Thursday, December 07, 2006

Watch out here I come

All right all you dirty Anglo-Saxons out there, who think that France is still full of garlic-munching, beret-wearing, baguette-bearing French people, get ready for the uniquely French view of the world: France 24. Launching tonight at 20:30 local time, Jacques Chirac's pet riposte to CNN and BBC World goes live. In a nod to the fact that there are some people who still speak English, the channel is to be broadcast in French and English.

All the journos have apparently been indoctrinated in "French Values", which presumably entails lengthy lectures on "Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite" and how France is a country that is founded on Human Rights. I guess they won't be reporting much on the annual figures of French arms sales to war-torn regions around the world. Oh well.

Still it will be nice to have something else to watch, other than the crud dished out by BBCNN.

OK Now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Holy War – Dispatches from the home front

My Holy War – Dispatches from the home front By Jonathan Raban
Reviewed by Sean Badal

Dear reader, once in a while a writer comes along that fits you like a comfortable, worn-out old pair of shoes. Now I wouldn’t like to compare Jonathan Raban to an old pair of shoes, but that’s more or less how I feel about his books, you kind of slip into them, and before you know it, you’re transported and transfixed.

Raban has been a fixture in my life for a very long time, ever since I was a teenager, and it’s oddly comforting to know that he’s still around and in full possession of all his faculties, unlike the dead white males I usually read. There’s always the anticipation of something new from his pen (I think he does actually write with a pen).

His travel books were more or less solely responsible for awakening my own travel desires. That’s the thing about Raban, he has a way of making you long for stuff that you never knew you could long for in the first place, if you get my drift. His book Arabia: A Journey Through the Labyrinth, which came out in 1979, was more or less single-handedly responsible for stirring up my own obsessive interest in the Middle East (okay there was Burton, but crikey, he was indigestible).



Raban’s new publication is not much of a book. It’s a flimsy collection of material culled from various lefty publications (mostly the Guardian) that he’s written for over the last couple of years.

If the book does have a leitmotiv, it’s in the author’s unrelenting attacks on the quackery of George Bush and his pet Chihuahua, Tony Blair. Both in the run-up to the war and its aftermath, the author has been one of the few elegant voices consistently speaking out against the obscene actions of these two war criminals. All the essays are presented here in a neat chronological package and the author’s integrity and single-minded consistency come shining through.

There are a couple of endearingly discursive pieces in the book. One of them, an essay titled termina camino rural , charts a road journey from Seattle to Baja, California, that he took with his eleven year-old daughter Julia, who is intent on improving her Spanish. It is warm-hearted and evocative, and recalls Raban’s last travel book. Passage to Juneau, where the author finds out during his sea trip that his wife is leaving him, and taking their four year old daughter.


Picador: 2006
www.jonathanraban.com

Make love during War

As most of you probably know by now, I'm pretty sex-starved, but that is going to have to change, as I am fully behind the Global Orgasm initiative, and want to give it my full support.

The mission of the Global Orgasm is to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy. Now that there are two more US fleets heading for the Persian Gulf with anti- submarine equipment that can only be for use against Iran, the time to change Earth’s energy is NOW!

The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high- energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.

The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world.

Global Orgasm is an experiment open to everyone in the world.

We hope the results will register on the worldwide monitor system of the Global Consciousness Project.

This is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace, leading up to the December Solstice of 2012, when the Mayan Calendar ends with a new beginning.


Visit www.globalorgasm.org for more info.

Now all I have to do is find someone willing to share my desire for world peace...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Project for the New American Cemetery



Or just PNAC if you prefer... 'cos today we all have a choice to make... and y'all just have to go to Omaha Beach to know how it feels.



If you can't get there, let me tell you how it feels; Death. Destruction. And chaos... in no uncertain terms.




Overlooking Omaha beach is one of the saddest places on the planet - The American Cemetery for soldiers who died after zero-hour of the Normandy Landings on June 6 1944.


The most frightening aspect of a visit to Omaha Beach, and the cemetery there, is how far we have NOT come as people on this planet.

War sucks. Big time. But here is the thing of it; War is avoidable and there are at least 101 solutions to every problem.

We just have to be open.

Open to finding the solution rather than being part of the problem.




While it might sound simple to say that, it is hard to comprehend for most people. But at the end of the day it is actually easy; all one has to do is say "I want to be of part of the solution!"

Together we will make it happen.

We cannot sit on the fence any longer, because the problem with sitting on the fence is that we get slashed to bits by the razor wire.


Donald Rumsfeld may just be a political casualty of the day, but there is a larger problem of the neo-con project for a new american cemetry that needs to be overturned. And that is about finding peace amongst all people.

Today we stand on the verge of new era. Potentially. Donny got his marching orders today, but there is still a shit load of work to do.

The wake-up call is ringing - are you ready just to say: "No More War!" ?

O-Fuckin'-Kay Now!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Trial and error


With the apparent sentencing of Saddam looming, whatever Saddam did or did not do is still a moot point. The illegal invasion of Iraq and the phoney tribunal that has tried him holds no real legal weight other than what has been cooked up by the US Imperial machine and their stooges in Iraq. The fact that this trial even went ahead in the first place is, indeed, a sad day for democracy on the planet.

The proper trial for Saddam should have have occurred under the auspices of the International Court of Justice and not the kangaroo court of US Imperialism. The fact that Baghdad is going to be under lockdown for the sentencing is an indication of just how far things have gone awry.

The potential that the sentencing of Saddam by what is in effect a lynch mob, will be used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq by the current Republican Administration just before a crucial election defies belief.

I can easily name 101 other fuckwit politicians who should be in front of the world's attention - PW escaped his reckoning in front of the people and lived his days out in bliss. Pinochet can still eat caviar as far as I can tell, and Sharon is still breathing our precious oxygen. Where are our priorities?

There are number of real cases which should be before the ICJ at the moment, and the fact is that they are not, is an indictment on the lassitude of the current US regime.

Until we the people stand up and say enough is enough, we will have crap rulers. The biggest voice for that will come on the 7th of November in the US this year, but will that voice be enough to counter the rigged voting?

Forward to free and fair elections! Let the people speak!

Fucking OK Now!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sit dit af!



As my friend Ant pointed out, "Sit dit af!" by Johannes Kerkorrel is a fitting tribute to PW Botha and should be played at the funeral for old Pieter Whillem.

On the question of him having a state funeral, I say; yes by all means, just as long as it is a non-state funeral.

SIT DIT AF!
Die ander dag toe voel ek lam
Ek wou 'n klein bietjie ontspan
En 'n boer maak 'n plan
Ek sit my TV set toe aan
Jy sal nie glo wat ek sien
Op my TV screen
Dit was 'n nare gesig
Dit het my heeltemal ontwrig
Dit was 'n moerse klug
Dit was PW se gesig
En langs hom staan oom Pik
O, ek dog ek gaan verstik
Sit dit af x4
Want dit was 'n helse straf
Ek stap kombuis toe, kry 'n bier
En skakel oor na TV 4
O my God wat het ons hier
Wat my TV screen ontsier
Is daar nêrens om te vlug
Van daai man se mooi gesig ?
Met sy vinger in die lug
Gaan hy my lewe net ontstig
In die programme op die lug
Sien jy net PW se gesig
Ek vat jou nog 'n wed
Al die bure het M-net
Sit dit af
Ek sê jou dit is finaal
Voor hulle my kom haal
En ek met al my verstand
In die gestig beland
As daar iets is wat my kwel is dit my TV stel
Hey - sit dit af Sit dit af x 4
Want dis 'n helse straf

Thank (g)O(d)K Now.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Crocodile Tears


I can't exactly say I'm sad to see that the 'Groot Krokodil' has finally kicked the bucket. His current widow is going on about how he was a 'misunderstood man'. Haha. One has to wonder if Elize would have said the same thing.

If there is any justice in the universe, PW would be re-incarnated as a Palestinian so that he can he can get a taste of racial discrimination from the reverse angle. In fact, in a perfect universe, Ariel Sharon and PW Botha would be reborn as twins in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.

PW was an unmitigated doos of the highest order. I had to grow up under the political dispensation overseen by this cretin and if I knew then what I know now I would have joined APLA too - at the age of 7, when he became PM in 1978.



Good riddance to bad rubbish.

OK Now.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

112

That's the number of cars that are burnt-out every day in France this year. 112. And that's just the average figure. The true figure is likely even more unbeliveable, considering what actually goes unreported.

Can you say "Class War"? Anyone?

Attacks on police and emergency services are up for something like 10% this year, while little has changed in the suburbs that were the focal point of last years riots. By and large though, little has changed in France for the last 10 years, other than the introduction of more state repression. Thank SarkoNazi for that. And Chirac.



As France stumbles headlong into another Presidential election, this is likely to become one of the major concerns thrown at the voting populace by the turgid "official" media. The problem I have with this "failure of state-control" is that it is never recognised as an inherent failure of capitalism, but as some form of aberrant behaviour on the part of a "miscreant section" of the population.

France's model of social integration sucks big time and that is the real problem. Sarko's response, as #1 copper in the land, has been to throw more boere at the problem. The people's response can be measured by the fact that more police are being injured every day in violent clashes.

More so now than ever before, the police are perceived as the enemy because they are at the front-line of the repressive state's attack on the population. This will not change until the people wake up and realise that they have voted for the problem and not a solution. But short of another revolution, this wake-up call looks to be a long-time coming.

Revolt Now! OK!

Post Scriptum: As an anti-carist, I say; only 112 a day? Surely more can be done than that?!

Long live public transport!

Post Post Scriptum: I'd never throw a molotov cocktail into a public bus. I see far too many people in their cars by themselves every morning while I am sitting on the bus on the way to work. My molotovs are reserved for them. Only.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

You know you live in a banana republic when…

With the entire hullabaloo about the 2007 Presidential elections starting already, one generally over-looked story was the re-election of Alain Juppé as Mayor of Bordeaux last Sunday. After his disgrace of being found guilty of the misuse of public funds, or, should we just say corruption, Alain has made his triumphant return to public life after his self-imposed exile in Quebec.

Elected against the backdrop of one of the lowest voter turn-outs in the last 200 years, there is already talk of his Presidential candidacy, if not in 2007 then quite possibly in 2012. As an ex-Prime Minister and loyal Chirac supporter he has a political pedigree unmatched by Sarko or Dominique. He’d probably be up against Sarko for the nomination if this little scandal hadn’t got in the way.

Actually, it’s not really a little scandal, it’s a big deal – how can the people trust a politician once they have been found guilty of fraud and corruption. Ok, some people would argue that all politicians are of the same ilk, and poor Alain was just one of the unlucky ones who got caught. In fact this was expressed to me by one of Alain’s more trenchant supporters.

My argument is that politicians aren’t above the law and should be held to a higher standard of accountability when public trust and money is at stake. Alain got his sentence reduced on appeal, but the fact is that he was guilty and he has still not apologised for the abuse he committed. His defence was basically that “everyone else was doing it”. I don’t trust him and don’t believe for one moment that he has the interests of the people or even the city of Bordeaux at heart.

He is a career politician who has his sights set on the highest office in the land and it is a shame on France that the ruling class is riddled with similar career orientated politicians. What also irks me is how so-called developed countries like to pretend that Africa is a basket case of corrupt politicians where you can do anything for a fist full of dollars, whilst turning a blind eye to their own nefarious deeds.

Tony Yengeni might be getting 5-star treatment in the chookie, but the difference is that he is in the chookie.

Go Figure.

Or Not. OK. Now

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Unchillfiltered


It's been so long since I've had a chance to just sit down and blog a bit. The last two months have been quite hectic and I'm still recovering from my near mugging experience. In the meantime though, I squeezed in a holiday before starting a new job, but my blogging time has been severely limited in the last month or so.

The holiday was spent with my folks and we got to see some amazing places in France that I'd never been to before; Monet's Garden in Giverny, The Bayeux Tapestry of William the Conqueror's invasion of Grand Bretagne in 1066, La Mémorial de Caen, the Point du Hoc of the D-Day landings, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery there, Mont St Michel and various megalithic sites near Carnac in Brittany.

All in all, it was great to have a break from the routine, especially before being plunged back into the routine of 9 to 5. Getting out and about in the different regions of France always introduces one to new spaces and places; not to mention different regional specialities in the all-impotant food and drink department.

This trip was very much about Normandy and Brittany, which is very much crêpe and seafood country. As I have a new appreciation for fish soup, I was well pleased with the versions I tasted in Brittany.

To drink is apple juice: cider, Pommeau and Calvados. Even breakfast starts with Calavdos. I also got to sample some excellent beers from Brittany, my favourite being the Lancelot Cervoise which has a noticeable ginger flavour. Although the real beer highlight of the holiday was enjoying a bottle of real Belgian Trappist beer; Westvleteren - a truly rare experience. Thanks Jan.

Yeesh am I talking about alcohol again? Well then, I might as well go the whole hog;

Unchillfiltered Whisky.

It was in the Honky Tonk Pub in the small port of St Goustan, that the barman introduced me to Unchillfiltered Whisky, or Whisky as it should be. Apparently the chill filtering process began because consumers did not like the fact that Whisky turned hazy or cloudy when water was added, much like pastis does. Thus began the process of chill filtering to appease the market. Purists believe that chill filtering removes some of the flavour, and until the fortunate introduction I had, I thought that Unchillfiltered Whisky was all but extinct.

The two Whiskies, Te Bheag and Poit Dhubh, I tasted were remarkable and I am now a convert to them, although if forced to, I'll still have a wee dram of Lagavulin.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11 and the bizarre truth

5 years ago today, I distinctly remember having an odd feeling that morning that it was important to start looking after oneself, as events were beginning to spiral out of control. Something didn't feel right and although I couldn't out my finger on it, it was a sense that one should be more acutely concerned with self-preservation.

