Skip to main content

Middle East Conflict

Film: A Summer Not to Forget

A Summer Not to Forget:

This powerful film shows what happened: as Israeli rockets and bombs relentlessly pounded Lebanon: more than 1,200 killed and 4,000 wounded, more than 1 million displaced, 15,000 homes damaged, 15,000 tons of oil ruining 50 miles of Mediterranean coast; bridges, businesses, etc., a nation and a people devastated.

Dr. Zeina Zaatari, who was in Lebanon last summer, will give an update on the situation in Lebanon.

Ms Lena Meari will talk about Palestine, that beleaguered piece of the earth suffering 60 years of displacement and 40 years of ever-more brutal Israeli occupation.

Wednesday November 7, 2007
At 7:00 pm
909 12th Street, Sacramento

Sponsored by:

Netanyahu "Admits Israeli Strike"

Netanyahu "Admits Israeli Strike"
BBC News | Thursday 20 September 2007

The Israeli opposition leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, has made the first apparent admission of Israel's involvement in an alleged air strike against Syria.

In a live interview on Israeli TV, Mr Netanyahu said he had congratulated Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the raid.

"I was a partner in the issue from the start, and I gave my backing," he said.

Mr Netanyahu was criticised for his remarks, after Israel had maintained an official policy of silence on the reported incident two weeks ago.

Speaking on Channel 1 news, Mr Netanyahu said: "When a prime minister does something that is important in my view and necessary to Israel's security... I give my backing."

When asked if he had personally congratulated Mr Olmert on the operation, Mr Netanyahu said: "Yes". But the Likud party leader refused to give details of the attack.

91% of Foreign Policy experts: U.S. is LESS safe because of Iraq Occupation; 84% of CONS. have dim view of Iraq occupation

Video from The National Security Network via Think Progress

The Terrorism Index

Third Semi-annual, Nonpartisan Survey of Foreign Policy Experts from the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy

    In the third Terrorism Index, more than 100 of America’s most respected foreign-policy experts see a world that is growing more dangerous, a national security strategy in disrepair, and a war in Iraq that is alarmingly off course.

    Americans are thinking more about the war on terror than ever before. But that doesn’t mean they’ve come to see this issue in the black-and-white terms preferred by many elected leaders. The combination of bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, continued terrorist attacks from Britain to Somalia, and a presidential election in which candidates are defining themselves based on how they would stare down the threats has many seeing shades of gray.
    style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow">Six years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, just 29 percent of Americans believe the United States is winning the war on terror—the lowest percentage at any point since 9/11.

End the War

Attend a Townhall Meeting or Vigil and Tell
Congress to Take A Stand and End the War

We need to make sure our representatives head back to Washington with their constituents' demands for a speedy
withdrawal at the forefront of their minds. That's why we're helping to organize "Take A Stand" townhall meetings and "Stand Up In September" vigils on August 28th --

National Take A Stand Day.

OCCUPATION 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority


Tuesday, August 28th at 7pm
LOCATION: 909 12th Street, Sac.
FOR INFO: or 916.448.7157

A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unlike any other film ever produced on the conflict -- "Occupation 101" presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the never ending controversy and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions.

Continuing Seminar on Foreign Policy and Nuclear Weapons

Saturday, Aug 11, 11a - 1p, continuing seminar on foreign policy and nuclear weapons, Hart Center, 915 27th St., Sac. All welcome. Info: 916-482-4627.

July 15 Teach-in on on Israel's occupation of Palestine

July 15 Teach-in on on Israel's occupation of Palestine

Israelis and Palestinians - Visions of Coexistence After 40 Years of Occupation
Sunday, July 15, 2007
1:00 - 4:30 PM

Mc George School of Law - Classroom H
3200 5th Avenue
Classroom H is across the quad from 3200 5th Avenue
Oak Park

Light refreshments will be provided. Donations requested but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace and American Middle East Seniors.
For more information, email:

Presentation and Discussion topics:
Looking back at history to envision a better future for Palestinians and Israelis
How U.S. policy maintains the occupation - what drives it and how can we change it?
Panel speakers:
Omar Dajani, Professor, McGeorge School of Law
Ze'ev Maoz, Professor, UC Davis
Joy Total Hilden
Mitchell Plitnick, Jewish Voice for Peace
Moderators: Jeanie Keltner and Larry George



Friday, June 15th at 7pm
LOCATION: Newman Center
5900 Newman Court, Sacramento
or (916) 448-7157

Dr. Mona El-Farra, doctor and human rights activist in Gaza, Palestine will speak about her work. Dr. El-Farra is the Director of Gaza Projects for the Middle East Children's Alliance, the Vice President of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees. CLICK HERE to read her online blog

Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty, Revisited

Rockets, Napalm, Torpedoes & Lie
Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty, Revisited
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR | June 8, 2007

In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.

Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.

A few hours later more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.

A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship's top officers.

[Updated] Iraq and Defunding Round Two, Step One: the FY2008 Defense Budget

[UPDATE]: I updated this diary to remove three temporary (now expired) links which led directly to portions of H.R. 1585. The "master link" to H.R. 1585 remains valid. I revised the "above the fold" text accordingly.

