Monday, August 30, 2010

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: New Write-up on Family Official Site

Since Today (30 August 2010) has been marked as the International Day of the Disappeared - looks like the perfect day to post this new item on Dr. Aafia (since as you can see below one of her three children are still missing - the youngest. See more on this day of commeration in Comments below post...

Circumstances Surrounding the Case:

Briefly, here are some of the basic circumstances of Dr. Aafia’s case:

* In March 2003, Dr. Aafia and her three children, Ahmad (boy), six years old and an American citizen, Maryum (girl), four years old and also an American citizen, and Suleman (boy), six months old, kidnapped by unknown authorities in Karachi, Pakistan.
* On March 31, 2003 it was reported by the Pakistani media that Dr. Aafia had been arrested and turned over to representatives of the United States. In early April, this was confirmed on NBC Nightly News, among other media outlets.
* There was communication to the mother of Dr. Aafia from purported “agencies” that the family members should be quiet if they want to see Aafia returned alive.
* By the year 2008, many believed that after five years of being disappeared Dr. Aafia and her three children were most likely dead.
* Then, in July of 2008, the same month Dr. Aafia “appeared” in Ghazni, two events occurred:

1. British human-rights reporter, Yvonne Ridley and former Bagram detainee and British citizen, Moazem Begg, publicly spoke about a woman in Bagram screaming, a woman whom they named the “Grey Lady of Bagram”
2. A petition for habeas corpus was filed with the Pakistan High Court in Islamabad requesting that the court order the Pakistani government to free Dr. Aafia or to even admit that they were then detaining her.

What Supporters and Family Believe?:

This is what the family and many other supporters in the US and in Pakistan believe:

* That Dr. Aafia was (and is) an innocent person who was abducted for money or based on false allegations or false conclusions derived from an unknown source.
* That, unfortunately, all evidence required for her defense and establishing legal proof of her detention would require full cooperation by the U.S. and Pakistani governments, and intelligence agencies, a cooperation that seems impossible.
* That documents incriminating Dr. Aafia are either false documents or produced under torture or threat of harm to her children.
* That the Afghan police were looking for Dr. Aafia and her son based on a description given by an anonymous tip on the day she was detained in Ghazni.
* That had Dr. Aafia and her son been shot on sight on suspicion of being suicide bombers, this would have led to a convenient closure of the case of Aafia Siddiqui at a time when a petition for habeas corpus was pending in the High Court of Pakistan in Islamabad. Note that this court had been asked to order then-President Musharraf and the Pakistani government (which would include anyone working with them) to release her or to reveal her whereabouts.
* That Dr. Aafia, who spoke no local language in Ghazni, was dressed so conspicuously in a manner to be easily identified and shot on sight as a (falsely-accused) suicide bomber as a part of someone else’s plan.
* The forensic and scientific evidence presented during the trial in New York proved that Dr. Aafia could not have committed the crimes for which she was charged, still the jury disregarded the evidence and chose to agree with the prosecution due to fear and prejudice.

What Dr. Aafia’s detractors want?:

* We are asked to believe that Dr. Aafia, a respectable Pakistani woman in all ways, is now the first and only female terrorist from Pakistan; was voluntarily hiding under cover with three children acting as a terror field operative while at the same time leaving her family to believe for five years that she and her three children were dead.
* We are asked to believe that Dr. Aafia arranged this just after her father died, after finding out her marriage was disintegrating, and after leaving her widowed mother alone in Pakistan. It is absolutely not plausible and does not even fit the traditional profile by law enforcement of female or male terrorists from that part of the world.

Current Situation:

* In February, 2010, Dr. Aafia was tried and convicted in a US Federal court on charges of attempted murder and assaulting US servicemen in Ghazni, Afghanistan. The official charges against Dr. Aafia were that she assaulted U.S. soldiers in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with one of the servicemen’s own rifles, while she was in their custody, waiting to be interrogated by them. No US personnel were hurt but Dr. Aafia was shot and suffered serious injuries including brain damage. Dr Aafia categorically denies these charges.
* There were NO terrorism charges against Dr. Aafia.
* According to several legal observers, the trial of Dr. Aafia was littered with many inconsistencies and defects, chief among them being many rulings by the judge that strongly favored the prosecution and prejudiced the case against the defense. These ranged from allowing much hearsay evidence and jury instructions that favored the prosecution. In addition, Dr. Aafia was not represented by lawyers of her choosing and faced constant innuendos of terrorism when she was not charged with any such offense.
* As a result of Judge Richard Berman’s framing of the case in a negative light, Dr Aafia was convicted despite ALL physical and forensic evidence that showed that she could not have committed the acts she was charged with.
* Dr. Aafia remains imprisoned, now at the notorious Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York where she is kept in solitary confinement in the Special housing unit (SHU) which is the most severe confinement category. She is not allowed communication with anyone she trusts, including family members.
* She is expected to be sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years on September 23, 2010.

Dr. Aafia’s Children:

* Dr. Aafia’s oldest son, Ahmed, who is a U.S. citizen by birth, was found in Ghazni, Afghanistan after thinking he was an orphan and, in late 2008, was reunited with Dr. Aafia’s sister in Karachi, Pakistan.
* Dr. Aafia’s daughter, Maryum, also a US citizen by birth, was mysteriously “dropped off” in April 2010 near her aunt’s house in Karachi after being missing for 7 years. She was traumatized and spoke only American accented English.
* Dr. Aafia’s youngest child, Suleman, a boy who would now be about seven years old, remains missing; and is feared dead.

What Supporters and Family Seek?

* Dr. Aafia, an MIT and Brandeis laureate, is now a broken and mere shell of her former self. Under these circumstances, family and supporters are asking the U.S. government to repatriate Dr. Aafia back to her home in Pakistan.
* The Pakistani government has formally made this request as this matter has become a major public issue and has support across Pakistani political and social spectrums. Supporters and people of conscience should press government officials to get Dr. Aafia reunited with her family as soon as possible.
* An independent, open (with full public access and disclosure) and serious investigation should be undertaken into what happened to Dr. Aafia over the missing years and the whereabouts of her remaining child, so that this does not happen to other innocents.
* Dr Aafia’s family and supporters still have hope in fair minded peoples committed to mercy and justice to raise their voices. Justice for the past, for all Dr. Aafia has suffered, is hard to imagine.
* All that is asked for the future is for some measure of correction. If Dr. Aafia is repatriated, perhaps she can pick up some fragments of life with her family.


We ask people to look into this case themselves, and to do so with an open mind. There is a lot of information out there on the Internet, and in the media. Many of the stories demonize Aafia, while some raise her to sainthood. Aafia is neither demon nor saint. Aafia is simply an ordinary mother, daughter and sister trapped in an extraordinary nightmare.


Find much more on here and in Comments below

Women who may trump Bibi

Bibi Controls The Summit; Can He Control Israeli Women Smugglers?
By James Wall - Wallwritings

'Abdallah Abu Rahma with the Elders' including Desmond Tutu (See article Why Israel Criminalizes Nonviolence at end of this post)photo from The Jerusalem Fund's latest mailing.

Israeli Beach (description below)

The latest round of peace talks between Israeli and Palestine leaders begins Wednesday night with a White House dinner. President Obama will be the host, but Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will be in control.

In addition to Obama and Netanyahu, also at the dinner and the peace summit that follows will be Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Jordan’s King Abdullah III. three important Arab allies in the US Middle East empire.

In preparation for the summit meeting, which will not include Hamas, the White House arranged an off the record conference call during which White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross (pictured below) assured American Jewish leaders, “the White House will pressure the Israelis and Palestinians to sign off on a peace agreement within a year.”

Furthermore, Ross said, Obama is prepared to “wade shoulders deep into the conflict” — starting with this week’s summit and followed by a visit to the Middle East sometime in the next year. And that’s not all:

Once the framework of a deal is worked out, further details will be added over the years after regular meetings that Obama wants between Netanyahu and Abbas. The plan is to be fully implemented within 10 years

To hammer out the deal, Israeli and Palestinian peace teams would meet in secret locations for the next year. The deal would focus on settlements, the future of Jerusalem and the borders

The Mondoweiss site found the news of the Ross briefing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The article, which was in Hebrew, was translated by Didi Remez on his blog Coteret.

The Jewish newspaper Forward reported on the “off the record” call:

The Jewish leaders pressed for details: Is there a deadline? Will there be preconditions? In response, according to people on the call, they got little more than the vague back-and-forth that had characterized the announcement of the talks earlier in the day by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

How often would the lead parties to the talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meet, one participant asked – and how often would the teams meet?

