Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8092 (since 2009-12-29 19:42:59)

Showing comments 2600 - 2501

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • "... Well, it’s always helpful to pose as a martyr for the truth in these contexts. Just as the idea that everything you ever heard is absolutely wrong."

      LeaNder, you're fighting the wrong battle with the wrong person; I was never an admirer of Hitler's legacy. Nonetheless, the 1933 boycott is a fascinating subject and to shy away from it by ignoring it, ridiculing it, belittling it, or throwing some Hitlerisms at it is to also pose as a martyr.

      The Jewish boycott of German business yielded results, according to Edwin Black's book on the Transfer Agreement about a negotiated arrangement in 1933 between Zionist organizations and the Nazis to transfer some 50,000 Jews, and $100 million of their assets, to Jewish Palestine in exchange for stopping the worldwide Jewish-led boycott threatening to topple the Hitler regime in its first year. His book that covers the Jewish boycott that appears to be spooking some here was prefaced by former New York Times Books editor-in-chief Edward T. Chase, and contained a powerful new Afterword by Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham H. Foxman. Excerpts were published in the Jewish Virtual Library linked in an above post as well as in the Nizkor Project that's dedicated to the memory of holocaust victims:

      link to

    • Annie, that's interesting, not because of the unreliable Wiki, but because looking into this, I see Wiki is copying the March 15, 1937 date from the Jewish Virtual Library:

      wrongly dated photo
      link to

      But, another Jewish Virtual Library article by Edwin Black titled "Could We Have Stopped Hitler?" has the correct March 27, 1933 date. It's an interesting article that also covers the Transfer Agreement that Yourstruly mentioned below but that I didn't get into because I was concentrating on boycotts:

      link to

      By the way, Yourstruly had posted a comment on the same subject and when I responded to it, my post was rejected and Yourstruly's was deleted. Also, the AJHS link you are talking about is the subject of the discussion with Shmuel

    • "If that isn’t apology for genocide playing on racist stereotypes, it’s pretty close, and I don’t blame Phil and Adam for not wanting to allow such discussions here in the first place."

      Hi Shmuel, I'm glad you cleared up the racism thing; my answer was about to go out and I've had to delete half of it after your post scriptum. I don't take much anything from anyone on face value, especially from the likes of scumbags like Goebbels. I got into this subject simply out of my curiosity of history and to reach the 2 sources I listed, I had to dig for them through several sites of dubious caliber that were probably playing the anti-Jewish racist angle, but the two sites I cited, especially the respectable AJHS one discussed the issue from a historical perspective with no hidden agenda.

      BTW, where this came from was from the Cobban thread of about 2 weeks back about some anti-BDS professor bad-mouthing Barghoutti's intentions and had branded him a Nazi boycotter of sorts. To this, I had responded, that the Jews had started first with the boycotts and provided the AJHS link but my post was refused. The moderator probably thought I was trying to score something but had he read the AJHS link I provided, he'd have seen this was not my intent.

      Shmuel, I believe that if you re-read the AJHS article with an open mind, you'd see where I'm coming from. I can understand how seeing the word "Goebbels" in an article can turn you completely off and I can't blame you for feeling this way. But this should not stand in the way of exploring a historical fact that so far you consider merely a footnote in the history of the period. I guess you can say I'm into this for the chicken or the egg answer to a question concerning boycotts, and in no way having anything to do with pinning the cause of the war on the Jews. As far as I'm concerned, those that caused the war were those people that drafted the Versailles and the Nazis took it from there. As to the mere footnote issue you raised, I leave you with a small passage from the American Jewish History Society article:

      "... On March 27th, the AJCongress and its allies convened simultaneous protest rallies at Madison Square Garden in New York, in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland and 70 other locations. The New York rally was broadcast worldwide. An overflow crowd of 55,000 inside the Garden and in the streets outside heard AJCongress president Bernard Deutsch, American Federation of Labor president William Green, Senator Robert F. Wagner, former New York governor Al Smith and several Christian clergy call for an immediate cessation of the brutal treatment being inflicted on German Jewry."

    • Hi Danaa, I learned a few things from JB, especially about Lebanon that he covered at a time of war and his description of the games of chicken the Israeli military were playing with the US marines in Beirut. There has to be something defective about the Israeli military. The Germans and French that had joined the UNIFIL peacekeeping force to protect Israel after the 2006 war were repeatedly mock-attacked by the Israeli air force. At one point, the French were seconds away from launching a missile at an Israeli plane. What makes Israelis act like that?

    • "This comment sounds like you want hasbarists so we can talk to them about things, in which case it was fine to respond to Richard.

      ... I would actually welcome seeing debate and discussion between anti-Zionists, various forms of Zionists, and also discussion of other developments in the Arab and/or Muslim world that have little directly to do with Israel, but by people who are experts. "

      Yes, Donald, I welcome posts by eee, hophmi, WJ., Werdine and even Witty because they break the monotony of the talk about the Zionists and Israelis. Like you, I also welcome discussions about other Mid-East issues that don't have anything to do with Israel. This blog advertises itself as a war of ideas about the Middle East but all that is ever talked about are Israel, Zionists and more Zionists and whatever else that has to do with Israel. It's mostly an Israel discussion group with not much interest in anything else, a glance at the titles of articles here shows it. Palestine is discussed only when something is done to it by Israel.

    • Shmuel, you want to disprove that which you haven't yet read. Gil-White has his bio on his site and he states there that he was fired from the University of Pennsylvania (I think) because his reasearch into American foreign policy was getting too close for the university's comfort, I guess somewhat like what happened with JB's research.

      You skipped over my primary source, which was the American Jewish Historical Society and you didn't say if this society was in the same class as the other one you found dubious, the Barnes Review.

      I'm trying to remember a third credible source where I read that the initial January 1933 boycotting of Jewish businesses by the Nazis that preceded the massive and violent national boycott against Jews of April 1, 1933 according to prominent Jews, had been grossly exaggerated. It was that alleged exaggeration that kicked-off the public call by Jews at the Madison Square Garden rally on March 27th to massively boycott German goods to bring Germany to its knees that provoked the retaliatory boycott of April 1st by the Nazis.

      What you'll find in Gil-White's piece, are the fine details of what happened between the American Jews' decision of March 12 to call for the boycott, the subsequent efforts by European Jews, some American Jewish leaders and the German Zionists to short-circuit the planned boycott because they feared the repercussions, the actual official announcement of the boycott on March 27th in front of 40,000 attendees at MSG, and Germany's reaction of April 1st.

    • "... dubious source?"

      Shmuel, thanks for answering, I got it from the American Jewish Historical Society; in a nutshell:
      a. Nazis came to power on January 30, 1933
      b. Nazis imediately began harrassing Jewish businesses
      c. Jews in the USA declared economic war on Germany March 12, 1933
      d. European Jewish leaders try to stop the Jewish boycott March 19, 1933
      e. Nazis react with violent boycott of Jewish businesses April 1, 1933

      American Jewish Historical Society's link I had provided in my initial post:
      link to

      A more detailed review of the dramatic back and forth trans Atlantic goings-on between pro and anti Jewish leaders and the part about the Paris meeting of March 19th to block the boycott and a short history on the assimilation of Jews in Germany provided by Francisco Gil-White's Historical and Investigative Research blog:
      link to

    • "You apparently do not know what the word “antisemitism” means. "

      Newclench, given the history of how this term originated and in which circumstances it was used, I'm always amazed how much it's being used by Jews themselves to describe what in plain language signifies "Jew-hater". At times I feel some actually get some thrill or other using that term to describe others they dislike. I find it insulting for Jews to be using it instead of the much more descriptive "Jew-hater".

    • "Phil, is there truth to what Jeff was trying to discuss, or do you believe his position to be patently false?"

      The same question keeps going through my mind about my 3 rejected posts that dealt with the 1933 Jewish worldwide call to boycott German goods. If such an event was false, I'd appreciate someone setting me straight about it.

    • Thanks for the answer, Annie.

    • jewishgoyim, Witty's highjacking happened only because others jumped on the opportunity to start stoning him. Witty simply dropped a stink bomb and the people that responded to it were the ones fueling the threadjacking. I think he actually added colour here, especially when James North gave us his English interpretations of Witty's posts. With most of the hasbarists gone, we're left all talking to each other about the things we already know.

    • "To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of organised calls to Palestinian civilians, by Palestinian or other Arab leaders, in print or on radio, to leave their homes in order to make way for the victorious Arab forces. "

      Shmuel and Annie, I only used that as an example but it wasn't organized calls to evacuate. As Annie said, not many Americans know what the nakba is about, but preventing people like eee from talking about it is also taking away from me an opportunity to refute it and give someone that had never heard of it the opportunity of learning about it. The same argument should apply to the benefit of a Jew refuting someone's argument about the collusion of the Zionists with the Nazis and this argument has nothing to do with denying the holocaust. Speaking for myself, I believe the holocaust did happen but why can't I discuss the Zionist collusion as it concerns it?

