It’s Always the Season for Irony : Syria and the White Knights of US Imperialism

Cartoon from 1958In this crusade, armchair liberal trothawks[1] sally forth to save “intelligentsia” like themselves from Saddam, sorry, Assad. Vilifying the majority of Syrians’ electoral decisions which are also supported by polls, the white knight trothawks claim to represent the wishes of Syrians and in particular “revolutionaries”, though the Syrian Communist parties at this juncture defend their country and the Syrian government. Similarly, Israel and the US abhorred Gazans’ choice of Hamas (as Rice sleazed “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming … I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing”[2]). In the wings, Israel assists Al Qaeda “revolutionary” affiliate Al Nusra whilst smearing its old adversary and supporter of the Syrian government, Hezbollah, hoping to weaken it in preparation for a convenient time to steal South Lebanon real estate, its “unfinished business”[3], where Hezbollah previously defeated the belligerent, expansionist zionist entity.

Obligingly, the Pythonesque knights zero in on Russia, who, unlike the empire and its dirty cronies – NATO, the GCC and Israel – was invited by the sovereign Syrian government to intervene. However, trothawks do not recognise sovereignty for they are white knights embracing “no borders”, endowed with noblesse oblige to charge in wherever cartoon superheroes are required to support “democracy” and other glorious western values traditionally foisted upon foreign nations without consent prior to capitalist exploitation. Russia has its own legitimate interests, yet is demonised by knightly trothawks who cheer for empire’s “revolutionary” death squads and “regime change”, for the good of Syrians of course[4].

Ironies multiply. Pick a side, must be our side, bellow the trothawks. Wahhhhh, those who are not for us must be against us!!! if you don’t support the US contras and condemn Putin, you must be a Putinist, no, a Stalinist, Assadist, tankie, paternalist, orientalist, dummy anti-imperialist and whatever else they can scrounge into their desperate smear campaign against the real anti-imperialist left. Bush and his predecessors’ nationalist chants and the ridiculous Cold War deception are revived. As post-intervention rivers of blood flow on in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, the empire’s abhorrent divide and rule strategy in the region is crystal clear, despite transparent trothawk attempts at disappearing the imperial record under the rubric of “Arab spring”. Oozing colonialism and petty bourgeois racism, trothawks and neocons alike see these perpetual strategic imperial destabilisations as necessarily fixed footy matches with the role of empire to be hushed up and sanitised. Like the capitalist elite, they ride like engorged ticks on the back of empire, as valkyries screeching for the heads of those who challenge their absurd reductionism.

Happy thanksgiving, gawd bless Amerikkka, the turkey was better than last year’s. What do you want for Christmas? South Lebanon?

Footnotes

1. Trothawk (noun) – warmonger who professes grassroots organising capabilities, does not fight, supports other non-combatants building grassroots nationalist movements, opportunistically chooses proxies to fight on their behalf, loves RtP, bombs for “democracy” not “social justice for workers”. The cry of the mating Trothawk is “tell me what to think about this. What are the other Trothawks doing?” Also see “Lovebirds of War” http://www.kadaitcha.com/2015/09/10/lovebirds-of-war/
2. “The Gaza Bombshell” http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/04/gaza200804
3. “Lebanon, Israel and the next Middle East war” http://www.lebanonwire.com/0804MLN/08043009KT.asp
4. Trothawks for bombs. “We do call for action to protect civilians in Syria, including limited military action to enforce a no-bombing zone.” http://www.syriauk.org/2015/11/why-we-are-not-supporting-todays-stop.html

Other Links

John Bolton: “Security and stability are sufficient ambitions”

2012 DIA Report:

“While holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan reads aloud key passages such as, “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

From The Redirection:

“Nasrallah said he believed that America also wanted to bring about the partition of Lebanon and of Syria. In Syria, he said, the result would be to push the country “into chaos and internal battles like in Iraq.” In Lebanon, “There will be a Sunni state, an Alawi state, a Christian state, and a Druze state.”

Longterm US policy for regime change in Syria:

‘The cables gave the public a recent window into the strategies and motivations of US officials as they expressed them to each other, not as they usually expressed them to the public. In the case of Syria, the cables show that regime change had been a long-standing goal of US policy; that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its regime-change policy, thus helping lay the foundation for the sectarian civil war and massive bloodshed that we see in Syria today; that key components of the Bush administration’s regime-change policy remained in place even as the Obama administration moved publicly toward a policy of engagement; and that the US government was much more interested in the Syrian government’s foreign policy, particularly its relationship with Iran, than in human rights inside Syria.’

2011 US implementation of strategy delineated in Wikileaks cables:

‘The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.

The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad. Human rights groups say scores of people have been killed by Assad’s security forces since the demonstrations began March 18; Syria has blamed the violence on “armed gangs.”

Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified U.S. diplomatic cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria. The channel is named after the Barada River, which courses through the heart of Damascus, the Syrian capital.’

‘Several U.S. diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative. According to the cables, the State Department funneled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. According to its Web site, the council sponsors projects in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America to promote the “fundamental elements of stable societies.”

The council’s founder and president, James Prince, is a former congressional staff member and investment adviser for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Reached by telephone, Prince acknowledged that the council administers a grant from the Middle East Partnership Initiative but said that it was not “Syria-specific.”

Prince said he was “familiar with” Barada TV and the Syrian exile group in London, but he declined to comment further, saying he did not have approval from his board of directors. “We don’t really talk about anything like that,” he said.

The April 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Damascus states that the Democracy Council received $6.3 million from the State Department to run a Syria-related program called the “Civil Society Strengthening Initiative.” That program is described as “a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners” to produce, among other things, “various broadcast concepts.” Other cables make clear that one of those concepts was Barada TV.’

Interesting connection with Prince’s Democracy Council – Yani Haigh aka Jon Haigh:

“He is currently the director with responsibility for internet communications for The Best Plans Project and is also involved with the Democracy Council in San Francisco in the construction of a new web presence for the American International School in Gaza.’

