Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asperger's Syndrome Wives Need Understanding

Those who stay in a relationship with an Asperger’s-afflicted mate should do everything possible to be independent socially and financially.

Asperger's Syndrome Wives Need Understanding
Karin Friedemann Salem-News.com

(BOSTON, Mass.) - Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological disorder considered as high-functioning autism. Individuals with this syndrome have difficulty with social aspects of intelligence. This manifests itself as a notable lack of "common sense."

The presence of Asperger in children is getting more attention now, but the undiagnosed adult is not yet well recognized. Because these types of brain disorders seem to be more common in men, many times wives have trouble getting the support they need.

The shortcomings of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have been camouflaged beneath layers of coping strategies and defense mechanisms. Their behavior often gives the impression of someone perhaps a little eccentric or odd - but passable because of their high IQ or gift in an area or career, such as engineering.

Life with an AS spouse is very isolating. Since the AS person in public often appears normal, others do not understand the spouse's suffering. Spouses of people with Asperger Syndrome play an abnormally large caregiver role. Even when AS people are successful professionals, their families cannot rely on them to participate fully in family life since they typically don't do their share of chores or provide emotional support to other family members.

Although people with Asperger’s Syndrome do feel affection towards others, relationships are not a priority for them in the same way that it is for people who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome. People with Asperger’s Syndrome generally seem to be more focused on a particular interest, project or task than on the people around them.

Because the person with Asperger’s Syndrome does not have the same relational needs as the non-Asperger partner, he or she is mostly unable to recognize instinctively or to meet the emotional needs of his or her partner. Marriages can thus form seriously dysfunctional relationship patterns.

The denial, the complex and multi-layered coping mechanisms and defensive strategies make it difficult to live successfully in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Often the afflicted will deny there is a problem, since one of the disorder's main characteristics is the lack of ability to imagine someone else's point of view.

People who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome enter a marriage with the normal expectation that the priority of a marriage relationship will be about togetherness, mutual terms and meeting of needs, but in reality the relationship ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the person with Asperger’s Syndrome than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the marital partner.

In many cases, the Asperger partner analyzed the partner prior to marriage and assessed them as being capable of filling a compensatory role for his own deficits. The non-Asperger partner then unwittingly fills the role of personal assistant. In the privacy of their relationship, the spouse who does not have Asperger’s Syndrome will more than likely be physically and emotionally drained, working overtime to keep life on track for both of them. Perhaps the relationship has taken on more of the characteristics of a business partnership or arrangement.

For those who had normal expectations of the mutuality of marriage, there will be a sense of betrayal and a feeling of being used and trapped. Instinctively they know that their partner needs them, but feelings develop that the relationship is about the needs and interests of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome and that there is not even room for their own voice.

Many partners feel that they are daily sacrificing their own sense of self to help fulfill the priorities of the partner who has Asperger’s Syndrome. They begin to feel that they are entirely defined by the role they fill for their Asperger partner. There’s a sense that there is no mutuality, no equality, no justice.

People married to someone with Asperger’s Syndrome continue to hope for the mutual meeting of emotional needs within the marriage and resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the partner with Asperger’s Syndrome. In effect, their flexibility is exploited by the inflexibility of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome. This prompts an extremely manipulative behavior pattern, with the neurologically typical spouse going overboard to prevent stress. Living with someone who sees only his or her own viewpoint cannot help but damage a spouse's self-esteem.

The neurotypical spouse must thoroughly evaluate all the issues before deciding if there is enough of value to make continuing the relationship worthwhile. Those who stay in a relationship with an Asperger’s-afflicted mate should do everything possible to be independent socially and financially. In most cases, the afflicted spouse will not be able to make substantial changes, so the neurotypical spouse must be able to accept that. Knowing what to expect will make the marriage more predictable and manageable, if not easier.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scaremongering Muslim Interns, Undermining Democracy

The Fort Hood Massacre media orgy covered up the probably more politically significant story of the attack on Muslim Congressional interns and CAIR by David Gaubatz, who co-authored the Muslim Mafia with fellow Islamophobe and Hoover Media Institute fellow Paul Sperry.

Gaubatz is a long-time professional supplier of Neocon disinformation. He is the sole source of delusional right-wing claims that Saddam had WMDs and shipped them out of the country -- something that even George W. Bush does not even believe.

Representatives Sue Myrick (R-NC), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Paul Broun (R-GA), and Trent Franks (R-AZ) publicly endorsed The Muslim Mafia in a Capitol Hill press conference on Oct. 14.

The book accuses CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) of espionage and subversive jihad against the USA. On the basis of The Muslim Mafia, the four Congresspersons, whose main support comes from Christian Zionists and the Israel Lobby, accused CAIR of a sinister strategic plan to place Muslim interns into Congressional offices to spy on Congress.

In reality, CAIR is a legitimate 501(c)(3) educational organization with missions of defending the right of American Muslims to practice Islam and of educating American non-Muslims about Islam in order to improve Muslim-non-Muslim relations. CAIR’s work differs little from those of other educational advocacy and lobby groups including those that are pro-Israel.

CAIR helps the US government serve the American public better by putting American Muslims on Capitol Hill so that the voice of their constituency can be heard more clearly. Even if a Muslim intern reported back to CAIR, what could CAIR possibly do? CAIR's power to direct political resources is far less than those of AIPAC.

AIPAC runs non-partisan institutes throughout American colleges and universities explicitly to recruit interns to spy on congressmen. When Zionist interns report back to AIPAC on deviation from pro-Israel orthodoxy, AIPAC springs into action either to intimidate the offender into conformity or to target him for political destruction in a poisoning of the American political process.

Because Gaubatz has long been an Israel Lobby operative, his perception of CAIR’s activities looks like a form of psychological projection of own activities, particularly in regards to his involvement with the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which advocates arresting Muslims for voluntarily practicing Islam:

“Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the U.S. Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the U.S. Constitution and the imposition of Shari'a on the American People...It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.”

Gaubatz is the former head of SANE’s Mapping Sharia Project: “It is our task to conduct an extensive mapping of all the Islamic day schools, mosques, and other identifiable organizations in the US and to determine which ones teach or preach Islamic law, Sharia. This investigation will also map the leadership of these Muslim organizations and their other affiliations.”

Until CAIR outed his racist anti-democratic political views, SANE’s founder David Yerushalmi was a leading activist in Stop the Madrassa, an anti-Muslim organization connected with Islamic threatmonger Daniel Pipes.

Stop the Madrassa mobbed-and-smeared Debby Almontaser over a T-shirt bearing the word “Intifada” until she resigned from her position as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy.

Gaubatz, Yerushalmi, and Pipes are busy little bees flying all over the place.

Yerushalmi is longtime board member of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), which produced the Neocon Manifesto, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which became the blueprint Bush II’s foreign policy.

Yerushalmi’s funding network seems based in the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd., which he was instrumental in founding. Working alongside fellow board members and shareholders such as Robert Tishman, Jerry Speyer, Larry Silverstein, Lawrence Tisch, Eugene Grant and Sy Syms, Yerushalmi was appointed the company's CEO and Chairman. Silverstein famously received a $4.55 billion 9/11 payment under a double claim on his six week old World Trade Center insurance policy.

If people like Gaubatz, his friends, his Congressional supporters, and his Zionist funders have their way, not only will the ongoing political prosecutions of Muslim American leaders expand to include practically all Muslims, but the Zionist intelligentsia will also have veto power over anyone seeking to serve in the US government.

The pattern of stigmatization, marginalization, demonization, and punishment of Muslims and of anyone refusing to bow to Zionism is unmistakable. If extreme Israel advocates succeed in the stigmatization of Muslim interns, yet another category of government jobs will effectively be reserved only to Israel Lobby approved candidates in a process constituting a slow-speed coup killing American democracy and putting ultimate control of the US government into the hands of the hyper-wealthy Israel Lobby.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article

Monday, November 02, 2009

Protecting Our Children in a World Gone Mad

When I spent a year teaching 6-8 grade students in Detroit, Michigan, I had hoped that with my high ideals, I could influence the children to become thinkers, perhaps even sway them towards a Godly life. But I found a tragic situation. American children of today are seriously brain damaged from computer games, TV, movies and pop music. They have an attention span no longer than a commercial and if something is not flashing lights and making bleeping noises they have no interest in it. They have a huge problem translating their thoughts into written words and they have a hard time sitting still. They really require - and want - adults to manage their behavior.

Concerning sex education, it was painfully clear that there was nothing I could do for these kids, except maybe an occasional isolated miracle. How do you convince a girl not to date boys when her own mother goes out on dates? You and I know that she is too young to think about such things, but the fact is, by 6th grade these kids' minds are set into the pattern created by the mass media. It made me realize that you really have to focus on protecting your kids from a very young age and arm them with knowledge.

The religious kids, if they are going to stay clean and innocent, they have to have made that choice well before 6th grade. Parents need to realize that the kids are going to learn everything about the facts of life - if not from school then from the songs playing in the supermarket - so we have to protect them. We have to tell them that they are persons of value who deserve to be respected and cherished and to enjoy happy and healthy relationships. Many children never hear these words from their parents so they seek affection and positive encouragement elsewhere. Most kids chase after boyfriends or girlfriends because the media tells them this is how you find happiness. Parents really need to walk the middle line between saying too much and not saying enough.

Young kids don't need the "details" of how babies are made but they do need to be told at a young age, for example, which parts of their body are off limits, even to family members, and the child should be made to promise to report any violations even if done in jest. Since they are giggling about boys as early as first grade, girls need to be advised well in advance that their lives will be miserable if they fall in love with boys before they are old enough to get married. They need to know the rules of clothing. They need to be instructed never to be alone in a room with a boy. Their brother should go with them if they are visiting the neighbor kids or cousins. You really can't be under-prepared.

A child needs to make an internal promise to keep chaste until marriage, if it is to be. If the kid has not gotten any good advice by age eleven, he or she may easily get lost. Whatever you tell your kids, it has to make sense within the context of the way that their peers explain the world. Although, "We don't do that because we are Muslim (or whatever religion)" goes a long way.

American children have full knowledge of how babies are made and how to prevent them, but they are very protected from knowing how babies come out. I believe that in families where the mother gives birth at home and the children are there to emotionally support her and know what women go through, these children will probably have a healthier attitude and reverence for their bodies and for life itself and will be less likely to make light-hearted decisions. Even many religious men, who were chaste until marriage, still lack the appropriate respect and reverence for the extreme sacrifice that a woman makes when she obeys her husband. A man that heard his mother's screams when he was a boy will probably be more helpful and more emotionally supportive towards his wife than if he was raised in ignorance.

The good news is that there seem to be more and more kids in high schools and colleges that choose to be chaste and who give each other moral support, and I have to assume it's because their parents talked to them about when sex is appropriate. Looking at online teen discussions it seems clear that there is a group of kids who have zero self esteem and are actively striving to crash their lives because they have no guidance other than the desire to be "cool" - while there is another group of kids who are actively striving to be responsible. When I was a kid there were no kids striving to be responsible in matters of chastity. If anyone was religiously motivated they would be treated like a mentally ill person and no one would be their friend. America is becoming better in many ways. At least, there are better choices available. As parents we have to make sure our children are aware of the choices we hope our kids will make, to balance the information they are getting from society about the choices that corporate military consumer culture hopes they make.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whither After the Goldstone Report?

The debate over the Goldstone Report is a huge distraction from the real problem: the Report's inadequacy and the futility of bringing the case to the International Criminal Court. The Report itself, written by a Zionist Jew, is extremely flawed and biased in favor of Israel. Richard Goldstone's daughter Nicole told Israeli Army Radio (in Hebrew) that her father, as head of the UN Fact Finding Commission on the Gaza Conflict, had actually softened accusations against Israel.

Goldstone's Report creates a fictional equality of power and obligation between Hamas and the State of Israel. In addition, it incorrectly tries to fit both within the same legal framework, as Goldstone misapplies the Geneva Conventions to Hamas.

The Geneva Conventions apply to Israel because Israel is a state and a signatory while post-WW2 Nuremberg Law provides the appropriate legal framework for resistance movements like Hamas. The Nuremberg indictment of the Nationalist Socialist Government concerning German conquests and the Sudetenland, which was annexed to the Reich under international agreement, charges (International Military Tribunal, vol. 1, p. 63):

"In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate these territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. They endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of their plans, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and replaced them by thousands of German colonists."

If State of Israel replaces Germany, Zionist State replaces German Reich, and Jewish replaces German, the Nuremberg accusation precisely describes Zionist goals from the start of the Zionist movement until the present day. Until Israel negotiates an agreement with the resistance, all Jewish colonists today just like German colonists back then are legitimate targets for the resistance anywhere throughout the occupied lands of Historical Palestine.

The Palestinian-Jewish conflict has existed since before I was born. The UN essentially caused the conflict and has not solved it. Current UN actions show no evidence of bringing any improvement. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. Maybe we should try something else besides asking for UN help.

Furthermore, why waste time with the ICC? Even if it ruled against Israel, the ICC does not possess the power to enforce its decisions. One can only conclude that the Arabs are so traumatized by perpetual injustice that they confuse ineffective posturing with effective legal tactics.

Few Americans would ever argue that Jewish and Arab Americans should receive unequal treatment under US law. Yet the Department of Justice is unconstitutionally selectively targeting and prosecuting individuals and organizations. Jews file terror victim lawsuits against Palestinian organizations; for example a US judge ordered the PLO to pay $116 million to a Jewish American family; but no one files lawsuits on behalf of non-Jewish American citizens, who like Rachel Corrie and Suraideh Gharbieh have been victims of IDF terrorism.

In the American legal and political process, Jews seem privileged over non-Jews, thanks to efforts of the Israel Lobby, which is actively engaged in Conspiracy Against Rights (US Code Title18, 241). Yet no one in government or media discusses the situation. Obama administration Zionists want to bury the Goldstone Report because it provides specific evidence under US law that the IDF is a terrorist organization (e.g., paragraph 798):

"With regard to the shooting of Muhammad Hekmat Abu Halima and Matar Abu Halima, the Mission notes that the Israeli soldiers had ordered the tractor on which they were transporting the wounded to stop and had ordered the two cousins (aged 16 and 17) to come down. They had complied with those instructions and were standing next to the tractor, when the Israeli soldiers standing on the roof of a nearby house opened fire on them."

US anti-terrorism law is clear with regard to aiding and abetting, material aid, and conspiracy to aid terrorism. Practically all Israel advocates should be arrested forthwith, and their assets should also be seized. Such is the current US practice whenever Jewish Zionist groups or individuals accuse Arab or Muslim organizations of terrorist ties under flimsy, ridiculous or counterfactual evidence. Because Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey is clearly not applying US law to American Jews in the same way that he applies it to American Arabs and Muslims, he is preventing enforcement of US law in time of war and should face immediate charges for Seditious Conspiracy (US Code Title 18, 2384).

Criminal complaints should be filed with US law enforcement officials in order to bring charges against all Zionists violating US law or subverting the US government. If some number of Arab or Muslim American lawyers started to work on the project, US-based legal processes could start within a matter of weeks.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Business of Lobbying in American Politics

A lot of aging leftists invite us to march in the streets. Some say, “Mass action will defeat the empire.” Will protesting stop war? Everyone who has been paying attention probably already knows that marching on Washington will not even disturb President Obama’s breakfast.

In fact, by causing havoc on the streets we actually distract the public’s attention from the real crimes taking place like AIPAC’s lobbying of Congress to bomb this or that country or like Haliburton’s pocketing of our tax money. Americans and their politicians need to understand that invading other countries hurts America. This approach is the only way to get the anti-war movement into the mainstream and away from the fringes of society.

The Israel Lobby has made sure the Zionist perspective permeates American discourse from grammar school through the highest levels of government. No child is too young for brainwashing.

An official diverging one iota gets 
his knees shot metaphorically. Holocaust Studies in the public school curriculum can start as early as Pre-K. Anyone that wants to discuss the role the Holocaust plays in US policy-making is an insane Holocaust denier. The Israel Lobby makes no distinction between national, transnational, and international politics.

Obama told AIPAC, “... the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and 
forever.” As long as Zionist subversives dictate to Obama, patriotic Americans will not make much headway in attempting a direct effort to change US policy. Activists need to change tactics by focusing on the danger that the Israel Lobby represents to the American political system and by attacking the discourse on which the Israel Lobby stands.

The pro-Israel lobby operates on every level of American society. Holocaust propaganda serves to shield the most privileged group in America from just criticism of many of its members and of its collective conduct—especially in relation to the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people and the destruction of America’s Constitutional liberties.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was one of the main proponents of the Patriot Act, which monitors the reading history of library patrons. Zionist organisations are heavily involved with Homeland Security and they use book banning and far worse methods to squelch criticism of Israel. While there is no limit to the amount of hate speech against Muslims or Christians that is tolerated now in the western world, the mere suggestion that Muslims and Christians should have equal rights with Jews in the Holy Land, or that the Hollywood version of the Holocaust is not entirely accurate, have in recent times resulted in the deportation, imprisonment, and even assassination of the speakers, writers, or publishers, and in the banning of their books or films because of Zionist pressure on western governments to abandon the principle of freedom of expression.

