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Bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem. Assalamu\’alaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarokatuh!

Archive for July 30th, 2007


Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===


(Ben Heine © Cartoons)


Israel could not have wished for a better ‘Peace Partner’ then they found in Mahmoud Abbas. He has proven to be a more loyal zionist than most Knesset members.

Has the man no pride? Has the man no shame? Even the zionists seem willing to allow the Palestinians stranded in Egypt to return home…. but NO, Abbas will decide which ones. If this is not treachery than what is?

The man is a war criminal and a traitor, there are no other words to describe him, none that I could use without having to resort to obscenities.
Just read the following from today’s HaAretz to see the latest sell out of a nation tactic…

Also read THIS report from the Ma’an News Agency.

THIS is also worth your time…

Hamas: Abbas will extradite wanted Gazans en route home

By Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid, Haretz Correspondents, Agencies and Haaretz Service

(Ben Heine © Cartoons)

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has accused the Palestinian Authority and its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, for intending to extradite wanted Palestinians on their way from Egypt back home to the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported Sunday morning.

Zahar, Hamas’ former PA foreign minister, maintained that Abbas’ willingness to extradite was the reason Israel agreed to let 6,000 Palestinians stranded in Egypt back into the Gaza Strip via Israeli crossings, instead of through the Gaza-Egypt Rafah crossing.

Their return had been delayed by a dispute over the Rafah terminal on the Gaza-Egypt border, which has been closed since Hamas’ bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip. Under a U.S.-brokered agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the crossing was operated by Egypt and the Palestinians, with EU monitors deployed on the Palestinian side. During Hamas’ takeover, the European monitors fled and Hamas militiamen took control of the terminal.

Hamas has rejected proposals to allow Gazans to return through other crossings controlled by Israel, and Israel and Egypt have refused to reopen the Rafah crossing as long as Hamas is on the border.

Israel agreed to start letting the Palestinians back gradually, and a first group of some 100 Gazans is supposed to enter Israel from Sinai Sunday morning, through the Nitzana crossing.

From there they are to be taken to the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, in a convoy of buses secured by Israeli troops. They will then reenter Palestinian territory.

However, Israel Defense Forces officials Saturday doubted that the plan would begin Sunday as scheduled, because of leaks by the Palestinian side regarding the agreement reached with Israel and Egypt.

Israel suspects the information was made public by Palestinians who do not want the plan to go ahead.

This morning’s maneuver is billed as a pilot plan: If all goes well, the remaining thousands of stranded Palestinians will return to Gaza later this week.

However, the IDF is worried that Hamas will try to disrupt the group’s return, after Palestinian Information Minister Riad Maliki Saturday revealed details of the agreement. “Israel has allowed the Palestinians through, on condition that the names of those who enter the Strip are approved in advance,” Maliki said.

Hamas denounced the compromise agreement since it allows Israel to decide who can enter Gaza. The concern is that Hamas will try to hit the Erez crossing with mortar shells or by other means.

Israel is already preparing for the possibility of moving the stranded Gazans through crossings other than Erez.

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Ashraf Ajrami said Saturday that the group will enter Gaza through points along the Egyptian-Israeli border. “The Palestinian Authority is responsible for putting them in buses and transporting them back into Gaza,” Ajrami said.

The Egyptian Red Crescent estimated that roughly 5,000 Palestinians have been stranded in dusty Egyptian towns in northern Sinai since Hamas Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip on June 14 and the main border crossings were closed. Palestinian officials estimate the number of stranded Gazans at between 6,000 and 7,000.

Sources in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s bureau said that Israel, PA moderates and EU monitors do not want the Rafah crossing opened under present conditions. “If there’s a humanitarian problem, the Palestinians can go through the Kerem Shalom crossing,” an official said, adding, “The matter has been discussed for several weeks and the decision is in the Palestinians’ hands.”

In a related development, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad informed Israeli officials recently that he wants to reach a speedy agreement regarding the Gaza Strip crossings, which would include the involvement of an international party to coordinate their opening with Israel.

In conversations with these officials, Fayad denied that he and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are opposed to opening the crossings in Gaza to put pressure on Hamas. “We were misunderstood in Israel. The last thing we want is to starve the Strip,” Fayad said. “We simply aren’t willing for Hamas to be part of the new agreements regarding the crossings, because that would legitimize it [Hamas].”

Fayad also told Israeli officials that he intends to set up a new crossings authority shortly, modeled on the Israel Airports Authority, to operate all crossings between Israel and the PA – in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Among the ideas floated this past week was Turkish or Norwegian involvement in the crossings. Both countries maintain ties with Hamas.

A delegation of Turkish foreign ministry officials and business people visited Israel and the PA this week and discussed the crossings, among other topics. The Turks said they want to invest money to build an industrial zone at the Jalameh checkpoint near Jenin, in place of the one at Erez. They dropped plans to rebuild the Erez industrial zone after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza because of the ensuing anarchy in the Strip and its recent takeover by Hamas.



-muslim voice-

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Zionist Settlers Terrorist : Zionist settlers burn thousands of Palestinian trees for 2nd time in a week

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Zionist Settlers Terrorist :

Zionist settlers burn thousands of Palestinian trees for 2nd time in a week

By Ariel Hirschfeld

Sunday, July 29, 2007

As everyone knows, Joseph Conrad’s novella “Heart of Darkness” was the basis for Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Apocalypse Now.” The story of the journey up the Congo River into the depths of the African forest is a tale of the discovery of the horrors of European colonialism at the height of its corrupting power. Coppola’s greatness lay in showing that “Heart of Darkness” is not only the basis for the story, but a myth in the full sense of the word: a story that serves as a vital symbol of a central, crucial existential and political situation in today’s world; a symbol which is not confined to the past, but reaches into the future and is realized with ever-mounting intensity and scope.

Captain Willard’s journey during the Vietnam War along the river and into the depths of the Cambodian jungle was not only a military mission to eradicate a traitorous colonel (Kurtz), who had established his own army and made himself a god in the eyes of the local tribe; it was a journey into the depths of the corruption and insanity that were fomented by a prolonged war that had lost all touch with its surroundings a long time beforehand – a modern, colonialist war, leading the Western individual to shed all the tools of the consciousness and culture he bore, and thrusting him into horrific situations, which have no ancient precedent, along the lines of “Underworld.” The apocalyptic state is the end of the world of the psyche. Willard’s struggle is similar to the road taken by Kurtz: Both of them are fighting a despair so absolute that all that remains afterward, if anything, is blind survival.

“Citizen Nawee” is the Israeli “Heart of Darkness,” and “Apocalypse Now” is hovering in the background, too. The comparison is off-putting: “Citizen Nawee” is a documentary film about a real person who lives in Israel – not a fictional allegory that is pitted against life, and it doesn’t contain even a single iota of the grandiose epic poetics of the protean film. It has no Wagnerian music, no terrifying images of fire and engulfing darkness and, above all, no mythic ambitions. It is the straightforward, filmed tracking of the life of one Israeli. A unique man. He is 50-something and speaks fine, precise Hebrew, lives in Jerusalem’s upscale Rehavia neighborhood, makes his living as a plumber, is of Iraqi origin, and his life partner (in the first period documented by the film) is a Palestinian Arab, whose residence in his home is a breach of the law. Nawee also works stubbornly and persistently to help the Palestinians living in the southern Mount Hermon area.

So the comparison to “Apocalypse Now” is harmful, because it is garish and because the vast gaps between the two cinematic works will contradict and swallow up what exists in this local, close and intimate film, which is striated by nuances and sub-nuances of feeling and pain. Nevertheless, what Nissim Mossek, the director, achieved in his years of accompanying Ezra Nawee is a journey into the heart of darkness; into the place (not the only one) where the great awfulness of this country unfolds. True, it contains no trafficking in human flesh and it contains no one who is akin to the world’s Satan, but the level of corruption and the scale of crime that occur in it are no less than those in the Conrad masterpiece. Moreover, the reasons for that corruption are very much alike: They are racist.

I will first touch on the most fundamental difference: The love of Ezra Nawee and Fuad, the Palestinian, led Nawee to achieve close contact, to the point of utter understanding, with the lives of Palestinians under occupation. Not only with the constant agonies resulting from contact with the enmity of the army and the Border Police, but with the deep deterioration of the entire pageant of life under the yoke of the occupation – the ongoing neglect of all the configurations of civilization, the corrosive impression of a protracted affront, the depression that accompanies hatred as such. That love, conjoined to the strong personality, the human warmth, the wisdom, the irony and the openness of Nawee, created an open channel not only between these two people, but between these civilizations. Nawee goes through the checkpoints and undergoes with his friend the recurring arrests and trials, and is himself tried for traveling on banned roads or at prohibited times. He is not frightened by the police or by the Border Police: This is not because he disparages the law, but because he is carving out a path to something else.

That path is the river of “Heart of Darkness.” It is on that path that Nissim Mossek accompanies Nawee to southern Mount Hebron and the blighted lives of the hardscrabble farmers, whose livelihood day in and day out is pillaged by the settlements that close them in – and in particular the settlement of Havat Maon, whose residents chop down their trees, poison their land and assault the local Palestinian children. Unlike the black river of the myth, this path is two-faced: On the one hand it is one of love and concern; on the other it is a gateway to the complete opposite of the values of morality and the contours of humanity in which the Israeli, Jewish and Zionist person is educated. It is to enter the realm in which Israeli Jewish men wearing skullcaps and particularly long prayer fringes smash trees, and the next day stand on a hill and mocked the ruin of the farmers who can no longer earn their daily bread. They just stand there and laugh. The film shows their laughter in a lengthy shot; a terrible hyena-like laughter. This laughter is one of the most caustic insults Judaism has had to take in all its history – and didn’t come from any enemy.

