Comentarios para CX36 Radio Centenario de Uruguay, del sociólogo norteamericano, Prof. James Petras desde Estados Unidos. Lunes 28 de diciembre de 2009. “El más grande peligro es esta postura militarista de Estados Unidos. Ese es el gran peligro para todo el continente. La profundidad y amplitud de esta política es una amenaza a corto plazo, no es cosa de pensar en los años venideros” www.radio36.com.uy

The Palestinian farmer who grows his own resistance

Rachel Shabi

Murad al Khofash, from the West Bank village of Marda,
attended the climate change talks in Copenhagen to argue
on behalf of the Palestinian Territories. Daniel Bar On for
The National

As a means to counter the creeping expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, a permaculture farm might not seem like the obvious approach. But for Murad al Khofash, who runs Marda farm in the northern West Bank, it is the natural choice.

Squashed between some of the largest and most powerful settlements, Mr al Khofash’s three-year-old eco-friendly farm is a Palestinian template of how to grow-your-own resistance, from the roots upwards.

“There are many ways to resist the occupation,” explained Mr al Khofash, who has just returned from the climate change summit in Copenhagen where he demanded the international community put the Palestinian Territories on the environmental map.

“Some resist with weapons and violence, others choose the path of negotiation. My way is to encourage Palestinians to grow trees, and to encourage them not to leave their land.”

Permaculture – an organic, holistic and sustainable system of working the land – is Mr al Khofash’s preferred weapon at a time when swathes of Palestinian land and water resources have long been appropriated or contaminated by Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

The Gaza Strip: still suffering from a 23-day war and the ongoing siege

Ayman Quader

The harrowing experience of the siege prevents the children of the Gaza Strip from having any kind of normal childhood. Children become more acquainted with the names of the dead rather than the names of games.

One year has passed since Israel’s cruel 23-day war on the 1.5 million people of the Gaza. 1,400 people were brutally killed and tens of thousands were seriously wounded. It was 23 days that violated Palestinian human rights and put justice further out of reach. It was a war that utilized ‘state of the art’ phosphorous missiles to achieve levels of suffering and destruction that had not been seen in a generation. Tens of thousands of Gazans were made homeless and schools and hospitals were directly targeted.

The horrific 23-day bombardment of Gaza finished last January. However, the siege of Gaza and the suffering of its people continue. While UN and NGO reports describe the bombardment of Gaza and its aftermath in the abstract, talking to Gaza’s children provides an important reminder of the human side of the pain inflicted by Israel.

Israel's East Jerusalem Linked Settlement Expansion

Stephen Lendman

On February 1, 2009, the International Solidarity Movement reported that Israel continues its E 1 area homes and infrastructure work that includes linking its Ma'ale Adummim settlement with East Jerusalem and other settlements around it. It said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while in office, promised to expand E 1 development - the land northeast of Jerusalem, west of Ma'ale Adummim comprising about 12 square kilometers, all of it illegally annexed.

Arresting Peaceful Protesters in Occupied Palestine

Stephen Lendman

For decades, Israel has met peaceful Palestinian protesters disruptively with violence, arrests and at times unprovoked killings. It's no surprise that targeting them and their leaders is now common practice in cities and villages like Jayyous and Bil'in.

On August 3, 200 Israeli soldiers raided five Bel'in homes at 3AM arresting eight Palestinians, including Mohammad Khatib, a leader of the Bel'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. It's part of Israel's repressive routine - late night arrests and imprisonment without charges for indefinite periods. Khatib faces trial, but was released on August 17 on condition he report to a police station with a monitor each Friday until 5PM for its duration. He told supporters:

"The Israeli authorities are worried that the model of popular nonviolent resistance is spreading. They are targeting the popular committees to try to crush (them) but they cannot destroy the spirit of the demonstrations in Bil'in with the arrests of individuals. The whole village is part of the nonviolent resistance and the military would have to arrest (everyone) to stop us from protesting against the Occupation and the theft of our land. Even then, when we all come out of jail, we would continue our struggle."

On September 22, Jayyous resident Mohammad Othman was arrested because of his "Stop the Wall Campaign" activism and efforts on behalf of dispossessed farmers. He's now administratively detained without charge after a military court rejected the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association's appeal on his behalf, citing "secret evidence" that he's a "security threat in the area."

Israel Rules

Paul Craig Roberts

On Christmas eve when Christians were celebrating the Prince of Peace, the New York Times delivered forth a call for war. “There’s only one way to stop Iran,” declared Alan J. Kuperman, and that is “military air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.” [There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran, December 23, 2009 ]

Kuperman is described as the “director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at the University of Texas at Austin,” but his Christmas eve call to war relies on disinformation and contradiction, not on objective scholarly analysis.

For example, Kuperman contradicts the unanimous report of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Russian intelligence with his claim that Iran has a nuclear weapon program. Astonishingly, it does not occur to Kuperman that readers might wonder how an academic bureaucrat in Austin, Texas, has better information than these authorities.

Psychologists: Those in power more apt to 'moral hypocrisy'

Sharon Jayson

The moral compass of some public figures clearly went awry in 2009. Now new research better explains why some in the public eye don't think like the rest of us.

