Friday, October 29, 2004

John Lehman, Team B, and the PNAC by Victor Thorn

John Lehman became an integral part of the neo-con community in the early 1970s when he joined a little-known organization called the Committee on the Present Danger.

So, not only did a bloodthirsty cabal of psychopaths inside and outside our government mastermind 9-11, they also created the fall-guy (Osama bin Laden), and covered-up their tracks via a cowardly corporate mainstream media and the 9-11 Investigative Committee. Let’s face it, folks; we got duped yet again, and John Lehman was one of the primary bamboozlers.

The WMD-lite scandal by Pepe Escobar

Whether it was poetic justice or yet one more instance of hubris, in the end there was indeed an "October surprise". Call it the WMD-lite scandal: the disappearance of 380 tons of dual-use explosives in Iraq. Certainly Republican Machiavelli-in-charge Karl Rove didn't see this surprise coming - hitting the Bush administration like a jet converted into a missile. Now the neo-cons and Pentagon civilians are scrambling like mad trying to cover US President George W Bush's back and defuse yet another spectacular blunder.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Fukuyama’s moment: a neocon schism opens

The Iraq war opened a fratricidal split among United States neo–conservatives. Danny Postel examines the bitter dispute between two leading neocons, Francis Fukuyama and Charles Krauthammer, and suggests that Fukuyama’s critique of the Iraq war and decision not to vote for George W Bush is a significant political as well as intellectual moment.

John Lehman, 9-11, and Israel by Victor Thorn

Lehman’s ties to Israel become even more sinister when we consider the infamous case of Jonathan Pollard, a civilian analyst who betrayed our country by stealing secrets and passing them along to our supposed ally. In his article, 9-11 and the Neo-Cons, Tom Wilson writes, “When Pollard’s espionage was exposed, the following individuals were suspected by then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s office of the general counsel of being Pollard’s co-conspirators: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and John Lehman.” Of course Douglas Feith is suspected of being at the core of our most recent Israel-Pentagon spy scandal; and all of these men were architects of our Iraqi war debacle.

A hawk's view: Perle speaks out by Peter Kononczuk

"I had predicted that by this time Iraq would look pretty good," Perle admitted. "Then we made the mistake I didn't anticipate of holding on too long to the occupation. But I think -- I should refrain from predictions -- but I think a year from now people will not be talking about a quagmire."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Neocon Spook Will Purge Non-Neocon Spooks

Porter Goss' initial moves as CIA director appear to herald a post-election purge at the already troubled spy agency, according to current and former top U.S. intelligence officials.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Charles Krauthammer: Denying History and Telling Lies by Kurt Nimmo

It's good to know history will dance on the heads of the Straussian neocons and Charles Krauthammer. Unfortunately, between now and then, more Iraqis (and possibly Iranians and Syrians) will suffer “unequivocal” deaths at the hands of the Bushcons and their ideological taskmasters, the scheming Likudites in Israel.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Its no wonder Venezuela is loading up on military hardware by Bob Chapman

Once Colombia is heavily armed and manned, Bush and the elitists will spread their terror throughout the entire region. Latin American nations, George and the neocons will destroy you and your sovereignty if you do not do exactly as they demand. The US has a southern war on terror that does not exist. They are the terrorists and they want to control you. That is why respect for the US in the region, and for that matter throughout the world, has plummeted. George and the elitist neocons are predators; make no mistake about that.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Beware: the GOP has become a fascist cult by Karl W. B. Schwarz

In fact, if you look real close at Bush-Cheney and understand the fundamental dynamics of what brought Hitler to power, how he controlled the masses, how he sold the Great Lie, it is very easy to see that Bush-Cheney "Compassionate Conservatism" and Fascism are one in the same. Many hear the term "Neocon" and do not recognize that in its current operative sense, it is a term meaning New World Order Fascist.

Tony Blair is the original neocon by Ben Rawlence

Some were shocked this week when two leading American neo-conservative thinkers, Irwin Stelzer and William Kristol, called our prime minister a "neocon"; but we shouldn't be. Tony Blair's pedigree as a neo-conservative has a long history.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Cons and Neocons Who Hate Free Speech by Martin Kelly

On October 16, Paul Craig Roberts wrote rather a sad commentary for called The Brownshirting of America. He reported, from personal experience, the tendency of some of those who support George W. Bush to label anybody who opposes him as a traitor or worse, and on their insistence on lockstep support for The Boss.

In this respect, they may indeed be Brownshirts. Or Trotskyites. Or Neocons. Those who sent Roberts the hate-mail that caused to pull his column claimed to be conservatives, but are not that – something else, but not that.

British Troops to Die for America in Latifiyah by Joe Vialls

This clinically insane neocon had an equally insane plan to suck more British and Australian troops up into central Iraq, thereby allowing him to later clear a western exfiltration route through Fallujah and Jordan for select American and Israeli personnel.

