لما كانت إسرائيل تحتلّ فلسطين اليوم
Saturday, December 31, 2011
....لو كان المجتمع الدولي قد تعامل منذ البداية مع المشكلة في أرمينيا بطريقة حاسمة، لما كانت إسرائيل تحتلّ فلسطين اليوم
لما كانت إسرائيل تحتلّ فلسطين اليوم
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The story is of course the intellectual descendant of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, from Book VII of The Republic, which I enjoyed ...., if you prefer to use a reference with a more high brow pedigree.
And now I would like to share an excerpt from it with you.
As the story begins, the cooling of the sun has turned the Earth into a cold world covered by ice, effectively destroying all life and preserving only a few remnants of human civilization.
But this cooling has had a beneficial effect on Venus, turning a once harsh world into a lush plant. After thousands of years, a reptilian race had arisen, and eventually become capable of interplanetary flight.
This race was intrigued by their sister planet, the Earth. A number of expeditions had retrieved fragments that showed intelligent life, but their understanding was still very limited.
As the story begins here, a recent expedition has retrieved several key artifacts, including one that is utterly unique, holding great promise.
...The warm ocean that still bore most of the young planet's life rolled its breakers languidly against
the sandy shore. So new was this continent that the very sands were coarse and gritty. There had not
yet been time enough for the sea to wear them smooth.
The scientists lay half in the water, their beautiful reptilian bodies gleaming in the sunlight. The
greatest minds of Venus had gathered on this shore from all the islands of the planet. What they were
going to hear they did not know, except that it concerned the Third World and the mysterious race that
had peopled it before the coming of the ice.
The Historian was standing on the land, for the instruments he wished to use had no love of water.
By his side was a large machine which attracted many curious glances from his colleagues. It was
clearly concerned with optics, for a lens system projected from it toward a screen of white material a
dozen yards away.
The Historian began to speak. Briefly he recapitulated what little had been discovered concerning the
Third Planet and its people.
He mentioned the centuries of fruitless research that had failed to interpret a single word of the
writings of Earth. The planet had been inhabited by a race of great technical ability. That, at least,
was proved by the few pieces of machinery that had been found in the cairn upon the mountain.
"We do not know why so advanced a civilization came to an end," he observed. "Almost certainly, it had
sufficient knowledge to survive an ice Age. There must have been some other factor of which we know
nothing. Possibly disease or racial degeneration may have been responsible. It has even been suggested
that the tribal conflicts endemic to our own species in prehistoric times may have continued on the
Third Planet after the coming of technology.
Some philosophers maintain that knowledge of machinery does not necessarily imply a high degree of
civilization, and it is theoretically possible to have wars in a society possessing mechanical power,
flight, and even radio. Such a conception is alien to our thoughts, but we must admit its possibility.
It would certainly account for the downfall of the lost race.
It has always been assumed that we should never know anything of the physical form of the creatures
who lived on Planet Three. For centuries our artists have been depicting scenes from the history of
the dead world, peopling it with all manner of fantastic beings. Most of these creations have
resembled us more or less closely, though it has often been pointed out that because we are reptiles
it does not follow that all intelligent life must necessarily be reptilian.
We now know the answer to one of the most baffling problems of history. At last, after hundreds of
years of research, we have discovered the exact form and nature of the ruling life on the Third
There was a murmur of astonishment from the assembled scientists. Some were so taken aback that they
disappeared for a while into the comfort of the ocean, as all Venusians were apt to do in moments of
stress. The Historian waited until his colleagues reemerged into the element they so disliked. He
himself was quite comfortable, thanks to the tiny sprays that were continually playing over his body.
With their help he could live on land for many hours before having to return to the ocean.
The excitement slowly subsided and the lecturer continued:
"One of the most puzzling of the objects found on Planet Three was a flat metal container holding a
great length of transparent plastic material, perforated at the edges and wound tightly into a spool.
This transparent tape at first seemed quite featureless, but an examination with the new subelectronic
microscope has shown that this is not the case. Along the surface of the material, invisible to our
eyes but perfectly clear under the correct radiation, are literally thousands of tiny pictures. It is
believed that they were imprinted on the material by some chemical means, and have faded with the
passage of time.
These pictures apparently form a record of life as it was on the Third Planet at the height of its
civilization. They are not independent. Consecutive pictures are almost identical, differing only in
the detail of movement. The purpose of such a record is obvious. It is only necessary to project the
scenes in rapid succession to give an illusion of continuous movement. We have made a machine to do
this, and I have here an exact reproduction of the picture sequence.
The scenes you are now going to witness take us back many thousands of years, to the great days of
our sister planet. They show a complex civilization, many of whose activities we can only dimly
understand. Life seems to have been very violent and energetic, and much that you will see is quite
It is clear that the Third Planet was inhabited by a number of different species, none of them
reptilian. That is a blow to our pride, but the conclusion is inescapable. The dominant type of life
appears to have been a two-armed biped. It walked upright and covered its body with some flexible
material, possibly for protection against the cold, since even before the Ice Age the planet was at a
much lower temperature than our own world. But I will not try your patience any further. You will now
see the record of which I have been speaking."
A brilliant light flashed from the projector. There was a gentle whirring, and on the screen appeared
hundreds of strange beings moving rather jerkily to and fro. The picture expanded to embrace one of
the creatures, and the scientists could see that the Historian's description had been correct.
The creature possessed two eyes, set rather close together, but the other facial adornments were a
little obscure. There was a large orifice in the lower portion of the head that was continually
opening and closing. Possibly it had something to do with the creature's breathing.
The scientists watched spellbound as the strange being became involved in a series of fantastic
adventures. There was an incredibly violent conflict with another, slightly different creature. It seemed
certain that they must both be killed, but when it was all over neither seemed any the worse.
Then came a furious drive over miles of country in a four wheeled mechanical device which was capable
of extraordinary feats of locomotion. The ride ended in a city packed with other vehicles moving in
all directions at breathtaking speeds. No one was surprised to see two of the machines meet head-on
with devastating results.
After that, events became even more complicated. It was now quite obvious that it would take many
years of research to analyze and understand all that was happening. It was also clear that the record
was a work of art, somewhat stylized, rather than an exact reproduction of life as it actually had
been on the Third Planet.
Most of the scientists felt themselves completely dazed when the sequence of pictures came to an end.
There was a final flurry of motion, in which the creature that had been the center of interest became
involved in some tremendous but incomprehensible catastrophe. The picture contracted to a circle,
centered on the creature's head.
The last scene of all was an expanded view of its face, obviously expressing some powerful emotion.
But whether it was rage, grief, defiance, resignation or some other feeling could not be guessed. The
picture vanished. For a moment some lettering appeared on the screen, then it was all over.
For several minutes there was complete silence, save for the lapping of the waves upon the sand. The
scientists were too stunned to speak. The fleeting glimpse of Earth's civilization had had a
shattering effect on their minds. Then little groups began to start talking together, first in
whispers and then more and more loudly as the implications of what they had seen became clearer.
Presently the Historian called for attention and addressed the meeting again.
"We are now planning," he said, "a vast program of research to extract all available knowledge from
this record. Thousands of copies are being made for distribution to all workers. You win appreciate
the problems involved. The psychologists in particular have an immense task confronting them.
"But I do not doubt that we shall succeed. In another generation, who can say what we may not have
learned of this wonderful race? Before we leave, let us look again at our remote cousins,
whose wisdom may have surpassed our own but of whom so little has survived."
Once more the final picture flashed on the screen, motionless this time, for the projector had been
stopped. With something like awe, the scientists gazed at the stiff figure from the past, while in
turn the little biped stared back at them with its characteristic expression of arrogant bad temper.
For the rest of time it would symbolize the human race. The psychologists of Venus would analyze its
actions and watch its every movement until they could reconstruct its mind. Thousands of books would
be written about it. Intricate philosophies would be contrived to account for its behavior.
But all. this labor, all this research, would be utterly in vain. Perhaps the proud and lonely figure
on the screen was smiling sardonically at the scientists who were starting on their age-long fruitless
Its secret would be safe as long as the universe endured, for no one now would ever read the lost
language of Earth. Millions of times in the ages to come those last few words would flash across the
screen, and none could ever guess their meaning:Arthur C. Clarke, History Lesson
Whole pyramids of learned understanding, highly structured laws, and academic rules can be built on a set of false assumptions, or some principle or premise based not on context but in some intellectual misapprehension.
