War and also constitute a seriousobstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just andlasting peace in the Middle East" (UNSCR 476).Gaza Still Occupied TerritoryOnly hours after Sharon delivered his address at theUnited Nations, the Israeli Defense Ministry announcedplans to establish a new "security zone" 150 meterswide in the south of the Gaza Strip. Even asPalestinians are rejoicing that Israeli soldiers nolonger control Gaza's roads and traffic intersectionsthrough the checkpoints once bisecting the improvisedand densely populated Strip, they must now prepare fora new "security zone" that violates Palestiniansovereignty in the region.Regardless of this new development, the departure ofIsraeli soldiers from within Gaza did not end Israel'scontrol over the territory, contrary to Sharon'sstatement. Israel continues to control the borders andpeople of the Gaza Strip militarily and politically.In particular, the Israeli army controls the northernErez crossing between Gaza and Israel even as it doesthe southern Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Italso patrols the sea waters and airspace around Gaza.Israel has not started talks with the PalestinianAuthority over the reopening of either, despite theirsingular importance to Palestinians' economicdevelopment and freedom of movement. Israel also maintains its control over the fate of theErez Industrial Estate as well as the "safe passage,"or territorial link that once existed between Gaza andthe southern West Bank. People and goods wanting toleave or enter Gaza still need Israel's permission,must apply for Israeli-issued permits, and must passthrough border checkpoints. As Karen Koning AbuZayd,Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agencyfor Palestine Refugees in the Near East, saidrecently, the only thing Israel did in Gaza during itsoccupation of the territory was to protect thesettlements and build checkpoints. The causes ofPalestinian poverty and statelessness thus remaindespite the removal of its soldiers and settlers frominside the Gaza Strip. The WallIn his speech, Sharon also told the General Assemblythat the Wall is "vitally indispensable," and "saveslives." The statement is the first public admissionfrom Israel that the Wall is not a temporary fixturebut rather a permanent fact on the ground. Thismirrors Israel's public statements regarding its planto retain and expand the West Bank settlements. By announcing that his government intends to completethe construction of the Wall, Sharon brazenlyreaffirmed Israel's dismissal of the advisory opinionthat the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issuedon 9 July 2004, in response to UN General AssemblyResolution Es-10/14. The ICJ ruled that, inter alia,the construction of Israel's Wall in the OccupiedPalestinian Territory contravenes international lawand that Israel is obliged to stop construction andmake reparations for all the damage it has caused. Sharon's claim that the Wall has saved lives ispremised on the belief that the only lives who matterare Israeli's. The Wall impairs access to hospitalsfor Palestinians' living in isolated areas, such asEast Jerusalem and the northern West Bank cities ofTulkarem and Qalqilya. The Ramallah-based Health, Development, Information &Policy Institute has found that 71 primary healthclinics are isolated from the rest of the West Bankbecause of their location between Israel's border andthe Wall. These clinics are under-funded andinadequately equipped to serve their constituenciesdespite the essential service they provide. They oftendo not have delivery rooms or specialized doctorsbecause of their limited financial resources. The Wallthus increases the likelihood of Palestinian deathsdue to preventable causes-whether a lack ofspecialized doctors, inaccessibility to hospitals forthe injured and sick, or a stagnant economy.* Samar Assad is Executive Director of The JerusalemFund and its educational program, The PalestineCenter. The above text does not necessarily reflectthose of the Fund. This Information Brief may be usedwithout permission but with proper attribution to ThePalestine Center.


