James Petras: The Lobby and the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

Their Facts And Ours

Dissident Voice | 29 August 2006

All the national, state and local Jewish organizations have launched a
$300 million fundraising and propaganda campaign in support of the 21
Jewish civilians and 116 soldiers killed during the Israeli invasion of
Lebanon (but not the 18 Israeli Arabs who were excluded from Jews-only
bomb shelters). As adjuncts of the Israeli foreign office not a single
one of the 52 organizations which make up The Presidents of the Major
Jewish Organizations in the US voiced a single public criticism of
Israel’s massive destruction of civilian homes, hospitals, offices,
supermarkets, refugee convoys and churches and mosques, and the
deliberate killing of civilians, UN peacekeepers and rescue workers with
precision bombing. On the contrary the entire Jewish lobby echoed in
precise detail the Israeli lies that the Lebanese deaths were caused by
the Lebanese resistance’s “use of human shields,” despite the total
devastation of the heavily populated southern suburbs of Beirut,
completely out of range of any Hezbollah rockets.

The magnitude of the Jewish Lobby’s cover-up of Israel’s massive
military assault can be measured in great detail.

The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) launched 5,000 missiles, five-ton
bunker-buster bombs and cluster bombs as well as anti-personnel
phosphorus bombs each day into Lebanon for 27 days — totaling over
135,000 missiles, bombs and artillery shells. During the last seven days
of the war Israel launched 6,000 bombs and shells per day — over 42,000,
for a grand total of 177,000 over a heavily populated territory the size
of the smallest state in the US. In contrast, the Lebanese national
resistance launched 4,000 rockets during the entire 34-day period, an
average of 118 per day. The ratio was 44 to 1 — without mentioning the
size differentials, the long-term killing effects of the thousands of
un-exploded cluster bombs (nearly 50 killed or maimed since the end of
hostilities) and Israel’s scorched earth military incursion.

The Jewish lobbyists publish the number of Israel’s civilian dead as 41,
forgetting to mention that only 23 were Jews, the remaining 18 were
members of Israel’s Arab Muslim and Christian minority who constitute
around 20% of the population. The disproportionate number of Israeli
Arabs killed was a result of the Israeli government policy of providing
shelters and siren warning systems to Jews and ignoring the security
needs of its Arab citizens. The proportion of civilian deaths to
soldiers was 41 to 116 or 26% of the total Israeli dead (but if we only
consider Jewish Israelis and IDF members the proportion 23 to 116 or 16%
of the Jewish dead were civilian.) Clearly the Lebanese resistance was
aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF. In contrast, in Lebanon, of
the 1,181 so far known to have been killed, 1088 were civilians and only
93 were fighters. In other words 92% of the Lebanese dead were civilians
— over three times the rate of civilians killed by the Lebanese
resistance and almost six times the rate of Jewish civilians killed (the
only ones who count in the Lobby’s propaganda machine). To put it more
bluntly: over 47 Lebanese civilians were slaughtered for each Jewish
Israeli civilian death.

<!–[if !vml]–>The Jewish Lobby’s claims of Israeli moral and military
superiority in the Middle East — which is paradoxically combined with
warnings that Israel’s survival is at stake — has been shredded to
tatters as a result of their failure to annihilate Hezbollah.

The Lobby’s echoing Israeli military claims of the invincibility of the
Israeli armed forces is largely based on their ‘fighting’ against rock
throwing Palestinian school kids. Today it is clear that they are quite
vulnerable when faced with well-armed, veteran Lebanese guerrilla
fighters. According to a United Nation Report, from June 26 to August
26, 2006, Israel killed 202 Palestinians, 44 of whom were small
children, while losing one soldier; while in Lebanon, Israel lost 116
soldiers to 93 Lebanese fighters in 34 days (almost half the time
period). In other words, 157 times more Israeli’s were killed as a
result of the Lebanese invasion in one month than died in Palestine in
two months (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, August 26, 2006). The Jewish Lobby’s propaganda campaign in the
US Congress, throughout the mass media and even in our small communities
in defense of Israel’s “Summer Rain” (raining bombs on civilians)
against the Palestinians has been thoroughly exposed as a murderous
scorched earth policy by the United Nations report and summarized in the
Israeli daily Haaretz (August 27, 2006): “The [campaign] . . . is still
taking a severe toll on 1.4 million Palestinians . . . thousands of
Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes following continuing
IDF incursions into the Strip (Gaza) and heavy shelling . . . the
Israeli Air Force has conducted 247 aerial assaults in Gaza…more than a
million people have been left with no regular supply of water and
electricity.” The Lobby, like skilled totalitarians, reverses the roles
calling the Palestinian victims (all 202 of them) terrorists and the
executioners (the Israeli Defense Force) victims (one dead soldier who
was most likely killed by ‘friendly fire’).

George Orwell would have written a scathing essay on the Lobby’s version
of Israel’s Animal Farm where one Israeli death is worth more than 202
Palestinians.

In surveying the Daily Alert, the propaganda sheet prepared by the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (a semi-official propaganda arm of
the Israeli regime) for the Conference of Presidents of Major America
Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO), there is not a single mention of the fact
that the Jewish state was killing almost 10 Lebanese civilians for each
fighter, while the Hezbollah resistance was killing four times as many
Israeli soldiers as Israeli civilians (Jews and Gentiles). Not a single
opinion article, editorial or commentary reproduced by the Daily Alert,
from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The National Telegraph,
the New York Sun, USA Today, Boston Globe, New York Times, Haaretz, The
Jerusalem Post or The Times (UK) mentions the fact that Israel’s much
ballyhooed “precision” bombing succeeded in targeting civilians, while
the Lebanese defenders’ far less sophisticated weaponry mainly hit IDF
invaders.

These omissions by the Jewish Lobby and its members and supporters in
the Anglo-American-Israeli respectable and yellow press and electronic
media were absolutely necessary to perpetuate the myth the Israel was
waging a “defensive”, “existential” (sic) war for “survival” against
Islamic “terrorists” embodied in Hezbollah and the Lebanese National
Resistance.

Was Israel’s destruction of 15,000 homes up to Beirut and beyond to
Northern Lebanon defensive actions as the CPMAJO claims? Do these very
smart, very wealthy, highly educated Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Hopkins
and Chicago-educated apologists for the Israeli invasion really believe
that bombing hospitals, supermarkets, water treatments plants, churches
and mosques in Southern Lebanon, oil refineries and milk, food and
pharmaceutical factories in Beirut, transport, highways and bridges in
Northern Lebanon were “existential” acts essential for the survival of
the “Jewish State”? Can’t they understand the simple math presented
above? The math of genocide? Do the investment bankers, professors,
dentists and armies of rabbis of all Talmudic readings believe that
Israel is the innocent victim of aggression — justifying the slaughter
of over 90% Lebanese civilians among those it killed? Such well-educated
professionals must know that from January 1996 to August 2006, there
were weekly incidents all along the Israeli-Lebanese border, involving
Israeli raids, killings and kidnapping of Lebanese civilians, as well as
rocket firing in both directions. Didn’t the Hollywood moguls who gave
so generously to the Israeli war machine know that Elliott Abrams,
President Bush’s chief adviser on the Middle East (stern defender of
Jewish purity and intimate collaborator with the Israeli high command)
gave full support in early summer to an Israeli plan to destroy
Hezbollah, at least one month before the border incident (see Seymour
Hersh, “Watching Lebanon,” The New Yorker, August 21, 2006)?

Of course the educated elites know all about the Israeli lust for power
and dominance –unlike the good Germans in the 1940s, who claimed they
didn’t see the smoking chimneys or the grim trains — as today images of
devastated apartments and slaughtered children were visible, easily
accessible and followed by well-publicized reports by all the human
rights groups on Israel’s crimes against humanity. They knew and
supported Israel’s crimes before and after the ceasefire — and they
proudly chose to endorse the war, the policies and the state as true
accomplices after the fact.

Yet the Jewish Lobby tells us that Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two
soldiers across the Israeli border was the detonator for a full-scale
invasion. Numerous sources around the world even dispute the Israeli
account of a Hezbollah cross-border attack. According to the big
business US magazine Forbes (July 12, 2006), the French news service AFP
(July 12, 2006), the respectable Asia Times (July 15, 2006) and the
Lebanese police, the Israeli soldiers were captured within Lebanon in
the area of Ai’tu Al-Chaarb, a Lebanese village a few kilometers from
the Israeli border.

While the Jewish lobby raises funds exclusively for Israeli-Jewish
soldiers and civilians, Hezbollah is engaged in a non-sectarian
reconstruction program that embraces all Lebanese communities and
households, regardless of religious or ethnic preferences. The reason is
found in the fact that the Lebanese resistance was a national movement.
Contrary to the Lobby’s propaganda, the Lebanese resistance was not
exclusively Shia or even Muslim in make-up. Israel’s invasion managed to
united Lebanon’s factions in defense of their homeland. Of the 93
Lebanese fighters killed, 20% were from organizations other than
Hezbollah, a point ignored by the Lobby’s ideologues, who pursue
Israel’s policy of pushing the US to attack Iran, Syria and other Middle
East states known to be hostile to Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.

Consequences of Israeli War
In both Israel and throughout the pro-Israel Jewish networks, the
Israeli military’s failure to achieve its goal of defeating and
eliminating the Lebanese resistance, particularly Hezbollah, has had a
major impact. In Israel, the major criticism of the Olmert-Perez regime
and General Halutz from both soldiers and civilians is that the
government was too weak — there was insufficient bombing, lack of
sufficient ground troops and too much concern for Lebanese civilians.
The cease-fire, they complained, was premature; the territory occupied
was too limited. Likud and other parties in the Knesset called for the
bombing of Syria and Iran.

While many US and Israeli progressives cited the “turmoil”, “dissent”
and harsh polemics in the aftermath of the war as typical of the “rough
and tumble” of Israel’s democracy, they ignored the savage militarist
substance and ultra-rightwing direction of Israeli public opinion. The
“who lost the war” polemics in Israel is basically anchored in
preparations for a new, more violent attack on Lebanon and other
adversaries of Israel.

This militaristic rage is manifested in the brutal daily assaults on the
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank where Israeli warplanes bomb
homes and ground forces assassinate and injure dozens of civilians –
“existential” murders against stone-throwing schoolboys. Israel’s rage
has affected Jewish religious notables. The Rabbinical Council of
America called for the Israeli military to re-evaluate its military
rules of war in light of Hezbollah’s “unconscionable use of civilians,
hospitals, ambulances, mosques and the like as human shields,” according
to the Jerusalem Post (August 21, 2006). The RCA and the modern Orthodox
women’s organization, Eminah, represent over one million US Jews. Their
call to maximize civilian deaths in order to lessen the “risk” to “our”
(Israeli Jewish) soldiers is in the finest spirit of Nazi chaplains
egging on the Wehrmacht’s scorched earth policy during World War II.
Their Israeli counterparts, Rabbis Eliyahu and Drori, echoed the RCA’s
“delicate criticisms” in more colorful and uninhibited terms: “Our
corrupt military, which tells us that our soldiers must endanger their
lives to protect enemy civilians, is the reason we lost the war,”
according to the gentle Rabbi Eliyahu, who sees all non-Jewish civilians
opposing Israeli policy as enemies worthy of incineration. Not to be
outdone, the good Rabbi Drori accused the rest of Western humanity of
being “anti-Semites” for being horrified at Israel’s savage destruction.
“Anti-Semites demand that we use Christian morality while our enemies
act like barbarians.” (Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2006) Apparently the
killing and maiming of over a thousand Lebanese civilians, mostly women
and children, does not satisfy this raging bull Rabbi.

