Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Israel’s Lie Machine Working Flat Out To Dodge “Killer” Question

By Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood shows how Israel’s public relations strategy frames and defines the situation in Israel’s own terms regardless of the truth and, using advanced propaganda skills and the elaborate Israel lobby network, it seeks to persuade Western politicians and media to accept Israel’s version of events. Continue

By Stuart Littlewood

December 31, 2008
Redress Information & Analysis - -While the murderous assault on Gaza continues, I notice there's a briefing document on the website of the Israeli Embassy in London which has a lie in every line. The West's mainstream media repeat them, and even the most senior TV and radio interviewers don’t bother to challenge them.

The document is a transcript of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's statement to the Israeli press dated 27 December 2008 – a day that will live in infamy. It is a perfect example of the falsehoods used to dupe not only us Westerners but Israel’s own people. The statement shows how the regime's view of itself is constructed on a web of dishonesty and self-delusion.

For example:

  • "Israeli citizens have been under the threat of daily attack from Gaza for years."
    Palestinians have been under harsh Israeli occupation for 60 years.
  • "Only this week hundreds of missiles and mortars shells were fired at Israeli civilian communities."
    Only one in 500 Qassam rockets causes a fatality. How many thousands of Israeli bombs, missiles, rockets, grenades and tank-shells have been blasted into the crowded city and towns of the Gaza Strip by Israel’s high-tech weaponry?

  • "Until now we have shown restraint. But today there is no other option than a military operation."
    The only legitimate option for Israel is to end the occupation and withdraw behind its 1967 border, as required under international law and UN resolutiosn. Israel has been killing Palestinians at the rate of 8 to 1 since 2000, and children at the rate of nearly 12 to 1 (B’Tselem figures). This is somebody’s idea of restraint?
  • "We need to protect our citizens from attack through a military response against the terror infrastructure in Gaza."
    Self-defence is not a right exclusive to Israel. Palestinians have an equal right to protect their citizens from the terror tactics of Israel.

  • "Israel left Gaza in order to create an opportunity for peace."
    Israel never left Gaza. It still occupies Gaza's airspace and coastal waters and controls all entrances and exits.

  • "In return, the Hamas terror organization took control of Gaza and is using its citizens as cover while it deliberately targets Israeli communities and denies any chance for peace."
Hamas was voted into power as the legitimate government of Palestine. Israel chose not to accept the people's choice, which amounted to a denial of their human rights, and immediately set about obliterating it.
  • "We have tried everything to reach calm without using force. We agreed to a truce through Egypt that was violated by Hamas, which continued to target Israel, hold Gilad Shalit and build up its arms."
    Try talking. The Israelis' ongoing siege and economic blockade, begun shortly after Hamas was elected early in 2006, was never going to generate calm. And why is Shalit considered more important than the 9,000 Palestinians abducted and held prisoner by Israel? As soon as a Hamas government was formed Israeli troops arrested eight Hamas ministers and 20 other parliamentarians, making the work of government impossible.

  • "Israel continues to act to prevent humanitarian crisis and to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians."
    Every agency operating in Gaza has warned of the deepening humanitarian crisis and protested about the starvation and suffering, especially of children many of whom show evidence of stunted growth.

  • "The responsibility for harm to civilians lies with Hamas."
    Not according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

  • "Hamas is a terrorist organization, supported by Iran, that does not represent the legitimate national interests of the Palestinian people but a radical Islamist agenda that seeks to deny peace for the peoples of this region."
    Hamas was the popular choice of Palestinians at the last election. It is entitled under international law to take up arms against an illegal occupier and invader. If it is supported by Iran, so what? Israel receives mega-support from the US. When it comes to terror, it is Israel's conduct which fits the US definition of terrorism so perfectly – see Bush's Executive Order 13224, Section 3.

