DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, April 20, 2006
: The Mehdi Army in Basra on the 8th [December 2005]. Against the occupation but currently in a state of truce, Moktada al-Sadr's militia is widely known to have large weapons caches, and if the Shia turn against the Americans, they will be the first to fight.
Roadside bomb against a convoy carrying General Mohammed Namah, ead of operations command in interior ministry, killed one civilian.
Namah's four bodyguards were wounded in the blast.
Gunmen attack Sunni mosque in the district of Saidiya, sparking an hour-long clash before dawn with mosque guards and residents.
There were no casualties, but the walls of the mosque and nearby houses were damaged.
In the Um al-Maalif district, gunmen kill two Sadrist militiamen in a drive-by shooting.
Bodies of two al-Sadr loyalists found.
Armed men break into bakery in the Dora district and kill two workers.
One policeman killed and two others wounded in roadside bombing against police patrol in Baquba.
In two separate shootings, gunmen kill four civilians in and around Baquba.
Two policemen killed in roadside bombing against passing patrol in Al-Khalis.
Two civilians killed and five wounded in car bomb attack near British military patrol near Basra.
A British military spokesman said no casualties were suffered by its forces in the attack.
Former officer from Saddam Hussein's security forces shot to death as he stood near his house in Karbala.
Two policemen killed and four others wounded when roadside bomb hits their patrol in Tal Afar.
Gunmen kill doctor inside a hospital in Tal Afar.
Jaafari says he was longer insists on being PM
, saying his fate now rests in the hands of the alliance members. The announcement on Thursday morning came just hours before the Iraqi parliament was to meet for only the second time since a landmark election in December, with political leaders still squabbling over top government posts.
Jawad al-Maliki, a key leader in the conservative Shia bloc, the United Iraq Alliance, said: "Jaafari has left the decision about his candidacy with the alliance." "Mr Jaafari told the alliance today that it was up to it to decide whether it feels it is necessary" to have him as the next prime minister, "which means he is no longer insisting on the post," al-Maliki said.
The Adhamiya battle in a nutshell
: Iraqi security forces from the Interior ministry (some believe to be accompanied by militiamen) attempted to enter Adhamiya from the Raghiba Khatoun area around 1 am, Monday. Adhamiya residents and its dozens of watch teams responded with heavy fire and thwarted the perceived attack.
The same, or another, force later attempted to enter from the other side through Omar bin Abdul Aziz Street. The attack was repelled and several vehicles were burnt. 7 to 12 residents were killed in the clash.
Electric power returned at 3 am and the area calmed down for a few minutes. American helicopters were circling the area, and National Guards backed by an American force soon arrived at the scene and engaged with what it thought to be an insurgent force attacking the Adhamiya police station. The residents continued to return fire and the random exchange lasted until 12 pm. By then, both sides had realised their mistake. Adhamiya elders and local clerics rushed to clear the misunderstanding with the National Guard. National Guards set up checkpoints and helped restore security. The district was cordoned, residents stayed indoors and stores remained closed, even at Raghiba Khatoun, which is usely oblivous to whatever happens in other parts of Adhamiya.
There had been a previous understanding for a few months between the 2 parties that, as long as Interior ministry forces do not enter Adhamiya, National Guards were free to patrol and maintain checkpoints in the area. National Guards in return, turned a blind eye to the many neighbourhood watch teams and even the 'Mujahideen' as long as they don't target them. National Guards were considered allies and during the Samarra events they stepped back in the shadows and watched as vigilant units took over and patrolled Adhamiya at nighttime. There was at least one incident, a couple of weeks ago, when a National Guard commander warned the 'Mujahideen' that Interior ministry forces had entered the area, and turned over his weapons to residents so they could defend themselves.
Tuesday, 6:45 am: a speeding vehicle drove by and fired a few shots at a lethargic National Guard unit near the corner of Omar bin Abdul Aziz and Siham Al-Mitwali streets. The unit responded with a rabid barrage of Douchka and PKC fire, damaging several stores and hitting the nearby Al-Anbia' mosque. The mosque guards snuck to Dhubat Street from back alleys, took positions on a 3-floor building and started taking potshots at the National Guards at the intersection of Omar and Dhubat streets. Other watch teams thought it was another attack, and by 8 am the whole district erupted into an inferno of machine gun fire. Amidst the chaotic firefight, we could make out the familiar buzz of an American unmanned surveillance plane in the air.
"Please refrain from firing at the mosque. Does a house of Allah have no sanctity to you?" a haughty voice was broadcasting from the Al-Anbia' mosque loudspeakers to the National Guards. "You are supposed to restore order. Cease fire immediately or face the consequences. He who has warned is henceforth excused."
The message only served to provoke heavier fire from both sides.
