They made a desert and called it peace...

"From this date I date the ruin of all my fortunes."
--George Washington

"The truth is an offense, but not a sin"
--Bob Marley


The United States is a corporation, which is one in the same as "government." Our purpose is to expose this and other corrupted facts. We believe in the Common Law, in the people's judiciary, in the municipalities' sovereignty over the Federal Departments, and in the individual's sovereignty above all other powers over Earth and under God. No rule of law has meaning. Rule of Precedent IS Law.

thus always to tyrants in the past

fellow bloggers who follow Thus Always To Tyrants

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the great crash of 2008

unfortunately after using beethoven's "moonlight sonata" as the soundtrack for the beginning, they sadly change to some drum-heavy hip hop sort of thing that's in just about every truth video, but it's well worth the watch.
this will show you just how extraordinary the crash of 2008 has really become

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back to Carnage in Gaza...

Israel launches new attacks on Gaza
Tue, 27 Jan 2009 16:52:22 GMT

Witnesses say Israeli tanks are entering the Gaza Strip.
Israel has re-launched aerial and ground attacks in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli soldier was killed in a bomb blast at a Gaza crossing.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tanks are seen rolling into the Gaza Strip after a warplane struck targets across the territory, Haaretz reported.

Heavy fighting have also been reported near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza after Israeli forces moved into the territory Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak had threatened to attack the strip in retaliation to the death of an Israeli soldier who was killed in a bomb blast at the Kissufim crossing near the Israel-Gaza border.

The military forces responded immediately to the incident by killing a Palestinian farmer near the border crossing.

On December 27, Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead to put an end to rocket attacks against southern Israeli towns. At least 1,330 Palestinians died during the offensive, while some 5,450 others were wounded.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, more than half of the victims had been civilians.

Israel unilaterally stopped its 23-day offensive on January 18, while repeatedly threatening to resume attacks on the region should Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the coastal sliver, rearm its fighters.

The Tuesday attacks come as Hamas officials are in Cairo to discuss a lasting ceasefire with Israel through Egyptian mediators. The Palestinian movement cites the removal of an 18-month blockade of the Gaza Strip as one of the conditions for truce with Tel Aviv.

UK aid agencies say at least 60 of the Gaza population is now leaving in poverty, with more than one million people dependant on aid to survive the aftermath of the Israeli operation.


Monday, January 26, 2009

The Rise and Fall of the Zionist Reich, and its Historical Context

The Rise and Fall of the Zionist Reich, and its Historical Context

Brandon Dean
January 26th, 2009

Deep in our past lies the truth about our present, and if there is a reason history repeats itself, it is because time itself is cyclic in nature. There is no history which rests securely along a linear time line. History rests upon individual perception. And let it truly sink in: History is Written By the Victors. In other words, you cannot trust written history. You can only trust personal perception, or personal research. Personal research entails reading original documents, reading letters and diaries of those involved, and maybe even talking to some of those involved.
Personal research does not entail reading someone else' opinion on history, no matter how shiny the book cover is.
History is easy to manipulate if you understand that the human mind works cyclically, just like history and time itself. If you are led to believe that time is linear-that time does not repeat itself along with history-you learn to accept a tidal cause and effect, as opposed to a simple action=reaction scenario.
And on that note, we will take a look at the role played by self-titled Zionist Jews, who are nothing more than ruthless mass=criminals who falsely claim to be Jews. What we must understand is that these Zionists hate real, religious Jews more than anyone else hates Jews. One of the main antagonists behind the modern Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, hated the stigma of Judaism, and openly denied Jewish tradition. He longed for the power of European Aristocracy, not Judaic principles. And Theodore Herzl is basically worshipped in modern day Israel...
Jews as a people, in direct consequence of Zionist influence on European governments, have been exiled (booted) from over 75 countries in the last thousand years. As far as trying to understand why they were kicked out of these countries, it would be easy to dismiss it as simple hate, and that's exactly what many people do. But research the laws that were actually written when these Jews were exiled and you will find the actual reasons. Jews were not only accused of usury (charging outrageous interest rates on loans) repeatedly, but they were also repeatedly charged with abducting Christian children and using them in ritual blood sacrifices.
Now as absurd as this may sound to someone who has not studied history exhaustively, there are many recorded court cases from all over the world where Jews were actually convicted of sacrificing the children of the Goyim, or non-Jews. Look it up.
Now, to look at the situation logically, if you study the court cases, and even the accusations that never went to court or conviction, you would see that the ratio of these ritual murders was no where near high enough to blame it on Judaism as a whole. This is why I believe there is a distinct difference between religious Jews and Zionists. The Zionists themselves carried out the blood sacrifices, and let the blame fall on Judaism as a whole. Can you possibly hate Jewish people any more than to keep them exiled for a thousand years, burning every bridge in sight, letting them wander the Earth in a depraved homeless state, hated by the world for no reason of their own? Exactly...

This is where we must make the distinction between sects of Jews. There are three main sects: Sephardic, Ashkenazim, and Germanic Jews. The only true Biblical Hebrews are the Sephardic Jews; the rest are converts. The remnants of the Sephardic Jews are mainly centered around the Mediterranean, from Spain all the way into Iran in the Middle East.
The Ashkenazim and Germanic Jews came much later historically than the original Hebrews. The original Hebrews, who developed in Egypt from the Hicksas, a class of workers who came from all over the Middle East and Africa to work in Egypt, became a powerful political faction in Egypt. They overthrew The Pharoahonic line in a coup led by Tetmoses I (Biblical Moses? They lived at the same time...). His "dynasty" lasted for about a hundred years before the Egyptian people kicked out this ruthless line of tyrants. But because the Hicksas still had such (financial) pull within Egyptian royal circles-in other words, the Hicksas had learned very early how to lend money at extravagent interest rates, and the royalty were under their debt-the Hicksas were given the land of Canaan by the Pharaoh as their land of exile.
And here we have a perfect example of history and time repeating itself. At the signing of the Balfour Agreement of the British Lord Balfour, the land of Palestine was promised to one group of people (the Zionist Jews) by another group of people (the British) at the expense of a third people (the people of Palestine at the time--Muslims, Jews, and Christians). Egypt handed the Hicksas the land of Canaan at the expense of the Canaanites, who instantly became a sub-class of people to the Hicksas, who now called themselves Hebrews. They subjugated the Canaanites both physically and historically. Just read about the seething disgust the ancient Hebrews had for the Canaanites and Philistines in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Historically, Zionism is the Hydra of the human race. Each time its head has been cut off, it has grown back three new heads, all stronger than before, having learned the lesson of why it was cut off. Because of this, the end result emotionally of what Zionism has created is apathy and defeatism. This hydra appears to be unstoppable to the timid or weak of mind. The hydra has learned to create illusions using our ability to create our own realities.
Which leads to my conclusion... Even though history seems to be a tidal flow of ever-expanding tyranny, and even though in the present all may seem lost, the simple mechanism which destroys all the illusions created by Zionists and other mind-manipulators is your own mind. It begins with a question, and ends with freedom. We absolutely create our own realities. If you live free, you are free. If you choose not to be trapped by the Zionist illusion, then the illusion does not exist in your reality.
And there can be no doubt that people are awakening to the Zionist illusion. I see signs of it everywhere. You simply did not see large anti=Israeli protests in the United States before the last few weeks, as the Zionists have yet again shown their lack of humanity in Gaza. The mask has been ripped off as we all watched (on free alternative media) as burnt babies were dislodged from bombed out hospitals and schools. The utter disregard for human life right in front of our faces has snapped many many people out of their slumber.
I do believe we are witnessing the death throes of the hydra. Of course, when a dragon is dying it will thrash around and take anything it can with it-a most dangerous prospect for humanity.

copyright Brandon Dean 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Iceland First Casualty in World-Wide Credit Crunch

Iceland's senior minister resigns as government becomes first global political casualty of the credit crunch

By Graham Smith
Last updated at 12:25 PM on 25th January 2009

Iceland's Minister of Commerce Bjorgvin Sigurdsson has resigned, two days after the prime minister announced his own departure due to pressures from the island nation's economic collapse.

