~ Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke Randdebiliteit ~
~ HÉT "progressief" Orgaan Der "Hangmatsocialisten" ~ Gesticht àls Gesticht ter Voorkoming v/d Maatschappelijke & Politieke Randdebiliteit
Rood is ver dood !! Leve de Sossen !!
Onze redactie ~als dé enige èchte Vertegenwoordigers van de Fractie der Hangmatsocialisten~ beseft hier plots dat we al veel te lang bezig zijn met quasi "onbelangrijke", zeg maar gewoonweg "onnozele" & "futiele" onderwerpen... daarom dat het diepgravende, herbronnende & dus fundamentele debat dat momenteel op een intellectueel hoogstaande manier wordt gehouden in alle geledingen van "Dé Soschiavellistische Ppp-partij van Moedertje Caroline" ons natuurlijk niet onberoerd laat...
Wij zijn ~ & dat geven we grif toe~ àlles behalve "Ppprrrogressief" te noemen ~ten andere...*GRIJNS*...hoe zouden wij dat durven te beweren & waar zouden we 't lef halen !!~ We zijn dus eerder zeer oubollig & nog een beetje van de oude stempel... Dus verkiezen wij een stevige gecentraliseerde partijleiding die de teugeltjes strak in handen houdt & die weet wat goed is voor Onsch, "hét plebsch" ofte de ~hersenloze~ leden die een sappige wortel voor de bek dient gehouden te worden, om dat karreke te trekken...
Daarom kiezen we hier & in deze, duidelijk partij voor "Dé Top" ~overigens niet meer, dan een kwestie van uw & onze èchte prioriteiten te kennen !~... Wij kiezen dus in dit specifieke geval natùùùrlijk ontegensprekelijk voor Moedertje Caroline & dus duidelijk tegen die woelige ~oh zo ondankbare~ basis in... Een basis, die trouwens ondertussen zo al stilaan is herleid tot 3 kramikkelige stoeptegels & een half afgezaagde houten vermolmde poot... Bovendien wordt diezelfde basis toch maar zwaar misleid door waarlijk reactionaire figuren als daar zijn : enen zekeren Erik De Bruyn, verder Dé Illustere Clan der Tobacken & ook nog 'n ~godvergeten wie is dat ook weer~ Bomma Mia De Vidts...
In het vakjargon der Oude Kameraden heette dat ooit : "Hét Democratisch Centralisme"... Voor de lezertjes die niet erg vertrouwd zijn met dergelijke termen omdat ze nooit werden gevormd door "Hét Rode Gestaalde Partijkader" leggen we u bij deze het principe graag even uit : de partijleiding ~nooit meer dan 4 man & een paardekop~ zet een punt op de agenda van een belangrijke militantenvergadering... Vervolgens legt de partijwoordvoerder uit dat er ~uiteraard, hoe kan het anders~ géén enkel ander alternatief is dan dàt... omdat, dubbel punt "blablabla-en-patati & patata"... kortom : "dààrom" !! Vervolgens voegt men dan een noodzakelijke plaspauze in... Na dit heugelijke & ontlastende gebeuren ~dé plaspauze dus, waar men tussen twee pisbakken in, kameraadschappelijk & op gelijke voet kan overleggen wie nu eigenlijk de grootste heeft &/of wie de grootste wordt~ gaat de ganse cirque verder & wordt er gesproken over de nog te verdelen mandaten, dé postjes &/of ~uiterst belangrijk~ "dé verkiesbare plaatsen" op een verkiezingslijst ...& pas dàn, gaat men over tot de goedkeuring van het agendapunt bij handopsteken, na het afvuren van de u allen welbekende vraag : "wie is tégen de goedkeuring van dit punt ?!..." Wat in bijna alle gevallen resulteert in : "Dé Unanieme Goedkeuring"... of anders gezegd, in een spontane totale paralyse van beide handen bij de aanwezige kameraden...
Nu weet iedereen met wat verstand hier ten lande al lang dat het èchte socialisme uit de steel van een tennis"raket" komt & dat al die ouderwetse volkshuizen drrrringend moesten vervangen worden door trendy party's met loungebars & vooral afgeschermde, discrete VIP-hoeken... Gewoon een kwestie van genoeg "verruimers" & "progressieven" te vinden & aan te trekken... Als men dan het geluk heeft van zo'n verruimer of progressief te vinden, dan kan je toch niet meteen gaan verwachten dat die maar onmiddellijk van de daken zou gaan schreeuwen "ik ben socialist !!" ...Ah, neen, want dan is dat toch géén verruimer of socialist... Logisch toch ?!... Dat sommigen zelfs deze poepsimpele primaire regels der logica niet beheersen in een milieu dat toch bevrucht is met de ideeën van de Grote Verlichting, snappen, wij ~Hangmatsocialisten pur sang~ dus langs geen kanten...
Laten we nu eens kijken naar het specifieke geval dat vandaag onze eigenste link(s)e Vlaemsche gemoederen verhit & verdeelt...
Er is het geval Bert Den Bleiter samen met zijn stiefmoema ...& niet te vergeten, nog ene vleeschgeworden Brusselse luchtbel die Gaza ging bevrijden op een zinkend vlot... plus ook nog eens, die andere nest met verdwaalde tuinkabouters... Die sluiten zich ~na helse onderhandelingsrondes aan onder de vlag "progressieven"~ bij de SP-a... Hun voornaamste eis & bekommernis is... een aanpassing van de oubollige partijnaam ~Socialistische Partij - anders~ in iets dat hun eigen duidelijke identiteit weergeeft zonder dat aan de bestaande afkorting namelijk SP-a wordt geraakt... Er wordt zo gedacht aan : "Socialisten Prutsen anders"... & Geef toe, dat dit een duidelijk & zelfs een bekend socialistisch project oproept... Verder dacht men ook aan : "Socialistische Poepers - (en) arrivisten"... dat was ook nog een alternatief, maar dit werd gelukkiglijk afgeschoten door één der toponderhandelaars omdat dit teveel geassocieerd zou worden met de LDD van onze ~uw aller bekende~ goede vrint Jean-Marie Dedecker... Bleef er tenslotte over : "Socialisten Progressieven - anders"...
Een "insider" vertelde ons ~uiteraard in alle discretie~ dat, toen Moedertje Caroline dit ultieme voorstel op de tafel gooide ~nadat ze zich eerst drie uur met Johan Vande Lannotte in de toiletten had terug getrokken~ er een gloedvol begeesterend spontaan applaus, zelfs een staande ovatie uitbrak... Ter verduidelijking, tijdens de in alle discretie gevoerde kabinetgesprekken tussen ons Caroline & "Hét Genie van Oostende" had iemand het lumineuze & uiteraard volkomen socialistische idee gekregen om een paar bakken Duvel te laten aanrukken die uiteraard leeg moesten zijn & dat ook waren bij het uitbreken van de staande ovatie... In het daarop volgende gelal & gebral werd er u-na-niem beslist dat dit een uiterst stichtend congres was geweest, die de partijnaam nu eens voor eeuwig & altijd een andere inhoud gaf & zou geven... Den Bert zou dat trouwens zelf 's anderendaags aan de socialisten aankondigen... Onze progressieven waren immers allemaal reeds op de hoogte daarvan, want ze waren alle 7 stuk voor stuk aanwezig geweest bij die helse onderhandelingen... Het vervolg leest als een roman ~goed voor een Nobel- of 'n Pullitzerprijs~ & jullie moeten dat hieronder maar even met blinkende oogjes van ware ontroering ontdekken...
We beginnen dus bij de hoofdrolspeler Bert Den Bleiter Himself... & we zeggen u nu reeds met tranen van oprechte ontroering in onze oogjes, geniet van dit hoogstaand stukje proza beste lezertjes... we citeren ~goed als we zijn~ u hierbij een stukje van deze recente parel :
...Allé Bert... ge zijt wreed goed bezig... als ons Joséke nu nog de rest van de KAV kan overtuigen, is het droomproject "Het Signaal" van Maurits Coppieters-zaliger toch al een goed eind opgeschoten...
We geven vervolgens het woord aan die jaloerse tik, Bomma Mia De Vidts... die natuurlijk siddert & beeft van pure schrik om haar Europees zitje kwijt te spelen aan Bert Den Bleiter... Maar de ware nachtmerrie zou zijn dat ze haar eerste plaats op de Europese lijst zou moeten afstaan aan... Juist !! Mama Quix, stiefmoema van Bert Den Bleiter... zij zelf heeft daar nog niet over nagedacht, maar wij ~Hangmatsocialisten van het Eérste Uur~ natuurlijk wel... & we hopen hier stiekem dat zij ons blogje leest... of dat er tenminste iemand haar daarvan op de hoogte wil brengen...
Hoezo Mia, Hét Partijbureau ?!... Dat is Moedertje Caroline & Johan Schelvis... & daarmee basta !!... Wist jij dat dan niet ?!... tsk-tsk-tsk !!
...& In het zelfde artikel vinden we zo een voorbeeld van waarlijk & ècht "Democratisch Centralisme" zoals we dat hierboven hebben trachten uit te leggen. ...& Zoietske citeren we uiteraard héél graag :
...Het vervolg van deze socialistische charade laat zich vervolgens natuurlijk zonder problemen raden... Op de eigen aan haar gekende pissige manier durft ons Mia dan nog te beweren ~..& hoe durft ze !!~... :
Voilà !! ...& Mia beseft niet eens dat de naam NIET veranderd is ?!... Maar Mia toch, je was waarschijnlijk oververmoeid, je bent wel dringend aan een paar dringende beurten Caeycediaanse Sofrologie toe...
...& Om in dezelfde burleske sfeer te blijven, geven we vervolgens graag het woord aan de beruchte & alom zéér geduchte Leuvense stand-up comedian ~een Ouwe Rat & Ouwe Rot~ die het aldus verwoordde :
Dat is nu eens wreed goed gezegd se Bert !! ...Wat denken die godverdomse sossen nu wel !! Dé énige èchte rooie rakker die tenminste kl#ten aan zijn lijf heeft is Ahidar... & wij ~Het Fractiebestuur Der Hangmatsocialisten~ treden deze stelling grif bij !! Méér nog zelfs... wij beloven hierbij èchtig & plechtig er alles aan te zullen doen, opdat deze heroïsche held zijn welverdiende blauwgranieten mausoleum zal krijgen bij zijn verscheiden !! ...& Bij leven & welzijn, talrijke monumenten in èchten brons & inlandse blauwe steen natuurlijk... Wat de sukkelende binnenlandse economie trouwens een stevige boost zal geven, zeker gezien de aanzienlijke volumes brons & steen die we zullen moeten bestellen om een zo getrouw mogelijke afbeelding te krijgen in "socialistisch-progressieve" stijl van diegene die we vanaf vandaag "Dé Redder van Gaza" zullen noemen...
...& Speciaal voor onze Ollandse lezers willen we toch wat info geven over 's mans zijn roemrijke heldendaden, die momenteel druk-druk worden voort verteld in menige Brusselse Chichabar...
Zeg nu zelf waarde kameraden... zulke waarlijke & oprechte dadendrang doet ons revolutionaire bloed toch kolken & gieren van laaiend & vurig bezielend enthousiasme ?!... Geef die nieuwe kameraad toch onmiddellijk sito presto, nen emmer, nen borstel & een spons !!...
Bon... we zien ons spijtig genoeg verplicht wegens "geestelijke gezondheidsredenen" ~gezien de omstandigheden tijd voor een dubbele portie Xanax~ om dit gróóóóte verruimingsdebat & nagelnieuw project van 't enige èchte Link(s)e Vlaanderen hier af te sluiten...
We beseffen ten volle dat jullie nù, hier & ook in het verre Olland onverwijld met drieste moed aan het verzamelen der linkse krachten zult willen meewerken... Waarlijk "éénsgezind & solidair" zeg maar ...*BURPZzz*... zoals we hier net hebben aangetoond !!
...& Vergeet bij deze vooral niet... dat ons aller Moeder der "Soschiavellistische Partij", ons Caroline binnenkort weer eens een nieuwe ledenbevraging wenst te organiseren... uiteraard pas van zodra de gemoederen weer wat getemperd zijn... & net zoals de vorige keer, zal zij daarvoor beroep doen op het zelfde "onafha-haha-nkelijk" bureau, waarvan de baas, de echtgenoot is van een socialistisch minister & les geeft aan de Katholieke Universiteit Brussel...
Maar dat laatste is dan ook weer niet meer dan een vette & smerige roddel van die "trotskistische" & "communistische" ~NIET te verwarren met Stalinistische, want anders kreeg ie meteen zijn zitje in het Partijbureau~ Kameraad Erik De Bruyn...
Waar we hier al een tijdje over aan 't schrijven zijn & wat we hier dus ook al een aantal dagen aan het vrezen waren, wordt ons bij deze dus ~erg genoeg~ bevestigd door de eerste onafhankelijke fotograaf die er in slaagt Gaza te betreden... & Dat dit dan toevallig een Brusselaar is, zoiets doet ons deugd !!
Zijn vaststellingen zijn echter een ware nachtmerrie... & wij sluiten ons dus nog maar eens aan, bij al diegenen die eisen dat de verantwoordelijken van dergelijke wandaden tegen burgers ~tegen weerloze vrouwen & kinderen in het bijzonder~ moeten worden veroordeeld voor oorlogsmisdaden door het Internationaal Strafhof in Den Haag !!
BRUSSEL - De Brusselse fotograaf Bruno Stevens (49) heeft bewijzen dat Israël in Gaza witte fosfor gebruikt.
Bruno Stevens is deze week als eerste buitenlandse fotograaf Gaza binnengeraakt. 'Ik ben via Egypte binnengeraakt. Ik heb goede contacten bij de VN, dat heeft zeker geholpen', zegt Stevens, aan de telefoon vanuit Rafah in Gaza.
'Ik was niet alleen de eerste, maar drie dagen lang ook de enige buitenlander die hier beelden maakte. Gaza binnengeraken was bijzonder complex, maar daarna kon ik hier wel makkelijk werken. Na drie weken van zware bombardementen zonder buitenlandse pottenkijkers, hebben de Palestijnen me hier met open armen ontvangen.'
De burgers van Gaza hebben zwaar onder het offensief te lijden, stelt Stevens vast: 'Ze vertellen me hoe moeilijk het is te overleven, aan eten te geraken. Ze vluchten voortdurend naar minder gevaarlijk gebied. De burgerbevolking lijdt zwaar in deze oorlog.'
In Rafah wees gistermiddag niets op een nakend bestand: 'Het is best mogelijk dat er dit weekend een staakt-het-vuren wordt bereikt. Maar op dit moment hoor ik de Israëlische artillerie op drie kilometer hier vandaan.'
Bruno Stevens heeft de afgelopen week vooral in het zuiden van Gaza gewerkt, rond Rafah, Khan Yunis en de omliggende dorpen. Hij zegt in alle onafhankelijkheid te kunnen werken: 'Bij mijn aankomst zei een verantwoordelijke van Hamas dat de beweging voor mijn veiligheid wilde instaan. Ik heb dat aanbod afgeslagen. Hij begreep dat. Ik heb niettemin vrije toegang tot de ziekenhuizen, tot de scholen en tot de burgerbevolking. Alleen beelden van Hamasstrijders zijn verboden. Maar dat noem ik geen censuur, in België mag ik ook geen foto's nemen van het leger in actie.'
Volgens de Brusselse fotograaf is die restrictie in geen enkel opzicht te vergelijken met de Israëlische belemmeringen voor de pers: 'Israël wil geen buitenlandse pottenkijkers, onder meer omdat het witte fosfor gebruikt. In het dorp Al Kuza'ah heb ik foto's gemaakt van fosfor onder het zand. De bewoners van dat dorp zeiden me dat ik met mijn voeten het zand opzij moest duwen. Ik heb dat gedaan, en er ontstond een vlam, liefst 36 uur na de Israëlische aanval.'
Witte fosfor is een zelfontbrandbare stof. Een aanval met fosfor ruikt naar knoflook. Volgens het internationale oorlogsrecht is het toegestaan fosfor te gebruiken, om militaire operaties te verbergen. Het kan gebruikt worden om een rookgordijn te maken, bijvoorbeeld om te camoufleren dat de troepen oprukken.
Maar de gereputeerde mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch (HRW) wijst op de grote gevaren van fosfor in woongebied, zeker in zo'n dichtbevolkte streek als Gaza. Witte fosfor kan volgens HRW huizen in de as leggen en veroorzaakt bij het eerste contact met de huid diepe, ernstige brandwonden.
Hoewel het gebruik van fosfor op zich niet verboden is, wijst Human Rights Watch erop dat Israël tijdens militaire operaties verplicht is alle mogelijke voorzorgsmaatregelen te treffen om de risico's en de gevaren voor burgers zo klein mogelijk te maken. Witte fosfor gebruiken in een van de meest dichtbevolkte gebieden ter wereld is daarmee rechtstreeks in tegenspraak, aldus HRW.
Behalve Bruno Stevens zeggen ook onderzoekers van Human Rights Watch dat zij op 9 en 10 januari boven Gaza-Stad en het vluchtelingenkamp Jabalya explosies van fosforgranaten hebben gezien. Het Israëlische leger ontkent dat het fosforgranaten heeft gebruikt bij zijn offensief tegen Gaza-Stad. Twee jaar geleden bevestigde Israël wel dat het fosfor had gebruikt tijdens de oorlog tegen Hezbollah in Libanon.
Een mens zou zo denken dat ~na wat Israël intussen zo allemaal heeft uitgespookt~ enkel al in Libanon alleen al, er toch ooit wel eens iemand ter verantwoording zou worden geroepen ?!... Of niet dan ?!...
Indien u het allemaal niet zo goed meer weet of indien u inmiddels gewoon de tel kwijt bent ~hetgeen ons ook niet echt zou verwonderen~ ...willen wij hierbij eventjes uw geheugen opfrissen met ~slechts~ enkele blijkbaar te verwaarlozen faits-divers op het bloedige palmares van de "Democratie" Israël :
#2006 : Israël vuurt maar liefst 4 miljoen (!!) clusterbommen af boven Libanon...
#Qana : (zie ook het artikel met de traantjes van Miri Eisen) :
Israël bestookt voor de twééde keer scholen & VN gebouwen waarbij tientallen onschuldige burgerslachtoffers vallen...
#1982 : bij een massale slachtpartij vallen in de vluchtelingenkampen van Sabra en Chatila tussen de 1000 en 2000 doden, uitsluitend vrouwen en kinderen... De toenmalige Minister van Defensie, Ariel Sharon werd hiervoor in een Israëlische onderzoekscommissie achteraf (de zgn. Kahan Commissie) persoonlijk verantwoordelijk gesteld voor dit bloedbad & dat betekende meteen ook het ~voorlopige~ einde van zijn politieke carrière....
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kahan Commission (ועדת כהן), formally known as the Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, was established by the Israeli government on 28 September 1982, to investigate the Sabra and Shatila Massacre (16 September-18 September, 1982). The Kahan Commission was chaired by the President of the Supreme Court, Yitzhak Kahan. Its other two members were Supreme Court Judge Aharon Barak, and Major-General (res.) Yona Efrat. The Commission was to make recommendations on Israeli involvement in the massacre through an investigation of:
[A]ll the facts and factors connected with the atrocity carried out by a unit of the Lebanese Forces against the civilian population in the Shatilla and Sabra camps.
Following its investigation, on 8 February 1983, the Kahan Commission submitted its report. It concluded that direct responsibility rested with the Jemayel Phalangists led by Fadi Frem, and that no Israelis were deemed directly responsible, although Israel was held to be indirectly responsible.
The decision on the entry of the Phalangists into the refugee camps was taken without consideration of the danger - which the makers and executors of the decision were obligated to forsee as probable - the the Phalangists would commit massacres and pogroms against the inhabitants of the camps, and without an examination of the means for preventing this danger.
Similarly, it is clear from the course of events that when the reports began to arrive about the actions of the Phalangists in the camps, no proper heed was taken of these reports, the correct conclusions were not drawn from them, and no energetic and immediate action were taken to restrain the Phalangists and put a stop to their actions.
The Defence Minister, Ariel Sharon, was found to bear personal responsibility(1) "for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed". Sharon's negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control amounted to a non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defence Minister was charged, and it was recommended that Sharon be dismissed as Defence Minister.
Initially, Sharon refused to resign, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin refused to fire him. However, following a peace march against the government, as the marchers were dispersing, a grenade was thrown into the crowd, killing Emil Grunzweig, a reserve combat officer and peace activist, and wounding half a dozen others, including the son of the Interior Minister.(2) Although Sharon resigned as Defence Minister, he remained in the Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio. Years later Sharon would be elected Israel's Prime Minister.
The Commission arrived to similar conclusions with respect to Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan (tantamount to a breach of duty that was incumbent upon the Chief of Staff), as well as Director of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Yehoshua Saguy, and other Intelligence officials though the Mossad was not reprimanded and parts of the report commenting on its role remain under military censorship. Critics of the Commission point to its limited scope, some of whom argue it amounted to a whitewash.
The final paragraph of the report says: "We do not deceive ourselves that the results of this inquiry will convince or satisfy those who have prejudices or selective consciences, but this inquiry was not intended for such people. We have striven and have spared no effort to arrive at the truth, and we hope that all persons of good will who will examine the issue without prejudice will be convinced that the inquiry was conducted without any bias."
---------- (1)Schiff, Ze'ev Ehud Ya'ari (1984). Israel's Lebanon War. - Simon and Schuster. p. 284. ISBN 0-671-47991-1.
(2) Silver, Eric (1984). Begin: The Haunted Prophet. Random House. p. 239. ISBN 0-394-52826-3.
# Bregman, Ahron (2002). Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28716-2
# The Beirut Massacre: the Complete Kahan Commission Report. Karz-Cohl, Princeton, NJ, 1983. (ISBN 0-943828-55-4)
#2008 - 2009 : Israël gebruikt massaal "massavernietigingswapens" zoals clusterbommen, witte fosfor & DIME... & ontziet daarbij niets of niemand... Ziekenhuizen, scholen & VN gebouwen worden platgebombardeerd... & volgens een BBC artikel heeft de Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatie Btselem vastgesteld dat ook vluchtende vrouwen & kinderen daarbij zonder pardon onder vuur genomen werden door Israëlische schutters...
Page last updated at 17:28 GMT,
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Israelis 'shot at fleeing Gazans'
Many Palestinian civilians are caught up in the fighting in Gaza
Claims have been received by the BBC and an Israeli human rights group that Israeli troops have fired on Gaza residents trying to escape the conflict area. Israel has strongly denied the allegations.
BBC journalists in Gaza and Israel have compiled detailed accounts of the claims.
Some Palestinian civilians in Gaza say Israeli forces shot at them as they tried to leave their homes - in some cases bearing white flags.
One testimony heard by the BBC and human rights group B'tselem describes Israeli forces shooting a woman in the head after she stepped out of her house carrying a piece of white cloth, in response to an Israeli loudhailer announcement.
The Israeli military has dismissed the report as "without foundation".
The BBC has spoken to members of another family who say they are trapped in their home by fighting and have been shot at when they tried to leave to replenish dwindling water and food supplies, even during the three-hour humanitarian lull.
Israel is denying access to Gaza for international journalists and human rights monitors, so it is not possible to verify the accounts.
B'tselem said it had been unable to corroborate the testimony it had received, but felt it should be made public.
Munir Shafik al-Najar, of Khouza village in the south-east of the Gaza Strip, told B'tselem and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of a series of events on Monday which he said left four members of his extended family dead.
He told the BBC that some 75 members of his extended family had ended up huddled in a house, surrounded by Israeli forces, after troops shelled the area and destroyed his brother's home on Sunday night.
On Monday morning, he said the family heard an announcement over a loudspeaker.
"The Israeli army was saying: 'This is the Israeli Defence Forces, we are asking all the people to leave their homes and go to the school. Ladies first, then men.'
"We decided to send the women first, two by two," he said.
First to step outside was the wife of his cousin, Rawhiya al-Najar, 48.
"The army was about 15 metres (50 feet) away from the house or less. They shot her in the head," he said.
The woman's daughter was shot in the thigh but crawled back inside the house, he said.
For several hours, the family telephoned the Red Crescent, human rights organisations and Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah in the hope of co-ordinating safe passage to evacuate people injured in the earlier shelling, Mr Najar said.
Several hours later, no help had arrived.
"We decided that's it, we're going to die, we are [going] to run and all die at once," he said.
"When we did that they started shooting with heavy ammunition from a machine gun on top of a tank," he said.
All the adults carried white flags, he said, adding that he was still grasping a piece of white cloth as he spoke over the telephone a day later.
Three of his relatives, Muhammad Salman al-Najar, 54, Ahmad Jum'a al-Najar, 27, and Khalil Hamdan al-Najar, 80, were killed, he said.
The troops "knew this man was an old man," he said, because they were so close.
B'tselem says it is working to corroborate the account.
A second family member, Riad Zaki al-Najar, gave the BBC a similar account by telephone.
"They told us you all have to go to the centre of the town, where the school is.
"We put the women first, and we put our children on our shoulders, with white bandanas on their heads.
"When we were walking, with the women first, they saw soldiers and they started to shout to them, to tell them 'we have children, we have children'. They started to shoot us. My aunt was killed with a bullet in her head."
Israel says it tries to protect civilians and blames Hamas for endangering them
The BBC also spoke to Marwan Abu Rida, a paramedic with the Palestinian Red Crescent, who says he was called to the site at 0810 local time (0610 GMT).
But he says he came under fire as he tried to reach it, and was trapped in a house nearby until 2000 (1800 GMT) because of Israeli shooting.
He said that when he reached the location he found the dead woman, Rawhiya, who appeared to have been shot in the head, as well as the younger woman who was injured.
In a written response to the incident, the Israeli military said: "An initial inquiry into the allegation raised by B'tselem has concluded that the claims are without foundation.
"The IDF goes to great lengths to avoid harming Palestinians uninvolved in combat and reiterates that it is Hamas that chooses to launch its attacks against Israeli towns from within civilian areas."
The account bears similarities to another received by B'tselem, from Yusef Abu Hajaj, a resident of Juhar al-Dik, south of Gaza City.
He told B'tselem his mother and sister were shot as they tried to flee their home bearing a white banner, in a group of people including small children.
He said an Israeli tank had fired at their house, and they had heard the Israeli military was urging civilians to leave their homes, so had tried to flee.
The ICRC has repeatedly stressed that it is having difficulty reaching families stranded by the fighting, often including injured people and dead bodies.
Its Gaza spokesman, Iyad Nasser, said ambulance crews were struggling to respond to "tens" of calls from areas they still had not gained sufficient access to.
The head of one such family, Daoud Shtewi, told the BBC by telephone that he and 35 members of his family had been trapped in their home, surrounded by Israeli forces, in Zeitoun, a south-eastern suburb of Gaza City, for 10 days.
"We can't even look through the windows because we get fired on," Mr Shtewi said.
"We tried to get water from the neighbours because our tanks are running dry. We are also running out of food and have been without electricity for more than 12 days.
"My mother and father need medicines for high blood pressure and diabetes. We have run out."
The area, known to house Palestinian militants, has been the scene of some of the heaviest clashes during Israel's operation in Gaza.
It is one of several that Palestinian Red Crescent convoys have been struggling to reach.
It was also the place where the ICRC said it found four small children who had waited with their dead mothers, apparently with no food or water, for four days last week.
Mr Shtewi said 17 children - aged between six weeks and 15 years, and six women, were in the house in the west of the neighbourhood.
"We have tried to leave the house during the three-hour humanitarian ceasefire, but we got shot at," he said.
He said the family had repeatedly tried to contact the PRC.
Aid agencies say the Gaza Strip is facing a humanitarian crisis
An ambulance driver with the PRC told the BBC he had received details of a family of 35 people in the location concerned.
But he said it was a closed military zone, that the ambulance workers had not been able to secure co-ordination with the Israeli military to reach it, and were planning to go there as soon as they could secure safe passage with the military.
Israeli military spokesman Jacob Dallal said Hamas was launching rockets from the area in question, and was using civilians' houses - "exactly these types of homes" - to fire rockets from.
"Especially people who try to move out, those could well be - as they have repeatedly been - Hamas people trying to sneak up and fire on the soldiers. If you look from the soldiers' perspective it's exceptionally difficult - you don't know who's behind that door."
He said that Hamas "specifically uses the lull as a time to fire", and Israeli forces fire back if they are fired upon during that period.
And he added that the military was working with international agencies to try to facilitate safe passage for ambulances and the transport of aid amid the fighting.
Research and reporting by Hamada Abu Qammar in Gaza and Heather Sharp, Fouad Abu Ghosh and Raya el-Din in Jerusalem
We vragen ons intussen dus toch wel af ~zij het slechts een héél klein beetje & hoogstwaarschijnlijk kunt u uiteraard het antwoord hierop reeds raden~ of zij daar vandaag of in de toekomst allemaal mee zullen blijven wegkomen... & zoals uit onderstaand artikel mag blijken, vragen een hoop ándere weldenkende mensen zich dit ook af...
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Barak and all Israeli Leaders To the Hague
Written by Michael Warschawski, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
That war crimes are being perpetuated by the Israeli military in Gaza is not anymore a question, but hard facts documented by tens of television programs, videos and photos.
The Israeli perpetuators of these crimes must be tried in an international court of justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity, in particular Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Chief of Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi, and Air Force Commander General Ido Nechushtan. Their crimes are definitely not less horrible than the ones that brought Milosevic and his generals to an international war crimes tribunal.
The Alternative Information Center has decided to join the call of one hundred civil organizations from all over the world demanding the opening of a procedure by the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
In the meantime, and until an international court of justice will put Israeli leaders on trial, civil society throughout the world should strengthen the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, a state that has clearly put itself outside the framework of international law and human rights constraints.
Impunity is what may transform international relations into a jungle. Whoever aspires to a civilized world, in which human lives and dignity are respected, must demand the immediate implementation of sanctions on the outlaw state of Israel.
At the last minute...
We have just heard that the Israeli forces attacked a hospital of Gaza City, which is on fire. Hundreds are buried under the rubble and the military is preventing ambulances to reach the place.
THE HAGUE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague said on Wednesday it lacks jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes recently committed in the Gaza Strip.
The prosecutor's statement came after a Palestinian rights group called on the ICC to investigate Israel for committing war crimes during its 19-day-old offensive in Gaza.
The office of the prosecutor said the court's jurisdiction is limited to war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide committed on the territory of, or by a national of, a state party.
"In Gaza at present, the ICC lacks such jurisdiction," the prosecutor said in a statement.
The prosecutor said crimes committed in other situations can come before the ICC if the relevant non-party state voluntarily accepts the jurisdiction of the court on an ad hoc basis or if the United Nations Security Council refers a situation.
Set up in 2000, the Hague-based ICC is the world's first permanent court established to investigate and prosecute war crimes.
Israel and the United States are not among the 108 countries that have signed the Rome Statute creating the court, but that would not prevent the ICC from launching an investigation.
(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Matthew Jones)
Anders gesteld... wanneer de Westerse mogendheden vooral uit economische overwegingen overal uit hun voormalige kolonies "negerkes" willen gaan wegkapen zoals daar zijn Habré, Bouterse, Charles Taylor of Mugabe om deze frisse knapen vervolgens voor dat zelfde Internationale Strafhof te slepen... raar maar waar, dàn is er geen enkel probleem !! Màààrr oorlogsmisdaden beraamd of gesponsord door diezelfde Westerse Mogendheden vallen dan zogezegd weer niet onder de bevoegdheid van dat zelfde Internationaal Strafhof ?!...
Vooraleer men ons ervan verdenkt dat we onze "Choux de Bruxelles met Spek" eten met een Arafatsjaal rond de nek & met een authentieke Hamasvlag boven ons dressoir, willen we jullie er toch eventjes op wijzen dat er toch ook bij de Joodse medeburgers, zowel in Israël als elders in de wereld niet zo'n grote solidariteit waar te nemen valt met de "beestigheden" die door de Israëlische regering worden aangericht.
We geven jullie hierbij meteen een voorbeeld, waar wij ons volledig in kunnen terugvinden
URGENT CALL TO ACTION
We write with grief and rage as we watch the horrifying Israeli air and ground attacks on Gaza. As Jews committed to ending Zionism, the founding ideology of Israel, and all forms of colonialism, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, who continue to struggle in the face of these attacks, much as they have against more than 60 years of ethnic cleansing and racism. As Joseph Massad recently wrote, Gaza is in uprising against genocide, and is receiving today the same indifference from the capitals of the West that the rebels in the Warsaw Ghetto received in 1943.
We stand with the hundreds of thousands who have taken the streets in solidarity with Gaza's resistance. We stand with all those who struggle against racism, dispossession and genocide.
We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.
We reject Israel's pretense to act in response to rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas. Israel broke the ceasefire on November 4, 2008, while world attention was focused on U.S. elections.
What the Israeli government calls "security" is fundamentally opposed to the real safety of all people living in the region. Residents of Sderot and other towns bordering Gaza have begged the government of Israel to maintain the cease-fire and accused it of "wasting that period of calm, instead of using it to advance understanding and begin negotiations." With United States, European Union, and Egyptian collusion, Israel imposed a siege and blockade for over two years, intentionally preventing its economic recovery, degrading its civilian infrastructure, attempting to dismantle self-governance, and preventing travel and obstructing humanitarian aid. That siege, which was and continues to be a gross violation of human rights and a crime against humanity, led directly to the present escalation. As of today, Israeli forces have killed over 700 people and injured thousands. Israel has bombed mosques, universities, police headquarters, roads, office buildings, and residential neighborhoods, and schools, causing indescribable and horrible destruction. This isn't defense. This isn't a war between two sides. This is terrorism. This is genocide.
We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.
As Jews, we have an additional responsibility to speak and to act against these despicable acts, because we are heirs to the victims of a genocide, because Israel is claiming to "defend" us through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine with the ultimate goal of erasing the Palestinian people, and also because of the role played by the Jewish organizations in the United States and the West in justifying, perpetrating, and escalating Israeli state terrorism against Palestinians.
We recall that the violence in Gaza today is the inevitable outcomethe latest link in a chain of terrorthat results from an ideology based on the dispossession of the indigenous people of Palestine in favor of European Jews. Just as the ideology of White racism was the backbone of Apartheid in South Africa, so the ideology of Zionism explains the history of violence in Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the occupation of the West bank and Gaza in 1967, and the many massacres that Israel perpetrated periodically since 1948 to the present one in Gaza. The maintenance of the Israeli state as a state founded on and perpetuating Jewish privilege requires the denial and attempted annihilation of the Palestinian people.
We recall that unless this ideology is delegitimized and defeated, the violence in the Middle East will continue to escalate until either Palestinian or Jewish existence in the area ends, and possibly both. Racism and colonial domination will never be the basis for peace.
We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.
We insist on an immediate end to Israel's assault, a complete withdrawal of all Israeli forces, a complete and unconditional end to the siege, and the restoration and extension of the ceasefire. We insist on the establishment of a special international tribunal for investigating the crimes of the Israeli leadership of this siege.
We affirm the urgent need for Jewish resistance to Zionism and stand committed to the extrication of Jewish history, politics, community, and culture from the grip of Zionism.
We situate our work in a long legacy of Jewish people throughout history who have stood in solidarity with others in common struggles against all forms of racism, empire building, and repression. As a growing sector of the Palestine solidarity movement, we call upon all Jews of conscience to take a strong stand against the current escalation of violence, as well as the murderous ground upon which Zionist ideology and the Israeli state has been constructed. We call on Jews to put an end to complicity, to break the silence, and to confront the fallacy of a Zionist consensus. We call on anti-Zionist Jews around the world to organize in escalation against the massacres on Gaza, and to continue to support Palestinian resistance through campaigns of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and through actions that target their own governments' financial and political support for Israel.
We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.
Zoals het u allen ~nijvere lezertjes van dit blog~ waarschijnlijk bekend is, zijn sommige zaken &/of gebeurtenissen te grof om 't in woorden te kunnen vatten, laat staan om het met woorden aan anderen duidelijk te kunnen maken... De gebeurtenissen in Gaza vallen intussen onder dat soort zaken...
In een tijdvak waar beelden de boventoon voeren in communicatie, lijkt het ons daarom soms ook het best om af & toe beelden te gebruiken i.p.v. woorden...
Toen wij enkele dagen geleden volgende filmpje vonden op You Tube ~& dat tenslotte dateert van 5 januari laatstleden, zijnde 10 dagen geleden~ waren wij eigenlijk een méér dan gewoon verbijsterd... om niet te zeggen, dat we er behoorlijk stil van werden & dat ook nog steeds zijn....
Gaza 2009 Amerikaans Congres keurt Israël's Gaza-offensief goed
Nadat Israël wereldwijde oproepen tot een wapenstilstand & talloze smeekbedes vanwege de VN vierkant aan haar laars heeft gelapt heeft nu ook het Amerikaanse Congress nog eens wat van zich laten horen... U weet wel, het Amerikaanse Huis van Afgevaardigden, waar er inmiddels een comfortabele Democratisch meerderheid zetelt ~die er trouwens nog steeds niet in slaagt om de oorlog en de illegale bezetting van Irak te beëindigen !!~ & waar binnenkort een Democratische "President Elect" ~Change we can believe in... remember ?!...~ George Bush zal opvolgen...
Welnu, vorige vrijdag ~9/01/2009~ hebben de Amerikaanse "Volksvertegenwoordigers" inmiddels zelf ook een resolutie gestemd over het bombardement van Gaza, waar het aantal doden inmiddels de 900 al gepasseerd is... ~...& wat had u gedacht ?!...~ hierin zeggen de Amerikanen ~natuurlijk, hoe kan het anders~ Israël ook alle steun toe... zoals verwacht uiteraard...
Slechts 22 leden,waaronder Keith Ellis, de enige moslim in het Amerikaanse Congress, onthielden zich, hetgeen eigenlijk ook gewoon betekent dat ze het om één of andere reden niét over hun ... nu ja... "hart " konden krijgen om tégen de bombardementen in Gaza te stemmen...
Slechts enkele "dissidenten" hadden het lef om tégen de resolutie te stemmen, waaronder Ron Paul, Republikein uit Texas & Libertair presidentskandidaat, die zich ook altijd gekant heeft tégen de oorlog in Irak & Dennis Kucinich, Democraat uit Ohio, die trouwens ook presidentskandidaat was & die tijdens de "primaries" ~de Amerikaanse voorverkiezingen~ werd uitgesloten van bijna alle televisiedebatten ~wat een fijne "democratie hebben ze daar toch !!~ waarvoor een rechter niet uitdrukkelijk had geoordeeld dat hij er wél aan kon deelnemen...
"Judge Rules Dennis Kucinich must be in Las Vegas Debate" duur : 2:26 minuten ...
Over de resolutie waarin Israël het recht kreeg op "zelfverdediging" (N.V.D.R. : Palestijnen hebben blijkbaar géén recht op zelfverdediging ?!...) had Kucinich het volgende te zeggen:
"I'm hopeful that we do not support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. "We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza".
We laten de man graag nog wat meer aan het woord:
Wake Up America !!
"WAKE UP AMERICA! Israel is Killing Children With Your Tax Dollars!" duur : 1:38 minuten ...
...& Ook nog :
"Kucinich Documents Israel's War Crimes On The Record!" duur : 4:31 minuten ...
Ook Ron Paul laten we graag even aan het woord.... wat zou hij te vertellen hebben over bijvoorbeeld Hamas ?!...
"Ron Paul: Israel Created Hamas!" duur : 3:01 minuten ...
...& Ook nog :
"Ron Paul on Gaza 1-3-09" duur : 6:42 minuten ...
...& Dus zou een mens denken, als er verstandige mensen hun gedacht zeggen over dit soort zaken, dat er daar dan toch naar geluisterd zal worden ?!...
"US Congress votes to back Israel for the War on Gaza" duur : 2:26 minuten ...
Màààrr... héláás... héláás... telkens als de USA de kans krijgen om eens één énkele keer een menswaardig gezicht te tonen aan de hele wereld in het algemeen aan zo'n goeie 1 miljard (?) moslims in het bijzonder, slagen ze er steeds weer in om een nieuwe uppercut uit te delen aan al de mensen die nog een greintje geloof hadden in de goede bedoelingen van de Amerikanen... Goede bedoelingen die ze blijkbaar dus ook niet hebben...
...& Zeker waar het Israel aangaat kun je blijkbaar als Amerikaan maar beter niet al te dissident gedrag vertonen, want... zoals ook het laatste beeldfragment vermeldt, de Joodse lobby(s) in de VS zijn machtig, héél erg machtig...
Maar is dat ook zo ?!... In één van onze volgende bijdragen hopen wij dit ook eens wat van dichterbij onder onze ~u allen bekende~ loep te nemen.
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (1)
"Gaza... eind december 2008" duur : 0:37 minuten ...
In het kader van de recente gebeurtenissen in het Midden Oosten, met name in Gaza gaan wij hier dus nog even door op het minder prettige "nieuwjaarsvuurwerk" dat er daar werd & nog steeds wordt afgeschoten....
Voor we beginnen, willen we bij wijze van disclaimer graag even enkele stellingen poneren waarmee we nù reeds een aantal holle slogans willen ontkrachten die men nogal eens naar de hoofden pleegt te slingeren van mensen die voor hun mening durven uitkomen.
Bij kitokojungle hebben we het altijd voor de mensen. Eerlijk gezegd vinden wij "staten", "naties", "mogendheden" of "landen" niet veel meer dan logge vehikels die voorlopig blijkbaar nog nodig zijn om het boeltje te laten draaien als een stoomtrein met zand in de motor... & als 't aan ons lag, zouden we ze nog het liefst van al zo spoedig mogelijk zien verdwijnen, want dan is het meteen ook gedaan met het concept van de "internationale belangen" van die staten waar o.m. ook de miljoenen euro's landbouwsubsidies onder vallen die mee verantwoordelijk zijn voor de schrijnende economische situatie in Afrika... of waardoor Amerika 't blijkbaar nodig vindt om te weigeren om voedsel als basisbehoefte te erkennen als een elementair ménsenrecht.
...& Zoals naar goede gewoonte, citeren we :
December 24, 2008
The Right to Food
Sixty-third General Assembly
THIRD COMMITTEE DRAFT TEXT ENDORSES RECOMMENDATIONS, FUTURE WORKPLAN OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCILS WORKING GROUP ON RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
Vote on Right to Food
The draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/63/L.42/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:
In favour : Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte dIvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Het is overigens precies dáárom dat we onszelf stoute & vooral zelfdenkende "linkiewinkies" noemen : we zijn namelijk tégen onderdrukking, uitbuiting, bezetting, racisme, discriminatie & vóór een zo groot mogelijke individuele welvaart, vrijheid & ~niet te vergeten~ een zo groot mogelijke vrijheid van meningsuiting, voor iederéén en dus niét alleen voor mensen die het met ons eens zijn !!
Waar het Israël betreft hebben we het ook voor de mensen & wanneer er dus Israelis omkomen, hetzij in een verkeersongeval of ingevolge de ellendige aanvallen van Hamas, Fatah, de Al Aqsa brigades, Het Volksfront voor de Bevrijding van Palestina, of andere, dan vinden wij dat vanzelfsprekend ook erg jammer & op geen énkele manier goed te praten !! Laat dit dus tenminste zéér duidelijk zijn !!
Voor het vormen van weer maar eens onze ongezouten mening over het Midden Oosten probleem doen we in dit geval dan ook, waar mogelijk & dus althans voor het grootste deel, énkel een beroep op Israëlische bronnen, media en berichtgeving, waar ze overigens zelf vaak niet mals zijn voor hun eigen leiders & hun eigen politieke besluitvorming. Hopelijk vermindert deze aanpak ook de kans dat wij zelf binnen de kortste keren worden afgedaan als antisemitische holocaustontkenners... & in ieder geval wordt de kans ook een pak kleiner dat we per abuis gaan lenen in de geschriften van pakweg een David Duke, een Faurisson, een Le pen of wat dichter bij huis onze ~KUCH ahum~ "eigenste" Siegfried Verbeke...
Zo nemen journalisten als Gideon Levy en Amira Hass vaak hun eigen leiderschap stevig op de korrel & ook mensen als Tom Segev (historicus) & Uri Avnery, ex soldaat, parlementslid & oprichter van de vredesbeweging Gush Shalom sparen hun kritiek niet op de catastrofale beleids(wan)daden van bijna àlle Israëlische politici.
De eigenlijke aanleiding voor dit artikeltje is een filmpje dat we toevallig op de u aller bekende youtube tegenkwamen, waarin de voormalige Amerikaanse veiligheidsadviseur, dhr. Zbigniew Brzezinski (kon de man nu niet gewoon Charel Janssens heten ?!) zijn ongezouten mening tentoon spreidde in het programma "Morning Joe" met de fameuze "rechtsiewinkie" Scarborough als interviewer. Nu is Brzezinski toch niet de minste & men kan hem bezwaarlijk gaan beschuldigen van communistische sympathieën of hem verwijten een geitenwollensokkenvredesapostel te zijn...
We kijken dus eerst maar eens naar dat filmpje:
"Brzezinski Calls Scarborough "Stunningly Superficial" On Israel / Palestine Expertise" duur : 4:36 minuten Morning Joe
't Wordt pas echt interessant zo vanaf 2m15secs, wanneer Scarborough de gebruikelijke tirade begint af te steken waarbij Arafat om het zo uit te drukken met alle zonden Israel's beladen wordt & waarbij men hem nogmaals verwijt dat hij het "gulle aanbod" van Israël rabiaat van de hand wees. Vervolgens dient Brzezinski hem een uppercut toe door te zeggen:
"you know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it is almost embarrassing to listen to you."
en wat verder "you are only repeating slogans".
Wij vinden mijnheer Brzezinski dus een intelligente man, want hij denkt zo'n beetje hetzelfde als wij, namelijk dat de vraag niet zo zeer zou dienen te zijn wat er dan wel gedaan dient te worden wanneer Hamas nogmaals een aantal raketten afvuurt op Israël, (of beter, fusées, want meer dan dat zijn het eigenlijk niet), maar wél wat er zou kunnen gebeuren zodat Hamas helemaal géén raketten meer afvuurt...
Met andere woorden, wij vinden dat het eindelijk eens tijd wordt om een aantal vooroordelen of stellingen, of "slogans", zoals mijnheer Brzezinski het noemt te ontkrachten die hardnekkig de ronde blijven doen over dat hele Midden Oosten conflict, echter is dit in Amerika zo "not done" en zo politiek incorrectdat Mika Brzezinski ~inderdaad, dochter van !!~ het blijkbaar erg moeilijk heeft om de gedachtengang van haar papa iets of wat te volgen, gezien ze blijkbaar zin heeft om eens flink met haar kop op 't bureau te bonken...
Nochtans staat zij toch wel bekend als zijnde een gedegen journaliste, met een flink stel "cojones", getuige onderstaand filmpje waarin zij dus het lef heeft ~we zien het Wim De Vilder nog niet zo gauw doen hier~ om live op tv te weigeren een "infotainment" itempje in te leiden waar héél Amerika zit op te wachten en dat dus over Paris Hilton zal gaan... maar blijkbaar heb je in the US of A nog een stel steviger kloten nodig als je eigen papa in een interview kritiek levert op de buitenlandse politiek van de Verenigde Staten, vooral dan waar het Israel aangaat.
"Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC rips Paris report" duur : 3:02 minuten Morning Joe
1. Israel's "generous offer", verworpen door Arafat
Dat fameuze "genereuze aanbod" vanwege Israel aan de Palestijnen waarover Scarborough het heeft, is dus ook niet meer dan een lege doos. Wij gaan hier allemaal niet te veel woorden aan vuilmaken, behalve dan dat Israël eigenlijk helemaal niet wou dat er iets op papier werd gezet (N.V.D.R. : Israel heeft niet eens een grondwet, laat staan dat ze er zouden moeten inzetten dat alle burgers gelijke rechten hebben !!) terwijl Arafat alleen maar vroeg "zet dat allemaal eens op papier, dan kan ik 't meenemen naar mijn achterban & voorleggen".