Lest one think that these US and Israeli Rabbis are simply loose cannons
or isolated psychopaths, three weeks earlier one Rabbi Dov Lior, in the
name of the Yesh Council of Rabbis (with hundreds of thousands of
Israeli followers), announced that “when our enemies hold a baby in one
hand and shoot us with the other, or when missiles are purposely aimed
at civilian populations in the Land of Israel in blatant disregard for
moral criteria, we are obligated to act according to Jewish morality,
which dictates that ‘he who gets up to kill you, get up yourself and
kill him first.’” (Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2006) The holy men of the
Holy Land are providing a post-factum religious blessing for the more
than three hundred Lebanese children killed and urging the future
killing of even more children. All this, we are told, is according to
“Jewish morality.” Surely many US Jews, especially liberals and even
conservatives, object to rabbinical fiats for the slaughter of children,
but we are deafened by their polite silence. The Lobby conveniently
ignores the Jewish morality spiel, even as it defends the “moderate”
secular line of Israeli civilian deaths resulting from Hezbollah using
Lebanese babies and old grannies as shields to commit their crimes. So
we have a raging debate among US and Israeli rabbis, and secular and
religious apologists over whether killing Lebanese civilians and
children is based on tactical military or religious-ethical considerations.

The Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David A.
Harris, puts to the lie the nasty bit of propaganda by US “Left”
Zionists who downplay the role of the Jewish Lobby in securing
whole-hearted US White House and Congressional support for Israel’s
destruction of Lebanon. In discussing US subservience to Israel, Harris
stated, “No other nation has been prepared to define such an intimate
relationship with Israel in all bilateral spheres — from arms sales,
foreign aid and intelligence-sharing to a free-trade zone, scientific
co-operation and diplomatic support. No other nation has the capacity,
by dint of its size and stature, to help ensure Israel’s quest for a
secure and lasting peace ]sic] . . . In the recent conflict with
Hezbollah, once again the United States demonstrated its willingness to
stand by Israel, provide vital support and withstand the pressure of
many US allies who would have wished for an earlier end to the fighting
even if it meant keeping Hezbollah largely intact and in place . . .
Whatever the primary factor, there can be no doubt that American Jewry
is an essential element of the equation (yoking the US to Israel). This
is all the more reason why American Jewry need to work day in and day
out to ensure that the mutually beneficial link [sic] goes from strength
to strength.” (Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2006)

In plain English, the Jewish networks and lobbies were able to secure 98
percent support from Congress for a resolution supporting Israel’s
invasion of Lebanon, even as 54 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of
Republicans favor a policy of neutrality as opposed to alignment with
Israel. (Times-Bloomberg Poll, July 25-August 1, 2006, published in the
Jewish Telegraph Agency – August 15, 2006) The Lobby convinced,
pressured and threatened the White House to prolong the Israeli terror
bombing as Harris so proudly announced. The Jewish Lobby does work “day
in and day out” to make sure that Israel can ethnically cleanse
Palestine, drop five-ton bombs on Lebanese apartment buildings, bulldoze
villages and isolate the US from even its closest allies at the expense
of the US taxpayers, our democratic ideals and our sovereignty. And the
American Jewish Committee has the chutzpah (arrogance) to say that it is
“our mutually beneficial link.” Now that is a bit of political dishonesty!

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University,
New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser
to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
jpetras@binghamton.edu.

http://peoplesgeography.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/james-petras-the-lobby-and-the-israeli-invasion-of-lebanon/

Owen Powell: Israeli Apartheid
Posted by peoplesgeography on August 30th, 2006

ICH 29 August 2006

Segregation, Control and the Creation of Bantustans in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The question of Israel as an apartheid state has received increasing
attention over the last years as Israel has continued colonial expansion
in the West Bank while simultaneously attempting to diverge itself from
the Palestinians. The purpose of this article is to highlight the
growing systemization of apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories (OPT) with particular reference to Israel’s policy of
unilateral disengagement. The need for this debate is highlighted by the
effective outcomes of disengagement which has already resulted in the
segregation of Palestinian communities and delineation of exclusive
Jewish space by means of the segregation barrier. Furthermore the
creation of Palestinian enclaves or ghettos in the OPT bears a striking
resemblance to the South African policies during the apartheid era which
sought the establishment Bantustans as a means to facilitate segregation
and to secure privileges for an ethnic minority.

The term “Bantustan” refers to an apartheid regime policy which set
about the creation of “independent” homelands for black South Africans.
“,1] ); //–>Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). His latest book is, The Power of
Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006). He can be reached at:
jpetras@binghamton.edu.

http://peoplesgeography.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/james-petras-the-lobby-and-the-israeli-invasion-of-lebanon/

more on the lobby

UN denounces Israel cluster bombs

The UN’s humanitarian chief has accused Israel of “completely immoral” use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.

UN clearance experts had so far found 100,000 unexploded cluster bomblets at 359 separate sites, Jan Egeland said.

Israel has repeated its previous insistence that munitions it uses in conflict comply with international law.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rebuffed UN chief Kofi Annan’s calls for a swift end to Israel’s air and sea blockade of Lebanon.

After talks with Mr Annan, Mr Olmert said the siege would only be lifted once the ceasefire terms were fully implemented.

This included the release of two Israeli soldiers whose capture by Hezbollah militants sparked the conflict.

But a Lebanese Hezbollah cabinet minister said there would be no unconditional release of the soldiers – the pair would only be freed as a result of a prisoner exchange with Israel.

Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons – it shouldn’t have happened
Jan Egeland
UN humanitarian chief

UN efforts to rid Lebanon of cluster bombs have been under way since the conflict ended. Earlier estimates from UN experts had suggested a total of about 100 cluster bomb sites.

Mr Egeland described the fresh statistics as “shocking new information”.

“What’s shocking and completely immoral is: 90% of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,” he said.
\nThe UN ceasefire resolution which ended the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was agreed by the Security Council on Friday, 11 August, and came into effect on Monday, 14 August.
\n
\n
\n
Mr Egeland added: "Cluster bombs have affected large areas – lots of homes, lots of farmland. They will be with us for many months, possibly years.
\n
\n
"Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons. It shouldn\’t have happened."
\n
\n
Mr Egeland said his information had come from the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre, which had undertaken assessments of nearly 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon.
\n
\n
Earlier this week the US state department launched an inquiry into whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon during the conflict.
\n
\n
A senior White House official told the BBC that the investigation would focus on whether US-made weapons were used against non-military targets.
\n
\n
\n
\n
Blockade defended
\n

\n
At their talks in Jerusalem, Mr Annan and Mr Olmert discussed the deployment of UN troops in Lebanon as well as the continuing blockade.
\n
\n
The UN chief said he hoped Israel would withdraw from southern Lebanon once 5,000 UN peacekeepers were on the ground "in the coming days and weeks".
\n
\n
The BBC\’s Jill McGivering, in Jerusalem, said Mr Annan and Mr Olmert emerged from their meeting with little sign of the gap between them having narrowed.
\n
\n
\n
Ehud Olmert rebuffed Kofi Annan\’s call
\nOlmert and Annan
\n

\n
Mr Annan\’s Jerusalem talks followed a visit to Lebanon as part of a regional tour aimed at bolstering the truce between Israel and Hezbollah. “,1] ); //–>

The UN ceasefire resolution which ended the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was agreed by the Security Council on Friday, 11 August, and came into effect on Monday, 14 August.

Mr Egeland added: “Cluster bombs have affected large areas – lots of homes, lots of farmland. They will be with us for many months, possibly years.

“Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons. It shouldn’t have happened.”

Mr Egeland said his information had come from the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre, which had undertaken assessments of nearly 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon.

Earlier this week the US state department launched an inquiry into whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon during the conflict.

A senior White House official told the BBC that the investigation would focus on whether US-made weapons were used against non-military targets.

Blockade defended

At their talks in Jerusalem, Mr Annan and Mr Olmert discussed the deployment of UN troops in Lebanon as well as the continuing blockade.

The UN chief said he hoped Israel would withdraw from southern Lebanon once 5,000 UN peacekeepers were on the ground “in the coming days and weeks”.

The BBC’s Jill McGivering, in Jerusalem, said Mr Annan and Mr Olmert emerged from their meeting with little sign of the gap between them having narrowed.

Ehud Olmert rebuffed Kofi Annan’s call
Olmert and Annan

Mr Annan’s Jerusalem talks followed a visit to Lebanon as part of a regional tour aimed at bolstering the truce between Israel and Hezbollah.
\nAfter his talks in Israel, Mr Annan flew to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
\n
\n
At a joint press conference in Ramallah, Mr Annan said that more than 200 Palestinians had been killed since the end of June, and the violence had to stop.
\n
\n
Mr Annan has now arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II, after which he is expected to proceed to Syria.
\nStory from BBC NEWS:
\n 
\n
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5299938.stm
\n
 
\n
\n 
\n
\n
Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. Click on the links in the image to find out more.
\n
\n
A range of so-called bomblets can be employed to attack different targets such as armoured vehicles or people – or to start fires.
\n
\n
They can cover a large area but do not have precision guidance. Dropped from medium to high altitudes, they can wander off target.
\n
\n
There is a significant "dud rate" of about 5%. In other words, many do not explode but, rather like landmines, litter the ground with the potential to explode years later.
\n
\n
The weapon
\n
\n
One widely-used cluster bomb is the US-manufactured CBU-87/B "combined effects munition". Weighing 950 lbs (430 kgs), it is the carrier for 202 BLU-97/B bomblets.
\n
\n
It can be dropped from a wide range of strike aircraft.
\n
\n
Wind corrected munitions dispensers – a tail kit containing guidance equipment – can be used to improve accuracy. Dropped from 40,000 ft, it can steer to a target area about nine miles away.”,1] ); //–>

After his talks in Israel, Mr Annan flew to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

At a joint press conference in Ramallah, Mr Annan said that more than 200 Palestinians had been killed since the end of June, and the violence had to stop.

Mr Annan has now arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II, after which he is expected to proceed to Syria.
Story from BBC NEWS:
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5299938.stm
 

 

Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. Click on the links in the image to find out more.

A range of so-called bomblets can be employed to attack different targets such as armoured vehicles or people – or to start fires.

They can cover a large area but do not have precision guidance. Dropped from medium to high altitudes, they can wander off target.

There is a significant “dud rate” of about 5%. In other words, many do not explode but, rather like landmines, litter the ground with the potential to explode years later.

The weapon

One widely-used cluster bomb is the US-manufactured CBU-87/B “combined effects munition”. Weighing 950 lbs (430 kgs), it is the carrier for 202 BLU-97/B bomblets.

It can be dropped from a wide range of strike aircraft.