    • Annie, why is it that someone can dictate what you can or cannot deny? If someone wants to deny something or other about the Nakba, he has a right to do so. There is so much misinformation and disinformation flying back and forth by both Palestinians and Jews about what happened, what appears as a denial to one person may be the gospel truth to another. If for example eee is adamant that all the Palestinians fled of their free will, is he to be condemned for it? I just read above from Shmuel that the story of Palestinians having left at the request of their leaders is a canard; I'm sure that some Palestinians did. Maybe not many, but some did, so does that make me a denier? This concern about Nakba denial is the same one that prevents honest discussions about Zionism and about the holocaust. Saying that such and such a subject is off-limits doesn't make sense.

    • Sean, I've had 3 posts on the same subject refused here because the moderators didn't find them fit for this site and while my pride took a beating for it, I respected their decision. To have re-posted them on a parallel site would have been of little value since it was here and within the context of what was being discussed that they had a meaning.

    • "Also Jeff sought to have a discussion of the Jewish historical role in the rise of the Nazis in Germany here. As we have made clear, this is not a subject we want any part of. It generally leads to anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, which we won't tolerate on the site, and unquestionably hurts our ability to reach out." (Phil)

      In the rise of Nazis, wasn't JB elaborating on the role of the Zionists in it much more than on that of the Jews in general and how does a discussion on a historical truth lead to antisemitism and holocaust denial when the actual discussion doesn't go anwhere these 2 issues?

  • Journalists Mike Murphy of NBC and Donna Brazile of CNN to speak at conference promoting Iran war
    • Donna Brazile appears often as a guest on CNN but Idon't think she works there. She's a political strategist for the Democrats and what she says will reflect what these guys are thinking.

  • Barghouthi and Erakat can reach young Americans
    • Annie, Muslims don't believe that Christ was crucified. The Quran says the Christ was taken up to heaven without having been killed or crucified. Barghoutti goofed on that one and there's no excuse for it. We're always complaining how Jews keep milking the holocaust and here we have a Muslim using a Christian issue he is not supposed to believe in.

      BTW, I'm basing this on WJ's statement on what shown; I didn't see any of it either.

    • "The “complications” of Zionism notwithstanding, the Zionist project was necessitated by a coming storm.” (WJ)

      How much of the coming storm was provoked by Zionism is open to discussion. The Zionist project for Palestine was on the drawing board decades before the Third Reich was even conceived. It began with Theodor Herzl in 1895 that wrote in his diary, "we shall endeavour to expel the poor population across the border unnoticed – the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly", followed by Nachman Syrkin in 1898 in his book. Israel Zangwill got into it in it in his 1904 but became much more open about it 25 years later. In 1910, Arthur Ruppin and Leo Motzkin campaigned actively for transfer with the American Edward Norman openly joining the collective effort to transfer the Palestinians in 1933. Rothschild had gotten on board about transfers in 1929.

      In 1934, Ben-Gurion picked up the torch and began talk about transferring Bedouins of the Galilee to Syria and to Jordan. In 1937 he wrote, “Is the proposal a voluntary one or a compulsory one? It is difficult for me to believe in a compulsory transfer, and it is difficult for me to believe in a transfer by agreement.” He noted in his diary that the proposal to transfer the Arabs out of the proposed Jewish State would give a bargaining counter. “If the Arabs agree to give us the Dead Sea and the Negev - it may be worth our while to forgo their compulsory transfer from the plains, as proposed by the Commission.” In November 1937, the Jewish Agency set up a Committee for Transfer of Arabs and during the course of the following seven months this Committee regularly met, and assembled information and statistical data, in order to work out a programme for the compulsory transfer of Arabs from Palestine.

      In 1938, Ben-Gurion shifted his attention to transferring Palestinians to Iraq.
      By the end of 1938, Chaim Weizmann got into the act. He put forward the suggestion for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine to Iraq. In November 1938, just a few days after Kristallnacht, Weizmann believed that the Jews would be prepared to raise between twenty to thirty million pounds for such a scheme and it could be used to either enable Iraq to settle 300,000 Jews or to transfer 100,000 Arabs from Palestine “whose land would then pass to Jewish immigrants.”

      By that time, the British started backing away from talk of transfer but were replaced by the Americans that promoted the planned transfers in US newspapers and even the Saudis are started wondering if this wouldn't be a good thing to transfer out the Palestinians. The Iraqis had just finished a major irrigation project and were badly in need of people and cash and were considering the Zionist proposal and by the time the partition was announced, the Palestinians were ripe for transfer from all the talk and public advertisement about their impending transfer.

      All this to say that the "coming storm" you mentioned about the complications of Zionism had nothing to do with the planned transfer of Palestinians and the Americans and Iraqis you discussed were in on those plans.

    • WJ, the farhud massacres were provoked by the British but this is never mentioned because it dilutes the Zionist persecution narrative. There are more stories on how the over 200,000 Arab Jews of Iraq were happy, safe and living in harmony with other Iraqis than the story of the few hundred Jews that were massacred as a result of a British decision that provoked it and let it take place when they could have stopped it.

      Iraqi Arab-Jew Violette Shamash's story of the farhud told by her daughter:
      link to

      "... Farhud IN 1941, suddenly, the harmony that had characterised neighbourly relations between the Jews and the Muslim majority in Iraq for decades, if not generations, evaporated when Nazi sympathisers overthrew the government. The rise of Rashid Ali al-Gaylani was backed by a sinister cleric who was Britain's Most Wanted — the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had been wreaking havoc in Palestine with a campaign of terrorism against Jewish and British targets. It was a significant development no one in the community could ignore.

      Britain was on the back foot in World War II. It was losing to Germany in Greece and North Africa, suffering horrendous casualties in the Blitz and both men and material in U-boat attacks on shipping in the North Atlantic. Rashid Ali seized the moment to take sides with Berlin and deny the British the oil supplies that were vital to her war effort (the navy depended on them totally in the Mediterranean). He dispatched a force to threaten the RAF desert airbase at Habbaniya, west of Baghdad, and laid seige to the British Embassy in whose grounds some 300 terrified expatriates (among them the distinguished writer, Freya Stark) took shelter for a month. An air war raged, with cadet pilots bravely flying sortie after sortie in ancient biplanes against Iraqis in modern aircraft. It would later be hailed as the Second Battle of Britain, though their bravery has gone unrecognised.

      Furious, Churchill ordered an immediate invasion to effect regime change, even though it probably meant having to engage Hitler's forces in yet another theatre of war. Luckily, however, Berlin was slow to respond to Baghdad's calls for assistance. The RAF fought and won a brilliant battle that has been virtually forgotten by military historians, and the invading troops crossed 600 miles of desert with orders to enter and recapture Baghdad. After a historic march a forward column led by Brigadier Joe Kingstone arrived at the city gates — and halted.

      revealed: the truth behind the killings

      It was a stunning achievement against great odds. But three miles from their objective, their orders had unexpectedly changed. Although victory was theirs, for they had created a stranglehold on the city and the tyrant had fled, the triumph was deliberately muffled. Extraordinarily, one man, British Ambassador Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, had been granted the right of final decision over military as well as diplomatic matters — and the steps that he took meant no British soldier set foot in the city while the Jews were being killed in their hundreds over the two days of mayhem.

      The troops, led by the Household Cavalry, were obliged to camp on the right bank of the Tigris, well outside the city, while the left bank erupted in violence. Cornwallis — safe in his embassy on the right bank, facing the riot zone in the Old City across the river — refused pleas by his own senior staff to call them in, and they were powerless to act. Frustrated, they remained at ease in their bivouac beneath the palm trees. The senior commander, Major-General George Clark, entered the city as the ambassador's guest only once the rioting was over — quelled by Iraqi soldiers.

      The events of 1 and 2 June had apocalyptic implications for the descendants of Abraham: nothing short of the termination of 2,600 years of Jewish settlement in the land of Babylon. Yet strangely, the shameful role played by the British has never been properly investigated or explained and has forever remained an enigma, perplexing Iraqi Jews the world over.

      Now, in a final section of Memories of Eden, my husband (a former London Sunday Times journalist) exposes the truth behind the fateful events of 1941, shedding new light on the British stand and the diplomatic fiasco behind it."

      WJ, I don't believe BDS will achieve its objective but I still support it and wish it many successes because Israel deserves to be made uncomfortable. The South Africa boycott worked because the major countries supported it but these same countries are now bucking it and have enacted or are enacting laws against it. Arabs began the boycott of Jewish goods in Palestine as far back as 1920 but with little success. The only Arab country still seriously boycotting Israel is Lebanon while all the others are almost working against the boycott.

    • WJ, the part about the crucified Jesus is definitely offensive and unessential; did the rest of the presentation make sense to you?

  • Ten reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous
    • Taxi, of course a change happened here, I think this "new look" has been imposed on the guys; sort of "change or you will be shut down." As absurd as this may sound, it's still a possibility, especially the way JB was suddenly cut off without prior warning or notice. What most of us are doing here to the Zionists is harmless name calling and getting stuff off our chests but with JB, he was getting at the root of this evil and this wasn't permitted. If I'm right, I can't be angry with Phil and Adam for it and I'd actually feel bad for them because of it but I wouldn't want to have someone looking over my shoulder all the time as someone appears to be doing here. That's why I said you shouldn't be getting off the bus.

