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

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 13 september 2008

Georgie 3


'Chickenhawk War Pundits Are Calmly Telling U.S. Allies to Commit National Suicide
By Gary Brecher, AlterNet.


Telling Georgia to keep attacking Russia is like telling a 98-pound weakling to rematch with the hulking thug who just put him on the floor. I'd hate to be Georgia right now. So many American pundits have plans for the Georgians, brilliant schemes designed to get Georgia into a big war with the Russians. "Here's what you oughta do." It's like listening in on bar talk -- some drunk trying to talk a 98-pound weakling into a rematch with the hulking thug who just put him on the floor. Funny thing, they never want to prove their theory themselves.
The backseat generals started early. On August 16, a week after the fighting between Russian and Georgian troops started, the neocon magazine Weekly Standard featured a chirpy, upbeat article listing all the hardware we could ship to the Georgians to help them fight a nice, long, bloody guerrilla war.
It was classic Tom Clancy stuff, all based on the idea you make war with stuff, not people. These guys just won't face the fact that for the guerrilla, the key weapon, the only weapon that matters, is people -- and starting a guerrilla war means sentencing most of the people in your address book to a very nasty death.
Now we've got Sarah Palin, everybody's favorite sniper-mom, volunteering to go to war with Russia over South Ossetia.
As far as I know, Palin isn't volunteering to go there herself. She sticks to targets that don't shoot back, like moose. But then that's what all these eager volunteers have in common: none of them are actually going to go over and fight the Russians themselves, and as far as I know none of them even thought about asking the poor Georgians whether they're up for the sheer Hell of a guerrilla war. All the Georgians wanted was to join NATO, make a little money and maybe get a used car. They're like a guy who joins the Army for a college scholarship and finds himself on the front lines -- except they're not even in NATO yet. We're volunteering them to make the ultimate sacrifice and we haven't even let them in the club yet.
The absolute craziest cheerleading came out of an article in DoD buzz by Greg Grant, quoting an anonymous Department of Defense source who wants Georgia to become the new Hezbollah.
Greg's anonymous warmonger got a big, way-too-enthusiastic boost from Noah Schachtman who writes for this lame-named war site, "The Danger Room," in Wired magazine. His article, "Should Georgia Become A Black Sea Hezbollah?" seems to come up with a gung-ho answer, basically, "Sure! Do it!" Wrong question, and definitely wrong answer.'


Al-Islaam

Ik heb als journalist vele vormen van islam gezien, van Spanje totaan Irak, en telkens weer was ik verrast door de geweldige gastvrijheid en de beschaving die de islam in zich draagt en die zo wezenlijk afwijkt van de houding van veel van de politici in de islamitische wereld. Wat dat betreft verschillen de westerse politici nauwelijks van hun islamitische collega's.

Wat voor mij als journalist interessant is, is de wetenschap dat er nu een Europese islam aan het ontstaan is. Dat is onvermijdelijk. De islam is door de geschiedenis heen altijd veranderd en heeft zich aangepast aan de nieuwe werkelijkheid, zoals elke stroming vanzelfsprekend elementen van zijn omgeving in zich opneemt.

Vandaar dat ik blij verrast was dat Abdul Haq Compier mij het tijdschrift Al-Islaam, het Nederlandstalig islamitisch maandablad sinds 1948 e-mailde met onder andere deze tekst:

'De vroege veroveringen van de Islam

Veroveringsdrang
Vaak wordt de vroege expansie van de Islam geweten aan een drang voor bekering en verovering. In het licht van de feiten is dit een oneerlijk verwijt. De Koran leert dat er ‘geen dwang is in godsdienst’ (2:272) en wijst liefde voor wereldse macht en het ontketenen van oorlogen fundamenteel van de hand. De profeet Mohammed (s) stuurde vredesdelegaties naar omringende machthebbers om verdragen te sluiten ten behoeve van de veiligheid van de moslimgemeenschap. Ook zijn opvolgers (kaliefen) volgden deze wijze politiek.
[1] Deze vredesdelegaties werden echter vaak bespot en enkele werden vermoord. De verdragen die werden gesloten met Arabische machthebbers werden gebroken. De moslimgemeenschap ondervond aanvallen vanuit zowel het Byzantijnse (Oost-Romeinse) als Perzische Rijk. Zo verklaarde de Perzische generaal Rustam in het jaar 14 na de Hijra dat hij ‘geheel Arabië zou verpletteren’.[2] Als gevolg van deze aanvallen was de kalief Umar (ra) gedwongen zich te verdedigen. In deze strijd overwon een kleine groep moslims, als een David tegen een driedubbele Goliath, zowel de legers van de Arabieren, de Romeinen als van de Perzen. Na de wonderbaarlijke overwinningen kwam uit enkele hoeken de roep om door te gaan, aangezien God toch Zijn teken in het voordeel van de moslims had getoond. Zo werd Umar (ra) na de overwinning op Mesopotamië (een deel van het Perzische Rijk) gevraagd door te trekken naar Khorasan, verder oostelijk. Hierop antwoordde Umar (ra) echter met een stoïcijnse zelfbeheersing en wijsheid: ‘Ik wens dat de heuvels een barrière zullen zijn tussen Mesopotamië en de gebieden verderop, zodat de Perzen voor ons geen bedreiging zijn, noch wij een bedreiging voor hen. De vlakte van Irak is voldoende voor ons. Ik verkies de veiligheid van mijn mensen boven duizend verdere veroveringen’.[3] Ook aan de andere kant, in de strijd met de Byzantijnen te Syrië, lezen we dat de bekende moslimstrijder Khalid bin Walid aan een monnik verklaarde dat de moslims streden uit verdediging tegen de opmars van de Byzantijnse legers. Hoewel de monnik hem van wreedheden betichtte, liet Khalid hem en zijn klooster ongedeerd, zeggende dat de profeet Mohammed (s) hem zo geboden had.[4]

Volkeren onderwerpen aan Sharia of vreselijke belastingen
Vaak wordt bovendien het spookbeeld opgeroepen van een medogenloze groep barbaren, die de door hun veroverde gebieden onderwierpen aan verschrikkelijke Sharia-wetten, of de mensen hoge belastingen lieten betalen in ruil voor overigens ongewenste bescherming. In dit kader zullen wij eerst een tekst over de kalief Umar (ra) in Jeruzalem bekijken, waarna wij aan het einde van dit artikel even specifiek ingaan op de kwestie van de belastingen.

De moslims hadden de aanval van de Byzantijnse legers afgeslagen en stonden voor de poorten van de heilige stad Jeruzalem. Wij lezen in het verslag van Al-Waqidi:
“Na het gebed te hebben geleid, zei Umar (ra) aan Abu Ubaydah: ‘O aanvoerder, vertel de mensen dat ik ben aangekomen’. De patriarch werd op de hoogte gesteld. (…) Toen Umar (ra) klaar was voor vertrek, zeiden de moslims: ‘O Leider der Gelovigen, zult gij naar hen toe gaan zonder wapens, alleen en in deze oude kleren? Wij vrezen verraad jegens u.’ Umar (ra) reciteerde een vers uit de Koran: ‘Niets zal ons overkomen behalve datgene wat Allah voor ons heeft beschikt. Hij is onze beschermer. En in Allah dienen de gelovigen hun vertrouwen te leggen’.”
[5] Het vervolg van de gebeurtenissen lezen we in een indrukwekkende beschrijving van Karen Armstrong:[6]
“[De patriarch] Sophronius reed de stad uit om Omar te ontmoeten en hij escorteerde de kalief vervolgens terug naar Jeruzalem. Omar moet erg uit de toon zijn gevallen tussen de schitterend geklede Byzantijnen toen hij de stad binnenreed op een witte kameel in zijn gebruikelijke voddige kleren, die hij had geweigerd te verwisselen voor de plechtigheid [van de overname van de heilige stad]. Sommige christelijke waarnemers … beseften tot hun eigen onbehagen dat de kalief van de moslims het christelijke ideaal van heilige armoede getrouwer in praktijk bracht dan hun eigen gezagsdragers. Omar gaf ook meer uitdrukking aan het heilige ideaal van mededogen dan welke eerdere veroveraar van Jeruzalem ook… Hij had de leiding over de vreedzaamste en minst bloedige overgave die de stad in haar lange en vaak tragische geschiedenis ooit had meegemaakt. Toen de christenen zich eenmaal hadden overgegeven, werd er niemand gedood, werden er geen eigendommen verwoest en geen religieuze symbolen verbrand, vonden er geen uitwijzingen of onteigeningen plaats en werden er geen pogingen ondernomen de inwoners te dwingen de Islam te omarmen.
Omar had gevraagd of hij de heilige plaatsen kon bezichtigen en Sophronius nam hem mee naar de Anastasias. Terwijl Omar bij het graf stond [waarin Jezus (a) had gelegen], werd het tijd voor het moslimgebed en Sophronius nodigde de kalief uit te bidden waar hij stond. Omar weigerde hoffelijk; ook wilde hij niet bidden in Constantijns Martyrium, maar hij ging naar buiten en bad op de trappen terzijde van de drukke hoofdstraat, de Cardo Maximus. Hij legde de patriarch uit dat als hij in één van de christelijke heiligdommen had gebeden, de moslims dat geconfisqueerd en veranderd zouden hebben in een islamitische plaats van aanbidding om het gebed van hun kalief te gedenken in het Bait ul-Maqdis [het ‘heilige huis’, Jeruzalem]. Omar schreef onmiddellijk een handvest dat de moslims verbood te bidden op de trappen van het Martyrium of er een moskee te bouwen. Later bad hij in de Nea en ook nu zorgde hij ervoor dat de kerk in christelijke handen bleef. (…)
[Sophronius] bracht Omar en diens gevolg naar de Tempelberg. Sinds de Perzische bezetting, toen de joden hun eredienst op het plateau hadden hervat, hadden de christenen de plek gebruikt als de vuilstortplaats van de stad. Toen Omar de oude verwoeste poorten van de tempel bereikte, zo vertelt de historicus Moedjir ud-Din, keek hij vol afschuw naar het vuil ‘dat destijds over het hele heiligdom verspreid lag, tot op de trappen van de poorten toe, zodat het zelfs terecht was gekomen in de straten die op de poort uitkwamen, en had het zich zo opgehoopt dat het bijna tot aan de zoldering van de poort reikte’. De enige manier om het plateau te bereiken was kruipend op handen en voeten. Sophronius ging voorop en de moslims volgden. (…) Zodra [Omar] de situatie in ogenschouw had genomen, begon hij handenvol mest en afval in zijn mantel te gooien en het over de stadsmuur in het Hinnomdal te werpen. Zijn volgelingen deden onmiddellijk hetzelfde. (…)
Zodra het plateau was gereinigd, ontbood Omar Ka’b ibn Masliach, een joodse bekeerling tot de Islam en een expert in de Israiliyyât of, zoals wij zouden zeggen, ‘joodse studies’. (…) Zowel joodse als islamitische bronnen maken duidelijk dat joden aan deze restauratie van de Tempelberg deelnamen. Ook wordt gezegd dat Omar vanuit Tiberias met een groep rabbijnen naar Jeruzalem reisde. (…) [Omar] vroeg Ka’b de beste plek op de Tempelberg aan te wijzen om te bidden. Ka’b koos een plek ten noorden van de rots, in de – vrijwel zeker onjuiste – veronderstelling dat dat de plaats van het Heilige der Heiligen was geweest. (…) Omar ging niet in op het voorstel van Ka’b en besloot zijn moskee aan de zuidkant van het plein op te bouwen, op de plek van de koninklijke basiliek van Herodes, waar de huidige Al-Aqsamoskee staat. (…) Omars moskee was een eenvoudig houten gebouw, in overeenstemming met het ideaal van soberheid van de vroege Islam. De eerste persoon die er een beschrijving van gaf, was de christelijke pelgrim Arnulf, die omstreeks 670 Jeruzalem bezocht en werd getroffen door het contrast van dit gebouw met de schitterende tempel die er eerst had gestaan: ‘De Saracenen komen nu regelmatig bijeen in een vierkant gebedshuis, dat zij op primitieve wijze hebben gebouwd door het op te trekken van houten planken en grote balken op enkele restanten van ruïnes’. (…)
Geen van de christenen in de stad werd gedwongen zich tot de Islam te bekeren. Tot de achtste eeuw werd bekering trouwens niet aangemoedigd. [De historicus] Tabari citeert een document waarvan wordt verondersteld dat het het covenant tussen Omar en de christenen van Jeruzalem is. Hoewel het bijna zeker niet authentiek is, geeft het een goed beeld van de islamitische politiek met berekking tot een overwonnen volk:

‘[Omar] garandeert hun veiligheid, ieder van hen persoonlijk en hun bezit: hun kerken, hun kruisen, de zieken en de gezonden, alle mensen van hun geloof. Wij zullen geen moslimsoldaten in hun kerken stationeren. Wij zullen hun kerken niet verwoesten noch ook maar iets van hun schatten of eigendommen of kruisen of wat hun ook maar toebehoort, schade berokkenen. Wij zullen het volk van Jeruzalem niet verplichten hun geloof te verloochenen en wij zullen hun geen kwaad doen’.

(…) Daarom was het niet verrassend dat nestoriaanse en monofysitische christenen de moslims verwelkomden en de moslims prefereerden boven Byzantium. ‘Zij vroegen niet naar het geloof dat men beleed’, schreef de twaalfde-eeuwse historicus Michael de Syriër, ‘noch vervolgden zij iemand om zijn geloof, zoals de Grieken deden, een ketters en verdorven volk’. De orthodoxe christenen hadden er duidelijk meer moeite mee zich aan te passen. (…) Zij moesten aanzien hoe de Tempelberg werd getransformeerd, waarvan de ontheiliging zo belangrijk voor hen was geweest. Velen van hen namen waarschijnlijk hun toevlucht tot het psychologische redmiddel van de ontkenning. (…) Het viel hun niet moeilijk dat te doen. De christenen behielden de meerderheid in de stad en zlfs de moslims moesten toegeven dat Jeruzalem voornamelijk een stad van dhimmi’s [beschermelingen] was.
De christelijke heilige plaatsen bevonden zich bijnan alle op de westelijke heuvel en die bleef dan ook een geheel christelijk gebied. De islamitische overwinnaars vestigden zich niet in dat deel van de stad, ook al was het daar koeler en gezonder dan in hun eigen wijk aan de voet van hun haram [moskee]. Het was de moslims ook verboden de kerken te betreden die nog steeds op de Olijfberg en in het Kidrondal stonden, vooral niet de Hemelvaartskerk en de kerk van het graf van de Maagd – beide gebouwd ter nagedachtenis van plaatsen en gebeurtenissen die de moslims eveneens vereerden. De christenen mochten vrijelijk kerken bouwen en restaureren: in de zevende en achtste eeuw was er in Syrië en Palestina dan ook een hausse in de kerkbouw. Ook mochten de christenen nog steeds hun processies en diensten houden. De enige plaats waar de moslims in groten getale bijeenkwamen was hun Haram, de oude Tempelberg, en deze plaats had nooit enige rol gespeeld in de christelijke liturgie.
… de joden waren [door de Byzantijnen] sinds lange tijd uit Jeruzalem en de omgeving ervan verbannen. [Onder Omar] werd deze regeling herroepen. Er leek geen goede reden te zijn de joden het recht te ontzeggen in de Stad van David te wonen. Omar nodigde zeventig gezinnen uit Tiberias uit om zich in Jeruzalem te vestigen, waarbij hun de stadswijk rond de vijver van Siloam bij de zuidwestelijke hoek van de Haram werd toegewezen. Deze buurt was verwoest ten tijde van de Perzische verovering van 614 en was nog steeds overdekt met puin en afval. De joden ruimden dit op en gebruikten de oude stenen voor hun nieuwe huizen. Het werd hun ook toegestaan een synagoge te bouwen – die bekend staat als ‘de Grot’ – vlak bij de westelijke steunmuur van Herodes, misschien in de gewelven onder het plateau. Sommige bronnen vermelden dat de joden mochten bidden op het plateau zelf, net zoals de christenen [van Mohammed (s)] mochten bidden in de moskee van Medina. Enkele van de dhimmi’s – zowel joden als christenen – werden aangesteld als wachters en dienaars op de haram, een voorrecht dat hen onthief van het betalen van de djizia [belasting]. (…) De Byzantijnse keizers hadden het jodendom buiten de wet geplaatst en Heraclius had op het punt gestaan de joden te verplichten zich te laten dopen. (…) De moslims hadden de joden niet alleen bevrijd van het juk van Byzantium, maar hadden hun ook het recht verleend zich permanent in hun Heilige Stad te vestigen. Het is dan ook niet verwonderlijk dat deze verandering inspireerde tot enkele apocalyptische dromen, vooral omdat de moslims hadden gepoogd de Tempelberg te reinigen. Bereidden zij soms de weg voor de bouw van de derde tempel door de Messias? Tegen het einde van de zevende eeuw prees een Hebreeuws gedicht de Arabieren als de voorlopers van de Messias en keek vooruit naar de samenkomst van de joodse ballingen in Jeruzalem en de wederopbouw van de tempel. Ook al kwam de Messias niet, de joden bleven de islamitische heerschappij in Jeruzalem goedgezind. In een brief die in de elfde eeuwe werd geschreven, herinnerden de rabbijnen van Jeruzalem aan de ‘genade’ die God zijn volk had betoond toen hij het ‘koninkrijk van Ismaël’ toestond Palestina te veroveren. Zij herinnerden zich met vreugde dat toen de moslims in Jeruzalem arriveerden, ‘er mensen van de kinderen Israëls onder hen waren; zij toonden hun de plaats van de tempel en bleven onder hen wonen tot op de dag van vandaag’.
De verovering van Palestina door de moslims betekende niet dat het land plotseling werd overstroomd door Arabieren uit de Hidjâz. Etnisch bleef de bevolking even gemengd als ze altijd al was geweest. Het was de islamitische veroveraars niet toegestaan zich in hun nieuwe territoria onder de andere bewoners te mengen. Zij bleven een kleine militaire kaste die apart van de plaatselijke bevolking in speciale militaire kampementen woonde. Enkele generaals mochten huizen bouwen, maar alleen in onbezet gebied. Zoals we al hebben gezien, deden de moslims geen enkele poging zich in de gezondere delen van de stad te vestigen, maar vestigden ze zich in een stadsdeel aan de voet van hun haram vlak bij de joodse wijk. Jeruzalem bleef een overwegend christelijke stad met één heilig moslimgebied. (…)
Omar werd opgevolgd door Usman ibn Affân, een van de eerste metgezellen van de profeet en lid van de aristocratische Omayyaden-clan. Zijn voornaamste bijdrage aan Jeruzalem was de schenking en aanleg van een groot openbaar park bij de vijver van Siloam voor de armen van de stad.”

De belastingheffing
De ‘Jizya’, oftewel de belasting die werd betaald door volkeren die onder bestuur van de moslims waren gekomen, was geen vergeefse belasting, noch werd deze hardhandig opgelegd en noch was deze belasting een oorzaak van ontevredenheid bij de mensen die deze betaalden.
Toen de moslims bijvoorbeeld een invasie van de Romeinen zagen aankomen, gaf de gouverneur van Syrië alle belasting weer terug aan de burgers. Hij verklaarde dat hoewel de moslims zouden vechten, hij wegens de grote dreiging geen veiligheid meer kon garanderen, zodat hij deze belasting ook niet rechtmatig kon innen. Hierop wordt vermeld dat de Syrische christenen gebed deden, dat de moslims succes tegen het Romeinse Rijk mochten hebben en de bestuurders van het land zouden blijven. Nadat de moslims inderdaad hadden overwonnen, betaalden de christenen de belasting met genoegen alsnog. Toen de kalief van de moslims Umar (ra) later naar Syrië kwam, gaven de christenen hem een warm welkom, zongen liederen en strooiden bloemen over hem uit.
Bij een andere gelegenheid werd Umar (ra) geconfronteerd met een situatie waarbij moslims de belasting op hardhandige wijze inden. Hij stopte en vroeg waarom ze zo hardhandig waren. Iemand verklaarde dat deze mensen de belasting niet betaalden omdat ze er niet toe in staat waren. Umar (ra) zei: ‘Er mag mensen geen last worden opgelegd die ze niet kunnen dragen. Laat hen met rust; hun belasting is hen kwijtgescholden’.
[7]

Voor meer nummers van het tijdschrift Al-Islaam bezoekt u :
http://www.ahmadiyya-islam.nl/nl/content/view/34/1/

Vredeswensen bij de namen van profeten en hun metgezellen
(s) sallallāhu ‘alaihī wa-sallam: ‘Mogen de vrede en zegeningen van Allah met hem zijn’
(a) ‘alaihī s-salām: ‘Vrede zij met hem’
(ra) radia llāhu anhu: ‘Moge Allah zich in hem verheugen’
[1] Waqidi, The Islamic Conquest of Syria, TaHa Publishers; diverse pagina’s
[2] Maulana Muhammad Ali, The early Caliphate; p 66
[3] Sir William Muir, the Caliphate
[4] Mohammed (s) had gezegd: ‘Wanneer u dan te Syrië aankomt, zult gij hen ontmoeten, die God veel gedenken in hun huizen des gebeds. Gij zult hen niet lastig vallen, noch hen bestrijden. Wanneer gij wandelt in vijandig gebied, doodt geen vrou­wen en geen kinderen; noch de blinden, noch de ouderen. Hakt geen bomen om, noch verniel enig gebouw’. (Halbiyya, vol. iii)
[5] Waqidi, The Islamic Conquest of Syria, TaHa Publishers; p 398-399
[6] Karen Armstrong. Jeruzalem: een geschiedenis van de heilige stad. Anthos Amsterdam 2002; 253-261

[7] Mirza Bashir Ahmad. Seerat Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen (Urdu); p. 654-655'

Nederland en Afghanistan 169

SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2008

Onze bondgenoot in Afghanistan gaat lekker. Nederlandse politiek steunt deze terreur. Wat zou er gebeuren als Pakistani's in de VS ongewapende burgers zouden vermoorden?

'US Reported to Kill 12 in Pakistan
by: Pir Zubair Shah and Alan Cowell, The New York Times

Islamabad, Pakistan - As the American campaign against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan's tribal areas seemed to intensify on Friday, two missiles fired from remotely piloted American aircraft killed 12 people on Friday in an attack on a village compound in North Waziristan, according to a local journalist and television reports.
At the same time, fighting between Pakistan security forces and militants elsewhere in the wild lands bordering Afghanistan killed 32 militants and two soldiers, The Associated Press reported, citing a Pakistan Army spokesman, Maj. Murad Khan.
The missile strike was said to have taken place near Miran Shah, the main settlement in North Waziristan, before first light Friday and was aimed at the home of a local tribesman, Yousaf Khan Wazir, who was among the dead, a local journalist said, speaking in return for anonymity.
A Pakistani intelligence official said most of the dead in the attack were "Punjabi Taliban." The term refers to militants from the Punjab Province of Pakistan. The target was said to be a militant training camp, the official said, asking not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The missiles were fired at a village called Tole Khel, two miles east of Miran Shah, and the dead included women and children, according to residents speaking to Pakistani reporters. There was no immediate word on the reported attack from American or Pakistani military authorities.
Pakistan's government has little control in the tribal areas which the United States regards as safe havens for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants. In July, President Bush approved secret orders permitting American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.
Earlier this month, American forces raided a Pakistani village near the Afghan border in an attack that angered Pakistani officials who asserted that it had achieved little except killing civilians and stoking anti-Americanism in the tribal areas.
According to two American officials briefed on the raid, more than two dozen members of the Navy Seals spent several hours on the ground, supported by an AC-130 gunship, and killed about two dozen suspected Al Qaeda fighters before they were whisked away by helicopter.
Some Pakistani officials have made clear they prefer the C.I.A.'s Predator drone aircraft as the means of killing Qaeda operatives without the deployment of American troops on the ground.'

vrijdag 12 september 2008

Obama 10

FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2008

Fire on the Elites!
Thursday 11 September 2008
by: The Chronicles of Favilla, Les Échos

"Favilla" writes, "In the Middle Ages, when things went wrong they burned a few witches; today, we open fire on the elites." (Artwork: anamorfosis.net)

The Republican convention's cheers for Sarah Palin surprised Europeans. How is it possible that the great party of the right and center right could choose a person so identified with the extreme right as a potential vice president of the United States? How can a militant against abortion and for firearms possession represent a large part of America? The answer is that foreign observers are on the wrong track. Certainly, John McCain's new running mate is a typical product of the neo-conservative religious current influence, which is as significant among Catholics as among Protestants and which has played a major role in the Bush administration, with the calamitous consequences everyone knows for foreign policy.
But it's not on these grounds that Sarah Palin was greeted with wild applause. It was because she presented herself as an entirely ordinary mother and wife whose political and social ascension in an Alaska isolated-from-everywhere owes absolutely nothing to the Washington and New York elites. Her five children, including one who is handicapped and a pregnant minor daughter, end up convincing people that she personally lives the problems of the ordinary citizen. Her first speech at the convention played that cord for all it was worth, while she accused Barak Obama of being a product of the establishment. Seen from Europe, you've got to pinch yourself to believe that the son of a Kenyan immigrant, who lives in an ordinary Chicago neighborhood, belongs to the elite. But that's a new mistake in perspective. Obama is a graduate of one of America's most prestigious universities; he is an exceptionally brilliant orator and Hollywood stars are at his feet: that's enough to make you a privileged insider from the perspective of Alaska or Iowa.
Moreover, this angle of attack is not new. During the last election four years ago, George Bush got himself elected by endlessly going on about the fact that his Democratic competitor, John Kerry, belonged, like the Kennedys, to the East Coast Catholic "upper class," in other words, the aristocracy. Nor is this discourse anything new either in ... Europe! Berlusconi has made it his own political gold mine with a vulgarity and a success, each as disconcerting and distressing as the other. And during the last presidential election in France, the two candidates also played on this register: Nicolas Sarkozy, by presenting himself as the candidate of those who get up early - implying, unlike the technocrats who rule us - and Sègolëne Royal, by holding forth compassionate discourse. Everything is happening as though the course of the world and its social and economic difficulties were produced by some inaccessible elites who victimize the real people. In the Middle Ages, when things went wrong they burned a few witches; today, we open fire on the elites. It's not certain that attests to much cultural progress.
--------
Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.