Wind corrected munitions dispensers – a tail kit containing guidance equipment – can be used to improve accuracy. Dropped from 40,000 ft, it can steer to a target area about nine miles away.
\n
\n 
\n
\n
As the weapon falls the tail fins cause it to spin. The spin rate can be varied in six stages and up to 2,500 rpm.
\n

\n
The canister is set to open at one of 10 pre-set altitudes, from 300 to 3,000 ft.
\n
\n
This combination of height and spin determines the area over which the bomblets will be scattered when the weapon opens.
\n
\n
The 202 bomblets are yellow cylinders about the size of a drinks can – 8 ins long and 2.5 ins across (20 x 6 cms).
\n
\n
As they fall, they deploy inflatable tail pieces for stability and to make sure they descend nose down.
\n

\n 
\n
The area covered by the bomblets depends on the spin rate and opening height of the weapon.
\n

\n
Typically they might cover an area about 650 by 1,300 ft (200 by 400 m) – about the size of eight football pitches.
\n
\n
When they explode, the bomblets cause damage and injury across a wide area.
\n
\n
The explosive charge is capable of piercing armour to a depth of about 7 ins (17 cms). The blast has a radius of as much as 250 ft (76 m).
\n
\n
One variety of cluster bomb has heat-seeking bomblets which direct themselves at vehicles. Others are used to scatter landmines.
\n
\n
\n
\n
The BLU-97/B bomblets have
\n*    A shaped explosive charge for piercing armour
\n*    A case which is scored so that it fragments along precise lines, creating about 300 shrapnel fragments
\n*    A ring of incendiary zirconium for starting fires
\n“,1] ); //–>

 

As the weapon falls the tail fins cause it to spin. The spin rate can be varied in six stages and up to 2,500 rpm.

The canister is set to open at one of 10 pre-set altitudes, from 300 to 3,000 ft.

This combination of height and spin determines the area over which the bomblets will be scattered when the weapon opens.

The 202 bomblets are yellow cylinders about the size of a drinks can – 8 ins long and 2.5 ins across (20 x 6 cms).

As they fall, they deploy inflatable tail pieces for stability and to make sure they descend nose down.

 
The area covered by the bomblets depends on the spin rate and opening height of the weapon.

Typically they might cover an area about 650 by 1,300 ft (200 by 400 m) – about the size of eight football pitches.

When they explode, the bomblets cause damage and injury across a wide area.

The explosive charge is capable of piercing armour to a depth of about 7 ins (17 cms). The blast has a radius of as much as 250 ft (76 m).

One variety of cluster bomb has heat-seeking bomblets which direct themselves at vehicles. Others are used to scatter landmines.

The BLU-97/B bomblets have
*    A shaped explosive charge for piercing armour
*    A case which is scored so that it fragments along precise lines, creating about 300 shrapnel fragments
*    A ring of incendiary zirconium for starting fires
/world/americas/2788569.stm
\n
 
\n
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 To post to this group, send email to TwinningWithPalestine@googlegroups.com
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\n\n\n\n
\n

“,0] ); D([“ce”]); //–>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2788569.stm

Anti-Terrorist base to combat Latin American Lebanese

The USA is using the 30,000 strong lebanese population in Latin America as part of an excuse to create an anti-terrorist base in Paraguay. This shows Americas blantent racism towards the Lebanese, branding them as terrorists.  The plan is nothing to do with terrorism but means to threaten the strong social movements which are undermining US corporate interests and social model.

The United States approved a plan for “the formation of an anti-terrorist force to control the region” of the tri-border, that includes the cities Foz de Iguazú (Brazil), Puerto Iguazú (Argentina), and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay). Although the proposal does not have the approval of the Senate, it mentions that nearly 30,000 Lebanese live in the tri-border area and they could raise funds for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Paraguay: Platform for Hemispheric Hegemony
U.S. Military in Paraguay Prepares To “Spread Democracy”

Alan Hart: Israeli Militarism and the Necessity of a One-State Solution

I’m going to suggest to you that what we might now be witnessing is the long beginning of the end of the Zionist state of Israel. In the next 10 minutes or so I will talk my way to an explanation of why I think so; and then I’ll address the question of what the most likely consequences would be. I can see two–One State of Palestine for All and real, lasting peace, or Catastrophe for All… and by “All” I don’t just mean Israeli Jews and the Arabs of the region, I mean all of us, everywhere. I thought I would be the first to give voice in public to the idea that Israel might be planting in Lebanon the final seeds of its own destruction, but while I was working on my text for this evening, I came across an interview given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was PresidentCarter’s National Security Adviser. He said: “Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.”As Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon unfolded, a great deal of nonsense was written and spoken by pundits and policymakers throughout the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian world about why it was happening. The main thrust of the nonsense was that Hizbullah started the war and that Israel was merely defending itself. I think the truth about Hizbullah’s role in triggering the war can be summarised as follows–bearing in mind that the border incident of 12 July was one of many since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, and which more often than not, according to UN monitors, were provoked by Israeli actions and/or Israeli violations of agreements. By engaging an IDF border patrol, killing three Israeli soldiers and taking two hostages, and firing a few rockets to create a diversion for that operation, Hizbullah gave Israel’s generals and those politicians who rubber-stamp their demands the pretext they wanted and needed to go to war–a war they had planned for months.

I was reminded of what was said to me on the second of the six days of the 1967 war when I was a very young ITN correspondent reporting from Israel. One of my sources was Major General Chaim Herzog. He was one of the founding fathers of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. On the second day of that war he said to me in private conversation: “IfNasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext for war now, we would have created one in the coming year to 18 months.” Hizbullah’s purpose in taking Israeli prisoners/hostages was to have them as bargaining chips – to secure the return of Lebanese prisoners Israel had refused to release in a previous prisoner exchange. As former President Carter implied in an article for The Washington Post on I August, it was not unreasonable for Hizbullah to assume that an exchange would be possible because “the assumption was based on a number of such trades in the past.” But on 12 July 2006 the government of Israel was not interested in trades. It did not give a single moment to diplomacy or negotiations of any kind. It did not even consider a local retaliation to make a point. Israel rushed to war. As Defence Minister Amir Peretz put it: “We’re skipping the stage of threats and going straight to the action.”

