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Archive for February 1st, 2008

Eight-author paper (including 5 PhD’s) pub’d in Journal of 9/11 Studies: Extremely High Temperatures during the WTC destruction

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Eight-author paper (including 5 PhD’s) pub’d in Journal of 9/11 Studies: Extremely High Temperatures during the WTC destruction

Submitted by ProfJones on Tue, 01/29/2008 – 5:25pm

A paper that will surely rattle a few cages was published today:

Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction

Steven E. Jones1, Jeffrey Farrer2, Gregory S. Jenkins3, Frank Legge4, James Gourley, Kevin Ryan, Daniel Farnsworth, and Crockett Grabbe5.
1 S&J Scientific Co., Provo, Utah
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
3 Physics Department, University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland
4 Logical Systems Consulting, Perth, Western Australia
5 Department of Physics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

A little background is in order. The paper was written several months ago with the decision to focus on the “temperature gap” between temperatures reached in the “official story” and temperatures required by the data. (No mention of “thermite” was given in the paper — so that might have a better chance of publication in a mainstream journal. Showing the “official explanation” to be wrong seemed sufficient for this paper.)

The paper was then given to two independent Professors of Physics for peer-review. They made suggestions which were implemented. Both of these Professors then approved publication in a scientific journal (neither is a 9/11 activist).
Next the paper was sent to a mainstream journal for publication (and their own peer-review). However, this journal returned the paper with the comment “beyond the scope of this journal.” No technical comments were given, whatsoever.

Meanwhile, two of the authors in the above list wrote a separate (and distinct) paper and submitted it to another mainstream technical journal, about seven months ago. This paper was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication about two months ago, but still has yet to appear in print. We hope it will be published within ten months of submitting the paper.
The process is glacially slow, it seems…

Given the level of activity with our 9/11 Investigation at this stage — things are moving quickly now — the authors decided to go ahead and submit the paper to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, where it was accepted and quickly published following final reviews.
See what you’re missing — Journal of Physics!

I should also note that three physics departments are listed in the affiliations: Brigham Young University, Univ. of Maryland at College Park, and Univ. of Iowa. (Some PhD’s are sticking their necks out again… The paper, we believe, is solid.)

You will want to read this one! We hope it will generate interest and comment.



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Portugal accused of large role in Guantanamo fiasco

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Portugal accused of large role in Guantanamo fiasco

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

LONDON: Portugal helped illegally transport over 700 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay by allowing use of its territory or airspace, a report said Tuesday, urging Lisbon to launch a public investigation. British charity Reprieve, citing Portuguese and US data as well as prisoners’ testimony, said some 728 of 774 prisoners in the US detention camp on Cuba had been transported through Portuguese jurisdiction. “Portugal must hold a full, public inquiry and get to the bottom of these breaches of international law,” said Reprieve’s legal director Clive Stafford Smith, after the release of the report entitled “Journey of Death.” “The Portuguese government needs to do some serious soul-searching. None of these prisoners could have reached Guantanamo … without Portuguese complicity,” he added. The report was compiled using flight logs obtained from Portuguese authorities, US Defense Department data and testimony from prisoners themselves, Reprieve said in a statement. A “significant” number of prisoners transported through Portuguese jurisdiction had been severely tortured in secret prisons around the world before their arrival in Guantanamo Bay, it said. One inmate, Binyam Mohammad, was subjected to 18 months of torture in Morocco, including being repeatedly cut on his penis with razors and threatened with rape, electrocution and death, it said as an example. – AFP



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West will never beat Taliban, Rudd warned

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

West will never beat Taliban, Rudd warned

Matt Wade Herald Correspondent in Islamabad and agencies

January 31, 2008

A FORMER head of Pakistan’s military intelligence says Australia’s troop deployment in Afghanistan is doomed to failure and has urged the Government to withdraw its forces as quickly as possible.

Hamid Gul, the retired general who was the director-general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate when it supported Afghan militias against the Soviet occupation of their country, believes Western troops will be forced to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year.

“There comes a time in every war when the scales start tilting,” Mr Gul said. “I think the foreign presence in Afghanistan is at a tipping point now. Even if they are able to stretch it out, next year will be the last campaign year of the occupying forces. Then they will go – they will have to go.”

Mr Gul said it was not “wise” for Australia to maintain its troop commitment. “Of course it’s very difficult to say no to America, but [Australia should] find a way out like Japan … and many others.”

More than six years after the US-led invasion, the issue of security came to a head this week when the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, threatened to pull out Canada’s 2500 troops early next year unless NATO sent in more soldiers.

The US said it would press its European NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan’s violent south, but the Pentagon has said it will not commit any more of its own forces there.

The Taliban were toppled by the invasion in late 2001 but have recently made an explosive comeback, despite the presence of 50,000 foreign troops under the command of NATO and the US military, backed by 120,000 Afghan security forces.

Australia has about 1000 troops stationed mainly in the south, making it the largest non-NATO contributor. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has pledged to keep Australian troops in Afghanistan.

But Mr Gul says Western forces face a determined opposition that will not give up.”As a soldier I can tell you there is no army, no matter how strong, that can prevail against a nation that decides to fight. You will never, never prevail,” he said.

Since retirement Mr Gul has been involved with Jamaat-i-Islami, a relatively moderate Islamic political party in Pakistan, and was among a group of retired army officers who last week called on the President, Pervez Musharraf, to stand down.

Mr Gul concedes that a withdrawal from Afghanistan by the US and its allies would probably hand control of much of the country to the Taliban. But he said the security situation in his own country would improve significantly if US forces were to depart Pakistan.

The Afghan Defence Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, has said Kabul expects its allies to help expand Afghanistan’s security forces. “The only sustainable way to secure this country in an enduring way is to enable the Afghans themselves to be able to defend this country,” he said.



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Turkish parties unveil compromise headscarf reform

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Turkish parties unveil compromise headscarf reform

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

ANKARA: Turkey’s ruling AK Party and opposition nationalists unveiled plans on Tuesday to ease a ban on the wearing of the Muslim headscarf in universities that try to address the worries of the country’s secular elite.

Turkish secularists, who include army generals and judges, have long opposed any easing of the ban, saying it could harm the separation of state and religion. The issue sparked early polls last year after mass secular rallies and army warnings.

The leader of the nationalist MHP, whose support is needed to push through the reform, said the proposal would be sent to parliament on Tuesday, though it will take time to approve.

Ending injustice: “Our sole goal is to end the injustice against our women students, we have no other aim. These changes are limited to higher education,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told lawmakers from his religiously oriented AK Party in televised remarks.

Erdogan, who once served a short jail sentence for reading a poem deemed too Islamist and whose wife and daughters all wear the headscarf, has to tread warily for fear of provoking a tough reaction from the army generals. The staunchly secular army, with public backing, ousted a government it saw as too Islamist as recently as 1997.

