Monday, November 17, 2008

US/Israeli war on terrorism is a war against the US Constitution and citizen rights

The US/Israeli war on terrorism is a war on the US Constitution and citizen rights
Anisa Abd el Fattah

Zionist columnist, and seeming Islamophobe Diana West wrote an article published by the Washington Times earlier this month, implying that due to my previous association with a pro-Palestinian think tank named UASR, that I am an Hamas operative living and working in the US on behalf of Hamas. West claimed that UASR's former Executive director Ahmed Yousef fled the US, fearing indictment in the Fawaz Damra case, suggesting not only that Yousef is a criminal of some sort, but that my association with Yousef implies that I am too. Ahmed Yousef, a US educated PH.D, is a Palestinian who was born and raised in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza. He presently serves as Senior Advisor to the PA Foreign Minister.

West's article also mentioned Dr. Mousa Abu Marzook, a Palestinian, and a member of the Hamas politburo in Damascus. Marzook, was one of the founders of UASR four years prior to his association with Hamas. He did not begin his association with Hamas until after he had ended his relationship with UASR. After being detained in the US during the Clinton administration without charge, he was released from custody after Israel was unable, and unwilling to charge Marzook with any crime. Marzook was later deported from the US and released into the custody of Jordan. It was in respect to the Marzook case, which was heard in a New York district court under the jurisdiction of the present US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, that a US District court judge Kevin Duffy, wrote that it is the duty of the judiciary to act in concert with the foreign policy objectives of the Executive branch. This was the first neo-conservative challenge to the US Constitution's separation of powers doctrine, and also the first judicial attack on the idea of an independent judiciary, a hallmark of the Bush administration.

Fawaz Damra, who Diana West attempted to use as the the lynch pin, along with guilt by association to condemn Ahmed Yousef, is a Palestinian cleric who was detained, and later charged during Bush administration witch hunting, with lying on his immigration application. He was deported for checking a box on his immigration application, saying that he had never had any association with illegal, or terrorist organizations while in his native country. Damra had completed the application, and immigrated legally to the US prior to Clinton's illegal Executive order, classifying Hamas a terrorist organization. Clinton issued this order, even though the Geneva Conventions, in quite clear and unambiguous language protects the rights of people living under illegal military occupation to self defense, and resistance, even violent resistance. While the American Jewish community argued that the Geneva Conventions were created to protect Jewish life only, most scholars of international law agree that the Geneva Conventions aim to protect the lives, and property of all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or nationality.

The United States is a party to the Conventions, having both signed and ratified the Conventions, having done so with the protection of US military and civilians during periods of armed conflict in mind. Unfortunately, no legal challenge has ever been presented to the Clinton order, asking if it is possible for a sitting president to issue an Executive order that not only violates international law, but that also criminalizes, and at the least violates treaties that the US is party to. Note that the violation of treaties signed by previous US administrations was also a tactic employed by the Bush administration, and even more ironic, it is one of the conditions that the US placed upon Hamas, that it recognize all previous PLO signed agreements and treaties.

Bill Clinton's willingness to violate the Geneva Conventions in order to remove the rights of Palestinians to defend themselves against what was already a brutal and vicious Israeli genocide and attempted ethnic cleansing, was part of his policy of US “unconditional support” for Israel. His criminal executive order effectively criminalized Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups, making Israeli targeted assassinations legal, since it was deemed part of the strategy and one of the tactics employed by Israel in its fake war against terrorism. By issuing his illegal Executive order, Bill Clinton sought to remove the human and divine rights of the Palestinian people by not only making acts of resistance against the Israeli occupation criminal, but also membership in any organization that had ever sought to defend or to protect Palestinian life against illegal Israeli aggression, and war crimes that were being carried out almost daily in Palestine with impunity.

While the implications and effects of Clinton's Executive order criminalizing Hamas are well known in respect to the rights of Palestinians to organize to defend their lives, and to resist the genocide being carried out by Israel with unconditional US support, and financing, few understood how that Executive order would effect the lives of American citizens here in our own country, who oppose the current US policy towards Palestine, and US unconditional support for Israel.