Well, Wolfowitz's exfiltration route west to Jordan is extremely important to the neocons as a whole, requiring a massive diversion that will pull Republican Guard fighters in from as far away as Ar Ramadi and Fallujah, thereby minimizing the risks to a very special convoy leaving Baghdad for Israel, via Jordan.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

US may be the biggest loser

Neocons like Wolfy was trying to talk Daddy Bush into some of the activities described in PNAC, but Daddy Bush was too smart and rejected it. Then Wolfy tried again with Clinton, but Clinton was also too smart and rejected it. What started out in early 1990's, became the planning document and PNAC was officially born in 1997. The neocons sat and waited, and waited, and viola¡­¡­¡­enter the country bumpkin, Bush. The neocons also predicted in PNAC that they would need this generation's Pearl Harbor, in order for the people of the United States to allow them to hijack US foreign policy enough to start implementing PNAC. Well, that's exactly what the neocons got in 9/11. This was a dream come true for the neocons because they finally got their Pearl Harbor, and a President stupid enough to allow them to start implement PNAC. Sadly, it also looks like a dream come true for Iran too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Delusions of Empire by Justin Raimondo

In short, the neocons are just plain crazy, albeit in a historically unique fashion. This explains a lot. It explains the peculiar stubbornness that refuses to acknowledge error, even as Iraq implodes. It explains our rulers' utter indifference to being caught in so many lies – the disappearing "weapons of mass destruction," the illusory "links" between Saddam and 9/11, the brazen "cherry-picking" of sexed-up intelligence, and the outright forgeries.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: "The Neo-Conservative Formula Doesn't Work" by Marie-Laure Germon

"Neo-Conservative ideology goes a lot further than that! Its theoreticians, like its practitioners, never imagined for a moment that democracy could be established in a country like a deus ex machina. They believe in the will to action, even to the point of recourse to force to achieve their ends. This conception singularly complicates things and experience has demonstrated its limits in the Middle East. The Neo-Conservative formula doesn't work".

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

George Shills For Neocons, Laura Shills For George by Jim Moore

Neocons want to make America part of the New World Order (which they will rule) and the methods they use to achieve this is by using our own sovereign political power and military might against us to promote an interventionist foreign policy, urge preemptive war, encourage foreign conquests, squelch dissent, ravage the Constitution, and establish global policing.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Paleo Conservatives Bemoan Their Fate by Kurt Nimmo

Schlafly says, “we don’t think we can be the policeman of the world.” She describes herself as “not a fan” of Wilsonian policies: “All this talk of democracy in Iraq is kind of ridiculous,” she argues. “What’s really important is that they have governments that are friendly to the United States.”

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Alliance breeds influence for Israel by SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN

Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, says the neocons have a world view in which an aggressive, militarized Israel plays the same role on a regional level as America plays on a global scale.

The Bush administration's failure to push its "road map for peace" stems in part from fear of alienating Jewish voters in an election year. But some experts say it is also because Bush doesn't want to anger a key Republican constituency: evangelical Christians.

In the GOP, the long knives are out for the neoconservatives by Thomas Omestad

"Most conservatives are not comfortable with the neocons," Viguerie says. He decries the neocons as "overbearing" and "immensely influential. . . . They want to be the world's policeman. We don't feel our role is to be Don Quixote, righting all the wrongs in the world."

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Iraqi Insurgency: It's the Economy Stupid! by Naomi Klein

In o­nly a few months, the postwar plan to turn Iraq into a laboratory for the neocons had been realized. Leo Strauss may have provided the intellectual framework for invading Iraq preemptively, but it was that other University of Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, author of the anti-government manifesto Capitalism and Freedom, who supplied the manual for what to do o­nce the country was safely in America’s hands. This represented an enormous victory for the most ideological wing of the Bush Administration. But it was also something more: the culmination of two interlinked power struggles, o­ne among Iraqi exiles advising the White House o­n its postwar strategy, the other within the White House itself.

What's are 'neocons' really up to? by Donna L. McDaniel

The "neocons" are the people responsible for our attack on Iraq -- the "war hawks who planned, prepared and propagandized for a war in Iraq as far back as 1996," according to former presidential candidate Republican Pat Buchanan.

Says Buchanan: The Iraqi war was the neocons' "class project." He goes on, "I believe they imposed it upon the president." (His quotes are from a Sept. 5 interview on Meet the Press.)

