I started blogging again... for three days. I then realized Iwrite for myself, not for others... The pressure of expectation is at the root of most of my writer's block history. So rather than avoid sharing information because I don't know how to type without deleting and changing word choices and then deleting entire paragraphs, etc... I fall back on posting pertinent and interesting stories, voices, perspectives (a.k.a. "things") every once in a while.
So here's something I saw in Electronic Intifada the other day and decided it was a lovely example of US engagement in Israel and Palestine beyond the nearly $3 billion in economic and military aid to Israel, beyond the US' complicity in the siege, closure and invasions of Gaza, and despite the "strong words" Obama has used in discussing a settlement freeze (which is not happening in the slightest).
The US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), an organizing body that came out of the first convening of the US Palestinian Popular Conference in the Summer of 2008, released a statement about General Dayton and his mercenaries creating contra forces in the West Bank. It is a VERY scary reality for Palestinians and there is a call to organize to halt US funding and training of the Palestinian Authority "security forces."
The US Palestinian Community Network is appalled that the government of the United States not only continues its unconditional support for Israel, but has engaged in establishing Palestinian contra forces in the West Bank, aimed at deepening Palestinian internal division and engaging in arbitrary arrests and assassinations of political activists. We demand an immediate end to all such programs and the immediate withdrawal of US Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton and his mercenaries from Palestine!
US Lt. General Keith Dayton, the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, has overseen the creation of a paramilitary force serving the occupation under the title of Palestinian Authority "security forces." While Israeli occupation soldiers regularly abduct, injure and kill Palestinians, Dayton's contras have engaged in a campaign of intimidation against the Palestinian populace, including arbitrary arrests, raids on charitable institutions and non-governmental organizations, assassinations and torture of political opponents of the Palestinian Authority.
Furthermore, the focus on "security" comes at the expense of the Palestinian people's real needs. While Palestinians continue to organize to resist occupation and strengthen their communities by building schools, hospitals and community-centered institutions that support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, the US has poured money, arms and resources into "security forces" that provide no security for Palestinians who face daily threats from settlers and occupying forces, but instead act as threats against Palestinians on the ground.
The actions of these squads are fully coordinated with the Israeli military occupation. They carry out arrests, abductions and raids at the direction of Israeli military forces and provide the occupation forces with information about the location of Palestinian activists. Israeli officials have bragged about the success of these paramilitary forces in repressing Palestinian resistance.
In addition, this force is designed to prop up a subservient and collaborationist Palestinian authority. The training for these forces is provided by a number of repressive Arab regimes, who themselves maintain their power due to US funding and support.
These paramilitary squads are not an internal Palestinian question alone. As taxpayers and residents of the United States, we demand that the US ceases its funding and training of Dayton's mercenaries. US involvement in paramilitary death and terror squads is nothing new -- from Colombia, to the Philippines, to El Salvador, to Nicaragua, to Angola and Mozambique, the US has funded trained and armed paramilitary forces to serve US interests and/or support reactionary local rulers.
To read their call to action visit their site: