Friday, October 28, 2005

You quoted Joseph Farah's vile lie: "Because the Arab leadership who sent him understood that Israeli soldiers, even those under the stress of battle, would not shoot a 10-year-old child."

There is something very very wrong with you guys. You are simply deniers.

A few patterns of omission were particularly startling. The Israeli press, international human rights organizations, and medical relief agencies have all reported on the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli forces. In the first year of the conflict, for example, at least 45 Palestinian children were confirmed to have been killed by Israeli gunfire to the head. Yet, two of the networks carried no reports on this disturbing phenomenon, and one network, CBS, reported on it only once (“...a 12-year-old boy shot in the head by an Israeli soldier...” 10/10/00).

Physicians for Human Rights USA, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem all confirm the Israeli policy of targeting civilians. Are they all lying anti-Semites? You don't want to be an irrational denier do you?

Reporting on children’s deaths was even more flawed.

In 2004, when 22 times more Palestinian children were being killed than Israeli children, we found that ABC, CBS, and NBC were reporting Israeli children’s deaths at rates 9 to 12.8 times higher than Palestinian children’s deaths. By omitting the killings of a great number of Palestinian children, ABC, CBS, and NBC were failing to perform their function as new agencies – the reporting of the news.

"About half of those sustaining gunshot head injuries were children under the age of sixteen, and 15% of the wounded were women. During this four year period, on average, one child under the age of six was shot in the head every two weeks. These and other violations of the military regulations did not lead to the prosecution of the violators, the provision of remedial measures, or reparations for the injured."
By Neve Gordon
Neve Gordon is the former director of the Israeli and Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights,
Links are here:

PLEASE write this WorldNetDaily Editor and CEO Joseph Farah and tell him to stop with the vile propaganda of saying that Israeli soldiers "would not shoot a 10-year-old child." Lies like this are on par with holocaust deniers.


What has been confirmed by human rights groups has also been observed directly by journalists.

A notable example was a lengthy investigative report in the New York Times Magazine by Michael Finkel, who responded directly to Israel's claims that its soldiers shot only when they were under threat. In a striking passage about the clashes at Karni Crossing, a checkpoint on a road leading from the Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip into Israel, Finkel recounts:

"I spent two weeks at Karni during daylight hours, and in my time there, the Israeli Army fired live ammunition almost every day. Sometimes only two or three shots, sometimes a dozen or more. On occasion the shots were fired when cars or buses needed to enter or exit the settlement, at other times I could ascertain no reason for the shooting. Not once did I see or hear a single shot from the Palestinian side. Never during the time I spent at Karni did an Israeli soldier appear to be in mortal danger. Nor was either an Israeli soldier or settler even slightly injured. In that two-week period, at least 11 Palestinians were killed during the day at Karni."

[Source: "Playing War" by Michael Finkel, New York Times Magazine, December 24, 2000]

In October 2001, Harper's magazine published the "Gaza Diary" of journalist Chris Hedges [ ]. Hedges' entry for June 17, 2001 provides even more shocking evidence of the wanton and deliberate killing of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers at Gaza's Khan Yunis refugee camp.

Hedges writes:

"It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker.

"'Come on, dogs,' the voice booms in Arabic. 'Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!'

"I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: 'Son of a bitch!' 'Son of a whore!' 'Your mother's cunt!'

"The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.

"A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children's slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

"Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen.

"Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered -- death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo -- but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport."

There can be no doubt that Israeli troops have been targeting innocent Palestinian civilians for death from the beginning of the uprising. This understanding was also reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 1322, passed on October 7, 2000, which

"Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life."

In making the moral superiority claim, Israel's apologists are either shamelessly denying the irrefutable evidence cited above and are simply lying, or they are asserting that some forms of murder are morally superior to other forms of murder.

You wrote, "Yeah, thanks for quoting Finkel and Hedges. Especially considering that there isn't a single evidence to support Hedges' lie about IDF soldiers 'entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport' - WHATSOEVER."

Again, what you are saying isn't true.

From a B'Tselem report:

"A conscript soldier who gave testimony to B'Tselem told of a procedure in a particular area of the West Bank during which IDF jeeps were sent as a provocation to areas of friction with Palestinians in order to serve as bait for throwers of stones and petrol bombs. When the latter would approach, the soldiers, who had taken up position in advance at other points, would shoot at them. The stated goal of this procedure was to distance the demonstrations from other sites, but in fact, stated the soldier, "It became a kind of sport, to "knock down" as many "fire-bombers" as possible. It was an obsessive search. It's called 'strive to make contact.' What bothers me is had the jeeps not have entered, there would have been no disturbances of the peace."