This is the horrifying image of a Jew whom we did not learn about in the ancient writings. This is the realization of the order of a rabbi, who ordered the men to sit in that grove and embitter the lives of the Arabs (Amalek) to the point of poisoning the earth. And this rabbi, a new product of Judaism, who helps to create men who laugh at disasters they themselves fomented, which have sprung from the occupation. Every occupation corrupts, but the special character of the Jewish corruption requires a particular description and understanding; this is not the place for it. However, I will say that what is happening here is not the obvious continuation of Zionism or a necessary product of contemporary Jewish religiosity. In every vital process there are mutations and malignant growths. The occupation has created a habitat for malignancy.

The power of this film lies in the cogent dialogue between the film (the director, the accompanying eye) and the captivating, highly complex personality of Ezra Nawee. The film seems to insist on the act of exposure, fights for its presence. During many minutes it is clear that the cameraman who is pursing the “plot” is at physical risk. It is obvious that the settlers of Havat Maon want to thwart and block his gaze. At one point they even knock the camera to the ground, but it keeps filming from the soil until the heel of a shoe steps on and tries to crush the lens, but it refuses to stop seeing. In the face of this gaze, the lives of Nawee and his friends play out amid an unrelenting storm of expulsions, humiliations, curses, terrible hurt; yet through it all there remains a place for love and concern – love for a dog, for cooking, and a sense of humor. The fact that Nawee is a homosexual adds more “fronts” to his struggle, on the part of his family, on the part of the conservative Arab society from which his partner came, and of course in the face of the settlers, whose contempt and loathing for him are primeval.

The film’s title opens the way for an intriguing interpretation. Not necessarily because of the evocation of the classic “Citizen Kane,” but because of the term “citizen.” The setting of the journey and the struggle is not the “person,” nor is it the state and the government: It is the point of contact, of the friction, between them: the place of citizenry. Nawee’s heroic obduracy is precisely concerned with preservation of the citizenry, not the creation of an underworld within it (like Havat Maon, for example), rather protection of the image of the traditional civil individual, who faces in this case the unbridled violence of the settlers, like the woman whose olive trees they cut down, who holds in her palm a few olives and cries out for God’s vengeance.



-muslim voice-

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad vow to intensify resistance against occupation

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Hamas, Islamic Jihad vow to intensify resistance against occupation

Palestinian Information Center (PIC)

July 29, 2007

GAZA, (PIC)– In clear rejection to the decision taken by the “unconstitutional” PA government under Salam Fayyadh in Ramallah city to drop the resistance option, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement vowed to intensify resistance against the “Zionist” enemy.

“This (Fayyadh’s decision) is clear and unaccepted disavowal of an essential Palestinian national constant sanctioned by all Palestinian parties and international laws and conventions”, the two influential resistance Movements affirmed in a joint statement they issued Sunday, and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC.

They also affirmed that the decision of dropping resistance from Fayyadh’s government’s platform exposes the real purpose behind installing it against the will of the bulk of the Palestinian people.

“This unconstitutional government is shamelessly undermining the precious Palestinian martyr’s blood and agonies of tens of thousands of wounded and jailed Palestinian citizens just to please Israel and the USA and to get a handful of dollars from them”, the two Movements underlined in the statement.

They also added that the culture of resistance was embodied in every honorable Palestinian citizen striving hard to free his country from the occupation’s chains.

“The Palestinian people were of full conviction that only resistance can retrieve Palestinian usurped rights and secure the return of the millions of Palestinian refugees to their homeland with dignity” the statement underlined.

In this context, the two Movements urged Palestinian people all over occupied Palestine to translate their rejection to the Fayyadh’s “treacherous” decision through intensifying resistance against the Israeli occupation.

The two Movements also rejected attempts to allow thousands of Palestinian citizens stranded in Egypt into the Gaza Strip through crossing points other than the Rafah terminal.

“Abbas and his unconstitutional government under Fayyadh were thinking that by prolonging tragedy of those stranded Palestinian citizens, they will pressure and politically blackmail Hamas Movement”, the two Movements explained.

But although the two Movements affirmed they were and still are keen on ending ordeal of those citizens, they absolutely rejected entry of the stranded Palestinians through IOF-controlled crossing points.

“Such harmful suggestions of using alternative terminals other than Rafah border terminal would turn the Gaza Strip into a big jail for more than 1.5 million Palestinians”, the two Movements furthermore underscored.

“Rafah terminal is a Palestinian-Egyptian crossing point, and must remain so” the two Movement insisted.

In an unrelated matter, the Hebrew Haaretz newspaper unveiled Sunday that the US administration of President George W. Bush would increase military assistance to Israel to more than 30 billion dollars over the coming decade.

