Posted by As’ad at 9:27 AM
Filed under: Propaganda | Comments Off on ‘US textbooks misrepresent Jews, Israel’
Filed under: Propaganda | Comments Off on ‘US textbooks misrepresent Jews, Israel’
Asad AbuKhalil, The Angry Arab News Service
Saturday, September 27, 2008
When I read Benny Morris’ massive study, 1948, I became convinced that many of the reviewers in the press did not probably read the whole thing. I say so because even reviews in serious publications, like the Economist–the best magazine there is–did not note the racist and disturbingly political biases of the author. The agenda of the author (who at least has revealed his true colors when he expressed his acceptance of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians) is not hidden if you bother to read the book and the endnotes.
But at least one thing made me laugh: Israeli historians now have a habit: they of course continue to ignore and disregard Palestinian narratives from their histories, but they include a token account, that of the diaries of Khalil As-Sakakini, and only those diaries. The diaries have been published in Hebrew so it does not require knowledge of Arabic: even Tom Segev in his really massive, One Palestine: Complete, ignores Palestinian but manages to include that Sakakini account. Morris does the same, but it is hardly surprising.
In fact, it is very clear in the book by Morris that he really does not think that Palestinians amount to humans. He not only ignores their sufferings but ignores their deaths. Only Zionist victims are mentioned and counted. Now you are by now wondering (assuming that you have not dosed off) about the trickery I mention in the headline: you see, I have encountered this feature in Israeli historiogrophy, like in Yehoshua Porath in his history of the Palestinian national movement. You would be reading some analysis of account on Palestinian public opinion or even sentiments and feelings, and then you look at the endnotes only to find a Jewish Agency’s report, or some report by some Zionist organization.
Do you see what I am saying. For example, Morris is keen in this book to assume throughout that Palestinian Christians and Muslims were at each other’s throats since the beginning of the Zionist invasion of the land. So keen, that I encountered only one reference to the Muslim-Christian associations when they were the nucleus of Palestinian national organization in Palestine. On p. 13, he goes on about fears and hatred between Muslim and Christian Palestinians (and slogans that were invented by agents of the Zionist organiztion), and then you go to the endnote and you find some silly reference to a silly report by some silly agent of the silly Zionist organization at the time. No evidence, whatever, at a time when a Christian Palestinian (Emile Ghuri) was chosen to lead the party of the Mufti (Hajj Amin Al-Husayni).
Morris also typically identifies any Palestinian opposition to Zionism as anti-Semitic (p. 8; he finds some obscure article by some obscure person and yet he does not cite the thousands of Palestinian statements, poems, flyers, and proclamations that clearly expressed opposition to anti-Semitism. He could have bothered checked the private collection of Akram Zu`aytar which contains all that and more, but he did not. And Zionist discussions about the explusion of Arabs from their land is discussed casually by Morris (see pp. 18-19).
His account of how Palestinians fared under Zionism is as fictious as was the account in Herzl’s work of fiction, Alteuland. Morris says that Palestinian assets “grew substantially” under Zionism (p. 25). And when he cites outrageous statements by Zionists, he never offers any comments, when he is unrestrained if any Palestinain said anything that bothered him. He again casually cites Ben Gurion when he said about Arabs: “And it is better to expel them than jail them.” (p. 52) And what is hilarious about this book is that–typical of Zionist accounts–there is such love expressed for the Hashemites, presumably due to the their services to Zionism over the decades. (He says that the Jordanian regime “flourishes” (p. 419) under King PlayStation). He even maintains that all Arab leaders at the time suffered from a crisis of legitimacy..except King `Abdullah (p. 66), as if he died from high cholesterol.
And the notion that Plan D did not intend to expel Arabs because it did not say so on paper (p. 121) is as ridiculous as the claim by anti-Semitic David Irving when he talks about the smokin’ gun and the Nazis. He admits in the book (twice) that Zionists killed more POWs than the other side did but he always finds excuses to justify the deed and to justify the FACT that more prisoners were killed by Zionists than by the Arabs by talking about Zionist military victories and control of more lands.(p. 153)
The conclusion of this propagandistic book is clearly written for the readers in the West in post-Sep. 11 world. He goes on (in a section that is written by the style you read by anti-Islam haters in neo-con media these days) to elaborate on the “Jihadi impulse.” (p. 395) He wants to convince the reader that Palestinian Arab opposition to Zionism was rooted in religious bigotry: as if the Palestinians would have acted differently if their lands were stolen and occupied, say, by Buddhists or Hindus or atheists.
But then Morris has to contend with the fact of Palestinian Christian opposition to Zionism. He has to explain it. So what does Morris do here. I kid you not, he says this: “Even Christian Arabs appear to have adopted the Jihadi discourse.” (p. 395) I kid you not. Is that not funny? So George Habash and Nayif Hawitimah and Edward Said and `Azmi Bisharah are all motivated by Jihadi impulses. Thus is Zionist historiogrophy.
It is also equally comical when he maintains that the Arabs were stronger than the Yishuv in Palestine. To bolster his case, or to make it sound less ridiculous, he says that they were stronger in “geopolitical terms”(p. 398)–whatever that means. Maybe by that token, Panama is stronger than the US in “geopolitical terms”. He does not shy away from invoking the racist arguments of Patai and others about Arabs: he talks about Arab traditions of “disunity, corruption, and organizational incompetence.” (p. 399) I guess that Olmert is resigning due to the Arab tradition of corruption. And is Morris trying to make us laugh when he refers to the Zionist forces as “ragtag Jewish militia”(p. 400). Ragtag in comparison to what? The Arab forces with their 19th century rifles in some cases? He does admit that both sides killed civilians but he argues that the Arabs killed civilians “deliberately” while the Zionists did so accidentally or recklessly but provides no evidence for the claim (p. 404). He then adds that massacres decreased after the transformtion of forces on both sides into regular armies but then adds casually “except for the series of atrocities committed by IDF troops…” (p. 405). Is this guy for real?
“I judge movements, leaders and parties by results not rhetoric”
“When I look at what has happened, and is still happening, in the region in general and in Iraq in particular, I see the clear failure, even the death of the two major competing ideologies in the region.,two major competing ideologies in the region.”
