enemy of the state
one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Sunday, September 10, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa
Cell Phones Are the New Barbie

Some may recall that on the recent occasion of my birthday, Madame and I were presented with new cellular telephones. This coincided with some provider changes Madame had made, for a variety of reasons, all of which can be summed up as "more services, less money."

The telephones are called Nokia 6103 and they are very modern, little, and cute. They are so small, in fact, that we were also given devices to keep them affixed to our persons, and each telephone also has its own wardrobe of clothing. Pale pink and blue for Madame, black and brown for me.

I do not believe that my telephone needs so many clothes. In fact, the task of performing valet services for it has consistently been performed by someone other than myself. From time to time either Madame or a descendant will change its vestments from black to brown or vice versa.

Madame, on the other hand, would not even think of allowing her telephone to go through a week, much less life, with only two outfits, both leather, of all things, how the poor thing must be suffering in this heat!

And so after examining the construction of the diminuitive phone-clothes, and hmmphing a bit, taking a few more measurements of her own, because fit is essential to being well-dressed, whether one is an elegant lady or a cellular telephone, she immediately set about the business of designing and creating an extensive wardrobe of appropriate rainment for her telephone, matching or harmonizing with her own favorite ensembles, and has begun embroidering at least one of them, that it not suffer the shame of finding itself under-dressed on more festive occasions.

It is just a matter of time before I find that the simple two-outfit sartorial inventory of my own phone will have expanded to include haute phone-couture suitable for any and all events it might attend, and I also know that this is only the beginning, and before I know it, each phone will have its own walk-in closet, and a jewel safe.

Speaking of jewels, as you may imagine, some of my descendants are elders themselves, and one of them was recently presented with a Bedazzler by a well-intentioned but sanity-challenged individual, and since that inglorious day, we have all been under near-constant siege, and have had to take great pains to protect ourselves from Bedazzlement, and predictably, I suppose, Madame's well-turned out telephone is a particularly sought-after target.

Madame, of course, does not object to the idea of pearls on her telephone. On the contrary, she has already begun some sketches - but as she points out, pearls are to be incorporated into the embroidery of a piece, not Bedazzled onto it willy-nilly!

That we are a family whose history includes, in every generation, a very impressive number of very gifted practitioners of the textile arts makes the descendant's descent into Bedazzlism all the more strange and alarming. Her siblings are conspiring to talk to her. Perhaps, they say, she needs counseling. They have arranged for her several sessions with one of the family's most reknowned embroidrerers, almost in a league with Madame, who has recused herself because she believes, and with good reason, that the telephone would be too much of a distraction. Just the knowledge that it, and its clothes, were nearby would be too much for the patient to bear, even if it were not affixed to Madame's person.

Madame has strong views on the affixing question. Politely declining the traditional "swivel clip" method, once the phone has been dressed in the outfit appropriate to her own attire, she prefers to wear it suspended from a gold chain worn round her neck. Or, of course, a silver chain, if the accessories of the day so decree, unless those accessories include the mixing of metals, and no doubt a host of other very important factors that I am too simple to comprehend, though I am sure that undertones are a consideration.

The younger descendants sneer at the new phones. The camera, they say does not have a zoom, and one can record only a few seconds of video, and with only 4 MB of memory, how is anyone supposed to download enough ring-tones even to keep current with a week of mood changes? But, they acknowledge, it is probably all right for us old folks, since in our ancient way, we use the phones mostly for talking.

Since so far, the only photos Madame and I have taken have been of each other, to make into our cell telephone wallpaper, I am obliged to concur with the young folks. They are quite adequate for our needs, and I am confident that by the time I ever get around to reading the FM in its entirety, they will have been superceded by even newer phones that are even littler and cuter and are capable of doing even more things, and we will also use those mostly for talking. And in Madame's case, accessorizing. Cell phones are, after all, the new Barbie.

In addition to clothing and affixing-to-the-person devices, the telephones came with dentures. I suppose it is a sort of denture, because it is called a Blue Tooth. Or something is called a Blue Tooth, which I am told is a technology, and is represented on the physical plane by a device that looks like a very old-fashioned hearing aid, and I believe it is to be worn in much the same way. It enables the wearer to join the millions of people who walk around in public apparently talking to the air like someone living with mental illness, ears adorned with the old-fashioned hearing aids.

Again the younger descendants are scornful. It is Plantronics, they say, which is bogus. Motorola or somebody makes much cooler looking ones in more colors. We had been given only one, to see how we adapt to wandering around the streets conversing with the air, hands free to hold our phones aloft to photograph something, but upon hearing that the hearing aid looking things are available in a version that is little and cute like the phone, and in a variety of colors, Madame's interest has increased. I suppose she will want to coordinate her hearing aid lookalike with the different costumes sported by her phone.

The descendants acknowledge that the Plantronics device has better sound quality, but priorities are priorities. Madame says she might not mind sacrificing sound quality either, but only if the Motorola company's smaller and sleeker option is available in the correct shade of lilac, or if she can at least make clothes for it.

