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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Siege, Wall, Checkpoints

Normalization: practical dilemmas Chibli Mallat - Bitterlemons International - Normalization generally concerns states, and is expressed through a gamut of relations that ranges from war to "friendly" diplomatic recognition. As in many other issues, the issue of normalization is different in the Middle East, where it concerns mainly the establishment of relations between civil societies14/8/2005
Law and gun in Beirut and BaghdadRami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - When a small Arab country detains four top security big cheeses before breakfast (and a former MP), you know something worth watching is going on. 31/8/2005
A revealing look at Iraq`s constitutionAaron Glantz - Commondreams - "Pachachi’s main concern is that Iraq’s Constitution contain a comprehensive bill of rights, but this is not popular with his American overlords. The US government demands that American soldiers in Iraq be exempt from Iraqi law and its bill of rights."31/8/2005
Another mother for war: the exploitation of Tammy PruettDave Lindorff - Counterpunch - "There was something truly repulsive about the way Bush and his handlers latched onto poor Tammy Pruett, the Idaho mother whose husband and four sons have already served or are still serving in Iraq." 31/8/2005
The `Good News` from Baghdad David Michael Green - Commondreams - "[US] soldiers are indeed heroes, and not only because they have the courage to grapple with hellish conditions their pampered political leaders could never begin to survive. They are heroes because they are sacrificing to save more of their brothers and sisters from dying for a lie, and they are heroes because they are saving the world from the creation of an American empire. ... What their sacrifices mean, ultimately and crucially, is that Iranians and Syrians and North Koreans and Cubans and Venezuelans (and Americans) don`t have to die in the future, as Iraqis and Americans have died in the past." 31/8/2005
Nuremberg Lesson for Iraq War: It’s Murder Michael Mandel - Commondreams - In a famous passage from their judgment of the following year, the four judges of the tribunal (American, British, French and Russian) declared the crime of aggressive war to be "the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." 31/8/2005
Extremist Jews attack two Arab residents of Israel Saed Bannoura - IMEMC and Agencies - An extremist Jewish group attacked two Arab residents of Israel, from Ar’ara village, in the north of Israel, while the residents were working at a public park in Ramat Gan city. 31/8/2005
Iraq Reflection: The good, the bad and the innocentJan Benvie - CPTnet - On a recent trip north I happened to be in a queue of traffic at a checkpoint outside Mosul when a suicide car bomb exploded some meters ahead of us. A short time later a U.S. soldier, with whom I was talking at the bomb site, asked me "Does anyone, other than the bad guys, know you are coming?" He saw the state of affairs in Iraq as a good guy/bad guy situation, the U.S. of course being the "good guys." 29/8/2005
Mubarak shows new face but old habits die hard; Corruption scandal hits Mubarak crony Paul Schemm - AFP/Metimes - NEW FACE? A glossy campaign has revamped the president`s image but many of the features that have marked his 24-year autocratic reign remain. 30/8/2005
Sunnis mobilize against Iraq constitutionThe Daily Star - Bush plays down sectarian rift as Arab League chief blasts charter as a `recipe for chaos` 30/8/2005
Lebanon arrests ex-security chiefs over Hariri murderRouba Kabbara - By Agence France Presse - BEIRUT, Aug 30 (AFP) - Lebanon on Tuesday arrested three former pro-Syrian security chiefs over the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, the first major breakthrough in the probe six months after the attack that sent shockwaves through the nation. 30/8/2005
Iraq constitution: Sticking pointsThe BBC Online Special Series - Politicians from Iraq`s main ethnic groups are edging towards finalising the wording of the country`s draft constitution. Compromises have been found over many contentious issues. Kurdish and Shia politicians have agreed on the text as a whole, but Sunni politicians have opposed provisions which they believe may allow further federalism and they fear the break-up of Iraq. 25/8/2005