Comment: I wonder why the PP anal-ysist failed to see the clear failure, even the death of the third competing ideology in the region. I mean Left-Marxism-communisms, Most likely because he consider himself a leftist dreaming that his left would be the new force after the death of Arab nationalism and Islam .
“On the one hand we see that the one party, the Ba’th, which preached Arab unity and Arab nationalism, could not even unite one country, Iraq, let alone the entire Arab world. First the two branches of the party (the Syrian and Iraqi branches) fought each other, literally to death.”
“each branch of the party could not and would not create the model state that could be an inspiration for the promised Arab unity and something to inspire and give a boost to Arab nationalism. They instead ruled by an iron fist and by using the policies of divide-and-conquer and encouraging tribalism.”
Comment: Neither Iraq, nor Syria were true representatives for Arab nationalism, Saddam was the true respective of Arab racism. The anal-ysist ignored Nasir, the true representative of Arab nationalism. He failed to mention how Arab masses, 52 years before Hugo Chavezago, from the Gulf to the Atlantic ocean reacted when UK -France and Israel attacked Egypt to topple Nasir, how they reacted when he resigned after 1967 defeat, and after his death.
Moreover, the Anal-ysist ignored that while Saddam and his Iraqi Baath was fighting the American war against Iran, Only Sadam’s “Comrade” Hafez Assad and his Syrian Baath stood with Iran, and his son is still standing with Iran.
Hezbollah is the LEGAL SON of the Syrian- Iranian Marriage, the marriage of Islamic Ideology and Syrian Nationalism.
“If indeed most Iraqis felt so strongly that they belonged to and benefited from the Ba’th regime and that they had a strong stake in preserving the Iraqi state, why has the majority not fought the occupation? Why, at the earliest opportune moment, major sections of the Iraqi population opted to side with the occupiers and with Iran instead of fighting for Iraq? That tells us something about the prevailing state up until the invasion.”
Comment: Indeed it tells about the prevailing state and its racist version of Arab Nationalism that fail to unite even Anbar tribes.
“The majority of the Shiites sided with Iran against their own country and the majority of Kurds decided that they are not Iraqis! So, Iraq is no more; hardly the model of Arab unity to be presented to the rest of the Arabs.”
Comment: Iraq was never the Model of Arab unity
“Then we were told that the problem was in Arab nationalism itself, that the Arabs have to transcend this to something higher and that Islam was the answer. The Iranian revolution was to be the vanguard of this new force: the Islamic revolution.”
“Of course it was not an accident that the two countries spearheading these two major ideologies fought a vicious and bloody war for eight years that killed about a million (Muslims I may add) from each side. We know that the US imperialists wanted both sides to destroy each other, and Henry Kissinger used to say — “we want them to kill each other!” But why did the two fools cooperate so well with Kissinger against their own interests?”
“Just as the US wanted both sides to destroy each other, Iran sought to use the US to destroy the Ba’th regime in Iraq…”
“Along these same lines I saw the Syrian regime recently establish full diplomatic relations with the occupied Maliki “government;” something it has not done since the eighties. Some Arab unity and some Syrian “steadfastness”!”
Comment: Here the “Objective” PP anal-ysist, to please the Baathi thugs at PP, he ignored that it Sadam not Iran who launched the 8 years war and Iran was simply defending itself, that Saddam who clamed defending the eastern gate of the Arab world, opened all the gates to Usrael, including the gates of Baghdad.
Consequently, the defeated PP anal-ysist who left Gaza 40 years ago, is waiting for a new force:
“For those who will survive they will have to wait for a new force, a new movement. Both Arab nationalism and Islam have failed, and failed badly.”
I accept facts, mentioned above, and in the comments below mainly written by Lucia, and saker, despite difference about Arab nation, and Muslim Umma..
I said on several occasions, the west used Nationalism against Islam represented by Ottoman empire, then used both reactionary Islam, and Nationalism against communism, Used reactionary Islam to destroy Naser the most prominent representative of true Arab nationalism.
YES, Arab movements, nationalists, Islamists (Muslim brothers) and leftists failed to recognize who is the main enemy, and to put secondary difference aside. Nationalist failed to recognize that Islam was the first nationalist movement the united Arabs, that racism against non-Arab Muslims, paved the way for the failure of Amaweyades and Abasades empires.
On the other hand Leftists failed to recognize that Islam was the first Arab leftist movement.
As far as I m concerned, I don’t feel any conflict, being Palestinian by birth, Arabic by Nationality, Muslim by religion, and leftist by Ideology.
I like your comment. I only have minor discrepancies on some details.
I always wondered -perhaps because I am not an arab- about two concepts:
-the “arab nation”, that is panarabism
-the “Muslim unity”
I try to respect them, but honestly, cannot grasp them. If –by making a traspolation– someone spoke to me of “hispanism” in the sense of uniting all spanish speaking countries, or “christian unity” to unite the various different religions and sects under the christian branch, my eyes would roll. Yet more, I’d think it is an eccentric idea. Every country, or more specifically, every state has interests of its own, and in all probability will not coincide with those of any other “brother” country.
So, as I do not completely understand the ideas of panarabism and umma, I can’t help but asking to myself if the different arab peoples should be just more focused on the own country, rather than expecting from others sharing a language or a religion to come and lend a hand, specially when perhaps this “other” has problems similar in size.
Perhaps it is a desiderata, and as such belongs in the realm of utopia por the time being, given the bad shape in which most of arab countries are nowadays.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:01 am #
When the US tried to topple Hugo Chavez, and partially succeeded in a coup, millions of poor Venezuelans took to the streets demanding the release of their president. They were ready to fight and die for something they believed in, something they had created, something they had a stake in. That was not the case in Iraq. Tony
And could never be the case in Iraq, because the Venezuelans took to the streets to reclaim their leader, and I mean *their leader*, whom they chose, and had won 9 or 10 (I lost count) consecutive democratic polls, and who did wonders for the people there.
How did Saddam come to power, if not by the CIA’s hand, and causing a bloodbath? Whose iraqis would defend him, after he slaughtered kurds, shias, and “disafected” sunni in the hundreds of thousands? Yet mass-graves are being unearthed to this day.
