ABBAS, SHAATH and TOP FATAH OFFICIALS SHOULD RESIGN
AFIF SAFIEH in WASHINGTON and other FATEH Representatives should be SACKED
MER - Washington - MiddleEast.Org - 30 January:
The danger of fractricidal conflict and civil war in Palestine -- an
under-the-table goal pursued by the Israelis for some time no matter
how much they deny it -- is now greater than ever. The
major figures representing the exposed and corrupt remnants of Fateh
are attempting to manipulate their way one way or another to retain
money, guns, and power. Rather than resigning as he should
Fateh's top man, Mahmoud Abbas, is using his considerable backing
from the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the Arab 'client regimes' to attempt
to keep himself and his cronies in power one way or
another. It is an unprecedented dangerous political poker
game of bluff, counter-bluff, and chicken being played out not just in
occupied Palestine but on the regional and world stages as well and
with quite unpredictable results at this point. Meanwhile
the Iranians are racing ahead to prepare themselves for attack, the
comatose 'peace process' is all but finally declared dead,
international energy supply concerns and escalating prices could
trigger more conflict and economic hard-times, and the
Neocon/Evangelical regime in Washington (under unprecedented assault as
the second article below suggests) is desperately seeking new ways for
possible salvation and resurrection before the November 2006 mid-term
election even as the still hesitant impeachment movement might yet gain traction.
Hamas: PA destroying its files on us, giving guns to Fatah
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST
Jan. 30, 2006
Palestinian Authority has ordered its security forces to destroy or
hide all files containing information on Hamas and its members, the
movement claimed on Sunday.
Hamas also accused the PA security forces of transferring weapons from their storehouses to Fatah militiamen.
Hamas officials in Gaza City claimed that Interior Minister
Nasser Youssef, who held an emergency meeting with commanders of the PA
security forces on Sunday, instructed them to take a series of measures
in the wake of Hamas's victory in last week's parliamentary election.
The measures include destroying and hiding files containing
information that had been gathered by the interrogation of hundreds of
Hamas detainees over the past 12 years, the officials said, adding that
the PA security forces were emptying their storehouses of automatic
rifles and handing them over to Fatah groups.
PA security forces strongly denied the Hamas allegations, saying no such instructions had been issued.
"These claims are completely untrue and are in the context of
attempts to defame the security establishment and its personnel," said
Interior Ministry spokesman Tawkif Abu Khoussa. He described those
behind the charges as "a small group of thugs who have been blinded by
The latest allegations are an indication of the growing
tensions between Hamas and Fatah in the aftermath of the parliamentary
The PA security forces consist solely of Fatah members who have
made it clear in the past few days that they would not take orders from
a Hamas-run cabinet.
Youssef, who is formally in charge of security, announced on
Sunday that he would report only to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whom he
described as the commander-in-chief of the security forces. The
announcement is seen as a warning to Hamas against trying to take
control of the PA security forces.
Some of the security commanders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
told Abbas over the weekend that they would not leave their posts even
if the new Hamas cabinet ordered them to do so.
"The Palestinian security forces are the property of all the
people," Youssef said. "We welcome any faction that wants to join the
security forces according to our conditions and laws. We won't allow
anyone to harm the security forces and we will report only to President
Abbas, who is the commander-in-chief."
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said his movement
was waiting to hear from Abbas about the formation of a new cabinet.
Abbas was scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, but the
visit was delayed because of violent protests by disgruntled Fatah
"We are in touch with Abbas and he's expected to arrive in the
Gaza Strip soon," Masri said. "We don't know why he called off his
planned visit. Hamas wants to form a new cabinet as soon as possible."
Another Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on the European
Union and the US to respect the choice of the Palestinians, "who
elected their representatives through a democratic process that was
observed by international monitors."
Abu Zuhri condemned as "blackmail" threats by the international
community to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians following
Hamas's landslide victory.
"They want to punish the Palestinians because they chose their
representatives in democratic elections," he pointed out. "Do foreign
governments want to continue spending their taxpayers' money on corrupt
and dictatorial regimes?"