Power, glory and the neocons by Michele Ernsting

So who are these people, why are they so powerful, and what do they stand for? Two experts offer a critical overview.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Christian Republican asks: How can we follow these hypocrites? by Karl W. B. Schwarz

You see, ladies and gentlemen, there has been a battle within the RNC for the heart and soul of the GOP and as of right now, the rats are winning. They use "voices" and "talking heads" such as Mr. Fund to lie to us all and keep us all focused on the wrong ball. As much as we think John Fund is a journalist, he is more of a neocon political operative than a journalist. The journalism is merely a means to deliver the neocon political mantra, and yes, it is quite fascist in its true nature.

Where Did These Conservatives Come From? by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Miller makes a strong case. His description of how CNN and Fox News destroyed the credibility of Scott Ritter, the leading expert on Iraq's weapons, reveals a media completely given over to propaganda. Ritter stood in the way of the neocon's invasion of Iraq.

CNN's Miles O'Brien, Eason Jordan, Catherine Callaway, Paula Zahn, Kyra Phillips, Arthel Neville, and Fox News' David Asman and John Gibson portrayed Ritter as a disloyal American, a Ba-athist stooge on the take from Saddam Hussein, and compared him to Jane Fonda in North Vietnam.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

NeoCons and the Terror Bounce by Martin Kelly

One of the neoconservative movement’s most commonly used tools is scaremongering, in particular, predicting that the USA will suffer a terrorist attack in the homeland prior to the Presidential election. This tool has been used recently by the theologian and ultima neocon Michael Novak when slavishly reporting the pearls of the failed politician and proven liar Jose Maria Aznar, who told the neocons gathered round his ankles at a breakfast meeting of the American Enterprise Institute on September 24 that the USA will suffer ‘a major destructive action’ before November 2 (see ‘The Neocon and the Liar’).

Will Murdoch Dump the NeoCons? by Martin Kelly

The neocons are still in disarray, and their aggression, secretiveness and love of hidden agendas might make them a liability that the Murdoch balance sheet could do without.

Deconstructing the war on terror by Pepe Escobar

A cursory look both at the Bush administration's record and the neo-con agenda for the future reveals instead that Bush/Cheney are using September 11 as an excuse to attack weak states that interfere with an extreme right-wing world view and with US corporate interests as well: Iraq was the first target, Syria and Iran will be the next. The Bush/Cheney scare of "terrorist groups" having access to nuclear weapons is nonsense: "terrorist groups" don't have access to technology capable of enriching uranium, and no government would give nuclear technology to a terrorist group.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Neocons Universally Despised by Justin Raimondo

So we have two possible scenarios: one depicted by the antiwar Right, in which discredited neocons are dumped overboard by badly-burned Bushies, who then undo as much of the damage done by neocon policy as is possible, versus the view of the pro-Kerry State Department realists, who fear that the neocon stranglehold on policymaking will only be strengthened. Which version to believe?

Monday, October 11, 2004

The War Party's Worst Week by Justin Raimondo

Backed into a corner, faced with the righteous rage of a country that has been conned into making the worst foreign policy mistake in its 200-plus-year-old history, the neocons are determined to characterize the mounting opposition to their influence as a racial-religious pogrom. But all their endless excuses, their twisting and turning, their convoluted and constantly shifting rationales and "spin," are going to get them exactly nowhere. Smearing is the only option left open to them, but, in the end, it isn't very convincing. The revolt against the neocons, on the right as well as the left, inside the CIA as much as in the conservative movement, has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism, and everything to do with our foreign policy of global interventionism, and its Israel-centric Middle Eastern manifestation.

To Escape From Blunder First Acknowledge Reality by Paul Craig Roberts

Saddam Hussein was no danger to the US. However, he was a potential check, with Syria, on Israel’s right-wing Likud Party’s desire to expel the Palestinians to Jordan and to seize Lebanon. The expulsion and the Lebanon grab may yet come to fruition, because it is supported by the neoconservatives who control the Bush administration.

Installing a puppet regime in Iraq and constructing a dozen or more permanent US military bases in Iraq, as the US is doing, opens a field of conquest to Israel.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

How our neocon leaders got conned into fighting Iran's war by Harry Petrequin

When President George W. Bush took office, Chalabi and the I.N.C. were embraced by Cheney and the crew of senior policy makers he had placed in the Pentagon who accepted his intelligence assessments at face value. Once the neocons took over word went out that questions about the veracity of Chalabi and the I.N.C. were no longer appreciated.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Sidelined Neocons Stoke Future Fires by Jim Lobe

Neoconservative godfather Norman Podhoretz, who has also used "World War IV" as his favored description for the challenges Washington faces in the Near East, in particular, made a rare public appearance.

He called Israeli tactics in the occupied territories a "model for how to fight this kind of war," and asserted that "Iran is unquestionably on the agenda" of a second Bush administration.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Starbucks Spending Bucks on Israel With New Branches in Arab World by Al Bawaba (Amman, Jordan)

"It is not always easy to prove that companies that have been on any international boycott list have been directly involved with Israel or its army, but thanks to Schultz's public involvement in Zionist charities and Zionist rallies, the Starbucks case is perhaps easier to prove.

