Counter-terrorism?

Our friend Paul Woodward of the indispensable War in Context asks some pertinent questions about the attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia:

Have we reached a quite predictable moment where counter-terrorism needs redefining? In other words, that when car bombings initiated by one state-sponsor of terrorism provoke a counter-attack of the same kind, that we should call such an attack an act of counter-terrorism?

Only last week there was confirmation from U.S. government officials that Israel is a state-sponsor of terrorism, having trained and deployed Iranian dissidents to conduct car bombings killing civilians in Iran. By internationally accepted definitions of terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism, there’s no question these were acts of terrorism and Israel’s role in instigating them makes it a state-sponsor of terrorism.

Now it would appear that Israel is reaping the reward for its own actions as Israeli diplomats have been targeted in India and Georgia. The attack in Delhi appears to have involved the use of the same method favored by Mossad — a magnetic bomb attached to the Israelis’ car by a passing motorcyclist.

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Palestinian Intellectuals to Syrian Regime: Not in Our Name!

This is an English translation, courtesy of Wadiqratiya, of a joint statement by Palestinian intellectuals offering their solidarity to the Syrian people and applying for membership to the newly established Syrian Writers Union. (Also check out the great Palestinian rights organization Adalah’s condemnation of the Syrian regime.)

It is our honor, as Palestinian writers and signatories to this statement, to request as a group to be inducted into the Syrian Writers Union, which has been recently established by the free Syrian writers and intellectuals who stand with the people as they climb the ladder of freedom which has been smeared with blood by the hand of the tyrant. The establishment of the Syrian Writers Union constitutes an essential pillar of the Syrian revolution and places the true intellectual in his or her rightful place beside the people as an effective partner in building a new Syria free of dynastic authoritarianism–a diverse, democratic, civil system based on the rights of the citizen, one that embraces the rights of expression and creation, a system incapable of falsifying the free Syrian intellectual’s will through hollow structures that arrogate the potentials of culture, usurp the role of the intellectual and falsify his or her will, always a device in the hand of the tyrant and his apparatuses.

Now more than ever, Syria needs a mature voice that speaks from its very heart, a voice which strengthens national unity and derives strength from the diversity and richness of Syrian society […] [which will serve as] the basis for building a democracy.

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The Trouble with Tolstoy: In Search of Happiness

This is part two of the BBC documentary about the greatest writer that ever lived. (Part 1 is here.)

Alan Yentob continues his train ride through Tolstoy’s Russia, examining how Russia’s great novelist became her great troublemaker.

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The Trouble with Tolstoy: At War with Himself

This is part one of a must see BBC documentary on the world’s greatest writer, Lev Tolstoy. (Part 2 is here.)

Alan Yentob takes an epic train ride through Tolstoy’s Russia, examining how Russia’s great novelist became her great troublemaker.

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Pakistani FM on the regional crises

Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks about drones, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and more.

American drones hitting targets on Pakistani territory is illegal, and involvement of the Pakistani spy agencies with Taliban not even worthy of comment, said Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, exclusively to RT.

Syria’s injured seek treatment in Jordan

Dozens of people have been killed in the ongoing military assault on the central Syrian city of Homs, according to activists. Opposition groups say at least 6,000 people have died since the anti-government uprising began 11 months ago. With Syria’s makeshift hospitals unable to keep up with the growing rate of casualties, many of the wounded are left with little choice other than to travel to Jordan.

Al Jazeera’s Nisreen el-Shamayleh reports from the Jordanian capital, Amman, on those Syrians seeking treatment across the border, including a one-time Olympian.

Yet another War for Israel

by William A. Cook

“Men use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.” — Voltaire, Dialogue XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde

Voltaire’s wit often illuminates truth. Consider this revealing “thought” as expressed recently in Alert, the voice of AIPAC to its membership: “Some Americans believe if the Israelis strike Iran, the U.S. will pay the political costs anyway, so it would be better for the Americans to do the job and do it properly. Their clock is a bit different from the one the Israelis hear. Because of their vastly superior firepower, the Americans could strike Iran later, more devastatingly and more sustainably.” How just is it for AIPAC’s mouthpiece to declare that America should “devastate” Iran because it has “vastly more firepower” than Israel and could “do a better job” and “do it properly,” as though this were a clean-up “job” of a waste dump and not an illegal invasion of a member country of the United Nations that has done nothing under international law to threaten the U.S. much less attack it, while the Israeli government and its IDF look on happily content that it is American boys and girls suffering the consequences of the unwarranted attacks and not Jewish boys and girls? Has it come to this, that unnamed Israeli spokespeople, voicing AIPAC’s policies, determine what nation the U.S. should invade without consultation with the representatives of the American people?

Not that this sentiment has not been expressed before. Netanyahu told Piers Morgan the same thing in an interview last year, as I have quoted in previous articles, noting Israel’s Zionist government’s desire to use America’s military as their own claiming that what is good for Israel is good for America. That protestation completes the wit contained in Voltaire’s quote: because Israel is America’s only friend in the mid-east, and the only Democracy, and the only nation in that part of the world aligned with the west, it alone deserves America’s “unquestionable” and “unbreakable” support.

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