discarded lies: monday, march 19, 2018 8:49 pm zst
carving reality at the joints
daily archive: 09/28/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
How's the Intifada Going?
Ok, this may be very good news: Losing Faith in the Intifada
The official Palestinian line is that the struggle continues. Veteran leader Yasser Arafat and old-line members of his Fatah faction insist that ordinary Palestinians are unbowed by the overwhelming degree of force that Israel has brought to bear in cities and towns all over the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which have been responsible for more than 100 suicide bombings over the past four years, also insist that they will continue to hit Israeli targets with all their strength.

But relentless Israeli strikes at the militant groups' leaders and field operatives, together with the partial construction of a security barrier meant to seal off the West Bank, are credited with reducing such attacks inside Israel by 80%.

For some time now, influential figures in Palestinian society — intellectuals, lawmakers, analysts, professionals and well-regarded local officials — have been asserting, almost matter-of-factly, that the violent confrontation with Israeli forces has reached a dead end and their people must look to the future.

"We have witnessed the destruction of Palestinian society — its civil institutions, its economy, its infrastructure," said Zuhair Manasra, the governor of Bethlehem. "The result has been a complete disaster for the Palestinians, at all levels. Now we must think how to rebuild."

This month, a poll commissioned by An Najah University in the northern West Bank city of Nablus — traditionally a stronghold of militants — found that more than two-thirds of Palestinians surveyed supported seeking a cease-fire arrangement with Israel. In the past, a similar proportion lent support to continued fighting.

If there was a change in Palestinian leadership I would be a lot more optimistic. I don't consider Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad peacemakers and I don't know what other choices are there.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Register to Vote
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are participating in the upcoming Palestinian municipal elections and are urging their followers to go out and vote. Lovely, just lovely. Après Arafat, le deluge.

A strong Hamas campaign could pose a formidable challenge to Arafat. The veteran Palestinian leader announced plans earlier this month to hold the municipal elections in response to widespread discontent over his corruption-plagued government and chaos in the Palestinian areas.

On Tuesday, Hamas published an ad in Al Ayyam, a major Palestinian newspaper, calling on its followers to register to vote. "Fellow citizens, it's time for change. It's time to register your name," it said.

The ad was published a day after Zahar, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, was quoted by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as saying that Hamas will also run in legislative and presidential elections.

A Hamas official in the West Bank, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group hasn't decided whether to nominate its own presidential candidate or support an independent. The decision will depend on how well Hamas does in the upcoming municipal elections, he said.

During four years of fighting with Israel, Hamas has gained popularity, both for its attacks in Israel and its image as being untainted by corruption.

Hamas Calls on Followers to Vote
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Lend Them a Voice
A meeting of the International Moral Court was held in Paris September 23-25 to expose the crimes of the theocracy in Tehran. Here are some of the horrors: The Heart of Darkness
As we talked, the court went on. Following the administrative procedures a film was shown; smuggled out of Iran, it pictured scenes of despicable horror. We all watched the unwatchable: a man lay on a stretcher while another, bearded and looking like an official, read what seemed to be a court sentence. Then a man dressed in white comes in — presumably a physician — bends over the lying man and applies the sentence.

There is only one word to describe the horror of what I saw: horror. There is other word for the act of tearing out a living man's eyes; there is no adjective to describe it. The whole assembly was plunged into a macabre silence. In the next scene, another man, lying alive and awake on a stretcher, watched his physician-torturer cut his fingers with a hand-mower. Next, a third man, or woman — there is no way of distinguishing the gender of someone wrapped up like a mummy — is buried, alive and awake, up to his chest, before being stoned to death. It barely takes a minute or two before the chest and head of the living mummy start circling around in a dance of death. What magnifies to near-infinite the evil of these scenes of barbarity is the unbearable accompanying cry, "Allah Akbar!" — "God is Great!"


I leave the courtroom, sick of myself, sick of bearing my being. I retire to an adjacent room to write and forget. "Did Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times ever talk to Ali when he toured Iran a few months ago? He has never lived under fascism, has he? Mr. Kristoff doesn't have to face the Lebanese Hezbollah in the streets of New York, does he? So why does he advocate reforming the theocracy and flooding it with American dollars? The "reform" movement is dead, Mr. Kristoff. The aspiration for liberty and a life without fear, for a life with dignity, is not."

(Hat tip: WriterMom)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Spokesman
An interview with Saeb Erekat, spokesman for the world's most experienced terrorist, Yasser Arafat.

