Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Letters to the LA Times:

Re "Israel's Albatross: U.S. Neocons," Commentary, Aug. 30: Robert Scheer is correct in finding the Jewish neocons in the Bush administration dangerous not only for peace but for the state of Israel. The workings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on behalf of the Likud Party in Israel constitute something like "dual loyalty." They will claim their critics are anti-Semites, but the neocons are adept at lies and deceptions. It is the neocons we should thank for the disaster in Iraq, them and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, who are using Israel for their own nefarious purposes.

John Kerry is no bargain, but he is better than Bush. One only hopes he too is not a puppet of AIPAC. At least Ralph Nader is clearly not.

Norman Ravitch

--

Savannah, Ga.

Among the many important issues we won't hear about during this presidential campaign is the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The only one with the courage to bring it up is Ralph Nader. It might help to know that we spend 10 times as much on Israel as we spend on the entire continent of Africa.

Jerry Schaefer

Long Beach

Read full...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Bounce Bounce Ouch!

The image “http://almusawwir.org/pumpkinbounce.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Time is reporting a big bounce for Bush 52% and Kerry 41% - this is huge, and may reflect polling errors, but all the other polls are also reporting Bush now speeding ahead of Kerry.

Now what? The Anybody but Bush crowd has been desperately trying to hang on to Kerry - as if he is an "alternative to Bushism." - And where is all this leading to ?

As Stephen Zunes writes:

Indeed, Kerry is arguably the Democrats’ most right-wing militaristic presidential nominee since James K. Polk.

Kerry’s vote authorizing the illegal, unnecessary and disastrous invasion of Iraq (which he defends to this day),


his calls for increased military spending (despite the end of the Cold War),

his denunciation of the International Court of Justice (for its July decision reiterating the obligation of UN member states to enforce international humanitarian law),

and his strident support for the rightist Israeli government’s illegal colonization and creeping annexation of the occupied West Bank (despite the opposition of such policies by most Israelis and American Jews)

has alienated millions of liberal, progressive and moderate voters who, as a result, may vote for independent candidate Ralph Nader or stay at home on Election Day.

Michael Moore has some advice for Kerry

He must realize that he faces Al Gore's fate only if he fails to stand up like the hero he is, only if he sits on the fence and keeps justifying his vote for the Iraq war instead of just saying, "Look, I was for it just like 70% of America until we learned the truth, and now I'm against it, like the majority of Americans are now."

Kerry needs to trust that his victory is only going to happen by inspiring the natural base of the Democratic Party — blacks, working people, women, the poor and young people. Women and people of color make up 62% of this country. That's a big majority. Give them a reason to come out on Nov. 2.

So, is Kerry going to listen - I won't be holding my breath - Kerry is a corporate candidate who is running on a pro-war Bushism platform. The American people are not stupid - a choice between Bush and Bush is no choice! The 62% of people that Moore is refering to will stay at home rather than make such a choice!

No to Kerry, No to Bush, give us a choice, give us a choice, We have our own voice!


votenader.com

Thursday, September 02, 2004

On those who did not protest in New York...


Protestors on arrested in New York City, on August 31st, 2004.

No doubt the protests in New York were very significant, in size, and in bringing together people from all different parts of the United States. Still, one has to wonder about the ABB people who were wearing Kerry buttons on top of their anti-war T-shirts! Could it be that they simply do not know that
Kerry is no peace candidate, that he has stated that he is for the invasion of Iraq?

Josh Frank discusses the issue of the protests being mostly (but by no means entirely) a White affair:


As I watched these protesters amass, however, I noticed something peculiar. Most fellow Williamsburgers (Brooklyn, New York) on the street seemed unconcerned that George W. Bush was using their city to host the Republican National Convention. They didn't give a shit that Bush was about to exploit the tragedy of September 11 to promote his re-election campaign. They were not angered by the whole charade. Not in the least.

At first I was perplexed. "Why aren't these people, poor black and Latino minorities, on the front-lines raging against Bush and his band of thugs? They certainly have ample reason." I thought. "In fact they have more reasons then these twenty-something's, myself included, who will forever have the gift of white skin as a saving social grace. Why the overt political apathy?"

But then it hit me. The truth is these folks don't see a point in protesting only one sect of the ruling elite while ignoring the other -- their problems are systemic, and yes, bipartisan in origin. Bush is only a symbolic figure head of a corrupt corporatized state. They don't need C. Wright Mills to point it out. They witness it daily.

