Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It may be a little literal and Roberts has perhaps the zealotry of the convert, but there is no doubting the aggressors on planet Earth are the imperial neocons.
Paul Craig Roberts- It is 1939 all over again. The world waits helplessly for the next act of naked aggression by rogue states. Only this time the rogue states are not the Third Reich and Fascist Italy. They are the United States and Israel.

The targeted victims are not Poland and France, but Iran, Syria, the remains of the Palestinian West Bank and southern Lebanon.

The American mass media is overjoyed. War coverage attracts viewers and sells advertising.

The neoconservatives are ecstatic. Hegemony uber alles is back on track.

The US Air Force can’t wait “to show what it can do.”

Defense contractors see no end of the profits.

Under cover of the mayhem and propaganda, Israel can grab the remains of the West Bank and have another go at grabbing the water resources of southern Lebanon.

Unlike the US and Israel, Iran is neither occupying any other country’s territory nor threatening to invade another country. Nevertheless, propaganda against Iran is spouting from US and Israeli mouths at an increasing rate. Lie after lie rolls off the tongues of leaders of the “two great democracies.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bush is to kill 3 million Iranians with Nuclear Radiation!

Is an Attack on Iran Imminent?
by Dan Hamburg

George W. Bush is poised to order a massive aerial bombardment — possibly including tactical nuclear weapons - of up to 10,000 targets in Iran. The attack would be justified on grounds that Iran is interfering with U.S. efforts in Iraq and that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, a charge that was debunked last fall in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE).

According to international experts, the U.S. declared economic war against Iran on March 20. On that day, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) called on the world’s financial institutions to stop doing business with Iran, making it much more difficult for Iran to engage in global commerce.

Now the Bush administration is preparing to drop the other shoe. Below are some of the indications that a U.S. military attack on Iran is imminent:

The March 11 resignation of CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon who, according to a well-publicized Esquire magazine article, “openly opposed Bush’s Iran policy and was a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.”

The recent removal of Vice Admiral John Stufflebeem, Commander of the 6th Fleet (Mediterranean Sea), also known to be a critic of the administration’s war plans.

Two U.S. warships took up positions off Lebanon last month. According to US News & World Report, “The United States would want its warships in the eastern Mediterranean in the event of a military action against Iran.”

The Israeli air strike against Syria last September was advertised as an attack on a nuclear facility. Current speculation is that the real purpose of the raid was to “force Syria to switch on the targeting electronics for newly received Russian anti-aircraft defenses.” Knowing the electronic signatures of these systems would reduce the risks for U.S. and Israeli warplanes heading to Iranian targets.

Israel conducted its largest military exercises ever beginning the week of April 6. This exercise simulated missile strikes from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. (Note: Both 9/11 and the London subway bombing of 7/7/07 occurred simultaneous by with military and/or civil defense exercises.)

One day after a March visit from Vice President Cheney, the Saudi government announced “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom.” This announcement came following warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s nearby Bushehr nuclear reactors.

According to former U.N. chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the Pentagon has contracted for additional bunker-buster bombs and planes that carry them. Delivery is due this month.

The oncoming monsoon season, which would carry radioactive fallout by wind and rain to countries east of Iran (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India), narrows the window for the optimal launch of an air attack.

Over the past six months, two major incidents have demonstrated the inadequate security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. On August 30, 2007, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber carrying 6 AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, flew an unauthorized mission from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. (Barksdale is the major disembarkation point for personnel and materiel going to the Middle East.) This “Bent Spear” incident marked the first time in more than 40 years that nuclear weapons had been flown across the continental United States. A spate of up to eight accidental deaths and suicides of personnel from these two bases adds an ominous twist to this story.

Recently, it was revealed that intercontinental ballistic missile fuses had been sent to Taiwan instead of the helicopter batteries they had ordered. Sharp protests from China forced President Bush to acknowledge the error personally to Chinese Premier Hu Jintao.

As a result of these incidents, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a series of investigations, including a recent order for a complete physical inventory of the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Bush administration is hypocritical in its claims that Iran cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. Given the Minot/Barksdale incident and the mix-up between ballistic missile fuses and helicopter batteries, the question that should to be asked is: “Can the U.S. be trusted with nuclear weapons?”

