October 23, 2009

Israeli army force international activists out of the groves during olive harvest in Kafr Qalil

International Solidarity Movement - 21 October 2009

On Wednesday, 21 October 2009, several international activists accompanied Kafr Qalil farmers for the olive harvest in their land. The olive fields of the village of Kafr Qalil, in the Nablus region, are close to the illegal Israeli settlements of Bracha and Yizhar. During the olive harvest there is a potential threat of settlers coming to the olive fields and harassing the farmers, so the farmers feel safer with an international presence.

Kafr Qalil

Today, the soldiers presented documents written in Hebrew and Arabic which they claimed to be an order stating that the area was prohibited for internationals to enter. They said that they would call the police to come and arrest the activists if they did not leave the area. They also threatened to interrupt the harvest and force the farmers to leave their land if the activists came back, and said that this had been done in other areas in the past. When the activists questioned why internationals are not allowed to accompany the farmers on their land, they were told that their presence would bother the settlers. Considering the threats, two activists left the area at 8 am, only two hours after the harvesting started. Two other activists that were higher up on the hill were not approached by the soldiers and were able to remain until the end of the day.

Soldiers in Kafr Qalil

The olive groves are in an area declared a closed military zone, so the farmers are not allowed to access their land without a permit. Yesterday, the Israeli military called the village of Kafr Qalil and told them that they will be permitted to access their land for four days during the olive harvest. Some of the farmers need a week to pick their olives.

The restricted access to the olive fields during the rest of the year results in thistles and weeds growing all over the olive fields. Normally, farmers would keep these away in order to improve the conditions for the trees and make the olive harvest easier.

The farmers said that they were attacked by settlers during the olive harvest last year, while the Israeli soldiers that were supposed to protect the farmers just observed without intervening. In the fields, there are a number of scorched olive trees that were set on fire by settlers two years ago.

Damaged olive trees in Kafr Qalil

Book review: Shlomo Sand's "The Invention of the Jewish People"

Raymond Deane, The Electronic Intifada, 22 October 2009

In 1967 the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish published his poem "A Soldier Dreaming of White Lilies," only to be accused of "collaboration with the Zionist enemy" for his sympathetic depiction of an Israeli soldier's remorse of conscience. Forty years later that soldier has identified himself as the historian Shlomo Sand. He has translated his remorse into a book that has become a bestseller in Israel and France, where the award of the Prix Aujourd'hui has made the author something of a TV star.

Indeed, few recent books have aroused more interest and been more frequently reviewed in the US and Europe prior to the appearance of an English version. Translator Yael Lotan has chosen to follow the example of her French predecessors by telescoping the interrogative Hebrew title (When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?), which here becomes The Invention of the Jewish People, thus misleadingly and (deliberately?) provocatively implying that such inventiveness was unique to the Jews. However, Sand clarifies that worldwide in the 19th century "[t]he national project was ... a fully conscious one ... It was a simultaneous process of imagination, invention, and actual self-creation" (45).

Sand traces how Zionist ideology drove the project of Jewish nationalism by turning Judaism "into something hermetic, like the German Volk ..." (255). He argues that history and biology were enlisted "to bind together the frangible secular Jewish identity." Together, these engendered an "ethnonationalist historiography" which was typified by the mid-19th century German Jewish historian Heinricht Graetz and his friend Moses Hess, who "needed a good deal of racial theory to dream up the Jewish people" (256).

According to Sand, the destruction by the Romans of the Second Temple in 70 AD left the indigenous Jewish population of Judea and Samaria in place. "[T]he Romans never deported entire peoples. It did not pay to uproot the people of the land, the cultivators of produce, the taxpayers" (130). Furthermore, at that time there were already Jewish communities numbering up to four million persons in Persia, Egypt, Asia Minor and elsewhere (145). Palestine's status as the unique "ancestral homeland" of the Jews collapses together with the myth of David and Solomon's imposing kingdom.

Against the ethno-biological concept of a Jewish people -- a "race" -- whose linear descendants returned from exile to (re)found today's Israel, Sand posits a religious community proliferating throughout and beyond the Mediterranean region by means of proselytism and conversion. He offers a detailed rebuttal of the conventional wisdom whereby "Judaism was never a proselytizing religion," a view disseminated by historian Martin Goodman and others (150, note 42).

