HUMAN first, then a proud IRANIAN

This blog represents the way I see some of the most significant events impacting the world and its citizens. This blog also represents how I react to the events as a member of humanity with a voice, a determined voice that insists to be heard. The voice of an Iranian who loves his country but his priority is humanity; humanity without border. I will say what I want to say, when I want to say it, and how I want to say it, but I will never lie. I will also listen; I promise.

February 29, 2004

Why Bush Administration is not fully cooperating with 9/11 panel?

There are reports that Bin Laden has been captured in Pakistan and US is waiting for more appropriate time to announce it. Whether this is true does not change the question why Bush Administration is not fully cooperating with the 9/11 Panel? See the links below.

9/11 panelist may quit over Bush secrecy :
Frustrated by Bush administration restrictions, a former senator said yesterday he might quit the special commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Rice refuses panel's request to testify publicly about 9/11:
The federal commission reviewing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks expressed disappointment Wednesday with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's refusal to testify in public.

White House's limits upset 9/11 panel:
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks


February 28, 2004

"Bush supporting Haitian rebels": former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark

"The Bush administration is again engaged in regime change by armed aggression," former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark said. "This time, the armed aggression is against the administration of the democratically elected president of Haiti."
Activists at a Friday press briefing outlined what they believe to be a well-crafted plan by the Bush administration to overthrow Aristide. Former Haitian military members, drug dealers and militants were armed and trained in the Dominican Republic thanks to military support from the United States. They have now crossed the border into Haiti, activists said..."

"The U.S. brought this about by keeping an embargo on the country since 1994. How could Aristide have succeeded?" former attorney general Clark asked. "His goal has always been to move the people of Haiti from a state of poverty to a state of dignity." Read it here.


UN staff saw that Israeli officer shot the unarmed boy; Not surprised to know he was suspended

"An Israeli army officer has been suspended after an unarmed Palestinian youth was shot in the back at close range as he waved goodbye to a delegation of visiting United Nations aid workers..." Toronto Star reports.

Would they suspebd him, if UN staff hadn't witnessed this crime? I doubt it. Otherwise, majority of the Israeli soldiers would be suspended.


Iran: "Osama bin Laden captured in Pakistan"

TEHRAN, Feb 28 (AFP) -- Osama bin Laden has been captured in a tribal area of Pakistan, the external Pashto-language service of Iranian state radio reported Saturday quoting an "informed source". According to The Toronto Star, Iran's report suggests that the capturing occured a long time ago.

On the other hand, U.S. Denies Iran Report of Bin Laden's Capture . I don't know if Iran's report is true or not, but remember, Iran was the first who reported capturing of Saddam and that turned out to be true. Also if true, it is understandable that it might not be very beneficial to Bush's re-election bid to announce it right now. So, let's wait and see.


February 27, 2004

Test your morality!

In his blog, The Common Man, has asked a very tough question from his readers. He is asking for an honest and true answer. The question was so hard to answer that I have not yet been able to choose between the two options that I would have in the situation described in the question.
I have copy/pasted the complete post here. Please follow the instruction carefully!
Here it is:

Here's a dilemma for you....What would you do?
This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally.
The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision one way or the other. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and consider each line. This is important for the test to work accurately:

You're in Florida... In Miami, to be exact... There is great chaos all around you caused by a hurricane and severe floods. You are a CNN photographer and you are in the middle of this great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

You're trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water. Nature is showing all its destructive power and is ripping everything away with it.

Suddenly you see a man in the water. He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud.

You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar. Then you recognize him. You know who he is.

It's George W. Bush!

At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him away, forever. You have two options. You can save him or you can take the best photo of your life.

You can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, a unique photo depicting the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

And here's the question...
...please give an honest answer...

Would you select colour film or just go with the simplicity of classic black and white?


Please help stop execution of Kobra! - Update

Back in January, I had this post about imminent possibility of the execution of Kobra Rahmanpour; the woman who had been convicted of murder while she did not have enough opportunity to defend herself against the allegation.

There have been some developments in the case, and the execution is set to go ahead on February 28. Amnesty is asking you to write to Iranian authorities and request the cancellation of this verdict. Here is more info about Amnesty's request (Information in Persian). Also here is the latest information from Amnesty's website in English.

According to this report (in Persian) , the execution of Kobra which was scheduled for February 28, will not happen according to the plan. Apparently, many people have been asking (via letters to the officials and newspapers in Iran) for an end to this possibility. Only a few words can have a huge impact in helping a young woman. Please take a few minutes to write.


February 26, 2004

Daylight armed robbery

Israeli soldiers raided three banks and stole millions of dollars and left.
"On Wednesday morning, troops in jeeps, trucks and armoured personnel carriers sealed off downtown Ram Allah as security forces strode into the Cairo Amman Bank and two branches of the Arab Bank, Palestinian officials said.
Troops covered the banks' cameras with sacks or disabled them and herded the employees together, before eventually releasing them, witnesses said."

Also, this is how Canadian Conservative newspaper; "Globe and Mail" reports it: 'Armed robbery' Israeli troops raid Palestinian banks, take $9-million .


February 25, 2004

Moroccan's devastating earthquake vistims need our help

Another earthquake has shaken and destroyed, this time some Moroccan villages. As a result of this powerful earthquake which was centered 160 kms north of Moroccan shores inside the Mediterranean sea, hundreds of people are reported to be dead and many thousands are homeless and in need of the assistance.

