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Jill Carroll

Monday a videotape aired on Al-Jazeera showing Jill Carroll wearing a conservative Islamic veil. She was reportedly crying as she spoke to the camera, asking that all female prisoners held by U.S. and Iraqi authorities be released. The footage was grainy and carried a January 28 datestamp and a logo showing the name of the Revenge Brigades militant group.

Jill Carroll is an innocent journalist who was trying to tell the story of the Iraqi people. Many Iraqis have been calling for her release.

Last April, a U.S. rights activist who raised millions of dollars for civilian victims of U.S. military action was killed in Iraq. Marla Ruzicka was killed near the Baghdad airport by a car bomber. She worked to get compensation for the victims of the wars in Afganistan and Iraq.


Newsmen injured in Iraq

ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt have been injured by an IED attack in Iraq. They have undergone surgery in Iraq, and will be flown to U.S. medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany, for further treatment. The attacks are just another reminder of how dangerous Iraq truly is for foreigners and Iraqis alike. These attacks have given no real tactical or strategic advantage to the enemies of Iraq, not in the conventional sense.

Still no word on journalist Jill Carroll who was kidnapped in Iraq and threatened with execution. This kidnapping has given the enemy no strategic or tactical advantage.

Jill Carroll was in Iraq trying to help Iraqi people and tell their story... but the terrorists are certainly no strangers to attacking those trying to help: Margarat Hassan had lived in Iraq for 30 years, was married to an Iraqi, and had been working for Care International since 1991. She had been the head of operations for 12 years when she was kidnapped and subsequently murdered. Many other civilians, journalists, and aid workers have been ruthlessly murdered. These senseless killings have given the enemies of Iraq no strategic or tactical advantage.

Then what is the purpose of the attacks, kidnappings, killings, sabotage, and senseless violence carried out by these insurgents and extremists? Many of the groups have plainly stated their goals: to drive the coalition forces out of Iraq and to overthrow the Iraqi government. It is not possible for the insurgents to win a military victory, but their tactics seem to be to wage a war of attrition. The insurgents are trying to convince people that "it's just not worth it." Creating an environment that is the most dangerous in the world while sabotaging reconstruction efforts seems to be the strategy. Various strategies aimed at inciting civil war have also emerged, but they appear just as futile.

And so as the enemies carry out these desperate and irrational attacks they will create countless victims, of which Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt have now joined.

Showdown with Hamas

Apparently not everyone in Palestine is happy about the Hamas win in Parliamentary elections.

In pictures: Palestinian unrest

The pressure on Hamas now is to renounce violence and the denial of Israel's right to exist. Israel has expressed a refusal to deal with Hamas, and now aid for Palestinians from other world powers is in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Iran is happy about the Hamas victory and expresses support for the continued "struggle and resistance against occupation."


Here are some very interesting comments found at the blog of an anti-American blogger from Iran named Niki:

I am a pro-war again terror person.and why the heck should i not supprt it?images like these show the ties amongst all the terrorists from southern lebanon to caves of afghanistan and this is an example to justify this war,if u dont allow one of them to reach the WMD the next day they invite a guy like sadr who is resp for lives of many people.(i got the sarcasm in your cooment on the photo though)
Sina- Ok, so let me get this straight, you are happy that a war you supported is allowing people you call terrorists to consolidate their power?
no not at all,I-like every other human being-dont like war in first place.Terrorism is like a network these days in middle east and that part of the world.Most of them are potential terrorists.See,last year
we couldnt even imagine seeing any country's officials speaking to SADR.
He was a known terrorist whom even Iraqis hate,But now Iranian govenor is playing the SADR card because they are not allowed to produce nuclear weapon.This is called potential terrorism.
Why are we not expanding the meaning of "terrorist networks" to include those who create terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, i.e Bush & Co.? Perhaps, if you did so, you'd see that Bush and Sadr have a lot more in common.
Terror was in Iraq before the US attack.We all know what Saddam's regime was like.Why do we close our eyes to his crimes,Why nobody talked about Abu Gharib persion before the US attack?Why nobody cared about Iraqi people when Saddam was in power?Sima,you cannot blame coalition forces if Syrian and Jordanian terrorists kill Iraqi people.
Sina- You are ignoring the fact that it was the illegal U.S. war on Iraq that made Sadr into the powerful figure he is today. Sadr's group has so much support that now the other Shia groups in parliament have to consult with him. Face it: he got the votes, he has the support. If 13 years of sanctions hadn't stripped Iraq of so much, religious groups such as Sadr's wouldnt have been able to gain a following among ordinary Iraqis who turn to them for day-to-day support and comfort. In addition, even the U.S. statistics themselves show that a very very small percent of the insurgency is made up of "foreign" fighters". The only significant "foreign fighters" in Iraq who are responsible for the murder of civilians are the U.S./U.K. occupation troops. Finally, you've called yourself the "feminist guy", then how can you maintain your pro-war position when this "invasion of liberation" has resulted in the serious curtailing of women's rights in Iraq? Aren't pro-war types always babbling about "women's rights", so please, befarmayeed, tell me how this war has saved Iraqi women!?
I assume you are calling this war "illegal" because UN and security council did agree with it.yeah right,because UN itself and Annan's son were making money out of the sanctions. Did u not hear in news back a few months ago about that publicn query which made many of UN officials to resign? or you just prefer to hear what u want coz they are not anti war.Some member of the security council like pro-peace countries such as France!!! and Germany!!! just didnt want war coz they were getting cheap oil from Saddam's regime.I have no idea where u got those statistics coz the casulaities of war is much less than than the terrorists attacks.Iraqi people dont just kill innocent Iraqi people.Some sunni groups might support insugency but they dont bomb themselves.the truth is many Iraqis are grateful for the freedom they have been given,my question is : Did u ever write anything or even thought of the torture, people were going through during Saddam's regime?did u ever care about the mass murders?no u didnt coz u had no idea.Not only u neither did 99% of anti war activists.
Do they not broad cast the mass graves being found in Iraq in the US media,or you just close your eyes to that coz the war was “illegal”?
History has taught us terrorism will never last and will never win.