Long-term worries over Saudi Arabia Paul Reynolds - BBC Online - The death of King Fahd has left Western governments reasonably confident of stability in Saudi Arabia in the short term but still worried about its longer-term future. 2/8/2005
For Basra`s Christians, Hussein era the good old days; Shiite-dominated city`s minorities say repression on riseTimothy M. Phelps - Newsday - Basra, Iraq - For the Christians in Basra, the downfall of Saddam Hussein has meant a terrible loss of religious freedom. The social club where Yousef Lyon and his friends would gather in the evening to play dominoes, where families danced or listened to live music on holidays, is closed. Wedding celebrations are held quietly at home. 28/8/2005
Two "Green Zones"Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - As the US-backed Iraqi puppet government flails about arguing overthe so-called constitution, Iraq remains in a state of complete anarchy. There is no government control whatsoever, even inside the infamous "Green Zone" where the puppets seem to have tangled their strings. 29/8/2005
Wall in southern W. Bank to be completed by end of 2005Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Israeli Defense Ministry Director, Amos Yaron, reported on Monday morning that the construction of the Separation Wall in the southern West Bank will be completed by the end of 200529/8/2005
IRAQ: From bad to worsePeggy Gish - CPTnet - From bad to worse," is a common phrase Iraqis use when describing what is happening in Iraq. Working here, outside the isolated Green Zone or military bases, we get a different picture from the optimistic depictions released by the U.S. government. 25/8/2005
Iran`s Growing Sway in Iraq Defies Neocons` LogicJim Lobe - Anyone who still believes that the U.S. neoconservatives who led the drive to war in Iraq are diabolically clever geo-strategic masterminds should now consider Iran`s vastly improved position vis-a-vis its U.S.-occupied neighbor. 26/8/2005
Iraq on brink of meltdownOliver Poole in Baghdad - The Daily Telegraph - The credibility of Iraq`s political process was in danger last night as parliament again failed to vote on a draft constitution which a Sunni politician said was "fit only for the bin". 26/8/2005
Iraq reflections: Smiles Jan Benvie - CPTnet - We arrived at the village of Qobak in northwest Iraq en route to Talafar with a convoy of food aid organized by the Sadr movement. It consisted of a large fenced area with houses and various farm buildings, inhabited by an extended family. Sheep, goats, hens and turkeys wandered freely. 26/8/2005
Why didn`t the Indians do it?Abdel-Moneim Said - Al Ahram Weekly - Unlike the Arab-Islamic world, other colonised peoples have reacted to oppression by looking forward25/8/2005
Israel to seize land for barrier BBC Online - Israel is planning thousands of new homes in Maale Adumim. Israel has issued instructions to seize Palestinian land close to the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, the Justice Ministry said. The government plans to use the land to continue building the controversial West Bank barrier around the settlement of Maale Adumim. 24/8/2005
Egypt vote sparks debate on jobs Magdi Abdelhadi - BBC Arab affairs analyst - There is little doubt that Hosni Mubarak will win unemployment and corruption are emerging as the biggest issues in Egypt`s first ever multi-candidate presidential election. 25/8/2005
Liberal Wafd: A soft challenge for MubarakAgence France Presse (AFP) - PORT SAEED, Egypt: Noman Gomaa, 71, is not exactly a young gun in Egyptian politics and his discreet campaign has attracted little attention, but the notoriety of his liberal Wafd Party could make him an unheralded runner-up in the September presidential poll. 25/8/2005
Iraq at the gates of hellAshraf Fahim - Asia Times - In early July, Iraq`s former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi told the media that Iraq was "practically in stage one of a civil war". There is no known calculus for determining what level of violence qualifies as the initial stage of a civil war, so we cannot know if Allawi was correct. 19/8/2005
Israeli wall to ruin Palestinian economyAl Jazeera - The Palestinian economy has deteriorated sharply since the start of the uprising in 2000, and Israel`s separation barrier in the West Bank will depress it further, a United Nations agency said. 25/8/2005