    • Cheer up, Taxi, it could be worse and not reason enough to get off the bus. I agree that some sort of normalization is happening here since it's always about evil Zionists and never about Israelis, but I'm not sure it's being done intentionally. The thing that's clear is that this is not about the Middle East as the tag says but simply about Zionists and since most are in Israel, neverending discussions about them are covering up for Israelis in general. It's not only Zionists that are stealing the Palestinians' land and water but all Israelis. Discussions on Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and so on only get fired-up inasmuch as they are incidental to Israel. Should be called the war of ideas involving Zionists. Taking Syria as an example, things have been happening there for months and it's about to become Libya II and the only real interest in it here was the story about the bogus Syrian lesbian that came up last June. Tunis, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain are in shambles, but most discussions keep covering only what the Zionists are up to.

      I read your latest comment at the other place. None of us are as free as we'd like to be and you have to take into account that even Arabs have to watch what they say if they want to continue living and working in their own community. Plainly, it's not realistic to expect a Jew to be more Arab than an Arab. What did you think of last Sunday's Abbas call to Arabs and Muslims from the US and Europe to visit Jerusalem to make Palestinians there feel they are not isolated?

  • Iran's Oscar win reveals Israeli movie-goers to be brainwashed bumpkins
    • "what is amazing about zionists is their belief about themselves that they represent the pinnacle of “western” culture, and that it is their mission to drag the backward Arab and Iranian world, kicking and screaming, into civilization."(Teta)

      Teta, I can't speak for the Iranians but I'm curious where you got the part about the Zionists' vocation or belief about bringing the Arabs into civilization. From where I'm standing, it's been the opposite all along including Zonist talk about bombing some of them back to the Stone Age and with the more benevolent Zionists wanting to set them back only 20 years.

      There was a short period back in 1919 when the top Arab had concluded with the top Zionist for the Zionists to help the Arabs in the catching-up by introducing them to European technology in exchange for giving them all of Palestine but this plan fizzed out before it took off. From that point on, the Zionists have been working at keeping the Arabs down.

      As to what the Arabs are themselves doing about where they're headed, the Arab Spring wave wasn't very much anything other than a leap back towards to where they were 92 years ago.

  • Look over there! All eyes on Iran as Israel quietly devours Area C
    • "... seems everyone big in MSM repeats the lie, no matter how many times its been shown to be a mistranslation–and taken out of context."

      I'm with you 100% on that one, Citizen, the mistranslation has been milked to the bone by Israel and its fans for 6 years. But can you explain why Nejad has not yet come out and seriously set the record straigh and put an end to this? Maybe for some unknown reason, he's doing some milking of his own. I don't believe Iran wants to destroy any country but his insouciance is distressing.

    • "... So CNN has a Israel first news producer who was fired from the CIA..."

      American, your man was Adam Ciralsky, his firsting escapade that ended in his firing was in 1998 and the network that received him was CBS. Looks like he was a better producer than a spy working for the bad guys; from Wiki:

      "His television career includes CBS News' 60 Minutes and later NBC News where, over the course of a decade, he captured broadcast journalism’s highest honors, including three Emmys, a Peabody Award for Significant & Meritorious Achievement in Broadcasting & Cable, a Polk Award for Outstanding Television Reporting, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for Breaking News & Sustained Coverage, a Loeb Award for Distinguished Business & Financial Journalism and a Barone Award for Excellence in National Affairs/Public Policy Journalism.

      Prior to his journalism career, Ciralsky was recruited to join the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) while still in law school. Described as “a wünderkind of the national security establishment”, Ciralsky began his career in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)."

      link to

      It's a shame the press in the US is not in good hands. Maybe his service to Israel may have helped him get these prizes.

    • "Berlin ruled out sending ground troops to Lebanon because that may have brought its soldiers into confrontation with Israeli soldiers, an unthinkable prospect in Germany given the Holocaust." (Merkel in Der Spiegel)

      In other words, it's evident that because of the holocaust, as far as Germany is concerned and the rest of the EU that it leads, Israel is free to do as it wishes about anything and this includes destroying solar panels, cisterns, goats, homes and so on and to directly or indirectly annex parts of Area C. Germany's guilt is affecting the rest of Europe.

    • "Yes, the Germans are so enraged I heard they sent a nuclear capable submarine to the region……. as a gift to Israel!"

      It's about guilt. It continues giving for ever and ever, somewhat as a perpetual annuity. That last sub makes it a total of 5 donated to Israel.

      In 2006 after Israel's vicious war on Lebanon, Germany contributed naval peacekeepers to the UN peacekeeping force, but it wasn't to ensure any peace in the region but in Merkel's words, to protect Israel. It was to ensure that Hizbullah was prevented from importing arms to defend the country. Excerpts from Der Spiegel:

      "...Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany's first military mission in the region since World War II was historic because it underlined the country's responsibility for protecting Israel...

      ... Addressing concerns by German opposition politicians that the military involvement would weaken Germany's position as an honest broker in the region, Merkel said: "We're not neutral and we don't want to be. German state policy hasn't been neutral ever since 1949...

      ... Berlin ruled out sending ground troops to Lebanon because that may have brought its soldiers into confrontation with Israeli soldiers, an unthinkable prospect in Germany given the Holocaust. Instead, it has agreed to lead an international maritime task force patrolling Lebanon's coast and will contribute eight vessels to it, including two frigates equipped with helicopters, two supply ships and four speedboats...

      ... Ahead of the vote, the leader of the main opposition party FDP, Guido Westerwelle, said he opposed the mission because it couldn't be ruled out that German troops may come into conflict with Israelis... The fact that we have a special responsibility that stems from the greatest crime in German history is undisputed in this house," he told the Bundestag. "We are not neutral as regards Israel, we mustn’t be and we don’t want to be. German soldiers must be spared confrontation with Israeli soldiers or citizens..."

      link to

    • "... Because the US zionist and Israel firsters ‘buy’ our politicians and dictate our Israel ME policy and the politicians force US taxpayers to then finance their crimes and prevent any other countries or institutions from doing anything about it."

      It's all there in your subconscience, American, you're almost touching it. If you'd put aside the absurd shitty little state wagging the dog scenario, you'd finally see who is calling the shots and allowing stuff to hapen. Who is it again that's controlling what you read or don't read in the press?

  • Newark mayor and Yale president slam NYPD spying program
    • I'm in a target area. Ben's Delicatesen; you even use the same example as Peter King. You must really look up to this guy. The war on terror was cooked up by Israelis and Israeli sympathisers in the US, just like Frum's "Axis of Evil" slogan.

      Try taking into account the evil cataloguing of Jews by the Nazis; they too were sure they were doing the right thing.

    • Halthouse, I read your article on 911 and how you justified NYPD's actions and you may not know it but you are a sick Islamophobe. If you want to quote sleazebags why settle on a petty lackey like P. King instead of going all the way to the top and quote Netanyahu and his memorable "911 was good for Israel". The war on terror was declared because Israel and its friends said so. Your little story failed to mention why 911 happened. Maybe you don't care because the answer may not be good for Israel.

    • Here's a story about a Lebanese Muslim you won't find in the American press. It's about a guy who may have saved Obama's life back in November at the Cannes G20. He got an FBI medal but no recognition in the US press because it goes against the narrative being pushed; from a Nice-Matin translated article that appeared on a Nice English blog :

      Cannes Kebab Vendor Saves President Obama

      Posted on February 18, 2012 by Best of Nice Blog

      (Bilal Herche. Photo by Serge Haouzi, Nice-Matin)

      It happened the day before the G-20 Summit last November, when tensions were high and Cannes was zipped up tight as a drum: barricades, badge-only entry, missile protection systems, bomb squads, sniper teams, and spy satellites. It seems that a hungry FBI agent popped into to Al Charq, a Middle-Eastern take-away joint, but in his rush to get a sandwich to-go, left a file on the counter… Not just any file mind you, it was an Ultra-Classified-Top-Secret dossier with every detail of President Obama’s trip to the G-20 Summit.

      The file folder didn’t look like anything special, so when snack shop manager Bilal Herche innocently opened it up… merde! First page: detailed map of the 5th floor of the Hotel Carlton with President Obama’s room and evacuation plans. Second page: President Obama’s minute-by-minute schedule. Pages on the exact routes to be taken by the convoys, lists and info on the agents on the Presidential security detail. Everything.

      What would you do? And if you were Lebanese? Muslim? With a passport on the U.S. No-Fly List because you were from a country considered a Terrorist State? After 2 hours of nerve-wracking indecision, Bilal called the main FBI number that he found on the internet. A surrealist conversation ensued as Bilal tried to explain what he had in broken Arabic-accented English to a skeptical agent at desk somewhere in Washington, no doubt rolling his eyes. Finally the agent asked him to read the first page of the document… Silence. Then: “Don’t move: we’re on our way!” No address needed, the cellphone had been geolocalized and in minutes two men-in-black burst through the door. Even these jaded top-level FBI agents could not suppress gasping “Oh my god…” upon opening the dossier.

      An hour later, the original hungry FBI agent was on a plane back to Washington, while poor Bilal was undergoing full interrogation: Who gave him this file? Whom did he show it to? Who knows about it? Where are the copies? The FBI team acknowledged that, obviously, all Lebanese are not terrorrists, but they still kept a close eye on him by eating kebabs and falafels for lunch and dinner for the next 4 days.

      The G-20 having passed without a hitch, Bilal was sent an official FBI medal of honor in recognition that without him, a sandwich could have cost the life of the President.

      link to

  • Sanity check on Iran
    • "I was asking about an invasion."

