29 October 2007
Condoleezza Rice (US Secretary of State) said that the unprecedented steps, which include outlawing Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, were a response to ‘Teheran's support of insurgents in Iraq and its refusal to abandon its uranium enrichment programme’.
So there are two alleged reasons for the sanctions (and maybe war-! see below):
1) Teheran's support of terrorists.
2) Weapons of mass destruction.
Does this sound vaguely familiar?! Saddam Husain was responsible for 9/11 and for having weapons of mass destruction- neither of which was proved!
Follow this conversation with Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, who said that two important militants who were captured in Iraq, “have acknowledged during interrogations that senior leadership within the al-Quds force knew of and supported planning attacks on US soldiers..”
(The al-Quds unit, the foreign operations branch, within Iran's elite revolutionary guards corps is accused of supporting fighters in Iraq that has led to the deaths of US soldiers.)
First, Mr. Bergner’s assertion: “Our intelligence reveals that senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity.”
Now, the follow-ups:
Question: “Can you define senior leadership?”
Mr. Bergner: “I think I’ll leave it at that.”
Question: “Would you exclude the supreme leader?”
Mr. Bergner: “I’ll leave it at senior leadership in Iran’”?
Question: “Put it this way: Do you think it’s possible that he doesn’t know?”
Mr. Bergner: ‘’That would be hard to imagine.”
A tough question indeed: from intelligence to imagination in four steps.
Give me a break! Well, the Iranian government has repeatedly denied supporting militants or stirring up trouble in Iraq, and has said that, ‘it only wants the country to be stable and peaceful.’ Makes sense to me..
But Britain and France don’t think so, and have sided with the US, with Brown going as far as pledging to lead the campaign for new EU and UN sanctions.
Seems Gordon Brown is to Rice as Blair was to Bush! Rice says Iran is ‘pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to a nuclear weapon, building dangerous ballistic missiles, supporting Shia militants in Iraq and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine, and denying the existence of a fellow member of the United Nations, threatening to wipe Israeli off the map..’
What a load of rubbish! Actually makes me feel sick that she can say such things and get away with it.
It may not mean much but both China and Russia are not supporting the US. Rice has urged China, Russia and India to back the sanctions against Iran.
President Putin of Russia warned strongly against sanctions on Iran, saying they would lead to a dead end. He said the standoff over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through talks, pointing at North Korea as an example.
"Why worsen the situation and bring it to a dead end by threatening sanctions or military action. Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation." the Russian leader said. (I am not a fan of Putin myself, but a statement like this makes me want to kiss him!)
Very predictably the prime minister of the Apartheid Israeli state (a state that repeatedly defies international law, that has nuclear weapons, and still has full support of the US administration) Mr Olmert said: "Economic sanctions are effective. They have an important impact already, but they are not sufficient. So there should be more. Up to where? Up until Iran will stop its nuclear programme."
This is insane. In no uncertain terms, he is calling for a war against Iran. Now if he made this statement in Hebrew, and the western media had to translate it, would it be translated as him calling for Iran to be wiped off the map?!
So, what will the sanctions do? Remember Iraq? As John Pilger wrote a while back:
‘Before 1990 and the imposition of sanctions, Iraq had one of the highest standards of living in the Middle East.’
And after sanctions: at least 200 children died every day from malnutrition, lack of clean water and lack of medical equipment and drugs to cure easily treatable diseases.
Morphine, the most effective painkiller has been banned by the Security Council.
In 1990 Iraq had one of the highest rates of literacy in the world. For all its evil, the government still built schools, trained teachers, and distributed free textbooks and other school supplies.
And after sanctions: This system was gradually destroyed over a short period of 10 years. Iraqi teacher salaries fell from $400 to $3 per month. There were no school supplies: books, pencils and paper are all banned under 'dual use' considerations.
"We are told that pencils are forbidden because carbon could be extracted from them that might be used to coat aeroplanes and make them invisible to radar. I am not a military expert, but I find it very disturbing that because of this objection, we cannot give pencils to Iraqi school children." (Farid Zarif, deputy director of the UN humanitarian program in Baghdad. New York Times, 3 January 1999)
But what is the real reason for the sanctions and threats against Iran.. Surely no sane person will believe that these ridiculous claims are accurate- especially anyone who followed the ruckus that went on before Iraq was unjustifiably attacked. The question is- Is all this just about oil?