"Starbucks has been doing a great job at covering their tracks when it comes to evidence leading to their financial support for Israel and the Israeli army. The company logo used to be featured on many Israeli organization websites and after the Boycott emerged, Starbucks has asked these Israeli organizations not to use the Starbucks logo and basically asked them to not publicly declare any Starbucks donations.

"Howard Shultz, the chairman of Starbucks is an active Zionist. In 1998, he was honored by Israel with "The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award" for his services to the Jewish state. His work as a propagandist for Israel has been warmly praised by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as being vital to Israel’s long-term public relations success."

The Great NeoCon Post-Debate Panic by Martin Kelly

Indeed, right now the neocons are so scared that one of their number, the tireless guru of neoconomics Irwin Stelzer, has written a book about the philosophy in order to scotch the myth of ‘neocon cabals’. It’s called ‘Neoconservatism’, it’s being published this month and nowhere in the 1,500 word puff piece extract that appeared in the same issue of the Sunday Times did Stelzer refer to its roots in Shachtmanite Trotskyism.

Bush's Case for War Crumbles by Jim Lobe

The two leaks provoked an outraged response entitled "The CIA's Insurgency," by editorial writers at the The Wall Street Journal, which was one of the leading voices for war, as well as from other neoconservative voices.

Kerry the Neocon? by Stephen Zunes

Despite the ways Kerry and his supporters might want to spin it, the Democratic nominee--like President Bush--is a militarist and a unilateralist quite willing to undermine the authority of the United Nations in order to assert American hegemony in that oil-rich region.

Indeed, the only thing more dangerous than electing John Kerry president of the United States would be to re-elect George W. Bush.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

How the NeoCons Will Kill the GOP by Martin Kelly

The neoconservatives’ relentless quest for ideological purity is what will kill the Republican Party that they currently infest. The very word, ‘neoconservative’ is redolent of a desire to design yourself as different from others who are like you – what was wrong with the word ‘conservative’? Why must they be ‘neoconservatives?’ If anyone thinks that the GOP is strong enough to withstand the force of their divisive ideology, they had better think again, because right now the British Conservative Party is dying as the result of its abandonment, decades ago, of conservative principles in pursuit of ideology that was new and radical but which is now just old and failed, the economic dogmas and absolutes of Thatcherism.

Kerry, the Hawk by Justin Raimondo

Safire wasn't kidding when he called Kerry "America's newest neocon" – and he certainly ought to know.

According to Kerry, we must flatten Fallujah, and any other Iraqi city that dares to defy us. We need to think about how to "win" rather than entertain the possibility of declaring victory and withdrawing. We must grab the Saudis by the throat and don't let go until they comply with our edicts. And, if Barack Obama, the young rising star of the Democratic party, is the wave of the Democratic future, then we ought not be surprised to see U.S. military action against Iran if they fail to bow to our demands.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

They'll Do Anything by Edward Ciaccio

This US military presence in the Middle East is exactly what the neocons want, to supposedly not only add to Israel's defense (actually, Ariel Sharon & the Likud Party's defense), but to give the US a longterm presence in the Middle East regardless of what happens in Saudi Arabia (where we have now begun to withdraw our military forces).

The oil and natural gas in the Middle East and former southern republics of the now-defunct USSR (the Caspian Sea area, especially) are our "vital interests" and part of our national security (see The Carter Doctrine and our way not only of exerting leverage there, but also over Russia, China, India, and Japan, all of which will need more oil and natural gas in the 21st Century and all of which will compete with the US economically for the rest of this century.

Buchanan blasts neocons by Lyn Nofziger

In the end, Mr. Buchanan is probably correct. The neocons may have hijacked his Republican Party . . .

The State Department's extreme makeover by Anonymous

The neocons had control of the information reaching the president and a channel for their pseudo-intelligence product from Wolfowitz and Feith's secret Pentagon Office of Special Plans. The only wild card was Colin Powell and State's elite and independent Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).

The neocons, working in tandem with a similar staff in the office of Prime Minister Sharon of Israel, have a three-part agenda for the first part of Bush's second term: first, oust Yasser Arafat; second, overthrow the secular Baathist al-Assad dictatorship in Syria; and, third, eliminate, one way or another, Iran's nuclear facilities.

Too Much to Atone for on Yom Kippur by Anne Gwynne for Al Ahram Weekly (Cairo)

<>SARTRE's BATR correspondent, Lutheran pastor Mark Dankof, urges all American conservatives to read Anne Gwynne's overpowering and poignant story of the plight of Palestinians under the jackboot of an American-subsidized Ariel Sharon. Bush asks, "Why Do They Hate Us?" After reading Ms. Gwynne's eyewitness account at Nablus, the average American of goodwill may well nigh understand. BATR readers are indebted to Ms. Gwynne of Wales, and the first-rate journalism of Al Ahram Weekly in Cairo.