“Periodically,” Dennis Ross, Obama’s top Iran policy official said, referring to the leaders. “Regularly,” he said of the negotiating teams. (photo of Dennis Ross)
Dan Shapiro, the top National Security Council staffer handling Israel and its neighbors, broke in to add that the talks would be “intensive.”

Ross is back in his familiar role as Israel’s most powerful friend in the White House. He is currently Obama’s s top National Security Council Middle East strategist.

Palestinian activist and author Daoud Kuttab, writing for Huffington Post in January, 2009, when Ross was appointed as a key aide to Obama, recalls that after the failure of the Clinton-Arafat summit in 2000, in which Ross played a major role:

It was Ross who led the chorus of Israeli apologists placing all the blame for the failure of the talks on the Palestinian leader. Ironically, Ross, himself, was the person who convinced Arafat to go to Camp David after solemnly promising him that neither side will be publicly blamed if the talks fail.

Palestinian president Arafat had told Ross that the time was not ripe for a summit but Ross, in connivance with [Israeli Prime Minister] Barack, attempted to railroad a bad deal down Arafat’s throat. Arafat, who felt that the deal was very bad for Palestinians, asked his US hosts if they can get the support of Arab leaders, they were unable to.

Andrew Sullivan, in his Atlantic blog, March 28, 2010, commented on an earlier Laura Rozen Politico article:

No big surprise in Laura Rozen’s new piece that Dennis Ross, a central figure in the pro-Israel lobby, a protege of Paul Wolfwitz, the co-founder of the AIPAC-founded, Washington Institute For Near East Policy, and a fervent believer in Israel’s eternal control of all of Jerusalem (meaning a two-state solution will never happen), is the main pro-Netanyahu voice in the Obama administration

Ross was in Tel Aviv this past week ‘to resolve the settlement freeze triangle,’” an Israeli source told Politico, a reference to whether or not Israel would agree to extend a freeze on Israeli settlement building currently due to expire Sept. 26.

Ross met with Netanyahu and his Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho. He did not meet with any Palestinian officials.

That second-level meeting was left to David Hale, the deputy to the Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell and the NSC’s Dan Shapiro. The State Department told Politico that Hale and Shapiro met with both Israeli and Palestinian officials to prepare for the direct talks in Washington. The State Department had no comment on Ross.

With all pretense now dropped that the US is an “honest broker” for the Palestinians and Israelis, a claim that President Clinton used to drag Arafat to the failed Camp David talks in 2000, what should we expect from the 2010 round of Washington peace talks?

That is an easy one. We may expect that the outcome of Washington 2010, will be what Bibi wants and has agreed to in advance.

We must therefore look elsewhere for any indication that Netanyahu will use his control of the talks to do any favors for Abbas.

Netanyahu has less control over his own public than he does over the White House and Israel’s supporters in the US. And the Israeli leader may now be thinking of his legacy. Does he want to be just another Israeli power figure, or can he bring some semblance of peace to the region before he retires?

Aluf Benn posed that question in a provocative column he wrote for Ha’aretz:

The opening of the direct talks with the Palestinians again raises the question: Who is Benjamin Netanyahu?

Is he our Gorbachev, a great reformer who will end Israeli rule in the territories? A “Nixon who went to China” – a right-winger who disavowed his former approach and changed the balance of power with a brilliant diplomatic stroke?

Or is he the “old Bibi” depicted by his rivals, the illusionist who is afraid of daddy Benzion and wife Sara, the uptight leader who flinches from making decisions and passes time by dribbling the ball?

Netanyahu might choose to pay attention to that small but vocal segment of Israeli citizens who know the Occupation is wrong and dangerous to Israel’s future. These peace activists and humanitarians in Israel are largely ignored in the US Main Stream Media, but they are able to attract attention in the rest of the world with bold actions that highlight Palestinian suffering.

People like the Israeli women described by Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook:

Nearly 600 Israelis have signed up for a campaign of civil disobedience, vowing to risk jail to smuggle Palestinian women and children into Israel for a brief taste of life outside the occupied West Bank

The Israelis say they have been inspired by the example of Ilana Hammerman, a writer who is threatened with prosecution after publishing an article in which she admitted breaking the law to bring three Palestinian teenagers into Israel for a day out.

Ms Hammerman said she wanted to give the young women, who had never left the West Bank, “some fun” and a chance to see the Mediterranean for the first time.

Her story has shocked many Israelis and led to a police investigation after right-wing groups called for her to be tried for security offenses

It is illegal to transport Palestinians through checkpoints into Israel without a permit, which few can obtain. If tried and found guilty, Ms Hammerman could be fined and face up to two years in jail.

But Israelis joining the campaign say they will not be put off by threats of imprisonment.

Last month, a group of 11 Israeli women joined Ms Hammerman in repeating her act of civil disobedience, driving a dozen Palestinian women and four children, including a baby, through a checkpoint into Israel.

The Israeli women say they are planning mass “smugglings” of Palestinians into Israel over the coming weeks.

These women have broken free from the historic Jewish sense of persecution which Uri Avnery describes in his most recent Gush Shalom column.

As the jolly song of the 70s goes: “The whole world is against us / That’s not so terrible, we shall overcome. / For we, too, don’t give a damn / For them. // … We have learned this song / From our forefathers / And we shall also sing it / To our sons. / And the grandchildren of our grandchildren will sing it / Here, in the Land of Israel, / And everybody who is against us / Can go to hell.”

The writer of this song, Yoram Taharlev (“pure of heart”) has succeeded in expressing a basic Jewish belief, crystallized during the centuries of persecution in Christian Europe which reached its climax in the Holocaust. Every Jewish child learns in school that when six million Jews were murdered, the entire world looked on and didn’t lift a finger to save them.

This is not quite true. Many tens of thousands of non-Jews risked their lives and the lives of their families in order to save Jews – in Poland, Denmark, France, Holland and other countries, even in Germany itself. We all know about people who were saved this way – like former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who as a child was smuggled out of the ghetto by a Polish farmer, and Minister Yossi Peled, who was hidden for years by a Catholic Belgian family.

These Israeli women smugglers think for themselves. They do not allow their tribal history to dictate to them those things which are “not quite true.”

These are women who are willing to risk Israeli prison sentences to show the world the moral side of their nation by introducing Palestinian women and children to the beaches of Israel (see above), beaches that are close, in meters, to the West Bank, and yet so far from their Palestinian prison of Occupation.

The Washington peace summit will not bring Netanyahu to his senses. He is only attending to make a few cosmetic compromises to burnish his image as a “peace maker”.

To force Bibi to face the reality of Israel’s future, we must rely heavily on women like the 600 Israeli smugglers.

The resort picture above was taken at a Hof Dor beach on Israel’s Mediterranean coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv. I have no idea if this is a beach to which the women smugglers will take their guests. And even if I did know, I would not tell you. You can find other beaches like the one at Hof Dor on the internet. They are important to the Israeli tourist business.

This post is from 'Wallwritings' See and Subscribe here
OF course there is a crying need for dialogue - and there are many more besides the Israeli Women Activists seeking to increase the likelihood of conversation. Look at the artists worldwide. From Art as Resistance here

Wallwriting above referred to this latest - Red And Green -By Uri Avnery (look up his amazing history ASAP) GO here Uri says, If people of goodwill want to speed up the end of the occupation, they must support the peace activists in Israel. They should build a close connection with them, break the conspiracy of silence against them in the world media and publicize their courageous actions, organize more and more international events in which Palestinian and Israeli peace activists will be present side by side


Abdallah Abu Rahmah from The Jerusalem Fund Cache

Various on The Wall, Israeli War Crims & related from Australia GO here and here and Gush Shalom here

And last but not least, keep watching (and get on several free emailing list for) Bitter Lemons dot org and see often for a brave and usually quite academic attempt to dialogue from VARIOUS perspectives with courtesy - GO here Weekly e-zine of editorials representing Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on current events and developments relating to the occupied territories.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shocking Yale U Conference

Frame from a Yale video titled: "The New Interdisciplinary Field of Hate Studies and Its Relevance to Understanding and Combating Antisemitism"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yale University's Pro-Israeli, Anti-Islamic Conference - by Stephen Lendman

On August 25, Yale University ended a three day global anti-Semitism "crisis" conference promoting the notion that Israeli criticism is "anti-Semitic," no matter how justified.

Boola boola, for shame, mighty Yale displaying the same type anti-Islamic hatred virulent throughout America, raging daily in headlines over the proposed New York City Islamic cultural center, falsely called a mosque, but does it matter?

What matters is racism, hate-mongering, and persecuting Muslims for political advantage - on display at Yale for a three day propaganda hate fest. Imagine what's taught in its classrooms.