In respect of women rights: Niki I called myself as a feminist guy in my previous weblog because I believe in sexual equality(pro-feminism) and I am an activists in this regard in my real life.I have done so many tiny things for it as much as I could and I am proud of it.
Unfortunately though just like thousands of blogger I prefer to stay anonymous(I have the right I guess,don’t I?) and I cannot reflect the things I do in my real life coz my full name is on it .

Niki when you wrote all women right activists should be anti war(or at least I thought u meant it) it just reminded me of the usual stereo types that a feminist woman is a vegetarian short hair lesbian man hater.

Just an example according to the new Iraqi constitution law: 25% of the parliament seats must be occupied by female MP’s. Women in Middle Eastern countries dream about having such a thing in their countries.

I know there is not such security in Iraq for women at the moment but it wont last forever. Just have a look at Afghani women and see how they are improving after their country was liberated.
Dear Sina-

Well, at least you admit that you support the Iraqi constitution, which says that ALL laws must be in accordance to Islamic law. Go read the constitution, it says this over and over. So if you read what is oultined in this constitution as "liberation" for women, then I don't think we have any common ground for discussion.

As for you being an activist for women in your real life, well, you don't have to prove anything to me. And I respect your right to anonymous. It just freaks me out that people like you who support wars of occupation that destroy infrastructures, kill civilians, and facilitate the rise of fundamentalism in a society with a long history of secularism and women's achievements is out there working for "women's rights".

So if you are doing out there doing something to "liberate" me as an Iranian woman, I would say to you: "Thanks but no thanks!". And I know that I am not the only one who would say this to you.
If I ever mentioned being an activist for women rights it was just because you asked for it.and ask why I called myself "feminist guy" and I am not doing anyone a favour.I am just doing myself a favour.Well,to be honest with you nobody has told me "thanks but no thanks" yet,nobody has actualy said "thanks" either.and what I do is not limited to Iranian women.just for the record writing in a weblog with 100 visitors per day doesnt make anyone women rights activist either.

About Iraqi constitution: even most of people who did agree with war,admit at least it is democratic.the islam part of it:if u believe in democracy u should know majority decides,and most of Iraqis believe in their own religion and we should respect that.This constitution has been written by Iraqis themselves,this is what they believe in.and if u dont agree with that let me break it for you,you have no idea what democracy means in first place.How can a Parliament which has been absolutely elected by people of a country direct them to fundamentalism against their will.It was most unreasonable explanation I have ever read from an anti war as I said 25% of this Parliament are women MP's how on earth they can pass laws against women? After Israel,Iraq is the 2nd democracy in middle east,believe it or not.
But you know what your problem is: after the war in Iraq this so called
"Intellectuality" amused so many people Specially in north is kinda cool to be anti war for some people including yourself or opposing GWB makes you cool.

How sad it is to see people like you are now defending a mass murderer like Saddam while Iraqis themselves are welcoming the whole new government,I am sure you heard about the election in Iraq back in Dec.
I was in Iraq back in Aug 2005 and I saw the real Iraq unlike you guys who knew nothing about iraq before 2003.You can still enjoy this anti war conversations though with your leftist minded firends under a "Che guara" poster in a republic cafe some where in states,but no one buys that any where in Iraq coz they are moving on for good.and again unlike people in Iraq dont like their past and Saddam's regime.



Here is some information about Palestine that I have gathered from different sources on the web:

The history of Palestine:
1. Prehistoric times
2. Canaanite and Israelite Period
3. Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period
4. Byzantines to the Ottomans Period
5. The British Mandate period
6. Post-Mandate

A Palestinian State has never existed. There was a Palestinian British Mandate, an area which was under Turkish control from 1417 to 1917 and was administered by the British after the end of the 1st World War and until 1948.

On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution for the establishment of an independent Jewish State in Palestine, and called upon the inhabitants of the country to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put the plan into effect.

