Friday, September 08, 2006

This is happening 

Does this matter?

I will be told: "No, because much worse happens all the time. Look at the genocide in Darfur. And even in the Middle East, what the insurgents are doing in Iraq is far more diabolical."

But no again. This is an adjunct of the United States Army that is doing this. That is what the IDF is. With the United States' blessing. In the name of all righteousness. With the full support of the European Community, which has enforced the boycott. This is U.S. and European mass-murder. One of many instances, to be sure, but this instance occurs not through abstract trade agreements, but simple unanswerable rules, closed borders, and American guns. There is blood being poured on our heads. We are doing this to 1.5 million people relentlessly, inexorably, and with impunity--using weapons that cost billions of dollars against the starving and destitute population of what ought to be called, and not just for purposes of provocation, a WWII-style ghetto.

Patrick Cockburn in The Independent:

Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation....

A whole society is being destroyed. There are 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned in the most heavily populated area in the world. Israel has stopped all trade. It has even forbidden fishermen to go far from the shore so they wade into the surf to try vainly to catch fish with hand-thrown nets.

Many people are being killed by Israeli incursions that occur every day by land and air. A total of 262 people have been killed and 1,200 wounded, of whom 60 had arms or legs amputated, since 25 June, says Dr Juma al-Saqa, the director of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City which is fast running out of medicine. Of these, 64 were children and 26 women....

It was on June 25 that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive and two other soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants who used a tunnel to get out of the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of this, writes Gideon Levy in the daily Haaretz, the Israeli army "has been rampaging through Gaza - there's no other word to describe it - killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately". Gaza has essentially been reoccupied since Israeli troops and tanks come and go at will. In the northern district of Shajhayeh they took over several houses last week and stayed five days. By the time they withdrew, 22 Palestinians had been killed, three houses were destroyed and groves of olive, citrus and almond trees had been bulldozed.

Fuad al-Tuba, the 61-year-old farmer who owned a farm here, said: "They even destroyed 22 of my bee-hives and killed four sheep." He pointed sadly to a field, its brown sandy earth churned up by tracks of bulldozers, where the stumps of trees and broken branches with wilting leaves lay in heaps. Near by a yellow car was standing on its nose in the middle of a heap of concrete blocks that had once been a small house.

His son Baher al-Tuba described how for five days Israeli soldiers confined him and his relatives to one room in his house where they survived by drinking water from a fish pond. "Snipers took up positions in the windows and shot at anybody who came near," he said. "They killed one of my neighbors called Fathi Abu Gumbuz who was 56 years old and just went out to get water."

Sometimes the Israeli army gives a warning before a house is destroyed. The sound that Palestinians most dread is an unknown voice on their cell phone saying they have half an hour to leave their home before it is hit by bombs or missiles. There is no appeal.

But it is not the Israeli incursions alone that are destroying Gaza and its people. In the understated prose of a World Bank report published last month, the West Bank and Gaza face "a year of unprecedented economic recession. Real incomes may contract by at least a third in 2006 and poverty to affect close to two thirds of the population." Poverty in this case means a per capita income of under $2 a day.

There are signs of desperation everywhere. Crime is increasing. People do anything to feed their families. Israeli troops entered the Gaza industrial zone to search for tunnels and kicked out the Palestinian police. When the Israelis withdrew they were replaced not by the police but by looters. On one day this week there were three donkey carts removing twisted scrap metal from the remains of factories that once employed thousands.

"It is the worst year for us since 1948 [when Palestinian refugees first poured into Gaza]," says Dr Maged Abu-Ramadan, a former ophthalmologist who is mayor of Gaza City. "Gaza is a jail. Neither people nor goods are allowed to leave it. People are already starving. They try to live on bread and falafel and a few tomatoes and cucumbers they grow themselves."

The few ways that Gazans had of making money have disappeared. Dr Abu-Ramadan says the Israelis "have destroyed 70 per cent of our orange groves in order to create security zones." Carnations and strawberries, two of Gaza's main exports, were thrown away or left to rot. An Israeli air strike destroyed the electric power station so 55 per cent of power was lost. Electricity supply is now becoming almost as intermittent as in Baghdad.

The Israeli assault over the past two months struck a society already hit by the withdrawal of EU subsidies after the election of Hamas as the Palestinian government in March. Israel is withholding taxes owed on goods entering Gaza. Under US pressure, Arab banks abroad will not transfer funds to the government.

Two thirds of people are unemployed and the remaining third who mostly work for the state are not being paid. Gaza is now by far the poorest region on the Mediterranean. Per capita annual income is $700, compared with $20,000 in Israel. Conditions are much worse than in Lebanon where Hizbollah liberally compensates war victims for loss of their houses. If Gaza did not have enough troubles this week there were protest strikes and marches by unpaid soldiers, police and security men. These were organized by Fatah, the movement of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, which lost the election to Hamas in January. His supporters marched through the streets waving their Kalashnikovs in the air. "Abu Mazen you are brave," they shouted. "Save us from this disaster." Sour-looking Hamas gunmen kept a low profile during the demonstration but the two sides are not far from fighting it out in the streets.