  • "While confronting Hamas, Israel continues to believe in the two-state solution and remains committed to negotiations with the legitimate Palestinian Authority in the context of the peace process, launched at Annapolis."
    Israel is busy establishing irreversible facts on the ground that make a viable Palestinian state impossible. As everyone knows, the regime has reneged on the peace process and carries on building illegal settlements and the illegal Wall, and demolishing Palestinian homes. Months ago Hamas accepted a Palestinian state based on internationally recognized (pre-1967) borders, in accordance with UN resolutions, with full sovereignty and its capital in Jerusalem, but this has been ignored. Hamas also offered a 10-year truce, also ignored. Earlier, Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the State of Israel in the Oslo agreement but what good did it do? Today’s US-backed, Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority is not representative of the Palestinian people.
  • "Israel expects the support and understanding of the international community, as it confronts terror, and advances the interest of all those who wish the forces of peace and co existence to determine the agenda of this region." 
Israel, next to the US, is the biggest purveyor of terror in the region and only advances its own interests. It may get the support of Israel lobby stooges in other Western governments but is rapidly earning the contempt of everybody else.

From a statement dated 22 December 2008:

  • "Hamas, backed by Iran, has regularly stated its desire to see the complete destruction of Israel."
    Israel is itself a leading destroyer and currently engaged in trying to wipe out Hamas and the Gazans. Iran’s President Ahmadinajad quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini as saying that "this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" – fair comment considering that Jerusalem, with Bethlehem, was designated an “international city” under the UN Partition Plan. Israeli propaganda twisted the Iranian’s words to read “Israel must be wiped off the map”. Zionist sources and the manifestos of Israeli political parties have made it clear for a long time that Israel plans to wipe Palestine off the map, and every act and lie is directed towards that end.
  • "Our fight is not with the people of Gaza; it is with the extremists of Hamas."
    Then why does the Israeli navy harass and fire on peaceable Gazan fishermen who are well within their own territorial waters? Why does Israel prevent Palestinian students from taking up places at foreign universities and block hospital spares, medicines, foodstuffs and foreign medics from entering Gaza? Why has the Israeli navy just rammed a mercy vessel in international waters taking doctors and medicines to Gaza? Latest air strikes have hit the Islamic University and the Ministry of Education. These are direct attacks on Gazan civil society and its infrastructure.
  • "Hamas started this conflict, and it bears responsibility for any harm to civilians on either side."
    The conflict, started by Jewish terrorists, has been going on for 60 years, decades before Hamas came into being.
  • "Israel’s only responsibility is to protect Israeli citizens."
    As the occupying power Israel has a duty to see that the people of the occupied territories come to no harm.
  • "Just as Israel seeks to defend its civilian population, Hamas seeks to kill them."
    This reads far better the other way round: “Just as Hamas seeks to defend its civilian population, Israel seeks to kill them.”
  • "Rocket attacks have continued for years and are now a daily occurrence. How long does the international community expect Israel will wait before defending itself against them?"
    The rocket attacks will end when Israel ends the occupation and stops terrorizing its neighbours.
  • "In the south of Israel, Israeli citizens live with air raid sirens sounding every day – sometimes every hour. Their situation is intolerable."
    Not half as intolerable as it is for the Gazans, who live in constant fear of air raids and re-invasion and are constantly under surveillance by armed drones which can fire missiles under computer control from an armchair in Israeli headquarters.
  • "For years, the international community has turned a blind eye to this onslaught. Only when Israel seeks to stop the rockets do they take notice."
    For years the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel's violations of international law and human rights, which is why the problem remains unsolved.
  • "Hamas is not only the enemy of Israel – it is the enemy of every Palestinian who believes in peace."
    Israelis just can’t come to terms with the Palestinians' democratic choice and are bent on obliterating it.
  • "It is Hamas' attacks – not Israel's reactions – that destroy every opportunity we have for peace."
    The world has managed to work out by now that Israel doesn't want peace until it has stolen all the land and water it needs to expand its racist state into a “Greater Israel". It is well on the way to achieving this and won’t be thwarted.
  • "Palestinian militants targeted by Israel are not just the enemies of the Israeli people; they are criminals under international law, and enemies of peace."
    Israel is in no position to preach international law.
  • "What is collective punishment? 'Collective punishment' is a city – schools, hospitals, homes – civilians being bombarded every single day by rockets and mortars."
    Collective punishment is keeping a whole population bottled up under siege and blocking supplies and exports, smashing their infrastructure, wrecking their economy and starving their children. Trying to equate Sderot with what’s happening in the Gaza Strip is idiotic.
  • "Today's Middle East is divided between extremists and pragmatists. Hamas, backed by Iran, belongs to the extremists, who must be defeated for the sake of the future of the Middle East... Israel’s primary goal is peace."
    Israel's primary goal is the expansion of Israel by making the occupation of the West Bank permanent and bringing the Gazans to their knees.