Later that day, one of my colleagues passed through the office and said someone had just crashed a plane into the World Trade Center. Firing up the CNN web page, sure enough there were the first reports coming through of a plane hitting the WTC. An accident? Pilot error? Strange? Yes, definitely strange.

When the second plane hit, we all scrambled across to the online newsroom where the whole company began to gather to watch the events on the satellite feed. Disbelief and and incredulity grew as confused reports of hijacked planes and an attack on the Pentagon emerged. The US Capitol was reported as bombed too. Black smoke billowed from the 2 towers and the Pentagon, and reports of crashed airliners came in too.

Then, we watched in sheer amazement as the first tower collapsed. Incredibly, the second tower came down too. We were horrified and shocked. I stepped outside for a cigarette and shared some thoughts with Miles, one of my co-workers. We wondered how on earth a terrorist operation of that size and scale could have been pulled off without the Intelligence Services knowing a thing about it.

It is said the only way to keep a secret between three people is when two of them are dead. Right from the get-go there was a glaring anomaly in the whole story; how could the entire security apparatus of the US government fail to detect such a plot?

As it turns out, there was ample warning that something was in the pipeline, and numerous foreign intelligence services did warn the US prior to the attacks. To this day though, the failure to prevent the attacks is blamed on rampant official incompetence. Interestingly, none of the officials whose job it was to prevent such an attack was fired over 9-11.

In fact, many received promotions. Weird huh?

After everything we have witnessed that has been perpetrated in the 5 years since 9-11, we still have to ask who was actually responsible for 9-11? To this day, no one has been convicted as an accomplice or of having masterminded the attacks. We can discount Moussaoui who was already sitting in jail at the time of the attacks and we can discount Bin Laden as the FBI admits that they do not have sufficient evidence to indict him.

Is this just not a wee bit absurd? That in 5 years there has been no Independent and Judicial investigation into the events of 9-11. There has not been one single successful prosecution of any alleged accomplices to the hijackings. It is beyond reason that an operation of this size would not have involved a far larger number of people than 19 alleged hijackers.

Where are these accomplices? Where is the investigation into the events of 9-11 5 years down the line? Nowhere.

We all have the right to know exactly what happened that day, because every single person on the planet has been affected by the subsequent actions that have been carried out by all governments in the aftermath of that day.

We are all watched and monitored more closely, we are scrutinized and evaluated, all in the name of counter-terrorism. But what has been achieved other than an overall loss of freedom?

Well that is where it gets interesting doesn't it? Who has benefited the most from 9-11? The military-industrial complex is having a field day. Dick Cheney and his cohorts have been having a ball. Incurious George thinks he is a crusader and the Middle-Eastern map is being redrawn in favour of Israel.

There is a mountain of evidence as to what actually happened that day, but it is locked down under the name of US National Security. But what is there in that evidence that can't be shown to the world? Why after 5 years are we all being given the mushroom treatment; being kept in the dark and fed bullshit?

The bizarre truth is that we do not know who perpetrated 9-11, and 5 years after the fact, we are still no closer to the truth.

I demand an Independent and Judicial investigation into the events of 9-11 and that the truth be told as a matter of urgency.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Unreliable, dangerous, insensible, dishonest and unfair

Somehow, that kinda sums me up ;)

Dominic Tweedie, over at Communist University: Aggression, Active And Passive, picked up on the Tim Cohen piece on bloggers. Tim Cohen is Chief Reporter at Business Day, although I would probably have missed the article as I no longer read the site as much as I used to. Sean Badal and I were responsible for the web site's redesign in 2000, where we rescued it from it's ghastly orange of the period.

Sadly to say, the site has hardly progressed in the last 5 years and the basic design is still mine. I actually got into trouble with my boss for doing such a good job on the site and was prevented from working on it any it further, but that's another story.

The Mail & Guardian site, in contrast, demonstrates a thoroughly different attitude to blogs and blogging, so much so that they make great use of Technorati and have integrated it into the site.

The point though, I guess, is that I spend more time reading blogs now than ever before. The controlled media? The media that Mister Cohen is a part of? Quite frankly, I don't see the point of schlepping print copy, that is mostly just advertising, to the recycling bin.

But if Tim Cohen is telling us that we don't read his paper anymore, maybe it's because the content isn't necessarily "reliable, safe, sensible, honest or fair" either.

I read widely on the net each day, and I prefer to assemble my own "daily paper" - something that I started doing many years ago when I first encountered raw Reuters and AP feeds and realised that 90% of international news in SA came from these 2 sources.

Maybe Tim Cohen should spend more time in the blogsphere and less time glorifying newspapers because "[t]he ethos of the news gathering and editing process are artful things". Rather, I think Dominic Tweedie makes an excellent point about the quality of the writing which makes all the difference.

I am inclined to follow blogs where I appreciate the quality of writing and no longer see why I should fork out cash for a newspaper, when the writing has been mediated through an editorial process that is careful not to offend any advertisers. There is an important debate about the future of newspapers, but panning bloggers isn't the real issue is it?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Things to do in Bordeaux when you are dead

Even after 3 weeks of recuperation, I still feel tired after my near-mugging experience. I'm pretty much off the pain-killers now, although there is still a constant level of pain but I am on the mend. It's going to be a good 3 months before I can chew properly, by which time I reckon I should be a real conniseur of soups. I've made a number myself and have been scouring the supermarket shelves for ready made ones, my favourite being a lentil dhal.

Otherwise the real problem has been entertaining myself - I've watched a godawful amount of TV shows on DVD lately, to the point of numbness. From 24 through The 4400, via Grey's Anatomy to The X-Files, with a L-Word detour thrown in. Next up will be Battlestar Galactica, but I have to agree with my mate Pete, when he says that it is life in suburban America which must be so frightfully boring that has led to the creation of such "watchable" TV Shows.

Maybe it's that I have been stuck at home by myself lately, but there is something addictive in the way that 24 or Lost is put together that it is difficult to stop watching the idiot box. Yeah, I know it's all crap, and it's been years since I've watched so much TV but I do still watch the shows with my critical faculties intact. 24, in it's own way has a lot to say about the modern police state, terrorism and especially in season 4, with the limits or lack thereof in torturing people.

The X-Files which deals with numerous conspiracy theories, is interesting to watch for its interpretation of the pre-911 FBI, primarily as an investigative agency, rather than part of the neo-facist apparatus of state control which it has become.

OK, OK. I gotta get out the house more.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Review : The Insider & The Spin Doctor’s Diary



The Insider – The private diaries of a scandalous decade by Piers Morgan and The Spin Doctor’s Diary – Inside Number 10 with New Labour by Lance Price

Reviewed by Sean Badal

There’s almost a perfect synergy between these two books. Both books are a catalogue of horrors of the Blair regime and both feature extensively the same grisly cast of characters.

Lance Price was hired as Tony Blair’s “special advisor” in June 1998 and he served in this capacity until 2001. He was, he admits, responsible for spinning Labour stories in the media. He was also deputy to Alistair Campbell, Blair’s ferocious hatchet man, his Bormann and Goebbels rolled into one. Price, a former BBC correspondent, says he got the job on the strength of a few strangulated conversations with Blair and Campbell.

