Home

Hamid Dabashi article

April 6, 2009

Just as in the Summer of 2006 against the Hezbollah, the Christmas massacre of 2008-2009 in Gaza is the final indication of the military meltdown of Israel – that it has run out of military ideas, and that it is now not just morally bankrupt but far more crucially militarily clueless. Israel has already lost the Gaza invasion. The more the massive propaganda machinery of Israel around the world tries to hide its brute barbarity against civilian targets the more it has lost credibility in the eye of the global public opinion and the more its ugly militaristic disposition becomes naked.

More than from Obama, Israelis and their AIPAC operatives in the United States are afraid of the liberating and progressive movement that Obama has unleashed in the US – the movement of a new generation of Americans who wish to come to the fold of humanity at large and stop being the principle sponsor of warmongering around the globe. No one knows what will happen to this movement – will Obama deliver on his promises of change, will this movement dissipate, or will a new generation of young and progressive Americans wrest the destiny of their homeland from the confounding pathologies of predatory imperialism, vicious Zionism, and Christian messianism? It is impossible to tell – there is much cause for fear, and every reason for hope.

Naming names and denouncing individually every prominent Israeli intellectual who has publicly endorsed their elected officials’ wide-eyed barbarism, and then categorically boycotting their universities and colleges, film festivals and cultural institutions, is the single most important act of solidarity that their counterparts can do around the world. 1.5 million impoverished human beings have been choked to death in Gaza and this obscenity that calls itself “Israeli intellectuals” does not even blink and says it is the Hamas’ fault that they are being slaughtered in their hundreds by the Israeli military. 

“Hamas is the poor and impoverished representative of a poor and impoverished people.”

http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14656

Advertisements

On March 21, the Iranian TV Channel One carried a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader in a gathering of people at Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad on the occasion of Nowruz, Iranian New Year. (Courtesy of MidEastWire.com) 

“Changes in words are not adequate; although we have not seen much of a change there either. Change has to be real. I would like to say this to the American officials that this change that you keep on talking about is a real necessity; you have no other choice, you have to change…

 There can be a true change which should be seen in action… Today, you are hated in the world. You should know this if you already don’t. Nations set fire on your flag. Muslim nations across the world chant death to America.

“What is the reason behind this hatred? Have you ever studied this? Analyzed it? Have you learnt from it? The reason is that you treat the world like a tutor, you talk snobbishly, you want to impose your own will on the world, you interfere in the affairs of other countries, and you implement double-sided criteria. When a young Palestinian is forced to do some act of martyrdom because of the pressure he is under, you bombard him with a mass of propaganda and on the other hand you ignore the crimes of the Zionist regime while it created such a disaster in Gaza for 22 days. You call that young man a terrorist and you say that you are committed towards the security of such a terrorist regime. These are the reasons due to which they hate you around the world. 

“This is an advice to you. For your own benefit, for your own good, for the future of your country, restrain from snobbish attitude, hegemony and the tutor kind of an attitude. Don’t interfere in the affairs of other nations. Be happy with your own rights. Don’t define benefits for yourself in various parts of the world. You will see that America will gradually lose that hated image in the world. These have made you hated. Listen to these words. This is my advice to the American officials, the president and others. Listen well to these words and have them translated for you. Of course don’t give it to the Zionists to translate for you. Consult healthy people and seek their opinions. If the American government continues its same behaviour, method, course, policies against us as the past 30 years, we are the same people, the same nation that we’ve been in the past 30 years…”

Who’s Angry?

March 31, 2009

While the rest of America, and most of Congress, have been bugging out about the $700 billion bailout program called TARP, all of these newly created organisms in the Federal Reserve zoo have quietly been pumping not billions but trillions of dollars into the hands of private companies (at least $3 trillion so far in loans, with as much as $5.7 trillion more in guarantees of private investments). Although this technically isn’t taxpayer money, it still affects taxpayers directly, because the activities of the Fed impact the economy as a whole. And this new, secretive activity by the Fed completely eclipses the TARP program in terms of its influence on the economy.

The most galling thing about this financial crisis is that so many Wall Street types think they actually deserve not only their huge bonuses and lavish lifestyles but the awesome political power their own mistakes have left them in possession of.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover/1

Finally, someone tells it like it is.

Only A Matter of Time…

March 11, 2009

Ministry, Israeli consulate in New York embark on mission to fight search results showing images of war-torn Gaza when asked to find ‘Israel’; plan to flood web with positive images of Jewish state courtesy of topnotch photographers

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3683202,00.html

This goes nicely with the piece I found today about airbrushing of women’s bodies in magazines. 