The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA)

Calling itself "dedicated to the scholarly research of the origins and manifestations associated with antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, including racisms, as it relates to policy," YIISA presented its "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity" at a time the supposed "crisis" is more rhetoric than reality. Yet its mission statement states:

"Anti-Judaism (or) Antisemitism is one of the most complex and, at times, perplexing forms of hatred, (emerging) in numerous ideological(ly) based narratives and the constructed identities of belonging and otherness such as race and ethnicity, nationalisms, and anti-nationalisms." In modern globalized times, "it appears that Antisemitism has taken on new complex and changing forms that need to be decoded, mapped and critiqued."

What's needed is debunking the relationship between legitimate Israeli criticism and anti-Semitism and notion of a serious anti-Jewish crisis when none, in fact, exists.

Last October 29, Reuters reported that:

"Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found," based on September 26 - October 4 polling with a plus or minus 2.8% margin of error.

ADL said its level matched 1998's as the lowest in the poll's 45-year history. Yet in his 2003 book, "Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism," national director, Abraham Foxman, said he's:

"convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s - if not a greater one," contradicted by Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar (in the January 2004 Chronicles), saying that public opinion polls "indicate (racial and religious forms of) anti-Semitism (have) been in steep decline in most of Western Europe." The same holds for America, putting a lie to Yale's "crisis" and need for a conference to hawk it.

Badly needed are efforts to expose and denounce anti-Islamic rhetoric, actions and persecutions of people for their religion and/or ethnicity, but don't expect Yale to hold it or discuss it in classrooms.

YIISA stacked its conference with pro-Israeli zealots, omitting voices for sanity and the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation in their own land or in one state affording everyone equal rights, an apparent blasphemous notion at Yale and many other US and Canadian campuses, firing even distinguished tenured professors for supporting the wrong religion or people too vigorously.

Opening conference remarks were made by YIISA Director, Dr. Charles Small, Yale's Deputy Provost, Frances Rosenbluth, Rabbi James Ponet, director of Yale's Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, and Aviva Raz Schechter, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Combatting Antisemitism.

They all, of course, presented one-sided, pro-Israeli views, underscoring the notion that Israeli criticism is anti-Semetic, when, in fact, it's principled, honest and more needed now than ever to expose and halt an Israeli/Washington partnership to conquer, divide and control the Middle East by force, stealth, deceit, intimidation, occupation, and political chicanery, common tools used by rogues and imperial marauders.

Hebrew University Professor Menahem Milson was the first of several keynote speakers. He's also Chairman of the extremist Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), whose board and advisors include a rogue's gallery of pro-Israeli right-wing zealots, including:

-- Oliver "Buck" Revell, former FBI Executive Assistant Director in charge of criminal investigative, counterterrorism and counterintelligence;

-- Elliot Abrams, former Reagan and Bush administration official and convicted Iran-Contra felon, later pardoned by GHW Bush; and

-- Steve Emerson, a notorious anti-Islamic bigot, well-known for using unscrupulous tactics to accuse innocent Muslims of terrorism and instill "Islamofascist" fear over the public airwaves.

Its board of advisors includes:

-- Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and current Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister;

-- Bernard Lewis, Princeton Professor Emeritus of near eastern studies, known for his anti-Islamic views;

-- James Woolsey, neocon former CIA director;

-- John Bolton, former neocon war hawk Bush administration UN ambassador, recess-appointed because Congress was too embarrassed to do it;

-- Rabid Zionist Elie Wiesel, a man Professor Norman Finkelstein calls "vain, arrogant, gullible, naive about international affairs, (and defender of) the worst excesses of previous Israeli governments;"

-- John Ashcroft, former Bush administration Attorney General, the man who indicted Lynne Stewart, famed human rights lawyer now imprisoned on bogus charges for doing her job honorably, what Ashcroft never did;

-- Michael Mukasey, another Bush administration Attorney General, as bad as Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales; and

-- many other disreputable members, known for their pro-Israeli bias, including Richard Holbrooke, a proponent of imperial wars, who stepped down temporarily to become Obama administration Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Other YIISA presenters included (among others):

-- Itamar Marcus, a West Bank settler movement leader, connected to the New York-based Central Fund of Israel, raising money for it in America out of a Sixth Avenue/36th Street fabric store near Times Square;

-- Canadian politician Irwin Cotler, who attacked the Goldstone Commission report viciously and unfairly;

-- Harvard Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature Rush Wisse, a pro-Israeli zealot this writer once had the displeasure of debating briefly by email;

-- Barak Seener, Greater Middle East Section Director for the UK-based Henry Jackson Society, who believes Israeli Arabs are a fifth column threat to the state;

-- Anne Bayesfsky, right-wing pro-Israeli supporter, senior fellow at the neocon Hudson Institute, associated with UN Watch devoted to attacking anti-Israeli criticism, and member of the Israel-based Ariel Center for Policy Research, a Likud Party-affiliated group supporting hardline writers in the Middle East, North America and Europe;

-- Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose leaders and advisors include Newt Gingrich, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, James Woolsey, the senator from AIPAC, Joe Lieberman, neocon writer Charles Krauthammer, former Reagan assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Reagan's UN ambassador, among others;

-- Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor's legal advisor, a notorious pro-Israeli group; and

-- Samuel Edelman, board of director member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, another Israeli advocacy organization.

Noticeably absent were notable figures from the Palestinian community as well as US truth and justice scholars and analysts who base their views on facts YIISA wants suppressed. There was no James Petras, Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi, Phyllis Bennis, Uri Avnery, Neve Gordon, Nurit Peled-Elhannan, Ramzy Baroud, or any of the thousands of equal justice advocates listed on a so-called "Shit List," including this writer given three unsympathetic paragraphs.

Instead, numerous speakers discussed provocative topics, including:

-- Radical Islam and Genocidal anti-Semitism;

-- Christianity and anti-Semitism;

-- The Islamization of Anti-Semitism;

-- The Internet and the Proliferation of Anti-Semitism;

-- Law, Modernity, and Anti-Semitism;

-- the Central Role of Palestinian Anti-Semitism in Creating the Palestinian Identity;

-- Islamism and the Construction of Jewish Identity;

-- Global Anti-Semitism and the Crisis of Modernity;

--Genocidal Anti-Semitism: Ahmadinejad's Regime as a Case Study;

-- Contemporary Anti-Semitism and the Delegitimization of Israel;

-- Discourse of Contemporary Anti-Semitism;

-- Confronting and Combating Contemporary Anti-Semitism in the Academy;

-- Anti-Semitism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust;

-- Lawfare, Human Rights Organizations and the Demonization of Israel;

-- The Islamist Islamization of Anti-Semitism;

-- the Iranian Threat;

-- Social Theory and Contemporary Anti-Semitism

-- Discourses of Anti-Semitism in Relation to the Middle East;

-- the Media and the Dissemination of Hatred;

-- Global Anti-Semitism;

-- An Uncertain Sisterhood: Women and Anti-Semitism;

-- Hannah Arendt and Anti-Semitism: A Critical Appraisal;

-- Approaches to Anti-Semitism;

-- Models for Combating Anti-Semitism: The Case of the United Kingdom;

-- Understanding the Impact of German Anti-Semitism and Nazism;

-- 400 Years of Anti-Semitism: From the Holy Office to the Nuremberg Laws;

-- Embracing the Nation: Anti-Semitism and Modernity

-- Anti-Semitism and the United States;

-- Variations of European Anti-Semitism;

-- Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Europe;

-- Self-Hatred and Contemporary Anti-Semitism;

-- Discussions in the Study of Anti-Semitism; and

-- YIISA Director Small's concluding remarks.

Final Comments

On August 25, Mondoweiss co-founder Philip Weiss discussed the conference, quoting Charlotte Kates (writer, organizer, and National Lawyers Guild Middle East Subcommittee Co-Chair) saying:

the people invited "who attack Palestinian scholars' academic freedom find conferences such as this to be perfectly acceptable and legitimate."

Weiss added that it's not "possible to understand this conference without understanding the prominence of Zionist donors in prestige institutional life." He also quoted journalist/author Ben White, specializing in Israeli/Palestine issues, saying:

"What is the role of Yale/academia in this kind of exercise?" It's particularly galling and hypocritical that "fighting anti-Semitism - an anti-racist struggle - is being openly appropriated by far-right Zionist groupings, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lobbyists like the NGO Monitor, and Orientalist 'Arab/anti-terror experts."

