In 2011, the CIA declassified documents admitting its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's elected government and installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, details of which were first first disclosed by the New York Times
in 2000. Timeline
. However, they refused to release them to the public
. Today, the National Security Archive research institute has (after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) obtained and made the 21 documents public. "Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup
. [more inside]
Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni's kidnappers
were convicted by a Hamas-run military court in the Gaza Strip today for their involvement in the abduction and murder of the Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in April 2011. [more inside]
The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report
on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?
" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders
, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively)
The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace
. [more inside]
is the blog of a sociologist in Libya.
The greybeards of the U.S. foreign policy establishment
have spoken out to the Bush Administration telling it what it needs to do to have a successful Mideast peace summit: advocate a return to '67 borders, Jerusalem as capital of two states, solution of refugee problem with financial compensation to Palestinians, security guarantees for Israel.
Signatories of the statement include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Nancy Kassebaum, Carla Hills, Thomas Pickering, Ted Sorensen and Paul Volcker. A pretty formidable bunch. [more inside]
Interactive Network Maps of Mideast National Relationships
Social network analyst Valdis Krebs has put together a pair of interactive network models visualizing the relationships between all the nations & non-nation actors involved in the Mideast crisis. And after you get bored of playing "drag the countries around", check out a few of the other models & maps
he's made available. (via
500,000 Lebanese citizens are now homeless.
That's out of a population of 3.8 million, according to Juan Cole. People in Southern Lebanon have received leaflets warning them to leave, but are trapped in their villages under Israeli bombings. The IDF has opened a 60-km front on the border, using tanks to probe Hezbollah. Meanwhile, a ceasefire remains... elusive.
I normally take the position that both sides are excessively violent, but this is a pretty sad picture of what's going on in Lebanon.
Ariel Sharon suffers major stroke.
Executive power temporarily transferred to his deputy as doctors operate to drain blood from his brain. Say what you will about Sharon's tenure, his death now would send shockwaves through the Israeli political establishment and through the region.
Sri Lankan Maids Pay Dearly for Perilous Jobs Overseas
The teacher held up an electric cake mixer and told the class of wide-eyed women before her to clean it properly. If it smells, "Mama," as the aspiring maids were instructed to call their female employers, "will be angry and she will hammer and beat you."
Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times
More than a million Sri Lankans - roughly 1 in every 19 citizens - now work abroad, and nearly 600,000 are housemaids.
Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times
Some maids being trained in Kegalla, Sri Lanka, will find brutal work conditions in the Middle East.
"This is where you go wrong," the teacher continued. "That is how Mama beats you and burns you - when you do anything wrong."
Frontline: Rumsfeld's War
, a PBS/Washington Post joint documentary that aired earlier this week is now online
. It is the inside story of Rumsfeld's battle to assert civil control over the military.
Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.
Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
Doomed to failure in the Middle East.
52 former senior British diplomats, probably the most experienced people on Middle East issues in Britain, sent a letter to Tony Blair, telling him he is very close to fucking up big time. Tony is trying to pass this as just «right of opinion». What next? Are we going to see foreign office people demonstrating outside Downing street?
At least four times in the fall of 2002, the president and his advisers invoked the specter of a "mushroom cloud," and some of them, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, described Iraq's nuclear ambitions as a threat to the American homeland... Among the closely held internal judgments of the Iraq Survey Group, overseen by David Kay as special representative of CIA Director George J. Tenet, are that Iraq's nuclear weapons scientists did no significant arms-related work after 1991, that facilities with suspicious new construction proved benign, and that equipment of potential use to a nuclear program remained under seal or in civilian industrial use.
So in regards to Iraq's possession of the one weapon we can be certain causes mass destruction: the atomic bomb
, as Gregg Easterbrook
put it, the verdict is the unsurprising (and unsurprisingly closely held
) nope, not, zero, zip, nada...
Is Fox News Giving "Aid & Comfort" to Saddam?
Contributing money to the regime they hate so much - without disclosing it - seems to go against the grain of the flag-waving network. I don't think Barbara Streisand ever contributed
any money to Baghdad... (via Electrolite
Beating the Nostradamus followers to the punch!
Century I - 55 :
Soubz l'opposite climat Babylonique
Grande sera de sang effusion
Que terre & mer, air, Ciel sera inique
Sectes, faim, regnes, pestes, confusion
In a climate opposed to the Babylonians,
Blood will flow in a large flood,
From ground, sea, and air, injustice shall reign
Sects, famine, kings, plagues, confusion.
The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).
"The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."
Excecutive summary: Lord Acton
foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
Israeli Police Find Huge Car Bomb.
Certainly car bombings in the Mideast are nothing new but what I found interesting was this paragraph:
Police found a cellular telephone attached to the bomb, apparently to set off the charge by remote control. The second vehicle was apparently to have served as a getaway car
Does that piece of information strike anyone else as significant? I wonder how many previous "suicide" bombings were not.
Gore questions timing of Iraq concern
Is it proper to invade Iraq? This would be an unprecedented move for the US military as Iraq has not attacked the US anyone the US has defense treaties with.
"Republican National Committee spokesman Jim Dyke called Gore's comments "irresponsible."
"This is no time to attack the president or Republicans for their handling of the war for political gain," he said."
Hmmm..so he admits the Iraqi attack IS for partisan political gain, eh? I would have never suspected it.
