Barack Obama and the Failure of the Peace Process

Among the most prominent of President Obama’s hope-based initiatives was his promise to re-frame America’s approach to the conflict in Palestine, epitomized in his June 2007 speech in Cairo, where Obama called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims”, a new dawn based on equality and mutual respect rather than the vestiges of a “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities” to Muslim majorities held prisoner to proxy regimes without regard to the legitimate aspirations of their people. The speech was welcomed by tens of millions of people all over the world willing to believe, despite mountains of historical evidence to the contrary, that America had finally resolved to remake itself as a facilitator rather than an obstacle to justice for the occupied and abused people of Palestine, and by implication, for the poor and dispossessed throughout the Muslim world.

As with much of Obama’s rhetoric, it is difficult to discern whether the President’s Cairo speech was sincere or a cynical maneuver intended to provide cover under which the status quo would be maintained. In any case, expectations were raised even higher when Obama followed up the Cairo speech by appointing the venerable George Mitchell as his chief negotiator and demanding that Israel immediately freeze all settlement building as a condition precedent to a resurrected “peace process” leading to the creation of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As remarkable as Obama’s Cairo speech was, no less remarkable was the speed of Obama’s retreat from its lofty rhetoric when confronted with political realities.

Under the leadership of newly re-cycled right wing hardliner Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, Israel predictably responded to Obama’s demand by raising its middle finger to Israel’s only remaining benefactor, by authorizing the construction of 455 new Jewish-only housing units in and around Jerusalem and announcing that some 3000 units under construction would be completed regardless of any hypothetical moratorium.

Even the cynical Netanyahu must have been amazed at the ease with which the Obama government backed down from his settlement freeze demand in a series of remarkable genuflections notable mostly for the unctuousness with which they were delivered. To gain a full picture of the scope of Obama’s capitulation to the Israel Lobby, we must consider the timeliness of Judge Richard Goldstone’s report on war crimes committed during Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza, during Operation Lead Cast in January 2009.

Goldstone’s 575-page report meticulously documenting Israel’s various crimes was released on September 15, 2009, just as the Netanyahu government was concocting new ways to placate its settler-based constituency by expressing its contempt for Obama’s peace initiative. Thus, by virtue of its timing, the public release of the Goldstone report provided a perfect opportunity for Obama to play hardball with Bibi.

Obama could have threatened to simply allow (or even support) Judge Goldstone’s recommendation – that the report be referred to the United Nations Security Council and possibly to the International Criminal Court should Israel refuse to undertake a genuine investigation of its findings – to be implemented unless Israel agreed to a freeze of all settlement activity, including Jerusalem. Given the importance to Israel of preserving its reputation as a civilized member of the “international community” (meaning, the West), such a strategy might well have succeeded, and would have allowed the Obama administration to avoid the more serious political implications of resorting to the most obvious exercise of America’s leverage – cutting off loan guarantees that are used to subsidize Israel’s illegal settlement building, a threat that would surely provoke a full-blown rebellion from AIPAC-infested U.S. Congress.

Instead, Obama immediately dispatched UN Ambassador Susan Rice to vacuously express Obama’s “serious concerns” over the “unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable” work of the Goldstone commission, without of course identifying any specific flaws in the report’s findings, logic or conclusions. Worse yet, by means of some behind-the-scenes arm-twisting, Obama forced the hapless Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to in effect adopt the Likud-endorsed, grotesquely Orwellian formulation that to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes would deal a “fatal blow” to the peace process.

“Israel will not be able to take further steps and take risks for peace if it is denied the right of self-defense”, said Netanyahu on October 1, affirming that the right to commit crimes against humanity with absolute impunity is an essential weapon in Israel’s peace arsenal. Threatened by the Netanyahu-Obama axis with who-knows-what dire consequences if he failed to fall into line, Abbas was forced to agree, and withdrew the Palestinian Authority’s demand that the Goldstone report be sent to the UN General Assembly for possible action.

This was the first of the self-inflicted wounds visited upon Obama’s feckless peace initiative, which, like its equally feckless predecessors, depends on identifying and propping up a Palestinian “partner for peace” to participate in chimerical negotiations: On the day following Abbas’ announcement, the “Arab street” erupted in protests, marches and statements of condemnation, not only from his Hamas rivals, but from human rights groups, intellectuals and media pundits all over the world (except of course the United States). Abbas quickly reversed course and re-affirmed the PA’s commitment to having the Goldstone report referred to the UN Security Council. It was too little, too late, to salvage Abbas’ credibility.

The second and fatal blow – to Abbas’ viability with his own people and thus to Obama’s Cairo agenda – was landed when in late October, Obama’s loathsome Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told reporters that Netanyahu’s patently meaningless offer to “restrain some” (as opposed to “freeze all”) settlement activities in the West Bank amounted to an “unprecedented restriction” on Israel’s colonization project. (Clinton’s assertion was true in the trivial sense that notwithstanding numerous commitments to freeze settlement activities, most recently at George W. Bush’s 2007 Annapolis conference and before that in the 2003 Road Map agreement, in practice Israel has never significantly “restrained” its settlement activities at any time; however, insofar as it in effect congratulated Netanyahu for Israel’s bad faith in rejecting the most basic request issued by her own boss, Clinton’s statement was thoroughly false in a deeper sense.)