Frits Bolkestein

Vandaag stond in de Volkskrant een toespraak van de bejaarde politicus Frits Bolkestein met onder andere deze opmerking:

'Het christendom begon als een godsdienst van het proletariaat. Het duurde een paar eeuwen voor het de staatsgodsdienst van het Romeinse Rijk werd. De islam begon als een godsdienst van veroveraars.' http://extra.volkskrant.nl/opinie/artikel/show/id/1405

Het opmerkelijke is dat de strekking van zijn betoog exact overeenkomt met een betoog van een zwaar bewapende joodse fundamentalist die ik enkele jaren geleden op de bezette Westbank sprak. Dat wil zeggen, hij beweerde weliswaar dat 'het christendom begon als een godsdienst van het proletariaat. Het duurde een paar eeuwen voor het de staatsgodsdienst van het Romeinse Rijk werd.' Maar het verschil met Bolkestein was dat de joodse religieuze fanaticus niet over de islam sprak maar over het judaisme. Hij zei dat 'het judaisme een godsdienst van veroveraars' was en dat hij als erfgenaam van deze traditie recht had om het land van de Palestijnen te veroveren. Ik vroeg hem of hij zijn bewering kon staven met bewijzen. Meer dan een uur kwam hij met citaten uit het Oude Testament zoals deze:

'(Deuteronomium 20:16-17) Maar van de steden dezer volken, die u de HEERE, uw God, ten erve geeft, zult gij niets laten leven, dat adem heeft. Maar gij zult ze ganselijk verbannen: de Hethieten, en de Amorieten, en de Kanaänieten, en de Ferezieten, de Hevieten, en de Jebusieten, gelijk als u de HEERE, uw God, geboden heeft;
(Deuteronomium 20:13) En de HEERE, uw God, zal haar in uw hand geven; en gij zult alles, wat mannelijk daarin is, slaan met de scherpte des zwaards;
(Deuteronomium 7:16) Gij zult dan al die volken verteren, die de HEERE, uw God, u geven zal; uw oog zal hen niet verschonen, en gij zult hun goden niet dienen; want dat zoude u een strik zijn.
(Deuteronomium 7:22-23) En de HEERE, uw God, zal deze volken voor uw aangezicht allengskens uitwerpen; haastelijk zult gij hen niet mogen te niet doen, opdat het wild des velds niet tegen u vermenigvuldige. En de HEERE zal hen geven voor uw aangezicht, en Hij zal hen verschrikken met grote verschrikking, totdat zij verdelgd worden.
(Numerie 21:34-35) De HEERE nu zeide tot Mozes: Vrees hem niet; want Ik heb hem in uw hand gegeven, en al zijn volk, ook zijn land; en gij zult hem doen, gelijk als gij Sihon, den koning der Amorieten, die te Hesbon woonde, gedaan hebt. En zij sloegen hem, en zijn zonen, en al zijn volk, alzo dat hem niemand overbleef; en zij namen zijn land in erfelijke bezitting.
(Numerie. 25:17) Handel vijandelijk met de Midianieten, en versla hen;
(Numerie 31:7) En zij streden tegen de Midianieten, gelijk als de HEERE Mozes geboden had, en zij doodden al wat mannelijk was.
(Jozua 10:40) Alzo sloeg Jozua het ganse land, het gebergte, en het zuiden, en de laagte, en de aflopingen der wateren, en al hun koningen; hij liet geen overigen overblijven; ja, hij verbande alles, wat adem had, gelijk als de HEERE, de God Israels, geboden had.
(1 Samuel 15:18) En de HEERE heeft u op den weg gezonden, en gezegd: Ga heen en verban de zondaars, de Amalekieten, en strijd tegen hen, totdat gij dezelve te niet doet.
(Jeremia 50:21) Tegen het land Merathaim, trek tegen hetzelve op, en tegen de inwoners van Pekod; verwoest en verban achter hen, spreekt de HEERE, en doe naar alles, wat Ik u geboden heb.
(1 Samuel 15:3) Ga nu heen, en sla Amalek, en verban alles, wat hij heeft, en verschoon hem niet; maar dood van den man af tot de vrouw toe, van de kinderen tot de zuigelingen, van de ossen tot de schapen, van de kamelen tot de ezelen toe.
(1 Samuel 5:9) En het geschiedde, nadat zij die hadden rondom gedragen, zo was de hand des HEEREN tegen die stad met een zeer grote kwelling; want Hij sloeg de lieden dier stad van den kleine tot den grote….
(Jeremia 13:14) En Ik zal hen in stukken slaan, den een tegen den ander, zo de vaders als de kinderen te zamen, spreekt de HEERE; Ik zal niet verschonen noch sparen, noch Mij ontfermen, dat Ik hen niet zou verderven.
(Ezechiel 9:5-6) Maar tot die anderen zeide Hij voor mijn oren: Gaat door, door de stad achter hem, en slaat, ulieder oog verschone niet, en spaart niet! Doodt ouden, jongelingen en maagden, en kinderkens en vrouwen, tot verdervens toe.'

En inderdaad, het Oude Testament staat vol veroveringen en bevat ook de eerste geschreven rechtvaardiging om genocide te plegen. De Oud Testamentische God geeft daartoe opdracht.

Als ik Bolkestein's redenering nu goed begrijp is het judaisme eerst en vooral een 'godsdienst van veroveraars'. Is dit voor hem een verklaring voor het feit dat extremistische zionisten in en buiten Israel de verovering van Palestijns land organiseren en rechtvaardigen? Zo ja, waarom spreekt hij zich hier als liberaal niet tegen uit? Zo nee, waarom niet? Waarom blijft hij zich zo fanatiek en verbeten keren tegen alleen de islam?

Een ander punt is dit, Bolkestein zegt het volgende:
'Het zou idioot zijn te zeggen dat alle moslims terroristen zijn. Maar de meeste terroristen zijn tegenwoordig wel moslim. Waarom is dat zo? ' Klopt deze bewering? Nee, volstrekt niet zelfs. Het is namelijk de vraag wat terrorisme precies is. Als onafhankelijke journalist gebruik ik zelf de definitie zoals die beschreven staat in het Amerikaanse Leger Handboek, waarbij terrorisme omschreven wordt als 'het bewust geplande gebruik van geweld of dreiging van geweld om doelen te bereiken die politiek, religieus, of ideologisch van aard zijn.'

Welnu, mei 1996 verscheen de toenmalige Amerikaanse ambassadrice bij de VN, Madeleine Albright, in het befaamde CBS programma 60 Minutes. Haar werd een reactie gevraagd op een VN-rapport waarin melding werd gemaakt van het feit dat als gevolg van de sancties en de Amerikaanse en Britse bombardementen die de infrastructuur volledig hadden verwoest, meer dan een half miljoen Irakese kinderen onder de vijf jaar om het leven was gekomen. De programmamaakster voegde eraan toe: 'Dat zijn meer kinderen dan in Hiroshima stierven… Is het de prijs waard?' Albright antwoordde: 'Wij denken dat het de prijs waard is.' Toen programmamaakster Lesley Stahl aandrong en de ambassadrice vroeg of de Amerikaanse regering 'zelfs met de hongerdood' van kleuters akkoord ging, rechtvaardigde Albright deze genocidale politiek met de opmerking: 'Weet je Lesley… het is moeilijk voor mij om dit te zeggen, want ik ben een humaan mens, maar mijn eerste verantwoordelijkheid is om ervoor te zorgen dat Amerikaanse troepen niet weer opnieuw de Golfoorlog hoeven uit te vechten.' Met andere woorden: een ongewapend, hulpeloos kind werd opgeofferd voor een getrainde militair die zich wel kon verdedigen. Burgers worden opgeofferd voor militairen, de omgekeerde wereld, meer dan 1000 jaar nadat in het jaar 975 in het Zuid-Franse Le Pui voor het eerst in de geschiedenis de bescherming van burgers tegen oorlogsgeweld werd vastgelegd. Nog geen zes maanden na haar uitspraak werd Madeleine Albright gepromoveerd tot minister van buitenlandse zaken. Vier jaar later confronteerde de Australische journalist John Pilger de Amerikaanse onderminister van buitenlandse zaken James Rubin met haar uitspraak. Zijn reactie kwam erop neer dat Pilger te 'idealistisch' was. 'Bij het uitvoeren van politiek beleid moet men een keuze maken tussen twee kwaden… en helaas zijn de gevolgen van de sancties groter dan we gehoopt hadden,' aldus Rubin. Hij adviseerde Pilger niet zo naïef te zijn omdat er nu eenmaal een 'echte wereld' bestaat waar 'werkelijke keuzes moeten worden gemaakt.'

Met andere woorden: deze genocide om politieke doelen te bereiken, is terrorisme op mega schaal, geheel in stijl met de goddelijke voorschriften in het Oude Testament, waaraan veel Europese en Amerikaanse christenen zoveel waarde en geloof hechten. Gezien de geschiedenis van de christelijke beschaving van alleen al de laatste halve eeuw is het volstrekte nonsens om te beweren dat 'de meeste terroristen tegenwoordig... moslim' zijn. De heer Bolkestein is een oude demagoog, die de werkelijkheid uit het oog is verloren. Ik weet niet of het verstandig is een dergelijke figuur al te vaak uit te nodigen voor publieke praatjes. De situatie is al moeilijk genoeg. Maar ja, wie ben ik, nietwaar?