It's especially disturbing that Yale lent its name to a three day hate fest, supporting:

-- wrong over right;

-- state terrorism over human rights and equal justice;

-- colonizers over the colonized;

-- what Edward Said called "the familiar (America, the West, us over) the strange (the Orient, East, them);" and

-- Jewish "exceptionalism" over a "lesser malevolent" Islam.

Shamefully, presentations excluded discussions about:

Islam's common roots with Judaism and Christianity, its tenets based on:

-- love, not hate;

-- peace, not violence;

-- good over evil;

-- charity, not exploitation; and

-- a just and fair society for people of all faiths.

Also not addressed was the right of Palestinians to live freely like Jews. Yale apparently disagrees, why students against hate and bigotry should enroll elsewhere to be taught truths excluded from Yale's curriculum.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at here and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


posted by Steve Lendman @ 2:48 AM

Also not unrelated and just in:

here Dr Jack Shaheen: "More leadership needed on Park 51 conversation."


Excuse the long post but so shocking decided important to leave intact and here are a few more references in case hard to find later:

Salem-News dot com

URUKNET dot info

The Yale Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism - Home Page

The Yale Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism - Videos
Video Archive.

War Is A Crime .org | formerly AfterDowningStreet
Aug 29, 2010 ... The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA). Stephen Lendman's blog · See Comments

Jerusalem Post dot com
Yale expands YIISA center. By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL 06/30/2010 02:07 head of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA)

Inter-Religious Group: Toxic impact 35 years after war's end

Aug. 29

Group assesses Agent Orange's impact 35 years after Vietnam War's end

A group of 10 inter-religious figures who visited Vietnam in late spring
said the toxic, corrosive effects of Agent Orange still jeopardize the
Vietnamese people 35 years after the war's end.

Traveling as the Agent Orange in Vietnam Information Initiative, the group
said money is still needed to clean up "hot spots" in Vietnam where
dioxin, the key ingredient in Agent Orange, persists in concentrations
hundreds of times what is thought to be the safe maximum. In Da Nang, site
of a U.S. airbase during the war, "the stench (from Agent Orange) was
burning to our nostrils," said the Rev. Carroll Baltimore, president of
the Progressive National Baptist Convention. "We had to purchase throwaway
shoes to protect us from being contaminated," he added, calling the
situation "overwhelming." Loretto Sister Maureen Fiedler, during an Aug.
26 conference call with reporters, recalled having seen dozens of children
whose disabilities were thought to be caused by Agent Orange, as dioxin is
believed to affect the genes of those who have ingested it. "Dozens and
dozens of them (children with disabilities). They were severely disabled.
While no one can specifically connect Agent Orange with a specific
disability, there is a correlation," said Sister Fiedler, host of the
syndicated "Interfaith Voices" radio show. Agent Orange was used by U.S.
forces in Vietnam between 1965 and 1970. A chemical defoliant, it was
sprayed from planes to eliminate ground cover for North Vietnamese
soldiers and to reduce reliance on subsistence crops.

(source: Catholic News Service))

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Katrina HERO was Wrongly Labeled Terrorist & Imprisoned

Go to this site just below to use buttons...

= = =TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:* EXCLUSIVE...Zeitoun: How a Hero in New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina Was Arrested, Labeled a Terrorist and Imprisoned *Today, a personal story of a national tragedy. Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born New Orleans building contractor, stayed in the city while his wife and children left to Baton Rouge. He paddled the flooded streets in his canoe and helped rescue many of his stranded neighbors. Days later, armed police and National Guardsmen arrested him and accused him of being a terrorist. He was held for nearly a month, most of which he was not allowed to call his wife, Kathy. Today, in a rare broadcast interview, Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun join us to tell their story, along with the man who chronicles it in the book Zeitoun,

Be sure to see Post just below for Concerns on US/Yemen Human Rights Abuses showing that not only is there Muslim profiling in the US but we use the same for interests beyond all humanity elsewhere.

Yemen Activists & CCR: H Rights Event September 2, 2010 7 PM

NOTE: recently in passing on Early Morning Edition, mentioned that the US planned to proceed with their intent to use drones in Yemen and to see Yemen's support. There are other issues which raise red flags. Try to go to this seminar if at all possible...

From: Annette Warren Dickerson
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 17:38:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sept. 2 (7pm): Yemeni Activists & CCR Attorney Address Human
Rights Violations & "War on Terror"

Dear CCR supporter,

On September 2, 2010, at 7 pm, please join us at the Brecht Forum in
New York City for *Confronting State Violence, Targeted Killing, and
Human Rights Abuse in the U.S.-Yemen partnership to fight the "War on
Terror," a public discussion featuring renowned Yemeni activists and a
CCR human rights attorney*. (The Brecht Forum is located on 451 West
Street between Bank and Bethune Streets. For directions, please GO here - Forward as:

The U.S. government describes Yemen as "an important partner in the
global war on terrorism" while at the same time characterizing it as
an Al-Qaida stronghold. The Yemeni government has taken advantage of
the U.S. partnership and increasing military aid to justify its
domestic "anti-terror campaigns" which have resulted in egregious
human rights violations, including mass arrests, illegal abductions,
enforced disappearances, torture, and killings. The victims of this
violence are not only alleged militants and their families, but Yemeni
dissidents and journalists critical of their government. The "war on
terror" has served as a cover for the Yemeni state to increase
repression and militarization in response to its own internal
political crises -- all with the tacit approval of the international

Visiting Yemeni human rights activists will discuss what they are
doing to resist this mounting repression and to create a meaningfully
democratic and peaceful future. Learn about the political climate in
Yemen, and together think through what ethical solidarity with Yemeni
people might look like. Also hear from a CCR lawyer who is trying to
stop a "targeted killing" by the United States in Yemen and who
represents men detained at Guantánamo -- where Yemeni men constitute
the largest group of remaining prisoners, all declared by the Obama
administration to be indefinitely detainable without charge based
solely on their nationality.

Developing an understanding of this political reality is crucial to
ending the U.S. government's complicity in more human rights abuses,
and to stopping the creation of a boundless war without end that
threatens our collective safety.


Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of the Education and Outreach Department

"List of Panelists:"
* *Tawakkol Karman* is chairwoman of the Yemeni non-government
organization Women Journalists Without Chains [ ], which campaigns for
freedom of the press in Yemen and against human rights violations. She
is a very prominent young activist, and Reporters Without Borders
chose her in 2009 as one of the top seven women who have led change in
the world. Karman is among the activists who in 2007 launched the
"Phase of Protests and Sit-ins" in Yemen, holding regular sit-ins in
the capital's Freedom Square to demand democratic reforms and an end
to human rights violations -- including the harassment and
imprisonment of journalists and dissidents, closure of critical
newspapers, and censorship of news articles. She is one of only 13
women on the legislative Shura Council of the Yemeni Congregation for
Reform (Islah), the leading opposition party. Her outspoken
condemnation of the government's human rights abuses has inspired
scores of other women activists to similarly resist injustice. Karman
has helped write numerous reports on freedom of expression,
corruption, extremism, and violent repression of dissidents in Yemen,
and has called for political reform and dialogue.
* *Ezz-Adeen Saeed Ahmed Al-Asbahi* is the president of Human Rights
Information & Training Center (HRITC), a non-governmental organization
which seeks to enhance human rights in Yemen and the Arab World,
focusing on the Gulf States in particular. HRITC has consultative
status with the United Nations, offers training courses and forums on
human rights, publishes a quarterly human rights magazine called "Our
Rights", and has published 30 books on law and human rights. Al-Asbahi
is also the coordinator of a large regional network of human rights
activists in the Gulf States and the Peninsula, and the president of a
Yemeni network of human rights organizations which includes six Yemeni
NGOs. A journalist and researcher, he has published eight books on
literature and human rights. He is also the head of the civil society
sector of the Supreme National Authority to Combat Corruption.
* *Pardiss Kebriaei *is a staff attorney at the Center for
Constitutional Rights [ ] (CCR) in New York
City. She joined the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at CCR in
July 2007, and provides direct representation to several of CCR's
clients at Guantánamo. She is also working on a lawsuit to challenge a
U.S. government kill-list and the targeting of a U.S. citizen now in
Yemen and far from any armed conflict with the United States.
* *Leili Kashani* (moderator and discussant): is the Education and
Outreach Associate for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the
Center for Constitutional Rights [ ] (CCR)
in New York City. She advocates for a just closure of the prison at
Guantánamo, resettlement for the men still detained, and against
illegal detentions more broadly. She has written about and advocated
against the Obama administration's policy of indefinitely detaining
all the Yemeni men who remain in Guantánamo.

*This event is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human
Rights (FIDH) and the Brecht Forum.