Here are some info about the Red Cross Red Crescent appeal for Moroccan earthquake.

If you know of any other way to direct peoples' assistance to the earthquake zone in Morocco, please let us know so it can be posted here.


Adult Israeli settlers: Pieces of dirt

Adult Israeli settlers are perhaps of the most hated creatures on earth. They live under the protection of one of the most powerful and anti-human armies in the world and in places that don't belong to them. They are free to have and carry guns with them. And every now and then they start target-practicing on the true owners of the land they have stolen; the Palestinians. In the most recent incident, a few of these animals opened fire on Palestinian shepherds but although they admitted of what they did, Israeli court ordered their release. Here is what is reported by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

And speaking of Settlers, here is what Charley Reese says about them in particular and Us policies in middle east in general. Here are some highlights of the article:

"U.S. policy toward the most destabilizing factor in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is to support Israel and to never offend the Israeli lobby.... ."
"...For example, they do not call things by their correct names. East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza are not "disputed territories," nor are they Judea and Samaria. They are occupied territories. They were occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. There is a long-standing United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Israel to return those territories to the Palestinians.
The proper name for Jewish settlements in the occupied territory is "illegal" settlements. The Geneva Accords, to which Israel is a signatory, forbid the settlement of occupied territory, as well as the expulsion of the native population...."
"Another rhetorical device American politicians — without a doubt the most cowardly in the world — hide behind is the proposition that the "parties involved must reach a settlement." This is the equivalent of a cop showing up at the door of a family whose 6-year-old daughter has been raped and saying, "Your daughter and her rapist will have to work this out between themselves...."
"You will note that all of the Democratic candidates avoid talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if they can't avoid it, they make the ritualistic pledge of undying support for Israel.
This is no way for a great power to act. The effect of this enormous act of political cowardice on the American people is that we will have to live with the terrorism it has already spawned and will continue to spawn for generations and generations to come. The price of American political cowardice is the blood of innocent people."
Read the rest here.

Thanks to Foad at Made In Iran, for pointing to this article from Reese.


February 24, 2004

Guantanamo "trials": Lack of "courtroom space" reason for not allowing Amnesty in

Amnesty barred from Guantanamo trials
The US defence department, in a written response to the organisations published today, refused to allow them to send representatives, citing the lack of courtroom space and other logistical problems. Journalists and the International Committee of the Red Cross will be able to attend.
Lesley Warner, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, said yesterday: "The US regularly criticises other governments for failing to accommodate trial monitors."

"Lack of courtroom space and logistical problems". I thought Pentagon officials would be smarter than that not to come up with such ridiculous excuses.


A "paid" commercial message: Pedram's head for 4-year lease!

I came across this funny image at Pedram's The Eyeranian . And the following is his take of the image that includes rental description of a rental property:

"Upon seeing the image above, I realized the enormous marketing potential of my own bald head and would like to announce that mine is now officially open for bidding by any candidates for the November 2004 elections. The incumbent can pay with Halliburton shares to make the transaction easier. The space is also open to large multi-national corporations and their friends after this November and at a reduced rate...."

Please be adviced that Pedram's head has much higher useful density than the one you see in this picture so by renting his head, you will get more than what you see.


February 23, 2004

"The Corporation" on TV Ontario (TVO)

Back in January, I had this post about a documentary called The Corporation which was on limited number of theatres in Canada.

I have just learnt that this 2.5 hour documentary will be on TVO on February 25, March 3 and March 10 at 10:00 PM ET, and February 29, March 7 and March 14 at midnight ET.

If you have access to TVO television programming, I strongly recommend watching this documentary.


February 22, 2004

Dean; A fresh but short-lived breath in American politics

A few days ago, I wrote my thoughts about "Rise and Fall of Howard Dean" but never posted it. Here it is:

Howard Dean the leader of the democratic wing of "Democratic Party" could not be tolerated. He could have been a fresh and healthy breath to the corrupt US politics. He had so many enemies, and perhaps the most determined ones were pro-Israeli lobby groups in the US and the corporate America. The winners of this whole affair are the corporate America and the Israeli lobby groups. The hatred of Senator Lieberman, who is an American by birth but Israeli at heart, towards Howard Dean was obvious. How could Dean dare to break the traditions? How could he dare to say that US should be fair and not to take side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How could he not accept corporate money for his campaign. How could he rely on young and healthy Americans instead of the corrupt and greedy corporations?

In this article titled The Assassination of Howard Dean, the author looks into this sad end of this newly born life. Here is an excerpt:

"The party took notice when Dean got up on stage and announced, "I'm Howard Dean, and I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party!"
Another part of the Dean story, and threat to the party establishment, was his style and appeal. Howard Dean has often been labeled the "prophet of rage." It's certainly true that he was an angry man; angry at Bush, the war, the budget deficit, the mushrooming unemployment cloud, at all things that had gone badly wrong in three short years. This anger hit a chord with the popular imagination; dissatisfaction with Bush was high and Dean was the perfect protest candidate.
Another core part of Dean's appeal was his overwhelming support among young people."

Perhaps America is not yet ready for a positive change, not ready to throw out the tradition of "corporate rulings"; and the tradition of being over influenced on its foreign policies by lobby groups.


February 21, 2004

Iran's Phony (s)elections are over - Update

I have been meaning to write about the elections in Iran, but could not truly put my thoughts together as I have not been feeling very well in the last couple of days and there are lots of complexities involved with the issue. I am hoping to write about Iran elections when I can feel like I am in the mood to cover more than just who won and with what margin.

