Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our Foolish War In The Middle East


November 15, 2000
  • The West has been at war with the Muslim world for over a thousand years. In this century, the British led the charge prior to World War II. Since that time it has been the United States. Although the British remain close allies of ours in intimidating the Muslim world, it is the military strength of the United States that assumes the burden of responsibility for the policy. It is justified by claiming a right and need to protect "our" oil.

  • For over a thousand years the West has dominated the Middle East. During these thousand years resentment has continued, but for obvious reasons it is now being directed toward America. No one should be surprised when our ships become vulnerable and are actually blown up in the Middle East.

  • If the U.S. understood the history of this region it would see the total folly of anchoring a war vessel in an enemy port. This lack of understanding of history and respect for religious beliefs of the area, in combination with our foreign policy of aggression and empire building, leads to arrogant foreign military intervention, not only in the Middle East, but around the world as well.

  • It is clear that we are not in the Middle East for national security reasons but instead to protect powerful commercial interests. This assures we protect oil supplies for the West, and provides us with an excuse to keep the military industrial complex active.

  • To put this in a proper perspective, consider how Americans, or especially Texans, would feel if the Gulf of Mexico were patrolled and protected by warships of a foreign power, say the Russians. What would we then think if that same power patrolling the Gulf built air bases in Texas and Florida with our government=s complicity with the argument that this was necessary to protect "their" oil and with our government's complicity? This would anger many Americans and this anger would be directed to both the foreign occupiers of our territorial waters and our own government that permitted it. Yet this is exactly what has been happening in the Persian Gulf region. For religious, historic and sovereignty reasons, the Muslim people harbor great resentment toward us.

  • As a consequence of the USS Cole incident, our Navy has recognized the great danger we face in this region. This has forced us to avoid sending any more naval vessels through the Suez Canal. The ongoing conflict cannot end peacefully as long as we pursue this policy of folly.

  • The Cole disaster was needless and preventable. The loss of this vessel and the senseless deaths of 17 Americans were a consequence of a policy that has led to a lack of military readiness for our country, while increasing the danger to all Americans and in particular our servicemen in that region. It's positively amazing that with a military budget of $300 billion we do not have the ability to protect ourselves against a rubber raft, which destroyed a $1 billion vessel. Our sentries on duty had rifles without bullets and were prohibited from firing on any enemy targets. This policy is absurd if not insane. It is obvious that our navy lacks the military intelligence to warn and prevent such an event. It is incapable even of investigating the incident, since the FBI was required to try to figure out what happened. This further intrusion has only served to increase the resentment of the people of Yemen toward all Americans.

  • But the Yemenis never will cooperate with our CIA and FBI agents, many of whom already have been forced to retreat and return to the States. Our insistence on invading Yemen to search for all those involved will only make our precarious situation in the Middle East worse.

  • Our policy in the Middle East cannot possibly be successful. It's obvious there will be an inevitable conflict between our support for the moderate Arabs- which antagonizes the Islamic fundamentalists of this region- and our special treatment for Israel. It is clear that the powerful financial interests of this country want to use our military force to protect their commercial and oil interests in this region, while there will always remain powerful U.S. political support for the State of Israel. The two sides never will be reconciled by our attempt to balance our support by giving help to both sides. This is exactly opposite of being neutral and friends with both sides. The one reason why this confrontation is going to continue is that 75% of known oil reserves are now owned by Muslims around the world.

  • Our current foreign policy does nothing more than stir the flames of hatred of both sides, clearly evident as we witness the daily fighting between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Growing influence of the radical Islamic fundamentalists will allow them one day to overthrow the secular moderate puppet regimes supported by our government.

  • As the world becomes less stable due to currency, trade and other economic reasons, this region will become even more volatile. We should expect higher oil prices. Hatred toward America will continue to escalate, and United States security will continue to be diminished due to the threat of terrorist attacks. All the anti-ballistic missiles in the world will not be able to protect us against attacks such as the Cole suffered or from the nuclear and biological weapons that can be brought into this country in a suitcase.

  • The greatest threat to our national security is our own bad policy. Our policy has continued to permit our own military technology, developed by our taxpayers, to get into the hands of our so-called allies as well as our potential enemies like China.

  • The turmoil in the Middle East is now spilling over into Indonesia, a country made up of 17,000 islands and very vulnerable to political instability, especially since its currency and financial crisis of a few years ago. Indonesia is the world's fourth largest nation, with the largest Muslim population of any country. Hatred toward the West, and especially America, due to the Middle East policy, has led to Christian persecution in Indonesia. The embassy is now closed, and American ambassador Robert Gelbard has been recalled after his life was threatened.

  • Our many failures in the last fifty years should prompt us to reassess our entire foreign policy of interventionism. The notion that since we are the only superpower left we have an obligation to tell everybody else how to live should come an end. Our failure in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, and the Middle East, and our failure yet come to in Bosnia and Kosovo should alert all Americans to this great danger. But no, we instead continue to expand our intervention by further involving ourselves in yet another sovereign nation. This time it's Columbia. By sending more weapons into the region we continue to stir up this 30-year civil conflict. And just recently this conflict has spilled over into Venezuela, a major force in South America due to its oil reserves. The Foreign Minister of Venezuela, angered by U.S. actions, recently warned that "any ship or boat which enters the Gulf of Venezuela, of whatever nationality it may be, will be expelled." Our intervention in many of these regions, and especially in South America, has been done in the name of the drug war. But the truth is it's serving the interests of the companies who own the oil rights in this region, as well as those who produce the weapons that get sent into these regions.

Rumsfeld Flees France, Fearing Arrest

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court.

IPS News.
October 29, 2007.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld, shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, U.S. embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court.

But activists point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when U.S. forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said.

"He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

Turkey, Iraq and The PKK

Courtesy Of: Comedy Central & The Daily Show
With Jon Stewart

U.S. Won't Fade Like British Empire

Mitt Romney: I Won't Let US Go The Way Of UK

By Toby Harnden in Nashua, New Hampshire
Last Updated: 2:07am GMT 31/10/2007

The United States is in danger of becoming a "second-tier" nation like Britain and other European countries if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, according to Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential contender.

Although he gave a Hallowe'en warning of a "house of horrors" if Mrs Clinton is elected, the main bogeyman for the former Massachusetts governor's stump has become Europe, with Britain's national health service being singled out for special mention.

..."The question is whether we're going to become a stronger nation leading the world or whether we're going to follow the path of Europe and become a second-tier military and a second-tier nation."

European countries had chosen to "become a wonderful nation but not the world's power".

