Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let's see now...You're Democrat and you're proud...Is that right? Of this guy?

You got to be as crazy as he!


How do morons get to be where there at?

Watch this video before answering...

Scroll down for answer to above question.

Moronic politicians get to be where they're at because they are voted into office by people that conform to the views of the other words, "Morons vote for morons."

'nough said!


Come Fly With Me ...What! Are you crazy?

Operation Cowboy

From Sports Illustrated

October 16, 1995

Operation Cowboy

In 1945 a group of U.S. soldiers liberated 375 Lipizzans from Nazi captivity

It was late April, 1945. U.S. troops were sweeping across southern Germany and storming Philippine beaches. Roosevelt had just died. The Soviets had captured Berlin. Allied troops had just liberated Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The Japanese were fighting desperately at Okinawa. The end of World War II seemed imminent, yet the world was still in turmoil. Amid this storm of attacks, losses, hope and horror, an odd thing happened. A group of U.S. soldiers from the Third Army, Second Cavalry, discovered the Germans were keeping some 675 prize European horses in a tiny village in Czechoslovakia, where they hoped to create an equine master race. Included in the herd was the entire Lipizzan breeding stock of Vienna's centuries-old Spanish Riding School, one of only a few places in the world where haute �cole, the highest level of classical dressage, was taught.

The Germans were about to surrender. But the American officers, as well as the Lipizzans' German caretakers, many of them cavalrymen, feared that the advancing Soviets would capture and perhaps destroy these beautiful white horses. So U.S. soldiers rescued them and herded them to safety, thus saving a breed and a tradition for generations to come.

It sounds like a fairy tale, but Operation Cowboy truly occurred. The rescue has been glamorized, of course—especially in the Disney film Miracle of the White Stallions—for who can resist a story of greed, heroism and dancing horses? But in all the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, this mission has been all but forgotten. Most accounts of the war don't mention Operation Cowboy; one researcher at the U.S. Army's Center for Military History thought it had something to do with The Sound of Music.

Few of the 350 soldiers who took part in Operation Cowboy are alive today. Yet those who know about the mission agree that it was one humane episode in what had been a horrible war and that it preserved an art form. "We thought we had a chance to save a sliver of culture for the rest of the world," says Louis Holz, 71, who was a lieutenant in the Second Cavalry at the time. "We sensed the end [of the war] was in sight, and we were in a frame of mind to give credence to beauty once again."

The Spanish Riding School and the Lipizzan breed had been based in Vienna since 1572, when Archduke Charles II of Austria founded the school to continue the classical dressage tradition developed by the Greek general and historian Xenophon around 400 B.C. By World War II the school was a national treasure and the only place in the world where the elegant white Lipizzan stallions still exhibited haute �cole. This tradition's "airs above the ground," as they are called, look like equine ballet, but some people say that Xenophon developed them as cavalry maneuvers. For instance, a rider might use the levade, in which the horse crouches on its hind legs before standing up, to give the rider's sword greater thrust. And the capriole, in which the horse leaps into the air and kicks out its hind legs, could be used to extricate horse and rider from nasty combat situations.

The school's commandant, Col. Alois Podhajsky, stayed in Vienna until the bombing began to get close in January 1945. Then he moved his performing stallions to St. Martins, Austria. In 1943, however, German soldiers had taken the school's entire herd of breeding stallions and mares, and most of the Lipizzans in Europe, to Hostau, Czechoslovakia. There the Germans hoped to "attain the ultimate horse," says Mary Lightstone of the U.S. Lipizzan Registry. Podhajsky wanted his breeding herd back, for without it the entire Lipizzan breed could be lost.

That U.S. troops discovered the stolen Lipizzans at all was a fluke. The Second Cavalry, which by then rode trucks and tanks, not horses, was holed up in the Bohemian forest. On April 26 the regiment offered to accept the surrender of a German staff intelligence officer who wanted to escape the advancing Soviets. He surrendered, and over breakfast the next morning United States Col. Charles Reed and a German general whose name appears to have been lost began discussing horses. The general, it turned out, was a former cavalryman and horse breeder, and he pulled out photographs of the prize Arabian and Lipizzan horses being held nearby at Hostau. He also told the colonel that 400 Allied prisoners of war were there, plus about 25 Red Army deserters.

The general suggested that the Americans take the horses for safekeeping, for the Red Army "marched on its stomach," as Holz says, and its lack of food might cause it to make the Lipizzans into "horseburgers." Reed agreed. After negotiating through a local forester, U.S. envoy Capt. Thomas Stewart and one of the Hostau veterinarians returned to Hostau to arrange the surrender. "Colonel Hargis, who was helping organize the mission, said to me, 'You don't have to go in if you don't want to,' " Stewart recalls. "I would have preferred something more encouraging. But you know, people ask me all the time why I did it, and after all these years I still don't know."

Hostau's German commandant, Col. Alois Rudofsky, was not as enthusiastic about the mission as the Americans were, for his orders were to stay and fight. "I knew Rudofsky was going to shoot us if he saw us and that I was better off meeting with a different commander, General Schultze," Stewart says. "So I went into hiding until that could be arranged." The final meeting was cordial if somewhat tense. But the men struck a deal, and Stewart went back to the American lines riding one of the captured horses.

On April 28, 350 American cavalrymen moved into Hostau. Although the area was sprinkled with German snipers, the men had only one firefight on the way. When they arrived, they found more than 1,200 horses stabled in the village, including 375 Lipizzans, 100 Arabians, 200 thoroughbreds and 600 Russian horses. The soldiers freed the Allied prisoners and began counting and caring for the captured horses.

At this point Podhajsky still didn't know his Lipizzans were under U.S. protection. But on May 7, eight days after Hitler committed suicide and the same day the Germans surrendered, Podhajsky put on a performance in St. Martins for U.S. troops. Gen. George S. Patton just happened to be there, visiting Maj. Gen. Walton Walker.

Many accounts, including Disney's, credit Patton with ordering and even leading the evacuation. But Patton actually hadn't heard about the stolen horses yet, and his recollection of that day's performance, in his autobiography War As I Knew It, reveals that he was less than thrilled. "It struck me as rather strange," he wrote, "that, in the midst of a world at war, some 20 young and middle-aged men in great physical condition...had spent their entire time teaching a group of horses to wiggle their butts and raise their feet.... Much as I like horses, this seemed to me wasted energy."

Still, Patton was a horseman—he had competed, after all, in the 1912 Olympic modern pentathlon—and he did find some merit in the display. "It is probably wrong to permit any highly developed art, no matter how fatuous, to perish from the earth," he wrote. "To me, the high schooling of horses is certainly more interesting than either painting or music."

When Podhajsky asked Patton to put the horses under U.S. protection, Patton asked an aide to investigate. "That's probably how Patton got all the credit for the mission," says Holz, now a retired economist and chairman of the Second Cavalry Association. "He's the one who eventually got to say, 'Everything's going to be O.K.' But it really was Colonel Reed, a sub-field commander, who took the initiative and showed the compassion and intelligence to complete this mission."

On May 12 the U.S. soldiers began trucking, riding and herding the horses 35 miles over the border to Kotztinz, Germany. The Army sent a plane so that Podhajsky could come see the Lipizzans, and he then took all of them to St. Martins, where he kept his and sent the rest back to their owners. The other horses, and some of the soldiers, went on to Mansbach, Germany, where they spent the summer.

As a gift from Podhajsky, Col. Fred Hamilton, chief of the Army's Remount, chose about 200 horses, worth an estimated $1 million, to take back to the U.S., including three Lipizzan stallions and six Lipizzan mares. The ship on which they traveled nearly capsized in a winter storm—the horses were literally busting out of their stalls—but nary a sailor nor horse was lost. Several years later, when the Department of Agriculture disbanded the Remount, the horses went to private owners.

Since then many other private owners in the U.S. have imported Lipizzans from Europe and have even begun breeding them. It couldn't have been done, however, without the help of the Second Cavalry. "People risked their lives to get those horses out," Lightstone says. It wasn't the most dangerous mission in the war, but there were snipers around Hostau. We should be thankful the breed is still here."

The veterans themselves are rather modest. Holz even calls the rescue an "evacuation." Still, he says, "I have spent two thirds of my life trying to get the story right. I have a passion for it."


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year...Out with the old...Uncle Jay explains! In with the new...good luck!


Interview With History - A Book Review By Shane Borgess (Golda Meir: War And Wisdom ...and wisdom she had)

If You haven't read the previous article about Hamas please do by click here.

I'm reading a book containing 14 of Oriana Fallaci's interviews with the world's most powerful people as of 1974 (it's an out of print book titled "Interview With History"). It's astounding for its raw glimpse into leaders that during the 1970's were headlining newspapers and affecting nearly every family in the world in one way or another. With the current battle in the Gaza Strip raging right now in Israel, I thought it would be interesting to let you read a little of what Golda Meir said about Israel's prospects for peace in November of 1972. She had been prime minister of Israel for over three years by then. (Note: I've edited some of her answers for brevity, always keeping in mind the power of the scalpel)

Oriana Fallaci: Mrs. Meir, when will there be peace in the Middle East? Will we be able to see this peace in our lifetimes?

Golda Meir: You will, I think. Maybe...I certainly won't. I think the war in the Middle East will go on for many, many years. And I'll tell you why. Because of the indifference with which the Arab leaders send their people off to die, because of the low estimate in which they hold human life, because of the inability of the Arab people to rebel and say enough.

Do you remember when Khrushchev denounced Stalin's crimes during the Twentieth Communist Congress? A voice was raised at the back of the hall, saying, "And where were you, Comrade Khrushchev?" Khrushchev scrutinized the faces before him, found no one, and said, "Who spoke up?" No one answered. "Who spoke up?" Khrushchev exclaimed. And again no one answered. Then Khrushchev exclaimed "Comrade, I was where you are now." Well, the Arab people are just where Khrushchev was, where the man was who reproached him without having the courage to show his face.

We can only arrive at peace with the Arabs through an evolution on their part that includes democracy. But wherever I turn by eyes to look, I don't see a shadow of democracy. I see only dictatorial regimes. And a dictator doesn't have to account to his people for a peace he doesn't make. He doesn't even have to account for the dead. Who's ever found out how many Egyptian soldiers died in the last two wars? Only the mothers, sisters, wives, relatives who didn't see them come back.Their leaders aren't even concerned to know where they're buried, if they're buried. While we...

Fallaci: While you?...

Meir: Look at these five volumes. they contain the photograph and biography of every man and woman solider who died in the war. For us, every single death is a tragedy. We don't like to make war, even when we win. After the last one, there was no joy in our streets. No dancing, no songs, no festivities. And you should have seen our soldiers coming back victorious. Each one was a picture of sadness. Not only because they had seen their brothers die, but because they had had to kill their enemies. Many locked themselves in their rooms and wouldn't speak. Or when they opened their mouths, it was to repeat a refrain: "I had to shoot, I killed." Just the opposite of the Arabs. After the war we offered the Egyptians an exchange of prisoners. Seventy of theirs for ten of ours, The answered, "but yours are officers, ours are fellahin! It's impossible." Fellahin, peasants. I'm afraid...

Fallaci: Will you ever give up Jerusalem, Mrs. Meir?

Meir: No. Never. No. Jerusalem no. Jerusalem never. Inadmissible. Jerusalem is out of the question. We won't even agree to discuss Jerusalem.

Fallaci: Would you give up the West Bank of the Jordan?

Meir: On this point there are differences of opinion in Israel. So it's possible that we'd be ready to negotiate about the West Bank. Let me make myself clearer. I believe the majority of Israelis would never ask the Knesset to give up the West Back completely. However, if we should come to negotiate with Hussein, the majority of Israelis would be ready to hand back part of the West Bank...

Fallaci: And Gaza? Would you give up Gaza, Mrs. Meir?

Meir: I say that Gaza must, should be part of Israel. Yes, that's my opinion. Our opinion, in fact. However, to start negotiating, I don't ask Hussein or Sadat to agree with me on any point...

Fallaci: And the Golan Heights?

Meir: It's more or less the same idea. The Syrians would like us to come down from the Golan Heights so that they can shoot down at us as they did before. Needless to say, we have not intention of doing so, we'll never come down from the plateau. Nevertheless, we're ready to negotiate with the Syrians too.

Fallaci: And the Sinai?

Meir: We've never said that we wanted the whole Sinai or most of the Sinai. We don't want the whole Sinai. We want control of Sharm El Sheikh and part of the desert, let's say a strip of the desert, connecting Israel with Sharm El Sheikh. Is that clear? Must I repeat it?...

Fallaci: And so it's obvious you'll never go back to your old borders.

Meir: Never. And when I say never, it's not because we mean to annex new territory. It's because we mean to ensure our defense, our survival. If there's any possibility of reaching the peace you spoke of in the beginning, this is the only way. There'd never be peace if the Syrians were to return to the Golan Heights, if the Egyptians were to take back the whole Sinai, if we were to re-establish our 1967 borders with Hussein. In 1967, the distance to Natanya and the sea was barely ten miles, fifteen kilometers, IF we give Hussein the possibility of covering those fifteen kilometers, Israel risks being cut in two and...They accuse us of being expansionist, but believe me, we're not interested in expanding. We're only interested in new borders. And look, these Arabs want to go back to the 1967 borders. IF those borders were the right ones, why did they destroy them?

Fallaci: But since the 1967 cease-fire, the war in the Middle East has taken on a new face: the face of terror, of terrorism. What do you think of this war and the men who are conducting it? OF Arafat, for instance, of Habash, of the Black September leaders?

Meir: I simply think they're not men. I don't even consider them human beings, and the worst thing you can say of a man is that he's not a human being. It's like saying he's an animal, isn't it? But how can you call what they're doing "a war"? Don't you remember what Habash said when he had a bus full of Israeli children blown up? "It's best to kill the Iseaelis while they're still children." Come on, what they're doing isn;t a war. It's not even a revolutionary movement because a movement that only wants to kill can't be called revolutionary. Look, at the beginning of the century in Russia, in the revolutionary movement that rose up to overthrow the czar, there was one party that considered terror the only means of struggle. One day a man from this party was sent with a bomb to a street corner where the carriage of one of the czar's high officials was supposed to pass. The carriage went by at the expected time, but the official was not alone, he was accompanied by his wife and children. So what did this true revolutionary do? He didn't throw the bomb. He let it go off in his hand and was blown to pieces. Look, we too had our terrorist groups during the War of Independence: the Stern, the Irgun. And I was opposed to them, I was always opposed to them. But neither of them ever covered itself with such infamy as the Arabs have done with us. Neither of them ever put bombs in supermarkets or dynamite in school buses. Neither of them ever provoked tragedies like Munich or Lod airport.

Fallaci: And how can one fight such terrorism, Mrs. Meir? Do you really think it helps to bomb Lebanese villages?

