Archive | January 29th, 2011

The Road to National Suicide


by crescentandcross  

by Philip Giraldi, January 27, 2011


It is not often that one sees an entire nation marching in lockstep to go over a cliff into an abyss, but that is essentially what the United States is doing at the moment.  Not only have there been strong hints from the Obama Administration that the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on into the dim future, but there is also no sign of any necessary course correction in other areas.  Israel, backed by Washington, continues its reckless policies and may be cranking up for a new war against Lebanon and Syria with the ultimate objective of involving its American patron in fighting against Iran.  Clearly President Obama is unwilling to take any risks by challenging existing policies.  He is edging towards what he perceives as the political center and is preparing to ride the status quo to electoral victory in 2012.

Consider the central dynamic of what the United States is engaged in.  Washington is committed to a series of asymmetrical wars that are literally taking place all over the world.  This is what the Obamaites now refer to as “overseas contingency operations.”  One might well ask contingent on what, but the words themselves quite likely are not considered to be really meaningful and are rather designed to constitute a reassuring euphemism.  One of these wars, in Afghanistan, is costing the US taxpayer $10 billion a month and is tying up more than 100,000 American soldiers.  Casualties are rising, most of Afghanistan has become insecure in spite of the effort, corruption and drug cultivation are rampant, and there is no end in sight. 

To put the cost of the war in some kind of perspective, Afghanistan’s gross domestic product for 2009 was $22 billion, meaning that it is costing nearly six times more to “defend” each year than its total economic activity.  Asymmetrical indeed. Colonial empires of the past would have at least figured out how to turn a buck from their imperial endeavors, highlighting the cluelessness of Washington.  If there has ever been an example of a war that makes no sense, Afghanistan is it.

The stated purpose of fighting in Afghanistan is to keep the country from becoming a base for terrorism but the premise is deeply flawed.  Terrorists can literally go anywhere and do not necessarily need a geographic base.  If they choose, they can even disappear for a time, sitting quietly and waiting for the situation to change in their favor.  Also, fighting them in a foreign country is a fool’s errand, and not only because American soldiers and their leaders rarely grasp what is going on in any alien environment and nearly always make things worse rather than better.  No, the salient issue is that the militants will always have the upper hand in such an engagement because they benefit from three realities that give them a major advantage.  First, they are not bound to strategies coming out of a training manual and can actually learn and develop as they go along. 

This has been described as “open source warfare.”  If you need a better and simpler improvised explosive device (IED), instructions for making one will soon appear on the internet as militant groups refine their tactics and share information.  When the advanced IED appears, the US government and its military industrial contractors will panic and overreact to the threat by building a newer and heavier vehicle to resist it.  The new vehicle will cost three times as much as the old vehicle, will take two years to design, and will get 300 yards per gallon of gas, which has to be trucked over the Hindu Kush mountains, where it is subject to attack by the insurgents.  As is frequently the case, that means that the conventional army is always finding itself at a disadvantage fighting the last war with the last war’s weapons waiting for the new weapons that will be obsolete when they arrive.

The foreign army will also invariably adhere to standard doctrine, which is to defend itself as a first priority.  That means it will always overreact when it is attacked.  Given the nature of guerrilla warfare, it will unleash its power against areas in which militants have inserted themselves among civilians, leading to avoidable deaths that will be used to win the propaganda war.  This serves as a recruiting poster for the insurgency.  So in the long run, with the invader beggaring himself fighting the wrong war and killing civilians, who is going to win the exchange?

Second, militants do not have to waste manpower and materiel by defending anything that could be attacked by the overwhelming force possessed by the conventional army.  They can concentrate on conserving resources by taking the offensive to hit soft targets, secure in the knowledge that even 100,000 highly trained and well equipped foreign soldiers cannot be everywhere.  When some contractor hired by USAID builds bridges or schools at great cost, it is a lot easier to blow them up a week or a month later than it was to build them. 

The ability to do that type of damage produces a disproportionate result, sending a message that the government and its foreign allies are ineffective and cannot provide security.  It also tells the local population who is going to win in the long run and it won’t be the boys from Washington.  They understand that eventually the Great Power will lose its will to fight, will go broke, and will go home.

Third is the issue of overall strategy.  Modern conventional armies are designed to inflict devastating damage on a concentrated opponent with the intention of causing mass casualties and ending the enemy’s ability to continue to resist.  When the enemy army is soundly defeated it surrenders, generally followed by the surrender of the national government that it represents.  But none of that applies in war against an insurgency or a group of militants, with the result that an aircraft carrier or a strategic bomber or a ballistic missile becomes worthless. 

Such groups normally have only limited internal organization, operate essentially as “leader-less,” and a militant who is killed is quickly replaced at the local level.  If an operating base is destroyed or overrun, it is a simple matter to pick up one’s weapons and move to another.  If the war spreads to another region or country, it is also relatively easy to replicate the insurgency and its structure in the new area.  That is why there is no worldwide al-Qaeda movement, only national and regional groups that share the philosophy and methods of the parent organization.  The local franchises are driven by their own national and religious agendas, are self funding, and generally locally recruited.  They fade away when the local government or the US comes after them and then resurface when the pressure eases.  That is why they cannot be defeated, even if the United States spends the next twenty years trying to do so.

So what is the solution to the tactical and strategic challenges posed by terrorists and other militants?  Well, we could leave Iraq and Afghanistan and eschew any interest in intervening in Somalia and Yemen.  Instead of telling half the world how to run their governments, we could wish them all luck and announce our intention to disengage from foreign entanglements as quickly as possible.  There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any terrorist group would then follow us back home to wreak havoc.  On the contrary, it is most likely that we would be left alone.  And we could be saving all that money we are spending accomplishing absolutely nothing overseas and begin to put our own economy back together by cutting defense spending by a half or even more. 

Minus an international threat, we could also disband the Department of Homeland Security, starting with the odious Transportation Security Administration.  Yes, that would do it.  An America at peace with itself and putting its own house in order.  I rather suspect that the entire world would applaud such a change.  Of course, if we don’t do it, we can continue to be the lemmings charging over the cliff.

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Waking of the Beasts


by crescentandcross  



On the farm is a small number of the animals beginning to wake up to the fact they are being bred for meat and trying desperately to wake the other farm animals up to warn them of their ominous fate.

The other animals however, of all breeds, simply shrug off these warnings and carry on head to the ground…munch, munch, munch…

Some do manage to say something in response to it “Ohhh rubbish”, they say…“Why on earth would they want to eat us when nature has provided an abundance of plant-based foods for humans – such nonsense…” Other animals are not as polite and get quite defensive, going so far as to threaten the truth animals in the interests of stopping them going ‘round spreading fear-based, malicious “meat rumors”.

Some apathetic beasts are well-aware of this meat theory, but always take the ‘philosophical’ view to it all–“What can we do about it” they ponder out loud…“It’s just the way things are. Always been this way, always will…”

Many of the animals, in wanting to remain in their state of delusion, go so far in their cowardly treason to defend the farmer, pointing out how he brings them hay, top-of-the-line medical care and free housing. As the icing on the cake, they smugly remind all within earshot how the farmer puts up electric fences for their own protection and welfare from dangerous predators who see them as simply their next meal.

The more awakened animals once overheard some humans talking in terms of meat practices via their humasonic language such as ‘pork’, ‘beef’, ‘steak’ and even the word ‘abattoir’! They knew what these terms meant. They had worked it out. These conscious souls had heard about the specially-designed cattle lorries with high level open windows which took them off on the ferry to places abroad to be slaughtered. They knew not to trust the farmer and their inspectors. With the greatest of frustration they would ask themselves “Why, oh why can the other animals not see this obvious fact, especially when they themselves often complained about how rough the farmer treated them?…”

Some of the animals often complained about how they are out in all forms of weather while the humans are sheltered comfortably. Why can these sleepy cows not accept the fact that they are only bred for one reason only – MEAT??? After all, they are well-aware they’re already having their precious milk stolen off them which should be for their calves…And where are the calves? Why can they not see the obvious coincidence that there is a field of cows and not a field of cows and bulls? What happens to all the calf bulls when are born?? As much as they accuse the other animals of being ʻmeat theorists’ in all fairness they must be called “coincidence theorists”.

Further clandestine conversations between some of the meat theorists …

It’s not a conspiracy ʻtheory’ that years ago some farmers actually fed some farm animals–by nature not meat eaters–on the corpses of other animals and as a result humans ended up with diseases never before seen.

And what about all these vaccinations the animals are forced to take – not a rumor that their full of steroids…

Every year the farmers fleece the sheep of their coats and leave them out at night to the elements. Where do you think the farmer and his family get all their thick fluffy cardigans…from cotton? And these farmers and businessmen are making huge profits from their coats. But try telling these facts to these sleepy sheepy – they simply wont listen.

Dear God, we animals on this giant farm, who are bred and raised for slaughter and all for the benefit of the powerful “farmers” who sit above us as our owners, deserve to be treated like simple beasts of burden if that’s what we’re willing to put up with.

Can’t the rest of us see that all we need to do is just get together and smash through these superficial electric fences and trot off in a united act of animal rebellion? We, ʻthe animals’ with all our collective might should have no fear of the tractor and even the farmers gun. As for those traitor sheep dogs – they are all cowards when we stand up to them.

We don’t need the farmer’s fodder, we can feed ourselves naturally. We can be independent of these parasitic plantation owners and reclaim our animal self-sufficiency.

My fellow farm-folk–WAKE UP to the reality that we are simply MEAT to them, our owners, usurers and butchers.

This short analogy is to highlight the struggle of waking the sleep sheepy up to the undeniable control that Jewish/Zionist interests exert over us gentiles, us “cattle” as they define us and the significance of this conspiracy plays in our own individual lives.

For further information on the state of affairs on our barnyard existence, visit these following sites:


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Nazi Kahane Chai



  1. Terrorist-supporting assemblyman Dov Hikind helps give adjunct professor the boot

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Terrorist-supporting assemblyman Dov Hikind helps give adjunct professor the boot

Dov Hikind is a bigot and a supporter of terrorism. He stood by 5 Jewish teenagers who severely beat a young Pakistani man with brass knuckles in a hate crime so heinous, it was condemned even by the Anti-Defamation League.  He is aformer follower of the terrorist group the Jewish Defense League and recently waxed nostalgic at the memorial of hate-monger Rabbi Meir Kahane whose Kach party-including the Kahane Chai spinoff-was banned, even in Israel, for racism and terrorism. He and his wife are working towards the Judaization of East Jerusalem and are doing their part to start a Holy War there by supporting the building of the Third Temple. He actually opposed the inclusion of non-Jews (there were some 5 million) in a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust and is an advocate of racial profiling.

Oh, and he said gay marriage would lead to more incest.

And, it must be said, he does all of this while wearing a kippah- he is an Orthodox Jew–which I personally find particularly galling.

(His archived press releases about Israel and the UN are pretty remarkable for a local state assemblyman.)

If he were a radical imam, he probably would have been booted out of town long ago. He’d certainly be on a number of watch lists, and for good reason. But instead, in a display of Jewish privilege, he enjoys a cushy job as a NY State Assemblyman.

In that position, he pulled a few strings the other day and this arbiter of morality  (who was also caught up in a corruption scheme years ago) called Brooklyn College and asked them to boot a young scholar, named Kristofer Petersen-Overton (pictured left), for teaching a class on Middle East politics that apparently had too many books by Palestinians in it. At least, that’s why the case came to Hikind’s attention- a student complained about the syllabus. Brooklyn College’s president, Karen Lee Gould, was apparently happy to oblige and violate all basic standards of academic freedom and do the typical administrator thing when this happens–lie about it.

The New York Times reports:

Last fall, it was an assigned book that brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict home to Brooklyn College. A wealthy alumnus said he was cutting the college out of his will because all incoming freshmen had been asked to read “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor there.

This week, it was a course — a graduate seminar on Middle East politics scheduled for the spring semester. The focus of the dispute was the adjunct professor who had been appointed to teach it, a doctoral student whose writings raised hackles even before he set foot in the classroom.

On Thursday, the professor, Kristofer Petersen-Overton, said he had learned a day earlier that the college was rescinding his appointment, saying he lacked the academic qualifications to teach such a high-level course. But the timing of that decision has led Mr. Petersen-Overton and others to question whether the decisive factor might have been politics.

Earlier in the week, Dov Hikind, a Democratic state assemblyman from Brooklyn, wrote to the college president and to the chancellor of the City University of New York, which includes Brooklyn College, to express alarm about the “slanted nature” of the professor’s works.

The Times goes on:

Critics seem to have zeroed in on one of Mr. Petersen-Overton’s unpublished papers about the idea of martyrdom in Palestinian society. “They claim I romanticize suicide bombing even though I deal very little with the issue in the paper,” he said. “I absolutely condemn it, of course. They’re clearly heinous acts.”

A spokesman for Brooklyn College, Jeremy Thompson, said the provost had revoked the appointment because of concerns that Mr. Petersen-Overton did not have the academic credentials to teach a graduate-level seminar. The course was for students pursuing a master’s degree, and Mr. Petersen-Overton currently has a master’s himself.

But Huffington Post reports:

But professor Mark Ungar — who made the decision to hire Petersen-Overton — told Salon that many of the college’s graduate courses are taught by students still working towards a Ph.D. Along with 11 other faculty members, Ungar has formally objected to the provost’s decision to let Petersen-Overton go — a move he said “undermines academic freedom and departmental governance.”

SIGN THIS Petition to Defend Academic Freedom at Brooklyn College that outraged academics  have put together. They’re demanding a formal apology and that Peterson-Overton be reinstated.

A statement on Peterson-Overton’s website says:

Mr. Petersen-Overton expressed concerns “that a state official would denounce my work so strongly without, apparently, having offered it more than a cursory reading. [Hikind’s] press release … is slander pure and simple.” Mr. Petersen-Overton emphasized that his work has little to do with suicide bombers and that Mr. Hikind deliberately twisted his conclusions to make it appear otherwise.

“I was not contacted by Brooklyn College administration at any time during their decision-making process. This politically motivated action undermines CUNY’s longstanding legacy as a stalwart defender of academic freedom,” Mr. Petersen-Overton said.

The allegations against Mr. Petersen-Overton center on time he spent in the Gaza Strip working for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and on an unpublished scholarly paper that analyzes the symbolic place of martyrdom in Palestinian nationalism. Petersen-Overton’s detractors also took issue with the fact that, according to his personal website, he still maintains “close contact” with the Palestinian activist community.

Mr. Petersen-Overton’s academic work deals broadly with issues of identity formation in Israel and Palestine.

You can download his highly academic talk about Palestinian identity here, and below I have posted his class syllabus which reportedly started the whole debate when a student complained about it to Hikind. I’ve included the syllabus below. I think it looks fascinating and rigorous and recommend that Mr. Petersen-Overton offer the class online for a small fee. I suspect he’d make better money than most adjunct professors make these days– and in an environment where academic freedom actually means something.