American Humvees entered Adhamiya and returned fire at everything that moved. The fire was random now and at 1 pm the situation had calmed down again.
People were seen on the streets at 5 pm and bakeries and supermarkets opened for a couple of hours. We went out for supplies; bread, petrol, cigarettes and Pepsi. There was no electric power since Monday morning. We heard from friends and relatives that life was going on 'normally' in other parts of the capital; the obligatory car bomb or roadside bomb, politicians still bickering, corpses still turning up at random locations, people still being kidnapped and assassinated, you know, the usual everyday stuff.
Tuesday night was calm. And except for another short clash near the Adhamiya police station, nothing much has happened on Wednesday, yet. National Guards were manning checkpoints all over Adhamiya and residents were cooperative. The district is getting extremely difficult to navigate. As you can see from the photos below, there are barricades blocking every street and back alley. The area is now one huge fortress, armed to the teeth and expecting an attack any moment now.
This is the Washington Post
's account of the battles.
Some interesting, and often conflicting, rumours and tidbits from Adhamiya residents, just so you get an impression on what people are saying:
"About 40 4wd and pickup vehicles from the Interior ministry tried to enter the area Monday. They had black-clad Badr (or Mahdi) militiamen with them. Some were dressed in police uniform"
"They were all Iranians."
"The resistance captured 13 (or 14) Iranians Monday at Omar bin Abdul Aziz Street."
"They took the Iranians to a hidden location because they will return to look for them."
"What's this bullshit about Iranians?" an old lady of Iranian descent on our street.
"The attack Monday was punishment for Adhamiya because they opposed Ja'fari's nomination as PM."
"The electricity outage is punishment for the district because it fought back."
"While National Guards were shooting at stores and local generators, they were shouting: 'Let the Accord front compensate you.'"
"They were shouting: 'Let Adnan Al-Dulaimi compensate you.'"
"The National Guards are such treacherous bastards. They turned against Adhamiya."
"They want to turn Adhamiya into another Fallujah or Tala'far. This attack has been planned for months."
"There were fliers distributed a week ago warning Adhamiya residents that they will all be dragged in the streets soon."
"They came from Sadr city."
"They came from Iran."
"The firefight was started by a few troublemakers from Fallujah."
"The Americans did nothing to settle the firefight."
[If we're to believe in the WaPo's journalistc integrity, Adhamiya residents basically suspected anyone could be be behind the attacks except the U.S.…
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Dahr Jamail: The Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq
:Another glaring example of the Cheney administration/US military's ongoing war on truth in Iraq is the open wound which is Fallujah.
Heavy-handed assaults by the US military continue in Fallujah, where as recently as this Monday three Iraqi civilians were killed, along with 10 wounded in the Jebail district of the city. Of the 10 wounded, three were women and two were children. According to Mustafa Karim, with an Iraqi security force in the city, "US forces fired on houses in the district following confrontations with armed groups in the vicinity." Karim added that residents of Fallujah have been demanding an easing of the tight security procedures imposed by Iraqi and US armed forces on the region since November 2004, which have obstructed the passage of civilians into and out of the region, and "Fallujah has been recently witnessing a renewed escalation of armed confrontations between US forces and armed Iraqi groups."
In fact, fierce fighting in Fallujah has been ongoing since just a few months after the November 2004 US attack, which destroyed most buildings and homes in the city of 350,000 people.
But the US military doesn't want people to see that American soldiers are dying there on nearly a daily basis as of late. Rather than calling it Fallujah when soldiers die there, they prefer a sort of Bermuda Triangle approach and use "Al-Anbar Province" for the location of these deaths.
Let's have a brief glance at some soldiers killed recently in "Al-Anbar Province":
* April 17, Department of Defense (DOD) announced (hyperlink 'announced' with http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2006/nr20060417-12834.html ) the death of a Marine who "died April 14 from a non-hostile motor vehicle accident in Al-Anbar province, Iraq."
* April 16, CENTCOM announced: "Camp Fallujah, Iraq - A Marine ... died due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 15."
* April 16, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - Multi-National Forces (MNF) Iraq announced: "Three Marines ... died due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 15."
* April 15, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced: "Two Marines died and 22 were wounded due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 13 ... Ten wounded Marines ... were evacuated to a medical facility at Camp Fallujah."
* April 15, DOD announced: "four Marines died April 15 when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq."
* April 11, DOD announced: "Lance Cpl. Juana NavarroArellano, 24 ... died April 8 from wounds received while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq."
* April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - CENTCOM announced: "A soldier ... died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 8."
* April 10, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - CENTCOM announced: "Two soldiers ... died due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 9."
* April 8, Camp Fallujah, Iraq - MNF Iraq announced: "A Marine ... died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in al Anbar Province April 7."
Note the clue that several of these are issued from "Camp Fallujah, Iraq."