He said that despite the threats, Hamas wanted to embark on a
policy of openness toward the West. He also said that Hamas was not
worried by Israeli threats to restrict the movement of Hamas leaders
Bush-bashing takes center stage in NY theaters
By Claudia Parsons
YORK (Reuters) Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:45 AM ET - It's not hard to spot the common theme in three New
York theater offerings this season that go by the titles "Bush is Bad,"
"Bush Wars: Musical Revenge" and "Laughing Liberally."
The Web site for "Bush is Bad" features a grand piano falling on the head of President George W. Bush.
Wars" promises what it calls a counterattack on "the disgraceful agenda
of the Bush administration." It features a dance number with Bush and
Osama bin Laden taking their mothers to lunch at the same restaurant,
and another with New Orleans residents singing as they await help after
Hurricane Katrina, in a dig at the Bush administration's slow response.
is also a spoof romantic duet between Bush and his chief adviser Karl
Rove, and a naughty bedroom scene which has Vice President Dick Cheney
literally in bed with a pair of scantily-clad women named after oil
Both have been attracting enthusiastic audiences to
small venues in Manhattan but in a city renowned for its liberal ways
the shows may be preaching to the choir.
The organizers of
"Laughing Liberally," a one-off evening of stand-up comedy at the
1,500-seat Town Hall on February 4, say their show has broader
"It's not going to be an evening of Bush-bashing
because that's very easy to do. Hopefully there will be some actual
ideas in it," said Jim David, one of the more established comics on the
bill with 19 years in the business.
The comedy night is an
extension of a drinking club founded by political campaigner Justin
Krebs who now boasts 130 chapters of "Drinking Liberally" in 41 states
and Washington, D.C., under the slogan "Promoting democracy one pint at
Krebs' father, Eric, a theater producer who is planning
an off-Broadway run and a national tour for "Laughing Liberally," said
his motto was "Saving democracy one laugh at a time."
He said the
initiative was aimed at countering the likes of Rush Limbaugh, whose
brand of conservative humor and anti-liberal commentary is hugely
He was also inspired by "The Blue Collar Comedy
Tour," a group of comedians who poke fun at Middle America from the
inside, in an act that became a movie and a popular television show,
and who are most famous for a series of jokes called "10 Ways to Tell
You're a Redneck."
"It's enormous all over America, particularly
in the south, but not exclusively so," Eric Krebs said of the Blue
Collar Comedy Tour. "My sense of 'Laughing Liberally' was to create the
equivalent from a smart, liberal political point of view."
who described himself as a moderate rather than a liberal, said he was
looking forward to playing to an audience likely to have read the
newspaper, unlike some who come to his regular gigs at comedy clubs
from New York to Las Vegas.
He said Bush had polarized the country since his election in 2000, but it was time for moderates to make a comeback.
used to get booed (in Las Vegas) two or three years ago when I made a
George Bush joke. Now they laugh and nobody boos because things have
changed," David said.
But he lamented the complexity of current
political scandals, noting that it was much easier for comedians to
take a shot at Bill Clinton for his Oval Office dalliances.
true thing in comedy is you can have the greatest political joke in the
world and people are going to laugh if they get it, but if you have a
good sex joke the laugh is going to be twice as big," he said.
Talking To The Enemy Indeed (January 31, 2006)
In Iraq the U.S. is secretly talking with the 'insurgent' enemy... There will have to be actual significant policy changes by the American Empire or else -- especially when it comes to reversing Israeli apartheid and realigning American policies and interests in truly new ways, not just more rhetorical trickery and obfuscation.
Abbas, Shaath, Safieh, Fateh Officials Should Resign or Be Sacked (January 30, 2006)
The danger of fractricidal conflict and civil war in Palestine -- an under-the-table goal pursued by the Israelis for some time no matter how much they deny it -- is now greater than ever. The major figures representing the exposed and corrupt remnants of Fateh are attempting to manipulate their way one way or another to retain money, guns, and power. Rather than resigning as he should Fateh's top man, Mahmoud Abbas, is using his considerable backing from the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the Arab 'client regimes' to attempt to keep himself and his cronies in power one way or another. It is an unprecedented dangerous political poker game of bluff, counter-bluff, and chicken being played out not just in occupied Palestine but on the regional and world stages as well and with quite unpredictable results at this point. Meanwhile the Iranians are racing ahead to prepare themselves for attack, the comatose 'peace process' is all but finally declared dead, international energy supply concerns and escalating prices could trigger more conflict and economic hard-times, and the Neocon/Evangelical regime in Washington (under unprecedented assault as the second article below suggests) is desperately seeking new ways for possible salvation and resurrection before the November 2006 mid-term election even as the still hesitant impeachment movement might yet gain traction.
