American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 06, 2002
Letter From Israel
Suicidal Truths
by Ran HaCohen

Once we drop the flawed "accusation" of suicide, the moral fault of suicide bombers becomes obvious: killing innocent people. This is morally reprehensible under any circumstances. Not all suicide bombers kill innocent people, though: many of them explode next to Israeli occupation soldiers. Others target settlers, whose innocence is questionable. But true: many suicide bombers have killed and injured innocent civilians, and this is unforgivable.

Unforgivable – yes, just like the American bombing of Hiroshima (but compare the numbers). Just like the American bombing of the shelter in Baghdad in 1991, killing 400 Iraqi civilians. Just like the Israeli bombing of Kafr Kana in 1996, killing 100 Lebanese civilians. Unforgivable just like so many of the present Israeli actions in the occupied territories, in which innocent civilians are killed. Just like so many of the American actions in Afghanistan and Iraq (and elsewhere), in which countless innocent civilians are killed and injured. The question of intention is a poor refuge: if you enter Ramallah with 150 tanks, cutting water supply and medical aid, if you drop tons of bombs on Afghanistan or Iraq, don't tell me you never intended to harm civilians.
b l o g s n o b
fuck them!
Dr. Menlo, don't waste your time w/all those
increase your hit club bullshit outfits. the d'monkey
may only have a dozen regular readers, but we never
be accused of changing the nature of our beast there to
some more palatable to the unwashed masses.
apologies to the rest of you who had to put up w/that
minor rant

Isidoro Ocampo... Be a Pioneer (1937, woodcut). "...You be the first in the struggle. Has one man fallen? Have two? It does not matter! Soon others will rise up to replace them. You should be the first to raise your protest against injustice; the first in forming the union at your factory; the first in going on strike." From Libro de Lectura para el uso de Escuelas Nocturnas Para Trabajadores - Book of Readings for use in the Workers' Night Schools, México 1937.
Friday, April 05, 2002

"His name was Abood Issa Al Omari. He was 75 years old. He was shot and then denied access to medical care. He bled to death in his home."

via Palestinian IMC

Also: "This afternoon, the Palestinian Red Crescent has announced the cessation of all its operations due the ongoing and massive Israeli assaults against its hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and medical staff in all areas targeted by the current Israeli military campaign."

I received this in the mail today from regarding my primary blog:

This is an automated notifier to tell you that a member of the BlogSnob team has seen your page but we're sorry to inform you that we will not be able to display your ads in the program.

We recommend you to check the kind of sites that we accept at the following URL:

If you feel that your site qualifies for the program, but it was still rejected, do reply to this email, we'll check it out rightaway.

Do check out the blogsnob website for the active Forum, and the sport that so many members indulge in, SnobJumping.

All this and more at the blogsnob site at

Let's keep the spirit of blogging alive!

The BlogSnob Team.

And now, let's ask John Ashcroft to join us in another rousing rendition of "Go Tell It On The Mountain:"


I'm Not OK, You're Not OK, We're All Kamikazes
- A Civilized Slaughtering?
Elijah Wald

It is in the nature of war, even justifiable war, that many of its tactics are disgusting. To suggest that one's opponents' tactics are uniquely vile is the most common, clichéd propaganda, used by virtually all combatants -- but especially those whose moral stance is threatened by the fact that they are doing most of the killing. "Ah yes," one can say, "it is true that we are out-killing them three to one, but the deaths we cause are unavoidable collateral damage, while they are specifically targeting innocent bystanders." It can even sound sensible, this idea that intent is more important than results, unless you are the parents or loved ones of the "collaterally damaged."

The fact is that, tactically speaking, both the suicide bombers and those who wipe out entire neighborhoods with rockets and bulldozers are pursuing their aims by killing and demoralizing civilian populations. The imbalance is not one of virtue, but of power and technology. And, if there is ever going to be peace, both sides will have to face the fact that their enemies are human beings, many with blood on their hands, but not very different from themselves.
Meet Famous Wayne Nelson. (the site has some Geocities crap data transfer restrictions so if you can't get through try later, it's worth it)
Members of the committee that awards the annual Nobel Peace Prize regret awarding it to Shimon Peres in 1994.

In an interview with a Norwegian newspaper, committee members said they regretted that Mr Peres' prize could not be recalled because, as a member of the Israeli cabinet, he had not acted to prevent Israel's re-occupation of Palestinian territory.

One member said Mr Peres had not lived up to the ideals he expressed when he accepted the prize.

"What is happening today in Palestine is grotesque and unbelievable," said Hanna Kvanmo.

"Peres is responsible, as part of the government. He has expressed his agreement with what [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon is doing," she said.