Meir: ...Maybe more than any other Arab country, Lebanon is offering hospitality to the terrorists. The Japanese who carried out the Lod massacre came from Lebanon, The girls who tried to hijack the Sabena plane in Tel Aviv had been trained in Lebanon. Are we supposed to sit here with our hands folded, praying and murmuring, "Let's hope that nothing happens"? Praying doesn't help. What helps is to counterattack. With all possible means, including means that we don't necessarily like. Certainly we'd rather fight them in the open, but since that's not possible...


Hamas, Hamas Whoever You Are - Two for you but mostly the same...

Number 1


Palestine - The origins of Hamas and its role today

Hamas has emerged as a force in the Palestinian Territories and has recently hit the headlines because of a spate of suicide bombings. This article looks at the origins of this movement. It recalls how in the past, when it suited them, the Israeli authorities tried to use Hamas as a counterbalance to the influence of the PLO. Now it has become a source of further instability.

By Yossi Schwartz (In Defence of Marxism circle in Israel)

The strength of the Islamic movements in the Middle East has manifested itself at least since the Iranian revolution of 1978-9. Islamic fundamentalism that operates in 70 countries has become a major force in Iran, the Sudan, Egypt, Algeria and Tajikistan, Afghanistan, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, Pakistan and most recently Turkey where an Islamic Party has taken control. Contrary to a common assumption that this movement was born in the late 1970s, the Marxist movement has had to struggle against it since the time of the Russian revolution.

In the Middle East this movement was born in Egypt in 1928 and its founder was Hassan Bana. The Russian revolution had limited its influence for many years because it was able to pose a clear class alternative before the masses. Even the expansion of Stalinism following the Second World War put restraints on it, as it was still a system that was developing the productive forces in spite of its terrible bureaucratic deformations.

The rise of these Islamic movements came as an enormous shock to the liberals and the left wing leaning middle class elements who believed that so-called "modernisation", following on from the victory of the anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, would inevitably lead to more progressive societies.

Instead they witnessed the growth of forces which seem to look backwards to a barbaric past, to a society which imposes the burkah on women, uses terror to crush any free thought and threatens the most barbaric punishment on those who defy its will.

What they do not understand is that the growth of this movement is the result of the crisis of Stalinism which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and at the same time to the total capitulation of the secular local bourgeois in the underdeveloped so-called "Third World".

In the 1950s and 1960s the struggles against colonialism and imperialism led by petit bourgeois elements inspired a section of the middle classes in the underdeveloped ex-colonial countries, who supported the demand for the nationalisation of some sections of the economy as a measure of protection against imperialist control. These secular left currents, or at least their Stalinist or left nationalist mainstream, were seen as a movement that offered a real solution to the misery of the masses. At the same time they exercised a degree of control over the masses.

In the late 1970s and 1980s with the signs of the coming collapse of the Soviet Union under the bureaucratic strangulation of the productive forces, the mood began to change and to turn into despair. It was this despair that laid the basis for the Islamic movement to begin to grow once again.

Real nature of Islamic fundamentalism

There is a general lack of understanding on the left about the real nature of Islamic fundamentalism. Thus we see two quite opposite reactions to the growth of the fundamentalists.

The first sees Islamic fundamentalism as a form of fascism. Such a view easily leads some leftists to political alliances to stop the fascists at all costs, including support for the imperialists and the local capitalist states. A clear case is Algeria where these liberals and leftist sects have been supporting the FLN and the Algerian army against the F.I.S, at the same time as the FLN has been carrying out the policies of the International Monetary Fund.

The opposite approach sees the Islamic movements as "progressive", "anti-imperialist" movements of the oppressed. This was the position taken by the great bulk of the Iranian left in the first phase of the 1979 revolution, when the Tudeh Party, the majority of the Fedayeen guerrilla organisation and the left Islamic People's Mojahedin all characterised the forces behind Khomeini as "the progressive petit bourgeoisie". They all supported the Mullahs to the extent that their programme became nothing less than "Allah u Akbar" (God is Great)! When the Mullahs came to power this left paid with blood for their stupid illusions. As Marxists we have explained many times that illusions can kill.

Islam appeared in the 7th century, but today it exists because it is no longer the ideology of the merchant tribes that gave birth to it. It exists today because it has obtained from the landowners and the industrialists of modern capitalism the finance to build its mosques and to employ its preachers. It is a capitalist backed movement but it has been able to gather support among the mass of poor people by offering consolation to the poor and oppressed on the one hand, while at the same time protecting the exploiting classes against the wrath of the workers and thus represents an obstacle to the socialist revolution.

In countries that have never had a "welfare state", as a mechanism for guaranteeing some form of social stability, the fundamentalists lean on the teachings of Islam that demand that the rich have to pay a 2.5 percent Islamic tax (the zdaka) for the relief of the poor, that rulers have to govern in a just way, and that husbands must not mistreat their wives. While presenting this face to the masses, the Islamic hierarchy treats the expropriation of the rich by the poor as theft, and disobedience to a "just" government as a crime to be punished with mutilation and death. It provides women with fewer rights than men within marriage, over inheritance, or over the children in the event of divorce.

In some places like in Palestine, or Iraq under the imperialist occupation, it challenges the state and elements of imperialism's political domination. Thus the Iranian Islamic fundamentalists seized the US embassy in the past. The Hezbollah in the southern Lebanon and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza have played a key role in the armed struggle against Israel.

Thus, while the Islamic movements are not "fascist", it is equally true that they are not "anti-imperialist" or "anti-state" either. They do not fight against the capitalist system that exploits and dominates the mass of people. At the same time they fight against secularism, against women who refuse to abide by Islamic notions of "modesty", against the left and, against ethnic or religious minorities. The Algerian Islamic fundamentalists established their hold on the universities in the late 1970s and early 1980s by organising "punitive raids" against the left. In the Algerian towns where they are strongest, they organized attacks on women who dare to show a little of their body, and on the Berbers who are not Arabic speakers. Similarly, in Egypt, they organize pogroms, against the Coptic Christians.

They do not fight imperialism - the capitalist world system - but rather its cultural expressions. They want to keep the banking system operating, but they demand that only the Arabic language be used and they want to force on the workers the reciting of suras taken from the Koran.

It is neither a fascist nor a revolutionary movement, but a populist movement. A recent study of Khomeinism in Iran by Abrahamian (E. Abrahamian, Khomeinism,) compares it to Peronism and similar forms of "populism": "Khomeini adopted radical themes... At times he sounded more radical than the Marxists. But while adopting radical themes he remained staunchly committed to the preservation of middle class property. This form of middle class radicalism made him akin to Latin American populists, especially the Peronists." [page 3]

And Abrahamian goes on to say: "By 'populism' I mean a movement of the propertied middle class that mobilises the lower classes, especially the urban poor, with radical rhetoric directed against imperialism, foreign capitalism, and the political establishment... Populist movements promise to drastically raise the standard of living and make the country fully independent of outside powers. Even more important in attacking the status quo with radical rhetoric, they intentionally stop short of threatening the petty bourgeoisie and the whole principle of private property. Populist movements thus, inevitably, emphasise the importance, not of economic, social revolution, but of cultural, national and political reconstruction." [page 17]

In other words it is a petit bourgeois movement dressed up in religious clothes, not different in its class composition from those who supported previously Stalinism and bourgeois nationalism.

The petit bourgeoisie as a class cannot have an independent policy of its own. This has always been true of the traditional petit bourgeoisie - the small shopkeepers, traders and self-employed professionals. They have always either served the capitalist class or, in certain cases, allied themselves with the working class. In those countries where a layer of this class did lead a revolution (following the model of either the Soviet Union or China) the best that were able to establish were states we define as Proletarian Bonapartist. These are terribly deformed workers' states, with a privileged bureaucratic elite at the top. They are not genuine healthy socialist regimes. Which direction this petit bourgeois layer goes in depends on the balance of forces between the working class and the capitalist class and also on the kind of leadership the working class has.

The failure of Stalinism and nationalism has thrown those same layers of students and radicalised middle classes, who once looked to the left, into the arms of the fundamentalists. Support for the Islamic movements became stronger as they seemed to offer immanent and radical change.

Today, with the growing militancy of the working class the left has been offered by history a chance to grow once again and to challenge the hegemony of the fundamentalists. Take the case of Iraq, where we witness the spreading of the anti-colonialist revolutionary struggle against the imperialist occupation, which is presently being led by the fundamentalists. This is an opportunity for the Communist Party of Iraq to struggle for the leadership of the movement. Instead it has entered the puppet "governing council" appointed by the American occupiers. It seems they want to ensure that the leadership of the movement will remain in the hands of the fundamentalists. What is needed is a revolutionary opposition within the Communist Party, and the Communist movement in Iraq as a whole, that will be capable of posing a clear alternative to the present right wing leadership of the party.

The Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood that was born in Egypt grew rapidly in the 1930s and 1940s as it picked up support from those disillusioned by the compromises the bourgeois nationalist Wafd had made with the British, as well as by the class collaborationist polices of the Stalinist leaders. In particular, this process was aided by the Communist left under Stalin's influence, which went so far as to support the partition and the establishment of Israel. By recruiting volunteers to fight in Palestine and against the British occupation of the Egyptian Canal Zone, the Brotherhood could present themselves as supporting the anti-imperialist struggle.

But just as the Brotherhood became a mass movement, it began to disintegrate. The reason for this is quite clear. Like all populist movements at the rank and file level it got the support of the mass of petit bourgeois youth, but at the top it was connected with the palace, and with the right wing of the Wafd, and also with the army officers " which were themselves moving in different directions according to their own base of support. Thus the lower ranks were more connected with the petit bourgeois masses, while the uppers ranks were close to the Wafd.

The seizure of power by the military under General Nagib and Nasser in 1952-4 produced a fundamental divide between those who supported the coup and those who opposed it until finally rival groups within the Brotherhood ended up physically fighting each other for control of its offices. The loss of confidence in the leadership enabled Nasser eventually to crush what had once been a very powerful organisation.

In their propaganda the imperialists changed their tune when it suited them. The anti-communist hysteria that had previously dominated the American mass media was replaced with anti-Islamic propaganda. And often this had its reflection within a layer of the petit bourgeois left, that drew very similar conclusions. The Islamic fundamentalists are seen by these, as the Stalinists were once seen, as the most dangerous of all political forces, able to impose a totalitarianism that will prevent any further peaceful progressive development. The logical conclusion that they draw is that, in order to stop the fundamentalists, it is necessary to unite with the "liberal" wing of the bourgeoisie, or even to support openly dictatorial regimes in their repression of the Islamic groups.

The Iranian revolution was not a product of Islamic fundamentalism, but of the contradictions that arose within the Shah's regime in the mid to late 1970s. The economic crisis had heightened the deep divisions which already existed between sections of modern capital (associated with finance capital) and the merchant class centred around the bazaar (which was responsible for two thirds of wholesale trade and three quarters of retail trade). At the same time there was the mass of the workers and the vast numbers of recent ex-peasants who had flooded into the cities. In these conditions, the protests of the intellectuals and the students - which the disaffected clergy also joined - spread to involve the urban poor in a series of major clashes with the police and army. A wave of strikes paralysed industry and brought the all-important oil fields to a standstill. And then early in February 1979 the left wing guerrillas of the Fedayeen and the left-Islamic guerrillas of the People's Mojahedin succeeded in fomenting large-scale mutinies in the armed forces, that finally brought about the collapse of the old regime. The tragedy of the whole situation was that the left supported Ayatollah Khomeini, presenting him as a "progressive". Thus, with the absence of a revolutionary working class leadership the Islamic clergy was able to come to power and divert the movement of the masses away from the main task - the overthrow of capitalism - and begin to build its own reactionary regime.

The result was a totalitarian regime based on a one-party regime not unlike Eastern Europe under Stalinism, with the important difference that Iran remained a capitalist state. Today the regime is clearly in crisis and has exhausted its reserves of support among the masses. The key question now is the independence of the working class led by a leadership that understands the lessons and the mistakes of the past.

Israel's support for Hamas in the past

Today in the Palestinian territories the main opposition to the Israeli occupation of 1967 has become the Islamic movement known as Hamas. While our support for the Palestinian struggle for national freedom does not depend on who is leading that movement at any given moment, Marxists must struggle to replace this reactionary leadership not with the bankrupt PLO but with the leadership of the working class. Hamas' aim is not to liberate the working class, the poor peasants and the urban poor, but to create a single, Islamic state within historical Palestine, which is now largely divided between Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Hamas, meaning "zeal" or "fervour" in Arabic, is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Resistance Movement. The group was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.

It is not a well known fact, but it will not surprise those who know anything about the history of the Taliban in Afghanistan, that Israel in many ways initially created this monster but later lost control over it.

Richard Sale, a UPI Correspondent, wrote an illuminating article on the origin of Hamas in which he pointed out that, "According to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years."

Israel "aided Hamas directly ‑ the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization)," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.

Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official.

According to documents United Press International obtained from the Israel-based Institute for Counter Terrorism, Hamas evolved from cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928. Islamic movements in Israel and Palestine were "weak and dormant" until after the 1967 Six Day War.

After 1967, a great part of the success of the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood was due to their activities among the refugees in the Gaza Strip. The cornerstone of the Islamic movement's success was an impressive social, religious, educational and cultural infrastructure, called Da'wah, that worked to ease the hardship of large numbers of Palestinian refugees, confined to camps, and many who were living on the edge of poverty.

"Social influence grew into political influence, first in the Gaza Strip, then on the West Bank", said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to ICT papers, Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association with the name of Al-Mujamma al Islami, which widened its base of supporters and sympathizers through religious propaganda and social work.

According to U.S. administration officials, funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel itself. The PLO was secular and leftist and promoted Palestinian nationalism. Hamas wanted to set up a transnational state under the rule of Islam, much like Khomeini's Iran.

"The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place," said a U.S. government official who asked not to be named. "Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with," he said.

According to former State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson, "the Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer. They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it," he said." (Published on the June 18, 2002)

Hamas today

Today Hamas's following is estimated to be in the tens of thousands, but until 2000, less than 18 percent of the population of the West Bank and Gaza supported its political views. After a renewed Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip erupted in September 2000, and the failure of the secular PLO to provide any leadership, but rather acting in the service of the US and Israel, support for Hamas grew to more than 25 percent. Its appeal is greatest in the more impoverished Gaza region than in the West Bank. Its leaders include religious figures, sheikhs (Arab chiefs), intellectuals, and businessmen.

Mosques and Islamic religious organizations are Hamas's most important vehicles for spreading its message, and it mobilizes local popular support by providing social services to the needy. In September 1993 Israel and the PLO signed a so-called a peace accord that gave Palestinians limited self-rule in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Hamas denounced the agreement and continued to conduct strikes against Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as in Israel proper. It boycotted January 1996 Palestinian presidential and legislative council elections - to avoid giving legitimacy to Arafat's recognition of Israel and to the secular nationalist camp that the PLO represented. Under the accord, Israel, the United States, and Western European imperialism asked the newly created Palestinian National Authority (PNA), headed by PLO leader Yasir Arafat, to suppress Hamas's attacks. Arafat periodically restrained Hamas terrorist actions against Israel but he could not suppress them altogether. The signing of this treaty, while unemployment among the Palestinians grew massively and more lands were confiscated for Jewish settlements, helped to spread Hamas' influence. Hamas participated in the outbreak of the second intifada against Israel in September 2000. The renewed uprising led to a further significant increase in support for Hamas's views among the Muslim Arab population.