The new proposal would only lift the ban for women who tie the headscarf under their chin in the traditional Turkish way. The increasingly popular wrap-round version, seen as a symbol of political Islam, will continue to be banned on campuses. Burqas – which cover the whole body – and other forms of Islamic dress will remain banned. University teachers and civil servants will continue to be barred from covering their heads. “Under our plan, the (woman’s) face must remain open and so a person will not be permitted to conceal her identity,” MHP leader Devlet Bahceli told his MPs in televised remarks.

Financial markets are closely watching the debate, fearful of revived tensions in the European Union candidate nation between the Islamist-rooted AK Party and the secular elite. Underlining the acute sensitivity of the headscarf issue, the AK Party launched a probe on Monday into one of its deputies who said the eventual goal was to lift the ban entirely. The MP could face party disciplinary proceedings. “We know there are people who are trying to provoke this process, but I believe we will all act with a view to strengthening social harmony,” said Erdogan, who is under strong AK Party grassroots pressure to reform the law.

“Turkish politics has suffered a great deal because of rigid (secularist) prejudices,” he added to strong applause from headscarved women in the gallery listening to his address. reuters

source :\30\story_30-1-2008_pg4_5


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Yes, the War is for Oil – and the Oil is for israel

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Yes, the War is for Oil – and the Oil is for israel

Ever wonder where israel gets its oil from?

It’s a very simple question that provides a very simple answer to another one: Who Benefits from the Iraq war and every other conflict in the Middle East?

In fact, the following concise summary from should make it perfectly clear to everyone that when Greenspan said that the war in Iraq is for oil, what he really admitted in an indirect way was that the war in fact is for israel.

The leader of Hezbollah declared “open war” against Israel on Friday following the bombing of his offices in Beirut, Lebanon. The president of Iran has announced that if Israel were to expand the hostilities by attacking Syria, that would represent “an attack on the whole Islamic world and the regime will face a crushing response.” Given the grim state of Arab-Israeli relations, where does Israel get its oil?From Russia and former Soviet republics. Israel produces only a couple thousand barrels of oil a day, which means it relies on the global market for more than 99 percent of its consumption.

It’s difficult to name all of the country’s suppliers—in 2004, Israel’s minister of national infrastructures admitted that “Israel’s situation is complicated. We don’t have diplomatic relations with most of the countries from which we import oil.” But over the past 25 years, significant fuel imports have come from Angola, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, and Norway. In more recent times, the Israelis have turned to Russia, Kazakhstan, and some of the other -stans for the bulk of their oil.

Israel has long sought a local source of oil, especially since the oil crisis of 1973. Having a nearby supplier would increase Israel’s energy security and reduce the cost of its imports.

Iran filled that need for a while: Starting in 1968, the Israelis used a pipe called the “TIPline” to import Iranian oil from the Red Sea. But the shah was overthrown in 1979, and Iran shut off the tap. (These days, Israel lets the Russians use the TIPline to pump oil in the opposite direction.)

The Israelis gained access to another local source when they took control of Egyptian oil fields in Sinai after the Six-Day War.


I don’t think so.

When Israel agreed to return the fields in 1979, they wanted broad assurances about their access to oil imports. The peace treaty with Egypt stipulated that “Israel shall be fully entitled to make bids for Egyptian-origin oil not needed for Egyptian domestic oil consumption.” An accompanying document outlined a deal with the United States that ensured Israeli oil supplies in times of crisis.Egypt continues to provide oil, but its importance as a supplier has diminished as Israel’s appetite has grown. In 1995, Egyptian oil accounted for one-third of Israel’s fuel imports; by 2000 that fraction had shrunk to one-eighth. While Israel was forced to look elsewhere for oil, it maintained a warm relationship with Egypt, at least regarding energy. In 2005, the two countries signed an agreement on the trade of natural gas.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to seek nearby suppliers. In the lead-up to the war in Iraq, there was some talk of restarting an abandoned pipeline that runs from Mosul, Iraq, to Haifa. In order for this to happen, Israel would need to somehow wrangle the support of the Syrians, since they control part of the route.

Are you seeing a pattern here???

They need oil, they take Sinai. They don’t give it back until they’ve secure guaranteed access to its oil.

They need oil, they kick off a war between the US and Iraq to secure cheap oil from Mosul to Haifa. But, Syria and Lebanon stand in the way, so they decimate Lebanon and now they’re after Syria.

And of course, they’ve been itching to re-open the pipeline from Iran since it shut down in ’79. Hence, israel’s incessant call for the US to attack Iran.

Finally, israelis don’t intend to end their quest for oil with Iran. They have other countries in their cross-hairs, like Saudi Arabia and their so-called “grand prize” – Egypt.

The Israelis have also tried to ramp up their own fuel production. A few weeks ago, they got some press for developing a new way to extract energy from the country’s large reserves of “oil shale.”

Why bother with peaceful innovative ways to produce energy when War is so much more effective?

Especially when they have US paying the price, with both our money and our lives.

In fact, israel’s insatiable quest for oil and gas can even explain its relentless assault against Hamas in Gaza.

So, the next time someone tells you that the war in Iraq is for oil, you tell them – ABSOLUTELY! – and the oil, in turn, is for israel.



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NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, January 29, 2008

NATO’s Role in the Middle East War Theater

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the iron fist of America, Britain, France, and Germany. These four Western nations are the pillars of NATO.

In the post-Cold War era, NATO has become an instrument in support of Anglo-American and Franco-German foreign and security objectives. Although intra-NATO differences exist, the interests of the U.S., the E.U. and Israel — which since 2005 has held a de facto membership in NATO — are interlocked within the Atlantic military alliance.

Two areas in the Middle East have been militarized by foreign powers: the Persian Gulf and the Levant.

In this regard, there have been two distinct phases of militarization in the Middle East since the late-1970s, the first being distinctly Anglo-American, going back to the Iraq-Iran War and the later being a unified NATO endeavour involving France and Germany as key players.

Although the militarization process in the Levant started after the Second World War with the establishment of Israel, NATO’s distinctive role in this process took shape since the launching of the “Global War on Terror” in 2001.

Paris and Berlin reveal their functions in the “Global War on Terror”

The E.U., led by France and Germany, has actively supported Anglo-American foreign policy since the onslaught of the “Global War on Terror.” This has resulted in the ever expanding NATO involvement in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Both NATO and Israel are slated to take on major responsibilities in forthcoming regional conflicts with Iran and Syria, should they occur. This is evident by the positioning of NATO troops and warships in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and on the borders of both Iran and Syria.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative: Entrapping the Palestinians in Mecca and via a Gaza-West Bank Split

In regards to Palestine, the chain of events that will be discussed will eventually lead to Annapolis. These events start with the 2002 Arab Initiative that was proposed by Saudi Arabia in Beirut during an Arab League conference in Lebanon. The Annapolis Conference was only an extravagant answer to the carefully crafted Saudi-proposal, which was really handed over to the Saudis by London and Washington in 2002 as part of their roadmap for the Middle East.

To understand where the path advertised at Annapolis is taking the Palestinians and the Levant one must also understand what has been happening in Palestine since 2001. To get to Annapolis one must recognize what happened between Hamas and Fatah, the calculated deceit behind Saudi Arabia’s role in the Mecca Accord, and the long-term objectives of America and its allies in the Middle East and the Mediterranean littoral.

First of all, America and the E.U. realized that Fatah did not represent the popular will of the Palestinian nation and that other Palestinian political parties would eventually take power away from Fatah. This was a problem for Israel, the E.U., and America because they needed the corrupt leaders of Fatah to implement their long-term objectives in the Palestinian Territories, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

In 2005, the U.S. State Department, the White House, and Israel started preparing themselves for a Hamas victory in the Palestinian general-elections. Thus, a strategy was created to neutralize not only Hamas but all the legitimate forms of Palestinian resistance to the foreign agendas that the Palestinians have been held hostages to since the “Nakba.”

Israel, America, and their allies, which included the E.U., were well aware that Hamas would never be a party to what Washington foresaw for the Palestinians and the Middle East. Simply stated, Hamas would oppose the Project for the “New Middle East” and what would be one of its consequential outcomes in the Levant, the Mediterranean Union. All along, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was a gateway for the materialization of both the “New Middle East” and the Mediterranean Union.

While the Saudi’s played their part in America’s “New Middle East” venture Fatah was manoeuvred, at a loss for better words, into fighting Hamas so that an understanding would be required between Hamas and Fatah. This was also done with the knowledge that Hamas’ first reaction as the governing Palestinian party would be to maintain the integrity of Palestinian unity. This is where Saudi Arabia comes into the picture again through its role in arranging the Mecca Accord. Saudi Arabia did not give Hamas any diplomatic recognition before the Mecca Accord.

The Mecca Accord was a setup and a means to entrap Hamas. The Hamas-Fatah truce and the subsequent Palestinian unity government that was established was never meant to last from the day that Hamas was deceived into signing the agreement in Mecca. The Mecca Accord was in advance a preparation to legitimize what would happen next, a Palestinian mini-civil war in Gaza.

It is after the signing of the Mecca Accord that elements within Fatah led by Mohammed Dahlan (supervised by U.S. Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton) were ordered to overthrow the Hamas-led Palestinian government by the U.S. and Israel.

There probably existed two contingency plans, one for Fatah’s possible electoral success and the other contingency plan (and more probable of the two) in the case of Fatah’s failure. The latter plan was a preparation for two parallel Palestinian governments, one in Gaza led by Prime Minister Haniyah and Hamas and the other in the West Bank controlled by Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah. Mahmoud Abbas and his associates have also called for the creation of a parallel Palestinian parliament in the West Bank, a rubber stamp all but in name. [1]

The Mecca Accord effectively allowed Fatah to rule the West Bank in two strokes. Since a unity government was formed as a result of the Mecca Accord, a Fatah withdrawal from the government was used to depict the Hamas-led government as illegitimate by Fatah. This was while the renewed fighting in Gaza made new Palestinian elections unworkable. Mahmoud Abbas was also put in a position where he could claim legitimacy for forming his own administration in the West Bank that would have been seen worldwide for what it really was, an illegitimate regime. It is also no coincidence that the man picked to led Mahmoud Abbas’ government, Dr. Salam Fayyad, is a former World Bank employee.

With Hamas effectively neutralized and cut off from power in the West Bank, the stage was set for two things; proposals for an international military force in the Palestinian Territories and the Annapolis Conference. [2]

The Annapolis Peace Summit: Foreshadowing events yet to Come

According to Al Jazeera prior to the Annapolis Conference, agreements drafted by Mahmoud Abbas and Israel called the Agreement of Principles guaranteed that the Palestinians would not have a military force when the West Bank is given some form of self-determination.

The agreements also called for the integration of the economies of the Arab World with Israel and the positioning of an international force, similar to those in Bosnia and Kosovo, to supervise and implement these agreements in the Palestinian Territories. It also becomes clearer with the revelation of this information why there was a need to neutralize Hamas and legitimize Mahmoud Abbas.

This is where France, the E.U., and the creation of a Mediterranean Union re-enter the picture. For years, even before the “Global War on Terror,” Paris had been calling for a troop contingent from either the E.U. or NATO to be deployed in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. The people of the Middle East must open their eyes to what has been planned for their lands.

February 19, 2004, Dominique de Villepin stated that once the Israelis left the Gaza Strip foreign troops could be sent there and an international conference could legitimize their presence as part of the second phase of the Israeli-Palestinian Roadmap and as part of an initiative for the Greater Middle East or the “New Middle East.” [3] This statement was made before Hamas came to the government scene and before Mahmoud Abbas’ Agreement of Principles. However, it did follow the 2002 Saudi-proposed Arab Initiative.

It is clear, in this regard, that the events unfolding in the Middle East are part of a military roadmap drawn before the “Global War on Terror.”

This brings us to Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposals for a Mediterranean Union. The economic integration of the Israeli economy with the economies of the Arab World would further the web of global relationships being tightened by the global agents of the Washington Consensus. The Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative, the Agreement of Principles, and Annapolis are all phases for establishing the economic integration of the Arab World with Israel through the Project for the “New Middle East” and the integration of the entire Mediterranean with the European Union through the Mediterranean Union. The presence of troops from both NATO and E.U. countries in Lebanon is also a part of this goal.

Lebanon Déjà Vu: Internationalization of the Gaza Strip by NATO?

There is ample evidence that the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon was planned by Israel, the U.S., and NATO. [4]

After deploying inside Lebanon in 2006 under the banner of UNIFIL, NATO was also slated to enter the Gaza Strip at some time in the near-future. Coinciding with the 2006 war on Lebanon, Israel was due to launch a major campaign against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials were saying that in the aftermath of the fighting between the Israeli military and the Palestinians that NATO was designated to move into Gaza. The Gaza Strip was viewed as the next destination for NATO “peacekeeping operations,” by Avigdor Lieberman, the former Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs. Avigdor Lieberman was also the deputy prime minister of Israel at the time.

Avigdor Lieberman even insisted, in the presence of Condoleezza Rice and U.S. officials, that a military operation against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was “inevitable” and “the results of such a action should be the entry of 30,000 NATO forces [meaning troops] to deploy in Gaza” so as to prevent any further [Palestinian] armed build-up. [5] Amir Peretz, while in the post of Israeli defence minister, had also stated in March of 2007 that the Israeli military had authorization for fresh military operations in the Gaza Strip. [6]

The fighting that Israeli officials and military commanders predicted has occurred, but not initially between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The fighting unfolded between the Palestinians in Gaza and then the Israelis started their operations. The Israelis merely outsourced their dirty work to Palestinian collaborators in Gaza, such as Mohammed Dahlan. Even the Israeli calls for the internationalization of the situation in Gaza, like the situation in Lebanon, have been outsourced to Palestinian collaborators. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, has been incriminatingly following the U.S. and Israeli script verbatim.