They know it was Bill Clinton who signed welfare reform. Not Bush. They know it was Clinton who cut Pell-Grants and raped the federal education funds, making it harder for these people to dig their way out of entrenched poverty. It is Democrat John Kerry who wants to put more cops on the streets to crack some minority heads -- which will inevitably send more non-violent individuals from poor neighborhoods like South Williamsburg into the prison industrial system. These poor Americans have few, if any, allies in Washington. They're votes are typically ignored if even counted, and the presidential aspirants like Kerry rarely speak to their needs -- even if Kerry's Veep Edwards smiles his way through his "Two-America's" speech. These folks aren't biting. Read more here

This, of-course, is a serious problem of the way Anybody But Bush syndrome manifests itself. By ignoring the sytemic, and focusing on the individual demonized Bush, it becomes very difficult to seriously talk to people who have been directly impacted by war, and corporatization of our democracy.

And this is the key strength of the Nader/Camejo campaigen - we place no artificial restrictions on ourselves that would prevent a clear and critical eye on both the corporate war parties.


The Global View: Arab Media

Nonna Gorilovskaya
Mother Jones
Sept. 2, 2004

...The Egyptian Al Ahram urges Arab-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for Bush during the last election, to cast their ballots for Ralph Nader -- the independent candidate of Lebanese descent -- this time around. Arab-American voters, it says, should feel betrayed by the Bush administration for its invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, and its unqualified support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, but the paper goes on to argue that there are no substantial differences between Bush and Kerry on these issues. (Which is a questionable reading, shall we say.) Mobilizing for Kerry, therefore, would be a signal that the Arab-American vote could be won without concessions on policy positions that matter most to Arab-Americans -- an unwise political move. As Al Ahram concludes:

"Supporting Nader, therefore, whose platform is the only one that responds to Arab-American interests and positions on Palestine, Iraq, civil liberties and world-wide respect for international law, would not only be an act of conscience but an exercise in self-assertion and the only demonstration of electoral strength as well. Far from being a 'wasted' vote, it would constitute the initial necessary investment in a long and continuing process designed to keep all future candidates apprised of the actual worth of the Arab-American vote."

Read More...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Larry Franklin: Just a Sideshow on the Road to Total War

By Kurt Nimmo
Press Action
September 1, 2004

Isn’t it curious that right smack in the middle of an investigation of Israel spying on its best “friend,” Hamas pulls off back-to-back suicide bombings—after a lull of nearly six months—in Beersheba? Hamas declares the bombing was revenge for Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi. Rantissi was assassinated on April 17 and Yassin on March 22.

Is there a reason Hamas waited so long to take revenge? Of course there is. Hamas is essentially an Israeli contrivance. It’s used for effect when politically expedient.

Israel “aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO,” Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies, told the UPI’s Richard Sale in 2002. Hamas is a descendant of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic organization long ago penetrated by the CIA.

Read More...

Hypocrisy of the Nader Bashers

Socialist Worker Online
September 3, 2004

DID THE Democratic Party’s attack dogs really make a television ad denouncing Ralph Nader for accepting money from known Republican donors--and pay for it with money from a known Republican donor ?

The ad, produced by TheNaderFactor.com, represents a new low in the war on Nader’s independent presidential campaign. It all but accuses Nader--after four decades of uncompromising opposition to corporate power and political corruption--of conspiring with Republicans to help George Bush back into the White House.

But it turns out the Nader bashers need to listen to that old saying about stones and glass houses.

TheNaderFactor.com is run by the National Progress Fund, which--according to reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service--received its largest donation from an individual from business executive Robert "Bobby" Savoie. Savoie is vice chairman of Apogen Technologies, a major contractor for several federal government departments and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.

About a month before his $25,000 donation to the National Progress Fund, Savoie handed over $25,000 to...you guessed it...the Republican National Committee. A month before that, he gave $2,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. His wife, Lori, by happy coincidence, gave equal amounts to the same GOP groups on the same days.

According to the New York Times, TheNaderFactor.com’s anti-Nader television ad cost $5,000 to produce and $20,000 to run a dozen times in New Mexico and Wisconsin at the end of August. Precisely the amount that Savoie gave to the Nader bashers--and to the Republican National Committee the month before.

Savoie is like many rich corporate executives with political connections. He keeps thousands flowing to both major parties, so that millions flow back to him, no matter who wins. But it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the Nader bashers that they will attack Nader for nothing more than what they’ve done themselves.

Millions of people understandably want to see George W. Bush thrown out of office--so they plan to vote for John Kerry, no matter how much they disagree with his Republican Lite campaign. But the Democratic Party--aided and abetted by progressives with a record of activism for peace and justice--is exploiting this "Anybody But Bush" sentiment as a justification for trying to silence a genuine left-wing alternative.

Nader and his running mate Peter Camejo are running a campaign that challenges not only Bush and the Republicans, but the other party of Corporate America and the Washington status quo--the Democratic Party, which has, in John Kerry, once again nominated a candidate who shares more in common with his GOP opponent than he differs. The Democrats learned in 2000 how powerful the Nader challenge could be--and they’re out to squelch it today with an unprecedented operation to keep Nader from qualifying for the presidential ballot.
...
Yet progressives like columnist Norman Solomon and author Barbara Ehrenreich aren’t attacking Nader for not building the strongest possible left-wing campaign. They’ve accepted the logic of the Anybody-But-Bush liberals that John Kerry has to win in November at all costs--even if that means slandering the only antiwar, pro-global justice, pro-worker presidential campaign in the election.

This does long-term damage to the left--when well-known progressives not only accept the need to vote for a pro-war candidate like Kerry, but mouth the Democratic establishment’s slander and abuse of Nader for nothing more than daring to offer a left alternative. The Nader-Camejo campaign deserves our support--in its effort to get on the ballot in every state, and in the polling booths on Election Day.

Poor Larry Franklin

It Will All Be Over Soon
By Kathleen and Bill Christison
Counterpunch.org


Poor Larry Franklin. For some years, the line between Israel and the U.S.-in terms of policies, of perceived national interests, of patriotic fervor-has been slowly disappearing, and in the circles Franklin travels, among the coterie of neocons inside and outside the Bush administration, there never was a line at all. Aren't Israel's interests U.S. interests? Isn't it true that what's good for the U.S. is good for Israel? (Or maybe that should be the other way around.) Why shouldn't he give classified documents to Israel? Why shouldn't he traffic in secret material with Israel's principal lobbyists in Washington? It's really all the same country anyway.

Isn't it?

Yet here is Franklin, just doing what comes naturally, minding his own business (Israel's business is his business, as it is the business of his boss Douglas Feith and of his boss's boss Paul Wolfowitz) caught up in an anachronistic bureaucratic snafu by some FBI agents who actually still seem to believe that Israel is different from the U.S.

What's a guy to do?

But not to worry, Larry. You'll undoubtedly be rescued by the boss of those FBI agents. John Ashcroft knows there's no line between Israel and the U.S. What God-fearing, bible-thumping, Christian fundamentalist wouldn't? If Ashcroft doesn't come through, there are all your bosses: Feith and Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld himself. And Dick Cheney knows what's what. And don't misunderestimate George Bush's own fealty to his buddy Ariel Sharon.

And if John Kerry somehow gets himself elected and all those Bush administration defenders flee the scene, you'll still probably be safe. Kerry himself regularly swears loyalty to Israel. Kerry gets it. He calls himself a friend of Israel "by conviction and at the deepest personal level." The cause of Israel, he says, "must be the cause of America." What more could a double agent want? Who needs the neocons?

Don't worry, Larry. You'll get off.

Note: The Christisons are scheduled to be on a local Santa Fe, New Mexico radio station from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, which will be broadcast on the internet. The show is the Diego Mulligan Show on KSFR, Santa Fe's public radio station. (Since they are in the U.S. Mountain time zone, that would be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. In Europe and the Middle East, this would be quite late: 11:00 p.m. in the UK, midnight in France, 1:00 a.m. Friday in Amman and Jerusalem.)

They will talk about rebuilding a Palestinian home demolished by Israel in the West Bank village of Anata and about U.S policies toward Israel and Palestine.

Since the radio station puts all shows on the internet in "real time," anyone who has the Windows Media Player on his or her computer can listen to the show at
http://www.ksfr.org at the correct time. When the website comes up on your screen, click on "Listen Live," and then again on "Click to Launch Stream."

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. He is a contributor to Imperial Crusades, CounterPunch's new history of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kathleen Christison, a former CIA political analyst, is the author of Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy and Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story. They can be reached at: christison@counterpunch.org.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Million Dollar Vote

Nader's War on Error
Ahmed Amr - August 31, 2004

I don’t mean to be impertinent, but maybe you should think before you vote. After all, a single vote can be worth as much as six million dollars. I arrived at this valuation by dividing the amount of money spent in the 2000 campaign by the number of votes that determined the outcome in Florida – a little over 500. In New Mexico, the race was even closer. Gore won by 366 votes. By some accounts, over 3 billion dollars was spent by the Republicans and Democrats to arrive at this unlikely outcome. You do the math.

In close presidential elections, a lot of people spend a ton of money chasing a few undecided voters. Both parties have entrenched constituencies that they can count on even if their nominee was caught with a bloody ax over the mutilated body of Flipper. For all practical purposes, ninety five percent of the voters have already marked their ballots. Their minds are made up and - come hell or high water – their choice is set in stone.

Not all the remaining five percent of voters are worth bothering about. Regardless of how they vote, the vast majority of them live in states where the outcome would not change because one party or the other has such a commanding lead. So, if the polls are accurate, a few hundred thousand voters living in the battle ground states will decide this contest.

If you happen to be undecided, you will quickly find out if your address makes your vote vital in electing the next CEO of the free world. Look for the telltale signs in the last few weeks of the campaign. If CNN doesn’t paint your state red or blue on the electoral map – you are the proud owner of a million-dollar vote. If both candidates offer to clean your house – you have been anointed to decide the fate of the nation.

Once you determine the value of your vote, you might decide that you are uncomfortable using such a high value instrument. Maybe you need a guardian or an outside adviser. This is real money. Lives are in the balance. All over the planet, people are watching and waiting for your decision. You could be their savior or their executioner. You could make them rich or throw them in the poor house. Your vote can launch an F-16 strike or ignite a peace conference.

If you can’t handle this kind of baggage, maybe you should stay home – make some hot chocolate and turn in early.

On the other hand, maybe you should vote early and often. If one vote is potentially worth six million – well, ten votes are worth sixty million. If you think you know what you’re doing, register your pet turtle and go for it. But before you make such an expensive decision, why don’t you first consider a few random facts from the public record.

Did you know that John Kerry is on record as supporting a pre-emptive strike against Iraq – even if he knew what he knows today?

Do you still believe that Iraq possessed WMDs? Kerry doesn’t. But, according to a University of Maryland Poll, 54 percent of Americans continue to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. No evidence of such weapons has ever been found. They also believe Iraq was either closely linked with al-Qaida before the war or was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on this country. Many of these people will vote in November. Is that a good idea?

Have you ever confused Palestinians with refugees from Afghanistan? The BBC recently reported that many Britons think Palestinians occupy Israeli territory. And some Britons believe Palestinians are refugees from Afghanistan. Would you encourage English men who held such views to vote? For the record, both Kerry and Bush are in favor of convincing the Palestinians to accept permanent refugee status. They are just working out the details on where to relocate their refugee camps.


Are you aware that “Bring them on” George dodged service in Vietnam? This is how Ben Barnes remembers Dubya: “I got a young man named George W, Bush in the National Guard when I was Lt. Gov. of Texas and I’m not necessarily proud of that. But I did it. And I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do, when you’re in office you helped a lot of rich people. I helped a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot o people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard and I’m very sorry about that and I’m very ashamed and I apologize to you as voters of Texas.” Ben Barnes is the former speaker of the Texas House who made the proper “arrangements” to assure that George stayed out of harm’s way.

I could go on about neo-conservatives hijacking the Pentagon, the “intelligence failures” that were meticulously engineered by the Office of Special Plans, Enron, Halliburton, Abu Ghraib and a hundred other factors that you should consider before voting.

It’s all so very confusing – especially when you consider that Bush and Kerry have virtually the same positions on how to best mistreat the other 94% of the planet’s inhabitants.

Even after the disaster of 9/11, a vast majority of Americans continue to believe that we were targeted because of “our way of life”. Apparently, the terrorists were upset by our skirt lines and our freedom – not our foreign policy. So, in response, we launched a ‘war on terror’ – something akin to launching a nuclear counter strike against global warming.

Now, all indications are that this contest will come down to which candidate is best suited to fight this eternal 'war on terror’. The current resident of the White House isn’t even sure we can win this fight – he just thinks he’s very good at starting it.

Shouldn’t we first consider waging a ‘war on error’? Good people can disagree about whether our foreign policy is worth the price of building a garrison state, fighting Sharon’s battles or curtailing civil liberties. But before we have that argument, can’t we at least agree on the facts already on the table. No WMDs. No Al Qaeda link. No Mission Accomplished. No exit strategy. No cake walk. No more allies. No accountability. No remorse. Plus two presidential candidates who would repeat the experience if given a second chance.

Why do we even need a ‘war on error’? Aren’t we supposed to be living in the midst of an information revolution? How did so many of us end up without a clue?

Take that little pesky detail about the fictional WMD arsenals. You would think CNN and FOX would feel an obligation to correct such a widely held misperception. After all, they are the ones who constantly deploy their weapons of mass deception against defenseless American minds. Many eager marines went into battle believing that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the terrorist assaults on 9/11. A thousand of those young Americans paid the ultimate price because many responsible adults failed to fight the good fight in the ‘war on error’. Not that it matter to most Americans, but tens of thousands of uncounted Iraqis also perished because of our ‘errors’.

If your mind is still fuzzy on vital questions that may determine the life and death of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of innocent foreigners – do you still feel comfortable handling a million-dollar ballot? If you knew that my vote might result in the death of your pet cat – what would you advise me to do? You would at least expect me to give the matter serious consideration. So, I don’t mean to be impertinent when I ask you to think about discarding your ballot.

One final thought. Did you know that it is legal in all fifty states to give your million-dollar vote to Nader? Ralph is the guy you won’t see on CNN and FOX because he is fully engaged in a full frontal assault against our nefarious enemies in the “war on error”.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Peter Camejo at "can we do better than ABB?!!"

More than a thousand people attended a panel on "can we do better than anybody but bush" as part of the NO RNC events in New York.

Peter Camejo spoke last and got a rousing standing applause for his principled stand on movement building, and the necessity for not becoming blinded with the ABB ideology. A few important points he made:

In many respects we are faced with a situation that the abolitionists faced when that party was accused of being a "spoiler." But if we were faced with such a situation where there were two partys advocating slavery, of-course we would chose the third that was not! Some would say that is not the issue.. But are people's lives being destroyed because of war not worth a similar consideration?!

Peter Camejo also pointed out, in response to that people of the world (especially middle-east) needing to see that we do not elect a peresident who has engaged in such destruction. Peter pointed out that people of the world, esp. the "third world" are not stupid, of-course they will know immediately what kind of a president Kerry would be - the same, if not worse!

What the world would respond positively to is this, that the Nader/Camejo ticket gets at least 10 million votes, and a strong passionate movement that will not compromise on its principles.

The march of 500,000 people on Sunday was a victory, and although many of them may end up voting for Kerry, there was no Kerry signs - this is because many of the people know, the know very well what Kerry is about - and they are ashamed. (There were maybe two or three small signs that I saw, but nothing very apparent).

ABB people who harrass Nader people - and say that "they hate Bush" might want to explain exactly what is it that they hate Bush about? The answer might be that they "hate" him for all that Kerry stands for!

There were other very interesting speakers, hopefully this will be availaible on tape/CD soon, and can be placed on-line...

Tomorrow, Ralph Nader will be speaking at an anti-war convention co-sponsored by the Muslim Students Association at Columbia University. I'll try to do a report after that talk...




Must Watch: Nader Speaks on the Muslim Vote in 2004

Sponsored by CAIR and CNI - Speakers include Ralph Nader, Amb. Edward Peck, Fmr. Iraq Chief of Mission; Eugene Bird, President, Council for the National Interest; and others.

Link - Watch C-SPAN Video

Nader delivers his views on Palestine, Iraq and renewing civil liberties for Muslims around minute 47:00 - Watch Edward Peck after Nader - his speech is a great... Nader's defense of Palestine has caused quite a media stir... Nader's response to the ADL & Washington Post proving he is not anti-Semitic...

Teresa Heinz's Son - Nader Supporter!

John Heinz VI - Teresa Heinz-Kerry's eldest son - supported Ralph Nader in 2000 with his vote and a $1000 campaign donation... If you haven't already, please contribute to the Nader/Camejo campaign by September 1st - all donations by this date are federally matched! Click here.

Archive: Clinton Grilled by Amy Goodman...

On election day, 2000, Amy Goodman received a surprise call from President Clinton. It would be an interview Clinton would no doubt regret... covering the real issues: Ralph Nader, Palestinian suffering, Iraqi children dying, the bloated prison population and much, much more...

Read it Here

Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! is a bastilion of reputable journalism...

...check out their excellent coverage of:

Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu - Part I - Part II
Nader Calls Kerry a "Puppet" For Israel, Charges Dems With "Mini-Watergate" - Link

...If you missed it, watch Peter Camejo on C-SPAN - Link

Nader Highlights Movements in Israel, Palestine, and the United States

Ralph Nader is again pushing the envelope to end Palestinian suffering, proving again he is the only candidate deserving of your vote:

From Votenader.org:

Below is the complete letter Ralph Nader sent to the Washington Post in response to an editorial criticizing his comment that Israel is a puppeteer of the US government. When it published the letter on August 21 st , the Post edited out the 4 th to 6 th paragraphs. These are important paragraphs illustrating that Nader's positions are consistent with those of many Israelis and American Jews. Theses paragraphs highlighted the views of the Refuseniks, members of the Israeli Defense Force who refuse to particiapte in the occupation of Palestinian territory; and the views of over 400 rabbis who criticize the demolotion of homes of hundreds of Palestinians. They also highlighted Senator John Kerry's failure to face up to the human rights abuses of Israel.

Also, below Nader's letter is an additional letter that was published written by John P. Salzberg a member of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace.

Below that is another letter the Post refused to publish that highlights how charges of anti-semitism are used to stifle debate on Israel-Palestine in the United States.

Dear Editor

Your editorial's (Aug. 14 th) juxtaposition of my words, taken from my statement which was rooted in an advocacy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, with a passage from a domestic group, rooted in prejudice, was shameful and unsavory, at the very least. Suffice it to say that your objection to my description of the need to replace the Washington puppet show with the Washington Peace Show serves to reinforce the censorious climate against open and free discussion this conflict in the U.S., as there has been among the Israeli people. When Israelis joke about the United States being "the second state of Israel," it sounds like they are describing a puppeteer-puppet relationship. Or, would The Post prefer using the descriptor "dominant-subordinate?"

The New York Times columnist and Middle Eastern Specialist, Tom Friedman, used stronger words than "puppet" when on February 9th, he wrote: "Mr. Sharon has the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat under house arrest in his office in Ramallah, and he's had George Bush under house arrest in the Oval office. Mr. Sharon has Mr. Arafat surrounded by tanks, and Mr. Bush surrounded by Jewish and Christian pro-Israel lobbyists, by a vice president, Dick Cheney, who's ready to do whatever Mr. Sharon dictates . . . all conspiring to make sure the president does nothing."

When AIPAC works to obtain a recent 407-9 vote for a House of Representatives' resolution which supported the latest Sharon strategy and rejected any mention of an independent Palestinian state, how would you describe such a surrender of the privately held positions of many Representatives, favoring a two-state solution?

Half of the Israeli people and over two-thirds of Americans of the Jewish faith believe the conflict can only be settled by allowing an independent Palestinian state together with a secure Israel.

Four hundred American rabbis, including leaders of some of the largest congregations in the country, protested the Israeli government's house demolition policy. Hundreds of Israeli reserve combat officers and soldiers signed a declaration refusing, in their words, "to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people." www.seruv.org.il

That these and many other Israeli and American peace advocates with impressive political, business, academic, military and intelligence experience, receive no hearing in official Washington is further indication of a serious bias inside both political parties. George W. Bush is a messianic militarist with a tin ear toward these courageous collaborators in peace. And what is John Kerry's problem? He told us he has "many friends" in the broad and deep Israeli peace movement. Yet, Mr. Kerry issues a pro-Sharon statement that in its obeisance goes to the right of Bush.

Given that your editorial did not have any problem with these views, why do you object to a description of AIPAC as an awesome lobby on Capitol Hill, labeling it "poisonous stuff?" AIPAC has worked hard over the years to enlist the support of both Christians and Jews. Its organizing skills are the envy of the NRA and other citizen groups. Muslim-Americans are trying to learn from its lobbying skills to produce a more balanced Congressional debate on Middle Eastern policies. How does acknowledging such an achievement "play on age-old stereotypes?" The bias may be in your own mind.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader


August 19, 2004

To the Editor:

It is difficult to find an acceptable language with which to criticize the hard-line policies of successive Israeli governments.

Ralph Nader is charged ( Washington Post Editorial, August 14, 2004) with anti-Semitism for speaking of the Israeli government and the Israeli Jewish lobby as "puppeteers" and American politicians as the "puppets" by the same people who charge Arafat and the Palestinians of being the "puppeteers" who mastermind votes critical of Israel in the General Assembly and in the Security Council of the United Nations.

The danger of anti-Semitism is a red-herring in a country in which the two major parties and their presidential candidates – cheered on by Christian Zionists -- are competing for first prize in championing the cause of Sharon.

It is an open secret that the Israeli-Jewish lobby is among the most influential lobbies in Washington and beyond. Indeed, the leaders AIPAC and of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations would be the first to make this claim. What is so distressing is that these leaders arrogate to themselves the right to be more Catholic than the Pope in their support of Israeli hard-liners but also far more hard-line than most American and Israeli Jews. Indeed, the likes of Ronald Lauder and Malcolm Hoenlein never accepted Oslo and the principle of "land for peace."

The American supporters of the Peace Now and affiliated peace organizations in Israel are frozen out of these Jewish-American organizations.

In any case, the accusation of anti-Semitism is a tried and effective tactic for silencing criticism or opposition to the policies of Israeli governments and of American administrations.

The Nader campaign is a natural home for American Jews committed to the peace process who are appalled at Kerry's efforts at out-Bushing Bush on the Israeli question and many others. It is neither Jewish nor Democratic to stifle debate with false charges of anti-Semitism.
Arno J. Mayer

Arno J. Mayer is professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and the author of "Why Did Not the Heavens Darken?: The 'Final Solution' in History."

read original article


Live From NY: This is What America Looks Like!


It is now nearing midnight in New York - what an amazing beautiful day this has been. Thank you to Ahmed, and Patricia for their experiences at the march. I would also like to share some of my own.

I posted a somewhat cynical/frustrated comment regarding the "anybody but bush" problem a little earlier. While I find this whole ABB affair very disconcerting, especially because of its possible long term ramification for independent peace and social justice oriented politics in the US, I have to acknowledge the huge gains we have all made in the last few years.

One such gain was experienced earlier today in New York, I don't know about the numbers - but clearly it was in the hundreds of thousands.

I decided early on that I was going to move around in the crowd as much as possible, from the Nader/Camejo people, to the wonderful anti-imperialist contingent that included the South Asian activist group DRUM, to checking out the Anarchists. I even managed to flash a smile or two at people wearing Kerry buttons on top of their anti-war T-shirts!!!

The sound was beautiful, people's voices rang out loud and clear over the incredibly packed streets of mid-town Manhattan. As Ahmed's photographs show, there was a wonderful diversity of people everywhere. To my knowledge this may well have been the first time in US history, that a demonstration of this magnitude has taken place before a presidential party convention.

What might we take away from this wonderful event?

First, there is no question that this is a resounding NO to all that the Bush administration has undertaken in the past four years: the Patriot Act, the wars, and invasions, and more wars. The policies of extreme arrogance that has alienated so much of the Arab and Muslim populations from the United States.

Listen up, Hasan, this is a NO like one that has not been heard before in this country. Bush will probably not even acknowledge this reality, and like earlier demonstrations, dismiss this one also as a "focus group!"

Second, we have a movement, a real true to life movement in the United States. A movement that represents so much of what so many of us believe in: peace, civil liberties, economic justice (labor unions were represented) and more. This is a very historical period, a time where we have real opportunity to shape, inshallah, the direction we wish to move towards.

Third, I want to point out the very large numbers of young, younger and more younger people who are involved - this has great meaning for us who have been involved in the activist world. The energy, fresh ideas, thinking, that people are bringing to the table gives the movement a vitality that will keep us moving even in the roughest of times.

Finally - in closing, I want to sound a cautionary note - electing Kerry does not in any way shape or form mean a victory, and I fear that too many people are assuming that "dumping bush" is a victory. Such an assumption may well mean an end to the movement without getting anything at all - and maybe even a worse scenario of Kerry having a free hand to "do war right."

A real victory would include a strong vote for the anti-war, pro-civil liberties, peace and social justice candidacy of Nader/Camejo - it would also include huge demonstrations, and a very active social movement the day after whoever happens to "win" the elections. A victorious movement would remain just as strong after November 2nd, as we were today in New York! This is what we need to aim for, begining today.

There are several exciting events scheduled for today, I'm looking forward to being part of Kensington Welfare Rights Union's "poor people's march" and to an important panel discussion including Naomi Klein, and Peter Camejo - on alternatives to the "anybody but bush" ideology.

For ongoing coverage of New York events check out New York Indymedia.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Live from NY - Ringing for Peace



The destruction of the twin towers has had a profound impact on our world, on politics, and has resulted in an escalation of wars and conflict. Many of us also experienced a movement within, at a deeply personal level.


For some of us it has meant a journey towards a deeper understanding of Islam, what does it mean to be a Muslim? For others, the tragedy has shaken us out of our respective slumber, and we have begun to awaken. The subsequent wars, invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, the horrifying condition of the Palestinian people, have also led to a renewal of social action and movements throughout our beautiful planet.

It was with some of these thoughts that I visited ground zero today. When I arrived, it seemed almost anticlimatic - I expected a somber, almost sacred grounds to be remembered and respected. But I found tourists from all different backgrounds taking pictures of the fenced in remains of the World Trade Center. It took me some time to move to a space of remembering the terrible loss of life, away from mere curiosity of a spectator.

I was very grateful when the planned action to claim ground zero for all people began. This ground does NOT belong to any political party - it is not something that the Republicans can claim, nor the Democrats for their short term political gains - to be used as an excuse to kill more innocent peoples.

The action was a simple one, a couple of thousand bell ringers surrounded Ground Zero, and for two hours rang small and large bells in unison. Each ring for each person who died in that violent act. The whole area was transformed for those two hours into a melody of bells. There were people of many backgrounds, young and younger and even younger all were present.

The action was a powerful one in another important respect; that to use deaths, and this tragedy to further escalate conflict and wars is so wrong. There is real meaning to those words "Not In My Name" that might be understood through participating in such an action. What gives these people in power, Republicans and Democrats (with a few honorable exceptions such as Barbara Lee) the right to cynically use such a tragedy to launch wars after wars, with no end in sight?!

But there is another side to this - and that is something that Ralph Nader has said so many times: "If you don't turn onto politics, then politics will turn on you!" If we do not want our history to be expolited in such ways, then we must become involved citizens, and hold these public servants accountable.

And if they want our votes, then we have to ask difficult questions - will what is being proposed by a candidate lead to more bloodshed, more violence, an ever increasing level of conflict?! Then such a candidate does not deserve our vote - and there is no reason to freely hand over our vote.

Later this morning, New York will experience a major anti-war, pro-peace march - tens of thousands of people are arriving in The City from all over the country. We will let Bush (and Kerry) know that the majority of Americans are against more war, and we, the people, want a nation that will be a force for peace, inshallah.

Israel to US: Now for Iran



Al Jazeera reports on Israel / Iran
& where the U.S. fits in. Link

Hypocracy of the Israeli Lobby...

Ralph Nader took an enlightened stand against the pro-Israeli/pro-war lobby/Bush/Kerry... and the ADL / Washington Post smeared him good name.

From John Kerry - Aug 27, 2004:

"Across the Middle East, the United States and Israel are facing a range of crucial security challenges. We are not secure while Saudi donors fund terror, while Iran pursues a nuclear weapons programs and while Syria sponsors terrorist operations. We are not secure while Iraq is at risk of becoming a haven for terrorists. And we are not secure while Israel, the one true democracy in the region, remains the victim of an unrelenting campaign of terror. If we continue without a more effective strategy, we are not supporting our ally as best we can."
...
"The success of the withdrawal also requires a real Palestinian effort to establish security — to ensure Gaza does not remain a haven for terrorists to launch attacks on Israel. Experience has made very clear that for the Palestinians to meet this key test, new Palestinian leadership is required, as Yasser Arafat has proven himself not to be a partner for peace."
...
"My commitment to a safe and secure Jewish state is unwavering. For 19 years, this is a pledge I have kept in the United States Senate — whether through my votes on economic aid, military security or the location of the U.S. Embassy. And it is one I will continue to keep as I lead a bold new effort to enhance regional security throughout the Middle East."

Today pro-Israeli lobbyists are pounding the war drum more feverishly than ever, and many Americans are jamming to the beat. In the September issue, Steve Forbes's "Fact and Comment" (page 33 - first 'Fair and Balanced,' now this) - he paints Iran as a county whose sole purpose is to harm Israel with nuclear arms. Some statements made by Forbes:

"Israel has long considered Iran's black-robed fascists to be it's ultimate enemy." "...We should make clear to Tehran that continued nuclearization will mean the U.S. will back any Israeli response to the hilt. Furthermore, we will strike, perhaps even before the Israelis do." "...Nukes mean respect, mean security - and they grant blackmail power to shake down billions in booty from the U.S. and other Western moneybags."

These sickly naive assumptions prove how little respect Forbes has for his own readers. Iran's nukes to shake down billions in booty? Iran has how much oil?
Maybe Kuwait and Qatar should shake down western money bags as-well. Israel/Egypt/Jordan's annual shakedown is sadly neglected by Forbes. Using his logic: It's time for Rwanda to make a nuke and shake down some well needed booty. Haiti, Uganda, Somalia - Axis of the Truly Needy.


Forbes/Kerry make it sound like Israel is America's 51st state. Or 1st state, depending on how you look at it. AIPAC has put up a statement on it's site insisting no connection to the suspected Israeli spy nested within the top-levels of the Pentagon - an Iran analyst. On AIPAC's site is the following:

In the wake of Iran's nearly 20 years of secret development of nuclear weapons and ongoing efforts to
undermine the work of U.N. arms inspectors, Congress has passed legislation aimed at halting Tehran's nuclear program. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning Iran's failure to adhere to International Atomic Energy Agency agreements and continuing efforts to develop a nuclear capability. This resolution (S. Con. Res. 81), introduced by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Joseph Biden (D-DE), urges the U.N. Security Council "to address the threat tointernational peace and security posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program and take such action as may be necessary." Earlier this year, the House passed similar legislation calling upon signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Thank your Senators and House members for supporting these resolutions.

You're welcome AIPAC. The hypocrisy of Forbes/Kerry and AIPAC. If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, you can bet they won't match the SECRET 200 WMD ATOMIC ARSENAL of what Vanunnu described as "holocaust bombs" - including hydrogen and neutron bombs. Israel has never admitted to or signed proliferation treaties for these WMDs. AIPAC states Iran "undermines the U.N." as Israel's own WMDs, and it's Dimona Reactor are permanently closed to inspectors.

Israel is the only nuclear nation in the Middle-East, and it wants to keep it that way. Has any nuclear country in the world been invaded? If Iraq had nukes, would Bush have been able to occupy it? Peter Camejo noted each Iraqi family is worth $6 Million dollars in Iraqi oil, when will they get it? What is each Iranian family worth? Have Americans lost the ability to empathize with people of different cultures and faiths? If America & Israel are justified in defending themselves. Why not Iran? Are Americans and Israelis superior to Iranians, or are all humans equal?

You can only really waste a vote by not voting Nader/Camejo on November 2, 2004!

Do you really want to waste a vote on this guy?

Muslims for Nader / Camejo in NY

Muslims for Nader / Camejo will be covering the protests live from NY - Stay tuned!