How about a turn-around in rhetoric? Instead of trying to make Americans care about Arabs—too hard—we need to increase their awareness that Jewish Lobby is undermining American democracy and costing taxpayers money. Since activists can destroy a movement if they dwell upon who the good guys are (there are various opinions), we should concentrate on what we can all agree on: The Lobby needs to be stopped. That’s the only way to stop war and war taxes. The Israel Lobby is the enemy of all Americans. I would suggest a public rhetoric campaign against all Israel lobbyists suggesting prison. It should be social suicide to participate with Hillel or other pro-Israel organizations training future lobbyists.

There are plenty of ways to address this issue in town meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and other mundane ways. Causing a huge stir at a Martin Luther King school assembly or sending a mass mailing to all the high school students will create a lot more word-of-mouth grassroots pressure than a protest in DC, which doesn’t even get discussed. We are at war because we allowed our country and our minds to be taken over by Zionists and other opportunists. We refused to take responsibility for our country or for our children’s education.

Every town has a web of pro-Israel groups that work together to undermine American democracy to promote their personal interests. Pro-peace advocates need to identify the Zionist individuals who are pushing their agenda in the local school system. As soon as you start engaging in anti-Israel activism, all the Israel lobbyists will come crawling out of the woodwork to try and discredit or stop you.

Once you know who these individuals are, then you will be able to protest directly to the local leadership and law enforcement specifically about those who are personally responsible for pushing Americans to die for Israeli interests. You probably know where they live. If Americans started talking to their neighbours we could probably stop this insanity.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Harsh Winter in Gaza Awaits

Winter is coming, and it will be bitterly cold in Gaza. Many Gazans, whose houses were destroyed by the Israeli Defence Forces, have no shelter and will suffer terribly. Families still live amid the rubble of their homes with no resources to fix the damage.

With the sea blockaded illegally by the Israelis, the people of Gaza are literally imprisoned by these actions. Not only is Israel preventing building supplies from entering Gaza but also coffee, tea, paper, school books, toys for children, and thousands of other items. Palestine is not a poor country, and Palestinians are not a poor people. They are being forced into poverty.

"The blockade, although initiated by Israel, could not be successful if world governments, including Arab governments, were not complicit with Israel. At the Rafah crossing, aid was denied entry by the Egyptian government. Egypt destroyed the food and medicine by setting it on fire. This is proof that the purpose is to ethnically cleanse Gaza, allowing its people to die from starvation and curable disease as in Iraq where approximately 650,000 children died from the
results of economic sanctions," says Anisa Abdel Fattah, Chairperson of the Committee to Ban Economic Sanctions, whose conference in Washington, DC is planned for September 29.

The continuing failure of the international community to protect the Palestinians demands that we, as private citizens have to directly intervene to solve the crisis.

"When governments fail to protect human rights, civilians must step up. Civilians have a very important role to play, especially when government institutions fail to do their job in upholding the law and human rights," said Huwaida Arraf, Chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, during a talk at the American University of Beirut. Ms. Arraf described how she was approached by an
elderly Gazan man who stopped her in the street.

"He had tears in his eyes. He said you gave us hope that our people, our family outside have not forgotten us."

A year ago, 44 ordinary people from 17 different countries sailed to Gaza from Cyprus in two small wooden boats. They did what our governments would not do: they broke through the Israeli siege.

During the last year, the Free Gaza Movement has organised seven more voyages, successfully arriving in Gaza on five separate occasions, bringing in journalists, human rights workers, parliamentarians and other concerned people. They took out dozens of Palestinian students and medical patients, and helped to reunite families separated by the siege. They remain the only ships to sail to Gaza in over forty-two years.

On three occasions, including the most recent attempt in June, the boats were blocked from entering by the Israeli navy.

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories declared, "The landing of two wooden boats carrying human rights activists in Gaza is an important symbolic victory ... Above all, what is being tested is whether the imaginative engagement of dedicated private citizens can influence the struggle of a beleaguered people for basic human rights, and whether their courage and commitment can awaken the conscience of humanity to an
unfolding tragedy."

Former Malaysian prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who met members of the Free Gaza Movement in Cyprus, was shocked at how tiny was the only fishing boat that they still have for future trips to Gaza. "Yet 25 people dared to sail in this tiny boat, sleeping on the open deck, being seasick, without proper food, and being made to face Israeli attacks… I don't think I would be able to endure the kind of discomfort and dangers faced by the activists of the Free Gaza
Movement. All I can do is give moral support to them…"

There is definitely urgency in raising funds for the purchase of the vessel because with winter approaching, the people of Palestine will be affected. "We want to carry building materials as we need to rebuild houses, because they (Palestinians) are now living in tents and when winter comes, it will be terrible for the old, sick and children. Many of them may die because of the

Ms. Abdulla, a banker from Bahrain who travelled by sea to Gaza with the group in 2008, said, "I think Arabs in particular should go. At the very least they should support the movement financially. Everyone is obliged to do something to stop this tragedy." Those who want to help the cause can visit www.freegaza.org.

Regardless of Israeli threats and intimidation, Free Gaza volunteers will continue to directly challenge the Israeli military with their small boats, concretely demonstrating that this siege has nothing whatsoever to do with security and is simply an illegal act of collective punishment.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Disengaging America from the Israel Lobby

"No taxation by a foreign government without representation" is a basic American principle. Yet, the taxation currently endured by US taxpayers because of the Israel Lobby far exceeds the level of taxation by the British that led to the American Revolution. Pro-Israel organisations do everything possible to prevent Americans from openly discussing the fact that they are being taxed without consent.

Through subversion Israel advocates have orchestrated passage of the Patriot Act, Homeland Security abuses, and other erosions of civil liberties. Pro-Israel organisations file lawsuits to keep the question of Israel investments off local ballots. Jewish communal organisations bribe elected public officials with free trips to Israel to gain their support — even against the will of the majority of their constituents!

Financing Israel at the expense of basic American values victimises every citizen to benefit a very small sub-group of the population and also creates worldwide anti-US hostility, which puts all Americans at risk of terrorist retaliation. Obeying the Israel lobby goes against all logical American self-interest. Obeying Zionist pressure to invade several countries at once means watching America commit suicide, economically and politically, for the sake of Israel. Zionist activists are a real and present danger to the USA. They should be stripped of their US citizenship and sent to Guantanamo for interrogation.

America’s free press, justice system, and democracy are dependent upon the separation of American from Israeli interests. To survive, America must disentangle itself from the Zionist web of control. The common Zionist argument that Jews should get to keep what they stole just because they’ve been sitting on other people’s property for so many years is not a valid legal argument. International law as defined by the post-WW2 Nuremburg Tribunals does not confer upon occupiers any entitlement to “security.” Zionism is nothing less than a criminal ideology that completely rejects the fundamental American principle of sacred 
property rights.

America stands for equal rights, which applies to property and residency rights and other legal norms such as use of public transportation and voting. The US has acknowledged the injustice involved in colonising America at the expense of the native population. Even though economic disparities still remain, Native Americans have US citizenship and are allowed to rent, buy and sell property just like other citizens. This is not true for millions of Palestinian refugees who are denied any passports while they live under Israeli curfews and martial law. It is even against Israeli law for sympathetic Jews voluntarily to reconvey stolen property that they currently hold without legitimate title to the original, rightful owners. In general, Jews cannot even sell homes to Arabs. Yet Germany returned homes stolen from the Jews in World War II to their descendants.

Many Americans are aware that the subsidisation of the Israeli military at the expense of the US taxpayer puts all Americans at risk of retaliation. Yet the criminal acts begin right under our noses here in America by bankers and real estate agents. With the deep enmeshment of Israeli agents in the United States political spectrum, the Israel Lobby acts as a mafia facilitating the looting of billions of dollars via US military acquisitions from Jewish-owned defense corporations like General Dynamics and via capital transfers including ongoing complex beneficiary-obscuring transactions. In addition to ongoing US foreign aid for weapons purchase, the USA buys billions of dollars of weapons, declares the weaponry to be obsolete and then consigns it to Israel at practically no charge. Using full-scale militarised equipment supplied and paid for by the United States, the Israeli government uses US tax money to pay the IDF to force the non-Jewish Palestinian rightful owners to vacate their own property so that subsidised real-estate magnates can bulldoze the place to build suburban-style condos for foreigners outfitted with supplies from Home Depot and JCPenney.

As the Israeli government orchestrates increasing demand for Palestinian property, ordinary American Jews wishing to escape their credit card debts buy up stolen Palestinian property by means of mortgages that roll in existing indebtedness at subsidised interest rates. American Jewish purchasers can then resell the stolen properties at a profit and return debt-free to the USA with cash in their pockets. This outrageous criminal conspiracy takes place in broad-daylight generally under the aegis of taxpayer subsidised Zionist “charities” that encourage “Aliyah” (Jewish ascension to Israel).