During the"Al-Kuds" Intifada Hamas carried out many terrorist actions that killed innocent Israelis and pushed them into the hands of reaction in Israel. Whenever Sharon needs to divert the class struggle into reciprocal national hatred he assassinates Hamas leaders and activists and Hamas responds by playing its role in organising acts of individual terrorism. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon then immediately reacts by vowing to fight "Palestinian terror" and summons his cabinet to decide on a military response to the organization.

The real aim of the latest cease-fire between Israel and the PNA is to push the Palestinian non-elected government to start a civil war against Hamas. Clearly Abu Mazen is incapable of this. [Editor's note: since this article was written Abu Mazen has been forced to resign, confirming that he had no real basis of support].

This article is being written when all the signs are there that the cease-fire, the "Hudna", is collapsing and many more lives of Arab and Jews will be lost so that the US and the local rulers of the Middle East will continue to dominate.

The only way out of this bloody insane circle is the revolutionary struggle of the Arab and Jewish workers for workers' power in the form of a socialist federated state as part of the socialist federation of the Middle East. A dream some will say. But these are the people who want us to think that the nightmare we are presently living in is the only possible reality.

August 21, 2003.

See also:

[Back to In Defence of Marxism][Back to Middle East]

Number 2

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) view:



Updated: June 8, 2007

What is Hamas?

Hamas is the largest and most influential Palestinian militant movement. In January 2006, the group won the Palestinian Authority's (PA) general legislative elections, defeating Fatah, the party of the PA's president, Mahmoud Abbas, and setting the stage for a power struggle. Since attaining power, Hamas has continued its refusal to recognize the state of Israel, leading to crippling economic sanctions. Hamas maintained a cease-fire brokered in March 2005 until June 9, 2006, when it ended the truce after reports that errant Israeli shell killed several civilians on a Gaza beach. The Israeli Defense Forces later denied responsibility for the deaths.

Historically, Hamas has sponsored an extensive social service network. More notoriously, the group has also operated a terrorist wing carrying out suicide bombings and attacks using mortars and short-range rockets. The group has launched attacks both in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and inside the pre-1967 boundaries of Israel. In Arabic, the word "hamas" means zeal. But it's also an Arabic acronym for "Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya," or Islamic Resistance Movement.

What are Hamas’s origins?

Hamas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political organization founded in Egypt with branches throughout the Arab world. Beginning in the late 1960s, Hamas's founder and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, preached and did charitable work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, both of which were occupied by Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1973, Yassin established al-Mujamma' al-Islami (the Islamic Center) to coordinate the Muslim Brotherhood's political activities in Gaza. Yassin founded Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood's local political arm in December 1987, following the eruption of the first intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas published its official charter in 1988.

The first Hamas suicide bombing took place in April 1993. Five months later, Yasir Arafat, the then-leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, then-prime minister of Israel, sealed the Oslo accords—an Israeli-Palestinian peace pact that eventually unraveled. Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli right-wing fanatic in November 1995. Arafat died in November 2004.

Who are Hamas’s leaders?

Since its victory in the Palestinian legislative elections, Hamas has failed to unify around a coherent program, leading to partisan tensions within the Palestinian Authority that verge on civil war. Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister and senior Hamas figure in Gaza, has appeared at odds with Khaled Meshal, Hamas’s overall leader who lives in Syria in exile. A Backgrounder profiles these and other Hamas leaders.

Where does Hamas operate?

Historically, Hamas has operated as an opposition group in Gaza, the West Bank, and inside Israel. Most of the population of Gaza and the West Bank is officially ruled by the PA government, so Hamas’ new role as the legislature’s controlling party has forced the group to reconsider the function and scope of its operations. For instance, since their party took power, Hamas leaders have embarked on several diplomatic visits throughout the region. Early on, some observers hoped that political legitimacy—and the accountability that comes with it—could force Hamas away from using violence to achieve its goals. But to date, the group has shown little interest in stopping the kidnappings and rocket fire that continue to draw Israel’s ire. Meanwhile, Hamas shares responsibility with Fatah for much of the bloody infighting between the rival parties in Gaza.

What does Hamas believe and what are its goals?

Hamas combines Palestinian nationalism with Islamic fundamentalism. Its founding charter commits the group to the destruction of Israel, the replacement of the PA with an Islamist state on the West Bank and Gaza, and to raising "the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine." Its leaders have called suicide attacks the "F-16" of the Palestinian people. Hamas believes "peace talks will do no good," Rantisi said in April 2004. "We do not believe we can live with the enemy."

Is Hamas only a terrorist group?

No. In addition to its military wing, the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network. It funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. "Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities," writes the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz. The Palestinian Authority often fails to provide such services; Hamas's efforts in this area—as well as a reputation for honesty, in contrast to the many Fatah officials accused of corruption—help to explain the broad popularity it summoned to defeat Fatah in the PA's recent elections.

How big is Hamas?

Hamas’s military wing is believed to have more than one thousand active members and thousands of supporters and sympathizers. On March 22, 2004, more than two hundred thousand Palestinians are estimated to have marched in Yassin’s funeral. On April 18, 2004, a similar number publicly mourned the death of Rantisi.

Where does Hamas’s money come from?

Since its electoral victory to lead the PA, Hamas has had public funds at its disposal, though it does not have access to the foreign-aid dollars traditionally provided by the United States and European Union to the PA. Historically, much of Hamas's funding came from Palestinian expatriates and private donors in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Persian Gulf states. Iran also provides significant support, which some diplomats say could amount to $20 million to $30 million per year. In addition, some Muslim charities in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe funnel money into Hamas-backed social service groups. In December 2001, the Bush administration seized the assets of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the United States, on suspicions it was funding Hamas.

What attacks is Hamas responsible for?

Hamas is believed to have killed more than five hundred people in more than 350 separate terrorist attacks since 1993. Not all Hamas's attacks have been carried out by suicide bombers. The group has also accepted responsibility for assaults using mortars, short-range rockets, and small arms fire.

How does Hamas recruit suicide bombers?

The organization generally targets deeply religious young men—although some bombers have been older. The recruits do not fit the usual psychological profile of suicidal people, who are often desperate or clinically depressed. Hamas bombers often hold paying jobs, even in poverty-stricken Gaza. What they have in common, studies say, is an intense hatred of Israel. After a bombing, Hamas gives the family of the suicide bomber between three thousand dollars and five thousand dollars and assures them their son died a martyr in holy jihad.

How does Hamas train the bombers?

The recruits undergo intense religious indoctrination, attend lectures, and undertake long fasts. The week before the bombing, the volunteers are watched closely by two Hamas activists for any signs of wavering, according to Nasra Hassan, writing in the New Yorker. Shortly before the “sacred explosion,” as Hamas calls it, the bomber records a video testament. To draw inspiration, he repeatedly watches his video and those made by his predecessors and then sets off for his would-be martyrdom after performing a ritual ablution and donning clean clothes. Hamas clerics assure the bombers their deaths will be painless and that dozens of virgins await them in paradise. The average bombing costs about $150.

Is Hamas popular among Palestinians?