The charisma of Chavez has nothing to do -thank god- with Saddam’s, even though his worshippers would say he was the “new Salahuddin”
So, the iraqis would not take to the streets to shield him, right on the contrary, millions of them wanted him dead. Only staunch baathists who profited from the regime would say otherwise. But, expect them to blame it on Iran. Driven by the partys cliches. they’re even unable of the mimimun of self-criticism.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:39 am #
As America sinks into the sunset no longer a so-called “super-power,” it is time for the people of the Arab nations to rise up as one. What you have had to this point are regimes propped up by Western design, but those forces are no longer viable. As the support fails from Imperialism an opportunity arises, my recommendation is that the oppressed people of these regions take advantage of it.
v Homepage 09.28.08 – 10:51 am #
further to my 10:39, the Palestinians who are the most courageous people in the Middle East, did something similar when Arafat was besieged in the Mukata. They took to the streets, in defiance of curfews and tanks, and went to shield him – I think more out of compassion than due to his own merits as a leader. But they did it, in spite of being under a nazi-like occupation for 60 years.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:08 am #
About the Muslim unity , before the skyes picot divisions , there were no borders between Arab countries and Most felt that islam United them , (than these regimes that were the creation of foreign powers ). and You ll be suprised to hear so many people (on Live tv ) almost daily , dreaming about the Khilafa and islam being the unificator of all Arab countries . more and more Arab and Muslim Youth talk and dream about that (something that scares the hell of the Neocons and Bush )and breaking the “false” Borders as they call them.
fatima 09.28.08 – 11:15 am #
Thanks for your explanation Fatima. I’m aware of many people talking about it, and I can read about it too in articles by authors even from the left, Samara to mention one who I respect. But I fail to see it working. I mean, what have the people of Qatar to do with the Egyptians, or the Saudis, or the Algerians, or… any other arabic-speaking or Muslim people?
Other than unelected governments -ruthless for the most part- who rely on the USA to remain in power while they opress their people.
So, it seems to me that religion and language is not a glue strong enough as to show solidarity when most of them (perhaps Qatar fares much better) are undergoing big social problems and “difficult” times.
I second “v”‘s idea as the moment is ripe, but… where is the “arab che”? And when there is one, the shitty little state eliminates him. Scores of popular leaders have been liquidated. The only that wasn’t for the moment is Nasrallah. Let’s wish him a long life. But who is to be counted in other arab countries?
Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:33 am #
Lucia 09.28.08 – 10:39 am
I agree partially, Lucia. However, it goes well beyond Saddam. Why have the Iraqis not stood up for THEIR Iraq? Not for Saddam or for Ba’th.
My point is that the majority, apparently, did not believe that they had a state worth dying for.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 11:34 am #
The kurds never felt iraqis, they feel and always felt kurds, and were promised a state at the same time the Palestinians were, and with about the same results… (this led them, but this is another story, to very unwise engagements throughout the years, and being betrayed once and again. They finally bet on the americans, so they will be left aside again. The americans use proxies and then abandon them as used toilet paper)
So the iraqi state was forced upon them. And yet, saddam massacred them. So thwy wouldn’t be expected to take to the streets to defend the Saddam who slaughtered them, or to defend an state which they did not feel their own. Thus the alliance with the invaders under the promise of having their kurdish state and their own oil-wells.
Would the south-shia defend saddam? They’d rather queue, jointly with the kurds, to be allowed to hang him.
Saddam only relied on his tribe, and a few staunch saddamists who lived very well under his rule, and looked the other way -if not applauded- his massacres. These same people is very concerned now by the presumed shia drillings. Were was the outrage when the shia were drilled, and were driven nails through their heads by Saddam’s henchmen?
Lucia 09.28.08 – 11:45 am #
To elaborate a bit on the point Fatima made:
It is true that under the Ottoman Empire, the artificial boundaries between Arab states did not exist; those were drawn up by the colonial powers.
However, Fatima forgets that the Arabs were suckered into rebelling against and fighting the nominally Muslim Ottomans and aligning themselves with their new colonial masters.
Another point is that Islam, unlike the two other monotheist religions, advocates the concept of the Muslim Umma. Islam, at least in theory, is supposed to transcend nationalism.
Arab nationalism and unity is not just a romantic idea; in the fifties and sixties some strides were taken in that direction, especially under Nasser of Egypt. For a few years, Egypt and Syria even formed one nation and the expectation was that Iraq would also join. Nasser also played a significant role helping liberation movements in other Arab countries, in particular in Algeria. The defeat (of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967) marked the end of that rising wave of Arab unity and Arab nationalism. Of course that was the main objective of that war to defeat and humiliate Nasser.
Comment; Here, like the asshole who considered the end of cold war as the end of history, the PP Anal-ysist, consider Nasir’s defeat in 1967 the end of the wave of the arab nationalism.
One last point. You made analogy to Spanish culture and the non-existence of unity among Spanish-speaking countries. Not quite true. The situation of the Arab countries is more analogous to Latin American countries. You have the same language, with the exception of Brazil, very similar culture and definitely a shared history. On top of that you have the same colonial domination for so long. The big difference is that Latin America has finally awakened with popular, leftist leaders forging real political, cultural, military and economic unity among their respective countries. It is the vision and policies of leaders such as Chavez, Lula, Morales, etc which you do not find in the Arab world, not even on the horizon.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:00 pm #
The big difference is that Latin America has finally awakened with popular, leftist leaders forging real political, cultural, military and economic unity among their respective countries
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:00 pm
This is the KEY!
The response to the questions you pose in your article, and the response to the problems the people in arab and muslim countries are undergoing.
And some leadership is necessary too. There have been leaders, I mean good popular leaders in ME, but have been liquidated by the big powers or by their surrogates. All of them, except Nasrallah. But more Nasrallahs are needed – at least one per country – to lead the uprising. Any moment one may appear, as it did in the Argelian revolution.
As to what you say about umma, catholicism also predicates unity and solidarity and so on. Actually the word catholic derives from latin catholicus and this from greek katolikós which means universal. But this universality is left for the religious/spiritual context, and translates -as does in Islam- in scores or charities and such.
Yes, Hispanidad does exist, as you indicated, (even with Portuguese-speaking Brasil) and translates into cooperation programs, etc. But what I meant is, other than these programs, or commercial/political treaties -as with any other country- the problems we have over here difer 180 degress from those of, let’s say, the Argentinean, or the Cuban. So, yes, there is solidarity, f.i. now with Cuba with the disaster they have suffered, but.. we are two worlds appart, even though we have many things in common, language among others. And we love them.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 12:36 pm #
Very interesting and timely comment Tony. I fully agree on your assessment of the Baath so I will skip this. On Iran I think that you might be conflating two (or more) things:
Iran is not an ideology, it is a country whose government claims to represent, and act in accordance with, an Islamic ideology. You can have a highly critical view of Iran’s behavior and performance, but does that reflect on the Islamic ideology? Do I need to mention here that Hezbollah has EXACTLY the same religious AND political ideology? Do I need to remind anyone here that Nasrallah as a person and Hezbollah as a movement are not followers of the Lebanese Sheikh Fadlallah (who is *erroneously* identified by the corporate media as “Hezbollah’s spiritual leader) but that the are the followers of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei? Even Hezbollah’s structure mirrors the one of the Iranian state! So which is the best example of the Shia Islamic ideology, Iran or Hezbollah?
Then, Iran is far more diverse, pluralistic and decentralized than the Zionist-inspired Western corporate media likes to portray. Ahmadinejad represents only one of the various factions inside the Iranian polity. Should Iran be judged by Ahmadinejad’s actions?
Also, keep in mind that Iran is *literally* surrounded by US forces whose political bosses make no secret of their desire to attack Iran. Does that not explain why they would be very, very cautious in their actions. Would openly throwing all their weight behind the Sadrists really be the smart thing to do? What hurts the American Empire more, a double tag-team of headaches like Sadr and Maliki (whose only powerbase is the Iranian controlled Badr forces) or a clear cut insurgency?
Please get me right – I am very much “less than impressed” by Iran’s current policies in Iraq (which I, frankly, do not understand) and I am equally “less than impressed” with Ahmadinejad. But the man which I respect most in the entire Middle-East, Nasrallah, is firm in his unwavering support for, and alliance with, Iran. Does that not tell us that he might know, or understand, something which we are missing? Every time somebody criticizes Iran I bring the example of Nasrallah and say “explain this!”
What is the “Islamic ideology” which you say has failed? I submit that the Iranian Islamic Revolution is one thing and the Shia ethos is something quite distinct which cannot be reduced to, or conflated with, the former.
For all the ignorant views of the incurable secularists to the contrary, even a cursory acquaintance with Hezbollah and Nasrallah will show any non-prejudiced person that Shia Islam, its spirituality, its ethos and its worldview (in other words its ideology) are not only at the core of everything which Hezbollah is or does, but in fact defines and directs all the aspects of Hezbollah’s existence. Simply put, there is no way to understand anything about Hezbollah outside this “ideological” Islami
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 12:44 pm #
The Hispanoamerican countries fought their anticolonial wars, and won. Spain left the last colonies by the 1800. So, two hundred years have passed since the colonial power was evicted, however popular power is starting to take shape now, at least in some countries (I wouldn’t consider Lula on this lot, he follows free-marketism by the book and the poor and “sem terra” are still neglected).
There have also been popular leaders over there previously, but much the same as it happened in the arab countries- they were liquidated by
USA interventions or USA surrogates. Repression has been absolutely BRUTAL there, in special throughout the XXth century. And as you see, the empire continues at it. Look at the sedition recently sowed in Bolivia, Venezuela…
Hence, the process of education to awakening can never stop, for the greedy don’t stop either. Be eit in Hispano América, be it in the Arab world, be it in East Asia.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 12:54 pm #
Re Iran I’m closer to your views than to Tony’s, as I have been commenting in older posts. These are the minor differences I have with Tony’s article, that I mentioned earlier, and call them minor because I think they don’t significatively change the general overview the article presents. But it is good you intervened, since you’ve got a good analysis over the situation in Iraq, and Iran’s role. I agree with you that Iran’s image is very deformed in the western media and is a far more sofisticated and complex country (and so are its policies and diplomacy) than many people are lead to believe.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 1:18 pm #
I believe that it was the 1967 defeat that was the end and death of Arab nationalism. What took place in 1991 when Syria and other Arab countries actually sent troops to Destroy another Arab state was just the official funeral. Arabs never recovered from that defeat and in reality the Fall of Baghdad in 2003 was the last effect of the 1967 cause.
Zarathustra 09.28.08 – 2:55 pm #
As I said in my piece, I am a simple man from the proverbial state of Missouri; I judge by the things I see on the ground. And what do I see on the ground? Let me count the ways:
– I see Muslim Palestinians in Iraq being slaughtered and expelled by Shiite death squads which Iran easily controls.
– I see ethnic cleansing going on where entire sections of Baghdad have been ethnically cleansed.
– I see Iran’s closest surrogate, Hakim, calling for the splitting of Iraq by having a separate Shiite “federal” region in the south.
– I see Iran’s surrogate, Maliki, giving away Iraq’s wealth for generations to come by signing “deals” with American oil robbers.
– I see Iran’s man, again Maliki, concluding a so-called SOF agreement that guarantees the permanent occupation of Iraq.
– I see Hizbullah, with all of my admiration and respect, still refusing to criticize the Maliki puppet or the Shiite death squads, because of sectarian reasons and also in order not to displease Iran. As is repeatedly asked, why is it that the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was fought, ferociously, and those who cooperated with the occupation were treated as traitors, but the same does not apply to Iraq?
I can go on and on. I do not have your sophistication to analyze the various power centers in Iran or the essence of the motivation of the Shiite theology; as I said I judge by the results I see.
Speaking of Hizbullah, and in spite of my admiration, I can’t forget that it continued to praise the Lebanese “army” while it was systematically destroying the Nahr El-Bared camp over the heads of some 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Most of those refugees have no homes to return to now. What has Hizbullah done about that? For political reasons it looked the other way and praised the Lebanese army’s heroism! Let us be as objective as we can be here.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 3:39 pm #
Comment; It is Fath Al-Islam who destoyed Nahr Al-barid
Tony, independently of Saker’s reply to you which I’ll read with interest, let’s see the other side of the coin (my two cents):
-Fact is that the oil wealth of Irak has not fallen yet into US/multinational hands thanks to Iran’s opposition. Muqtada, regardless all criticisms that can be made of him, has aborted the “oil-law” in several occasions. China’s deal had been already signed by Saddam’s cabinet.
-Same happens with the SOFA and with the permanence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil, what Iran opposes.
-Ethnic cleansing has gone in several directions. Mainly foreign death squads vs iraqis. Then shia-sunni, sunni-shia, kurds-iraqis, so called al-Q vs iraqis and you may add some. Proved that Iran helped stop bloodshed.
I can provide with links for all the above.
Now 3 questions to ponder:
-Could Hezbollah at that very difficult moment, and having in mind the higher interests of their own country, have acted other way when Hezbullah proper was under the radar?
-Isn’t it abundantly clear that Hezbollah DOES support the Palestinians?
-Could Iran, being submitted to pressure and threats by a crazied empire that did not hesitate dropping atomic bombs on another country after it *had surrendered*, could Iran act more defiantly that it did, or would it be oughtright suicidal?
Politics has more to do with the body of the iceberg that with its tip. I mean, declarations, photos and saking hands are for the most part for “consumption”; meanwhile real deals are played behind curtains out of the people’s sight.
“News is what someone wants to supppress. Everything else is advertising” – former NBC news prez Rubin Frank
Lucia 09.28.08 – 4:23 pm #
Thanks for your reply. Let me, if I may, take your points one by one:
I see Muslim Palestinians in Iraq being slaughtered and expelled by Shiite death squads which Iran easily controls.
As far as I know this kind of stuff has largely stopped. But that is neither here nor there really, the real issue is what control, or lack thereof, Iran has over these militias. Not only that, but its not like Iran has many alternatives to the Badr forces and the Sadrists which, as far as I know, have both been involved in anti-Palestinian and anti-Sunni terror operations. Are we to assume that Iran could have prevented these things from happening or that Iran instigated them? I do not know, but ask yourself: does Iran even care about Palestinians in Iraq? I think that not. It is far more likely that the Iraqi Palestinians have paid the price for their support of Saddam and his terror state. “He who sows the winds reaps the storm as the French say”. I am not justifying anything, only pointing at the obvious causes and asking whether the blame for this can be laid on Iran?
– I see ethnic cleansing going on where entire sections of Baghdad have been ethnically cleansed.
Tony, Iran is not in charge of stopping the Iraqis of butchering each other, that is simply not Iran’s responsibility. I do not think that “Iraqi Shia = Iran”. There is plenty of Iraqi Shia extremism out there without any need for Iran to add fuel to the fire.
– I see Iran’s closest surrogate, Hakim, calling for the splitting of Iraq by having a separate Shiite “federal” region in the south.
And you see Sadr opposing this. So which of the two gets to speak for, or embody, Shia Islam and its ideology?!
– I see Iran’s surrogate, Maliki, giving away Iraq’s wealth for generations to come by signing “deals” with American oil robbers.
Now that is not serious. Iran totally and unequivocally opposes the SOFA and, last time I checked, the oil laws. I think that Maliki, as a typical prostitute, is doing the bidding of whomever promises him more power and money. Right now, this is the USA and not Iran. To simply blame anything and everything Maliki does is simply based on the mistaken assumption that Maliki is “Iran’s puppet”. Maliki happens to be the head of the only Shia government in Iraq and its not like Iran can ignore or, much less so, openly oppose that. But that does not mean that Iran like the guy or his policies. Do you really think that the Iranians don’t realize that Maliki is a prostitute willing to sell himself and his country to the highest bidder? Of course they know that, but they do not have an “Iraqi Nasrallah” out there, the only alternative is Sadr, not exactly a dream come true either…
I see Iran’s man, again Maliki, concluding a so-called SOF agreement that guarantees the permanent occupation of Iraq.
As I said, Iran totally opposes this and that, in turn, begs the question of why you blame everything Maliki does on Iran.
– I see Hizbullah, with all of my admiration and respect, still refusing to criticize the Maliki puppet or the Shiite death squads, because of sectarian reasons and also in order not to displease Iran.
You really think Tony that this sounds like Nasrallah? Being silent over a fundamental issue in order not to antagonize a country whose support he counts on? I really don’t think so, this is not at all in sync with the character of the man.
Tony, Nasrallah fears nothing other than God. I know, nowadays this is hard to believe used as we are to fully unprincipled politicians, but Nasrallah is a totally different creature from the typical modern politician.
As is repeatedly asked, why is it that the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was fought, ferociously, and those who cooperated with the occupation were treated as traitors, but the same does not apply to Iraq? Because the main threat to Lebanon is external whereas in Iraq the external invader is just one factor in a much more complicated situation.
I agree with you, as far as I am concerned the occupiers of Palestine and the occupiers of Iraq are the soldiers of the same Empire – but the Iraqis have a lot of housecleaning to do before coming to realize that.
The problem here is not some “Islamic ideology” but the Iraqis lack of unity if purpose.
Look at how the former Baathists and Sunni turned into some “concerned citizens” and “sons of Iraq”! Is that not a disgrace? What does the Iranian revolution have to do with this?
Let’s wait and see, because my impression -to the luck if iraqis- is It will be Iran’s bid snf not american’s bid, since america is within a trap of its own creation. US troops quitting Iraq safely depends on Iran.
In case the americans play the card of a free kurdistan, and its oil-wells, then it this partition cannot be avoided, maybe the segregation of the shia part could be accepted, as preferable to live again under the conditions they lived formerly. But Iran opposes partition and has said it loud and clear. The last Iran+Turkey+Syria want is a free Kurdistan. There won’t be partition.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:01 pm #
@Speaking of Hizbullah, and in spite of my admiration, I can’t forget that it continued to praise the Lebanese “army” while it was systematically destroying the Nahr El-Bared camp over the heads of some 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Most of those refugees have no homes to return to now. What has Hizbullah done about that? For political reasons it looked the other way and praised the Lebanese army’s heroism! Let us be as objective as we can be here.