LAWLESS WORLD Erupting Thursday in London (January 30, 2006)
"...likely to cause a fierce new controversy on both sides of the Atlantic" the new edition of this damning book LAWLESS WORLD will not be published until Thursday in London, just hours after President Bush's State of the Union 2006 address to Congress at 9pm tomorrow. Major pressures are now building in both Washington and London to actually attempt to remove from power those who brought about the Iraq war through such chicanery and duplicity. But if the pressures really get too strong expect the tension with Iran to escalate further and maybe explode into military exchanges and/or another major 'terrorist attack' either from the pertrators most expect or from the underground manipulators connected to those in power whom many now suspect with considerable damning circumstantial evidence
Assassination Backlash - Hamas Landslide (January 26, 2006)
When the Israelis released the founder of Hamas from prison some years ago they did so because they had attempted to assassinate in Amman the man who today heads Hamas from Damascus and they needed to provide King Hussein an excuse to give them back their caught and endangered Mossad henchmen. Then, a few years later, they assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a blind paraplegic who founded Hamas in the late 1980s, as he emerged from a Gaza Mosque one morning -- this on top of an ongoing anti-Hamas assassination campaign designed to dismember and weaken 'The Islamic Resistance Movement'. The actual result however is what happened yesterday in a sea of Hamas green.
Hamas Wins Big (January 26, 2006)
There's a long history to why Hamas has been so victorious in occupied Palestine. And whatever the Israeli p.r. spin about what has happened they and the U.S. are really the midwives.
Iran Crisis (January 25, 2006)
This day was destined to come sooner or later. With the Israelis having a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons and the ability to delivery them
tactically to the battlefield as well as strategically by submarine and airplane a gross imbalance has been there in the region for some time already. Furthermore there should be no doubt that Israel's apartheid and bloodletting policies toward the Palestinians have been a major force enflaming Arab and Muslim sentiments throughout the region; while militant neo-imperialist U.S. policies on top of the
American-Israeli alliance and the rise of Christian Fundamentalism have fueled the raging passions and led to today's imbroglio.
Hamastan Indeed (January 24, 2006)
Hamas is not taking power tomorrow in occupied Palestine; it is instead asserting power in what can be seen as a kind of historic political blowback for so many awful years of miserable corruption, gross ineptitude and dastardly co-optation by those whom the U.S., Israel, and the Arab 'client regimes' pushed so hard to date to lord over the millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Call it as well a kind of democratic payback for the Israeli/U.S. assassinations of the senior generation of Palestinian leaders including in recent years the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and the long-time Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat.
Questions About 9/11 That Don't Go Away (January 23, 2006)
So much of what is happening now in our world can be traced back to the year 2001 when Bush/Cheney and the Neocons came to power in Washington, Ariel Sharon came to power in Israel, and what we all now simply call 9/11 happened. But just what did really happen? Nagging questions not only are not going away, they are surfacing from credible people and need to be very seriously and independently investigated.
U.S. Caught In The Act In Occupied Palestine (January 22, 2006)
American credibility has rarely been lower; American duplicity has rarely been higher; and the exposure of American lies and hypocrisy has rarely been more evident than in the lead story in today's Washington Post.
Torturing Palestinians (January 21, 2006)
From MER in January 1997: Torture of Palestinians is not only routine and systematic, in it actually sanctioned by the Israeli legal system that has been twisted to serve Israeli policies. Going back to the Shinbet scandal of the early 1980's, even more sadistic forms of torture have given way to the kinds of 'legalized' torture methods outlined in this important article from one of the few independent and courageous media sources in Israel, The Alternative Information Center (AIC). Among the reasons the Israelis get away with such systematic torture of Palestinians is that hardly anyone is willing to protest. The so-called "Palestinian Authority" practices similar and even worse torture techniques, as do nearly all of the Arab governments in the region -- so they are hardly in a position to protest. And the "liberal" American Jewish community has been morally bankrupt about such issues for so long now that to speak up at this point would be to condemn themselves for permitting, and even encouraging in many cases, such Nazi-like behavior by the Israelis for decades.