This is hardly a complete list of US soldiers killed in Fallujah, and some of the aforementioned may not have actually been killed inside that city. However, military announcements of the deaths of soldiers in other places mention the name of specific cities, whether they occur in Samarra or Tal Afar or elsewhere.
Obviously the US military is being intentionally vague when it comes to their admittance of losing American soldiers within the city limits of Fallujah. An email I received Monday from one of my sources in Fallujah sheds much light as to why this is the case, not only in Fallujah, but throughout Iraq.
"Resistance [in Fallujah] is very active and all the destruction to the city by American soldiers did not succeed to stop them. You know the city was totally destroyed in the November attack and is still surrounded and closed for anyone other than citizens of the city. What is going on now is that the Americans are trying to conceal their failure here by not letting anybody in. There were at least five explosions today and more than one clash between resistance fighters and US soldiers. So all the military procedures, together with the thousands of casualties, were in vain. In short, the American Army seems to be losing control in this country and God knows what they will do in revenge. I expect the worst to come."
Death warrants - Saddam 148, Bush 152
: Saddam Hussein, we now hear, signed the death warrants of 148 Shiite villagers who had risen up against him in Dujail in 1982, for which Saddam Hussein sits in the dock and could face the death penalty. George Bush, in his six-year tenure as Governor of Texas, signed 152 death warrants, a record for any governor of any state in the history of the USA. An example of what George Bush is capable of is provided by the signing of the death warrant of Terry Washington, a mentally retarded man of 33 with the brain of a seven-year-old. Pleas of clemency were denied after a hearing which lasted barely half an hour.
Saddam Hussein was derided because he invaded a sovereign nation - in the event, Kuwait, which was stealing Iraq's oil by cross-drilling, and which had been warned against this practice. George Bush invaded a sovereign nation - Iraq, based on lies and deception.
George Bush accused Saddam Hussein of lying when he claimed he did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. 'This man stiffed the world,' he said. 'We know where they are,' the Bush regime said. Rumsfeld said they were 'In Baghdad and Tikrit and north, south, east and west of there'. Powell said, 'They are being driven around the desert, in vehicles'.
But the one who was telling the truth was Saddam Hussein and the one who stiffed the world was George Bush. Where are the WMD?
Saddam Hussein was derided for his terrible prisons in which prisoners were tortured. Yet what happened in Abu Ghraib under the legions of George Bush defies logic, such was the shock and awe of the horrific scenes of human suffering and sexual depravity meted out on prisoners by American guards.
The US Armed Forces, of which George Bush is Commander-in-Chief, attacked civilian targets with military hardware, something Saddam Hussein never did. The USAF strafed civilian areas with missiles, dropped cluster bombs in residential complexes, committed acts of terrorism against women and children. Schools were destroyed, hospitals were strafed, hotels were targeted, infra-structures were razed so that billionaire contracts could be meted out for the reconstruction campaign.
Yet Saddam Hussein sits in the dock and George Bush sits in the White House. What a telling statement in the injustice of today's world, what a perfect comment on the hypocrisy of the USA, a country which likes to brag about how egalitarian it is, about how concerned it is for equal human rights yet in practice perverts every course of justice and breaks every law in the book.
The operative principle in a government guilty of war crimes
: With the situation in Iraq spiraling towards catastrophe—a sectarian civil war is intensifying and at least 50 US troops have been killed there so far this month alone—Bush’s praise for Rumsfeld’s leadership is highly provocative, and his refusal to acknowledge the pressure building up within the military raises the troubling question of how far the present confrontation will go.
Clearly, the Bush White House fears that to remove Rumsfeld would only strengthen popular opposition to the war and further undermine the administration. Rumsfeld, together with Vice President Dick Cheney—both veterans of the Vietnam War-era Nixon administration—are the key architects of the war. For either to be forced out could lead to the unraveling of the administration as a whole.
In a government that is guilty of war crimes, the operative principle is summed up in words spoken by Benjamin Franklin under radically different circumstances: “We must all hang together, or we will assuredly hang separately.”
is the Italian for Fascism. Strictly speaking, the term is relevant to the autocratic political movement that ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini.
however, is also applied to Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and, loosely, to all other authoritarian-cum-totalitarian regimes since then.
is characterized by dictatorial attempts to impose state control over all aspects of citizens' lives: ranging from political and social to cultural, and economic. Fascismo
lauds the nation, state, or race as superior to individuals, institutions, or groups composing it. As an attractive façade, and to whip up mass support, fascismo
uses popular rhetoric, calls for a heroic collective effort towards make-believe goals and demands loyalty to a single leader or group of leaders.
thrives in a state milieu of insecurity. As people would sacrifice any thing to feel secure from real or imaginary threats (economic, xenophobic, terrorism, crime, etc.), national security remains the main rallying point of fascismo
. Toward this end, a sense of insecurity is pumped non-stop into every stratum of societies in fascist states.
The most distinct characteristic of a fascist state, however, remains corporate power and its sinister collusion with the state. Benito Mussolini - who knew something about fascismo
- had a more down-to-earth description: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
Out of the three most dominant attributes of fascismo
i.e. corporate power, militarization of society and racism, the first two stand out as the most common in fascist states. It is clear for all to see that these two traits are now firmly entrenched in the greatest ever power on planet earth. Fascismo
has gate-crashed in the grand United States of America. A group of leaders having manifest fascist leanings have America in a stranglehold. Life is slowly being choked out of America's democratic spirit. The world watches on in a dumbfounded awe.
Some past American leaders have been most prophetic about America's current state of affairs. Abraham Lincoln, the great seer, once stated, "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed."
Likewise, Kennedy once told the Americans "The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power,
". Sen. Huey Long was even more accurate when he said, "I'm afraid, based on my own long experience that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
A small but ruthless group of men, the "money power" described by Lincoln, has stolen democracy from the American people. These men adhere to a political philosophy that sends shivers up the collective spine of global citizenry. To get a glimpse of where these men come from in their politics, it would be appropriate to briefly familiarize ourselves with the ideas of their lead guru, one Michael Ledeen, for it is this man's portentous ideas that are repeated daily by such figures as Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.
Ledeen has become the driving philosophical force behind the neoconservative movement and the military actions it has spawned. A quick reading of the brief rejoinder he gave to former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in 2002, regarding regime change in the Middle East, is enough to give an inkling of which end of the political spectrum these men come from and where they are headed;
"He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a caldron and destroy the War on Terror." One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today........."
The above was Ledeen's take on America's foreign policy. For the internal control of America, in a paragraph in his latest book 'The War Against the Terror Masters' , he has this to say;
"Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence-our existence, not our politics-threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission."
Given both his passion and his influence over the men with the guns, the current ruling American elites, it would not be far fetched to assume that fascismo
has finally arrived in the great United States of America.
So who, if any, would stop this inexorable American march towards fascism?
To answer this question, let us first identify the groups of citizens who are capable of effecting a change in the governance of a given country.
Any state, fascist or otherwise, comprises of two distinct sets of citizenry that can profoundly affect the governance of that state, the elites and the masses. These two sets may work together, or singly, to bring about the desired change. When the elites only bring about a change, it is usually to further their own perks and privileges. When the masses rise to do the same, revolutions are the usual outcome with unpredictable consequences. The best results are achieved when the two sets work in tandem to realize the wanted change in their states.
Unfortunately, in fascist, or fascism-prone states, the elites follow a two-pronged strategy. One, to keep the masses in line and two, to siphon off as much money as possible from the rabble to themselves. In dominant military powers, like America, with vast capacities for waging war, maintaining that country on a permanent war footing is the natural choice for fascist elites of such countries. War, without doubt, is the most profitable swindle of them all. Not only does war produce enormous wealth for the elite, it keeps the sheeple divided, shocked, unable to present any kind of resistance and easy to control with sham legislation in the name of national security. It really is that simple.
America, for example, is estimated to have gone to war in no less than five dozen places on the globe since WW II and has dropped, by some estimates, over a hundred million tons of bombs on foreign lands over the last 50 years.
Additionally, in America of today, money is already in the hands of the fascist elites with less than 5% of the population now controlling over 95% of the country's wealth. Avarice, though, knows no bounds and the present set of American leaders knows this fact for sure. They, therefore, have been wooing these very elites in a variety of ways. They give them tax cuts, help them accumulate wealth without checks and balances and dangle the promise of new markets for their produce with imperialistic expansion. Especially, shifting of the tax burden from the elite onto the masses has been the corner stone of the present cabal's internal economic policies.
Moreover, in today's America the elites are spread evenly in the two major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. While they may appear to be on the opposite ends of the political scale, they have a commonality of interest in looting the masses. The elites in Democrats, the opposition in today's America, would much rather have common Americans direct their fury into the electoral system rather than stir them to challenge the ruling elites. For however fraudulent the election process may be, the practice also keeps them in their positions of power and privilege. The ruling elite's complicity in this sinister game, of course, is a definite given.
Therefore, American elite rising to check this relentless stride toward fascism is a non-starter. And with nary a Gandhi, Mandela or King visible on the American horizon, the elites and the masses working in tandem to bring about the desired change seems equally non-viable.
That leaves us with the second set of citizenry capable of providing a serious challenge to this apparently unstoppable march of fascism in the United States of America--the common Americans. Though an ever-growing number of informed Americans are indeed fighting a brave rear-guard action to stem the rot, much more is needed. Only a massive awareness by common Americans, the realization that they have only each other to bond with and their willingness to challenge the powers that be of this illegitimate takeover of their country, the destruction of their constitution and Bill of Rights, can stop the ongoing fascist onslaught in America.