So it is with the efficient market theory or trickle down economics, for example. Or the idea that by feeding the 'job creators' until they are stuffed one might eventually improve the condition of the many by trickling down.
Granted, all too often these misconceptions of reality are by intent, just another facet in a general campaign of propaganda and deception. But their acceptance by the public still proves the danger of untested and unproven assumptions and building even highly ordered and intricate structures on false premises.
Whether it is in your study of the stock market, money, and economics, or of some translation and interpretation of an antique work, or in reading an essay about an idea or person in history, you may wish to keep this little story in mind.
All too often someone will make an outlandish assertion, and upon questioning it appears that their primary knowledge of the subject at hand is based upon the reading, or more likely viewing, of an essay or video by some individual or group promoting that particular interpretation of reality. They have nothing else to judge it by, given their lack of investigation and knowledge, but it is duly enshrined in the pantheon of human thought as 'their opinion,' their private judgement.
And their position is often unassailable by reason, because it is not based in thought but in a system of belief. But it is not safeguarded by the intellectual constraints and dignified distance one must place on a religion as inherently a leap of faith beyond the limits of science. Science and the supernatural are by definition not the same, but complementary.
One could spend a lifetime studying the stock markets, for example, trying to make sense of them and their movements, and build an impressive body of study and rules, but fail miserably despite all that work, because one has built upon the false premise that the game was honest and subject to natural laws, and not often rigged and controlled by insiders to the very extent that they can get away with it.
Or perhaps there is a belief in some economic system like 'market capitalism' controlled by an oligarchy through the manipulation of money and information for their own ends in the name of freedom, for example.
It may be summed up in the familiar saying, 'A little learning is a dangerous thing' and perhaps, 'Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.'
"Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst...You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life.
Whereas if they go to the administration of public affairs, poor and hungering after their own private advantage, thinking that hence they are to snatch the chief good, order there can never be; for they will be fighting about office, and the civil and domestic broils which thus arise will be the ruin of the rulers themselves and of the whole State."
Plato, The Republic
As with men and rulers, so with markets and money.
Greed is an excess of desire and lack of empathy and judgement, outside of the virtues, and is therefore most decidedly not 'good.' A system built predominantly upon unrestrained greed, anger, envy, and pride will not, by definition, be virtuous but degenerative, unstable, and ultimately self-destructive if not put down by its victims first.
"The sad duty of government is to establish justice in a sinful world."And I suspect that history will see us as deluded fools for having believed otherwise, forsaking a Constitution that is based upon first principles, actively promoting the virtues of goodness, equality, moderation, the careful distribution of power, and both freedom and justice for all....
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Europe's economic malaise knows no end, but the first "CIA" president knows where salvation lies....
The global genealogy, biography and political persona of the first African-American president, whose father was from Kenya and mother from Kansas has inspired many followers. Yet they seem frustrated and somewhat disappointed with his prospects for the future. They all demanded to know what is going to happen in next year's United States presidential election.
Has he done enough to keep the progressive, younger and independent voters loyal to his party? Will his "cool" and compromising style of leadership endear him only to a shrinking pool of voters? Does he need to be more aggressive or "emotive" with the opposition to win the next election? These are some of the questions I have repeatedly encountered as I learned in the past three weeks while lecturing in European capitals.
Since Obama is "the first global president" of the US, he remains more popular abroad than at home, certainly compared to George W Bush and maybe even Bill Clinton. Based on the latest non-partisan polling data, his only consolation seems to be that the Republican opposition remains very fluid and uncertain about its nominee. While Mitt Romney remains the most viable candidate to take on Obama in November 2012 (both remain statistically tied), the Republicans seem to be "speed-dating" every other candidate in the primaries for approximately a month and then "dumping" them.
The landmark election of Obama in 2008, which was brought about by a strong coalition of ethnic voters to capture support from 54% of the voting public and coincided with the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, not only uplifted America, but it elevated the spirits of the world. For every citizen on the planet touched by American democracy and power, his re-election might have far-reaching implications.
As the 21st century progresses open questions resound about how America will adjust to an emerging multi-polar world where it may no longer be the sole policeman, and the role of Asia with China as the leading protagonist. There are concerns too over how the United States will respond as Pax-Americana, the geopolitical order that have kept European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization powers dominant for the past 50 years, diminishes.
It is within this global framework that Obama's landmark election in 2008 and potentially in 2012 represents a leading indicator of the sweeping changes that are already underway geopolitically. Obama's Pacific upbringing, globe-trotting childhood and adolescence, and coming of age after the fall of the Berlin Wall has a synergy with the changing times and in many ways prepared him to help America transition into the global age.
The economic center of gravity has shifted to the East, while economic malaise knows no end in European capitals. It is also within this "turn of the century" global gyration that India's emerging role as a leading Asian power and the largest populist democracy in the world comes into focus. As India has embraced Westernization anew through liberalization and market reforms begun 1991, the West is rediscovering the East through Chinese goods, outsourcing, yoga, vegetarianism, curry and chai latte.
As East becomes more materialistic, the West is becoming more spiritual. Rudyard Kipling's Victorian ballad seems to have new resonance:
OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,As Joseph Nye of Harvard said recently, "Asia's return to the center of world affairs is the great power shift of the twenty-first century ... By 2050, Asia will be well on its way back to where it was 300 years earlier."
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!
America's strategic turn towards India, hosting the first state dinner, the early presidential visit to India, and Obama's close relationship with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signals the rise of India as a major power. Obama said as much in his address to the Indian parliament in November 2010 when he declared, "And I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today, as President of the United States, had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world."
India's relative growth is keeping pace with China's, and like the US, India is a thriving democracy. These factors provide a rationale for an alliance with India as a counterbalance to China's growing influence. During his visit to India, Aroon Purie, the senior editor of India Today told Obama, "I hope you get more credit for this trip than you get for all the good work you have done in America." To which Obama replied, "You know, you can never be a prophet in your own land."
As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced recently, America's foreign policy is pivoting towards Asia's growing influence in the world. This will likely become a campaign theme: America must innovate in order to keep pace with the growth in China and other emerging economies. Innovators at a recent technology summit in the US argued that the best thing America has going for it is the history of immigration and spirit of entrepreneurship.
Added to that advantage, multiculturalism seems to have hit a road block in Europe, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron said recently. It seems to be thriving in Silicon Valley, major technology hub in the US, heavily represented by Asian immigrants including many Indian Americans. Several prominent Indian Americans are fund-raising for Obama: Azita Raji, Shefali Razdan Duggal, Deven Parekh and Kavita Tankha. A record number of Indian Americans also ran for political office in 2010 with several key wins.
Vinod Khosla, an energy investor and a co-founder of Sun Microsystems said recently, he believes in the "black swan theory of innovation", where improbable rare events can change the marketplace like the development of Internet and search engines like Google. While Obama came into office as an Internet president because of the grassroots organization and fund raising he did online, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next election.
However, there is no doubt that Obama is a landmark figure for the diverse genealogy, biography and family history he brought to the White House. He has tried to unleash several key progressive tools and technologies to renew the American dream, but ultimately Obama's re-election may hinge on key economic indicators heading into the general election: unemployment (8.6% and declining), consumer confidence (56% and rising), market uncertainty (however you define it), and the Republican Party's ability to select a viable candidate (seems fluid).
Hope is eternal, but change is gradual. It is likely that Obama will emerge as the cautious pragmatist and a populist in this election cycle, rather than the idealistic visionary who spoke of transforming the world....
Barack Obama is not a secret Muslim but he may be a secret Subud sect member....and very Jewish as well....
The right-wing and pro-Israel crowd is fond of calling President Obama a “secret Muslim.” However, given his Indonesian roots and their connections in Java, Obama may be a member of a small and secretive sect known as Subud. You say you’ve never heard of it? Neither had we until it came to our attention that Obama and his mother Ann Dunham Soetoro’s and his step-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng’s paths have crossed with the sect, some would call it a cult, numerous times.
Mysticism in Indonesia has manifested itself in the Javanese “Subud” movement, named for its founder Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, also known as “Bapak” or “Pak Subuh,” a charismatic religious figure who believed individuals can be uplifted by spiritual energy from a higher power in an exercise known as the latihan. Subud, which has an international following and became popular in Indonesia and internationally following World War II, attracted as adherents a few Western intelligence operatives assigned to Indonesia, including members of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the New Zealand Secret Intelligence Service, Britain’s MI-6, and a few CIA operatives, as well. It is not known whether Ann Soetoro, an expert in Javanese culture and peoples, was an actual member of the Java-based sect but her connections to the sect are clear.
Ann Soetoro maintained close connections with Subud and her own religious beliefs match those of the Subud to a tee. Janny Scott’s book, A Singular Woman, provides a unique insight into Ann’s religious beliefs, which tend more to Subud beliefs than her own Unitarian upbringing. First, Ann Soetoro encountered Subuh members while working for the Institute for Management and Education and Development, while under a grant from the Ford Foundation, in 1971. She hired members of the Subud, who lived in the International Subud Center compound in the Jakarta suburb of Cilandak, to teach intensive courses in business English. Second, given her residence in the north coast Java port city of Semarang, Bapak’s hometown and base, from 1978 to 1980, it is inconceivable that Ann Soetoro was unaware of Bapak and his movement. Third, Bapak and his Subud followers were well-entrenched at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, where Ann Dunham Soetoro met her Kenyan and Indonesian husbands.
Even Kenya was not unknown to Subud missionaries. Subud conversion missions set out from Indonesia in the early 1960s to Kenya, Swaziland, and Northern and Southern Rhodesia.
Before he died in 1987, Bapak toured the world spreading his message of mystical spiritualism. The one goal Bapak wanted to achieve was to create a “Bank for Mankind.” Although Bapak died before he could achieve his goal, much of Ann Soetoro’s micro-financing programs achieved part of the goal of banking services for women and the poor. In fact, Subud counted a number of international aid workers and employees of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank – where Obama’s mother worked -- among its members, or “helper,” as the Subud prefers to call its international assistance workers. These Subud assistance workers were particularly found working in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand but more recently are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Latin America. Subud also attracted a number of Australians and New Zealanders to its ranks and Subud centers sprang up in the major cities of the two countries.
Bapak was not only interested in helping the poor but became a wealthy man himself in the process of bringing new adherents into the fold. Bapak owned a construction company that built a hotel and the S. Widjojo office building in Jakarta.
Some of its critics have labeled Subud a cult. The sect attracted a number of 60s-era “hippie generation” adherents, including Jim McGuinn, lead singer and guitarist for The Byrds. It was Bapak who told McGuinn to change his name from Jim to Roger because it would “vibrate” better with the universe.
Subud members often change their names while transitioning into full membership status. New names are assigned by Subud leaders. In Ann Dunham Soetoro’s 1968 U.S. passport renewal application, Barack H. Obama, Jr.’s name is listed as Barack Hussein Obama (Soebarkah). There is a possibility that if Ann Soetoro was a Subud member, she changed the name of her son in accordance with Subud teachings. Ann also changed the spelling of her own last name from Soetoro to Sutoro.
Is Bapak, Barack's spiritual guru?
Other critics have pointed to the connections between the Subud movement and CIA mind control operations, especially those directed at children and others that administer sodium pentothal to unwitting subjects. Subud maintains a religious compound known as Skymont on the banks of the Shenandoah River near Front Royal, Virginia. In the lead-up to the CIA coup in Indonesia, the PKI accused Subud of being a CIA front. The chairman of Subud Indonesia before the coup was Dr. Achmad Subardjo, the first Foreign Minister of Indonesia. One of those who distrusted Subud was Dr. Subandrio, Sukarno’s Foreign Minister, who banned Subud meetings in the weeks leading up to the coup.
Bapak issued orders to his non-Indonesian members to leave the country before the coup and told foreign members abroad not to enter the country. When Suharto ousted Sukarno and declared the PKI illegal, Bapak celebrated the change, proclaiming that Indonesia was free of the Communists.
Subandrio was sentenced to death after the coup but the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. He was released from prison in 1995 and died in 2004. Bapak’s followers believed that their religious icon could bring death upon his enemies. Not only was Subandrio sentenced to death after he quarreled with Bapak but in 1959, the Prime Minister of Ceylon, Solomon Bandaranaike, told Bapak he had to leave the island nation within 48-hours because he was thought to be a threat to the state religion of Buddhism. Shortly afterwards, Bandaranaike was shot to death by a Buddhist monk. Some suspected the CIA as being behind the assassination. Bandaranaike had steered Ceylon away from the West, ejecting Britain from its military bases in the country and forming a political pact with the Communist Party.
There were reports that some children members of the sect were also in the horrific sex abuse case at the McMartin pre-school day care center in Manhattan Beach, California in the 1980s. The McMartin pedophile ring was linked to members of the military, Los Angeles Police Department, and the U.S. intelligence community.
Ann Soetoro developed a close friendship with one of the Subud members she hired to teach English at the management institute. He was Mohammad Mansur Medeiros, originally from Fall River, Massachusetts and Harvard University, who immersed himself so deeply into Javanese culture and religion that he became known as “Mansur Java.” Mansur Java died in 2007.
Although there are only some 10,000 Subud members in the world, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, a friend of Ann Dunham at the University of Hawaii, appointed as the Hawaii Director of Health, sociologist and public health specialist Loretta Fuddy, a former chair of the Bellevue, Washington-based Subud USA from 2006 to 2008. In her position as Health Director, Fuddy had oversight over President Obama’s Hawaii birth records, which were the subject of intense controversy.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
ايلي حبيقة افتدى لبنان واللبنانيين
إن الإنسان المؤمن بربه وبكتبه المقدسة وبتعاليمه وبموت وقيامة السيد المسيح لا يموت، بل يرقد على رجاء القيامة بانتظار يوم الحساب الأخير، والرب الذي وهب الإنسان نعمة الحياة هو وحده يقرر متى يستردها وليس أي مخلوق أخر.
اليوم ونحن نصلي في الذكرى التاسعة لروح الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة نردد بايمان وخشوع ووقار ما قاله النبي أيوب رغم كل المصائب التي حلت عليه فيما كان الشيطان يحاول جاهداً إيقاعه في التجربة دون أن يتمكن من أن يحقق هدفه اللعين هذا كون إيمان أيوب بربه كان قوياً وراسخاً: "عرياناً خرجت من بطن أمي، وعرياناً أعود إلى هناك، الرب أعطى والرب أخذ تبارك اسم الرب". (ايوب01/21).
يقول السيد المسيح: "أَنَا هُوَ الْقِيَامَةُ وَالْحَيَاةُ. مَنْ آمَنَ بِي، وَإِنْ مَاتَ فَسَيَحْيَا" (يوحنا 25/11). إن تعلقنا بلبناننا الحبيب حتى الشهادة يعزينا ويقوي إيماننا ويرسخ الرجاء في نفوسنا ويساعدنا على تقبل غياب الشهداء الأبرار برضوخ كامل لمشيئة أبينا السماوي فهم لا يموتون بل يبقون أحياء في وجداننا وضمائرنا وقلوبنا وعقولنا وفي كل عمل نقوم به يهدف لخدمة ومساعدة الآخرين الذين هم بحاجة إلينا.
يقول الشاعر: "ما استحق أن يعيش، من عاش لنفسه فقط". لذلك فالشخص المؤمن يجد لذته في أن يحيا لأجل غيره، عملاًً بقول الرب، "تحب قريبك كنفسك" (متى39/22). ولهذا يحب كل الناس من أعماق قلبه وتكون محبته للآخرين محبة عملية حسبما قال الرسول يوحنا: "يا أبنائي، لا تكن محبتنا بالكلام أو باللسان بل بالعمل والحق". (1يو18:3).
هذه المحبة العظيمة، والله هو محبة، تتميز بالعطاء والبذل والتفاني سواء من الناحية الجسدية، أو الناحية الروحية. لذلك فإن الشخص المؤمن والمعطاء والصادق هو بطبيعته إنسان نقي وتقي وشفاف وصادق ومحب يخاف الله الذي خلقه على صورته ومثاله.
