Thursday, September 27, 2007
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” : Alan Greenspan
Please read the article below documenting the growing evidence straight from the mouths of White House officials about how the Iraq-war has always been about oil...
Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by TomDispatch.com
How the Bush Administration’s Iraqi Oil Grab Went Awry
Greenspan’s Oil Claim in Context
by Dilip Hiro
Here is the sentence in The Age of Turbulence, the 531-page memoir of former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, that caused so much turbulence in Washington last week: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Honest and accurate, it had the resonance of the Bill Clinton’s election campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But, finding himself the target of a White House attack — an administration spokesman labeled his comment, “Georgetown cocktail party analysis” — Greenspan backtracked under cover of verbose elaboration. None of this, however, made an iota of difference to the facts on the ground.
Here is a prosecutor’s brief for the position that “the Iraq War is largely about oil”:
The primary evidence indicating that the Bush administration coveted Iraqi oil from the start comes from two diverse but impeccably reliable sources: Paul O’Neill, the Treasury Secretary (2001-2003) under President George W. Bush; and Falah Al Jibury, a well-connected Iraqi-American oil consultant, who had acted as President Ronald Reagan’s “back channel” to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War of 1980-88. The secondary evidence is from the material that can be found in such publications as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Read more at: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/26/4106/
Friday, September 21, 2007
Blackwater continues to live up to its reputation for aggressive and 'outside of the law' behavior in the killing of over 20 Iraqis while providing security services for US diplomats in Iraq.
The Maliki-governemnt has pulled its license to operate but Blackwater continues to operate with impunity.
The US government's decision to hire private firms for essential military-type security services protected by the immunity from prosection granted by proconsul Paul Bremer to private foreign contractors is at the root of this injustice.
There are no rules to constrain Blackwater operations in Iraq. Their aggressiveness will give rise to another generation of people with hate for Americans. And the vicious cycle will continue.
This is the gift of our government's folly in Iraq; and the sad result of our silence in the face of this madness!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Ask GOP to repudiate remarks, urge Giuliani to drop Rep. King, Daniel Pipes as advisors
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/20/07) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Muslims and other people of conscience to ask Republican leaders to repudiate remarks by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in which he said "we have too many mosques in this country." CAIR also asked that Americans of all faiths contact Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and urge him to drop King and commentator Daniel Pipes as campaign advisors because of their extremist and Islamophobic views and comments. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has already condemned Rep. King's statements, calling them "deplorable."CAIR said both King and Pipes have a long history of rhetorical hostility to the American Muslim community and to the protection of civil liberties.
In a recent interview, Rep. King said: "Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate. . .I think there's been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. And it's a real threat here in this country.
"SEE: Rep. King: "Too many mosques..."
King, who is on Giuliani's Homeland Security Advisory Board, has in the past claimed that the vast majority of mosques in his state and nationwide are being run by "radicals" and called for racial profiling of Muslims in airports. He said: "I think it is time to end political correctness. To me, if a person is of Middle Eastern descent it is legitimate for the screener to ask more questions."In 2004, King said that "85 percent" of American Muslim community leaders are "an enemy living amongst us" and that "no (American) Muslims" cooperate in the war on terror. He made these claims despite the fact that American Muslims have consistently condemned terrorism and work to protect national security.In a 2003 interview with The Minaret magazine, FBI Director Robert Mueller said: "I would like to thank the Muslim Americans for their support on the war against terrorism and working with the FBI around the country as well as state and local law enforcement. . ."
SEE: CAIR's Anti-Terrorism Campaigns (Note: King has taken political donations from members of a New York mosque he claims is a hotbed of radicalism. An article in Newsday stated: "Rep. Peter King is attempting to link his political opponent to men he calls 'radical' Muslim leaders on Long Island, but federal records show the congressman accepted thousands of dollars last year in campaign contributions from some of the same donors.")Daniel Pipes has long been regarded by Muslims and other observers as one of America's leading Islamophobes. In 2001, Pipes claimed the "presence" and "enfranchisement" of American Muslims present "true dangers to American Jews." Pipes recently renewed a call to "raze" Palestinian villages from which anti-Israeli attacks are launched.
SEE: Giuliani Advisor: Raze Palestinian Villages (Harpers)In 2004, Pipes said he supported the widely-repudiated internment of Japanese-Americans. He wrote: "Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II." He has also stated that the views of far-right French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen "represent an important outlook in the national debate over immigration and Islam."Like King, Pipes supports racial and religious profiling of Muslims and Arabs."We call on Republican leaders and other people of conscience to repudiate Representative King's bigoted remarks and to support the civil and religious rights of all Americans," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "We also urge Rudy Giuliani to send a clear message that he will not tolerate Islamophobia or other types of fear-mongering by dropping Peter King and Daniel Pipes from his campaign."CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad applauded the DNC statement repudiating King's remarks. "The type of Islamophobic rhetoric used by King and Pipes promotes an atmosphere in which ordinary American Muslims face bias or even violent attacks," said Awad.Awad noted that just this week, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an attack on a Muslim businesswoman in King's own district as a hate crime. The Muslim owner of a nail and facial salon was beaten Saturday in what local police are calling a bias attack. Anti-Muslim slurs were scrawled on mirrors in the salon.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.)
