Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 20th, 2012

Earth Day? Doing what in those celebrations? What are your priorities?

April 22 is back again. This Sunday will be observed by over 1 billion people to participate in Earth Day activities. Is it the largest civic observance in the world according to Earth Day Network?

Where would you like to start from? I have the impression that my list will have no end to it, enumerating the ailments that mother earth is suffering from, particularly, how mankind is coping in this desolate landscape and reduced imagination and pragmatic resolutions to world problems.

Never mind how the animal species are fairing:

If mankind maintained intact the environment of the animal kingdom, animals are well adapted than us to survive and thrive…

What could be your priority of promoting in Earth Day?

1. Working toward clean and fresh potable water?

2. Demonstrating and struggling for dear clean and healthy air?

3. Confronting nuclear waste disposal systems, chemical waste, toxic rare dirt exploitation…? (See note 3)

4. Cleaning beaches from frequent and abundant oil spills?

5. Stopping massive deforestation for the agro-industries that mankind never get a share in it?

Five years ago, my niece Joanna and future husband Yuhanna donned white overhaul to clean up the beaches in Lebanon that were polluted by oil spills generated by the bombing of Israel to our refineries by the coast in 2006. Why the overhaul had to be white? Is it supposed to be a once wear before being discarded, so that thousands of workers in the garment industry in China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Viet Nam, and India faint en mass? (See note 2)

The UN demanded from Israel reparations, but Israel considers all UN resolutions as not of its concerns. The US didn’t exert any pressures on Israel, as usual. And the pseudo-State in Lebanon is not following up on this issue…

During our long civil war, Italy and other European States dumped hundreds of containers containing toxic materials and paid the militia leader “overseeing” the Jubail district.  The government knows the location, but refuses to touch and approach the matter.

Two years ago, the government bought two jets for “sprinkling” man-made “wild fires”. The machines are not functional: Well, they were not been put to any use yet. Wild fires are politically supported to manufacture charcoal in the cheapest way.

There are many politically backed families that operate illegal carries. One family saw its business stopped by one government. The next government awarded $400 million for damages and permitted the family to resume operations. Go figure.  Shall I go on?

Erica, a staff at disseminated the links to 8 blogs that deal with Earth Day:

I haven’t checked any of these blogs yet. I have no idea when I’ll start finding the credible and valued blogs.  Would you forward other links from outside the US, even written in French or Arabic?

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Picnic for the Planet, or plant a tree?

Note 1: You may check the collection of Recommended Blogs, and add topics like Nature and Earth Day to follow in your Reader?

Note 2:

Note 3:

Palestinian scholar changes his mind: “Two-State alternative failed…”

Sari Nusseibeh, president of the unique university Al Qods in East Jerusalem, had a change of mind for the implementation of the two-States alternative resolution, and is testing the ground for a third alternative where Palestinians and Israelis would cohabit on the “same land” of Palestine.

Rene Backmann conducted an interview with Nusseibeh in the French weekly Le Novel Observateur #2228.

Nusseibeh claims that: ” It was proven that the two-State alternative is neither concrete nor pragmatic since it is not functional. Thus, this is no solution. Consequently, we have either the choice of abandoning any kind of resolution or reflecting on a way to transforming a bad solution to a good one.  Without capitulating: My solution is everything but capitulation…”

And what is Nusseibeh’s alternative?

“We are two people condemned to live together between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Currently, the Jewish people is dominating the Palestinians. This not acceptable (the domination). We have got to bring forth a way that applies the principle of liberty and equality between the two people. And it is possible…”

How this is possible?

“My alternative is a “condominium” solution, or a federation of two States. Actually, in 1947, the UN was discussing two propositions: The majority of one vote decided on the partition of Palestine and gave the minority Jews 53% of the territory. The minority States, headed by India (Nehru), former Yugoslavia (of Tito), and Iran suggested the condominium alternative”.

And what is this condominium alternative?

 “A large numbers of Israelis live in the occupied territories of the West Bank, and in settlements all the way to the Jordanian borders (they have retreated from the Gaza strip), and many Palestinians live within Israel. The Palestinians should obtain civic rights to circulate, live, work, and settle in Israel proper without political voting rights.  The Israelis should also have the same rights in the Palestinian territories…All Palestinians and Israelis will enjoy access to the common facilities in health, education, security, justice…The standard of living in the occupied territories will close the gap with the Israelis, which will create a better climate for engaging in serious peace talks…”

According to Sari Nusseibeh, after the Palestinians and Israelis get intermingled over a period, the Palestinians will consider having their own independent State, recognized by the UN! The two people will cohabit in the same land without having the same nationality or the same political institutions…

Would Israel accept this alternative?

“The Jews in Israel didn’t experience  the same ethnic racist behavior with the Palestinians as they witnessed with colonial Europe and Russia. Israel will successively transfer Palestinian Zone C (under total control of Israel) to Zone B (Israel in charge of solely security measures) and then to Zone A (Palestinian Authority in total control for security and civil responsibilities).  My position is that the Wall of Shame was not erected for security reasons, nor for delimiting the borders, (since the Jordan River is considered the borders of Israel), but to secure a line of retreat as the two-State alternative is imposed on Israel…”

Will the radical religious Israelis accept the third alternative?

“You will be surprised that the extremist ultranationalist Jews, the colons living in the West Bank would readily agree with this alternative rather than the left parties in Israel. The extremists Palestinians and Israelis want to live in all Palestine, that is their main concern and priority demand…”

Mind you that it took the Zionist organization a century to implement its objective for the State of Israel (anywhere on earth). Mind you that the Palestinian Authority has submitted its request for an independent State to the UN a year ago, and over 125 States agreed on that demand, but the Security Council was not convened to vote on this resolution.

How come Sari Nusseibeh thinks that he has the right to throw all that hard planning and labor from the window, after less than a year of the recommendation for an Independent Palestinian State?

Let’s consider the facts:

1. Israel Netanyahu is never ready to give the Palestinians anything, and he will not agree on a Palestinian State that can survive on its own.

2. Even Issac Rabin, who signed the Oslo deal with Arafat in 1993, never relinquished Israel right to the border with the Jordan River or sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians.

3. The US never exercised any serious pressures on Israel for a “good enough” solution. The US always set the problem aside every time Israel refused to negotiate any solution.

4. The US has many leverages to pressure Israel to agree on a satisfactory resolution, but it is refraining from getting engaged vigorously.

5. The legitimate term of the elected President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has ended four years ago, and is still President by default thanks to the political US support. Mahmoud Abbas has to resign and let the democratic process resume.

The Palestinians must start a fourth Intifada (civil disobedience), not against Israel, but against this archaic, illegitimate, and rotten Authority that surrendered all its responsibilities and doing nothing to get the process on track.

The Palestinians should start their own “Spring of upheaval” against the status-quo and let the US and Israel decide: “Do you want to deal with independent Palestinians or you want Israel to behave as a colonial, apartheid system like during former South Africa and Rhodesia (current Zimbabwe) racist States…?”

Mind you that the Palestinians have waged three civil disobedience events: One in 1935-38 against the British colonial mandated power (Britain had to dispatch 100,000 soldier to savagely quell it, one in 1987, and another one in 2000.

No Sari Nusseibeh, you are not just a scholar and a philosopher, you are an engaged political figure, and you have no rights to burn phases and propose alternatives before the one on the table is resolved.

First, a Palestinian State, with a sea port, an airport, an identity, a passport, institutions, and a Constitution…After Palestinians snatch their independent State, you have the right, Sari Nusseibeh, to take the lead of a movement demanding further negotiations with Israel for your third alternative.

Sari Nusseibeh, you did the Palestinians a grave harm with your hasty wrong decision at this stage, by confusing the issues and giving the impression that you are in tandem with the the US and Israel for a political position and to be considered an “acceptable and credible negotiator”…

In any case, during its short history, almost all Israel decisions were unilateral: Let Israel declare that Palestinians over 50 of age are entitled to circulate freely within Israel, to live, find work, and enjoy the same civil rights of the Israelis…


Where are the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement? It’s two-party presidential campaign, stupid!

Three years ago, the Tea Party seemed to be everywhere in the psychic of the US society. This party kept criticizing Obama policies for supporting multinational financial institutions, expanding the Federal government spending, failing to deal with budget deficit…and went too far into exhibiting racist tendencies.

The Tea Party was the spearhead into bringing back the Republicans as majority into the House of representatives. It’s “authority figures” were represented by Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and Randal Paul…As the Republican regained majority in the House, the Tea Party receded into oblivion…and since then, the Republican Party maintained a sizeable distance with the Tea Party programs…

The same phenomenon occurred with the Occupy Wall Street movement that protested against Multinational financial corporations resuming their old habit of doing business, not paying the proper taxes, and bringing the country back to another recession…

In this presidential campaign, the Republican Party is in no mood to suffer moderates, and is proposing radical right programs: Senator Mark Rubio and South Carolina governor joined Mitt Romney…

The Democrats do not suffer conservative tendencies in its ranks.

And the struggle will be fierce during election time, to revert back to continuing “old-time well oiled” US policies as usual, of maintaining the 1%  richest citizens grabbing 40% of national wealth, and keeping 20% of the population under poverty level, no matter what…

Note: Post inspired from the weekly piece by Hisham Melhem to the daily Lebanese Al Nahar

British Empire systematically destroyed war crime documents: Not to fall into the hands of post-independence States?

Ian Cobain published in The Guardian on April 17, 2012:

“Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.

[Paper burning in recycle barrel via Shutterstock]
Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.

The archive came to light last year when a group of Kenyans detained and allegedly tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion won the right to sue the British government. The Foreign Office promised to release the 8,800 files from 37 former colonies held at the highly secure government communications centre at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire.

Tony Badger, the historian appointed to oversee the review and transfer, master of Clare College Cambridge, said the discovery of the archive put the Foreign Office in an “embarrassing, scandalous position. These documents should have been in the public archives in the 1980s, It’s long overdue.” The first of them are made available to the public on Wednesday at the National Archive at Kew, Surrey.

The papers at Hanslope Park include monthly intelligence reports on:

1. the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya;

2. records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of a man said to have been “roasted alive”;

3. papers detailing the lengths to which the UK went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (a US most important military outpost in the Indian Ocean).

However, among the documents are a handful which show that many of the most sensitive papers from Britain’s late colonial era were not hidden away, but simply destroyed.

These destroyed papers give the instructions for systematic destruction issued in 1961 after Iain Macleod, secretary of State for the colonies, directed that post-independence governments should not get any material that “might embarrass Her Majesty’s government, embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers, that might compromise intelligence sources, or that might be used unethically by ministers in the successor government”.

Among the documents that appear to have been destroyed were:

1. records of the abuse of Mau Mau insurgents detained by British colonial authorities, who were tortured and sometimes murdered;

2. reports that may have detailed the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaya by soldiers of the Scots Guards in 1948;

3. most of the sensitive documents kept by colonial authorities in Aden (Yemen), where the army’s Intelligence Corps operated a secret torture centre for several years in the 1960s;

4. every sensitive document kept by the authorities in British Guiana, a colony whose policies were heavily influenced by successive US governments and whose post-independence leader was toppled in a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

The documents that were not destroyed appear to have been kept secret not only to protect the UK’s reputation, but to shield the government from litigation.

If the small group of Mau Mau detainees are successful in their legal action, thousands more veterans are expected to follow.

It is a case that is being closely watched by Former Eoka guerillas who were detained by the British in 1950s Cyprus, and possibly by many others who were imprisoned and interrogated between 1946 and 1967, as Britain fought a series of rearguard actions across its rapidly diminishing empire.

The documents show that colonial officials were instructed to separate those papers to be left in place after independence – usually known as “Legacy files” – from those that were to be selected for destruction or removal to the UK. In many colonies, these were described as watch files, and stamped with a red-letter W.

The papers at Kew depict a period of mounting anxiety amid fears that some of the incriminating watch files might be leaked. Officials were warned that they would be prosecuted if they took any paperwork home – and some were.

As independence grew closer, large caches of files were removed from colonial ministries to governors’ offices, where new safes were installed.

In Uganda, the process was codenamed Operation Legacy. In Kenya, a vetting process, described as “a thorough purge”, was overseen by colonial Special Branch officers.

Clear instructions were issued that no Africans were to be involved: only an individual who was “a servant of the Kenya government who is a British subject of European descent” could participate in the purge.

Painstaking measures were taken to prevent post-independence governments from learning that the watch files had ever existed. One instruction states: “The legacy files must leave no reference to watch material. Indeed, the very existence of the watch series, though it may be guessed at, should never be revealed.”

When a single watch file was to be removed from a group of legacy files, a “twin file” – or dummy – was to be created to insert in its place. If this was not practicable, the documents were to be removed en mass. There was concern that Macleod’s directions should not be divulged – “there is of course the risk of embarrassment should the circular be compromised” – and officials taking part in the purge were even warned to keep their W stamps in a safe place.

Many of the watch files ended up at Hanslope Park. They came from 37 different former colonies, and filled 200 metres of shelving. But it is becoming clear that much of the most damning material was probably destroyed.

Officials in some colonies, such as Kenya, were told that there should be a presumption in favour of disposal of documents rather than removal to the UK – “emphasis is placed upon destruction” – and that no trace of either the documents or their incineration should remain. When documents were burned, “the waste should be reduced to ash and the ashes broken up”.

Some idea of the scale of the operation and the amount of documents that were erased from history can be gleaned from a handful of instruction documents that survived the purge. In certain circumstances, colonial officials in Kenya were informed, “it is permissible, as an alternative to destruction by fire, for documents to be packed in weighted crates and dumped in very deep and current-free water at maximum practicable distance from the coast”.

Documents that survive from Malaya suggest a far more haphazard destruction process, with relatively junior officials being permitted to decide what should be burned and what should be sent to London.

Dr Ed Hampshire, diplomatic and colonial record specialist at the National Archive, said the 1,200 files so far transferred from Hanslope Park represented “gold dust” for historians, with the occasional nugget, rather than a haul that calls for instant reinterpretation of history.

Only one sixth of the secret archive has so far been transferred. The remainder are expected to be at Kew by the end of 2013.”

I wonder: “Has all files of the crimes of the British Empire committed in Palestine between 1935-38 are still kept for history research?” Mind you that Britain dispatched 100,000 soldiers to tame a civil disobedience uprising in Palestine and the most cruel techniques and methods of torture and humiliation were applied.  Nazi Germany applied the British torture techniques to the letter and how to quell uprising and dissatisfaction…




April 2012

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