This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own sovereign State.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School:
Declaration of Israel's Independence 1948

* As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn't take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who were sovereign in Palestine for thirty years prior to Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, a sovereignty that was recognized as legitimate by the international community at the time. And the British don't want it back.
* If you consider the British illegitimate usurpers, fine. In that case, this territory is not Arab land but Turkish land, a province of the Ottoman Empire until the British wrested it from them during the Great War in 1917. And the Turks don't want it back.
* If you look back earlier in history than the Ottoman Turks, who took over Palestine over in 1517, you find it under the sovereignty of the another empire not indigenous to Palestine: the Mamluks. These were Turkish and Circassian slave-soldiers headquartered in Egypt, who took Palestine over from the Ayyubi dynasty (the descendants of Saladin) in 1250. And the Mamluks don't even exist any more, so they can't want it back.

So, going back 800 years, there's no particularly clear chain of title that makes Israel's title to the land inferior to that of any of the previous owners. Who were, continuing backward:

* The Mamluks, already mentioned, who in 1250 took Palestine over from:
* The Ayyubi dynasty, who under Saladin conquered Palestine in 1187 from:
* The European Christian Crusaders, who conquered Palestine in 1099 from:
* the Seljuk Turks, who ruled in the name of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad, which in 750 took over of the entire Near East from:
* The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus, which had inherited control of the Islamic lands in 661 from
* The Arabs from Arabia, who in the first flush of Islamic expansion conquered Palestine in 638 AD from:
* The Byzantines, who (nice people - perhaps it should go to them?) didn't conquer the Levant but inherited it from:
* The Romans (upon division of the Empire in 395), who in 63 B.C. took it over from:
* The last Jewish kingdom, who during the Maccabean rebellion from 168 to 140 B.C. won control of the land from:
* The Hellenistic Greeks, who under Alexander the Great conquered the Near East in 333 B.C. from:
* the Persian empire, which under Cyrus the Great in 639 B.C. took Mesopotamia and Palestine from:
* The Babylonian empire, which in 586 B.C. under Nebuchadnezzar took Judah and Jerusalem from:
* the Jews, meaning the people of the Kingdom Of Judah, who in their earlier incarnation as the Israelites, seized the land in the 12th and 13th centuries B.C. from:
* the Canaanites, who had inhabited the land for thousands of years before they were dispossessed by the Israelites.

In May 1967, Egypt and Syria took a number of steps which led Israel to believe that an Arab attack was imminent. On May 16, Nasser ordered a withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF) stationed on the Egyptian-Israeli border, thus removing the international buffer between Egypt and Israel which had existed since 1957. On May 22, Egypt announced a blockade of all goods bound to and from Israel through the Straits of Tiran. Israel had held since 1957 that another Egyptian blockade of the Tiran Straits would justify Israeli military action to maintain free access to the port of Eilat. Syria increased border clashes with Israel along the Golan Heights and mobilized its troops.

The U.S. feared a major Arab-Israeli and superpower confrontation and asked Israel to delay military action pending a diplomatic resolution of the crisis. On May 23, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson publicly reaffirmed that the Gulf of Aqaba was an international waterway and declared that a blockade of Israeli shipping was illegal. In accordance with U.S. wishes, the Israeli cabinet voted five days later to withhold military action.

The U.S., however, gained little support in the international community for its idea of a maritime force that would compel Egypt to open the waterway and it abandoned its diplomatic efforts in this regard. On May 30, President Nasser and King Hussein signed a mutual defense pact, followed on June 4 by a defense pact between Cairo and Baghdad. Also that week, Arab states began mobilizing their troops. Against this backdrop, Nasser and other Egyptian leaders intensified their anti-Israel rhetoric and repeatedly called for a war of total destruction against Israel.

Arab mobilization compelled Israel to mobilize its troops, 80 percent of which were reserve civilians. Israel feared slow economic strangulation because long-term mobilization of such a majority of the society meant that the Israeli economy and polity would be brought to a virtual standstill. Militarily, Israeli leaders feared the consequences of absorbing an Arab first strike against its civilian population, many of whom lived only miles from Arab-controlled territory. Incendiary Arab rhetoric threatening Israel's annihilation terrified Israeli society and contributed to the pressures to go to war.

Against this background, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt on June 5, 1967 and captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Despite an Israeli appeal to Jordan to stay out of the conflict, Jordan attacked Israel and lost control of the West Bank and the eastern sector of Jerusalem. Israel went on to capture the Golan Heights from Syria. The war ended on June 10.

The facts are that the Palestinians have refused a State of their own twice already: in 1948 and in October, 2000.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and US President Bill Clinton offered the following to the Palestinians:
An independent Palestinian State, recognized by Israel and the rest of the World.
Control over 95% of the West Bank and Gaza (see the Maps and history pages for details).
Control over part of Jerusalem.

Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist groups chose to continue their armed struggle through terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. These attacks include random shootings against women, children and passers-by in any street in Israel or homicide/suicide bombers who attach kilograms of explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up in malls or busy streets.

Between September 29, 2000 and December 1, 2005, Magen David Adom treated a total of 7,590 casualties as follows:
976 killed, 621 severely injured, 907 moderately and 5,086 lightly injured, among them 11 MDA staff members.
(IDF casualties treated by IDF medical personnel are not included in these figures.)

Magen David Adom (MDA) is Israel's emergency medical, health, blood and disaster services.