Saturday, August 30, 2008

Boulder bombs Denver?!

As part of a media blitz to 'strengthen' Israel's image a non-profit group has begun running an ad in which the city of Boulder, Colorado bombs Denver.


The Boulder attack ad shows a map of Denver being hit by flaming missiles, then an image of Israel being hit by the same weapons. It then displays an image of Iran, followed by ominous missile launches, a photograph of a man with a black hood over his face, Iran's president, and a silhouetted traveler with a suitcase.

"The Time for World Leaders to Act Is Now," it concludes.

You can watch the Boulder Ad here.

Talk about fear-mongering. This from the nation who actually does have nuclear weapons and the means to deploy them.

What this 'ad' neglects to show, of course, is any kind of context or any kind of accuracy - where are the missles which Denver (Israel) has already lobbed into Boulder? Where are the sonic booms which have terrorised the population of Boulder - living under siege with her residents cut off from the outside world?

Reality isn't expressed here whatsoever - just pure and utter fear and warmongering.

After Success, plans to repeat the voyage!

The Free Gaza and Liberty have left the Gaza Strip, carrying a few passengers with them back to Cyprus. That the Israeli authorities have allowed them to do this speaks volumes to what true peaceful resistance can achieve. Rather than risking a no-win situation had the Israeli Admin attempted to stop them with either force or simply blockading the boats, they erred to caution and let it happen. In their own words, the Israeli Authorities said the decision to allow the boats to pass was to deny a 'propaganda' victory for the protestors, which sounds like sour grapes to me, but still better than what could have transpired.

The group plans to send Free Gaza back to the Strip within the next few weeks, bringing along much needed medical supplies. Hopefully this next trip will also go off without a hitch, establishing a permanent link for Gaza to the outside world.

From Haaretz:
Larudee said one of the two boats would make the trip back to Gaza in two to four weeks time loaded with medical supplies.

He said the boat would ferry more Palestinians to the island on the return trip after the passengers are vetted to ensure they have the appropriate travel documents.

Larudee said organizers would coordinate with Cypriot authorities to ensure no Palestinians are turned away.

Cyprus, which lies some 240 nautical miles west of Gaza, is generally viewed as sympathetic towards Palestinians. Members of a Cypriot peace group, with close ties to the present communist administration, met activists who arrived in the port of Larnaca on Friday.

Congratulations are in order for all those involved with this truly humanitarian enterprise - well done!

Just as a side note: Jeff Halper was released after one day of detainment. No charges were laid against him, but the police in Sderot are intending to file an indictment against him (more sour grapes me thinks).

Good results all around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jeff Halper detained by Israel


Police on Tuesday detained an Israeli activist who had sailed to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to challenge Israel's blockade of the coastal region.

They accused Jeff Halper, who also holds United States citizenship, of violating a ban on Israelis entering Gaza.

Halper was among 44 "Free Gaza" activists from 17 nations who sailed in two boats from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip on Saturday in defiance of the blockade.

He spent three days in the Gaza Strip before entering Israel through the Erez border crossing, where police detained him.

Well, I guess that was expected. Hope they treat him well and release him speedily. For those who don't know, Jeff is one of the founders of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. As such, he has been a thorn in the Israeli Admins' side for some time now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update on the Free Gaza Movement

Please see this post on Norman's website!

Some great photos there and a wonderfully written piece!

An excerpt (but please do click on Norman's site!!)

Our arrival at Gaza was a scene of enormous jubilation and pandemonium. Thousands came to greet us, first in boats (and one fellow on a surfboard, see pix). The Gazans were ecstatic to see a demonstration that someone cares about their situation. I’m still processing our welcome, for it was overwhelming in many ways and senses. The pictures probably describe it better anyway. Press coverage of our arrival has been past saturation; at this morning’s press conference there were 20+ video cameras running (I understand that the only US network to cover our arrival was ABC, but I may be wrong. If that’s the case, thank the IOM.). We were mobbed on our own boats, and had a hard time docking because of that. Kids were swimming up to the boats and trying to climb on; fortunately, no one was hurt. We were taken in buses to a local hotel (the Al Deira for those who have been in Gaza) where we were put up for the night. A magnificent dinner followed, and we were again mobbed by the press and well-wishers. This morning we had breakfast, a strategy session, and then an enormous press conference. I met Mohammed Omer there, and he sent special greetings to Laura. Our hosts are arranging visits to hospitals, human rights organizations, and tomorrow is a trip to the Rafah border crossing into Egypt and to visit the site of Rachel Corrie’s death. In about a half an hour I’m attending a luncheon put on by Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, whom I met briefly in Mina, Saudi Arabia, almost two years ago during the Hajj. We have a busy schedule.


There is now talk of trying to establish a ferry route between Cyprus and Gaza. I sure hope this can be accomplished - allowing the people of this open air prison access to the world around them.

My heart goes out to all these brave individuals - showing how we humans can truly sometimes show our humanity to others.

Well done.

My complaint is that no mainstream media in either the US or Canada has really covered this amazing event.

Gee... I wonder why? Not.

Bus Beheading: Was Li on or off his meds?

I know that Penny has been doing a bang up job on covering the utterly tragic Bus beheading incident, where Tim Mclean was ruthlessly murdered by Li.

What has really bugged me about this event, was the early mention of drugs then nothing since. It was revealed that Li had a history of mental illness. My question - Was Li on prescribed pharmaceuticals at the time of the murder? Or had he recently stoppped taking his meds? I ask this because it has been documented that withdrawl of SSRIs can result in suicidal/violent outbreaks and can often lead to bizarre and maccabre murders or murder suicides.

Just take a look at this database.

So, was the drug angle dropped because it a) Wasn't an 'illegal' drug which influenced Li? b) Could prove embarrassing to the makers of the 'pharmacuetical' medicine? c) both of the above.

My take: Li went off his meds and flipped out. The resulting shitstorm (if the public was aware) would spark outcry from the public about what kind of mind altering crap the 'hellth' authorities are allowing folks to be pumped up on. Hence - no more mention in the press about any kind of 'drug' influencing Li's behaviour.

Don't know about you, dear readers, but just skimming the above database certainly lends credence to the hypothesis that Li was messed up on legal drugs.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hooray!! Free Gaza and Liberty Arrive in Gaza!

Well it seems that Israel changed her mind and allowed the boats to enter Palestinian waters and continue on to dock at the tiny port of Gaza City!

This is very good news!

This quote says it all:

“We recognize that we’re two, humble boats, but what we’ve accomplished is to show that average people from around the world can mobilize to create change. We do not have to stay silent in the face of injustice. Reaching Gaza today, there is such a sense of hope, and hope is what mobilizes people everywhere.”

Wonderful, now I hope that the Israelis will allow them to leave as well.

Here is an excerpt from the PNN:

Fadi Yacoub / PNN – According to the Free Gaza Movement there are now an estimated 200,000 Palestinians on the shores of Gaza waiting to greet the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty. Their estimated arrival time is now between 5 and 7 pm, as relayed from Jeff Halper on one of the boats.

Rami Abdo, Spokesperson of the People's Committee to Address the Siege on the Gaza Strip told PNN this afternoon that Israeli gunboats opened fire on the Palestinians who had sailed boats into the sea to receive the two “Break the Siege” boats, which had almost reached Palestinian territorial waters. They were forced to change course due to the presence of Israeli warships.

I guess they just can't help themselves.. sigh.

Anyway, good on the brave men and women in achieving their goal to break the siege of Gaza - let's hope this will be the first of many voyages and that perhaps finally the Palestinians can have some soveriegnty over the waters of their own lands.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another Tale of the Occupation of Palestine

I simply had to post this article by the honourable Gideon Levy:

Tossed Out Like a Dog

In the lawless South Hebron Hills, things are wild as usual: The settlers continue to attack shepherd children with clubs and stones, to steal their sheep and to make their lives miserable, while the Israel Police continue to abuse anyone who tries to file a complaint against the settlers.

Mahmoud Abu Kabaita, whose children and flocks were the targets of settlers from Beit Yatir and Susia, was left outside the Kiryat Arba police station in the burning sun for four hours, until they even allowed him to enter. The members of the Abu Awad family, some of whose children suffer from a serious skin disease, have already been victims of a cruel pogrom by the settlers of Asael, as described here three weeks ago. Relatives waited outside the police station for two hours, and left without filing a complaint, after being attacked once again last Shabbat. That is how the Israel Police enforces the law here.

After writing in this column about the Abu Awads, all of whose meager property was destroyed and looted by the rioters from Asael, some readers offered to help the penniless family. One prominent figure, who is well known in the political establishment and not necessarily from the left, and who wanted to remain anonymous, gave the family a personal financial contribution which is considered huge by local standards. There was great joy in the miserable encampment, but it was short-lived: Last Shabbat the children and their sheep were attacked once again by the Asael people. A wonderful way to welcome the "Sabbath bride," as is customary every week.

The Abu Kabaitas, whom Israel decreed would have to live outside the separation fence, along with and adjacent to Beit Yatir, were not very fortunate either. They were also attacked by rioters from the neighboring settlement. They were also abused by the Israel Police, which are supposed to protect them.

Thus there exists, with a distance of an hour and a half from Tel Aviv, a region with its own rules: The settlers rampage as much as they please, and the police don't lift a finger and even treat the victims of the violence rudely when they want to complain. In the past weeks, as everyone knows, the rioting has mounted, for some reason, but for the police it's business as usual.

Opposite the new checkpoint and among antennas and wind turbines, lives the Abu Kabaita family. There is a mother, a father, 13 children and two grandmothers, one of them 97 years old, and of course the sheep and goats. They have been here since 1948 - Palestinians who live in a poor, but relatively well-kept compound of lean-tos, tents and stone structures, some of which have been demolished by Israel.

In the shade of a date tree are several plastic chairs; one of the children is picking dates and serving them together with small cups of sage tea. The father Mahmoud is relating the story of his tribulations. He is 40 years old, born here on the private lands registered to his family since the days of Turkish rule. He does not keep the official documents in the compound; he already knows that the settlers and perhaps even the police and the army are liable to confiscate them. Wearing a baseball cap backward on his head, speaking fluent Hebrew, he looks like an Israeli. A new Ferguson tractor is parked within the compound, but he has to leave his private car, an old Subaru, on the other side of the separation fence and the checkpoint on the slope, several hundred meters from his home. He is forbidden to bring it any closer to his house. Israel built the fence in such a way that Beit Yatir will remain in Israeli territory, along with some of its Palestinian neighbors.

It may be good for the settlers, but for the Abu Kabaitas the new checkpoint has only heralded more troubles: The children must pass through it every day on their way to school, as does Mahmoud on his way to buy feed for the sheep or to sell one of his herd, to bring a gas canister or other goods. Sometimes the soldiers allow him to pass, sometimes they don't. When he wants to take sheep to sell in neighboring Yata, the soldiers allow him to take out only two at a time. That's just how it is. Every crossing by he and his children depends on the good will of the checkpoint soldier: If he so desires, he'll let them pass; if not, he won't.

Abu Kabaita: "I drive with the tractor to Yata to bring water. If the soldiers are nice they let me pass. If not, I have to travel three hours in the fields on a route that bypasses the checkpoint. It all depends on the type of soldier at the checkpoint." He adds that his sister and other relatives who live on the opposite side are not allowed to visit him at all.

The path to the Abu Kabaitas' private pasture land is also an obstacle course: It passes within the border of Beit Yatir. This is also the source of constant friction; the children of the settlers sometimes throw stones at the shepherd's children when they traverse the settlement. Sometimes the settlers also try to steal the sheep or run them over, as happened on August 1.

The family has 200 head of sheep; they are now sprawled in their pen, resting in the summer heat. When Beit Yatir was established, in the late 1980s, the war over the land began. Abu Kabaita did not give in, embarked on an exhausting legal battle and remained on his land. Beit Yatir was forced to expand in a different direction, not into his lands, which are adjacent to the fence that surrounds the settlement, which is also of dubious legality, because it passes through his property. He and his children cross through an opening in the fence to the grazing area. The tin roof of the family home is strewn with small stones that the children of the settlers sometimes throw at it.

"We are not spoiled," explains Abu Kabaita. "We were born in caves and we're used to a hard life. We have no problem, we became used to it already from our parents and I also force my children to become accustomed to our hard life. Only the settlers disrupt our lives - they are destroying our lives. We grew up with this. We liked this situation, we like to be with nature in difficult conditions, except for the settlers who have inhabited our lands. They have disrupted things. All we want is to continue our lives. That's all. And we hope that the settlers will stop causing us problems. They're interrupting our lives."

Now Abu Kabaita removes from his pocket a folded packet of documents, confirmation of the complaints that he has managed to file with the police against his neighbors' attacks. "When I come to the police station they see me and close the gate. I waste my entire day there; if I go to file a complaint, I need to spend an entire day in the sun. That's what happened the last time. I stood there, tossed outside like a dog. I push the buttons, speak on the intercom; they tell me I'll be admitted right away, and nothing happens."

The last time he tried to file a complaint, on August 4, after baking in the heat for hours, representatives of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, came and complained that they were not letting Abu Kabaita in. That didn't help either, and he remained outside. "At 2 P.M. they allowed me to enter," he says. "I had arrived there at 10 A.M., and it took me until 5:30 P.M. before I could file the complaint. Even when I had already done so, I felt that the policemen were not receiving me properly and the investigator was not writing down what I said."

The complaint number that time was 309765/2008. Among the large number of documents showing evidence of complaints, about which nothing has been done, he also has a photograph that he once took clandestinely, in which one sees a settler from Beit Yatir, who, according to Abu Kabaita, is the violent one - dressed in white, a large white skullcap on his head, with a long beard, covering his face with his hands so that he won't be identified as he is fleeing.

Danny Poleg, spokesman and assistant commander for the Judea and Samaria Police District writes: "1. Mr. Mahmoud Abu Kabaita did register a complaint on 4.8 at the Hebron station. An investigation is under way. 2. With regard to the amount of time he waited, there is no factual evidence to substantiate his claims. It should be noted that the Hebron police conduct ongoing, careful surveillance of the gates at the station, also by closed-circuit TV, to determine whether there are complainants or others in need of their services. 3. At the entry gate where Palestinians are received, there is a telephone with relevant extensions listed and signs. 4. Despite all this, and in response to your request, the commander of the Hebron district has ordered a clarification of this subject among the staff. 5. The policy of the Hebron district is to provide professional, high-quality and especially prompt service to the area population.