...He added: "For me what America should do is strengthen our military, strengthen our economy and strengthen our family structure so that we always remain the most powerful nation on earth. A world without America as the leader is a very frightening place."

At an earlier campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, some 20 miles north of Nashua, Mr Romney spoke proudly of how Americans "threw off the reins of Great Britain" during the Revolutionary War of 1775-83.

"We also changed the relationship between the citizen and the state," he said.

"Prior to the declaration, the state was the sovereign, the Divine Right of kings and so forth, and the citizens were the servants and the declaration flipped that ... the individual became the sovereign and the state became the servant .

"And that, as they say, has made all the difference. America became a land of freedom and opportunity and liberties and we become the most powerful nation in the history of the earth."

Democrats, he argued, wanted to make the United States like Europe.

"Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John Edwards will take America in a sharp left turn towards Europe with big government, big taxes, Big Brother running your lives," he said.

"The other course, if you will, is the house that Ronald Reagan built, which is based upon personal responsibilities, individual liberties, strong families, love of country, strong economy, keeping government small and standing up to our challenges around the world. That is the course that has the most promise for America's future."

Mr Romney was a Mormon missionary in France in the 1960s and a campaign strategy document leaked in February revealed that criticising Europe in general and France in particular would be a central theme of his campaign.

The document stated that the European Union wants to "drag America down to Europe's standards" and added: "That's where Hillary and Dems would take us. Hillary = France."

There was even a plan at one time for "First, not France" bumper stickers to be produced by the Romney campaign...

Islamo-Fascism Speaker Meets With Nazi's

'Islamo-Fascism' Week Speaker Meets With European 'Neo-Nazis'

Robert Spencer Is Main Speaker For Upcoming Islamophobic Campus Tour

Source: PRNewsWire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealed today that the main speaker for
an upcoming series of "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" lectures at
university campuses nationwide recently offered a keynote address at a
European gathering that included representatives of racist or "neo-Nazi"
political parties.

Author Robert Spencer, who is scheduled to appear beginning next week
at universities such as Brown, DePaul and Dartmouth, is regarded by
American Muslims as one of the nation's worst Islamophobes.

His virulently anti-Islam website promotes the idea that life for Muslims in the West
should be made so difficult that they will leave.

Spencer recently spoke at a so-called "Counterjihad Brussels 2007"
conference in Belgium attended by those with links to far-right parties such
as Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang (Belgium) and Ted Ekeroth of
Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden).

Both parties have been accused of either having a racist platform, a neo-Nazi past or having links to neo-Nazis and other racists.

Vlaams Belang is the successor to the Vlaams Blok party, which was
banned in 2004 for being an illegal racist political faction. (Vlaams
Belang's founders were Nazi collaborators in World War II.)

Of Sverigedemokraterna, the International Herald Tribune wrote:

"Sverigedemokraterna, or the Sweden Democrats, have been part of this
country's political landscape for almost 20 years, but they were considered
too close to the Nazi-inspired far-right to contend for large numbers of
votes." (7/7/06)
SEE: European Organizations Gather in Brusselsto Organize Resistance to
Islamization and Shariah

(PLEASE NOTE: due to length of URL, please cut and paste into browser)
s- gather-in-brussels-to-organize-resistance-to-islamization-and-shariah/

SEE: Court Rules Vlaams Blok is Racist

Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch Board Vice President "Hugh Fitzgerald"
wrote on that hate site:

"Only one group, only one belief-system,
distinguishes itself by appearing incapable of fitting in. And that is
Muslims, and Islam ... if one really knew what Islam contained ... then how
could any decent person remain a Muslim?"

He also recommended that western nations be "Islam-proofed the way a
house is child-proofed," compared Muslims to Nazis and urged that they be

"[I]t should not be hard to find ways to limit the spread or
practice of Islam. And if in addition to whatever local, state and federal
government officials do, private parties simply conduct their own boycott
of goods and services offered by Muslims, in the same way that they would
have refused to buy, in 1938, a German Voigtlander camera..."

Other speakers on the "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" tour include Ann
Coulter, who refers to Muslims as "rag heads," and Daniel Pipes, a
supporter of the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II and of
the views of French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen.
"All those who value religious tolerance and diversity should be
concerned about the growing links between European racists and American
said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Publicity for the tour got off to a bad start when it was revealed that
the poster promoting the campus events used a photograph that purportedly
showed a Muslim woman being stoned to death, but which was in fact an image
from a fictional movie.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 offices
and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the
understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties,
empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and
mutual understanding.

CAIR National Communications Director
Ibrahim Hooper
202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726

CAIR Communications Coordinator
Rabiah Ahmed
202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441

CAIR Communications Coordinator
Amina Rubin
202-488-8787 or 202-341-4171

SOURCE The Council on American-Islamic Relations: CAIR


The above is a response to the below comment which was posted on my blog, here:
FreeThoughtManifesto , by "Muslims Against Shariah," which stated the following:

Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week. Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus. A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

Obviousely, Muslims Against Shariah, you guys should be careful who you are in bed with and support!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SomeThing To Consider Before Attacking

By Rami G. Khouri
Daily Star Staff
Saturday, October 27, 2007

The main Middle Eastern issue being discussed in the US these days is not Iraq, Arab-Israeli peacemaking, or Turkish-Kurdish-Iraqi tensions, but rather what to do about Iran and its perceived threat to the region, the US and the world.

The Bush administration sets a shrill and aggressive tone on this and is taking action, including this week's new sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, its Quds Force, and several banks.

Possible American moves against Iran should be considered in light of the 2001-2007 lessons of US-led wars to change regimes and remake national governance systems in Afghanistan and Iraq, and more indirectly in Palestine and Lebanon.

This is not just a Bush-Cheney problem, but an all-American one, since most presidential candidates in both parties do not stray far from the administration's aggressive policy options.

The post-2001 experience suggests that American military attacks against Iran would probably result in more turmoil in the Middle East and Asia, and greater anti-American sentiments and actions around the world.

The American-led wars and aggressive diplomatic stances vis-a-vis Iran, Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria have already generated two specific phenomena: widespread criticism of the US in public opinion around the entire world (see the recent BBC and Pew polls); and, a determination by many Middle Eastern actors to actively resist and defy the US, and militarily fight it (or its Arab and Israeli proxies) when such an opportunity arises in Lebanon and Iraq, rather than to react with the expected acquiescence and compliance.

The six-year-old US-led "global war on terror" has expanded terror networks and their threats, hastened weapons of mass destruction proliferation by assorted regimes, bolstered Arab-Asian dictators, weakened indigenous democracy movements, mangled nascent rule of law traditions, badly isolated and weakened the US diplomatically, and virtually nullified the deterrent power of American-Israeli military might. Attacking Iran will only exacerbate these trends in the short term.

Americans should grasp precisely why a US-led war on global terror has backfired, and isolated the US as much as the terrorists.

The main reason, simply, is that every single aspect of Washington's "global war on terror" is perceived by the majority of people in the Arab-Asian region as reviving, reaffirming, expanding and accelerating all the negative Western policies that have devastated the people of the Middle East for nearly a century.

Here is a quick summary list of these issues:
l From the days of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt two centuries ago to the birth of the modern Middle East state system at Euro-colonial hands a century ago, a steady stream of Western armies that invade, occupy and seek to remake the Middle East to suit Western strategic aims;

l European and now American policies that blatantly favor Israel at the expense of Arab rights, and turn a blind eye to Israel's continued colonization of Palestinian land;

l Persistent marginalization of Palestinian rights, and collusion in barbaric Israeli policies against the Palestinians, such as this week's Israeli move to cut electricity supplies to civilians in Gaza;

l Supporting autocratic Arab regimes and police states, and showing chronic disdain for the democratic aspirations of Arab citizens;

l Promoting the ethnic and sectarian division of the region in order to enhance American hegemony and Israeli control (why is the US today the only source of apparently serious proposals to divide Iraq into three smaller units?);

l Demonizing Islam and Islamic values, to the point where 75 percent of Arabs and Muslims surveyed recently express an astounding fear that the US actually wants to dominate or destroy Islam itself;

l Attacking any Arab or Islamic power or mass popular force that rises in the region, such as Nasser's Egypt, Baathist Iraq, Iran, Hizbullah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others;

l Dictating economic, political, social, educational, and religious norms and values that should define Arab-Asian societies, and trying to enforce those values through military power and political force;

l Pursuing blatant double standards in implementing UN resolutions and international law, such as relating to Israeli occupation and colonization of Arab land, Iran's nuclear industry, recognizing or rejecting democratic elections, and other issues;

l Exploiting local leaders and movements to suit Western policies, then dropping these erstwhile allies and friends when they are no longer needed;

l Maintaining control of Arab-Asian natural resources, such as oil, gas and strategic geography.
This is what ordinary Arabs, Iranians and other Middle Easterners see when they hear about American plans possibly to attack Iran.

This is not because people in the Middle East have fertile imaginations, but rather because this is the actual history that they have experienced for the past century at the hands of once colonial masters who have now turned into post-colonial and neo-colonial nightmares.

They see America's "global war on terror" as a frightening renewal and continuation of foreign threats and predatory intrusions at the hands of powerful Western armies and political demagogues.

Rami G. Khouri is published twice-weekly by THE DAILY STAR.

The First Nation To Legalize Torture

Inside Israel's Military Courts

October 29, 2007

Should the United States, seeking to recalibrate the balance between security and liberty in the "war on terror," emulate Israel in its treatment of Palestinian detainees?

That is the position that Guantanamo detainee lawyers Avi Stadler and John Chandler of Atlanta, and some others, have advocated.

That people in U.S. custody could be held incommunicado for years without charges, and could be prosecuted or indefinitely detained on the basis of confessions extracted with torture is worse than a national disgrace. It is an assault on the foundations of the rule of law.

But Israel's model for dealing with terrorism, while quite different from that of the U.S., is at least as shameful.

Long before the first suicide bombing by Palestinians in 1994, Israel had resorted to extrajudicial killings, home demolitions, deportations, curfews and other forms of collective punishment barred by international law.

Imprisonment has been one of the key strategies of Israeli control of the Palestinian population, and since 1967 more than half a million Palestinians were prosecuted through military courts that fall far short of international standards of due process.

Most convictions are based on coerced confessions, and for decades Israeli interrogation tactics have entailed the use of torture and ill-treatment. Tens of thousands more Palestinians were never prosecuted, but were instead held in administrative detention for months or years.

Israel had the ignominious distinction of being the first state to publicly and officially "legalize" torture.

Adopting the recommendation of an Israeli commission of inquiry, in 1987 the government endorsed the euphemistically termed "moderate physical pressure," and tens of thousands of Palestinians suffered the consequences.

In 1999 the Israeli High Court prohibited the routine use of "moderate physical pressure."

But the ruling left open a window for torture under "exceptional circumstances."

These tactics, many of which have been used by American interrogators against foreign prisoners, include painful shackling, stress position abuse, protracted sleep deprivation, temperature and sound manipulation, and various forms of degrading and humiliating treatment.

In an interview with three Israeli interrogators published in the Tel Aviv newspaper Ma'ariv in July 2004, one said the General Security Service "uses every manipulation possible, up to shaking and beating."

About 10,000 Palestinians are imprisoned inside Israel and more than 800 are administratively detained. Their families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are barred entry to Israel, so Palestinian detainees are, in that sense, as isolated as prisoners in Guantanamo.

Just last week, the Israeli Supreme Court had to order one of the most notorious detention facilities to allow prisoners 24-hour access to toilets.

The Israeli military court system compares to the U.S. military tribunal system established for Guantanamo in ways that U.S. lawyers like Stadler and Chandler deplore.

In addition to the reliance on coercive interrogation to produce confessions and to justify continued detention, prisoners in Israeli custody can be held incommunicado for protracted periods, and lawyers face onerous obstacles in meeting with their clients.

While it is true that detainees are brought before an Israeli military judge at some point, this process is hardly impartial. Such hearings tend to be used to extend detention and often take place in interrogation facilities, not courts. Detainees are rarely represented by lawyers or apprised of their rights, including a right to complain about abuse or to assert innocence.

Failure to assert innocence at this hearing can be used as evidence of guilt.

Any information, including hearsay and tortured accounts from other prisoners, can be used to convict or administratively detain Palestinians.

If we learn anything, then, from the Israeli experience, perhaps it should be that torture and arbitrary or indefinite detention exacerbate a conflict and endanger civilians.

Americans should be proud of the noble work that Guantanamo lawyers are doing to press for a restored commitment to the rule of law by the U.S. government. If these lawyers wish to identify an apt model from Israel, it is not the government or the military court system.

Rather it is the Israeli and Palestinian human rights communities who have been working for decades to establish respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Lisa Hajjar is associate professor and chair of the Law and Society Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of "Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza" (University of California Press, 2005).

Israel's Gaza Power Cut Is Illegal

Israel's Decision To Cut Power In Gaza Is Illegal, Says UN

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Published: 30 October 2007


The UN's top official in Gaza will tell British ministers today that Israel's cuts in fuel and power to the Palestinians violate international law, while the isolation of Hamas has strengthened extremism and started to drive non-affiliated moderates who can leave Gaza to do so.

