Thursday, June 28, 2007

In West Bank, Hamas Is Silent but Never Ignored - New York Times

In West Bank, Hamas Is Silent but Never Ignored

A crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank has led to concerns that all religious activities and institutions like this soup kitchen in Hebron will face higher scrutiny and more difficulties.

HAWARA, West Bank, June 26 — A new code was born here overnight. No one, it seems, belongs to Hamas in the West Bank anymore. Everyone now is an “Islamist,” a word that neatly, and maybe more safely, shears the religious from party affiliation amid the uncertainty of a Palestinian people newly divided.

“I don’t want to spend my life in jail!” a 35-year-old restaurant owner said, refusing to give his name after expressing pro-Hamas sentiments in an interview here.

Hamas, shrewd as it is deadly, has gone to ground in the West Bank, which is controlled now by its secular rival Fatah and supported by the United States, Europe and Israel as the territory with the only workable Palestinian government. more

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jennifer Loewenstein: The Triumph of US / Israeli Policy in Palestine

Jennifer Loewenstein: The Triumph of US / Israeli Policy in Palestine

IraqSlogger: Iraqi Insurgent Media: Strengths, Weaknesses

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) -- The greatest strengths of the Iraqi Sunni-based insurgency's media strategy -- decentralization and flexibility -- are also its greatest weaknesses, according to a report released by RFE/RL.

The book-length report, "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War Of Images And Ideas" by RFE/RL regional analysts Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo, provides an in-depth analysis of the media efforts of Sunni insurgents, who are responsible for the majority of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq.

Kimmage and Ridolfo argue that the loss of coordination and message control that results from decentralization have revealed fundamental disagreements about Iraq's present and future between nationalist and global jihadist groups in Iraq and that these disagreements are ripe for exploitation by those interested in a liberal and democratic Iraq. (more)

CBC News: On the Map with Avi Lewis - Gaza Underground Economy

CBC News: On the Map with Avi Lewis - Gaza Underground Economy

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coup Guardian Unlimited

Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coup | Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited

Washington's fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians. The last thing they now need is an envoy called Blair

Jonathan Steele
Friday June 22, 2007
The Guardian

Did they jump or were they pushed? Was Hamas's seizure of Fatah security offices in Gaza unprovoked, or a pre-emptive strike to forestall a coup by Fatah? After last week's turmoil, it becomes increasingly important to uncover its origins. more...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fidel's Last Victory - Current TV

This is a wonderful ten-minute doc that listens to apperantly common Cubans talking about how their country. The film maker does not seem to have any agenda and what the people say has, to my mind at least the ring of truth. Certainly worthwhile video.

Sharon Goes Native

Sharon shops for Islamic clothes in Ramallah, the capital of Palestine.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Danger Room - Wired Blogs

Wired Blogs

Robo-Snipers, "Auto Kill Zones" to Protect Israeli Borders
By Noah Shachtman EmailJune 04, 2007 | 12:04:55 PMCategories: Guns, Sabras

For years and years, the Israeli military has been trying to figure out a way to keep Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from crossing over into Israel proper. The latest tactic: create a set of "automated kill zones" by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.


Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome reports that "initial deployment plans for the See-Shoot system call for mounting a 0.5-caliber automated machine gun in each of several pillboxes interspersed along the Gaza border fence."

Connected via fiber optics to a remote operator station and a command-and-control center, each machine gun-mounted station serves as a type of robotic sniper, capable of enforcing a nearly 1,500-meter-deep no-go zone.

The IDF’s [Israeli Defense Forces] Southern Command is also considering adding Gill/Spike anti-tank missiles to extend the no-go zones to several kilometers, defense and industry sources here said.

The guns will be based on the Samson Remote Control Weapons Station. And the pillboxes are supposed to be positioned "at intervals of some hundreds of meters along the border, " Jane's Defence Weekly observes. They'll be "protected and secured (alarms, sensors and steel doors) and feature retractable armored covers that protect the weapon station when not in use." more