It was August 1, at twilight, and his two sons, Bilal, 11 and Sagr, 8, were on their way home with the sheep from the grazing land beyond Beit Yatir. A group of settler children was there, playing paintball. They teased the shepherd children and threw the balls of paint at them. That is how Mahmoud Abu Kabaita describes it. It was a group of young people from Susia, he explains, and some others from Beit Yatir. "They began to shoot those paint bombs at our children and our children got scared and fled," says Abu Kabaita.

Bilal remained at a distance to watch over the sheep and Sagr ran home. Their father was in the family olive grove at the time. He dropped everything and rushed toward the flock and another shepherd boy who had remained behind. When he arrived he saw about 10 young people, who were holding onto several sheep. A white car was parked alongside the group. Five goats and sheep were already tied to trees in the woods.

"I wanted to approach, to ask them: Why are you stealing our sheep? But they are very fanatic people and they told me to leave the place immediately. I didn't see Bilal or the sheep. Where was Bilal? Where were the sheep? I was afraid. I phoned the emergency number, 100. They didn't answer. It started to get dark. We're in the dark alone, they're cursing and shouting, and I'm worried about my son and the sheep."

He called the offices of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Hebron. They referred him to the B'Tselem human rights organization. B'Tselem's research coordinator, Najib Abu Rakia, together with the organization's district fieldworker, Musa Abu Hashhash, called the Israel Defense Forces and the police to come to the site. The IDF came, the police did not.

When the IDF jeep arrived the settlers fled, leaving behind the flock. The soldiers did not say a word to Abu Kabaita, however, and left the scene. He and Bilal untied the goats and sheep, and returned home with the flock late in the evening, tired but mainly frightened.

Bilal and Sagr have refused since then to go out by themselves to the grazing land beyond Beit Yatir, and their father must accompany them daily, in the hope that they will return home safely. He is now very concerned about the fate of his children and his flock. He also feels there has recently been an intensification in the violence on the part of the settlers.

Abu Kabaita: "I got the children used to not being afraid, and I hope that it won't happen again. I don't want to say that all of Beit Yatir is like that. Not everyone in the settlement is a thief and wicked. It's important to say that. Only a few, and especially the one in the picture. In recent months it's become worse and they've started to make a lot of trouble for us. I feel it. They try to steal sheep, they try to run over sheep, they throw stones at night and scare my children."

Fortunately for him, the wind turbine built by the settlers almost on top of his house is often broken. The noise it makes at night when it is working prevents them from sleeping. "Every time it revolves - boom. It's like an explosion at night."

A turbine above their heads, one settlement spilling over into their pasture land, another on a nearby slope, and the threat of violence around them - that's the safe and pleasant life enjoyed these days by the Abu Kabaitas.


And that gentle readers is why the brave activists on the Free Gaza and Liberty are protesting and attempting to break the siege.

Thank you Mr. Levy and Haaretz for giving a voice to the voiceless, and having the maturity and morality to publish uncomfortable truths.

If only we had that kind of press freedom in Canada.

Friday, August 22, 2008

They're Off - Free Gaza and Liberty have hit the Seas!


From the brave souls on the ship:

A Statement from the International Human Rights Workers Aboard the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty, Sailing to Gaza

For Immediate Release Date : 08-23-2008

(10am, 23 August, 2008) At 10am this morning, the Cyprus team of the Free Gaza Movement was able to briefly speak with our people on board the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty. They are all fine, and they asked us to release the following statement:
"The electronic systems which guarantee our safety aboard the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty have been jammed and scrambled. Both ships are flying Greek flags, and are in international waters. We are the victims of electronic piracy. We are currently in GMS P area A2 and we are relying on our satellite communications equipment to make a distress call, if needed.
We are civilians from 17 nations and are on this project to break the siege of Gaza. We are not experienced sailors. As a result, there is concern about the health and safety of the people on board such an emergency develop.
We are currently experiencing rough sea conditions, and we call on the Greek government and the international community to meet their responsibilities and protect the civilians on board our two ships in international waters."

So, their communications are jammed, in rough seas.

Israel denies scrambling their radios:

From Haaretz:

Israel has denied interfering in the boats' communications, and has previously called the mission an unacceptable provocation. It remained unclear what would happen as the boats approach Gaza, although an Israeli attempt to stop them seemed likely.

Gee, and I sure believe the Israelis! (They didn't attack the Liberty on purpose either).

I'll add more as I find out, time permitting.


The Free Gaza and US Liberty boats have pulled anchor and are sailing the high seas! The voyage should take about 30 hours.

Let us all hope they make it unfettered and unharmed to the destination.

Forty-six international human rights workers are now sailing to Gaza through international waters with one overriding goal: to break the Israeli siege that Israel has imposed on the civilian population of Gaza. Any action designed to harm civilians constitutes collective punishment (in the Palestinians’ case, for voting the “wrong” way) and is both illegal under international law and profoundly immoral. Our mission is to expose the illegality of Israel’s actions, and to break through the siege in order to express our solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza (and of the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole) and to create a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world.

All we can do now is wait and see what the reaction of the Israeli Navy will be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Update: Free Gaza

Just a real quick post to link to a recent AFP piece regarding the Free Gaza and Liberty:

Activists determined to break Gaza blockade despite threats

LARNACA, Cyprus (AFP) — Activists said Wednesday they were determined to break the Israeli blockade of the poverty-stricken Gaza Strip by boat despite receiving death threats.

"I've been called personally 17 times and asked how and when I would like to die," Palestinian activist Osama Qashoo told AFP.

"They also called my family in the West Bank and threatened to kill them, so there's lots of pressure, it's moral and psychological terrorism."

Qashoo said he traced one phone number to an Israeli network but couldn't say who was behind the intimidating threats.

Two converted fishing boats carrying 40-odd activists are due to set sail from Cyprus on Thursday for the 370 kilometre (230 mile) sea voyage to Gaza in a bid to break the blockade.

The boats, which arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday, are currently docked at Larnaca port on the island's south coast where Cypriots officials are checking everything is in order.

Although organisers for the US-based Free Gaza Movement fear the Israelis might sabotage the trip, they are confident of reaching their destination.

"We will try leave tomorrow night if everything falls into place, that's the intention," organiser Paul Larudee told AFP.

"People have threatened to blow the boats up, we are worried, but that's not going to stop anybody. I think we will succeed."

In 1988, a ferry planning to return Palestinian deportees to the Israeli port of Haifa was the target of a limpet mine attack off Cyprus's second city of Limassol a day after three Palestinian organisers were killed by a car bomb.

Israel's Mossad secret service was blamed but the Israelis denied involvement.

According to the Free Gaza Movement, the Israeli government contacted the Cyprus authorities to see if the boats could be stopped but was told "no."

Well good on the Cyprus authorities telling Israel 'NO'.

They need to hear that word ALOT more: NO more occupation. NO more ethnic cleansing. NO more collective punishment. NO MORE!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Israel to treat jaywalkers as murderers

Well, okay maybe not (though it's certainly debatable if you're Palestinian). Israel will however, treat the two boats of the Free Gaza Movement as 'pirates'.

As stated in the Telegraph UK:

"From my point of view this is some kind of pirate ship," said Shlomo Dror, a defence ministry spokesman.

"You can demonstrate, that's OK with us. But you are not allowed to break international law."

My, my, that certainly is rich! Coming from a country who violates international laws on a daily basis with the illegal apartheid wall, extrajudicial assassinations, and enforced collective punishment of those she occupies! Not to mention never adhering to any of the UN resolutions passed against her as well as violating the terms of both ceasefires she is currently a signatory to - in Lebanon via illegal overflights and in Gaza by incursions which defy the current 'ceasefire' with the Hamas government there.

It's important to keep in mind that currently all borders into and out of Gaza are closed, and while Gaza 'should' have control over 20 nautical miles of the waters of her coast - she truly has access to only three, even then the poor fishermen who attempt to earn a meager living are often fired upon by the Israeli navy, as B'tselem reported here in 2007:

B'Tselem's research indicates that, since the abduction of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, on 25 June 2006 , Israel has forbidden boats, including fishing boats, to sail off the Gaza coast. The prohibition has struck a severe blow to the fishing sector, which provides a livelihood for tens of thousands of residents of the Gaza Strip. Lacking other means of employment, and despite the Israeli navy's patrol of the coast and occasional shooting at Palestinian fishermen, some fishermen have risked their lives and violated the prohibition

All of this, and of course more, is the entire reason for the attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to break this mid-evil type siege on the residents of Gaza. We can only hope that cool heads prevail and the members and their two ships - USS Liberty and Free Gaza arrive unhindered by Israeli aggression forces.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Israel warns Free Gaza Movement

As Penny pointed out, due to yours truly's busy life, Haaretz has reported that the IDF will use all methods available to stop the Free Gaza Movement from breaking the siege:


According to the Foreign Ministry, Israel is within its rights to use force against the seafarers.

The subject of the Greek-flagged boats which the Free Gaza group said it would sail from Cyprus to Gaza this week prompted defense officials to hold a series of discussions; they said allowing the ships to reach the Gaza coastline could create a dangerous precedent

It is not only Israeli officials threatening these boats, the members of the Free Gaza Movement themselves have been personally threatened:

Threats and Intimidation

Ramzi Kysia Date : 08-17-2008

It’s appalling enough to receive phone calls, warning us that our boats will be blown up or asking us if we know how to swim, but when the callers go after our families, then that crosses the line from adolescent intimidation to psychological terrorism. This past Thursday, Lauren Booth received one such call.

“On the 14th of August 2008, an anonymous man called my home in France as my daughters played hide and seek in the garden. This stranger spoke to my husband, warning him that 'your wife is in great danger. These ships will be blown up.' My husband asked how it was this person had obtained our private home number. No response was forthcoming, but the illicit threats carried on.”

Other members of our nonviolent project have had their families in Occupied Palestine threatened with violence as well. From these threats, a pernicious pattern of intimidation is beginning to emerge. The question, of course, is just who benefits the most by trying to terrorize and stop us from breaking Israel’s terrible siege on 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza?

Israel had better be very careful how she deals with this non-violent voyage and political action. It could turn out to be a very negative PR disaster for them if any kind of harm should come to these brave folks. But then again - when has Israel ever really cared about others' opinion of her? (Hint: never).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Russia Today

For those who like to hear both sides of the story:

Russia Today

That's all for now folks!

Nobel laureate Aleksander Solzhenitsyn accuses U.S., NATO of encircling Russia

In case some of you may of missed this piece from 2006:

Nobel laureate Aleksander Solzhenitsyn accuses U.S., NATO of encircling Russia

"Though it is clear that present-day Russia poses no threat to it, NATO is methodically and persistently building up its military machine into the east of Europe and surrounding Russia from the south," Solzhenitsyn was quoted as saying.

"This involves open material and ideological support for 'color revolutions' and the paraxodical forcing of North Atlantic interests on Central Asia," he reportedly said, adding that there was "little substantial difference" between the actions of the U.S. and NATO.

"All this leaves no doubt that they are preparing to completely encircle Russia and deprive it of its sovereignty," Solzhenitsyn was quoted as saying.

Click on link for full text.

Free Gaza - Update

It seems the seas are not co-operating with the Free Gaza Movement:

Gaza 'siege-breaking boats' delayed

A storm has kept two boats carrying 44 pro-Palestinian activists from setting off for Gaza on Wednesday, delaying their journey until Friday, the Free Gaza Movement, which organized the vessels, said.

Well - it's Friday - I hope they are on their way!

The Games the Americans Play

It seems that the US has 'put the brakes' on Israel with respect to an attack on Iran:

U.S. puts brakes on Israeli plan for attack on Iran nuclear facilities

Russia, however, is considered key to efforts to isolate Iran, and Israeli officials have therefore urged their American counterparts in recent months to tone down Washington's other disputes with Moscow to focus all its efforts on obtaining Russia's backing against Iran. For instance, they suggested that Washington offer to drop its plan to station a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic - a proposal Russia views as a threat, though Washington insists the system is aimed solely at Iran - in exchange for Russia agreeing to stiffer sanctions against Iran. However, the administration rejected this idea.

Well ... that certainly rates a 'Hmmmmm'.

Given the fact that the US has both miliary and mercenaries operating in Georgia right now, I sure don't see the Russians to be in any kind of mood to 'assist' the US vis a vis Iran.

Now, here we see that the US will be taking over all Georgian ports:
U.S. to take control of Georgian ports: Saakashvili

"You have heard the statement by the U.S. president that the United States is starting a military-humanitarian operation in Georgia," Saakashvili said in a television address.

"It means that Georgian ports and airports will be taken under the control of the U.S. defense ministry in order to conduct humanitarian and other missions. This is a very important statement for easing tension."

What 'other' missions??

If this is not a clear indication of US involvement, in effect an act of War against Russia, I'm not sure what is. Let's hope that cooler heads in Russia prevail and they don't fall for the Americisraeli provocations.

That said, it does seem the Pentagon has denied this report wholeheartedly. Indeed - I sure believe them!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Georgia - Israel an Interesting Relationship

Pardon for my sporadic posting. My life has been very busy lately, hoping things will settle down in the next month and I can devote a little more time, and effort, to the blog.

Now, back to the subject at hand.

As mentioned in my previous post, the Israelis have been training Georgian troops and supplying arms to the country for almost 8 years now. The brutality of the attack on the Ossetian capital are certainly evidence that the 'best' of Israeli methods have been employed: Targetting Civilians. Just as the Israelis targeted scores of civilians during the Lebanon War, shooting at carloads of fleeing people - the same has occured in South Ossetia. Never mind targetting any kind 'militia', nah - just target the people - so they will leave. Ethnic cleansing at its best, learned from the Masters. We shoudn't be surprised here either, as the gentleman (I use the term loosely) who assisted in training the Georgians was none other than General Gal Hirsh:

According to media reports, Brigadier General Gal Hirsch, a senior commander in the 2006 Lebanon war who resigned after the release of a highly critical report on the way the war was conducted, served as an adviser to Georgian security forces.

Given the similarity of the approach, there is little wonder. But the Ossetians aren't Lebanese and the Russians are not Hezbolla, just as the Israelis were sent packing in the disasterous Lebanon Invasion - so too the Georgians have been utterly smacked down by the Russians - protecting the ethnic minorities of South Ossetia. Keep in mind though, the Georgians are the pawn in this event, the chesspiece being used by both the Israeli and American admninistrations. Their motivations may be somewhat different, but certainly they are allied in the use of their puppet, Saakashvili. The Israelis for the pipeline, the Americans for the continuing circling of Russia by NATO (just a wing on the US/Israeli military machine). However, I'm sure that there are those in Israel who would enjoy a nice shot at the Russians for reasons best left for another post.

Of course, now that the going is getting tough - the 'tough' are getting going - home that is. Israelis and Georgian Jews are fleeing via airlift and overland - literally scrambling to get out of the country.

