Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why does the second peace flotilla set Israel's nerves on edge?

The Israeli right wing government of 'Bibi' Netenyahu is getting 'jelly in the belly' as the day draws near for the second peace flotilla to set sail for Gaza.
GuamDiary has already signaled threats from the military, the banning of journalists, for example. Now to spice up its readiness to attack the peace flotilla, an IDF spokeswoman is dabbling is the black art of disinformation: says she, some of the peace activists are sheep in wolf's clothing: translation, they are armed with bottles of sulfuric acid to main, blind, or deeply scar any Israel special force who tries to stop the 10 ship flotilla.
Furthermore, a ship carrying the Swedish contingent and some Turkish participants, has been sabotaged, by having its propellors cut. It or another ship was discovered to have a pipe bomb which would have exploded and sunk the ship hours after it had left Greek ports. No one has claimed responsibility for these acts, but past behaviour by Israeli's Mossad cannot rule them out.
Additionally, a pro Israel 'Shurat ha-din Israel Law Centre has seized Greek government questioning the ships' permits and assurance, but the more immediate target is to stop the flotilla from ever leaving port, and if that fails delaying its departure as long as possible, tying organisers up in courts and draining coffers; not only the immediate target, it seems, is the American ship dubbed 'Audacity of hope' [an Obama book title] since Obama himself has warned the American peace activists to not participate in trying to run the 'illegal' Israel blockade of Gaza.
Are this handful of ships and peace activists from 10 countries so powerful as to rattle the pillars of the Zionist state? Surely Israel is no Samson shorn of his locks by a Daliah: in fact, it is the most armed state in the Middle East with a cache of 200 nuclear weapons, a military industry which earns it big shekels, protected by an even more powerful US. So why should a group of 'peaceniks' send it into a panic? And so unsettle an Israel who thinks nothing of smashing weak neighbours; steal Palestinian land, and occupy that land with its own settlers, to fulfill the programme of a Revisionist Zionist dream of a 'Greater Israel' from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
The short, simple answer is that the ground has shifted in the Arab world, and since 'Cast Lead' and the publication of the UN Human Rights Commission 'Goldstone Report', the imagine of Israel has greatly suffered, even though the Zionist state continues to strut around like the bully on the street.
The UN General Assembly will more likely than not vote to recognise Palestine in its upcoming session thereby upsetting Israel's plans of mice and men. And that may very well example why Israel is running scared!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Netenyahu reverses ban on journalists nabbed on peace flottila, whilst his military prepare for confrontation by blaming the peace activists

Bowing to the international clamour raised by Israel's threat to ban for 10 years any journalist caught on the 10 ship second peace flotilla setting sail for Gaza, Israeli premier Netenyahu hid behind 'oh I didn't know what lower level subordinates were doing'. [Wink, wink, wink!]
Israel says that it does not fear the power of the international press, but the right wing, revisionist Zionist leader's action belies his country's prickliness and bad behaviour. Israel doesn't need bad press as it ramps up its own military threats and propaganda smearing the second wave of peace activists from 10 or more countries braving its allegedly legal blockade of Gaza. At the same time, the Zionist state's military has warned these activists that any harm suffered by Israeli forces transgressing international law of the seas and engaging in piracy in the open Mediterranean have only themselves to blame.
Israel feels that it has given fair warning to its threats of aggression and won't hesitate to attack this flotilla like it did the one last year where it killed nine people bringing medical supplies, food, and much needed building materials to Israel 'Cast Led' ravaged Gaza and the collectively punished Palestinians living there.
Already the US president Obama has signaled that he won't do anything to stop Israel's plans which certainly may entail American casualties. So Israel's protector pro consul America has given Netenyahu the green light if he thought he needed any!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trying to put a pretty face on an ugly reality in Gaza

Ethan Bronner's 'Building boom in Gaza's ruins belies misery that remains', which appeared in the Saturday 25 June 2011 online edition is the latest in an exercise to hide the ugly reality in Gaza two and a half years after Israel's 'Cast Led'. Although some rebuilding is going on: Bronner spotlights two new hotels with Israeli made escalators and some homes and schools to erase the thousands of homes not built, the ravaged infrastructures, the bombed out hospitals and mosques, the absence of medical supplies which the Israeli blockade denies, the high unemployment, the 'no exit' sign in education when Palestinian students cannot go abroad to study, the stacking of the 1.3 million Palestinians in 'stalag' conditions reminiscent Nazi prisoner of war camps--data found in the body of Bronner's 'belies misery' big lie reporting.
The article's second paragraph gives away this exercise in Israeli propaganda: the fear the specter of the 10 ship Peace Flotilla soon heading to brave the Israeli imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip since its people democratically elected Hamas to govern them three years ago. Bronner's thrust is to highlight the falsity of the peace activists' claims that Israel is denying aid and the free flow of material to come into Gaza to rebuild the Strip after the Zionist's illegal blitzkrieg called 'Cast Lead' in a 22 day war 30 months ago.
Reality trumps Bronner's misinformation, the snail pacing of Gaza's emerging out of the ruins of a war that Israel used to rain down collective punishment on the People of Gaza for exercising their democratic rights in electing a government of their own choice!

Israel will attack and fire on the 10 ship Peace Flotilla

Israel's warning that it will ban any journalist caught aboard the 10 ship Peace Flotilla set to sail for Gaza will not only have his or her equipment, notes & the like confiscated but equally banned from the Zionist state for 10 years is the clearest indication that it is preparing to attack militarily and with live fire this year's attempt to brave its blockade of Gaza in the same way it did the 'Mavi Mamara' one year ago, leaving nine dead. And fie on the international laws on the sea and hijacking and piracy!
The US department of state has also 'warned' its citizens sailing on the 'Audacity of Hope', carrying letters to Palestinians, to cease and desist in their efforts. [See GuamDiary's entry on Obama's warning...] In fact, the ship named after president Obama's second book, may not leave Greece, for the debt ridden nation is under severe pressure by the US and Israel to keep this ship and others in port.
There is something unsatisfying in the American and Zionist state's attempt to make the waves of the sea stand still.
Israel thinks of itself as a law unto itself. Its past behaviour shows that it does not care a fig as to what the world thinks of it. It will kill with impunity and know that its allies won't challenge it and that its enemies should it defy it will become victims of black Mossad operations, open war, and much worse. In brief, Israel is a thug nation. Yet, time is running out for its brutality, and the mere presence of 10 ships with peace activists can set its teeth on edge, resulting in outright piracy and perhaps murder, is a strong sign of its craven and cowardly character.
As for the weak kneed Obama, what is he going to do should Israeli commandos wound, maim, or kill American citizens aboard the 'Audacity of Hope'? A man of high principle but little action won't do 'squart', and that is what the mad dog Likud prime minister is counting on, alas.
Yet the tide is turning against Israel no matter what.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shalit & 7000 Palestinian prisoners

