Declaring An Independent Palestinian State

Stephen Lendman

On April 2, New York Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, "In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out," saying:

The UN may vote to "welcom(e) the State of Palestine as a member whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been steadily building support for such a resolution in September, a move that could place Israel into a diplomatic vice."

According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak:

"We are facing a diplomatic-political tsunami that the majority of the public is unaware of and that will peak in September. It is a very dangerous situation, one that requires action. Paralysis, rhetoric, inaction will deepen the isolation of Israel."

On April 4, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned UN officials against recognizing an independent Palestine, saying, "It will destroy everything we have accomplished to date" with no further explanation. President Mahmoud Abbas said he'll seek recognition at the UN General Assembly this September when the body holds its annual meeting. A notorious occupation enforcer, he may or may not follow through. So far, over 130 countries have officially recognized Palestine within its 1967 borders. Israel remains contemptuously opposed.

So does America, White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross, saying:

"We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN. Our position on that has been consistent in opposition" to legitimate Palestinian rights. Neither Washington or Israel tolerates them, so it's up to the UN to act.

Fukushima Meltdown Confirmed

Stephen Lendman

On April 6, Reuters reported that "the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel," Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster, saying:

"I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel."

Recklessly promoting nuclear proliferation, America's NRC is notorious for coverup and denial of its harmful effects. As a result, their rare admission virtually confirms a full core meltdown in one or more reactors, meaning vast amounts of radiation are being uncontrollably released into the atmosphere, water and soil, spreading over a vast area. It's the ultimate nightmare scenario now unfolding, but don't expect major media reports or government officials to explain.

Nonetheless, on April 6, New York Times writers Matthew Wald and Andrew Pollack headlined, "Core of Stricken Reactor Probably Leaked, US Says," stating:

America's NRC "said Wednesday that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought."

Far worse, in fact, because molten core material then burns uncontrollably through the concrete foundation, meaning all bets are off.

A New Protest Movement in Afghanistan

Andrei Serenko
New Eastern Outlook

University students during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghani-
stan today. Hundreds of Afghans shouted anti-US, NATO and
Afghan government slogans and burned a effigy of President
Barack Obama during a rally to protest a rumor that U.S. forces
had bombed a mosque and burned a copy of the Muslim holy
book, the Quran, in nearby Wardak province in mid-October.
Authorities say Taliban supporters spread the false report to
stir trouble. (The Associated Press)

The events of April 1-2, 2011 in Afghanistan suggest that new trends are emerging in Afghan society. We believe they will grew stronger in the near future and influence the formation of a new Afghan political reality. New active protest movements are making themselves heard, and official Kabul has so far been unable to react to them constructively and confidently.

It seems that the “new protest” phenomenon in Afghanistan is the result of several factors—the long-standing military-political conflict, Afghan society’s weariness with it and the fierce competition by world and regional states interested in increasing their impact on Afghanistan—and that includes the reformatted American presence there.

The two faces of the new Afghan protest

Two different kinds of active protests movement have shown up in Afghanistan over the past few days.

1. The Quran Defenders Movement. The spark that ignited this movement occurred when the evangelic pastors Sapp and Jones burned a copy of the Quran in Florida on March 20, 2011. News about the stunt brought thousands of the Afghan Muslims onto the streets in seven provinces—Balkh, Takhar, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Bamyan, Herat and Jalalabad. Violent demonstrations by members of the Quran Defenders Movement in Balkh and Kandahar shook the world. From 3000 to 8000 people participated in demonstrations involving the use of firearms in Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar on April 1-2. At least 20 people were killed, including seven foreigners, and 100 people were wounded. The Quran Defenders Movement shouted tough anti-American slogans (it should be noted, however, that not one US citizen was injured during the protests). The Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan (TsISA) reports that according to sources in the country radical Islamic clerics played a prominent role in organizing the armed protests in Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar (the violent crowd in Mazar-e-Sharif responded to calls by several mullahs who had led the Blue Mosque congregation during the period of Taliban rule).

2. The “Supreme Reformers Council.” This movement, which emerged in Internet social networks, has already called for an active (massive, street) protest. However, in contrast to the Quran Defenders Movement, which is directed and organized by Islamic clerics, the Supreme Reformers Council is primarily focused on secular and civil values. It organizes the activities of its followers using Internet technologies (Facebook), and its goal is the implementation of anticorruption reforms in Afghanistan. This movement represents the interests of educated young people in Afghan cities. The Supreme Reformers Movement held its first press conference in Kabul in late March (which, incidentally, was ignored by most Afghan and foreign media). Dozens of the new movement’s followers gathered on a street in the Deh Mazang area for the press conference, during which members of the movement announced their main demand—a stepped-up fight against corruption. Participants demanded that President Hamid Karzai fire government ministers accused of corruption.

Success Stories: The Imperium Strikes Back

Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque

Wise man William Pfaff speaks the truth like rolling thunder here:

The struggle is under way to re-establish American control over the successors to those despots whom popular uprisings have ousted from Tunisia and Egypt, threatening the careers of still other abusive absolute monarchs and presidents-for-life (and their offspring).

The report that Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh is to be thrown to the crocodile crowds by the American government, allowing for bids by the CIA for a successor, was “leaked” (meaning not announced at a press conference) to The New York Times. His fault, in American officials’ eyes, is not so much the killing and other violence he has deployed against citizen protestors of his rule, tolerable until now (as in the earlier cases of Presidents Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia), as it is the failure of this violence to suppress popular uprising. These figures are not disqualified by despotism but for unsuccessful despotism.

...The authentic sources of revolutionary unrest were deeper than perceived in Western government offices. Obviously there was social distress, callous maldistribution of wealth and arbitrary rule through powerful security establishments. However, these are not “underdeveloped” nations. To apply that term to Lebanon or Syria, or to pre-2003 Iraq, or Iran, or to Egypt, the most ancient and sophisticated civilization of all, is preposterous.

Their political problem might be described as overdevelopment; these civilizations have seen everything.

The Arab states created out of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s were assigned artificial frontiers that often disregarded established ethnic, sectarian, historical, dynastic, and tribal interests and realities. Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya are all cases of political artificiality and Western intervention to suit European colonial interests. Into this, the new and non-Arab, non-Islamic state of Israel was imposed in what was historic Palestine, ostensibly to right the atrocity of the Holocaust, a European crime for which Islamic civilization bore no responsibility whatever. The notion that the U.S. and the European states automatically possess solutions relevant to all of this is absurd.

...The worst outcome is, however, the one that seems most likely: a new American effort to manage the region through chosen political clients and favorites, in the self-deluding belief that this is “democratization”—the identical policy that has already given the region wars in or around Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the threat of war with Iran and now the Libyan intervention.

Pfaff nails it cold. The American imperium has indeed found its feet after being stunned for a few weeks by the outbreak of the Arab Awakening. Now it is moving full-speed ahead on a variety of fronts to strangle the regional uprising against corrupt, oppressive elites.

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