The core issue in this struggle is the illegality of Israel’s brutal occupation. Israel goes to great lengths to avoid and suppress all mention of it and play-acts the pathetic victim. As the official statements (above) show, the strategy is to frame and define the situation in Israel’s own terms regardless of the truth. It uses advanced propaganda skills, and the elaborate Israel lobby network, to persuade Western politicians and media to accept Israel’s version of events (and even use Israel’s biased language) and not question its motives.

In political public relations terms it works wonderfully well. The loony leaders of my own government happily spread the poison and don’t seem interested in halting Israeli aggression and the vaporizing, dismembering and crushing of Gaza’s population. In human PR terms it is a disaster.

I have been listening to the BBC’s senior interviewers these last few days. None has had the gumption to ask Israeli spokesmen the only question that matters – the “killer” question on which hangs the key to peace: WHEN IS ISRAEL GOING TO END ITS OCCUPATION AND RETURN TO THE PALESTINIANS THEIR LANDS AND FREEDOM?

. . . . . .

The Holocaust

By Dahlia Wasfi

Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic. But I’m not talking about World War II, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, or Ashkenazi Jews. What I’m referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the last 60 years. Continue

December 31, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse" -- --Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic. But I’m not talking about World War II, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, or Ashkenazi Jews. What I’m referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the last 60 years. By definition, a holocaust is a mass slaughter of people or a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life, especially through fire. There isn’t a more accurate description of the hell that US-armed and –funded Israeli Occupation Forces are unleashing on the people of Gaza at this moment. Since Arabs are Semites, US-Israeli policy doesn’t get more anti-Semitic than this.

If you think I’m being grandiose, let us look at the words of Matan Vilnai, Israel’s Deputy Defense [sic] Minister, from February of this year: "The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” In Hebrew, “shoah” refers to the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940's. But massive airstrikes are not self-defense if you are the aggressor. That goes for the whole stupid so-called “War on Terror,” in which not a single one of its victims had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001. That goes for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan; that goes for Israel in Palestine.

And that goes for Germany in Poland. In 1940, the Germans began massing Polish Jews into ghettoes prior to their deportation to extermination camps. The largest one was the Warsaw Ghetto, where an uprising—a Jewish insurgency—began in 1943. Today, Gaza is essentially a large ghetto, with a population of around 1.5 million living on about 139 square miles. Israel controls Gaza’s land border, airspace, water, maritime access, and the flow of goods including food and medical supplies. Since June 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on the people of Gaza, slowly starving them to death, slowly killing them by denial of medical care amidst intermittent gunship airstrikes. These crimes against humanity are, of course, in violation of the Geneva Conventions—international law established after World War II in the spirit of “never again.” Unlike in Warsaw, Gaza is not the staging area for the extermination camps; Gaza IS the extermination camp.

