Monday, February 8, 2010

Kevin Barrett and Muslims for 9/11 Truth

This morning I was interviewed by Kevin Barrett on "No Lies Radio", which is an internet radio program whose archives are found at Kevin is a strong voice of 9/11 truth who isn't afraid to say that elements of the Bush administration, with a little help from their Zionist friends, were implicated in those events. Kevin runs an excellent blog "Truth Jihad", and hosts two talk radio shows: The Kevin Barrett Show airs every Tuesday, 9-10 AM/PT (Noon-1 PM/ET) at Pacifica affiliate broadcast shows are archived here free; Truth Jihad Radio airs every Saturday, 3-5 PM/PT (6-8 PM/ET) at American Freedom Radio--whose previously broadcast shows are archived here (2009) and here (2010).

Kevin Barrett, with whom I co-hosted "The Dynamic Duo" on CGN for a year and a half, is the co-founder and acting coordinator of Muslims for 9/11 Truth. He is the author of three books, including his brand-new study, QUESTIONING THE WAR ON TERROR: A PRIMER FOR OBAMA VOTERS (2009), which deconstructs the "war on terror" through Socratic questioning. I must admit--as I did during this program--that I was taken in by the Obama mystique. I thought he was a knight on a white stallion, not Bush in black-face. After having sent $100 contributions to his campaign on five occasions, I would like to have a refund!

A Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, Kevin has taught languages, literature, humanities, religious studies, and folklore at colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Among the best-known critics of the "war on terror", Kevin has appeared on Fox, CNN, PBS, ABC-TV, and Unavision. He has been the subject of op-eds and feature stories in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. (Media archive here.) After being denied positions for which he was eminently qualified, he recently found a position teaching part-time in Milwaukee.

The second half hour, Kevin interviewed Joe Mowrey, author of "Gaza in Plain Language", first published by Dissident Voice on 19 January 2010, on the one year anniversary of Israel assault on Gaza. The article was brought to the attention of Anthony Lawson, maker of the world's greatest 9/11 truth TV commercial, "This Is an Orange", and he immediately agreed to do a video treatment of it. Released as a YouTube video on 6 February, it has been viewed over 7,200 times and has attracted 220 comments. YouTube has by the way posted a disclaimer, "This video may not be suitable for minors", and is forcing people to sign on YouTube to view it. Ridiculous!

Jim Fetzer & Joe Mowrey on the Kevin Barrett Show (9 February 2010)

Joe's article in Dissident Voice details some of actions of the military's conduct against a defenceless population and how for 23 days the oppressed and brutalized population of Gaza was bombed, bulldozed and terrorized mercilessly. In fact, a critical UN report, written by South African judge Richard Goldstone, stated that Israel's three-week war in Gaza was a "deliberately disproportionate attack" and that its troops committed grave breaches of the Geneva conventions with "individual criminal responsibility".

Gaza war crimes investigation: human shields

Israelis will insist that these problems are not of their making, because Palestinians are turning themselves into suicide bombers. But suicide bombing is a tactic that only a downtrodden people, who are receiving little support and no respect, would employ. And the disproportionate response by the Israelis--which may be causing as many as 100 Palestinian deaths for each Israeli--speaks volumes about the desire to subjugate an entire population.

The use of military weapons such as aircraft and tanks against civilian populations armed with rifles and rocks tends to bring back images from earlier and similarly disturbing times when gypsies, Jews, and communists were deprived of their liberty and property--and ultimately their lives--without the benefit of due process. I find it almost inconceivable that Israelis cannot comprehend the terrible injustice of their treatment of the Palestinians today.

The situation is tragic. Nazi atrocities that occurred before and during World War II produced worldwide sympathy for the Jewish people, which led the United Nations to create a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948. Since the ascension of Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, successive leaders have brought in their wake new atrocities that invite comparison with those of Nazis of the past. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the government itself realizes that it has crossed the threshold that divides reasonable responses from the commission of war crimes. Surely a nation whose people have suffered as have these must rise to a higher standard.

Gaza in Plain Language
by Joe Mowrey / January 19th, 2010

Israelis watched smoke rise above the northern Gaza Strip.

In articles acknowledging the one year anniversary of the assault on Gaza, blunt and unsparing language about what really happened is often avoided. Despite sympathy for and support of the Palestinian people in their struggle against dispossession and oppression, the description of what took place in January 2009 is sometimes buffered by a misguided sense of political correctness. Yes, it’s terrible. Yes, it is unjust. But we don’t want to be inflammatory or risk offending the sensitivities of those who through their own willful ignorance cling to the notion that Israel is a victim state, fighting for its very survival. The argument is that we should reach out to them and attempt to educate them and win them over.

I’ll be more forthright in this commentary.

The sociopathic Zionist administration of Israel, as part of its continuing brutal colonization of Palestine, set out to deliberately devastate the already nearly-incapacitated infrastructure which supports the existence of one and a half million human refugees. The people of Gaza, second-, third-, and fourth-generation dispossessed Palestinians, are living in forced exile from land their families inhabited and cultivated for generations. Half of them are children under the age of fifteen. Their culture and their economy has been systematically ravaged by Israel for decades and since 2006 a criminal siege supported by the United States, as well as much of the international community, has deprived them of all but the most minimal resources for subsistence. This oppressed and brutalized population was then bombed, bulldozed and terrorized mercilessly for twenty-three days.

