• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 24 mei 2008

Oil 32


'$130 Oil: Is That a Tipping Point?
Saturday 24 May 2008
by: Peter G. Gosselin, The Los Angeles Times

After years of increases, some fear a tipping point has finally been reached.
Washington - Only a few weeks ago, prominent policymakers and economists were cheerfully asserting that the U.S. economy would dodge recession and keep chugging forward despite a housing bust, a credit crunch and continuing job losses.
"The data are pretty clear that we are not in recession," said President Bush's chief economist, Edward Lazear. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. declared "the worst is likely to be behind us" and confidently predicted that more than $100 billion in tax rebates would help create half a million new jobs by the end of the year.
But instead of clearing, the skies over the economy have ominously darkened in recent days. The chief reason is oil. And there are signs the nation may have reached an economic tipping point after years of shrugging off the petroleum problem.
"We may finally have crossed the line where the price of crude actually matters for most companies," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at New York financial firm Miller Tabak & Co. "The stock market has been in la-la land when it comes to oil, but they got a pretty good dose of reality the last few days."
The ill effects of the latest price hikes would not be so surprising if it were not for the fact that the nation's economy and financial markets remained blissfully unruffled by oil's upward march during most of the last five years. Until this week.
"The economic outlook has been taken hostage by the relentless surge in oil prices," said Robert V. DiClemente, chief U.S. economist at Citigroup in New York.
"We're seeing an inexorable increase, and it doesn't seem like anybody's in charge or can do anything about it," added Bank of America senior economist Peter E. Kretzmer.
Big, Small Firms Take Hits'

De Israelische Terreur 366

'We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!

We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, loudly proclaim the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this month, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.

When we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, we also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

When we think of South Africa's Bantustan policy, we remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis.

When we think of our heroes who languished on Robben Island and elsewhere, we remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

When we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa, we remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

When we think of the Group Areas Act and other such apartheid legislation, we remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only.

When we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa, we remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life.

When we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships, we remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory.

When we think of the SADF attacks against our neighbouring states, we remember that Israel deliberately destabilises the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, including with its 100s of nuclear warheads.

We who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again can not allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine.

We dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity.

We will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza.

We who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.

Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel's persecution of the Palestinians!

* Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence / End Occupation Campaign
* Blade Nzimande, General Secretary, South African Communist Party
* Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions
* Ahmed Kathrada, former Robben Island prisoner
* Eddie Makue, General Secretary, South African Council of Churches
* Makoma Lekalakala, Social Movements Indaba
* Dale McKinley, Anti-Privatisation Forum
* Lybon Mabasa, President, Socialist Party of Azania
* Costa Gazi, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
* Jeremy Cronin, South African Communist Party
* Mosibudi Mangena, President, Azanian Peoples Organisation / Minister of Science and Technology
* Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture
* Sydney Mufamadi, Minister of Provincial and Local Government
* Mosioua Terror Lekota, Minister of Safety and Security
* Alec Erwin, Minister of Public Enterprises
* Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency
* Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Education
* Roy Padayache, Deputy Minister of Communications
* Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology
* Rob Davies, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
* Lorretta Jacobus, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services
* Sam Ramsamy, International Olympic Committee
* Enver Motala, Educationist
* Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights / Former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
* Pregs Govender, Feminist Activist and Author: Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination
* Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Johannesburg
* Frene Ginwala, African National Congress
* Salim Vally, Palestine Solidarity Committee
* Na'eem Jeenah, Palestine Solidarity Committee
* Brian Ashley, Amandla Publications
* Mercia Andrews, Palestine Solidarity Group
* Andile Mngxitama, land rights activist
* Ben Turok, Minister of Parliament
* Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society, University of Kwazulu- Natal
* Farid Esack, Professor of Contemporary Islam, Harvard University
* Dennis Goldberg, former political prisoner
* Elinor Sisulu, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
* Andre Zaaiman
* Virginia Setshedi, Coalition Against Water Privatisation
* Max Ozinsky, Not in my Name
* Revd Basil Manning, Minister, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
* Firoz Osman, Media Review Network
* Zapiro, cartoonist
* Mphutlane wa Bofelo, General Secretary, Muslim Youth Movement
* Steven Friedman, academic
* Ighsaan Hendricks, President, Muslim Judicial Council
* Iqbal Jassat, Media Review Network
* Stiaan van der Merwe, Palestine Solidarity Committee
* Naaziem Adam, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
* Asha Moodley, Board member of Agenda feminist journal
* Suraya Bibi Khan, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
* Nazir Osman, Palestine Solidarity Alliance
* Allan Horwitz, Jewish Voices
* Jackie Dugard, legal and human rights activist
* Professor Alan
* Beata Lipman
* Caroline O'Reilly, researcher
* Jane Lipman
* Shereen Mills, Human rights lawyer, Centre for Applied Legal Studies
* Noor Nieftagodien, University of the Witwatersrand
* Bobby Peek, groundwork, Friends of the Earth
* Arnold Tsunga, Chair, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
* Mcebisi Skwatsha, Provincial Secretary, ANC Western Cape
* Owen Manda, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Johannesburg
* Claire Cerruti, Keep Left
* Cassiem Khan
* Duduzile Masango, Ecumenical Accompanier Programme, Palestine/Israel.
* Syed Aftab Haider, Ahlul Bait Foundation of South Africa
* Rassool Snyman, Palestine Support Committee
* Suleman Dangor, University of Kwazulu Natal
* Zaithoon Maziya, African Muslim Network
* Asif Essop - Anti-Racism Education Forum
* Patrick Mkhize, Steel Mining and Commercial Workers Union
* Zeib Jeeva, Treasurer, International Development and Relief Foundation
* Sheila Barsel, Not In My Name