I responded to a comment about the elections in Iran at Dave's Smile at Me. Please for now, accept that as my overall thought on the issue.

In his February 22 post, Hooman has written a short but interesting analysis of the elections in Iran. It is titled Iran - the link between voter turnout and economy . Although I think the title overemphsizes on the economy than actually discussed in the posts, I still believe it is a good description of what has really happened in Iran.


February 20, 2004

Worth repeating: Killed by the fright; Would you call it "collateral damage" if she was your child?

This post was first published on September 26, 03

Is this just another insignificant collateral damage?

Can you even imagine yourself in that situation?
Look into her eyes and see if you can tell her:"Sorry kid, oh, my heart goes with you but you are just a "collateral damage".

"It was 3 am, we were all asleep and the house was quiet. Suddenly, I was awakened by the sounds of Israeli Apachi helicopters firing intensively and I knew our neighborhood was the target of a new raid," Lina's father, Hassan, recalled the horrible moments.

"Minutes later, the sound of firing grew louder and became deafening. Suddenly, I saw Lina jumping out of her bed and running towards me with the deepest look of horror I have ever seen engraved of her little face. She threw herself in my open arms and started screaming hysterically.

"I felt her tiny body shaking and all my attempts to calm her down bore no fruit with the continuous firing outside. Gradually, her body temperature started falling, she stopped screaming and her face became as pale as that of a corpse," he added, through his wet face.

It was obvious Hassan himself was on the verge of collapse as he recalled the terrible experience of a father holding his dying child while completely helpless to save his dearest. One may wonder what else could be crueler to a father, any father.

After some words of comfort, Hassan could pull himself together to continue.

"I tried to rush out of the house to take her to the hospital but that was impossible with the sounds of tank shells and continuous explosions outside. Three hours later, the occupation forces withdrew. I rushed to the hospital, carrying Lina who was then as quiet as dead.

"I reached al-Aqsa hospital where the medical staff did their utmost to save her but to no avail. My little angel was killed by the fright her little heart could not handle," he concluded.


Worth repeating: Daily dehumanization of Palestinians by Israel

This post was first posted on Dec 22, 03

Israeli Paper, Haaretz admits:
"...Even in a hospital - a place where human compassion is supposed to be the sole operating norm - a Palestinian is still not on the same footing as other human beings. This process of dehumanizing the Palestinians has spread to every sector of Israeli society."
"..The dehumanization is characterized by insensitivity to the value of human life. During the past months, virtually not a single day has gone by without Palestinians being killed in clashes in the territories; dozens of Palestinians, many of them unarmed innocents, have died each month, even during periods in which there were no terrorist attacks. The deaths were a marginal item of Israel's public agenda."

I don't know, may be I should admit that I feel some respect for Haaretz for admitting this, although it should have been done long ago..


Worth repeating: Civilian casualties Vs. militant/military casualties

Some stats from an Israeli human rights group
This was first posted in September 2003

Here is the data provided by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem regarding the number of Israeli and Palestinians who have been killed during the 3 years of Palestinian uprising:

Israeli deaths:
794 total
(99 minors)=(12.5% of the total - Faramin)
(246 security forces)=(31% of the total - Faramin)
Palestinian deaths:
2,201 total
(398 minors)=(18% of the total - Faramin)
(207 "targeted killings")=(9.5% of the total - Faramin)
Suicide attackers:
129 Palestinians
Israel's prisoners:
5,278 Palestinians
(528 "administrative detainees")

According to this, only under 10% of the Palestinian casualties are resulted from Isreal's targeted killings, and the rest (over 90% including 18% minors) are civilians. Meanwhile, 31% of killed Israelis have been security forces and about 69%(including over 12% minors) are civilians.
Although no killing of the civilians, especially children, is justifiable, this data indicates that Israelis have been less successful in killing the Palestinian militants compared to Palestinians killing of Israeli security forces. I have to add, although it is the actual number of the killed that shows the dept of the tragedy, even proportionately (in addition to actual numbers), Israeli actions have been more devastating to the civilians.
This data does not even include "Deaths of Palestinians following Delay in Obtaining Medical Treatment because of Restrictions on Movement during the al-Aqsa Intifada" which adds up to 38.


February 19, 2004

Worth Repeating: Why not invade Israel?

This post was first published on November 22, 03

If rogue nations are to be brought into line by the US, shouldn’t Israel be punished for ignoring so many UN resolutions? Read here.
Fair question. Isn't it? Especially since Israel actually HAS weapons of mass destruction.


February 18, 2004

U.S. prosecutor sues Ashcroft

"A U.S. federal prosecutor in one of the first war on terror trials is suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging he was investigated for raising concerns about the war on terror..... . Convertino says he came under investigation in retaliation for providing information to a Senate committee about his concerns into the Justice Department's war on terror. " Read it here.


February 17, 2004

Bad boy with no manner!

