Who Will Stop The Settlers? By Jonathan Cook

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By Jonathan Cook
November 20, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse

Noise but no action from US over family’s eviction

The middle-of-the-night eviction last week of an elderly Palestinian couple from their home in East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers is a demonstration of Israeli intent towards a future peace deal with the Palestinians.

Mohammed and Fawziya Khurd are now on the street, living in a tent, after Israeli police enforced a court order issued in July to expel them.

The couple have been living in the same property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood since the mid-1950s, when East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. The United Nations allotted them the land after they were expelled from their homes in territory that was seized by Israel during the 1948 war.

Since East Jerusalem’s occupation by Israel in 1967, however, Jewish settler groups have been waging a relentless battle for the Khurds’ home, claiming that the land originally belonged to Jews.

In 1999, the settlers occupied a wing of the house belonging to the couple’s son, Raed, though the courts subsequently ruled in favour of the family. The eviction order against the settlers, unlike that against the Khurds, was never enforced.

The takeover of the Khurds’ house is far from an isolated incident. Settlers are quietly grabbing homes from Palestinians in key neighbourhoods around the Old City of Jerusalem in an attempt to pre-empt any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

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Moving on to Plan B – This Is Not A Normal Recession By Mike Whitney

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By Mike Whitney
November 20, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse

“The Winter of 2008-2009 will prove to be the winter of global economic discontent that marks the rejection of the flawed ideology that unregulated global financial markets promote financial innovation, market efficiency, unhampered growth and endless prosperity while mitigating risk by spreading it system wide.” Economists Paul Davidson and Henry C.K. Liu “Open Letter to World Leaders attending the November 15 White House Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”

The global economy is being sucked into a black hole and most Americans have no idea why. The whole problem can be narrowed down to two words; “structured finance”.

Structured finance is a term that designates a sector of finance where risk is transferred via complex legal and corporate entities. It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Take a mortgage-backed security (MBS), for example. The mortgage is issued by a bank (the loan originator) which then sells the mortgage to a brokerage where it is chopped up into tranches (pieces of the loan) and sold in a pool of mortgages to investors that are looking for a rate that is greater than Treasurys or similar investments. The process of transforming debt (“the mortgage”) into a security is called securitization. At one time, the MBS was a reasonably safe investment because the housing market was stable and there were relatively few foreclosures. Thus, the chance of losing one’s investment was quite small.

In the early years of the Bush administration, Wall Street took advantage of the gigantic flow of capital coming into the country ($700 billion per year via the current account deficit) by creating more and more MBSs and selling them to foreign banks, hedge funds and insurance companies. It was real gold rush. Because the banks were merely the mortgage originators, they didn’t believe their own money was at risk, so they gradually lowered lending standards and issued millions of loans to unqualified applicants who had no job, no collateral and a bad credit history. Securitization was such a hit, that by 2005, nearly 80 percent of all mortgages were securitized and the traditional criteria for getting a mortgage was abandoned altogether. Subprimes, Alt-As and ARMs flourished, while the “30 year fixed” went the way of the Dodo. Lenders were no longer constrained by “creditworthiness”; anyone with a pulse and a pen could get approved. The mortgages were then shipped off to Wall Street where they were sold to credulous investors.

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Mosaic News – 11/19/08: World News from the Middle East

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This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


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Headlines coming soon. Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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English Translation of Zawahiri’s Message November 19, 2008

Unofficial Translation of U.S.-Iraq Troop Agreement from the Arabic Text + Bitter battles ahead?

Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales Indicted in Private Prison Case in Texas

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Updated below

Democracy Now!
Nov 20, 2008

Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales Indicted in Private Prison Case in Texas

A Texas judge has set an arraignment date for Friday for Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. They were indicted this week by a Texas grand jury on state charges accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a privately run federal jail. We speak with Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra. [includes rush transcript]

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via Democracy Now! | Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales Indicted in Private Prison Case in Texas


Cheney & Gonzales: For Profit Deprivation of Liberty prisons in TX


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Strange ‘Cheney’ case takes a strange twist 20 Nov 2008 Lawyers for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were bewildered Wednesday when the prosecutor in a slew of indictments against them [Willacy County prosecutor Juan Angel Guerra] failed to appear in court. “At the very least, I expected the district attorney to be here,” Manuel Bañales said, asking Guerra’s office manager, “Do you know where he is?”

South Texas indictments of Cheney, Gonzales move forwardProsecutor who won indictments, lame duck Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra, was a no-show in court and *is missing* –Judge ordered Texas Rangers to go to his house and check on his well-being 19 Nov 2008 Texas judge has set a Friday arraignment for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a state senator and others named in indictments accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a South Texas federal detention center. Presiding Judge Manuel Banales said Wednesday he will allow them to waive arraignment or have their attorneys present rather than appear in person at the hearing. Banales also said he would issue summonses rather than warrants for the indicted since all have served in some public capacity. That would allow them to avoid arrest and the need to post bond.

Arraignment set for Cheney, Gonzales in Texas 19 Nov 2008 A Texas judge has set a Friday arraignment for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others named in indictments accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a federal detention center. Cheney, Gonzales and the others will not be arrested, and do not need to appear in person at the arraignment, Presiding Judge Manuel Banales said.


Breaking: Judge removes Guerra as prosecutor for 5 of 9 criminal cases involving Cheney, Gonzales –Texas Rangers to escort Guerra to court Friday morning after having been found in Mexico 20 Nov 2008 After being AWOL from the job [?!?] and violating sections of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct – Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel “Johnny Guerra” has been replaced in five of the nine criminal cases he convinced a grand jury to file against Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. Attorney Mervyn Mosbacker, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., District Judges Migdalia Lopez and Janet Leal, former Willacy D.A. Gustavo “Gus” Garza, and District Clerk Gilbert Lozano, along with GEO Corp., and former warden David Forrest. Presiding District Judge J.Manuel Banales has appointed Asst. Cameron County to Alfredo Padilla to handle the cases for Mosbacker, Lopez, Leal, Garza, and Lozano due to Guerra being absent from court… The Texas Rangers will likely wait for Guerra to cross the international bridge near Reynosa or catch him driving on U.S. 77 southbound from Houston, either tonight or early tomorrow. He will then be taken into protective custody and escorted to court in Raymondville tomorrow morning. Guerra could continue as prosecutor for Vice President Cheney, Gonzales, Sen. Lucio, GEO Corp., and Forrest.

English Translation of Zawahiri’s Message November 19, 2008

Dandelion Salad

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 “Fox News

In the Name of Allah, and all Praise is due to Allah, and Prayers and Peace on the Messenger of Allah and on his family, Companions and allies.

Muslim brothers everywhere: Peace be upon you and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings. As for what comes after:

Barack Obama has won the presidency of the United States of America, and on this occasion, I would like to send several messages.

First, a message of congratulations to the Muslim Ummah on the American people’s admission of defeat in Iraq. Although the evidence of America’s defeat in Iraq appeared years ago, Bush and his administration continued to be stubborn and deny the brilliant midday sun. If Bush has achieved anything, it is in his transfer of America’s disaster and predicament to his successor. But the American people, by electing Obama, declared its anxiety and apprehension about the future towards which the policy of the likes of Bush is leading it, and so it decided to support someone calling for withdrawal from Iraq.