هذا الإنسان يجهد بفرح كبير ليكون خادماً يخدم غيره في كل المجالات، لا لأنه مطالب بهذا، وإنما لأن الخدمة جزء من طبيعته ونفسيته وثقافته، ومكون أساسي من مكونات كيانه الإيماني. في خدمة الآخرين يشعر بالحب ويتغذى روحياً من تقديم الخدمات أكثر مما يغذي غيره بها. وإذا كانت الخدمة هي من عمل الملائكة (عبرانيين14:1)، فكم بالأولى البشر. وقد أعطانا السيد المسيح المثال الأبلغ في هذا الشأن إذ قال: "ومن أراد أن يكون الأول فيكم، فليكن لكم عبدا، وهكذا ابن الإنسان جاء لا ليخدمه الناس، بل ليخدمهم ويفدي بحياته كثيراً منهم". (متى 20/27 و28)
جاء في إنجيل القديس يوحنا (15/13): "ما من حب أعظم من هذا: أن يضحي الإنسان بنفسه في سبيل أحبائه". وقال الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة: "إن الوطن الذي لا يفتديه شبابه بأرواحهم لا يستمر ويزول. إن خدمة الآخرين وبذل الذات من أجلهم هي أعمال مقدسة والمسيح الإله قبل الصلب والعذاب والإهانات وقدم نفسه على الصليب فداء للإنسان ليعتقه من نير وعبودية الخطيئة ويحرره.
إن الشهيد لا يطلب شيئاً لنفسه من مقتنيات هذه الدنيا الفانية، وإنما يسعي لنيل بركات الله ليستحق بجدارة أفعاله وإيمانه العودة إلى منزل أبيه السماوي، والمسيح قال لنا: "ماذا ينفع الإنسان لو ربح العالم كله وخسر نفسه". (متى 16/26).
الشهيد هو قربان طاهر يقدم نفسه طواعية على مذبح الله بمحبة واندفاع وفرح من أجل أحبائه تماماً كما هو حال كل شهيد من شهداء لبنان الأبرار. عرفاناً بجميلهم نقول أنه وبفضل استشهادهم بقينا، وسوف نبقى بإذن الله طالما بقي الشباب اللبناني مؤمنا بلبنان وبرسالته وعلى استعداد تام ودائم للشهادة.
الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة لم يمت لأنه باق في كل جهد وعمل يقوم بهما أي لبناني من أجل الحفاظ على سيادة واستقلال وحرية وطنه الحبيب، ولصون كرامة وعزة اللبنانيين، كما أن عائلة حبيقة هي نبع معطاء لا ينضب في دفق الإيمان والوطنية والشهادة للحق والشهداء من أجل لبنان الرسالة والقداسة والقديسين.
نصلي من أجل أن يسكن الله روح الشهيد النائب والوزير الراحل ايلي حبيقة فسيح جناته إلى جوار البررة والقديسين وأن يلهم عائلته ومحبيه الصبر والسلوان
Monday, November 21, 2011
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Washington's most powerful lobby that has existed since 1963 to ensure that, among other things, members of Congress carefully toe the line in support of Israeli policies, may have claimed another victim in the running out of Washington in March 2010 of Representative Eric Massa (D-NY).
WMR previously reported that Massa's chief of staff, Joe Racalto, who had been pushed on the newly-elected first term congressman by the Democratic leadership in the House, brought forward charges that Massa was engaged in sexually harassing male members of his staff in February 2010. However, just weeks before, according to a well-placed congressional source, Racalto was in Israel as part of a STAFFDEL, a congressional staff delegation invited to the country. In 2009, Massa irritated AIPAC when he was one of 54 congressman to sign a letter to President Obama calling on him to pressure Israel to lift the crippling blockade of Gaza. Racalto was hired from the staff of Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), where he was Frank's driver. Racalto's charges against Massa were later dismissed by a House panel's investigation.
Immediately after sending the Gaza blockade letter to Obama, AIPAC and the pro-Israeli media began putting out the word that the 54 members of Congress were the "Hamas 54" and anti-Semitic, the latter the usual canard used by Zionists who want to intimidate those who dare criticize Israel or suggest an even-handedness in America's policy toward Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, two of the signatories, Bob Filner (D-CA) and John Yarmuth (D-KY) are Jewish.
Massa was joined in signing the latter by Representative Brian Baird (D-WA), who became an outspoken critic of Israeli policies only after he decided not to run for re-election. Pennsylvania Democratic Representative Joe Sestak also signed the letter but he was defeated by Republican Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate race. Sestak had previously defeated longtime Israel supporter Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary after Specter had switched parties from the GOP.
The letter to Obama specifically requested that Obama advocate for immediate improvements for Gaza in the following areas:
Sestak is a retired Navy admiral while Massa is a medically-retired Navy Commander. With their military backgrounds and national security credentials, both Democrats represented a threat to AIPAC, which has spent time and money cultivating support in the Pentagon and military branches, mainly through its sister organization, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).
Over the years, AIPAC has brought down a number of politicians who criticized Israel. AIPAC has effective command. AIPAC propaganda outlets began putting out the word that while the signatures of "pro-Hamas" members like Keith Ellison (D-MN), America's first Muslim congressman; Jim McDermott (D-WA); Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jim Moran (D-VA) were no surprise and that pro-Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) members like Representatives Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) (defeated); Nich Rahall (D-WV); Pete Stark (D-CA); and Diane Watson (D-CA) (retired) and pro-Islamic sharia members like William Delahunt (D-MA) and John Dingell (D-MI) were no surprise, that of Massa was. AIPAC organs began questioning whether Massa could be re-elected after his signing of the blockade letter.
Massa's meeting in Rochester with his constituent, the late USS Liberty survivor John Hrankowski also undoubtedly set off alarm bells at AIPAC, in addition to Massa's opinion that the Goldstone Report, which criticized Israeli human rights violations in its invasion of Gaza, had merit. Usually, AIPAC controls the purse strings to congressional candidates through House congressional campaign committees like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Campaign Committee, the latter receiving millions from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). The DCCC, once controlled by Rahm Emanuel, is now led by Representative Steve Israel (D-NY). However, Massa won his seat in 2008 with no support from the DCCC and that worried AIPAC. Massa did notice that some of his wealthy Jewish contributors from New York City went silent on him as he prepared for his 2010 re-election. Something else had to be done to eliminate Massa and that was ginning up a contrived sex scandal that would drive him out of office.
America's political road is littered with those who dared challenge AIPAC's authority over the American political scene: Democrats and Republicans like J. William Fulbright, William Scranton, Charles Percy, Roger Jepsen, Adlai Stevenson III, Paul Findlay (who wrote an excellent book on AIPAC's influence over American politics, "They Dare to Speak Out"), James Abdenour, James Abourezk, Helen THOMAS, Jimmy Carter, Pete McCloskey, James Traficant, Earl Hilliard, Cynthia McKinney, and now, Eric Massa....who's going to be next?
Friday, November 18, 2011
Whether you call it "blogging" or "blawging," writing for social media is scary, even for lawyers.
Most members of the bar are used to spending many billable hours polishing anything they will present or publish. The misplacement of an apostrophe or an innocent typo can mean death and ruin even to the fiercest litigator. In a medium where formalities are eschewed almost as a badge of honor, lawyers may find it difficult to make the transition from brief writing to blog posting, but don't worry: we've got you covered. After all, we're teaching you how to hack martindale.com Connected.
Why Should Lawyers Blog?
There are many reasons why you may be considering blogging, despite your busy day. I spoke to popular blogger and lawyer Mark Herrmann about this subject on a podcast last month called Sex, Drugs, and In-House Counsel: Mark Herrmann Goes Above The Law. You can listen to it here.
For those of you who don't know Mark, he built a successful niche blog on The Drug and Device Law Blog which attained 40,000 readers per month. He then began writing for the number one legal blog in the world, Above the Law, on a column called "Inside Straight" about his experiences now that he went in-house. The difference? Above the Law gets about 40,000 readers per hour!
Some of the benefits we discussed on the podcast regarding lawyers blogging were:
- Subject Matter Expertise - writing a daily or weekly blog requires that you stay current on updates in that area. If you are a looking for an excuse to spend time surfing the Internet for the latest or even pretending to be an investigative reporter (which in some sense you are) then doing a blog may be for you.
- Exposure and Building Your Profile - there is a discussion going on right now in the Thought Leadership for Lawyers group on Connected about whether it is in a law firm's best interest to encourage lawyers to build their profile at the firm, when it is likely they will leave soon after. Developing people costs money in training and other expenses. Want to develop your people at a huge discount? Start a blog and let them become a main contributor responsible for content and readership. They will build their profile while your firm builds a marketing asset.