An Exciting New Muslim Country To Attack

By Glenn Greenwald

There is anti-Americanism and radicalism in Yemen; therefore, to solve that problem, we're going to bomb them more with flying killer robots, because nothing helps reduce anti-American sentiments like slaughtering civilians and dropping cluster bombs from the sky.



Obama's US Assassination Program?

By Chuck Norris

That's right. No arrest. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet.

Monday, August 23, 2010

PAKISTAN: Does US Airbase Trump Over People?

If these alleged allegations are true, compare to Post Haiti earthquake...

Thus, it may well be "a gross contradiction that the United States of America is now one of the biggest donors of relief to Pakistan and it is therefore unacceptable that they are allegedly refusing permission to use Shahbaz airbase for the distribution of that relief..."

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.


By Stephen Lendman at Counter Currents August 23 2010 HERE

Reports say that "the US Air Force has denied the relief agencies use of the Shahbaz Airbase (it controls) for the distribution of aid and assistance. Soldiers of the Pakistan army, a federal minister and the administration of Sindh province are blamed for the incident involving Shahbaz Airbase at Jacobabad district" where flood waters were diverted to save the base


Also earlier article here

PAKISTAN: Minister tasked with saving US airbase at the cost of the displacement of thousands - Asian Human Rights Commission

August 20, 2010

The presence of Pakistan army personnel speaks to the fact that the breach of Jamali bypass was intentional and ordered from above.

It has been reported earlier that the US Air Force has denied the relief agencies use of the Shahbaz airbase for the distribution of aid and assistance. Soldiers of the Pakistan army, a federal minister and the administration of Sindh province are blamed for the incident involving Shahbaz Airbase at Jacobabad district in Sindh province in which it has been reported that flood waters were diverted in order to save the airbase. The diversion of the flood-waters is blamed for inundating hundreds of houses and the displacement of 800,000 people. According to the media reports, the Federal Minister of Sports along with soldiers from the army and a contingent of officials from the Sindh provincial government breached the Jamali Bypass in Jafferabad district of Balochistan province during the night between August 13 and 14 to divert the water entering the airbase which has remained in US Air Force hands since the war on terror started in 2001.

Mr. Ejaz Jakhrani, the Minister of Sports, while explaining the situation to the media said that if the water was not diverted the Shahbaz Airbase would have been inundated. Mr. Jakhrani himself was present along with the district coordination officer of the Jacobabad district, district police officer and other officials when the breach was made. It is reported in the media that Mr. Jakhrani was assigned to protect the air base by officials at the Pakistan army’s headquarter as he was elected from Jacobabad district.

A former prime minister, Mr. Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali said that in order to save Shahbaz Air Base, Jamali bypass was demolished and the town of Dera Allahyar was drowned. Mr. Jamali said that if the airbase was so important, then what priority might be given to the citizens. He blamed minister Jakhrani, DPO and DCO Jacobabad for deliberately diverting the course of the floodwaters towards Balochistan.

In the meantime, during the discussion in the standing committee of the Senate the federal secretary of health has revealed that health relief operations are not possible in the flood-affected areas of Jacobabad because the airbase is under the control of the US Air Force. The coordinator of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre, Dr Jahanzeb Aurakzai, told the committee that foreign health teams could not start relief operations in remote areas because there are no airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad.

The electronic media has also reported that since 2001 the government of Pakistan , during the regime of general Musharraf, turned over Shahbaz Airport to US forces fighting against terrorism on a lease so it the responsibility of the government and the Pakistan armed forces to protect the agreement done in favour of US forces. The discussions in the media have also pointed out that the presence of army soldiers during the breach of Jamali bypass is a clear indication that the Pakistan army has been ordered to save the airbase from the floodwaters.

In the end, after the seven days of controversy surrounding the air base, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said that the Shahbaz Airbase was under the complete operational control of the PAF and brushed aside reports that floodwaters had been diverted to save the base. Air Vice Marshal, Mr. Abdul Quddus, hurriedly arranged a visit of journalists to Shahbaz Airbase and asked them as to whether they could see any Americans? He told journalists that there are no drones and no Americans; seeing, he said, is believing!

However, there was no reasonable answer to the question raised that when almost the whole of Jacobabad district of Sindh and its adjoining district of Jafferabad of Balochistan province were under floodwaters why the airbase was not affected. This could only be due to the intentional breach of the Jamali bypass. The media was also very critical of the arrangement of the visit to Shahbaz airbase at a time when much more attention is needed to focus all efforts for the relief of the affected people. The visit by the journalists has been seen as a scripted stage play as when journalists were present a C130 cargo plane landed with 200 tons of relief goods which the people of that particular affected area badly needed. Such a plane has not been seen landing there in recent times so this was too much of a coincidence.

The federal minister and former prime minister have not retracted their statements that the floodwater was intentionally diverted to Dera Allahyar, Balochistan to save the air base.

There is rough estimation by the media about the displacement of 800,000 people by the divergence of the waters to the poorer areas. Over 150,000 people have been evacuated from Dera Allahyar and other areas. 350,000 people of Jafferabad district have been shifted to Dera Murad Jamali, Sibi and Quetta , parts of Balochistan, and over 300,000 people had earlier moved to Dera Murad Jamali and Sibi from the Sindh province particularly from Jacobabad.

There can be no doubt that the presence of the Pakistan army personnel at the breach of Jamali bypass indicates the fact that this was an intentional breach. This must be investigated along in order to ascertain who gave the orders. Those giving the orders must be prosecuted. The government of Pakistan must also probe the allegations of deliberate breaches; not only in the incident involving Shahbaz airbase but also those reported earlier where the agricultural lands belonging to senior ministers was protected from the floodwaters also by intentional breaches.

It is a gross contradiction that the United States of America is now one of the biggest donors of relief to Pakistan and it is therefore unacceptable that they are allegedly refusing permission to use Shahbaz airbase for the distribution of that relief.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia . The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

COMPASSION NEEDED: Must See Videos on Pakistan Floods

Sindh is now being described as the worst-hit province

Evacuwees Peshawar area Pakistan Floods 2010

SHORT Videos From Cecos Peshawar University CLICK HERE Amazing photos tell all...

Please donate to Edhi Foundation (a highly-respected organization around the world. Beloved, saintly Edhi says his religion is "ALL OF HUMANITY"):

Edhi Foundation dot com Website here

This group does not do Credit Cards (at least out of New York).For US readers, please send your check to:

USA Edhi international Foundation
42-07 National StreetCorona, New York, 11368 USA

Tel: (718) 639-5120
Fax: (718) 335-1978

Find other centers AROUND THE WORLD & Pakistan collecting for Edhi Foundation - CLICK HERE

See the many awards the Edhi Foundation has earned - CLICK HERE

The Floods and the War

People and vehicles cross a flooded road in Baseera, in central Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010. About 150,000 Pakistanis were forced to move to higher ground as floodwaters from a freshly swollen Indus River submerged dozens more towns and villages in the south, a government spokesman said. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Pakistan floods leave ally reeling

By CHRIS BRUMMITT (AP) – 6 hours ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The floods tearing through Pakistan's breadbasket have further weakened this already unstable country, inflicting more economic pain on its people and threatening a key pillar of the U.S.-led war against Islamist militants — who stand to gain from the misery. For now attention is focused on meeting the immediate needs of the millions of people affected by the still-spreading disaster.

Yet the floods — described as Pakistan's worst-ever natural calamity — are already complicating U.S. goals of defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban and stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan.

With international aid still not coming in fast enough, public anger at the government is likely to swell as millions face months or even years of destitution, risking turmoil just as Washington and the region needs stability in the nuclear-armed state.

"The stakes are very, very high," said Sen. John Kerry, who visited this week. "We are particularly anxious, all of us, to see the country get back on track."

The floods began in the northwest, hitting the Swat Valley and areas close to the main city of Peshawar, before moving down the country by way of the mighty River Indus, devastating millions of acres (hectares) of crops in the country's "breadbasket" in Punjab and the Sindh.

About one-fifth of the country — a chunk of land about the size of Italy — has been affected.

At least 8 million people are in need of water, shelter or other emergency assistance, making the disaster larger than Pakistan's last two humanitarian crises, the exodus from Swat last year amid an army offensive against the Taliban and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.

The country was already blighted by soaring food inflation, chronic unemployment, crumbling schools and hospitals and rolling power cuts across the country. About 60 percent of its 170 million get by on less than $2 a day. Last year, the economy was kept afloat by a $7.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

The floods are predicted to shave at least 1 percent of Pakistan's gross national product this year, in large part because of their effect on the country's agricultural sector, which accounts for about 20 percent of the economy. The country's textile industry is also expected to suffer because of damage to cotton crops.

