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The Economics of Tunnels

February 10th, 2009

Mohammed Omer


Tunneling essential goods into the Gaza Strip. (Photo:
Iyad Albaba.)

Options are few in Rafah. As in other societies throughout history trapped behind walls or segregated in ghettos, the smuggling in of basic necessities, as well as weapons for defense, means the difference between life and death. In Gaza, tunneling dates back to the 1980s, when Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. During the first intifada, which began in late 1987, tunnels were used as an underground railroad, transporting people out of Gaza, as well as serving as safe houses for resistance fighters, and storage spaces for weapons and supplies.

Since Israel imposed its siege on Gaza after Hamas won democratic legislative elections in January 2006, the number of Palestinians tied to some segment of the tunnel industry has grown in direct proportion to the increasing lack of availability of raw materials and basic necessities, including food, fuel and medicine. Palestinian sources estimate that some 6,000 people are employed as diggers in the hundreds of tunnels crisscrossing the Gaza-Egyptian border.

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A Short History of the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict: Past Is Prologue

February 9th, 2009

Stephen Lendman

Its roots are from the late 19th century when Theodor Herzl founded modern Zionism at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897.

In his book "Overcoming Zionism," Joel Kovel writes:

Zionism seeks "the restoration of tribalism in the guise of a modern, highly militaralized and aggressive state. (It) cut Jews off from (their) history and led to a fateful identity of interests with antisemitism (becoming) the only thing that united them. (It) fell into the ways of imperialist expansion and militarism, and showed signs of the fascist malignancy."

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Why Lee Harvey Oswald Had to Die!

February 9th, 2009

Len Hart

Without a bullet that can be proven to have been at the scene of the crime, the government would have had no case against Lee Harvey Oswald, tried in absentia because he was murdered. Conveniently! The government needed a piece of hard evidence --a magic bullet'!

They got one! Conveniently!

The government needed a truly magical bullet that did magical things --the work of six or seven other bullets most which got beat up and misshapened, deformed in the line of duty. They got one!

Arlen Specter must be credited with ascribing magic properties to ordinary bullets that could smash bone and cartilage and emerge with nary a scratch! The government need a single bullet that could do the work of six or seven bullets! They got found one! Conveniently! Arlen Specter would pull a pull a 'magical theory' out of thin air while a friendly shill would pull an equally 'magic bullet' out of his ass.

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The resistance option

February 8th, 2009

Robin Yassin-Kassab


In both Lebanon and Gaza, the resistance is still standing.
(Wesam Saleh/ MaanImages)

What really protects our people and gain back our rights is the sincere Resistance and everything else is mere Illusion.” -Nasrallah

Hamas isn't Hizballah and Gaza isn't Lebanon. The resistance in Gaza -- which includes leftist and nationalist as well as Islamist forces -- doesn't have mountains to fight in. It has no strategic depth. It doesn't have Syria behind it to keep supply lines open; instead it has Israel's wall and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's goons. Lebanese civilians can flee north and east, while Gaza's repeat-refugees have no escape. The Lebanese have their farms, and supplies from outside; Gaza has been under total siege for years. Hizballah has remarkable discipline and is surely the best-trained, most disciplined force in the region. Although it has made great strides, Hamas is still undisciplined. Crucially, Hizballah has air-tight intelligence control in Lebanon, while Gaza contains collaborators like maggots in a corpse.

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Letter to Editor, CNN Money – Why Won't President Obama's Stimulus Work

February 8th, 2009

Zahir Ebrahim

In reference to your article of January 13, 2009 'Bernanke: More bank bailouts needed', perhaps Dr. Bernanke, Ph.D. 1979 from my alma mater, has an altogether different agenda because he can't obviously be an imbecile. An expensive MIT education does not create crétins. It can however, create hectoring hegemons.

As Mr. Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute recently observed to Alex Jones:

“We are going to go into a depression worse than the Great Depression, and here is why. There is a way to get out of this but not through fiscal or monetary stimulus”

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Time for a National 'March on Wall Street' to Nationalize the Banks

February 8th, 2009

Eric Sommer

The time has come for a nationwide U.S. "March on Wall Street'. This march should be organized on a nation-wide basis inside the U.S. by the broadest possible coalition of progressive political organizations, trade unions, anti-poverty, anti-racist, anti-foreclosure, and environmental groups.. It should bring people from throughout the U.S. to culminate in a gigantic rally in Wall Street in New York.

The march can be organized around seven or so simple and clear points, such as:

1. Nationalize the Banking system and ban the use of exotic financial instruments such as derivatives.

2. Use nationalization to create Banking 'of, by, and for the people'

3. Use nationalization to ramp up the economy towards full employment.

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Israelis are living high on US expense account

February 8th, 2009

Michael Backman

[The Australian paper The Age subserviently scrubbed this article by Michael Backman. -In fact, ALL of his articles there now have been scrubbed ("Sorry, no articles matching Backman were found"). Below is the column in question.]

There's a memorable scene in the Stephen Spielberg film “Munich”. After the 1972 Munich Olympic Games killings of Israeli athletes, Prime Minister Golda Meir tells confidants she wants to show the plotters that killing Jews "is expensive". She then organises for the assassination of each of the plotters.

Today, it is Israel itself that has become expensive. Most directly, it is very expensive to the US, which subsidises and arms it.

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If not fascism, what is?

February 8th, 2009

Khalid Amayreh


A vandalised Israeli Labour billboard in the build-up to
the 10 February elections showing Labour leader Barak,
Likud leader Netanyahu, with Kadima leader Livni's face
painted over, presumably as public displays of the female
form and face are frowned upon by Ultra Orthodox Jews.

Rehabilitating Hitler…in Israel: Without censure, a growing current in Israeli politics is calling for the outright killing of Palestinians.

His name is Avigdor Lieberman and he is widely expected to be the main surprise of the Israeli elections, slated to take place 10 February.

Many Israeli intellectuals dub Lieberman as the secular equivalent of Meir Kahana, the slain founder of the Kach terrorist group who advocated genocidal ethnic cleansing of non-Jews in Israel-Palestine. Kahana was assassinated in Manhattan, New York, in 1990 shortly after giving a speech in which he called for the annihilation and expulsion of Palestinians from "the Land of Israel".

According to most opinion polls, Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, or "Israel is our Home", is projected to win 16-17 Knesset seats out of 120 making up the Israeli parliament. This would allow Yisrael Beiteinu to overtake the Labour Party, led by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, to become the third largest party in the Israeli political system, after the Likud and Kadima parties. Lieberman's party will likely be a chief coalition partner in the next Israeli government.

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The War on Terror is a Hoax

February 7th, 2009

Paul Craig Roberts


"the war on terror is a hoax, major conspiracy in progress,
qui bono?"
- seen it in a couple places, this one near Göte-
borgs Konstmuseet. [Click on pic to enlarge.]

Why No Neocon Assassinations? Because The War On Terror Is A Hoax.

According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.

If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harassments when they fly. The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.

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Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkish Movie director

February 7th, 2009

Kourosh Ziabari & Ahmadreza Tavassoli

[INTERVIEW:] Spirituality, that which clearly elucidaties the adherence of moral codes and observance of human ethics, could be presumably a sublime concept which has almost lost its meaning in the chaotic and turbulent world of the 21st century.

The superficial, pervasive joys of material love and the shallow entertainments of modern the citizen who does not tolerate the sermons and preaches anymore, scrambling to be extricated from the shackles and impediments of tradition has seemingly destructed the fundamentals of humanity and belief.

Semih Kaplanoglu is a devout Turkish playwright and cinema director whose contributions to the spiritual cinema has long impressed the global audiences and brought him a set of international honors.

This committed Turkish artist must be presented as an exemplary template of promising dexterity in the service of humanity and the fate of transcendent craftsmanship.

Full story »

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