Upton Sinclair had once said: "Fascism is capitalism plus murder."
What hope, if any, is there of stopping the unremitting slide toward fascismo
, this dangerous mix of capitalism and murder, in America? Will the lifeless body of American dream replace the torch on the statue of liberty in a deafening sheeple chant of viva fascismo
? Or will the American masses transform themselves into a seething, raging torrent to check the relentless march of fascism in their country?
These, then, are the ultimate questions.
- the name, not the movie - has long been one of the neoconservative movement's most cherished political symbols, a kind of short-hand description for everything the neocons despise about liberals and their approach to foreign policy.
Munich equals appeasement - the worst sin in the neocon theology. It also stands for weakness, cowardness, naivety and an amoral willingness to bargain with the devil, as well as the failure to recognize that the devil never keeps his word.
Munich is a '30s newsreel of a feeble old man standing on an airport tarmac, holding an umbrella in one hand and waving a meaningless scrap of paper in the other. Munich is the betrayal of the Czechs and the perfidy of the French and the sound of jackboots marching down cobblestone European streets. Munich is Winston Churchill declaiming, with righteous thunder: "You have chosen dishonor over war. You shall have both." Munich is the city you never ever want to visit if you're the leader of the free world.
Now history, as opposed to the historical stereotype, is hardly so cut and dried. There is considerable evidence that the British and the French knew full well Hitler couldn't be trusted, and never expected him to keep the peace - for long. They were playing for time to complete their own rearmament programs, and worried (with good reason) about Germany's diplomatic feelers to Uncle Joe Stalin.
Was it a bad call? Almost certainly. But more a Machiavellian miscalculation than the wishful thinking of fools and cowards. However it later became politically expedient to foist responsibility for the entire fiasco of the West's response to Hitler's aggression on to the narrow shoulders of Neville Chamberlain. Ever thus to losers.
Naturally, these historical details haven't kept the neocons and their pet rocks in the conservative media from digging poor old Neville out of his grave - again - in order to illustrate their favorite analogy, this time with Iran as Germany, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Hitler, the Democrats as Chamberlain, the French as the French, and (of course) their own courageous selves as Winston Churchill. Just yesterday, for example, I found Hugh Hewitt comparing Iran's enrichment of several teaspoons of uranium to Hitler's march into the Rhineland.
Leaving aside the specific deficiencies in Hewitt's argument - Hitler's move was in direct violation of the Versailles Treaty, Iran's move flouts only a non-binding "request" from the U.N. Security Council - you can make the case that all this Munich-mongering actually turns the truth completely on its head:
• It is the United States that may (again) be planning for aggressive war. (For what that might mean legally for the planners, Google: "Hossbach Conference" and "Nuremberg")
• It's the United States, not Iran, that appears willing to violate the Nonproliferation Treaty to further its budding nuclear alliance with India.
• More to the point, it's the United States, not Iran, that currently has both the weapons and the doctrine in place to launch a nuclear first strike on a non-nuclear state.
An analysis of rhetoric in media on its way to war against Iran - Commenting on the alleged statements of Iran's President Ahmadinejad
Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map?
To raze Israel to the ground, to batter down, to destroy, to annihilate, to liquidate, to erase Israel, to wipe it off the map - this is what Iran's President demanded - at least this is what we read about or heard of at the end of October 2005. Spreading the news was very effective. This is a declaration of war they said. Obviously government and media were at one with their indignation. It goes around the world.
But let's take a closer look at what Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. It is a merit of the 'New York Times' that they placed the complete speech at our disposal. Here's an excerpt from the publication dated 2005-10-30:
"They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let's take a step back. [[[We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran's government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed.]]] When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible. All the corrupt governments were in support of the regime when Imam Khomeini started his movement. [[[All the Western and Eastern countries supported the regime even after the massacre of September 7  ]]] and said the removal of the regime was not possible. But our people resisted and it is 27 years now that we have survived without a regime dependent on the United States. The tyranny of the East and the West over the world should have to end, but weak people who can see only what lies in front of them cannot believe this. Who would believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we could watch its fall in our lifetime. And it collapsed in a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles [[[by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes]]]. Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."
(source: www.nytimes.com, based on a publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- insertions by the New York Times in squared brackets -- passages in triple squared brackets will be left blank in the MEMRI version printed below)
It's becoming clear. The statements of the Iranian President have been reflected by the media in a manipulated way. Iran's President betokens the removal of the regimes, that are in power in Israel and in the USA, to be possible aim for the future. This is correct. But he never demands the elimination or annihilation of Israel. He reveals that changes are potential.