‘Palestinian’ penchant for prevarication

Whereas most spokesmen cleverly contort the truth without fracturing it, Erakat lies like he breathes. At a one-hour session with nine American journalists, Arafat's mouthpiece wasted no time in doing what he does best.

Asked upfront whether Arafat's machine, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, recognizes the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, he emphatically states that it does. Except it doesn't.

The PLO's initial charter called for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. When I asked the clean-shaven, bespectacled spokesman if that provision had been removed, he said yes, twice. He spoke as convincingly as he says, "My name is Saeb Erekat." Yet it was a complete lie.

Arafat designed an elaborate hoax in 1996 and again in 1998, telling the world each time that the charter had changed, without actually changing it. The charter remains unchanged. To this day, the PLO's map of "Palestine" stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, with no Israel in between.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Shin-Bet Terror Report
Shin-Bet Terror Report [bugmenot]

First the good news:
  • there has been an 84% decrease in the number of Israelis killed in terror attacks since the completion of the first portion of the security fence.

Then the old news:
  • interrogation of prisoners has revealed that Arafat is involved in terror attacks.
(I am shocked).

And finally, the bad news:
  • a growing number of Israeli Arabs are getting involved in terrorist activities.
  • There's increased cooperation between terror organisations
  • Hizbullah, with Iran's backing, is also becoming more and more involved in Palestinian terror groups
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Christian Arabs
From MEMRI, Iraqi columnist Majid Aziza highlights the plight of the Christian Arab community in the Muslim world: 'It is Difficult to Recall a Period in which Christian Arabs Were in Greater Danger than Today'

"The Christians have lived in the territory currently referred to as [the Arab countries] for centuries alongside other religious groups, and particularly with Muslims who shared with them the afflictions of life. But the Christians have lost their partners for many reasons, including religious extremism among some Muslims, the demographic increases out of religious reasons, and the acts of discrimination, coercion, and individual and collective expulsion of Christians, and the pressures placed upon them even when they were serving their countries. There are many examples of that in Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, and other countries.

"Approximately 4 million Lebanese Christians have emigrated from their country as a result of the pressures placed upon them by others. About half a million Iraqi Christians have left their country for the same reasons… The situation gets worse today because of the discrimination by salafi [Islamic fundamentalist] extremists. In Palestine, the Christians are becoming almost extinct as a result of the control of extremist Muslims on the Palestinian issue and the marginalization of the role of the Christians, apart from the negative impact of the Intifada, which is led by Islamist organizations, on the Christians of Palestine. With regard to Christians in Egypt, the Copts, what happened and is happening to them equally on the part of the state and the Islamists will suffice to fill pages of books and newspapers to explain the coercion, discrimination and persecution. What is happening in Algeria, Mauritania, Somalia, and others is too long to explain.

"This situation is also reflected in non-Arab [Muslim] countries. In Islamic countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria, Christians suffer from persecution. In Pakistan, Islamist [spiritual leaders] have issued a fatwa [religious opinion] permitting the killing of two Christians for every Muslim killed by the American attacks in Afghanistan, as though the Americans represent Christianity in the world. In other countries they [Christians] live in fear, under the shadow of threat, and face a growing cycle of assaults whenever the United States and its allies carry out a military operation against any country.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Islamic Feminism
Duke University, where the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Conference will be held in October, has some interesting professors too. Professor of Asian and African Languages and Literature and President of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, Miriam Cooke, opposes the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban, as well as the democratization of the Middle East. Duke Feminist Gives Thumbs Up To Taliban

Afghanistan’s Taliban was one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, and doubly so when it came to women’s rights. For years, various activists expressed concern about the situation of Afghan women and supported the efforts of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan [1], to try and affect reform. So when the opportunity arose to overthrow that brutal regime, it was expected that RAWA activists would naturally back the insurrection.

However, it turned out these activists were more opposed to U.S. military intervention than they were in favor of getting rid of the Taliban, even if it meant that Afghanistan’s women remained in a state of perpetual slavery. And among those who subscribe to such views is Duke University Professor Miriam Cooke. Cooke is a Professor of Asian and African Languages and Literature and President of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, an international organization staunchly opposed to what they call on their website the “new imperialism,? and a disciple of the theory of post-colonialism. Cooke is also a strong proponent of “Islamic feminism.?

Islamic feminism holds that Muslim women should enact social change from within the confines of their own culture and religion. Western powers are viewed as having purely imperialistic designs and, as a result, their intervention is unwelcome. Such is the “logic? that caused Cooke, a longtime proponent of Muslim women writers, activists, and intellectuals, to oppose the U.S. overthrow of the Taliban, as well as the democratization of the Middle East.

