Monday, May 31, 2010


By sudhan

CPD urges you to join the protest!

From United for Peace and Justice
Last night the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian ships in international waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate that 10-16 humanitarian activists were killed and 50-60 were injured. The ships were seized by the Israeli navy and taken to Haifa to avoid press at Ashdod. UFPJ condemns the Israeli Government for their brutal attack on unarmed civilians. Protests have taken place across the world and a number of Governments are taking action.

The U.S. arms Israel to the tune of billions of dollars a year and hence shares responsibility for this atrocity. How many more must die before the Obama Administration cuts off the aid we give to Israel each year?

On board were 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries, including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends who have lost loved ones in the attack. One of the boats was named after Rachel Corrie, to honor this strong young woman killed by the Israel Defense Forces in April 2003.


Demonstrations are being organized in Washington DC, New York, and Boston. Please join in where you can or organize your own. It is time to end the blockade of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine by ending US support for Israeli slaughter.

New York – 3pm today (Monday, May 31), Times Square

Washington, DC – 3pm today, Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive NW (Van Ness metro) – Moving on to the White House at 5pm

Boston – 4pm today, Park Street Station

Use Memorial Day to memorialize all the brave activists, show our outrage, and let the world know we are not sleeping!

Contact the White House!

Call or email to demand an immediate cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel.
Email the White House:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and demand that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action and initiating an investigation. 212-415-4062


The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza.

“Israel is guilty of shocking behavior by using deadly weapons against unarmed civilians on ships that were situated in the high seas where freedom of navigation exists, according to the law of the seas,” Mr. Falk said. “It is essential that those Israelis responsible for this lawless and murderous behavior, including political leaders who issued the orders, be held criminally accountable for their wrongful acts.”

By sailing directly to Gaza, outside of Israeli waters, with cargo banned illegally by Israel, such as the 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies, the flotilla is exercising international law and upholding article 33 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.

The hardships of Israel’s closure of Gaza have been well documented by all human rights groups operating, most recently by Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluding that the siege has “deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law.”

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Israeli troops slaughter 19 aid activists to Gaza

Israeli commandoes have stormed a flotilla of ships carrying activists and aid supplies to the blockaded Palestinian enclave of Gaza, killing as many as 16 [latest number: 19] of those on board.

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent and Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem
Telegraph/UK, May 31, 2010

Fighting broke out between the activists and the masked Israeli troops, who rappelled on to deck from helicopters before dawn.

A spokeswoman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin, said she had been told ten people had been killed and dozens wounded, accusing Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. But an Israeli radio station said that between 14 and 16 were dead in a continuing operation.

“How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?

“We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us.”

The Israeli government’s handling of the confrontation was under intense international pressure even as it continued. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

The flotilla had set sail on Sunday from northern, or Turkish, Cyprus. Six boats were led by the Mavi Marmara, which carried 600 activists from around the world, including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, the Northern Ireland peace protester who won a Nobel Prize in 1976.

It came under almost immediate monitoring from Israeli drones and the navy, with two vessels flanking it in international waters. The flotilla, which had been warned that it would not be allowed to reach Gaza, attempted to slow and change course, hoping to prevent a confrontation until daylight, when the Israeli military action could be better filmed.

But in the early hours of this morning local time commandoes boarded from helicopters.

The activists were not carrying guns, but television footage shown by al-Jazeera and Turkish television channels show hand-to-hand fighting, with activists wearing life-jackets striking commandoes with sticks.

The Israeli army said its troops were assaulted with axes and knives.

The television footage did not show firing but shots could be heard in the background. One man was shown lying unconscious on the deck, while another man was helped away.

A woman wearing hijab, the Muslim headscarf, was seen carrying a stretcher covered in blood.

The al-Jazeera broadcast stopped with a voice shouting in Hebrew: “Everyone shut up”.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas in 2007. It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion of 2008-9.

The flotilla is the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break through the blockade. The boats were carrying food and building supplies.

Activists said at least two of the other boats, one Greek and one Turkish, had been boarded from Israeli naval vessels. Activists said two of the other boats in the flotilla were American-flagged.

The confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast.

It was attacked by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.

“We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza,” he said.

Turkish television meanwhile showed hundreds of protesters trying to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with what had been seen as its closest ally in the Muslim world.

“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said. “We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel.

“This deplorable incident, which took place in open seas and constitutes a fragrant breach of international law, may lead to irreparable consequences in our bilateral relations.”

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Japan party quits coalition over US base

Press TV, May 30, 2010

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A US Marine helicopter takes off from Futenma air base in Okinawa.

Japan’s Social Democratic Party, SDP, has decided to leave the ruling coalition government amid a row over the controversial presence of the US military in the country.

SDP chief Mizuho Fukushima informed reporters about the decision on Sunday after meeting with party executives. The move follows a dispute within the cabinet over the US airbase in Okinawa.

Fukushima, who calls for the immediate relocation of the base, has slammed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s decision to keep the US compound on the island — despite his campaign promises to relocate the base.

The airbase has been under US command since after World War II. More than half of some 47,000 US troops in Japan are stationed in Okinawa.

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The Coming Iran War

MJ Rosenberg, The Huffington Post, May 28, 2010

It’s happening again.

The same forces — with a few new additions and minus a few smart defectors — who pushed the United States into a needless and deadly war with Iraq are now organizing for the next war.

This time the target is Iran, which, just like Iraq, is said to be on the verge of creating weapons of mass destruction.

