Sergei MARKEDONOV: Abkhazia as the Theatre of Georgia’s Terrorist Activities and Sabotage

31 October, 2008

The renewed attempts to destabilise the situation in Abkhazia against the background of the unquiet life in South Ossetia and Georgia’s territory adjacent to it, need consideration and assessment of these new threats to the security of South Caucasian states recognised by Russia and to Russia itself as a guarantor of their statehood and the right of self-determination.


On October 15, 2008 a group of unidentified persons opened fire in the village of Bargyab, Abkhazia’s Gala district, heavily wounding Beslan Chkonia, the chief of the local police department.

Since the end of the first Georgian-Abkhazian conflict in 1993, the lower zone of the Ghali district has been regarded the most dangerous territory of this republic. Abkhazian law enforcement agencies regard it as the most probable theatre of sabotage and acts of terror Georgia can undertake.

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Igor TOMBERG: Under Sign of Cartels

28 October, 2008

The global financial crisis prompted Moscow to intensify its participation in energy price formation. Being the major oil and gas producer worldwide, until recently Russia has had no opportunity to set up export prices: the issue was in the competence of western stocks, while Russia sold its resources at the prices set up by speculative traders controlling the international financial flows. Now that the credit market has thinned, leaving few chances for speculations, Moscow begins to play a more adequate role in fuel price formation. Having carrying out some calculations, Russian experts concluded that the lack of liquidity would make the law of supply and demand more influential. And Russia is capable of affecting the demand. The crisis lead to weaker economic activity, decreased oil consumption and caused lower prices.


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Max Kantar: A Case Study Of Power And Media: The Washington Post

31 October, 2008

Last week’s unilateral attack on Syria and the subsequent coverage of the events by the mainstream US media give us an impeccable illustration of the prevailing ideologies that dictate how news is received, composed, and understood by respectable journalists and reporters.

In fact, considering all of the variables surrounding the recent US attack, this single case could not be a more perfect example to evaluate for the sake of gaining a clear understanding not only of the rationale behind US foreign policy, but the ideological constraints that shackle our ‘free’ press.

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Kawther Salam – Jewish Terrorist attacks Church of the Holy Sepulcher

sepuchre.jpgIn the night of Wednesday, October 29, an extremist orthodox Jew – chosen by God, invaded the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the old city of Jerusalem. The Jewish terrorist tried to harm three monks who were worshiping God in the church. The monks saw the terrorist Jew and escaped from his attack, but then the terrorist left the Church and went on to vandalize several Palestinian shops nearby the Church. He broke many wooden crosses before the Palestinians shop owners called the Israeli Police.

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GazaFriends: 31 October, 2008 Palestinian Fishing Boats Attacked by Israeli gunboats

For Immediate Release

For More Information, Please Contact:
Greta Berlin (Cyprus) +357 99 081 767 /
Osama Qashoo (Cyprus) +44 (0)78 3338 1660 /
Angela Godfrey Goldstein (Jerusalem)  +972 (0)54 736 6393 /

At 10:00 am Cyprus time, three Israeli gunboats attacked Palestinian fishing boats in the territorial waters of Gaza. Eleven internationals have accompanied the fishermen on five of the boats. The internationals were from the Free Gaza Movement and had landed on the shores of Gaza on October 29 aboard the SS DIGNITY.

According to David Schermerhorn, one of the internationals on board, “Three naval vessels attacked us with machine gun fire and water cannons. All three boats have machine guns on board, one of them has a huge water cannon. The water from the cannon was so fierce, it blasted a lot of the equipment overboard as well as my GPS locator. At the time of the attack, we were about 9 miles offshore fishing. Several of us got on the radio to the Israeli navy and shouted, “We are human rights watchers. We are unarmed internationals, and we are recording everything you are doing. They completely ignored us and continued menacing all of the boats.”

As David was talking to us, one of the gunboats came back to within 45 meters, shearing the water and making it difficult for the small boat to steer its course.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Desmond Tutu – Q&A: "We Must Rethink the International Economic System"

Desmond Tutu

Credit:Bankole Thompson/IPS

DETROIT, Michigan, Oct 30 (IPS) – Archbishop Desmond Tutu is South Africa’s first black Anglican bishop. An elder statesman whose moral voice and advocacy against the racist apartheid regime in South Africa first brought him to the world stage in the 1980s, Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Today he is an international peace negotiator, a man sought after by world leaders and governments for his counsel, and a teacher of peace, justice and non-violence on the campuses of major colleges and universities around the world.

IPS correspondent Bankole Thompson had a one-on-one interview with the man Nelson Mandela trusted with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring racial healing to South Africa. Tutu was in Michigan Wednesday to receive the University of Michigan’s Wallenberg Medal in Ann Arbor for his humanitarian work.

Tutu told IPS that the current global financial crisis shows something is wrong with the ‘free market’ system and called for a review of the fundamentals of capitalism. He said African governments should form cartels to protect their institutions if Western nations are protecting their own financial companies, lamented that Africa’s political and religious leadership failed Zimbabweans, and hailed the prospect of a Barack Obama presidency in the U.S.

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Council on Hemispheric Affairs – Colombia’s Political Horizon: The Rise of a New Left

Colombia’s President Uribe: ‘I deplore that Senator Obama’

Current Political Landscape
In contemporary discourse regarding Latin America, Colombia is often characterized as a failed state mired by ruinous civil war and reflecting the pervasive influence of powerful drug-running paramilitaries. On the other hand, there are those who see the country as an enviable exemplar of democracy led by one of the most popular presidents of the region. The U.S. government, not surprisingly, is the indefatigable spokesperson for the latter interpretation. Comments by officials like former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicolas Burns, who stated in 2006 that ‘during the last five years, the Colombian people have produced the greatest success story in Latin America,’ are unfortunately, common.

Depictions such as these above do little to deepen people’s understanding of this problematic country and its significance in contemporary Latin America. As of late, this type of inflated rhetoric has obfuscated developments which are challenging the status quo in Colombia and could fundamentally alter the country’s so-called ‘special’ relationship with the U.S., as well as with some of its Latin American neighbors. As of now, a challenge is emanating from multiple sectors of society, but particularly from the politically progressive wing comprised of the excluded, the dispossessed, and the indigenous, who are increasingly exerting anti-government pressure in the public forum in an effort to make themselves heard.

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Oct. 29th, 1948 in history: Massacres in Palestine

Today in history is another black day in the Palestinian history.


1. On October 29, 1948, when Israeli brigades captured the village of Safsaf. The known details of the massacre come to us via several contemporary second-hand Zionist reports and via Arab oral history. Yosef Nachmani, a senior officer in the Haganah (and later the director of the Jewish National Fund in Eastern Galilee), recorded in his diary what he was told by Immanuel Friedman, a representative of the Minority Affairs ministry:

In Safsaf, after … the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the [soldiers] collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of fifty-sixty fellahin [peasants] and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also, they raped several women… (quoted in Zertal, 2005, p. 171; see also Morris, 2005, p. 500).

Moshe Erem reported on the massacre to a meeting of the Mapam Political Committee but his words were censored from the minutes. According to the notes taken by another person present, Erem spoke of:

Safsaf 52 men tied together with a rope. Pushed down a well and shot. 10 killed. Women pleaded for mercy. 3 cases of rape . . . . A girl of 14 raped. Another four killed (Morris, 2004, p. 500).

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Crisis Chronicle: U.S. pulls the plug on the world

The U.S. administration has prompted a huge surge in the U.S. dollar, which may help refinance its financial sector. The cost is a currency whirlwind that threatens the collapse not just of banks and companies but entire countries.

In the past week the financial crisis, which began in banking and spread to stocks, has careered into the currency markets. The U.S. actively decided back in September 2008 to shut down the investment banks that lend to the biggest professional investors. This has caused those investors to sell anything and everything and to settle their trades.

The result was a whirlwind of liquidation. Korean won, Turkish lira, Brazilian real, British pounds and commodities from oil and metals, all were sucked into the downdraft.

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Federico Fuentes: Bolivia: Unprecedented Alliance Defeats Right-Wing Assault

LA PAZ: After three months of intense class struggle, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-backed right-wing opposition to the government of President Evo Morales has suffered three important defeats. The right’s offensive to topple Morales, which climaxed with the September 11-12 ‘civic coup’ attempt, has been decisively rolled back by the combined action of the government and social movements.

The government secured a historic vote in its favour with more than 67% endorsing Morales’ mandate in a referendum in August that also revoked the mandate of two opposition prefects. Another opposition prefect was arrested for his role in the coup. And now Morales has secured a referendum for the new draft Constitution to ‘refound Bolivia’ on the basis of justice for the indigenous majority.

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William Blum: Anti-Empire Report, Number 63

Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

October 30, 2008

Don’t tell my mother I work at the White House. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house.

The Republican presidential campaign has tried to make a big issue of Barack Obama at one time associating with Bill Ayers, a member of the 1960s Weathermen who engaged in political bombings. Governor Palin has accused Obama of ‘palling around with terrorists’, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old. Contrast this with who President Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Republican candidates, associated with. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how they spent their time when they were not screaming ‘Death to America‘. CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar ‘scary,’ ‘vicious,’ ‘a fascist,’ ‘definite dictatorship material’.[1] None of this prevented the Reagan administration from inviting the man to the White House to meet with Reagan, and showering him with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan.

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Housman’s (London) Events Newsletter for November 2008



  1. (book launch) Elizabeth Carola – ‘Hot’ – stories from Hackney
  2. (book event/talk) John Sinclair – ‘Rock and Revolution with the MC5 and the White Panther Party’
  3. (music) ‘Singing the Struggle: Voices, Women, Peace’ with Frankie Armstrong
  4. (book event/talk) ‘Digital Film Making’ with Mike Figgis
  5. (book event/music) ‘Forward Groove: the radical history of jazz’
    with Chris Searle
  6. (music) No Sweat @ Housmans -Triple Bill featuring King Blues’ frontman Itch Fox, Clayton Blizzard and PJ & Gaby
  7. (talk/party) War Resisters’ International website launch party
  8. (talk/music) ‘Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – burning down the Ark’ with Henk Targowski
  10. John Sinclair – Guitar Army
  11. NEWS
  12. Housmans Peace Diary 2009

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Ramzi Kysia: GazaFriends “Nam, Nehnu Nastatyeh!” is Arabic for “Yes, We Can!” 29 October 2008 13:33:27 GMT

GAZA CITY, FREE PALESTINE (29 October 2008) – This morning I walked to the Indian Ocean and made salt in defiance of the British Occupation of India. This morning I marched in Selma, I stood down tanks in Tiananmen Square, and I helped tear down the Berlin Wall. This morning I became a Freedom Rider.

The Freedom Riders of the 21st Century are sailing small boats into the Gaza Strip in open defiance of the Israeli Occupation and blockade. This morning I arrived in Gaza aboard the SS Dignity, part of a Free Gaza Movement delegation of twenty seven doctors, lawyers, teachers, and human rights activists from across the world, including Mairead Maguire – the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

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Gerald Horne: "Solidarity Forever?"

No Easy Victories

A review of ‘No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000′ William Minter, Gail Hovey, and Charles Cobb, Jr., eds.

This is a remarkable and often insightful collection of essays and reflections, many of which have been penned by those who played leading roles in the dramatic story of how a conservative hegemon — the United States — was compelled to retreat somewhat in its support for colonialism and apartheid during the second half of the twentieth century. The numerous photographs alone make this book well worth the price and underscores how this book, inter alia, is a valuable document.

It is because of this book that I came to discover that a man I have known as a friend — Robert Van Lierop, the attorney and filmmaker who produced the wonderful documentary, A Luta Continua (1971) — had a grandfather who had participated in the so-called Boer War over one century ago in South Africa, while his father, who was a merchant seaman, visited there. The Van Lierops, who are of Surinamese descent, are worthy of a book all their own, yet for the time being his contribution to this worthy volume must suffice.

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Ali Gharib: Syria Raid: The Question is – Why?

syria-raid.jpgThe attack is especially curious one. The cross-border raid – the first of its kind involving a helicopter attack and U.S. boots on the ground that far into Syrian territory – left eight dead, according to Syrian press reports.

WASHINGTON – A cross-border raid into Syria by U.S. forces in Iraq, and a subsequent stonewalling by U.S. officials unwilling to divulge details, has led to rampant speculation among U.S. analysts about the origins and meaning of the attack.

‘So the question is: Why?’ wrote geo-strategic analyst and journalist Helena Cobban on her blog, wondering if the raid could have been pulled off without explicit permission from the highest levels of the President George W. Bush administration.

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Carolyn Baker: Stolen Elections and Media Blackouts

Stolen Elections and Media Blackouts An Interview With Mark Crispin Miller

Global Research, October 29, 2008
Carolyn – 2008-10-26

(Burlington, Vermont: October 24, 2008) Shortly before a public lecture presented at Champlain College, I sat down with Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies at New York University, to ask him a number of questions regarding stolen elections-a subject Miller has researched and written about extensively. Greg Palast, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Bev Harris, Steve Rosenfeld, Bob Fitrakis, and Lynne Landes, have provided monumental contributions to the subject of election fraud, each with their own unique styles and methods of targeting the issue. Mark Crispin Miller’s 2005 book Fooled Again, impeccably documents the stealing of the 2004 election, and Loser Take All, a 2008 collection of essays on stolen elections incorporates the research of other investigators of election fraud such as Robert Kennedy, Jr; Bob Fitrakis, and Steve Rosenfeld.

Generously, Professor Miller gave me both time and disturbing insights regarding the upcoming election of 2008.

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GazaFriends Update 29 October, 2008, 06:15:06 GMT: We’ve done it again! SS Dignity arrives in Gaza

[These are the latest releases from SS. Dignity which has now arrived in Gaza apparently without incident. Ed]


Eliza onboard SS Dignity

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2008

For More Information, Please Contact:
Greta Berlin (Cyprus) +357 99 081 767 /
Osama Qashoo (Cyprus) +44 (0)78 3338 1660 /
Angela Godfrey Goldstein (Jerusalem)  +972 (0)54 736 6393 /

LARNACA – The Free Gaza Movement is delighted to announce that their third boat, the SS Dignity carrying 27 crew and passengers arrived in Gaza at 8:10 Gaza time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them. In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers.

David Schermerhorn, one of the crew members called an hour before the boat entered the waters of Gaza and said, “There is a rainbow stretching across the Mediterranean from where we are right now.”

Yesterday, The Israel Navy said they would stop the stop our vessel once it reached Israel’s territorial waters. Apparently to save face, they said they would harm our boat, arrest us and tow us IF we entered Israeli waters. The problem for Israel is that the SS Dignity had no intention of getting anywhere near those waters.

One of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf cheered, “Once again we’ve been able to defy an unjust and illegal policy while the rest of the world is too intimidated to do anything. Our small boat is a huge cry to the international community to follow in our footsteps and open a lifeline to the people of Gaza.”

For the second time, the Free Gaza Movement has demonstrated that the might of the Israeli navy is no match for a small boat of human rights activists determined to call to the attention of the world the occupation of the people of Gaza.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council added, “Despite the injustice against the Palestinian people, we believe in justice and will keep on trying to break Israel’s siege. The occupation has divided the Palestinians, but our nonviolent resistance has united us.”

Osama Qashoo, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement, overjoyed for the second time in three months, “We are all capable of leading a nonviolent and effective movement to end the Israeli Apartheid and expose the injustice that has been meted out to the Palestinians. We in the FG movement have provided the new dictionary, it’s up to the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Internationals to add the words.”

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67
29 October 2008 05:41:34 GMT

We are in constant touch with David S. on the Dignity. He’s just calling right now. There is one Israeli patrol boat in front of our boat as they get closer and closer to Gaza. The Israelis are also interfering with our radar and the sat phone. But the Israeli boat behind the Dignity has gone. They are about a half hour from Gaza.

29 October 2008 04:31:17 GMT

Osama is on the phone with David on the boat. They are 25 miles away from the coast of Gaza and there are no ships in sight. The Dignity has slowed down in order to get to Gaza at 8:00 am. They are actually early, and the boat has performed well.

David will try to update us every 15 minutes as they get nearer to Gaza.

They are so close….. let’s hope Israel has come to their senses once again and will let them back into Gaza. The weather is calm, and the seasickness is gone. Israel says they will arrest the passengers and tow them to Ashdod when they get to Israel’s territorial waters, but the Dignity has no intention of getting anywhere near Israeli territorial waters.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

29 October 2008 03:17:51 GMT

If any of you reading these updates can put pressure on your governments, here are the names of the crew and passengers and their countries.

Denis Healey, Captain, UK
George Klontzas, First Mate, Greece
Derek Graham, Crew, Ireland
Nikoals Bolos, Crew, Ireland

Ali Al Jabar, Al Jazeera, Qatar
Ghazi Abourashad, Holland
Dr. Mohammed Alshubashi, Germany
Huwaida Arraf, attorney, US
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestine
Audrey Bomse attorney, US
Renee Bowyer, Australia
Caoimhe Butterly, Ireland
Rod Cox, UK
Guisippe Fallisi, Italy
Marco Giusti, Italy
Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, UK
Ramzi Kysia, US
Alan Lonergan, Ireland
Mairead Maguire, Ireland
Lubna Masarwa, Israel
Vilma Mazza, Italy
Theresa McDermott, UK
Amir Siddiq, Al Jazeera, Sudan
Gideon Spiro, Israel
Dr. Jock McDougall, UK

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

29 October 2008 02:54:30 GMT

David S just called us from the Dignity. They are about an hour and a half away from where they think Israel will attack/board/stop the boat. Everyone is fine and most people are sleeping. Many have been seasick, but the sea is calmer now, thunder and lightening off the port side. The captain and crew are doing well, and at least one sat phone is working. David is trying to send us the SPOT update, letting us know where the boat is.

I’ve just finished uploading the photos from the launch yesterday. You can all access them by clicking on the link below for

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Kevin Zeese: Messy Elections: Can We Trust The Results?

For a country that considers itself the ‘greatest democracy on Earth,’ the U.S. sure does run messy elections.

This year about one-third the public is voting early (something Marylanders will be voting on in a referendum on Election Day), as a result we are seeing election meltdowns in slow motion. Here is a sample of what is occurring:

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GazaFriends Update 28 October, 2008: A ship called dignity

It rained today in Cyprus, a rain that the Cypriots really need. Those of us who were getting ready to send another delegation to Gaza worried that the weather would prevent us from leaving. But, by 3:30 pm, the rain began to stop and the sun came out, the late-afternoon rays shining through the flags that draped our new boat, the SS Dignity. We had worked so hard over the past two months to keep the boat safe.

Several times over the past week, people had said that Israel was looking for the Free Gaza, asking port authorities where it was and when we were going.  So today was another triumph for the human spirit.

Twenty-seven passengers and crew were on board, grinning and waving at the media gathered below on the docks. All of the hard work and all of the frustration were worth it as they crowded around the upper deck of the new boat, posing for photos.  Joe Fallisi, one of the passengers on board and an Italian tenor, sang as the boat pulled out. Once again, the Cypriot authorities escorted the boat out and on its way to Gaza.

Israel says they will stop us and not allow us into Gaza. How cruel of them to threaten to stop a boat full of nonviolent people like Mairead Maguire and Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi. Why would they want to send doctors away from injured children? What are they so afraid of that they would want to shoot instead of talk? Mairead Maguire said it perfectly today, when she said, “If we had continued to fight instead of talk, Northern Ireland still would have no peace.”

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Let us speculate By William Bowles

28 October 2008

There’s an awful lot of speculation going on right now, from both the left and right about where the latest crisis of capital is headed, chief amongst them is the notion that this signals the end of the US Empire, that the so-called uni-polar world is over, that a new multi-polar world, headed by China, Russia, India and Brazil is emerging.

The theory is based upon the fact that the US is no longer the world’s numero uno economic power and it’s true that even an overwhelming military force is dependent on the economics that fuels it. But how true is this idea and even if it is true, over what timescale are we talking about here?

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