1. CONTACT Republican leaders to ask that they repudiate remarks by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in which he said "we have too many mosques in this country."
CONTACT RNC Chairman Mike Duncan. Office of the ChairmanMike Duncan, RNC ChairmanPhone: 202-863-8700Fax: 202-863-8820E-Mail: Chairman@gop.com, Info@gop.com, GOP@mail.house.gov
2. CONTACT Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and urge him to drop King and commentator Daniel Pipes as campaign advisors because of their extremist and Islamophobic views and comments.
Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee295 Greenwich St, #371New York, NY 10007212-835-9449E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. SEND COPIES of all correspondence to CAIR at: email@example.com
Muslim communities across the Delaware Valley are holding 'Sharing Ramadan' events throughout the month where you are invited to participate in the breaking of the fast at sunset. Please check the CAIR-PA website (http://p.cair.com/) to find a mosque near you. These events allow American Muslims to share and celebrate the importance of the month of Ramadan with people of all faiths.
Sharing Ramadan Iftar Events
RSVP by calling 215.592.0509 or firstname.lastname@example.org
September 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm Bryn Mawr and Haverford Ramadan Dinner, Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr
September 22, 2007 at 6:45 pm Hall of Flags, University of Pennsylvania, 3417 Spruce Street, Philadelphia
September 23, 2007 at 6:45 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085
September 25, 2007 at 6:45 pm Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, 958 Valley Forge Road, Devon PA 19333
September 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm Al-Ahad Islamic Center, 1500 Ridgeview Drive, Allentown, PA 18104
September 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova PA 19085
October 5, 2007 at 6:20 pm Islamic Society of Chester County, 1001 Pottstown Pike, West Chester PA 19380
October 6, 2007 at 6:20 pm North Penn Mosque, 600 Lawn Avenue, Lansdale, PA 19466
October 7, 2007 at 6:20 pm Zubaida Foundation, 850 Big Oak Road, Yardley, PA 19067
October 7, 2007 at 6:20 pm Foundation for Islamic Education, 1860 Montgomery Avenue, Villanova PA 19085
So find a mosque near you and have dinner with your Muslim neighbors!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
As we move through the Jewish high holy days and the days of Ramadan, I am saddened to report that there are several reports of attacks on mosques being received by CAIR chapters around the country.
1. Columbus, OH:
2. St. Petersburg, FL
3. Corpus Christi, TX
Friday, September 14, 2007
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims reflect on the purpose God has in mind in prescribing fasting.
[2:183]O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:
The Qur'an places before the reader a clear purpose to be achieved by fasting: that of maintaining 'God-Consciousness'. The Arabic text additionally implies that the attainment of God-Consciousness is not guaranteed but is a function of effort. The verse links this text's command to fast to God's previous revelations to humanity of the command to fast thus demonstrating the continuity of His messages to humanity.
[2:184][fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it.
The Qur'an continues to expound some detail about fasting and what exceptions are provided for those who may not be able to fast. An alternative to fasting, that of feeding the needy, is provided for those who are unable to fast. The last part of the verse indicates that either additional days of fasting in the year beyond the days of Ramadan are recommended as highly beneficial or that the feeding of additional needy people is recommended when one cannot fast. The verse ends with an emphasis on the benefit of fasting to the person.
[2:185]It was the month of Ramadān in which the Qur’ān was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].
This next verse now delves into a critical association fasting has to the revealed text of God. It declares that it is in the month of fasting that the Qur'an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saw). Further it declares that the Qur'an is guidance for manking, containing self-evidence of that guidance, and acts as a critierion to distinguish truth from falsehood. The result of this verse within Muslim society has been the increased opportunities that are realized during this month for reading, hearing and understanding the Qur'an.
The verse now changes emphasis back to the necessity of commitment to fasting in this month with a declaration of those who are exempt from the requirement and the declaration of God's intent. God does not intend fasting to be a burden but intends it to be an opportunity to express your gratitude to Him for his guidance.
[2:186]AND IF My servants ask thee about Me – behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.
The verse tense now changes to a personal tone where the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the original recipient of the verse, is being instructed to direct those who seek God to call upon Him. The verse tense is in the first person singular and the mood of the verse is intimate. God declares that "I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me". After the declaration of His availability, God instructs "let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way".
[2:187]IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day’s] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night, and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship. These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them – [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.
The last verse on this series clarifies what is permissible sexual relationship during the month of Ramadan. During the period of the night after the fast has been broken, sexual intercourse along with eating and drinking is permissible until the start of the next day's fast. An exception to this rule of permissible sexual intercourse during the night is made for those who intend to spend time meditating in the mosque at night. The verse ends with a reminder of the boundaries that God sets, the need to stay within those boundaries and the purpose of these boundaries as a reminder of God's message and a path to maintaining God consciousness.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)
I wish you Ramadan Mubarak and happiness on the occasion of the start of Ramadan 2007. Fasting, the fourth pillar of Islam, is practiced during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (Hijri calender), established in the year 638 CE. It is considered the most venerated, blessed and spiritually-beneficial month of the Islamic year. Prayers, fasting, charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.
Verses in the Qur’an regarding fasting:
O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God:
[fasting] during a certain number of days. But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves – if you but knew it.
It was the month of Ramadān in which the Qur’ān was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him]. [Qur'an 2:183-185]
Muslim communities across the Delaware Valley will hold ‘Sharing Ramadan’ events throughout the month where you are invited to participate in the breaking of the fast at sunset. Please check the CAIR-PA website (http://pa.cair.com/) to find a mosque near you. These events allow American Muslims to share and celebrate the importance of the month of Ramadan with people of all faiths.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Today is the 6th anniversary of 911, a day of tragedy and hurt for the world. Actions perpetrated by the 19 hijackers have resulted in a causal effect of immense proportions for the world.
To those of us who suffered the loss of loved ones on that fateful day, I fervently pray that the Almighty eases our pain over the course of time.
Over the past 6 years, the question 'Why do they hate us' continues to be asked with its attendant racist assumptions of Muslims and Arabs as 'they', all other Americans as 'us' and the projection on Muslims and Arabs of a monolithic hate of 'us'. The right-wing coupling of purported 'Arab/Muslim anti-Americanism' with the supposed radicalism of Islam is a lethal combination in creating the rise of Islamophobia in the USA today.
Muslims and Arabs of the United States are law-abiding citizens; they oppose not only the religious extremism of the 19 hijackers and their cohorts but also the foreign policy extremism of the Bush administration. This is not a unique profile among Americans; it is actually quite mainstream.
Islam as a faith tradition informs the lives of over a billion and a half of this world and their aspirations to goodness and happiness for themselves and their neighbors. Yet it is maligned and assigned charges of innate extremism. From studies by right-wing think tanks to 'moderate' Islam by creating policies for dictators in Muslim countries to enforce to blogs by internet hate-mongers maligning and stifling the work of American Muslims in the civic life of this country, we find an atmosphere of hate and anger brewing against Islam and Muslims.
Understanding the rise of religious extremism in the Muslim world as an unintended consequence of Cold War foreign policy is key to understanding the historical perspective. Extremism can be leveraged anywhere and invoked in any religious tradition. The fact that the CIA and other spook agencies fueled religious extremism in Muslim countries to further national interests is well documented in multiple studies and books released after the events of 911 (see references below). What remains tragic is that this historical perspective is so ill understood.
Beyond Islamophobia in the USA, we have seen the launch of 2 wars and await the potential launch of a third. The war in Iraq, based on lies and driven by geo-political and industrial interests, has resulted in the rise of extremism in that country. Sectarian extremism has risen due to the utter absence of security and the daily lives of Iraqis have been turned upside down. Refugee numbers have grown beyond 3 million and continue to rise everyday. The reconstruction of Iraq is a story of corruption and war profiteering at the hands of global companies such as Halliburton and Blackstone and companies in the Middle East that are their partners. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize winner, co-authored a study out of Harvard University documenting the over $1 trillion the Iraq war has cost the US Treasury and yet their is no practical end in sight to this folly and tragic waste.
A framework of mutual respect and equitable dealings among nations, driven by the populations of each country, can hope to counter this maelstrom that we find ourselves in.
The Qur'an, the revealed word of God for Muslims, suggests the following:
' O people! Behold, We have created you out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of him. Behold, God is all knowing, all aware.'
It is time that a deep cognizance of our infinitely merciful Creator take place front and center to drive our public policies and form the basis of a healing of this world weariness.
Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War and the Roots of Terror: By Mahmoud Mamdani
Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism: By Robert Pape
Tinderbox: By Stephen Zunes
Blood and Oil: The dangers and consequences of America's growing dependence on imported petroleum: By Michael T. Klare
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century: By Kevin Phillips
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: By John Perkins
On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Consequences of American Conquest and Carnage: By Ward Churchill
Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy: By Noam Chomsky
Imperial Hubris: By Michael Scheuer
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East: By Robert Fisk
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death: By Norman Solomon
Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam: By Robert Dreyfuss
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America: By Chris Hedges
Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance - by Noam Chomsky
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire - by Chalmers Johnson
The Case for Islamo-christian Civilization - by Richard W. Bulliet
America's "War on Terrorism" - by Michel Chossudovsky
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror - by Stephen Kinzer Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 - by Steve Coll
Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq - by Stephen Kinzer
The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America - by Peter Dale Scott
Challenging Christian Zionism - edited by Naim Ateek, Cedar Duaybis and Maurine Tobin
Monday, September 10, 2007
Please make time to pick up the latest Naomi Klein book release titled "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" being released September 19 2007.
To preview the content of the book, please go to the url below to watch a six-minute film written by Ms. Klein and director Alfonso Cuaron.
The movie captures the thesis of her new book perfectly: implement radical, anti-human and devastating economic policies by exploiting disasters and using political shock-therapy for the benefit of multinationals and their owners.
Encourage your friends to read her book; it promises to be revelatory !
Thursday, September 6, 2007
President Bush visited Iraq over Labor Day weekend and announced that the surge is bringing the promised security improvement to Iraq. The soldiers listened but were not convinced. NPR is running a series of interviews with soldiers on the ground about the effectiveness of the surge and you get a different picture than the one left by a smiling President as he posed with American boys and girls who are giving their lives for neo-conservative pipe-dreams of US world dominance.
Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize winner, co-authored a study out of Harvard University documenting the over $1 trillion the Iraq war has cost the US Treasury and not a peep out of the media which thinks a million here and a billion there is business as usual and quite manageable. Of-course with a debt that will be passed on to our children, we do not have to bear the cost of this massive borrowing !
Voters need to wake-up and bring bring about a change of leadership
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Please see a link below to the remarks delivered by Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, Head of Interfaith Relations Nat’l Council of Churches at the ISNA convention this past Labor Day weekend
Remarks of Head of NCC Interfaith Relations to ISNA Convention
Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana
ISNA Unity Reception – September 2, 2007
My sisters and brothers of faith – greetings of peace, assalamu aleikum.
As I noted earlier in this convention, these are the same words my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ used to greet his disciples shortly after his resurrection – peace be upon you. You didn’t know it, did you? Lots of Christians don’t know it either. Indeed there is much that Christians and Muslims don’t know about each other. Fact is, we have a great deal more in common in our religious traditions than our differences. No, we don’t need to hide our differences. They are real and we must honestly deal with them. But we have more in common...
Read more at http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/remarks_of_head_of_interfaith_relations_to_isna_convention/0014540
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I write to you to share words of hope and wisdom from Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union of Reform Judaism, delivered at the ISNA convention this past Labor Day weekend.
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President
Union for Reform Judaism
I am deeply honored by your invitation to be present at this convention.
I am here as the leader of largest Jewish religious movement in North America, consisting of more than 900 congregations and 1.5 million Jews.
My organization is currently discussing with your leadership a joint dialogue and education program that we hope to launch in the very near future, involving our congregations and your mosques. This project is a matter of the utmost importance to my Movement and to me personally, and I would like to share with you why that is so.
There exists in this country among all Americans – whether Jews, Christians, or non-believers – a huge and profound ignorance about Islam. It is not that stories about Islam are missing from our media; there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots. There is no lack of so-called experts who are eager to seize on any troubling statement by any Muslim thinker and pin it on Islam as a whole. Thus, it has been far too easy to spread the image of Islam as enemy, as terrorist, as the frightening unknown.
How did this happen?
Read more at http://isna.net/index.php?id=35&backPID=1&tt_news=899
I write to you to express my deepest fears about the likelihood of a President bent on taking us to war with Iran. Below I reproduce for you the concerns being expressed from multiple quarters in the intelligence community of this impending action so that you are informed and then able to take the step of voicing your opposition to this madness.
1. Robert Baer, the former Middle East CIA operative whose first book about his life inspired the oil-and-espionage thriller Syriana, is working on a new book on Iran, but says he was told by senior intelligence officials that he had better get it published in the next couple of months because things could be about to change...
2. Ray McGovern, who spent 27-years as a CIA analyst, chaired NIEs and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) says "Despite the administration’s war-like record, many Americans may still cling to the belief that attacking Iran won’t happen because it would be crazy; that Bush is a lame-duck president who wouldn’t dare undertake yet another reckless adventure when the last one went so badly. But rationality and common sense have not exactly been the strong suit of this administration. Bush has placed himself in a neoconservative bubble that operates with its own false sense of reality.
3. Former CIA Officer Philip Giraldi notes that the Pentagon’s plans to attack Iran were drawn up “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.”