On the subject of Hizbullah’s rockets, (which are hit-and-miss low tech weapons when compared with Israel’s state of the art firepower), it is right to ask-Why, really, were they there? What, really, explains Hizbullah’s stock-piling and its bunkering down? The honest answer, which has its context in the whole history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Zionism’s demonstrated designs on Southern Lebanon in particular, is this: Hizbullah was strengthening itself militarily for the same reason as Eygpt did when President Nasser, with great reluctance after America had refused to supply him, accepted weapons from the Soviet Union. Nasser did not upgrade Eygpt’s military capabilities to make war on Israel. He wanted to be able to demonstrate to Israel that attacking Eygpt to impose Zionism’s will on it was not a cost-free option. In other words, Hizbullah had been improving its military capability to deter Israeli incursions and attacks, which was something the Lebanese army was incapable of doing. Am I suggesting that Hizbullah would not have let loose its rockets if Israel had not gone for the war option? YES! The notion that, on 12 July 2006, Hizbullah was joined in conspiracy with Iran and Syria to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is nothing but Zionist and neo-con propaganda nonsense–to justify Israel’s latest war of aggression and also, perhaps, to justify, in advance of it happening, war on Iran.

It’s true that the rhetoric of Iran’s President gave and gives a degree of apparent credibility to Zionist and neo-con spin–but only to those who are unaware of, or don’t want to know, the difference between the facts and documented truth of the real history of the Arab-Israeli conflict (as in my book) and Zionism’s version of it. To those who really want to understand why the Zionist state of Israel behaves in the way it does, and is (as described in a recent article courageously carried by The Independent) “a terrorist state like no other”, I say not only read my book, but give special attention to page 485 of Volume One. On it I quote what was said behind closed doors in May 1955 by Moshe Dayan, Israel’s one-eyed warlord and master of deception. He was in conversation with Israel’s ambassadors to Washington, London and Paris. At the time the Eisenhower administration was pressing Israel to abandon its policy of reprisal attacks.

Eisenhower was aware that Nasser did not want war with Israel, and that he would, when he could, make an accommodation with it. Eisenhower also knew that Israel’s reprisal attacks were making it impossible for Nasser to prepare the ground on his side for peace with Israel.
In conversation with Israel’s three most important ambassadors to the West, Dayan explained why he was totally opposed – whatever the pressure from the West – to the idea that Israel should abandon its policy of reprisal attacks. They were, he said, “a life drug.” What he meant, he also explained, was that reprisal attacks enabled the Israeli government “to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army.”

What, really, did that mean? Israel’s standing or full-time army was (as it still is and must be) relatively small, not more than about 23,000 souls in all. The other quarter of a million fighting men and women who could be mobilised in 48 hours were reservists from every walk of Israel’s civil society. The real point? Without Israeli reprisal attacks and all that they implied–that the Zionist state was in constant danger of being annihilated – there was a possibility that some and perhaps many reservists would not be motivated enough to respond to Zionism’s calls to arms.
Put another way, what Dayan really feared was the truth. He knew, as all of Israel’s leaders knew, that Israel’s existence was not in danger from any combination of Arab forces. And that was the truth which had to be kept from the Jews of Israel. Dayan’s fear was that if they became aware of it, they might insist on peace on terms the Arab regimes could accept but which were not acceptable to Zionism. Among those present when Dayan explained the need for Israeli reprisal attacks as a “life drug” was the Foreign Ministry’s Gideon Rafael. He reported what Dayan told the ambassadors to Prime Minister Moshe Sharret-in my view, and with the arguable exception of Yitzhak Rabin, the only completely rational prime minister Israel has ever had. And we know from Sharret’s diaries what Rafael then said to him: “This is how fascism began in Italy and Germany!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I think future historians may say that was how fascism began in the Zionist state of Israel.
The idea of Israel as a fully functioning democracy is a seriously flawed one. It’s true that Israeli Jews are free to speak their minds (in a way that most Jews of the world are frightened to do), and to that extent it can be said that Israel has the appearance of a vibrant democracy… But in reality, and especially since the countdown to the 1967 war, it’s Israel’s generals who call most of the policy shots, even when one of them is not prime minister.
In June 1967 Israel’s prime minister of the time, the much maligned Levi Eshkol, did not want to take his country to war. The war, was imposed upon him by the generals, led by Dayan. As I explain in Volume Two of my book, what really happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup in all but name.
And that’s where we are today–the generals effectively calling the shots in Israel, to the applause of the neo-cons. Why, really, did Israel’s generals want to make war on Lebanon? There was obviously much more to it than the collective punishment of a whole people as part and parcel of a stated objective – the destruction of Hizbullah as a Moslem David which could hit and hurt the Zionist Goliath. I think there were two main reasons. The first was that Israel’s generals believed they should and could restore the “deterrent power” of the IDF (Israel’s war machine). They believed, correctly, that it had been seriously damaged by Hizbullah’s success in not only confronting the IDF following Sharon’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but eventually forcing it to withdraw, effectively defeated and humiliated… I think it is more than reasonable to presume that for most if not all of the past six years, Israel’s generals were itching to make war on Lebanon to repair that damage–to restore the IDF’s deterrent power. Put another way, it was time, Israel’s generals believed, to give the Arabs (all Arabs, not just Hizbullah) another lesson in who the master was.
The second main reason for the insistence of Israel’s generals on 12 July this year that war was the only option…? I think it’s also more than reasonable to presume that they saw the opportunity to ethnically cleanse Lebanon up to the Litani River, with a view, eventually, to occupying and then annexing the ethnically cleansed territory. For Zionism this would be the fulfilment of the vision of modern Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion – a Zionist state within “natural” borders, those borders being the Jordan River in the East and the Litani River of Lebanon in the north. Israel gained control of theJordan River border in its 1967 war of expansion, but prior to its rush to war on 12 July, all of its attempts to establish the Litani border had failed. Since 1982 because of Hizbullah’s ability to cause the occupying IDF forces more casualties than Israeli public opinion was prepared to tolerate. According to those currently calling the policy shots – Israel’s generals and politicians, the neo-cons in and around the Bush administration and their associate in Downing Street – the name of the game is creating a “new Middle East”. It is happening. A new Middle East is being created.