11) ATFP Gaze Disengagement Analysis:'REAL ESTATE AND DIGNITY' DEFINE ISRAELI-PALESTINIANCONFLICTExpert Briefing by Dr. Ziad Asali Daily Star (Lebanon)September 17, 2005http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_ID=10&article_ID=18560&categ_id=2Editor's note: The following presentation by AmericanTask Force on Palestine President Dr. Ziad Asali wasmade at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations'14th Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference onMonday. Appearing with Dr. Asali on theIsrael/Palestine panel were Dr. Aaron Miller,president, Seeds of Peace; and the Honorable ElizabethDibble, deputy assistant secretary for Near EastAffairs/Arab-Israeli Affairs, U.S. State Department.In its bare essence, the Palestine/Israel conflict isabout real estate and dignity. The interconnectednessof these two issues, and the need to make progress onboth, have rendered the conflict intractable andreduced it to a zero-sum game. Historically, anyplayer could exercise veto power on compromise, byinflaming passions that no politician could control,and bring progress to a halt.The most interesting feature of the disengagement planwas that it offered enough incentives to each party toimplement policies that denied veto power to anyspoiler. The inherent imbalance of power between theparties was reflected in the unilateral conception andexecution of the disengagement by the Israelis;however, it afforded the Palestinians enough to remainengaged and reap as many benefits as possible withoutofficially compromising their goal of achieving aviable state in the land occupied since 1967.The salient features, with practical and symbolicsignificance, of the disengagement are as follows:1. The evacuation of settlers from their homes is aclear acknowledgement of the end of the dream ofGreater Israel.2. The northern West Bank withdrawal, with no pretenseof a meaningful security link, breaks the metaphysicalbond to the land and sets a precedent.3. The settler movement has engendered sympathy andexhibited hooliganism, but proved no match to themight of the government. The taboo on future Israeliwithdrawals from the West Bank has been broken.4. The Palestinian leadership has delivered on apeaceful withdrawal, something Israel itself was neverable to achieve by force.5. Intra-Palestinian conflict remains one of the mostserious potential problems and the challenge for thePalestinian leadership to manage the takeover andreconstruction is daunting.6. The international community continues to play acrucial role in providing pre- and post-withdrawalsupport. An engaged American administration madedisengagement possible, without which gains cannot besustained.7. Egypt played a pivotal role in security, economicand border agreements. While future violence in Gazacould force excruciating choices on Egypt with majorpolitical consequences inside Egypt, a prototype mayhave been set for a future Jordanian role regardingwithdrawal from the West Bank.The disengagement is an interim step, and its lastingsignificance will depend on steps to follow: Willpolitical realities in Palestine, Israel and theUnited States allow the making of decisions that willeventually lead to peace and to a viable Palestinianstate alongside Israel?The Palestinians must establish a central authoritythat provides security to its citizens and to itsneighbors. Asking President Mahmoud Abbas to disarmhis opponents without providing him the tools to doso, and without giving him and his people a politicalsense of their future independence in a viable state,is neither realistic nor achievable.A democratically elected president has the legitimacy,but no matter how courageous he might be, he needs tohave the means to impose his will as he upholds thelaw. This cannot be accomplished presently inPalestine without outside assistance in terms ofweapons and economic aid. The present Palestinianleadership understands that without security therewill be no state and no peace. The crimes committed inGaza recently, and the lawlessness, could lead toanarchy if not confronted by the might of a stateauthority.Israel overall, acknowledges the difference betweenpresidents Abbas and Yasser Arafat. For it to continueto deny Abbas a genuine partnership role, willinevitably lead to his defeat at the hands of moremilitant and noncompromising opponents. Security ofthe Palestinians and Israelis is indivisible andgovernments of both sides have to coordinate toachieve it. Partnering with moderate Palestinians isin the national interest of Israel if it wants toretain a clear Jewish majority in a democratic state,but its political system may trump its nationalinterest. This is the where the United States can render themost valuable service: with the goodwill that it hasearned in Israel, it can prevent the dynamics ofIsrael' s political system from enacting measures thatwould damage the cause of peace. It can do so bypublicly and clearly drawing red lines on