After West's article was published, my life, and even perhaps the lives of my family have been in jeopardy. Helicopters routinely fly around my home, almost daily someone is at my door, using various tactics to learn who lives at my address and at what time we are home or not at home. We receive constant telephone calls where people hang up after hearing my voice, or where they ask for various family members by name, in an attempt to determine who is at home, and when. We receive veiled death threats in the mail almost daily. These include offers for cemetery plots, and funeral insurance, etc. My son was forced to leave college because of being robbed and threatened almost daily on his trips to and from campus. When we advised the University about the threats to his safety they refused to do anything to help, and so he withdrew.

My family and I have been followed, and we have had strange incidents take place where our personal property has been vandalized. Perhaps the most startling and troubling offenses have taken place over the past few weeks, where we have been very obviously followed, approached by strangers with requests to identify ourselves, and just this weekend our telephone was temporarily disconnected late at night for no apparent reason. When we left home to go out for dinner, a car that set suspiciously at the end of our street made it quite clear that whoever was in the car was watching, and also following us. My bank illegally over drafted my account by refusing to make funds available even though the funds were deposited, causing checks to bounce, and adding fees until the account could not be redeemed. When the Zionist in America said that no one who opposed them would be allowed to have a home, a job,or peace, they meant that they would use their operatives to torment and to harass any American citizen that would dare to criticize Israel, or to challenge Israel's authority over our government and rights.

Praise God that we are not a timid people, and we are not living in fear. We do not believe that these people have any power over life and death, and we have put our trust in God, and God is sufficient. My reason for mentioning these incidents is merely to allow readers to understand that our government, and not only the Bush administration has been involved in an illegal war on dissent and resistance that is not limited to Iraq, or Afghanistan, and that began long before 9/11. It has not been limited to foreigners and illegal immigrants. It is also to point out that the criminal conspiracy against rights in our country includes possibly journalists, and others who hold what appear to be the most non threatening positions in our society, including schools, universities, libraries, and post offices, as examples.

The Jewish Defense League, the Jewish Organization, the Kahane settlers movements, which are funded by synagogues and churches here in the US, even though they are also deemed terrorist organizations, but not by Executive order, operate freely and openly in the US. Their mission is to harass, intimidate and to gather information on Americans who are pro-Palestinian and who criticize Israel, and to use that information as secret evidence and to prompt law enforcement to assist them in their efforts to deprive citizens of rights and to harass. Articles have also been published recently, after the suspected murder of the pro-Palestinian activist Riad Hamad in Texas, that our government, as part of Clinton's doctrine of unconditional support for Israel, gave the Israeli Mossad the go ahead to carry out targeted assassinations in the US, of pro-Palestinian US citizens. The Bush administration has been accused of giving Israeli communications and intelligence officers the go ahead to illegally wiretap US homes, and to carry out illegal surveillance on citizens for these same purposes. Can anyone explain what the Israeli intelligence has to do with Iraq or Afghanistan, if indeed these are the theaters for the war on terrorism?

That part of the so-called war on terrorism that is being carried out here in the US, began before 9/11. It is part of the war on terror declared by Benjamin Netanyahu, prior to, yet possibly including 9/11, that sought to accelerate the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, using unconditional US support, and our government institutions on behalf of Israel. Our government was used to round up, detain, interrogate and torture Palestinian and other Arab and Muslim foreigners living in the US who were either politically active, or orthodox in their practice of Islam, seeking information about back home, and also to prevent them from letting Americans know the truth about what Israel does in Palestine. Its aim in the US, is also to shut down US citizen dissent and opposition to US unconditional support for Israel, and to criminalize all criticism of Israel as either anti-Antisemitism, or material support for terrorism, and to use secret evidence as a pretext for harassment, intimidation, illegal wiretapping, surveillance and even murder of US pro-Palestinian, anti-war and anti-Zionist activists. Most secret evidence by the way, has historically been provided by the media.

It should be president elect Barack Obama's first priority to end this travesty of justice and the betrayal of the public trust that it represents. In his determination to restore our Constitution and the rights and liberties of American citizens that have been trampled upon by previous administrations who have seemingly collaborated with a foreign government to undermine the US Constitution, president elect Obama must reconsider US “unconditional” support for Israel and what that means, especially in respect to the rights of US citizens.

