World. . . Be Warned

Nahida the exiled Palestinian

When you wake up one day
 Into your nightmare
 When you hear hordes of lunatics call for war

When freaks shriek “Apocalypse Now”

When Luciferians shout:  “End it All… End it all”
When you hear our planet sobbing
When the oceans cry of pain
When Cain kills Abel many times over

When our children lose their compass
When excited and delighted as they play soldiers

When their inspiration “shoot and kill”

When they see blood, a type of humour

 and horror movies are entertaining

 When their lives have no meaning

When hues of violence thrive and prosper

When abrasion called beauty

When mutilation praised as fashion
Inflicting harm becomes “my choice”
 Hurting self is a form of “art”
Hurling insults is “my freedom”
When babies are used to sell and buy
When tiny babes are tricked into molestation

When innocent girls are sexualized

When their purity is vandalized
When truth-seekers are chastised 
When being dumbed down is glorified

When truth-tellers… ostracized
 When the righteous criminalized 
Then hear me O World

BE WARNED
Await the hurricane

Let it not be forgotten

The darker it becomes 
The closer is the dawn

Remember

Rainbows always come
After the storm

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Three Random Reflections on the Lebanese Press


People walk past a newsstand in Hamra street, Beirut. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
 
Published Saturday, September 29, 2012
 
Joseph’s Legacy
 
The real debaters have disappeared. The death of Joseph Samaha drained the Arab press. He confounded his adversaries even in death. He diminished them. Many were relieved when Joseph died because he showed them up so much. But without the incentive to match him, in order to counter him, they deteriorated, and have continued to do so.
 
There are no initiators left in the Arab press today. There are no advocates of new ideas, just hordes of commentators on political events. You can predict their conclusions before you begin reading their texts. You gain nothing from them, other than fulfilling your professional obligation to read this or that writer. None have any fresh thoughts, themes or even theories to offer. All revolve within the circles they have turned in since they decided to adhere to this line or that.
 
Many – very many – used to know Joseph. Some feel they have a share in him. It is not in the least bit complicated to define his legacy. It doesn’t matter what any of us may claim he told us or said he wanted to do. The man used to produce an article for us every morning. If we love and believe him, we should all concur that this is his only legacy.
The stagnation of the Lebanese press was what most motivated Joseph to write his version of One Thousand and One Nights. But his death undid the magic, and the creativity went out of the Beirut press again. Joseph was laid to rest before he could see the army of imitators – some not very knowledgeable, experienced or educated, and some whose problem is simply that they deem themselves too knowledgeable for the public good.
 

Hazem Saghiyeh and Co.

 
Assembled on the opposite bank are members of the Veterans’ Club of the “Serving the Peoples from Afar” society. Among the shivering congregation, I can only make out Hazem Saghiyeh. His face is clear. He wears no mask or make-up, and appears authentic, unlike the cut-price imitations that surround him.
 
Hazem’s return to Beirut provided him with a sun to keep out the cold, but not to give him a tan. He remains the “White Man” he likes to be.
 
But it seems he has been afflicted by the acting bug. Just as you switch between channels and find the same the same actor playing different roles, we have started reading different versions of Hazem.
 
Remaining resolute in al-Hayat was no longer enough. The days of spending long hours far from the clamor, listening to the sound of pen scraping on paper, were over. With the Arab world lost to the conquests of the guardians of the faith, his efforts had gone the way of the colored revolutions. And as he is under doctor’s orders not to utter the name of Saudi Arabia, he had to acclimatize to Beirut.
In debauched Beirut, Hazem presented us with a second version of himself: in Now Lebanon. And how “now” he is there. You would think he was writing on the run. He pens a single open sentence, as though the shopkeeper is hurrying him up before closing-time. He is clear about what he means. He does not stray politically, and does enough to appease one publisher. But his “Lebanese” terminology loses him the distinction he once had from the March 14 juveniles. He might be acting on the assumption that any comparison would be unthinkable. But his fat-free writing does him, and us, an injustice. Hazem is putting us on an even “lighter” diet than the doctor recommended.
 
Then he appears in a third version as a keyboard warrior. This obliges him to be quick, and makes his luck contingent on a brief phrase. But the adolescent revealed in his comments is not always amusing. He justifies that on the grounds that it’s a rule of joining the Facebook club to abandon any semblance of seriousness or discretion in choosing terms.
 
Yet he remains the best member of the Veterans’ Club, and certainly better than his students, or those who try to vie with him in search of a liberalism that lost its way between the cafes of the last pavement.
 