Mr Sigurdsson, a member of Iceland's junior Social Democrat coalition party, made the announcment at a news conference this morning.

'I have decided to do this to take responsibility,' he said.

Prime Minister Geir Haarde shocked the country on Friday when he said he would not seek re-election and called for a general election on May 9.

Bjorgvin Sigurdsson
Geir Haarde

Crunch victims: Bjorgvin Sigurdsson (left) has joined Prime Minister Geir Haarde, and resigned in response to the economic crisis and increasing dissent

The government of Iceland became the first in the world to be effectively brought down by the credit crunch.

It came after several nights of rioting over the financial crisis.

A poll would not normally be held until 2011.

Mr Haarde also revealed that he had been diagnosed with a malignant tumour of the oesophagus and would not seek re-election.

'I have decided not to seek re-election as leader of the Independence Party at its upcoming national congress,' he told a news conference.

The global financial crisis hit Iceland, which has a population 320,000, in October, triggering a collapse in its currency and financial system under the weight of billions of dollars of foreign debts incurred by its banks.

Enlarge Protesters clash with police in Reykjavik during a demonstration against the Icelandic government's handling of the country's financial crisis

Protesters clash with police in Reykjavik during a demonstration against the Icelandic government's handling of the country's financial crisis

The economy is set to shrink 10 percent this year and unemployment is surging.

Critics wanted Mr Haarde, the central bank governor and other senior officials to resign.

Some senior figures in his party have also said they favour an early election, but Mr Haarde had up to now vowed to defy plunging popularity and stay on.

Protests had been held weekly since the crisis broke last year, but since Tuesday have been held every night.

On Thursday, police used teargas on demonstrators for the first time since protests against the North Atlantic island's entry into the NATO alliance in 1949.

Special forces had to rescue Mr Haarde from his car after he was surrounded by an furious mob hurling eggs and cans outside the government offices, in Reykjavik.

Riot police huddle together as projectiles are thrown at the Parliament building behind them in downtown Reykjavik

Riot police huddle together as projectiles are thrown at the Parliament building behind them in downtown Reykjavik

The seething crowd spattered the building with paint and yoghurt, yelling and banging pans, hurling fireworks and flares at the windows and even lighting a fire in front of the main doors.

'There were a couple of hundred (protesters) when they had to use the gas,' police spokesman Gunnar Sigurdsson said. 'It went on for two hours or so. There were no arrests. Some injuries, but not serious.'

Latvia, Bulgaria and other European countries hit hard by the global economic meltdown have also seen unrest.

Protesters carry a placard of Iceland's Justice Minister Bjorn Bjarnason and a sign reading 'death power' during demonstrations

Protesters carry a placard of Iceland's Justice Minister Bjorn Bjarnason and a sign reading 'death power' during demonstrations

Tony Benn, Former British MP and BBC Producer, Tells Off the BBC

Egypt: Gaza Weapons Smuggled in From Israel

Weapons are smuggled into Gaza from Israel, says Egyptian human rights official

Abdel-Rahman Hussein

January 23, 2009

CAIRO: Egypt has proof that the majority of weapons that are smuggled into the Gaza Strip come from Israel, said the general secretary of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights Mukhlis Qutb.

In an interview with the state owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Qutb said Egypt has the necessary documentation and confessions proving that weapons are smuggled into Gaza by people possessing Israeli citizenship.

He also alleged that some members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are involved in the smuggling and selling of Israeli weapons to the Strip. Qutb added that the deals and payment for the weapons are struck inside Israel.

Qutb did not show any documents to prove his allegations, but said that Egypt would never allow its border to be used for weapons smuggling. He also said that Egypt would refuse any security pact between the United States and Israel stipulating the presence of foreign monitors on its territory because this goes against its national security interests.

The tunnels between the Egypt-Gaza border were bombed consistently during the 22-day offensive Israel conducted on Gaza because Israel believes weapons going to Hamas come through these tunnels.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Israeli public radio Thursday that the option to bomb the tunnels once more was still on the table.

"If we have to act, we will do so, we will exercise our right to legitimate defense, we will not leave our fate ... to the Egyptians nor to the Europeans, nor to the Americans," she said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had given similar comments to Israeli public television earlier in the day, saying, "If we are forced to, there will be more attacks."

Gaza-based Hamas officials entered Egypt Friday to hold further talks with Egyptian mediators on maintaining the ceasefire a day after IDF representative Amos Gilad was in Cairo for the very same reason.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese media attacks both Bush and Obama

Chinese media issues stinging attack on Barack Obama and George W Bush

Chinese state media have launched an unexpected broadside at both departing President George W. Bush and his successor, President Barack Obama.

Chinese newspapers: Chinese media issues stinging attack on Barack Obama and George W Bush
Chinese newspapers: The comments expressed scepticism for President Obama's vision of remaking America Photo: AP

China Daily, the official English-language newspaper used to signal the Communist Party's views to the outside world, said President Bush had taken a "wrecking-ball" to world affairs.

Its stinging rebuke was in marked contrast to previous commentary by Party advisers which stressed President Bush's successes in improving ties with Beijing.

The comments, in the paper's main editorial, went on to express scepticism for President Obama's vision of remaking America.

"The US leaders have never been shy of talking about their country's ambition to be the leader of the world," it said, sarcastically. "For them, it is a divinely granted destiny no matter what other nations think."

It said more was required than just the "goodwill" Mr Obama might generate around the world.

The financial crisis would limit his power to act, put strains on overseas alliances and lead to clashes with other countries' interests, it said. He would most probably fail to win wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, broker peace in the Middle East, prevent Iran building a nuclear programme, or stabilise African countries.

"The realities on the ground are more complex than presented by Obama," it concluded.

The new hard line may reflect individual embarrassment by China Daily, the only major state media not to censor Mr Obama's speech yesterday. In fact, it carried the comments from his inaugural address saying that regimes which crush dissent are "on the wrong side of history" on its front page.

Yet China also sees current American weakness, due to the financial crisis and the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, as an opportunity for promoting its different approach to both internal governance and external relations on the world stage.

It has been effusive in its praise for President Bush's conciliatory stance towards Beijing - and his insistence on attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics last year, despite calls for a boycott.

But it clearly felt its basic dislike of American interventionist policies be restated. "The world was holding its breath awaiting the end of President George W. Bush's wrecking-ball approach to world affairs," it said.

The paper also carried an aggressive commentary denouncing Henry Paulson, the outgoing treasury secretary, and Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, for suggesting that China might be partially responsible for the financial crisis for allowing savings to rise and consumption to fall.

"These remarks exhibit the obvious intention of the top US financial authorities to shirk their responsibilities for poor financial performances and shift domestic dissatisfactions to other countries," wrote Shen Dingli, an international relations professor at Shanghai's Fudan University who also advises the government.

Only the day before, the same newspaper said the financial crisis would draw America and China closer together.

Most popular newspapers in China have reacted more positively to President Obama. One website went so far as to portray him as Superman in a cartoon - albeit a Superman whose Chinese girlfriend refuses to lend him more money until he has learned to be more prudent with his finances.

The Chinese government has come under much criticism for investing so much of its foreign exchange reserves in lending to the US government - a policy it does not like but which it is forced to follow to avoid a too rapid appreciation of its own currency.

Individual internet commentators mixed admiration for President Obama and America's values with some hostility to what were taken as references to China - in particular his claim that America had "faced down" communism and fascism.

"Obama is such a brainless country bumpkin," wrote one, on the popular "It is already the 21th century and he still connects fascism with communism. This is a true failure of the USA."

"No matter how attractive Obama's personality is, the USA is still our enemy," wrote "Son of China". "What the American people can do, we can do as well."

But others criticised the decision by state media to censor the speech, and compared President Obama favourably to their own leaders. "When will China have such a young and energetic top leader who will give us such real speeches, instead of making speeches which feels like they are a thousand miles away?" wrote 'literate person'.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Zimbabwe unveils 100 trillion dollar banknote

Zimbabwe unveils 100 trillion dollar banknote

January 16th, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS

Harare, Jan 16 (Xinhua) The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has introduced a new family of trillion Zim-dollar banknotes in denominations of 100 trillion, 50 trillion, 20 trillion and 10 trillion that went into circulation Friday, starting with the 10 trillion notes, a media report said.The 20 trillion, 50 trillion and 100 trillion notes will be introduced gradually, The Herald newspaper said.

In a statement Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the notes will ensure that those in formal employment withdraw their salaries with minimal hassle.

“In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the 10 trillion,” read the statement from the RBZ.

With effect from Jan 12, workers can now withdraw their entire January salary in cash as long as they produce their current payslips.

The new notes have the same security features as the existing ones: a colour shift stripe with RBZ printed on it, the Zimbabwe Bird colour shift on the front, and see-through of the values on either side which are in perfect register.

The 10 trillion note has the image of the RBZ Building and the Conical Tower at the Great Zimbabwe National Monuments.

The 100 trillion note has the image of a buffalo and the Victoria Falls, the 50 trillion has the Kariba Dam spilling and an elephant, while a mineworker drilling in an underground shaft and the GMB grain silos appear on the new 20 trillion note.

RBZ last week introduced 10 billion, 20 billion and 50 billion Zim-dollar notes with a view to enabling workers to access their full salaries.

Inflation in Zimbabwe has spiralled out of control. According to last official estimates, inflation in July of last year stood at 231 million percent in the country.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Israeli Minister Admits Hamas Fired NO Rockets During Ceasefire!

Anti Government Riots in Latvia and Lithuania



Ceasefire shows Israel's defeat in Gaza: Iran official

Ceasefire shows Israel's defeat in Gaza: Iran official

Indo-Asian News Service
Tehran, January 19, 2009

Israel Declares Success Amid Gaza Carnage

Israel declares ceasefire as it hails success of bloody Gaza onslaught
Security cabinet has halted the three-week offensive but its troops will only withdraw when they decide it's convenient

A woman is comforted after seeing the body of a relative killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza
Image :2 of 2
Marie Colvin and Uzi Mahnaimi

ISRAEL last night declared a unilateral ceasefire starting early today, ending a fierce 22-day war that has devastated the Gaza Strip and killed more than 1,200 Palestinians.

Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, said Israel would halt offensive operations against Hamas, the extremist Islamic organisation that controls Gaza, because “our aims have been fully realised and beyond”.

Addressing the nation on television after a security cabinet meeting, Olmert said the ceasefire would begin at 2am but Israel’s forces would remain in Gaza, withdrawing only at “a timetable reasonable to us”.

He warned Hamas that Israel would retaliate if its militant forces attacked Israeli troops or fired rockets into southern Israel. Hamas responded defiantly, vowing to continue resistance as long as Israeli troops remained.

The ceasefire could easily break down; any confrontation might reignite the violence that began on December 27, when Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to stop Hamas rockets being fired into southern Israel and weapons being smuggled through tunnels on the Egypt-Gaza border.

Every hour of delay before the ceasefire seemed to bring further anguish for the 1.5m Palestinians trapped in the strip under bombardment from air, sea, tanks and artillery.

Early yesterday two Israeli shells slammed into a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, killing two children aged five and seven. UNRWA, angered by attacks on its schools and compounds that Israel said were accidents, called for a war crimes investigation.

The Palestinian health ministry said 1,206 Palestinians had been killed and more than 5,300 had been wounded. Thirteen Israelis have died, 10 of them soldiers.

Families were caught in dangerous no-go zones.

The al-Wahidi family were trapped in their home by artillery. Supplies were running so low that their children had been drinking contaminated water. They begged for rescue in calls to the Red Cross.

The Wahidis’ ordeal began when Israeli troops herded 33 family members, including a one-year-old child, into a single room of their house in Mugahraqi, about four miles south of Gaza City. According to Salem al-Wahidi, they searched them all and hit his mother-in-law with a rifle butt when she shouted at them to stay away from the children. For days, soldiers manned a position on their roof.

“The Israelis left our house threatening that they would kill anyone who came out,” Wahidi said. As he spoke, the sound of a massive explosion drowned out his voice on the phone, followed by the screams of children and his shouts of “Get down! Hide!” A shell had landed next to the house, setting off a fire. The top floor had been hit earlier in the week.

The Israeli onslaught has destroyed every government building and 4,000 homes, and smashed Gaza’s water, sewerage and electricity infrastructure. More than 100,000 people have left their homes.

The most ferocious attack came on Thursday, when tanks rolled into the wealthy Tel al-Hawa district of Gaza City.

Tank shells blasted apartment blocks and villas. Israeli forces fired what appeared to be phosphorous shells into the main UNRWA compound in Gaza, setting alight a hundred of tons of food, medicines, blankets and fuel.

John Ging, director of the UNRWA in Gaza, said the UN would investigate the use of phosphorous, which is banned under international law for use against human targets.

The Irish diplomat was back at work yesterday trying to get food to 45,000 displaced Gazans sheltering in UNRWA’s 23 schools and 1m others dependent on humanitarian aid.

“The death, injury and devastation is unbearable,” he said. “The Israelis are saying that Hamas is using the population as human shields. But you don’t kill the hostage to get to the hostage takers.”

Worst hit was the al-Quds hospital in Tel al-Hawa. Hospital staff had to remove 500 patients in the middle of the night as fire raged.

“I was sitting on the ground floor when suddenly there was a huge explosion,” said Mohammed al-Helou, an ambulance worker.

“I rushed to help carry some of the patients down to the lower floor, and I heard another explosion. That was when I realised the hospital itself was under fire.”

According to Palestinian and Israeli sources, an Egyptian ceasefire proposal to be discussed at a summit today provides for negotiations on several issues. These include Hamas’s insistence that crossings into Israel and Egypt be reopened and that Israel withdraw from Gaza within a week; and Israel’s demand for a mechanism to monitor the border and prevent Hamas from rearming.

Gordon Brown, who has offered Royal Navy assistance in interdicting weapons imports, will attend the summit.

Gaza has been under a virtual Israeli lockdown since Hamas seized control from the moderate Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, 18 months ago.

A memorandum of understanding signed on Friday in Washington by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, and Condoleezza Rice, the outgoing US secretary of state, seems to have assuaged some of Israel’s concerns. It provides for American technical support in stopping Hamas from smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Israel’s fear that Hamas would reopen the hundreds of tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border appeared well founded. “I’ll rebuild my tunnels as soon as they stop bombing,” said Abu Mohammed, a tunnel “businessman” in Rafah, the border town. “It doesn’t matter what they do to block us. We’ll dig deep even if it means we have to use oxygen tanks.”

As both sides counted the cost of the war, Israeli military sources were delighted that their army had emerged almost unscathed from the operation.