This article's emphasis on the US aspect of the war on terrorism is not to belittle the importance of the human and civil rights of none citizens that have also been trampled upon even though they are guaranteed under separate but equally legitimate doctrines of law. Rather it is merely an attempt to bring attention to the impact that the war on terrorism is having on the lives of American citizens here in the US, who like other Americans in our country's past, suffered similar government abuses, and injustices in their struggle for equal rights, protection under the law, and who won.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

When economy kills

Ma'an news agency reported from Palestine, that Mahmoud Abbas and other members of the Fatah party, entered Egypt this week through the Rafah Crossing to attend a preliminary Palestinian national dialogue meeting. Earlier in the week, it had been announced that Egypt would open the crossing for up to three days to allow Palestinians to come through the crossing, and receive medical care. It was not clear whether Abbas and company took advantage of the three day opening, or whether Egypt had made special arrangements for Fatah . Just months earlier, Egypt had denied a delegation of its own people the right to use the Rafah crossing to deliver much needed humanitarian aide to the Gaza Strip.

Looking at the picture of very well dressed, and well fed men, walking casually across the border from Palestine into Egypt, might cause readers to ask themselves “why” if it is so easy to open the crossing, and to allow people to move freely back and forth, are 1.5 million Palestinians being denied passage, and remain prisoners in the Gaza Strip, victims of an illegal US/Israeli/Egyptian economic siege? “Why” are food, medical supplies, and other items essential for normal life, being denied entry into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, yet Abbas and his Fatah colleagues are allowed unfettered passage?

The closure of Rafah crossing is only one of the many injustices presently being imposed upon the people of Gaza and the West bank by the US, Israel, Egypt and Fatah. Other countries, along with the EU have condemned the siege and have called for an end to the inhumane psychological and physical torture that results from deprivation of food and medicines. The siege was imposed originally to punish the Palestinians for electing Hamas to lead the Palestinian legislative council, and to pressure Hamas into abandoning the role it plays as the de facto government in the Gaza Strip. An Egyptian official admitted recently that Egypt's closure of Rafah crossing is also aimed at denying Hamas legitimacy. That is a fancy way of saying that Egypt is helping to starve and torture 1.5 million people because it wants to cancel the outcome of a democratic, legal and legitimate elections process.

To seal the Palestinians inside Gaza, and to deny them freedom of movement, and also food, and other life sustaining items is criminal. It is reminiscent of the illegal economic embargo that was placed upon Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion and subsequent war. Approximately 600,000 Iraqi children were allowed to die as a result of those sanctions, many from curable and treatable diseases. The Clinton administration oversaw that deliberate war crime, and when asked if the deaths of so many innocent children was worth the toppling of the Hussein government, then Secretary of State Madeline Albright answered that it was worth it. She said that regime change in Iraq was worth the lives of 600,000 Iraqi children. Today, the US, Israel and Egypt are telling us that the deaths of 255 Palestinians and the torture by deprivation of necessary food and medical supplies, and psychological distress of 1.5 million Palestinians is worth it, if it leads to Hamas being forced from power, and people being discouraged from supporting or electing Islamic movements. Is that a war on Islam?

Predictably, the US media does not mention the Gaza economic siege. The US media will not report on the 255 deaths in Gaza, caused by our government's despicable and criminal foreign policy, just as they would not report on the 600,000 Iraqi children killed by economic sanctions in Iraq, or the over 1 million innocent Iraqis that have been murdered in order to accomplish regime change and to destroy Iraq.

What is most disturbing about the use of economy to kill and to coerce political outcomes, is that it is an indiscriminate way to kill that is both unjust and immoral. It is a weapon of mass destruction. It is a way to kill, and to maim and to hurt and psychologically torture that bears no obvious expense, except life, and the cost that we pay when our moral compasses are broken by sin and shame, and our respect for the law is eroded by such a strong and demonic lust for power and control that we can kill innocents, hoping to make a political point. Keep in mind that no one is hurting us. No one is attacking us, and no one is threatening us. The illegal economic siege on Gaza is an economic war of choice and convenience. Something that we do, simply because we can.

It's ironic that the West is now experiencing an economic melt down of its own. The “crisis” as they call it was brought about by our own greed, and fraud. It may also be the result of our willingness to use economy to kill others. Was it worth it? Only time and history will tell.