“Like”
 
Suddenly, everyone – the veteran and new generations alike of journalists, intellectuals, thinkers and commentators – discovered a trick that works so long as the electricity does: a virtual wall that they keep themselves busy writing on.
 
It doesn’t even need to be cleaned up after they have soiled it. This wall has turned everyone back into kids on the street. Except that they don’t need the night to hide by. They can do it openly, with signatures added.
 
The walls impose themselves on everyone. They are part of the cause of the introversion that is becoming prevalent these days. An entire generation or more fools itself that it has an army of friends.
 
This virtual game is filled with temptations. People stop thinking of it as virtual: Look at the picture; Look what I did, or we did, today. There’s no longer any need to pay a visit to make sure. No need to waste time or effort making direct contact. No need to read facial expressions. You have to imagine what face someone makes when they read you, are impressed, and give you a “Like” – or when they attack someone or other… or when doing whatever else they might be doing with themselves as they make sarcastic comments.
You can now claim proud ownership of your own site, or at least a share in one. Paper, envelopes, and postmen and boxes can be dispensed with, along with carrier pigeons, telephones, and travellers bearing greetings to children and relatives. The rituals associated with visits and meetings have been made redundant. Longing has been reduced to a matter of moments, and you can take a friend out for coffee remotely. You can converse voicelessly, and yawn – and do whatever else you want – in private.
 
You can even imagine that there are tens of thousands of people staying up on the other side of the screen who are desperate to hear your opinion. You deliver them your killer sentence, step back, clear your throat, do whatever else you might be doing, and wait for the comments. And when morning dawns, you emerge exulting in the ferocity of the battle, and in your ability to achieve the maximum number of “Likes.”
 
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
 
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

AIPAC: Israel’s Agent Feeling Squeezed?



Franklin LambAl-Manar

Graphics by Alex
 

The American Israel public affairs committee (AIPAC) has seen headier days according to US congressional staffers forced to work regularly with the pro-Zionist agent of Israel. The grip of fear and the lock on Congress that the Israel first organization has long touted in its service to Israel may be weakening against a backdrop of American Jews rejecting the increasing rants of Prime Minister Netanyahu that are driving many Jews to distance themselves from him, from AIPAC, from other Arabphobic US Zionist organizations, and from Israel.








The old fashioned billboard on the side of the road, highway,
or railroad track is most arousing Zionist jitters these days.

 AIPAC tells some Congressional aids that fund raising is hurting and it can’t keep promises it made to certain candidates that it would arrange “indirect” funding for their current election campaigns. Netanyahu is increasing becoming the butt of jokes across the Israeli and American political spectrum. Several in his cabinet and the US Congress reportedly view him as an embarrassment. A perception likely added to by his recent General Assembly cartoon gimmick and his repeated Nazi style arm and hand gestures that were widely distributed by the main stream American media outlets especially Reuters, AP and even the Zionist Drudge Report.

In addition, there are signs that some members of congress and their staffs, who are heavily lobbied by AIPAC to donate, are beginning to chaff at heavy handed AIPAC fundraising tactics.

Perhaps reflecting financial pressures on its free spending policies including astronomical administration costs, on 9/24/12, Jonathan Missner, AIPAC’s Director of National Affairs and Development sent out more 500,000 emails in a desperate and thinly veiled bid to raise cash to defeat Obama.

Wrote Missner:


Dear Friend of Israel:

I am writing because we have not yet heard from you, and your support is greatly needed by September 30th.

As I’m sure you know, Israel and America are now facing serious threats throughout the Middle East. In recent months alone we have seen:

  • Protestors in multiple Arab countries storm U.S. embassies, burn American and Israeli flags, and chant “death to America, death to Israel,” amidst false reports that a video was created by an Israeli Jew and backed by 100 Jewish financiers.
  • Iran sent military personnel and large quantities of weapons across to Syria to aid the Assad regime’s violent crackdown.
  • A deadly terror attack along the Egypt-Israel border that killed 16 Egyptians and enabled terrorists to penetrate into Israel.
  • Leaders in Iran and its regional proxies increased their vitriol against Israel. The frequency and intensity of these recent statements has been troubling: “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (August 17th).
  • If you’re like most pro-Israel Americans, these events have made you more scared for Israel’s existence than you’ve likely felt in many years.
  • But as you watch these dangers continue to unfold, it is important to remember there is something you can do to help keep Israel safe.
  • You can join AIPAC, and help ensure that our leaders in Washington speak out clearly and unequivocally in support of Israel and that the aggressions shown toward our greatest ally Israel must immediately cease.
  • At this dangerous time, the number one strategic answer to the threats facing Israel is for America to express – in every possible way- an unwavering, unshakable commitment to Israel.
  • We must ensure that President Obama speaks out for Israel.
  • We must ensure that America stands by its full commitment to Israel’s security assistance for fiscal year 2013, which is vital for Israel to be able to defend herself.
  • And we must ensure that America continues to pledge 100% of its diplomatic support to Israel.
  • We must do all of this, so that we can send a strong and loud message that America stands by Israel and that any attacks on Israel’s security is an attack on America’s security.”