Most importantly, he concentrates attention on Khazaria, that "Strange Empire" that flourished in the Caspian region between the seventh and tenth centuries AD. By the eighth century the Khazars had adopted Hebrew as their sacred and written tongue, and "[a]t some stage between the mid-eighth and mid-ninth centuries, the[y] ... adopted Jewish monotheism" (221). Sand speculates that this conversion was calculated to save them from absorption into either the Roman or the Islamic empires. The Khazars, he contends, engendered those Askhenazi Jews of central and eastern Europe who would later invent the myths of Zionism to justify their colonization of Palestine, a land to which they had no "ethnic" connection and where they remain the dominant elite.

So if the exile was a myth -- fomented, Sand writes, by the Christian church as an image of divine punishment ("The Wandering Jew") -- what happened to the indigenous Jews? Sand's answer: they converted to Islam and survive as today's disinherited Palestinians. This seemingly radical thesis was once shared by, among others, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister who in 1918 still believed that (in Sand's words) "the ancient Judean peasants converted to Islam ... for material reasons ... Indeed, by clinging to their soil they remained loyal to their homeland" (186).

Ultimately, the case against the Jewish state cannot be based on an unseemly tussle for genetic primacy, but on a discourse of fundamental political and human rights. Sand turns toward such a discussion in the final chapter, describing it as the raison d'etre of The Invention of the Jewish People, which he admits essentially contains nothing not already found in the work of other historians and archaeologists.

Today's Israel is not a democracy but a "liberal ethnocracy" (307) that assumes its "growing and strengthening" Arab minority "will always accept its exclusion from the political and cultural heart" (309). Ultimately we may see "an uprising in the Arab Galilee, followed by iron-fisted repression," which would constitute "a turning-point for the existence of Israel" in the region. Hence, Sand states that the ideal solution would be the creation of a democratic binational state.

Sadly, Sand hastily dismisses this "ideal project." In terms all too drearily reminiscent of Zionist apologetics he states that to "ask the Jewish Israeli people, after such a long and bloody conflict, and in view of the tragedy experienced by many of its immigrant founders in the twentieth century, to become overnight a minority in its own state may not be the smartest thing to do" (311-312). Instead, he falls back on a sequence of rhetorical questions: "[h]ow many Jews would be willing to forgo the privileges they enjoy in the Zionist state? ... will anyone dare to repeal the Law of Return ... ? To what extent is Jewish Israeli society willing to discard the ... image of the 'chosen people,' and to cease ... excluding the 'other' from its midst?"

What is behind this sorry post-Zionist anti-climax to a book that seemed to presage a heady anti-Zionist conclusion? In an interview Sand admitted that he "waited until [he] was a full professor" before publishing the book, adding that there "is a price to be paid in Israeli academia for expressing views of this sort." In providing the premises for radical conclusions without either drawing or excluding those conclusions, Sand has the best of both worlds with few if any consequences.

Ultimately, Shlomo Sand is a little like Moses, unable to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. The journey so far, however, is instructive, and very stylishly accomplished; one hopes that the "soldier dreaming of white lilies" may eventually be emboldened to complete it.

Raymond Deane is a composer and political activist (www.raymonddeane.com)

October 22, 2009

Whatever happened to the war for oil?

By Jeffrey Blankfort on October 22, 2009

Critics of the Iraq war who claimed that it was a war for Israel, engineered by the neocons in the Bush administration and promoted by their allies in the media, were routinely disparaged by the well known pundits of the US Left and the leading organizations of the anti-war movement that insisted that it was a war for access and control over Iraq’s oil. This was, they declared, in so many words, a "no-brainer."

Without casting aspersions on the wisdom of the latter, this story, in which T Boone Pickens complains that US firms have been shut out of Iraq’s oil market, is but the latest to undermine the "war for oil" theory. But don’t expect what remains of the Left to admit their error anytime soon. Reuters:
the Iraqi government has awarded contracts to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to develop Iraq’s vast reserves while American companies have mostly been shut out.

"They’re opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world … We’re entitled to it," Pickens said of Iraq’s oil. "Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars."

“Netanyahu’s Plan to Change Laws of War an Admission that Israel Violated Them”

Al Manar

22/10/2009 The chair of the International Institute for Criminal Investigation on Thursday morning warned that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s aspiration to change the laws of war is unrealistic, and said the initiative was “almost an admission” Israel had violated international law during Operation Cast Lead.

Netanyahu directed the relevant ministries on Tuesday to look into ways of launching an international initiative to change the laws of war to deal with the modern-day scourge of terrorism. This new initiative comes fast on the heels of the Goldstone Report, which accused Israel of war crimes for its military operation in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

“It’s one thing to claim that [the rules of war] should change, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to violate them until they’ve changed,” said William Schabas, professor of human rights law and the author of twenty-one books dealing with international human rights law, in an interview with Army Radio.