They believe the success of the mission, which contrasts with heavy Israeli casualties in fighting in southern Lebanon in 2006, is attributable to two years of meticulous planning.

In Gaza, Israel stuck to a three-stage strategy drawn up by Major-General Yoav Galant, commander of the IDF’s southern region. It relied on the overpowering use of force against about 15,000 Hamas militants.

Hamas has survived, but it is battered and has lost most of its weapons stocks. The Israelis succeeded in killing Said Siam, its third in command.

The organisation will declare victory simply for surviving the might of Israel’s military machine. Anger in Gaza and across the Arab world at the horrific human cost has increased its support, at least for now.

However, its leaders face a backlash for provoking Israel with rocket launches and boasting that it would slaughter any Israelis who entered Gaza. The threats proved largely empty.

Abbas has also been weakened. “Palestinians saw Abbas as a president who was helpless to stop the killing,” said Wafa Abdel-Hamid, a Palestinian political analyst.

In Israel, polls showed overwhelming support for the invasion of Gaza. Campaigning for national elections on February 10 will resume.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister and Labor candidate for prime minister, appeared to have been the biggest winner because he was seen as tough but cautious. Labor was expected to win 16 seats in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

Livni, the candidate of the Kadima party, appeared to have gained less despite her hawkish statements. Polls showed Kadima would win about 26 seats.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the right-wing Likud candidate, remained ahead in the polls, with up to 29 seats.

On the eve of the ceasefire, the anguish of Gaza finally intruded into Israeli homes. Live on the popular Channel 10 news, the presenter Shlomi Eldar made his nightly call to Izzedine Aboul Aish, a Palestinian doctor, who had been giving interviews from the territory.

This time, Aboul Aish could be heard on Eldar’s mobile phone weeping: “My God, my girls, Shlomi. Can’t anybody get to us, please?”

His three young daughters and a niece had just been killed by an Israeli tank shell fired into their home; others were injured and the IDF was blocking any ambulances.

Eldar said: “Wait a minute, Izzedine, maybe we can help you. What is your address?” As the cameras rolled, he called his IDF contacts and received clearance for an ambulance to take the wounded to an Israeli hospital. The final shot was of a weeping Aboul Aish kissing the hand of his blood-stained surviving daughter on a stretcher.

Additional reporting by Hamada Hamada and Sara Hashash

Mother's miracle boy dies in her arms

A Gaza woman who conceived her only child after trying for more than 20 years wept inconsolably as she described how her son died in her arms in an airstrike on her house, writes Hala Jaber.

Intissar Hamoudah, 39, said she had been holding the two-year-old boy, Faress, tightly to comfort him during the latest bombardment.

“He was on my lap and suddenly the house came crumbling down on us,” wailed Hamoudah, who lost an eye in the attack. “It had taken me 21 years to conceive him and suddenly my baby was dead.”

Trapped in the rubble, she could see her child lying dead nearby. She also had to watch a relative bleed to death.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

assassinated sri lankan journalist's editorial from the grave-must read!

And Then They Came For Me
By Lasantha Wickramatunga, The Sunday Leader

Lasantha Wickramatunga, a Sri Lankan newspaper editor, left a secret editorial to be published in the event he was assassinated. He was assassinated, this is the editorial.

Pictured: A Sri Lankan journalist lights candles opposite a portrait of slain newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Lasantha was shot and killed last week by unidentified gunmen. (M. A. Pushpa Kumara / EPA)

No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the past few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honour to belong to all those categories and now especially the last.

I have been in the business of journalism a good long time. Indeed, 2009 will be The Sunday Leader's 15th year. Many things have changed in Sri Lanka during that time, and it does not need me to tell you that the greater part of that change has been for the worse. We find ourselves in the midst of a civil war ruthlessly prosecuted by protagonists whose bloodlust knows no bounds. Terror, whether perpetrated by terrorists or the state, has become the order of the day. Indeed, murder has become the primary tool whereby the state seeks to control the organs of liberty. Today it is the journalists, tomorrow it will be the judges. For neither group have the risks ever been higher or the stakes lower.

Why then do we do it? I often wonder that. After all, I too am a husband, and the father of three wonderful children. I too have responsibilities and obligations that transcend my profession, be it the law or journalism. Is it worth the risk? Many people tell me it is not. Friends tell me to revert to the bar, and goodness knows it offers a better and safer livelihood. Others, including political leaders on both sides, have at various times sought to induce me to take to politics, going so far as to offer me ministries of my choice. Diplomats, recognising the risk journalists face in Sri Lanka, have offered me safe passage and the right of residence in their countries. Whatever else I may have been stuck for, I have not been stuck for choice.

But there is a calling that is yet above high office, fame, lucre and security. It is the call of conscience.

The Sunday Leader has been a controversial newspaper because we say it like we see it: whether it be a spade, a thief or a murderer, we call it by that name. We do not hide behind euphemism. The investigative articles we print are supported by documentary evidence thanks to the public-spiritedness of citizens who at great risk to themselves pass on this material to us. We have exposed scandal after scandal, and never once in these 15 years has anyone proved us wrong or successfully prosecuted us.

The free media serve as a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves. That is our calling, and we do not shirk it.

Every newspaper has its angle, and we do not hide the fact that we have ours. Our commitment is to see Sri Lanka as a transparent, secular, liberal democracy. Think about those words, for they each has profound meaning. Transparent because government must be openly accountable to the people and never abuse their trust. Secular because in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society such as ours, secularism offers the only common ground by which we might all be united. Liberal because we recognise that all human beings are created different, and we need to accept others for what they are and not what we would like them to be. And democratic... well, if you need me to explain why that is important, you'd best stop buying this paper.

The Sunday Leader has never sought safety by unquestioningly articulating the majority view. Let's face it, that is the way to sell newspapers. On the contrary, as our opinion pieces over the years amply demonstrate, we often voice ideas that many people find distasteful. For example, we have consistently espoused the view that while separatist terrorism must be eradicated, it is more important to address the root causes of terrorism, and urged government to view Sri Lanka's ethnic strife in the context of history and not through the telescope of terrorism. We have also agitated against state terrorism in the so-called war against terror, and made no secret of our horror that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world routinely to bomb its own citizens. For these views we have been labelled traitors, and if this be treachery, we wear that label proudly.

Many people suspect that The Sunday Leader has a political agenda: it does not. If we appear more critical of the government than of the opposition it is only because we believe that - pray excuse cricketing argot - there is no point in bowling to the fielding side. Remember that for the few years of our existence in which the UNP was in office, we proved to be the biggest thorn in its flesh, exposing excess and corruption wherever it occurred. Indeed, the steady stream of embarrassing expos‚s we published may well have served to precipitate the downfall of that government.

Neither should our distaste for the war be interpreted to mean that we support the Tigers. The LTTE are among the most ruthless and bloodthirsty organisations ever to have infested the planet. There is no gainsaying that it must be eradicated. But to do so by violating the rights of Tamil citizens, bombing and shooting them mercilessly, is not only wrong but shames the Sinhalese, whose claim to be custodians of the dhamma is forever called into question by this savagery, much of which is unknown to the public because of censorship.

What is more, a military occupation of the country's north and east will require the Tamil people of those regions to live eternally as second-class citizens, deprived of all self respect. Do not imagine that you can placate them by showering "development" and "reconstruction" on them in the post-war era. The wounds of war will scar them forever, and you will also have an even more bitter and hateful Diaspora to contend with. A problem amenable to a political solution will thus become a festering wound that will yield strife for all eternity. If I seem angry and frustrated, it is only because most of my countrymen - and all of the government - cannot see this writing so plainly on the wall.

