5.8.06

Fools rush in to another quagmire

The Daily Star - Editorial - Fools rush in to another quagmire:

Already the siege of Lebanon, which has been billed as another battle in the 'war on terrorism,' seems reminiscent of the war on Iraq, where a foreign army marched in with no concrete plan to restore peace and stability. Instead of having a basis in careful planning, the war on Lebanon seems to be built upon the grandiose schemes outlined in 1996 by a group of US foreign policy hawks in a paper titled 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.' That strategy paper advocated the abandonment of the Arab-Israeli peace process and overthrowing regional regimes, including that of Saddam Hussein. Following this line of thinking, the current war-mongering US administration has made a clean break from the honorable American tradition of promoting peace and has openly embraced the path of destruction.

Yet this path, which has led to a horrendous situation in Iraq, in no way serves American or Israeli interests, nor can it achieve peace and stability. After 23 days of war, the Israeli Army has not gained much ground or reduced the capabilities of Hizbullah to launch attacks on the Jewish state. And even if Israel manages to hurt Hizbullah, there is no forseeable way of defeating them. Much like the anti-occupation insurgents in Iraq, all that Hizbullah needs to do is survive - potentially for decades - and keep inflicting pain on their Israeli occupiers until they are forced to leave in humiliation.

Israel's attacks on Lebanon satisfy nothing other than an insatiable appetite for destruction - that of neoconservatives and militants alike. Each day of the war propels moderates to the extreme and pushes possible solutions further and further out of reach. And far from crushing any enemies, the war is quickly turning the entire Middle East into a cauldron of anti-American and anti-Israeli militancy.

Prosecutors say US cowardly soldiers freed Iraqi detainees then shot them as they fled

JURIST - Paper Chase: Prosecutors say US soldiers freed Iraqi detainees then shot them as they fled:

A US military prosecutor said in closing arguments at an Article 32 hearing Friday that four US soldiers should face court-martial for violating the laws of war by setting several Iraqi detainees free after a May 9 raid on a suspected insurgent camp near Samarra in Salahaddin province and then shooting them as they ran away. The soldiers face charges of premeditated murder , attempted murder, and conspiracy, and could face the death penalty if convicted of premeditation. They also face obstruction of justice charges for threatening to kill another soldier, Pfc. Bradley Mason, if he told investigators of their alleged plans for murdering the detainees.

Ayatollah Khamenei condemns Qana tragedy

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE:

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

The tragic disaster in Qana has made our hearts overflown with pain and grief.

It has made us and other Muslim nations as well as all freedom-loving peoples of the world grief-stricken and angry.

Why and for what reason the lives of those innocent children, those fragile and exhausted bodies, and the small and frightened hearts ended in such a cruel manner? Why were the distressed hearts of their mothers and fathers so cruelly wounded by the bloodthirsty Zionists and their bigheaded and arrogant American supporters? What is the logic and rationale behind twenty days of relentless bombing of Lebanon, twenty days of atrocities on a massive scale, destruction of a country and killings of its civilian population, and the disaster such as the massacre in Qana, to make the world that claims to be civilized, the United Nations, governments and organizations that profess to be advocates of human rights to remain so callously cold and uninterested? How long should the Islamic world tolerate existence of the scheming and evil Zionist regime? How long should the Islamic governments allow war-monger and arrogant America to have a free hand in this sensitive region?

The events in Lebanon have exposed the true nature of American human rights, and have revealed the kind of Middle East the American government seeks after.

Today it has become clear to all that attack on Lebanon was premeditated and part of a joint American-Zionist stratagem and is a major step toward domination over the Middle East and the Islamic world.

Bush and his American cohorts share the same degree of guilt in the disasters brought upon Lebanon as the evil and wicked Zionist regime. And the silence of the United Nations and many of the Western governments and above all the support by some governments, such as the notorious British government, make them accountable and partners in crime in varying degrees in contemporary and future judgment of humanity and in the Day of Reckoning and the Divine Judgment Day.

More than ever before the Muslim nations loathe America. Their governments, even those that are constrained because of political considerations, loathe and oppose the American government because of so much outrageous and arrogant aggression. The American regime must expect a hard slap on the face and the crushing fist of Muslim ummah because of its support for the crimes and the Zionist criminals and its blatant violation of the rights of Muslim nations.