“I think the fact that Netanyahu says he wants to change the laws of war is almost an admission that Israel violated them,” Schabas claimed.

The world-renowned law professor went on to predict it was very unlikely the world would support the Israeli prime minister’s initiative. It is not realistic to say that the Geneva Conventions, which were intended to protect the lives of civilians in a military conflict, do not allow a state to handle terror threats, he said.

When Israel harmed civilians during Operation Cast Lead it broke laws based on ancient moral values, said Schabas.

One cannot change the rules by defining your enemy as cruel and vicious, Schabas stressed, adding, if you break the law, you are behaving like the terrorists against whom you are fighting.

Schabas, a supporter of the Goldstone Commission’s report, also said that the international community would probably not accept an Israeli army probe into the alleged war crimes. However, a committee of inquiry established by the government would be accepted, he assessed.

At a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet that focused on the Goldstone report and its ramifications on Tuesday, Netanyahu had said Israel’s challenge was “to delegitimize the continuous attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel.”

“In Lebanon, in Gaza and in other places, weapons are being piled up around us with the sole aim of firing them at the citizens of the State of Israel,” he claimed. “I want to make it clear to everyone: No one will undermine our ability and right to defend our children, our citizens and our communities.”

Leaving Waziristan

M. Idrees -

A force of 28,000 Pakistani army personnel is at the moment conducting an operation in South Waziristan. The operation was preceded by months of aerial bombing, and as the following Al Jazeera reports show the human cost in terms of lives lost, and displacement is high. A BBC crew earlier found the refugees so outraged with the Pakistani military’s operation that they were chanting slogans in support of Hakimullah Mehsud, the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, and Maulvi Faqir Muhammad and other TTP leaders.

Thousands flee Pakistan conflict – 22 Oct 09

Civilians caught up South Waziristan fighting – 20 Oct 09

Germany: Government to get special swine flu vaccine

18 Oct 09

Just a week after it emerged that the German armed forces was getting a different kind of A/H1N1 vaccine to the general population, Der Spiegel magazine reports that the government will also get special treatment.

The general population will be offered the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, called Pandemrix, which contains a new booster element, or adjuvant, as well as a preservative containing mercury.

Controversy has grown around the rapid licensing of the GSK vaccine – and a similar one being made by Novartis. Critics said not enough testing had been conducted before European licensing authorities rushed an approval.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, her cabinet members and ministry civil servants as well as those working for other agencies will get Celvapan, produced by US firm Baxter, which does not have the adjuvant or the preservative, according to Der Spiegel.

It is thought the adjuvant may lead to a stronger reaction in the patient – which to a certain degree is the point, meaning the vaccine can contain less of the virus yet still provoke the crucial immune system reaction.

But this is also what some say is the additional risk – and has led to stocks of the traditional kind of vaccine being bought in for pregnant women and young children.

Celvapan does not contain the adjuvant or the preservative. Rather, it contains entire dead viruses rather than the pieces which are in the traditional vaccine. The Baxter version is the one being given to the armed forces, as well as being made available for pregnant women and children.

It seems now that ministers and civil servants are to be included in that category.

“We have bought 200,000 doses of the non-adjuvanted vaccine Celvapan from the company Baxter,” Christoph Hübner, spokesman for the Interior Ministry confirmed to Der Spiegel.

It will be used for "state servants responsible for the maintenance of public order," the magazine reported. Next to members of the cabinet and civil servants, this includes staff of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which took the decision to order the new vaccine from GSK for the rest of the country. No explicit reason was offered as to why they should get the Baxter vaccine rather than the GSK version.

Chairman of the German Medical Association’s Drug Commission Wolf-Dieter Ludwig said the situation was a scandal. “We are unhappy about this vaccination campaign,” he said. The point of it was unknown, he suggested. “The health authorities have succumbed to a campaign by the pharma companies, which simply want to earn money from a supposed threat.”

Meanwhile some medical associations are advising their members not to administer the new vaccine. President of the German Association of General and Family Medicine, Michael Kochen, has called on German general doctors not to give it to patients. “The risks outweigh the benefits,” he said.

Wolfram Hartmann, president of the Association of Paediatricians, accused the government of making false scientific statements. He said children under the age of three should not be given the shots.