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a “limited” nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan would result in three million people killed by radiation within two weeks and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Yet another preemptive attack and the devastation of another civilian population would be grossly immoral and in violation of all international codes of conduct. No one can predict how such an attack would end, especially in the tinderbox that is the Middle East. Every patriotic American, and especially every member of Congress, should do whatever is in their power to stop the Bush-Cheney cabal before they drag us into World War III.

Dan Hamburg is a former Democratic US congressperson from northern California. He is currently executive director of Voice of the Environment, a San Francisco based nonprofit.

Copyright © 2008 by Santa Monica Mirror

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dehumanization of the Western Mind

A US Casualty of war, A threat to World Peace: Clinton Dehumanised

Source: payvand.com

By Mehrnaz Shahabi (CASMII: www.campaigniran.org)

The shameful exposition by the American presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton, of her mass genocidal intentions towards Iranians was tragic proof of the dehumanising impact of warmongering on an elite western mind. It is said that humanity is the first casualty of war and this has been starkly clear, not only in the murderous boasting of the presidential candidate's preparedness to "totally obliterate" an entire nation, to prove her appeal as the American president, but worse still, in the meek and acquiescent response or no response at all of the western mainstream journalists, politicians and intelligentsia.

Where are those super champions of human rights and western liberal values who were so 'outraged' by the announcement of Fatwa on Salmon Rushdie? Does that loud and sanguine defense of "freedom of expression" translate into this blood-soaked acquiesce to the liberty of threatening an entire nations to "total obliteration"?

And compare this complacent silence to the flooding of the airwaves and newsrags with propaganda bombardment over the Iranian president's misquoted "wiping Israel off the map" remark, which has gone on incessantly for two and a half years despite frequent attempts at clarification and correction. Such was the "outrage". Of course, many people take their cues on how to respond to the avalanche of complex news, from the mainstream media itself and politicians. So the silence is a cue heavy with meaning and menace.

The Orwellian double talk and double standards are so part of the fabric of every day political culture that they now go down without the need for a pinch of salt and are comfortably digested. However, when the threat of mass genocide, amidst overwhelming silence or inaudible whimpers, is interpreted as a "gaff" (Timothy Garton-Ash, Guardian 24th April), and a rare objection describes it as "probably imprudent" (Lord Malloch-Brown, Guardian 24th April), this is the unmistakable indication of the deadening of sensitivity and tolerance of violence towards nations who are deemed as 'dispensable'; as in Iraq and in Palestine.

This deadening of humanity is the most serious casualty of the immoral invasion of Iraq in the aggressor countries, and if not recovered, there will be dire consequences for the entire world.

The "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide", of the United Nations, defines Genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group". as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; …".

Hilary Clinton is threatening the destruction of a "whole national group" and by her violent threat is causing them "serious mental harm". In her ABC News interview, she has unequivocally threatened that: "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran". "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." This was in reply to the question on how she would respond if Iran attacked Israel by nuclear weapons.

Not only, according to the intensive IAEA inspections, there is no evidence of Iran working towards weaponisation or indeed any rationale for such a threat, but even if, hypothetically, such a threat existed, the threat of "total obliteration" issued to an entire nation remains an insane and criminal intent. This threat of total annihilation which would presumably imply the use of nuclear weapons is directed against a helpless population with catastrophic consequences. Such an attack would not compensate against any unlikely hypothetical attack from Iran, neither would such a threat act as a fearsome deterrent – as it is claimed to be. Just as it is intended to grab the presidency through fear mongering and to feed the monster of America's continuing wars with paranoia, similarly the impact of such fear in Iranians would be the anxiety to defend oneself against a deranged president and a population that goes along with it. According to the UN definition of genocide, Hilary Clinton is threatening mass genocide of an entire nation of 70 million. Is this violent woman fit to hold the presidency of a country with the most powerful war machine in history? Have we become so dehumanised by our incessant killing that we have lost any capacity for outrage?

With over a million Iraqis and thousands of coalition soldiers killed and maimed, the prospect of Hilary Clinton's presidency, who voted in favour of that illegal and immoral war, and has publicly declared her voracious appetite for mass genocide, is a truly terrifying specter.

A lone voice of conscience, in a readers' letter in the Guardian newspaper (24th April) asks: "What would she do if Israel attacked Iran (which is more likely)?". This is the question Clinton should have been asked and the question she should now be asked by the world community. So should statesmen, politicians and journalists internationally be questioned on their views on the US presidential hopeful's mass genocidal intents.

