Revolution is in the Air: 5/15/11: Palestinian flags in Tahrir Square

INDEX (stories follow)

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog — Special Weekend Edition

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell

EVENTS
from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

Tunisia cancels Jewish pilgrimage for first time

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

Violence on three borders as Palestinians remember Nakba: Syrian provocation?

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

IMPERIALISM IN WORD & DEED
from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)

HISTORY & ANALYSIS
From the poem I Call On You by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation)

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog — Special Weekend Edition

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell
EVENTS

FROM JADALIYYA

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
From Saudi women:  “Us women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are the ones who will lead this society towards change. While we failed to deliver through our voices, we will not fail to deliver through our actions. We have been silent and under the mercy of our guardian (muhram) or foreign driver for too long.”

Who will cover Oman protests

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“The soldiers moved in on the protest camp as night fell over the southern Omani city of Salalah, the country’s second largest, dispersing demonstrators demanding higher salaries and more jobs and possibly arresting scores before dismantling the tents they had pitched there in February, according to Arab media reports.  The clampdown started on Thursday night when the army began firing shots in the air and tear gas shells to clear out protesters who had been camping outside the local governor’s office.”

Only Reuters seems to be covering Oman

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“Omani security forces cleared demonstrators’ camps and arrested hundreds, witnesses and protesters said, stamping out two more centres of protests demanding improved living conditions in the Gulf Arab country.  In the southern port of Salalah, security forces fired shots in the air to push out protesters camped outside the provincial governor’s office late on Thursday, destroying their tents and arresting dozens and possibly hundreds of protesters, witnesses said. No one was seriously injured.” (thanks Adam)

Bahrain shock therapy

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
A: We don’t know. All of those who were released talk about the security forces forcing them to chant for the government. Some of them forced them to say bad words about another opposition leader. Some of them more than 10 days they were handcuffed with plastic ones, not the normal handcuffs, and blindfolded.
Q: There have been reports police used electroshock on the detainees — did anyone tell you about that? What did they say was done to them?
A: Yes. You know an electric shaver? It looks like that but it is for electroshock. What was explained to us, it is the same size, the same style, but it shocks.”

Israel’s Mizrahi youth solidarize with Arab Spring

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
An open letter from Israel’s progressive +972 Magazine, where it first appeared in Hebrew and Arabic on April 24:

Ruh Jedida: A New Spirit for 2011
We, as the descendants of the Jewish communities of the Arab and Muslim world, the Middle East and the Maghreb, and as the second and third generation of Mizrahi Jews in Israel, are watching with great excitement and curiosity the major role that the men and women of our generation are playing so courageously in the demonstrations for freedom and change across the Arab world. We identify with you and are extremely hopeful for the future of the revolutions that have already succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt. We are equally pained and worried at the great loss of life in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and many other places in the region.

read more

Tunisia cancels Jewish pilgrimage for first time

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Tunisian island of Djerba for the Lag B’Omer holy day has been officially canceled for the first time ever due to security concerns this year. For centuries, Mizrahi Jews from throughout the Mediterranean have converged on the island each year for a festival centered on the ancient El Ghriba synagogue on the holiday that follows Passover. But Roger Bismuth, president of Tunisia’s Jewish community, said the event was called off thus year after consultations with the government. “We have this fight at the Tunisian border with Libya so the situation is not as we like,” Bismuth told the Jerusalem Post by phone from Tunis. “Besides that we have had a revolution. The situation is not completely quiet yet so we took precautionary measures.”

read more

Violence on three borders as Palestinians remember Nakba: Syrian provocation?

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on May 15, leaving at least 12 dead and scores wounded, as Palestinians commemorated the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of the Jewish state’s founding in 1948. Israeli troops also opened fire as dozens of Palestinian refugees tore through a border fence and crossed into the Israel-occupied Golan Heights from Syria, leaving at least four dead. Four were killed as Palestinian refugees attempted to cross into Israel from Lebanon. Some 60 were injured as troops fired on Palestinians approaching the Gaza Strip border fence.

read more

Palestinian flags in Tahrir Square

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
الأعلام الفلسطينية في ميدان التحرير

Even the website of the news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyyah, had to write a special feature about “Palestinian flags in Tahrir Square.”  The youth called for trying Mubarak for killing Palestinians in Gaza and called for a march to Jerusalem.  They chanted in unison:  “To Jerusalem we are heading, martyrs in the millions.”  Why do US newspaper not report on that?  Well, because they are weeping for Husni Mubarak.

