Pulse Media


No Outrage

Uruknet (extract)

WASHINGTON -- Abeer Qassim al-Janabi is not a household name, though perhaps she should be. The 14-year-old girl was repeatedly raped, then shot to death in her home March 12. Her body was set on fire. Her mother, father and sister also were murdered.

It happened in Iraq, in the village of Mahmoudiya near Baghdad, in the so-called Triangle of Death, the most stressful, violent place in a stressful, violent country. The alleged perpetrators: American troops.

Before the incident, the soldiers allegedly downed whiskey, played cards and hit golf balls. Afterward, they dined on grilled chicken wings.

A similar act of violence here in the U.S. would have triggered overpowering outrage, non-stop TV coverage and a grave concern about our military. It might even have surpassed the wall-to-wall coverage that the arrest in the JonBenet Ramsey murder has received.

For those who might reject this as islamic propaganda:



Washington Post


Muslims in Britain

The Muslim News (extracts)

The degree of integration may, however, be cold comfort. It is indeed possible that it is the uncertainty brought by the loss of the hierarchies and values of traditional societies such as that of rural Pakistan, of the Punjab or Kashmir, from where most British Muslim Pakistani immigrants originally came, that is behind some of the militancy. Certainly studies show that most of those suspected or convicted of terrorist crimes in recent years have not been marginal, alienated figures.

'People who think kids do it because they are poorly integrated are wrong,' said Mark Sageman, former CIA officer and terrorism expert. Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist, has studied the backgrounds of hundreds of militants and concluded that there is no 'terrorist type or personality' nor evidence of psychological illness.

Instead, Sageman points to small group dynamics as a key trigger. 'Kids get together. They talk the talk. A few decide to act. These are self-organised groups of volunteers. Al-Qaeda is like Harvard. It doesn't need to recruit.'

The government insists that there is no link between British foreign policy and Islamic militancy. Ministers brusquely rejected a letter signed by 36 Muslim associations and public figures, including several Labour MPs and peers, claiming a connection. But though the positions of some are predictable - Haji Mustafa of the controversial group Hizb-ut-Tahrir told The Observer that anger at 'the Bush-Blair doctrine of "follow our values or we'll bomb you" lay behind the violence - the breadth of anger at the British government's position on the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian question and the conflict in Lebanon is undeniable.

It's all very well calling for moderate voices within Islam, particularly in Britain, if there is no moderate voice coming from the government. Nothing justifies murdering innocent people on a plane or in an office building, and our society has a right to be outraged by such violence. We also have a right, and more to the point a duty, to be outraged by violence carried out in our name against innocent people in far away countries such as those of the Middle East. We may wonder why young British Muslims feel such a bond to Muslims in the Middle East, that they decide to kill themselves in order to murder hundreds of innocent bystanders, but we are expected to accept, that soldiers from our country should go and bomb hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians simply because innocent Americans were killed by what we are supposed to accept are the terrorists. A terrorist is someone who terrorises. Whatever his or her agenda, origin or form, a person or entity, which terorises is a terrorist.
Claiming Islam is responsible for the rise of Islamic terrorism in Britain is extremely shortsighted at best, and a lie at worst. Until last year, there were no Islamic terrorist attacks in Britain. The only terrorism we had known on British soil had been IRA and British army terrorism. Is it that we feel closer to the Irish, that we can accept their anger more easily than that of young British Muslims, even if over the years, the IRA and related groups have killed far more innocent civilians than the islamists did, and even though Ulster is not a country under constant foreign aggression as have been several middle eastern countries over the past decades?


Reality on the ground

Full article by Robert Fisk

It looked good on television, all those clapped-out Warsaw Pact T-54 tanks and elderly Panhard personnel carriers on flatbed trucks, supposedly returning to the far south for the first time in 30 years. Of course, it wasn't true. Though not deployed on the border, thousands of Lebanese soldiers have been stationed in southern towns since the civil war, dutifully turning a blind eye to Hizbollah's activities, providing none of their fighters were rude enough to drive a truck-load of missiles through their checkpoints.

Among those Lebanese soldiers most familiar with the south were members of the 1,000-strong garrison at the southern Christian town of Marjayoun, who fled after Israel's small ground incursion a week ago. And herein, as they say, lies a tale. For their commander, the Interior Ministry Brigadier General Adnan Daoud, has just been arrested for treason after Israeli television showed him taking tea with an Israeli officer in the Marjayoun barracks. Even worse, Hizbollah's television station Al-Manar - which stayed resolutely on air throughout this latest war despite Israel's best attempts to bomb it out of existence - picked up the Israeli tape and rebroadcast it across Lebanon.

Prior to his arrest, General Daoud was even rash enough to unburden his thoughts to Lauren Frayer, an enterprising reporter for the Associated Press who arrived in Marjayoun in time to record the general's last words before his arrest. The Israelis, he said, "came peacefully up to our gate, asking to speak with me by name". An Israeli officer who introduced himself as Col Ashaya chatted to Daoud about future Israeli-Lebanese military relations.

"For four hours, I took him on a tour of our base." the general said of "Ashaya". "He was probably on an intelligence mission and wanted to see if we had any Hizballah in here." But an hour after the supposedly friendly Israeli left, Israeli tanks blasted their way with shells through the gates of the Lebanese garrison. The Lebanese soldiers did not fire back. Instead, they fled Marjayoun - only to find that their long convoy, which included dozens of civilian cars, was attacked by Israeli pilots who killed seven civilians, including the wife of the mayor, who was decapitated by a missile.


Will anyone be held responsible?

Easy Bourse

The oil slick has been described as Lebanon's worst-ever environmental disaster. The accident occurred during Israel's month-long bombardment, polluting more than 140 kilometers of shoreline, including parts of Syria, according to U.N. estimates.
Accident??? Talk about media bias.

U.N. and international maritime agencies promised to give Lebanon immediate technical advice on Thursday to help clean up an oil slick, and warned the operation could cost more than $65 million.
How much will Israel contribute? This oil slick will not only damage Lebanese coasts, but several mediterranean coasts.



William Shawcross on Newsnight says we are at war against 'extremist Islam' and support 'moderate Islam' in Irak, Afghanistan and elsewhere. That's a lie. Is Saudi Arabia an example of 'moderate Islam'?
True, as Shahid Malik says, killing innocent civilians in the UK or the US is not a justifiable response to the deaths of innocent civilians in Lebanon, Palestine or elsewhere in the Arab/Muslim world. Should Israelis, Americans and British not be saying, that killing innocent Arabs and Muslims is an unjustifiable response to the deaths of innocent Israelis, Americans and British?
Let us remember, that the killing of innocent Arabs and Muslims (as well as innocent civilians elsewhere in the world) by Israel, the US and the British (among others) started long before Bin Laden or any other 'fundamentalists' came along.

Terrorism News


The sceptic (cont'd)

Terrorism News

In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti-terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few - just over two per cent of arrests - who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered.


Sceptical Diplomat

A former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan warns about being taken in by media and government spin on 'terror arrests'.

We wait for the court system to show whether this was a real attempted attack and, if so, it was genuinely operational rather than political to move against it today. But the police' and security services' record of lies does not inspire confidence.


Masters of War

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

Theocratic states and democracy

It is understandable, that for Israelis, particularly those born and raised in Israel, the idea, that a Jewish state is morally undefendable - whether it is an idea raised by ultra-orthodox Jews, antisemitic Islamists or racists, old school zionists, or simply believers in democracy in Israel or elsewhere - is a hurtful idea. However, for those who belong to the last two groups mentioned above, this idea is not one which rejects Jews. We are neither antisemites nor self-hating Jews. We recognise the right for Jews to live in peace, practicing their religion and culture if they so wish. However, we also believe, that democracy should mean the protection of those rights and other rights for all, regardless of ethnicity, belief, gender or sexual orientation. There should be no state which represents the believers in one faith only, nor a state for one ethnic group only, nor a state for men or for women (that would be hell!) nor even a state for homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals or transgendered!
This of course, means, that an Islamic republic or kingdom is also morally unacceptable to us, just as would be a Rom state (let's not forget, that the Rom people have continuously been oppressed for centuries).
There may be regions where Muslims are the majority, just as there are regions where Hindus are the majority. India, and Bali, however are not Hindu states.
So, Israelis, if they believe in democracy, can work towards true democracy for all in their country. While the immediate solution to the violence in the region is probably a two-state solution, no true believer in democracy should rest until all are treated equally at all levels. Jews have a right to live in Israel-Palestine as do Arabs, but neither group should have more rights than the other.

Mass Murder


A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said.

Mass murder on an unimaginable scale continues unimpended in Lebanon.

And Bush goes doolally

Swiss Info

Bush, speaking briefly on a visit to Green Bay, Wisconsin, said the foiled plane plot was "..a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

Someone really should sit Dubya down and give him a history lesson, lest he start talking about 'Islamic Nazis'.


New Refuseniks

The Observer

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.


Support for Hizbollah

Lebanese Hizbollah member of parliament Hussan Haj Hussein told the BBC, that everyone in Lebanon, including Druzes, Maronites, Chi'ites and Sunnis supported Hizbollah.

This is what the Druze leader Walid Joumblatt had to say recently about Hizbollah:

He accused the movement of working to an Iranian and Syrian timetable when it kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering a devastating Israeli retaliation. In the process Hizbollah had “stolen the hopes” of young Lebanese whose protests last year helped force Syria to withdraw its troops after 22 years in Lebanon.
But he said that like many Lebanese he had to support the Shia movement in its resistance against “brutal Israeli aggression”.
This is not exactly all out support, as the the Hisbollah message came accross.

Neither is this:

Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shiite group, was criticized by leaders from other Lebanese communities of acting individually, without even the knowledge of the government in which it is represented, when it kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight in the attack on July 12 which unleashed Israel's wrath against Lebanon.

