Saber Al-Hissie has been a fisherman in Gaza for fifteen years. His 20 metre boat is scarred with bullet holes from the Israeli military, who harass the fishermen daily.
“I’ve been a fisherman for fifteen years now, ever since I was fifteen years old. My father was a fisherman and so was my grandfather. I have spent half my life at sea. But every day we face problems from the Israeli gunboats: they follow us, and then they start shooting at us because they want to force us to stop working.”
Saber Al-Hissie comes from a Gazan family of fishermen. His 20 metre vessel belongs to his father, who, after many years of fishing, has finally passed the family business over to Saber. There are more than 3,500 professional fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and the majority of them live in and around Gaza City, where the main harbour is located. The Al-Hissie family, like most of the other Gaza city fishermen, live in the sprawling refugee camp, known locally as the Beach Camp, near Gaza harbour.
Senator Barack Obama greets Representative Rahm Emanuel at the Illinois Delegation party at a restaurant in Boston on the eve of the Democratic National Convention 2004. (Tom Williams)
During the United States election campaign, racists and pro-Israel hardliners tried to make an issue out of President-elect Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. Such people might take comfort in another middle name, that of Obama's pick for White House Chief of Staff: Rahm Israel Emanuel.
Emanuel is Obama's first high-level appointment and it's one likely to disappointment those who hoped the president-elect would break with the George W. Bush Administration's pro-Israel policies. White House Chief of Staff is often considered the most powerful office in the executive branch, next to the president. Obama has offered Emanuel the position according to Democratic party sources cited by media including Reuters and The New York Times. While Emanuel is expected to accept the post, that had not been confirmed by Wednesday evening the day after the election.
Before I get into the text of today’s brief, whatever that is going to be, I want to let you know that for some reason, the comments section here at Smoking Mirrors has been shut down. There’s no evidence of why in my control panel. People who read here on a regular basis probably know that for months now I have not been able to control my page or font colors. There are other problems as well. Also, I can’t post anymore without having to do a lot of html-related editing and it takes me more than ten times as long to get anything up now. It’s been incipiently incremental (did I just say that? Does it even make sense? Heh heh…) and it’s getting worse. My web page was under regular attack as well.
I can’t reach the authorities at ‘Google’ BlogSpot and that is no more of an accident than what’s happening at my blogs… all my blogs are affected but so far only Smoking Mirrors has had comments cut off. Should they take the next step and attempt to silence me completely, you should go to www.lesvisible.com and I’ll have some kind of a message there if worst comes to worst. As for comments, please go to Visible Origami and leave your Smoking Mirrors commentary there. I will also announce whatever is happening, if this blog disappears, at that site and if they all go… well… go to the webpage. For all I know I won’t even be able to put this up here now (oops… there’s another one of those strange comments by me). I’ll work around this one way or another. Okay… enough about me… let’s go to Visible’s perspective on the big spinning disco ball of the here and now.
Americans living abroad awoke this morning to images of their countrymen celebrating in the streets, images as hopeful, as optimistic as the 'velvet revolution'. The entire world heard collective sighs of relief --no stolen election, no riots, no bloodshed. The words of Lincoln are required to describe it: '...a new birth of freedom'!
This is not just Obama's victory. This win belongs to the people, even those poor misguided folk who had often voted GOP even when it was against their own interests to do so. Unless they had been among the nations one percent elite, it was always against their interest.
This victory belongs as well to the world, millions who often suffered, as Americans might not have, the harmful effects of Bush's vainglorious vision of empire.
Elected Haiti's president in 1990. Its first ever democratically chosen one. By a sweeping two-thirds majority. Took office in February 1991. Deposed by an army-led coup in September with all the earmarks of being made-in-Washington. Returned to office in October 1994. Served until February 1996. According to Haitian law, he couldn't succeed himself. Reelect in November 2000 with 90% of the vote. Took office in February 2001. Served until February 29, 2004 when, in the middle of the night, US marines deposed him and forced him into exile.
Despite our very justified fears of false flags and election theft, in all probability, sometime on Wednesday morning, Barack Hussein Obama, the young US Senator from Illinois, will be this country's President-elect.
His handlers have engineered a remarkable campaign, beginning with his keynote address at the 1994 DNC . . .
"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope? . . .
D. H. Williams
Who is Rahm Emanuel? As many Americans celebrate the historic victory of Barack Obama this evening most will be completely unaware of the central figures in his administration who will direct and implement major policies and legislation changing the lives of every citizen. While the average voter may not give a moments thought to who the members of an Obama administration will be the Obama team has already selected candidates to fill those positions. According to a well placed Democratic aid Barack Obama personally selected Rahm Emanuel to be his Chief of Staff. A key figure from Obama’s hometown of Chicago will be Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) fourth ranking Democrat in the House. Rahm Emanuel joined the Clinton’s in 1991 directing the campaign’s finances. Following the campaign Rahm became a senior adviser to Bill Clinton and severed in the Clinton administration holding various titles. Rahm was one of the original architects of NAFTA and aggressive anti- gun laws passed by the Clinton administration.
Prof. Peter Erlinder
Once again, the suffering of African people caught up in a war that makes little sense to non-Africans has made the front pages in western media, as more than a million people have been displaced in the past week by re-newed fighting in the Eastern Congo. For most Americans who don’t pay much attention to the details of African history and politics, the humanitarian disaster in the Congo has exploded into public consciousness, as if the 25-year war to control Central Africa began only yesterday. The "Congo story" Behind the Headlines: But, in fact, the human rights disaster that the people of the world are watching on our TV screens is just the most recent human tragedy in a 25 year struggle for economic and political dominance in Central Africa that has been raging since the decline and eventual collapse of the Soviet influence in Africa in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. A sad fact of the 20th Century is that, even after the end of formal "colonialism" in the mid-20th Century, ruling African elites in virtually every African nation have looked to one or more powerful "sponsors" in the developed world to gain or retain power. And, to grab the personal wealth that goes with political/military power in Africa.
From the Daily Star (Lebanon):
"Two men arrested for running an Israeli spy ring in the Bekaa Valley are relatives of a suicide hijacker who piloted a plane in the September 11, 2001, attacks, a security source told The Daily Star on Sunday. The Lebanese Army announced on Saturday that it had arrested two people suspected of involvement with a spy network that gathered information for Israel's intelligence services.
The army said that the men had been arrested on Friday, but the source said that they were actually captured two weeks ago and the discovery of the arrests by the media prompted the army to announce their capture. The army said the men had admitted 'gathering information on political party offices and monitoring the movements of party figures for the enemy.'
The US Becomes What It Wasn't. The Pentagon, methinks, is out of control. We no longer have a military in service to the state, but a state in service to the military. Few notice (I suspect) because of two ingrained habits of mind.
First, we think of the President as just that, the President, the country’s civilian governor who, oh yeah, is technically the Commander-in-Chief. “Technically,” because he isn’t really in the military and doesn’t strut about in a uniform with ribbons and feathers. He seems more a CEO than a general.
Second, we tend to think of the military as a federal department under civilian control. The Pentagon carries out policy, we believe, but doesn’t make it. Would it were so.
Walking into any “court” of late one might have a distinct impression that one has walked into a monarch's domain. The rule of law only applies at the discretion of the monarch. And that would be the judge sitting in that particular court.
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