According to Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, in late 2006 Hamas still enjoyed public backing, though most Palestinians also wanted to see a negotiated settlement with Israel. According to Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Territories, brutal internal clashes in Gaza have caused Hamas to lose some of the goodwill of the Palestinians. In fact, the group has a history of fluctuating approval: Following the collapse of the peace process in the late 1990s, Hamas’ popularity rose as Arafat’s fell. In the spring of 2002, during a period of intensified armed conflict between Israeli security forces and Hamas militants, polls showed that Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO and the Islamists each commanded support from roughly 30 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza (the remaining Palestinians were either independent, undecided, or supported other factions). But trust in Hamas dropped in 2004. In a poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center after Arafat's death, 18.6 percent of Palestinians named Hamas as the Palestinian faction they most trusted, down from 23 percent a year earlier. Hamas experienced a short-lived spike in popularity after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005; after a rocket explosion at a Hamas rally September 23, 2005, killed fifteen people, Hamas blamed Israel and launched rocket attacks against it. Israel retaliated with punitive air strikes, which Palestinians blamed Hamas for provoking. The explosion was revealed to be an accident.

Has Hamas always participated in the Palestinian electoral process?

No. Hamas boycotted the January 2005 PA presidential elections. But even prior to its 2006 victory in the PA's legislative elections, the group had made strong showings in municipal elections, especially in Gaza. In December 2004 West Bank local elections, Fatah won 135 seats and Hamas won seventy-five. In Gaza, where Hamas is based, it won seventy-seven out of 118 seats in ten council elections held in January 2005. Hamas appeared to have lost its political momentum in a September 2005 round of local elections in the West Bank: Fatah, benefiting from the Israeli withdrawal, took 54 percent of the vote over Hamas’ 26 percent.


Obama's Kenyan birth evidence to be revealed -- update

From RenewAmerica

December 31, 2008

Obama's Kenyan birth evidence to be revealed -- update
By Arlen Williams

Permission to copy and post this article's text is granted.

Update 1/1/2009, 3:36am CT - In his 7:45pm Plains Radio broadcast, this last night, Ed Hale backed down from his prior assertion of having gained even uncertain information about the Barack Sr. / Stanley Ann divorce decree containing language referring to Barack Jr. as being born in Kenya. Instead, Hale referred to an apparently tricky recollection... of an indeterminate person... referring to such a document's generally referring to the place of birth of the children of the divorced parents. That is not what I heard from Mr. Hale on the 31st.

Two people reported during the broadcast that they had contacted Hale's private investigator yesterday, who indicated he did not thoroughly read the documentation and does not know how it addresses Barack Obama Jr. — nor did he make a copy for himself. It would appear that Hale will receive a valid copy of this decree, probably Friday, 1/2. What it states will be what it states. He promises to post and report, as described below.

While my article maintains a journalistic separation from the principals of this story and is a report of statements of others on the matter, I believed it worthy of "pushing out" to readers and those who would faithfully relay the story. That worth appears less merited at this point and I apologize for that, to them and you. However, this should mean the first public viewing of that divorce decree. If it does not include information pertinent to Barack Obama's birth, at least that will be known. And that is more than may be said of President Elect Obama's actual birth certificate. This also seems fitting for a politico who advanced to the U.S. Senate along a path of the convenient "mainstream media" reporting of scandals from two of his opponents' own divorce records and an "outing" of a family member of another; sauce for the goose.

I.O. emphasizes that place of birth aside, Barack Obama is clearly and thoroughly not a natural born Citizen and is therefore specifically ineligible to be our United States President. This is due to his U.K. citizenship at birth, passed from his father. That is referred to below and explained in the article, "
The Donofrio 'Natural Born Citizen' Challenge."

I.O. also observes that even a valid hard copy of the kind of certificate of birth that Obama has ostensibly submitted is not the kind of birth certificate which is required for numerous purposes. Further, it is suspect that Obama has invested what some say is approximately $1M to keep his actual, Hawaiian birth certificate undisclosed — seemingly thematic with "pleading the Fifth." At the very least, it would officially document his father and that is one wheel off his bike to the White House.

12/31 - A private investigator in Hawaii has uncovered the divorce decree for Barack Obama's father and mother, which indicates they had "one child under the age of eighteen, born in Kenya." That is the report of Ed Hale of, an Internet radio site which has focused upon the natural born Citizen challenges to Obama's presidential eligibility.

Hale announced this during his evening Internet broadcast on, Tuesday, 12/30 and confirmed it with I.O. in an online interview, later that night. He reported that certified copies of this documentation have been sent from Hawaii by the investigator to himself and four others. Hale is to receive his copy today, Wednesday, 12/31 and plans to post it graphically on the site, during the day. He will also discuss this on a special Internet broadcast, between 6 pm and 10 pm Central Time, tonight. The site streams audio as soon as it is accessed via Web browser.

Link to PlainsRadio and their message forum

Link to PlainsRadio and chat window

The Texan Internet entrepreneur relates he got fed up with the lack of documentation on Obama and decided to discuss ideas with his radio audience. His offer to hire an investigator was met with piecemeal sums of money from listeners to his broadcasts. Hale said some of the information one would expect to find was not available. For example, documentation from Obama's mother Stanley Ann's divorce to her second husband, Lolo Soetoro, had vanished. Hale speculates, the reason this forthcoming 1964 divorce decree had not also been "scrubbed" could be that the divorce had been filed not by Obama's mother, but by Barack H. Obama, Sr. Thus, it may have been overlooked by any plumbers for Obama.

Hale does admit to incomplete certainty of his investigator's work until he receives it, partially due to the PI's accent, the telephone connection, and his slight hearing impediment. However, he is very confident of what he will receive during the day.
Mark S. McGrew, who writes about Obama's natural born Citizen problems for, accompanied Hale in his broadcast and also expressed confidence. McGrew had sought publication in numerous American news outlets, but they turned down his articles referring to Obama's apparent ineligibility. Russia's Pravda however, decided his effort to find and report the truth was not to be redlined.

As often related, Barack Obama, due simply to his U.K. citizenship at birth via his Kenyan father, is
not a natural born Citizen of America, by definition and the original intent of that term. The Supreme Court has turned down cases which make this point, but according to a September decision in a lower federal court (regarding John McCain's eligibility problem), this would be due to a question of jurisdiction, until Congress is to certify the Electoral College vote on January 8. Further action is to occur, after this date. You may read about this in previous I.O. articles and the sites linked in its sidebar.

Meanwhile, on the question of Obama's place of birth,
professionals dealing with documents and forensic evidence have testified that the online "certificate of live birth" provided by Obama is not identifiable evidence of American birth. Now, if Obama's parents' divorce decree states that he was born in Kenya (as his Kenyan grandmother has repeatedly stated), the second epistemological wheel is coming off his vehicle to the White House.

Will Congress pay attention and do its Constitutional duty?

© Arlen Williams

The Guardian...all the lies fit to print - I won’t try to answer all the lies; it would be a second career.

More lies from the Guardian?

Well fresh from printing scare stories about 'eco terrorists', the Guardian has been found out to be selling dodgy stories about Venezuela.

If 'left' 'liberal' newspapers print right wing propaganda...this has more effect than when it is printed by the right...boycott the Guardian, well I have stopped buying it while it promotes this kind of CIA/MI6 stuff...this is from Calvin at 21st century socialism

by Calvin Tucker / December 20th 2008
Hugo Chavez, the FARC laptop, and the non-existent emails

The Western press rushed to report a story which framed Venezuela's socialist president Hugo Chavez as a covert supporter of terrorism. Now it is clear that the key 'evidence' on which the story was based does not exist- but this is a fact which the media chooses not to publish.

Remember the laptop computer that, according to the Colombian government, miraculously survived the bombing of the Farc guerrilla camp in Ecuador? Yes, that one. ... Read more...

And more...