"We keep saying people in Gaza are at rock bottom but they keep digging into the rock," Karen Koning- Abu Zayd, head of the UN refugee agency UNRWA, said of Israel's decision to start power cuts and reduce fuel supplies to Gaza in response to continued Qassam rocket attacks.

...The UNRWA chief, who will meet Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development and other ministers in London today, said:

"I can understand why from the Israeli point of view people may think we need a stronger reaction to the Qassams [and] nothing has worked so far. But I don't see how you can want to punish people, all of them in Gaza, which means most of them who are not behind these activities, in the way you are doing now."

In an interview, Ms Koning-Abu Zayd said:

"Most people, even in some of the refugee camps, live in high-rise apartments in Gaza and if you don't have electricity, you don't have water, you probably don't have food and if you're older or sick in any way you probably can't climb up and down all those stairs."

A cut in fuel would have a "very serious" effect on civilian movement.

Ms Koning-Abu Zayd cast doubt on the idea that the Israeli squeeze on Gaza, including phased cuts in power – starting with 15 minutes per hour in towns such as Beit Hanoun, from which rockets have been frequently launched – would trigger an effective revolt against militants.

"I don't think it's working myself," she said, adding she did not think surveys showing a fall in support for Hamas were "very significant".

She said: "The ones that do support them support them even more strongly and because things are getting worse the ones that were talking about compromise and moderation and working together are discredited so you know many people become more extreme."

The Israeli cabinet minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer suggested yesterday that the cuts were the only alternative to moving "four divisions" into Gaza.

But Ms Koning-Abu Zayd said: "When we first heard these things I kept saying they won't do this because it's against international law."

Ms Koning-Abu Zayd, the longest serving UN official in Gaza, also made some of the strongest criticisms yet by a UN official of the Israeli and international community's boycott of Hamas since March 2006, which she said had strengthened hardline extremists in the faction.

She hoped that the planned Annapolis conference would renew a peace process and said UNRWA had a "very simple message" that refugees should be on the agenda.

But it was a "big negative" that Hamas would not be taking part, and that "at some moment" they would have to be brought into the process.

Since Hamas won the elections two months earlier, "We were saying ... you had to deal with whoever is elected democratically, fairly, justly and that if you didn't, and history seemed to us to prove this, you drive people into becoming more extreme."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who's Behind The PKK?

In A Word: Washington

By Justin Raimondo
October 29, 2007

The recent threat by the Turks to invade Iraq in hot pursuit of PKK terrorists has the administration scrambling to appease Ankara and stave off a major blow to the claim that the U.S. occupation has provided "stability" to the region.

Kurdistan, after all, has been touted up until now as a model of peace, prosperity, and unalloyed happiness – a foretaste of the country's golden future, provided "defeatists" in the U.S. don't pull the rug out from under our imminent victory.

To see this veritable utopia smashed by Turkish force of arms would be a disaster for Washington – but even worse would be the revelation of how we got ourselves into this wholly untenable position to begin with.

Worse, that is, for whoever would be indicted and prosecuted for pulling off what may turn out to be one of the most ambitious, and dangerous, "rogue" operations since Iran-Contra.

The serial numbers of arms captured from PKK fighters have been traced back to U.S. shipments to Iraqi military and police units.

Responding to Turkish complaints, the Americans claim these arms were diverted by the Iraqis – presumably the Kurdish regional government – but the Turks aren't buying it: if the large quantity of U.S.-made arms (1,260 seized so far) turns out to have been directly provided to the PKK by the Americans, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned, U.S.-Turkish "relations would really break apart."
U.S. diplomats immediately rebuffed this suggestion, and Washington dispatched the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes, to the scene, where he met with top Turkish military leaders.

According to at least one report, "The meeting discussed an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense into reports that U.S. arms were being sold by U.S. troops in Iraq."

Another clue to what is really going on here is provided by the news that the FBI has volunteered to help the Turks find out where the PKK is getting its funding and weapons – and doesn't that strike you as odd?

FBI director Robert Mueller said, "We are working with our counterparts elsewhere in Europe and in Turkey to address the PKK and work cooperatively, to find and cut off financing to terrorist groups, be it PKK, al-Qaeda," or whatever.

Yet why would the FBI get involved at all, unless, of course, Americans were somehow involved?
Foreign Minister Gul confirmed this to the Turkish media, stating:

"1,260 weapons captured from the PKK are American-made. We documented it to the U.S. These are of course not given directly to the PKK by the U.S. These are the ones that were given to the Iraqi army. Unfortunately some U.S. officers were corrupt. The Department of Defense informed us that a serious investigation is underway."
Is it that a few bad apples are "corrupt" – or something else?

As Seymour Hersh has reported,

the U.S. and Israel are financing and otherwise aiding the Kurdish Party of Life, known as "Pejak," founded to "liberate" western Iran, which has a large and restive Kurdish population.

Furthermore, the ties between the PKK and Pejak are more than merely fraternal: they are basically the same organization, sharing not only bases in the mountainous Quandil region of Kurdistan, but also common personnel and leadership.
The sudden outbreak of PKK violence – two spectacular ambushes, one of which resulted in the killing of 12 Turkish soldiers and the capture of eight, who are now being used as bargaining chips – also requires some explanation.

Up until this point, the PKK had carried out low-level operations, with groups of six to eight militants planting bombs and generally harassing the Turks on a small scale.

In recent months, however, the overall level of attacks has undergone a radical increase, with hundreds of PKK fighters deployed in a single attack and a new sophistication in terms of both firepower and the technical equipment required to pull off complex operations such as the recent ambush-and-capture.

Ever since the Syrians stopped supporting the PKK in the late 1990s, the group was largely incapable of launching major operations and had to content itself with terrorist actions directed at tourist facilities.

Membership was down, cut virtually in half, and the capture of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, demoralized large sections of the PKK, amid reports of splits.

The revival of the group's fortunes coincided with news of the Pejak-U.S. connection and – tellingly – the disappearance of U.S. munitions and other equipment from Iraq.

Nearly one out of every 25 weapons provided to the Iraqis by the U.S. has disappeared.

Furthermore, the system for tracing them never functioned. 370,000 light weapons have been sent to Iraq by the U.S. since 2003, yet just 3 percent had their serial numbers recorded by the U.S. Defense Department prior to being handed over. For some unfathomable reason, the general who was in charge of that particular task – by the name of Petraeus – has never been held accountable for what is one of the biggest scandals of the war.