Qassam rockets fired from Gaza as retaliation for Israeli F-16 airstrikes are the equivalent of the Molotov cocktails used by the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. Like the small arms of the Polish Jews, they are no match for the sophisticated weaponry of the invading army. This is why the death toll is so high for the people on the ground in Gaza, and minimal for Israelis. The mainstream media is depicting this as an “all-out war,” as it depicts the illegal occupation of Iraq. But in both cases, you have a starving, essentially unarmed people being assaulted with F-15s/F-16s, cruise missiles, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, tanks, and artillery. This is not war; this is mass murder; this is genocide. And it is American military, financial, and political support that makes this bloodletting possible.

From North America to Germany to Cambodia to Rwanda to Palestine to Iraq, mass murder is wrong. When Americans are looking for whom to blame, we cannot blame the victims. Yes, there are many players involved and many governments turning a blind eye to genocide, but don’t we brag about how much better we are than that? Shouldn’t we stop being complicit in these supreme crimes against humanity? All we have to do is abide by our own laws, which include all signed international treaties and agreements. We must end our illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop funding and providing armaments for the illegal occupation and stealth of Palestinian land. In the words of Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American college student who was murdered in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Forces on March 16, 2003:

“…Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world…So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”

Let us heed her brave wisdom, and end illegal occupation. If we fail to act, then the next time someone flies airplanes into American buildings, let us not ask ignorantly, “Why do they hate us?”

Dahlia Wasfi was born in the United States in 1971 to an American Jewish mother and an Iraqi Muslim father. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Dr. Wasfi speaks out in support of immediate, unconditional withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and the need to end the occupation “from the Nile to the Euphrates.”

Her website is .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Capitalism Short Circuits Our Moral Hard-Wiring

By Gary Olson
Perhaps not since the 1930s have our citizens been more skeptical of received wisdom about our socioeconomic system. That is, the carefully manufactured narrative of market capitalist identity and its assumptions about human nature are now thrown into sharp relief.

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

By Chris Hedges

The multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think.

Disgraced financier Bernie Madoff to be electronically tagged:

The latest sensational twist in the mushrooming financial scandal came as 70-year-old Madoff fled his £6million New York apartment and went into hiding to escape furious creditors, many of them former friends and lifelong business associates.

Bernie Madoff's Victims: The List:

Word on the identities of Bernie Madoff's clients / victimes continues to emerge. The total losses reported so far add up to about $30 billion.

The American-Made Insurgency in Afghanistan

A Million McVeighs Now

By Chris Floyd

The "Good War" in Afghanistan - the Bush-launched war that Barack Obama tells us we must fight and win - continues to deteriorate before our eyes. Just like every other operation in the so-called "War on Terror" (another Bush-launched campaign that Obama has fully embraced as his own), the Afghan war, now in its seventh year, has proven entirely counter-productive to its stated aims.

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Urges Seven Point Plan for Peace :
"For this to work, the armies can't be brought from immediate Muslims countries, such as Pakistan, Iran or Turkey...They have to be brought from countries like Jordan, Algeria and Egypt."

Should Dick Cheney Be Hanged?

By Rachel Maddow Video And Transcript

We hanged people for waterboarding as a war crime, in Dick Cheney's lifetime. With that is as the historical context, the vice president cavalierly told ABC News that he specifically approved that same technique being used against the prisoner named Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

John Dean: 'Serious consequences' if Obama doesn't prosecute torture:
Vice President Dick Cheney's admission that he authorized waterboarding has focused attention on possible Bush administration war crimes, and former Nixon White House counsel John Dean believes there will be "serious consequences" if the Obama administration tries to avoid singling out those involved for prosecution.

Not So Fast:

American and Iraqi military and diplomatic officials insist that a residual U.S. force of considerable size is likely to remain for the medium to long term, as will the U.S. bases in Iraq that Democrats over the last two years have insisted must not be permanent.

Morales urges action over Cuba:

Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, has said that all Latin American nations should expel US ambassadors in their country's until the American economic embargo against Cuba is ended.

Guantanamo 'worst place on Earth':

AN Algerian-born man who has just been freed from Guantanamo Bay has described the US "war on terror" camp as the worst place on Earth, in an interview published in a Bosnian newspaper.,25197,24816310-12335,00.html

Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes

By Marjorie Cohn

Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes.......
Why is Cheney so sanguine about admitting he is a war criminal?
Because he's confident that either President Bush will preemptively pardon him or President-elect Obama won't prosecute him.

Both of those courses of action would be illegal.

First, a president cannot immunize himself or his subordinates for committing crimes that he himself authorized......

Lt. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, said, "There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."......

Second, the Constitution requires President Obama to faithfully execute the laws. That means prosecuting lawbreakers. When the United States ratified the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, thereby making them part of U.S. law, we agreed to prosecute those who violate their prohibitions......

Obama has promised to bring real change. This must be legal and moral change, where those at the highest levels of government are held accountable for their heinous crimes. The new president should move swiftly to set an important precedent that you can't authorize war crimes and get away with it.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd), which will be published this winter by PoliPointPress. Her articles are archived at (The views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer; she is not acting on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild or Thomas Jefferson School of Law)


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News Stories
December 20, 2008
LBJ accused Nixon of treason
Robert Parry discusses the evidence of Nixon's treasonous legacy and the media's choice to ignore it view

Congress ignored critical bailout oversight
ANP: Though congress wrote oversight into the 700 billion dollar bailout bill, they left a gaping hole view

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan
Guardian: Clancy Chassay reports on the impact of civilian casualties on the Afghan population view

Reality asserts itself
Solutions to the economic crisis will be found when we cut through the propaganda and spin
Obama's Vietnam?
Ray McGovern: Will Afghanistan be Obama's Vietnam? view

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because America's war crimes against Viet Nam went unpunished, new war crimes followed.

If the current war crimes against Iraq go unpunished, expect yet more war crimes!

It’s not just about them…it’s also about us!

Why We Must Prosecute Bush And His Administration For War Crimes

By Mike Ferner

We are complicit in the horrors of this administration. We can claim neither ignorance nor innocence. We are complicit by the very fact that we are citizens of the United States, more so because we paid for the war, and even more so for this reason. Listen to a village sheik I met in Iraq describe it better than I ever could. Continue

What Does Letting Our Own War Criminals Go Free Tell Us About Ourselves?

By Nat Hentoff

What has happened to the rule of law, and what has happened to Americans? Continue

Cheney Admits Authorizing Detainee's Torture

By David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster

Monday, outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney made a startling statement on a nation-wide, televised broadcast. Continue

Iraqi group files 200 lawsuits against Rumsfeld, US security firms for torture: "Around 30 lawsuits have been accepted so far," Qeisi told AFP. The others are still under consideration. "The torture was systemic, and those responsible for it should be punished and the victims should be compensated," he said.

Monday, December 08, 2008

From: International Institute for the Study of Cuba

Cuba Report

Issue 15 November 2008

fff Forthcoming Public Seminars f

The Bolivarian alternative for the Americas and the Caribbean: The institution and process of 'ALBA'

Tuesday 2 December 2008
Dr Ken Cole
Honorary Research Fellow,
International Institute for the Study of Cuba

This paper argues that as the embodiment of the (19th century) revolutionary ideals of Simón Bolívar and Jose Martí, ALBA is an epoch defining initiative whose time has come in the post-1970s globalized world.
Independently, nation states are powerless to resist the exigencies of international finance and competitive exchange, and in this regard The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas and the Caribbean can be seen as the most important political initiative in Latin America since the Cuban revolution of January 1st 1959.