Christ, when I think of all the application forms I had to fill in…

In 1994, Piers Morgan was appointed editor of News of the World, also on the back of a few cryptic exchanges with Rupert Murdoch. He was fired and took up post as editor of the Daily Mirror, a left-leaning redtop in the UK. On the 12th of May 2004 Piers Morgan was fired from the Mirror. The book starts with a 2004 prologue and is an account of those horrible few days leading up to his firing. It’s like watching a train smash in slow motion. Morgan was booted out because the Mirror published those pictures of British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners. The Trinity Mirror group, whose shareholders were New Yorkers, were itching to get rid of him anyway because of his anti-war stance. The fake pictures were a perfect opportunity and there was much hand-wringing about Piers’ dastardly deed. Mmm...let’s see, starting a war and killing thousands of innocent people is okay then?

The sad thing about Piers Moron’s downfall is that I could have told him those pics were fakes. The moment the Mirror landed on my desk, I knew they didn’t look right. Still, the Daily Mirror was the most vociferously anti-war newspaper (even the Guardian rallied around Tone in his hour of need). The Mirror also published John Pilger’s polemical articles before and during the war. Pilger had been sacked from the Mirror twenty year’s previously when Robert Maxwell was owner.

Whilst The Insider is full of salacious gossip (Morgan crossed paths with princess Diana and a host of other airheads), it is the political stuff that is most gripping.

Both Price and Morgan cover the same political characters and they loom large in both books. In no particular order, they are Alistair Campbell, Rupert Murdoch and Peter Mandelson.

It is a mystery to me why Campbell is still allowed to walk this planet a free man while Saddam sits in jail. From the death of David Kelly to the murder of thousands of Iraqi children, Campbell was directly complicit because of his scheming and plotting.

As for Mandelson, the less said about this oleaginous creep, the better. Having once crossed paths with him myself, I can vouchsafe that he is as every bit as repulsive in real life as he is portrayed in print.

There are intriguing vignettes of Murdoch in the two books. He is the Citizen Kane character, pulling invisible strings. The enormity of the man’s power is scary, and despite Blair’s protestations, he is, as Price says, another member of the cabinet. Price wrote an interesting article in the Guardian last month on the Murdoch/Blair relationship. Rupert Murdoch is effectively a member of Blair's cabinet.

The only person to emerge with any shred of credibility in these two books is Gordon Brown – which isn’t saying much. And again, despite what Blair says, it’s quite clear that the two hate each other. It’s hard to define what Brown’s personal philosophy is, or what his plans are, but I do have a sneaking admiration for man - maybe because our Tony is so quite clearly terrified of the crotchety ole sourpuss.

Title: The Insider – The private diaries of a scandalous decade
Author: Piers Morgan
Publisher: Ebury Press - 2005
ISBN: 0091908493

Title: The Spin Doctor’s Diary – Inside Number 10 with New Labour
Author: Lance Price
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton – 2006
ISBN: 0340898232

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Cutting Edge : Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement

If this story has any legs, it's going to be explosive - it also explains the arrest of the Palestinian Authority ministers and why we are hearing so little about what is happening in the Palestinian territories at the moment. Read it now:

The Cutting Edge: Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement

Parrot-fashion, the western media is completely focused on Lebanon and two captured soldiers, and never bothers to dig deeper into stories or provide any analysis. Everytime Ehud Olmert has a brain fart, it is endlessly recycled over and over again on BBCNN.

No doubt there a shitstorm of disinformation out there at the moment. But if it does come out in the wash, as these things usually do, that the Zionist war machine actually shot a real plan for progress towards peace in the foot and could have prevented this whole mess instead of escalating it as it has, then we really have a lot of core questions to ask of ourselves and our societies in the west.

We can't wait 60 years for this information to become de-classified; we need to know now what is happening in real-time in order to make informed decisions, but unfortunately we can't rely on our governments or media to provide us with true and accurate reporting anymore. I must admit that the current scandalous behaviour of current serving "governments" and the UN is driving me to a further extremely militant anarchist position, and my sympathy for pacifist positions is fading rapidly.

I am worried that that true lovers of freedom that they are going to fight their way out of this.

OK Now, let me rephrase that; I'm not worried, all I am saying is that you, me, everybody; we are rapidly approaching a situation where the only way out is going to be fighting our way out.

Peace, Love, Anarchy and Freedom

Review : Lawless World by Philippe Sands QC

Lawless World: The whistle-blowing account of how Bush and Blair are taking the law into their own hands By Philippe Sands QC
Reviewed by Sean Badal

I’d like to have a quiet world with Philippe Sands, QC. The title is a bit of a misnomer. It gives people (like me) the impression that the book is an unravelling of all the lies that those two warmongers entangled themselves in, in order to wage war on the people of Iraq.

Between the covers, it’s actually quite a measured and thoughtful analysis of how international law has been bent, twisted and flagrantly perverted, first by the US and now Great Britain.

Starting in 1945, the author illustrates how the Western powers, realising that their empires were at end, and that the natives were going to take over, colluded to create a set of “international” rules and regulations that were - surprise – mostly in their favour. These were largely based on trade and investment and Sands argues that the vast tapestry of laws created in the 1960s have served largely to underpin global neo-liberal economic policies, the effects of which we are feeling today. He explains in forensic detail exactly how skewered they are in favour of Western interests. He exposes free trade for what it is, a sham perpetuated on the poorer nations of the world to further mire them into debt and obligation.

As for the war on Irag, well it’s kind of depressing raking over the ashes again. We all know how those two moronic thugs lied wholesale to the people who elected them, and to the world, in order to start up this slaughter in the Middle East.

Sands demonstrates how Blair, Bush and their acolytes peddle in half-truths and deception, how the British attorney-general Lord Goldsmith concocted his dreary assessment on the case for war. It makes for shameful reading and if there was any justice in this world, all these people ought to be strung up – preferably with piano wire.

Title: Lawless World: The whistle-blowing account of how Bush and Blair are taking the law into their own hands
Author: Philippe Sands QC
ISBN: 0713997923

The Dogs of War

The mad dogs of war are barking their heads off at the moment.

Tony Blair was blathering away today at the World Affairs Council or some other wankfest, justifying his new ideology in support of the Zionist orgy of death taking place in the Middle East. I can't believe that he really believes in the distorted half-truths and contrived misrepresentations that he was spouting forth on to justify the horror, but he is flying in the face of world opinion along with George and Ehud.

It's so blatanly obvious that the Zionist war machine has decided to annex Southern Lebanon and ethnically cleanse the Shia population up to the the Litani River. Why don't you just admit the Truth Tony? Don't you realise that we have had it with your lies?

Why can't you also be truthful about the other aims of dragging Syria and Iran into this war? We can only surmise that the Zionist war machine is just waiting for the Hizbollah resistance to be driven far enough away from the Blue Line (it's not really a border), before the provocations against Syria and Iran begin. We already know that these provocations are going to be for some fake reason that presents the Zionist war machine as some species of "victim".

