Saturday, 12 November 2011

Going for Gold in Gaza: The Making of...

Hatem ZaqoutWednesday 09 November 2011
Aidan Hartley

Producer Richard Cookson and I quickly discovered the athletes' story opened a window onto the daily struggles people face in Gaza in quite astonishing ways.

Unreported World: Going for Gold in Gaza

I (Aidan Hartley) wondered if following a group of disabled Palestinian athletes hoping to compete in the London 2012 Paralympics might distract from the big themes I always hope to investigate in my assignments.

Producer Richard Cookson and I quickly discovered the athletes' story opened a window onto the daily struggles people face in Gaza in quite astonishing ways.

The Palestinians responded warmly when they heard what we were doing, perhaps because Western journalists covering Gaza so often need to focus on distressing themes that emphasise this embattled enclave's despair and isolation from the rest of the world.

By contrast this was a positive story about a group of determined individuals. They shrug off all their hardships - and in Gaza they have it particularly tough - so that they can compete in what they see as the greatest sporting event in the world.

For all this, the athletes are completely unknown in Gaza. 'We never knew there was even a Palestinian Paralympic team,' was a constant refrain we heard.

The athletes themselves spent hardly any time complaining, despite their challenges. They just made do.

Most days Hatem Zaqout, a blind religious teacher, practices throwing the discus in a dusty cemetery around the corner from his mosque because he can't easily get to a training ground. I noticed Hatem was a gentle man who had a lovely relationship with his children, on whom he was completely dependent for even simple tasks like walking down a street or eating a meal.

Before I went to Gaza I was told that people with physical disabilities were often shunned by society and that they might not have the care and support one finds in a Western country. On the ground we found the contrary to be the case.

'I dont feel I'm missing out when I help my Dad,' Hatem's 13-year-old son Mohamed told me when I asked if he felt he'd rather be out playing with his friends, as a boy in Britain might. 'I like helping my Dad. It means that we spend a lot of time together.'

The athletes' training sessions were striking too. I thought it was extraordinary to film in a gym with the women disabled athletes wearing hijab while pumping iron.

I found them to be a particularly determined group, with their star athlete Fatma Halooli proudly telling me that she was the first woman to establish her own business in the district, a mobile phone shop.
I was extremely touched when Fatma, an amputee, said that her best chance for obtaining a new, improve prosthetic limb was to do well in the Paralympics so that a sponsor might take pity on her.
For the athletes, the training sessions often seemed as much about friendship and conversation as sport.
Often, long before the noon call to prayer that signalled the end of training, we'd see the wheel chairs parked in a circle with many cups of tea being consumed. Off to one side partially-sighted Mohamed Fanuna, a top long jumper and javelin thrower, trained with strenuous dedication, while team captain Khamis Zaqhout surreptitiously smoked Egyptian cigarettes and told jokes in a booming voice.
Khamis was a builder until he fell seven floors on a construction site and his broken back put him in a wheelchair. That didn't stop him from becoming a discus thrower with a great sense of humour. 'I won't brag,' says Khamis. 'I'm the best. But seriously, of course I want to bring back medals. But my dream is to raise that Palestinian flag in London.'

Gaza is hard to get out of, but at the fortified border with Israel we found clusters of empty wheel chairs like abandoned supermarket trolleys. One of the ways to get approval to leave Gaza is if you're sick or need an operation in Israel. The wheel chairs have to be left behind and new ones fetched on the other side because of intensely tight security.

In many ways the athletes' stories very much represented many aspects of life in Gaza, a territory paralysed and isolated by conflict - suffering some of the highest rates of disability in the world.
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Exeter University-Gilad Atzmon-The Wandering Who, and Where? (audio)

DateFriday, November 11, 2011 at 12:15PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

A talk given in Exeter University on 8.11.2011. I elaborate on different issues that led me to write The Wandering Who: Jewish Identity, Israeli Lobby, Jewish Power, the Talmud vs Jewish secularism, Israeli institutional barbarism and so on. I also explore once again the Liam Fox scandal.