The second of these messages is to the new president of the United States. I tell him: you have reached the position of president, and a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you. A failure in Iraq to which you have admitted, and a failure in Afghanistan to which the commanders of your army have admitted. The other thing to which I want to bring your attention is that what you’ve announced about how you’re going to reach an understanding with Iran and pull your troops out of Iraq to send them to Afghanistan is a policy which was destined for failure before it was born. It appears that you don’t know anything about the Muslim Ummah and its history, and the fate of the traitors who cooperated with the invaders against it, and don’t know anything about the history of Afghanistan and its free and defiant Muslim people. And if you still want to be stubborn about America’s failure in Afghanistan, then remember the fate of Bush and Pervez Musharraf, and the fate of the Soviets and British before them. And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them.


via Full Transcript : English Translation of Zawahiri Message November 19, 2008    : Information Clearing House – ICH

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Al Qaeda says order given for US attack far bigger than 9/11

“A Second 9/11″: An Integral Part of US Military Doctrine


Dr. J.’s Commentary: Why the Republicans Want to Kill GM

Note: new tag for all the posts on DS: Dandelion Salad Posts News Politics and/or Videos

Revised story on Dec. 17, 2008

by Steven Jonas, MD
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

November 20, 2008

Remember the original bailout package? Yes, that one was some years ago for some hedge fund or funds. The Republicans were all for that one. Several billions. Then there was the bailout/buyout package for Bear Stearns. Billions more. Lehman Bros. wasn’t so lucky (but then again it’s primarily Goldman Sachs folks who populate this Treasury Dept., not Lehman folks). Then came the broader financial sector $700 billion bailout, the first draft of which was essentially written on the back of a paper napkin. (OK, that’s an exaggeration. It was actually two-and-a-half typed pages long.) That package eventually got into a very long bill. It was eventually passed to help the investment banking sector recover from its excesses of greed in the process of securitizing mortgage loans.

The process was enabled, courtesy of McCain’s Treasury Secretary-designate Phil Gramm and the repeal of the New Deal Era Glass-Steagal Act. It had separated investment and commercial banking to forestall exactly the kind of financial meltdown that has occurred over the past six months, courtesy of investment banks not being required to have the reserves to back up mortgage loans at anywhere near the level commercial banks are still required to hold. And then there is AIG, running through government funds at a great rate, currently around $150 billion. Boy those resort/spa costs are high, aren’t they? No problem there for the Republicans.

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Unofficial Translation of U.S.-Iraq Troop Agreement from the Arabic Text + Bitter battles ahead?

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By McClatchy Newspapers
Nov. 18, 2008

Translated from the Arabic by Sahar Issa, Jenan Hussein and Hussein Kadhim of the McClatchy Baghdad Bureau. Continue reading

Vanished – How the BBC disappears the news By William Bowles

By William Bowles
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
20 November 2008

This from GazaFriends on the kidnapping of 15 Palestinian fishermen and 3 foreign nationals in international waters by the Israeli navy:

20 November, 2008 — “Darlene Wallach is in a new prison in Ramle, a men’s prison, but she’s in a section reserved for illegal immigrants.

“She wanted to pass on this information, “We were fishing about 7 miles off the shores of Gaza. The Israeli soldiers came on board the three boats via four Zodiacs. The frogmen came up and over each boat. They used a taser on Vik while he was still on the boat, then tried to push him backwards onto a sharp piece of wood. He jumped into the sea to avoid being hurt more than he already was and was in the water for quite a while.

“Then they came for me and forced me into the Zodiac at the point of a gun. They said, “You are in Israeli territory” even though is was obvious that all three boats were in Palestinian territory. They kidnapped me and Andrew and Vik and all of the Palestinian fishermen.”

“Today two women from immigration were there to see Darlene. They were very rude. Until just a few minutes ago, Darlene was refused a change of clothes and a mobile, but, thanks to Lubna and a nice woman at the prison, she now has both.

“The authorities are saying they will refuse to send Darlene to London and want to send her back to the United States. The judge said she would make a decision today so Darlene is waiting to hear the ruling. She still does not have a passport.

“She sounded fine, relieved to finally be able to talk to someone outside Israel. If you know ANY media who would like to interview her, please let me know and I will pass on Darlene’s phone number to them. This story is vitally important to get out to the public.””

A couple of days ago I posted an earlier piece from GazaFriends on the kidnapping of 15 Palestinian fishermen and three foreign nationals in international waters by the Israeli navy.

I forwarded the GazaFriends press release (and the one above) to Channel 4 News in the (vain) hope that they’d pick up the story but so far to no avail.

You’ll look in vain to find this story in the corporate/state-run media, but then this is the norm when it comes to the actions of Israel unless it’s in response to a Palestinian ‘terrorist’.

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Condition: Critical – Voices from the war in eastern Congo

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Sent to DS from Pete Masters, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) UK


Hundreds of thousands of people are on the run, fleeing a war raging in eastern Congo in the provinces of North and South Kivu. They are frightened. Many are sick or wounded. Others have been harassed or raped, or have had everything they own stolen. For more than a decade, several armed groups and the army have been fighting each other in the Kivus. The violence has made it impossible for people to lead normal lives. Life isn’t just hard in the Kivus: this region is in critical condition. And things aren’t getting any better. The destiny of everyone in this region of Congo is shaped by the war. The story of their struggle to survive needs to be told. Continue reading

Iranian General: Don’t be a launch pad for war

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad


excerpt from ‘Don’t be a launch pad for war’

Press TV, 19 November 2008

A senior Iranian official has warned that any country that acts as a launch pad for a war against Iran will face retaliation.

Iran will take “retaliatory measures” against countries that allow the US to use their territory as a launch pad for a war against Iran, the Mehr News Agency quoted Brig. Gen Massoud Jazayeri as saying.

“The US bases in the Middle East are a threat to regional countries,” he noted.

“But we have taken the necessary military measures so that the US will not be able to launch an attack on Iran from any of its bases in the Middle East,” Jazayeri stated.

Pointing to the still unfinalized Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the US, he said, “We consider any presence of foreign troops in the region to be a threat.”

He also called on Middle Eastern countries to unite in their efforts to establish security in the region so that foreign countries will have no excuse to continue their military presence in the region.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Venezuela: Right-wing seeks to undermine elections by Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy

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Posted with permission from Green Left Weekly

by Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas

15 November 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that the right-wing opposition in his country is planning destabilisation actions during the November 23 elections for state governors and mayors, according to the November 12 Ultimas Noticias.

Chavez said that the opposition is preparing “violent acts in November and December. This revolution is armed and the people are ready to defend the process. Make no mistake.”

Chavez was addressing a mass meeting in Caracas’s Teresa Carreno auditorium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of former Chilean president Salvador Allende, whose government was overthrown in a US-backed coup in 1973.

Chavez also denounced US interference in the recent municipal elections in Nicaragua. “Shut up, Bush”, Chavez said, while expressing hope that US president-elect Barack Obama was “not going to follow the same old comedy” and would “take his proper place in history, forget about imperialism, about trampling all over the world bombing villages”.

Chavez said he hoped Obama would dedicate himself to forming “a government that would work in harmony with the rest of the world”.

Chavez had earlier denounced plans by the opposition to refuse to recognise the possible triumph of candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the crucial, oil-rich western state of Zulia, where right-wing leader Manuel Rosales is retiring as governor.

Chavez claimed that “the unpatriotic Venezuelan bourgeoisie are going around making desperate moves, above all here in Zulia, where the continuity of their domination is in danger”, Ultimas Noticias reported.

“When support for [PSUV] candidate [Gian Carlo di Martino] keeps rising so strongly, they go around frightening people and saying that an electoral fraud is being prepared. Now they are preparing the ground to not recognise the possible victory of Di Martino, in order not to recognise the triumph of the Bolivarians”, Chavez added.

“They want to ignite the country again through provocations. They are going around looking for the military to stage another coup d’etat”, Chavez argued.

“They are going around looking for paramilitaries in Colombia to infiltrate our country with the intention of destabilising it.”

Chavez is leading a campaign of mass rallies and marches (caravanas) in support of PSUV candidates all around Venezuela. At large rallies of red-T-shirted supporters, Chavez has called for people to mobilise to vote on November 23, emphasising that “PSUV candidates are my candidates”.

According to the November 9 Ultimas Noticias, Chavez told a large crowd in Valencia the previous day: “We will not rest until we win. We will fight the battle to the end.”

Chavez has stressed the need to combat abstention by people who had overwhelmingly supported his government in the past, such as in December 2006 when he was re-elected president with 63% of the vote.

One year later, a high level of abstention by Chavez supporters resulted in the narrow defeat of a referendum over proposed constitutional changes that aimed to dramatically deepen the revolutionary process.

Other rallies and meetings have expressed strong support for PSUV candidates. On November 8, a big public meeting of Latin American immigrants living in Venezuela, especially Colombians, enthusiastically endorsed the revolutionary process and the PSUV as a unifying force for the continent, according to the November 9 Diario Vea.

A mass meeting of “people of the third age” (retirees and the elderly) supported PSUV candidate for mayor of greater Caracas, Aristabulo Isturiz, on November 9, the following day’s Diario Vea reported.

Summing up the campaign, PSUV director Dario Vivas stated: “Now, the only thing discussion is how to mobilise the people: From door knocking to mass action, there are various ways of closing the campaign.”


Audio: On the spot reports from Venezuela: Right-wing seeks to undermine November 23 elections


The Larger Meaning of the Venezuelan Elections by Prof. James Petras

The Larger Meaning of the Venezuelan Elections by Prof. James Petras

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by Prof. James Petras
Global Research, November 19, 2008

The Elections of November 23, 2008


The Venezuelan gubernatorial and municipal elections, taking place on November 23 of this year, are the most polarized and significant in the country’s history. A great deal has changed for the better since my first teaching invitation at the Central University over 40 years ago: The Chavez government has build hundreds of medical and educational facilities serving the vast majority of the poor, vastly reduced underemployment, subsidized food for the slum residents of the ‘ranchos’ and raised living standards for ordinary Venezuelans. Equally significant, this year a new pro-Chavez political party, the Venezuelan United Socialist Party (PSUV), with a formal membership of over a million members is facing its first test – in action in 23 states and over 300 municipalities. The elections and their results will tell us a great deal about the popular response to two conflicting versions of the recent past: Whether the government’s positive efforts toward building socialism compensates for local political and economic deficiencies or whether the pro-US/capitalist-led opposition with its control of the mass media and its new ‘grass roots’ strategies have penetrated and influenced at least some sectors of the Chavista mass base. The elections are in effect a judgment of the performance of the great majority of state and local governments ruled by Chavista incumbents as well as a political statement about the support and ‘drawing power’ of President Chavez. The outcome of these elections will have a profound impact on the future political direction of the Chavez government’s transition to socialism as well as on the possibilities of a future referendum allowing for Chavez’ re-election.

Equally important, the electoral outcome will have an important impact on the policies of the incoming Obama regime: A decisive victory or defeat of the Chavistas will entail important tactical and strategic adjustments in the new Administrations policies.

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Preemptive Policing & the National Security State: Repressing Dissent at the Republican National Convention

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by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, November 19, 2008
Antifascist Calling… – 2008-11-18

With “preemptive policing” all the rage in Washington, the whistleblowing website Wikileaks has done it again, exposing how repressive trends in the U.S. had real world consequences for democracy during September’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On November 15, the global whistleblowers published a leaked planning document “Special Event Planning: 2008 Republican National Convention,” a dense schematic used by repressors who targeted activists, journalists and concerned citizens during the far-right conclave.

Labeled “Limited Distribution/For Official Use Only,” Wikileaks believes that the dossier is “potentially legally significant due to upcoming legal cases over the mass arrests at the convention.”

Compiled by Terri Smith (terri.smith@state.mn.us) the Branch Director for Response, Recovery and Mitigation at the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency (HSEM), the 31-page file offers a veritable bird’s-eye view onto the close coordination amongst federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Pentagon’s U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) during a so-called National Special Security Event (NSSE).

The enabling authority for squelching dissent during NSSEs is partially derived from the 2006 National Security Presidential Directive-46/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-15 (NSPD-46/HSPD-15), a top secret dictate from President Bush.

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