Viva Palestina US: Navigating Egypt’s Obstacle Course

14 July, 2009 —

The Viva Palestina U.S. convoy has been facing barrier after barrier in recent days despite having initially hoped to cross into the Gaza Strip this morning. The Egyptian government, collaborator in Israel’s severe blockade for the past 2 years, has set up a course of administrative obstacles which will delay the group’s entry into Gaza.

George Galloway, the British Member of Parliament who organized this effort as well as the first Viva Palestina caravan which drove from London to Gaza in March, sent a letter to President Mubarak of Egypt prior to the departure of the U.S. convoy. This letter informed the president that over a million dollars had been raised with the intention of purchasing vehicles, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to bring to Gaza. Viva Palestina was also in contact with the Egyptian ambassadors in London, Washington, DC and Tripoli, Libya, who, at their request, were provided with a list of the names and passport numbers of all convoy participants.

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PEAK OIL AGAIN…and Again and Again and Again… (Pt. 1 of 2) By Mark S. Tucker

“It may be that I’m wrong”. Thom Hartmann, the Thom Hartmann Show, responding to a caller re: his (Hartmann’s) former steadfast, adamantine, almost fanatical position on Peak Oil, 6/26/09.

Though few know it, because “Left” radio will never travel the path of looking past and AlterNet for their “news”, Hartmann was reacting to an article by F. (Frederick) William Engdahl a freelance journalist, historian, and economic researcher who grew up, ironically enough, given the subject here, in Texas. He then obtained a degree in engineering and jurisprudence from Princeton (1966) and conducted graduate study in comparative economics at the University of Stockholm, working as an economist and free-lance journalist in New York and Europe. Please note that two-time insertion of “freelance”. It’s crucial. It means Engdahl can’t be censored very easily.

In the 70s, Engdahl interested himself in the “oil shock” (think Naomi Klein) of the era and published his first book A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, addressing a number of factors he saw as relevant to the coming Energy Wars. Central to his discussion was, oh look!, the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran so that the U.S. and Britain could manipulate oil prices and, or so it was claimed, stop ideological Soviet expansion, communism, blah blah blah, woof woof woof – a move Western leaders well knew (though few “Lefties” understood it then or now) was aiming at capturing oil lands, were that possible. Anyone now professing puzzlement at our involvement in Afghanistan under a pretext of immense concern for terrorism (gratis CIA, MOSSAD, and MI6) might want to reconsider why that terrorism was genesised in the first place, flanking the oil fields as it does.

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Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv — The Sequel to the Video YouTube Censored

Max Blumenthal and Jesse Rosenfeld interview young Tel Aviv residents about Iran, Obama and right-wing laws limiting the speech rights of their Palestinian-Israeli neighbors. The shocking responses reflect the deepening of racist and authoritarian trends in Israeli society. This is the sequel to “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem,” the video banned by YouTube, Vimeo and the Huffington Post after topping 400,000 hits.


13 July, 2009 — Postcards from the Revolution

Things are getting worse each day inside Honduras. Over the weekend, two well-known social leaders were assassinated by the coup forces. Roger Bados leader of the Bloque Popular & the National Resistance Front against the coup d’etat, was killed in the northern city of San Pedro Sula. Approximately at 8pm on Saturday evening, Bados was assassinated and killed immediately by three gun shots. Bados was also a member of the leftist party, Democratic Unity (Unificación Democrática) and was president of a union representing workers in a cement factory. His death was denounced as part of the ambience and repressive actions taken by the coup government to silence all disent.

Ramon Garcia, another social leader in Honduras, was also killed on Saturday evening by military forces who boarded a bus he was riding in Santa Barbara and forced him off, subsequently shooting him and wounding his sister. Juan Barahona, National Coordinator of the Bloque Popular & the National Resistance Front against the coup, stated that these actions are committed by the coup government ‘as the only way to maintain themselves in power, by terrorizing and killing the people.’

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U.S. Press Falsely Claims Honduran Plurality for Coup By Robert Naiman

14 July, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

Did a CID-Gallup poll last week indicate that a plurality of Hondurans support the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya?  Yes, according to the Washington Post (July 9), the Wall Street Journal (July 10), the Christian Science Monitor (July 11), and Reuters (July 9), which all reported that the poll showed 41% in favor of the coup, with only 28% opposed.

But in fact the poll showed that 46% — a plurality — were opposed to the coup, according to the New York Times (July 10), the Associated Press (July 11) — and the president of CID-Gallup, in an interview with Voice of America on July 9.

As of this writing — Sunday evening, 5:30 pm Eastern time — none of the outlets which reported the poll incorrectly had corrected their earlier, inaccurate, reports.

In reporting the poll incorrectly, the Post, the Journal, the Monitor, and Reuters gave the impression that more Hondurans supported the coup than opposed it, suggesting that this meant trouble for the international coalition pressing for the restoration of President Zelaya — which includes Costa Rican President Arias and Organization of American States Secretary-General Insulza, as well as the Obama Administration.

Of course, even if a poll had showed a plurality in favor of the coup, that would not legitimize the coup.  But the opinion of the population, even if difficult to discern in the repression following the coup, is without question a key fact in understanding the situation.  To misreport such a key fact is to substantially misinform.  To fail to correct such a mistake compounds the error.

The incorrect report of the poll appears to have originated in the Honduran La Prensa.  But the U.S. press should have checked before simply repeating what was in La Prensa, particularly on such an important fact, particularly because the result was counterintuitive.

But perhaps the result was not counterintuitive for these press outlets, and that may suggest a deeper problem — the U.S. press is out of touch with the majority of the population in Honduras, and therefore credulous to results which misreport Honduran public opinion as being much more similar than it is to the opinions of Honduran elites.

To ask for corrections, you can contact the Washington Post here; the Christian Science Monitor here; and the Wall Street Journal here.

Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy.  Naiman also edits the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary and blogs at the Web site of Just Foreign Policy and the Huffington Post, where this article first appeared.

‘Reckless’ to Sail in International Waters: Why does London perpetuate the blockade by colluding in Israel’s unlawful conduct? By Stuart Littlewood

11 July, 2009 — The Palestine Chronicle

Why does London perpetuate the blockade by colluding in Israel’s unlawful conduct?

I thought I would share this with you.

Britain’s foreign secretary David Miliband – or rather, someone on his behalf – has written to me about the government’s response to Israel’s hijacking of the mercy ship Spirit of Humanity on the high seas and the outrageous treatment of six peace-loving British citizens (including the skipper), en route to Gaza not Israel, who had their gear stolen or damaged and were thrown into Israeli jails. The letter contains the usual wet and meaningless expressions like deplore and press and raise the issue, which are the familiar hallmark of Foreign Office mentality.

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