The Guardian newspaper in the UK just published a piece on Omarska by Ed Vulliamy. Vulliamy is one of the reporters who went to Bosnia with ITN. If you have seen 'Judgment!' and you read this article by Vulliamy you will be aghast. He simply lies. I won’t try to answer all his lies; it would be a second career. I'll just focus on two of the most striking. When a supposedly objective reporter is caught in two grotesque lies, why should one trust anything else he says?... Read more...

Shall we continue?


This website does not promote conspiracy theory. It promotes facts. And the facts laid out within these pages demonstrate that The Guardian newspaper and its lawyers conspired in a conscienceless cover-up in league with the volatile owner of Harrods store, and father of Dodi, Mohamed Al Fayed.

The Guardian had enacted its conspiracy to escape redress, when those whom the paper had accused as part of its political war against the Conservative Party sued the paper for libel to clear their names.

That The Guardian succeeded in deceiving the British nation into believing evidence-less corruption allegations levelled against a Government Minister, hanging as they did on the word of a man whom The Guardian itself had castigated as a serial liar four years earlier... Read more...

Not finished yet...

Alan Dershowitz has a truly damning piece about The Guardian's distortions here at the Jerusalem Post.

And you're not going to like this...

The Guardian of big lies
Winston Smith

The propagandist who wants to demonise a racial group has two targets. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, recognised that in order to demonise Jews effectively as criminals, he had either to win the support of liberal “Jewish-sympathisers”, “the good-natured German Michel”, or he had to demonise them as well (Goebbels, 1941).

In 2000, the Tory attack on the “liberal-elite” was the Metropolitan police first volley in its propaganda war to rollback Macpherson (Hague, 2000). The “liberal elite” in question not only consisted of columnists of the Guardian newspaper and its readers ... Read more...

If you're not satisfied yet, come back for more...I'll try to keep up with the lies but as you know they lie every day and I have better things to do.

This posting was in response to a very un-informed believer in the Guardian... poor soul!


Top Ten Stuff (2008) From WND ...It's too long a read for liberals, especially if it concerns truths and facts.

Most covered-up of 2008: Natural-born citizen

WND editors join with readers to determine the year's top 10

Posted: December 31, 2008
8:30 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Charges that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen of the U.S. and, therefore, constitutionally ineligible to serve as president top the list of the 10 most "spiked" or underreported stories of the last year, according to an annual WND survey.

At the end of each year, news organizations typically present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories in the previous 12 months.

WND's editors, however, have long considered it far more newsworthy to publicize the most important unreported or underreported news events of the year – to highlight perhaps for one last time major news stories that were undeservedly "spiked" by the establishment press.

WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored "Operation Spike" every year since 1988, and since founding WorldNetDaily in May 1997, he has continued the annual tradition.

Here, with our readers' help, are WorldNetDaily editors' picks for the 10 most underreported stories of 2008:

1. Charges that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen of the U.S. and thus constitutionally ineligible to serve as president

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed over Obama's eligibility to assume the presidency.

The cases have alleged the Illinois Democrat does not meet the "natural born citizen" clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

WND launched a petition drive that has garnered some 200,000 signatories who demand that Obama simply provide documentation of his eligibility. But thus far, he has put up a legal defense to ensure his records remain sealed.

Some of the legal challenges have alleged Obama was not born in Hawaii, as he insists, and others have focused on his father's Kenyan citizenship.

Cases brought by Cort Wrotnowski and Leo Donofrio challenged Obama on allegations that dual citizenship – based on a father who was a British subject and a mother who was an American minor – disqualified him from office. Both, however, were turned down by the Supreme Court.

Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat, demanded that the courts verify Obama's original birth certificate and other documents proving his American citizenship. Berg's latest appeal, requesting an injunction to stop the Electoral College from selecting the 44th president, was denied. But the conference on the case is set for Jan. 9.

Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of claimants in a California suit that asked the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the until Obama verified his eligibility to hold office.

2. U.S. Senate committee report that hundreds of top scientists have testified they believe claims of man-caused global warming are fraudulent.

The Republican minority of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee released a report with a growing list of more than 650 international experts who soundly debunk the claim of a "consensus" in science that human activity is causing a global warming.

The report noted the insistence of many in mainstream media that global warming skeptics are few and untrustworthy, including CNN's Miles O'Brien, who declared, "The scientific debate is over. We're done."

O'Brien, the Senate report noted, said in 2006 that scientific skeptics of man-made catastrophic global warming "are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually."

Andrew Dessler of the eco-publication Grist Magazine is quoted by the report stating, "While some people claim there are lots of skeptical climate scientists out there, if you actually try to find one, you keep turning up the same two dozen or so."

However, the ranking minority member of the Senate committee, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., pointed to a growing list of scientists his office has accumulated.

In fact, more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s, have signed a massive petition project that challenges belief in man-made global warming.

Cooling temperatures worldwide also didn't help the cause of global warming activism.

This year was officially the coolest year of the century, although that didn't keep U.N. climate change activists from sticking to their arguments.

Meanwhile, one of the most vocal scientists in the field of hurricane prediction has backed away from his earlier certainty of a link between global warming and stronger hurricanes after developing a new forecasting technique that suggests a moderate increase – or even decline – in storm activity over the next 200 years.

And a NASA scientist asserted alarming pronouncements about carbon dioxide emissions are unwarranted and overblown.

3. The true causes of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which point directly to the Democratic Party

Obama housing adviser Franklin Raines

While many pundits pointed to corporate greed and a lack of government regulation as the cause for the American mortgage and financial crisis, some analysts contended it wasn't too little government intervention but too much, in the form of activists compelling the government to pressure Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into unsound, politically correct lending practices.

Stan J. Liebowitz, economics professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, contends the federal government over the last 20 years pushed the mortgage industry so hard to get minority homeownership up, that it undermined the country's financial foundation.

As Congress worked on a $700 billion bailout plan for the U.S. financial system, WND compiled an overview of the companies and executives under scrutiny for the meltdown.

WND reported two Barack Obama advisers, Franklin Raines and James Johnson, received preferential home loans as industry favors, apparently in deference to their executive positions heading Fannie Mae.

As WND reported, Johnson earned $21 million in just his last year at Fannie Mae, where he served as CEO from 1991 to 1998. Raines earned $90 million in his five years as Fannie Mae CEO, from 1999 to 2004.

WND also reported Raines and two other top Fannie Mae executives agreed to pay $24.7 million, including a $2 million fine, to settle a civil lawsuit that accused them of manipulating Fannie Mae earnings, allowing executives to pocket hundreds of millions in bonuses.

4. Obama's ties to terrorists and extremists

William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger and Tony Rezko are just a sampling of the radical and unseemly figures who have played a prominent role in Barack Obama's life.

WND recently reported an attorney for Rezko – a convicted felon who helped raise the money to give Obama his start in politics – is listed as the owner and taxpayer for Obama's Chicago mansion.

Late in the presidential campaign, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made an issue of Obama's relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. But Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, also a former prominent member of his terrorist group, the Weathermen, dismissed the strategy as a racist tactic meant to stoke fear among white people that they cannot trust a black man.

Sen. Barack Obama with Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Another former member of the Weathermen, Mark Rudd, charged Obama was "feigning" a centrist position on some issues so he could ultimately push through a radical agenda, including universal health care and trimming the military.

The Weathermen declared "war" on the U.S. government, bombing U.S. governmental buildings in the 1970s, including the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. Ayers infamously advocated, "Kill all the rich people. ... Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents." Dohrn once was on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List, and was described by J. Edgar Hoover as the "most dangerous woman in America."

WND was the first to report Obama served on the board of the Wood's Fund, a liberal Chicago nonprofit, alongside Ayers from 1999 to 2002.