The Clinton episode was the last straw for Mr. Abbas, who promptly announced that he would withdraw his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority. It is not readily apparent who will replace Abbas, assuming he is serious about his decision to cede the leadership role to someone more willing to play the patsy role in the absurd charade known as the American-sponsored “peace process.” What is clear, however, is that Obama’s inability to back up his Cairo rhetoric with even the semblance of spine in dealing with Israel’s intransigent leadership has consigned the latest Middle East peace initiative to failure, exactly like the similar initiatives of every American President since Jimmy Carter.

Obama’s gamesmanship vis-à-vis Mahmoud Abbas nicely illustrates the paradox of Israel’s relationship to Palestinian leadership generally:

Israel complains (in the words of Ehud Barak) that it cannot negotiate because it has no Palestinian “partner for peace.” But to the extent that any hand-picked Palestinian leader is acceptable as a “partner” – to that extent the Palestinian leader invariably lacks credibility with his own people, and for that reason cannot legitimately represent the popular Palestinian position in any negotiation. Thus, the hand-picked Palestinian leader cannot negotiate because he has no real power, and Israel is once again able to complain about having no partner for peace.

This cycle suits Israel fine, because postponement of the “peace process” means preservation of the status quo, and preserving the status quo serves (apparent) Israeli interests for one reason: the status quo allows, or more accurately consists in, the constant, never-ending, incremental construction of yet more Jewish-only settlements on stolen land, and the consequent incremental dispossession of Palestinian populations and their increasing isolation in ever-shrinking disconnected ghettos.

(Just as the space of the occupation is less a container within which events unfold than the medium for the events themselves (see Eyal Weizman, The Hollow Land), so the temporality of the occupation should be understood as part of its implementation: The occupation’s end (via agreement on final status) is constantly, interminably, forever deferred, and in the meantime, everything that occurs (the building of settlements and “outposts”, military “incursions” and “operations”, agreements, understandings, cease fires, checkpoints, barriers, suspensions of law and rights in the name of security, etc.) is characterized as temporary, conditional, of “interim status”, allowing the nearly imperceptible creation of “facts on the ground” that incrementally but permanently alter reality, rendering any possible agreement or negotiated solution moot.)

Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institute, an advisor to George Mitchell, recently remarked that with Abbas exiting the scene, “we are entering a new era.” In this new era, the challenge for the next Palestinian leader will be to resist the “peace process” altogether, based on a clear understanding that the United States cannot, now or ever, play a constructive role in bringing about a just outcome to the conflict.

As Sara Roy has demonstrated, the function of the “peace process” is to permanently remove the conflict from the framework of international law, as expressed in the well-established international consensus regarding its resolution based on UN Resolution 242, a consensus consistently blocked over the past 30 years by Israel and the United States. This removal is accomplished by creating and sustaining the illusion of a genuine “negotiation” of land for peace, but the concept of negotiation assumes the existence of two more or less equal parties, each of whom runs the risk of palpable loss should negotiations fail.

This assumption does not apply in this case, because all the power is on one side, and the relationship between the parties is that of domination: The Palestinians have nothing to give that Israel can’t take by force, and Israel has nothing to lose should negotiations fail. The only real restraint on Israel’s actions in the occupied territories is its public image in the United States Congress, which provides the money, the weapons and the legal cover for Israel’s ongoing colonization project. There are limits to gullibility, even inside the Beltway, and the day when Israel is no longer able to portray itself as the victim rather than the aggressor will be the day Israel will agree to negotiate in good faith. That is why the Goldstone report is so very dangerous from the Israeli government’s perspective.

At this point, the only possible outcome of the peace process – certain to be resurrected in some form by the Obama administration – is to force the Palestinian leadership accept national existence within a network of isolated, walled-in enclaves and call it a “state”, while lacking that most basic characteristic of any genuine state, namely, sovereignty (over borders, defense, airspace, resources, etc.). The longer the Palestinians resist that outcome, the greater the pressure on Israel to conform to its public image in the United States as a liberal democracy – by offering equal political rights, including the right to vote, to the 4 million Arabs under its rule.

As the sun sets on the two-state solution, that pressure is already well on its way to becoming intolerable – in Israel, with the growing domination of the political scene by extreme right-wing ethnic nationalists like Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in the United States with the rise of AIPAC alternatives such as the J-Street organization, and in the rest of the world with the inability of functionaries like Barack Obama to bury the Goldstone report and with it, the truth.

Stella Dallas can be contacted at Read other articles by Stella.

35 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Annie Ladysmith said on November 14th, 2009 at 9:16am #

    WHEN HAS A ‘PEACE’ PROCESS NOT FAILED? The god of this world only offers war and death, keep on believing in him and the same old rhetoric and keep on going to your graves. If you do not turn to THE PRINCE OF PEACE you will all die in your sins, yes, ALL, the whole human race that follows the pied piper. WWIII coming soon! Repent while you still have a few days left!

  2. bozh said on November 14th, 2009 at 10:14am #

    The christo-talmudic conflict cld have been solved politicly. However, the ad hoc alliance for destruction of palestina and expulsion of its people knew that it wld prevent illegal immigration and obviate euro aggression.
    Thus, ca. ’17 war process was chosen. Continues to this day.
    Likely to continue for decades yet.