Israel Confirms Plan to Seize West Bank Land for Barrier Greg Myre - The New York Times - "The Palestinian leadership said the developments confirmed its fears that Israel would try to use the Gaza withdrawal, and the international good will it has generated, to consolidate its hold on the large settlement blocs in the West Bank."25/8/2005
9 hours to get homeAshraf - "I was stopped 6 times at Israeli checkpoints yesterday on the way home traveling from Ramallah to Tulkarem. They were not pop up checkpoints this time - a little different this week - concrete at both ends with a cover for soldiers` equipment. "25/8/2005
Massive Confiscation Orders in Bethlehem Prepare Path for Zionist Objective of “Greater Jewish Jerusalem”Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Massive Confiscation Orders in Bethlehem Prepare Path for Zionist Objective of “Greater Jewish Jerusalem” 12/8/2005
Villages in Salfit District Join Forces to Protest Apartheid WallAnti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the village of Azzun in a large protest organized by the Salfit District general committee against the construction of the Apartheid Wall.12/8/2005
The game is overImmanuel Wallerstein - Al-Aharam Weekly - It`s over. For the United States to win the Iraq war requires three things: defeating the Iraqi resistance; establishing a stable government in Iraq that is friendly to the US; maintaining the support of the American people while the first two are being none.19/8/2005
UN sanctions destroyed Iraq but no one will be tried for the crimeAlain Gresh - The Guardian - The US Congress is incensed about a scandal. From 1996 to 2003 the UN`s oil-for-food programme allegedly enabled Saddam Hussein to misappropriate hundreds of millions of dollars.19/8/2005
A sensible path to Arab modernity and freedomsRami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - What`s wrong with the Arabs? Why do so many Islamic societies spawn terrorists? Why are our societies so violent and unstable? What is needed to transform the societies of the Middle East, North Africa and west-central Asia into stable, prosperous countries? 20/8/2005
Hizbullah is obstinate, but keep lines open anywayMichael Young - Daily Star - Michael Aoun was right when he told the daily Al-Balad that Hizbullah has established a state within a state in Lebanon; but he was wrong in using this to justify discontinuing his dialogue with the party, even if Hizbullah`s impertinent notion of dialogue is that everything is negotiable except for the one thing that matters: its disarmament.18/8/2005
How Can the US ever Win when Iraqi Children Die Like This?Robert Fisk - The Independent - There’s the wreckage of a car bomb that killed seven Americans on the corner of a neighbouring street. Close by stands the shuttered shop of a phone supplier who put pictures of Saddam on a donkey on his mobiles. He was shot three days ago, along with two other men who had committed the same sin. 14/8/2005
Syria: The talk in Damascus is of a bitter harvest on the borderDavid Hirst - The Guardian - Syrians` yearning for change is tempered by fear of how it might come about 18/8/2005
MachsomWatch Summary - June 2005Observations at the military checkpoints by MachsomWatch. "Throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the prevailing attitude towards the Palestinians (the very tip of which was visible in the filmed lynch Halal Majaida) lays bare the moral hypocrisy of the Occupation’s agents. For several months, we have witnessed intensifying cruelty and lack of all restraint against people demonstrating against the separation fence, against peddlers in Qalandiya, farmers in the seamline area, cab-drivers, passers-by – the Palestinians as a whole. "9/8/2005
Checkpoints in July MachsomWatch Summary - July 2005. On settler self-pity, a hellish day at Huwwara, blocked passage of children to the Hirbet Tuwani summer camp, and a confiscated donkey.13/8/2005
Iraqi women mobilize against imposition of Islamic lawHussain Abdul-Hussain - The Daily Star - With less than two weeks to the announcement of the Iraqi constitution draft, women activists brought their battle to Washington in a bid to preserve their rights, perceived to be under threat by conservative groups wanting to impose Islamic Sharia as the constitution`s sole source. 14/8/2005