“The vaccine has not been tested on them, thus the risk is simply too great for it to be used,” he said, adding that children’s immune systems tend to overreact, which could be exacerbated by the adjuvants. He also criticised the use of mercury-containing preservatives. “One has deliberately kept this stuff out of vaccines for small children,” he said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)


Cold Hearts, Blind Eyes, Israeli High Court Justices VS. 10 year old Abir Aramin

October 22, 2009 - by eileen fleming

A freak cold front blew through Florida last Saturday night and the thermometer on my porch read 54 degrees, but what chilled me to the bone on Sunday morning was reading Nurit Peled Elhanan's report of the cold hearted Israeli High Court Justices when "members of the Combatants for Peace movement, women of Mahsom [Hebrew for checkpoint] Watch, members of the Forum of Bereaved Families for Peace attended a hearing [on October 14] at the High Court of Justice on the matter of the killing of ten-year-old Abir Aramin." [1]

On January 16, 2007, 10 year old Abir Aramin was walking home from school with her sister and two friends, but instead of having milk and cookies that afternoon; she was shot in the head with a rubber bullet by the Israeli Border Police and after three days on life support Abir's struggle ended- but not the struggle for justice her parents have been seeking ever since.

In 2007, I reported that Avichay Sharon, of Combatants for Peace stated, "Over the past 2 years, the Israeli Border Police and IDF forces have been creating provocations near the school district of Anata [which] has become a part of the daily routine for the children. Ever since construction started on the separation barrier surrounding Anata, the jeeps have been roaming the streets especially near the schools and shooting grenades and tear gas along with rubber bullets.

"Many children have been injured in the past by these brutal actions of the soldiers and on January 16th it became deadly. As in many other cases the police replied that the soldiers were shooting in response to stones thrown at them by children. Even though all the evidence and witnesses stated that no stones were thrown that day" the prosecution dismissed the Aramin family's case, claiming lack of evidence.

Bassam Aramin, Abir's father and co-founder of Combatants for Peace said, "I'm not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I've lost my heart, my child. I will do all I can to protect her friends, both Palestinian and Israeli. They are all our children."

When Bassam Aramin was 17 he was sentenced to 7 years in an Israeli prison for belonging to the then-outlawed Fatah movement. Although he had been beaten by soldiers in prison, he decided that he would not become a prisoner of hatred.

The "Combatants for Peace" are Palestinians and Israelis, who had all been involved in perpetuating the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. All decided to put down their guns and work together in the good fight for peace through nonviolent actions and by raising voices of conscience as they seek to create political pressure on both Governments to end the violence and end the military occupation of Palestine.

Elhanan wryly reported that Abir's parents "live under a cruel occupation and they have experienced all it has to offer: exile, imprisonment and the killing of their small daughter Abir by a rubber bullet that was allegedly fired from the rifle of a Border Guard soldier who was sitting in an armoured jeep and thrust the barrel of his rifle through the opening that was designed for that purpose and allegedly aimed and fired at the head of the girl who was standing beside her sister at a kiosk, allegedly buying candy during the break between the first class and the second.

"The projectile was removed from under the girl’s body and transferred to the authorities. The eyewitnesses, as well as the Border Guard soldiers, testified that there was no alleged danger to their lives and that the shooting was done – if it was done – in contravention of instructions. Two pathologists testified that it was probable that the fracture in Abir’s little skull could have been caused by a rubber bullet. The attending physician at the Hadassah hospital said that it was not a live bullet. The video of the reconstruction of the incident was not given to the defence counsel or to the court, because the soldiers who allegedly carried out the shooting, that is, who thrust the barrel of the rifle through the opening that had been made especially for that purpose, aimed and fired at the head of the girl Abir, were featured in the recording.

"Counsel for the State, stammering, unprepared and unkempt, stood like a platoon commander in charge of new recruits with her back to the public and refuted the allegations: So they found a projectile. So what? Who knows how long it had been lying there? So people gave testimony, so what? They (those Arabs) can say anything, does that make it testimony? So nobody was throwing stones at that spot, so what? On a nearby street stones were thrown. If you were in my place, she laughingly says to Michael Sfard, Aramin's attorney you would have made morsels of them by now.

"Judge Beinish reminds Sfard – twice – that there have been such incidents in the past and that soldiers have rarely been put on trial or even indicted, so it would be best to just forget it…But Salwa and Bassam Aramin have no choice but to seek justice in an Israeli court. They demand that the truth come to light in a court of the occupiers – of the killers.

