More Updates Below! Mr. Blaschke joins the discussion online.
Just got the fourth email. Iâ€™m starting to enjoy this.
Following email is self explanatory:
From: Blaschke, Brent E [BlaschkeBE@state.gov] To: [haitham .firstname.lastname@example.org] Date: Thursday, February 1, 2007, 8:34:18 PM
You state that the pictures you posted February 1 depict victims of terrorism by the United States. The U.S. does not use terror. You have no evidence to support your claim and are intellectually dishonest in doing so. If you are truly concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people you will lend your support to the â€œRoadmapâ€ – which represents the fastest path to an independent Palestine – rather than making baseless and inflammatory charges.
U.S. Department of State
My reply was the following:
No Iâ€™m not!
If you read well, you can see that text below the photo album posted there is of â€œBeit Hanounâ€ massacre, committed by Zionist of Israel.
As for evidences of U.S. terror acts, Iâ€™m not going to argue with you about this. Just watch your Fox or CNN and you will get the details of latest war crimes committed by your country soldiers in Iraq. And if you missed the news, here are some links to refresh your memory:
Unless you call the above a â€œbachelor partyâ€, I find no name other than terror acts by U.S. Army!
Last but not least, you ask me to support the legend â€œRoadmapâ€, I ask you first to stop your government support to the â€œterror stateâ€ called Israel, then only peace will be reached by default.
PS. Your email and my reply will be published in my blog.
This is what we call â€œignorance and denial!â€
Update 1: A friend of mine send me more info about Brent Blaschke. According to U.S. Department of State records, Blaschke, Brent E. (202) 647-5267, SCA/AR – Office of Afghanistan Affairs, United States Department of State. Go aheadâ€¦ give him a call.
Update 2: Confirmed from the RFC-822 headers of the original email that it came from vance.state.gov. I hold the full details in safe!
Update 3: Ok, this is going to be interesting. Part two – A follow up email from the same person:
From: Blaschke, Brent E [BlaschkeBE@state.gov] To: [email@example.com] Date: Thursday, February 1, 2007, 11:41:17 PM
Subject: allegation – part two
Sir: you are quick to use terms like ignorance and denial but let us review your own words.
â€œGraphic images of crimes present disturbing, yet factual documentation of what terrorism is, and here, Iâ€™m not talking about Al Qaeda terrorist acts only, but terrorist acts such as those committed by Zionists in Palestine and US and its allies in Iraq.â€ Any reasonable reader of that passage would believe that at least some of pictures relate to the United States.
The links you offer refer to cases in which individual U.S. soldiers were charged with crimes. An important point to note is that these soldiers were held accountable by U.S. authorities and were punished for their reprehensible acts. If any thing, it proves the opposite of what you allege.
And you failed to truly address my point on the â€œRoadmapâ€. It is the best option available to achieve a permanent state of peace and the creation of a Palestine state. Do you favor a two-state solution or permanent conflict?
U.S. Department of State
Sir: Terrorism is a crime. Any crime against humanity is a form of terrorism. Occupation is terrorism. Torture is terrorism. Sanctions against civilians is terrorism. Boycotting a democratically elected government is a terrorism.
Definitions of Terrorism: (Source: United Nation)
- 1. League of Nations Convention (1937):
â€œAll criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general publicâ€.
2. UN Resolution language (1999):
â€œ1. Strongly condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed;
2. Reiterates that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify themâ€. (GA Res. 51/210 Measures to eliminate international terrorism)
3. Short legal definition proposed by A. P. Schmid to United Nations Crime Branch (1992):
Act of Terrorism = Peacetime Equivalent of War Crime
4. Academic Consensus Definition:
â€œTerrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby – in contrast to assassination – the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily soughtâ€ (Schmid, 1988).
So, here you go. Call them whatever you want. Crimes, War Crimes, whateverâ€¦ equal to terrorism! How can this be denied now?
As for your question about two states solutions, the answer is, NO! I donâ€™t believe that two states solution will ever solve the conflict. Only one state for all will be the solutions. Other than that, Roadmaps are just a waste of time, specially that you are asking only Palestinians to implement their part.
On the other hand, can you please explain the roadmap, and what it means in terms of the ending of the occupation, leaving the settlements (ALL the settlements), the borders of 1967, the right of return, etc. U.S. is the superpower and asking us, the Palestinians, to implement the Roadmap while the U.S. canâ€™t convince Israel to even stop the Wall, or building new settlements on new stolen lands!!!
Update 4: Third email from Mr. Blaschke:
From: Blaschke, Brent E [BlaschkeBE@state.gov] To: â€œHaitham Sabbahâ€ [firstname.lastname@example.org] Date: Friday, February 2, 2007, 8:16:38 PM
Subject: allegation – part two
Sir: Following your broad definitions, almost any crime anywhere would be called terrorism. If everything is terrorism then nothing is terrorism. Those criminal acts committed by individual soldiers was not directed or condoned by the United States Government – that is why those soldiers committing those acts were sent to jail.
You say NO to a two-state solution. You claim you care about the decades of suffering which the Palestinian people have endured. However, your vision would subject them to even more decades of the same suffering through an endless cycle of an eye-for-an-eye. What is the point of that?
The Roadmap does not call for only the Palestinians to make concessions – the Israelis have many obligations as well. The international community – in the form of the Quartet – is ready to assist in that process. I am providing some links which provide more details on the Roadmap.