Below is a small sampling of facts concerning what the fourth largest military in the world did to a captive and defenseless population. The source materials used to substantiate these statistics are available on request. If the reality presented here goes beyond the stretch of your imagination, you can verify the data yourself. Though you’d better hurry. Much of this information appears to be disappearing down Google’s memory hole, just as is the fate of the people of Gaza. A source referencing the percentage of agricultural land destroyed in the onslaught which was used for a shorter version of this article just a few weeks ago is no longer archived in Google’s cache. Surprise, surprise.

You will also find that exact figures vary somewhat depending on the source. But whether it was 21,000 structures or 22,000 structures destroyed, whether 280 schools were destroyed or badly damaged verses 230, the overwhelming truth of the physical devastation which took place in Gaza and the fact that this destruction was deliberate and premeditated is irrefutable. Even the Goldstone Report, itself a document with severe pro-Zionist overtones issued by a declared Zionist and a supporter of Israel, states unequivocally, “…[the] deliberate actions of the Israeli forces and the declared policies of the Government of Israel … cumulatively indicate the intention to inflict collective punishment on the people of the Gaza Strip in violation of international humanitarian law.”

We’ve heard time and again that more than 1400 Palestinians were killed, over 80% of them civilians, including 342 children. It has become a familiar talking point in discussions of last year’s assault, so much so that it may have lost its impact on our consciousness. But what we often aren’t reminded of is the horrific level of carefully-planned destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza orchestrated by Israel during Operation Cast Lead.

Financed and armed by the United States, the Israeli military destroyed fifteen percent of the structures in Gaza, approximately 22,000 buildings, including 5300 housing units destroyed or subject to major damage. Another 52,000 homes received some form of structural damage. Over 200 factories and 700 stores and businesses were destroyed or badly damaged. Of the residences, factories and businesses completely destroyed, 1300 of the homes and approximately 25% of the commercial property was deliberately and painstakingly bulldozed or exploded by Israeli ground forces. Eight hospitals and 26 primary health care clinics were damaged or destroyed. More than 280 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Water and sewage treatment facilities as well as electricity infrastructure were deliberately targeted leaving vast segments of the population with little or no power or clean water for the duration of the assault and for weeks and months to follow. Massive amounts of agricultural lands were systematically bombed or bulldozed. Some estimates suggest that as much as 80% of the arable land in Gaza has been ruined or declared off-limits to the people of Gaza over the last decade. Two million litres of wastewater at Gaza City’s sewage treatment plant, bombed during the assault, leaked into surrounding agricultural land making it unusable.

An Israeli television station boasted that Israeli war planes alone, without accounting for tank, ground troop and warship ammunition, dropped approximately one thousand tons of bombs on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. The effort involved months, if not years, of carefully-considered target selection, giving lie to any claim that the devastation was incidental. It requires a stunning level of denial and self-delusion to pretend the destruction which was achieved in Gaza had anything to do with Israel’s “security” or the targeting of Hamas militants. This was savage and barbaric collective punishment unleashed on a civilian population, nothing more. Any suggestion to the contrary must be sharply and immediately ridiculed as absurd.

This was arguably the first aerial bombing campaign ever conducted on a defenseless civilian population held captive within a fenced enclosure and not allowed to escape the assault. It is a measure of the cynical mindset of the Israeli military that leaflets were sometimes dropped in neighborhoods about to be bombed suggesting the residents flee. We are about to destroy your home; you had better get out. Flee to where? Gazans are not allowed to leave their open-air prison, not even when under attack. This tactic on the part of Israel also gives lie to the claim that homes and buildings were targeted because there were Hamas militants “hiding” inside. Why then warn them to leave before destroying the structures?

Given this litany of horror and the coldly premeditated nature of its execution, we need to ask what kind of society condones this level of savagery on the part of their government? What precedent is there for such monstrous disregard for even the most basic tenets of human decency? We need look no further than the behavior of our very own United States, of course. In Iraq, the toll of our psychotic militarism is well over a million human beings (not counting the years of punishing economic sanctions) and a large part of the infrastructure of an entire nation of more than 26 million people has been obliterated. Let’s not even begin to tally up the deaths resulting from U.S. imperialism around the globe in the last sixty years alone. It would put the Zionists to shame–mere pikers in the annals of human slaughter.

And what of Gaza today, one year later? Israel’s continued illegal siege, enabled by the U.S., Egypt (a U.S. client state) and the international community has prevented any substantial amount of building materials from entering Gaza. Essentially, no reconstruction has been possible. The people of Gaza live amongst the rubble left to them by Israeli hatred and aggression. They are attempting to rebuild their society using mud bricks and materials salvaged from the wreckage.

The next time someone attempts to argue, “Israel has a right to defend itself,” or uses what I call the abusive spouse defense, ”Look what you made me do,” tell them, “No.” Tell them there is no and can never be any acceptable justification for the deliberate devastation of entire societies, no matter what political, ideological or “security” issues, real or imagined, may be at stake. It is unconscionable. It is wrong. Plainly put, there is no sane argument in favor of such behavior. Those who believe there is must be contradicted and opposed at every available opportunity.

Joe Mowrey is an anti-war activist and an advocate for Palestinian rights who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He can be reached at Read other articles by Joe.

Gaza war: One year on, Palestinians struggle to rebuild life from the rubble (The Guardian)

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