Gerard Mulder van het Parool


Hier een stukje journalistiek van de bovenste plank. De Nederlandse journalist Gerard Mulder schrijft vandaag in het Parool het volgende:


'Met Afghanistan heb ik niets, en als het morgen in de aardboden zou wegzinken, laat ik geen traan,' om vervolgens als oprechte provinciaal en tegen een leuke vergoeding te concluderen dat Nederlandse troepen in Afghanistan moeten blijven want 'Als de westerse wereld Afghanistan aan de Taliban overlaat, krijgt de reputatie van het Westen wereldwijd een kolossale deuk.'

Het staat er echt!!! Deze journalist op leeftijd denkt werkelijk dat het Westen een reputatie van naam en faam heeft hoog te houden, en dat na vijf eeuwen kolonialisme met de daaraan gekoppelde westerse terreur, van de VOC totaan het Amerikaanse geweld in Irak. Een reputatie hebben we zeker, maar dan een buitengewoon slechte, zoals elke wereldreiziger weet. Als we onze troepen terugtrekken zal er een gejuich op gaan in de wereld van de armen en machtelozen. De Irakezen bijvoorbeeld willen dat de Amerikanen zo snel mogelijk verdwijnen. De Amerikanen weigeren dit, hun leger zit er om een greep op de olie te houden. Dat weet elke geinformeerde journalist, hier zowel als daar. De enige deuk die onze reputatie zal oplopen zodra wij uit de landen van anderen verdwijnen is dat men daar zich zal realiseren dat de koloniale macht niet eeuwig is. En ik kan u verzekeren dat de meeste derde wereldbewoners daar dolgelukkig over zullen zijn, ook al omdat ze 'niets' met Nederland hebben en 'als het morgen in de aardbodem zou wegzinken' ze 'geen traan' zullen laten. Geen enkele! En geef ze eens ongelijk.
U kunt reageren op zijn stukje in het Parool: hetlaatstewoord@parool.nl

Noam Chomsky 26

'Ossetia-Russia-Georgia

By Noam Chomsky
11/09/08 "ICH"

-- - Aghast at the atrocities committed by US forces invading the Philippines, and the rhetorical flights about liberation and noble intent that routinely accompany crimes of state, Mark Twain threw up his hands at his inability to wield his formidable weapon of satire. The immediate object of his frustration was the renowned General Funston. “No satire of Funston could reach perfection,” Twain lamented, “because Funston occupies that summit himself... [he is] satire incarnated.”It is a thought that often comes to mind, again in August 2008 during the Russia-Georgia-Ossetia war. George Bush, Condoleezza Rica and other dignitaries solemnly invoked the sanctity of the United Nations, warning that Russia could be excluded from international institutions “by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with” their principles. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be rigorously honored, they intoned – “all nations,” that is, apart from those that the US chooses to attack: Iraq, Serbia, perhaps Iran, and a list of others too long and familiar to mention.The junior partner joined in as well. British foreign secretary David Miliband accused Russia of engaging in “19th century forms of diplomacy” by invading a sovereign state, something Britain would never contemplate today. That “is simply not the way that international relations can be run in the 21st century,” he added, echoing the decider-in-chief, who said that invasion of “a sovereign neighboring state…is unacceptable in the 21st century.” Mexico and Canada therefore need not fear further invasions and annexation of much of their territory, because the US now only invades states that are not on its borders, though no such constraint holds for its clients, as Lebanon learned once again in 2006.“The moral of this story is even more enlightening,” Serge Halimi wrote in Le Monde diplomatique, “ when, to defend his country's borders, the charming pro-American Saakashvili repatriates some of the 2,000 soldiers he had sent to invade Iraq,” one of the largest contingents apart from the two warrior states.Prominent analysts joined the chorus. Fareed Zakaria applauded Bush’s observation that Russia’s behavior is unacceptable today, unlike the 19th century, “when the Russian intervention would have been standard operating procedure for a great power.” We therefore must devise a strategy for bringing Russia “in line with the civilized world,” where intervention is unthinkable.There were, to be sure, some who shared Mark Twain’s despair. One distinguished example is Chris Patten, former EU commissioner for external relations, chairman of the British Conservative Party, chancellor of Oxford University and a member of the House of Lords. He wrote that the Western reaction “is enough to make even the cynical shake their heads in disbelief” – referring to Europe’s failure to respond vigorously to the effrontery of Russian leaders, who, “like 19th-century tsars, want a sphere of influence around their borders.”Patten rightly distinguishes Russia from the global superpower, which long ago passed the point where it demanded a sphere of influence around its borders, and demands a sphere of influence over the entire world. It also acts vigorously to enforce that demand, in accord with the Clinton doctrine that Washington has the right to use military force to defend vital interests such as “ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources” – and in the real world, far more.Clinton was breaking no new ground, of course. His doctrine derives from standard principles formulated by high-level planners during World War II, which offered the prospect of global dominance. In the postwar world, they determined, the US should aim “to hold unquestioned power” while ensuring the “limitation of any exercise of sovereignty” by states that might interfere with its global designs. To secure these ends, “the foremost requirement [is] the rapid fulfillment of a program of complete rearmament,” a core element of “an integrated policy to achieve military and economic supremacy for the United States.” The plans laid during the war were implemented in various ways in the years that followed.The goals are deeply rooted in stable institutional structures. Hence they persist through changes in occupancy of the White House, and are untroubled by the opportunity for “peace dividends,” the disappearance of the major rival from the world scene, or other marginal irrelevancies. Devising new challenges is never beyond the reach of doctrinal managers, as when Ronald Reagan strapped on his cowboy boots and declared a national emergency because the Nicaraguan army was only two days from Harlingen Texas, and might lead the hordes who are about to “sweep over the United States and take what we have,” as Lyndon Johnson lamented when he called for holding the line in Vietnam. Most ominously, those holding the reins may actually believe their own words.'

Iran 237


'Iran's Road Less Traveled to Nukes
By Ray McGovern

Thomas Fingar, the U.S. government's top intelligence analyst, in a public speech on Sept. 4, repeated the intelligence community's key judgment that Iran's work on the "weaponization portion" of its nuclear development program "was suspended" in 2003.
Not that the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) has exactly trumpeted this important conclusion. One has to read down to paragraph 16 of an article titled "Reduced Dominance Is Predicted for the U.S.", but there it is, right there on an inside page of September 10's Washington Post. The New York Times did not consider Fingar's remarks fit to print.
Yet, it is the 64-dollar question -- whether or not there is evidence that Iran has resumed work on the weapons part of its nuclear program since the startling judgment of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of November 2007 that it had stopped. The Post's Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus quote Fingar as saying there is no evidence that Iran has resumed the weapons work.
For those who do not remember, Fingar was head of the State Department's intelligence unit in 2002, when he courageously resisted the efforts of super-analyst Dick Cheney and his tool, then-CIA Director George Tenet, to manufacture -- out of whole cloth -- a "reconstituted" Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite Fingar's resistance, that judgment appeared in the Oct. 1, 2002 NIE on Iraq's "continuing" weapons of mass destruction programs-an estimate dubbed "The Whore of Babylon" by those intelligence analysts powerless to stop it.
Fingar, who is now head of the National Intelligence Council and supervises the preparation of NIEs and the President's Daily Brief, spoke in Orlando at a conference organized by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of public and private sector leaders of the intelligence and national security fields. His remarks, particularly those during his evening keynote address on Sept. 4, are well worth a read-particularly for those numerous observers who may have concluded that articulate, trenchant analysis of world trends is a thing of the past.
In remarks earlier that day, Fingar made it clear that he had set a new tone when he took over as chief substantive analyst for the intelligence community. No longer would he tolerate using quantity of intelligence products as a measure of effectiveness. The intelligence he was/is determined to provide had to be, in his words, "more useful...It had to be on target...It had to be there at the right time, in the right place, with the right information, with important insights...We had to know exactly what our customers needed."
Even if they did not want to hear it, he might have added.
The gutsy NIE of November 2007 stated that, contrary to what President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had been saying throughout 2007, the nuclear weapons-related portion of Iran's nuclear program had been stopped in the fall of 2003, and as of mid-2007 had probably not been restarted.
The good news was that, at the insistence of our most senior military, who realize what a debacle it would be to attack Iran, the NIE judgments were made public. More good news: Fingar was not summarily fired.
The Bad News...'