The idea that "corrupt" U.S. soldiers sold weapons on the black market to PKK guerrillas is not all that far-fetched, but the absence of any system to account for all these guns invites larger-scale suspicions.

Could it have been set up that way precisely because the Pentagon – or someone else – wanted to make sure the weapons couldn't be traced?

This would certainly facilitate the arming of groups like Pejak, to put pressure on the Iranians and give the serial regime-changers in the Pentagon a huge weapons cache from which to draw at will.
We know that both the U.S. and Israel have been aiding Pejak, and surely this allowed the PKK to feed off of the arms pipeline, albeit "indirectly."

The Israeli factor is yet another angle to this story:

Seymour Hersh also reported that the Israelis have taken out a rather large stake in Kurdistan, not only investing in several major business operations but also involving themselves in the training of Kurdish "commandos." Could some of these commandos possibly be PKK operatives?
Both Iran and Turkey have pledged to cooperate in eradicating the Kurdish threat, and this cooperation is yet another reason for the general decline in relations between Ankara on the one hand and Washington and Tel Aviv on the other.

What was once a tight alliance started to unravel when the Turks refused to let the U.S. use their territory as a launching pad for the invasion of Iraq, and things have gone rapidly downhill since.

The regime-changers inside the administration, centered around Dick Cheney's office and the civilian upper reaches of the Pentagon, may have decided that the Turks have to be thrown overboard now that the campaign to target Tehran is going full-gear.

If the Kurds' price for subverting the Iranian regime is covert aid for their continuing assault on Turkey, then it hardly beggars belief that the War Party is willing to pay it: loyalty is not one of their strong suits, as Iraq's Shi'ites can readily attest.

I have a great deal of difficulty believing that the large number of confiscated American weapons that apparently found their way into the hands of PKK fighters just happened to show up on the black market, without any knowledge or complicity by higher authorities. How high the "corruption" goes, remains to be seen.

What we do know is this: the War Party isn't shy about engaging in "rogue" operations and doing end-runs around the properly constituted authorities when it suits their purposes.

A recent demonstration by Turkish students against PKK terrorism had the protesters denouncing both the Kurds and the U.S. government: "Down with the PKK!" – they shouted – "Down with the U.S.!"

In Turkey, at least, they seem to know who and what is behind the wave of terrorism that has shaken the country.

In America, however, it's a different story altogether: the "news" media hasn't really said anything about the FBI investigation and the possible involvement of Americans, nor do we hear much about the U.S. – or Israeli – connection to the Kurdish "liberation" groups, such as Pejak, except from Hersh and a few others.
As far as the "mainstream" media is concerned, what's going on between the Turks and the Kurds is just another of those ancient, endless Middle Eastern blood feuds. No one bothers to ask: Why is this old problem escalating now?

That the PKK and Pejak have turned themselves into pawns of the War Party is quite understandable: after all, they want to liberate their people and unite them in the age-old dream of a "Greater Kurdistan."

Like Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, they are ready, willing, and able to use the Americans in order to advance their own agenda.

The question for the U.S. Congress, however, is whether the American taxpayers are now subsidizing terrorism directed at the Turks in order to further the War Party's agenda.

U.S. War Of Conquest In Iraq

By Jeremy Scahill

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Is WW4 Propaganda

Islamofascism Awareness Week Is WWIV Propaganda

By Abel Tomlinson
At Oct 28 2007 - 12:51pm

Unfortunately, our College Republicans (CRs) recently participated in Islamofascism Awareness Week (IFAW), and unknowingly became associated with far-right extremist neoconservatives who directly desire Iran war.

In anti-partisan fairness, I agree with CRs calling Hillary Clinton a b**** because she recently approved movement toward Iran war. I also powerfully believe in unrestrained free speech. If they can’t say b****, I couldn’t say Bush’s policies are antithetical to Christ’s Love philosophy, and thus anti-Christ.

Many dismiss Iran war, but please investigate “godfather” neocon Norman Podhoretz who claims we are in WWIV with Islamofascists and “hopes and prays” we bomb Iran.

Some say neocons are a fringe group, and they are right about America, but dead wrong in terms of political influence.

In 2004, Podhoretz received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bush, and is now urging him to bomb Iran asap and believes “Bush is going to hit” Iran in 2008.

Frighteningly, Podhoretz is now serving as senior foreign policy advisor to leading Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani.

When I discovered CRs were distributing Islamic Mein Kampf booklets for IFAW, I became deeply concerned and angry that they were encouraging Iran war. However, when I discussed this with them, they laughingly scoffed as though I was delusional.

Unfortunately, they misunderstand the motives of IFAW organizers whom are deceptive with their subtle pro-war propaganda.

I must invoke Jesus for CRs, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Who organized IFAW? The organizers are former Marxist David Horowitz and his Freedom Center.

Horowitz exaggeratingly claimed IFAW was “the biggest conservative protest ever” involving numerous conservative Jewish and Republican student groups on 200 campuses.

Thanks to Fox News, IFAW propaganda and Horowitz’s exaggerations were powerfully publicized.

IFAW also included former Senator Rick Santorum, Fox’s Sean Hannity and megaharpy Ann Coulter.

Coulter’s involvement is odd considering she said “Jews need to be perfected” like Christians, but understandable considering her other statements, “We should invade, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war and this is war”.
Like his colleague Podhoretz, Horowitz claims we are in a world war with Islamofascists and “unholy American liberal allies”, and the central “axis” power is Iran, which is equated with axis Germany from WWII.

Similarly, the Islamic Mein Kampf was obviously pro-war propaganda because it strategically juxtaposed pictures of Iran’ Ahmadinejad with Hitler, and Islamic symbols with a swastika.

Now, let’s examine the language of Islamofascism.

Along with “Axis of Evil” labeling, it seems clear that linking Islam with fascism creates pro-war propaganda, and racist dehumanization of Muslims.

Racism is nothing new to Horowitz who once said against reparations, “what about the debt blacks owe to white America for liberating them from slavery?”
Amin Odeh of the Arab American Community Coalition stated, “when people hear [Islamofascism] they don’t think of only a small group of extremists, but of Islam in general”.

I also think raising terrorism awareness is unnecessary because the media and fear-mongering politicians incessantly remind us.

In terms of terrorism, fascism terminology appears factually flawed.

Fascism was a political ideology considering societal interests subordinate to the state, creating unity through oppression, and typically associated with nationalism, militarism, corporatism, and opposition to liberalism.
Although terrorists are militant and oppose liberalism, they strongly oppose nation-states and corporations.