It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. Despite the government's sanctimonious assurances, there was never a serious police inquiry into the perpetrators of these attacks, and the attackers were never apprehended. In all these cases, I have reason to believe the attacks were inspired by the government. When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.

The irony in this is that, unknown to most of the public, Mahinda and I have been friends for more than a quarter century. Indeed, I suspect that I am one of the few people remaining who routinely addresses him by his first name and uses the familiar Sinhala address oya when talking to him. Although I do not attend the meetings he periodically holds for newspaper editors, hardly a month passes when we do not meet, privately or with a few close friends present, late at night at President's House. There we swap yarns, discuss politics and joke about the good old days. A few remarks to him would therefore be in order here.

Mahinda, when you finally fought your way to the SLFP presidential nomination in 2005, nowhere were you welcomed more warmly than in this column. Indeed, we broke with a decade of tradition by referring to you throughout by your first name. So well known were your commitments to human rights and liberal values that we ushered you in like a breath of fresh air. Then, through an act of folly, you got yourself involved in the Helping Hambantota scandal. It was after a lot of soul-searching that we broke the story, at the same time urging you to return the money. By the time you did so several weeks later, a great blow had been struck to your reputation. It is one you are still trying to live down.

You have told me yourself that you were not greedy for the presidency. You did not have to hanker after it: it fell into your lap. You have told me that your sons are your greatest joy, and that you love spending time with them, leaving your brothers to operate the machinery of state. Now, it is clear to all who will see that that machinery has operated so well that my sons and daughter do not themselves have a father.

In the wake of my death I know you will make all the usual sanctimonious noises and call upon the police to hold a swift and thorough inquiry. But like all the inquiries you have ordered in the past, nothing will come of this one, too. For truth be told, we both know who will be behind my death, but dare not call his name. Not just my life, but yours too, depends on it.

Sadly, for all the dreams you had for our country in your younger days, in just three years you have reduced it to rubble. In the name of patriotism you have trampled on human rights, nurtured unbridled corruption and squandered public money like no other President before you. Indeed, your conduct has been like a small child suddenly let loose in a toyshop. That analogy is perhaps inapt because no child could have caused so much blood to be spilled on this land as you have, or trampled on the rights of its citizens as you do. Although you are now so drunk with power that you cannot see it, you will come to regret your sons having so rich an inheritance of blood. It can only bring tragedy. As for me, it is with a clear conscience that I go to meet my Maker. I wish, when your time finally comes, you could do the same. I wish.

As for me, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I walked tall and bowed to no man. And I have not travelled this journey alone. Fellow journalists in other branches of the media walked with me: most of them are now dead, imprisoned without trial or exiled in far-off lands. Others walk in the shadow of death that your Presidency has cast on the freedoms for which you once fought so hard. You will never be allowed to forget that my death took place under your watch. As anguished as I know you will be, I also know that you will have no choice but to protect my killers: you will see to it that the guilty one is never convicted. You have no choice. I feel sorry for you, and Shiranthi will have a long time to spend on her knees when next she goes for Confession for it is not just her owns sins which she must confess, but those of her extended family that keeps you in office.

As for the readers of The Sunday Leader, what can I say but Thank You for supporting our mission. We have espoused unpopular causes, stood up for those too feeble to stand up for themselves, locked horns with the high and mighty so swollen with power that they have forgotten their roots, exposed corruption and the waste of your hard-earned tax rupees, and made sure that whatever the propaganda of the day, you were allowed to hear a contrary view. For this I - and my family - have now paid the price that I have long known I will one day have to pay. I am - and have always been - ready for that. I have done nothing to prevent this outcome: no security, no precautions. I want my murderer to know that I am not a coward like he is, hiding behind human shields while condemning thousands of innocents to death. What am I among so many? It has long been written that my life would be taken, and by whom. All that remains to be written is when.

That The Sunday Leader will continue fighting the good fight, too, is written. For I did not fight this fight alone. Many more of us have to be - and will be - killed before The Leader is laid to rest. I hope my assassination will be seen not as a defeat of freedom but an inspiration for those who survive to step up their efforts. Indeed, I hope that it will help galvanise forces that will usher in a new era of human liberty in our beloved motherland. I also hope it will open the eyes of your President to the fact that however many are slaughtered in the name of patriotism, the human spirit will endure and flourish. Not all the Rajapakses combined can kill that.

People often ask me why I take such risks and tell me it is a matter of time before I am bumped off. Of course I know that: it is inevitable. But if we do not speak out now, there will be no one left to speak for those who cannot, whether they be ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged or the persecuted. An example that has inspired me throughout my career in journalism has been that of the German theologian, Martin Niem”ller. In his youth he was an anti-Semite and an admirer of Hitler. As Nazism took hold in Germany, however, he saw Nazism for what it was: it was not just the Jews Hitler sought to extirpate, it was just about anyone with an alternate point of view. Niem”ller spoke out, and for his trouble was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945, and very nearly executed. While incarcerated, Niem”ller wrote a poem that, from the first time I read it in my teenage years, stuck hauntingly in my mind:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: The Leader is there for you, be you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, low-caste, homosexual, dissident or disabled. Its staff will fight on, unbowed and unafraid, with the courage to which you have become accustomed. Do not take that commitment for granted. Let there be no doubt that whatever sacrifices we journalists make, they are not made for our own glory or enrichment: they are made for you. Whether you deserve their sacrifice is another matter. As for me, God knows I tried.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

British MP Accuses Israel of Using Holocaust Guilt to Contrinue Gaza Op.

Israel using Holocaust guilt to continue Gaza op, says British Jewish MP
By The Associated Press

A British lawmaker declared Thursday that Israel was taking advantage of the guilt many non-Jews feel over the Holocaust to ruthlessly press ahead with its offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

Gerald Kaufman, a governing Labour Party legislator, sharply criticized Israel in a House of Commons debate on Gaza, arguing that the Jewish state has exploited guilt that much of the world feels for having ignored the slaughter of six million of Jews during World War II.

"The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt from Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians," he said.

The offensive started in response to Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Medical officials in Gaza have said about 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since the offensive started. Thirteen Israelis have been killed in the fighting, including three civilians who were slain in rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Kaufman, a frequent critic of Israel who was raised as an Orthodox Jew, commented on the claim that large numbers of the Palestinian victims were militants. "I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants," he said.

Kaufman urged the British government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

"My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town.... A
German soldier shot her dead in her bed, he said. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza," the MP said.


US Made Israeli White Phosphorus Shells Rain Down On Gaza

UN headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli 'white phosphorus' shells

The main UN compound in Gaza was left in flames today after being struck by Israeli artillery fire, and a spokesman said that the building had been hit by shells containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus.

The attack on the headquarters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) came as Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, arrived in Israel on a peace mission and plunged Israel's relations with the world body to a new low.

Mr Ban expressed his "strong protest and outrage" at the shelling and demanded an investigation, only to be told by apologetic Israeli leaders that their forces had been returning fire from within the UN compound.

"The Israeli forces were attacked from there and their response was severe," Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, told the UN chief, according to a statement released by his office.

"We do not want such incidents to take place and I am sorry for it but I don’t know if you know, but Hamas fired from the UNRWA site. This is a sad incident and I apologise for it."

UNWRA, which looks after around four million Palestinian refugees in the region, suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack, in which three of its employees were injured.

Chris Gunness, a UNRWA spokesman, said that the building had been used to shelter hundreds of people fleeing Israel’s 20-day offensive in Gaza. He said that pallets with supplies desperately needed by Palestinians in Gaza were on fire.

"What more stark symbolism do you need?" he said. "You can’t put out white phosphorus with traditional methods such as fire extinguishers. You need sand, we don’t have sand."

