One ruin of Bush's misbegotten war - and it continues to escalate
. "Problems facing the intelligentsia of Iraq have been neglected in the scale of that country’s ongoing tragedy. Since 2003, the new phenomenon of targeted and systematic assassinations, kidnappings and threats to professionals and academics has surfaced. These are escalating. Over 830 assassinations have been documented, victims killed along with their families. Numbers includes: 380 university academics and doctors, 210 lawyers and judges, and 243 journalists/media workers but not other experts, school teachers or students; neither professionals displaced internally and externally. All aspects of life are affected.
The victims are often highly qualified, PhD or equivalent. Assassinations are not specific to sect or gender but victims are predominantly Arab.
Hundreds of legal workers have left Iraq in addition to those already killed and injured, thereby denying thousands of Iraqis their legal rights. Working lawyers numbers have decreased by at least 40% in the past year alone and hundreds of cases shelved.
Neither has sports escaped; the President and 36 member National Iraqi Olympic Committee were kidnapped in July 2006; the majority are thought to be dead. These were the only democratically elected Olympic representatives in the region.
The reported incidents are only the tip of an iceberg; many cases go unreported. This is in addition to the huge exodus to neighbouring countries and, for the lucky few, to Europe.
Unless urgent action is taken to redress this situation, it will be too late to save Iraq’s intelligentsia for the immediate and foreseeable future; a disastrous situation for Iraq." Iraq's Lost Generation: Impact and Implications Ismail Jalili, June 15, 2007
Iraq's Lost Generation: Impact and Implications (Pg. 15) - Targeted assassination of professionals in Iraq is a new phenomenon in Iraq’s history. Academia, doctors, indeed knowledge itself, have always been accorded the highest respect. The current problem commenced with the 2003 invasion and continues to escalate.
The pattern of atrocities which followed the invasion, and targeting of Iraq’s intelligentsia followed a methodical period of looting and destruction of Iraq’s heritage, infrastructure, universities and libraries. Many Iraqis, together with sections of international academia, believe this to be highly indicative of a plan to drain Iraq of its intellectuals and experts and dismantle its infrastructure along a pattern known as ‘El-Salvador Option’ used in that country by the Pentagon.
Mushrooming opposition: A Czech hacker group called Initiative Ztohoven has somehow managed to manipulate a live weather television feed from a Czech resort area to include an atomic mushroomcloud explosion. Besides admiring their technical skill, you also have to admire their Guerrilla Theater politics.
IS THE WORST YET TO COME IN GAZA? It's come down to a 'numbers game'.... how long will it take the population of Gaza to run out of food? The speculation has already started with Abbas, Olmert and Bush doing the guessing. 10 days seems to be the general opinion.... What then?
US destroying Iraq with impunity: The United States and its allies are killing Iraqi civilians, stealing Iraq's oil and destroying the nation's heritage with total impunity, according to a report released jointly today by 30 NGOs which concluded that The US Coalition is the principal cause of Iraq’s current ills.
The 117-page War and Occupation in Iraq reveals that the US has established broad legal immunity in Iraq for its military forces, for private security personnel, for foreign military and civilian contractors, and even for the oil companies doing business with Iraq and that no matter what crimes the Coalition commits, Iraqis now or in the future face legal barriers if they seek accountability.
US Presidential Executive Order 13303, Order 17 of the Coalition Provisional Authority, and other official dicta, shield foreign military personnel from arrest, detention, prosecution or punishment. While the US and its allies have applied limited legal reckoning in a few flagrant cases that became known to the public, punishment has been light and those with command responsibility have remained beyond the law, the report finds.
Note - MEMRI is ‘propaganda machine,’ expert says: "They use the same sort of propaganda techniques as the Nazis," Professor Norman G. Finkelstein, a well-known scholar on Israel/Palestine, told InFocus. "They take things out of context in order to do personal and political harm to people they don’t like."
MEMRI’s obsessive interest in protecting Israel derives from the people and interests that founded, fund and manage the institute’s international operations.
It was founded in 1998 by Yigal Carmon, a former colonel in the Israel Defense Forces (Intelligence Branch) from 1968 until 1988, acting head of civil administration in the West Bank from 1977 to 1982; and Israeli-born Meyrav Wurmser, an extreme rightwing neoconservative now affiliated with the Hudson Institute.
