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Israeli soldiers speak out – why not Americans too?

I read a comic recently, called Palestine . Actually, ‘comic’ doesn’t describe it properly; the author Joe Sacco is described as a ‘graphic journalist’, and that’s what ‘Palestine’ is – a graphic documentary on life in Palestine around 1990. He manages to render the atmosphere of resentment, resignation and simmering hatred very well.

One story that stuck in my mind is that of a lady whose son was shot in the head after Israelis raided the area in Rafah where she lived;

after seven hours, and being sent from one place to the next, they got to an Israeli hospital. He died about a day later, having had no treatment. Later, another teenage son was shot five times – perhaps after throwing stones, perhaps not.

He had been taken to a military hospital in Israel; after delays it was too late to take him to a better hospital in Jerusalem. He died too.

Each time, they were only allowed to bury the bodies in the middle of the night, guarded by soldiers.

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Plus ça change…

Just a quick one to provide a link to a transcription of Bin Laden’s full speech . Worth reading, to understand his argument – ‘know thy enemy’ and all that.

He develops an argument which really owes a lot to Lenin’s analysis of global imperialism and the World War I (for example, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism) – basically saying that foreign policy in America is driven by multinational corporations. Specifically, blaming Kennedy’s assassination on “the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its [the Vietnam War] continuation”; asking why the Democratic Party did not force withdrawal from Iraq after the last elections, he says “they are the same reasons which led to the failure of former president Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war. Those with real power and influence are those with the most capital.”

Then he develops some more modern themes: global warming, poverty in Africa, globalisation – these are also blamed on “The capitalist system [which] seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of "globalization" in order to protect democracy.” This message seems somewhat more directed at your average younger person, of the anti-globalisation type.

Then, interestingly, he whacks in a message to the middle-classes too: “the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages”; later, he promises taxes (zakat) of only 2.5% under Islamic rule.

Wilkinson

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Middle East nightmare scenario #5682

--This is an old post that didn't travel over into this blog: originally posted 4 Dec. 2006--

A read of these two articles, one by a “senior security adviser” (Sherwell) to the Saudi government, and another from the Sunday Telegraph has suddenly given me a glimpse into a possible, hellish and bleak, future of the Middle East.

As Iran says, “The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us – no superpower has ever done anything similar” (Sherwell). The Americans got rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and have placed the Iraqi Shiites on the throne of Iraq; now Iran is well placed to extend its influence all the way to Syria, which is an ally by convenience, and into Lebanon – where the Shiites are in the ascendance too.

It’s important to remember that Al-Qaeda and their ilk hate Shiites almost as much as the Americans, which is why they get on so well with the Sunni/ex-Baathist insurgents in Iraq. Also: let’s not forget that the Wahhabism of the Saudi state is also resolutely opposed to Shiism.

Ironically, if the neo-con plans laid out in the infamous PNAC are to be believed, Iran was actually one of the main targets of the whole exercise…

Now: we see that America is going to have to pull out sooner or later and leave the mess they made of Iraq behind them. They will try to find some face-saving device, but it will happen.

If the articles are correct in their analysis, they will find themselves choosing between Saudi Arabia and Iran. They will probably choose Saudi Arabia because: it is an ally, they buy lots of oil from it, and it is less belligerent towards Israel.

So, expect covert funding of Sunni groups, etc. etc. And further strengthening of Al-Qaeda/Wahhabi groups. There will have to be a ‘rebranding’ exercise of ‘terrorists’ to cast the shadow over Hezbollah etc., as ‘terrorists’ who attack Israel. I’m curious as to how long it will take before they manage to take the spotlight off Al-Qaeda somehow… OK I’m probably being too cynical there, but there will have to be some glossing over of the fundamental differences between these two strands of radical Islam; and the same ‘terrorist strongholds’ the Americans have been attempting to pound into submission will suddenly become victims of brutal aggression by Shiite ‘terror groups’…

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Obaid, Nawaf. “Stepping Into Iraq”. Washington Post. 29 Nov. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15768.htm.

PNAC. “Rebuilding America’s Defenses. Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century”. 2000. 14 June 2006 http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm.

Sherwell, Philip. “Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of Iraq”. Sunday Telegraph. 2 Dec. 2006. 4 Dec. 2006 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15797.htm.
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