Georgia has enjoyed a large Jewish population, many of whom are in the upper echelons of society and rarely experience any kind of anti-semetism. Will that change? Is that partly what these people are afraid of? When the Georgians realise who helped to orchestrate the brutal, unprovoked attack on South Ossetia, will there be backlash? The numbers of Georgian Jews seeking Aliyah is increasing exponentially. How convenient for them to have an ersatz country to run too when their involvements turn sour. If anything it is this sort of behaviour by both the Israelis and the Americans which turn the worlds sentiments against them: Meddling. Underhanded dealings. I have always held to the belief that the greatest threat to the Jewish diaspora comes from the actions of Israel herself - professing to speak for all Jews everywhere. By best estimates, there are about 20,000 Jewish Georgians, many with a very long history in the region. Interestingly:

Overall, since 1989, 21,134 Jews have moved to Israel. Once numbering as many as 100,000, today the Georgian Jewish population is approximately 13,000. Tbilisi has the largest Jewish population at 11,000 out of 1.5 million. Jewish communities are located in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Oni, Achaltische, Ahalkalaki, Surami, Kareli, and Stalin's hometown of Gori, and synagogues are located in most of these cities. The provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are virtually void of Jews due to the military conflicts in these areas.

Interesting, so South Ossetia and Abkhazia are devoid of Jews. These are the two 'provinces' who wish to separate and declare soveriegnty. Coincidence? Probably not.

A little farther back in time we find this:

In the beginning of the 19th century, Ashkenazi Russian Jews were forced to move to Georgia by the Russian government. The Ashkenazi Jews and the Georgian Jews began establishing contact with each other, but relations were strained. Georgian Jews viewed the Ashkenazim as godless and secular, while the Ashkenazim looked down on the Georgian Jews.

Zionism was the only uniting cause for the two groups, and Ashkenazim joined Zionist organizations and began to spread their ideas to the Georgian Jewish communities. In 1897, the first Zionist organization was established in Tbilisi. On August 20, 1901, the First Congress of Caucasus Zionists was held in Tbilisi. Rabbi David Baazov led Georgian Zionism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1903, Baazov attended the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel. In 1918, the All-Jewish Congress in Tbilisi took place and included representatives from every Georgian and Russian Jewish community in the country, except for Kutaisi, which had become the center of Anti-Zionist activity.

Orthodox leaders, the Hakhams, also fought against the spread of Zionism in the Georgian Jewish communities.

Beginning in 1863, groups of Jews began making aliyah, mostly for religious reasons. By 1916, 439 Georgian Jews lived in Palestine, mostly in Jerusalem near the Damascus Gate. Very few hakhams immigrated to Israel due to their staunch Anti-Zionist stance, and most Jews who made aliyah were poverty-stricken and worked as freight-handlers in Jerusalem.

So, as one can see there is a long history of Israel/Georgian relations. It has also been reported that the number of Jews in Georgia wishing to make Aliyah in the past few days is more than the total of the last full year. What does this tell us? Things are most likely going to get worse before they get any better.

It's also been hinted at by Saakashvili that Israel is continuing to supply military aid, he praises the Israeli weaponry: The president added "the Israeli weapons have proved very effective".

Well, there you have it. Again, make of it what you will. Just don't forget Israel's role in all of this - as it won't be reported on in the North American Dead Tree Press.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Israel and Georgia

Since you won't read about this in any North American dead tree paper, or hear it on the brainwashing device known as television, I figured I'd post it here:

War in Georgia: The Israeli Connection


The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia has brought Israel's intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia and the training of the Georgian army's infantry forces.

The Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in policy has been announced as of yet.

This seems to contradict what I read earlier, that Israel had ceased selling weapons to Georgia, it turns out they are only supplying 'defensive' weapons now... like that makes it any better:

Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople.

"They contacted defense industry officials and arms dealers and told them that Georgia had relatively large budgets and could be interested in purchasing Israeli weapons," says a source involved in arms exports.

The military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The fact that Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.

Interesting, to say the least. Provacative - for sure. Read on...

"It was clear that too many unmistakable Israeli systems in the possesion of the Georgian army would be like a red cloth in the face of a raging bull as far as Russia is concerned," explained a source in the defense establishment.

For inctance, the Russians viewed the operation of the Elbit System's RPVs as a real provocation.

"It was clear that the Russians were angry," says a defense establishment source, "and that the interception of three of these RPVs in the past three months was an expression of this anger. Not everyone in Israel understood the sensitive nerve Israel touched when it supplied such an advanced arms system to a country whose relations with Russia are highly tense."

Gee, really? You think so?

This last bit really drives the point home:

"The Israelis should be proud of themselves for the Israeli training and education received by the Georgian soldiers," Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili said Saturday.

Yakobashvili is a Jew and is fluent in Hebrew. "We are now in a fight against the great Russia," he said, "and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House, because Georgia cannot survive on its own.

"It's important that the entire world understands that what is happening in Georgia now will affect the entire world order. It's not just Georgia's business, but the entire world's business."

One of the Georgian parliament members did not settle Saturday for the call for American aid, urging Israel to help stop the Russian offensive as well: "We need help from the UN and from our friends, headed by the United States and Israel. Today Georgia is in danger – tomorrow all the democratic countries in the region and in the entire world will be in danger too."

This has the potential, due to Israeli and American involvment to get really ugly - really fast.

Now that the Americans are airlifting Georgian troops out of Iraq and returning to fight in the front lines in Georgia - this can be viewed as direct involvement of the US military against Russia herself. Not a good sign.

Can the Americans really afford to take on another protectorate? She can barely afford to keep Israel, as her own infrastructure crumbles, schools close and unemployment increases in the US, really how much longer can the GOP justify the amount of aid given to various puppets around the world? Will the American people rise up? Will they demand a halt to all this meddling? Or will they, given the false information the msm provides them, rally to involve themselves in yet another war - a war which could lead to an unmitigated disaster for the entire region, and yes possibly the entire world?

With the Israelis itching to invade Iran, the Georgian debacle could provide the perfect cover as the world's eyes are glued to the rather fishy events unfolding in South Ossetia, could Israeli sneak in the back door and begin the other war she so badly wants?

I tell ya folks, no good will come from any of this.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

George and Georgia

I posed the question in the comment section in the Israel/Georgia post, pondering the involvement of George Soros in Georgia.

Well, seems my foggy memory served me well:

From 2003:
Georgia revolt carried mark of Soros

He also has a warm relationship with Mr. Shevardnadze's chief opponent, Mikhail Saakashvili, a New York-educated lawyer who is expected to win the presidency in an election scheduled for Jan. 4. Last year, Mr. Soros personally presented Mr. Saakashvili with the foundation's Open Society Award.

"It's generally accepted public opinion here that Mr. Soros is the person who planned Shevardnadze's overthrow," said Zaza Gachechiladze, editor-in-chief of The Georgian Messenger, an English-language daily based in the capital.

That helped put the current perp in power: Mr. Saakashivili. And what of him? What do we know?

A little more background, from 2004:
Georgia on His Mind - George Soros's Potemkin Revolution

Late last fall, Saakashvili led thousands of "spontaneous" demonstrators, bused in from around Tbilisi, brandishing flowers as they invaded the president's palace. This was during the freezing Georgian winter when any roses not black and brittle had to be flown or trucked in, courtesy of the same bankroll that funded the fleet of rented buses for demonstrators: that of George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire and egotist. A former member of the Georgian Parliament said that in the three months before the "Rose Revolution," "from August through October, Soros spent $42 million ramping-up for the overthrow of Shevardnadze."

Soros has publicly committed himself to funding the "democratic" presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili, just as he has publicly committed himself and his money to the destruction of the presidency of George W. Bush, whom he has compared to Yasser Arafat and Hitler. Soros and the United Nations are paying the wages of all of Saakashvili's top government officials--ministers, deputies, the road police, and others--on the grounds that this will keep them from stealing. As if bribery and corruption were simply a problem of immediate financial need, not greed.

Shevardnadze's attempt to rig the November 2003 parliamentary elections was a handy catalyst for the coup, but it was already in the works. The previous summer Soros had flown Saakashvili and his followers to a seminar he sponsored in Belgrade on how to stage your own "Velvet Revolution." And perhaps Soros would deserve some credit--except for the undeniable fact that, ever since his anointing in a crooked election in January, Saakashvili has sounded more like a raging nationalist and authoritarian thug than a democrat strewing rose petals.

There is alot of really good info on Saakashivili here, and some rather unflattering comparisons of him, by his wife of all people:

Saakashvili, now 36, was an only child with an absent father. He was raised by a divorced, domineering, and ambitious mother, and his tough-talking Dutch-born wife, Sandra Roelof, appears to follow in that tradition. (Saakashvili married her in lower Manhattan in 1993 while he was attending Columbia for a year on a U.S. taxpayer-funded scholarship.) In February, Roelof gave an interview to a Dutch magazine for a breathless Vanity Fair-like profile headlined "Sandra Roelof's Fairy Tale: From a Zeeuws Girl to First Lady of Georgia." Roelof seems to have taken to Georgian politics:

Georgia has produced strong leaders. Stalin, Beria, Gamsakhurdia. Even Shevardnadze, before he got addicted to power. They looked beyond Georgia. My husband does the same; he fits in the tradition. This country needs a strong hand. It is incredibly important that respect for authority returns. That laws are less frequently broken, that people simply pay their bills for once. There is hardly a sense of responsibility here. . . . I think my husband is the right person to frighten people. That is not to say it is immediately fascism or something. Should he develop extremist traits he will be alerted to that. All eyes are looking at us now.


The second man to whom Sandra Roelof compares her husband is Lavrenty Beria, Stalin's secret police czar and the Georgian-born father of the Soviet Gulag. Beria, a notorious pedophile, was responsible for the deaths of millions of Soviet citizens. He was executed on Khrushchev's order after Stalin's death in 1953.

Next on Roelof's list is Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first elected president of Georgia, a rabid nationalist completely intolerant of any opposition. He was deposed in a coup in the early '90s and later shot himself in the head (or was murdered). Two weeks ago Saakashvili announced that 2004 would be "the year of Gamsakhurdia," whatever that is intended to mean.

The last of Roelof's major players is Shevardnadze, the mentoring father figure Saakashvili never had, who brought him into parliament, appointed him to his cabinet, and guided him along until Saakashvili turned and stabbed him. Despite the relentless encomiums from the last three U.S. administrations, Shevardnadze was brutal and corrupt. (Saakashvili, who lives around the corner from Shevardnadze in Tbilisi, has never had him arrested.)

How nice.

Make of it what you will.

Could this be a whole set up? Designed to take out a loose cannon?

ETA: "Republic of South Ossetia" News

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Free Gaza

For those who may not know of this brave exercise, the Free Gaza ship is about to set sail, from Cyprus to the coastal waters of Gaza. The mission is to break the siege of the tiny enclave known to the world as Gaza.

The Israelis have, since their 'withdrawl' continued to keep borders closed, inflicting collective punishment on the entire population of the Strip. In other words - the Israelis never really left. Sure, they dismantled some illegal settlements they had there, buying off the settlers and of course, relocating them to more illegal settlements in the West Bank, but the Israeli's occupation forces, the IDF, never really left. They control all border crossings, they control the entire coastline, not even allowing Palestinian fishermen to venture out in search of food. They continue their sonic bombardment and overflights, rain missles down in dense civilian areas and generally make life hell for the 1.5 million people who call the strip home.

Further to the above, the Israelis won't let sick and dying people leave Gaza for any kind of medical treatment - they threaten and coerce these sick people to 'inform' on others - then still deny them entry to the West Bank, Egypt or Israel for medical treatment. So far, about 200 innocent people have died as a result.

But I digress, easy to do with this topic.

Without further ado, enter the Free Gaza Movement.

From their Mission Statement:

Mission Statement
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine's right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.

Who are we?
We are these human rights observers, aid workers, and journalists. We have years of experience volunteering in Gaza and the West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians. But now, because of the increasing stranglehold of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, many of us find it almost impossible to enter Gaza, and an increasing number have been refused entry to Israel and the West Bank as well. Despite the great need for our work, the Israeli Government will not allow us in to do it.

We are of all ages and backgrounds. Back home, we are teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, truck drivers, youth workers, musicians, secretaries, parents, grandparents, lawyers, students, activists, actors, playwrights, politicians, web designers, authors, international training consultants, and we even include a former Hollywood film industry worker, a former Marine, an aviator, and an explorer. We are Italian, Irish, Canadian, Greek, Tunisian, German, Australian, American, English, Scottish, Danish, Israeli, and Palestinian.

What are we going to do?
We've tried to enter Palestine by land. We've tried to arrive by air. Now we're getting serious. We're taking a ship.

What a wonderful, hopeful and human way to express their dedication to helping end the brutal occupation and collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza. Jeff Halper, the sole Israeli on the voyage states here in Ha aretz:

"All the participants on board are very experienced and determined people and they know why they're going in," he says. "The beauty of a non-violent activity is that we win, no matter what. If we break the siege, we win, and even if they arrest us, we win, because this will expose the face of the occupation and prove Israel is still an occupier in Gaza."

Indeed, Mr. Halper. I hope they do manage to weigh anchor at the shores of Gaza. I also hope that no harm comes to any of the brave souls on this endeavour to bring to light the real face of Israeli occupation, for it damages the Palestinians certianly, but the tarnishes the soul of the occupier herself.

Here is the Participant Biographies, from the Free Gaza Movement website. I'm happy to see Hedy Epstein rise to the cause, what a brave honourable woman!

Here's wishing them all luck, clear skies, calm sea and above all - a safe landing in a Gazan harbour.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Israel and Iran, Israel and Georgia..

Gosh Israel is just as busy as the US in minding other folks' business and starting wars:

Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia

Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.

These advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the Georgian army’s preparations to conquer the South Ossetian capital Friday.


Updated:Israel, Georgia: Israel To Halt Arms Sales To Georgia

A little too late I see.

Not only is Israel busy in Georgia:
Israel 'using Kurds to build power base'

Where else are they?

War with Iran? Who is calling the shots?

It seems now that two more US warships are heading to the Persian Gulf:

U.S. Aircraft Carriers Head For The Gulf; Kuwait Prepares "Emergency War Plan"

At present, two U.S. naval battle groups operate in the Gulf: one is an aircraft carrier group, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, which carries some 65-fighter aircraft. The other group, headed by the USS Peleliu, maintains a variety of planes and strike helicopters.

Not only that, but at the end of July accompanied by Israeli vessels, another un-named US Destroyer ventured through the Suez canal from the Mediterranean Sea.