"If he had not agreed with Sharon, then he would have withdrawn from the government."

likely we'll see more of this kind of thing
UC Berkeley's conflicts mirror Mideast's pain;
Tension growing between Jewish, Palestinian students

& this site is new to me, as of 7:50 Am this morn:
Middle East Realities

Brendan Sexton II: What's Wrong With Black Hawk Down

"The film Black Hawk Down paints the Somali people as wild savages. Elvis Mitchell, who reviewed the film for the New York Times when it opened in December, wrote: 'The lack of characterization converts the Somalis into a pack of snarling dark-skinned beasts--intended or not, it reeks of glumly staged racism.'

"I think that's an accurate description."

. . . via the always indispensable randomWalks.

The kid that wrote "What the American Flag Stands For" rules.
"The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain. School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth. Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag's real meaning remains." (via Information is Power)
Thursday, April 04, 2002

Fighting the Big Book Chains

" . . . what's going on now in book retailing is microcosmic of what's going on in the greater society.

"You probably haven't heard about it, though (which is microcosmic of mainstream media coverage of conglomerate America, but that's another column -- although I must point out the irony that the plaintiff in the case is the brother of the late CBS newsman Charles Kuralt). But anyway, in brief: Walter Kuralt, owner of a bankrupt mini-chain called Intimate Bookshops, is suing Borders and Barnes & Noble for illegal activities -- such as demanding secret discounts from publishers -- that gave them an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

"Sound familiar? Well, it didn't get much coverage either, but in another case last year, the American Booksellers Association and 26 independent bookstores sued the chains for the same thing."

Here is Walter Kuralt's website, titled: "Allegations and Proposed Reform: by Wallace H. Kuralt, Owner of the Famous, 40-Year Old, But Now-Failed Bookstore Chain," subtitled: "A NATIONAL DISASTER: THE WAL-MARTS AND MEGA-MALLS IN AMERICA, THE DAMAGES CAUSED BY THEM AND THE FACTORS USED BY THEM TO DISPEL COMPETITION, WITH APPROACHES TO SOLUTIONS."

How can I join this fight? I detest Borders and Barnes & Noble. Recently they helped inflict a new casualty among the independent bookstore community of Seattle: Beatty Books, formerly on Third a block north of the Bon. Beatty Books was my favorite bookstore in Seattle; I grieve.

Original source of above-mentioned article Fighting the Big Book Chains: Moby Lives, also recommended.

it's becoming too easy to overlook...
the shenanigans the current adminstration is responsible for,
with all the carnage and terror taking place, and I needn't
point out where and by whom, need I?
visiting bloggos favoritos whilst inbetween calls on the j-o-b,
and while at First Blush, came across link to
America's Energy Policy Question:
Did Big Oil Leave a Twenty on Cheney's Nightstand?
Wednesday, April 03, 2002
Another excellent piece from the Israeli paper Ha'aretz. Sharon would like us all to believe that Israel is the one with her back against the wall. The opposite is true.

Transfer is a clear and present danger
`The desire to transfer us has roots in the past, and in the history and ideology of certain Zionist circles, which have never given up hope of attaining this goal,' a leading Palestinian in Gaza, Dr. Haidar Abdel Shafi says.

He does not consider the idea of a population transfer as just a case of extremist brainwashing. "The Israeli authorities are today trying to finish the job they did not manage to complete 53 years ago - namely, our banishment from Palestine. The Israeli government is deliberately ignoring the Palestinians' natural right to an independent, sovereign national entity, like any other nation on earth. The Palestinians have made immense concessions, and the international community recognizes that fact. We have declared that we are prepared to settle for a quarter of the territory of the original area of Palestine. We are not prepared to make any further concessions. Our backs are to the wall."

In Shafi's view, "Israel's various governments have never given up the goal that was set by the First Zionist Congress: To take control of all Palestine. The goal of Israel's governments is to create a situation in which we will give in to the terms they are dictating to us. I simply cannot understand how far the Israeli authorities want to go and what will satisfy their appetite for expansion.

"The Sharon government has stated publicly that it wants to crowd us into about 50 percent of the territories Israel occupied in the June 1967 war - that is, about an eighth of the area of historical Palestine - and to dictate to us how we should conduct our lives. Can you call such a thing a state? Israel wants us to become a nation of refugees, a nation that it will continue to rule, and is hoping that, out of despair, we will reach the conclusion that we can no longer live here."
briefly, two good things to pass along...
The Electronic Intifada
(thanks to Meg's not so soft;
and, once again, because J. Carroll does it daily and does it well,
Old secrets & true lies.
yes, they LIE. They have a history of lying, s'not the first time and
definitely will not be the last. We're being lied to right now,
by that cheese-head passing himself off as honourable head of state
to each one of his minions, in the great tradition of Lies, Damn Lies,
and Statistics. Look at that last sentence in J.C.'s essay.
Love your country, by all means -- love, but verify.
I know you all are as tired as I am of being treated like a dumb schnook...