In Iraq, Bush is laying the foundations of an Islamic RepublicPeter Galbraith - The Daily Star - The flag of Iraq - the country Talabani heads - was noticeably absent from the inauguration ceremony of the Kurdistan National Assembly in Irbil, nor can it be found anywhere in Irbil, a city of one million that is the capital of Iraq`s Kurdistan Region. 14/8/2005
Women of the new IraqHaifaa Zangana - Al-Aharam Weekly - Women`s rights in Iraq have not been destroyed by Islam but by the destruction of state and society brought on by foreign military aggression 13/8/2005
One very bad day at a Hawwara checkpointNomi L.- MachsomWatch - "Partial, then total "life halt" at Hawwara CP: hundreds of people wait for hours until the regional brigade commander arrives to release them of this nightmare."12/8/2005
Checkpoints destroy our economySarita - ISM - Salfit District - Deir Ballut villagers were joined today by 30 International and Israeli activists in a demonstration against the military check point blocking the entrance to their village. 7/8/2005
Some thoughts during an afternoon shift at Qalandiya, by a MachsomWatcherRoni Hammermann, MachsomWatch - " I observed the new terminal which is in an advanced stage of completion and I began to contemplate. As far as can be seen from outside we find the same basic elements which compose the “old” ceckpoint: concrete walls, barbed wire, small windows and, thanks heaven, turnstiles.. The big difference will be, that without a new kind of magnetic card, a Palestinian can not even start on this electronic via dolorosa and thus the authorities will have complete control over the population which is allowed to pass. 4/8/2005
Checkpoints of Humiliation Isolate Tulkarem From the World The International Press Center4/8/2005
UN Experts mark anniversary of ICJ "Wall Opinion" Report, UNCHR, 4 August 20054/8/2005
Some thoughts during an afternoon shift at Qalandiya, by a MachsomWatcherRoni Hammermann, MachsomWatch - " I observed the new terminal which is in an advanced stage of completion and I began to contemplate. As far as can be seen from outside we find the same basic elements which compose the “old” ceckpoint: concrete walls, barbed wire, small windows and, thanks heaven, turnstiles.. The big difference will be, that without a new kind of magnetic card, a Palestinian can not even start on this electronic via dolorosa and thus the authorities will have complete control over the population which is allowed to pass. "4/8/2005
Fisking the "War on Terror"Link to an excellent tutorial by Juan Cole on the history of the US "War on Terror"4/8/2005
Worry Grows as Iraq`s Defense Ministry Falls Short of ExpectationsDavid S. Cloud - The New York Times - BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 1 - The reformed Iraqi Ministry of Defense, a crucial element of any American plan to withdraw troops, is riddled with crippling problems that have raised concerns about its ability to keep Iraqi units paid, fed and equipped once it assumes full responsibility for the army, American and Iraqi commanders say. 3/8/2005
American Journalist Is Shot to Death in IraqEdward Wong - The New York Times - BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 3 - An American journalist writing about the rise of fundamentalist Islam was shot dead overnight after being abducted in the southern port city of Basra, American embassy and Iraqi officials said today.3/8/2005
Palestinians protest Gaza smokescreenPalestinians have burned rubber tyres along the trail of the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank in a symbolic protest against its ongoing construction under the smokescreen of the Gaza pullout. 1/8/2005
Shared pasts, different futuresAbdel-Moneim Said - Al Ahram Weekly - Why the Chinese don`t leave bombs on the London underground? 21/8/2005
If women must play a man`s game, then why bother?Ghada Karmi - The Daily Star - friend of mine, an American woman very active in advocating for the Palestinian cause, met the late President Yasser Arafat not long before he was taken to Paris on his last journey. 2/8/2005
Between Arab states and their leaders, the ties that killRami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - In rapid-fire succession during recent weeks, one Arab country after another has come face to face with that very delicate zone of national leadership where personality intersects with politics.3/8/2005