On year five of his capture, the Israeli is churning up its propaganda mills to tar and feather Hamas for refusing to negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit, a 'Tsahal' or IDF staff sargent now 24.
Germany, acting as a go between between the right wing Likud led government and Hamas, reported that there was no progress in trying to gain Shalit's freedom.
Little wonder. Stuck in the Zionist state's caw is Shalit in the hands of his captors. Shalit has become a poster boy fanning the flames of nationalism. You have to wonder how the much touted 'democratic', mini super armed, agressive Israel, renowed for its Shin Bet and Mossad [equivalent to MI-5 and MI-6] could not find Shalit during the short 'mad dog' 22 day war it dubbed 'Cast Led', which left the Gaza strip with a heavy civilian toll, destroying homes, factories, schools, hospitals, infrastructure, not to forget targeting agriculture, a single hair of Shalit's presence.
For all its braggadacio, in this instance the Zionist state looks as though it is a 'hapless, helpless giant'. And Shalit is not the only Israeli to remain a prisoner at the hands of Israel's enemies. In this case, as in the words of the Vietnamese general and hero of Dienbienphu, Israel's behavious can best be summed up as 'elephants trying to stamp out ants'!
Israel has built a case of Hamas' violating international law and Shalit's human rights, but it banishes any thoughts of its own transgressions and defiance of its own and international laws.
Hamas would be willing to release Shalit in exchange of the 7000 Palestinians, the majority of whom the Israeli military have rounded up on the merest pretext, in order for the Zionist state to continue occupying Palestinian lands, dispossessing Palestinians for its own uses and implanting illegal settlers, all contrary to the laws and norms of civilised nations' behaviour.
Israel has hoisted its own racialist petard. And unless it is willing to let go Palestinian prisoners, Shalit will remain in capitivity. In its own calculus one Israeli is worth thousands of Palestinians, but Israel acts as a law unto itself and as such it maintains Shalit as prisoner as an act of racial pride.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Obama warns US peace activists to not join the Peace Flotilla running the Israeli blockade of Gaza

US president Barack Obama has called on the 50 or so US peace activists, sailing on its voyage dubbed 'Audacity of Hope' [the title of Obama's second book] as part of the 10 ship cavalcade of vessels forming the Peace Flotilla to run Israel's blockade of Gaza.
As GuamDiary already commented, the Israeli naval authority had called up the flotilla to cease and desist otherwise the Zionist state would deal with any means necessary, and in violation of international law and freedom of the seas, as it did last year's Peace Flotilla resulting in the killing of 8 Turks and one Turkish American on the 'Mavi Mamara'.
GuamDiary wonders why the US president did not issue a stern verbal warning to Israel to refrain from using weapons against the flotilla? And what's more, why he has not sent a no nonsense, strongly written letter to its prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu that should a US activist suffer injury or death, the US would react strongly and with sanctions?
As far as we know, the death of the American citizen of Turkish origins has fallen through the cracks, and the US limply protested it without any threat of or use of penalties.
At this stage of his presidency Obama should know Israel is a loose cannon who fancies itself as a law unto its own. It only understands one thing: force. The US has it in its power to cut off all military and economic aid it so lavishes on the Zionist state as Eisenhower did to Ben Gurion during the Suez crisis. In 1956, the Zionist state was brought to heel?
Has Obama the backbone of an Eisenhower?

A lost war, a lost book, a lost writer...Richard E. Kim

Penguin Classics has recently brought back to the public eye Richard Kim first and highly acclaimed novel 'The Martyred'.
After being rejected by a dozen or so publishers. George Braziller picked it up for publication in 1964.
And then the fireworks of celebration began: the novel was an instant success and stayed on the 'New York Times Best Sellers List' for almost a half year. Nominated for a National Book Award, it was quickly translated into 14 languages.
Kim dedicated his first born literary effort to Albert Camus. The French Nobel prize winner for literature's spirit is discernible in 'The Martyred', but the genius of the tale of the whys and wherefores of the killing of 13 Christian ministers in North Korea before the US UN led troops hasty withdrawal to the 38 parallel when Chinese volunteers entered the fray, is 'sui generis' Kim. The narrative goes beyond war and examines with shining brilliance the human condition of loyalty and betrayal and the grey shadows of existence.
Critics of the day, and even now, hailed Kim as a Korean Camus and some as a Korean Dostoyevsky. Among those praising Kim was the British writer Graham Greene.
In 1968 followed his second novel 'The Innocent', and in 1970 'Lost names: scenes from a Korean boyhood', which University of California press put out a 40 anniversary issue. And then silence.

On 23 June 2011 at its Thursday evening book chat, the New York Korean Society invited the Korean American writer Susan Choi to discuss the re released 'The Martyred', as part of its year long commemoration of the 60 anniversary of the Korean War, which remains until now without a final resolution, but frozen in place by a 1953 armistice agreement. Among the attendees were Kim's widow Penelope, his sister, brother in law, and niece and his son David.
The choice of Choi as speaker was both a fortunate and unfortunate choice. Penguin classics had invited her to write forward to 'The Martyred'. She [born in 1969] spoke of how her generation's complete ignorance of Kim as a writer, the especially since the rise of feminism and ethnic studies cut the cloth of the day according to gender and the micro examination of one's ethnic navel. The day went to, say, a Maxime Hong Kingston and an Amy Tan than to a male writer and to writing of the suffering and the marginalisation of the Asian in America. And her late discovery of Kim stressed the void of a generation's neglect of one of its great writers and a missing part of a literary heritage.
Choi spoke rapturously of Kim as a writer but owing to her own admitted ignorance of the man had little else to say.
And then the spotlight during the question & answer time shone of Mme. Penelope Kim: she lifted with a generosity the veil on her husband's silence and his life and the debt Korean let alone American literature owes this gifted man.
Not only did he teach but had turned literary agent, he was able to get the South Korean government to honour copyright and royalties on books translated into Korea; he recorded hours and hours of talks on Korean television and radio; and what's more he followed the lives of the Korean diaspora in the former Soviet Central Asia. In fact, two novels of his, written in Korean, remain untranslated: one relates the story of Koreans in Siberia.
Born into a Christian family of some means in Hamheung in today's North Korea, Kim's family fled South, losing land and moderate wealth, but never the stark memories of exile. For Kim, it was a double forced removal, one by the Japanese colonizer and second by the Communists. Until his death, he remained anti Communist and although he could as an American citizen never returned to where he was born.
And yet, his own 'silence' may also contributed to his reputation's falling through the cracks. Many university libraries have withdrawn his books from their collections, save possibly 'Lost Names'. That book is more widely read in secondary schools, it seems. Public libraries have no loanable copies.
The re release by Penguin Classics of 'The Martyred' should refurbish Kim's neglected reputation as a significant but minor 20 century writer. Its publication should go beyond US borders, thereby permitting a newer and younger public worldwide the opportunity and the pleasure of getting to know Kim. Will his second novel 'The Innocent' which deals with the Colonels coup in 1960 which brought Park Chung Hee to power be re released? There is a market for it: the sudden interest among scholars and the US Korean clerisy's nostalgia for dusting off and rescuing the dictator's reputation should be a factor in its republication.
Again the Korea Society has done a good deed. However, the evening would have been more lively had it tried to have Choi interview Mme Kim, and thus broader our horizons and our understanding of Kim the writer, the husband, the father, and the man.
Saying this, Kim wrote of the Korean War. In the US, it is called 'the forgotten war' and for the plain and simple reason, it is a war that has never ended. It, too, has fallen from the US imagination and experience and lack of political will to ending it with a peace treaty. It is a deep and open wound for the US, South and North Korea, a psychological scar which runs perhaps to the heart of Kim's 'The Martyred'.
['The Martyred' is available in e book format and in hard copy. GuamDiary strongly recommends it.]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A slap on the wrists

The US Security & Exchange Commission delivered another gentle slap on the wrist to the banks that brought you the world's financial crisis of 2008. JPMorgan has to cough up us$153,6 in fines for what can only be called fraud. Goldman Sachs reached a settlement last year for the same thing: betting against clients to whom they sold mortgage backed debt, and GS willy nilly threw in the government's face us$500 million which they earned back in no time from the market.
And these very banks are poring millions more in lobbying Congress to not regulate their bad behavior. At a time when the US and Europe are feeling still the fallout of the recession the banks brought about owing to unbridled greed and avarice, they still want to do risky business to fill stuffed coffers and satisfy coupon clippers.
Like the the verse from1 Corinthians, they subscribe to 'let's eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die', and so are the millions whose lives are wrecked thanks to the these plutocrats.
And the political class they own in the US play along as poodles on a golden leash, as everyone awaits the whirlwind!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Obama warns Netenyahu

Barack Obama is looking to amass us$1 billion for his run for the presidency in 2012. He talks big, but he stumbles on the walk to fulfill his promises.
His emissaries to the Middle East, Ross and Hale were able to breathe new life into the corpse of the 'road to peace': waiting for a two state solution and the birth of a Palestinian state.
So addressing American friends of Israel in an attempt to gather funds for his reelection, the American president, addressing a not so hard line audience, warned Israeli prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu to stop playing politics.
The right wing prime minister, who is wedded to a the dream of a revisionist Zionism of a Greater Israel has drawn so many lines in the sand thereby sabotaging any US effort to foster a two state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Obama has the clout to bring Netenyahu to heel but won't use cutting off US military and economic aid to its client state in the Arab world.
We have already seen the dog and pony show arranged by the Republicans in organising the occasion of Netenyahu to address a joint session of Congress.
Obama is too cautious to do anything but talk. Time is not on Israel's side; in September, more likely than not, the UN will recognise 'de facto' and 'de jure' an independent Palestine, albeit one under 43 years of Israeli occupation. Should that come to pass, US influence in the region would suffer whip lash and a further erosion of its influence in west Asia.
And then we have to wonder what Obama will do when the Israeli navy attacks the Peace Flotilla in international waters next week?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why Kim Jong eun was not invited to visit the US

At a breakfast meeting at the Ford Foundation, sponsored by Syracuse's Maxwell School and Public Agenda, ambassador Donald Gregg was interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel.
Gregg's long service as a CIA agent, national security advisor, ambassador to South Korea, and president of the New York Korea Society has sharpened his eye towards advancing static US foreign policy. During his interview with Siegel, the phrase of 'speaking truth to power' became a recurring theme. Others call it 'profiles in courage'.
Whilst CIA station chief after his bosses in Washington told him to let sleeping dogs lie in response to a cable alerting them of a tortured Korean American professors' torture and suicide at the hands of the notorious KCIA during the Park Chung Hee dictatorship.
Ignoring Washington's advice, Gregg confronted the ministry of Justice. On his own, he managed to tone down the KCIA's torture protesting the Yushin constitution and the Park dictatorship, resulting in the replacement of a KCIA senior official who condoned extreme measures.
The former ambassador is not without a degree of courage. A nimble mind, a sharp eye to detect openings for the US striking an advantage to calm tensions and shunt to diplomatic change, he has encouraged dialogue with the DPRK, especially at a time of US and South Korean coordinated policy that calls for 'roll back'.
Call Gregg's approach 'Track II', he has managed to facilitate an exchange between Syracuse's Maxwell School and a North Korean technology university, now in its 10 year.
Never one to miss an opportunity, Gregg at the time when the name of Kim Jong eun began to emerge as his father's successor, boldly and commonsensically suggested to the White House, for an invitation to Kim Jong eun to visit the US. In this way, the US government could get a measure of the young man, and in turn, he could know the Americans, the more especially since he was educated in a Swiss gynasium or lycee, and may even speak reasonable English. And since his name was being floated in the media and blogosphere, the opportunity to get to know him, and here was the right moment to ask him to vist the US>
Gregg never stops saying that North Korea is America's greatest intelligence failure. And there is more than a grain of truth in what he is saying. His suggestion was shot down. The Obama administration wasn't amused!, it seems.
On the other hand, North Korea might have turned an invitation down. Or might not.
The mere fact of extending such an invitation would signal to Kim Jong il & co., the US was willing to reopen dialogue with the North.
We shall never know, the more especially when an occasion arises for a breakthrough, you can count on Obama to let it slide by, and it is becoming more and more noticeable that that will be a judgment written on the tombstone of his years at the White House.
On the other hand, Gregg continues on his lonely road, clear of eye, sharp of mind, speaking truth to power and looking to open shut minds in Washington.

How not to revive peace talks: send Dennis Ross

You've to hand it to Barack Obama for boneheadedness. The way he is governing raises serious questions. Remaining above the fray like a lofty ancient god, he by his belief of 'love among the brothers and sisters all over the land', in spite of open assaults and seizing the initiative on a host of issues by the very same 'brothers and sisters all over the land', reminds one of a school marm who unable to control her unruly charges keeps saying 'now children keep quiet!' to no avail.
Of if he 'dares' an initiative such as recognising the 1967 Green Line demarcating a Palestine encompassing the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab east Jerusalem, the American president does not follow through with a punch to his policy! He like a man in love with his words, he believes that they have magical qualities, which one swipe of his oratorical flourish will make it come true. Wrong!
To revive a 'dead on arrival' peace process between the right wing Likud government and the Palestinian Authority, Obama has sent Dennis Ross, his man on the Middle East, and David Hale to Israel and the occupied West Bank to breathe new life into a corpse.
The US is very, very, very worried that Israeli prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu's dreams of achieving a 'Greater Israel' by incorporating Palestinian internationally recognised territory which the Zionist state has occupied for the last 43, will end by a UN recognised Palestine, an outcome abhorrent to Obama and Netenyahu; furthermore a UN recognised Palestine would upend Israeli's illegal sezie of land and importing colonists.
By sending Dennis Ross, Obama is signaling that nothing will come of his envoys' mission. As GuamDiary already alerted its readers that Dennis Ross is an arch partisan of the Israeli state. He embraced his Judaism as a result of the Six Day War which brought Palestinian territory under Israel's occupation which as of today continues.
To be fair, Ross may pull a rabbit out the hat. Judging by his opposition to Obama's raising the matter of the 1967 borders, it is unlikely. Is Ross Israel's Trojan Horse in the White House?
What is plain as the nose on one's face: Obama has no policy to jumpstart a failed 'road map to peace'.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Suez 1956

From time to time, GuamDiary suggests reading certain books.

Today, we feel it useful, in light of the enhanced role of the US in the Arab spring and two messes of military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, to review the Suez crisis of 1956, which set the tone of the American imprint in the region:

Benjamin Stora: 'Suez' [La Decouverte]
David Nichols: 'Eisenhower 1956: the president's year of crisis: Suez and the brink
of war' [Simmon & Schuster]

Morocco: le roi mets en branle son plan de reforme de la monarchie cherifienne

Mohammed VI in an address to the nation [17 June 2011] put forth a plan to reform the monarchy in Morocco. Moroccans will be called on to vote it up or down on 1 July.
Immediately the youth who demonstrated on 20 February last protested the king's project: it did not go far enough, meaning he did not turn back flips thereby with a wave of a wand transform absolute rule into a constitutional monarchy.
The house of Aloui has sat on the throne of Morocco for almost 300 years. Unlike his father Hassan II, Mohammed VI or M-VI as he popularly called, is more reform minded, and seizing on the protests among his own people, spurred on by the 'Arab Spring' in neighbouring Tunisia and then Egypt, he has been able to quiet rising popular discontent.
Let's consider some his proposals: Morocco is at least 60 per cent Berber.
+ Berber would be recognised as a national language with Arabic.
+ The prime minister formally appointed by the king, would become 'president of the government', and so designation by the majority party in legislative elections.
+ A governmental council of ministers will meet in the presence of the king once a week, to determine policy. The final decisions remains with the ministers.
+ The prime minister also can dissolve parliament, once the perogative of the king according to the current constitution, and not only that his powers are enhanced as they pertain to civil service, public enterprises, public administration, and the like.
+ Moroccans can now appeal to a newly created Constitutional Court to press for civil rights, meaning greater gender equality, for example, since the new constitution will recognise equality between the sexes, and what's more, by recognising international conventions, 'freedom of conscience' is given more latitude, as does freedom of religion.
+ Reform of the judiciary. Now the minister of the justice is appointed by the king and represents him. The reform will allow a higher degree of independence from the throne.
+ The king will remain 'Commander of the faithful', separating the distinction between the king as religious figure and head of state.
+ The king cum monarch is in theory and practice inviolate.

In brief, Mohammed VI, if the constitutional change is plebiscited by the people, has taken a big step to liberalising and democratising Morocco, ultimately loosening the reins of a tight run monarchy towards a more constitutional form of government.

Morocco, lest we forget, has political parties, on the left to the right and the religious right. Mohammed V permitted the Communist Party to exist, for example. It has a variety of newspapers in Arabic and French, with a liberty of expression, which often brings seizure. It has an excellent university system with instruction in Arabic and French, and to an extent, academic freedom and publication.
Since the time of Mohammed V, meaning independence, the throne has ruled with a soft hand at times and a fist of iron at others, especially during the reign of Hassan II.

Although illiteracy, high unemployment, corruption, among other social ills exist, Morocco has managed to maintain a patina of tolerance and progress for a 'traditional Arab monarchy'.

The proposed constitutional reforms have the ring of liberality and democracy, in spite of the youthful voicess calling on the people to reject them.

Overall, M IV is intent in forging a new direction for his country and for keeping the throne intact for his heir Hassan.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lawless Israel dons its pirate costume again

Israel has launched thunderbolts of warning to the international flotilla of 10 ships 'determined to break the Zionist state's siege of Gaza, by breaking the Israeli imposed blockade by sea.
It is important to remember that a year ago, the Israeli military--air, naval, and special troops--broke international law by stopping another peace flotilla bearing much need medicines, building supplies, food, and the like, and yes no weapons. As a result of the Zionist state's piracy on the high seas, nine people aboard the Turkish ferry 'Mavi Mamara' were killed, i.e., eight Turkish citizens and one American Turk, resulting in strained Turkish Israeli relations [Turkey has long maintained diplomatic and economic relations with Israel as well as military cooperation and its military is equipped with Israeli made weaponry]. Despite the murder of its citizen, the US did not pursue the matter for obvious reasons, particularly internal politics where the US establishment is subservient to the Israeli lobby.
The Israeli military is not mincing its warning: it is calling on the ships to hand over to Israeli authorities their cargo, which, then, trusting Israel's good will to Palestinians in Gaza, they will turn over in a 'timely manner'. If not, the Zionist military will 'manu militari' prevent the 10 ships from breaking Israel's blockade of Gaza. The Likud led government of 'Bibi' Netenyahu is concerned that hidden in the rice or in the medical supplies are weapons destined for Hamas, its sworn enemy, and against whom it launched in December 2008 a 22 day war of collective punishment, killing at least 1400 civilians, destroying infrastructure, small manufacturing establishment, crops, housing, so on and on. The UN conducted report which Israel refused to cooperate with, the 'Goldstone report' put the blame of war crimes mainly on Israel's shoulders yet neither did it spare Hamas' responsibility.
One thousand individuals from 10 countries, including the US, are willing to risk their lives. Judging by Israel's 'track record', it is not loath to kill unarmed civilians, then like many such operations plant guns or knives or even sticks on them, to justify its own lawlessness.
According to the influential 'le monde', the 'Mavi Mamara' will not partake in the peace flotilla. [Does this mean a warming of Turkish Isreali relations? To a degree, but Anakara's recognition of Hamas tells us more on the loss of its support for the Zionist state's posture.]
The Israeli complaint that there might be weapons aboard any or all of the 10 ships should by now appear shopworn. It is simply a convenient excuse to break international laws of the sea and engage in piracy. The Zionist state may fancy itself an avatar of the 'Barbary corsairs': they are not. Simply put, they are pursuing criminal activities. And as in the past, they do not care in the least what the world thinks.
However, the Zionist state has shown that it is hard of hearing and blind to the rapid change in the Arab world. It has dug in its heels in, falling back on policies and actions which are out of step with the times, and in the end will prove its isolation and the recognition of a Palestinian state 'de jure' and 'de facto' by the United Nations, even though it has occupied, stolen, and imported its own settlers into the Palestinian West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.
Time is no longer on its side! Nonetheless, Israel will not back away from its lawlessness, thuggery, and piracy and will even murder.
Finally, no one can deny the courage and the 'grit' of these 1000 people in 10 peace ships willing to brave Israel and break its blockade of the people of Gaza.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Al Zawahri becomes al-Qaeda leader

No surprise here even though the global press bet on a younger man. Al Zawahri is rumoured to be holed up in Pakistan's northern provinces. So, too, Bin Laden, we heard. In the end the al Qaeda leader was living in an upmarket villa in Abbotabad before he was assassinated by a US Seals team.
So can we rely on such rumours? They may be true, and then again, they may not. One thing is sure, among the 11 top Pakistani generals who misrule Pakistan, some or many or all may know where he really is. And they ain't telling. In fact, Kiyani, to save the seat of his pants after the killing of Bin Laden, is throwing out all CIA agents in the country and going after the US spy agencies informants.
It has long been known that the Pakistani military's intelligence arm--ISI-- has given aid and comfort to al Qaeda, as it does for Mollah Omar in Baluchestan. Such protection has not shielded Pakistan from its own Taliban and suicide bombings and the like.
Pakistan has proven itself to be a duplicitous ally, in a pissing contest with India. The US has encouraged the military from an early date, owing to competition with the Soviets. GuamDiary keeps suggesting reading Mohammed Hanif's 'Exploding pineapples' as an 'apercu' of the ISI, the influence of the US embassy, and Islamisation begun by Zia al Haq.
Ronald Reagan hastened the process by arming militant Islamists to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, and then once they withdrew, he left them to their own devices as the world watched the rise of and the Khmer rouge like mindlessness as Afghanistan returned to 'l'annee zero'.
And after 9/11 Bush intervened, overthrow the Taliban, but lost interest as he lied his way into war in Iraq. And relying upon Pakistan to help in his abandonment of Afghanistan, among other reasons.
The US cannot dump Pakistan, stop billions in aid for a simple reason: Pakistan's atomic weapons. So the US has to take out Al Zawahri and face an insurrection in Pakistan among 'allies' who will do everything to keep the man and al Qaeda alive!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another view of the Chenon sinking in March 2010