    Christian lands and its near-total dependency, israel, are not telling us what the final solution is.
    It seemed to me that obama’s ‘promising’ speeches were of the kind that politico-priestly class makes.
    For what cld a pole or priest do if he was told not to make ‘promises’? Making ‘promises’, whether by a pol, priest, bible, quran, and torah wins believers.
    The rule appears to be: Make the biggest ones possible. Peole haven’t yet noticed that the bigger the ‘promise’ bigger the lie. I expected thus that mullahs, imams, ulema, muftis wld welcome obama’s speech.
    Liars, or promise makers, understand and support one another.
    Bible, quran, and torah contain thousands of tacit and explicit ‘promises’. So, pols had good teachers.

  3. Ambe Derick Akoso said on November 14th, 2009 at 11:55am #

    If we may say that, the fact of president Obama’s efforts is really congratulatory in the world over and we pray that the God almighty give’s him the power, and strength to fight against the wrong for he is trying to implements peace and good governing in the world today and also show other leaders of how a good leader should do to bring peace and efficiently manage the country’s economy.
    please live me a latest news Email: moc.oohaynull@ecapskcired or call 0023775431553

  4. Sam said on November 14th, 2009 at 3:19pm #

    Someone wrote that “we pray that the God [sic] almighty give’s [sic] him the power…”


    I’ll assume you are talking about the christian god. One can go ahead and “pray” or wish to anything they want. I’m not into praying or wishing to floating cloud beings. “Savior” Obama was not “fighting against the wrong” when he was in the senate so why would he start now? Did one take the time to examine his Cheney/Bush-enabling voting record by chance before falling for his “hope” and “change we can believe in” marketing slogans? This man ain’t trying to “implement peace” and “good governing” in the world today. What drugs are some people on? He is carrying on the Cheney/Bush neocon agenda. So praying to some floating cloud being ain’t about to change that. Doesn’t one think that this christian “God” who is supposedly “all powerful, omnipotent, all-knowing, merciful, compassionate” and all that other nonsense that the “christian” sheep attribute to this god, if “he” were all that to begin with “savior” Obama wouldn’t be in the White House in the first damn place. The “almighty” would have made damn sure that someone more like Kucinich was in the White House. But we see how that turned out, didn’t we? (Rhetorical question). Apparently this god fellow that the so-called “christian” sheep fall all over themselves worshiping, don’t realize that their “god” is asleep at the switch considering the state of things since 2000.

  5. Hajja Romi said on November 14th, 2009 at 8:35pm #

    In general, Stella Dallas’s ANALYSIS of the tragic situation in which Palestinians find themselves is excellent, however, precisely because the article led me to feel she had such a good “handle on the situation,” I was disappointed with her CONCLUSION. I was hoping for some real insight into what Palestinians (and their supporters) . Can’t she tell us more than simply that the two-state solution is becoming intolerable?

    Life for the Palestinians, in fact, is becoming intolerable. It is clear that Israel (and its Zionist supporters in the US) are bent on nothing less than GENOCIDE of the Palestinian people.

    Also, I am curious as to whether she knows anything more about Mr. Martin Indyk besides the fact that he “was an advisor to George Mitchell.” Doesn’t she realize, in fact, that he was a FORMER AMBASSADOR FROM THE U.S. TO ISRAEL, and so, presumably, eminently acceptable to “the Lobby,” and AIPAC. And, for that reason, I take everything the man says with not just the proverbial grain of salt, but an entire shaker of the substance.

  6. Hajja Romi said on November 14th, 2009 at 8:38pm #

    Correction: In my first paragraph, I said, “I was hoping for some real insight into what Palestinians (and their supporters).”

    I left the sentence unfinished (obviously). I meant to say, “I was hoping for some real insight into what Palestinians (and their supporters) CAN DO.”


  7. B99 said on November 14th, 2009 at 9:28pm #

    Martin Indyk is an Australian Jew who has lived and taught in Israel yet somehow became US ambassador to Israel advisor to both Bill Clinton and George Mitchell – among other nefarious occupations. He is not only acceptable to the Israel lobby, he is of the lobby.

  8. Jennifer Matsui said on November 14th, 2009 at 11:07pm #

    A very concise, accurate and damning summation of the Obama’s administration’s collusion with the Israeli leadership to further degrade the “peace process” to achieve Israel’s ultimate aim of making either a one or two state solution impossible. Once again, a US administration has paved the way for Israel to triumphantly declare failure in its farcical negotiations with its faux Palestinian “partners”. The US has so far only provided the Israelis wider berth to further entrench its military operations in the occupied territories. Its tepid disapproval of settlement expansion is merely a subterfuge tactic to dispel the notion that Israel calls the shots in Congress; a fact that Americans are starting to realize and resent. While Obama’s willingly deluded fan base laud his more “even handed” approach to Israel, his one-woman wrecking crew is sent to the region to demolish any hope on the Palestinian side for an end to their imprisonment.

    Great article.

  9. newflx said on November 15th, 2009 at 12:56am #

    why is it that the US always involves itself in things like these?

  10. Hue Longer said on November 15th, 2009 at 2:29am #

    write another one, Jennifer…there is at least a small unfilled vacuum since you stopped.

  11. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:00am #


  12. B99 said on November 15th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    And shame on you Iranians too Shabnam, for making women walk around in veils/hijabs/masks.

  13. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 10:08am #

    Why dissidentvoice censors my reply to B99?