Very interesting Q&A session-elaborating on peace, shalom, Holocaust, pre traumatic stress disorder, the Holocaust, Jewish Marxistss & Jewish anti Zionist, Marxism, Israel and Zionism being Nazi-loke ideolgies, Khazar and much more.

The Wandering Who-A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, available on or

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Something Positive Is Happening With Young American Jews

DateSaturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:36PM AuthorGilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon: They focus on their Jewish community. I believe that this is very healthy and I support it. Rather than dominating the solidarity movement or discourse, good Jews better concentrate on their own communities.

Ethical reawkening is what we need.

Syria’s Representative at Arab League: Arab League's Syria Decision Illegal

The Quote Of the Day!!!

"War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself."
Thank you Gary Keenan

Ambassador Ahmad: Decision to suspend Syria's membership illegal and violates Arab League's convention, charter

Ambassador Ahmad: Decision to suspend Syria's membership illegal and violates Arab League's convention, charter
CAIRO– Syria's Permanent Representative at the Arab League, Ambassador Yousef Ahmad, said that the decision to suspend Syria's membership is illegal and violates the Arab League's charter and internal regulations.

He said that this decision is a eulogy for Arab common action and a blatant announcement that its administration is subordinate to US-western agendas.

Earlier on Saturday, the Arab League Council on Ministerial Level suspended the participation of Syria's delegation in its meetings.

Ambassador Ahmad: Syria Committed to Arab Work Plan, Armed Groups and Opposition Must Discard Weapons and Cease Violence

Earlier, Ambassador Ahmad affirmed Syria's commitment to implementing all the articles of the Arab work plan on the situation in it, noting that Syria made strides in doing so despite armed groups' attempts to foil the plan since it was announced.

During the extraordinary meeting on the level of foreign ministers held on Saturday at the Arab League headquarters to discuss developments in Syria, Ambassador Ahmad stressed that armed groups, the opposition abroad and all the various forces that seek to escalate the situation in Syria in terms of politics and media are obligated to discard and surrender weapons, cease all acts of violence, comply with the Arab plan, accept national dialogue, and put an end to instigator and negative stances and statements.
Ahmad said that hostile atmospheres, blatant political instigation and media attacks are still taking place with the aim of escalating the situation inside Syria and urge opposition abroad and armed groups in Syria to not cooperate with calming efforts and foil any positive Arab role.

He reviewed the various steps taken by the Syrian government in terms of the Arab work plan, which includes withdrawal of army units from cities and urban areas and replacing them with law-enforcement personnel, noting that despite that, the remnants of the armed terrorist groups continue to use heavy weaponry still being smuggled from neighboring countries to murder and terrorize people in cities and their outskirts.

Ahmad also denied the allegations of some Arab and international mass media which claimed that the Syrian army used military machinery and heavy weapons inside Syrian cities, adding that the Syrian government released 553 detainees involved in recent events with more detainees to be released gradually quite soon, in addition to granting amnesty to those who surrender their weapons as long as they haven't committed murder.

He pointed out to the dangerous development in the US stance regarding the crisis in Syria, with the US Department of State Spokesperson announcing that her country advises gunmen to not surrender their weapons, which shows the degree of the US blatant interference in Syria's internal affair and its clear instigation of violence and murder, adding that this stance also constitutes an official US acknowledgement of the existence of active gunmen in Syria which contradicts previous US statements and allegations which said that what is happening in Syria is merely "peaceful protests and demonstrations."

Ahmad went on to note that Syria invited Arab and foreign mass media to visit Syria and witness the reality of the situation, and that Syria continues to provide information and reports on terrorist acts to the Ministerial Committee and the Arab League General secretariat.

"On 2/11/2011, the night of the Arab League Council's decision was issued, the bodies of 68 citizens murdered by the gunfire of these armed terrorist groups were found… their bodies were mutilated in horrible ways that shame all of humanity… we will show the Arab League delegation the photos and documents related to these crimes as soon as they reach Syria," he said.