"no man, they treating me like some dumb putz."
"you ARE a dumb putz, ya schnook!"
"ahhhh... go vote for a republican ya putz..."

Here's a preview of a new piece I wrote. GENERATION U.

This isn’t the mid-to-late 90's, which was like some fun-house-mirror sixties, where kids dropped out of school and tuned into the rhythms of the IPO/internet-start-up/day-trader New Economy instead of the rhythms of the universe, where revolutionaries read George Gilder instead of Che Guevara, hallucinating Fortune magazine glossy visions of desktop utopias where work is a playhouse and all are watched over by the computers of loving NASDAQ. Self-loathing grunge death rockers had burned out and faded away, replaced by lip synching sex robots too beautiful and vacant unable to even think of hating themselves and wanting to die. The digital Singularity humanity was evolving towards was easy to see, getting there as predictable as Moore’s Law.

After a few heady years some cracks in the new paradigm began to appear, hinting that all was not quite right in info-age: the surprising comeback of the disaffected masses in Seattle, the NASDAQ crashing harder than Robert Downey in police custody and the shifty military dictator antics of Bush Coup 2000.

That idea something might be happening was easy to ignore, just cut back on the espressos, catch some more zzz's and hopefully the paranoid thoughts will go away.

When planes hijacked by young men dreaming of fleshly paradise flew into the symbols of American military and financial dominance on 9/11 the realization that everything has changed and a new zeitgeist was upon us was as impossible to ignore as the images of death and destruction being psychically driven into your mind.

Now your everyday life is more like some direct-to-Christian video store adaptation of the Book of Revelations than an episode of Friends: anthrax has usurped your credit card bill as the scariest thing that might appear in your mailbox, ponzi -economies implode, non-linear wars explode, and America becomes an EMPIRE, the Empire that WSJ editor Max Boot calls “an attractive Empire, the one that everyone wants to join,” until you’re inside it of course, and you’re getting a little spooked out with all the talk of microchip implants, the blatant suspension of civil liberties and the Bush Youth volunteer citizen corps that are monitoring the black Marxist professor on your block. The fact that clones are being born every week and that the world is getting so hot that the polar ice caps are melting faster than Michael Jackson’s face almost seems like small beer when your wondering when WW3 is going to begin.

No one gives a flying fuck about the revolutionary potential of motor scooters anymore.

So it’s natural for youth culture to change also. Generation X has finally got its shit together and become their parents with nose rings and a bag of grass, and the frosted hair, breast implants and cellphones of marketing construct generation Y seems empty and irrelevant as the Oscars.

The exact details at this point are impossible to predict, but I do know that recession instead of boom-times and war instead of peace will spawn a new generation that’s edgier, darker and more paranoid, but also more intelligent and street wise, looking more like the Dickensian street whelps that coalesce in art neighborhoods and the center of every city than soap opera actors.

So get your quarters ready, soon Generation Urchin is going to be everywhere.

His boundless shadow extends
Over Paris and distant coasts.
What then is this grey-eyed ghost
Whose silence surges within?
Might it be you, Fantômas,
Lurking upon the rooftops?

Fantômas Lives.
Tuesday, April 02, 2002
One-way helicopter ride anybody?
sometimes I've to laugh to keep from cryink lik'a baby...
Sharon proposes one-way ticket into exile for Arafat;
how about we offer them BOTH that ride?
Latest news just in: After the Palestinian Authority (PA) a few weeks ago started debating as to whether Ariel Sharon should be allowed to travel to the United States, today the PA has decided that Sharon will be allowed to leave Jerusalem. Several sources confirm the rumour that the PA is even willing to pay for Sharon's one-way ticket. Problem is that nobody in Ramallah seems to know where to find money for the ticket. Yasser Arafat suggested pawning a few apartment blocks in the Arab University area in West-Beirut, but a senior adviser whispered in the Palestinian leader's ear that the year is 2002 and that the war is about Palestine this time, not about Jounieh. One Palestinian who suggested that he could sell a few dunams of land to Jewish settlers to raise the money, was shot immediately.
Yes, Palestinian politicians and spokesmen are generally no match for their Israeli colleagues when it comes to smearing opponents. It's also true that Israeli journalists generally produce much better stories and newspapers than their Palestinian colleagues. The good thing is: one of the best newspapers covering the Middle East is (in my opinion), the Israeli daily Ha'aretz. The stories by people like Akiva Eldar, Amira Hass and Gideon Levy put the work of most foreign correspondents to shame.