Israel: The De Facto Arm of NATO

“Israel’s diplomatic and security goal…must be clear: joining NATO and entering the European Union.”

-Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs

Israel has established a high-level military cooperation agreement with NATO. Avigdor Lieberman has stated that Israel is destined to become an outpost of the E.U. and a formal member of NATO. [7] The former Israeli minister also managed Israeli high-level contacts with NATO and the Iranian war dossier. He has been involved with the U.S. and NATO in regards to coordinated preparations against Syria and Iran.

Since the founding of the Jewish State, Israel has been perceived as a protrusion of the so-called “West” and its interests into the Middle East and the Arab World. Israel is an active member of NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although Israel is not a NATO member, Israel together with Turkey constitute the backbone of NATO strength in the Middle East. Both Turkey and Israel are slated in the future to also take on major military roles in the Mediterranean region.

By the end of 2007 Israel started claiming that it was given the green light” from the U.S., the E.U., and their mutual military body, NATO, to launch an attack against Iran. This would spark an all embracing war in the Middle East. The Israeli military has been training continuously and Israeli troops have been told by their superiors to prepare for an “all-out war.”

Creating Barriers in the Palestine Territories: Calculated Steps for the Future?

The Gaza Strip has been compared by many in Palestine and Israel to a large detention centre or prison. Movements are restricted, mobility rights are violated, and the whole area is surrounded by barriers and barbwire. Portions of it are also still occupied by the Israeli military and used as buffer zones.

The West Bank is a vast area compared to the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is also a fraction of the size of the West Bank. It has an approximate 360 square km (139 square mile) total area and shares a 51 km (32 mile) border with the Israelis. The West Bank on the other hand has an official 5, 949 square km (2, 297 mile) total area. It is far easier to control or seal off the smaller Gaza border for the Israeli military than the West Bank. In regards to the demographics of the Israeli military and Israeli manpower the case is the same. In this sense sealing off and manning Gaza would be the easier of the two areas.

In the West Bank it will be Fatah with the help of foreign troops that will be used to restrain Palestinian fighters in the event of a broader Middle Eastern war. The venture to internationalize the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with foreign troops from NATO and Arab nations can also be seen as part of the effort to create a military barrier for Israel.

Gabi Ashkenazi, an Israeli general of mixed Bulgarian and Syrian descent, with ground experience in Lebanon as a supervisor of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) has succeeded Daniel Halutz as the head of the Israeli military. Ashkenazi was placed in charge of building the barrier, widely talked about as the “Apartheid Wall,” between the West Bank and Israel. Although not complete, the Apartheid Wall in the event of a regional war, would also obstruct Palestinian fighters from crossing the West Bank and fighting Israeli forces.

Creating Additional Barriers between Lebanon and Israel

The post-2006 UNIFIL that deployed to South Lebanon after the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon is not the same as the pre-2006 UNIFIL. It is a more robust and battle-ready entity and it too can be used as a shield for Israel and against the Lebanese in the case of a regional war launched by Israel.

Another important point is the Israeli military’s firing of about 3 million (or more) American-supplied cluster bombs into South Lebanon during the 2006 war against Lebanon. What came across as extremely sinister was the Israeli rush to saturate South Lebanon with these cluster bombs when the Israeli 2006 attacks on Lebanon were drawing to an end. South Lebanon’s geography gives a partial explanation; it is the region of Lebanon which borders Israel.

The mass ejection of the Israeli cluster bombs into South Lebanon was a calculated move to create another Israeli barrier from potential combatants in a future Middle Eastern war. These cluster bombs have basically become landmines that will prevent a wave of Lebanese fighters from crossing into Israel in the case of a major war against Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, and Lebanon.

Regional War Scenario: Israeli Preparations for a Retaliatory Missile Storm

The Project for a “New Middle East” will come at a high price and that price is war. The militarization of the Gaza Strip is multi-faceted in rationale and is linked to preparations for a broader Middle Eastern conflict. The deployment of foreign troops to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, like in Lebanon, and the walling up of the West Bank also serve the purpose of keeping the Palestinians at bay should a major war break out in the Middle East between Israel, America, and NATO on one side and Syria, Iran, and their allies on the other.

The rationale for this analysis is based on the fact that a war against Iran and Syria would reduce and weaken the Israeli military: Iranian ballistic missiles would leave Israeli forces exposed and the different Palestinian resistance groups are well aware of this. If a regional war were to break out between Israel and Iran and Syria, the Palestinians could be elevated to an almost equal fighting status on the ground with the Israelis in the Palestinian Territories. The dynamics of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would be transformed overnight.

Divisions amongst the Lebanese and the Palestinians would obstruct the effectiveness of a combined military endeavour against Israel in the case of a broader regional war. The situation is the same as in Iraq: the more divided the Iraqis are the weaker their war effort would be against the U.S. and its allies occupying Iraq. Aside from Palestine, the Nakba has been repeated in Iraq. There should be no mistake about it, the occupations of Palestine and Iraq are from the same cloth and architects. Bilad Al-Sham, Iraq, and their peoples suffer from the same source.

Does a Link exist between Talks of a Palestinian Nation and War?

“The war we [Israel] are waging in the Middle East is not a war of the State of Israel alone (…) and we [Israel] are situated on the front lines.”

– Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister for Strategic Affairs

Following the Hariri assassination, France and Germany have become more active in the diplomatic waltz of the Middle East. Franco-German resources are fully active in alignment with Anglo-American interests on the diplomatic front. Before going to Egypt on a state visit, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany and the E.U. would restart the Arab-Israeli peace process. [8] Franco-German diplomats and the E.U. have also harmonized their efforts with Saudi Arabia in regards to mollifying the Palestinians. [9]

Many parallels can be drawn between the march to war of 2002 and 2003 in relation to Iraq and the ongoing march to war against Syria and Iran. One of these parallels was the White House initiative to revive a so-called Arab-Israeli peace process” and to help establish an independent Palestinian State before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

There is a strong relationship between American wars in the Middle East and overtures of Palestinian statehood to the Arabs. The Oslo Accords were also linked to the 1991 defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War. Is this why George W. Bush Jr. talked more about the threat from Iran than about peace during his presidential tour of the Middle East and his visit to Israel?

One of the rationales for U.S. statements about statehood for the Palestinians, a façade, was to ensure that none of the client governments in the Arab World would be displaced through revolts by Arab populations and replaced. The Palestinian Question and support for the Palestinians is an issue that can win or lose hearts and minds in the Arab World and with many Muslim populations. The notion is that while there is temporary silence on the Palestinian front, new fronts may be opened without creating a massive outburst in the Middle East and elsewhere.

NATO-Israeli War Consultation at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

A consistent pattern is unfolding involving NATO, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the “Global War on Terror.” In late-June 2007, Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli officials had high-level meetings with NATO officials at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. [10] The Deputy Secretary-General of NATO, Alessandro Minuto Rizzo of Italy, and an Israeli delegation led by Avigdor Lieberman discussed the anticipated deployment of NATO units and forces in the Gaza Strip. [11]

The NATO Deputy Secretary-General and the Israeli side also discussed deploying an international force in Gaza to preserve order and prevent the Palestinians from arming themselves. [12] The meetings also pertained to Iran and the matter of air defences for Israel, and the deepening of intelligence cooperation between NATO and Israel. [13] Avigdor Lieberman returned to Israel from his meetings in Western Europe claiming on Israel’s Army Radio that the U.S., the E.U., and NATO had given Israel the “green light” to ignite war in the Middle East by launching an attack on Iran at an undisclosed time. [14]

In 2007 NATO gave Israel the “Green Light” to start a war with Iran at an Undisclosed Time

“Iran is a complicated country and it doesn’t seem that Israel has the power to counter [challenge] it.”

-Javier Solana, European Union Foreign Policy and Security Chief and former NATO Secretary-General (Der Tagesspiegel)

After returning from his trip to Western Europe and conferring with NATO Headquarters the former Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, said on early-July, 2007 that he received the tacit blessing of the E.U., the U.S., and NATO to initiate an Israeli military strike on Iran. “If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the U.S. will support us,” Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio, in a message geared towards Israeli servicemen, following his European tour and his meetings with E.U. officials, José María Aznar of Spain, and the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO.

Avigdor Lieberman also asserted that because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the U.S., Britain, and their European allies were unable to initiate a war with Iran and its allies, but were willing to allow Israel to attack Iran.

Avigdor Lieberman also affirmed that the U.S. and NATO would intervene on the side of Israel once the war with Iran and its allies were started. The message conveyed to Lieberman by NATO and E.U. officials was that Israel should “prevent the threat herself,” which means that Israel must launch the war against Iran and its regional allies. [15]

Israel will be protected by NATO in a war scenario with Iran and Syria

“The best way to provide Israel with that additional security is to upgrade its relationship with the collective [defence] arm of the West: NATO. Whether that upgraded relationship culminates in membership for Israel or simply a much closer strategic and operational [defence] relationship can be debated. After all, a classic security guarantee requires clear and recognized borders to be defended, something Israel does not have today. Configuring an upgraded Israel-NATO relationship will require careful diplomacy and planning.”

-Ronald D. Asmus, Executive Director of the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Center in Brussels (February 21, 2006)

Israel can not challenge Iran militarily. Militarily Tehran is above Israel’s league, despite the illusions of Israeli strength. Tel Aviv will only launch a war against Iran, if the U.S. and NATO are partners in the military operation.

In such a scenario, the U.S., Britain, and NATO will immediately or almost immediately come to the side of Israel, as Avigdor Lieberman has stated.

This is a premeditated arrangement. The leaders of NATO will tell their citizens that Israel was compelled to attack Iran out of fear and because of its “right to exist.” Then they will close ranks with Israel. It should also be stated when a living organism’s “right to exist” comes at the deprivation of the “rights to exist” of everything else around it then it becomes a threat like cancer.

In March of 2006, it was reported in Britain that NATO officials had alluded that they would play a role in an Israeli-U.S. attack against Iran.

Sarah Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi reported that Major-General Axel Tüttelmann, NATO Commander of Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (AWAC) assured Israeli officials that NATO would be involved in a future campaign against the Iranians. [16]

“[Major-General] Tüttelmann’s comments revealed that the military alliance [NATO] could play a supporting role if America [and Israel] launches air strikes.” The report also revealed that the Major-General was showcasing AWAC’s early warning surveillance plane to the Israelis. [17] The showcasing of NATO surveillance planes suggests the existence of joint Israel-NATO war preparations.

Strategic studies analyst Patrick Cronin of the International Institute for Strategic Studies also told The Guardian (U.K.) in 2007 that if Israel insisted on striking Iran, the U.S. would have to take “decisive action,” insinuating that America will enter the Israeli-sparked war on the side of Israel. [18]

Israel Working to Shape Strategic Atmosphere and Environment: But for Whom?

Napoléon Bonaparte once said, “International incidents must not be allowed to shape foreign policy, foreign policy must shape the incidents.” Whatever is said and claimed about this historic figure, he was a military genius and a grand statesmen. In his life time the Corsican officer escalated himself up to the rank of a general and became the Emperor of France, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Mediator of the Helvetic (Swiss) Confederation. His campaigns took him from the Pyramids of Mamluk Egypt and the hillsides of the Iberian Peninsula to the plains of Poland and the riverbanks of Moscow. He was a man of intellect who knew very well about the depth of international relations and the politics of incidents.

Were Napoléon Bonaparte still alive, he would not have been surprised at the events unravelling in the global environment, especially in the Middle East. Today, foreign policy is still shaping international incidents. Israel has been a battling entity that has been striving to sculpt and shape its strategic environment.

If the U.S. or Britain were to take the initiative to launch another war, their political leaders would face fierce opposition from public opinion, which could threaten the Anglo-American political establishment and even create national instability. But if Israel were to launch a war the situation would be quite different.

If Israel were to launch a war on the pretexts of defending itself from a growing Iranian menace, the U.S. and NATO would intervene to “protect Israel” from Iranian reprisals without appearing to have started another illicit international war.

Blame would be shouldered on the Israelis for the war rather than on the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally. Western political leaders would argue that it is their national duty to protect Israel regardless of the Israeli breach of international laws.

Nuclear Armageddon in the Middle East: Israel to target the Arab World and Iran with Nukes?

According to Norman Podhoretz, one of the so-called intellectual forces behind the foreign policies of the Bush Jr. Administration, in the February 2008 issue of Commentary Magazine, “The only alternative that seemed even remotely plausible to me was that he [meaning George W. Bush Jr.] might outsource the job [of starting a war with Iran] to the Israelis.”

Not only has Podhoretz called for getting Tel Aviv to attack Iran for the U.S., he has also argued that a nuclear war in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Iranians is inevitable unless Iran is bombed. This is despite the fact that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as peaceful. Based on the work of Anthony Cordesman, Pordhoretz has also brought up the notion that Israel will also have to eliminate its Arab neighbours, such as Egypt and Syria (even if they are Israeli allies and at peace with Israel like Egypt).

In Podhoretz’s own words: “In the grisly scenario Cordesman draws, tens of millions would indeed die, but Israel — despite the decimation of its civilian population and the destruction of its major cities — would survive, even if just barely, as a functioning society. Not so Iran, and not its ‘key Arab [neighbours],’ particularly Egypt and Syria, which Cordesman thinks Israel would also have to target in order ‘to ensure that no other power can capitalize on an Iranian strike.’ Furthermore, Israel might be driven in desperation to go after the oil wells, refineries, and ports in the [Persian] Gulf.”

Osirik/Osiriq Déjà Vu: Israeli Attack against Iran in the Works?

It should be noted that Pervez Musharraf started a tour of Europe in the same window of time as the presidential tours of the American President and Nicolas Sarzoky in the Middle East and the withdrawal of Avigdor Lieberman from the Israeli cabinet. [19] The aim of Musharraf’s tour is to coordinate with the E.U. and NATO in Brussels, as well as to visit France, Britain, and Switzerland. [20] Musharraf’s trip comes at a time when Pakistan is in a divisive political crisis and in the eve of Israeli calls for war with Iran.

The Secretary-General of NATO, Jakob (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer, also visited the U.A.E. shortly after the tours of George W. Bush Jr. and Nicolas Sarkozy; de Hoop Scheffer told his hosts in Abu Dhabi that NATO would work in the Persian Gulf to contain Iran. [21] The Secretary-General of NATO also called Iran a common threat to both the GCC and to NATO members. Secretary-General de Hoop Scheffer’s trip and statements are in line with Anglo-American and Franco-German plans in the Middle East to confront Iran. While in the U.A.E. the Secretary-General of NATO also inferred that NATO would get involved in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, which as noted has been in the works for years. [22]

Alarming statements that have been insinuating a looming attempt by Tel Aviv to attack Iran have been made repeatedly since 2004 and have been getting stronger. At the 2008 Herzliya Conference, an annual Israeli conference on national security, John Bolton encouraged Tel Aviv to bomb Iran while mentioning the September 2007 Israeli air strike on Syria as a precedent for another attack. [23] In a state of irony, Ehud Barak started making claims in late-January, 2008 that Iran is in the final stages of manufacturing nuclear warheads while the Israeli government was announcing the success of missiles that carry nuclear warheads. [24]

Paris has also suggested that Israel will start a war against Iran; in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Nicolas Sarkozy stated that the likelihood of Israel starting a war against Iran are far greater than an American attack on Iran. [25] The U.S. Homeland Secretary, Michael Chertoff, has also confirmed that the U.S. would not launch any attacks against Iran in an interview with RIA Novosti. [26]

Iran and Syria have stated that they are ready to protect themselves and would retaliate to any Israeli aggression. [27] All around the Middle East the forces that are resisting foreign control are on alert for some form of Israeli hostility. “If Israel launches a new war against Lebanon, we promise them a war that will change the face of the entire region,” the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has also warned Tel Aviv in anticipation of renewed Israeli aggression in the Middle East during a public ceremony in Beirut. [28]

Israel: An Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Tel Aviv has been justifying its opponent’s claims that it is a tool of colonial projects in Middle East. The majority of Israelis are themselves being manipulated by a complex system that includes media disinformation, fear mongering, and longstanding psychological conditioning. Israeli blood is being used to oppress, kill, appropriate, and to fuel the engines of economic empires. Mercantilism is still very much alive, but in a mutated form.

Israel through its officials and government leaders is being used to maintain tension in the Middle East. Israel is an instrument which justifies Anglo-American and Franco-German intervention. Why else would the U.S. get angry with Israel because Tel Aviv did not endanger its own interests by attacking Syria during the 2006 Israeli against Lebanon and facing the wrath of an expanded regional war with Iran and Syria? [29]

Despite the demands and views of the majority of the Israeli population, Ehud Olmert, a man who was known for his corruption as the mayor of West Jerusalem, is still in the office of prime minister. Just as the democratic will of the American public has been ignored in regards to Iraq, the democratic will of Israelis has been ignored about the removal of Ehud Olmert. Like in many other places, the interests of the population of Israel are meaningless to the upper echelons of power. Israel’s leaders do not serve the interests of Israelis, they serve the “Washington Consensus.”

Ehud Olmert’s coalition may last long enough to start a regional war. Prime Minister Olmert’s political career is virtually over and he has nothing to loose from starting another war. Avigdor Lieberman, the man who led the high level consultations with NATO on behalf of Tel Aviv, left the Israeli cabinet during George W. Bush Jr.’s visit to Israel as a part of his recent presidential tour of the Middle East. Lieberman stated that his departure was because of “the peace talks” with the Palestinians, but in reality he took the decision because of the Winograd Commission and as part of a tactic to keep the Labour Party of Israel within Ehud Olmert’s coalition government. This is a tactic to possibly give enough life and time to Ehud Olmert’s government to launch a regional war by attempting to attack Iran.

Even the enemies of Israel agree that Tel Aviv is a proxy of Anglo-American and foreign interests. Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the defence minister of Iran in 2004, warned the U.S. government that in the case of an Israeli attack, Iranian military retaliation would be directed against both the U.S. and Israel. It is understood, in this regard, that were Tel Aviv to launch a war, it would need a U.S. green light before commencing the attacks. [30] The White House has also been fully involved in all Israeli missile tests and Israeli war preparations have involved joint Israeli-American coordination through such bodies as the Israeli-U.S. Joint Political Military Group. [31]

In the wake of the 2006 war on Lebanon, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassam (Kassam) declared in an interview given to Al-Manar Television: “Who started the war? Israel. It turned out that Israel does not respond proportionally, but rather executes pre-planned American decisions. The aggression was planned in advance.” [32] Sheikh Naim Qassam further accused “Israel of functioning as an arm of the United States.” Sheikh Naim Qassam explained that “Everyone has always said that Israel pulls America’s strings, but now it turns out that America rules Israel. Israel has turned into America’s arm.” [33]


[1] Khaled Abu Toameh, PLO to form separate W. Bank parliament, The Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2008.

[2] Emine Kart, Ankara cool towards Palestine troops, Today’s Zaman, July 3, 2007.

[3] Dominique René de Villepin, Déclarations de Dominique de Villepin à propos du Grand Moyen-Orient, interview with Pierre Rousselin, Le Figaro, February 19, 2004.

[4] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Premeditated Nature of the War on Lebanon: A Stage of the Broader Middle East Military Roadmap, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), September 10, 2007.

[5] Israeli action in Gaza ‘inevitable,’ Al Jazeera, January 14, 2007.

[6] Tom Spender, Israel ‘planning Gaza invasion,’ Al Jazeera, April 4, 2007.

[7] Avigdor Lieberman: Israel should press to join NATO, EU, Haaretz, January 1, 2007.

[8] Germany to help renew Mideast peace efforts: Chancellor, Xinhua News Agency, December 10, 2006.

[9] Angela Merkel sets off to Middle East, Associated Press, March 31, 2007.

[10] Ronny Sofer, Lieberman wants NATO troops in Gaza, Yedioth Ahronoth, June 28, 2007.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] NATO: The US and Europe can not suspend Iran’s nuclear program, Azeri Press Agency (APA), July 11, 2007.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Sarah Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi, NATO may help US strikes on Iran, The Times (U.K.), March 5, 2006.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill, Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran, The Guardian (U.K.), July 16, 2007.

[19] Pakistan President arrives in Belgium for Europe tour, The Times of India, January 2008.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Indel Ersan, NATO chief urges cooperation with Gulf over Iran, ed. Andrew Roche, Reuters, January 24, 2008.

[22] Jamal Al-Majaida, NATO chief discusses alliance’s role in Gulf, Khaleej Times, January 27, 2008.

[23] Yuval Azoulay and Barak Ravid, Bolton: ‘Near zero chace’ Pres. Bush will strike Iran, Haaretz, January 24, 2008; Israeli Transportation Minister, Shaul Mofaz, also indicated at the Herzilya Conference that the years 2008 and 2009 will also see the last diplomatic efforts against Tehran before an implied military option (attack) against the Iranians. The Israeli Transportation Minister also made similar threats before saying that sanctions had till the end of 2007 to work against Iran until the military option would be prepared. This prior threat was made as he led the Israeli delegation of the Israeli-U.S. Joint Political Military Group, which focuses on Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon. Shaul Mofaz was also the former commander of the Israeli military, a former Israeli defence minister, and hereto is one of the individuals in charge of the Iran file in Tel Aviv.

[24] Iran may be working on nuclear warheads: Israeli Defence Minister, The Times of India, January 26, 2008; Israel suspects Iranians already working on nuclear warhead, Agence France-Presse (AFP), January 16, 2008; Lally Weymouth, A Conversation With Ehud Barak, The Washington Post, January 26, 2008, p.A17.

[25] Sarkozy: France worried by Iran-Israel tension, Associated Press, December 12, 2007.

[26] U.S. will not attack Iran, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), January 25, 2008.

[27] Bush trying to foment discord in Mideast, Tehran Times, January 28, 2008, p.A1+; Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, America’s “Divide and Rule” Strategies in the Middle East, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), January 17, 2008; Nir Magal, Syrian VP: We’ll retaliate for Israeli aggression, Yedioth Ahronoth, September 8, 2007.

[28] Hezbollah chief scoffs at Israel at rare public appearance, Agence France-Presse (AFP), January 19, 2008.

[29] Yitzhak Benhorin, Neocons: We expected Israel to attack Syria, Yedioth Aharonot, December 16, 2006.

[30] Anthon La Guardia, Iran wars Israel on pre-emptive strike, The Telegraph (U.K.), August 19, 2004.

[31] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Israel’s Nuclear Missile Threat against Iran, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), January 19, 2008; Hilary Leila Krieger, Mofaz warns sanction on Iran must bite by year’s end, The Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2007.

[32] Hanan Awarekeh, Kassem: If Israel attacks, we’ll show them surprise, Al-Manar, July 12, 2007.

[33] Ibid.



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Abu Ghraib documentary in Berlin premiere

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Abu Ghraib documentary in Berlin premiere

From correspondents in Berlin

January 30, 2008 04:45am

A FILM about the prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail will become the first documentary ever to enter the competition at the Berlin Film Festival next month, organisers said overnight.

Standard Operating Procedure by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris uses recovered footage, reenactments and the notorious photographs published round the world to shed light on the sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi inmates by US troops at the notorious prison outside Baghdad.

“It kept us glued to our seats,” Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick said of the film ahead of the February 7 to 17 event.

“The known facts are presented in a way like you have never seen them before. That is the best thing a documentary can do.”

Morris, who will turn 60 next month, won an Academy Award for his incisive 2003 documentary The Fog of War about former US Defence Secretary Robert McNamara.

His films The Thin Blue Line about the death penalty in the United States and A Brief History of Time on the disabled British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking were also international successes.

Mr Kosslick said the line-up of the 58th Berlinale would be less political than in recent years and focus on music in cinema.

The 58th annual event will open with Shine A Light, a Rolling Stones documentary by Martin Scorsese. Both the band and the director are expected to attend the gala premiere.

Pop diva Madonna is to screen her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, starring British actor Richard E Grant and the Roma punk band Gogol Bordello.

The festival’s sprawling sidebar sections will feature Indian hit Om Shanti Om with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and a documentary on the godmother of punk Patti Smith – both of whom will also perform live.

And rock legend Neil Young will present a documentary about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 2006 Freedom of Speech Tour alongside pictures about Sudanese hip-hop artists and Argentinean tango.

Twenty-one films will be vying for the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes.

source :,21985,23131064-5005961,00.html


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Iraq conflict has killed a million, says survey

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraq conflict has killed a million, says survey


Reuters North American News Service

Jan 30, 2008 13:29 EST

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain’s leading polling groups.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes.

The last complete census in Iraq conducted in 1997 found 4.05 million households in the country, a figure ORB used to calculate that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war, the researchers found.

The margin of error in the survey, conducted in August and September 2007, was 1.7 percent, giving a range of deaths of 946,258 to 1.12 million.

ORB originally found that 1.2 million people had died, but decided to go back and conduct more research in rural areas to make the survey as comprehensive as possible and then came up with the revised figure.

The research covered 15 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Those that not covered included two of Iraq’s more volatile regions — Kerbala and Anbar — and the northern province of Arbil, where local authorities refused them a permit to work.

Estimates of deaths in Iraq have been highly controversial in the past.

Medical journal The Lancet published a peer-reviewed report in 2004 stating that there had been 100,000 more deaths than would normally be expected since the March 2003 invasion, kicking off a storm of protest.

The widely watched Web site Iraq Body Count currently estimates that between 80,699 and 88,126 people have died in the conflict, although its methodology and figures have also been questioned by U.S. authorities and others.

ORB, a non-government-funded group founded in 1994, conducts research for the private, public and voluntary sectors.

The director of the group, Allan Hyde, said it had no objective other than to record as accurately as possible the number of deaths among the Iraqi population as a result of the invasion and ensuing conflict. (Reporting by Luke Baker; editing by Andrew Roche)

Source: Reuters North American News Service


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What you don’t see on CNN: Settlers Firing on Palestinian Shepherds

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

What you don’t see on CNN: Settlers Firing on Palestinian Shepherds

Christian Peacemaker Teams Releases Video of Settlers Firing on Palestinian Shepherds in South Hebron Hills

Late Saturday morning, settlers from the illegal Havat Ma’on outpost fired six shots at shepherds grazing their sheep in a nearby valley. There were no injuries as the shepherds and international volunteers with them quickly moved to lower ground.

The incident was part of ongoing problems in the area as shepherds from the nearby villages of Tuba and Maghaer al Abeed have attempted to graze their sheep in valleys to the south of the outpost. The recent problems began on Friday, when settlers called soldiers to force the shepherds off of land to the south of the outpost that they hope to take control of. The outpost is undergoing consistent expansion. Soldiers arrived and told international volunteers from Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove that the shepherds must stay off the land.

Saturday morning, the shepherds returned to the land to graze, despite the previous day’s intimidation. Five settlers were seen walking through the nearby village of Mufagara on their way to Khoruba valley, south of the Havat Ma’on outpost. The five settlers were joined by another settler from the outpost at which time they pointed towards the shepherds in the valley, accompanied by international volunteers, as well as to internationals nearby monitoring. At that point, they fired on the shepherds in the valley and ran back into the outpost. In all, six shots were fired.

Police were called by the volunteers accompanying the shepherds. They briefly came to the outpost, immediately turning around. They were called again and replied that they, “had better things to do.”

For more information about ongoing harassment in the South Hebron Hills, contact Christian Peacemaker Teams/Operation Dove at 0542531323.



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NATO Genocide in Afghanistan

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 1, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

NATO Genocide in Afghanistan

JURIST Contributing Editor Ali Khan of Washburn University School of Law says that in the name of the “war of terror,” NATO forces in Afghanistan are committing genocide by systematically hunting down and destroying the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group, contrary to the terms of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide…

Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word “genocide” in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group. NATO combat troops bombard and kill people in Taliban enclaves and meeting places. They also murder defenseless Afghan civilians. The dehumanized label of “Taliban” is used to cloak the nameless victims of NATO operations. Some political opposition to this practice is building in NATO countries, such as Canada, where calls are heard to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or divert them to non-combat tasks.


In almost all NATO nations, the Taliban have been completely dehumanized — a historically-tested signal that perpetrators of the crime of genocide carry unmitigated intentions to eradicate the dehumanized group. Politicians, the armed forces, the media, and even the general public associate in the West the Taliban with irrational fanatics, intolerant fundamentalists, brutal assassins, beheaders of women, bearded extremists, and terrorists. This luminescent negativity paves the way for aggression, military operations, and genocide. Promoting the predatory doctrine of collective self-defense, killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue. To leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, says NATO, is to leave a haven for terrorism.

A similar dehumanization took place in the 16th and 17th centuries when NATO precursors occupied the Americas to purloin land and resources. The killings of native inhabitants were extensive and heartless. Thomas Jefferson, the noble author of the Declaration of Independence, labeled Indians as “merciless savages.” President Andrew Jackson pontificated: “What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms.” Promoting the predatory doctrine of discovery, the United States Supreme Court later ratified the pilgrims’ crimes, holding that “discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title (to land). ([T]he Indians were fierce savages…To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness.”

The predators have not changed their stripes a bit. They come, they demonize, they obliterate. They do all this in the name of superior civilization.

The Facts

The NATO website lists its killings in Afghanistan. These killings are also reported in the world media, often with a shameless tone of gratitude as if NATO forces are engaged in wiping out cannibals. In 2007 alone, NATO helicopters and precision guided munitions bombed and killed over six thousand “Taliban.” Read the following recent attacks, which the NATO itself reports, and smell the scent of genocide:

  • On January 19, 2008, NATO launched a preemptive strike relying on “credible intelligence” that the Taliban were planning to mass on a NATO base. The attack killed two dozen “insurgents” in the Watapoor District of Kunar Province, though the exact number of casualties could not be confirmed because of the rough mountainous region. The world media reported that numerous civilians were killed and 25 bodies were buried in just one mass grave.
  • On January 12, 2008, NATO forces conducted what it calls a “precise strike” on a compound in Kapsia Province targeting Taliban leaders. NATO claimed that the civilians were cleared from the compound before the attack. The claim is absurd because any removal of civilians from the compound would have alerted the battle-hardened Taliban that an enemy attack was imminent.
  • On September 20, 2007, NATO forces launched “Operation Palk Wahel” to kill and remove the Taliban from an area in the Upper Gereshk Valley. Numerous civilians were killed. The evidence of the genocide was so obvious that NATO admitted that it “was unaware of civilians in the vicinity of the target and unfortunately it appears that a number of non-combatants were caught in the attack and killed.”

The Law

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (entered into force, 1951) is binding on all states including the 26 member states of NATO. The Genocide Convention is jus cogens, the law from which no derogation is allowed. It provides no exceptions for any nation or any organization of nations, such as the United Nations or NATO, to commit genocide. Nor does the Convention allow any exceptions to genocide “whether committed in time of peace or in time of war.” Even traditional self-defense – let alone preemptive self-defense, a deceptive name for aggression – cannot be invoked to justify or excuse the crime of genocide.

In murdering the Taliban, NATO armed forces systematically practice on a continual basis the crime of genocide that consists of three constituent elements – act, intent to destroy, and religious group. The crime, as defined in the Convention, is analyzed below:

  1. Act. The Convention lists five acts, each of which qualifies as genocide. NATO forces in Afghanistan are committing three of the five acts. They are killing members of the Taliban. They are causing serious bodily harm to members of the Taliban. They are deliberately inflicting on the Taliban conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. Any of these three acts committed one time constitutes the crime of genocide. NATO combat troops have been committing, and continue to commit, these acts through multiple means and weapons.
  2. Intent to Destroy. The crime of genocide is a crime of intent. It must be shown that NATO combat troops and the high command ordering these troops carry the requisite intent to destroy the Taliban. Mere negligent killings do not qualify as genocide. The statements of NATO’s Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and those of NATO spokesmen leave no doubt that the NATO conducts military operations to “hunt and destroy” the Taliban. Preemptive strikes to kill the Taliban are sufficient proof that NATO troops and commanding generals have specific intent to destroy as many Taliban members as they can find. The weekly murderous planning and intelligence gathering to locate and eliminate the Taliban leaders and members further demonstrate that the killings in Afghanistan are not negligent, accidental, or by mistake. For all legal purposes, NATO’s incessant and deliberate killings of the Taliban are powered with the specific intent to destroy a religious group.
  3. Religious Group. The Genocide Convention is far from universal in that it does not protect all groups from genocide. Its protection covers only four groups: national, ethnic, racial and religious. (Political groups are not protected). The Convention does not require the complete eradication of a protected group as a necessary condition for the crime of genocide. Even part destruction of a protected group constitutes the crime. It is no secret that the Taliban are a religious group. (They may also qualify as a national (Afghan) or ethnic (Pushtun) group). The Taliban advocate and practice a puritanical version of Islam. The Convention does not demand that the protected group advocate and practice a form of religion acceptable to the West or the world. The questionable beliefs and practices of a religious group are no reasons to destroy the group. That the Taliban are armed or support terrorism or oppress women are unlawful excuses to commit genocide. (All reasons that Hitler had to murder Jews would be simply irrelevant under the Convention).

The Holding

It may, therefore, be safely concluded that NATO combat troops and NATO commanders are engaged in murdering the Taliban, a protected group under the Genocide Convention, with the specific intent to physically and mentally destroy the group in whole or in part. This is the crime of genocide.



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