Pariah dogs of the Middle East
No, not these two
jokers, but the real thing
: Canaan dogs
. Like the more refined Saluki
, Afghan Hound
and "barkless" Basenji
(among many others
), Canaan dogs have been known for thousands of years. They guard herds for modern Bedouins
like they did for ancient Israelites. During the 1930s, when traditional "war dogs" were having trouble adapting to Palestine, Zionists carefully redomesticated
the semi-wild animals, turning them into seeing eye dogs
and guards for isolated settlements
. Canaan dogs became one of the first breeds trained to detect mines effectively, although their use for bomb-sniffing remains a touchy subject
[LAT, reg'n]. You also might enjoy pondering the provocative question raised by this detailed essay: Why have all three major monotheistic religions considered dogs "a threat to the authority of the clergy"
Bush's speech today
revealed the basis of what the current administration believes is the roadmap to peace in the Mideast. After looking at the major points
of the plan, I feel it's about as good of a deal as the Palestinians are ever going to get and pretty much the only way out for the Israeli's also. What do you think?
Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air. "We apologize for the discontinuation of the transmission of the Voice of Love and Peace. The offices, studios and transmission equipment were destroyed totally by Israeli forces in their last invasion of Ramallah."
(from Radio Nederlands
Hamas accepts Saudi peace plan:
"There has been generation after generation (of war). Now there is a generation who needs to live in peace, and not worry about their safety," said [Hamas executive Ismail Abu] Shanab. "So it is a generation that wants to practice living in peace and postpone historical issues. We speak of historical Palestine, and practical reality."
Since their official position is that "Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason" (Hamas Charter
, Article 32), this is a dramatic change in policy indeed. I'm gobsmacked; this is utterly unbelievable, yet apparently real. And genuinely hopeful IMHO. What do you think?
*carefully and gingerly point out Douglas Rushkoff's Mideast blog entries
as objective, detached viewpoint on the whole ugly mess*
*tiptoe out, thanking cris
for the link, and apologizing for the Mideast link, but hey, it's good*
An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition.
"For the founders of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition, there is a possible way out of the present murderous impasse in the region: a return to the agreement drawn up at Taba in January 2001. Two of those who drew it up, one Israeli and one Palestinian, propose an alternative way forward."
Said's ideal Mid East proposal.
In one of the more insightful pieces written lately about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Edward Said might surprise those that see only fundamentalists in the Arab world. Excerpt:
And since the Palestinian-Israeli struggle has been so humanly impoverishing I would suggest that important symbolic gestures of recognition and responsibility, undertaken perhaps under the auspices of a Mandela or a panel of impeccably credentialed peace-makers, should try to establish justice and compassion as crucial elements in the proceedings. Unfortunately, it is perhaps true that neither Arafat nor Sharon are suited to so high an enterprise.
From Al-Ahram Weekly
, one of the most interesting English language news magazines originating in the Arab world.
A memo to American Muslims,
in Muqtedar Khan's Column on Islamic Affairs, A Return to Enlightenment. "Muslims, including American Muslims have been practicing hypocrisy on a grand scale." "While we loudly and consistently condemn Israel for its ill treatment of Palestinians we are silent when Muslim regimes abuse the rights of Muslims and slaughter thousands of them. Remember Saddam and his use of chemical weapons against Muslims (Kurds)?. Remember Pakistani army’s excesses against Muslims (Bengalis)?. Remember the Mujahideen of Afghanistan and their mutual slaughter? Have we ever condemned them for their excesses? Have we demanded international intervention or retribution against them? Do you know how the Saudis treat their minority Shiis? Have we protested the violation of their rights? But we all are eager to condemn Israel; not because we care for rights and lives of the Palestinians, we don’t. We condemn Israel because we hate 'them'".
Bush, Powell pushing Peres into Peace Talks
“Bush urged the prime minister to make progress with the Palestinians on ending the violence in the Mideast, White House spokesman Sean McCormack said.” war : diplomacy :: problem : solution
Caution: This links might be inflamatory
A friend runs a site that is a portal dealing with middle-eastern news (for his safety, I will not link to it). He often receives hate-filled emails urging him to act out against various ethnic groups. This link was sent to him a couple of months ago; it is Islamic Resistance Support Association and is loaded with anti-american propaganda. [view at your own risk]
Nazis planned Palestine subversion.
British secret intelligence files have been released in London about a German wartime plan for subversion in Palestine. Nazi Gold, secret parachute drops and the Grand Mufti.
justifiable? i'm sure that both sides have their own reasons. but, honestly ... all the fatalities. how can there be any possible rationale for the loss of so much?
The Million Prayer March
was set up to collect one million prayers for peace in the Middle East. James Twyman, author and Peace Troubadour, set up this website after Arafat said that peace will not come to Middle East without a million strong prayers. Once the site has collected one million prayers, Twyman will travel to Israel with all the prayers to present them to Arafat and Barak.
I was prayer no 78536
Hizbollah supporters arrested for Cigarette smuggling.
The men may have netted up to $10,000, and according to an "confidential Canadian source" were under orders to buy night vision goggles for Hizbollah, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the United States. Their leader is said by another(?) source as being "very comfortable around weapons."
I don't think it's a coincidence that this story is coming to our attention during the peace talks at Camp David. There's nothing in any article I have read on this story giving any substantial proof that these people and their arrest were really front-page events. Does anyone else feel that reportage of the Middle East, and indeed US policy, is clouded and indeed skewed, perhaps in much the same way as the States' Cuba policy?