      Sorry about that, here's a map that shows American bases starting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and other countries across the Gulf, to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey that have borders with Iran. Most of these countries wouldn't object to an invasion from their soil or coast. Of course Israel wouldn't have the manpower for an invasion. See map in link:

      link to

    • "Invade? Invade Iran? Just how would Israel manage to do that? Aren’t there some countries in the way?"

      lysias, the countries in the way and those surrounding Iran contain about 50 American (and by extension Israeli) bases and it would be a piece of cake to change the markings on US planes to make them appear Israeli. This stunt involving Israel was pulled once before in 1956 when Israel and the UK joined France's war on Egypt when France landed 12 Mysteres on an Israeli desert base and painted over the tricolor circle markings with a Star of David before the bombing to make the planes appear Israeli. I'm sure over the years this gimmick has been pulled over and over by various countries. Excerpt from the History Learning Site:

      "... On October 28th, Israel launched a secret strike on Egypt – so secret that for years the Egyptians had no idea as to what had happened. Israeli intelligence had found out via a spy when and where an aeroplane carrying senior Egyptian military commanders would be flying. It was shot down killing all on board. Many in Egypt believed it to have been a tragic accident.

      At the same time, twelve French fighter jets flew from Cyprus to Israel. Dayan was concerned about the aerial strength of the Egyptian air force and the French fighters were a guarantee against this. The fighter planes were given Israeli markings and the French pilots given the appropriate documentation.

      On October 29th, 395 Israeli paratroopers were dropped in the Sinai Desert – about twenty miles from the Suez Canal... "

      link to

    • "It would appear that the American public is not spooking."

      Thomson, the spooking part was only part of it; the other part has to do with rallying around the flag and behind the President in a time of war. If so many were polled as being for the bombing, it makes their rallying that much easier and it would bring Obama that much closer to the other candidates that with exception of Paul are pushing to bomb Iran. Whether Obama does it himself or through proxy Israel, the end result on the American electorate would be the same. Americans would not be averse to having their government jumping in to support Israel in a war on Iran; it's been supporting it in all its escapades since 1967. Did you check out Citizen's link to the Counterpunch article on the Yom Kippur War?

    • "Obama wants reelection and I don’t believe he wants unpredictable things getting in the way. "

      MHughes, during a time of war, don't Americans always stand behind their president irrespective of how lousy he is? If Obama wants a 100% chance of being reelected, his best bet is to have a war or to have the people spooked out of their wits about the prospect of one which is now being fueled day and night by Israel. Didn't Bush II take Bin Ladin out of mothballs for his reelection and every time he was in a tight spot? Now the spook is Iran and after that, the likely candidate to be framed for the cause would be Chavez.

    • I had just read the Counterpunch Yom Kippur War article, Citizen, and it was a shocker. I was starting to get used to stories of connivance between Arabs and Jews on the backs of Palestinians but this amour à trois involving Arabs, Jews and the US in a make-believe war that killed thousands just to boost America's and Sadat's popularity is hard to stomach.

      The NYT's "Obama administration officials and intelligence professionals seem eager to calm the feverish language" is more along the lines of the Counterpunch article. People have to be naive to believe this BS about the US not wanting to see Iran bombed while the mad Netanyahu is dying to do it. The US and Israel are playing good cop-bad cop games on this and on top of it, you have Ahmadinejad going out of his way to piss-off everyone with his rhetoric while the Ayatollah re-issues fatwas condemning nuclear arms.

      A better title for this thread would have been "Naivety Check on Iran"

  • Why young Palestinians chant the word 'thawra'
    • "... so not all canadians are etiolated and bland"

      You've been hanging around the wrong crowd, gamal.

    • "... American Jewish and Christian Zionists are accomplices to Israel, the murderer, and most of the rest of us Americans are complicit."

      I'm guessing that it's because American Jews are constantly made to feel guilty by Israelisl the Christian Zionists are happy to have Israel empty the land of non-Jews to pave the way for you kow what.

    • "Libyans and Syrians took up arms and through VIOLENCE have garnered the recognition and assistance of NATO, ISRAEL AND THE GCC!!"

      The view is different from my angle, kalithea. Libyans and Syrians had been going around in circles and making up stories about Gadaffi strafing civilians and the Syrian regime capturing lesbians when NATO, Israel and the GCC convinced them that they had a valid cause and needed the assistance.

    • Danaa, maybe it's being done unwittingly, but the pointing of the finger at the evils of Zionists and settlers rather than on Israelis is serving only to normalize what the rest of Israelis are doing. There aren't many distinctions between Israelis and Zionists on issues of land and water thefts. They're all guilty.

    • Annie, so many rumours and so much propaganda flying back and forth from all sides, it has made it impossible to distinguish facts from bogus stories. This week there were stories of 5000 ex-blackwater guys training Libyans and Iraqis inside Jordan for fighting in Syria and 750 tons of Israeli military supplies shipped to Jordan for use in Syria. The numbers are surely super inflated but no one can say if it's true and no one can say it's not but thinking on how the UAE has contracted with Erik Prince to constitute an army of mercenaries for the UAE and how Israel has free use of America's stockpile of 3000 tons of arms at Ashdod, it makes you wonder.

      link to

    • "Intelligence Online is reporting a major shift of Israeli forces from Georgia and Turkey to Azerbaijan with weapons transfers as bribes."

      Numbers may be off, but there has to be something burning behind all that smoke being spewed at RT, AlBawaba, Debka etc; the rumbles in and with Syria and Iran are turning into old fashioned ones between the US and Russia:

      link to

    • "... After all every IDF soldier is a murderer for you."

      It's not just the soldiers, dimadok, but almost every Israeli living off the fruits of stolen land, stolen water and stolen lives.

    • Translation: "it ain't gonna happen."

    • "Thawra" doesn't only mean "revolution" but has several meanings resembling each other to a degree. Phil insinuated that he is for one but he was clear that he wasn't endorsing a non-peaceful transition. He was surely thinking of one along the lines of a thawra-bayda, a bloodless white thawra. What type of thawra was Doraed hoping for? The thawras of Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan were all different from each other. Doraed also mentioned the word "intifada" that means uprising, revolt, upheaval.

      The many meanings of "thawra": revolution, rebellion, revolt, uprising, insurrection, insurgence, eruption, outbtreak, outburst, flare-up, excitement, agitation, upheaval, commotion, uproar.

  • Israeli spokesman Mark Regev grilled on CNN International over Khader Adnan
    • Which one are you talking about, Pixel, Hala Gorani or Arwa Damon, because one of them has the quality you described while the other doesn't. The only thing they have in common other than working for CNN is their Syrian roots.

      Another great CNN straight shooter is Rosemary Church that took to task the Mark Regev clone, Miri Eisen. It was in 2006 after the second Israeli Qanaa massacre with the IDF spokeswoman making cocker spaniel eyes (à la Regev) while lying through her phony tears and concerns:

    • Good article on Damon, Chu, she always has a stunned look on her face as if she just saw a ghost. Her report today is from Homs (so she says and probably filmed it at a border camp in northern Lebanon close to the Syrian border) and you see a darkened apartment with about 4 families living there along with about 32 kids. The following video shows today's report about impending starvation, her stunned look, dozens of kids and alternates between shots of dozens and dozens of bags of rice and flour being brought into a darkened basement with people on top of each other complaining about dying of starvation (with smiles on their faces) and the well lit upstairs with the insurgent fighter being interviewed:

    • Shingo and mikeo, I didn't say I liked the guy and it's obvious that his false messages are not believed by people like us or by informed reporters. Still, for the average guy that's not too informed about the conflict and that buys into the little sliver of land surrounded by bloodthirsty Arabs BS, Regev's message is well received. As such, he's efficient.

      Jon Snow really rattled the guy in your video, mikeo. It was fun seeing him squirm. Another great video is CNN's Rosemarie Church in 2006 wiping the floor with the spokeswoman that was trying to sweep the second Canaa massacre under the rug.

    • CNN's credibility? Gorani did her best against snake oil salesman Regev; one has to think back to the 2010 CNN firing of its 20-year service senior editor, Octavia Nasr, for having tweeted her condolences at the death of a 75-year old Lebanese humanitarian Shia Imam with minor spiritual ties to Hizbullah.

      I stay tuned to CNN to see its reporters, Damon and Watson, on the current Syrian conflict trying to outdo each other on how dour and distressed they appear when the camera starts rolling since their reporting is restricted to the pro-US/Israel side of the conflict. Their biased reporting on Syria is not important but the ominous look on their faces from a Beirut roof garden since several months was pure drama. This week they are inside Syria with the Syrian opposition forces reporting on how many babies are being killed by government forces. TV journalists probably wish they were actors; things are serious enough in Syria with dozens of people getting killed daily so the showbiz effects being put on by CNN are redundant. Whether Syrian state TV showing only the state's slanted message or CNN peddling the US State Dept one, TV stations and networks are propaganda tools. It's like the pro-NATO coverage of Libya or the anti-Mubarak one of Egypt. One has to be leery of coverage when it's campaigning for only one side of a conflict, no mater which side.

      Regev's job is to come on TV to sweep ugly stuff under the rug and regrettably, the guy's good at it.