Also, just like Iraq, its president is a supposed madman determined to destroy Israel.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran

The Sunday Times, May 30, 2010

Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.

The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”

Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads in the Israeli arsenal.

The deployment is designed to act as a deterrent, gather intelligence and potentially to land Mossad agents. “We’re a solid base for collecting sensitive information, as we can stay for a long time in one place,” said a flotilla officer.

The submarines could be used if Iran continues its programme to produce a nuclear bomb. “The 1,500km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran,” said a navy officer.

Apparently responding to the Israeli activity, an Iranian admiral said: “Anyone who wishes to do an evil act in the Persian Gulf will receive a forceful response from us.”

Israel’s urgent need to deter the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance was demonstrated last month. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to have shown President Barack Obama classified satellite images of a convoy of ballistic missiles leaving Syria on the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, will emphasise the danger to Obama in Washington this week.

Tel Aviv, Israel’s business and defence centre, remains the most threatened city in the world, said one expert. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city,” he said.

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Gujarat: All’s Not Well With Your Home, Chief Minister Modi

Tehelka Magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 22, June 5, 2010


Present continuous TEHELKA has persistently tracked the unraveling of the ‘encounter’ killings by Gujarat Police

IS THE noose tightening around Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his administration’s alleged complicity in the 2002 massacre of Muslims? Is nemesis, as the cliché goes, finally catching up with him for a string of allegedly fake encounter killings of “terrorists” by his police? It may be too early to call curtains for arguably India’s craftiest politician that Modi has turned out to be over the last eight years. Yet, the arrest of a top police officer in Gujarat by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may well begin to unravel the Modi era.

Indeed, so thoroughly alarmed are the Bjp, Modi, and others implicated in the Muslim massacres and the encounter killings, that there is a clear last-ditch attempt at preventing the CBI from establishing the truth. The latest round started on january 12 this year when the supreme Court ordered the CBI to reinvestigate the 2005 encounter killing of Gujarat businessman sohrabuddin shaikh, his wife Kauserbi, and an associate of his, tulsi prajapati. sohrabuddin, a small time extortionist, was killed in a joint encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in November 2005 when he was travelling with his wife Kauserbi, on charges of being a Lashkar-e-tayyeba member on his way to Gujarat to assassinate Modi. A similar theory was given at the time of the Ishrat jahan encounter a year before and later proved as fake by the justice tamang Committee.

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Egypt using defamation laws to prosecute dissenting voices

Amnesty International USA, May 25, 2010

Amnesty International has criticized the Egyptian authorities’ use of criminal defamation charges to silence and harass activists, after the trial of two leading human rights defenders and a prominent blogger started on Saturday.

A court in Cairo heard the case of the three men on charges of “defamation”, “the use of threats” and “misuse of communication tools”, after allegations of extortion were made by a judge in 2007.

Gamal Eid, Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad, founder of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center (HMLC) both appeared before the Khalifa Court of Misdemeanour on Saturday.

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Terrorism — Cause and Effect

Jack A. Smith,, May 29, 2010

“Terrorists” and “terrorism” have become Washington’s monomania since 9/11, guiding the foreign/military policies of the American superstate and holding its population in thrall.

“The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term,” President Barack Obama said April 11, is the possibility that terrorists might obtain a nuclear weapon. The second biggest threat to world history’s mightiest military state, it goes without saying, are terrorists without nuclear weapons but armed with box-cutters, rifles or homemade explosives.

It’s “terrorism” 24/7 in the United States — the product of a conscious effort by the Bush Administration to keep the American people in the constant clutches of existential fear, in large part to justify launching endless aggressive wars. Anything goes if the target is said to be “terrorism,” as long as the Pentagon’s violence takes place in smaller, weaker countries usually populated by non-Europeans.

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Judge Baltasar Garzón suspended for investigating Franco’s crimes

By Vicky Short,, May 29, 2010

The internationally renowned Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón, was suspended from his post on May 14, accused of perverting the course of justice by the body that oversees the judiciary, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). His suspension shows the millions that have sought justice for the victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship the power and influence still wielded by the extreme right 30 years after the so-called “transition to democracy”.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Covert US Military Strategy on Iran

By Robert Parry,, May 25, 2010

Hawks in the United States and Israel appear set on “regime change” in Iran, pursuing a game plan similar to the run-up to war in Iraq, ratcheting up tensions while frustrating opportunities for a peaceful settlement.

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In the latest example, the New York Times on Tuesday published a leaked account of an order signed by U.S. Central Command chief, Gen. David Petraeus, expanding “clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups to counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region.”

In most of those countries, the secret U.S. military operations would be intended to help U.S. allies combat anti-government militants. However, in Iran, the goal would be to make contact with opposition forces, according to the Times article by Mark Mazzetti.

“Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate,” the article said.

The leaking of Petraeus’s order — which was signed almost eight months ago on Sept. 30, 2009 — follows a May 17 tripartite agreement among Iran, Brazil and Turkey that called for Iran exporting 2,640 pounds of low-enriched uranium (LEU) – about half its supply – to Turkey in exchange for higher-enriched uranium that could only be used for peaceful purposes.