  14. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 10:10am #

    Are you referring to these women? Although I do not support compulsory hejab but the hajab that the Zionists and imperialists are talking about and use it to put down Iranian people, including you, IS NO PROBLEM for them. What is the problem your, including you, vicious policy, illegal sanctions, more sanctions, NPT double standard, the Zionist rule through proxy, YOUR SUPPORT OF KILLING MILLIONS IN FAR AWAY COUNTRIES, you cooperation in waging Zionist wars with lies such as “War on Terror”, your active or inactive support of wars on other communities because you have benefitted from the killing of others and have done not only anything about it but many from the phony “left” have shown their phony face, as US Government Front, and preached the lies about Iranian election, example Joanne Landy, Chomsky, Juan Cole and many Iranians who are supported by the Zionist terrorists living abroad. B99 you are like others are phony observer.

  15. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 10:20am #

    Iranian women were FORCED TO ACCEPT THE FU*KING WESTERN ‘MIODENITY’ to ABONDON THEIR dress and accept WESTERN DRESS after 1930s by THE TERRORIST BRITISH EMPIRE. The same policy was imposed on Turkey and other countries in the region. Do you know about that? That’s why many Iranians who are aware of the history are not going to be deceived by your fu*ing twitter and your black president lies when he said we are not intervening in the Iranian political affairs. You go and inform your ignorant population and I have my duty to warn the Iranian fools helping the vicious plan of Zionism by acting as agents inside and outside the country and tell them not to trust hegemonic rule of the west. Don’t preach your ignorant attitude about Iranian hejab to me. People abhor any compulsory demands made on them but sometime people will accept and follow certain things for the sake of UNITY AGAINST THE COMMON ENEMY, the Zionist and imperialist terrorists that you directly or indirectly support with your tax money.

  16. B99 said on November 15th, 2009 at 10:35am #

    No Shabnam, women-hating men in Iran in the Middle East used the notion of the ‘common enemy’ to shroud women in the Burka/Hejab/Chador – literally to put women under wraps. If you are going to attack American leftists on DV for being collaborators with Zionism then you too are fair game for attack for collaborating with misogynists.

    No woman on the planet would opt to encase herself in bed sheets unless she were a bee-keeper.

    This does not mean Iran should be subject to American imperialism or Israeli zionism, only that you should examine your own society even as you throw stones at the West.

  17. dan e said on November 15th, 2009 at 11:32am #

    Stella Dallas! Love your nom de plume:) Very much appreciate your article.

    B99, the facts you supplied re M Indyk are correct and i’d think most readers should find them useful. But why you chose to insert a familiar refrain from war on terror rhetoric into a discussion about the US public’s gullibility and the consequences of rampaging Obombania (as typified by Ambe Derick Akoso above) seems to me a little suspicious. At the very least, you are “Off Topic”. Maybe you aren’t as totally a tool of Netanyahoo, Obomber & Co as you seem to Shabnam, but in this particular instance you are clearly carrying water for them. ??

    Hajja Romi’s question”WHAT CAN the Palestians DO?” goes directly to the heart of the matter. Of course I can’t speak for the Palestinians, especially for those in Palestine, but having observed/pondered the dilemma for a few decades now myself, let me see if I can sharpen the question a little more:
    It seems to me there isn’t much the Palestinians in Palestine can do right now except hang on, endure, wait for something positive to happen. Hang on, survive, study and make what you’ve learned available to people outside. Hang on and try to dispell harmful illusions among your compatriots.

    Palestinans in the Diaspora need to be sure they aren’t facilitating the hoodwinking of US and Euro publics by well-funded crypto-zionist propaganda apparatchiks, who bombard the progressively-inclined portion of the public with well-researched “proof” of the responsibility of “Big Oil” for the wars/occupations in Iraq and AfPak, but never say word one about the portion of responsibility wich must be born by AIPAC and the rest of the Zionist Power Network in the US, which seems to include the majority of the US Jewish public.

    PS: Kudos & Props to Sam, J Matsui, to Shabnam especially for the link to the Blk Pol site: thanks:)

  18. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 11:40am #

    B99: why don’t you write about things you know about and don’t make inaccurate statements.

    “No woman on the planet would opt to encase herself in bed sheets unless she were a bee-keeper.”

    Do you think Iranian women are wrapped in hejob? I don’t know where you have obtained your wrong information. In fact, one of the reasons behind lower illiteracy gap between city and rural area is hejab because, for cultural reason, some women feel are ‘more protected’ in hejab and their family trust the outside environment more than less. Hejab in the region, including Iran, has a LONG TRADITION and it is used as symbol of ANTI IMPERIALISM AND ANTI FOREIGN OCCUPATION. Erdogan’s wife, a modern woman wears hejab in ‘secular’ Turkey. The west outlawed traditional dress in many countries including Iran; therefore, many people including women find it insulting to tell them what kind of dress they should be wearing. You, b99, are very opportunist not to look at the history of HEJAB and throw the garbage of Zionist media at us on DV.
    You may be able to deceive fools not me. In fact modern and active Iranian women bloggers published large photos by with comments underneath them to show Iranian women are protesting in the street next to men with their makeup and gold jewelry, apparently, too sexy for some of the American men since 2/3 of the comments were about “HOW HOT IRANIAN WOMEN ARE, man…” not about the protest itself which made Iranian women bloggers very angry, so they post it to tell their readers about the ignorant American men as ‘observers’ who sees everything through the prism of “sex and the city.” Of course your Zionist media only focused on these ‘HOT ‘objects to ‘erect’ and direct sells of more copies. Then, again talk about those subjects that you know best and leave others alone.