Bush's Butler Tony Blair, has Blood on his hands

New Statesman - Blood on his hands:

Israel's assault on Lebanon is, in many respects, as disastrous as the war in Iraq. But at least then the pre-war hubris and deceit were played out in parliament and at the UN. This latest act of folly took place suddenly, with only the barest of attempts to justify it to global public opinion. And it stems from the core Middle East problem: the decades-old conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

I am told that the Israelis informed George W Bush in advance of their plans to 'destroy' Hezbollah by bombing villages in southern Lebanon. The Americans duly informed the British. So Blair knew. This exposes as a fraud the debate of the past week about calling for a ceasefire. Indeed, one of the reasons why negotiations failed in Rome was British obduracy. This has been a case not of turning a blind eye and failing to halt the onslaught, but of providing active support.

Blair, like Bush, had no intention of urging the Israelis to slow down their bombardment, believing somehow that this struggle was winnable. Israel has a right to self-defence, but it could have responded to the seizure of its soldiers, and to the rocket attacks, by the diplomatic route. That would have ensured greater sympathy. Now, growing numbers in Israel itself realise that military action will bring no long-term solution.

Even if the guns fall silent for a while, the damage has been done. This is the score sheet so far: roughly 800 deaths; shocking images of the slaughter of children in Qana; no clear Israeli military advance. And the transformation of Hezbollah from an organisation on the periphery of Lebanese politics into an object of admiration across the Arab world. But it is even worse than that. Is the assumption that civilians are legitimate targets if they do not flee certain areas any different from the principles that underlay the US war in Vietnam? Blair and Bush have given their blessing to the forced displacement of a large population, in violation of the guiding principles of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

4.8.06

US, Israeli War Crimes Exposed To The World

JUS One News - AFTER QANA: US, Israeli War Crimes Exposed To The World:

Massacre As A Political Weapon

Israel has a history of using massacres to intimidate a population under occupation. In 1982 after Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon all the way up to Beirut to force the withdrawal of Palestinian resistance fighters, it sent death squads into the disarmed Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. Hundreds of defenseless refugees were executed.

Ariel Sharon’s role in this massacre was so well known that even the Kahan Commission set up by the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, found him guilty of war crimes. He was then dismissed as Israeli defense minister. This hardly hurt his support among hard-core Zionists. He never served a day in prison and went on to become prime minister.

Zionist military policy has drawn on tactics, including massacres to drive out indigenous people, that have been used by the U.S. ever since its wars against the Native peoples in North America. Massacres of civilians who supported resistance to U.S. imperialism were used extensively in Washington’s wars in the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam.

In the 1991 U.S. war on Iraq, in an effort to break the people’s morale, the Pentagon fired two laser-guided “smart bombs” directly into the well-marked Amariyah bomb shelter in Baghdad, filled with civilian families. The number of people estimated to have been incinerated by the missiles ranges from 500 to 1,500.

Aggression Masked As Self-Defense

Despite decades of U.S. sanctioned and financed aggression, Israel is always described in the corporate media as an army defending itself from attack. Both Gaza and Lebanon are portrayed as quiet until Hamas or Hezbollah initiate attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth. After the Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah forced Israel to withdraw its occupying troops in 2000, Israel routinely bombed, raided and violated Lebanon and continued to occupy its Shabaa Farms area. This May, Israel again bombed Lebanon and assassinated two Palestin ian activists. As a further provocation, it bombed areas in the south that support Hezbollah. All this was barely mentioned in the U.S. corporate media.

Israel and the U.S. are losing the Three-Front War

Dar Al Hayat:

In a word of wise advice to pig-headed political leaders, Denis Healey, a former British Defence Secretary, used to say, 'When you're in a hole, stop digging!' The U.S. and Israel are in a deep and dangerous hole. They urgently need to 'stop digging' before the hole swallows them up.

They are fighting, and losing, on three fronts -- Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. It seems that this is not enough for the more insane and hysterical among them who are clamouring to extend the war to Syria and Iran, and to the whole of what they like to call the 'Islamo-Fascist' world.