Interestingly, the fascist definition fits neocons more precisely because they are powerfully nationalistic, aggressively militaristic, corporatist, and oppose liberalism.
Perhaps someone should organize Judeo/Christofascism Awareness Week.

Terrorism is not Iran or Islam, but an ugly tactic similar in motive and effect to massive bombs from state terrorists that also kill thousands of innocent civilians.
America won’t solve terrorism by bombing and occupying oil- rich countries, but only exacerbate terrorism by empowering radicalism.

Non-state terrorism is a police matter managed through improved border, seaport and airport security, and most importantly human intelligence, which was how the largest post-911 US terror plot was thwarted last year in England.
In England, moderate Muslims felt comfortable cooperating with police and provided critical intelligence.

Characterizing Islam as fascist creates a counterproductive atmosphere, alienating moderate Muslims and decreasing willingness to cooperate.

In conclusion, conscienceless authoritarians like Podhoretz and Horowitz don’t care if their actions contribute to countless deaths of Middle Easterners and drafted Americans.

I suspect that CRs and Republicans in general have more heart, so they must save their party by distancing themselves from failed neocon policy of preemptive aggression, “democracy” propagation abroad, and undermining of democracy at home.

We all must internalize lessons from Iraq, such as thinking critically about post-Iran war consequences.

Iraq war will cost over $2 trillion and thousands of American lives, but ramifications of Iran war promise to be far graver.
Please join me in preventing WWIV and Great Depression II.

This website ©, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Related Material:

1. Wanna Be Famous? Bash Islam

2. Islamo-Fascism Speaker Meets With Nazi's

3. Islamofascism: Debunking A Conservative Smear

4. Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week

5. Attacking Muslims Undermines Religious Freedom

Wanna Be Famous? Bash Islam

Author: Esra'a (Bahrain)
October 28, 2007

Insulting Islam is how the mainstream media and the right-wing blogosphere defines bravery.
Anyone who hates the faith and is outspoken about it has a much higher chance of getting air time than let’s say, an honest activist somewhere in Afghanistan or Iran who actually maintain their faith. Forget human rights activism from real Muslims.

You can be a rich Arab living luxuriously in North America with nothing to lose and much fame to gain if only you would declare yourself an ex-Muslim who is actively trying to destroy the source of all our problems (Islam, apparently.)

Many powerful people will love and praise you if only you would hatefully attack this faith while speaking from personal “experience.”
Let’s admit it; Ayaan Hirsi Ali wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for the fact that her target is the Islamic faith as opposed to corrupt leadership, military rule, extreme censorship, gender inequality and other politically motivated bullshit.

Many others are struggling to be like her, tempted by the dirty fame that comes along with this. They take cases like Kareem Amer’s and completely twist it to serve their own interests.

The fact that this campaign is led by mostly Muslims turned many people off from linking to it or joining our efforts; they have used Kareem’s case to feed their hatred against Islam and sometimes the inevitable racism against Arabs that come with it.
But we have made a powerful point when we started this campaign; we redefined our struggles in the Middle East and made many people realize that the enemy is not in fact Islam. We make a point of refuting claims by both right-wing and Islamic extremists. In my opinion this is what activism should be about: fighting sources of extremism and hatred in all its shapes and colors.

Not singling out a faith or a group of people and blaming it for all our problems.

That’s not activism, it’s ignorance and stupidity, and it should no longer be fed from corporate giants who control what the majority can hear in the mainstream.
Really, what is going on throughout the media and the international blogosphere is revolting me; this constant need for certain people to gang up on others for the sheer sake of fame and uninformed ideologies.

What about those honest activists elsewhere in restricted countries? Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia? Who cares? Just because they don’t serve anyone’s religious and political agendas they are unworthy of making news?

Sure, let’s forget the fact that they are risking their lives on a daily basis just trying to be heard, for trying to spread the truth about what’s going on in their countries and for struggling towards causes that not enough people are a part of: illiteracy, poverty, health care, genocide, war, tribal disputes, the list is endless.

There are millions of people fighting for many forms of human rights right now as I write this, their bravery is unmatchable. Many are doing it as proud Muslims too.

But somehow, in what seems like a twisted world, an ex-Muslim migrant somewhere spreading hatred on his blog/site from the comfort of Europe or the USA is much more worthy to listen to. This is what the media calls brave and courageous behavior. Why?
Related Material:

1. Islamo-Fascism Speaker Meets With Nazi's

2. Islamofascism: Debunking A Conservative Smear

3. Judeo-Christo-Fascism Awareness Week

4. Attacking Muslims Undermines Religious Freedom

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Taking Over Me


you don't remember me but i remember you
i lie awake and try so hard not to think of you
but who can decide what they dream?
and dream i do...

i believe in youi'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you
to live to breathe
you're taking over me

have you forgotten all i know
and all we had?
you saw me mourning my love for you
and touched my hand
i knew you loved me then

i believe in you
i'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you to live to breathe
you're taking over me

i look in the mirror and see your face
if i look deep enough
so many things inside that are just like you are taking over

i believe in you
i'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you to live to breathe
you're taking over me

i believe in you
i'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you to live to breathe
you're taking over me

Taking over me
Your Taking Over Me
Taking over me
Taking over me

NeoCons Embrace Islamic Terror Group

Daniel Pipes, one of America's premiere Islamophobes, has a soft spot for one deadly deadly Islamic terrorist organization.

By Danny Postel,
October 23, 2007.

During the week of October 22-26, an official announcement effuses, "The nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever - Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses." Ringmastered by David Horowitz, this circus will be performing under the tent of something called the "Terrorism Awareness Project."

The purpose of this ballyhoolooza, we are told, is to confront the "Big Lies" of the Left regarding terrorism and militant Islam. Worthy subjects, to be sure.

Indeed I would like to help the sponsors of the "wake-up call" promote awareness of them. Toward this end, let's consider the American Right's "special relationship" with one group of terrorists.

The U.S. State Department officially considers the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) a Foreign Terrorist Organization. While those honors date back to 1994, they've been renewed during the Bush years. Indeed in 2003 Foggy Bottom went further, including the National Council of Resistance of Iran -- an MEK alias -- under the terrorist designation. (The MEK is also known as the People's Mujahedeen.)

To make a long and bizarre story short, the MEK got its start in early 1960s Iran, helped overthrow the Shah in 1979, but quickly turned on the revolutionary government it helped bring to power.

Employing an ideological blend of Stalinism and Islamism, the tactics of a paramilitary guerilla faction, and the organizational structure of a cult, the group went into exile, eventually making their home in Iraq in the mid-1980s. Not only did Saddam give the organization cover: he armed, funded, and utilized them for a variety of ends over two decades.