NB: Organisational affiliations above are for identification purposes only and do not necessarily reflect organisational endorsement.

http://www.endtheoccupation.org.za/index.html
http://www.psc.za.org/

Organisational endorsements:

* Al Quds Foundation
* Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and its 28 affiliates
* Anti-Racism Education Forum
* Azanian Peoples Organisation (Azapo)
* Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)
* Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
* End Occupation Campaign
* groundWork, Friends of the Earth
* Media Review Network (MRN)
* Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)
* Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa (MYM)
* Not In My Name
* Palestine Solidarity Alliance
* Palestine Solidarity Committee
* Palestine Solidarity Group
* Palestine Support Committee
* Social Movements Indaba (SMI)
* Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)
* South African Communist Party (SACP)
* South African Council of Churches (SACC)
* Workers Organisation for Sociliast Action (WOSA)'

vrijdag 23 mei 2008

De Aso Bak

'Gas guzzler graveyard
High pump prices are hitting big SUVs hard and shrinking their numbers. Here's a look at a few former kings of the road. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/autos/0805/gallery.truck_based_suvs/index.html
Big SUVs used to rule the American road. But now, like big cars with tail fins in the '50s or muscle cars in the '60s, full-size SUVs may have seen their day.
High gas prices have sent consumers in search of more fuel-efficient alternatives, such as car-based crossovers, and that's meant hard times for these brawny vehicles.
In a sign of the times, Ford announced Thursday it's bowing to market realities and shifting production away from pick-ups and truck-based SUVs to focus on more fuel-friendly offerings like cars and crossovers.
Not all SUVs are going away, but they are in for some big changes. Here's a look at some of these once-mighty vehicles and how they have fallen. By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com Autos
NEXT: Ford Explorer'

The Empire 376

'Senate deals Bush defeat with funding bill
GOP breaks ranks to boost benefits for veterans, jobless
5/22/2008 - Andrew Taylor The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In a stunning vote that illustrated President Bush's diminished standing, the Senate on Thursday ignored his veto threat and added tens of billions of dollars for veterans and the unemployed to his Iraq war spending bill.
A majority of Republicans broke ranks with Bush on a veto-proof 75-22 vote while adding more than $10 billion for various other domestic programs, including heating subsidies for the poor, wildfire fighting, roads and bridge repair, and health research.
Democrats crowed about their victory. But the developments meant more confusion about when the must-pass measure might actually become law and what the final version will contain.
Senators voted 70-26 to approve $165 billion to fulfill Bush's request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next spring, when Bush's successor will set war policy. Overall, the measure contains $212 billion over the coming two years — $28 billion more than the administration sought — plus about $50 billion more through 2017 for veterans' education benefits.
Bush has promised to veto the Iraq spending if it exceeds his request. He has enough GOP support in the House to sustain a veto.
But the spectacle of 25 Senate Republicans abandoning the White House and voting to extend jobless benefits by 13 weeks and boost the GI Bill to provide veterans enough money to pay for a four-year education at a public institution made it plain that Bush's influence is waning.
"What influence?" said a triumphant Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate's top Democrat. Reid had been skeptical of adding dozens of items favored by the free-spending Appropriations Committee to Bush's war request.
But the committee's plan contained so many smaller items favored by senators in both parties — including money for Gulf Coast Hurricane recovery, NASA, and additional food and drug safety inspectors — that even GOP conservatives such as Larry Craig and Mike Crapo of Idaho rebuffed the White House. The duo were strong supporters of $400 million to subsidize schools in rural counties hit hard by declines in timber revenues.
The bill also contained $490 million for grants to local police departments, $451 million to repair roads damaged by natural disasters, $200 million for the space shuttle program, and $400 million for National Institutes of Health research projects.
The Senate action sent the bill back to the House, which last week endorsed the help for veterans and the unemployed, but kept its version clean of most other domestic programs. The House also included a one-half of a percentage point income tax surcharge on wealthier people to pay for the expanded GI bill.'