About the author: Mehrnaz Shahabi is an Iranian-British peace activist, translator and independent journalist.

... Payvand News - 04/26/08 ...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

She who sacrifices his conscience to ambition, burns a picture to obtain the ashes".

by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich 4/24/08

Source Payvand.com

It seems Hillary Clinton has sacrificed her conscience to ambition. Chinese proverb has it that "he who sacrifices his conscience to ambition, burns a picture to obtain the ashes". She announced her readiness to reduce 70 million innocent Iranian lives to ashes so that she could imagine her picture in the White House. Hillary's lust for ambition will never be satisfied; on the contrary, it seems to grow more inflamed with the prospect of mass murder. After all, this is nothing new to her.

Hillary knowingly supported the Iraq war to defend the "future of freedom". In her drive for the Iraq war, she was supported by the Progressive Policy Institute, a self-described think-tank of the Democratic Leadership Council[i]. Perhaps no one describes the group better than former neoconservative Jacob Heilbrunn who wrote: "Don't look now, but neoconservatism is making a comeback-and not among the Republicans who have made it famous, but in the Democratic Party,"[ii]. Indeed, many of them supported the war for the purpose of promoting democracy.

Her ideology has contributed to the nation's moral bankruptcy, the loss of over one million lives, and the depletion of America's treasury. These neoliberals who have driven us into a quagmire, elaborated it would serve America's interest to promote the Democratic peace theory. Scholars, university professors, and neoliberal jurists presented the concept that sovereignty, as it stood in international law did not provide immunity from attack to states engaging in systematic human rights abuses or amassing weapons of mass destruction. These would be considered 'pariah' states to be attacked by democratic coalitions with a warrant to liberalize them.[iii] Candidate Hillary comes from this stock. It seems that the only thing which differentiates her from McCain is the conduct of the war in Iraq, not the immoral and illegal war itself.

One can see why she would oppose the Bush conduct in this war by understanding the PPI. A book entitled "With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty" edited by Will Marshall (President of PPI) outlines the strategy difference between the 'progressives' (neoliberals) and the Bush unilateralism. The war in Iraq is part of a strategy for "building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy."[iv] She has endorsed the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation based on her belief that she holds a superior ideology which must be imposed on others, regardless of the cost and the consequences.

No doubt a person's character is never so well disclosed as when it is seen through the company he/she keeps. It appears that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D -Texas), co-chair of Hillary's presidential campaign, not only shares her friendship with America's presidential hopeful, but she also promotes America's terrorists[v]. The Mojaheden-e Khalgh (MEK) were put on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list by President Clinton for they were responsible for the assassination of Americans in Iran in the 1970's, as well as for their role in the US embassy takeover[vi], yet their leader and Hillary have a common friend and promoter. Congresswoman Jackson Lee went as far as calling Rajavi "Sister Maryam,[vii]. Are Hillary and Maryam 'sisters' too? Is our presidential candidate 'sister' to a notorious cult leader?

Raymond Tanter, a former National Security Agency staffer who led the IPC, predicted that the MEK would be removed from the terrorist list and be used by the U.S. against the regime. "I foresee a situation where Laura Bush, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes, and Maryam Rajavi are posing for a picture in the White House,"[viii]. Tanter was not far off. The MEK is certainly being used, and in all likelihood they will be moved from the terrorist list. However, Maryam Rajavi may have to wait for the photo op and take it with Sister Hillary.

[i] Tony Smith, "A Pact with the Devil. Washington's bid for world supremacy and the betrayal of the American promise'. Routledge 2007

[ii] Jacob Heilbrunn, "Neocons in the Democratic Party," Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2006.

[iii] Tony Smith. Ibid

[iv] Will Marshall, editor, With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty, PPI (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

[vii] Financial Times, October 6, 2005.

[viii] Connie Bruck, "A reporter at large: Exiles; How Iran's expatriates are gaming the nuclear threat". The New Yorker, March 6, 2006

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton threatens genocide against Iran

This woman is doing ANYTHING possible to get votes!
And at the end of the day, people who are voting for her are either senile, or battered women with serious phallic envy disorder who seek empowerment in obnoxious talk-tough attitude of this utterly stupid woman: Hillary Clinton!

This is her new cat out of the bag:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.

On the day of a crucial vote in her nomination battle against fellow Democrat Barack Obama, the New York senator said she wanted to make clear to Tehran what she was prepared to do as president in hopes that this warning would deter any Iranian nuclear attack against the Jewish state.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)," Clinton said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she said.