Wake up call for Iranian Communities around the World: War waged by Israel in Lebanon is prelude to war on Iran

By Abbas Edalat, Foaad Khoshmood, Shahram Mostarshed, Daniel M Pourkesali, Rostam Pourzal, Nader Sadeghi, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Massy Homayouni, 31 July 2006

The horrific US and UK supported war waged by Israel against Lebanon under the pretext of self defense for the capture of two soldiers by Hezbollah is setting the stage for a US/Israeli military assault on Iran that would lead to a major conflagration in the Middle East and beyond. Only the global antiwar movement and urgent action by a united Iranian community can stop such an aggression.

The reasons behind the current atrocities are misrepresented. The media pretends the Lebanon/Israel border area was calm and peaceful before the unexpected surprise "terrorist attack" by Hezbollah on July 12. In fact, since its withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 which followed a 22 year occupation of the country, Israel has routinely raided and violated southern Lebanon [1][2][3]. It also continues to occupy Shabaa Farms, which Lebanon claims is part of its territory, and continues to illegally hold thousands of Arabs including a number of Lebanese prisoners without charge.

Western media has condemned Hezbollah for starting this conflict and for shooting rockets into civilian areas. These public condemnations usually fail to mention that Hezbollah started shooting rockets only after Israel's aerial bombardment of Lebanon's civilians. Hezbollah leaders have, furthermore, defended their action to capture the two Israeli soldiers in order to facilitate an exchange of prisoners with Israel.

In an article in the Guardian with the title "We are defending our sovereignty", Ali Fayyad, a senior member of the executive committee of Hezbollah asserts: "In the context of the continued occupation, detention of prisoners and repeated Israeli attacks and incursions into Lebanese territory, the capture of the Israeli soldiers was entirely legitimate. The operation was fully in line with the Lebanese ministerial declaration, supported in parliament that stressed the right of the resistance to liberate occupied Lebanon against Israeli aggression. International law also allows peoples and states to protect their citizens and territory [4]."

Following the capture of the two soldiers, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign targeting the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon to which Hezbollah responded by its own rocket attacks against Israel. The Lebanese population does not deserve to be killed and maimed just as innocent Israeli citizens do not deserve to be the target of Hezbollah rockets. An immediate cease fire is clearly warranted but stubbornly rejected by Israel, the US and the UK. Read the full article.


It's a lengthy article, but well worth reading as it goes a long way to outlining the machinations of the Grand Plan that we are witnessing at the moment. The doctrine of pre-emptive war, launched by George in Afghanistan, carried through to Iraq and now being wrought on Lebanon is precisely what caused the last great big mess in 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland.

Tony Blair, though has become a mad barking dog, by denying the call for an "immediate ceasefire" to be put into effect while on his trip in the US and through the EU Forgein Minister's meeting today.

And what is it that we do to mad dogs again?

Archived Links

I am just in the process of updating a couple of links around the blog, and will be moving some of the CNE/CPE links to this page.

Justice Pour Cyril
http://justicepourcyril.zeblog.com/24406-justice-pour-cyril-ferez/
Journal des Etudiant Grévistes de Bordaux
http://www.bordeauxengreve.org/iut/
STOPCPE
http://www.stopcpe.net/cpe/
Libcom.org/blog
http://www.libcom.org/blog/

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Israel is a terrorist state

Candle Light Vigil in support of the People of Lebanon, Place de la Victoire, Bordeaux, 31 July 2001 - 21h00

Emotions are running high these days; seeing the raw anguish of one woman who has family in Lebanon, brought a tear to my eye.

About 500 people gathered in the Place de la Victoire to display their horror and disgust at the atrocities of Israel. One man said to me that it is so terrible that we were gathered there not in celebration but in sadness.


This girl's placard proclaims that "Little girls of Israel, the bombs you signed, have been recieved by our destroyed bodies". It has to be one of the worst PR disasters for Israel ever - those pics of the girls signing the bombs - but the fact is that they did it. The young daughters of Israel have been perverted by the racist ideology of the Israeli theocracy. Hitler would have been proud to accomplished such utter brainwashing.

The Lebanese flags and sense of spirit in the gathering was moving, and everyone agrees on the need for an immediate cease-fire without conditions.


This is a massacre and must be stopped immediately. We have to demand that the UN is broken free of the repeated hamstringing of the US. We have to demand that governments take action now to halt this insanity.



As I stood there, the words "Fuck Israel" went through my head like a mantra. I have been struggling to come terms with a state that, given the history of Juadism, should be the world's light of human rights and the first defender of the oppressed and subjugated, acts as though the lessons of the holocaust are the textbook for their Imperial project in the Middle East.

Zionism = Nazism.

That is now so clear.



The gathering was also attended by the organised Palestian committees. This is the very banner that wasn't welcome at a similar Lebanese gathering 2 weeks ago, but people seem to have woken up to the fact that the fate of the Palestinians is intimately tied with the people of Lebanon. And Syria. And Iran. It is all one struggle.



There was also a yellow Hizbollah flag at the gathering and even here in France one get's the impression that the Lebanese community views Hizbollah as the resistance, and the only viable resistance to the Israeli aggression.

Additionally, there was a black anarchist flag being carried in the square. Good.

OK Now, where does one sign up for Hizbollah membership?

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

There is a war that must be stopped.

It is yours.

It is mine.

It is ours.

Now is time to act!

The second massarcre of Qana is a turning point in this intolerable war being waged by Israel and her Anglo-American bed-mates. There can be no longer be any fence-sitting; as I have always said, the problem with sitting on the fence is that you get slashed to bits by the razor wire.

This is a war by Israel, the US and the UK to dominate the oil and water of the Middle East. It is a war that is designed to establish Israel as a hegemon in the Middle East, acting as a proxy for Anglo-American interests in a region in which they have actually have no say, other that their neo-colonial interests. It is up to the people of the region to determine their future without the meddling of these rogue states.

The real aim of this war is to provoke Syria and Iran to joining this war by the unconscionable Israeli actions. I commend the Syrians and Iranians for not having thus entered into the conflict in a direct way. Without their restraint we would already be on the brink of a major disaster. That is why we must act now to stop this war.

We have to take sides - you are either for this war or not. I am not. The calculated bombing and destruction of Palestine and Lebanon, with the collusion of the US and UK is reprehensible, and must stop now!

There is no military solution to this conflict and the political solution to this situation demands a true honest broker. Neither the US or the UK can be involved in this as they have already sullied their role in this conflict by their partisanship.

I hereby issue an International Citizen Arrest Warrant for Ehud Olmert, George W. Bush and Tony Blair for crimes against humanity. Furthermore, this International Citizen's Arrest Warrant applies to the entire political and military leadership of Israel, the US and the UK, most notably including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz.