Ahmad affirmed that the Syrian government will provide all the necessary facilitations and guarantees to the Arab League delegation which will visit Syria soon, giving them full freedom of movement and guaranteeing their security, voicing Syria's confidence that the presence of the delegation and the professional and credible fulfillment of its duties will play a vital role in ensuring the success of the Arab work plan.

He also underlined some of Syria's official remarks and demands regarding the Arab work plans and the elements to ensure its success, stressing the necessity of shedding light on the attempts of external forces and some members of the Syrian opposition to undermine the plan and show the Arab League as a being helpless to play an active positive role in the Syrian crisis in order to summon foreign interference, regardless of its form or the price it will entail.

Ahmad noted that the US blatant instigation and calls for gunmen to not surrender their weapons is linked to another US stance which calls on Arab countries to join the political and economic boycott in Syria, which also matches the stance of the French Foreign Minister who described the Arab work plan as being dead. He affirmed that these stances show that these despotic forces aren't comfortable with the Arab role and shocked by Syria's response to the Arab initiative.

He said that these negative and serious stances required an official statement from the Arab League or the Arab committee that rejects calls for using weapons and violence and Syria and affirming the continuation of the Arab work plan, inviting all sides within Syria and abroad to play a responsible and constructive role and reject violence. Ahmad called on the Arab Ministerial Committee and the Arab League Council to issue a clear statement in this regard.
He also expressed Syria's surprise over the statements made by the Arab League Secretary General in which he said that Syria isn't committed to the Arab initiative, ignoring in his statement the grave instigator statements of the US and France and the stances of the Istanbul council who rejected the Arab work plan and dialogue.

Ahmad pointed out that after approving the Arab work plan, many Syrian national opposition figures within Syria and abroad became subjects to a campaign of intimidation and coercion to make them reject dialogue with the authorities and join the Istanbul council which seeks to summon foreign interference regardless of its price.

He went on to affirm that media instigation against Syria doubled in a rabid and unprecedented rate since the Arab League Council's decision, manifesting in the way reports are being formed and the broadcast of images, the fabrication of news and focusing on the one side which rejects the plan and dialogue, all which aims at promoting the continuation of violence and creating instability to foil the Arab plan and encourage some opposition figures abroad to adhere to their negative stances, all which would lead to preventing any peaceful solution and opening the door to foreign interference with all its disastrous consequences on the region's security and stability.
Ahmad said that Syria believes that the Arab Ministerial Committee's role and the Arab work plan's articles include basic responsibilities entailing that Arab countries must reign in the unprofessional practices of some Arab mass media which seek to escalate the situation in Syria under the pretext of independence of opinion and funding.
"We don't ask for silencing an opinion or the other opinion… we demand exercising the optimum amount of responsibility, professionalism and neutrality and dealing with the events taking place in Syria," he said, stressing that those who ignore the reality of the negative political and media interference and instigation are attempting to blot out the son with their fingers.
Ahmad said that the Arab Ministerial Committee should play an active and serious role and that it must have a real, organized presence in Syria along with the Arab delegation, calling on the Arab League Council to make clear stances by rejecting the statements of some countries and foreign forces who seek to continue bloodshed and violence in Syria heedless of the interests and aspirations of the Syrians and the serious repercussions of their reckless policies.

Lebanese FM: Arab League Decision Planned Earlier
Local Editor
Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said the Arab decision against Syria was not surprising for the decision was planned before the Arab League meeting.
Mansour, who took part in the meeting Saturday and voted along with the Yemeni foreign minister against the decision, said the decision to suspend Syria’s participation in the Arab League meetings was a dangerous one.

He assured that he rejected to vote for the decision for the dangerous points it included that also open the way for foreign countries as well as the United Nation’s complete intervention in the Syria affairs that is the Arab files.

The Lebanese foreign minister noted that there were no interjections during the entire meeting, except by the Syrian representative, and from him as well as the Iraqi foreign minister who abstained from voting.

Mansour considered that such decisions will not help in solving the situation in Syria, but will rather worsen it, and indicated the decision took one firm stance and ignored all the measures that Syria took in favor of the Arab League’s first decision that sought ending the unrest in Syria.