- Marketing Asset - okay, nice segway into this third point, but that's exactly what a blog is (among other things), a marketing asset. It is a place you can point current and potential clients to that is going to be more interesting (hopefully) than your boring law firm website. The blog is also a place you can interact with them and create dialogue. In short, it has the ability to support the building of the firm's profile, which is why we invest in marketing assets in the first place, right?
- Clients - let's face it: if your are in the business of law it's all about getting more clients. Most clients either ask a friend about which lawyer to use or ask Google (which is also their friend). When you blog daily, that raises your profile in the eyes of Google. When attached to a law firm website, the blog provides much needed "Google Juice" so you will rank higher in results for search terms relating to your posts (there are plenty of tricks to packing posts with search terms which I'll discuss in a later post as well).
"It sounds great Mike," you say, "but how do I get started?" I'm glad you asked.
The best place to get started with any project, (and yes, blogging is a project), is with some planning. The follow template provides 7-questions that should help you define what your blog is about and what direction to take it in. Try to answer this as completely and simply as possible.
Blog Planning Template for Lawyers
- What are your goals in blogging (establish expertise among peers, attract clients, SEO, etc.)? What does success look like?
- Who is your ideal reader? What problems are they facing and can you give any guidance via the blog? How can you take this a step further and connect emotionally with what they are going through?
- What digital assets does the firm currently have (articles, white papers, recordings or video, etc.)? Are there opportunities here to repurpose (republish sections) and promote those via the blog?
- What is your schtick going to be, i.e. what makes your posts special besides the subject matter that will create a raving fan base?
- Do you have any promotion channels for the blog posts (of course you do, but I want to know what you have thought of!)? Some suggestions include: Twitter, attaching post titles with links to email signatures, email newsletters, etc.
- Are you familiar with copywriting basics (blogs are not briefs ... they should not be boring)?
- Attention getting headlines
- Problem solving and issue raising
- Linking and tagging
- Using images
- Break up long posts with lists and subheads
- Finding your voice - who will be the personality of the blog? Will you have multiple authors? I always think blogging works better when you tie a post to an individual rather than a firm.
Notice I don't list anything about tools or the Connected blogging platform. That is because tools are the easy part. Knowing what you are going to build is much more difficult. Think about it: if you are going to build a house, do you really care if I hand you a Bosch or a Black and Decker drill? No. As long as the tools work and can build what you are working towards they are fine. The same thing applies here.
Is your firm currently planning to launch a blog, and if so, what is it about? If not, what is stopping you? If you already have a blog, what tips can you share that have worked for you?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
By Pepe Escobar
This Thursday, in Washington, finance ministers and central bank governors of the BRICS group of emerging powers - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will get together and, in the words of Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, "Talk about what to do to help the European Union get out of this situation."
Hold your horses. Is this an emerging cavalry to the rescue? Could this be the end of the eurozone (eurotrash?) self-induced liquidity panic? Or is this just the BRICS graphically showing the writing on the wall - pointing to which way the economic wind is blowing?
The basic (Brazilian) idea is for BRICS financial muscle to buy some extra European sovereign debt. But only "solid" bonds - from Germany or the United Kingdom - would qualify. The rationale is that BRICS will win by diversifying reserves - China at $3.2 trillion, Brazil at over $350 billion, India at over $320 billion - and make more money than investing in US Treasury bonds.
The thing is selected BRICS have been diversifying their reserves for quite a while - especially China, as well as Brazil (which still remains the US's 4th biggest creditor, with over $210 billion).
There will be much to debate in Washington. India is not very enthusiastic. Nor is Russia; Moscow, via Arkady Dvorkovich, President Dmitry Medvedev's chief economic adviser, stated flat out that the Europeans must come up with a clear strategy for rescuing the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland and Italy, Greece, Spain) before Moscow starts buying more eurozone bonds.
I wanna bite your apple
As for China, ask not what Beijing could do to Europe; ask what Europe has done to Beijing. Well, not much. The bombing by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of Libya into democracy translated into massive losses for China, including the lightning repatriation of over 36,000 Chinese workers, and cancellation of dozens of contracts. Not to mention that NATO's war was fundamentally opposed by the BRICS - and the "NATO rebels" in Libya have already threatened to sideline Brazilian, Chinese and Russian companies from the fresh Libyan loot.
What Beijing really wants can be gleaned from what top adviser to China's central bank Li Daokui said at the recent World Economic Forum in Dalian, "The incremental parts of our foreign reserve holdings should be invested in physical assets."
Translation; "We would like to buy stakes in Boeing, Intel and Apple, and maybe we should invest in these types of companies in a proactive way." Daokui said there is an astonishing "$10 trillion" waiting to be invested in the US; over the collective dead body of the Republican party, one might add.
Daokui also said that only after "the US Treasury market stabilizes" would China be willing to "liquidate more of our holdings of Treasuries".
The operational word here is "liquidate" - not "diversify". That is, Beijing really wants to get rid of all those US dollars. Meanwhile, it will keep buying any available foreign assets in sight - as well as, inevitably, US dollars. Europeans should not get too excited; Beijing is as fond of euro debt as it is of dollar debt. Actually euro debt is now regarded as even more poisonous.
The return of the European dead
Critics of the Brazilian plan say the EU does not need a bail out. It is already awash in all those euros they print; what they need is "fiscal discipline". Additionally, it's a bad investment; the euro will inevitably lose against the yuan, the rouble or the real, and some eurozone countries may even default.
French economist Emmanuel Todd - who was predicting the decline of the US already before the invasion of Iraq - ranks the euro as a "zombie concept". Indeed - in the sense that wealthier northern Europe will never be ready to open their wallets to help southern Europe to reach an equivalent economic level.
National egoism rules. The euro is too expensive for Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and even France. The euro's rate in relation to the US dollar is adapted to Germany or the Netherlands, not for southern Europe. For these countries, the euro is like a cluster bomb on their growth.
And because the currency is so strong, companies are unable to export. They delocalize like crazy. And unemployment shoots up. That's why leaving the euro is a solution for all these countries whose competitiveness is in trouble. They can devalue their currency and get back in business.
But then there are the cons. Technically, for these countries to get back to their national currencies - say, the drachma, the peso, or the lira - is already a major headache in itself. Then these new (old) currencies will obviously fall; according to ING projections it would be something like 50% for Greece and Spain.
This means their debt, as well as the debts of their companies - denominated in euros - will rise exponentially. And the same for inflation; it would be parked in double-digit territory.
The only realistic solution for the European crisis would be a move towards a federal Europe (think of the United States of Europe). That would imply that the accumulated debt of all these countries would be Europe's debt (and also imply, on a positive register, no more speculation). The economy would be centralized, managed on a European-wide scale.
There's absolutely no evidence European-wide citizens are ready to accept such a project. Thus, the crisis is never-ending.
I want security, yeah
The BRICS's ultimate fear is that this perpetual eurozone wasteland plus American stagnation will lead to a global contraction also wreaking havoc all across Asia, South America and Africa.
Public opinion in the development world has long memories. Many would dream that as much as the IMF "helped" the global South by applying its dreaded "structural adjustments" - deregulating everything in sight and transferring more wealth to the already wealthy - the BRICs might now impose their own rules to "save" Europe.
That would be, in practice, permanent seats at the UN Security Council for the "B" and "I" in BRICS ("R" and "C" already have it). Brazil would demand real free trade in agriculture. And China would demand real freedom of investment.
But everyone knows that won't happen.
Another possibility - in terms of helping not only Europe but the global economy as a whole - would be for all BRICS to launch massive infrastructure projects. Then EU and US funds would be "encouraged" to get into the action. China already did it, and Brazil is doing it; but these massive investments in infrastructure are largely locally and regionally minded, and are not translating into more jobs for Europeans or Americans.
Even crisis-hit Western Europe, as a whole, is still the number one economy in the world; according to The Economist, a little less than 24% of the global total, compared to the BRICS at 21%. Yet the Europeans hold 32% of the votes at the International IMF, while the BRICS control only 11%.
So maybe that's what the BRICS are really after; they want to force a new correlation of forces at the IMF. To this end, why not undermine the power of the US dollar a little further, and to defy Europe a little more forcefully; but without betting on the US dollar, or the euro, or both, crashing. Sun Tzu would give it the thumbs up....
Sunday, September 11, 2011
As the five Central Asian states become increasingly important as a source of oil and gas, a market for consumer goods and as the core of the strategically-important Shanghai Cooperation Organization,China is now “clearly confident it can reorient Central Asia towards Beijing” and away from the world’s other major powers.