Lees verder: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Washington/Senate-deals-Bush-defeat-with-funding-bill

Irak 252

'Powerful Iraqi Cleric Flirting With Shiite Militant Message
Thursday 22 May 2008

by: Hamza Hendawi and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press
Baghdad - Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible - a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad.
The edicts, or fatwas, by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggest he seeks to sharpen his long-held opposition to American troops and counter the populist appeal of his main rivals, firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.
But - unlike al-Sadr's anti-American broadsides - the Iranian-born al-Sistani has displayed extreme caution with anything that could imperil the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The two met Thursday at the elderly cleric's base in the city of Najaf south of Baghdad.
So far, al-Sistani's fatwas have been limited to a handful of people. They also were issued verbally and in private - rather than a blanket proclamation to the general Shiite population - according to three prominent Shiite officials in regular contact with al-Sistani as well as two followers who received the edicts in Najaf.
All spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Al-Sistani - who is believed to be 79 or 80 - has not been seen in public since a brief appearance in August 2004, shortly after returning from London for medical treatment for an unspecified heart condition. But his mix of religious authority and political clout makes him more powerful than any of Iraq's elected leaders.
For American officials, he represents a key stabilizing force in Iraq for refusing to support a full-scale Shiite uprising against U.S.-led forces or Sunnis - especially at the height of sectarian bloodletting after an important Shiite shrine was bombed in 2006.
It is impossible to determine whether those who received the edicts acted on them. Most attacks - except some by al-Qaida in Iraq - are carried out without claims of responsibility.
It is also unknown whether al-Sistani intended the fatwas to inspire violence or simply as theological opinions on foreign occupiers. Al-Sadr - who has a much lower clerical rank than al-Sistani - recently has threatened "open war" on U.S.-led forces.
The U.S. military said it had no indications that al-Sistani was seeking to "promote violence" against U.S.-led troops. It also had no information linking the ayatollah or other top Shiite clerics to armed groups battling U.S. forces and allies.
A senior aide to the prime minister, al-Maliki, said he was not aware of the fatwas, but added that the "rejection of the occupation is a legal and religious principle" and that top Shiite clerics were free to make their own decisions. The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity.'



Irak 251


'River of Resistance: How the American Imperial Dream Foundered in Iraq
Thursday 22 May 2008

by: Michael Schwartz, Tomdispatch.com

On February 15, 2003, ordinary citizens around the world poured into the streets to protest George W. Bush's onrushing invasion of Iraq. Demonstrations took place in large cities and small towns globally, including a small but spirited protest at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Up to 30 million people, who sensed impending catastrophe, participated in what Rebecca Solnit, that apostle of popular hope, has called "the biggest and most widespread collective protest the world has ever seen."
The first glancing assessment of history branded this remarkable planetary protest a record-breaking failure, since the Bush administration, less than one month later, ordered U.S. troops across the Kuwaiti border and on to Baghdad.
And it has since largely been forgotten, or perhaps better put, obliterated from official and media memory. Yet popular protest is more like a river than a storm; it keeps flowing into new areas, carrying pieces of its earlier life into other realms. We rarely know its consequences until many years afterward, when, if we're lucky, we finally sort out its meandering path. Speaking for the protesters back in May 2003, only a month after U.S. troops entered the Iraqi capital, Solnit offered the following:

"We will likely never know, but it seems that the Bush administration decided against the 'Shock and Awe' saturation bombing of Baghdad because we made it clear that the cost in world opinion and civil unrest would be too high. We millions may have saved a few thousand or a few tens of thousand of lives. The global debate about the war delayed it for months, months that perhaps gave many Iraqis time to lay in stores, evacuate, brace for the onslaught."
Whatever history ultimately concludes about that unexpected moment of protest, once the war began, other forms of resistance arose - mainly in Iraq itself - that were equally unexpected. And their effects on the larger goals of Bush administration planners can be more easily traced. Think of it this way: In a land the size of California with but 26 million people, a ragtag collection of Baathists, fundamentalists, former military men, union organizers, democratic secularists, local tribal leaders, and politically active clerics - often at each others throats (quite literally) - nonetheless managed to thwart the plans of the self-proclaimed New Rome, the "hyperpower" and "global sheriff" of Planet Earth. And that, even in the first glancing assessment of history, may indeed prove historic.
The New American Century Goes Missing in Action
It's hard now even to recall the original vision George W. Bush and his top officials had of how the conquest of Iraq would unfold as an episode in the President's Global War on Terror. In their minds, the invasion was sure to yield a quick victory, to be followed by the creation of a client state that would house crucial "enduring" U.S. military bases from which Washington would project power throughout what they liked to term "the Greater Middle East."
In addition, Iraq was quickly going to become a free-market paradise, replete with privatized oil flowing at record rates onto the world market. Like falling dominos, Syria and Iran, cowed by such a demonstration of American might, would follow suit, either from additional military thrusts or because their regimes - and those of up to 60 countries worldwide - would appreciate the futility of resisting Washington's demands. Eventually, the "unipolar moment" of U.S. global hegemony that the collapse of the Soviet Union had initiated would be extended into a "New American Century" (along with a generational Pax Republicana at home).
This vision is now, of course, long gone, largely thanks to unexpected and tenacious resistance of every sort within Iraq. This resistance consisted of far more than the initial Sunni insurgency that tied down what Donald Rumsfeld pridefully labeled "the greatest military force on the face of the earth." It is already none too rash a statement to suggest that, at all levels of society, usually at great sacrifice, the Iraqi people frustrated the imperial designs of a superpower.'