[ The rubber-coated metal bullets in theory are supposed to be non-lethal and their use is supposed to adhere to the IDF's own stated regulations. The rubber-coated metal bullets are not supposed to be aimed at the head. ]

From the B'Tselem report:

For many years, the IDF has been using rubber-coated metal bullets for dispersal of demonstrations in the Occupied Territories. B'Tselem has repeatedly warned against the IDF's widespread use of these bullets and the erroneous treatment of them as non-lethal, despite their great destructive potential and the large number of casualties, including many children, resulting from their use."

Over the course of the intifada, B'Tselem documented many incidents in which shooting took place in contravention of the regulations and with no real attempt to prevent killing and causing grave bodily injuries. An inquiry undertaken by Physicians for Human Rights (U.S.A.) at the beginning of the intifada demonstrated that many Palestinians sustained head and eye injuries from rubber bullets. The organization determined that such injuries bear testimony to the illegal use of this means.

[ The rubber-coated metal bullets come in packets of three and are meant to be fired as a packet so they go slower in order for them to remain non-lethal, you are not supposed to separate the bullet packet. ]

From the B'Tselem report:

One conscript soldier informed B'Tselem that "I do not know a single soldier who does not separate the parts of the bullet"

Another soldier told B'Tselem:

"When the company commander gave us a lesson about rubber bullets, he said that you shoot them together in packets of three, and that is almost ineffective because they are too heavy; but if you separate them - it can kill. He added, with a wink: "I'm not hinting at anything" The guys laughed and said to him: 'You are not hinting - you're saying.' He didn't correct them. One day, I got into the "Sufa" jeep that serves as the mobile headquarters for the battalion means of transportation. I saw that lots of separated rubber bullets had been tossed inside. I asked the driver about it, and he said that everyone separates the bullets, even the commander (the one riding alongside the driver). He added that in his opinion, the battalion commander also separates. From talking to the guys, it is clear to me that this is ignored, and everyone shoots rubber bullets that have been separated. I don't think that there is anyone who shoots them without separating them. I always ask people about it and they are shocked by the very question. It is clear to them that you shoot them separately."

[ B'Tselem documented cases of both the IDF soldiers initiating fire, not merely responding and also of the IDF returning fire but not aiming exclusively at Palestinian sources of shooting. ]

A conscript soldier who served in the Gaza Strip stated in his testimony to B'Tselem that:

"While I was at the post, there were a number of cases of shooting. I thought that it was an exchange of fire, but afterwards I understood from discussions with other soldiers that it was just soldiers shooting out of boredom. Soldiers at two different positions would coordinate opening fire between them, and afterwards they would say that they were under fire. It is important for me to state that I am not talking about single shots, but very massive shooting. In the beginning, I was sure that they had really fired at our post, but afterwards I understood, as stated, that it was shooting out of boredom. From conversations with my friends who were at posts in other areas, it became clear to me that it occurs in those places as well. My friends, who were at the post in the Strip. Told me that they emptied entire crates of ammunition out of boredom."

Ariel Shatil, a reserve soldier, told Yediot Aharonot daily regarding this topic that "They say 'The Palestinians are shooting at us and we are responding.' It's not true. There was one officer there who said to the soldiers guarding at the lookout: "Too quiet for you? You're not sure? Fire a couple of rounds.' Every night they would shoot. We start and they shoot back."

A soldier in the regular army who served in the Gaza Strip told B'Tselem that "In theory, the orders given to us state that it is forbidden to shoot if the source of shooting is not identified," but said that in practice, "If they shoot at you from one building, and you shoot at the entire neighborhood […] the soldiers will probably not tell the commanders, but I find it hard to believe that the high-level commanders are not familiar with this phenomenon." He added that:

"I know from discussions with other soldiers that when they shoot on them, they return with heavy, non-proportional fire, even if they do not exactly identify the source of the shooting. A few days ago, I spoke with a friend of mine whom they fired at. He told me that they returned massive fire in the direction of the shooting without identifying it precisely. When I stated to him the fact that he could have easily hit passers by, he said that he didn't care. In my opinion, this occurs with great frequency. "

B'Tselem reports the frequency of cases in which innocent persons were harmed by IDF firing, even though no Palestinians shot from their immediate surrounding area, indicates that there are cases in which soldiers shoot indiscriminately.