According to Hebrew sources, the earlier visit by Israeli premier Ehud Olmert to Washington was mainly for that purpose.

During the eighties and nineties of the past century, the Hebrew state used to receive 3 billion dollars annually from the USA, 1.8 billion dollars of which was allocated to military purposes, and 1.2 billion dollars went for economic purposes.

The USA had pledged to maintain Israel’s military supremacy in the Middle East



-muslim voice-

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Stranded Palestinian dies at Rafah as Abbas insists not to open terminal

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Stranded Palestinian dies at Rafah as Abbas insists not to open terminal

Palestinian Information Center (PIC)

July 29, 2007

GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian medical sources have announced that one of the stranded Palestinian citizens at Rafah terminal died Sunday after helplessly waiting for almost two months to be allowed into his hometown in the Gaza Strip.

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas was and still is insisting that the Rafah terminal, which is a Palestinian-Egyptian crossing point, must remain closed as a punishment to the 1.5 million Palestinian citizens in Gaza Strip in clear harmony with Israel’s policy against the Strip.

Dr. Muaweya Hassanien, the director of the emergency department in the PA health ministry identified the victim as 44 year-old Ahmad Ramadhan Al-Khateeb, affirming he was suffering from cancer, and that his condition badly deteriorated while waiting at Rafah terminal for two months.

Hamas, the legitimate PA caretaker government, and legal and human rights institutions held Abbas fully responsible over the death of more than 31 Palestinian citizens at the terminal due to his stubborn stand of not opening the crossing points and allowing the more than six thousand Palestinian citizens helplessly stranded there.

Abbas and his illegitimate government in the West Bank want the stranded citizens enter through Israeli-controlled crossing points against the will of majority of those citizens.



-muslim voice-

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The Death Mask Of War : American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===


The Death Mask Of War

American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity

By Chris Hedges

07/28/07 “Adbusters” — -All troops, when they occupy and battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in “atrocity producing situations.”

In this environment, surrounded by a hostile population, simple acts such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke means you can be killed. This constant fear and stress pushes troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. This hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find.

The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed over time to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing — the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm — to murder — the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing.

After four years of war, American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity. The American killing project is not described in these terms to a distant public. The politicians still speak in the abstract terms of glory, honor, and heroism, in the necessity of improving the world, in lofty phrases of political and spiritual renewal. Those who kill large numbers of people always claim it as a virtue. The campaign to rid the world of terror is expressed with this rhetoric, as if once all terrorists are destroyed evil itself will vanish.

The reality behind the myth, however, is very different. The reality and the ideal clash when soldiers and Marines return home, alienating these combat veterans from the world around them, a world that still dines out on the myth of war and the virtues of the nation. But slowly returning veterans are giving us a new narrative of the war — one that exposes the vast enterprise of industrial slaughter unleashed in Iraq for a lie and sustained because of wounded national pride and willful ignorance. “This unit sets up this traffic control point and this 18 year old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50 caliber machine gun,” remembered Geoffrey Millard who served in Tikrit with the 42nd Infantry Division. “And this car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split second decision that that’s a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged four and the daughter was aged three.”

“And they briefed this to the general,” Millard said, “and they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, ‘if these fucking Hadjis learned to drive, this shit wouldn’t happen.'”

Those who come back from war, like Millard and tens of thousands of other veterans, suffer not only delayed reactions to stress, but a crisis of faith. The God they knew, or thought they knew, failed them. The church or the synagogue or the mosque, which promised redemption by serving God and country, did not prepare them for the betrayal of this civic religion, for the capacity we all have for human atrocity, for the lies and myths used to mask the reality of war. War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians. This bitter knowledge of betrayal has seeped into the ranks of American troops.

It has unleashed a new wave of embittered veterans not seen since the Vietnam War. It has made it possible for us to begin, again, to see war’s death mask.

“And then, you know, my sort of sentiment of what the fuck are we doing, that I felt that way in Iraq,” said Sergeant Ben Flanders, who estimated that he ran hundreds of convoys in Iraq. “It’s the sort of insanity of it and the fact that it reduces it. Well, I think war does anyway, but I felt like there was this enormous reduction in my compassion for people, the only thing that wound up mattering is myself and the guys that I was with. And everybody else be damned, whether you are an Iraqi, I’m sorry, I’m sorry you live here, I’m sorry this is a terrible situation, and I’m sorry that you have to deal with all of, you know, army vehicles running around and shooting, and these insurgents and all this stuff.

“The first briefing you get when you get off the plane in Kuwait, and you get off the plane and you’re holding a duffle bag in each hand,” Millard remembered. “You’ve got your weapon slung. You’ve got a web sack on your back. You’re dying of heat. You’re tired. You’re jet-lagged. Your mind is just full of goop. And then, you’re scared on top of that, because, you know, you’re in Kuwait, you’re not in the States anymore … so fear sets in, too. And they sit you into this little briefing room and you get this briefing about how, you know, you can’t trust any of these fucking Hadjis, because all these fucking Hadjis are going to kill you. And Hadji is always used as a term of disrespect and usually, with the ‘f’ word in front of it.”