Today, after I read that a Palestinian farmer was killed by the Israeli fascists, I thought to myself how easy it has become for Israelis to kill Palestinians without anybody stopping them from this daily criminal practice against the Palestinians. Then I remembered what a friend told me of his trip to California. Here is the short version of what I remember:

"A few years ago, I was visiting a friend in California. I was at his home when his 11-12 year old nephew who lived near by and was coming back from school, came to say hello to his uncle and to tell him about the "excitement" he experienced that day in school.
With his face full of Joy and pride he started telling what had happened:
"Oh it was awesome, today after school was finished, one of the tough guys went into fight with a little guy and while the little guy was on the ground, the tough guy was kicking him. I got involved, just like almost every other kid in there"
My friend asked him, "so what did you do?" He answered, "of course, I kicked him too."
Suddenly we were both stunned by what he had done and that way of thinking in him and others. After a few seconds, my friend who was clearly ashamed and upset, asked his nephew to leave and not to come back to his house, until he told him when."

Whenever I think of this event, I just can easily see why many Americans always rush to help Israel in "kicking" the Palestinians. This "kicking" happens every day and many in the "centre of world civilization" not only do not condemn it, but all they do is to justify it.

It is just like seeing a 25 year old tough guy with lots of muscle is on top of a 5 year old and trying to choke him to death and while the 5 year old struggles and desperately kicks his legs around in the hope of getting some room to breath, all the "Roman civilized" group who are witnessing this are pointing the blame at the boy and say: "Look at that barbarian kid. He has no manner, bad boy, bad boy. He is kicking. No one thought him that kicking is bad". Perhaps each one of these "civilized" group have a big brother or something who does the same thing to other kids somewhere else and perhaps that is why they can't condemn the tough guy of our story here, as that would require condemning their own heros first. But I have to admit that I can also understand how difficult it is for those who do not like the injustice they are witnessing but feel that they don't have the power to stop it.

All I can say is, Shame on this "civilization" which has no civility.


February 16, 2004

The fantasy of democracy in an Arab state

"And so here we go again. No weapons of mass destruction. No links between Saddam and 11 September. No democracy. Blame everybody. Blame the spooks. But don't blame Messers Bush and Blair. And don't blame the American neo-conservatives who helped to push the US into this disaster. They don't even exist. And if you say they did, you know what you're going to be called."

Robert Fisk: "Arab states are largely squalid, corrupt, brutal dictatorships. No surprise there. We created most of these dictators." Read it here or here.


February 15, 2004

"Thank you" America for bringing "freedom and democracy" to Iraq

"My little girl was four at the time and I couldn't help thinking what would she have thought in the same situation," said Bouju, a French national who took the above picture in Iraq.


Articles by Jewish writers against the occupation

Click here for some articles written by Jews against the occupation.


February 14, 2004

Why do they hate US?

Kevin has an inetersting post about the American arrogance in the occupied Iraq. Read it here.


February 13, 2004

Unholy Alliances; Zionism, US Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism

"Here in Israel, we don't like to say this very loudly, but the radical right Jewish groups have a lot in common with Hamas." Read it here .


February 12, 2004

Liberating America from Israel

By Paul Findley, former Republican congressman from Illinois for 22 years and the author of 'They Dare to Speak Out' and a member of the American Educational Trust's Foreign Relations Committee:

"Nine-eleven would not have occurred if the U.S. government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society. Few express this conclusion publicly, but many believe it is the truth. I believe the catastrophe could have been prevented if any U.S. president during the past 35 years had had the courage and wisdom to suspend all U.S. aid until Israel withdrew from the Arab land seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war."

"In its violent assaults on Palestinians, Israel uses the pretext of eradicating terrorism, but its forces are actually engaged advancing the territorial expansion just cited. Under the guise of anti-terrorism, Israeli forces treat Palestinians worse than cattle. With due process nowhere to be found, hundreds are detained for long periods and most are tortured. Some are assassinated. Homes, orchards, and business places are destroyed. Entire cities are kept under intermittent curfew, some confinements lasting for weeks. Injured or ill Palestinians needing emergency medical care are routinely held at checkpoints for an hour or more. Many children are undernourished. The West Bank and Gaza have become giant concentration camps. None of this could have occurred without U.S. support. Perhaps Israeli officials believe life will become so unbearable that most Palestinians will eventually leave their ancestral homes." Read the rest here.


Israelis better at manipulating media

Dr Toine Van Teeffele:
"As a guide and consultant living in Bethlehem, Palestine, I have regularly coordinated visits for groups of Westerners coming to see Palestinian reality with their own eyes. Almost always those visitors felt afterwards that what they saw did not correspond with the image of Palestine they had before." Read it here .


February 11, 2004

Father of the killed soldier writes to the President

"...Burying a child will no doubt be the hardest task that his mother and I shall ever have to do. The one question I have, and the one question I would like you to answer, is, "Why did my son and every other soldier that was killed, maimed and wounded have to suffer settling your vendetta?"
My son is gone just when he was laying a strong foundation to build upon for the rest of his life.
Now, President Bush, his life has been snuffed out in a meaningless war.
Where are all the weapons of mass destruction, where are the stock piles of chemical and biological weapons?..."
"...Since you waged this unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein the world has become a horrible place to live in." Read it here.

But Bush just said the world was a safer place now!


Visiting via Jannet Jackson's breast serach

Recently, I am getting lot of visitors who google their way in, by searching for "Jannet Jackson's Breast". Come on, I really didn't talk about her breast. I just mentioned the word as part of my argument in this post . And... believe me, I don't have a picture of her breast here either otherwise, I would share that with you.

Oops, I am sure this post will now attract even more Jannet's breast searchers.


February 10, 2004

Rumsfeld doesn't remember 45 minutes claim

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he cannot remember hearing the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes. Don't worry Mr. Rumsfeld. With what I see in "some" Americans, they will accept it. But fortunately this "some" is decreasing everyday. The richest or the dumbest will be with you like loyal soldiers of idiocy. You fool, you rule, Mr. Rumsfeld.

The (45 minute) claim is at the heart of recent debate in the UK about the invasion. but asked his opinion of the claim, Mr Rumsfeld told reporters: "I don't remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest." Ooh, Poor Rumsfeld is being perfectly honest.


Pundit O'Reilly Now Skeptical About Bush

Conservative television news anchor Bill O'Reilly said on Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

He said he was sorry he gave the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's weapons program poised an imminent threat, the main reason cited for going to war. "I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this," O'Reilly said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

Not that I care, though. Too late. But you might. Read it here .


February 09, 2004

Bush's "safer world"!

Back in October, I had this post about How George Bush's war against Al-Qaeda in fact helped them grow while there were much easier ways to dis-arm fundamentalism and that was simply by stopping the support of Israel. Then automatically, many people (at least religious ones) would see no reason to fight and be recruited by the fundamentalists anymore. But since this is not in the nature of Bush's regime, it will not happen and he will continue feeding and supporting Israel against the Palestinians. Perhaps my post about People behind Bush's policies would explain why this will not happen. Hard to believe, but that is true. Israel has plenty of influence on American politics.

Now Bush's phony war is helping them grow even more. In fact, they could not have a better ally than president Bush: Flight cancellations to and from the US are becoming regular events due to possible (or phony) terrorist threats... . And now, Americans may not be able to write to their "representatives" in the congress due to possible terrorist threats. Well, I thought Bush recently repeated his crap that "today the world is safer" because of removing Saddam. and as far as Iraq's security is concerned, Baghdad has just become the the kidnapping capital of the world, beating Boguta.

Before I go, let me give you another example of how Bush's policies have made the world "safer": "Regional terror threat growing", "Linked to Al Qaeda, groups getting ambitious", "They are like little time bombs ... sent out into the world". Read it and find out how safer the world has become. Thanks to Washington policies.

Well, I don't really think Bush and his corporate-dedicated teams are unhappy. This would allow them to create more fear factor (something that obviously works with Americans) and as a result, continue running their anti-human and for profit agendas.


February 08, 2004

The bully admits bullying

In a rare fairly long interview, US president admitted that he was a "war president". In his opinion the top issue for American voters should be the use of American power in the world.

He is now openly asking Americans to support him in bullying the world. His issue is not the increasing poverty in the US (never mind the world), but how he can continue creating business for his friends especially in oil sector and military industries. I am sure, they love such a "dedicated for the rich" president.


It is absolute colonialism

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that "the United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem." The report also adds that "The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" (bolding emphasis by me) the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram."

Bonus? What now? Are we so ridiculously blind not to see what is happening? Or is it OK just because "our beloved USA" is doing this? Who the f..k Pentagon officials are to decide what to do with Iraqi oil? Iraqi oil belongs to Iraqis and only Iraqis have the right to make decisions about it. Now, can you see why most of my posts are about the US and Israel? These two are acting as mosquitoes who are getting ready to suck the blood out of Iraq.

Then, they wonder why America is disliked so much in the world. Do they leave any reason for the world to like them and to respect them? Oh, I can't even imagine what I would do if this was happening to my country! Pitiful Rumsfeld deciding for my country's resources? I can't even imagine that. If US succeeds in Iraq, it will expand its greed to other countries of the world. It is the responsibility of all progressive and freedom-loving forces in the world to speak up against further colonialization of Iraq by the US imperialism.


February 07, 2004

Tariq Ali on War, Empire, and Resistance - Update

Tariq Ali speaks on the subjects of War, Empire, and Resistance. He cautions us not to laugh too much at the NeoCons, or the simple mindedness of Bush, because as he points out, there is a very sincere method in their all too obvious madness. It is fairly long (over an hour plus question period), but it is a riveting lecture punctuated with bursts of humor and you will not regret watching it. Watch it to the end, then draw your own conclusions and take whatever your take is from it. There are some points in his speech that can make an American feel proud for what some Americans have historically done. However, he puts more on the shoulders of today's Americans.

Also, my thanks to N from Another Irani Online for providing a link to a debate between Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens about the occupation of Iraq by the US. Click on this link and in there pick what your system supports to watch the debate or just simply read the transcripts.


I knew nothing good would come out of this head-pirate!

After surprising the world by announcing that Israel will be dismantling the settlements in Gaza Strip, Sharon announced yesterday that he was considering to relocate those settlers from Gaza strip to West Bank areas. I can think of two possible motives for this:
1- Sharon has a hidden agenda to permanently attach West Bank to Israeli soil. Given the amount of resistance he faces within Israel when speaking about dismantling the settlements, it does not seem logical to make such a move (relocation of Gaza settlers) to west Bank for just a short period. This move can be seen as more permanent with the aim of leaving only Gaza strip for the Palestinians.
2- After announcing his plan, Sharon faced objections within Israel especially from hardline Israelis as well as hardline politicians including Sharon's own Likud members who seriously questioned this move and called it outrageous. It is possible that Sharon was hoping to see a different reaction (or at least not as severe a reaction as happened) to his plan. After all, Sharon has not forgotten what happened to former prime minister Robin who was assassinated by a Jewish terrorist who opposed his peace progress with Palestinians. In fact in Israel, politicians have to make sure they don't upset those extremist Jews who use their guns against those who would not act according to their wishes.

Whatever the reason, this should be considered a very critical move by Sharon's government, and should be condemned if the settlers (Pirates on the land) are to be moved from one Palestinian territory to another again Palestinian territory and not be completely kicked out of the land that doesn't belong to them.


Intelligence failure or deception?

President Bush appointed a conservative former judge and a moderate former Democratic senator Friday to head a special commission to "figure out why" inspectors haven't found the weapons that intelligence experts said Saddam Hussein was hiding in Iraq. Bush told the panel to report back to him by the end of March 2005, well after the November elections and two years after U.S. troops invaded Iraq.

On the other hand, Wesley Clark, a Democratic candidate for president, said Bush was using the panel to affix blame to the intelligence community instead of to policy-makers, including himself, who used the information to make decisions.

There are many evidence that the issue was not intelligence failure, but deception; deception of Americans. According to Scott Ritter, former US weapon inspector, "The Bush administration, relied on rumor, speculation, exaggeration and falsification to mislead the American people and their elected representatives into supporting a war that is rapidly turning into a quagmire" . Also, in September 2002; many months before invasion of Iraq, Pentagon's intelligence service reported no reliable evidence of Iraqi weapons . Furthermore, days before entering Iraq during an official briefing, Australian troops were told Iraq threat was limited,. So, Intelligence failure is nothing but crap to put the blame not on the policy makers, but on the intelligence agencies.

Well now, let's look at some of those who are supposed to come up with the report by March 2005; months after the US presidential elections: Sen. John McCain will be on the panel. In selecting McCain, there is no doubt that US president has been as "honest and ethical" as ever. After all, Sen.. McCain is not in conflict of interest in this issue. The poor guy has just returned to New Hampshire to Stump for Bush after he was called to action by master-liar and US vice president Dick Cheney. The other top guy who is supposed to find out about the "truth" is Laurence Silberman.

And in London, British PM; Tony Blair is not having a much better time than his low intelligent master; George Bush in Washington. After Blair claimed that he did not know key facts about Iraqi weapons on the eve of sending British troops into battle, UK's Ex-Defence Secretary blasts Blair for being dis-honest. Also, UK's current Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon yesterday played down suggestions that Prime Minister Tony Blair was not fully informed about the details of key intelligence reports in the lead-up to war in Iraq.

To any reasonable person with a bit of functioning brain, it is obvious that all that happened have been attempts to deceive the American and British publics to gain support for war with Iraq. This attempt was unsuccessful in the UK as vast majority of the Brits opposed this war, but it was a complete success in the US. What about now? Would the Americans admit that they have been lied to? Or their "patriotism" will not let them to admit that?


February 06, 2004

Palestinians; victims of the ex-victims

"Dispossessed, deprived of their birthright and denied basic human rights and freedoms, millions of Palestinians daily endure a rare fate. Just the simple act of surviving through the day under occupation requires enormous resilience in the face of a superior war machine, supported by the world's single superpower. Yet Palestinians have never lost hope that one day they will be able to live in freedom, peace and prosperity in their own independent homeland." This is how Al-jazeera describes the Palestinian life in a few short sentences in this link . It gives more about the whole Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It tells you about Israeli human right abuses against the Palestinians. It tells you about the history of Israeli massacres of the Palestinians. It tells you how Israelis manipulate the media to their advantage. It tells you about numerous UN resolutions which were ignored by Israel or vetoed by the US in support of Israel. It tells you much more.


February 05, 2004

No drought in Palestine, but people are starving!

Palestinian malnutrition at African levels under Israeli curbs
I came across this shocking link via Afsaneh's website .

Malnutrition rates in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank are as bad as those in sub-Saharan Africa, EU MPs said yesterday. They warned that the Israeli security fence around the occupied territories was "destroying the Palestinian economy and creating widespread poverty". As Afsaneh puts it correctly: "No drought in Palestine, but people are starving!"


All against Dean! But why?

If you've recently checked out right wing blogs and websites, you must have seen the continuation of attacks on Howard Dean despite the fact that it seems like he might not have much chance to win the Democrat's candidacy for the November presidential elections.

He was under fire from the beginning of the primary races from both Democrats and right wing entities. One of the most determined attackers on Dean, was Senator Lieberman who himself was a candidate to win Democrats' representation in the upcoming presidential elections. He is now completely out of the race, as he managed to win "zero" delegates from the Democratic party. He is of course, (practically) the most dedicated agent of Israel amongst democratic candidates. He is the most war-loving of the Democratic candidates whose first priority is not the well-being of the US but the interests of Israel. He does not mind creating more enemies for the US, as long as there is a benefit in the outcome for Israel.

It is interesting that Howard Dean, who was/is the only candidate who has not been funded by the big business but with 10-20 dollars from ordinary Americans, makes so much animosity for himself. He was also the one who angered Lieberman the most. After all, Lieberman accused him of "breaking a 50 year old record in which president, Republicans and Democrats, members of congress of both parties have supported their relation with Israel". And what did Dean say that angered Lieberman so much? (In the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis) "It is not our plcae to take side". This is what Dean had said. Lieberman couldn't even accept that evenhanded approach. That is perhaps why Lieberman is so angry at him. It is understandable, isn't it?

Just take a look at the official right wing blogs, pro-Israeli blogs and those who calim to be liberal but in fact belong to right wing camp. You can see the attacks are still continuing. Looks like to them, Dean can be a nightmare. Dean does not support Israel as much as others do. Dean is not fed by the big business so he does not feel he would owe them anything if became president. Dean can make history in changing US politics towards more balanced and more fair policies with less corruption. And Dean is more for the ordinary Americans rather than rich ones. Knowing this, is it surprising at all that all the propaganda machines have mobilized to discredit him? I don't think it is. To these blogs, the record deficit in the US budget is not as important as what Dean says about Jannet jackson's breast show. They also keep ignoring the issue of US administration's lies about Iraq's WMD, but still don't miss an opportunity to sting Dean for any stupid reason. They quote one Iraqi blogger who apparently questioned some of Dean's recent comments and name the titlle of the post as "Iraq to Dean: explain yourself", Suddenly this one blogger becomes whole Iraq and can speak for all Iraqis. And it is interesting that one of our good bloggers is hoping to have some influence that would result in changing these peoples' minds. I'd rather to consider this as part of his sense of humor otherwise, I would just say: Well, good luck.

I have said it before, no good person can become the president of the United States without miracles. It is not because the US does not have good and ethical people for the job, but it is due to the fact that ethical people will be the centre of overwhelming attacks from those who run things behind the scene in the US politics. This reminds me of an interview that I saw recently about George Bush during which an American said: "It is obvious that he (Bush) doesn't have a lot of brain muscles, but that's the whole intention and he just serves the purpose". I think I understand what this means.


February 04, 2004

Iranian Politics: Will and should the reformists be supported?

After a long power struggle between the hardliners and the fraction known as reformists in Iranian politics, it seems like things are becoming more critical everyday as we approach the upcoming elections in Iran. 124 of the reformist MPs have already submitted their formal resignations, and are practically calling for boycott of the upcoming elections. On the other hand, the interior ministry has announced that it will not organize and hold the undemocratic elections, the threat shared by many of the governors from all over the country.

First, the unelected Guardian Council (the GC) who has the authority to accept or reject the candidate credentials, rejected thousands of candidates including most of current reformist MPs. As the resistance to these disqualifications grew, the GC was forced to reconsider many of the cases it had disqualified. Every day, more and more previously rejected candidates were qualified for the elections. However, many of the current reformist MPs still are disqualified by the GC.

Although, it seems like this time the reformists are demanding more than they ever dared to, there still is not much sign of popular support from the people who gave the reformist landslide victories in previous elections. Perhaps the reason for this is the fact that the reformist MPs who had wide-spread support among the populous, never seriously challenged the unti-democratic and un-elected authorities of the establishment. They never questioned the ultimate power of Khamaneie, the supreme leader. They passed some progressive laws, which were rejected by the GC by the practical backing of Khamaneie. Even during the last student uprisings, these MPs who once had tremendous support amongst the students, did not do enough to respond to the demands of the students.

On the other hand, the role of president khatami has always been questionable. During the student uprisings, Khatami even condemned them and took the side of the hardliners and Khamaneie. President khatami, who himself was elected from only 4 presidential candidates who were qualified by the GC, has always played the role of safety valve for the regime. He has always shown that in critical times, he takes the side of his beloved Islamic Republic and its supreme leader Khamaneie. He has never acted as a strong leader who would firmly stand up to the hardliners and would demand that peoples' rights be respected. This is despite the fact that he had complete support of the public, but no, he always wanted to save the regime.

Reformist MPs however, have always been more firm than the president although not significantly. But, it appears that this time, the MPs are more courageous in their demands and are questioning more fundamental pillars of the regime. They are directly going against the GC and occasionally the leader. Despite this, they are still not managing to convince people that perhaps this time, things are a bit different and they need peoples' support more than ever. People simply do not trust them anymore and that is why they have chosen to sit and watch what happens.

During the last municipal elections which took place a few months ago, the reformist candidates were badly defeated by the hardliners. This wasn't of course due to hardliners popular support, but it was due to the reformists' lack of popular support. In those elections, only less than 20% of the people participated. But the fact of the matter was that the supporters of the hardliners who are somehow the recipients of many government sponsored assistance programs, are under very organized authorities and are always available in the times of pro-hardliner staged demonstrations and the elections in favour of the hardliners.

In normal conditions, I would doubt that people would act differently in the upcoming elections, and perhaps it would be very possible that the reformers would be defeated by the hardliners for the same reason as in the municipal elections. But now, that things have gone towards a different direction, the question is what should be done now? Should the people and students ignore the pleas from the MPs for support? Should they leave them alone? And will they?

I previously expressed my confusion about the issue and my not-so-clear position regarding the elections in Iran in this post . The confusion is still there and I can't be sure as what is right and what isn't. After all, is this another game by the components af the regime to bring people in and pretend that people should not abandon the regime on its entirety? May be it is. And may be it isn't. There are signs that this can be more serious than thought. As I mentioned before, now many of the MPs are talking about referendum on some of the pillars of the regime. Some of the MPs are indicating that their demands are not negotiable. They are completely undermining the authority of the GC and subsequently the authority of the Khamaneie who always backs the GC. They are practically asking the GC to admit it has been wrong and are demanding apology from the GC. Perhaps they should be given another chance. They might use it appropriately, otherwise, what has been lost? Perhaps not much. After all, nothing was going to happen in near future anyway. But by supporting the reformists and their heating struggle, people can be drawn into the politics for one more time and that by itself might have a positive result in long run, as peoples' demands will always be more than what the regime and perhaps even the reformist camp are capable of giving them. In that case, more serious reformers might evolve to the real defenders of the peoples' rights and the weaker ones might be filtered out. After reading different opinions about this whole issues on different blogs, the following which is an excerpts of a comment that I read, inspired me towards believing that perhaps it is wise to give the reformists another chance as I am beginning to think the commentator here has some valuable points. :