We have not yet inaugurated this new technology. We are still getting used to our new telephones and their clothes, and their being so little and cute.

Since while my vision has sunk to a level that can only be called "vestigial," I am able to hear eggs being cracked in Fiji, I believe I will get a kick out of walking around the hood wearing something that looks like an Eisenhower-era hearing aid, so I have been reading up on the process of initializing the Blue Tooth.

It appears that the first step will be something called "pairing" which sounds like a very private process that the telephone and the hearing aid should be able to do by themselves if they are clad in tasteful but alluring hand-made lingerie and left overnight in a secluded bureau drawer decorated with a few rose petals, maybe a little Barry White on the CD player, but this is not the case. I shall have to push, in correct sequence, several of the near-microscopic buttons on the smartly attired telephones, and my thumb is still in training.

posted at 11:28 PM

Thursday, August 24, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Americans are not malicious, so why didn't they Resist?

America is all about business. When you talk to most people, the first thing they will tell you about themselves generally has to do with their family, their home, or their interests.

When you talk to Americans, the first thing most will tell you about themselves is what they do to make money. That is how they define themselves, what they do to make money and how much of it they make by doing it. "What do you do?" is the first question most will ask each other when getting acquainted, and it is understood that "do" means "make money."

Among American atrocity apologists, one of the most popular and accepted justifications for the commission of atrocities is that the perpetrator did what he did in the hope of receiving a benefit.

I have even seen Americans who were in favor of the Iraq crusade but now oppose it because they are not included in the beneficiaries. They feel deceived and robbed, they had thought that they too would be receiving a benefit, usually cheap gasoline.

I don't think of this as malice exactly, just a sort of cultural solipcism. The very same people who were in favor of the crusade in Iraq until it became apparent that they would not be receiving a benefit are not being malicious, just honest. If you asked any of them to commit an atrocity on their next door neighbor, the vast majority would refuse, I think, even if you told them it would help the war on terror, or that their favorite politician desired it, even if you offered them money or promised them cheap gasoline.

The reality of what they purchase with their tax dollars is not real to them. The victims are not real to them, for one thing, they are far away, strange looking people they see on TV who wear funny clothes and do not speak English. They are not really perceived as human.

Add to this the fact that photographs or video that show the reality of atrocities are considered by most Americans to be in "bad taste."

US corporate media goes to great lengths to protect their viewers from blood, even the blood of Americans. They will warn sensitive viewers before doing a report on the site of an automobile accident if there are bloodstains on the highway.

I believe that this very resistance to anything that might cause them to think, to reflect, on the humanity of their victims, the reality that for many people, it is "911" every day, and that this is done in their name, with their money, and that these are activities from which they had hoped to receive a benefit, is an indication that it is not malice.

There are some, certainly who are malicious, who will very openly call for genocide, who quite simply hate people from certain ethnic groups and wish them dead. And yes, signing up for the crusades is a very appealing notion to these individuals and many of them do so.

Others are the proverbial "chicken hawks" who prefer to cheer from their keyboards or armchairs the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, against humans whose humanity they do not recognize, or if they do, want them dead anyway.

But this particular sector of the American populace is a small minority, as the crusade recruiters have discovered to their chagrin.

Most mainstream Americans are not inclined or interested in personally doing harm to anybody, they simply do not think of their warlords' activities in those terms.

Some of the quaint cultural quirks that Americans are famous for, such as an exaggeratedly insular view, pride in ignorance of pretty much anything very far from their own immediate reality and experience, when combined with a cliched rah-rah "nationalism" that even old imperial Englishmen would envy, could not be more advantageous to the warlords.

To actually resist what they consider their "government" is not something that would occur to them, any more than the reality of an Iraqi mother holding the bloodied remains of her child occurs to them, when they think or speak about their "war on terror."

They believe what they are told, by their warlords and their corporations, not because they are stupid, but because to not believe them is simply not in their nature. Of course America is Number One. Of course America is an Exception. And of course the whole world should be grateful to America, and put American interests before their own. Because America is Number One, and is going to prevail in the war on terror.

Recently, some of them have broken through this cultural bubble, have looked around them and contemplated what all their plastic Wal-Mart junk actually represents.

They have read about history that was never taught to them in schools, and they have come to see the people of Iraq, of Afghanistan, of Palestine, as real human beings, they have come to see Arabs as real human beings, Muslims as real human beings, and as a result, set forth upon a journey as painful as it is liberating, as wrenching as it is empowering.

They have looked beyond their kitchen window and sought to see the world as it is, not as Wolf and Lou and their politicians and their corporations tell them it is, and the gap has left them reeling.

Their reactions have been as individual as they are, some have become active in anti-war activities, others have noticed the suffering a few blocks from their own homes, and have set about to do what they can to relieve just a bit of it, for one person, for two, a dozen.

Some, not quite ready to make the leap, have attempted to make themselves devotees of this or that politician, still struggling with the last membrane of that bubble, until they learn their idol's views on Iran, on Palestine, and their tears dissolve that last membrane, and they are free.