Israel denies it is involved in the Iraq war. But, in fact, it is as much part of that conflict as the U.S. is now part of the wars in Lebanon and Palestine. Israel participated in the strategic planning for the Iraq war, which was designed to remove any threat to it from the east. Its neocon friends in Washington egged America on to fight and fabricated the phoney intelligence which persuaded a gullible President that smashing Iraq was necessary for America's security.

Three years later, the U.S. is up to its neck in the Iraqi quagmire, squandering billions of dollars and losing men at the rate of about one a day, but without the good sense or the will to hoist itself out of the hole.
The wars in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon are all inter-linked, with U.S. abuses in Iraq providing a model for Israel's indiscriminate violence against civilians, and its breach of international humanitarian law. Israel is merely doing what the U.S. pioneered. When the world's superpower creates conditions of international anarchy by destroying the checks and balances of the international system, lesser powers feel free to follow suit.

The pro-Israeli ideologues in Washington are still apparently driven by the fantasy that the entire Middle East can be restructured by military force to suit U.S. and Israeli interests - and the President, worried about the looming mid-term elections in November, is too stubborn and too ignorant to call a halt to this madness.

The wars in Lebanon and Palestine are U.S.-Israel wars, pre-planned jointly and waged in close strategic coordination. The Israelis do the fighting while the U.S. provides the funding, the weapons, and the political and diplomatic cover. It has delayed a ceasefire to give Israel time to 'finish the job.'

But the wars are not going their way. In both Lebanon and Gaza, Israel might achieve some tactical gains - like this week's commando raid on Baalbek -- but a strategic victory is almost certainly unattainable.

Venezuela withdraws Israel ambassador

Aljazeera.Net - Venezuela withdraws Israel ambassador:

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said he has recalled his country's ambassador to Israel to show his 'indignation' over the military offensive in Lebanon.

In a televised speech on Thursday, he called the Israeli attacks 'genocide'. He said: 'It really causes indignation to see how the state of Israel continues bombing, killing ... with all of the power they have, with the support of the United States.' Chavez has repeatedly criticised the Israeli offensive. He said: 'It's hard to explain to oneself how nobody does anything to stop this horror.' His government has until recently said it had good relations with Israel.

During a recent visit to Iran, Chavez called Israeli attacks on Lebanon a 'fascist outrage'. He said: 'The Israeli elite repeatedly criticise Hitler's actions against the Jews, and indeed Hitler's actions must be criticised, not just against the Jews but against the world. It's also fascism what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people ... terrorism and fascism.'

Muslims press U.N. for truce in Lebanon

Muslims press U.N. for truce in Lebanon - Yahoo! News:

The Islamic world's largest organization of countries demanded on Thursday that the U.N. implement an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon and investigate what it called flagrant human rights violations by
Israel.

Leaders of key countries in the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, including Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey, voiced strong support for the Lebanese people 'in their legitimate and courageous resistance against the Israeli aggression.'

'We demand that the United Nations Security Council fulfill its responsibility ... by deciding on and enforcing an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire,' the OIC said at an emergency summit.

The U.N. Human Rights Council should launch 'a full investigation into these criminal acts perpetrated by Israel,' which include the killing of civilians and destruction of homes in Lebanon, the declaration added.

'We hold Israel responsible for the loss of lives and suffering ... and demand that Israel compensate (Lebanon) and its people for the losses sustained resulting from Israeli aggression,' the leaders said.

3.8.06

Three US Marines charged with assault in new Hamdania incident

JURIST - Paper Chase: Three US Marines charged with assault in new Hamdania incident:

Three US Marines have been charged with assault of an Iraqi in the village of Hamdania in April this year, according to a late Thursday report by AP, citing US military officials. The April 10 incident came to light during a military investigation of seven Marines and one Navy corpsman charged in June with the murder and kidnapping of an Iraqi civilian in the same village on April 26. Charges against a fourth Marine are pending.

War escalates as Israeli jets pound Lebanon

Ya Libnan | War escalates as Israeli jets pound Lebanon | Live News from Lebanon:

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said a third of the casualties in the 23-day-old conflict were children under 12. He said a million Lebanese, a quarter of the population, had been displaced and the country's infrastructure devastated.

A Reuters tally put the death toll at 683 at least. Hezbollah, showing it can still fight after 23 days of Israeli bombardment, fired at least 70 rockets into Israel on Thursday, killing five people. A record barrage of 231 missiles the previous day killed one person and wounded scores.

U.S. bulldozes Iraqi treasures

U.S. bulldozes Iraqi treasures:

After the U.S. invasion in Iraq and the political vacuum it created, Iraq’s museums and libraries have been repetitively looted and plundered

Last month, Mafkarat Al Islam reported that the U.S.-led occupation forces bulldozed 1,000-year old historic district in Al Qa'im, near the Iraq- Syria border, turning it into a soccer field.

The occupation troops completely destroyed a thousand-year old historic district dating back to the First Abbasi Period (762-833 C.E.)

The Department of Antiquities issued an announcement that was signed by Abd al-Karim Falih, the department's director, accusing the Americans of leveling the historic district dating from the Abbasi period, with bulldozers and other equipment, according to Mafkarat Al Islam correspondent.

The announcement said that the American occupation troops bulldozed the area, turning it into a soccer field even though it was fenced off, with signs warning against getting inside due to its historic value.

The Islamic Heritage District told the story of the Abbasi era, a time of great flowering of Arab-Islamic culture.

So far the U.S. invading troops have caused the destruction of at least seven historical sites in the country dating back to the Abbasi era and the earliest Islamic period, including the Abbasi Caliph's palace in as-Saqlawiyah, another historic area 30km west of Fallujah where the Battle of Dhat al-`Uyun was fought by Muslim warriors under Khalid Ibn al-Walid who conquered the Persian Empire and liberated the country. The U.S.-led occupation also destroyed the `Anah Citadel and the Hit Citadel, as well as other centuries- old Islamic cites.

2.8.06

9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon

9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon:

Although the commission's landmark report made it clear that the Defense Department's early versions of events on the day of the attacks were inaccurate, the revelation that it considered criminal referrals reveals how skeptically those reports were viewed by the panel and provides a glimpse of the tension between it and the Bush administration.

A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that the inspector general's office will soon release a report addressing whether testimony delivered to the commission was 'knowingly false.' A separate report, delivered secretly to Congress in May 2005, blamed inaccuracies in part on problems with the way the Defense Department kept its records, according to a summary released yesterday.

al hayat 2.8.06

Why the U.S. supports Israel’s destruction of Lebanon

Why the U.S. supports Israel’s destruction of Lebanon:

U.S. politicians and the media excuse Israel’s wars on both the Palestinians and the Lebanese people by claiming that Israel has a “right to defend itself”--code words for the arbitrary redrawing of borders, military assaults on defenseless people, and the murder and imprisonment of anyone who resists.

The corollary is that Hezbollah and Hamas must be cut off from receiving aid and weapons from Syria or Iran, and Israel must continue to receive U.S.-made F-16 jets to rain bombs on Lebanon and Gaza and $3 billion in direct aid from Washington each year.

Despite this hypocrisy, some parts of the U.S. antiwar movement continue to view the much smaller armed operations of Hezbollah and Hamas as part of a “cycle of violence” with Israel’s vastly greater destructive power--or even hold Hezbollah responsible for the destruction of Lebanon because of its capture of the two soldiers.

But as the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe argues, “Retaliating to such a low-key operation with a total war and destruction indicates clearly that what matters is the grand design, not the pretext...the wider Israel’s military might expands, the easier it is to complete the unfinished business of the 1948 [founding of Israel]: the total de-Arabization of Palestine.

Israel’s drive to consolidate its control led to the Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and the occupation of southern Lebanon from 1982 until 2000. The current Israeli war has similar aims as the previous ones: to eliminate any challenge to its dominance.

Nevertheless, the resistance to the imperialist and Zionist project continues among Palestinians, in Lebanon and elsewhere. Although dismissed as bands of terrorists by Israel and the U.S., Hezbollah and Hamas are mass organizations whose influence has grown precisely because of their resistance to Israel.