  • Troubled Jeopardy!: Travels through Trebekistan
    • Couldn't figure out if Nima's message was about Trebek's freebie trip to Israel or if it's about the word games Israel played with its Gaza bogus pullout. Either way, couldn't help feeling annoyed at reading about the evil ones having the PR smarts and the necessary cash to ferry Trebek and his crew on a PR junket while during the same period, Gulf Arabs are ordering $123 billion-worth of military hardware from the US and not giving a thought to investing a small amount into a similar freebie trip for Trebek or others like him to benefit the Palestinian cause.

      link to

  • In Jerusalem, the Nakba is a fresh memory
  • A lull on this site
    • "Walid, I wouldn’t ever expect you to be censored. "

      Chu, it happened the first time about a year ago and frankly, I was happy my embarrassing post was refused because I shouldn't have written it. It was witty but in poor taste.

      The refusal happened again a couple of weeks back, thrice, on a subject that I guess had suddenly become taboo as it dealt with a factual historical issue that in my opinion had nothing to do with things antisemitic or even Israel as it didn't exist in 1933, especially since I had quoted respectable sources. I decided to drop it because such issues and others like them are probably needlessly putting a lot of community heat on Phil and Adam. I've been following the friendfeed.

      Dan, I had one of those moments but it left me more perplexed than crushed; someone said I was like Pam Geller because I was criticizing Arabs on something and I guess criticism of Arabs by an Arab was a novelty here. I've run out of nasty things to say about Zionists and tired of going over and over the same issues about them. I'm more concerned about the plight of the Palestinians that have been getting shafted by friends and foes since 90 years than I am about beating up on Zionists. Some here don't realize or don't care that there's a difference.

    • Danaa, my initial 3-liner to you here was not intended as a platform to declare another open season on Donald; it was simply my insight on the change in moderating policy being discussed on this thread. Whatever that policy was, there seems to be a general agreement that this was kicked-off by Slater's piece followed by Donald's plea for civility and a lot of guys taking out their frustration with Slater on Donald. It was after this episode that the new rules came out and people started getting banned without warning and you hinted at something beyond Phil and Adam being behind this new policy. Absurdly, it appears to be OK to continue calling Zionists names, but no longer OK to discuss certain historical root issues about them such as those the savy JB was in the custom of doing, or the similarly oriented posts that were refused to me, since neither have anything to do with antisemitic comments that should not be appearing here.

      Thomson, you asked me a question and proceeded to write your own answer to it and concluded where I'm not at; saved me the effort of answering you, especially since your mind is already made up.

    • "The commentariat here is a little ghetto and it’s not always very healthy." (Donald)

      The ghetto is the anti-Zionist cult that feeds on the neverending daily dose of evils committed against Palestinians. I still haven't figured out what's behind this passion and the Palestinian torch they are carrying. D. Samel's term, "inauthentic" that he used elsewhere keeps ringing in my ears.

    • "... could it be I know a little more than meets the eye? " (Danaa)

      Evidently there is something going on more than meets the eye. It started with the unjust stoning of Donald when he made his plea for civility, a message that he seemed to be also carrying on behalf of others.

  • Praying while Shi'a: the NYPD's latest religious profiling scandal
    • That's not profiling, that's ignorance. New York's finest still haven't figured out that both attacks on the World Trade Center did not involve Iranians and did not involve any Shia either. And neither was the proposed new NYC mosque that caused such a stir. That's really barking up the wrong tree.

  • Israeli police shoot international activist in the neck during weekly Nabi Saleh protest
    • "Walid, what’s Israel going to do to France? Bomb them??"

      No, Justice, worse than that, it will spook them, shame them and use the their ultimate weapon, the guilt. It worked on the Swiss and it's still working on the Germans.

    • Chaos, I think the French will not be going out of their way to piss-off the Israelis. With these records and admissions, it will cost the French to buy the peace more than it cost the Swiss. After all the Swiss weren't accused of having helped in the killing of anyone, and they still paid over a billion in compensation. For Israel, compensation flows only in the direction towards Israel and never from Israel.

    • The idea is right, Justice, but the timing is wrong. Yesterday, the French National Railways provided the totality of its records of the years 1939-1945 to the French Holocaust Memorial in Paris, to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Last fall in Florida in front of a Jewish lobby, the Railways President, Guillaume Pepy apologized and accepted responsabilty for the company having transported 20,000 Jews to their death in 1943 and 1944 and 76,000 French Jews to extermination camps in freight cars between 1942 and 1944. Pepy made the public apology on behalf of the French Railways only to an American Jewish audience to be allowed to bid along with Alstom on the planned Orlando-Tampa fast rail line worth tens of billions $ and he is being pressured to repeat it in Europe but he hasn't.

      I'm guessing something is being prepared for the French along the lines of what happened to the Swiss a few years ago, so I don't think you'll be seeing much of a reaction from the French to what happened to the French woman at Nabi Saleh.

      link to

      link to

  • So the U.S. military doesn't want to attack Iran and neither does Israel. Who does?
    • Close, Chaos, Israel's bombing of the synagogue was the Magen Avraham in Beirut in 1982; actually, the synagogue's roof was hit by a shell from an offshore Israeli ship to nudge some of Beirut's Jews into leaving. Of the few hundreds that did leave, most refused to go to Israel or to have anything to do with that country and they went to Europe, Canada and the US. In Baghdad, it was the Jewish market in 1951.

  • The BDS movement grows in Italy
    • "And congratulations were expressed for the progress on the Stop Sodastream campaign and the victories against Agrexco."

      A big BRAVO to BDS Italy and Europe for having put out Agrexco's lights and for getting Deutsche Bahn to abandon its participation in building the Jerusalem TA line across stolen Palestinian land. BDS should be targeting all of Israel and not just the part that has something to do with the occupation.

  • Why we should be furious the Haditha massacre Marines got no jail time
    • "... graft Israel to America’s involvent in Iraq..." ???

      What's to graft? I thought America was in Iraq because of Israel.

    • Hostage, the part that left the biggest impression on me from your link was"

      "The United States will not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over United States nationals."

      Elsewhere, I read:

      "A senior U.S. military official confirmed the departure, (from Iraq)" Lara Jakes and Rebecca Santana said. -- The refusal of Iraqis to negotiate a SOFA (status of forces agreement) protecting U.S. troops from legal prosecution was behind the decision, Jakes and Santana said. -- But the AP report prompted quick denials from the White House and the Pentagon, Reuters and Politico reported."

      I read from your link to the State Dept explanation that US refuses to be part of the ICC because it may be called upon to help with humanitarian missions and so on. What's that all about?

    • "That is not the same thing as giving military training to the Kurds in Northern Iraq."

      Be patient, P-Z; the pissed-off government guy I saw in the TV interview talking about these Israeli goons said they were about to be flushed out and he wasn't as polite as the NYT when he was talking about it. Would there be a better cover for these Israeli muscle men than working as security agents and how thin is the line that separates Americans and American-Israelis working in Iraq or Beirut? Israeli commandos have been hired for security jobs in the US so why not in Iraq?

    • US military is acting more and more like that other most moral military in the world since in Iraq, it was trained in house-to-house searches by the experienced IDF that had mastered the art of using human shields. It's therefore normal to see the US military not punishing its military for Haditha, just Israel doesn't punish its military for anything committed against Arabs.

      The Blackwater massacre at the Nissour Square in Baghdad was also dismissed and relatively light sentences given to those 6 US soldiers that were involved in the gang rape of 14-year old Abir Qassim and her consequent murder and that of her family at Mahmoudieh.

      It's understandable that the US chose to leave Iraq because Iraq wouldn't give the US military immunity from prosecution. Maybe if the US allowed other countries to prosecute US military criminals or if it joined the ICC, its soldiers would start behaving differently. Until that happens, there will be other incidents like at Haditha.

    • proudzionist and dimadok, you wanted details about Israelis operating in Iraq; looks like you've already forgotten all about Mossad's escapade in Dubai and Israel's bragging about having killed the Iranian scientists. A recent article from about 3 weeks back containing several links to its sources:

      link to

      Israeli Mossad training Iranian exiles in Kurdistan: French newspaper
      January 11, 2012

      A leading French newspaper has claimed that Israeli intelligence agents are recruiting and training Iranian dissidents in clandestine bases located in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Paris-based daily Le Figaro, France’s second-largest national newspaper, cited a “security source in Baghdad”, who alleged that members of Israeli intelligence are currently operating in Iraq’s autonomous northern Kurdish region. According to the anonymous source, the Israelis, who are members of the Mossad, Israel’s foremost external intelligence agency, are actively recruiting Iranian exiles in Kurdistan. Many of these Iranian assets, who are members of Iran’s Kurdish minority and opposed to the Iranian regime, are allegedly being trained by the Mossad in spy-craft and sabotage. The article in Le Figaro claims that the Iranian assets are being prepared for conducting operations inside the energy-rich country, as part of Israel’s undercover intelligence war against Iran’s nuclear energy program. The Baghdad source told the French daily that part of Israel’s sabotage program against sensitive Iranian nuclear facilities, which includes targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear experts, is directed out of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, “where [Mossad] agents have stepped up their penetration”. For this, “the Israelis are using Kurdish oppositionists to the regime in Iran, who are living are refugees in the Kurdish regions of Iraq”, the source told Le Figaro. Although the article makes no mention of official or unofficial sanction of the Israeli operations by the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, it implies that the alleged Mossad activities are an open secret in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is not the first time that allegations have surfaced in the international press about Israeli intelligence activities in Kurdistan. In 2006, the BBC flagship investigative television program Newsnight obtained strong evidence of Israeli operatives providing military training to Kurdish militia members. The program aired video footage showing Israeli expects drilling members of Kurdish armed groups in shooting techniques and guerrilla tactics. The Israeli government denied having authorized any such training, while Iraqi Kurdish officials refused to comment on the report. But Israeli security experts told the BBC that it would be virtually impossible for Israeli trainers to operate inside Iraqi Kurdistan “without the knowledge of the Kurdish authorities”. More recently, in September of 2010, the government of Lebanon arrested three Kurds in Jounieh, a coastal town 15 kilometers north of Beirut, which it accused of working for Israeli intelligence. All three were members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a secessionist armed group fighting for an independent Kurdish homeland in Turkey’s far-eastern Anatolia region.