Wij zouden hiervoor ook graag verwijzen naar de website van Gush Shalom, de Israelische Vredesbeweging die met betrekking tot dit fameuze "genereuze aanbod" de volgende kleine presentatie heeft gemaakt, waarin in een viertal stappen wordt uitgelegd wat dat fameuze aanbod nu precies was:
Kijk kijk kijk... indien dit correct is dan was dat "genereuze aanbod" vanwege Barak aan Arafat toch wel redelijk mager en in zijn plaats zouden wij dat liever ook niet op papier willen zetten, kwestie van toch wat de schijn op te houden.
Anderzijds wordt er door rabiate voorvechters van de exclusief Joodse staat vaak geponeerd dat Gush Shalom communisten zijn, of Joden die een "zelfhaat" hebben ontwikkeld, maar dan stellen wij ons weer de vraag: "Waarom zou Gush Shalom liégen over dit onderwerp?" en "Waar kunnen we dan wél een correct ontwerp bekijken van dat fameuze "genereuze aanbod"?
Noot : Overigens wordt de Israelische Vredesbeweging door veel Israëli's of door andere politieke tegenstanders "communisme" verweten, maar sinds de laatste verkiezingscampagne in de Verenigde Staten weten we dat dit vooral een manier is om geen aandacht te moeten besteden aan de inhoud van hun argumentaties.
2. Hamas breekt de wapenstilstand die van kracht was sinds juni 2008.
Karen Koning Abuzayd, Commissaris-generaal voor de Vluchtelingen van het UNRWA (UNRWA = Relief Works Agency) van de Verenigde naties antwoordt op een vraag van een journalist dat het niét Hamas was dat als eerste de wapenstilstand heeft geschonden.
Het filmpje met het antwoord kunt U hier bekijken:
"Israel or Hamas who broke the truce" duur : 3:32 minuten ...
Volgens een artikel van 5 november in de krant The Guardian was het dus niét Hamas, maar wél Israël dat de wapenstilstand heeft doorbroken door het vermoorden van 6 Hamas militanten.
Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 November 2008 14.32 GMT
A man sifts throught rubble after Israel's overnight operation Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP
A four-month ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was in jeopardy today after Israeli troops killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid into the territory.
Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into southern Israel, although no one was injured. The violence represented the most serious break in a ceasefire agreed in mid-June, yet both sides suggested they wanted to return to atmosphere of calm.
Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip late last night near the town of Deir al-Balah. The Israeli military said the target of the raid was a tunnel that they said Hamas was planning to use to capture Israeli soldiers positioned on the border fence 250m away. Four Israeli soldiers were injured in the operation, two moderately and two lightly, the military said.
One Hamas gunman was killed and Palestinians launched a volley of mortars at the Israeli military. An Israeli air strike then killed five more Hamas fighters. In response, Hamas launched 35 rockets into southern Israel, one reaching the city of Ashkelon.
"This was a pinpoint operation intended to prevent an immediate threat," the Israeli military said in a statement. "There is no intention to disrupt the ceasefire, rather the purpose of the operation was to remove an immediate and dangerous threat posted by the Hamas terror organisation."
In Gaza, a Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said the group had fired rockets out of Gaza as a "response to Israel's massive breach of the truce".
"The Israelis began this tension and they must pay an expensive price. They cannot leave us drowning in blood while they sleep soundly in their beds," he said.
The attack comes shortly before a key meeting this Sunday in Cairo when Hamas and its political rival Fatah will hold talks on reconciling their differences and creating a single, unified government. It will be the first time the two sides have met at this level since fighting a near civil war more than a year ago.
Until now it had appeared both Israel and Hamas, which seized full control of Gaza last summer, had an interest in maintaining the ceasefire. For Israel it has meant an end to the daily barrage of rockets landing in southern towns, particularly Sderot. For Gazans it has meant an end to the regular Israeli military raids that have caused hundreds of casualties, many of them civilian, in the past year. Israel, however, has maintained its economic blockade on the strip, severely limiting imports and preventing all exports from Gaza.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, had personally approved the Gaza raid, the Associated Press said. The Israeli military concluded that Hamas was likely to want to continue the ceasefire despite the raid, it said. The ceasefire was due to run for six months and it is still unclear whether it will stretch beyond that limit.
Het állerstrafste tegenwoordig is wel dat zelfs CNN een item heeft over het feit dat Israel op 5 November (N.V.D.R. : dus pál op de hype rondom de verkiezing van Barack Obama... - Dus qua timing kan dat al behoorlijk tellen !!) het bestand heeft doorbroken. Dit kunt U hier bekijken :
...& Dat terwijl er in Vlaanderen nauwelijks één serieuze nieuwsbron was die hier melding van heeft gemaakt. Voor zover wij weten hebben ze allemaal gewoon als papegaaien de "officiële" versie gedebiteerd, namelijk dat "Hamas het bestand heeft geschonden"...
Wij gaan hier dus ook weer niet te veel woorden aan vuil maken... volgens dit artikel heeft Israël dus het bestand geschonden en dat is dat.
Wie de zwarte piet krijgt interesseert ons eigenlijk ook niet zo erg, want inhoudelijk brengt het ook weer weinig bij, maar we wilden dit misverstand gewoon graag eventjes rechtgezet zien. Overigens, rechtvaardigt dit het hervatten van de beschietingen vanwege Hamas?
Absoluut niét, maar het is er waarschijnlijk wél de oorzaak van en in die zin begrijpelijk.
Koppel dit aan de volgehouden "sterilisatie" van Gaza door Israel, (één van de voorwaarden van de wapenstilstand was namelijk ook de opheffing van de blokkade en de toelating voor het leveren van humanitaire hulp aan de dik één miljoen Gazanen) waarbij Gaza nog steeds één grote openluchtgevangenis bleef waar niks binnen of buiten kan, en waar meer dan 1 miljoen Palestijnen als ratten in een schoendoos opgesloten zitten op een oppervlakte van 240 km², en U krijgt alle recepten voor een humanitaire ramp en een catastrofe.
Volgens onze bescheiden mening : "als men mensen lang genoeg als beesten behandelt, moet men ook niet verbaasd zijn als die mensen zich uiteindelijk ook als beesten gaan gedragen."
Overigens publiceerde de Israëlische krant Haaretz op 28/12 ook al een interessant artikel...
Last update - 16:39 31/12/2008
Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public - all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces "Cast Lead" operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.
The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.
Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas. According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army needed time to prepare, as well. Barak gave orders to carry out a comprehensive intelligence-gathering drive which sought to map out Hamas' security infrastructure, along with that of other militant organizations operating in the Strip.
This intelligence-gathering effort brought back information about permanent bases, weapon silos, training camps, the homes of senior officials and coordinates for other facilities.
The plan of action that was implemented in Operation Cast Lead remained only a blueprint until a month ago, when tensions soared after the IDF carried out an incursion into Gaza during the ceasefire to take out a tunnel which the army said was intended to facilitate an attack by Palestinian militants on IDF troops.
On November 19, following dozens of Qassam rockets and mortar rounds which exploded on Israeli soil, the plan was brought for Barak's final approval. Last Thursday, on December 18, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the defense minister met at IDF headquarters in central Tel Aviv to approve the operation.
However, they decided to put the mission on hold to see whether Hamas would hold its fire after the expiration of the ceasefire. They therefore put off bringing the plan for the cabinet's approval, but they did inform Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the developments.
That night, in speaking to the media, sources in the Prime Minister's Bureau said that "if the shooting from Gaza continues, the showdown with Hamas would be inevitable." On the weekend, several ministers in Olmert's cabinet inveighed against him and against Barak for not retaliating for Hamas' Qassam launches.
"This chatter would have made Entebe or the Six Day War impossible," Barak said in responding to the accusations. The cabinet was eventually convened on Wednesday, but the Prime Minister's Bureau misinformed the media in stating the discussion would revolve around global jihad. The ministers learned only that morning that the discussion would actually pertain to the operation in Gaza.
In its summary announcement for the discussion, the Prime Minister's Bureau devoted one line to the situation in Gaza, compared to one whole page that concerned the outlawing of 35 Islamic organizations.
What actually went on at the cabinet meeting was a five-hour discussion about the operation in which ministers were briefed about the various blueprints and plans of action. "It was a very detailed review," one minister said.
The minister added: "Everyone fully understood what sort of period we were heading into and what sort of scenarios this could lead to. No one could say that he or she did not know what they were voting on." The minister also said that the discussion showed that the lessons of the Winograd Committee about the performance of decision-makers during the 2006 Second Lebanon War were "fully internalized."
At the end of the discussion, the ministers unanimously voted in favor of the strike, leaving it for the prime minister, the defense minister and the foreign minister to work out the exact time.
While Barak was working out the final details with the officers responsible for the operation, Livni went to Cairo to inform Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, that Israel had decided to strike at Hamas.
In parallel, Israel continued to send out disinformation in announcing it would open the crossings to the Gaza Strip and that Olmert would decide whether to launch the strike following three more deliberations on Sunday - one day after the actual order to launch the operation was issued.
"Hamas evacuated all its headquarter personnel after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday," one defense official said, "but the organization sent its people back in when they heard that everything was put on hold until Sunday."
The final decision was made on Friday morning, when Barak met with Chief of Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the Shin Bet Security Service Yuval Diskin and the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Amos Yadlin. Barak sat down with Olmert and Livni several hours later for a final meeting, in which the trio gave the air force its orders.
On Friday night and on Saturday morning, opposition leaders and prominent political figures were informed about the impending strike, including Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, Yisrael Beuiteinu's Avigdor Liebermen, Haim Oron from Meretz and President Shimon Peres, along with Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.
waarin melding wordt gemaakt van het feit dat Barak al in de zomer de opdracht gaf om te beginnen met de voorbereidselen voor een langdurig offensief in Gaza.
Het ziet er dus naar uit dat Israël toen reeds helemaal geen zin had om zich lang te houden aan dat fameuze "staakt-het-vuren".
3. Hamas is een terreurorganisatie waarmee niet gepraat mag worden.
Dit is natuurlijk ongelooflijk flauwe zever, want uiteindelijk zal er met Hamas moéten gepraat worden. Het -overigens katholieke- IRA was ook een terroristische organisatie, die een pak méér schade berokkend heeft dan Hamas, en daar heeft Tony Blair toch ook maar mooi aan tafel gezeten met o.m. Gerry Adams en Martin McGuinness.
Het IRA was bovendien een volledig ondergrondse clandestiene organisatie, terwijl Hamas eigenlijk eerst een sociale organisatie was, die zich vooral bekommerde om het sociale welzijn van veel gewone Palestijnen, die zich in de steek gelaten voelden door de Palestijnse -ahum- "elite".
In dit licht is het overigens toch wel interessant om Hamas zelf eens te bekijken van wat dichterbij. Om het simpel te houden beginnen wij dus gewoon bij wikipedia http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas
en daarin staat o.m. het volgende te lezen:
"Begin jaren '80 genoten sjeik Yassin (Hamas oprichter en leider) en zijn aanhangers steun van de Israëlische overheid. De voorloper van de Hamas opereerde voornamelijk op sociaal gebied en toen de geestelijke subsidie vroeg werd die met gulle hand verstrekt. De Israëlische overheid dacht wellicht in hem een bondgenoot te hebben in hun strijd tegen de terreur, die destijds voornamelijk van de PLO kwam. Ook werd Yassin meerdere malen medisch behandeld in Israël.
Met de ingang van de eerste Palestijnse intifada (1987-1993) veranderde het karakter en naam van de beweging. Palestijnse collaborateurs of verdachten van collaboratie werden door de Hamas geliquideerd. Na de ondertekening van de Oslo-akkoorden en het demonstratieve bezoek van premier Ariel Sharon aan de Tempelberg in 2000 brak de al-Aqsa Intifada uit. Yassin was tegen de Oslo-akkoorden omdat die geen garantie boden voor de terugkeer van wegens het Israëlische geweld gevluchte Palestijnen.
Hamas, de Islamitische Jihad en de al-Aqsa Martelaren Brigades van de Fatah-beweging opereren vanuit de bezette gebieden en Zuid-Libanon. Regelmatig vuren de Palestijnen Qassam-raketten af op Israëlische stellingen en legereenheden die in Israëlische grensdorpen als Sderot gelegerd zijn, waarbij soms ook Israëlische burgers om het leven komen.
Hamas erkent indirect Israël door akkoord te gaan met delen van het gevangenendocument en onderhandelingen met Israël."
Dit is allemaal toch wel interessante lectuur.
Hamas werd dus, samengevat, opgericht als een sociale organisatie (zo'n beetje zoals onze syndicaten hoewel sommigen deze maar al te graag als terreurorganisaties bestempeld zouden willen zien), die gesteund werd door Israël aangezien Israël dacht dat het hiermee een goeie oude "verdeel en heers" politiek kon uitoefenen en de PLO van Yasser Arafat verzwakken.
Erg interessant is ook de entry die we terugvonden op de website van het Council on Foreign Relations & aangezien wij ons lezerspubliek wel hoog aanslaan, weten wij intussen al wel dat u wel vanzelf een kijkje zult gaan nemen & dus gaan wij hier verder ook niet veel meer woorden aan vuil maken, behalve dan de volgende korte stukjes voor de mensen die maar efkens tijd hebben... zo effe tussen de soep en de kroketjes...
"Is Hamas only a terrorist group ?
No. In addition to its military wing, the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network. It funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. "Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities," writes the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz. The Palestinian Authority often fails to provide such services; Hamas's efforts in this areaas well as a reputation for honesty, in contrast to the many Fatah officials accused of corruptionhelp to explain the broad popularity it summoned to defeat Fatah in the PA's recent elections.
The first Hamas suicide bombing took place in April 1993. Five months later, Yasir Arafat, the then-leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, then-prime minister of Israel, sealed the Oslo accordsan Israeli-Palestinian peace pact that eventually unraveled. Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli right-wing fanatic in November 1995. Arafat died in November 2004."
4. Hamas krijgt steun, wapens, financiële middelen en opleiding in en vanuit Iran.
Logisch toch ?!... Wanneer de VS Israël jaarlijks voor 4 miljard dollar subsidieert aan wapens en militair materiaal, waarom is het dan zo onaanvaardbaar of onbegrijpelijk voor ons om te vatten dat Hamas steun krijgt van verschillende andere regionale spelers ?!... Hiermee viseert men op dit ogenblik vooral Iran, maar Iran doet hier eigenlijk niets anders dan dezelfde politiek overnemen die de USA al sedert decennia hebben toegepast in allerlei soorten conflictgebieden, van Afghanistan, waar zij de -jawel- taliban steunden, tot de doodseskaders en de zgn. contra's in Nicaragua. Maar natuurlijk zoeken de Amerikaanse NeoCons vooral naar nog een (drog)reden, of beter, aan aanleiding om een nieuwe oorlog te beginnen met een land dat eigenlijk nog nooit iemand heeft kwaad berokkend.
In een interview op het mesjogge Fox news herhaalt de volgens ons totaal geschifte en compleet kierewiete John Bolton (ex ambassadeur van de Verenigde Staten bij de UNO) nogmaals dat Amerika Iran hoogdringend moet gaan aanvallen en ook dat de VS Iran reeds lang hadden moeten aanvallen.
"I would use Military Force against Iran Now! John Bolton" duur : 6:24 minuten Fox News
Overigens deed het ons bijzonder veel genoegen om Bolton in een ander youtube filmpje een paar fikse uppercuts te zien incasseren, toegebracht door o.m. Tony Benn...
...& aangezien wij U dit niet willen onthouden zetten we het er maar meteen bij
"John Bolton Grilled On BBC" duur : 5:12 minuten ...
Maar terug nu naar de kern van de zaak.
Want ja, zoals Bolton het stelt (& samen met hem alle andere haviken die het liefst nóg zo'n ellendige oorlog zouden willen beginnen waaronder uiteraard onze eigen Crembo) die president Ahmadinejad is naar het schijnt een genocidaire maniak, een nieuwe Hitler, zoals er blijkbaar al velen vóór hem de "Nieuwe Hitler" geweest zijn.
Olmert compares Ahmadinejad to Hitler
Published: 04.29.06, 12:17 / Israel News
In interview with German newspaper Bild, acting Prime Minister says Iranian president a psychopath of the worst kind who speaks as Hitler did in his time of exterminating the entire Jewish nation; adds that West will make certain Iran doesnt reach position in which it will be capable of holding unconventional weapons
In a recent interview with German daily Bild Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched a scathing attack against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, referring to the Iranian president as a psychopath and comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
He is a psychopath of the worst kind, Olmert was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
He speaks as Hitler did in his time of the extermination of the entire Jewish nation.
According to Olmert, this is the reason Iran must be prevented from furthering developing its nuclear program.
When asked whether he believes Iran will be attacked, Olmert said this is a sensitive question. The West, under the United States leadership, will make certain that Iran does not reach a position in which it will be capable of holding unconventional weapons.
However, Olmert added I suppose Ahmadinejad will never be as dangerous and destructive as Hitler. Apparently he will never be able to realize his threats.
On Friday the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran has defied a U.N. Security Council call for a freeze on enriching uranium and its lack of cooperation with nuclear inspectors was a "matter of concern."
U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday "the world is united and concerned" about what he called Iran's "desire to have not only a nuclear weapon but the capacity to make a nuclear weapon or the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon."
Bush said he was not discouraged by Iran's vow to continue despite global pressure, and while he has refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran, he emphasized the pursuit of diplomatic efforts.
"I think the diplomatic options are just beginning," he said in Washington.
As to the Hamas government, Olmert told the German newspaper that it is not only a threat but also an opportunity for Israel to offer the international community a better understanding of the regional situation. The acting PM referred to the recent terror attack in Tel Aviv, which Hamas said was an act of self defense.
'We will never forget'
Olmert defended his decision not to respond harshly to the attack, adding that he is resolved to continue the war on terror.
During the interview Olmert expressed his admiration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying Germany has learned the lessons of the past.
Merkel is an amazing woman, very experienced in international politics. The role (chancellor) is a very sensitive one due to the historic responsibility that lies with Germany, especially with regards to the Jewish people, he said.
Olmert said Germany is contributing to the uncompromising battle against those that threaten global peace, such as the Palestinian terror organizations.
However, Olmert said regarding the Holocaust we will never forget and never forgive, adding that nothing can diminish from the German nations responsibility for its actions.
You can always tell when the War Party wants a new war. They will invariably trot out the Argumentum ad Hitlerum.
Before the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam had become "the Hitler of Arabia," though he had only conquered a sandbox half the size of Denmark. Milosevic then became the "Hitler of the Balkans," though he had lost Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia, was struggling to hold Bosnia and Kosovo, and had defeated no one.
Comes now the new Hitler.
"This is 1935, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as close to Adolf Hitler as we've seen," said Newt Gingrich to a startled editor at Human Events.
"We now know who they are the question is who are we. Are we Baldwin or Churchill?"
"In 1935 ... Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini intimidated the democracies," Newt plunged ahead. "The question is who is going to intimidate who." Yes, a little learning can be a dangerous thing.
A few facts. First, when Hitler violated the Versailles Treaty by announcing rearmament in March 1935, Baldwin was not in power. Second, Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald quickly met with Il Duce to form the Stresa Front against Hitler. Third, when Mussolini invaded Abyssinia in October 1935, Baldwin imposed sanctions.
But Churchill did not wholly approve.
Abyssinia, said Churchill, is a "wild land of tyranny, slavery and tribal war ... No one can keep up the pretense that Abyssinia is a fit, worthy and equal member of a league of civilized nations."
As late as 1938, Churchill was still proclaiming the greatness of Il Duce: "It would be a dangerous folly for the British people to underrate the enduring position in world history which Mussolini will hold; or the amazing qualities of courage, comprehension, self-control and perseverance which he exemplifies."
But back to the new Hitler.
The Iranians, said Newt, "have been proactively at war with us since 1979." We must now prepare to invade and occupy Iran, and identify a "network of Iranians prepared to run their ... country" after we take the place over.
"I wake up every morning thinking we could lose two major cities today and have the equivalent of the second Holocaust by nuclear weapons this morning."
What about diplomacy?
"We should say to the Europeans that there is no diplomatic solution that is imaginable that is going to solve this problem." Newt's reasoning: War is inevitable the longer we wait, the graver the risk. Let's get it over with. Bismarck called this committing suicide out of fear of death.
My own sense of this astonishing interview is that Newt is trying to get to the right of John McCain on Iran and cast himself drum roll, please as the Churchill of our generation.
But are the comparisons of Ahmadinejad with Hitler and Iran with the Third Reich, let alone Newt with Churchill, instructive? Or are they ludicrous? Again, a few facts.
In 1942, Hitler's armies dominated Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals. Ahmadinejad is the president of a nation whose air and naval forces would be toasted in hours by the United States. Iran has missiles that can hit Israel, but no nuclear warheads. Israel could put scores of atom bombs on Iran. The United States, without losing a plane, could make the country uninhabitable with one B-2 flyover and a few MX and Trident missiles.
Why would Ayatollah Khameinei, who has far more power than Ahmadinejad, permit him to ignite a war that could mean the end of their revolution and country? And if we were not intimidated by a USSR with thousands of nuclear warheads targeted on us, why should Ahmadinejad cause Newt to break out in cold sweats at night?
Currently, the "nuclear program" of Iran consists of trying to run uranium hexafluoride gas through a few centrifuges. There is no hard evidence Iran is within three years of producing enough highly enriched uranium for one bomb.
And if Iran has been at war with us since 1979, why has it done so much less damage than Gadhafi, who blew up that discotheque in Berlin with our soldiers inside and massacred those American kids on Pan Am 103? Diplomacy worked with Gadhafi. Why not try it with Iran?
Yet, Newt and the War Party appear to be pushing against an open door. A Fox News poll finds Iran has replaced North Korea as the nation Americans believe is our greatest immediate danger. And a Washington Post polls finds 56 percent of Americans backing military action to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.
Instead of whining about how they were misled into Iraq, why don't Democrats try to stop this new war before it starts? They can begin by introducing a resolution in Congress denying Bush authority to launch any preventive war on Iran, unless Congress first declares war on Iran.
Isn't that what the Constitution says?
Before we go to war, let's have a debate of whether we need to go to war.
...& Ook Robert Fisk schreef in de aanloop naar de Irak oorlog een flinke brok over het fenomeen waarbij we iedereen die niet in blinde adoratie op de knieën valt maar meteen nieuwe Hitlers gaan noemen.
Monday, 27 January 2003
Robert Fisk: The wartime deceptions: Saddam is Hitler and it's not about oil
The Israeli writer Uri Avnery once delivered a wickedly sharp open letter to Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister who sent his army to defeat in Lebanon.
The Israeli writer Uri Avnery once delivered a wickedly sharp open letter to Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister who sent his army to defeat in Lebanon. Enraged by Begin's constant evocation of the Second World War likening Yasser Arafat in Beirut to Hitler in his Berlin bunker in 1945 Avnery entitled his letter: "Mr Prime Minister, Hitler is Dead."
How often I have wanted to repeat his advice to Bush and Blair. Obsessed with their own demonisation of Saddam Hussein, both are now reminding us of the price of appeasement. Bush thinks that he is the Churchill of America, refusing the appeasement of Saddam. Now the US ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, has compared Saddam to Hitler. "You had Hitler in Europe and no one really did anything about him," Schnabel lectured the Europeans in Brussels a week ago: "We knew he could be dangerous but nothing was done. The same type of person [is in Baghdad] and it's there that our concern lies." Mr Schnabel ended this infantile parallel by adding unconvincingly that "this has nothing to do with oil".
How can the sane human being react to this pitiful stuff? One of the principal nations which "did nothing about Hitler" was the US, which enjoyed a profitable period of neutrality in 1939 and 1940 and most of 1941 until it was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. And when the Churchill-Roosevelt alliance decided that it would only accept Germany's unconditional surrender a demand that shocked even Churchill when Roosevelt suddenly announced the terms at Casablanca Hitler was doomed.
Not so Saddam it seems. For last week Donald Rumsfeld offered the Hitler of Baghdad a way out: exile, with a suitcase full of cash and an armful of family members if that is what he wished. Funny, but I don't recall Churchill or Roosevelt ever suggesting that the Nazi führer should be allowed to escape. Saddam is Hitler but then suddenly, he's not Hitler after all. He is said TheNew York Times to be put before a war crimes tribunal. But then he's not. He can scoot off to Saudi Arabia or Latin America. In other words, he's not Hitler.
But even if he were, are we prepared to pay the price of so promiscuous a war? Arabs who admire Saddam and there are plenty in Jordan believe Iraq cannot hold out for more than a week. Some are convinced the US 3rd Infantry Division will be in Baghdad in three days, the British with them. It's a fair bet that hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis will die. But in the civil unrest that follows, what are we going to do? Are American and British troops to defend the homes of Baath party officials whom the mobs want to hang?
Far more seriously, what happens after that? What do we do when Iraqis not ex-Baathists but anti-Saddam Iraqis demand our withdrawal? For be sure this will happen. In the Shia mosques of Kerbala and An Najaf, they are not going to welcome Anglo-American forces. The Kurds will want a price for their co-operation. A state perhaps? A federation? The Sunnis will need our protection. They will also, in due time, demand our withdrawal. Iraq is a tough, violent state and General Tommy Franks is no General MacArthur.
For we will be in occupation of a foreign land. We will be in occupation of Iraq as surely as Israel is in occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And with Saddam gone, the way is open for Osama bin Laden to demand the liberation of Iraq as another of his objectives. How easily he will be able to slot Iraq into the fabric of American occupation across the Gulf. Are we then ready to fight al-Qa'ida in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan and countless other countries? It seems that the peoples of the Middle East and the West realise these dangers, but that their leaders do not, or do not want to.
Travelling to the US more than once a month, visiting Britain at the weekend, moving around the Middle East, I have never been so struck by the absolute, unwavering determination of so many Arabs and Europeans and Americans to oppose a war. Did Tony Blair really need that gloriously pertinacious student at the Labour Party meeting on Friday to prove to him what so many Britons feel: that this proposed Iraqi war is a lie, that the reasons for this conflict have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, that Blair has no business following Bush into the America-Israeli war? Never before have I received so many readers' letters expressing exactly the same sentiment: that somehow because of Labour's huge majority, because of the Tory party's effective disappearance as an opposition, because of parliamentary cynicism British democracy is not permitting British people to stop a war for which most of them have nothing but contempt. From Washington's pathetic attempt to link Saddam to al-Qa'ida, to Blair's childish "dossier" on weapons of mass destruction, to the whole tragic farce of UN inspections, people are just no longer fooled.
The denials that this war has anything to do with oil are as unconvincing as Colin Powell's claim last week that Iraq's oil would be held in trusteeship for the Iraqi people. Trusteeship was exactly what the League of Nations offered the Levant when it allowed Britain and France to adopt mandates in Palestine and Transjordan and Syria and Lebanon after the First World War. Who will run the oil wells and explore Iraqi oil reserves during this generous period of trusteeship? American companies, perhaps? No, people are not fooled.
Take the inspectors. George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and now, alas, Colin Powell don't want to give the inspectors more time. Why not, for God's sake? Let's just go back to 12 September last year when Bush, wallowing in the nostalgia of the 11 September 2001 crimes against humanity, demanded that the UN act. It must send its inspectors back to Iraq. They must resume their work. They must complete their work. Bush, of course, was hoping that Iraq would refuse to let the inspectors return. Horrifically, Iraq welcomed the UN. Bush was waiting for the inspectors to find hidden weapons. Terrifyingly, they found none. They are still looking. And that is the last thing Bush wants. Bush said he was "sick and tired" of Saddam's trickery when what he meant was that he was sick and tired of waiting for the UN inspectors to find the weapons that will allow America to go to war. He who wanted so much to get the inspectors back to work now doesn't want them to work. "Time is running out," Bush said last week. He was talking about Saddam but he was actually referring to the UN inspectors, in fact to the whole UN institution so laboriously established after the Second World War by his own country.
The only other nation pushing for war save for the ever-grateful Kuwait is Israel. Listen to the words of Zalman Shoval, Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon's foreign affairs adviser, last week. Israel, he said, would "pay dearly" for a "long deferral" of an American strike on Iraq. "If the attack were to be postponed on political rather than military grounds," he said, "we will have every reason in Israel to fear that Saddam Hussein uses this delay to develop non-conventional weapons." As long as Saddam was not sidelined, it would be difficult to convince the Palestinian leadership that violence didn't pay and that it should be replaced by a new administration; Arafat would use such a delay "to intensify terrorist attacks".
Note how the savage Israeli-Palestinian war can only according to the Shoval thesis be resolved if America invades Iraq; how terrorism cannot be ended in Israel until the US destroys Saddam. There can be no regime change for the Palestinians until there is regime change in Baghdad. By going along with the Bush drive to war, Blair is, indirectly, supporting Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (since Israel still claims to be fighting America's "war on terror" against Arafat). Does Blair believe Britons haven't grasped this? Does he think Britons are stupid? A quarter of the British Army is sent to fight in a war that 80 per cent of Britons oppose. How soon before we see real people power 500,000 protesters or more in London, Manchester and other cities to oppose this folly?
Yes an essential part of any such argument Saddam is a cruel, ruthless dictator, not unlike the Dear Leader of North Korea, the nuclear megalomaniac with whom the Americans have been having "excellent" discussions but who doesn't have oil. How typical of Saddam to send Ali "Chemical" Majid the war criminal who gassed the Kurds of Halabja to tour Arab capitals last week, to sit with President Bashar Assad of Syria and President Emile Lahoud of Lebanon as if he never ordered the slaughter of women and children. But Bush and Blair said nothing about Majid's tour either so as not to offend the Arab leaders who met him or because the link between gas, war crimes and Washington's original support for Saddam is a sensitive issue.
Instead, we are deluged with more threats from Washington about "states that sponsor terror". Western journalists play a leading role in this propaganda. Take Eric Schmitt in TheNew York Times a week ago. He wrote a story about America's decision to "confront countries that sponsor terrorism". And his sources? "Senior defence officials", "administration officials", "some American intelligence officials", "the officials", "officials", "military officials", "terrorist experts" and "defence officials". Why not just let the Pentagon write its own reports in TheNew York Times?
But that is what is changing. More and more Americans aware that their President declined to serve his country in Vietnam realise that their newspapers are lying to them and acting as a conduit for the US government alone. More and more Britons are tired of being told to go to war by their newspapers and television stations and politicians. Indeed, I'd guess that far more Britons are represented today by the policies of President Chirac of France than Prime Minister Blair of Britain.
Volgens de vermaarde onderzoeksjournalist Seymour Hersh
is Hitler ook het koosnaampje dat gebruikt wordt op stafvergaderingen als het over Ahmadinejad gaat
Een artikel uit de alom bekende "The New Yorker"
Annals of National Security
The Iran Plans
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?
by Seymour M. Hersh
April 17, 2006
The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred.
There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bushs ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Irans President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be wiped off the map. Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. Thats the name theyre using. They say, Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do, and that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government. He added, I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, What are they smoking?
The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely, Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?
When I spoke to Clawson, he emphasized that this Administration is putting a lot of effort into diplomacy. However, he added, Iran had no choice other than to accede to Americas demands or face a military attack. Clawson said that he fears that Ahmadinejad sees the West as wimps and thinks we will eventually cave in. We have to be ready to deal with Iran if the crisis escalates. Clawson said that he would prefer to rely on sabotage and other clandestine activities, such as industrial accidents. But, he said, it would be prudent to prepare for a wider war, given the way the Iranians are acting. This is not like planning to invade Quebec.
One military planner told me that White House criticisms of Iran and the high tempo of planning and clandestine activities amount to a campaign of coercion aimed at Iran. You have to be ready to go, and well see how they respond, the officer said. You have to really show a threat in order to get Ahmadinejad to back down. He added, People think Bush has been focussed on Saddam Hussein since 9/11, but, in my view, if you had to name one nation that was his focus all the way along, it was Iran. (In response to detailed requests for comment, the White House said that it would not comment on military planning but added, As the President has indicated, we are pursuing a diplomatic solution; the Defense Department also said that Iran was being dealt with through diplomatic channels but wouldnt elaborate on that; the C.I.A. said that there were inaccuracies in this account but would not specify them.)
This is much more than a nuclear issue, one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. Thats just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.
A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war, he said. The danger, he said, was that it also reinforces the belief inside Iran that the only way to defend the country is to have a nuclear capability. A military conflict that destabilized the region could also increase the risk of terror: Hezbollah comes into play, the adviser said, referring to the terror group that is considered one of the worlds most successful, and which is now a Lebanese political party with strong ties to Iran. And here comes Al Qaeda.
In recent weeks, the President has quietly initiated a series of talks on plans for Iran with a few key senators and members of Congress, including at least one Democrat. A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, who did not take part in the meetings but has discussed their content with his colleagues, told me that there had been no formal briefings, because theyre reluctant to brief the minority. Theyre doing the Senate, somewhat selectively.
The House member said that no one in the meetings is really objecting to the talk of war. The people theyre briefing are the same ones who led the charge on Iraq. At most, questions are raised: How are you going to hit all the sites at once? How are you going to get deep enough? (Iran is building facilities underground.) Theres no pressure from Congress not to take military action, the House member added. The only political pressure is from the guys who want to do it. Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.
The planning is enormous, the former senior intelligence official said, referring to the activity at the U.S. Central Command headquarters, in Florida; the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, in Virginia; and the U.S. Strategic Command, in Nebraska. Space assets, SLBMssubmarine-launched ballistic missilestactical air, and sabotage, coöperation from the Turks and the Russians. He added that the plans include significant air attacks on their countermeasures and anti-aircraft missilesa huge takedown. He depicted the planning as hectic, and far beyond the contingency work that is routinely done. These are operational plans, the former official said.
Some operations, apparently aimed in part at intimidating Iran, are already under way. American Naval tactical aircraft, operating from carriers in the Arabian Sea, have been flying simulated nuclear-weapons delivery missionsrapid ascending maneuvers known as over the shoulder bombingsince last summer, the former official said, within range of Iranian coastal radars.
Last month, in a paper given at a conference on Middle East security in Berlin, Colonel Sam Gardiner, a military analyst who taught at the National War College before retiring from the Air Force, in 1987, provided an estimate of what would be needed to destroy Irans nuclear program. Working from satellite photographs of the known facilities, Gardiner estimated that at least four hundred targets would have to be hit. He added:
"I dont think a U.S. military planner would want to stop there. Iran probably has two chemical-production plants. We would hit those. We would want to hit the medium-range ballistic missiles that have just recently been moved closer to Iraq. There are fourteen airfields with sheltered aircraft. . . . Wed want to get rid of that threat. We would want to hit the assets that could be used to threaten Gulf shipping. That means targeting the cruise-missile sites and the Iranian diesel submarines. . . . Some of the facilities may be too difficult to target even with penetrating weapons. The U.S. will have to use Special Operations units. "
One of the militarys initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Irans main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. Natanz, which is no longer under I.A.E.A. safeguards, reportedly has underground floor space to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and laboratories and workspaces buried approximately seventy-five feet beneath the surface. That number of centrifuges could provide enough enriched uranium for about twenty nuclear warheads a year. (Iran has acknowledged that it initially kept the existence of its enrichment program hidden from I.A.E.A. inspectors, but claims that none of its current activity is barred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) The elimination of Natanz would be a major setback for Irans nuclear ambitions, but the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete.
There is a Cold War precedent for targeting deep underground bunkers with nuclear weapons. In the early nineteen-eighties, the American intelligence community watched as the Soviet government began digging a huge underground complex outside Moscow. Analysts concluded that the underground facility was designed for continuity of governmentfor the political and military leadership to survive a nuclear war. (There are similar facilities, in Virginia and Pennsylvania, for the American leadership.) The Soviet facility still exists, and much of what the U.S. knows about it remains classified. The tell the giveawaywas the ventilator shafts, some of which were disguised, the former senior intelligence official told me. At the time, he said, it was determined that only nukes could destroy the bunker. He added that some American intelligence analysts believe that the Russians helped the Iranians design their underground facility. We see a similarity of design, specifically in the ventilator shafts, he said.
A former high-level Defense Department official told me that, in his view, even limited bombing would allow the U.S. to go in there and do enough damage to slow down the nuclear infrastructureits feasible. The former defense official said, The Iranians dont have friends, and we can tell them that, if necessary, well keep knocking back their infrastructure. The United States should act like were ready to go. He added, We dont have to knock down all of their air defenses. Our stealth bombers and standoff missiles really work, and we can blow fixed things up. We can do things on the ground, too, but its difficult and very dangerousput bad stuff in ventilator shafts and put them to sleep.
But those who are familiar with the Soviet bunker, according to the former senior intelligence official, say No way. Youve got to know whats underneathto know which ventilator feeds people, or diesel generators, or which are false. And theres a lot that we dont know. The lack of reliable intelligence leaves military planners, given the goal of totally destroying the sites, little choice but to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Every other option, in the view of the nuclear weaponeers, would leave a gap, the former senior intelligence official said. Decisive is the key word of the Air Forces planning. Its a tough decision. But we made it in Japan.
He went on, Nuclear planners go through extensive training and learn the technical details of damage and falloutwere talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians dont have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it outremove the nuclear optiontheyre shouted down.
The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iranwithout success, the former intelligence official said. The White House said, Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.
The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it a juggernaut that has to be stopped. He also confirmed that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the issue. There are very strong sentiments within the military against brandishing nuclear weapons against other countries, the adviser told me. This goes to high levels. The matter may soon reach a decisive point, he said, because the Joint Chiefs had agreed to give President Bush a formal recommendation stating that they are strongly opposed to considering the nuclear option for Iran. The internal debate on this has hardened in recent weeks, the adviser said. And, if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition to the use of offensive nuclear weapons, then it will never happen.
The adviser added, however, that the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in such situations has gained support from the Defense Science Board, an advisory panel whose members are selected by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Theyre telling the Pentagon that we can build the B61 with more blast and less radiation, he said.
The chairman of the Defense Science Board is William Schneider, Jr., an Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration. In January, 2001, as President Bush prepared to take office, Schneider served on an ad-hoc panel on nuclear forces sponsored by the National Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank. The panels report recommended treating tactical nuclear weapons as an essential part of the U.S. arsenal and noted their suitability for those occasions when the certain and prompt destruction of high priority targets is essential and beyond the promise of conventional weapons. Several signers of the report are now prominent members of the Bush Administration, including Stephen Hadley, the national-security adviser; Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and Robert Joseph, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
The Pentagon adviser questioned the value of air strikes. The Iranians have distributed their nuclear activity very well, and we have no clue where some of the key stuff is. It could even be out of the country, he said. He warned, as did many others, that bombing Iran could provoke a chain reaction of attacks on American facilities and citizens throughout the world: What will 1.2 billion Muslims think the day we attack Iran?
With or without the nuclear option, the list of targets may inevitably expand. One recently retired high-level Bush Administration official, who is also an expert on war planning, told me that he would have vigorously argued against an air attack on Iran, because Iran is a much tougher target than Iraq. But, he added, If youre going to do any bombing to stop the nukes, you might as well improve your lie across the board. Maybe hit some training camps, and clear up a lot of other problems.
The Pentagon adviser said that, in the event of an attack, the Air Force intended to strike many hundreds of targets in Iran but that ninety-nine per cent of them have nothing to do with proliferation. There are people who believe its the way to operatethat the Administration can achieve its policy goals in Iran with a bombing campaign, an idea that has been supported by neoconservatives.
If the order were to be given for an attack, the American combat troops now operating in Iran would be in position to mark the critical targets with laser beams, to insure bombing accuracy and to minimize civilian casualties. As of early winter, I was told by the government consultant with close ties to civilians in the Pentagon, the units were also working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast. The troops are studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds, the consultant said. One goal is to get eyes on the groundquoting a line from Othello, he said, Give me the ocular proof. The broader aim, the consultant said, is to encourage ethnic tensions and undermine the regime.
The new mission for the combat troops is a product of Defense Secretary Rumsfelds long-standing interest in expanding the role of the military in covert operations, which was made official policy in the Pentagons Quadrennial Defense Review, published in February. Such activities, if conducted by C.I.A. operatives, would need a Presidential Finding and would have to be reported to key members of Congress.
Force protection is the new buzzword, the former senior intelligence official told me. He was referring to the Pentagons position that clandestine activities that can be broadly classified as preparing the battlefield or protecting troops are military, not intelligence, operations, and are therefore not subject to congressional oversight. The guys in the Joint Chiefs of Staff say there are a lot of uncertainties in Iran, he said. We need to have more than what we had in Iraq. Now we have the green light to do everything we want.
The Presidents deep distrust of Ahmadinejad has strengthened his determination to confront Iran. This view has been reinforced by allegations that Ahmadinejad, who joined a special-forces brigade of the Revolutionary Guards in 1986, may have been involved in terrorist activities in the late eighties. (There are gaps in Ahmadinejads official biography in this period.) Ahmadinejad has reportedly been connected to Imad Mughniyeh, a terrorist who has been implicated in the deadly bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, in 1983. Mughniyeh was then the security chief of Hezbollah; he remains on the F.B.I.s list of most-wanted terrorists.
Robert Baer, who was a C.I.A. officer in the Middle East and elsewhere for two decades, told me that Ahmadinejad and his Revolutionary Guard colleagues in the Iranian government are capable of making a bomb, hiding it, and launching it at Israel. Theyre apocalyptic Shiites. If youre sitting in Tel Aviv and you believe theyve got nukes and missilesyouve got to take them out. These guys are nuts, and theres no reason to back off.
Under Ahmadinejad, the Revolutionary Guards have expanded their power base throughout the Iranian bureaucracy; by the end of January, they had replaced thousands of civil servants with their own members. One former senior United Nations official, who has extensive experience with Iran, depicted the turnover as a white coup, with ominous implications for the West. Professionals in the Foreign Ministry are out; others are waiting to be kicked out, he said. We may be too late. These guys now believe that they are stronger than ever since the revolution. He said that, particularly in consideration of Chinas emergence as a superpower, Irans attitude was To hell with the West. You can do as much as you like.
Irans supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is considered by many experts to be in a stronger position than Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad is not in control, one European diplomat told me. Power is diffuse in Iran. The Revolutionary Guards are among the key backers of the nuclear program, but, ultimately, I dont think they are in charge of it. The Supreme Leader has the casting vote on the nuclear program, and the Guards will not take action without his approval.
The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror said that allowing Iran to have the bomb is not on the table. We cannot have nukes being sent downstream to a terror network. Its just too dangerous. He added, The whole internal debate is on which way to goin terms of stopping the Iranian program. It is possible, the adviser said, that Iran will unilaterally renounce its nuclear plansand forestall the American action. God may smile on us, but I dont think so. The bottom line is that Iran cannot become a nuclear-weapons state. The problem is that the Iranians realize that only by becoming a nuclear state can they defend themselves against the U.S. Something bad is going to happen.
While almost no one disputes Irans nuclear ambitions, there is intense debate over how soon it could get the bomb, and what to do about that. Robert Gallucci, a former government expert on nonproliferation who is now the dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, told me, Based on what I know, Iran could be eight to ten years away from developing a deliverable nuclear weapon. Gallucci added, If they had a covert nuclear program and we could prove it, and we could not stop it by negotiation, diplomacy, or the threat of sanctions, Id be in favor of taking it out. But if you do itbomb Iranwithout being able to show theres a secret program, youre in trouble.
Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, Israels intelligence agency, told the Knesset last December that Iran is one to two years away, at the latest, from having enriched uranium. From that point, the completion of their nuclear weapon is simply a technical matter. In a conversation with me, a senior Israeli intelligence official talked about what he said was Irans duplicity: There are two parallel nuclear programs inside Iranthe program declared to the I.A.E.A. and a separate operation, run by the military and the Revolutionary Guards. Israeli officials have repeatedly made this argument, but Israel has not produced public evidence to support it. Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State in Bushs first term, told me, I think Iran has a secret nuclear-weapons programI believe it, but I dont know it.
In recent months, the Pakistani government has given the U.S. new access to A. Q. Khan, the so-called father of the Pakistani atomic bomb. Khan, who is now living under house arrest in Islamabad, is accused of setting up a black market in nuclear materials; he made at least one clandestine visit to Tehran in the late nineteen-eighties. In the most recent interrogations, Khan has provided information on Irans weapons design and its time line for building a bomb. The picture is of unquestionable danger, the former senior intelligence official said. (The Pentagon adviser also confirmed that Khan has been singing like a canary.) The concern, the former senior official said, is that Khan has credibility problems. He is suggestible, and hes telling the neoconservatives what they want to hearor what might be useful to Pakistans President, Pervez Musharraf, who is under pressure to assist Washington in the war on terror.
I think Khans leading us on, the former intelligence official said. I dont know anybody who says, Heres the smoking gun. But lights are beginning to blink. Hes feeding us information on the time line, and targeting information is coming in from our own sources sensors and the covert teams. The C.I.A., which was so burned by Iraqi W.M.D., is going to the Pentagon and the Vice-Presidents office saying, Its all new stuff. People in the Administration are saying, Weve got enough.
The Administrations case against Iran is compromised by its history of promoting false intelligence on Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. In a recent essay on the Foreign Policy Web site, entitled Fool Me Twice, Joseph Cirincione, the director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote, The unfolding administration strategy appears to be an effort to repeat its successful campaign for the Iraq war. He noted several parallels:
The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. Secretary of State tells Congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The Secretary of Defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism.
Cirincione called some of the Administrations claims about Iran questionable or lacking in evidence. When I spoke to him, he asked, What do we know? What is the threat? The question is: How urgent is all this? The answer, he said, is in the intelligence community and the I.A.E.A. (In August, the Washington Post reported that the most recent comprehensive National Intelligence Estimate predicted that Iran was a decade away from being a nuclear power.)
Last year, the Bush Administration briefed I.A.E.A. officials on what it said was new and alarming information about Irans weapons program which had been retrieved from an Iranians laptop. The new data included more than a thousand pages of technical drawings of weapons systems. The Washington Post reported that there were also designs for a small facility that could be used in the uranium-enrichment process. Leaks about the laptop became the focal point of stories in the Times and elsewhere. The stories were generally careful to note that the materials could have been fabricated, but also quoted senior American officials as saying that they appeared to be legitimate. The headline in the Times account read, RELYING ON COMPUTER, U.S. SEEKS TO PROVE IRANS NUCLEAR AIMS.
I was told in interviews with American and European intelligence officials, however, that the laptop was more suspect and less revelatory than it had been depicted. The Iranian who owned the laptop had initially been recruited by German and American intelligence operatives, working together. The Americans eventually lost interest in him. The Germans kept on, but the Iranian was seized by the Iranian counter-intelligence force. It is not known where he is today. Some family members managed to leave Iran with his laptop and handed it over at a U.S. embassy, apparently in Europe. It was a classic walk-in.
A European intelligence official said, There was some hesitation on our side about what the materials really proved, and we are still not convinced. The drawings were not meticulous, as newspaper accounts suggested, but had the character of sketches, the European official said. It was not a slam-dunk smoking gun.
The threat of American military action has created dismay at the headquarters of the I.A.E.A., in Vienna. The agencys officials believe that Iran wants to be able to make a nuclear weapon, but nobody has presented an inch of evidence of a parallel nuclear-weapons program in Iran, the high-ranking diplomat told me. The I.A.E.A.s best estimate is that the Iranians are five years away from building a nuclear bomb. But, if the United States does anything militarily, they will make the development of a bomb a matter of Iranian national pride, the diplomat said. The whole issue is Americas risk assessment of Irans future intentions, and they dont trust the regime. Iran is a menace to American policy.
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (3)
Begin deel (3) ...Het vervolg...!!
In Vienna, I was told of an exceedingly testy meeting earlier this year between Mohamed ElBaradei, the I.A.E.A.s director-general, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, and Robert Joseph, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control. Josephs message was blunt, one diplomat recalled: We cannot have a single centrifuge spinning in Iran. Iran is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and our allies, and we will not tolerate it. We want you to give us an understanding that you will not say anything publicly that will undermine us.
Josephs heavy-handedness was unnecessary, the diplomat said, since the I.A.E.A. already had been inclined to take a hard stand against Iran. All of the inspectors are angry at being misled by the Iranians, and some think the Iranian leadership are nutcasesone hundred per cent totally certified nuts, the diplomat said. He added that ElBaradeis overriding concern is that the Iranian leaders want confrontation, just like the neocons on the other sidein Washington. At the end of the day, it will work only if the United States agrees to talk to the Iranians.
The central questionwhether Iran will be able to proceed with its plans to enrich uraniumis now before the United Nations, with the Russians and the Chinese reluctant to impose sanctions on Tehran. A discouraged former I.A.E.A. official told me in late March that, at this point, theres nothing the Iranians could do that would result in a positive outcome. American diplomacy does not allow for it. Even if they announce a stoppage of enrichment, nobody will believe them. Its a dead end.
Another diplomat in Vienna asked me, Why would the West take the risk of going to war against that kind of target without giving it to the I.A.E.A. to verify? Were low-cost, and we can create a program that will force Iran to put its cards on the table. A Western Ambassador in Vienna expressed similar distress at the White Houses dismissal of the I.A.E.A. He said, If you dont believe that the I.A.E.A. can establish an inspection systemif you dont trust themyou can only bomb.
There is little sympathy for the I.A.E.A. in the Bush Administration or among its European allies. Were quite frustrated with the director-general, the European diplomat told me. His basic approach has been to describe this as a dispute between two sides with equal weight. Its not. Were the good guys! ElBaradei has been pushing the idea of letting Iran have a small nuclear-enrichment program, which is ludicrous. Its not his job to push ideas that pose a serious proliferation risk.
The Europeans are rattled, however, by their growing perception that President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney believe a bombing campaign will be needed, and that their real goal is regime change. Everyone is on the same page about the Iranian bomb, but the United States wants regime change, a European diplomatic adviser told me. He added, The Europeans have a role to play as long as they dont have to choose between going along with the Russians and the Chinese or going along with Washington on something they dont want. Their policy is to keep the Americans engaged in something the Europeans can live with. It may be untenable.
The Brits think this is a very bad idea, Flynt Leverett, a former National Security Council staff member who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institutions Saban Center, told me, but theyre really worried were going to do it. The European diplomatic adviser acknowledged that the British Foreign Office was aware of war planning in Washington but that, short of a smoking gun, its going to be very difficult to line up the Europeans on Iran. He said that the British are jumpy about the Americans going full bore on the Iranians, with no compromise.
The European diplomat said that he was skeptical that Iran, given its record, had admitted to everything it was doing, but to the best of our knowledge the Iranian capability is not at the point where they could successfully run centrifuges to enrich uranium in quantity. One reason for pursuing diplomacy was, he said, Irans essential pragmatism. The regime acts in its best interests, he said. Irans leaders take a hard-line approach on the nuclear issue and they want to call the American bluff, believing that the tougher they are the more likely the West will fold. But, he said, From what weve seen with Iran, they will appear superconfident until the moment they back off.
The diplomat went on, You never reward bad behavior, and this is not the time to offer concessions. We need to find ways to impose sufficient costs to bring the regime to its senses. Its going to be a close call, but I think if there is unity in opposition and the price imposedin sanctionsis sufficient, they may back down. Its too early to give up on the U.N. route. He added, If the diplomatic process doesnt work, there is no military solution. There may be a military option, but the impact could be catastrophic.
Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, was George Bushs most dependable ally in the year leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But he and his party have been racked by a series of financial scandals, and his popularity is at a low point. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said last year that military action against Iran was inconceivable. Blair has been more circumspect, saying publicly that one should never take options off the table.
Other European officials expressed similar skepticism about the value of an American bombing campaign. The Iranian economy is in bad shape, and Ahmadinejad is in bad shape politically, the European intelligence official told me. He will benefit politically from American bombing. You can do it, but the results will be worse. An American attack, he said, would alienate ordinary Iranians, including those who might be sympathetic to the U.S. Iran is no longer living in the Stone Age, and the young people there have access to U.S. movies and books, and they love it, he said. If there was a charm offensive with Iran, the mullahs would be in trouble in the long run.
Another European official told me that he was aware that many in Washington wanted action. Its always the same guys, he said, with a resigned shrug. There is a belief that diplomacy is doomed to fail. The timetable is short.
A key ally with an important voice in the debate is Israel, whose leadership has warned for years that it viewed any attempt by Iran to begin enriching uranium as a point of no return. I was told by several officials that the White Houses interest in preventing an Israeli attack on a Muslim country, which would provoke a backlash across the region, was a factor in its decision to begin the current operational planning. In a speech in Cleveland on March 20th, President Bush depicted Ahmadinejads hostility toward Israel as a serious threat. Its a threat to world peace. He added, I made it clear, Ill make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel.
Any American bombing attack, Richard Armitage told me, would have to consider the following questions: What will happen in the other Islamic countries? What ability does Iran have to reach us and touch us globallythat is, terrorism? Will Syria and Lebanon up the pressure on Israel? What does the attack do to our already diminished international standing? And what does this mean for Russia, China, and the U.N. Security Council?
Iran, which now produces nearly four million barrels of oil a day, would not have to cut off production to disrupt the worlds oil markets. It could blockade or mine the Strait of Hormuz, the thirty-four-mile-wide passage through which Middle Eastern oil reaches the Indian Ocean. Nonetheless, the recently retired defense official dismissed the strategic consequences of such actions. He told me that the U.S. Navy could keep shipping open by conducting salvage missions and putting mine- sweepers to work. Its impossible to block passage, he said. The government consultant with ties to the Pentagon also said he believed that the oil problem could be managed, pointing out that the U.S. has enough in its strategic reserves to keep America running for sixty days. However, those in the oil business I spoke to were less optimistic; one industry expert estimated that the price per barrel would immediately spike, to anywhere from ninety to a hundred dollars per barrel, and could go higher, depending on the duration and scope of the conflict.
Michel Samaha, a veteran Lebanese Christian politician and former cabinet minister in Beirut, told me that the Iranian retaliation might be focussed on exposed oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. They would be at risk, he said, and this could begin the real jihad of Iran versus the West. You will have a messy world.
Iran could also initiate a wave of terror attacks in Iraq and elsewhere, with the help of Hezbollah. On April 2nd, the Washington Post reported that the planning to counter such attacks is consuming a lot of time at U.S. intelligence agencies. The best terror network in the world has remained neutral in the terror war for the past several years, the Pentagon adviser on the war on terror said of Hezbollah. This will mobilize them and put us up against the group that drove Israel out of southern Lebanon. If we move against Iran, Hezbollah will not sit on the sidelines. Unless the Israelis take them out, they will mobilize against us. (When I asked the government consultant about that possibility, he said that, if Hezbollah fired rockets into northern Israel, Israel and the new Lebanese government will finish them off.)
The adviser went on, If we go, the southern half of Iraq will light up like a candle. The American, British, and other coalition forces in Iraq would be at greater risk of attack from Iranian troops or from Shiite militias operating on instructions from Iran. (Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, has close ties to the leading Shiite parties in Iraq.) A retired four-star general told me that, despite the eight thousand British troops in the region, the Iranians could take Basra with ten mullahs and one sound truck.
If you attack, the high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna, Ahmadinejad will be the new Saddam Hussein of the Arab world, but with more credibility and more power. You must bite the bullet and sit down with the Iranians.
The diplomat went on, There are people in Washington who would be unhappy if we found a solution. They are still banking on isolation and regime change. This is wishful thinking. He added, The window of opportunity is now.
INTERVIEW WITH INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST SEYMOUR HERSH
'The President Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing'
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has consistently led the way in telling the story of what's really going on in Iraq and Iran. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke to him about America's Hitler, Bush's Vietnam, and how the US press failed the First Amendment.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was just in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Once again, he said that he is only interested in civilian nuclear power instead of atomic weapons. How much does the West really know about the nuclear program in Iran?
Seymour Hersh: A lot. And it's been underestimated how much the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) knows. If you follow what (IAEA head Mohamed) ElBaradei and the various reports have been saying, the Iranians have claimed to be enriching uranium to higher than a 4 percent purity, which is the amount you need to run a peaceful nuclear reactor. But the IAEA's best guess is that they are at 3.67 percent or something. The Iranians are not even doing what they claim to be doing. The IAEA has been saying all along that they've been making progress but basically, Iran is nowhere. Of course the US and Israel are going to say you have to look at the worst case scenario, but there isn't enough evidence to justify a bombing raid.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is this just another case of exaggerating the danger in preparation for an invasion like we saw in 2002 and 2003 prior to the Iraq War?
Hersh: We have this wonderful capacity in America to Hitlerize people. We had Hitler, and since Hitler we've had about 20 of them. Khrushchev and Mao and of course Stalin, and for a little while Gadhafi was our Hitler. And now we have this guy Ahmadinejad. The reality is, he's not nearly as powerful inside the country as we like to think he is. The Revolutionary Guards have direct control over the missile program and if there is a weapons program, they would be the ones running it. Not Ahmadinejad.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?
Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That's just their game.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What interest does the White House have in moving us to the brink with Tehran?
Hersh: You have to ask yourself what interest we had 40 years ago for going to war in Vietnam. You'd think that in this country with so many smart people, that we can't possibly do the same dumb thing again. I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa. Everybody has to discover things for themselves.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Even after Iraq? Aren't there strategic reasons for getting so deeply involved in the Middle East?
Hersh: Oh no. We're going to build democracy. The real thing in the mind of this president is he wants to reshape the Middle East and make it a model. He absolutely believes it. I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can't have that in public life. But if it were Kissinger this time around, I'd actually be relieved because I'd know that the madness would be tied to some oil deal. But in this case, what you see is what you get. This guy believes he's doing God's work.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: So what are the options in Iraq?
Hersh: There are two very clear options: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow. The fuel that keeps the war going is us.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot of people have been saying that the US presence there is a big part of the problem. Is anyone in the White House listening?
Hersh: No. The president is still talking about the "Surge" (eds. The "Surge" refers to President Bush's commitment of 20,000 additional troops to Iraq in the spring of 2007 in an attempt to improve security in the country.) as if it's going to unite the country. But the Surge was a con game of putting additional troops in there. We've basically Balkanized the place, building walls and walling off Sunnis from Shiites. And in Anbar Province, where there has been success, all of the Shiites are gone. They've simply split.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is that why there has been a drop in violence there?
Hersh: I think that's a much better reason than the fact that there are a couple more soldiers on the ground.
SPIEGEL ONLINE:So what are the lessons of the Surge?
Hersh: The Surge means basically that, in some way, the president has accepted ethnic cleansing, whether he's talking about it or not. When he first announced the Surge in January, he described it as a way to bring the parties together. He's not saying that any more. I think he now understands that ethnic cleansing is what is going to happen. You're going to have a Kurdistan. You're going to have a Sunni area that we're going to have to support forever. And you're going to have the Shiites in the South.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the US is over four years into a war that is likely going to end in a disaster. How valid are the comparisons with Vietnam?
Hersh: The validity is that the US is fighting a guerrilla war and doesn't know the culture. But the difference is that at a certain point, because of Congressional and public opposition, the Vietnam War was no longer tenable. But these guys now dont care. They see it but they dont care.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: If the Iraq war does end up as a defeat for the US, will it leave as deep a wound as the Vietnam War did?
Hersh: Much worse. Vietnam was a tactical mistake. This is strategic. How do you repair damages with whole cultures? On the home front, though, we'll rationalize it away. Dont worry about that. Again, there's no learning curve. No learning curve at all. We'll be ready to fight another stupid war in another two decades.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Of course, preventing that is partially the job of the media. Have reporters been doing a better job recently than they did in the run-up to the Iraq War?
Hersh: Oh yeah. They've done a better job since. But back then, they blew it. When you have a guy like Bush who's going to move the infamous Doomsday Clock forward, and he's going to put everybody in jeopardy and he's secretive and he doesn't tell Congress anything and he's inured to what we write. In such a case, we (journalists) become more important. The First Amendment failed and the American press failed the Constitution. We were jingoistic. And that was a terrible failing. I'm asked the question all the time: What happened to my old paper, the New York Times? And I now say, they stink. They missed it. They missed the biggest story of the time and they're going to have to live with it.
Interview conducted by Charles Hawley and David Gordon Smith
Hersh : "We have this wonderful capacity in America to Hitlerize people. We had Hitler, and since Hitler we've had about 20 of them. Khrushchev and Mao and of course Stalin, and for a little while Gadhafi was our Hitler. And now we have this guy Ahmadinejad. The reality is, he's not nearly as powerful inside the country as we like to think he is. The Revolutionary Guards have direct control over the missile program and if there is a weapons program, they would be the ones running it. Not Ahmadinejad."
Het is dus tegenwoordig blijkbaar nogal bon ton om met Hitler vergeleken te worden, zo'n beetje zoals aankomende wielrennertjes gauw nogal eens vergeleken worden met Eddy Merckx of voetballertjes met Maradona of Cruyff.
De hele heisa draait natuurlijk ook om de zogenaamde quote van de Iraanse President Ahmadinejad die had gezegd of zou hebben gezegd dat Iran weldra van de kaart zou worden geveegd.
Maar... klopt dit verhaal wel? Heeft Ahmadinejad dat werkelijk gezegd, en als ie 't zei, hoe bedoelde hij 't dan? Laten we voor de zekerheid die fameuze quote toch ook maar eens bekijken.
Volgens de International Herald Tribune...
Published: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2005
Wipe Israel 'off the map' Iranian says
New leader revives an old rhetorical tack
By Nazila Fathi
TEHRAN: Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesdaythat Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.
Ahmadinejad was speaking to an audience of about 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," in preparation for an annual anti-Israel demonstration on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
His tone was reminiscent of that of the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since then, and anti-Israel slogans have been common at rallies.
Senior officials had avoided provocative language over the past decade, butAhmadinejad appears to be taking a more confrontational tone than Iranian leaders have in recent years.
Ahmadinejad said in his remarks Wednesday that the issue of a Palestinian state would be resolved only when Palestinians took control of all their lands.
"The establishment of Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," he said, according to the press agency. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."
Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Admadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map." Ahmadinejad's predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, in contrast, proposed a dialogue among civilizations and pursued a policy of détente.
In response to Ahmadinejad's remarks on Wednesday, Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said that, "Unfortunately, this is not the first time we've seen such extreme statements from senior Iranian leaders."
He added that, "We see today that there is a growing understanding in the international community that the extremist regime in Tehran is not just Israel's problem, but rather an issue that the entire international community must grapple with."
Israel contends that Iran finances a number of Palestinian armed factions that carry out attacks against Israel, including Islamic Jihad, the group that claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least five people Wednesday in the Israeli coastal town of Hadera.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad also called Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip a trick, and said Gaza was part of Palestinian territories.
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," he said. Any Islamic leader "who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."
Greg Myre contributed reporting from Jerusalem.
White House concerns
The White House said Wednesday that Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" underlined U.S. concerns about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, Agence France-Presse reported from Washington.
"It reconfirms what we've been saying about the regime in Iran," said the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan. "It underscores the concerns we have about Iran's nuclear intentions."
Washington has accused Tehran of using a civilian nuclear program as cover for efforts to develop atomic weapons. Iran has denied the allegation.
In Paris,Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said that France would summon Iran's ambassador to Paris to question him about Ahmadinejad's comments."I condemn them very forcefully," Douste-Blazy said.
The European Union and Russia have joined condemnation of the Iranian president's public call for Israel to be "wiped off the map".
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remark has already been condemned by individual EU states and Canada who all summoned Iranian diplomats for an explanation.
A top Israeli minister called for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations.
The White House said the comment showed the US was right to be concerned about Iran's nuclear programme.
Western governments are bound to see the remark as further proof that Iran's hardline president is disinclined to curb his country's controversial nuclear programme, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall.
They may hope that a co-ordinated diplomatic protest will help step up the pressure, she adds.
"Those who insist on transferring the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council have received an additional argument for doing so," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a trip to Jordan.
"What I saw on television was unacceptable," added the minister, whose country has been supplying civilian nuclear know-how to Iran, and he promised Moscow would bring its concern to Iran's attention.
An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report last month said questions about Iran's nuclear programme remained unanswered despite an intensive investigation.
The UK, France, Germany and the US are pressing Iran to provide more access to its nuclear plans.
EU leaders meeting in London issued a joint condemnation "in the strongest terms" following statements of concern from individual members of the 25-state body.
"Calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community," the statement said.
Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Shimon Peres said the remark contravened the UN's charter and was "tantamount to a crime against humanity".
'World without Zionism'
Mr Ahmadinejad told some 3,000 students in Tehran that Israel's establishment had been a move by the West against the Islamic world.
He was addressing a conference entitled The World without Zionism and his comments were reported by the Iranian state news agency Irna.
"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," he said, referring to Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In 2001, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani speculated that a Muslim state that developed a nuclear weapon might use it to destroy Israel.
His comments were part of a critique of what hew called American imperialism in the region.
Such calls are regular slogans at anti-Israeli or anti-US rallies in Iran.
Mr Ahmadinejad warned leaders of Muslim nations who recognised the state of Israel that they faced "the wrath of their own people".
Mr Ahmadinejad came to power earlier this year, replacing Mohammad Khatami who had sought better relations with the West.
...heeft Ahmadinejad dat dus blijkbaar wel zo geponeerd, en als dat waar was, was 't inderdaad niet erg netjes van 'm.
Maar zelfs indien Ahmadinejad of Iran erin zouden slagen om één, nu ja, pietluttig atoombommetje in elkaar te knutselen moeten ze toch wel beseffen dat ze er van de USA en Israel een goeie 3 à 400 terug mogen verwachten?
Echter, verschillende àndere bronnen beweren dat de vertaling van de woorden van Ahmadinejad vanuit het Perzisch op zijn minst om het zo te zeggen nogal met de haren getrokken was.
Wie trouwens ondergaande tekst mét tekstlinken & voetnoten wilt lezen, die verwijzen we graag per direct naar Wikipedia waar we het desbetreffende ~toch wel zeer uitvoerige~ artikel vonden. Met méér dan 100 voetnoten & al evenveel of meer tekstlinken.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel
During his presidency, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speeches and statements have contributed to increased tensions between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and several Western nations.
2005 "World Without Zionism" speech
On October 26, 2005, IRIB News, an English-language subsidiary of the state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, filed a story on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent speech to the "World Without Zionism" conference in Asia. The story was entitled: Ahmadinejad: Israel must be wiped off the map. The story was picked up by Western news agencies and quickly made headlines around the world. On October 30, The New York Times published a full transcript of the speech in which Ahmadinejad was quoted in part as follows:
Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world.
Ahmadinejad also claimed in the speech that the issue with Palestine would be over "the day that all refugees return to their homes [and] a democratic government elected by the people comes to power", and denounced attempts to normalise relations with Israel, condemning all Muslim leaders who accept the existence of Israel as "acknowledging a surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."
The speech also indicated that the Iranian President considered Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to be a trick, designed to gain acknowledgement from Islamic states. In a rally held two days later, Ahmadinejad declared that his words reflected the views of the Iranian people, adding that Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid.
"Wiped off the map" or "Vanish from the pages of time" translation
Many news sources repeated the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) statement that Ahmadinejad had demanded that "Israel must be wiped off the map", an English idiom which means to "cause a place to stop existing", or to "obliterate totally", or "destroy completely".
Ahmadinejad's phrase was " بايد از صفحه روزگار محو شود " according to the text published on the President's Office's website.
According to Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History, Ahmadinejad's statement should be translated as:
The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).
According to Cole, "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to 'wipe Israel off the map' because no such idiom exists in Persian". Instead, "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translates the phrase similarly. On June 2, 2006 The Guardian columnist and foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele published an article based on this reasoning.
Sources within the Iranian government have also denied that Ahmadinejad issued any sort of threat. On 20 February 2006, Iran's foreign minister denied that Tehran wanted to see Israel "wiped off the map," saying Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood. "Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned," Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, speaking in English, after addressing the European Parliament. "How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognize legally this regime," he said.
In a June 11, 2006 analysis of the translation controversy, New York Times deputy foreign editor and Israeli resident Ethan Bronner argued that Ahmadinejad had called for Israel to be wiped off the map. After noting the objections of critics such as Cole and Steele, Bronner stated: "But translators in Tehran who work for the president's office and the foreign ministry disagree with them. All official translations of Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement, including a description of it on his website, refer to wiping Israel away." Bronner continued: "..it is hard to argue that, from Israel's point of view, Mr. Ahmadinejad poses no threat. Still, it is true that he has never specifically threatened war against Israel. So did Iran's president call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map'? It certainly seems so. Did that amount to a call for war? That remains an open question." This elicited a further response from Jonathan Steele.
Shiraz Dossa, a professor of Political Science at St. Francis University in Nova Scotia, Canada who presented a paper at the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust conference in Iran, believes the text is a mistranslation.
Ahmadinejad was quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini in the specific speech under discussion: what he said was that "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time." No state action is envisaged in this lament; it denotes a spiritual wish, whereas the erroneous translation"wipe Israel off the map"suggests a military threat. There is a huge chasm between the correct and the incorrect translations. The notion that Iran can "wipe out" U.S.-backed, nuclear-armed Israel is ludicrous.
Clarifying comments by Ahmadinejad
President Ahmadinejad has been asked to explain his comments at subsequent press conferences. At a later news conference on January 14, 2006, Ahmadinejad stated his speech had been exaggerated and misinterpreted. "There is no new policy, they created a lot of hue and cry over that. It is clear what we say: Let the Palestinians participate in free elections and they will say what they want."
Speaking at a D-8 summit meeting in July 2008, when asked to comment on whether he has called for the destruction of Israel he denied that his country would ever instigate military action, there being "no need for any measures by the Iranian people". Instead he claimed that "the Zionist regime" in Israel would eventually collapse on its own. "I assure you... there won't be any war in the future," both the BBC and AP quoted him as saying.
And asked if he objected to the government of Israel or Jewish people, he said that "creating an objection against the Zionists doesn't mean that there are objections against the Jewish". He added that Jews lived in Iran and were represented in the country's parliament.
In a September 2008 interview with Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman on the radio and television program Democracy Now!, Ahmadinejad was asked: "If the Palestinian leaders agree to a two-state solution, could Iran live with an Israeli state?" and replied
If they [the Palestinians] want to keep the Zionists, they can stay ... Whatever the people decide, we will respect it. I mean, it's very much in correspondence with our proposal to allow Palestinian people to decide through free referendums.
Interviewer Juan Gonzalez called the reply "a tiny opening". Another observer however dubbed it an "astonishing" admission "that Iran might agree to the existence of the state of Israel," and a "softening" of Ahmadinejad's "long-standing, point-blank anti-Israeli stance". Australian-born British human rights activist Peter Tatchell also asked whether the statement reflected opportunism on Ahmadinejad's part, or an openness by Iran "to options more moderate than his reported remarks about wiping the Israeli state off the map
Interpretation of speech as call for genocide
The speech was interpreted by some as a call for genocide. For example, Canada's then Prime Minister Paul Martin said, "this threat to Israel's existence, this call for genocide coupled with Iran's obvious nuclear ambitions is a matter that the world cannot ignore."
In 2007, more than one hundred members of the United States House of Representatives co-sponsored a bill, "Calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel."
Cole interprets the speech as a call for the end of Jewish rule of Israel, but not necessarily for the removal of Jewish people:
His statements were morally outrageous and historically ignorant, but he did not actually call for mass murder (Ariel Sharon made the "occupation regime" in Gaza "vanish" last summer [sic]) or for the expulsion of the Israeli Jews to Europe.
However, the Iranian government IRIB News in English published a story reporting on the Ahmadinejad speech on 'Qods Day' on Oct 5 2007, stating that the president 'repeated an earlier suggestion to Europe on settlement of the Zionists in Europe or big lands such as Canada and Alaska so they would be able to own their own land.'
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (4)
Begin deel (4) ...Het vervolg...!!
Gawdat Bahgat, Director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, commenting on this saying of Ahmadinejad and Iran's nuclear program states: "The fiery calls to destroy Israel are meant to mobilize domestic and regional constituencies. Iran has no plan to attack Israel with its nuclear arsenal and powerful conventional military capabilities. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni summed up his countrys stand on the Arab-Israeli conflict by stressing, '[The] Palestine issue is not Irans jihad.'" In fact, Bahgat says that according to most analysts a military confrontation between Iran and Israel is unlikely.
In the speech, Ahmadinejad gave the examples of Iran under the Shah, the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq as examples of apparently invincible regimes that ceased to exist. Ahmadinejad used these examples to justify his belief that the United States and the State of Israel can also be defeated claiming, "they say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan."
In April 2006, Iran's ambassador was asked directly about Ahmadinejad's position towards Israel by CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: But should there be a state of Israel?
SOLTANIEH: I think I've already answered to you. If Israel is a synonym and will give the indication of Zionism mentality, no. But if you are going to conclude that we have said the people there have to be removed or they have to be massacred or so, this is fabricated, unfortunate selective approach to what the mentality and policy of Islamic Republic of Iran is. I have to correct, and I did so....
Interpretation of speech as call for referendum
Iran's stated policy on Israel is to urge a one-state solution through a countrywide referendum. Juan Cole and others interpret Ahmadinejad's statements to be an endorsement of the one-state solution, in which a government would be elected that all Palestinians and all Israelis would jointly vote for; which would normally be an end to the "Zionist state".
In November 2005 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, rejecting any attack on Israel, called for a referendum in Palestine:
We hold a fair and logical stance on the issue of Palestine. Several decades ago, Egyptian statesman Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was the most popular Arab personality, stated in his slogans that the Egyptians would throw the Jewish usurpers of Palestine into the sea. Some years later, Saddam Hussein, the most hated Arab figure, said that he would put half of the Palestinian land on fire. But we would not approve of either of these two remarks. We believe, according to our Islamic principles, that neither throwing the Jews into the sea nor putting the Palestinian land on fire is logical and reasonable. Our position is that the Palestinian people should regain their rights. Palestine belongs to Palestinians, and the fate of Palestine should also be determined by the Palestinian people. The issue of Palestine is a criterion for judging how truthful those claiming to support democracy and human rights are in their claims. The Islamic Republic of Iran has presented a fair and logical solution to this issue. We have suggested that all native Palestinians, whether they are Muslims, Christians or Jews, should be allowed to take part in a general referendum before the eyes of the world and decide on a Palestinian government. Any government that is the result of this referendum will be a legitimate government.
Ahmadinejad himself has also repeatedly called for such solution. Most recently in an interview with Time magazine:
TIME: You have been quoted as saying Israel should be wiped off the map. Was that merely rhetoric, or do you mean it?
Ahmadinejad: [...] Our suggestion is that the 5 million Palestinian refugees come back to their homes, and then the entire people on those lands hold a referendum and choose their own system of government. This is a democratic and popular way.
Israeli responses to the speech
The day immediately following Ahmadinejad's statements, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations and Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. In that meeting, all fifteen members condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks.
On May 8 2006, Israel's Second Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres said in an interview with Reuters that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map," Army Radio reported. In 1981, Israeli fighter jets bombed Osirak, Iraqs nuclear reactor, severely damaging that country's nuclear weapons program. Today, however, experts state that a similar attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is unlikely, given that Iran's nuclear program is spread out across numerous locations, including some sites that are buried deep enough underground that they are thought to be safe from aerial strikes. According to ABC News, "Israel is within range of Iran's ballistic missiles but Israel is believed to possess the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East." Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, drew unusually stiff criticism from an analyst on Israel's state television, Yoav Limor, for talking of destroying another country. "There is a broad consensus that it would have been better if Peres had not said this, especially now," Limor said. "I'm quite sure Israel does not want to find itself in the same insane asylum as (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad."
Ahmadinejad's remark found support among Anti-Zionism Jewish groups. A spokesperson for one such organisation argued a distinction, saying Iran's leader had not called for the elimination of Jews but rather the illegal and illegitimate Zionist movement.
Palestinian responses to the speech
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated: "Palestinians recognise the right of the state of Israel to exist and I reject his comments. What we need to be talking about is adding the state of Palestine to the map, and not wiping Israel from the map."
Khaled Meshaal, the Damascus-based political leader of ruling Hamas party, has supported Ahmadinejad's stance towards Israel calling Ahmadinejad's remarks "courageous". He has said that "Just as Islamic Iran defends the rights of the Palestinians, we defend the rights of Islamic Iran. We are part of a united front against the enemies of Islam."
International reaction to the speech
The White House stated that Ahmadinejad's rhetoric showed that it was correct in trying to halt Iran's nuclear program. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was dismayed by the comments, and reiterated Iran's obligations and Israel's right of existence under the UN Charter.
EU leaders issued a strong condemnation of the Iranian President's remarks, stating that "[c]alls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community." On November 17, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Ahmadinejad's remarks and called on him to retract his bellicose comments in their entirety and to recognise the state of Israel and its right to live in peace and safety. Then Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin also condemned the comments on several occasions.
On June 20, 2007, the United States House of Representatives passed Resolution 21, a resolution that pressures the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his alleged call for Israel to be "wiped off the map". Congressman Dennis Kucinich attempted to include in the Congressional record independent translations of the speech from The New York Times and the Middle East Media Research Institute that translated the phrase as "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" saying "The resolution passed by the House today sets a dangerous precedent in foreign affairs. A mistranslation could become a cause of war. The United States House may unwittingly be setting the stage for a war with Iran". Members of the House objected and inclusion of the independent translations were blocked.
In July 2008 the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, repeated the controversial remarks to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. "To those who believe that threatening statements fall upon indifferent ears we say in one voice - it is totally abhorrent for the president of Iran to call for Israel to be wiped from the map of the world."
Iranian responses to the speech controversy
The Iranian Ambassador to the European Union, Ali Ahani, called the tough political reactions in Europe against Ahmadinejad "unrealistic and premature," complaining about the discriminatory treatment of the international community, which Iran feels has continued to ignore the threats of Israel and its "organized campaign to provoke others into attacking Iran's facilities and infrastructure". Referring to Israel's support of an American attack on Iran. Hassan Hanizadeh, an editorialist for the Tehran Times, claimed that the criticism of Ahmadinejad's statement by the United States and other Western countries is an attempt to divert attention from "the ever-increasing crimes the Zionists are committing against the innocent Palestinians."
Former president Khatami stated "those words have created hundreds of political and economic problems for us in the world." Khatami has also recently accused Ahmadinejad and his supporters of being an Iranian "Taliban" and giving the enemies of Iran "... the best excuse to attack Islam and Iran." Others in Iran have said that there is nothing new about his statements and that the West has overreacted in order to try to smear Iran's international image.
In 2005 Khamenei responded to President Ahmadinejad's alleged remark that Israel should be "wiped of the map" by saying that "the Islamic Republic has never threatened and will never threaten any country." Moreover Khamenei's main advisor in foreign policy, Ali Akbar Velayati, refused to take part in Holocaust conference. In contrast to Ahmadinejad's remarks, Velayati said that Holocaust was a genocide and a historical reality.
Statement during 2005 Muslim Summit
On December 8, 2005, Ahmadinejad gave an interview with Iran's Arabic channel 'Al-Alam' during a summit of Muslim nations in Islam's holy city of Mecca. The interview contained remarks that were widely condemned as Holocaust denial:
Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps... Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned. Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, if the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe like in Germany, Austria or other countries to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it.
The remarks were condemned by Israeli, European and American politicians, Kofi Annan "was shocked," and Saudi, Turkish, and Iranian officials sharply criticized his speech because it "marred a Mecca summit dedicated to showing Islam's moderate face."
Shortly after these remarks were made, Iran's Interior Minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, claimed Ahmadinejad's remarks had been misunderstood:
Actually the case has been misunderstood. (Ahmadinejad) did not mean to raise this matter. [He] wanted to say that if others harmed the Jewish community and created problems for the Jewish community, they have to pay the price themselves. People like the Palestinian people or other nations should not pay the price (for it).
Statements on Israel's 60th Birthday
On December 8, 2005, Ahmadinejad gave an interview with Iran's Arabic channel 'Al-Alam' during a summit of Muslim nations in Islam's holy city of Mecca. The interview contained remarks that were widely condemned as Holocaust denial:
Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps... Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned. Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, if the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe like in Germany, Austria or other countries to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it.
The remarks were condemned by Israeli, European and American politicians, Kofi Annan "was shocked," and Saudi, Turkish, and Iranian officials sharply criticized his speech because it "marred a Mecca summit dedicated to showing Islam's moderate face."
Shortly after these remarks were made, Iran's Interior Minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, claimed Ahmadinejad's remarks had been misunderstood:
Actually the case has been misunderstood. (Ahmadinejad) did not mean to raise this matter. [He] wanted to say that if others harmed the Jewish community and created problems for the Jewish community, they have to pay the price themselves. People like the Palestinian people or other nations should not pay the price (for it).
Statement on Israel on the Anniversary of Death of Ayatollah Khomeini
While speaking at a gathering of foreign guests marking this week's 19th anniversary of the death of Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as stating that
"You should know that the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime which has 60 years of plundering, aggression and crimes in its file has reached the end of its work and will soon disappear off the geographical scene."
Statement on Israel during UN Summit on Global Food Security
While visiting Rome, Italy for the United Nations summit on global food security, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, in June 2008, Ahmadinejad stated, through a translator, that
"People like my comments, because people will save themselves from the imposition of the Zionists. European peoples have suffered the greatest damage from Zionists and today the costs of this false regime, be they political or economic costs, are on Europe's shoulders."
Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, complained to the United Nations and the Italian government about Ahmadinejad's presence at the conference, stating that "It is deplorable that a leader like him, who is failing both his own people and the international community, is allowed to hijack the agenda of this important FAO conference."
Statement on Israel and Zionism during 2008 UN General Assembly
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2008, Ahmadinejad stated that Zionists are criminals and murderers, are "acquisitive" and deceitful, and dominate global finance despite their minuscule number. He further stated that It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential nominees have to visit these people [Zionists], take part in their gatherings and swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to win financial or media support. These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and threats of the Zionist network against their will.Ahmadinejad stated the Zionist regime was on the path to collapse and that the "underhanded actions of the Zionists" as among the causes of the recent unrest in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. In a subsequent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ahmadinejad stated that "The [Zionist] regime resembles an airplane that has lost its engine and is kind of going down. And no one can help it," he said. This will benefit everyone.
Statement that "Smaller Israel" is dead
In a speech broadcast on IRINN, the Iranian News Channel, on September 18 and 23, 2008, Ahmadinejad stated, in regard to the acceptance by Israeli leaders that the idea of Greater Israel is dead, that:
I would like to declare that the idea of "smaller Israel" is also dead. The very notion of Israel is dead, but they are lagging behind the times. Just like the idea of Greater Israel died 30 years ago, and they did not realize this, and have continued to perpetrate crimes for 30 years... Today, I say to them: The idea of smaller Israel is dead.
Other Statements on Israel
In a public address, which aired on the Iranian News Channel IRINN TV on June 2, 2008, Ahmadinejad stated:
The Zionist regime has lost its raison d'être. Today, the Palestinians identify with your name [Khomeini], your memory, and in your path. They are walking in your illuminated path and the Zionist regime has reached a total dead end. Thanks to God, your wish will soon be realized, and this germ of corruption will be wiped off.
Statement that Zionsts have taken control of the Power centers of the world
In a speech broadcast on IRINN, the Iranian News Channel, on September 18 and 23, 2008, Ahmadinejad stated:
The Zionists are crooks. A small handful of Zionists, with a very intricate organization, have taken over the power centers of the world. According to our estimates, the main cadre of the Zionists consists of 2,000 individuals at most, and they have another 8,000 activists. In addition, they have several informants, who spy and provide them with intelligence information. But because of their control of power centers in the U.S. and Europe, and their control of the financial centers and the news and propaganda agencies, they spread propaganda as if they were the entire world, as if all the peoples supported them, and as if they were the majority ruling the world.
Denying the Holocaust?
On 14 December 2005, in Zahedan in Iran, Ahmadinejad in a speech said he wanted to explain his recent remarks on a summit in Saudi Arabia supposedly the 8 December meeting in Mecca. The 14 December speech then runs, in short outline, like this: People in Palestine are getting killed every day by the new rulers of Palestine. As a consequence of the Holocaust, the Europeans took land from the Palestinians for a Jewish state. I dont care whether the Holocaust took place or not, but it is illogical to give a piece of Palestine for compensation. Some people make an awful fuss about that Holocaust, make a myth of it. ( ) Countries that themselves have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons should not raise an outcry when Iran wants access to peaceful nuclear technology.
Of this new speech, three reports exist, a long one from IRNA and two small ones from BBC and CNN. IRNA is the Iranian state news agency. CNN declares to base its story on IRIB, another Iranian agency. The sentence in which Holocaust and myth are connected to each other is translated differently in these three versions. The translation given by the BBC has been labeled by the BBC itself as Holocaust denial. Israel, the U.S., the European Commission and several individual European countries have reacted shocked and indignant on some supposed statements from Ahmadinejad. Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said, the Iranian regime holds a perverse vision of the world. Germanys foreign minister called Ahmadinejads remarks shocking and unacceptable. The White House spokesman said, the comments underline the need to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. A European Commission spokeswoman called the comments completely unacceptable.
The head of Iran's Jewish community, Haroun Yashayaei, sent a letter to Ahmadinejad in early 2006 that read, in part, "How is it possible to ignore all of the undeniable evidence existing for the exile and massacre of the Jews in Europe during World War Two? Challenging one of the most obvious and saddening events of 20th-century humanity has created astonishment among the people of the world and spread fear and anxiety among the small Jewish community of Iran."
In February 2006, Former President Mohammad Khatami clearly rejected Ahmadinejad's remarks by calling the Holocaust a "historic fact".
In August 2006, the Deutsche Welle citing AFP citing the German news agency Mehr, and Mail & Guardian Online citing Mehr reported that Ahmadinejad had written a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which he suggested, the victorious Allied powers in World War II may have invented the Holocaust to embarrass Germany. "Is it not a reasonable possibility that some countries that had won the war made up this excuse to constantly embarrass the defeated people ... to bar their progress," Ahmadinejad reportedly wrote in the letter. Merkel indicated that she would not formally respond to the letter, saying it contained "totally unacceptable" criticism of Israel and "constantly put in question" the Jewish state's right to exist.
In a September 2006 with NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams, Ahmadinejad clarified his remarks, saying that when he called the Holocaust a myth he was merely trying to communicate that it was not just Jews that died, but millions of people and he wants to know why it is the Palestinian people that have to pay for the Nazis' slaughter of the Jewish people.
In the second World War, over 60 million people lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important? Do you think that the 60 million who lost their lives were all at the result of warfare alone? There were two million that were part of the military at the time, perhaps altogether, 50 million civilians with no roles in the war Christians, Muslims. They were all killed. The second and more important question that I raised was, if this event happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies. We're still revising our thoughts about what happened over thousands of years ago. Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy? And the third question that I raised in this regard: if this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I'm talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people's heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We're not against that. But where? At a place where their people were several people will vote for them, and where they can govern.
On December 11, 2006 the "International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust" opened, to widespread condemnation. The conference, called for by and held at the behest of Ahmadinejad, was widely described as a "Holocaust denial conference" or a "meeting of Holocaust deniers", though Iran insisted it was not a Holocaust denial conference.
Within Iran, Ahmadinejad's statements on the Holocaust have also been criticized by cleric and presidential hopeful Mahdi Karroubi.
Accusations of anti-semitism
Criticism of Ahmadinejad's comments denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has come from the U.S. Senate, which passed a unanimous resolution condemning his "harmful, destructive, and anti-semitic statements." Identification of Ahmadinejad with anti-semitism has come from a variety of sources.
The Iranian government has responded that "the Western media empire is trying to portray Iran as an anti-semitic country" and alternate translations have been cited to contradict the accusations. Currently, 40,000 Jews live in Iran and have representation in the Iranian parliament in the form of a Jewish MP, Maurice Mohtamed. Their treatment is a matter of great debate, some stating that the Jews are treated better than other religious minorities in Iran.
In addition Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that "Jews are respected by everyone, by all human beings ... some people think if they accuse me of being anti-Jew they can solve the problem. No, I am not anti-Jew ... I respect them very much ... We love everyone in the world Jews, Christians, Muslims, non-Muslims, non-Jews, non-Christians".
Ahmadinejad's September 2008 speech to the UN General Assembly, in which he dwelled on what he described as Zionist control of international finance, was denounced as "blatant anti-Semitism" by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Defense of Ahmadinejad
Regarding Ahmadinejad's statements on Israel and the Holocaust, Shiraz Dossa, a tenured professor at St. Francis Xavier University, in Nova Scotia, Canada, wrote in June 2007 that "Ahmadinejad has not denied the Holocaust or proposed Israels liquidation; he has never done so in any of his speeches on the subject (all delivered in Farsi/Persian). As an Iran specialist, I can attest that both accusations are false... What Ahmadinejad has questioned is the mythologizing, the sacralization, of the Holocaust and the Zionist regimes continued killing of Palestinians and Muslims. He has even raised doubts about the scale of the Holocaust. His rhetoric has been excessive and provocative. And he does not really care what we in the West think about Iran or Muslims; he does not kowtow to western or Israeli diktat."
Reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke
On January 4, 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive haemorrhagic stroke and was widely reported to be dead or near death. The next day President Ahmadinejad spoke to Shi'a clerics in the city of Qom. Speaking of Sharon he said:
Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Shatila has joined his ancestors is final.
The United States quickly condemned Ahmadinejad's comment as "hateful and disgusting" and U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called Ahmadinejad's remarks "part of a continuing stream of hateful invective that has come from this president."
Reaction to 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
On July 15 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad compared the actions of Israel in launching an offensive against Lebanon to that of Nazi Germany. "Hitler sought pretexts to attack other nations," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the ISNA students news agency at the inauguration of a Tehran road tunnel. "The Zionist regime is seeking baseless pretexts to invade Islamic countries and right now it is justifying its attacks with groundless excuses," he added.
On Aug 3rd, 2006, in a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders, Ahmadinejad called for "the elimination of the Zionist regime". While some media outlets immediately interpreted his words as another threat to "destroy Israel", such interpretations have again been challenged. In the speech, Ahmadinejad said, "although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented". He stated that the Middle East would be better off "without the existence of the Zionist regime". He called Israel an "illegitimate regime" with "no legal basis for its existence" and accused the United States of using Israel as a proxy to control the region and its oil resources; "The Zionist regime is used to reach this objective. The sole existence of this regime is for invasion and attack."
July 2008 speech by Rahim Mashaei
Esfandyar Rahim Mashaei, Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran, proclaimed Iran a friend to the people in Israel in his speech at a tourism convention in Tehran. This sentiment is similar to the "one state" solution [Israel should not be an state of only Jews and it should be for all the people whether Jewish, Muslim, or Christian who live in the area]. He also added that Iran "wants no war with any country," and insisted that Iran's actions during its war with Iraq were purely defensive.
Hard-liners close to the government pounced on Mashaei's remarks. But Ahmadinejad appeared to back up Mashaei, voicing sympathy for the Israeli people, even as he predicted Israel's demise." he said at a news conference
"The Iranian nation never recognized Israel and will never ever recognize it ... But we feel pity for those who have been deceived or smuggled into Israel to be oppressed citizens in Israel."
The issue prompted Iran's top political and military figure, Supreme Leader Khamenei, to "to spell an end to any debates" about Iran's position on the people of Israeli, during a Friday sermon in Tehran, saying
"It is incorrect, irrational, pointless and nonsense to say that we are friends of Israeli people ... Who are Israelis?" ... They are responsible for usurping houses, territory, farmlands and businesses. ... A Muslim nation cannot remain indifferent vis-a-vis such people who are stooges at the service of the arch-foes of the Muslim world."
Jonathan Steele - guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 June 2006 12.49 BST
Lost in translation
Experts confirm that Iran's president did not call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map'. Reports that he did serve to strengthen western hawks.
My recent comment piece explaining how Iran's president was badly misquoted when he allegedly called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has caused a welcome little storm. The phrase has been seized on by western and Israeli hawks to re-double suspicions of the Iranian government's intentions, so it is important to get the truth of what he really said.
I took my translation - "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" - from the indefatigable Professor Juan Cole's website where it has been for several weeks.
But it seems to be mainly thanks to the Guardian giving it prominence that the New York Times, which was one of the first papers to misquote Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came out on Sunday with a defensive piece attempting to justify its reporter's original "wiped off the map" translation. (By the way, for Farsi speakers the original version is available here.)
Joining the "off the map" crowd is David Aaronovitch, a columnist on the Times (of London), who attacked my analysis yesterday. I won't waste time on him since his knowledge of Farsi is as minimal as that of his Latin. The poor man thinks the plural of casus belli is casi belli, unaware that casus is fourth declension with the plural casus (long u).
The New York Times's Ethan Bronner and Nazila Fathi, one of the paper's Tehran staff, make a more serious case. They consulted several sources in Tehran. "Sohrab Mahdavi, one of Iran's most prominent translators, and Siamak Namazi, managing director of a Tehran consulting firm, who is bilingual, both say 'wipe off' or 'wipe away' is more accurate than 'vanish' because the Persian verb is active and transitive," Bronner writes.
The New York Times goes on: "The second translation issue concerns the word 'map'. Khomeini's words were abstract: 'Sahneh roozgar.' Sahneh means scene or stage, and roozgar means time. The phrase was widely interpreted as 'map', and for years, no one objected. In October, when Mr Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeini, he actually misquoted him, saying not 'Sahneh roozgar' but 'Safheh roozgar', meaning pages of time or history. No one noticed the change, and news agencies used the word 'map' again."
This, in my view, is the crucial point and I'm glad the NYT accepts that the word "map" was not used by Ahmadinejad. (By the way, the Wikipedia entry on the controversy gets the NYT wrong, claiming falsely that Ethan Bronner "concluded that Ahmadinejad had in fact said that Israel was to be wiped off the map".)
If the Iranian president made a mistake and used "safheh" rather than "sahneh", that is of little moment. A native English speaker could equally confuse "stage of history" with "page of history". The significant issue is that both phrases refer to time rather than place. As I wrote in my original post, the Iranian president was expressing a vague wish for the future. He was not threatening an Iranian-initiated war to remove Israeli control over Jerusalem.
Two other well-established translation sources confirm that Ahmadinejad was referring to time, not place. The version of the October 26 2005 speech put out by the Middle East Media Research Institute, based on the Farsi text released by the official Iranian Students News Agency, says: "This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history." (NB: not "wiped". I accept that "eliminated" is almost the same, indeed some might argue it is more sinister than "wiped", though it is a bit more of a mouthful if you are trying to find four catchy and easily memorable words with which to incite anger against Iran.)
MEMRI (its text of the speech is available here) is headed by a former Isareli military intelligence officer and has sometimes been attacked for alleged distortion of Farsi and Arabic quotations for the benefit of Israeli foreign policy. On this occasion they supported the doveish view of what Ahmadinejad said.
Finally we come to the BBC monitoring service which every day puts out hundreds of highly respected English translations of broadcasts from all round the globe to their subscribers - mainly governments, intelligence services, thinktanks and other specialists. I approached them this week about the controversy and a spokesperson for the monitoring service's marketing unit, who did not want his name used, told me their original version of the Ahmadinejad quote was "eliminated from the map of the world".
As a result of my inquiry and the controversy generated, they had gone back to the native Farsi-speakers who had translated the speech from a voice recording made available by Iranian TV on October 29 2005. Here is what the spokesman told me about the "off the map" section: "The monitor has checked again. It's a difficult expression to translate. They're under time pressure to produce a translation quickly and they were searching for the right phrase. With more time to reflect they would say the translation should be "eliminated from the page of history".
Would the BBC put out a correction, given that the issue had become so controversial, I asked. "It would be a long time after the original version", came the reply. I interpret that as "probably not", but let's see.
Finally, I approached Iradj Bagherzade, the Iranian-born founder and chairman of the renowned publishing house, IB Tauris. He thought hard about the word "roozgar". "History" was not the right word, he said, but he could not decide between several better alternatives "this day and age", "these times", "our times", "time".
So there we have it. Starting with Juan Cole, and going via the New York Times' experts through MEMRI to the BBC's monitors, the consensus is that Ahmadinejad did not talk about any maps. He was, as I insisted in my original piece, offering a vague wish for the future.
A very last point. The fact that he compared his desired option - the elimination of "the regime occupying Jerusalem" - with the fall of the Shah's regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel. As a schoolboy opponent of the Shah in the 1970's he surely did not favour Iran's removal from the page of time. He just wanted the Shah out.
The same with regard to Israel. The Iranian president is undeniably an opponent of Zionism or, if you prefer the phrase, the Zionist regime. But so are substantial numbers of Israeli citizens, Jews as well as Arabs. The anti-Zionist and non-Zionist traditions in Israel are not insignificant. So we should not demonise Ahmadinejad on those grounds alone.
Does this quibbling over phrases matter? Yes, of course. Within days of the Ahmadinejad speech the then Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, was calling for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations. Other foreign leaders have quoted the map phrase. The United States is piling pressure on its allies to be tough with Iran.
Let me give the last word to Juan Cole, with whom I began. "I am entirely aware that Ahmadinejad is hostile to Israel. The question is whether his intentions and capabilities would lead to a military attack, and whether therefore pre-emptive warfare is prescribed. I am saying no, and the boring philology is part of the reason for the no."
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (5)
Begin deel (5) ...Het vervolg...!!
Jonathan Steele geeft een duidelijk overzicht van enkele kanttekeningen die worden geplaatst bij de toch wel slordige vertaling van de woorden van Ahmadinejad. Maar ook het volgende artikel stelt een aantal flinke vragen bij de wijze waarop de bevolkingen van de zogenaamde "Vrije Westersche Wereld" nog maar eens worden geïnformeerd over de toestand in het Midden Oosten.
Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust?
An analysis of media rhetoric on its way to war against Iran - Commenting on the alleged statements of Iran's President Ahmadinejad .
By Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann
Translation to English: Erik Appleby
04/19/06 "Kein Krieg!" -- -- - "But now that I'm on Iran, the threat to Iran, of course -- (applause) -- the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace; it's a threat, in essence, to a strong alliance. I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel, and -- (applause.)" George W. Bush, US-President, 2006-03-20 in Cleveland (Ohio) in an off-the-cuff speech (source: www.whitehouse.gov) But why does Bush speak of Iran's objective to destroy Israel?
Does Iran's President wants Israel wiped off the map?
To raze Israel to the ground, to batter down, to destroy, to annihilate, to liquidate, to erase Israel, to wipe it off the map - this is what Iran's President demanded - at least this is what we read about or heard of at the end of October 2005. Spreading the news was very effective. This is a declaration of war they said. Obviously government and media were at one with their indignation. It goes around the world.
But let's take a closer look at what Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. It is a merit of the 'New York Times' that they placed the complete speech at our disposal. Here's an excerpt from the publication dated 2005-10-30:
"They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let's take a step back. [[[We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran's government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed.]]] When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible. All the corrupt governments were in support of the regime when Imam Khomeini started his movement. [[[All the Western and Eastern countries supported the regime even after the massacre of September 7  ]]] and said the removal of the regime was not possible. But our people resisted and it is 27 years now that we have survived without a regime dependent on the United States. The tyranny of the East and the West over the world should have to end, but weak people who can see only what lies in front of them cannot believe this. Who would believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we could watch its fall in our lifetime. And it collapsed in a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles [[[by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes]]]. Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."
(source: www.nytimes.com, based on a publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- insertions by the New York Times in squared brackets -- passages in triple squared brackets will be left blank in the MEMRI version printed below)
It's becoming clear. The statements of the Iranian President have been reflected by the media in a manipulated way. Iran's President betokens the removal of the regimes, that are in power in Israel and in the USA, to be possible aim for the future. This is correct. But he never demands the elimination or annihilation of Israel. He reveals that changes are potential. The Shah-Regime being supported by the USA in its own country has been vanquished. The eastern governance of the Soviet Union collapsed. Saddam Hussein's dominion drew to a close. Referring to this he voices his aspiration that changes will also be feasible in Israel respectively in Palestine. He adduces Ayatollah Khomeini referring to the Shah-Regime who in this context said that the regime (meaning the Shah-Regime) should be removed.
Certainly, Ahmadinejad translates this quotation about a change of regime into the occupied Palestine. This has to be legitimate. To long for modified political conditions in a country is a world-wide day-to-day business by all means. But to commute a demand for removal of a 'regime' into a demand for removal of a state is serious deception and dangerous demagogy.
This is one chapter of the war against Iran that has already begun with the words of Georg Meggle, professor of philosophy at the university of Leipzig - namely with the probably most important phase, the phase of propaganda.
Marginally we want to mention that it was the former US Vice-Minister of Defence and current President of the World Bank, Paul D. Wolfowitz, who in Sept. 2001 talked about ending states in public and without any kind of awe. And it was the father of George W. Bush who started the discussion about a winnable nuclear war if only the survival of an elite is assured.
Let's pick an example: the German online-news-magazine tagesschau.de writes the following about Iran's president on 2005-10-27: "There is no doubt: the new wave of assaults in Palestine will erase the stigma in countenance of the Islamic world." Instead of using the original word 'wave' they write 'wave of assaults'. This replacement of the original text is what we call disinformation. E.g. it would be correct to say: "The new movement in Palestine will erase the stain of disgrace from the Islamic world." Additionally this statement refers to the occupation regime mentioned in the previous sentence.
As a precaution we will examine a different translation of the speech - a version prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), located in Washington:
"They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved. [[[...]]] "'When the dear Imam [Khomeini] said that [the Shah's] regime must go, and that we demand a world without dependent governments, many people who claimed to have political and other knowledge [asked], 'Is it possible [that the Shah's regime can be toppled]?' That day, when Imam [Khomeini] began his movement, all the powers supported [the Shah's] corrupt regime [[[...]]] and said it was not possible. However, our nation stood firm, and by now we have, for 27 years, been living without a government dependent on America. Imam [Khomeni] said: 'The rule of the East [U.S.S.R.] and of the West [U.S.] should be ended.' But the weak people who saw only the tiny world near them did not believe it. Nobody believed that we would one day witness the collapse of the Eastern Imperialism [i.e. the U.S.S.R], and said it was an iron regime. But in our short lifetime we have witnessed how this regime collapsed in such a way that we must look for it in libraries, and we can find no literature about it. Imam [Khomeini] said that Saddam [Hussein] must go, and that he would be humiliated in a way that was unprecedented. And what do you see today? A man who, 10 years ago, spoke as proudly as if he would live for eternity is today chained by the feet, and is now being tried in his own country [[[...]]] Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise. Is it possible that an [Islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world. In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight. I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world - and this is attainable."
(source: http://memri.org, based on the publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- insertions by MEMRI in squared brackets -- missing passages compared to the 'New York Times' in triple squared brackets)
The term 'map' to which the media refer at length does not even appear. Whereas the 'New York Times' said: "Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map" the version by MEMRI is: "Imam [Khomeini] said: This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history."
MEMRI added the following prefixed formulation to their translation as a kind of title: "Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Be Purged From the Center of the Islamic World - and This is Attainable". Thereby they take it out of context by using the insertion 'i.e. Israel' they distort the meaning on purpose. The temporal tapering 'very soon' does not appear in the NY-Times-translation either. Besides it is striking that MEMRI deleted all passages in their translation which characterize the US-supported Shah-Regime as a regime of terror and at the same time show the true character of US-American policy.
An independent translation of the original (like the version published by ISNA) yields that Ahmadinejad does not use the term 'map'. He quotes Ayatollah Khomeini's assertion that the occupation regime must vanish from this world - literally translated: from the arena of times. Correspondingly: there is no space for an occupation regime in this world respectively in this time. The formulation 'wipe off the map' used by the 'New York Times' is a very free and aggravating interpretation which is equivalent to 'razing something to the ground' or 'annihilating something'. The downwelling translation, first into English ('wipe off the map'), then from English to German - and all literally ('von der Landkarte löschen') - makes us stride away from the original more and more. The perfidious thing about this translation is that the expression 'map' can only be used in one (intentional) way: a state can be removed from a map but not a regime, about which Ahmadinejad is actually speaking.
Again following the independent translation: "I have no doubt that the new movement taking place in our dear Palestine is a spiritual movement which is spanning the entire Islamic world and which will soon remove this stain of disgrace from the Islamic world".
It must be allowed to ask how it is possible that 'spirtual movement' resp. 'wave of morality' (as translated by MEMRI) and 'wave of assaults' can be equated and translated (like e.g tagesschau.de published it).
Does Iran's President deny the Holocaust?
"The German government condemned the repetitive offending anti-Israel statements by Ahmadinejad to be shocking. Such behaviour is not tolerable, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated. [...] Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed Ahmadinejad's statements to be 'inconceivable'" (published by tagesschau.de 2005-12-14.
But not only the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and the Federal Chancellor Merkel allege this, but the Bild-Zeitung, tagesschau.de, parts of the peace movement, US-President George W. Bush, the 'Papers for German and international politics', CNN, the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, almost the entire world does so, too: Iran's President Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust.
What is this assertion based on? In substance it is based on dispatches of 2 days - 2005-12-14 and 2006-02-11.
"The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his verbal attacks against Israel and the Western states and has denied the Holocaust. Instead of making Israel's attacks against Palestine a subject of discussion 'the Western states devote their energy to the fairy-tale of the massacre against the Jews', Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday in a speech at Zahedan in the south-east of Iran which was broadcasted directly by the news-channel Khabar. That day he stated that if the Western states really believe in the assassination of six million Jews in W.W. II they should put a piece of land in Europe, in the USA, Canada or Alaska at Israel's disposal." - dispatch of the German press agency DPA, 2005-12-14.
The German TV-station n24 spreads the following on 2006-12-14 using the title 'Iran's President calls the Holocaust a myth': "The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his verbal attacks against Israel and called the Holocaust a 'myth' used as a pretext by the Europeans to found a Jewish state in the center of the Islamic world . 'In the name of the Holocaust they have created a myth and regard it to be worthier than God, religion and the prophets' the Iranian head of state said."
The Iranian press agency IRNA renders Ahmadinejad on 2005-12-14 as follows: "'If the Europeans are telling the truth in their claim that they have killed six million Jews in the Holocaust during the World War II - which seems they are right in their claim because they insist on it and arrest and imprison those who oppose it, why the Palestinian nation should pay for the crime. Why have they come to the very heart of the Islamic world and are committing crimes against the dear Palestine using their bombs, rockets, missiles and sanctions.' [...] 'If you have committed the crimes so give a piece of your land somewhere in Europe or America and Canada or Alaska to them to set up their own state there.' [...] Ahmadinejad said some have created a myth on holocaust and hold it even higher than the very belief in religion and prophets [...] The president further said, 'If your civilization consists of aggression, displacing the oppressed nations, suppressing justice-seeking voices and spreading injustice and poverty for the majority of people on the earth, then we say it out loud that we despise your hollow civilization.'"
There again we find the quotation already rendered by n24: "In the name of the Holocaust they created a myth." We can see that this is completely different from what is published by e.g. the DPA - the massacre against the Jews is a fairy-tale. What Ahmadinejad does is not denying the Holocaust. No! It is dealing out criticism against the mendacity of the imperialistic powers who use the Holocaust to muzzle critical voices and to achieve advantages concerning the legitimization of a planned war. This is criticism against the exploitation of the Holocaust.
CNN (2005-12-15) renders as follows: "If you have burned the Jews why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel. Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?"
The Washingtonian ''Middle East Media Research Institute' (MEMRI) renders Ahmadinejad's statements from 2005-12-14 as follows: "...we ask you: if you indeed committed this great crime, why should the oppressed people of Palestine be punished for it? * [...] If you committed a crime, you yourselves should pay for it. Our offer was and remains as follows: If you committed a crime, it is only appropriate that you place a piece of your land at their disposal - a piece of Europe, of America, of Canada, or of Alaska - so they can establish their own state. Rest assured that if you do so, the Iranian people will voice no objection."
The MEMRI-rendering uses the relieving translation 'great crime' and misappropriates the following sentence at the * marked passage: "Why have they come to the very heart of the Islamic world and are committing crimes against the dear Palestine using their bombs, rockets, missiles and sanctions." This sentence has obviously been left out deliberately because it would intimate why the Israeli state could have forfeited the right to establish itself in Palestine - videlicet because of its aggressive expansionist policy against the people of Palestine, ignoring any law of nations and disobeying all UN-resolutions.
In spite of the variability referring to the rendering of the statements of Iran's President we should nevertheless note down: the reproach of denying the Holocaust cannot be sustained if Ahmadinejad speaks of a great and huge crime that has been done to the Jews.
In another IRNA-dispatch (2005-12-14) the Arabian author Ghazi Abu Daqa writes about Ahmadinejad: "The Iranian president has nothing against the followers of Judaism [...] Ahmadinejad is against Zionism as well as its expansionist and occupying policy. That is why he managed to declare to the world with courage that there is no place for the Zionist regime in the world civilized community."
It's no wonder that such opinions do not go down particularly well with the ideas of the centers of power in the Western world. But for this reason they are not wrong right away. Dealing out criticism against the aggressive policy of the Western world, to which Israel belongs as well, is not yet anti-Semitism. We should at least to give audience to this kind of criticism - even if it is a problematic field for us.
2006-02-11 Ahmadinejad said according to IRNA: "[...] the real holocaust should be sought in Palestine, where the blood of the oppressed nation is shed every day and Iraq, where the defenceless Muslim people are killed daily. [...] 'Some western governments, in particular the US, approve of the sacrilege on the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), while denial of the "Myth of Holocaust", based on which the Zionists have been exerting pressure upon other countries for the past 60 years and kill the innocent Palestinians, is considered as a crime' [...]"
The assertion that Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust thus is wrong in more than one aspect. He does not deny the Holocaust, but speaks of denial itself. And he does not speak of denial of the Holocaust, but of denial of the Myth of Holocaust. This is something totally different. All in all he speaks of the exploitation of the Holocaust. The Myth of Holocaust, like it is made a subject of discussion by Ahmadinejad, is a myth that has been built up in conjunction with the Holocaust to - as he says - put pressure onto somebody. We might follow this train of thoughts or we might not. But we cannot equalize his thoughts with denial of the Holocaust.
If Ahmadinejad according to this 2006-02-11 condemns the fact that it is forbidden and treated as a crime to do research into the Myth of Holocaust, as we find it quoted in the MEMRI translation, this acquires a meaning much different from the common and wide-spread one. If the myth related to the Holocaust is commuted to a 'Fairy Tale of the Massacre' - like the DPA did - this can only be understood as a malicious misinterpretation.
By the use of misrepresentation and adulteration it apparently succeeded to constitute the statements of the Iranian President to be part and parcel of the currently fought propaganda battle. It is our responsibility to counter this.
A dispatch by Reuters confirms 2006-02-21: "The Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has [...] repudiated that his state would want the Jewish state Israel 'wiped off the map'. [...] Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood. 'Nobody can erase a country from the map.' Ahmadinejad was not thinking of the state of Israel but of their regime [...]. 'We do not accredit this regime to be legitimate.' [...] Mottaki also accepted that the Holocaust really took place in a way that six million Jews were murdered during the era of National Socialism."
The next step is to connect the Iranian President with Hitler. 2006-02-20 the Chairman of the Counsil of Jews in France (Crif) says in Paris: "The Iranian President's assertions do not rank behind Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'". Paul Spiegel, President of the Central Counsil of Jews in Germany, 2005-12-10 in the 'Welt' qualifies the statements of Ahmadinejad to be "the worst comment on this subject that he has ever heard of a statesman since A. Hitler". At the White House the Iranian President is even named Hitler. And the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel as well moves over Iran's President towards Hitler and National Socialism by saying 2006-02-04 in Munich: "Already in the early 1930's many people said that it is only rhetoric. One could have prevented a lot in time if one had acted... Germany is in the debt to resist the incipiencies and to do anything to make clear where the limit of tolerance is. Iran remains in control of the situation, it is still in their hands."
All this indicates war. Slobodan Milosevic became Hitler. The result was the war of the Nato against Yugoslavia. Saddam Hussein became Hitler. What followed was the war the USA and their coalition of compliant partners waged against Iraq. Now the Iranian President becomes Hitler.
And someone who is Hitler-like can assure a hundred times that he only wants to use nuclear energy in a peaceful way. Nobody will believe him. Somebody like Hitler can act within the scope of all contracts. Acting contrary to contract will nevertheless be imputed to him. "Virtually none of the Western states recognize that uranium enrichment is absolutely legal. There is no restriction by contract or by the law of nations. Quite the contrary: Actually the Western countries would have the duty to assist Iran with these activities, according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. As long as a state renounces the bomb it is eligible for technical support by the nuclear powers." (Jörg Pfuhl, ARD radio studio Istanbul 2006-01-11) But - all this does not count if the Head of a state is stigmatized as Hitler.
Ook onze eigen Minister van Buitenlandse zaken (als er intussen al weer geen andere is) Karel De Gucht blijft in interviews herhalden dat Iran Israel "van de kaart wil vegen", terwijl hij toch wel beter geïnformeerd zou mogen zijn? Of doet hij 't met opzet zodat België binnenkort makkelijker mee kan opstappen in de Amerikaanse oorlogsretoriek ?!...
De Gucht veroordeelt uitspraken Iraanse president
Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Karel De Gucht veroordeelt met klem de uitspraken van de Iraanse president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad die stelt dat "Israël van de kaart moet geveegd worden".
Deze uitspraken zijn volstrekt onaanvaardbaar, zegt Karel De Gucht. "België zal dit soort haatdragend taalgebruik nooit tolereren en ik zal me ook persoonlijk steeds blijven inzetten om dit te bekampen."
De Gucht herinnert tevens aan het bestaansrecht van Israël, dat door menige resoluties van de Verenigde Naties bevestigd wordt. Minister De Gucht heeft beslist om de Iraanse ambassadeur te laten ontbieden op Buitenlandse Zaken om uitleg te verschaffen over de uitlatingen van de president van zijn land. "Dit voorval berokkent ernstige schade aan de internationale positie van Iran", besluit De Gucht. In andere Europese landen worden eveneens de Iraanse ambassadeurs ontboden om tekst en uitleg te verschaffen over de uitlatingen van hun president.
Ook VLD-volksvertegenwoordiger en Claude Marinower is verontwaardigd en geschokt door de uitspraken van de Iraanse president. "Dergelijke onaanvaardbare fundamentalistische uitspraken kunnen niet getolereerd worden", aldus de volksvertegenwoordiger.
Wereld geschokt over nieuwe dreigementen van Iraanse president
Israël laat zich niet straffeloos intimideren
De Iraanse president Ahmadinejad wordt bedolven onder de kritiek voor zijn nieuwe bedreiging aan het adres van Israël. ,,Een gevaarlijk man'', reageren de Israëli's. Maar de joodse staat wacht niet af, en bereidt zich volop voor om de dreiging van het Iraanse atoomprogramma te pareren.
In oktober zei Ahmadinejad al dat Israël van de kaart moest worden geveegd. Eergisteren zei hij in Mekka dat Duitsland, Oostenrijk of een ander Europees land maar een paar provincies moesten vrijmaken voor een joodse staat.
Retoriek of gemeend? Feit is dat Israël niet lijdzaam afwacht. Het land heeft al ongeveer de helft van de 102 F-16I's ontvangen die het bestelde in de VS. Met hun extra grote brandstoftanks kunnen deze oorlogsvliegtuigen Iran bereiken. In Duitsland heeft Israël voorts twee onderzeeërs besteld die atoomwapens op Iran zouden kunnen afvuren.
Vorige week heeft Israël met succes zijn Arrow-raketdefensie getest tegen een raket die veel gelijkt op de Iraanse Shahab-3, die kan worden uitgerust met een kernkop om Israël te raken of Amerikaanse doelen in het Midden-Oosten.
Vooraanstaande Israëlische politici bespreken openlijk de mogelijkheid voor een ,,militaire optie'', ofwel alleen, ofwel samen met andere landen. Deze week zei premier Sharon dat Israël ,,natuurlijk'' de capaciteit heeft om het Iraanse atoomprogramma uit te schakelen. Zijn rivaal Netanyahu zei zelfs dat hij akkoord kon gaan met een ,,preventieve aanval''. Legerchef Dan Halutz vond dat diplomatie druk ontoereikend is om te voorkomen dat Teheran een atoombom maakt, en dat een militaire oplossing wellicht noodzakelijk zou zijn.
Eenvoudig zal dat niet zijn. In 1981 kon de Israëlische luchtmacht nog vernietigend uithalen naar een Iraakse kernreactor in aanbouw. De Iraniërs hebben die les goed geleerd. Ze hebben hun atoomfaciliteiten verspreid over het (uitgestrekte) land en sommige bevinden zich ondergronds of in de bergen. Het Iraanse afweergeschut wordt bovendien steeds moderner.
Of rekent Israël op de VS? President George Bush heeft Europa de tijd gegeven om via diplomatie Teheran op betere gedachten te brengen, maar hij heet ook gezegd dat hij niet zal toestaan dat Iran over kernwapens zal beschikken.
Zoals kon worden verwacht lokte de nieuwe aanval van president Ahmadinejad felle reacties uit. Zeker in Duitsland, waar het ontkennen van de Holocaust een misdaad is. Duitsland zal de Iraanse ambassadeur op het matje roepen. Ook Oostenrijk besloot tot deze maatregel.
Israël veroordeelde Ahmadinejdads opmerkingen als ,,ongehoord en zelfs racistisch''. de VS bestempelde ze als ,,ontstellend en laakbaar''.
In de ogen van onze minister van Buitenlandse Zaken De Gucht bevestigt Ahmadinejad ,,dat hij een onverzettelijke vijand is van de staat Israël'', en brengt hij met zijn nieuwe uitlating ,,de positie van zijn land ernstig schade toe''.
Reactie Minister De Gucht op de uitspraken over Israël van de Iraanse President
Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Karel De Gucht veroordeelt met klem de uitspraken van de Iraanse President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad die stelt dat "Israel van de kaart moet geveegd worden". Deze zijn "volstrekt onaanvaardbaar", aldus de Minister.
Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Karel De Gucht veroordeelt met klem de uitspraken van de Iraanse President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad die stelt dat "Israel van de kaart moet geveegd worden". Deze zijn "volstrekt onaanvaardbaar", aldus de Minister.
Minister De Gucht: "België zal dit soort van haatdragend taalgebruik nooit tolereren en ik zal me ook persoonlijk steeds blijven inzetten om dit te bekampen". Hij herinnert tevens aan het bestaansrecht van Israël, dat door menige resoluties van de Verenigde Naties bevestigd wordt.
De Minister heeft beslist om de Iraanse Ambassadeur vandaag nog te laten ontbieden op Buitenlandse Zaken om uitleg te verschaffen over de uitlatingen van de President van zijn land.
"Dit voorval berokkent ernstige schade aan de internationale positie van Iran." aldus tot slot Minister De Gucht
Dit is eigenlijk allemaal niet eens zo erg belangrijk, alleszins niet op dit moment. ...& Voor de mensen in Israël & de Bezette Gebieden zelf maakt 't op dit moment ook geen bàl uit.
Overigens.. euhh.. nu we eraan terugdenken... in onze tweede paragraaf hebben wij zelf ook eigenlijk melding gemaakt dat we staten en naties het liefst van al zouden zien verdwijnen, en teneinde te vermijden dat er vanaf heden elke dag een R4'ke voor onze deur postvat met daarin twee mannen met lange pardessus willen we graag even verduidelijken dat we dus helemaal niet bedoelden dat Staten of Naties van de kaart dienen te worden geveegd, maar wél dat wij geloven dat het voor de mensen een goede zaak zou kunnen zijn indien staatsgrenzen zouden kunnen verdampen, niét door nucleaire inslagen, maar wel door de overtolligheid ervan, zoals bijvoorbeeld de Belgische Senaat, die hier eigenlijk toch ook alleen maar overbodig is geworden (hoewel ze er nog steeds staat).
Om nu terug te keren naar het Midden Oosten conflict zelf, er zijn een aantal scenario's die op tafel liggen, en waarschijnlijk zal het nog het meest van Israël zélf afhangen of er ooit vrede kan komen en of Israël ooit zal blijven bestaan of dat het Israëlische staatsmodel zal verdampen of van de kaart zal worden geveegd, 't is maar hoe u 't wil lezen.
1) Israël kan op militair gebied gemakkelijk elke militaire confrontatie aan. Het is na de VS zowat het best uitgeruste militaire apparaat ter wereld, ontvangt vanwege de USA jaarlijks voor een goeie 4 miljard euro aan militaire middelen en materiaal, besteedt zelf een goeie 20 - 25 % van z'n totale BNP aan defensie, zo tussen de 8 à 10 miljard euro per jaar, waarmee ze wereldwijd zo ongeveer de 17e positie innemen. Niet slecht voor een landje met een goeie 7.1 miljoen inwoners (waarvan een goeie 20 % "Israelische Arabieren")
Noot: Iran heeft een militair budget van +/- 4 miljard euro / jaar, ofte ongeveer 2.5% van het BNP op een bevolking van 72 miljoen mensen. Peanuts dus, in vergelijking met wat andere staten aan hun militaire apparaat besteden.
Last update - 02:04 28/12/2007
Another record year for defense spending in 2008
By Zvi Zrahiya, Haaretz Correspondent
The defense budget for 2008 will be NIS 51.3 billion, thereby setting yet another new record for defense spending.
This figure represents over 16% of the entire NIS 314 billion state budget for next year, which the Knesset approved yesterday after passing the accompanying Economic Arrangements Law the day before. It also represents about 7% of gross domestic product.
Of this sum, NIS 4.3 billion will go for pensions for those who have retired from the military, up from NIS 3.9 billion in 2007. Another NIS 1.2 billion is earmarked for the separation fence, and NIS 1.2 billion for bereaved families, widows and memorials for the fallen.
In total, 40.7% of the defense budget goes for personnel, 23.5% for equipment and 35.8% for operations and miscellaneous costs.
But compared to other militaries around the world, Israel's spending on manpower is low. The Italians spend 85.1% of their defense budget on personnel, Germany 58.5%, France 56.3% and Britain 42.1%.
The base defense budget for 2008 is only NIS 49.35 billion, as recommended by the Brodet Committee on defense spending. However, in the last quarter of 2008, the Defense Ministry will also be able to use $150 million of the U.S. military aid for 2009.
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (6)
Begin deel (6) ...Het vervolg...!!
World Military Spending
by Anup Shah - This Page Last Updated Saturday, March 01, 2008
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, Political Observations, 1795
World Military Spending
Global military expenditure and arms trade form the largest spending in the world at over one trillion dollars in annual expenditure and has been rising in recent years.
# World military expenditure in 2006 is estimated to have reached $1204 billion in current dollars;
# This represents a 3.5 per cent increase in real terms since 2005 and a 37 per cent increase over the 10-year period since 1997;
# The USA, responsible for about 80 per cent of the increase in 2005, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for almost half of the world total;
SIPRI also comments on the increasing concentration of military expenditure, i.e. that a small number of countries spend the largest sums:
# The 15 countries with the highest spending account for 83 per cent of the total;
# The USA is responsible for 46 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4-5 per cent each.
Using SIPRI data:
High and rising world market prices of minerals and fossil fuels has also been a contributing factor in the upward trend in military expenditure, said SIPRI in their earlier 2006 report. For example, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been able to increase spending because of increased oil and gas revenues, while Chile and Perus increases are resource-driven, because their military spending is linked by law to profits from the exploitation of key natural resources.
Also, China and India, the worlds two emerging economic powers, are demonstrating a sustained increase in their military expenditure and contribute to the growth in world military spending. In absolute terms their current spending is only a fraction of the USAs. Their increases are largely commensurate with their economic growth.
SIPRIs 2005 data also shows that while in raw dollar amounts some nations are increasing spending at large amounts, their percentage increases may vary:
US spending has increased the most in dollars, while Chinas has increased the most in percentage terms
In a similar report from 2004, the authors also noted that, There is a large gap between what countries are prepared to allocate for military means to provide security and maintain their global and regional power status, on the one hand, and to alleviate poverty and promote economic development, on the other.
Indeed, compare the military spending with the entire budget of the United Nations :
"The United Nations and all its agencies and funds spend about $20 billion each year, or about $3 for each of the world's inhabitants. This is a very small sum compared to most government budgets and it is just a tiny fraction of the worlds military spending. Yet for nearly two decades, the UN has faced a financial difficulties and it has been forced to cut back on important programs in all areas. Many member states have not paid their full dues and have cut their donations to the UNs voluntary funds. As of November 30, 2007, members arrears to the Regular Budget topped $735 million, of which the United States alone owed $688 million (94% of the regular budget arrears)."
# Yet, the UNs entire budget is just a tiny fraction of the worlds military expenditure, approximately 2%
# While the UN is not perfect and has many internal issues that need addressing, it is revealing that the world can spend so much on their military but contribute so little to the goals of global security, international cooperation and peace.
The United States has unquestionably been the most formidable military power in recent years. Its spending levels, as noted earlier, is the principle determinant of world military spending and is therefore worth looking at further.
Generally, US military spending has been on the rise. Recent increases are attributed to the so-called War on Terror and the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, but it had also been rising before that.
For example, Christopher Hellman, an expert on military budget analysis notes in The Runaway Military Budget: An Analysis PDF formatted document, (Friends Committee on National Legislation, March 2006, no. 705, p. 3) that military spending had been rising since at least 1998, if not earlier.
Another expert on this topic, Travis Sharp, provides spending figures from 2001 to the requested figures for 2009 shown here:
As a chart
Raw data and sources (N.V.D.R. : Hiervoor verwijzen wij u graag door naar de desbetreffende pagina zelf.)
Compared to the rest of the world, these numbers have been described as staggering.
In Context: US Military Spending Versus Rest of the World
When the US Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for military spending came out in early 2008, Travis Sharp and Christopher Hellman (mentioned earlier) projected the spending of other nations planned for 2008 thus allowing comparison between US military spending and the rest of the world:
Pie chart :
Comparing US with others
# US military spending accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the worlds total military spending
# US military spending is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined
# US military spending is 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.
# US military spending is almost 55 times the spending on the six rogue states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) whose spending amounts to around $13 billion, maximum. (Tabulated data does not include four of the six, as the data only lists nations that have spent over 1 billion in the year, so their budget is assumed to be $1 billion each)
# US spending is more than the combined spending of the next 45 countries.
# The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries combined, representing 72 percent of the worlds total.
# The six potential enemies, Russia, and China together account for about $205 billion or 29% of the US military budget.
Top spenders ranked (and sources) (N.V.D.R. : Hiervoor verwijzen wij u graag door naar de desbetreffende pagina zelf.)
Why does the US number seem so high when the budget announced $517.9 for the Department of Defense?
Unfortunately, the budget numbers can be a bit confusing. For example, the Fiscal Year budget requests for US military spending do not include combat figures (which are supplemental requests that Congress approves separately). The budget for nuclear weapons falls under the Department of Energy, and for the 2009 request, was about $29 billion.
The cost of war (Iraq and Afghanistan) is estimated to be about $170 billion for the 2009 spending alone. Christopher Hellman and Travis Sharp also discuss the US fiscal year 2009 Pentagon spending request and note that Congress has already approved nearly $700 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and an additional $126 billion in FY'08 war funding is still pending before the House and Senate.
Furthermore, other costs such as care for vetarans, healthcare, military training/aid, secret operations, may fall under other departments or be counted separately.
The frustration of confusing numbers seemed to hit a raw nerve for the Center for Defense Information, concluding
"The articles that newspapers all over the country publish today will be filled with [military spending] numbers to the first decimal point; they will seem precise. Few of them will be accurate; many will be incomplete, some will be both. Worse, few of us will be able to tell what numbers are too high, which are too low, and which are so riddled with gimmicks to make them lose real meaning."
Generally, compared to Cold War levels, the amount of military spending and expenditure in most nations has been reduced. For example, global military spending declined from $1.2 trillion in 1985 to $809 billion in 1998, though in 2005 has risen to almost one trillion. The United States spending, up to 2009 requests may have be reduced compared to the Cold War era but is still close to Cold War levels.
Supporters of Americas high military expenditure often argue that using raw dollars is not a fair measure, but that instead it should be per capita or as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and even then the spending numbers miss out the fact that US provides global stability with its high spending and allows other nations to avoid such high spending. However, as researcher Chris Hellman notes,
Linking military spending to the GDP is an argument frequently made by supporters of higher military budgets. Comparing military spending (or any other spending for that matter) to the GDP tells you how large a burden such spending puts on the US economy, but it tells you nothing about the burden a $440 billion military budget puts on U.S. taxpayers. Our economy may be able to bear higher military spending, but the question today is whether current military spending levels are necessary and whether these funds are going towards the proper priorities. Further, such comparisons are only made when the economy is healthy. It is unlikely that those arguing that military spending should be a certain portion of GDP would continue to make this case if the economy suddenly weakened, thus requiring dramatic cuts in the military.
In regards to the high spending allowing other nations to spend less, that is often part of a supportive theory of the global hegemon being good for the world. Granted, other nations in such a position would likely want to be able to dominate as much of the world as possible, as past empires have throughout history.
However, whether this global hegemony and stability actually means positive stability, peace and prosperity for the entire world (or most of it) is subjective. That is, certainly the hegemony at the time, and its allies would benefit from the stability, relative peace and prosperity for themselves, but often ignored in this is whether the policies pursued for their advantages breeds contempt elsewhere (in the modern era that may equate to anti-Americanism, resorting to terrorism and other forms of hatred.)
As noted in other parts of this site, unfortunately more powerful countries have also pursued policies that have contributed to more poverty, and at times even overthrown fledgling democracies in favor of dictatorships or more malleable democracies. (Osama Bin Laden, for example, was part of an enormous Islamic militancy encouraged and trained by the US to help fight the Soviet Union. Of course, these extremists are all too happy to take credit for fighting off the Soviets in Afghanistan, never acknowledging how it could not have been done without their so-called great satan friend-turned-enemy!)
So the global good hegemon theory may help justify high spending and even stability for a number of other countries, but it does not necessarily apply to the whole world. To be fair, this criticism can also be a bit simplistic especially if an empire finds itself against a competitor with similar ambitions, that risks polarizing the world, and answers are likely difficult to find.
In Context: US military budget vs. other US priorities
The peace lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, calculates for Fiscal Year 2007 that the majority of US tax payers money goes towards war:
As a pie chart
Raw data and sources (N.V.D.R. : Hiervoor verwijzen wij u graag door naar de desbetreffende pagina zelf.)
Furthermore, national defense category of federal spending is typically just over half of the United States discretionary budget (the money the President/Administration and Congress have direct control over, and must decide and act to spend each year. This is different to mandatory spending, the money that is spent in compliance with existing laws, such as social secuity benefits, medicare, paying the interest on the national debt and so on). For recent years here is how military, education and health budgets (the top 3) have fared:
Discretionary budgets in $ (billions) and percentages (N.V.D.R. : Hiervoor verwijzen wij u graag door naar de desbetreffende pagina zelf.)
In this new era, traditional military threats to the USA are fairly remote. All of their enemies, former enemies and even allies do not pose a military threat to the United States. For a while now, critics of large military spending have pointed out that most likely forms of threat to the United States would be through terrorist actions, rather than conventional warfare, and that the spending is still geared towards Cold War-type scenarios and other such conventional confrontations.
"[T]he lions share of this money is not spent by the Pentagon on protecting American citizens. It goes to supporting U.S. military activities, including interventions, throughout the world. Were this budget and the organization it finances called the Military Department, then attitudes might be quite different. Americans are willing to pay for defense, but they would probably be much less willing to spend billions of dollars if the money were labeled Foreign Military Operations."
But it is not just the U.S. military spending. In fact, as Jan Oberg argues, western militarism often overlaps with civilian functions affecting attitudes to militarism in general. As a result, when revelations come out that some Western militaries may have trained dictators and human rights violators, the justification given may be surprising, which we look at in the next page.
Defense News ranked Israel 17th in a list of the worlds top 25 defense spenders based on absolute numbers, not as a percentage of GDP. The list is based on updated information from the CIAs World Fact Book and from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Most of the figures in the list, including those for Israel, refer to the 2005 fiscal year. The numbers are mostly consistent with official data from the relevant countries. Only one Arab country, Saudi Arabia, made the list, although Iran, with $4.3 billion in military spending in 2005, just lost the 25th place to Argentina.
ANALYSIS / Budget will decide whether Israel attacks Iran
By Aluf Benn
The most important decision the next government of Israel will have to make is how to distribute resources intended for use against the Iranian nuclear threat, senior defense officials involved in decision-making have told Haaretz. The new government will have to decide whether to invest in developing measures to attack Iran's nuclear facilities or developing means of defense and deterrance if Iran does attain nuclear power.
The budget will decide whether Israel will seriously consider a military option against Iran. A decision focusing on defense and deterrance will mean that Israel has given up on attacking Iran. The dilemma becomes more serious in the context of economic recession, which limits the government's ability to expand the defense budget.
Those who support deterrance believe there is no substitute for the military option, and costly resources should not be wasted on a plan that will never be implemented. They also say that, at most, Israel could bring about a delay of a few years in the Iranian nuclear project, which does not justify the risk of complications in the action or a wider regional conflict. They prefer investing in a number of long-term projects that will increase Israel's ability to defend itself against the nuclear threat. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert objected to this approach. His position was that if Israel can thwart the Iranian threat, its present deterrent capability and resources should not be wasted on redundant deterrent capabilities. As far as is known, Olmert has yet to approve the continued development of a number of projects.
Those who are for the "attack option" say there is great value in delaying the development of Iranian nuclear capabilities by two to four years by means of an Israeli attack. Optimally, they say such an action could also undermine the regime in Tehran, or at least lead to international support against Iranian nuclearization.
"In choosing a strategy vis a vis a non-conventional Iranian threat, we must consider the limited resources at our disposal, which requires sophisticated risk-management," the chairman of the National Economic Council, Professor Manuel Trachtenberg, told the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies last Thursday.
There is no consensus in the defense community about this approach. Experts say the price of the attack option is lower than its detractors say. They also say the IDF needs about NIS 1 billion a year to strengthen its "long arm," with funding going mainly for intelligence, refueling planes and the munitions-carrying capacity of Israel Air Force planes, and of course for training, and that the budget can bear the expense.
Military Intelligence says that over the past year Iran has crossed the "technological threshold" and now has the ability to enrich uranium. Attaining nuclear weapons is now a matter only of a decision by the Iranian leadership, time and circumstances. But intelligence experts say Iran prefers stockpiling a large amount of fissionable material before moving on to military nuclear technology, which presents a window of opportunity for a final diplomatic effort to stop development of an Iranian bomb.
Gaza 2009 - Over het Nieuwjaarsvuurwerk van Israël - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART I (7)
Begin deel (7) ...Het vervolg...!!
Bovendien beschikt Israël naar verluidt over 200 kernkoppen... & heeft al herhaaldelijk gedreigd dat ze deze ook zullen gebruiken. Het is ook in dit licht dat de uitspraken dienen te worden gezien vanwege Matan Vilnai, Israël's vice-minister van Defensie, dat de Palestijnen een nieuwe "Shoah" over zichzelf zullen afroepen als de toestand blijft escaleren.
Noot : over dit soort uitspraken valt blijkbaar geen mens, althans toch niet in West Europa. Stel u voor dat 't van Ahmadinejad was gekomen ?!...
guardian.co.uk, Friday 29 February 2008 13.33 GMT
Israeli minister warns of Palestinian 'holocaust'
A Sderot chicken factory damaged by a Hamas rocket. Photograph: AP/Almog Sugavker
An Israeli minister today warned of increasingly bitter conflict in the Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinians could bring on themselves what he called a "holocaust".
"The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves," Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defence minister, told army radio.
Shoah is the Hebrew word normally reserved to refer to the Jewish Holocaust. It is rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi extermination of Jews during the second world war, and many Israelis are loath to countenance its use to describe other events.
The minister's statement came after two days of tit-for-tat missile raids between Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army. At least 32 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed since the surge in violence on Wednesday.
Today Israel activated a rocket warning system to protect Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people, from Palestinian attacks.
Ashkelon was hit by several Grad rockets fired from Gaza yesterday. One hit an apartment building, slicing through the roof and three floors below, and another landed near a school, wounding a 17-year-old girl.
Located 11 miles from Gaza, Ashkelon has been sporadically targeted before but not suffered direct hits or significant damage.
"It will be sad, and difficult, but we have no other choice," Vilnai said, referring to the large-scale military operation he said Israel was preparing to bring a halt to the rocket fire.
"We're getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we've used a small percentage of the army's power because of the nature of the territory."
Israel would not launch a ground offensive in the next week or two, partly because the military would prefer to wait for better weather, defence sources said. But the army had completed its preparations and was awaiting the government's order to move, officials said.
Until now, the Palestinian rocket squads have largely targeted Sderot, a small town near Gaza. Ashkelon, a big population centre only 25 miles from Tel Aviv, was caught unprepared, its mayor said on Friday.
"It's a city of 120,000 people, with large facilities a huge soccer stadium, a basketball stadium and a beach. No one is ready for this," Roni Mehatzri told Israel Radio.
Dozens of soldiers in orange berets from the Israeli military's home front command arrived in Ashkelon and hung posters around the city telling residents what to do in case of rocket attack.
The barrage of Iranian-made Grads directed at Ashkelon yesterday came after an escalation of violence in Gaza. Israel killed five Hamas militants on Wednesday morning, apparently including two planners of the rocket attacks, in an air strike on a minivan.
Later in the day, a Palestinian rocket killed an Israeli civilian, a 47-year-old father of four, in Sderot.
Hamas, an Islamist group with close ties to Iran, has ruled Gaza since its violent takeover there in June 2006.
Since Wednesday, 32 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli missile strikes, including 14 civilians, among them eight children, according to Palestinian officials. The youngest was a six-month-old boy, Mohammed al-Borai, whose funeral was held yesterday.
There were further indications that Israel was preparing for an offensive by sending confidential messages to world leaders, including the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who plans to visit the region next week.
"Israel is not keen on, and rushing for, an offensive, but Hamas is leaving us no choice," the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, told the senior figures, according to Israel's mass circulation daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.
Security sources were quoted by both Israel Radio and army radio as saying a big operation was being prepared but was not imminent.
Toch lijkt dit vrij onwaarschijnlijk omdat Israël zich dit niet kan permitteren vanuit PR oogpunt. De etnische zuivering op korte termijn is dus eigenlijk geen optie meer, & een "trage" zuivering zit er voorlopig althans ook niet meer aan te komen, tenzij het de bedoeling is om het leven van de Palestijnen nog miserabeler te maken dan het nù al is, zodat ze uiteindelijk "uit eigen beweging" vertrekken.
2) De Tweestatenoplossing.
Deze wordt nu reeds geruime tijd verdedigd door een groot gedeelte Israëli's én Palestijnen... & sinds enige tijd zijn ook de Amerikanen & Europeanen een voorstander van dit scenario. Echter, de politiek van Israël om steeds meer land (...& dan vooral water & vruchtbare gronden) van Palestijnen af te pakken, evenals de aanhoudende uitbreiding van zowel bestaande als nieuwe nederzettingen op Palestijns gebied vormen een serieuze hinderpaal.
De belangrijkste kritiek op de Tweestatenoplossing is dat de Palestijnse Staat in feite een soort Apartheidsstaat zal zijn, bestaande uit een aantal bantoestans, enclaves of eilandjes, die volkomen omringd of omsingeld zullen zijn door Israël, zoals dit ook al tot uiting kwam in de eerder getoonde presentatie vanwege Gush Shalom. (punt 1 - Iran's generous offer). Met andere woorden, indien Israël de koloniseringspolitiek blijft verderzetten zal het deze oplossing zélf ondergraven & komen we automatisch terecht bij de derde oplossing, de One State Solution.
3) De One State solution - één Staat voor twéé volkeren.
Kijk - kijk... dit zou nog eens een interessant experiment kunnen zijn.
Dit lijkt op het éérste gezicht een waanzinnig idee, maar in Israël zelf zijn er nu al een aantal voorstanders van of bewegingen die dit idee voorstaan.
Eén staat.. seculier, voor álle mensen met gelijke rechten voor iederéén.
Wie kan dáár nu tegen zijn?
Wel, om te beginnen de Israëli's, want die wilden een exclusief Joodse Staat waarin ze dan wel doen alsof de "Arabische Israëli's" gelijke rechten hebben wat natuurlijk niet zo is.
Op dit ogenblik zijn er ongeveer 20% "Israëlische Arabieren", dus Palestijnen die Israëlisch staatsburgerschap hebben, en inderdaad zelfs een -minimale- vertegenwoordiging in de Israëlische Knesset.
Nochtans is het zo dat het geboortecijfer bij de Arabische Israëli's véél hoger ligt dan bij de Joodse Israëli's, en Israël is dus dringend op zoek naar nieuwe immigranten (uiteraard van joodse "afkomst") teneinde het Joodse karakter van Israël in stand te kunnen houden.
Demografie is dan ook een zéér grote bezorgdheid van de Israëli's, want hoe verdedigbaar zou het zijn, internationaal maar ook in eigen land, indien een minderheid van Israëli's de plak zou zwaaien over een meerderheid langs Arabische - Palestijnse zijde ?!...
Maar U voelt 'm al komen, de kans bestaat natuurlijk ook dat de Palestijnen zich niet aan de regels zullen houden & dat Israël op die manier alsnog "zal verdwijnen van het aanschijn van de geschiedenis", precies zoals voorspeld door Ahmadinejad.
De kaarten zijn dan ook volledig in de handen van Israël zelf. Zij kunnen ze schudden, delen, geven & nemen, zij kunnen het spel sturen zoals zij dat willen, maar de uitkomst van het spel zal waarschijnlijk niet de uitkomst zijn die ze zelf willen.
Voor de Palestijnen ziet het er op dit ogenblik nog niet erg goed uit, maar hoe langer het kaartspel nog zal duren, des te beter zullen de kaarten voor hun gaan vallen.
Ook de Amerikanen spelen hierin een belangrijke rol. Jaarlijks geeft Amerika meer dan 2 miljard dollar aan Egypte, of beter, aan het regime van Moebarak, & bijna evenveel aan Saudi-Arabië. Zonder deze "steun" die we gerust omkoopgeld kunnen noemen zou het, zeker voor Moebarak, een pak moeilijker zijn om de bevolking onder de knoet te blijven houden.
Het logische gevolg van échte democratie in bijvoorbeeld Egypte zou dan ook zijn dat de mensen massaal zouden kiezen (stemmen dus) voor islamitisch getinte partijen zoals de moslimbroederschap in Egypte, die nu buiten de wet is gesteld door het regime van Moebarak.
Enerzijds verwijt men de moslimlanden graag dat ze niet democratisch zijn, maar anderzijds ~& laat ons daar geen doekjes om winden~ steekt de Westerse Wereld maar al te graag een handje toe om te beletten dat die landen democratisch worden of blijven (bijv. Algerije, Tunesië of Iran).
Echter, zodra de Amerikaanse steun voor Egypte, Saudi Arabië (...& ook Israël) om één of andere reden zal opdrogen, wat voorlopig zeker nog niet het geval zal zijn, zullen deze regimes (...& waarschijnlijk ook Israël) zodanig verzwakken dat zij uiteindelijk vanzelf zullen verschrompelen & verdwijnen.
Maar voorlopig ziet het er nog niet naar uit dat er van échte vrede in het Midden Oosten in de nabije toekomst sprake zal zijn.
...& Binnenkort : Gaza 2009 - "Are we all antisemites now ?!..." - Chronologie van een aangekondigde ramp - PART II