Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Arab Spring " Spreads While Obama Condemns Nakba Protests As " Syrian Conspiracy " & Ignores "Ethnic Cleansing" of Shiites In Bahrain

" The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic" by Chris Hedges Truthdig.com via Commondreams.org, May 16, 2011

President Obama shakes hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West, center, after delivering remarks at the National Urban League 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington. (AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the demonstrators were challenging “the very existence of Israel” and, in nationally broadcast remarks, pledged that the country was “determined to defend our borders and sovereignty.”
Palestinians commemorate Israel’s founding as al-Naqba, or the catastrophe, marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands in the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence."

Hard to believe that PM Netanyahu fears that a few hundred or even a few thousand protesters armed with rocks and sticks maybe even a few guns could actually invade and defeat the IDF and the Israeli government.
Netanyahu and Obama fear-mongering to defend Israel's lethal use of force not just on the Syrian border but also on the protesters in Gaza or the West Bank and occupied territories.
The main problem here is the ginning up of a conspiracy against Israel by Syria & Yemen etc. governments and the refusal of Israel or the United States to accept that these territories are illegally occupied by Israel since the 1967 war and the 1948 land grab by Israel .

How can President Obama and his cronies ever hope to bring peace to the area if they refuse to acknowledge  the various Unite Nations Resolutions condemning the Israeli's on going occupation of these areas while expanding them every year using the government backed Israeli Settlements. The Israeli government and the ultra orthodox Settlers actions are just another form of Ethnic Cleansing as the Israelis continue their inhumane American & Egyptian  backed lock-down on Gaza and grabbing land wherever they choose. Gaza ghetto looks more and more like the infamous Nazi run Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.

First updates on a couple of stories we've been following:

Update on Uganda's "Kill The Gays Bill"

Half a Million go All Out for Uganda

Allout.org In 4 days, over half a million people joined a global campaign to stop the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda. The international pressure worked: Uganda has abandoned the Kill the Gays bill, closing parliament in the face an unprecedented global outcry. Watch this inspiring 2 minute video to find out how it all happened and then share with friends.

Update Bahrain More calls for the USA and the United Nations to condemn the crackdown in Bahrain and to impose sanctions on Bahrain and if necessary on Saudi Arabia.
But it appears even Obama is too afraid to criticize publicly and take action against Saudi Arabia or its satellite state Bahrain.

In Bahrain security forces are continuing their attacks on those who are critical of the government especially the Shiite community in Bahrain. As discussed here in previous posts the Saudi and Bahrain regimes attacks on Shiites is beginning to look a lot like "Ethnic Cleansing" of the Shiites in Bahrain which now includes the destruction of Shiite Mosques and homes , businesses and hunting down those who took part in peaceful anti-government protests.

And once again the United States refuses to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
"At Bahrain Hearing State Department Skipped, Human Rights Groups Urge "Forceful" Action " by: Zaid Jilani, ThinkProgress may 15, 2011

Friday, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission — an entity within Congress chaired by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) charged with investigating human rights abuses — held a hearing titled “Human Rights in Bahrain,” designed to probe abuses against pro-democracy activists in the Arab monarchy.

Noticeably absent among the witnesses testifying were any representatives from the U.S. government, which has been closely allied with Bahrain throughout the uprising and resulting humanitarian crisis. On the hearing’s website, you can see that both witnesses called from the State Department, William J. Burns and Jeffrey D. Feltman,declined to appear:

McClatchy reports that “scheduling conflicts” are the reason that the two officials did not appear, although no explanation is given why the State Department did not send replacements. “I was expecting at least one, possibly two witnesses from the State Department to testify,” said a disappointed McGovern.

At the hearing, Human Right’s Watch’s Joe Stork stressed the need for a more forceful response from the United States, which has been very mute in reaction to the abuses in the country, an oil-rich monarchy that houses U.S. military forces:

And unfortunately, in contrast to Syria, Libya, and other sites of unrest and repression, the United States government has had little to say about any of this, at least in public, and those few words have tended to be general in the extreme. [...]

"Quite frankly, at a time when night after night masked armed men, both uniformed and plainclothes, are breaking into homes and hauling off Bahrainis to unknown locations, to interrogation centers where torture or ill-treatment are routine, a time when people are pulled out of cars at checkpoints and beaten, a time when people suffering gunshot or other wounds inflicted by security forces fear going to medical centers where other security forces beat and arrest them – these are times when something more forceful and more specific is badly needed.

The latest outrage in the brutal crackdown in Bahrain involves the demolition of mosques. Dozens of mosques frequented by the oppressed Shiite majority have beenbulldozed and destroyed by the ruling government, including some that were centuries old."

...Although Afghanistan has ratified the ICC statute...it continues to be U.S. policy to resist any jurisdiction of the ICC over U.S. forces.


As Chris Hedges points out President Obama now represents not hope or change but rather the death of hopes and dreams of real liberals and progressives who believed he actually meant what he said on the campaign trail . So now Obama unabashedly champions the status quo and sells out to the powerful elites Wall Street, the corporations, the mean spirited uberconservatives and the religious right-wing.
At times there seems little difference between Obama's actions and the rhetoric of the GOP

" The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic" by Chris Hedges Truthdig.com via Commondreams.org, May 16, 2011

The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.

Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama’s heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in “King Lear.” Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates—think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy—take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.

No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

The Arab Spring Crosses Borders for Nakba Day- link TV
(Mosaic Video Alert: May 16, 2011) Marches were held across Palestinian cities and in several Arab capitals to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba, or Day of Catastrophe. Many people were killed and hundreds injured during demonstrations that called for the restoration of Palestinian land and rights. Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, and Jordan are among the countries that witnessed Nakba marches in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Al-Alam reports.

Cairo's 'Nakba' protest turns violent
AlJazeeraEnglish on May 15, 2011
At least 120 people have been injured, after Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets, at pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to storm the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Palestinians killed at Nakba rally-AlJazeera English
Several people have been killed and scores of others wounded in the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Ras Maroun in Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as Palestinians mark the "Nakba", or day of "catastrophe". 
The "Nakba" is how Palestinians refer to the 1948 founding of the state of Israel, when an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled following Israel's declaration of statehood.
At least one Palestinian was killed and up to 80 others wounded in northern Gaza as Israeli troops opened fire on a march of at least 1,000 people heading towards the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The Obama administration which has said little about the Syrian government's use of dealy force against anti-government protesters is indignant that the Syrian government may have encouraged the Nakba demonstrations.
In other words the Obama administration ignores Syrian government actions until those actions affect in some way Israel.
The Obama administration accepts without question Israel's allegations of a Syrian conspiracy as being behind the Nakba protests .
Further the US government doesn't bother to tackle whether or not Palestinians in the occupied territories or elsewhere have a legitimate and on going grievances against Israel.
Once again President Obama shows by his actions that he is on the side of Israel without any question or hesitation and is therefore not on the side of the the Palestinians and the Muslim community in the occupied territories in the West bank or Gaza etc.
So all of Obama's grand jestures to the Islamic nations are just window-dressing and is purely superficial.
The Islamic community in the middle east and elsewhere with the exception of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia can no more trust President Obama than they could previous US administrations.
And in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia the legitimate grievances of Shiite Muslims in these countries are ignored by president Obama.
The US government seems to buy into the government's allegations that those who have protested in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia are merely pawns of Shiite Iran as those demonstrating anywhere in the middle East on the anniversary of the Nakba are mere pawns of Syria and or Iran.
The US government promulgates these conspiracy theories of the Israelis and the Saudis rather than deal with the actual substantive issues at hand.
Israeli IDF spinning conspiracy theory protesters not home grown but are Syrian agent provocateurs
Israel and america being unmasked

  "Israel Hunts Syria Infiltrators After Day of Bloodshed" by Majeda El Batsh, Agence France Presse, May 16, 2011

Hundreds of police fanned out across the Golan Heights on Monday in search of refugees who crossed over from Syria in some of the bloodiest violence in years along Israel's borders.
In Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories, people gathered to mourn the 14 people killed when Israeli troops opened fire on thousands of protesters who sought to breach its northern borders. 
Hundreds were injured in the occupied Golan Heights, as well as in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and northern Gaza Strip as Palestinians marked the anniversary of Israel's founding in 1948, in an event known in Arabic as the "nakba" or "catastrophe." 
Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said house-to-house searches were ongoing on Monday afternoon and roadblocks had been set up around the Golan Heights town of Majdal Shams, where protesters who crossed over from Syria gathered. 
On Monday morning, police detained a 34-year-old Syrian, who was trying to leave the town in a taxi driven by a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, he said. 
Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told army radio the military remained "in a state of high alert in the north, the south and the centre."
Defence chiefs also extended a 24-hour lockdown on the occupied Palestinian territories which had been due to end at midnight on Sunday. 
The White House accused Syria on Monday of stoking protests in the Golan Heights as a "distraction" from its repression of anti-government protests, which entered a third month Sunday. 
The United States is "strongly opposed to the Syrian government's involvement in inciting yesterday's protests in the Golan Heights," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
"Such behaviour is unacceptable and does not serve as a distraction from the Syrian government's ongoing repression of demonstrators in its own country," Carney said. 
Sunday's violence was some of the worst in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights since a 1974 truce accord, and the clashes along the Lebanese border marked the bloodiest confrontation since the 2006 war between the two neighbours. 
Most of the victims were in Lebanon, where 10 people were killed and 110 injured when Israeli troops opened fire on people trying to scale the border fence. 
Another four people were killed when they entered the Golan Heights, along with hundreds of other protesters, Syrian medics said.

" Armed Conflicts Claim Unprecedented Number of Civilians " by: Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service, May 15, 2011

United Nations - Afghanistan, once described as the graveyard of empires, is ranked number one as the country with the most "significant rise" in civilian deaths last year, turning it into a veritable killing field, according to a new report by the London-based Minority Rights Group International (MRG).

The annual report, titled "Peoples Under Threat", says civilian killings in Afghanistan have increased every year in the last five years.

"And the continued weakness of the central government, internal disunity and systemic corruption contribute to the poor prognosis," the report notes.

According to the study released Thursday, this year's figure is expected to exceed the 3,000 civilians killed in 2010.

and so it goes,

No comments: