Sonja Karkar: Gaza`s Death Throes

This should give everyone pause to revisit our noble declarations of independence and human rights, ethics, morality, religious beliefs, civil liberties and the rule of law. Are they intended only for some people or for all people?

What kind of government in the 21st century can deny another people basic human rights – that is, the right to food, water, shelter, security and dignity?

What kind of government imposes draconian sanctions on another people for democratically electing a government not to its liking?

What kind of government seals a heavily populated territory of 1.5 million people so that no person can enter or leave without permission, fishermen cannot fish in their own waters, and world food aid cannot be delivered to the starving population?

What kind of government shuts off fuel, water and electricity and then rains down on the people, bombs and artillery fire?

The answer is – no government of integrity.

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Uri Blau: Targeted Assassinations – a License to kill

27 November, 2008, Ha’aretz Magazine

The announcement made by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman on June 20, 2007 was standard: “Two armed terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization were killed last night during the course of a joint activity of the IDF and a special force of the Border Police in Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin. The two terrorists, Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed, opened fire at the force during its activity. In response the force fired at them, killing the terrorists. On their bodies two M-16 rifles, a pistol and ammunition were found. It was also discovered that the terrorists were involved in planning suicide attacks against the Israeli home front, including the attempt in Rishon Letzion last February.”

The laconic announcement ignores one important detail: Malaisha was a target for assassination. His fate had been decided several months earlier, in the office of then head of Central Command, Yair Naveh. As far as the public was concerned, on the other hand, the last declared assassination carried out by the IDF in the West Bank took place in August 2006; at the end of that year the High Court of Justice set strict criteria regarding the policy of assassinations in the territories.

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EILEEN FLEMING: The Ongoing Nakba and Vanunu

vanunu.jpg[Occupied east Jerusalem] On November 19, 2008, during the final day of Sabeel’s [Arabic for The Way] 7th International Conference: THE NAKBA: MEMORY, REALITY AND BEYOND, Noble Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire inspired nearly 300 internationals to rise up and honor Mordechai Vanunu.

Vanunu has been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize annually since 1986 for his courage and truth telling, by providing the photographic eveidence that warned the world that Israel had already manufactured upwards of 200 nuclear warheads in 1985. Israel locked Vanunu up for 18 years, has held him under house arrest since April 2004, yet Israel continues to get away with nuclear ambiguity, has never allowed IAEA inspectors into the Dimona, nor have they signed the NPT.

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Nil NIKANDROV Medvedev: The Name Venezuelans Pronounce Correctly

25 November, 2008

Russian Embassy in Caracas sits in a picturesque little street Las Lomas de las Mercedes, steeply rising uphill. The shining plaque reading ‘Quinta ‘Soyuz’ on the stone wall has been here since the time of the Soviet Union. Quite often the embassy personnel stay long hours, but at present this is even more noticeable. Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev will pay an official visit to Venezuela on November 26.

Throughout the history of bilateral diplomatic relations Russian, and before them – Soviet – leaders of the same level never visited the exotic faraway Venezuela, ‘the land of eternal spring’ for geopolitical, pragmatic and ideological reasons. First, they were wary of exasperating the United States by becoming more active right in the underpinning of the distrustful and jealous superpower. Second, it hardly made sense to fly a government liner across the Atlantic for the only reason of demonstrating to Venezuelans the hammer and sickle on the red background of the Soviet flag or the Russian tricolour most recently. Americans had grabbed hold of everything in Venezuela. They never put up with and never allowed competition in trade and in any other fields. Third, president Chavez used to make pompous statements about his goals of building in Venezuela a just Socialist society that were in sharp contrast with the Kremlin’s declared project of reviving Russia along the lines of capitalism.

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The Obama Dilemma: A Mission Impossible? By William Bowles

28 November 2008

mission-obama“The bourgeoisie [are] out of answers, and with the increasing costs of production and transportation driven by the price of oil, with the price of oil driving the bourgeoisie into greater capital expenditures to increase the rate of surplus value; with oil undermining growth in the mass and rate of value added– manufacturing, hidden beneath all the noise and clamor of Wall Street, of all the investment bankers at all the trading desks slapping themselves on the back with each new deal– manufacturing had all ready rung the closing bell.

“Those who didn’t hear it, couldn’t hear it. They were too smart. They were too stupid.

“The only answer left for capitalism…is the destruction of assets.” — ‘Pimp My Assets Part 3’, The Wolf Report.

So desperate are we for real change that Obama’s election promises became a veritable mantra for millions of people, especially the young, black and poor. Understandably, there is more than a little wishful thinking involved here given the disastrous decade we’ve been through. And after all the guy is young, apparently gifted and black, what more could anyone ask for?

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China and the Congo Wars: AFRICOM. America’s New Military Command By F. William Engdahl

26 November 2008 — Global Research

Just weeks after President George W. Bush signed the Order creating a new US military command dedicated to Africa, AFRICOM, events on the mineral-rich continent have erupted which suggest a major agenda of the incoming Obama Presidency will be for the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other, on dealing with the Republic of Congo, the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The legitimate question is whether it is mere coincidence that Africa appears just at this time to become a new geopolitical ‘hot spot’ or whether it has a direct link to the formal creation of AFRICOM.

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Housman’s Radical Booksellers Newsletter for December 2008

We wish you all a peaceful time over the festive season and hope you have a great 2009! Thanks for all your continued support this year…

In order to make your gift-buying that little bit easier, we will be keeping the shop open on Sundays in December until Christmas, between 3pm and 7pm at a minimum. If you can, please do use Housmans as the place to get your cards and presents, and help to keep the chain stores at bay!




1. Could you help Housmans by volunteering?


2. (music) ‘Songs for Change’ with Chris Butler & David Ferrard Wednesday 3rd December – 7pm
3. (book signing/talk) 10 Years of Chávez with Bart Jones
Saturday 6th December – 5pm
4. (book signing/talk) ‘Some of the People All of the Time’ with Alastair Mackie
Wednesday 10th December – 7pm
5. (book signing/talk) ‘The Phoenix: Misrule in the Land of Nod’ with Onyeka
Saturday 13th December – 5pm
6. (book signing/talk) An Anarchist FAQ with Iain McKay
Wednesday 17th December – 7pm


7. Signed Books


8. No Sweat Annual Gathering 2008


9. Join our Facebook group

10. Housmans Peace Diary 2009

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Media Lens: ‘Living Our Values’: Guardian News & Media And The Climate – Part 2

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

November 26, 2008

The Observer Smears Climate Activism

Despite the fine words of the ’Living Our Values’ audit, the Guardian and the Observer are part of a corporate system that is determined to prevent the public from interfering with the maximisation of profits.

Earlier this month, the Observer smeared climate activists by highlighting police warnings of a “growing threat of eco-terrorism”. The alleged threat is presented by a group called Earth First!, which the paper claimed “has supporters who believe that reducing the Earth’s population by four-fifths will help to protect the planet”. (Mark Townsend and Nick Denning, ‘Police warn of growing threat from eco-terrorists: Fear of deadly attack by lone maverick as officers alert major firms to danger of green extremism,’ The Observer, November 9, 2008)

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Franklin Lamb – Completing the task of evicting Israel from Lebanon

25 November, 2008


Northwest of Ghajar Village, South Lebanon

“We, as Lebanese, are here to confirm that we cling to freeing every grain of our soil. We will not abandon the great national cause, which is the continuation of the liberation of our land. The resistance looks forward to hoisting the flags of victory again over the Kfarshuba hills, Shebaa Farms, Ghajar and Abbasieh where 80 percent of the land is still occupied” — Sheik Nabil Qwork, Hezbollah leader addressing villagers at Abbasieh Village, 10/2008

A job for the UN or Hezbollah?

Under pressure from the lame duck Bush Administration to withdraw from territory that the Lebanese Resistance (moukawamah Lubnaniyah) did not liberate during its May 2000 rout of the Israel army and its surrogate SLA militia, Israel to date remains unwilling to budge.  One reason is that it claims the Bush Administration reneged on secret pledges to bomb Iran.

As the blind eyes turned by five consecutive US administrations to Israel’s 22 year brutal occupation of South Lebanon (1978-2000) make plain, Israel remaining on Lebanese territory normally would not be of much concern to Washington even as it is learning that its own hard-line policy in the region did not succeed.

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Bewitched, Baffled and Bewildered By William Bowles

25 November 2008

“Whatever else yesterday’s great budget gamble aspired to do, one thing was left unattended to: the thing which is the central disaster at the core of the financial crisis. That thing is, of course, the lack of credit coming from the banks. And there’s no sign that anyone is going to be able to force the banks to do anything. But tonight we’re asking why.

“Indeed, there are an awful lot of “whys” when it comes to the banking sector. I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve been in some way asleep for some portion of it. Did I miss any senior bankers being arraigned in front of the Commons treasury select committee? Have I missed the attorney general sizing up who she can move against in the criminal law courts?

“It seems that whilst these activities have been going on across the Atlantic, nothing is to happen here. Faisal Islam is looking at how credit might be got moving, and we’ll see what we can do on the other matters. — Snowmail, Channel 4 News, 25 November, 2008

Now who is speaking with forked tongue here? Let me get this straight: is Jon Snow giving us his opinions on the cause of the capitalist crisis, or is this the editorial line of Channel 4 News, because I know I’m baffled by this admission of total ignorance of the facts of the situation?

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Media Lens: ‘Living Our Values’: Guardian News & Media And The Climate – Part 1

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

November 25, 2008


Last week, Guardian News & Media (GNM) published ‘Living Our Values’, an independently audited account of the company’s annual performance on sustainability issues. GNM, which encompasses the Guardian, the Observer and, claims to have strong environmental ambitions. Its ongoing mission: to seek out and “explore subjects like climate change, environmental degradation and social inequality” in ever greater depth.

The Guardian’s ultimate aim is to be nothing less than “the world’s leading liberal voice”. (Siobhain Butterworth, ‘Open door. The readers’ editor on… the Guardian’s green and global mission,’ November 17, 2008)

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