Saudi criticises Bush's “condoning” of Israel’s onslaught

Khaleej Times Online - Saudi criticises US “condoning” of Israel’s onslaught:

“It is known that Israel does not want a ceasefire, because it aims to achieve certain suspicious goals ... But it is irritating to see that some are condoning this (action),” Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters in Jeddah.

“We disagree with the US policy in this matter,” said Saud, describing the US’ refraining from pushing for a ceasefire in Lebanon as being “confusing and in contrast with American fundamental principles.”

“The United States is the (only) superpower capable of pushing for an immediate ceasefire... We are trying to change the US position,” he added.

Saud also urged the US administration to restrain Israel’s use of US-made weaponry against civilians.

The United States supplies Israel with all makes of weapons. It is within its duty to prevent Israel from using these weapons against civilians and innocents in Lebanon,” he said.

700,000 displaced by Bush's bombs in Lebanon

Al-Ahram Weekly | Region | 700,000 displaced:

Shock was visible on the face of the UN's emergency relief coordinator this weekend when he toured the desolate wasteland that a few weeks ago was Beirut's busy, packed southern suburbs. 'It is horrific. I did not know it was block after block of houses,' Jan Egeland told reporters amid the rubble, affirming that Israel's bombing of the suburb of Haret Hreik, where Hizbullah had its headquarters, breaks humanitarian law.

His surprise may have reflected the time it took the world's media to catch on to the scale of the humanitarian crisis. But international concern about the humanitarian disaster inflicted on Lebanon grew this week, though pressure on Israel still falls short of Lebanese hopes. The UN launched a flash appeal on Monday for $150 million to ease the man-made crisis.

The UN also joined relief worker calls for Israel to guarantee a 'humanitarian corridor' and safe access to blockaded ports so they can transport aid to desperate areas. 'But only a cessation of hostilities can really make it safe for us and our humanitarian colleagues,' Egeland told reporters.

The Shame of Being an American


Palestine Chronicle - Paul Craig Roberts: The Shame of Being an American:

Gentle reader, do you know that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing in southern Lebanon? Israel has ordered all the villagers to clear out. Israel then destroys their homes and murders the fleeing villagers. That way there is no one to come back and nothing to which to return, making it easier for Israel to grab the territory, just as Israel has been stealing Palestine from the Palestinians.

Do you know that one-third of the Lebanese civilians murdered by Israel's attacks on civilian residential districts are children? That is the report from Jan Egeland, the emergency relief coordinator for the UN. He says it is impossible for help to reach the wounded and those buried in rubble, because Israeli air strikes have blown up all the bridges and roads. Considering how often (almost always) Israel misses Hezbollah targets and hits civilian ones, one might think that Israeli fire is being guided by US satellites and US military GPS. Don't be surprised at US complicity. Why would the puppet be any less evil than the puppet master?

Of course, you don't know these things, because the US print and TV media do not report them.

Bush Black-Shirts ban Media from Trial of five of his Pedophilic, Murdering, Raping Soldiers

JURIST - Paper Chase:

The US military has banned the media and public from observing witness testimony of Iraqis in upcoming Article 32 hearings for five US Army soldiers chargedin connection with the rape of an Iraqi teenager and the murder of her and her family in Mahmudiya . The trial counsel moved for the media ban Monday to protect the identity of witnesses, fearing that insurgents will target the witnesses and perceive them as helping US forces. Trial counsel Capt. Alexander Pickands told Col. Todd Ebel, commanding officer of the 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division and the defendants' unit, that several witnesses had already received threatening phone calls and letters.

Sgt. Paul Cortez, Spc. James Barker, Pfc. Jesse Spielman and Pfc. Bryan Howard have been accused of rape and murder, while Sgt. Anthony Yribe has been charged with failing to report the incident. Steven Greene, a former soldier discharged from the Army before the allegations arose, has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and murder in the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official website] in connection to the same incident. Greene's arraignment has been delayed to avoid complications with evidence used in the investigation into the five soldiers still in Iraq.

1.8.06

Arab Blood Runs Cheap

Dar Al Hayat:

The notion of benevolence, which accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel, is like a mother's feelings for her naughty child. She will accept anything from it. Moreover, this child can set fire to the land and people without being punished by the mother. For the first time, a ceasefire has become problematic to the great USA, because it does not want it. Israel and the US see that the ugly massacres, condemned by the whole world, are simply political arrangements in the region. This means that all the pretexts of the war are false. Thus, the Israeli war machine's plan had already been prepared for, and Israel waited for the opportunity. It does not matter that innocent civilians are the only people who are paying the price. It is no problem that the worthless bodies of the Arab elderly, and of women and children, who have nothing to do with the fighting, are used as firewood. It is a fact that the two Israeli soldiers were captured for the extermination of a whole nation and for the massacre of innocent people in Qana. It is to be regretted that the Security Council did not call a spade a spade. It joined the spectators of the tragedy.

31.7.06

'They found them huddled together'

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 'They found them huddled together':

Muhammad Qassim Shalhoub, a slim 38-year-old construction worker, emerged with a broken hand and minor injuries, but lost his wife, five children and 45 members of his extended family. 'Around one o'clock we heard a big explosion,' he said. 'I don't remember anything after that, but when I opened my eyes I was lying on the floor and my head had hit the wall. There was silence. I didn't hear anything for a while, but then heard screams.'

'I said: 'Allahu Akbar [God is most great]. Don't be scared. I will come.' There was blood on my face. I wiped it and looked for my son but couldn't find him. I took three children out - my four-year-old nephew, a girl and her sister. I went outside and screamed for help and three men came and went back inside. There was shelling everywhere. We heard the planes. I was so exhausted I could not go back inside again.'

Ibrahim Shalhoub described how he and his cousin had set out to get help after the bombs hit. 'It was dark and there was so much smoke. Nobody could do anything till dawn,' he said, his eyes still darting around nervously. 'I couldn't stop crying, we couldn't help them.'

Said Rabab Yousif had her son on her knee when the bomb fell. 'I couldn't see anything for 10 minutes and then I saw my son sitting in my lap and covered with rubble,' she recalled. 'I removed the dirt and the stones I freed him and handed him to the people who were inside rescuing us.

'I then started freeing myself, my hands were free, and then went with two men to rescue my husband. We pulled him from the rubble. I tried to find Zainab, my little daughter, but it was too dark and she was covered deep in rubble I was too scared that they might bomb us again so I just left her and ran outside.' She was in hospital with her son and husband, who was paralysed and in a coma. There was no news of her daughter.

Qana Massacre...

Baghdad Burning:

Qana Massacre...

Although the sun is blinding this time of year in our part of the world, the Middle East is seeing some of its darkest days…

I woke up this morning to scenes of carnage and destruction on the television and for the briefest of moments, I thought it was footage of Iraq. It took me a few seconds to realize it was actually Qana in Lebanon. The latest village to see Israeli air strikes. The images were beyond gruesome- body parts and corpses being hauled out from under tons of debris. Wailing relatives and friends, searching for loved ones… So far, according to humanitarian organizations, 34 were children. They killed them while they were sleeping inside their bomb shelters- much like the Amriya Shelter massacre in 1991.

We saw the corpses of the children on television, lifeless and twisted grotesquely, what remained of their faces frozen in expressions of pain and shock. I just sat there and cried in front of the television. I didn’t know I could still feel that sort of sorrow towards what has become a daily reality for Iraqis. It’s not Iraq but it might as well be: It’s civilians under lethal attack; it’s a country fighting occupation.

I’m so frustrated I can’t think straight. I’m full of rage against Israel, the US, Britain, Iran and most of Europe. The world is going to go to hell for standing by and allowing the massacre of innocents. For God’s sake, 34 children??? The UN is beyond useless. They’ve gone from a union of nations working for the good of the world (if they ever were even that), to a bunch of gravediggers. They’re only good for digging mangled bodies out of the ruins of buildings and helping to identify and put them into mass graves. They won’t stop a massacre- they won’t even speak out against it- they’ll just come by and help clean up the mess. Are the lives of Arabs worth so little? If this had happened in the US or UK or France or China, somebody would already have dropped a nuclear bomb… How is this happening?

Bush's Bombs Kill Lebanese Children

U.S. weapons manufacturers profit from murders

We heard much condemnation in the U.S. media over the arms and equipment Iran and Syria allegedly provide the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah with. But nothing was ever mentioned about who provides Israel with the deadly weaponry that killed hundreds of civilians, mostly children and youth, in Lebanon.

A recently released report by the World Policy Institute and titled 'U.S Military Assistance and Arms Transfers to Israel” discussed how Washington provides billions of dollars worth military equipment and weaponry to Israel on a yearly basis and how the Israelis' current arsenal is composed of U.S made equipment.

Below is an interview Democracy Now had with Frida Berrigan, a Senior Research Associate with the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute, and the co-author of the report.

In Lebanon, Bush is really part of the problem

The Daily Star - Opinion Articles - In Lebanon, Bush is really part of the problem:

We are presently witnessing in Lebanon the third humanitarian disaster in which US President George W. Bush has had a direct or indirect hand. In Iraq over 50,000 are dead and dying thanks to Bush's decision to invade and occupy the country in 2003, without a sufficient number of troops necessary to secure the country. In New Orleans, the administration's incompetent preparation and slow response exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. And now hundreds of innocent people are dying in a war in Lebanon that could be stopped by the international community if it were not handcuffed by the Bush administration. We may recall that Israel failed to undermine a much weaker Hizbullah even after 18 years of warfare and occupation of Southern Lebanon. Why expect success now?

The United States has so far achieved only two things since the Lebanese conflict began on July 12 - indeed in the month since the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier prompted Israel to unleash its ruthless war machine.

One, it has acted to ensure that no effort by the international community would succeed in stopping the mayhem in Lebanon. Three times the US has subverted the processes of peace, at the United Nations, at the Group of Eight summit and at the Rome conference.

Two, even during the conflict, instead of working toward peace, we are arming one side with rockets and powerful bombs which, in the words of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, are 'cutting Lebanon to pieces.' We are even smuggling these weapons through Britain, somewhat like Iran smuggling weapons to Hizbullah via Syria. Unlike Syria, however, Britain is protesting.

The administration claims that the Rome conference helped build a consensus for an international force to prevent future crisis. For those of us familiar with the history of the conflict, we know that it was only because of Israeli and American opposition that there is no real international force already in the area capable of policing the borders and keeping all parties peaceful. What US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice means by consensus is that finally Washington has agreed with the rest of the world on one issue involving Israel.

This strategy of American foreign policy to arm, encourage and support extended and open-ended Israeli military action, I am convinced, will fail miserably in realizing its goals. By the time the Israelis finish in Lebanon it will be a pile of debris with perhaps 1,000 innocent civilians dead and over 1 million homeless and displaced. All other major US goals in the region - democracy promotion, support for moderates, winning hearts and minds, undermining support for radicalism - will also be buried under the debris.

On Bush in Israel: Beyond Brutality

Dar Al Hayat:

In cold blood and with an empty head, this President daily oversees the killing of children in Lebanon and Palestine, in the belief that he is eliminating terror while it is his country that has premeditatedly created it. He is inaugurating a new era of terrorism.

Perhaps, he was assured yesterday, after he heard that Israeli warplanes had not missed the chance to pounce on a new family while it was trying to flee the South of Lebanon. A massacre takes place every day, in accordance with the rule set by the major war criminal, Ariel Sharon.

In the coming days, Israel will not only be satisfied with its brutality, but will go beyond it to make a few meters' progress on the ground. Israel and its US ally can go much further, to entangle Syria in the hellfire of war… or in the course of finding solutions.

How can the children of the holocaust mete out the same racist rage?

The Daily Star - Editorial - How can the children of the holocaust mete out the same racist rage?:

The tragedies in Qana suggest to the Lebanese that the Israelis, who are waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing in South Lebanon, have forgotten their own suffering during the Holocaust. The Israelis and their allies have callously ignored a besieged people's pleas for mercy. Instead, the children of the Holocaust, whom one would expect to show empathy for the plight of weak and helpless innocents, are now meting out the same racist rage that was demonstrated in Treblinka, Auschwitz and Dachau. How can Israeli mothers and fathers sleep at night knowing that their government is conducting massacres in Lebanon? Do they believe that by virtue of our religion or nationality that we innocent Lebanese are expendable? Have they now embraced the very logic that sought to eliminate their people?