From 2012:

‘Go back a while to early 2006, and you have the state department announcing a new “funding opportunity” called the “Syria Democracy Program”. On offer, grants worth “$5m in Federal Fiscal Year 2006”. The aim of the grants? “To accelerate the work of reformers in Syria.”‘

More on Yani Haigh, Kamal Nawash et al

ORB survey 2015:

‘ORB International, a company which specializes in public opinion research in fragile and conflict environments, [2] found that 47 percent of Syrians believe that Assad has a positive influence in Syria, compared to only 35 percent for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and 26 percent for the Syrian Opposition Coalition.’

On “research” funded by the Democracy Council.

‘And even worse, rather than publishing findings in a peer-reviewed academic journal, the findings from the “Secret Survey” are publicized in the media with articles in places such as The Business Wire, the LA Times, CNN, the Free Library, Daily News. I believe that the point of this research is to shape an anti-Assad agenda and anti-Assad atmosphere in the US. Personally, I am also against the Assad regime and believe he must go — and research of this kind has a place in foreign policy. But, at the same time –it is unreasonable to engage in this type of ethically dubious research and expect your reputation as a research to remain in tact! ‘

RELEVANT WIKILEAKS CABLES

US grubs’ plans in 2009 to use “human rights” as a decoy for destabilisation and regime change:

‘Some programs may be perceived, were they made public, as an attempt to undermine the Asad regime, as opposed to encouraging behavior reform. In an effort to assist any Department level discussions on the SARG’s attitude toward human rights, this cable describes a possible strategy for framing the human rights discussion as an area of “mutual concern” for Syria and the U.S.’

‘DRL funded four major Syria-specific programs in the previous fiscal year. The grant recipients were (1) Freedom House, which conducted multiple workshops for a select group of Syrian activists on “strategic non-violence and civic mobilization;” (2) the American Bar Association, which held a conference in Damascus in July and then continued outreach with the goal of implementing legal education programs in Syria through local partners; (3) American University, which has conducted research on Syrian tribal and civil society by inviting shaykhs from six tribes to Beirut for interviews and training; and (4) Internews, which has coordinated with the Arab Women Media Center to support media youth camps for university-aged Syrians in both Amman and Damascus. In addition to these programs, the Embassy provided input on DRL grants awarded to Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), International War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), and The International Research and Exchange Board (IREX). Though Post does not directly monitor any of these programs, we have appreciated the opportunity to meet with representatives of CIPE and IWPR. ‘

‘In addition to smaller local grants, MEPI sponsors eight major Syria-specific initiatives, some dating back to 2005, that will have received approximately USD 12 million by September 2010. A summary of MEPI produced material on these programs follows: -Aspen Strategic Initiative Institute, “Supporting Democratic Reform” (USD 2,085,044, December 1, 2005 – December 31, 2009). The institute, situated in Berlin, works with indigenous and expatriate reform-oriented activists and has sponsored conferences in international locations that brought together NGO representatives, media, and human rights activists from the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S., paying particular attention to Syrian Kurds. MEPI noted that “while this program has offered little intrinsic value and will not likely be continued beyond the terms of the grant, the program did give NEA a unique opportunity to meet Damascus Declaration officials in Europe who were later vouched for by Riad Seif” (a Damascus Declaration signatory currently serving a two and a half year prison sentence). -Democracy Council of California, “Civil Society Strengthening Initiative (CSSI)” (USD 6,300,562, September 1, 2006 – September 30, 2010). “CSSI is a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners” that has produced a secure Damascus Declaration website (www.nidaasyria.org) and “various broadcast concepts” set to air in April. -Regents of the University of New Mexico, “The Cooperative Monitoring Center-Amman: Web Access for Civil Society Initiatives” (USD 949,920, September 30, 2006 – September 30, 2009). This project established “a web portal” and training in how to use it for NGOs. MEPI noted, “this program has been of minimal utility and is unlikely to be continued beyond the term of the grant.” -People in Need, “Strengthening Civil Society” (USD 611,304, September 30, 2006 – June 30, 2009). This project provided training for young activists using the model of Eastern European democratization. -Berlin Society, “Local Women’s Center” (USD 316,592, September 25, 2006 – August 31, 2009). This project funds a women’s center in Syria which, in turn, provides Internet access, as well as computer and literacy classes, and legal and medical advice. -International Republican Institute (IRI), “Supporting Democratic Reform” (USD 1,250,000, September 30, 2006 – August 31, 2009). “The project supports grassroots public awareness campaigns and the conduct and dissemination of public opinion polling research. Recent results include the distribution of two video compact discs compiling footage recorded by citizen-journalists and a 240-page report documenting thousands of human rights abuses.” -Solidarity Center, “Building Trade Union Capacity” (Approx. USD 50,000 of a multi-country USD 3,000,000 program, September 1, 2007 – December 31, 2009). This project funds “pilot research” on Syrian trade unions and has connected domestic labor activists and their counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa. Senior staff have visited Syria for meetings with the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions. -Etana Press, “Community-Based Libraries” (USD 584,904, June 1, 2008 – February 28, 2010). “This project supports the establishment of a community-based library/bookshop.” MEPI noted that over 500 visitors have visited the library to date “though it is not yet fully operational.” -MEPI has also proposed continued programming for IRI and the CIPE, as well as supporting independent journalists through joint efforts with NEA/PI. ‘

Yes, the SARG knew about US plans against it:

”Zeitunah told us security services had asked whether she had met with anyone from our “Foreign Ministry” and with anyone from the Democracy Council (Comment: State Department Foreign Affairs Officer Joseph Barghout had recently been in Syria and met with Zeitunah; we assume the SARG was fishing for information, knowing Barghout had entered the country. Jim Prince was in Damascus on February 25, and it is our understanding he met with Zeitunah at that time, or had done so on a separate trip. End Comment). She added that her interrogators did not ask about Barghout by name, but they did have Jim Prince’s. ”

“Zeitunah’s report begs the question of how much and for how long the SARG has known about Democracy Council operations in Syria and, by extension, the MJD’s participation. Reporting in other channels suggest the Syrian Muhabarat may already have penetrated the MJD and is using MJD contacts to track U.S. democracy programming. If the SARG does know, but has chosen not to intervene openly, it raises the possibility that the SARG may be mounting a campaign to entrap democracy activists receiving illegal (under Syrian law) foreign assistance.”