"You keep repeating this mantra that the reformists are the same as the conservatives. They are not. They have substantial differences from their conservatives counterparts. For example, the current reformist parliament passed several progressive laws including increasing of the age of marriage for girls from 9 to 13, banning torture, joining to convention of women right, limiting what can be considered political crime, ... Most of these were not accepted by the Guardian Council, which shows a significant difference between the two."
"..It is wrong to encourage people to sit and watch just because reformists are not exactly what we want. Once people come in and get actively involved, I believe even the reformists can not limit the demands of people. Reformists should but supported but with clearly stating that the support is for actual fundamental change. For now, people should push for removal of the Guardian Council, or at least limiting its rule."

Some signs of support are emerging as there are increasing number of students who were previously disappointed about the reformists, are showing some sort of solidarity with the reformists and are encouraging them not to give up and continue pressing for their demands. I am increasingly developing the belief that this is a positive sign and a welcome news, especially after the recent threat by the hardliners that any act including the mass resignations which result in interruption of the upcoming elections, can be considered an act against the security of the country and those responsible will be severly prosecuted. However, parhaps this is the best oportunity for the reformists to show how serious they are. They might begin to rise as succeful defenders of peoples' rights, but meanwhile they can lose even the little credibility that they have left in the public opinion.


February 03, 2004

Halliburton stinks just like Cheney

After overcharging the US army (American taxpayers) by the amount of $61 million for fuel it supplied to the army, it is now becoming clear that it has also possibly overcharged the army (taxpayers) by the amount of $27.4 million in the meal it supplied to feed the American soldiers. They even steal off of the bread that they supply their own soldiers. See, what they would do to Iraq and its oil.

Potential overbilling for food served at bases in Iraq and Kuwait was identified by defence auditors during a routine evaluation of contract costs submitted by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. "We are pleased that KBR is willing to step forward to offer reimbursement in advance of any findings," said the official, who asked not to be identified".

They are pleased, they are pleased of what? And why are they so pleased about the fact that there is good possibility that Halliburton has been engaged in fraud, but wants to pay part of what it stole back? Perhaps this would explain: "It seems that no matter what misconduct Halliburton engages in, the Bush Administration continues to turn a blind eye to it and issue more contracts", Frank Lautenberg, Democrat senator

This is perhaps this is because of "Cheney effect" on Halliburton and its corruption. And imagine, this jerk is the second (call it first) powerful man in the United States.


Make up your mind Mr. Powell!

Now that it turned out that Iraq's WMD was just a sham and a big lie to prepare the American public opinion to follow the leader, the US leaders are left with explaining what happened and why they lied although it seems that to some Americans it has been ok that they were lied to. After all, only an "insignificant" number of people, only at least 10,000 people (who were not even American) have been killed so far as a result of these lies. To them, the number and the victims are not important enough to warrant criticizing "gods" of the nation; the leaders.

US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, made a fool of himself when last February he presented the UN Security Council a 10 year old university thesis as an evidence of Iraq's WMD. He then put the US case to the United Nations Security Council, saying he was offering "facts and conclusions based on solid evidence". Were are those "solid evidence" Mr. Powell was so sure about?

Things have changed now; it is clear, even to dumbest people, that there were no such things as Iraq's WMD. Now, US leaders particularly Mr. Powell are forced to admit that the belief that Iraq had these weapons had made the case for war stronger and added that he did not know if he would have recommended an invasion if this belief had proved unfounded. He now says that he is not sure he would have pushed for an invasion of Iraq if he knew that it had no stockpile of banned weapons: "It was the stockpile that presented the final little piece that made it more of a real and present danger and threat to the region and to the world. [The] absence of a stockpile changes the political calculus; it changes the answer you get." Then Mr. Powell contradicts himself by saying that "he believed history would judge that going to war against Saddam Hussein had been the right thing to do" (Click here for the link). Make up your mind Mr. Powell, would you go to war if you knew that Iraq had no WMD or not?

Well, even if we believe the current US administration is consisted of some ethical and clean leaders who care about human lives (sounds more like a joke), at least they fail in the competency test: As a result of your miscalculations, Mr. Powell, at least 10,000 people (none of them less valuable than you and me) have been killed, a country have been occupied, international laws are broken and replaced by the laws of the jangle, UN's authority has been severely damaged, poverty in Iraq is as never before, Iraq's state-owned industries are being sold out against the will of Iraqi people, your own soldiers are being killed everyday and.... all because of your "miscalculations". Why should the world people suffer because of your miscalculations? Why should you not be held accountable for your "mistakes" that have affected so many lives in the world?


February 02, 2004

No Stinking Empire

Charley Reese has an interesting article called No stinking empire. Below is an excerpt of the article.

"The truth is quite simple: An empire increases the danger for the American people, as empires always make more enemies than friends, not to mention inciting envy and hatred. Maintaining an empire will eventually break us, as it has every single empire of the past."


February 01, 2004

Chicken liberals turned conservatives?

In his blog; "My Blahg", Robert McClelland has an interesting piece about the impact of 9/11 events on American liberalism and those scared liberals who have practically turned to conservatives. Although I have my own reservations about parts of the article, I would recommend reading it.

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