American Samizdat Guernica
Saturday, April 27, 2002
Another installment of...

The Politics of Verticality
by Eyal Weizman


Many different types of settlements perch atop the hills of the West Bank, providing islands of biblical identity that are also strategic vantage points.

The placement of the settlements has not been a random process. They are strategic military bastions turning the Palestinians into prisoners trapped in the worlds largest Panopticon. It's also obvious that the expense the Israelis have gone to means, as Sharon has bluntly put it, the Israelis never plan to leave. The occupation will continue. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.
U.S. Blueprint to Topple Hussein Envisions Big Invasion Next Year (
The Bush administration, in developing a potential approach for toppling President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, is concentrating its attention on a major air campaign and ground invasion, with initial estimates contemplating the use of 70,000 to 250,000 troops.
August Walla... Fire House (1999, Pencil, colored pencil and ballpoint pen on white wove paper). From The Artists of Gugging at Galerie St. Etienne. "...'Gugging' is the abbreviated way of referring to the Haus der Künstler (House of Artists) at the Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital in the hamlet of Gugging, outside Vienna. The Haus der Künstler was established by the psychiatrist Leo Navratil, who began to notice that the art produced by certain of his patients far transcended the qualitative parameters of traditional art therapy. These artists, selected by Navratil with advice from local museum officials and artists (including the well-known painter Arnulf Rainer), began to publicly exhibit in the 1970s."
The Outsiders looks at the supposed connection between the work of "insane" writers such as Henry Darger, Adolf Wolfli and PK Dick and temporal lobe epilepsy:

"In Wölfli’s first work or series, From the Cradle to the Grave, he can be seen heading a world expedition that takes him across Europe, to places known and unknown. Through a second series of Geographic and Algebraic Books, Wölfli is transformed into St Adolph, who travels to magical islands and kingdoms, encountering a myriad of mythical characters and creatures. As he once explained, the narrative was composed of lost memories from the period before his mother died. 'It was after a severe illness contracted at eight years old, that is to say, from that moment on, that I directly and radically forgot everything.'
Wölfli’s fantasy world is difficult to navigate. Few readers have accepted his invitation to 'stage with me a majestic voyage, as far as or to the very farthest heavenly bodies in the realm of The Divine Universe.'"

"Darger incorporated newspaper reportage of kidnappings and murders in his graphic narrative, The Story of the Vivian Girls in what is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandecco-Angellinean War Storm, caused by the Child Slave Rebellion."

"In his private journal, Exegesis – a two million-word tract that he wrote on a nightly basis – Dick tried repeatedly to disentangle the jumbled threads. In public lectures he summarised its key finding – the need to liberate ourselves from the projected universe and to construct our own psychic worlds – and went on to claim that some of his novels – Man in The High Castle and Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said – were residual memories of an alternative state."
We hear about the Israeli settlements but there has not been any coherent reporting on just how the settlements fit into Israeli plans. This is a series of articles that shows how the Israelis have planned against the formation of a Palestinian state. They show clearly that the Israelis have never intended to end the occupation but only intend to continually strangle the Palestinians. These articles show, in graphic and pictorial detail, why Arafat was right to turn Barak down.

The Politics of Verticality
by Eyal Weizman

None of us have a coherent mental map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Architect Eyal Weizman explains why. We’re missing verticality. In this series of articles and photo-essays (published daily over a week) he paints the extraordinary, three-dimensional battle over the West Bank: from settlements to sewage, archaeology to Apaches.


Weizman introduces the experience of territory in the West Bank, which explodes simple political boundaries and “crashes three-dimensional space into six dimensions – three Jewish and three Arab”.

Since the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza strip, a colossal project of strategic, territorial and architectural planning has lain at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The landscape and the built environment became the arena of conflict. Jewish settlements – state-sponsored islands of ‘territorial and personal democracy’, manifestations of the Zionist pioneering ethos – were placed on hilltops overlooking the dense and rapidly changing fabric of the Palestinian cities and villages. ‘First’ and ‘Third’ Worlds spread out in a fragmented patchwork: a territorial ecosystem of externally alienated, internally homogenised enclaves located next to, within, above or below each other.

New and intricate frontiers were invented, like the temporary borders later drawn up in the Oslo Interim Accord, under which the Palestinian Authority was given control over isolated territorial ‘islands’, but Israel retained control over the airspace above them and the sub-terrain beneath.

This process might be described as the ‘politics of verticality’. It began as a set of ideas, policies, projects and regulations proposed by Israeli state- technocrats, generals, archaeologists, planners and road engineers since the occupation of the West Bank, severing the territory into different, discontinuous layers.

A new understanding of territory had to be developed to govern the West Bank. The Occupied Territories were no longer seen as a two-dimensional surface, but as a large three-dimensional volume, layered with strategic, religious and political strata.

episode 2: MAPS

Two-dimensional maps, fundamental to the understanding of political borders, have been drawn again and again for the West Bank. Each time they have failed to capture its vertical divisions.


Mountains play a special part in Zionist holiness. The settlers’ surge into the folded terrain of the West Bank and up to its summits combines imperatives of politics and spirituality.

Six more articles to come.
Friday, April 26, 2002
Gomer as Claudius
Emperor Bush’s empire building, American style
John Chuckman

Emperor Bush, certainly not ranking as one of the great menaces of history, but a man whose banality comes married to a decided taste for the stupid and brutal use of power. (...) so many of Mr. Bush's words and actions one also senses that same conscience-numbed, sniggering tone he used during his campaign in speaking of the scores of prisoners executed in Texas. Whether it's thousands of innocents killed in Afghanistan, murdered and mistreated Afghan prisoners, or Mr. Sharon's running a Murder Incorporated, the tone is the same. Just as with the prisoners in Texas, his emphasis is always on, not the plight of those suffering before him, but on the crimes they are presumed to be answering for.

Cinemaniac: The Ghastly World of Andy Milligan. "...Milligan churned out 29 movies between 1965 and 1988: everything from sex melodramas to gory, heavily costumed period-piece horror films, with titles like The Filthy Five and Bloodthirsty Butchers. Cheap-looking, poorly acted, incredibly talky, Milligan's features are often tough to take. But his life represents an era that is forever lost - that of the grindhouse exploitation movie hack who thrived in the seedy pre-Giuliani Times Square."
EPA Moves to Allow Mine Dumping in Waterways by Eric Pianin
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules that would let mining companies dump dirt and rock waste from mountaintop coal mining operations into rivers and streams.

The proposed rules, if approved by the White House, would provide a major boost to low-sulfur coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky and stepped-up hardrock mining in western states. They also could undermine efforts by environmentalists and community groups to fight mountaintop mining operations that they say cause unacceptable damage to rivers and streams.

Modern mining techniques enable companies to shear off the tops of mountains to reach coal veins and then bulldoze the leftover rock and dirt into nearby valleys. It is a profitable, if ecologically controversial, venture that has been limited by federal rules and court challenges aimed at restricting how much waste from these operations can be dumped in waterways.

The new rules are essentially aimed at removing these impediments, in particular regulations adopted by the Army Corps of Engineers that prohibit mining companies from disposing of material considered waste, including rock and dirt, in the nearby waterways. [more]

Somedays you have to ask yourself if it's worth getting out of bed.

it's enough to make me weep sometimes...
Mark Morford (of thinks that
Frat Boys Rule The Earth, and we're in agreement.
They may not all have pledged at university,
but they are all part of some huge, horrible & inhumane fraternity,
one I want no part of , nosirreeeee...
It's easy to get sucked in to the maelstrom of current events — down, down we go; round, round we go; deeper, deeper we go; darker, darker it gets.

But wait, there's more!

Big Bangs in the universe 'happen every trillion years'

The conventional wisdom says the universe was created from nothing by a unique "Big Bang" and has since expanded in size, eventually becoming an empty, cold vacuum.

Not according to two American scientists, however. Big Bang, they say, was not such a big deal after all. In fact, similar events occur roughly every trillion years. The universe's life is really made up of a cycle of "big bangs" and "big cycles", which suggest that it is timeless – it will never end.

I read about an astronomer who was lecturing the Dali Lama about the Big Bang. The Dali Lama corrected the astronomer, "No, its bang, bang, bang, bang, bang."

Maybe that Buddha dude was onto something after all.


Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn put on a cosmic show

A grand and spectacular line-up of the five planets visible to the naked eye will take place in the western night sky over the coming few weeks – providing a rare glimpse of all our neighbouring worlds at one go.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will make various appearances on the same night-time stage which will climax with a tight clustering of all five planets in the second week of May.

Between now and the beginning of June, the five planets will form and reform new patterns in the western sky against a background of stars. Such a gathering of the five "naked eye" planets occurs less than once every 20 years.
[read more]

That's all the planets visible to the naked eye, all hanging out together. Is that cosmic or what? Probably what.

Let's all spend a little time in the next couple of weeks looking up into the majesty of the night sky instead down into the hell that is overtaking us.
Thursday, April 25, 2002
thursday evening, watching c-span...
came across this broadcast of speaker William McDonough
at the National Press Club; happy day & lucky co-incidence,
the speech is available here, courtesy NPR. highly recommended listening,
will leave you asking yourself many questions...
Stealing Words From Bush's Mouth
Ehsan Ahrari

September 11th didn’t just give George W. Bush's administration a new focus. It gave the world the “Bush Doctrine” on fighting terror, a black-and-white litmus test to separate friends from foes in a new global era.
But ever since Bush announced he would judge nations on whether they were with the United States or “with the terrorists,” something unexpected has arisen in global politics. Bush’s rhetoric has been appropriated by key allies in two world hot spots, Pakistan and Israel, enabling these nations to pursue policies in their interest -- but not in America’s.

Indeed, the United States is now reaping what one could call the consequences of stolen words: the White House has been outsmarted by foreign leaders who have used Bush’s words to justify and deflect criticism of their policies and agendas. The cost to the United States has been a loss of corresponding credibility and influence abroad now and possibly in the long-run.
Robin Miller, a progressive freelance writer on issues of social justice
This site has an astounding collection of links and documents regarding all sorts of international issues from a progressive standpoint, including the exhaustive Research Guide to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Jesse Ventura Again Talking Medical Marijuana
Gov. Jesse Ventura is again speaking out strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, particularly for medical use
The World Famous Supreme Team (via ethel)

"Washington DC- A recent poll of 800 Americans (April 4-8, 2002, MoE +3.5%) found that the nation is vastly unaware of WHO -- or even HOW MANY -- Justices sit on the United States Supreme Court."

"Nearly two-thirds (64%) could not name a single member of the current Court, and just 32% knew that there are nine Justices. Only five people (two men, three women) in the entire survey could name all nine. In contrast, a whopping majority -- 75% -- knew there are three Rice Krispies characters and 66% proudly cited their names."

heres a page i found useful for quick reference --
Is Taking Psychedelics an Act of Sedition?

"But if you're not sure who the real enemy is, if you're inclined to ask more questions about the nature of the reality that's just swung out into a broad new arc, or if you're seeking solace and healing from trauma or debilitating stress, it could well be the time to venture out into new psychical frontiers by means of certain time-tested plants and chemicals. In fact, for some especially scarred, it might even be foolish not to, given that there might not be as much time to lose as we thought we had."

New psychical frontiers...Schweet.
Saudi to Warn Bush of Rupture Over Israel Policy

The Saudi message contained undeniable brinkmanship intended to put pressure on Mr. Bush to take a much larger political gamble by imposing a peace settlement on Israelis and Palestinians.

But the Saudi delegation also brought a strong sense of the alarm and crisis that have been heard in Arab capitals.

"It is a mistake to think that our people will not do what is necessary to survive," the person close to the crown prince said, "and if that means we move to the right of bin Laden, so be it; to the left of Qaddafi, so be it; or fly to Baghdad and embrace Saddam like a brother, so be it. It's damned lonely in our part of the world, and we can no longer defend our relationship to our people."


Once upon a time in Jenin
What really happened when Israeli forces went into Jenin? Just as the world is giving up hope of learning the truth, Justin Huggler and Phil Reeves have unearthed compelling evidence of an atrocity

The thought was as unshakable as the stench wafting from the ruins. Was this really about counterterrorism? Was it revenge? Or was it an episode – the nastiest so far – in a long war by Ariel Sharon, the staunch opponent of the Oslo accords, to establish Israel's presence in the West Bank as permanent, and force the Palestinians into final submission?
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Diplomacy US Style, by George Monbiot
Tony Blair might believe he belongs to an international coalition, but George Bush has other ideas. Bush's international war against terrorism has not stopped him from waging a parallel war against cooperation.

Two weeks ago, the US ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna failed, for the first time, to attend a meeting of the comprehensive test ban treaty. This may suggest that America is no longer prepared to abide by the rules against the testing of nuclear warheads. A week ago, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had told the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, in the hope of undermining his credibility. When the CIA failed to discover any evidence of wrongdoing, the deputy defence secretary is reported to have "hit the ceiling".

On Friday, the US government succeeded in dislodging Robert Watson, the chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr Watson had been pressing member nations to take the threat of global warming seriously, to the annoyance of the oil company ExxonMobil. Last year, it sent a memo to the White House requesting that he be shoved.

See also: Toxic Dipomacy: US unilateralism claims another victim, plus more related articles from the Guardian here.

Local Seattle activist Melissa Roberts had this to say about it: "We had five days, but we failed to prevent the ousting of Jose Bustani. We are on a runaway train. Bush is now an endangerment to US citizens and residents and must be asked to resign or be removed from office. It's gone over the edge. We are now facing the initiation of nuclear war."

Thanks to 'krokinol' for the topmost link, who titled his email: "usa planning to nuke iraq?" citing this passage:

.... It is also clear that at least three of these recent attempts to undermine international treaties are being pursued with an eye to the impending war with Iraq. As the American plans for destroying Saddam Hussein appear to involve new "bunker busting" nuclear weapons, the nuclear test ban treaty (which the US has never ratified) must be ignored. The US justification for war with Iraq is that Saddam Hussein may possess weapons of mass destruction. So the two foremost obstacles to war were Mr Blix and Mr Bustani, who have proposed non-violent methods of getting rid of these weapons. While the US government doubtless has genuine concerns about weapons of mass destruction, these are not the principal reasons for wishing to conquer Iraq.
Bush's Bay of Piglets

Viva democracia! has to be more than a slogan on a bus. Perhaps a translation should be sent to the Latin American section of the US state department for them to stick above their desks: "It's the democracy, stupid!"

Since Andrew Abb had posted about one of my favorite artists Henry Darger, I was going to return the favor and post some stuff about another great "outsider artist" Adolf Wölfli. But I see today over at Andrew's weblog that he beat me to it. So for the good people that post and read Samizdat I'm stealing "Immagini" by Wolfli from gmtPlus9 and posting it here. For more information on Wölfli check out the chapter dedicated to him in the awesome book "The Discovery of the Art of the Insane" by John M. MacGregor.
The objective of the war on terror in Afghanistan: "President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov is planning to discuss during a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin questions dealing with the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and Pakistan."
The five Caspain Sea littoral states are discussing in Ashkhabad how to divide up the sea's resources: "Common Sovereignty on Caspian, Best Choice of Legal Regime: Khatami."
"One More Attempt: In Ashkhabad, Caspian Sea to Be Shared."
"Caspian Littoral States Should Rebuff Outside Interference."
"U.S. Interference, Middle East Developments Overshadow Caspian Issue."
"Iran, Turkmenistan Hold Common Views on Caspian."
"Caspian Leaders Reach No Deal on Oil."
Read these and understand why Iran was included in the axis of evil (and notice how the Washington Post article states that Iran wants 50 percent while all the other stories state that Iran wants the sea to be divided equally and recieve 20 percent.)
Operation Destroy the Data
Why doesn't the US Media cover Sharon's real aims? Luckily the Israeli media is far freer and more nuanced. What a strange idea that is...
This report from Ramallah was first circulated on the Internet: at the time of going to press, no foreign journalist has been allowed to report from the town.

On 8 April 2002 at 1 p.m., the curfew was lifted in Ramallah for the second time in 11 days, and for a period of four hours. It gave some a chance to hunt for bread and eggs, and others to survey the damage done to their institutions, since in the previous lifting of the curfew people could barely concentrate on hunting for but not finding bread. But once locked up again, we began to wonder what the Army did inside the buildings it broke into. As gradual reports of plunder and stealing came in, many began to fear something much worse: the destruction of the institutional and cultural infrastructure of Palestinian life.

Although we don't know for sure how much of this type of destruction there has been, eyewitness reports indicate that it is all-encompassing. No doubt it will take months to assess the extent of the damage, once we emerge from the current circumstances. Here is what we know so far....

(from the new edition of London Review of Books online)

Attack on Refugee Camp Shows How Israel Fights
Politics being made on the heads of people is what we have seen in Jenin, a refugee camp of 13,000 people in a space about 500 yards by 600 yards, churned into rubble by a thousand well-equipped Israeli soldiers in pursuit of about 200 Palestinian gunmen.

As the world debated and discussed whether Sharon was a predator or "man of peace," and just after Secretary of State Colin Powell had returned home empty-handed, Jenin's reality jumped into American faces from front pages around the world.

We must give up choosing sides and examine this destruction, as the American public examined its stand on the Vietnam War after seeing a young girl in an Associated Press photo stripped naked by napalm and running in terror over 30 years ago.

The whole world is watching, and appalled--and yet, at the very same time, our own politicians are meeting with the powerful Israeli lobbyists in DC and engaging in oral sex. NPR doesn't even mention the protest outside--involving many Jews. NPR reports this after reporting about Israel's refusal of the UN squad yesterday on ATC without also airing a single voice of dissent . . . then goes into some smarmy old-time Yiddish radio thing, which I have enjoyed previously but in the context of the previous two stories which were reported without a single note of questioning, I was two quivers short of shaking with anger. Where are the hammy Palestinian-culture series? Where are the protestors to the powerful Israeli lobbyist summit? Where are the people who are outraged--all across the world (including me)--that Israel has refused the UN from investigating Jenin? What is this, the fucking Daniel Schorr Show? Schorr recently on local NPR affiliate KUOW to a caller's question regarding the use of the word "settlers" responded: "Well, they're settlers. They settle." Bullshit on you, Murrow-boy! Oh, like it's the fucking Little House on the Prairie and the Israeli settlers are building log cabins and the little girls go down to the well with their buckets . . . TRY: ISRAELI ARMY EVICTS PALESTINIAN LANDOWNERS BY ORDER OF BULLET AND THEN MOVES IN! That's not fucking SETTLING! That's STEALING! That's fucking FUNDAMENTALIST ASSHOLISM! Supported by you, America! Have a Great Day!
Is Taking Psychedelics an Act of Sedition?
To paraphrase Terence McKenna, the late shamanologist and outspoken champion of psychedelic consciousness, if you remove stress and threat, add a lot of alkaloids, and perturb the brain, it will transcend three-dimensional space and unfold into a four-dimensional matrix.
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City
Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors
America is suffering collateral damage...
Was Arafat the Problem? by Robert Wright

hi ho there fellow samizdats, dratfink has finally found his way to the promised land. now, where's that land i was promised? i want my 40 acres and a shul! uhh, nevermind, too crowded. i will wade into the fray with these four links. hopefully, they will provide you with plenty of fresh chaff for your millenarian pursuits.

US accused of weapons deals with jihad forces
When is a terrorist not a terrorist? Can you be both with us and against us?
Israel's Hamas
The mantra that Arafat crack down on terror has always been a fraud. Who is to do this cracking down? Obviously, Palestinian police, security forces and courts. But they are the chief target of Sharon’s murderous onslaught. Sharon’s strategy today is the same as it was in Beirut in 1982. He wants to destroy and discredit the Palestinian Authority so as to ensure the Palestinians are left without a credible leadership...

A short and swift article in the NY Press that gives a capsule version of Israel's inability to compromise over the W. Bank and Gaza Strip.
The real war on terrorism
Robert Young Pelton, author of "The World's Most Dangerous Places," says the U.S. military has killed "thousands and thousands" of people in Afghanistan, al-Qaida is a myth and the WTC was brought down by a "Mickey Mouse" outfit.
Peter Cook talks to the Sheffield & North Derbyshire Spectator shortly after the release of Derek and Clive (Live). "...we went to Electric Lady Studios, armed with several bottles of wine, just to see, what happened if we talked with no prior ideas into two microphones. We had no preconcieved attitudes or inensions. What emerged, on the whole was a shower of filth, with no socially redeeming or artistic value. We heard it back the next day and found it to be funny, but on the other hand we had no idea what to do with it. What we did was very practical, i.e. nothing. A few weeks later we decided to try out the same sort of rambling filth on a small audience. We did and they laughed. This time we did something; we sent a whole bunch of unedited tapes to a long time friend of mine, Christopher Blackwell, head of Island Records. He and his good lady also laughed and wondered what the hell to do with them." From The Establishment: The Peter Cook Appreciation Society.
French Street Protests Against Le Pen Grow Bigger, More Violent
Some, overnight Monday, threw Molotov cocktails, firebombs made from bottles filled with petrol. Others broke windows and telephone cabins and damaged parked vehicles. Thirteen police were slightly injured and 14 youths were arrested.
home of the brave and the land of the free-
box; and if you're a little confused by that, well, that's ok,
just a small reference to the local lifestyle...
the Berkeley City Council takes up the issue of Divestiture
and we'd be amiss...
if we didn't point you in the direction of First Blush
for the surfeit of chewy linky goodness you'll find there...
Monday, April 22, 2002
Should History Record the Unvarnished Bush? Don't read the official transcripts if you want to be entertained by his bloopers and buffoonery — you'll barely find them there. Washington Post
UC Berkeley Lectures and Events Online Audio Recordings has MP3s of lectures by luminaries like Malcolm X, Chomsky, Eco, Foucault, and Ishmael Reed. I'm listening to Huxley's "The Ultimate Revolution" lecture about scientific dictatorships of the future right now and it's pretty cool.
A Gray Davis corporate lackey wants to sell California groundwater to the highest bidder.
Robert Fisk: Fear and learning in America. "...for the first time in more than a decade of lecturing in the United States, I was shocked. Not by the passivity of Americans – the all-accepting, patriotic notion that the President knows best – nor by the dangerous self-absorption of the United States since 11 September and the constant, all-consuming fear of criticising Israel. What shocked me was the extraordinary new American refusal to go along with the official line, the growing, angry awareness among Americans that they were being lied to and deceived."
Sunday, April 21, 2002
Supporters Consider How to Increase Military Aid for Israel
The 2002 foreign aid program that Bush signed into law in January already provides Israel with $2.04 billion in military aid and $730 million in financial assistance, nearly one-fifth of total U.S. aid to the world. Some in the US congress are pressing to add greater amounts to this vast expenditure, incouding sending oil from pipelines built or protected by the United States.

If you have a fast connection and want to watch something that will really blow your mind, check out the video of this House committee meeting. This is exactly what George Washington was talking about in his final speech to the nation, when he spoke of a "passionate attachment."

In another interesting development, several Senators last week tried to tie Israeli aid into ANWAR drilling.
Bush Energy Policy Critic Ousted as Head of Climate Change Panel
The Bush administration was accused of pandering to the oil industry last night after an outspoken critic of America's energy policy was voted out of his job as chairman of the world's premier scientific body on climate change.

In a secret ballot held at a meeting in Geneva, the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change elected the India delegate, Rajendra Pachauri, as its chairman. He beat the current chairman, Robert Watson, the US delegate, by 76 votes to 49.

What Israel Has Done, by Edward Said
Despite Israel's effort to restrict coverage of its destructive invasion of the West Bank's Palestinian towns and refugee camps, information and images have nevertheless seeped through. The Internet has provided hundreds of verbal as well as pictorial eyewitness reports, as have Arab and European TV coverage, most of it unavailable or blocked or spun out of existence from the mainstream US media. That evidence provides stunning proof of what Israel's campaign has actually--has always--been about: the irreversible conquest of Palestinian land and society. The official line (which Washington has basically supported, along with nearly every US media commentator) is that Israel has been defending itself by retaliating against the suicide bombings that have undermined its security and even threatened its existence. That claim has gained the status of an absolute truth, moderated neither by what Israel has done nor by what in fact has been done to it.

Phrases such as "plucking out the terrorist network," "destroying the terrorist infrastructure" and "attacking terrorist nests" (note the total dehumanization involved) are repeated so often and so unthinkingly that they have given Israel the right to destroy Palestinian civil life, with a shocking degree of sheer wanton destruction, killing, humiliation and vandalism.

Alice's New Adventures in Medialand, by Normon Solomon
For instance, in contrast to the highly publicized case of John Walker Lindh, what about other Americans who also have been moved by religious fervor to go abroad and take up arms for a foreign government? Relocating from homes in such areas as Brooklyn, N.Y., quite a few Americans went to Israel and now serve that country's military.

This spring, no doubt, some of them have been part of the Israeli offensive in the West Bank. It is curious indeed that the same U.S. news outlets fascinated with the "American Taliban" are so uninterested in scrutinizing those Americans, who strengthen the ranks of the Israeli armed forces as they participate in the killing of Palestinian men and women and children.

Organizers Claim Largest Showing of Solidarity with Palestinians in U.S. History
Upwards of 75,000 people marched and rallied Saturday in downtown Washington D.C. for a number of causes including opposition to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Other themes included voicing dissent against the “war at home and abroad,” a reference to the war in Afghanistan and in Colombia, as well as problems with racism and discrimination against people of color (especially those of Arabic origin), and also to corporate globalization.
'Armed' Refugees Take Over Camp
Authorities in Australia say that hundreds of asylum seekers armed with home-made weapons have taken over part of the Curtin detention centre in a remote part of the country's north-west.

It follows a riot by 100 inmates at the camp on Friday, where property and equipment were damaged and a number of fires lit.

USA leads the way...
re innovations in democracy,
as perceived by Terry Jones, from the Observer UK,
If you want a free vote, ask nicely

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