Arab League Suspends Syria
Local Editor

The Arab League issued a decision Saturday to suspend Syrian delegations' activities in the Arab League meetings and implement economic and political sanctions against the Syrian government.

The member states in the league held a press conference in which Foreign Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani read the statement before journalists and clarified that two states rejected to vote in favor for the decision and 1 state abstained from voting.

The two states that rejected the decision were Lebanon and Yemen, while Iraq abstained.
Al-Thani claimed that the decision was taken because Syria did not commit to the Arab League deal to end “violence against protestors”.

The decision also included withdrawing the Arab ambassadors from Damascus and called upon the Syrian opposition to meet up in the league's location to set future plans.

Angry Syrian pro-regime crowds gathered near the location expressing their rejection to any decision the Arab league takes and distributed statements to journalists stating this view.

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Big Lies Launch Wars

by Stephen Lendman

In "The Art of War," Sun Tzu said "All war is based on deception."

What worked in ancient times more than ever applies now, given instant ways of communicating globally and super-weapons Washington and Israel threaten to use like hand grenades.

In "Doctor Faustus", Christopher Marlowe mentioned "the face that launched a thousand ships." He referred to Helen of Troy (formerly of Sparta).

To win her back, Greeks launched 1,000 warships. According to Greek mythology, the Trojan War followed.

Homer's Odyssey and Iliad recounted it. So did Roman poets Virgil and Ovid. Homer said it lasted 10 years. Mythological goddess quarrels started it.

Real, mythological, or fabricated reasons work equally well. Then it was Athena and Hera v. Aphrodite. Today it's "war on terror" fear tactics.

Near its end, Greeks entered Troy in a Trojan Horse. America's perhaps was 9/11. Both were duplicitous acts used to ravage targeted enemies.

The expression, "beware of Greeks bearing gifts" originated from back then. According to Homer and other Greek literature, they burned the city, captured Trojan women, rescued Helen, and returned her to Menelaus, her husband.

Fear, misinformation, and deceit work best enlisting popular support, whether in ancient China, Greece or modern times. Television today supplies it.

From its earliest days, it lied, distracted, entertained, and provided a platform for corporate America to control thought, manipulate public opinion, and sell people junk they don't need.

In a June 1950 commencement speech, Boston University President Daniel Marsh said, "If the (television) craze continues....we are destined to have a nation of morons."

In May 1961, Kennedy's FCC chairman Newton Minow called commercial television a "vast wasteland." He suggested watching it for a day "without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper," with no distractions.

"Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off" as it once did before 24 broadcasting. "I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland, (a) procession of game shows, (nonsensical) formula comedies....blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons."

"And endless commercials - many screaming, cajoling, and offending....And if you think I exaggerate....try it."

Try it now. It's the same on hundreds of channels round the clock ad nauseam.

Communication theorist/media critic George Gerbner once said television has nothing to tell and everything to sell.

In his book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death," Neil Postman said "Americans are the most entertained and least informed people in the world," knowing little or nothing about what matters most.

Famed comedian Ernie Kovacs once said television is called a medium because it's neither rare or well done.

Because most people rely on it for news and information, a nation of "morons" lets America get away with murder.

America's Permanent War Agenda

In his book titled, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace," Gore Vidal said:

"our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own."

In his book titled, "Dreaming War," he compared GW Bush's imperial ambitions to WW II and subsequent Truman Doctrine pledge:

"To support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

At issue was keeping Greece and Turkey from going communist. Applied globally, it initiated America's National Security State strategy.

Ever since, it lurched from one war to another to benefit war profiteers and advance America's imperium, no matter the body count to achieve both.

In his 1953 collection of historical revisionist essays titled, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and It's Aftermath," Harry Elmer Barnes wrote:

"If trends continue as they have during the last fifteen years, we shall soon reach (the) point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace."

"Such an era could only culminate in a third world war which might well, as Arnold J. Toynbee has suggested, leave only the pygmies in remote jungles, or even the apes and ants, to carry on 'the cultural traditions' of mankind."