War is also the pornography of violence. It has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it “the lust of the eye” and warns believers against it. War allows us to engage in lusts and passions we keep hidden in the deepest, most private interiors of our fantasy life. It allows us to destroy not only things but human beings. In that moment of wholesale destruction, we wield the power to the divine, the power to revoke another person’s charter to live on this earth. The frenzy of this destruction — and when unit discipline breaks down, or there was no unit discipline to begin with, frenzy is the right word — sees armed bands crazed by the poisonous elixir our power to bring about the obliteration of others delivers. All things, including human beings, become objects — objects to either gratify or destroy or both. Almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.

Human beings are machine gunned and bombed from the air, automatic grenade launchers pepper hovels and neighbors with high-powered explosive devices and convoys race through Iraq like freight trains of death. These soldiers and Marines have at their fingertips the heady ability to call in air strikes and firepower that obliterate landscapes and villages in fiery infernos. They can instantly give or deprive human life, and with this power they became sick and demented. The moral universe is turned upside down. All human beings are used as objects. And no one walks away uninfected. War thrusts us into a vortex of pain and fleeting ecstasy. It thrusts us into a world where law is of little consequence, human life is cheap and the gratification of the moment becomes the overriding desire that must be satiated, even at the cost of another’s dignity or life.

“A lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don’t speak English and they have darker skin, they’re not as human as us, so we can do what we want,” said Josh Middleton, who served in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq. “And you know, when 20 year old kids are yelled at back and forth at Bragg and we’re picking up cigarette butts and getting yelled at every day to find a dirty weapon. But over here, it’s like life and death. And 40-year-old Iraqi men look at us with fear and we can — do you know what I mean? — we have this power that you can’t have. That’s really liberating. Life is just knocked down to this primal level of, you know, you worry about where the next food’s going to come from, the next sleep or the next patrol and to stay alive.”

“It’s like you feel like, I don’t know, if you’re a caveman,” he added. “Do you know what I mean? Just, you know, I mean, this is how life is supposed to be. Life and death, essentially. No TV. None of that bullshit.”

It takes little in wartime to turn ordinary men into killers. Most give themselves willingly to the seduction of unlimited power to destroy, and all feel the peer pressure to conform. Few, once in battle, find the strength to resist. Physical courage is common on a battlefield. Moral courage is not.

Military machines and state bureaucracies, who seek to make us obey, seek also to silence those who return from war to speak the truth, to hide from a public eager for stories of war that fit the mythic narrative the essence of war which is death.

Camilo Mejia, who eventually applied while still on active duty to become a conscientious objector, said the ugly side of American racism and chauvinism appeared the moment his unit arrived in the Middle East. Fellow soldiers instantly ridiculed Arab-style toilets because they would be “shitting like dogs.” The troops around him treated Iraqis, whose language they did not speak and whose culture was alien, little better than animals. The word “Hadji” swiftly became a slur to refer to Iraqis, in much the same way “gook” was used to debase the Vietnamese or “rag head” is used to belittle those in Afghanistan.

Soon those around him ridiculed “Hadji food,” “Hadji homes,” and “Hadji music.” Bewildered prisoners, who were rounded up in useless and indiscriminate raids, were stripped naked, and left to stand terrified and bewildered for hours in the baking sun. They were subjected to a steady torrent of verbal and physical abuse. “I experienced horrible confusion,” Mejia remembers, “not knowing whether I was more afraid for the detainees or for what would happen to me if I did anything to help them.”

These scenes of abuse, which began immediately after the American invasion, were little more than collective acts of sadism. Mejia watched, not daring to intervene, yet increasingly disgusted at the treatment of Iraqi civilians. He saw how the callous and unchecked abuse of power first led to alienation among Iraqis and spawned a raw hatred of the occupation forces. When army units raided homes, the soldiers burst in on frightened families, forced them to huddle in the corners at gun point, and helped themselves to food and items in the house.

“After we arrested drivers,” he recalled, “we would choose whichever vehicles we liked, fuel them from confiscated jerry cans, and conduct undercover presence patrols in the impounded cars.

“But to this day I cannot find a single good answer as to why I stood by idly during the abuse of those prisoners except, of course, my own cowardice,” he also notes.

Iraqi families were routinely fired upon for getting too close to check points, including an incident where an unarmed father driving a car was decapitated by a 50-caliber machine gun in front of his small son, although by then, Mejia notes, “this sort of killing of civilians had long ceased to arouse much interest or even comment.” Soldiers shot holes into cans of gasoline being sold alongside the road and then tossed incendiary grenades into the pools to set them ablaze. “It’s fun to shoot shit up,” a soldier said. Some open fire on small children throwing rocks. And when improvised explosive devices go off the troops fire wildly into densely populated neighborhoods, leaving behind innocent victims who become, in the callous language of war, “collateral damage.”