Jerusalem,settlements and borders, that must not be crossed topreserve the viability of a Palestinian state. FewIsraeli politicians will publicly defy this presidentof the United States. The difference between pressureand advice amongst allies and friends should not behard to tell. The coming period of internalstocktaking and political maneuvering cannot be usedto establish more facts on the ground, and the UnitedStates can help responsible Israeli politicianssurvive the attacks of demagogues by assuming theresponsibility for this decision. The international community has a clear interest inestablishing peace on the basis of a viable Palestinealongside Israel. Its involvement in Palestinianeconomic development and security enhancement is beingsupervised by Jim Wolfensohn and General Ward.Economic assistance provided immediately, withconcrete results on the grounds, will greatly reducethe chances of Gaza descending into extremism andviolence. Some Arab and Muslim nations and the G8 havemade commitments of assistance, but much more needs tobe done. However, no amount of external assistancewill do without free access to people and goodsbetween Gaza, the West Bank and the rest of the world.Palestinian corruption can be remedied by stringentmeasures to provide accountability and transparency.The competent management of finance minister SalamFayyad has given comfort to all relevant internationalagencies. The Palestinian private sector has alreadycommitted $100 million to Gaza, however much remainsto be done to gain the confidence of outsideinvestors.Resolution and progress on these and other issues willgreatly impact Palestinian legislative elections setfor January 2006. Excluding Hamas and others bysetting unachievable criteria for inclusion, as someIsraelis have suggested, is a sign of weakness. Havingthem compete in elections against credible candidateswho promise a future of hope and prosperity is a muchbetter alternative. The clock is ticking on winningthe hearts and minds of the people and the challengeis to put the remaining time to best use.It seems clear that there remain many challengesbefore a two-state solution can be implemented.Indeed, an ever-increasing number of people areconvinced that Israeli settlements have alreadyforeclosed a viable Palestinian state. We should ask,what are the other possible options if this one fails?Option one: A one-state solution with one-manone-vote. The political realities facing such anoption in Israel are insurmountable. The Jewish peoplewho wanted to have a state of their own for ages arenot going to volunteer to give it up without a fight.No matter what the future may bring, in the near termthis proposal means continued conflict.Option two: Separating Gaza from the West Bank: Thiscan be done by failure to establish easy communicationand transportation to the West Bank, by making nopolitical progress on the road map, by implementingpolicies that favor Gaza economically, or by allowingit to descend into chaos and instability. This optionwill leave all the ingredients of the conflictunresolved.Option three: Establishing new borders for Israelunilaterally, as defined by the barrier annexingaround 15 percent of the land and separating Jerusalemfrom Palestine. Such a state will not be viable and nopolitical leadership in Palestine can accept it.Significantly, it keeps the problem of Jerusalemunresolved and invites the jihadis across the Muslimworld to call for its liberation for generations tocome. It will redefine the conflict as a holy warbetween Muslims and Jews.Option four: A variation on pre-1967: by letting Gazadrift to the Egyptian sphere of influence and havingthe majority of the West Bank and its people revert toJordan, perhaps even by "making Jordan Palestine."This will add to the present mix a conflict with, andwithin, Jordan and will expand the geographic area ofconfrontation and strife. It too will hand the issueof Jerusalem to the holy warriors of the 21st century.Option five: A provisional Palestinian state withoutborders. This is an acknowledgement of the politicalimpossibility of dealing with permanent status issuesat this point in time. Managing a protracted processto lead to peace will take a level of coordination anddiscipline on the part of so many parties that ignoresthe historical record. Any option that extends theuncertainty about the end game will guaranteecontinued conflict.Having outlined these options, I submit that theprudent course of action would be to empower thepresent Palestinian leadership to control and managethe transition to a state, to encourage the trendtoward compromise and withdrawal in Israel initiatedby Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and to havethe international community guide the massive effortto rebuild a peaceful viable Palestine alongside asecure Israel. Such a formula is a bargain at today'sprices. Human passions run amuck at a large scalecould make tsunamis and hurricanes seem like minorevents.