      From Al Arabiya
      link to

      Israeli Mossad recruiting Iranian exiles in Iraq’s Kurdish region: report

      Tuesday, 10 January 2012
      By Al Arabiya

      The Israeli spy agency Mossad is using Iranian exiles living in the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan to target Iranian nuclear experts and sabotage the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, says an Iraqi security official quoted by the French daily Le Figaro.

      “The Mossad agents have increased their infiltration in the Kurdish regions of Iraq,” the unnamed security official was quoted as saying.


      From a discussion with Seymour Hersh a few years back:

      link to

      The Israelis have had long standing ties to the Talibani and Marzani clans Kurdistan and there are many Kurdish Jews that emigrated to Israel and there are still a lot of connection. But at some time before the end of the year, and I’m not clear exactly when, certainly I would say a good six, eight months ago, Israel began to work with some trained Kurdish command does, obstensively the idea was the Israelis — some of the Israeli elite commander units, counter-terror or terror units, depending on your point of view, began training — getting the Kurds up to speed. I think the initial goal was to help the United States fight the insurgency


      From the BBC in 2006:
      link to

      20 September 2006, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK

      Israelis 'train Kurdish forces'
      By Magdi Abdelhadi
      Arab affairs analyst, BBC News

      Arabs have long accused Kurds of co-operating with Israelis

      The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq.

      A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques.


    • Dimadok, there are over 50 Israeli companies operating in Iraq. Most of the reconstruction that was done in the Kurdish north after Iraq I was with Israelis, so why wouldn't Israelis be working elsewhere in the country now?

    • And to get back to Roqaya's subject also from the same NYT article:

      "... The American plans to use drones in the air over Iraq have also created yet another tricky issue for the two countries, as Iraq continues to assert its sovereignty after the nearly nine-year occupation. Many Iraqis remain deeply skeptical of the United States, feelings that were reinforced last week when the Marine who was the so-called ringleader of the 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqis in the village of Haditha avoided prison time and was sentenced to a reduction in rank. "

    • Today, the Iraqi government announced that it has had enough of American security companies' guards roughing up and killing people in Iraq. Also that many of the rogue guards are ex-IDF soldiers and Mossad agents hired to protect foreign embassies and that the Iraqi armed forces were capable of doing that job. Looks like the American/ Israeli party is about to end. Yesterday's news was about Iraq being pissed off with American drones still flying over Baghdad.

      ... The drones are the latest example of the State Department’s efforts to take over functions in Iraq that the military used to perform. Some 5,000 private security contractors now protect the embassy’s 11,000-person staff, for example, and typically drive around in heavily armored military vehicles.

      When embassy personnel move throughout the country, small helicopters buzz over the convoys to provide support in case of an attack. Often, two contractors armed with machine guns are tethered to the outside of the helicopters. The State Department began operating some drones in Iraq last year on a trial basis, and stepped up their use after the last American troops left Iraq in December, taking the military drones with them.

      From NYT:

      BAGHDAD — A month after the last American troops left Iraq, the State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones here to help protect the United States Embassy and consulates, as well as American personnel. Some senior Iraqi officials expressed outrage at the program, saying the unarmed aircraft are an affront to Iraqi sovereignty.

      link to

  • In '07, Gingrich blamed Israel for Palestinian conditions
    • Your Palestinians-denying hero is the genius who in a '98 confrontation with Clinton over ads aimed at kids said he thought that tobacco advertising basically had no impact on whether children decided to smoke or not.

  • In interview of Muslim Brotherhood leader, NPR repeatedly asks about Israel's security
    • "why would football supporters attack each other?"

      The Brotherhood is saying the riot was planned by the other guys. One group was chanting anti-army slogans and the other one attacked it. Being anti-army is close to being anti-Israel. In Syria, the current conflict also involves the Brotherhood fighting the regime. Brothers already control Tunisia and Libya, and with the US backing them everywhere including the monarchies that are guiding them, where is it going with all of this?

      To get back to Siegel and his beggarly questioning about what the Brothers intend doing about Israel, he didn't get a straight answer but to be asking it, he was probably already aware of the answer he didn't want to hear.

    • More on the deadly soccer game

      From the Daily Star/Reuters:

      At least 73 people were killed and hundreds of others injured on Wednesday after a soccer pitch invasion in the Egyptian city of Port Said, health ministry sources said, in an incident that one player described as "a war, not football".

      The game was between Al Ahli, one of Egypt's most successful clubs, and al-Masry, a team based in Port Said. Live television footage showed fans running onto the field and chasing Ahli soccer players.

      Ahli player Mohamed Abo Treika described the violence as war as Masry fans invaded the pitch after the referee blew the whistle, even though the team had beaten Ahli 3-1.

      "This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no ambulances," Abo Treika told the Ahli television channel. "I call for the premier league to be cancelled. This is horrible situation and today can never be forgotten."

      State television quoted Hesham Sheiha, deputy health minister, as saying that most of the injuries were caused by concussion and deep cuts.

      Another match in Cairo was halted by the referee after receiving news of the violence in Port Said, prompting fans to set parts of the stadium on fire, television footage showed.

      Violence at football matches across north Africa has increased significantly since political unrest sweeping across the region began more than a year ago.

      Read more: link to
      (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

    • tonight: 73 dead and 300 injured because of a damn soccer game in Port Said.

    • "... the treaty was dishonored almost immediately on Israel’s part"

      jimby, it was by the Israelis that had the habit of never abiding to any agreement, and by the Egyptians (and later by the Jordanians with their own treaty) that didn't look out for the Palestinians' welfare as they resolved their conflicts with Israel. The Palestinians got it from all of fhem.

    • The Muslim Brotherhood's and the Salafists' ongoing arguments are about timing since they share the same objective of implementing Sharia law and the arguing is with the Salafists wanting to do it now while the Brotherhood is wanting to do it a bit later and progressively over time. Salafists want the bars shut down and bikinis banned now and the Brothers are saying to wait a bit to not screw up tourism and the economy. All this to say that they both have the same negative feelings towards Israel with the difference being only in the timing they will be sticking it to the Israelis. The Brothers are saying that now is not the time because they still have to demonstrate their gratitude to the US for having taken them out of the doghouse. It's that simple.

  • The battle between the US/EU and China/India to control world energy resources is being fought in Iran
    • It’s really great to see our bulldog icehole Foreign Affairs Minister "

      The Minister is only following the lead of his Prime Minister, so there is nothing surprising there and no worse than US politicians. More interesting are the 700 comments that follow the article and almost every one of them is very critical of all this ass-kissing going on.

    • $150 for a barrel; great news for America's friends in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq that need the big bucks. Good new for Iran too. Bad news for consumers everywhere.

    • "why does Germany, a EU member, care about the Iranians banning oil imports to the EU since the EU has banned Iranian oil anyway?"

      It's simple, W. Jones, Europe wants to go ahead with America's and Israel's tying up of Iran, but not just yet. The ban is set to take effect on July 1st after the winter is over and after the Europeans have set themselves with other suppliers. By jumping the gun now, Iran is playing dirty, according to the Germans.

  • 'Former thug who found Judaism hopes to be first African-American in the Knesset'
    • "Dim, from my POV, it just seems silly that someone can convert and then go claim land and citizenship. "

      It got a lot of Russians a free ticket to Israel and from there to greener pastures elsewhere.

  • Sundance doc'y on Paul Simon playing South Africa undercuts power of cultural boycott
    • Elmaleh lived in Quebec for a while, so he picked up the patois and could play with it. Many Lebanese familiar with him from France were very pissed off that he couldn't make it to Lebanon.

      As to Marc with the demies racines maskoutaines and the poutine, there's only one word to describe it: obscene; but people love it. In a nutshell, it's a bowl of French fries, topped with small pieces of tasteless odorless squeeky curd cheese and poured over them, dark brown chicken fat/flour gravy with salt and pepper.

    • The controversial isue keeps creeping up in Beirut since most of the artists that play there also play TA usually either just before or right after, but feelings about boycotting or not of the artists ranges from indifference to the strongly opposed. The local BDS group tried convincing DJs van Buuren and Tiesto from performing in Beirut but didn't have much public support. Performers that cheer Israel and encourage its occupation should not go to Lebanon. So far, one was blocked from going, the French-Moroccan comedian Gad Elmaleh in 2009 for the Beiteddin music festival because he had been photographed in an IDF uniform cheering the IDF troops during or shortly after Israel's vicious 2006 war on Lebanon. The Elmaleh controversy is still talked about and debated.