Deception, misinformation, popular fiction, and Big Lies launch wars - all of them. Television today incites them. Earlier times, however had other ways to enlist public support or at least avoid opposition enough to stop them.

Historian Gabriel Kolko explained nothing good about "the good war," WW II, or any others. None achieve peace, security and stability. One conflict begets others. Endless destructive cycles follow. Countless millions die. Vast destruction ravages countries. Human misery, not liberation, results.

Since the 19th century, imperial wars shaped American life. Waging them is prioritized. Technological expertise produces killing machines. Industrial America suffered.

Human needs go unmet, today more than ever in modern times. State capitalism partners with business waging war. Uneducated, disadvantaged, impoverished, disconnected, restless, angry millions get left on their own sink or swim.

Others go to war to get killed, injured, maimed, or emotionally scared for life with nothing in return benefitting them.

In his January 1961 farewell address, Dwight Eisenhower warned about:

the "military-industrial complex," citing the "grave implications" of a "coalition of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing arms and selling them to the government."

He said "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

He added that:

"Every gun that is made, every war ship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed...."

Today, dominant "iron triangle" authority runs America's war machine. With sitting presidents, it consists of Congress, the Pentagon, and defense industry profiteers, including producers of sophisticated technology for digital age warfare Eisenhower couldn't have imagined.

In combination, they addicted the nation to war, not for threats. It's for power and profits. Why else would war be America's business!

In his book titled, "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters," James Douglas discussed many reasons. Key was his opposition to force.

After the Joint Chiefs demanded troops for Laos, he told Geneva Conference representative Averell Harriman:

"Did you understand? I want a negotiated settlement in Laos. I don't want to put troops in."

He opposed nuclear weapons use in Berlin and Southeast Asia. During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, he refused to bomb or invade. Afterwards he said, "I never had the slightest intention of doing so."

In June 1963 (a few months before his assassination), he called for abolishing nuclear weapons, ending the Cold War, and advancing "general and complete disarmament."

In October 1963, he signed National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263 to withdraw 1,000 US forces from Vietnam by year end and all of them by 1965.

He wanted "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Before Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were occupied, he supported UN Resolution 194, authorizing diaspora Palestinians' right of return they never got.

He wanted the American Zionist Council (AIPAC's original name) registered as a foreign agent. He opposed Israel's nuclear weapons program.

He wanted peace, not conflicts. It cost him his life. Future presidents got the message. The rest, as they say, is history.

Canadian Law Professor Michael Mandel explained imperial America's lawlessness in his 2004 book titled, "How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage, and Crimes Against Humanity."

He discussed Justice Robert's Jackson's Nuremberg "supreme crime" declaration. It's more than ever relevant given America's out-of-control belligerence, ravaging the world one country at a time or in multiples.

At Nuremberg, Jackson said:

"To initiate a war of not only an international crimes; it is the supreme international crimes differing only from the other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

In 1950, the Nuremberg Tribunal defined crimes against peace as:

"(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (and)

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)."

After WW I, Kellogg-Briand in 1928 renounced aggressive war, prohibiting its use as "an instrument of national policy," except in self-defense.

Sixty-three nations were signatories, including America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Soviet Russia, and Japan. The US Senate approved the treaty 85 - 1. Like Nuremberg, it's binding international law.

Washington's war machine hardly slowed. WW II followed as well as perpetual others thereafter. Even then, the business of America was war. It's more than ever that today.

Its "scourge" wants power, profits and unchallenged dominance. Today, America wages it globally against humanity. International law is defied. So is morality and common sense.

International peace, security, stability, equity, justice, and freedom are non-starters. Only war spoils matter, including benefits derived from them in all forms.

Since WW II, America, its NATO partners and Israel waged regular aggressive wars. Millions of noncombatant civilians perished. Appalling human suffering resulted.

Washington's imperial war machine is today's greatest threat, ravaging the world one country at a time. Congressional authority was abdicated. Presidents can act on their own.

In September 2001, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for "the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."