    You can not eliminate a tradition by demonization and censorship. The WORD spelling check has eliminated the word hejab. Do you want to eliminate an old tradition? Many in Iran and elsewhere want to have it, and it is not your business. I believe it should not be compulsory but yet anyone who is familiar with hejab in Iran knows that hejab is not the main problem. This has been brought to the fore incorrectly due to your AGENTS such as SHADI SADR, Boroumand sisters and others because they have made millions of dollar by working with the intelligent services of the west including CIA and Canadian and Netherland intelligent agencies.

  19. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 2:27pm #

    Martin Indyk, former deputy research director of AIPAC, designed designer the “dual containment” policy during the Zionist administration of Bill Clinton where is responsible for more than 650,000 death bodies, many children younger than 5 years of age in Iraq before the invasion.
    Now, he is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, a fifth column Zionist think tank influential in policy making decision regarding Iran to protect Israel’s interest in the Obama administration.
    Indyk is one of the Israeli’s agents active in Washington.

    While Barak Obama goes around and bow deeper into the ground in front of the reactionary ‘moderate Arab’ head of state ( who right now is engaged in massacare of Shiite minority in Yemen where no one including Zionist puppet Hillary have said anything against it but she does not hesitate to go after IRAN to serve the Zionist terrorists when Iran is trying to bring security after the street protest) and Japanese Emperor who funds American broken capitalist system to be able to commit more genocide in Muslim countries including Palestine, at the same time he implements more Bush’s policy in the United State.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expressed concern about the government’s move to seize mosques in New York, Maryland, California, and Texas. Officials accuse the foundation that owns the mosques of being tied to the Iranian government.
    These atrocities supported by lies such as ‘the foundation of Islamic education is linked to Iran, where funds the Iranian ‘nuclear weapon’ program and terrorism. Obama has left illegal Israel nuclear weapon industry with more than 300 bombs alone and has gone after legal Iranian enrichment program, less than 5%, to create phony excuses to force more illegal sanction according to Zionist agenda on Iran to bring unrest in Iran for the Zionist velvet revolution which we will make sure to take it with him into his grave.

  20. B99 said on November 15th, 2009 at 4:29pm #

    OK – draped in bed sheets. Yes, many women subscribe to the hejab – we know that there are even women enforcers in the streets of Iranian cities making sure modern women cover up – lest a male eye gaze upon her. The hejab may be a response to some degree to Western imperialism,but it is a REACTIONARY response. Very few women initiated that response – the male patriarchy that is the Ayatollah’s crew initiated that bizarre practice. While men may walk around in tee-shirts, women float around leg-less, foot-less, armless, often faceless, but for their eyes. Can you not negotiate gender relations without making the woman into a walking zombie? The Koran calls for MODESTY in dress – both men and women – it does not say modesty for men means western-style dress and for women it means a body bag.

    Yes, women are more protected against outside rape – so they have been forced to trade rights for respect – they get respect for the hejab but they have lost the right to live as a full human being. If women have to be protected so much from men – then make the men wear a restraint on their organs – or keep the men home.

    By the way, it was Ataturk who outlawed the hejab in Turkey – not the West.

    And human rights are everyone’s business. Shabnam is not in charge of how Iranian women dress – you do not own that discussion. Either you support human rights and self-determination – or you don’t. In as much you have already tipped your hand that the Kurds should belong to Arab and Persian governments, I am not surprised at your reactionary position on women. There is an indigenous women’s rights movement in Iran – you should support it rather than railing against DV leftists as zionists.

  21. Danny Ray said on November 15th, 2009 at 5:32pm #

    B99, its easy to decide you like the hejab if the alternative is a public beating and ostracizing.

  22. B99 said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:24pm #

    Yes Danny Ray – the hejab is an abomination. At the same time, the US has no business interfering in the right of Iran – a sovereign state – to develop nuclear power technology – not as long as the US is up to its keester in nukes and so is Israel.
    Surely there must be another way for women – other than the West where women can be viewed on line with their legs open, and medieval portions of the Middle East, where women are battened down and buttoned up – reduced to the status of drones.

  23. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:29pm #

    B99: you are talking the same shit as those running NED, Human Watch, ‘feminists’, journalists without borders, and all NGO working for western intelligent agencies talking about the same thing to demonize a country. Their agents like Shadi Sadr, Shireen Ebadi, Dash Aghlou, professional whores, who give the same GARGABE as yours to receive AWARDS in millions of dollar or ‘professional’ opportunities, for example in case of Shoreh Aghdashlou who was given an academy award for her role in the HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG in 2003, and Emmy Award for her reactionary role in the HOUSE OF SADDAM for the Zionist propagandists and their agents. She was in another Zionist PROPAGANDA FILM, the stoning of Soraya M, to brainwash Westerners especially American ignorant to be prepared for another Zionist war. But the stoning in North of Iraq, Kurdistan, is hidden from the public because the Kurds are dirty pawns of Israel and the US and everyone in the region are against these terrorists and Zionist puppets. B99, your Zionist which will not going to take place in our region. No one will allow either your fu*ing 2 state solution or an independent state for Israeli Pawns. All will take these wish into your graves.
    Shore Aghdashlou is a Bahai. The Baha’is and Zionists have common interest and were British agents, cooperated and spied on Muslims for British occupiers in Palestine. Pay man Achaean, a Bahai, is functioning at the capacity of a judge to document human rights violation in the targeted countries such as Iran, Sudan and totally is silent on war crimes of Israel, the United States, Britain, France, and Saudi Arabia. He is 100 percent puppet at the service of the western intelligent agencies close to Shady Sadr and Shireen Ebadi, all are active in ‘feminist movement’ in Iran who have close cooperation with the intelligent agencies in the west especially Netherland. A month ago Payam Akhavan with Shadi Sadr held a conference on ‘war crimes in Iran.’ These Bast*rd have said NOTHING, not a word, on WAR CRIMES committed by US-Israel-Britain and NATO countries in Muslim countries but they go after targeted countries to brainwash fools and bring more $$$$ and Euro in. Payam Akhavan is one of the agents who established ‘Document center’ in New Heaven with funding from CIA. The CIA has informed this Zionist agent that CIA will not support their budget of $2.7 million this year due to lack of resources.
    The following link shows another professional whore at the service of Zionism and part of HOPI and X-Muslim, funded by Zionism, by the name of Maryam Namazie who is demonstrating with Zionists against Palestinian. These agents are carrying poster of FAKE STONING played by westerns reactionary to frame the targeted countries.

  24. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:34pm #

    Most of these propaganda films are made by pro Israelis thus you won’t see propaganda campaign on Kurdish stoning, but they produce fake pictures in Studio to feed the empty brain of Westerners to hide their own war crimes with the cooperation of their Iranian agents. Everyone in the region is against Israel’s pawn, the Kurds. Kurdistan has been part of Persia for centuries and Kurds are IRANIANS. Stop your garbage now otherwise it gets nasty. Read about history of Persia before repeating your nonsense here.

  25. B99 said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:42pm #

    Shabnam – There’s no free ride on DV. If you are going to scurrilously attack DV leftists as being zionists, then you too are subject to criticism – you can’t get away with it all just because you present yourself as Mr Middle East. You too are part of the ruling class, you too write in English, and you too use the internet like all of us. As crazy as relations are between men and women in the West are, no sane group of women in the world would choose the medieval throwback culture that is present day Iran. Certainly, Iran has been effed by the US since it overthrew Mossadegh. There is no reason for you to defend its maltreatment of women. Don’t you want the best for your daughter, your sister, or your wife? Don’t hide behind traditional culture. So too are cliterodectomies in other cultures viewed as traditional culture – and also promoted by women. Traditional culture be damned – you have to draw a line somewhere.

  26. Shabnam said on November 15th, 2009 at 8:55pm #

    The Iranians ‘feminists’ active in women movement in Iran who are mainly associated with “ONE MILLION SIGNATURES’ are supported by the feminist groups closely linked to US government and like labor and peace corps, helping US government to complete her empire building project. Many Iranian women activists gather in ‘one million signatures’, like Ardalan, Shadi Sadr, have already received AWARD from the intelligent agency disguised as ‘human rights’ groups for their services.
    Many believe that feminist movement was directed and funded by CIA in the United States. In the 1960s, CIA brought its agent, Gloria Steinem into political scene and launched her magazine, Ms., to control women’s movement to prevent radicalization of the movement and have them under control.

    B99: I am a woman. Shabnam is a popular female’s name in West Asian countries so I know what I am talking about. I never wished to be a male in all my life, I enjoy being a woman. I don’t want religion plays a role in the state. However, we as Iranians know how to improve our status. You, as west, in fact have always acted against not only Iranian’s interest but also the region. Therefore, I do not trust the intention of the West and the Iranian opposition groups, especially abroad, who have presented themselves either as ignorant or agents. You should treat Iran like other countries with respect and do not engineer so many crisis about Iran legal enrichment program. You must go after illegal Israel nuclear weapon program and American nuclear weapon industry for a change to show that your intention is not politically motivated. You must remove all the sanctions at once. I suggest that you travel to Iran to get real information rather to get it from ‘human rights’ organizations that have close relations with the intelligent agencies and are used as a propaganda tool. The West must stop its project of destabilization in Iran and stop Zionist project of fragmentation according to Oded Yinon where was forced in Iraq and left 1.4 millions death bodies.
    Stop the campaign of demonization of Iran to brainwash people so you can bring them on board for military attack.

  27. Rehmat said on November 16th, 2009 at 5:53am #

    A growing number of independent non-Muslim researchers, authors and activists in the West and India have come to the conclusion that the great majority of mainstream media’s portraying of Muslims as being ‘terrorists’ – has been ‘manufactured’ to serve the interests of anti-Muslim individuals, groups and governments. The affect is that the brain-washed public’s image of Muslims either being a terrorists or their sympathizers – has become part of culture in many parts of the world.

    Susan Faludi, the feminist-author and Pulitzer- Prize winning journalist – in her book ‘The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America’ – explains how the Zionist-dominated mainstream media turned their propaganda lies into “facts”. She calls media reaction to 9/11 attacks as: “Cocooning ourselves in the celluloid chrysalis of the baby boom’s childhood..” In the book, Susan also mentions the American culture of projecting criminals as ‘masculine’ and ‘national heroes’. She cites articles such as: “The Stud: Donald Rumsfeld: America’s New Pin-up” (The National Review) and Jewish-owned Time and Newsweek, calling Dubya Bush as “The Lone Ranger” and “Dragon Slayer” respectively.