12) Israeli researcher collects statistical evidencefor banking bias in the US:Interesting statistical report by an Israeli gradstudent at U. of Washington and follow-up articlesin the seattlepi.com, about pay-day loan branchestargeting afro-american populations in washingtonstate.http://www.stat.washington.edu/assaf/WashPayDay.pdfhttp://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/225559_payday24.htmlhttp://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/225524_paydaymilitary24.html


13) Blair relished war:http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article313548.eceDowning Street furious as official's diary accusesBlair of 'relishing' Iraq invasion By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor Published: 19 September 2005 Labour insiders were furious last night over claims bya former No 10 official that Tony Blair "relished"ordering British forces to attack Iraq as part of his"coming of age" as Prime Minister. Lance Price, the former deputy to Alastair Campbellwhen he was the Prime Minister's director ofcommunications, has been accused of "betrayal" by theCabinet Secretary after writing a "tell-all" diary.The ex-BBC reporter, who worked at Downing Street forthree years, had his account of the war on Iraqcensored by the Cabinet Office, but his original diarynote was published yesterday in The Mail on Sunday,which has bought the serial rights to his book, TheSpin Doctor's Diary.Mr Price's account confirms there is some truth to thebelief that Mr Campbell treated Mr Blair withcontempt. He noted in his diary that Mr Campbell hadcalled Mr Blair a "dickhead" to his face, and refusedto take calls from ministers who had annoyed him. MrPrice said his boss made personal attacks on MoMowlam, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, whodied last month, noting her performance on oneoccasion had been "two out of 10".One former ally of Mr Price said: "We are verysurprised at what he has done. We are even moresurprised that he chose to give it to The Mail onSunday, which is not exactly the most supportive ofthe Labour Party."Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, has takensteps to stop the most damaging claims beingpublished. In a letter to Mr Price's publishers, SirGus accused him of "betrayal".Mr Price, 47, was obliged to submit his manuscript tothe Government for clearance under the civil servicecodes of practice. Three passages were toned down onthe orders of No 10 and the Cabinet Secretary.In his entry for Christmas 1998, when Mr Blair firstauthorised UK air strikes against Iraq, Mr Pricewrote: "I couldn't help feeling TB was ratherrelishing his first blooding as PM, sending the boysinto action. Despite all the necessary stuff abouttaking action 'with a heavy heart', I think he feelsit is part of his coming of age as a leader."The Cabinet Office ordered the entry to be toned downto read: "I couldn't help feeling TB had mixedemotions about sending the boys into action. He saidhe did with a 'heavy heart' but at the same time, hemust have known it would happen sometime and maybeit's part of the coming of age as a leader."The Cabinet Office also toned down a reference to MrBlair's "f-ing and blinding" over the prospect of aLabour defeat in the 1999 Welsh Assembly elections. MrPrice wrote: "'Fucking Welsh', repeated many times byTB." That was changed to: "TB f-ing and blinding aboutthe whole thing."Claims that Mr Blair had promised to tell RupertMurdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, beforeannouncing a change of policy on Britain's entry tothe euro were also toned down.In his original diary entry, Mr Price said No 10 was"very edgy" after pro-euro comments by Mr Mandelson"because apparently we've promised News Internationalwe won't make any changes to our Europe policy withouttalking to them." The censors ordered it to be changedto say: "Apparently News International are under theimpression we won't make any changes without askingthem."Downing Street has refused to comment on the diaries."We don't want to get drawn into this book at all,"said an official.Downing Street also refused to deny unrelated claimsthat Mr Blair was furious with the "anti-US bias" ofthe BBC in its coverage of the New Orleans flooddisaster. It was widely reported yesterday that MrBlair had denounced the BBC's reporting of HurricaneKatrina as "full of hatred of America" and "gloating"at the plight of the US.Mr Blair allegedly made the remarks at a privatemeeting with Mr Murdoch.How Downing Street changed the diaryORIGINAL VERSION:"I couldn't help feeling TB was rather relishing hisfirst blooding as PM, sending the boys into action.Despite all the necessary stuff about taking action'with a heavy heart', I think he feels it is part ofhis coming of age as a leader."CENSORED VERSION:"I couldn't help feeling TB had mixed emotions aboutsending the boys into action. He said he did it with a'heavy heart' but at the same time, he must have knownit would happen some time and maybe it's part of thecoming of age as a leader."ORIGINAL VERSION:'"Fucking Welsh', repeated many times by TB."CENSORED VERSION:"TB f-ing and blinding about the whole thing."ORIGINAL VERSION:"No 10 were very edgy because apparently we'vepromised News International we won't make any changesto our Europe policy without talking to them."CENSORED VERSION:"No 10 were very edgy because apparently NewsInternational are under the impression we won't makeany changes without asking them." Labour insiders were furious last night over claims bya former No 10 official that Tony Blair "relished"ordering British forces to attack Iraq as part of his"coming of age" as Prime Minister. Lance Price, the former deputy to Alastair Campbellwhen he was the Prime Minister's director ofcommunications, has been accused of "betrayal" by theCabinet Secretary after writing a "tell-all" diary.The ex-BBC reporter, who worked at Downing Street forthree years, had his account of the war on Iraqcensored by the Cabinet Office, but his original diarynote was published yesterday in The Mail on Sunday,which has bought the serial rights to his book, TheSpin Doctor's Diary.Mr Price's account confirms there is some truth to thebelief that Mr Campbell treated Mr Blair withcontempt. He noted in his diary that Mr Campbell hadcalled Mr Blair a "dickhead" to his face, and refusedto take calls from ministers who had annoyed him. MrPrice said his boss made personal attacks on MoMowlam, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, whodied last month, noting her performance on oneoccasion had been "two out of 10".One former ally of Mr Price said: "We are verysurprised at what he has done. We are even moresurprised that he chose to give it to The Mail onSunday, which is not exactly the most supportive ofthe Labour Party."Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, has takensteps to stop the most damaging claims beingpublished. In a letter to Mr Price's publishers, SirGus accused him of "betrayal".Mr Price, 47, was obliged to submit his manuscript tothe Government for clearance under the civil servicecodes of practice. Three passages were toned down onthe orders of No 10 and the Cabinet Secretary.In his entry for Christmas 1998, when Mr Blair firstauthorised UK air strikes against Iraq, Mr Pricewrote: "I couldn't help feeling TB was ratherrelishing his first blooding as PM, sending the boysinto action. Despite all the necessary stuff abouttaking action 'with a heavy heart', I think he feelsit is part of his coming of age as a leader."The Cabinet Office ordered the entry to be toned downto read: "I couldn't help feeling TB had mixedemotions about sending the boys into action. He saidhe did with a 'heavy heart' but at the same time, hemust have known it would happen sometime and maybeit's part of the coming of age as a leader."The Cabinet Office also toned down a reference to MrBlair's "f-ing and blinding" over the prospect of aLabour defeat in the 1999 Welsh Assembly elections. MrPrice wrote: "'Fucking Welsh', repeated many times byTB." That was changed to: "TB f-ing and blinding aboutthe whole thing."Claims that Mr Blair had promised to tell RupertMurdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, beforeannouncing a change of policy on Britain's entry tothe euro were also toned down.In his original diary entry, Mr Price said No 10 was"very edgy" after pro-euro comments by Mr Mandelson"because apparently we've promised News Internationalwe won't make any changes to our Europe policy withouttalking to them." The censors ordered it to be changedto say: "Apparently News International are under theimpression we won't make any changes without askingthem."Downing Street has refused to comment on the diaries."We don't want to get drawn into this book at all,"said an official.Downing Street also refused to deny unrelated claimsthat Mr Blair was furious with the "anti-US bias" ofthe BBC in its coverage of the New Orleans flooddisaster. It was widely reported yesterday that MrBlair had denounced the BBC's reporting of HurricaneKatrina as "full of hatred of America" and "gloating"at the plight of the US.Mr Blair allegedly made the remarks at a privatemeeting with Mr Murdoch.How Downing Street changed the diaryORIGINAL VERSION:"I couldn't help feeling TB was rather relishing hisfirst blooding as PM, sending the boys into action.Despite all the necessary stuff about taking action'with a heavy heart', I think he feels it is part ofhis coming of age as a leader."CENSORED VERSION:"I couldn't help feeling TB had mixed emotions aboutsending the boys into action. He said he did it with a'heavy heart' but at the same time, he must have knownit would happen some time and maybe it's part of thecoming of age as a leader."

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