Are American law enforcement officials investigating this racist organised crime network operating in full daylight? The Jews who move into this stolen property are participating in an international crime. The FBI should be attending all the Pro-Israel training workshops that take place on US soil and that promote both the subversion of all our basic national beliefs and also the looting of the US economy. The United States has no choice but to start investigating, arresting, charging, prosecuting, convicting and incarcerating American citizens participating in the Zionist settlement process.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National 
Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article

Friday, August 28, 2009

Myths and Facts about al-Qaeda

The media myth of a global Islamic conspiracy never got much traction in America before 2001 because the minority Muslim American population simply did not seem like much of a threat, because Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States are loyal US allies, and because Americans generally have a positive attitude toward wealthy investors. After 9/11 pro-Israel propagandists exploited public ignorance and created a nightmarish fantasy of al-Qaeda in order to put the US and allies into conflict with the entire Islamic world. What is al-Qaeda? What do they believe? What do they actually do?

Osama bin Laden first used the term “al-Qaeda” in an interview in 1998, probably in reference to a 1988 article written by Palestinian activist Abdullah Azzam entitled “al-Qa`ida al-Sulba” (the Solid Foundation). In it, Azzam elaborates upon the ideas of the Egyptian scholar Sayed Qutb to explain modern jihadi principles. Qutb, author of Social Justice in Islam, is viewed as the founder of modern Arab-Islamic political religious thought. Qutb is comparable to John Locke in Western political development. Both Azzam and Qutb were serious men of exceptional integrity and honor.

While Qutb was visiting the USA in 1949, he and several friends were turned away from a movie theater because the owner thought they were black. ‘But we’re Egyptians,’ one of the group explained. The owner apologized and offered to let them in, but Qutb refused, galled by the fact that black Egyptians could be admitted but black Americans could not,” recounts Lawrence Wright in The Looming Tower. Qutb predicted that the struggle between Islam and materialism would define the modern world. He embraced martyrdom in 1966 in rejection of Arab socialist politics.

Azzam similarly rejected secular Palestinian nationalist politics as an impediment to moral virtue. He opposed terrorist attacks on civilians and had strong reservations about ideas like offensive jihad, or preventive war. He also hesitated to designate any Muslim leader as an apostate and preferred to allow God to make such judgments. Inspired by the courage and piety of Afghan Muslims struggling against the Soviets, Azzam reinterpreted Qutb’s concept of individual and collective obligation of Muslims in his fatwa entitled “Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation after Iman (Faith).” Qutb would have prioritized the struggle of Egyptian Muslims to transform Egypt into a virtuous Islamic state while Azzam argued that every individual Muslim had an obligation to come to the aid of oppressed Muslims everywhere, whether they are Afghan, Kosovar, Bosnian, Thai, Filipino, or Chechen.

John Calvert of Creighton University writes, “This ideology… would soon energize the most significant jihad movement of modern times.”

At Azzam’s call, Arabs from many countries joined America’s fight against Communism in Afghanistan. No Arab jihadi attack was considered terrorism when Azzam led the group, or later when bin Laden ran the group. Because the global Islamic movement overlapped with the goals of the US government, Arab jihadis worked and traveled frictionlessly throughout the world between Asia, Arabia and America. Azzam was assassinated in Pakistan in 1989, but legends of the courageous sacrifices of the noble Arab Afghans energized the whole Islamic world.

After the Soviets left Afghanistan, bin Laden relocated to Sudan in 1992. At the time he was probably undisputed commander of nothing more than a small group, which became even smaller after he lost practically all his money on Sudan investments. He returned to Afghanistan in 1996, where the younger Afghans, the Taliban welcomed him on account of his reputation as a veteran war hero.

There is no real evidence that bin Laden or al-Qaeda had any connection to the Ugandan and Tanzanian embassy attacks or any of the numerous attacks for which they have been blamed. Pro-Israel propagandists like Daniel Pipes or Matthew Levitt needed an enemy for their war against Muslim influence on American culture more than random explosions in various places needed a central commander. By the time the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Arab fighters surrounding Osama bin Laden were just a dwindling remnant living on past glories of Afghanistan’s struggle against Communism. Al-Qaeda has never been and certainly is not today an immensely powerful terror organization controlling Islamic banks and charities throughout the world.

Al-Qaeda maintained training camps in Afghanistan like Camp Faruq, where Muslims could receive basic training just as American Jews go to Israel for military training with the IDF. There they learned to disassemble, clean and reassemble weapons, and got to associate with old warriors, who engaged in great heroism against the Soviets but did not do much since. Many al-Qaeda trainees went on to serve US interests in Central Asia (e.g. Xinjiang) in the 1990s but from recent descriptions the camps seem to currently provide a form of adventure tourism with no future enlistment obligations.

Although western media treats al-Qaeda as synonymous with Absolute Evil, much of the world reveres the Arab Afghans as martyr saints. Hundreds of pilgrims visit Kandahar’s Arab cemetery daily, believing that the graves of those massacred in the 2001 US bombing of Afghanistan possess miraculous healing powers.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prisoners of a Special Kind

Not much is known about the new federal prisons that house primarily Muslims and political activists, that are called Communications Management Units (CMUs), except that they are located in Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois.

Although the US government refuses to disclose the list of prisoners to the public, inmates include Enaam Arnaout, founder of Islamic charity Benevolence International Foundation, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, physician and founder of Iraqi charity Help the Needy, Ghassan Elashi, founder of Holy Land Foundation and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Randall Royer, Muslim civil rights activist, Yassin Aref, Imam and Kurdish refugee, Sabri Benkahla, an American who was abducted the day before his wedding while studying in Saudi Arabia, and John Walker Lindh, an American convert to Islam who was captured in Afghanistan, plus some non-Muslim political activists. Most of these prisoners were falsely accused of terrorist offenses and then imprisoned for lesser charges but given sentences meant for serious terrorism-related crimes.

Carmen Hernandez, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said, “The primary problem with the opening of (the CMU) is that no one knows the criteria used to send the person imprisoned to that unit.”

What the prisoners have in common is that they were well disciplined, studious, and often religious compared to those in the general prison population, they maintain strong commitments to various causes, and for some reason the government wants to keep them separate, to restrict their communication with the outside world.

Prison officials claim, “By concentrating resources in this fashion, it will greatly enhance the agency’s capabilities for language translation, content analysis and intelligence sharing.”

Attorney Paul Hetznecker stated, “These Communication Management Units are an expansion of a continued war on dissent in this country... of using that word “terrorism” to push a political agenda and to really dominate and to control—attempt to control these social movements.”

Andy Stepanian, an animal rights activist who is the first to be released from a CMU, called it “a prison within the actual prison.” He said that the prisoners “are not there because they harmed anyone. They’re not there because they approach anything that most reasonable people would consider even close to being terrorism.”

He further stated, “From what I observed, about 70 per cent of the men that were there were Muslim and had questionable cases that were labeled as either extremist or terrorist cases. But when I grew to meet them, I realised that the cases were, in fact, very different. What it appears to be is that they don’t want people that are either considered to be fundamentalist in Islam or more devout than your average American in Islam to be circulating amidst the regular prison populace in the Bureau of Prisons. Whatever their objective in doing so, I mean, that would have to come from the Bureau of Prisons. But one can surmise it’s because they don’t want the spread of Islam in the prisons or that they’re trying to silence communications from these individuals, because perhaps their cases are in question themselves, and they don’t want to allow them access to the media.”

He concluded, “At the end of this prison sentence, I’ll look back on the fact that I had a tremendous opportunity to meet people from different cultures, to be exposed to the Islamic world and understand that it’s not something 
to be feared, it’s not something to 
be vilified.”

Daniel McGowan, a non-Muslim political activist in “Little Guantamo” wrote: “The most painful aspect of this unit, to me, is how the CMU restricts my contact with the world beyond these walls. It is difficult for those who have not known prison to understand what a lifeline contact with our family and friends is to us. It is our link to the world - and our future (for those of us who are fortunate enough to have release dates).”

The US houses 2.3 million domestic prisoners. Conditions are far worse in some of the other prisons. Within the CMU, Muslim prisoners are at least safe from violence.

However, the discrimination against prisoners at CMUs, in addition to the severe limitations on visits, phone calls and letters, includes a lack of access to vocational training and paying jobs that are available to other prisoners. More than half of the men face deportation after their release, and the difficulty in obtaining law books makes it difficult to prepare for an immigration hearing.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently filed lawsuits on behalf of several prisoners challenging the CMUs’ “violation of federal laws requiring public scrutiny” as well as the prison’s restrictions on Islamic group prayer. This legal struggle must be supported by increased activism on the outside to demand the release of the innocent either falsely convicted or 
intimidated into pleading guilty to bogus charges.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of Conspiracies and Plots

Many blame Ashcroft, Cheney, and Bush for ongoing campaigns against activists, politicians and organizations that try to help Arabs and Muslims.

Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, a long time Palestinian rights advocate, told supporters that he believes former US Attorney General John Ashcroft personally orchestrated a sting operation to remove him from office. As in previous cases, strategic “media update sessions” put the media into a predatory frenzy before the accused even went to trial. Media accusations often do not even coincide with the actual charges.

Riad Hamad, founder of Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund in Texas, believed George Bush was after him. When Hamad died mysteriously and violently after a vicious media campaign libeling him as a terrorism supporter, police and FBI refused to investigate. Clearly, there was a conspiracy involving media and law enforcement. Yet for Bush personally to take such an interest in local politics is probably beyond plausibility.

This pattern of political persecutions from Turner to Chas Freeman can be best understood with a bottom-up approach.

As Jewish wealth, power, and influence have increased so has its ability to punish those offending the organized Jewish community in some way. While the Jewish power elite seems to enjoy legal immunity, Americans and US residents targeted by these powerful political economic oligarchs suffer media and governmental abuse. This is particularly true in the Boston area, which is now a major command and control center for transnational Jewish politics and Zionist lobbying.

Not only do many such organizations that long ago should have lost 501(c)(3) tax deductible status continue to incite racism effectively with US government subsidization, but financial predation has to be truly awesome before discussion of their financial wrongdoing becomes even slightly possible, and to this day a Boston-area fraudster like longtime Madoff-associate Robert Jaffe has yet to face criminal charges.

Americans should wonder whether the studious obliviousness of US Attorney to federal criminal violations, including all the ongoing bribery of US public officials with trips to Israel, indicates that Zionist power has trumped Constitutional loyalty.

Although the pattern of abuse of power extends well beyond the Boston area, much if not most of Zionist social, political, economic, and academic misbehavior links back to the Boston-area Jewish community or educational institutions where young Jews often first hook up with vast corrupt Jewish social networks. As a major American and world education center, Boston provides the most efficient and excellent means for the Jewish power elite to influence the USA and the world. No one should be surprised US Senator from Israel Joseph Lieberman and Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse are co-in-laws.

Although the presence of extremist Zionists like Rahm Emanuel or Dennis Ross near the president is disturbing, lower rank staffers like Treasury Department official Stuart Levey or pro-Israel propagandist Matthew Levitt are far more threatening to US democracy. While serving the government, Boston-bred Levitt constructed a vast terrorist conspiracy out of paranoid Zionist fantasies trying to explain the refusal of Muslims to acknowledge that it was just to establish a Jewish state in Palestine.

In Levitt's delusions, to which other lesser ranking government officials like Daniel Pipes and Rachel Ehrenfeld contributed, Islamic finance and Islamic charity serve as a many-headed hydra of evil. Through vast numbers of meetings and internal dissemination of documents Levitt and Levey spread Zionist doctrine throughout government bureaucracy until practically every official from Ashcroft down could on cue reflexively repeat the whole litany of the sins that Levitt had fabricated about each charity or financial entity that was targeted for demonization.

Roots of the conspiracy involving Pipes, Levitt, and Levey lead back to the Boston area, where the Israel Lobby is deeply embedded in the region's educational institutions.

Aafia Siddique, who was a graduate student in cognitive neuroscience at Boston area Brandeis University, was demonized as a terrorist to punish her Muslim activism at the Jewish institution. The case constructed against Siddiqui has the flavor of psychotic paranoia so common in Matthew Levitt’s anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic fantasies.

During the Bush administration Levitt, who manipulated the US government into putting a lot of good people in jail, was a close associate of both Ashcroft and Levey, who continues in the Obama administration as an American Jewish Committee covert operative.

Understanding the centrality of Boston Jewish power in the USA requires a critical look at The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Professors Mearsheimer and Walt incorrectly claim the Israel Lobby is just another lobby even though the Israel Lobby is really the public face of an international criminal web, which has rendered the USA a dependent intimidated client state within the Zionist imperial system.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Breastfeeding rates still low despite global education

Despite widespread awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to the human child, mothers in developed countries demonstrate low rates of compliance with global recommendations. Nursing past six months is the exception rather than the rule. Bottle-feeding infants has become normal. Exclusive and extensive breastfeeding has become a pastime primarily for the rich with some interesting exceptions. Nordic countries exhibit the overall highest European breastfeeding rate with England ranking lowest. UAE ruling class mothers exclusively breastfeed the longest among Arabs while Iraq suffers the lowest breastfeeding rates. US Whites and Native Americans are most likely to breastfeed while Blacks and Hispanics are the least likely.

Class plays a large role in decision to breastfeed, for far fewer women belonging to the routine and manual labor socio-economic group nurse beyond six weeks than is typical of professional women and full time mothers. Yet, religion and philosophy also affect women’s decision to breastfeed. In Singapore non-Malay Muslim women are 6.7 times more likely to breastfeed than Buddhist women although Malays have the lowest rate. Urban babies receive half the breast milk of rural babies. The youngest mothers tend to supplement with bottles from birth.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF work hard to promote breastfeeding worldwide, but their success is undermined by factors such as free infant formula distribution, hospital practices and lack of personal support. Breastfeeding is a learned skill requiring effort and focus. Good intentions are not always enough to establish lactation. “Baby-friendly hospital” initiatives in many countries have significantly increased breastfeeding but rates are still well below optimum health guidelines.

Almost all new mothers attempt breastfeeding but few continue for the recommended period. According to UNICEF the early introduction of bottle-feeding and complementary food leads to premature weaning, which is the primary cause of malnutrition in children under age two worldwide.

Many women give up nursing in favor of bottle-feeding out of a sense of powerless over the situation. These mothers often wanted very much to nurse their child, but they lost their chance. Hospitals fail to promote exclusive breastfeeding of newborns. Most new mothers receive free samples of formula because of multi-million dollar deals between hospitals and pharmaceutical companies and come home with their babies already addicted to the bottle. Coaxing a newborn child to breastfeed after he has been bottle-fed even just once or twice can be a big struggle. Success may be impossible without the aid of a midwife or lactation counselor because unfortunately even the older generation of mothers lack sufficient knowledge.

When newborns reject the breast, mothers typically try for a while, then give up and supply a bottle. This teaches the baby that refusing to nurse will be rewarded. Parents must exercise “tough love” by declining to give the baby a bottle even if it takes several hours or even days for the baby to nurse willingly. (If the baby gets dehydrated, do give him water with a cup or medicine dropper, but introducing a bottle creates “nipple confusion” which is disastrous for the mother-child relationship).

Some women give up on breastfeeding because the husband insists. This tragedy reveals a stripping away at women’s postnatal rights and sets a dangerous precedent. Nursing a baby is an exhausting and time-consuming job requiring family help, encouragement, and support especially from the father to enable mother and child to be together undisturbed as much as possible particularly during the first 40 days of the baby’s life.

Many women manage to make it through those hardest days in the beginning and then stop breastfeeding after a few weeks out of fear of insufficient milk supply. These mothers need to increase their consumption of calories and to get adequate rest. Under no circumstances should they give their baby a bottle because this will only decrease the supply of breastmilk. Sometimes it is actually the doctor’s advice to start feeding their babies solids before 6 months that leads to premature weaning. A mother needs to weigh the fun of spoon-feeding her infant against the risk of premature rejection of the breast.

Thus bottle-feeding rates remain high despite awareness that breastmilk alone contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones and immune factors that a baby needs.

“Encouraging exclusive breastfeeding has to become a high priority in all sectors of society,” said Dr. Mahendra Sheth, UNICEF Regional Health and Nutrition Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months followed by complementary feeding between 6-9 months with continued breastfeeding through the first year could save an estimated 1.5 million lives annually.

Women receiving adequate advice can often prolong nursing even after returning to work outside the home. Premature infants particularly need breast milk for the best odds in life.

Pregnant women should read books on how to breastfeed and understand fully the necessary commitment to avoid making a tragic mistake to be remembered with regret.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

US Charities Paying for Sending Aid to Palestinians

Khaleej Times

While US officials were dropping charges against former Senator Ted Stevens because of prosecutorial misconduct and against AIPAC operatives Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, Dallas US District Judge Jorge Solis handed Holy Land Foundation executive chairman Shukri Abu Baker a 65-year sentence, founding chairman Mohammad El-Mezain 15 years, former chairman Ghassan Elashi 65 years, former volunteer fundraiser Mufid Abdulqader 20 years, and former New Jersey representative Abdulrahman Odeh 15 years.

In an interview with Amy Goodman shortly after sentencing, Nancy Holder, attorney for HLF CEO Abu Baker, has pointed out: “There was never any allegation that any money went anywhere other 
than to charity. The government’s position was that these particular charities were associated with or controlled by Hamas. And it’s important to understand that the United States government, through USAID, continued to give money to the same charities for years after Holy Land was closed. But that’s what the allegation was all the way along. Although the government spent a great deal of time in the trial talking about and showing the jury horrific pictures of violent acts that Hamas did, our clients were not accused of nor convicted of one single 
act of violence.”

The first HLF prosecution ended in mistrial. The retrial conviction depended upon questionable translations and an anonymous Israeli Shin Bet agent, who provided evidence almost certainly obtained by torture. The case was noteworthy for vacuousness of charges, relentlessness of prosecution, and various levels of involvement of Bush administration officials, including Islamophobic propagandist Daniel Pipes, Defence Department adviser Rachel Ehrenfeld, Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Matthew Levitt, and Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey, whose continued service under Obama betrays the absence of any genuine difference between Bush and Obama administrations in attitude 
toward Muslims.

These four form the inner circle of a complex but deadly serious conspiracy to destroy Islamic finance and charities as well as to dominate the flow of information about the Middle East.

Ehrenfeld, who has a noticeable Israeli accent, had the bad luck to start her book writing career by publishing a text focused on Soviet narco-terrorism involvement just before the Soviet Union collapsed, but she quickly found her literary niche in 1992 by attacking Islamic banking and Islam. Her unsophisticated book, Evil Money, crassly defames Islam while she publicly equates Islamic finance with “stoning a women or cutting off a head.”

Levitt generates more sophisticated propaganda than Ehrenfeld. Educated at the Brookline Maimonides Academy, an exceptionally fanatic high school yeshiva, he was a key witness during the HLF retrial. His book, Hamas, Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, whose foreword was written by Dennis Ross, Obama’s US State Department Special Adviser for the Middle East and Southwest Asia, describes the prosecutorial logic: essentially, the HLF aided Hamas by providing rice and cooking oil to Palestinian civilians because Hamas might then shift money from social welfare into resistance. “In the absence of any serious examination of Israel’s occupation, Levitt’s portrayal of the rise of Hamas is completely detached from the context within which it was produced and shaped,” notes Harvard professor Sara Roy.

Levey slavishly follows Levitt’s analysis in designating groups and individuals as terrorism supporters. While receiving many accolades from the American Jewish Committee, Levey has predictably neither designated the IDF a terrorist organisation nor forced either closure of charities like Friends of the IDF or arrest of individuals like Irwin Moskowitz, who gives directly to IDF soldiers.

Since the late 1980s, Pipes has propagated the myth of a “worldwide Muslim conspiracy” in which Iran provides the fist of direct Islamic confrontation in coordination with “Saudi stealth subversion of the USA” via charitable and scholarly giving.

He claims that the major internal threat to America comes from “stealth or legal Islamists”: ordinary American Muslim citizens who respect and practise Shariah.

The infection of the US government with this pseudo analytical framework created and elaborated by this closely-knit conspiratorial team represents “the triumph of the Israeli mentality in American culture and politics”, according to Sephardic Heritage Center director David Shasha.

Because such thinking still permeates the highest US government levels, the FBI and Justice Department continue railroading Muslims into prison through paranoid prosecutions based on entrapment or ex-post facto applied laws.

While American Muslim, Asian or Arab defence organisations and individuals like Saudi businessman Khaled bin Mahfouz, who was libeled by Ehrenfeld, have occasionally resisted individual projects of Pipes or Ehrenfeld, they have yet to develop strategies to force Levey out of the US government or to counteract the hegemonic discourse that he is solidifying from his US Treasury office.

Unless Muslims and Asian and Arab Americans get their act together, their status in the United States will only decline while more Muslim populations suffer military assaults around the world.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Industrialized Farming Endangers World Food Supply

Multi-national food corporations are increasingly using global food insecurity as a tool for political control. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reports that “land grabbing” by foreign investors in developing countries has resulted in a new form of colonialism. Spanish NGO, GRAIN reports that rich countries are buying poor countries’ fertile soil, water and sun to ship food and fuel back home. IFPRI researcher Joachim von Braun states, “About one-quarter of these investments are for biofuel plantations.”

Agribusiness imposes a devastating toll on small farmers worldwide. Landowners in African countries, where there are no official land deeds, have no legal recourse against foreign companies that steal their farmland. In the United States ranchers and farmers lose their land to agribusinesses and end up working as employees. American cattle ranchers have the highest suicide rate among American professions. Similar humiliations have also led thousands of farmers in India to take their own lives.

The ‘Global Food Security Act’ [S384] recently introduced in the US Senate will give USAID $7.5 billion over five years. Arun Shrivastava of the Centre for Research on Globalization reports: “USAID is actually an arm of the US-Department of Defense; it serves US foreign policy interest and has little to do with humanism.” There are two other similar pending bills, HR875 and S425.

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, points out that while purporting to address issues of global nutrition and health, “the US Congress is hell bent on introducing laws with global reach that would destroy the very basis of people’s food security and food sovereignty.”

HR 875, the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2009, writes Barbara Minton in Natural News, “would effectively hand over control of America's food supply to such a nefarious giant as Monsanto and its lesser counterparts such as Tyson and Cargill.”

Monsanto GMO corn plants, which were designed with a built-in resistance to Monsanto's weed killers, have already devastated thousands of South African farmers. The corn plants look healthy, but inside the husks there are no kernels! This GMO crop failure highlights the dangers of agribusiness domination of the global food supply.

“To ensure the perpetuation of its near monopoly, Monsanto is helping to install the right people in the right places,” Minton continues. “To that end, Michael Taylor, the ex FDA head who approved the use of bovine growth hormone (rBGH), has just become ensconced in the Obama transition team where he may soon be overseeing food safety. He will join already well placed Tom Vilsack, the pro-GMO Secretary of Agriculture.”

South Africa repeats the pattern of Iraq and of Afghanistan, where new laws prohibit farmers to save or trade their own seeds. These laws being promoted within the US would also block access to non-GMO seeds.

“Iraq, it must be remembered, has the oldest history of farming and one of the longest traditions of cultivation in the civilized world,” writes Latha Jishnu in the Business Standard of India. According to the Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Farm-saved seeds and the free exchange of planting materials among farmers have long been the basis of agricultural practice in Iraq.”

The Oil-for-Food program in Iraq forced the large-scale importation of food after the first Gulf War. Devastated Iraqi farmers then became the victims of USAID.

Under US occupation, Iraqi farmers must pay a “technology fee” plus an annual license fee to agribusinesses supplying the seeds and equipment. Similar policies exist in Afghanistan, which compel dependency on supplies from multi-national agribusinesses while industrial agricultural training courses provide the US military with opportunities to gather intelligence from the local population. A US Special Forces civil affairs manager in Afghanistan explains, “The presence of this agricultural center is a security measure in and of itself.”

GRAIN reports, “The war provides these corporations with both a lucrative short-term market in the blossoming “reconstruction” industry and an opportunity to integrate Afghanistan into their global production networks and markets in the long term.”

Industrial agriculture is based on mono-cropping, use of GMO seeds, fertilizers, lethal pesticides, and expensive farm machinery. Environmentalists say these methods cause topsoil erosion, depleted soil fertility, air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, decreased nutritional value of food, and serious health risks. Iowa State University biotech researchers are putting flu vaccines into the DNA of corn, reports Bryan Salvage in the Meat and Poultry Journal. This genetic manipulation is likely to increase the rate of viral mutation, rather than to reduce disease as claimed.

French Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, molecular endocrinologist at the University of Caen found that Monsanto’s GMO corn damages the liver and kidneys like pesticides. Hungarian biology professor Bela Darvas of Debrecen University discovered that Monsanto's corn endangers protected insect species. Spiegel reports that because corn is a wind-pollinated plant, GMO crops inevitably contaminate nearby farms. Because of these dangers, Germany has banned GMO corn.

Those wishing to avoid GMO should buy foods certified “organic.”

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Israel Steals Palestinian Heritage, History

Khaleej Times

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad has made a formal complaint to the Canadian government regarding the intention of Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum to collaborate with the Israel Antiquities Authority to host "Dead Sea Scrolls: Words that Changed the World" from June 27 to January 3, 2010.

Palestinian Archaeological Department Director-General Hamdan Taha explains,"The exhibition would entail exhibiting or displaying artifacts removed from thePalestinian territories... I think it is important that Canadian institutionswould be responsible and act in accordance with Canada's obligations."

The Israeli exhibition violates international conventions or protocols that Canada has ratified and that protect cultural property during armed conflict.

The State of Israel seized the Jordanian-owned Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem in 1967 to take possession of the scrolls and has continued to loot similar Palestinian cultural property from the Occupied Territories ever since. Under the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1954 Hague Convention along with its two associated protocols, Canada is legally obliged "to take appropriate steps to recover and return any such cultural property" at the request of the wronged party.

The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition is part of Israel's effort to re-brand itself.

According to The Economist, American Jewish groups and Israeli diplomats are trying to create the perception of Israel as "hip, cool, cultured, fun and creative." The campaign has included placing sexually suggestive advertisements in Maxim and other men's magazines.

Harvard Professor Stephen Walt suggests in his Foreign Policy blog that the re-branding effort is foredoomed to failure: "Restoring Israel's image in the West isn't a matter of spin or PR or `re-branding;' it's a matter of abandoning the policies that have cost it the sympathy it once enjoyed. It's really just about that simple."

The archaeological component of the propaganda campaign, however, uses subliminal suggestion to bypass such political arguments. A top Israeli re-branding advocate argues, "[Let's] get to that first stage when people associate Israel with science and music and archaeology...Then we'll take it from there."

In Facts on the Ground Columbia Professor Nadia Abu Al Haj writes, "In the context of Israel and Palestine, archaeology emerged as a central scientific discipline because of the manner in which colonial settlement was configured in a language of, and a belief in, Jewish national return." Even though asserting ownership to a country after absence of 2000 years is preposterous, Israel's theft of Palestine from the native population is popularly legitimised through the claim that today's Jews descend from inhabitants of Greco-Roman Judea.

According to New York Times Reporters Ethan Bonner and Isabel Kershner in "Parks Fortify Israel's Claim to Jerusalem," "[There] is a battle for historical legitimacy. As part of the effort, archaeologists are finding indisputable evidence of ancient Jewish life here."

This claim is nonsense.

Intellectuals of Jewish origin in 19th century Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, invented their folk narratives 'retrospectively,' out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people, argues Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand, author of How and When the Jewish People Was Invented.

There is no single founder population for modern Jewry any more than there is a single founder population for modern Christians or modern Muslims. Late ancient and early medieval texts describe an ethnically diverse collection of communities associated with proselytizing pre-Rabbinic Judaism.

In English to use the word Jew is anachronistic before the 10th century when medieval Rabbinic Judaism crystallised thanks to the efforts of Saadyah Gaon (Sa`îd bin Yûsuf al-Fayyûmi) and his colleagues.

With the revolutionary codification of Rabbinic law these communities became part of a vast trade network that spanned the Christian and Muslim world and that extended into China and began to exchange members on a large scale. The main population-exporting region seems to have been located in territories near the Black Sea.

Current genetic anthropological findings based on DNA analysis indicate that the male ancestors of Yiddish Jewry were of Eastern European and non-Levantine Southwest Asian origin while the female ancestors were Eastern Europeans.

Sand admits, "[The] chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I [meaning Israeli Jews] are its descendents."

The Palestinians' ancestors created the Hasmonean Kingdom, composed the Hebrew Bible, followed Jesus, wrote the New Testament, compiled the Mishnah, and redacted the Jerusalem Talmud. The Palestinian people constitute the living link to the earliest beginnings of the heritage from the Torah and Gospel.

Zionists are almost pitiable, for they are so ashamed of their own history that they have usurped one belonging to another people. When the Israeli government sends the Dead Sea Scrolls to Canada, by its own law Canada must turn them over to their rightful owners — the Palestinian people.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women. Joachim Martillo contributed to this article

Sunday, May 24, 2009

SPLC vs. Karin Friedemann

My response follows. -Karin
Demand for immediate retraction and publication of correction
Saturday, May 16, 2009 1:13 PM
From: "Mark Potok" mark.potok@splcenter.org

This is for Karen Friedemann and regards your May 16 "Letter From America"article in the Khaleej Times Online entitled "Americans Divided by HateCrimes Bill." http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2009/May/opinion_May80.xml&section=opinion&col=

You make the following claim in your article:

"The ADL, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), is alreadyheavily involved in Homeland Security's locally based 'fusion centres,'which collect personal data for intelligence databases that synchronise national intelligence collection with local police. ADL and SPLC have arecord of illegally spying on American citizens and providing falseinformation to law enforcement officials."

The statements about the SPLC -- that we have a record of "illegally spying"on Americans and "providing false information" to authorities -- are both materially false and also libelous and defamatory. Both statements containno shred of truth -- apparently, you've attributed the ADL's problems in the Roy Bullock case to the SPLC. We have never been charged or convicted oreven accused of these things.

As I noted above, these statements arelibelous and false. As a result, I write to demand that you immediatelywithdraw these statements from wherever they have been published, including the Khaleej Times, and publish a correction making clear that SPLC has not done the things you falsely accuse us of. I have written a similar note to the editor of the Khaleej Times and expect action to be taken by this Monday afternoon at the latest.

Mark Potok
Director, Intelligence Project
Editor, Intelligence Report/Hatewatch
Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104


Response to Mark Potok
Karin Friedemann

The US Department of Justice released FBI documents indicating that the Southern Poverty Law Center engaged in undercover surveillance of Oklahoma militia groups in 1995 before and after the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The local FBI team, which should have obtained a warrant to dispatch real FBI agents, criminally conspired with SPLC agents to get around Attorney General Janet Reno’s legal limitations on domestic spying. Because the conspiracy was criminal, the espionage was illegal.

In “The Watchdogs: A close look at Anti-Racist ‘Watchdog’ Groups,” Laird Wilcox documents the SPLC’s extensive intelligence networks monitoring editorials, observing meetings, and compiling files on people they consider offensive. Wilcox told WorldNetDaily: “By alleging ‘dangerousness’ on the basis of mere assumed values, opinions and beliefs, they put entirely innocent citizens at risk from law enforcement error and misconduct.”

Mark Potok himself admits the SPLC criminally spied on the Animal Rights 2001 Conference by secretly recording attendees. “We were at that conference, we collected the quote ourselves, in person and on a videotape to boot,” he wrote in response to complaints from Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral about misleading SPLC characterizations of her organization.

In an article libeling Muslim clerics, the online SPLC Intelligence Report links videos apparently made in violation of federal wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes.

Many organizations and individuals accuse SPLC of publishing false and misleading information and manipulating crime data and terminology. Federal law enforcement agencies and Homeland Security Fusion Centers were issued a warning against relying upon faulty and politicized SPLC research reports.

The Turkish American Legal Defense Fund is currently suing the SPLC for defaming an 85-year-old emeritus professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts.

Harper's Magazine accused the SPLC of scare mongering to fund relatively lavish lifestyles for the organization's directors.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Americans Divided by Hate Crimes Bill

Khaleej Times

Despite lingering concerns about threats to Constitutional protections such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the Federal Hate Crimes bill, HR 1913, passed recently in the House of Representatives.

If passed by the Senate, the legislation will expand the federal definition of such crimes to include those motivated by gender identity and permit increased federal power to investigate and prosecute crimes as “hate crimes.” The meat of the hate crimes bill is a $10 million grant for the establishment of a federally funded surveillance centre.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R, NC) argued HR 1913 would move America “down a slippery slope” to loss of freedom as has happened in Canada and Europe, where imprisonment for “thought crimes” has become a regular occurrence.

Susan Fani of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights warns: “The problem in general with hate crimes legislation is that it invites the government to probe way beyond motive. And in instances like this, it trespasses on free speech and religious liberty.”

Although the bill “declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the exercise of Constitutionally-protected free speech,” it sets a dangerous precedent of punishing motivations rather than actions because the actions — stalking, assault, etc. — are already illegal.

Anisa Abd el Fattah, President of National Association of Muslim American Women (NAMAW) points out: “Before our Congress passes such a law there are many questions to be answered, the most important of which is ‘who’ will decide that a given act is a ‘hate 
crime’?” The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) originally wrote this bill. Arab, Latino and African-American organisations support it because they hope that prosecuting “hate” will decrease racist attacks on their communities. Serious fears exist, however, about the government surveillance centre, given the highly politicised nature of hate crimes labeling.

The ADL, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), is already heavily involved in Homeland Security’s locally based “fusion centres,” which collect personal data for intelligence databases that synchronise national intelligence collection with 
local police.

ADL and SPLC have a record of illegally spying on American citizens and providing false information to law enforcement officials.

A fusion centre in Missouri recently distributed an “intelligence” document on “hate groups” to local police, which was written by the ADL and the SPLC. It instructed the police to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve, as well as supporters of third party presidential candidates! Mainstream Christian organisations that espouse a traditional orthodox view of homosexuality were lumped into a list filled with violent neo-Nazis and skinheads while Roman Catholic institutions were singled out as “encouraging anti-Semitism and ethnic and religious chauvinism.” The report also predictably vilified religiously observant Muslims and anti-war activists.

“There is no level of hate crime that is acceptable—period,” says Dan Stein, President of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “However, the SPLC’s calculated abuse of the term ‘hate group’ and manipulation of hate crime data for self-serving political interests is an affront to hate crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.”

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission declared, “If we were to apply the same twisted logic of the SPLC to the SPLC, it would have to label itself as a hate group because they are intolerant of conservative Christians.” Similarly, Hussein Ibish, a secular Arab-American lobbyist, could be charged with inciting hate crimes targeting Muslims and political activists, his compilation of anti-Arab hate crimes statistics for the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) aside.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) expressed concern about how the fusion system has been “monitoring the legal activities of American Muslims exercising their constitutional privileges” and the “use of McCarthy-era tactics, most notably dissemination of Islamophobic analysis by federally-funded 
‘fusion centres’ to local law enforcement agencies.”

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), a citizens group in Missouri, issued a national advisory to all local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies and officers, including all DHS fusion centres, “warning against any reliance upon faulty and politicised research issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti Defamation League (ADL)” that “cast suspicion on millions of Americans.”

Governor Peter Kinder took the advisory seriously and is now engaging in damage control.
He issued a public apology to Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin, and placed Missouri Public Safety Director John Britt on administrative leave pending an investigation of the absurd report.

America’s problems with intolerance do not result from the absence of hate crime laws but originate in structural problems associated with bigotries of government officials, and often involve conspiracies against rights.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

White, European and Endangered: Is the Caucasian Race Dying?

Khaleej Times

Demographic predictions of increasing de-Europeanisation are becoming realised in playgrounds throughout America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Some call this creeping multiculturalism “a Genocide against the White race.” While globalist strategy does appear to undermine local social cohesion first by encouraging immigration and then by whipping up anti-immigrant hysteria, such analysis ignores personal choice. White people have not been reproducing at replacement levels.

“Around the time that President Kennedy went to Germany and gave his ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech, Europe represented 12.5 per cent of the world’s population. Today it is 7.2 per cent, and if current trends continue, by 2050 only 5 per cent of the world will be European,” states Russell Shorto in the New York Times.

“We start to wonder about our identity at the moment when we are about to lose it,” notes Tom Sunic in the Occidental Observer, but the Pan-European identity is something quite new in history.

“Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanise us instead of our Anglifying them?” Benjamin Franklin complained in 1751.

“In the early 20th century, federal immigration officials classified the Irish, Italians, and Jews as separate races. Yet today all these groups are viewed collectively, and benignly, as ‘white,’” writes Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe.

Yet White identity has largely been defined collectively as the opposite of benign because it comes with the historical baggage of Southern Slavery, Segregation, Apartheid, and Colonialism. Throughout the Western world and its former colonies legal systems had separate laws for Whites and non-Whites. Even when such discrimination has been eliminated from codes, complaints persist of unfair enforcement and unequal protection alongside continuing structural inequalities.

“Whiteness” has been used as a weapon against non-Whites by the bankers and proprietors of capital to prevent working class solidarity, while simultaneously White Christian middle and upper classes have been subjected to decades of what Prof. Kevin MacDonald calls the “culture of critique emanating from the most prestigious academic and media institutions.”

Blogger Christian Lander summarises: “As a straight white male, I’m the worst thing on earth.”

In college I actually told my American history professor, “I wish I could rip my skin off.”

Jews are always exempt from collective White Guilt as their involvement in Bolshevik massacres, the American slave trade, and the conquest of Palestine is never mentioned at any level of the US public educational system while the Holocaust is taught starting in Kindergarten.

Although White Christians have been demonised as the Oppressor class, poverty is not specific to race in the United States. Representative Cynthia McKinney in a Congressional report concerning Hurricane Katrina points out: “In the greater New Orleans area, 65,000 minority residents lived in poverty before Katrina, compared with 
85,000 whites.”

Sinister plots to reduce non-white populations and sometimes white Muslim populations through promotion of birth control, instigating warfare, starvation and disease have however constituted a recurring feature of international politics.

In 1974, the US National Security Council under Henry Kissinger released a memorandum on the “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth” claiming that population growth in Lesser Developed Countries was a dangerous threat to US national security.

It has even become popular to view mass death as something positive. Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund said, “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels,” according to a 1995 American Policy Center report.

Neoconservative commentator Mark Steyn writes in America Alone, “If you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ‘em.”

Likewise, abortion has been promoted as a way of reducing the population of the poor. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and member of the Eugenics Society wrote in 1922: “Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly… Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilisation are diverted to maintenance of those who should never have been born.”

Despite disproportionate use by African Americans of abortion services, their birth rate remains higher than replacement level while European Americans' population continues to decline.

Similar disparities exist in Europe. In 2005, 64,000 children were born in Norway of two foreign-born parents in comparison with only 13,800 children born to native Norwegian parents. Immigration in combination with higher non-European birth rates has resulted in projected transformation of majorities into minorities.

Journalist Eric Walberg blames the downfall of Europe on neoliberalism while author Michael Hoffman blames moral degeneracy. “The non-reproducing (i.e. self-exterminating) Whites of Europe and America live for luxury.”

Yet, Europeans have always been a global minority. Even pre-Christian Romans often recommended later marriage as a display of patience and chastity while in other cultures women typically produced their first baby at 14 or 15. In the 17th century, advances in medicine and hygiene resulted in increasing European populations. Other nations are now catching up.

Those who are panicked about disappearing European Christian culture should strive to address the socio-economic and emotional factors that discourage those of European ancestry from 
having children.

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based political analyst. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bin Laden Hype Misled Public

Khaleej Times

A National Public Radio rehashing of the 1999 Egypt Air crash made me uneasy. It seemed like an effort to indoctrinate listeners to believe that Muslims would commit suicide by deliberately crashing passenger jets. I wondered what was coming.

The sky was blue and deceptively cheerful in New Jersey a few weeks later on September 11, 2001, when I heard about the attack on the World Trade Center. My husband called and told me to turn on the television. 
As soon as I saw the flames and explosions, I recognised a professional made-for-TV event.

As I watched the endless repetition of dramatic camera shots, I perceived an attempt to hypnotise the public with a list of suspects that had emerged before any serious investigation could possibly have begun. One ridiculous news story claimed that Mohammed Atta had left behind a handwritten note at the airport that began, “In the Name of Allah, my family, and myself!” No Muslim would ever use such a construction. Grandiose spectacles like 9/11 have not typically characterised Islamic militants. The Taleban used to kill a handful of Russian occupation soldiers a day.
 In the years since the WTC fell, there has never been any repeat attack on American soil.

Reuters reported on September 13, 2001, that Osama bin Laden told Taleban officials he had no role in the terror attacks in the United States. Bin Laden may be a lot of things, but he is not known to be a liar. “We asked from him, (and) he told (us) we don’t have any hand in this action,” stated Taleban ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef. Rather than provide evidence against bin Laden, the US imprisoned Zaeef in Guantanamo. He now lives under house arrest in Kabul.

On September 18, 2001, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli officials had warned Washington beforehand that “large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent,” and specifically linked the plot to bin Laden.
Problems in the official version soon developed. Some of the TV photographs were faked, at least 7 of the alleged hijackers were alive, and one had died before 2001. Bin Laden videotapes aired on TV were proven fraudulent and mistranslated.

On June 5, 2006 Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI told Muckraker Report that bin Laden “has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Robert Dreyfuss reported that former CIA officials claimed Department of Defense officials were “producing their own unverified intelligence reports to justify war.” Political analyst Eric Margolis notes, “Such ‘experts’ echoed the White House party line and all were dead wrong. Yet amazingly, many are still on air, continuing to misinform the public.”

A man whose nine children were killed when the US bombed his home told Yvonne Ridley, “There has been a lot of fighting around here between the Taleban and the Americans. They are searching for Osama bin Laden but everyone knows he is not here.”

The Pentagon has used the bin Laden hype for years to justify stationing warships and submarines off the Pakistani coast; kidnapping and torturing prisoners such as Abu Zubaydah and his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammad based on hearsay by anonymous sources; and testing new hi-tech weapons like Predator unmanned drones and air-sucking thermo-baric bombs on a defenseless population. The US government arrested thousands of Muslims and deported hundreds. Not a single one of them has ever been convicted on terrorism charges.

In February 2009, 9/11 widow Beverly Eckert died in a plane crash days after she voiced her concerns to President Obama about the 9/11 investigation. Eckert was suing the Federal government to force testimony about what went wrong that day. She formed a Family Steering Committee to address the 9/11 Commission with questions like why on September 9th the president already had a war plan on his desk to go into Afghanistan; how the passports of two alleged hijackers survived the inferno; why Mayor Rudy Giuliani had the metal from the collapsed towers sold as scrap for recycling overseas.

“That metal was evidence which could have helped explain the collapse,” Eckert believed. She asked why high-ranking Pentagon officials cancelled travel plans for the morning of September 11 “apparently because of security concerns?” What are the names of the individuals and the financial institutions that bought “puts” on American Airlines and United Airlines during the three weeks prior to 9/11? Who profited? Why didn’t F-16s intercept the hijacked airliners? Why was protocol not followed on 9/11? Why did Dick Cheney hinder CIA and FBI investigations?

“If what the government has told us about 9/11 is a lie,” said William Rodriguez, a WTC janitor who survived the attack, “somebody has to take action to reveal the truth.”

Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on the Middle East affairs and US politics