    There have been many terrorist incidents involving Israeli Jews which are usually not reported by the Jewish-controlled American mainstream media. Furthermore, the criminals caught are rarely convicted. For example, two israelis were arrested near a nuclear plant in Georgia; two Israelis were arrested for transporting suspicious material in Tennessee; two Israelis with altered passport were arrested for driving a truck having traces of TNT in Washington state; two Israelis were detained for carrying a detailed footage of Sear Tower in Chicago; Cloudcroft chief of police stopped Israelis with suspicious cargo in New Mexico; 800 Israeli “art students” deported to Israel after 9/11; an Israeli passport holder with nuke plans escaped from police custody in Midwest, and the list goes on…

    The US State Department in its annual report on terrorism since 1998 – has shown that most of terrorist acts against American interests are carried out in South America while the least are carried out in the Middle East. Such reports have always upset the pro-Israel ‘Islamophobes’, who whine that these figures don’t include the “terrorist activities” carried out against the “peaceful” Jews in occupied Palestine by Islamic resistance groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizb’Allah.

    It’s interesting to note that when Zionist FM, Tzipi Livni’s called Hamas “a terrorist group” in January 2009 – Sir Gerald Kaufman, the British Jewish MP remarked: “Her (Tzipi’s) father was a chief operations officer of the Jewish terrorist group Irgun Zvai Leumi…..Israel was born out of terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and massacred 254 Palestinians in Deir Yassin village in 1948.”

    There is no doubt that wars on both Afghanistan and Iraq were sold to the American public by the anti-Muslim Jew lobbying groups in the US and Europe for the benefit of Israel. Israel has long found an anti-Muslim Hindu willing partner in India who have been running a similar ‘terrorist’ media campaign against India’s largest Muslim minority (130 million).

    A recent report titled Media on Terror – prepared by a group of Indian secular non-Muslim activist from Karnataka – came to the conclusion that both Hindi and English press in India has fabricated the notion of ‘Islamic terrorism’ so much so that the image of Muslims in general being either terrorist or their sympathizers. The report is based on an analysis of reporting of ‘terrorism’ in the Bangalore editions of leading Kannada and English newspapers over several months in 2008.

    According to the report – “the language and rhetorics used in the reporting reflected an obvious and deep-rooted bias against Muslims, and a deliberate effort to create a sense of seige among Hindus…… By presenting no version other than that of the police – the ‘investigative’ aspect of journalism in Karnataka on the matter of alleged Muslims involvement in ‘terrorism’ has in fact been reduced to ’stenographic reporting’.”

    Another finding reported that in some cases Muslim arrested for in possesion of the so-called “Jihadi materials” – were in fact CDs or copies of Holy Qur’an – which are available to anyone in major bookstores. Some reporters mentioned the pressure exerted on them by the state bureau chiefs to file reports which were ‘exclusive’ to the organization. This conduced, the reprt says, to sensationalism and even to the fabrication of reports.

    One of the reporter for Kannada Prabha in Hubli interviewed by the team – openly admitted that 60% of the reports he had filed were false and inaccurate. Similarly, Hubli reporter for the Times of India admitted to using a photograph of an unrelated dargah with his report about an alleged Muslim terrorist camp, and falsly described the flag near the dargah as a Pakistani one. In fact, it so turned out, the correspondent himself had never been to the location…..”

  28. Stella Dallas said on November 16th, 2009 at 6:48am #

    Jennifer: Thank you for your generous comments.

    Rehmat: Historically based arguments over who and who is not a “terrorist” are pointless, because “terrorism” is not a morally significant category. That is, if “terrorism” means the deliberate slaughter of civilian non-combatants, then it’s not morally objectionable to those of us in the “West” because we do the same thing on a daily basis, and few find that morally objectionable (certainly not objectionable enough to stop doing it, for instance). And if one wants to insist that unlike us, terrorists “deliberately target” (as opposed to deliberately, knowingly, indifferently, incidently incinerating) civilians, that fact is morally irrelevant. (It’s not as if terrorists commit mass murder for its own sake; the loss of civilian life is perceived as necessary to achieve military objectives, exactly like “collateral damage” from the Western perspective.

    Terrorism is interesting as a mode of discourse, like a taboo or a totem in less developed societies. The word has magical properties, including the power to suspend logical rules of rationality as well as moral rules based on reciprocity, and to shift discourse into a different mode. The word “terrorism” is in this sense similar to that of certain religious oaths or the seven dirty words addressed in George Carlin’s justly famous routine.

  29. Deadbeat said on November 16th, 2009 at 12:26pm #

    Shabnam, I want to thank you for your excellent rejoinders. You back up your arguments with links that provide great information. Information that I wasn’t aware of and need to be aware of. You are absolutely right about Gloria Steinem. I knew that Steinem worked for the CIA but I didn’t know what her involvement with the CIA was about — that her job was to disrupt Marxists. NOW that put a huge piece of the puzzle together.

    The feminist movement was also tried to disrupt the Civil Rights movement hoping to create a wedge between Af Am women and men. It didn’t work primarily because of the racist aspects of “feminism”. However it is clear that “feminism” as we saw during the 2008 presidential campaign with Steinem article in the NY Times was full of racial stereotyping. It is clear that “feminism” in the end was a movement that was designed to preserve racism and Capitalism and to disrupt the Marxist element that appealed to the 2nd wave.