Under this International Citizen's Arrest Warrant, I hereby declare that we, as citizen's of planet have right to demand the immediate arrest of warmongers and genocidal maniacs. The transfer of the aforementioned state's leadership must be carried out to the Hague for immediate processing by the International Court of Justice forthwith.

This Arrest Warrant is concomitant to the demand that the state of Israel is declared as a failure by the UN and the immediate reversal of all UN resolutions regarding the state of Israel must be nullified by a superseding resolution that declares that the state of Israel is unable to live in peace with it's neighbours, and must therefore be declared a failure.

The immediate dissolution of of the state of Israel must be the highest order of business on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. The only UN resolution that would count right now is the re-establishment of the original state of Palestine as determined by the pre-1946 boundaries of Palestine as a single, democractic state.

Anything less is a crime a against humanity.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

What needs to be done

Above all else I am a loyal South African citizen. I believe that South Africa has achieved through struggle a unique place in world, where truth and justice is of the highest order in all civil affairs. In this, I believe there is a moral burden that all South Africans must assume. For this reason I want to make clear what it is that I expect from my elected representatives by way of the following:

  • I call on the South African Government to recognise only one State of Palestine in it's Pre-1948 boundaries.
  • I call on the South African Government to demand an immediate cease-fire between all parties involved in the Middle East.
  • I call on the South African Government to demand the total nuclear disarmament of the current State of "Israel".
  • I call on the South African Government to immediately withdraw our ambassadors from Tel Aviv, Washington D.C. and London. Furthermore, the expulsion from South Africa, of the ambassadors and all diplomatic staff, of the afore-mentioned states to their countries of origin must happen with immediate effect.
  • I call on the South African Government to impose a strict regime of sanctions and a blanket boycott against Israel, the US and the UK and to deny and to interdict by force if necessary, all trade with the afore-mentioned states.
  • I call on the South African Government to use its influence in the African Union, United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement to encourage other countries to do the same.
  • I call on the South African Government to demand the immediate closure of the UN Security Council and the transfer of decision making entirely to the UN General Assembly, where a simple majority decision must be binding on all members of the UN with no veto allowed.
  • I call on the South African Government to demand the immediate cessation of hostilities in the Middle-East and to assist in the facilitation of negotiations between all concerned parties.
  • I call on the South African Government to censure, sanction and prosecute any South African citizen who assists the military forces of Israel, the US and the UK , either directly or indirectly, under the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act. This must apply globally and with specific reference to Iraq and Israel.
  • I demand that Israel immediately withdraws all Israeli Occupation Forces from Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Syrian (Golan) Heights, the Sheeba Farms and Lebanon to the pre-1946 boundaries of Palestine, until such time as an internationally monitored and enforced peace process determines the boundaries of a ONE state of "PALESTINE". For obvious reasons the US and the UK should not be a party to this peace process.
  • I demand that all previous UN resolutions relating to Israel are implemented with immediate effect and that the UN ensures that Israel fulfils its obligations in terms of international law.
  • I demand that Israel abides by the provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and refrains from imposing collective punishment on Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.
  • I call on Israel to release all detained Palestinian ministers and legislators and to release all political prisoners with immediate effect.
  • I call on the EU to stop the severe sanctions imposed by Europe on the Palestinian Authority as a penalty for exercising their democratic right and electing a government of their choice.
  • I call on the United Nations to implement the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Israel’s Apartheid wall.
Amandla! Ngawethu! All Power! To The People!

Please note that I have changed this post to demand that we actually do away with UN Resolution 242 and declare that Israel is a failed state. We need a UN Resoultion that recognises that Israel is failure as a state, and that we must return to the orginal state of Palestine, under a democratic order in which all refugees are allowed to return to their homeland.

Anything less is a crime agaisnt humanity.

Friday, July 28, 2006

And the lies come tumbling down

It's a cyberwar and the front lines are right here on the net too. The Israelis have launched a propaganda war on the net and an army of shills is invading the net:

Israel backed by army of cyber-soldiers
From Yonit Farago in Jerusalem
WHILE Israel fights Hezbollah with tanks and aircraft, its supporters are campaigning on the internet.

Israel's Government has thrown its weight behind efforts by supporters to counter what it believes to be negative bias and a tide of pro-Arab propaganda. The Foreign Ministry has ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages.

In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special "“megaphone" software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate. Read More ...


No matter how much counter spin gets posted, Truth and Justice will prevail. Israel has already lost this war. Hamas and Hizbollah have already been strengthened by the outrageous Israeli aggression in their drive to crush the Palestinians and shatter Lebanon.

George Bush and Tony Blair have blood on their hands by actively supporting this genocide and must be indicted for war crimes, along with the enitire political and military leadership of Israel.

Enough is Enough! It is time to stand up for Human Rights and to stop this barbarity.

Rassemblement Samedi 29 juillet à place Jean Moulin, Bordeaux

La ligue des droits de l'homme de Talence appelle à un rassemblement de solidarité avec le peuple Palestinien et Libanais le samedi 29 à 18H Place Jean-Moulin.

*************************************************************
AUJOURD'HUI, L'URGENCE EST L'ARRET DES BOMBARDEMENTS, DE TOUTES LES OPERATIONS MILITAIRES, ET LA PROTECTION DES POPULATIONS.

NOUS DEMANDONS A LA FRANCE

D'AGIR EN URGENCE POUR :

- UN CESSEZ LE FEU IMMEDIAT

- LA PROTECTION DES POPULATIONS CIVILES

- LA LIBERATION DE TOUS LES PRISONNIERS : les soldats israéliens enlevés, comme les libanais et palestiniens détenus en Israël (en premier lieu les ministres, députés et élus palestiniens kidnappés par l'armée israélienne),

- L'APPLICATION DE TOUTES LES RESOLUTIONS DE L'ONU CONCERNANT LE LIBAN ET LA PALESTINE, notamment par la convocation d'une conférence internationale de paix.

Les résolutions de l'ONU exigent notamment la fin de l'occupation israélienne en Palestine, la création d'un Etat palestinien indépendant et viable, le désarmement des milices au Liban, le respect de l'indépendance et de l'intégrite territoriale du Liban.

Seule l'application du droit international peut garantir la paix et la sécurité au Proche Orient.

NOUS APPELONS LA POPULATION A MANIFESTER CETTE EXIGENCE PLACE JEAN MOULIN A 18 H LIEU DE RESISTANCE

Boycott Israeli Goods

Visit BIG :: Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign


Feeling sickened as I am by the outrageous atrocities being committed by Israel and the US? Well now more than ever it is time to boycott Israeli and US goods. There is a list of products and companies on the BIG Campaign website that gives one a good place to begin.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A despicable war

It is disgusting to watch the behaviour of Israel and the US at the moment. The bombing of a UN Observer Post in Lebanon yesterday was a cowardly atrocity by Israel, who has the gall to call it an "accident", after having shelled the position throughout the day, and then finally flattening it with a (US supplied) precision guided bomb. Mark Regev's petulant lies in front of the world is truly sickening; the Israelis were well aware of the position of the Observation Post and there can be no doubt that it was a deliberate attack and any statement to the contrary is a flat out lie.