Though the new accord paralleled a tentative agreement that the Obama administration brokered last fall with Iran, hawks inside the U.S. government and the American news media quickly went to work ripping the deal apart.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were portrayed as ambitious neophytes striving for a spot in the international limelight, with their oversized egos making them easy marks for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Even before the agreement was announced, the Washington Post’s neoconservative editors had framed the story as a case of two out-of-their-league regional leaders getting sucked into “yet another effort to ‘engage’ the extremist clique of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

After the deal’s announcement, the Post rushed out an analysis with the headline, “Iran creates illusion of progress in nuclear negotiations.” Its main points were that the 2,640 pounds now accounted for a smaller percentage of Iran’s low-enriched uranium than last fall; that Iran would retain enough LEU so it could theoretically be refined to a purity needed to build one bomb; and that Iran was not abandoning its proclaimed right to enrich uranium for what it says are peaceful purposes.

Quickly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other administration hawks began belittling and undermining the accord, too.

The following day, Clinton claimed that Russia and China had signed onto “a strong draft” for new sanctions against Iran. “This announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide,” she declared.

Even a week later, the mockery of the two Brazilian and Turkish leaders continued. On Tuesday, the New York Times ran a headline, “Iran Deal Seen as Spot on Brazilian Leader’s Legacy,” giving Lula da Silva’s critics pretty much a free shot to hit him over his supposed stumble.

“The most charitable interpretation is that we were naïve,” said Amaury de Souza, a political analyst in Rio de Janeiro. But “in a game like this, being labeled naïve just shows you have a third-rate diplomacy.”

An Obama Letter?

Yet, while the U.S. news media engaged in Brazil-Turkey bashing, little or no attention was paid to a Reuters report from Brasilia that said President Barack Obama had sent a letter to President da Silva encouraging Brazil to move forward on the uranium swap.

“From our point of view, a decision by Iran to send 1,200 kilograms [2,640 pounds] of low-enriched uranium abroad, would generate confidence and reduce regional tensions by cutting Iran’s stockpile,” Obama said, according to excerpts from the letter translated into Portuguese and seen by Reuters.

Brazilian officials claimed that Obama’s letter was just of one of the signs that dovish officials in Washington and other Western countries had quietly encouraged Brazil to help revive last October’s fuel swap deal.

“We were encouraged directly or indirectly … to implement the October proposal without any leeway and that’s what we did,” said Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

In other words, Obama may not be enthusiastic about forcing a showdown with Iran, but the policy now appears to be driven by the American hawks and the Israeli government. They behave as if they’re spoiling for a fight with another Muslim country that is considered a threat to Israel, despite the fact that Israel has a huge nuclear arsenal of its own, with some 200 to 400 warheads and posssessing missiles and planes to deliver them.

Iran also has been the object of open discussions inside Israel and within neoconservative circles in the United States about the desirability of a preemptive military strike aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities and encouraging an uprising that would oust the current government.

Fueling Fears

The leaking of Petraeus’s order for special operations within Iran will surely fuel the fears of the Iranian Islamic government, which took power in 1979 after ousting the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran, who had been installed by a CIA-organized coup in 1953. Even earlier, Great Britain, Russia and other world powers had intervened in Iranian affairs.

So, one casualty from the Petraeus-order leak could be the Iran-Brazil-Turkey accord. However, Iran still pressed forward with the agreement on Monday, formally notifying the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Still, the New York Times ’ account on Tuesday could convince Iran that its only protection is the construction of an atomic bomb, which in turn could exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Regarding the secret U.S. military actions, the Times reported that Petraeus’s seven-page order “appears to authorize specific operations in Iran, most likely to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear program or identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive.

“The Obama administration insists that for the moment, it is committed to penalizing Iran for its nuclear activities only with diplomatic and economic sanctions. Nevertheless, the Pentagon has to draw up detailed war plans to be prepared in advance, in the event that President Obama ever authorizes a strike.”

The Times quoted one Pentagon official with knowledge of Petraeus’s directive as saying: “The Defense Department can’t be caught flat-footed.”

Petraeus’s just-disclosed directive was issued on Sept. 30, 2009, a date that closely coincides with Iran’s original uranium-swap agreement, which had been under negotiation for weeks but was announced on Oct. 1.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad initially supported the swap accord and agreed to a follow-up meeting on Oct. 19 in Vienna.

However, the deal came under criticism from Iran’s opposition groups, including the “Green Movement” led by defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has had ties to the American neocons and to Israel since the Iran-Contra days of the 1980s when he was the prime minister who collaborated on those secret arms deals.

Last October, Mousavi’s U.S.-favored political opposition deemed the swap agreement an affront to Iran’s sovereignty. But Ahmadinejad’s opponents also stood to lose politically if tensions between Iran and other nations declined.

Also, as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has noted, the prospects of the follow-up session were damaged on Oct. 18 when a car bombing and an ambush in Iran left several Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders dead along with other officers and civilians.

A terrorist group called Jundullah took credit for the attacks, which followed years of killing Revolutionary Guards and Iranian policemen and an attempted ambush of President Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in 2005.

Tehran has long maintained that Jundullah is supported by the United States, Great Britain and Israel. Now, the newly disclosed fact that this bloody attack followed Petraeus’s secret order by only 18 days is likely to heighten Iranian suspicions even more.

A Captured Leader

Iranian authorities captured Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi in February and publicized his claims that the United States had promised his group military help in its insurgency against Iran’s Islamic Republic.

Rigi described contacts in March 2009, claiming that U.S. representatives “said they would cooperate with us and will give me military equipment, arms and machine guns. They also promised to give us a base along the border with Afghanistan next to Iran.”