Even a high-ranking officer in the Bethlehem area told journalist Nahum Barnea: "I don't give my soldiers directives of the type 'don't harm the innocent.' In the situation that has arisen, whoever gives such an order has said the equivalent of 'don't shoot at all.' […] We try to shoot at those whom we have identified, but not always."

B'Tselem - Trigger Happy: Unjustified Shooting and the Open-Fire Regulations
also see: Alan Dershowitz's Amazing Wonderland

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Gaza Still Under Israel's Boot
"Although most of the "quality" media has praised Sharon’s apparent about face (father of the settlements turns his back on his legacy, being a familiar refrain), the actual details of the plan expose something else. Human Rights Watch stated in a November report that even after the supposed pull-out, "Israeli forces will continue to surround Gaza on land, patrol its coastline and its skies. That military cordon will allow Israel to continue to control the flow of all goods and people into and out of the territory. Gaza will remain dependent on Israel for water, sewerage, electricity, telephone access, trade and currency, which will remain the Israeli shekel."" How Australia reported Arafat's death and legacy

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oil's Critical Leverage
"Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well." 1990, the then oil man, Dick Cheney The real reasons Bush went to war

"America has major strategic and economic interests in the Middle East that are dictated by the region's vast energy supplies. Not only does America benefit economically from the relatively low costs of Middle Eastern oil, but America's security role in the region gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region." Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hegemonic Quicksand The National Interest Winter 2003/04

We are not really dependent on oil from the Middle East, according to US intelligence, the US itself will rely on more stable Atlantic Basin resources (West Africa and the Western hemisphere). The reason the U.S. is so involved in the Middle East is about control of the oil, not access to the oil.

In the 1940s, US planners recognized that (in their words) Gulf energy resources are "a stupendous source of strategic power" and "one of the greatest material prizes in world history." Naturally, they intended to control it ... That's a very powerful lever of world control, quite apart from the profits that comes from it. And the US probably doesn't intend to access the oil of Iraq; it intends to use primarily safer Atlantic basin resources for itself (Western Hemisphere, West Africa). But to control the oil has been a leading principle of US foreign policies since the Second World War, and Iraq is particularly significant in this respect.

Quite apart from yielding "profits beyond the dreams of avarice," as one leading history of the oil industry puts the matter, the region still remains "a stupendous source of strategic power," a lever of world control. Control over Gulf energy reserves provides "veto power" over the actions of rivals, as the leading planner George Kennan pointed out half a century ago. Europe and Asia understand very well, and have long been seeking independent access to energy resources. - On the US and the Middle

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Television stations and networks, by contrast, are almost completely inaccessible to individual citizens and almost always uninterested in ideas contributed by individual citizens."
"I CAME here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions." - Al Gore October 5, 2005

"On the eve of the nation's decision to invade Iraq, our longest serving senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor asked: "Why is this chamber empty? Why are these halls silent?"

The decision that was then being considered by the Senate with virtually no meaningful debate turned out to be a fateful one. A few days ago, the former head of the National Security Agency, Retired Lt. General William Odom, said , "The invasion of Iraq, I believe, will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history. " - Associated Press Thursday, October 6, 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

False Information: Iraq, 9/11 and al-Qaeda
All these stories turn out to have been based on false information supplied by the Iraqi National Congress and the US and UK intelligence agencies. - The Lies of the Press

“I’d be shocked and completely horrified if Aras was working for Iranian intelligence,” says
David Rose, who wrote several pieces for Vanity Fair about Iraq’s weapons program in which he used INC defectors as sources. “I knew INC had connections to Iran but if they were on the Iranian payroll I’ll be completely smackered.”

Several reporters and editors I spoke with recalled that soon after 9/11 the INC started offering them defectors with stories linking Saddam Hussein to international terrorism.

In an article by David Rose, Harith claimed that, in addition to the mobile labs, Hussein was close to building a new long-range missile. He also told of a trip to Africa to buy radioactive materials for a dirty bomb from renegade Russians. He spoke of a chemical weapons factory in Samarra and a bioweapons lab in the suburbs of Baghdad. And so on.

Of all the reporters I spoke with for this article, none seemed as devastated by the INC’s fall from grace as Rose. Perhaps that’s because no one, not even Judith Miller, swallowed and regurgitated more ICP hogwash. Rose concedes that he fell victim to a misinformation campaign and says he wishes he’d been more circumspect. “I feel profound regret over that piece,” Rose confesses. “Harith wasn’t telling the truth but I took every step reasonable to establish that these were credible assertions.” - How Chalabi Played the Press