"War on terror" authority accelerated permanent wars. Presidents now wage them at their discretion.

Where it all ends, who knows. No one's able to stop them. Short of finding a way, free societies, planet earth and humanity hang in the balance. Even risks that great are ignored.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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Gilad Atzmon: The Bund- A Disturbing Jewish Political Exercise (must watch)

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: A few years ago I saw a small extract of this film (The story of the Bund in Israel- film by Eran Torbiner). This week a bigger chunk of the documentary was left on youtube.

This is a film about the ‘Jews only’ socialist party- The Bund. In the documentary you can watch for yourself ‘young’ revolutionary Bundists in action. In spite of being ‘Socialists’ and ‘Internationalists’, they, for some reason, ended up living in a ‘Jews only’ State in occupied Palestine at the expense of the Palestinians.

I guess that this may as well be, the real meaning of ‘Jewish socialism’- You sing the International in Yiddish on someone else’s land.
By the way, we do not have an access to
 the entire film, but so far, I didn’t notice a single reference to Palestine, Palestinians their cause or plight.

Towards the end, Bundist Yaakov Belek speaks nostalgically about the pre war Bund in Poland (7:41). His words are an insight into Jewish progressive supremacy and exceptionalism. It is almost disturbing to watch and listen. “The Bund was a unique Party” he says. “It wasn’t like any other party… it was an empire. A bund member was a different kind of person. Maybe I am a patriot but this is how it was. For years we grew bigger and bigger. Before the beginning of WWII it was the largest party in Poland. We possessed* everything. We had the youth, future, SKIP **, sport, so many schools, we were the new type, we were the new man

It seems to me, as if Belek himself fails to grasp that he is outlining the true meaning of Jewish Power, we are special, we are unique, we are an empire, the future and we posses everything. I guess that AIPAC and CFI members are also blind to the potential danger entangled with their so-called ‘success’.

The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon For a full deconstruction of Jewish Identity Politics (Left, right and centre) The Wandering Who, available on or

*GA: my translation from Hebrew
**GA: SKIP is a sociality youth movement

To read more about Tribal 'Marxism' and progressive thought:
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”it is hard to overstate Turkey’s break with Syria.”

How Turkey’s Syria policy evolved

İLHAN TANIRFriday, November 11, 2011

Libya’s La Terreur metastasizes

Franklin Lamb, Benghazi 

Graphics: By Alex

France’s early September 1793 to late July 1794 Reign of Terror, the period of violence following the initial “success” of the French Revolution was incited by conflict between rival political factions and was marked by mass executions including “disappearances” of perceived enemies of the revolution.

Libya has entered its own La Terreur which is spreading inexorably and is aided by NATO member states including American, French and British SAS units known locally as “disappearance squads”. This is one of the rapidly developing consequences of the UN’s rush to “protect Libya’s civilian population” last spring.

And it is why human rights investigators are arriving in Benghazi Libya this week.

“Approximately 1,085.92082238 (!) kilometers or roughly 600 miles from Cairo to Benghazi” is what the lovely travel agent who works a couple of doors down from the Swedish Café off Tahir Sq reported as she wanted this observer to take a fancy high rise double decker luxury bus to Benghazi where I was headed from Cairo. In the end I settled for sharing a dump truck at one-thired the cost across the Egyptian and Libyan desert to the Courthouse in Benghazi. It didn’t seem such a bad idea following meetings in nearby countries especially considering alternative routes which would have involved flying to Tunis, then another flight to Jerba and then the six hours jammed service ride to Tripoli. I had been there and done that more than once and needed to leave right away to meet some people who were being held in one of Beghazi’s teeming jails.

Until the NTC announced changes yesterday, anyone bearing an American passport did not need a visa to enter Libya so grateful has been the NTC for all the financial help that American taxpayers, largely unknowingliy, have supplied to NTC officials in addition to presenting them with a country with vast oil reserves and zero national debt.