      Last week there was a controversy about the right and wrong of European athletes currently playing on various Lebanese soccer teams having played for Israeli teams, and 3 weeks ago, Canadian singer Lara Fabian cancelled a Beirut concert because the local BDS people had written to her about the wrong of her showing up in Beirut because of her pro-Zionist feelings and she agreed to cancel her show. She had performed at Israel's 60th anniversary party and sang in Hebrew an Israeli nationalist song that is not complimentary to the Palestinians and declared her love for Israel; her companion is a Zionist, many good reasons for her to not perform in Lebanon. About 10 days ago, she accepted to cancel her show because she didn't want problems but something must have happened to make her change her mind a couple of days back as her show is back on. Hopefully she'll change it again and decide to skip Lebanon. She's in the same cheerleading-for-Israel category as Gad Elmaleh.

  • Abunimah and Woolsey debate BDS in the 'Philadelphia Inquirer'
    • "even if it’s just another speech from Ali, Allison, Anna, or Ilan."

      You're right, they're doing their best but their efforts should be directed at Israel and not merely at the occupation. Those occupiers are not from another planet but Israelis that are there because Israel enticed them to move there, gave them money, roads, electricity, water, industry, protection and so on so the guilty party in all of this is Israel. I find the effort timid because it's directed mostly against the occupation and the occupiers when the guilty are the Israeli people living inside Israel. Most of the water stolen on the WB is going to the people inside Israel and the garbage being dumped on the WB is in good part coming from Israel as is the industrial polution because rogue industries have been made to relocate to the WB to dump their poisons there.

    • Hostage, you're evidently not going to answer my question on why the UN sat on a resolution 425 for 22 years and I have to guess from your fancy skating around the ICC to skirt the UNSC having shirked its responsability in enforcing it is because you don't want to or you can't. It's not that important so I'll drop it. Most Lebanese are grateful to Hizbullah for having kicked out Israel since the UN had been incapable or unwilling to do it for 22 years, and this should have sent a clear message to the Palestinians on the futility of their UNSC 242 flag-waving they have been doing since 1967 and what they should do.

      You said: "The procedures contained in the UN Charter for the provision of armed forces to coercively enforce Security Council Chapter VII decisions have never been implemented"

      Under what provision of the UN charter did the UNSC on June 25, 1950 call up troops to enter the Korean War? Bosnia? Rwanda? Iraq? Somalia? Libya?

      Part 2 of your answer: "As you can see there were no Israelis at the (2007)meeting when Abbas supposedly gave away the farm on refugees. There is no actual record of any meeting in which a Palestinian negotiator said anything along those lines to one of the Israelis present."

      This is the kind of answer I'd expect from Israeli semanticists, score keepers and defenders of the faith eee and Hophmi that would say that if something cannot be pinned on Israel then it has to be OK for it to have done it. You discounted Jazeera's reported (2007) meeting between Erekat and a Belgian discussing Olmert's offer of 5000 refugees on the basis that it was inconsequential as an Israeli was not present during Erekat's "idle conversation with the Belgian".

      What about the January 15, 2010 meeting in which Erekat told US diplomats David Hale, George Mitchell and 5 others from the State Dept that the Palestinians offered Israel the return of "a symbolic number" of refugees?

    • Hostage, we're back to the librarian jargon. In plain English and without throwing out a whole series of laws, what has your answer about the "new legal framework" to do with my making an issue of the UNSC not enforcing for 22 years one of its own resolutions ordering Israel to get out of Lebanon? What "new legal framework" did the UNSC use to enforce its resolutions against Iraq, Sudan or Libya and others?

      You mentioned that now there is a new international criminal tribunal. That's the one to which the US had signed up to, did not ratify and subsequently suspended its signature from and still uses to spook third world dictators in going along with its imperialistic wishes. How legitimate is the new court which the US, Israel, Russia and a few others have immunity from? That kind of reasoning can lead one to say there is nothing wrong with Israel having nukes since it never signed the NPT.

      About the Palestine Papers, you said that the only thing you saw in them was the US attempt to change the Quartet Road map's various “terms of reference”. That's because you don't want to see anything else. Lawrence of Cyberia may have had a point about the shoddy reporting about Jerusalem but shoddy is also not covering the PA's discussions with Olmert and Livni that was botching up the right of return. You can read about it and tell me if it's theatre at:
      link to

    • "Maybe Shaktimaan’s handle ( it means powerful) indicates a might is right philosophy"

      Thanks for the help with the geographical orientation; I've been scratching my head about the name.

    • "Beginning in 1991, Bush senior ordered the Pentagon and CIA to create the conditions necessary to overthrow the government of Iraq."

      Thanks, Hostage, I knew about Chalabi but had no idea he had been groomed by the PR agency; thought it was the work of the State Dept only.

    • "but aren’t “jewish voices” some of the main reasons for the timidity in the advocacy of BDS?"

      Yes they are, Dan, the "voices" want to hold hands with the bad guys and I don't think that would ever work; they're in the same function as J Street that's a mild version of AIPAC, but with the same vocation, which is looking out for Israel, not Palestinians. I'm not disappointed in BDS and I'm actually glad it's around but I'm not overly thrilled about it or its results. But I don't think it really matters to anyone what I feel since I'm not Palestinian.

    • "My point is to demonstrate that the same rules regarding settlements that are currently used to disallow Jewish settlers in the territories can just as easily be used against Palestinian refugees settling in east Jerusalem or the west bank in 1949."

      Shaktimaan, any which way you try to rationalize it, in the end you just can't put lipstick on Israel's thievery. That's what its disgraceful history is about.

    • "That Rendon story is something few Americans know about. Ditto Hill & Knowlton."

      I was aware of Hill & Knowlton; watched its Senate hearing masterpiece on live TV and I thought that it had handled the whole Kuwait issue but what's the Rendon story?

    • "Most Americans will think that “things can’t be all that bad” if the Palestinians aren’t even interested in pursuing the legal remedies that are available to them."

      Whether or not legal remedies are used by the Palestinians, light years will continue separating the reaction against South Africa's apartheid and the one aspired against Israel. The whole world (with exception to Israel, of course)) ganged up on South Africa in everything including cultural and sports events. Now you practically have the whole world including the Arabs and Muslims ganging up on the Palestinians by letting Israel get away with its ongoing crimes. The timid BDS effort is working to counter those other monumental efforts siding with Israel. We saw what the Palestinian leadership was up to with the Palestinian Papers that showed them giving the store away. This week, Hamas' leadership broke with and moved out of Damascus and made up with the very pro-US/Israel Jordan, so we can forget about any Palestinian armed resistance. Passive resistance wouldn't buy you a cup of coffee with the Israelis. While we are grateful for the BDS campaign, by itself it cannot substantially help the Palestinian cause. Americans in general think that Palestinians are a terrorist/insurgency organization in Israel and it will take more than BDS to change America's attitude. It took much sacrifice, lives and outside help to end Israel's 22-year occupation of Lebanon. During most of these years, Lebanon had in its hand a UNSC resolution (#425) ordering Israel out of Lebanon and it couldn't even get the UN to enforce its own resolution, so how you expect to end the Israeli occupation by blocking the sale of Israeli hummus at US colleges?

    • Bill, Boycott Israel on Campus isn't that wrong, but the politeness he's talking about would take 50 more years and not 10 or 20 and by that time, there wouldn't be anything left to boycott. While the BDS campaign is struggling to block investments or the sale of hummus, it's too busy to notice how its efforts are being undermined by Arab states fine tuning commercial deals and cultural exchanges with the bad guys. How efficient can a divestment campaign be when an Arab state is about to provide gas to an Israel that's choking Gaza? Although I agree that BDS is too timid and not targetting the right parties, I still support it.

  • Dennis Ross: Still present, but not accounted for
    • "His departure was not accompanied by any controversy, so it was obvious it was to Israel’s advantage."

      He'll eventually be back in a more senior government position. In light of Ross being "Israel's lawyer", his appointment as adviser on Iran first to Hillary and then to Obama a few months later were absurd. His pretended departure has to be a tactical move in favour of Israel as you're saying, or maybe in both Israel's and Obama's. Definitely a gimmick.

  • 'Invented' Palestinian confronts Gingrich at GOP debate
    • Allison. your article was picked up by Beirut's Daily Star today"

      "BEIRUT: Several weeks after calling Palestinians an ‘invented people,” Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was approached and confronted by a Palestinian, reported the Middle East news and commentary website Mondoweiss.

      link to

  • New checkpoint method: gassing Palestinian cars with unknown chemical
    • The reference for the article below is
      link to

      "On June 10th, 2004, the two clinics in Al-Zawiya treated 130 patients for gas inhalation. The patients were children, women, old people, and young men. Dr. Abu Madi related that there was a high number of cases of [tetany], spasm in legs and hands, connected to the nervous system. Pupils were dilated. Other symptoms included shock, semi-consciousness, hyperventilation, irritation, and sweating."

      Thus reads a report by medical units serving the West Bank village of Al-Zawiya, where nonviolent resistance to Israel's impending wall has been extraordinarily resolute. According to the medical report (procured by the International Middle East Media Center [IMEMC]), "the gas used against the protestors is not tear gas but possibly a nerve gas."

      The following day, Israel's "Peace Bloc," Gush Shalom, began a press release with the following quote from Al-Zawiya:

      "What the army used here yesterday was not tear gas. We know what tear gas is, what it feels like. That was something totally different. When we were still a long way off from where the bulldozers were working, they started shooting things like this one (holding up a dark green metal tube with the inscription "Hand and rifle grenade no. 400" - in English). Black smoke came out. Anyone who breathed it lost consciousness immediately, more than a hundred people. They remained unconscious for nearly 24 hours. One is still unconscious, at Rapidiya Hospital in Nablus. They had high fever and their muscles became rigid. Some needed urgent blood transfusion.

      ... For years, rumors persisted that Israel was using or testing unknown chemical agents on Palestinian civilians. The rumors began to reveal their substance February 12, 2001, when Israel began a six-week campaign of "novel gas" attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. By chance, American filmmaker James Longley arrived in Khan Younis, Gaza in the middle of the first attack. That afternoon he began filming the victims. His award-winning film, Gaza Strip, documents the naked reality of Israel's chemical weaponry - the canisters, the doctors, the eyewitnesses, and the hideous suffering of the victims, many of whom remained hospitalized for days or weeks.

      The February 12 gassing of neighborhoods in Khan Younis presaged the attacks that followed. When the gas canisters landed, they began to billow clouds of either white or black, sooty smoke. The gas was non-irritating and initially odorless, changing to a sweet, minty fragrance after a few minutes. One victim recalled, "the smell was good. You want to breathe more. You feel good when you inhale it." The smoke often shifted to a "rainbow" of changing colors.

      From five to thirty minutes after breathing the gas, victims began to feel sick and have difficulty breathing. A searing pain began to wrench their gut, followed by vomiting, sometimes of blood, then complete hysteria and extremely violent convulsions. Many victims suffered a relentless syndrome for days or weeks afterward, alternating between convulsions and periods of conscious, twitching, vomiting, agony. Palestinians agreed: "This is like nothing we've ever seen before."

      ... The PA's International Press Center reported that "official and public sources in Al-Zawya asserted that those who have inhaled the tear gas IOF troops fired at them four days ago are still suffering from the effects of the gas a number of those citizens have already had amnesias or partial memory loss, in addition to cramps in addition to strange cramps every three hours those who inhaled the gas are still suffering severe pains in the joints and nausea for four days now. Eyewitnesses recalled that the Israeli soldiers were keen on picking the empty tear gas canisters." Journalists told IPC "that the gas was in different colors they have never seen coming out of a tear gas canister before, and that some gases had an unrecalled smell."

      According to IMEMC, "[T]ens of demonstrators who inhaled this gas had partial memory loss. Dr. Bassam Abu Madi told IMEMC that some of those who inhaled the gas had severe choking and some contraction in their feet and arm muscles. Eyewitnesses said the gas has a strange smell and a reddish-brownish color." In a follow up story, IMEMC concluded that "protesters were attacked with gas that is not like the tear gas. Those who inhaled the gas suffered some memory loss while others had other symptoms of a nerve gas. Yet this was not medically confirmed for lack of laboratories to inspect the gas canisters collected from the scene."

      Al-Jazeera reported the opinion of Awni Khatib, a professor of chemistry at Hebron University:

      "The new symptoms - particularly the violent convulsions experienced by some Palestinian protesters outside the village of Sawiya [Zawiya], southwest of Nablus - suggest that the Israeli army may be using a new class of chemicals that lie somewhere between normal tear gas and chemical weapons."

      Israel's repeated use of highly toxic unknown chemicals against Palestinian civilians is now an open secret. We can expect these attacks to continue until a concerted effort is made to determine the facts and hold Israel accountable. So far, the international human rights community has steadfastly ignored the mounting evidence.

    • Robert Fisk 2006:

      "Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

      We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.

      But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures".

      Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk:

      "... initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium."

      Robert Fisk:

      "... Israel has a poor reputation for telling the truth about its use of weapons in Lebanon. In 1982, it denied using phosphorous munitions on civilian areas - until journalists discovered dying and dead civilians whose wounds caught fire when exposed to air.

      I saw two dead babies who, when taken from a mortuary drawer in West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city, suddenly burst back into flames. Israel officially denied using phosphorous again in Lebanon during the summer - except for "marking" targets - even after civilians were photographed in Lebanese hospitals with burn wounds consistent with phosphorous munitions.

      Then on Sunday, Israel suddenly admitted that it had not been telling the truth. Jacob Edery, the Israeli minister in charge of government-parliament relations, confirmed that phosphorous shells were used in direct attacks against Hizbollah..."

      link to

    • "There is no logical reason for this."

      American, it could be some new ahrodisiac they are testing on their Palestinian guinea pigs. They probably want to see if it has any adverse effects on the ability to drive. Palestinians are reporting that the effect is lasting 4 days.

    • Must be more experimentation on humans by Israel. Testing of this sort for both Israel and the US has been going on for decades on civilians in Palestine and Lebanon by Israel. Drones, phosphorus, depleted uranium, DIME bombs, all were tested on humans so I wouldn't be surprised if this was yet another of Israel's evil testings. Knowing how Israelis think and act, it could very well be some sterilizing chemical they are pumping into into the cars as a solution to their demographic problems.

  • Iran sanctions backlash-- oil buyers ditch dollar
    • Saudi Arabia has already announced it's able to crank out an additional 2 MM barrels to compensate for Iran's. Maybe this spooking and raising of the price is a little help from Uncle Sam to balance the budget to pay for the $129 billion package in social spending promised by the king to the restless natives...

      ... The fiscal break-even price for the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Iraq has also risen to between $80 and $100 a barrel, according to IMF estimates. Mohammed Al Hamli, UAE oil minister, last year told an industry conference that the “reasonable” price for oil was between $80 to $100 a barrel. "

      Financial Times had an article on this a couple of weeks back:

      "Saudi Arabia targets $100 crude price

      By Javier Blas and Guy Chazan

      Saudi Arabia is aiming to keep oil prices at about $100 a barrel, a third above its previous public target, in a sign that Riyadh needs higher oil revenues to sustain a big rise in public spending.

      Ali Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, on Monday for the first time said the world’s largest oil producer aimed to keep oil prices at the triple-digit level.

      “Our wish and hope is we can stabilise this oil price and keep it at a level around $100 [a barrel],” Mr Naimi told CNN. “If we were able as producers and consumers to average $100 I think the world economy would be in better shape.”

      Brent crude oil prices rose 56 cents on Monday to $111 a barrel amid rising tension between western nations and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

      Full article:

      link to

    • WSJ of last Tuesday:

      "... News of a coming embargo by Iran's largest oil-export market shocked the country's troubled economy. Iran's currency, the rial, fell 10% to a record low on Monday, while gold prices rose. The ban is set to take effect on July 1, following a review to ensure the weaker EU economies can find, and afford, new sources of oil. The EU also agreed to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank, the conduit for the country's oil revenue, and ban trade with its petrochemical industry.

      ... The Obama administration applauded the EU decision on Monday and backed it up by blacklisting Iran's third-largest bank, Bank Tejarat, one of Tehran's few remaining conduits for trade with the West. The move followed President Barack Obama's approval last month of sanctions on Iran's central bank that are due to take effect later this year.

      ... Oil prices rose slightly at news of the embargo. Crude for March delivery closed at $99.58 per barrel in New York trading Monday, up $1.25, or 1.3%. Europe accounts for about 20% of oil revenue in Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer. The embargo could cost Iran $5 billion to $10 billion in oil revenue for 2012, and more in subsequent years, said Trevor Houser, a partner at New York-based economic-research firm Rhodium Group.

      ... The economic pressure could fuel political dissent ahead of parliamentary elections on March 2, following the government's move last year to reduce public subsidies that had helped secure the support of rural and lower-income voters.

      ... Iranian officials have said they would seek to replace Europe's market with buyers in Asia, as U.S. officials call on consumers of Iranian oil in Asia and Africa to find other sources, with mixed success. China, Iran's No. 2 buyer after the EU, has rejected calls to halt its consumption of Iranian oil. India said Monday it would keep buying crude oil from Iran and is working with Tehran to find a way to settle payments despite sanctions.

      The EU imports about 600,000 barrels of Iranian oil daily, more than a quarter of Tehran's daily exports, according to the International Energy Agency. But those imports fall unevenly, with some of Europe's most-stressed economies—Greece, Italy and Spain—among the top customers.

      Refiners in Spain and Italy have already begun to phase out Iranian oil purchases in anticipation of the embargo, and Saudi Arabia has offered to help fill the gap. But Greece has sought a slower implementation of the ban to protect its economy. Under Monday's agreement, the EU said it will review the policy's effects on member states by May 1, a condition sought by Greece. However, any move to reverse or delay the embargo would require the unanimous decision of the EU's 27 members, officials said.

      Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said the impact of the oil embargo on the Italian economy will "be negligible, almost zero." Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Demas said Greece benefited from favorable financing terms in its Iran purchases, and that it will need help not only to find new suppliers but to also get the favorable financial terms they enjoyed from Iran. Greece has been buying 35% of its oil from Iran.

      link to

    • Iran announced today that it's about to cut the supply of oil to Europe. It's about time, it's been taking crap for years without fighting back.

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