After much hype here is the first offering by Julian Assange from his new interview series on RT “The World Tomorrow”. Still under house arrest in the UK for alleged Swedish indiscretions, Julian promises to interview some controversial figures. I was impressed by his first attempt, although his awkwardness is still rather funny.
“The state of Israel is an illegal state, it was a state that is based on occupying the lands of others…” Hassan Nasrallah
I wonder how long till Offcom bans RT like they did PressTV?
Are you ready? What is your vision for the future of Israel and Palestine? What would Hezbollah consider victory? And if you had that victory , would you disarm?
The state of Israel is not a… is an illegal state, it’s a state that was established on the basis of occupying the lands of others, or usurping the lands of others, of controlling by force the lands of others, of committing massacres against the Palestinians who were expelled, and these include Muslims and Christians too, so for this reason justice is… justice remains… remains on the side where even if ten years passes the progress of time does not turn justice into… does not negate justice. If it’s my house…if your house… and I go and occupy it by force it doesn’t become mine in 50 or 100 years just because I’m stronger than you and I’ve been able to occupy your house, that doesn’t give me… that doesn’t legalise my ownership of your house. At least, this is our ideological view and our legal view and we believe that Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people. But if we wanted to combine ideology and law, and political realities, and relate it on the ground, we should say that the only solution is we don’t want to kill anyone, we don’t want to treat anyone unjustly, we want justice to be restored to the… and the only solution is the establishment of one state – one state on the land on Palestine in which the Muslims and the Jews and the Christians live in peace in a democratic state. Any other solution will simply not be viable, and it won’t be sustained.
(From a post by Dan McGowan, Director (US) Deir Yassin Remembered)
Deir Yassin Day 2012 was commemorated (in part) in Geneva, New York. Eighteen people came, including an Israeli and two Palestinians and even two professors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
None of the local Geneva Human Rights Commission members came; they had previously branded our fundraiser for DYR Scholarships as “hatemongering.”
Garth Hewitt’s song “On An April Day” was played as was a beautiful kaddish sung by a famous, but unnamed rabbi. The local rabbi was invited to attend, but declined, perhaps out of fear of local reprisals.
Like the saber in our logo, we refuse to be silent.
Feel free to forward this to friends who may wish to support our scholarship program.
The ‘Jews Only Democracy’ more likely…
The following is a form to be filled out upon arrival in Israel.
The Taliban began their spring campaign as a British lord put a price on Bush’s scalp” notes Eric Walberg
Kabul was cast into chaos Sunday as the Taliban began their spring offensive with attacks on US, British, German and Russian embassies, NATO headquarters, Camp Eggers, a hotel, President Karzai’s palace compound and parliament.
These are coordinated attacks that went just as we planned,” Taliban spokesman Qari Talha told The Daily Beast. This is only the start of what’s in store this year and next for the Americans and Karzai.”
Targets across the country included Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili, airfields and police stations in three eastern provinces. About 20 insurgents were killed in the attacks, which injured at least 15 police officers and nine civilians.
US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker dismissed the Taliban’s claim of responsibility: “Frankly, I don’t think the Taliban is good enough,” leaving unsaid who is. Crocker commended the NATO-trained Afghan forces, whose capability was “proven today by their professional and highly effective response in restoring order”.
A warning came from New Delhi’s Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Director Dipankar Banerjee: “We’re only going to see an increase in these attacks. It helps [the militants] ensure political dominance in the new order as they slowly take over.” Talha said that Sunday’s strikes were just a preview of the fighting season to come. “We want to engage smaller numbers of well-trained fighters to make attacks on significant government, American and NATO targets.” He said the mastermind of the operation was Hajji Lala, the insurgency’s shadow governor of Kabul and its eastern-front military chief.
One big difference, according to Talha and other Taliban sources, was that this time the Haqqani network did not play a significant role in the operation. Rivalry has developed between the Taliban and its eastern partner in insurgency, although Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin have in the past declared their loyalty to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. Talha says he’s hopeful that the Taliban and the Haqqanis will work together in the future.
“With this coordination we can double of number and size of attacks across Afghanistan.”
Sunday’s attacks confirmed the ease with which the Taliban are able to infiltrate fighters, suicide bombers, explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons into the capital and the main towns of the three surrounding provinces. The Kabul government’s 300,000-strong security forces actually make this easier, Talha explained. “The bigger the Afghan police, army, and intelligence services grow, the less effective they become. Kabul’s intelligence and police are weaker than ever, allowing us to carry out these stunning episodes.”
A senior Kabul-government official in eastern Paktia province confirms this: “I fear our intelligence and security forces are becoming less coordinated while the Taliban’s coordination is getting better.” The problem is that the intelligence service, the police, and the army, controlled by Tajiks, are riven by ethnic rivalries and mistrust between them, Pashtuns and Uzbeks. “They do not coordinate with each other. This provides a golden opportunity for the Taliban to infiltrate and penetrate wherever and when they wish.”
American, Afghan and NATO officials undoubtedly will call the Taliban assault a failed offensive. But that is small comfort to most Afghans.
British parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed added a note of whimsy to AfPak’s ongoing tragedy, when he announced a reward for the capture of US President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush at a reception in Lord Nazir’s honour held by the business community of Haripur, Pakistan on Friday. Nazir said that placing a bounty on Lashkar-e-Taiba Chief Hafiz Saeed was an insult to all Muslims, and by doing so President Obama has challenged the dignity of the Muslim Ummah. Lashkar-e-Taiba is held responsible for the 2008 Mumbai bombings and is on the US terrorist list.
“If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of 10 million pounds on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush,” Lord Nazir said. A terrorist tit-for-tat.
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/ His Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games is available at http://claritypress.com/Walberg.html
I have always been ideologically opposed to war and all the horrors that flow in its wake: agonising fear and death, famine, displacement, maiming, torture, rape, internment and the breakdown of all the hard-won values of civilised human law and behaviour.
Looking back, I think that was partly why I was attracted to work in diplomacy and how I ended up being enticed into intelligence. These worlds, although by no means perfect, could conceivably be seen as the last-ditch defences before a country goes bellowing into all-out war.
I marched against the Iraq war, toured the UK to speak at Stop the War meetings, worked with Make Wars History, and have ceaselessly spoken out and written about these and related issues.
Today in the UK we have reached a consensus that Blair’s government lied the country into the Iraq war on the false premise of weapons of mass destruction, and subsequently enabled the Bush administration to do the same in the USA, hyping up the threat of a nuclear Iraq using false intelligence provided by MI6.
Millions of people marched then, and millions of people continue to protest against the ongoing engorgement of the military/intelligence complex, but nothing ever seems to change. It’s democratically disempowering and an enervating experience. What can we do about it?
I have a couple of suggestions (The New Stuff), but first let’s look at some of the most egregious current fake realities.
Last year we had the spectacle of the current No 10 incumbent, Dave Cameron, stating that the Libyan intervention would be nothing like Iraq – it would be “necessary, legal and right”. But there was no subsequent joined-up thinking, and Blair and his cronies have still not been held to account for the Iraq genocide, despite prima facie breaches of international war law and of the Official Secrets Act….
But help might be at hand for those interested in justice, courtesy of Abdel Hakim Belhaj, former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group leader, MI6 kidnapping and torture victim, and current military commander in Tripoli.
After NATO’s humanitarian bombing of Libya last year and the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, some seriously embarrassing paperwork was found in the abandoned office of Libyan Foreign Minister and former spy head honcho, Musa Kusa (who fled to the UK and subsequently on to Qatar).
These letters, sent in 2004 by former MI6 Head of Terrorism and current BP consultant, Sir Mark Allen, gloatingly offer up the hapless Belhaj to the Libyans for torture. It almost seems like MI6 wanted a gold star from their new bestest friends.
Belhaj, understandably, is still slightly peeved about this and is now suing MI6. As a result, a frantic damage-limitation exercise is going on, with MI6 trying to buy his silence with a million quid, and scattering unattributed quotes across the British media:
it wasn’t us, gov, it was the, er, government….”.
Which drops either (or both) Tony Blair and Jack Straw eyebrow-deep in the stinking cesspit. One or other of them should have signed off on Belhaj’s kidnapping, knowing he would be tortured in Tripoli. Or perhaps they actually are innocent of this….. but if they didn’t sign off on the Belhaj extraordinary kidnapping, then MI6 was running rampant, working outside the law on their watch.
Either way, there are serious questions to be answered.
Both these upstanding politicians are, of course, suffering from political amnesia about this case. In fact, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary at the time of the kidnapping, has said that he cannot have been expected to know everything the spies got up to – even though that was precisely his job, as he was responsible for them under the terms of the Intelligence Security Act 1994, and should certainly have had to clear an operation so politically sensitive.
In the wake of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, what worries me now is that exactly the same reasons, with politicians mouthing exactly the same platitudinous “truths”, are being pushed to justify an increasingly inevitable strike against Iran.
Depressing as this all is, I would suggest that protesting each new, individual war is not the necessarily the most effective response. Just as the world’s markets have been globalised, so manifestly to the benefit of all us 99%-ers, have many other issues.
Unlike Dave Cameron, we need to apply some joined-up thinking. Global protest groups need to counter more than individual wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Sudan (North and South), Syria, Iran…… sorry, I’m getting writer’s cramp just enumerating all the current wars.
Give me a day or two to overcome my moral spasm, and I shall return with a few suggestions about possible ways forward – 21st Century Pacifism; the New Stuff.
As of late, Jewish Americans have been caught faking hate crimes against themselves and their neighbors in order to make it appear as if anti-Semitism is running rampant and needs to be addressed. One has to wonder how many of the “anti-Semitic” hate crimes every year are really fakes, and how many innocent gentiles are sitting in prison as a result. We have to keep in mind that the vast majority of these hate crime fakes are never exposed and are presumed to be credible hate crimes.
The Bilzerian Report (News Commentary):