China Analysis: The new Great Game in Central Asia, published today by the European Council on Foreign Relations and Asia Centre, explores these issues by analysing the evolving debates among experts within China itself. The authors argue that the EU should closely watch Chinese policy in Central Asia – the region is becoming “almost a laboratory for Chinese foreign policy.”
Key themes that emerge include:
- China increasingly sees the five states of central Asia – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – as an important destination for investment and aid that could in turn leverage influence. It is positioning itself as a “good neighbour” to the region: Hu Jintao has made three trips there since 2009.
- Beijing also sees the region as a source of fuel that could reduce Beijing’s risky dependence on maritime routes. Chinese analysts predict that Central Asia will be central in the “battle for resources” between the major powers.
- The SCO is seen in China as a hedge against Western demands; some analysts hope it will become a quasi-military alliance that could veto a UN-based intervention in the region and carry out its own security actions, including against future terrorist threats.
- China wants the Central Asian states to take a more active part in its fight against Uighur separatist movements
- China overtook Europe as Central Asia’s principal trading partner in 2010, doing €23 billion of trade with the region’s five states compared with Europe’s €21bn
- Over 10 percent of China’s oil and gas imports now come from Central Asia
- Current members of the SCO are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan: some Chinese analysts hope that both India and Pakistan will join in the medium-term
Download China Analysis: The new Great Game in Central Asia here
Friday, July 15, 2011
July , 2011 -- Murdoch intelligence-gathering network extended to U.S. Congress....
U.S. Congressional sources have confirmed to us that the U.S. Capitol Police and other congressional officials shared sensitive information on members of Congress with Rupert Murdoch's media outlets in Washington, including Fox News, in a manner similar to the situation in the United Kingdom where reporters for Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World bribed British law enforcement officials for sensitive information on public officials and private citizens.
Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already leveled charges that News of the World reporters tried to bribe U.S. law enforcement officials for phone records and transcripts of wiretaps of victims of the 9/11 attack. King did not elaborate on why law enforcement would have found it necessary, in the first place, to wiretap the conversations of 9/11 victims and their surviving next-of-kin.
On March 28, 2007, we first reported the relationship between the newly-appointed U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, who was formerly the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Fox News in three highly-publicized incidents involving only Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The three incidents involved Fox News receiving information directly from Gainer on incidents involving then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), then-Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and an aide to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA).
After a highly-publicized scuffle involving McKinney and an aggressive U.S. Capitol Police officer, one in which McKinney was physically assaulted by the officer, Fox News was the first to report the incident. The media hype resulting from the incident resulted in a criminal referral to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia. Shortly after Gainer resigned as chief and his being appointed by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, Representative Kennedy was involved in a minor automobile accident on Capitol Hill. Again, Fox News was the first to receive the information about the incident and Gainer stated publicly that Kennedy should have been given a sobriety test by the Capitol cops.
The third incident involved Phillip Thompson, the executive assistant to Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who was arrested by the Capitol Police at the Russell Senate Office Building for carrying a loaded pistol allegedly given to him by Webb. The Capitol Police enforced a DC law in force at the time that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in the District. Webb said he has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia and Thompson, an ex-Marine, inadvertently carried the weapon into the building after dropping Webb off at the airport. March 2007 our report stated: "Details of the [Thompson] incident were leaked by the cops to Fox News and other neo-con outlets." We also reported that the leaks by US Capitol Police and Sergeant-at-Arms staff also occurred in the cases of McKinney and Kennedy.
Gainer is a long-time Republican who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Richard M. Daley, Jr. as the Republican candidate for Cook County (Illinois) State's Attorney in 1988. Gainer got his start in law enforcement as a rookie Chicago cop in 1968 where he helped put down riots at the Democratic National Convention, a melee that saw Chicago cops clubbing anti-Vietnam War protesters.
As U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Gainer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the Senate's telecommunications networks and computer and other equipment, including those that handle Senators' e-mail, phone calls, faxes, Blackberry tweets, and photocopies of documents.
Some members of Congress have indicated the investigation of Murdoch's News Corporation's information-gathering practices warrant a full-scale investigation in the United States. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told CNN, "My bet is we'll find some criminal stuff . . . This is going to be a huge issue." Rockefeller said he may launch his own investigation. Perhaps he might want to start with the Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms and ask Harry Reid why he chose to appoint Gainer, a Republican, to the post after evidence surfaced that tied Gainer to leaks of law enforcement information to Fox News.
In Britain, law enforcement officials, including royal guards, reportedly asked the News of the World for money in exchange for personal information about the Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, and others. While he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was also subjected to private communication surveillance by private detectives who had a close relationship with law enforcement agencies, including Scotland Yard....
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
[Supreme Court cases/decisions listed]....
- Ex-MI6 spy chief urges espionage against Britain's eurozone partners. Financial intelligence gathering urged in times of crisis. George Soros could finally be a marked man by "James Bond." "Quantum of Soros," indeed.
- Bank shysters now target Portugal. With Greece in their pocket, the banksters now begin to add Portugal to their collection of stolen nations. Portugal and Greece should invest in gallows to hang these gangsters and shylocks.
- Rumors of ex-President Jian Zemin's death spread throughout Beijing. Ex-president missed Communist Party's 90th birthday festivities.
- NATO's "little mermaid" Rasmussen calls on Russia to reverse course on recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Rasmussen serving his neocon masters in Washington and Tel Aviv....
Arithmetics of Disdain,
It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on Hobeika and his party.... But Listed a small Hand Grenade thrown at a U.S. franchise in the middle of the night when the place was closed, empty and no one was hurt? The White House wanted to ensure the terror attack on Mr. Elie Hobeika, and his party of three young men with families, was censored from the report. The reason was simple: this attack ultimately had Washington's and Israel's fingerprints all over it....Given the actual climate of political cacophonies, deceit, deception and intrigue in Lebanon of today, Lebanon of the LIARS of NEOCONVILLE, it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mr. Elie Hobeika was a visionary Leader and a Hero.Lebanon will probably never know a Leader of this caliber.My dear friend ELIE, you have been reborn on January 24th 2002.Heroes are reborn the day of their Martyrdom .ELIE, you are more alive today, than many living political corpses,walking and talking in Beirut Lebanon every day, until resurrection.At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"- G. Orwell A U.S. intelligence source revealed to me, that in the world of intelligence "carve out" subcontracts such confusion is often the case with "plausible deniability" being a foremost concern in ALL covert operations, especially in Elie Hobeika's case on January 24th 2002, & Hariri's Feb. 14th 2005... Notwithstanding Jacques CHIRAC's gesticulations and false sorrow for the loss of his "friend" Rafic HARIRI, he has been regularly organizing official meetings in Paris for Asef Shawkat with his services to secure SYRIA for and with Assef Shawkat,....
The propensity of governments to create secrets out of the obvious is one of the more tedious aspects of international relations. But this secret is not obvious, and it is not trivial. Though it is true, and I hold the KEY.
Fabrications, LIES , False Flag operations, CIA and MOSSAD.It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt,that ALL stories which came out immediately after the Assassination of Mr.Elie Hobeika, Fares Sweidan,Dimitri Ajram, and Waleed El-Zein, were completely &utterly FALSE. It was a pure fabrication by the KILLERS;AND the CIA'S Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC),to cover their tracks. Standard operating procedure...101I mean by that, the stories relating to Elie trying to find IMAD Moughnieh, the alleged attempted contacts with CIA, MOSSAD, etc. , the missing Iranian diplomats, the 9 most wanted by CIA, whose names have been circulated then,on purpose by CIA, to 7 ministers in the Lebanese Government, etc. [names which CIA has completely forgotten now,one of them has proven since to be a CIA asset himself...] ALL these were a tortuous web of lies to cover the tracks of the Murderers of CIA, MOSSAD, and their Syro-Lebanese tools.Special ongoing Investigation.Oct. , 2007- On September 15, 2001, just four days after the 9-11 attacks,CIA Director George Tenet provided President [sic] Bush with a Top Secret"Worldwide Attack Matrix"-a virtual license to kill targets deemed to be a threat to the United States in some 80 countries around the world. The Tenet plan, which was subsequently approved by Bush, essentially reversed the executive orders of four previous U.S. administrations that expressly prohibited political assassinations. Mr. Elie Hobeika will be the first target of the US administration, to pave the way for its Iraq Invasion .It planned to directly control the "Energy Basin" and ALL the OIL Transportation routes,from Pipelines to the Maritime avenues and choke points in the Gulf areas, and from central Asia to Mauritania and beyond.But most of all, Mr. Elie Hobeika will be made to pay dearly with his life,for daring to change his politics and views, after experiencing first hand,THE BRUTALITY OF THE ISRAELIS AND THE AMERICANS ,and their CULTURE OF VIOLENCE , Intrigue, murder & very bad Politics.The BUSH+CHENEY Energy MATRIX, coming to a place near you SOON.The awakening is near. It will be like a hurricane passing with untold fury.Mark my Words: .....
THE assassination of yet another Lebanese MP — the seventh anti-Syrian figure to be murdered since the slaying of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005 — has brought Lebanon to the brink of a catastrophe. It threatens to be even more devastating than the 1975-90 civil war. The country’s survival as an independent unified state is now at stake. The divide between anti-Syrian and pro-Syrian blocs is now unbridgeable.
As to fears of fresh civil war, it is already a reality. With ministers and pro-government MPs being assassinated, the government even more besieged than the one in Iraq, surviving MPs in hiding, who can talk of political normality? Lebanon is at war with itself. How long before that translates into general armed conflict is anyone’s guess. It would be naive to imagine that Ghanem’s killing will be the last. The anti-Syrian majority in Parliament is now razor-thin. Those behind this and the other killings are obviously determined to bring down the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora by the physical elimination of its parliamentary majority.
There can be no doubt that more assassinations are planned and will be attempted. If that happens and the Lebanese government falls as a result and is replaced by a pro-Syrian government, it will trigger a wave of retaliatory violence — against Hezbollah, against the Shiite community and against pro-Syrian figures. Open warfare waits in the wings.
Syrian protestations that it had nothing to do with Antoine Ghanem’s murder and the others may be true. It is quite possible that the killings are wholly internal, the work of pro-Syrian elements inside Lebanon who want power back. There are certainly some who do not want a new president elected to replace Emile Lahoud. It is even possible that Israelis were behind the killings, intent on destabilization and making Syria appear the villain — possible but unlikely; they have much to lose if a Hezbollah-dominated, pro-Syrian government were installed in Beirut.
The problem is that very few believe Syria’s innocence. They ask the question “who benefits?” and, in the case of each assassination, come up with the same answer: Damascus and its clients in Lebanon. That belief robs Syria of having an acceptable role in Lebanon for a long time to come. The majority of Lebanese want their sovereignty to be absolute; with no interference from anyone — be they Syrian, Israeli, Iranian, American or whatever. That dream, however, is being car-bombed to oblivion....
Forget what you've heard about objectivity. Not even cameras are objective. To nearly everything you analyze (and report on) you bring notions based on - but not limited to - your class, gender, skin color, ethnicity, native language, upbringing, education, religion, culture, playground experiences, political orientation, the influences of people you trust and things about the way our brains work that nobody even knows yet. Like sponges, we absorb stereotypes and clichés about other people's attitudes and behavior which skews our perceptions in ways we don't even realize. So don't fool yourself into believing in objectivity. The best you can achieve is fairness, and that's a tough path to stick to as well.
And then we'd have a talk about the textbook description of objectivity, which is that "every story has two sides," a pernicious dualistic myth that profoundly undermines what is supposed to be a search for truth....
The even greater danger with these dark clouds forming over Lebanon is for the region. With Syria’s links to Iran, Iran’s links to Hezbollah, rising tension over Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, there is a chain explosion waiting to happen. An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, an American attack on Iran, a Syrian attack on Israel, more Lebanese assassinations: One could trigger another. The temperature is fast rising on the Middle East’s northern rim — and it is near flash point.
Dear Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
http://judiciary.senate.gov/ , thanks for your
great work defending the USA Constitution, with
"EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" ,Separation
between Churches and State and Free Speech,
and my questions are:1) since most likely the Senate
will approve Michael Mukasey as the new A.G.of
the United States, and since as you know,he is an
orthodox Israeli-American and with dual citizenship,
American and Israeli,
http://phillyfreedom.blogspot.com/ , NYT Sept.
18.07 "Washington outsider with many sides"
for info on Mukasey as Judge of the WTC-
Insurance 9/11 case , will he respect other
religions exactly thesame as his?2) since he is an
ordained rabbi within his orthodox community,will his partners get treatment better or different in any way
from the one you or I or anybody else would get from
him in the United States of America?
3) what happens to all the Security Contracts
and Military deals he and his son Marc are
doing with the Companies and Interests of
Giuliani Partners and other associates ?
4) what happens with all the deals they
worked on in his son's law firm,
Bracewell&Giuliani?since Bracewell&Giuliani has
offices in the South Asia, like in Kazakhstan,a big
oil supplier ruled by an extreme undemocratic leader,
Nazarbayev, will the Mukasey's and Giuliani's
get special deals? with no supervision? political
donations? will the actual law firm of Mukasey
get special deals too? will anybody ask ? or will
they just say yes :blindly?
5) Michael Mukasey
and his son Marc are strong AIPAC supporters ,
but will anyone in the Senate ask anything about their relationship to these political-military-religious-financial
and foreign groups? we know that no one
will,but is that right? isn't special treatment?
6) Chairman,this powerful military-religious-
financial group , of which Michael Mukasey is
a leader, will have unprecedented influence in
the Justice Dpt. ,White House and Congress,
not to mention over the average taxpayer,
and since many members of the orthodox
community to which he belongs are diamond,
gold,jewelry,insurance ,real estate and tobacco
dealers and wholesalers while claiming Tax
Exemption due to religious condition,will his
appointment stop all the Investigations of the
IRS and Justice Dpt.as well as Commerce,etc.?
and back taxes?
do average Americans have a guarantee of
when we start getting prosecuted for asking
questions,what recourse do we have ? any ?
and since orthodox Mukasey will most likely
install many members of his organized religious
group into office,will we be forced to request
help from the same community like his with
the special privilege?7) Judge Mukasey was in
charge of the 9/11/01 Trial case between the
leaseholders of the WTC,SIlverstein-Goldman-
Pacific-etc., and the 23 Insurance Companies these
new leaseholders called just days before 9/11 to
open dozens of policies over everything in
the Towers, services,leases,businesses,contracts,
profits,hardware,you name it,their premiums
were millions of dollars a week, didn't make
any business sense,unless they knew what was
going to happen a few days later ,and
everybody in N.Y. and around the world
was waiting for answers from the Trial ,
and then Judge Mukasey put a lid on the
Trial and no news came out, NOTHING !!!!
and everybody asked why ?, if it is a patriotic
case,why no news at all ?why the secrecy ?
why Judge Mukesay didn't want anybody in
America to know everything about Silverstein
and his dozens of policies? , then we also found
out that then N.Y.State A.G. Eliot Spitzer
wrote a Friend of the Court brief supporting
Silverstein,the AG siding with one of the
parties!, and the Judge and Spitzer started to
push the Insurance Companies to settle for 2
events,a total of 7 billion dollars to Silverstein
and his partners, many of the Insurance
Companies refused because they knew
something was not right and eventually they
settled on 4.6 billion dollars for Silverstein ,
but we still never got any details in any
newspaper ,radio or TV,NOTHING ! I WOULD
LIKE TO ASK JUDGE MUKASEY WHY ? ,
but we do know that no one will ask him
anything in D.C., he and his Orthodox
Congregation partners rule,after all they all
go to Israel together and share Religious
Ceremonies with Kissinger, Chertoff,
Bloomberg ,Silverstein,etc., and yet we hear
S. Schumer and other neocons saying to the
media that they want to learn more from
the man !8) Chairman,this new A.G. will have
unprecedented influence over President Bush
and VP Cheney,since he is the only one that
can prosecute the 2,is it wise to have a
member of a foreign religious-political group
having so much power over the President and
the Vice-President of the United States of
America ? safe ? smart? patriotic?We know that MR..Mukasey was selected by
Joshua Bolten and approved by Senator
Schumer and others,so since "they" run
Washington,it's a done deal ,hearing Senator
Schumer telling the Media how wonderful
Mukasey is and that his nomination cuts
down on pressure on the White House, do
they extorted a deal from the President:
Our orthodox candidate and we stop asking
for White House U.S. Attorney papers and
information?is that why Bush looks so depressed?
is that how Schumer,Bolton, Emanuel,Specter,
Lieberman and Bloomberg are going to run
because clearly with Mukasey as A.G.,they
run this country lock,stock and barrel,it's
that how our Constitutional Rights end ?
Extortion of the President of the United
hearing Schumer and Specter, it's clear that it
was all about getting the Christians out of the
Justice Dpt. and installing the neocon orthodox
in, is that how they do it ?A partner of Mukasey
as adviser to Giuliani , the neocon Pedhoretz,
has repeatedly pushed with Pr.Bush to bomb Iran,
to attack, and since Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Kyl
are pushing to brand Iran's Military a terrorist
Organization, is this the beginning of a concerted
effort to push for war? it's important to remember
all this , because in 2002 and 2003 all these
neocons with Sen.Schumer,S.Coleman,
were pushing for war every day on the media
and yet now they are attacking anyone that
mentions it, they are warning elected officials
like R.Moran that to mention these facts is
anti-this and anti-that and "watch it ", they
are bullying any one that mentions what happen
before the USA went to Iraq,and worst: they
insist now on their media that only Bush-
Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld are responsible , that
no one else pushed for this war:
THEY ARE RE-WRITING HISTORY!!! and
it looks like its not the first time, it sounds
like they always pull the same trick: they push
for war,financed with their Hedge Funds and
then with the media they erase any links to
themselves, this is criminal; to push for war
and then to hide and blamethe Christians
only,that's evil and SHOWS LOTS OF
WEAKNESS ON THE PART OF THE USA,
THIS IS A DISASTER FOR THIS GREAT
COUNTRY! to confirm an organized
religious-political-military from a foreign sect
and laws to Attorney General is
un-Constitutional,illegal, un-American and
goes against the core of the USA values,
thousands died to defend the USA
Constitution from foreign religions, how can
the Senate now approve a religious leader ?
will they even ask this question? will they
commit High Treason ?when you look at these
incompetent and criminal decisions against the
Rule of Law and the Declaration of Independence,
how can Taxpayers petition the Government
for any rights?Thanks for your great work defending
America from foreign and domestic enemies,
in my humble opinion, this situation
looks to me like occupation and foreign control,
and to you ?America knows that George Washington,
Lincoln and all the Founding Fathers would be proud of
your defense of the USA Constitution against
High Treason and High Crimes,
NO COMMENT ....... "For Now..."
Saakashvili Ordered me to Get Rid of Patarkatsishvili’ – Okruashvili
Ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili has made yet another startling allegation against his former ally, President Saakashvili. The president, he said, had personally ordered him to liquidate Badri Patarkatsishvili, a business tycoon.
Speaking live on Imedi TV’s talk show On the Air late on September 25, Okruashvili said: “Saakashvili told me that we should get rid of him [Patarkatsishvili], in the same way as happened to Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, who was killed in a car bomb attack.”
“In July 2005,” Okruashvili said, “Saakashvili asked me: what did I think about getting rid of one person… - Badri Patarkatsishvili? And then he [Saakashvili] outlined a very detailed plan on how to get rid of him.”
Okruashvili continued: “It was absolutely clear to me that it was a trap for me as well, because they would have gotten rid of me as well after getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”
He said in response he told Saakashvili that he needed time to think about it.
“Meanwhile, I met with one person who at that time was working with the Americans and told him about the president’s proposal,” Okruashvili said. “I did it in the hope that the information would have been passed on to the Americans… It was Zaza Gogava [now Chief-of-Staff of the Georgian armed forces] However it did not work. Because after a month Saakashvili again repeated his demand about getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”
“Then I met with another person in Turkey, whose identity I can not reveal. He also has close links with the Americans. He's not a Georgian citizen. I told him about Saakashvili’s plan. This information, it seemed, was delivered to the Americans, because since then Saakashvili never talked with me about getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”President Saakashvili, who is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly Session, has yet to comment on his former ally’s allegations.
Irakli Okruashvili, ex-defense minister and once President Saakashvili’s closest ally, has accused the president of engaing in “anti-state steps” and “ordering murders.”
In his first public statement since he quit the government last November, Okruashvili also finally announced the launch of his political party – Movement for United Georgia. He refused to take question after his ten-minute speech, but said he planned to give further details and “answer all questions” during a TV appearance planned for later on Tuesday.
“I will definitely speak more on these crimes, which were masterminded by the authorities,” he said. Okruashvili added: “I was ordered by Saakashvili several times to liquidate certain influential and important people, which I refused to do.” He gave no further details.
There has been considerable speculation that “a war of compromising materials” would precede Okruashvili’s political comeback and the unveiling of his new opposition party.
Okruashvili said at the news conference in his party's headquarters in downtown Tbilisi that “fascist trends” and “anti-state steps undertaken by the authorities” had convinced him and his co-thinkers to set up the new movement. He also suggested that it hadn't been easy to launch the party.
People, he said, “are terrorized” because of “repression.” “Those with dissenting opinions are deemed ‘enemies of the state’ and the government is refusing to hold a dialogue with them,” he said.
This, he said, had made it difficult to convince people to engage in public life.
Okruashvili said that the anti-corruption campaign was “unreal.” The prisons, he said, were full of petty criminals, while corruption continued to thrive among “top level officials, Saakashvili’s inner circle and his family.”
“Three years ago when I was Interior Minister,” Okruashvili said, “I arrested Temur Alasania, the president’s uncle, for extortion of USD 200,000. I, however, had to release him on the president’s insistence.”
He also accused the authorities, and personally Saakashvili, of, as he put it, “a deliberate anti-Orthodox Church campaign” and “of fighting against Georgian traditions and values.”
“Saakashvili has an inner hatred of the Georgian Orthodox Church,” Okruashvili said. “The Georgian church is the most respected institution in Georgia. [Because of this] he [Saakashvili] perceives the Church as his main competitor. While in his inner circle, I often heard him talking about splitting the Church and discrediting the clergy.”
He also said that there was “a clear attempt” by the Saakashvili administration “to re-write Georgia’s history, as if nothing Georgian existed before the Rose Revolution, and everything new is being created by Saakashvili.”
Okruashvili also made an obvious attempt to appeal to other walks of life by saying that the older generation, those over 50, had been “neglected and humiliated.”
Internally displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he said, “were not regarded as human beings during ex-President Shevardnadze’s regime and this trend has continued in the Saakashvili regime as well.”
He also criticized the authorities’ policies towards the secessionist regions.
“We were one step away from reclaiming one of our lost territories,” Okruashvili said, apparently referring to South Ossetia.
Several months before his resignation from the cabinet, Okruashvili said that he had planned to celebrate the 2007 New Year in Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia. Commentators said that Saakashvili’s decision to move Okruashvili last November from the Defense Ministry to the Ministry of Economy was largely because of Okruashvili’s perceived hawkish stance on South Ossetia.
In his speech on September 25, Okruashvili said that “only Saakashvili’s weakness, inability and fear” had foiled plans to reclaim the secessionist region. He also said Saakashvili was too weak to take an unspecified “historic decision.”
He also criticized Tbilisi’s decision to create the provisional South Ossetia administration, led by Dimitri Sanakoev. Okruashvili said Sanakoev had no respect and authority among the population of the region. He also said that installing Sanakoev was “an imaginary attempt” to unite the country.
Okruashvili explained his decision to “quietly” quit the government without voicing his discontent was because of, as he put it, his sense of “civil responsibility.”
“Army officers, who are still my friends, asked me to do it quietly,” he said and added that by doing so he had denied the country’s enemies an opportunity to speculate on a split within the government.
Okruashvili admitted that he shared “the responsibility for some mistakes because I was also once part of this government.”
“I, however, have done nothing but good for my country when in government,” he added. “So any attempt to discredit me will fail.”
Towards the end of his speech, he implied that he might have presidential ambitions.
“Georgia will be united only if it has a president who doesn't humiliate and insult its own people,” Okruashvili said.
Throughout his speech, Okruashvili's fellow party members stood beside him. They include: lawmakers Tea Tlashadze, Ketevan Makharashvili, Koka Guntsadze, Gia Tortladze and Gia Tsagareishvili; former Deputy Defense Minister Levan Nikolaishvili and a lawyer, Eka Beselia.
Two former journalists from Rustavi 2 TV station, Nana Lezhava and Natia Lazashvili, were also there. Both quit the TV station shortly after Rustavi 2 changed hands last November following Okruashvili’s resignation.