Already, the prices of vegetables, meat and dairy products have risen sharply across the country.

"No country is set up to deal with this scale of potential loss in its agricultural sector," said Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Looking after the victims is a huge task that would strain even the best government and international agencies. Authorities must also start thinking ahead to rebuilding homes and infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and getting people — most of them poor farmers — back to work.

"The government now has to tackle two things at the same time, the macroeconomic stability and the reconstruction effort," said Juan Miranda, the Asian Development Bank's director general for Central and West Asia. "I don't think any of us can envy the task ahead of them."

Historical precedents are hard to find for a disaster on this scale, but Pakistan has proved resilient in the past when faced with crisis. With committed government and the full support of the international community, some of the worst-case scenarios may not play out.

"The real issue is whether this (flooding) takes us into an entirely new realm for a country that a lot of people have said is near failure, or whether this is just an added burden," said Daniel Markey, a South Asia expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, in a posting on the organization's website. "That really is still up in the air."

The government — already unpopular before the floods struck — faces anger if it fails to help the victims in the coming weeks and months. Many are sleeping by the side of the road under makeshift shelters along with their salvaged possessions.

There have been sporadic protests, some violent, in or close to flood-affected areas.

"There is no electricity, no water, no sanitation, no food. The only thing there are in numbers is mosquitoes," said Mahboob Ali, who blocked a road Friday in protest at conditions in his relief camp in the northwest. "We cannot bear the screams of our children. They are hungry."

President Asif Ali Zardari, who heads the ruling party, has been the target of most of the criticism, especially since he traveled to Europe just as the disaster unfolded. The army has seen its reputation rise because of its high-profile role in the relief effort, but experts think the prospect of a military coup unlikely.

For now, the opposition has been largely quiet in its criticism of the handling of the relief effort and it is not whipping up anti-government sentiment. But that could change if the rebuilding effort is badly handled or allegations of corruption surface.

"The floods contribute to endemic instability," said a British government official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of his job. "The inability of the central government to deal with it could diminish its authority, which is cause for concern. This further complicates things."

Some of the worst-hit areas of the country are strongholds of al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated groups. As well as the northwest, the floods have devastated much of south Punjab, which extremist groups have long used as a recruiting ground, helped by the region's poverty.

As they have done in previous crises, Islamist charities, some with alleged links to militants, were the first on the scene, cooking food and giving shelter to the displaced. Their presence contrasted with the absence of help from the government.

U.S. and Pakistani officials have cautioned the extremists could get recruits and legitimacy by their actions in the flood zone and have used this argument to call for more international aid. Washington has been the most generous donor and deployed military helicopters to ferry aid and pick up the stranded.

"If the Pakistan government and the international community don't help these people, you will get the classic conditions that allow for insurgent groups to step into the role of providing what the government has not," said Adam Holloway, a Conservative lawmaker who sits on Britain's Defense Select Committee.

"If you're an insurgent group, you'll want to show people you care more about them than the government."

With the army taking the lead in flood relief, there has been less pressure on militants and a decreased willingness for any new campaigns against militants in the northwest. Major operations would mean a fresh influx of internally displaced people.

The U.S. needs Pakistan to keep pressure on militants in the northwest to stop Afghan insurgents using it as a base for regrouping and rearming. American officials have said sustained Pakistani action there is key to success in Afghanistan.

In particular, the flood appears to have dashed for now U.S. hopes for a sustained military effort in the tribal region of North Waziristan, from where a network of insurgents blamed for much of the violence in Afghanistan is believed to be based, analysts said.

"The militant organizations must be finding this situation a gift from God," said Dr Riffat Hussain, professor of Defense Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University.

Associated Press writer Paisley Dodds in London contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

RELATED: Good reasons to keep Xe/Blackwater and any subsidiary or other contractors OUT of Pakistan - especially NOW

Blackwater Security Agrees to Pay 42 Million in Fines (should be much more)

Friday, August 20, 2010

General McChrystal, General Petraeus and General Confusion

By historian Michael H. Hunt

Posted by MHHunt on 19 August 2010, 10:44 am at University of North Carolina Press Blog here

Barack Obama’s Afghanistan commanders are something else. First, they promoted a highly debatable counter-insurgency strategy. Then, despite the numerous and cogent contemporary critiques, they got the president to buy into their particular brand of wishful thinking, and they got from him the additional troops supposedly needed for success. They have since failed to deliver. There are no convincing signs of progress toward their promise of pacification.

You would think they would have enough to do in Afghanistan. They should keep pretty busy managing an international coalition, bucking up the Karzai government, building an Afghan army, and distributing U.S. largesse, not to mention figuring out where the assorted bad guys are and how to put them in their place. But no, they manage to find quality time to spend with the media, unburdening themselves at remarkable length.

Stanley McChrystal and his aides got carried away, and now David Petraeus has caught the media bug, going on a blitz earlier this week. He wants us all to know that he rejects “a graceful exit,” even though that is probably the best to be hoped for. He assures us that he is working hard to “achieve our objectives” (whatever they may be). And in impressively technocratic language he sheds light on the situation on the ground by indicating that he is close to getting “the inputs about right.”

The real general in command seems to be confusion. There is most obviously confusion about what the personalities are up to. Heaven knows what Petraeus has in mind. Has he suddenly recalled that Nixon’s troop withdrawal from Vietnam was a version of “a graceful exit” strategy — and he wants no part of a repeat? Or has settling into McChrystal’s chair convinced him that the situation is far worse than he imagined? So he turns to the U.S. public and the president with a plea for more time. By doing so, it seems on the basis of the evidence offered in Jonathan Alter’s The Promise that he is double-crossing his commander in chief. Late last year at the end of extended deliberations over Afghan strategy, he joined Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen in making a firm commitment to respect the 2011 deadline for beginning significant U.S. troop withdrawals. Petraeus may well calculate he can get away with this reversal: an inexperienced president with one sacking behind him is not likely to attempt a second, especially if the fresh challenge is mounted adroitly.

Is it possible on the other hand that Obama is at least tacitly behind this backpedaling? There is precedent for a president using his field commander for political ends: Johnson brought his Vietnam commander, William Westmoreland, home in late 1967 to sell a war even as it was going badly in the field. This doesn’t seem Obama’s style, but the gap between promise and performance in Afghanistan and the competing claims of other causes closer to home must be creating intense pressure on the president.

General confusion is also at work in civil-military relations. No question, the era of the political general has arrived. Vietnam taught at least some in the military establishment that generals need to speak their mind forcefully. But where exactly is the line that defines civilian control under the new dispensation where generals freely address the public and negotiate with the president on ultimate strategic goals? Where does civilian control end and insubordination begin? We may be watching in McChrystal and Petraeus some senior Army leaders not just trying to find that line but also to move it.

Finally, in grandest terms, general confusion reigns in the American national understanding of itself. Over the last several decades the country has undergone a militarization notable for its breadth (a point elaborated in Andrew Bacevich’s The New American Militarism). Generals and admirals have fanned out from the Pentagon to populate the upper levels of the decisionmaking apparatus throughout Washington. The society is enamored with military virtues so strikingly missing in the everyday life of most Americans. Politicians and the media heap praise on the sacrifice of servicemen and women while banishing any thought that that sacrifice should be shared, least of all through universal military service. Patriots boast of their country’s prowess on the battlefield — a might far exceeding any imaginable combination of powers — even though U.S. expeditionary forces regularly reveal the limits of brute coercion.

This militarization of America, of which McChrystal and Petraeus are symptoms, would shock the founding fathers. Fortified by a well developed sense of history, the founders identified foreign military adventures as one of the prime dangers to the survival of any republic. They were certain that foreign wars raised up generals, who in turn became celebrated men on horseback and in the bargain a threat to democratic values and institutions. Their America, they warned, was no more immune to a subversive militarism than had been Greece, Rome, and the Italian city states.

Maybe Obama should be reading The Federalist Papers. He could start with Alexander Hamilton’s no. 8:

“The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”

This might be a good time to put a stop to general confusion and to that end assert firm civilian control, order the brass back to the Pentagon, and above all ask if the militarization of our society is consistent with our historic values.

Michael H. Hunt is Everett H. Emerson Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His ten books include The American Ascendancy: How the United States Gained and Wielded Global Dominance and A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

THE EDHI FOUNDATION: Recommended for Flood Victims

Flood victims -

evacuated from flooded areas

in Basera -

Muzaffargarh Punjab province Pakistan on 18 August 2010.

The United Nations warned on 16 August, that up to 3.5 million children were at risk from water-borne diseases in flood-hit Pakistan and said it was bracing to deal with thousands of potential cholera cases. More than 1,500 people across Pakistan have been killed and hundreds of thousands stranded due to flash floods triggered by the ongoing spell of monsoon rains. Photo from EPA/MATIULLAH ACHAKZAI

(Go below for Pakistan Edhi Contacts)


Here's the one charity I recommend because of the long history with emergency relief in and out of Pakistan. (Our family is donating here) This will help the foundation to operate in perhaps the greatest challenge of their history. Since they are based in Pakistan, they will be called upon in many countless ways to help the victims somewhat in solo as well as to help coordinate other volunteering groups:

Edhi Foundation here

This group does not do Credit Cards (at least out of New York).
For US readers, please send your check to:

USA Edhi international Foundation
42-07 National Street
Corona, New York, 11368 USA

Tel: (718) 639-5120 Fax: (718) 335-1978

Find other centers AROUND THE WORLD & Pakistan collecting for Edhi Foundation here

Of course this disaster is way too large for any one group. This flood disaster and the many affected need the entire world's help. PLEASE DO YOUR PART!

Edhi Centres in Pakistan

Via: Karachi

Contact Person’s name: Anwer Kazmi

Phone number: 021-32201261

Information centre number : 021-32424125 (for details)

Donations in cash or kind may be deposited here also:-

Edhi Clifton office, near Agha Super market


The Sind Relief Centre Sukkur is being run by Fasial Edhi himself,

and he and Mr Uroos are the contact persons there.

The phone number is 071-5626050


1. Milk for Children and women

2. High Nutrition Biscuits

3. Drinking Water

4. Clothes for women and children

5. Plastic mats or straw mats (Chataii)

6. Mosquito Nets

7. Blankets

8. Floor Mattresses

9. Soap

10. Hand Towels

11. Tooth Paste

12. Women's hygiene kits

13. Washing Powder/Soap

14. Diapers/Pampers for babies

Updated for Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Newly-Updating Information: Pakistan Flood Relief wordpress dot com

GO here where you can find

a) Basic information, statistics, updates, accounts from the field

b) Overview of credible organizations working in the relief effort(including> profiles, scope of work, location of work) and donation information (both> monetary and in kind)

c) Volunteer Opportunities

Indian Doctors Join Relief Efforts in Pakistan

Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Ali Mardan leaving his village in Sindh Province. About 300,000 had to be evacuated from the province’s Kashmor District.

Treatment of flood victims

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: As nations around the globe are planning to help Pakistan's flood victims, Indians have also decided to play their role by sending teams including 400 doctors and paramedical staff to work in the flood-hit districts.

The Indian civil society, who wants to see peace between both nuclear rivals, will make all arrangements to send these teams. The Indian doctors will work in flood-affected districts of Sindh province, but will avoid visiting Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa because of Taliban threat.

An Indian delegation of peace activists including Shri Sandeep Pandey of Voice of Ayodhiya, Mazher Hussain of Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), Mumbai-based prominent human rights and social activists Feroze Mithiborwala, Gurudial Singh Sheetal, Monika Wahi, Zaid Ahmed Shaikh and others arrived in Pakistan on Sunday after holding rallies from Mumbai to Amritsar as part of recently announced Pakistan-India Peace Caravan, the 'Aman Ke Badhte Qadam'.

During a meeting with peace activists of Pakistan, Mazher Hussain offered to send doctors' teams to flood-hit districts. "We want to see peace between both countries and if in situations like this, help comes from India, it will send a message of love. So we will send doctors and medical experts with medicines to help the flood-affected people," he said.

COVA is an Indian Hyderabad-based network of over 800 organisations working in nine districts of Andhra Pradesh, and in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir on different issues including peace.

During the meeting Pak-India Joint Flood Relief Committee was formed comprising Shri Sandeep Pandey, Mazher Hussain and Feroze Mithiborwala from India and Adam Malik, BM Kutty, Karamat Ali, Pakistan Medical Association president Dr Tipu Sultan, South Asia Partnership Executive Director, Muhammad Tahseen and Dr AH Nayyar from Pakistan.

"We will manage the arrival of the Indian doctors here so that they may start their work in flood-hit areas as soon as possible," said Mithiborwala.

The meeting also decided that the Indian doctors would work in Sindh, a southern province of the country. "The law and order situation in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is not good, so it will not be advisable to send them there, therefore we have decided to send them to areas in Sindh where they will be safe," said Kutty.

Talking to Daily Times, committee member Adam Malik said that there was no Taliban presence in Sindh and the people would welcome the Indian guests with open arms. "Besides that in Sindh everyone will help Indian doctors work easily in the flood-hot areas," said Malik.

The Indian members will manage the affairs till the teams reach Wagah from where the Pakistani members of the committee will take charge to bring them to the flood-hit areas.

"In the meeting we also decided that the Indian members besides sending doctors would also collect funds, medicines, tents and dry food items in Indian cities," said Pak-India Peace Caravan spokesperson, Sharafat Ali. He said that the Indian delegation also brought 35,000 Indian Rupees and submitted the amount to the Labour flood relief camp, set up by Labour Party Pakistan. "We are also talking to EDHI FOUNDATION to start relief work in flood-hit areas," he said. (NOTE HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO EDHI FOUNDATION BELOW)

After causing widespread devastation in the north western and central parts of Pakistan, the floods, worst in 80 years, struck the southern Sindh province and badly affected more than five million people. In such conditions, the decision by Indian civil society to send doctors will boost the ongoing peace process.

Original article here


Here's the one charity I recommend because of the long history with emergency relief in and out of Pakistan. (Our family is donating here) This will help the foundation to operate in perhaps the greatest challenge of their history. Since they are based in Pakistan, they will be called upon in many countless ways to help the victims somewhat in solo as well as to help coordinate other volunteering groups:

Edhi Foundation here

This group does not do Credit Cards (at least out of New York).
For US readers, please send your check to:

USA Edhi international Foundation
42-07 National Street
Corona, New York, 11368 USA

Tel: (718) 639-5120 Fax: (718) 335-1978

Find other centers AROUND THE WORLD & Pakistan collecting for Edhi Foundation here

Of course this disaster is way too large for any one group. This flood disaster and the many affected need the entire world's help. PLEASE DO YOUR PART!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bethlehem Christians fast Ramadan with Muslims

manger square in the center of Bethlehem

News | Aug 16, 2010 Christians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, join the city's Muslim residents in fasting Ramadan...

Bethlehem, WEST BANK (Al Arabiya)

Christians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, join the city's Muslim residents in fasting Ramadan in continuation of a centuries-old tradition of interfaith solidarity.

Mike Kanawati, a Christian resident of Bethlehem, who manages a souvenir and jewelry shop, fasts the days of Ramadan with his Muslim neighbors.

" Fasting, either the Christian or the Muslims way, makes one feel the suffering of those who do not have food "
Mike Kanawati

"My grandmother used to fast, both Christian and Muslim fasting, and we were raised this way to show respect for and solidarity with other religions," Kanawati said.

"Fasting, either the Christian or the Muslim way, makes one feel the suffering of those who do not have food." he added.

Kanawati said he was proud "like many other Christians" of fasting the Muslim month of Ramadan and stressed that doing so in no way diminished his Christian faith.

He revealed that some of his Muslim friends in turn perform the Christian fasting, such as abstaining from eating cheese, meat and milk, in demonstration of solidarity the Christians.

The tradition, Kanawati stressed, was preserved over generations of Muslims and Christians who coexisted in Bethlehem for hundreds of years.

Bethlehem has a Muslim majority, but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities.

In survey of Bethlehem's Christians conducted in 2006 by the Palestinian Center for Research and Cultural Dialogue, 90 percent were reported of having Muslim friends, 73.3 percent said that the Palestinian Authority respects Christian heritage in the city, and 78 percent reported the emigration of Christians from Bethlehem was due to the Israeli travel restriction in the area.

*(Written by Mustapha Ajbaili)

Be sure to see the interesting Comments on the original site here

An earlier item with the same spirit here Muslims, Christians break Ramadan fast together in Bethlehem

Harvard University fund sells all Israel holdings

Original Posting here

Harvard University fund sells all Israel holdings

No reason for the sale was mentioned in the report to the SEC.
15 August 10 17:15, Hillel Koren
In another blow to Israeli shares, the Harvard Management Company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday that it had sold all its holdings in Israeli companies during the second quarter of 2010. No reason for the sale was mentioned. The Harvard Management Company manages Harvard University's endowment.

Harvard Management Company stated in its 13-F Form that it sold 483,590 shares in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) for $30.5 million; 52,360 shares in NICE Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: NICE; TASE: NICE) for $1.67 million; 102,940 shares in Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) for $3.6 million; 32,400 shares in Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) for $1.1 million, and 80,000 Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) shares for $1.8 million.