The SARG definitely had glommed onto US duplicitous efforts to destabilise and create a faux “Arab Spring”:

‘It is unclear to what extent SARG intelligence services understand how USG money enters Syria and through which proxy organizations. What is clear, however, is that security agents are increasingly focused on this issue when they interrogate human rights and civil society activists. The information agents are able to frame their questions with more and more specific information and names. The charge that Hasani received USG funding vis-a-vis the Al-Andalus Center is especially worrying since it may suggest the SARG has keyed in on MEPI operations in particular. ‘

In 2010: Thanks to the US “human rights” interventions and “plausible deniability” cover, Syria arrests human rights activists. Prince seems to have kept at arms’ length from Barada TV head Attasi:

‘Attasi confirmed reports we had heard from other contacts about the SARG,s interest in chasing down the financial and political support structure behind Barada. Security agents called her in for questioning in October and repeatedly asked her about her affiliations with the U.S. Embassy and whether she knew Jim Prince and someone named “Ugo” (or “Hugo”), the latter of whom agents described as being involved with People In Need in Prague. Attasi truthfully denied personal knowledge of the individuals as well as ever having visited the Embassy, though she claimed to have “indirectly” sent a warning to Ugo. ‘

…………………………………………………….

Why the Refugee Acceptance Movement Must Become an Anti-Imperialist Movement

At around the same time the United States was forming death squads and torture chambers, the Bush administration plotted the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Leaked documents made available by WikiLeaks show that the United States planned, once again, to deploy the El Salvador option in Syria. The plan “was to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there’s a coup” including “foster[ing] tensions between Shiites and Sunnis.

2012 hostile Doha Poll.

‘Some 55% of Syrians want Assad to stay, motivated by fear of civil war – a spectre that is not theoretical as it is for those who live outside Syria’s borders.’

Poll July 2015:

‘ 63% of Syrians think the Free Syrian Army have a completely or somewhat negative influence in Syria, compared to 36% who think they have a somewhat or completely positive influence’

Preplanning: ‘However brutal and repressive Bashar al-Assad may be, he is currently the leader of a sovereign state which is still recognised as legitimate by most other countries in the world. And despite a civil war that has been raging for over four years, the opposition groups supported by a range of other Middle Eastern countries as well as by the USA have singularly failed to dislodge him. While David Cameron calls Assad “one of ISIL’s greatest recruiting sergeants”, the indisputable fact is that ISIL stepped into the vacuum created by the civil war itself.

It is an open secret that the USA, mainly through the CIA, has been funding, arming and supporting the Syrian opposition from the outset. Undeterred by the disastrous results of ‘regime change’ in Iraq and Libya, the US, UK and other western powers have been determined to see regime change in Syria and have been trying for four years to help that along by supporting the Free Syrian Army and other military groups trying to oust Assad.’

Guilt by Dis-association: The Landscape of Amerikan* Exceptionalism in the Guise of Palestine Solidarity

Poll of Libyans (March 2014): 32% say the country is better off “since the revolution” while 41% say it’s worse off.

On US strategy for perpetual destabilisation:

‘How much death and destruction would American terror warriors have to cause before their ostensible opponents rejected their claims of noble intent? During the thirteen years of the “war on terror,” actions of the United States government have consistently and predictably strengthened anti-American terrorist groups. To chalk this all up to stupidity — rather than unstated imperial imperatives — is to choose ignorance.’

Israel trained against Russian-made air defense system in Greece: sources

Turkey to occupy Iraq?

Turkey-bound Isis oil being smuggled through “moderate” rebel areas in north Aleppo destroyed by Russian jets

Plausible deniability, testing the waters for a possible US policy shift?:

‘U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday it might be possible for the Syrian government and rebel forces to cooperate against Islamic State militants without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad having first left power.

However, Kerry said it would be “exceedingly difficult” to achieve this if rebel forces that have been fighting against Assad for more than four years did not have some confidence that the Syrian leader would eventually go.

Kerry was asked at a news conference during a visit to Greece whether Assad’s departure was a precondition for Western-backed rebels to cooperate with government troops against IS, which has captured a swathe of Syria and Iraq and carried out a string of attacks in other countries.

“With respect to the question of Assad and the timing, I think the answer is … it is not clear that he would have to ‘go’ if there was clarity with respect to what his future might or might not be,” Kerry said.’

Interview between Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) and Gen. Wesley Clark, retired 4-star US army general and former supreme Allied commander of NATO during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: […] About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

Syrian “opposition” invited by the Wahhabi beheaders to design the new Syria.

‘”The goal of the Riyadh meeting is developing a united front against Assad,” Khaled Khoja, said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“We will share our new vision there. We have conformity over Syria’s future after Assad. We are meeting in Riyadh to avert claims that the opposition is a creation of different factions,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Khoja is due to attend the summit from Dec. 11 to 14, when the Saudi government has invited 65 opposition leaders to discuss the shape Syria in accordance with the Geneva communique, the document that sets out the need for a cease-fire and political settlement.”

Lenin:

‘The flaunting of high-sounding phrases is characteristic of the declassed petty-bourgeois intellectuals. The organised proletarian Communists will certainly punish this “habit” with nothing less than derision and expulsion from all responsible posts. The people must be told the bitter truth simply, clearly and in a straightforward manner’.

‘If war is waged by the exploiting class with the object of strengthening its rule as a class, such a war is a criminal war, and “defencism” in such a war is a base betrayal of socialism. If war is waged by the proletariat after it has conquered the bourgeoisie in its own country, and is waged with the object of strengthening and developing socialism, such a war is legitimate and “holy”.’

Who buys the ISIS oil and how do they acquire it?

‘JAY: Now, you made a point in your article that the Americans have done very little bombing of these oil trucks. They kind of picked it up after the Russians started bombing oil trucks. How do you explain the Americans allowing this kind of flow of funds into IS?

PRASHAD: Well, I asked somebody in the State Department this. And you know, she’s not a spokesperson, not possible for her to speak on the record. But she basically said something that I found very unbelievable, which is that it’s taken them time to perfect their targeting. They didn’t want to hit civilians, they don’t believe that the truck drivers should be targeted, that they themselves aren’t, you know, a party to IS. They are merely driving trucks. So they had to finesse their operations.