Power increases "moral hypocrisy," says Adam Galinsky, a behavioral psychologist at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and co-author of a study published today in the journal Psychological Science.

NARCISSISM: It can make politicians leaders ... and cheaters

Power does indeed go to your head, making those in the limelight such as celebrities, politicians, CEOs and athletes more prone to a double standard: They're stricter in their moral judgment of others but are more lenient about their own behavior, the study suggests.

"We gave people the opportunity to cheat, and those in a position of power were more likely to cheat," says Galinsky, who conducted the study with researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Gaza One Year Later

Stephen Lendman

A December 2009 report prepared by Oxfam International, Amnesty International UK, United Civilians for Peace, Christian Aid, and a dozen other international NGOs (called NGOs below) titled, "Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses" is hard-hitting and to the point.

It says a year after Operation Cast Lead, extensive damage hasn't been repaired and thousands "are being prevented from rebuilding their shattered society." It's not from a lack of commitment or enough resources with over $4 billion in pledged aid. It's because Israel blocks goods and equipment from entering Gaza. The world community and Arab world do nothing to stop them, so much of the Strip still lies in ruins.

Following Hamas' January 2006 electoral victory, all outside aid was cut off. Sanctions and an economic embargo were imposed, and the democratically elected government was falsely designated a terrorist organization and isolated. Stepped up repression followed as well as regular IFD attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, property destruction, and more. Gazans have been imprisoned ever since.

The Occupied West Bank Latroun Villages

Stephen Lendman

[In 1967, the Israeli Army occupied Imwas without resistance. In spite of that, they immediately started evacuating the village forcing its inhabitants to leave to the city of Ramalla under gunpoint. The late Israeli prime minister, Rabin, confessed that he had personally given the order to destroy Imwas (this is documented in a video tape). Ozi Narcis, the commander of the middle region then, also boasted that he had offered for the destruction of Imwas. Imwas, alongside with the rest of latrun villages, yalu and Beit Nuba, were demolished to shorten the distance between Jerusalem and the Coast. Imwas is in the heart of its people generation after generation. It will never go into oblivion as the Israeli leaders dream. THE CRIME OF DESTROYING IMWAS]

On June 6, 1967, when Israeli forces invaded Gaza and the West Bank, on the second day of the so-called Six-Day War (June 5 - 10, 1967), they entered three Palestinian villages in the Latroun salient - Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba, forcibly expelling the residents, numbering over 10,000 at the time. By the next day, most were gone while Israel began razing village lands and erasing their memory in an area well-known for its water resources and fertility, located northwest of Jerusalem along the Green Line. One soldier at the time explained that they:

"were told to take up positions around the approaches to the villages in order to prevent those villagers - who had heard the Israeli assurances over the radio that they could return to their homes in peace - from returning to their homes. The order was - shoot over their heads and tell them there is no access to the village," even though Fourth Geneva's Article 49 states:

"Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive." Doing so is a "grave breach," and those responsible are criminally liable.

Forty-two years later, their former homes gone and land expropriated, the survivors remain displaced, unable to return in violation of international law and Article 11 of UN Resolution 194:

"Resolv(ing) that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." Israel never complied even though its admission to the UN was conditional on accepting this and other relevant UN resolutions.

Fed Up With Karzai? Try Zardari

Eric S. Margolis

Washington is finally getting some of the democracy it has long been calling for in Pakistan. The result is a disaster for US “Afpak” policy.

The Obama administration is fast discovering that its man in Islamabad, President Asif Ali Zardari, may be an even bigger ethical and managerial liability than its overseer in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai.

Over the years, I’ve met every Pakistani leader save the current one, President Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto. But I’ve written for decades about corruption charges that relentlessly dog him. At one point, I was threatened with having acid thrown in my face if I kept writing about the Bhutto-Zardari’s financial scandals.

Asif Ali Zardari became known to one and all as “Mr 10%” from the time when he was a minister in his wife’s government, in charge of approving government contracts. Critics say the 10% and other brazen kickbacks produced millions for the Zardari-Bhutto family.

Total racism, total war

Saleh Al-Naami

A Palestinian woman walks past buildings destroyed during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza which was launched
on 27 December. On the anniversary of the tragic slaughter of Palestinians by Israelis, the world remembers that no
less than 30,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed during the Israeli onslaught, which killed more than 1,400 people

On the first anniversary of Israel’s war on Gaza, shocking revelations are appearing on the methods and reasoning behind the war, writes Saleh Al-Naami.

Mahmoud Hussein tries to hold back his tears as he looks at his 30-year-old brother Ahmed who suffers from colon cancer. The family is impatiently waiting for the Gaza border to open so Ahmed can travel abroad for treatment, since in light of the Israeli imposed siege, medical facilities in Gaza cannot treat his condition. Ahmed, who lives in Gabalya, north of Gaza, is not the only Palestinian who developed cancer at a relatively young age.