The Israeli siege and the European boycott are a collective punishment of everybody in Gaza. The gunmen are unlikely to be deterred. In a bed in Shifa Hospital was a sturdy young man called Ala Hejairi with wounds to his neck, legs, chest and stomach. "I was laying an anti-tank mine last week in Shajhayeh when I was hit by fire from an Israeli drone," he said. "I will return to the resistance when I am better. Why should I worry? If I die I will die a martyr and go to paradise."

His father, Adel, said he was proud of what his son had done adding that three of his nephews were already martyrs. He supported the Hamas government: "Arab and Western countries want to destroy this government because it is the government of the resistance."

As the economy collapses there will be many more young men in Gaza willing to take Ala Hejairi's place. Untrained and ill-armed most will be killed. But the destruction of Gaza, now under way, will ensure that no peace is possible in the Middle East for generations to come.

the death of irony, Pt. XVLCMXXIIVD 

(via Chris Floyd)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why Is My Employer Shitting in My Mouth? 

Although I knew he was an asshole and an enemy of truth, I never realized what abjectly soulless functionary NYU President John Sexton was until I received the email titled "A Ceremony of Remembrance at NYU on September 11th," excerpted here:

In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Francis Fukuyama, then a State Department official and now a faculty member at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies, wrote a journal article, later expanded into a book, called "The End of History." He advanced a thesis that western, liberal, capitalist, democracy had triumphed in a world-wide struggle of political philosophies, and, slowly but surely, the entire world was progressing inevitably towards an embrace of it.

In those days, when many of our current freshmen were infants, such a concept seemed possible. Communism was collapsing, and many authoritarian governments were giving way to democratic institutions. Such a concept might still have seemed possible even on September 10, 2001.

The great moments of history rarely play out in sight of our campus. As an institution of higher education -- a great assemblage of scholars and learners -- we are the chroniclers, the probers, and the interpreters of such moments, but rarely are we the direct witnesses.

Not so on September 11, 2001. From our own windows and doorways and roofs, we saw that history was not at an end; it was unfolding before our eyes. And in that breathtaking day, we understood that in the years to come we would know the sorrow and the courage, the mysteries and misunderstandings, the new knowledge and the untried doctrines, the feelings of uncertainty and of steadfastness, the outbreak of war and the forging of new alliances, and all
the other events that accompany the making of history in a short time.

"From our own windows and doorways and roofs, we saw that history was not at an end..." Get it? History--which as we know consists of D-Day, the Holocaust, atomic bombs, and black-and-white photographs of burned cities--had kind of like, stopped. But then, "in that breathtaking day," we looked out our windows and saw that the World Trade Center towers had burned and collapsed from hijacked planes being flown into them, and realized that "history," hadn't actually stopped, it WAS UNFOLDING BEFORE OUR EYES. Sorry, Francis Fukuyama! Bye-bye to that theory!! History "was made." War "broke out." Alliances "were forged."

Can this be for real? Is this actually a text written by the president of a major American university?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fuck You, Air America Radio Owners 


There will be no Mike Malloy program on Air America Radio as we have been terminated as of 8/30/06.

We are as shocked as you are, especially since as recently as last Tuesday we were told we had the go-ahead to announce our return to NY airwaves and that our contract was "on the way."

We are told its a financial decision. Here's the phone number to call: 212-871-8290 or email to: comments@airamericaradio.com

This goes along nicely with WLIB's being converted to a "praise" network, and Air America moving to WWRL (AM 1600), where ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS is broadcast in the morning.

Sweet. Nice going, Air America! Glad to know Williams is a part of New York's Progressive Talk.

(The one blessing I suppose is that, at least for now, the Satellite Sisters have been replaced by Tom Hartman at 10pm).

9/11 Blood Cult Thread 

It's old news that 9/11 is a blood cult, whereby countless bodies must be fed into the jaws of death to appease/goad the God of Terror. We also know that the GoT is a fickle god; only proper sacrifice will ensure the hope of future spectacles of explosions and dying bodies, wherein our security might be preserved, and thus the hope of a future rupturing of that security by unimaginable acts of Terror (grace/redemption).

All of this was explained quite succinctly by the graffiti artist who displayed his work on the bathroom stall at the Woodrow Wilson Excretion/Consumption Zone I stopped off at yesterday on my way back to the city. The artist was of the opinion that Osama and his brethren (including Democrats) were goat-fuckers; the symmetry in his dual renderings of planes flying toward the Twin Towers and missiles sailing toward "Mecca" was indeed striking, as was his caption to the effect that payback was a bitch.

So why should anyone be suprised when ABC offers up its own modest sacrifice, now that the Season of Worship is upon us?

Monday, September 04, 2006


Courtesy of The Fixin's Bar.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

the most meaningful collectible you will ever own 

only $29.95


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