But what kind of new Middle East will it actually be? In my analysis it will be one in which the Zionist state of Israel, having rejected a number of opportunities to make peace with the Palestinians and all the Arab states, will become increasingly vulnerable and, at a point, actually for the first time ever in its shortish history, could face the possibility of defeat. In my view the seeds of that possible defeat have just been sewn in Lebanon. The fact is that Israel’s latest military adventure has been totally counter-productive in that it has caused Hizbullah to be admired by the angry and humiliated masses of the Arab and wider Moslem world. That being so, would it really be surprising if, in growing numbers, Arabs and Moslems everywhere begin to entertain- if they are not already entertaining-something like the following thought: “If 3,000 Hizbullah guerrillas can stand up to mighty Israel for weeks and give it a seriously bloody nose, what would happen if we all joined the fight?” (Do I hear the sound of pro-Western Arab regimes being toppled? Yes, I think so). I imagine that even the thought of Israel being defeated one day will bring joy to very many Arabs and other Moslems. But there ought to be no place for joy because there’s no mystery about what would happen in the event of Israel actually being on the brink of defeat. I want to quote to you now from one of my Panorama interviews with Golda Meir. (It can be found, this quote, on the second page Volume One of my book, in the Prologue which is titled Waiting for the Apocalypse).
At a point I interrupted her to say: “Prime Minister I want to be sure I understand what you’re saying… You are saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and the whole world down with it?” Without the shortest of pauses for reflection, Golda replied: “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.” In those days Panorama went on-air at 8 o’clock on Monday evenings. Shortly after the transmission of that interview The Times had a new lead editorial. It quoted what Golda had said to me and added its view that “We had better believe her.” How, actually, would the Zionist state of Israel take at least the region down with it? It would arm its nuclear missiles, target Arab capitals, then fire the missiles. Such an End-Game to the Arab-Israeli conflict, if it happened, and which I would describe as a self-fulfilled Zionist prophesy of doom, would probably take many years to play out. But the countdown to such a catastrophe would be speeded up if, as Brzezinski put it, “neo-con policies continue to be pursued.” If they are, and if Iran is attacked, I think that a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, would become unstoppable.

Is there no way to stop the madness and create a “new Middle East” worth having? Yes, of course, there is, but it requires the agenda of the neo-cons and their associates to be thrown into the dustbin of history, in order for there to be a resolution of the Palestine problem, which I describe as the cancer at the heart of international affairs. Unfortunately, and because of the facts Zionism has been allowed to create on the ground in Israel/Palestine, it’s already much too late for a genuine two-state solution, one which would see Israel back behind more or less its pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem an open city and the capital of two states. The conclusion which I think is invited is this:

If the countdown to catastrophe for all is to be stopped, the only possible solution to the Palestine problem is One State for All. That would, of course, be the end of Zionism’s colonial enterprise and of Zionism itself. But in my view that’s what has to happen if there’s to be a “new Middle East” in which there can be security and peace for all, Arabs and Jews. Ladies and gentlemen: I’m not a politician or, any more, a working journalist and broadcaster who must write and speak in way that doesn’t offend very powerful vested interests. I am a reasonably well informed human being who cares and who is free to say what he really thinks. (Which probably makes me a member of a very small club!)
And in summary of all that I’ve said this evening, what I really think comes down to this: The equation is a very simple one: No justice for the Palestinians = no peace for any of us.”

Alans book

George Galloway broadcasts live from warzone – Beirut Lebanon

I’ve only listened to the show on the 26th but it was very good, esp when they interviewed an ex-british serviceman who was stationed in Palestine from 1946(?) witnessing the beginnings of Israel.

Download here

if you have problems using torrents, smaller excepts are available here

Lenins Tomb

George Galloways profile on talksport

GEORGE GALLOWAY RADIO EXCLUSIVE 25th August 2006

George Galloway makes radio history tonight as he conducts the first ever phone-in from inside a war zone as he presents his show live from Beirut.
talkSPORT presenter and MP George Galloway is set to make history this weekend as he holds what is believed to be the first ever radio phone-in LIVE from a war zone.
As the most controversial exponent of Middle East politics, Galloway will broadcast his outspoken beliefs that will undoubtedly evoke a whirlwind of apathy, scorn and outrage from listeners – LIVE from Beirut on Saturday and Sunday night only on talkSPORT.
Speaking about the ‘mother of all talk shows’ coming live from Beirut, Galloway said: “I’m the first British political figure to visit the wreckage of Beirut and the south of Lebanon, seeing for myself the enormous toll taken by 33 days of aerial bombardment.
“I’ll be reporting to talkSPORT listeners on just what I’ve found here and inviting guests from across the spectrum in Lebanon who know what they’re talking about.
“I’ll be taking calls from the listeners across the UK as normal during this two day special on the conflict in the Middle East, its fundamental causes and, a way forward for peace.”

Howard Zinn: On Civil OBEDIENCE

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves…(and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”

Chomsky: UN Security Council Acts within Constraints Set by Great Powers

The New Anatolian, August 21, 2006

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 came very late and posed a fragile ceasefire, yet there will be another war as long as the Bush-backed Israel has the pretext of “safer borders,” and Bush himself is insisting on going further in his war against terrorism.
Eminent Professor Noam Chomsky, in this interview with The New Anatolian, speaks about Israeli-Lebanese war and the UN Security Council.