For all of us who are frustrated over the outcome of the FY2007 Iraq supplemental that passed when Congress acted like the co-dependent spouse of an alcoholic and are being told "wait until September", here is something to consider: September will be too late because the FY2008 budget will be done by then. In fact, the House of Representatives voted 397 to 27 on May 17, 2007 to approve H. R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which authorizes defense spending for FY2008, including Iraq. (Select option 3, the version of the bill that passed the House, then scroll down to "Title CC--Authorization of Additional Appropriations for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom", about three-quarters of the way down the page.)

To add insult to injury, the bill wound its way through the sausage factory beginning on March 20, 2007, while the debate to force an end to the Iraqi Occupation by cutting funding by defeating the supplemental was in progress. You can see the rollcall vote for H.R. 1585 here.

Also, the DoD budget request is on line. To see the details of what the Pentagon requested and their justification, click here, then follow the links. (Caution: the link leads to many pdf files and lots of "green eyeshade" reading.) Keep in mind the links are to the budget requests from the services and DoD, not necessarily what Congress will approve.

It is also important to remember that H.R. 1585 is the defense authorization bill, not the appropriations bill. An Authorization is "permission" to spend money. An Appropriation is the actual allocation of cash.

Nevertheless, this isn't good. We should have had a lot more than 27 NO votes.

We need to highlight what has happened and apply pressure to influence what happens next. Let's keep our eyes open for the Appropriations measure in the House and both the Authorization and Appropriations measures in the Senate.

From The Republican Plan For 2008 Begins Today, by Thom Hartmann:

It's difficult to watch Democrats play checkers while Republicans play Chess with Iraq. It's particularly difficult on Memorial Day as more Americans and Iraqis die.

Enough is enough. Let's play some chess. Click "read more" to continue.



Saturday, June 2nd from 11:30am-1:30pm
or (916) 448-7157
LOCATION: Arden & Heritage (in front of Arden Mall)

This is the first Saturday Vigil dedicated in solidarity to the Palestinian people, who will begin their 41st year under occupation on Friday, Jun 8th. Please come out and show your support!

UPDATE: Iraq Vet marching laps for every dead US soldier in Iraq

At this very moment as you read this, a courageous and dedicated Iraq War veteran who insists on remaining anonymous is walking around the State Capitol in Sacramento in the memory of his fallen comrades and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed by George Bush in an illegal war based on lies.

A NEW CONFERENCE to update the news media on the progress will be
held at 9:30 a.m. TUESDAY MORNING on the North Side of the Capitol.

Scores, including Casey Sheehan's Dad, greet Iraq Vet
in his quest to walk around Capitol for every CA,
US trooper killed in Iraq, and protest the war

SACRAMENTO (3:41 p.m., Monday) – An Iraq veteran was greeted early this
morning by nearly one hundred fellow veterans, parents of US troops in Iraq
supporters – including the father of Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq
– and other as he began a round-the-clock effort to march around the State
Capitol for all U.S. troopers killed in Iraq.

NEWS ADVISORY: Iraq vet who refused to go back to war will speak in Sacramento Thursday

Iraq vet who refused to go back to the war
makes 1st public appearance since military prison
in Germany when he speaks in Sacramento Thursday

SACRAMENTO – An Iraq combat veteran – who refused to load his weapon in Iraq because of his opposition to the war – will make his first public appearance since his recent release from military prison in Germany when he speaks in Sacramento Thursday.
Agustin Aguayo is expected to address fellow veterans, and other war opponents THURSDAY, 7 p.m. at Newman Center (5900 Newman Court, near CSUS). He will be available for interview to members of the news media before and after the Newman Center appearance.

Aguayo, a conscientious objector who was denied his military discharge, served eight months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq following a court martial for desertion and missing movement.

Aguayo first applied for CO status in February, 2004 but while the application was being processed he was sent to Iraq as a medic where he refused to load his weapon. The Army denied his CO claim, and when his unit was to be sent back to Iraq in 2006, Aguayo missed the deployment and turned himself in.

Norman G. Finkelstein: Israel/Palestine @ UC Davis Justice Week

The UC Davis Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine will host a talk delivered by renowned author, historian, and professor Norman G. Finkelstein on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

UC Davis : CHEM 194 : 8 PM
visit for a map of UC Davis. Admission: Free. Visitor parking $6

Why the Commander-Guy's Whack a Mole strategy won't work

Wait a minute, I thought he was The Decider,™ now he's The Commander-Guy™?

Iraq's Civil War

James D. Fearon

From Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007

Summary: The White House still avoids the label, but by any reasonable historical standard,
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow">the Iraqi civil war has begun. The record of past such wars suggests that
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow">Washington cannot stop this one -- and that Iraqis will be able to reach a power-sharing deal only after much more fighting, if then.
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow">The
United States can help bring about a settlement eventually by balancing Iraqi factions from afar, but there is little it can do to avert bloodshed now.

James D. Fearon is Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.


    As sectarian violence spiked in Baghdad around last Thanksgiving, Bush administration spokespeople found themselves engaged in a strange semantic fight with American journalists over whether the conflict in Iraq is appropriately described as a civil war. It is not hard to understand why the administration strongly resists the label. For one thing, the U.S. media would interpret a change in the White House's position on this question as a major concession, an open acknowledgment of dashed hopes and failed policy. For another, the administration worries that if the U.S. public comes to see the violence in Iraq as a civil war, it will be even less willing to tolerate continued U.S. military engagement. "If it's a civil war, what are we doing there, mixed up in someone else's fight?" Americans may ask.