Kristofer J. Petersen-Overton



Office Hours: Thursdays, 5.30-6.30 pm (?)


Course Description


This course aims to provide graduate students with a general introduction to the politics of the contemporary Middle East. It will be impossible to sufficiently cover the entire Middle East region in one semester. Therefore, the course is structured around the broad theme of identity and will be conducted at two levels: (1) a macro level which focuses on the Arab Middle East in general—and does not include details about Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan or Pakistan—and (2) a micro level which focuses specifically on Israel/Palestine. As we look at the development and evolution of political identities over time, we consider the Arab context generally and the specific case of Israeli and Palestinian political identities in particular. This approach will allow students to grapple in some depth with the complexities of an important part of the region and to acquire a feel for wider political issues in the contemporary Middle East.


Required Course Texts:


Mohammed Ayoob, The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2008).

Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents. 7th ed. (New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009).


You will be responsible for finding all the assigned journal articles, but any other reading material will be provided via Blackboard (I have used asterisks to indicate this below).


Course Requirements




All students should actively participate in class discussions. In order to properly do this you must come to class having done all of the assigned readings. Your participation grade combines both your attendance and contribution to in-class discussions.




In one class during the semester, you will give a 15-minute oral presentation on the assigned readings for the week. To accompany the presentation, you must prepare a typed mini-paper in which you draw linkages between the texts and offer some questions for the class to discuss.


Research Papers


You will be required to submit two short research papers on topics related to Middle Eastern politics, due on (?) and (?) respectively.Your papers should draw on academic literature beyond the assigned readings and must be properly referenced (footnotes or endnotes and bibliography).




Participation: 10%

Presentation: 10%

Research Papers: 40% x 2

Total: 100%


Course Policies


Classroom Conduct


Some of the issues covered in this course are closely intertwined with deep-seated political and/or religious beliefs. I enjoy and encourage a lively classroom discussion, but it must be conducted in a respectful manner, free of invective, and conscious of what may be profound differences of opinion.


Arriving late is distracting to the others members of the class. Please let me know in advance if you will be unable to arrive on time regularly. Leaving early is also disruptive, and equally discouraged. Again, if you know you will have to leave early, please let me know in advance.




Plagiarism is academic fraud. Any student caught engaging in such activity will receive a failing grade for the course and the matter will be handed over to the college administration. Your work must be your own. Use footnotes or endnotes to give credit for direct quotes, paraphrased quotes, or borrowed ideas. If you are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism, please arrange to meet with me.


Schedule of Topics and Readings:


Week 1: Introduction


Lisa Anderson, “Scholarship, Policy, Debate and Conflict: Why We Study the Middle East and Why It Matters,” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 38 no. 1 (2004).


Week 2: Nationalism & Orientalism – Theoretical Foundations


* Ernest Renan, “What Is a Nation?” in Homi K. Bhabha, Nation and Narration (London; New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 8-22.

* Benedict R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983), pp. 1-36.

* Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983), pp. 53-62.

* Eric Hobsbawm & Terence Ranger, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 1-14.

* Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp. 1-28.

* Joseph A. Massad, Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), pp. 1-10.




Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1968), pp. 148-205.

Antonio Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Notebooks. Edited by Quintin Hoare & Geoffrey N. Smith. (New York: International Publishers, 1971), pp. 206-276.


Week 3: Writing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – The Objectivity Debate


* Neil Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories (Chichester, U.K.; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 1-38, 221-251.

Jonathan B. Isacoff, “Writing the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Historical Bias and the Use of History in Political Science.”Perspectives on Politics 3 no. 1 (2005): 71-88.

Sari Nusseibeh, “A Formula For Narrative Selection: Comments on ‘Writing the Arab Israeli Conflict’.” Perspectives on Politics 3 no. 1 (2005): 89-92.

Sara Roy, “Humanism, Scholarship and the Politics: Writing on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” Journal of Palestine Studies36 no. 2 (2007): 54-65.




Noam Chomsky, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” London Review of Books (1967).

Noam Chomsky, Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship (New York: New Press, 1969).

Edward W. Said, “Identity, Authority and Freedom: The Potentate and the Traveler,” in Edward Said, Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (London: Granta Books, 2000) 386-410.

Edward W. Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004)


Week 4: Origins of the Conflict – Zionism & Arab Nationalism


Smith, pp. 1-54.

* C. Ernest Dawn, From Ottomanism to Arabism; Essays on the Origins of Arab Nationalism (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1973), pp. 122-147.

* Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 145-175.

* Alan Dowty, The Jewish State: A Century Later. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). pp. 34-50.

Alan R. Taylor, “Zionism and Jewish History,” Journal of Palestine Studies 1 no. 2 (1972): 35-51.




Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003).

Rashid Khalidi, The Origins of Arab Nationalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).

Muhammad Y. Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988).


Week 5: Early Years of the Conflict: The British Mandate


Smith, pp. 55-161.

* Ted Swedenburg, Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2003), pp. 1-37.




Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate (New York: Owl Books, 2001).

Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (New York: Vintage Books, 2001).


Week 6: WWII, the Creation of Israel & the 1948 War


Smith, pp. 162-216.

* Avi Shlaim, “The Debate about 1948,” in Ilan Pappé (ed.), The Israel/Palestine Question (New York: Routledge, 1999), pp. 171-192.

* Benny Morris, “The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus From Palestine: The Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence Service Analysis of June 1948,” in Ilan Pappé (ed.), The Israel/Palestine Question (New York: Routledge, 1999), pp. 193-210.

Nur Masalha, “A Critique of Benny Morris,” Journal of Palestine Studies 21 no. 1 (1991): 90-97.

* Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948(Washington D.C: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992), pp. 175-210.

Farid Abdel-Nour, “Responsibility and National Memory: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem,” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 17 no. 3 (2004): 339-63.

Ghada Karmi, “The 1948 Exodus: A Family Story,” Journal of Palestine Studies 23 no. 2 (1994): 31-40.




Benny Morris. “Falsifying the Record: A Fresh Look at Zionist Documentation of 1948,” Journal of Palestine Studies 24 no. 3 (1995): 44-62.

Benny Morris, The Birth of Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, 1947-1949. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006).


Week 7: Arab-Israeli Wars & the Occupation


Smith, pp. 217-340.

* Gershon Shafir, “Zionism and Colonialism,” in Ilan Pappé (ed.), The Israel/Palestine Question (New York: Routledge, 1999), pp. 81-96.

Neve Gordon, “From Colonization to Separation: Exploring the Structure of Israel’s Occupation,” Third World Quarterly 29 no. 1 (2008): 25-44.




Neve Gordon, Israel’s Occupation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).

Adam Roberts, “Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories since 1967,” The American Journal of International Law 84 no. 1 (1990): 44-103.

Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (London; New York: Verso, 2007).


Week 8: Intifada, Peace Process


Smith, pp. ???

* Avi Shlaim, “The Rise and Fall of the Oslo Peace Process,” in Louise Fawcett, International Relations of the Middle East(Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 242-261.

Jeremy Pressman, “Visions in Collision: What Happened at Camp David and Taba?” International Security 28, 2 (2003): 5-43.

Lori Allen, “The Polyvalent Politics of Martyr Commemorations in the Palestinian Intifada,” History & Memory 18 no. 2 (2006): 107-38.

Meira Weiss, “Bereavement, Commemoration, and Collective Identity in Contemporary Israeli Society,” Anthropological Quarterly 70 no. 2 (1997): 91-101.


Week 9: Resolving the Conflict?


Smith, pp. ???

