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Giving Thanks: A Cornucopia of Middle East Affairs

From my Ohana to yours, I’d like to extend a hale Happy Holiday…!

I’ve been absorbed in my local Occupy Hilo and haven’t posted much about the I/P and the Middle East, my humble apologies…!

As you’re cooking and basting your turkey (I’m cooking two birds) I’d like to provide you a veritable cornucopia of Middle East news and intel…

As my first dish, I’d like to serve up some Seymour Hersch (mp3)…! Antiwar’s Scott Horton talks with Sy about his recent blog post: Iran and the I.A.E.A… It is certainly refreshing to hear Sy attesting to much of what I’ve already reported earlier, such as my; Wag The Dog: Green Salt is The New Yellowcake…

Staying with Antiwar radio, this Philip Giraldi interview is a must-hear too…! To wit; Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the CIA agents “rolled up” in Iran and Lebanon because of sloppy tradecraft (like regularly meeting at a Beirut Pizza Hut). Now, remind me again of how many Billion$ we are spending on these utter buffoons…?

Now, I do have a lot of links to provide… So continuing with the Lebanon meme… The intrepid Richard Silverstein unleashed another veritable ‘bombshell’…

Exclusive: Israeli Military Intelligence Caused Massive Explosion in Hezbollah South Lebanon Arms Cache

…Now comes an exclusive report from an authoritative Israeli source with considerable military experience, that IDF military intelligence (Aman) has out foxed Hezbollah by deliberately crash-landing a booby-trapped Trojan Horse drone in southern Lebanon…

…The moral being, in this dirty game called asymmetrical warfare, you and your enemy circle each other warily seeking to exploit any weakness. And you will make mistakes because you are only human. The fatal assumption is that your opponent is the only dumb one who will make them, and you never will…

Moving on, it was surprising to see Lt. Pike make an appearance in Tel Aviv…

Tel Aviv police pepper-spray democracy protesters

…Earlier, I read a few Twitter messages about tear gas being used by the police. This sounded strange – Israeli security forces never use it in Jewish neighborhoods. On King George, the mystery was solved – it was pepper spray, the current world-wide celebrity of the crowd control department. An activist I knew was still red-eyed when I met him – he said the police had lost control for a minute, and sprayed the protesters for no reason at all.

You can see it happen clearly in the video (min 0:18), take by Eran Vered. Later, you can also spot the district police commander (min 1:46, not in uniform but in blue clothes) kicking protesters that are on sitting on the road…

The accompanying YouTubes were just as damning as Lt. Pike’s viral heroics…

Now, continuing along with Israeli news… I did find it rather ironic to hear Tzipi Livni, belatedly, bemoaning the real facts on the ground…

Israel turning into dictatorship

Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni accused the government during a Knesset hearing of compromising Israel’s democratic system.

“We have always prided ourselves on being the only democracy in the Middle East. We were a democracy, and the others were dictatorships,” she said. “While Egypt is trying to become a democracy like us, we’re passing laws that will turn Israel into a dictatorship.”

Haaretz featured two articles to that effect…

MKs to debate bill that would limit freedom to petition Israel’s High Court

Former chief justice Aharon Barak: Democracy is not just majority rule.


Israel’s investigative journalists facing increasing obstacles

Investigative journalism is hard enough in a country as small as Israel, and an intensifying onslaught against freedom of the press is endangering it even further.

Btw, Bibi had totally lost all his senses in the Knesset, yesterday…

Netanyahu: Arab world moving backward, not forward

…”In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we’re facing a new era of liberalism and progress…They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don’t see where things are heading,” he said.

But time has proved him right, Netanyahu said. His forecast that the Arab Spring would turn into an “Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli and anti-democratic wave” turned out to be true, he said.

Netanyahu also slammed Western leaders, and especially U.S. President Barak Obama, who had pushed Mubarak to resign from power. At the time this was happening Netanyahu said in closed talks that the American administration and many European leaders don’t understand reality. On Wednesday, he called them “naive.”

I ask today, who here didn’t understand reality? Who here didn’t understand history?” he called from the Knesset podium. “Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who say follow your heart.”
Netanyahu used the upheaval in the Arab world to justify his government’s inaction vis-a-vis the peace process with the Palestinians.

“I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement,” he said.

“But I will not establish Israel’s policy on illusions. There’s a huge upheaval here…whoever doesn’t see it is burying his head in the sand,” he said.

“That didn’t stop people from coming to me and suggesting we make all kinds of concessions. I said we insist on foundations of stability and security…all the more so now,” he said.

And it wasn’t just Bibi raving like the lunatic he his, Avi Lieberman, just had to chime in too…

Israel won’t give Fatah-Hamas unity government even one dime

FM says Israel will not recognize or negotiate with a Palestinian unity government if it does not accept the principles outlined by the Mideast Quartet.

Bibi, doubled down and told everyone to f*ck off… Netanyahu Rejects U.S., International Calls To Release Palestinian Money…

It’s already been 5-6 months worth of Palestinian tax revenues that have been collected by Israel, and subsequently withheld from Abu Mazen’s already cash starved PA bureaucracy…! Contrary to the Grey Lady’s pathetic reporting…! Is it any coinky-doink that Abbas is finally teaming up with Hamas…?

Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo for unity talks

A delegation from Hamas arrived in the Egyptian capital Wednesday in preparation for meetings with President Abbas in a bid to implement the reconciliation deal signed in May.

The delegation includes Khalid Mashaal, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouq, Muhammad Naser, Izzat al-Rishq, Khalil al-Hayya, and Nizar Awad.

Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said “we hope the meeting will be fruitful,” and added that the Islamist movement expected to agree with Fatah on establishing a joint authority in the occupied territories.

He also expressed hopes they would adopt a single national strategy.

Abbas is already in Cairo for the unity talks and had even met with the soon-to-be supplanted Tantawi…!

In other ME news, Bahrain is slammed with a withering report… Probe says excessive force used in Bahrain crackdown… Much to the chagrin of the PNAC crew, No Iranian role found in Bahrain unrest… Sucks doesn’t it…?

God help us all…! We’re all the 99% trying to survive the games that are being played…!

As Ike had once famously said…

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.


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