The religious leaders held Israel fully responsible for moral and material losses inflicted on Lebanon, including the massacre of civilians and the destruction of private and public properties, and called for suing the Jewish state before international forums.

Just a guess

According to the BBC, the initial strategy of Israel was to bomb Lebanese infrastructure in the hope, that the Lebanese government would rein in Hizbollah. How come, people living as far away as western Europe or the US and who have nothing to do with Israel, Lebanon or the Middle East, other than being interested, were able, at the time, to see, that bombing Lebanon would not make any difference to the Lebanese leadership's ability to influence Hizbollah militarily, and, that it was more likely to bring more support to Hizbollah than anything else? It sounds a bit like the war in Iraq. From the very beginning many of us knew we were being lied to by the UK and US governments about the reasons for war. Some politicians and academics who supported the war, now claim they didn't realise they had been lied to. Those of us who did realise, were apparently just guessing. Either we are lucky guessers, or we have psychic abilities. Or maybe we are just honest.

Dear [Jez],

Yes, I think you were indeed just guessing, since the intelligence
available to both of us at the time was that Saddam Hussein likely did
possess weapons of mass destruction, had a history of aggression towards
his neighbours, and also had a dreadful human rights record.

Yours sincerely,

Niall Ferguson.

[Jez] wrote:

> Mr Ferguson,
> Regarding your appearance on QT. You are supposed to be not only "one
> of the hundred most influential people", but a historian and what's
> more a specialist in imperialism. Yet you claim to have been lied to
> over the war on Irak. Are you suggesting all those who weren't
> historians, including other "influential" people, but also 'ordinary'
> people such as myself who opposed the war were just guessing that the
> war was illegal and wrong, and that we were jsut 'lucky' to have
> guessed correctly?
> What is a historian for you? Is it an opinion maker, spinning for the
> establishment, or is it someone who can reason on the basis of
> historical fact? As a specialist in imperialism, I believe you should
> be a little more clued up as to the similarities between old fashioned
> imperialism and the kind of neo-imperialism quite evident today.
> Sincerely,
> [Jez]

More Israeli Refuseniks and critics


The Lebanon 2006 war has produced its first conscientious objector - Staff Sergeant Itzik Shabbat, a 28-year-old TV producer. He refused to comply with an emergency order (Tsav 8) to report today for reserve duty in the territories in order to free forces in the standing army for the war in Lebanon.
This was prior to Amir Paster's refusal and imprisonment.

Democracy Now!

Click above to read and listen to an interview with
Yonatan Shapira, a former Captain in the Israeli Air Force Reserves. In 2003 Yonatan initiated the group of Israeli Air Force pilots who refused to fly attack missions on Palestinian territories. He is also one of the founders of the organization Combatants for Peace.


Analysts looking for the answer to how we got here ought to recall the initial demand from the Palestinian militias for the release of female prisoners and children in exchange for Gilad Shalit's safe return. In our rush to declare that we won't negotiate with terrorists (never mind that we have done so in the past and will inevitably end up doing so again this time) no one bothered to consider how it is that hundreds of Palestinian women and children are languishing in Israeli jails.

Those who can't understand why the Palestinians haven't given up the struggle in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza might be surprised to learn that they don't share the distinction Israel draws between Gaza and the West Bank and suffer daily reminders that the demolition of Gush Katif did not leave them a free people in their own land. On Monday, the commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria Division said that terrorist organizations in the West Bank are attempting to open another front. Wrong! As far as the Palestinians are concerned, it is all one front.

Meretz however defends Israel's right to defend itsself against Hizbollah using force, and does not strongly condemn the bombing of Lebanese civilians.

Brit Tzedek

Now is the time for the US government, in concert with the international community, to achieve a real and immediate multi-lateral ceasefire – followed by intense diplomacy to return the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, stop the rocket attacks on Israel, end the Israeli air strikes and ground incursions in Lebanon and Gaza, and install an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.

Continuing the conflict until Hezbollah is entirely disabled is strategically naïve and not in Israel’s interests. All reports are showing that Israel’s military campaign to root out Hezbollah is facing far greater challenges than expected. The real way to reduce the threat from Hezbollah is through an immediate ceasefire, intelligent diplomacy, the installation of an international peacekeeping force, and renewed support for the democratic Lebanese government.

More importantly, the Lebanese people, who largely rejected Hezbollah at the outset of this crisis, are now almost unanimously standing behind Hezbollah in their attacks on Israel, with anti-Israel sentiment quickly increasing throughout the Middle East. This is the true threat to Israel’s long-term peace and security.


Image of our times

The Guardian

A tale of two old ladies

El Gusano, Mexico

Bint Jbeil, Lebanon

Mel Gibson apologises for anti-semitic remarks

ABC News

Gibson asked to meet with Jewish leaders "with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing."

I'm sure he did the right thing in apologising, even if his remarks can't have come out of the blue. Being drunk only explains why he expressed his irrational beliefs out loud.
However, I wonder what he meant by "healing". Does he think he is ill, and if so, does he think meeting Jewish leaders is going to 'heal' him? Maybe he just thinks it will give him a clean image.