Today, Aviv Lavie has a story, named: The war looks different abroad - and maybe so do the facts. Excerpts:

"Israel looks like an isolated media island, with most of the reporters drafted into the cause of convincing themselves and the reader that the government and army are perfectly justified in whatever they do. ...
Both in New York and Tel Aviv, when journalists cease collecting facts and asking questions, and instead turn to beating the war drums - yesterday, Ma'ariv editor Amnon Dankner ran a front page article devoted to smashing, killing, trampling and destroying - it's time to say good-bye, at least in the meanwhile, to a free press.
After the war, in a week or two, or a month, or maybe much longer, reporters will have to confront the things they wrote and said. Or maybe they won't. The archives are full of dusty folders full of the articles that appeared before the Yom Kippur War, and those extolling the consensus around the invasion of Lebanon. Nobody has yet really paid for what was written then, and already a new bill is mounting."

Uh Oh...
he's baaa - aaaack...

(talking 'bout ourowndamnself o'course)
a couple of items offered up here, in the spirit of the day.
from our own beloved U.S. of A. Department of State,
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
Israel and the occupied territories
this from Human Rights Watch,
Israel, the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip,
and Palestinian Authority Territories
Ignorance is the Enemy
JP, thanks for pointing us to yet another American idiot who seems to take the US corporate press at face value. You wanna see a real American IDJIT, world? Look no farther than the BARDCODEKING! With an intelligence etched via Etch-a-Sketch, oh he's sure to amuse!

No, but seriously folks, while the Ultimate Bonehead Dubya blathers on about "pathways to peace" (HEL-FUCKING-LO!) and the entire US administration sternly tells Arafat to "stop the violence" (while even Caspar Weinberger believes--among scores more--that Arafat can't control EVERY SINGLE DISAFFECTED PALESTINIAN FUCKING DUH!) let's look at the NUMBERS, shall we?

Dead Israelis: 400+

Dead Palestinians: 1200+

Now, if you can fucking COUNT, you can clearly see who the fucking terrorist is here. The hidden conceit buried within the US portrayal of this conflict is this: Israeli lives hold more value than Palestinian lives. Israel = South Africa circa 1980's, but worse.

ahhhh, shall one remain above the fray...
& ignore the taunts, as the blood dribbles from my wounds...
To my fellow harbingers here, I promise I'll not sully this effort
with any more material regarding my "friend" (ouch! now that REALLY hurt!)
other than provide this link to our , ahhh.... initial discourse.
oh c'mon you guys, can't you agree to disagree?
Monday, April 01, 2002
that tears it
apologies to all of you in advance, for submitting this
example of simplistic drivel passing as thoughtful commentary:

And just as John F. Kennedy visited a West Berlin under Communist siege in 1961 and declared, "Ich bin ein Berliner," so we Americans should now be standing up for our friends in Israel and saying, "I am an Israeli." The Israelis believe in democracy and human rights and tolerance for other religions and cultures. The Palestinian terrorists opposing them believe in none of those things. The Israelis are like us. The Palestinians are not.
Anyone who believes there is any chance of peace in the Middle East anytime soon is obviously high on drugs.
And that Adam Shapiro character who went to Yasser Arafat's compound the other day is no better than John Walker Lindh. Adam apparently got the wrong name at birth; is "Benedict" a good Jewish name?

more? visit the barcodeking himself
Super Hitler and Super Stalin have at it. Whoa! Super Stalin kicks butt! Stalin. A comic by Alexei Lipatov. And, wow... Russian for diabolical laughter is, "Xa Xa Xa Xa Xa."
Sunday, March 31, 2002
One thing that's not really being reported on during this weekend's coverage of the escalating Israeli/Palestinian conflict is that Israel has occupied the Temple Mount. Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount (revered by Muslims because it is where Muhammad ascended to heaven and by Israelis because it is the location of the ruins of King Solomon's Temple) was one of the causes of the current Intifada. Some believe that when Temple of Solomon is rebuilt (and the Al-Aqsa mosque currently there is destroyed) the apocalypse will be triggered climaxing with the return of the messiah. According to Adam Parfrey's Extreme Islam Freemason's had tried to buy the mosque for 100 million in 1968 for this purpose. And that the red heifer (as prophesied by the Torah: "The Lord hath commanded saying: Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.") which is needed to purify the rebuilt Temple has already been born.
it occured to me on my way home this Am...
that tomorrow is April 1,
and I think I'm going to be paying some substantial taxes this year.
Then after I put away the groceries and before I did the dishes,
I stopped by a few places, mostly sites of friends & comrades,
and this caught my attention, and I know, with absolute certainty,
I could not have put it any better.

James Thomas... Cuyahoga River on Fire (November 3, 1952). From Fires on the Cuyahoga River - part of The Cuyahoga River Online Exhibition at the Great Lakes Industrial History Center.

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