Dear Mark [Dankof],

Thank you very much for your message. It would be wonderful if Nablus/Palestine's story could get to a wider audience - especially the American Right. Here is the link to the full text of my op-ed on al-Ahram:

and I'm also pasting in the full text below.

With best wishes,

Anne Gwynne, Journalist

Too Much to Atone for on Yom Kippur

by Anne Gwynne*

September 2004

At 8:30am yesterday, the newsreader on Pacifica Radio’s Morning Show told us of Shaul Mofaz’s latest announcement that “Israel has locked down the West Bank and Gaza Strip until the Jewish holiday season ends in October…from fears of Palestinian attacks.”

But what will prevent Israeli attacks? And what about the very real fears of Palestinians?

Unbelievable. Are we to infer that the news editor just accepts this as though it were normal? It is not normal to imprison a whole nation and keep from them every necessity of life. But it is certainly a novel way of celebrating Holy Days! And it serves the Zionist purpose very well – it reinforces the Jewishness which has been imposed upon Palestine since 1947. For many people, Yom Kippur this year will be marked not by penance and devotion, but by this vicious reassertion of Jewish dominance.

As a result of the ethnic cleansing of the Christian population by the Jewish colonizers since 1948, Palestine is now largely Muslim: on Muslim Holy Days Israel celebrates by unleashing the full might of its state terror, launching deadly military assaults upon the Palestinian people.

Now, for the Jewish holy season when Jews around the world celebrate their New Year and Day of Atonement, the whole of a country, Palestine with its 3.5 million people, will be ‘hermetically sealed’ by the Israeli military under the kind of “lockdown” not experienced anywhere else on earth – it’s a concept without equal or precedent, and it is devastating to every tiny aspect of life.

The United Nations has repeatedly asked Israel for implementation of the Geneva Conventions for the protection of the civilian population in the Occupied Territories (where, in any case, Israel has no legitimacy) against the arbitrary actions of the occupying state - without a single positive response: Israel has decided that it is outside the Law.

Lockdown, the latest, extreme violation, is just a continuation of Israeli actions over 37 years and more, and grows from its policy of curfew and closure. Indeed, it is an intensification of closure, and actually combines the horrors of closure with the terror of curfew.

Let me now tell you what it means for the populace which is to be ‘locked down’: each heading is a Human Right enshrined in a 100-year long body of Law and Custom (see endnote).

Freedom of Movement

Closure is not easy to explain: it is a terrible thing; it is illegal and it has been a fact of life for Palestinians for two generations. It has nothing to do with the pretext of ‘security’ and it is not an action in response to Resistance – it is a strategic instrument whose purpose is to fragment the Palestinian society. The intent is to dislocate people from their land, from their family, and from their jobs. It dislocates children and students from their education, doctors and patients from their hospitals, and the devout from their mosques. Thus its purpose is to destroy all coherence – social coherence, health coherence, political coherence, economic coherence.

Since the beginning of the Madrid and the Oslo ‘talks’, and during the duplicitous prevarications of the Clinton regime, Israel has continued to create facts on the ground which, by now, have left only 12% of historic Palestine for the Palestinians, and has continuously escalated and intensified its vicious tactic of ‘closure’ to facilitate its land grab. The Israeli army controls all movement of people and goods, paralyzing the economy with its restrictions.

Nothing and no one may enter or leave a closed area except on the say-so of a teenage soldier. No Ambulance carrying a dying child or a woman bleeding to death may move between population centers, workers cannot reach their jobs and are without earnings, doctors and nurses cannot reach their hospitals, teachers and students cannot reach schools and Universities. Those who last month were lucky enough to get some supplies of water and electricity, now find themselves without either.

Today some 754 roadblocks, trenches, earth-mounds, sewage-filled moats, gun emplacements, walls and electrified razor-wire isolate each of the 300 or so small enclaves into which they have separated Palestine (UN latest count). It’s a thoroughly evil concept.

Israel maintains this iron grip on the pretext of security. This is rubbish masquerading as truth, and visiting this kind of collective punishment upon an innocent population is absolutely illegal, with no exceptions under the law. To put it another way: Timothy McVeigh’s neighbourhood was not bombed to rubble, his family was not murdered and his state was not besieged for his crime (McVeigh was not, of course, a member of a country’s legal resistance); and, during the 33 years of ‘the Troubles’, the UK did not bomb Dublin or Belfast nor murder the families of IRA fighters, despite suffering more than 300 bombings on the mainland.