“We would drive on the wrong side of the highway to reduce the risk of being hit by an IED,” Mejia said of the deadly roadside bombs. “This forced oncoming vehicles to move to one side of the road, and considerably slowed down the flow of traffic. In order to avoid being held up in traffic jams, where someone could roll a grenade under our trucks, we would simply drive up on sidewalks, running over garbage cans and even hitting civilian vehicles to push them out of the way. Many of the soldiers would laugh and shriek at these tactics.”

At one point the unit was surrounded by an angry crowd protesting the occupation. Mejia and his squad opened fire on an Iraqi holding a grenade, riddling the man’s body with bullets. Mejia checked his clip afterwards and determined that he fired 11 rounds into the young man. Units, he said, nonchalantly opened fire in crowded neighborhoods with heavy M-240 Bravo machine guns, AT-4 launchers and Mark 19s, a machine gun that spits out grenades.

“The frustration that resulted from our inability to get back at those who were attacking us,” Mejia writes, “led to tactics that seemed designed simply to punish the local population that was supporting them.”

He watched soldiers from his unit abuse the corpses of Iraqi dead. Mejia related how, in one incident, soldiers laughed as an Iraqi corpse fell from the back of a truck.

“Take a picture of me and this motherfucker,” one of the soldiers who had been in Mejia’s squad in third platoon said, putting his arm around the corpse.

The shroud fell away from the body revealing a young man wearing only his pants. There was a bullet hole in his chest.

“Damn, they really fucked you up, didn’t they!?” the soldier laughed.

The scene, Mejia noted, was witnessed by the dead man’s brothers and cousins. Senior officers, protected in heavily fortified compounds, rarely saw combat. They sent their troops on futile missions in the quest to be awarded Combat Infantry Badges. This recognition, Mejia notes, “was essential to their further progress up the officer ranks.” This pattern meant that “very few high-ranking officers actually got out into the action, and lower-ranking officers were afraid to contradict them when they were wrong.” When the badges, bearing an emblem of a musket with the hammer dropped, resting on top of an oak wreath, were finally awarded, the commanders immediately brought in Iraqi tailors to sew the badges on the left breast pockets of their desert combat uniforms.

“This was one occasion when our leaders led from the front,” Mejia noted bitterly. “They were among the first to visit the tailors to get their little patches of glory sewn next to their hearts.”

The war breeds gratuitous and constant acts of violence.

“I mean, if someone has a fan, they’re a white collar family,” said Phillip Chrystal, who carried out raids on Iraqi homes in Kirkuk. “So we get started on this day, this one, in particular. And it starts with the psy ops [psychological operations] vehicles out there, you know, with the big speakers playing a message in Arabic or Farsi or Kurdish or whatever they happen to be saying, basically, saying put your weapons, if you have them, next to the front door in your house. Please come outside, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we had Apaches flying over for security, if they’re needed, and it’s also a good show of force. And we were running around, and we’d done a few houses by this point, and I was with my platoon leader, my squad leader and maybe a couple other people, but I don’t really remember.

“And we were approaching this one house, and this farming area, they’re, like, built up into little courtyards,” he said. “So they have like the main house, common area. They have like a kitchen and then, they have like a storage shed-type deal. And we were approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, because it was doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it. And he didn’t — mother fucker — he shot it and it went in the jaw and exited out. So I see this dog — and I’m a huge animal lover. I love animals — and this dog has like these eyes on it and he’s running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, the family is sitting right there with three little children and a mom and a dad horrified. And I’m at a loss for words. And so, I yell at him. I’m like what the fuck are you doing.

“And so, the dog’s yelping. It’s crying out without a jaw. And I’m looking at the family, and they’re just scared. And so, I told them I was like fucking shoot it, you know. At least, kill it, because that can’t be fixed. It’s suffering. And I actually get tears from just saying this right now, but — and I had tears then, too, — and I’m looking at the kids and they are so scared. So I got the interpreter over with me and, you know, I get my wallet out and I gave them 20 bucks, because that’s what I had. And, you know, I had him give it to them and told them that I’m so sorry that asshole did that. Which was very common. I don’t know if it’s rednecks or what, but they feel that shooting dogs is something that adds to one’s manliness traits. I don’t know. I had a big problem with that.

“Was a report ever filed about it?” he asked. “Was anything ever done? Any punishment ever dished out? No, absolutely not. He was a sycophant down to the T.”