Look, I am sorry for the innocent victims of this one, but you can hardly house Fatah al-Islam (which seems to be a CIA backed local franchise of the wider Salafist movement) and not expect that bad things will happen. To put it bluntly, I do not think that the Shias can afford to allow CIA backed Salafists to take root anywhere in Lebanon or anywhere else where the Shia live (I would even argue that everybody on the planet should strive at rooting out the sick and evil Salafist ideology wherever it sticks out its ugly head). We all know what future the Salafists envision for those they call “rejectionist idolaters”. That the Lebanese Army botched its operation there should not come as a surprise either as the “Lebanese Army” is more of a bad joke than a real fighting force. Serving tea and actually fighting are different things. What did you want, Hezbollah to go into Nahr El-Bared and kick the Salafists out? Sure they could do that, except that they try to avoid shooting at other Lebanese. So they let the Army do the dirty job and praised them for it. You expected them to denounce the Army?
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:04 pm
CIA backed, and Saudi funded.
Saker I enjoyed your whole analysis and agree practically 100 per cent with it. Thanks for sharing your views
Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:10 pm #
As you know, Turkey Iran and Syria have their own kurd population, courtesy of Sykes Picot. Allowing partition of kurdistan in Iraq would imply kurdish separatist problems would be exacerbated in their countries. Those three states don’t want it (regardless what we, as individuals, may think about kurdish people’s right to secede and form their own state)
Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:25 pm #
I don’t have the time to answer all your replies, but on the last one you are totally wrong, my friend.
To start with, the Palestinians do not control the entry or the exit from their camps in Lebanon; the army does. Those Salafis you refer to, were brought into the camp by the Hariri people with the full knowledge of some branches of the Lebanese government security. The Palestinians in the camp did not want these people, but they had no power to get rid of them.
The next point is that the Lebanese army systematically destroyed the entire camp, not just the isolated pockets where the Salafis were.
I posted articles written by Marcy Newman (among others) from inside the camp documenting the atrocities of the army and the outright racism towards the Palestinians. I also posted videos showing how that “heroic” army systematically torched those Palestinian homes that remained standing, after stealing all their contents. The videos even showed the racist, anti-Palestinian slogans scrawled on the walls by the heroic army.
It was none other than Hizbullah who, early on, warned the army that attacking the camp and entering it was “a red line!” Then when the systematic slaughter and destruction proceeded, Hizbullah fell silent.
Don’t forget that the bulk of the rank and file foot soldiers in the Lebanese army are Shiites; they could have refused orders to attack innocent Palestinians if Hizbullah asked them to; just a thought.
At any rate your rationalization of what happened in Nahr El-Bared is simply that and it is wrong.
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:29 pm #
if Hizbullah asked them to
could Hizbullah have issued those orders to the army at that moment?
In my humble opinion they could not.
The attack was ruthless and completely out of proportion. There was no reason to send the army in, with tanks and everything, for a problem that would have to be solved by the police.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:38 pm #
@Lucia: thanks for your kind words.
@Tony: you might be correct and I might be wrong. I am not expert at all and I did not closely follow the events in Nahr El-Bared. However, even if the Palestinians should not be blamed for having Fatah al-Islam next door, nor should Hezbollah for the crudeness of the Lebanese Army’s tactics under the pretext that many soldiers are Shia. There are plenty of non-Hezbollah Shia in Lebanon (Amal for one thing) and, as far as I know, Hezbollah soliders do not fight inside the Lebanese Army. You say that Hezbollah should not have praised the Army for its Hun-like tactics and I agree. But I suspect that the praise was more directed at the will to take on the Salafists than for using smart tactics in the process.
Look, there is, in my opinion, no worse ideology out there than Salafism and I do find it essential, crucial, to crush it wherever it shows up, be it Chechnia, Iraq, Afghanistan or Lebanon. I wish the Palestinians (or any other innocent bystanders) would not get slaughtered in the process, but I have to grant some degree of recognition to anyone trying to eradicate the Salafists anywhere.
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:45 pm #
Maybe, Tony, this botched operation by the army urged Hizbollah to push for the issuing of residence cards for the Palestinians, so that they could be somehow protected. They were “invisible”.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 5:46 pm #
@Tony: one small comment about Baathism: you know, it reminds me of Communism in modern Russia. Its not really an ideology any more. It more of a psychopathological syndrome for a butch of have-beens which failed at all they attempted and are now angry and bitter at the entire world for not recognizing what they think of as “great achievements”. Baathists and Stalinists have a lot in common, at least in their mental makeup and bizarre behavior, at least in Russia, nobody takes them too seriously. I would not pay too much attention at their rather childish insults. Remember that first and foremost – they are *losers*; and, second, well, how shall I put it – they ain’t too bright. And third, they are also totally irrelevant and *they know that*. So they do the only thing they know how: spew hatred. Let them – it gives them meaning.
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 5:57 pm #
Lucia and VS,
When we start using terms such as “botched operation” and “lack of discipline” (on the part of the army), are we not using exactly the same propaganda and rationalization the US military used when it destroyed Fallujah?
No, the total destruction of the camp and the expulsion of the Palestinians in it were intentional and it was a decision taken at the highest level. There is a theory that the Salafis were brought in to justify the attack on the camp. Why was the camp destroyed? Many theories were floated including a story (by Franklin Lamb) that the US wanted to build a US air base in the area. At any rate, the US military flew in “emergency” military gear for the Lebanese army to use in destroying the camp. Does that tell us something?
Tony Sayegh Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:04 pm #
Tony, I had read Lamb’s article on the plans for the base. For me it was more than that, it was -like in Irak- “solving the refugees problem the zionist way”, i.e., ethnic cleanse, mass murder. Choose the term you see fits it best.
I used botched operation to put it a name, and certainly the term is not very accurate. Attempt at mass murder gets closer.
This is -again, in my view- a replay of the chasing of Palestinians that was done in Iraq. Detonate a car bombing in a crowded market, blame it on the Palestinians, parade two or three “suspects” on TV to pit the local population against them. And the chasing will be “approved”. Yesterday’s car-bombing in Syria follows the same pattern. Now it is being blamed on the Palestinians, go figure! But it does not benefit the Palestinians, I agree with Muallem on this one, that it only benefits the zios. So I tend to think that, since El-Assad refused the zionist condition to expel Meshaal and I.Jihad, the zios have orchestrated this from behind the curtains to arm-twist him. I don’t think it works. Not now.