donderdag 22 mei 2008

Carolien Roelants 3


Dit is Carolien Roelants, die de berichtgeving uit het Midden-Oosten controleert voor de NRC. Ik volg haar tendentieuze pro-Israel berichtgeving al enkele jaren en heb daar ook over geschreven. Carolien is momenteel weer bezig niet om de geest te slijpen, maar om die rijp te maken voor een aanval op Iran. Vandaag schrijft ze over Libanon en dat gaat dan in deze stijl, geheel conform de officiele consensus, die ook haar collega Salomon Bouman al jarenlang volgt. Houdt u haar de komende tijd goed in de gaten, ze wil oorlog, ze wil mensen zien sterven. De vijand, de ander, dit keer Iraanse burgers. Zie http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2008/05/salomon-bouman-13.html En zie ook: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2005/12/carolien-roelants-2.html
'Gevechtspauze in Beiroet, maar geen vrede
Na akkoord tussen Libanese partijen kan weer een normaal politiek leven op gang komen
Gepubliceerd: 22 mei 2008 14:32 Gewijzigd: 22 mei 2008 16:12
Een akkoord maakte gisteren een eind aan de politieke crisis in Libanon. Maar een groot probleem blijft onopgelost
Door onze redacteur Carolien Roelants
Rotterdam, 22 mei. Met zijn gewapende offensief in Beiroet en elders in het land tegen regeringsaanhangers joeg Hezbollah twee weken geleden de Libanese burgers de stuipen op het lijf. Tegelijk ondermijnde de shi’itische oppositieorganisatie haar eigen geloofwaardigheid. Had Hezbollahleider Hassan Nasrallah niet bij herhaling plechtig verzekerd dat zijn wapens dienden om Libanon tegen Israël te verdedigen, en nooit gebruikt zouden worden tegen andere Libanese groepen?
„Dit is een belofte voor God, de natie en de martelaren”, verklaarde Nasrallah in september 2006. Zijn vele tegenstanders sloegen hem tijdens en na het offensief met deze uitspraak om de oren. Maar het verloop van de aanval van Hezbollah en zijn kortstondige bezetting van sunnitisch West-Beiroet, het eigen terrein van de door het Westen gesteunde regering van premier Siniora, maakte ook overduidelijk wie op dit moment de sterkste is in Libanon.'
Gevechtspauze_in_Beiroet%252C_maar_geen_vrede
Voorafgaand aan de Amerikaanse illegale inval in Irak , in 2002, schreef ik dit over Roelants:
'Terwijl in de bezette gebieden de Israëlische terreur voluit in gang was, sprak NRC-redactrice Carolien Roelants met Khader Shkirat, directeur van LAW, de door Nederland financieel gesteunde Palestijnse mensenrechtenorganisatie, die al een decenniumlang gedocumenteerd over de Israëlische schendingen van het humanitair recht rapporteert. Zeven kolommen tekst, vijftien vragen, waarvan zeven over de Palestijnse zelfmoordaanslagen. Hoewel Shkirat verklaarde de aanslagen niet te rechtvaardigen, bleef Roelants op dit onderwerp doorhameren. Shkirat probeerde een verklaring te geven voor die aanslagen, met als enige resultaat haar vraag: 'Dus u kunt zelfmoordterrorisme rechtvaardigen?' Geen enkele vraag stelde de NRC-redactrice over bijvoorbeeld de grove schendingen van de Vierde Geneefse Conventie door Israël. In de feiten die de directeur van LAW had willen vertellen en de reden was van zijn bezoek aan Nederland, bleek ze niet geïnteresseerd. Een week later, het Israëlische leger is op dat moment volgens internationale getuigen druk bezig de sporen van oorlogsmisdaden uit te wissen, stelt deze NRC-redactrice op de voorpagina van haar krant zich de vraag of hier nu sprake is van 'Anti-Israel of antisemitisch.' Hoe moeten wij 'de verklaring van leden van het comité voor de Nobelprijs voor de vrede,' duiden 'dat de Israëlische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Shimon Peres zijn Nobelprijs moet worden afgenomen.' En wat te denken van 'de veroordeling door de Mensenrechtencommissie van de Verenigde Naties in Geneve van het "massaal doden" door Israël van Palestijnen bij de militaire operatie bij Jenin.' Intussen weten we dan al wel dat volgens dezelfde Peres de strijd bij Jenin een 'slachting' was. Een paar dagen later, op 20 april - het Israëlische leger is nog steeds bezig in Jenin - krijgt de NRC-lezer de ultieme mening gepresenteerd. Onder de kop 'De Tweede Holocaust' wordt een artikel van de Amerikaan Ron Rosenbaum als volgt ingeleid: 'De vraag is niet óf de tweede holocaust zal komen, maar wanneer. En opnieuw zullen Europeanen bereid zijn tot medeplichtigheid aan moord op de joden.' En zo zijn we stapsgewijs van kritiek op oorlogsmisdaden via antisemitisme in de tweede holocaust beland. De naakte feiten zijn vervangen door suggestieve meningen om elke terechte kritiek te criminaliseren en daarmee monddood te maken. Vorig jaar publiceerden 220 joodse Zuid-Afrikanen een zogeheten 'Gewetens-Verklaring', waarin zij de Israëlische behandeling van de Palestijnen op één lijn stelden met de onderdrukking van de zwarte bevolking tijdens het apartheidsregime. Oktober 1981 omschreef Nahum Goldman, van 1955 tot 1968 president van de World Zionist Organisation het als volgt: 'We zullen moeten begrijpen dat het joodse lijden tijdens de holocaust niet langer meer als verdediging zal dienen, en we zullen zeker moeten nalaten de holocaust als argument te gebruiken om gelijk wat we ook mogen doen te rechtvaardigen. De holocaust gebruiken als een excuus voor het bombarderen… is een soort "ontheiliging", een banalisering van de onschendbare tragedie van de holocaust, die niet misbruikt moet worden om een politiek twijfelachtig en moreel onverdedigbaar beleid te rechtvaardigen.'