Why Zionists worldwide continue to weep for Husni Mubarak

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)

Egyptian youth carry a giant Palestinian flag: those who insisted that Egyptian youth had no foreign policy goals should look at this picture carefully. (thanks Samia)

PS I don’t like flags and I don’t like nationalism, but for Palestine and the Palestinians anything and everything.

Ben Wedeman (the only credible US TV reporter, perhaps)

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
He tweeted this this week:  “A new era indeed. Egyptian and Palestinian flags side-by-side in #Tahrir. #egypt”.  (thanks Sam)

Egyptian committee to liberate Palestine

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
They have called for an end to gas exports to the Zionist usurping entity.

Buckets of tears from Zionists to Mubarak

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets on Friday to push their military rulers to do more to help Palestinians following the overthrow of the country’s president Hosni Mubarak.  Many Egyptians felt Mubarak, a U.S. ally, was too soft on Israel and want their new government to take a much stronger pro-Palestinian stand.  The gatherings in Cairo, Alexandria and El-Arish come amidst preparations by activists to organize a march to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, May 15 — which Palestinians mark as the anniversary of their 1948 displacement following the establishment of Israel.  Egyptian authorities have banned the march, saying the timing was inappropriate given sectarian tensions in Egypt.”

Egypt: sectarian strife escalates as Salafists attack Coptic protesters

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
At least two were killed and some 70 injured as presumed Salafists attacked Coptic protesters with sticks, firearms and Molotov cocktails in the Cairo neighborhood of Maspero early on May 15. The Copts fought back with hurled rocks, and police finally intervened with tear gas. The protesters were holding a sit-in in front of the Egyptian state television headquarters to demand justice in the face of growing attacks on their community.

read more

Pakistani Parliament Reacts against US Incursions

from Informed Comment by Juan
Pakistan’s elected parliament held a 10-hour session on Friday and decided at the end of it that US incursions, including drone strikes, into Pakistan must cease. The American drone strikes in the northwest, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas have long been unpopular in parliament and with the general public (though in some of the FATA administrative divisions as few as 10% say they even care; some are more worried about al-Qaeda spreading local terrorism than about drones).

Parliament said that if the drone strikes do not cease, it will take revenge by impeding the free passage of NATO materiel destined for landlocked Afghanistan.

In an unprecedented move, the Pakistani military allowed itself to be grilled by the civilian parliamentarians. Gen. Shuja Pasha, the current head of Inter-Services Intelligence, took responsibility for two major intelligence errors– failing to find Bin Laden even though he was in Abbotabad near the military academy, and failing to detect US helicopters coming into the country to carry out the mission against Bin Laden. Gen Pasha even offered to resign if the parliament asked that of him. Accountability and contrition and willingness to step down are not generally attributes of the Pakistani officer corps.

Many countries in the greater Middle East are characterized by ‘dual sovereignty.’ That is, there are two major seats of power, authority and legitimacy rather than just one. For decades, in Turkey the civilian, elected government was constrained by the power of the officer corps. The same thing was true in Pakistan. In Iran, the elected parliament and prime minister are constrained by the Supreme Leader, a cleric.

Since 2007, when military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf made the mistake of sacking the chief justice of the Supreme Court, civilian society has been gradually asserting itself against the military. It has had successes and failures. The Pakistan Spring of 2007-2008 forced Gen. Musharraf from power and returned the country to the civilian political parties such as the Pakistan People’s Part, the Muslim League, the MQM, and so forth. Musharraf ultimately had to step down. But although the army went back to the barracks, and the civilian political parties came to power, the power of the army has been virtually unchecked nevertheless. In the Musharraf period, there was no dual sovereignty, since the army ruled.

We should not overestimate the significance of Friday’s parliamentary session. It is a little unlikely that parliament can effectively stop the drone strikes. And President Asaf Ali Zardari and his prime minister Gilani are both complicit in allowing the US to hit Pakistan, according to state department cables released by Wikileaks.

Still, Friday saw steps forward toward ending dual sovereignty and restoring a rule of law and civilian control over the military in Pakistan.

The US, which has long held that Pakistan should move to a more democratic system, is therefore in a conundrum. If parliament is asserting more prerogatives, this is a good thing from Washington’s point of view. But the assertion of those rights threatens US ability to act with impunity toward Pakistan and toward the Taliban in that country.