Henry Thomas Room
London Metropolitan University
166-220 Holloway Road,
London N7 8DB

Entrance to this seminar is free but please register your intention to attend by email

Picture: Billboard outside Havana airport 2006. ‘I am the son of America and I owe myself to her’

Baseball, Sugar and Slavery - Spring seminar series

The Spring 2009 season of public seminars at the IISC start with three topics that have not been touched on before in our series: Baseball, the sugar economy and the history of slavery. Click on the titles to access further information:

05 Feb. 2009: Cuban Baseball and national identity: A nation of peloteros

19 Feb. 2009: The rise and fall of Cuba's sugar economy

19 Mar. 2009: Slave Resistance on Cuban Plantations, 1790-1850

All the events will take place at 6.30pm in the Henry Thomas Room, North Campus. To register email:

Picture: Cover of Tom Carter’s new book on Cuban baseball. Event on 5 Feb 09

DVDs of seminars now available

Since its inception in 2007 the IISC has held more than 12 public seminars. Each on has been recorded and now DVDs are available to the public to buy. Please see the Past events home page for details on how to obtain them

cccc Peer reviewers required ccc

Any suitably qualified academic readers interested in acting as peer reviewer for the International Journal of Cuban Studies, are requested to send their cv and declaration of interest to the Assistant Editor on

cccc Readers' blog launched ccc

The Readers' Blog on the Journal site has been launched and is located at here
Readers may also send comments to the Assistant Editor Patrcia Daniel

cccc Hard copies of journal now available ccc

2 printed versions of the journal are now available to be purchased online:

Coloured version

Black and White version

cccc Discover Cuba: Departs December 6 ccc

There are just four places remaining to be filled on the Discover Cuba tour that departs on December 6th. This tour has been organised in conjunction with the tour company Old Havana Ltd and full details are posted on our site here. Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Assistant Director of the IISC, will be leading it. To read what last year's group thought of the experience, click here

Picture: All smiles: Last year’s group having a lovely time!

cccc 4th International Workshop on Child Health ccc

Camaguey, Cuba 1-9 March 2009

Travel to the historic city of Camaguey in central Cuba for a three day conference in the company of Professor Imti Choonara, a Child health specialist from Nottingham University, enjoy free time to visit Havana and options to extend your stay are possible.
Organised by Camaguey Children’s Hospital; Department of Provincial Health, Camaguey; International Institute for the Study of Cuba and University of Nottingham. Full details are on our website .

cccc Pedagogia 2009, Education conference, Havana 26-30 January 2009 ccc

The IISC and Old Havana ltd are putting together a package for teachers and educators to attend the biannual conference Pedagogia 2009 to be held in Havana next January 26-30. Thousands of teachers from all over the world will be gathering to discuss schooling at all ages. Full details and costs are yet to be evaluated but if you are interested in joining this tour please contact Stephen Wilkinson immediately.

cccc NEW TOUR: African Cultures, Religions, and Ethnicities in Cuba ccc

7 days: Proposed date of travel Sunday 21 June, 2009 with Virgin Atlantic

A unique opportunity to visit Cuba and explore its rich African cultural heritage in the company of a Cuban expert on the history of slavery

This tour has been designed and will be led by Dr Manuel Barcia who is a Lecturer in Latin American Studies in Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies University of Leeds. The arrangements for travel will be made by Old Havana Ltd. Optional extensions will be available for those who wish to stay on.
The tour will go ahead if sufficient interest in shown in taking part. If you are interested in participating in this tour please contact Stephen Wilkinson immediately.

Picture: Lagrimas negras by Cuban Artist Ibrahim Miranda

cccc Discounts on Travel to Cuba for IISC referrals ccc

The Cuba specialist travel firm Old Havana Ltd. which trades as San Cristobal UK has signed an agreement with the IISC to supply discounted travel services to Cuba for the IISC and its clients and associates. Staff at LondonMet and others referred to Old Havana Ltd. by the IISC can obtain 5 per cent discounts on prices of flights and hotel bookings in Cuba. If you wish to take advantage of the service please contact Stephen Wilkinson at the IISC in the first instance.

cccc IISC office has moved ccc

The IISC has now moved to its new site in the City of London. The new address and telephone number is below. Calls to the old number will be forwarded automatically.