The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures.

The Geneva Convention of 1980 proscribes the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas, although it can be used to create a smokescreen. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said today that all weapons used in Gaza were "within the scope of international law".

The attack on the UN compound came as Israeli forces pushed deeper into Gaza City and unleashed their heaviest shelling on its crowded neighbourhoods in three weeks of war. At least 15 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attacks, medical officials said, pushing the death toll up towards 1,100 — a level that Mr Ban described as "unbearable".

It was not clear whether the escalation signalled a new phase in the conflict. Israel has held back from all-out urban warfare in the narrow alleyways of Gaza's cities, where Hamas militants are more familiar with the lay of the land.

Black smoke billowed over Gaza City, terrifying civilians who said that they had "nowhere left to hide" from the relentless shelling.

"I am telling you that Gaza is on fire, everything is under attack. We cannot begin to answer all the calls for help, it is desperate. We cannot reach the people, everyone is trapped and we do not know how to help them," said Doctor Moussa El Haddad at Shifa Hospital.

Maha El-Sheiky, 36, said that she fled her home in the western suburbs of Gaza City two days ago, moving her family into a school in the centre of the city. "We thought it would be safer here. But now there is shelling everywhere. It is schools and mosques and hospitals. We don’t know what will be next," she said. "We are hiding, it is in God’s hands."

There were reports that the al-Quds hospital in the Tal El Hawa district, Gaza's second-largest, had been shelled, while more than 500 patients were being treated inside.

An explosion also blasted a tower block that houses the offices of Reuters and several other media organisations, injuring a journalist working for the Abu Dhabi television channel.

Reuters journalists working at the time said it appeared that the southern side of the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in the city centre had been struck by an Israeli missile or shell. Reuters evacuated its bureau.

Several organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch, said that they were "certain" that Israel was using white phosphorus shells in Gaza. Human rights workers said that the use of phosphorus in the densely populated Gaza City could constitute a war crime.

Israel launched the offensive on December 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorised hundreds of thousands of Israelis. It says that it will press ahead until it receives guarantees of a complete halt to rocket fire and an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza from neighbouring Egypt.

The attack on the UN compound prompted international protests.

Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office Minister, said that there was "absolutely no excuse" for the shelling, which, he said, reminded him of a similar attack on a UN observation post during the Israeli offensive into Lebanon in 2006.

He told peers: "With over 1,000 people now dead in Gaza, many of them civilians and children, the urgent need for a diplomatic solution is clear. A robust and immediate ceasefire is the only way the current situation in Gaza can be addressed."

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "The shelling of the UN Headquarters in Gaza is unacceptable. This undercuts efforts to bring relief to the people of Gaza and is against Israel’s own interests. The UNWRA provides food and aid to over a million Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

"The suspension of its operations will bring more misery to civilians. We desperately need a ceasefire by both sides, not further escalation. Both sides must meet their obligations to protect aid workers at all times."

The conflict was also discussed at talks between Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, in Berlin. Aides said that Mr Brown was expected to speak to Mr Ban later today


Israel Bombing Gaza Hospitals With Impunity

UN chief leads protests as Israel hits Gaza hospitals

PARIS (AFP) — UN chief Ban Ki-moon led international protests on Thursday describing the Palestinian death toll as "unbearable" as Israeli air strikes set hospitals, media and UN buildings ablaze.

"I have conveyed my strong protest and outrage and demanded a full explanation from the defence minister and foreign minister," Ban told reporters in Tel Aviv after the strike on a UN compound in Gaza.

The UN suspended its operations in Gaza after Israeli shells smashed into its compound, setting fire to warehouses holding badly-needed aid.

Other strikes set a hospital wing on fire and wounded two cameramen in a building housing international and Arab media outlets.

"The number of casualties has reached an unbearable point," said Ban, who is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert later Thursday.

Since Israel launched its offensive on December 27, at least 1,070 people have been killed, including at least 355 children, 100 women, 117 elderly men and 12 medics, say Gaza medics. Another 5,000 people have been wounded.

France also denounced the latest attacks.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the bombings this morning by the Israeli army of several hospitals and a building housing international media in Gaza city," said French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier.

Chevallier also condemned the attack on the UN building, adding.

"Israel must abstain from all action that is contrary to international law, he said, adding that France was again appealing for an immediate ceasefire "to spare the civilian population."

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock at the humanitarian situation in Gaza. She stressed the need to stop arms smuggling into the Gaza strip.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also condemned the violence on both sides.

"Today's attack on the UN headquarters in Gaza is indefensible," he said. "The intensification of Israeli military action, and continued Hamas rocket attacks, reinforce the urgency of our call for an immediate ceasefire."

Greece strongly protested to Israel after its navy turned back a boat chartered by Greek activists to take medical aid to the Gaza Strip, the foreign ministry said.

Karin Pally, a spokeswoman with the Free Gaza Movement, which chartered the boat, said it had turned back after Israeli naval vessels surrounded them while still in international waters and threatened to open fire on them.

The boat was carrying several tonnes of medical supplies.

In the French city of Strasbourg, the European Parliament denounced the Israeli blockade preventing aid from arriving in Gaza.

"The embargo on the Gaza Strip represents collective punishment in contravention of international humanitarian law," deputies agreed in a parliamentary resolution adopted with no dissenting hands.

The parliament expressed "its shock at the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza" and "strongly deplores, in particular, the fact that civilian and UN targets have been hit during the (Israeli) attacks."

It called for an immediate ceasefire on both sides.

EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said: "It is unacceptable that the UN headquarters in Gaza has been struck by Israeli artillery fire."

The statement added: "I am deeply shocked and dismayed to learn of this incident."

In Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, announced he would accompany an aid convoy into Gaza on Monday. He too called for a ceasefire.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused some Arab and Islamic states of complicity in what he described as the "genocide" being carried out by the Israelis against Palestinians in Gaza.

"Unfortunately, some states in the Arab and Islamic region tolerate or support this rare genocide with silence or a smile of satisfaction," Ahmadinejad said in a letter to Saudi King Abdullah.

Ahmadinejad urged the king to "break the silence over this obvious atrocity and killing of your own children," Ahmadinejad said in the letter, which was posted on his website.


Rock The Truth: Website Calls For Assassination of Gazan Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes

Rock The Truth: Website Calls For Assassination of Gazan Witnesses to Israeli War Crimes

EU Proposes Cutting Relations With Israel

EU parliament urges halting relations with Israel

European deputies step up pressure on Brussels to do more to end Israeli offensive.

STRASBOURG - European deputies stepped up the pressure on the executive EU Commission to bring an end to Israel's military offensive in Gaza, urging it to halt developing EU-Israeli relations.

"I have never condemned Israel and I am sincerely worried about the two sides, but the fact is that Israel's action are disproportional and we are doing nothing," said Irish MEP Guy Mitchell in the European Parliament.

Other deputes raised the issue of suspending last month's EU-Israel Association Agreement, which formed the legal basis of stronger relations between the European bloc and the Jewish state.

"Do you not think the time has come to interrupt the strengthening of our ties with Israel? It is no longer about words, but actions," said Italian MEP Vittorio Agnoletto.

Faced with a barrage of accusations that the EU was political paralysed, the European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner who attended the meeting denied that Brussels was not doing enough.

"I could not have done more than what we have done... It is very easy to tell me to do more... Sometimes a commissioner seems to have so much more power than she (actually) has," she said.

Her comments came after the EU's Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said Israel was not respecting international human rights law in the Gaza Strip, where it was giving insufficient protection to the civil population.

On Tuesday the Israeli army embarked on the 18th day of its offensive the Gaza Strip. The fighting has left more than 900 dead including significant numbers of Palestinian women and children.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Israelis Fake More Rockets From Lebanon

{note the photo below shows an Israeli Missile Attack, NOT a Hezbollah rocket attack-Brandon}

UN chief Ban Ki-moon visits Middle East as rockets from Lebanon hit Israel

Three rockets from Lebanon have landed on northern Israel, in an attack that could signal a second front in Israel's 19-day offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Fighting rages as Gaza Strip death toll nears 1000
The continued violence comes as divisions between Israel's senior politicians have been exposed as Benjamin Netanyahu, the opposition leader, said Hamas should be 'removed' from the Gaza Strip Photo: AP

Police said the rockets landed in open areas and there were no reports of damage or injuries. People in northern Israel were asked to head to bomb shelters. Israel responded with artillery fire into south Lebanon, witnesses said.

Security sources in Lebanon said five rockets were fired but two fell short of the Israeli border.

The attacks come as UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon travelled to the Middle East on a tour aimed at pressuring Israel and Hamas into a lasting ceasefire.

Mr Ban is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as part of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, which has killed almost 1,000 people.

He will then visit Israel and the West Bank as well as other regional powers.

But the UN chief is not scheduled to meet representatives of Hamas - which controls the Gaza Strip - and it is not clear whether he will go to Gaza itself during his week-long trip, the BBC reports.

Four rockets were fired on northern Israel last Thursday. Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group denied responsibility and speculation focused on small Palestinian groups in Lebanon.

Israeli officials have expressed concern that militants in Lebanon could try to open a second front in the Gaza campaign in solidarity with Hamas.

Police said the latest rockets hit near the near the northern town of Kiryat Shemona.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ex-British Ambassador Calls Zionism "Bullshit"

Israelis Forced To Retreat From Gaza City

Israel troops retreat from Gaza district

Press TV
Saturday, Jan 11, 2008

Israeli forces have retreated from Tal al-Halwa neighborhood south of Gaza Strip after attacks which killed at least 12 Palestinians.

The bodies of at least 12 Palestinians were found in the rubble of houses in al-Khazaa and Tal al-Halwa districts south of Gaza, which brought Sunday’s death toll from Israel’s attacks to 26 Palestinians.

Israeli troops were forced to pull back from the neighborhoods after meeting a fierce resistance from Palestinian fighters and facing a lot of mortar attacks and roadside bombs planted on their way.

Israeli aircraft also targeted residential areas near the Palestine Mosque in Gaza. No casualties is reported yet.

At least 880 Palestinians have been killed and 3,690 wounded since Israel began its attacks on Gaza Strip on December 27. Half of those killed are women and children.

An Israeli investigation claimed on Sunday that it had ‘mistakenly’ targeted a UN-run school in Gaza on Jan. 6 attack, in which dozens of civilians were killed.

The Israeli attacks have sparked widespread protests across the world. On Sunday, angry protestors in al-Quds in the West Bank threw burning bottles on Israel’s security forces.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Warning to Israel From Russia: War Could Spread to Iran

War could go beyond Gaza, Israel may hit Iran: Russia

January 9, 2009 – 3:29 pm

Russia has warned Israel that the continuation of its military operation in the Gaza Strip could spread beyond the coastal sliver.

In a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov said the large-scale offensive in Gaza threatens the security of other regions as well.

The Israeli operation, launched on December 27, has caused a huge number of civilian casualties. Tel Aviv is also facing massive international outcries due to its camping in the densely-populated Gaza.

Meanwhile, A former US defense secretary says Israel will opt to take military action against Iran before Tehran makes a major nuclear breakthrough.

William Perry, the US Secretary of Defense under president Bill Clinton, said Thursday a conflict between Israel and Iran is highly likely to happen during US President-elect Barack Obama’s first year in office.

“It seems clear that Israel will not sit by idly while Iran takes defiant steps toward becoming a nuclear power,” said Perry.

His comments come at a time when Israel is moving forward with its full-scale incursion into the Gaza Strip, which has sparked universal condemnation.

Some 783 people have died since the start of the Israeli operation on December 27, while 3,300 others are reported wounded in Gaza.


Israel Retracts Bullshit About Militants at UN School

First Published 2009-01-09

Gunness: Israeli ‘allegations are baseless’

Israel retracts claim of militant fire at UN school

UN calls for independent investigation into Israel’s bombing of school as possible war crime.

PACIFICA – UN spokesperson Chris Gunness said Israeli officials have privately retracted their widely cited initial claim that Hamas militants were firing from a UN school sheltering Gaza civilians in Jabalya, Democracy Now! reported Thursday.

Another four Palestinians died Wednesday from injuries sustained in the Israeli bombing of the school, bringing the death toll to forty-six. Another fifty-five were wounded.

“I’ve been authorized to say that the Israeli army, in private briefings with diplomats, is admitting that the firing that came out of Jabalya yesterday, the militant fire, was not from within the UNRWA school compound, it was from outside the UNRWA school compound. This is a crucial distinction,” said Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson.

“Those allegations are baseless. It, as far as we’re concerned, illustrates the need for a full and independent investigation. It’s been shown that these allegations … are completely baseless," added Gunness.

The UN is calling for an independent investigation into the school bombing as a possible war crime.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a rare condemnation of the Israeli government for blocking it from the site of a deadly bombing of Palestinian civilians.

The Red Cross says Israel barred aid workers for four days from reaching victims in the neighborhood of Zeitoun. Israeli soldiers reportedly tried to chase the rescue workers away.

When they finally arrived, the workers found fifteen bodies, along with several children still barely alive. The children were lying next to their dead mothers.

In a statement, the Red Cross said the Israeli military has “failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded,” calling the episode “unacceptable.”

Other sources have reported a higher death toll in the Zeitoun attack. The Daily Telegraph of London reports the bombing could have killed between sixty to seventy members of the same family.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Peter Schiff: Economic Nostradamus

this would be hilarious if it weren't horrible reality....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved
Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

By Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 7:40AM GMT 29 Dec 2008

The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts" , reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation" , reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.

As 2009 dawns, it is time we in Britain faced up to the genuine crisis now fast approaching from the fact that – unless we get on very soon with building enough proper power stations to fill our looming "energy gap" - within a few years our lights will go out and what remains of our economy will judder to a halt. After years of infantile displacement activity, it is high time our politicians – along with those of the EU and President Obama's US – were brought back with a mighty jolt into contact with the real world.

I must end this year by again paying tribute to my readers for the wonderful generosity with which they came to the aid of two causes. First their donations made it possible for the latest "metric martyr", the east London market trader Janet Devers, to fight Hackney council's vindictive decision to prosecute her on 13 criminal charges, ranging from selling in pounds and ounces to selling produce "by the bowl" (to avoid using weights her customers dislike and don't understand). The embarrassment caused by this historic battle has thrown the forced metrication policy of both our governments, in London and Brussels, into total disarray.

Since Hackney backed out of allowing four criminal charges against Janet to go before a jury next month, all that remains is for her to win her appeal in February against eight convictions which now look quite absurd (including those for selling veg by the bowl, as thousands of other London market traders do every day). The final goal, as Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund insists, must then be a pardon for the late Steve Thoburn and the four other original "martyrs" who were found guilty in 2002 – after a legal battle also made possible by this column's readers – of breaking laws so ridiculous that the EU Commission has even denied they existed (but which are still on the statute book).