The Shah-Regime being supported by the USA in its own country has been vanquished. The eastern governance of the Soviet Union collapsed. Saddam Hussein's dominion drew to a close. Referring to this he voices his aspiration that changes will also be feasible in Israel respectively in Palestine. He adduces Ayatollah Khomeini referring to the Shah-Regime who in this context said that the regime (meaning the Shah-Regime) should be removed.
Certainly, Ahmadinejad translates this quotation about a change of regime into the occupied Palestine. This has to be legitimate. To long for modified political conditions in a country is a world-wide day-to-day business by all means. But to commute a demand for removal of a 'regime' into a demand for removal of a state is serious deception and dangerous demagogy.
This is one chapter of the war against Iran that has already begun with the words of Georg Meggle, professor of philosophy at the university of Leipzig - namely with the probably most important phase, the phase of propaganda.
Marginally we want to mention that it was the former US Vice-Minister of Defence and current President of the World Bank, Paul D. Wolfowitz, who in Sept. 2001 talked about ending states in public and without any kind of awe. And it was the father of George W. Bush who started the discussion about a winnable nuclear war if only the survival of an elite is assured.
Let's pick an example: the German online-news-magazine tagesschau.de writes the following about Iran's president on 2005-10-27: "There is no doubt: the new wave of assaults in Palestine will erase the stigma in countenance of the Islamic world." Instead of using the original word 'wave' they write 'wave of assaults'. This replacement of the original text is what we call disinformation. E.g. it would be correct to say: "The new movement in Palestine will erase the stain of disgrace from the Islamic world." Additionally this statement refers to the occupation regime mentioned in the previous sentence.
As a precaution we will examine a different translation of the speech - a version prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), located in Washington:
"They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved. [[[...]]] "'When the dear Imam [Khomeini] said that [the Shah's] regime must go, and that we demand a world without dependent governments, many people who claimed to have political and other knowledge [asked], 'Is it possible [that the Shah's regime can be toppled]?' That day, when Imam [Khomeini] began his movement, all the powers supported [the Shah's] corrupt regime [[[...]]] and said it was not possible. However, our nation stood firm, and by now we have, for 27 years, been living without a government dependent on America. Imam [Khomeni] said: 'The rule of the East [U.S.S.R.] and of the West [U.S.] should be ended.' But the weak people who saw only the tiny world near them did not believe it. Nobody believed that we would one day witness the collapse of the Eastern Imperialism [i.e. the U.S.S.R], and said it was an iron regime. But in our short lifetime we have witnessed how this regime collapsed in such a way that we must look for it in libraries, and we can find no literature about it. Imam [Khomeini] said that Saddam [Hussein] must go, and that he would be humiliated in a way that was unprecedented. And what do you see today? A man who, 10 years ago, spoke as proudly as if he would live for eternity is today chained by the feet, and is now being tried in his own country [[[...]]] Imam [Khomeini] said: 'This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.' This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise. Is it possible that an [Islamic] front allows another front [i.e. country] to arise in its [own] heart? This means defeat, and he who accepts the existence of this regime [i.e. Israel] in fact signs the defeat of the Islamic world. In his battle against the World of Arrogance, our dear Imam [Khomeini] set the regime occupying Qods [Jerusalem] as the target of his fight. I do not doubt that the new wave which has begun in our dear Palestine and which today we are also witnessing in the Islamic world is a wave of morality which has spread all over the Islamic world. Very soon, this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will vanish from the center of the Islamic world - and this is attainable."
(source: http://memri.org, based on the publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- insertions by MEMRI in squared brackets -- missing passages compared to the 'New York Times' in triple squared brackets)
The term 'map' to which the media refer at length does not even appear. Whereas the 'New York Times' said: "Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map" the version by MEMRI is: "Imam [Khomeini] said: This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history."
MEMRI added the following prefixed formulation to their translation as a kind of title: "Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Be Purged From the Center of the Islamic World - and This is Attainable". Thereby they take it out of context by using the insertion 'i.e. Israel' they distort the meaning on purpose. The temporal tapering 'very soon' does not appear in the NY-Times-translation either. Besides it is striking that MEMRI deleted all passages in their translation which characterize the US-supported Shah-Regime as a regime of terror and at the same time show the true character of US-American policy.
An independent translation of the original (like the version published by ISNA) yields that Ahmadinejad does not use the term 'map'. He quotes Ayatollah Khomeini's assertion that the occupation regime must vanish from this world - literally translated: from the arena of times. Correspondingly: there is no space for an occupation regime in this world respectively in this time. The formulation 'wipe off the map' used by the 'New York Times' is a very free and aggravating interpretation which is equivalent to 'razing something to the ground' or 'annihilating something'.