The drone strikes have long been questioned by civil libertarians and they should only continue if a) they are carried out by the Department of Defense, not the CIA (government officials cannot even discuss a classified CIA operation); and b) if there is a status of forces agreement between the US and Pakistan governing their use.

The Pakistani parliament will have done us all a great favor if it helped provoke this outcome.

Bin Laden’s porn collection

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
Comrade Max is right to be suspicious.  Personally, I only believe that Bin Laden was killed during the raid: the rest are a combination of lies, fabrications, and psychological operations–as they are officially called.  We don’t even know how Bin Laden was killed.  So the porn story could be made up: and it is suspicious that they announced the porn find many days later. I mean, porn did not have to wait for the Arabic linguists of the NSA to translate it before they realize that they stumbled on a porn collection.  I mean, that would have been announced and photographed immediately.  This is not to deny that it is a possibility and that pious Muslims (if we accept that Bin Laden was pious which is a stretch given his bloody record), like other pious members of other religions, are full of hypocrites.  (thanks Max)

The unmentionable: war crimes by the Libyan transitional Council

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“These migrants, almost all of them black Africans who found refuge from such places as Chad, Eritrea and Sudan’s ravaged Darfur region in Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya, say they are targets of rebels in the east, where they have all too often been mistaken for mercenaries in the pay of the colonel.  Their journey to Libya’s border is perilous. Many say they have witnessed massacres of other black Africans. Even the wounded are not welcome. Ahmed Muhammad Zakaria, a 20-year-old Chadian living in Benghazi, was shot in the leg by rebels, but says people in the local hospital, rather than treat him, told him to go to Egypt. A ten-year-old boy infected with HIV from a blood transfusion in Libya was told that he and his family were no longer welcome in the rebel-held east. “Burn them all,” said one Benghazi native of the blacks fleeing Libya.”
IMPERIALISM IN WORD & DEED

That lousy Lebanese Army: Wlah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
This failure of an army–perhaps one of the most failed attempt of armies–shot today at demonstrators against Israeli at the Lebanese border after Israeli occupation war criminals killed and injured protesters.  The lousy Lebanese Army said that he does not want to open “a front now” because the situation is critical.  I wanted to yell at the commanders of that lousy Army: wlah (I can’t translate this into any other language) you did not open a front when Israeli was attacking Lebanon and when Israeli was bombing your barracks.  Wlah: when did you ever shoot to defend Lebanon from Israeli aggression?  Wlah: your soldiers slept when young volunteers defended Lebanon in 2006 and humiliated the Israeli occupation army.  Wlah: you seriously think that any sane Lebanese (who is not on the payroll of House of Saud or House of Hariri) would ever seriously consider you and your lousy soldiers qualified to defend Lebanon and to resist Israeli aggression and occupation?  Wlah: you are the army of shame, submission, humiliation, regression, withdrawal, a cowardice.  Go and munch on some snakes: maybe that will make you feel strong and muscular.  What a joke you are.

But they bless the Bahrain repression

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“The only problem was nobody from the administration attended the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing to listen to the pleas. Two top State Department officials — Political Affairs Undersecretary William Burns and Jeffrey Feltman, an assistant secretary in State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs — were invited to testify, but didn’t show up.”

Sons of Zayid: with an army of mercenaries

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.  Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.”  I have one thing to say to sons of Zayid: if the massive Egyptian army could not protect Mubarak from the wrath of his people, you think an 800-member gang can protect you?   (thanks Ahmet)

Look how the Israeli newspaper covers rallies for Palestine:

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“Egyptians, Jordanians hold anti-peace rallies

Navy Seal Team Six

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“”I met SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan. They are awesome, skilled, talented and brave,” he added. “I said, ‘I hope you have everything you need. One guy said, ‘We need your permission to go into Pakistan and kick ass.'””
HISTORY & ANALYSIS

I call on you

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)
From the poem I Call On You by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation):
“I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I give you as a gift
the light of my eyes
and the warmth of heart, I give you
My tragedy that I live
Is my share of your tragedies
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I did not humiliate myself in my homeland
and I did not lower my shoulders
I stood facing my oppressors
orphaned, naked, and bare foot
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I carried my blood on my palm
I never lowered my flags
and I cared for the green grass
over the graves of my ancestors”
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This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Background & Analysis, Bahrain, Events, Human Rights, Imperialism, Imperialist Interference & Views, Israel, Libya, Military, Pakistan, Palestine, Revolution, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, US Foreign Policy, US Violence, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

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