The Right to Health

Denial of Medical Access is always illegal under all International Law and it violates the Standing Orders to soldiers which the Israeli Occupation Forces are supposed to observe. However, under the closures, every day one or more patients is denied the care he needs and many more will die this week to add to the 110 adults and 33 newborns we know of who have died as a result of denial of medical care.

Ordinary, treatable conditions - heart attack, kidney failure needing dialysis, hypo-glycaemia, haemorrhage, or burst appendix – here can be a death sentence, for delay means death.

Sometimes a brave medic, such as Feras al-Bakri who, over several months allowed me to ride in his ambulance to see the daily crimes for myself can, with his fluent Hebrew, persuade the largely-monoglot IOF soldiers to ‘allow’ an injured or seriously sick patient access to the Ambulance. But without transport, the transfer will involve carrying the injured or sick patient across one mile of land from home to waiting ambulance and, mercifully, to the hospital – well not quite, for that may not be the end of the ordeal. These sadistic ‘soldiers’ can decide to keep you waiting for an hour or more whilst your patient becomes critical, before ‘allowing’ you to go. Or they may simply change their mind and send the patient home. Or they might break the legs or arms of the driver, or beat him up and trample him in the mud, or injure him with a bullet (Feras has suffered all of these more than once).

Whenever there is sealing off of Palestine, the sadistic violence from the soldiers increases exponentially. More doctors and medical staff will be beaten and humiliated by being stripped of every stitch of clothing and then forced either to unload the ambulance before dozens of people, bark like dogs, insult Islam, sing songs glorifying Israel or crawl through the checkpoint while the Israeli thugs laugh uproariously and dance around waving their guns above their heads.

This is a professional army? This is security? No, all this is just to cruelly cause death and compromised health as part of the long-term plan of genocide.

The Right to Free Movement

Under closure there is no movement, free or otherwise. You cannot visit a daughter in another village or help your aged parents in a nearby town. You cannot go to al-Aqsa Mosque to pray or cross the bridge to Jordan for al-Hajj , the great pilgrimage. You cannot go to Jerusalem 45 miles away, you cannot shop in Ramallah for items not available in the village store, nor can you go to another village for your marriage ceremony. Neither can anyone outside the roadblock come to your wedding: several marriages have been solemnized at Huwarra roadblock. On occasion the soldiers are filled with so much hatred that they will separate a husband and wife if they are from neighbouring villages. You can not attend the funeral of your parent or your child whom the IOF may have killed in another village, nor can you bring the body home for burial. You can not go to a specialist hospital for treatment and you cannot receive a friend from another place. Even, or perhaps especially, the Palestinian Police are daily prevented from attending at their place of work by being refused at the roadblocks and they, together with businessmen, lawyers and civil servants are obliged to stay in Nablus for a month at a time, missing their families terribly in the evenings. Farmers cannot take their world-famous and prized olive oil, or any other cash-crop, to the marketplace, or livestock to the butcher. And Palestine is the only place on earth whose inhabitants are not permitted to drive to anywhere in their own land.

The worst thing I think is at the moment of closure, when you can find yourself trapped, unable to move forward to home or back to where you came from, and you can also be detained at the roadblock for hours or days or summarily be ordered to go ‘back’ to a town where you didn’t come from and where you don’t live. After 10 hours you are ordered to ‘… go back to Jerusalem’, when you live in Nablus. Anyway, there is no transport because we are under closure!

Under the horrific lockdown which is now announced, many more mothers with a new-born baby on one arm and a bag on the other, will have to walk home from hospital only to be told at Beit Fouriq to ‘go back to Nablus’ which is not home. Farmers with panniers of Palestinian Olive Oil on their little donkey, will have to stand by helplessly and watch the precious, life-giving oil cascade down into the soil after an IOF soldier shoots holes in the panniers, and grandparents with small children and animals will be refused entry to their villages and have nowhere else to go at nightfall with marauding, trigger-happy soldiers everywhere.

At this point, when you find yourself under lockdown, alone on a mountain-top or in a city street, it is pretty terrifying because - well, just try and take this in – I know the situation is almost too bizarre to comprehend, really: although you are told by the IOF to “…walk or I shoot you dead,” or “…no, you not go to Nablus,” or “… go back, it is closed military zone” – you cannot do any of these things because it is forbidden to move at all, you cannot go anywhere! You just hope that they are too busy terrorizing the lines of people to take aim at you.

It is quite unprecedented and barbaric brutality. You can be shot or beaten if you attempt to remonstrate with them about the utter illogicality of the whole thing. This has one purpose - simply to destroy economic life, and to wipe-out the potential of the future Palestinian state.