The downwelling translation, first into English ('wipe off the map'), then from English to German - and all literally ('von der Landkarte löschen') - makes us stride away from the original more and more. The perfidious thing about this translation is that the expression 'map' can only be used in one (intentional) way: a state can be removed from a map but not a regime, about which Ahmadinejad is actually speaking.
Again following the independent translation: "I have no doubt that the new movement taking place in our dear Palestine is a spiritual movement which is spanning the entire Islamic world and which will soon remove this stain of disgrace from the Islamic world".
It must be allowed to ask how it is possible that 'spirtual movement' resp. 'wave of morality' (as translated by MEMRI) and 'wave of assaults' can be equated and translated (like e.g tagesschau.de published it).
Does Iran's President deny the Holocaust?
"The German government condemned the repetitive offending anti-Israel statements by Ahmadinejad to be shocking. Such behaviour is not tolerable, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated. [...] Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed Ahmadinejad's statements to be 'inconceivable'" (published by tagesschau.de 2005-12-14.)
But not only the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and the Federal Chancellor Merkel allege this, but the Bild-Zeitung, tagesschau.de, parts of the peace movement, US-President George W. Bush, the 'Papers for German and international politics', CNN, the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, almost the entire world does so, too: Iran's President Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust.
What is this assertion based on? In substance it is based on dispatches of 2 days - 2005-12-14 and 2006-02-11.
"The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his verbal attacks against Israel and the Western states and has denied the Holocaust. Instead of making Israel's attacks against Palestine a subject of discussion 'the Western states devote their energy to the fairy-tale of the massacre against the Jews', Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday in a speech at Zahedan in the south-east of Iran which was broadcasted directly by the news-channel Khabar. That day he stated that if the Western states really believe in the assassination of six million Jews in W.W. II they should put a piece of land in Europe, in the USA, Canada or Alaska at Israel's disposal." - dispatch of the German press agency DPA, 2005-12-14.
The German TV-station n24 spreads the following on 2006-12-14 using the title 'Iran's President calls the Holocaust a myth': "The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his verbal attacks against Israel and called the Holocaust a 'myth' used as a pretext by the Europeans to found a Jewish state in the center of the Islamic world . 'In the name of the Holocaust they have created a myth and regard it to be worthier than God, religion and the prophets' the Iranian head of state said."
The Iranian press agency IRNA renders Ahmadinejad on 2005-12-14 as follows: "'If the Europeans are telling the truth in their claim that they have killed six million Jews in the Holocaust during the World War II - which seems they are right in their claim because they insist on it and arrest and imprison those who oppose it, why the Palestinian nation should pay for the crime. Why have they come to the very heart of the Islamic world and are committing crimes against the dear Palestine using their bombs, rockets, missiles and sanctions.' [...] 'If you have committed the crimes so give a piece of your land somewhere in Europe or America and Canada or Alaska to them to set up their own state there.' [...] Ahmadinejad said some have created a myth on holocaust and hold it even higher than the very belief in religion and prophets [...] The president further said, 'If your civilization consists of aggression, displacing the oppressed nations, suppressing justice-seeking voices and spreading injustice and poverty for the majority of people on the earth, then we say it out loud that we despise your hollow civilization.'"
There again we find the quotation already rendered by n24: "In the name of the Holocaust they created a myth." We can see that this is completely different from what is published by e.g. the DPA - the massacre against the Jews is a fairy-tale. What Ahmadinejad does is not denying the Holocaust. No! It is dealing out criticism against the mendacity of the imperialistic powers who use the Holocaust to muzzle critical voices and to achieve advantages concerning the legitimization of a planned war. This is criticism against the exploitation of the Holocaust.
CNN (2005-12-15) renders as follows: "If you have burned the Jews why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel. Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?"
The Washingtonian ''Middle East Media Research Institute' (MEMRI) renders Ahmadinejad's statements from 2005-12-14 as follows: "...we ask you: if you indeed committed this great crime, why should the oppressed people of Palestine be punished for it?
* [...] If you committed a crime, you yourselves should pay for it. Our offer was and remains as follows: If you committed a crime, it is only appropriate that you place a piece of your land at their disposal - a piece of Europe, of America, of Canada, or of Alaska - so they can establish their own state. Rest assured that if you do so, the Iranian people will voice no objection."
The MEMRI-rendering uses the relieving translation 'great crime' and misappropriates the following sentence at the * marked passage: "Why have they come to the very heart of the Islamic world and are committing crimes against the dear Palestine using their bombs, rockets, missiles and sanctions." This sentence has obviously been left out deliberately because it would intimate why the Israeli state could have forfeited the right to establish itself in Palestine - videlicet because of its aggressive expansionist policy against the people of Palestine, ignoring any law of nations and disobeying all UN-resolutions.
In spite of the variability referring to the rendering of the statements of Iran's President we should nevertheless note down: the reproach of denying the Holocaust cannot be sustained if Ahmadinejad speaks of a great and huge crime that has been done to the Jews.