"WAR on TERRORISM" - Noam Chomsky Lecture on 18 Jan (January 20, 2006)
This important lengthy lecture was delivered a few days ago in Dublin. Plus information about how to get a unique and now rare video documentary about the start of the "New World Order" -- available now exclusively from MER. At the start of Gulf War I in 1991 -- the beginnings of the Bush-era "New World Order", Noam Chomsky came to Washington and spoke to a huge overflow audience at George Washington University. This video documentary captures the entirety of his speech as well as the extensive question and answer period that followed. This documentary is essential to a serious understanding of U.S. foreign policy worldwide today. Chomsky uniquely provides the background and understanding needed to appreciate what the War in Iraq is really all about as well as the many misrepresentations and lies Washington propogates so often about the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process". From the back of the video by Mark Bruzonsky: "There's no one like Chomsky if you want to truly understand the realities of both U.S. policies and the overall situation in the Middle East...
Palestinian 'Election' Approaches...Still Maybe (January 19, 2006)
In the end it may be that the failing remnants of the disgraced 'Palestinian Authority' -- after so many years of miserable corruption and co-optation -- are now too weak and fractured to even manage to 'postpone' the long-promised Legislative election... Now the past is coming back to haunt the PA -- and their godfathers as well.
PARADISE NOW or is it PARADISE LOST? (January 18, 2006)
Though they run a far more effective propaganda network the Jewish and Zionist establishments don't always get their way and have in fact lost quite a bit of credibility and following. This article from earlier this week in The Christian Science Monitor. And we certainly hope that those in Iraq who are legitimately and so courageously standing up against the US/UK/Israeli invasion/occupation will decide to release the CSM correspondent they are holding hostage, showing that they are sophisticated enough to distinguish between hostile and friendly Christians and thereby giving hope amidst so much despair and bloodletting.
ISLAM, SEX and the INTERNET (January 17, 2006)
The cultural and emotional differences between Islam and Christianity and Judaism are considerable -- never more so than in the areas relating to women and sexuality. This interesting but not really adequate article is from today's Guardian in the UK: SEMINAL QUESTIONS - As scholars question the place of nudity in marriage, Islamic clerics are hotly debating exactly what sexual practices are acceptable, writes Brian Whitaker
The Faster March To International War (January 16, 2006)
Joining the rising chorus is a growing group of sometimes neo-con, sometimes evangelical, sometimes hustling and/or sponsored academics. They are now contributing to the growing 'New World Order' hysteria that now dominates American political life through the pages of associated magazines and newspapers. While Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson for instance is right indeed to be warning about the great dangers now immediately ahead, his analogies and heroes are so misguided and off the mark one has to wonder just who is really orchestrating and behind this kind of thing. This Ferguson article appeared over the weekend in The Telegraph published in the U.K.
Historic Anti-U.S./Israel Crucible of Hatred and Revenge (January 15, 2006)
One day Pakistan will no longer be lead by a military General empowered by the U.S and manipulated by the CIA. Remember now that today's feared Zawahiri left his Cairo medical practice to oppose the U.S. when he felt Egypt was deceived and co-opted by the U.S. Bin Laden himself, after working with the Americans to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan and working intimately with the American-sponsored Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, turned against the U.S. when American troops on top of the CIA directly occupied his country. And of course Iraq is today a country erupting as a result of U.S. occupation and destruction while Iran is a country today still rebelling after so many years of tortuous rule by the Shah and so much CIA-plotting to control that country.
What Sharon Has Wrought; and What He Has Left (January 12, 2006)
Understanding what has happened between Israel and Palestinians over the years requires not only expert analysis but considerable memory, ideological as well as political understanding, and an ability to put the historical pieces all together. Meron Benviniste's article today in Ha'aretz is of considerable help in summarizing the situation past, present, and maybe future.
Ariel Sharon - by Robert Fisk (January 6, 2006)
There are few journalists who have the knowledge and perspective of Robert Fisk. This from his recent book, footnoted at the end and highly recommended.