Well, this sounded a little far-fetched to me. The United States has not been known, you know, as a humanitarian bomber when it’s bombed other logistical convoys in Afghanistan or elsewhere. So this seemed a little odd to me. Yes, it–of course, it appears directly that the American bombing, the few bombings now of oil convoys have followed the ration bombings of the oil convoys. But you know, I just want to say that even the bombings of the oil convoys, it will have a dent on ISIS’s Office of Resources. But the vast bulk of ISIS funding comes from confiscations, extortion, and taxation. And that is not going to be affected by aerial bombardment. So whether they bomb the trucks or not, ISIS funding is not going to be completely depleted.

What this attack at the ISIS oil is going to do is to put pressure on groups–on countries such as Turkey and Israel and others that are playing a duplicitous game in this international coalition against ISIS. I think that is far more important. It’s clarifying the politics. Where does Turkey stand vis-a-vis ISIS? Where does Israel stand?

JAY: Listen, we’ve been saying–and you and I have talked about this, I’ve talked about this in other interviews on the Real News. But the fundamental strategy of the United States and Israel in Syria was let everybody kill each other, as long as it takes. In other words, make sure no one side gets a real strategic advantage over the other. And if one gets too strong, strengthen one of the other sides. Do you think this has something to do with it, that they don’t–you know, they don’t want a complete collapse of ISIS.

PRASHAD: Well, look, it’s–. This is a plausible scenario. I’ve never heard it from anybody in a position of authority, you know, that they feel that they don’t want to see the collapse of ISIS. But what they do say, which comes close to that, is that destroying ISIS itself is not going to give the Sunni population of northwestern Iraq an sections of northern Syria, it’s not going to give the Sunni population confidence that they, you know, their sort of anxieties, their grievances, would be taken care of. In other words, just allowing the cities of Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, to be overrun by the Iraqi army is itself not going to bring that Sunni population to understand that their needs would be taken care of by the Iraqi state, and the same of course in Syria.’

Crafty Gaddafi and the Mountain of Gold

With Gaddafi perched on a massive stockpile of gold, enough to pay his troops and buy more for years, the prospect of a quick end to the west’s assault on Gaza seems remote despite Gate’s intonations that the campaign will slow in the next few days.

The gold reserves are believed to have been moved from the central bank in the capital, Tripoli, to another city such as Sebha in the south, which is near Libya’s African neighbours Chad and Niger, after fighting broke out, the Times reported.

While bankers told the Times that international banks or trading houses were unlikely to buy any gold believed to be from Libya, Colonel Gaddafi may find buyers in Chad or Niger.

The British military are squabbling with bloodthirsty imperialist Government Ministers over the legitimacy of targetting Gaddafi directly.

Senior figures in Washington have also emphasised that the coalition is barred by the UN from attempting to hit Gaddafi; the issue is sensitive because of fears that talk of toppling the regime could alienate Arab supporters of the action.

The controversy was sparked when Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, signalled that Gaddafi could be a “legitimate target”. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also left open the possibility in a BBC interview yesterday.

But Gen Richards, speaking after a meeting of ministers and military chiefs on Libya, was adamant that Gaddafi could not be targeted. Asked if it could happen, he replied: “Absolutely not. It is not allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something I want to discuss any further.”

In an emergency Commons debate, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said any military action had to be consistent with the UN mandate, but stopped short of ruling out an attack on Gaddafi under any circumstances.

He said: “Targets must be fully consistent with the UN Security Council resolution. We choose our targets to stop attacks on civilians and to implement the no-fly zone. But we should not give a running commentary on targeting.”

Sir Menzies Campbell, former Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Neither the resolution nor international law would justify the specific targeting or, in truth, assassination of Colonel Gaddafi. But if he were engaged in direct control of military occupations contrary to the resolution, and the command and control centre in which he was to be found were the subject of attack, then he would be a legitimate target.”

..

Last night, the Government won clear backing for the military action, with 557 supporting the involvement of UK forces, and 13 MPs voting against.

A ComRes poll last night for ITV found that public support for the action in Libya is lukewarm, with only 35 per cent believing it was right for the UK to take action against Gaddafi forces and 53 per cent saying it would be unacceptable for British personnel to risk death or injury.

Libya Links

HOW THE UK HELPED ARM LIBYA

In 2005, the UK licensed the sale of £29.5m worth of “military transport aircraft” to the colonel; and in 2009 and 2010 licensed the sale of “bombing computers” and “military aircraft ground equipment” too.

In addition, between 2005 and 2007, sales of armoured all-wheel drive vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, night vision goggles and water cannon got the go-ahead.

The biggest shipments (and most alarming ones, given how Gaddafi’s forces are repressing the population) suggest that the exports didn’t even help boost British manufacturing. In 2007, for example, a job lot of “anti-riot shields, body armour, anti-riot guns, crowd control ammunition, smoke ammunition, tear gas/irritant ammunition, smoke hand grenades & CS hand grenades” were licensed for export to Libya by British businessmen. The materials, however, were from Serbia.

In 2005, a £41m package of battlefield weapons, including heavy machine guns, armour for tanks, day and night sights for weapons and military image intensifier equipment, originally from the Ukraine, was also licensed.

The oddest export, however, was licensed between July and September last year when the Foreign Office approved the sale of what it describes as “spacecraft”. Perhaps this offers a possible way out for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s Mad Dog chum.

Libya and the State of Humanity
What intervention in Libya tells us about the neocon-liberal alliance
The War for Libya’s West: More Qaddafi Massacres
Kicking the intervention habit : Should talks of intervention in Libya turn into action, it would be illegal, immoral and hypocritical. by Richard Falk
Background from July 2010 – BP to start drilling off Libyan coast : Oil giant’s shock revelation is the latest twist in a tale of politics, pollution, terrorism – and violent death
Libya: A conflict of self-interest
No to intervention in Libya! Victory to Arab revolutions! – 12 reasons to oppose airstrikes

Palestine / Israel Links

Civil Society and Palestine: Growing Power of the Ordinary : Ramzy Baroud
Israeli NGO Wins Partial Lifting of Abusisi Gag
Aroma Tel Aviv tells employees to speak Hebrew
Ex-minister and judge support boycott of Israel

WESTERN Cape high court judge Siraj Desai and former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils have come out in support of a Holocaust survivors’ South African campaign for a boycott of Israel.

Speaking at a dinner in Cape Town on Sunday night, Hajo Meyer, an 86-year-old Jewish scientist and a survivor of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz concentration camp, called for a concentrated cultural and academic boycott against Israel.

Knesset to pass “separate but equal” communities bill
Musician-activist Bob Geldof to Receive Award from Israeli University
Johannesburg U mulls cutting ties with BGU
Bob Geldof
Is Bob Geldof Obnoxiously Shameless?
Ninety percent of water in Gaza is not fit for human consumption. UNICEF and partners are working together to install water pumps and desalination units with safe drinking water. Tuesday 22 March is World Water Day -‘Water for Cities: responding to the urban challenge.’ UNICEF ”
The Maia Project: Bringing Clean Water to the Children of Palestine
The largest segment of Gaza factories is the garment industry, with between 700 and 800 production plants. It is also the hardest hit by the siege, since it was the most dependent on exports — still banned by Israel.
Water and sanitation: A Human Right for all, even slum-dwellers and the homeless
Radicalization: It’s Not A Muslim Thing
Israeli jets strike Gaza after Hamas offers truce
After Libya, Obama will have hard time thwarting Palestinian state
More ethnic cleansing by the zioscumbag entity Jerusalem’s bookseller to the stars facing deportation : Munther Fahmi, a Palestinian, was born in Jerusalem and lived there until he was 21, when he left for the United States for 20 years.
Turkey group plans new Gaza flotilla with at least 15 ships
Ban on Israel-Palestine debate ignites free speech row at French university : International petition calls on Ecole Normale Supérieure to restore ‘long history of political expression’
Revealing Gaza: In The Eyes Of The Beholder: Israel bombs Gaza in an over-night air raid (as usual)
Bad romance: Poland and Israel’s “love story”
Mothers of Palestinian prisoners demonstrate on Mother’s Day – Gaza
One of the 7 children that were injured during Israel’s heavy bombing on Gaza!
Israeli air strikes wound 19 in Gaza : Seven Palestinian children among those hurt in raids retaliating against Hamas rocket attacks
Settlers Attack Residents in Northern West Bank
Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes : At least 17 people, including children, injured in military attacks on Gaza Strip, witnesses say.
Rethinking Itamar: Eliminating the ‘Palestinian threat’ won’t legitimize Israeli settlements
Letter to President Obama from Congressman Davis expressing concern about FBI repression of the Anti-War and Solidarity Movements.
UN official: Israel engaging in ethnic cleansing :

Investigator Richard Falk says settlement expansion, consequent evicting of Palestinians ‘intolerable’ : The “continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation” in the part of the city previously controlled by Jordan, he said.

This situation “can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing,” Falk declared.

Israel declines to deal with Falk or even allow him into the country, accusing him of bias against the Jewish state.

In his speech, Falk said he would like the Human Rights Council to ask the International Court of Justice to look at Israeli behaviour in the occupied territories.

This should focus on whether the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem had elements of “colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing inconsistent with international humanitarian law,” the investigator declared.

New Israeli Military Unit to Monitor BDS,“Delegitimization” Groups in OPT & Abroad
Israel bombs Gaza in an over-night air raid (as usual)
Imagining an ‘alternative spatial future’ in Israel/Palestine
What Israeli bombs did to a child today
Settlers attack Aqraba farmland
5 dead, others injured as Israel shells Gaza : IDF Haaretz release says four people killed.
Aid industry doing no harm in Palestine?
Public Support for Israel

Wikileaks Links

Colombia carried out covert military operations in Venezuela: WikiLeaks

Egypt Links

Guardian called to account on Mubarak wealth figures

Bahrain Links

WikiLeaks cables show no evidence of Iran’s hand in Bahrain unrest

Australia Links

Prison union boss demands G4S be sacked
Jerome Small on supporting refugees fighting back

Other Links

Revolution Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Maintaining a revolutionary position in the present Libyan scenario is like walking in a minefield. One cannot applaud imperialists with their undeniable record of ruthless manipulation in pursuit of control of the world’s energy resources nor the violent tyranny of Gaddafi and bevy of Western puppet dictators which infest nations which often hold treasures coveted by mercantilists. In the Financial Times, Roula Khalaf reminds us of the recent history of the Libyan revolution and warns of the impact of Gaddafi’s manipulations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA):

But as the international coalition steps up its attacks on Libyan forces, Muammer Gaddafi is single-handedly, and tragically, transforming the image of the Arab spring, taking the region back to what we have long been used to, a combination of bloody conflict and foreign intervention.

It is important to remember that Libyans began their protests peacefully, marching across the country to demand Col Gaddafi’s departure. They were forced to take up arms to confront a crackdown using every military tool in Col Gaddafi’s arsenal. As army officers broke away and sided with the rebels, and ammunition depots were raided, the stand-off veered towards civil war.

It was also the rebels themselves who were the first to call upon the world community for assistance, specifically asking for a no-fly zone to protect the cities and towns that were under their control. And it is only grudgingly that a coalition has been formed, with the US a late-comer to the game, and everyone insisting that any military operation required Arab backing.

While there are reports that Gaddafi’s compound has been bombed, contrary to previous reports, the Pentagon is denying regime change is the goal:

Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney underlined that strikes are not specifically targeting the Libyan leader or his residence in Tripoli. He said that any of Gadhafi’s ground forces advancing on the rebels were open targets.

Yet the nature of the international coalition is exposed – it is indeed US-led and executed, despite protestations from Obama.

But NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski today knocked down the talk that what is going on militarily is a “huge coalition effort.” Here’s what he said in a remarkable segment this morning:

“Despite the White House attempts to make this look like it’s a huge coalition effort — obviously it required coalition political support — but for now the U.S. military is not only in the lead but conducting almost all military operations, with only minor participation from the French, as you mentioned, even British fighters over night. There’s a U.S. commander. And even this morning I talked to senior military officials, when I asked them how soon will the U.S. turn over the command to the coalition — and the indication is the U.S. military is in no hurry to do that.”

A refugee crisis – another cruel human toll consequent of war – is mounting:

As of 19 March, IOM and UNHCR estimated that at least 320,423 people have fled Libya, and approximately 8,578 remain stranded at the Libyan borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

Meanwhile in Bahrain, Saudi-backed forces menace hospitals and civilians. In Syria, protests continue with more reports of violence.

And in Palestine, Israel’s foul oppression and collective punishment continues with a green light from the West, with opposition leader Livni calling for a repetition of the vile Cast Lead operation against the people of Gaza. Israel has cut a main power line in Gaza. The apartheid state has also admitted holding Gazan electrical engineer Abu Sisi.

Abu Sisi, 42, and a father of six, disappeared from a train while travelling between Kiev and the eastern city of Kharkiv on the night of February 18-19.

The engineer’s wife Veronika said she had been told by train attendants that her husband had been taken away by two men posing as officers of the Ukrainian secret service,

He is being held at Shikma prison in Ashkelon, according to a Ukrainian delegate at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cited by Israeli media.

Hamas condemned the abduction and demanded the engineer’s release.

“This kidnapping violates international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty. It is further proof of the contempt of the (Israeli) occupation for the international community,” spokesman Sami Abu Zohi told AFP.

UPDATES

RT @avinunu: Iraq was devasted by weeks of intensive bombing in 1991 and Saddam held on for 12 more years, despite crippling sanctions. #

Libya Links

Libya: The perils of intervention
Prison massacre helped to spark Libyan revolution
Operation Odyssey Dawn – US DoD site
Drawn-out campaign risks damping down Arab spring
Ancient Poison Bears New Fruit: Western Frenzy Grows in Libya
Timeline of the 2011 Libyan uprising
The “coalition” has no clothes : The administration has insisted that the attack on Libya is a broad international effort — but, so far, it’s not
Gaddafi supporters claim airstrikes hit compound
Robert Fisk: Remember the civilian victims of past ‘Allied’ bombing campaigns
Libyans offer new graves as proof of civilian dead
No Intervention in Libya: John Rees on The Moral Maze 9.3.11 – shows banners asking for no foreign intervention in Libya.
Twitter v the MSM: covering Gaddafi’s war against reality
Arab League condemns broad Western bombing campaign in Libya
The Marxist-Leninist line : Hands off Libya: victory to Gaddafi

Afghanistan Links

US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians : Commanders brace for backlash of anti-US sentiment that could be more damaging than after the Abu Ghraib scandal

Bahrain Links

Letter From Bahrain: Will They Stop Killing Us?
Mullen: US must treat Bahrain differently from Libya

Syria Links

Syria: Protests Continue to Gain Momentum

Palestine / Israel Links

Palestinians eye U.N. recognition of state as Israel hits Gaza by air
Israel has Palestinian who vanished in Ukraine: report
IDF officers confirm special department created to monitor left-wing organizations around the world – how fascist of them :

The new MI unit will monitor Western groups involved in boycotting Israel, divesting from it or imposing sanctions on it. The unit will also collect information about groups that attempt to bring war crime or other charges against high-ranking Israeli officials, and examine possible links between such organizations and terror groups.

. @JuliaGillard Please protect us citzens & tell #Israel to stop spying on ‘leftist’ groups in Australia, thank you http://is.gd/cixCbS #
. @GreensMPs can we please get a denial from @JuliaGillard that Israel is spying on Australians & does she condone this? http://is.gd/cixCbS #
Israeli forces attack prayers near Bethlehem
What some young Jews do in their spare time; defend occupying Israel
This is what grassroots Jewish violence looks like
Worldwide sanctions can erode Israel’s fanaticism
Israeli Army Cooperates with Settlers in Attacks on Palestinians
Australian Greens candidate faces abuse and lies over backing Israel sanction

Australia Links

Are you in favour or against Australia becoming a republic? ‘39% of respondents are in favour of Australia becoming a republic, 34% are against and 27% hold no opinion.’
35% think that the Australian troops in Afghanistan should be increased or maintained and 56% think Australia should withdraw its troops. This is a significant shift (+9%) in favour of withdrawal since this question was last asked in October 2010.

Other Links

Drones over Mexico: Surveillance is needed to contain drug problem

Game On in Libya – Regime Change?

Libya interventionWhile Kevin Rudd “would not be drawn on whether the intervention would ultimately end Gaddafi’s 40-year rule”, the Los Angeles Times reports “U.S. officials acknowledged that they were seeking to oust Kadafi, but also that they did not have a clear path to do so.”

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Washington and its allies also were committed to using nonmilitary means to force Kadafi out, including steps intended to cripple the Libyan economy and isolate him diplomatically.

As expected, Gaddafi is casting the assault as ‘Western colonialism and a Christian “crusader” mentality toward the predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East’, which may play better in Libya than the rest of the region.

The LA Times also reports that

“Libyan officials accused international forces of hitting a hospital and other civilian targets. The armed forces said in a statement that 48 people had been killed in the strikes and 150 injured. Kadafi declared he was willing to die defending Libya, and in a statement broadcast hours after the attacks began, condemned what he called “flagrant military aggression.” He vowed to strike civilian and military targets in the Mediterranean.”

However, ABC Australia chronicles the observations of a resident of Tripoli who saw missiles hitting a Libyan army base near his home.

“We could hear this whistle coming from above the car,” he said.

“The car has moved and they dropped another two into this army base.

“It’s not far from the heart hospital really, but they missed it. That’s a very good shot.”

There are also unconfirmed reports that 3 French jets have been downed.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales note that the western intervention is an oil grab, while Fidel Castro sees ‘the Security Council ignored problems in countries that were friendly to the US’.

Has the West really calculated sufficiently the strength of Gaddafi’s support amongst the populace and the interpolation of historic internecine tribal rivalries?

Mark Quarterman, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington:

The risk in Libya is that the military operation will not end quickly or decisively. He said it is easy to imagine Gaddafi’s well-armed government remaining strong, despite the no-fly zone.