John Pilger 23


'A Murderous Theatre of the Absurd

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger examines news as parody as those prominent in the British media seek to justify the official versions of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

By John Pilger

11/09/08 "ICH"

-- - Try to laugh, please. The news is now officially parody and a game for all the family to play.First question: Why are “we” in Afghanistan? Answer: “To try to help in the country’s rebuilding programme.” Who says so? Huw Edwards, the BBC’s principal newsreader. What wags the Welsh are.Second question: Why are “we” in Iraq? Answer: To “plant a western-style open democracy”. Who says so? Paul Wood, the former BBC defence correspondent, and his boss Helen Boaden, director of BBC News. To prove her point, Boaden supplied Medialens.org with 2,700 words of quotations from Tony Blair and George W Bush. Irony? No, she meant it.Take Andrew Martin, divisional adviser at BBC Complaints, who has been researching Bush’s speeches for “evidence” of noble democratic reasons for laying to waste an ancient civilisation. Says he: “The ‘D’ word is not there, but the phrase ‘united, stable and free’ [is] clearly an allusion to it.” After all, he says, the invasion of Iraq “was launched as ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’”. Moreover, says the BBC man, “in Bush’s 1 May 2003 speech (the one on the aircraft carrier) he talked repeatedly about freedom and explicitly about the Iraqi transition to democracy . . . These examples show that these were on Bush’s mind before, during and after the invasion.”Try to laugh, please.Laughing may be difficult, I agree, given the slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan by “coalition” aircraft, including those directed by British forces engaged in “the country’s rebuilding programme”. The bombing of civilian areas has doubled, along with the deaths of civilians, says Human Rights Watch. Last month, “our” aircraft slaughtered nearly 100 civilians, two-thirds of them children between the ages of three months and 16 years, while they slept, according to eyewitnesses. BBC television news initially devoted nine seconds to the Human Rights Watch report, and nothing to the fact that “less than peanuts” (according to an aid worker) is being spent on rebuilding anything in Afghanistan.As for the notion of a “united, stable and free” Iraq, consider the no-bid contracts handed to the major western oil companies for ownership of Iraq’s oil. “Theft” is a more truthful word. Written by the companies themselves and US officials, the contracts have been signed off by Bush and Nouri al-Maliki, “prime minister” of Iraq’s “democratic” government that resides in an air-conditioned American fortress. This is not news.Try to laugh, please, while you consider the devastation of Iraq’s health, once the best in the Middle East, by the ubiquitous dust from British and US depleted uranium weapons. A World Health Organisation study reporting a cancer epidemic has been suppressed, says its principal author. This has been reported in Britain only in the Glasgow Sunday Herald and the Morning Star. According to a study last year by Basra University Medical College, almost half of all deaths in the contaminated southern provinces were caused by cancer.Try to laugh, please, at the recent happy-clappy Nurembergs from which will come the next president of the United States. Those paid to keep the record straight have strained to present a spectacle of choice. Barack Obama, the man of “change”, wants to “build a 21st-century military . . . to stay on the offensive everywhere”. Here comes the new Cold War, with promises of more bombs, more of the militarised society with its 730 bases worldwide, on which Americans spend 42 cents of every tax dollar.At home, Obama offers no authentic measure that might ease America’s grotesque inequality, such as basic health care. John McCain, his Republican opponent, may well be a media cartoon figure – the fake “war hero” now joined with a Shakespeare-banning, gun-loving, religious fanatic – yet his true significance is that he and Obama share essentially the same dangerous prescriptions.'


Wijsheid 21

'We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag. And so, by the Providences of God - and the phrase is the government's, not mine - we are a World Power: - Mark Twain

"The vested interests - if we explain the situation by their influence - can only get the public to act as they wish by manipulating public opinion, by playing either upon the public's indifference, confusions, prejudices, pugnacities or fears. And the only way in which the power of the interests can be undermined and their maneuvers defeated is by bringing home to the public the danger of its indifference, the absurdity of its prejudices, or the hollowness of its fears; by showing that it is indifferent to danger where real danger exists; frightened by dangers which are nonexistent." Sir Norman Angell 1872 - 1967

It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know--or care--about circumstances in the colonies: Bertrand Russell

"Iniquity, committed in this world, produces not fruit immediately, but, like the earth, in due season, and advancing by little and little, it eradicates the man who committed it. ... justice, being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve; it must never therefore be violated." Manu 1200 bc'

donderdag 11 september 2008

De Commerciele Massamedia 136

Media Tenor - 9/11: Stereotypes Dominate TV News
By Media Tenor. 11 Sep 2008-->
The Media Image of Islam in the Year 2008

Zurich, 09/11/2008:

Even seven years after the attacks on the World Trade Center media coverage has not changed at all: Religion is primarily associated with terrorism. Almost half of all statements about Islam have been negative on the American ABC, CBS and NBC network news. In the UK, BBC and ITV news showed a slightly less negative tone towards Islam, but violent attacks dominated the news. Thus high awareness is triggered by the news value of conflict. In Germany, Muslims accordingly receive 20 times the coverage of Buddhists or the Jewish communities, as the latest analysis of the Zurich-based research institute MEDIA TENOR shows. But the religious life of Muslim plays no major role in the news reports – which is very much in line with the TV coverage of other religious groups.
“When TV stations broadcast the footage from the terrorist attacks on the seventh anniversary again and again, the German public will not be able to find out whether these dead conformed to the rules of the Koran or not,“ explains Roland Schatz, editor-in-chief of MEDIA TENOR, the long-term analysis of the coverage of religion in German main evening TV news shows. “As long as the news selection conforms to those existing stereotypes, the people have no chance to develop a balanced opinion on the merits of Islam.” Schatz therefore recommends additional lecture of daily newspapers and the weekly press.
The results of MEDIA TENOR’s continuous and comprehensive media content analysis are corroborated by regular domestic and international polls. Most people name print media as their favored source of information about Islam. For this study MEDIA TENOR has analyzed 11,294 statements in three US main evening TV news for the period from 01/2007 to 03/2008, and 12,861 statements in three British main evening TV news. In Germany, 6,550 news stories have been analyzed between 2001 and 2008 that dealt in-depth with a religious institution.
Since 1994, MEDIA TENOR monitors the news coverage of opinion-leading German media outlets. For this study in the US, MEDIA TENOR analyzed ABC, CBS and NBC news; in the UK, BBC and ITV; and in Germany, all broadcasts of ARD TAGESSCHAU and TAGESTHEMEN, ZDF HEUTE and HEUTE JOURNAL and RTL AKTUELL from January 2001 until July 2008. A detailed description of the methodology can be found at http://www.mediatenor.de/.

** Download the report in pdf format here.

The Empire 336




Hoe het imperium steeds verder het moeras inzinkt.
'THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2008

Bush Said to Give Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan
Thursday 11 September 2008
by: Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti,

The New York Times

US forces have been given the authority to operate inside Pakistan despite objections from the fragile Pakistani government. (Photo: ABC News)
Washington - President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.
The classified orders signal a watershed for the Bush administration after nearly seven years of trying to work with Pakistan to combat the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and after months of high-level stalemate about how to challenge the militants' increasingly secure base in Pakistan's tribal areas.
American officials say that they will notify Pakistan when they conduct limited ground attacks like the Special Operations raid last Wednesday in a Pakistani village near the Afghanistan border, but that they will not ask for its permission.
"The situation in the tribal areas is not tolerable," said a senior American official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the missions. "We have to be more assertive. Orders have been issued."
The new orders reflect concern about safe havens for Al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan, as well as an American view that Pakistan lacks the will and ability to combat militants. They also illustrate lingering distrust of the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies and a belief that some American operations had been compromised once Pakistanis were advised of the details.
The Central Intelligence Agency has for several years fired missiles at militants inside Pakistan from remotely piloted Predator aircraft. But the new orders for the military's Special Operations forces relax firm restrictions on conducting raids on the soil of an important ally without its permission.
Pakistan's top army officer said Wednesday that his forces would not tolerate American incursions like the one that took place last week and that the army would defend the country's sovereignty "at all costs."
It is unclear precisely what legal authorities the United States has invoked to conduct even limited ground raids in a friendly country. A second senior American official said that the Pakistani government had privately assented to the general concept of limited ground assaults by Special Operations forces against significant militant targets, but that it did not approve each mission.
The official did not say which members of the government gave their approval.
Any new ground operations in Pakistan raise the prospect of American forces being killed or captured in the restive tribal areas - and a propaganda coup for Al Qaeda. Last week's raid also presents a major test for Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, who supports more aggressive action by his army against the militants but cannot risk being viewed as an American lap dog, as was his predecessor, Pervez Musharraf.'

Nederland en Afghanistan 168




THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2008












9/11 Seven Years Later: US "Safe," South Asia in Turmoil
Wednesday 10 September 2008

by: Jonathan S. Landay and Saeed Shah, McClatchy Newspapers

After seven years of the "global war on terror," Afghanistan and Pakistan are seeing a growing al-Qaeda presence - and an increasing danger posed by US attacks on their civilians. Here, Pakistani protesters show their opposition to the "war on terror" by burning an American flag. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

Islamabad, Pakistan - Seven years after 9/11, al Qaida and its allies are gaining ground across the region where the plot was hatched, staging their most lethal attacks yet against NATO forces and posing a growing threat to the U.S.-backed governments in Afghanistan and nuclear-armed Pakistan.
While there have been no new strikes on the U.S. homeland, the Islamic insurrection inspired by Osama bin Laden has claimed thousands of casualties and displaced tens of thousands of people and shows no sign of slackening in the face of history's most powerful military alliance.
The insurgency now stretches from Afghanistan's border with Iran through the southern half of the country. The Taliban now are able to interdict three of the four major highways that connect Kabul, the capital, to the rest of the country.
"I am not convinced we are winning it in Afghanistan," Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conceded before a congressional committee on Tuesday.
Experts inside and outside the U.S. government agreed that a key reason for the resurgence is a growing popular sympathy for the militants because an over-reliance on the use of force, especially airpower, by NATO has killed hundreds of civilians.
On Wednesday, Pakistan's military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, warned that cross-border U.S. missile strikes and commando raids no longer will be tolerated. "The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country will be defended at all cost," he said.'

Jeff Koons

De NRC bericht: 'Jeff Koons spreidt zijn armen in de tuinen van Paleis van Versailles. Op de achtergrond zijn creatie "Split-Rocker". Foto AP -->

Jeff Koons komt thuis in Versailles
'Een droom die uitkomt'
Gepubliceerd: 11 september 2008 13:58 Gewijzigd: 11 september 2008 16:21
De glanzende en soms banale kunst van Jeff Koons komt in de praal van Versailles prachtig tot zijn recht. Vandaag opende zijn expositie in en om het paleis van Lodewijk XIV.
Door onze correspondent René Moerland
Parijs, 11 sept. Gisteren is Versailles veranderd. De komende twee maanden is het eerste wat je denkt als je het immense paleis van Lodewijk XIV binnenkomt, in de Herculessalon waar de toeristenroute begint: hé, een rode opblaashond.
Dat is Balloon Dog van Jeff Koons, verchroomd roestvrij staal. Je volgt zijn dichtgeknoopte ventielneusje om te zien waar dit metershoge gadget naar kijkt.'
Schitterend wanneer de banaliteit van de macht samenvalt met de kitsch van Koons. Vooral als de macht niet doorheeft dat het te kijk staat. Ik ga het zeker bekijken.

Hypocrisie



Omar Barghouti mailde me dit:


'A racist, publicity-thristy and quite mediocre Danish cartoonist who produced works that overtly and unabashedly mocked the prophet of Islam and everything Muslim with the most vile, xenophobic stereotypes was defended across Europe under the rubric of freedom of speech, while a veteran French cartoonist gets immediately sacked from his job for daring to write something that may remotely be perceived as insinuating a stereotype against Jews! And he is being tried in court for breaking the law, too!

The art of European hypocrisy ...

Omar



Row over lingering French antisemitism fuelled by marriage of president's son

· Conversion rumour over wedding to Jewish heiress · Commentator sacked for 'rehashing stereotype'

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
The Guardian,
Thursday September 11 2008
Article history

He's the 22-year-old blond bombshell son of the French president, whose own political career has turned him into a celebrity. But last night Jean Sarkozy married his childhood sweetheart, a Jewish retailing heiress, in a move that was more than just the latest romantic chapter in the Sarkozy family fairytale. It has also reignited a scathing row over the dark issue of antisemitism in France.

The young Sarkozy - who is still a law student but holds a key position in local politics in his father's former fiefdom, the rich Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine - was reportedly married in a civil service so private that the guests were only notified by text message. His bride, Jessica Sibaoun-Darty, is an heiress to the electrical goods company Darty - a kind of French Argos. They met as high school students growing up in affluent, showbiz Neuilly, and when they got engaged this summer they were quickly feted as France's youngest power couple.

But soon there was a rumour that Jean Sarkozy, a Catholic, had travelled to Israel for religious instruction and was planning to convert to Judaism before marrying. His family has its own Jewish connections: Nicolas Sarkozy's grandfather was a Jewish doctor born in the Greek city of Salonica, now known as Thessaloniki.

After the engagement Maurice Sinet, a veteran cartoonist for the irreverent and deliberately provocative satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, wrote an article under his pen-name Siné, saying Sarkozy Jr "has just said he intends to convert to Judaism before marrying his fiancée, who is Jewish, and the heiress to the founders of Darty. He'll go far, that kid."

Siné was sacked by the magazine's editor, who said his remarks "could be interpreted as drawing a link between conversion to Judaism and social success", rehashing the old stereotype linking Jews and money. Last month antisemitic graffiti against Jean Sarkozy appeared on walls in Neuilly, reading: "Sarkozy, Jewish thieves", and police arrested a suspect.

Siné, who denied claims of antisemitism and has lodged a legal complaint, saying death threats had been made against him, launched his own magazine yesterday in which he said he would defend freedom of speech. The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism has brought a court case against him for incitement to racial hatred, citing the Jean Sarkozy article and another about Muslim women who wear headscarves.

The row has fed the debate about antisemitism in France, which has Europe's largest Jewish population and where the spectre remains of historic cases of antisemitism and the deportation of Jews during the second world war.
Twenty leading writers and politicians, including the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, wrote an open letter to Le Monde last month saying Siné had "crossed the line between humorous insult and hateful caricature" and was rightly sacked.

Jean Sarkozy, a councillor and head of the centre-right local council bloc in the wealthy Hauts-de-Seine district of western Paris, told L'Optimum magazine: "The rumour of conversion is false. And when I read antisemitic remarks on blogs, I'm very shocked; I ask myself where it all comes from and why I'm singled out for such treatment. People seize on a rumour to ask me about possible choices that have nothing to do with my political work."

The young Sarkozy is trying to shed his image as "Monsieur Son Of". But interest in him is outstripping the public appetite for his stepmother, the ex-model and singer Carla Bruni. She appeared on a popular chatshow last weekend but won lower audience ratings than the former first lady Bernadette Chirac did before her.'

11 September 2001 (44)


'Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?

By David Ray Griffin

09/09/08

"ICH"


Much of America's foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. This assumption was used, most prominently, to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is now widely agreed that the use of 9/11 as a basis for attacking Iraq was illegitimate: none of the hijackers were Iraqis, there was no working relation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and Iraq was not behind the anthrax attacks. But it is still widely believed that the US attack on Afghanistan was justified. For example, the New York Times, while referring to the US attack on Iraq as a "war of choice," calls the battle in Afghanistan a "war of necessity." Time magazine has dubbed it "the right war." And Barack Obama says that one reason to wind down our involvement in Iraq is to have the troops and resources to "go after the people in Afghanistan who actually attacked us on 9/11."The assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11 also lies behind the widespread perception of Islam as an inherently violent religion and therefore of Muslims as guilty until proven innocent. This perception surely contributed to attempts to portray Obama as a Muslim, which was lampooned by a controversial cartoon on the July 21, 2008, cover of The New Yorker.As could be illustrated by reference to many other post-9/11 developments, including as spying, torture, extraordinary rendition, military tribunals, America's new doctrine of preemptive war, and its enormous increase in military spending, the assumption that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by Muslim hijackers has had enormous negative consequences for both international and domestic issues.1Is it conceivable that this assumption might be false? Insofar as Americans and Canadians would say "No," they would express their belief that this assumption is not merely an "assumption" but is instead based on strong evidence. When actually examined, however, the proffered evidence turns out to be remarkably weak. I will illustrate this point by means of 16 questions.1. Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?The picture of the hijackers conveyed by the 9/11 Commission is that they were devout Muslims. Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader, was said to have become very religious, even "fanatically so."2 Being devout Muslims, they could be portrayed as ready to meet their Maker---as a "cadre of trained operatives willing to die."3But this portrayal is contradicted by various newspaper stories. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had made "at least six trips" to Las Vegas, where they had "engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures." These activities were "un-Islamic" because, as the head of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada pointed out: "True Muslims don't drink, don't gamble, don't go to strip clubs."4One might, to be sure, rationalize this behavior by supposing that these were momentary lapses and that, as 9/11 approached, these young Muslims had repented and prepared for heaven. But in the days just before 9/11, Atta and others were reported to be drinking heavily, cavorting with lap dancers, and bringing call girls to their rooms. Temple University Professor Mahmoud Ayoub said: "It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam. . . . Something here does not add up."5In spite of the fact that these activities were reported by mainstream newspapers and even the Wall Street Journal editorial page,6 the 9/11 Commission wrote as if these reports did not exist, saying: "we have seen no credible evidence explaining why, on [some occasions], the operatives flew to or met in Las Vegas."72. Do Authorities Have Hard Evidence of Osama bin Laden's Responsibility for 9/11?Whatever be the truth about the devoutness of the hijackers, one might reply, there is certainly no doubt about the fact that they were acting under the guidance of Osama bin Laden. The attack on Afghanistan was based on the claim that bin Laden was behind the attacks, and the 9/11 Commission's report was written as if there were no question about this claim. But neither the Bush administration nor the Commission provided any proof for it.'

11 September 2001 (43)


Is dat niet toevallig allemaal?
Agency planned exercise on Sept. 11 built around a plane crashing into a building
By John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings. But the cause wasn't terrorism -- it was to be a simulated accident.
Officials at the Chantilly, Va.-based National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency's headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure.
The agency is about four miles from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport.
Agency chiefs came up with the scenario to test employees' ability to respond to a disaster, said spokesman Art Haubold. No actual plane was to be involved -- to simulate the damage from the crash, some stairwells and exits were to be closed off, forcing employees to find other ways to evacuate the building.
"It was just an incredible coincidence that this happened to involve an aircraft crashing into our facility," Haubold said. "As soon as the real world events began, we canceled the exercise."
Terrorism was to play no role in the exercise, which had been planned for several months, he said.
Adding to the coincidence, American Airlines Flight 77 -- the Boeing 767 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon -- took off from Dulles at 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 11, 50 minutes before the exercise was to begin. It struck the Pentagon around 9:40 a.m., killing 64 aboard the plane and 125 on the ground.'


De Israelische Terreur 434

Contents:1. Badil Release: Congratulations to winners of the Deir Yassin Remembered Scholarship winners 2. Call for Papers: International Conference on “Israel/Palestine: One State or Two?”

Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is proud to announce that Haneen Abu Eisha and Nida' Ahmaru, two graduates of Badil's Youth Training Project have been awarded the Deir Yassin Remembered Scholarships. We wish the best of luck to the recipients as they continue their studies with the help of this well deserved scholarship, and our deepest gratitude to the Karkar family and the Deir Yassin Remembered initiative for investing in the education of refugee youth. It is these young refugee women who will undoubtedly play leading roles in building the strength and capacities of Palestinian refugee communities as they work to implement their inalienable rights to return to their homes and lands. For more information, please contact Badil at mediaenglish@badil.org ---Press Release of the Deir Yassin Remembered Scholarship Committee: Deir Yassin Remembered Scholarships in Honor of John Karkar The Deir Yassin Remembered Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce a $2,500 award to be divided equally between two Palestinian women. With the kind assistance of Badil, the committee has selected Haneen Abu Eisha and Nida' Ahmaru. Haneen is a graduate of Young Women's Muslim Secondary School and Nida' is a graduate of Jericho Girl's School. Haneen is enrolled at Al Quds University where she is studying English Literature. Nida' is enrolled at Hebron University studying Islamic Studies and Social work. This particular award was funded by John Karkar and his wife Sonja. John is Palestinian by birth but lives in Australia with his family. Sonja is on the Board of Deir Yassin Remembered, but is best known for her activism and leading Australians For Palestine. Deir Yassin Remembered is a charitable and educational not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Its scholarship committee makes modest awards for post-secondary study in Israel/Palestine and champions the cause of “peace through education.” The current members of the DYR Scholarship Committee include Steven Beikirch (Chair) Henry Herskovitz Susan Abulhawa Israel Shamir All contributions are tax-deductible and may be sent by check or by PayPal through http://www.dyr-scholarship.org/ For More Information Contact Daniel McGowan 315 781-3418 mcgowan@hws.edu http://www.deiryassin.org/ http://www.dyr-scholarship.org/

Call for Papers International Conference on “Israel/Palestine: One State or Two?” Paper proposals are requested for an international conference addressing the question of whether a two-state solution or a single constitutional democracy in Israel/Palestine offers the most promising path to future peace and security in the region. The conference aims to envision in specific terms the likely outcomes of the two state peace process as well as the possible constitutional dimensions of a future single state. Conference speakers will be selected to represent a range of opinion, including proponents of one and two state models for Israel/Palestine. The conference will provide an opportunity to question whether a one state option could ever achieve sufficient political support or adequately protect the rights and security of both national communities. Drawing on the experiences, both successful and otherwise, of other multinational constitutional democracies, the conference will explore the potential of a state shaped by federalism, equal citizenship and respect for linguistic, cultural and religious rights to protect the rights and security of its inhabitants and to serve as a political framework for the amelioration or even resolution of protracted conflicts. Similarly, the capacity of potential two-state solutions to promote democracy, human rights and self-determination will be evaluated. The conference will explore the ways in which multiple models might deal with seemingly refractory issues such as refugees, , and deep-seated and legitimate concerns about security and liberty. The conference is being planned by legal scholars from York University and Queen’s University but the conference itself is intended to be fully interdisciplinary in nature. The organizers have been assisted by an international advisory committee comprised of distinguished scholars and researchers. The conference aims to include contributions from scholars from disciplines such as law, political science, gender studies, geography, economics, and the arts, among others. The conference will be held at York University, Toronto, Canada from June 22nd to 24th 2009. Paper proposals should be no more than 500 words in length and should be submitted along with a biography or CV to onestateortwo@osgoode.yorku.ca by October 15, 2008. Applicants will be contacted by . For further information and the conference vision statement, please contact us at the above email address or visit the conference website at http://www.onestateortwo.com/

De Israelische Terreur 433


Public Lecture Sponsored by Amnesty International (Netherlands Section) Ishai Menuchin, Ph.D. Executive Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
“Torture, The Ticking Bomb and Impunity:Contradictions and Gaps of Personal Responsibility and Systematic Impunity”
Venue: Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Aula B Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague
Date: 18 September 2008Time: 18.00 hrs
About the Speaker
Dr. Ishai Menuchin is the 2003 Laurent of the Rothko Chapel “Oscar Romero Award for Commitment to Truth and Freedom”. Menuchin is a university lecturer, teaching courses on activism in departments of political science and social work. He is the editor of Occupation and Refusal (Jerusalem: November Books: 2006: in Hebrew); On Democracy and Obedience (Tel-Aviv: Siman Kriah Books, 1990, in Hebrew), co-editor of Can Tolerance Prevail? Moral Education in a Diverse World (Jerusalem: The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2005, in Hebrew) and The Limits of Obedience (Tel-Aviv: Siman Kriah Books, 1985, in Hebrew). Menuchin has been a human rights activist in Israel for over 20 years. He was one of the first soldiers to refuse to serve in the first Lebanon war in 1982 and to be jailed for his refusal. He has also served as the spokesperson for "Yesh Gvul" (There is a limit) – an all-volunteer soldiers’ refusal organization, of which he is one of the founding members. About the Organisations The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) is a veteran Israeli human rights organization, which has led the fight against Israel's use of torture for close to two decades. PCATI utilizes legal advocacy serving individual victims of torture in Israel and seeking to bring change by challenging Israel's illegal use of torture in Israel's courts, especially in the Supreme Court. Legal advocacy is coupled with PCATI's efforts to engage the Israeli public and draw it into the fight against torture. Creating social change – in law, policy and in public consciousness –represents PCATI’s tool to fight torture and end the impunity that cultivates it. For more information, see: http://www.stoptorture.org.il/
Amnesty International (Netherlands Section) is part of a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Amnesty supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so works to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. Amnesty has more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues. For more information, see: http://www.amnesty.org/ / http://www.amnesty.nl/

Georgie 2

'Clash in the Caucasus:
Rolling Back The "Unipolar" World
By Mike Whitney
10/09/08 "ICH"


-- - For the past week, Dick Cheney has been traveling through the Caucasus trying to drum up support for punitive action against Russia for its role in the recent fighting in South Ossetia. The Vice President vowed that the Moscow's action "will not go unanswered". Cheney is determined to establish the United States as the regional "cop on the beat", taking charge of all security operations through it's cat's paw, Nato. Neither the Kremlin nor the EU are paying much attention to Cheney's fulminations. The negotiations for the security arrangements and the withdrawal of Russian troops are being conducted without US involvement. On September 9, under the revolving leadership of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the EU hammered out a deal with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to replace Russian soldiers in South Ossetia with 200 EU observers who are scheduled to arrive by October 1. In exchange, Georgia agreed to Russia's demands not to use force against the two breakaway republics, Abkahzia and South Ossetia. Medvedev's unilateral announcement that Russia would recognize both republics as "independent", did not derail the EU peace process. Rather, both sides focused on the withdrawal of Russia troops and seem reasonably satisfied with the 6-point agreement. Russia has not only scored an important diplomatic victory; it has driven a wedge between Europe and the United States. The reckless behavior of Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili has given the Bush administration a black eye and put Nato membership out of reach for the foreseeable future. Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia last month; destroyed much of the capital, Tskhinvali, and killed an estimated 1,500 civilians before his troops were routed by the Russian army. Among the dead were Russian citizens and peacekeepers. Moscow has cut off all relations with Tblisi and President Medvedev has called Saakashvili a "political corpse". The Kremlin now regards its neighbor to the south as an enemy. Cheney's week-long trip to the Caucasus was organized with two objectives in mind; to isolate Russia from its allies in Europe and speed up Nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine. He has failed on both counts. The ashen-faced Veep flew from Baku to Kiev, from Kiev to Tiblisi, from Tiblisi to Cernobbio; rattling his saber and railing in typical Cold War style to anyone who would listen, but his efforts amounted to nothing. No one in Europe wants a confrontation with Russia or another decades-long year nuclear standoff. Besides, Putin has spent the last eight years building partnerships and creating an expansive energy network that provides vast amounts of oil and natural gas to European homes and industries. Europe depends on Russia now and wants to maintain friendly relations. It's different for Cheney who has been seething on the sidelines--bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire--while Moscow has gotten stronger and more independent from its massive energy windfall. Now Russia can fend for itself and has no interest in becoming just another cog in America's imperial machine. When Putin articulated Russia's determination to defend its national sovereignty in Munich nearly two years ago, saying that he rejected the idea of a "unipolar" world, the Council on Foreign Relations and other elite think tanks put Russia on the America's "enemies list" more or less acknowledging that the Kremlin would resist further integration into the so called "international community". (aka-American-led, dollar-based system)Last week, newly-elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated the Putin Doctrine word for word as it was originally stated in Munich:"The world must be multi-polar. Single polarity is unacceptable. Russia cannot accept a world order, in which any decisions will be made by a sole nation, even such a serious one as the United States. Such a world order will be unstable and fraught with conflicts.”'