Obama resigned from his 20-year membership at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago after months of political damage from repeated alternative-media airings of video clips from sermons by his pastor and spiritual mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.

In March, after the video clips began to damage Obama's poll numbers, the senator gave a speech in Philadelphia in which he denounced the pastor's remarks but refused to "disown" him.

In a January 2006 sermon, Wright called America the "No. 1 killer in the world" and blamed the country for launching the AIDS virus to maintain affluence at the expense of the Third World. The pastor reportedly said in a sermon just after 9/11, "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." In a 2003 sermon, Wright encouraged blacks to "damn America" in God's name and blamed the U.S. for provoking the 9/11 attacks by dropping nuclear weapons on Japan in World War II and supporting Israel since 1947.

Obama's ties to Khalidi, the anti-Israel Palestinian professor, were first exposed by WND

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, Obama first befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama's failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Khalidi said he supports Obama for president "because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause."

Khalidi also lauded Obama for "saying he supports talks with Iran."

5. The campaigns of third-party presidential candidates, and Ron Paul's sensationally successful grass-roots campaign

"A lot of starvation out there for a different message" sparked a vigorous grass-roots effort by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul that surprised pundits by sometimes outflanking leading candidates in fundraising.

The Texas congressman summed up his appeal in an interview with WND on the campaign trail: "Our focus on the Constitution, defending our borders and the whole idea of assuming responsibility for themselves appeals to millions of Americans who are not looking for government to take care of them."

Paul contended his campaign's success came from his message, not from mainstream media focus or campaign hype.

Rep. Ron Paul

Constitutional Party candidate Chuck Baldwin told WND 2008 was a different election year, because "the American people are extremely fed up with the two major parties."

"I think furthermore there is a deep distrust and suspicion among the American people that the two major parties have their best interests at heart," he said.

Ambassador Alan Keyes, who sought the GOP nomination and later ran on the America's Independent Party ticket, told WND his first priority in office would be to make sure the executive branch of the U.S. government recognizes the unalienable rights of U.S. citizens, as spelled out in the Constitution.

"My first priority would be to re-establish within the executive branch respect for and protection of the unalienable rights of the unborn children in the womb, to make sure nothing was done by the executive branch of the United States that violated the Constitution of the United States in his regard," he said.

Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, the former Republican congressman from Georgia, distinguished himself from both McCain and Obama on Supreme Court picks and sounded more like the Democratic nominee on foreign policy. He told WND would nominate a Supreme Court justice in the mold of swing-voter Anthony Kennedy and would consider negotiating directly with the mullahs who run Iran's radical Islamic regime.

6. The stunning success of the Iraq war.

Only a week ago, the Iraqi government formally recognized the Christian faith and the Christmas holiday.

It's just one result of the largely unacknowledged victory by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.

A rare Associated Press story on America's success revealed: "In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago, when the first, barely visible signs of a turnaround emerged."

Army Col. Tom James, a brigade commander on his third combat tour in Iraq, says: "We've put out the forest fire. Now we're dealing with pop-up fires.

Gen. David Petraeus' reports, "Attacks in Iraq hit a four-year low in mid-May and … Iraqi forces were finally taking the lead in combat and on multiple fronts at once – something that was inconceivable a year ago."

Independent embedded journalist and former Green Beret Michael Yon, reporting from the front lines, says, "By my estimation, the Iraq War is over. We won. Which means the Iraqi people won."

7. The sources of Obama's campaign contributions.

Barack Obama's lax online donation form, in contrast with John McCain's, made it difficult to determine the source of his donations, opening up the possibility of fraud, including contributions from foreigners.

WND reported, for example, Palestinian brothers inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip were listed in government election filings as having donated some $30,000 to Obama's campaign.

One week after the report the Palestinian brothers contended their money had not been refunded.

8. Obama's far-left voting record.

In its annual survey, the National Journal found Obama to be the most liberal U.S. senator, shifting even further to the left in 2007 after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.

The calculations ranked senators relative to each other based on 99 key votes and assigned scores in three areas: economic issues, social issues, and foreign policy. On foreign policy, for example, Obama's liberal score of 92 and conservative score of 7 indicate that he was more liberal in that issue area than 92 percent of the senators and more conservative than 7 percent.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, was more liberal than 83 percent of the senators on foreign policy and more conservative than 16 percent.

Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, ranked third, just ahead of Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist.

Obama's radical record as an Illinois state senator was highlighted by a TV ad featuring a 31-year-old woman who was born alive following her mother's botched abortion. The spot focused on Obama's votes and declarations against legislation that would protect infants born alive during an abortion procedure.

Obama insisted during the campaign he would have supported the Illinois law protecting born-alive infants if it contained a "neutrality" clause like the federal version, which states the law specifically is not intended to impact the status of babies before birth.

As WND reported, however, documentation uncovered by Doug Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee revealed Obama did vote against a version of the Illinois law that was the same as the federal law.

9. Bush's refusal to pardon imprisoned border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were prosecuted by the president's friend, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton.

As president, Bush has pardoned or commuted sentences for 32 drug dealers, 12 thieves, seven embezzlers, an arsonist, an armed bank robber and eight Thanksgiving turkeys, among others – but U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean remained in prison this Christmas, praying for their release.

Monica Ramos embraces her husband, former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)

Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively, for shooting an illegal alien drug dealer while he smuggled nearly 750 pounds of marijuana across the border. They were convicted of assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of violence and deprivation of civil rights.

WND initiated a letter campaign to persuade Bush of the urgency and moral rightness of showing clemency to the two jailed law enforcement officers.

WND reported many Border Patrol agents have held their fire in border incidents, fearing they could their lose jobs or end up behind bars like Ramos and Compean.

In July, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the major counts against the former agent, reversing only a minor obstruction of justice count.

A Christian pastor, in May, filed an ethics complaint with the Texas Bar Association seeking an investigation into U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's "willfully misleading" statements in the case against former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

In April, the nonpartisan Project 21 renewed a call to Bush to pardon Ramos and Compean, saying, "It is time to prove that [Bush] places the welfare of American communities and those men and women who risk their lives to protect them over the welfare of lying illicit drug smugglers."

10. Suppression of Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders' film, "Fitna," which exposes the worldwide threat from Islam.

Defying the wishes of the government of the Netherlands, a courageous Dutch MP posted online a 17-minute documentary on the Quran, juxtaposing images of Islam's holy book with terror attacks and bombings by Muslim extremists.

Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, leader of the Netherlands' Freedom Party, released "Fitna," an Arabic word meaning strife, on the political party's website.

A critic of the "Islamization" of the West, Wilders released the film after weeks of debate couched in terms of free speech and religious bigotry. Many opponents feared the kind of violence that arose following the Danish publication of cartoons depicting Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Wilders said he understood Muslims could be upset by the film but said that was not his purpose in producing it.

The film later was removed from a British video-sharing website,, after the organization reported "serious" threats to its staff members.

"This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else," the site said. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realized is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one."

Early critics had expressed fears Wilder would show a copy of the Quran being destroyed in his film, but the ending offered a slight surprise.

As someone leafs through the Quran, a sound of tearing is heard.

"The sound you heard was from a page [being torn out] of the phone book. It is not up to me, but up to the Muslims themselves to tear the spiteful verses from the Quran," the screen text read. "Stop Islamization. Defend our freedom," it concluded.

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Previous stories:

The most ignored stories of 2007

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The 2005 'spike' list

The year's 10 most underreported stories

Most 'spiked' stories of 2003

Which stories got 'spiked' last year?

10 most 'spiked' stories of 2001

Most under-reported stories of 2000

Biggest spikes of 1999

Most under-reported stories of '97