At a breakfast meeting at the Ford Foundation, sponsored by Syracuse's Maxwell School and Public Agenda, ambassador Donald Gregg was interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel.
The format was fairly standard, and the former ambassador to Seoul gave his views on diplomacy, the military, and of his time at the CIA where he was station chief in Vietnam and then Seoul, before becoming national security advisor to vice president George H.W. Bush. Although barely mentioned it was his presidency at the New York Korea Society that pumped new blood and enthusiasm into a 501(c)3 non governmental organisation founded in 1957.
Siegel, in a narrow tour d'horizon of questions, allowed Gregg to expand his views, relate his experience, and talk forthrightly on 'speaking truth to power'.
Although he has written on the sunken ROK corvette 'Chenon', his optic is rarely heard and uniformly ignored in policy circles in the US, among the US North Korean clerisy, and the endless chattering classes in the media.
Essentially, Gregg remains a skeptic. Among the international teams send to South Korea to examine the hulk of the 'Chenon', which the ROK retrieved from the floor of the sea, the Russian experts found a fishing net wrapped around the corvette's propellor. To them, it sent the inquiry into a direction which challenges the final report of experts from, say the US and its allies with one exception Finland who refused to sign the final report blaming North Korea for torpedoing the vessel.
The government of Lee Myung bak was not interested in the Russians' findings, so they packed bags and silently left South Korea. Gregg somehow had read the Russian report and suggested making it public. Russia demurred saying it did not wish to embarrass president Obama and Lee.
The Russia thesis strongly supported the idea that having caught a net in one of its propellers, the 'Chenon' dredged up a dormant but active torpedo lying on the sea's bottom since either WW 2 or the Korean War, thereby accidentally setting it off, and resulting in searing the vessel in two and the loss of 47 crew.
In a related matter the alleged DPRK submarine who got blamed for sinking the 'Chenon' was found to have a mollusk on its hull, indicating a long length of time underwater. However, here's the rub: that mollusk is found in North Korea's eastern waters and not in the waters in which the 'Chenon' split and sank!
China was convinced by the Russian experts' report that he refused to play along with the US in condemning North Korea at the UN.
GuamDiary has blogged much about the sunken 'Chenon', basing its own skepticism on inconsistencies in the US experts report, the timing and response of the South Korean authorities, and the long delay in producing the full findings of the US et al. Such matters increased our doubts and produced more questions which South Korea and the US did not answer adequately.
Additionally, North Korea, denying responsibility in the affair, immediately offered its own dossier which it was more than willing to share with the South, and what's more requested to come to Seoul and investigate the remains of the 'Chenon'.
The Lee government issued a 'non recevoir', sinking an opening to enlarge the enquiry on the 'Chenon'. It steadfastly called for North Korea's admission of guilt and repentance, which the Obama administration backed to the hilt.
Nonetheless doubts remain and the ROK and US report on the 'Chenon' sinking.
Gregg has gotten no thanks for his doubts: he is in bad odour in South Korea and among policy makers in Washington and among the chattering classes and the US North Korea clerisy. Yet, his reputation and stature is such that he cannot be completely marginalised.

Monday, June 13, 2011

US turns back North Korea 'missile ship'?

GuamDiary put a question mark on today's entry title? Why? On 26 May last the US Navy tried to board a North Korean vessel out of Shanghai suspected of carrying missile technology to Myunmar. The North Korean captain refused the US naval officers permission to inspect his cargo. [The ship is registered in Belize. Belize gave the US permission to board the ship since it is a signer of the US inspired and enforced Nuclear Security Initiative.] He turned his ship around and headed back to DPRK waters.
A similar incident happened a few years ago when India impounded a North Korean vessel suspected of transporting missile technology. After inspection, it turned out that it was not and allowed to sail on to its destination. And before that, the US had to eat crow when an ally in the war against terror insisted it allow a shipment of missiles to unlade at its port on the Red Sea. The US blinked.
The 'New York Times' guy at the Pentagon labelled the 26 May incident a 'rare victory' for the US. Maybe it was. Maybe it was not. The US, wrongly or rightly, assumes that every North Korean vessel is carrying 'wmd' [weapons of mass destruction], especially when the ship is steaming towards Myunmar. Yet, it will never know.
Of late, the US and its ally South Korea have ratcheted up pressure on North Korea with little success. Washington and Seoul are coordinating policy aimed at regime change in the DPRK. The recent announcement of China's heavy capital investment in North Korea's rust belt in Rajin should tell them something. China is not going to allow North Korea to implode, collapse, or allow the ROK to extend its borders to the Yalu river. [Remember the reason why Chinese 'volunteer' soldiers joined the DPRK in fighting the US UN led troops during the Korean War was all about a secure borders for China!]
The US and South Korea's pursuing a similar hard line policy towards North Korea is an exercise in futility. It is an old tactic which the US pursued in Vietnam, causing so much damage to life and limb and infrastructure to push its enemy back to the caveman's age.
Consider each time the North Korea releases a captured US citizen either to a former US president or a high level official, Kim Jong il has sent a message calling for resumption of Six Party talks in Beijing and better dialogue with Washington. His calls have fallen on closed ears. Why? Well, the simple short or long answer is that North Korea will not accept the US ukase of terms that any self respecting, independent government would spurn.
So, you have to wonder if the US and its ally the ROK are capable of acting like responsible nations in diplomacy or are they simply itching for pushing for warlike actions on the Korean peninsula, like the one South Korea initiated in November 2010 when its shell fell into North Korean waters close to the NLL [Northern Limit Line]. When the North responded in kind, the US quaked for it was not willing to go to enter a third war in Asia and it had to sit on South Korea's president Lee Myung bak, to chill out and cool down his thirst for war.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Senior Chinese official visits North Korea

Singapore's 'Straits Times' reported the presence of Li Yuanchao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's organisation department's meeting with the Kim Yong nam, president of North Korea's parliament in the DPRK capitol.
Should we be surprised by this visit? In the 'Financial Times of London' [10 June 2011] featured on the front page 'China to develop North Korea trade zones'.
This news should not lift an eyebrow, say, among policy circles and the chattering class in Washington. [GuamDiary's entry on 11 February 2011 alerted its readers to John Park's talk at the New York Korea Society. There, making personal observations, he spoke of China's investing in North Korea's rust belt at the border city of Rajin-Sonbong aka 'Rason', to develop port facilities, rebuild infrastruce, and infuse capital into new industires or revive old ones. Park is a senior analyst at the US Peace Institute, an organisation set up by the US government.]
For China, this upgrading of the DPRK's port city makes good yuan and sense, since, at lower transportation fees, allow Beijing to ship products and raw material towards China's south. For the DPRK, the advantages are obvious.
The ST and FT and other news outlets have commented, not in depth, on North Korea's tilt towards China like economic reforms. They have spoken of Kim Jong il's three visits within the last year to China, as proof positive that his guided tours of China's 'Wirkshaftswunder' or economic miracle could and would profit North Korea. The 'Rason' economic trade zone is proof positive of a breakthrough.
Nonetheless the DPRK is not loathe to creating economic trade zones on its own territory. Have the North Korean watchers forgotten Kaesong or Sinuiji special administration zone, which the Chinese put a kaboosh on, owing to rivalry China's own Dondong in 2002.
You have to wonder how fulsome and sloppy are the observations and work of the North Korean clerisy in the US and Europe, in not connecting the dots.
What about North Korea delegations who have gone to observe Vietnam's 'doi moi' and economic sprintt ahead?
Kim Jong il & co. do not see the world in the stark tones the western media paints. They are open to change as long as it is moulded to North Korea's philosophy of 'Juche' and the 'Cholima spirit'. And change has come about, albeit not in Chinese cloth as the west and the US would will.
As for Kim's three visits to China, they have more to hammering out the terms of Sino North Korea's joint projects, and less than on the succession issue, which China has accepted. China and the US have learnt how hard and skillfully North Koreans bargain. Pyongyang may play with a weaker hand, but its representative known how to use it to their advantage. Beijing, at its present stage of development, sees the advantages of outsouring. Additionally, its investments buttress North Korea's economy as an antidote to sanctions and isolation, and to counter South Korea and the US' policy to 'roll back' the DPRK to the point of collapse.
The ROK and US officials may tsk, tsk, tsk China's moves but they have only to blame themselves for pursuing a mad, mindless policy towards the DPRK. As a result, they refuse to kick start the six party talks in Beijing for the simply reason that the North wont kowtow to their standpoint.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is Netenyahu trying to erase Palestinian history?

Is Netenyahu trying to erase Palestinian history? is a legitimate question to raise in the light of the Israeli prime minister's remarks before the joint session of the US Congress.
Israelis have the right to occupy to settle in 'Judea and Sumaria' for the plain and simple reason the land is theirs. To him and like minded revisionist and non revisionist Zionists the Palestinian West Bank is 'Judea and Sumaria', in spite of the fact that by international law, upheld by the International Court of Justice, and the weight of global agreement among UN member states, including the US, that the 1967 Green line borders, including the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab East Jerusalem, remains the territorial basis of Palestine.
Netenyahu & his ilk rush to the Torah to press their claims. 'Judea and Sumaria' no long exist, and owing to Israel's 43 year occupation of Palestinian lands, they have illegally grabbed land which is not Israeli, dispossessed Palestinian owners, and implanted a half million illegal Jewish settlers.
The Israeli premier's remarks are a conjurer's trick: they disguise a programme of ethnic cleansing and a conscious and willful policy of erasing any Palestinian claim to the land they've owned and lived on for centuries.
A pyrrhic victor's sleight of hand which can raise embarrassing comparisons in 20 century history: Armenians in Turkey; Muslims in Bosnia, and the more obvious example, making Europe 'Judenrein'd, not only cleansed of Jews but a forethought campaign to erase Jews from European history.
Netenyahu cheapens the meaning of 'Ha Shoah' or the Holocaust, thereby casting stones against Israeli claims of anti Semitism or attacks against the Zionist state. He forgets that in history as in life the sword cuts both ways.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Three cheers for Israelis calling for a return to the 1967 borders

Go online. Google today's 'New York Times Online'. The eye will find coverage of the annual 'Israel Day Parade', which celebrates the Six Day War----in New York. Truth be told, it is the largest 'Israeli' [sic] parade, dwarfing anything in Israel, and always has been.
Among the blue and white flags and the politicians of every stripe and of course the triumphant smiles of Israeli diplomats, and to the cheers of the tens of thousands of US Jews, the usual July 4 rhetoric and showmanship garnered overwhelming approval of prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu's designs for a 'Greater Israel' from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, a dream of ultra right wing Zionists.
And amidst the fanfare and media coverage nary a word about those in Israel who protested Netenyahu's mad dreams. They called for a return to the 1967 borders as the line which separates Israel from a Palestinian state.
Anyone who challenges the denial of Palestinians a homeland of their own on the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab East Jerusalem is ostrasised, slandered, and if he is a Jew, he is denounced as a self hating Jew and a traitor to his people.
The Zionist enjoy playing the Nazi card to smoother any criticisms of their warfare state. Alas for them, it is becoming increasing more difficult to play this game but in the US where people in and out of office have fallen to Israel's distortion of the truth, and where the Israeli lobby has cast a wide net of influencing US elections.
So, GuamDiary doffs its hats to those Israeli who love their country and go out on the streets calling for a two state solution based on the 1967 borders and an end to 43 years of occupation of the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem. They represent the true Israel.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

China: the spoiler in the South China Sea

China huffed and puffed at US secretary of state Hillary Clinton's raising the issue of its long shadow over the South China Sea.
For Beijing, it is 'mare nostrum', but Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia don't agree with that claim at all. Taiwan does for obvious reasons.
'Ninoy" Aquino, the Filipino president, has called on China to settle territorial issues peacefully. He cannot say otherwise for the very simple reason, it hasn't the naval muscle to challenge China.
Today, with the Communist party's green light, demostrations denouncing China's taking over islands that Vietnam claims for its own. For those with shorter memories, China occupied some of this islands, mainly uninhabited, others simply rocks, because under the sea floor lie billions of millelitres of natural gas. [In 1979 China's armies invaded Vietnam by land to teach it a lesson for overthrowing the Khmer Rouge and then occupying Cambodia for its own expansive designs; on land, China is no match Vietnam; Vietnamese history's high moments speak of repelling Chinese imperial adventures to conquer Vietnam. On the high sea, on the other hand, Hanoi is no match for China. Consequently, it has sought diplomacy to settle territorial issues to varying satisfaction.
Now it seems China has pushed the envelope to occupy the islands for its own energy needs and owing to exercising claims which it believes it is due Beijing as heirs to Imperial China when the regime acknowledged China as the centre of the southeast Asian world and Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Hanoi its vassals.
Suddenly the US military forces on land and sea take on an enhanced presence as a counterweight to China's pretensions and sea and island grab.

Israel's 'Tsahal' [IDF] shoots peaceful Palestinian protesters at the Syrian border