While we are on the subject of deliberate actions, the brutal position of Condi Rice and the US government in blocking an immediate cease-fire in Rome today, in order to allow the Israelis to wage their war of attrition against Lebanon and Gaza, is perhaps one of the most cynical and horrifyingly duplicitous political stands in known history.

This is NOT OK Now!

Demand a cease-fire immediately and that the US is prevented from particpating in these discussions, because the are no longer on the side of peace.

Is Pretoria shadow-boxing above its diplomatic weight?

Richard Calland's piece on the Mail & Guardian asks some pertinent questions about what South Africa's role is, and perhaps, should be in the current conflict. In many ways, South Africa does have a role to play. South Africa also needs to nail her colours to the mast and take a firm stand. There is a moral duty here, and South Africa can lead by example.

Pity the Nation. The title of veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk’s seminal 1990 book, subtitled Lebanon at War, is resonant again.

After a difficult period of reconstruction -- having finally attracted a steady flow of export business and tourism, and having rebuilt its infrastructure and social cohesion -- Lebanon once again looks into the abyss. New bridges bombed; the port attacked and the airport disabled; tourists fleeing and its people terrorised. Weep again for the nation.

The outrage committed by Israel to its north comes hard on the heels of the terror perpetrated against Palestinians in the preceding weeks. And as Israel escalates the conflict, families are being destroyed, from Gaza to Haifa to Beirut.

We know that the United States generally grants Israel a blank cheque in the Middle East, that Britain long ago ceded an independent policy position to Washington, and that continental Europe is unable to present a united front.

But what of South Africa? Has it become “just another country”, as Professor Jack Spence suggested it might in 1995 -- as the initial contest between the realists and the idealists raged in the Union Buildings -- scrabbling for its slice of influence? Is the government famed for punching above its weight in world diplomacy just shadow-boxing?

Pretoria claims that its baseline position is solidarity with the Palestinian people. Why, then, will it not join the majority of voices around the world who recognise Israel for what it is -- the primary perpetrator -- and who are resolved to apply maximum pressure? Why does it continue to resist the calls made by Palestinian activists for boycotts and sanctions? Surely, South Africa should be able to offer a voice that speaks clearly and calmly for the majority analysis of the Palestinian question.

Instead, there is apparent obfuscation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is the Congress of South African Trade Unions that offers the clearer public assimilation of the facts. Its joint July 10 statement with the South African Council of Churches was an exemplary exposition of the asymmetry of the conflict and of the reality of Israeli terror in Gaza.

Is it too harsh to ask if Pretoria has lost its voice? Or is it rather a case of an inflated sense of its own importance that prompts muddled thinking?

Certainly, the government has worked hard in recent years to open new channels of engagement with all sides of the Palestinian conflict, including hosting various delegations from Israel.

But if this has allowed Pretoria to think that it can play the role of mediator, as some have suggested, then it is living in fantasy land. The Israeli government would sooner relocate to Mars than permit a “black” government with a history of solidarity with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) to play such a role, let alone one whose political solution -- one state, majority rule -- is so fundamentally at odds with the Zionist ethos.

Perhaps it is the government’s foreign policy groupies rather than its professional diplomats that encourage such distended thinking. I heard one on the radio the other day suggesting that South Africa has “a unique role to play” in the North Korean case.

In reality, South Africa’s policy-making is premised on two main considerations. First, to offer solidarity to the Palestinian cause based on what the PLO regards as useful. “They lead and set the agenda, and we follow,” as one senior government official close to the Presidency put it to me, balanced by recognition of the inherent problem with this approach: the PLO no longer represents a homogeneous expression of the Palestinian viewpoint.

Second, South Africa aims to be a “niche player”, based on a sound strategic understanding of what is going on, aided by its own experience and a concomitant moral weight.

Thanks to this approach, “our principals can now talk to everyone, and we do”.

Excellent. But to what effect? Where is the evidence of progress, of recalibrating global understanding of a problem that one way or another affects us all?

Is it the best use of South Africa’s “moral weight”? With the South African struggle, the core question was always whether the tide of history had turned against apartheid. The global anti-apartheid movement was crucial to proving that it had, as were economic sanctions.

The realpolitik approach that Pretoria apparently now favours in the case of Israel, was, ironically, precisely the attitude that in exile the African National Congress so fervently opposed. Would South Africa not be better to deploy another strand of its potent experience, namely, its capacity for mobilisation, to help channel the tide of history in favour of the Palestinians?

As Israel prosecutes the Sharon doctrine of unilateralism, the Palestinian cause faces its greatest crisis. The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice will be ignored by Israel and its apartheid wall will soon mark a border.

Palestine will get its “state”, but on Israel’s terms. Sustaining the global movement for Palestinian justice will be much harder.

As Israel imposes its military might on the region, under cover of a spurious Syrian-Iranian threat, now is the time for mobilisation. South Africa should play its part in isolating Israel. The time for waging peace has sadly passed.


Source: Mail & Guardian

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Media Wars

As we all are aware, or should be aware, there is an extreme propaganda war taking place at the moment. In that light I thought it might be interesting to repost the Israeli Military Censorship Guidelines here. Bear in mind that all foreign and local news coverage emanating from Israel is subject to these guidelines, under the threat of expulsion from Israeli territory if they are violated.

That literally means that if Reuters, AP, CNN, BBC et al. want to remain in Israel to cover the story, they have to conform to these guidelines. That means that every single Main Stream Media report that we receive from reporters based in Israel are filtered through this military censorship.

Caveat Emptor! Buyer Beaware!

23 July 2006
Subject: Military Operations in the North -- Censorship Guidelines Regarding Ground Operations.

1. Following are the main censorship guidelines regarding the continuation of military operations in the north, with emphasis on ground warfare on the northern border.

2. The guidelines in this document are comprehensive and refer to the option of large-scale military activity. The relevant guidelines should also be applied to the current ground operations.

3. Please brief editors, producers, broadcasters, correspondents with emphasis on field correspondents and other network employees on these guidelines in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

4. Due to the frequent broadcasts and the many live updates considerable attention should be given to what is said by the correspondents in the field. Please make sure that any correspondent/analyst in the field knows the censorship guidelines. The potential error during a live update is very high and you are held responsible for everything broadcast during a live update.

5. This document has been sent to local news agencies as well.

6. This document is the follow-up to the former document "The Fighting In The Northern Arena".

Sincerely,

Col. Sima Vaknin-Gil
Chief Censor

The Censorship Guidelines Regarding Ground Operations In The North For Reports And Live Updates.
General

1. This document will detail the main guidelines regarding operations on the northern border by the Censor.

2. This document contains three main topics: general guidelines for news coverage, coverage of activity leading to the ground operation and the coverage of the combat itself.

3. Any news item that is not within these boundaries must be submitted to the Censorship before it is published.
General guidelines

4. Coverage of any kind, that states intent, specific/general abilities and/or any operational activity (in a live broadcast) is not authorized by the Censorship. In principle, analysis based on matters that were approved for publication is allowed.