The Right to Education

Since October 2000, children and students have had their education severely disrupted by the endless sealing-off of buildings and institutions with, for example, lakes of sewage as happened to Bir Zeit University, the wholesale shelling and bombing of schools, and endless orders to close. Palestine has lost more than one-third of its schooldays so far, and during the “Jewish holiday season” now all schools, universities and colleges may be closed and children will run the risk of being shot and killed or injured, arrested and imprisoned. Some 400 children are incarcerated now and over 700 have been murdered.

Transfer your thoughts to the US or UK and just imagine the outcry if some rampaging, psychotic gunmen in Washington or London were targeting children and teachers and had murdered 700, injuring over 10,000 in the process. In the UK it would be probably argued that such gunmen were psychotic and therefore they ‘couldn’t help it and need treatment’. But what is the excuse when these gunmen, who commit hundreds of thousands of crimes in Palestine, are soldiers of the world’s fourth-largest and most modern military, of the self-styled ‘only democracy in the region’?

The right to education will be denied to thousands more over the next weeks and some will die: it is outrageous that a child can be shot through the little school bag on his back as he walks to school down a country lane or along a city street – in his own land – and no one is, in the current US jargon, ‘brought to book’ for the crimes. Not only is no one ever charged, but the world stands by and does nothing.

The Curfew

To enhance the cruelty of ‘closure’ the Israelis add another of their horrors – the curfew. I guess that to many readers, especially in the US, curfew doesn’t sound too bad does it? Isn’t it a sort-of ‘family thing’ where parents who are ‘being cruel to be kind’ put their children under some kind of restriction which they term ‘curfew’ for a transgression – a child might have to be in at, say, 9 pm every night for a week. I wonder what the penalty is for non-compliance! I doubt it can match the Israeli one.

Like all the Israeli actions, the curfew is not only brutal and sadistic but it is, you’ve guessed it, illegal and arbitrarily imposed upon a street, a town, or a village, on the whole countryside or, upon the whole of occupied Palestine. Just try, please, to understand what is being done here. Imagine your street, village or neighborhood completely deserted, shops closed, no taxis or cars, no schools open, hospitals ringed by tanks and APC’s so no possibility of taking a desperately-sick child to the doctor. You are all frozen at a moment in time like a snapshot. Do not open a door, or look out of the window – snipers are with every Israeli platoon, scanning for prey, especially children. In the Old City in February we watched a boy and his grandfather as they bled to death, shot at their window.

You are ‘frozen’ and ‘forbidden’ for as long as the Zionists say so. People will not be able to get food, unless the Ambulance crews work all night bringing bread, flour, milk, baby formula and vital medicines. Even the drinking water will have been turned off so the ambulances must bring that too.

Under curfew, you will not be able to go to work even in the next street, open your shop or drive your taxi. No income for anyone, as long as the curfew lasts. Not only can you not get medical attention, you will not be allowed to the bedside of a dying child in hospital, and worse, you will not be allowed to bury the little body. From the moment of its imposition everything stops and you have to stay where you are at that moment. If you are between checkpoints – that’s too bad – you cannot move back to where you came from nor go on to your destination and you spend the night in no-man’s land.

In Palestine, curfew is a matter of life and death, especially for children, who don’t carry a radio or a mobile phone to receive news of the curfew. This is the penalty here: anyone seen by soldiers on the street during curfew will be shot. This has happened to dozens of children and it was particularly poignant in Beit Lahim (Bethlehem) at Christmas when several children were murdered this way. You can be watching children running to safety, and in a moment they are bleeding on the road. What is extraordinary is that the military can justify this murder on the grounds that there is curfew. A child is killed because he is on the street at a forbidden moment. Can anyone feel that this penalty is proportionate?

The response to any protest at their actions is rote-learned – a shrug, a sneer and a snarled - ‘Not my problem’.

The hermetically-sealed lockdown which is now the declared intention of the Jews of Israel – until the end of their holiday season - will be an extension and intensification of curfew and closure.

Lockdown combines all the terrorism of closure and curfew into a new horror. Not only is every person hermetically sealed into the smallest unit, the home, within Palestine, but the country itself is hermetically sealed off from the world. It means that no one from outside can enter the country for any reason. For example, no Palestinian who is normally resident in Palestine can return home; no one may come from Jordan, to visit a friend or a relative no matter how urgent the cause. It has never happened before, anywhere.

The 100 day nightmare which Nablus suffered in the summer left people thin and very hungry, but the families emerged intact, affectionate and united, stronger than ever and without any sign of the violence which plagues our societies at the first sign of trouble. With no sign of hand-wringing, whingeing, or victim-hood, but with dignity and determination, they are ready to face with continuing courage the worst the Israelis can do.