Harvard Management Company's 13-F Form shows some interesting investments. Its two largest holdings, each worth $295 million, are in iShares ETFs, one on Chinese equities, and the other on emerging markets. Harvard also owns $181 million in a Brazilian ETF.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 15, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

US Government Lost 8 of 15 Gitmo Cases Involving Forced Interrogation

By Jeralyn, Posted on Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 08:33:00 AM EST

Pro Publica Reporter Chisun Lee has the results of a Pro Publica study
here into the decisions of federal judges in habeas cases filed by Guantanamo Detainees involving the admission of evidence obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques. The results: Out of the 31 cases with published decisions, the Government lost 8 of the 15 cases in which there were claimed forcible interrogations.

The 15 decisions offer the most detailed accounting to date of how information obtained from the Guantanamo inmates through controversial tactics is standing up in court. They come in cases initiated by detainees seeking release via a writ of habeas corpus, not cherry-picked by prosecutors. Criminal law experts say the judges' opinions help explain why the government has decided not to pursue criminal convictions against some detainees. Such evidence would pose even greater problems in criminal trials, for which requirements of proof are more demanding.

Here's a chart of the cases and rulings. More than 50 prisoner cases are still pending. [More...]

Pro Publica also has this master database of the 53 cases, with links to documents and information about the detainees. Click here

Thirty-eight of the men were found to be eligible for release, but one man’s victory was reversed when the government appealed.

Sixteen detainees have lost their cases. Of the 37 men now judged to be unlawfully imprisoned, 13 remain in indefinite detention, in some cases while the government appeals the rulings. (Their names are in red.)

Why this is an continuing problem: The detainees in many of these cases may never be charged but still be subject to indefinite detention.

The Obama administration has already said that at least 48 of the remaining 176 prisoners at Guantanamo will be held indefinitely because they're too dangerous to release but can't be prosecuted successfully in military or civilian court. They've said that coercion-tainted evidence is one obstacle.

Really impressive work by Pro Publica. For those of you not familiar with Pro Publica, it is a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization publishing investigative journalism. Their work has been featured by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, among others. This article by Chisum Lee is also being featured in the National Law Journal.

I've been reading and blogging about articles written by Chisun Lee since 2003 when she wrote for the Village Voice. Some examples:

* Flashback: A Lifetime in Limbo on Jose Padilla

* Exposé Energizes Court Battle (Ashcroft Could Face Reckoning on Detainee Mistreatment)

* Ashcroft's New Ally (Senator Schumer Pushes to Make Covert Surveillance Easier)

See Original here

Sunday, August 15, 2010

seeing everything through the prism of counter-terrorism

" The United States must learn that its insistence on seeing everything through the prism of counter-terrorism has helped to induce exactly the type of results it is hoping to avoid."

Obama Administration's Expansion of The War on Terror Abroad
By Jeralyn, Section War on Terror
Posted on Sat Aug 14, 2010 at 09:56:08 PM EST

In the Sunday Times: a feature article on the Obama administration’s "shadow war against Al Qaeda and its allies."

In roughly a dozen countries — from the deserts of North Africa, to the mountains of Pakistan, to former Soviet republics crippled by ethnic and religious strife — the United States has significantly increased military and intelligence operations, pursuing the enemy using robotic drones and commando teams, paying contractors to spy and training local operatives to chase terrorists.

...The White House has intensified the Central Intelligence Agency’s drone missile campaign in Pakistan, approved raids against Qaeda operatives in Somalia and launched clandestine operations from Kenya.

The Times calls it a stealth war on terror, and says while it began under Bush, it has expanded under Obama. It also points out the risks: [More...]

the potential for botched operations that fuel anti-American rage; a blurring of the lines between soldiers and spies that could put troops at risk of being denied Geneva Convention protections; a weakening of the Congressional oversight system put in place to prevent abuses by America’s secret operatives; and a reliance on authoritarian foreign leaders and surrogates with sometimes murky loyalties.

Then there's the blending of functions:

The administration’s demands have accelerated a transformation of the C.I.A. into a paramilitary organization as much as a spying agency, which some critics worry could lower the threshold for future quasi-military operations.

The Times asks who should be running this covert/shadow war. Using an example of a strike in Yemen, it says:

The Yemen operation has raised a broader question: who should be running the shadow war? White House officials are debating whether the C.I.A. should take over the Yemen campaign as a “covert action,” which would allow the United States to carry out operations even without the approval of Yemen’s government. By law, covert action programs require presidential authorization and formal notification to the Congressional intelligence committees. No such requirements apply to the military’s so-called Special Access Programs, like the Yemen strikes.

There's also questions as to whether the shadow war is having the desired effect. AQAP, for one, is not any weaker.

Despite the airstrike campaign, the leadership of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula survives, and there is little sign the group is much weaker.

Attacks by Qaeda militants in Yemen have picked up again, with several deadly assaults on Yemeni army convoys in recent weeks. Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch has managed to put out its first English-language online magazine, Inspire, complete with bomb-making instructions. Intelligence officials believe that Samir Khan, a 24-year-old American who arrived from North Carolina last year, played a major role in producing the slick publication.

The operative question:

Do the selective hits make the United States safer by eliminating terrorists? Or do they help the terrorist network frame its violence as a heroic religious struggle against American aggression, recruiting new operatives for the enemy?

Seems pretty clear to me the second option is the correct answer.

A former Ambassador to Yemen points out the U.S. can't rely solely on the use of force.

Edmund J. Hull, the United States ambassador to Yemen from 2001 to 2004, cautioned that American policy must not be limited to using force against Al Qaeda.

“I think it’s both understandable and defensible for the Obama administration to pursue aggressive counter-terrorism operations,” Mr. Hull said. But he added: “I’m concerned that counter-terrorism is defined as an intelligence and military program. To be successful in the long run, we have to take a far broader approach that emphasizes political, social and economic forces.”

Obama officials respond:

They emphasized that the core of the American effort was not the strikes but training for elite Yemeni units, providing equipment and sharing intelligence to support Yemeni sweeps against Al Qaeda.

I'm not seeing any social and economic help to the people of Yemen in that answer. What's next, are we going to go in and destroy their qat crops, claiming it's contributing to terrorism and draining their water supply?

Instead of ramping up military strikes we should be providing developmental aid. As Gregory Johnson, a former Fullbright scholar now at Princeton, and co-author of the Yemen blog, Waq al-Waq, wrote last year:

The US and other European and western countries cannot afford to focus on the al-Qaeda threat in Yemen to the exclusion of every other challenge. There has to be a holistic approach and an understanding that all of the crises in Yemen exacerbate and play-off against each other.

Simply targeting the organization with military strikes cannot defeat al-Qaeda. Something has to be done to bring a political solution to both the al-Huthi conflict as well as the threat of secession in the south. Not dealing with these will only open up more space for al-Qaeda to operate in as well as creating an environment of chaos and instability that will play into the organization’s strength.

Indeed, by focusing so exclusively on al-Qaeda and by viewing Yemen only through the prism of counter-terrorism the US has induced exactly the same type of results it is hoping to avoid. This demands much more development aid to the country as a way of dealing with local grievances in an attempt to peel-off would-be members of al-Qaeda.

If we don't help Yemen with its economic issues, the war on terror won't be much of a help. Yemen's problems won't stay within Yemen.

Military operations to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives will likely increase in 2010. These actions carry risks. Publicly acknowledged American involvement in counter-terrorism operations in Yemen would be deeply unpopular in the country, likely undermine the legitimacy of the Yemeni government and feed into the grievances that help fuel al Qaeda militancy.

Development assistance is one of the most effective tools available to address the interconnected long-term challenges facing Yemen. But, U.S. aid is disproportionately small considering the magnitude of the problems facing the country and Yemen's strategic importance to the United States.

Here's more, quoting another analysis by Gregory Johnson (pages 8 -11):

The United States must learn that its insistence on seeing everything through the prism of counter-terrorism has helped to induce exactly the type of results it is hoping to avoid. By focusing on al-Qa`ida to the exclusion of nearly every other challenge, and by linking almost all of its aid to this single issue, the United States has ensured that the issue will never be resolved

...This short-sighted and narrow focus by the United States has translated over time into a lack of influence within the country. The United States is not the most important player on the domestic Yemeni scene.

I'll bet I'm not the only one disappointed that when it comes to the war on terror, Obama's vision and focus seems as narrow and misguided as that of his predecessor.

Original here

Waq al-Waq, a Yemen-focused blog here