"That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic," Clinton said.

Her comments appeared harder than a week ago, when during a presidential debate she promised "massive retaliation" against any Iranian attack on Israel.

Obama rejected Clinton's rhetoric as saber rattling on a day when Pennsyhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giflvania Democrats voted in a party primary contest that could help decide which Democrat will face Republican John McCain for the White House in the November general election.

"One of the things that we've seen over the last several years is a bunch of talk using words like 'obliterate,"' Obama, an Illinois senator, said in a separate ABC interview. "It doesn't actually produce good results. And so I'm not interested in saber rattling."


Those who have been threatening IRAN with military action in recent months have been Israelis; not the other way around!

Jerusalem Post: "Military Action Against Iran Ready"

AFP: Israel may have to take military action against Iran, Bolton says

Israel Toda: "Israel receive the blessing of EU and US to attack Iran"

London Time: "Leaked, Israel plans nuclear strike against Iran"

London Telegraph: Israel seeks all clear to attack Iran

ICH: Petraeus signals attack against Iran


Monday, April 21, 2008

ONE NATION (hope is what we need)

The following piece is My MoveOn.org Barack Obama Video Contest entry.

If you like it please follow this link and vote. While you're at it, and while you're on the vote page, you will see the video html emed code and the link code, please place the link code on your site for your visitors and if they are inclined to vote for it they can do so via the page that follows and it will count extra toward my video's chances of winning.

There are 1,100 videos entered in the contest! Yikes!

By the way... the incredible artwork you see in the video was rendered by none other than my dear friend and associate, Ben Heine.

Thank you,
Mark (thepoetryman)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Would you have been a Nazi?

political entertainment

Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence is an organisation of Israeli veterans testifying about the IDF's conduct in the occupied territories, here is an article from The Independent- Our reign of terror, by the Israeli army [their website is www.shovrimshtika.org -but undergoing some problems at present]

Our reign of terror, by the Israeli army
In shocking testimonies that reveal abductions, beatings and torture, Israeli soldiers confess the horror they have visited on Hebron
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Saturday, 19 April 2008

The dark-haired 22-year-old in black T-shirt, blue jeans and red Crocs is understandably hesitant as he sits at a picnic table in the incongruous setting of a beauty spot somewhere in Israel. We know his name and if we used it he would face a criminal investigation and a probable prison sentence.

The birds are singing as he describes in detail some of what he did and saw others do as an enlisted soldier in Hebron. And they are certainly criminal: the incidents in which Palestinian vehicles are stopped for no good reason, the windows smashed and the occupants beaten up for talking back – for saying, for example, they are on the way to hospital; the theft of tobacco from a Palestinian shopkeeper who is then beaten "to a pulp" when he complains; the throwing of stun grenades through the windows of mosques as people prayed. And worse.

The young man left the army only at the end of last year, and his decision to speak is part of a concerted effort to expose the moral price paid by young Israeli conscripts in what is probably the most problematic posting there is in the occupied territories. Not least because Hebron is the only Palestinian city whose centre is directly controlled by the military, 24/7, to protect the notably hardline Jewish settlers there. He says firmly that he now regrets what repeatedly took place during his tour of duty.

But his frequent, if nervous, grins and giggles occasionally show just a hint of the bravado he might have displayed if boasting of his exploits to his mates in a bar. Repeatedly he turns to the older former soldier who has persuaded him to speak to us, and says as if seeking reassurance: "You know how it is in Hebron."

The older ex-soldier is Yehuda Shaul, who does indeed "know how it is in Hebron", having served in the city in a combat unit at the peak of the intifada, and is a founder of Shovrim Shtika, or Breaking the Silence, which will publish tomorrow the disturbing testimonies of 39 Israelis – including this young man – who served in the army in Hebron between 2005 and 2007. They cover a range of experiences, from anger and powerlessness in the face of often violent abuse of Arabs by hardline Jewish settlers, through petty harassment by soldiers, to soldiers beating up Palestinian residents without provocation, looting homes and shops, and opening fire on unarmed demonstrators.

The maltreatment of civilians under occupation is common to many armies in the world – including Britain's, from Northern Ireland to Iraq.

But, paradoxically, few if any countries apart from Israel have an NGO like Breaking the Silence, which seeks – through the experiences of the soldiers themselves – as its website puts it "to force Israeli society to address the reality which it created" in the occupied territories.