AIPAC appears to be failing in carrying orders from the Israeli Embassy in Washington “to defeat Obama, whatever is required.” The latest polls, including two commissioned by the American Jewish Committee and one from the Anti-Defamation League shows Obama likely avoiding the defeat on November 6th that Tel Aviv hoped his combative attitude toward Israel would produce. Obama currently leads Mitt Romney by a 69-20 percent margin among likely Jewish voters. If these polls hold, while they represent a marked decline from the 78 percent of the Jewish vote Obama got in 2008, they show Romney’s promise to put Israel “first no matter what “ is not resonating with American Jews. By now even garnering 25% of the Jewish vote this shows there is plenty of resistance to Romney on a variety of domestic social issues that increasingly among the American public matter more that Israel’s zany schemes. The poll projections may have been reflected at the UN last week when Netanyahu appeared to back off a bit from his pillorying of the Obama administration as being weak on terrorism.
Meanwhile, according to an Arab American Institute poll, 52 percent of all Arab-Americans say they plan to vote for Obama, compared to 28 percent who have declared their support for Romney. Broken down by religion, Arab American Muslims support Obama overwhelmingly (75% to 8%), while Orthodox/Protestants support Romney by a 16% margin. According to the poll, Arab American Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin (46% to 22%), continuing a steady migration away from the GOP toward the Democratic Party since 2002.
Congressional staffers report that the Obama White House is rejecting the tactics being employed behind its back to assert pressure for the “red lines” that Netanyahu’s has been pushing and is aware that AIPAC is actively working to defeat President Obama on November 6th.
Zionist Premier Benjamin Netanyahu drawing the red line for Iran at the UNGA in New YorkWhat is confusing much of the American Jewish community appears to be the same as what perplexes a growing segment of the non-Jewish American public. And that is Netanyahu’s nonsense over Iranian progress in having nuclear weapons and the history of this “the sky is falling-we must cry wolf!” canard.
It was back in April of 1984, that the British defense magazine Jane’s Defense Weekly got things started with its false claim that Iran was “engaged in the production of an atomic bomb, likely to be ready within two years.”
Jane’s became embarrassed since it could offer no proof to back its sensationalist claim and soon admitted that its speculation was based on a West German intelligence source which turned out to be an assistant engineer who visited the unfinished Bushehr nuclear reactor that year and became curious. Soon, a pillar of the US Zionist US Senator Alan Cranston’s lobby picked up on the report and declared that Iran would have nuclear weapons by 1991.
 
The next year, Benjamin Netanyahu, a onetime campaign volunteer for Cranston, now an Israeli parliamentarian, began a campaign to inform the World that Iran could develop nuclear weapons within “three to five years” and therefore must be stopped through “an international front headed by the US.”
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld joined the project and reported to Congress in 1998 that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear or a biological payload that could hit the US within five years. Secretary of State Colin Powell soon claimed in 2004 that if fact, Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile.
 
These allegations boldly came from Powell’s less than one year after his Iraqi weapons of mass destruction assertions were being proven to be false.
 
The current President of Israel Shimon Peres announced in 1992 that Iran would have nuclear weapons by 1999. As noted by Robert Fisk in the UK Independent, current Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in 1996 that Iran would have a nuclear arsenal by 2004.
For his part, Netanyahu reportedly got into an ugly argument with the American ambassador to Israel last month over the Obama administration’s unwillingness to take matters regarding Iran to a more aggressive level. The Israeli prime minister was, according to the New York Times, “at his wit’s end” because, he claimed, Iran was “only four to six weeks away from a nuclear bomb”. A few weeks later, Netanyahu backtracked and pushed the deadline “to six or seven months away.”
And round and round it goes.
Congressional sources insist that White House staff will not forget Netanyahu’s blatant attempts to humiliate and defeat their boss.
The American public, as well as the international community are exhibiting exhaustion over this incessant hysteria which was summed up recently by Professor Stephen M. Walt, writing in Foreign Policy.