TNA: The first question is very simple yet has never been answered: Why does Israel have the right of self-defense while the Arab countries don’t? The U.S. has the same right, while Iraq doesn’t!

Chomsky: The answer was given a long time ago by Thucydides (the Melian dialogue, in The Peloponnesian War, Book 5): The strong do as they can, and the weak suffer as they must. One of the leading principles of international affairs. Many Arab States declared that they will not boycott relations with Israel; in the same time (breath) they declared the war is Hezbollah’s war and fault.

TNA: Do you think there was and still is an American pressure behind this, or are the Arab regimes afraid of “regime change” and doing their best to satisfy the White House?

Chomsky: At an emergency Arab League meeting, most of the Arab states (apart from Algeria, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen) condemned Hezbollah. In doing so, they were willing to “openly defy public opinion,” as the New York Times reported. They later had to back down, including Washington’s oldest and most important ally in the region, Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah said that “if the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire.”

Most analysts assume — plausibly I think — that their primary concern is the growing influence of Iran, and the embarrassment caused by the fact that alone in the Arab world, Hezbollah has offered support for Palestinians under brutal attack in the occupied territories.

TNA: Was there any legal or moral justification for this war, as President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Western media insisted?

Chomsky: We can ignore Bush and Rice, who are participants in the U.S.-Israeli invasion of Lebanon. We know very well that by Western standards, there is no moral or legal justification for the war. Sufficient proof is the fact that for many years, Israel regularly kidnapped Lebanese, sending them to prisons in Israel, including secret prisons like the notorious Camp 1391, which was exposed by accident and quickly forgotten (and in the U.S., never even reported within the mainstream). No one suggested that Lebanon, or anyone else, had the right to invade and destroy much of Israel in retaliation. As this long and ugly record makes clear, kidnapping of civilians — a far worse crime than capture of soldiers – – is considered insignificant by the U.S., UK, and other Western states, and by articulate opinion within them quite generally, when it is done by “our side.” That fact was revealed very dramatically once again at the outset of the current upsurge of violence after Hamas captured an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, on June 25. That action elicited a huge show of outrage in the West, and support for Israel’s sharp escalation of its attacks in Gaza. One day before, on June 24, Israeli forces kidnapped two civilians in Gaza, a doctor and his brother, and sent them off somewhere in Israel’s prison system. The event was scarcely reported, and elicited little if any comment within the mainstream. The timing alone reveals with vivid clarity that the show of outrage over the capture of Israeli soldiers is a cynical fraud, and undermines any shreds of moral legitimacy for the ensuing actions.

TNA: Is there any pretext that could justify the daily massacres in Lebanon and Gaza?

Chomsky: With a vivid imagination, one can conjure up all sorts of pretexts. In the real world, there are none. And we may add the forgotten West Bank, where the U.S. and Israel are proceeding with their plans to drive the last nails into the coffin of Palestinian national rights by their programs of annexation, cantonization, and imprisonment (by takeover of the Jordan Valley). These plans are carried out within the framework of another cynical fraud: “convergence” (Israeli “hitkansut”), portrayed in the U.S. as “withdrawal,” in a remarkable public relations triumph. Also long- forgotten is the occupied Golan Heights, virtually annexed by Israel in violation of unanimous Security Council orders (but with tacit U.S. support).

TNA: I couldn’t understand this Israeli arrogance. Do you?

Chomsky: The maxim of Thucydides again. And it is worth bearing in mind that Israel can go just as far as its protector in Washington permits and supports.

TNA: As an Iraqi, I understand that the ongoing war against Lebanon and Gaza is an essential part of the Bush scheme toward reshaping the region — I mean redrawing the borders drawn by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement.

Chomsky: I doubt that most of them have even heard of Sykes-Picot. They have their own plans for the region. Primary among them is the traditional commitment to control the world’s major energy resources. Those who do not fall in line can expect to be targets of subversion or aggression. That should not be

surprising, at least to those familiar with the history of the past century (in fact well before).

TNA: How could we explain the role of the UN Security Council in destroying Lebanon and Gaza now, and Iraq before?

Chomsky: The Security Council acts within constraints set by the great powers, primarily the United States, by virtue of its enormous power. It can generally rely on Britain, particularly Blair’s Britain, which is described sardonically in Britain’s leading journal of international affairs as “the spear-carrier of the pax Americana.” In the early post-war years, for obvious reasons, the UN was generally under U.S. domination, and was very popular among U.S. elites. By the mid-1960s, that was becoming less true, with decolonization and the recovery of the industrial societies from wartime devastation. Since that time, the U.S. has been far in the lead in vetoing Security Council resolutions on a wide range of issues, with Britain second, and none of the others even close. Correspondingly, elite support for the UN sharply declined in the U.S. — though, interestingly, popular support for the UN remains remarkably high, one of the many illustrations of an enormous gap between public opinion and public policy in the U.S. Over and above that crucial constraint, U.S. power allows it to shape those resolutions and actions that it is willing to accept. Other powers have their own cynical reasons for what they do, but their influence is naturally less — again, the maxim of Thucydides. Popular forces could make a substantial difference, and sometimes do, but until the prevailing “democratic deficit” is reduced, that effect will be limited.

TNA: Do you think that Iran and Syria were behind this war, as Bush said?

Chomsky: It is generally assumed that they at least gave Hezbollah authorization for the July 12 attack on the Israeli military forces at the border. However, many of the most serious analysts of Hezbollah, and of Iran, have expressed their conclusion that Hezbollah’s actions are on its own initiative.