The Israeli public was given an unflattering glimpse of military life in Hebron this year when a young lieutenant in the Kfir Brigade called Yaakov Gigi was given a 15-month jail sentence for taking five soldiers with him to hijack a Palestinian taxi, conduct what the Israeli media called a "rampage" in which one of the soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian civilian who just happened to be in the wrong place, and then tried to lie his way out of it.

In a confessional interview with the Israeli Channel Two investigative programme Uvda, Gigi, who had previously been in many ways a model soldier, talked of "losing the human condition" in Hebron. Asked what he meant, he replied: "To lose the human condition is to become an animal."

The Israeli military did not prosecute the soldier who had fired on the Palestinian, as opposed to Gigi. But the military insists "that the events that occurred within the Kfir Brigade are highly unusual".

But as the 22-year-old soldier, also in the Kfir Brigade, confirms in his testimony to Breaking the Silence, it seems that the event may not have been exceptional. Certainly, our interview tells us, he was "many times" in groups that commandeered taxis, seated the driver in the back, and told him to direct them to places "where they hate the Jews" in order to "make a balagan" – Hebrew for "big mess".

Then there is the inter- clan Palestinian fight: "We were told to go over there and find out what was happening. Our [platoon] commander was a bit screwed in the head. So anyway, we would locate houses, and he'd tell us: 'OK, anyone you see armed with stones or whatever, I don't care what – shoot.' Everyone would think it's the clan fight..." Did the company commander know? "No one knew. Platoon's private initiative, these actions."

Did you hit them? "Sure, not just them. Anyone who came close ... Particularly legs and arms. Some people also sustained abdominal hits ... I think at some point they realised it was soldiers, but they were not sure. Because they could not believe soldiers would do this, you know."

Or using a 10-year-old child to locate and punish a 15-year-old stone-thrower: "So we got hold of just some Palestinian kid nearby, we knew that he knew who it had been. Let's say we beat him a little, to put it mildly, until he told us. You know, the way it goes when your mind's already screwed up, and you have no more patience for Hebron and Arabs and Jews there.

"The kid was really scared, realising we were on to him. We had a commander with us who was a bit of a fanatic. We gave the boy over to this commander, and he really beat the shit out of him ... He showed him all kinds of holes in the ground along the way, asking him: 'Is it here you want to die? Or here?' The kid goes, 'No, no!'

"Anyway, the kid was stood up, and couldn't stay standing on his own two feet. He was already crying ... And the commander continues, 'Don't pretend' and kicks him some more. And then [name withheld], who always had a hard time with such things, went in, caught the squad commander and said, 'Don't touch him any more, that's it.' The commander goes, 'You've become a leftie, what?' And he answers, 'No, I just don't want to see such things.'

"We were right next to this, but did nothing. We were indifferent, you know. OK. Only after the fact you start thinking. Not right away. We were doing such things every day ... It had become a habit...

"And the parents saw it. The commander ordered [the mother], 'Don't get any closer.' He cocked his weapon, already had a bullet inside. She was frightened. He put his weapon literally inside the kid's mouth. 'Anyone gets close, I kill him. Don't bug me. I kill. I have no mercy.' So the father ... got hold of the mother and said, 'Calm down, let them be, so they'll leave him alone.'"

Not every soldier serving in Hebron becomes an "animal". Iftach Arbel, 23, from an upper-middle class, left-of-centre home in Herzylia, served in Hebron as a commander just before the withdrawal from Gaza, when he thinks the army wanted to show it could be tough with settlers, too. And many of the testimonies, including Mr Arbel's, describe how the settlers educate children as young as four to throw stones at Palestinians, attack their homes and even steal their possessions. To Mr Arbel, the Hebron settlers are "pure evil" and the only solution is "to remove the settlers".

He believes it would be possible even within these constraints to treat Palestinians better. He adds: "We did night activity. Choose a house at random, on the aerial photo, so as to practise combat routine and all, which is instructive for the soldiers, I mean, I'm all for it. But then at midnight you wake someone up and turn his whole house upside down with everyone sleeping on the mattresses and all."

But Mr Arbel says that most soldiers are some way between his own extreme and that of the most violent. From just two of his fellow testifiers, you can see what he means.