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/03/09/opinion/1194838469575/sex-lies-and-photoshop.html

Israeli Lobby Wins

March 11, 2009

President Obama’s pick for the chair of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman, resigned his post today, saying that the Israeli lobby had slandered his record with accusations that he was employed by Saudi Arabia and China. 

“The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired,” Freeman said.

“The tactics of the Israel lobby plumb the depths of dishonour and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.

“The aim of this lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favours.”

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/03/200931113340555177.html

The question is: Why did he choose to give up in the face of a few mean words? Why doesn’t he stay and fight? After all, far worse things have happened to those who dare to stand up to Israeli bullying. The government could use someone like him. But he chose  to give up.

On Tibet and Palestine

March 10, 2009

20093103539643734_8

 

Before I learned about Palestine, I used to campaign for Free Tibet. What happened? I suppose I just got sidetracked by many other atrocities that were happening in the world. Because Tibet has nothing to offer the geopolitical interests of any major nation, it has been pushed out of the international consciousness and left in silence. It has been taken for granted that there will never be a free Tibet, that China will never give up its claim to the region. 

But today, after reading the Dalai Lama’s speech in which he describes Tibet as “hell on Earth,” I began thinking that occupation happens in very similar ways. Truck in a couple thousand troops, set up checkpoints and start building settlements on the ‘free’ land. Then, lay claim to the region’s natural resources, build roads (Palestine) or railroads (Tibet) to cart these valuable materials away. Then, deny that the occupied culture and/or people ever existed. Finally, make yourself indispensable to the international community (America and Western Europe) and its interests ($) so that no one will be able to interfere although they can criticize your human rights abuses to their heart’s pitiful content.

 

Chinese forces have set up checkpoints to seal off the region while foreign tourists as well as journalists were told to leave several weeks ago.

The government has also apparently stopped internet and text-messaging services – which helped spread word of last year’s protests – in parts of the region.

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama still has hope that the truth will prevail in the case of Tibet. He advocates for a Tibetan autonomous region which would still fall under the political rule of greater China. The Tibetans are seeking only the freedom to keep their culture and heritage alive, something that the Chinese refuse to allow.

Lamenting that Tibetan culture and identity were “nearing extinction”, he said “even today Tibetans in Tibet live in constant fear … regarded like criminals, deserving to be put to death”.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/03/20093104183107889.html

The Dalai Lama is frequently referred to as a “wolf in monk’s clothing”, by the Beijing authorities, and it is clear they regard him as devious and untrustworthy.

For his part the Dalai Lama seems to have reached a level of frustration with that process that has made him suggest he is on the verge of retiring.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/03/2009310313204736.html

Forced to Admit…

February 23, 2009

american-flag-2a

“The Obama administration should immediately suspend U.S. military aid to Israel,” Smart said.Much of the key equipment used by the IDF in the Gaza bombing campaign is produced in the United States, including the F-16 fighter and Apache AH-64 helicopter.

Many of the controversial weapons used in the campaign, such as white phosphorus shells and flechettes, also originate in the United States.

http://www.metimes.com/International/2009/02/26/amnesty_slams_hamas_israel_for_war_crimes/7193/

Even after the start of the current conflict and reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza, U.S. authorities continued to authorize large shipments of U.S. munitions, including white phosphorus munitions, to Israel. 

Amnesty International researchers found fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli Army — many U.S.-made — littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. They included artillery and tank shells, mortar fins and remnants from Hellfire and other airborne missiles, large F-16 delivered bombs, and still-smoldering, highly incendiary white phosphorus remains.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/israel/occupied-palestinian-territories/investigate-misuse-of-us-weapons-in-gaza/page.do?id=1641009

According to Article 16 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, “A State which aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so if: (a) that State does so with knowledge of the circumstances of the internationally wrongful act; and (b) the act would be internationally wrongful if committed by that State.”

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/silence-is-betrayal/

 

Medea Benjamin, in this article for AlterNet, tells us that “Compassion, the greatest virtue in all major religions, is the basic human emotion prompted by the suffering of others, and it triggers a desire to alleviate that suffering.” After seeing the photo that accompanies this essay, after remembering the voices of the many, many apathetic, misguided or ideologically subservient members of the American Congress, the Israeli news network and our own president, I am not quite so sure. 

Visiting Gaza filled me with unbearable sadness. Unlike the primitive weapons of Hamas, the Israelis had so many sophisticated ways to murder, maim and destroy-unmanned drones, F-16s dropping “smart bombs” that miss, Apache helicopters launching missiles, tanks firing from the ground, ships shelling Gaza from the sea. So many horrific weapons stamped with Made in the USA. 

http://www.alternet.org/audits/127675?page=2

 

The line, “Who could describe, even in words set free? ” is from Dante’s The Inferno.