woensdag 21 mei 2008

Salomon Bouman 13

Afgelopen maandag, 19 Mei 2008, hoorde ik Salomon Bouman spreken tijdens een bijeenkomst georganiseerd door het Institute for Social Studies in Den Haag waarbij ook de Palestijnse intellectueel Omar Barghouti sprak. Bouman introduceerde zich als “een onafhankelijke journalist die bijna 40 jaar correspondent is geweest in Israel en zich zeer verbonden voelt met de joodse staat.” En passant meldde hij ook een “overlevende van de holocaust te zijn,” hoewel de aanwezigen daaruit niet de conclusie mochten trekken dat dit feit zijn journalistieke kijk op de zaken ook maar enigszins beïnvloedde. Volgens hem waren onder de Arbeiderspartij de Israelische autoriteiten niet expansionistisch geweest, dat gebeurde pas echt na 1977 onder rechts, de Likoed. Een bewering die hij al eerder in de NRC in de volgende bewoordingen had gedaan: “Het realisme van het linkse seculiere zionisme, zoals David Ben Goerion dat beleed, werd naar de achtergrond gedrongen.” Hetzelfde realisme dus dat ertoe had geleid dat onder aanvoering van Ben-Goerion Palestina in 1948 etnisch gezuiverd werd en meer dan de helft van het aan de Palestijnen toegewezen land door zionistische troepen was veroverd. Bouman’s bewering staat ook haaks op uitspraken van Ben-Goerion als deze: “ik ben tevreden met een deel van het land, maar alleen op basis van de gedachte dat we na de stichting van de staat een sterke macht opbouwen – en we de verdeling van het land zullen afschaffen en we ons over het hele Land van Israel zullen verspreiden.” De bezetting van de rest van Palestina na 1967 werd door Bouman gepresenteerd als een economische, sociale en zelfs culturele zegening voor de Palestijnen, want “de Palestijnse pers bloeide onder de Israelische censuur,” een opmerking die het publiek met gefronste wenkbrauwen aanhoorde. Inmiddels was hij alweer voortgedenderd tot een joodse Fransman opstond en Bouman erop wees dat hij “in Angola had geleefd onder koloniaal bestuur. Ik herinner me dat dictator Salazar toen in dezelfde termen sprak over de Portugese aanwezigheid in dat land als u nu over de joden in bezet gebied spreekt, namelijk dat zij een achterlijk volk ontwikkelden.” Het deed Bouman niet van idee veranderen, wel liet hij weten een fel tegenstander te zijn van een democratische seculaire binationale staat, want dat zou het einde betekenen van een exclusief ‘’joodse staat,” een onverdraaglijke gedachte voor Bouman die zelf nog een onderkomen heeft in Ramat Hasharon, een stad ten noorden van Tel Aviv waar de rijkere joods-Israeli’s wonen. Sterker nog ”zolang de Palestijnen niet accepteren dat Israel een joodse staat is zal het conflict voortduren,’’ waarmee de voormalige correspondent aangaf dat in zijn ogen de Palestijnse Israeli’s een inferieure rol binnen “een joodse staat” moeten blijven spelen en Israel dus nooit een democratische staat kan worden voor al zijn burgers. Omar Barghouti probeerde Bouman vergeefs uit te leggen dat een staat die naar etnische zuiverheid streeft nooit een democratie kan zijn omdat het per definitie andere etnische groeperingen moet discrimineren en discriminatie geen democratische levenshouding is. Toen het woord Apartheid viel reageerde de voormalige NRC-correspondent geïrriteerd dat het “een absurde veronderstelling, klinkklare nonsens” was om van Israelische Apartheid te spreken. Barghouti reageerde aansluitend met de opmerking dat niet de Palestijnen maar de Zuid Afrikanen als eersten hebben gesproken over de overeenkomsten tussen hun Apartheid en die van “de joodse natie”. Immers “aartsbisschop Tutu verklaarde na zijn bezoek aan de Westbank dat hij ‘buitengewoon verontrust was’ omdat ‘het hem herinnerde aan zoveel dat de zwarte bevolking in Zuid Afrika was overkomen. Ik heb de vernedering gezien van de Palestijnen bij de controleposten en wegversperringen, die net als wij leden wanneer jonge blanke politiemensen ons verhinderden om rond te reizen.’ Voormalige president Carter heeft gesproken en geschreven over de Israelische Apartheid. Ronnie Kasrils, zelf een jood, en op dit moment minister van Inlichtingen Diensten in Zuid Afrika, heeft gesteld dat volgens alle maatstaven de Israelische Apartheid erger is dan de voormalige Apartheid in Zuid Afrika. En hij noemde daarbij ook de situatie van de Palestijnse Israeli’s, die door meer dan 20 wetten officieel worden gediscrimineerd. Er is sprake van geinstitutionaliseerde Apartheid, omdat het wettelijk is vastgelegd.” Maar ook dit werd door de “onafhankelijke journalist van de slijpsteen voor de geest” genegeerd. Inmiddels had Bouman zijn opponent Barghouti publiekelijk uitgemaakt voor “extremist”, omdat die had geopperd dat Ben-Goerion vanwege zijn betrokkenheid bij het etnisch zuiveren van Palestina in 1948 voor het Internationaal Gerechtshof had moeten worden gedaagd. Aangezien het beroep op het internationaal recht door Bouman werd gezien als een vorm van extremisme stelde ik hem de vraag of hij als journalist de etnische zuivering van 1948 geen oorlogsmisdaad vond. Na een stilte zei hij: “Dat is een scherpe vraag… Het was het resultaat van een oorlog. Ik beschouw het geen oorlogsmisdaad.” Hij ging verder niet in op het feit dat niet alleen Omar Barghouti, maar het internationaal recht etnische zuivering als een oorlogsmisdaad definieert. Bouman’s argument was dat “die oorlog begonnen werd door de Arabische landen die Israel aanvielen,” en dat die naties de Palestijnen hadden opgeroepen om te vluchten, een propagandaleugen die al lang door de Israelische “nieuwe historici” gedocumenteerd is ontkracht, maar die door deze “overlevende van de holocaust” die “zich zeer betrokken voelt bij de joodse staat” nog steeds wordt verspreid. De etnische zuivering onder Rabin van Ramleh en Lydda noemde hij op een bepaald moment: de Palestijnen “de weg wijzen om uit de stad te komen,” een eufemisme dat enige hilariteit onder de aanwezigen opriep. De leugen over de Arabische legers die de oorzaak zouden zijn van de etnische zuivering, negeert ook het door vooraanstaande historici gedocumenteerde feit dat tenminste 200 Palestijnse dorpen al etnisch gezuiverd waren voordat er ook maar één Arabische soldaat de Palestijnen hielp. En hoewel zijn opponent hem dit telkens weer voorhield, weigerde Bouman hier serieus op in te gaan. Nog absurder was zijn bewering dat het geen oorlogsmisdaad was omdat de etnische zuivering tijdens een oorlog was gepleegd, een argument dat Barghouti weerlegde door te zeggen dat “oorlogsmisdaden per definitie tijdens een oorlog worden begaan,” en daarom nu juist oorlogsmisdaden heten. Het opmerkelijke is dat Bouman de etnische zuivering van joden uit Israel natuurlijk wel een oorlogsmisdaad zou noemen. Een serieuze conclusie kan ook niet anders zijn dan dat het meten met twee maten Bouman niet geschikt maakte voor een zo langdurig correspondentschap voor een dagblad dat zich afficheert als een kwaliteitskrant. Een journalist die weigert in te zien dat iemand een oorlogsmisdadiger is zodra deze een bloedige etnische zuivering voorbereid en laat uitvoeren is natuurlijk niet geschikt voor het vak. Maar zo werkt het dus niet in de commerciële journalistiek, zoals ik uit eigen ervaring weet. Zolang Bouman de consensus verwoordt, is er niets aan de hand. Daardoor kon hij 36 jaar lang correspondent blijven in een van de meest gewelddadige gebieden ter wereld om van daaruit zijn publiek met propaganda te bewerken. Het in aanwezigheid van een academisch publiek kwalificeren van een opponent als “een extremist” omdat deze een beroep doet op het internationaal recht illustreert dat hij alles behalve ‘’een onafhankelijke journalist” is. Alleen door het stigmatiseren van een politieke tegenstander kan hij de werkelijkheid blijven negeren. Dat bleek tenslotte andermaal toen hij de religieuze extremist die premier Yitzhak Rabin vermoordde een “nationalist” noemde. Er zit wel degelijk een logica in de gekte.
Hier kunt u de bijeenkomst zien en horen:

Iran 201

NEWS DISSECTOR May 21, 2008
REPORT: BUSH TO ATTACK IRAN, RETRACTED, BURIED

Hill Sweeps Kentucky…Obama takes Oregon and has 1/2 of pledged delegates… Oil up to $130 a barrel BUT could rise, experts say, to $200 a barrel.. Recession said to cost New York 59,000 jobs. Families living in cars have special parking lots in California. More below.

US PLAN TO ATTACK IRAN REPORTED, DENIEDCHINA QUAKE ANGERING/UNITING COUNTRYECONOMIC PAIN GETS DEEPER IN THE USA
The White House on Tuesday denied a published report in Israel that said President Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January. Bear in mind, when ideas like this are leaked-even when later denied-they become part of a psychological war game, perhaps to provoke the Iranians and get them to spend more on defense, or send a signal to hawks that this attack will happen-just not now.
If you remember the period before the war in Iraq, there was lots of back and forth about diplomacy, all to conceal a decision that already had been made. My hunch is that an attack will follow some incident, yet to be provoked or created, that it would help sell it to the public.
A media campaign is a vital part of any war plan and Bush has to be seen as acting only in the last resort-perhaps after some American soldiers are killed in Iraq allegedly with Iranian arms, or after some Iranian "defector" reveals their secret plan for world conquest that must be rebuffed.
Its not what officials say that matters, its what they do, As I have been reporting, there is a US covert aggression under way inside Iran right now. US generals are accumulating "evidence" of Iranian intervention and weapons. The scenario is being put together. There is a pattern here. As native Americans supposedly used to say-or perhaps still do-"white man speak with forked tongue."
HERE'S THE STORY
A story in the Jerusalem Post quoted a "senior official" there as saying that Bush plans to attack Iran in the coming months. The story says the unidentified official claimed that a "senior member" of Bush's traveling entourage made the statement about attacking Iran in a closed meeting. Bush was in Israel last week.
The article also says the unnamed Bush official said that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "were of the opinion that military action were called for."
When the White House issued its denial-not dissimilar to denials initially vis a vis Iraq, what did the Jerusalem Post do. Danny Postel tells us:
THEN THE STORY WAS DROPPED
Danny Postel writes:
There was an article on the Jerusalem Post website this morning titled "'Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term'" which was widely circulated on various listservs; the White House issued a denial of the story - interestingly, the Jerusalem Post, rather than simply run a follow-up piece reporting the White House's denial, or expanding the existing article, seems to have outright replaced the original piece with a new one: the link for the original piece (www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668683139&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) now yields the new, substitute piece with the title "White House denies Iran attack report". Where is the original piece? I can't find it online anywhere else in its original form, though
RETIRED AIR FORCE COLONEL SAM GARDINER IS MONITORING THIS:
The Strategy. President Bush laid down the US red line on April 10th: …if "Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests, and our troops, and our Iraqi partners." The plan a few weeks ago seemed to be for a strong case to be made that the evidence points to Iran, as the first step. Then a formal warning, probably already in draft, would be issued by the Administration. Following that, the next incident could justify an air strike against the training camps inside Iran.
This White House strategy is very similar to the Johnson strategy in Vietnam. Three aircraft carriers were in place in the South China Sea, a familiar set up waiting for an incident. A US advisor camp was targeted on the night of February 7, 1965. The next day the White House announcement was: "United States aircraft struck at North Vietnam early today in response to what President Johnson called 'provocations ordered and directed by the Hanoi regime.'" One can almost hear the same kind message coming from President Bush.
In a prophetic statement that ought to be a warning to the President and Vice President, Johnson went on to say that day that his strike was limited and was not meant to signal a general expansion of the war.
FORMER CIA ANALYST RAY MCGOVERN: ON IRAN
Attack Iran Trash the Constitution
Two years ago I lectured at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. I found it highly disturbing that, when asked about the oath they took upon entering the academy, several of the "Mids" thought it was to the commander in chief.
ANOTHER POSSIBILITY: WAR TALK A DIVERSION FROM THE NEW PLAN BETWEEN THE US AND ITS CLIENT STATE
Iran's Press TV reports:
"The US and Iraq might sign a so-called 'Strategic Framework Agreement' covering economic, political, cultural and security issues.
Although the agreement will have significant political impacts for the region it has drawn little media attention.
The agreement which would pave the way for a long-term US military presence in Iraq could significantly change the balance of power in the Middle East and destabilize the already tense region.
Needless to say this new "Plan," if true will make US withdrawal form Iraq a joke.