    Keeping the “Left” honest if a very difficult task since it appears for many they have been inculcated with the propaganda coming form phonies who pose as being “on their side” but in the end has an alternate agenda that serves the rulers.

  30. kalidas said on November 16th, 2009 at 1:20pm #

    Lenin said, if you want to control the opposition, then lead it! …

  31. mebosa ritchie said on November 17th, 2009 at 7:16am #

    . Gaza Fire Caused by Missile Aimed for Israel

    cursed are those who curse israel—-genesis

    A seven-kilometer-long noxious black cloud is hovering over central Gaza for the seventh straight day, because a missile aimed at Israel hit a waste disposal site in Wadi As-Salqa, inside Gaza, starting a fire.

    The mayor of Wadi As-Salqa, Abdul-Mahdi Abu Mugheseeb, said that the fire started near the border with Israel, and that smoke spread to Deir Al-Balah, six kilometers away. Sources in Gaza told Bethlehem-based Maan news agency that the cause of the fire was “a homemade projectile seemingly fired towards Israeli towns.” This did not prevent Arab officials from blaming Israel for the fire, however.

    Abu Mugheseeb said that bulldozers from Gaza attempted to extinguish the fire by pouring truckloads of sand on it. However, he claimed, Israeli forces stationed at the border prevented access to the landfill site from the east, forcing fire fighters to attempt to access the fire from the west.

    In order to do this, they needed to coordinate the activity with the International Red Cross, but this too was a problem, another official said. Muhammad Majdalawi, head of the Gaza solid waste council, claimed that “On the first day when fire erupted, we were about to complete the job before the Israelis forced us to withdraw our staff and vehicles half an hour before we finished.”

  32. b99 said on November 17th, 2009 at 12:04pm #

    Drat those home-made projectiles. Some real missiles like the ones the Jews got from the US would be ideal. And some Abrams tanks, F16s, phosphorus bombs, poison gas, and assorted other weaponry – or maybe, just the threat of an Iranian A-bomb.

  33. mebosa ritchie said on November 18th, 2009 at 12:48pm #

    The latest Palestinian threat is that they will unilaterally declare a state:
    Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Palestinian Authority is mobilizing international support for declaring statehood, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday.
    “The idea is clear and understandable,” Erekat told the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. “Now we mobilize.”
    Palestinians will bring the issue to a vote before the United Nations Security Council, which would declare a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 border with Israel, he explained.
    This is supposed to strike fear into the heart of PM Netanyahu and his (not really so) right-wing government. But imagine the conversation:
    Saeb Erekat: We are unilaterally declaring a state.
    Binyamin Netanyahu: A state? But you could have had one in 2000. Why didn’t you accept it? Or what about the offer that Olmert made last year, supposedly even worse — I mean, more generous — then the Camp David and Taba ideas? He offered you 98.1% of Judea of Samaria plus a connecting passage through Israel from Gaza, most of East Jerusalem, and to allow 5,000 ‘refugees’ to enter Israel. Why didn’t you say ‘yes’ to that?
    SE: Because we want all of East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria. And we want all 5 million Arab refugees to have the right to return to their homes in Israel even if they never lived in them. And we aren’t going to say that Israel belongs to the Jewish people because it belongs to the Arabs that live there now and the ones who will return.
    BN: That’s absurd. We’d never agree to that — it would mean the end of the Jewish state.
    SE: Bingo.
    BN: Well, declare whatever you want. But then you won’t get any land swaps, we won’t evacuate any settlements, and you won’t get ‘contiguity’ to Gaza. You will be in violation of all the agreements that you signed, and you’ll freeze the map as it is today, with no more territory in your hands. You’ll be Foreign Minister of Ramallah.
    SE: But the Security Council will protect our new state. The UN will come and kick all 500,000 Jewish settlers [he’s including the Jewish population of E. Jerusalem — ed.] out of our land!
    BN: So you are telling me that even the Obama administration wouldn’t veto a resolution to send UN troops to fight the IDF? Because that’s what it would take.
    SE: We’ll have our capital in Holy Jerusalem!
    BN: But if you won’t negotiate, you’ll get none of East Jerusalem. Even my administration, which is not as right-wing as some say, would agree to negotiate Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Declare a state unilaterally and you’ll just make the present status quo permanent. Is that really what you want?
    SE: (losing it) What we really want is to end the occupation, from the river to the sea!
    BN: Bingo. But you aren’t going to get that. So you can either keep things as they are today — either by unilaterally declaring a state or by just continuing to refuse to talk — or you can finally accept that “two-state solution” means that one of those two states will belong to the Jewish people, and make a deal.
    Of course, they don’t accept that, and no member of the PLO — we are not even talking about Hamas — will ever accept it. The fundamental truth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is this:
    No Palestinian leadership can come to power or stay there today which is not committed to replacing Israel with an Arab state. There may be differences in approach — in particular, whether a state in the territories is a useful step on the way to eliminating Israel — but there is no divergence in goals. They don’t so much want a state as they want our state.

  34. b99 said on November 18th, 2009 at 1:18pm #

    It’s 60 years past time to declare a state. The Palestinians none the less have to do so now – as their ‘negotiating partner’ is a shylock.

  35. B99 said on November 18th, 2009 at 9:21pm #

    Mebozo – but you can’t point to any lies. Because you know we are correct – and that you believe in a ‘history’ that even your own historians have a-baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndonnnnnnneeeeeeedddddddd. I just report what your own historians say. (And a few others for balance.)