The root problem is the Palestinian refugees are being chased. Zion has sent abbas to Lebanon to that they were given nationality and absorbed there, what Lebanon refused, stating they must return to Palestine. Zion does not want, at any rate, to assume this problem; and on the other hand is well aware it is an inalienable and *individual right that noone can sell out, as Abbas is willing to do, lest Israel loses its “jewish” character. But anything he signs, if he does it, is wet paper.
The Palestinian problem, in a special manner the refugees problem makes one’s heart bleed. And to make matters worse, they have been neglected for too long.
All Palestinians, anywhere, must be very careful, unless they have “papers”, residence or naturalization. They are being targeted.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 6:29 pm #
@Tony: the total destruction of the camp and the expulsion of the Palestinians in it were intentional and it was a decision taken at the highest level.
Interesting. First, may I ask you what sources of facts you base this statement on?
Second, if presume that if you are correct in your analysis, then Hezbollah (who has the best intelligence capability in the entire Middle-East) must have known this too. In that case, why would they support what is, in your words, an anti-Palestinian bloodbath concealed under the guise of an anti-Salafist operation? Are you seriously claiming that Hezbollah is anti-Palestinian?! Are you saying that Hezbollah wanted to clear the camp to let a US base replace it?!
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:36 pm #
@Tony: “botched operation” can be used to conceal a deliberate attempt to massacre people.
However, there are real botched operations out there. And when I see the kind of “army” the so-called “Lebanese Army” is, I think “incompetence” long before I think “mission”. Actually, and this might shock you, I also mostly think “incompetence” rather than “mission” when I see the US Army’s dismal performance in Iraq. (Now, with the Israelis its mostly a combination of both).
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:40 pm #
VS, I think Tony does not mean Hizbulah when he mentions the highest level. Remember had left their seats, and Siniora ruled unconstitutionally, on behalf of the zio-cons. Hizbullah had, then, its tents set up in protest to form an equitable unity gov.
Lucia 09.28.08 – 6:41 pm #
@Lucia:I think Tony does not mean Hizbulah when he mentions the highest level.
Yes, I understand that. But if he, Tony, knows about the real goal of the operation it is safe to say that so does Hezbollah. Hence, they praised what was an anti-Palestinian operation. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Nor does, by the way, the idea that the US would put a base in Lebanon, by the way.
vineyardsaker Homepage 09.28.08 – 6:44 pm #
‘We Must Arm Our Army, Even Through Black Market’
The event was attended by representatives of the Lebanese president and army commander, the parliament speaker, diplomats and other supporters. It was held in the Sayyed Al-Shuhada compound in Dahiyeh.
“Palestine, from the sea to the river, is the property of Arabs and Palestinians and no one has the right to give up even a single grain of earth or one stone, because every grain of the land is holy. The entire land must be returned to its rightful owners,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
His eminence added that the event is to revive the cause, not to cry on the ruins of a “Nakba or a Naksa” (Catastrophe of 1948 and Setback of 1967). “It is an event to mark in our minds, hearts and conscience and an emphasis on determination and will.”
I FEEL SHAME THAT PALESTINIANS ARE DYING OF HUNGER
Sayyed Nasrallah urged Arabs and Muslims to keep in mind that the occupation of Palestine and the sanctities of Muslims and Christians was carried out by a group of racists and to consider what happened then as the biggest insult to the nation during the 20th century.
He also blamed elements in the Arab world for not acting against Israel. “Unfortunately, there were those among the Arabs who took advantage of the conflict within the Palestinian people to wash their hands off the Palestinian issue. If the Arab nation does what is needed, the liberation of Jerusalem will be possible, maybe even soon.”
“The Palestinian nation expects Arab nations to act in order to bring the blockade on the Gaza Strip to an end,” said Sayyed Nasrallah. “However,” he added, “only foreigners are sailing on the ships to Gaza. As a Lebanese Arab and Muslim I feel great shame that the Palestinians are dying of hunger,” he added.
WAY TO RETURN PALESTINE IS THROUGH DETERMINATION OF RESISTANCE
The Hezbollah Secretary General went on to blame Britain and its allies at the beginning of last century for planting this entity in the region. His eminence said that it wrong to believe that Israel is ruling the world and influencing the United States. “Israel is a functional entity founded by Britain and its allies in the region for certain purpose. The succeeding US administrations inherited this. Israel is a functional entity that is carrying out its mission in the framework of the US-Western colonial project that aims at dominating our nation and its riches. Israel is the spearhead in this project… We do not deny the influence of the Zionist lobby in the world, but Israel does not control the US. When we understand this, we have to understand also that our holy lands will not be liberated through begging the Americans, the West, those who founded Israel and have been using it to divide our region in the framework of a new Middle East. The Lebanese foiled this project in the July 2006 war. The way to return the lands and liberate the Palestinian people is through the will and the determination of the resistance and sacrifices of the peoples of this region who can impose their will on Israel,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed.
His eminence added that Israel was the enemy of all Arab and Islamic states. “Israel is not only the enemy of the Palestinian people, but also of Lebanon, all the Arab people and all the Muslim nations. Israel is a cancerous tumor, as Imam Khomeini said.”
“Today the time of the Zionists’ dreams has passed and the time of our dreams has begun. Today we don’t just dream, we implement our dreams. After the year 2000 and following the historic victory in southern Lebanon, the blessed al-Aqsa Intifada broke out. It was a historic golden opportunity to realize these hopes. Unfortunately, the entire Islamic nation did not stand by the Palestinians, who were forced to offer sacrifices.”
TWO THIRDS OF ISRAELIS FEEL INSECURE
Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s resignation, the Hezbollah Chief said, “Olmert, although he naturally should have stepped down following the Winograd Commission report, remained in his seat thanks to vigorous US involvement.”
“The post-war Israel is facing a leadership crisis. One of the most important developments was that Olmert admitted that the Greater Israel dream has come to an end, after (Likud leader Benjamin) Netanyahu admitted that Zionism was dying in Israel’s new generations.