Sir: The definitions are not mine, they are from UN. It is unfortunate that you see that these definition â€œbroadâ€, but I understand that the reason is because U.S. Army crimes in Iraq (as well elsewhere previously) just fits all of the definitions. I can see that USDOS is defensive now and throwing the blame on the â€œpoorâ€ terrorist who commit these crimes in Iraq. So, instead of U.S. government taking the blame and responsibility of the terror acts of its soldiers, you prefer to put it on the soldiers. Thatâ€™s why I call them â€œpoorâ€ terrorist. I really feel sorry for the American people and the families that are losing their loved ones because of the mistakes of their administration, which is now washing its hands from the responsibility.
Will, let me tell you this. No matter what you call them (your terrorists in Iraq), no matter what you do with them, even if you put them behind bars, they and those who support them and send them, are still terrorist!
As for the two-states solution: because I respect all the life that were lost because of this conflict, I have no doubt that the â€œRoadmapâ€ (which you avoid to explain and answer to me) will not save any life. Only one state will, unless that you can guarantee that I can return home and take back my land and occupied house inside Israel!!! Can you? I guess you canâ€™t. I donâ€™t accept any compensation for my home and land stolen by the Israeli, and I have the â€œright to returnâ€, can you guarantee with your Roadmap that I will return home and live in my grandfather house? Iâ€™m afraid you canâ€™t, although I will be happy to hear the opposite.
Update 5: Fourth email from USDOS:
From: Blaschke, Brent E [BlaschkeBE@state.gov] To: â€œHaitham Sabbahâ€ [email@example.com] Date: Friday, February 2, 2007, 11:51:04 PM
Subject: FW: allegation – part four
Sir: Your quotes and definitions (and to be accurate you only use one definition from the UN) make the definition of terrorism extraordinarily broad. You state, â€œAny crime against humanity is a form of terrorism. Occupation is terrorism. Torture is terrorism. Sanctions against civilians is terrorism. Boycotting a democratically elected government is a terrorism.â€ Your #4 quote states that â€œâ€¦ violent action â€¦ for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasonsâ€ is terrorism. By this definition, someone who earns their living robbing banks is a terrorist. No, sir, they are simply a criminal.
Please answer me this simple question: were the two individuals who set off suicide vests killing dozens of people in a market in Hillah, Iraq this week terrorists?
And Iâ€™m afraid I donâ€™t follow your logic on the Roadmap; you state that the Roadmap will â€œnot save any lifeâ€ but you support a path (towards one state) that will without a doubt kill many people over many years. I hope you were not serious in suggesting that you reject the Roadmap because it will not guarantee your personal property. Hopefully the leadership of Palestine will have national – not personal – welfare in mind in the coming months. Lastly, I did give you three links which contain many details on the Roadmap. Here they are again:
1. If you are trying to tell us that UN definition is not correct, appreciate that you provide us with more accurate definition, however, donâ€™t waste you time if the definition is not adopted by UN because that means it will be one man vision, which majority didnâ€™t accept, so it applies on the owner only.
2. You ask â€œâ€¦two individuals who set off suicide vests killing dozens of people in a market in Hillah, Iraq this week terrorists?â€
Very much they are terrorists. However, if suicide bombers are targeting occupation forces (and that goes everywhere), then that is not terrorism. That is called â€œresistance.â€
3. You said: â€œâ€¦ I hope you were not serious in suggesting that you reject the Roadmap because it will not guarantee your personal property.â€
Of course not. Iâ€™m talking about millions of Palestinians refuges around the world. Can you guarantee their return to their homes and land?
4. Iâ€™m very much aware of the details of the roadmap. What Iâ€™m trying to say is very clear. Although if, and only if, the Roadmap is implemented, then we might end with two-states solution. However, my point is that this type of solution will not end the conflict as millions of Palestinians will not accept the compensation for their homes and lands and will still insist on the â€œright of return.â€
Here is one of the emails I got from an American citizen as a reply to your emails:
From: John [firstname.lastname@example.org] To: â€œSabbahâ€™s Blogâ€ [email@example.com] Date: Saturday, February 3, 2007, 6:04:59 AM
Subject: Sabbahâ€™s Blog
Of course arguing with this official is a waste of effort. However you could point out to official accounts from Israeli media which show Israel has both dumped the Roadmap, and in fact never truly committed to it since they added a set of conditions which violated the very core of the roadmap. The roadmap, as we know, is just fiction for US politicians to roll out when they want to.
I must commend you. You have gotten more attention from my government than I. Of course now you are probably on the US no-fly and terror-watch lists.
Thanks, John. Iâ€™m sure Mr. Blaschke knows very well that Israel washed its hands from the Roadmap long time ago. He is just doing his job, but Mr. Blaschke should know that we are not ignorant of what is going around us.
Update 6: search at state.gov reveals that Brent E. Blaschke served as ChargÃ© dâ€™Affaires ad interim, May 1995-Aug 1996 after Carl Burton Stokes – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
OTOH, is seems that Mr. Blaschke is Director, Digital Outreach Team – Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)!!!
WARNING: There are reports that commenters who fill in their blog/website address in the comment form where visited (and maybe now watched) by someone from the United â€œStates Government.â€ Example here. So, unless you are okay with this, stay away from commenting or donâ€™t include your blog address in the comment form.
Following is a copy of all the comments that followed this post before I lost them all due to Hard Drive crash on Mar 23rd, 2007.