At the writing of this entry the 'Tsahal' [IDF or Israel Defense Force] is shooting at waves of unarmed peaceful Palestinian protesters on the border with Syria, on the 43 anniversary of the Six Day War, which they call 'naksa' or 'setback'.
GuamDiary readers may recall that on 'yom al naqaba' or 'day of catastrophe' on 15 May, the day Israel became a state, Palestinian protestors, steeped in the Gandhian principles of passive resistance, breached the Israeli razor wire defences on the Golan Heights, occupied by the Israeli since that war, to reclaim land that is theirs.
Eventually repelled, the demostrators caught the Zionist state off guard, although the army did kill some protesters and injured many more. For today's protests, Israel was better prepared by digging trenches and reinforcing the razor wire fences.
Still, faced with heavy armed troops, the non violent protesters did not turn back, inspite of reported deaths and injured.
The Netenyahu Likud led government dismissed the protesters as a way Syria's Assad used them to turn the world's attention from the Syrian strongman's attacks against his own people. The reason is paper thin and easy to tear through: the Palestinians are refugees in Syria who are peacefully and strongly objecting not only Israel's 43year occupation of their land but also expressing the desire of reclaiming the Zionist seized land during the Six Day War.
As we have commented, Israel now has more thread to spin in the face of hundreds and soon thousands and then tens of thousands of Palestinians who will face their guns. The issue is clear: Palestinians want their land back and a state of their own on the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab East Jerusalem, in other words the 'Green Line' which the International Court of Justice recognised as by international law, the bounderies of a Palestinian state.
Israel scorns that juridical judgment. Already it has illegally grabbed Palestinian land in the West Bank and more than that dumped mostly right wing Jewish zealots who consider the land that of the biblical Judea and Sumeria, the foundation of revisionist Zionism to which Netenyahu & co. are committed in forming a Greater Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. Little wonder Obama's resurrecting the borders in calling for a two state solution, no matter how silly his approach may seem, has raised tensions between the US and Israel.
Today's demonstrators are a signpost which the Zionist elite should not ignore: to counter passive resistance Israel has limited choices: it can use fire power to kill or main and risk international censure, condemnation, and isolation, try to stall the inevitable creation of a Palestine which is nothing but a 'Luftmensch' for its designs and full control, or become serious and recognise that time is no longer on its side, and like it or not, a globally recognised Palestine will soon come into view, despite occupation.
If the hidebound ideological Zionist elite continue on its current course of behaviour, in the end, it will be the gravedigger of Zionism in form, shape, and content.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Israel's backing into a corner: lies, more lies, and fear of military action

As Tzipi Livni, leader of Kadima, and foreign minister of Israel, told Simon Schama, in a recent interview in the 'FT' [Financial Times of London]: 'time is running out for Israel'. Her apprehensive comments have a way of becoming true, day by day.
GuamDiary has already suggested reading Seymour Hisch's 'Iran and the bomb' in the current issue of 'The New Yorker' [06 June 2011]. In it, the able investigative report let's the cat out of Israel's bag: its leader and intelligence services had long figured out that the alledged nuclear arms programme of Iran had Saddam Hussein's Iraq as the target, not Israel. The Bush war against Hussein in 2003 put an end to Iran's ambitions. Yet, right wing prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu speaks more and more of Tehran as Israel's existential threat, and hinting more and more of a strike against Iran which has nevered shied away from twisting the tail of the Zionist mouse.
Truth will out on this issue: Meir Dagan, former chief of a Mossad with a knife between its teeth which he created as an order from Ariel Sharon, has chastised Netenyahu & co. on policies towards Iran and the Palestinians. Warming them charging them with gross stupidity in thinking and planning for an attack on Tehran as well as trying by any means possible of denying the Palestinians of a country of their own. Dagan is a hardliner, and if a hardliner like him who has had at his finger tips intelligence unknown to the public in general is of such a strong standpoint, you know that the Israeli governing elite has entered a period of decline and senescence and is risking Zionism by adhering blindly to an ideology which is out of step with reality!
War fever, as GuamDiary has often hinted, is growing in Israel under the very right wing coalition that rules 'democratic' Israel under Netenyahu's hand. For Israel, the future appears dark: the Arab spring has cut the ground under its patiently cobbled together policy of a coalition of willing Arab states, to reinforce its presence as the military strongest state in the Middle East, with an unacknowledged stock pile of 200 atomic weapons; with the unconditional support of its protector the US; and with, for all the world to see, the completion of a revisionist Zionist dream of a 'Greater Israel' from the Mediterrarean to the Jordon River.
Furthermore the American president Barack Obama tossed Netenyahu a diplomatic time bomb by insisting that the basis for negotiations with Palestinians, which the 43 years of Israeli occupation have resulted in implantation of illegal settlers who now number 500.000 and illegal seizure and occupation of land in defiance of international law, for a two state solution.
Netenyahu took his revenge on Obama by a craftily mendacious speech before the two houses of the US Congress. As Henrick Hertzberg spot on observed in 'The New Yorker' [06 June 2011] that 'Netenyahu's intrasigeance [referring to the Palestinian West Bank as the biblical Judea and Samaria' was 'nearly applling ... as the mindlessness of the senators and representatives, Republican and Democratic, who rewarded him' with 29 standing ovations, fearing their chances of reelection in 2012 owing to the money and pressure of 'certain Jewish and evangelical constituencies'.
There is more: after the fall of Mubarak, Egypt has not restored the normal flow of natural gaz to Israel. More, the Egyptians have opened, with many restrictions, the Raffah border with Gaza, thereby allowing the Gazans an opening to the outside world, that Israel has denied them through undeclared war--'Cast Lead'--through collective punishment for democratically electing Hamas to govern Gaza.
Not only that, last year after Israel's Tsahal or IDF [Israel Defence Force] attacked a flotilla of ships bringing much need non military supplies to the hemmed in Gazans [read: medical, construction material to rebuild infrastructure Israel destroyed with a vengeance, and much need food], resulting in the illegal hijacking of the 'Mavi Mamara' and 5 other ships in an act of piracy in international waters and the killing of 8 Turks and one Turkish American. It also seized other peace convoys on the open seas, thereby confirming to international public opinion, Israel was no better than the pirates operating in the Straits of Malacca. This year, 'Audacity of Hope', a flotilla of 10 ships, arranged by nationality, i.e., the US, Ireland, and so on, are shortly going to be steaming towards Gaza. Netenyahu & co. cannot allow them to break Israel's strong hold on Gaza by sea, so no one should be surprised that the Zionist state will once again engage in international piracy and we hope not in murder on the high seas!
If that pressure is not enough: since Mubarak's fall, Israel has had to redirect monies from a strong civilian economy to pay for higher fuel and to spend more and more on its 800 pound gorilla defence.
And then, in spite of everything else, the Palestinian Authority has patched up things with Hamas, thereby putting on a common face to the world community. And the Palestinians themselves have engaged in an unrecognised 'Third Intifada', based on the Gandhian principles of passive resistance. Inside the occupied West Bank, this has meant boycott of any Israeli product grown or manufactured on stolen Palestinian land.
The Zionist elite had already drank a bowl of bitter tea on 'Yom el Naqbah', when wave after wave of Palestinian refugees threw themselves over barbed wire fence on the Syrian border to reclaim their land. Ultimately few were killed, more injured, and all thrown back to Syria. Yet, this example of passive resistance, worthy of a Martin Luther King, spells big trouble for the Zionist state. It is Israel that will be thrown more and more on the defensive and not wise enough to modify policy, shall resort to repression.
And if that ain't enough: Netenyahu & his ultra right wing coalition will have to gird loins at the upcoming UN General Assembly when it is more than possible that the UN will overcome the US veto and recognise 'de facto' and 'de jure' of Palestine as a soverign state, in spite of Israel's occupation and land stealing and shipping in Jewish settlers.
If that comes to pass, Israel's 60 year apple cart of wars and repressing the Palestinians will be up ended and leave it a pariah, a state of being it has created for itself.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shunting aside Track 2 approaches to North Korea

The US' 'track 2' approach to North Korea is very much on the back burner. In fact, a leading proponent Donald Gregg, former ambassador to Seoul, national security advisor to Bush pere, and long time CIA operative in Japan, is in 'exile' at Syracuse's Maxwell School where an 'anonymous' Korean donor has endowed a chair in Gregg and his wife's name. There for the last 10 years an exchange programme with a DPRK technical university has been taken place, and it is still.
The Obama White House has closed its door to any initiatives to the Pyongyang, aligning its policies with that of South Korea's Lee Myung bak's hardline towards North Korea.
Now, it seems, Lee has tried his hand at 'track 2' by sending his envoys to talk to the North behind closed doors in Beijing. It failed, too, like his overt hostility to Kim Jong il.
The hawks in the White House and the Blue House will have to live with an inflexible 'Drang nach Norden', based on the false hope that tomorrow the DPRK will collapse on its own sword. Both countries talk big but exhibit the superficial trappings of 'real politik', which runs the danger of increasing tensions and laying more trip wire for war.