In another IRNA-dispatch (2005-12-14) the Arabian author Ghazi Abu Daqa writes about Ahmadinejad: "The Iranian president has nothing against the followers of Judaism [...] Ahmadinejad is against Zionism as well as its expansionist and occupying policy. That is why he managed to declare to the world with courage that there is no place for the Zionist regime in the world civilized community."
It's no wonder that such opinions do not go down particularly well with the ideas of the centers of power in the Western world. But for this reason they are not wrong right away. Dealing out criticism against the aggressive policy of the Western world, to which Israel belongs as well, is not yet anti-Semitism. We should at least to give audience to this kind of criticism - even if it is a problematic field for us.
2006-02-11 Ahmadinejad said according to IRNA: "[...] the real holocaust should be sought in Palestine, where the blood of the oppressed nation is shed every day and Iraq, where the defenceless Muslim people are killed daily. [...] 'Some western governments, in particular the US, approve of the sacrilege on the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), while denial of the >Myth of Holocaust<, based on which the Zionists have been exerting pressure upon other countries for the past 60 years and kill the innocent Palestinians, is considered as a crime' [...]" The assertion that Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust thus is wrong in more than one aspect. He does not deny the Holocaust, but speaks of denial itself. And he does not speak of denial of the Holocaust, but of denial of the Myth of Holocaust. This is something totally different. All in all he speaks of the exploitation of the Holocaust. The Myth of Holocaust, like it is made a subject of discussion by Ahmadinejad, is a myth that has been built up in conjunction with the Holocaust to - as he says - put pressure onto somebody. We might follow this train of thoughts or we might not. But we cannot equalize his thoughts with denial of the Holocaust.
If Ahmadinejad according to this 2006-02-11 condemns the fact that it is forbidden and treated as a crime to do research into the Myth of Holocaust, as we find it quoted in the MEMRI translation, this acquires a meaning much different from the common and wide-spread one. If the myth related to the Holocaust is commuted to a 'Fairy Tale of the Massacre' - like the DPA did - this can only be understood as a malicious misinterpretation. By the use of misrepresentation and adulteration it apparently succeeded to constitute the statements of the Iranian President to be part and parcel of the currently fought propaganda battle.
It is our responsibility to counter this.
A dispatch by Reuters confirms 2006-02-21: "The Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has [...] repudiated that his state would want the Jewish state Israel 'wiped off the map'. [...] Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood. 'Nobody can erase a country from the map.' Ahmadinejad was not thinking of the state of Israel but of their regime [...]. 'We do not accredit this regime to be legitimate.' [...] Mottaki also accepted that the Holocaust really took place in a way that six million Jews were murdered during the era of National Socialism."
The next step is to connect the Iranian President with Hitler. 2006-02-20 the Chairman of the Counsil of Jews in France (Crif) says in Paris: "The Iranian President's assertions do not rank behind Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'". Paul Spiegel, President of the Central Counsil of Jews in Germany, 2005-12-10 in the 'Welt' qualifies the statements of Ahmadinejad to be "the worst comment on this subject that he has ever heard of a statesman since A. Hitler". At the White House the Iranian President is even named Hitler. And the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel as well moves over Iran's President towards Hitler and National Socialism by saying 2006-02-04 in Munich: "Already in the early 1930's many people said that it is only rhetoric. One could have prevented a lot in time if one had acted... Germany is in the debt to resist the incipiencies and to do anything to make clear where the limit of tolerance is. Iran remains in control of the situation, it is still in their hands."
All this indicates war. Slobodan Milosevic became Hitler. The result was the war of the Nato against Yugoslavia. Saddam Hussein became Hitler. What followed was the war the USA and their coalition of compliant partners waged against Iraq. Now the Iranian President becomes Hitler.
And someone who is Hitler-like can assure a hundred times that he only wants to use nuclear energy in a peaceful way. Nobody will believe him. Somebody like Hitler can act within the scope of all contracts. Acting contrary to contract will nevertheless be imputed to him. "Virtually none of the Western states recognize that uranium enrichment is absolutely legal. There is no restriction by contract or by the law of nations. Quite the contrary: Actually the Western countries would have the duty to assist Iran with these activities, according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. As long as a state renounces the bomb it is eligible for technical support by the nuclear powers." (Jörg Pfuhl, ARD radio studio Istanbul 2006-01-11) But - all this does not count if the Head of a state is stigmatized as Hitler.
Authors: Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann (Germany), Translation to English: Erik Appleby [my emphasis in bold -- zig]
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "I'm in favor of Ahmadinejad, but even I didn't think he was brave enough to pick a fight with the whole world." --- Iranian citizen Negar Rahimieh, waiting for a taxi near an Iranian burger stand decorated with McDonald's-style golden arches.