None of this is good news, and the war cries from Israel and her US agencies is getting louder by the moment. Even Condi, the fence sitter, is giving the nod, by NOT saying NO to Israel's desire to attack Iran for a fictitious nuclear weapon program:

From:"Interview With Mike Allen of The Politico and Yahoo! News"

QUESTION: Now of course, the country that really worries about a nuclear Iran is Israel, and of course, their air force has even practiced a potential attack on Iran. Since we’re such a close ally of Israel, do you worry that if Israel were to act against Iran, that we would be blamed?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we don’t say yes or no to Israeli military operations. Israel is a sovereign country. But we are in very close contact with the Israelis and we talk about the diplomatic track that we’re on. I think they believe that diplomacy – they’ve said that diplomacy can work here. And I know they’re doing their part to talk to all of the countries with which they have good relations to explain why it’s important to have a tough edge to our diplomacy. (emphasis mine)

Hmmm like China?
China can be key to stopping Iran

QUESTION: Well, Madame Secretary, you’re the diplomatic voice of the United States. Would you use this opportunity to tell Israel that they should not strike Iran?

SECRETARY RICE: As I’ve said, we’re on a diplomatic course and that’s the important thing.

Good grief, talk about NOT saying much of anything, or perhaps saying more than needed. It is clear that even IF Rice did implore Israel to not pre-emptively attack Iran that Israel, being the 'soveriegn' nation she is, won't listen anyway. Why should they?

Israel already knows that any threat which comes their way as a result of a pre-emptive military strike against Iran, they will have the US military and government's full support. Talk about the schoolyard bully having the entire teaching staff at their disposal - free to threaten, to intimidate and smear, free to do as they wish, whenever, however they like.

The lop-sided balance of US blind support for Israel has also now infected Canadian politics with the signing of the "oh so secret" security treaty with Israel. How much press and discussion did this have? None - nowhere - there was NO debate.

So, who is calling the shots for this desire to attack Iran? If we take Israel's voice out of the mix, who is left? Let's face it - Iran is not a strategic threat to the US. Then again, neither was Iraq. Yet the voices calling for the invasion and bombing of a soveriegn nation are the same.

Update to come later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's Official: FBI got their Man - Ivins Guilty

Well, isn't this nice! The FBI has formally announced that they 'got their man' and Ivins was the sole perpetrator behind the anthrax mailings, which killed five people and sickened 17.

I guess there is no more to be said! The package is wrapped, the bow tied neatly.

Or, is it? There are still many questions which remain unanswered. For instance, the benonite lie and the odd notes associated with the anthrax letters themselves.

As Glen Greenwald notes here:

UPDATE II: The Boston Globe's Washington Bureau Chief, Peter Canellos, today examines the way in which the anthrax attacks were used to increase the nation's fear of Islamic radicals generally and Iraq specifically, and he writes:

When the anthrax attacks occurred, Iraq was immediately fingered by some experts and many neoconservative hawks as a possible source; ABC News quoted three unnamed government sources as saying the powder in the letters matched the type produced in Iraq.

Even though most serious analysts were highly skeptical that the tainted letters came from Hussein, the mere possibility that Iraq could have maintained a stockpile of anthrax was enough to convince many people that it was a looming threat.

The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin notes that article and adds: "So who told ABC the powder looked Iraqi? Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald has been asking that question for days." How much longer will ABC News and Brian Ross be able to refuse to address these questions?

Well at least the blogs ARE asking the questions that the Mainstream seems to overlook.

Even the WaPo, who did at first sound some alarms, then 'scrubbed' it's own article:
Article Casting Doubt on 'Anthrax Killer' Scrubbed

Left out of the Saturday story was the fact that Ivins had NO access to 'dry' anthrax - only liquid. Hmmmm... then we see on Sunday that many of the questions from the Friday article return.

All this to and fro certainly leaves one scratching their heads.

Glaringly obvious is the attempt by mainstream media to cover up the doubts, cast them in a different light and continue to tow the party line: Ivins guilty - case closed.

How convenient.

Monday, August 4, 2008

John McCain - Truly Insane

Thanks to ThinkProgress for catching this:

McCain suggests Military-Style Invasion Modelled on the Surge to Control Inner-City Crime

Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke to the National Urban League, a group “devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.” When an audience member asked him how he planned to reduce urban crime, McCain praised Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in New York Cirty before invoking the military’s tactics in Iraq as the model for crime-fighting:

MCCAIN: And some of those tactics — you mention the war in Iraq — are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc.


Click on above link for audio.

This guy is totally off his rocker, a win for McCain would be Bush on steroids - and woe to all of us.

American Radical

Here is the trailer for American Radical.

I am unsure of the release date for the entire documentary, but will inquire at my local (independently owned!) video store later today or tomorrow and will edit this post to match.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More doubts on Ivin's guilt

This just keeps getting worse. From the patsy Ms. Duley (or is she really an agent?) to the outright hype in the newsmedia - it's starting to smell worse than a dead fish on black pavement in 100 degree heat.

At least one mainstream outlet however, is actually raising some doubts:

Sydney Morning Herald

Yet colleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced he was innocent. They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are sceptical that the FBI has it right this time.

"I really don't think he's the guy. I say to the FBI, 'Show me your evidence,"' said Jeffrey Adamovicz, formerly of the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. But investigators are so confident of Mr Ivins's involvement that they have been debating since Friday whether and how to close the seven-year-old anthrax investigation. The move would amount to a strong signal that the FBI and Justice Department think they got their man - and that he had died, excluding the possibility of a prosecution.

Futher on a nieghbour of Ivins also expressed her own doubts on whether or not the man was guilty.

Let's get this straight now: The FBI hounded every scientist in the lab since 2002. They already falsely accused Hatfill and forced a taxpayer payout for their unfounded allegations. Onto the next subject: Ivins. Who now, has apparantly commited 'suicide' by tylenol and codienne.. okay, sure.

Meanwhile, they still ignore the man who actually was in the lab after being fired!!

Seriously folks you can't make this shit up!

Where is Dr. Zack? Does anyone know???

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Changing NYT articles and the Anthrax Scandal

Mr. Bruce Ivins; Ms. Jean Duley and the FBI's "Court Document"

Great synopsis..

Thanks to Willyloman.

Another one bites the Dust

Quick post here:

July 7 terror attacks: Bomb plot trial collapses:The trial of the three men accused of helping the July 7 bombers plan their attack has collapsed after the jury failed to reach verdicts

Anyone surprised? No?

Tangled Webs of Deceit

Some interesting points:

1. Originally the anthrax scare was linked to Saddam Hussien, with the erroneous claim that the anthrax itself had a bentonite component. This was widely reported by ABC News, specifically through the talking heads of Peter Jennings and Brian Ross. In the lead up to the war in Iraq one must ask: Who benefits from what is now known to have been completely false information? Who wanted the war on Iraq and what were they prepared to do to achieve it? A glance at the PNAC documents will lead you to quite a few of the beneficiaries, not only of the anthrax scare, but also all the lies perpetrated after 9/11.

In any crime, or sets of related crimes, one must look for the overall motive.

2. In 2002, a piece written in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs fills in a few more blank spots in the history of the mysterious Dr. Zack:

Before the investigation of Dr. Hatfill captured national headlines, another insider scientist had come under FBI scrutiny without much media fanfare. It was easy to miss the few stories published in January 2002 about Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who, like Hatfill, also had access to a well-equipped laboratory with lax security. Zack, moreover, actually worked with military-grade anthrax at Fort Detrick.