During a talk at a forum on the future of Iraq at the John Hope Franklin Center on March 26th, 2003, Cooke rejected the liberation of Afghan women as a reason to go to war. Rather than being grateful for calling attention to the suffering of fellow women, she castigated First Lady Laura Bush for her radio address on behalf of the women of Afghanistan. Cooke accused Laura Bush of furthering “the imperial project in her highly gendered appeal to a world conscience.?

What does Islamic feminism involve exactly? Burn your bra under your burka?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What We Need to Know
Michael Ledeen writes about the beheadings in Iraq: Know Thine Enemy
This is not about us — it is about them. The beheading films are recruitment tools. They've been around for a long time, part and parcel of the first generation of "jihad" home movies, circulated mostly in North Africa to excite homicidal fanatics and lure them into the Islamist bands. The main difference between then and now is that their marketing and distribution have improved, thanks to their comrades at al Jazeera and al Arabiya, and the Internet.


We cannot wage an effective war unless we understand the nature of our enemy. If we do not grasp that the terrorists' ranks are full of people who are there precisely because they are thrilled by the prospect of beheading human beings, we will fail to see the war through to its necessary conclusion. The beheadings are about them, not us. They show us very important things we need to know: What they are, what they want, what they will do if we do not stop them.

I remember the horror I felt when I saw the beheading of Daniel Pearl. I feel the same horror today but also a determination that these people cannot be allowed to win. Back in February 2002, Charles wrote about Daniel Pearl:
But his death also has a purpose for us. It’s another stark undeniable example of the utter barbarity and inhumanity of our enemies. The best tribute to Danny Pearl (and to the thousands who died on 9/11) is for the US to stay strong and committed, and to continue draining the swamp of terrorism. Because if we lose sight of the goal, they’ll be coming for us next.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Syrian Logic
Upside down logic at its best: Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, accused Israel of devising "flimsy pretexts" to encourage the U.S. to wage war in Iraq.
"Israel bears an important share of the responsibility for intensifying and worsening the American predicament in Iraq by avoiding the resumption of the peace process, despite the hand extended in peace by the Palestinians, Syrian and Lebanese," al-Sharaa said.

He argued that the stagnation in the peace process is a "major cause of the rejection of American policies in the broader Middle East."


Syria is under U.S. sanctions for what American officials say is its support for terrorism. The country plays host to several members of Hamas, the militant group that routinely carries out suicide bombings in Israel. Syrian officials have denied any links to terror.

Al-Sharaa made a point of reaffirming Syria's condemnation of terrorism, but he said there is a difference between terrorism and legitimate national opposition movements — a reference to Hamas and to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

On Monday, the U.S. State Department, commenting on the assassination in Damascus, said the best way to halt the violence in Syria would be for that country to crack down on terror groups.

"We've made it clear, in numerous meetings with the Syrians, that we think it is in their interests, in the interests of the region, to end support for terrorist organizations and terrorist individuals operating from their territory," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said.
Syria: Israel Shares U.S. Blame in Iraq
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Released from Guantanamo
Free to Kill Again
The weekend death of a Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan might have passed without notice but for one troubling fact: The dead fighter appears to have been a former detainee at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo. He died leading an ambush on U.S. forces; three American soldiers were wounded, one critically.

The Defense Department won't confirm or deny that Abdul Ghaffar did a stint at Gitmo before being deemed no longer a threat and sent home to Afghanistan. But reports from that country quote both a Taliban spokesman and Afghan government officials as saying Ghaffar had been let go by the U.S. "People like Ghaffar even on being released from prison return to violence and terror," one official told the French wire service AFP. "It is their nature."

Natural or not, last week 11 more detainees were sent home from Guantanamo, for a total of 202 since the camp was established -- 146 for release and 56 transferred to the control of their home governments. "We make a determination about transfer of a detainee based on the best information we have at the time," a Pentagon spokesman told us yesterday. "Remember, some of these people are highly skilled in concealing the truth." There are still 539 detainees at Guantanamo, some of whom have begun to face military tribunals.

All of which certainly sheds a different light on the past year of debate on the enemies detained there. The Taliban and others swept up during the Afghan War were gradually transformed in much of the media coverage into misunderstood innocents being held by a U.S. government bent on ignoring the Constitution. Never mind that there's a war on, and that most of these men are determined and deceptive killers.

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)
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