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by Karen English, San Francisco

We are constantly being reminded of the shared values of the United States and Israel. Both would rather you think of democracy, freedom of expression, pursuit of happiness, and something Judeo-Christian---when you hear those two words. We've had that spiel rammed down our throats almost since Israel's inception. I'd like to add some more values that the two governments share. I deliberately use the word governments because I've met many Americans who do not have the following values:

1. Both believe in occupying another people's land.

2. Both lust after what's not theirs.

a. America lusts after Iraq's oil.

b. Israel has taken advantage of its control of the West Bank and the Gaza strip to appropriate water resources in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip-- -water resources that primarily (since 1967) benefit Israeli settlements.

3. Both, when attacked, look around for a target to attack, with overkill. It doesn't matter who or what is at the other end of their guns. The objective is to strike at something. Both have a hideous point to prove and they don't let innocent lives get in their way.

4. Both believe that American and Israeli blood is worth the blood of at least a hundred innocent Iraqi, Afghani, or Palestinian civilians.

5. Both call names (terrorists, bad guys) to divert the world's attention away from realizing they're the terrorists and the bad guys.

6. Both Sharon and Bush believe they belong to a special, chosen group.

a. Sharon feels he belongs to a people chosen by God.

b. Bush and the Christian Right feel on a special mission for Christianity and the American way.

7. Both prefer that their military fight from a distance---in the sky. Both militaries are full of bluster when attacking from way up high (none of that hand-to-hand combat or "even playing field kind" of stuff).

8. Both are desperate to keep it a secret that Israel is at the root of all the chaos that's going on in the world today.

(Maybe not all qualify as values, actually. You decide.)

I may have missed a few shared values. Or, maybe some more will occur to me, but you get the idea.
Raid on Syria in Context of U.S.-Israeli Strategy
Signal to Rulers: You are there as long as we Want You: You can be Removed
Projection of U.S.-backed Israeli Power Shows Serious Miscalculation

by Buut Shikan [Idol Breaker]

Israel jets attacked an empty refugee camp in Syria, north of Damascus. [October 5] President Bush came out in support of the raid with a statement that "Israel has the right of self-defense." Observers say that self-defense cannot be claimed for a number of reasons:
i. Israel is in occupation of Palestine. Occupiers cannot invoke the concept of 'self-defense.'
ii. Syria has not fired a shot at Israel in several decades.
iii. Islamic Jihad movement has categorically stated that it does not have camps in Syria.

The Israeli raid on Syria makes more sense if seen in the context of the steady escalation of U.S. moves against Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The raid fits neatly into Israeli behavior as seen in the efforts to bully Yasir Arafat. The Israelis desperately want secularist Palestinians to crackdown on the "terrorists" (a code word for Islamic fighters). The Israeli-U.S. policy, enunciated by President Bush, is that Islamic groups must be "dismantled" by the Palestinian Authority.

Unfortunately for the U.S., Arafat still does not have the overwhelming force needed to crush the Islamic resistance. His latest appointee has expressed his inability to move against the Islamic fighters who are steadily gaining public support.

In SYRIA, as in other Muslim countries, there is broad based public support for the resistance in both Palestine and Iraq. The SYRIAN RULER has not the slightest desire to fight Israel or to show any support for Iraqi resistance, yet he cannot ignore public opinion in its entirety. Indications are that Syrian Islamists are active in Iraq helping the resistance. Bashar Assad has to keep a stance of "heroic opposition" to both Israel and the U.S.

Thus the raid was a message to Assad: YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO STOP ISLAMIC forces in Syria. Get to work, otherwise we'll increase the pressure.

The pro-Israeli political pundits are selling the "terrorism" [Islamic] threat story to the U.S. administration on the plea that "terrorism" in Palestine cannot be indigenous; it has to be state supported. Saddam was supposedly behind Palestinian "terrorism." Iran is a suspect (through Hizbullah), as is Syria. In the meantime the case against Saudi Arabia is being built up.

It's not clear to what extent the U.S. 'buys' this theory, but it does provide ammunition to the U.S. to bully and pressurize the governments to act against Islamic groups within their ambit.

In the case of SYRIA, it's very clear that the regime there will not fight Israel. Its army aims at keeping Bashar in power and has behaved in a cowardly fashion in its stance towards the enemy across the border. Even when Israel shoots at the Syrians, Bashar's troops do not shoot back.

Also, in the last couple of decades, there has been no attack in Israel backed by any Syrian group.

ISRAEL and the U.S. are unable to see that ARMED ISLAMIC RESISTANCE is now a global phenomenon. Islamic movements are not fringe groups of "extremists" but the best part of every Muslim nation. Neither Sharon nor Bush are realistic enough to see this fact. The MASSES of Muslim peoples are often unable or unwilling to support the Islamic movements in each country owing to fear of reprisals by governments which are often secular.

If Israel and the U.S. attack Syria or try to humiliate Syria, the result will be greater mobilization of the people in favor of Islam and Palestine. If actual fighting takes place, segments of the Syrian armed forces might be radicalized in support of Islam

Thus the Israeli raid is a sign that the Jews have misread the temper of the Islamic world. The U.S. might be able to use Israel against Syria, just as Israel used the U.S. against Iraq. The weak "Muslim" secular system might buckle but the mobilization of the Islamic world is being accelerated by these counterproductive moves.
How to stop Collateral Damage?

by our Media Monitor

Hanadi, 27 years old, was a devout Muslim, an educated, clear thinking person who worked as an apprentice lawyer in Jenin, the Palestinian town which has suffered devastation under Israeli air and tank attacks. The Jews had killed her brother, Fadi, and her cousin, Saleh.

On October 4, 2003 Hanadi sacrificed herself in an attack carried out in the occupied city of Haifa. In her picture released by AFP she looks serene, intelligent and lively.

Her mother, like the true mother of a martyr, said: "I am happy with her because she has killed those who have killed my son. They kill us every day."

Her father, Tayssi Jaradat, told al-Jazeera with great pride: "She is a very strong person."

COMMENTARY: Some innocent people were also killed in Haifa. It appears that during martyrdom operations, warning the innocent to leave is difficult if not impossible. Observers say that the Palestinians should distribute warnings to Israelis not to let innocents and non-combatants into areas where adults congregate. Israelis, being occupiers are fair targets under international law. They should be encouraged not to allow their troops, in or out of uniform to mix with children and non-Jews.

Also, the Palestinians should learn the art of public relations. In case innocents get killed in a strike, a statement of regret should be issued. In case the martyr-attacker survives the attack, he or she should be tried for hurting the innocents and sentenced to at least some prison time.

2003-10-11 Sat 21:14ct