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the private bank known as the Federal Reserve, discloses in his book the public secret that, the motive for the war against Iraq was rooted in oil: 'I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war was largely about oil. I thought the issue of weapons of mass destruction as the excuse was utterly beside the point'.
To what extent history will repeat itself now that it's not oil-rich Iraq - but its oil-rich neighbour Iran - that is being accused of producing weapons of mass destruction by the same people that invaded Iraq on the basis of arguments and accusations which are clearly false!
John Pilger wrote shortly after ‘democracy’ was declared in Iraq: 'The main reason was oil. Under a law written by American and British officials, the Iraqi puppet regime is about to hand over the extraction of the largest concentration of oil on earth to Anglo-American companies. Nothing like this piracy has happened before. Across the Shatt al-Arab waterway the other prize: Iran's vast oilfields. Just as non-existent weapons of mass destruction or facile concerns for democracy had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, so non-existent nuclear weapons have nothing to do with an American onslaught on Iran.'
And this is what appears evident to me as well. It is not about terrorism, WMD’s or any other ridiculous claim. It is about money. And this I find preposterous! This word reminds me of none other than George Galloway, who used it so admirably in the famous interview on SKY News (Check YouTube if you haven’t seen it!).
This is an excerpt of his statement to US Senators who accused him of corruption in 2005:
‘Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.
“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning."
Will the same happen to Iran? Are the children of Iran going to suffer? And is the world going to sit by quietly while this happens? What will you do?
25 October 2007
On my visits to Palestine I have seen these soldiers, and had the pleasure (sarcasm!) of having them interrogate me at border, harass me at the checkpoints, taunt and abuse me at the protests and in the streets.
Some of them have been blessed with amazing beauty, but this is clouded by their ugly and evil actions- actions that decent, moral human beings will not dream of committing or even witness, without trying their best to stop!
From Maxim Magazine:
With photos of women in black bikinis striking provocative poses, Maxim magazine devoted five full pages in their July 2007 issue to answer the single most pressing question in the Middle East: "Are the women in the Israeli Defence Forces the world's sexiest soldiers?"
Commended for their ability to "take apart an Uzi in seconds," Maxim featured four "drop dead gorgeous" former Israeli soldiers scantily clad in military garb and
swimwear. "My job was top secret," said Nivit Bash, who wore a black army cap and not much else for her picture. "I can't talk about it other than to say I studied some Arabic."
From Adbusters: (Adbusters #74)
What also wasn't talked about was that the feature was actually part of a branding campaign by the Consulate General of Israel in New York to improve Israel's public image. The consulate apparently believed that using women in Maxim would make readers forget Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and use of hundreds of thousands of cluster bombs in Lebanon in the conflict last summer.
It was Maxim's decision to use the ex-soldiers, whose photo shoot was partly funded by the American-Israel Friendship League and Israel21C.
While some female members of the Israeli parliament denounced the feature as "pornographic", there was little outcry about the magazine's decision to promote and celebrate an army that has been accused of war crimes by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
"When people view Israel, for the most part they view it as a land of conflict anyway," says David Saranga, a spokesperson for the consulate. "Maxim knows what its readers like, and they wanted to stylize it as girls of the IDF. Look, we're a democracy, we're a free society, we invited them to do something in Israel and they chose what to do."
Maxim refused an interview request and only issued a brief statement saying it was "pleased" with its work. There is no word if Maxim will be doing a feature on the "Girls of Hamas" or "Hizbullah Girls Gone Wild" anytime soon. Adbusters_Sean Condon
So what do you do? Expose this for what it is- and don't support Maxim!!
11 October 2007
So far, at least half the people I have met (both planned and randomly) have been South African! From the contacts I have been given by people back home, to the many random Afrikaans and South African accents you hear on the tube, to the receptionist at Canada Square!
Let’s hope some go for this:
...You can be the miracle
We live in a country with great needs, but even greater potential…. Something we should try not to forget. We should not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenges, or the distance of the road to be walked. Small things change the world. Baby footsteps will travel the distance… and we need to embrace the journey.
Never before has SA been more alive with opportunity. There is an energy in the air to work together: to build better, achieve greater and become stronger. It is the one place where every individual can write his own story, make a difference and be noticed.
South Africa is a country brimming with miracles. One of them could be you...