“Those prophesying war with Iran are starting to sound like those wacky cult leaders who keep predicting the End of the World, and then keep moving the date when the world doesn’t end on schedule. At what point are we going to stop paying attention?”

One Congressional source emailed:

“Time will tell if next year’s AIPAC conference finds President Obama or any of his top aides on its program.”

 Franklin LambFranklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.com
Beirut Mobile: +961-70-497-804
Office: +961-01-352-127

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

 

Red Line To Israel and Jewish Power Now!


DateFriday, September 28, 2012 at 8:37AM AuthorGilad At

 

Once again, the democratically elected leader of the institutionally genocidal Israel is trying to push us all into a world war.
Time is ripe to draw a red line to the Jewish State and its powerful lobby.
It is time to dismantle the Jewish State by means of total isolation before it turns our planet into dust.

  

The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Who supports terror?


DateThursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:56AM AuthorGilad Atzmon

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Torah Jews meet President Ahmadinejad in NYC


DateSaturday, September 29, 2012 at 4:06PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

The Torah Jews are the only anti Zionist Jewish collective. They are just very few but their message is clear, coherent and consistent.

 

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‘Why Qatar wants to invade Syria’

By Pepe Escobar

Make no mistake; the Emir of Qatar is on a roll.

What an entrance at the UN General Assembly in New York; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for an Arab coalition of the willing-style invasion of Syria, no less. [1]

In the words of the Emir, “It is better for the Arab countries themselves to interfere out of their national, humanitarian, political and military duties, and to do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed in Syria.” He stressed Arab countries had a “military duty” to invade.

What he means by “Arab countries” is the petromonarchies of the Gulf Counter-Revolution Club (GCC), previously known as Gulf Cooperation Council – with implicit help from Turkey, with which the GCC has a wide-ranging strategic agreement. Every shisha house in the Middle East knows that Doha, Riyadh and Ankara have been weaponizing/financing/providing logistical help to the various strands of the armed Syrian opposition engaged in regime change.

The Emir even quoted a “similar precedent” for an invasion, when “Arab forces intervened in Lebanon” in the 1970s. By the way, during a great deal of the 1970s the Emir himself was engaged in more mundane interventions, such as letting his hair down alongside other Gulf royals in select Club Med destinations, as this photo attests (he’s the guy on the left).

‘The Emir, in Club Med camouflage!’

 So is the Emir now preaching an Arab version of the R2P (“responsibility to protect”) doctrine advanced by The Three Graces of Humanitarian Intervention (Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power)?

This is certainly bound to go down well in Washington – not to mention Ankara and even Paris, considering French president Francois Hollande has just called for UN protection of “liberated zones” in Syria.

As for the Emir’s Lebanon precedent, that’s not exactly uplifting, to say the least. The so-called Arab Deterrent Force of 20,000 soldiers that entered Lebanon to try to contain the civil war overstayed its welcome by no less than seven years, turned into a Syrian military occupation of northern Lebanon, left officially in 1982 and still the civil war kept raging.

Imagine a similar scenario in Syria – on steroids.

A ‘pretty influential guy’

As for the Emir’s humanitarian – not to mention democratic – ardor, it’s enlightening to check out what US President Barack Obama thinks about it. Obama – who defines the Emir as a “pretty influential guy” – seems to imply that even though “he himself is not reforming significantly” and “there’s no big move towards democracy in Qatar”, just because the emirate’s per capita income is humongous, a move towards democracy is not so pressing.
 
So let’s assume the Emir is not exactly interested in turning Syria into Scandinavia. That opens the way to an inevitable motive – connected to, what else, Pipelineistan.

Vijay Prashad, author of the recent Arab Spring, Libya Winter, is currently writing a series on the Syria Contact Group for Asia Times Online. He got a phone call from an energy expert urging him to investigate “the Qatari ambition to run its pipelines into Europe.” According to this source, “the proposed route would have run through Iraq and Turkey. The former transit country is posing to be a problem. So much easier to go north (Qatar has already promised Jordan free gas).”

Even before Prashad concludes his investigation, it’s clear what Qatar is aiming at; to kill the US$10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline, a deal that was clinched even as the Syria uprising was already underway. [2]

Here we see Qatar in direct competition with both Iran (as a producer) and Syria (as a destination), and to a lesser extent, Iraq (as a transit country). It’s useful to remember that Tehran and Baghdad are adamantly against regime change in Damascus.

The gas will come from the same geographical/geological base – South Pars, the largest gas field in the world, shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.

Qatar, on the other hand, would rather build its pipeline in a non-“Shi’ite crescent” way, with Jordan as a destination; exports would leave from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Gulf of Suez and then to the Mediterranean. That would be the ideal plan B as negotiations with Baghdad become increasingly complicated (plus the fact the route across Iraq and Turkey is much longer).

Washington – and arguably European customers – would be more than pleased with a crucial Pipelineistan gambit bypassing the Islamic Gas Pipeline.

And of course, if there’s regime change in Syria – helped by the Qatari-proposed invasion – things get much easier in Pipelineistan terms. A more than probable Muslim Brotherhood (MB) post-Assad regime would more than welcome a Qatari pipeline. And that would make an extension to Turkey much easier.

Ankara and Washington would win. Ankara because Turkey’s strategic aim is to become the top energy crossroads from the Middle East/Central Asia to Europe (and the Islamic Gas Pipeline bypasses it). Washington because its whole energy strategy in Southwest Asia since the Clinton administration has been to bypass, isolate and hurt Iran by all means necessary. [3]

That wobbly Hashemite throne

All this points to Jordan as an essential pawn in Qatar’s audacious geopolitical/energy power play. Jordan has been invited to be part of the GCC – even though it’s not exactly in the Persian Gulf (who cares? It’s a monarchy).

One of the pillars of Qatar’s foreign policy is unrestricted support for the MB – no matter the latitude. The MB has already conquered the presidency in Egypt. It is strong in Libya. It may become the dominant power if there’s regime change in Syria. That brings us to Qatar’s help to the MB in Jordan.
At the moment, Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy is wobbly – and that’s a transcendental understatement.

There’s a steady influx of Syrian refugees. Compound it with the Palestinian refugees that came in waves during the crucial phases of the Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Then add a solid contingent of Salafi-jihadis fighting Damascus. Only a few days ago one Abu Usseid was arrested. His uncle was none other than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the infamous former head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, killed in 2006. Usseid was about to cross the desert from Jordan to Syria.

Amman has been mired in protests since January 2011 – even before the spread of the Arab Spring. King Abdullah, also known as King Playstation, and photogenic Washington/Hollywood darling Queen Rania, have not been spared.

The MB in Jordan is not the only player in the protest wave; unions and social movements are also active. Most protesters are Jordanians – who historically have been in control of all levels of state bureaucracy. But then neo-liberalism reduced them to road kill; Jordan went through a savage privatization drive during the 1990s. The impoverished kingdom now depends on the IMF and extra handouts from the US, the GCC and even the EU.

Parliament is a joke – dominated by tribal affiliation and devotion to the monarchy. Reforms are not even cosmetic. A prime minister was changed in April and most people didn’t even noticed it. In an Arab world classic, the regime fights demands for change by increasing repression.

Into this quagmire steps Qatar. Doha wants King Playstation to embrace Hamas. It was Qatar that promoted the meeting in January between the King and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal – who had been expelled from Jordan in 1999. That left indigenous Jordanians wondering whether the kingdom would be swamped by yet another wave of Palestinian refugees.

Arab media – most of it controlled by the House of Saud – has been drowning in stories and editorials predicting that after the MB ascends to power in Damascus, Amman will be next. Qatar, though, is binding its time. The MB wants Jordan to become a constitutional monarchy; then they will take over politically after an electoral reform that King Abdullah has been fighting against for years.
Now the MB can even count on the support of Bedouin tribes, whose traditional allegiance to the Hashemite throne has never been wobblier. The regime has ignored protests at its own peril. The MB has called for a mass demonstration against the King on October 10. The Hashemite throne is going down, sooner rather than later.
It’s unclear how Obama would react – apart from praying that nothing substantial happens before November 6. As for the Emir of Qatar, he has all the time in the world. So many regimes to fall – and become Muslim Brothers; so many pipelines to build.

Notes:
1. Qatar’s emir calls for Arab-led intervention in Syria, The National, Sep 26, 2012.
2. Syria’s Pipelineistan war, Al Jazeera, Aug 6, 2012.
3. Qatar: Rich and Dangerous, Oilprice.com, Sep 17, 2012.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com

(Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.) 

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