Egypt’s President Mubarak blows his chance to behave decently

Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood argues that time is running out for Egyptian President Husni Mubarak to prove that he is not an Israeli stooge and allow the Viva Palestina international humanitarian aid convoy to reach the besieged Gaza Strip in time for the first anniversary of Israel’s mass slaughter of Gazans.

”The convoy’s request for easy passage was Mubarak's big chance to show that he was not, after all, the cruel and unprincipled Zionist stooge that civilized people across the world had already consigned to the dustbin of history. It is not too late to make amends. But if he doesn’t act quickly he’ll blow it for everyone, including himself.”

Gee, thanks President Mubarak. Thanks for ruining Christmas for so many.

But that’s par for the course in the cesspit of treachery that is the Middle East.

The human tragedy of Gaza just gets worse and worse. Nobody seriously believed the Viva Palestina convoy would get through unmolested; and so it came to pass. It is stranded at Aqaba, and its precious cargo is spoiling in the heat, because Mubarak’s henchmen will not allow it to enter Egypt through the port of Nuweiba.

Seeking untainted science

Peter Smith

Tainted science and Al Gore don’t justify the benefit of the doubt

“A majority of voters are prepared to give the planet the benefit of the doubt and they want something done about global warming”; so ran part of a recent editorial in the Australian newspaper. Nothing unique about this, you can find the same kind of sentiment most places you care to look. It has two substantive parts: the opinion of voters and giving the planet the benefit of the doubt.

The opinion of voters on global warming; what does that amount to? Knowledge, according to Samuel Johnson, is of two kinds: “We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can get information upon it.” What do voters know about the science of global warming? Of course, on the whole, they know nothing at all. Most voters could not get to first base in explaining why CO2 emissions might cause warming. Would they know where to find the knowledge? They certainly have access to opinions but on the whole not to the scientific research which underlies those opinions. More to the point, if they located the scientific research they would be unable to understand it. In the normal course, their opinion on arcane scientific theory would not be sought. For example, we would not ask voters about the feasibility of generating power through cold fusion because we know that their opinion would be worthless. This is all a long way of saying that the opinion of voters on global warming adds nothing to the debate. Voters can have worthwhile opinions on issues which are within their experience or competence or ability to understand; e.g., the republic versus the monarchy, interest rates, government expenditure; the need for a bill of rights and so on; but on issues like global warming their opinion becomes the plaything of opinion leaders. The plaything of Al Gore? Well, there is no accounting for taste.

Northwest Bomb Plot 'Oddities'

Lori Price

Bogosity reaches critical mass!

In 2008, the ACLU estimated the US 'No Fly List' to have grown to over 1,000,000 names --heck, even Cat Stevens and the late Senator Ted Kennedy was on it -- and it continues to expand. But, suspected terrorist Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was curiously able to obtain military-grade high explosives -- 80 grams of PETN (gee, where'd he get that?) -- managed to escape airport security and detonate his underwear bomb!

In April 2009, American authorities reportedly refused an Air France flight from Paris to Mexico entry into US airspace because a left-wing journalist writing a book on the CIA was on board. Hernando Calvo Ospina, who works for Le Monde Diplomatique and has written on revolutionary movements in Cuba and Colombia, figured on the US authorities' 'no-fly list.' Air France said the April 18 flight was forced to divert to the French Caribbean island of Martinique before continuing its journey (telegraph.co.uk). Got it? Write a book critical of the CIA --you cannot fly. Carry explosives on board when the US is trolling for an excuse to invade and occupy Yemen for its oil --yes you can!

G. P. Bear goes to Washington: The true story of a freedom-loving carnivore

Bill Steigerwald

[A writer friend of mine, Bill Steigerwald, has created an interesting serial story, a Christmasy “docu-fable” as he calls it. I’ll be running this over the next 12 days. Here’s the foreword on it. While I’ve had a bit of a detour today on Christmasy type things, tomorrow we’ll see our regular science features resume. – Anthony Watts]

George Orwell used satire and talking pigs in “Animal Farm.” Now, just in time for the Copenhagen climate conference, ClimateGate and the coming ice age, veteran libertarian journalist Bill Steigerwald shamelessly steals Orwell’s idea and uses talking polar bears to poke fun at global warming alarmists and their fellow travelers in Washington and the media.

Twisting the title of director Frank Capra’s movie masterpiece to his own ends, Steigerwald and his son Joe have created “G.P. Bear Goes to Washington: The True Story of a Freedom-Loving Carnivore.”

A 12-part serialized “docu-fable,” “G.P. Bear Goes to Washington” features real issues and real people. It stars Grandpa, a magical, media-savvy and proudly skeptical polar bear who understands his species is in far greater danger from the interventions of the federal government, Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, Leonard DiCaprio and overzealous wildlife scientists than from anthropogenic climate change.

This version includes the final two episodes, Parts 11 and 12. For our newspaper clients, our suggestion is to start the serial in print in your opinion section (Part 1 or Parts 1 & 2) and then jump it to your Web edition and serialize it there until completion (while cross-promoting it from the print side). The serial is timed to end Christmas Day and can easily be broken into six, four or three parts, if you wish, which would allow you to wait until closer to Christmas to begin running it.

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