"I nearly shouted for the drowsy judges – Beinish, Arbel, Frocaccia – to find a spark of humanity, of motherly feelings, within themselves and to look into the eyes of Salwa, who never stopped crying, and at Bassam’s ashen face, and to say: the High Court of Justice sympathizes with you over the death of little Abir. They didn't."

Elhanan also noted that Jean-François Lyotard wrote that the perfect crime is not only the killing but also the suppression of the testimony and the silencing of the voices of the victims. And the greatest injustice is to compel the victims to seek justice in the court of their tormentors.

In March of 2006, I visited Anata refugee camp and have been tormented by my memories ever since.

Israel erected their thirty foot high concrete apartheid Wall at the boys high school where 780 Palestinian adolescents, share a slab of cement about the square footage of a basket ball court; their only 'playground'.

A resident refugee informed me that on a daily basis, "The Israeli Occupation Forces show up when the children gather in the morning or after classes. They throw percussion bombs or gas bombs into the school nearly every day! The world is sleeping; the world is hibernating and is allowing this misery to continue."

A moment later, a teenage boy approached me as I was taking photos and asked me my name and where I was from. I cringed admitting I was American, for "financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families' sole livelihood for generations." [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Jan/Feb. 2007]

On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice/ICJ, ruled 14-1 that The Wall was illegal and it must come down and also that compensation should be paid to all who had been affected.

The ICJ Judges also decided 13-2 that signatories to the Geneva Convention were obliged to enforce "compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law" and the U.N. General Assembly also passed a resolution 150-6 supporting the ICJ’s call to dismantle the wall." [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2009]

Less than five minutes by car from Anata, one can enter into the Orwellian Disney Land of lush green grounds called the Pizgat Ze'ev settlement.

All the settlements/colonies in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

I was sick at heart as I traveled through the colony and counted three playgrounds and a swimming pool.

I wondered how many USA tax dollars helped to build them, and outraged over the injustices of Walls and military occupation that American money provides against the indigenous people of that land.

Within fifteen minutes after leaving Anata, as I stood next to a playground in Pizgat Ze'ev, a barrage of gunshots issued from the refugee camp and my guide informed me that the Israeli soldiers were showering the refugees with gun fire and terror- another normal daily occurrence for them.


You can read more here:

Spinning Sorrow: Abir Aramin's Death
Facilitating Genocide:The Reporting of Abir Aramin's Death

Learn more about Abir and the Combatants for Peace:


1. http://www.creative-i.info/?p=10966


Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine

By Eileen Fleming, Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org

Japan snubs US pressure on base pact

Press TV
October 22, 2009 05:37:31 GMT

The Kadena Air Base, in Okinawa, Japan
Tokyo is resisting Washington's pressure for accepting a military agreement between the two nations over the presence of US forces in the Asian country.

"I don't think we will act simply by accepting what the US tells us, just because the US is saying this, in such a short period of time," Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Thursday.

His remarks came after US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday pressed the Japanese center-left government to quickly proceed with the deal.

Under the 2006 accord, the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Base would be closed and a new US base built in a coastal area of Okinawa by 2014, with about 8,000 Marines transferred off the island to Guam.

The new government in Tokyo that came to power last month has taken a more independent stance towards Washington, saying Japanese people voted against nearly half-century conservatives as they opposed their plans.

"The will of the people of Okinawa and the will of the people of Japan was expressed in the elections," Okada said.

The foreign minister noted that Gates had 'pressed and said Japan and the United States had negotiated this issue for as many as 13 years'.

"But I told him that we, as an opposition party, had opposed the plan for those years," Okada told Tokyo Broadcasting System Television.

He predicted that the issue won't be resolved before US president Barack Obama's scheduled visit in November.

Okinawa hosts more than half of the 47,000 American troops stationed in Japan. Their presence has often caused friction with the local community, especially when American servicemen have committed crimes.

In February 2008, US Marine Tyrone Hadnott was arrested over the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl on the island. The news, reminiscent of a similar case in 1995, jolted the US-Japan alliance.

New Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama advocated reviewing the deal and suggested the base be moved out of Okinawa or even out of Japan.

Busting the Darfur Myth

The Real Genocide is Playing Out in Ethiopia--And the West is Funding It

October 22, 2009
Asmara, Eritrea.

As one of the first to write about the problems in West Sudan/Darfur, in mid 2003, and living side by side here in Asmara for three years with representatives of the Darfur, and other Sudanese resistance, my investigation has found no evidence of genocide. Of course, genocide has and is being committed by Ethiopia against the Somalis in Ethiopia, but there has been no genocide in Darfur.

