May Your Presents Not Be Plastic This Year

GingerThis solstice, celebrate trees with their gift of diversity and life, conserve dwindling resources from human predation, and aim at ending all tyrannies, capitalism, racism and bigotry and especially US imperial hegemony, the dominion of apartheid Israel over Indigenous Palestinians and Indonesia over West Papuans.

In the home zone, here’s to de-amalgamation of Noosa from the development-crazed southern Sunshine Coast vultures and protection of our UNESCO-designated biosphere in March – even if the rest of the planet goes down due to pollution and over-consumption, at least we succeeded in living in harmonious sustainability with the environment in Noosa!

Me to parent as one surveys the mountains of child-placating crap: ‘Wow, what a lot of plastic!’

Parent: ‘I never got anything at Christmas as a child so I am making sure my kids get everything!’

Me: ‘So you really spent thousands of dollars on yourself.’

Parent: ‘We can spend hours together building this rare R2D2 lego model!’

Me to child: ‘Did you get any books?’

Child: ‘No, just this instruction manuel for Power Rangers’.

This society is not built for me.

International Terrorism by Israel Against the Irish Boat to Gaza?

Dr. Fintan Lane from the MV Saoirse: “If this boat had gone to sea, it’s almost certain we would have lost lives – this boat would have sank.”

From Haaretz:

“This was done by hostile divers and identical sabotage was carried out to the Swedish ship, Juliana,” ISG spokesman Raymond Deane told DPA. “The inference is that the saboteurs were Israeli,” he said.

“This is attempted murder. The damage done to the propeller means that the ship could have sailed but the propeller would have come up through the hull after some time. We are a small ship and we would have gone down,” Deane added.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin said it had no connection with the incident and no information on it, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported.

Six of the 20 crew and passengers who intended to sail on the MV Saoiree will transfer to another ship in the flotilla, ISG said. Those include former Ireland rugby player Trevor Hogan and Paul Murphy, a Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament, as well as ISG campaign coordinator Fintan Lane. They are joining activists on board the joint Italian and Dutch ship in the flotilla.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday the U.S. has seen no independent confirmation of the ships having been sabotaged, yet nevertheless stated that “our opinion that’s been stated very clearly from the State Department, both from the secretary down to this podium, is that these flotillas are a bad idea.”

The sabotage against the Irish and Swedish boat, both of whose propeller shafts were similarly damaged, could just as well have been done by US navy divers, as a favour to Israel.

The Irish government is showing some spine, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore backing calls for an investigation into damage.

Minister Gilmore said he takes the matter seriously.

“I do have concerns about it, and that is something that is going to have to be investigated initially by the Turkish authorities,” the Tánaiste said.

“I would take a very serious view of it, if it turned out that there was sabotage of that vessel.”

Mr Gilmore last week told Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, that any interception of the flotilla must be peaceful.

He said while the activists were well intended and well motivated, they had been warned it would it would be dangerous to travel on the MV Saoirse vessel and on the mission.

“I met with a delegation from the people who are travelling a couple of weeks ago and subsequent to that I met with the Israeli ambassador and made it clear to him both what our travel advice was but also our expectation that there would not be a repeat of last year and that people who engaged in what is essentially a form of peaceful protest activity, that there is not to be a disproportionate response to that activity,” he added.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has also called for a probe into the incident.

“The Irish government has a responsibility to protect Irish citizens abroad and must demand answers from the Israeli government on this matter,” Deputy Adams said.

“I would also urge the government to ask the Turkish authorities to carry out a full and thorough investigation into what has occurred.”

Sign the petition for an independent inquiry into the sabotage.

Related Links

Sabotage of MV Saoirse in Turkey: ‘An Act of International Terrorism’
MV SAOIRSE SABOTAGE PHOTOS AND VIDEO
Israel army uses fabrications to assert flotilla financial links to Hamas
Gaza flotilla activists: Queers welcome aboard aid ships
Alice Walker : “Settlers are the Klan,” she says definitively, referring to the notorious white supremacist terror organization. “They don’t have their white sheets because I guess they don’t need them.”
Warding off the evil eye in the Eastern Mediterranean
Why breaking Israel’s illegal blockade on the people of Gaza is essential.
Political Zionism has always been an ideology of force and violence. Israel has become a society of force and violence

This is a recurring pattern: first demonization, then legitimization (to act violently ). Remember the tall tales about sophisticated Iranian weaponry coming through arms-smuggling tunnels in Gaza, or those about how the Strip was booby-trapped? Then Operation Cast Lead came along and the soldiers hardly encountered anything like that.

The attitude toward the flotilla is a continuation of the same behavior.

British Parliamentarians add support for Flotilla to Gaza
Peaceful flotilla essential step to win freedom for Palestinians

Palestine / Israel Links

Insane racism update: Danny Danon: Send African migrants to Australia

“The arrival of thousands of Muslim infiltrators to Israeli territory is a clear threat to the state’s Jewish identity,” Danon told The Jerusalem Post.

“The refugees’ place is not among us, and the initiative to transfer them to Australia is the right and just solution.

“On the one hand, it treats the refugees and migrants in a humane way. On the other hand, it does not threaten Israel’s future and our goal to maintain a clear and solid Jewish majority,” he explained.

U.S. Senate passes resolution threatening to suspend aid to Palestinians

The PLO General Delegation to the U.S. said in response that while it respects the right of Senate members to pass resolutions expressing their views, “we urge them to use an even-handed, fair, and unbiased approach when addressing their concerns on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

The delegation added that “the Israeli government has failed to reciprocate, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly chosen a policy of land grabbing and settlement expansion over a just solution to the conflict and an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Janan Abdu on the detention of her husband, political prisoner Ameer Makhoul

Unleashed Cricket Venom at the ABC

There’s an offside article at ABC Unleashed today by Dileep Premachandran which disingenuously insinuates that it was Pakistani extremist elements who were responsible for the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Here’s an expanded version of my comment at ABC Unleashed.

“Try telling that to those indoctrinated into a more poisonous faith, those infected with the virus of extremism.”

That’d be RAW, the Indian Intelligence Force, who appear to have been the perpetrators of the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers. Payback for the Sri Lankan government’s pursuit of the LTTE and/or the Mumbai terrorism?

From the UK Telegraph:

“A leaked report from Punjab’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), passed to Pakistani papers reveals that authorities were warned almost six weeks ago, of a plot and urged the all security agencies in the state and federal governments to take special precautions to protect the visitors.

The report identifies the Indian intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), as the force behind the plot – an accusation regularly traded between India and Pakistan – but specifically identified the drive between their hotel and the stadium as the scene of the attack.

Pakistani newspapers quoted the report, dated January 22nd 2009, warning:”It has reliably been learnt that RAW (Indian intelligence agency) has assigned its agents the task to target Sri Lankan cricket team during its current visit to Lahore, especially while travelling between the hotel and stadium or at hotel during their stay.

“It is evident that RAW intends to show Pakistan a security risk state for sports events, particularly when the European and the Indian teams have already postponed their proposed visits considering it a high security risk to visit Pakistan .Extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangements indicated.” A further letter from Punjab’s then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif’s office to Lahore’s Inspector-General of Police and security ministers, requested extra security protection for the tourists. “The chief minister has seen the enclosed source report and has desired that every effort may be made for the security of the Sri Lankan cricket team during its current visit to Lahore. He has further desired that extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangement may be made to avert any untoward incident,” his officials wrote.

More pertinent evidence is presented at Grande Strategy:

“Bags of ammunition was left in front of Al-Fatah store in neighborhood of Gulberg. Weapons left behind included 84mm Carl Gustav recoiless rifles, controversially a standard issue weapon to the Indian Army, a weapon not typically found with the Taliban.

Carl Gustavs are of Swedish origin and exported to the Indian army and never exported to the Mujahideen. RPG-22 rocket propelled anti-tank grenades, another standard issue for the Indian special forces (and another weapon less typical for the Taliban who more typically prefer RPG-7s) was also used. A senior defense correspondent, while remaining anonymous, states that the choice of weapons as well as other evidence, clearly indicates India’s hand in the present attack and is being seen as a “response” to the Mumbai attacks.

Terrorist attacks perpetrated by RAW have many previous precedents but given the present sensitivities and the Indian reaction to the Mumbai attacks, they could prove to be a catalyst for heightened tensions between the two beleaguered neighbors.”

Further, a coverup is afoot in the Punjab.

The Punjab governor on Thursday claimed that the CID report on RAW’s plan to attack the Sri Lankan cricket team was not provided to him or to his key official by the outgoing chief minister and his chief secretary. However, the facts show that following the imposition of governor’s rule, Taseer removed six key officials, who were in possession of the CID report, including the then-chief secretary Javed Mehmud, the then-IGP Shaukat Javed, the then-CCOP Pervez Rathore, the then-secretary to the chief minister Dr Tauqir, the then-secretary (coordination) to the chief minister Dr Ajmal and SSP (operations) Lahore Chaudhry Shafiq.

These officers were replaced by Taseer’s trusted men, including Khalid Farooq, appointed as Punjab IGP; Najibullah Malik, who was made chief secretary; Haji Habibur Rehman came as CCOP Lahore; Ahmad Nawaz Sukhaira, the principal secretary to the governor is now the secretary to the provincial chief executive; Tariq Najib Najmi is the new secretary coordination while Amjad Saleemi has been brought in as DIG (operations) Lahore. From amongst the top concerned officers only home secretary Nadeem Asif remained unchanged.

Analysis from the Frontier Post includes:

The overwhelming body of evidences is available that the Lahore carnage is being supported by the RAW agency and there are equally several veiled accusations that India’s involvement cannot ruled out because India was unhappy with Sri Lanka’s cricket tour to Pakistan.

..

In this regard, Indian establishment always disliked growing Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s diplomatic and strategic relationship and feeling threat for their hegemonic designs. India’s security establishment does not like Pak-Sri Lanka defence cooperation and they also have reservation about Sri Lanka’s tilt towards Pakistan. It is interesting to note that India has already refused to meet Colombo’s needs with regard to lethal weapons and at the same time, they want to disturb cordial relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka with regard to the charting strategy against the country’s territorial integrity. In reality, diplomatic and strategic relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan are not a new phenomenon because both countries have long-time understanding and close association. However, presently Islamabad is one of the Colombo’s largest suppliers of military equipment and it has no problem to supply lethal weapons to Sri Lanka for its counter-insurgency operations.

So, India wants to prevent Pakistan from gaining more ground in the region and for this purpose, in the recent past RAW arranged blast through LTTE on August 14, 2007 and targeted Bashir Wali Mohammed, Pakistan’s outgoing High Commissioner to Sri Lanka because of the defence cooperation between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In this context, RAW has a long history of subversive activities in South Asian countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They are sponsoring sabotage and separatists movements to Balkanize the countries and for this purpose they are creating instability, political anarchy, and terrorism and always exploiting racial, cultural, sectarian, religious differences for further deteriorating the conditions to other countries.

Copies of the original CID documents are available at Teeth Maestro. The document’s main points are:

1. It has reliably been learnt that “RAW” (Indian Intelligence Agency) has assigned its agents the task to target Sri Lankan Cricket Team during its current visit to Lahore, especially while traveling between the hotel and stadium or at the hotel during their stay
2. It is evident that RAW intends to show Pakistan as a security risk state for sports events particularly when European and India teams have already postponed their proposed visits considering it a high security risk to visit Pakistan.
3. RAW has also collected photographs of leaders of Jamaat-ud-Daawa (Proscribed) and its establishment to target them
4. Extreme vigilance and heightened security arrangements indicated

The ABC owes the honourable sport of cricket a more complete coverage of the Lahore attack.