... [Juan] Cole characterized MEMRI as "a Right-Zionist propaganda organ, which usually does its propaganda unobtrusively, by being very selective in what it translates."
Indeed , MEMRI appears to view the Arab world as a malevolent, mind-numbing monsters’ ball, populated almost exclusively by fanatics, freaks and fundamentalists.
Every story that could possibly make Middle Eastern people look deranged, hateful or diabolical gets translated; anything that could make them look informed, talented or admirable is ignored.
MEMRI says it covers reformers in the Arabic-speaking world, but longtime observers point out that people who make Islam or Arab culture look attractive rarely get translated, regardless of their position.
Nor does MEMRI feature stories about Palestinian suffering, Israeli dissenters, moderate Islamists, Christians in Arab governments or the growing nonviolent movement against the apartheid wall in the Occupied Territories, especially around Bal’in.
According its critics, until MEMRI starts translating Hebrew stories about the rightward drift of Israeli society, torture of Palestinians in Israeli jails, the forced exile of Ilan Pappe and Azmi Bishara, and the elevation of the neo-fascist Avigdor Lieberman to deputy prime minister of Israel, they aren’t really covering all Middle Eastern media.
"I think it’s a reliable assumption that anything MEMRI translates from the Middle East is going to be unreliable," Finkelstein said.
Samarra dam in danger: HAQ news agency received from reliable sources from the city of Samarra that the American occupation forces today expelled all the workers and staff who work at the dam of Samarra.
The incoming news that only people exist in the place are the American soldiers who are now deployed between infantry over the dam and divers underneath.
Other news also reported that the occupation forces opened Dokan dam and allowed the water to flow since ten days.
Which is among the Samarra street said that the American forces are planning to blow up a disaster which is blowing up the Dam then stick the charge with the Iraqi resistance as it did with the Sarafya bridge and al-Nessur tunnel and others in other places, but this thing is different, because destroying Samarra bridge, which we pray to Allah to prevent them from doing that, as experts said will lead to a disaster which is causing the sinking of entire regions.
The twilight zone / 'Now you are paralyzed, as we promised': "We have to make you do a little sports," the Shin Bet interrogator said, launching four successive days of questioning accompanied by brutal physical torture. The result: Luwaii Ashqar can no longer stand on his feet. He sits in his wheelchair, dressed in a fashionable quasi-military suit, super-elegant, new Caterpillar-brand shoes on his paralyzed feet.
Do non-westerners approach war in fundamentally different ways? The question is more than academic. According to traditional wisdom both ancient and modern, one must know the enemy to succeed in war. Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu advised strategists to “know your enemy and know yourself.”5 Mastering war would require self-knowledge and an accurate reading of the enemy, a dialectical exercise that would reward the strategist with victory upon victory. And cultural illiteracy, the anthropology deficit within the national-security establishment, is being blamed for current failures. America and its allies are confronted with the difficulties of negotiating cultural differences in alien environments. They face the implosion of Iraq, where a bloody insurgency mutates into a civil war, while NATO struggles to navigate the tribal world of Afghanistan and a resurgent Taliban.
American military strategy of the 1990s was marked by a technology-driven quest for a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The RMA envisaged a future in which the American colossus would prevail against armies in the field by exploiting its strengths, such as information and knowledge of the battlespace, precision munitions, rapid mobility, and decisionmaking.6 But the world’s dominant superpower now faces a very different world. Neither the doctrine, training, or tools designed to counter the Soviet threat nor the RMA seem capable of dealing with low-intensity insurgency. America’s advantages have been offset by the indirect methods its enemies employ, an enemy who refuses to play to these strengths and fight as America would like them to; by the complex terrain and gangland of urban warfare, in which industrial might or superior firepower do not guarantee success; and by their enemies’ different organization, more a shadowy network than a traditional command structure. Designed for conventional battles, surgical invasion and withdrawal, and swift, overwhelming strikes, America’s military was unprepared for the post-invasion disorder in Iraq, and the intimacy of prolonged contact with a complex foreign society.