Rigi asserted that the U.S. representatives said a direct U.S. attack on Iran would be too costly and that the CIA instead favored supporting militant groups that could destabilize Iran.

“The Americans said Iran was going its own way and they said our problem at the present is Iran… not al-Qaeda and not the Taliban, but the main problem is Iran,” Rigi said, according to Iran’s Press TV.

“One of the CIA officers said that it was too difficult for us [the United States] to attack Iran militarily, but we plan to give aid and support to all anti-Iran groups that have the capability to wage war and create difficulty for the Iranian (Islamic) system,” Rigi said.

Rigi added that the Americans said they were willing to provide support “at an extensive level.” However, in the Press TV’s account, Rigi did not describe any specific past U.S. support for his organization.

In a July 7, 2008, article for The New Yorker, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh quoted Robert Baer, a former CIA clandestine officer who worked in South Asia and the Middle East for nearly two decades, as saying that Jundallah was one of the militant groups in Iran benefiting from U.S. support.

Hersh also reported that President George W. Bush signed an intelligence finding in late 2007 that allocated up to $400 million for covert operations intended to destabilize Iran’s government, in part, by supporting militant organizations.

Hersh identified another militant group with “long-standing ties” to the CIA and the U.S. Special Operations communities as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK, which has been put on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups.

But Jundallah has been spared that designation, a possible indication that the U.S. government views it as a valuable asset in the face-off against Iran, or in the parlance of the “war on terror,” as one of the “good guys.”

Gen. Mizra Aslam, Pakistan’s former Army chief, also has charged that the U.S. has been supporting Jundallah with training and other assistance. But the U.S. government denies that it has aided Rigi or his group.

Whatever the truth about the alleged U.S. backing for Jundallah, its Oct. 18, 2009, attack on the Revolutionary Guards does appear to have disrupted Iran’s readiness to move forward on the uranium swap deal. Iran sent a lower-level Iranian technical delegation to Vienna for the Oct. 19 meeting while Iran’s leading nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili stayed away.

Ahmadinejad’s government also began expressing doubts about American and Western trustworthiness. The Iranians proposed some alternative ideas regarding where the uranium might be swapped, but Obama – stung by harsh criticism over his diplomatic outreach to Iran – began retreating from his peace plans, talking tougher against Iran and suggesting no further concessions.

Yet, according to the letter released in Brazil, it appears Obama continued to harbor hopes that the swap could be salvaged.

Despite that, the hawks have been insistent on the need to escalate the confrontation with Iran by imposing ever harsher sanctions and closing off options for peace talks. The neocons are raising their decibel level for “regime change,” much as they did before the invasion of Iraq.

The new leak regarding covert U.S. military operations inside Iran has sprayed even more cold water on hopes for a diplomatic solution.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there. Or go to

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Rights Groups Condemn Ruling on Bagram Detainees

Willam Fisher, Inter Press Service North America

NEW YORK, 26 May (IPS) – Human rights advocates are expressing shock at a federal court ruling that detainees held by the United States in Afghanistan do not have the right to challenge their detention in a U.S. federal court – and dismay that their path to a successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court may be blocked.

A lawyer for the detainees, Tina Foster, warned that if the precedent stood, U.S. President Barack Obama and future presidents would be able to “kidnap people from other parts of the world and lock them away for the rest of their lives” without ever having to prove their case in court.

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Chernus: Neocon Vampires Sink Their Fangs Into the Tea Parties

Like vampires, the neocons never die. They constantly revive themselves, going where the vein is richest, eager to feed upon new blood.

By Ira Chernus, AlterNet, May 27, 2010

Remember the neoconservatives? Maybe you don’t. Their death was announced on the cover of Time magazine long before George W. Bush left the White House. By now you might think that they’re, thankfully, only a footnote to the history of a frightening bygone era.

But no. Like vampires, the neocons never die. They constantly revive themselves, going where the vein is richest, eager to feed upon new blood. Now — we should have seen it coming — they are sinking their fangs into the Tea Party. That’s where the fresh political blood is, so that’s where the neocons are.

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The Audacity of the Free Gaza Flotilla

Breaking the Israeli Siege of Gaza May Lead to an Attack at Sea, Detention Camps and Deportation

Ann Wright,, May 27, 2010

By the time you read this, we will be on the high seas of the Mediterranean (we hope the seas will not be too high).

Our two U.S. flagged Free Gaza boats, will join two other passenger ships, a 600 passenger ship from Turkey sponsored by the Turkish humanitarian organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) and a 50 passenger ship from Athens sponsored by the European Campaign Against the Siege and the Greek/Swedish Ships to Gaza campaign, to sail to the shores of Gaza to break the Israeli naval blockade of the 1.5 million citizens in Gaza.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Former CIA Officials Admit To Faking Bin Laden Video

Former  CIA Officials Admit To Faking Bin Laden Video 250510Laden

Military psy-ops took over operation after intelligence project failed to take off

Steve Watson,
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Two former CIA officials have admitted to creating a fake video in which intelligence officers dressed up as Osama Bin Laden and his cronies in an effort to defame the terrorist leader throughout the middle east.

The details are outlined in a Washington Post article by investigative reporter and former Army Intelligence case officer Jeff Stein.

Stein’s sources told him that during planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group considered creating a fake video of Saddam Hussein engaged in sexual acts with a teenage boy, then flooding Iraq with copies of the tape.

That idea, along with faking Iraqi news bulletins, never came to fruition according to the former CIA officials, because agreement on the projects could not be reached between the Iraq Group and CIA’s Office of Technical Services.

However, the two sources reveal that the agency did previously concoct at least one fake Bin Laden video:

The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.

The former officials told Stein that the project was taken over by the military after it ground to a halt:

The reality, the former officials said, was that the agency really didn’t have enough money and expertise to carry out the projects.

“The military took them over,” said one. “They had assets in psy-war down at Ft. Bragg,” at the army’s special warfare center.

This latest revelation bolsters evidence that the intelligence agencies, and perhaps more significantly, the military have been engaged in creating fake Bin Laden videos in the past.

As we have exhaustively documented, Intelcenter, the U.S. monitoring group that routinely releases Bin Laden video and audio, much of which have been proven to be either rehashed old footage or outright fakes, is an offshoot of IDEFENSE, a web security company that monitors intelligence from the middle east.

IDEFENSE is heavily populated by long serving ex military intelligence officials, such as senior military psy-op intelligence officer Jim Melnick, who served 16 years in the US army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in psychological operations. Melnick has also worked directly for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Intelcenter notoriously released the “laughing hijackers” tape and claimed it was an Al-Qaeda video, despite the fact that the footage was obtained by a “security agency” at a 2000 Bin Laden speech.

IntelCenter was also caught adding its logo to a tape at the same time as Al-Qaeda’s so-called media arm As-Sahab added its logo, proving the two organizations were one and the same.

Former CIA Officials Admit To Faking Bin Laden Video 140410banner4

Could the CIA group of “dark skinned actors” have been behind the infamous December 2001 “Fat nosed” Bin Laden video, that was magically found in a house in Jalalabad after anti-Taliban forces moved in?

The tape featured a fat Osama laughing and joking about how he’d carried out 9/11. The video was also mistranslated in order to manipulate viewer opinion and featured “Bin Laden” praising two of the hijackers, only he got their names wrong. This Osama also used the wrong hand to write with and wore gold rings, a practice totally in opposition to the Muslim faith.

Despite the fact that the man in the video looks nothing like Bin Laden, the CIA stood by it and declared it to be the official “9/11 confession video”.

The latest revelations also shed light on another past Bin Laden release – a tape in which he ludicrously declared himself in league with Saddam Hussein in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq.

The notion that the CIA project was taken over and drastically improved by the Pentagon at some point after 2003 jives with the improvement in quality of Bin Laden videos in later years. Most notably the video that was released immediately ahead of the 2004 election, and it’s digitally manipulated duplicate from 2007, in which Bin Laden appeared to have a dyed beard.

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Scahill: Pentagon Seeks Private Contractor to Move Weapons Through Pakistan/Afghanistan

Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, May 25, 2010

The United States military is in the process of taking bids from private war contractors to secure and ship massive amounts of US military equipment through sensitive areas of Pakistan into Afghanistan where it will then be distributed to various US Forward Operating Bases and other facilities. According to the contract solicitation [PDF], “There will be an average of 5000″ import shipments “transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month, along with 500 export shipments.” The solicitation states that, “This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” adding, “The contractor must maintain a constant capability to surge to any location within Afghanistan or Pakistan” within a 30-day period. Among the duties the contractor will perform is “intelligence, to include threat assessments throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

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Erasing Iraq. The Human Costs of Carnage

By Ludwig Watzal, MWC News, Thursday, 27 May 2010

Erasing Iraq

Nobody seems to talk anymore about the human sufferings and the costs of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Under President Barack Obama the US is still unwilling to end the illegal occupation of this country and take the partners of the “coaltion of the willing” and live the country. All the talk about a prospective “withdrawal” from Iraq seems mere rhetoric.

Large military facilities are popping up like mushrooms all over the place, and in Baghdad they are building an embassy of the size of Vatican City. Modern history tells us that when the US takes over a country it will stay until it is thrown out like was the case in Vietnam or Iran. The long-term prospects of remaining an occupier in Iraq or Afghanistan are rather dim, taking the history of resistance against foreign occupation in both countries into account.

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Gaza Mission Activist: It’s Just Like Facing Nazis, May 26, 2010

Eight ships are already making their way through the Mediterranean towards the Gaza Strip in the framework of a European aid mission – with activists aboard the vessels likening their work to the anti-Nazi effort during World War II.

“We’re helping the Palestinians, just like the Greeks helped during World War II against the Nazis,” a Greek activist aboard one of the ships told Ynet Tuesday.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

US to send secret military teams to Iran: NYT

Express India, May 25, 2010

David Petraeus

New York:
Top US Commander in Middle East, Gen. David H Petraeus, has signed a secret directive ordering that ‘Special Operations’ troops be sent to countries such as Iran for reconnaissance, a move that may lead to possible strikes against Tehran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate. These military officials would be dispatched to nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa as well as Iran on intelligence gathering assignments, ‘The New York Times’ reported.

Citing unnamed officials, it said the order permitting reconnaissance could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.

The document appeared to authorise specific operations in Iran, most likely to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear programme or identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive, according to the daily.

“The Obama administration insists that for the moment, it is committed to penalising Iran for its nuclear activities only with diplomatic and economic sanctions,” the newspaper said.

“Nevertheless, the Pentagon has to draw up detailed war plans to be prepared in advance, in the event that President (Barack) Obama ever authorises a strike.”

The Defence Department “can’t be caught flat-footed,” said one Pentagon official.