Iranian authorities arrest prominent rights lawyerDaily Star staff - Officials accuse Soltani of leaking classified details on Iran`s nuclear spies 1/8/2005
Support for acts of terror in decline among Muslim publicsThe Daily Star -Report by pew research center - Survey shows Islamic extremism is a common concern for Muslims and Westerners alike 1/8/2005
Fahd: Saudi Arabia`s king in two decades of turmoilAgence France Presse (AFP) - RIYADH: King Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz guided Saudi Arabia through the most turbulent era in its history but was forced to surrender day-to-day rule after a stroke confined him to a wheelchair2/8/2005
Saudi Arabia`s King Fahd dies after 23-year ruleDaily Star staff - Saudi King Fahd, leader of the world`s oil powerhouse, died yesterday after a long period of ill health that forced him to hand over the reins of power in the last years of his turbulent rule. 2/8/2005
Sudan`s first vice president Garang killed in helicopter crashDaily Star staff - Sudanese Vice President John Garang, a former rebel leader who is a key figure in the country`s fledgling peace deal, died when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed into a southern Sudan mountain range. 2/8/2005
Despite evacuation of settlers, Palestinians still under siegePCHR - An Israeli government spokesman on Wednesday said orders were issued to seize four Palestinian-owned tracts of land around Maale Adumim, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank. (Arjan El Fassed) 25/8/2005
Construction moves forward on Barrier around Ma`aleh AdumimBetselem - The government`s plan calls for the separation barrier to surround East Jerusalem and detach it from the rest of the West Bank. The relevant decisions and approvals to begin construction were made in three principal stages. 28/8/2005
Egypt`s president presses the fleshWilliam Wallis - Financial Times - It could have been a scene anywhere on the banks of the Nile: two old men sipping sugary tea and chatting as the great river sweeps by on the Egyptian leg of its long journey from deepest Africa. 27/8/2005
Analysis: Iraq statistics tell grim storyMartin Sieff - United Press International - If the US Army and its Iraqi allies are killing as many insurgents as reports indicate they are per month, why is the insurgency intensifying instead of collapsing? 9/8/2005
Egyptian journalist released after allegedly punching policemanOla Galal - Middle East Times - A protestor shouts anti-government slogans during a rally by the Kifaya (Enough) Movement in Cairo earlier this month. Journalists claim state organs are resorting to photo-tricks to muzzle protests. 11/8/2005
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia seen doing little to weed out radical IslamAFP - Metimes - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan remain key breeding grounds for radical Islam that fuel terrorism, a US forum tracking the pace of reforms after the 9/11 attacks was told on Tuesday. 3/8/2005
Kiir vows unity after becoming Sudan`s new VPSimon Apiku - AFP - Metimes - Peace Commitment: Sudan`s first vice-president and leader of Sudan People`s Liberation Movement Salva Kiir briefs the media in Khartoum on August 10. Kiir appealed for calm and affirmed his commitment to a peace deal. (REUTERS) 11/8/2005
The terrible legacy of the man who failed the worldRobert Fisk - The Independent - So the old man will be buried on the edge of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in a desert graveyard of no memorials. The strict Wahhabi tradition demands no statues, no gravestones, no slabs. So Fahd will be laid in the desert sand, his head touching the earth, covered over and left for the after-life. Not a single stone will mark his place.10/8/2005
Nine to challenge Egypt`s Mubarak in September pollAFP - Metimes - CAIRO - Egypt`s electoral commission announced on Thursday the final list of 10 candidates who are to run in the country`s first contested presidential poll next month, including veteran President Hosni Mubarak. 13/8/2005
Distortions of the timesMatthew Rothschild - The Progressive - The New York Times deliberately buries Iraqi torture in back pages24/8/2005
What Does Democracy Really Mean In The Middle East? Whatever The West DecidesRobert Fisk - the Independent - "Sometimes I Wonder If There Will Be A Moment When Reality And Myth, Truth And Lies, Will Collide"23/8/2005
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