We make our heroes out of clay. We laud their gallant deeds and give them uniforms with colored ribbons on their chest for the acts of violence they committed or endured. They are our false repositories of glory and honor, of power, of self-righteousness, of patriotism and self-worship, all that we want to believe about ourselves. They are our plaster saints of war, the icons we cheer to defend us and make us and our nation great. They are the props of our civic religion, our love of power and force, our belief in our right as a chosen nation to wield this force against the weak and rule. This is our nation’s idolatry of itself. And this idolatry has corrupted religious institutions, not only here but in most nations, making it impossible for us to separate the will of God from the will of the state.

Prophets are not those who speak of piety and duty from pulpits — few people in pulpits have much worth listening to — but it is the battered wrecks of men and women who return from Iraq and speak the halting words we do not want to hear, words that we must listen to and heed to know ourselves. They tell us war is a soulless void. They have seen and tasted how war plunges us to barbarity, perversion, pain and an unchecked orgy of death. And it is their testimonies alone that have the redemptive power to save us from ourselves.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades fo The New York Times and other publications. In his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (Public Affairs, 2002), Hedges gives an account of the ‘intoxication’ of war, which he covered in regions around the world, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, the Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. His most recent book is American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Free Press, 2007).



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Exclusive: Gangs Spreading In The Military

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Exclusive: Gangs Spreading In The Military

CBS News Talks To The Family Of A U.S. Soldier Killed In Gang Initiation

July 28, 2007

Lance Cpl. Shavon J. Striggles, U.S. Marine
Shavon Striggles, a Marine corporal, poses in gang colors inside the barracks on Parris Island. (Richland County Sheriff)[](CBS) U.S. Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson got a hero’s welcome while home on leave in June of 2004.

“Not only did I love my son – but my god – I liked the man he was becoming,” his mother, Stephanie Cockrell, remembers.

But that trip home was the last time his family saw him alive.

When Johnson died, he wasn’t in a war zone, he was in Germany.

“He had finished his term in Iraq,” his mother said. “I talked to him the day before his death. He said, ‘Mom, I’m in the process of discharging out. I’ll be out in two weeks’.”

On July 3, 2005, Sgt. Johnson went to a park not far from his base in Germany to be initiated into the ‘Gangster Disciples,’ a notorious Chicago-based street gang. He was beaten by eight other soldiers in a “jump-in” – an initiation rite common to many gangs.

“My son never spoke of joining a gang,” Cockrell told CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras.

Johnson died that night from his injuries. His son, Juwan Jr., was born five months later.

“I feel like I didn’t prepare him enough to deal with this and I should have,” his mother said. “But how would I have known there were gangs in the military? I could have had that talk with him.”

Evidence of gang culture and gang activity in the military is increasing so much an FBI report calls it “a threat to law enforcement and national security.” The signs are chilling: Marines in gang attire on Parris Island; paratroopers flashing gang hand signs at a nightclub near Ft. Bragg; infantrymen showing-off gang tattoos at Ft. Hood.

“It’s obvious that many of these people do not give up their gang affiliations,” said Hunter Glass, a retired police detective in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the home of Ft. Bragg and the 82nd Airborne. He monitors gang activity at the base and across the military.

“If we weren’t in the middle of fighting a war, yes, I think the military would have a lot more control over this issue,” Glass said. “But with a war going on, I think it’s very difficult to do.”

Gang activity clues are appearing in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. Gang graffiti is sprayed on blast walls – even on Humvees. Kilroy – the doodle made famous by U.S. soldiers in World War II – is here, but so is the star emblem of the Gangster Disciples.

The soldier who took photos if the graffiti told CBS News that he’s been warned he’s as good as dead if he ever returns to Iraq.

“We represent America – our demographics are the same – so the same problems that America contends with we often times contend with,” said Colonel Gene Smith of the Army’s Office of the Provost Marshal.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command reported 61 gang investigations and incidents last year, compared to just 9 in 2004. But army officials point out less than 1 percent of all its criminal investigations are gang related.

“We must remember that there are a million people in the army community,” Smith said, “And these small numbers are not reflective of a tremendous, pervasive, rampant problem.”

The rise in gang activity coincides with the increase in recruits with records. Since 2003, 125,000 recruits with criminal histories have been granted what are known as “moral waivers” for felonies including robbery and assault.

A hidden-camera investigation by CBS Denver station KCNC found one military recruiter was quick to offer the waiver option even when asked, “Does it matter that i was in a gang or anything?” That is well within military regulations.

“You may have had some gang activity in your past and everything … OK … but that in itself does not disqualify…,” the recruiter said.

Military regulations disqualify members of hate groups from enlisting, but there is no specific ban on members of street gangs. Sgt. Juwan Johnson’s family says such a prohibition is long overdue.

“Just maybe we can save someone else’s child … somebody else’s husband … somebody else’s father,” his mother said. “I would have loved to have seen him with his child, I really would have — that part is hard, that part is hard.”

This month a military court sentenced two of Juwan Johnson’s attackers to prison.