Dr. Zack left Fort Detrick in December 1991 amid allegations of unprofessional conduct. The Jewish scientist and others were accused of harassing their co-worker, Dr. Ayaad Assaad, until the Egyptian-born American scientist quit, according to an article in Connecticut’s The Hartford Courant, the country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication. Dr. Assaad sued the Army, claiming discrimination after Zack’s badgering.

Although Dr. Zack was let go, he returned frequently to visit friends, and used the Fort Detrick laboratories for “off-the-books” work after hours. After reports of missing biological specimens—including anthrax, Ebola and the simian AIDs virus—came to light, as well as reports of unauthorized research, a review of surveillance camera tapes recorded Dr. Zack entering the lab late on the night of Jan. 23, 1992, according to The Hartford Courant report. He was let in that night by Marian Rippy, a lab pathologist and close friend of Zack’s, although she now says she has no memory of the evening. She did say that Zack occasionally visited and that other friends let him in.

Inexplicably, the national press ignored these documented unauthorized visits to a top-secret government lab embroiled in the anthrax attacks. Did journalists fear being labeled anti-Semitic for casting suspicions on a Jewish scientist?

Gee, do ya think?? Frankly, I couldn't care less whether he is Jewish or Martian - his activities are certainly suspect, enough that we simply must ask if, in fact, Zack did supply the weaponised anthrax strains for other elements to send? Also, why on earth would he have been allowed access in the first place, after he was no longer even working there? This is a government laboratory, working on various weaponisation processes of deadly bacterial and viral nature! It's not like he's a retired mechanic borrowing the hoist to change his muffler.

3. And What of Israel? It is interesting to note that she has also been working on an anthrax vaccine - as mentioned here in 2007 in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Giora Martinovich, a former chief medical officer in the military, told the radio that the experiments were carried out in the late 1990s in the face of fears of a possible anthrax attack by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Experiments were carried out on 700 soldiers on a strict volunteer basis and minor side-effects were recorded on four of the human guinea pigs.

Interesting enough, time frame fits. I have yet to uncover which strain the Israelis were using for their anthrax research. It is known however that the Ames strain was not the exclusive property of the Ft. Detrick Labs.

4. September 11th, Anthrax and the War on Iraq.

Again I'll ask: Who benefits from this?

In the ramp up to the illegal war in Iraq and further demonisation of all things Muslim, there were alot of voices calling for Saddam's destruction. Some of the loudest were emanating from Israel herself, as well as the Israel Firsters of the Neocon/PNAC brigades. This cannot be simply ignored, especially in light of other oddities surrounding the Sept. 11 timeframe.

Keep in mind, that there were Israelis found with explosives, maps to nuclear installations and other targets on the 11th and shortly thereafter. Nary a report, as these individuals were quietly rounded up and shipped back to Israel. In an interview on Israel television, the five Israelis found dancing and high-fiving each other in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, admitted: "We were there to document the event". Hmmmmm... one kind of has to know the event is going to take place in order to be there to document it, no??

Let's fast forward to the present. Iraq is in shambles, devasted, looted and having lost over a million of her people. Torture abounds, perpetrated by the 'so-called' good guys. America's reputation, or claim to any kind of morality is in tatters. yet, there are those who want a replay - in Iran. The false reports - the outright lies are again being hoisted around and once again, with feeling, the Israelis and their representatives in the US are leading the call for outright conventional and/or nuclear attack on a soveriegn nation.

Does this sound familiar? It should.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Update on the Anthrax Scandal

Because a scandal is what it is.

Please see this blog: "American Everyman". As the blogger has done a really great job and compiling the odd changes that seem to have happened in the NYT article concerning the suicide of the FBI's former current suspect, Dr. Bruce Ivins.

Here's a quick excerpt, but please check out this posters own words:

They shortened the story to one page by taking out some KEY information that they had originally posted with the story. I knew I should have copy and pasted it! (If anyone still has the original, please let me know!)

What they took out was very interesting. They quoted a doctor, who worked with the guy who is now being accused of the anthrax attacks, as saying he didn’t think the guy did it. They took that part out! They also took out the part where this guy received the highest Pentagon award a civilian can get for his research into an anthrax vaccine to be given to our troops in 2003. They took that out!And they also took out the part where this guy was cited for testing areas outside the restricted area for anthrax spores. And he found them, in someones secretary’s desk and keyboard! Remember how this stuff was found on the mail from the drop box? It bleeds through the envelope. So, when he found it in someones secretary’s desk and then on her keyboard, that might be a good place to start looking for the culprit. But they took that part out!

Well, the plot thickens - again. As American Everyman also states - what was his motive? It makes no sense that he was 'testing' his vaccine - that is IMO pure spin. There is NO motive.

There is however a motive for Zack - to frame one of the original suspects, early on, Dr. Assaad - as mentioned in my post below. An Egyptian, an Arab - all in the run up to the invasions of two countries now devasted. In whose interest?

Hint: These wars are NOT just all about oil, but I digress.

Please do check the above blog for WAY more info!

Anthrax and a Convenient Suicide

Well, I guess I might as well jump on the bandwagon and mention the 'suicide' of Dr. Ivins. How very convenient for the FBI, who in SEVEN years has not been able to identify anyone remotely guilty of this 'false flag' scare.

Meanwhile, a particular Dr. Philip Zack, whose name is certainly not known to the average household, was actually caught by security cameras - entering the lab where the anthrax was kept - this is AFTER he was fired for a racially motivated attack on a co-worker of Egyptian origin.

An investigation was launched that exposed the shockingly lax security measures at the lab, and raised the possibility that some specimens may never have been entered in lab records. Also uncovered was a tape from a surveillance camera showing the entry of an unauthorized person into the lab, at 8:40, on January 23, 1992, let in by Dr. Marian Rippy, lab pathologist. The night visitor was Lt. Col. Philip Zack, a former employee who had left as a result of a dispute with the lab over his alleged harassment of Dr. Assaad. The Courant reports:

"Zack left Fort Detrick in December 1991, after a controversy over allegations of unprofessional behavior by Zack, Rippy, [lab technician Charles] Brown and others who worked in the pathology division. They had formed a clique that was accused of harassing the Egyptian-born Assaad, who later sued the Army, claiming discrimination."

Interesting.. follow the link for more disgusting things this Zack dude is guilty of.

Rivero, hits the nail on the head here:

...the FBI discovered that the end of the hunt for the sender of the Anthrax letters was NOT Dr. Assaad the Egyptian, but Dr. Zack, who is Jewish. At this point, both the FBI and the mainstream media stopped making any public comments on the case.

The above BBC article is clearly another step in the plan to try to shift the suspicion for the Anthrax letters further away from the Dr. Zack, to spare Israel further embarrassment in what appears to be a modern day revival of the Lavon Affair. However, the claim that the Anthrax letters were simply an experiment in mail delivery that went awry is discredited by recalling that the envelopes and their contents were written in a way to cast suspicion for the letters in a specific direction, at Arabs! This clear evidence of a deliberate frame up proves that not only was this not simply a test procedure, but that the Anthrax in the letters was intended to kill people, while the letters themselves pointed the finger of blame.

Indeed, how very convenient, that Zack will not be extradicted and no mention is made of him in any of the msm 'stories' (not for bedtime reading to children) one can find in the 'news' today.

I tried to post a comment to the mop and pail - mentioning Zack - still isn't there though - and most likely won't ever get up.