Let us start by comparing the two situations, the first being Darfur and the second the Ethiopian Ogaden.

The refugees of the Darfur conflict were and are the beneficiaries of one of the largest, and most effective relief works in history.

In contrast, relief aid to the Somalis living in the Ethiopian Ogaden, what little there was to begin with, has been effectively shut down now in almost all of the Ogaden for several years, despite one of the worst droughts in history.

Darfur has had an international police force in place for years, who work along side Sudanese security forces and most of the violence has ended.

In the Ogaden, Ethiopian death squads, funded by western “aid” have spent the better part of the past decade spreading murder and mayhem across the countryside. With almost everyone from the International Committee of the Red Cross to Doctors Without Borders being expelled, there has been miniscule coverage of this genocide in the western media let alone any exposure of the western role in funding the Ethiopian regime. Compare this to the saturation of the western media with the “Save Darfur” propaganda campaign and the tried and true golden rule of “show me the money” needs to be applied to explain what is really going on.

The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western “human rights” NGOs who have collected tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars under the rubric of “Enough” and “Preventing Genocide”. The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked it off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur. None of the Darfur reps I have heard here in Asmara ever gave any credibility to the western figures. In fact, most everyone here in the Horn, at least those not on the western payroll, all agree the real number of those lost in the violence in west Sudan is in the tens of thousands, a tragic number but far surpassed by what has befallen those suffering in Somalia and the Ogaden where a real genocide has been taking place.

Today, the humanitarian situation in Somalia, where aid workers still operate, has been declared the worst in the world (and with what is happening to the Tamils in the concentration camps in Sri Lanka that is saying a lot). Next door in the Ethiopian Ogaden, conveniently there are almost no aid agencies, other than in a few towns, to witness what is as bad or more likely worse than in Somalia. Yet what do we hear from those who are collecting so much loot on behalf of suffering Africans about the real genocide going on in the Ogaden?

As I mentioned earlier, I first wrote about what I believed was happening in Sudan and Ethiopia back in mid 2003. Sudan is estimated to have suffered some two million deaths during its decades long civil war between the north and the south. After many years of hard work, peace has slowly, almost tortuously, been nurtured in Sudan, with the major ground work laid during negotiations held here in Asmara. In contrast to this what is the program of action demanded by the “Save Darfur” lot? A western-led military invasion and occupation a la Iraq and Afghanistan! With half a million or more dead in Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to western military “intervention” who in their right mind could think that sending western soldiers to Sudan will do anything other than destroy the peace so painfully built these past few years and cause even more suffering?

While peace has been slowing taking hold in Darfur, in the Ogaden peace is a long lost memory. War, famine and disease are spreading across the Ogaden and is becoming a situation that is increasingly the norm in growing areas of Ethiopia. While the western hucksters rake in beaucoup millions of dollars while peddling their “Save Darfur” bunkum , Sudanese have seen peace break out. In contrast, Ethiopians, suffering under a regime that is the largest recipient of western aid in Africa see only a future of growing ethnic and religious conflict and worse, active programs of genocide.

The problems developing in Ethiopia can invariably be traced back to the west, mainly the USA. The west, in particular the USA are hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the “Save Darfur” lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of “humanitarian intervention”, while little of the tens of millions they collect ever reaches the Sudanese who it was intended for.

Busting the Darfur genocide myth is long overdue. If people in the west really want to help Africa they should stop donating to the Save Darfur fraudsters and start demanding accountability for the tens of billions of western aid that is paying for a real genocide in the Ethiopian Ogaden.

Tom Mountain lives in Somalia and can be reached at thomascmountain@yahoo.com

Nozette's Israel connections

Christian Science Monitor - October 20, 2009

According to the criminal complaint, between 1998 and 2008 Stewart Nozette worked as a technical consultant for an aerospace company that was wholly owned by the Israeli state.

During much of that time the company requested that Nozette provide it with technical data. Once a month, Nozette answered these questions. In return he received payments of approximately $225,000, according to the US government.

On January 6, 2009, Nozette flew out of Dulles Airport, outside of Washington, to an unnamed foreign country. Security officers searched his luggage and found two small computer "thumb drives" in his possession.

Upon his return three weeks later, US agents thoroughly searched his luggage. Those computer drives were nowhere to be found, according to the criminal complaint.

Near the end of his initial conversation with the FBI agent who was posing as his new Mossad handler, Nozette also said this:

"I thought I was working for you already. I mean, that's what I always thought, [the foreign company] was just a front."