Part two of this CBS News investigation looks at police warnings that gangs in the military are branching out to the streets of America.


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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Saturday, 28 July 2007

Posted by musliminsuffer on July 30, 2007

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Saturday, 28 July 2007

Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice.

Saturday, 28 July 2007.

  • US, puppet troops raid, rob homes, arrest 54 people in Abu Ghurayb early Friday.
  • Three puppet troops killed in Resistance assault on checkpoint in al-Huwayjah.
  • Shi‘i sectarian Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen kill family of three Friday.
  • Resistance bomb targets puppet “Interior Ministry” checkpoint early Saturday.
  • Resistance bombards US base in as-Saqlawiyah Saturday morning.
  • Resistance bomb targets puppet police patrol in al-Fallujah.

Al-Anbar Province.

Resistance bomb targets puppet police patrol in al-Fallujah.

In a dispatch posted at 5:36pm Makkah time Saturday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a patrol of the puppet police in the middle of al-Fallujah.

Mafkarat al-Islam reported a source in the puppet police as saying that a bomb that had been planted by the side of one of the roads in the Nazal neighborhood went off by a passing puppet police patrol, damaging one patrol vehicle and also neighboring buildings.


Resistance bombards US base in as-Saqlawiyah Saturday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 12:25pm Baghdad time midday Saturday, the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported that the Iraqi Resistance fired three mortar rounds into the US base in the area of as-Saqlawiyah, 17km north of al-Fallujah on Saturday morning.

The AMSI reported that the Iraqi Resistance blasted the US base, which is located near the technical institute in as-Saqlawiyah – a suburb of al-Fallujah, 60km west of Baghdad – and that plumes of smoke rose over the American-occupied facility.

Abu Ghurayb.

US, puppet troops raid, rob homes, arrest 54 people in Abu Ghurayb early Friday.

In a dispatch posted on its website Saturday, Quds Press reported that US occupation troops together with their Iraqi puppet allies carried out a campaign of mass arrests in the town of Abu Ghurayb, 30km west of Baghdad, at 8am local time Friday morning.

Residents of Abu Ghurayb told Quds Press that the Americans and their Iraqi puppet army allies stormed into dozens of houses in the neighborhoods of az-Zaytun, ash-Shuhada’, ash-Shurtah, and al-Khan, arresting 54 people and robbing the houses of cash. The Americans and their allies also stole the light arms that the local people had licenses to keep for self-defense.

One witness told Quds Press that among the captives the Americans abducted an elderly resident whose son they accused of belonging to the Iraqi Resistance group the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution.

Abu Ghurayb is an area known for frequent attacks on US and puppet army patrols. It is generally an area where the Iraqi Resistance is in command, except for the periods when the US and puppet forces intrude in strength.


Un explained car bomb reportedly kills two in ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi‘ Square Saturday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 12:58pm Baghdad time midday Saturday, the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported that a car bomb exploded in the middle of Baghdad before noon Saturday.

The AMSI reported a source in the puppet police as saying that an explosives-laden car that was parked on ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi‘ Square in Baghdad’s al-Karradah district blew up before noon, killing two civilians and injuring 16 more.

Diyala Province.

Shi‘i sectarian Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen kill family of three Friday.

In a dispatch posted on its website Saturday, Quds Press reported that Shi‘i sectarian Jaysh al-Mahdi gunmen shot and killed a family of three in the area of al-Khalis, 57km north of Baghdad, on Friday.

In an exclusive interview, a source told Quds Press that the Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen attacked a house in al-Khalis and killed Hardan Husayn al-Bayyati, his wife, and their three-month old baby boy. The same sectarian gunmen also attacked a headquarters of the Sunni sectarian “Islamic Party of Iraq” in the city. The Shi‘i sectarian Jaysh al-Mahdi militiamen who support the American-backed puppet regime in Baghdad burned the furniture inside the headquarters of the Sunni sectarian party – which also participates in the puppet regime government from time to time.

Babil Province.

Resistance bomb targets puppet “Interior Ministry” checkpoint early Saturday.

In a dispatch posted at 12:58pm Baghdad time midday Saturday, the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a checkpoint in al-Musayyib, 70km south of Baghdad, at 7am local time Saturday morning.

The AMSI reported a source in the puppet “Iraqi Interior Ministry Scorpion Brigade” as saying that the blast wounded one of the puppet troops manning the checkpoint. He was hospitalized for treatment.

At-Ta’mim Province.

Three puppet troops killed in Resistance assault on checkpoint in al-Huwayjah.

In a dispatch posted at 5:36pm Makkah time Saturday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance fighters assaulted a checkpoint manned by puppet army troops in the town of al-Huwayjah, about 200km north of Bahgdad.

Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the attack left three puppet soldiers dead and a fourth wounded. Afterwards, a source in the puppet army announced that they had arrested 14 people, whom they described as “suspects.”



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