The daily noted that while the previous Bush administration had approved some clandestine military activities, the present directive intended to make such efforts more systematic and long term.

Its goals are to build networks that could “penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy” al-Qaeda and other militant groups, as well as to “prepare the environment” for future attacks by American or local military forces, the document, which was viewed by the paper, said.

“The order, however, does not appear to authorise offensive strikes in any specific countries,” it said.

The daily reported that one of the reasons for broadening the secret activities was because the US military wanted to break its dependence on the CIA and other spy agencies.

Some officials, however, noted that the authorised activities could strain relationships with friendly governments like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or incite the anger of hostile nations like Iran and Syria.

The directive, the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, was signed on September 30 last year, and reportedly may have been the cause for surge of US military activity in Yemen that began three months later.

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Former CIA Officer on Iran: Brazil and Turkey are Vital Checks and Balances

Shouldn’t the world welcome the actions of two significant, responsible, democratic, and rational states to intervene and help check the foolishnesses of decades of US policy on Iran?

Graham E. Fuller, The Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2010


If Washington thinks it now faces complications on getting United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran, that’s not the half of it. A greater obstacle is the subtle change introduced into international power relationships by the actions of Brazil and Turkey that has accompanied it.

These two medium-size powers, Brazil and Turkey, have just challenged the guiding hand of Washington in determining nuclear strategy towards Iran. They undertook their own initiative to persuade Iran to accede to a deal on the handling of nuclear fuel issues. Not only was that initiative entirely independent, it moved ahead in the face of fairly crude American warnings to both states not to contemplate it – even though it closely paralleled one offered to Iran last year that fell through, mainly due to Iranian maneuvering and its fundamental distrust of Washington’s intent and blustering style.

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US sets up missiles near Russian border

The Independent/UK, May 25, 2010

Associated Press

A battery of Patriot missiles has arrived in Poland, along with dozens of American soldiers who will spend the next two years teaching the Polish military to operate the advanced guided-missile system at a base just a few miles from the Russian border.

Though Russia had expressed its strong opposition to having a US military installation close to its border, there was no initial reaction from Moscow to the arrival of the missiles – perhaps an indication that it wants to play down the matter after failing to stop the deployment.

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Why NATO Expansion Is a Mistake

By Ivan Eland, Consortium News, May 25, 2010

Editor’s Note: Despite budget crises confronting many Western nations, including the United States, the American foreign policy elite is eager to expand NATO — and Washington’s imperial umbrella — to more and more countries, including some on Russia’s doorstep.

In this guest essay, the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland argues that this expansion means more drain on the U.S. taxpayer with few geopolitical benefits:

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently led a panel of experts in coming up with a report, “NATO 2020,” which will be used to draft a replacement for NATO’s current strategic concept, adopted in 1999.

The report essentially advocates a continuation and expansion of NATO’s quest to be all things to all people.

Unfortunately, this effort resembles the “expand or die” mantra that was applied to NATO as its primary mission — countering the Soviet Union — was tossed into the dustbin of history. Instead of expanding in territory and mission after the Cold War ended, NATO probably should have died back then and may die — or be severely crippled — by its likely loss in Afghanistan.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day 2010: Corporations Profit from Permanent War

Remember this Memorial Day that, while thousands have been laid in their graves and hundreds of thousands wounded, private military contractors are prospering and profiting as the business of war booms.

Bill Quigley, Information Clearing House, May 25, 2010

US law officially proclaims Memorial Day “as a day of prayer for permanent peace.”

However, the US is much closer to permanent war than permanent peace. Corporations are profiting from wars and lobbying politicians for more. The US, and the rest of the world, cannot afford the rising personal and financial costs of permanent war.

Number One in War

No doubt, the USA is number one in war. This coming year the US will spend 708 billion dollars on war and another $125 billion for Veterans Affairs – over $830 billion. In a distant second place is China which spent about $84 billion on its military in 2008.

The US also leads the world in the sale of lethal weapons to others, selling about one of every three weapons worldwide. The USA’s major clients? South Korea, Israel and United Arab Emirates.

Our country has 5 percent of the world’s population but accounts for more than 40% of the military spending for the whole world.


Our nation does not respect our soldiers by engaging in permanent war. War is grinding up our children. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost over 5000 US lives and tens of thousands more lives of people in those countries. Over 20% of those in our military who served in these two wars, 320,000 people, have war-related traumatic brain injuries. Suicide rates are up by 26 percent among 18 to 29 year old male veterans in the latest Veterans Administration study. Mental health hospitalizations are now the leading cause of hospital admissions for the military, higher than injuries. On any given night, over 100,000 veterans are homeless and living on our nation’s streets.

Rising Costs of War

Since 2001, the US has spent over $6 trillion (a trillion is a million millions) on war and preparations for war. That is about $20,000 for every woman, man and child in the US. Iraq and Afghanistan alone have cost the US taxpayer over a trillion dollars since 2001.

No End in Sight

Earlier this month, Marine General James Cartwright, the Vice-Chair of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Army Times that the US can expect continuing war “for as far as the eye can see.”

In the name of this perpetual war against terrorism the US still jails hundreds without trial in Guantanamo, holds hundreds more in prisons on bases and in secret detention world-wide, tries to avoid constitutional trials for anyone accused of terrorism, admits it is trying to assassinate an American citizen Muslim cleric in Yemen, and launches deadly drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen killing civilians and suspects whenever we decide.

Who benefits from permanent war?

One support for permanent war is that there are corporations in the US which openly lobby for more and more money to be invested in war. Why? Because they profit enormously from government contracts.

President Dwight Eisenhower, who believed in a strong military, warned the US about just this in his farewell address to the nation in 1961.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

War is Big Business

War is very big business. People know that private companies are doing much more in war. In January 2010, the Congressional Research Service reported that there are at least 55,000 private armed security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe many more – as many as 70,000 in Afghanistan alone.

But much bigger money is available to defense contractors. In 2008 alone, the top ten defense contractors received nearly $150 billion in federal contracts. These corporations spent millions to lobby for billions more in federal funds and hired ex-military leaders and ex-officials to help them profit off war.

For example, look at the top three defense contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. They demonstrate why perpetual war is profitable and part of the reason it continues.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is the largest military contractor in the world with 140,000 employees, taking in over $40 billion annually, over $35 billion of which comes from the US government. Lockheed Martin boasts that they have increased their dividend payments by more than 10 percent for the seventh consecutive year – perfectly in line with the increase in war spending by the US. Its chairman, Robert Stevens, received over $72 million in compensation over the past three years.

Lockheed’s board of directors includes a former Under Secretary of Defense, a former US Air Force Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, a former Deputy Director of Homeland Security, and a former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe. These board members receive over $200,000 a year in compensation. Its political action committee gave over a million dollars a year to federal candidates in 2009, and is consistently one of the top spending PACs in the US. They appeal to all members of Congress because they strategically have operations in all fifty states. And, since 1998, Lockheed has spent over $125 million to lobby Congress.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a $33 billion company with 120,000 employees. In 2008, it received nearly $25 billion in federal contracts. Its chairman, Ronald Sugar, received over $54 million in compensation over the past three years.

Northrop’s Board includes a former Admiral of the Navy, a former 20 year member of Congress, a former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former commissioner of the Security and Exchange Commission and a former U.S. Naval officer. The members of its board of directors received over $200,000 each in 2009. Its Pac is listed as making over $700,000 in federal campaign donations in 2009. Since 1998, it has spent over $147 million lobbying Congress.


Boeing has 150,000 employees and took in over $23 billion in federal contracts in 2008. With revenues of $68 billion in 2009, its chair, James McNerney, was paid over $51 million over the past three years. Its board members are paid well over $200,000 a year. Boeing’s directors include a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, a former White House chief of staff, a former vice chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a former U.S. Ambassador and U.S. Trade Representative. It hosts the 10th largest political action committee, giving away more than one million dollars to federal candidates in 2009. Since 1998, it has spent $125 million lobbying Congress.

Time to Terminate the Permanent War

These corporations take billions from the government and profit from our perpetual state of war. They recycle some of that money back into lobbying the same people who gave it to them, and hire ex-military and government officials to help smooth the process. Their leaders make tens of millions off this work.

The trillions of dollars that it costs to wage permanent war are taxing the US economy. Yet where are the voices in Congress, Democrat or Republican, that talk seriously of dramatically reducing our military spending? President Obama and the Democrats are effectively continuing the permanent war policies of the Bush years. It is past time for change.

Remember this Memorial Day that, while thousands have been laid in their graves and hundreds of thousands wounded, private military contractors are prospering and profiting as the business of war booms.

The US should not only remember its dead but work to reverse the profitable permanent war that promises to add more names to the dead and disabled in this country and around the world.

Bill is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.

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The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Jeremy R. Hammond, World Policy Journal, May 25, 2010

Israel-Palestine Map


This article was originally published at the Palestine Chronicle.

There is a general perception that the reason the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for so long is because it is extremely complex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Placed in historical context, understanding the root cause of the conflict is simple, and in doing so, the solution becomes apparent.

During the late 1800s, a movement known as Zionism arose to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, then a territory under the Ottoman Empire. As a result of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and Great Britain and France conspired to divide the territorial spoils of war between themselves. The British became the occupying power of Palestine. The League of Nations issued a mandate effectively recognizing Great Britain as such.

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Book bares Israeli nuclear arms deals with apartheid regime

By Bill Van Auken,, May 25, 2010

Israel negotiated with South Africa for the sale of nuclear-armed missiles to the apartheid regime in the 1970s, according to a book published today. The revelation has surfaced at an inconvenient time for Washington as it campaigns for increased sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s own nuclear program.

The new book, “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with apartheid South Africa,” was written by Sasha Polakow-Suransky, the senior editor at Foreign Affairs, a publication oriented to the American foreign policy establishment. It has provided the first documentary evidence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program. These documents also demonstrate that the Zionist state was prepared to sell these weapons to a pariah regime that had engaged in repeated military attacks on its neighbors, while oppressing and waging unceasing state violence against its own black majority population.

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Can a Security Council ‘Coalition of the Unwilling’ Defy Washington’s Sanctions Crusade?

By Phyllis Bennis, ZNet, May 23, 2010

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Phyllis Bennis’s ZSpace Page

Sanctions that don’t work vs. diplomacy that does

The U.S. crusade for new UN sanctions against Iran has been underway for a long time. But the new intensity, the new scurrying around to make sure China and Russia are on board, and the new scramble for an immediate public announcement all reflect Washington’s frustration with the new agreement with Iran brokered by Turkey and Brazil. That agreement requires Iran to send about half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for somewhat higher-enriched prepared fuel rods for use in its medical reactor, which is pretty close to what the U.S. and its allies were demanding of Iran just months ago.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Introducing the heritage of Omar Khayyam

Middle East Online, May 23, 2010

Khayyam’s quatrains have given him an international prominence

Khayyam is venerable, honored figure who brings to mind delicacy, gracefulness of ancient Persian civilization.

By Kourosh Ziabari – TEHRAN

May 18 is dedicated to the commemoration of Omar Khayyam in the Iranian solar calendar; the calendar which Khayyam has invented himself. To the Western world which has always been enchanted by the magnificence and glory of oriental culture, Omar Khayyam is a venerable and honored figure who brings to mind the delicacy and gracefulness of ancient Persian civilization. The Iranian polymath, astronomer, philosopher and poet is internationally known for his insightful rubaiyyat (quatrains) which the influential British poet Edward FitzGerland translated from Persian into English 150 years ago.

Omar Khayyam constitutes an inseparable part of Iran’s impressive history of literature and science. He is associated with the development of the most accurate solar calendar of the world, namely the Jalali calendar, which, according to the astronomers and mathematicians is far more exact and precise than the Gregorian calendar. It’s said that the solar calendar which Omar Khayyam devised shows an error in the calculation of days and months only once in each 10,000 years.

Khayyam was born in 1048 in the Neyshapur city of the Greater Iran. The literary potency of Khayyam was so significant that made him the best composer of quatrains among the Persian poets; however, he is also known for his contributions to astronomy and one of his most major breakthroughs was the reformation of Persian calendar under the Seljuk King Sultan Jalal al-Din Malekshah Saljuqi after whom the Persian solar calendar was named. Khayyam was a prominent figure of mathematics, literature, philosophy and astronomy in his age. Some of the orientalist historians believe that Khayyam was the student of Avicenna, the distinguished Persian physician, theologian and paleontologist of the 10th century. In one of his poems, Khayyam introduces himself as a follower of Avicenna’s ideological path; however, this studentship seems to be a mystical and spiritual affinity rather than a direct mentor – student relationship.

The quatrains of Khayyam which have given him an international prominence are a collection of poems with philosophical essence and ontological nature in which Khayyam reveals his skeptical standpoints regarding the modality of material world and the existence of human being. It’s widely believed that Khayyam had a pessimistic, cynical viewpoint regarding the material world as he typically tried to direct criticism against the hypocritical, insincere man and portray his crave for a utopian world which is practically impossible to realize:

Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;

To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:

Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:

Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

Contextually, Khayyam’s quatrains can be divided into five main categories: 1- the mysteries of universe 2- the inevitabilities of life such as destiny and the disloyalty of the world 3- questions 4- the modality of social life 5- the cheerful moments of life

There are several translations of Khayyam’s quatrains available in various languages including English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Danish and Arabic. Edward FitzGeraldn’s translation is considered to be the most authentic and complete version of Khahyam’s quatrains in English; however, the versions of Edward Henry Whinfield, John Leslie Garner and John Leslie Garner are the other acceptable and widely-read translations of Rubayiat.

The quatrains of Khayyam are available in more than 25 languages. One of the most remarkable translations of Khayyam’s poetry into languages other than English belongs to Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt. He was a 19th century German author who published a consistent Deutsch translation comprised of 395 quatrains in 1881. He was a tutor in the family of Russian aristocrat and priest Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin and had the opportunity to learn Persian by the virtue of Russia’s proximity to the Greater Iran. The success of Bodenstedt’s translation of Rubayiat in German can be compared to that of FitzGerald in English.

The other notable translation belongs to the prolific Swedish writer Eric Axel Hermelin who competently translated the quatrains into Swedish. Hermelin who passed away in 1944 is known for his contribution to the translation of Persian poetry into Swedish. He translated several works by the distinguished Iranian poets including Attar, Rumi and Nezami and paved the ground for the translation of other masterpieces of Persian literature into European languages, including, among others, Swedish.

Despite being literarily less momentous and significant than Ferdowsi’s 60,000-couplet poetic opus “Shahnameh” which revived the Persian language in the crucial epoch of Arabs’ conquest of Persia, Rubayiat has received enormous attention in different countries and the international community has glorified Khayyam and exalted his artistic masterpiece extensively.

Tunisia has constructed a set of hotels named after Khayyam. One of the lunar craters has been named in honor of Omar Khayyam. The Omar Khayyam crater is located at 58.0N latitude and 102.1W longitude on the surface of moon. The Outer Main-belt Asteroid 1980 RT2 is also named in honor of Omar Khayyam. The Argentine Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader named his son in honor of Khayyam and his work. Omar Pérez López is a Cuban writer and poet.

The American clergyman and activist Martin Luther King Jr. quoted Khayyam in his speech Why I oppose war in Vietnam: “It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home America. Omar Khayyam is right ‘The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on.”

The late American novelist Kurt Vonnegut refers to Khayyam’s “moving finger writes” quatrain in his novel “Breakfast of Champions” when the protagonist Dwayne Hoover reveals that he had been forced to memorize it in high school.

Anyway, Khayyam has been given so much international attention that even the primary school students in the United States know him well. He is only one out of hundreds of figures who constructed the pedestals of Persian civilization. He was a pioneer in science and literature and now reminds the world the matchless and unparalleled civilization of Iranian people; the people whom the U.S. President threatens with a nuclear strike on the roofs of their homes.

Kourosh Ziabari is a freelance journalist from Iran

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