As one said: "We did all kinds of experiments to see who could do the best split in Abu Snena. We would put [Palestinians] against the wall, make like we were checking them, and ask them to spread their legs. Spread, spread, spread, it was a game to see who could do it best. Or we would check who can hold his breath for longest.

"Choke them. One guy would come, make like he was checking them, and suddenly start yelling like they said something and choke them ... Block their airways; you have to press the adams apple. It's not pleasant. Look at the watch as you're doing it, until he passes out. The one who takes longest to faint wins."

And theft as well as violence. "There's this car accessory shop there. Every time, soldiers would take a tape-disc player, other stuff. This guy, if you go ask him, will tell you plenty of things that soldiers did to him.

"A whole scroll-full ... They would raid his shop regularly. 'Listen, if you tell on us, we'll confiscate your whole store, we'll break everything.' You know, he was afraid to tell. He was already making deals, 'Listen guys, you're damaging me financially.' I personally never took a thing, but I'm telling you, people used to take speakers from him, whole sound systems.

"He'd go, 'Please, give me 500 shekels, I'm losing money here.' 'Listen, if you go on – we'll pick up your whole shop.' 'OK, OK, take it, but listen, don't take more than 10 systems a month.' Something like this.

"'I'm already going bankrupt.' He was so miserable. Guys in our unit used to sell these things back home, make deals with people. People are so stupid."

The military said that Israeli Defence Forces soldiers operate according to "a strict set of moral guidelines" and that their expected adherence to them only "increases wherever and whenever IDF soldiers come in contact with civilians". It added that "if evidence supporting the allegations is uncovered, steps are taken to hold those involved to the level of highest judicial severity". It also said: "The Military Advocate General has issued a number of indictments against soldiers due to allegations of criminal behaviour ... Soldiers found guilty were punished severely by the Military Court, in proportion to the committed offence." It had not by last night quantified such indictments.

In its introduction to the testimonies, Breaking the Silence says: "The soldiers' determination to fulfil their mission yields tragic results: the proper-normative becomes despicable, the inconceivable becomes routine ... [The] testimonies are to illustrate the manner in which they are swept into the brutal reality reigning on the ground, a reality whereby the lives of many thousands of Palestinian families are at the questionable mercy of youths. Hebron turns a focused, flagrant lens at the reality to which Israel's young representatives are constantly sent."

A force for justice

Breaking the Silence was formed four years ago by a group of ex-soldiers, most of whom had served in Israel Defence Forces combat units in Hebron. Many of the soldiers do reserve duty in the military each year. It has collected some 500 testimonies from former soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza. Its first public exposure was with an exhibition of photographs by soldiers serving in Hebron and the organisation also runs regular tours of Hebron for Israeli students and diplomats. It receives funding from groups as diverse as the Jewish philanthropic Moriah Fund, the New Israel Fund, the British embassy in Tel Aviv and the EU.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Petraeus: Iraq Security Improved, but `Fragile, Reversible’
There is a method to it, a scheme that leaches,
Oozing ugliness from the general’s lips.
It burns my anxious ears and disbelieving eyes.
I hear Gaspar Noe’s `Irreversible’,
See the weight of its cruel cacophony.

Olympic Torch Arrives in the U.S.
Not a moment too soon.
Come, light! Come, ember!
Make your way to the crown of La liberté éclairant le monde,
Reaching out, extend thy transporters bough;
With oily rag, ignite the world’s puddled iron torch.

Clashes along Olympic torch route
Joined together torch through London, game afoot
Ire captures sober flame, hurls down its host
Nineteen nations to go

China jails outspoken activist over Tibet views
Dissident jailed for using tongue
Shackled of seditious idioms
U.S. speechless

Al-Sadr calls for million-Iraqi rally against U.S.
One million liberated flora marching
To our one hundred forty thousand
More than enough blooms

NATO backs Bush's European Missle Shield
Again with the ideas shielding pragmatism
Roar of incoming freedom haters
Hiss of outbound liberators

Destroying Torture Tapes - Freeing themselves from serious legal trouble
A shrieking pale
Is and shall be the ghosts haunting the masters of this
Frame by frame

McCain warns of Iraq genocide
And there he was
Hunched like a sniper, crowd of microphones, a glazed, suffering face
Of one who knows not where they are

Bush lauds pace of Iraq progress
Something is missing
Which explains such optimism, his legendary dim sightedness
I say this as it would be shameful not to mention his strengths

Whom is Israel Buying Oil From?