Manama, February 19, 2011. Bahrain’s capital, Manama, descended into scenes of bloody chaos last night after the kingdom’s army opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters near one of the city’s main hospitals.
Medics at Al Salmaniya Hospital said they were overwhelmed with the number of casualties, with over 100 people being admitted suffering gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. As doctors struggled to tend to victims, the entrance of the hospital was thronged with angry protesters denouncing King Hamad Al Khalifa and his regime.
Robert Fisk: Obama Administration Has Been Gutless and Cowardly in Dealing with the Mubarak Regime
The renowned Middle East journalist speaks from Cairo on the historic uprising and how President Obama has lost an opportunity to back a democratic movement in the Middle East. “One of the blights of history will now involve a U.S. president who held out his hand to the Islamic world and then clenched his fist when it fought a dictatorship and demanded democracy,” Fisk said. [includes rush transcript]
Cindy holds a very in-depth interview with British journalist, Robert Fisk, who has been living in the Middle East and reporting from there for decades. He is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent and has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported from the United States’s attack on Afghanistan and the same country’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fisk holds more British and International Journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. Continue reading →
When Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead in his Dubai hotel room last month, the death was chalked up to natural causes. But evidence revealed in the past few days indicates that the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, may have been behind the murder – and the details have sent shockwaves around the world. No one believes it will be the last Mossad assassination in the Arab world, but will the incident be swept under the carpet this time? Riz Khan speaks with Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for the UK daily The Independent, and Yossi Melman, the intelligence and military affairs correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, who co-authored ‘Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel’s Intelligence Community’.
We discuss the motives behind granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, the US president. Does he deserve the prize? And what has he achieved? Or was the award granted in the hope he would succeed in the future?
A new trade deal is set to gloss over the murder of 1.5 million people
In the autumn of 1915, an Austrian engineer called Litzmayer, who was helping build the Constantinople-Baghdad railway, saw what he thought was a large Turkish army heading for Mesopotamia. But as the crowd came closer, he realised it was a huge caravan of women, moving forward under the supervision of soldiers.
The 40,000 or so women were all Armenians, separated from their men – most of whom had already had their throats cut by Turkish gendarmerie – and deported on a genocidal death march during which up to 1.5 million Armenians died.
Famous British journalist Robert Fisk spoke to RT on his bombshell report, which caused the dollar to plummet. He says that the thunder of denials that the greenback is to be dropped in oil deals was expected, but the information he published was correct.
Such large financial movements will have major political effects in the Middle East
The plan to de-dollarise the oil market, discussed both in public and in secret for at least two years and widely denied yesterday by the usual suspects – Saudi Arabia being, as expected, the first among them – reflects a growing resentment in the Middle East, Europe and in China at America’s decades-long political as well as economic world dominance.
Nowhere has this more symbolic importance than in the Middle East, where the United Arab Emirates alone holds $900bn (£566bn) of dollar reserves and where Saudi Arabia has been quietly co-ordinating its defence, armaments and oil policies with the Russians since 2007.
Robert Fisk lit the fuse with his hyperventilating narrative which appeared in Tuesday’s UK Independent titled, “The Demise of the Dollar”. The article went viral overnight spreading to every musty corner of the Internet and sending gold skyrocketing to $1,026 per oz. Now every doomsday website in cyber-world has headlined Fisk’s “shocker” and the blogs are clogged with the frenzied commentary of bunker-dwelling survivalists and goldbugs who’re certain that the world as we know it is about to end.
“In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
Of course there will be an inquiry. And in the meantime, we shall be told that all the dead Afghan civilians were being used as “human shields” by the Taliban and we shall say that we “deeply regret” innocent lives that were lost. But we shall say that it’s all the fault of the terrorists, not our heroic pilots and the US Marine special forces who were target spotting around Bala Baluk and Ganjabad.
When the Americans destroy Iraqi homes, there is an inquiry. And oh how the Israelis love inquiries (though they rarely reveal anything). It’s the history of the modern Middle East. We are always right and when we are not, we (sometimes) apologise and then we blame it all on the “terrorists”. Yes, we know the throat-cutters and beheaders and suicide bombers are quite prepared to slaughter the innocent.
1) Ashkelon, Past and Present. Article by Robert Fisk and Blog post by Benny Tzffer
2) Ali Abunimah: “Inheriting Bush’s Blinkers”
3) Safa Jouudeh, in Gaza, has published her third piece
4) Ghada Ageel: “I can’t hug my mother in Gaza”
5) Starhawk: “On Gaza”
Ashkelon, past and present:
Below are two pieces that address the Palestinian history of Ashkelon, a city in the news lately for the qassams falling there, causing the death of at least one person. One of the backstories of this historic town is that it was home to tens of thousands of Palestinians who were expelled to Gaza by Israeli forces in 1948 and the early years of Israeli statehood. 80% of Gazans come from refugee families with roots inside of Israel proper. This history does not justify the rocket attacks. The people under threat of rockets from Gaza aren’t responsible for designing or executing Israeli policy in Gaza; they are innocent civilians. What the history does give us, though, is yet another angle from which to look at this conflict and more layers of human life to sift through as we try to understand its meaning and implications for the many generations of people whose lives it effects.