5. In a case where a news item is not within the boundaries given by the Chief Censor, the issue should be dealt with by the two censorship bases either in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

6. There is a special emphasis on matters regarding the activity of special forces and the use of unique kinds of ammunition and weaponry.

7. In principle, news items on the intelligence abilities / lack of abilities during the operation will not be authorized.

Coverage of activity leading to ground operation

The censorship does not approve any verbal information or visual photography that attest to:

8. The military order-of-battle.

9. The type of force, the forces' special abilities and warfare equipment.

10. Movement routes.

11. Assembly areas and deployments.

12. Information on forces transferring from one area to another (thinning of forces).

13. Locations of command posts.

14. It is strictly forbidden to mention the time and location in which the army forces might enter the enemy's territory.

15. The codename of the operation will be approved for publication only from the moment it begins.

16. Pictures of the army forces will be approved as long as the location in which they were taken is not disclosed.

The live coverage of the combat itself

17. It is strictly forbidden to show a picture of the full battle coverage, with an emphasis of identifying the location (long shot pictures).

18. It is strictly forbidden to mention military targets while these targets are being pursued.

19. It is strictly forbidden, until the information is cleared by the censorship, to publish information concerning missing personnel and captives (from both sides).

20. Coverage of aerial accidents in Israeli territory can only be approved by the censor. In hostile territory, this information will not be approved until the evacuation of the staff and equipment from that area is completed.

21. It is strictly forbidden to conduct real time coverage on visits of officials. Interviews and photography will be approved later, after the end of the visit.

22. During an incident authorization for coverage of the reasons for the incident will be given as long as there is no breach of Israeli security concerns (thus personal opinions and analyses for the reasons of the incident are allowed).

23. Coverage of an incident with casualties as always, must be submitted to the censorship.


Source : http://www.redress.btinternet.co.uk/index.htm

SteveLendmanBlog: THE CRIME OF LEBANON AND PALESTINE - ARE IRAN AND SYRIA NEXT?

Steve Landman's blog entry on the threats against Syria and Iran SteveLendmanBlog: THE CRIME OF LEBANON AND PALESTINE - ARE IRAN AND SYRIA NEXT?, provides an excellent analysis of where and how the total war against the Palestinians and the Lebanese is one step closer to war on Syria and Iran.

The next phase of this war has been planned out already - it's a question of when, not if.

This war is already happening in 5 different countries; Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Israel - are you really ready to see it escalate further?

It is all the same war, just that battles are taking place on different fronts, and the aggressors who are driving this war are one and the same: the alliance of Israel and the US.

And here's another question for you - how many countries involved or theatres of war does it take for a war to be classified as a World War?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Rassemblement Lundi 24 juillet à place Jean Moulin, Bordeaux


Today's gathering of solidatity with the people of Palestine and Lebanon took place on a hot July afternoon. A number of speakers from trade unions and political groups reiterated the points that were made last Saturday at a similar gathering, calling for an immediate cease-fire and real action from the International Community.

It was a small gathering of about 250 people, and while the summer holiday season has kicked off in a big way and many people have already decamped from the city, the vast majority of people who are around don't seemed to be too concerned about the war in the Middle East. Have people become numb to the issues? Are they happy to just be consumers of the distorted propoganda that passes for news here in France? Where is the outrage?



Sunday, July 23, 2006

Leila Khaled in Johannesburg

By Sean Badal

Leila Khaled came to town and darn well near tore the place down. On Saturday 22nd July she packed out the JISS centre in Mayfair, Johannesburg, and had there been Kalashnikovs on the way out, we all would have gladly taken up arms and followed her to the ends of the earth.

‘The pope prays for peace in the Middle East,’ she said acerbically, ‘but it is not enough. We must fight.’

After receiving a rousing welcome, the likes of which I have never seen before, Khaled launched into a brutally succinct account of the horror of the Nakhba, condensing over forty years of brutal Zionist occupation into a searing personal account of the trials and tribulations of her family.

She’d phoned her brother that morning, she told us. He was a doctor in Tyre city, and as she spoke to him from Johannesburg, she could hear the bombs falling in the background. He was refusing to budge.

All we could do was impotently observe a moments silence for the victims of Israeli aggression. In the background, the Lebanese singer, Fairouz sang plaintively about her beloved Beirut, after it was destroyed by the same Zionist Nazis in 1982.

Peace to Beirut with all my heart, and kisses to the sea and the clouds…

FA statement on the current situation in the Middle-East

Here is a statement from the FA on the current situation - excuse the bad english (it's not mine) but I thought it would be interesting to re-publish here:

The francophone Anarchist Federation denounces and condemns the latest military attacks currently underway in Palestine and in the occupied territories following the kidnapping of a young Franco-Israeli soldier.

It is once again the civilian population, directly affected, who is paying with its blood, living conditions, and freedom for the conflict between two nationalist, capitalist, military, and religious logics in the ongoing war between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

It is indeed Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, voted to power by taking advantage of the corruption and discredit in Yasser Arafat’s Fatah party and the decay of the PLO, who are manipulating the anger and frustration of the majority of Palestinians by transforming the struggle against colonial oppression into a religious fight and an apogee of anti-Semitism.

Israeli governments have always sought out this religious conflict and as such encouraged the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in order to legitimate their colonial policies of domination and ethnic apartheid to the West.

As anarchists we know that States separate peoples by erecting borders. Just as creating the State of Israel did not settle anything in this region or for the exiled Jewish peoples, themselves in a desperate situation in another era, the creation of a real Palestinian State cannot satisfy us. Indeed, how would a more formal State help Palestinians? What would this State do? Maintain the status quo with increasing Islamic influence and leave social struggle aside on the pretext that Israel is the enemy. What about social emancipation? Where is the social and economic equality in all this? The hatred between peoples barricaded behind the barbed wire borders of their respective states would crystallise around “national” groups (a vague, misleading, and interclassist concept) if even more borders are drawn up.

We propose anarchist federalism, fundamentally egalitarian and adapted to a Middle East composed of a mosaic of peoples, favouring the free association and federation on egalitarian bases of the individuals and groups of individuals making up this federalism.

Redistribution of wealth and generalised self-production are indispensable in this region as elsewhere, where there are rich and poor people, and States vying for access to the sea, water, fertile lands, and oil.

An alternative is possible in the Middle-East if both Israeli and Palestinian peoples reject the artificial barriers which separate and oppose them in order to unite against their common enemies, political, economic, religious, and military power to together build the bases of a society which guarantees peace and harmony.

The existence of collectives made up of Palestinian and Israeli individuals, for example struggling together against the Wall or supporting military deserters and opponents, proves once again that that which unites us, mutual aid and solidarity, is stronger than that which divides us.

The francophone Anarchist Federation calls all forces in the social movement and all individuals who hold justice, peace, and freedom dear to protest by all means possible for the intolerable situation faced by workers, civilians, women, men, and children in this region of the world to be put to an end as quickly as possible.

Fédération anarchiste, 05/07/06