One of the fortunate language usages in this part of the World is the liberal transliteration tolerances applied to Arabic which helps those challenged by the language. As is widely known there are many ways to write Arabic words in roman characters and most are accepted. But one has to listen carefully in Libya these days to grasp the important distinction between certain English words when referring to the fate of increasing numbers of supporters of the Gadhafi regime. In the current atmosphere one often hears that someone “has disappeared” which, depending on one’s political views is usually good news and it means the person is in hiding or left the area or fled the country to safety. Alternatively, it might be said that a person “is disappeared” meaning that she or he was caught by the new regime and is gone, probably, forever without a trace for loved ones to pursue.

Following meetings with Libyan evacuees (disappeared) from NATO’s nine months of bombing who are now present in nearby countries and from meetings inside Libya with incarcerated former officials and some of their family members as well as fugitive opponents of the new “government”it is clear that the current period is cascading into paroxysmal revenge attacks and political cleansing.
Those increasingly being targeted by “disappearance squads” are family members and associates, even former domestic employees such as gardeners, handymen, and household staff of former regime affiliates. Homes, cars, furniture, of former regime affiliates are being systematically confiscated. Torture has become the normal means to elicit information regarding the whereabouts of individuals thought to still be supporting the former regime. The reason, according to one former Libyan official who barely escaped one of the French squads and who now resides in Egypt, “is the same reason drones are so popular with your US military, torture works. Not 100% but it’s better than the other options.”
There appears to be a Tell Tale Heart paranoia settling in among some NTC elements who believe that if there is one Gadhafi supporter left in Libya it might mean the return of his ideas for Libya’s role via a vis the West and its re-colonization of Africa plans, control of Libya’s natural resources and its relations with the rapidly changing Middle East.

 Even Libya’s NATO managed NTC members are worried that they may be investigated by the International Criminal Court after its prosecutor said allegations of crimes committed by NATO in Libya would be examined "impartially and independently." Some western lawyers currently in Libya who are here to help victims of NATO crimes are oddly being approached by members of the new regime for discussions relating to the possibility that the ICC may come after them. This is also one of the reasons why rumors that Saif al Islam is about to surrender to the ICC are false. Saif is being advised to wait and rest because the ICC case will collapse as more facts of NATO crimes surface. Former Libyan officials in hiding are also well advised to stay safe if possible as time may be on their side.

Government officials of countries bordering Libya are being advised to allow sanctuary for supporters of the former Libyan government and to refuse extradition requests because activity currently taking place in The Hague may well pre-empt a war crimes investigation.
Tunisia is today under great pressure from NATO not to change its mind and not to decline the NTC extradition request for Libya's former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi. NATO is concerned because American lawyers recommended last month that Baghdadi apply for U.N. political refugee status with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to try to prevent his extradition from Tunisia. On 11/11/11 the UN acknowledged receipt of Dr. Baghdadi’s petition.

Other reasons the NTC and NATO are concerned is that there is currently being undertaken in the Hague an encompassing internal legal review of all incidents in which NATO bombing or other NATO or NTC actions caused civilian casualties. An American led team is nearing completion of its six month investigation which is expected to be forwarded to the ICC and made public soon

A main reason former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril resigned recently, and others will, is the pressure he has been under from Islamists and many others who remember his record as the former regimes Minister of Justice and Jibril’s concern that he may be investigated himself by the ICC for many decisions he has made over the past eight months that are now coming to light. Following his nonsense statement about how Muammalr Gadhafi was killed after he was taken into custody alive, which constituted a clear war crime, Jibril is now claiming that it was not him who gave the order to assassinate Gadhafi or even his former friend, General Younnis, but rather as he explained at a news conference yesterday, amid snickers from assembled journalists, that a third party maybe a State, or a President or leader in any way who wanted Gaddafi killed, so as not to reveal the many secrets that only Gaddafi could have known."  

Jibril did not have to mention that Gadhafi knew many secrets about himself and other NTC officials and he is not alone among NATO and NTC officials in fearing an ICC investigation.

It is this atmosphere that is significantly fueling La Terreur across Libya.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Libya. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.comHe is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.
He contribute to Uprooted Palestinians Blog

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