The beautiful land of Palestine is now a ‘ghost-country’ and most of its cities are ‘ghost-cities’. I remember sending a live broadcast to ‘Flashpoints’ one evening after a terrible day of carnage, when we were under a protracted lockdown. I asked people just to listen to the sounds of life in this great city. There was nothing. There was not a sound in a city of 189,000 good people. I don’t mean it was quiet, I mean there was not a sound. Nowhere else on earth does this kind of unbridled hatred and sadistic violence not only go unchecked and unpunished on the orders of a government elected by 80% of the voters but, much more sinister, nowhere else on earth would the UN allow it to happen.

I hope that readers will now have some idea of what the newsreader’s casual words actually mean for real people on the ground, who have suffered more than seems humanly possible, more than any other people in history, under 57 years of sustained and relentless terror since 1947.

Palestine under lockdown is, indeed, suffering unimaginable pain and misery. And it is going to get worse. Yet, despite the high level of stress people are extraordinarily resilient in the face of the terror and families face the deprivation with strength and mutual love. How do they do it and how can we account for this special courage which is beyond human endurance? What is its wellspring?

And how can we answer this question – “What kind of a people can announce that they will be celebrating their season of Holy Days by imposing misery, starvation and death on three and a half million people, unleashing greater terror than usual on so many? What kind of monster will look back at them from the mirror?

If you have understood something of the suffering, then I beg you to call or e-mail your government representative. Do not hesitate to contact the ‘Triumvirate of Terror’ – Bush/Kerry, Blair, and Sharon - and/or write a short note to a newspaper or radio station, especially the BBC, NPR, and Pacifica, protesting at the casual words which are used to report Israeli terror. Their reporting looks very like complicity and approval to ‘the man on the Clapham omnibus’ – the British legal phrase meaning any reasonable person.


Anne Gwynne is a 65-year-old grandmother and retired bank manager from Wales. She has worked with the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees in Nablus, from where she has reported for Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints program. Anne can be reached at



Some of the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws Applying:

The Hague Regulations – 1907

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

The Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions – 1949

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - 1966

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – 1966

The Convention on the Rights of the Child – 1989

Customary International Law, recognised by all States as applying to everyone -

Some examples of UN Resolutions concerning Israel’s violations of International Law

1988 – Res/53/54; 1999 – Res/54/77; 2000 – Res/55/131; 2001 – Res/56/60.


Monday, October 04, 2004

George W. Bush & the “Mandate of Heaven” by William Marina

Empires, such as that here in America, exalted by the neoconservative faithful such as William Kristol, are especially in need of rationalizations to explain the awful things happening abroad such as global “terrorism,” as well as the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Whether the American nation can be perhaps the first in history to eschew empire and return to a decentralized republic will be the great question facing us in the 21st century.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Republicans against the war by Donna McDaniel

A key word for the neocons is "imperial" -- they speak openly of an American empire in the world. The neocons had been urging the U.S. to take on Iraq since 1992. Their world view has nothing to do with international cooperation and respect and everything to do with what Buchanan calls "naked imperialism."

Neocon pink slips and the fall of America by Kurt Nimmo

Here's the unspeakable truth: I lost my job to make Israel safe.

In Congress, the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) rules supreme, and if you don't vote for the pro-Likud agenda there's a good chance you will not be re-elected. Ask Cynthia McKinney. "Jewish donors have already begun to back McKinney challenger Denise Majette, a former state court judge from Atlanta who proudly touts a strong pro-Israel position".

Friday, October 01, 2004

Farrakhan echoed by a conservative chorus by Sultan Muhammad

In this same report by Steven Thomma and James Kuhnhenn, conservative U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and conservative columnist George Will, were challenging the “neo-conservative doctrine that the United States can remake the Middle East by toppling Saddam Hussein and nurturing a democracy.”

“It would be foolish,” says Rep. Hyde, “not to say ruinously arrogant, to believe that we can determine the future of Iraq.” Rep. Hyde is chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

It appears the neo-conservatives have both parties tied up.

Europe's Top NeoCon Reloads by Martin Kelly

On Tuesday September 28, Europe’s top neoconservative rammed home the message to anyone willing to listen that the neocons are unrepentant for the carnage they have visited on the country of Iraq, nor do they feel any real regret for the loss of at least 11,000 Iraqi lives. It was nothing to do with oil. It was nothing to do with international terrorism. It was just personal all along, driven by hidden agendas and/or their lust for glory, and they’re in it to the end.

Only a real neoconservative could pave the road of history with the skulls of Iraqis and call it the road to progress.

Diplomacy Is Cheaper Than War by Jude Wanniski

As best I can tell, you and the rest of the American people have been misled to that belief in the same way the neocons in the Bush administration fooled you on Iraq.

I noted an informal poll last night on CNN where the audience responded two-to-one in the belief that Iran at the present time has an ongoing nuclear weapons program. It does not. I've been pointing out for some time now that these fictions have been cooked up by John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for non-proliferation, a junior officer in the neocon bureaucratic army that is devoted to the use of force to get what it wants.