The group's wicked political brew was on spectacular display on the old MEK flag (since abandoned), with its sickle and Kalashnikov positioned beneath a Koranic verse. (Not -- to state the obvious -- that the mere presence of a Koranic verse in and of itself implies Islamist political commitments, but in this case the shoe very much fits.)

Here you have virtually everything the Right claims to oppose all rolled into one: Islamism, Marxism, terrorism, and Saddam. Naturally, then, neoconservatives would utterly deplore the MEK and everything it stands for, right?

The MEK would in fact make an ideal target for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week and Terrorism Awareness efforts, no?

Well, no. At least one of the carnival's acts, it turns out, is rather fond of the Islamo-Stalinist-terrorist cult group, and has repeatedly argued for the removal of the MEK from the State Department's list of terrorist groups and indeed urged the U.S. government to embrace it.

Daniel Pipes, who will be speaking at Tufts on October 24th as part of the Horowitz high jinks, has made the MEK a recurring theme in his writings going back several years: here, here, and here.

Pipes has also gone to bat for the MEK right in the pages of Horowitz's house organ.

But Pipes is far from alone on the Right in championing the MEK. He co-authored the first piece linked to above with Patrick Clawson of the right-wing Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Right-wing commentator Max Boot has argued not merely for the removal of the MEK from the terrorist list but for funding and unleashing it to do battle with Iranian forces -- this while casually acknowledging that it is a "political cult." (More on Boot's disfigured views here.)

In some cases the MEK plays a stealth role in the media machinery of the American Right.

What the FOX News Channel tells viewers about Alireza Jafarzadeh when he appears on its airwaves is that he is an "FNC Foreign Affairs Analyst."

What you have to go to the FOX News website to discover, however, is that Jafarzadeh served "for a dozen years as the chief congressional liaison and media spokesman for the U.S. representative office of Iran's parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran."

But it is scarcely known that the sonorous-sounding National Council of Resistance of Iran is in fact a front name for the MEK.

Now, it's true that Jafarzadeh discontinued his post with the National Council of Resistance of Iran--but only when (and only because) its Washington office was forced to close in 2003 as a result of the State Department decision about it being a front for the MEK. It's not like he had a change of heart.

If you attend an "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" event, you might want to ask the speakers about this terrorist cult and whether they condemn it.

Some of them might -- not all neoconservatives agree on the MEK. (See here and here for examples of right-wing criticism of the outfit -- though the lines of argumentation are sometimes bizarrely convoluted.)

But the fact that several prominent American conservatives have cozied up to an Islamist-Stalinist cult that was on Saddam's payroll and the State Department considers a terrorist organization -- this raises serious questions (to put it mildly) about the Right's bedfellows and the calculus that determines them.

It suggests the need for a little more terrorism awareness.
Danny Postel is the author of Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism, and is co-coordinator of the Committee for Academic and Intellectual Freedom of the International Society for Iranian Studies.

Israel's Real Intention Behind Gaza Sanctions

ANALYSIS: Israel's Real Intention Behind Sanctions On Gaza Strip

By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff ,
Haaretz Correspondents
Last update - 06:26 26/10/2007

There is an enormous gap between the reasons Israel is giving for the decision to impose significant sanctions against Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, and the real intentions behind them.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized Thursday a plan for disrupting electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, as well as significantly shrinking fuel shipments.

This is supposed to reduce the number of Qassam rocket attacks against Sderot and the other border communities.

In practice, defense officials believe that the Palestinian militants will intensify their attacks in response to the sanctions.
As such, the real aim of this effort is twofold:

to attempt a new form of "escalation" as a response to aggression from Gaza, before Israel embarks on a major military operation there; and to prepare the ground for a more clear-cut isolation of the Gaza Strip - limiting to an absolute minimum Israel's obligation toward the Palestinians there.
Several weeks ago, Barak said Israel "is getting closer" to a major operation in the strip. Like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Barak is not excited about this possibility. He knows that it will not be easy, and there are no guarantees for positive results.

Many soldiers will be killed and so will many innocent Palestinians, because the IDF will employ a massive artillery bombardment before it sends infantry into the crowded built-up areas.

This will be a "dirty war," very aggressive, that will have scenes of destruction similar to southern Lebanon in 2006.

The sole exception: unlike in Lebanon, the population there has nowhere to run.

Moreover, Ashkenazi has told the cabinet that he will only support an offensive operation if it is long-lasting. If after several weeks of fighting, the IDF is allowed time to carry out arrests and gather intelligence, then the chief of staff sees a point for the operation.

Defense sources say the sanctions will lead the militants to intensify their attacks to show that they do not succumb to Israeli pressure. And because the sanctions will not be severe - so as not to create a humanitarian crisis - they will not be effective.
It is actually expected that the gasoline shortage will have a greater effect than the disruptions in the electricity supply - which normally happens because of equipment breakdowns.

The decision on sanctions is also an attempt to give expression to the inclination to completely disengage from Gaza.

In this way Israel is sending a message to the Palestinian leadership in the strip that it must seek alternatives, however minor, to goods and services coming from Israel.

This touches on the day after the Annapolis summit.

Failure at the summit may lead Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas into the arms of Hamas.

In such a case, Israel is raising a big stop sign at the exit from Ramallah: Passage to Gaza is closed.

10 Ways To Thwart Big Brother

We've Never Been Under Such Intense Scrutiny As We Are Today. So How Do We Evade The Snoopers?

Here, An 'Off-Grid' Expert Offers An Insider's Guide

By Nick Rosen
Sunday October 28, 2007

We live in the most watched-over society in Europe. Exposure, especially in The Observer, has done little to hold the state and private sector in check. Phone records have become police records, as Henry Porter pointed out in this paper last week, and CCTV camera records are now fed into the automatic registration number computer. Credit and store-card records have become marketing records and our email addresses are points of entry for all sorts of crime and spam.

It's time to fight back using all the legal means at our disposal. We need to duck under the radar of government surveillance, credit-checking agencies, internet and mobile phone companies or the DVLA.

I have been learning how to keep the info-snoopers at bay. My research has led me into a world of middle-aged hoodies, who cover up in shopping centres to avoid the CCTV cameras; of young computer users who keep their names off spam lists and out of reach of the megacorps; and people who live off-grid, out of sight of the system and unplugged from the utility companies.

So, here's is a survival checklist for the information age:

1 Buy an untraceable mobile phone

Travel to a town you have never visited before, to an area with no CCTV cameras and ask a homeless person to buy a pay-as-you-go mobile phone for you. That way no shop will have your image on its CCTV. You will also have an anonymous mobile.

In order to keep your anonymity, top it up in a shop with no CCTV outside. Or dispense with the phone altogether and return to the humble payphone, now the preserve of tourists and the super-poor.

Even if you stick to your traceable phone, leave it switched off whenever possible to avoid having your movements tracked. Many phones are still traceable, so you need to take the battery out to be certain. If you have a Bluetooth phone, keep the service switched off because this is now being tested for advertising and other marketing activities.

2 Safeguard your email

If you use one of the free, web-based services like Gmail, your communications are being stored to build up a picture of your interests. Instead, you can use a service called Hushmail to send encrypted emails. Or work out a private code with friends you want to communicate with.

You do not need an email address of your own.

One hacker I spoke to sends emails from cybercafes via The Observer website, using the service which allows anyone to send any article to a friend. He embeds his message into the covering note which goes with the article.

Others with their own computer use the free XeroBank browser (in preference to Explorer or Firefox), which includes several privacy-enhancing add-ons and sends all data through a network 'cloud' which hides most of the data you normally give away as you use a computer, but at the cost of reduced speed ( ).

3 Safeguard your computer and your files

There is sophisticated software that deletes all traces of your activities from your computer. Assuming you don't have access to this, it is still worth remembering the data about you contained inside each file.

Many digital photos, for example, contain within them the serial number of the camera that took them.

Word documents contain the name of the author as well as traces of previous drafts.

4 Be invisible to CCTV cameras

Steve is a middle-aged IT consultant who lives in a bungalow on a smart private estate in south west London. He has never committed a criminal act. When he goes to business meetings, he wears a suit and tie, but when he walks around his local high street, he dons a hoodie. He does it on principle.

'I don't disapprove of the technology in its rightful place,' Steve told me, 'but we have an unregulated mess. It hasn't reduced crime in any real sense - it's displaced it in some cases.'

Media reports always say there are 4.2 million CCTV cameras in the UK, but they have been using that figure for the past two years. So it's a safe bet we have at least six million by now, and there is no central register.

You can use the Data Protection Act to request a copy of your own image from any particular camera, but that is simply a way of harassing CCTV owners, not safeguarding your identity.

5 Stay off spam mailing lists

Each time you submit your email address to register for a new website, create a special address, either on a free webmail service or on your own email server so you have control over it. Then, if the company later sells your email address or loses it through poor security, you will know exactly who to blame. And you will be able to close the account or block all email to that particular address. Again, Hushmail is useful for this. You can set it up to create these aliases for you.

6 Prevent supermarkets knowing your shopping habits

Swap your supermarket loyalty card with a friend or acquaintance every few months, after having cashed in any points you have accumulated (treat Oyster and other local transport cards the same way). You lose no benefits and it prevents tracking of specific purchasing patterns (or journeys) tied to your name and address. Use cash more often - save your credit card for emergencies.

7 Avoid utility companies' marketing departments

Live off-grid, unplugged from the system with solar panels and rainwater harvesting. There are tens of thousands of people living without mains power, water or sewerage, in isolated cottages, behind hedgerows in caravans or in groups of yurts in country fields. And this is not just a movement for tree huggers and climate campers. Many live on boats in towns and cities, and if you live in a flat or house, you can still unplug.

8 Keep your car off the automatic number recognition system

The simplest way is to leave the car at home and use a bicycle. But if you must drive, don't go into a congestion zone at any time. There are other legal ways to hide your registration number from the cameras - swap the light above the rear numberplate for an infrared bulb and that will flood the video-camera which operates at near infrared frequency.

9 Safeguard your NHS data

If you are born in this country, then your NHS records are inescapable. But you can choose to store them with your GP to keep them off the central computer, and this should reduce the chances of the medical records being sold (legally) to drugs companies or (illegally) to private detectives or being snooped on by the 300,000 'authorised users' of the system, without affecting medical care.

There is no need to worry about, for example, records of your blood group not being available to medical staff after an accident - doctors no longer rely on paper or computer records. The automated diagnostic blood group tests are done by the ambulance crew on the way to hospital. You can get a form letter to send to the NHS from .

10 Shop outside the system

The website Freecycle ( ) could provide many of your needs. It consists of hundreds of short announcements from people trying to give away stuff they no longer need: beds, TVs, bookcases, the whole of human life is there in return for the cost of picking it up from the donor.

There are local Freecycle groups all over the country (and the world), each with their own local web address. Some people make a decent living gathering things from Freecycle and selling them at car boot sales.

There are full-time scavengers living off food retrieved from supermarket bins, because vast amounts of produce are simply thrown away on the eve of their sell-by date.

Another way to avoid buying food is to barter for it. The car park of the pub in the centre of Longframlington village in Northumberland has been a barter centre for decades. On any Friday night between April and October, locals arrive and flip down the backs of their 4x4s laden with the week's produce, whether its chanterelles, venison, pheasant, line-caught salmon or the latest crop of beetroots and lettuces.

Technically, this innocent activity is tax evasion. 'It's all very rustic and encourages a paper-free environment, but this can underpin what can only amount to potential income tax, corporation tax or VAT non-disclosure, or even fraud,' said accountant Julie Butler. But does Alistair Darling really want to take another bash at the delicate fabric of the countryside?
It may seem almost comical to go to these lengths, but the ways companies and the public sector can misuse data isn't a joke. We cannot trust them to safeguard our data or use it ethically, so we must provide our own safeguards.

· Nick Rosen is editor of the Off-Grid website:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Attack On America: Israel and 9-11

1. Israel and 9-11

A) On 9-11, Israeli's Were Arrested For:

1. Celebrating the attacks.

2. Trying to blow up the George Washington Bridge.

3. BLOWING Up a van on KING St., near 6th & 7th Ave.

B) Israeli Prime Minister benjamin Netanyahu was asked what the attacks would mean for U.S.-Israeli relations.

He replied: "It's Very Good!"

C) The Israeli's arrested on 9-11 all worked for Urban Moving Systems. The Owner, Dominic Suter, fled to Israel when he found out the FBI wanted to question him, and has never returned.

D) Since 9-11 60 Israeli's have been arrested.

E) An anonimous American investigator:

"Evidence linking these Israeli's to 9-11 is CLASSIFIED. I cannot tell you about EVIDENCE that has BEEN GATHERED. IT is CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!"

2. 5 Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9/11:


The obvious question is:

How did they know that this specific event was going to occur in America, on that day, at that specific time.

They were definitely in the target area, at the right time.

That CANNOT be coincidental!!!