International Institute for the Study of Cuba,
London Metropolitan University,
31 Jewry St.,

Tel. +44 (0)20 7320 3060

cccc Consultancy service ccc

The IISC can provide bespoke information and reports on all aspects of Cuba and can advise on film or business projects in the island. Contact Stephen Wilkinson or Emily Morris for further information.

cccc Medical Electives programme ccc

The IISC medical electives programme is now established. If you are a medical student and would like to complete your elective in Cuba please look at the new Medical electives section on the website.

cccc Hurricane Relief ccc

In October, Hurricane Paloma hit Cuba. This was the third hurricane to hit the island in a year. The IISC suggests that those who wish to make a donation to alleviate some of the problems should do so through the organization MEDICC.

cccc Note to subscribers ccc

If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in future please simply either send us an email to or unsubscribe here
However, if you are pleased to have received this newsletter, please help us by circulating it to others who you feel might be interested.

War Made Easy
Must Watch Video

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.

Drawing the Future From the Past
By Channapha Khamvongsa

For nearly three decades, the U.S. secret war in Laos and the impact of the most massive bombing campaign in the world was nearly forgotten.
For those who remembered, the events seemed surreal.
They witnessed the reckless destruction of a people and their land, and careful efforts by the U.S. government to conceal it.

With Gates, Obama Opts for Empire
By Matthew Rothschild

He's about running the U.S. empire-with less bravado than Bush-Cheney,
but perhaps more efficiently.
And he's perfectly willing to use the old hands like Gates,
bloody as they are, to get that job done.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This Is Change?

20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House

By Jeremy Scahill

Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton's White House.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why Do You Kill Zaid?

By Jürgen Todenhöfer

This advertorial was published in The New York Times by author Jürgen Todenhöfer, based on his book 'Why Do You Kill Zaid?'

The West is much more violent than the Muslim world. Millions of Arab civilians have been killed since colonialism began.

.....Over the past 200 years no Muslim state has ever attacked the West. The European superpowers and the United States have always been the aggressors and not those under attack. Since the beginning of the colonial era millions of Arab civilians have been killed.

The West is clearly at the top of the league when it comes to killing, by a ratio of more than ten to one.

The current debate about the Muslim world's alleged propensity to violence is a mockery of historical facts. The West was and is much more violent than the Muslim world. The problem of our era is not the violence of Muslims but the violence of some Western countries.

To understand Muslim extremism, one has to try to see the world, at least for a moment, from the point of view of a Muslim. Our horizon is not the end of the world. A young Muslim who follows the news on television sees day after day how Muslim women, children and men are killed by Western weapons, Western allies and Western soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia and elsewhere......

Terrorism is not a Muslim problem but a global one.....In the current debate on terrorism it is often said: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." That is simply wrong.....The Muslim world is a far cry from the image depicted in the Western media.....

Nothing fosters terrorism more than the West's "war on terror"...

.....The objective must be a world order that all states can accept as just; a world in which there is no longer discrimination against Muslims in the West and against Jews and Christians in the Muslim world; a world that no longer conducts mutual demonization of religions and cultures; a world order which decommissions the West's weapons of mass destruction and shuts down its lie machines. A world in which the U.S. is again a symbol of peace and freedom, rather than of war and repression. A world in which everyone sees the log in his own eye and not only the speck in the eye of his neighbor.

Read this excellent and important article in its entirety!

About the author

Dr. Jürgen Todenhöfer (67) has been an executive at a major European media group for more than 20 years. Before that he was a member of the German parliament for 18 years and spokesman for the CDU/CSU on development and arms control.

He has written two bestsellers about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the proceeds he established a children's home in Afghanistan and is building a children's clinic in Congo. With the royalties from "Why do you kill, Zaid?" Todenhöfer will finance medical aid for Iraqi refugee children (IOM) and an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation project in the Middle East (MEET).