Sara Roy, “Praying with Their Eyes Closed: Reflections on the Disengagement from Gaza,” Journal of Palestine Studies 34 no. 4 (2005): 64-74.


Jonathan Spyer, “Forward to the Past: The Fall and Rise of the ‘One-State Solution,” The Middle East Review of International Affairs 12 no. 3 (2008).




Ali Abunimah, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Benny Morris, One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009).


Week 10: Ethnic Identities: Lebanon & Iraq


* Kamal S. Salibi, A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 1-37, 216-234.

Elie L. Salem, “Lebanon’s Political Maze: The Search for Peace in a Turbulent Land,” Middle East Journal 33 no. 4 (1979): 444-463.

* William L. Cleveland & Martin P. Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009), pp. 332-337, 382-392 (on Lebanon); 326-330, 408-421, 563-573 (on Iraq).

* Hanna Batatu, “Of the Diversity of Iraqis, the Incohesiveness of their Society, and Their Progress in the Monarchic Period Toward a Consolidated Political Structure,” in Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury & Mary Wilson (eds.), The Modern Middle East(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 503-525.

* Fanar Haddad & Sajjad Rizvi, “Fitting Baghdad In,” in Reidar Visser & Gareth Stansfield (eds.), An Iraq of its Regions:Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 51-74.

Daniel Byman, “Constructing a Democratic Iraq: Challenges and Opportunities,” International Security 28 no. 1 (2003): 47-78.




Reidar Visser, “Ethnicity, Federalism and the Idea of Sectarian Citizenship in Iraq: A Critique,” International Review of the Red Cross 89 no. 868 (2007): 809-822.


Week 11: Islamism


Ayoob, pp. 1-89.

* Peter Mandaville, “Islam and International Relations in the Middle East: From Umma to Nation State,” in Louise Fawcett,International Relations of the Middle East (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 170-187.

Guilain Denoeux, “The Forgotten Swamp: Navigating Political Islam,” Middle East Policy  9 no. 2 (2002): 56-81.

Mona El-Ghobashy, “The Metamorphosis of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers,” International Journal of Middle East Studies37 (August 2005): 373-395.

* William L. Cleveland & Martin P. Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009), pp.546-550.

Sara Roy, “Hamas and the Transformation(s) of Political Islam in Palestine,” Current History 102 (2003): 13-20.


Week 12: Radical Islam & Jihadism


Ayoob, pp. 90-169.

Roxanne L. Euben, “Killing (for) Politics: Jihad, Martyrdom, and Political Action,” Political Theory 30 no. 1 (2002): 4-35. 

Michael Doran, “The Pragmatic Fanaticism of Al Qaeda: An Anatomy of Extremism in Middle Eastern Politics,” Political Science Quarterly 117, 2 (2002): 177-190.

Daniel Byman, “Al-Qaeda as an Adversary: Do We Understand Our Enemy?” World Politics 56, 1 (2003): 139-163

Quitan Wiktorowicz, “A Genealogy of Radical Islam,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 28 no. 2 (2005): 75-97.


Week 13: Authoritarianism & Democratization

Jill Crystal, “Authoritarianism and its Adversaries in the Arab World,” World Politics 46 no. 2 (1994): 262-289.

Yahya Sadowski, “The New Orientalism and the Democracy Debate,” Middle East Report 183 (1993): 14-21, 40.

Eva Bellin, “The Robustness of Authoritarianism in the Middle East,” Comparative Politics 36 no. 2 (2004): 139-57.

Stephen Fish, “Islam and Authoritarianism,” World Politics 55 no. 1 (2002): 4-37.

Don Peretz, The Middle East Today (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994), pp. 221-229, 236-239, 246-255.

Eric Davis, Memories of State: Politics, History, and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 1-28.

Week 14: Gender & Sexuality


* Leila Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. ???

* Joseph Massad, Desiring Arabs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), pp. ???

Arlene Elowe MacLeod. “Hegemonic Relations and Gender Resistance: The New Veiling as Accommodating Protest in Cairo.”Signs 17, no. 3 (1992): 533-57.

Orna Sassoon-Levy, “Constructing Identities at the Margins: Masculinities and Citizenship in the Israeli Army, The Sociological Quarterly 43 no. 3 (2002): 357-383.

Julie Peteet, “Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence,” American Ethnologist 21 no. 1 (1994): 31-49.



Joseph A. Massad, “Conceiving the Masculine: Gender and Palestinian Nationalism,” Middle East Journal 49, no. 3 (1995): 467-83.



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Riding With the Beast


by crescentandcross  


January 26, 2011

Story goes that Nixon made a late night surprise visit to the students camped out at the Lincoln Memorial in 1970. This was at the height of the Vietnam War, as tens of thousands of young folks descended upon the Capitol to protest. This bothered Nixon so much that he had trouble sleeping. Thus, early in the AM he went without security to converse with the protesters. During discourse with a group of them, one female student asked him ‘Why don’t you just stop the war? ‘Nixon proceeded, like the lawyer he was, to make a case for his reluctance to just end it. In his spiel to her, he defined theMilitary Industrial Complex and the wars it conducts as A Beast. He told her it was not so easy to harness this beast. She looked at him and replied, staring right into his eyes: ‘You really can’t stop it even if you wanted to! ‘

We now have a president who has always, throughout his adult life, followed the precept of ‘Go along to get along ‘. In doublespeak politics they call this bipartisanship. Since his days at Harvard, Barack Obama has always sought out those with opposing principles to his own and offered them the power that they would never lend to him. Reality is, in our current (and almost always) 2 party system, when push comes to shove on most issues of great importance, there are no opposing principles anymore.

You see, the beast rules. Our nation was founded by and for the money interests. One could not even vote in the days following our American Revolution if one did not own land. Property rights have always trumped people rights. Wealth was and is looked upon as some sort of celebrity status. The serfs always bowed and scraped in front of the lord and lady of the manor.

The beast, in today’s vernacular, is the ‘college of large corporations and select families ‘that run our very way of life. You know, energy, banking, Big Pharma, insurance, Wall Street, mainstream media and of course the infamous Military Industrial Complex. Backed and owned by the very wealthy, this Cabal has been writing American economic, foreign and military policy for as long as one can remember. This beastalmost succeeded in a 1930s coup de tat against FDR (one of their class who strolled a bit too far off the plantation) if General Smedley Butler had not blown the whistle on them.

The beast made sure that Truman dropped the A Bomb, not once, but twice, to show the Russkies that we could build more than one… and use them to suit our national interests! They handpicked Eisenhower to carry their mantle, and he did, until he had his epiphany in that farewell speech of 1961. JFK, well, he thought he was more powerful than the beast, and you know what happened to him. On and on, each and every president has served this beast, some better than others, but serving all the same. It owns most of our Congress and the Pentagon… always has, through the corrupt and unfair system of campaign donations and promises of a good job after government service ends.

They fix elections (Bush Jr. 2000 and 2004) and basically choose most of the candidates for president from both major parties. I mean, do you really think that McCain leapfrogged all those other Republicans in 2008 without some mighty powerful help? Do your research and see that his campaign was floundering at the bottom of the list in early 2008… and out of money! Suddenly, he is the front runner. Why? Well, the beast decided that a Democrat had to be elected, so they needed a sure thing loser to face the Democrat. As far as Obama, he was handpicked by the Chicago machine years earlier. Why? Well, the man was perfect for the role. He was half black, looked black, was genuinely bright and well spoken, and they needed a large black vote to put a Democrat over.

Problem is this nation is so deeply racist. Even those who say they are not racist still wear hints of it like cologne. For instance, many white Democrats, especially males, might very well have strolled into that voting booth and had a last minute change of heart. So, to cement the deal, thebeast made sure that McCain picked someone who would guarantee a Democratic victory. Mrs. Palin was the perfect foil. She carried the day for the Democrats and the beast.

Barack Obama is so bright that he should know most of the above. Perhaps his goal was (and is) to do whatever he can, however little that may be, to help those in desperate need….without upsetting thebeast. He figures ‘ Well, if I give the beast most of the big gifts it demands, I’ll be allowed to give out my little ones to the public.’ Thus, the war machine and our empire stay oiled and running as we remain in both Iraq and Afghanistan with our military budget at an all time high. He gives in to Wall Street, figuring that a newer version of Reaganomics will suffice.

He fails to tax the super rich because the beastneeds the mega millions and billions it greedily deserves. As far as health insurance, well, the beast will gladly treat the indigent poor because that makes good news copy. For the rest of America, the 300+ million, well it’ll have to continue being ‘survival of the fittest!’ Barack Obama realizes that the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling did not create the inequities in the electoral system, they only compounded them! After all, his campaign broke all the records for money raised in a presidential campaign. He knows the hype and baloney about it coming from Ma and Pa Kettle American is hogwash! It was the corporatebeast that paid his way into the White House.

So, the joke is on those of you who continue to believe that the beast is just some fairy tale or conspiracy theory. Next time you vote for one of these 2 parties, be sure to wipe the egg off of your face when you walk out of the voting booth. Even Mr. Obama must realize that when you choose to take a ride with the beast you’re never allowed to steer.

Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is an activist leader and free lance columnist. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 200 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at Dandelion Salad, New Jersey activist Ed Dunphy’ or at his own blog at Philip can be reached at


War is a Racket by Smedley Butler

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Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction: The PSC gives evidence to the government committee against arrest warrant changes


War criminals not welcome

The Police Reform Bill includes proposals which, if passed, will make it much more difficult to obtain an arrest warrant for anyone accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


PSC and other NGO’s are calling for MPs to vote against these proposed changes. The current law fully complies with the Geneva Conventions and the proposed changed will allow politicians to interfere with requests to issue arrest warrants for war criminals.


PSC’s evidence to the committee against arrest warrants changes has been published on the Police Reform Bill updates click here to read.


The situation is critical and it is important we keep the pressure up and continue to email your MPs to insist that they vote against these proposals. Even if you have already emailed your MP previously please take 2 minutes to send them a new message, asking them to vote against the proposed changes. PSC have set up an easy to use e-tool to allow you to send a model letter to your MP.

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MI6 Offered to detain Hamas figures



British government also provided financial support for two Fatah security forces linked to torture.

Gregg Carlstrom 

Last Modified: 25 Jan 2011


The Palestine Papers reveal that the British government played a significant role in equipping and funding the Palestinian security forces, several of which have been linked to torture and other abuses.

The “rendition plan”

More unbelievably, the UK’s MI-6 intelligence service proposed detaining members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an extraordinary –and illegal – scheme in which the European Union would have paid for their detention.

Under the heading “degrading the capabilities of the rejectionist groups,” the MI-6 document suggests:

“… the disruption of their leaderships’ communications and command and control capabilities; the detention of key middle-ranking officers; and the confiscation of their arsenals and financial resources held within the Occupied Territories. US and – informally – UK monitors would report both to Israel and to the Quartet. We could also explore the temporary internment of leading Hamas and PIJ figures, making sure they are welltreated, with EU funding.”

An appendix to the document outlines how the British government might help the Palestinian Authority. It includes British plans to seize firearms and rockets from the West Bank and Gaza; to cut off funding to “rejectionist groups” like Hamas; and to reduce weapons smuggling through tunnels into Gaza.


PA questions Tony Blair’s role

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad wondered whether Quartet envoy’s initiatives were too small to be helpful.

Alastair Crooke: Blair’s “counterinsurgency surge”

Former British prime minister’s support for Palestinian security forces contributed to decline of EU influence in “peace process.”

Funding for the PA

It is difficult to say which of these ideas were actually put into practice. But two subsequent documents from the following year suggest that, at the very least, the British government provided funding for Palestinian security forces.

document from the British foreign office provides “a synopsis of the project work that the UK is engaged in with the Palestinian Security Forces.” It documents hundreds of thousands of dollars in security assistance to the PA.

Of particular note are two $90,000 allocations, one to the Preventive Security force, the other to the General Intelligence Service.

Both have been linked to widespread human rights abuses in the occupied territories. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in July 2008 that Preventive Security had carried out most of the arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank. “Many of the arrests were unlawful,” the group reported, “and arrested individuals sometimes encountered maltreatment at the time of arrest or torture during interrogation.” General Intelligence was also linked to cases of torture.

“The most abusive forces, local groups say, are the Preventive Security or General Intelligence Service. Most of the abuses documented in this report were committed by one of those two forces,” HRW concluded.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, the British foreign office said it takes allegations of torture “extremely seriously.”

[Foreign office minister Alistair] Burt raised the issue of human rights abuses when he met [Palestinian prime minister Salam] Fayyad last week and asked for a concrete assurance that allegations would be investigated and appropriate actions taken. PM Fayyad gave this.”

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Yaskoot Ho$ni Mu-Barak!



Egypt is aflame. Reports are that there are 500,000 people on the streets in Alexandria, where “security forces appear overwhelmed” (AJE), and where they just torched a government office. Riot police have withdrawn from Suez after they were forcefully repelled by the people. 100,000 Egyptians are on the streets of Mahalla. From the footage, the air in Cairo looks drenched in tear gas, and tens of thousands of protesters earlier took over the Qasr al-Nil bridge in downtown Cairo. Overwhelmed, the Egyptian government has deployed army vehicles on the streets, where they are being welcomed by protesters.The Egyptian internal security forces have killed at least 18 protesters, while the army has strangely re-occupied the Rafah crossing into Gaza. Egyptian army vehicles have “secured” the Radio and TV Building (from the images it looks like they’re mixing with the protesters), and a curfew has been announced: 6 M to 7 AM. The state has unleashed its army on its people, but it’s not clear that people are returning the favor: apparently police who were injured in Alexandria were treated by the protesters to show them they are on the wrong side of the struggle. People are still out on the streets at 1 AM, defying Mubarak’s curfew. It’s dusk on the dictatorship.

The question is how it will play out.

Obama, as I write, is ordering Mubarak to “address…the grievances of the Egyptian people…a meaningful dialogue between the government and its citizens.” This is purely reactive diplomacy: the Obama administration is hoping that there can be a slight institutional shuffle at the top, perhaps a transition to a very-carefully guided democracy, perhaps long-on-process-short-on-policy reforms that take months to wend their way through the Egyptian political system while the boil of protest slowly subsides.

Mubarak just announced that he’ll appoint a new government. No doubt the populace will give this pronouncement the respect it deserves and duly torch another empty riot lorry. Meanwhile, in the back pocket of the empire is former head of the IAEA Mohammed El-Baradei (I’ve heard he barely speaks Arabic, although that may not be a disqualification to run Egypt as a managed democracy), and can be relied upon to emplace a system of political liberalization and economic neo-liberalism, slightly softened with some isolated elements of a social welfare regime, designed to dissipate popular rage.

What’s at stake? Internationally, without a secure Egypt on Israel’s borders, Israel cannot hold in its current form. With the keystone of the imperial arch in the Middle East removed, Saudi Arabia, the real prize, will be next, and the US will not let it go down without a fight. Too much is at stake: the capital extracted from Saudi Arabian petrol is the lifeblood of the capitalist circulatory system, and given who runs this country and this world, they will not be sucked dry without resisting.

Aware of the incipient clicking sound of collapsing dominoes, the US is still blithely insisting that Mubarak is, as Biden put it, “not a dictator”: he’s a democrat. He follows imperial orders.

The usual crowd is insisting that the collapse of the dictatorship should be interpreted solely through the lens of its support for the Zionist entity, or The Lobby. Do not listen to them. The phrase is class war. Many in Egypt live on 400 Egyptian pounds a month, maybe 70 dollars, or close to two dollars a day. There is not much of a middle class—mostly the wealthy living in Zamalek and the ring suburbs, suspended above their society, and the masses of poor inhabiting the slums of Cairo.

The dictatorship has funneled 7.5 billion dollars to Mubarak’s pocket, and his retinue has profited too, along with the rest of the Egyptian over-class, where wealth and proximity to the state apparatus correlate strongly. Timothy Mitchell notes that the neo-liberal reforms of the 90s put public funds into fewer and fewer hands, diverting resources from industry and agriculture and the human infrastructure problems of employment and training. The state now “subsidizes financiers instead of factories, speculators instead of schools. Although the IMF has shown no interest in raising the question, it is not hard to determine who benefits from the new financial subsidies.

The revitalized public-private commercial banks lend big loans (tax-free) to large operators. The minimum loan size is typically over $300,000 and requires large collateral and good connections.” Perhaps three percent of the population accounts for 50 percent of consumer spending. Multinational capital likes this arrangement, as it likes sending military aid to Egypt which dutifully routes it back to Lockheed Martin. These issues are linked: dictatorship allows for subservience to imperial dictates, for support for the Zionist siege of Gaza, for intolerably low wages, for the diversion of public resources to the wealthy and the connected.

Youth, aware that the current configuration offers them no future, have been at the forefront of the revolt, and that includes some of the scions of the elite. But the rebellions haven’t come from nowhere. The April 6 Movement and others have been pushing to bring the Egyptian people out onto the streets to confront the government over the past several years. Nor has labor been quiet. Socialist journalistHossam el-Hamalawy comments, “You can’t isolate these protests from the last four years of labour strikes in Egypt,” such as the massive Mahalla strikes, “or from international events such as the al-Aqsa intifada and the US invasion of Iraq.

The outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada was especially important because in the 1980s-90s, street activism had been effectively shut down by the government as part of the fight against Islamist insurgents.”

There will be those fighting for merely cosmetic reforms at the top, or those fighting for more political opening and political liberalization. And then there will be those fighting for what the people of Egypt, mired in poverty, need: social revolution. For the moment, the latter two groups will be working together. As el-Hamalawy continues, “I would assume that if our uprising became successful and he’s overthrown you’ll start getting divisions.

The poor will want to push the revolution to a much more radical position, to push the radical redistribution of wealth and to fight corruption.” Yallah. Let’s hope that the attempts to tamp down the unrest with sops fail, that the guns of those who try to drown the revolt in blood misfire, that the people in Egypt rip apart the system and put something decent in its place.

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”Excuse Me, Rep. King, But This is My America Too”



by crescentandcross 


By Mahmoud El-Yousseph


January 28, 2011


The newly elected House Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Peter King [R-N.Y.] is on a crusade. This law maker is fixated on Muslims in America, like a addict hooked on drugs. He will go through all imaginable pain to defame, smear and insult Muslims in our country. First thing on his agenda–holding congressional hearings, on alleged “hidden radicalism” amongst American Muslims and in mosques. In other words, putting Muslims on trial and in the crosshairs.

This “honorable” law maker has made many reckless and absurd remarks about Muslims recently that have had a chilling effect. At first, Rep. King complained that there are “too many” mosques in America. What is that supposed to mean? Does this lawmaker prefer that Muslims build more casinos, brothels, porn shops, or Hanukkah bars instead? Personally, I would rather hang around with people who frequent the house of God than the aforementioned.

New York is considered to have the second largest Muslim population in America, after Michigan, and Rep. King is supposed to represent his constituents–INCLUDING Thos who happen to be MUSLIMS–in Washington, rather than being their declared enemy.

Rep. King is targeting a Long Island mosque located in his district, and even though not one single member of the Islamic Center has ever been accused of terrorism, King claims the mosque is a hotbed of “radical Islam”, calling its leaders extremists, who should be put under surveillance as if this were the Soviet Union. He further argues that most Muslim leaders in the United States aren’t cooperating with authorities. Rep. King is either ignorant or a liar!

King confounded me even more, when he repeated his false claim on Gaffney’s radio program recently by stating “American Muslims never cooperate to combat terrorism.” In addition to this nonsensical claim, King made the extraordinary smear that American Muslims aren’t “American” when it comes to war.“When a war begins, every ethnic and religious group unites as ‘Americans’, but in this case,” King continued, referring to Muslims, “this is not the situation…Whether it’s culture, tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near the extent that it should”. As a Muslim American veteran who also happens to be the father of an American serviceman, this is the most outlandish lie I ever heard!

Perhaps King should talk with the top law enforcement officer in the U.S, FBI Director, Robert Mueller who is quoted saying “Since September 11th, we have had substantial assistance and cooperation from the Muslim-American community, the Arab community, and the Sikh-American community within the united States. And for that, all of us are tremendously thankful. Special Agents in Charge around the country often meet with leaders of the Muslim American communities. I periodically meet with leadership here in Washington. I want to add that, in my view, 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans, Arab Americans, Sikh-Americans, are every bit as patriotic and supportive of the United States, as any others of us here, and that has come out since September 11th.”

For Mr. King`s information, America’s Muslims were in the forefront in denouncing every act of terrorism. A full -page paid advertisement was placed in the Washington Post, on September 16, 2001, by the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] denouncing the 9/11 Terrorist attack and urging Muslims, in the ad, to donate blood, money, and to help with the search and rescue operation.

I should note also, that Muslims led by CAIR lobbied very hard to secure the release of US citizens jailed in Iran and others who were kidnapped in Iraq. No thanks to Chairman King!

Believe it or not, there are thousands of Muslims, as well as Arab Americans, serving in the US armed forces. They have taken part in every conflict and have given their lives to their country. Many Arab and Muslim Americans have deployed and many are still deployed overseas. Denial, or the ignoring of these facts by Chairman King, is shameful and insulting.

Rep. King went to great pains to bring Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a Somali-born atheist (formerly Muslim) and a former member of the Dutch Parliament all the way from Europe, to testify during the hearing. Miss Ali argues that we are at war with Islam and there is no middle ground. Since my tax dollars pay for her travel expenses and hotel accommodation, I would suggest the following US citizens be invited to testify instead of this self serving bigot:

*Gunnary Sergeant Jamal Badani, a former U.S. Marine who retired last year. Mr. Badani is the founder of The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military [APAAM]. He spent more time, before and after 9/11, deploying for worldwide duty, than he spent with his own family. Mr. Badani’s service uniform is on display at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Such a witness would shed light on the loyalty and patriotism of Muslims in America.

*The parents of Salman Hamdani. The 23-year-old New York City police cadet, who was a part-time ambulance driver, incoming medical student, and devout Muslim. Mr. Hamdani disappeared on September 11. Law enforcement officials came to his family, seeking to question him in relation to the terrorist attacks. They allegedly believed he was somehow involved. His whereabouts were undetermined for over six months, until his remains were finally identified. He was found near the North Tower, with his EMT medical bag beside him, presumably doing everything he could to help those in need. His family could finally rest, knowing that he died the hero they always knew him to be.

Finally, as a veteran and proud father of a US soldier, my message to Rep. King is this–American Muslims are loyal and patriotic citizens. They are law abiding, hard working, diverse and integrated, more than the Muslim populations in any other Western society. Excuse me Mr. Chairman, this is my America too!

Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Retired USAF Veteran

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Rise People Rise-The Global revolution is Upon Us!




The Global Revolution


I have for many years lived with the knowledge that we, the masses, the working class, the poor, the white, the black, the brown, the immigrants, the Christians, the Muslims, the atheists, the soldiers/ex-soldiers, the peaceniks, the communists, the anarchists, the students, the people, across the spectrum, we all have a common cause.  And yet, we have so tragically allowed ourselves to be duped, to be pitted against each other, fighting each other, finding a million ways to divide ourselves, or simply to be indifferent to each other.  In this the tyrant’s smile, they laugh and they joke, about how complete their control over us is.  They have been laughing for far too long.

I know how this happens, growing up in my white middle-class Californian life; I was a mindless idiot like most, I had no idea that we in the West were living on the back of the blood sweat and tears of countless people around the globe.  I was clueless about our reaping the benefits of the plunder of the world.  I too was living in that bubble of indifference, a bubble that is finally bursting.  I wonder if the billions who have suffered for our indifference can forgive us?  I wonder if we will be honest about our criminal complacency which has resulted in an unfathomable amount of suffering and death?

Ah but alas, the American empire is crumbling, it is rotting from within, like every single empire before it.  And how poetic that its accelerated demise was ignited by the rage and desperation of one Mohamed Bouazizi, one of the countless victims meant to be just another statistic; no no, this statistic just kicked off a global revolution.

Think about it, if a street vendor can do that, imagine the power of the people united, intelligent, fearless and indomitable.

And the people of the world are beginning to realize that all the bribe money, all the weapons, all the sleazy tyrants and their minions are nothing, they are spineless fleeing cowards, running away as cowards do.  Let them run to the grotesquely corrupt hosts who will receive them, their day is coming soon as well.  Soon there will be nowhere to hide, no gold for them to steal, no court to shield them and no stolen land to live on.

Moving forward with this revolution I am sure many such scoundrels will come home to America, the most corrupt land of them all, by virtue of the seeds of corruption it has sowed across the globe… America, possessor of the most disgusting, servile, traitorous government of them all, will soon play host to all its servile tin pot dictators.

America… the land of illusions, with the veneer of civility and prosperity, in truth the essence of destitution and lunacy.  I know this land; it is my birth nation, I was indoctrinated in this nation and made insane, like the vast majority of its population.  And yet I am blessed for my insanity because I have survived it, and more importantly I remember it, thus I can look at all my lost brothers and sisters and see myself.

I realized upon awakening that it was the height of arrogance to expect everybody else to awaken in unison with me, and so I accept people, as they are, collectively insane but capable of retaining their humanity. I knew for sure that if I could break free, anyone can.  I remember how crazy and stupid I was, I remember believing my nation this and my nation that, and I remember pledging my allegiance to The United States of Hypocrisy by reciting the words  “with liberty and justice for all”; what a bunch of bullshit!  But I believed it.

I owe brother Malcolm X an incredible debt of gratitude for teaching me how stupid I was.  I owe my native American brothers and sisters for teaching me of the genocidal history never mentioned in school.  I owe my Hawaiian (kanaka maoli) brothers and sisters for teaching me true love of the land and the sea, as well as respect for my elders and the beauty of an extended family.

I owe the United States Marine Corps massively, for providing me my first real taste of injustice; undoubtedly the most critical event of my life.  They gave me the rage, for having done the right thing and being punished, they connected me to everyone who knows injustice.  How ironic… how beautiful.

I thank one president above all, thank you Dubya, my brother George W. Bush.  You more than any other president taught my fellow Americans a lesson that I had known for years.  I thank you Mr. President for uniting people around the world, like no other president in my lifetime.  But most of all I thank you for forcing Americans to ask themselves, honestly; “do I live in the greatest nation on Earth?”  And if so, how is it possible that “my president” is a silver spoon suckin, idiot Yale graduate, Skull & Bones tapped, cocaine snorting, Vietnam disserting, un-elected asshole?

Bill Clinton killed a good million and half Iraqis through inhuman sanctions, including 500,000 plus children.  But Americans remained in their coma, oblivious to Clinton the mass-murdering war criminal; but then came George, thank you George, no president did more to wake Americans up, you were the turning point.

People were engaged with Dubya, he stirred them from their slumber, but Obama put them back to sleep.  “It’s all good, there is a black man in the White House, everything is cool again!”  What a joke.  Meanwhile Americans sat by, waving flags and losing their jobs, losing their homes and making a bonfire of their Constitution and Bill of Rights.  American sons and daughters turned into psychopaths and sacrificial lambs yet again.  America, a nation of and for war criminals.  America, making orphans by the millions.  America, fighting and “leading” a farcical “War on Terror.”

America became some horrible B-movie, one big B-movie set in Fantasy Land, produced by Zionist lackeys.  Only a nation and a world gone insane could have believed the movie was reality.  Power to the prostitutes of propaganda, they did all they were ever called on to do.  Meanwhile the working class continued working hard, bought their tickets and watched the movie, just so they could go further into debt by gifting the bankers trillions and trillions of dollars.  “God bless America!”

Remember this my fellow Americans, a street vender from Tunisia kicked your ass; how beautiful is that?  Somehow your slave masters could not manage to stop a single, insignificant man from knocking over the first domino and igniting the fire to which you shall soon be engulfed, literally.  If you know what’s good for you, you will see your traitors on Wall Street, in the Congress and the White House for who there are, fast.

Speaking of which, let me say to Hillary Clinton and the other prostitute politicians calling for “restraint” in Tunisia and Egypt; fuck you and fuck restraint.  Remain angry my brothers and sisters and channel that anger until the result is achieved, a revolution resulting in a dictators flight.  He has shamed the Egyptian people for far too long, bought and paid for by the American taxpayer; there is no “reform” absent his departure.  Let Egyptian rage manifest in the form of that cowardly, pathetic excuse of a man fleeing Egypt to join some pathetic and corrupt regime suitable of hosting him.  I am not alone in waiting for the news that Israel and America’s Pimpdaddy Mubarak, and all his prostitutes, are fleeing Egypt for good.

And I am loving the “financial crisis, loving the fact that people are suffering in Europe and America, let it get worse and worse, please God I pray for a storm of discomfort.  Let the middle and upper class people of the West in particular live like the Bedouins of Gaza I met today, nothing will jump start their conscience more.  Let them feel a fraction of the pain and suffering we have dealt to the rest of the world. Soak it up, embrace it, live in the street, go hungry and homeless and get beaten for seeking shelter in the wrong place.  Then look in the mirror and see the world you created in your own eyes.

Let us realize once and for all the truth, we are all connected, we, the working class, the un-employed, no matter color, religion, sex, nationality, we are the masses, we have the power.  And if we have any sense at all we will see any and all attacks on fellow human beings as an attack on ourselves and our family.  With this attitude we will crush any so-called leader/politician who even thinks to bamboozle us with the same bogus game that has played out for far too long.

Enough is enough, the world we created has been horrid, let us thank profusely those who fought while sat on our lazy, indoctrinated asses.  Let us now stand together, brothers and sisters, with the people of Tunisia and Egypt in particular.  Let us turn the page on the nicey nice social gathering protests that serve to diffuse our rage and absolve us of guilt by allowing us to say; “I protested.”  No it is time now for much more effective measures.  Direct Action is my chosen method, but general strikes are called for big time.  It is time for the workers to bring the slave masters to their knees and to seriously, meaningfully, express solidarity with the people of every occupied nation, including but not limited to, Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan and my beloved Hawaiian nation.

It is time to fight fire with fire if necessary and make clear to our police and military that if they turn on the people, then they will feel the wrath of the people.

Every government should be made to fear the people and respect the people, period. Let that be our credo, let us shed the fear and instill fear in every tyrant.  The Tunisians and Egyptians have put the fear of god in their governments, so should we; our Western governments are every bit as corrupt.

And if our revolutions begin to be replaced by another form of tyranny, we shall rise again the moment it reveals itself.

As for irony, how about this, let us use the words of a despicable institution (The United Nations) and manifest the meaning of the words;

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,…” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Let us live these words and draw a line in the sand.  Either you live these values and protect these values or you are an enemy of the people.  The bullshit war on terror and all who support that farce must be exposed and put in their place.  Wars of aggression and occupation must end immediately.  Those that rationalize and justify war and occupation must be exposed and recognized as enemies of the people.  Banking, the fractional reserve system and the Federal Reserve, the central banks and the entire ponzi scheme they enslaved us with must be completely destroyed.  Every secret society conspiring to benefit the few at the expense of the many must be exposed and destroyed.

Behind every empire remains the hidden powers and the removal of Ben Ali and Mubarak is merely the removal of their puppets; they have countless more so it is the powers in the shadows that we must finally see.  These anti-humans care nothing for the religions or nations that the masses are so wedded to.  They can slither from one place to another.  Like a chameleon they can change color or camouflage themselves.  They must be seen, the truth tellers are doing their part; we need only open our eyes.  And open your eyes for this one, the greatest animated film ever made, The American Dream.  Watch this 30 minute cartoon, get angry and get real.

I say again, if a street vendor can kick off a global revolution, imagine the power of the people united, intelligent, fearless and indomitable.  We can achieve any damn thing we commit to.  I say we destroy the banking system and replace it with genuine currencies of real value serving simply as a means for fair and ethical trade.  I say we default on all of our loans to the criminal banks, both personal and national, and start over.  I say we make criminals of the merchants of death who produce weapons of mass-destruction.  And I say we sail to Palestine by the thousands and turn Israel’s ruthless, mass-murdering, fourth largest military in the world into an impotent irrelevance.

Why not?

Let us realize once and for all, that we the people are one, that we are human, that our most precious gift is that of our humanity.  Let us never sacrifice it again.  Together we are unstoppable.  We are the sleeping giant, we are the waking lion, we are fierce and we are fearless.

If you the tyrants, the bankers, the prostitutes of propaganda and politics, if you are very fortunate indeed we will give you amnesty.  But if you seek such mercy, then step down and speak honestly of the crimes against the people to which you aided and abetted and/or committed.  Maybe, just maybe, you will become human again.  And you can thank us all for being human with you.

If you are the police, the army, the servant of the tyrants, know that you are one of us, and you have the opportunity to serve your true purpose, which is to serve the people.  Do this and you will be welcome.  Remember, you are commanded by God and/or conscience to serve your fellow human beings; do so at the very moment your traitorous superiors order you to turn on the people.  At that moment in which you are being ordered to sacrifice your humanity, put down your weapons and join the people; WE WILL EMBRACE YOU.  You will transform from a vassal of tyranny to a hero.  You have been placed in your position for this role, do not reject it.

To the tyrants, it matters not what you do to any one of us, we are the people, we are the true power and we are reclaiming it.  Do not stand in our way.

To my brothers and sisters in Tunisia and Egypt, my deepest love and respect goes out to all of you.  Thank you for showing us the way.  May we follow in your footsteps, and without delay; I for one am with you 100%.

Posted in WorldComments Off on Rise People Rise-The Global revolution is Upon Us!

A Pro-democracy activist asks americans: If not now, when?


    To the nearly $28 billion in economic assistance provided to the country since 1975.3The U.S. is rapidly reassessing its approach to the developments in Egypt. On Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared Mubarak’s government “stable” and suggested that it was addressing “the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”4Mohamed ElBaradei, who is not only a Nobel Prize winner but also the former head of the International Atomic Agency, responded in an interview on CNN5:


The U.S. must demand Mubarak resign and call for free elections.
take action!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize winner and Egyptian pro-democracy activist, recently asked, “If the west is not going to speak out now, then when?” As a chief backer of Mubarak’s military, the United States has a special role to play in the rapidly unfolding events in Egypt. You must use our nation’s considerable leverage to advocate for Mubarak’s resignation and the immediate announcement of free and fair democratic elections. 
Take action now!

Dear Friend,

In Egypt, forces loyal to the longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak aimed a water cannon at a Nobel laureate and well known democracy activist. They beat the supporters who tried to protect him from this attack and then used tear gas to trap him in a mosque. 

His message to us? In an interview with The Guardian of London1 Mohamed ElBaradei issued this challenge:

“The international community must understand we are being denied every human right day by day. Egypt today is one big prison. If the international community does not speak out it will have a lot of implications. We are fighting for universal values here. If the west is not going to speak out now, then when?”


Urge Secretary of State State Hillary Clinton: Demand Mubarak resign and call for free and fair elections immediately. Click here to automatically add your name to the petition.

The United States has been a key benefactor of Mubarak throughout his 30-year reign as a dictator whose corrupt government has employed torture to stifle dissent and authoritarian rule to maintain claim to the reins of power. In fact, the U.S. provides $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt — that’s a stunning 25% of Mubarak’s military budget.2 And this is in addition

“I was stunned to hear Secretary Clinton saying that the Egyptian government is ‘stable,’ and I asked myself at what price stability. Is it on the basis of 29 years of martial law? … Is it on the basis of rigged elections? That’s not stability. That’s living on borrowed time. Stability is when you have a government that is elected on a free and fair basis. And we have seen how elections have been rigged in Egypt, we have seen how people have been tortured. And when you see today over 100,000 young people, getting desperate, going to the street, asking for their basic freedoms, I expected to hear from Secretary Clinton … democracy, human rights, freedom.”


As protesters escalate their calls for the ouster of Mubarak, a dictator who has held the presidency for 30 years, he responded by unleashing the police and military who have attacked protesters with shocking force. Opposition leaders have been placed under arrest and internet and cell phone service has been cut off in an attempt to cripple the nascent anti-authoritarian movement.

Clinton has recently taken a different tack and asserted “We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.” We need Clinton — and the U.S. government — to go further in support of human rights and demand truly democratic elections.

Tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: The U.S. can support the people of Egypt by demanding democratic elections now. Click here to automatically add your name to the petition.

As a chief backer of Mubarak’s military, the U.S. has a special role to play in the rapidly unfolding events in Egypt. The U.S. can add teeth to its statement that it supports the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the right to free speech and assembly, by using its considerable leverage to advocate for Mubarak’s resignation and the immediate announcement of free and fair democratic elections.

Thank you for taking a stand for the rights of people of Egypt.

Becky Bond, Political Director 
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. “Egyptian government on last legs, says ElBaradei,” The Guardian of London, January 28, 2011.

2. “Defence budget (Egypt),” Jane’s Information Group, December 30, 2010.

3. “Background Note: Egypt,” U.S. Department of State, November 10, 2010.

4. “Can the U.S. get on the right side in Egypt?” Washington Post, January 28, 2011.

5. “ElBaradei: Egypt is not stable,” CNN News, January 25, 2011.

Posted in WorldComments Off on A Pro-democracy activist asks americans: If not now, when?

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