Free to Resist.

It is these courageous folks that would have formed a Reform movement in the US, if there were enough of them to form one, if the world had ever known of their existence, there would have been plenty of people willing to help.

It is a sad irony that while they became aware of the world, the world was never made aware of them.

And it is even sadder that their countrymen who today revile them would one day have listened to their grandchildren learning their names, writing reports on them: American Heroes of the 21st century.

It is not possible to praise them enough, not possible to pay them the homage they deserve.

It is not possible to listen to them tell of their struggle, gaze on the person they have become, consider what they came from, what they had to break free from, and not be humbled.

posted at 1:58 PM

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization: Grim Realities of The Situation

An internet friend sent me the link to an article today. In many ways, it is not unique, there have been several in recent days, many, like this one, written by Israelis for Israelis.

My main issue with them is that they do appear to buy into the rather odd "Hezbollah hath bowed the mighty Israel" propaganda meme, I confess I am at a loss as to whose interests this is meant to serve. I have emails from the east that make the rather facile suggestion that there is some desire to make people in the Middle East overconfident and then slam down hard, and that is possible, however, it seems rather unecessary. If what US-Israel wishes to do is slam down hard, they have but to do it.

It is rather absurd to suggest that a handful of rockets would seriously present such a deterrent to such a weaponry super-power as Israel. Obviously, they were losing more men than they wished, and perhaps somebody in the Israeli government was getting skittish about popular support for the operation.

Yet that too sounds odd. Since when did the Israeli public object to such "operations?"

But let us, for the sake of argument, assume that that is the case. Israel has cranked it up before, and it could crank it up again. Israelis suffering from shock. There were even some Israeli civilian casualties that could easily have been autobiographied repeatedly not only on Israeli TV but on the US news channels as well.

The more considered opinions whispered in both east and west reference The Situation. The entire Lebanon show was nothing more than a run-up to a larger bombing campaign in Iran, and it is felt, for whatever reason, that it will be preferable to merely have Lebanon mission-creep itself Iran-ward, as opposed to putting the press on alert a week in advance and having them all fly to Teheran and get stiff necks watching the sky, each hoping to break first with those initial blasts.

Iran, says the west every five minutes or so, is "behind" Hezbollah. As if Hezbollah would have folded and died long ago were it not for those evil Iranians.

Which invariably reminds me of the small but very interesting faction who claims that Iran, or at least certain parties there, have been conspiring with Israel for some time now. That would certainly account for Iran's failure to provide Hezbollah with better weapons, maybe even some newer than 3 or 4 decades old. Or perhaps Iran is, as they say, giving very limited backing to Hezbollah. Perhaps Iran is more concerned with The Situation as it will impact Iran, and has a very limited budget of backing energy for the Lebanese Resistance.

One grim reality for Hezbollah, and for any other Resistance entity: they cannot win.

The US and Israel simply have more powerful weapons and more of them. Fighting back against an occupation is not winning, except in a very intangible go down fighting sense. Winning would be sending the other side scurrying back home, tail tucked firmly between legs, and that is not what Israel has done. They have successfully re-occupied Southern Lebanon, dug in their heels, and to top it all off, they will soon be joined by international troops who will assist them in occupying Lebanon, station themselves in the line of Resistance fire to protect Israeli gunmen, and details are being worked out now that will extend the mandate of those troops to include killing Lebanese nationals who resist the occupation, while Israel continues to conduct its "military operations" inside Lebanon with impunity.

This is hardly what one editorial writer described as "re-drawing the Middle East."

While it is undeniably an encouraging sign to see any entity in the region even attempt to stand up to Israel, after decades of region-wide submission to western hegemony, albeit said submission has become increasingly costly to maintain. This is one reason for the popular-in-the-east "conspiracy theory" that all the "Hezbollah kicked Israel's ass" propaganda is a deliberate strategy to lure other would-be, nascent and inchoate Resistance entities to move out into the open, emboldened by the "success" of Hezbollah, so that they can be more easily mowed down, kind of like the strategy employed recently by Israel of leafletting areas, telling the residents to leave immediately or be bombed in their homes, then blowing up the roads as they filled with fleeing refugees. This strategy, goes the speculation, is intended to facilitate the inevitable attack on Iran.

Almost every speculation, theory or musing always leads back to that grim reality of The Situation: that inevitable attack on Iran.

Whatever the actual plans being laid in Washington may be, one interesting aspect of this phase of The Situation is that it appears that a number of Israelis have also bought into the "Hezbollah won" meme, and as a result, have been giving their own Situation quite a bit of thought that meanders into some areas that are quite off the beaten path of typical Israeli bits of thought.

The piece my friend sent me is a good example of this:

...something about terrorists changes over time when they actually are faced with the real challenges of governance. When they are faced with actual constituents, with diverse needs and diverse belief systems, and little real taste for the iron fist and the religion of rifles and explosives.

It is too convenient for many of us, rightists here and abroad, to dismiss the Arabs as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers....
It is impossible not to feel for Israelis who make the effort to move beyond labelling Hezbollah as "terrorists," however, they, as must the "non-west" accept another reality as well:

...If the fossil right is to be believed, then, there's no hope for any of us. If what we are facing 200 million terrorists, as the fossil right would have us believe, there's no hope for the right, either.....
The vast majority of Americans and Israelis are sadly, according to the author's criteria, members of that "fossil right." They are not interested, to say the least, in making such distinctions as referenced in the earlier quote from the same piece about "terrorists" evolving into governing entities. Whatever comparisons anyone wishes to make about South Africa or Ireland, as far as mainstream American and Israeli opinion is concerned, Hezbollah opposes the occupation, Hezbollah resists it, fights back against Israel, and therefore the US, therefore they are terrorists, and therefore they, and everyone who "supports" them, must be killed.

This grim reality sums up the west's "war on terror" very nicely. The war on terror is in reality a war against any entity who opposes US policies, US hegemony, US "exceptionalism," the US as the boss of earth.

It is an endless cycle. US policy includes invading and occupying other countries. All opposed are terrorists, and the US has declared war on terror. The US has declared war on any and all who dare oppose it. You are with us, Bush repeated after his earpiece, or you are with the terrorists.

And thus was born another grim reality: billions more terrorists than anyone in Washington can even imagine.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea, so many people in the east buying into this propaganda meme of "Hezbollah won."

Maybe it will inspire Resistance where there has been none, or none to speak of.

Unfortunately, that will not alter The Situation, the grimmest reality of all, It will only mean that more of us will go down fighting.

posted at 7:02 AM

Friday, August 18, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Formerly Divided Americans Unite in Support of Zionist Atrocities

Over the past month, as the US has moved forward toward Operation Iranian Liberation, deploying its Israeli assets in a brutal re-invasion and occupation of Lebanon, the reaction of Americans has been fascinating to observe.

While at least according to some polls, support for the Iraq crusade may have begun to soften in recent months, especially among those Americans who consider themselves "moderate" or the term they are more likely to favor, "progressive," (I could easily do an entire rant on what the various factions crowded onto the four inch balance beam of the American political spectrum like to be called) the recent slaughter spree of US proxy forces in Lebanon just may have turned that around, reviving, if such was needed, America's enthusiasm for its "war on terror."

This phenomenon is perhaps nowhere more easily observed than on the internets, where as the first bombs began to fall on Lebanon, the famous cyber-armies of "defenders of Israel" were on the case! Pre-emptively heading off any potential critics at the pass, what they lack in eloquence more than compensated by extra zeal and ardor, these fighting keyboardists quickly reduced any temptation on the part of the more maverick cyber-thinkers to express any opposition to burning the flesh off Lebanese children to soft little mewlings of "maybe Israel overreacted a bit..."

It is worth pointing out that what Israel "may have overreacted a bit" to, for those unfamiliar with the story, is the ostensible capture by Lebanese not in the employ of the recently installed US puppet regime of a couple of Israeli gunmen, just conducting a routine military operation in Lebanon.

Of course, such an action must be referred to as a "kidnapping." "Capture" is a term reserved only for individuals seized by US or Israeli gunmen. And of course, Israel is free to conduct its military operations in Lebanon any time it wants to. It is, after all, Israel.

Israel was, therefore, obliged to launch a full-scale invasion and re-occupation of Lebanon, complete with 24 and 7 aerial bombardment, including the use of white phosphorous and other new, improved chemical agents, cluster bombs and the expected accoutrement of the most moral army in the world.

That is, of course, the western orthodoxy of events. Which, as western orthodoxies of events are wont to do, have some differences from the facts.

Facts, however, are irrelevant in the war on terror, and affinity for or use of them is frequently a sign that the speaker is in fact a terror sympathizer whose sole aspiration in life is to Push Israel Into The Sea.

It seems increasingly difficult for me to write much of anything recently without discussing gaps. Widening gaps, unbridgeable gaps.

But in the past month, I have noticed something different: a narrowing, closing gap.

There has traditionally been a very visible difference in the internet sites maintained and frequented by Americans who consider themselves to be more moderate as opposed to "right wing" or conservative, the "left" or "pro-Reform faction" is not really a player in this game, the United States has no "left," aside from a very very small number of individuals, so small that it cannot even be called a "minority" and certainly nowhere near anything that could be called a "Reform movement."

There are basically two sides: One side, the "right" or "conservatives," agree with US policies, and for the most part, agree with how they are being implemented, and are devotees of George Bush and of the Republican party.

The other side, the "moderate" or "progressive" side, agree with US policies but believe that the party and politicians of whom they are devotees, the Democratic party, could do a better job of implementing those policies.

Ralph Nader, who ran as the "Green Party" candidate, which is to say he did not really run, as third parties are for all practical purposes not allowed, called the Democrats and Republicans the "two branches of the corporate party," which is a very apt description, however, Mr. Nader's suggestion regarding the Iraq crusade was essentially the same "outsource the wetwork" offered by the Democrats, and that vignette from the 2004 "election campaign" is perhaps the most clear illustration of the American political landscape.

The Republicans believe that Americans should do the wetwork, and that the crusade should benefit corporations owned by Republicans.

The Democrats believe that the wetwork, at least some of it, should be outsourced, and that the crusade should benefit corporations owned by Democrats.

The notion that the crusade should not be taking place at all, that the US has no business invading and occupying other countries, and should cease aggression and disarm, is a concept endorsed only by that very very small number of individuals who are sadly, too few to make any idea of a Reform Movement a reality.

This is why it was so remarkable to see such a marked gap-narrowing, such a dramatic reduction of the perceptible difference in the ambience of internet sites frequented by the two sides.

Invasion, occupation, destruction of civilian infrastructure, chemical weapons, families burned alive, buried alive, people corralled onto highways for easier bombing - compare the "criticism" such as it is, of these actions to the floodgates of pure, unbridled, raw outrage reserved for the suggestion that the victims of such atrocities have the right to resist them!

I had noted, with interest, that while the phrase "Israel has the right to defend itself" is repeated roughly every third sentence uttered by any American or Israeli speaking on the subject in the media for the last month, and dutifully intoned on the internets by the ubiquitous Cyber-Defenders of Israel, I had yet to hear even one person utter what I came to call The Forbidden Phrase:

Lebanon has the right to defend itself

I did not, however realize how little the intensity of the sheer hatred that would be unleashed at the very notion that anyone in Lebanon might dare to do such a thing would differ whether one visits a website that styles itself as "conservative" or "progressive."

One of the jokes going around, more among easterners, I guess, since the westerners are obliged to cleave to the current orthodoxy of the propaganda of their warlords, is that when Bush has more than complied with the promise he made to be a "uniter, not a divider," since he has succeeded in unifying Sunni and Shia where all other attempts have failed for centuries.

It seems that he has also succeeded in unifying his own people, his detractors with his champions, Democrat with Republican, conservative with moderate.

All are now united inthe poison of their primitive bloodlust, in the raw, savage poison of hatred for those of their brothers their warlords have bade them consider as less than human, they are united in the poison of unquestioning obedience to those warlords, united in sacrificing the future of their own children to the poison of The Sitation.

posted at 4:03 AM

Saturday, August 12, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

We Are All Hezbollah

Today, on another blog which I will not name, in order to spare the poor tired fingers of the operatives of GIYUS et al, I was privileged to see what is to my knowledge, the first instance of an American even hesitantly approaching the momentous and terrible utterance of the Forbidden Phrase:

Lebanon has a right to defend itself

Hezbollah, like "Al Qaeda," has "morphed;" as a Lebanese lady said the other day to a western reporter, asking some predictable question probably on the order of "but of course you don't support the people who dare to defend you against the Sacred Israel?," to which the lady replied, "We are all Hezbollah."

And all over the Majority World, in the same spirit that so many there, as well as in the more affluent 15% world said on one day in September not so long ago, "We are all New Yorkers," many, many people are saying "We are all Hezbollah."

Hezbollah, having "morphed," is no longer a struggling little band of guerilla fighters, no longer a political party in Lebanon, no longer even the only entity in Lebanon that has provided the nation what infrastructure and services it has had for the past far too many years.

Today Hezbollah has, and not by its own hand, but by the hand of the Enemy, undergone a magical transmorgification into that most powerful, yet ephemeral and yes, dangerous thing an entity can be.

Today Hezbollah is a symbol.

And not just any symbol. It is a noble symbol, a symbol of something very laudable, at least in the minds of the Majority World, namely Resistance against the tyranny of the US and its fat little pitbull there in the Levant, it is now a symbol that trumps and transcends the luxury concepts of politics or theology, it is now a symbol of the most primal and basic instinct we have: protecting our children, our future, preservation of our species from the fearsome beast, protecting our babies from the predator's talons, from the hungry tiger of the night, the horde of brutes from the tribe across the river, across the Blue Line.

When someone, somegang, anyone, anygang, rushes snarling into our cave, gaping maw set to devour our young, We are all Hezbollah.

And frankly, the Majority World has been in sore need of a little Hezbollah for quite some time.

Considering the Situation, we need all the Hezbollah we can get.

(props to Angry Arab for the pic)

posted at 8:42 PM

| The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Kofi Bakes His White Folks A Big Ol' Resolution!

I think it is only natural that just about any "resolution" would be hailed with great joy by many westerners, most of them well-intentioned people who truly do not even notice the racism inherent in the taking for granted that, as As'ad (who by the way, is much more "pro-western" than I) puts it:

"Arab prisoners are just not as cute and not as valuable as Israeli prisoners. For Israeli prisoners, it calls for immediate release, but for Lebanese prisoners, it urges "settling the issue." Settling the issue?" Is that like US settling the Palestinian cause over the years? Or is that like that reference in UNSC 242 to the "refugee" problem?

That is just one example, and I don't know if it is really possible for many westerners to understand how offensive it is, just as referring to any effort to defend Lebanon as an "attack" which must cease immediately, under the terms of this resolution, but Israel's activities in this other country it has invaded are referred to as "military operations" and those are not forbidden by the resolution. Only the "offensive" operations of Israel must cease. But what kind of military operation can Israel conduct in any other country, that is not offensive?

The resolution also gives approval to the occupation of Lebanon, which is why the US and Israel have agreed to it. I know that it will be a disappointment to some to realize this, something of a Catch-22, but the fact is that for any resolution to be signed by either US or Israel, such a resolution MUST

A) Contain approval in some form to Israeli occupation of Lebanon

B) Permit Israel, in some form, to continue its "military operations" in Occupied Lebanon.

There is just not going to be any resolution that the US will permit that would oblige Israel to cease aggression and leave Lebanon, no ifs, ands or buts, and most certainly not oblige Israel to free all the I'm not sure how many Lebanese nationals their operatives have seized.

Now to put this in perspective, I will recommend that old "civics class" exercise that at least in the past, was popular all over the world:

Take the text of the resolution, and for every instance of "Lebanon," substitute "United States," and for every instance of "Israel," substitute "Iran." Then discuss with whoever is around how popular you think such a resolution would be with the residents of an Iran-Occupied United States, as they listened to the bombs overhead.

The resolution requires essentially nothing from Israel. "Upon cessation of hostilities" means when Israel decides that it is through bombing Lebanon, the resolution requires them to move out "in parallel" with the moving in of a force of international gunmen of unspecified mandate, however, the only reason Israel would agree to such a force is if the mandate is for these international troops to do what the US and Israel tell them to, which if you are a Lebanese survivor of the month long slaughter spree in your land, you will be well advised to assume it means their mandate will be to kill you.

It also is very vague, and offensively so, on the subject of Shebaa Farms - I could go on, and As'ad has, if you want to go over to his blog and read what this westernized, moderate and pro-American Arab has to say about it.

I say it is another pile of racist imperialist crap, and I would advise against anybody having any illusion that it will have any relation to actual events on the ground (and in the air), or affect in any reality-based way the march of The Situation.

posted at 2:58 PM

Friday, August 11, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Zionist Militants to US: We Need More Cluster Bombs!

The request for M-26 artillery rockets, which are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area, is likely to be approved shortly, along with other arms, a senior official said.."

US corporate media link

The US-funded Zionist Janjawid martyred more Palestinians and Lebanese today, as part of their ongoing cleansing project, Israel radio, per the Haaretz ticker, says they have attacked over 100 "targets" today in Lebanon alone. The additional cluster bombs will be a big help in those areas of Lebanon not already cleared, as well as the "target"-rich Gaza, the most densely populated area of the planet.

And speaking of the planet, Hugo Chavez is apparently the only head of state on it who possesses a shred of common decency. Venezuela will be dispensing with all ties, "diplomatic" and otherwise, with the Zionist warlord-occupied area called "Israel" by its many fans.

"It is a second Naqba," said an offline friend. "No," said another. "The first one never ended."

posted at 10:21 AM

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Zionist Janjawid Atrocity Roundup with Iraq Crusade Stress Relief Bonus

A few news stories (with links) that may be of interest to those who are following the progress of the Situation. Let's start with Iraq:

A US military court deciding whether four soldiers should be court-martialled for rape and murder heard today how troops were "driven nuts" by combat stress and how one of the accused burned a puppy.

Yesterday, the court at Camp Liberty heard graphic testimony of how three of the soldiers took turns raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before murdering her and her family....

A quick google of the news accounts of this particular "operation" of the bestial horde of torturers and sexual predators that are currently deployed to the crusade in Iraq, where they are carrying out the will and desires of the American taxpayers, made clear that western media reports are focusing on the "stress" experienced by their beloved "troops." Certainly no media outlet wishes to be accused of failing to support the troops.

The little girl's name was Ameer. The picture, at left, is the only one I have seen, and I thank the kind person who forwarded it to me. It is not clear whether she was shot prior to being burned, after she had provided stress relief to the crusaders.

I would like to ask my brothers and sisters, Americans and Israelis included, who have been blessed with little daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, that you take a moment to look, really look, at Ameer's picture, take a moment, pretend she is an Israeli child if you need to, and think of all she could have been, think of the proud moment of the graduation day that will never occur, think of her as the bride she will never be, on the joyous day of a wedding that will never take place. And think of all the moments in between, of her laugh, hear her sing a song, completely out of tune, as she plays with her little sister, dressing up as a princess, see her twirl round in the garden, get dizzy, fall down laughing. Imagine her delight and pride at the first time she prepares a meal for the family, helps her father repair the shed, her first real grownup dress, see the wonder in her eyes as she gazes into the mirror, seeing for the first time a glimpse of the woman that now will never be...

I ask you all to please take that moment, and then, take another moment, to hold your own little princess close, in memory of Ameer, in memory of her tiny sister, her little family.

May God accept their martyrdom.

And on to the ongoing bold and daring exploits of the Zionist Janjawid (props, once again, to Angry Arab for such an apt appellation) but first a tidbit of interesting media gossip from that same Angry Arab:
An informed source sent me this (following the post of the resignation of two Fox News producers in Amman): "Jane Arraf, and Rula Amin were chief CNN correspondents from Baghdad and Jerusalem. I cannot speak for Arraf, but she 'left the scene' without saying a thing. M. met Rula Amin in person and she told him that efforts to portray the situation with more Justice and evenhandedness were censored from the top; I believe she is now working with one of the Arab language Satellite stations--Al Jazeera or Al Arabia to start English language stations under their auspices. Reem Brahimi also left CNN a couple of years ago. Her father is L'akhdar Brhimi-- a diplomat. She married into the Jordanian Royal family-- one of the late King Hussein's sons."

On now to the news stories. With links.

Lebanese officials said there were many reports of other casualties throughout southern Lebanon but rescue workers were not able to reach the sites because of continued Israeli airstrikes. Israel also threatened to attack UN peacekeepers if they attempted to repair bomb-damaged bridges in southern Lebanon. UN officials contacted the Israeli army to inform them that a team of Chinese military engineers attached to the UN force in Lebanon intended to repair the bridge on the Beirut to Tyre road to enable the transport of humanitarian supplies.

According to the UN, Israeli officials said the engineers would become a target if they attempted to repair the bridge.

Senior UN officials reacted angrily to the destruction of a temporary causeway over the Litani river overnight. "We must be able to have movement throughout the country to deliver supplies. At this point we can't do that," said David Shearer, the humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon. "The deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure is a violation of international law."

International aid groups have blamed Israel for not providing security guarantees, thereby paralysing the delivery of aid to the south. Even when aid reaches Tyre, convoys have to apply on a case by case basis for permission to take it out to the villages. Most applications are refused...
(props to catnip)

JERUSALEM, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Israeli army plans to attack strategic infrastructure targets and symbols of the Lebanese government after Hizbollah rockets killed 15 people in northern Israel, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported Monday.

"We are now in a process of renewed escalation. We will continue hitting everything that moves in Hizbollah -- but we will also hit strategic civilian infrastructure," a senior General Staff officer told the Haaretz newspaper.

It did not offer any examples of what symbols of the Lebanese government might include...


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, for the past two hours, Beirut has been a city under attack. Israeli warplanes circling overhead have unleashed a barrage of bombs on the capital, on its southern outskirts and closer within.

It started about two hours ago. The bombs have been falling in clusters, mostly on a -- on an -- a heavily popular, or a Shia area to the south of the city, near Beirut international airport. The focus of the attack very much has been concentrated on this area.

It must be said that, shortly before the -- before dusk yesterday afternoon, Israeli planes dropped leaflets, warning residents of three areas of impending attacks, advising them to evacuate. The area that is currently under assault was not one of these three areas. There's also airstrikes in the northeast, in the Bekaa Valley, the traditional Hezbollah stronghold.

On July 24, Human Rights Watch reported that Israel was using cluster bombs "in populated areas of Lebanon," which it said "may violate the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks contained in international humanitarian law." But despite the extensive media coverage of the current conflict in the Middle East, almost no U.S. outlets are reporting on these findings....

doctors and Lebanese officials believe that injuries in Lebanon indicate the use of incendiary weapons such as white phosphorus (Inter Press Service, 7/28/06; Agence France Presse, 7/30/06). White phosphorus causes severe and deep burns to the skin and cannot be extinguished with water; the New York Times once called it (3/22/95) one of "the worst chemical weapons" in existence. Israel's use of such weapons would not be without precedent; Human Rights Watch reported in 1996 (5/96) that there was "compelling" evidence that Israel used phosphorus weapons against civilians in its 1982 and 1983 attacks on Southern Lebanon. (The U.S. has admitted to using white phosphorus as a weapon in Iraq...

Israel, which has been blockading Lebanon’s ports for three weeks, yesterday refused to allow the shipment of much-needed fuel for its power plants, Lebanese government officials said.

"Once again, Israel which has been carrying out a maritime blockade, refused Thursday the arrival of ships currently stationed in Cyprus," said an official from the Lebanese government High Relief Commission.

"(Israel) has told the UN, who acts as a communication channel, that paperwork was still missing."

Earlier in the day, the president of fuel importers said that the UN had received Israel’s agreement in principle for delivery of the shipments.

Israel's overnight bombing of highway bridges in northern
Lebanon and strikes at a Hizbollah stronghold in south Beirut paralyzed aid
convoys on Friday and relief workers warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Israeli jets destroyed three bridges on the main coastal highway linking Beirut
to Syria, stalling an eight-truck convoy carrying food, shelter material and
other aid to the estimated 900,000 Lebanese displaced by the three-week-old war.

Astrid van Genderen Stort, senior information officer for the U.N. High Commissioner
for Refugees said the bombing had shut down the major relief pipeline for supplies
traveling to the hardest-hit areas in the south...

The UNHCR was also forced to postpone trips around Beirut to assess the needs and
deliver aid to up to 400,000 people...

Israeli warplanes wrecked four bridges Friday along the coastal highway in north of Beirut in an apparent bid to further isolate Lebanon and pounded new targets in the southern suburbs in a blistering succession of early morning raids.

The bridges are along the northern coastal highway which was practically the only outlet by land through Syria after the bombardment of other border crossing points by the Israeli air force since the start of the offensive on Lebanon on July 12.

Israeli warplanes also again struck the main Masnaa border crossing in eastern Lebanon and the Faraya-Ouyoun Al-Simane road linking the Mount Lebanon range with the inland Bekaa Valley, the state news agency ANI said.

The targeted Christian areas in Mount Lebanon had up to now been largely spared by the Israeli attacks. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced from Beirut, its suburbs and the south of the country have sought refuge in Mount Lebanon.

...The Beirut Centre for Research and Information (BCRI), along with myself, conducted a survey to gauge the Lebanese people's views of the main actors and events in the ongoing conflict. The survey's findings suggest that the Bush administration has to seriously rethink its pitiful attempt to frame the US's unbridled support for the Israeli onslaught against Lebanon as part of both its democracy and "war on terror" agendas, as exemplified by Bush's recent contention that, "Hizbullah ... are willing to kill and to use violence to stop the spread of peace and democracy," and his framing of the conflict as "part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror in the Middle East". Such crude casuistry falls far out of step with Arab mainstream opinion, as revealed in poll statistics, which shows that Hizbullah's resistance has unprecedented popular support in Lebanon while the US has lost all credibility as a peacemaker amongst the Lebanese....

87 per cent claimed they supported Hizbullah's "resistance to Israeli aggression", with 80 per cent of all Christians and Druze, 89 per cent of all Sunnis and 96 per cent of all Shias declaring their support. These findings are all the more significant when compared to the results of a similar survey conducted just five months ago, which showed that only 58 per cent of all Lebanese believed Hizbullah had the right to remain armed, and hence, continue its resistance activity. In effect, Israel's aggression against Lebanon has had the unintended consequence of increasing nationwide support for the resistance, which it would not have otherwise enjoyed. Thanks to the high death toll, with close to one quarter on the population displaced, and the colossal material destruction of the economy wreaked by Israel's war machine, Hizbullah's "logic of resistance" and deterrence has been both vindicated and demonstrated. It has stepped in to fill the huge political and military vacuum left by the state...

In other words, Hizbullah, which owes its creation to the Israeli invasion of 1982, is the result of Israel's predatory behaviour and war-mongering, not the reverse. Tackling the roots of the problem therefore lies in pressuring Israel to accept a comprehensive and just regional peace agreement, not in destroying Hizbullah....

The notion that the US is complicit in Israel's war crimes against the Lebanese people is evinced by 89.5 per cent of the sample who reject any suggestion that it is an "honest broker" in the current conflict...


An examination of the ground forces' achievements to date shows that they have hit no more than 10 launchers. The immediate goal of the fighting is not stopping the rockets, but eliminating Hezbollah's southern unit, the Nasser, on the assumption that this will crack the organization's fortitude.

Hezbollah's losses are already estimated at some 380 combatants. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is convinced that Hezbollah's breaking point is near. The army is more skeptical.


An Israeli air strike hit the last crossing over Lebanon's Litani river on Monday, cutting off the main artery for aid to the southern port of Tyre and hard-hit areas nearby, a humanitarian group said.

Christopher Stokes, director of operations for Medecins San Frontieres (MSF), said the bombing of a makeshift bridge had blocked a convoy of food, medical aid and fuel to Tyre, which has seen an increase in wounded from heavy fighting this week.

"Our last remaining supply route into Tyre into the south has been cut," he said after the air strike on the Qasmiyeh crossing about 10 km (6 miles) north of Tyre. The main Qasmiyeh road bridge was knocked out by earlier air raids.

"They have also told us that they can provide no security guarantee that our convoy will not be attacked, so if we move it will be at our own risk and peril," Stokes said...


BOMBAY, 6 August 2006 — In a country widely referred to as the world’s largest democracy, the Indian government has succumbed to mounting Israeli pressure and ordered a nationwide ban on the broadcast of Arab television channels.

The Indian government’s ban on Arab television stations is in complete contrast to the friendship that Arab countries imagine exists with their neighbor across the Arabian Sea. It seems the ban is a move to ensure that Indians do not get to see the atrocities that are presently being committed by Israel in Lebanon and the occupied territories.

Nabila Al-Bassam, a Saudi businesswoman on a trip to Bombay, told Arab News how she became exasperated at not being able to watch Arab channels at Bombay’s leading five-star Oberoi Hotel. When she took up the issue with the hotel manager, she was told that Arab television channels had been banned across India...


posted at 12:30 AM

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Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum. Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who should be put in a cage on gitmo
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
ductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
Jim Sagle

inadequate, halfway house bullshit
Arthur Gilroy
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple."
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
John Locke
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh space
a turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
despicable and literally mentally ill