“Out of all these things, the public’s lack of faith in this entity and its future is the most important. Polls released in Israel recently say two-thirds of the public believe they are living in an area where they feel insecure.”
Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say that the Zionists had come to Palestine with promises of the land of honey, security and protection. “They were promised to become the dominant, tyrannical, hegemonic and despotic state in the region…But today, they feel insecure and they lost faith in their country. There is no visible horizon for a settlement with the Palestinians and what happened after Annapolis was worse that before it. The resistance in Lebanon and Palestine has passed the stage of existential threat. Syria and Iran got past isolation conspiracies and proved their essential roles in the region and the world. The US project was blocked in many countries in the region. What happened in the Caucasus (Georgia and Russia) constituted a defeat to the US-Israeli axis. The dangerous financial crisis in the US proves that the world is heading towards a multi-polar political, military and economic system…We see in these developments doors of hope opening to a future where the interests of the peoples of this region are fulfilled,” the Hezbollah S.G. emphasized.
BRING 9 DIVISIONS TO LEBANON NOT JUST 8 AND WE SHALL DESTROY THEM
Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that backing the resistance was essential because “the resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine and lands occupied by Israel.”
He warned Israel not to attack Lebanon. “I have always said that the way of the resistance is not a classic war. We are ready to help the resistance of the Palestinian people. But those who attack Lebanon – we shall face them.”
“(Defense Minister) Ehud Barak spoke in the past about five divisions which would invade Lebanon, and today he talks about eight. Okay, he may have made new calculations. But you should know that your eight divisions will be destroyed on our territory by our fighters. If you (Barak) ask me I would tell you to send nine divisions. Sending eight division is better than sending five. I understand that if Israel made this mistake, it will lead to its end. Imagine five destroyed divisions. Israel will no longer have an army there will be no state left. Then what would be the case if Israel sends eight divisions? The enemy and the friend know these things are promises from the Arab victory periods and are not taken from the times of past defeats,” the leader of the resistance firmly said.
WE MUST ARM LEBANON ARMY EVEN THROUGH BLACK MARKET
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Lebanon should arm its army even “by obtaining arms from the black market as the resistance does.”
“Following the reports in Lebanon that Israel objects to the US equipping the Lebanese army with a number of arm systems, can we maintain the sovereignty of Lebanon and its people this way? Must we really wait for permission from the US and Israel to equip our national army and give it all it needs to carry out its secret missions? This is unthinkable. As for the resistance, they (weapons) were angered by it because it did not need anyone’s permission to arm itself, and thus this weapon is one of the reasons for power. If we wait for the United State’s permission, we might receive trucks, weak armored personnel carriers, etc, but we will never get weapons which will allow us to face the Zionist enemy. A national force is not built through an external entity, but through national determination. We need the unity government to make a brave decision that we do not need anyone’s permission and we will equip our army. We will establish a special cabinet of ministers, and in this framework the state will purchase weapons, even in the black market, as the resistance does.
WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT RECONCILIATION
He also said on Friday that Hezbollah is ready for whatever it takes to implement peace and stability in Beirut, but ruled out new alliances with the anti-Syrian majority. “We are ready to do whatever it takes to reassure all the Lebanese and especially the citizens of Beirut,” his eminence stressed, adding “we are serious and devoted to the reconciliation.”
“We are serious, real, and cautious in all reconciliations that aim to create a positive atmosphere. Details are not important. We are ready to comfort all Lebanese, especially in Beirut. Reconciliation does not mean new political alliances. We assure this and so do they. Their aim is to create a positive atmosphere and pave the way to the democratic 2009 parliamentary elections, which will be the deciding factor. We have always sought these elections. People will make their choices in these elections,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
He added that if the opposition wins a majority in the 2009 elections, “Hezbollah will be committed to a national unity cabinet that makes others partners in the decision making process. We do not want to deny anyone a voice, we must learn from the past. Lebanon cannot be ruled on a majority/minority principle, this principle is not suitable to resolve issues.”
LET THE COUNTRY TAKE A CHANCE TO RELAX AND REVISE MATTERS
The Hezbollah chief spoke of national unity and easing down tension in Lebanon. “National force cannot be built from the outside; it can only come from national will. We have always said we were cautious in preserving peace and stability. We have always talked of national unity and demanded dialogue. Let the tense political language stop for a while. Let this country take a chance to relax, to rethink and revise matters. An electoral law will be adopted and elections will occur on time.”
NOT SUFFICIENT TO OPPOSE NATURALIZATION OF PALESTINIANS
Sayyed Nasrallah said that it is not sufficient to oppose naturalization of the Palestinians in Lebanon. “We had made a proposal to amend the constitution so that a decision to normalize Palestinians can only be adopted unanimously in parliament. It was refused. Today the other bloc has made the same proposal, this is very good. We support any amendment of the constitution that forbids naturalization, which is an American-Israeli project financed by the Arabs.
We must make every effort, at every level, to preserve the Palestinian’s right to return to their country. It is Lebanon’s responsibility is to improve the situation in the refugee camps. I hail the wise and correct Palestinian decision in Lebanon to remain neutral toward Lebanese divisions and disputes.
A Bomb in Islamabad kills 56 innocent-souls.
A fortnight before , another bombing in Pakistan
has killed another 96 innocent-souls.
Can we assume that all innocents are equal ??
While assuming that all bombers are criminals ??
But let us not forget that there are Criminal-actions
and Criminal-reactions. …….
The reaction blames the action
while the innocents do die unaware whether the action killed them
or the consequent-reaction .
One fact is undeniable and relevant:
those who died in the Marriott Hotel were probably or presumably
richer than those 96 who died in the poor Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
While if there were any arms-dealers among those victims
one would logically find them in that 5 Stars Hotel and not
among the poor farmers in East-Pakistan- Provinces.
The same goes for the dealers in nuclear technologies ,
they love 5 stars Hotels…… .
In the eyes of God and of humanity ,
all living and all dead are equals
but there are rich-dead and also poor-dead.
My condolences to both….
but my sympathy declines a bit to one side…..
equality brings justice brings peace
21St of September 2008
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