US & Israel point a crooked finger at Iran

Seymour Hirsh, the investigative reporter the rich and powerful hate, has dropped another bomb in 'The New Yorker' [06 June 2011]: 'Iran and the Bomb'.
GuamDairy encourages everyone to read it--if not in hard copy then on line! US and Israeli authorities know that one Iran has killed its programme for nuclear weaponry in 2003 at the moment Bush deceptively invaded Iraq. A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate], a report of the concerted opinion of US intelligence agencies, civilian and military, poured water on the hype coming out of the Bush junior White House that Iran was in hot pursuit of the A bomb; not only that, it published a redacted report saying so, to everyone's astonishment; the Obama White House has taken up the false notes of his predecessor's propaganda campaign against Iran even though its own NIE reaffirms the Bush NIE conclusions that Iran hasn't the bomb. Two, the last bruited whispers of the latest NIE point out that Iran was developing a nuclear programme with Iraq as its prime target. [For those with very short historical memory, Iraq with the able assistance to Saddam Hussein gave a thrashing to Iran in a long war with millions of death and a drain on its economy and treasury. Later the US turned on Hussein and the rest is history. It seems the US did Iran a service for it ended its nuclear arms development in 2003.] Three, Israel knows that it was not in Iran's cross hairs, but lied in beating the drum of Tehran as an existential threat and unsuccessfully tried to get Bush's approval to attack Iran. Israel's hatred runs deep owing to the Irani rejection of the Holocaust and the legitimacy of the Zionist state.
To savour the full flavour of the Hirsh article, please read it and weep for Obama and Netenyahu are happy to beat the drums of war of their own making.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jobs, jobs, jobs...continued

World markets fell yesterday and today, owing to weak indicators that economic recovery from the US made 2008 global recession is faltering. Capitalism weaknesses should come as no surprise: orthodoxy refrains from regulations and oversight. For capitalists, it's more than 'let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend' moments, for there is but one flower and one school of thought: the free market and the anarchy it fosters. Such thinking favours a return to social Darwinism whereby the strongest and the most fit survive.
As the US mindless moneyed classes buy up the US government, they look more to protect privileges of theirs and damn the rest of society, who are there to serve them at starvation or near starvation wages and to should the heavy tax burdens the rich refuse to play.
And the best indication of that mindless mindset is the jockeying of the feckless Congress and courts and yes executive branch of governments who grovel at the feet of the plutocrats and coupon clippers, for the crumbs from their richly served table. The least worry is job creation for the millions of people out of work, who have less than an iceberg's chance in hell to reclaim the style of living pre 2008. There seems no urgency in ameliorating the conditions of the poor, the dispossessed, and the declasse. What counts is the spare the dumb ruling classes from forking over their fair share of money to run the country and ensure the good health of the commonweal, and who smile as they dismantle what's left of the Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society.
Little wonder, Charles Dickens is read again, as well as the works of Karl Marx!
Is the handwriting on the wall for the stupid ruling classes? The rise of popular movements like the Tea Party and the second wind of 'le front national' [National Front] in France or the resurrection of the prewar Fascist formations in Hungary are signs of where the times are tilting. Even in the bastion of Social Democracy in Scandinavia the ugly, nativist reflexes and ultra right parties have gained strength.
There, it seems, is a tendency today for nostalgia and longing for dictators. Consider the dusting off of the sorry coat of the assassinated South Korean dictator Park Chung Hee, among the chattering classes. Don't let the Arab spring fool you: in the Arab world there is an awakening which appears to buck the growing rightwards trend to autocracy and the leader on a white horse.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jobs, jobs, jobs, where are they?

It looks as though in the aftermath of an global economic meltdown the US and Europe have written off the unemployed, and are more and more looking to feather the nest of the plutocrats and coupon clippers who thanks to ratepayers' bailout of mindless financiers who thrust the world in the worst crisis since the Great Depression and in military terms, Hitler's war, and now have not only recovered but hold reactionary capitalism in the palm of their hands.
Traditional democratic parties on the left and the right have proven unable to stop these robber barons of finance and industry. Popularist movements have sprung up and more or less been taken over by the rich and powerful, to on one hand preach pie in the sky to the down and out, and on the other to entrench their hold on the levers of the state by a return to muscular Darwinism's 'survival of the fittest'.
Thus they are preparing for a return of the corporate state in one form and another and have sown the seeds of the rise of proto fascism or full blown fascism.

Syed Saleem Shahzad

The news of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad's assassination alledgedly at the hands of his country's military intelligence agency, the ISI [Inter Services Intelligence] has aroused a media and human rights storm.
Shahzad, a respected journalist, was bureau chief at the e paper 'Asia Times Online' and reported for the Italian news agency Adnkronos. He knew his beat. Although he commented on events in Central Asia, he kept his ear to ground in his country of Pakistan on matters of security, terrorism, and war.
His articles were widely read beyond Pakistan; they shed light on issues which often went uncovered in the global media, and it is not an exaggeration to say that intelligence agencies including the ISI kept their eye on his writings.
As a journalist in Pakistan, he was always on the cusp of danger and perhaps subjectively knew his life was always in danger. Yet that did not stop his investigative reporting, it only stiffened his resolve.
The straw that ultimately broke his life was his article exposing the degree of infilitration of al Qaeda into Pakistan's navy that resulted on a many hours battle by the terrorists taking over an important naval base. [In a way, was it a replay of another ISI directed terrorist assault on the Omni hotel in Mumbai?]
Shahzad's article not only embarrassed the Navy, but also intensified the laser like heat on the rogue elements and the contending fiefs that make up the ISI. Perhaps, speculation says, were it not for the US killing of Osama Bin Laden by US Seals in Abbotabad, Shahzad might have gotten off with a bad beating and detention, but the al Qaeda's caid assassination has exposed the Pakistani state as a country which is in the hands of its secret services.
And more than that, it is the middling ranks of colonels and majors and captains who count among the discontented and who, it seems, are willing to throw their lot in with al Qaeda in Pakistan. And that, too, doomed Shahzad for telling the truth.
A coup d'etat is in preparation and somehow he lifted the veil of secrecy on it and for that he paid for it with his life. [GuamDiary has often suggested that the reading of the Man Booker short listed Mohammed Hanif's 'Exploding Pineapples' as background to the central role of the ISI in Pakistan.]
Syed Saleem Shahzad leaves a wife and three young children. Our sympathies go out to them. GuamDiary sincerely hopes that the Pakistani authorities stiffen backbones and resolve and bring his murderers to justice.