We urge the Israelis to abandon the logic of death and destruction that they have been showering on the people around them. We urge them to instead embrace the pursuit of meaningful negotiations and the rapid implementation of all UN resolutions. What is needed is a sense of humanity and an intelligent resolution of this conflict, not America's laser-guided 'smart' weapons, or other tools of extermination.

Israeli air raid killing over 60 Lebanese civilians denounced as 'war crime'

JURIST - Paper Chase: Israeli air raid killing over 60 Lebanese civilians denounced as 'war crime':

Arab leaders have denounced as criminal and a breach of international law an Israeli air strike on the Lebanese village of Qana Sunday that killed over 60 civilians - mostly women and children - as the Middle East conflict entered its nineteenth day. The death toll is the highest of any single incident involving non-combatants in the fighting so far. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora immediately labeled the attack a 'war crime.' Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said in a statement that 'aggressions by Israeli troops that target Lebanese civilians and infrastructure is a confirmation of Israel's hostile intentions, its insistence on ignoring its international commitments and its violation of international law.' Jordan's King Abdullah II joined in criticizing Israel, stating that the air raid 'represents a flagrant violation of international law and conventions;' he urged 'an immediate ceasefire and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in finding a way out of this crisis and put an end to the Israeli aggression.'

30.7.06

Former Soldier Accused of Atrocity Had Talked to Reporter About Killing Iraqis

Former Soldier Accused of Atrocity Had Talked to Reporter About Killing Iraqis:

Steven Green, the former U.S. soldier accused of raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and members of her family compared killing people in Iraq to 'squashing an ant,' in an interview with a reporter about a month before the attack.

Writing in Sunday's Washington Post, Andrew Tilghman, a former correspondent for the military paper Stars and Stripes, said he interviewed Green several times in February south of Baghdad.

'I came over here because I wanted to kill people,' he quoted Green as saying. 'The truth is, it wasn't all I thought it was cracked up to be. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, 'All right, whatever.'

'I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing,' Green was quoted as saying. 'Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant.

'I mean, you kill somebody and it's like, 'All right, let's go get some pizza.''

Slipping Into The Abyss: Anger In The Arab World


JUS One News - Slipping Into The Abyss: Anger In The Arab World:

In what passes for analysis of the war involving Israel, Lebanon and Palestine in US and Israeli government circles, in the well-oiled PR machine that shills for them, and in much of the US media, we are told about a struggle against terrorism by a state under siege. The basic argument is that Israel is 'responding to terrorist violence,' and that the only real question is, how soon will Israeli force, backed by American determination, prevail? But this scenario has little to do with reality in the Middle East.

There will be no 'destruction' of Hezbollah, and no 'uprooting' of its infrastructure or that of Hamas, whatever the results of Israel's siege of Gaza and its merciless attacks against Lebanon. The rhetoric about 'terrorism' has mesmerized those who parrot it, blinding them to the fact that Hezbollah and Hamas are deeply rooted popular movements that have developed as a response to occupation--of the West Bank and Gaza for nearly forty years, and of southern Lebanon from 1978 to 2000. Whatever one might say about the two movements' callousness in targeting civilians (a subject on which Israel's defenders are hardly in a position to preach), both have won impressive victories in elections and have provided social services and protection to their people.

The Lebanese government will not do Israel's bidding in south Lebanon. The deep divisions in Lebanon over Hezbollah's military presence before Israel's blitz began are rapidly disappearing. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri, Saad Hariri (son of assassinated Prime Minister Rafik Hariri), Gen. Michel Aoun, President Emile Lahoud and other major leaders of the country of all sects and all political persuasions and Lebanese public opinion have been horrified at Israel's ravaging of their country's infrastructure and its defenseless civilian population, yet again. Few indeed will be the Lebanese voices to support the Israeli-US position as this savaging of Lebanon goes on--and just because it is largely absent from US television does not mean that it is invisible to the rest of the world.