Tanya Reinhart - For those who oppose Israeli occupation, it is clear that Sharon’s disengagement is just a plan for maintaining the occupation with more international legitimacy. However, there is one presupposition shared in all discussions of this plan - that in the process, Sharon also intends to dismantle the settlements of the Gaza strip, and return the land they are built on to the Palestinians. I should say that had I believed this might happen, I would have supported the plan. As long as the Palestinians manage to hold on to their land, under even the worst occupation, they will eventually also gain their liberation. In fact, however, the Israeli parliament voted to approve “the revised disengagement plan”, which was previously approved in another “historical meeting” of the Israeli Cabinet, on June 6, 2004. So it is appropriate to check what was actually approved at that Cabinet meeting.
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times - Whom are you going to trust: Fallujah civilians who risked their lives to escape, witnesses such as Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, hospital doctors, Amnesty International, top United Nations human-rights official Louise Arbour, the International Committee of the Red Cross; or the Pentagon and US-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi? On the humanitarian front, Fallujah is a tragedy. The city has virtually been reduced to rubble. Remaining residents, the Red Cross confirms, are eating roots and burying the dead in their gardens. There’s no medicine in the hospitals to help anybody. The wounded are left to die in the streets - their remains to be consumed by packs of stray dogs. As Iraqresistance.net, a Europe-wide collective, puts it, “World governments, international organizations, nobody raises a finger to stop the killing.” The global reaction is apathy.
Amira Hass - During the Oslo years, the illusion was spun that the burning task was to “build a state.” All the efforts of the countries of the world and their financial bolstering, the behavior of the PA and the addiction of its senior people to the symbols of sovereignty reinforced the illusion. As a state it was considered the aggressor, because of the outbreak of the uprising. Arafat’s failure since 1993 was not in that he did not become a respected and respectable head of state, of a state that did not exist. His failure was that neither he nor his movement, the Fatah, developed a liberation strategy in the new conditions of Oslo. Now, without Arafat, will there be a reversal of the policy of the accelerated annexation of extensive parts of the West Bank? Clearly it will not.
Andrew Lichterman - For a long-time U.S. peace activist, a first visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is both momentous and paradoxical. Much that might move or shock a casual American visitor already is familiar, from the terrible images of human suffering to the facts and figures about the enormous arsenals of weapons of mass destruction still held by the world’s nuclear powers. But there also is much which remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, about the horror of the use of an atomic bomb against a city, about the annihilation of a community and its people in an instant, leaving behind a sea of ashes amidst a wider circle of suffering survivors and damaged nature.
Sara Khorshid - “Listen, listen, the warplanes,” Abu Mohammed cried. I could hear the planes over the phone. “They are over us, over the house, almost 10 meters away.” Tonight is the last night of Ramadan, and tomorrow is the first day of the Islamic feast `Eid Al-Fitr. Abu Mohammed is currently in Al-Amiriyah neighborhood in Baghdad, with his family, and 4 other families who fled Fallujah a few months ago. Those in Baghdad might be better off than Fallujans still locked inside their home town, which is currently being razed to the ground by the US Army. Everything is being wiped out. “The residential areas, our houses, they are all destroyed. They bombed the hospital, the clinics, the doctors, the infrastructure, everything,” Abu Mohammed said.
Ahmed Amr - To understand Dubya’s ‘landslide’ victory over JFK, one must be conversant with American moral values. After focusing so much attention on the quagmire in Iraq, the November surprise was that the Mess on Potamia didn’t matter. While the Democrats were busy criticizing Bush’s economic record, Karl Rove saved the day with a strategic assault by a ragtag army of evangelicals - driven by a missionary zeal to save America’s very soul. Nothing less than the moral health of the nation was at stake in this election. Domestic and foreign challenges took a back seat to a holy crusade. Concerns about wars abroad and budget deficits in Washington were just diversions to blind us from scrutinizing the devil’s work in our own back yards.
Justin Raimondo - Of all the critical analyses of Seymour Hersh’s latest book, the best and most telling review appeared before Chain of Command came off the press. The Pentagon press office, in a pre-emptive strike designed to neutralize a blow they knew was coming, claimed that the book was full of “unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies” and “based upon unnamed sources”. The release goes on to claim that it was the Department of Defense, “and not Mr. Hersh” that “first publicized the facts of the abuses at Abu Ghraib” - a complete fiction. As the consequences of Rumsfeld’s frantic rush to war continue to roll in, this book could not have come at a better time. It gives us an overview of the war’s dark underside, a periscopic perspective on the depths to which our leaders have sunk in their obsessive quest to remake the Middle East into a pile of “democratic” rubble.
Walden Bello - The terrible truth is that the Republican victory, while not lopsided, was solid. Another phase of the political revolution begun by Ronald Reagan in 1980, the 2004 elections confirmed that the center of gravity of US politics lies not on the center-right but on the extreme right. But while America marches rightward, it fails to drag the rest of the world along with it. Indeed, most of the rest of the world is headed in the opposite direction. Nothing illustrated this more than the fact that in the very week Bush was reelected, a coalition of left parties came to power in Uruguay, Hugo Chavez, Washington’s new nemesis in Latin America, swept state elections in Venezuela, and Hungary served notice it was withdrawing its 300 troops from Iraq. Although the American Right is consolidating its hold domestically, it cannot halt the unraveling of Washington’s hegemony globally.
James Cogan - The collective punishment of the people of Fallujah by the Bush administration has entered its sixth day. What is taking place is not so much a battle as a homicidal rampage by the US military against every Iraqi male trapped inside the city. Since the assault began on Sunday, Fallujah men aged between 15 and 55 have been prevented from leaving. As American bombs and shells rained down, they were left little choice but to fight for their lives against the advancing US troops. An Iraqi journalist in Fallujah told Associated Press: “The Americans are shooting anything that moves.” The US forces have carried out a massive and indiscriminate bombardment from the air, making no attempt to avoid casualties among the estimated 100,000 civilians still in Fallujah. The city, a Los Angeles Times reporter wrote, is “a tableau of destroyed buildings, burned-out cars, battered mosques and piles of rubble”.
Get free membership of the World Crisis Web, entitling you to post your own views on the articles published here, and to receive email summaries of the best articles on the site, as well as analysis and comment from other key sites.
Your privacy will always be fully respected. No-one's details will ever be given, sold, or otherwise traded to anyone else.
The World Crisis Web gives you automatically updated RSS news feeds for desktop newsreaders, or to add to your web site.
Contact the editor without having to bother with e-mail.