“After the first few days, this could settle into a protracted fight between Gaddafi and the rebels, essentially a stalemate with neither side able to retake ground or negotiate an end to the fighting,” he said. “Then what do you do?”

International military forces are operating under the command of Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of the U.S. African Command. The Pentagon says command will be turned over to the coalition in coming days, although which country will lead it remains unclear.

Here we have another open-ended intervention initiated without an exit strategy or clear plan, predestining yet another occupation by the West which may lurch on for years, crippling Libya and bringing its people little real freedom, as with the ill-fated US-led adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Will the Western intervention be used by Obama as his very own proving ground, his blooding, playing to the near-campaign US electorate much of which is tired of being the bad guys?

How do the people resisting Gaddafi feel about western intervention? According to Gilbert Achcar, who thinks ‘from an anti-imperialist perspective one cannot and should not oppose the no-fly zone, given that there is no plausible alternative for protecting the endangered population’:

‘In watching on TV the crowds in Benghazi cheering the passage of the resolution, I saw a big billboard in their middle that said in Arabic “No to foreign intervention.” People there make a distinction between “foreign intervention” by which they mean troops on the ground, and a protective no-fly zone. They oppose foreign troops. They are aware of the dangers and wisely don’t trust Western powers.’

What does the Arab League really want?

The leader of the Arab League says that Arabs did not want military strikes by western powers when they had called for a no-fly zone over Libya. Secretary-General Amr Moussa said he was calling for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” he said.

What we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians. Amr Moussa, Arab League

14.00 Admiral Mike Mullen, the top US military commander, concedes the end-game of military action in Libya is “very uncertain”. He acknowledged it could end in a stalemate with Colonel Gaddafi.

What effect will the assault by the West have on the rest of the MENA revolutions? the hypocrisy of establishing a no fly zone over Libya whilst neglecting the protection of protesters in Bahrain, Palestine, Syria, Morocco and Yemen is staggering.

Between imperialism and tyranny, there is no real choice – consider another path – to stand against both alongside the people who resist them.

UPDATES

Arab League condemns broad Western bombing campaign in Libya
Infantile Leftism
RT @SultanAlQassemi: Al Arabiya: Medical sources: More than 90 people were killed during the Gaddafi forces attack on Benghazi. #Libya #
Gaddafi denounces foreign intervention
RT @SultanAlQassemi: France 24 Arabic: #Libya calls for urgent UN Security Council meeting following coalition strikes. #
RT @SultanAlQassemi: France24Arabic: #Libya says it will no longer stem flow of illegal immigrants to Europe; considers UN res 1973 void. #
@SultanAlQassemi: Libyan State TV shows pictures of injured patients. Says 48 civilians killed & 150 injured following coalition airstrikes (via BBC World) #
UPDATE 1-Turkey to play appropriate role over Libya
Remains of Gaddafi’s force smolders near Benghazi
LIVE BLOG: Libya – Operation Odyssey Dawn

Remembering Sun Tzu in the Art of War:

1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best
thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact;
to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is
better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it,
to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire
than to destroy them.

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to
balk the enemy’s plans; the next best is to prevent
the junction of the enemy’s forces; the next in
order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field;
and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it
can possibly be avoided. The preparation of mantlets,
movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take
up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over
against the walls will take three months more.

5. The general, unable to control his irritation,
will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,
with the result that one-third of his men are slain,
while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous
effects of a siege.

6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s
troops without any fighting; he captures their cities
without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom
without lengthy operations in the field.

7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery
of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph
will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

8. It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten
to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one,
to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army
into two.

Libya Links

What’s happening in Libya?
‘Foreign crusade against Libya will make Gaddafi a hero’
5 questions few are asking about Libya
Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective
Libya conflict: war on Gaddafi is personal – and he is unlikely to retreat
Bush Doctrine Revised: Obama puts his stamp “Western military intervention in Libya is far more dangerous: it is intended to legitimize the return of colonial powers to our region and 2) perhaps as importantly to abort democratic uprisings all over the region.”
A Poem At the Break of War
Meanwhile in other non-oil exporting nations: Deadly attacks on protests in Yemen, Syria : Security forces struck against unarmed demonstrators urging their leaders’ ouster.
Libya and the familiar patterns of war
US demonstrations against Libyan military intervention
Libyan no-fly zone: Gaddafi’s forces and rebels are hard to tell apart from the air
China, which abstained from UN vote, expresses regret over allied airstrikes against Libya
Relief will fade as we see the real impact of intervention in Libya : Welcome though it seems on humanitarian grounds, there are six serious problems with this UN resolution
Libya accuses rebels of breaching truce
Robert Fisk: First it was Saddam. Then Gaddafi. Now there’s a vacancy for the West’s favourite crackpot tyrant
U.S., allies launch missile strikes on Libyan targets
West launches first strike on Libya
Libya unrest: Nato military strength in the Mediterranean
The case against bombing Libya
Expose U.S. Fabrications About Libya
Images: Gaddafi forces destroyed on the road between Ajdabiya and Benghazi

Palestine/Israel Links

More disgusting ziocolonialist crimes go unpunished: Ayman’s horse killed by settlers
Palestinian Refugees: a Surplus Population
Maniacal Tipsy Livni calling for another round of collective punishment against the defenceless people of Gaza
Two Arrested During alMa’asara Demonstration
Boycott roundup: Canada campuses mobilize to divest
Settlers attack Zatari family in Al Buwayre, wounding father
Neged Neshek
Graffiti History Of Palestine: “It’s all on the walls.”
Libya crisis: Misrata ‘being razed to the ground’
Report: Palestinian anti-wall activist tortured, threatened with rape and execution by Shin Bet because of BDS activities
Video of the Bobigny trial (Press TV) – BDS activists on trial in France
Artists Against Apartheid Vol 1
Israelis retaliate for killing of settlers – where’s the no fly zone to protect Palestinians from Israel’s illegal activities?
I support a no fly zone over Palestine
Israeli shelling destroys Gaza power lines
Jewish settlers raze vast tracts of Palestinian agricultural land east of Yatta

Egypt Links

Workers Guarantee the Egyptian Revolution
Egypt votes on charter changes while youth movement would prefer a whole new constitution

Japan Links

Desperate nuclear chiefs to bury plant in concrete ‘tomb’

Syria Links

Syrian Revolution Protests in Dar’aa on 18th March 2011 p1

Bahrain Links

Bahrain opposition seeks UN, US help in crackdown
U.S. “deeply concerned” by arrests in Bahrain
Saudi Arabian intervention in Bahrain driven by visceral Sunni fear of Shias
Jamese Zogby: may not represent Arab-Americans, but he certainly represents UAE royal families

Afghanistan Links

North Waziristan drone strike: Tribesmen vow ‘jihad’ against US
Afghan warlord on US payroll accused of terror campaign

Wikileaks Links

WikiLeaks and Freedom Forum : John Pilger

Other Links

DoJ still protecting Bush eavesdroppers, says ACLU
Compare deaths by coal and nuclear energy

Catastrophe in the Shaky Isles

Today, my distress after the dreadful earthquake rocking Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island is increasing. Civil Defence Minister John Carter has declared the death toll indeterminate for the present. Adding insult to injury, the scurrilous vamperazzi has outdone itself with a monstrous feasting on human suffering. In juxtaposition, the CTV building has been destroyed and there are fears for the lives of 100 people who may have been inside. I wait, along with so many others, to hear from a friend whom I love.

Whilst I am a ‘strict’ atheist, Christchurch Cathedral is one of my favourite buildings, where charming volunteers are always happy to take folks on a grand guided tour. The cathedral has been shaken and damaged by quakes several times since its construction in 1881 but in the latest quake, the cathedral spire has fallen, as though the symbolic connection with the heavens are broken while underworld ogres wreak their wrath on mere mortals and their puny dwellings. Worse, there may be several people still trapped inside.

I’ve played the magnificent cathedral organ and inspected the wonderful archive of music, sacred and secular, from all performances ever held at the cathedral. In another life, I would have loved to have been the organist at this special community hub which cared even to include me. The architecture inside the cathedral is stunning, most particularly, the roof, buttressed inside by the upturned hull beams of a ship constructed with matai and totara. Another fabled local attraction, the Wizard of New Zealand, orates outside in the square. Fortunately the Wiz is unscathed though his home has minor damage.

Floods and fires there are in Australia aplenty, yet not so many quakes as in New Zealand which sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire. There’s something deeply disturbing about earthquakes – solid ground proves not so reliable, protective structures are racked and shattered by forces beyond restraint. Blessings to everyone affected by this tragedy which has devastated a city and people I love.

HOW TO DONATE

Donate to The Salvation Army:
Freephone 0800 530 000; online at www.salvationarmy.org.nz; or by post: The Salvation Army, PO Box 27001, Marion Square, Wellington, 6141. Mark correspondence: “Canterbury Earthquake Appeal”.

Donate to the Red Cross:
http://www.redcross.org.nz/donations

Donation drive from the Auckland University Students’ Association:
Call (09) 309 0789 or go to Auckland University’s Student Union building.

Donate via Westpac:
Westpac account 03 0207 0617 331 00.

Donate via ANZ:
ANZ account 01 1839 0188939 00.

Beware email scams asking for donations

NEW ZEALAND INFORMATION

What you need to know
Christchurch earthquake: How to donateHow to donate

AND IN OTHER DISPATCHES

Israel’s theft and denial of water from Palestinians is an integral part of the ziocolony’s genocidal tactics which support its expansionism.

Racist violence in Jerusalem against Palestinians, where a Palestinian youth is murdered by Israeli youths – as Joseph Dana notes, the incident was covered up by the government, then ignored and distorted by the media.

The Israeli government quickly put a media blackout on the case fearing a violent reactions from Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank. Once the media blackout was lifted, select Israeli media outlets covered the story as a “drunken brawl turned bad” and the story was largely ignored.

Palestinian Unity Revolution for March 15 Promo:

Egypt Links

Conversation with an Egyptian socialist
How taking it to the streets works to overthrow oppressive regimes

Libya Links

Live Blog – Libya Feb 23
The Gaddafi family and the limits of western education
Gaddafi’s former number two resigns in support of protesters
Libya’s tragedy, Gaddafi’s farce
Gadafy family may have billions in secret accounts
Libya’s free to the East
The King of Kings’ speech
30% of Libya in Hands of Youth Movement
Bouazizi family’s message to Libya
The Nato Plan Is To Occupy Libya – Reflections by Comrade Fidel – oh dear, Fidel!
Where does the US draw the line with Libya?

Palestine / Israel Links

The Knesset Passes Human Rights NGO Harassment Bill
Israeli army will cash in on Egypt’s upheavals
Knesset member Aryeh Eldad places ad in Haaretz calling on Jordan to declare itself Palestine.
Is the West Bank next?
FRANKLIN LAMB : FROM TAHRIR SQUARE TO SHATILA CAMP, “HURRIYA” (FREEDOM)
Israeli army will cash in on Egypt’s upheavals
Stop international soccer championship in Israel
Israeli shelling east of Gaza City, reports of injuries
Israeli Army Arrests Palestinians from Hebron Area
Fayyad willing to visit Gaza to discuss Hamas unity deal
Palestinian house inside cage in Jewish settlement
Palestinian hit by gunfire sent to IDF jail despite injury
Israel Philharmonic Protest NY Carnegie Hall 22/2/2011
New Yorkers protest Israel Philharmonic, more protests planned in other cities

Other Links

An end to this soft bigotry against the Arab world
Irony of the day : Iran urges rights body to examine Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya
Afghan resistance statement : Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Regarding the Martyrdom of Innocent Afghan Civilians as a Result of American Merciless Bombardment in Ghazi Abad District, Kunar Province.
Will the House of Saud Be the Next to Go Down?
Middle East Uprisings: Like 1989? How About 1848?
WikiLeaks: US Lied About Bala Baluk Massacre, Red Cross Concealed Truth
Regardless of Shameful U.S. Endorsement; Toss Elections
Saudi king announces reforms ahead of return: report
Indiana Official: “Use Live Ammunition” Against Wisconsin Protesters