Readers were equally generous this year in rushing to the aid of Sue Smith, whose son was killed in a Snatch Land Rover in Iraq in 2005. Their contributions made it possible for her to carry on with the High Court action she has brought against the Ministry of Defence, with the sole aim of calling it to account for needlessly risking soldiers' lives by sending them into battle in hopelessly inappropriate vehicles. Thanks not least to Mrs Smith's determined fight, the Snatch Land Rover scandal, first reported here in 2006, has at last become a national cause celebre.

May I finally thank all those readers who have written to me in 2008 – so many that, as usual, it has not been possible to answer all their messages. But their support and information has been hugely appreciated. May I wish them and all of you a happy (if globally not too warm) New Year.

Global Cooling Shuts Down Russian Pipeline to Europe?

Accuweather’s Bastardi: Global Cooling Reason for Putin Shutting off Gas Pipeline

Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
Wednesday, Jan 7, 2008

It’s not often that meteorology intersects with geopolitics – but Europe could be in store for another Cold War, literally.’s chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi observed that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent cut of gas flows to Europe via Ukraine may have been done so in anticipation of a global cooling cycle on the Jan. 6 “Glenn Beck Show” radio program. Bastardi has a solid reputation among Wall Street traders for understanding weather’s impact on energy commodities.

“The thing I want to bring up here – very interesting – most of the solar cycle studies that we know about and that guys like me read have come out of the Russian scientists,” Bastardi said. “But when Glasnost developed, the Russian scientists, a lot of their ideas on the coming cool period that a lot of us believe is going to occur – ice, rather than fire is the big problem down the road here 2030, 2040, and the reversing cyclical cycles of the ocean – it came out of the East.”

According to Bastardi – Putin is relying on the data from the Russian scientists and wants to bring some European nations to their knees by exploiting their reliance on natural gas when the weather is at its coldest.

“Now my theory – something that I put out and it’s something that’s not something that people want to hear is that Putin knows what is going to happen – or he believes the same way I do about the overall climate pattern. So, if you control the pipeline into Europe, you literally can control Europe without firing a shot – if you control the energy.”

Bastardi cited former President Ronald Reagan’s 1982 Cold War-era staunch resistance to a then-$10 billion pipeline that was proposed to deliver natural gas 3,500 miles from Siberia to the heart of Western Europe, as a July 12, 1982 Time magazine article pointed out. Reagan’s stance was criticized by Western Europe Cold War allies and was said to be “riding roughshod over Western Europe’s economies,” by Time.

Bastardi also noted Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was evidence of Putin’s willingness to use energy as a strategic tactic, since the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, located in Georgia, transports about a million barrels of oil a day from the Caspian Sea through Georgia to ports in Turkey – and then throughout Europe.

“That is why Reagan was so dead set against the Europeans looking east for their energy,” Bastardi said. “And now we’re seeing it. I believe the invasion of Georgia was nothing more than saying, ‘Hey I can take that pipeline whenever I want’ and he shut the gas off to the Ukraine when it got brutally cold.”

In a follow-up interview with the Business & Media Institute, Bastardi explained that a lot of Putin’s personality traits are at play here – that he is using intelligence, going back to his days as at the KGB.

“The weather’s most certainly involved in this,” Bastardi said. “If look at what those Russian scientists, where a lot of these studies on it getting cold come from – you can see that, what makes you think that Putin doesn’t have some knowledge of that? Here’s the head of the KGB – and forever what you want to say, I’m sure he’s privy to the same kind of information the head of the CIA is privy to here about studies and what people are thinking on a scientific nature.”

And according to Bastardi, Putin’s use of the flow of energy into Europe is just one of the weapons in his arsenal of tactics that he, as the head of Russia, has perfected using – comparing him to a wrestler with a perfected move.

“He’s definitely a type-A alpha male and we can both agree on that,” Bastardi said. “I mean look at him and he is more likely to use weapons – and I use weapons in terms of for instance a wrestler – a single-leg take down is a weapon. If you perfect it, you can use it the entire match. He’s more likely in the art of war to use what he knows how to use, even if it’s only two or three things than try to go use something he doesn’t know how to use or try to create something – that’s a waste of time to use it.”

It’s not a personality fault Bastardi contended on Beck’s program – but just what he considers proper for his country.

“And so, there are a couple of things that line up here that indicate the guy is trying act on behalf of his country and what he believes his country should be,” Bastardi said. “And I believe that he wants to use nature, rather than change nature and that may be what’s going on over here.”

IRS Agents "Soften Heart" For Delinquent Tax Payers

IRS agents soften heart for delinquent taxpayers

Jan 6, 6:44 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - As the nation sinks deeper into recession, the IRS is offering to waive late penalties, negotiate new payment plans and postpone asset seizures for delinquent taxpayers who are financially strapped, but make a good-faith effort to settle their tax debts.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said Tuesday that tax agents are being given new authority to work with victims of the nation's economic woes who are struggling to pay their bills.

"We need to recognize that it's an extraordinary, challenging time," Shulman said in an interview. "We need to understand the taxpayers' perspective. We need to walk a mile in their shoes."

It's unrealistic to expect some taxpayers to make timely payments in this economy, Shulman said. However, he cautioned that those seeking help will have to demonstrate their inability to pay. Those who fail to file tax returns, or who simply ignore collection notices, will not be eligible for help, he said.

"The most important thing for people to do is to get on the phone or walk into an IRS office," he said. "The worst thing someone can do is go dark and not be in a discussion with us."

Just last month, the agency announced a program making it easier for homeowners with an IRS lien on their property to refinance their mortgages or sell their homes.

With the filing season for 2008 tax returns opening this week, the IRS expects to process 250 million returns over the next few months, including 130 million from individuals.

The new leniency program is geared toward people who have paid their taxes in the past, but who are now having facing a financial hardship. "This is not a free ride for people who can actually pay their taxes," Shulman said.

The IRS doesn't know how many taxpayers might take advantage of the new program for stretching out payments on overdue taxes or even reducing their tax liability. But millions could be eligible.

In the fiscal year ending last Sept. 30, the IRS took enforcement action against more than 3 million taxpayers. The actions included property liens and asset seizures, including homes, cars, bank accounts and garnishing wages.

This year, even more taxpayers could fall behind in their tax payments as the economy continues to sour. Record numbers of homeowners are falling behind on mortgage payments and the U.S. economy is losing jobs at an alarming rate.

Since the start of the recession last December, the economy has shed 1.9 million jobs, and the number of unemployed people has increased by 2.7 million - to 10.3 million now out of work.

The leniency program is an extraordinary step by the IRS, said Ellis Reemer, head of tax litigation at the law firm of DLA Piper. IRS agents, he said, are generally well-meaning public servants who want to work with taxpayers but are often bound by policies that limit their discretion.

"This is not a normal course of events," Reemer said. "This is an institutional determination that we are in very difficult economic times."

The program was described as the "give the tax man a heart plan," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group.

Ellis said the program makes sense given the state of the economy, but he cautioned that it should be closely monitored for consistency and fairness.

"You don't want people to get off the hook and not pay their fair share," he said. "They need to make sure that it's consistent."

The IRS is doing the same thing many private creditors are doing. She said the mortgage crisis, Wall Street meltdown and job losses have left many families unable to pay their bills, said Sharon Price, policy director of the National Housing Conference.

However, she worried that many taxpayers won't know how to access the benefits.

"The problem is, will it be consistent and how will people find out about it?" Price said.

To help explain the leniency program, the IRS has posted answers to common taxpayer questions on its Web site, . The advice under "What if I can't pay my taxes?" begins with some reassuring words: "Don't panic."


On The Net:

IRS: ,,id201853,00.html?portlet6

thus always to tyrants authors

Brandon Dean (splitbabyniblet)


Joshua Berry (tattoogeek)

you see what happens?

"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein