The following is the statement of Gaza Youth Breaks Out. It was posted on facebook and there’s no website to be found (yet?), note there are contact links at the bottom. So for everyone’s benefit and with much respect, I repost it here in full:
We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.
Derek Gregory is professor of geography at the University of British Columbia, and author of excellent The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq. He discusses the evolving character of conflicts in the borderlands of former empires and the blurring of the conceptual borders of war itself.
Damion Searls discusses the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke with Christopher Lydon on Brown University’s Radio Open Source. Often bracketed with Yeats at the pinnacle of European poetry in the 20th Century, Rilke makes an even better pair with Walt Whitman as the irresistible great poet for everyone. In his essay ‘Looking for Rilke’ (in Stephen Mitchell’s Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke) Robert Hass relates:
When Rilke was dying in 1926 — of a rare and particularly agonizing blood disease — he received a letter from the young Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva. “You are not the poet I love most,” she wrote to him. “‘Most’ already implies comparison. You are poetry itself.”
From The Inner Sky, “poems, notes, dreams” that Damion Searls has selected and translated, we are reading Rilke fragments that can make one gasp on a first hearing. I like specially, for example, these “Notes on the Melody of Things,” which snuck up on me six weeks ago and induced just the sort of trance Robert Hass recounts.
(I think Al Jazeera is head and shoulders above competitors in the mainstream as a media institution. But I can’t say I am a fan of its media watch show The Listening Post. The show lacks political edge, and the media analysis is trite. One wishes they would follow the hard hitting style of FAIR‘s excellent Counterspin.)
This week on CounterSpin: The journalism organization WikiLeaks is under massive attack by U.S. government officials, corporations, and journalists. Many are calling for the group and its spokesperson Julian Assange to be prosecuted; some have even called for Assange’s execution or assassination. Transnational companies like Visa, MasterCard and Paypal have cut off services, and even liberal US pundits are attacking the group with inaccurate smears. WikiLeaks crime? Making leaked U.S. diplomatic cables available to the world both directly and through its mainstream media partners. In this special extended CounterSpin interview, we’ll talk to Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald about the assault on WikiLeaks and Assange, and what it means for journalism.
Update: John Pilger writes in The Independentdefending Assange against a defamatory piece published by the Guardian.
by Dennis Bernstein
An interview with John Pilger
Dennis Bernstein (DB): Let me get your overview here of Julian Assange and what is happening to him. How do you see this?
John Pilger (JP): Well, it’s a very complicated and very suspicious case, of course. Today [Thursday] we saw a pinch of justice, that’s all. But his bail is weighted down with conditions. He’s virtually under a kind of house arrest. Now if he wasn’t Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, none of this would have happened. I doubt whether there would be any prosecution, we’d be having this conversation.
And we learned today [Thursday] that the Swedes had not initiated this appeal against bail that was heard today in the London court. It was the British. Why were they doing it? Were they doing it on behalf of the U.S.? I don’t know the answer to those questions. But suspicions really do mount in this case.
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington, D.C. and co-writer with Tariq Ali of the Oliver Stone documentary “South of the Border”, has published an illuminating piece in the Comment is Free section of the Guardian. Variously touching on U.S. foreign policy in general, the WikiLeaks cables on Haiti (apparently it is necessary for the U.S. State Department to know how many drinks the Haitian president can handle), and the ignominious role played by MINUSTAH — the U.N. force in Haiti — Weisbrot writes:
People who do not understand US foreign policy think that control over Haiti does not matter to Washington, because it is so poor and has no strategic minerals or resources. But that is not how Washington operates, as the WikiLeaks cables repeatedly illustrate. For the state department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. Left governments will be removed or prevented from taking power where it is possible to do so; and the poorest countries – like Honduras last year – present the most opportune targets. A democratically elected government in Haiti, due to its history and the consciousness of the population, will inevitably be a left government – and one that will not line up with Washington’s foreign policy priorities for the region. Thus, democracy is not allowed.
It is too easy to mock the crude prejudices of the Tea Party. But in the US, Islamophobia has universal sanction, from Bill Maher to Bill O’Reilly. The following is therefore disturbing but not entirely surprising. Kudos to Anderson Cooper for bringing some sense to American mainstream television.